Weight Loss

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bring on February

I am so glad this is the last day of January. This month has sucked donkey balls. Sorry folks.

I'm becoming increasingly sensitive to statements out in the world about everyone else's perfect homes and marriages and children and lives. I know perfectly well that no one has a perfect life or home or family or whatever. But it seems like that is all people are talking about these days. Everyone gets along so great with their mate, they are the absolute best friend/partner/parent/etc. they could ever hope for. Being a wife and a mom is just the most PERFECT thing ever! Et cetera. Even in light of the current economic state of this country, people seem to be projecting this image as much as ever.

It's easy for me to feel bad about this. I'm going to be 36 this year. I do not own property. I am unemployed, and so is my husband. He is an alcoholic. Our marriage is in trouble. I long for children every day, and every day this seems further and further away.

Yet, on paper, this could be spun completely differently. My husband is also smart, funny, capable and very loving. I am in school to enter a promising career, even in these economically difficult times. The vast majority of my debt is from school loans, which should not be difficult to pay once I am done with school. Kids? Hopefully, next year. That one is harder for me to spin right now.

It's easy for me to long for what others seem to have. I have to remind myself that most of the world is kind of like me, and wants everyone to think that their life is great. Our lives are reflections of the choices we have made, and we want people to think that we always make great choices. Only now, I can't pretend this anymore. I only have room for the truth in my life now, for better or worse. I can't tell people that my life is great because I want them to think that (and leave me alone). I am not in the business of showing my dirty laundry to everyone I encounter, but I'm not going to pretend that everything is perfect when it so clearly is not.

I'm pretty close to my weight loss goal, and I am a good example of the notion that just because you lose weight does not mean your life is magically fixed. Problems you may not have even known (or perhaps admitted) you had will tend to surface when you can stop fixating on this one aspect of your life. The world view becomes a little wider.

For now, I take refuge in the Truth.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Things are. They aren't good, aren't bad, just are. I'm very busy, natch. In addition to trying to be a full-time anesthesia student, and starting my research and thesis, I'm also going to a few Al Anon meetings a week, trying to get back to the Buddhist temple, and reading recovery lit. Oh yeah, and I should fit in some other "anon" meetings too. And keep running 3-4 times a week. It's been busy.

I think I'll try to find a therapist next week. Maybe that's a good next step. I've got time for that too, right? :)

I went for a run tonight at the GU gym. I like the place, it's simple and gets the job done, and there are no screaming kids in the locker room like McDonaldland was when I went there (aka YMCA). It has a pool, and I rarely have to wait for a treadmill, even when they are busy. BUT! You know what? There is something weird about the place. The girls there never get naked. I KNOW. How do they shower? How do they change? I don't know, never have I seen anyone naked there. I find this strange. I'm not trying to check anyone out. But this place is filled with young undergraduate women. I can only chalk this up to these girls mostly being too insecure about themselves to be comfortable enough to get in a towel and walk to the shower. You know, now that I think about it, I think I've only actually noticed a couple other people ever showering there. WTF?

Tonight was a good example. There were only two people in the locker room as I was blow drying my hair (something I have only recently started doing, only there, because it's about eleventy zillion degrees below freezing here). The other girl was suiting up to go do her thing. She actually took her bra off under her shirt. I haven't seen someone do that in a locker room since high school. Then she proceeded to go out to the fitness floor with a snug shirt and no bra. Now I wonder what was the point of all that?? I just had to shake my head. Here I am, 35 years old, belly covered with loose skin and scars, looking like a melted candle. And I have 10 times the self confidence of these girls, who are in the prime of their youth and all lovely. I'd love to have most of their bodies, but they seem to feel bad about theirs, or else they think everyone in the locker room is there to check them out, or is there a third option?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meme: 25 things

This took a long time to come up with, so I'm posting it here as well as where it was originally tagged.

25 Things

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose up to 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you

1. I was one of only 3 or 4 kids in my class who started kindergarten together, went to elementary school, jr high and HS and graduated together.
2. I used to wish I was Korean when I was little. I loved my friends' thick black hair so. much.
3. I planned on majoring in violin performance until about age 16, when I realized that I couldn't stand too many of my fellow musicians.
4. When I was in HS I could name, in order, every I-5 exit between Olympia and Lynnwood.
5. I have never seen The Godfather Part III, strictly out of principle.
6. My first TV crush was David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider.
7. I have worn earplugs when sleeping every night since fall 1992, when I lived in a dorm for 1 quarter at UW.
8. My earliest childhood memories are from about age 2. No kidding.
9. I'm still mad Harold Reynolds was fired from ESPN. Baseball Tonight will never be the same.
10. My secret superpower is remembering numbers in sequence.
11. My first car was a 1976 Datsun 210, royal blue with powder blue pinstripes a la Starsky and Hutch. Smelling a Little Tree "Bouquet" air freshener transports me right back to that glorious first car. It was $500 and did not require a key to unlock it or start it, or get into the trunk.
12. 3 of my 4 grandparents lived into their 90s, and my other grandma died at 89.
13. I can still remember Amazon.com's first hokey little website, and had books shipped to me from them even though their warehouse was only 1/2 a mile from my house in South Seattle.
14. I'm still bitter that the Don James era at UW ended so soon after I started school there.
15. I've had a paying job every year since I was 13, until last year when I became a full-time grad student.
16. My Christmas tree is still up. I'm not proud.
17. I've been an insomniac my entire life. (That's part of why I have such early childhood memories.)
18. I have long finger-toes.
19. I bought my wedding dress on ebay.
20. I like to organize and put away clutter, but hate to vacuum.
21. I think the closest I come to meditating is when I run.
22. I hate being cold more than anything. I'll take 100 degrees and 100% humidity over anything below freezing anytime.
23. In that respect Spokane is not working so well for me.
24. I hate overused phrases, like "the perfect storm". I also go crazy when I see the improper use of "it's" and "its", and "there" , "their" and "they're".
25. I learned most of what I know about grammar from Schoolhouse Rock.

Feeling Uncomfortable with Comfort

Thanks for the kind comments and notes. Things seem better. Hubby is here in Spokane, working on the things he has to work on. I am hesitant to get too hopeful, but things look much better than they did at the beginning of the week.

I've gone to Al Anon meetings 3 times now, and they are very helpful and supportive. Mainly right now I am not working on any "steps" or anything but just trying to learn to be responsible for my own self, not think I can control anybody else or what they do. Despite being the mellow gal that I am, I have a pretty strong control freak inside me.

I still have a tremendous sadness for all that has happened in the past year and especially in the past few weeks. I love my husband, and hate to see him hurting. My impulse is to do everything to help, but that is not the right thing for me to do. At a meeting yesterday the discussion topic was "Feeling Uncomfortable"--the way you feel when you are learning something new. In this case, the something new is how to live without concerning yourself so much with the behavior of others, and how not to create or thrive on drama. I wouldn't say that I am any sort of drama queen in my personal life, but the fact that I chose trauma critical care as a vocation for so many years would seem to indicate that I do enjoy a certain amount of drama. I have been feeling uncomfortable, mostly because I want to trust the feeling that things are getting better but I am afraid to. Trying to be more cautious about my emotions and what I attach myself to is tiring.

Speaking of tiring, I ought to get to bed soon. This week has been exhausting. I had my first full day in the OR in a few weeks today, and it was really tiring. Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone. It really helps. I hope the drama is receding now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Leaving tomorrow's worries for tomorrow...

I am in Portland. I am taking one day at a time, and trying to learn about detachment. I am trying to keep my primary focus on myself, the only person over whom I have any control.

Hubby is still in the hospital, but now voluntarily. I think he plans to stay until tomorrow. His mood is more stable, it seems. The various treatments seem to help. We are moving forward a day at a time. I don't know what will happen in our marriage, but that isn't a decision I have to make today, thankfully.

Still not much appetite...but I have been running a bit, just a couple of miles a day. Just enough to still my mind and relieve some stress. I think I am hovering around 165 right now (from 177 2 weeks ago) but I haven't weighed in a couple of days. I am eating more than I was last week, which is good. We will both move back to Spokane when hubby is released, and he will start treatment there. I don't know if this will remain a good situation for us both long-term, but again, I don't have to decide that right now. At the present time, it seems best for both of us.

I'm working on my own stuff now, and am less emotional than I have been for the past week. I guess that could be good or bad. But so far I'm happy to report that I'm making it, and trying to make the best decisions that I can.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sea Change

I am living in the middle of a drama storm. I don't know how I got here or how to get out.
In the past week, I have discovered that my husband has been engaging in compulsive, risky sexual behavior and is an alcoholic. After I discovered those two things, he was in a car accident and got a DUI. Last night he was suicidal, with a clear plan. I called 911, and he is in the hospital on a hold.

I have debated on whether to blog about this or not. Obviously it is utterly consuming my life right now. Finally I decided that I simply cannot pretend that this isn't happening. Some of you have been friends, all of you have been engaged and kind as readers of this blog. There are obviously many details to this sordid story that I am not going to post online. I am devastated, and trying to figure out my next move, taking one day at a time.

Because we live 400 miles apart, my hubby was able to lead a double life. As far as I can tell, he did not drink when he was with me. Alcoholics and addicts become expert manipulators and liars, and he hid all of this from everyone for a long, long time, especially those closest to him. He is hurting and desperate now, and I have to decide how to be loving while not making the behaviors worse or preventing him from experiencing the consequences of his actions, so that he can make the changes he needs to make. Only he can make them. I have no control whatsoever.

I don't know what will happen from here. I do not have any other personal experience with addiction--my family does not have a history of chemical dependency, and I have never been with another partner who did. I am a nurse, and I've worked with thousands of patients who were addicts, but that is completely different. I have to learn what this is all about, how it works, and how to help rather than make things worse. I also have to decide how much I am willing to do or go through at this point, and what is the right thing to do for me.

Fortunately, my directors of my program are very understanding and supportive. They know what is going on, and that I am struggling to keep my head above water at this point. My one overriding goal, above all else at this point, is that I must finish school, no matter what. I need this for me. We are broke, and broken. But no matter what else happens, I must finish school.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Super-Stress Diet

Sorry I haven't been posting. My life has gotten very stressful and shall we say, unmanageable, lately. Nothing I really want to blog about just now, if ever. But there are some personal things going on that have rather blindsided me this weekend. I took a couple of days away from clinical to clear my head. If I was having surgery last week, I wouldn't have wanted me putting me to sleep, if that makes sense.

But, in 2 weeks I have lost 9 lbs. The first 4 were lost the "right" way, eating right and following my plan. The last 5 were lost via the "take 2 bites and get nauseous, but drink a lot" stress diet. I expect I might see a couple of those pounds again, once I start eating normally. I am able to run a bit again, since the snow is slowly but surely melting. Tomorrow I am going to join the GU gym and hopefully can get a bit more exercise/stress relief that way.

I am looking forward to getting back into the OR in the AM and getting back to life. I hope everyone is well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oprah's Meme (pass it on)

I'd imagine that today's Oprah show about her weight-regain "confession" is a popular topic across weight loss blogs today. I didn't watch it (I was in the OR, and I don't have a TV) but I did look at an article about it and I checked her website about the show. (That's something I did occasionally before I started school, but not since then.) I like The Oprah. Yeah, she's a brand, and she's sort of inappropriately revered as a guru or goddess. But she mostly acts like regular folks on her show, and the number of times that she has gone in front of her public with her weight gains and losses is just staggering. I can't imagine having those kind of cahones to do that publicly, and people really gain a lot of hope and inspiration from that. So I don't really complain about The Oprah; I likes her.

On her website she posted an "exercise" that seemed appropriate for me, and millions of others who are newly committed to achieving weight goals in the new year. So here it is, and feel free to adopt it for your blog if you like. It ain't mine, after all. Talk to The Oprah.

1. What are you hungry for? Companionship, cameraderie. A creative outlet in a life that is currently centered around science and learning. My partner, here with me.

2. Why are you overweight? Well, I'm STILL overweight because I ran out of steam. I knew it had happened, I knew it was going to happen with the intensity of last semester, and well, it did. I am still much closer to my goal than I was this time last year.

3. Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past? Uh, well, because diets don't work? And because I have to eat far less food to lose or maintain than I used to be able to without my lap band. I have been able to maintain this weight loss, for the most part. I have maintained within 5 pounds for the past 6 months. Prior to my band, I've discussed ad nauseum in these pages why I couldn't maintain weight loss before.

4. What in your life is not working? Being apart from my mate. The stress of long distance marriage, money issues, and anesthesia education, plus recent personal losses.

5. Why do you want to lose weight? I want to achieve my goal that I set nearly 2 years ago--a goal that I think is reasonable and healthy for me, and not overreaching. I want to feel healthy and able to physically do whatever I feel like doing.

Back to School

Today was my first day back at school for my 4th semester (of 7). It was a clinical day. I got home last night at 9pm and didn't really want to dig my car out that late, after a 6 hour car trip. (My classmate drove; my car was being snowed on in Spokane.) So I got up this morning at 4:15 to get ready for clinical and allow myself enough time to dig out the car. By 5:30am the car was all shoveled out, but stuck in grooves of ice. I needed a push. No one is hanging around at 5:30 am just waiting to push my car...so I had to walk to the hospital, which took about 30 minutes and made me late. I was so tired by the time I got there, I felt like I had already put in a full day.

Clinical went well; I did knees and a hip. I placed 3 spinal blocks today (with style! :) and one was a general anesthetic. 3 people got new joints that will work better for them, one person found out that the knee pain wasn't caused by the prosthetic joint, so that will undoubtably be bad news. But for me, it was a pretty good day. I worked with a CRNA who is really good to work with, all that went well.

Hubby, however, didn't have a good day. He was laid off. It wasn't unexpected, and it probably will turn out to be a good thing. He has lots of leads, and should be able to find a job even with the economy in the state it is in. But, him being our only source of income, it's a bit stressful. Think good-job-thoughts for him, ok? I know many, many people are in this same situation these days. It's a very uncertain, stressful time for so many people.

I started the plateau busting diet today--Sandy (Moonshine)'s tool. It is essentially a version of Atkins, and it is limited to no more than 2 weeks. I will go 1 week and see how I am doing. I was really surprised that just one day of limiting my sugar/carb intake made it so much easier to resist the bags of cookies in our classroom/breakroom today. I am starting at 175, and I want to get to 160. I would prefer to do it by the end of summer, but I'm just going to hope for forward motion. My general, vague plan is to do this for 1 or 2 weeks, then go back to The Band Rules and determine if I need a fill. If I do, I'll schedule one (when we can pay for it...). I expect that this PBD will help get me off the carb-devouring mania that I have been on recently. I don't believe in severe restriction in the long term (and I'm not a fan of Atkins, or of dieting for that matter, since they don't work), but it's got to get better than what it's been lately. And we all know that the less sugar you eat, the less you want to eat.

I am also hoping to join my university gym this week, if I can drive there at all. Or maybe next week, after I have my financial aid check. I won't be able to run on the streets of Spokane for quite a while. We have had over 6 feet of snow in 3 weeks! The berms on the sidewalks and ditches are ridiculous. We are running out of places to put shoveled snow. Some people who have snowblowers can keep their sidewalks cleared, but for the most part it is just not happening. So I will need to run indoors, which pains me greatly, but it appears inevitable. I hope the university gym proves to have natural light and enough treadmills and late enough hours that I can utilize it. It's $150 a semester for grad students, or about $30 per month.

Happy 2009 everyone! May we all achieve our goals this year, whatever they may be.