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Monday, January 25, 2010

Shifting Focus...

Dear Blog,
I'm not avoiding you. I've just had a change of focus, and wasn't sure whether, or when, or how to address it on the blog. I'm not trying to lose weight right now. I'm pregnant.

I have been struggling with the "who to tell, when to tell" thing ever since I found out just over a week ago. On the one hand, with my first pregnancy at an "advanced maternal age", I am, naturally, at a somewhat increased risk for miscarriage. I don't want to have to tell dozens of people if that happens.

On the other hand, I had to tell the people I work with early, because I can't do certain kinds of cases anymore. (Very early pregnancy is an especially critical time for exposure to radiation and nitrous oxide.) And I have told my family, and a few close friends. But the blog? The blog, and my blog friends, are kind of different. Here I can talk about what I have been obsessing over ever since I found out. And if I am unfortunate and do lose this pregnancy, I can say it once and everyone here will know. Plus, someone might wonder why I'm not still trying to lose 15 pounds.

So, yes, I am excited and so is hubby. There is so much going on, trying to study for boards, finish school, and not barf in the middle of it all. I am hoping against hope that my nausea (which really just started a couple days ago) doesn't turn into vomiting, because I don't want to have to have the fill removed from my band. I know a lot of people do automatically. But because I have never had barfing or heartburn before, and because I can get plenty of calories the way I am (OBVIOUSLY, more than I need if not pregnant), I don't see why I can't let the band keep my weight gain to a reasonable amount. I am starting overweight, so if I can keep my weight gain to about 20-25 pounds I'd be happy. I doubt I can do that with an unfilled band, though. But if I have any barfing or reflux, I will have the band unfilled. And my OB may insist, when I see him in March, that I have it unfilled before the end of the first tri anyway, while they still can. We'll see.

In the midst of the exhaustion, the soreness, and the nausea, I am sharing my "secret" with the internet. I am so scatterbrained right now, I'm really having a hard time focusing on school at all. If all goes well, I am due Sept 26.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Article: If Obesity is unhealthy, then why are the cures for it just as bad? (Double X Blog)

A lot of this is stuff we already know, but I'm glad someone in the media is questioning the safety and sanity of shows like The Biggest loser.

(Original article: Double X)

One of the major arguments of the growing fat acceptance movement is that fear-mongering about "health" functions more as a tool to bash fat people than as a genuine expression of desire for a healthier populace. You couldn't ask for a better argument for that point of view than this article in the New York Times about the dangers posed to contestants on the reality show The Biggest Loser, though the very name of the show has always suggested to me that it's more about mocking fat people than promoting healthy lifestyles. Contestants from the show are claiming that the rapid-fire weight loss encouraged on the program led them to dehydrate themselves, some to the point where they were urinating blood. These concerns are coming after a recent episode had contestants rushed to the hospital for heat stroke.

But as the article points out, even contestants that didn't try to cheat the system by dropping water weight were still putting their bodies in grave danger by losing so much weight so quickly. You're not really supposed to aim to drop more than two pounds a week on a responsible weight loss program, because doing more than that can cause heart problems and electrolyte imbalances that could cause a heart attack. Yet The Biggest Loser is far from the only cultural product that promotes the idea that rapidly turning fat people into thin people is a legitimate strategy for "health." That message blares at us from a variety of tabloid coves, weight-loss advertisements, TV shows, and puff pieces fawning over fat celebrities that dropped half their body weight in a short amount of time due to gastric bypass surgery. Why is it not enough for fat people to lose weight? Why does it have to be so much so quickly?

Part of it is a numbers game. Look at the numbers given in this Times article: Contestants lost 118 pounds, 112 pounds, 122 pounds. At the recommended weight-loss rates, that means most of them would have taken more than a year to accomplish their goals. But searching around the Internet, it seems that the show tapes for only 10 to 12 weeks. Committing yourself to a year or many years of weight loss can seem like an overwhelming goal, especially since the emphasis in the world of weight loss is self-deprivation and pain, as if you're punishing yourself for getting fat. But most people would like to believe they could give a couple months over to the misery of dieting and exercise, as long as they see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The emphasis on rapid weight loss goes a long way to explaining why diets don't work. The demands of dieting are unsustainable, and people who diet spend all their time thinking about how they're going to reward themselves with all the forbidden foods when they finally cross the line. It goes straight back up to an American inability to conceive of moderation. Extreme dieting rests next to virginity pledges or teetotalism, or from the left, Buy Nothing Day or throwing out your television set. When looking for alternatives to excess, we latch onto abstinence. But abstinence pledges defeat us, and we don't just fall off the wagon, but fling ourselves off it. Indulgence/punishment rituals satisfy our need for drama, but they don't do much for our health or well-being.

Amanda Marcotte recently moved from her home state of Texas to Brooklyn, NY. She blogs at pandagon.net and rhrealitycheck.org.

Edited: Food Addiction (full text)

I added the full text of Sparkly Jules' superb post on food addiction to my blog post below. Sometimes it's easier not to click on links in blog posts, I get that. But I really wanted to share her awesome post here. Check out her blog too, it's great. :)

More Thoughts on Food, Company, and Impermanence

This morning I'm re-reading the post about Ebert's food memories, and wondering what it is I think is so familiar about his thoughts. He writes about missing the socialization of eating more than the actual food experience. I think that is a common experience for WLS'ers. I had read a little bit about other newly post-ops who felt awkward going out to eat with other people, especially people they didn't want to disclose their WLS to, but I didn't realize what an issue it might be until I had surgery myself.

I wrote about restaurant dining in this blog when I was just a few weeks post-op. At the time that I had surgery (nearly 3 years ago, for those who are keeping track) my hubby and I were frequent restaurant diners. We had many favorites around Portland: Nicholas', a Lebonese restaurant; Hubers, the oldest restaurant in Portland, where we loved the mussels (cheap and delish); and of course our very favorite, Saburo's, which serves "Godzilla" sushi in a very casual, almost cafeteria setting, doesn't take reservations, and where the patrons start lining up 45 minutes before it opens, every day of the week. Then there was breakfast, my favorite meal. We loved the J&M Cafe, Zell's, Sanborn's, the Cup & Saucer, and Lorne & Dottie's (before they stopped weekend service). We love breakfast so much that we had a brunch wedding reception. Our friends fawned over the bacon, and insisted that if I ever wanted to start eating meat again, this was the time, and this was the bacon.

But after surgery, I had to follow the post-op diet, which involved liquids for 2 weeks, then pureed soft foods for another 2 weeks. It took a while to get used to it, what was allowed, and by the time I'd been post-op for a month, I would get hungry fairly quickly after a meal of pureed tuna or pureed broccoli. I felt the need to be near home, to deal with the rapid onset of hunger. I got full quickly, but then got hungry quickly too. My body had been living on 1000 calories or less per day for a month by then, and it was certainly a shock physiologically.

I felt somewhat exiled from society because of this, because my meals became solitary, artificial things. There weren't really communal meal times, because the meals were small and frequent. I had to stay close to home. And what I was now eating was very different from what I had been eating for years. Meanwhile, my hubby had lost his dining-out partner. He loved going to all those great places too. He asked me several times if I wanted to go to this or that place for dinner, even when I was still on liquids. At the time I was astonished by the insensitivity of this. But in time, I realized that he probably hadn't anticipated having to make this kind of sacrifice himself just because I decided to have WLS. And I didn't seem so different, once I had mostly healed from surgery.

Once I was eating a regular Lap-band diet, I still had a hard time with dining out for quite a while. I felt guilty eating restaurant food, where I often had a hard time finding something that conformed well enough to my new diet. I never had to deal with the worst thing that many bandsters dread more than any other aspect of public dining, which is the consequences of eating one bite too many or too big or too solid. I never had a slime, PB, or barfing episode, in public or in private. But this is one of the biggest fears for many people who have had this surgery, to have this happen in public, especially when dining with people who don't know about your surgery.

The loss of socialization is a rather unexpected loss. When you want to catch up with a friend you haven't seen in a long time, what do you do? Usually set up a lunch or dinner date. There are expectations when dining out with others. All parties present eat, for one thing, and they drink something. We often count on one another to validate our menu choices, too: if your friend orders fried chicken, and you order bean soup, there is a loss of balance, and at minimum the friend will question your choice. "Is that enough food? Are you okay? Gee, I'm really pigging out, huh?" I can't imagine how that must be complicated for Ebert, who not only can't even eat the bean soup, but can't speak either. There is a great unspoken loss at that table, which I'm sure he feels at least as greatly as those he "dines" with.

The parallels between the WLS experience and Ebert's experience end somewhere around this point. Over time, I was able to start dining out again comfortably, and now no one eating with me would ever realize that I had WLS. (Exhibit A: 18-pound regain.) I can talk and socialize over a meal with ease. My loss was temporary, and for that I am grateful. Realizing this makes me sad for those like Ebert who have to adjust permanently, and yet filled with more wonder and appreciation that he has as much insight and grace as he does about the new circumstances of his life. Buddhists call this "impermanence", and as humans, we tend to resist this idea. Nothing in life is permanent, and you never know what might be lost from one moment to the next. Far from being something sad, this idea helps us to celebrate what we have right now, and frees us to enjoy our life more.

In light of this idea, my coffee doesn't taste better, but the fact that I can sit here in my kitchen, write this blog and enjoy my coffee is something to appreciate. And while I am continually disappointed in myself that I have regained weight, there is a lot to be grateful for: that it has only been 18 pounds, despite everything that has happened in my life in the last year; that WLS was available to me, and I chose it when I did, and did lose 70 pounds; that I am still healthy, and still have the ability to choose healthier ways to live; that I am alive, and aware of the choices I can make for myself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

By Request: Nil By Mouth by Roger Ebert

My hubby suggested that I post this blog entry by Roger Ebert. As you may or may not know, he has struggled with cancer, and its after-effects, for many years. He had thyroid cancer, which was successfully treated, and then salivary cancer, which I believe was also sucessfully treated. However, the effects of the radiation treatment weakened the tissues of his head and neck, and he has struggled with numerous health problems as a result, and now is unable to talk or eat. This post is a beautiful ode to comfort foods, and the comfort of food. He also explains how it is that he can still have the enjoyment of his memories of food, although unable to eat.

I've always felt a kind of six-degrees-of-separation closeness to Ebert, because I grew up with my mother telling me about going to the same high school as him (Urbana HS, in Urbana, Illinois). He ran track and was the editor of the school paper. I remember his pictures in her yearbooks, looking exactly like Ebert (same glasses even) except skinny. It's hard not to like him anyway; unlike so many critics (movie or otherwise), he always has approached his work not as a writer or some kind of cinema purist, but as a fan of movies. He just loves movies, and he writes beautifully about the things we love about movies. I've always appreciated that about him, and felt that it made him unique among his peers.

It's clear Ebert won't be around forever, or even all that much longer in all likelihood. But he writes prolifically in the Sun-Times blog, and at rogerebert (dot) com.

Nil by Mouth (Roger Ebert)

I mentioned that I can no longer eat or drink. A reader wrote: "That sounds so sad. Do you miss it?" Not so much really. Not anymore. Understand that I was never told that after surgery I might lose the ability to eat, drink and speak. Eating and drinking were not mentioned, and it was said that after surgery I might actually be able to go back to work on television.

Success in such surgery is not unheard of. It didn't happen that way. The second surgery was also intended to restore my speaking ability. It seemed to hold together for awhile, but then, in surgeon-speak, also "fell apart."

A third surgery was attempted, using a different approach. It seemed to work, and in a mirror I saw myself looking familiar again. But after a little more than a week, that surgery failed, too. Blood vessels intended to attach the transplanted tissue lost function, probably because they had been weakened by radiation. A fourth surgery has been proposed, but I flatly reject the idea. To paraphrase a line from "Adaptation's" orchid collector: "Done with surgery."
During that whole period I was Nil by Mouth. Nobody said as much in so many words, but it gradually became clear that it wouldn't ever be right again. There wasn't some soul-dropping moment for that realization. It just...developed. I never felt hungry, I never felt thirsty, I wasn't angry because the doctors had done their best. But I went through a period of obsession about food and drink. I came up with the crazy idea of getting some Coke through my g-tube. My doctors said, sure, a little, why not? For once the sugar and a little sodium wouldn't hurt. I even got some tea, and a little coffee, before deciding that caffeine addiction was something I didn't need.

I dreamed. I was reading Cormac McCarthy's Suttree, and there's a passage where the hero, lazing on his river boat on a hot summer day, pulls up a string from the water with a bottle of orange soda attached to it and drinks. I tasted that pop so clearly I can taste it today. Later he's served a beer in a frosted mug. I don't drink beer, but the frosted mug evoked for me a long-buried memory of my father and I driving in his old Plymouth to the A&W Root Beer stand (gravel driveways, carhop service, window trays) and his voice saying "...and a five-cent beer for the boy." The smoke from his Lucky Strike in the car. The heavy summer heat.
For nights I would wake up already focused on that small but heavy glass mug with the ice sliding from it, and the first sip of root beer. I took that sip over and over. The ice slid down across my fingers again and again. But never again.

One day in the hospital my brother-in-law Johnny Hammel and his wife Eunice came to visit. They are two of my favorite people. They're Jehovah's Witnesses, and know I'm not. I mention that because they interpreted my story in terms of their faith. I described my fantasies about root beer. I could smell it, taste it, feel it. I desired it. I said I'd remembered so clearly that day with my father for the first time in 60 years.

"You never thought about it before?" Johnny asked.

"Not once."

"Could be, when the Lord took away your drinking, he gave you back that memory."
Whether my higher power was the Lord or Cormac McCarthy, those were the words I needed to hear. And from that time I began to replace what I had lost with what I remembered. If I think I want an orange soda right now, it is after all only a desire. People have those all the time. For that matter, when I had the chance, when was the last time I held one of those tall Nehi glass bottles? I doubt I ever had one from a can.

I've found memories now come welling up almost alarmingly. It's all still in there, every bit. I saw "Leap Year," with its scenes in Dublin, and recognized the street where I stayed in the Shelbourne Hotel, even though the hotel wasn't shown. That started me on Trinity College nearby, where I remembered that McHugh and I saw the Book of Kells in its glass case. And then I remembered us walking out the back gate of Trinity and finding a pub where we were to join two of his brothers. And meeting Kitty Kelly sitting inside the pub, who became famous in our stories as the only whore in Dublin with her own coach.

"Are you two students?" McHugh's younger brother Eugene asked them innocently.

"I'm a working girl meself," the first said.

"Her name is Kitty Kelly," her friend volunteered. "I'm her coach."

I walked into that movie with the Book of Kells and Kitty Kelly's coach and Eugene McHugh far from my mind. The story itself had long since fallen from our repertoire. But it's all in there.
When it comes to food, I don't have a gourmet's memory. I remember the kinds of foods I was raised to love. Chaz and I stayed once at Les Pres d'Eugenie, the inn of the famous Michel Guerard in Eugénie-les-Bains. We had certainly the best meal I have ever been served. I remember that, the room, the people at the other tables and our view in the photo, but I can no longer remember what I ate. It isn't hard-wired into my memory.

Yet I could if I wanted to right now close my eyes and re-experience an entire meal at Steak 'n Shake, bite by bite in proper sequence, because I always ordered the same items and ate them according to the same ritual. It is there for me.

Another surprising area for sharp memory is the taste and texture of cheap candy. Not imported chocolates, but Red Hots, Good and Plenty, Milk Duds, Paydays, Chuckles. I dreamed I got a box of Chuckles with five licorice squares, and in my dream I exalted: "Finally!" With Necco wafers, there again, the licorice were the best. The peculiar off-purple wafers were space-wasters. As a general rule in candy, if anything is black, red or green, in that order, I like it.

This got carried so far one day I found myself googling White Hen-style candy with the mad idea of writing an entire blog entry on the subject. During visits to a Cracker Barrel I would buy paper bags filled with licorice, root beer, horehound and cinnamon drops. Searching for Black Jack gum, I found whole web sites devoted licorice in its many forms. I even discovered and downloaded a photo of a basket that seemed assembled from my memory, and it is below.

But the last thing I want to start here is a discussion of such age old-old practices of pouring Kool-Aid into a bottle of RC Cola to turn it into a weapon. Let me return to the original question: Isn't it sad to be unable eat or drink? Not as sad as you might imagine. I save an enormous amount of time. I have control of my weight. Everything agrees with me. And so on.

What I miss is the society. Lunch and dinner are the two occasions when we most easily meet with friends and family. They're the first way we experience places far from home. Where we sit to regard the passing parade. How we learn indirectly of other cultures. When we feel good together. Meals are when we get a lot of our talking done -- probably most of our recreational talking. That's what I miss. Because I can't speak that's's another turn of the blade. I can sit at a table and vicariously enjoy the conversation, which is why I enjoy pals like my friend McHugh so much, because he rarely notices if anyone else isn't speaking. But to attend a "business dinner" is a species of torture. I'm no good at business anyway, but at least if I'm being bad at it at Joe's Stone Crab there are consolations.

When we drive around town I never look at a trendy new restaurant and wish I could eat there. I peer into little storefront places, diners, ethnic places, and then I feel envy. After a movie we'll drive past a formica restaurant with only two tables occupied, and I'll wish I could be at one of them, having ordered something familiar and and reading a book. I never felt alone in a situation like that. I was a soloist.

When I moved north to Lincoln Park and the Dudak's's house, Glenna Syse, the Sun-Times drama critic, told me about Frances Deli on Clark Street. "They make you eat your vegetables," she told me. There were maybe a dozen tables inside, and you selected from the day's dishes like roast chicken, lamb stew, lake perch and, yes, the veggies, although one of them was rice pudding. You want roast chicken, here's your roast chicken. It was so simple it almost made you grin. You didn't even have to ask for the bed of dressing on which it slumbered.

Frances has moved into a bigger space across the street but nothing much else has changed. Nobody will look at you funny if you bring in the Sunday paper and spread it out. And breakfast? Talk about the breakfast. If a place doesn't advertise "Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner" and serve tuna melts, right away you figure they're covering up for something.

There's a place called the Old-Timer's Restaurant across the street from the Lake Street screening room in Chicago. I love that place. No fuss, no muss, friendly, the owner stands behind the cash register and chats with everybody going in and out. I've ordered breakfast at lunch time there. "You're still serving breakfast? I asked. "Hey, an egg's an egg."

I came across this sentence in its web review, and it perfectly describes the kind of place I like: "A Greek-style chow joint replete with '70s wood paneling, periwinkle padded booths, a chatty wait staff and the warble of regulars at the bar. Basically, if you've ever had it at any place that starts with Grandma's, Uncle's or any sort of Greek place name, you can find it here." Yes. If a restaurant doesn't serve tuna melts, right away you have to make allowances.

So that's what's sad about not eating. The loss of dining, not the loss of food. It may be personal, but for, unless I'm alone, it doesn't involve dinner if it doesn't involve talking. The food and drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss. Sentences beginning with the words, "Remember that time?" I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to break out in a poetry recitation at any time. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, it's sad. Maybe that's why I enjoy this blog. You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now.

Food Addiction

How timely that as I've been thinking more and more about food addiction and its role in my life, I came across this great post by Sparkly Jules. She has a great way of getting across the pervasiveness of food addiction in one's thoughts...check it out.

I went for a run today, and again was shocked that my running felt so sluggish and slow. When I went to enter my 2.8 miles into my running log, I looked back on all the runs I have recorded. I always record my weight as well. It appears that I am the heaviest I have been since I started running almost 2 years ago. So, the sluggishness isn't all in my head.

Everything is just so. much. right now. I'm studying for boards, going to 12 step meetings, trying to figure out my marriage and maybe even improve it, going to therapy, finishing my thesis, and working full time. (Giving free anesthesia...not free for the patients, but I don't get paid.) I'm looking for a job now, one that WILL pay me, when I am done with this and have some credentials. It's been a long 2 years. I understand in my head that everything I have been attempting to do since I have been in school is a lot, and a weight gain is not a surprising affect of trying to do too much and living in too much stress. But knowing this in my head doesn't make the reality easier. I still feel tremendous pressure to lose the weight, and still do all the other things I have been doing all along.

And yet, before I can even become conscious of a surge in stress or unpleasant emotions, before I even notice the emotions, I am eating something that will give my brain a boost of endorphins and glucose, something carb-y, sugar-y, whatever. I've already eaten it before I notice what happened. This is an example of neuroplasticity; a response becomes automated in the brain, and the neural pathways that produce this response become larger and more reinforced. It is exactly what happens to addicts, when they find themselves drinking or using again despite their desire not to, and find themselves doing it before they are conscious of having done it.

The idea that we can overcome these kinds of impulses through sheer willpower seems laughable at times, and indeed research has shown that this is a large part of why diets don't work. Our brain chemistry is smarter than we are. Yet, in learning about addiction I also learn that while we are powerless over addiction (our own or another person's), we are not powerless over our behavior in response to that addiction.

So, I'm working it. I'd like to get my butt into some individual therapy to try to get a handle on the food issues. That's about 3 years too late, but it's not like I can't start now. But then again it feels like yet another thing to add to my already overflowing plate. It's a good idea, if I can make it happen.


ETA: Here is the text of Jules' post, because sometimes it's just too much to click another link. I really love this post. Be sure to read more of Sparkly Jules' blog if you have time. It's varied and experiential, and well-written, and alternately funny and hopeful and poignant.

What is Food Addiction Like?

I will attempt (donuts) to try and explain what it feels like (waffles) to be a food addict (pancakes). I had a therapist once (danish) who said he'd had it explained to him by previous (cookie) patients that it was (donuts) in some ways sexual in nature. That first bite of (donuts) of food, whatever it might be, was very orgasmic. I told him (waffles) that I agreed; it was, in many ways, a very (pie) sexual experience, one that I felt throughout my (cake) body.

I am as addicted to food (donuts) in the same way that an alcoholic (banana bread) is addicted to alcohol, and a drug addict (ice cream) is addicted to a drug. I have a paternal aunt (pudding) who has been to drug rehab five times over the last (muffins) fifteen years, and she's still not (sourdough bread) sober. Her addiction has a much more unfortunate outcome--she is unable to maintain jobs, (pizelle), relationships, and any sort of stability (cheese won tons) in her life while she is using or drinking. In fact, I've cut off all contact with her until she quits.

As a food addict, the side effects are two-fold: 1. obvious obesity 2. (donuts) poor health, although obesity does not always equal poor health, over time, it will, in one way (chocolate) or the other.

As for exercise, I would love to exercise. I always (cookies) feel better after I do it (toast with jam). In 1979 I broke a vertebrate (pizza) in my back and it has never been the same. I was sixteen. It hurts in varying degrees (cheese) nearly every day. Since I have had the Swine Flu (ham), it's been even worse. I'm not sure what the correlation is there, but that's when the (pie) pain got worse.

I took myself over to the local indoor mall New Year's Eve. I needed some (cinnamon rolls) pantyhose, and there is a Lane Giant there (waffles). Guess what? They no longer carry pantyhose. Although I''m (croissants) glad to hear that because I've always hated pantyhose, I did want a pair for NYE (baguette). So I walked that mall, and my back hurt so badly, that about every 10 minutes I had to sit down to take the pressure off of it so I could keep going (caramel corn).

Add into the (tortillas) mix my bad left knee, which I fell on 12/30/04 and never really had it seriously looked at aside from an (Trader Joe's Gorgonzola Crackers) x-ray. It ain't right, tho, I kin tell ya that. Of course, I could never convince any of my (pie) doctors that it was an injury and not weight related. (Brie.)

I also have diabetic neuropathy in my feet. It was so bad in the fall of 2005, my first semester back in college, that by the time I had (cannoli) walked across campus and then several blocks to the car, I was crying, no, sobbing. Burning, stabbing, shooting pains. I take medication for it that keeps it to a dull (tiramisu) roar, now. That and keeping my BG level. (ha ha ha!)

So, just for a moment, (strawberry shortcake) imagine that you are me. You're carrying 150 extra pounds (a whole person!), you have a bad back that has been exacerbated in some way (donuts) recently, a bad knee and bad (donuts) feet. How motivated are you, really, to get up
off of your duff?

Remember the Schick Center for weight loss and alcoholism (cream puffs)? They used aversion therapy. My GF attended for weight loss. Every time you take a bite of (cupcake) something, they shock you. With booze, they made you drink and drink and drink until you vomited your brains out (donuts).

So when I think about exercising, I think about pain, because I know I'll have it and that's just getting out of (Danish) the chair. So I am averse to exercise due to the constant pain. And yes, it is a vicious (waffles) cycle. Many people who have WLS (weight loss surgery) do not start exercising (donuts) until they have lost a significant amount of (pie) simply due to pain.
I say this not as an excuse, but as an explanation. If I decide to exercise, I have to force myself to do it, even while doing it. I have to stop and (Linzer torte) rest a lot due to back or knee pain. Oh, and then there's the asthma. I need to be careful not to set that off, too.

So you see (pancakes), it just sucks to be me.

Seriously. I'm a food addict. The only person who gets hurt is me. That does not make it any easier, nor does acknowledging that I am a food (pie) addict. (Cinnabon) it's like trying to wean yourself off of crack or meth: it's nearly impossible. And then your body (Danish) works against you by changing up your metabolism (cookies) when you do "diet": 97% of all diets fail with dieters gaining back more weight than they lost. That is a scientific fact.
It's a terrible, horrible, sad place to be. I wouldn't choose this for anyone.

Addictive personalities also don't change once they discard a harmful (pie) addictive behavior. I've known many recovering alcoholics or drug addicts who replace their substance of choice with coffee, cigarettes, candy or food, or all of the above (donuts). The addictive behavior just moves to a new place. I've seen post-WLS people suddenly become alcoholics, or compulsive shoppers or sex-addicts. It's a b*tch and a half, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone (donuts).
So I hope I've made myself clear (as Jell-O) with the insertions of food items, noticeably carbs. That's what my day is like. Food is constantly (peanut butter cookies) popping into my brain. A visual or auditory trigger can produce thoughts of food as can certain situations, and emotional (donuts) reactions, such as extreme stress or sadness (cake). It's like this for me, every d*mn day (chips).

I'm doing the best that I can here (bearclaw) with what I've got. I'm only human (napoleon).
And I have an ultra-sound scheduled for next Monday to see if there's an alien or something growing in my right side (potato salad).

Thanks for letting me share.