I sure have been writing all of wonderfully positive posts recently. Maybe the rain in DC today has me feeling kind of glum, but I feel the need to write a counter post of sorts.
I do not want to imply that everything I have experienced these past few months has been unbelievably positive. It is true that I feel great. I have lost 88 pounds. I fit into a size 20, which is down quite a bit from the 26-32 range I was originally. I look better. My blood pressure is controlled without meds. I can breathe. I can walk. I can breathe and walk at the same time! Life is good and I feel good.
Part of why I started this blog was to give a realistic picture of what losing weight by having a gastric by-pass is really like. There are a lot of great things happening that I love. I do not have to stress about eating too much. That pretty much takes care of itself. I am losing weight pretty much effortlessly. There are also some things that are a struggle, however.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that I am shedding a lot of hair. I am starting to freak out. I know that many people who have had a gastric by-pass suffer tremendous hair loss and start showing bald spots. I have been very worried about this. I am diligent about my protein intake and my vitamins. I though that I had managed to stave off any significant hair loss. It could just be now that spring is coming, I am just doing some natural shedding in preparation for warmer weather, but I am very worried.
I made a few changes over the past month in how I get my protein and vitamins, which could be part of the problem. I have been eating more protein bars instead of drinking shakes. Pure Protein makes several very good protein bars. I sometimes like eating them for two reasons. One, less cans. I hate drinking stuff out of a can. Such a waste. Yes, I recycle them, but still. Two because they help in staving off hunger sometimes. They are a little lower in protein, but not significantly. I also changed my b-12 vitamin. I was doing the melt-aways, but I got a good deal on the chewable kind. Turns out, that may not have been a good idea. Apparently, you do not absorb as much of the b-12 in a chewable form. I also ran out of the biotin shampoo and have been using regular shampoo and the biotin conditioner.
I have given up the protein bars and returned to the Pure Protein shakes. I am heartened by the fact that I can by a large tub of Pure Protein powder at a store called Wegman’s. Yeah, it’s a high-end fru-fru type grocery store, but a 16oz tub of the Pure Protein powder is only $9.99, which is much cheaper than buying it in can form anyway. I also bought some more Unjury chicken broth protein.
In addition, I went back to the melt-away form of b-12. The b-12 I bought also has folic acid and biotin. I still need to buy more biotin shampoo, but I think I have enough conditioner to see me through until I get online and order some.
I am still suffering through bouts of constipation. I have been taking a stool softener sometimes and for emergencies, I do take Dulcolax suppositories. I hate taking the Ducolax. I have to be at home when I take that, which means if I have constipation during the day, I have to suffer until I get home. Constipation is quite painful and even using the suppositories are painful. Once I am done, however, I feel so much better.
I just do not know why I keep getting constipation. Maybe I am not getting enough fiber or liquid. Who knows.
I suggested to a friend that maybe I was eating too much meat. She immediately replied, “Yes, you are.”
I came back with, “But you do not see what I eat, how would you know?”
She answered, “You’re eating meat. I’m sure it’s too much. You should have more lentils and spinach.”
Now how could I argue with that. She’s not a vegetarian, but she fully believes in the curative properties of vegetables, so I shall defer to her expertise and eat more lentils and spinach along with drinking luke-warm water and massaging my belly, (her other suggestions for dealing with constipation).
I am really getting tired of dealing with this. I was pretty sick and uncomfortable this week because of it, which is why I have not been up to blogging much. I am doing better now, but am still in a little bit of pain. My stomach is a little bit sore even and I find I am not that hungry at all. I really have to force myself to eat. It’s kind of irritating.
I am also getting a little bit worried about having to use a supplement to go regularly. I do not want to become dependent on them. Plus, the pain and discomfort is so horrible, I can kind of understand how someone can develop a dependency on that feeling of release when you finally do clear up the problem. It is such a relief and I feel so cleansed afterwards. I can almost understand how someone with bulimia can become addicted to that feeling. I would hate to go through all of this only to replace one eating disorder with another. I have an appointment with the surgeon next month. I am going to discuss it with him.
I was never one anybody in their right mind would ever call graceful. My mother used to joke when I was younger that after all, she did not name me Grace. But as I am losing weight, I find that I have become even more clumsy than before knocking everything over, bumping into stuff, and dropping things.
The other day, I was walking to the Metro station after work, trotting along at a pretty good pace, feeling pretty good that I can walk to / from the Metro station every day and not get out of breath at all. I went to step up on a curb after crossing the street, and BAM! I was face down on the pavement. I smacked the crap out of my knee and the laptop that I was carrying cross-body fashion hit me in the back of the head. Fortunately, it did not hit me hard, but still.
I wish I could say my pride was hurt more than anything else, but I was really afraid I had done some serious damage to my knee. A nice gentleman helped me up off of the ground and offered to call an ambulance. I declined the offer, but he insisted on at least a cab. I declined that as well, but came to my senses a few minutes later and hailed one myself.
Fortunately, my knee is fine. Just slightly bruised. My shin is a little sore and pretty scraped up. And my head is fine, well at least as fine as it was before the fall. It is my hope that after I reach a somewhat normal weight, I will get used to how I feel inside my own body and will be slightly less of a klutz.
I am getting kind of tired of the whole clothes situation. Most of my clothes are too big for me. I did purge my wardrobe of anything larger than a size 24. Now I am going to get rid of the 24s as well. That will leave me with just clothes int he 20-22 range. And I will be down to one pair of jeans and two pairs of yoga pants. Not good.
I feel like I am at a crossroads. I do not have enough clothes that fit me, and I do not want to spend any more money on clothes that I will only be able to wear for a few months at most. I have decided that I will buy a few outfits. I am not happy about it, but I am going to do it. I need new pants and skirts to get me through the next few months. And I need some new blouses and tops.
My sister gave me a gift card for my birthday and I bought a cute dress and a cardigan sweater. I need sweaters these days. Soon, it will be too warm for a jacket and I feel I need a sweater to get me through from spring to summer.
OK, I think that will be enough whining for now. I did have a fairly rough week, which I think has really left me feeling exhausted. I am looking forward to a good weekend, though. St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday. I love St. Patty’s Day. There will be no green beer on the menu, which s good because I never could stomach green beer, but I will wear green and a button that says, “Kiss Me I’m Irish”. Who knows, maybe somebody will.
I will be celebrating my sister’s birthday with the family tonight. I am picking up her gluten-free vegan chocolate birthday cake, which I cannot eat, and we have having dinner at Carabbas, my sister’s favorite restaurant. They actually have a gluten-free menu. Her favorite dish, the Chicken Bryan, is on that menu. She will have a very good night. I have not had the Chicken Bryan in years, and now that I can eat cheese, I may have it too.
Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone!