Saturday, March 19, 2005

Gaining Weight, Friends, Support

Just weeks ago, I feared going into a weight-loss frenzy and "wasting away" while sick. Ok, next time I say something that stupid, will someone please slap me up side my head.

It's official: I'm gaining weight.

Yes, I went to get my wound vac dressings changed and my doctor's nurse weighed me before I left. After Tuesday's news of an added 2 pounds, I was sure my new aggression would at least put me back at the 70-pounds loss spot. One work-out isn't going to do it, I guess. The scale showed a 1 pound gain.

I don't know if I should panic or just roll with the punches. I've retained some water, I've been sick and my activity level has been really limited (or that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I decided to start looking at what's going in my mouth and I actually did a day of calorie and carb counting (gasp!). That's a desperate step for me because I'm not obsessive "count every bite" type of loser.

The post below this one details a "day in the mouth" of Frances. I think I did OK when I was looking at it and maybe that's the key now that I'm near 70 pounds lost. I'm most surprised that my diet isn't as limiting in carbohydrates as I thought. In recent weeks, I've had a lot more and when cooking for guests, I even had three types of starches in one meal. But I do feel that just looking at it closely will help. If I've really hit a plateau, it will be time to get a fill for my lap band.

The pictures in this post represent my progress at six months and most of those of me were taken by my lap band little sister SueElla. "Lala Ella," as Cece calls her, and I met through Web site. I heard of her struggle on the message board and volunteered to be her "Angel." Angels are post-op patients who help and support pre-op members through the bariatric surgery process. SueElla and I grew up in the same parish so I knew we would have lots in common.

I'm very fortunate to have come in contact with lots of new friends through, but as far as being an angel, I've been more of the supportee from SueElla. Not long after we became friends, I became sick with the "staph thing" and she jumped right in keeping the other members updated on my progress while I was hospitalized and visiting me and my family. She and her husband have stayed with my family a couple of times and we all share a love for down-home chicken dishes and sweet potatoes.

SueElla and I put our husbands and my little power toddler to bed a few nights ago and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing "girl stuff." After doing our hair and makeup, we poised for each other and took tons of pictures. She's very photogenic, but I seem to show my awkwardness most in the camera's lens. My attempts to hold the camera in front of the bathroom mirror were particularly "flicted." I just couldn't get it.

I've gained a new family and support system that covers the entire country. This isn't an easy process and while I get plenty of support from family and friends, it's incredibly helpful to be in daily contact with other bariatric surgery patients and people struggling with weight problems. We share challenges and victories while creating a world where we are not "weak and lazy." We lived with all the stereotypes about obese people and in our community, we are just "people."

Every day on, I see people reaching their goals and lending a hand back to those still climbing the ladder of success. Having knowledgeable doctors, surgeons and nutritionists helps in this journey, but the words of someone who once weigh 300, 400, 500+ pounds carries more weight (excuse the pun).

I highly recommend this site for anyone struggling with a weight problem or researching treatment options for obese people.

Thanks for the giggles, little sister!

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