In a Nutshell: My Week in Review

This week was a challenging one, but overall, pretty good. I’ve been spending most of my days packing up the house, as we’ll move into the new one next month. There’s a ton to do, but I’ve been staying on top of it pretty well. I’m really excited about moving in. It’s been a long two years since we broke ground.

Today has been challenging because I threw all my Diet Coke in the trash, and I’ve started doing a “pouch reset,” which is a diet that will help me get my stomach back to post-op size. It’s very restrictive, and I’ve mostly drank protein shakes today, so I’m a little irritable. I love food. And Diet Coke, but I had to move on and make a concerted effort to take care of myself, really take care of myself. You can read all about my self realizations here.

Today my family went to the yacht club to do pumpkin carving and swimming, and I really enjoyed myself.

Tomorrow I have another article coming out in the paper, so I’m looking forward to that as well. I think it’s going to be a good week. At least, I hope so.

I hope all of you are doing well and staying in the light.

Personal Growth is So Annoying

I’ve found myself saying “personal growth is so annoying” all week — to my husband, therapist, best friend. It’s been a week of intense introspection where I’ve realized I haven’t been taking care of myself as I should. I’ve fallen off the wagon of self care, careening right into binge eating and negative self talk. All these negative thoughts have been ruminating in my head.

I’m beautiful, and my body is beautiful.
I need to appreciate and nurture it

But the thing bothering me the most is my binge eating. Last year I had weight loss surgery — the gastric sleeve — and I really can’t eat a whole lot. But I find myself pushing my limits, eating until I’m uncomfortably full and can hardly breathe. I’ve gained about 15 pounds since the start of COVID-19, and I’m so ashamed. I should be thinner almost a year after my surgery. I shouldn’t be drinking Diet Coke. I shouldn’t be eating junk all day long — so long that sometimes my jaw hurts from chewing all the crap I put in my mouth.

I feel like a failure, but today I hit a breaking point. I’d been eating all day. It felt like my skin didn’t fit anymore and suddenly I was aware of every inch of my skin. I took a bath and tried to wash away my overeating sins and shame.

Then it hit me. I have to stop doing this. There was a reason I got the weight loss surgery, and it shouldn’t be a quick fix, it should be a tool, and I need to start using it as such. I’m not a lost cause. Sure, I’ve gained 15 pounds, but who hasn’t in the midst of the pandemic? Not that it’s an excuse. But I have to start eating more healthily or I truly believe I’ll put myself in an early grave.

For the first time in a long time I feel hope. I told David what I was thinking, and he was very understanding as always. I know sometimes I put him in a hard spot because I ask him to help me be accountable but then get mad when he tries to help.

He told me he believed in me and had a suggestion: I need to quit Diet Coke. This hit me hard. I’ve struggled for a decade trying to quit Diet Coke. When I got the surgery, I did for a bit, but then started taking sips here and there, which turned into a 12-pack every week, then two 12-packs.

I love Diet Coke. I love that when I come downstairs in the morning with the kids, who are usually arguing and not telling me what they want for breakfast, that the first thing I do is grab a Diet Coke. The first few sips are the best — it burns all the way down and is so crisp. I usually down the first one fast, then maybe one or two more before I take the kids. Then a couple throughout the day. It feels like a treat. Why I feel I need a treat that often, I do not know. It almost feels like a security blanket.

But diet soda just isn’t good for you (especially if you’ve had the sleeve), and although I love it, I must say good-bye. I need to bid farewell to disorderly eating. Logically, I know it’s not good for me, but in the moment I think it will be great. And it might taste amazing, but any pleasure I get is temporary.

Any pleasure I get is temporary. What’s not is the shame I feel. The discomfort and pain, too. That seems so permanent.

After my discussion with David, I threw out all the Diet Coke I had in the house, even the ones that I just bought today. It’s silly, but it made me so sad. I threw out the Butterfinger I had hidden in the fridge, the bag of white cheddar popcorn and a box of Fruit Roll-ups. The food I don’t care about. Eating healthy seems so much easier than forgoing my diet soda habit.

But I have to do what I have to do, because isn’t that all a form of self-harm — bingeing on junk food and chugging Diet Coke? I’m only eating my feelings, trying to bury them down deep and hoping for the best. I think it’s safe to say that this is not a healthy or productive way to deal with life. And someone like me, whose brain doesn’t function properly, can’t live that way. Nobody can, actually.

I have to learn to sit with my feelings. I have to retrain my brain on what constitutes as a “treat.” I have to rein in the negative ruminations. I have to get uncomfortable, be more vulnerable and let go of these actions that once served me but now do not.

Personal growth is so annoying.

But necessary.

Stay in the light.

Crash and Burn

Y’all. I have lost my damn mind. I stopped fasting. I stopped eating healthily. And I’ve been drinking at least one Diet Coke a day. The struggle is real.

I don’t even want to get on the scale because it would probably depress me even more but I’m guessing I’m around 179 again. I would say I’m surprised about this whole thing but I’m not. It usually happens when I change my diet and start weaning off Diet Coke but guess what? I’m going to turn it around and get back to where I was. I’m not going to be a quitter. I mean, I was a quitter for a couple of weeks, but that’s ok.

I still haven’t bought any Diet Coke for the house. I’m still buying healthy groceries. I just need to buckle down and back off the carbs, mainly macaroni and cheese. Delicious macaroni and cheese. And bread. Mmm, bread.

On another note, I haven’t been feeling well since I had that stomach bug at the lake house during the week before Memorial Day. I even went to the ER for fluids and to draw labs because I was sure I was low on iron or potassium or something. Turns out I wasn’t but when I went to see my primary care doc, he checked my thyroid and my thyroid numbers were low, so I got bumped up to the next dosage – 150 mcg. I haven’t noticed a huge difference, but it hasn’t been that long.

So anyway, I’m going to try and stop my shenanigans today but who am I kidding – it’ll probably be Monday. Or tomorrow. I’ll shoot for tomorrow.

Stay well, my friends.

Good Times at the ER

Y’all know that I had a stomach bug when I went to the lake house. It was a bad one and even though the throwing up ceased I cannot say the same for what was coming out the other orifice. So, I called me doc to make an appointment for last Friday. I feel asleep and missed said appointment and now I have to wait until tomorrow at 8 a.m. to see him.

On Friday, I go went up my kids but suddenly I start to black out. My vision starts to fade, but I’m able to pull the car over safely and I call the school. David takes me to the ER (which he never does because he never thinks I’m sick enough but then again I’m always sick).

We get in to see a doctor immediately and I explain my symptoms, not just the diarrhea, but the extreme fatigue and what feels like low B12. I also have memory problems and am just so tired. It’s worth mentioning again.

They run labs on me. The labs are fine. Plus my blood pressure is good, which surprised me because I started blacking out.  They can’t run B12 on me, so my PCP will likely do that Monday.

So they give me fluids and they pain medicine for the abdominal cramps I’m having. I did not ask what pain meds but after feeling really loopy, I ask what it is and it’s DILAUDID. In cause you don’t know, that med is used for severe pain. A few minutes into it, I start having horrible stomach pains – I can’t tolerate some narcotics and that’s one of them.

I was in so much pain from the pain meds that I was about to crawl out of the bed. I started sweating and there was just nothing they could do. I asked for a shot of Phenergan and to go home. The Phenergan helped a little and I came home to writhe in pain my own bed.

Long story short, I still feel fatigued and feel off – I don’t know from what. Diarrhea has stopped but maybe my thyroid or B12 got wonky during the stomach bug.

On another note, I ate really healthily last week and lost 2 lbs, making my total weight loss 10lbs.

I’m now 177, having started at 187.

And I did much better with Diet Coke. I went crazy at my parents’ house but this week I toned it down and I plan on cutting it out completely this coming week. It sucks I have to start over like this but thems the breaks.

I admit I’ll be upset if the doctor doesn’t find anything tomorrow. I don’t want to feel like this and I was feeling pretty good before the stomach bug. Hopefully, it’s just an imbalance somewhere and an easy fix. But I need something to be fixed and in a hurry. Feeling like this only adds to my depression, which I’ve been able to stave off for awhile.

Lake House Trip and Update on Life

Let me start by saying the lake house was a lot of fun. I learned to play corn hole and I learned that I wasn’t very good at corn hole – my sis in law replaced me pretty fast as her partner but I still had a blast playing. The best part of the trip was watching the kids have such a good time. They went swimming, riding on the mule, jet skiing, and playing with a bubble machine. The lake house is truly magical for them. There’s nothing like spending time with your cousins and I’m so glad they have that.

All of that was briefly interrupted by a stomach bug. It started with my niece, then my mother, my nephew, sister in law, my daughter, me, my husband, my aunt and my brother caught the tail end. It was pretty awful for the adults but the kids bounced back rather quickly. I was in a lot of pain, really dizzy and couldn’t eat for days. In fact, I lost 5 pounds which I was really excited about. If you’re going through so much unpleasantness, let’s say, you need some kind of award.

BUT GUESS WHAT. I seemed to have gained it all back despite not eating much since. My stomach is still a little queasy, so I really haven’t partaken in a good meal. I’m very disappointed but oh well. So….

Starting weight: 187
Current weight: 179

Now that I’m back home with my own food, I’m sure I’ll be able to eat my healthy meals and continue to lose some but I’ve been saying that for a couple of weeks now. It’s starting to piss me off.

Also, I feel off the wagon on the Diet Coke front. My parents have no shortage of Diet Coke and it’s in every fridge in the house and lake house. It practically poured itself down my throat, so I’ll have to start over with that. It’ll be easier because I don’t have any here. So, I tell myself.

That’s about all – I did see my psychiatrist while I was up in the Dallas area. She was happy with my meds, even though I told her some days I wake up and say to myself “is this as good as it’s ever going to get?” and she seemed to say yes, it might be. She said for me, depression is a life-long illness and I might never get better but someday I could get to a better place. That depressed me, because I used to see butterflies and rainbows most days. Now I’m lucky to see some moths flying around a light bulb. Not to say I’m totally unhappy with my life. My life is great as far as my family, friends and how fortunate I am. I just miss feeling happy most of the time. Now I feel like I’m just getting by and that’s surviving, not living.

Sorry to leave on such a negative note but that’s how it is sometimes.

Stay well, my friends.

Diet Coke

I can remember the day I took my first drink of Diet Coke. I was 18 and had been addicted to Coke but started a preventive migraine medicine. One of the weird side effects was that it made carbonated beverages taste different. Coke tasted horrible, so I figured I’d try Diet Coke, I was cutting the calories, right? That was 17 years ago. 

Before I recently quit, I loved Diet Coke. I drank up to 5 or 6 a day. Water always came second. It was such a treat to me and always what I needed in the morning – that taste of it burning down my throat and giving my the caffeine boost I needed to start my day. Then I’d get to work and have like 5 more. That burn in the morning and the feeling of “ahh, this day will be ok” is what I miss most. It’s almost making me want one right now, but I know if I took a sip it would let me down, it would taste badly and make me feel bloated and sick.

When I moved to Corpus Christi, I saw a new doctor. When he learned that I drank Diet Coke, he told me to stop. I didn’t. Next month (9 years later), I get to tell him that I’ve stopped after trying to stop that whole 9 years. Oh, yeah. I’ve tried before, always half-heartedly and never got anywhere past 2 weeks. But this time is different. I’m not going back. I have no reason to. 

All the findings of Diet Coke scare me: it’s linked to diabetes and heart disease. It’s also linked to depression and we all know I don’t need more of that 🙂 But seriously, it doesn’t cause weight loss, it’s not nutritious and there’s really no reason to drink it, besides it being delicious. And after quitting for a few days, it doesn’t even taste good anymore. I promise. 

It’s bittersweet writing this blog – a dumb blog about soda – but I think what makes me sad is there is no “treat” for me in the fridge anymore. Diet Coke became a comfort for me. I drink water and tea now but nothing can replace that feeling of grabbing a cold one at 3 p.m. when your kids are driving you crazy and you just need a pick-me-up until your husband comes up and helps you with your hot mess family. 

(And don’t even get my started on coffee – I tried it for weeks and nothing worked for me. You can’t convince me that any of it is good.)

Anyway, so long Diet Coke. You needed to go but that doesn’t mean I won’t miss our years together.

Week 1 Fasting: 6 lbs

Well, I did it – I made it through Week 1 of Intermittent Fasting (IF) and I survived. Not only did I survive but I lost 6 pounds. And to be honest, I didn’t even fast the last couple of days of the week.

Six pounds sounds like a lot but I completely changed the way I ate. I was literally eating McDonalds for breakfast, Whataburger for lunch and ordering out for dinner every day before this. It was probably a real shock to my system when I started fasting. Plus, I stopped drinking Diet Coke (this article tells you why it’s bad). I had a few sips here and there but I regretted it at once – it didn’t taste good at all. I switched to water and tea. I drink a ton of water, I’m not bloated and I feel better. My depression is also a little better but it’s still hard to do some things and I’m still fatigued.

However, I still feel really uncomfortable in my body. My back is still hurting – I’m guessing from the extra weight I put on and I don’t feel like I look any different. I am glad that I lost so much in one week, it is encouraging but still.

Again, let me go over what exactly I’m doing. I’m doing 16:8, which means I fast for 16 hours out of the day and eat for 8 hours. My plan suggests I start eating between 6 – 8 a.m. I usually eat breakfast at 7:30 and I have to get two more meals in before 2 p.m. That’s my cutoff window. I drink water or tea for the rest of the day. If I’m too hungry, I can have a low-carb snack before bed.

Now, I followed this for several days, then began to eat dinner (plus my other three meals during the day) sometimes when I wasn’t even hungry. Mental block. But this week I plan on following the plan exactly as written.

I think my biggest challenges coming up are going to the movies with my friends – it’s the Alamo Drafthouse where they serve food and I always order a pizza. Also, after school lets out, we’re visiting my parents at their lake house in Mabank and it’s really going to be hard cutting my meals off at 2, because my dad cooks delicious dinners. I have heard of people switching their meal windows from noon to 8 p.m. but I’m kinda scared to do that. Anyone ever do that and lost weight?

Anyway, here’s my picture from last week on the left and this week on the right for comparison. I don’t know if you can see changes but wanted to post. Note: I am wearing a different bra, so that doesn’t count.

I’ll update you again next week. Thanks for the support.