I didn't lose any weight this week. I know that's why most of you are here, so I figured I'd rip that bandaid right off! Here's what I did accomplish, though:
I drank like a college kid at Deer Camp, rolled into work the next day in my pajamas and got a life-changing IV hangover bag [Weekend @ Bernie's in case you're ready to book] that made me feel good enough to trek the 6 hours to Oxford, watch Ole Miss lose a game they shouldn't have, drink beer/seltzers, eat pizza and chicken tenders [don't judge 'til you've had the tenders from Taylor Grocery or the pizza from PizzaShop], and then snack on a bag of Chips Ahoy on the way back to OBKY. I calculated [the best I could] and I didn't drink a gallon of water the entire week and I should do that every day! Oops.
So here's to this week being back on track! I crashed when I got back home. I do that sometimes when I'm coming off the high of hanging out with people way cooler than me living a life way more exciting than mine. So I've slept more in the last few days than most do in weeks.
I feel normalish today, though. So I think I'm ready to get back to it.
But while I have you here, let's talk about my boobs and how they're always here to wreck a party. I had my second session of PRP with microneedling yesterday [yes, right here at Integrated Therapy Solutions, PLLC] and my nurse asked if I wanted her to include my neck in the treatment. "Um, yes! I need to look 27, please and thank you."
The awkwardness hit when we both realized [she didn't say anything, but I felt the energy] that wasn't happening unless I physically smashed the girls as they were nestled contently under my chin where they ALWAYS are when I'm lying down. The good news is, this happens when I'm suntanning, too. So my neck is like pristine, virgin skin. Cheers to the boobs protecting and serving everywhere we go! Of course, I coulda unleashed them out of the cage and let them flop to both sides. Maybe next time!
Check out my face, though? Yikes... I'm told it'll work iTS magic soon enough.
Another week, another weigh in! I think it was best to keep the original mug in the archives this time, so this picture is a comparison from just three weeks ago and again a couple days ago. I like to show that the changes are still happening--even after the initial triple chin, serial killeresque fiasco.
This accountability is definitely making an impact on how things are going for me. I challenge all of our program participants and anyone working on self-improvement to share with someone--anyone. You certainly don't need to publicly embarrass yourself with online photos and blogs, but having someone with whom you can check-in, touch base, confide... it's worth letting someone in on your journey.
Last night, I had the opportunity to eat some bad food and drink a few beers, BUT I didn't. Not because I didn't want to unwind after an emotion-filled, busy week, but because I had to weigh in the morning and report an update--to all the strangers that click on this link. Eeek!
Now, don't misunderstand--I make at least 97 bad choices every week, but I do balance them out in order to make sure I'm progressing toward my goals, my purpose. For example, tonight is DEER CAMP and I will enjoy every second. Every bite. Every beverage. It's cool--I have a week to make it up. ;)
Checking in with all of you and answering questions everyday guides me along this path and I truly believe it's the difference between my success or failure. When thinking back to my failures in life (there really aren't many as I'm quite remarkable), they only occurred if I didn't try or didn't hold myself accountable. So here I am eliminating those potential barriers so I can rock this like the bad ass I know I am.
Lost: 21.2 pounds!! :)
Goals: I'm still working on putting them out into the universe and being willing to admit how big my goals really are. For now, seeing the 200s is top priority!
Hotty Toddy! [I'm heading to Oxford to the Ole Miss/Alabama game, so I'm just getting geared up!]
One thing I've quickly realized is that blogging about my weight [loss] has my brain in overdrive thinking about how weight [gain] has affected so many aspects of my life along my 30-ish years. I got fat when I was 8 and I still remember how that felt. I remember the ridicule and mockery--and that was less often from kids than adults. I mention that because it explains the heaviness of its impact ever since.
I've certainly had my "screw it" years when I didn't care what people said or mocked--or so I thought. My constant analysis now makes me think I just buried my care rather than disposing of it. It's as if every counselor, psych professional, or "life coach" was onto something when they said journaling was important. It's definitely a way to lay out all the messy emotions right in front of your face--then you decide whether you're going to unpack and catalog them or light 'em on fire and pour another shot [I've tried both approaches].
Weighing heavily [pun most definitely intended] on my mind the last two weeks is the impact on friendships over the years. *DO. NOT. COME. AT. ME.* <--- necessary disclaimer before proceeding...
If I met you in this fat phase, we are all good. If I met you when I was (A) 150 pounds lighter or (B) in a fat phase before you saw me lose all the pounds, our friendship has likely suffered exponentially. Sadly, I didn't know I was doing damage in my relationships as I'm too self-centered to see outside my own perspective.
When I got married and moved to OC, my depression was at its worst. I did NOT want to live there, I did not want to distance myself from the friends I had made over the years of partying and working in the bar, and I was involuntarily detoxing from an old life while not being accepted into a new community at all. As I started to spiral, I started to gain weight like I had as a child--eating for comfort, eating for boredom, eating out of spite, eating for reasons I don't understand [guess I should have journaled about it sooner]. At that point I was declining what few invitations I still received because, "I haven't seen them in months/years and I'm too fat to go deal with that shit now." I went into hiding.
The only people I saw for YEARS were my coworkers because I had to. They saw me every day and saw me gain weight, but at least it wasn't all at once, right? If I went to see someone in OBKY or ran into them somewhere it was like I needed to pick them up off the floor. Now, I said don't come at me. I am NOT saying this is the fault of THEM, I'm saying this is how I perceived the interaction. My brain was telling me these people [any people] were judging me and making fun of me for the shambles I created.
The most detrimental part of this is that I just didn't know I was ruining the relationships. If I were asked about anyone, I was quick to respond, "Oh my gosh! Yes! They've been one of my good friends for years." I still say that. Well, I did up until the last few weeks when I realized I don't really have any friends. Somewhere along the way I went from a "talk to you every single day and see you every night" friend to a "can't even make the top 400 on an invite list" ex-friend.
I think I always thought of myself as that out-of-town friend you just aren't able to see much, but that doesn't mean I'm not a friend. It doesn't mean I stopped loving you, caring about you, and watching you live your glorious life on socials. It means my own demons kept me away while I silently cheered for you from the comfort of my nest. I'm sorry I broke us. I'm sorry if you ever felt I betrayed you or gave up on you or moved on to a different set of friends. I didn't do that. I retreated and withdrew and now I'm standing in wreckage I didn't even know I created.
I share all of this not only for the sake of processing and facing my emotions, but to also bring light to some of the indirect happenstances of poor health. Please don't be me. Please take an inventory of your own situations. Work through rather than shove aside anything that feels like a barrier to positive transitions and progress in your journey.
It's hard. It sucks. I kinda hate it. But... I don't wanna be broken. Neither do you.
Okay, so I'm working the steps of mental health while I work the steps of weight loss with the intentions of not repeatedly cycling through the weight fluctuations. No more rinse and repeat here.
I took my 7th injection today [that's 6 weeks down]. I took this pic at the one-month mark because I happened to be wearing the same thing. I wasn't sure I noticed anything in my day-to-day, but this was super beneficial to see! [If you don't see a difference, don't tell me. I'm kinda livin' on the high right now.]
SW: 324 life-crippling pounds
CW: 305 life-rebuilding pounds
GW: Life restoration
Bent. Not broken.
I'm so tired this week. I've opted to cease the Vyvanse for a week now for a couple of reasons: eliminating a variable in this whole experiment and trying to prepare for when this prescription runs out (I no longer have the affordable option without being a hospital employee). I hate everything about this decision. I've come to appreciate Vyvanse for so much more than focus. It helps with mood stabilization and energy and without it, I've been very sad (I cried once this week--over poop), lethargic, and in a dark place for days. I'm trying to get things on track and I'll say today is much better than previous ones. I still miss the comforting hug of my stimulant, though. I said what I said.
In addition to the fatigue and sadness... remember when I opted to up the dose last week? Well, I've had my first adverse side effect.
I've never been more jealous of my dog than I was this morning watching him poop. Okay, hang with me before you run away and wish you never opened this thread... y'all... the constipation this week has just been stupid. So yes, I cried about it because I hadn't pooped in days and I was frustrated (and fair to say a bit unstable). I counsel people on constipation. I know I should have avoided it (but again, got lucky from having no problems). I didn't eat an appropriate diet, didn't consider necessary supplements, didn't do the massage I teach... nothing. I just found my self here wallowing in self-pity. Until...
I attacked from all angles! I ate some foods sure to help, drank things no person should have to just to get intestinal motility, chewed gummies (that were quite tasty), and waited for the storm (and waited and awaited because it still took too long).
You'll be happy to know: I pooped. I feel better now.
I intended to go back to the previous dose of Semaglutide since I was still losing without the difficulties, but then I forgot. (See, I'm getting spacier already without my BFF Vy.) So forgive me if I drift out when you're talking to me. I've glazed over 3 times writing this instead of going start to finish in under 4 minutes.
Anyway, the real tea:
Down 17.8 pounds as I completed my first official month earlier this week.
We have the first crew of participants coming in over the next week as they finish their first month, so I will have other updates, too! I am thrilled to see the numbers and share some more insights with you.
May your bowels move willingly and consistently and your moods be more stable than KY weather!
Today was shot 5 (4 weeks completed). It was time to decide if I would continue on my loading dose or bump up to the next phase. I've told everyone, if I'm consistently losing on the small amount, just ride it out! Save the money and decrease the risk of adverse side effects, right? Well...
I'm one week ahead of our first group of participants and I like being in the position to keep everyone updated on the journey--how I'm feeling, how I'm losing, and the overall process involved. With that in mind (and the fact I lost less than I have been), I went ahead and bumped the dose per the titration schedule.
I know I'm losing well (even fast, I guess) so the lower-loss weeks will start to happen, but I've been on a bit of a high so far and I just wanted to keep it going if I can! Hopefully, the next few weeks at this dose continue to be as successful. (More insightful live journaling to continue.) I also spend hours reading other people's experiences globally and the general consensus is, "keep with it. It feels slow until you look back and you've lost 100 pounds." <---- I'm geared up and ready for all that! That piece of advise is for all of us--no matter what changes we are trying to make--keep with it.
It's been about 3.5 hours since my injection and so far, I can't tell that I did anything differently. I did get an IV first thing this morning because I had a couple days of REALLY bad water intake with a headache attached. I was relieved within a few minutes and now I'm ready to tackle the day!
This week's loss: 1.6 lbs
Total loss: 15.6 lbs in 4 weeks
Goal: Still no flippin' clue. Maybe I'll have a better idea when I get out of the 300s (Goal 1)
It was pointed out to me this week that I MIGHT have a teensy, tiny (I mean, barely noticeable probably) strong, overwhelming, all-encompassing need for control. (Also, by "pointed out," I counted FOUR times different people mentioned it.) I always laugh it off. Let's be honest, I can't really defend it or gaslight it into an untruth.
What's it really about, though?
When you navigate the world as a morbidly obese young adult (shut up, still young), you find yourself constantly figuring out "how to make things work." I think that's manifested into always needing to control anything I CAN when there is a mounting list of things I CAN'T.
When we go out to dinner, you laugh when I control where I sit. I'm calculating the route to the exit and the bathroom. Can I fit as I weave through tables? Can I fit in a booth? Will I block the servers' path if I'm seated at a table in the middle of the room? Will my shirt roll up exposing my granny panties if I have my back to the other patrons? Okay, so if that table fills with a high chair, how do I get out after we pay the bill? Will I have to ask someone to move? Will I have to "suck in" or walk sideways to sliiiiide through a space that was never meant for my 324 pounds? And within how many seconds of starting my meal will I drop my first sauce/crumb/food chunk on my tiny little chest (kidding--it's gigantic)? Will people see my wipe it off or can I be subtle? Me. Subtle. ;)
You laugh when I ask for tasks to be done in a certain order. I'm trying to ensure my order of operations is nearly on autopilot. What if I look incompetent? What if I stumble through the sequence and my face flushes and then I stumble and then I'm sweating and then someone just thinks I'm stupid or lazy to go along with being fat? What if it all makes me lose credibility in an industry where I'm already proving myself everyday. "I PROMISE I know what I'm doing even if I don't look like I've ever participated in an athletic event in my life."
You laugh when I ask to go to the same vacation spot every year. It was away a safe space I found at 13 years old. It was the first time I could walk around in a swim suit and bare feet without a care in the world. It was the first time we didn't travel with the rest of Owensboro to PCB where I would inevitably hide in my room or avoid invites for play dates. It's a connection I made that made me forget, if even for just two weeks at a time. I know the terrain. I know the physical expectations of the trip. I know the layouts of all my favorite restaurants and acceptable dress codes. I know how to maneuver my body through the town without getting caught in a situation I can't resolve.
iTS a bit controlling, I know. I'm sure 50 minutes on a couch (for a decade of weekly therapy sessions) could break the surface of my neuroses. Maybe we can unpack a little more of that later. For now, though, we embrace the stability we find as we make the changes and improvements our lives so desperately need. My community of cohorts in this journey has tripled since my first blog and I'm thrilled to have others in my circle engaging in this new lifestyle and all the possibilities it brings.
And that's why you're reading, right? To get an update. So let me get to it...
I've completed three full weeks on our weight loss medication. While I often get ahead of myself and day dream of what I want to see and do after 150 pounds are gone, I have to refocus and get through one day. One food choice. One decision. One intentional change to reach my goals. When I realize how far I have to go, I get a defeated feeling (already!). Which is just stupid. So don't do that.
I took my first comparison photo yesterday. This is a 19-day change. 19 days. Imagine what I can do in 30? in 60? In 6 months? And before you start overanalyzing trying to figure out what's different, YES, I had a 1/2 syringe put in my lips yesterday (shout out to my nurse injector Serenity here at Integrated) and NO, I did NOT have any other services done. That is 100% a weight loss change. Unfiltered. ----> Yes, I am awesome.
Three weeks in. 14 pounds (and two chins) lost.
Starting weight: 324 pounds
Current weight: 310 pounds
Goal weight: I have no freakin' clue.
Are you ready?
There's a statistic I've read that said the average person thinks about food four times a day, totaling about 40 minutes. (This was clue #378 that I'm above average.)
Before starting this new medication, I was worried that appetite suppression wasn't going to give me the impact I needed. I mean, obvi that's helpful, but the psychological components of my addiction to food far outweigh the growls in my tummy. Even when consciously trying to make smart nutrition choices or "dieting," I'm consumed with thinking about eating, not eating, minimizing eating, scheduling eating, binge eating... chances are high that I've thought about what snack I need while you're talking to me about something unrelated.
But here we are two weeks in. I honestly now think I'm trending toward normal (just on the average food-thinking thing, not all my other eccentricities). Two days this week I didn't even consider eating until someone else asked if I needed/wanted lunch. iTS a whole new world! While I'm still in the midst of the loading dose, I do still sometimes find myself getting hungry, but I'm satiated after such small portions! I feel like I'm being rewired or something and I'm all about it.
My husband said last night (when I declined dinner), "I'm just trying to adjust to this; it's weird."
I'm always bugging him about what he's going to cook for me or go pick up (because I try my best to avoid doing either myself). I guess he's adjusting to a little less obnoxious nagging??
I took my 3rd injection this morning and still no side effects to report. I have had a headache for a couple days, but that was dehydration it seems. I haven't done as well drinking my water since I don't feel the need to "fill up" on anything. I got an IV infusion today and I'm back on track.
11.2 pounds down... too many to count left to go.
I think I'll set my first big goal for 50 pounds. What should my reward be?? :)
Wowza! I'm over here trying not to be fat anymore and y'all are making my head swell so much I may be retaining weight. ;)
In all seriousness, I appreciate all the messages, calls, and social media posts in response to my first blog entry. I also love the 8 PEOPLE that have already signed up at our clinic to go along this journey with me. Woohoo!!
So here I am 5 days in to this new weight loss medication and I'm down 6 pounds so far (in case you were ready for a super early update). While I don't have intentions of weighing everyday, I was curious to see if there was an initial change.
Fortunately, I haven't had any side effects or anything to note--no nausea, extreme fatigue, etc. I even ate some fried cheese balls (omg, BWs) almost as a dare to see how my body responded. Truthfully, I was hoping it made me ill to teach me a lesson, but nothing happened! (Reminder: I've just started the loading dose and that can change as I increase.)
The only thing I've really noticed is that I'm saving enough money in food to cover the cost of my script! My meals make 3-4 portions, so I've only bought two "meals" since I started (in case you're wondering how to fit the program into your budget).
So far so good. I'm just moving on down...
Most women get a bit squeamish talking about their weight. I've certainly never been the contradiction, but I've also laughed at myself--as if y'all wouldn't know I was fat if you didn't see the scale reading (face palm, eye roll, laughing emojis). To make it all more awkward, if you've known me for longer than the last few years, you've seen me lose a person, gain a person (and then gain her twin, too) to the tune of about 170 pounds.
What a roller coaster of depression-causing, joint-aching, blood pressure-rising, embarrassment-boosting ridiculousness!
It's become so easy to make excuses: childhood trauma, horrific first marriage, crappy bosses, lost jobs, moving to a tiny town you hate, "but PCOS makes me fat; it's not my fault." The reality is I place all my energy and efforts in the wrong things because depression and anxiety are real and they can be debilitating. Who knew ADHD diagnosis/medication in my late 30s could clear some cob webs and fuel me to BE better, try harder, matter more...
To be clear, I find myself to be extremely smart. (Like, it's not even fair to be this funny, quick-witted, AND a genius--yet here I am.) Knowing I'm not a complete idiot does make it even more frustrating to reflect on how I treat myself (I should know better). There's generally a stigma related to morbid obesity correlating with lack of education, ignorance, laziness, etc. So I just wanted to clarify: not an idiot, but just make a lot of really bad decisions.
So here we are... the polarizing decision. To be clear, I don't need to know if what you think I'm doing is a good idea or not. I don't care if you have a 45-minute story of how you're happy and healthy because you sleep 8 hours each night and only eat chia seeds and dirt. The reality is, I self-sabotage anytime I hit a mental health slump and right now I need a little kick to get this ball rolling (in the interest of not dying before I turn 40).
Enter the prescription.
While I'll never champion a quick-fix fad or pill and I do understand required life changes and nutritional support, I also believe that sometimes we just need help. I need help. Lots of us need help. I started this new medication yesterday (FDA approved for chronic weight loss) and I'm feeling hopeful, but I think accountability (in a BIG WAY here) is just what I need. So, I'm telling all of you!
I want to share the experience--the ups and downs of medical weight loss (side effects, victories, battles). If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm fine with humiliating myself in the interest of sharing information. I'm also excited for people to join in along the way.
So here goes nothing... wait, I mean, "here goes a whole bunch of pounds."
Day one: 324 lbs
Feel free to cheer me on instead of waiting for me to fail; I can feel the energy either way.