Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let's Get This Journey Started

I think I know now why its taken me a year to get this blog actually started...journaling isn't easy for me. I've never kept a diary or a journal; I've actually never been really comfortable writing or, for that matter, talking about myself (which might come as a surprise to the lovely ladies I met on Saturday night, when apparently two glasses of wine produced a talking maniac who couldn't seem to shut up!). I have always figured that what I do or say isn't really all that important. Maybe to my family and close friends, but beyond that, not really. So keeping this blog is another avenue for breaking out of a what I guess could be called a personality rut.

My weightloss journey started in earnest when I was a junior in high school. Now mind you, I was never overweight as a child. I wasn't the fat kid, nor did I suffer from weight challenges as a young adult. But a couple of months before my junior prom, my aunt sent me a dress she had worn as a bridesmaid. It was really cute, but a size 6, and I was a size 10. A 10! What I wouldn't give for that body today. Anyway, my mom had started Weight Watchers so I followed that diet with her and lo and behold, come prom night, we zipped up the dress, it fit beautifully and off I went. So you say, how could this trigger a weight problem? I think it was because I was made to feel that even a size 10, at the age of 16, wasn't good enough.

I didn't come from a family where you had to clean your plate. Quite the opposite, actually. I got a lot of "you don't need to be eating all that." But I wasn't an overeater as a teen. Yet the message that came through was - you shouldn't be eating. Period. This perception of being too cautious about eating anything manifested itself into a full-on rebellion after I got married and managed my own kitchen. I'll never forget the first time I bought a Sara Lee coffee cake and realized that I could eat as much as I wanted, because it was my house and my mom wasn't there making me feel guilty for eating more than one piece. I gained almost 40 pounds with my first pregnancy, but seem to remember it came off without a lot of effort. (That was 37 years ago after all; the memory isn't what it used to be.) After my second daughter was born in '75, all bets were off. I've struggled ever since. Reached a lifetime high in the late '90's at around 252. Wore a 3X and seemed to be oblivious as to how big I was. The 2000's have been a rollercoaster of gain and loss, emotions and challenges. The pressure of grad school (which I decided to take on at the ripe age of 49), really took its toll. Finally when I reached my mid-50's, I realized enough was enough. I refused to be an overweight grandmother. My mother had open-heart surgery when she was 62; no frickin' way was that going to happen to me. The decision to have my lap-band surgery was one of the best I've ever made, but not without even more challenges, setbacks, and struggles.

You always think that this next diet, or plan, or pill, will be the magic bullet that will melt off the fat, while you can continue to eat anything you want. Man, was I in for a rude-awakening when the reality of that not happening hit hard this past spring. The first 40 pounds fell off after my surgery. But by April, the weight loss came to a full stop. Nothing. Neyt. Nada. Not one more ounce came off from April to September. I had one fill in July, which was a complete ordeal. My port had flipped, so the Dr. had to dig around with the needle hoping to find the opening. It finally took a morning in the X-ray department so he could actually see it, flip it back and insert the needle. Even after all that, I still wasn't losing and even managed to gain back 5 lbs. What the f#*k!

Finally had a decent fill in mid-September and can feel the restriction. Have lost a couple of pounds - which is great! But I've totally crapped out on the exercise. See, it's always something. I started working out with a personal trainer about three years ago, even before I considered bariatric surgery, and enjoyed it more than I could ever have imagined. Aaron kicked my butt and I kept going back for more. When I told him last fall that I was considering surgery he could not have been more supportive. Then in May he was transferred to another gym and it really took the wind out of me. I know I'm using this as an excuse, but he was such an important part of my journey, and I just haven't had the energy or wherewithal to start over with someone else. So why not just go and do the cardio - cripes, I'm paying a fortune for this health club? Why not, indeed?

The motivation is nonexistent lately. In fact, I called into the office this morning and said I had an appointment, just to go in late. I don't have an appointment, I'm sitting here in my pjs. Minor depression, perhaps? Possibly. Maybe it's time to get my butt to the Dr. and spew all this out. Maybe its coming to grips with the fact that there is no magic pill - the band is a tool, not the answer. I'm the answer.

I have an enormous amount of responsibilty with my job. Twelve direct reports and an entire student body who demand, and deserve, attention all day long. I also serve on a bunch of boards and committees for various and assorted causes, mostly concerning women's issues which I care about deeply. I think, however, after the fall semester has finished, it's time for me to start saying "no" more. I desperately need to find more time for Janet; figure out just what the hell makes me really happy. Lord knows I adore my grandchildren, all five of them, but they can't be my entire life. The husband (MRD) is doing well with his job, but he travels all. the. time. We only see each other on weekends - which actually in a lot of ways is a blessing!! ;-)

Deep down, I believe it's time to become my own best friend and not take it all so seriously. Indeed.


  1. Janet, what a great post. I think our struggles are so similar, it is a hard pill to swallow when you come to the realization that there is no easy way out, not just with the weight issues, but with all areas of life. I really enjoyed meeting you this weekend and look forward to more of your posts, we are all in this together and that makes it a little more bearable!

  2. Thanks, Tessie. It was great meeting you too. After Saturday night I realized how important it is to have a support group around you, if nothing more than just to know you're not alone. I'm already looking forward to next year's BOOBS.

  3. Janet, I so enjoyed getting to know you Saturday night. You are such an incredible lady--and so beautiful, too!!! I'm glad you're giving this blog another shot. It is important to have a good support system in place.

    Love to you!--Lynda