Wednesday, April 27, 2011


In the last few couple of weeks, I've been fighting with an impulse to eat - a lot. I step on the scale in the am, and am actually kind of disappointed when I haven't gained any weight. Now, we're talking ounces, but it adds up.

This morning I had accomplished what I appear to have been trying to do, I had gained almost 2lbs. I didn't exactly think: good, but I did think: See.

I think what is going on has to with failure. I do think of myself as a failure. All my life I've failed including school, theatre, marriage and always at weight loss. I feel the old feeling now especially around money and my job.

I'm also feeling - and I wonder if it's one of those Old Feelings surfacing.

This one has to do with taking care of myself or being take care of. I have had to do that all my life. First there's being the youngest and although my family always called me spoiled, the truth as I saw it, is that I was ignored. I got attention when they chose, not when I needed.

Obviously, this wasn't all the time but enough so that I have always had a fear of bothering people. I don't reach out for fear of being slapped back.

I have gotten better mostly because of a couple of very dear friends who have always come through for me. My family, especially my brother and sister are more difficult for me to appeal to. They both have families and naturally are focused in that direction. They have been supportive all my life but they haven't been in my life. We've lived apart most of it and for much of it, didn't know each other very well.

I have to say that since my surgery last June, they have both come through several times when I asked for help. I just wish they were here.

The impulse to eat too much, to want to gain weight has to do, I think, with failure. It is familiar, what I am used to. And I suspect it has to do with my financial situation and the general sense of failure I have about my life.

All the jobs I applied for, interviewed for and didn't get, all the ideas I had, the books I wrote, it's all failed. Maybe I'm feeling the only way to solve this is to fall apart. Maybe then someone will rescue me.

But I don't want to fall apart firs,,t because I don't want to and second because no one will rescue me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I was so done in today, Saturday, that I left work at half-day. I suddenly realized I felt like crap, achy all over. I felt I just had to push on through, and have felt that way all week. My head hurt and it was as though it just couldn't get clear. It dawned on me that I should just go home and sleep. So I asked my supervisor and off I went.

On Monday, I work a six-hour shift at a very busy library. Was absolutely knackered and the next day I felt done in, a feeling which continued through the week. I've been getting home and unable to do anything but get dinner and stare at the tube. I've gone to bed early each night but it obviously takes more than a decent night's sleep to restore my battery.

I hope that it's still a result of my surgery. I've lost weight, my blood work has been good and I'm eating well. I think. I've been thinking I should make an appointment with the nutritionist at John Muir to check on that. I am taking all my vitamins, etc.

It worries me that I am finding it more and more difficult doing library work. I wish I could just do my 20 hours. It's the extra hours that are hard. Even for a short four-hour shift, I'm on the desk for three hours and since the shift is usually for the busiest times of day, the hours are intense.

Customer service means dealing with many people and even when they are pleasant interactions, they are draining.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Went to my support group yesterday and we talked about the Sleeve which is what the newest weight loss surgery procedure is called. In it, a portion of your stomach is removed, leaving you a long narrow stomach. Because your pyloric valve is still intact, you don't have the problems of absorption that I have with the Roux en Y. Also you can take ibuprofen in tablet form, where I have to smash whatever tablets I take - and I can't take the pain killer.

The down side is the weight loss goes more slowly, but you don't have a lifetime of making sure you get the correct nutrition. Of course everyone needs to be careful of that.

I seem to remember hearing about it when I was doing my first interviews and not liking the idea of my stomach being removed. Needless to say, the Sleeve is not reversible.

Another procedure is the Lapband, which I rejected when I heard you had to go in to the doctor to have it "tightened." The band is like an inner tube placed around the top of your stomach. Slowly, over the months the doctor injects saline into it which tightens it. It means your stomach feels full but because you still have your whole stomach, you still have the acid maker and the hunger hormones so you have your regular hunger, stomach acid, etc. And you can eat anything. The actual weight loss is much slower.

With both the sleeve and RNY, the actual chemistry of your stomach is changed so your old cravings and tastes are changed.

Another interesting thing we talked about was hormonal changes that happen when you lose lots of weight. I didn't know this. It appears that hormones lodge - like opiates do - in your fat cells and when you lose weight and the fat cells go, the hormones...well, go elsewhere.

I picture them bouncing around your insides, creating havoc until they dissipate. Do they dissipate?

Several people talked about going through real bitchy periods or weepy; several said they felt as they did when pregnant. We also talked about feeling achy all over which comes from the fast loss. You body is catching up. A man, there were two there yesterday, said he found he was walking bent over because his stomach had been so big. It was gone but he was still walking as though he had to push it in front of him.

I did feel very uncomfortable, especially sitting at a desk. My back ached like crazy. At group, someone said it was from having rolls of fat. You get used to leaning against them and when they're gone, you have to support yourself.

A couple of people said they fell down several times because their center of gravity was changed. At least I haven't done that!

It was good to be reminded of the changes that have taken place, not just how I eat but my most basic self. I take up different air space and move differently through it. Getting in and out of the car is different or in and out of bed or the shower. I can hold this computer on my lap. Hell, I have a lap!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Back up to 165 again and I can blame it on carbs. They are like ants or termites, once one gets in, the rest follow and it's so hard to get rid of them. Now, I haven't gone so far as to eat a cookie - and there was an open box of Safeway c.c. cookies on the table at Ygnacio Vally Lib. on Wed. I was in such a blah mood, bored and tired, that I nearly took a piece.

But I didn't in spite of the rebellious feeling. I was mad at having to be there and I deserved a treat. Not a new idea; I know I've used food as a tranquilizer to get me through whatever I didn't want to go through - like work.

Which is what I did on Thursday. I really wanted a scone but the cafe was out. I should have gone without but I didn't. I bought a muffin. I cut it in several pieces so it took three days to get through it. But I think even the small amount sets up the ol'carb craving.

And let's not forget the sugar. I've been working so hard not to eat too much sugar. One big reason for foregoing the cookie was the idea of getting sick (Dumping) at work. Thank goodness for that fear. It keeps the sugar monkey back.

I guess I didn't realize how scary the carb craving is and all the protein bars with fake chocolate won't assuage it. I know it's a chemical thing but it's about so much more: fun, comfort, a treat.
All the good times included food and the food was often carbs: birthday cake, mashed potatoes, pizza, pasta, and, yes, chocolate chip cookies.
Is that about loneliness again? Well, yes, but it's also about getting through. Which is what we're all trying to do, right? Some of us are just better than others of us.

But really what this is all about is emotional eating and the role food has played in my life. I'm trying to work the system, trying to get around the rules to get back to the old comfort of not feeling.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bummer, Man

Got an email from Admin that I was going to get a certificate for my 10 years at the lib. "Congratulations, Patricia!" continued the email.

Jeeze, I knew they didn't know who I was - or care. Jeeze, if it weren't so pathetic it would be funny, which it sort of is.

Am I a chump for sticking it out for ten years?

I worry now that I'll be old to do something else. Am I doomed to spend the next X number of years in this apartment, at that job, nearly penniless but with great medical benefits? That was the plan Pre-Surgery because I could eat chocolate. Now I can't and I cannot do this.

My flight to the reunion over Memorial Day week-end stops in Albuquerque. Maybe I'll get off on the way home and stay.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I'm having a strange reaction of people's reaction to me. Work colleagues who haven't seen me exclaim when they see me how great I look. How mean of them!

Not to say I'd go back, not for a minute.

I'm not sure what's going on. Maybe I'm just embarrassed at the attention, especially about my looks, that is about my body. In the past, I've gotten compliments on my clothes. Now it's me.

You'd think I'd like it. Weird.


I have this sinking feeling quite often. It's been happening the last ten years or so and it's always related to money. I got a part-time job with the county library system ten years ago the 30th of this month. I really liked the job and was sure I'd get a full-time position soon.

I haven't.

Meanwhile I got another job writing a weekly column for a local newspaper. Last Jan. I was let go. I have not been able to replace the little bit of money the column brought it. Plus the library hours were cut (I work extra hours.) and on top of that I lost income to furlough days. The month or so after my surgery was pretty hard. If it weren't for my friends and my brother, I don't know what I would have done.

But you'd think I would be able to solve this problem. You'd think I could land a full-time job - somewhere. It's discouraging and hence the sinking feeling.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Within a week after my surgery last June, I was faced with an almost overwhelming feeling of loneliness and I didn't have M&M's or Mrs. Fields to go to to assuage it. I stood in my little apartment and wondered what to do with myself while panic surged up.

Then I remembered what all the therapists in the world have said: feel it. This is about addiction and addiction is about not feeling. I remembered too what my last shrink said: after the chocolate things will get interesting.

Okay, I thought, I will feel it. I did. And, yes, it got interesting.

I recognized the loneliness as being old and familiar to me from long ago. Had this been what all the eating was about?

I talked to two friends about it. One reminded me that it wouldn't kill me, the other that I was an adult and capable. They were both right.

Not that I don't feel loneliness now. It's a funny thing, isn't it? It comes when you are actually alone and when you're not. Some days at work, after four hours on the reference desk, I feel it and sometimes at the end of a week-end, when I've hardly spoken to anyone, I feel it.

But I've decided that it's ok. Because I'm not eating on it. I'm feeling it. Not fun, but there you are.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A New Bathing Suit

I occurs to me that I need a new bathing suit. What a depressing idea. It ther anything less fun to buy? Other than bra. A couple of weeks ago I tried a suit or two on at Marshall's. Here's what I learned: I may be sizes smaller but I'm still OLD.

Oh, well, if I happily got into a suit when I wore a Size 22 then I can manage now. My pleasure at swimming was stronger than the embarrassment and I didn't have to look at myself!

Friday, April 8, 2011


I hadn't been to Sun Valley mall in ages. I do most of my clothes shopping at thrift stores but sometimes it's just easier and almost as cheap to go to Sears. I was looking for bottoms for the summer. When it was warm about a week ago, I had absolutely nothing except a few short-sleeved t's to wear.

Walking through the mall, I noticed how different an experience it is now. I used to be more concerned with what I was going to eat, or buy and take home. See's, Mrs. Fields, MacDonald's and so on, I knew them all well and planned my whole visit around getting treats for myself.

As for the stores, I hardly paid any attention to them. Most were full of clothing that did not fit me. Of course, there are quite a few that are for teens or twenty-somethings. But being a plus-size, I only went into Lane Bryant and the "Women's" departments of Macys, Sears of JPenny.

Now, I have to learn about the "Missus" departments and maybe even venture into one of the smaller stores. And, frankly, I'm glad not to be so focused on See's or Mrs. Fields. It's a huge relief to have that monkey off my back.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Woke up last night with a drippy nose and not wanting snot on my pillow, swallowed. And swallowed again several times before I realized it was a nose bleed. I swallowed again as I sat up, reached for a tissues and got the bathroom. Pinched my nose and waited for the bleeding to stop.

Is it all blood from a nose bleed or other fluids as well? Anyway, went back to bed and fell asleep.

Until I was awakened by that nasty pressure that tells you you're going to vomit. Up out of bed again to the bathroom. I spent several unpleasant minutes retching over the toilet. Nothing came up. Just more retching until the impulse was played out. What a lovely time.

My mind was going through all the food I'd eaten the day before and I couldn't figure what prompted all this. Back to bed and, after some bothersome whirling thoughts about work, I fell asleep.

The alarm went two minutes later and I realized two things: I was calling in sick to work and it was the nose bleed fluid, the blood, that made my stomachette react. So much for drinking blood although I guess it would help you lose weight. As we used to say in high school: gross.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I try to get on the scale every morning before my shower. If my weight has changed, up or down, I write it and the date on a list I keep inside the bathroom cabinet. It's it remained the same, I don't write anything. It helps to keep track.

I've been on a plateau for about a month-plus but recently I've been losing a little bit every couple of days. I'm not doing anything in particular to lose weight. I focus more on getting my water and protein and, yes, not eating too many carbs.

Stepped on the scale this am and stared at it. 163.4 it read. I'm not good at doing math in my head, but for one exciting moment, subtracting 163.4 from 246.4 I came out with 100 down. I lost 100 lbs. I actually looked at myself in the bathroom mirror: this is what -100lbs. looks like?

But I quickly realized that would have meant about 20 lbs down in about a week. When I start losing again, it goes but not that fast. I calm down and do the math. It's 81 lbs. Only.

Only, yeah. Only.

Okay, I think as I step into the shower. 81 lbs. lost is mighty excellent.

At the Nine Month appointment with Dr. Rogers, I changed my Goal Weight from "around 140" to "around 150." Actually, I don't mind being where I am, in the low-60's, but it makes me a little nervous. It's too close to 170 which is too close to 180, which is why too close to 200. So I figure the 150's will be good. It give me wiggle room and puts me at Medium (probably) and around 10/12.

I remember when I weighed 161lb. That was in the early-80's in New York. At one point, I tried amphetamines and lost about 25lbs. I was teaching and needed an interview outfit. Found a navy jacket and skirt and a pretty ruffled blouse. I had to hem the skirt.

I got it pinned up and my husband walked in. I held it up and asked him if the hem looked straight.

It was a Size 16 and my first purchase in that size, but I didn't think. I guess the width of the waist looked huge to him and he blurted out "How big is that?" To give him the benefit I guess he might have been saying: isn't that too big for you? But naturally I heard him criticising me. No, more than criticising; he was making a value judgement about me. Which I accepted, internalized and spent years trying to replace.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I'm having a hard time dealing with my face. Yeah, I know it's the same face I've had for 60-odd years but with the loss of 80-odd lbs. it isn't exactly the same. Sure, I recognize myself, but when did I get so old?

When you're fat, you tend to only look at your face, ignoring what's below your neck except to make sure it's covered enough so as not to scare anyone. Since my surgery, nine months ago, I've concentrated on that ignored area as I watched myself shrink.

Recently, I started paying attention to my face. I know my cheeks were always round and my nose stubby but where did the reedy neck come from and the creases at the side of my mouth?

I can only live with it of course.

Maybe a decent haircut would help.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Well, yesterday I took the roll of quarters which I had bought to use for laundry to work. The clerk took it to the bank & exchanged it for a $10 bill. I knew I needed gas. I also need yogurt so today, I went through my DVDs and Cd's, picked out several and drove to Rasputin's in Concord where I knew I could sell them.

This is something of a gamble since I'm never sure how much I will net at Rasputin's but I figured with my $10 any additional money would help. Good old Rasputin's gave me $15 which was more than I had thought.

Next gamble: how much driving around do I do to get to the cheapest gas? The sign said $3.99 a gallon but I didn't read the fine print: with a car wash otherwise it was $4.05. That's pretty much the going rate around here. But had to buy gas so gave over the $15.

Next took my $10 to Target which is on my way home. Wanted to get some protein bars. Could get them .99 a piece at Trader Joe's but I needed 4 days worth so I figured buying the box would make more sense. Then I figured Target's yogurt is cheap, though not as good as Dannon and who knows what's in it. But any port in a storm, three containers of yogurt and - Big Impulse Buy!!! two bananas. Came out with $2 and a little change.

Unfortunately, not enough for a decaf, lowfat tall latte at the Target Starbucks, but that's ok.

Mission accomplished.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Once again I am broke and it's a whole week until payday. Hopefully the 2 dolls on eBay will sell but the end of those auctions isn't until Tues. I've sent out resumes, filled out questionnaires, met people and haven't gotten one interview. I wish I could quit work. Wish I could make some money.

Wish I could move. It's gotten warm and this apt. is so stuffy. I actually turned the ac on this evening.

Wish I could get a decent haircut. Haven't had one since before the surgery. Wish I could just go buy moisturizer, a summer robe or a new handbag. Wish I could take a trip or a vacation or go out to dinner with friends without pawning something. Wish I could get all my pawned stuff back. Wish I could get the car fixed, especially the ac - or the windows. Can't make up my mind which would be better.

Wish I could move.

But - I do not wish I could lose weight. That I have covered and that is a BIG DEAL.