Sunday, February 21, 2010

Emotional Crap

If you're just joining the party with this post, it's not going to make a lot of sense unless your read the back story. (And if you're wary of the emotional crap associated with WLS and how much stuff we have to deal with, you might want to skip this post all together.)

My Medical Team
Endocrinologist Appointment
Week 1 on Adipex

This past Thursday was week 4 of the group therapy sessions - Graduate School.  I had a bit of an emotional breakdown and cried for nearly an hour while trying to talk about my emotions. (Definitely had some of Oprah's "ugly crying" going on.) Unfortunately, I took up almost the entire time this week unloading all my pent up anger and frustration and emotional upheaval over the diet pill stuff.  (I felt bad for the other group members for hogging all the time.)  I know I've said that I hate the idea of these pills and that they make me feel like a failure - but I think I've glossed over how crazy the emotions really are right now. 

Even before this diet pill thing I was just starting to deal with my feelings of resentment.  Mostly resenting my body for letting me down in not letting go of the weight when I was doing everything right.  But also angry about the lack of control I seem to have over the whole situation.  And then we can pile on a doctor with an attitude and a recommendation that I use diet pills to lose weight and the mountain of emotion gets bigger and bigger. 

So I've come to realize something - I can type about stuff without crying, but I can't seem to talk about it out loud and in person (in any meaningful way) without breaking down to a bawling baby.  For those who know me... I don't cry.  The only times I cry (besides the whole weddings or funerals or chick flick movies moments) is when I'm frustrated beyond the point of being able to control the situation.  So for me to be in tears so often over the past couple weeks is pretty unusual and is a sure signal that I feel like this whole situation is out of my control. 

Add the sleep deprivation factor and the nausea factor to the emotional stuff and I was not a very nice person last week.  I can't function without sleep. So I'm very happy that it's gotten better in the past few days. The nausea is markedly reduced as well.  But still, the emotional breakdown on Thursday night was fueled by a really, really bad week of physical stuff fighting along side the emotional stuff. 

The other problem is that my brain knows better.  My brain knows that Adipex is not a sign of failure but it's just another tool to lose weight like my RNY surgery is, but my emotions tell me differently.  My brain knows that I'm not a failure and that I've had some amazing successes over the last two years, but my emotions are singing a different tune. My brain knows that based on the scientific data (food logging and GoWearFit) that I'm in a calorie deficit and should be losing, but my emotions question the science and wonder what I might be doing wrong which in turn makes me feel like I'm failing again.  I am trying really hard to listen to my brain and ignore the emotions.  But right now the emotions are screaming a lot louder than my brain and I can't seem to find the volume button. And it's not like I can ignore the emotions and they'll suddenly go away. It's more work than that. I have to deal with the emotions, work through them and figure out how to make them change to what my brain wants them to be.  I'm working on it a little bit at a time, but this part seems to be really hard.

In the past 15 months since I haven't been able to lose weight I've gotten a LOT of advice from well meaning people.  Close friends as well as acquaintances and complete strangers.  All the typical advice one would hear given to someone who has been in a little weight loss stall of a few weeks.  Higher protein.  More water.  Lower carbs. Cut the fat. Switch to liquids.  Lower calories.  Higher calories.  Change your routine. Exercise more. Sleep more. Sleep less. Check for deficiencies.  Take this herb.  Try that vitamin.  Run in circles and stand on your head.  I know they all mean well and are just trying to help.  But I've tried everything I can think of and in various combinations or patterns.  You know all the attempts - you've been here listening to me run through the list of every possible idea and seen them all fail one after the next. No matter what I do, the scale stays the same.  So when I hear the next "new" idea passed along I try hard to just smile and nod and say thank you without feeling resentment at their kind words.  I know they mean well.  It's just hard to hear it over and over again. 

So that's where I am right now.  I'm trying hard to keep my head above water with my over-booked school schedule (which was too much to take on and I'll back off next semester). I'm doing what I can to find pockets of time - a few minutes at a time - for more activity and exercise and I'm giving myself permission to not meet Dr. T's unrealistic goal of burning an extra 300 calories a day. (It might be realistic if I had nothing else going on in my life, but that's not the case right now.) I'm using my journal as much as I can to write out my emotions and work through the mayhem going on inside my head.  I'm keeping very detailed information on food intake, calorie output, water and vitamin intake in a log to show Dr. T when I see him again (just to prove I really am being compliant).  I'm giving myself permission to cry if I want to without letting it make me feel weak.  And I'm surrounding myself with as much love and support and encouragement as I can.  

As I said in therapy on Thursday - I'm better this week than I was last week. And I hope to be better next week than I am today.  Baby steps. 



  1. Pam,

    I would love to hear your response to this question and I'm asking seriously, not to be snarky. I'm two years post RNY and haven't hit a "normal" bmi either.

    Pam, what if this is it? What if your body has achieved health, fitness, vitality, and optimal condition at this, your current weight? Would that be so bad? What would that mean for you? If your victory wasn't measured in numbers and pounds and calories, could you consider where you are right now as a success? If not, why not? And is the "why not" something you can work on independently of weight itself?

    Food for thought. Let us know! :)

  2. @megameggs -- Yes, I have absolutely considered that this is where my body wants to be. And back in December when I had my 2-year follow up appointments with my doctors, I said that I wanted to make sure there was nothing medically wrong that was stopping the weight loss before I fully accepted that I was "done." But when my doctors are all telling me "something's wrong" because I should be losing weight based on my behaviors, it makes me want to figure it out. Which is what I'd hoped would happen with this specialist reviewing my history and looking at my endcrine system. But instead I got the "move more, eat less" routine and the "here's a diet pill" line.

    So yeah, if this route fails (still haven't lost any weight with the diet pill, btw) - then I'm ready to officially declare that I'm in "maintenance" and go on living my life and stop trying to lose more weight. But for now I'm going to make sure I really am healthy.

  3. Okay, that makes sense. I just hate to see someone who is vigorous and active and awesome agonize over pounds. But I get it now. :)

  4. Okay, that makes sense. I just hate to see someone who is vigorous and active and awesome agonize over pounds. But I get it now. :)


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