Today is your birthday. Every year this day makes me so sad because I miss you so much. I know you wouldn’t want us to be sad on such a happy day. You always looked forward to the first day of spring and celebrating our birthdays together. We have so much to be thankful for this year. Breanna is expecting your first great granddaughter and I’m going to be an aunt! I wish you were going to be here to meet Emma. I can imagine your happy exclamation over seeing her. I miss just hearing the way you’d always say our names when we came to visit, you were always so excited and happy to see us.
This year, I had weight loss surgery. I was so scared but I prayed that you would look over me and help me make the right decision. I still don’t know if I did, but I can just imagine you what you would say if you could see me now. I’m trying to pave the road for a healthy life and maybe one day have a baby of our own. Many times over the past couple months I’ve looked for guidance and hoped that I was strong enough to make it through all of this. When we visited the small chapel in Aruba I lit a candle in your memory. I wished you could see how beautiful it was. You never got to travel and see how beautiful the world is and I want to do that for you. I hope when you look down on us from heaven that you are proud of all of us. You taught us to be strong loving women and showed us through your actions what unconditional love was. I hope that we are giving to others what you gave us, so much joy and happiness. I love you more than words can say and it makes me happy to imagine you with your beautiful white wings because i’m sure that you are an angel in heaven.
In preparation for my upcoming gastric bypass surgery on December 27th I’ve started a two week liquid diet using Optifast shakes. This was prescribed by my surgeon to help shrink my internal organs before surgery so that it makes it easier for them to perform the surgery and there is less chance of them nicking some other important organ!
Before I started, I wasn’t worried about this at all. I was getting frustrated with my food choices and was looking forward to having a set schedule and not having to make decisions or try to make sure I ate such and such before surgery.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the hunger and overall obsession with food. Even though I’m getting all the protein and nutrients I need from the shakes my brain can’t seem to get past the need to chew and ingest food. Everywhere I look there is something that reminds me of food. Commercials, Facebook posts, smells, even pinterest! I’ve had to unfollow half my pinterest friends because of all the food.
I’ve stocked up on Jello and sugar free drink packets but other than that we aren’t supposed to have anything else besides the shakes. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be but I’m determined to get through this two week period and lose as much weight as possible so that there aren’t any complications with my surgery.
I’ve been trying to keep busy and distract myself but a lot of mental toughness is required to make this successful. I haven’t been able to get to the gym thanks to a nasty head cold so I’ve been relying on reading books, watching movies (no food commercials) and texting and chatting with friends to keep me occupied. One day down and only 13 more to go!
This is the first question on the Weight and Lifestyle Inventory I had to fill out prior to my psychiatric evaluation for weight loss surgery.
I really had to think about this question hard. I can’t remember a time when I DID NOT feel overweight. However, I know there is a picture of me and my Dad from when I was five. I was in a parade in a baton group. We always had to wear a red sequin leotard that looked like a swimsuit. I HATED it. I remember wondering why my best friend’s thighs weren’t chubby like mine. I don’t know where I learned this behavior or this view. I never remember anyone specifically telling me that I was different from the the other girls but I distinctly remember feeling different. I think this is why I had such a hard time accepting myself the first time I lost weight. I don’t know what normal feels like.
Another step on the journey..
These are some pictures from my first attempt at losing weight. It was bittersweet going through these photos and being proud of what I accomplished but absolutely devastated and humiliated that I gained it all back PLUS 30lbs. This time it has to be different. I started the first phase of having weight loss surgery yesterday by going to hospital for lots of different tests. Depending on the results of these tests, and my psychiatric evaluation in a few weeks will depend on the next steps. I have to admit going to see another shrink is not my idea of a good time. I get really emotional talking about my weight. It’s been a constant struggle in my life. When I let go of it and try to be happy with who I am I gain tremendous amounts of weight very quickly. In a little less two years, I gained over 100lbs. Now, I’m miserable and having some pretty serious joint issues that’s making any kind of activity difficult. I know the physical part of this journey will not be the hurdle for me. It’s the emotional. I equate food with every possible emotion. I’ve trained my mind to think that the cure for my depression is food. In particular, cupcakes. They make me happy when I see the beautiful little sugary treats. They are cute, but most importantly taste delicious. However, after speaking with the nutritionist it’s quite possible, I won’t be able to eat them AT ALL after the surgery. And, secretly, I’m hoping I won’t. I hope they make me throw up. I have to learn how to deal with my emotions without turning to food. I obviously don’t have the tools to do that yet but I am slowly learning. Every day isn’t a celebration and I can celebrate amazing things that happen without making it about food.
I know this is in no way a get out of the fat jail free card. There’s going to be a lot of tough road ahead of me and many many days spent in therapy but I’m ready to embrace this change and I will be changing my habits for good this time. I want to get out there and ride bikes, walk 5k’s and feel happy again because I’m pushing my body and realizing how strong I am. Weight loss surgery won’t make me happy by itself, I will make myself happy by putting in the hard work and reaping it’s rewards.
I printed out a few of these photos and put them on my desk at work to remind myself where I was, and where I am going in the future. Healthy and Happy.
Shut the Front Door Banana Walnut Bread
Adapted from this recipe at AllRecipes.com
Makes 10 mini loaves.
To Coat the Pans:
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Bread:
3/4 cup butter
3 cups white sugar
5 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (16 ounce) container Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Grease 10 mini foil loaf pans generously with butter spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup white sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- In a very large bowl, cream ¾ cup of butter with 3 cups sugar.
- Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, Chobani yogurt, and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl mix salt, baking soda and flour.
- Slowly stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. If the mixture looks too thick at this point, I add in a couple splashes of milk. I actually used light soy milk and it turned out great.
- Fold in the nuts gently.
- Divide into prepared pans and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Keep checking on them, because sometimes some loaves will cook quicker than the others.
This is the most decadent banana bread I’ve ever had and I LOVE banana bread. It’s unbelievably moist and delicious! Coating the pans with cinnamon and sugar gave it a delicious crust and they popped right out of the pans with no problem! This is definitely worth the splurge and there’s PLENTY to share with friends!