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    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Points I've Pondered

    In my sick little mind, I've been coming to grips with who I'm becoming. It seems that metaphors are popping up all over.

    I find that I think of myself as hard on the outside and soft on the inside. By this, I mean that I tend to show a tough exterior because I don't want to allow others to see how truly vulnerable I am. I have a hard time sharing my own emotions, but an easy time trying to help others feel better about themselves. This goes along with my need to please others instead of myself.

    The reverse is true also of my physical self. I'm soft on the outside, but tough on the inside. Thank you extra skin! I've been working so hard to try and undo the damage that I've done to my body for 30+ years. I compared myself to a lawn chair this morning. When you sit on them, the straps stretch and sometimes never go back to their original shape. Especially if someone really fat is sitting in that chair.

    I realize that extra skin is better than fat. I KNOW this. It's just hard to compartmentalize the fact that no matter what you do, surgery or not, your body will never, EVER, be the same as it was at 18. The stress that two babies and 200 extra pounds does to one's body is incomprehensible. I need to stress again that I know I really don't have skin issues as bad as most people who've lost as much weight as I have. I have to remind myself that in clothes, I don't look half bad. Now if I could just convince my brain of this.

    Mr. Sign and I have been doing some heavy tête-à-têtes lately. He is concerned that I'm losing too much weight. He's not the first person that has said that. I need to realize that without all the skin, I'm really probably at a good weight for me. My current weight with the skin is less than I weighed in high school.

    I had to ask Mr. Sign if he was really concerned for my health, or for the fact that people notice me now. I believe it may be a little of both.

    I do have some issues right now with hair loss and dark circles under my eyes, both of which are symptoms of malnutrition. This is my third go round with hair loss. I've even been accused of being either bulimic or anorexic. I assure everyone, that neither is true. I keep strict track of what I eat, every single day. I know that if I don't, the weight will easily fly back on with a vengeance.

    It's hard living life now under the microscope. I know that people were watching what I ate before I had weight loss surgery, but now, jeez! People seem to be enthralled with what and how I eat. Why they care is beyond me. I feel like the circus came to town and I'm the main attraction. "Look, Johnny! She's eating chili. How many crackers did she put in there?" Argh!!

    It's my life and I'm just trying to make it work for me.


    Anonymous said...

    If you're getting the nutrition/exercise needed to be healthy then you're at a healthy weight and there's no need to worry about what others think.

    I know they're hard to ignore though. I used to get strangers coming up to me all the time saying that I needed to eat more meat. I'm not a vegetarian! I think concern about weight is mainly directed at women. When my boyfriend was in high school he was 6'2" and 135 pounds. No one told him he needed to eat more, but me on the other hand it was always assumed I was either either bulimic or anorexic as you said. The obsession with weight sucks no matter what end of the spectrum you're on.

    I saw the pictures on your 55 - I think you look awesome!

    Yippeeskip said...

    I too am under a microscope for a different reason and know your pain. It sucks to be judged. I am railing against it and people are saying that I am defensive-what a crock! AAGGHHHH I feel your pain

    Big Pissy said...

    The hair loss could be due to hormonal changes brought on by your weight loss. I know you're probably thinking: "duh!" LOL You look healthy to me...from the pictures you post, etc.

    The hair loss could also be due to stress...as could the dark circles.

    I think you're fine. You're just going through a lot of changes.

    again: Duh, right? ;-)



    fyi: I've been suffering from hair loss for a few months now....my hairdresser says it's b/c of my age. One more fan fact of menopause!

    Sicilian said...

    Gurl. . . . I appreciate your willingness to open up those deep thoughts. . . . . Much of what you said I think most women can relate too.
    Unfortunately, you are going to always be aware of where you were and where you are now. Look at it as a blessing and help it to keep you focused on being healthy.
    In my mind the important part of dropping all that weight is being healthy.
    One other note about what people are saying about anorexia and such. . . . do not let people who love you sabatoge you. You know that you are doing the right things, and you can just smile as they opinonate you to death.

    Missy said...

    I think part of accepting things too is that as we age our bodies go through changes so not only are you dealing with issues do to major weight loss and self esteem, but your body responds differently now than it would have if you were 25 and that is okay.

    Like you've said you've had children as well, that makes for a huge difference in a womans body.

    Jenn every time you wake up in the morning, look in your mirror and honestly tell yourself how proud you are of your success and how beautiful you are. When you start believing you will find you are okay with thinks. Make it your mantra.

    buddha_girl said...

    Hair loss and dark circles? Check.

    People watching what I eat as well as my floppy skin? Check.

    Husband worrying every day that I'm somehow going to leave because I've lost weight? Checkity check.

    I feel ya on this topic, Jenn. Empathy 100%.

    SignGurl said...

    Kaknu~ Why do people find it pertinent to worry about other people's weight? It makes no sense to me.

    Yippeeskip~ You have been through so much these past years. Try and give yourself a little room to worry about you, even though that's hard right now. You deserve it.

    Pissy~ It's pretty uncommon at this point in the journey for hair loss unless there is evidence of malnutrition, which is essentially how all the weight is lost. Our bodies just can't absorb the vitamins and nutrients as they did before surgery because of the bypassed intestines (where most vits and nutrients are absorbed). I do get that it could be something else. Holy hell, I don't even want to think about menopause with all my other issues right now, lol.

    Sicilian~ The surgeon told me when I started this journey that those that are closest to me would try to sabotage my efforts. I never thought that would be true, but alas, it has been :(

    Missy~ My mantra for almost 40 years has been, "Don't look in the mirror or you will know how absolutely bad it really is. You are hideous.". I'm trying to get used to people actually looking at me. I've been ignored for so long that I'm not even sure how to act.

    Buddha Girl~ Oh girl, I know you know my pain. I appreciate all of your support throughout this.

    Susy said...

    Great post Jenn. I too feel like people are watching and waiting for me to fail. Let them watch...cause I'm winning this battle. I know it won't be easy but we can do this forever! Thanks to friends like you it can make it easier knowing your not alone in your thoughts. So know your not alone. Take care, and keep making your self proud and healthy.


    kimmyk said...

    my hair falls out all the time.
    i remember when i first lost a shit ton of it i was scared to death that i would be bald and need to shave my head. although some parts aren't as thick as i would like, it's growing and shedding again.

    i think i'm more paranoid with my food and weight now then i ever was when i was overweight.

    just goes to show ya-being addicted to food and having low self esteem runs way deeper than what's on the surface.

    lime said...

    as long as your doctors and you are ok with things that is the important part. if you are having signs of malnutrition though maybe it's time to check with the doc? just to make sure your body is absorbing the nutrients in your food?

    just know you're loved and wished all the benefits of everything you've done to regain your health.

    GoteeMan said...

    this is my first visit, so not sure how fast you have lost this weight, but fast weight loss can be perceived by your body as a traumatic event, which can trigger hairloss... good news is that it will level out if that is the event causing it.

    As long as you know you are getting enough nutrition, rest, and taking good care of yourself, and if your energy levels are good, don't worry about what others may say...

    And contrary to what some believe, the body's skin is the most amazing, elastic, resizing element of our bodies... you made the statement that your body would never be the same as when you were 18, well that's true for everybody over 30, for sure... mine will never be, and I haven't even had a baby! So just the fact that you have lost so much and that you are making more healthy choices is wonderful... Celebrate the changes, but also listen to your husband, because so often, our body images are not accurate, and you may take yourself below a healthy size/weight for you if your body image and your actual body are not in sync...

    At any weight, I believe it is important for us to be able to accept ourselves and be comfortable in our own skin...



    Anonymous said...

    I don't get it either. It's like they think they're doing us a favor by pointing out the obvious as if everyone is in denial of their size in relation to the ideal size/shape.

    Mona said...

    Just check with the doctor, if he says you are healthy I don't think there is any reason to worry about. But if you are feeling weak, then there is need to reconsider what you eat!

    As long as you are feeling active & strong, I guess things are going to be okay. Hair loss is a periodical thing & will be soon replaced. it could be hormonal!

    Anonymouse said...

    You don't look like you have lost too much.. you look great.. Nioxin, protein and iron! Clear the dark circles, n hair loss right up ;)

    G-Man said...

    Zombie looking chicks are HOT!!!
    And just remember this....
    There are Many Many Many Zombie lover's out there!!!!
    You would have no problem getting dead-boned!!

    ....and besides, you are still stunning, strikingly beautiful, and sexy as a MOFO!!!


    SignGurl said...

    Susy~ I'm glad we have each other to lean on :)

    Kimmy K~ I have given much thought to the after care we receive. I think we should start a forum for the emotional aspects of WLS.

    Lime~ As post op patients, our blood levels are only checked once a year. I personally believe that we need to have it done every 3 months, but I'm sure it's an insurance issue. I go at the end of October to find out how I'm doing. :)

    GoTeeMan~ Welcome!! I love me some go tee's, lol! The skin is an amazing organ, however, when one spends the better part of 30 years stretching it beyond capacity, it will not go back :(

    Kaknu~ People make me insane. We don't walk around telling people that they are idiots. Maybe we should, hehe!

    Mona~ I'm feeling stronger and more active than I ever did in my teens. It's an amazing thing!

    Anonymouse~You have no idea how much I've missed you!!

    G-Man~ I'm assuming that's supposed to be a complement?

    KJ said...

    I think you've been through enough and shown just how strong you are that you will make the healthy decisions on your own now

    barman said...

    Hey, I do not have a spouse so I can not identify there. I am sure that is a hard one all in itself. But I do know what it was like losing a third of my body weight. People were saying I was to skinny, my own family included. Eventually I allowed them to convince me it was true. Not good.

    As long as you are eating healthy and you feel healthy I say just ignore everyone. Why they try to sink someone that is losing a lot of weight I do not know. I suspect at least some of it is they knew you back a few years ago and it is a shock to see the difference. Someone that just met you would probably see things differently.

    I know I have not excouraged you to stop losing weight but I was amazed you had so much more you could lose. Again I remember days gone by and you have made an incredible difference in you. But when I saw the lake pictures (since I normally see you with more clothes on then those) I started to see that, should you want to, there was more you could lose. I must say I was truly amazed. I would never have believed that.

    Regardless where you end up with all your struggles you are going through, just be sure you stay healthy and you are happy with you. What I feel does not matter. What your parents feel does not matter. What your kids does not matter. What you husband feels DOES NOT MATTER. What you feel about yourself is what matters. Don't let others influence you (as much as possible) because only you know what is right.

    I will support you, if I can, no matter what you do... unless you start to put the weight back on. No one wants that, especially not you.

    Anonymous said...

    Happy Monday to my favorite Sign Gurl in the whole wide world!! :)

    The Savage said...

    Sign Gurl you're my hero.... (wink)

    G-Man said...


    hahahaha...I know.

    Lori said...

    I'm giggling at the "Look Johnny she's eating chili!" comment.

    Oh Jenn...I don't envy you. You're right. People probably are watching you. And it doesn't help any.

    Hey, here's an idea...I wouldn't do that! lol I would be too busy obsessing over the fat content of what I was eating (see my blog for today).

    You know, truly, you are doing a really good job dealing with all the issues that must come from losing that much weight and it's impact on your body AND your family. All you can do is face it and try to make it ok in your own head. As long as you continue to be honest with yourself I think eventually you will come out on the positive side of life. :)

    HUGSSSSSSSS Let's get together and find some fat free foods! :)

    ciara said...

    i think ppl wonder about your eating habits, and anyone else who's had this surgery, because they want to see how long before it fails. i think that's a load of crock. i think people should be happy about your success and not focus on things like that.

    i can see the hair loss and dark circles as a sign of the stress that rapid weight loss has brought on, but i'm sure that should get under control in awhile. i lose lots of hair everyday from thyroid disease. i basically shed like a dog LOL

    Bunny said...

    A friend of mine who had a gastric bypass also finds that people watch everything he eats. That has increased since he started putting some weight back on - he lost about 220 pounds, but has put at least 60 back on. "Concerned" people say things like "you know, that'll just put that weight right back on if you're not careful" when they see him taking a bite of something like cheesecake. He knows, he knows - and it's aggravating to him to be reminded. He's a caterer, which doesn't make it any easier, being surrounded by yummy food all day.

    You look fabulous and as long as you feel good, don't worry about what anyone else thinks. Do reassure hubby that even if others are checking you out, you belong only to him.