Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weigh-in Tuesday, with a post-op update, and a plateau revelation

It's nice to be upright again!  I'm almost finished with the no-exercise post-surgery ruling, and I can't wait to get back to my usual sweatin' self.  It's interesting... before this year, I would have in no way considered regular exercise to be "myself."  But now, going a full week without activity has meant that I've gone a little cabin-feverish inside my body. 

Also a little cabin-feverish inside my cabin! Er, condo. I've been out twice in the last week, and that is simply not enough! I must be getting acclimated to all this regulated weekly adventure that I've been doing for the blog.  I am positively itchy to do, like, five things on my list of future Adventure Wednesdays... all in a row.  But my body's not quite up to that yet.

The surgery itself went well. I'd never been under general anesthesia before, and I was a bit anxious beforehand.  But anecdotes from friends helped me relax, and the medical staff was very helpful at the hospital.  As they put the mask on me, the sweet Latino male nurse said "drift off to a tropical island." And then the dashing French anesthesiologist said "screw the island, go to Paris!" That's the last thing I remember.  Recovery has been OK - I had more problems with the painkiller side effects than anything else.  How anyone can use Vicodin recreationally... it's beyond me!

Food during recovery proved a big challenge.  I take responsibility for my own choices, but I think that it was harder to make good choices while: A - in pain.  You know my reaction to strong emotion? It's the same as my reaction to strong pain.  B - under painkillers.  It's a bit like making decisions while under the influence of alcohol... harder to stick to what you'd usually choose.  Part of the reason why I don't drink often or to excess.  And C - having gone almost 24 hours without eating.  The old addiction adage, "HALT," exists for a reason.  And it's tough to make good choices about food when you're incredibly hungry.  But after a few days of completely mindless eating (not, to say, horrible food - just not thinking through choices) my body spoke louder than my addiction, and it was back to business as usual.  When you're off your schedule, out of your norm, it's a challenge to make the decision to eat well.  But once you make the decision, the eating well is... cake!  (Heh. Weird use of that expression.  I really mean, eating well isn't so difficult.)

After all of this not-mindfulness and can't-exerciseness, I wasn't surprised to see that my weight hasn't budged from last week.  I seem to officially be on a plateau.  And it's not just this week.  This whole month has been a slowdown.  And after some thoughtful consideration... I think I might know why.  It's not that I had surgery - although that surely affected things.  It's not that I haven't been as careful with logging my calories or exercising as much - though both are true, they are just symptoms.

It's that I'm scared.

I know, I know, that sounds crazy.  The last six months have changed my life.  I'm stronger, more active, capable of doing much more, and addressing disordered eating behavior.  Nothing but good has come from taking care of myself.

But I've reached a weight range that is my lowest since graduating college ten years ago.  Very few of the people active in my life (basically just my family and my childhood friends) have seen me much thinner than I am right now. I was always overweight, but around the time I graduated from college, I put on a lot of weight in reaction to a few challenges I faced.  I'm beginning to think it was "protection" weight - a barrier between me and those challenges.

So I'm going to have a little conversation with myself... it's going to be kind of obvious, but bear with me.  I think my subconscious needs to hear it.

Self.  Hey, self.  You have been kicking so much ass.  I'm so proud of you.  But I'm noticing that you're slowing down a little... and I don't think you consciously mean to do it.  So I want you to hear a few things.

One.  The people who love you, love you regardless of your size.  So what if some of them have never known you to be smaller than you are?  You aren't a different person.  They will not love you any more if you weigh less (and will not prove what you might secretly fear: that you're less loveable if you weigh more.)  They will not love you any less if you weigh less.  You are you, and they love you.  And you love you, so for heaven's sake, take care of you.

Two.  The struggles and challenges you faced so long ago?  They're long-past.  You've long-succeeded.  And you have the wisdom and strength gained from those experiences that will help you prevent them in the future.  No weight separates you from that wisdom and strength.  No weight can protect you from future struggles and challenges.  But you know what weight can do?  Prevent you from fully-realized health.  

Perhaps, together, we can look at these next weeks and pounds as the release of any toxicity that you still hold.  As we let go of 300, we can let go of the past, live in the present, and work toward the future.  Because you are worth it, self.  You are absolutely worth it.

OK.  That's it for today.  I'll be back tomorrow with a new adventure... and today, I'll take care of myself the best ways I can.  I hope you'll take care of you, too.


  1. You are loved, and I hope you can take all your fine advise to yourself. I certainly plan on telling it to me and hoping I listen. Heal fast, feel great, come out and play!
    big kisses

  2. Hey Heidi's subconscious: I will love Heidi with all my heart if she weighs less. I will love Heidi with all my heart if she weighs more. It's Heidi's heart and soul I love, and also YOU, Heidi's subconscious. Get with her program, which is making your host so much healthier and I daresay happier - which makes me admire Heidi all the more, but has no effect on How Freaking Much I love her!

  3. Your inner and outer dialogue are an inspirational joy to read. Keep it up!

    One other thought:

    Plateaus in fitness are common- often the result of getting into a routine: Our bodies get efficient at doing the workout we do. It's possible the muscles that needed the most development to keep up with your workouts have developed to as far as they need to. Keep your inner dialogue going, but also consider mixing up your workout regimen in the coming weeks. Do something different, change the order, explore new possibilities. Our bodies are designed to do everything and anything so while you're holding your inner dialogue, start dreaming- then do it!

  4. So you made going in to surgery sound dreamey
    with the latino nurse and french doctor suggesting tavel destinations...who knew.

    Take it easy the first times out with exercise. Just a week off your exercise routine does take a little bit out of you, but you 'll be back in no time.

  5. Speaking as someone who has known you in many different sizes, I couldn't agree with ZliKi Sm more: YOU are the beautiful one and YOU are absolutely worth the effort you're putting into yourself and your health. Your honesty, courage, vulnerability, and strength are radiant and gorgeous. Thank you for continuing to share this process. Much love and many hugs to you...

  6. Great post. Fear is a powerful motivator. Use it or lose it!

  7. Just found your blog & enjoying it...Speedy recovery to you! And while you're healing, you can catch up on my new favorite show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, it on Monday nights on ABC at 10pm/9c, but you can catch up online: http://abc.go.com/shows/extreme-makeover-weight-loss-edition?cid=abc_ss2_emwle

    Some inspiration while you heal!

    Anyway, taking care of yourself is number one! Look forward to following your posts!

  8. I'm glad that your surgery went well and that you're feeling better. I hope your "mending" goes quickly.

    I love that little bit that your wrote to yourself. It was so touching, and so true. I found lots of inspiration from it, as I always do with your posts. Thank you!

  9. God Bless you, Heidi. You are and have always been a strong, self confident person. Whatever you set your mind to, happens. So, allow yourself to heal, smile,pray, be healthy and love life. Your giving to others will come back to you tenfold. Love and peace will surround you. And.... that is all that truly matters.