Thursday, June 25, 2009

I sat myself down for a talk.

On June 19th I posted about my meeting with a behaviorist to address some of my eating issues and anxiety. At that time, I don't think I could completely fathom the power of the use of positive words.

Today, I realized that I have begun to have conversations with myself when I desire to eat something. I ask myself if I am really hungry? Do I truly need this? If yes, then why do I think I need this? Is it a good choice for my goals? That last question is a big one for me. "Is it a good choice for my goals?" This question is usually followed by me listing the goals I have for my future that are so important to me. My future goals of losing weight so that I regain my health, so that I can have my hips replaced enabling me to walk normally, and ultimately enabling me to get back to being a productive and independent person.

I think the reason that this conversation that I am having is so powerful for me is that the desire to eat something is just an impulse, but previously, I never considered the long term consequences that yielding to that impulse would have on what I ultimately want for my future.

I have been following up these questions and answers with the "I Choose" statement. Whatever my decision is, to eat or not to, I choose it. I take responsibility for it, instead of feeling like it has power over me. This has been amazingly effective and freeing for me so far. I have noticed that I don't feel deprived when I choose not to eat, nor do I feel guilt when I decide to eat. Moreover, when I do choose to eat, it seems to take less to be satisfied. Wow!

I am curious to see how these conversations with myself will evolve over time. How will my next meeting with the behaviorist build upon this? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I have been waiting for quite a few weeks for my PCP's referral department to set me up with an appointment with a cardiologist because they told me there is something wrong with my heart! I don't know about you, but to me, that seems like it would be important. Apparently, I am delusional.

So, I made some phone calls. I was first. Then I was a little assertive. Finally I became down-right rude! In the end, I got my way. I guess it really is true, that the squeaky, cursing wheel gets the oil.

I have an appointment with a cardiologist on July 8th at 12:30 pm.

I offer no apologies for my actions. I had waited and inquired politely for long enough. I am determined to be my own advocate and take charge of my health. I hope they understand.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Blog to Share

I have come across a wonderful blog that I would like to share with you. The World According To Eggface is by Michelle, who had her innards rearranged by gastric bypass surgery 3 years ago. She has a writing style that I truly enjoy and best of all, she provides some amazing recipes that she has adapted for post-op. She has even won some blue ribbons!

I hope that you will enjoy her blog as much as I do!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mulling things over...

I know I said that I would post after I saw the behaviorist, but I needed to mull things over a bit. The session was not what I expected at all. I still am not sure that I really know how to best convey what I got out of the session, or if I really understand all of what I got out of it yet.

I thought that she would just be giving me some techniques to use to redirect or change eating habits that are bad. Instead, her focus was on the thinking behind the behaviors. Why do I give myself permission, or feel that I have to do ______?

She helped me to see that I have some rules that I live by, that I didn't recognize. Such as, I must clean my plate, and don't waste food. I get appalled by seeing food being thrown away. I have rewritten some of those rules for myself. Now, I must leave at least a bite of food on my plate.

For me what seems to be the most affecting me is the negative, restrictive words that I use or think, and then rebel against, especially "I can't have" or "I'm not allowed". If I am not allowed to have something, then I want it more. When she asked me to change it to "I choose to or not to, because..." I realized how much more empowering that statement felt. "I choose to have an apple instead of cake, because I want to reach my goals." That it is my choice and it really always has been.

She asked me to try to recognize negative thought patterns in the coming month before our next session. I think that I am seeing a pattern of self sabotage, because I have some anxiety about the unknown future. I am not happy about my current state, but I am afraid of what all the changes will result in. Sort of, better the devil you know scenario.

I am a work in progress and I will keep trying to sort this all out for myself. As always, your wonderfully supportive comments have been appreciated. I hope you will feel free to ask questions if you have any.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Explanation

I saw my PCP this morning. The primary reason was to discuss the psychologist's recommendation that I be put 0n anti-anxiety medication. We decided that I should go back on Lexapro, a medication that I have been on before for my anxiety issues, but I had to stop taking it when I lost health care coverage. Thank goodness for medicare.

Next, I asked her about the call I received about her referring me to a cardiologist. She explained that after my sleep study, she was contacted and told that I need to "urgently" (their word, not mine) see a cardiologist due to abnormal heart episodes while I slept. Well, you wanna bet that my heart was having an abnormal episode after those words were said, but then I remembered to breathe and things got better.

This is a detour in my journey toward weight loss surgery, but I guess it is better to know now, than to find out too late. Now I know why they lengthened the estimate of how long it would take for me to get surgery. In my head I know that it is for the best, but I must admit that I am a little disappointed. It is a good thing that I get over things quickly. I really dislike negative emotions, as they tend to give me a headache.

I would like to thank everyone who leaves such wonderful and supportive comments on my blog. You truly make me glad that I am posting about what I am going through. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments and I will do my best to respond. Thank you!

Next appointment is with the behaviorist regarding techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety without food. It is on June 16th. I'll post to you after that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I received a call from the PCP's office telling me that they are working on getting my referral to a cardiologist set up and just wanted to update me on their progress. My response was, why? I had no clue that I was being referred to a cardiologist. What has prompted this action? The person who called had no information on the why.

I am now left wondering...and of course, worrying. I have an appointment to see my PCP tomorrow morning, so hopefully I will get some answers then. There goes my anxiety levels again.

Friday, June 5, 2009

2 More Appointments Down

Friday I had 2 appointments. First I saw the Physical Therapist. We discussed what is available for devices to assist with everyday living, such as putting on socks when you can't reach your feet. I let her know that I have almost every type of assistive device there is just to be able to take care of myself, so we moved on to what to expect after surgery and how to deal with it. None of it was news to me.

Then we proceeded to discuss exercise. She was, of course, surprised that I actually exercise. Everyone always is surprised by that. She was very happy that I participate in the arthritic pool program at my local YMCA. Then she added some exercises with resistance bands to my routine. Many of them had to be modified for my physical limitations, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many exercises that I am actually able to do after she customized them to me. She emphasized that I am not to do anything that causes me more pain than I already have. I really appreciated that.

The second appointment was with the dietitian. When I arrived I was weighed in and I am now down 27.5 pounds! Then I had to pass in my "homework". My homework had been to complete a packet of questions regarding my weight history, diet history, and eating habits. Also, I had to write an essay of my weight history outlining diet successes and disasters along the way. That was quite a trip down memory lane. They asked that it only be 2-3 paragraphs long so I made them very long paragraphs, after all, I have been dieting since I was 9 years old.

While she went over my answers and essay, I had to take a quiz over my knowledge of weight loss surgery, how to eat after surgery, and the consequences of my choices. Then we discussed the results of everything. She determined that I understand everything they look for and that because of this and that I have already proven that I am losing weight, I don't have to see her again prior to surgery.

That said, our discussion turned to my psych eval. She said that based on the evaluation, I must have my PCP put me back on an anti-anxiety medication and have her send a note to them that it has been done, before they will allow me to advance to having the surgery. Also, I must see a behaviorist, for counseling on night eating and that the behaviorist will have to approve me for the surgery. (I am still waiting for the sleep study results so that they can approve me too.) Her primary concern being that after surgery I might turn to food for comfort if/when I get anxious, so she wants it under control before hand.

Now do you want to guess how much all this triggered my anxiety?

So as it stands now, I must call my PCP on Monday to set up an appointment for anxiety treatment and a referral to the behaviorist, then see the behaviorist on June 16th @ 1:00 pm, and go for the sleep study follow up on June 29th @ 2:15 pm to find out that result. Perhaps, after all this (fingers crossed) I will be able to have a consult with the surgeon. Perhaps. Can you say an-xi-e-ty little girl? I knew you could.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Psychological Evaluation

This morning I went for my psych eval for weight loss surgery. It is to ensure that I understand what I am about to go through, with all its risks and possibilities, and also, to make sure that I am able to make the behavioral changes necessary for the surgery to be successful.

I was determined to be brutally honest in my answers, no matter how difficult, so that I could get the most out of this. The first thing I had to do was answer 567 true or false questions on a computer. When I completed that I was given a written, 91 question multiple choice test. When that was done I met with the psychologist for an interview and finally, the results.

I'm nuts. Okay, I know that we all suspected it, so I thought I would just get it out of the way. But seriously now. I was told that I am slightly depressed with anxiety issues, which is nothing that I didn't already know. I have been on anxiety medication in the past and it looks like I am going to be on it again. The really interesting thing that I learned was that what I thought was a binge eating disorder is really just a night eating disorder. I don't eat enough or in an out of control way for it to qualify as binge eating. What happens to me is I try to go to sleep, but am unable to sleep because I am thinking of food and as long as I try to avoid eating, I won't sleep, but if I just get up an eat a little something, then I can fall asleep soon after. I will be seeing a behaviorist to learn techniques to over come this issue.

My next appointments are on Friday afternoon with the physical therapist and the dietitian. Back to back appointments, ugh. I shall be exhausted that day. I will let you know how it goes.