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Sunday, March 15, 2020

6 Month Update

This week marks 6 months post-op. Time has flown so fast. Here's where things stand currently:

Total weight lost - 71.8 lbs
Lost since surgery - 49.8 lbs.
Percent weight lost - 21.8%
Total inches lost - 33.5

Between my last post and now I'm shy of 20 pounds lost in 3 months. I have to keep telling myself it's not just "only" 20 pounds lost. I'm still in the supposed honeymoon phase and supposed to be losing around 10 pounds a month. It's been one of my mental blocks for the last couple of months. I'm slowly working around it.

It's odd when I sit here and say to myself I've only lost so much weight when I look at the total amount I have lost a lot. It's also been rough mentally because I don't see it a lot of the time. I'm still wearing old clothes because they still fit. Although just barely in some cases. It's left me guessing if it's the style of clothes I purchased or if they fit that bad on me 6 months ago. I think it's a bit of both if I'm honest. Some days I see it. Some days I don't. It's kind of what it is at this point. I think it's going to stay this way for a while.

The biggest struggle recently is just the number on the scale. Not the fact that I'm not as low as I want. It's more of the fact, I'm closest to the lowest I've been in my adult life. The last time I was in the 250s was when I was still living in South Dakota and had first joined T.O.P.S. Getting under 250 will be a huge milestone for me. It has lead to a mental block and scares me at the same time. I have tried and failed so many times. To get past this number will be a relief and I know it's not just going to be for "now". I don't feel like I'm explaining it well.

There's also a lot of unknowns on the other side of that number. I do truly see it as a wall in my mind to get over. Or maybe under, around or through. Who the hell knows. I'm just tired of the mental struggles with it. It even led to me eating things I wasn't supposed to and I know that played into my stall. I also wasn't tracking my food. Now that I've gotten back on track the last couple weeks the scale is moving in the right direction.

Aside from the usual mental games I play with myself, things are going really good. Dr. Greene is really pleased with how well my scars are healing and my general progress. I need to do my best to stay away from grains and fruits still even though I can eat them in small quantities. As for other foods, I can eat damn near anything and be ok. I'm finding chicken, ground turkey, and fish sit best in my new tummy. Steak is far too heavy and sits like a rock. Ground beef is ok. It depends if I've cooked it into something like burritos or if it's a burger.

I joined a gym at the beginning of the year. I've been missing not going the last 10 days. At first, it was because I was getting some of my scarves ready to sell at a convention this weekend. So I was focused on that.  Then with the coronavirus starting to spread so quickly, I decided it was best to stay away as gyms can be very gross. Which bums me out a bit. I've gotten back into swimming and I'm loving it more than ever before.

Right now I'm swimming about 1400m in an hour. In October I'm doing the swimming portion of a triathlon relay with a team from work. I'll have to swim 1900m. So I've been working on endurance mostly. But it's still so easy for me to get lost in the swim and not realize an hour has gone by. I've also been getting back into strength training which is helping me swim faster. So all around I'm loving my workouts.

Here are some of the other non-scale victories I've had over the past 6 months:

  • Better balance
  • Not getting winded walking up 3 flights of stairs
  • Lunges don't hurt my knees anymore (or at least as much)
  • Wrap a towel completely around me
  • Smaller shoe size (from 9-9.5 to 8-8.5)
  • Ring size from 8 to 5.5
  • Less low back pain
  • Can buy XXL shirts and skirts it the normal sizes section
  • Had to move the seat forward in my car
  • Discovering I actually have collar bones and a tailbone (note: I have to be careful how I sit and for how long)
  • Finding I do, in fact, have knees
  • Feeling more comfortable in pictures
  • Playing a game of "do I still like this food?" or "will I like this food"
  • Daring to take part in a triathlon - even as just part of a relay
  • Can walk for several miles without issue and not be dead afterwards
This morning I also got a notification when I put in my weight into MyFitnessPal. I didn't realize I was so close to the halfway point, and I'm actually at 51% of the way to my goal weight. That blew my mind. Then I started thinking and realized I'm less than 40 pounds away from the top end of the range I set as my goal range. I put in a 40-pound range because I didn't know where my body would end up being happy and what would be maintainable. To actually feel so close to goal is....different. I can't explain it beyond that.

That's it for now. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. :)



July 2019

February 2020

Monday, December 16, 2019

3 Month Update

For those who actually keep track of dates, my apology for this being nearly a week late. I was crazy busy last week getting ready for a craft show.

The last month has gone pretty well overall I think. Here are the current stats:

Total weight down - 55 pounds!
Since surgery - 32.8 pounds
Percent body weight lost - 16.9%
Total inches lost - 26

I'm feeling really good and moving a lot more. I'm starting to feel antsy and need to work off energy sometimes. I'm also able to go on longer walks, keep up with Marshall, and even just stand on my feet for more extended periods of time. This weekend I stood at my booth for almost the entire 6 hours.

I'm down 2 shirt sizes and now 2 pant sizes. Soon I won't have much in the way of work clothes left in my closet. Some of my clothes are truly starting to hang on me. It's a good problem, but I need to become much more friendly with my local thrift stores! I  may also check out Poshmark.

Food-wise, I'm cleared for all protein. This is awesome. I do ok with ground beef, but steaks are too heavy and rich for me right now. I eat so much chicken I think I'm going to start clucking soon. The only foods I can't have are fruits, potatoes, and grains. I need to stay on a lower-carb diet for a while yet. Once I hit my goal weight I can slowly start introducing them. Although I have had some fresh fruit at work as a sweet treat now and then. Much better than partaking in all the baked goods this time of year.

My tastes are still changing. I'm having to force myself to try foods I really didn't like before surgery. Some things are small and easier to try. Like the kale salads. But I don't know if or when I'll try canned tuna. But who knows? Salty and sour things are tasting better to me. I like slightly sweet alright. The few times I've tried a nibble some pre-surgery foods I can't stand it. Usually, it's too sweet, the texture is off, or it sits like a rock in my stomach. 

It's been an adjustment with cooking and eating post-op. I'm finding out what foods sit ok and that I want to eat as well as making food that Marshall wants to eat. We definitely don't eat out near as much as we used to. I still love to eat and go out to eat. I just have a hard time justifying the cost, especially in the DC area. A full-size dinner portion is now anywhere from 4-8 meals for me. You get sick of that stuff fast! There are some restaurants where I can order an appetizer that works for me, but even then that's 2-3 meals for me. It would be easiest to just share with Marshall, but sometimes he wants foods I can't have and that's ok. I'm not going to get upset when he wants something deep-fried when he's good about eating whatever I make at home.

I'm going to do some experimenting this week. I was looking in an air frying cookbook at Barnes and Noble and got some ideas to play with. We loved steak fingers or chicken strips, but I've been hesitant to do our homemade ones because I'm trying to watch the carb count. So this week I've gotten some pork rinds to grind up and use as the breading. We'll see how that turns out. Tonight I experimented with my shepherd's pie recipe. I made a traditional one for Marshall topped with mashed potatoes. I made individual portions for me that I topped with mashed cauliflower. They turned out really good and were just enough to satisfy me without being overfull. A total serving is about 3-4 ounces of food.

Shepherd's Pie with mashed cauliflower

Marshall's shepherd's pie

My hair loss finally just started slowing down this week. I'm not pulling as much out as I was when brushing it out in the evenings or after I shower. That said, there is hair EVERYWHERE in our apartment. I've been scared to vacuum because I know it will just wrap around the brush and cause an even bigger mess to clean up.

I'm not seeing the changes all of the time, but I'm seeing them more often. Feeling more bones and muscles, realizing that my kneecap actually exists and that I'm gaining flexibility definitely help. It also helps when I'm wearing clothes that I've never been able to wear, or worn once 6 years ago. I'm almost to the weight I was when I got married to Marshall and that makes me feel pretty good. 

Here's a comparison picture between June in Custer, SD on our road trip/move to MD and 2 weeks ago. It's the first time I've worn a button-down blouse in years.



Areas To Improve:

While I have been doing really well, I need to be more consistent with planning my meals and measuring my portions. It will help manage my hunger and blood sugar levels better.

I also need to get back to the gym. This last month has been crazy between work and personal stuff. I'm going Wednesday to check out one new gym in the area. I'm hoping to check out the other on Thursday or Friday. I'll go from there if I want to look at more gyms or go with one of those. The first 6 months after surgery are called the honeymoon phase and when weight loss is easiest. I'm doing great, but I feel I could be doing more to help myself. Even getting to the gym a couple days a week will help immensely. If for no other reason it will help manage my back pain. I can really tell when I haven't been working out. It's better than it was, but it still hurts like a bear.

If I don't post again before the new year, may your holidays be magical and full of love. May the New Year bring you all abundant blessings. I've been blessed this year with all the love and support I've received, and I could not be more grateful. To my dearest family and friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

2 Month Update

I finally feel like I have the time to sit down and write a proper update! The last month or so has been really busy for me and I have barely had time for me and doing the things I want to do, much less writing down an update.

So here are my current stats:

Total weight down - 39.1 pounds from my highest
Since surgery - 22.6 pounds since surgery
Percent body weight lost - 13.8%
Total inches lost - 20.825 inches!!!

I had a follow-up with my surgeon and his PA on 11/1. They are really happy with my progress and how I’m doing overall. They have no concerns that they can see. I’ve not had any issues with eating or nausea still. I don’t have to go back until the end of January. If I need them they are there though. I have been cleared to add beef and pork back into my diet as of 11/12. I have had some here and there, but not a lot. I’ve mostly been eating chicken, turkey, cheese, and eggs for my protein.

The one funny part of the appointment was when she checked my incisions. She had to double-check when I had my surgery. She said they were healing exceptionally well and looked like they were 12 weeks and not 8-week incisions! I’ve always been a fast healer, but that made me feel really good.

Overall I’m really pleased with how I’m doing. I’m having an easier time meeting my food and water goals. I struggled a lot for a few weeks getting my water in especially, but it has gotten a lot better.

I’ve also been cleared to start strength training again! I am so excited about getting back into a routine. It’s been so busy at work that I’ve been lucky to make it downstairs at lunch 1-2 times a week to workout. I will say I’m so over walking on the treadmill and biking at the moment. I am going to start looking for a new gym soon. I really want to find a gym where I can swim too.
I’ve had to start shopping in my closet too! I don’t know how long it will last that I can wear the clothes in my closet, but I’m not arguing with getting to wear clothes I haven’t been able to in a long time. I’ve gotten some good leads on some nice thrift stores in my area as well.

Things I’ve noticed:
My tastes are changing. There are foods I wasn’t fond of or hadn’t liked that much before surgery. The big ones so far are:
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes (i used to only eat them on sandwiches or cooked into things, never just eaten)
  • Dill pickles

I’m having an easier time keeping up with my husband when we’re out walking around.
My back, hips, and knees are feeling better. I’m having less pain overall.

I’m finding bones I haven’t seen/felt in a while. My collar bones are the most noticeable, but I’m noticing it in my knees, ankles, and hips too.

I’ve been handling social situations fairly well. It’s not been too hard for me to stay on track overall. I do treat myself and indulge a little bit here and there. We were at a fancy dinner last night for a friend’s organization. I did have a tiny bit of the chocolate cake served. It was delicious but super-rich and sweet. It was nice to enjoy a bite or two and be done. It’s just hard to waste so much food that comes with most portions. If we eat out I usually try and order something off the appetizer menu if I can. Most times I can.

The bad (so far):
The one side effect I wasn’t looking forward to has started a month earlier than I thought it would. Typically at about 3-6 months after surgery, most patients lose some of their hair. I’ve been shedding a LOT more than normal the last week. I cleaned out my brush before I started styling my hair one morning and by the time I was done, it looked like I hadn’t cleaned my brush out at all. It looks worse than it probably is since my hair is fairly long right now. It’s still disconcerting though. This should only last a couple of months and then my hair will start growing back. It’s still just a pain. I lost my hair after the crappy diet I did before my wedding. It took me a while to figure out the reason why and it took years for my hair to get to where it felt healthy again. I just hope I don’t lose that much total.

With that, if you made it through here are some pics for your enjoyment.

Aug 2017

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November 2019

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Day before surgery

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Halloween as Velma (I did cheat with spanx on this one)

Image may contain: Danita Scott Broyles and Amber Day, people smiling, people standing, shoes and indoor

Friday, September 27, 2019

2 1/2 Weeks Post-Op - Struggles & Updates

My two weeks off from work to recover flew by honestly. My recovery went really well, thankfully. I did much better than I expected too. I've been able to drink fairly easily without any nausea or vomiting, which is awesome. Overall I have felt really good physically.

Mentally, this has been rough. It's been especially rough the last few days. It all came to a head yesterday. It's been a combination of things. Diet, lack of progress, and my hormones being out of whack have all contributed to it. I'll get into the rough stuff below, then into the better stuff from today.

I'm almost 5 weeks into my liquid diet. I am so over it. Beyond over it. I want to actually chew something. For those who know me, I have a massive sweet tooth. I can't stand anything sweet at the moment. Also, my tastes are changing. Protein shakes and water enhancers I loved before surgery I can't stand now. It's not just that though. It started Wednesday and got really bad yesterday, but I don't like the taste of anything at the moment. Plain water, water with flavor, any of my protein shakes, the protein soup mix, jello, none of it. It all tastes bad. I can't describe the flavor and I really don't want to. I have to drink 3 shakes and get 50-60 ounces of liquids in a day, and I don't want any of it. So I'm literally choking down stuff to make sure I don't get dehydrated. To top it all off, I found out my lactose intolerance is back. Lucky me.

All of the food issues would be bearable if I was seeing some sort of progress, but I'm not. The scale hasn't moved the last week. It's basically a nice flat line on a graph within a 1lb. range. I'm also looking at my clothes and not seeing any changes there. This is beyond frustrating given all the work and pain I've gone through these last months.

One of the other fun side effects of surgery is it plays havoc with your hormones. First off, by removing 80% of the stomach, you are removing a lot of the area that produces and secretes the hunger hormone ghrelin. The stress of surgery puts all of your other hormones out of whack, including all of the lady hormones. It can cause your period to start early and make the mood swings worse. So this week has been a bit of hell for me. It hasn't been all that fun for my husband either.

Yes, I know I'm only 2 1/2 weeks out. Yes, I know it takes time. These are logical thoughts and great ones. I was telling them to myself last night in an effort to get out of my funk. My emotions did a big old "Screw you!" and ignored all scientific fact and logic.

All of this built up in my head over the last couple days and the dam broke last night. I was absolutely regretting the surgery last night. I know most everyone has seen this picture:

"Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor." -Alexis Carell

I didn't feel like I was carving my way out of this body. I felt more trapped than ever. I felt like I was trapped in this horrid cage of a body and clawing madly with no way out. It was not a good night.

I woke up feeling a little better today thankfully. I also had follow-ups with my surgeon and dietitian since I start solid foods next week.

I talked to Dr. Greene about everything. It's all normal. Because of my starting weight and how long I've been on the liquid diet, stalls at 2-3 weeks out are exceptionally common in his patients. He was expecting it. Since I'm starting on solid foods next week, I should start seeing the scale move soon.

It's also normal for tastes to change. I knew from research and talking to Dr. Greene that my tastes would change. I thought it was just what I would and wouldn't like, but it's not. It's even how food tastes in general. They aren't sure what causes the tastes to change. The current theory is that between removing a lot of the hunger hormones and the changes in the bacterial biome in your gut, your tastes change. He apologized for it being so rough, but it happens to almost everyone.

Overall he is very happy with my recovery. I have no hernias at my incision sites. I'm almost done with my blood thinner shots. Thank heaven. They cause the worst bruising. If anyone needs some ideas for a color palette for zombie makeup, I can send pictures for your Pinterest board. I'm calling my belly a zombie dalmatian.

The dietitian is pleased with my progress too. We went over what I can and can't have the next couple of weeks. I'll get into that in another post.

So yeah. I'm doing better than I thought I would be. In some ways, this is harder than I thought, and I knew it would be a struggle going in. Thankfully no one has told me I took the easy way out by doing this. The way I feel at the moment I would bitch them out until kingdom come if they did. There is nothing easy about this. Worth it (from all I've been told), but far from easy.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

On the road to recovery

Right about a year ago I started struggling more and more with the scale. It seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to budge. Eat more, eat less, lift more, lift less, number of reps, how much cardio, all of it. Talking with Dr. Hendrick we were both at a loss of what to do next. The other solutions he uses are ways to jumpstart the weight loss, not for long term use. So I decided to look into bariatric surgery.

This is not something I have ever wanted or considered doing before. It was not up for discussion. So for me to finally start researching it says a lot for those who know me best. By the end of 2018, I decided to start talking with surgeons. To find a doctor I liked I had to go to Denver.

My insurance at the time wouldn't cover it so I was looking at around $13000 out of pocket. The upside to paying for it myself is that I didn't have as many hoops to jump through. So by the end of March, I was ready to schedule the surgery.

Then it got postponed, but for the best reason. I have been job hunting hard for several years, but I've been picky. Very picky. For the first time, I had the luxury of looking for a job I wanted, and not just working for an organization for a paycheck. The time, frustration, and patience paid off in spades. I pretty much got my dream job at a company I have wanted to work at for a very long time. I moved out to Maryland at the end of May to start my job. Then I went back to Colorado in mid-June to get Marshall, pack our stuff, and hit the road.

While I was out in Maryland by myself I started researching surgeons out here and found an office I liked the looks of. I went to a class sponsored by one of the surgeons and set up an appointment with her. Things seemed to go well, and she said she could use my visits from Dr. Hendrick and the surgeon in Colorado to submit to insurance. I just had a laundry list of paperwork to bring in. The day before my next appointment, when I got the reminder call I was told she had left the practice and they had moved me to Dr. Joseph Greene. I decided to see if I liked this new surgeon and go from there. Luckily I did, and I think it turned out to be the better choice in the long run.

I turned up with all of my papers and was told that I was the most prepared patient he's ever had. I just wanted everything to go smoothly. After some running around with phone calls and signing waivers, all the paperwork got sent to Dr. Greene. Well, everything except my psych evaluation. We found that out the morning of surgery. Luckily we were able to get the right people on the phone and get it faxed over. Before Dr. Greene could start talking to me about surgery though, I had to sign the waiver from the psychiatrist. I was in pre-op when all of this happened.

The surgery went really well. It took longer than planned because of some surprise scar tissue, but I'm glad he took the time to make sure he worked around it. They have a really good pain management plan and I've been doing really well. I took some of "the good stuff" to sleep last night, but I've only had Tylenol today. I'm up and moving around pretty good. The only thing that really hurts is my throat from the breathing tube.

So there's what I had surgery for. I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. They sliced off about 80% of my stomach. Because of where hormone receptors are I won't feel hunger anymore, or not as much. Considering I've been on a liquid diet the last 3 weeks, it has been a godsend. I still have 3 more weeks of liquids before I move back to solid foods.

I kept this very quiet because I had enough doubts in my head. I had all the thoughts of "if only I had more willpower" or "If I just tried one last time". But after all these years of trying, if I could have done it on my own, I would have.

Feel free to ask me anything.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Trials and Errors

My summer up through the first part of July was busy. To be honest, I've just enjoyed having quiet time to myself the last month and a half.

As an update from my last entry, I'm feeling a lot better mentally. I still have moments of doubt and all, but it feels like "normal" doubt. Not the depression monster in my head. I've gotten back into a groove with my working out, but eating has been a real struggle. I saw my pulmonologist and we've gotten the pressures figured out. He had to lower them a bit for me. Part of my struggle now is sinus issues due to allergies and the smoke from wildfires. I feel like I am permanently congested and sneezing.

The last 4-6 weeks have been a challenge. I emailed Dr. Hendrick to ask about the other weight loss meds he was thinking of having me try. At our last appointment, we started talking more about it again. He wanted to kick start my weight loss again. I was wanting information from him to do some more research. He was honest with me and let me know which ones he was thinking of, but that the good information is hard to find. There's a lot of less than reputable sites that give half the facts. He said he would give me all the information I could need at our next appointment in mid-September. 

I felt like I just wasn't making progress. I have been lifting back at full weights and upping my weights week to week. It even got to the point that I was looking at weight loss surgery again. Even going so far as to see which of the three different types of procedures I thought would work best. It made me sad to think I needed to do that, even if the surgery is just another tool for me to use. It is not the easy way out.

I don't really remember how it came about, but I started doing more research on intermittent fasting. I don't know if it was a news article, something I saw on Facebook, or what. It is something Dr. Hendrick has been wanting me to try for a while. I was reading up on the science and theory behind it for fat loss. I decided what the heck. At the time I started it, I had a month before my next appointment. I might as well treat myself as a science experiment and see if it works. On a random Tuesday morning, I decided to try it. It has been two weeks, and so far, so good. There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but I have been fasting for 16 hours and have an 8-hour window to eat.

The theory is that after you finish eating for the night, your body is in a digestion phase anywhere from 8-12 hours. Anything after the 12-hour mark your body is fasting and will start using fat as fuel. Eating more lean protein does help the body using fat instead of muscle as fuel. 

Overall it hasn't been too bad. It's been great having one less meal to plan, and I don't feel as rushed in the mornings. I do still get coffee in the morning, I just have to limit the flavored creamer so the fast doesn't get broken early. Aside from a few days where I felt very run down and had a headache I have felt great and have had more energy. On the days I have felt like crap, I have broken my fast early and eaten a protein bar or a piece of fruit. I felt better shortly afterward. As always, listening to my body is key.

As for breaking my fast, I break it around lunchtime after I have my workout. I have a little bit more than I normally would at lunch and dinner, but not by that much. When all is said and done I've been averaging around 1800 calories per day with a range of 1500-2100 calories. It depends on how hard I worked out and how hungry I feel. It has also helped me face my fear of hunger and get over it. Well, for the most part. Having a growling stomach in meetings is not the best thing!

Other things from the last couple of weeks:

  • I've dropped between 4-5 pounds. It depends on the day you look at my scale
  • Huge difference in how my clothes fit. I have 2 pairs of pants that I dare not wear outside the house
  • Pair of leggings purchased a year ago now fit. At the time I bought them they wouldn't go past mid-thigh
  • Better attitude
  • More focused at work
  • I'm eating less at meals and feeling satiated sooner
So right now I'm feeling hopeful and finding some success. Right now I just want to get back under 300 pounds, and I am so freaking close. This week or next and I should be there. 

I have also found that I do best when weighing myself every day or every other day. I need the data points to keep me accountable. By keeping my food logs I can go back and see what caused a spike in my weight. Anything from eating, to that time of the month, to too many carbs can cause my weight to spike as much as 4 to 5 pounds in a single day. It helps to see the trend of it going down though and knowing that the weight will come back down. I've been using an app called Libra to help me with this. They have trending weight, average loss, and projected weight loss. It's handy and I like it.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Depression Monster

I've been quiet for because I've been struggling, but not sure how to vocalize it. Some days are better than others. I've been really resentful of the process. Exercising, eating, my schedule, all of it. This weekend was especially awful.

I've dealt with depression for years, but I have never been officially diagnosed. All weekend I was feeling kind of down, and by Sunday night I was retreating from the world and hiding. I sat and wrote in my journal for a good while and my husband kept coming to check on me. He knew some of what i had been dealing with and thinking, but not the extent of it.

I have been super frustrated with my weight loss or lack there of. I've been maintaining in the same 5 pound range since November. In the last 2 weeks I've crept back over 300 pounds a couple of days. There's been a lot of reasons for all of this, that logically I know. But there comes a point when logic doesn't matter. Here's what's been going on the last couple months:
  • Finishing up physical therapy for my knee. I had pulled back from weight lifting so I didn't hurt myself more. I love weight lifting and can't stand cardio. Where I could only really do cardio, I didn't want to go to the gym.
  • I haven't been sleeping well. Even with my CPAP I've been restless at night. I finally figured out the pressures were too high and needed to call my pulmonologist.
  • My self worth was in the septic tank. I had a record going over and over in my head that I was worthless. There's no point in keeping trying as I have failed before and I was stupid to think that I could do it this time. And on and on and on. 
  • Continuing on from 3, flashbacks of being bullied and the horrible things I was called as a pre-teen and teen.

I had Marshall read my journal entry. All he did when he finished reading it was hug me tight and said he was never letting me go. No matter how much I wanted to pull away. Then we sat and talked.

He brought up a good point and that was my depression symptoms have gotten worse since I've gone off of the Contrave pill I was using. My obesity doctor and I decided I should go off it because it didn't seem to be helping much. I wasn't struggling with cravings or the like so I went off of it. Well, one of the reasons my doc chose that med is that one of the active ingredients is also a mild antidepressant. We had talked a bit about my personal history and he thought it would be good for me to be on one. Nothing major. Marshall pointed out other times this has happened, including times family members do it. So there's every chance this is a bit genetic as well. I felt so much better after talking with Marshall about it all. I had an appointment with Dr. Hendrick on Tuesday. I was originally going to reschedule it. I've finally been getting back to the gym and strength training again. I wanted to even have a week to say "This is where I'm at!" But in the discussion about depression I decided I needed to keep the appointment. If I'm starting to struggle this badly with depressive symptoms I need help. I can't put it off. So I went.

Dr. Hendrick was very supportive and helpful as usual. He wouldn't prescribe an anti-depressant for me. He wants me to work with my primary care physician on that. The ultimate goal is for me to get the weight off, be good at maintenance, and not see him anymore. So there's that. So here's the run down of my meeting with him.
  • I've been doing great at maintaining. He thinks that when i get down to a good weight my body is happy at, I should be able to maintain it with minimal struggles. With a caveat of what I already know. Maintaining is harder than losing in some respects. But he said I'm already showing skills to do well at maintaining my weight in stressful situations, so there is that. 
  • My eating habits are doing really well. He's really happy with the progress I've made on that front. With what I'm eating and when. What I do when confronted with unhealthy food situations. My job is a landmine of cookies, brownies, and sweets. It's awful. As he put it, it's borderline abuse. 
  • He wanted me to follow up with my primary doc about getting on a med and talk about other treatment options. He warned me to be careful of talk therapy. It means digging up messy emotions that could trigger emotional binge eating, which we don't need. 
  • I also needed to get my cpap pressures changed so I can get good sleep at night. 
  • He's very hopeful for me and was very happy I came in and asked for help. He also said I'm really fragile right now. 

So I saw my primary doc today and we had a good chat. She put me on the same med as in contrave, but at a lower dose to get started. Luckily the med I'm on is one of the few that doesn't usually cause weight gain. I go back in 3 weeks for a follow-up and see if I need to see a counselor. She was very empathetic and understanding. She also agreed with Dr. Hendrick about going into counseling with caution.

I also called my pulmonologist. I will say my CPAP is awesome. He was able to remotely adjust the settings so I didn't need to go in and see him. He did have his nurse ask me if I had lost more weight since I was in for my 6 month visit in October. I'm down maybe another 5-10 pounds. Turns out he has the pressures set pretty much as low as they can go. I have a follow up in 3 weeks to see him too. I'm hoping that this is good news and I may be getting off my cpap. We'll see though!

I don't have an official diagnosis of depression, but I'm on a low-dose antidepressant. I hope this helps. I have felt so crappy and apathetic the last few weeks and I'm over it. The last few days have been better. Not perfect, but better. It helps I've been able to get back into strength training. I've been taking it really easy so I don't overdo it and hurt myself again. So I started back at squatting 65 pounds last week and I'm already up to 85 pounds this week. I'm hoping by the end of the month to be close to where I was. 150-ish pound squats, 65 pound bench press. Those are the two I remember for certain.

I will say this though. If you are having frequent bouts of self-doubt, lethargy, apathy or other depressive symptoms. See your doctor. It doesn't matter if it's weight related or not. They can help. Your mental health and well being is far too important to ignore.