I'm not as freaked out as I sound
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
One summer when I was in college, my mom, her partner JM and I embarked upon the only diet the three of us would do together in my entire life. After watching my mom do Weight Watchers and OptiFast and a few others, the three of us decided to do the infamous Cabbage Soup Diet for some reason. I think that we must have known someone who had done it and had tons of success with it.

We ate so much of that damn soup. And we were still hungry because really, cabbage soup is not the most satisfying thing, what with its lack of protein and all. Every night we would find ourselves anxious for our one meal of the day that wasn't soup. I remember going to the grocery story with JM to pick out the biggest potatoes we could possibly find for the baked potato night because we were so looking forward to them The need to just chew something was more than a little maddening, but damn if I didn't lose 7 pounds that week.

I've been thinking about that crazy week on the cabbage soup diet a lot the past couple days. I've been thinking about it because I started my pre-op diet yesterday and that means I'm not chewing a damn thing until dinner every night. The crazy thing is that I'm not hungry during the day, because the protein drinks are really pretty filling for me. But I miss the chewing, which is twice as dumb since I also have TMJ and chewing too much gives me headaches. Since I miss the chewing, I am glad for sugarless gum, because it keeps me occupied when I just want something to munch on.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tomorrow is my pre-op class, which I've been told will last until from 11:15a to about 3:00p, after which I will need to go get the chest X-ray they kept telling me I don't need but they have suddenly decided to order for me. I'm going to be cultured, bled and admitted, and I'm going to spend hours absorbing all the information that they can throw at me. And then all there is left to do is wait for July 9th to hurry up and get here.

It's really real now.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In bridesmaid dress news, I ordered it tonight, only to be told that it may very well not get her until September 18th. For a wedding on September 23rd. Which I am flying out to on September 20th. So I'm putting a ton of faith in the bridal shop and have scheduled my alterations appointment for the 18th so I can pick the dress up on the 19th and have it on the plane with me on the 20th.

After much consultation with a group of friends and the trying on of roughly 30 gajillion dresses, I picked out and ordered this dress in Truffle, a color which the bride says was a-okay since I am the maid of honor and am fully allowed to look diferent from everyone else. It's a V-neck halter top, so I added a wrap to cover my arms (about which I have great anxiety) and voila, pretty dress! Pretty dress which I could maybe wear to a gala ball at some point later, if I suddenly become someone who regularly goes to gala balls.

I ordered it two sizes smaller, with the promise that they can take it in up to two more sizes if need be, so I think it'll be okay.

One less thing to freak out about, right?

Where's the Amazing Kreskin when you need him?
Monday, June 18, 2007
So it turns out that my insurance company is not so much of a Godzilla as it is a marshmallow creame puff, because not only did they approve me super fast, they even sent me a very nice letter that gave me permission to have it done any time between July 9th and December 31st. (But I will totally be doing it July 9th, don't you worry about THAT.)

When I spoke with Sarah last week, we started double checking with each other to make sure we had covered all our bases with each other.

"I sent you the info on the pre-op class, right?"
"Yep, got that. So I stop taking my birth control when I finish this pack this weekend, right?"
"Yep, and then you don't take it for a month after surgery."
"Okay, and I start the pre-op diet (which is amazingly similar to the post-op diet) two weeks beforehand, right?"
"Mmhmm. You have the info on that?"
"Sounds like we're settled then."
"Yep. All that's left is my freak-out, then we're good to go!"

And then we laughed because ha ha, I have "freaking out" on my to do list, aren't I funny!

Except dude, it's totally on my list. Actually, freaking out has its own list because there are a number of things I need to freak out about before the surgery. I figure if I just focus on freaking out about one thing a day between now and then I will be SUPER CALM when I go into the operating room.

Today I am freaking out about The Dress. And today's entry by Anne is like a peek into the future for me. Except with the added bonus of not having a dress made especially for me.

See, I am going to be my friend's maid of honor in September. September 23rd to be precise. And I am super excited to do so because A) I love weddings and B) my wedding is the only one I've been in so far and C) I love carrying around flower bouquets. And since my friend is AWESOME and wants all her bridesmaids to feel pretty she said "Pick out a dress from David's Bridal that you like in either Apple or Cinnamon and I will be happy." So yay!

Excpt for one little thing. David's says "Order your dress 6-8 weeks ahead of when you need it. And also leave time for tailoring, so really 10-12 weeks ahead of when you need it." So really, I need to order it by June 30th, because something tells me I will not be wanting to try on dresses the week before my surgery. Or the week after. So (ignoring the fact that they have no dresses with sleeves, which is just mean), I get to go try on a dress in a couple weeks and then guess what size I will be on September 23rd.

I have never in my life wished I had a crystal ball more than I do right now.

Today I am a size 24/26. In September I will be...a different size. A smaller size. A size I have not seen in 5 or 6 years. From everything I've read and everyone I've talked to, I'm guessing that in 2 1/2 months I'll lose somewhere between 45 and 60 pounds. And since I usually lose a size every 20 pounds, I'm guessing that I can order the dress 2 sizes smaller than I am right this second and then just tailor it from there. Hell, at this point I'm figuring the bride's mother might just be doing last minute tailoring for me once I get out to Providence.

Trying to convince the saleslady that it's really okay for me to order a dress two sizes smaller will be an interesting feat, I'm sure. They'll take one look at me and say "Honey, I don't think so." Luckily, I am getting more and more used to discussingmy upcoming WLS with just about anyone, so discussing it with a stranger in a bridal shop should be no problem.

At least with my currently black hair and pale skin, I'll look like Snow White in my pretty red dress.

Putting the Big in Big Sister
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Last week, a horrid little troll of a woman here at my office told me she thought she saw a picture of me on a news website. I thought maybe it was a picture of the crowds from the Rock & Roll Marathon or something. Instead, it was a picture accompanying some blurb about obesity, one of those horrible middle of the torso shots that is so very unflattering. It was completely and obviously not me, (seriously, the clothes were extremely unflattering and the chin line practically screamed "Not Melinda!") and I very quickly told the woman that no, it was not me thankyouverymuch.

It was pretty much a nightmare come true, realizing that this woman (who is, for the record, a bitter, unattractive, not well-liked eavesdropper who could stand to lose more than a few pounds herself; transference much?) thought that I was large and lumpy enough to pictorially represent The Obesity Problem in America. I'll admit, I always scan those pictures when they appear on the news, making sure than my midsection isn't one of those ones being filmed, relieved when I realize that once again I'm not there. But to have someone else think that they ahd spotted me? Ugh.

And I wasn't even going to write about the whole thing except....it made me feel ashamed. And angry for being ashamed. And as much as it doesn't affect the way I think about myself (because I am still awesome in my own quirky, special way), it stuck with me. It's weird, I can go for days, weeks even, forgetting that I am fat. I'm just....me. Even when I look in the mirror or glance at pictures of myself, I don't think "Hey, look at the fat girl! Oh wai..." I don't think about it unless someone else points it out to me. (Then I think about it all the time.)

I did, however, brace myself before meeting my new Little Sister; kids can be brutally honest and I didn't want to have the same reaction to her noticing I was fat as I did to the horrid little woman across the hall from me. I wanted to be brave and strong and say "Yep, I'm fat, but that's okay because I can still run and play with you." I even practiced saying that in my head beforehand!

But she didn't say anything about me being fat. She just wanted to tell me about the new book she was reading for school, she wanted to ask me questions about where I live and my pets and what I do at work. She didn't see the fat first; she just saw her new Big Sister, and that was enough for her. And I suddenly didn't care so much about what the horrible troll-woman thought of me.

Which is good, because it really doesn't matter, does it?

Check it, check it out
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I have a little somethin' up over at Elastic Waist this morning.

And if you aren't already reading Elastic Waist every day, you should be. And I'm not just saying that because they posted something I wrote. I'm saying that because it's awesome...there's something to make you think every day on there.

Really truly real now
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Have I mentioned that I loathe going and sitting through my Weight Watchers meetings? Yeah, I know, I've mentioned it ad naseum. But oh dear loard, it's even worse now! Because I know this progam inside and out and I sit there and I give hints and advice to people, totally sane and rational advice, and the whole time I'm doing it this cynical voice inside of me wants to follow it up by yelling "But it's totally not going to work for you!"

But I don't because maybe it will work for them. Maybe.

My husband thinks that maybe I just have short-timer's diseases, that maybe now that there is an end in sight and I've basically been told that hey, don't need to do that anymore I'm just writing the program off. And he's probably right, because I'm really not following the plan at all, I'm just going in for the weigh-ins at this point. And I do not know why I am even doing that because hello, I have a perfectly awesome digital scale at home that I weigh in on every Tuesday morning (as opposed to Thursday evening).

Actually, I do know why I'm doing it. I'm doing it because I'm afraid that my insurance is going to get all Godzilla on me and respond to my surgeon's authorization request by walking around yelling "GRAH!" while stomping on buildings and blowing flames all over the place and the only thing that will make them stop and say okay is my WW Booklet O' Shame filled with consistent weigh-ins.

I wish I had Sarah's confidence, because she is so sure I will get approved within the next 10 days that she has PUT ME ON DR. M'S SCHEDULE. She has scheduled me for surgery and now Dr. M has a little note saying "Cut Melinda open and rearrange her insides" on his calendar. And I have an appointment for the pre-surgery class he requires me to take. And...I have a date. I have a date that I can roll around on my tongue like a watermelon Jolly Rancher. A date that I can highlight on my personal calendar, a date I can draw goofy doodles on in our calendar at home that keeps track of everything we are doing forever. I have a date but I am scared to shout it out to the world because what if I jinx it and I get Insurance Godzilla action instead?

July 9th.

I KNOW!! It's practically 3 hours away! And I have nothing done! Oh wait, I did take care of the making (and eating) of some damn fine pumpkin cookies. So hey, there's one thing off the to do list.

Maybe next I should stock up on some underwear that will actually fit me come August.

(July 9th!!!! Eek!)