Determining it’s Time for an Adjustment

Everyone’s body is different. Some people have ridiculously high metabolisms—they can eat well over the suggested 2,000 calorie daily limit and not gain an ounce. Some people do just fine with that 2,000 daily limit. With that number and a reasonable amount of physical activity, they maintain a healthy weight and/or comfortable weight for their body type and personal preferences.

Then there’s me. When I eat around 2,000 calories a day, I gain weight. My body doesn’t seem to want to lose weight until I’m eating around 1,200 calories a day. Before surgery, there was no way in hell I could have eaten that little every day. Eating disorder aside, I would have been too physically hungry to maintain those portion sizes.

In the last few months, I’ve had between 1,700 and 2,200 calories a day, on average, give or take. And now I’m back over 180 pounds. Some of my clothes are beginning to fit poorly. I’ve noticed that going up stairs and just general movement is becoming less comfortable or me, and more awkward. As my husband said the other day, I was walking in a straight line, there just happened to be a wall in the way of the route of that straight line…

So I need to begin eating smaller portion sizes in order to return to a weight that is more comfortable to me. But I know from tracking my intake that I can’t currently eat portions that small. I’m just too physically hungry for that. Which means it’s time for another adjustment.

As my surgeon says, the Band is a tool. This sort of situation is what it’s there for.

Though that being said, I was dreading when I might have to do this again. It takes about a week for me to be back to eating solid food again after every adjustment, and I get a little twitchy from the hunger in the meantime. And there’s only so much Ensure a person can drink…

I know that it will be worth it in the long run. It’s just the short-term discomfort that I’m not looking forward to.

My body seems to go in this cycle. I’ll have an adjustment and deal with the hunger while my stomach calms down. Then there will be a period during which it’s still not too sure about a lot of things and I have to be really careful. Then my stomach gets used to this idea again, and I become able to eat more than it feels like I should be able to.

I’m in that latter most phase right now. And as usually happens during this phase, I’ve put on some weight.

My next visit to my surgeon’s office is in mid-January. I’ll ask about getting an adjustment and, as always, post an update on how it goes.

That Update I’ve Been Meaning to Make

I intended, following my check-in with my general practitioner, to post an update regarding my anxiety meds. Then I was generally busy, and then I was sick, so I’ve been putting off a lot of things that I intended to do.

But now that I’m feeling humanoid again, here’s that update I’ve been meaning to make!

The meds seem to be working pretty well. It was, at most, maybe two weeks before I was able to mentally compile a to-do list for the following day while on my way to bed and then not lay there awake for hours stressing out about everything on that list. And the days on which I wake up already feeling overwhelmed and run-down are now much fewer in number. I am once again able to do the things that I need to do without freaking out about having to do them, and the things I want to do without finding them pointless and joyless.

I will still occasionally have the off day. But it seems as though now, instead of spending my entire day anxious and depressed, convinced that no one loves me and everything is pointless, and oh, why couldn’t I have been better about this or that?—I will instead spend a few hours feeling this way a few times a week. These emotions are much less acute and frequent, and they dissipate much more quickly.

And I finally had the energy and mental wherewithal to get back into portioning and journaling my meals.

…and then Thanksgiving happened, and, well, y’know. But I know that once I shake this bloody cold—which has been a hungry virus, let me tell you—I will once again have that ability, that patience, that strength, to stand against those inner voices that tell me I should be eating constantly, and tell them that no, I really shouldn’t.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that I’m still not dealing with the underlying problems, because I don’t know how to, or even what they are.

The bad news is that I was, around the time of my band’s last show of the year, so generally anxious that if I didn’t have a stuffed animal in my hands to cuddle at all times, oh dear god, I might start crying at any minute. I was a raw nerve around people and all I wanted to do was get away from them. (Naturally, my band’s last show of the year was at a convention, so that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.) This is a Very Bad Thing because it means that my band is probably my greatest source of stress—which I knew, but if engaging in related activities stresses me out to the point of practically being unable to function, well, that’s kind of a problem

Thankfully, I think the actual performance went quite well. It’s the lead-up time to actually getting on stage at an event that makes me get really twitchy.

And the last of the bad news is…

The medication I’m on has as a possible side-effect for women increased difficulty climaxing…

…which is really ironic for a medication that’s being taken to help with anxiety…

…and naturally, I would be one of the patients experiencing that side-effect.

Sigh.

But my doctor says I should only plan to be on this medication for six to eight months. …of course, I’m not confident that I won’t need to get back on it shortly after I stop taking it since, as I said, I currently have no way to deal with the underlying issues, but…yeah.

In the meantime, at least I can function. I can do chores (when I’m not sick with the plague) again. I can enjoy sewing and crafting again. And maybe—just maybe—I can get back into songwriting when I’m done being sick and riding the roller coaster that is The Holidays.

Speaking of which, my next check-in with my bariatric surgeon isn’t until January. So unless I have something to say between now and then, this is the last you’ll hear of me until 2015.

I hope all of you have a safe and wonderful end of December, and that whatever holiday you celebrate, if any, is all that you want and need it to be.

And happy New Year. Maybe set some goals for that new beginning, if you’re into that sort of thing. Not “resolutions”—goals. After all, we only get to start 2015 once.