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Thursday, August 24, 2006

More Bribes Than a Maffioso

Doing a little “Blogrolling” this morning has inspired one more entry before I leave on vacation for next week.

I want to preface this by saying, I am accountable for the size that I am. I don’t blame anyone else, and it is up to me to do something about it -- me and only me. Some people have terrible childhoods, some don’t. Mine? My childhood was somewhere in the middle – but weight… weight was always an issue.

Both my Mother and Step-dad (and now my sister) are dancers, in the professional sense. My parents had a dance studio geared to teach future professional dancers. This studio wasn’t your run-of-the-mill competition school. Dance was considered a serious profession, more so than a recreational outlet. Because it was focused on professionalism, you can imagine how much of an issue weight of the dancers-to-be was. Weight was as much an issue at home as it was at the Dance studio.

I always knew I was overweight, but I never let it bother me, because it never really limited me. My limitations were made visible to me by my parents. I’ve said it before; I’m not sure if I tried so hard to excel at everything to prove my weight wasn’t an issue, or if I did everything well because I actually enjoyed what I was doing. When I think back to some of the things that I did, I really have the think hard to give myself and honest answer.

It was in my teenage years that my family presented me with challenges to lose weight. Shopping in the “Huskies” department at Sears was probably more embarrassing to my family than it was to me. I was never a fashion plate in high school. It certainly was not because I didn’t want to dress cute and preppy like the thin girls, but my ass would never fit into a pair of Calvin’s or Jordache’ Jeans. Hey, it was the 80’s… what can I say?

Then came the bribing… My parents bribed me with everything and anything they could to get me to lose weight; pulling me out of activities, promising money or shopping sprees, etc.

In my freshman year of High School, I wanted to be a twirler. I tried out, made it – even one of the mothers custom-made a uniform for me, so I could fit-in. Once again, when I didn’t lose weight, I had to quit.

I remember when I first started auditioning for musicals. My voice truly favors ballads and music that a typical ingénue role would sing. I remember my Mother telling me I had a great voice but that I would never land an ingénue role. Unfortunately she was right, but that didn’t preclude me from landing other character roles. When I first landed a lead role the first bribe was offered. “I’m sorry, but if you don’t lose weight, you have to quit the musical.” I didn’t lose weight, and I had to quit. How I hated having to tell the drama teacher.

The second year came around, and the same thing happened again. I landed a lead role – not the ingénue role, but a lead nonetheless. Mom did the same thing. I know she was trying to motivate me because I loved doing musicals, but maybe in some way (not that I can remember now) it was turning me off? Who knows?

The pattern didn’t have a chance to repeat itself my junior and senior years because the Drama teacher caught on, and now knew me as a “quitter.” She told me my junior year that she couldn’t give me the part she wanted because she couldn’t depend on me. You can imagine how I felt. From that point on, I was known as a “quitter.” That reputation wound up following me throughout high school – even into sports and band commitments. Advisors were afraid to give me anything for fear I would quit.

At the Dance studio, I took dancing, singing and acting lessons, and while I loved dancing, singing was my passion. As a teenager and young adult, my singing skills were in full-form. My parents were staging Pirates of Penzance, and they allowed me to audition. Though my signing was good, I was too fat to land a role – and that’s what they pretty much told me. I was just too overweight.

I also auditioned for a few other staged musicals they produced, but would never get a part in them… you guessed it. I was too fat.

Without my mother knowing I prepped to audition at Westminster Choir College. I worked hard to prepare two contrasting pieces and coordinated all the logistics of my audition without my family knowing. When I landed a scholarship, my Mom’s response was, “You’ll never find steady work in the arts.” You’ll never make enough money.” I knew what she was really saying was that I was too fat and would never be hired as a singer for the type of music I enjoyed.

I can remember another conversation vividly; my Mom telling me how it was somewhat of an embarrassment to her that I was so overweight. I often wondered if she saw me overweight for a Dancer or overweight for the average person on the street. She would get so frustrated because I had natural ability, but not the body. Conversely, my Sister had the body, but had to work harder at Dance. Despite my Mom’s sincerest efforts, she would continually explain how and why my weight made her uncomfortable, and how in some strange way it was damaging to her reputation. As if people would think less of my mother because she had a fat daughter.

I think for a brief period of time, when I was 14, I got down to a size 12. The scary thing is, I didn’t even realize it, and my It wasn’t for long. I quickly moved up the scale.

Still, today, I can’t really pinpoint where/how my problem started with food. I really wish I could, because I feel it will help me in the long run. I would love to think my problem is organic in nature, and not just about self-control.

This is about what I did to myself with the choices I made, and I am in no way placing blame on my parents. I truly do believe they were doing what they felt was best for me.

You know, after I had my Daughter, I was jut 12 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight (but still 90 lbs from my "ideal" weight). It was the emotional eating... the eating like a wrestler while breast-feeding… the eating to reward myself when I’d do something right as a first-time Mom that caused me to get even 40 lbs heavier.

It's my fault.

No one else's.

I am wholly accountable.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Good Sleep, Support and Needed Vacation!

Well, I haven't been by here to write in a while, mostly because there's not much to write. I'm moving right along and Jan/Feb is getting that much closer each day.

I've had my C-Pap machine for about 2 weeks now, and I really do feel a difference. I'm staying up later each night without realizing it! (I know, I should be getting more rest!) It used to be that by 8:45 if I'm on the couch, I'm out cold! I've been going non-stop the last couple weekends painting and decorating my master bedroom and bath. It feels good to not feel totally wasted! and my bedroom and bath look great!

I had another round of blood work done, so that I can just see Dr. W, instead of the Endocrinologist AND Dr. W to get my Diabetes Meds -- it makes sense since I have to see Dr. W. once a month anyway. Seeing the Endocrinologist for my meds is another trip, and waste of money.

There's some shake-up going on with the Bariatric Program at my hospital of choice. It has me a little concerned, as it would appear the program iis disbanding. They had such a terrific program director, and quite an amazing support system for pre-op and post-op patients. We'll probably never know what the real reasons are for the demise of the program -- a terribly sad thing for all of us who were counting on that venue for support. The hospital will still do the surgery, as will Dr. Naaman, but things are changing.

The last on-site support group meeting is on Thursday, and I plan on attending. The last meeting I went to had an OBGYN as a speaker, and he talked about pregnancy after RNY.

The deal is you should not become pregnant until 2 years after your surgery. This gives your small intestine a chance to mature and learn to do the job of the two-thirds of your larger intestine which is being bypassed via the weight loss surgery. Once the small intestine learns its job, it is okay to become pregnant.

Once pregnant, you have all the regular risks associated with pregnancy after 35 (which I know well!). You have to be closely monitored for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and after month 5 you must visit the doctor each week. Not really different than when I carried Cassie; at 35 I was considered "High Risk" and was seeing the doctor once a week after month 6.

All that being said, make not mistake, there is risks involved. For some, pregancy can exasberate underlying problems you may have had since the surgery. The rule of thumb is, do the right thing for you and your baby, and follow the doctor's orders. Plenty of women who have had RNY have healthy babies every day.

We're not sure we want another, but at least it's good to know it's possible if we decide otherwise.

I'm still doing Weight Watchers, but until either work slows down or I can make exercise a priority, my losses are minimal. Things at work have a potential to become a little more accomodating, as I'm interviewing for a different position on Thursday or Friday. Keep your fingers crossed. I know I have the qualifications, I just need to med with the existing team.

In other news, next week I'm headed to California for an actual vacation!!! We're going to do Sea World, Lego Land, Wild Rivers and the Aquarium. Cassie will have tons of fun. I'll get to spend time with my Mom, Sister and 2 nieces. Also Darren and I are taking an overnight at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. We haven't gone anywhere together as a couple -- not even a honeymoon! since Cassie was born!! It will be a good time.

Speaking of Cassie, she'll be 2 next month on the 24th! I cannot believe how quickly time flies. I've got to start planning her Miss Spider Sunny Patch Buggy Birthday Bash. :)