Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A new perspective

So…apparently having a baby makes you a million times busier than anything else in the history of ever. Lots of things going on in my little family right now and I just happen to have a free moment to catch you up on some things!

My baby boy is doing amazing! He just turned 9 months last Thursday (February 13th). I still can’t really believe it! He’s still adorable and loves to flirt with the ladies when we are out. He smiles at everyone but acts shy when he wants to. He’s starting to pull himself up to stand (!), he babbles and screams and says ‘ba ba ba’ and ‘da da da’ and his laugh makes your heart sing. He sits up on his own, feeds himself his bottles, tries to crawl (as much as he can since we have hardwood floors that we don’t let him on because they are constantly dirty), and is starting to learn how to eat solid foods. He picks bits up and gets them to his mouth, but sometimes he forgets he’s supposed to swallow it and spits it back out. I cannot wait until this kid can feed himself food. It will be messy, but totally worth it. Gizmo (our dog) is already learning the benefits of a baby learning to eat on their own…it rains food! Needless to say, Gizmo is quickly becoming Xander’s kitchen buddy. Xander also loves to cruise in his walker. He just recently learned how to move forward in it and will ZOOM across the floor. Best to wear shoes around this one…he runs over toes!

Xander is also starting to show stranger acknowledgement. If someone is holding him and he sees us (Chris or myself), he wants us and us only! He also starts to get grumpy when one of us leaves. I am not looking forward to this more when he gets older and can ask me to stay home…That will break my heart! Thankfully his Daddy will be there to play with him and keep him happy. Chris and I are both so excited for what the future holds for us and our little guy. 

8 months
9 month check-up with Daddy

Superbowl outfit! 

Lap Band
On the band front, I did get my fill in December. I got 2 cc’s put in and it did just fine. I felt restriction but not enough that it changed my portions really. It slowed my eating down considerably. I am still re-learning small bites and slower eating. I got another fill a month later in January, but I had some issues with that. This whole house buying process has left me more stressed than ever…so stressed it makes my band really tight sometimes. On top of that, 2 days before my January fill, I got a case of gastroenteritis. Feel free to Google that if you aren’t sure what all it entails. Thanks to that, I actually threw up 3 times (pretty violently actually). This was the first time I’ve thrown up or gotten really sick since I got my lap band in May 2011. Needless to say, this sickness made me swell even more on top of the stress swelling. But, I really wanted that stupid fill. I had lost 9 pounds since December by that point, but I attributed some of that to the sickness and not eating for almost 3 days. I told my PA about my sickness and she told me I could have rescheduled but I didn’t want to wait (because I’m impatient like that). So she just gave me 0.5 cc. It felt okay at the time and I figured it would loosen up after I had completely recovered from my sickness. After this fill, it was talking me 1-2 hours to finish my meals. I was okay with this, as I could still eat and it was nothing like the last time I was too tight and felt miserable. Then, the chest pains started. The first time it was sudden and went away as fast as it showed up… a throbbing pain in my sternum. Then a week later the pain was back and it did not go away. It HURT and then it burned. Then I felt like I was going to throw up. I could feel my esophagus tighten and the tightening was moving up and up and up all the way until I would gag. It was a little scary. It hurt so bad, I had to stop what I was doing on concentrate on breathing. That was when I knew it was probably time for a small un-fill. I call my doctor’s office the next day and they told me to take Prilosec to help with the burning (reflux) and scheduled me to come in on Friday for an un-fill. By the time Friday rolled around, I hadn’t had any more chest pain and I was taking Prilosec every night. My PA took out that 0.5 cc she put in just 2 weeks ago and I felt better immediately. She told me to give my body some time to rest and recover from these fills/un-fills and to come back for my next scheduled appointment in March. Since then, I haven’t really paid attention to my weight. I really don’t think about weighing myself in the morning anymore because I wake up with a baby and immediately take care of him. By the time I think about weighing myself, it’s nighttime and I’m all swollen and puffy from sitting at a desk most of the day at work. So, I’m just going to let the doctor’s office keep track of that while I take care of my baby. And lately I’ve noticed I don’t FEEL hungry that often; I am just eating because it’s time to eat. I’m going to work on that. My biggest issue is eating out of boredom or because there is food around. I’m going to try to work on listening to my body and my hunger cues and see where that gets me.

My new look on life/new beginnings
My life has been a complete roller coaster of ups and downs so far this year. I almost bought a house, then it fell through at the last minute (Do not even MESS with houses in flood plains, for the love of everything) and I was totally deflated and at a really low, dark place…then our living situation completely changed overnight and that house falling through was actually a blessing in disguise. Chris and I have since decided to move back to Muncie…our friends are there, my mom is there, the houses are more affordable, and it’s really just a better place to raise a child in our opinion. We will both keep our jobs here and commute. (It’s only 10 more miles than I drive now anyway.) We are now in the process of buying a cute little starter home in Muncie in a great neighborhood. We both couldn’t be more excited and as soon as we decided to move back to Muncie, a huge wave of relief washed over both of us. We are still pretty stressed out just due to general ‘buying a house’ stressors, but I feel much more knowledgeable and prepared in this go-round. I also am a lot happier about this process than I was with the first one. This time it feels right. Hopefully, this is one of those gut feelings that means good things are finally coming my way. I really need a break from all of this drama.

On top of the house/living situation drama, I’ve had some revelations in terms of the way I see myself. When I got my first fill in December, I was telling my friend Kelly about it and she said something to me that didn’t really sink in until a month or so later. (Feel free to correct me if I paraphrase this wrong, Kelly.) She told me she was concerned that I was putting too much weight (no pun intended) on the lap band/losing weight instead of being happy with myself first. She wanted me to see myself in a positive light instead of constantly yearning for the perfect size/weight/etc. At the time, I assured her I wasn’t going to beat myself up if the weight didn’t fall off like it did before. I know my body is different and I really know that this is NOT going to be my main focus as it once was…at least not any time soon.

A few weeks after this conversation, I came upon this awesome blog post that had a fat girl posing with a small, tattooed male model in an anti-Abercrombie ad (because Abercrombie hates fat people, per their company president). You can see this article here.  Then I found the girl that was in those pictures had a blog of her own. It was about her struggle with body positivity and trying to break down the barriers that make being fat so taboo. She was doing a campaign called “Smash the Scale”. You can read about it here. That campaign had pictures of this woman, in all of her 5’2”, fat girl frame, along with a plethora of women of all sizes and shapes and colors literally smashing scales with sledge hammers. I loved the idea of the campaign, but more so, I saw these women of all sizes in short dresses and fishnets with combat boots, skinny jeans and leather jackets, swing dresses with their boobs out and proud with their war faces on and I had this epiphany: These women look AMAZING and empowered. They don’t care if society thinks they shouldn’t wear tight clothes or short dresses if you are over a size 12. They don’t care if people think their funky hair or crazy clothes are weird… So why do I constantly tell myself that I will wear fun and funky things like that, or do a pinup photo shoot with awesome vintage hair and make-up and a swing dress as soon as I get to my goal weight? Why the eff am I waiting to reach a certain weight to do the things I really want to do and wear what I really want to wear? I’ve always prided myself on being awesome (because I am) and different and a bit of a nonconformist, but I’ve recently realized how much my obsession (for lack of a better word) with my weight has really held me back from being the me I want to be.

It was that moment, looking at those pictures of all of those awesome women, that I realized the only person holding me back from being that awesome was me. No one is telling me I can’t dress that way but ME. I can say I know I’m awesome all I want to, but I always felt like a bit of a hypocrite saying it because I didn’t really FEEL like I was that awesome. So, I’m working on changing that. I’ve decided to finally throw out the majority of my wardrobe and start all over again. I have had the same clothes since I got out of high school and started working at Lane Bryant. I am way overdue for a new look. I have always loved the pinup/rockabilly style. I started doing research on it; the clothes, the hair, the make-up. It was pretty overwhelming at first, but I reminded myself that I don’t HAVE to do everything in a traditional way. That’s the whole point of being empowered and being yourself, right? BE YOURSELF. If I want to wear a swing dress with big hair and no make-up, who cares? If I want to wear bright red lipstick with skinny jeans and combat boots, THEN I WILL! I will take what I want from ALL of the styles I have always liked and make it my own. I’m 28 years old (almost 29…yikes!), I think it’s high time I developed a look that is all my own. My first step has already been completed… NEW HAIR. See pics below. 

In the midst of all of these life-changing, body empowering revelations, I came upon another amazing body-positive blogger. She is the girl in the ‘fat girl dancing’ videos flying around Facebook and the internet. She has a campaign she is about to launch called the No Body Shame Campaign. You can read about this here. She is another one of the women out there that help remind me that I don’t have to constantly focus on my weight and let it determine my happiness. And I don’t have to hold myself back from doing what I really want to do just because I think I’m too fat. Who am I too fat for? Not my husband, or my baby, or my family and friends…just me apparently. I’m too fat for myself. Well, that’s going to change damnit. I know it’s not going to be easy for me to try to change 20+ years of body shaming, self-loathing, and distorted thinking, but I am going to do my very best to try.

Now you may be asking yourself… so does this mean you aren’t going to try to lose weight now? What about your lap band? ALL THAT TIME AND MONEY WASTED? Well, yes, I think I am going to stop TRYING to lose weight. Instead, I am going to focus on being healthy and I am going to move more when I can, but I am not going to beat myself up if the weight doesn’t fall off. I am going to focus on my family, and my new home, and my job, and my happiness…not a number on the scale. I am going to LEARN to love myself at any size and be happy with who I am on the outside as much as I love myself on the inside (which I am also going to work on). I have wasted far too many years putting myself down because I didn’t look like I thought I was supposed to look like. I want to show my child that we are all different and that is awesome. I want him to grow up to love himself inside and out and I know that to teach him that, I have to be able to do it myself.  

Operation be as awesome as you are has started.