October 16, 2010 at 3:38 pm (Health, Mind and Soul, Weight Loss Surgery) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

What was I said in my last post? That I’d write piecemeal little excerpts of whatever is on my mind? Has it happened? Hell the fuck no. Am I disappointed in myself? Hell the fuck yes. In more ways that I can probably portray. I am trying to turn a lot of things about my life around because I am intensely unhappy and change must occur if I am to move forward with my life and my plans. But I am letting the same obstacles and excuses to block my path as usual. That is not to say that progress has not been made. I joined an all female gym down the street and have been working out 3 times a week for 1-1.5 hours at a time. I have not seen any weight progress at all but I most definitely am noticing a muscular difference. I am constantly pushing boundaries to see how much I can handle and trying new things to see where I need more work.

My routine thus far is as follows: I start off with 30 minutes of stationary bike. Cardio isn’t my strongest suit but I have been told by the trainers there that I am doing well (I am not using a trainer at this point, I am just using my own body as a guide) 30 minutes on bike starting at resistance 5 and increasing to as high as 9, this gets me about 5 miles. I’ve been told that’s a good amount. I have no idea. I just know I sweat like crazy and my thighs feel like you could bounce a quarter off of them.

After that I hit the weight machines. Waist/hip rotary machine thingy where you sit in the seat and twist from side to side starting at 50 pounds, 2 reps of 20 on each side. Full spectrum of arm exercises. I have weak girly (and flabby) arms. I usually start off at 30 or 40 pounds and do 2 or 3 sets of 12 or more depending on how strong I feel that day. I have noticed a lot of new muscles in my upper arms. I am trying to work out my shoulders as I have had shoulder problems since high school and it runs in the family ending in surgery. Unpleasant.

Back extensions start at about 150 also doing 2 – 3 reps of 20. If I am feeling up to it I lessen the range and push the weight to 190 and do 2 sets of 20 at a very limited motion to work the tiny muscles.

Hip abductions and adductions (or whatever they are called. Both where you push out and in) start at 120, also 2 – 3 reps of 20.

Leg presses start at about 120 and go up. I am disappointed with myself here. In high school I once did 4 reps of 400 pounds without hurting myself. Alas. I am no longer a teenager.

There are a variety of other leg workouts I do but I don’t remember their names. The one where you place the cushioned bar in front of your ankle and push upwards and it works out the front of your thighs (to death!) I am surprisingly weak there. I do 4 sets of 20 reps at 40 pounds and get a good workout there. My knees still creak but don’t hurt (unless the weather changes or I get my period, then it aches like crazy) so I am trying to build this set of muscles to help support my poor knees.

Aaaand the newly introduced seated crunch thingy where you have to lift your legs up to your chest. I avoided this thing for a while because it was the first thing I tried at the gym and was confused as to why I couldn’t do a damn thing on it. Now that I have more experience with the machines I am more comfortable with it but that is certainly the one I am weakest at. I started out with a minus 10 weight. I was very surprised. But I am proud to say that I am at the minus 5 mark. There. Progress!

I have no set routine, I work out the parts I feel need to be worked out. If I feel a body part has had enough time to rest while I was working something else I go work out that part till it gets tired again.

But alas. As I said. I am not seeing any weight loss. I am still at 265. At times I feel like I can eat a lot. Other times, not at all. For example, this morning (or afternoon really) when I woke up, the milk I was drinking was going down very slowly. Tightness is common in lapband patients when they first wake up. I have heard this has to do with the presence of some kind of hormone we have in our system when we sleep.

I don’t eat like a saint. By any means. I just made a batch of flapjacks for gods sake!) But I do not eat like someone who isn’t watching what they are eating. I can’t stand fast food. Thankfully the fast food here is dreadful. I try to only go out to eat once a week and am fairly successful. And when I do, I only eat half or 1/3rd of what is served and take the rest home and eat it the next day. Pretty good huh? Definitely better than pre-surgery.

I always cook my food for breakfast lunch and dinner. My food in my little 1-1.5 cup glass bowls. I can put away about 2 cups at a maximum (of course dependent on what kind of food it is!) I am trying not to over-analyze these things but I have moments when I question if I should be able to eat this much down the road. I am currently at 9.42 cc’s out of 11 for my Realize band. You have to remember that every person is different and feels restriction at different levels. I am not all the way there yet. But I am working on bettering myself for certain when it comes to eating.

What IS discouraging is the lack of lapband doctors around here. There are two places and the one place requires that you join their weight loss program and pay $500. All adjustments after that are treated as doctor visits but are not done with a fluoroscopy. Oddly, I am considering joining this program when I learn more of it. The $500 will pay for itself with just 2.5 lapband adjustments.

But, at the moment I am struggling with several other issues. The subsequent impending move to a new apartment. Unless we can find 2 bedroom for less than $590 in a good are it looks like that is our best option. At least this will not be a blind move. My friend from work lives there and I have visited on several occasions. The complex is nice, the community QUIET and respectful. I stand to save at least $150 a month just by making that move. And the funny part? It’s only 1 mile away from the current apartment. The downsides are that it is a smaller apartment and only has 1 bathroom.

My biggest issue right now is the job. I have been ready to leave this job for a long time. Just before we were told about this relocation I was bound and determined to put in my 2 weeks notice after 2 months. Then the opportunity came to get out of LA on someone else’s dime. I’d be stupid to say no! I’d have a job when millions were desperate for work and I’d be in a healthier, less polluted area. All of this is true! I still have my job. I am in a better area. But it still does not change that I absolutely loathe the job. Man is not made to work in a box in front of another box that glows punching bits of information with their fingers on a bunch of little tiny boxes. But this is part and parcel of today’s world and we all have to do what we must to get by. I think I’d be willing to cope with a menial job if it would allow me the time and headspace to think when I get home and be able to work on projects. But honestly? This place demands 120% all the time and hasn’t bothered to give me a raise in over 4 years. Not even for the higher job position I applied for and got almost 2 years ago. The job, truly, is one of my biggest obstacles when it comes to initiating and sustaining my projects. Like this blog. Am I 100% blaming it? No, more like 90%. I’m still unwilling to believe that if I pushed harder I’d accomplish more when I am flat out exhausted sometimes that all I want to do is sit down and watch a movie when I get home. The emotional energy is not there because it’s spent keeping my defenses up during the day. So I am trying to work out a plan that will get me out of this job and segue into something new. But I don’t know what yet. And I’m afraid that if I leave this job that I’ll be unable to get more stable work. I dunno. Fear is crippling. I am hoping that I can change my perspective enough that I will be able to have a secondary, creative career after work. Incidentally, I am not the only one at work who is really having a hard time. In fact, every person that I speak to that has relocated plans on leaving when our 1 year commitment is up. That is if they don’t let us go before then which is highly possible as well!

My biggest and deepest issue right now is loneliness. Yes. I live with my best friend. I work with some awesome people that I can identify with. But I had to cut the emotional strings of someone left behind in LA. It’s been incredibly difficult when I know they are suffering and are unwell. But there is only so much healing I can offer. And when they aren’t open to receiving it I am pouring my efforts into a bottomless well that I will very likely not see a rise in the water level. That person must put as much effort into healing as I do. Where does this leave me? To wander the vast desert wastelands once again. To try and find my way back to where I was before. Alone. And happy. Truly happy with my solitude. I could have seriously been romantically alone for the rest of my life with that mindset. But along came someone special and I felt rewarded; and for three very happy months, and for the first time in my life, I was ecstatic. I had no idea they were emotionally unwell and that things would take the path they did. But they did. And we both found our way back to light after a while. But now that I have moved it is as if a river has diverged. Will they ever converge again? I don’t know. I can’t wait around with the hopes that they will. In the meantime I am trying to cope with that bottomless sensation of loneliness and wonder how I can ever countenance being with someone ever again if it took 28 years to find just one.

So I write. Here. On a long neglected project. And in my mind for things to come and hope that it will be a serviceable distraction.


I forgot to mention the following! Very good stuff that I am hoping will make changes for me:

I was fortunate enough to find a very good general practitioner right across the street from work who did an in depth review of my blood labs and included extended thyroid testing that I don’t think my previous endocrinologist did for me. He found out that I have a high Reverse T3 level.

Let me give a very broadstroke understanding of the thryoid function.

The brain creates TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) that tells the thyroid to create T4 which is then converted in the body int T3 that controls EVERYTHING in the body. Synthroid is a very common medicine given to people who cannot create T4 (hypothroidic patients). The drug works however due to stress and other external factors the body creates reverse T3 which causes the body to go into a “survivalist” mode. This occurs in times of stress or famine or extreme circumstances. In those extreme circumstances this is very good as the body will survive off of what the body already has. In regular folk who are not in extreme circumstances, it causes weight gain, lack of energy (I have tons of energy mind you since I lost all that weight) and depression. So he changed my medicine from Synthroid (T4) to Armor Thyroid which is straight T3 hoping that this will reverse the reverse T3. I am only starting the 2nd week on the new drug so I will post updates on how that goes.


  1. Lisa said,

    Wow you’re journey can’t be easy. But follow through on your goals and stay strong. Its takes time and will. Good luck (=

  2. SoulEating said,

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words, Lisa!

    I’m learning new things about this journey and myself every day.

    PS – I love your website!! :)

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