Monday, July 28, 2014


We were in Benicia, coming back from Reno, when it happened. There was a hummus plate and a HUGE stack of something fried, dippables. I said to Adam: "I'm having one. I don't care."

He said: "Your body will care."

He was right. Shit-shit-shit.

I was so pissed. What the hell had I done to myself? I mutilated myself, and for what? Then I got home and realized I'd lost weight. In Reno, of all places. It's a start.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Seventh Tradition

Basically, the Seventh Tradition of OA is giving money to them. I shouldn't knock this. I mean, an organization's gotta support itself, right? And they are very proud of being self-supporting, so I contribute every time.

It just seemed like a lot to base an entire meeting on, you know? I felt as though we were being guilted, but in twelve-step language. I just started to write: "That said ..." and shift into a more positive gear, but why? I don't have to excuse criticisms. I have them, and it's okay to have them. It doesn't mean the program isn't helping me. I'm coming up on 25 pounds down. But I find there's a lot of repetition and stiff language, and I'm not sure why that's there.

My shares, as they call them, are pretty weak. I never know what to say. I usually wind up stammering through my story and then just saying "Thank you." I have yet to hit the time limit. But I will continue to go to these meetings until such time as I don't think they're helping me, and then I may continue to go regardless.

Because I can't do this on my own. I'm too practiced a compulsive eater to stop without some sort of traction from an outside body. And if you want to consider that the OA Higher Power, then so be it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A trickier path

I'm moving into soft foods, which means a lot more choices and a lot more ways to screw up. Right now I have a cup of split pea soup in front of me ... with little toasts that I'm dying to eat. I won't, though. But here's where I have to really take responsibility and stick with the straight and narrow. I went to the surgeon today for my check-up and things are looking great. It really needs to stay that way.

23 pounds down

I'm hitting that third-week stall that people have been talking about, but still I have continued to lose weight, albeit at a much slower pace. Today I have my one-month checkup with my surgeon. It'll be a month on the 25th. I'm so much happier to be on the other side of things -- and tomorrow I get to start soft foods! Food I can actually chew -- well, unless you've been there, it's hard to know that happiness.

I guess I could be mad about this condition I have, this Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. I mean, it's essentially the reason I've undergone all these procedures, the laser hair removal, the weight-loss surgeries. Yes, when it comes to the latter, I've often overeaten, but there is something to having this adrenal condition and being on a steroid that makes it truly difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Now 85 percent of my stomach is gone and I'm stoked about eating soft foods tomorrow. Perspective, huh?

Friday, July 18, 2014

The first step

Once we have become teachable, we can give up old thought and behavior patterns which have failed us in the past, beginning with our attempts to control our eating and our weight. Honest appraisal of our experience has convinced us that we can't handle life through self-will alone. First we grasp this knowledge intellectually, and then finally we come to believe it in our hearts. When this happens, we have taken the first step and are ready to move ahead in our program of recovery.

- The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous

I think they're right in the sense that admission begins in the brain and moves eventually to the heart. I've always known I had a problem with food, but I didn't know it where it counted. These three weeks since the surgery are working to change that. Stripped of my usual defenses, I am carb- and caffeine-less. I have way more energy, though I do tend to crash because I'm still recovering from the surgery.

I seem to be reaching for a grand conclusion here and there is none. There is only continuing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tired today

Three weeks out and my energy is still not 100 percent dependable. I mean, what did I do this morning/afternoon? Had coffee with a friend and got my hair done. Not exactly taxing, right? Then why was I so tired when I got home?

I'm hitting that third-week stall and it's to be expected. Slightly frustrating, but expected. There are times when this thing is really hard. I was hanging out with friends last night and everyone was getting drunk and munching on croutons and salami. (It looked better than it sounds -- they were big old garlic croutons.) Then again, I didn't hate myself afterwards because all I had was water.

This is what I look like now:
 I can see how my eyes look bigger and my chin looks smaller. It's happening.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three weeks out

I'm definitely hitting the three-week stall, which is pretty common in vertical sleeve patients because I'm no longer just eating Jell-O and sugar-free popsicles. I'm not 100 percent fine with it, but I'm as okay as I can be. This isn't a race, right? I'm doing everything the way it should be done. The other night I dreamt I went to a buffet and cheated my ass off. Fortunately, of course, it was just a dream. In reality I wouldn't even be able to do that. I went to lunch with a friend yesterday and had an egg and yogurt. Was stuffed after a few bites. Is this unnatural? Of course. Does it work? I'm thinking yes.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Three-legged dog party in Duboce Park

Adam and I took Captain Jack, an awesome boy currently with Northern California Family Dog Rescue, to this party yesterday. Today Adam and the Captain are stars!

Writing from today's OA meeting

I can't tell if it's getting easier or harder. Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Do I miss the midnight binges? I mean, really miss them? Do I miss how I felt the next morning, guilty and angry with myself? We all idealize. I am no different. But what point is there in sticking on the rose-colored glasses around harmful behavior? I'm down nearly 22 pounds. My clothes are looser. My rings are looser. I have more energy and less pain. Feeling distracted by someone who just sat down next to me. Noisy and strong perfume. Chewing gum loudly. Love thy neighbor? Not so much.

This morning I had cottage cheese pureed with a little kiwi, kefir and water. It's rather safe for me to have limited choices. What happens when I go back to the big wide world of food? I have to remember that nothing will ever be the same, nor do I want it to be. I have made a change. I want to keep that change, use it. I'm on a different path now. That path is not a panacea, but it is a hell of a lot better than where I was going before. Yet I have doubts, worry, cynicism.

Love equals food, right? What culture doesn't believe that? Love and food, comfort, happiness. It's not just fuel. It's the fire.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

About the food

It stands to reason that any weight-loss surgery will come with its own strict dietary plan. The vertical sleeve is certainly no different. While each bariatric program varies, this is a pretty reasonable approximation of what I'm looking at.

Immediately after surgery, I had no damn interest in eating anything, so it's good that I had IV fluids. During the first full day, they brought me a clear-liquid meal: chicken broth, a Jell-O approximation, hot tea. I barely wanted any of it. I picked at the Jell-O, sipped at the broth and pretty much ignored the tea. Then they graduated me to full liquids. The subsequent meal consisted of a protein shake (caramel, something I've found to be an unusual flavor in such fare) and something called Kozy Shack pudding, in addition to tea. I dug into that, which means I maybe ate three or four bites.

Then I went home. For two weeks I was on the full liquids diet, which basically consists of Jell-O, sugar-free popsicles, yogurt, protein shakes, milk and broth. It was about as exciting as it sounds. By the time it was done, I would've eaten my own fucking arm off for a bite of cottage cheese. No, I'm not kidding. I wish I were.

Starting last Wednesday, I went on purees. This is like heaven. I can have refried beans, tuna salad, lentil soup and so much more, including the aforementioned cottage cheese, so long as I put them in the Nutribullet beforehand. My energy is twelve times better and I feel so much more solid than when I was sipping at chicken broth with protein powder. I think I can handle this for another week and a half, and then I go to soft foods. This will be the first time I've eaten anything remotely normal. Fish. I'll be able to eat fish! I wonder if that includes sashimi. Probably not. I'll ask my surgeon, though.

As of today I'm down nearly 22 pounds. I'm not going to say this is the easy way because trust me, it's not. When I was throwing up blood in the hospital the night after the surgery, I knew it wouldn't be easy. It hasn't been. But is it worth it? So far: yes.


Love isn't going out dancing and having sex twenty times afterward. It's holding out your arms to your wife in the hospital, saying: "Hang onto me. I'll pull you up."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Overeaters Anonymous: Step One

We admitted we were powerless over food -- that our lives had become unmanageable.

I went to an OA meeting today. It was pretty good. They didn't have Brownie Bites, though they did at the NA meeting downstairs. Is that fair, I ask you? We don't get to smoke pot. Why do they have food? And the meeting was on the second floor. They make the fat people climb?

I'm going back.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It's all around us

Food is everywhere. I'm sitting in a cafe right now and I can smell the syrup of the pancakes, feel the crunch of a croissant in my mouth. There is a guy with two cartons of cherry tomatoes near me and I just want to take them and run.

Today is the last day of my two-week liquid diet. Thank God. As I was telling my agent Naomi over email today, woman cannot live on Jello and popsicles alone. I'm doing well, though. I'm 17 pounds down and went to the gym for the first time since the surgery yesterday. Not bad considering that surgery was a little less than two weeks ago. I'm keeping it light and building it back up to my normal workout.

And that's the thing: I won't have to incorporate exercise into my life, because I've already done that. I won't have to minimize my appetite, because believe it or not mine is naturally small. I won't have to tell myself this is important ... though who am I fooling? I will have to do so every day of my life.

Here is how I look as of this morning.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Down 17 pounds

In less than two weeks ... 17 pounds. That's what happens when your stomach is reduced to nearly nothing and you're on full liquids. So what have I been eating? Let's see: chicken broth, Jello, yogurt, protein shakes (yuck), popsicles, strained cream soups ... that sort of thing. Yum yum, huh? Well, on Wednesday I move to purees and believe me, after two weeks of this shit, I'm looking forward to that.

My energy's been up and down. It's up today and I'm in Pacifica working. Then I plan to go to the gym for the first time since the surgery. Yes, Mom, I'm taking it easy on myself.

Onward ...

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Every status on Facebook makes me want to hurl. 

Funny post-surgery moment

They got me settled into my bed and I was still flying high from the anesthesia. My bedside phone rang and I knew it would be someone I wanted to talk to. I picked up and said: "Hello?" Adam's voice said: "Uh ... hi. Is Allison there?" I must've been SO out of it for him not to recognize my voice! He later said he'd never heard me sounding less perky. Well, duh, honey.