The Fat Crawler Experience
Journal (October 2003)
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My Journal for October 2003

October 4, 2003
The leaves are falling, the season is changing, and so have I.  Nothing is the same as it was before.  My family seems to be coming apart at the seams and all I can do is sit back and watch it happen.  I've changed, too.  Right now I feel like my life is stuck on pause and it's the part right before something climatic happens.  Every day is the same thing.  The bickering, the dogs barking, the kids complaining about everything, the housecleaning, the songs on my radio; none of it ever changes significantly.  The only things that change are the numbers on the scale and my attitude toward my life.  Perhaps it's a bout of self-pity, but I don't even feel that.  I don't feel much of anything anymore besides frustration at the monotiny.  I still get out and do things.  I went to a Martina McBride concert only a few days ago, but I feel as if my life has no forward momentum.  It's like I want to continue of the road of life, but the part of the map that shows my destination got ripped off somehow.  I know that something significant has to be coming very soon, but it's hard waiting.  And I also know that whatever path I decide to take at this point will determine things for the rest of my life.  Should I give up on childish dreams?  Should I follow through with my former wishes with stubborn determination?  All I know for certain is that the decision won't be made today and tomorrow doesn't look good either.  Monday I will wake up, clean the house, help the kids with their homework, cook dinner, listen to my parents bicker over whatever childish idea they can conceive for that moment, and I'll go in my room and close the door, trying to drown their voices out of my head.  I am not looking for material things.  I'm looking for a purpose... to live, to exist, to stay, to go.  Anything.  But the purpose never comes.  At least tomorrow's my day off, so I won't have to wake up and face the world until Monday.
October 17, 2003
I have been terribly sick for the past week or so, but also terribly busy.  A little over a week ago, I decided to pull my old '65 Chevy pickup out of storage and begin restoring it.  It was my grandfather's when I was little and he left it to me when he died about ten years ago.  Now that I'm a broke college student with no viable income, I've decided that since I don't have anything else to do, I may as well get around to restoring that.  Now if you know anything about mechanics or body work, you know that this is not an inexpensive endeavor.  All I know is that I need to stop wasting money and start pooring every dime into that truck.  Well, after about three or four days of sandblasting the rust off the ancient frame, I came down with the cold from hell.  Everybody in the family got it, but of course I got hit with it ten times worse than the rest.  I could barely talk or move for four days when I finally went to the doctor.  It started out as a slight sore throat (which I attempted to treat with brandy, and ended up very drunk), then escalated to an onslaught of epic proportions.  My whole body was aching, my head was pounding, the coughing was non-stop, and the throat hurt worse than ever.  Finally I took a visit to my doctor.  She didn't seem all too concerned with my cold other than my ear was terribly red and swollen inside.  She gave me some pills, but also wanted to know how my post-op life was going.  I told her that it was pretty good and about how I had lost 96 pounds in about four and a half months.  She seemed impressed at first.  Then she asked if I was sticking to the diet.  I told her that the portion sizes weren't really an issue because I never want to eat a lot, and I couldn't if I did want to.  Then I told her how I had gotten sick that day because I had a chocolate bar and some juice.  (By the way, that was the first time I ever threw up from eating sugar.  I always feel sick, but I threw up really badly for the first time where it wasn't a problem with chewing.)  She just looked at me and said "You're going to get diabetes."  She didn't say it as a warning, she said it as if it were an undeniable fact that deeply disappointed her.  I was so shocked by her reaction that I sort of fumbled my words in response.  She then checked my blood pressure.  After my follow-up at the hospital a couple of weeks ago, they told me to continue on my blood pressure medicine until I talked it over with my doctor because I always read high at the hospital.  Well, I believe part of the problem to be that, first of all, they're machine doesn't fit fat people (Why?  The whole department's devoted to gastric bypass patients!) and it usually takes about five tries to get a reading.  Second of all, every single time they measure my blood pressure down there, they do it immediately after I get off the scales.  This may not make a difference to most people, but it is a big physical struggle for me to stand for about thirty seconds to get an accurate reading on the scale.  Of course my blood pressure will be high if I was just doing severe exercise, even if it was a short amount of time.  On the other hand, blood pressure medicine can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening even if you need it, and downright deadly if you don't.  Well, of course my blood pressure wasn't high at all when I went to my doctor's office.  She told me not to take anymore of that medication and I would be fine.  Well, I'm still here, so I guess it wasn't all that detrimental.
October 18, 2003
Sometimes it's hard to hear the music through the noise.
October 21, 2003
Things have been looking up.  Someone offered to buy my car that I don't really use, which is almost the exact amount of my credit card bill.  That means it's almost paid off!  I have also started doing, not one, but two Richard Simmons videos nearly every day.  I think the exercise has helped a lot with the depression I was going through.  I've also started subconsciously setting weightloss goals without really acknowledging them until now.  First I wanted to get below 400 pounds, then it was 343 (my lowest weight in mexico), and the past few weeks have been focused on getting my weightloss to over 100 pounds.  Last night I weighed in at 328, which means I've lost 99.  If only I had weighed in before dinner!  I have also started thinking about getting below 300.  In all honesty, I never thought I would be that thin again.  It's funny.  A lot of people couldn't imagine themselves being above 300 pounds.  I can't imagine being below it.  I haven't been that low on the scales since I was seventeen in high school.  It's tres bizarre!  But I think the exercise is helping in a couple of ways.  I'm losing much faster now, I really think it's releasing endorphins, and I feel good about myself for having stuck with it.  I'm also doing more than I've ever done.  About a month before surgery, when I was trying to lose weight to get approval, I could bare get halfway through one episode.  Now I easily do two videos, and by the end, I wish it weren't over.  It also makes it so much easier to drink all of the water I need to get in each day.  I drink a Nalgene bottle full through each workout (about 34 ounces of water).  Talk about a boost on drinking.  I've also been seriously considering moving back to Mexico if I can get walking again.  If I could walk, I could ride public buses that are much cheaper than the taxis I had to ride when I was there studying.  That was one of my biggest expenses and also why I couldn't afford to do an internship of teaching English when I was there before.  At the very least I am thinking about an extended trip if I can save up enough money.  If I pay off my credit card, my only real expenses will be the truck I'm restoring (that I'm sort of regretting having started) and the Internet access.  Also, my college loan payments will be starting in a couple of months, but I should still be able to put a few dollars away if I don't waste my money.  All I know is that I need to do something different, and taking baby steps seems to be the best way to get me there.  I love my family, I love my home, but at heart I have to travel.  I have to see other places.  I go stir-crazy when I'm in one place too long.  I went through it in Mexico when I was there too long, but I was also short on cash and transportation, two things I'm hoping to overcome, should I go back.  At least for today, things are looking up.
October 24, 2003
Today is the two-year anniversary of the beginning of my journal.  It has been a really long time.  To celebrate the special occasion, I decided to go to the hospital three days early to weigh in so I could put my official weight here.  How odd that I have lost exactly one hundred pounds.  I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to see that.  Even though it has only been four days since I last weighed in, I have been exercising like a mad fiend with good ol' Dicky.  I even ordered four more movies online this week so that I have more variety in the future.  I was very much expecting to have lost at least three pounds in the last four days because of it all, but alas, I only lost one pound.  But that's okay... I mean, for crying out loud, I've lost a hundred pounds!  That's a Backstreet Boy, as a couple of my friends have so nicely put it.  Well, as part of my anniversary, I wanted to take a look back at the beginning.  I was so desparate back then.  I was still waiting for my way out of hell.  I needed a lot of answers and even more solutions.  Thankfully I have gotten a lot of them.  It's weird to think that even though I have lost a hundred pounds, I am almost exactly the same weight as I was when I started the journal.  It really makes me angry to think how much of my time and life was wasted because the hospital dicked me around so much.  But I'm also thankful to have gotten this far.  When I started writing, I don't think I actually believed there was a way out or that if there would, it would never be an option for me.  Now I find myself considering moving on to newer and higher places and thinking about reconstructive surgeries.  They are both things that I have to wait a while to fulfill, but looking back, I suppose they really aren't all that far away.  Before I know it, I will be forty with a mortgage, wondering how I ever could have been so young, stupid, and insecure.  I still wonder how I could have been so much like that two years ago.  Well, today I passed two milestones (three if you count my vigilance with exercise videos), so I suppose it's been a pretty good day.  I'm healthier than I was.  I'm still working on the "and happier" part.  But at least I'm more "healthy and happy" than "fat and happy".  I'm on the other side and able to help myself and others.  Good for me.

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