Category Archives: Sleep

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Day One

The process to be approved for weight-loss surgery is not short, but if the end result leads me to incredible health benefits it’ll be worth it. It’s slightly less overwhelming now that I’ve spoken to my doctor about everything I need to do in preparation, but it’s going to be a long road.

The surgeon sent me a checklist that must be completed before I can be approved, and the process has begun:

  • Clearance from Cardiologist with a recent EKG – I had an EKG a few weeks ago, and it came back normal. Whew! I still have to see a cardiologist though, which means I have to find one soon.
  • Psychological Evaluation – I’m in the healthiest place I’ve ever been in my heart and mind, so that doesn’t seem like a big deal. I just need to schedule an appointment.
  • Pulmonology Evaluation – I have to have a pulmonary function test and an arterial blood gas. I really have no idea what this means, but it sounds like it might hurt. Yikes!
  • Blood work with a TSH within the last 12 months – I did this a few weeks ago too, but if they need more blood I’ll let them poke me again. I think we’re good are though.
  • Physician supervised weight loss and exercise program for 6 months – My insurance pays for Weight Watchers meetings, which counts. I’m already doing pretty well there, so I’m going to keep it up. Today was my first of 6 appointments that will be specific to my weight-loss progress. I’ll see my doctor again a month from now, and I hope to be 8 to 10 pounds lighter.
  • Dietician Evaluation – This seems pretty straight forward, and I think I could benefit greatly from it. I’ll do that on the same day as my surgical visit.

I’ve been doing well with Weight Watchers lately, and I’m finally starting to feel well after a few weeks of pain due to skin issues. I haven’t exercised in over two weeks, but I think I’m well enough to start again. Unfortunately, there’s no prescription or remedy to completely fix the problem, so even though it hurts again I have to deal with it.

sleep studyTonight I’m doing a sleep study, which should be interesting. Thankfully, they sent me home with the equipment, so I’m not required to spend the night anywhere else. It seems invasive, but it won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as sleeping in a hospital or another strange place.

I typically sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested, so I’m guessing I’m okay. I’m just going to do every test they suggest with the hope that it will lead me to a healthier place overall.

This process feels overwhelming to me, but I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how life would be different. I already love my life! I have a loving family, a great job, a group of good friends, a boyfriend who is thoughtful, encouraging and understanding, a comfortable home and a bright future. I don’t want any of that to change; I just want my health to improve long-term, so I  can enjoy the life I’m already living. It would be cool to be able to buy jeans again too, but I think I’m pretty close to that right now.

 

 

 

 

 

Obesity and Energy Levels

I receive a lot of unsolicited advice about my “health,” and most of the time I appreciate it because people care enough to say something. It’s an important issue, but my size doesn’t accurately portray my energy level to many looking at me from a distance. 

Say what you want about my need to lose weight. That’s an undisputable fact, but I’m going to brag about my energy levels for a moment. 

I get up around 6 am during the week, and I’m up almost as early on Sunday mornings. Most days I’m away from home for more than 12 hours at a time. I’m gnerally not the “sit on the sofa while eating pizza while binging on Netflix” type, though I did make an exception for House of Cards. I’m the “wake up, hit the ground running, let’s smile because it’s finally time to be awake” type (at least most days.) 

I sleep well. When my head hits the pillow, it usually isn’t long until I’m dreaming. I typically feel rested when I wake up. I indulge in occassional Sunday naps, but it’s not a requirement…not even close. 

I have more energy and endurance than a lot of people who are much smaller than I am, but I don’t have as much as I had two years ago. This isn’t a post about comparing myself to other people because I don’t do that; this is about me. 

I’m aggravated with myself because I gained a significant amount of weight back, but I’m doing better. I’m consistenly eating less and making better choices. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s been better for the last few months. 

My routine feels pretty solid now, but I need to exercise more than I do. I need to do it consitently because I know that it will lower my stress levels and increase my energy levels. It’s a win-win, so why am I struggling to do it? 

I’m busy from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I enjoy everything I do, so rarely does it feel like burden. I’m thankful for that. I don’t prioritize my workouts, which is no secret here. I know that needs to change, which is also not a secret. 

I know that I need to continue taking steps in the a healthier direction. I’m doing that by cooking chicken in my slow cooker and bringing my lunch to work, making more time to get enough sleep, drinking water, and eating vegetables. I know that there’s so much more to do. 

I just find it a little frustrating (and silly) that people (though most of them mean well) spend their time and effort telling me how I should detox, or how I should do this or that because it will give me more energy, etc. It’s odd because those people (the recent ones) aren’t as healthy, balanced, or energized as I am. They’re just skinnier. 

I don’t offer a lot of unsolicited advice, but if I did, I’d start by suggesting that people offer less unsolicited advice. I’d follow that up with the need to recognize that our looks don’t always portray everything that’s happening on the inside. In fact, it rarely does. 

This isn’t something that I plan to lose sleep over. It’s just a little PSA for those well-intentioned, yet misguided folks. I’m okay. I could sugarcoat what I’m about to say, but it’s not intended to be mean:

If you’re talking about this with me and I yawn, it’s probably just because these talks bore me. Thank you for caring. Just take a bit more time to pay attention to the reality of my situation if you’re going to comment on it. I’m juggling my priorities right now, and I’ll keep trying to do better. 

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 

Collossians 3:17

Is Awake Really the New Sleep?

I don’t usually have trouble sleeping.  Sure, I go to bed later than the average person, but when my head hits the pillow I enter dreamland pretty quickly.

I’m not the ‘tossing and turning’ type. When I sleep, I typically sleep soundly and wake up feeling refreshed.

I curl up with my pillows between my micro-fleece sheets, under multiple blankets (because I’m usually freezing) and drift to sleep.  But over the last few nights it hasn’t happened that way.  My sleep has been restless.

The last few nights my dreams have been extraordinarily similar.  They’ve been vivid and happy too, but I wake up feeling like I never quite rested.

Sleeping was chore before my body started shrinking, but I’ve grown accustomed to sleeping well.  And I don’t know what’s wrong.

I’m hoping for restful sleep tonight because I have a mid-term exam tomorrow and a long day surrounding it.

Has anyone else experienced this?   If so, did something change, or did your peaceful sleep return when it was ready to?

 

I Feel Lucky

Snow is falling outside my window, and everything is surprisingly quiet and beautiful. It’s almost time to shower and head to the airport so I should be sleeping. But I’m too excited to sleep.
I can’t explain why I’m so excited about going to Vegas. I mean, I love it, but it’s not like I haven’t been there before. This trip is particularly exciting on many levels, including the fact that I’ll get to see friends from a few different states. I’m also going to meet one of my favorite bloggers. I was reading her blog before I even had my own! I’m also going to see a long time friend who lives across the country, in addition to spending time with my loving, super hot and awesome boyfriend.
My bags are packed – including the ziploc bags full of carrots and cucumbers along with the sandwich and other things that I’ll take to eat on the plane. The flight from NYC to Las Vegas is long, but I’m prepared. My boyfriend will thank me for this when he realizes that he’s hungry too!
I just have a feeling that this is going to be a great week! I hope I’m right! And I hope it’s as good for all of you as it is for me. Wish me luck!

Sleeping Habits

It is so easy for me to fall into a pattern of staying awake way too late. And it’s a terrible cycle to get into because it’s hard to work my way back into a healthy schedule.

I always stay up late, but I think I should be in bed by 1 am during the week — not 3 or 4. I was not even home by 1 am last night though I think I fell asleep around 2 am. I do not always stay awake that late, but I do it often enough to think about whether or not I should do it less. 😉
Someone commented today on how much energy I have. It’s true – I already workout several times a week and do cardio with a smile on my face. Can you imagine how much more energy I’d have if I slept properly on a consistent basis?
(You’d probably have to click on the pic to read the fortunes my friend and
I received recently, but the top fortune
says “Come back later. I’m sleeping. Yes, cookies need their sleep too.”)
I work in a field that requires me to be alert and pretty precise so I’m going to make an effort to step it up a notch. I’m curious to see how I’ll feel if I sleep 8 hours each night over the next few weeks. I’ll post my results.
Am I the only one who stays awake too late? Do you have a sleep routine? If so, does it come easily or do you have to work at it?