Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Being Thankful...

Forgive me for not writing as much as I would like on my blog, but, I have been really sick since surgery. In and out of the hospital.

I am into my 7th week post-op surgery. I wished that I could say that I had more energy than Wonder Woman. I wished I could say that I even felt good. I wished I could say that I didn't regret the surgery. But, at week 7...it is official, I do regret it. Now, in 6 months....you may read this blog and see that I have changed my mind. Pray for me that I do.

But, what I realize is...I have been thinking and doing a lot of thankful praying. I prayed before, but, this surgery has brought me so much closer to God. Everyday I wake up and thank God for my health, my family, husband, friends and the amazing outpouring of support from my church. I do have so much to be thankful for. I watch Joel Osteen a lot and his messages of faith and endurance has really kept me going. That, and the Bible. I have found that since I am at my lowest point physically....I feel so close to God. I try not to complain that I still can't eat food or that I am weak, or hurting. I really do say "Thank you for letting me be alive".

I made this choice and it was my choice. I encourage everyone who ever goes into this to be prepared for the after effects. Especially if you are self pay. I have been in the hospital 3 times since surgery and I cannot imagine what it would be like if I did not have insurance.

The strain that this has put on my family is incredible. I try so hard not to feel guilty. But, I honestly prayed that I would be the one that would not be in the "small percentage" who has complications. And for some reason, I am in that percentage and I am trying to make the best of it. There has to be a reason. I do believe that I am going to get better. I really do.

I have lost 35 pounds, but, I would give it all back right now for my former life, even if I did have to take all those medicines that I was on before. I know this is not what everyone wants to hear. You all want to hear how fabulous it is. But, I have to be honest with myself and to others about each step of this process.

BUT, the good news is....everyday, I gain a little bit of strength. Albeit in very small doses. But, for even that...I am thankful. The biggest thanks is that I am alive and I have my mind. That part is doing good. I feel like if you have your mind and your faith..you can conquer just about anything. I believe that it will happen. Not sure when it is going to....but, isn't that what faith is all about?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Weight Loss Surgery is like a bad break-up

Ever been in love? I imagine everyone of us on this planet has experienced it to some degree. Ever had a break-up with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Some were bad and not so bad, right?

Well, right now in my life, I liken Weight Loss Surgery to a really bad break-up. You know the kind...where you know it was the right thing to do, but, it hurts so bad. Your friends try and console you and tell you everything is going to be alright. Your friends also tell you that if you get an urge to call him...DON'T...call us first!!!

Then, you do what you know you are not supposed to do. You call him. He is nice to you on the phone. Your heart flutters in hopes that there is a rekindled romance. He tells you that he can't talk right now, and you hear a female's voice in the background. You hang up the phone feeling stupid, mortified, and embarrassed. You want to throw up and in some cases...you do.

You don't tell your friends because they would tell you that you shouldn't have. You already know that, it is just that you couldn't resist the temptation.

The break-up is like a band-aid being ripped off and taking part of the skin with it. Some days you are looking out the window and tears cannot stop flowing because you want that part of your life back so bad. Then, there are the days that you know the right thing has happened. Your friends keep telling you that with each day, it will get better.

That is how the surgery has been for me. Granted, I am only 3 1/2 weeks out right now. But, comparing it to a bad break-up...I am right on par with the emotions that I am going through. I want so badly to have my strength back. I don't want to mourn anymore for my former self. My friends (support groups) all tell me that "this too shall pass". And just like a good friend, they tell you to call them if you feel the urge to take a bite of the forbidden aka sugar.

But, I did....just like the phone call they told you not to make. I did it anyway. I had to have a taste of that candy, and little bite of ice cream. Then, just like after making the call....I threw up for the remainder of the night and the toilet became my best friend. Feeling like an idiot for doing what I know is wrong...I crawl back to bed and a tear hits my pillow before falling asleep.

Today is a new day. It is beautiful outside and I try to put last night behind me and not dwell on it. I am trying to forgive myself. Mainly asking for forgiveness from my body who is so ticked off with me right now. I know that with every day....this will pass. I know that I must walk through the storm to get to the other side.

I am getting pretty drenched, but, I do see a rainbow up ahead.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

3 weeks post-op

Today is exactly 3 weeks since surgery. I know I haven't written in a month or more. But, I was really struggling with a lot of different emotions pre-surgery and now post. You would think that it would be better to write it all out. But, somehow, I bottled it all up.

I have to say this has been a hard recovery. it is strange, not so much the food. But, the frustration of exhaustion, limitations and how long it takes to get back to normal. I knew all of this going into it. But, it is different when you are actually in it. I have 3 children under the age of 7 and they have done great with Mommy out of surgery. My husband has been doing triple over time. My family has all pitched in, and friends. I am very blessed.

What I am most frustrated with is that I want to get my energy back so that I can take things off of my husbands plate and everyone elses. I am starting to feel that this is too much for him all the work he has done. He has not complained once about anything. But, I feel so guilty. I feel bad that I am not able to be there for my children like I want to. My daughter said to me that she liked the mommy before surgery better "because she could do stuff with us. " That broke my heart. I had only told them that I was having a tummy surgery to help mommy get healthy. I tried to explain to her that before too long we were going to be able to do lots of things together, more than we ever did. But, children are in the here and now and so, it is hard for them to understand. I can't blame them. But, I am trying....trying really hard to feel better.

I went to my post op check up this week and my dr. said that I needed to set my expectations. He felt that maybe they are too high. I think that I am supposed to be leaping from tall buildings and losing lots of weight. But, it wasn't happening. I had lost 12 at my post op. I lost 9 pre-op. Others in my group were 30 lbs, 38 lbs, 20 lbs. So, it was discouraging to me. He said that I was completely within the normal range. It was hard to be in a group with people who said they had more energy than they had had in their entire life. Here I am barely able to pick my head up off the table. I felt like a failure to be honest.

I also was very sick with the Boost while on liquid diet. Also, a set back was that I had to go back into the hospital two days out due to pancreatitis. Boy, was I frustrated and upset. I just got back to driving this week because I had been so weak and faint. We were afraid that i would pass out at the wheel. The doctor thought that when I was actually able to eat then I would do a lot better as well as taking me off of blood pressure medicine.

3 days later, I do feel better and now my weight is dropping. I over did it yesterday (halloween) and now I am paying for it today. The two steps forward, two steps back thing is difficult on me.

I know that I need to cut myself some slack. I am just having a rough go of it. But, I hear it is normal. Whatever that is :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weight and your past

I utterly and completely believe that so much of our weight comes from our past, our feelings about ourselves. I believe that our environment as a youth impacted our way of thinking about our bodies, especially as young women or men.

Educating our children now is so important. I am all for Body Acceptance and Dieting should be eradicated from the earth!! :) I wished I had a foundation growing up based on accepting my body for the way it was. I wished that I wasn't put on a diet as a teenager. I wish I knew what healthy eating looked like, but, I can't go back and change it.

My parents were stress eaters. I watched what they ate, and so much focus was on me being a "big girl", when in reality...I really wasn't. Dieting lead down a destructive path. A road that I wished I never took. But, I did and for other reasons that I will discuss later. That and being introduced to the world of dieting at such an early age led to some serious health issues for me. When you yo-yo so much, your bodies metabolism really gets messed with. Your hormones get out of whack. Eventually, your body doesn't know whether it is coming or going.

Anyway, I wonder if you learned bad habits growing up and how your upbringing affected your weight? Thoughts?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Get your head in the game!!

I cannot stress enough to anyone looking to get any type of Weight Loss surgery done to "get your head in the game" aka do your emotional homework. Someone told me to take stock of my "emotional inventory". I was like "what?!"

So, what does that mean?. Being overweight at any size (20lbs, 50lbs, 100lbs, 200lbs and up) there is usually an emotional component connected to it. The program that I am in at Duke is very serious about psychology. I think some people are scared to death of the Psychiatrists. Some are worried that they won't "pass" the psychological tests and they won't get to move through the program. I see so many people want to race through the process and click off the "to-do" list to get to surgery.

I will admit that when they told me that they were putting me on "hold" until I went to weekly therapy sessions. I was like "what? I have done therapy before...this is not going to help". I felt like it was red tape. But, then when I started going....and I have been every week....it has been a HUGE part of my life now. I really understood how my past, and my current way of living can be traced all the way back to my past. I realize that I have used food as my friend. I play with it as a child would with their favorite toy, then the next thing came along...and they threw the old toy away. It is something that I know from childhood through habits, through modeling my parents, and use it as away to escape from stress.

If I could say anything to anyone even starting to look into surgery....DON'T DO IT until you have really worked through some of your past, your reasons for dieting, are you an emotional eater? If so, why? Are you addicted? Asking the painful question....How did you get fat? and how did you get there? You are going to have to be ready to have a plan for when the food is gone. It is this whole new way of looking at it. Be ready to change your whole world. This is the toughest part on me. I haven't even had surgery yet. But, I know this is going to be my toughest part of the journey. I know for me that I am going to have to really stop and think about my actions (i.e. grabbing that candy bar when my sugar drops). Instead look for protein when I have a sugar low. When I am upset, lonely, sad, any emotional feeling...get outside. Take the kids and walk.....exercise, write...find something else to do. I just want to be with honest with everyone out there. Most of obesity is from our head. We take out all of our emotions, feelings and put it in our mouth via food.

Ice cream for me (the homemade kind) is like a bottle of vodka for an alcoholic. When the kids (I have 3 under 7) screaming all at the same time...the old way was for me to grab a tub of ice cream and stand in the kitchen with a HUGE spoon and eat it practically all the way to the bottom. Not even noticing. It became such a habit. Now, when the rest of my family wants a dessert...I find an alternative...a sugar free Popsicle. Or I go to another room.

This will take a very long time as it took a long time to get to where you are. All I am saying...make sure you have your "head in the game".

My first support group meeting..

I went to my first support group meeting yesterday (not Duke sponsored) and it was so great to meet people who have already had surgery. In fact, I was the only pre-op. It was so inspirational to meet these beautiful ladies that had come out on the other side. One woman was 7 years out and to hear her advice and comments were invaluable.

Don't get me wrong...it wasn't that their surgeries were all sunshine. Each of them had complications. I wanted to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I knew of all the complications going into this. But, it was also good to hear real life experiences. But, each of them are fine...they are feeling better and their health is better.

Of course, I had the "you don't look like you need surgery" talk. At first, it made me upset. But, then, I realize that it just a different perspective. I don't think it was meant to be negative. I am right at 5'8 and with these tennis shoes that I wear..it makes me about 5'10. I felt extremely tall. The rest of the women were a little shorter. So, I think why everyone was surprised at my weight and my clothes size is that I am taller. I wear my weight a little different.

I had a great time....but, it did leave me with a lot of mixed emotions...like "is she right, am i really too small to have it done?, or am I wrong for having this done?".

I am 256 lbs, size 24/26. How is that too small?

Anyway...it was great to meet others who have gone through the process and I found some great friends!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Change of Blog Look...

Shew!! A little simple edit to my blog ended up erasing the whole thing, including comments. Anywho....I decided that while I was piecing it back together, I would just give it a different look.
I managed to find most of my old postings. Yes....you are on the right blog....

I am back to blogging!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Technical Difficulties...

Ok....Note to self....never try to change your blog to a new ID. I am ticked.......I have lost everything. But, no worries.... I will get it back. It may not be everything, but, I will do my best. So, no your eyes are not deceiving you.....it is me.

Will be back up and running soon!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Lightweight Club

OK....this is the wildest thing that I have heard. I am considered in some weight loss surgery groups as part of the Lightweight "group". Wow...who would have known? A "lightweight?" Craziness!!! I am not sure what qualifies as a lightweight....I think it is those with a BMI of 45 or below. I think somewhere under 300-350lbs.

I have to confess here...I have struggled with some issues that most people would never think of. I have a lot of friends and family saying "You are crazy...you don't need weight loss surgery", or "there is NO WAY that you could qualify". In one way, I try to take it as a compliment. In another...I realize that most people just don't understand my situation.

This isn't about aesthetics for me. I hope it will be a nice side-effect. But, what those that are close to me don't know are things that I have kept from them. I think sometimes, people don't really want to hear all your "issues and complaints and ailments". I keep a lot to myself, even with those very close to me. The truth is....my weight has caused a significant amount of health issues for me. I didn't have these problems a few years ago. In fact, a year ago when I posted pictures of me after coming home from Russia...I was almost 60 lbs lighter.

I had a hysterectomy about that same time. After that, things have progressively gotten worse. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Insulin Resistance (that for about 5 years now), High Blood Pressure, Fatty Liver, Plantar something something....basically heel spurs brought on by weight gain, high cholesterol and asthma. I NEVER had these things prior to my first child. I was considered overweight. But, never like this. My quality of life is tough on me. I feel as if I am 80 years old. So, this surgery isn't about boosting my self esteem or trying to be a skinny-mini. I want to live a longer life. Even my cardiologist says that I have to do some serious work to reverse what is going on. This is shocking to me seeing that I was healthy as a horse prior to 7 years ago. I feel like I have to justify why I am getting it done. But, I realize that I don't.

What is strange, in my extended family...we have a lot of overweight relatives. But, not all of them have any health problems. Maybe some have one or two. So, for them...accepting where they are works for them. I think I would be able to handle my weight a lot better if I could live and feel like a normal healthy person. My parents have a lot of health problems and they are overweight. They have a hard time understanding why I have so many issues at a young age. They think that they are that way because they are older. We aren't the same...so, food, insulin and other things are happening to me that they can't understand. In fact, no one in my family can understand.

At the end of the day, I am the one that has to live in my body and deal with the consequences of being overweight. A lot of it is hereditary, metabolic changes, hormones, and poor food choices. So, when you say that I am too small to have this surgery. No, I really am not. My doctors are behind me and feel that it is in my best interest to get my life back on track. This is NOT the answer for everyone. Because some haven't got the issues that I have. Some can diet and work out like crazy and it is gone. I have tried so hard to be that person . It is not in the cards.

I appreciate all of my family and friends worrying about me. I know that they care. But, I hope they realize that this was a long, thought out process for me. And this is my last hope so it seems, to get any sort of resemblance to a healthier lifestyle. If they had to walk in my shoes for the last few years and my million doctor appointments and the disappointments of yet another failed diet. Then, I think they would be more supportive or understanding.

I think after surgery, they will see that when I lose the weight and medicines start to drop off and some of these conditions go away....they will be glad that I did it. For now, it is the unknown that scares everyone. I can appreciate that. But, my faith is strong and I know that I am doing the right thing. I have to focus on the positive now. Because all I have done is worry, worry, worry and not feel good and the cycle goes on. I have to be positive even knowing the chances of things that could go wrong (trust me, everyone that I meet has some horror story). But, they were the same people who told me all their horror stories when we were pregnant, and or adopting. For me....I HAVE to focus on what will go RIGHT.

I have to keep the positivity around me. For those of you who have not gone the path of WLS....it is a tough and sometimes lonely road. Because the world only sees or knows of certain things. Thankfully, there are many support groups. Even a "lightweight" board.

Thank god for the internet!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I am feeling frustrated...... I haven't felt the best...not sure if it is some sort of stomach bug. All I know is that I have been hurting. Dr. took lots of tests and even sent me for a CT scan. My liver enzymes were elevated (doc said I had a little liver inflammation) and my CT scan showed a Fatty liver. I was NOT happy about that. What does fatty liver mean to me? Well...it is not from alcohol...I don't drink that much. It could be from some of the medications that I take for cholesterol, and high blood pressure. But, what I am told is that some people with Insulin resistance or diabetes...the way it your liver metabolizes fat or sugar can cause this. I have heard that a lot of overweight people have it.

But, what the most concerning thing is...it is not good to have a fatty liver going into RNY surgery. I have contacted my surgeon about it. The main reason being is that they want your liver as small as possible to be able to maneuver around. What I hear happens to most people is they have to go on a high protein diet or total liquid diet weeks before surgery to shrink the liver.

It is so frustrating...because this is just one more thing on the list that has gone on with my body. It drives me crazy. Frustrated....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Saying Hello and Goodbye

Knowing that I will be (hopefully) losing a 100lbs is mind boggling to me. That is a person, a whole person. Here is what I am looking forward to saying hello and goodbye to and a little sad at the same time:

Looking forward to saying GOODBYE to:

Granny panties
Pants that could house a small family
Getting bruises on the sides of my thighs from trying to sit in a beach chair
Sweating before I get out the door because I just walked down the stairs
The "swishy thigh walk"..you know what I am talking about. Where your thighs rub together and it hurts like heck because you now have a rash
People asking me when my baby is due!

The list is long....so, I will cut it short by stopping there.

A little sad about saying goodbye to:

My Diet Cokes/Diet Mt. Dew
Ice Cream
Loss of a friend (aka "the fat") who was with me during extremely rough times.

That is about all I am sad about.

Looking forward to saying hello to:

Going off my medications (bp, diabetes, cholesterol..need I go on?)
Making a new friend with my new body. Treating it with respect and trying to make amends with the old body.
CLOTHES!!!! I have such a limited selection right now. It will be like Disney World.
Chasing my kids around without wanting to pass out after only 5 seconds.
Wearing a sundress (strapless) Oh the shock that I will have when I can actually wear one.
Living... living a long time, I pray.

This list could go on and on.....so, I will cut it here.

I am sure that I am going to go through a million emotions. Hang in there with me. I really am a sane gal. Sometimes :)

It’s a big day…..Aug. 24 8:28

I officially have a surgery date!! October 11th!! I am so excited! They have given me my pre-op appointments, everything. Woo....taking a bit of a breath here.

Being "officially official" has brought a whirlwind of emotions. I can't really explain it. One second it is true elation....the next second..."holy crap", the next second "How will I get everything done before then?", next second...looking ever so lovingly at my Diet Mountain Dew and realizing that I have to say good bye... for good. No more bubblies in the tummy. No more lots of things frankly. The realization that my whole world is about to get rocked is here. But, I am ok with it.

I have tried...I really have. I have tried all the herbs, prescription weightloss meds, fasting, Dr. supervised diets, literally every diet on the market. I gave it all that I had. Can I say that I have been 100% all the time? No. I would be a liar if I said that. I am not perfect. But, I have done the best that I knew how to do.

I am ready.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Do you think.....

that the way the world perceives obesity is sometimes the way that we expect them to perceive?

Case in point....I went to 3 different stores today. I rarely look at people in the eye anymore. I automatically assume that they are making judgments about me. I am assuming that they are watching everything that I put in my shopping cart. I assume that if they smile at me, they must be an escape convict or something.

But, in reality....could it be that just maybe they are not even thinking about what I look like for one minute? Maybe they are in such a hurry to get home to their life that they don't see anyone. Maybe they look straight past me because something not so happy is going on in their life. Maybe just maybe, it isn't all about me. But yet, I have already made my judgments and perceptions before I ever walk in that door. I automatically assume that people are staring at the "big girl".

Maybe we just all need to get out of our heads for just a minute. Maybe we should start holding our heads up just a little higher. When are we going to wake up and realize that life is happening before our eyes and we are missing it because we are too busy assuming.

I am going to start working really hard on holding my head up. No matter what weight I am.

Hope you will too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It is Officially....Official

I officially have a surgery date!! October 11th!! I am so excited! They have given me my pre-op appointments, everything. Woo....taking a bit of a breath here.

Being "officially official" has brought a whirlwind of emotions. I can't really explain it. One second it is true elation....the next second..."holy crap", the next second "How will I get everything done before then?", next second...looking ever so lovingly at my Diet Mountain Dew and realizing that I have to say good bye... for good. No more bubblies in the tummy. No more lots of things frankly. The realization that my whole world is about to get rocked is here. But, I am ok with it.

I have tried...I really have. I have tried all the herbs, prescription weightloss meds, fasting, Dr. supervised diets, literally every diet on the market. I gave it all that I had. Can I say that I have been 100% all the time? No. I would be a liar if I said that. I am not perfect. But, I have done the best that I knew how to do.

I am ready.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Insurance Approval

YEA!! I got insurance approval....wooo hooo!!! I am so excited!! Now, all we are waiting on is the actual "Certificate of approval" from Insurance. Then, Duke sets me up for a date for surgery. I hear that they are scheduling now in October. I should have a date in the next day or two.

WOW.....a month from now is when I probably will be having surgery. It is not "real" to me yet. I imagine when I know the date and I start preparing and it gets closer...things are going to get really real.

I just wanted to share my good news!!!

Have a great Friday!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

4 Years Ago Today....

I was lying in the hospital, having been there for close to 3 weeks. I was very sick with high blood pressure, and a baby desperately needing to get out of my stomach. They warned me that her lungs weren't ready. The doctors had to give me a drug to help me not go into a seizure. I had pre-eclampsia.

4 years ago today, the doctors said that our baby had
to come out or that we both could die.

She was born at 4:00 in the afternoon. She was so tiny and so beautiful. Her chest
was puffing in and out so heavily. She was struggling to breathe. They let me kiss her for a millisecond and I never held her in my arms again for another week.

She was rushed to the NICU. I was stuck in bed with IV's hanging out of me. Later that night, the nurses and doctors took pity on me and let my husband wheel me down to the NICU. I was still hooked to all types of medicines. There was still a fear that I would have a seizure afterwards.

I wheeled myself right up to the window of the inc
ubator that my tiny-iny baby was lying in. She had a chest tube, tubes in every place imaginable and her chest was so swollen from trying to breathe. Never in my life did I feel the way that I felt in that moment. I was terrified of losing this beautiful angel that God had blessed me with. I cried with every tear that I had in my body.

That night, the doctor came in to sit next to me. He held my hand ever so gently and told me that he was called in because our baby's lung had collapsed and they would have to transport her by ambulance to the next hospital that had a Higher Level Newborn Intensive Care Unit. He said not to worry, that they would take care of her.

They wheeled her d
own in my room before going into an ambulance. I touched the glass and told her that I loved her and not to give up. "Please don't give up"

We reunited several days later. I was taken off all IV
's and able to go to the hospital that she was at. I rarely left her side. She was in a tiny incubator and had IV's coming out of her head, toes, nose. My husband and I clung to each other.

When we walked in
, the nurses were full of smiles. They told us that they had no idea what had happened, but, our baby girl had taken a turn. A turn for the better. They said that she must have loved that ambulance ride, because she only needed a ventilator for a day (compared to the original 3 weeks) and that she was making a miraculous recovery. I finally held her through the incubator. It was like a robot machine. I touched her tiny fingers and prayed every prayer that I could pray.

A few days later....we were told that she would be released from the NICU and sent to another hospital for a few days of observation. I was able to hold her in my arms. She smelled so good. She smiled at me and I knew we were going to be ok.

Today is her 4th
birthday. I have been grateful for every moment of those 4 years. She is a vivacious little girl who has a feisty spirit that she had to come into this world with. She lights up my world and I thank God every day for allowing her to hang on. I celebrate life with her. I am so grateful.

There is rarely a day
that goes by that I don't realize how lucky I am to still be on this earth with 3 amazing children. Most importantly, that precious little baby who struggled so hard to breathe........., she never gave up.

Happy Birthday Princess!!!

What has the process of WLS been like thus far?

I think that I have mentioned that I am going through Duke University's WLS Center. They have been named "Center of Excellence".

I absolutely love everything about their program. I have said before that I am really big into researching and cross checking. I am very lucky to live in an area where there is such a well known establishment that has one of the best Bariatric programs around.

It is an extensive program, as well it should be. I would be scared to death if I signed up a life changing event like this surgery and got it in a couple of weeks with no thoroughness/nada.

First, they require that you attend a seminar with the surgeons to get a very in-depth briefing on what procedures they offer and every detail that you ever wanted to know about the process. They strongly encourage family/friend involvement. Then, if you feel like you are ready to apply to the program, then you have to fill out an application. You have to be approved to enter the program.

Your first appointment is usually not until about 2 months after the seminar. My first seminar was in March. Which works out, because you have to get a gazillion tests run. Basically, these doctors will know more about me than anyone else in the entire universe. Hmmmm...not sure how I feel about that. :)

My first appointment was in May and I had all my tests done. Of course, some of them came back abnormal (thyroid stuff) and you have to get that back in line before you can move forward.

Anyway, the first appointment..you meet with the Nurse and she goes over all of your tests with you and you go over again in detail about the surgery. Then, off to meet the Nutritionist. He was great. Except for the fact that he told me that I can't gain anymore weight until surgery. And back on a diet. WHAT THE H*&! I don't know how this is going to happen. I swear to you, if I look at food...it decides to jump on my back side and doesn't move!! Anyway, he was great...but, terrified to gain weight (which I have...but, for many reasons...another topic one day).

THEN...you meet with the Psychiatrist. This can be intimidating. I am literal person. If you ask a question, I will give you a straight answer. So, the whole business of asking me "Have you ever?...." opens up a whole can of stuff. I probably scared the intern (who did the initial assessment) and she still remembers me, I am quite sure. Ever seen the movie "American Pie"? The girl in it says "One day in band camp...." That was me.. she asked questions about everything. Nothing was too personal. The old girl is probably going through therapy after meeting me ;) Just kidding. But, they have to make sure you are ready for a major life change.

I am still in Insurance review and hope that I hear this week. Then, I hear that it is about a month until surgery. It doesn't end there, because they have support groups and after care and you still have to see a therapist to help you with all the "emotional" changes. There are so much studies going on at Duke, that you can enroll in a study where they follow you for years to come to check on your progress.

I am very happy to be with a group like them. Everyone there is so nice and they answer all of your questions for you. The women up front that deal with all of the insurance, and the phone calls are true saints. You cannot find a group any better. You would be hard pressed.

I am looking forward to telling you how things go after surgery. More updates to come....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Musings at the Mall

I am a lover of fashion. You would never ever know it by the way that I dress now. But, I am fascinated by colors, designs, trends, the way things shape your body. How the cloth feels against your skin, what type of texture is it?...does it hug too tight?, or does it flow? It's not that I don't want to be fashionable...but, the marketplace hasn't really helped us gals in the over size 14 department, not to mention...the size 24 department.

But, being a Plus Size Gal....the mall can be an evil, evil place.

The boutique stores mock me with the latest and greatest trends that go up to about a size "14" and sister...that is pushing it if you make up to the size 14. (you start getting the "look" if you ask if there are any bigger sizes in those types of shops)

Then, there are the "department" stores that offer "Plus Size" clothing to us lovely ladies. I swear to goodness that the same designer makes all of the clothes and their names must be "Granny Ethyl and Gertie Gertrude". Because not only does it look like they made a shirt/dress/pants out of a potato sack...but, she got a spray can and sprayed big ass flowers all over it. (see a great example...see above picture). For the LOVE OF all that is holy...what is up with the flowers?! THEN, there are the dresses. Best if I don't get started on that. Interestingly, most of the clothes have a touch of a "elderly home" smell to them. Feeling completely deflated...I go down to my tried and true "Lane Bryant".

I give some "kudos" to Lane Bryant. But, they piss me off too. With all due respect, they do try to keep up with some trends. But, their prices are ridiculous. Rude as it may sound..I know damn well that they ship these clothes out to another country to be made. I can GUARANTEE you that adding a little bit more cloth to a shirt, a dress, and or underwear does not cost the manufacturer exponentially that much more. But, yet....for a nice shirt...it is about 50.00. No big deal right? Well, if I jump over to the Gap or another store for the same shirt, smaller size. SHOCKING...... 1/2 the price. I have every right to dress in the latest fashions too, just because I have a little "junk in my trunk" does not mean that I don't have fashion rights!

Do I wear a sign on my swelly belly when I walk into the store...."I AM FAT....SO, IT IS YOUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO CHARGE ME MORE". If I could get away with it, and didn't have my children with me, and wasn't afraid to do it....I seriously would pull down my pants and bend over to show my big fat white butt and say " you can kiss my @%#!" But, being the polite person that I am, I smile at the sales lady and say... "sure, I will take that semi fashionable pair of pants that will take me 2 months to pay off because it had a little more fabric added onto it". And with a smile....I wave goodbye to the only store that tries to care. All the while muttering really naughty words underneath my breath.

HOWEVER....there is hope. One of favorite actresses, designer, all around great celebrity is Sarah Jessica Parker who is trying to make a difference. She makes clothes up to size 30 and nothing is over 20.00. Very hip clothes regardless of age. Sad thing is....there are 4 stores in my state that carry them, and not one are near me. But, thank you Sarah for caring. No sarcasm here. See a need....fill a need. More should get on the train and do something about this fashion travesty!! My mission in life (if I could ever figure out how to sew), would to get out there and make an impact in this area.

More mall musings from today to come :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fat Rant

I am on a roll today with writing. I obviously am stressing and thinking about food way too much. So, I am writing a lot today to get my mind off of things. The kids are on play dates and that leaves me with a little bit of free time. SHOCK!!!

When you watch this video from You Tube that I have on "Fat Rant". She has such a good point! No matter what weight you are, if you feel like you are overweight...a lot of us use being overweight as an excuse. An excuse for so many things.

Ok...here are my latest excuses....

I am terrified of going to my High School Reunion because I am fat. Maybe on my 50th reunion or something. Because surely, I will be thinner when I am 80 something. Right?

I will buy more clothes when I lose weight. Because larger sizes are too expensive and are just not fashionable. I will just stick to the oversized t-shirts and jogging pants, because that is really sexy.

I can't go to my husbands work outing and have people see me like this. I will wait until I lose some more weight.

I can't get back in touch with my oldest and dearest friends who knew me when I was thinner. What will they think? They may want me to visit or something. I can't do that. They will be so disappointed in me. I will wait.

Oh sorry, i can't go to Ladies Night Out for our monthly neighborhood get together. Why? Oh...well, I can feel a headache coming on. Truth be told.....I am the biggest one there. I just know they are judging me.

OH? You want me to volunteer at my kids school? Ummmm....I think I have a busy schedule until 2010. That way, if I don't go to her school....the kids won't laugh at me and she won't be hurt.

SURE!! I will write that screenplay. As long as some 20 something skinny chick hands it in to a producer. Because, if they find out that I am fat....I am so out of here. So, best keep straggling along on this screenplay that i am writing.

OK OK OK you get the picture.

I realize how all ridiculous this sounds. In fact, we all do it. We make excuses for everything. I realize that I have. I realize that I have lost the last few years of my life waiting to do stuff until I lost "weight". I realize that with or without this surgery....life has to go on and it will go on.

I think that I have a lot to offer as a person. No, I know I do. This woman is right on this video blog. We have to stand up for ourselves and be proud. No, I am not proud of being obese. But, I am doing stuff about it. I am trying. What I am proud of is that I am not giving up. I want to be a better friend, mother, wife, sister, everything. But, i can't do that until I come to terms with the fact that weight does not define me as a person.

I am working on it. I am going to step on down to Florida in my best "Plus Size" attire with my head held up to my HS reunion next month. And, I am not going to apologize for my weight. I will be proud of being me.

Check out this Joy Nash's video blog. I love funny, sarcastic things. But, she does make a good point.

I read this in People the other day....

I read it in this month People about how Kirstie and Valerie Bertenelli have lost 100 something pounds between them. I think that is awesome. They are doing Jenny Craig. I did Jenny Craig way back in my early 20's. It was great. It is just over time, I added the weight back.

But, something that Kirstie said in her article bothered me. She said that why she is opposed to Gastric Bypass is because you are still stuck with the problem of how you got fat in the first place. That is totally ok that she is against surgery. A lot of people are. However, maybe some people don't deal with the inside while working on the outside.

But, I am here to tell you that is a huge part of this surgery. Dealing with feelings, your past, your hurts...your everything. In the program that I am in....it is a HUGE. She is right you might lose all that weight...but, you are still the same person on the inside. But, what I have had to go through is go alllllll the way back to my childhood and how my parents ate, my habits, when was the first "life event" that took place, how to I handle it with food, what did I feel about my body image. We are covering everything. It has been so enlightening to me to really see what a profound effect food has had on me.

Absolutely, I didn't eat the right things all the time...got that. I used food as a friend, instead of food....check, got that. But, what we are working on now is how to transfer my relationship with food and make it a "non-issue". Meaning, I am learning how to channel my stress and frustrations in other positive outlets.

I know that I have some uphill battles ahead of me with surgery. I know that. But, half the battle is what I have been going through up until this point. Getting emotionally and physically prepared. I do know that Surgery is not the magic pill. But, this chick has done her emotional homework to figure out how to change how I am with food on the inside. So, Kirstie...I hear ya sister about not being for surgery. But, don't just assume that people who have surgery don't have to go through SERIOUS life altering changes on the inside too.

I am proud of her though..both of them. They have lost that weight and we should all rally behind each other whichever method that we choose. Fat is fat my friends. Getting it off and to stay off is what counts.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Someone stole my body!!!

I am mad. Not an angry, bitter, old hag or anything. Just mad as hell. I feel like I woke up and someone stole my body in the middle of the night. However, these thieves weren’t your ordinary kind. They were kind enough to return my body. But, the cruel twist is that they returned the WRONG BODY!!!

The body that they left me with was a size 22/24! OMG!!! I mean, how cruel can you get? Couldn’t they have returned a size 6 body or something? Not only that, this new body has all these aches and pains. And for the love of god…what is this cellulite they put on me?

If you have any idea where my body could have gone…please let me know. I have already put out an APB.

The only response that I have received was…..”Have you thought about a diet…maybe you will be able to find her that way?”


Any day now

Alrighty then, I suppose that patience isn't one of my best virtues. Today marks one week that my "file" has been sent off to insurance. I am told that a week and 1/2 is the longest it may take. But, I guess I have forgotten about the 2 weekend days in there. Oy!! I even called my "insurance angel" at Duke today. When I say angel...i mean angel...she is a saint to put up with people like me calling her everyday.

I know in the scheme of things, this wait is nothing. But, to me it is everything. I have been through hoops, and so much therapy (more to continue, I am sure), tests galore and I am finally ready. But, it is all dependent on insurance at this point. I am not good with the unknown.

What will happen if I get the dreaded "no"? I know that I will appeal. But, at that point...I will feel lost. I will keep trying the next diet or "way of living". But, frankly...I do believe that I will be devastated. I continue to think positive. This is how it always works for me. When I stress about it, think about it. Nothing happens. But, just as soon as I divert my attention...the phone will ring.

Maybe I can run around the block a few times in this above 100 degree temperature. I am QUITE sure that will get my mind off of things.

Weighing in on Weight Aug 16, 2007 11:16 PM

Weight affects such a large part of a persons life. I don't know about yours, but, definitely mine. In the past 4 years it has really taken over my life. It is soooooo much more than clothing size for me. I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, arthritis, bone spurs, autoimmune disease, mild sleep apnea in just a few short years. It is so emotional for me. Because, I remember a time when I was so active and so healthy. I felt so alive.

Now, I feel betrayed. Betrayed by my body. It is interesting reading so many different blogs, or stories on others view on weight. Some basically believe it is about "stop eating so much". Goodness, wouldn't it be that simple. Others believe that you need to have more discipline in your life. OR the best one...is that we are a lazy bunch. Sometimes I can feel the looks of disapproval from others. Especially other women. We seem to be so judgmental of ourselves and of each other. Instead of banding together and supporting each other. A lot are determined to tear the other down.

I believe that a lot of thin people believe that they are the superior "being". I know some people who come across that way. They love to give the advice on what to eat, how to eat, what I should do. Somehow, they are the authority. (I am not talking about the actual medical community) But, then, I see that they have other kinds of issues that aren't so healthy in their personal life. I surely wouldn't sit around and preach to them about it.

I have to say that the biggest thing that I look forward to as the weight comes off is:

To actually win a race against my 2 year old :)
Go up the stairs without turning purple and breathing heavy
Get off all of these medications
Stop seeing so many doctors
Running again
Feeling energy

And I would be remiss if I said that I wasn't looking forward to actually shopping in Victoria Secret. Looking sexy without having "fat back" in a sundress. Not having to wear 2 or 3 Spanx at one time to suck in a tummy that people still insist on asking "How far along are you?"

Wow.... cannot wait!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I am on my way now!! I have just been told by Duke that my file has been sent off to insurance. I really don't have a gage on how long it will take to hear back. Of course, I am excited, but, I am also very nervous. Right now, Insurance is the only thing standing in between me and the surgery. It is such a scary thing to have "big corporation" holding fate into your hands.

I meet all of the qualifications for insurance. Qualifications for surgery is to be a BMI of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 or more with co-morbitities. I am in the 35 or more group. I am right around 37 or 38. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance (taking glucophage for it), joint pain and should I keep going? Goodness....I feel like a 100 year old woman. I am only 38.

I am remaining positive and full of hope. I am so ready to get my health back, my life back.

Hoping for the best!!

Transfer Addiction

What is transfer addiction? Well, in the Weight loss community (whether you have surgery or not). It is a process that you have to go through to really figure out what it is that you are going to substitute for food. For me, food was my best friend. We were thick as thieves. I didn’t always over eat. When I was an athlete, I used it as fuel to see how good I could get at that particular sport. When I was a cheerleader, I would withhold it to see how thin I could get. (which never happened). When I had a fight with a friend, or a bad break-up…my lover “Mr. Godiva” would come and rescue me from the pain. Then, when I got married and had children and other stresses came up. I would make excuses and say “hey, I deserve home made ice cream today…I worked 10 hours and then am a full time mom”.

But, you see..I have a sordid past if you will. Like probably 90% of the world. Things happened in my life that I consider a tragedy. Sometimes, it made me become so fierce in overcoming obstacles in my way. Sometimes, my past made me feel less adequate than the rest of the world. So, my best friend food could always be there to depend on.

So, when I have WLS…what will be take the place of that comfort companion? It can’t be alcohol, or cigarettes, or sudden crack usage. They teach you in the program to find alternatives. The obvious is exercising…but, they tell you not to become an addict at that either. I am like “crap, what the hell is left?” I suppose sex 24 hours a day is good. But, that is an addiction too. :)SO, my transfer addiction is going to be writing. I have always written since I was a kid. I am now writing screenplays on the side in my so non-existent free time. But, I like to blog. I like to journal. I am told that everytime that I think about food….to write.

I think you will see a lot of writing out of me for the next FOREVER!! ;)Food is a drug for some of us and I am headed to rehab.