Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wrapping up 2007

Is it really possible that tomorrow is the last day of 2007?  

I usually do a year in review at the end of the year but in thinking about it the last couple of days, there has been very little of monumental proportion to review.   The only biggie of 2007 has been the decision to move forward with WLS in 2008 (Do you realize that in just over a month we will be able to submit to insurance???).  But other than that, I have not changed jobs, or done anything out of the ordinary other than the mission trip in June.  No one died, the church status is the same, my friends are still the same and are still awesome.  I did discover a sister in Gina and a brother in Gareth, and my oldest son is starting to mature and my younger son is SO eight years old right now, I'd like to strangle him, but really nothing unusual! 

I even went back and read my seven resolutions from last year and I didn't accomplish much there:

) Drink water: I could say "drink more water" but a tablespoon would be more than I currently drink.  I generally start the day with coffee, and then have one or two Diet Pepsi's before the day is through.  So, though I'm not drinking soda with lots of sugar, or even drinking lots of soda, my water intake still sucks.  I'm going to do better.

2) Go back to Curves: Really need to get back there and stick with it.  The goal is three times a week.

3) Private

4) Spend less money: I can hear the Brit applauding from here when he reads this.  I don't think I'm a frivilious spender, but I also don't hold back if there is something I really want (We're talking small items here; ie, yarn, a book, etc).  I'm going to do better and only give a treat now and then.

5) Knit myself some hats!  With the Christmas knitting done and only one more project that I promised to participate in, I am then going to do a little selfish knitting.  One of my favorite thoughts about knitting was hats, because like my father, I have a big head, so finding hats that fit is always a challenge (my head is proportinate by the way.  I don't want ya'll thinking I'm some kind of circus freak).  Now, I could knit hats to fit and felt them even!  How many hats have I done for myself in the year and a half since I started knitting?  Right.  Nada.

6) Write more: Whether it be blogging, or story telling, I want to write more.  I haven't given up the dream of being published, even though I am not quite ready to completely commit.

7) Private

Drink water, I did and found that with Crystal Lite, I can do that pretty succesfully when I am being conscious of it.

Curves?  Yeah, did that till about June, lost 25 pounds, have since put it back on again.

The private one I did achieve...YAY me!

Spend less money?  The jury is still out on that one.

Knit hats- I knit a scarf, does that count?

Write more, well, sort of.  I'm not sure if I really wrote more, but I don't think I wrote less.

Number 7, private?  I have no idea what the hell that one even was.

So moving into 2008, my only resolution is to get through surgery safely, with no complications and nothing but success.  What that means is working on my relationship to food, making the changes I need to make to allow this tool to be successful.  That's it, folks, and it's pretty major, so I'm not going to add anything else to it.  Resolutions are overrated anyway.

Happy New Year, readers! See you in 2008!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Have a merry

To all my friends and fellow bloggers:

I hope this Christmas season finds you happy, safe, surrounded by those you love, and in awe, much like the shepherds were many years ago, of the gift we celebrate.

Thank you for listening to my ramblings, offering me words of wisdom as well as support.  I love you all.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The nutrition class

So Kim gave journalist Angela an eyeful as well, so I thought I'd share what I wrote to her, though it was not as eloquent as Kim's.

I ran across your article on the web and was completely offended by this comment: "Many frustrated dieters turn to surgery as a faster, easier method of weight loss."
I think that perhaps you should do your homework before stating that surgery to rearrange your insides is an "easier" method to lose weight.  I would be interested in being enlightened as to what is easier about battling weight one's entire life and then having to make the difficult decision that you simply cannot lose and maintain weight loss on your own anymore.  How is it easier to finally decide to go under the knife in the hopes of resolving your health problem?  How is it easier to never be able to drink and eat at the same time, to get sick off certain foods, due to content or eating too fast or too much?  How is it easier to experience complications such as strictures, leaks, blood clots or even death? 
I have not yet had this surgery but am planning on it and working towards it and trust me, the decision has been anything but "easy".  I think that remark is offensive to anyone who has ever battled a weight problem.  Ask any WLS patient and see if they think it was "easy".  Please think before you write such insensitive, uneducated remarks. 

I apparently tend to get a little sensitive.

Our first bariatric nutrition class was today, and it was relatively interesting.  We went over reading food labels and what to look for, etc.  Then the girl met with each one of us to go over our goals before next month's meeting.  I gave her a couple when in reality, I only have one goal before next month and that is to actually lose a few pounds!  Sadly, I have gained six pounds since we started WW in September!  I know what my issue is; I have the one last hurrah mentality, where I want to eat what I want, while I can, and it has proven difficult to get back on track and stay there.  But I really need to make a go of it as I really don't know what insurance is looking for in this six month structured diet thing.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The easy way out

So, I ran across this article on the web and got myself all pissed off about one word in item number 4, which reads "Many frustrated dieters turn to surgery as a faster, easier method of weight loss."

I'm sorry, but even speaking as someone pre-op, I take great offense in calling WLS an "easier method" and I sent this chick an email telling her as much.  Simply from a pre-op standpoint, this has been in no way an "easy" decision and with all the research I have done on the topic of WLS, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the post-op experience will not be a joy ride either.  Will the weight come off?  Yes.  Do I have to change MANY things about my life for that to happen?  Yes.  Do I have to put my life on the line in an operating room?  Yes.  Do I have to risk complications?  Yes.

Granted, it is a personal decision, but so is any diet and speaking as someone who never found dieting to be easy either, it is fairly safe to say that rearranging one's insides would rank up there somewhere with "Things that are not considered easy", right along with sleep apnea, joint pain, asthma and all the other things that being overweight causes. 

I think Angela needs to do a little more homework before making such passive statements.

So, my inlaws are here, Christmas is a week away and I've been busy! I'll check in when I can!  Oh and tomorrow is our first nutrition class at Bayview!  I'll let ya'll know how it goes!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Latest Breaking News

 So I now get why my sister gets all annoyed when I don't blog.  Of all my WLS blogs I read, so far today only Meg has updated (and she has a psuedo date!  YAY!) and I'm disappointed.  Isn't it funny how we can get so wrapped up in other blogger's lives?


My mother and father-in-law are arriving here from England on Thursday and will be with us until January 9th.  I'm looking forward to the visit as they haven't been here in almost two years and it is always nice to have someone to go shopping with.  The only major chore I have left to do is to mop and wax the kitchen floor before they arrive.


The shopping is going pretty well but I have candy making and cookie baking to start yet.  My weekend is getting busier than I'd like it to be, with a Christmas play rehearsal at church on Saturday and with the youth going to see the shut ins on Sunday.  I haven't committed to that one yet, but feel incredibly guilty if Paula has to go as the only adult.  There are only four of them to see and we are looking at giving each shut in an ornament, singing a quickie Christmas carol and hightailing it out of there.

Tomorrow night, I am singing at a Christmas party, with Paula and Dave Goober from church. 

The eating

I have to admit that I did not do well on Weight Watchers at all as my first of two three month structured diet programs.  It makes me a little nervous as I don't know what Optimum Choice wants from me with this stipulation for surgery approval.  Do they just want me to make the effort?  And if I don't lose, how do they know whether or not I stuck to the plan?  I can honestly say that my heart was not in this one.  I hate Weight Watchers with a passion and always have.  I loathe having to get on a scale in front of anyone else and I hate the way the little old ladies who do the weighing say something positive if you lost and then don't say a word if you gain.  May as well shout it out to the rest of the room with that predictability.  Hate it!

Have been looking forward to Bayview's program all along though and we have that next week.  Looking forward to that and to pajamas right after dinner tonight

Monday, December 10, 2007

The High Road?

Kim left me an interesting comment on yesterday's post:

I wanted to tell you that this post gets to the heart of what so many of us want to get across to the world. My journey has been long and at times very hard, but I don't EVER want to forget where I came from. I don't want the world to judge me based on the weight that I am now - or the weight I will be this time next year... but in a lot of ways it will. In my heart though, I will always be sensitive to the feelings and limitations of overweight people. Shortly before my surgery, my husband asked me one night if I'd still love him when I get skinny. (mainly because I'm having the surgery, but for the forseable future - he won't be able to) It really got me thinking, because to me... he's loved me and seen the real me at my worst... and there isn't anyone on the planet that I could love more than him. Anyone that gives me attention or things like that when I'm thinner - will always be questioned about their motives... if that makes any sense.

Personally, I think that makes a TON of sense!  There are people out there who are very prejudiced about overweight people, sad as that is and if they won't give me the time of day now, then I don't them giving it to me a hundred pounds from now either.

I'm a pretty decent judge of character, I think and I know that the people in my life now will still be there when I am smaller.  I don't think I have the role in their life of "the fat friend" or the person they don't need to feel threatened by.  I've read about friendships that have gone sour after WLS, but I'd like to think that since I'm 41 years old and most of my friends are somewhere in that vicinity too, we are all mature enough to not label each other like that.  I certainly don't think of Kelly as "my pretty friend" or Lisa as "my healthy friend"or Robyn as "my cancer surviving friend".  Yes, those things may be true about them, but those things are only a small part of who they are, just as I hope that "fat" is only a small part of my overall picture.

And no, I don't ever want to forget where I came from once this is all over.  It could be so easy to stand on the "other side" of a weight problem and instruct others on "how its done".  Just like those folks who think all fat people need to do is get up off the couch and move their tushes (ignorance is indeed bliss).  But the fact remains that the decision to have surgery has been the hardest decision of my life and I know, without a doubt, that is is not the answer for everyone.  I have had to accept the fact that I could die on the table or even after surgery due to a complication.  I have had to accept the fact that many foods I am so fond of, I may never be able to tolerate again.  I have accepted the fact that once this surgery is done, that my entire thought process regarding food must change forever.  I have accepted the fact that I will still need to eat healthy foods and exercise.  So why do some people consider surgery "the easy way out"??  I think what surgery gives is hope to the hopeless, who are convinced that no matter what they do, they will never lose the weight for good.  It may give a head start to weight loss in that it will come off relatively quickly, as opposed to my last attempt of 20 pounds in six months (talk about discouraging!).  There are people who can lose weight by diet and exercise alone and I envy them and wish I could do it and God knows, I've tried to do it....again and again and again. But the weight always comes back on plus more. 

So, the easy way out?  No, I don't think so.  If anything, for me, I would call it the desperate way out or a last ditch effort, but easy?  No way.

The other thing I wanted to comment on was how hard it has been for me to address my weight in this here blog.  I've been blogging for awhile, knowing that strangers or people I have never met in person are reading here and in the internet world, no one knows your size unless you tell them.  It's part of the charm and safety of the web.  But to admit to travelling along a weight loss surgery path, I have had to admit a weight problem here and I even got brave enough to post a picture of me and my sister in law a month ago.  Posting that was really, really hard for me.  Yes, it was taken at a distance, but there is still no hiding anymore.  Yet, I knew I could not come here and talk about this surgery and my weight struggles without being honest, with my readers and with myself.  There will be more pictures, closer to surgery, so I have a record of "Before" shots to later compare.

There's nothing easy about weight, no matter how you look at it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I got sucked into watching part of Oprah on Friday, even though it was one I had already seen.  It had to do with women who'd had WLS and then when they could no longer use food as their addiction, they turned to alcohol or sex or whatever else.  One of the women (might have been Carnie Wilson) said that she would look in the mirror after losing all her weight and think "I don't know who I am anymore."  Then that psychologist friend of Oprah's, Robin, who I cannot stand usually, said that it wasn't that Carnie (I'm assuming it was Carnie, so we'll go with that) didn't know who she was because she had lost weight, but that she hadn't known who she was when she was fat either. 

It got me to thinking that I don't have that problem.  I'm pretty grounded now.  I know who I am, where I belong, what my beliefs are.  I have a very supportive family, a great husband, amazingly supportive friends and I know what my role is with all these people.  I don't have any confusion now about who I am, so can I assume that will be the same after weight loss?  I may be wrong, but I think I can indeed assume that. 

I don't base WHO I am on what I weigh.  My weight is no reflection on the person inside, but it does reflect my abilities to do certain things or at least to do them as comfortably and as confidently as I'd like to.  Unfortunately, the physical being can be judged on certain things I have always loved, such as theater.  I was once turned down for the show "Godspell" because there is a scene where the disciples are on their hands and knees for the parable of the sheep and the goats.  The excuse that it would be "difficult" for me to do that was total BS as I was in my early twenties and a size 18, but there was prejudice that went with being a size 18 in theater.  In the case of "Godspell", I completely outsang the competition (numerous people told me that) but was still turned down because of my weight.  With other auditions, I could easily shine in a character role, but knew better than to audition for a romantic lead...because fat people don't have romantic relationships, or so many theater groups assume??  For me, it was an unfortunate reality that at times caused me to look at myself differently from the way I generally did.  I don't have confidence issues as a rule, but situations like "Godspell" made me take pause and wonder if I had auditioned out of my league.  I was always careful about what I chose to audition for, and had been that time as well, but one man elected to make my weight a much bigger issue than it was at the time.  I find that sad and not really for me, but for society.

No one's worth should ever be based on any kind of number.  I don't want WLS to make myself feel worthy of anything or anyone.  I am already worthy of my relationships, it is my health and my physical limitations I seek resolutions for.  Right now, fat might be what I am, but it isn't who I am, and it certainly does not define me, no matter what lables society would chose to pick.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rhetorical or perverted?

JJ on the way to school this morning:

"Is my butt hot or is it just me?"

He was referring to my car's seat warmers, which apparently work very well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Yeah, I pretty much suck

Apparently, when I dropped out of NaBloPoMo, I elected subconsciously to barely blog at all for now. Totally not intentional, it has just been crazy around here!

We had our first snowfall today of way too many inches.  Probably like six or seven maybe, but as I am not a fan of the cold, white stuff, a half inch is too much for me.  The kids came home two hours early, and will probably not be in school tomorrow.  Ugh.

My parent in laws are coming for Christmas and will be arriving a week from tomorrow.  It's been nearly two years since we've seen them, so it will be nice to visit for a few weeks.  Now, if only my shopping were finished....

On the surgery front, we continue to wait, though all appointments have been scheduled.  We're looking a bit like this:

December 18th: Bariatric nutrition at Bayview
December 19th-Appointment with my PCP to go over all my other health concerns so she has documentation so she can write a letter of medical necessity when the time comes.
January 15th: Appointment with Bayview Nutritionalist at 10:15am, and second nutrition ed appt at 1:00
January 16th: 10:00am, psyche evaluation.
February 5th: Final nutrition education class.

Soon after February 5th, I hope to submit to insurance and then pray for approval.  If the Brit goes first, I'm hoping he will go by mid-March, and then I can go by the end of April.  That gives me about two and a half months before the mission trip and barring any complications, I'm hoping to feel plenty well enough to go.  

That's all for now! 

Monday, December 3, 2007

Avenue Q

 I took a handful of teenagers to DC last night to see Avenue Q and it was a total blast!  These kids keep me young (where my own kids tend to age me ) and the show was so outrageously funny that we just laughed for two solid hours watching it.  I wasn't too sure of what to expect of a show with puppets, but the true to life humor was awesome and the puppeteers worked so well with their puppets that you tended to forget that the actual actor was on stage as well.

My favorites:

The Bad Idea Bears.  They portray what could be called the evil side of your conscience.  ("Get her Drunk!  Yay!"). 

Trekkie Monster is the resident pervert of Avenue Q and was just the coolest puppet. 

We went to dinner first at The Cheesecake Factory and the kids started talking about the mission trip this summer and how they were considering an ocean town.  The inevitable question came up in the form of "You are going again this year, right?"  So, I had to talk to the five of them about surgery and about how it depended on when I had it and how quickly I recovered as obviously, I can't do a mission trip, be at the mercy of someone else for meals (at least without tons of planning) and still be on pureed foods.  I would desperately love to go again and I would love to go as a smaller size with more energy to keep up with this gang, but only time will tell.  I'm hoping they can count me in until for some reason, they can't. 

Thursday, November 29, 2007


So about half my To Do list is finished and now I feel like I'm getting sick.  Go figure.

I was reading an entry by a WLS patient that I have been following and she stated something that rang very true for me:

I didn't want people to think I was physically limited, so I worked extra hard to beat their expectations. I didn't want to acknowledge just how big a problem my weight was, so I felt if I could keep going and wasn't limited, then there really wasn't a problem.

How true it is.  I have always worked my ass off to not fit into the stereotype of a large person; I do major cleaning, I rake and bag leaves, I keep a very clean house, I went on the mission trip (and was exhausted through most of it) and kept up with teenagers all week.  Always acting like I was just as normal as the next "normal size" adult.  But the fact is that I probably have to work three times as hard as a normal size person because I am carrying a whole extra person on my frame.  It's like having to do all the stuff I mentioned above, all the while giving someone else a piggy back ride through my day.  Insanity.  But even now, with acceptance setting in that I cannot control my weight on my own, I still go at a hundred miles per hour through my day, to the point that tonight I am feeling sick.  I have always done this since high school; just ask my mother.  I go and go until I wear myself down to the point of illness, because anything less, in my mind, would be giving into the fat and though I may look like a fat person, I don't have to act like one, by resting.  I think I need to find a happy medium between couch potato and a manic "I'm not fat" maniac.

Still waiting on the next step with the surgeon's office.  One more month of WW (thank goodness!) and then we start Bayview's program mid-December.  I have set up our appointments with the nutritionalist and tomorrow will try to schedule our psyche consults as well.  All the ducks are pretty well lined up!

And now, I think I am going to put on my inner fat girl and call it night.  I'm tired, not feeling well, and going to bed early. 

Monday, November 26, 2007

I need a personal assistant

I am not so sure I could be anymore tired if I tried and I am still behind on every single aspect of my life.  Here's what my week is shaping up to look like as far as what I need to accomplish:


Do two advent bulletins without being able to run it by the pastor as she will not be in this week...fabulous
Get a council election ballot ready.
Have December's newsletter ready to go by Thursday morning
Figure out how to work the stupid bookplates for the new hymnals, type them up and get them inserted before they are placed out in the sanctuary for Sunday.
Work out a prop list for the teenager's Christmas skit


Finish Christmas decorating inside and outside
Grocery shop tomorrow
General cleaning
Sort out JJ's birthday party which is supposed to maybe be Wednesday and I don't even have a cake ordered yet (how horrible am I?)
Call Hopkins to schedule our appointment with the nutritionalist, which I've been meaning to do for THREE weeks.
Finish laundry
Sort out ornaments I just purchased for the family ornament exchange and have them ready to go by the end of the week so they can go out with my mom's mailing.

On the shopping front

Other than Walmart tomorrow, I have to get to the mall on Wednesday for a birthday gift (not my son's thankfully!  One I am already late on)
try to find a narrow bookshelf for the living room
Buy Christmas cards, so I can get working on those by next week.

Other odds and ends
Music and Worship committee meeting Wednesday night at 6:00, which I will probably have to forgo due to the birthday thing.
Praise band rehearsal on Thursday
Sunday, take the teens to see a show in DC.

Can someone tell me where sleeping for like ten hours comes into play???

And on another note...can someone tell me how this child is getting ready to turn eight years old at midnight?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hodge Podge

I am usually a great lover of Christmas.  Not only because I truly know what it is about, but even putting that aside for a moment, I love the decorations and the get togethers and the shopping (A license to shop; what could be better?).  Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year as it holds the promise of things to come.

My deep love of Christmas has waned a bit since adopting the boys and not for the reasons you think.  I love our kids and they have made Christmas a brand new thing for me once again, but we have a unique situation with:

cast of characters:

Great Grandma (GGM)
Great Grandpa (GGP)
Grandma (GM)
Egg Donor (EG)
Sperm Donor (SD)
Cute Little Bio-Sister (LS)

I actually like all the grandparents but GGM and GGP (I think it is more GGM honestly) tend to push the envelope around the holidays especially.  Actually it started a little earlier than usual this year, at Halloween.  JJ was with GGM and GGP the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving and he came home with two bags of candy, one for him and one for Aaron and they were signed "From Daddy and Danielle" (Danielle is the new girlfriend and SD is in jail again last I heard).  I'm sorry, when you don't take care of your kids to the point that they go into the system more than one time and then they don't hear from you EVER, you lose the right to the name "Daddy".  JJ also informed me when he came home that he "Watched Bob the Builder at GGM's house and he hasn't watched that since he lived with her and his last name was __________ (insert biological last name here)."  Those words were not coming from my seven year old;  they were being repeated by my seven year old.

I emailed GM as she is sane and addressed the issues.  She in turn, talked to SD about not signing things "Daddy" and she told me she had talked to him and he was "okay with that."  I'm sorry, I don't give a rat's ass what he is "okay" with.  I'm telling it the way it is.  He can sign things by his given name or he can sign them "Love, your sperm donor" but that's as good as it gets. 

We have always allowed the Grandparents to have the boys Thanksgiving night as well and keep them for a few days.  So this time, GM informed us "You won't get them back till Monday" (this wasn't a threat or anything like that, nor did it come across as mean.  ) And I told her I needed them back on Sunday as they were rehearsing a Christmas program at church. 

Now, the problem is that though they are bringing them back Saturday evening, I have a feeling they will want them on Monday as JJ's birthday is next week and they'll want to celebrate it on Monday with "just the family".  Those words were used last year by GGM in reference to JJ's birthday and they left me trying to explain to JJ why his dad and I were not coming to this particular party.

The other recent problem I have is that GM had JJ Wednesday night as she was also getting LS for the night so the two siblings could spend some time together.  LS lives with the ED.  So when GM brought JJ back home yesterday, he was informing me that he now knew where LS lived.  When questioned, he said he did not go into LS's house, but HELLO!  Why wouldn't GM have brought JJ back first instead of driving him out to the ED's house??? 

The flip side of this whole thing is that I don't want to take the relationships of the boys and their grandparents away from either party.  I feel it is an important relationship to cultivate.  But with that being said, I'd like to feel like I can trust these people to play by the rules.  When they are throwing up ED's name or SD's name, they aren't that for my kid's sake, they are doing that out of their own sense of insecurity.  I wouldn't let my kids go with people I don't trust, so why should I have to allow this??  I know that I don't have to allow it all.  I am not required to let the boys see them at all, but if I stop the visits, then I'm the mean parent as they are not old enough or mature enough to understand the mechanics of this whole thing. 

So, on another note, I braved Black Friday briefly today to buy this.  WLS patients swear by them and this thing was marked 59.99 and I got it for 18.88.  I was very excited.  I generally don't shop on this particular shopping day, but I also love a bargain. 

Monday, November 19, 2007

Busiest time of the year

So it has started.  The Christmas shopping; I'm on it.  Shopping for Thanksgiving it.  Bought myself a new coat off ebay...done.  JJ's birthday present...covered.

I've been busy!  When you're a mom, life is generally hectic, but throw some holidays in there, and it becomes even more so. 

So, I just went in to check on my oldest son's myspace account.  This was the deal when we allowed him to have a myspace; that I had the password, so I could always make sure he was following the guidelines we set for him.  So, I went in and he has decided to change his myspace name to use his first name and his biological last name.  On further investigation, I found a very inappropriate message to the girl across the street. VERY inappropriate.  So, I deleted his account.  I don't know if it was the right thing to do or not, but the problem is that his uncle, who is like 14 years old is on myspace.  The uncle lives with Aaron's bio-mom and that is where I think the problems are coming from.  So, I eliminated the problem.

This is always the worst part of the holidays; dealing with biological families.  The boys don't see their bio parents but they do see the bio-grandparents and at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we just always have to be on the defensive to make sure that nothing occurs that should not occur.  I hate it.  On one hand, I love the fact that the boys get to see their grandparents; the Brit and I both felt that this was important.  On the other hand, there are times when our rules are stretched almost to the breaking point.

We've been told that we are "very nice" in allowing the kids to maintain these relationships.  I like to think of it as the right thing to do, but I also know it is not a requirement on our part.  Then there is the fact that I don't want to hold the boys up as pawns if rules are not followed. 

Maybe people who adopt from other countries have the right idea....

Thursday, November 15, 2007


So, Gina and Gareth are now airborn for the UK.

Interestingly enough, though the Brit and I have been married for nine years now, this was the first I have ever spent any time with my brother and sister in law.  The first time we met, they had flown over here for our wedding.  They arrived an hour or so before the wedding, so there was little time to really get aquainted then and then after our beach wedding, there was a two hour reception before the Brit and I were off for our wedding night. 

The next time we saw Gina and Gareth was seven months later when we flew to the UK for their wedding and that week was a whirlwind.  Again, there were wedding plans which left little time for just getting to know one another.  The next time we flew over was a few years later and it was only for a long weekend, and we shared one meal with them.  So this visit was the first time we truly got to know each other.  What I discovered is that I genuinely love these people and adored spending time with them. 

Gina and I are scary alike.  We like the same things, have very similar senses of humor, dislike many of the same things and have the same fears (heights, spiders, etc).  We both love to shop and this was a wonderful thing for me as I rarely have anyone to shop with.  So we spent a lot of time conquering stores!

A few of my favorite moments:

Gina: What's YO mean?

Me: It's a state.

(she was asking me about the American abbreviation for Yarn over, but if you say "what does YO mean?" aloud...well, you can see the mix up.)

Gina:  I love this song!  I know all the words to this song!

The Brit:  That's good as you sure don't know the tune.


Gina: What state are we in?

Me: Pennsylvania

Gina:  Ohhh, where the vampires live!

Gareth:  That would be Translyvania.

Gina: Well, I knew it was a ' vania'.


We had laughing fits in the car on the way to Canada over tomatoes and pringles.  She's the fastest knitter I know and will try anything once (she tried and loved Sushi).  She is the first Brit I have met to not detest peanut butter and she made a pumpkin pie from scratch while she was here.  Please note that she had never tried pumpkin pie before a store bought one their first week here and when I say "from scratch" I mean starting with the pumpkin.  She refused to believe that most people make "homemade" pie from a can. 

I not only got to know my sister in law, I made a new friend and I miss her already.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thanksgiving is for.....

....other people's families??

So, after a delightful trip to Niagara Falls with Gareth and Gina, we returned home late last night.  Today, I called my mother to let her know we were home and after a bit of chitchat, I was informed that she would be spending Thanksgiving with my brother's wife's family.  So essentially, my little family of four will be the outcasts for Thanksgiving this year.  I'm not sure what I did, unless it was not to consult anyone in October as to the plan for Thanksgiving, but I was, after all, planning a little reunion for the Brit and his brother, who had not seen each other in five years.  So, whatever.

Canada was fabulous and we did all the touristy things like the Skylon Tower, the Sky Wheel and the four males did a helicopter ride over the falls, which judging by the pictures, was incredible.  Gina and I prefer our feet more or less on the ground. 

Our hotel left a bit to be desired, which was a bit disappointing for a Marriott.  The first night when we arrived, exhausted, our room, and the entire floor was roughly the temperature of a dry sauna and no amount of air conditioning was helping it.  We called down to complain and they sent up a fan.  One fan for a two room suite.  Brilliant.  The front desk people were rude, it took us all three days to get a remote for the second room television that worked and they called and woke up my children at 12:20am on the last night.  Granted, the Brit's car window was down, but maybe it is just me, but either don't call me at all, or come knock on my door as you know I have children.

Anyway, so today has been quiet, other than laundry, and tomorrow, I go back to work.  NaBloPoMo is over for me, but I'm going to keep the little cat on the page for awhile because I likez him  

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I effed up NaBloPoMo.

So, I'm in Canada having a great time.  See ya'll sometime next week.

It's all Gina's fault.  Her and her red bloody wine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Road Trip!

So tomorrow afternoon we are heading to Canada for a couple of days.  Today was a shopping day and dang, do I love me some new clothes from CJ Banks.  However, I really need to stop buying them now until after surgery and weight loss.  They are kind of needed at the moment because of winter coming and I didn't have much in the way of sweaters and I am so all about the warmth! 

My sister in law is a speed knitter.  In the course of about five days, she knitted a cabled bag that needs to be felted, compared to my twelve inches of scarf in the same amount of time.  I love the way English gals knit; the way they rest the right handed needle between their thumb and pointer finger, while using the pointer finger to place the yarn over the needle, but I can't seem to get the hang of it.  Maybe it just takes practice.  I'm not sure I'll ever be more than a novice knitter, but that's okay.  I just love knitting and the way the wool feels in my hands.

After all, I am all about the warmth.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Consult

Apparently, no matter how organized one tries to be, one will get screwed over.  About six weeks ago, I printed all the necessary forms off of the surgeon's website, made a copy and then filled them out for both the Brit and I.  I then put it all neatly in a manila envelope, addressed it and sent Aaron down the street to the mailbox to mail it. 

Apparently, organization requires a copy.

We got to the consult to find out that they had none of the paperwork.  The excuse was that they got so many completed forms in the mail and those people often never schedule or show up for a consult.  So, we had to fill them out all over again...all twelve pages.

After that, things got better.  We met Pat, the nurse practioner and then Dr. S.  I had been warned that though Dr. S was one of the very best, he was not a "warm and fuzzy" doctor.  I really didn't have any issues with him at all.  He was friendly enough (he talks really loud for some reason), straight forward and honest.  The Brit asked why he had gotten into this line of medicine and his answer was that he was tired of putting a bandaid on the co-morbidities.  He would treat something that was caused by obesity, but not the obesity itself. He wanted to deal with the cause of the problems and not with the symptoms.  We discussed his complication rate and he went over the way he prevents leaks (as of January 2006, after 1000 gastric bypass surgeries, he had no leaks....this is one of the lowest in the world). I asked him if he'd had any patients die and he told me not on the table but that he had lost a couple of patients due to blood clots and those patients had a history of blood clots before surgery.  He answered all our questions honestly, told us we only needed about 4-6 between our two surgeries (now we have to decide who goes first) and gave the Brit a couple of options.

So on Wednesday, I plan to call to schedule our appointments with their nutritionalist and try to get it on a day where we will all ready be down there for our other structured diet meetings.  I need to find out how to pick a shrink to do those assessments in the event the one that Bayview recommends does not take our insurance. 

But all in all, a good day!

Oh, and i'm knitting on straight needles at the moment...can you believe it?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

If I pull this off it will be a miracle

Now I'm having my doubts about even finished NaBloPoMo!  I lose track of time in the evenings when sitting around chatting with Gina and before I know it, it is nearly midnight and I haven't blogged!  It's so nice to have another female in the house close to my age, whom I see eye to eye with on so many things, that I just want to take advantage of the time they are here!

Tomorrow we have our consults with Dr. S in Baltimore.  I'll let ya'll know how it goes!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Amish Country revisited

So we took Gina and Gareth to Lancaster today and had a wonderful time.  We took them to The Outhouse, which is always good for a laugh.  Then we hit a buffet for lunch at Hershey Farm, hit the Mt Hope Wineryfor some more of my favorite brand of wine (We got a case...woot!).  Then we went for a ride through the Amish countryside, courtesy of the Strausburg Railroad.  It was a bit chilly all day but sunny and lovely otherwise.  I took pictures, which I will try to download tomorrow for your viewing pleasure.  I  never get as much shopping in as I'd like to do in Lancaster, but one day it will happen!

Tomorrow, we're having a quick cleanup and start of laundry after church.  Then some shopping and a trip to Lisa's. 

I'm not sure if these posts would be considered "quality" but I'm trying!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Just under the wire

I'm thinking that nearly forgetting to blog on day two is not a good sign of things to come.

I have already given myself permission to not complete a novel in the month of November.  I have not given up, but given the fact that I am completely enjoying the visitors from England, I can't bring myself to cloister myself away to write and miss the two weeks they are here.  I will still strive to make the word count, but if I don't, so be it.  People are more important and being with the other daughter-in-law to my in-laws has been great fun thus far.  Gina and I have much in common, from knitting, to many of our likes and dislikes right down to our senses of humor.  Though it has only been one full day, I think I shall miss her terribly when she goes home.

Tomorrow, we are taking she and Gareth to Lancaster on a day trip (my ulterior motive is to purchase more of that wonderful wine we got in August!).  Next week, we are taking the kids out of school for a long weekend to visit Niagara again, as it is something Gina would very much like to see. 

That's it for now!  More soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

And so it begins

Well, I'm out of the starting gate.  I have written so far today, 2,691 words.  Can I tell you I'm terrified??

Here's a sample of today's writing.  Remember, lots of editing needs to happen!  The main idea is to get the thoughts down and they can be rearranged and made to flow beautifully later!!

I was eleven that summer and the day we moved into our new home, I got my first period.  My mother was so excited she called her brother to tell him that her little girl had become a woman.  I remember being really embarrassed by her doing that.  It seemed like such a gross, yet personal thing and it certainly wasn’t something I wanted anyone male to know!  Needless to say, my mother was the only one excited about it.  It was just one more thing that made me different in my eyes. 

When we had lived in California, I had attended a private Lutheran school.  Now, in our new town, there was no private Lutheran school, so I went into the public school system.  The little bit of teasing I had endured in California didn’t hold a candle to what I went through in Maryland.  Public school children here were so much different than the kids I had grown up with in my rather sheltered life.  On the west coast, I endured an occasional mean spirited comment about being overweight, while on the east coast, it was rare that a day went by without someone saying something to me or about me. 

I hated it and felt lost and alone.  The friends I made were in my neighborhood or on my bookshelves.  As a child, I had always been an avid reader and now especially, I could easily lose myself in such tales as “The Black Stallion”, “My Friend, Flicka” and “Misty of Chincoteague”.  I was completely infatuated with horses.  Maybe it was because they could run so fast and it didn’t matter what size the rider was, she could go as fast as the wind upon a trusty mount.  Reading also isolated me and protected me.  Books didn’t judge and they took me to wonderful places where friends were friends forever and always and no one moved away.

My parents soon realized that public school and I were not getting along quite so well, so they decided to try to give me a little of what I had always known, though it was one of the most misguided things they had ever done.  They enrolled me in private school…private catholic school.  Suddenly, I had to wear uniforms that consisted of a dress/jumper and a white blouse, knee socks and black shoes.  What was even worse was the fact that every week, each class went to a mass held in the church.  They went to confession and took communion, but I was not permitted to partake of any it because I was not catholic.  I would sit in the pew alone, while the rest of my class went through the familiar ritual.  I felt singled out and self conscious and everyone was aware that I was not permitted to participate.

I was struggling to make friends at this new school and it didn’t take me long to find out that either sixth grade girls or catholic girls knew a lot about sex that my little life had not permitted me to know.  One day, a few of the older girls cornered me on the playground to give me a “sex test” that consisted of a couple of questions.

I flunked.

They all had their laugh at my embarrassment and I went home and told my mother, who in turn, went out and purchased me a book with animated pictures of naked people in it that explained about how babies were made.  Ironically, I remember how the woman in the book was thin and lovely and the man had a bit of a beer belly. 

Another day, I was coming out of one of my classes, when Floyd, a boy who was known for being in persistent trouble, reached over, grabbed my breast and twisted it, while yelling “Titty twister!”  I was still one of a few girls who had even started growing breasts and for anyone to point out what I considered to be one of my shames was terribly embarrassing.  The school told my mother that Floyd was a bit of a special case and that they couldn’t do anything about it.

It wasn’t too long after that our parents put the house on the market, sold it, and we moved back to California in what was about to be another difficult transition.  Kids are fickle and when their friend moves away, their lives do not stop because they know other people and had no need to start over.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just a reminder

I'm not going to say much tonight as I have spent the day cleaning in preparation of not only family from England arriving tomorrow late afternoon, but also to clear some time for after work tomorrow to start writing for NaNoWriMo.  Just to remind ya'll that since I am also doing NaBloPoMo, I will posting excerpts here from the novel writing, which will have to do with my weight issues and what has brought me to the point I am now, which is pursuing RYN.

Another reminder:  I will be doing next to NO editing on the novel because as the creators of NaNoWriMo say "Editing is what December is for."  I will try to be coherent, but please bear with me. 

Also, any cheer leaders during the month of November would be gladly welcomed!

Here is what was in my inbox this morning in regards to my novel writing month:

Dear NaNoWriMo participant

Well, we're on the cusp of another beautiful noveling November. The turn-out so far has been phenomenal. Between our main program and Young Writers Program, we'll have over 90,000 authors on board by the end of the week, making this officially the largest NaNoWriMo since the event was first adapted from an Andorran mule-wrestling ceremony back in 1999.   

For those of you who are new to NaNo, I want to quickly run through the noveling schedule for the month ahead.

Step 1: Keep reading this email; learn the secret of NaNoWriMo.
Step 2: Wait for 12:01 AM local time on November 1.
Step 3: Write a novel.

No problem.

Okay, back to Step 1. The secret of NaNoWriMo. Which is this: There is a door in your brain. The door has been there your whole life. You may not have noticed it before because it blends in with everything else in your brain. Weird art. Mismatched furniture. Squis hy gray bits clinging to everything.     

So what does this door have to do with your novel?

Your job this month is not so much writing a book (which is intimidating) as it is finding that door (which is easy).

It's easy because you'll have guides in November who will take you right to it.    

These guides are also known as your characters. They're kind of an abstract notion now, but you'll meet them in all their glory in Week One of NaNoWriMo. They'll be a strange lot. Insecure warlocks. Stamp-collecting squirrels. Teenage detectives.

Whoever shows up, go with them. And go quickly. You may have a general sense of where you're going together; you may not. It doesn’t matter. Just write your allotment of 1667 words (or more) on November 1. Don't edit any of it. Editing is for December. Then come back and write another 1667 words the next day. And the next. And the next.

By Week Two, you'll be at the door. A few words later, you'll be through it. You'll know you're there because the writing will feel different. Less like work, and more like watching a gloriously imperfect movie with cringe-worthy dialogue, heaps of confusing tangents, and moments of brilliance so delightful that you'll want to scream.

Once you've stepped through that door into the vast reaches of your imagination, you'll be able to return there as often as you like. It's an enchanted, intoxicating place, and there are other great things besides novels in there.

But we'll talk about that later.

For now, here's our game plan for the coming week.

1) Make sure you've affiliated with a region and then made it your Home Region. This is a two-step process. You do it by signing in and then going to the My Regions page of My NaNoWriMo. The far-left tab gives you a list of regions to choose from. Choose one by clicking "affiliate," then go to the far-right tab called Home Region and make sure your region is ticked.

2) Make sure you have your Edit Profile settings geared to allow emails from us (if you got this, you're good), and that your email program knows to accept messages from Pep talks from esteemed authors will begin landing in your inbox this week, and will continue to arrive every four days or so. To turn off emails from us, just head to Edit Profile and change your settings to "No mail."

3) On November 1: Begin writing. At this point, you'll be able to begin updating your word count on the Author Info tab of the Edit Profile page. You can do this on the honor system by just typing in the number, or you can paste the whole book in and let our robots count it for you. If you paste your book, please scramble it first, using instructions in our FAQ. You can also post an excerpt of your book in the same area of the Edit Profile page.  

4) For the first week of the event, the site will be on fire. This year we moved to a completely new back-end system, and it has made me beat my head against the wall almost every single day. Pages disappear. Parts fall off. Error screens everywhere. It handles high traffic the way a country lane would handle a freeway. We have so many plans on rebuilding the site it for next year it's not even funny. But for now, we have to work with what we've got. Russ is making all the improvements he can to make it suck less.

If the site isn't functional, just postpone updating your word count until the dust settles. NaNoWriMo does not live on a website. It lives in your heart, in your powerful typing fingers, and in your dramatically escalating word count.

We'll keep working on the site. You keep working on your novel.

Together we will rock November.

Happy noveling, everyone! We're so glad to have you writing with us.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Almost time

I can finally say that on Monday, we have our consult for RNY!  I'm very excited.  The weekend had me feeling rather wistful about a lot of things.  People who have never had weight problems, may not understand the full impact fat has our lives. 

We discovered some old video tape on Saturday from the first year we had the boys.  It consisted of Christmas, Halloween and our trip to Florida (if video doesn't give you a good idea of what you really look like, nothing will) and it made me a little sad and then it seemed to fuel my determination.  Disney and Sea World can be difficult when you are big in the size department.  Lots of walking, trying to fit into rides that are not necessarily made for larger people, heel/back/leg pain after a day in the park.  I find myself thinking that we are shortchanging our kids.  Our inability to be as mobile as we should be impacts them.  I found myself wanting to do Disney again after surgery and weight loss.  I want to go and do it as a normal size, where I can truly have my children experience it and have me experience it with them. 

That all got me to thinking about the beach.  I love the ocean with a passion that may not even be normal.  I love the sound, the smell, the sight of it.  I love playing in it and treading the waves.  I love the feel of sand between my toes.  But again, weight impacts my ability to enjoy it fully.  Walking on sand is not easy when you are overweight big fluffy obese.  There I said it.  I hate that word with everything in me, but I said it.  So now, I feel like I am shortchanging myself!  I want to spend time at the ocean and be comfortable to walk the shore and lie on the beach (without someone calling marine rescue to come save a beached animal).  I am missing out on some of my favorite parts of life!

I think we can become too accepting of things, like being obese.  We start thinking "Well, that is just the way it is and the way it will always be and I just need to learn to live with it."  But why?  Why learn to live with it when you can fight back? 

I know that surgery is not the answer for everyone and I commend people who are able to take it off naturally and keep it off.  But time and again, that has not proven to work for me.  So, I became immune.  I gave up and tried to make myself accept the fact that this must be how God intended for me to be, and there are probably people out there who would adamently agree with that.  But if I am unhappy, is that what God wants for me?  I don't think so.

So in six days, I should have a plan to begin to change my life to one I am happy with.

And in two days, my life will change with lots of writing for the next thirty days.  Hold on, ya'll.  It could be a bumpy ride.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A better Friday

So, I made the decision to do both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo and then on December 1st, ya'll can have me committed.  I need to make sure that the Brit knows (as he encouraged me to do this, even with company coming!) that this means I will need to be using his laptop on the drive to Canada if we are doing that while his brother is here.  Writing for NaNoWriMo will probably mean not taking a day completely off from writing as I need to write about 1667 words per day for thirty days.  Anyone know of a good word counting program??  I thought Word might have one, but I'm using a new version of it and can't even locate the "undo" tab yet, which is moderately annoying.

So, NaBloPoMo folks, I hope you visit, though I don't know how much visiting I'll be getting done on other participating blogs.  I hope I can manage to view some as I picked up a few great reads from last year!  Is anyone else doing both??  I'd love to know if you are!

Not much other news, though the weekend is looking like a bit of a bummer.  I have to go work a fiber festival on Sunday and though several of my best buddies will be there, the whole thing is a bit of a sore spot with me.  I have not been to my knitting group since June, partly due to a couple months of other committments and mostly due to the fact that the decision was made to participate in this festival.  While, in theory, it is a nice idea, for me, with a part-time job and two full-time kids, it was just not possible.  I am not a fast knitter...actually, I am the slowest knitter I know.  Mind you, I love knitting. Truly!  But it is a hobby that I have little time for right now, though as the kids get older, there will be more time.  The aspect of the festival put a level of stress on my hobby that I hated, so not only did I decide I did not want to do the festival, I boycotted knitting altogether from June until two weeks ago! 

There have also been a few other issues which I won't go into, but when too many rules inundate one's hobby, it is time to find another group.  When a hobby becomes "mandatory" it is time to find another group.  But I did sign up to work the festival on Sunday, so I will be there...if Lisa sends me directions

Other than that, not much going on tomorrow!  I'm looking forward to no early alarm clock, but we do have to go weigh in by 10:30!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I have LSS!

I have just given myself an official diagnosis.

There is not a lot known about LSS other than it is prevelant among the overweight population who have made the decision to pursue WLS.  Symptoms are an urge to eat all foods not good for you, while feeling a sense of euphoria and freedom.  It also diminishes ones sense of guilt for such practices. 

Yes, dear readers, I have Last Supper Syndrome.  Do you like that?  I just made it up!

I have got to get this under control before the holidays hit!  Ever since making my decision, I have been afraid of hurting the feelings of any food that made me fat in the first place.  Not eating chocolate would certainly hurt chocolate's feelings and ya'll know how I am about wanting everyone to like me! 

In a sense, I suppose it is good and probably normal.  For instance, my mind is preparing itself to say goodbye to old habits.  Already, I am looking at Christmas and thinking that this will be the last Christmas where I can fully indulge in all my favorite sweets, such as homemade candy, peanut butter blossoms (OMG, Peanut Butter Blossoms!) apple pie with Bird's custart, etc.  Then I look at that on the flip side.  Indulge?  What that translates into is not just enjoying a taste of something sweet, but deciding to divide and conquer that particular food for that particular season, to the point that when the last crumbs have been swept away and the tree has been put to the curb, and the decorations are back down in the basement, I am looking in a mirror thinking "What on earth have you done and how long will it take you at least get back to the weight you were before Christmas?

I guess it is a bit of a mourning process as I grieve the loss of an old friend, probably a best friend: food.

Then in a sense, LSS is bad because because I don't really want to gain weight before surgery.  Add to that the fact that I don't know what my insurance company is looking for in six months of structured diet programs.  Some say, that they think insurance companies put this in place to discourage people.  How many folks really want to go through it all again for six months in order to get the surgery?  Others say that insurance companies have you do this to see if you can stick to a program pre-op.  Now, does stick to a program mean, lose weight on a program, or just be present?  I have no idea.

But I need to get myself under control and find a way to think a bit differently, at least in a place of Happy Medium. 

Monday, October 22, 2007

Where the crazies gather

So, ya'll are killing me with all the comments about November.  Is it just indifference or fear of standing up in public

Anyway, in honor of Crystal's Walmart experience I remembered that not all the crazies gather at the Walmart.  No, there is at least one other place where everyone goes, regardless of sanity, goofiness or any other general absurdity.  That place would be the MVA or the Motor Vehicle Administration.  Because just as everyone loves to shop cheap, most of those folks like to drive to get there.

I had the unfortunate experience of the MVA last Friday due to the little incident with the car and the robbery.  At that point, my purse had not yet been found, so it was fairly important to me that I get a replacement license in the event of being pulled over for any reason.  So, while my window was being repaired, the Brit drove me out to the MVA, though he was not foolish enough to actually enter the building with me.  Smart guy.

The place was the busiest I had ever seen it, though I try not to make a habit of going.  It may have been because school was out on Friday, so it was time to take all the teens out to try for their driver's licenses, but the joint was packed.  I explained my situation and got the dreaded number that I had to wait to appear on the little screen that shows what numbers are being serviced (Yes, I'd like a back massage and a facial please) and then took a seat to people watch. 

Not too much was going on until this little old, white haired lady got out of line with her number and started wandering around.  She had a little grin on her face, so she didn't look distressed or anything and she was obviously alone.  My amusement was already unfolding.  She approached this handsome, young man and was apparently asking him what she needed to do.  Though I did not hear the question, I did hear him explain to her three times that she would need to watch the board for her number to come up and then he directed her to a seat and escaped as quickly as possible.

Grandma puttered over to a bench and sat down quickly but with the longest, most vocal groan I had ever heard.  Despite the business of the place, there was no missing that sound.  The lady sitting across from me and her two teenagers, joined me in silent giggles until we were on the verge of tears.  It was about that time that grandma decided she was tired of watching the little screen, so she started talking to it too.

"Come eeehn" ("Come on" but it sounded way more like eeehn)

Another round of giggles from the two women and two teens who are all apparently really five years old.

"Come EEEEHN!"

By this time more people are looking and giggling until finally grandma's number pops up.  She jumps up from her seat, (no groan in the reverse) and putters up to the counter where she is getting a handicapped tag for her car.  That seems to go without incident.  Once she is finished, she turns and putters through the room, towards the door and is stopped by an elderly man in a handicapped cart, maybe trying to hit on her.  I have no idea what he said to her, but her response was a very loud,

"I'm goin' to HELL!"

Either that or she was headed to the Walmart.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

So, here's what I'm thinking

I've really been struggling with the idea of abandoning my blog for the entire month of November for NaNoWriMo for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, I have readers, no matter how quiet they can be in the comments, and I certainly don't want the readers who do not know me personally to forget I exist where there aren't many posts for 30 days.  The other reason is that not posting is going to limit my chances of getting new readers. 

I am certainly not hung up on numbers when it comes to readers, but here is what I am loving right now about the blogging world.  There are a ton of WLS patients out there who blog about it and I am learning so much from them.  I have even started a journal where I take note of the tidbits of valuable information I am picking up from fellow bloggers.  Things like Stubbs Chicken Marinade and Fage Yogurt and Laptop Lunch boxes, not to mention such important information about vitamins, exercise, water, and protein.  Their willingness to share their journey on the internet paves the way for my journey to hopefully have a few less bumps or at least a few less moments of being completely overwhelmed.  No, what works for one person may not work for me, but with taking notes from different bloggers, I am developing a list of possible options.  I do not want to go into this life changing experience blindly!

So with that being said, here is what I have been thinking and I ask you lurkers to come out of hiding long enough to tell me what you think.  I have been feeling a wee bit sad about abandoning NaBloPoMo and doing NaNoWriMo instead, so I'm thinking of combining them and doing both.  I can work on the autobiographical novel that will help me work through my food and weight issues and then post pieces of it here for ya'll to read.  I don't know whether it would be interesting for you to read, but it might be helpful to a new reader who is looking at her own weight issues or considering surgery.  I plan on attempting to delve far into the past to when I can first remember having my own issues.  I plan on being what will probably be for me, painfully honest, about myself, my life, the things that have caused me to have the relationship I have with food and weight and body image and self esteem.  I will spend time analyzing and pondering and I may not always get it right, but I'm going to make a truer attempt than I have ever made before, because it needs to happen.  I deserve to go into this surgery with my eyes wide open, not only about the procedure itself but about myself.

I know that some of my friends probably have reservations and concerns about what I am planning on embarking on, but I have to thank them for being nothing short of supportive so far.  I'm going to need all of you to help keep me sane over the next few months with waiting for insurance approval, when a surgery date looms closer and I start to freak out a little and in the aftermath of learning to nourish new wiring in my body.  I have no doubt you will all be there.

So, what do you think?  Would you be interested in reading some tidbits of my delving into my weird psyche during the month of November? 

Saturday, October 20, 2007

This and That again

I know that I don't usually blog on the weekends, but as I sucked so badly blogging this past week, I'm trying to make up for it.

I ran into a woman I used to work with when I worked in Corporate America hell.  I had just been talking about this lady to someone like a week ago, because I knew that she had lost a lot of weight and I was fairly certain she'd had RNY.  I hadn't seen her in years and years but today, I ran into her!  She looks fabulous and did indeed have RNY.  She talked to the Brit and I for a long time and gave us a lot advice as well as her phone number in the event we had any questions.  I loved talking to her because she had this surgery ten years ago and is doing great!  I'm so excited and cannot wait for my turn to arrive!

We had a youth gathering last Sunday night and I have a few pics to share.  There are more, but godaddy is giving me all sorts of grief about downloading pictures lately and they aren't responding to my to my problem tickets.

They're kinda scary, aren't they?

Does he look Asian to you?

He's doing an impersonation of one of the girls.  Too funny!

I love all these kids and am so glad to be a part of the group!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thank God Friday is over!

**Warning:  There could be some cursing in this post

So, no I have not blogged all week, mostly due to the Brit being away on business until yesterday and when I am single parenting, the kids tend to wear me out a bit, plus Aunt Flo was visiting this week.  I also really didn't have much that was blog worthy until last night.

Thursday nights are praise band rehearsal at the church, so last night, we rehearsed and then the three of us sat around and gabbed for a bit.  The church is usually pretty busy on Thursday nights, because the cub scouts also meet that night in the basement.  Now, I don't practice irresponsibility regularly, but there are just certain places, ie. a church, where I feel pretty safe.  I have left my purse on the floor of my car at the church literally HUNDREDS of times in the past and have never felt the least bit concerned. 

Until last night, when the three of us went to exit the building.  The scouts were already gone, and we were all laughing and joking on our way out to the parking lot.  I was still chattering with Paula when I unlocked my door and that is when I realized that there was glass on the passenger seat of my car.  My passenger window had been shattered and my purse was gone.  I said a few choice words, as Paula and Dave realized what happened.  Dave started to scour the area looking to see if the culprits might have at least tossed the purse out after taking what they wanted from it.  Paula and I headed back into the church to first call the Brit ("Start cancelling stuff, honey, stat!") and then the police.  While waiting for the police, I just kept exploding.

"Damn it!  My ipod was in there!  My cell phone!  Damn it!"

What I didn't have in there was cash, as I rarely carry it.  But there were a few credit cards and a book of checks. 

The police arrived and he took note of what had been in my bag and he asked me to call him the next day with the serial numbers for the phone and ipod. 

I was absolutely livid while driving home that night, wind rushing in through the non-exisitant passenger window and glass covering the passenger seat and floor.  I will never, ever understand why anyone thinks they have the RIGHT to take something that does not belong to them!  I felt angry and vicitimized and I hated it.  They had my license and knew where I lived.  They had  my medical card and the kid's medical cards, library cards.  Fine, take the credit cards (I can cancel them and already had) and my phone (cancelled that service too) and hell, even my ipod, but damnit, leave me my personal things that are simply a pain in the ass for me to replace! 

I didn't sleep well at all last night...too angry, stunned and a little afraid.  Rationally, I knew that the asshats who broke out my window IN A CHURCH PARKING LOT and stole my stuff, were probably not out to murder me and my family, but it was still a wee bit unnerving. 

This morning I made the appointment for noon to have my window replaced and while that was being done, the Brit took me to get my driver's license replaced.  Then it was to the Sprint store to see how to get a replacement phone.  Once I picked my car back up, I had an hour and a bit before I was to meet Paula and Kirk to go see "Across the Universe", so I headed out to the mall early to try to find a new purse and a new wallet.  I couldn't find a bag I liked for a price I was willing to pay and no one had my Stone Mountain wallet, which I dearly loved, so I was just getting more and more pissed off.  I decided that even more than the ipod these idiots would get, I hoped they kept and read the little Bible I carried in my purse....I hoped they either read it or that someone beat the snot out of them with it (I am not always rational).  I finally found a knitted bag at Old Navy that I could live with and then it was time to meet the friends for the movie. 

They were walking up to the theater about the time I got there and my first words were "There has not even been a word invented to describe the level of pissed off I still am."  To which they replied in unison "The Brit called; the police found your bag."

I was stunned, but skeptical.  Of course they had discarded what would be of no use to them, so maybe at least the medical cards would be there.  I went to the police station after the movie and what was totally amazing was that everything was there other then my now cancelled credit cards and my book of checks.  They didn't take my ipod or my cell phone which totally confused me.  But I was still thrilled to find most of my personal cards and my ipod (I love my music).

So let this be a cautionary tale...don't think you are safe even in what you perceive to be a safe place.  Apparently even in small towns, there are people who think it is their right to help themselves to someone else's stuff.  Oh and if anyone needs an extra driver's license, I now have two.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NaNoWriMo Ut Oh

So, after deciding to do NaNoWriMo this year, I found out that the first two weeks of November the Brit's brother and sister in law would be visiting us for the first time.  I immediately panicked, but the Brit seems to think that I can manage.  I have completely changed what I was planning to write about to something that is going to be way easier.  My original thoughts were of the Christian fiction novel I have always wanted to write, but after reading Crazy Aunt Purl's book, I came to the realization that something autobiographical could be beneficial, both from a time standpoint as well as it being rather cathartic.  I need to delve into some of my food issues as a way of preparing for a new way of life and that can be done through writing about the experiences that have made me who I am.  In all honesty, I have led a rather interesting life, with some interesting and amusing experiences, so why not write them down?

I am also a little bit sad about not being a part of NaBloPoMo this year, but I don't think I can handle a novel as well as blogging every day for the month of November.  I thought about signing up just to see if it could be done, but the jury is still out on that one.

This Friday is Stitches East in Baltimore and I am going with Kelly, Lisa and Robyn and am very excited.  There have really been few girls days out during the summer months so I'm about starved for one!  I went to this event last year and completely enjoyed it.

I have been posting for quite some time on a message board dealing with weight issues and most recently on the WLS part of that board.  I had visited that part of the board many times over the last year, but have recently become more active there.  It is a small, albeit  warm and friendly bunch of folks with a wonderful moderator from NJ who had the surgery in 2002.  Yesterday, I posted about my consult being scheduled in Baltimore for November 5th (Ack!  Something else to do in November!  I may need the Brit to update my new laptop soon before then!) and today I had a Private Message from the moderator, that goes like this:

Kim - honey - i'm coming down to baltimore on Friday for STITCHES EAST. will you be at stitches, too?? <i saw that you're a knitter!!!> i'm leaving on Sunday - maybe - just maybe - we could meet up????

let me know. we'll tawk!!!!

How amazing is that?  So we exchanged cell numbers and as she will not get down there till the afternoon, she will call when she arrives so we can find a spot to chat for little while.  Just made what will already be a fabulous day that much better!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I love fall television

I'm always so happy when the Fall television schedule finally starts up again.  After a long summer of reruns and little to watch, it is so nice to once again be able to engage in a little boob tube time.  So, in the event you are interested, or even if you aren't, here are my pics and opinions on my favorite shows.

Daytime Television:

I don't watch a lot of it, but I do admit to being a bit of a Dr. Phil/Oprah fan if the topic interests me.  There are also times when one or both of them annoy me in some way as well.  Dr. Phil last week had on an up and coming singer and her mother, who the singer girl now hates.  It was obvious the mother and daughter had issues and neither one was guilt free.  What really annoyed me though was the friend of the mother's who chaperoned the daughter on a trip and let the daughter drink, smoke and party.  Dr. Phil never took so much as a swing at her, but boy, I had a lot I wanted to say to her!  Sometimes he just doesn't quite get it right, but more often than not, he is right on the money.

Prime Time:


It just doesn't get much more interesting, amusing or snarky for me than watching this show.  The cast is fabulous, Hugh Laurie is brilliant and I love the little snide joke and remarks.  I have had a great affection for Wilson ever since "The Dead Poet's Society" and have greatly enjoyed seeing his work once again.  House's character is so complex that it keeps you guessing from week about what layer may next be unpeeled.  I love it.

Thursdays-CSI Las Vegas

I know that many people prefer Miami or New York, but for me, Crime Scenes don't get any better than the original cast.  I may be one of the few people on the planet who still wants Jorja Fox in the cast, but that is fine by me, and I was happy to see her return this season.  Now, comes the question on what will happen with her and Gil now that the cat is out of the bag about their relationship.  I could stand to see less of Catherine at times and would like to see them develop some of the other characters a bit more.  The show is probably not for the squeamish, but as long as I avoid the bugs in Gil's office, I do just fine.

Sundays-Brothers & Sisters

If you are not watching this show, you should be.  The cast is amazing.  Sally Field doesn't look a day over "Steel Magnolias" and though I have never seen Calista Flockhart in anything, I love her work.  What also surprises me is how damn good Rob Lowe still looks...not that he's old, but "St. Elmo's Fire" wasn't exactly a movie from last year. 

The show is essentially about a family, minus one deceased father, who left behind both a widow and a mistress.  He also had a child by the mistress that the family has recently found out about.  The family is highly dysfunctional in both a warm and amusing way.  If you haven't watched it, check it out, Sunday nights at 10:00!  You won't be sorry you did!


I am also a fan of "Big Medicine" and "Little People, Big World" but these shows seem to run on different times and now no new episodes are out until winter (I think).  "Big Medicine" is about weight loss surgery and LPBW is about just that...a married dwarf couple, who have children; three of regular stature and one little person. 

So, to end tonight, I thought I'd share this story as a bit of an inspiration:

Hamden (WTNH)_ The Hartford Marathon is expected to draw thousands of runners this week. One Hamden man is running the marathon of his life. (Rest of the story here)

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Strawberry Conspiracy

I have such a headache and it is refusing to go away.  I fear that bed might be the only answer.

This little box nearly sent me into a tizzy today.  Crystal Lite Energy Strawberry flavor has single-handedly had me drinking water for the past six months.  Any of you who know me well, know that I despise water.  Too boring, no flavor.  The flavored waters you can purchase make me want to wretch, as does putting lemon in a glass of H2o.  But six months ago, when I spotted this on the shelf at Wally World, I bought it and fell in love.  64 ounces of water a day is noooo longer an issue; in fact it is the only thing that truly quenches my thirst.

Last week during my grocery shopping excursion at Wally World, I discovered, to my horror, that they didn't have any of the strawberry flavored packs.  I didn't panic as I knew I had another full box at home.  But today, when grocery shopping, they still didn't have it and I was OUT!  I was totally traumatized.  If I'm having RNY in the spring, and I need to get in water, this stuff is what I will probably need (hard to be totally sure of that as they say your tastes change and some things you used to love are suddenly too sweet after surgery).  I finished shopping and tonight, I had to go out and pick up Aaron's meds, so I stopped in at Food Lion to purchase the Crystal Lite.  THEY WERE ALSO OUT OF THE STRAWBERRY!  It is now a conspiracy and I am panicking that they have discontinued it for some reason.  Why else would everyone be out of it.  My concern led me farther away from home to Martins, where I did find it and bought four boxes for a greater price than I pay at Wally World, but hey, can you really put a price on peace of mind in regards to water intake?

Next Tuesday, the Brit and I venture to Hopkins Bayview for an informational session on gastric bypass surgery.  We're supposed to bring our questions, but honestly, with all the message boards and blogs I've been reading, I already know tons!  I will still be anxious to hear what they have to say though and one session is required by who will hopefully be our surgeon.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

No Crying in Baseball

I got the following from a WLS website and loved it.  Plus, I want the Brit to read it and be aware of it.  I think once we have the surgery, I'll be posting this to the fridge as a constant reminder:

"There's noooooooooooooo crying in baseball.....!!!!!!"


That's the sentiment (scenario) that comes to mind sometimes when I hear some of the comments from people who've already had the surgery. In case you haven't made the connection, that's a line Tom Hanks made famous in the movie "A League Of Their Own." Resorting to tears or just giving up every time the going gets tough.   Or your sick of taking vitamins, getting in protein is hard, water doesn't taste good, etc.   That kinda' thinking is NOT going to make you successful or keep you healthy. ENOUGH already! It's time to LOVE yourself enough to get "TOUGH" with your aftercare. Your long term health is worth it!!

Success comes with a backbone, NOT a wishbone!


First and foremost, you have to keep it POSITIVE.   As with everything in life, if you think you can't - you WON'T!  Simple enough?


I have to wonder when "we" (as adults) finally take ownership for our actions, our life and our health?  We have been given a gift, a second chance to actually LIVE life again instead of merely existing on the sidelines.  It's up to each of us to do that as healthily and productively as possible.  


We're ALL statistics waiting to happen and the insurance companies are chomping at the bit.   The bean counters are eager to drop Weight Loss Surgery ("WLS") from the policies; some already have.   Don't you know that any negative feedback thrown into the mix only strengthens their cause?   I may not be able to control every thing that happens to my body after WLS, but most things I can.    I CHOOSE to take control and I will be a positive statistic when the numbers get counted. 


We live in a spoiled society, expecting everything in life to come with a bunch of really cool choices. Well, guess what? When it comes to your health, you're not always going to get a choice. You either DO IT and stay healthy, or you DON'T and your body pays the price.  


The way I saw it, I had a 90 day healing and adjusting period after surgery.   My 'super morbidly obese' body had more then enough stores to survive the learning curve.   In turn, it gave me plenty of time to heal, adjust and learn.  For those of you OVER 90 day's Post-Op, the probation period is over - its time to get serious and LIVE what you've learned.


~*~  You say you can't get in enough liquids through out the day, don't like the taste of water, or just keep forgetting?  --  TOUGH!   It's not an option anymore. Find a way to do it, get suggestions and tips from others in support groups, message boards, etc.   Read, learn and JUST DO IT!!   Why do you think there is a choice here?


~*~ You say you don't like the big horse pill type vitamins, or the tart chalky chewables?'s just too many to bother with?  Or maybe you just can't remember to take them?  --  TOUGH! You gave up the option NOT to take vitamins when you agreed to have your insides rerouted.   FIND a way to get them in; crushed, minced, chopped, liquified, in a shake, etc.   No exceptions, your health depends on it.


~*~ Protein is a must.  So you can't get it all in via foods and you don't like the way the shakes taste?  --  TOUGH!   Either get it through your meals (and there are a gazillion food choices out there) or supplement it with protein shakes and bars.  


Trust me, I don't drink my protein shake every morning because I think it tastes like a chocolate blizzard from Dairy Queen.  I've tried many varieties over the last 2 years.   I'd even venture to say 25 of the top sellers/flavors have crossed my lips.  For the record?   I've yet to find one that is as 'delicious' as boasted by the distributor.  So what.    I still drink one every morning.   My HEALTH dictates that I need "X" grams of protein per day.   If I'm not getting enough from my meals then I supplement a shake.   'Nuff said.


This surgery is a gift, I owe it to me and everyone else fighting the approval process, to do it right!     I will continue to choke down my vitamins, my water and my protein every single day, for the REST OF MY LIFE.   Some days will be easier then others, regardless, no days will be missed.


It's all about discipline. Create a routine, set a timer, develop a pattern, tie a string around your finger, glue a note to your forehead, whatever it takes.


You're an adult - take responsibility!   If this surgery doesn't slap a back bone into you, not much will.

Written by * Leilani