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.