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Monday, October 19, 2009


 I've been having a lot of trouble getting myself ready to start.  I've been eating horribly :o(  Then of course I wonder if I am ready to do this.  If I can't get my butt in gear and take care of myself now, what makes me think I will do it when the time for surgery comes?

I know that I didnt get where I am by succeeding at doing this in the past.  I failed many many times dieting.  So what makes this time different?  This time I'm signing on for a major life change.   So  I need to get going and start taking myself more seriously.  

I have done one thing that I feel is great progress.   No soda in about a week now!!!  That was big for me.  I really didn't realize how much of the stuff I was drinking.  I've found a great sugar free drink that I actually like :o)  Yeah for me on that!! 

I made my appointment for my psych evaluation as well.  That comes up next Thursday!  It is required before surgery.  They really want to make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons and that you are ready for this huge change.  So of course I can and will bring up all my frustrations and questions of whether I will succeed or not with her.  The one thing that I'm doing different this time around is I am being completely open and honest with everyone.  No more pussy footing around.  No saying "yeah no problem, I am ready"  or "of course I know I will do well" 

I question myself every day.  I keep thinking what will make me succeed this time?  What will be different?  Do I have it in me to do this and do it right? 

I think the answer is yes!  Or I wouldnt be here.  I think that I have a lot of support, from family and friends and the entire team at the Bariatric Clinic.  I think that I will be open and honest and make people aware of my frustrations and nervousness.  In that way I can let them help me to succeed. 

So my next steps coming up are
         Go to support groups- I need to go to 3 of these as part of the pre surgery program.  This will also be a great place to bring up my concerns.  There will be people who have had the surgery and people who are gettting ready for it as well.  I think it will be very beneficial.
         Sign up for my meeting with the excercise guy-  He will meet with me and get me on a program that works for me!  He works with all of the bariatric patients who go through this clinic.  I know I will feel more comfortable with him than I would with anyone else.  I have always felt so intimidated at gyms in the past.  It's hard to put myself out there in all my glory, sweating and panting and looking like a drowned rat that just tried to swim across the Mississippi.  Knowing that many have gone before me with him, and many are doing it now will help.
         Meet with Megan the nutritionist again-  I havent done everything she told me to do yet.  Im working on getting myself together.  It's been very frustrating.  But I will be open and honest and let her know where Im having trouble and what I need help with instead of just trying to get through it by myself.

So its been a rough couple of weeks.  I knew it wouldnt be easy.  I knew I would hit these bumps in the road.  I just need to keep pushing forward.  Which I will do!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The dreaded picture!  Looking at my blog account today I noticed there is just a shadow person where my picture should be.   I really should, and I will....sometime, hopefully soon, put a picture in there.  It will be a great way to plot my progress.   At the beginning of this journey,  right now, pictures are a painful thing for me.  I really do NOT like to look at myself in a picture.  

I have this image of myself.  It's not a terrible image, actually.  Then I see a picture, and I can't believe how off my image is.  I am usually appalled.  For example, my brother's wedding a little over a year ago.  I bought a dress, thought it looked good.  I had a great time at the wedding.  I was a part of many pictures.  It was a super weekend!  Then the pictures came back.  Oh my goodness!!!  Was that really me?  What was I thinking wearing that dress that looks horrid and accentuates every part of me that I didn't want seen.   It was that point that I realized that my body had changed drastically.  Even though I had seen the scale numbers go up, up, up and up some more,  my image of myself hadn't changed.  What everyone else was seeing, I wasn't.

A copy of one of those wedding pictures sits in my sister's living room.  Every time I see it, I want to hide it.  I don't like it out for everyone to see.  How freaking selfish is that of me?   It is a great picture!  My brother and sister in law look so very happy.   It is a wonderful picture of my brother and his wife and his 3 sisters.  Instead of looking at it and remembering what a perfect weekend that was, I think how absolutely terrible I look. 

That was a little over a year ago.   It was when I saw that picture that I really began to realize that I am not who I thought I was.  I do not look like I thought I did.  I was in Weight Watchers at the time.  This was my 2nd or 3rd time with the program.  I remember mentioning at a meeting how that picture made me feel.  I also remember getting on a treadmill.  I went to a local gym.  I signed up.  I carted my big ol butt over there and I got on a treadmill and I walked...and walked...and walked.  For about 3 weeks.  Then I ran out of time.  I never found enough time to get to the gym.  I also did not sign up again at Weight Watchers.  I gained all of the weight back that I lost and a little bit more.

So all of this brings me to next weekend.  Next weekend we are going apple picking....yummmmmy!!  It's a fun time that my family does every year.  There is this wonderful orchard that hayrides you up to the trees while overlooking an absolutely gorgeous view of the fall foliage here in Maine.  The trees have a lot of fruit close to the ground so all of the kids can reach and pick their own apples.  It is a great time!  I look forward to it every year.  Apples, choosing our pumpkins, a beautiful day outside, warm apple cider and spending time with my family!

Unfortunately, I am anxious about it this year.  We are going to have pictures taken at the orchard.   Not just candid pictures, but professional pics that we are going to have printed for Christmas.  Just what I need....more proof!!! 

I am going to really try to not let that ruin my day.  I don't think it will.  There are too many other fun things to think about.  However, I hate that I have even a little bit of anxiety over it.  I will tell myself.....next year you will be able to see a real difference.  I will insist on pictures at the orchard next year too!   I want to be able to enjoy having pictures taken.  I want to look at a picture and remember the wonderful time in which it was taken.  That is what pictures are for. 

I will repeat this..........Apples, choosing our pumpkins, a beautiful day outside, warm apple cider and spending time with my family!

That is what next weekend will be about. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lack of organization

I am, simply put, a slob!  I have no organizational skills.  Well somewhere there must be a little bit, but really I am a mess.  My car is a wreck!  My bedroom looks like a  Category 5 Hurricane blew through.  When my husband and I lived in Pennsylvania, I had a big ol' pile of clothes in the corner of our bedroom.  He nicknamed it Mount Dani.  Mount Dani has now moved with us.  It is in one of the extra rooms in the basement, right across the hall from the laundry room.   When I actually get around to doing laundry, I grab a few of those and throw them in with the rest.  It is very very very slowly shrinking. 

My problem is, I dont want to get rid of them.  I have so very many clothes that do NOT fit me.   I have trouble getting rid of them, though.  Maybe, someday, they will fit again!  So they hang around, until that day, when the very best thing for me to do would be to get rid of them.  Send them to Goodwill.   Some of these clothes are years and years old.  I wouldn't doubt it if I found some leg warmers in there, with sparkles!!!!
I have tried to get rid of them.  They go into the laundry, they come out nice and clean.  I put them in a box.  The box ends up in the basement because I keep forgetting to bring it to Goodwill.  They get that basement smell.  I put them in the laundry....you get the picture.

Pretty much, my whole life goes like this.  No organization leads to much more work than necessary, which leads to frustration, which just makes me want to give up.

Dont get me wrong, I like organization.  I actually thrive in an organized environment.  I think how lovely it is not to trip over my dirty clothes on my way to the bathroom in the dark at night.   Not to stub my toe on the kids toys which are everywhere. (Lots of those need to go to Goodwill too!)  Not to lose so much mail, because I just don't have a place that I put it every time. 

Car keys....oh how my husband hates it when I can't find them.   Everytime he says to me, "Why don't you just put them in the same place every time.  Then you would know where they are."  Well 95%...maybe 85% of the time I put them on the hook just inside the front door.  It is there just for the purpose of holding and keeping track of my keys.  Those suckers just jump right off of there and hide themselves.  I know they do!!  Then I trip over toys, get tangled up in rogue clothes strewn about, shout a few expletives in the process and finally find my keys.  I know it doesn't need to be this hard.

So you get the point.....I'm a mess and it makes my life harder than it needs to be.

I am a disorganized eater as well.  Often I don't have healthy food in the house.  I never seem to have time to go grocery shopping after hunting down the keys, kicking toys out of the way and disentagling myself from the laundry.  So I eat on the run.  I eat fast food.  I order out.  I know these are not healthy choices.  I do them anyway.  It is what I have time for.   I don't pay attention to what I am eating.  I wake up in the morning and eat last night's leftovers.  I skip lunch.  Then I am famished by dinner and while I am out running errands I pick up something.  Anything.  As long as its quick. 

Remember the soda?  It's harder than I thought!  In fact Ive had 2 today.  I don't think I realized just how much of it I was drinking before.  Again, it's when Im on the run.  I went shopping with my sister today.  I skipped breakfast.  We didnt finish shopping until afternoon.    So what did I do?  I stopped and picked something up on my way home because that was what I had time for.  It included a soda. That is in addition to the one I had while I was shopping.  I am frustrated with myself!  I realize I do it without even thinking about it.  So while I am frustrated with myself, I  am happy that I am starting to see how much I eat and drink without even thinking about it.  I am happy that I have realized that my disorganized lifestyle is hindering my goal to a healthy lifestyle.  Where does it stop?  I can lie and say now.  I have said that so many times in the past.  I mean it every time I say it.  I really, truly do mean it.  I want to do it.  I need to do it.  

So one of my goals with this journey that is not a specific part of my Lap Band, is to become more organized.  I think in order to be successful I will have to do that.

I actually made a teeny tiny step in the right direction today.  I bought a basket.  A basket?  Yep a basket.  It is the perfect size for my mail.  When I come in the house I can now put the mail in my perfect little orange basket.  Not on the counter, or in the bedroom or where ever I happen to lay it down.  Although, I know those sneaky envelopes are in cahoots with my keys!  They skitter away together somewhere I'm sure of it.

I'm about to take one more teeny tiny step.  I'm thinking ahead.  That in itself is quite a rare occasion.  I am going to stop typing and go directly to the kitchen.  I am going to take some chicken out of the freezer.  I will not be able to use the excuse, " there is nothing to make for dinner" tomorrow night.  I will have wonderfully, thought ahead of, thawed chicken.  I will not allow the clothes, the toys, the keys, the envelopes, the children, the cat, the dog, my husband or the teeny tiny elves that also make my life interesting get in my way.   I will do this one thing to increase the organization in my life. 

I have to start somewhere, right?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


What did I do?  That was the first question I asked myself this morning when I realized people actually read this.  Do I want to throw myself out there for everyone to see?  The answer is yes!  I do.  It's a odd feeling to have.  Having people reading my thoughts I'm putting down.  It's like having a diary open for all to see.  This is what I want, though.  This is part of my journey.  Of accepting where I am and where I want to go.  Not hiding from my choices.  Not hiding under baggy clothes, cuz we all know those darn baggy clothes don't hide a thing!  But we can make ourselves believe a heck of a lot if we try.  So I want you all to read!!!!  I want a lot of people to read!  I've been hiding under baggy clothes way too long.

So I have completed 2 of the pre surgery steps.

#1  I met with my surgeon.  He is the chief of surgery at our hospital (so hey he knows what he's doing  :o).  He went over the technical stuff with me.  He puts a band over the top portion of my stomach.  This makes a small pouch.  So when I eat, the food goes there and sloooooowly goes through to the rest of my stomach.  So I feel full!  (This is not like the gastric bypass where they actually bypass some of the stomach and digestive tract.)  The band is filled with saline and a port will be placed just under my skin.  Depending on how quickly or slowly I am losing weight the band can be adjusted by adding or taking out saline, to tighten or loosen the band.  Badda boom badda bing! 

So there I am in his office.  Everything is big there.  The chairs are big, the exam table is big.  I actually feel slimmer just walking into the office  :o)  I jump...okay probably not jump....I get up on the exam table and he wants to look at my stomach.  WHAT!?  You want to look at that thing that I've been hiding from everyone so very (okay not so very) well!  Did I clean my belly button this morning? 

It actually wasn't emabarrassing at all.  They look at big ol flabby tummies every day.  Heck Im one of the smaller people they see.  That makes me laugh a bit.  It's a very technical exam.  Feel here, prod here.  "What is this scar from?"  " Where does your shunt go?"  (Oh yea,  I havent mentioned the fact that I have a VP shunt yet....that will be another day)  Okay hop down.  Really....he tells his patients to hop?  Don't all docs tell us to hop down?  I always found that funny.  Like I am a kangaroo or a bunny.  Ohhhhhh....maybe he wants me to eat carrots?  I guess if I'd been eating carrots all along I wouldnt be in his office!

Step one done!

Step #2  Meet with the nutritionist

Ive met with nutritionists before.  I've told little white lies to them before.  "Of course I eat a full fiber cereal in the morning with skim milk and fruit!"  Okay more like Lucky Charms on the run, and I try to get extra marshmellows in my bowl. 

This time I laid it all out.  I eat Lucky Charms.  I drink soda.  Oh the horror!  I eat breakfast at lunch and lunch at breakfast.  Yes I had mashed potatoes for breakfast this morning.  I eat on the run.  I don't think about what I'm eating.  I don't eat enough veggies.  I LOVE carbs. 

Geez you say, if she stopped doing all that ridiculous stuff, she'd be a lot better off!  Don't I know it!!!!!!  I have done that and it's worked great.  I have eaten the high fiber breakfast.  I have had sit down pay attention to what you are eating meals.  I have written down every morsal of food down that dared cross my palate.  I have drank(drunk?)  water until I felt I would float away.  I've done it all.  And it worked!!!  And then...the pizza calls my name.  Or I just NEED Chinese food.  Or I lick the brownie bowl.  And then I feel terrible and then I eat.  And then I feel terrible more, then I eat more.  Yes, I am an emotional eater!

Megan, my nutrition guru is great!  She gets it.  She is meeting with ME, not with everyone else trying to lose weight.  She is listening to ME, not everyone else.  I tell her I like Lucky Charms.  I know they aren't good for me.  I tell her I like soda.  She tells me NO MORE SODA! 

Goal #1 Stop drinking soda!  Even diet soda.  None, no more, nada, zip.  STOP!  Not even mentioning how absolutely terrible this is for me( Oh but the bubbles feel so darn good hehe) I won't be able to drink it after the surgery.  Nothing carbonated.  The bubbles with fill my pouch with air.  Bad news.  So goal #1 start cutting out the soda now.  Pause......

Okay, so I'm writing about this and all I can think of is that there is cold Pepsi in the refridgerator right now!  And I want it!

So this will be a tough goal.  I don't drink soda all the time.  I don't drink it every day.  But I really like it!  So no more soda in the house.  That's a start.  Im thinking wouldn't it be great if I went out to the kitchen and poured it all down the sink! That would be great!  I'm not going to do it.  Well maybe I'll get the courage to do that today.  Most likely I'll want to savor every last drop, since I won't have it in the house anymore.

Goal #2 Write everything down on a log and bring it back to Megan in 6 weeks.

Everything!!!!  Don't cheat.  If she doesnt see what Im eating she can't help me.  Write down the contraband soda.  Write down the mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon and sour cream.  Start being accountable for what I put in my mouth. 

No more hiding under baggy clothes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My new journey

Yep a bit tacky as a title.  I know.  However, that is exactly what this is going to be for me.  A true journey.  One that will take me from one place to another.  It will be difficult Im sure.  There will be lots of tears.  I will want to quit.  I won't want to continue at times.  I will question myself.  I'll get angry.  I won't follow the rules.

That all being said,  I AM COMMITTED TO THIS!  All of the above will happen.  I expect that.  I also expect all the great changes!   I will be healthier!  I will be able to be more active!  I will feel less tired!  I will be happier!  I will have more confidence!

What the hell is this crazy woman talking about?  I have chosen to have a Lap Band procedure done.  You may or may not have heard of this.   It is a surgical procedure to divide my stomach into a small pouch at the top, and the larger pouch at the bottom.  Forming that small pouch at the top is a band that surrounds the stomach.  This band can be made tighter or looser depending on the need.  Having a small pouch will make me feel full!  I will eat much much less, and I can successfully lose weight! 

Whoa!!!! SURGERY!!??  Come on now.  Just stop eating so much and get on a darn treadmill!  Those were exactly my thoughts several years ago when I heard about these kinds of surgeries.  Well I did that.  I stopped eating.  I did get on a treadmill and got active outside.  I ate healthy.  Very healthy.  I was successful.  Very successful..............for a short period of time.  Then I gained it all back and more.  I played this game several times.  I lost weight.  I felt great.  I said I would never go back to where I was again.  Then I started gaining it all back and back and back.

So here I am.  Just about 100 pounds more than I was in high school. 

I weigh 253 pounds.  That sentence was just very difficult for me to write.  I am embarrassed.  I am ashamed.  I can't believe I allowed myself to get here. Pause here........this is a big step for me.  I have not admitted my weight to anyone but my doctor and my husband.  Ill say it again.  I am embarrassed and ashamed.  It is a terrible way to feel every day. 

 So, I made a difficult choice.  I chose to stop this.  I could have kept pretending it didn't bother me.  I could have continued to try to lose the weight by myself.   But, Im tired!  I'm tired physically and emotionally.  I want/NEED to be healthy.

 This is a serious surgery.  It is very safe and quite simple according to my surgeon.  However, anytime surgery is performed there is a risk.  The biggest risk being death.  I have had surgeries in the past.  Many, actually.  But they were all necessary.  I really didn't have much of an option not to have them.  This time it is completely by choice.  So that choice was a very difficult one to make.  Do I risk death( teeny tiny infintismal chance) for health?  You say...geez this crazy woman is melodramatic too...its just surgery.  And I agree with you.  But as all you parents know, it's always about your kids.  Is this a chance Im willing to take for my kids?  Can I knowingly put myself in a potentially dangerous situation for a purely optional choice.

I choose yes.  I have to.  Not doing it puts me at more risk for health problems.

I have just started this process.  I had my initial visit with my surgeon and my initial nutritional consult as well.  I have a lot of steps to go before the surgery.  The pre surgery process takes 4-6 months.

So here I am.  34 years old.  253 pounds.  High blood pressure.  Sore joints.  A bit depressed.

Not where I want to be.  I have my children to think of.  I have myself to think of.  I want to be healthy and this is the road/journey I have chosen.  Ill be blogging this each step of the way.  So come along and cry with me, laugh with me, yell and stomp your feet, throw a few dishes across the room!  Mostly, celebrate with me, because through it all I will be travelling toward a healthier me.  It will be interesting, I'm sure of that.  I will need a lot of support.  I expect it to be hard.  I'm willing to put in the work.

Please feel free to ask me lots of questions.