Slow and steady..

It has been a whirlwind 4 months since I have been on this blog. Now that the hubby is better but still recuperating from his ordeal, I was finally able to have surgery on my shoulder. I call the hit and run the “gift” that never ends. But, hey, we are still alive. And dancing. We will never stop dancing! LOL

Still trial and error with the eating process but it has gotten much better. Not normal (eggs, celery, grapefruit), but working on it. In the beginning the weight loss was fast and furious, but in the last few months it seems to have slowed to a frustrating pace of 3lbs week. I know that I need protein, but whether I eat meat or drink protein, it feels very “heavy” on my gastric system. Maybe it is all in my head, but my stomach says it is very real.  After surgery, the smell of some foods make me nauseous. Is that normal?

Being comfortable with my new body is a work in progress. I still have the “fat girl” mentality. When I go in the store to buy myself something new, I find I still navigate towards the XXXXXXL clothes. The Sales Lady very nicely points out that that size will “swallow me whole” and maybe I need to look at the XL version. I now wear a size 2x but my husband, mother, and son say I could easily wear a 1x and still have room.

I use to dread walking between tables in a restaurant, or sitting in a booth or trying to fit in small spaces in a store. I have to remind myself that I can easily go by people without jostling them, the small spaces are not a big issue anymore. I can fit comfortably in a booth and have plenty of room left over. I can look at myself in the mirror without hatred or shame. Crazy how that works huh?

But the best part, the very best part is that I don’t have high blood pressure anymore. Or diabetes. And I can walk without my cane. Life is so much sweeter now. Do I still get hungry? Do I still want to eat? U betcha! But food is not my life anymore. My family is my life. And I love my life! 118lbs down and counting.

I don’t know when I will be back to blog again.. so until next time friends!






Eating is so Hard to do..

I thought that once I had gotten past the stages of eating, you know the pureed food, the mechanically altered food etc, that once I went to incorporating “normal” food into my diet, I would be golden. ACKKK..flag on the play! Hmmm…NO. I found, much to my chagrin, that my body could not tolerate normal food. The chocolate protein shakes I had enjoyed before surgery, the smell of them- the mere taste of them makes me wretch! BBQ sauce, alfredo sauce, ANY sauce (even in Lean Cuisines), makes me throw up! Don’t believe me, ask my co-worker who sits directly across from me-Lean Cuisine right into the waste basket! After I ate it. Not a pretty sight.

Now it is true that I didn’t expect to eat much after surgery, and I can’t, but I did expect to be able to eat something. With a little trial and error, I found that 3 bites were all I could tolerate of plain baked/seared chicken seasoned with salt and pepper. Pork chop is a no no. So is ground beef (and I had so hoped to like it after surgery). No spicy anything, of course. Even a small amount of these proteins makes me ill.  Cooked fruits and veggies are so-so, I can eat them -carefully. But in their raw state, all I can say is WOW. My gastric system is like WHOA GIRL! So while I still prepare these foods for my husband (out of hospital finally-yahoo!) and my son, I have to give a lot of thought to what I am going to eat on a daily basis. And I don’t have that many brain cells right now to do any calculated thoughts about eating.

It is not all bad. I can still eat soup. Soup. Soup. Plain soup. Not that fancy vegetable soup either. Wasn’t plain soup what I was eating before surgery? And cheese. So my hope it that the more I continue on this journey, the more I will learn what my body is telling me about what I can tolerate and not. I understand it is a process. I am willing to learn the process. The best thing from this surgery is that I have lost 82lbs and feel fabulous and look fabulous!

All I can do is keep moving forward! Until next time friends.


Hello…it’s me..

Well it has been a while since I have been on this blog, but life has a way of diverging off the path of normal. I had my surgery on Nov. 18th, and other than waiting 21/2 hrs past my surgery time, it went off without a hitch. The pain was not too bad, it was the nausea from trying to get the food combination correct. I think that eating pureed food was worse than having an all liquid diet. Disgusting!

I had decided to take about a 2 week break from blogging to adjust to the new routine of eating and walking, when the unthinkable happened.

On December 4th, 2015 at about 2:50pm, my husband, son and myself had embarked on our daily waik. We had just cleared our driveway and were walking on the sidewalk, when I found myself airborne. I didn’t see the car, but I heard it. And I heard my husband, who was only a couple steps behind me, go “Ummph”. Like the wind had been knocked out of him. When I finally hit the ground and could sit up, I saw his crumpled body laying next to the big bush dividing our yard from the neighbor’s yard. The car that had hit us kept going. It was so surreal.

Our son had seen the whole thing. Thankfully, he was walking ahead of us and was not harmed. He came screaming up to me, I said “Run! Call 911” And he did. Then I was just one ball of screaming! Screaming at John to answer me (because I really thought she’d killed him) Screaming for help and 911 from any neighbor. Thankfully, the woman across the street came running to us and called 911 too. My arm was on fire, and I couldn’t crawl to John because of my knees and arm. It was horrible! Kudos to the local police department and EMS who were there in record time. Kudos to the Police for catching the woman responsible.

My husband has been in hospital since Dec. 4th with 2 broken knees, two broken ribs, a broken wrist, broken collar bone and a gash above his eye. Thankfully, the injuries he suffered will heal. These last few weeks have been a blur of hospital sleeping, trying to eat or lack of eating, trying to deal with my own injury and making sure my husband is taken care of, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Also, taking care of our son. He wasn’t hurt physically, but emotionally he is. He saw his parents run over by someone who kept going.

The kindness shown to us by friends, co-workers, church members and family members has been tremendous and over flowing. I will be forever grateful for everything and everyone.

So, this is where I am. Some days the road is long and gravely, and I feel like I will never get to the end. And other days, the road is scenic and not so long. But we will persevere and keeping going. Oh, and I have lost 65 lbs since this journey began.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road….

Well today is our Unit’s Thanksgiving celebration. I politely declined to participate in this food extravaganza. I mean I am having surgery on Wednesday so why would I go and watch people eat? Also, by removing myself, I removed temptation.  But then some Hootenanny started frying cornbread! Fried Corn bread to a Southerner is like crack! Can’t have enough of the stuff. Pair that with a  lovely bowl of collards and a Honeybaked ham and woo wee, that’s some good eating!

However, I stayed strong and remained in my cubicle working. I drank my liquid lunch and had my sugar free jello for dessert. When the team came trickling back into our area, they proceeded to tell me that the food was awful and the desserts atrocious! Spit. Spit. Spit. Although I know they were lying, it was nice to know they were trying to spare me the glory of it all. But that is okay.

Because when I am healthy, fit and trim it will be all good. Let them eat cake. Or fried corn bread. Cause the car I am in is heading toward the future!

Until next time friends!


It has been one week since I have posted on the blog, and the reason for that is..nothing new to report. I get up every morning, have a shake, gag a little and do it all over again at the next meal. In essence, lather, rinse and repeat.

I did have an appointment with pre-op and with my doctor on Tuesday. The pre-op was talking to a nurse, who promptly told me how much it was going to hurt and to not be shy about asking for drugs. She was funny. Also, I have now lost 36 lbs! WHOOT! WHOOT! At least all this starving has been for something!

The lobby at my doctor’s office was filled with people in various stages of pre-surgery and post-surgery. We all commiserated about the liquid diet before surgery and how that brought out the beast in all of us. But the ones who had lived through it and were on the other side, assured us prebies that it will get better. It was the first time I had been in a doctor’s office when everyone had a conversation with one another. That was great!

My doctor finally told me that my liver was fine. It may have just a small bit of fat, but otherwise normal. Thank God for that! Everything is on track for my surgery and in SIX short days, the deed will be done! I am excited! Nervous. But excited!

As supportive as the people were in my doctor’s office, it doesn’t compare to how supportive my husband, son and family have been, as well as the people who read and follow this blog. Thank you for that. You just don’t know how much I appreciate it.

Until next time friends.

The Struggle is REAL…

I survived the first day of an all liquid diet yesterday. Truthfully, the highlight of my day was going home and eating a sugar free popsicle. Something I could sink my teeth into! Although it was mostly un-sugared ice, it was satisfying to bite it. I think it is because we are conditioned to eat food with texture once we have acquired all of our teeth as toddlers, so it is natural to want to chomp on something. Of course, that is just my opinion. I also got to drink a little chicken broth and I found that to be yummy as well. Only because it was a different temperature and taste from the 4 protein shakes I had consumed that day, and all the water I had to drink. Delish!

I came to work today with my 3 baggies with my pre-measured protein powder. I drank the first one right away, I was hungry. But I was not mentally prepared to drink the one for lunch. Silly, huh? I couldn’t pour the powder into the shaker bottle and then the water. I just couldn’t do it. So I had to have a real talk with myself. “Lisa,” I said, “this is something you have to do. There is no way out of it. Stop being stubborn and just do it! Drink it now!” So I did. I somehow got past it and moved on. It won’t be that way every day, but sometimes the struggle is real.

The struggle between what you need and want and the reality of what it takes to achieve your goal. For months I had envisioned what my time for this Shake A Rama would be and it was not like this. In my mind it was easier, and I am sure as the days go on, it will become easier. But today I struggle. Struggle with being tired, and hungry and trying hard to keep myself from biting the fingers off the co-worker who is currently eating a Kit Kat bar! The struggle of having to go home and cook dinner for my hubby and my son, without tasting the food.

I am an addict and my name is Lisa. I am not addicted to drugs or alcohol, but I am addicted to food. And this is my “drying out” time. I tell myself this is temporary. Soon, I will be healthy. I will be able to do all of things I can’t because of my weight. I am a strong woman. I will do this.

Until next time friends.





Day One…of the Rest of My Life..

I woke up this morning with the full knowledge that for the next 3 weeks I would not be eating any real food. I felt a fleeting pang of sadness, but it quickly went away. Also, this morning was my liver ultrasound, and even a sip of water was a no-no. I really needed a sip of something! But I held strong!

We arrived @ 6:45am to the Medical Building and amazingly, I was taken straight away to the admission desk. Marisol was so nice and polite, and we engaged in some light humor. I have found that humor will get you through just about anything. After sitting for about 2 minutes, out comes Payton, a nice young Sonographer who will doing the ultrasound of my liver. Thank God I didn’t have to take off any clothes for this procedure! I asked her if she would let me see the screen because I wanted to know all about what she was doing. Some Sonographers would balk at this, but not Payton. She pointed out my kidney, my pancreas and my liver. And the spot where my gallbladder once was, but it had been taken out in 2008. So it was just an empty spot. So funny.

We talked about her boyfriend, his intense love for catsup on everything including tacos, and her hopes that they would get married someday. We laughed about how you can’t change men, and if you love them, you accept them as they are. They do the same with us- the women they love. And then it was over. In two days time I will know if my liver is good. Which I know it is.

When I got back to my office, I had the first of about 3 shakes I will drink during my working hours. First up, Banana. It was not one I had pre-tested, but the overall flavor was good on the front side. It tasted sorta like peanut butter on the back side. Cheap peanut butter. And in between I will drink bottled water with Orange Crystal Light. I received a visit from the Water Fairy last night, who filled up my mini fridge with bottles and bottles of water. On Monday, I received a lovely basket of bariatric goodies (sippy cup, chicken and beef broth, Cocoteine, Nectar etc) from my new team mates to help me transition after surgery. It is nice to have friends!

So I will soldier on! Until next time friends.

Liver.. Bleh..Not Eating That!

Happy Belated Halloween, Fall Harvest and Day of the Dead! We had a great weekend, my husband and I, and our young man was out hunting. A mini honeymoon for we parents.

My rant for today. I wish that surgeons would read your file and let you know if there is ANYTHING else you need to do before surgery. Communication is so important in everything you do! So, I get a message from Lindsay (you all remember her..No?). She is the surgery scheduler for Dr. B. letting me know he does, after all, want me to have an ultrasound of my liver. It was 3 months ago that he received the report from the Endoscopy doctor that I may have a fatty liver (which is common amongst fat people according to the internet) but Dr. B. did not indicate that he wanted anything done until now. Two weeks before surgery! I. Could. Just. Scream. Luckily, the diagnostic center can fit me in on the 4th at 7am! Then to a pre-op on Nov. 10th and a visit with my surgeon on the same day, and then WOOHOO surgery day on the 18th!

I did have a visit with the Nutritionist on October 28th. I had to buy all my protein (112 meals!) and all my vitamins for the month.  So expensive! But I have to shrink that liver for surgery, so it is money well spent. There is that word again! Liver! I am glad I don’t have to eat it, just ultrasound it. LOL

Until next time friends.


I am what one would call an extrovert. I have the Myers-Brigg paper work to prove it. I am an open book and do not mind telling people how I feel or what I think. Bold. Blunt. And another occasional B word has been used to describe me, but you ask me a question and I will answer it. Honestly. Ask me anything. Except with my family and my really close friends. I love them too much to hurt their feelings, but anyone else, it is all out there.

So, imagine my surprise that when I announced I was going out for surgery, none of the 100 people I have known since I started working here 14 years ago, asked me, “Why are you having surgery?” I guess they were rolling through their minds, “hmmm… she had knee surgery and cataract surgery and defibrillator surgery.. what ELSE can she have replaced?” I find it quiet funny actually.

Finally, one person came to me and said, “So, you’re having surgery in November?” She must have been the chosen one.  Yes. I then matter-of-factly said, ” I am having gastric bypass surgery.” She turned a bright red and said, “Oh, great! You will do so well!” Yes, I will do well. It will be great. I have been fat all the 14 yrs I have been here. If I suddenly show up 50 lbs lighter, someone will notice!

Why do we hem and haw and dance around the fact when someone has gastric bypass surgery? From my recent experience, the ones in this agency who have had it are like in the shadows and really don’t talk about it. They speak it in whispers, like people who are afraid to share such a wonderful, life changing event.  You were fat 6 weeks ago, and I am not too stupid to know something fabulous has happened to you. SHOUT IT OUT!


Show Me The Way…

“I want you to show me the way…everyday”.  This is the theme song of an Uncle Ben’s rice commercial, in which a father is going about his day eating chips, watching TV, and drinking soda. However, he suddenly realizes that all the bad habits he is doing, his young son is doing them as well. It dawns on him that his son is emulating him because he is his son’s role model. Our children learn almost everything they need to know from us, their parents. Good. Bad. Or otherwise. One thing they learn early on from us is how and what to eat.

I weighed 312 lbs and was 34 yrs old when I gave birth to my son. He was 10 weeks early and frail, but he was determined to live. When he finally came home six weeks later, he was all skin and no body fat. He was not like the pudgy, ruddy babies that the women in my family gave birth to. Drinking a bottle was a chore for him. When he was about 3, he became VERY selective about his food. He rarely ate, but the pediatrician said he would eat when he was hungry. So, when he did eat, I gave him exactly what he wanted. Chicken nuggets. Grits. Peanut butter sandwiches folded in half. Macaroni and cheese. Then eating became bribery for behaving well. “If you sit down and behave, you can have Cheese-its. Or potato chips.” If I ate sugary cake I gave him sugary cake. For every chip I ate, I gave him two. It became a vicious cycle. But he was skinny right? He needed to eat, right? So what if I didn’t really teach him to eat salads. Right?

I was so wrong because my skinny beanpole baby bloomed into an overweight adolescent. We worked so much that we let him eat whatever he wanted because I was too tired to cook. We ate a lot of fast food. He is not much on sweets, but he loves chips, and  Cheese-its. I thought, “Oh that is baby fat and that will go away.” Denial. And then one day,  I turned around and suddenly he was 18,  6’3″ tall and weighed 387lbs. I did that. Me. My fault. I am his role model. I am the one who is suppose to teach him healthy eating, but how can he learn that when I was eating terribly myself? He is my beautiful boy, and by letting him eat junk, I was killing him. I knew better. But I did it anyway because I wanted him to be happy.

But the wonderful thing in all of this, is that when I told him I was going to have gastric bypass surgery and that I would be doing portion control, he grabbed onto that and decided he wanted to lose weight too. He portions his meals now and keeps to about 1200 calories a day. He is walking 4-5 times around our block and he is the one who is reminding me to stay the course about my eating. So far, he has lost 40lbs! More than me! And we are so proud of him.

Where is the lesson in all of this you say? Your children are watching you. Show them the right way.