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.

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Whispers….

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!

If they won’t, I will. I AM HAVING LIFE-SAVING, LIFE-CHANGING, SPECTACULAR GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY AND I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S BEHIND WHO KNOWS IT!! There, go whisper about that.

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.

Getting Off the Roller Coaster…

Up until two months ago, I was in a very stressful job. Along with that stressful job came stress eating. Every day, my employees, or myself, would provide a virtual bounty of goodies for all to eat. Candy. Cookies. Cake. Panera Bread. Dunkin Donuts. You name it, it probably came across my desk. And more than likely, I scarfed it down! Eating was a comfort to me. It was something I could control. I couldn’t control the chaos that had become my job, but I could control what went in my mouth. Well, actually, I could NOT control what went in my mouth because I grazed all day long! It was a veritable roller coaster ride – up and down- with some loop de loops thrown in there!

I had to get off that roller coaster. So, I applied for a different position within the same agency that I have been at for 14 years. Now, I am able to welcome each new day without stress. And I am able to balance my food intake much much better! I eat healthier, and work at a more reasonable pace. It is so refreshing!

So, now I bring carrots and apples to work for snacks. A Lean Cuisine for lunch and a reasonable dinner at home. No more Dunkin Donuts. That’s a good thing.

Until next time friends.

Standing Still…So Frustating!

I did the unofficial weigh-in again on Sunday, and I have to tell you I am not pleased! I am still down 28lbs. I haven’t lost any weight and I haven’t gained any weight- so I guess I should be thankful for that! I used to chart my calories faithfully, but I got out of that habit because I convinced myself that I could guesstimate the calories of what I am eating without having to stop what I was doing and log on to my calorie app and type everything in. Well, I was wrong! Now I will have to go back and start faithfully putting down everything going into my mouth again! It is so frustrating to just stay the same weight for two weeks in a row!

When I was counting my calories, I was allowed 1800 calories daily, and I never went over 1400. I don’t know what made me think that I could keep up with that in my head and not have to log it into the app! So back to the drawing board and back to logging in my calories!

Less than a month until my surgery! I am scared, excited, nervous, happy, all a bundle of things rolled into one body! But that’s okay. I liken it to a Disney ride. It will be exciting, exhilarating, may make me a little queasy, and it may be a little wet, but so worth the ride!

Until next time friends!

I Believe in Heroes…especially Super Ones…

I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most.“―Aunt May[src]

Like Aunt May, Peter Parker’s aunt in Spiderman, I believe in heroes. The ones we can see and touch, and even the ones that become like vapor and disappear from our lives.

When I was nine years old, I found my first hero on the cover of Ms. Magazine. Her name was Billie Jean King. She embodied all the things I admired: strength, perseverance, fortitude, and above all, she believed in the empowerment of women. Due to her tenacity, she shattered glass ceilings that had held women down for centuries. Because of her, Venus and Serena Williams can walk onto a tennis court and be paid for their talent, just as much as a man. I adored her, wanted to be her, put her on a pedestal, and took up tennis like her. But, in the scheme of things, I realized she was talented, and only human. Not really a hero after all.

As I grew older, I began to realize that my heroes were not on film or tv, but right beside me. My first hero was really my mother. My parents divorced when I was young, but my mother was the one who held us together, who worked two jobs to feed us, clothe us, and made sure I had everything I needed. And truly, most of what I wanted. We are two different people my mother and I, and there have been times we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but I have no doubt that she loves me and would do anything she could for my family. Last night she told me she was proud of me. I would take that over all the money in the world any day. My mother is truly my hero.

The man I love, my husband, is my Superhero. I utterly, totally, am madly in love with him and have been for 23 years. While everyone else tried to change me, he looked into my soul and said “I love you just the way you are. I think you are intelligent, brilliant, and perfect.” He champions my causes, and speaks reason to me when I am off on a tangent. He is my cheerleader when I am sad, and in cahoots with me when I want to be bad. He makes me laugh, and never lets me fall because he is always there to catch me. He is mightier than Thor and stronger than the Hulk, and as witty as Ironman. John is truly my Superhero.

Everyone needs heroes. To lift us up. To keep us strong. To help motivate us along on this journey, this long journey we are embarking on.  So hold my hand and I will hold yours, and together we will fly!

I Dreamed a Dream….

From a very young age, my first dream was to become an actress. Every year when the Academy Awards would air on television, I would sit in my room watching in the dark waiting for the announcement for Best Actress. I would imagine that I was the one they would announce as the winner and I would walk across the stage in my beautiful designer dress to accept my award. I had the perfect acceptance speech too. I would cry and thank everyone, and raise my award to the sky! Back when I was a child, there were no Melissa McCarthys or Mo’niques or Oprahs as role models for over weight young girls like me. I got the message with each skinny actress that walked across that stage. Thick girls don’t play in Hollywood. But I still dreamed that dream.

But it didn’t matter to me. I knew I was not going to Hollywood, but I still acted in school plays, wrote school plays, acted in the local Regional Theatre, and sang in the school Chorus. Of course, my roles were often the pretty girl’s mother, the witty detective, the old hag or pregnant hick girl #2. Never the beauty. Never the star. Never the Soloist.  In college, I was often picked to be the narrator for the English Department performances because I had a sense of humor. Never the beauty. Never the Star.  However, somewhere along the way, at about 10, my dream changed. I wanted to be a writer.

Writing meant that I could  truly be anyone or anything I wanted to be. I had a vivid imagination. Taking that path meant that what I wrote would matter more than what I weighed. At college, I became a published author, won accolades and awards for my short stories and poetry, and was respected for the words I wrote.  Eventually, I became a reporter/photographer for a small newspaper in Arkansas. For a while, I was doing what I wanted to do.

I still dabble in writing. My husband encourages me to do more. Finish that book. Grow this blog. I have no regrets that I didn’t become that famous actress or that famous writer. I have a beautiful family. A good job. And soon, very soon, I will have my health. What else could a girl ask for? Ten Million bucks. LOL

Until next time friends.