My Progress!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A quickie

Hey all, I'm sorry I haven't been on, but I ended up getting sick Friday. I just have a cold, but my throat is killing me and I'm not sleeping so I'm grumpy lol. I'll write a more in depth account of the endoscopy, but wanted to let you all know that I'm fine. I don't remember a thing about the endoscopy apart from what a hottie the anesthesiologist was!

I hope to update more when I'm feeling more myself. Hopefully that will be very soon!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Say Ahhhhhh!

Yep, tomorrow is the upper endoscopy. I have to be there at 6:00AM *super suckage!* The procedure isn't until 8:00PM, but of course it isn't a hospital if they can't inconvenience you in some way right? Guess I'll take a book with me. Too bad I don't have a smart phone. I might be able to keep you updated on the progress...oh well, don't be too disappointed, it isn't likely to be that entertaining although Erik is threatening to video me on the way home. I told him I was going to re-enact this for him. It should be entertaining!

I'm a little apprehensive, but trying not to think about it too much. It has to be done right? I am looking forward to having an excuse to be completely lazy tomorrow....believe me, I'm going to milk it for all it's worth, but don't tell Erik shhhh.

Today went fairly well. I got one 6 minute walk in. I wanted to get another one in and I may still. I have to work for another 45 minutes and then have an interview for a third job so I may try to hop on the treadmill one more time. Eating went well today. Remember, if you want to keep up on what I'm eating, you can visit my sparkpeople log here. Stayed on track there too. I'm slowly adjusting to the limited food intake. I think next week I'm going to substitute one of my meals with a shake. I'm thinking breakfast might be best as I'm usually not that hungry in the morning.

Alrighty, I'm going to keep it short tonight so that I can finish up this other stuff and get some sleep. If I'm up to it, I'll try to post an update tomorrow.

Take care!!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I know what you're thinking...

She didn't post yesterday so her portly behind must have fell off the wagon right?? HA! not hardly!! Let's just say that I was so busy WALKING ON MY TREADMILL that I didn't have time to post. Ok, so I only managed two 5 minute sessions and that is hardly an excuse for not posting so I'll try to make up for it today.

So, an update on yesterday: I ate some wheat chex for breakfast (normal sized portion), skipped lunch (I know that isn't great, but I walked on the treadmill and then took a shower on my lunch break), I had a banana for a snack around 4:30PM and then Tanner and I had salads and some broccoli for dinner. So I even managed to stay on my diet woot!

Tanner has shocked me the last two days! On Sunday, he went to a hockey game with his Big Brother (not actual big brother...the mentor kind of big brother). He actually had a hotdog at the game so wasn't going to eat dinner. I made a salad for myself and he surprised me by asking me to make one for him! I'm not going to argue with the kid when he willingly requests something green that's for sure! The salad probably sounds gross, but honestly it is surprisingly tasty. It is kind of a taco kin of salad without all the bad stuff. I used a combination of spinach and iceberg lettuce, a scoop of cottage cheese, some salsa, a bit of light ranch dressing and a tiny sprinkling of shredded cheddar. Normally I would have added some lean ground taco meat, but we were out. Mix it all up, and it makes for a really good salad. I managed to convince Tanner that the cottage cheese was egg I'd cut up for the salad! (score one for parental deception!) I texted Erik, who was at work "OMG, I just made a salad containing spinach, cottage cheese, and salsa and Tanner is eating the HELL out of it!" Erik said it came through as two texts so he thought something was wrong when his phone kept going off. Although he's not supposed to check his phone while "on the floor" at work, he peeked because he was worried there was something wrong...he said he laughed when he saw the text and said "Well, I guess Tanner eating healthy is newsworthy!"

Last night, he wanted McDonalds, but when I told him we weren't going to McDonalds, he chose a hot dog and was begging me for tator tots. I told him Mommy wasn't making anything that mommy liked and couldn't eat. He wasn't thrilled with that response, but accepted it, then I realized we didn't have any hot dogs :( I told Tanner and he said "Well, can you make me that salad again?" *mom pinches herself to make sure she isn't dreaming...nope..not dreaming* So, I made the same salad for the both of us and some broccoli and cheese (low fat...about 1g of fat per serving). He didn't even ask for dessert...seriously...something is up.

Ok, I plan on walking on my breaks and may even try to do 6 minutes. I try not to use the hand rails too much while walking. I keep them lightly hovering over the bars though and as my back starts to ache, I use them more for support. I try to use them as little as possible because I know that I NEED some of that ache because it means my muscles are getting a workout. If my knee starts to hurt, I use them to support enough of my weight when I step with that leg so that it doesn't hurt as bad and that seems to be helping.

I don't know if it is that I've built up a tiny bit of strength already, but walking off the treadmill seems easier. You wouldn't think that a handful of sessions on the treadmill would start to make a difference, but I honestly don't think it is in my head.

I also called the gym yesterday and talked with Darin about starting back. I'm going to have to be there by 5:30 in the morning so I'm going to adjust my work schedule so that I can get to bed at a decent hour. I may try to do the pool three times a week and just keep doing the treadmill at home.

So far, in my preparation for surgery, I also managed to get my cardio appt scheduled for next Thursday, my psych appt for next Monday and my upper endoscopy for this Thursday. Expect to hear lots of moaning about that tomorrow. I have never had an endoscopy and I'm not looking forward to it. Apparently it is something they do pre-surgery now to make sure there aren't any anomalies with my esophagus or stomach. If I was going to be awake for it and could actually watch, I think I might be a bit more stoked, but they are going to give me something to knock me out or at least put me in a twilight sleep so booo! Maybe, I'll get a cool picture of my innards that I can upload to the blog. Stay tuned!

Once I finish all these appointments, all that is left is the weight loss. I've weighed myself a few times since I started dieting Saturday. I've lost a couple pounds. Just FYI, when I weighed in at the doctor's office, he had me around 446 and I think that is what I weighed on my scale when I got home. Yesterday, when I weighed, I was down to 444 and some change. My goal is to get under 400 lbs before the surgery and be up to 15 minutes at a time on the treadmill at least once a day. They may be somewhat lofty goals, but not completely unreasonable; especially since two weeks prior I have to be on the super starvation fast. If all goes well people, I hope to schedule the surgery for early March...I can't believe I'm actually going through with this!

2:20PM: ETA I've figured out how to link to my sparkpeople food log ya'll! I'll include this as a link at the end of my posts, but you should be able to access it and see what I'm eating throughout the day. Way too much sugar and caffeine this morning lol. I need to have Erik pick up some more splenda. And WOW, had no idea there were so many more calories in the flavored creamers!

What I ate today

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Healthiest Binge ever

You may be asking yourself "Self, what does this picture have to do with weight loss?" The answer to that question would be, "absolutely nothing, but it makes you smile doesn't it?" This is a pic of the Tanman when he was about two or three. It is one of my favorites for obvious reasons. When he was this age, we would often let Tanner dress himself. We'd get the basics on him, but he could accessorize however he wanted. Sometimes I didn't even realize how crazy he looked because by that time, I had been desensitized to his unique "flair" for accessorizing. Of course we'd get out in public and then it would dawn on me how the rest of the world would see him lol. Thats what happened here. My mom and I were taking him to the park and I looked back to make sure he was following and saw him as everyone else was going to see him and had to snap a pic for posterity. Too funny.
I thought I had updated my blog last night, but I guess I must have typed it all up and got sidetracked or it didn't post and I thought it had. Anyway, I did end up having a binge of sorts. After the soup, banana and muffin, I ended up having another muffin after I got off work waiting for dinner to be ready, then had a taco salad (basically iceberg lettuce with a bit of spinach, the lean ground taco meat, along with a bit of salsa and about a tblsp of the light ranch). THEN, a little bit after dinner, I had ANOTHER muffin (you should try that recipe lol, they are about 181 calories and 3.5 grams of fat) and a skinny cow ice cream bar. I know...I was shoveling it in guys BUT, I still managed to stay under 1000 calories because I made better choices and you know what? I'm not beating myself up for it.

I realized that I am definitely going to have to move a bit slower on the pre op diet or the next binge may not be so healthy. Also, the binging behavior needs to be nipped in the bud because even if it was all healthy choices, the behavior itself is unhealthy. I've decided that I'm going to have a shake for breakfast and lunch, but if I'm REALLY hungry, I'm going to allow myself to have some protein rich food with each meal, but try to stay away from snacking in between meals. They really stressed keeping it to three meals a day. I think this is because with the sleeve, many people can actually not lose weight or gain weight back once they've had the op because they graze all day. They may have a stomach that restricts their food intake, but if they eat all day long, they can manage to eat what they used to eat and not lose or gain it all back.

I'm also going to increase my water intake. Yesterday I didn't have one single solitary sip of water. I know! I've broken the cardinal rule of dieting. I can't even tell you why...I guess because I was drinking those shakes (I did add extra water to them in hopes of increasing the volume and thereby decreasing hunger....FAIL).

So, in summation, here's the plan for today:

1. Stick to shakes for breakfast and lunch, but feel free to have fruit, veggies, yogurt, an egg, cottage cheese etc. if I'm REALLY hungry.

2. Continue to log everything I eat so I'm aware of my intake.

3. Get on the treadmill for at least 5 minutes. (I didn't manage more time knee was really bothering me by the end of the night :S It feels better this morning so I'm going to get at least 5 in on my first break and we'll see how I do)

4. Pull a task from my jar (I'll let you guys know what it is later).



That was breakfast. Not bad and I feel SO much better than I did yesterday! I didn't get on the treadmill, but that was because I ran out of time by the time I went downstairs, got everything together and got back upstairs my timer was already going off so it looks like I'll get it in at lunchtime for sure!

On a side note: Poor tanner is nursing his first broken heart poor thing :( He thinks he is going to die alone and childless at 14. Girls are mean! ;)


Here's what I had for lunch...not bad and still feeling much better than I did yesterday


I am planning on calling the fitness center tomorrow to see when they are open. I think the only time I'm going to have available to get to the pool is at the crack ass of dawn because I have to be back home by 7am to get tanner up and off to school. It is probably better that I get it done though because usually by the end of the day, my knees have had it.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

What? No, I couldn't possibly eat another thing! I've had 15g of protein for breakfast!

1:19PM CST:
Holy lord a mighty…just did 5 minutes on the treadmill and it felt like 5 hours. Going to attempt another 5 on my lunch hour and another 5 before bed. My knee really bothered me most of the “walk,” but seemed to feel a bit better towards the end for some reason? Here’s hoping I can manage more later.

I also had a fruity little protein meal replacement shake for breakfast and let me tell ya…the satiety center of my brain apparently doesn’t register protein because I am STARVING at the moment and chanting “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!” Erik made chocolate muffins for breakfast this morning too :P I had a tiny nibble just to see what they tasted like because we were trying a new “recipe” where you mix a boxed cake mix with a can of pureed pumpkin. It was honestly amazingly tasty and lower in fat and higher in fiber because of the pumpkin. What Tanner doesn’t know won’t kill him.

Speaking of…this past week I have been HORRIBLE when it comes to eating. For various reasons, we ordered pizza two or three times this week and Thursday, we ordered from Dominoes because I just wanted a sandwich. Tanner saw one of those pasta bread bowls and wanted the three cheese thing. I knew it was probably heart attack on a plate, but figured we were going to be cutting way back with me fasting and went ahead and let him have it. Yesterday I tried to find out nutritional information on the thing and was unfortunately NOT surprised to see that it has 1460 calories. Apparently it is considered two servings, but of course Tanner and I weren’t aware of that. Anyway, I can’t find a fat content to save my life, but I’m sure there is a reason for that. I don’t think I want to know. He will definitely NOT be ordering this again diet or no. And yeah, go ahead and sign me up for mother of the year please.

As for blog entries, I think what I’m going to start doing (she proclaims with every intention of following through) is updating the same post throughout the day as I exercise, etc. I’ll probably have something more to say, but I will at least do this just to keep me focused. Kind of like facebook updates only they will be HERE. Actually, I’m kind of thinking it might be something along the lines of what I did Christmas day…that was fun right?

For now, I have to get back to work so I’ll post in a bit when I get my next 5 minute trek on the treadmill completed!


Raced downstairs to make my lunchtime shake and completely missed seeing the flowers Erik bought for me on the kitchen Island. Stargazer lilies again, LOVE the smell!

I was so focused on making that shake and by the time I poured it in the glass, it was mostly bubbly foam. You could literally lift up the glass and it felt empty lol. Oh well "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels, Nothing tastes as good as thin feels, Nothing tastes as good as a hot fudge sundae with nuts and whipped..oops lost myself there"


Ok, so I had a shake about an hour ago and I am ravenous at the moment. WTH? I know my stomach has to shrink, but the HMR shakes I use to drink filled me up more than this! I think the next couple of days are going to be grumpy days at the V's!

4:12PM CST

Ok to heck with what the doctor said...I'M HUNGRY! Seriously, each shake has 110 calories and I'm supposed to have one for breakast, one for lunch and then a small dinner (1 portion of protein the size of a deck of cards and a CD sized serving of veggies). I am going to have to work my way down to that boys and girls because I won't last the day and if Erik hadn't been here, I probably would have ate much more than I did. For the record, this is what i just had to eat:

1 banana
1 of the muffins we made this morning. I'll figure out the counts in a bit.
1 can of healthy request chicken and rice soup.

We are having taco salads for dinner so I should stay WELL under 1000 calories for the day.

I wasn't able to get another 5 minutes in. Erik is worried about my knee. If I can't get another 5 in later tonight, then I"m going to do some of the exercises my PT gave me to strengthen my knees.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Saw my surgeon today

I was too lazy to look for a picture to go with this post, so I thought I'd post the one above. Since Erik has started working two jobs, I've taken back a lot of the Tanner duty and realized that Erik was pretty much spoiling this kid rotten. We only have at least 4 good years left with this kiddo (who am I kidding? he's probably going to live with us until he's old enough to change OUR diapers), so I've been "encouraging" him (tanner) to take on more responsibility around the house. Sometimes (not often) he is surprisingly agreeable in helping out around the house. Other times, it is literally like pulling teeth to get him to do the smallest thing. Last night, his chore (yes, singular...we are starting off small) was to empty the dishwasher. It wasn't very full to begin with, but Tanner wanted to go play his new video game. When he saw that full refusal wasn't going to work, he started bargaining with me:

Tanner: "What about if I do the top and daddy does the bottom?"
Me: "How about if you do the top AND the bottom?"
Tanner: "Moooooom! Why do you always FORCE ME?"
Me: "Because I enjoy it and you won't do it willingly...quit complaining and just do it"
Tanner: "When I get my own apartment I never going to do the dishes!"
Me: "ok, well as long as you never ask me over for dinner, that will be fine"
*lots of banging and loud cabinet closing in the background*

He finally finishes and comes back to the living room with a scowl on his face. I mimic his scowl and soon have him laughing in spite of himself. Of course I didn't go check his work and later today Erik said

"Did Tanner empty the dishwasher last night?"
Me: "yeah, why?"
Erik: "Go take a look at the utensil drawer"

I just burst out laughing and grabbed my camera. I don't know why, but the picture cracks me up even more. Hopefully you guys see the humor in it as well.

I also wanted to add...I will still be talking about Erik and Tanner, but I just won't be discussing tgt (those of you who have been following me will know what that means) or intimate details about Tanner's challenges. I haven't gotten around to cleansing the blog of all references to tgt or the blogs detailing some of our challenges with Tanner's most recent school placement, etc, but hope to finish it up before my surgery.

So, for those of you who like hearing about our family shenanigans, fear not...I'll be sharing more on them from time to time. Ok, now on to the good stuff!


Hi again. I saw the surgeon today and it went pretty well. I had a minor heart attack at the outset because I misunderstood what they said about my insurance benefits and I thought that they were telling me that my insurance wasn’t going to pay for the sleeve gastrectomy. If you’ll recall, this is what stalled my last efforts to get bariatric surgery. Turns out that it looks like they will approve it. Now I’m just hoping that they won’t make me go through the 6 months of nutritional counseling again.

I don’t know what the deal was, but my knees were KILLING me today! I think it was God’s way of reminding me that backing out of this is absolutely not an option anymore. They had to do another EKG which is always fun because they make you get naked from the waist up. Again, I think God thought that if the knees didn’t do the trick, then making me don another superman cape braless would cinch the deal. Luckily, these capes were super sized so they actually did help cover up my most private parts. Usually, my primary care doc insists on forcing me to wear one of his superman capes…you know…the kind that were made for women under 30 who are still a size 8 and have lovely perky breasts that stay easily hidden under the paper fabric. On me, the same capes look like I drug my ugly poncho from the first grade out of the closet and tried it on. It may have hung to my waist in first grade, but now I’m lucky if it covers just past the shoulders which leaves my poor yo-yo-dieted, child-havin’, 40-year-old ta-tas swingin’ in the breeze. Trust me, it is NOT a good look.

Let me tell ya, the adhesive on those electrode thingys was EFFECTIVE. Those electrodes weren’t going ANYWHERE! As a matter of fact, as she started to remove them, I asked her if she could maybe attach a few to my upper lip and eyebrows and save me a trip to the salon for a wax…seriously, I don’t think I’ll be growing hair in those little patches for quite some time!

I finally got to see my doctor and we kind of went back over my history. I really like him, he’s matter of fact, doesn’t pull any punches, but is compassionate as well. He told me that he thinks the sleeve is completely doable laparoscopically, but he wants me to have a few more tests (upper endoscopy, cardio, psych eval, fitness appointment) and lose at least 35 lbs beforehand. I can probably do all of this over the next month if I really hunker down and focus on this. I got some meal replacement stuff from them and will basically be following the diet they normally ask people to do two weeks before surgery. I’ll have a shake for breakfast and lunch and then a light dinner (consisting of a protein source and non carb veggies). I’m also going to continue doing my 5 minute walks three times a day and try to work myself up to at least 15 minutes before surgery.

One good thing I discovered is that while the bariatric center closed down, they still have the fitness center there. It is only about $15.00 a month, so I’m going to contact the fitness coordinator about going back. I think getting back in the pool will help me get some strength back without overtaxing my bones and joints. As I get some weight off, it should start getting easier.

My own personal goal is to have 50 lbs off by surgery. That will get me under 400 lbs and should give my doctor plenty of room to work when he goes in to work his magic.

I won’t lie…I’m nervous. I’m not really scared of the life changes I’ll be forced to make when 60% of my stomach is removed or the pain I might experience. I’m scared to death that I’m going to die on the operating table and leave Tanner to cope with not having me here anymore. He’s already been through so much and I’ve watched him mourn my mom. It breaks my heart to imagine him mourning me.

What I keep trying to focus on is that if I DON’T have this surgery, it is just as likely that I’m going to die of some obesity-related problem in the next few years. So, it is either bite the bullet and take my chances now with the likelihood of being able to have many many more years with Tanner or not having the surgery and dying anyway in the next few years. I think I’ll take my chances.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm back

Hey all. Sorry for going private for a few days, but I've really been struggling with whether or not to continue the blog as it is. Nobody has put any pressure on me to do this, certainly not Erik. I just have really, for several months now, been trying to evaluate my motivation for discussing some of the most personal aspects of my blog; namely information that pertains to other people. I realize that many feel blogging should be transparent and in regards to struggle to lose weight, etc I am willing to be as transparent as possible. I just think that I'm having a crisis of conscience when it comes to discussing things that involve other people who did NOT sign up for this blog. I don't necessarily think that aspect is fair.

So, what I have started to do and will continue to do is delete references to various aspects of the life I share with Erik and Tanner and other family members. In the future, I will probably refrain from commenting on the most personal aspects of our life. I know that my readers will already have that background, but I am no longer comfortable having it "out there" where it might cause possible harm to those I love and care for.

To tell you the truth...I'm not sure what this will mean for future entries. I may sound rather bland initially as I try to find a new "voice" that isn't quite as open as it has been in the past. I know that you will understand though :)

Again, my apologies for disappearing for a week or so. Looking forward to posting again though. BTW, I just got on the treadmill for 5 minutes lol! I barely made it, but I think I may try for another five on my lunch break :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Future of my blog

I had some pretty awful dreams last night. Yet another bad side effect of stuffing yourself with Mexican food I suspect. This one had to do with Erik. Another dream about tgt..this time his mother walked in on him…it was horrible. I have reason to believe that she suspects something is up honestly. She lived with us for several years and I will never forget the day she came out and asked “Why don’t I ever see you and Erik hold hands or kiss each other goodbye?” I remember being so MAD at her for shining a spotlight on our dysfunction. I could still remember days when we used to embrace each other and laugh as toddler Tanner tried to wedge his way in between our bodies because he wanted in on the hug too. I missed those days, but was trying to cope as best I could with what I knew at that point. When I think about it, I think I was most mad at her for noticing at all. It was almost as if she had just ripped off the cheap little bandaid we had used to cover the wound caused by his revelation, exposing it in all its gory glory yet not able to SEE it. It hurt twice as much because I had to act as if there wasn’t a wound there at all and get on with my day as if I didn’t have this gaping hole in my heart.

I’ve been pondering this blog a lot lately. I realize this isn’t really a blog about helping other people. It’s whole premise is rather self indulgent. Sure, some people might be inspired or helped by some of what I write, but sometimes I worry that it sometimes crosses the line into Springeresque territory. I don't want this blog to be a freak show. Why DO I need to write about such deep, personal problems in such a public forum? I don’t know that I can answer that question really. Maybe it’s from living in my husband’s closet for the past 9 years? Someone on my str8’s list likened living in this sort of marriage to a pregnant woman whose child has died in her womb yet been told she has to carry it to term. It is a morbid analogy for sure, but it really does capture what this can be like for those of us trapped in this kind of marriage.

Part of me thinks I do this out of anger at being made to live in this closet. I’m sure there is some truth in this. I’ve told Erik before “My blog is my blog…I write about what I want to write about…this is the one place you will not censor me.” And up to now he’s been understanding of that. Recently, he did ask me not to blog about something that, in all honesty, I probably WOULD have blogged about. I would have blogged about it because it was an example of how this secret affected our son for the first time. Tanner was clueless so it really wasn’t harmful to him, but Erik’s inability to really cope with this secret kept Tanner from something I think he would have enjoyed and it pissed me off to see Tanner impacted by it, even though he was ignorant. It reminded me of many times in my life where my life was impacted by his secret while I remained ignorant to the cause.

So all of this has been rattling around in my head because I worry about some other family member stumbling across the posts where I talk about our marriage. Apparently his mom has recently gotten online and while I seriously doubt she would ever be saavy enough to find this blog, I worry. So do I censor myself? Go back and delete any reference to tgt and refrain from blogging about this aspect of my life? Part of me says yes. I would hate for someone that knows us to stumble across some of these posts and learn about our secret this way. The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone in his family (most of my family knows).

So, I’m struggling with what to do. Do I scrap the blog? Go back and selectively edit all references to tgt out of the blog? Make it invitation only? I honestly don’t know.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mealtime Confession

Ok, I'm going to start with a confession and then follow it up with some explanation that will hopefully get me somewhat out of hot water. I just had dinner and every thing I ate was extremely bad for me. I had two fajita tacos with the works (guacamole, sour cream, etc) rice and beans, tortilla chips followed by a piece of Dulce de Leche cheesecake. I know...HORRIBLE! And I am now realizing WHY this stuff is so bad for you. I feel HORRIBLE.

But here's the deal...I heard from my doctor Friday and it looks like my insurance will pay for the gastric sleeve. The last time I went through all the nutritional appts. etc They would only pay for the RNY procedure. Now, they will pay for the sleeve YAY! I have an appointment to see him on Monday, but I may have t reschedule as I can't get time off work. I'm going to call them monday morning. If they can't reschedule me for THIS week when I'm off (thursday and friday) then I'm just going to call into work and see him monday. Pretty much, all I think I will need to do is get about 40 lbs off and he can do the surgery. SO, tomorrow, I'm starting an HMR fast. This was the diet I was on right before my mom was diagnosed with Cancer back in 2001. I lost about 36 lbs in four weeks. I weighed myself the other day and while I weighed in at 444 lbs (which would make you think is a decrease from around this time last year), but I think I've lost a lot of muscle mass this year so who knows how much of that 20 lbs is really fat loss from last year?

I'm also going to start on the treadmill and try to do five minutes two or three times a day. I need to get my heart in better shape for surgery too. Hopefully by the time I have the surgery, I will be able to walk at least 15 minutes at a time and can build on that as I begin to lose weight.

I'm scared to death guys, but I know I have to do this. And yeah...the mexican food was kind of a last meal sorta thing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I feel icky

Obviously, our picture today is brought to you in my pledge to post eye candy when I can't think of a clever picture to represent today's post. Our eye candy today is a Mr. Robson Green. I've recently started watching a BBC series he stars in called "Wire in the Blood." If you like mysteries, you'll probably love these stories. I don't necessarily LOVE mystery shows, but I'm hooked on these. He plays the lead character, a criminal psychologist who helps the local PD profile and track serial killers. Anyway...not your traditional eye candy pic I know, but he is my current crush for the day so I thought I'd share :)
After yesterday's post. I had such a good start on positivity didn't I? Perhaps I should have sent that post to my SSN support list and posted a different kind of post here. I know most of you can't relate to tgt, but it is all kind of mixed up in why I'm where I'm at right now and every once in a while, it bleeds over into this part of my life. Please know that I do care about Erik. As I've said before, he's decent guy who made several bad decisions for all the right reasons and we are BOTH trying to see where we are at after the fall out. Fortunately for us, we are managing much better than most people in our situation.

Ok, enough about that. Today and tomorrow are my days off my main job. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to stay motivated Today and get some stuff done around the house. Lately, I've been sleeping all day, but that was during the worst of my holiday depression. I am feeling better today, but still not all that motivated to be very productive. I have some work I have to get done on some scrapbooking projects. I have two mini albums that have been commissioned, a clipboard, and a cookie sheet calendar. Did I ever give you guys the link to my etsy shop? If you want to see some of the stuff I have there go to . Some of the other stuff I have to work on is just getting some sample layouts uploaded to my website, upload some premade album templates for etsy,etc. Enough to keep me more than busy over the next few days. I also want to finish up my challenge jar :)

Thanks to everyone again for the challenges! I am going to be taking Mzchef's challenge to drink 8 glasses of water today. I have been living on ginger ale and coke lately (yes reg makes me ill so if I go off soda....not because of the taste, it must be something in the sweetener or something.. it's mostly cold turkey) so I think this is a good challenge for me.

Uggh, I can hear the wind blowing outside, its dark...we are expecting some pretty severe weather for texas. Definitely the sort of weather that makes you want to crawl back in bed. I think the REAL challenge is going to be not sleeping all day lol. Wish me luck!

As usual,comment below or leave me a challenge to add to my Challenge Jar :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What does Elvis have to do with anything?

Ok, so at least one person was fairly upset at my assertion yesterday that Elvis may have been gay. Another held up comments by other actresses who claimed he was a great lover, etc. I still say there is plenty of room to question his sexuality. I probably could have said the same thing about Erik until I discovered graphic examples of what he truly preferred sexually. I'm not going to debate the Elvis thing because it's really only my speculation.

One thing that I've been struggling with lately, and it actually is quite common in straight spouses, is almost a type of homophobia. You can ask anyone that knows me...I was probably the least homophobic person in their circle. As a matter of fact, in college, I wrote a speech arguing for Gay Marriage (back in the early 90's) and afterwards, I had some hard core texan good ol' boys come up to me to say that although they didn't agree with gay marriage, my speech had really gotten them thinking. What is ironic is I remember practicing my speech for Erik of all people. It is times like that I have to think "WHAT was going through his head at that time?" What was he thinking as he heard me give this speech knowing that he had this SSA? At this time, we were both about 22. God, I can't help wondering "what if he had just broken down and told me then?" How different our lives would have been.

So, back to being homophobic. I know it is irrational, but I guess some of my anger at this whole situation gets unfairly transferred to the entire gay population. Gay people I know, I'm alright with. It is the gay person I don't know...some friend in Erik's new circle of friends...some stranger I happen to interact with on the rare occasions I'm out. It is those people I feel myself directing some of my anger too. I KNOW it doesn't belong there which is why I try to be as aware of it as possible, but it is difficult to get past sometimes.

I joke now that "I SEE GAY PEOPLE." And I do, pretty much everyone is assumed to be gay unless proven otherwise now. I don't trust my own judgement which is probably another reason why I'm not in any hurry to get involved with anyone anytime soon. Someone commented that Erik wasn't the only one who could date...that I could too. I know this, but ...I don't know...I feel like I was so completely DELUDED about the sort of relationship Erik and I had. I knew something was wrong, but on the other hand, I romanticized SO much about our relationship....we were meant for each other, etc...maybe I was trying to find meaning or give meaning to some of the things that just didn't add up. Honestly, most gay people are just as appalled that someone would marry someone without being upfront about their SSA. What is really frustrating though is that whenever this sort of situation is addressed publicly...everybody feels all this empathy for the GAY spouse and I just don't get that at all. The GAY spouse was the coward, the liar, the person who defrauded an innocent woman or man and wasted the best years of their lives (for the most part) in a marriage they KNEW they had no business being in. The straight spouse is often an afterthought. I will never understand why people are so often inclined to feel all this compassion for the gay spouse.

Part of me wants Erik to find someone, fall in love and FEEL the attachment, connection, etc with another person. I want him to find some man that he can finally have that TRUE connection with,know true intimacy with and then I want him to feel the crushing heartache as the relationship unravels. I want him to know the devastation of having someone he loved as deeply as he's ever loved anyone reject him and toss him aside. And I hate myself for feeling this way.

This is where I find myself lately...vacillating between the relationship we have now and the detritus and fallout of what was. Simultaneously forgiving him and crucifying him over and over and over again. Maybe I need to see about talking this out with a therapist or something. Someone who can help me sort through all these feelings and put them behind me once and for all because I really really really do want to get on with my life.

Wow! I had NO intention of going HERE today. I've sat here for the last 5 minutes struggling with my finger hovered over the delete button, but I'm going to go ahead and just post it.

As a mini update on things: I didn't hear back from the doctor today so we'll see if she gets in touch with me before the end of the week.

TODAYS CHALLENGE: is from T.S. I walked circles around my kitchen island while dinner was cooking this evening. Granted, it wasn't for very long, but it beats sitting in a chair :) Thanks everyone for the challenges so far! Keep them coming. I'm off the next two days so I'm going to get an actual jar made up and will add your challenges as I get them.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Elvis was Gay and other epiphanies I had today

Yeah, I was thinking about things today. TGT (the gay thing) has been on my mind a lot lately. The post on grief I made the other day was mostly about having some of some feelings resurface in regards to tgt that I thought I had dealt with. I'm still dealing with them actually, trying to sort through them and see where I stand after this round. BTW, the "date" the other night? He ended up going back the next night, but the more I hear about this guy, the more I'm of the hoping Erik has better taste lol. Apparently this guy has a few issues, collects teddy bears, has hoarder tendencies, etc. Again, I'm not all that encouraged by the gay men that seem to be popping up more and more in Erik's life. They all have serious issues (let's pretend I don't have a blog where I out my own serious issues to the universe for the moment ok?). I'm guessing it probably has a lot to do with having to live your life in a society that isn't always all the welcoming to homosexuals. I don't know, but I would think that there has to be some decent gay men out there for Erik to play with right?

Anyway, I got to thinking about Elvis today after reading some article on Adam Lambert's version of "Ring of Fire" making some countdown for 2009. I know it was Johnny Cash that sang the song, but Adam kind of looked a bit like Elvis when he sang it...just giving you the architecture of my train of thought here... And it dawned on me...ELVIS WAS GAY! It makes complete and total sense. All the weird crazy crap in his life can be easily explained by the fact that he was gay. Think about it...he basically gave Priscilla her own makeover, quickly got her pregnant and then used the whole "I can't see you as a mother sexually anymore" excuse to never have sex with her again. I would think it would also explain his kind of tortured psyche. It is weird thinking I may have something in common with Priscilla...too bad it isn't her amazing figure and gorgeous eyes (said in a totally non-lesbian way).

Speaking of, I chose "Tamzin's" suggestion to do 15 wall pushups. I actually did three sets of 15, howz that for a good start? I LOVED all the suggestions I've had so far and am looking for an actual jar to use. I may end up using a vase or something pretty, I'll take a picture when I get it all made up. I'm going to start making Tanner choose too lol. We'll see how that goes. PLEASE don't stop with the suggestions. I loved reading them as they came in and it really was kind of fun to choose one today.

I contacted the bariatric center today too just to see if they got my file in. She expects it tomorrow. I'll give her a few days and if I haven't heard from her by the end of the week, I'll give her a call. One thing I did learn that kind of saddened me was that they shut down Weightwise which was the place I used to go to see my doctor. That was where they had the fitness center geared towards super sized people. I'm going to ask my advocate if they have anything like it in another facility here. I know they had at least one other location. Hopefully they just downsized, but I think the other facility was quite a distance for me. Now that we are down to one car, it makes getting to the YMCA impossible (or almost impossible).

Alrighty, have to go spend time with Tanner before working a few more hours then bed.

Don't forget to Challenge me today!! Comment below :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 Goals & Daily Challenge Request

I'm not going to make any MAJOR goals for this year. I'm simply going to make one general goal that I hope will keep me on track this year. I plan on choosing one thing each day to change or work on that will get me closer to a healthier me. Today, it was calling my bariatric surgeon again. I spoke with my patient advocate there and she has called to get my file out of storage and hopes to get back to me tomorrow or the next day to let me know where we stand. I did learn that while BCBS is still not covering the gastric sleeve, United insurance (my secondary through Erik's employer) is covering it. She said that we may have to file with BCBS first, let them deny it and then move on to United. Part of the reason my surgery stalled last time was because I had to figure out a way to come up with the money for the sleeve vs the RNY which would have been covered by my insurance at the time.

The last time I saw my surgeon, he recommended that I get the sleeve first, lose about 100 lbs with that, then go in and do the RNY laparoscopically. He suggested this for a few reasons. First of all, my size...I'm definitely fatter than most patients they work on. He didn't think that he could do the RNY laparoscopically because of my size and doing it via an open incision was a much riskier procedure. However, he did think that he could do the sleeve laparoscopically if I could lose about 40-60 lbs prior to surgery (to give him some room to work).

Additionally, you typically have a window of time after WLS where you are primed to lose the most weight. Usually it lasts about 18 months. After that, it becomes more difficult to get the weight off. My surgeon explained that he expected me to be able to lose enough to get down to about 250 lbs with ONE surgery. However, if I had the sleeve, lost 100 lbs and then went back and got the RNY (which he could do laparoscopically at this point), he expected that he could get me down to my goal weight of (he said 130, but I think that's ridiculous) 165-170 (My own personal goal weight...Im a big boned gal). Honestly, if I could get down to between 225 and 250, I'd be happy. If you look at my skinniest pictures here, I was around 220-230, but I doubt anyone would have guessed me at over 200. I was very fit at the time, able to do just about anything i wanted...I'd be happy to get back there for sure. Of course, If I can get down to a REAL skinny size for the first time in my life, I'm not stopping at 220 that's for sure.

My personal plan is to have the sleeve procedure done and work my arse off to get as much weight off as I can and get as healthy as I can (physically) and see where I'm at. If I'm losing weight with the sleeve and like how I'm doing, I may not have the RNY done. Personally, I'd rather work my ass off and save another surgical procedure to get all the plastic surgery I'm going to need to get my body looking normal again after all this weight loss.

So, short term goals:

*start increasing my activity level to get my body and heart in as good a shape as I can to prepare for surgery.
*Monitor my food intake using to facilitate the 40-60 lb weight loss I'm going to need to have for surgery
*be diligent in following up with my advocate and doctor to get the surgery done.

I plan also on blogging regularly no matter how boring and tedious it might get. I know I experienced the best success when I was blogging and reading your blogs for inspiration so expect to hear more from me this month!

So what's with the picture of the empty jar up at the top of this post you might be wondering? I had kind of a brain storm yesterday that I thought I'd introduce on my blog today. I have been kicking around an idea of having you guys give me a daily challenge. Maybe take daily suggestions that I could choose from (maybe even keep a jar that I pull from daily) which I would then report on in my blog. For instance...say you guys leave me some suggestions today...I will write them down and put them in my jar...tomorrow I'll pull something from the jar and DO whatever is written on that piece of paper. It could be something as simple as "Walk to the mailbox and back," "walk up and down your staircase once just for the exercise," "give Tanner a big ol' embarrassing MOM kiss," "Say something nice about yourself in your blog tomorrow" get the idea. It could really be ANYTHING with the goal of keeping me focused on a healthier and happier me (as you can see...yesterday, I was back to feeling sorry for myself). I kind of like the interactive nature of the whole idea and I think it will really help keep me focused on doing something positive for myself each day. Maybe I'll even start to incorporate pictures of me taking your challenge (I warn you though...most days I look like complete crap makeup, hair blown dry with no special fixin'etc). What do you think? Stupid idea or worth trying? If you think it's stupid....keep that info to yourself..I'm trying to stay positive here. If you think it's worth trying, please leave me a challenge that I can start adding to my challenge jar! If you want to make a challenge jar with me, let me know and I'll come and leave a challenge on your blog too :) Every day, feel free to add more challenges and i'll keep adding them to my jar.

Ok, now i have to get to work. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow :)

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Old Wounds

ETA: this was actually written yesterday (sunday 1/3/10), but I wasn't sure I wanted to post it or make it public. It may not make a lot of sense, but it is just me...trying to figure out where I'm at...kind of stream of consciousness really.

This morning I find myself mulling over some of the last week in my head. Most of it has been spent in bed. I haven’t felt great and I think if I weren’t already struggling with depression, I might have been able to be a bit more productive. However, because I was already coping with some holiday depression which was compounded by my faux anniversary crap…I think the illness gave me the perfect excuse to lose myself in slumber. I seriously would wake up, go to my office, work my shift, sign off and then crawl back into bed. I’d wake up a bit later to spend a few hours with Tanner and then head back to bed.

I’m feeling a little better today…both health-wise and depression-wise so I guess I’m able to try and reflect with a little more clarity over what has had my mind in overdrive for the last week. When it comes to grief, one thing I’ve realized is that it is very much like a roller coaster. Initially, it feels like you do nothing but bounce from one crest to one valley over and over again; you find yourself plunging down that steep hill, completely out of control of your emotions and then immersed in your grief and before you know it, you are making that climb again, feeling better, more confident and bam…you plummet again. In my experience, the “coasting” time, or the time between those peaks and valleys extends gradually. Before you know it, you are going a few hours between crying jags, then a few days, then maybe it’s a week and before you know it…it is maybe once a month that you experience those scary plummets into the emotional abyss where your grief dwells. Around this time, you also notice that the abyss isn’t quite as dark and murky as it once was. You are able to find your footing and your way back to the here and now much easier. Those intense feelings of grief wane until it is just the gentle ache of remembrance and reflection.

I guess I thought that was it…the end of the cycle of grief. Acceptance. You’ve arrived at your destination and can now get off and get on with the rest of your life. I thought I had arrived and embraced acceptance and was moving on with the rest of my life. You have taken good care of the wounds of loss; you cleaned and bandaged and doctored them until you felt they had healed sufficiently. You take the bandage off with guarded confidence, stretch and bend slowly, testing the wound, making sure its going to hold. Each day you gain more confidence as you see it stand up to more strenuous tests until you aren’t really thinking about it anymore. Maybe just occasionally, you’ll catch a glimpse of the scar in the mirror after a shower or maybe run a hand across it getting dressed and you’ll remember….”Wow, I almost forgot about that….it hurt like hell, that wound” but what you are remembering is just a shadow of what you felt at the time and you have a life to live so you finish dressing and get on with your day. And you think you’re ok.

The thing is, I guess like real wounds, we knit ourselves back together, but we can never really do it with the same finesse as our creator. Whereas before, it took a really nasty injury to open up that initial wound…now, smaller injuries seem to be able to open up it back up easily. That sucks. I don’t like nursing the same wound over and over again! It’s healed, I’m done with it, I’ve moved on…NEXT.

I guess what I’m discovering is that these wounds tend to be fragile because again, like real wounds, if you leave anything behind…any feelings or emotions that weren’t dealt with the first time around…like a nasty bacteria, they are going to weaken any healing that’s done and eventually that wound will open back up again…forcing you to take another look to see what you missed. I know that somewhere this is a good thing, otherwise what is left behind grows and festers and before you know it, it’s consumed you….It takes over, you become septic, you die. So I suppose I should be thankful that I get a second chance at this…the healing.

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