Bari-Educational TV: Videos To Teach You About You And Your Options

  • 1. The Stages of Digestion
  • 2. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
  • 3. Gastric Banding
  • 4. Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • 5. Duodenal Switch
"Eat right, exercise regularly, die anyway."

~ Author Unknown

Friday, October 30, 2009

Still Going Strong

It's been a very arduous week at work so I haven't had a chance to post but I'm still going strong on the liquid diet.  It took a few days to get the hang of what I CAN have and of course it took my body a few days to get adjusted to things, but overall I'm doing pretty well.  I've lost about 6 lbs. this week so I'm definitely happy with that.  I've lost just about all of my "Last Supper" regain.  I haven't been able to give up watching television this week but I figure I was having an insane moment of mania where I really thought momentarily that I had super powers or something because me giving up television is indeed more difficult to imagine than me giving up food.  I'm living in a hotel right now so I don't have my TIVO set up so not watching tv without having my TIVO to record my shows...yeah, not gonna happen.

Not much to really say.  I told a friend the other day that I was having gastric bypass and met with the first extremely strong voice of opposition that I've gotten so far.  The response was "rearranging your digestive system can't be good for you...", "....all you need to do is get on a treadmill, have you tried that?" as well as asking if anybody knew the long term effects of weight loss surgery.  I'm like, dude, the long term effect is that you live a healthier life!! A longer life!!  Should I ever lose my mind and decide to get pregnant, I could have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby! I can rebel against my family history of high blood pressure and diabetes!!

I think that people don't realize that weight loss surgery is nothing new.  We hear about it more now because more people are having the surgery, because more insurance companies are covering it, but people have been doing this for a very long time.  I'm 5' 3" and at my highest weight was 233 lbs.  Some people look at that number and think that I don't need surgery because I'm not 300, 400, or 500 lbs. or more and my response to that is when I see that the situation is out of control, why wait until it gets worse??  Alot of people look at me and don't think that I'm big enough for surgery which, I guess is meant to be complementary, but in a way tells me that they're okay with me being the fat girl.  They're used to it.  I look forward to seeing the change in people's attitudes toward me once I am smaller.

I was talking to someone today that has a friend that is post-op gastric bypass.  She said that her friend had her surgery in 2008 and that when she looks at her friend now, she can't even remember what she looked like when she was fat.  I want someone to be able to say that about me.  More importantly, I want to be able to say that about myself!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Atonement: Day 3

It's Day 3 of my liquid diet and although this is just as tough as I thought it would be, I'm finding that it is bringing a clarity of mind that I didn't expect.  I'm addicted to tv about as much as I am to food and while laying in bed last night in the peaceful silence of the night, I thought to myself, "Self, maybe this would be a good time to turn off the tv for a few weeks and really work on some of those all important head hunger coping strategies".  There's no better time than the present.

From a physical standpoint, the days on the liquid diet are getting worse before they get better and I expected that.  My stomach is knocking loudly and screaming "Hey!! Did you forget about me??? Where's the beef??".  My bladder is saying "Girlfriend, you've got me workin' overtime!".  I had a headache yesterday and I still have to consciously remind myself not to go and get something to eat.

Mentally, I'm focused on what I'm working toward.  This is a time of atonement for me, a time to let go of all of my old destructive eating habits, and a time to let go of the old me, the fat me, the me that hides in plain sight and directs my eyes to the ground instead of making eye contact with people sometimes.  I have some workbooks (The Beck Diet Solution and The Food And Feelings Workbook) that I think I'm going to delve into and really work through in these next weeks. 

My journey has officially begun.  These are the first days of the rest of my life and I don't ever want to go back to this person that has absolutely no control over food.  I'm sticking with my diet instructions religiously and challenging myself.  I want to lose as much weight during these two weeks as I possibly can, weight in pounds, and weight in burden.  I'm looking forward to having the time off work to focus on myself.  It's so rare in our lives that we have the opportunity to take time away like this and I want to be a new and improved me when my physical healing time is done.  I know the psychological healing will be a lifelong battle but if I equip myself with the tools now and continue to do so on a regular basis, the changes that I make within myself can become a reality and long term.  I've heard that it takes 40 days of doing something consistently in order for it to become a habit. 

I'm taking up a new habit.  It's called caring about myself enough to pay attention to what's going on in my head, in the mirror, and on the scale.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sundays At Mama's House

I woke up today feeling extremely lonely for some reason.  I had decided that I was going to start my liquid diet a day early (today) as it just seems appropriate as it's the first day of the week.  What's interesting is that it seems like I'm being tested.  Because I feel lonely, I want to go ahead and eat today, but I'm going to be strong, do my chores to stay busy, and remember that food is meant for nourishment, not to be my friend.

Growing up, Sunday dinner was always somewhat of a big production.  My mom would start prepping things on Saturday nights and the smells of great tasting food would start wafting their way upstairs even early in the morning.  By the time we came home from church, the only thing we needed to do was heat everything up and throw the freshly raised dinner rolls into the oven to bake.  We'd laugh and talk over the meal just enjoying the time together.  Afterward, we'd all relax in the den and snooze or maybe watch a movie.  I really miss those days sometimes.  It was family time, but family time that was also centered around food.  I think that I am really going to start noticing now exactly how much food is the center of quality time between family and friends.  When I do see my family for visits or holidays it will be a strange time, but I can only hope that I will have their support in a way that considers the differences in my dietary needs and that the focus can shift more from the food to the gift of the family time.  Perhaps the family dinners can now begin to incorporate healthier foods, not so much for my benefit alone, but for the benefit of all of us.

Friday, October 23, 2009

On Your Mark.....

Well, I think I'm pretty prepared for my liquid diet.  I've got more protein powder in my house right now than the amount of protein in my body, my dog's body, and my cat's combined!  That's okay though because I know that part of this is for the next two weeks and the rest will be put to good use after my big day.  I'm trying to get some different varieties to see what I like, but also keeping in mind that my taste buds will likely change after surgery.  I'd purchased some Chike Very Vanilla and Banana Creme but was disappointed when I looked at the labels and found that they each have 11-12g of carbs in them.  I discussed it with my dietician yesterday and she gave me a few options.  I can a) send it back, or b) go ahead and use it but decrease carbohydrates in other areas. I really like the taste of the Chike so I'm still trying to decide what to do.  It's a difficult decision as each has 28g of protein!

I decided to stop by Vitamin Shoppe on the way home just to take a peek and came across a few additional brands that are worthy of giving a try.  I bought Nectar Vanilla Bean Torte and Nectar Caribbean Cooler.  Both carry 23g of protein, 0g of carbs, 0g of sugar, and 0g of fat!  If I like the taste of the Nectar Vanilla, the decision about the Chike will be easily made.  I also picked up 4 bottles of the Isopure glass bottle protein drinks, each with 40g of protein in Mango Peach, Passion Fruit, Grape, and Apple Melon as well as one individual vial of the New Whey Liquid Protein with 42g of protein in 3.4 oz.

Oh gee, did I forget to mention that several weeks ago I'd already ordered 2 tubs each of Unjury Chicken Soup, Unflavored, and Chocolate?  And darn, I also forgot to mention that I picked up an Unjury Strawberry Sorbet and 2 boxes of  Health Wise Pineapple, one of my ultimate favorites.  Wow!! Yeah, I think that I'm definitely ready!!  I'll have to give up my green smoothies for now but will hopefully be able to add those back in later with some protein added in.  Maybe I can really do this!! 

One thing that I've already learned in looking ahead to the post-op days is that I'll need to be creative.  I had one challenge that I wasn't sure how I would overcome.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I work in an operating room.  I'm in a unique position where I very rarely get breaks of any kind.  On many days, I'm doing pretty good if I've had the chance to run to the bathroom during the course of the day...and lunch??  You can't exactly pull out a sandwich and start munching away!  The challenge, how to remain hydrated and find a way to sip on my protein fluids throughout the day.  It took some brainstorming and the only thing that I could think of is a Camelbak (you know, those special backpacks that cyclists wear that hold water?).  Well, I can't exactly walk around the room with a Camelbak attached to my back so I did a little research.  It turns out that Camelbak has a few designs that are lumbar packs that can be worn like fanny packs!  I can wear it as a fanny pack and run the drinking tube through my scrub shirt and keep it at my shoulder.  That way, I can sneak a few sips here and there so that I don't get dehydrated, and it doesn't compromise the sterility of the environment. Ha, the best part is that it has extra pockets that I can use to carry some of my supplies!!

If you'd told me one year ago, that the money that I'd budgeted for groceries would all be going to protein powders and mix-ins, I would have thought you crazy, but now, this is a reality for me.  My protein supplements will be a part of my grocery budget for life and with all of the great recipes that I've come across online, I'm okay with that.  There are so many varieties out there and so many ways to prepare them that it doesn't have to get boring.  I'm starting to see a bit into the future and learning that with some creativity, it is possible to get used to a new life and a way of eating that is completely foreign from anything that I've ever known.

*Health Wise products are only available through a licensed medical professional.  Bariatric Choice offers a different brand called Bari Wise which is available in a variety of flavors including pineapple. 

Time Is Ticking Away...

Yesterday, I drove up to Charlotte, NC for all of my final pre-op appointments.  I met with the bariatric nurse registrar at the hospital and got registered there, saw my dietician to go over my pre-op diet, and saw my surgeon.  Each of them felt that I was well prepared for the surgery and confident that I can be successful which was an awesome feeling.  They were amazed at the amount of research that I've done over these months that I've had, and I have to admit that I've probably spent time reading studies and blogs to obsession, not to mention the time spent in a support group on a regular basis.

My program is currently set up with their support group meeting only once a month with a brief presentation, then break-out sessions for gastric band patients and one for bypass patients.  Although I started my program in North Carolina and will be having my surgery there, I've lived in Albany, New York for the majority of the time that I've been preparing for surgery, so I've been attending the support group there.  The program in Albany has separate groups: one for those beginning the process, interested in more information, and recent bypass and band post-op patients, one group dedicated solely to band patients, and one group dedicated to post-op patients that have a year or more of time under their belts. 

I suggested to everyone that I met with yesterday that the only thing that I would change about our program is the amount of time dedicated to support groups within each month, and truly, that is the only thing that I would change as I've found the program to be outstanding in the information given, the attention and sensitivity given to the patients, and all of the resources available.

Each of the people that I met with suggested that after I go through my surgery and am a ways out, that I should lead a support group of my own because of the amount of research that I've done and knowledge that I've accumulated.  I felt very flattered and comforted in knowing that my questions have been answered and not only do I feel prepared, but those taking care of me have confidence that things will go well and that I can indeed be successful.  I taught high school several years ago and am used to teaching and facilitating within a group setting, so I just might have to take them up on their idea someday!!

I also feel ready to give up my time of bingeing (especially after seeing the 8 lbs. that I've gained back in just one month!).  My last supper time has come to its close, and my liquid diet starts on Monday.  In some strange way, I'm looking forward to it, although I'm sure that in the first few days I will see mirages of food in everything I see, sort of like in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons!

In case you can't tell, I am so very excited!!!  I'm not nervous at all.  I feel confident and comforted, and reassured.  Probably most important of all, I believe in my surgeon, and believe that I have indeed made the right choice in choosing to go through this process and taking control over my life.  

I'm very much looking forward to seeing my mom and sister and feel so blessed to have their support.  Alright, enough of this sappy, mushy talk.  I need to get to work!!  Blessings though to all of you who read this.  May you be encouraged in your journey, wherever you are, and if you're not happy with what the scale says today......just say "Screw it!!" and go eat some protein!!  LOL

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Post-Op Inspiration

Hey there Post-Ops!!  I'd love some inspiration from you as I'm winding down my last 3 weeks before surgery. I'm having laparoscopic RNY.  I want to know from you two things....

  1. What was your most embarassing moment as a morbidly obese person?
  2. In what way has your life changed so that moment would never happen to you today (other than the obvious weight loss)?
If you prefer, you could answer any of these questions in addition or instead....
  1. What were your thoughts going into those last few days or weeks before surgery?
  2. In retrospect, what do you wish that you would have known then that you would change if you had it to do all over again?  (e.g. I would have read more about.... or I would have gone to more support groups, etc.)
  3. What has been your greatest mental or emotional struggle since you had your surgery?
  4. What does your weekly exercise routine consist of?
  5. Did you experience any serious complications and if you're comfortable, would you mind sharing some of your experiences?
  6. And lastly, what's on your Bucket List now that you've lost your excess weight that you wouldn't have been able to do before?
Please tell me how long it has been since you had your surgery.  You can leave your comments here on the blog openly or anonymously, your choice. 

As you can tell from my blog, as well as my presence on Facebook, Twitter, and the Twibe,  I've been researching my upcoming surgery quite extensively since I started the process back in January.  I have my last pre-op appointments with my surgeon and dietician this Thursday 10/22, then will be starting my two week liquid liver reduction diet next Monday, 10/26.  Nothing motivates me more than hearing your stories both good and bad.  I like hearing the truth because I know that medicine is not a perfect science for anyone.

Thanks in advance for sharing and tweeting and for being my fellow twits and tweeples!

Thinking thin,
(aka Ericka)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Interesting Observations

I went to Target yesterday to buy new underwear.  My collection of underwear is constantly shrinking because I have a dog who, even at 7 years old, finds entertainment in chewing them to shreds.  I hate shopping for clothes and I think I buy more underwear than any other clothes item.  The mall was right next door and I know that I could wander into Lane Bryant and probably spend $12 for one pair of panties but I'm much too frugal for that and again, why spend that much when it will most likely turn into a doggie chew toy?  I went for my usual cotton 6 packs and found something interesting.  The larger plus sizes were all picked over and almost gone, while the smaller sizes were hanging there in abundance.  Sure it's possible that if you have a size 5 butt you're not shopping in the granny panty section, but it's also possible that we are indeed living in an age where there are more plus-sized butts than little skinny mini's. 

Sure, the media tells us that in order to be beautiful we have to be a size 0 and their idea of a "plus sized" model is a size 12 (which absolutely disgusts me), but I guess in shopping I'm starting to see more of the obesity epidemic purchasing the truly plus sized items.  We've all seen that someone somewhere that we'd like to pull to the side and say, "honey, just because they make it in your size doesn't mean that you should wear it." but the truth is that there are alot of plus sized women that are in denial of their size and still trying to squeeze into the smaller sizes, no matter if they can breathe in them or not.

Another thing I've noticed while shopping is this....why are you never able to find plus sized workout wear in regular stores?  Since the "acceptable" woman is the smaller one, wouldn't it make sense to have a large section of plus sized workout wear for those of us making an effort to lose weight?  I guess the assumption is that if you are obese, you are automatically choosing to stay that way, and too lazy to workout so there is no comfortable, moisture-wicking, physically supportive workout wear designed for you.  Interesting, I tell you. Interesting.

I generally hate shopping for clothes because it is so difficult to find things to fit me.  I'm only 5' 2" and with my "curves", it's particularly difficult to find pants that fit.  I usually buy cheap clothes from Wal-Mart or clearance sale items from Avenue and wear them until they either have holes or permanent stains in them.  I replace my wardrobe only as necessary and it's a beautiful thing that I get to wear scrubs at work!  I come from a family of well-dressed women and my mother is always trying to help me to build my wardrobe so that I can stop looking homeless.  I'm currently at one of those homeless looking stages and in dire need of some newer items but as I breezed through the store yesterday, I felt the freedom of knowing that it wasn't worth buying anything new right now because within a few short weeks, it will no longer fit! 

I look forward to scouring the racks of the local Goodwill or Salvation Army store for those gently used items in smaller sizes than I wear now.  I don't know that I will ever truly enjoy shopping, but I do look forward to having more options.  I have one sister that is the only one in the family blessed with the mutant skinny gene.  I'm excited to someday shop in her closet when I hit my goal weight because she always dresses with style.  She is three years older and I surpassed her in growth when I hit puberty so we were never able to share clothes.  Somehow I know that my favorite place of all to shop, will be in her closet.

I am incredibly grateful to my sister.  We've never been extremely close but as I've shared with her my preop journey so far, she's been very receptive to learning about weight issues and how the surgery will change my life.  I realized that she doesn't know what it's like to be overweight because she never has been, so she has been a wonderful resource for me for learning how to think like a thin person.  I asked her if she would be willing to fly in and be there for me for my surgery and without a second thought she said yes.  I can't tell you how much that means to me.  I'm so excited and I can't wait to give her a huge hug.  It's quite possible that this dreaded issue of weight may be the key issue that helps us to learn about and understand each other in a way that we never have before.  I've designated her as my diet coach just to help me to stay on track and to help me continually think like a thin person.  Along with ongoing therapy, she may be able to help me conquer some of the mental challenges that the surgery brings.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy NOT having to shop for any clothes.  Heck, when I'm able to transition down to smaller underwear, maybe I'll give my dog my old ones for her to run around the house with like she usually does.  I will enjoy the sight and sound of her ripping those granny panties to shreds!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fat People Deserve Love Too!!

I was FURIOUS!  I work in an operating room.  We see patients from every walk of life...tall patients, short patients, big patients, small ones.  We see all kinds of piercings and tattoos, some offensive and some that just make you wonder what the patient was thinking.  At the heart though, we see people on the most vulnerable days of their lives.  They are in pain, afraid, anxious, and looking to us to care for them as if they were our own, and they have every right to their expectations. 

I was working yesterday when the nurses wheeled in an obese patient.  While she was obese, she was by far NOT the largest patient that any of us have ever seen, far from it actually.  Yes, sometimes caring for an obese patient can present challenges that aren't present when caring for thinner people as equipment is often built for certain weight limits and we sometimes have to do the best we can with what we have to work with.  That was a part of our challenge yesterday, but what infuriated me were all of the comments that flew so loosely about the room about our patient's weight.  She was anesthetized and therefore unable to hear what was going on, and unfortunately, these healthcare workers thought that her inability to hear them gave them license to say whatever they wanted.

fat-girls#4 Pictures, Images and Photos"I bet she has a small husband doesn't she?  He's probably one of those guys that obsesses over the calendars with the pictures of extremely fat women posing in lingerie on them like you see at Spencer's!"
"What good can back surgery possibly do someone like this?  Does she really think that her pain is gonna stop when she's THIS big?? The only thing that's going to help her is a DIET!!"

I wanted to scream "STOP!!" from the top of my lungs.  Unfortunately, my acting out of my passion over things like this have never fared well with my employer so I contained myself, but I did make sure to mention to people that, "Hey, you know no matter what her size, this lady is a human being!" and the fact that she's nowhere near as big as people were making her out to be, not that it even matters.

As I stewed over the situation during the day, I realized that I had an increased sensitivity on behalf of our patient not only because of my obesity, but because of knowing that I'm having surgery soon so there's help available for me.  Things will be changing for me soon.  The opportunity for weight loss surgery is there for many people, but may not be a viable option for everyone possibly because of insurance or other reasons.

I've been working in this field for several years now and I've heard comments made about our patients' weights before, both large and small, many times.  I know, in fact, that there have been times when I've made comments myself.  I'm ashamed to even admit that.  Most often though, when I've heard the comments made about our patients, I think to myself, my God, these people that I'm working with must think that I'm the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man or something!!

I admit that there have been times when I've looked at people and thought to myself, "God, I never want to be THAT big", or watched some of those documentaries on television of the "Half Ton Mom, Dad, or Teen" and thought to myself, surely they could have done SOMETHING before allowing themselves to get to be that size.  I've seen the people on tv with the horrible cases of lymphedema and bed sores and listened to one patient say that she doesn't smell and marvel that she can still do things that other people couldn't do because she could touch her toes while she permanently lay in bed.

I've made judgements against those people, and in truth, yes, there must have been something that they could have done before allowing themselves to get to the sizes that they are/were and even more importantly, the people that enabled their addictions needed as much help as the people themselves.  But, the fact of the matter is that these individuals ARE human beings.  They deserve to be loved and respected like anyone else.  Me making judgements against them is like an alcoholic one-upping themself over a crack addict.  They're both addicts!  The only difference is the drug of choice or method of consumption.

I don't want to be 1,000 lbs., so I am taking steps to get control over my life now, but there is nothing about the level of severity of my obesity that makes me better than anyone else.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Out of Control

I'm so out of control right now.  I've been binging as if I were on the reality show Survivor and have been on a deserted island for 30 days with nothing but small hints of fish, rice, and maybe a little bit of fruit, and then rewarded with a feast.  Although I've spent a great deal of time attending and listening attentively in support groups, the fact of the matter is that I don't know exactly what my body will be able to handle after surgery.  There are some foods that are obviously not on the post-op plan and these are the foods that I'm binging on.  While I am definitely committed to the process, I feel somewhat like a failure now as this is the pattern that I've always fell into with diets before.  I'll do the "right things" to lose weight and change my eating habits until all of a sudden a switch somehow flips in my head drawing me to all of the junk food like a tweaker searching for their next hit!

My liver reduction diet starts on October 26th and I've been having a mental countdown of the days in my head saying, "you only have this many days left, you better grab all you can before it's too late!".  Fourteen more days.....what have you been craving that will be off limits later?  I feel horrible.  This makes me wonder if I will indeed be able to be successful.  I pray that I will be able to use my tool in the way that it's intended and that I can do all of the work necessary to keep me on the right path even after my appetite returns.  I don't want to live my life feeling this lack of control forever.

On the flip side, I just bought a Blendtec Total Blender to help me to make nutritious green smoothies and for my protein shakes and pureed phase of my post-op diet.  I've already made one green smoothie in it that was surprisingly pretty good, and a chicken tortilla soup made from all natural ingredients.  I felt a rush of excitement in making those meals because a.) they are actually good for me, but b.) because I simply love gadgets and this is sort of my new toy!

I've been looking online for green smoothie recipes (as well as adding protein powder to them).  I'm also kind of just throwing things together to see what happens and how it will taste.  My smoothie from the other night was made from the following:

  • kale
  • parsley
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • bananas
  • red grapes
  • green grapes
  • and lots of ice
I did a pretty good job except for when I decided to add more grapes and ice and didn't close the lid of the blender well enough.  Let's just say that the kitchen walls were temporarily repainted as was the floor, and my clothes!!

The chicken tortilla soup recipe came from the Blendtec cookbook and was made with:

  • Roma tomatoes
  • taco seasoning
  • sharp cheddar cheese made with 2% milk
  • cilantro
  • fresh garlic
  • carrots
  • onions
  • chicken base
  • and water
I added some chunks of chicken breast at the end along with a few tortilla chips and it was very tasty!!  It's amazing that you can actually make hot soup in a blender!!  Hopefully I'll enjoy playing with my new gadget continually with healthy protein shakes and soups, and let the binging go forever.  I know that my surgery is only a tool, but I'm also hoping that it will be simply a fresh start to a new life....a life where I can learn to control what I can in my life without reaching for food as my one and only answer.  Lord grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference....something like that, you get the idea.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Last Supper Syndrome

This process toward surgery has been such a long and emotional road.  You start out with this checklist of documents that have to be submitted; appointments with surgeons, nurses, nutritionists, dieticians, fitness trainers, psychologists, The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and I'm sure Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was in there somewhere too.  The anticipation builds as you cross each of your appointments off the list.  You've been poked and prodded, endoscoped, and stepped on the scale more times in the last 6 months, than you have in the last 6 years.  You've completed your six month medically supervised diet, submitted all of the necessary paperwork for insurance approval and lo and behold, in the words of Suze Orman, "You've Been Approved!".  Not only are you approved, but you have a date with your surgeon (quite possibly the first date you've had in ohhh...months, years?) That very last set of pre-op appointments is scheduled on the calendar.

I have to fulfill a two week liquid liver reduction diet immediately prior to surgery that will start on October 26th, but in the meantime, now what? The two sides of my brain are at war.  It's like watching the old cartoons where you have the little angel on one shoulder and the spunky little horned devil on the other.  My little angel is saying, "Bless you my child.  You've done wonderful things!  You've learned new eating habits and started the emotional work to become a healthier individual.  You shall be blessed for ten thousand years, drop ten sizes, officially become one of those "skinny bitches", and find gold at the end of the rainbow."

My horned little devil says, "You've got 20 days before it's liquids only and this whole new modified eating thing after your date with Dr. Roto-Rooter. Let's party!!  I'll bring on the junk if you bring on the trunk! I'll fill you with all of the chocolate and ice cream and every other kind of garbage that made you a star on the fat list in the first place. We'll invite back all of those friendly pounds that you seem to have lost so far.  You've been friends with those pounds for this long so why say goodbye to them now?"

I've always been a procrastinator.  Why do something today if you can put it off until tomorrow??  I want desperately to make these changes in my life, and truthfully, I believe that I can and will be a success story because I'm willing to commit for the long haul.  As for now though, I'm stuck in the mindset that I might as well enjoy certain foods now, because I may never be able to eat them again.  Even though I know that after the "honeymoon period" ends, the appetite returns, there are still foods that I most likely won't be able to eat again at all in the future without dumping or becoming horribly sick in some other way.

I'm struggling right now....BIG TIME!  I've already gained a couple of pounds back and in some ways this lack of control confirms for me that opting for surgery is indeed the right solution for me.  This tool can work with the logical side of my brain to overcome my urges to binge or to just indulge.  I haven't been emotionally eating or binging, but one of the difficulties of traveling is trying to maintain those healthy eating habits on the road and during the stages of relocation.  That will definitely be an issue that I discuss with my dietician as I'm sure she will be able to help me to develop some strategies in that area. 

I am proud of myself that I haven't allowed myself to get down, and start feeling like a failure.  As crazy as it sounds, although I doubt that I'll start my liver reduction diet early, I look forward to it because it gives me a regimented plan.  It will give me a "step-by-step how-to" and once there, there's no going back. 

So for now, I know that there's already still plenty of junk in my trunk and I don't need to add anymore.  It's time to get some groceries in the house so that I can return to my healthier favorites.  I never in my wildest dreams thought that I'd miss going a few days without some cottage cheese....then again, one look at my thighs, and I realize that the cottage cheese has been with me all along.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sad Goodbyes....or Should I Say TTFN

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a unique situation with my job.  I work in a healthcare position with a company that has several regions around the country.  I elected to be a traveler when I was hired on 4 years ago, so I literally pick up and move every 3-6 months or so.  The longest stay that I've had is only 8 months and I've now lived in 10 states over the course of these 4 years.  I love the traveling!  It gives me a great opportunity to see so much of the country, but the downfall is that it is often difficult to make and maintain social relationships. 

Shortly after I started my weight loss journey in North Carolina, I was transferred to Albany, New York.  I quickly sought out a weight loss surgery support group because I knew that I had more research to do and I wanted to be able to meet other post-op patients and hear their stories.  I wanted to hear both about the positives and negatives of the surgery so that I can be prepared when my time comes.  I found exactly what I was looking for in the Capital District of New York Weight Loss Surgery Support Group.  I've made some incredible friendships and become so informed that I feel like I know what to do in case of a complication as well as simple things like ideas for making the liquid and soft food diets more palatable.

I hope and pray that these friendships will last for a lifetime.  I have a small family that is currently not educated on the process of weight loss surgery or the long term change in lifestyle.  I try to talk to them when I can, but I know that their education will come moreso after I've had my surgery and they see the changes in me.  Moving around the country has its disadvantages because not all cities have bariatric programs or support groups that I can attend on an ongoing basis.  While I will of course do all of the necessary after-care with my doctor,  I will still be relying heavily on my friends in New York.  Thank God we have a Facebook group to make it easier.  Hmm...I'll have to figure out how to Skype my way into the weekly meetings.

I am so thankful for these friends.  They've been so open and honest about what to expect and the experiences that they've had that I now feel like I'm ready to do this!  I feel like I can face whatever comes my way and know that I still have the support that I need that simply says...."Try this...." or "....this worked for me".  Thank you so much Capital District for your stories, your honesty, and your friendship.  You have given me confidence as well as the knowledge of what I need to do to become successful for the long term.  I certainly hope that I'll get to see you again even though you may not recognize me when you see me! I will of course look for support groups that are local to wherever I am, but I will always recognize this group as my weight loss support family, and what a non-dysfunctional family we are!