Friday, December 30, 2011

Inspiration from Sistahs of Inspiration

Just an motivation for today from Sistahs of Inspiration:

Why are friends and loved ones so quick to use the word selfish when it comes to you pursuing your goals? Don't fall into that guilt trap any longer. If you don't have self love, you have no love at all. Continue to do things for others, but never let anyone make you feel inferior or guilty because your first priority is self maintenance and self care.
~~Val Rose
I don't know who the artist of this lovely painting is but if anyone finds out, hit me up and I'll give credit!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Blog Post -6 Months Out and My Mantra For The New Year

First thing, my 6 month check up went great.  I'm down another 30 pounds for a grand total of 138 pounds lost!  I'm stoked, of course.  I know this #WLS tool is one of the best things I've could have done for myself.  I just thank God it was made available for me.  I know there is still more work ahead but I am determined to maintain the course.
 For Christmas, I got a bike!  I totally love it!  It's so old-school. LOL  I think I had one like it growing up and I feel like it's totally appropriate to start my fitness quest off with!  I will be sharing the details but I hope they won't be too embarrassing! LOL

The photo above is the message I vow to keep in my mind, not only for the New Year, but for all time.  It's easy to allow others determine your destiny but real strength come from realizing your own potential and doing what needs to be done to reach it.  My promise to myself is to reach out and touch my faith.  Along the way, I got lost but if this year has shown me anything, it's the fact that I can go through the fire and with prayer and a good support system, I can come out on the other side. 

This is a process of finding myself and I am learning so many things about me and about others around me.  I'm learning who is really there for me and I'm also seeing who is not good for me.  2012 will be my year to focus on what's good for me!  It's a process that started in 2011 but it will continue into the new year.  There are no resolutions for me because my life will always be a work in progress and it changes daily.  I just strive to be a better me!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The First Thanksgiving - Post-Op Edition #wls

It's the night before Thanksgiving and I'll admit, I'm nervous.  This is the first post-op major holiday and frankly, I wonder how will I handle it.  This is the time of multiple family home visits and the "food pushing".  You know what I mean, 

"Taste this, try this, just a little won't hurt."

I think some people understand I had the surgery but I don't think they really get it.  I suppose I should just carry a list of rules with me.  It can look something like this:
  1. I can't eat as much as I used to.  Please don't be offended by my small portion size.
  2. I can't eat sweets, mainly by choice, but I still choose not to tempt fate and discover what can push me over the edge and have me in serious pain.
  3. There are some things that just don't appeal to me any more.  It's not that I don't like aunt em's sweet potato casserole but the idea of makes me what to hurl.  
  4. I am learning to enjoy just being with my family and not just eating.  Why don't we just talk?
  5. Speaking of talking, can we NOT let the whole focus be on my weight loss, the surgery or any other questions I don't feel comfortable sharing with you?  This includes how much do I weight now, what did I weight before the surgery, and did you really need to have the surgery.
I really think I'll be OK tomorrow.  My rock (Hubby) will be with me and he'll help me keep the temper under control.  I'll be on tomorrow reporting what actually happened.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blue Jeans #WLS

Blue Jeans...

As any woman can tell you, they are the bane of our existence.  We love blue jeans and when you find a pair that fits, you have found a good thing!  Blue jeans can be dressed up or dressed down.  They can go almost anywhere and look stylish and chic.

Blue Jeans...

They are also the biggest barometer of weight.  Blue jeans (not the spandex embedded ones but pure denim) have no forgiveness.  Often, the first indicator of weight gain is the fact that our jeans won't fit!  Once weight gain begins, the blue jeans are often the first thing to go, replaced by soft, stretchy, more forgiving pants.  We mourn the loss of our blue jeans.  It's like losing a best friend.

Yesterday, I started my Christmas shopping.  Since my wedding anniversary is Sunday (12 years!), I also got some anniversary funds.  Since I'm dropping pounds, I wanted to add a few pieces to my wardrobe.  I found some lovely skirts (in a smaller size of course! :D) and on a whim, I decided to take a pair of jeans in the dressing room too.

Keep in mind, I haven't worn jeans literally in years.  Image my shock and glee as I pulled these jeans on and they fit!  They went over the thighs, buttoned up and fit!  I could have cried but instead, I ran out the dressing room to show my hubby my accomplishment.  I think I've spent the rest of the day on Cloud 50!

A lot of times, on those rough days, it's hard to remember why I CHOSE to have this surgery.  Yesterday was a reminder why.  Yes, health plays a big role in my choice but the simple pleasure of pulling on a pair of blue jeans is pretty amazing too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Medical ID Bracelet - Fashion Accessory and Lifesaver

I've been fortunate in the past that with my morbid obesity, the only thing that was seriously wrong with me was the fact that I had high blood pressure.  Even with that condition, I never gave a thought to a medical ID bracelet.  Don't get me wrong, I've seen them.  My mother wears a cute anklet to let the health care system know about her diabetes.  To be honest, I never really thought I needed one.

Enter gastric bypass surgery.  Suddenly, the game has changed.  My guts have been rearranged and from the outside, I realize, no one would even know.  In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that I could just tell doctors about the surgery if I need to or my husband could if I couldn't. 


What if I was incapacitated and couldn't tell anyone?

What if my husband wasn't there to tell the doctors or was in a panic and forgot to mention it?

So this means you can see where this is going?

A blog that I follow - The World According To Eggface - has shown a wonderful thing, not just for WLS patients but for anyone who has a medical condition and wants a beautiful way to display a lifesaving tool.  Lauren's Hope is a wonderful site that sells stylish medical alert bracelets for men, women and children.  I entered a contest at Eggface's blog to try and win one, but to be honest, if I don't win, I'm still getting one.  I really think everyone who has a loved one with a medical condition should check the site out.

It's really weird to me that it took surgery for me to think more about my health but with this second chance to live a more vibrant life, I plan on doing everything I can to make sure that happens!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Cooking Adventures - Mrs. J's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

About two weeks ago, I got a craving for gumbo.  We had a touch of fall here and it bought to mind a nice, gumbo.  My bestie's is from Louisiana and her mom taught me how to make gumbo.  When I posted the pics on facebook, she and her sister thought I had taken fabulous lessons.  I beg to differ, I had a great teacher!  Here's my version of Mrs. J's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 chopped onion
3 stalks chopped celery
1 chopped bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 cups chicken broth, stock or water
No Salt Seasoning - We use the House Seasoning on EVERYTHING
Cayenne Pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped chicken
1 pound of Italian Turkey Sausage

First, take 2 tablespoons of oil (I used vegetable) and heat it in a heavy bottom pan until hot over medium low heat.  Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour and stir until blended with the oil.  This makes the roux.  The roux should should be stirred until it reaches a dark brown color but not burned!  It should look like this:

Once the roux has reached the right color, add all the veggies and let them cook until they have softened.  

In a separate pan, cook the sausage and drain away the excess fat.  Turkey sausage has less fat than pork sausage so there may not be a lot of fat to drain away.  Set aside.

Once the veggies have become soft, add two cups of chicken broth or water and all the seasonings.  Add the chicken and sausage and let cook for at least 30 minutes over medium low heat.  The longer it simmers, the better it gets.  Taste and adjust seasonings to your personal preference.

This can be served over rice but because I'm limiting carbs I ate mine as is.  It was great! This recipe can also be used with seafood.  That's another post for another time!

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday Night and I am...

Washing clothes!  I figured since I was home, why not?  That way, it's one less chore for the weekend and hey, we need clean clothes!

I guess I'm going to share recent cooking adventures.  I still haven't conquered my fear of the scale and so I don't own one yet but I can tell by the way my clothes are fitting (or not! LOL) that the weight is still coming off.  I'm thrilled and terrified.  It's been ages since I've been this size and the fact I'm still "The Incredible Shrinking Woman"  somewhat disturbs me.  I suppose it's the fear of the unknown.  You know, "What do I do with this new body?"  " Will it change how people react to me?"  Wild and crazy things like that.

So I've been trying to work out meals that are easy, healthy and low carb, possible.  I thought I was going to be stuck eating the same old things forever but I found this wonderful blog called "The World According To Eggface"!  She is a WLS post-op and advocate and is 5 years out from her own RNY.  She also has the most fantastic recipes ever!  They fit into real life and even non-WLS patients will enjoy them.  Borrowing a page from her blog, I decided to make pizza!

Here is the recipe in case you're interested:

1 low carb tortilla - fajita size
3 tablespoons Veggie Chili
2 tablespoons Cheddar Cheese (I use the full fat stuff)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread chili on tortilla and top with cheese.  Bake until hot and crispy  and cheese is bubbly.
I could only eat two slices but I'm sure some one who has not had the surgery could enjoy the whole thing.

You can add any toppings you like!  I know this will be my easy-peasy dinner staple from now on!

I love the fact that Eggface has taken the time to show how WLS post-ops can enjoy many of the treats we had before surgery and in a healthy manner!  It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable and I feel less deprived.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

My First Recipe To Share!

I made my first veggie chili from scratch.  My biggest issue lately is not wanting meat.  I'll eat it but I really haven't had a taste for it lately.  I have, however, discovered a love for beans and this was a way to incorporate that along with a craving for chili.  It's low-fat and low-salt (if you use salt free beans) and so tasty.  I shared with a couple of friends and they loved it, even without the meat.  One even told me she used it as a dip with tortilla chips!  I hadn't thought of that!  This is really a free-form recipe.  You can add or delete to taste. One of my friends love to add Tabasco to his, making it super hot! It's up to you, just enjoy!

Karen's Veggie Chili

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped (or more if you prefer)
Half cup chopped onion
1 can of black beans (low salt)
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (low salt)
1 large can tomatoes puree. (salt free) 
Salt free seasoning, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chili powder, to taste. *See note about chili powder below*
2 tablespoons powdered Cumin or to taste
2 tablespoons dried Oregano or to taste

Heat oil in pot on medium heat.  When hot, add onion and garlic and cook until softened.  
Add all the other ingredients and if needed, a cup of water.  
Check seasonings and adjust to your taste.
Allow to cook until desired consistency, usually about 30 minutes on medium heat.

Note - Chili powder can vary in heat.  Some brands are mild while certain brands are much hotter than others.  If you are unsure of the brands, add in small amounts and taste test as you go.

This recipe is flexible.  Feel free to add more veggies or spices to it.  I plan on making adjustments the next time I cook it and I'll post the results here! Let me know how you like!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday, Saturday!

This video brings back so many memories!  Saturdays were skating rink days for us growing up.  We all learned how to skate the hard way (outside on the driveway!) but we love to hit the rinks with our cousins and the latest music.  Skating rinks really need to come back!  No skating in the plans for today but we are hitting a car show to drool over British motor cars.  Have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy the video!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Are You Doing? Orkut Scraps Sunday Scraps

Things have been pretty busy for me lately but my vow is to update more!  So to just fill everyone in on what's happening right now:

School is in - My classes are overloaded and my brain is fried!  The same mayhem and foolishness as always...

Grad School -  I'm working on my proposal and it's going well but just taking up so much time.  I need 48 hours in a day!

As for the weight loss, my next doctor appointment is coming up.  I've gone down 3 dress sizes (from a 5X to 2X!).  I know I'm still losing but I'm resisting buying a scale because I'm afraid I'll become obsessed with it.  I know eventually I'll get one but I'm not ready yet. 

One of the biggest adjustments have been eating.  Learning to eat smaller portions when you are used to plates full of food is a mental challenge but so far, I've been doing OK.  I've been considering therapy but I haven't had a moment to look into a good therapist yet.  Any suggestions?  Most of the challenges have been mental.  People are seeing the weight drop but in my mental picture of me, I don't see it.  I haven't taken any new full body shots yet and I suppose I should just to compare.  I think part of me is afraid to see how far gone I had gotten before the surgery and I know that's something I need to acknowledge. 

I hope everyone is having a happy Sunday, doing what makes you feel great.  I've been doing homework but I'm done and I'm going to RELAX!!

Smooches!!  XOXO

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Moment of Peace

This, my friends, has become a nightly ritual. I only wish you could smell the warm, lemon scented perfume. Enjoy the visual...

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Friday, August 12, 2011

The Changes I've Been Going Through - 6 Weeks Out

I had my 6 week check up yesterday and it went good.  12 more pounds are gone (total 84) and the doctor says I'm right on track.  School has also started and I'm whipped already!  The tiredness is normal because my body is still adjusting but it's so hard to keep going sometimes!  Now refering back to the title, here are some of the new things that are going on:

  • I didn't realize that people paid that much attention to me.  Since I've been at work, so many have commented on the weight loss so far.  It's ego-boosting and nervewracking at the same time.  I don't know how I feel about that yet.
  • Figuring out what I can and can't eat.  It has been trial and error.  So far I haven't had any major reactions to most things I've tried and I hope that holds out.  I'm having a major love affair with peaches and plums right now.  Watermelon is also the most wonderful thing!
  • I wonder how I'll do with salad?  Some post-ops have issue with them.  I'm hoping I'm one of the ones who don't.  I've been having MAJOR salad cravings.
  • I suppose the biggest change is getting used to seeing myself differently.  For a while, I wasn't seeing what everyone else was seeing.  My snapshot of me in my head is different than what is presented to the world.  It's taking time for me to druly look in the mirrror and really see myself in the proper perspective.  It's liberating and intimitating in one big ball!
So I hope everyone is doing great.  Since I've recovered, I know I'll be here more often, sharing what's going one.  Until next post!


Monday, July 11, 2011

My thoughts two weeks post op.

I have to admit making the surgery decision was the easy part. I spent 3 days in the hospital being poked, prodded and blood letting. I was also visited by lovely, caring friends and family. I also learned a pain med pump was a good thing to have! LOL< I'm feeling better but not being able to bend over sucks. Hubby has done an excellent job of taking care of me. I'm pleased and I love being able to boast about that. Mentally, I was ready for the surgery but not the afterwards. I've never had any major surgery before and I have no kids so I have no pain threshold to compare it to. Just know there is no surgery in my future unless absolutely necessary!

All in all, I stand by my decision and my dr's visit is Thursday so I'll give more details!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

My Letter To Me - Part 2

To The Skinny Girl Inside

Things are changing so fast for us and with 72 hours left before our surgery, I finally came up with a response. 
For so long I just lived, ignoring what I had done to myself.  Yes, there was stress and heartache but there were happy times too, all of which we ate our way through.  At first, it was easy, a few pounds here and a few pounds there.  Couldn’t wear your favorite jeans anymore? No problem, just ease up to the next size. 

That was the problem.  We just eased up.  I honestly didn’t see it coming but suddenly our weight was out of control and so was our health.  Blood pressure aches and pains, the whole nine yards.  This is in when the fear stepped in.  I was so afraid of was going to die.  Strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes all went racing through my mind.  The more out of control it got, the more out of control I felt.

Keep in mind, Skinny Girl, I am a control freak.  Things have to be done the way I want them done.  I used to being able to accomplish whatever I set my mind to and to not be able to get this weight off was heartbreaking.  I was so ready to give up but I was more afraid to die.  I wanted to grow old with my husband.  I wanted to watch my nieces and nephew grow up.  I wanted to live.

I know the surgery was a drastic choice but you know me, I researched, questioned, and weighed the risks and rewards.  I was fortunate to find a doctor who was not only experienced but also caring and wanted to make sure I knew every detail, which appealed to the control freak in me.  I know I still got a long road ahead but now I’m making steps.

Don’t get me wrong, Skinny Girl, the idea of surgery makes me nervous and OMG, the pain afterwards but at the end of it all, I know this is the best thing for us.  The surgery is the easy part.  The hard work is going to come afterwards!  I think we can handle it.  Are you ready, Skinny Girl?  I sure am!

Big Beautiful Diva

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Letter To Me - Part One

I finally got my surgery date!  It is on June 27 and I am just a big bundle of everything!  Excited, nervous, excited.  I know this is going to be a momentous occasion but I’m ready to gain control of my life and it is time to take those big steps.

I’ve been catching up on my Oprah magazines (no comment) and I found this interesting article.  It was an article on the mental of weight loss.  One thing that you could do was write a letter to the two parts of yourself, skinny you and not skinny you.  Say whatever you think those parts of you would say to the other.  At first, I thought it was crazy but then I sat down and wrote my first letter:

To My Big Beautiful Diva,

This is the Skinny Girl Inside and we need to talk.  I am coming to you from a place of love and I love you enough to tell you this has to stop.  I think it’s great that you have finally realized that you need help and are taking the steps to get it.   I’m so proud of that you are working to overcome your barriers and letting your light finally shine.

I’m glad you are starting to see how special you are.  You’re smart, driven and beautiful but for so long, YOU didn’t see it.  I heard the thoughts where you didn’t think you weren’t good enough, smart enough or pretty enough because of your size.  You didn’t wallow in self-pity but the doubt lingered.  You should never doubt how wonderful you are and all the great things you have achieved and will achieve.

In a few short weeks, our lives are going to change and this person (me!) who has been hidden inside is going to come out, ready to conquer the world!  We, my friend, are going places.  We have a rough road ahead but we will come out just fine!

Love and smooches, boo!

The Skinny Girl Inside

I know it’s not long and dramatic but to actually give voice to my mental thoughts was cathartic.  I came to realize I love me some me and both parts of me is going to work this out and become one healthy, happy person! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just Who Am I?

This is a post I wrote for Lifarre, a Women's Social Network.  I wanted to share this with everyone here!

For the past year, I've been on this journey into myself.  I am a candidate for gastric bypass, which should be taking place in the next few weeks.  Until now, I have spent the past nine months at the doctor's, playing Russian roulette with the scale.  It has not been an easy trip, that is for sure!  I've pouted, cried, screamed, and binged all along the way.

Along the way, I've been discovering who I am.  For so long, I've hidden behind the weight and it was a comfortable place to be until it wasn't any more.  On my last birthday, I realized this was not the path I wanted to travel.  I had already taken steps to make major career changes but I couldn't help but wonder if I was the obstacle in my own path.

Let's be real for a moment.  I know there are many people who feel that you are less than because of weight problem.  Regardless of the degrees, the awards, or how bright you are, all they see is the surface.  I know wrong but we live in the world of supermodels and movie stars who are considered the standard.  It’s hard to compete when the standard is a size 0.

I’ve dieted so many times.  To be honest, it’s as natural as breathing.  My problem was addressing the issues behind my failures.  While exploring those reasons, I discovered a few things about myself.

1.  I rather not do it if I can’t do it perfectly.

2.  I want to do everything perfectly.

3.  I couldn’t give up control but somehow, my weight started to control me.

4.  Once I lost control, I lost my sense of self.

I’ve gone through the last few years in this haze of coca cola and junk food.  It was easier to eat the inadequate feelings than fact the music and fix the problem.    Now here I was, wanting people to take me seriously and this obstacle that was self-induced was in my way.  I knew it was time to face my issues head on.  What I didn’t know was how hard it is to pull out your own thorns!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Next Step - The Sleep Study

Today I have my sleep study and can we say, nervous?  There are several reasons for the nerves. 

1.  I'll be hooked up to all kinds of machines!  They will monitor eye movement, heart rate, breathing, pulse and goodness knows what else!  Did I mention the video camera?

2.  The strange bed.  Even when traveling, I don't sleep well in beds that aren't my own.  I tend to be restless and sleep really light away from home so I can imagine what affect this might have on my study results.

3.  Sleeping alone.  I know this one may seem silly but I haven't slept by myself in 11 years.  It's not always fun sharing bed with hubby.  We fuss over cover, whose side of the bed, pillows and all the other stuff that cohibitating sleeping quarters bring up.  But I am used to reaching over in the night and feeling his arm, just knowing he's there.  We've already talked about how weird it is to be sleeping apart and I feel just out of place.  I know I won't sleep well and again, this might jack up the tests!

I'm ready to get this over with, I'm so tired of tests but I think this is the last one.  Now to find my lunch and make it through the rest of my day!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brag Post!

This is one of the things that has caused me a ton of anixety!  In addition to school, I've been enrolled in the School District's Leadeship Academy.  It's the next step to a move position as a principal or central office and we've been working our butts off!  The Academy was actually a wonderful experience and I'm glad I met the people I met. 

We had our ceremony yesterday and it was great!  There was a luncheon and we got an awesome placque!

So now, I feel really accomplished!  Bring on the next role!


What I Am Is What I Am.

So first of all, let's update.  So far I've lost 40 pounds and people are starting to see the difference.  I'll admit, the attention is nice and intimidating.  In spite of popular beliefs, I'm actually a rather shy person and people who know me but don't KNOW me and comment on the weight loss tend to freak me out some.  I can't help but wonder how they'll be after the surgery!

Today's post is my attempt to focus on some of those feelings.  I'm used to be the "behind the scenes" person.  I'll make sure it's done right and I want the recognition but I don't have to be in the spotlight.  Making such a drastic physical change is forcing me out of my comfort zone and I feel more than a little anxiety about it.  I can honestly say I haven't felt the urge to eat the emotions.  Instead, I've been writing and book reviewing.  Channeling that anxiety into something else helps a lot.  I'm also gardening! LOL  OK by gardening means I grow tomatoes and peppers on my porch.  Want to see?

 They are bigger now and I'm starting to get baby tomatoes and peppers but I'm just thrilled I haven't killed them! I see now how people say gardening is relaxing because I enjoy going out in the evening and tending to my plants.  My doctor says she wants me to work on reducing my anxiety by taking 30 minutes a day to relax so this is becoming a part of my relaxation routine.  I know eventually I'll have to learn to deal with the attention but not today.  I'm going out on the porch enjoy this unseasonably cool Sunday afternoon and talk to my plants!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

"I want my fat friend back!" and other tales from the hood

I have a sneaking suspicion that "Tales from the Hood" will be come a standard on this page!  The title refers to the fact that in the middle of a conversation with a male friend of mine, he made the statement,

"I want my fat friend back!"

Now keep in mind, we were having this conversation via text so when I asked he exactly what he meant, suddenly he wasn't ready to talk about it and I'll admit, neither was I.  It actually took me a whole day to really process the comment and being the Virgo that I am, I had to break it down bit by bit to come to my own understanding.

"I want my fat friend back!"

Was he saying he wanted the friend back that was miserable in her own skin?  The one that was unhappy and ready to regain the control she once had?

Did he want the friend that would lay awake at night, worried about her health, scared she was going to die?

Or is he referring to the friend who was losing interest in all the cutie, girly things because she didn't always feel cutie or girly?

"I want my fat friend back!"

But as I thought about it and talked to some wise women, I thought about something.

 Sabotage - How do you not be happy for someone working to better themselves, be it physical or mental.  Is it making him feel better to try and destroy all the work and effort I'm putting into my lifestyle change (Yes, lifestyle change!!)?

But... this was one of the people that I ate with on a regular basis.  Whenever we shot hooky from work, lunch was always included.  We tried new places in town together and if one went out of town, we report back.  I know our relationship has changed and he always spoke like he was supportive.  My first efforts were  haphazard but once I made a true focus, that's when my relationship with food changed. 

I learned from Erika (BGG2WL) to always go and research anything I wanted to know and understand so I found this article on Spark People about diet saboteurs.  It really helped me understand the possible reasons why he feels the way he feels but at the same time, it pointed out one very important thing to me:

While others may tempt you, ultimately you’re in charge of your own life.

I know now I can't change the way he feels nor can I allow how anyone feels influence what I working toward.  This is up to me and no one else.  I can choose to let others sway me and lose all the progress I made or I can keep on pushing and surround myself with people who genuinely care for and support me in my efforts.

"I want my fat friend back!"

I'm sorry, boo.  She's gone and she's not coming back!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sharing is Caring...Sometimes

Today is a beautiful spring day and as I get closer to a surgery date, I can't help but think about the things I want to do as the weight leaves. I look at the people I have confided in on my journey so far and I'm learning that everyone can't handle the mental and emotional changes that are taking place with me.

Don't get me wrong. They have been there, backing me up but as I begin to deal with the emotions that I previously dealt with through food and the realization that my eating has to change to save MY LIFE, I'm forcing some close friends to confront their own issues with food. One thing that bound us together was a love of food and as my relationship with it changes, I know my relationship with them will change also. I'm so afraid of losing people I treasure but the me at the start of this was not happy. I can no longer sacrifice me to make others happy.

I still have my personal cheerleader (thanks, Alicia!). I have the friend that's working on the work and I can just text or email and bitch it out! (Thanks, Liz!) and my loving hubby who understands the mental breakdowns and helps me navigate the straight and narrow (Thanks, Rochay!) and a mommy who serves as the voice of reason when I reach the breaking point.

As for the others, we'll see how it goes! I would say "Please don't change!" but change is inevitable.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jealously In The Grocery Store

Learning to adjust my eating habits haven't been THAT hard... ok, so maybe I stretched the truth a little bit but my house is void of all the treats it used to hold. The big issue comes when I'm NOT at home.

Out in the land of coke and fries, it's like swimming with the sharks. Tasty treats beckon and I've become pretty adept in ignoring that little voice that says "just one won't hurt". Yeah, right! It's easier to make the right choices on the front end than deal with the guilt on the back end.

But back to the title. Hubby and I went to Sam's to buy household goods. (Let's face it, bulk tissue does rock! :).) Sam's has always served as a place of serious impulse spending for me. In the past, leaving with a ton of unnecessary junk was de rigour. That included all kinds of snacks. Chips, snack cakes and cookies all made their way home. Couple that fact with the jumbo packs and can you see the disaster?

So I'm pushing my cart loaded with household stuff and approved snack items, feeling good because I've dodged several triggers (chips, the bakery). As I was waiting for hubby near the cash registers (comfy patio furniture), I watched the baskets of others. I saw bags of chips, boxes of frozen pizzas, sugary drinks, and bakery delights. Looking at my own basket, I saw tissue, washing powder, greek yogurt and salt-free seasoning.

A moment of anger and jealousy went through me. I could hear that voice in my head, all whiny and petulant, gripping about how unfair it was. I want the "good" stuff too! I had to come back to myself and realize how much harm all those "good" things have done to me. I thought about how eating healthy will do long term good things FOR me! The moment passed and I came to understand within myself the need to acknowledge those feelings but instead of turning to food to self medicate, just embrace it and reflect on it. Knowing and understanding the path makes it so much easier to travel.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Physically Overweight and Spiritually Underweight

I have a new kindle and of course, I've hit the free books on Amazon like a brick!  One book I found by accident (maybe not!) has suddenly become a lifeline in this maze of trying to do the right thing.  The book is titled Craving God: A 21 Day Devotional Challenge.  Right now it's free on the kindle and I would say hurry up and download it! Here's the book's description:

Has food become more about frustration than fulfillment? Take the 21-day challenge and discover how to: *Break the cycle of 'I'll start again on Monday,' and feel good about yourself today.*Stop agonizing over numbers on the scale and make peace with your body.*Replace rationalizations that lead to diet failure with wisdom that leads to victory.*Reach your healthy goals and grow closer to God through the process.This ebook is not a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan. But rather a helpful companion to use alongside whatever healthy eating approach you choose---a Bible study to help you find the 'want to' in how to make healthy lifestyle changes.

It's only day two of the book and this really almost had me in tears.  It's easy to understand how the two in the title are so connected.  I have always been told that food for some people fills a need for something inside that's missing. I'll be the first to admit that my spiritual journey in adulthood has been wracked with pitstops and potholes and lately it feels like I'm looking for something.  But when the author made this statement about Matthew 19:20-21:

"Jesus meant His comment for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have.  I imagine Jesus looking straight into this man's soul and said, "I want you to give up the one thing that you crave more than me."

It's like a light went off inside my head!  In those few sentences, I could clearly see what my problem with "dieting was.  The whole issue of the diet thing has been the "giving up" aspect of it.  All I could see was the sacrifice.  I wasn't seeing my health, I wasn't seeing my life.  All I saw was the food in front of me, the cupcakes I couldn't have, the sodas I couldn't drink.  The author pointed out that we have to make a choice to redirect our cravings and stop using food to fill the hole in our hearts, be it a spiritual hole or an emotional one. I thiink my own personal hole as been a bit of both.  I'm still working on my spiritual path and after so many issues with trusting people this year, my self-essteem has taken a hit too.  It's easy to give up and bury it all in food and pretend it didn't happen only to be guilty the next day because I knew it was the wrong thing to do.  After reading this and soul searching, I feel encouraged.  This is something I can tackle.  I know it is a struggle but I know these will be words that will stick with me through out this journey

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lazy Sunday and How Was Your Weekend?

It has been a great week  (except for the Anytime Fitness debacle).  We've been out for spring break and this means 9 weeks left before summer!  YAY!!  Professionally, I feel I'm at a crossroads.  I love education but I'm ready to step out of the classroom and see what the rest of the field has to offer.  I know I'll continue to be an advocate for quality education for all kids but I think I'll be more productive outside the classroom now!

I did a little shopping while I've been out.  Here are my new walking shoes:

They are actually WALKING shoes and not cross trainers or runners.  I almost hate to wear them because they are so clean and white! LOL.  After I gave myself a moment to wallow, I decided that I wasn't going to let the gym, or the lack there of, stop me.  This means hitting the streets or the track.  The bonus will be at least it's free and funds aren't super liquid so that's a great thing! 

We spent Saturday at the Military Park in Vicksburg (about 45 minutes from the house) with number 1 nephew and the god kids.  The park was fun and educational.  Nephew enjoyed it and wants to go back.  Hubby and I talked about the fact that post-op, we could come back and ride through the park on bikes.  We saw a lot of people biking and hiking through the park and the setting is so tranquil and beautiful.  I'm actually excited that this is an activity that will be within my reach!

Today is my lazy day and I've been reading homework (my own).  Tomorrow, it's back to the grind and counting down the minutes until it's over!! Have a great first day of SPRING!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two Steps Forward, Fourteen Back

Went to join Anytime Fitness today and imagine my surprise to discover they won't work with pre-op patients. Her reason was the fact they weren't all professional trainers. She said the policy felt that Anytime wasn't equipped to meet the needs of pre-op patients. She was all nice and stuff but I couldn't help but be discouraged.
It seems when I really try to move in the right direction, the fates conspire to stop me. I'm trying to stay positive but on days like today, it's mighty hard...

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Meet My Nemesis

This, my friends, has been officially declared the enemy.  What you have before you is a cupcake but not just any cupcake.  This is a Lemon Dream Supreme by the ultimate in cupcake makers, GiGi's.  It's made in the shop and it's everything you think it is: light, fluffy, lemony goodness.  The shop is a sensory delight!  It smells heavenly of cake, vanilla and cooked sugar.  The scents and the sight of the cupcakes in the display cases beckon you to come closer and indulge.

Gigi's was introduced to me by a friend after I was craving red velvet cake (yes, they have red velvet cupcakes).  I didn't know I would be hooked so fast!  I have to turn my back on Gigi's so I can get back on track but wise men say you have to know your enemy so you can defeat them.  I have met my enemy.  Now I'm in for the fight!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back In The Saddle...Again

It has been a while since I posted here and while I've composed posts in my mind, they never made it here.  So here's a update on what's really going on:

  • So far, I've lost 27 pounds under the medically supervised weight loss!  (Yay me!)
  • I still have to lose 9 more pounds to meet the qualifications for the surgery.
  • However, my paperwork has been submitted to the surgeon with the understanding that I will be losing those 9 pounds and possibly more.
So my journey has been stressful because of real life (school and work).  I've learned along the way that some people I thought were trustworthy weren't really and I admit I went through an awful, ugly period because of it.  I still have to work with the person so I've prayed up about it and I've discovered that more people have my back than I realized.  It made me feel really good.

I've also found that once I made the decision to tell others I was preparing for the surgery, I found so many supportive folks in the strangest of places.  Of course, there are the "whys?" but ultimately, I make sure that everyone understands this decisions does not come from a place of vanity but it is a choice to live my life the way I want to live it.

I promise to do better here.  To be honest, I missed this and I really forgot how cathartic it could be.  More later