Saturday, March 31, 2012


My health. That was my main motivation in having gastric bypass done. I mean, this is a major surgery. It changes you forever! There are so many things that could go wrong. It was just too much risk for something as shallow as vanity. No, it honestly took me fearing for my life to get me to even consider weight loss surgery. Every time I had a pain in my left arm I feared it was a sign of a heart attack. Every time I had blood work done I was afraid they would tell me I had diabetes. I knew my life was limited, not just in terms of what I can do now, but in how long I'd be around. I didn't want to leave my family. I wasn't done living my life yet. I mean, I want to see both of my children grow up and find love and have families. I want to have my grandchildren over playing in my yard and eating my homemade cookies. I want to grow old and gray with Ryan. I have a lot of life left to live. But the way I was going, I was risking it all. That's what pushed me to have the surgery done.

Now, with all that being said, there is a huge benefit to this surgery that has nothing to do with my health. That benefit would be the fact that I will be smaller and look better in cute clothes! I will not lie, that is a huge plus! And to be honest, I'm more excited about that than I am about being healthier. Maybe I worded that wrong. I'm excited about being healthier...most definitely excited. But the fact that I'll be able to be smaller and cuter while enjoying that better health...that's really exciting! Besides, while I can daydream about what it will be like to have grandchildren...I'm not in a hurry to have them. My kids are still too young for that! And while I look forward to growing old with my husband, I'm also not in a hurry for that either! I want to live my life to the fullest and enjoy it! And while avoiding diabetes is a huge blessing, it's not something I dream of. The same with reducing my risk of heart attack...I'm thankful that my risk is reducing with each pound I lose, but again, not something I dream about.

But wearing cute clothes...that is something I can totally daydream about! Don't get me wrong. I don't expect to ever look like a super model. And I realize that I may not get down to a size 6 or even if I do I might regain some. But even if I can just get myself down to where I don't have to buy plus sizes anymore and can manage to stay there, I'll be thrilled! So, I daydream. I window shop, I dream of what I might be able to wear. I know I may never get into some of the things I'd love to. But it's fun to dream. And I'm expecting to be able to get into some of them and look cute. That's better than being able to wear none of them like now. So, I thought I'd have a little fun and share with you a few of the things I've had my eye on. Remember, this is just for fun. I'm not setting any of these as "must reach" goals. They are just fun things to aim for.

So, first of all, as I said, I want to be able to shop in regular stores. I never want to have to shop in Lane Bryant or The Avenue again. They are great stores, but having to buy plus size clothes, no matter where you get them, is very limiting when it comes to fashion. So my main fashion goal is to be able to buy clothes in regular stores. I don't care if I'm buying the largest sizes you can get in a regular store, it will give me more options than plus size stores. And one of the stores I really miss shopping in is....

Victoria's Secret!

Sure! I can look like her!! A little air brushing and digital manipulation and I can look just like her! LOL The thing is, Ryan won't care if I look like a VS model...he'll just be thrilled to buy me pretty things from there and see me wear them!

These are some of the fashions I'd love to be able to wear:

Cowboy Boots. I haven't worn cowboy boots in probably 16 years. I really want some, but my calves have been too big. If I can get my calves small enough I want a new pair.

Knee High Boots. I want, want, want at least one brown and one black pair of knee high boots to wear. Again, my calves have been too big.

A Nicole Moan ceramic corset. My BFF is friends with Nicole so I've been able to see some of these corsets in person....beautiful! Not a practical clothing item, but hella sexy! And I want one!

And Dresses. I miss dresses!! Especially, summer dresses. Here a few few that I found that I would love to be able to wear!

And every girl wants to have one of these...or two...or three. :)

And shoes. I want to be able to wear sexy heels! I may never be graceful in them, but I'd love to have some to go with those cute summer dresses!

I've been adding other things like this outfit to my Pinterst page. Some of the looks I have pinned there are ones I would actually wear, others are things I would wear if I had the occasion/reason to wear them. Click the link to check them out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm Shrinking

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I can't believe I totally forgot to post these pictures here on my blog. I posted them to Facebook, but forgot to do them here. These were taken last week when I hit my one month mark. There isn't a huge difference, but that's okay. It will be there eventually.

This next before and after is face shots only. The first photo is from late August around the beginning of the school year. The second one was taken yesterday. With these two I can really see the difference in my face and neck. Obviously my hair looks different and I have makeup in one but not the other and the one I'm washed out in is the one with makeup so you can't really tell. So it's not the "best" comparison, but it's the best I've got for now.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I've seen a theme running through the WLS community, and I'm sure you've seen or experienced it yourself. That theme is lack of self-esteem. Most of us who have struggled with our weight for years have at one time or another felt that we weren't worth being loved. We've felt that we were worth less than others. We felt that we needed the love and approval of others to make us whole, to make us valuable.

But I'm here to tell you ALL....we are all valuable!!! We are all lovable!! We are all beautiful!!!! It took me 38 years to come to the point in my life where I truly and completely believed I was beautiful, lovable, valuable!! There were times when I almost believed it, or I believed it until someone said or did something to make me doubt it. But now I know better! I can't tell you what it was that changed it. I think it was a gradual progression.

I've taken many steps over the years to deal with much of the abuse and trauma that I suffered as a child. I've been to counseling, read more books than I can count, talked to people until they are tired of hearing about it. One of the things I learned during this progression was that my mind had been wallpapered with lies all my life...and I'd come to believe them.

You might be asking what in the world that means. I want you to picture your mind as a room with 4 walls. Now imagine that each time a negative word was spoken to or about you a strip of wallpaper with those words written on it was pasted on one of those walls. Imagine that each time someone treated you negatively it was plastered on another wall. And not just other people's words, but yours too. Every negative thing that you or anyone else ever said about you was plastered on the walls of your mind. And those words, thoughts, and events became your "truth". They became what you believed about yourself...even if they weren't true.

So, how do we overcome this? We start ripping down those layers of lies that paper the walls of our minds. And we open the door of our mind and throw them out. Then we replace them with the truth. We begin to wallpaper them with all the positives about ourselves. We begin to makeover our mind by reminding ourselves daily how valuable, how lovable, how wonderful we are. Make a list of all the good things about you...nothing is too trivial to recognize. Read that list over and over and trust it...believe it. Eventually the walls of your mind will be covered in the most beautiful paper ever....your real truth!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Gym & Goodwill

Yesterday I was cleared to go back to regular activity...and that means I can do more than just walk for exercise. So today I headed to the gym! I spent 20 minutes doing weight training on the weight machines. Not much, just enough to get my body started. Then I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill. I broke a nice sweat and am very happy with my first official workout post-op. (I don't count the walking I've been doing as "workouts" though I guess technically they are.)

Here is what it looks like when you try to take your own picture while walking on a treadmill:

And then when hubby takes the picture for you:

The gym we go to is right next door to a Goodwill store. So after our workout we headed next door to look around. I found 2 dresses that I want to get down into. Here is what I found:

This is an Old Navy dress, size XL

I tried this one on, and of course it didn't fit yet. I didn't expect it to. But what shocked me was that I could get it on! It didn't look good, it was too tight in the hips & stomach, and I couldn't get it zipped up top, but it actually went on! So, I'm hoping that come this summer I'll be able to wear it! I'll post pics when I can get into it! It was worth the $6 for the motivation!

This is an Apt 9 brand dress from Khol's, size XL

It is BRAND NEW! Tags are still on it! It is a brand new $50 dress, and I paid $6 for it!!

And what's better than the price is the fact that IT FITS!!! Now, it will look better in a couple of weeks when I've lost a little more around the middle, but I can actually wear it!! I was so excited!! When I wear it I will take a pic and post it for you.

So, it's just an idea, but as you are losing you can go out to Goodwill or a thrift store and spend a few dollars to get an item or two in a smaller size to be able to work toward as a goal. As far as I'm concerned that was $12 well spent today! One dress I can wear soon as a short term goal. The other I can wear a little later on as a mid term goal. And I've got my eye out for something in the 10-14 range to work toward as a long term goal! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yesterday I found out about the Obesity Help Convention/Event in Atlanta this fall, and I really wanted to go. In the past I would have wanted to go, but would have completely dismissed it for a few of reasons.

First would be getting my big butt to Atlanta. Driving from Oklahoma would mean extra days off work, and a lot of extra miles on the car. And flying would be out of the question because I wouldn't run the risk of being a) forced to use a seat belt extender and b) wedged into a seat beside someone trying my best not to crowd them, or worse, c) being forced to buy a second seat. I've only ever had to use a seat belt extender once and have never had to buy a second seat...but the one time with the extender was mortifying enough that I never want to have to go through that again! And being forced to buy the second seat would not only humiliate me beyond belief, it wouldn't be financially possible. So getting there would be reason one for not truly considering going.

The second reason would be the room situation at the hotel. It's a two day event, and pretty much requires a two night stay. It's $95 a night for a room. Options include a) getting a room to myself and paying the full cost for both nights or b) rooming with someone I've only met online in order to cut the cost of the room. Option A would cut too deeply into our trim budget. And option B would have been a terrifying thought for me...constantly worrying about what the other person might think of me, fearing being seen by this person in my frumpy fat girl jammies, with no makeup, and hair a mess, basically a total lack of self-confidence.

The third thing that would have kept me from going would be the fact that the only people I "know" going are people I "know" from online. That would have shut me down very quickly. I would have convinced myself that while I post in our online support group and interact with these people on pretty much a daily basis online, they wouldn't actually like me in real life. In fact I'd probably convince myself that they are only being polite in the support group, and probably don't actually like me in there either. And it probably would have lead to me talking myself out of being in the group at all.

And lastly I would determine that even if all the things above were not true, I really don't deserve to spend so much money on myself and go off and leave my family at home for a weekend. That would just be too selfish. And while yes, it might benefit me to hear what the speakers have to say and actually get to know some people one-on-one, it's just not something that I deserve. I mean I don't NEED it. It's not a NECESSITY, so why waste all that money on myself?

Those are the thoughts that a year ago would have gone through my head as I read the posts in our group inviting people to go to this conference. But that's not what happened yesterday. You see, this same support group, The Bariatric Bad Girls Club, has several members going to Las Vegas for a convention and what sounds like a fabulous time in May. I would LOVE to go, but just can't make it due to money, us moving, and me needing to finish out the school year here. So, I've been kinda bummed that I wasn't going to be able to go to that. Because I really want to meet some of these women. They are hilarious! They are kind and tender hearted! They are feisty! They are supportive! And they are always there for each other! I really want to meet them!

So when I found out that I'd have another chance in the fall, I forwarded the link to my husband and told him I'd like to go. We talked about the details a little last night, and I checked to see what the discount rates would be for the convention. When Hubby saw the discounted price, he gave me the credit card and told me to order it. Nicole of Beauty and the Bypass fame was looking for a roommate, so he told me to see if she still needed one...and she did! So she and I will be roomies! Yay! And Hubby even started checking the cost of airline tickets. It happened so fast I couldn't believe it! One minute I was talking to my husband letting him know I wanted to go, and the next I had a ticket and a roommate! And I love it! I'm not panicked or scared! I'm so excited!

You see the issues that would have stopped me last year aren't there anymore! 1.) By October my butt will be small enough to fit into an airline seat with no problems!! 2.) I'm excited to get to know Nicole better! Even now, before I lose all the weight, I feel confident enough in myself to not worry about how I look, or how she might see me. I've learned to love and accept myself the way I am! 3.) This follows right along with #2...loving and accepting myself means I am more confident about meeting others, even in a larger group setting like this one. I may not become BFFs with everyone there, but I am confident I will make friends, get along with others, and have a great time! 4.) Finally, I now KNOW that I am worth it!! I had to believe that about myself to go through with the surgery to begin with. It took a lot of time and effort on my part. I missed a lot of work and much of it without pay. I had to be away from my students. And my family had to pitch in and take care of me...all for an ELECTIVE surgery. I believe I'm worth it, and my family and friends have shown that they believe it too! And things like this convention will only help me succeed in the long run. After all this isn't a "diet" I'm on, it's a whole new way of life! I need to stay up to date on information. I need to network with others in this lifestyle. I need to make friends with people in this lifestyle. And I need to let my hair down once in a while and just have some fun and do something for ME!

So, I'm going to Atlanta in October! If you are going too, I want to meet you and I can't wait to see you there!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BMI = Bite Me Infidels!!

Okay, so it really means Body Mass Index...but it makes me want to shout things like Bite Me Infidels!! I'm not sure I completely agree with the whole BMI scale, and trust me, I do not live by it. In fact, I detest the terminology they use to label each category. But it is the scale that doctors use to determine how healthy or unhealthy our current weight is. So, I decided today to sit down and calculate where my BMI was when I started (hanging head in shame), where I am now (still hanging, but not quite so low), and how much I need to lose to graduate down through the stages to "Normal." Now if you can honestly and specifically tell me what the hell "Normal" is, I've got some ocean front property up in Oklahoma for ya!

Here are the results of my number crunching (and we thought we'd never need math!!):

Weight/BMI/Category/lbs to lose to reach next goal

Starting: 313/54.6/Super Morbidly Obese

Now: 276/48.1/Morbidly Obese/-45

Next: 229/39.9/Severely Obese/-29

Then: 200/34.9/Obese/-29

And: 171/29.8/Overweight/-28

Finally: 143/24.9/Normal

So, while I'm not super psyched about the BMI scale, I am going to use this chart to set goals for myself. I will have other goals as well, but my BMI goals are listed above. I guess that means in order to reach my next BMI goal, I need to lose 45 lbs! Who's with me?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Holy Butt Breath, Batman!!

Last week was Spring Break and it was wonderful!!! We went home to Oklahoma to look for a house and visit with friends. I can't wait until we move back in June!! But I won't bore you with all the details of what we did and who we saw. I will just update you on things from my post-surgery perspective.

I went to my 2 week post op visit the morning we left town. And much to my delight I was cleared for soft foods!! Spring break would have sucked if I'd been on liquids!! So, that was a great start to the trip. Made my time much more enjoyable, and I felt so much more HUMAN!! I didn't dump at all, but I did end up having to throw up twice. The first time I think I ate too fast. I was having lunch with an old friend and paying more attention to the conversation that how quickly I was putting food in my mouth. Not a good idea!! The second time I don't know what happened. I was eating slow. The food was very soft. The only thing I was eating that time that I had not had yet was Velveeta. It was mixed into the chicken spaghetti sauce I was nibbling on. I didn't have pasta with it, and the chicken was moist and tender from a rotisserie chicken. The only new ingredient for me was the cheese in the sauce. My stomach did NOT like it. I was only able to eat a couple of bites and they came right back up. :( Other than that, I had no problems. Some days I was able to eat a little more, other days my stomach wasn't in the mood for much of anything but water. I made myself eat some, but never forced it beyond my comfort level.

And then there was the news I had been dreading. It is official...I have butt breath. Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but it's not good! This was one of those little post-op nuggets of info that is kept on the down low. Most people don't talk about it at all. But I have some lovely ladies in my online support group that will talk about ANYTHING!! And they were discussing this very issue last week. It seems that when we are on a high protein, low carb diet and our body starts burning through fat we go into a state known as ketosis where our bodies produce ketones. In fact one of the ketones we produce is actually acetone. Our body does not need this and has to get rid of it somehow. Guess how it does that? We BREATHE it out!!! That's right ladies and gents! As long as we are losing all this weight, burning through fat and eating low carb, high protein we can expect to have butt breath, dragon breath, breath of death...whatever you want to call it...I call it gross!! And while brushing and maintaining good oral hygiene helps cut down on the bad breath a little, it does not get rid of it. So what do we do? We stock up on toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, sugar free breath mints, and sugar free gum (BUT DO NOT SWALLOW THE GUM!!!!) Even now I sit here sucking on a Breath Saver and wonder if my dear husband will ever want to kiss me again. BTW, he's the one that confirmed that I do in fact have bad breath. When I asked him about it, he said he had noticed it since the surgery, but didn't want to say anything and hurt my feelings. Makes me want to go buy some of that breath spray so I can do the cheesy "squirt, squirt" thing before I kiss him! LOL

Anyway, overall, things are going great! I lost 4.8 lbs this week!!! That's a total of 18.8 lbs since surgery and a grand total of 37 since January!! I'm a happy girl!! I'll be reaching my first goal of 50 lbs in no time!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Post Op Video

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I've been meaning to do this, but hadn't gotten around to it until now. Here are my "before" pictures. The first one has snapshots from different moments in my life over the past few years. My life has been full of love, family, friends, and joy...but it wasn't all it could be. My weight has been holding me back for too long. I plan to update these month by month as my pounds come off. Let's see what life has in store for me!

(If you play each one, you can click on individual pictures and see the full image.)

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These are my official "Before" pictures for a month by month comparison. I am mortified to put these out in public…but I want the truth of where I start and how I change to be documented. My hope is that it can help others and that it can also help me remember where I am now and that I never want to come back here again.

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