Perseverance is never a word that I used in my vocabulary much before. Perseverance is considered a “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” I had never persevered through anything before. When things got difficult I would just give up, which is what I did during the first year after my surgery. It was too difficult, I kept hitting obstacles, and I was always discouraged about what was happening. I just shut down because it was all too hard. I realized later that in order to get through life and to get through life enjoying myself I needed to stay on my life course and keep moving forward.
Tonight I want to share the story of a former college classmate. I have know him for about five or six years now, he had several classes together since we were in the same degree program. Since graduation I have been able to stay connected to him on Facebook. I learned through this contact that he had his own amazing story of perseverance. Tonight on the eighth anniversary of his wife’s passing, he made his memoir available online and free for those to see. I jumped at the change to visit his site and read the first chapter. Now I am not going to share his story on here, because I want you to visit the book and check it out for yourself. But through all his struggles as a young widow, he and his son have been able to persevere and find their purpose in life. Please visit, “Honey I Shrunk The Grief: A Young Widower Discovers Love Will Find A Way” a memoir, by Eric Vaiksnoras.
I will end tonight by saying treasure your time with your partner. You never know when your time or your partner’s time will be over. Tonight as I lay down to sleep next to my husband, I will hold him tight. Thank you Eric for making me realize how important my time is with him and also thank you for sharing your story with others out there. It’s because of people like you and I who share our stories that others are able to find hope in their own lives.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” ~Earl Nightingale
To think nine months ago I sat at this very laptop writing my first thought for a blog that I decided to call Bariatric Beginnings. I continue to write almost daily in hopes that readers out there are able to find some inspirational in what I have to share. Since it’s birth on July 30, 2011, this blog has had 24,360 views. I have posted 217 posts not including tonight’s entry and currently have 50 blog followers. I have also had 343 comments left on my blog. I never thought I would be able to reach so many people.
The blog has been the best form of therapy for me, other than my bi-weekly counseling sessions. I am able to write out all my feelings and in the beginning I found that easier than sharing in person. Now as a completely different person mentally I have no problem what so ever speaking or writing about feelings at all, especially my own. If you currently are just a blog follower, I highly suggest starting yourself a blog. Even if you aren’t ready to share your thoughts and feelings with the world, it is a good idea to share them with yourself. You will be amazing by what you will learn about yourself just by sitting down, letting your mind go free, and writing. You are able to start a blog and keep it completely private and if you ever decide to share with others it is already there. I had never been fond of having a “journal.” But there was something different about blogging, at least for me.
I started blogging because my husband had started the comedy blog, The Dingleberry, and I saw how much he enjoyed writing this thoughts down (no matter how absurd) and making others laugh. I knew my blog would have to have a completely different tone to it and it does if you have ever checked out Patrick’s blog. I also started blogging because my brother works for the company behind WordPress,com and I knew “automattically” (no pun intended!) with blogging site to go with.
Blogging has been such a great outlet for me to be able to express myself. I am thankful that I have been able to share my story with the world these past 9 months and hope to continue share with and inspire others. I will write until I can no long write, kind of like the guy below. I will do it until the end.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” ~Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Today had it’s ups and downs. I guess I will start with the bad part of the day, I had to take Patrick back to the doctor because he has not gotten any better and is actually feeling worse. We were able to get into see our family doctor this afternoon so I jumped on the chance to take him after work. Patrick has “hand, foot, and mouth” disease. He should start feeling better in a few day we hope. He got a liquid mouth medicine he has to swish around in his mouth and then swallow, it contains three different kinds of medicine: Nystatin, Benadryl, and Lidocaine. He has pretty much been asleep since we got back at 4:30 this afternoon. I have to leave him tomorrow to go to work, he said me fine considering he will just be sleeping all day. I spent a lot of time this evening working on my Mary Kay business and that is want I plan on doing for most of the weekend. We have decided that we are not going to see Patrick’s family this Saturday because Patrick and I don’t want to risk getting our nephew sick considering he is only 1 1/2 years old.
The awesome upside to my day was while I was sitting in the doctor’s office with Patrick I received a phone call from the medical assistant (whom I love so much) at the Bariatric center. They would like to use the PowerPoint of the presentation I gave last night in their waiting room on the education TV they have there. I feel honored to know that my story is going to be shared with others who have had surgery and are considering surgery. My story is different than other people in that I show others that one can rebuild their life after hitting rock bottom.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Success is how high you bounce when you hit rock bottom.” ~George Patton
So I did it, I finally shared my story with people in person. As much as I have shared here on the blog, I had yet to speak in front of a live group. I spoke this evening along with 5 other people. It is always awesome to hear other people’s story but it was the greatest feeling to hear my own story out loud. It felt good. It was also nice to know that others found my story inspirational, I even had a few people come up to me afterwards and ask for my blog address.
I am sad that Patrick has not gotten much better since his ER visit on Monday evening. His ears have started to bother him and his lymph nodes are still swollen along with his sore throat and runny nose. He is due back to work on Friday, but I may not let if go if he is feeling that bad on Friday morning, the last thing I want his to do is become dehydrated at work again. No more IVs for awhile we hope. I am feeling much better, I have slight cough and my throat still hurts a bit, but over all I am much better than I was over the weekend and have been able to get through work with no problems. Tomorrow night I have to have a pulse oximetry done to see if I still need to wear O2 at night. I have to go to my favorite (not really) medical supply company after work to pick up the sensor and than I guess I just wear it to bed tomorrow night. I also have some more training to finish up for my MK business. Friday I am meeting with my mom sometime after work to do some product demos and I am also getting back to running. I think my throat will be healed enough by then for me to be able to train. 7 weeks till race day! I am still excepting donations on my fundraising page. I have raised $150 so far! I am so happy about that and it shows me that I have tons of people who believe in me. I am going to close tonight since I need to go nurse my husband back to health and then chase my cat around the house to give him his medication too. Sometimes it sucks being the only female in the house. I am hoping for a daughter for my first child when that time comes. I also hope that she becomes as strong a person as her mother and grandmother.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.” ~Ralph Marston
For a few minutes today I actually felt scared to present my journey to others tomorrow because I am afraid of someone saying “how are you a success story?” You “ONLY” lost 80 lbs. Only is a terrible four letter word! Don’t use it, remove it from your vocabulary and you will feel so much better! But then I caught myself and said so what if that is what someone thinks. It’s my story and it deserves to be shared because it shows others that you can turn your life around no matter how bad your life gets. This goes for weight loss surgery patients and non weight loss surgery patients alike. My story is not about how much I have lost, like so many others are, it’s about how much I have changed my life. Sure it took me having weight loss surgery and then hitting rock bottom before I was able to change my life around. But that was all a part of my journey. Something or someone out there wanted me to experience the worst possible physical and mental pain before I could change. And honestly I am thankful for that. It got me to realize how precious life really is and that I am the only one who could save me. Now, I am able to life my life virtually pain free. My mind is so much more clear and I no longer “sweat the small stuff,” because in the end who wants to spend their whole life worrying about things. Life is about getting out there and living.
If you are someone out there struggling with your weight or life in general, there is hope and there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you just have to find it. I am always here for people who need to talk. I may only be 28 years old but I have been to places others haven’t and maybe similar to places you have been to or are at now. I leave you tonight with one of my favorite versions of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Take a few minutes out from life to listen to the song, close your eyes, and remember “And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true.”
Daily Inspirational Quote: “And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” ~G. K. Chesterton
Since I am home from work today due to my strep throat, I thought I would blog early today plus I had a topic idea so I decided it best to write now before I lost my train of thought. In today’s blog I want to look back on how far I have come since starting my weight loss surgery journey and encourage you to do the same. It is easy to get discouraged by just a number on the scale and then you fail to look at all the other amazing ways you have succeed. For so long in my life, I was just so worried about the number that appeared on my scale that I failed to see anything else I had accomplished. Now I know to I need look at the whole picture of my journey and have faith in myself that myself that I will keep going far.
- I have gone from a size 32W in pants to a size 24W.
- I have gone from 4X/5X shirts to 3X
- I am able to buy some plus size clothing at stores that carry all sizes like Kohls or Burlington Coat Factory (not just stores that sell strictly plus sizes like Avenue)
- I have gone from a size 11 wide shoes to a normal width size 9.5/10.
- I have lost about as much weight as a newborn calf.
- I am able to walk stairs and long distances without being short of breath.
- I am able to run for periods of time.
- I am able to led a normal sex life.
- I am able to better care for myself.
- I am able to better care for my house.
- I enjoy going to work each morning.
- I enjoy exercising. (Never thought that would happen!)
- I am take and eat a small helping of food and be satisfied. (Also never saw that one coming!)
- I take pride in the way I look at all times.
- I no longer let the little things get me down.
- I am able to fully love myself as well as others.
There are 16 things that I thought of that don’t necessarily reflect a number on the scale, except for the newborn calf visual, but I like that thought and wanted to throw it out there again. I encourage my follows to make their own list this evening, post it somewhere you will see it everyday, maybe even multiple times a day. Read it to yourself in the morning and remember…
Daily Inspirational Quote: “You won’t realize the distance you’ve walked until you take a look around and realize how far you’ve been.” ~Unknown
Well, I was correct, I have strep throat. I woke up this morning in even worse shape than yesterday. Since it was Sunday I had no choice but to go to the urgent care center down the street. After about any hour and a half wait I saw the doctor who gave me a strep test which actually turned out negative, he also checked me for mono. He said that the quick result strep tests only test for one kind of strep, the worst. Luckily, I don’t have that. But he believes that I do have some form of strep throat since I have many of the symptoms and I work around kids. I am off work tomorrow at his advice. I also started on antibiotics this afternoon which I will be on for the next 2 weeks, taking a dose twice a day. Right now I am sipping on cherry cinnamon tea with a bit of honey in it. I don’t normally drink tea at all, but this flavor is amazing and it is really helping my throat. I ended up canceling my Bod Pod appointment for tomorrow since I don’t want to get anyone sick. The urgent care doctor thought I should be in better shape by Tuesday and able to go to work and carry on with my week. I am really looking forward to speaking on Wednesday at support group. I am hoping to get back into my 5K training on Tuesday. Tomorrow will be spent at home with fluids, my warm bed, and my cat since my husband works 10 hours tomorrow.
I had some pictures made today for a project I decided to make a couple of my recent side by side. One to send to my grandmother in South Carolina and one to give to my surgeon since he has not seen the latest one. The other will go on my mirror to remind me of how far I have come and that my journey is my journey and it doesn’t need to be compared to anyone else’s. I also found a beautiful poem this evening that I wanted to share, this too needs posted in my house. The only one who could save my life was me.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
though the sheets of clouds
and there was a new voice
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver ~
Daily Inspirational Quote: “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~Buddha
I am back to posting tonight even though I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I started getting a sore throat yesterday and then by this morning I could barely swallow anything. It really hurts to drink or eat anything. I am hoping this goes away by work on Monday, I can’t afford to take a day off. I was suppose to have my debut party for MK tomorrow but my friend and I decided to cancel it since we are both sick.
Last night I made my PowerPoint for when I am sharing at the support group this Wednesday. I am very happy with how it came out and I can’t wait to share it.
My mom and I also found a pair of size 32 shorts at a Goodwill, they weren’t the prettiest shorts, even though the lady standing next to me at the store thought so. I purchased them to compare them to the size I wear now.
The plaid shorts are size 32W and the black pants are size 24W. I am not sure why my carpet looks orange in this picture! It's actually a light beige.
I didn’t end up getting to do the Bod Pod I talked about a few days ago, the guy had to reschedule me for Monday afternoon, so I will be heading there after work. I had another anonymous donation last night, this time for $50! Once again thank you to whoever you are. That brings my total to $150 dollars and I still have 8 weeks left until the race. I felt bad for not getting my 3rd day in this week, but honestly I haven’t felt this crappy in awhile. I know my dad likes to think that I am a hypochondriac but I am not…:P Ask Patrick I can barely speak at certain times which I am sure he is happy about. But my throat is so sore and my whole body aches. My sinuses also feel stuffed up causing me to have a bad headache. The strange thing is my sister who is out in California on spring break sent me a text and said she was feeling exactly the same way. Something must be going around. It almost feels like strep throat since I don’t have any other cold symptoms other than the sore throat and my lymph node on my left side of my neck is swollen. I don’t think I have a fever though. The thermometer I had was broke so I don’t have a way to check, I do know that I woke up cover in sweat this morning, so who knows. Patrick and I are just going to take it easy tomorrow. I have a busy week ahead and need to be in better shape for work and 5K training for this week.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ~Calvin & Hobbes
Life is pretty amazing right now, this time last year I was going into the hospital for my 5th psych hospitalization. I was miserable and no longer wanted to go on with my life. Now I am happy as can be, down 50 more lbs from last year, training for my first 5K, happy with my job, and now a Mary Kay consultant. It’s amazing how much life can change.
My donation goal off $100 dollars was hit this evening, my latest donation came from an anonymous donor, thank you to whoever you are.
I am currently on a mission to find size 32 women’s pants to use as a demonstration for how much weight I have lost at my sharing of my story at a support group next Wednesday. I looked at one thrift store today and will look at some more tomorrow. I don’t want to spend a lot on them so that is why I am looking at thrift stores. Anyone have any that they want to send me overnight? I wished I had saved a pair that size but sadly I never found the pair that I thought I had kept. My awesome mother has searched high and low for them this week but never found them.
I am being featured in Walk from Obesity’s E-newsletter for April. They were looking for people to profile and I volunteered since I have become active in the walks and for the cause of obesity in general. I want to remind people that obesity is a disease and that people of any shaped and size deserve to be treated like human beings. I get upset when other people make fun of fat people…because I am one of those “fat people” to society and always will be. When is society going to learn to tolerate people of size?! Probably never since we can’t tolerate each other’s differences now. The American society makes me sick. We need to learn to love one another and not fill the world with so much hatred. I want an obese person to be looked at by a stranger and not have the stranger think that the obese person got that way because they choose to eat 4 value meals at a fast food place each day. I can not stand degrading pictures of obese people, especially obese women. Please don’t assume that we enjoy feeding each food and that we dress in tight clothing. Pictures like this piss me off. Obese women are beautiful, I should know.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.” ~Oprah Winfrey
I am excited to be going into the Bod Pod on Friday. What’s the Bod Pod you ask? It “estimates lean muscle mass and the percentage of body fat, providing a more accurate weight of an individual. This egg-shaped pod uses air displacement to measure the body’s density within a 2% margin of error.” You can read more about it at http://www.uakron.edu/education/academic-programs/sswe/programs/exercise-physiology/exercise-physiology-lab.dot. As a bariatric surgery patient I am able to get $10 off the normal price. I wish I had done this at the beginning of my journey, I knew about it then, but really didn’t care at that time, I didn’t care about anything to be honest. So I am doing it now and then later in the future after I get to the weight my surgeon set for me which is about still about 70 lbs away. I will do the Bod Pod again at that point or when I plateau.
After work today I just ended up doing a 2 mile walk with my parents, it was actually to hot in my opinion for me too run. I don’t want me to overheat because I am still a big girl and when I ran a few days ago and it was really warm, I was having a harder time, I know my 5K in May is going to be warm but I just couldn’t run today, plus I have been developing headaches again, I think due to my eyesight and glasses and figured a walk was better than nothing at all. My parents and I also went to Trader Joe’s, I think I am in love with that store, it was my first time there in ages. I got a couple things for Patrick and I to have for dinner over the next few days.
I have been enjoying this warm weather we are having but today was honestly too much for me…it was so hot to me, I am 40 or 50 lbs lighter than last summer which is good, but it is still uncomfortable. I am thankful to have air conditioning this year. Last summer was a nightmare before we moved. We lived in an old house and it was like an oven in there all the time, I don’t even know how I survived the summers living there for 6 years, especially at my heaviest. It is honestly a miracle that I could do anything back then. I have lost the equivalent to almost a newborn calf which is about 80-90 lbs so that is pretty awesome to me. When I think of it like that I know I am succeeding in my own way.
Daily Inspirational Quote:” Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” ~Marilyn Monroe