May 17, 2013
I could look on my years (almost a decade) of severe depression and regret all the wasted time spent being unhappy but I don’t. Those times have helped shape who I have become. Yes I do wish they hadn’t happened, but they did and I accept them as part of my life and have moved on. It’s take a long time to get to that point though.
I could look back on my sexual assault at age 17 and say that I am a victim and play the victim card all my life. But years of non-stop counseling have led me to a point in my life where I can call myself a survivor and I truly feel like a survivor. What happened to me was not because of anything I did wrong, it was because another person who I happened to love made a bad decision to satisfy their needs without thinking of the effect it might have on the other person, I actually believed it was my fault for many, many years. But now I don’t and I rarely think about it anymore except every January, however it’s taken me almost 12 years to get to that point.
I could look back on my bipolar misdiagnosis and be angry at the psychiatrist who misdiagnosed me and blame her for years of my life that I don’t remember very well. But I’m not.
I could be upset that I required a second weight loss surgery because I had been misdiagnosed and couldn’t have gastric bypass the first time. But I’m not. All that I have been through have made me who I am. Those experiences shaped me. Because I have known great sadness I know what pure happiness feels like.
Daily Inspirational Quote: ”Success is how high you bounce when you hit rock bottom.” ~George Patton
May 16, 2013
In 2010 at my heaviest weight of 418 pounds (the highest I’ve seen on a scale, but my surgeon’s office has 416) I had a 20″ neck and a 69″ waist. Three long rough years and two surgeries later (remember to check out the about section if you don’t know my story) I am down 102 pounds from 418 pounds and I have lost 4.5″ off my neck and 16.5″ off my waist. And more comes off with each passing month. I finally got of my plateau last week! My next follow up in two months from today so I think it is very likely that I will be weighing in under 300 pounds at that appointment, I’m getting close only need to lose 17 pounds to get there. That would be the first time in 10 years that my weight would start with the number 2! That will be a big meaningful day when it arrives.
I rarely talk about numbers here but I figured I’d share some today since numbers are a part of the weight loss surgery journey. But they aren’t the most important thing believe it or not, at least not to me. On the journey of mine I have learned about some many other important successes, like the fact I’ve completed four 5K races or I no longer require tons of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety pills to function. Or that I am successfully working a full time job for the first time in over two years. So remember on your journey to look at the other amazing things that you’ve accomplished not just numbers on the scale. They don’t determine your worth or make you who you are, they are just a small part of who you are.
Here is a weight loss surgery journey success! Completing my 4th 5K run and with a big smile on my face.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.” ~Robert Strauss
MY NEXT WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY SUPPORT CHAT IS TUESDAY, MAY 28 AT 7:00 PM (EST) AT HTTP://BARIATRIC.OLI.US
May 14, 2013
Just a short little rant about my best friend insomnia. Insomnia has long been something I have struggled with in my adult years. I can never seem to turn the thoughts off in my mind. I always seem to be thinking about something whether it is good or bad. And even if I got to bed and I am not really thinking about anything I seem to create thoughts in my head and stew about those things. I went to my primary care doctor last week because the medication for sleeping I was taking was getting close to running out and it had also stopped working. I was taking something called Remeron which is actually an anti-depressant but it can make your really tired so I would only take it when I needed it. Though it seemed like right after surgery I was needing to take it every night and then eventually taking it didn’t even work anymore. So last week at the doctor’s office he gave me another anti-depressant to take at night to make me sleepy and to help with my anxiety. I know I still have anxiety, I’ve had it as long as I can remember and probably always will. Now I’m taking Paxil, tomorrow will be a week on it and it doesn’t really seem to help with anything yet, but the pharmacy said it could be 2-3 weeks before I see any difference. We both agreed that I’m nowhere close to being depressed but that my nighttime anxiety needed to be tamed in hopes that my insomnia might get better. When I was over-medicated back between 2008-2011 I never had problems sleeping because I was so depressed I didn’t want to be awake and I was so exhausted from my 418 pound body and all the unnecessary medication. It seems like the more weight I lose the worse my insomnia gets. I do just wish for once that I could fall asleep easily without the aid of medication for once and to be able to fall asleep without thoughts racing through my head all the time. But I would rather having sleeping problems than to weigh 418 pounds again. You’ve got to take the bad with the good I suppose.
Do you have a problem that you’ve developed or had worsen since weight loss surgery?
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 13, 2013
My dad and I ran our most recent 5K run yesterday morning, this was his third run and my fourth. Below is a photo of my dad and I after we were finished. I finished in 49 minutes and 25 seconds, about the same as the run I did in April. That’s still 5 1/2 minutes faster than last year, I am also 50-some pounds lighter than last year, can’t wait to see what my times will be when I am 100 lbs lighter than I am right now. Running for me is about doing my best each time, it’s not a race with anyone else, just me trying to do as well or better than the me who ran last time.
Don’t mind our bad hair, it was windy!!!
We’ll be doing our next one and my fifth race on July 6! We’re taking June off since he’ll be out of town one week and we have my 30th birthday party coming up. Our next 5K (#5 for me!) is the Tree City 5K in Kent, Ohio which is my hometown and the race doesn’t begin until 7:00 pm so it was be something different than the normal 8:00 am races I’ve been doing. We also have our eye on a 5K happening in October if it works into our schedules. I love running these because it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. 100 pounds ago I could barely function. I’m still a big girl now at 318 lbs but keep my butt moving so that one day I can hit my surgeon’s goal of 230 lbs and I certainly won’t get to that goal sitting on my butt. If I can run these 5K and finish at my size I’m going to…and I do. They get easier and easier for me each time. I’m always the biggest person there but I really don’t care because I’m out there running for me and no one else. I do it for me.
Daily Inspirational Quote: ”Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” ~Norman Vincent Peale
May 11, 2013
I made a ”before and current” new side by side this afternoon, this time a did a front view shot to go with an old front view photo that I had of me at my heaviest back in 2010. I put them side by side and was shocked (in a good way) of what I saw. I saw a completely different person.
I’m a different person in so many ways. The person on the left was unhappy and had to force a smile in all her pictures and the person on the right is naturally happy (most of the time, lol!) The person on the left gave no thought or care about her future or what she did or put into her body, she figured she would just eat herself to death. The person on the right is planning for a future and tries her best to take care of her body by eating right and exercising. The person on the left coped with her emotions by binge eating. The person on the right tries to cope by writing, listening to music, or stringing beads. The person on the left was dull, flat, over-medicated and lifeless. The person on the right is full of life and tries to find the joy in everything.
Now that I am a different person, I wish I could go back to three years ago and talk to that person on the left and tell her that she did have a bright future ahead of her, I would tell her that it would be a long, rough road but that she would triumph through it and be more amazing that she had every been before. That she would be able to make her dreams come too. That she just needed to never give up, that she needed to keep going.
What would you tell your old self if you could?
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Once you have come to know how great you are, then your mind, heart and soul will not let you give up.” ~Shubhanshu Tiwari
May 8, 2013
Just post a short little post tonight, you might remember back in October of last year that I found a red tail hawk feather and what it meant and that I planned to get it as a tattoo (here’s the post: http://bariatricbeginnings.com/2012/10/18/i-had-earned-it/), well I finally did yesterday evening! I am so in love with it and my tattoo artist could not have done a better job! It’s a sore and red in the picture so the white is hard to see right now, but I’m make sure to share a picture after it’s healed. It took over 2 hours but oh so worth it to me. It’s on the bottom of my left forearm.
The dates in the feather are my two surgery dates.
I also think my plateau (I haven’t lost in a month) is over! I was at my primary care doctor today and weighed today 4 lbs down from last week! It also brings me to 100 lbs total gone from my heaviest ever! Remember to read the about section if you don’t know my story.
I also am gearing up for my next (and 4th) 5K on Sunday! Hoping for a repeat of last time’s run back in April or better!
Daily Inspirational Quote: “My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.” ~Johnny Depp
May 4, 2013
Plateaus, they suck, but you can’t let them get you down! If we let every plateau we hit in our journey get us down we’d never get any farther in our journey. I’m at a plateau myself right now (nearing 4 months out from my bypass) but I’m not letting it get me down and I know it’s only temporary. A plateau just means it is time to shake things up to get things moving again.
What are someways you try to get off a plateau when you hit one? I’m going to try to increase my exercise by spicing up my exercise routine. I’m going to increase my water intake and protein intake to more than my minimum set by the nutritionist. And most of all I’m going to remember that this is a marathon not a spirit, I’m not in a race to with anyone else. This is my journey and I’m get there now matter how long it takes me.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” ~Oprah Winfrey
April 27, 2013
I took the first step in renewing my love of cemetery photography and got my photo blog up and running. You can visit it at www.cityofthedeadphotography.wordpress.com. I just posted my first small set of photos last night. Many of my own friends don’t realize that I have a hobby of going into cemeteries and taking photographs, I started doing it about 5 years ago. However, I stopped actively shooting pictures for a few years due my life crumbing apart in several ways and now I am finally watermarking all my hundreds images (so they don’t get stolen) like I should have done 5 years ago. I’m not a professional and not trying to be, just having fun, so if you check them out, enjoy! It will take me awhile to get them all watermarked and up.
Next Sunday (May 5) is my sixth wedding anniversary with my Patrick, I’m hoping the next week flies by because I’m excited for the weekend we have planned. We are heading down to Amish Country Saturday afternoon and staying at a nice place overnight and then going to the Shinedown concert in Youngstown on Sunday evening! I really appreciate my husband sticking by me all these years though all my struggles. Many men would have left when the woman gained 2oo pounds. I was only about 220 pounds when we meet in 2004. Later that year I disclosed what had happened to me in 2001 that sent my life into a downward spiral. Read about it here: http://bariatricbeginnings.com/2013/01/06/how-i-got-to-where-i-am-today-revised/. When we got married I weighed over 380 pounds and then two years later I topped out close to 420 pounds. But he never left. Even though these past three years of my surgeries he has never left me, he has been by my side and taken care of me while I was recovering. These past three years have been the hardest through our nine year relationship with my surgeries and his narcolepsy diagnosis and those years make up half our married years but somehow we’ve managed to make it through although there have been many fights this past year and many times where we were ready to go our separate ways. We’ve kept the struggle quiet except for my dad knowing because we hoped we would work through things, which we’ve have. Our relationship is the strongest it has been in a long time. I look forward to all the many years ahead and the future whatever it may bring. Patrick, thank you for all that you have done for me, I am truly grateful and could not be where I am today without your love and your help. You are the greatest husband anyone could ever ask for.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” ~Bob Marley
April 24, 2013
I was going through old photographs today mainly of cemetery photography which has long been a passion of mine though it’s been years since I’ve gone out and taken many photos. I used to have a website of my photos and loved to go out and take pictures. But when my depression and weight reached their worst I stopped taking photos. One of my goals for this year to start taking more photos and watermarking all my old photos and getting them back online in the form a blog this time, I plan on beginning to work on it tomorrow! While I was going through these photos I ran across a few photographs of myself from 2009. I was disgusted by what I saw, I looked so unhealthy and gross. My hair was always drenched in sweat. Seeing these photos made me realize how far I’ve really come, not just in numbers lost but in mental health and so much more. Sometimes seeing these photos makes you realize that you are a success story, because that person in the photo is not longer here and in a good way, that old me has been laid to rest and it’s my job to make sure she never returns. Some people like to delete pictures on their fat days but I choose to leave them where they are because they are a constant motivator to never become that person again and I mean never again!
Just a little announcement regarding the weight loss surgery support chats I run, beginning in May, the chat group will now meet just once a month on the 4th Tuesday of every month beginning now at a new time of 7:00pm (EST). This change was due to changes in my personal schedule now that I have full time employment. So mark in your calender that the next scheduled chat will be on Tuesday, May 28 at 7:00pm (EST). Room is still located at http://bariatric.oli.us. As always there is a calender of dates available by click on the weight loss surgery online support chat at the top of the blog.
Daily Inspirational Quote: ”It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” ~Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland
April 21, 2013
I found an awesome image on Pinterest this afternoon and I’ve already printed a copy of it out to put on the mirror in my bedroom, it’s a great reminder to not give up every time a little bump happens or after a mistake you might have made. Just because you’ve screwed up one day or maybe ate something one day that isn’t in the WLS diet doesn’t mean you’re doomed for failure, it just means you’ve made a mistake, you need to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and start new tomorrow. If you give up so easily after one setback or mistake than you will never get where you need or what to go.
Setbacks are a part of any journey, especially the WLS journey. Setbacks are a part of life. A successful person is someone who keeps going despite a setback, major or minor. Like it in picture below don’t go slash all your tires just because one is flat, you take that tire to the repair shop, fix it and then keep going. So in the WLS journey, to fix your “tire” sit back and look at your setback and see how you can move on from it and think of ways to prevent it from happening again. I know that doesn’t work for all setbacks that come up in life such as a death in the family or a major life stressor. I speaking more about the setbacks that we might have created ourselves, like skipping the gym all week (guilty.) I didn’t go at all last week because I had started my new job and was adjusting to my new schedule but instead of beating myself up about it and call myself a failure, I sat down and looked at my upcoming schedule for the week and have worked it in.
Another possible setback in my life could be is slow weight loss, but it’s only a setback if I let it be and I choose not to. Many people out there in WLS community compare themselves to others, especially those who had surgery around the time you did. I did that for so long and it’s not healthy, it crushes your soul and spirit, well at least it did to mine. It’s taken me a long time to not compare myself to anyone else because my journey is my journey and to me it doesn’t matter how long it takes me as long as I get there. As long as I’m losing who cares how slow. My body is different. I know many people don’t agree with that statement and that’s fine but that is how I choose to look at my journey and my surgeon has said to me many times over that this is a marathon not a sprint for me and I need to remember it. So what if it takes me two years to get to a point that it might take someone else one year to get too, hey at least I’ll get there. It’s a personal journey not a competition.
Daily Inspirational Quote: “Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” ~Marquis de Condorcet