Before & After
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Surgeon TestimonialDavid Le, MDI have had a few appointments with Dr. Le, and I have been pleased with our interactions. My first thought upon meeting him was that he was quite young. However, Dr. Le handles himself professionally and is willing to answer any questions that I have. I never feel that I am being rushed out of the office with him.rnrnAny future patients should note that Dr. Le is rather soft spoken but quite intelligent. He's also quite thorough and ensures that his patients understand the surgery that they are about to embark upon. If there are any questions, he will be the one to answer them quickly.
- Cats - I have three cats: Melchiah, Raziel, and Kain
- Singing - I am countertenor with a four-and-a-half-octave vocal range.
- Black American - African American and proud!
- French - Je parle français courrament. Je cherche les autres francophones.
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender - I have been happily married seven years to a wonderful man!
- Martial Arts - I have black belts in tae kwon do and Goju-Ryu karate.
- X Box - I actually have an Xbox 360, but you get the gist!
- Atheism/Agnostic - The belief in rational thought and empirical evidence is what motivates me.
Xavier Smith's JourneyClick Here To View
Describe your behavioral and emotional battle with weight control before learning about bariatric surgery.
As a child and teenager, I did not have issues with my weight. I studied the martial arts religiously and led a fairly healthy life. As a whole, I did not think much about my weight.
Transitioning into adulthood proved to be difficult though. My mother passed away from an excruciating death from colon cancer, and her death took a toll on me. I coped by turning to something that I thought would bring me comfort and solace: food. I stopped working out and starting gaining weight, and the weight gain got out of control.
Behaviorally and emotionally, I dealt with stress and anger with eating. Eating was the only thing that I felt I could control. So it's interesting how the tables really were turned: Food was the master, and I was actually the servant.
Update on May 20, 2009 8:19 pm
In my last posting, I committed to update this site more frequently, but, unfortunately, I have lapsed on that commitment. Well, it's not the end of all existence. I can start right now to update you.
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In my last posting, I think I stated that my weight loss had more or less stabilized. I thought that was the case until a few days ago, when I jumped on the scale just to see how I was doing and found that I had dropped another five pounds. Now, I am not the skinniest guy on the planet, but I do know that I can't afford to lose any more weight. My husband, nutritionist, old high-school friends, and just about anyone I meet tell me that I don't need to lose any more weight. And while I still feel as if I should be a little thinner, I realistically know that I am more than fine with the way that I am. So that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
So, a new development is that I have enrolled in school to continue my education in information technology. I am focusing on software engineering this time around. I have been at it the past month, and it's been challenging to get adjusted to school life again, but I am working it out. It also helps that my husband is in the same program. He's always a great source of support for me.
I am still exercising and focusing on the martial arts, just not as much as I was during my last post. I do have my goal of getting to the Gay Games 2010 and taking home a medal, but I am taking it step by step. Really, it's not being the best on the block; it's about doing a great job according to my own standards. That's what matters.
Surgery wise, I have not had any complications in the two-and-a-half years since surgery. It's been a little while since I have gotten my labs, but I'm fairly confident that everything is going well internally. The diabetes is still in remission, and the high blood pressure is just not there any longer. I'm quite thankful.
Something interesting that I have noticed is that I can eat more food than before. I still weigh my foods and watch my portions, but I have noticed that I can actually eat all my food now as opposed to leaving half of it like in the past. It's not a big deal, because I'm still not even eating a kid's-meal worth of food, but it is a little jarring and gets me to thinking, "What if I go back to the way I was?" My tendency, then, is to pull back and not eat at all, but I know that's not a healthy response at all. It's something I am looking forward to working on correcting.
Other than that, everything has been going well. My husband and I are adjusting well enough to Phoenix life, though I don't know if we will ever get used to the 110-degree heat! Life is good, and I have nothing to complain about.
Time for me to go, as I am about to meet with a client. I'll update soon enough.
Working Out, Working Out, and More Working Out on March 29, 2009 9:53 am
So, now I have the time to sit down and write an appropriate blog. It's morning time for me, and I just got up to a beautiful day out here in Arizona.
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The name of the game for me over these past two months has been working out. Although since my surgery a little more than two years ago, I have always been working out, the frequency and intensity have definitely increased lately. I have been in the gym up to five times per week and have been in the martial-arts studio up to six times a week, depending on how I am feeling.
Of course, it is a good thing to be working out so much. It's always invigorating to get finished with an intense jogging session or a particularly stressful lifting routine. It's always exciting to kick and punch my way through martial-arts class and to walk away from it all sweaty, out of breath, and wondering if my instructor will succeed in killing me for the next class. Burning the calories and improving my cardiovascular system are always good things. But, there is this concept of moderation that I have to consider, and I have noticed that my personality and character type don't necessarily promote that type of thinking.
As people who know me will attest, I am a logical person and focus on leading a logical existence. And because of that focus in life, I tend to look at many happenings as black or white, good or evil, successful or unsuccessful. Of course, I realize that there are some gray areas in life, too, but I don't believe that there are as many as the average person would claim. What many people claim to be gray areas are, actually, areas in life that are so sensitive that people simply refuse to critically think through them. Relegating such areas to the gray scale, in my view, is simply their way of not having to critically think through that particular matter, thus avoiding making a decision.
After being in the health game for two years, I am starting to believe that working out is not always a black-and-white matter. For example, with my thinking as described in the preceding paragraph, if I chose to skip working out one day for a day of relaxation and recuperation after several days of intense working out, I would view my skipping as a failure that day. That's not necessarily the case, though it could be; it simply depends on the factors involved. What if my previous workouts were sufficiently intense that my body was hurting badly? If I chose to skip my workout day on account of that knowledge--even though I am supposed to work out that day--that would not be a failure at all. I would simply be more interested in obeying the needs of my body as opposed to adhering to some martinet-like training regimen.
What I am saying is that the name of the game is moderation. In order to lead a healthy existence, moderation has to be extant in our lives. Exercise and physical activity are a good thing; they are the primary tools to mitigate against premature death and disease. However, working out too much can be as detrimental to the body and psyche, too. It is all about striking a balance. Where the gray area enters the picture is when we apply that balance to our individuals lives. For me, a balance would be training five days a week with, perhaps, two days of working out at the gym. For others, a balance may be working out three days a week with the rest of the time off for recuperation. For some particularly infirm people, the balance may be getting out there to work out one day a week while tending to their medical issues the rest of the time.
If I were to offer a defense to everything I have said above, it would be that I am training for the martial-arts portion of the Gay Games in 2010, which, in the grand scheme of it all, is not a long time away. I will be competing in the advanced forms-and-weapons section. And with the caliber of people I have seen at previous events, the competition is going to be tough to beat. I do have to push myself beyond what I think I am capable of in order to get to where I need to be. In that sense, I am going to have to endure, at least for awhile, extreme workouts and training regimens. The moderation enters the picture when I am done with the Gay Games. That is when I will go back to training and working out normally.
Quick Update on March 26, 2009 10:21 pm
I wanted to make a quick update before I ran out the door to pick up my hubby from work.
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I am doing just fine. As I stated, I am a little more than two years out from surgery. I am still losing about three to four pounds per week, to the chagrin of my nutritionist, but I am just 8/10 of a pound away from my goal weight! I am happy about that!
Other than that, it's been the same routine: working out three to five times per week, martial arts three to four times per week, hiking, songwriting, recording music, focusing on my business (www.dericoandassociates.com), and just enjoying life.
I will update more here tomorrow.
Two-Year Anniversary Since Surgery on March 8, 2009 11:32 am
Today marks the two-year mark since I had gastric-bypass surgery, and, oh, has life been so interesting since I have lost the more than 200 pounds! I have started up amazing friendships with people. I have embarked on something new in my career. I have strengthened my marriage. I have moved quite a few times. And I have become a different person. I'm loving it.
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When it comes to nutrition, I am still basically a nutrition Nazi. I count my calories, watch my portion control, generally avoid fast-food restaurants, exercise consistently, and blog about any trends I notice. I believe all those tools have helped me sustain my weight loss and stave off the hypertension and diabetes. I really can't complain about anything.
Here's to two more years of living life and enjoying everything that is coming my way.
Updating Again on March 3, 2009 12:15 am
My goodness, it's been a while since I have updated this thing. I have just been so busy with life and situations that I forgot all about this blog. I will make a commitment to keep it updated, though.
So, what's been happening with me? Well, the hubby and I live in Phoenix, Arizona, now, and we are starting to get adjusted to it. It's hot down here, full of Mormons (in the part of town we live in), and somewhat homogenous. On a positive note, both my hubby and I have met some great people out here.
As for my weight loss, I'm staying fairly stagnant at 175 pounds. I have radically changed my dress style, though, and it's paid off. I have had several people tell me that I rate at a nine or 10 on the hot-or-not scale. That's flattering, I would say. Overall, I am feeling pretty good about myself.
All right, enough updates for now. It's late (or early), and I have some other things to do. Again, I do commit to update more in the future. I got my start to a healthy life on this Web site, and I don't plan to let this Web site fall by the wayside.
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