Today here are my thoughts on keeping on track and helping other overcome the mental demons that haunt us on our journeys....I am down 121 pounds as of this morning and feeling fabulous! Thank you Jesus! Always remember.....You need to love yourself totally no matter what....I learned that years ago and was not unhappy with being big. My motto in life has always been to "Bloom where you are Planted" I believe that with my whole heart. I did this surgery primarily for my knees because my Dr said if I didn't I would be in a wheel chair in 2 years with the degeneration in my knees. I knew I was big, but I always felt beautiful. This surgery has been such a fun trip for me physically as I had forgotten the thinner woman I was so many years ago. I am having a blast with it and am so grateful to my orthopedic Dr for talking me into it. You need to look deep inside you and find what makes you happy and where you store you joy. Then you need to tap into that each day and look in the mirror and see the beautiful Goddess you truly are. Guard and protect your joy and don't let anyone take it from you. Our joy in life is a precious thing and I choose to nurture mine and spread the joy rather than let someone else squelch it from me. You must make room and learn to love yourself too. We are all so special and have our own unique bloom. I totally believe that since surgery we tend to think that "bad" foods are absolutely forbidden. In my consultation with Dr. Huse he told us all that after surgery will we be able to have birthday cake? Yes, just not every day. I was a little disappointed after surgery to learn that I can tolerate most sugars really well...that has always been my weakness :o) Now I look at it that God has blessed me with being able to have some of the good things that I loved so much only my portions are so much smaller. For instance I keep Peterson's peppermint patties (the little ones) in the house for my treats. In the evening I love to have 1 or 2 of them and really take my time enjoying them. They are only about 25 calories each and when I do "cheat" I look at the calorie content and try to arrange it in my daily plan. I work hard to really enjoy the wicked treat and to not let guilt make me "gobble" it fast like no one will know...lol you know what I mean? When I allow the "forbidden" into my diet my body feels that it is not being deprived and still gives up the weight so it has been good for me. Say this to yourself each and every day! "I am living life each day and I want to enjoy it in all ways. I will not beat myself up for my transgressions and I will accept my poor judgments and not let them control the rest of my life. I will be healthy the rest of my life and I will enjoy it to the fullest! " When I saw Doc on my 9 month visit he was so happy that I am realistic about my goal size. I am wearing my goal size clothing now and where I would like to end up weight wise is where allot of his patients start :o) I was at 396, highest 410 and goal is 250. Doc says I will most likely get below that so anything under that is a bonus. Life is so good and we have been so blessed. I get so tickled when I read of so many bariactric patients who talk about how ugly our saggy skin is since losing weight.....well Hello....I doubt we were raving beauties naked before either.... lol. I look forward to having my tummy and boobs done in about a year but that is the delicious icing on this cake! Have a most fantastic day!