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- Dogs - My Chocolate Yellow lab puppy, 4 months old and growing bigger by the day!
- Parenting - 3 kids: Cierra 17, Tyelor 14, Shelby 8.
- Bicycling - My favorite way to get in my exercise.
- Cooking & Baking - Still a passion of mine, I just give away everything I make now.
- Tattoo - I have 2 and I love them, will get more very soon.
- Cruises - Have been on 3 so far, we're going on another one when I get to my personal goal
- Cake Decorating - Taking the Wilton Cake decorating courses with my best friends!
- Married - To my wonderful husband that allowed me to do this with the equity in our home!
- Notary Public - Part of being a secretary.
- WLS in your 30's - I am 38, I spent the first 30 years of my life overweight, not anymore!
Over a year has gone by...........Life sure is... on August 1, 2008 6:27 pm
Well...............what a year it has been!
Opened up my dream catering place last year and about one month to the day we opened my Husband called me and told me that he lost his job due to the cut backs in construction. He was on workman's comp. at the time for an injured shoulder so............thank God for that! We are not lawyer type of people but decided to pursue it due to fact that the company asked my HADICAPPED Husband to pick a 450 lb. door with his one good arm and basically said, "if you don't do it your job is on the line!!" SOOOOO, I worked my ASS off for the next 12 months trying to get this place off the ground (7 days a week, 14 hours a day), with no financial backing and NO other income really coming in and the economy going down the tubes really fast, we lost it! We also lost our home too! We tried and hung onto everything probably too long, we went through EVERY bit of our savings and any other $ that came to us!
My Husband is now going to school on the workman comp. program and he gets paid to learn and thanks to a dear friend I am now working in a treatment facility for eating disorder ,drug & alcohol dependancy as a kitchen manager. I have been there for 3 months now and I LOVE the job.
I thank God EVERYDAY that I have a steady job and that we are still ALL healthy, have a roof over our head, and food on the table! Times are tough for EVRYONE these days and I DO NOT feel alone in my situation. I feel fortunate to be where I am and do something that I enjoy and I forgot to tell you the best part.......I get to make sugar-free desserts for the clients where I work,,,,,,,,SO COOL! Most of the patients have diabetes so it really helps them!
As far as my weight goes.........well, I have maintained for the most part. I started REALLY working out and put on some muscle mass and firmed up but I feel good and healthy and I still eat a ton of protein EVERYDAY but I also love my veggies and fruits. Can I eat more than I used to.............heck ya! I CHOOSE to eat the right things and the healthier options. Am I ALWAYS good??? HECK NO! I still eat in moderation and I still can't eat more than a cup of anything at one time which is good. I like sugar-free stuff and I will eat it sometimes, I sample my s-f desserts sometimes too. I don't eat fast food often but when I do I usually get a grilled chicken, no bun, or a hambger, no bun and I'm good with that. I try to avoid white flour and white sugar whenever possible, it DOES NOT like me and I DO NOT like the way that I feel when I eat it.
This has been ONE of the toughest years of my life (financially speaking) but I am where I'm supposed to be right now and I am happy.
My oldest daughter leaves for college next weekend, so proud of her!!!!
My middle boy is doing great and is Mr. responsibility at 17 years old, works hard and has an inner drive like I've NEVER seen, gotta love that!
My youngest is a wonderful little girl with the potential to be a GREAT athelete. They just won the district championship in girls fast-pitch softball! Look out Michelle Smith!!!
Do I have any regrets?? YES!!!!! This year has been FILLED with the coulda, shoulda, wouldas!!!! Can I change the past, nope! When ya know better, ya do better. I definitely learned and grew from my mistakes. I am ready to move on with my life and start re-buiding for our future. I have emarked on this NEW career and can't wait to see where this takes me!
Do I regret having the VSG??? NEVER!!! IT CHANGED THE COURSE OF MY LIFE AND MY FAMILIES TOO. We have been to the pools and beaches and waterparks ALL Summer. I have MORE energy and love for my life than EVER before. This surgey is ONE thing I will NEVER regret, it changed my life for the better and my families life too!
Thank you for your kind emails and messages. I have missed the VSG board and hope to spend a little more time there now that I'm not SOOOO consumed with the business. If I did not get back to you, I am TRULY sorry but I hope you can understand now and forgive me.
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My Entries on October 26, 2006 5:46 pm
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Hi, my name is Amy. I started out pre-op at 311+ pds. ( I got weighed 3 weeks before my surgery and I ate like a pig the last week before I had to start shakes), thus the 311+, in the end it was probably more like 315 but my scale only went to 286 at the time! Thank God I'm 5'10". My surgery was on October 5, 2005. I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, I felt that it was a little less risky and little less $ too. A better option for me and I have a feeling that it's going to work! Today is Saturday, January 28, 2006, I am 226 pds. today! I went from a size 28 to a 16-18! I feel and look 100X better than I did less than 4 months ago. I still have about 80 lbs. to go but I know I can do it. I am a mother of 3 children, a 17 year old, a 15 year old, and an 8 year old. My husband and my children have been very supportive. After our insurance company denied us after 4 appeals he told me to go ahead and take the $ from the equity line in our home! I love him for that! I will post my middle of the road picture on as soon as I can and then hopefully in a few more months I'll post my after photo. I love this web site and thank all of you for your support, it's great! AMY
I finally posted some before (NOT Very clear) and now photos of me, I know I'm not exactly at 100 yet but I figure that by the time they post them I will be, I only have a pound to go!
Well, I am about a pound away from the big official 100 lbs., I want to get there so bad. I know I will get there by my 5 month anniversary, which is on March 5th. If I keep losing I might just get to my next goal by my 5 month anniversary which is to NO LONGER be OBESE, at 208 I will be only over weight, huge moment!!! Then the next goal will be when I NO LONGER have a "2" in front of my weight for the first time since.......... FOREVER!!!!! I really think it may be since middle school. Gosh, I've been fat for so long. Last night my kids were taking photos of me and I actually started to cry when I saw the pictures because I don't recognize that person in them, when I look in the mirror I STILL see the old ME. It sounds so strange but I think that if you look at the same thing over and over for 30 years you tend to believe that this is the only YOU there is! As I get down past the 200 lb. mark I will be in territory that I have NEVER been at as an adult, in some ways I am scared. I am getting positive attention that I NEVER got as a FAT person, only stares or whispers behind my back! Something New to get used to. I have a strange obsticle to overcome and if anyone else has ever had this problem please let me know: At 19 years of age, I had everything: NEW SPORTS CAR, RECENT MAJOR WEIGHT LOSS, TAN, OWN APARTMENT, GOING TO COLLEGE, GOOD FRIENDS, BOYFRIENDS, GOOD PAYING JOB. One night I went to sleep and about an hour afterwards I woke up to a fist in my face and was raped by someone who apparently knew me. They never caught him! I am over the rape itself, it's been 20 years this year and I am a SURVIVOR! The problem is this: Now, I am getting to be a confident 39 year old that looks better, feels better, is financially secure, good kids, good husband, good life. Now, sometimes the thought creeps in that if I keep going (losing weight) and all is going SO GOOD AGAIN when is the horrible thing going to happen to me again! I guess it sounds like I'm 2 but it's something that I TRY not to think about but it does creep in every once in awhile and I get SCARED! I know it's a major thing to discuss but I am pretty open about everything, I'm not ashamed or embarrassed just SCARED sometimes! Well, now that I've gotten that off my chest, I should go get ready for work!
Thank you ALL for all of the GREAT encouragement!
Yesterday I finally reached my 100 lb. mark. My picture was acually taken at 99lbs. but I don't think the 1 pound would have made that much of a difference in the photo. I'm trying hard to take the whole approach of "ONE DAY AT A TIME". I am going to get an MRI on my upper back on Monday. My breasts are falling SOUTH really quick and because of thier size I will need to have a breast reduction this year. I am on steroids right now, it is making me a little cranky , NOT hungry at all. I have force myself to eat.
I am having the MRI to establish back problems so that MAYBE the insurance will cover THIS surgery as they wouldn't cover the VSG surgery.
Thank you ALL for all the support, I feel so lucky to have found this web site, us sleeve buddies have to stick together!
Today my BMI is now just overweight, I am no longer OBESE, this is BIG. I am 2 days away from my 5 month anniversary, March 5,2006. I am exeeding all of my goals. I pray that my progress continues even if it's slow, at least it's progress! I am getting more and more confident. The results came back from the MRI and I need to have a needle injection out patient surgical procedure done in my back to eleveate the pain. None of the medicines seem to agree with my stomach. It's like getting an epidural, I've had one of those when having babies but it still freaks me out because of the whole spine thing! I better go off to work now.
Well, today I went shopping after my horrible and VERY painful back injections of steroids. Shopping always cheers me up these days! Today I went into the juniors department and picked out a size 13 juniors peasant skirt.........it FIT!!! If it wasn't for these child birthing hips of mine ( 3 kids later) I might have even gotten into an 11...........too cool! I am still 1.4 pounds away from my 199, that is going to be a banner day, I may even fly a flag outside my house telling the whole fricking neighborhood.........I NO LONGER HAVE A 2 BEFORE MY WEIGHT!!!! Of course everyone in the neighborhood would think I was CRAZY!!!!
Oh my Gosh, so close but yet so far!!! I am at 200.2 this morning!
I'm praying that tomorrow will be the day. Thank God for working at Curves, I think it has really helped to keep the weight coming off! I will write more tomorrow if I can and hopefully I will be in ONEDERLAND!!!!
Happy St. Patricks day to MEEEEEEEEEE!!! I am an OFFICIAL member of "ONE"derland Today!!!! Today my scale said 199.4, I started to cry. I have not seen a "1" in front of my weight since I was in middle school, 12 years old, 27 years ago! Wow, I am so pleased with my progress. People are still asking me if I am done yet, I just answer them, " Nope, I have about 40 more pounds to go, if I wanted to be an overweight person when I finished I wouldn't have speant $18,000.00 on this surgery, I want to be NORMAL!" In my world that means a size 8-9. At 5'10" tall I can honestly say that I will probably get there at 160 lbs., That is less than 40 lbs. from now, that is soooooooooooo do-able, I can't wait! I'm thinking.......... 3-4 months from now in the begining of Summer, I may be able to go to the New Water Park with my kids!!!
I'm finally starting to feel really good about who I am becoming, outgoing, fun, funny, kind, generous person who is enjoying life instead of watching it pass her by. I NEVER want to be that other person again and pray every day that that won't happen, I'm not going to let it.
Today I am looking at actually hitting the 180's by the next week or two, I can't believe it! I am 194 this morning and I love seeing the #'S KEEP GOING DOWN! I am trying to get more protien in these days in hope that the hair loss will stop! I'm getting a little concerned. I know that I probably won't go bald but I am concerned when I take a shower and the drainer is full of hair in the end.
Well, the 180's look like I might see them sooner than the 5th! Today I weighed 190.8. I am so excited and pleased with the continuing progress. Every day I drop a little or a whole pound! Never in my wildest drems did I think that I would hit 120 pounds in 6 months! I have an appointment with Dr. Rosenthal's office on Friday and I am going to get all dressed up in my new clothes. I'm so glad that I have a chance to get checked out and hopefuly they will use me and others to help get this surgery to be covered by the insurance companies like the RNY is now. April 5th is my 6 month anniversary and I feel that I am right where I am supposed to be!!!
Today I hit my goal of the 180's. 189.4, over 120 pounds down from my last weigh in! This is my 6 month anniversary date too, I love this surgery!
I decided to try my anniversary ring on that I bought a few months back, it's a size 7 1/2, oh my God it FIT!!! It is a little snug on my finger but it fits, I thought I was going to have to take it to a jeweler to get it sized up even after I reached my goal weight.
This is a GOOD DAY!
I hit a little plateau there for a few days but after going to the bathroom a FEW TIMES, I think it was all the fiber stuff I ate, I am going back down again. I am a daily weigher so I know what affects me and what doesn't.
Things are slowing down quite a bit, I would really LOVE to get rid of the last 30 pounds, my goal is 155- 160. Everyone that I know keeps telling me to stop and that I look fine now and that if I lose anymore I will be too thin. I just want to have a "NORMAL BMI" for the first time in my life since about 7th grade. I thought I would write down some things I would like to do still and things that I have accomplished thus far:
Things I HAVE accomplished in the past 6 months:
1) crossing my legs
2) having more energy
3) working out at least 3 x a week
4) taking a cake decorating class, all 3 of them including fondant
5) starting my own little bussiness
6) losing 120 pounds in 6 months!!!!
7) being a better Mother
8) going to the dog beach
9) getting my size 7 1/2 10 year anniversary ring on my finger
10) getting into a size 12 jeans, never thought that day would come!
11) going out more often
12) doing more for ME instead of everyone else all the time
13) sitting in a chair without feeling like I'm going to bust it
14) fitting in a booth with much room to spare
15) fitting in a movie theater seat without feeling uncomforatable
16) telling people/my family that I once weigheed 310 pounds
17) getting under the weight that I was when I was raped
18) wearing in fashion clothes and having fun sharing clothes with my daughter.
19) knowing when I'm FULL
20) feeling good about me for the first time in 20 years!
Things I still want to do:
DONE! 1) get a breastLIFT/ reduction due to pain! NO MORE PAIN!
DONE! 2) have a picture taken of me and be proud of what I see!
done!!! 3) get my arms done so I can wear a sleeveless shirt
4) go to the beach in the day and not be ashamed
DONE!! 5) go to the water parks with my kids
DONE! 6) ride on scary rides without being scared that my obese body will break it or won't fit in the seat
DONE! 9)ecome a substitute teacher, maybe eventually a certified teacher
DONE! 10)get plastic surgery on my arms, legs, tummy and done in that order!
DONE!! 10) roller blade
11) Ice skate
DONE!12) get my thighs and butt done so I can where shorts in public without feeling uncomfortable.
Working on this one "ONE DAY AT A TIME!" 13) Keep this weight OFF FOREVER!!!
will add more later when I think of them
Well, I was on a week long plateau, hopefully todays 1.2 pounds is a good sign. I would really like to be at my goal in the first year, maybe sooner! I have 26 pounds to go, if it keeps coming off, I am happy, I do not feel deprived at all anymore just happy to fit in those size 12 jeans!
O.k, today I sat in a movie theater with my arms crossed in front of me and did not touch either arm rest! This may not seem like much but this is coming from a person who had to use both arm rests and then some and I used to SQUEEZE into the seat and be uncomfortable the whole time. I now have 22 pounds to go till I reach my goal! I weigh I 182 today and I seem to be over the plateau but it's coming off slower now. I still can't eat much, it's weird, I just had 3 shrimp and I'm full. That's the same amount I was eating when I was 3-4 weeks out! People have been asking me how I'm going to stop losing weight, the answer to that is........I don't know really, I'm hoping that if I up my calories with good food and cut back on my exercise to only 3X a week I can stop. I guess I think about it a little but right now I just want to get to my goal and then I'll consider stoppping.
Today is 181. That was my goal abut 3 years ago when I started Atkins, never got there then but I'm here NOW and what a feeling! only 10 MORE POUNDS TO GO TILL I AM "NORMAL BMI"!!!!!
180 today. Got a terrible headache, think it's hormones. Making an appointment with the O.B. to get it checked.
Hit the 179 today! NEVER, did I think that I would get here so fast! I can't believe I have only 8 more pounds till I am a "NORMAL" BMI. I guess I sound a little obsessed with this "NORMAL" thing but I can not imagine ME being a "NORMAL" anything! All my life I have always been the "BIG" girl or the "FAT" one. To actually be a "NORMAL" person or the first time in my adult life will be pretty darn COOL!
I am at 178 today. I have 7 more pounds to go. The count down, I wonder how long this will take?! I bought a bathing suit yesterday, it took me 2 hours to pick it out. I also chose to subtitute teach at Cierra's high school. She isn't real happy about it but I have to get a day in some where and it is going to be there I guess. I am accomplishing many of the goals on my list, this substitute thing is going to be a big one once I do it because I never thought that I could so when I do I will have accomplished a goal that I thought I NEVER would have done when I was fat!~
I am 177 today. We worked out in the yard yesterday and I worked at Curves and then came home and cleaned and did laundry too. I wore my new bathing suit while we did yard work with my bottom cover up and actually felt o.k.
I found out today that I only have to lose 2 more pounds to get to a normal BMI! I am 5'10" tall and I need to get to 174 to get to a "NORMAL" BMI. I thought I had about 4 more pounds to lose, so this is really good news. My goal is to get there by my May 7th, that will be the 20 years from the day that I was raped, it will be symbolic of going back to being "NORMAL" again for the first time. It may sound wierd to some people but it was a LIFE ALTERING night for me and I am ready to start to move forward with my life again, I wish it wouldn't have taken me 20 years to figure out that I have given him WAY TOO much control, not just with the weight but holding me back from being who I REALLY want to be or who I REALLY SHOULD HAVE become. One night that changed the course of my ENTIRE LIFE!!! NO MORE!!! I am getting stronger by the day, I can feel it. I KNOW that I can accomplish BIG things in the rest of this life that I have and theres plenty of it left, so there, he didn't WIN anything, I did!!!! 2 More pounds, I can do this! I rode 6 miles on the bike tonight and did a workout at curves today, hope it helps get me there.
Wow, 7 months and another goal hit, unreal! I love this surgery!!! I am NO LONGER OBESE, NO LONGER FAT. I am NOW "NORMAL", for the first time in FOREVER.......30 years probably I have a normal BMI.
It has been over 3 weeks since I've lost any real weight. I've dropped about 2 pounds. I don't care too much because I know with the upcoming plastics that I will surely drop another 5-10 pounds in fat and skin! I am trying to up my calories and eat more fruits and veggies and whole grains. I want to make sure that I can maintain, and I think I can. Somedays it's really hard to get even 800 calories in. I don't think that I've EVER gone over 1000 calories in one day, I'm lucky if i hit 800. My next appointment is on Tuesday the 31st of May for all the pre-op stuff, I hope he has the portfolio ready so that I can look at all the before and after photos. I am excited and nervous, It is only about 2 1/2 weeks away!! I will be getting my BOOBS, ARMS, and STOMACH all done at once, I hope I am doing the right thing. I want to look in the mirror and like what I see, right now I am seeing a whole lotta wrinkles, I look like my grandma not like a 39 year old woman!
Today I am in the 160's!!! I stepped on that scale and it said 169, wow!!! I am really excited. I never would have thought I would see it, I have been stuck in the 170's for about a month so this is nice to finally be in the 160's in June. I would like to see 165 by my birthday next week. I don't know if i can lose 4 pounds in 1 week but I'm going to try and bike ride every night and not eat after 7 p.m., it seems to work for me if I don't eat late at night. I began yesterday taking the pre-surgery vitamins for the plastic surgeries, it is now less than 2 weeks away. I'm still scared some but feeling very anxiuos too, I've decided to keep busy getting my house in order and we are going to go to Disney the weekend before so that will take my mind off of it. I want to do something fun with my daughter before my surgery so that she doesn't feel that she didn't do anything fun all summer. I will be laid up for about 2-3 weeks and then healing more for the next 3-4 weeks. I fear that I might take longer to heal because of having so many at once, I hope that is not the case but if it is I will feel good about taking the little one SOMEWHERE for a mini-vacation. The other 2 will be gone with their Dad to North Carolina for a week and then cheerleading camp and also Ohio, they will be VERY busy, it's the younger one that I worry about not doing enough. She is going to camp for a week too. I'm rambling.....better go get my stuff done that needs to be taken care of.
Went to Disney, lost 3 lbs., I am now 162!!! ALL that Walking must have been good for me! Will talk all about Disney later.
Today is my surgery date for my arms boobs and belly. I weighed in at 161.5. We left the house at 5 a.m., I arrived at around 7: a.m., after the Dr. saw me and marked what he was going to do in what looked like permenant marker and I meant the anesthesia guy, by 9 a.m. I was being wheeled in to the surgery room, the last thing I remember was the anesthsia guy saying are you ready for the happy juice, and I said yep and that was it. 10 hours later I was done. He thought that it was going to be 6 hours, he speant 5 hours on the boobs alone! 7 lbs. of skin removed! I love him and think he is a wonderful Dr., If these turn out as good as I think that they are going to I am going to be so pleased!!! My arms are so thin and the stomach is flat and the girls are SO perky and cute! This is NOT an easy procedure and without my kids and Hubby and friends I could not have done this! It does hurt and it is hard to get around for awhile too. Today is my 4th day after surgery and I am getting up and down on my own. Still coughing some. Can't laugh, cough, or cry without major pain. The arms are VERY TIGHT and healing so nice. The boobs are looking good and I have nipple sensation which is great!! Major bruise under right side and by the armpit area where he had to do some liposuction, that was the bigger boob as I'm sure you can see in the before photo.. The stomach is still VERY swollen and scares me more than anything because I always loved the fact that I had this tiny waist and now look like I've put on 20 pounds around my middle area. Before I went in I measured my waist and I couldn't believe that it was 29 inches, I hope I can get that back again sooon!
Today I am 10 days out from my surgery. I weigh 159, first time I stepped on a scale in 10 days and I still am swollen. They said 2-3 weeks till you see all the weight from the surgery actually show on the scale, I figure if I weighed 161 going in I should weigh 154 now since he took off 7 lbs. of skin, right?!! Yesterday was my dr. appointment and he was so please with my progress. He took out all the tubes and gave me my compression garments for my stomach. I went to Super walmart and got a new sports bra and then I ordered one of the full body stockings off the internet, it will be here tomorrow and will cover my arms boobs and belly. This should be interesting. I am still VERY happy with the outcome so far and I feel pretty darn good. I drove today and went over to Curves to say hello. Everyone said I looked great! I miss work and can't wait to get back to my old schedule. I am calling tommorrow to set a date for the butt and thighs. He said he can do them together, I am hoping I can get them done during the Thanksgiving break when school is out and the in-laws are in town to help with Shelby. I NEVER thought I would be alright with getting the bottom half done but I SO BADLY want to get this over with and move on with the rest of my life! COMPLETED!!
I weighed in at 159 still this morning. It's alright if this is where I stay forever. But, it's very weird that someone removes 7 lbs. of skin and you only lose 2.5 lbs. but if that how it works, I'm not arguing, I feel good! The scars are looking so good. I took a shower yesterday and let my body dry, keeping the compression garment off until I was completely dry and then I noticed that the glue was starting to come off so I started to peel it away slowly, making sure that I was careful. I can't believe how great it looks! I am going to take another shower today and keep rubbing the scars like the Dr. told me and I'm going to start applying the vitamin E and scar cream as soon as possible.
After one day/night of working on the floor at Macaroni Grill I found out that I am UNABLE to do it right now ( the lifting, carrying, and more lifting!) , I guess it's too soon after my plastic surgery. I am known to push myself too soon but when I came home after working for 10 hours (1/2 was training) I KNEW that I was not going to be able to do this right now......... stomach/arm incission pain big time . I called them and told them and they understood, so did my Hubby thank God. I will just have to curb my spending a little and after my 2nd round of plastics,( I changed the date to September 22nd so that I could go back to work (somewhere?) a little sooner). I figured that I could substitute teach on my days off from Curves until the other surgery and then by the time our seasonal farmers market opens back up in the end of October I will be well enough to start making and selling all of my goods, this year will be EVEN BETTER than last year,(last year was my first year) word is out that my stuff is good, I am getting calls on my cell phone to deliver, I love that! I can't wait till we move to North Carolina and I can open my little shop up! Nan, I am going to work on a carrot cake this weekend, maybe with a healthier cream cheese frosting? Are you alright with that? Thank you ALL for letting me vent! Kinda feeling funky today about the whole job thing?!!
8-7-06 MY 1ST WATER PARK ADVENTURE!
Well, we left the house at around 6:00 a.m., ate breakfast on the go, got to the park at 9 a.m., it opened at 9:30. We were one of the first 20 people in the gate! It was a BEAUTIFUL sunny day, kids didn't fight with eat other (17,14, 8........most of the time it's pretty crazy, LOL!). We had to leave the camera in the locker for fear that it might get wet......sorry NO PICS!!?? The first 10 slides we had no wait in line at all! The first slide that we went to looked like a demon drop and then in the end you skid across the water on the board, still need to be careful of the body, especially the stomach area............. well, Shelby and I opted out for that one and hoped for the best on the rest of them. We went on EVERY SINGLE RIDE after that! UP 3,5, and 7 flights of steps without getting winded, all morning and into the afternoon! I went down on some of the slides with my kids, some of them alone, some of them racing my kids down side by side, some on the same tube with the whole family. We had a blast!!! I felt like a KID again! Some of them went SO fast and twisted and turned and it was all with water so NO real hard impact or jolting! I felt so normal, not the "BIG MOMMA" who sits on the bench and watches her kids have all this fun, I was HAVING ALL THE FUN! I got to enjoy my kids and hubby and they got to enjoy me too! THIS is why I had this surgery~!! Thank you all for your support here, I am crying happy tears now because I had such a wonderful day! I wish I could have taken ALL of you with me, I truly do!
P.S. I thought my computer was broke and I wouldn't be able to tell all of you thank you and how great my day was. My wonderful Son fixed it!! Just one more thing to be thankful for today!
Today i am 1/2 of the weight that I started out at. I am 155 today! I am so happy to see those #'s. I NEVER could have imagined that I would ever lose half of me. I am so happy. I have 3 healthy children, a wonderful husband, a nice home, and I feel good about the direction that my life is going in. After the next round of plastics which are in 6 more weeks ( September 22nd) I plan on going back to work FULL-time or getting another part-time position somewhere like a health food store or something. We have a new Wild Oats health food store opening up about 10 miles from here. I don't know if I want to go into a large health food store like that or maybe a smaller one? I have been experimenting with recipes for sugar-free muffins and other things too. I am happy with some of the results, some are not too good.
I am 153.5 today. I have officially lost all the weight from my first round of plastic surgery. The next round is on the 22nd of September and before that we are going on a cruise to Mexico and other islands from the 10th to the 17th. I am excited and a little scared to go because it's hurricane season. The sugar-free muffins are wonderful! I have found some great recipes and now all I have to do is get the O.K. to do them at the farmer's market that starts up in the end of October. I am still working at Curves and trying to really build up my muscles before my leg/butt surgeries. I have 3 weeks to get in shape and I will workout on the cruise as well. I really like to exercise now that I can get around better. I really like bike riding around the neighborhood with my Hubby and Daughter. I try to do that about 4-5 X a week and usually on Sunday I take a break from it all and cook and clean and piddle around the house. I really love to go out now but i still like being home too! I think I will always be a home body at heart but I like to go out and do fun stuff now too!
I haven't been great keeping up here with my updates but I weigh 151 this morning and I am a little concerned, I lost 2- 4 pounds this week, it all depends on which day you weigh? I am trying to maintain and I am trying to eat more and I am still exercising too. I am wondering if my metabolism has jump started big time and maybe I can even get off the thyroid meds!? I don't know but it is worrying me a little because at my height 5'10", I can't get much smaller or I will start to look sick and too thin.
We are going on a cruise next week. i won't be able to weigh myself for a whole 7 days. Dan and I are going alone and the 2 older kids are staying with their Dad and Shelby with friends. We have some people staying at the house to watch the dogs and house. I hope everyone is alright and that there isn't any problems while we are gone. I would be so thrilled if we came back and all was well! After we return, I will have 4 days to get everything ready for my surgery and then I will be getting the bottom half done. Then I will be a completed project! I hope that I recover as well from this one as I did from the first 3 surgeries. I start taking the pre-op vitamins this week and will be taking them while on the cruise too. Not a big deal, I'm fine with it! I just have to be sure and remember the ones at night because we get busy having fun and I might forget. Alright, well, I better get busy packing!
Cierra (my 17 yr. old) and I left forthe hospital in Weston for the 2nd and FINAL round of plastics to be completed. I drove up and she will stay with me and then drive home. Everyone on the VSG site has been so supportive, I LOVE THEM ALL!!!! I also thank God that I have a support network and I am finding myself needing them less and less (that is a great thing)! I am finding that I can help others now instead of NEEDING the help myself. This is a wonderful thing!
Surgery went well, I am home. Cierra did great and really showed me that she is growing up, that makes me happy and sad at the same time. She will always be my BABY. When they swtched my room to a private one I walked across and Cierra and the Nurse were helping me and I tried so hard not to pass out and keep walking........made it all the way to the edge of the bed and then BAM, I was out! Cierra helped me and the Nurse got pissy with me like I could control it or something! The nurses and help at Cleveland Clinic leave something to be desired! I am not as happy with what I see right now as I was with the upper half. I hope that as time goes by and I am able to wear the compression garmets that this will change. I have a small leak up by my left knee area in the incission, doesn't seem to want to stop, I will call tomorrow if it doesnt slow down. It is hard to get around but easier than the last time. Harder to SLEEP this time but easier to get around. Being able to use my arms for support is a wonderful thing. I can't seem to get comfortable on my stomach at all.
The leaking has slowed down but not stopped. I am pleased with my progress of recovery but still not sure about the results yet. It is 3:30 a.m., I am still having trouble sleeping and I may go wash my hair and empty my tubes.
I am feeling better. Still getting dizzy, can't wait to get the drainage tubes out, I think that will help with the dizziness. I am now officially off the pain meds. The last time I took them was last night. I do not like how they make me feel. I am still getting a lot of fluid out of the drainage tubes. I am hoping that getting off of the pain meds will help and I will heal up really quick in the next 4 days. I want the tubes out so bad on Tuesday. My apointment is at 3:00 and I think I will have Cierra go with me instead of having Dan get off work early, I think it does her more good to go and see what I'm going through. She asked me to put her on a diet and she is really sticking to it. She is working out at the wellness center and hanging with the boys is a bonus there too. I have been writing down the wonderful, isightful things that I have learned in the past year in a book. I am going to tranfer them to this soon. October 5th is my 1 year anniversary and I can't wait to be able to actually say that I made it through EVERYTHING in 1 year and I feel GREAT! This has been the MOST interesting, insightful journey of my life. I can't wait to be done with all the pain and MOVE ON with the future. I will be updating everyday, it is theraputic and I am bored, LOL!!
Alright, well, I thought this one would be a breeze like the first round! Wrong!! Since the surgery I have been feeling really dizzy if I stand for more than 10-15 minutes.............I thought this would pass after the first week or so because I was losing a lot of blood. The bags are filling up and have way more fluid than the first round. I can't sleep on my front, my back or my side...............????? how do I sleep, I am back in the recliner with my back arched and I sleep for about 2 hours and then have to get up because I am in pain. Today was my checkup with the Dr. and when I went to go watch my little girl get on the bus I about passed out , I also have 2 gaping wounds between the thighs ewwww, so I called him (he is 1 1/2 hours away) to ask him what to do and should I come in right now. He said I need to go to the E.R., and probably need a blood transfussion. I decided to go to the walk-in-clinic and that was a GREAT decission because they had everything right there and ran my blood counts, took my temperature and blood pressure. the blood counts were low but not low enough to HAVE TO HAVE a blood transfussion, thank God. So after this I went straight to Weston to see the plastic surgeon and he looked at my wounds and the tubes and the #'s and he is happy. I wish I was as happy with the results. He says to achieve the results that I want we must go in again and lift up the 2 sides, this will cost me!!! I don't think I'm ready for this, it will need to wait at least 6 months to a year. I need to let my body heal and regain ALL my strength before undergoing another surgery. My family also is not ready for this.
10-5-06 A YEAR OF LEARNING AND GROWING:
Today is my one year anniversary from the time I got my VSG surgery. I have had some extra time on my hands so I decided to start thinking of things that I've learned in the past year and how my life has changed SO VERY MUCH!
1) This being called a "tool" is a MAJOR understatement. The "tool" will work for you but YOU have to make it work. This is not a quick fix to all your problems. Spending that first year working on emotional issues as well as losing the weight is VERY important.
2) EVERYDAY is an adventure on this journey. Some days are good, some days are bad. This is not easy but it is WORTH IT! Having the wonderful network of people on the VSG message board has gotten me through some rough times and some GREAT times but just being able to talk to other people who understand what you are going through is so VERY important. Even if I just go on and read and reply it is theraputic.
3) I don't like being dependant on anyone. I LOVE my independance and never want to give that up. I am a control freak. When you have ANY surgery it requires you to be dependant on others to help you, this is VERY hard for me because I am the one that does for others and I have a hard time excepting help from people. I can live with ALL the pain from all the surgeries that I have had in the past year but the lack of independance bothers me more than anything! I miss driving, shopping, and doing for others.
4) I went into this VSG surgery KNOWING and WANTING it to be a "life changing procedure". I NEVER felt that it was a quick fix or that this would not be FOREVER. Look ahead, make this work and think of it as a lifestyle change FOREVER. Any other diet that I would go on I would always think that once I got to my goal weight ( that NEVER happened), I would start to eat what "normal people" eat. I am not "NORMAL" I will never be "NORMAL". I am ME and this is what works for me. I can not go back to eating fast-food, white sugar, white flour, white bread and other full sugar foods. My body does not react well to these and that is alright because I am prepared to spend the rest of my life eating the way that I am.
5) Our bodies are machines- To run properly they must be fed the right foods for YOUR particular body. One person may need more carbs, one preson may need more protein. The VSG has taught me how to listen to my body and hear what it is asking for. I have to have a large amount of protein to keep going everyday. Now that I'm on maintainance i eat the protein first still but then I add the good carbs in there and I have been able to maintain for about 4 months now. This works for ME. Someone else it may not. We are all so different.
6) It took me having an $18,000.00 surgery to be able to "hear" my body and what it needs. I am o.k. with this and I am worth every penny that I have spent on myself. I deserve to be happy and healthy and feel good about myself when I look in the mirror.
7) In the beginning it was 90% the surgery and 10% me. Now, after just one year it is about 70% me and 30% the surgery. I KNOW that in the next year I will still have to continue to be strong and most likely by the end of this next year it will be 90% me and 10% the surgery.
8) MY BODY is about 3-4 days behind. If I exercise today and eat good and want to lose weight, it may not show on the scales for 3-4 days. This is just my body. I found this out through being a DAILY weigher and sometimes it would take 3-4 days to show on the scales when I did a massive work-out.
9)I like what I see in the mirror, I like who I have grown to be, I am happy with my size 6 body. I will never be a size 2-4 and I am NOT a petite person. I really do have a medium/large framed body, I am 5'10" and weigh 145 lbs. and with a BMI of 20, I am quite pleased with this! When I started this whole proccess I was over 310 pounds and my BMI was 44.4. I NEVER want to be "THAT PERSON" again!
10) I LOVE shopping but I have to be careful not to exchange my food addiction for a shopping addiction. We will go broke, LOL! I still love to hunt for bargains and now it is almost overwhelming how many choices are out there. I am spending SO much less because I feel that now I am in charge and can be picky about what I do or do not buy. I am in control now where as before I had to take what was there in the VERY few shops that I had to choose from and sometimes pay retail becuase I didn't have a choice.
11) I've always LOVED cooking. It is my passion, I am good at it. I STILL love cooking, it is my passion and God gave me a gift. Now, I can cook healthy, good food and still get excited about it and not feel guilty for loving it. It still excites me to spend the entire weekend cooking and creating and being with my family. I am excited about the market opening VERY soon, 3 more weeks. I will one day own a little restaurant someday so I can share my gift and sell sugar-free and healthy food that tastes good too. Even if this doesn't happen for 4 years it will be worth the wait.
12) I have to continue to remind myself that I am NO LONGER OBESE. My head still hasn't fully caught up with the changes that have occured in me in the past year so sometimes when I look in the mirror I still see that "FAT" girl staring back at me.
13) I have to remind myself to keep my head held up, posture straight up instead of slumped over as if I'm still carrying the large breasts and the 310+ body weighing me down.
14) I am a better Wife, Mother, and Friend because of feeling better about who I am now. My family and friends can see the positive changes in me.
15) I DO NOT NEED NEGATIVITY in my world even if it is my own Mom and Grandmother. Even though these people are family (blood relatives), it doesn't mean that I have to have a relationship with them if it makes me feel like crap when I am around them.
16) I have lost over half of what I was and grown emotionally and spirtually 10X over through this journey.
17) I am ready to begin my wonderful new life now!
18) Being a good role model for my children IS IMPORTANT!
Things that comfort me besides food now:
1) spending time with my kids and hubby!
2) laughing and hanging out with my friends!
3) riding bikes with my hubby and daughter!
4) petting my dog and playing with him!
5) Having great conversations with my daughters and son.
6) Working at Curves......being able to work with friends and exercise too!
7) My new little sugar-free market stand. A new venture.
8) Shopping for size 6s!!
9)Crafts and other projects.
10) Very little television but the shows that I do watch now are ONLY the "favorite" shows! Greys Anatomy for sure!
12) laying in the sun
13) getting my nails done
14) taking care of ME so I can take care of others better!
15) doing for others
16) talking on the phone to my best friend Jen.
17) reading, learning, posting and helping others on the VSG board!
Well, it's going to be 5 weeks since the last round of plastics. I am feeling stronger every day now. Last Monday, October 16th?, I got the last of my drainage tubes taken out and he told me to finish on the antibiotics and yelled at me for losing too much weight (theres a first!!). As soon as he took those last drainage tubes out I could tell I was going to be alright. My body apparently does not like to have foreign objects in it. The same thing happened the last time too, as soon as he took out the drainage tubes I felt SO much better. I went back to work on Thursday of last week. I finished up all the antibiotics and the left leg has stopped hurting ALL the time. If I stand on it too much it hurts but I take rests at work, the girls are SO wonderful to me and so are ALL the memebers too!!! Eventuallly I think I will be pleased with the results for the most part. They don't look like my arms but my legs had much more cellulite than the arms had so I need to happy with it and move on! I will be starting the farmers market in the first week of November and I can't wait to see the response to my new sugar free stuff! Nan, if you thought those muffins were good you should taste some of the other things I have come up with................s-f strawberry cheese pie,s-f pumkin roll, s-f coconut cake, s-f lemon/lime cake, WOWOWOWOW!!! O.k , so I have a few little wow's I need to throw in too.......................I weighed myself today on a public scale in the grocery store for the first time in my life!!! I also bought some workout pants that are a 0-2 XS. I am not a 0-2 XS but these just happened to fit me and be on sale so I bought them for work and I think I'll just keep the ole tag on them and show the whole world, LOL!!! Thank you EVERYONE again for your kind words and prayers, you all are AWESOME!!! This was a tough time but with wonderful friends and my family I can get through anything!! AMY
My Mother, my childhood:
I tried to post this as a normal post but there is NO Readers Digest version, so here it goes ALL OPEN BOOK AMY! I am doing this mainly to have it in writing for once in my life.
I was born in Ohio in 1967, I have a sister who is 3 years older than me. My parents decided to move to FL. in 1971. My early childhood memeories are non-existant, I have been told my whole life from my Mom that I was a difficult, dirty, baby and toddler. From the time I can remember my Mom, on my Birthday would tell me that every year the week before my birthday she would start to get physical symptoms of sickness and be sick on my Birthday because I was such a horrible birth. I NEVER COULD understand this but I felt guilty EVERY year because of it, to this day I HATE my birthdays. O.k., so now we aree in FL. and my VERY HARD working Father is working sun up to sun down in the construction industry. My Mom stayed home with us until about the age of 8. She went to work for Sears and I was left home alone or with my sister. My first real memory of my Mom saying something to me aboout my weight was at age 8 when she stood me in front on a mirror naked and told me that my face was really pretty but my body was fat and I needed to lose weight, she proceeded to do this many times througout my childhood until about the age of 15. My Dad and her would argue about me all the time and she would leave me alone with him on the weekends while my sister and her went shopping, played tennis, or did the fun girl stuff, My Dad and I would stay home cooking together and I would help him around the house and getting a great meal prepared. I always tease him and tell him that he taught me my love of food and he did but in reality...without his LOVE and willingness to hang with me I don't know if I'd be the person I am today. By 9-10 I was seeing a nutritionist/psychiatrist on a weekly basis and i was on a diet and diet pills for 2 years. Up and down and Up and Down on the scale I would go, every Summer was dieting and every school year I would gain it back and then some. It's funny my Mom was abusive .......... almost ALL of it was either verbal or mental, some kicking and hitting incidents but nothing that major. I had migraine headaches my entire life from the age of 8 and most of the time she thought I was lying about them. I would puke and puke with them and she still acted like I was making them up or I could control them. She once left me with my Aunt that I hardly knew when I was puking my guts out.......I needed her, I needed a Dr., I needed HELP! This happened all the time but Most of the really weird stuff started happening at about the age of 12. My Mom apparently decided that she wanted to explore New things. By this time my sister (a cheerleader and VERY popular with the boys) was about 15. She always had a boyfriend, most of them very good looking and a year or two older. Looking back on it now I see that my Mom was probably VERY jealous of my sister and all the attention. Here is what started to happen.........my Mom started to go out and do things like late night bowling from 11- 3 a.m. and take me with her, go to these VERY strange charasmatic catholic rolling on the floor speaking in tongues seminar things and take me with her. Everywhere she would go I would NOW HAVE to go with her after all these years hating me and neglecting me she all the sudden wants me to be with her. I NOW know that I was her cover-up kid, if I was with her my Dad wouldn't think she was doing anything strange, right? She started hanging around VERY young guys, some of them about 17, then more and more 1 guy in particular kept coming with us everywhere we went. Well, in the meantime my parents were fighting non-stop and my Mom was now sleeping in my room with me every night while my Dad would come in every night and try to wake her up to solve the problems after he had 1 too many beers. This went on for 3 months and then one afternoon my Dad came home and found my Mom with one of my sisters ex-boyfriends in my bedroom, the boy was 17 at the time. We moved into an apartment a week later. My Dad was a wreck!!! It got WAY worse after we moved. I ended up sharing a bedroom with my Mom. She went out EVERY night of the week and came home drunk at about 2 a.m. She NEVER cared where I was or who I was with or what I was doing...........I was 12 years old, going on 13 now and already I started drinking, did I mention that I NOW weighed about 240 in high school . I can't imagine my kids drinking when they were 13, thank God. She brought strange men into our house all the time, she dissapeared for days on end without even calling. I started working at the age of 13, I was now ON MY OWN, my sister and I that NEVER had anything in common now had a bond that brought us just a little closer. She became my new surrogate Mother at the age of 16. I was now in my first year of high school and flnking out due to drugs, alcohol and a lack of giving a shit about anything but making enough $ to eat, and buy clothes for myself. My Father never went a week without giving her a $120.00 check for child support , back in the 80's that was GOOD, yet we never had any food in our house and I never got school clothes. I learned then that I could live cheaper on crap food. Alright, so now I'm flunking out of my freshman year of high school because why should I give a shit about my grades, I need to concentrate on making $$$ enough to eat and clothe myself. I am working about 40 hours a week if I can! My sister decides that all the neglect and problems with my grades are enough and tells my Mom that we are moving out to go live with my Dad and his NEWLY PREGNANT wife, she is about 4 months pregnant and they have been married 3 months, you do the math! LOL!! I think...this might be alright, she seems nice, she is a teacher, she actually used to be my 3rd grade teacher! WELL, how wrong was I!! My Dad was still stressed working and drinking all the time and she was now stressed working and pregnant with 2 teenagers living in the house and NEVER had any experience with teenagers ever. My sister had a car by this time and a job and was in her Senior year of high school. I was stuck, stuck with the pregnant woman who resented us!!! She would get mad at things like.....the butter was scraped in the wrong direction, the towel wasn't hung correectly, the kitchen rag wasn't laid right, we used to much toilet paper, this was just too weird! My sister ended up moving out before she had the baby and I was STUCK IN HELL! I thought that neglect was bad, this was WORSE! They wouldn't let me work but they would give me $10.00 a week to buy all my stuff like deoderant, shampoo, conditioner, tampons, make-up and other needs, this was also supposed to pay for any activities that I wanted to do with my friends. In turn they made me CINDA-FUCKIN-RELLA! I had to do the dishes, clean the house, and now that my new 1/2 sister was born I WAS ALSO HER NEW LIVE-IN-BABYSITTER. The good side of this is that I loved my new baby sister and she kept me from commiting suicide at the age of 15!! Well, after a year of this I got some Summer jobs, 3 to be exact so that I could save up enough to buy my school clothes. I always wonder what was going through my parents head, aren't clothes a neccessity??? I now, make sure that EVERY year my kids and I go out school shopping, one on one together so tha they can feel and look good when they go to school. I still believe in hard work but not to buy clothes. Anyhow, I am now getting all A's and B's in school now and I'm entering my Senior year. My Step-mom is having her 2nd child now. A boy. I have had enough of constantly babysitting and having NO freedom at ALL! My Mom is now doing better and seems to want me to come and live with her so that we can start fresh. Being young and stupid, I believe her and tell my Father that I need to go see if I can make this work with my Mom, just me and my Mom...................she wants to make things right or so I thought. My Dad tells me that if I leave I will NEVER be allowed to come home again.....I leave and he is MAD!! BAD MOVE.......looking back on this move, it changed my whole life!!! I should have just stuck with the babysitting and prison life! When I got to my Moms with all my stuff she sat e down in the first 5 minutes that I was there and told me that there was a MAN that she loved living there, that they were born again christians and that they were already married in God's eyes. He was 12 years younger than her and weird as hell!!! When she meant him he was living out of his car and diving for golf balls in the local lakes of the golf courses to get $ to start his own bussiness. My Mom had just been paid off by my Dad for the house that still was never settled from the divorce. My Mom gave him all of her $$$ to start the golf bussiness. Now, I am in my senior year of high school, wanting to get out any way possible, wanting to go to college so I applied to 2 out of state colleges and got excepted to both but could not afford it because they took the income of the house I lived in the year prior so I couldn't get any loans because my Dad and Step Mom made too much $$ to qualify and I KNEW absolutely nothing about how to get help with all this?!!! I ended up not going , I was now working 2 jobs but I was still living with my Mom, found drive-thru places to be my best friend, quick and cheap! I just turned 18 and she told me that she wanted rent $$$$ and that I am to keep my room and bathroom spotless if I want to continue to live with her. I am working 80 hours a week waitressing so I can afford a new car , I am 18 years old and I am paying my Mom to live with her. O.k, so I wasn't the cleanest person in the world back then, what 18 year old is?? Long story short,oh too late for that, right? She kicked me out because my room wasn't clean enough. More like her new husband, (they did get married officially in the church eventually) and her didn't want me around, I was cramping them. I left that day and went to live with my sister and her new husband (great guy) in the one bedroom apartment that she was renting from my Step-mom! I slept on the couch for 3 months until thier house was done, (not really fun for any of us but we managed) and they moved out and I then took over the place............I was FINALLY on my own!! I started working like crazy making tons $,I got that new car, I got braces on my teeth, I enrolled in college and took a full course load, I started dropping pounds like crazy with the help of Weight Watchers and exercising, I was tan and now blonde too. I was on top of the world!!! Everything was going my way for once in my life and just by coincidence, I decided during this time again to cut all ties to my Mom. I hadn't talk to her since she kicked me out for not cleaning good enough. O.k, so here is where the decission to move in with my Mom kind of has all this domino effect..............I was living on my own and I got home around midnight and I was so tired that I just crashed. About 30 minutes later I wake up to a fist in my face and a hand covering my mouth. Yes, I was being raped! I guess he knew me because I tried to talk and fight my way out of it but he kept telling me it was alright because we went to school together. I fought and the more I fought the madder her got. As this all was happening I kept trying to grab something to hit him with and everytime I did it would end up falling on me. I would learn later that the whole time I was on the floor I was actually laying on the knife/brass knuckles that he dropped. After about an hour he left and I was left there naked on the floor, beaten and bruised and when i heard the door close and waited a few minutes I got up and had to plug the phone back in, I called my SISTER, the one person that had been there for me during my life and I told her what had happened, freaking out the whole time. What seemed to be like an eternity later, she came with her husband and the cops soon followed and the ambulance and fire dept. too!!! What a circus!! I didn't want to even see any Men but when my Dad showed up.....thank God, I thought......someone to protect me. The first thing he did was ask me "WAS IT A BLACK MAN?" All I could think of is what the hell does that matter but I told him NO and I guess that made HIM feel better about the whole thing. He NEVER spoke to me about it again. I then went to the hospital for what felt like a worse situation than the rape at the time, I was interogated over and over again and I had to be picked and scaped at every hole in my body, nails cut down to the skin, nose, hairs, mouth scraped, skin scraped, naked pictures taken of your entire body, you get the picutre. I also got to go for a police line-up the next day which turned out to be nothing but that was one of many that turned up notthing. they never caught the SCUM BAG. I, on the other hand. was now homeless again.............who was going to take in poor Amy all beaten and bruised and messed up inside and out? Who else, the Sister, the one that just had a baby too! I was now a burden to someone again!! The same person that I've pretty much been a burden to my whole life. I was messed up to say the least......unable to sleep at night for fear that he would come back, don't want to work much, he might know me from there? I was a mess! The night of the rape a lady came to the hospital, BETH, from rape crisis and I said I would be fine. I wasn't fine, I needed help or else I was just going to end it all and then he would WIN!!! I will never forget the day that I was walking out of a Marshalls Department store and I thought to myself .....I can either do One of two things, commit suicide and get it over with or call this # and get some help!!! I picked up the payphone and meant with Beth 10 minutes later. She helped me see that I was a survivor, that I was strong, I was a good person that something bad happened to, she helped me live and I thank God for her. I still keep in touch with her. O.k. so now I'm still messed up but getting help and I've been at my Sisters for about 3 months and she is getting sick of me being so depressed all the time, she thinks that I should just snap out of it and move on with life. I forgot to mention that my Mom decided to pay me a visit during all this and we are now back to speaking. Beth introduces me to another rape survior in group therapy that is really messed up too and she thought that we would hit it offf and we did, this girl then introduces me to a guy that she know and we all start to hang out. Well, the guy and I start to hang out a lot and he admits to me that he likes me and I fell in what I thought to be love at the time. Now, looking back on it, he was my way out of my situation and I think I was his too! Well, about 4 weeks after we meant we moved in together my Sister said the same thing my Dad said..if you move out do not come back! Things were great for awhile.........then fighting and more fighting but I still thought that he was the one for me. He would get violent over very strange things and throw things. He Never hit me directly but always acted like he could snap at any minute. When things were good they were really good..........when they were bad they were REALLY bad! We married the next year and I was now 21, I got pregnant on the honeymoon with our first baby, a girl, CIERRA. God, did I love this child but I was so young. My husband jumped from job to job a lot and now I was delivering newspapers 365 days a year so that I wouldn't have to put her in daycare. I proceeded to this and many other odd jobs forthe next 16 years so that I could be a stay at home Mom and be there for MY CHILDREN, I NEVER wanted to leave then with anyone tht could harm them, I definitely had "trust" issues and still do, you'll soon find out that they for good reason. Well, after about 2 years of marriage I started noticing weird behavior from the husband. Oh, I need to tell you that noe he's working for my Mom and Step-Dad in the golf shop and another job at night part-time. I KNEW something wasn't right so I started to snoop and sure enough I found things...........OH MY GOD did I find things, this just couldn't be happening..he was cheating on me.....not with another women...............he was cheating on me with another MAN!!!! I found pictures and gay porn and $$$$ a lot of money. I found this while he was in the shower and I packed up the baby quickly and left for ???????????, I'll go to my Mothers and tell her. Why, after all these years of going to my Sister did I NOW turn to my MOM??? Embarassment I guess. Maybe I thought that she was a better choice because he worked for her and that she knew him?? I don't know but he proceeded to follow me and ram up with his vehicle. I forgot about that, it was one of about 23 accidents that he was in, very weird. Well, after going to my Mother and explaining all that had transpired I thought for sure that this was it.................NOOOOOOOOOOO, she took his side!! She told me that I NEED to keep my marriage together because during all this we found out that he was molested by his step-father as a young boy and this was the cause of all of this. I was now pegnant with our 2nd child and thought or was told by my Mother that GOD will help him get through this and he can change!! He/WE started to go to church, he/we started to go to counseling and after making him take an aids test and me too, we started to heal...or so I thought. I found out during the couseling sessions that because he was molested that was the reason for the anger, the violence, the lying, the cheating, the stealing and the manipulation. I lost the baby about 8 weeks into the pregnancy due to stress and he was on his best behavior for awhile. I got pregnant again about 3 months after the miscarriage. If your asking yourself why?how? It wasn't planned, my birth control method failed, I was fertile mertil!! and the next ? would be, you had sex with this man again? yes, I always thought that maybe, just maybe I could make this work, that he would be a changed man and NEVER do it again! That the church and couseling and my mother could help him. Looking back on it........I was SO STUPID and SO TRUSTING believing what my Mom had said. I still to this day HATE all organized religion, I LOVE GOD and believe in the power of prayer 100% but after everything that I have gone through with churches/my Mom....NO THANKS. So, now I'm preganant for the 3rd time in 3 years and I give birth to a Son, Tyelor, a WONDERRFUL beautiful Son! He/we stopped going to the couseling sessions and said that he was healed, BULLSHIT!! After 2 1/2 more years of looking over my shoulder wondering when the next car accident, problem, fight, anger issue, lying, making me feel like I was insane, craziness......I decided enough was enough one halloween night when something strange AGAIN happened. All throughout the marriage strange things would always happen but he would always make me feel that I was just imagining them or he would act just as surprised as me about the wierd incidents of a lot of cash being found or him not being where he should be when he should be? Always an excuse, but deep down I knew again, something wasn't right! This time on Halloween my little stinker/angel boy decided that while we were outside carving the pumpkin that he would lock us out of the house in my night comfy clothes and no shoes, kids in thier p.js! So, from the neighbors house, we try to get a hold of my husband where he is supposed to be working and he is not there, big surprise!!! The neighbor offers to take me down there to see what's going on and after calling a bunch of his friends and trying to reach him by cell phone many time without an answer he eventually pulls up in the parking lot filled with excuses! I just looked at him and said "it's over, I'm through with all the lies and the deceit and manipulation, I want a divorce!" He went nuts and told me that he wasn't going anywhere until he got half of everything. SO, I got mad and got even!!!! I got STRONG, for the first time in my life since my rape I decided to take control back again!!! Who ya gonna call ???????? Not ghost busters but GAY BUSTERS!! I finally broke down and called my Sister and told her the whole story, I don't know what lies my Mom had fed her over the years but I decided she needed to know the truth and I NEEDED some help and I KNEW she would be up for the job. Since he wouldn't leave the house until it was sold we put it on the market and he slept on the couch. He would still play his games and do the going out to work thing or so he told me?? So, I decided to have my Sister and some friends follow him.............what they found out would blow my mind and make me even MORE determined to get rid of him. When they followed him he went to the beach meant up with some strange men, went to a strange house and then stayed there for about an hour and then left, went back to the beach and did it again! To this day, all I can figure is that he was prostituting himself out for $$$$$!! The detectives (my sister and friends) took pictures and logged all this down and brought it to me. With this and many more things that I/we found I was now armed to fight and fight I did! I made sure that I had someone/ a young girl ( my friends niece) lined up to move in that night. As my COP neighbor was sitting outside of the house I sat my husband down and told him that I had evidence of his behavior including pictures, video and MANY other things and that he was to MOVE OUT TONIGHT!!! I also told him that I WANT TO KEEP the house for a stable home for the kids and that I want full child suport and for him to sign a quite claim deed for the house so he has NO LEGAL right to it any more He just sat and cried for awhile and then packed all his clothes and left to go live with his Mom, who by the way, KNEW NOTHING about any of this and wouldn't forthe next 2 years until there was NO OTHER choice!!. The kids and I went down to the health department and we ALL got HIV tests done, (they did not know at the time what it was for)......they were negative, thank God!!! My Mom, on the other hand, was soon going to find out THE TRUTH!!! For once in my life I was going to tell her that I AM TAKING CONTROL!! O.k., so I WILL NEVER forget this day for the rest of my life. I was sitting in Ruby Tuesdays with her and told her that " I AM NOT GOING TO DIE FOR THIS MAN FROM HIV" and "HE IS A LYING, CHEATING, GAY, MANIPULATING BASTARD" and " HE IS STEALING RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER YOU AND YOUR COMPANY, CASH and INVENTORY!!!". ( I found this out while cleaning up when he moved out)!! I felt so relieved, I finally got it all out and now she would believe me and fire him and maybe we could start to heal again, right???!! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She told me that I'm making all of this up and that I am the one who is crazy and that he is a good man!! Oh my God. I can not believe that I was hearing this, she was going to do it again, take the side of this horrible man over me, her daughter! Well, I got up from the table in tears and walked out and had to keep telling myself it would be o.k. and I do not need her in my life, life is always better when she is not in it!! IT IS!! She continued to employ my ex-husband for 1 more year and go to my childrens functions with him and stay by his side until she found out that I was right and he ended up getting fired. She NEVER has given me an apology for all of that. Times were tough financially because he didn't always pay child support and I was working 2 jobs, with a mortgage and 2 kids it was hard but we were happy and I felt the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders! I started to lose weight again, I was now up to 320 or so, and probably at the heaviest of my life. I lost about 50 pounds. I was lonely though, I REALLY found myself missing a MAN, a friend, a soulmate and feeling like I wanted to get back out there and find the man of my dreams.............I liked being married but not to him, does that make sense? I loved the thought of having a family, a husband, more kids. A "normal life" I wanted to find my soulmate! I knew that with 2 young kids I wasn't ever going to be able to do that with the kind of job I had and not being able to get out much, so a friend suggested that I put a personal ad in the paper just for fun and see what comes of it, this was before the internet dating stuff!! I did it! I put in that I was a FULL FIGURED amongst other atttributes and waited for the messages to pile up in my mailbox, LOL! I thought that I would be lucky if I would get 2 replies. I got a ton of them!! I was in charge, they would leave a message on a voice mail and when you called to check your voicemail you would here them and then you could call them back if you wanted to. Before I called them back I always blocked my # so that they couldn't call me back. Then, if I liked them and they liked me through our phone conversation we would set up a meeting place that was VERY public and I would either tell my friends where I was going or they would come along and sit in the shadows. I had a blast meeting many different people, some I liked and others were a little strange. NONE of them were EVER introduced to my children. I wasn't going to do that to them, I was goingto protect them from getting attatched andthen hurt again if it didn't work out. Then, along came DAN...shy, cute, generous, smart, funny, and at first I wasn't quite sure that this was the guy for me but as time passed and we talked more and more and laughed more and more I knew that he was the one for me. He would come over every night after they were sound asleep and we would stay up till late talking almost every night. I told him from probably after the 4th or 5th date how my kids were so important to me and they WILL ALWAYS be put first. He ws good with that and lovd me more for it! After we were dating for about 3 months and getting more serious and I think we both knew that it was getting serious, I introduced him to the kids. They liked him and he liked them. The girl that was living with me was becoming a problem.......she was a complete PIG, food and garbage all over my house and I had given up MY bedroom/bathroom for her to be there to watch the kids and she was bringing her boyfriend over while the kids were here, a few times I had to get the kids up in the middle of the night to come with me on the route because she NEVER came home.........it started to get weird. I put an ad in the paper for a NEW ROOMATE and OH MY GOD the weirdos that came to my house, even a homeless woman. Not one "normal" human came. I started thinking..........and as Dan and I were talking one night we both agreed that we love each other and that HE should move in, I know him and trust HIM more than any other person off the street and when I asked the kids what they thought, they thought it was a good idea. He moved in that weekend. About a month after he moved in he handed me a card out of No where and when I opened it, it had the title to the cadillac that he had just restored and told me to "follow my dream" and open up my restaurant. I did and it was a huge success. We married a year and a half later and ANGEL SHELBY was born 3 months later....o.k., I got pregnant after we got engaged!!! I told you I was fertile!! I had to sell the restaurant, I was trying to run it, do the papers and be a good Mom. Something was bound to suffer and it wasn't going to be my children. I was now a stay-at-home Mom again just doing the papers. I loved it but the weight was piling on again. My ex-Husband came to my door one day in tears..........I KNEW, he had HIV!!! The children would have to be told and this would change thier lives forever, mine too!! They have had it rough and many times I feel guilty. I NEVER regret having them just the mistakes of not listening to "my inner VOICE" and allowing others to tell me what to do! I feel bad that they will have to live with this for the rest of thire lives, it is hard on them and of course he has NO IDEA of how hard it really is!!! A GAY father with HIV and now full blown AIDS!! We ended up selling the house and building a beautiful big pool home out in the estates. My husband passed the contractors test on his first try (I told you he was smart) and this lead to a wonderful new superintendent position with a lot more $$$. I was able to quit my newspaper job, finally after 16 years!! The day after I quit I started taking care of my sick Grandfather, he was in the hospital with vascular disease and my Grandmother was not mentally stable enough to handle it, my sister was too busy working, and my Mother in her usual style was NO where to be found. As far as my Grandfather goes............he was the one light in my life that I could ALWAYS depend on. When he came to visit in the winter and Summer too I would always look forward to it. He wasn't even my REAL Grandfather but this was the most wonderful man in the world, he always wanted me to be healthy and happy! He didn't really care that I was heavy he just knew it wasn't healthy for me. A hard working farmer his entire life, he didn't deserve to go through this alone so I decided that I was going to be there for him. I promised him that I would help him. He told me he thought he was dying and that he didn't want to die in the horrible nursing home they had him in. I got him out and then they eventually, after about 6 weeks they took him to HOSPICE where he died, I was by his side when he did. This beautiful bright light appeared before me and then he was gone, I NEVER had seen anything like that in my entire life!!! I don't know and can't explain it but I feel that he was trying to tell me he was going to a better place. I still believe that he watches over me as my "ANGEL", that's what he used to call me. We burried him in Ohio and when I got back I found out that I needed a full hysterectomy, this was now June 20, 2005. At this same time my wonderful Father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. They had to do MAJOR surgery on him (he almost dies 2 X) and we were both in the hospital at the same time, this was my first surgery ever and I came through it with flying colors, all done laproscopiclly. My Father is still living but he is in and out of the hospital a lot and I worry about his health. Well, now comes the part where I start taking a good look at my own life!!! After seeing my Grandfather die and my Dad suffer so at the young age of 60. I decided life is TOO SHORT to live it FAT and I NEED to do something permanant/drastic to become the person that I KNOW I can be and should be for ME and MY FAMILY and to live the next 40 years HEALTHY and HAPPY. I start to investigate the RNY and try to see if my insurance company will cover it but as I was investigating I came accross the VSG and the more I read about it the more I KNEW that this was the surgery for me. My inner voice told me that this is your answer, this is the surgery for you!!! I appealed the insurance company 4 times and they said that I was a healthy obese person??? So, by this time it is now August 2005 and we had just taken out an equity line from our house to buy property in North Carolina where we want to move and grow old in about 4-5 years. I found a great deal on some property and we had about $20,000.0 left over. I asked my DH if he would be alright with me getting this surgery with the $$$ and he said "DO IT! You deserve to be happy!" and was VERY supportive. I got the VSG on October the 5th, 2005. I came through with flying colors and the weight started flying off, I can't believe how fast. I hit my goal in less than 8 months, from over 310 to 159. After all that weight loss I now looked like a 90 year old women without clothes on, everything fell South, bad!! After recieving a big bonus and a great tax return because of all the medical bills we had about $15,000.00. We were going to buy a car but I asked my husband if I could keep my old mini-van and get the plastics on my upper half done instead, he of course said yes and that I had paid my dues and deserve to be complete! I had the plastics on June 19th, less than I year from my first hysterectomy surgery and only a little over a year since my Grandfather's death! Wow, what a year it has been. I KNOW my Grandfather is looking down on ME and he is proud and happy that I am healthy now! I have chosen over years and years of the same pattern, to not have any REAL communication with my Mom, I finally figured out that she needs to work on herself and get right with all of her demons before I can ever have any kind of a "NORMAL" relationship with her. I am stronger now!! My husband and I are happier now than we have EVER been. My kids are proud of me and I am proud of me too. I still have the bottom half to go with the plastics but I feel good and can't wait to be done with all this and get on with my wonderful "NEW" life!! I deserve to be happy now! I just wanted to add that my bottom half has now been completed and with a few minor (welllll, major) infections/set backs I am doing great and on the mend. I am now ready to live the rest of my life in peace and in my new body!!! WOOOHOOOOO to that!!!
Post Date: 6/9/07 10:36 am
Today I am the BIG 4-0!!! Never felt better! Staying at my goal within 5 lbs., building my dream business, and lookin pretty darn good for forty if I do say so myself. LOL!!! I had my wonderful Son Tye take some pics of me in my new clothes (size 6) , check out my new pics on my profile if you want and I even bought a pair of size 6 shorts and they were too big! I have to take them back and see if they have them in a smaller size, NEVER thought I'd be saying that. I did go shopping last night (of course) and got a couple of new Summer outfits and the funny thing is that I ALWAYS had trouble finding clothes that fit me in my size (26-28), now...............I have the same problem but on the other end of the rack, they always seem to have the sizes 8,10, and 12's but NEVER any size 6s! How funny is that! It's O.K. with me because I am willing to search a little for my size now, NO PROBLEM!!! LOL!! The business (BLISS!!) is going well, my D.H. is in there right now working like a dog doing demo work before the final permits come through. I told him.............NO GIFTS for my Birthday just HARD LABOR! LOL! I really just want my place to be done and ready to be built. I am going there later today to help out, this is all I truly want. The permits should come in next week, we will build it out in one month (a month of madness) and we should be ready for business by mid July if everything goes as planned!! I'm PRAYING HARD! I have MANY people waiting for me to start this up so I can't wait to get in there and start cooking!!! Thank you ALL for your support, I lurk a lot now still but respond ONLY if I think I have something MORE to contribute. YOU ARE ALL FABULOUS TOO!!! Keep on the plan, it's a wonderful journey and TOTALLY worth the trip! AMY