**(scroll to the bottom to see my weight loss chart and photo)**
Welcome to my weight loss journal. My current entries are listed right after this introduction, with my first journal entry down at the bottom near my stats and photos. Please keep in mind that while most of the entries are joyous, some of these entries are painful to admit even to myself, let alone share publicly with others. But I feel that the benefit of sharing my journey with you--the good and the bad--far outweigh any embarrassment or shame that may (and probably will) occur. So I hope that you will read on with an open heart and an open mind.
My name is Tammara Bransom-Rhone. I had Open RNY (divided) Gastric Bypass Surgery on October 31st, 2001 at 7:00am. My surgery was performed by Dr. Zorn through Pacific Bariatric in San Diego and paid in full by Kaiser Permanente Insurance (SoCal). I took over two years researching this procedure/ surgery and I feel very confident in its ultimate and long-term sucess. I started this journey at 290+ pounds on my 5'6" frame (I had to weigh 314#'s to qualify). The hardest parts in obtaining the surgery have been educating my doctor about Bariatric surgery; pushing through the red tape of the HMO system; and most importantly accepting that I AM morbidly obese (ah, denial was such a precious thing). I am really glad that you stopped by to read up on my journey. As you read through my weight loss journal and experience the joys of WLS and weight loss with me, I hope you will drop me a line to let me know how you are doing.
All my best,
Well, the holiday season is almost to a close, as well as this year. What a year of challanges it has been! I am excited about 2005, and all the things that I want to do this next year. I will tell you more later. For Christmas I had planned to be in Oregon visiting family (and seeing my beautiful little niece, Solana), but ended up with an employee crises, and cancelled the trip. But I was able to spend a quite and lovely Christmas day with Robyn. We slept in, then spent the day lounging in the living room with dogs drapped all over us, eating popcorn and watching chick-flicks on t.v. Talk about being slugs! LOL. It was so worth it! Attended two parties the day after Christmas and had such a lovely time at both. It amazes me that I am not more upset that I cannot binge eat during the holidays. That used to be one of my great pleasures is being able to eat a lot of my favorite holiday foods, waiting until my tummy had emptied, then going back for more, and more! Holidays seemed like the only time I could eat and eat and eat, guilt free! :) I still enjoy the traditional comfort foods, but get full on a much smaller plate load than before. It is more about the company and the time spent with others than the food. That is such a blessing to me! Ok, I am off to do other work today. I just wanted to pop in for a quick update! It is my greatest wish that each of you have a healthy and prosperous 2005! May you accomplish what you dream. ~ Love, Tammara
Well, Robyn and I just returned from a 11 day trip to Las Vegas for a Real Estate Seminar and a Curves Convention. Both were great and really renewed our spirit and enthusiasm for both businesses. We decided to pull out of the Glendale club sale, as the ladies we were working with turned out to have different ideas of how to negotiate, and the ethics were not what we hoped for. I know that God has a lot in store for us, so I am just going to wait and see what will occur. The Curves Convention was great, and very uplifting. I am still managing the Valley Village Club, and am excited about the last few months of this year, and also excited about 2005. For the month of November, we are doing a dress up day EVERY DAY of the month. For example, tomorrow (Monday) is Hollywood Glamour Day. I have my tiara and glittery jewerly and clothes to wear. Another day might be favorite City/State shirt/hat day, or Western Day, Pink Day, etc. Each day that the ladies participate, they get their name entered into a bowl. At the end of the month 150 women will get a special Member Appreciate Gift Bag. Although I have been out the first part of the month, my girls tell me it has been a HUGE success, and the ladies are loving it. I found that my weight shot up over the last two months to about 172. This is a huge and scary increase for me, as I have been pretty sucessful in keeping my weight at about 155-160lbs. But while in Las Vegas, I dropped back down. It amazes me the different mind set I now have. I used to go to the buffets and eat, eat, eat, and then go back and...yup! EAT! We went to buffets almost every day, sometimes 3 times each day. While the food selection was great and the quality was good or even better, I found that so much excess of food turned me off. YUP! Who would have 'thunk it?!?! I ended up eating about the same amount of food I normally do (when I am not stress eating), and found that my clothes fit better. I was able to drop about 10 pounds while in Vegas! Yahoo! :) Well, I need to get some actual business stuff done. Hope all is well with you, and its been great hearing from you all!
I guess it's my turn to update you all on how things are going in my life here in Southern California...Well, things are going along fine here. Unfortunately I have been sicker than I like to be this year. I am finding that the stresses of work along with long hours and lots of air conditioning have cause me to be more prone to illness. Plus I found that not being compliant with my nutrition hurt A LOT!! I went off my protein and vitamin/minerals for about a month and got slammed with two illnesses, one right after the other. The last one was a doozy, and I was on my back for about 1 week before I could get up and running. But now I am feeling a lot better, and back at work.
Speaking of work, I have taken back over the management of the Valley Village club (our first Curves center). I really feel that I should be back at this club, and have found that in the month that I have been back our membership has started to grow again, and there is a new revival of spirit there. Over the last few months while I struggled with the decision to return to a more on-hands management of the VV Club, I have had several employees come to me urging me to lead that club again. For those of you who remember their bible lessons, I guess I just tried to be Jonah for a period of time before I got sick of being in the belly of the whale. :) I really feel led to minister to these women, and our lives are definitely blessed when I am following the plan. So, back I am, and trying to keep my overall hours to a minimum (at least under 50 per week!).
Because things got so bad for a while, Robyn quit her job with Brown Motorworks (BMW) after over 6 years with them and has come to work for us...Smietan-Rhone, Inc. She is helping to clean up the billing and paperwork problems our last manager got us into, and it has been a real pleasure to work with her. Working with a loved one can either strengthen a relationship or tear it apart. Luckily we have a well-balanced relationship and it is working out very good. In fact, it has been a lot of fun working together. She likes to do that which I do not, and I will do anything to get out of doing paperwork! LOL. After the books get in shape she will be moving on into the real estate portion of our lives. We have been taking classes and seminars on buying and selling real estate and are both very excited about getting into this field. Once we have a bit more free time it will be a lot easier.
Speaking of free time, we are very close to selling the Glendale club. As you probably know our original seller's financing fell through and she got very discouraged at the "No's" she was receiving. After about 2 months working with her we decided to pursue other buyers, and found one that we think will work out. They are current Curves owners, and by buying in the Glendale community will have a monopoly on Curves as their other club is in the North part of our city. We got beat up pretty bad on the pricing, but the amount will allow us to repay all of our debts for all three clubs and free us from any negative cash flow. Having a negative cash flow has really hurt our ability to effectively grow all three clubs and has kept us from the financial security we sought. Having this 'albatross' off our necks will be a relief and a breath of fresh air! It is very hard for both of us to stop squirming with the waiting game that we are in right now. Waiting for a deposit, waiting for the agreement to be signed, waiting for their financing to fund, waiting for Curves to approve them as buyers, etc. I know it is only a matter of a few weeks more, but it seems like forever! Of course, once you decide to move on...staying focused and involved is very, very hard! :)
There are so many things I want to do, and so little time to do them. I would like to re-organize another Bariatric Support Group -- there are none here in Pasadena and there is a HUGE need for one. I have been approached by numerous people to start one up, but just didn't have the time. I would also like to get involved in music again. There are many wonderful choral groups that might be deaf enough to take me in (with a LOT of practice!). I would like to go to school for massage therapy. During our graduation week in high school I was approached by the yearbook staff and asked what I wanted to do. I recall stating that I wanted to be a massage therapist. I still would! I would like to take more cooking classes. I really enjoyed the series of Asian/Indian cuisine classes I took a couple years ago. I love that type of food and learned a lot about preparation and presentation. I loved the group atmosphere, and the family-style eating at the end. Food never went to waste, yet I could sample all kinds of dishes! It was also fun working directly for the instructor/chef and helping her do several demonstrations at the Los Angeles County Fair. What a blast standing in front of all those people talking to them about Asian Cuisine and its impact on American culture! Lastly, I would like to travel. I have never been on a cruise and I would love to experience it! Perhaps taking a day cruise to Catalina Island, then venturing on a 3-day cruise along the Pacific coast to Mexico? Then going on a week long cruise or more to the Caribbean or the Greek Islands! What a blast that would be! I have always wanted to see the Amish countryside, or maybe even New England. There are so many places to see that I would need to retire NOW just to get it all in! LOL. Perhaps Aunt Dee would let us tag along in her motor home adventure!??!?!
As for the home front, my garden got a little neglected during the last month and a half. It seems that life just took off with a bang after the 4th of July party we hosted (pun intended!). The back patio turned out great, but I have to remind myself that it is out there. Just this morning I forced myself to sit on the patio chairs while my hair dried. Just so that I could get a little sunshine. While the tomatoes have done fine, the onions pooped out as well as the corn. The corn never got higher than two feet tall, and never produced any cobs. Bummer, as I love corn on the cob! The mystery plants turned out to be some type of chili pepper, and the girls at the club have been the recipient of this toasty item. Talk about pumping it up a notch! The yellow crook-neck squash did great on the first blooming, but the lack of water killed them off. But the green bell peppers and green beans are doing just fine. It amazes me how jaded our taste buds get from canned veggies. Robyn told me she didn't like green beans much, but after picking a handful fresh and throwing them in a short bath of boiling water then blanching them they went off the plate in a heartbeat! They were so full of taste, it was amazing! I am finding the ability to eat more food has increased, and I am trying to replace the carbohydrates with more protein and vegetables. I have also found a wonderful fruit -- they are super sweet watermelons about the size of a child's basketball (4-6" in diameter). These have no seeds and the flesh is ruby red in color. They are guaranteed 20% sweeter than any other watermelon, and its true! Of course they cost about $5 each, but I find that I will eat these instead of actual sugar sweets! Mmmm!
Robyn's niece from Maryland came out this month. This is the niece who just had her Bat Mitzvah in March (and so beautiful!) She called us up and said that she had a week between camp and school and wanted to come out to visit. How nice to have a houseguest. We had a blast at Universal Studios and Rachel and I went for a day of hair care. Had our hair cut, colored, and straightened! What a blast. We even found the coolest outfit for her. Sigh...I wish I was this size but 15 years younger! Plus I got sick right in the middle of the visit, so I was pretty much out of the picture for the rest of the week. Robyn and Rachel went to Hollywood and she got to see the Stars on the sidewalk, the Hollywood sign, and many other neat sites. We ran out of time to go to Venice Beach and I wanted to do some more shopping, but there is always next year! It would be neat if she could bring a friend next time, then we can drag two of them around, and she will have someone to giggle and gossip with after everyone goes to bed! The time with Rachel went by so fast! I cant wait for her next visit!
Today we took Keisha into the vet for surgery to her eye. We had hoped that the last surgery would address an eye tumor, but found that it grew back very quickly. The surgeon did a more invasive surgery this time, and feels that it will be successful. We picked her up about 6pm. It took her several hours to wake up fully from the anesthesia. It was so hard to watch her disorientation and suffering. She is so much Robyn's little girl, and the only thing that comforted her was having Robyn lay next to her. Poor Robyn. :) I am the nurse in the house and will be treating Keisha's eye wound with ointment for the next few weeks. Myla (the Jack Russell) is doing fine. She started to gain back a bit of the weight we got off her, so she is back on the diet doggy food. Baxter (our newest boy) is still a bundle of energy...like a 2 year old he is constantly into everything and running full blast everywhere until he collapses. We are having a little problem with his peeing everywhere. We dont know what to do about that. He is fine when I am at home with him, but when I have to go into work for more than 6 hours he starts misbehaving. We are considering taking him to a behaviorist, or putting doggy diapers on him when I have to work long hours. Dont know which would be more effective, but frankly tired of cleaning up the pee!
The WNBA (women's basketball league) starts up again in September, now that the Olympics are finished. Many of the Olympic players for the Women's team came from the WNBA. I was very disappointed that more of the Olympics weren't shown on TV. And I was disappointed to see how empty the stands were. Was it just the location? I wonder what happened? I have really enjoyed attending the LA Sparks games, and while I dont have a desire to get on the court myself, it sure brings back memories of my junior high days! :) Most weeks there are two games, and it is fun going and eating hot dogs and cotton candy. My goal is to buy ONE ticket on the floor ($1,000 per chair), and eat the fou-fou food -- like sliced caramel apples or real hamburgers, etc. Plus the players sometimes slam into you or jump over you! The only drawback is that the ref's can hear you really well, and I would probably get thrown out of the game for my mouth! :) Ah, well!
We are going to celebrate our 1 year anniversary for our 2nd Curves club in October with another big bash. We haven't even begun to plan it, but the Casino night party was a real hit in Valley Village. We will either repeat or top that (if possible!). If any of you are in town during that time you are more than welcome to attend! I dont think we will still have the 3rd club in November, and frankly I dont think we will spend the money celebrating it. That sounds cynical, but there it is! It has been a dismal club since we opened it. But if we can get it sold, it will make all the headaches worthwhile! As for September? We are hoping to be a little more sociable and have friends over for brunch or dinner more often. We have found being hermits is just not a lot of fun -- especially when you LIKE your friends! And for November and after???....I am hoping to get up to Medford, Oregon this fall -- either around Thanksgiving or Christmas time. I haven't been back home since last year's 4th of July. I hope to be able to spend about a week all together. I hope that I will get to see many of you!
Well, that is about all. It is time for me to play nurse and put some ointment into Keisha's eye before I go to bed. Take care, and please drop me a line with how things are going in your life!
It has been two years since my surgery, and life is so very different for me now. Sometimes it is hard to remember the anguish I felt at being so obese. But having the photos to remind me keeps me grounded and having the ability to share my story over and over with others starting their search towards WLS gives me such a purpose and direction in life. I look at my life two years ago...I was underpaid at work, yet worked massive amounts of overtime to 'prove' that I wasn't lazy. I lived my life around my husband -- I had no friends, no outside activities, nothing. I would work then come home and read or watch TV. My life revolved around food -- planning, purchasing, preparing, and eating it.
After I had this surgery, I joined a wonderful support network with a group of 50 women! I immediately had 50 friends -- something I had not allowed myself for many years. I was meeting people daily on the internet through obesityhelp.com. I started treating food in a healthy way -- or perhaps reacting to food in a much more healthy manner. I started to enjoy life, and wanted to venture out and experience it! I didn't get panic attacks when I went out alone. It was actually fun! I received more respect for my input at work, and I requested and received more pay. It was like my IQ went up 100 points to my boss and co-workers (amazing!). I had more money in my pocket because it wasn't all going to food. I started to enjoy shopping for clothes, but most importantly.... I STARTED TO LOVE MYSELF AGAIN.
While divorced from my husband of 16 years, I now am in a great new relationship, own 3 Curves fitness facilities, and have just purchased my first home! I run two support groups for people who have had the weight loss surgery, and am active in nutrition and continued education for anyone who wants to get away from hating their body. I have learned to ride a motorcycle, I have conquered my fear of heights (I am still working on the bug fear!), and I have done over 100 "firsts" over the last two years. Things I would have never done, I am doing now. I love life, and feel like I am living it fully!
I look back at these last two years and realize that I have no regrets for any of my actions. Starting with the trip home from the hospital, where I broke down crying when it hit me that "I WILL NEVER HAVE TO BE THIS FAT AGAIN!!". That the chains of obesity had been finally broken for me. The path I took towards this surgery freed me. Living life--actually participating in it rather than watching it go by is such a gift! Yes, my life is entirely different -- in fact, radically different than it was 2 years ago, but it is an absolutely WONDERFUL life, and one that I am enjoying each day, each hour, each minute of.
I am so glad that I have had a chance to meet many of you, and that we have shared together one of the most important days of our lives! I hope that you also are successful in life and that you are living it fully! I would love to hear how you are doing, and what has been going on in your life over the last two years. -- All my best, Tammara email@example.com
Wow! We have just made our 1 year anniversary. What a wonderful thing life is. We have almost 1,000 members -- ladies that I get to help in their fight against weight loss. And to think that I was going to hide the fact that I had this surgery from everyone. Frankly, telling people -- especially ladies -- about this surgery has freed me from the shame of being morbidly obese. I have helped many ladies seek out this surgery, but more importantly I have helped hundreds of women change their view of who they are, and helped them to learn to LOVE their BODIES!!! How powerful that is! We had a great anniversary party with casino night. Everyone got dressed up in their fancy gowns and played at the different gaming tables. We also had the event catered. I, of course, ordered WAY too much food! LOL. I still compensate from eating envy! :)
11/13/2003 Update: Did I mentioned that we are crazy? Yes! We decided to take the plunge and open another club. Yes, three. And Robyn is telling me that we are finished buying clubs (she doesnt know that I put in for Israel!). We have had the hardest time with this last club in getting the landlord pushed through to open. Didnt even have a/c until Sunday. Ugh. I hope this doesnt portend a dismal future. :) The girls are all trained and very eager to get started. We found a Manager (I cant do everything!) who I hope will work out. We will see!
10/10/03 Update: Well, we have decided to expand and are opening our 2nd club this week. We are opening it in the city of Pasadena, and have a GREAT location chosen. Wish us luck!
Well, we did it! We opened our Curves fitness club. Wow. It is so amazing that I am actually a business owner. Me. Owning my own business. AND a GYM!!! I HATE WORKING OUT, yet I love Curves, and I love what it has done for me. I just know we will be wonderfully sucessfull! Wish us luck!
Willie told me he wanted me to spend less time with Tammy. He indicated he felt she was a bad influence on me. That even though she is married, she has no respect for her husband by going out with 'the girls' and having girl-time only. I dont understand why it is so hard for him to allow me to have friends. I asked him if he wanted to do something, rather than my going out to dinner with Tammy. He said yes, but we ended up in separate rooms -- he was on the computer, and I watched tv. So why did he need me to stay home if he didnt even want to be with me? ARGH!!!
I am really concerned about my relationship and my marriage. I have tried to talk to Willie about what he needs to feel comfortable and loved in our relationship. He said everything is fine, but I need to stop being so active. I also said I was concerned because we are still not very sexually active. These last 12 years it was because he said he did not find my body attractive. I was too obese, and it was hard for him to get an erection since there was little to no physical attraction for him. I didnt mind his putting on the porn, or even looking at porn before we made love, but at least I had a reason -- an excuse that he didnt want to make love. I am now down over 100 pounds and we still have only made love 2 times since I had the surgery. He said the scar on my tummy didnt bother him, nor the lose skin. In fact, he said the body was getting better and better. So why aren't we more intimate -- not just sex, but the cuddling/touching that I so crave? I am doing everything he asks (other than having a friend network and my support group). But it doesnt work. I told him I wanted us to go to see a counselor, and he just blew up, then shut down. Yuck! Not a fun week. I am going to go back out to the living room and see if I can smooth things over with him.
Had a great talk with Robyn the other day. Watching her go through her journey is so rewarding. She is such a fabulous person. There is something about her that is so intriguing - I just dont know what! LOL. Tammy started smoking again, and I am very concerned about her health. I also caught her drinking soda again. It is so hard sitting by and watching someone jepordize their health -- after going through such a radical surgery like ours, it just doesnt make sense.
Again with the arguing. We are arguing almost every day about little to big things. Willie is having a hard time adjusting to my new life/new energy level. He is more comfortable with the old me personality, and I just want to break out of this shell and spread my wings. I have no desire to sleep with another man -- I told him this. I just want to be with HIM. But I need him to allow me to explore who I am becoming. I spent so many years hidden under all this fat, that now it's gone I need to know who I am as an adult. When he met me I was this wild adult/child. I had no training on monitoring myself that once I left my family for California I became wild. I met Willie so soon after moving down here that I never had a chance to grow up on my own. He really fit into the father figure for me -- mature, caring, concerned, etc. That worked for awhile--to be frank, it worked very well while I was obese--but now that I am confident, now that my anxiety attacks have lessened, now that I WANT to get out and experience what this great world holds for me--the relationship doesnt work. I wonder if I married him because he was the first one who asked that was acceptable? Did I just stay with him because I was afraid of being alone? Of leaving? He is a wonderful person. He is smart, handsome, and he pulls his own weight in household tasks (frankly more than his fair share). He makes a good living, and provides for us. But I feel like I was absorbed by him. That I have no existance outside of him. He is really afraid of my having other friends than him. He is becoming more clingy. I try to reassure him that I love him, but it is harder to see where the passion has gone. Robyn and Tammy are such great friends, but I think they are afraid of telling me the frank truth. Or maybe they just havent spent enough time around us as a couple to know. Willie refuses to spend time with any of my friends. Even when they come over. He just sits in front of his computer -- even eating dinner in there -- and I end up visiting with my friends alone. I am afraid that I should have left Willie 12 years ago when the major issues came up. Back then I was smaller and had the confidence to leave. But I didnt want to be labeled as a failure -- you know...people saying interracial relationships never work, etc. I didnt want to fail...to be seen as imperfect. So I stayed. Right now it doesnt seem like I made a fair choice for either of us. I am not very happy, and sex is non-existant (and has been for many years). Ugh. Not a good place. Maybe I am getting another hormone dump from my fat loss, and this will all go away in a few days?!?!?
I just found out Robyn is gay! Yup! I had no clue (which she thinks is funny). Our support meeting had a husband/boyfriend invite this month, and she posted if she could bring her partner, Chris. I emailed Teena, who said that it meant her GIRLFRIEND Chris. Duh! I would have never know. How funny. I havent been around anyone who is gay in a long time -- not since my airline days. I cant wait to see what she looks like. I am going to make my mini-quiches, which are delish! I get asked for the recipie all the time. It is at Loretta's house, which will be fun. It looks like it will be a HUGE meeting. I asked Willie to come, and told him it was important for him to support me, and to be able to ask questions of the other men. He doesnt want to go. I am really pissed. He said he is supportive of this surgery, but acts like he is jealous of my network of women. He is pushing me to drop out of the gruup. NO WAY! This is the first time in 15 years that I have been able to have female companionship. I am not losing that EVER AGAIN! Willie is fine, but he is such a MAN! Mars vs. Venus to the Nth degree! LOL.
I am starting to see so many changes going on in my life, but I am also seeing the problems in my marriage coming to the forefront. Our core relationship is changing--shifting in power and in structure and I dont know what to think of that. I talked to Willie about it, and he said he didnt feel any differently. Perhaps I am just not familiar with myself and just need to focus on accepting the new body as it changes?
I was able to eat almost 1/2 of a vegetarian pizza tonight. It was the thin kind made by Morningstar Farms (vegetarian brand), and I was surprised that I ate that much. Of course I feel very full, but its a good full, not an overstuffed kind. I added some veggie meat, spinach and parmesan cheese to up the nutrients, but overall it was good. I found I didn't eat much today, so I am amazed that my stomach can hold this much. I am finding that every time I eat something I end up very thirsty. I am sure there is a reason for it, but heck if I know! I am finding that my body image is very poor today. I feel fat. I know the outfit I wore to work was New (to me), and I thought it looked really nice. But I still felt fat. I did not feel beautiful or sexy, or anything but dumpy. I am sure its because of my period, but its still not a pleasant feeling to live through.
Did all my water; my protein shake; and my vitamins like I promised myself I would. I went up about 6 pounds for my menstrual cycle, and that scared the heck out of me. I know I had been craving salty foods, and fried foods, but I must have really been retaining water! Like a camel!!! I decided that I would get all my water and protein in today, and I did that. I also was a good girl and lifted weights this morning. :)
I am so embarrassed. This evening I I felt very sexy in my new skin, and I wanted to use the new nighties Tammy gave me. I put one on, did my hair really nice, and sauntered sexily over to the computer room. I could tell that Willie had been looking at porn, as he had a semi-erection. I leaned against the doorjam and tried to get my best, sexy smile on and that eyebrow raise I had been trying to master (I have been reading books on how to make love better, in hopes of sparking our sex life into existence). Willie just looked at me and said...that outfit makes your stomach look huge. Ugh, double Ugh! Talk about feeling fat and insecure again. I think he saw my expression, and hurriedly said...oh, you werent wanting to do it, were you? I lied and said No, I just wanted him to see the new outfit Tammy gave me, but didnt intend on having sex. Why did I lie?!?!? I should have just pinned him to the chair and started rubbing away! I know, I know...too graphic. But still! I am so much smaller than I used to be. What am I doing wrong?
Dad just called tonight. I have very mixed feelings about his call. He called to say that he would be in town next week for the PAC-10 games, and that he would like to come by for a visit. Willie and I planned on going up to Oregon this late summer, and I was really hoping that I would be much smaller before seeing any of my family -- especially my dad. I am angry at him for ruining my plans. I wanted to waltz in and surprise everyone with my new body. Now I am being forced to show my hand before I am ready. When my brother, DJ told me dad was coming down, I was hoping that he was just going to be here for one day, and I could make an excuse not to see him. But the fact that he is going to be in town for almost a week -- I just don't see how I can get around that. Unless I fake having the flu? I know this may sound sick to some people, but the fact is, my dad has judged me my whole life for being overweight. His firstborn was a boy, and thin. Then he had the daughter he thought he wanted, and I came out fat. I always felt that I was an embarrassment to him--I KNOW I was an embarrassment to him, since they put me on diets at age 11, and since they always forced me to be in sports; and since they always said things about my weight to me. This is one of the reasons I chose not to tell him about the WLS. I will just have to pray on this one. Do I lie to him about why I cant see him, and thus successfully avoid him, or do I meet him and deal with these issues now? ARGH!! Ok, I just talked this over with Willie. Thank goodness God gave me a man with a head on his shoulders! Ok, during our talking this situation over, he pointed out that its not really my father who has a problem, its my stepmother. Sure, my obesity bothers my dad, but he wouldn't be able to see the difference between 221 pounds, and 121 (well, maybe if it was that much!). I want the dramatic difference to show up my stepmother. Maybe I will go ahead and see dad if he calls. And that was another point Willie pointed out. Dad may not call until the last minute. I already told him I have Bible study on Friday, and plans on Saturday. Plus I usually have tons of stuff to do on Sundays. That leaves Wednesday or Thursday, both of which days we get home around 6:30-7pm at night. IF he calls, he probably wont want to drive out here from LA that late. This is so stupid! I get so mad at myself for still caring so much about what my parents think. I mean, I AM 34 years old, right? Argh. -- double Argh!!!!
Today was a great day. We had our monthly meeting today. It was a lot of fun, even though it was a really small group. Tammy picked me up, then we drove over to Eileen's house to pick her up. She is a REALLY NEAT PERSON!!! (I know you are reading this, Eileen!). I was really impressed with how pretty she is, and her personality really seemed to mesh with mine. I had fun talking with her on the way to Teena's house, and would be her permanent friend if only for the cheesy potato dish she brought! mmmm..... There was a pretty good mix of people, but I was really disappointed that Shelly (new girl) didnt make it. I would have liked to get to know her better in a smaller group setting. Sometimes the larger groups are hard to hold a conversation in, since so many people are competing for the same airspace! LOL. Robyn did show up (Yeah!), and I loved talking with her. It was great to finally meet her in person after talking/emailing for so long. She is so smart and funny--and I am curiously drawn to her. She has a great smile, too. I think she was nervous as hell, though. But she fit right in, and I know she got to ask everyone a LOT of questions. Her surgery date is in June, so she has a lot of concerns and questions going through her head right now. I hope she stays in the group. Meeting each person really brings to the forefront how this obesity problem is not just confined to a specific racial; social; or economic group. That it can hit people from all ages or walks of life is just scary! I am so glad that this weight loss surgery has been such a lifesave for so many good people! Oh! The wontons and pot-stickers were a big hit, which always make you feel good. I love feeding people, and while some may think a WLS group isn't the place to feed people, I disagree. This is the one place where people appreciate quality over quantity!
Today Tammy and I went shopping for food for the monthly support group meeting. We found this Asian market in Pomona, and had a great time looking at all the unique food products. I found several items that I would use in future recipes, but really glad that I was able to find all the ingredients for our pot-stickers; wontons; and beef stir-fry. Then we went back to her house and started making wontons and pot stickers. We ended up stopping right before 6pm, and we hadn't made that much. Thank goodness we are cooking for people who cant eat that much! LOL. Robyn, this girl I have been talking with said she will come to this meeting. I really like her. I have met so many wonderful people through this web-site--Tammy, Eileen, Robyn, and most of the ladies from my support group. I love that I can talk to each of them about this surgery -- my fears and my concerns -- and they will understand and not freak out. Anyway, I cant wait to see how it all turns out!
Willie mentioned today that he really likes my hair. He said that all the other hair cuts I've had were just variations on an 80's style. This one, he said was fresh and really suited my new body. Don't ya just love it when our men are insightful?!?!
Today I woke up with my first migraine/headache since surgery. It's been so long, I didnt even realize it was a migraine. I ended up leaving work and trying to go home to take a nap before my hair appointment. Well, I got as far as the Factory 2 U store, and ended up buying some pillows and an area rug for the apartment. Then I was hungry and called Tammy to see if she wanted to meet me for lunch. She was stripping her cabinets, so I picked up some lunch and went over there for a few hours. I left at 4:00pm and went to see Jesse for my hair cut. Rather than go lighter/longer, I went red and short. It is such a cute haircut. I am really impressed with it!
Hello! Today is Wednesday, which means its time for Tammara's Update! This last week I had a lot of overtime at work (co-worker on vacation), and didnt get to the gym at all. Yet amazingly I lost another 2 1/2 pounds, and 1/2 inch this week. Go figure. Maybe my body is enjoying the brief time off from the gym...because that is all it is -- a BREIF time off! LOL.
Overall this last week went great. Last week included Valentines Day (always a hard one), my 15 year Anniversary with Willie (another hard one), and Presidents Day (another holiday weekend). Normally we would do the chocolate/dinner out/special meals all week route. Since I was stuck in overtime at work, it didnt make sense for us to try to fight for dinner reservations at 8pm mid week, so we decided to do a special dinner on Saturday. Needless to say I forgot the dinner plans and had made others with a girlfriend. Willie was disappointed (and I was upset that I disappointed him), and we rescheduled for Sunday. But by Sunday we just wanted to hang out together and ended up not doing the dinner routine -- which was fine. I am finding that I would rather spend quality time with family and friends than food. Weird, but nice.
Since I received a clean bill of health at my last meeting with the surgeon (including blood work), I feel that my life can move forward now. The scar has healed beautifully and I have no more of the weird aches and pains that I associated with the incision. My blood sugar is in the low range of normal; my cholesterol is low, and all other tests came back 'normal'. Just the health benefits alone have made this surgery so worth it for me.
It was hard hitting that two week plateau. You get so used to weight falling off, that when it takes two weeks to lose 1 pound it gets frustrating. Especially since I was doing the water and exercise and protein drink. Since I seem to be past the plateau, my goal for the balance of the month of February are to get down to the teens. If my weight loss keeps going down like it has over the last two weeks this should be no problem. I have decreased from a size 26/28 to a size 16. It is so exciting to be able to put on an outfit that didnt fit the month before and put it on and it fits. It's great being able to go to the gym and know that you are not fighting an uphill battle, but that what you work on WILL show results. I don't have to worry about the weight loss part -- that's been taken care of for me -- now I work on toning and getting my body into shape. What a difference this makes. It's like one heavy (pun intended!) weight has been taken off my shoulders. Well, I do hope all of you are doing well, and hope to hear from you soon. Take care, Tammara
I have found out that Yvonne at work is thinking of leaving -- has been interviewing. It's not that I am upset that she is leaving -- I wish her all the best out there. It's just that it means all her work will be dumped on my desk. I am already overloaded doing the bookkeepers work, plus my bosses work. Now it looks like I will be doing even more. Well, I have already made the commitment to put in 8-9 hours each day then go home. I no longer will pledge allegiance to my job. Myself and my family come first. I owe Willie that much. He has been through so much with my weight loss attempts, and my emotional ups and downs. He deserves to have all of Tammara looking to him for love and support and validation -- not a job. Ultimately, it's just a paycheck!
Worked a half day today. I went into work expecting to work the full day, but then Willie called from home, and gosh....there was a "Murder She Wrote" marathon on...how could I miss a man at home, and good show on TV? What more could a gal ask for???
I went out to Jeannie's house today, and had a great time. We watched the tail end of her son's baseball practice then went shopping for clothes at Ross. It was the first time I had been in a Ross Store, and probably the last. The clothes were great, and the prices were great, but the service and cleanliness of the store was yuck! I got a lot of great outfits, and am really looking forward to wearing them. I ended up leaving around 3:30, and it was a wonderful time.
I am a few days late with my update, but life is getting really busy right now. This last week has been great for me. Seeing the numbers on the scale go back down has been my reward for putting in some time at the gym, and giving up crackers (for the most part).
I am now down 63.5 pounds, and 54.5 inches. I am continually amazed at how good I feel and how my body is finally responding to my actions. I have always wondered what it would be like to work out and see results, or eat right, and see results. Now I do. I am looking forward to finally having the body I want, and not constantly thinking about when it will balloon back up to a higher weight.
I am enjoying life more -- I enjoyed life prior to surgery, but I think I am reacting to things better now that my weight has gone down. My job situation is still the same, but I respond differently to stimuli. I am more confident of myself, and I feel like people treat me differently. I don't feel that my opinion is questioned as much, and that people are looking past my exterior into my real personality. It's hard to explain, but those are my feelings.
Well, I know this update is short but sweet. I just wanted you all to know that my one week plateau has been broken and I am again going down the scale. Thanks for all your suggestions and support in how to break the plateau -- it seems to have worked.
Today is my 15 year Anniversary and Valentine's Day. Of course, I ended up working overtime, got into work at 6am, and didnt get home until late -- around 7pm. Willie and I have decided to do something this weekend, rather than try to fight the crowds at dinner -- hate crowds! Had a GREAT call with Eileen. She and I have been emailing each other for a while now, but have never been able to hook up on the phone. Well, she saw me online and decided to call. Wow! She sounds like a neat person. It is great meeting other people who are going through this journey. I know that before surgery I was desperate to talk to someone that had personally gone through the surgery -- especially if they had the same insurance or surgery center. I have met some wonderful people through this site, and through this surgery and feel very blessed and enriched -- and busier than ever! LOL. I look forward to seeing her when we go to the February support meeting at Teena's.
Today I went out with a gal from Bible Study. She felt akward in meeting for lunch (not sure why), so we walked around the mall for a couple hours. A lot of fun, and great exercise! Then tonight Willie and I went over to Tammy and Brian's house for dinner. Tammy made lasagna with bread and salad. It was great being able to eat, and with Tammy having had this surgery, made it more comfortable when I could only eat a small amount then was finished. Luckily, we talked non-stop, so I barely noticed not eating. LOL. We ended up leaving at 11:00pm, and fell into bed fed, entertained, and happy to have great friends like them. Overall a wonderful weekend.
Went to my very first cooking class today with Tammy. I wanted Willie to attend the evening classes, but he didnt want to go. So, I drug Tammy with me to the morning classes. It was from 9:00am until 11:00. (Yes, I skipped the morning part of work to go...) But Wow, it was a lot of fun!! It's an Asian Cooking class, and is lead by a wonderful gal who has written cookbooks and owned several resturants over the years. She had all the ingredients set out, and then we worked in teams to follow the recipie. We made pot-stickers; beef broccoli; and egg-flower drop soup (mmmm...). I was even able to try each item and didnt dump or throw up (my normal response to chinese food lately). I love Chinese food, and was very upset to find after surgery that I lost my tolerance to it. I was going to roast a chicken for the February party on the 24th, but think I would rather experiment on the group with what we learned to cook. We are going back on March 8th, but I think I may try to sneak in another class on the 22nd of February. March 8th has Curry Chicken Puffs (mmm...my fav!), and I am really looking forward to it. Anyone feel like joining us??? It's only $15 per class, plus $3-5 food fee. Pretty reasonable, when you think about getting to eat the food you just made (not always a good thing for some people, but very safe for me!)
Today was my 3-month follow-up with Dr. Mary Murphy. I was given a clean bill of health. In fact, Dr. Mary said that I was to consider myself completely healed -- now a 'normal' person, and I can do anything I want without worrying about hurting the incision or getting a hernia. That is so freaky to think about -- three months out from open surgery and I am completely healed and 1/2 way to my goal weight. I met Teena there and Wow! She is looking great. To think that she started at just over 300 pounds and is now in the 230's. Pretty cool. Thank goodness for Pacific Bariatric! Perhaps it is time for me to pursue some romatic lovin' from my man again? Sheesh! Has it really been since Christmas Day?
Ok, here is my weekly update. Well....I had a terrific week! Wow! What a difference it makes when you are focused! I am now exercising several times per day. I work out with weights in the morning before work, then go to the gym in the late afternoons and do 2-3 miles on the treadmill, then come home and work on my abs. Exercise is so much easier without all that weight hanging around my body. Sure, I have to force myself to exercise...I mean, I am still a lazy hussy at heart, but now I don't have to contend with the excessive lethargy and embarrassment of being so overweight!
I was able to up my water to the minimum the doctors wanted, and increased my protein (thank you guys for the great high protein recipes!). I was also successful in decreasing my carbs. I found that with everything else I needed to do, that was the absolute hardest thing for me. I am a carbohydrate addict -- specifically crackers. But, they really make it hard to lose weight, and even harder to get in the minimum protein I need. It's so much easier to eat a small handful of crackers rather than make the effort to create a protein dinner -- or even to eat some type of protein substance. I am starting to get sick of string cheese, so I try to substitute other types of protein instead. Ok, for the actual numbers...I am down 1/2 pound this week, and 2 inches.
Most impressive to me is my waist area. I have lost over 13 inches there. My pictures sure support that! LOL. Of course, I lost 8 1/2 inches in my hips, 7 in my thighs, and 7 1/2 in my bust, so its all evening out.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this week. Not losing a tremendous number of pounds still can't bring me down because I am following the plan and meeting my goals! I feel like I am taking up less space in this world, and am continually amazed at emerging parts of my body -- specifically my skeletal structure -- showing itself--wrist bones, collar bones, fingers, etc. I feel like a butterfly that is emerging from her cocoon.
Well, until next week...Tammara
Sent out a box of clothes to Mary. It is so exciting to be able to get out of clothes, but yet still give them to someone who can use them (and appreciate them). Clothes so much determine how people perceive you. Sadly, how you present yourself to people determins how you are treated or how you are perceived. I know that I have really enjoyed wearing clothes more around my age level (NO MORE MUMU's!!!), and enjoy taking time on my hair and makeup. Again...its all part of the new confidence building back up in me. I feel like I used to in my early 20's. I feel more empowered and in charge of my life and surroundings. It's a great feeling!!!!
It really is pretty amazing when I look back at my before pictures. It's really hard for me to see that I was that fat person. In fact, my husband and I were just talking about that this weekend. How hard it is for us to remember what I looked like before surgery (not that that is a bad thing!). Now I catch my body in the mirror and think...well, alright, girl!!! Its starting to happen for me. Sometimes I will put my hand on my chest, or on my wrist, and think -- euw...what is that? Then I realize its a bone. What a weird feeling! LOL.
I just can't emphasis enough the importance of documenting your weight loss process. Take the measurements; take the pictures. Don't worry about how your before picture will look -- trust me, it will look TERRIBLE!!! But, being able to compare your progress against your before surgery picture can really make the difference between depression and contentment. Plus, as I have learned from others reading my profile...you can be an encouragement to others just starting out, or going through some hard times. I know that I have turned to this web site and read other peoples profiles when I need encouragement that this surgery really works -- that I wont stay on a plateau forever. Please, please...if you read this, please keep good records of your journey. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity -- don't waste it on shame, or hidding away from life!
With the recent passing of one of our support group members, it is hard to deal with the feelings that hit you...you feel guilty appreciation that wasn't you, you wonder what happened, or what they may have done to cause it to happen, and you feel shame or guilt taking pleasure in your own success, and the success and/or happiness of others. But I am finding that you have to take joy whenever and wherever you find it. Life has become too precious to me. You will definately miss that person; you will feel a void where they used to be, you will try to find ways to help others avoid those same situations and circumstances, and you can offer support and sympathy for the survivors -- but you have to be realistic. I think people don't understand how dangerous morbid obesity really is. Sure, most can quote the statistics, but until you lose a friend and an associate, it doesn't really hit home hard. This surgery is a risk -- any major surgery is a risk, and this is definitely MAJOR surgery! Being obese is just as dangerous -- even if you don't feel the negative effects on your life, they are still there--lurking.
While personally blessed with great health at age 34, my continued struggle with weight was bringing me to the brink of passing healthy and going into the negative side effects of morbid obesity; diabetes; high blood pressure; painful joints; incontinence; depression; frequent migraines, etc. I thank God every day for bringing this surgery to my attention; letting me find resources with hard information to ensure I understood fully what I was getting into; showing my husband the benefits of the surgery and allowing him to give me unconditional approval for it; and providing excellent surgeons and nursing staff to take me through the process safely. I also thank God for giving me a wonderful support group with women who have walked the same journey I am now on, and who can provide insight and suggestions to make that walk easier; and wonderful family and friends who, while not having the same understanding of morbid obesity, still love me and care for me, and support me and my decision (and most importantly -- cheer me on each week!) I thank you all for your love, support, and generosity in you kind words and encouragement. You are making this journey a pleasant (and safe) one for me.
Well, I am happy to say that I had a terrific week for fitness, weight loss, and inches lost. I really think I needed to refocus myself and concentrate on effectively using the surgery tool. Some times during this rapid weight loss period you tend to lose sight of the fact that its a tool -- only a tool -- and you have to use it to get the maximum benefits. I asked a few people for their weight loss results at 1; 2; 3; 4; 6 and 12 months out. I was doing this to see if I was 'average' with my weight loss, but what I was actually doing was trying to justify not working out -- not trying hard enough.
That is hard for me to admit, and I do feel ashamed about it--no matter how common it is.
In the past I would do very good on the weight loss program until either 2 months hit, or 25 pounds. Then I would hit an emotional block. At that point people would start to notice my weight loss and make appreciative comments. I then would lose my focus (thought I could get away with slacking off), and I would start to 'back-slide'. Although the poundage was a lot more this time, the month was about right. I stopped exercising almost completely, and was eating way too many crackers. This was at about 50 pounds (hmmmm...just double the old weight block!). I was able to do a reality check on myself (with the help of a few vocal friends/family...LOL) and I was able to refocus myself this last week, and the results are in the numbers (especially since I am due for my period any day now). Ok, so here are the numbers....
I am now down 60 pounds, just shy of my 3-month anniversary (tomorrow is my 3-month surgery date); and down 53 1/4 inches. I noticed with my walking and weight lifting that my calf size is up this week, but my thighs and hips are down significantly; and my arms and chest (that lovely back fat) are also down quite a bit from last week.
I really appreciate all your helpful comments and support. I know I say this almost every week, but it does mean a lot to me. Even a 'way to go' makes a difference when you don't want to go to the gym that night; or an 'atta-girl' when you feel like you should have done better.
So, here is my heartfelt 'THANK YOU!!" All my best, Tammara
From what I can understand, here is what happened to our support group member (her name is withheld for privacy). She was quite large (5X - maybe between 450 and 500lbs), and had a previous stroke. In addtion, her doctors had given her a year to live (not past 50) if she didnt do something drastic about her weight. She had surgery at UCLA, and I understand had a terrible experience. For the 4 weeks after surgery, her sister came and took care of her and her family. She did all the shakes and broths, etc. But after the four weeks she refused to cooperate with the program and instead tried to force large quantities of regular (not soft foods) down her system. This appears to have caused damage. She went back into the hospital, and went into a depression. They were also having trouble regulating her medications. While in the hospital, saliva went down the wrong passage and she ended up choking. The nurses were called but didnt arrive in time to save her. I feel somewhat better that it was not the surgery that caused her death, but still feel horrible that she did not have more counseling prior to her surgery.
I just found out that one of our new support group members passed away two months after her surgery (I am withholding her name to protect her privacy). I am so upset. I thought this gal was really neat, and to meet her then have her pass away is very upsetting. We are taking a donation collection for her from our group, and hopfully it will help her husband and two teenage sons out. From what I understand it appears that she choked to death while in the hospital. I will update you more when I can.
Today Tammy and I went to a risque store to look at lingerie for her plus-size lingerie business she is starting. It was half porn shop half adult products. It was so scary but exciting. I would NEVER have gone into a store like that, so it was a milestone of sorts for me. I even bought some sexy pantyhose. Whoo-hoo!
Today I got my hair cut and colored. It looks so cute! Jesse pulled blond streaks through it, then lightened the entire base, so now I am a light brown with blond highlights. Then I went out --all on my own and went window shopping. I did not have any ANXIETY ATTACKS, and felt great! What a wonderful feeling to go out and live life!
Today was great. We had our monthly support group meeting/potluck and I got to see a lot of people who's bodies had totally changed. Wow. It's really great seeing others who are also in the middle of the weight loss surgery journey. But even more impressive was Pamela's pictures. Oh, my gosh. I am sure she is tired of hearing it, but oh, my gosh. What a difference. Her stomach is so flat, and all without surgery. Very impressed with her results. I picked her brain at the party to see what she had been doing to make her skin look so good, and her body tone right up. I am helping Teena host next months party, so that should be a lot of fun. Plus, I think we are going to Glen Ivy Hots Springs in June, and that will be a total blast!! Came home tonight and Willie was in the process of bbq/grilling pork ribs, beef ribs, hot links and a whole chicken. Oh, my goodness but it smelt GOOD! I was able to eat some chicken, which melted in my mouth. The pork and beef ribs I passed on. I am still leary of eating heavy meat -- I think it will get stuck. I am having a hard time with our relationship, as food used to be the main connection between us. Now that I dont cook much, and eat even less, I find that we dont have much to talk about. It's like he is my 'alcoholic' drinking buddy, only with food as the drug of choice. Now that I dont have the same interests, I can see the gaps in our relationship more clearly. What do I do?
I am making an Indian dish for the potluck tomorrow. I am making Curry Chicken and Potato Stew....oh, my gosh, but it was good! I also made a saffron potatoe and serrano ham dish, but wasnt very impressed with it. I dont know if I will take it. I gave samples of both dishes to Tammy, and she and Brian said they loved the curry, and thought hte saffron potato dish was ok. Oh, I am also sending in my 1/16 photos for a new comparison on my profile. Do you think I have shrunk a lot?!?!?
I am going to try and do a Powerpoint slide show. I have no clue on how to do it, but I would love to get my weight loss photos in a slide show -- something to view my 'shrinkage'. I tried looking into it tonight, but I guess I will have to read the book on how to work it. I am just not familiar enough with it. Willie and I seem to be a little better right now. He asked me to slow down the time I spend with my friends and I am trying to do it. I want him to feel comfortable too.
1/16/2002 Update (Re: Weigh-In)
Ok, time for my weekly check-in with you all. Here are the results: Down 3 pounds, down 1 inch. Well, overall I am pleased. I didn't get into the gym like I thought I would this last week, and have been pretty sluggish as proof. I am still working on my arms, but that's about it. I still use any excuse NOT to work out...even working unpaid overtime. Silly, but there it is! Pictures will follow tomorrow morning, but I just didn't have the energy (or ability to focus my eyes) on the stupid camera! LOL. Of course, me in a swimsuit is nothing to have bated breath over -- yet!
This makes a grand total of 53 pounds lost, and 47.37 inches lost in 11 weeks. That's 4.818 pounds and 4.306 inches per week averaged (ok, so I had some free time today to do calculations!). A girlfriend up north who had this surgery lost 130 pounds in 7 months. I averaged that out (did I mention I had some free time today?), and that is about 4.3 pounds per month, so I am right on track.
My goal is to lose another 10-12 pounds by months end, bringing my 3 month total to at least 60-65 pounds. Then set a goal of 20-25 pounds per month for February and March. By then, I should be full swing back into working out. I have been cleared to work on my stomach, which I hope to get going in February. Always one of my weakest points, I am self-admittedly procrastinating a bit. By May 31st, I would like to reach my goal weight of 155 pounds, or at least in the single digit sizes (being size 9 to start). That means I have to step up my exercise routine to a realistic level, which can be done with a little dedication on my part. Ok, wish me luck! -- Tammara
Ok, I am sneaking this email to you, because I am banned from computers for two days. :) One eye see's just fine, the other, well that is another matter altogether. I really didn't think it was as serious as it was. It didn't feel like metal or something foreign was in there, it just burned and tried to water like I was cutting an onion. I really started to lose it in the dr's office, which made me mad at myself. Especially when he jumped up so fast and started pulling drill bits and stuff like that out of his drawers. Scared the heck out of me! He was very happy that it caused minimal damage. He said he had created a 'pothole' in my eye and that each time I blinked it would hurt for a day or two as it healed. Plus, he said that I would have blurry vision for a day or two, and not to stress it too much. He was able to get the metal out with a tweezers-like contraption. Very nice guy, though. I guess the whimpering got to him, because at first he wasn't even going to try the tweezers-thingies. Thank goodness I was kind of trapped in the seat with all the equipment around me. Even though the rational part of me know I needed to get the piece of metal out of my eye, my survival instincts were reared up trying to GET OUT OF THERE AND GET AWAY FROM HIM POKING ME IN THE EYE!!!.
He did ask me if I had been around anyone who was grinding -- which was a no -- but then said since we have been having such high winds; and because we are right near the new freeway construction, it could have been caused by wind blowing it into my eye. He showed me the piece of metal, and it looked the same size as a period =.= I never felt it scraping my eyelid, but he did mention that there were some minor lacerations in my upper and lower lids. He squirted some dye into each eye and double checked them after removing the metal, then he squirted a lot of other stuff in there, put some antibiotic gel around/inside my eye, patched it up with a pad and tape, then sent me off. I called Willie who drove in front of me home, because I was nervous about the lack of depth perception.
I just got off the phone with his nurse because my eye is now super-dilated, and they may want me to come back in. I am sure it will go back down in an hour or two -- they did squirt a LOT of stuff in there, but like they say, with your eyes it pays to be careful. I am glad that my mom suggested I go see the eye doctor.
Ok, I am off to try and take my progress pictures. I weighed in at the doctor on Monday at 231, but I think their scales were off. I weighed myself that morning and I was at 235, so I don't believe its accurate. We will see today.
As you may know, I had a problem with my eye starting Thursday night. I went to the doctor yesterday, and he said it was probably allergies (although I have nothing I am allergic to), and gave me some eye drops. He said this would improve my eye immediately, but if it didn't, to call him first thing this morning. --Well, it didn't!
I called him this morning and he had me see an eye specialist this afternoon. The ophthalmologist took one look at my eye, and started bustling around. He said I had a piece of metal embedded into my eye, and needed to get it out. He started taking out all these instruments, and I have to admit that was when I started whimpering-literally! If my eyes werent already numb and draining, I would have started crying. The part/equipment looked like a sander (which it was). I know, I know. I just had my stomach sliced open top to bottom yet felt like a lark, and a little piece of metal in my eye sends me into palpitations! Go figure!
Anyway, he was able to remove it without the sander, and now I have a funky patch over my eye with tape from my forehead to my jaw line. Yuck. Anyway, I wont be able to work tomorrow, and I have to go back in on Thursday to see him. Fun. I did ask for a color coordinated patch, but they just ignored me. You would think that they would have something other than white patch, white tape. Especially for all that money I paid them! LOL. Ok, just wanted to let you know I am alive and kicking!
I had to go to the doctors this afternoon for an eye infection (or allergy), and when they weighed me, I was down to 231. I am so jazzed! The nurses at Rancho Cucamonga Kaiser are so sweet and supportive. Rather than making me feel like a failure or a freak for not losing the weight on my own, they just fawn over me each time I go in, which makes me feel good (and well worth the co-payment! LOL). I spoke with two nurses and the PA (physician's assistant) and each one of them had someone close--a sister, an aunt, and a wife (respectively) who had had bariatric surgery. It just hits you at times like these that there are a lot of people out there who are taking care of their weight problem just like us. Cool.
When I tried on clothes to wear to the doctors, I was looking for something nice -- like a dress. There is this great outfit in my closet, its a warm mauve color flowing tank dress, with a duster overcoat in a washed silk/floral looking mauve. It was my absolute favorite dress, and was perfect for todays georgeous weather. I checked the size and it was a 24, which techinically should have fit. But when I tried on the dress, it just hung there. I mean, it did absolutely NOTHING for me or my figure. I was pretty bummed, as I really liked that outfit. I ended up wearing a cute pants set, but still...I kind of miss that outfit. Ah well, I will just have to replace it this Saturday with something cuter (and smaller!!!).
I just had some film developed which contained pictures of the WLS September meeting at Helene's house, plus informal pictures of me taken in September, and October. All of you having had this surgery will understand what I am about to share...
These photos really shocked me. I know some of you are going through or have gone through these same feelings. It is very hard for me to look at the pictures (from September) and see "Tammara" in there. I mean, was I really THAT fat?? Well, of course I was, but I never saw myself as being that huge! I guess these pictures will always help to remind me of where I was. But I think I really did a great job deceiving myself about how big I was. It's not until you see the actual photos that you have to face reality.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I look back at the first picture taken in September, and I feel pain and sorrow for that Tammara, but I am glad I am no longer her. It's like she has died and a new Tammara is in her place. I mourn her loss, but dont want her back. This is hard to explain, but of everyone who I know, you guys would understand this. It's like a metamorphosis. It's a painful process, but worth the beauty of the ultimate reward...the butterfly. --Tammara
Had a wonderful visit with Jeannie today. It's great the friends I have made throught this website and through WLS. We spent the entire morning and up until mid-afternoon going through my closet trying on clothes. Jeannie ended up with 3 bags of clothes that were too big for me, and that she was just getting into. That was so neat for me to see her in the smaller sizes. Plus, the clothes that she tried on will only fit her for another 2-3 weeks -- just in time for the next support group meeting/potluck/ clothing exchange. Thank goodness for the clothing exchange. I dont know what I would have done without that (probably gone broke!). When I try to wear my larger clothes, I am gently (and not so gently) told by friends that its time to 'give them up'. Its hard, because some of those clothes I really liked! But, as long as they are going to someone else who has had WLS its worth it.
Ok, this last week went well for me. I was able to go to the gym or exercise almost every day. I handled work well, and am now into a size 18 pants suit, or a 16/18 dress! Wahoo! I wore this great dress yesterday that a friend gave me, and it was a size 16. It fit great, and, if I have to say so myself (which I guess I do), I looked hot!!! My girlfriend owns a business in lingerie, and I am getting some cute/sexy/slinky stuff to wear. Its great that I can finally start to feel sexy again.
Ok, the stats for this week are, UP 3 pounds (ugh), but down almost 5 inches. I am not sure why I increased 3 pounds this week. Either I need to weigh myself a couple times on the scale to make sure (last week was a loss of almost 10 pounds -- that DOES seem like a lot!) that the weight hits correctly, or I am retaining?!?! Who cares! I lost almost 5 inches and feel great. That is my indicator for this last week.
Well, actually I do care about the weight, but when it averages out, I still have lost 50 pounds in 70 days! That is .714 pounds per day! WOW!!! I feel great, I am enjoying watching my body melt away, and taking life as a new adventure.
Well, I am now off to start my adventure (ok, its just work, but hey! who knows what could happen!). Write me with your thoughts, comments, or outpouring of joy! LOL --Tammara
I have been looking for hair loss since I heard it usually happens around the 3rd month, and guess what? Yup! Its starting to happen now. Its not a lot, and I sure could stand to lose some hair -- mine is so thick. But Willie and I were laughing because we (well, he) had to clean out the drain in my shower because it was getting plugged with hair. This Friday he will have to do my bathroom sink, too! But my skin feels great, and I am using Jergens firming shower gel and lotion which I think is helping. I am also using vitamin E (32,000 ue) on my incision, and it looks great, also.
I have decided that I would like to get into the bariatric field in some way to help people go through this journey smoother. I think this spring I will start to look into ways that I can make a difference in others lives, like this surgery and the fabulous people I have met through the surgery have done in my life. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them! Willie has asked me to leave the support group as it is taking up too much of my time. When I asked him if he would like to spend the extra time I would have if I left the group with him, he said no. Just that I was away too much for his taste. Rolling my eyes and turning back to the computer was my only response. Doesnt he know never to talk to a PMS woman like that?!?! Sheesh! :)
Well, this morning I took the pregnancy test. After I put the cap on the testing stick, and went to wipe myself, there was blood all over the toilet paper. Well, Duh! Go figure. But, hey, at least the result was negative! LOL. I happily will switch cramps for a pregnancy right now. Sure, we want to have a family but not right now! Plus, Willie and I are starting to have more 'discussions'. I think my new life is too much for him. I dont know what to do. What held us together before my surgery was food, and food is just not the important to me anymore. I am trying to find other ways to stay in touch with each other, but it is hard. Auto Racing and Video Games are not what makes a strong marriage when those dont interest one to the same degree. I talked to Willie about us taking a couple classes together or finding some other joint interests. So far he hasnt liked any of my ideas, but I will keep trying.
I am concerned that my period hasn't started yet. I was pretty consistent at every 24 days, but I am at 30 days out today, and I havent started yet. While I am 99% sure I am not pregnant, I think I will take a pregnancy test in the morning to be sure. I sure feel super-bloated and cranky, so it's probably just a hormonal/stress issue that is causing the delay. I will let you guys know what happens! I sure don't want to be pregnant...YET! I want to wait until I can be sure I will be healthy enough to support a growing baby inside me. Frankly, I am too scared to have babies right now. Life is too much in turmoil with my marriage, my best friend (Willie), and work right now to think about having a baby. Everything that was wrong with our life is coming to the front of our relationship each day. And I am finding that I no longer have food as my best friend to comfort me and make me feel better. I dont think I am handling life as well as I used to before. I sure hope giving up my best friend is worth it in the end! :]
Ok, I have decided that I can no longer get up at 5:00am every Wednesday morning to do these photos/updates! Ugh!! I am going to switch to measurements/photos every two weeks, rather than weekly.
Ok, here goes. I am now down 53 pounds (not including the 14 pounds I gained while in the hospital, which would be down 67 pounds) and down 41.87 inches since October 31st. Most amazingly my shoe size has gone from a size 11 to a size 9 1/2 during that time too. My goal was to be down 50 pounds by the end of the year, which I just managed to sneak in before the new year. I was very surprised yesterday when I went to the Plus Size Thrift Store in Upland, and was handed a size 18 -- AND IT FIT!!! Its been years since I was last in a size 18.
I am back at the gym, and walking about 1.5 - 2 miles each day, and doing light weights for toning. I really HATE TO EXERCISE and find that it takes so long to get it over with, and the results are so slow. But I know that I have to exercise for my health. I am hoping that I don't have a lot of skin problems, and am working on exercises to help alleviate that. I know that water is also an important part of helping this, and am working on getting a lot of water in me. Any other input on ways to minimize hangy skin is welcomed!
Well, for me this is a wonderful start to the New Year. I am looking forward to the changes -- both physical; spiritual; and emotional that will be occurring in my life. Its my hope that you will have a blessed and prosperous New Year. Thanks again for all of your support and wonderful comments. A gal cant have too many friends like you!
Sorry for the delay in my update for this week. Yesterday being the first day back from a 4 day weekend just didn't encourage me to get up at 5:30 to take weight/measurements/pictures. So, the weekly update: Down another 4 pounds, and down 5 1/4 inches for the week! Whoohoo!! :)
I started back at the gym this week, and it feels good...well, I am sore, but it feels good. I really wish I could start stomach exercises since that is the area I think needs the most work, but I have found other parts of my body I can work on instead (don't we all have those?) which is the tri/bicep area. I think I will just try to keep up with the skin as the fat goes away. I am concerned since I was overweight for so much of my life, that I may need plastic surgery and frankly one surgery a lifetime is enough for me! Ok, I am off to work! Take care!
So, I know you have been wondering when I was going to share in the intimacy part of my life with you. Ha! I know you so well! You have been peeping in on my life every few days to see if I have written anything new, and you know that I would share this with you if I got any! LOL. Does the phrase white trash come to mind?!?!? Just kidding! Ok, so I have been avoiding any type of sexual intimacy with Willie for months now. Frankly, since before surgery. I did bring my sexy nightie with me to San Diego, but after having the Milk of Magyuckie sex was out of the question. I spent the entire night before surgery in the bathroom either throwing up from nerves or pooping. Not very sexy. Plus Willie said he was too nervous and concerned to be interested in making love. Sooooo....I was cleared by both Dr. Zorn and Dr. Tanaka, and Jeannie said she and her husband made love 1 1/2 weeks after surgery. My waiting two months was ridiculous. So, I took the plunge! Yup! Tammy gave me a cute sexy nightie in red with a white boa trim (looked like a sexy santa nightie). I figured I weighted less than when I married him, so I had to look good. At 3am I snuck into the bathroom and got all gussied up. I snuck back into bed, then woke him up at 6:30am when I thought it would be ok to do it without pissing him off. I was so nervous and exicted I couldnt fall back to sleep at all! :) When I woke him up he wasnt really in the mood to make love, but it had been almost 4 months since we last were intimate, and frankly I wasnt going to take NO for an answer! LOL. It was nice, and I felt so bold in being the agressor! That was one of Willie's complaints. That he had to be the agressor all the time. I tried to explain that since he had told me time and time again that he did not find my body attractive, it was hard for me to pursue the lovemaking act. I was always afraid that he wouldnt want me, or that I looked too fat, etc. What a good Christmas present for myself!
I had a short morning, so I took weight/measurements, but no pictures. I guess the holiday rush is upon us now. But a short synopsis is that I lost 3 1/2 pounds, and I am down 2 3/4 inches for this last week. Yeah! I am now in the low 240's, and movin' on down the scale! The next time you see me, will you recognize me? :) Willie and I discussed the fact that I need him to tell me that I am looking good. As the person I look to for acceptance, love and desire, I need to know VERBALLY that I am sexy, that he likes how I look. He said he understood and would do it. God love that man...he sure tries! Tam
Ok. Here is my update for this last week. Last Wednesday evening I went to see the surgeon and was given a clean bill of health. I am cleared for all exercise except stomach ones (which is where I really need it! Ah, well...), and can eat most everything except beef/pork/corn/citrus fruits (all the primary fibrous or tough groups). I have really been enjoying eating rice. I had my first Pollo Bowl (from El Pollo Loco) on Monday, and am still working on it for lunches and dinners. Too bad they don't have a child size portion. I am getting tired of it already...let's see...5 meals from one bowl so far, and its only 1/2 gone!
My Primary Physician was concerned about my lab work and called me before my surgeon appointment, as some of the lab results were elevated (cant quite remember what it was, but it was for liver/gout indications). Anyway, I spoke to the surgeon about it and he said patients who have had this surgery are generally elevated in this area for the first year. But, one GREAT thing that happened, was my fasting blood sugar is in the low end of normal. Prior to surgery I had just entered into the 'diabetic' stage, and was really SCARED that I would have to deal with that disease. That alone makes this surgery worth it. Of course, I am sure you will hear that phrase from me quite often. This surgery was the BEST choice I have made in my life, other than to get married to Willie! LOL.
This last week I have found it very hard to motivate myself to go to the gym or to even exercise. Work just seems to suck that last bit of energy from me, and just feeds into my natural lazy tendencies. I am finding that going out with my friends helps me exercise, as I end up going out and walking around ALL DAY!! Its not a very aerobic activity, but its generally a prolonged one and better than sitting in a chair or on my bed. It was my goal this week to start back at the gym, but I got a cold on Monday, and still don't feel very well. Now my goal is to start this weekend in just taking a short stroll around the complex I live in, which will get the 'exercise' part out of the way early in the day.
As for my weight loss and inches lost. When I first got on the scale today I was VERY disappointed that I had GAINED 2.5 pounds. Considering that I am on my period, I guess that is ok, since before surgery I would gain 8-10 pounds (ugh). Last week I lost 10 pounds, so I guess it will all even out. I did lose inches, but only about 1 1/2 total. I found that I gained in inches in my neck and thighs, so its either poor measuring, or water weight gain. I have had some great input from others with this surgery, which is to keep the water intake UP, and the protein drink intake UP, and walk. This is what I will concentrate on for this next week. Well, that is about all for now. I really appreciate all your wonderful comments and support -- you are great!!!
As you know, since my surgery on 10/31, every Wednesday I weigh and measure myself. And the results...[envelope please]...After 5 weeks of surgery, our winner has accomplished the following: I am down 39 1/2 lbs., and 34 1/4 inches!! I am now officially OUT of the #250's. Whoohoo! I was concerned I would gain weight this week, as my body is getting ready for my period. Normally I gain about 5-10 pounds of water weight, but who knows this time how much I gained?!?!?! This surgery was so worth it. Not only has my struggle with food ruling my life been BROKEN, but the effort I am putting out in trying to lose weight (i.e. exercise; better eating habits) is actually WORKING this time. I am eating a wider variety of foods now which really helps--but I find myself still going back to the food items that are easy to prepare; because I just don't care about food as much as I used to. God is so good!! I hope that you will share with me in my happiness!
Tonight I went to see the surgeon at the Riverside seminar. This month was Dr. Tanaka. I was not very impressed with his 'bedside' manner. My exam lasted 4 minutes, and that was with me stretching it out by asking a necessary question about my labs. Oh well, not everyone can be Dr. Zorn! The result of my exam is that I am doing great, my labs look great, and I can be as active as I want (without stomach exercises yet). I got moved up to the next level (soft veggies and rice/pasta), so that was encouraging. I am down to 247.5 pounds, which is a total loss of 39.5 pounds! Whoohoo!! That is 10 pounds from last week. I was concerned, as my period is scheduled to start on the 7/8th, and I usually gain about 10 pounds. I will probably have to pay for it next week, but that's ok. I am happy now!
My friend was late for her exam, so I stayed through the seminar for her (so I could see how much she shrunk!). As the meeting was starting, the gal running it asked me to come up front and talk a bit about the surgery to the group. It was actually fun. There were a lot of people in the room that had researched the surgery so the questions were reasonable and intelligent (and generalized -- I hate it when people ask questions in a group setting that only apply to themselves! I ended up talking for over 1/2 hour! Maybe I have a new calling in life???
Well, I am very encouraged so far with my weight loss and how I feel. My goal this week is to start back a regular exercise program. Work is just sucking too much time from my life. So much for my feelings of maternity! LOL. I am back full swing into the workaholic stage. Maybe I am just too scared to have kids? Not a chance! Willie wants them, and I want to have kids with Willie! Ok, I am off to bed. I will write more later!
Well, the week is officially over tonight. I did good this week, and worked 40 hours (I worked 6 hours from home on Wednesday). I feel great, and am looking forward to getting my department back into shape. Tomorrow morning I go in to get all my lab work done for my meeting with the doctor on 12/5. I hope everything comes out good. I feel great, so I think they will be fine.
I thought I would be literally dragging at work today, but I didnt. I did wear my binder at work, which helped, but my energy level was up, and I worked a full day plus. I guess that I really should have waited another week like the doctor wanted.
This was my first week back to work. I thought it would be easy to go back. I mean, I have a sit down office job. How hard could that be? I guess I didnt take into consideration that thinking is draining to the physical body. I worked about 6 hours the first day, then 7 the next. I ended up straining my incision, and stayed home today. BUT!!! I did do my photos and measurements, and wow, have I shrunk!! I am down 29 1/2 pounds, and 29 1/2 inches total, and my BMI is down to 41.6. This is so awesome! I feel great, even though work is tiring mentally. I am so excited about my future! I ended up taking the alarm clock with me to work. Willie set it so it goes off every two hours. He wants me to eat that often. Just doesnt get it...if I eat every two horus, then I have no room for water. I am still very parched. I LOVE drinking water, and have a bottle everywhere. One on my nightstand, one in the bathroom, one by my computer, one in my car, one at my office, etc. EVERYWHERE. I sip all day. I would rather drink water than eat. I am just not hungry!
I found out something about myself that I didnt know...I am a stress eater. I am finding that when I need a break from work, I go into the kitchen for something to eat. But since I am unable to eat, I refill my water bottle. I really need to just get out of the office and walk for a few minutes instead, but it is so hard to get away from those phones!!! I never knew I was a stress eater -- which means I am an emotional eater too. I guess I will continue to find out these things about myself as I travel this weight loss journey. Work is tiring right now. Energy levels wane mid-day. I am trying to force myself to focus on eatting. Willie is concerned that I am not eating enough. I have started to throw out the food he makes me take to work with me, or I give it to the girls in the office. He just doesnt understand how little I need anymore. He still wants to feed me. He asked me to take an alarm with me to work so that I will eat every few hours. Ugh. I probably will just to appease him.
Ok. I am now 3 weeks out from surgery. I am pleased to anounce that I am now down 26 1/2 pounds, and have lost 24 1/2 inches -- that is 7 1/4 inches in my waist; 3 inches in my hips; and almost 4 inches in my thighs! My BMI has gone from 48 to 42 in only three weeks! I am also up to about 1 1/2 miles each day, and when I go back to work next week, I will start back at my gym, which means I should see those inches come off even faster!
Had a great time this evening talking with all my new friends. I talked with Jeannie, Tammy, Robyn, and Teena. What an absolute JOY to have girlfriends. I laughed inside when I realized that I spent my whole waking time working, or talking with girlfriends. I didnt read, I didnt watch tv, and I didnt cook. Just chatted online or on the phone and just relaxed. Ah, such a life! Tomorrow I do my weigh/measure and I am exicted about what the numbers will look like!
Willie and I had another talk about starting a family. Normally I argue that I should work right after having the baby (2 months after). I am scared silly to even be a mom -- talk about the ultimate failure staring you in the face! This is the first time that I had the desire to be a stay-at-home mom. I feel like nesting. I am comfortable now at home, I feel like making our home more comfortable. I can see me being a full-time mom. This is weird for me, because I love to work, and like the adult interaction you get at work. But I feel like my personality is changing somewhat. My feelings towards a lot of things has changed. I dont have the same tolerance than I did before. Is this what confidence feels like? It's is such a heady, powerful thing! Things that were important to me before the surgery just dont seem that important anymore. I am enjoying these feelings. A lot! Even Willie said their is a huge change in me. But he also said I need to be careful about how I react to the changes, as I dont want to get to wild or out of control. That makes sense, but I still feel ebullient!
Met with Dr. Zorn tonight at Riverside. He said my weight is on schedule, and has released me for almost all exercise and I can move on to the next level for food when its time. More importantly is that I can now drive (yeah!). I took a picture with him, and feel so proud of the work he is doing for us. He is such a great guy with a wonderful personality and 'bedside' manner -- even when there is no bed! I saw a lot of other gals who recently had the surgery, and they look like they are melting! The weight is coming off so wonderfully, and most of us have cheekbones showing. Imagine that! He reluctantly cleared me to go back to work on the 26th of November. I really dont want to be out much longer. The gal that is filling in for me is doing her best, but how can one possibly expect to be replaced with only 2 weeks training? He made me promise that I would leave work if I got tired. He also cleared me to have intercourse (how embarrassing to ask!). I am a little nervous of doing anything that might cause me to get a hernia. :)
Today is my 2 week anniversary from my OPEN RNY Surgery. I am pleased to say I am down to 267.5 lbs. (19 1/2 pounds!) and have lost 17 3/4 inches from over my entire body. Whahoo! This surgery is amazing. I feel great and am starting to see the weight loss in my face, neck, shoulders, and chest. Thank God for His blessings in being able to have this surgery. Tomorrow I go in for my first followup with Dr. Zorn. I hope that I am on track for losing weight. I also will find out when I should go back to work. They are calling me every day with things that I just have no control over. Kind of frustrating. If I was there the work would get done faster and more efficiently. Ah, the life of a work-o-holic!
All my steri-strips are off. I just put Vitamin E on the scar, but it is so small, that I doubt there will be any bad scaring. I am really impressed with Dr. Zorns sewing ability! REALLY IMPRESSED! I recommend him for all your flesh-sewing needs! LOL I am amazed at how satisfied I feel when I eat. While it is a bother to take time to make food that you can only have a few bites of, I am completely satisfied with the feeling I get. I feel like I have eaten a huge meal, when it is only a few bites. What a difference!
Down 19 pounds! Whoo-hoo! I have increased my walking to 3/4 each day, and feeling good. I have decided to weigh myself once per week, as I am finding that my mood is becoming dependant on the scale, and I want to get away from that. I will weigh/measure myself every Friday for the first 2 or 3 months, then see how it goes (probably I will switch to monthly). It is amazing how quickly these first pounds come off.
Down 13 pounds and feel great! I am walking about 1/2 mile each day, and am eating soft foods now. I have tried refried beans with a toasted roll, cheese, and cottage cheeses. Sometimes it seems not worth the effort to make food, when you eat so little of it, and leave so much behind. But, I am finding that purchasing in smaller quantities makes more sense. I am excited about getting on the scale daily and seeing numbers drop. I know down the line it will more work, but for now I am enjoying the rapid loss while it lasts! LOL.
Well today is my one-week postop date. I have lost 7 1/2 pounds and 3.25 inches so far -- even with my swollen tummy! But the biggest difference is my separation from the chains that food held on me. I coudn't really understand it before surgery. It's hard to explain after surgery, but it's like a photo of my life has a transparancy over it that blocks out the control/restrictions and let's me see only my new life. Food is just not as important for me. I used to wake up and plan what I would have for breakfast, then plan what I would have for lunch, then dinner, etc. Now, I think "Oh...I should drink my protein shake now". I am doing great on my water, and am working at getting even more down me throughout the day. Water is a key factor in skin shrinking back up, and I want that to happen! I would like to avoid a tummy tuck if possible.
Hi everyone! I am back from the hospital and doing great! One week post-op and it's hard to remember the pain. I hope childbirth is as easy. Actual pain from the surgery was very minimal. I stopped using the Demerol after about 5 hits (made me nauseous). Walking and the breathing aparatus helped a lot. I did have some difficulties right after the surgery with nausea. But keep in mind that I was hypersensitive prior to surgery, and have a tendancy to throw up if my stomach is the least bit upset. Dr. Zorn came by and said that it was either a swollen esophagus or a lazy stomach (i.e. the new pouch didn't know what to do with itself). He prescribed some medicine called reglan, which helped to activate the stomach. Within a day the problem had disappeared. Unfortunately, my mind was already in the throw-up mode and wouldnt let the action go. They ended up keeping me in the hopsital until Monday. I kept reminding myself that Dr. Zorn is a very cautious doctor and errors on the side of caution. I had two episodes of vomiting on Saturday, which negated my release on Sunday. But on Sunday/Monday I was perfectly fine. I came home and walked about 1/4 mile, and feel great!
I am sleeping on my side, which I find let's me sleep more deeply. I put two pillows under my head (to slightly elevate it), a pillow under/in front of my tummy, then when I am all settled in, Willie pushes a pillow or rolled blanket in my back. It keeps me pretty secure through out the night, and stops me from moving suddenly. Willie has been a great help this week. What a gem I have in him!
Great support group meeting. Lot's of people; lot's of great food; lot's of great clothes. I am glad I went. I thought about blowing it off, since I had so much to get done before surgery, but am glad I went. Kai's house was beautiful!
Ok. I am only a few days away from the surgery. My bags are packed, my paperwork is set, and I am anxious to get this over with. Today I am going to my support group meeting, which has come to mean a lot to me. I really did not want to join a support group. I guess I was still going through the 'shame' stage. Shame that I was not strong enough, consistent enough, etc. to win the battle over my weight problem. I mean--what IS wrong with me that I cant do what thousands of other people do. Lose weight and keep it off! Well, I got over those feelings and joined with a great group of women. Today is my last meeting before my surgery. I am glad that I am able to attend one right before. Each person's insight and suggestions really have helped me prepare for this surgery. Since it was a Halloween Themed Party, we took lots of pictures. There is a picture of Jeannie and I that is so embarrassing. I look so huge, and so old. I dont feel old, and that makes me sad/mad. I am looking forward to my body matching my mind!
Today is my husbands' 20-year class reunion. Of course, I am not going. I convinced him to take his old high-school girlfriend, Leonette. She is absolutely tiny and beautiful. Part of the reason is that I don't want to meet people for the first time so obese, and also I don't want my husband to be represented by obesity. He looks so fit and healthy, and I feel like such a blob. I feel like I am hiding from so much of life because of my weight. There are so many things I dont do, or cant do because of my obesity. I just don't want any more of it to pass me by. That is why I am so excited about my future after this surgery. I will now have a chance to focus on my life instead of hiding my body from the world!
Today was my last day at work. The office took me out for a lunch, which was great. I was initially nervous about having a temp in to do my work, but the gal we hired is doing great! That is one less thing to worry about during my recovery. Only one person at work knows the real reason for the surgery, so I have created two emails for my husband to send out letting me know I am ok - one to all the people who know this is Bariatric surgery, and one for everyone else. I am down to 20 things on my list of "Things to do before I leave for Surgery". Argh! I hate asking for sex, but I wanted to make love before my surgery. Willie said he wasnt in the mood. I know he is very nervous and that this surgery is hard on him, but frankly I wanted the intimacy. I made him hold me for 5 minutes (my normal limit! LOL), and felt better. I packed a sexy nightgown with me for the hotel -- who knows...I might get lucky! LOL.
Had a wonderful dinner with Tammy tonight. She took some before pictures with her digital camera, and boy was that hard to see. I just don't see myself as being that huge. She brought some before pictures of herself, and WOW! did this surgery make a change. She has a gorgeous smile, and now it really pops out at you. Because one of my concerns was not wanting to look like a 3-bite freak at a restaurant, she ordered a great dinner, and I got to see first hand how normal a post-RNY surgery patient is. There are so many similarities between Tammy and I. I look forward to having dinner/movies with her, and having our husbands meet. How fun to have a real girlfriend!
Today I started training the girl who is to replace me. She seems very competent, which is a plus. I have two weeks to teach her everything I know! I feel sorry for her! Work is going good. No one knows about my surgery except for Judy, which I told just last week. I dont want people thinking I have cancer or Aids as I lose the weight so quickly (notice the confidence?!?!), so I felt I needed someone in my corner. Willie is still not happy that I am having surgery, but really wants a thin wife. We talked about how our lives will be so much better after surgery -- more intimate, more passionate, and that I will have more energy to help out around the house more. I am looking forward to having sex more than 4 times a year...having that husband back who kissed me passionately before leaving for work...one who wants to chase me around the house until I give in! LOL. Am I dreaming? This is so exciting a time for me.
Each fall I normally purchase bulk pumpkins and roast the seeds. Then store them for snacks. But since my surgery is on Halloween, I wont be able to buy the pumpkins, let alone eat seeds. I was so bummed about this I went out and bought 3 pumpkins and roasted seeds last night. Mmmmm... All I can say is that I have given myself permission to eat all the 'banned' foods that I want prior to the surgery. I dont want to go in regretting anything. Its amazing that once you give yourself permission, the cravings go away.
Ok. Starting to feel some excitement. It seems that all previous months I was just not thinking about it. I was impatient for the surgery, but not nervous or excited. Now I am. I have this little flutter in my chest, and I think about the surgery and how it will positively affect my life a lot now. I am working on getting my home life and work life organized so I can leave without guilt/worry. I have already made out my emergency contact list and posted it at home. I have talked to several friends about the surgery, and my mom. My husband is now talking about it more freely. I am hiring/training a temp for work, so I can leave for as long as I need. I have decided to take 3 weeks off, and then play it by ear from there. I would prefer to come back to work within two weeks, but who knows how my body will react?
Drafted out my Will, letters to my family, and instructions in case I die on the operating table. It was a hard thing to do, but I felt it was necessary that Willie have instructions in case something happens to me.
Went to my first support group meeting. It is a group of women that have had (or are having) surgery through PB and Alameda(?). It was really nice. I was not interested in joining a support group, but everyone has said for at least the first year after surgery, you should be in one. I now agree. Pretty informative. I asked a lot of questions, and met some great people. Well worth the effort! This whole month I have been eating Singapore-style Chow Fun every day for lunch. I am getting worried. Its like a craving. Weird. Good, but weird.
I would have thought I would be more excited. I dont feel much excitement or nervousness yet. I wonder if this will change as my surgery date gets closer? This evening while we were walking, Willie asked me to promise I wouldnt leave once I lost all my weight. I thought that was weird. I know our relationship has been having some rough patches, but why would I leave? I am having the surgery so we can have kids together. I told him not to be silly. I still loved him dearly, and couldnt see why I would ever go anywhere, and who would want me anyway?!?! LOL.
In our attempts to respark our relationship, Willie and I scheduled a real honeymoon and went to Las Vegas this weekend. Took four days off and had a blast. We never took time off from work after getting married, and it has been something I have always wanted to do. Willie kept saying that I just wasnt in good enough shape to handle the walking and the heat. I have been working out very hard for the last few months and I am all geared up for it. I did feel very self-conscious about my weight. Willie is in such great shape, and I feel like Jack Sprats wife! Our first night we fell asleep early (so much for honeymoon loving!) The next night Willie took off while I was in the shower and went gambling. He was gone for about 3 hours. I gave up on him and went to bed. The next morning I pitched a fit and said this is MY honeymoon, and I had better see some of my husband! LOL. We had a much better time the last two days. I wonder--with all those buffets, how will I survive going after surgery? Paying $25 for 3 bites is going to be a hard pill to swallow.
Hospital Reviews(San Diego, CA) - Scripps Mercy Hospital
Fitness & Exercise - Own 3 Curves Facilities throughout So. Cal-Valley Village, Glendale, & Pasadena
Dogs - Share home with 3 dogs - Myla/Keesha & Baxter
Motorcycles - Learning to ride motorcycles -- girlfriend is BMW Bike Saleperson in Pomona CA
Cooking & Baking - Love to experiement w/exotic dishes. If you have a good recipie, send it over!
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender - Met girlfriend, Robyn through obesityhelp.com. Over 2 yrs & strong!
Support Groups - Currently manage private online support group for So. Cal for women.
Click here to see interests of other ObesityHelp members.
Surgeon: George G. Zorn M.D.
2 years out and Loving Life!
Here w/Dr. Zorn and a SIZE
I met with Dr. Zorn and his staff. All were highly professional and pleasant to work with. The Pacific Bariatric Group in San Diego has really gone above and beyond the norm in their education of this type of surgery, their expectations of your following their instructions, and listening to your questions; concerns; fears; and taking the time to completely answer them. My contact has been Myla Acuan, who is a sweetheart. She has also been a great source of information and support, as she went through this surgery in August of 1993 (and still looks great!). I have found that a large number of the staff I have spoken with or met are prior patients of the RNY. I live outside of San Diego, and they made accommodations for me to have all my required appointments on the same day. The counselor; and internist appointments went by quickly, and I found myself at PB almost 2 hours early. While the front desk clerk was a bit short/abrupt in her attitude, I ended up being called in by Dr. Zorn 1 hour before my scheduled appointment with him. He made a point of putting me at ease, and his bedside manner is great. Although I came prepared with 3 pages of questions, he primarily answered these before I could ask them. We discussed at length the post-operative schedule of events, and what he expected of me. We also discussed at length the possibilty of Kaiser approving LAP, and his feelings on patients waiting. His attitude throughout the meeting was proffessional, and enjoyable (for being laid out on a slab; naked except for a gown and my socks! I give him an A+ for pre-surgery visits!
Kaiser Permanente, Union 831 Plan
Must be medically necessary for Kaiser to submit. You must have two co-morbidities and a BMI of 35+, or if you have less than two, you are required to have a BMI of over 50 (eg. 50.02) to qualify for free surgery (co-pay $5). )2004 addition: Must now go thru 12 week Nutritional program before approval.
I have found that Fontana, CA Kaiser is a great insurance company to work with. I dealt w/my PA (William Webb - Rancho Cucamonga Center), who is great! He has personally called me back several times to let me know he is working on the issue (my weight was too low, and it took me two months to meet the weight qualifications). I dont belive that they stalled, but it did take persistent calls (every two weeks) to my doctor/nursing staff to have them check. I was unable to contact each level directly to ascertain the status of my paperwork. They all require a "history of weight loss", and the more specific you can be, the better. I was told over and over that the quality of my weight loss history summary, along with a detailed letter to the approval board really made a difference. If you would like a copy of this letter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Again, I feel providing an abundance of paperwork made a huge difference. Overall, I was advised it normally takes 6-8 months for the approval process, then another 8-12 months for the surgery date. I started in March, and was approved in July, and have a surgery date of October (2001). I am excited and nervous! I recommend that you really take the time to research this surgery and think seriously about the side effects and possible complications. If you can accept the worst case scenario, then you will do ok.