18 MONTHS OUT:
(I didn't do all my fun poses...sorry)
I am at the very beginning of this process. I look forward to what is ahead. I am a Christian and I am praying about this every step of the way.
Here is ME:
~*~*~ OCTOBER 15, 2005 ~*~*~
I am meeting with Dr. Thaemert tomorrow for my very first consultation. I am excited about the prospect of surgery, but also a bit nervous! I am dedicating each step of the way to the Lord and trusting that if it isn't His will things won't go through.
~*~*~ OCTOBER 17th, 2005 ~*~*~
Well, I started my food journal today. BOY...that's a bit humbling! I can name that tune in 1 note ~ CARBS!! Yikes, I ate pop tarts, a sandwich, spaghetti and some animal crackers. What do they have in common CARBS! So, tomorrow it's off to the grocery store to buy some fresh fruits and veggies.
The other thing I realized. I am addicted to Diet Soda! Yikes, I need to change this habit NOW rather than after surgery. So, I will move forward with God's help and pray that He will give me victory over this addiction.
I am learning SO much from OH. It's been a wonderful resource.
~*~*~ OCTOBER 20th, 2005 ~*~*~
So, is it normal to OBSESS? Because now that I am on the road to surgery, it's all I can think about. I am nervous, excited and I just wish I could go through with it tomorrow!!
Alas, I know that I need time because I want to do it right. So, I have started a journal of WLS tips, tidbits and treasures. I am gathering info from the people here at OH (and other friends) saving things that I think will benefit me post op. It's amazing how much information is out there. It's overwhelming, but Ijust keep praying that God will help me be successful because without Him, I know I am DOOMED to fail!
~*~*~ OCTOBER 27th, 2005 ~*~*~
Well...I am two steps closer to WLS. I had my nutrition consult and my Psych consult. Both were very enlightening. The one thing I realized about myself is that this desperate need to become free of my weight started after my first child was born! It wasn't like the Dr. got it out of me and there was a major breakthrough. But, as I left the building I thought to myself "I have always really liked me. This desperate need to be able to run and be active didn't start until we started our family." I guess I might call it my AH-HA moment!
Anyway, I want to be able to be there for my kids, to run with them, to play with them without becoming tired and I also want to teach them good eating habits for life. Mercy, I pray they never have to struggle with obesity!
Hmmm...lot's of interesting things going on in Beckyland.
Praising God for opening doors...
~*~*~ NOVEMBER 5th, 2005 ~*~*~
I have been trying to eat better, but I am struggling. I am trying to figure out if I am an emotional eater or not. I really don't think I am, but then I think to myself "is this denial?" So, who knows! I guess if God chooses to reveal it to me then I will know. Until then, I think I am a voracious BOREDOM eater. Also, I eat before bed to help me sleep!! Is that stupid or what?! Why can't I just go to bed hungry? So, I am taking this time presurgery to understand WHY I am such an overeater. I think it will help me do better after surgery.
I HAVE filled most of my nasty carb types with healthy carb types and I have discovered a love for frozen vegetables. See, I always think, if it can't be fresh it isn't worth doing. But, that is SO not true! Frozen veggies are still better than a pop tart!! So, that has been enlightning. I realize that may be a DUH idea for many of us, but not for me. I I LOVE snap peas! So, I've been eating a lot of stir-fry and wheat fajitas with veggies. A much better option.
Well, I am going to call my insurance agency and see where we are in the process!! As things get closer I find myself a little apprehensive. But, I know that all will be fine...I hope (wink!)
~*~*~ NOVEMBER 8th, 2005 ~*~*~
I am missing dh today. He is TDY. I was talking to him last night and I realized that he is such a wonderful man. I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is really excited about this surgery, but also very nervous. He loves me...LIKE THIS! He is torn. He thinks the surgery will allow me to be around longer, but is worried about complications and such. Oh, I am going to miss him over this holiday season. I can't wait to see his face.
On another note, I called the insurance company today. They HAVE my stuff. The received it Friday, Nov. 4th. So, it will be interesting to see how long it will take them. I pray I will be able to have surgery this calendar year. With the deductible already being met it would be such a blessing.
I am again astounded how much I think about the surgery and the life after surgery. I am informed, I know the risks. I understand everything. But, I still don't know what it will bring. It's a HUGE unknown. Mostly, I want to PLAY/RUN with the kids. What a joy that would be.
Here are some things I look forward to and some goals I have:
1) I want to ride comfortably in an airplane/sit comfortably in a theater seat.
2) I want to walk without getting horribly winded
3) I want to get out of bed and not have to stand there for 10 seconds before I can move.
4) I want to RUN! (GOAL: I want to run in a 5K marathon!)
5) I want to bend down to pick up my children and get up with them in my arms.
6) I want to sit criss-cross-applesauce on the floor with my kids (Kaden's teacher said "He just doesn't quite get the concept. He is always sitting on the floor with his legs sprawled open." Well, of course he is, that is how his mom sits.)
7) I want to go to WALMART (nowhere fancy...just WALMART) and buy clothing. I currently have to go to specialty store if I want to purchase clothing.
8) I want to get an item of clothing for $3 at any Mart/Get or Ko and brag about what a bargain it was.
9) I want to scoot past someone in the church pew without squashing them and making us ALL uncomfortable
10) I want to take a bath and fill the tub with water while I am IN IT and NOT have to readjust to make a flood gate for the water so it can fill the "front and back" parts of the tub.
11) I want to teach my children to eat healthily NOW so, they will not struggle with these issues later.
12) I want to play the lead in a play, not the supporting role!!
13) I want to go skiing, skating and rollerblading
14) I want to golf without having to readjust my BOOBS!
15) I want to go hiking.
That's it for now, but that's pretty substantial! Praying for speedy approval, uneventful surgery and a healthy new life!
~*~*~ NOVEMBER 12th, 2005 ~*~*~
I AM APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe how quickly that happened. Lord willing I will be able to have surgery before the end of the year. I really take this as a big "GO AHEAD!" from God. I keep praying (and it's really DIFFICULT to pray this because I really want the surgery) "Lord, if this isn't your will put a stop to it!" But, He keeps opening doors. Thank you Father! So, I am going to call the surgeon on Monday and find out when I can have surgery. I admit that I am running the gamut of emotions, but I truly believe in my heart that this is the best decision for me AND my family. I pray that everything will go without a hitch. I know that things can go wrong, but I just keep praying daily that all will go without any problem.
There are SO many people here at OH who inspire me. I am awed and just MOTIVATED by the success of so many people. It's amazing to see all the techniques/advice/love and caring that happens here. I pray that one day I will be able to be that same motivation to someone else!
WOW...just sittin' here dreaming of healthier days and praising GOD for His mercy and grace!
~*~*~ NOVEMBER 18th, 2005 ~*~*~
Well, I had my gall bladder ultrasound and my H. Pylori blood taken. So, in "a couple of business days" I should be getting a call from the surgeon's office to set up a meeting with Dr. Thaemert to chat about a date. WOW...that is crazy.
I talked to dh last night. He sort of balked a little bit when I told him how smoothly things are going. I think it's all going a little fast for him. He told me in an email that if he could stand in the operating room and watch the surgeons every move and question him he would feel a lot better!! Hmmmm...interesting. He also said it boils down to "not being in control." He just loves me so much and doesn't want to live without me. Man, I am so BLESSED to have him in my life. I told him that I need his blessing. If he can't give it, then I will wait with the surgery. That was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I want this surgery so badly, but I want it to be within GOD's will. I cannot go forward with out his 100% support. I am praying that God will help him see that this surgery will save my life.
Well, I am trying to watch my intake and drink lots of water. I have ordered some protein samples and I am ready to DO THIS! I WILL succeed at this. I MUST! I am doing it for ME, MY KIDS and MY DH!!
Praying for dh...I asked him to take 24 hours to pray and then get back to me. We'll see what happens...
~*~*~ NOVEMBER 27th, 2005 ~*~*~
Well, tomorrow I meet with Dr. Thaemert and schedule a date. I did find out that it WILL BE this year. The insurance only covered the surgery through 12/31/05. So, I know it will be in the next month. So, after LOTS of prayer I wrote a letter to send to all my extended family and friends.
HERE IS THE LETTER I SHARED WITH MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!
Dear Friends and Family~
Before I go into the ME part of this email, I wanted to ask for your prayers concerning a dear friend. My friend Robyn's dad passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly over the holiday week, last week. I just ask that you keep Robyn and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
Now, in typical BECKY fashion I am writing an email requesting your prayers. This time it's not about my wonderful children, it's about me. Because of my openness and belief in prayer, I can't NOT email you and ask for your support and friendship during this part of my life. Also, I believe that you love me and truly care about my well being. I count myself among the most blessed in the world to have you as my friends and family.
I am stalling...
Here is the deal:
After YEARS, yep, your read that right, YEARS of prayer and consideration I have decided to have GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY. The specific surgery I am having is the Laparoscopic Roux-en-y. This is an intense weight loss surgery. I know that there is some controversy and a lot of misunderstanding out there about what that means. Here is a link if you are interested in researching more about it: http://www.obesityhelp.com
You see, even though you all know me and love me. There are a few things you may not know about me.
1) The medical term for my body is SUPER MORBIDLY OBESE. That is probably THE hardest thing I have ever had to type and share with people I care about. Morbidly, means DEADLY. In short, I am deathly overweight. While I know that you are all well aware that I am (inside joke alert: smart, pretty, strong, altruistic) overweight, I am actually much worse than that.
2) When I get out of bed in the morning or get up from sitting for long periods of time I CANNOT move because of some severe joint issues.
3) I have never in my life NOT been overweight.
4) The one thing we know about my birth mother is that she was "a huge woman."
5) I struggle with some other weight related issues.
My doctor has been recommending this surgery for a long time and I have tried to do everything I can to avoid it. But, the truth is I WANT TO LIVE. I want to see my children grow up, graduate, and grow older. I want to run with them and be active with them. Sitting on the sidelines is NOT my nature or personality. I so desperately want to do the things that most people take for granted. I want to walk without dying for air, I want to sit comfortably in a booth, and I want to ride comfortably in a car or airplane. I just want to LIVE!
There are risks with the surgery. There is even a possibility of death, but there is a greater possibility of death WITHOUT it. My health is on the decline and I can¡¯t go on like this. I truly believe this surgery will save my life.
Lastly, I want to address the issue of vanity. I am NOT doing this because I think that having surgery will turn me into an ultra hot BABE! Puh-lease, I am ALREADY an ultra hot babe. And more importantly, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, it tells me so in the Psalms 139! This IS NOT about looks. Actually, I will look saggy and probably older. I will most likely go through a time when I will lose some hair. But, I don't care about that, I care about LIVING.
I want to live and in order to do that I need your prayer support. As of right now I do not have a surgery date. I know that it WILL be before the end of the year as the insurance gave a 12/31/05 deadline. I meet with the surgeon on Tuesday, November 29th. After that I will know the date. When I do know the date, I will email you.
So, please, I beg you to pray for me as I enter this new stage of my life. I will have to change a lot of things, but not the fact that I am ME and I love YOU. I am scared of having surgery, but also excited about the possibilities.
Here are some ways you can pray:
~For my husband, he is in Kyrgyzstan and will not be here for the surgery. Please pray for peace of mind.
~For my children, they will be staying with my parents and they will be missing BOTH mom and dad for a time.
~For the surgeon, Dr. Thaemert. (A cool God-incidence, his daughter attends my son's preschool. This also happens to be the preschool I work for. He shared that he is a Christian.) Pray that his hands will be swift and sure.
~For the surgery. That it will be COMPLETELY uneventful and there will be no complications. That I will be in and out of the hospital in no time and back to my family.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know it's very long. I covet your prayers and would so appreciate your support. I also hope that if you have questions or concerns that you will email ME. After all, it's just me, Becky, the same Becky you have always known.
Lord willing the only changes will be for God's glory. I hope that having surgery will help me lean on the Lord, love Him more, and that even this will glorify Him in some way.
So much love and prayer is being sent with this letter~
The responses I have gotten are AMAZING.
HERE ARE SOME OF THEM: WOW, WOW, WOW!!
"I am in tears sitting here reading your letter. I will ABSOLUTELY be putting you into my daily prayers. I know you have not made this decision without much thought and prayers. Thus I know that God WILL be in the midst of this. But I'm so blessed that I can be a part of your prayer team b/c I, too, and completely am fully persuaded in the power of prayer."
"You got it babe!! I love you...and let me know if there is absolutely anything i can do to help (i.e exercise program, eating program, or just some moral support, etc...)"
"We are totally supportive of what you are doing. We have two friends who have had this or similar surgeries and have seen tremendous positive impact on their health. Count on us to continue to pray for you"
"Rock on! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers for sure! I have five friends that have done this, one considering it, and one that should have but ran out of time. I know the struggles they went through making the decision as to whether or not they wanted to do it¡¦ and it all came down to them wanting to be around for their kids. Please keep me posted¡¦ and for SURE you'll be in our thoughts and prayers!"
"Becky, The courage you have in sharing that is ... AWESOME. I count myself as a friend and honored to be on your email list."
"You have my love, prayers and support! You are one of the coolest woman on the planet and I'm behind you whatever you do ALL THE WAY! I know you'd be there for me. Keep me updated."
Wow, I feel so blessed. I was really nervous about what people would say/think, but the fact is, they were TOTALLY supportive!
~*~*~ DECEMBER 1st, 2005 ~*~*~
I had my final consult with Dr. Thaemert. It went really well. I had a list of questions. Most of which I gathered here on OH. There was one WLS person in particular that inspired them! When I find her name again, I will give her PROPS! She has inspired me too!! ****UPDATE: HER NAME IS SHERRY WEBER! I just wanted to make sure you knew it was HER not me that came up with the list.
Here is what I asked Dr. Thaemert:
QUESTIONS FOR SURGEON
1. How many WLS performed?
2. How many WLS patients lost?
3. What do you think my goal weight should be?
4. What is the pre-op diet?
5. What are the preparations for the surgery?
6. Any recommendations for post op diet?
7. How long should the surgery take, barring complications?
8. Proximal, Medial or Distal Roux-en-Y?
9. Will I get a binder in the hospital? How long do I wear it?
10. How soon will I be able to drive?
11. Do I have a limit on how much I can carry or lift? For how long? How soon will I be able to lift my children?
12. What type of pain medication will I be given for home use?
13. Are there gowns in the hospital for someone of my size or should I bring something from home?
14. After surgery, when can I resume my normal activities?
15. Do you have a list of medications that I can/cannot take?
16. What about pregnancies? Do to husbands yada, yada we have been unable to conceive. Do the chances increase with WLS? If so what birth control pill do you recommend?
17. Should I get a medic alert bracelet?
18. What vitamin supplements should I take after surgery and what doseage?
19. How long will I be in the hospital?
20. How often are follow-up visits, post-op?
He answered every one of them except the medic alert bracelet question (I forgot to ask it!!)
The other cool thing going on in my life: I HAVE PEACE!! I was getting worked up and concerned about things and I was starting to feel a lot of anxiety. But, I can feel the prayers of friends and family. So, lately I have been having a real PEACE about this surgery.
Praise God for that, because I think the what if's, should not's and you'd better's would be ruling me!
~*~*~ DECEMBER 10th, 2005 ~*~*~
Well, it's just two days before surgery and I FEEL the prayers!! I am not usually emotional about feeling prayers, but I can honestly, truly feel them! I have such an incredible PEACE. It is enveloping my body and it's so wonderful. I was worried that I would feel scared and anxious, but nothing. This just validates the fact that I TOLD my friends and family about the surgery. That was the best decision I made. I feel so blessed to have their love and support. What a GIFT!
I have most everything ready to go. My home is in order, my kids have a place to stay. My husband is supportive and wonderful and will be HOME IN THREE WEEKS!! I just feel so blessed to even have this opportunity for weight loss. My greatest prayer is that God will use even this for His glory. I pray that I will be able to minister to people through this opportunity.
Wow, I guess that is all really. I feel...PEACE. Thank you for that Father.
~*~*~ JANUARY 20th, 2006 ~*~*~
Forgive me for not updating sooner. The truth is I really haven't felt ready. Here is the quick version:
* Surgery Dec 12th
* Released Dec 14th
* Never really felt good
* Had excruciating, debilitating pain
* Went back in on Dec 16th
* Found A BOWEL OBSTRUCTION in emergency surgery.
* The body cavity was filled with bile from a leak
* They flushed my system 4 times
* They were afraid I would not make it
* Kidneys didn't work from Dec 16 - 19th
* Couldn't breath, needed oxygen
* My kidneys started working!! PRAISE GOD!!
* I had the worst pain imaginable
* My heart started hurting
* I started to make progress on Dec 20th.
* I was released Dec 24th...just in time to spend the holidays with my family.
SO, how am I doing today??? Well, I am MUCH BETTER. But, it hasn't been an easy road. I have ZERO energy and I am in my SIXTH week since surgery. It has only been this week that I have started feeling better. Here are some quirky things about how I have been feeling:
1) I can only tolerate warm/hot liquids. I have been living on herbal tea. (Which btw, does count towards your daily water intake)
2) Making tea or any small chore leaves me breathless and week from exhaustion
3) I have been down and suffered from what must be depression. I cried almost every day. Of course I am sitting here with my aunt flo, so last week COULD have been PMS!
4) My BODY did NOT stop hurting enough for me to bend down/turn certain ways until THIS WEEK!!
5) I have painful gas (Gas X does help a bit)
6) I can't tolerate water (I hear this is common in WLS folks)
7) I GAG on protein shakes, I absolutely cannot drink them.
I only write about this because I was feeling VERY alone until I read another person's profile and realized I WASN'T! If you are suffering from a bowel obstruction/leak whatever...know that there IS and end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God is working in my heart every day to get me back on track and I am doing the work too! My body is healing, but my faith took a dive. I feel awful saying that, but again, if you are feeling alone and abandoned don't forget that NOTHING...not even YOU can seperate YOU from the love of Christ (Romans 38!)
I will keep you posted. As of today I am down like 45 lbs since surgery. While it doesn't feel "worth it" to me right now, I have a feeling it will in a few months!!
~*~*~ JANUARY 22nd, 2006 ~*~*~
I am feeling more like myself every day!! PRAISE THE LORD!! I cannot even believe it, I thought I would never see the day.
I have having trouble getting my protein in though. I will have to try to do some research on that.
Tonight the Prayer Shawl ministry is coming to my home. They made me a SHAWL and they place it on my shoulders and pray for me. TALK ABOUT HUMBLING!! What an incredible gift. I will report back later to tell you how it went.
~*~*~ FEBRUARY 10th, 2006 ~*~*~
It has been a while since I have checked in. I guess that's because I was feeling really discouraged. For some reason my heart was really down. I was even feeling far away from God. I know it's probably my own fault, but I like to think that God drew away too. I like to think that He is teaching me during those times. But, I admit that I MISS being in communion with Him. My relationship has been so close with Him, so it was hard to be away. BUT...He is calling me back and I am running!!!!
Here are some WLS thoughts I have been having:
1) Am I eating too much? I see people on the boards eating much less and I worry. Don't get me wrong, I am not eating JUNK, but I am just wondering if I am eating TOO much. Here is an average day.
B~the heart of an orange, orange juice
S~a peice of brown bread
D~Meat and veggie
S~Fruit or crackers, veggies etc.
Who knows if it's too much. I will email my nut and find out.
I am also struggling with excercise. I am trying to do it, but I keep having road blocks. So, I ask myself if they are TRUE road blocks or mental road blocks. I SO want to succeed. I am praying that God gives the willpower to do it. I am so WEAK sometimes I am glad He is strong!!
Here are some goals:
1) Excercise 3 times per week
2) Try to drink one more cup per day
3) Try to find a source of protein!!
May God bless your days as He is blessings mine~
~*~*~ FEBRUARY 19th, 2006 ~*~*~
Here I am 2 months out. I am feeling better and better every day. But, I am still learning to undo bad habits. Just today I tried grilled cheese and...I threw up. The bread just WILL NOT GO DOWN. You would think I know this already, but NOPE, I try it anyway.
I eat too fast sometimes and that is a big no-no. My body doesn't really do well with that. I just feel a HUGE lump in my stomach and it's hard to breath.
Right now, the scale isn't moving. I attribute that to three things.
1) I can't drink water without pain. I think if my fluid intake were better I could curb some of the hunger with drink.
2) I can't drink my protein and that makes getting ENOUGH protein nearly impossible.
3) I am not exercising enough.
I am starting with a trainer here in the next month or so, that should really help with the exercise. And a HUGE drive to succeed will help with the drinking and protein. I SO diligently try. I know it will come with time, but being patient is really difficult.
God has been so faithful during this process I feel myself drawing closer to Him every step of the way. That s a HUGE comfort during this whole process.
May God give you grace throughout your journey~
~*~*~ MARCH 16th, 2006 ~*~*~
Well, things are LOOKIN' UP! I am feeling GREAT! My energy levels have skyrocketed and I have started doing things with my kids that I never thought I'd do!! I have lost 10 dress sizes!!!!! Isn't that crazy?!?!?
I go in to see my surgeon tomorrow. I will be very interested to see how my "levels" are. I have done faily well at taking my vitamins and watching protein etc, but one never knows.
I finally feel like I am myself. The old Becky, the happy-go-lucky (St. Patty's day appropriate!) girl that I once was.
I found a way to get some extra protein~SILK Soy Milk (coffee or mocha flavor) mixed with ice. It is reminds me of a Starbucks Frappuchinno!! Gotta love that!
Also, a gal who had WLS before I did gave me 20+ pair of pants and several shirts. They are beautful and stylish to boot!! The fit the size I am in now and the size down!! PRAISE GOD for this gift. My pants were literally falling off. And I am one size away from HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION!! Thank you heavenly Father for this amazing weight loss. I cannot do it without YOU!
So, I will check in tomorrow and let you know what the doctor has to say.
~*~*~ MARCH 17th, 2006 ~*~*~
Well, I went to the doctor and according to HIS records/scale I have lost 65 POUNDS!! So, I changed my little weight thingy. That was cool news. They took blood to check my levels and I will get the results from that at a later date.
He was pleased with my weight loss. He said ideally he would like to see me lose at least another 100 lbs!! And, I totally agree. That would put me at 150 and that is what I am thinking would be lovely.
I feel so great! I feel like I have SO much energy!! We are going on a three-week trip the first of April and I CANNOT wait!! I know it will be tons of walking, but that will mean tons of exercise and for the first time in my life I will be able to do it. PRAISE GOD for this opportunity.
~*~*~ APRIL 28th, 2006 ~*~*~
I was in Washington DC for the month. While I was there I lost 12 pounds. I was able to WALK everywhere. It was amazing. I didn't realize how limited I was before surgery. I never would have lasted. But, everyday I was so excited to get up and walk to a new adventure.
I am feeling better all the time. I have gone from a size 30/32 down to a size 20!! I give all the glory and honor to God. Without Him, I would never have been able to do this. Finally after 4 months I am able to say I am GLAD I had this surgery.
I still struggle with daily exercise. But, I am doing SO MUCH MORE since the weather is nice. I want to do better with that though. Also, I am not getting enough protein. I am praying that God will help me find a supplement that I can keep down.
Lots of WOW moments: Sitting in restaurant booths, walking for miles, wearing a seatbelt comfortably, getting through spaces that I think I can't get through, buying clothes of the rack, having energy to do more...GOD, YOU HUMBLE ME!! Thanks for your gift.
~*~*~ MAY 27th, 2006 ~*~*~
Time to check in...Well, I weigh 220 now and some fun things are starting to happen.
~ I can wear my husbands clothes!!
~ I am 3 pound away from my dh in weight!
~ I am working out at LEAST 3x per week with a personal trainer.
~ Every night when my dh comes home we are DOING something because I have the energy!!!
~ I feel fantastic!
~ I RAN...(well jogged) for the first time in 15 years!!!!
~ I am in a size 18/20. I haven't been this size since freshman year of high school and I am 31 years old!
I just praise God for sustaining me through my dark time. Right now I feel so healthy and amazing. I really believe with all my heart that WLS was in line with God's will. I cannot believe how much my life has changed for the better.
Now, I just need to find a way to glorify HIM with this!!! I hope I can talk to people about what a blessing WLS has been for me. Despite the fact that I had severe complications and nearly died I am SO GLAD I DID THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~*~*~ July 20th, 2006 ~*~*~
Hello there OH friends,
Time once again to check in! Well, things are going amazingly well. PRAISE GOD! I am just humbled and blessed by this surgery. I am so thankful to have a new life. I am RUNNING...did I mention that last time. I, Becky, am RUNNING! Isn't that incredible. It's not far and it's not fast, but it IS running. I have lost 105 pounds since surgery and 135 since my all time highest weight! Sometimes I feel badly saying that because it's like I have lost a whole person. But, the fact of the matter is, I am THRILLED. We go hiking, swimming, play volleyball, run and SO MUCH MORE.
I work out with a personal trainer 3 times per week for toning. While it does nothing to help the excess skin, it does help my strength and my body, mind and spirit. It helps me to stay on track too. The accountability is amazing.
I do have a lot of excess skin and I don't know God's plan for that, but I am down from a size 32 to a size 16!!! I even bought clothes from the WOMEN's section, not the PLUS SIZE...I admit, I cried a little bit.
I just give God the glory for the hands of the surgeron and for helping this be a success. I could NOT do this without my Almighty God. Thank you Father for giving me the fortitude. Anyone who is considering this surgery, if you really feel God calling you to do so, GO FOR IT!
~*~*~ SEPTEMBER 8th, 2006 ~*~*~
Hello there OH friends. I am checking in. I am doing fairly well except I have rediscovered carbs and started to eat some sugar. What is WRONG with me? I tell you what. I can't believe I would fall into this trap again. I know the devil would love nothing more than for me to fail. But, I am trusting God. He is bigger and we all know that in the end He wins. So, I am trying to get back on track and GLORIFY Him even with my eating. I am trying to remember that my body is a temple of God and I need to treat it as such.
Sometimes I get a little too caught up with numbers on the scale. It's easy to do really. They start to become a measure of success. But, I am gentlely reminded that my success and worth are in the one Eternal God. So, that is my struggle right now. It's time to make the journey back to faith and lean on my Father's everlasting arms. I hope I can make Him proud of me!!
Here are some things I need to work on:
1) Getting enough protein
2) Drinking enough water
3) Exercising regularly!! I was doing wonderfully, but once I started school, I slid back into old habits :(
I know I can do this. I didn't go through the $, time and PAIN NOT to be successful!! So, God, help me. I am once again on my knees needing You to do this. Because I cannot do it on my own.
I love you Lord~
~*~*~ NOVEMBER 17th, 2006 ~*~*~
Hello there OH friends~
I am doing SO amazingly well. I cannot even fathom how GREAT I feel. I will admit that I am struggling once again with willpower. But, I keep going back to the basics and that is what works. This journey is not as easy as so many think that it is. Here are some things I am loving about this new gift from God:
1) I can run
2) While I am embarrassed to admit it, I think it's important for people to know. Sex is better.
3) I have gone from a size 32 to a size 14 (and SOMETIMES 12!)
4) I enjoy shopping now and I hated it before. Why? 1~I can walk for days! 2~I can shop in a normal store.
5) I am a better MOM! Because I can chase, run after, run with, play with, go places with and be on the floor with my children - Thank you JESUS!
6) I have stopped looking for people to do things for me. I DO them mysef. I didn't realize how often in the past I would ask people or let people do something for me because it was too far or too much exertion.
7) I weigh 187 pounds. I never dreamed I'd see a 1 before my weight! Even WITH surgery!
8) I weigh less than my husband.
9) My husbands clothes are way too big for me.
There are so many other amazing things that I will add as I remember them. But, I PRAISE THE LORD for this life changing surgery.
Also, as a newbie, I CRAVED pictures of success stories. So, I am posting what I consider a VERY STARK before and after picture. It's my school picture and it is exactly ONE year apart. PRAISE THE LORD again!!
~*~*~ December 10th, 2006 ~*~*~
Well, I admit I am celebrating a couple of days early. But, the truth is, if I don't do it now, I may never get to it. The season is so busy!! Thank you Father for sending your son so that I might live!! Thanks to this little baby born...I get to spend my life serving HIM! God is so good. And, I am SO blessed. Seriously, I cannot believe a year has gone by.
I will admit Christmas of last year I was holding onto my life due to surgery complications. But, this year I am WAVING my hands in the air praising God despite those complications. Honestly, this has been the best and worst year of my life. And, yep, I would do it again. Nearly dying has given me such a new perspective on everything and I am grateful that God humbled me the way He did. And any success I have because of this surgery goes straight to Him!
Since my all time highest weight (recorded) of 342.5 pounds, I have lost EXACTLY 160 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU LORD! Today, I weighed in at 182.5 lbs. So, since surgery that is a loss of 132.5 pounds. I was a size 30-32, 4XL. I am wearing a size 12-14, XL and L Women's, and I went from a size 10 WW (at least!) to a size 9-9.5 medium width shoe! Who KNEW that I would loose shoe sizes?!?!?
But, more than that I can bend down and pick up my children. I can chase them! I can take the steps two at a time. I can CHRISTMAS shop for hours. I can DANCE for hours! I can do pretty much anything I want. So, despite the complications, am I glad? YOU BETCHA!! I am thrilled to bits and pieces! Thankful to a wonderful Lord who loves me and watches over me.
Happy ONE year blessings to you all~
~*~*~ January 6th, 2007 ~*~*~
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
Well, I thought I'd better start off on the right foot this year. So, I am updating!! I also refused to make a New Year's resolution. Why? Because I don't need to do something for one YEAR, I need to do it for LIFE. So, I made a life-time committment. I am committing my body to Jesus!
That's right, I am back in the saddle. I am running once again. I had let myself get discouraged and I had stopped pushing. Well, NO MORE. God wants me to glorify Him in ALL I do and that includes working out! So, praise You Lord, I am YOURS!
And would you like to hear about my new found motivation. Oh, my goodness gracious. It has COMPLETELY changed my work-out. Oh, it's not revolutionary, most of you already know about it. But, if you are back in the stone age like me, I NEED to tell you about it - it's called AN MP3 PLAYER!!! (Giggle...what can I say, I am a little behind the times!) Anyway, I had NO idea that the Go-Go's "Our Lips are Sealed!" could make me want to RUN. And that the Newsboys "Breakfast" could absolutely MOTIVATE me to go farther! And, the very best part...you can't hear yourself breathing. Or, in my case, SUCKING WIND! Anyhow, it has completely revolutionized my work-out. I LOVE it!
My dh and I have been having frank discussions about plastic surgery. I know, I never thought I would be that person. I always thought come on it can't be that bad. But, the truth is, the skin on my tummy and between my legs is awful. Yes, it's unsightly, but it's also very uncomfortable. It HURTS when I run and it makes wearing clothes kind of difficult. So, we are in the beginning stages of talking. We'll see what God has in mind. I will seek His will first and pray that I will keep my will at bay. I would be lying to myself and to God if I said there wasn't SOME vanity involved. I mean, it would be very nice to to see all that hanging skin disappear! But, it's not totally vain in that I want nice perky BOOBS! I mean, I can contain the girls, but they just don't make proper thigh bras ~ KWIM!?!? I hope this doesn't offend, I just know how much I appreciated the candor of people as a newbie. So, I am laying it out there for you.
Well, I am down to 180. I am wearing size L pants, size XL top (so it covers the tummy!), size 12 or 14 pants and size 9 - 9 1/2 shoe.
If you have read this, bless you. I JUST prayed for you and your journey. May God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand.
~*~*~ February 21st, 2007~*~*~
Hello there OH friends. Time once again to check-in. It seems I am a quite the roller coaster girl. One month, I do SUPERB and the next month...BLECH! Needless to say, this past month wasn't so good.
I will lay out what I consider to be my reasons for this lapse of judgement, but they are really just a bunch of bologna. Fact is, this is my fault. And I need to take the responsibility for it!
We are moving. Well, 1/4 of us already moved. My dh is currently 12 hours away. He left a month ago. The littles and I are waiting for our home to sell before we join him. Sadly that is a very slow process. So, in order to have support, keep the house clean and maintain my sanity, the kids and I moved into my parents house. Did I say KEEP my sanity? Oh, yes, I did. At 32 years old I was worried about moving back in with mom and dad but, the truth is, it's been just great. They have been incredible and I love being with them. But, as far as my life-change for my health...not so great!!
Now, you ask, why the long diatribe? Well, moving into my parents has left me sans my treadmill and so I have felt the sedimentary lifestyle start to creep right back. Furthermore, my parents keep a LOT of crappy foods on hand. Now, is this THEIR problem? NO, but my self-control is pathetic. At my house, the cupboards are devoid of pretty much anything that could cause me to stumble. However, here at the CARB, FAT, OIL, CRAPORAMA house of love, the cupboards are overflowing with temptations and I am failing miserably. So, this past weekend. I repented, asked God for the help I so desperately needed and got back on the wagon. I am trying to eat smaller portions of only healthy things. I also am working out at LEAST 3 times per week...NO exceptions! I am also trying not to get too down on myself. YES, I need to be responsible, but I DON'T need to be neurotic. Lord have mercy!
I just felt that I needed to tell someone, so you my OH diary of friends are my sounding board. All this is to say, I WILL not fail. I cannot fail with Christ at the helm. He will be victorious over these cravings, lack of exercise and just plain laziness. I am trusting Him in this battle. I did not almost die and pay lots of money to have this tool be useless. So, mark my words, I am back. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and my intention is to honor God is ALL things, eating, drinking and exercising included.
Therefore, I am pathetically posting that I am 176 lbs/Size XL top/Size L bottoms/Size 12 pants/Size 9 1/2 shoe. Oh, and I would be TOTALLY remiss if I didn't give a plug to my new WONDERFUL BODY BRA!!! I am a little embarrassed, but also slightly giddy to tell you that I bought into the Slim n' Lift Supreme Infomercial. Yep, I sat and watched it and wondered and finally DIALED the digits. And, BOY, am I glad I did. This thing is a wonder. It sucks in all my jiggle. I can RUN in it! It's comfortable enough to wear all day and I love it. So, there you go. You can find it at www.thane.com.
So, let's review, I have had my confession, my excuses, my suck-it-up speech and my shameless plug. I guess the only thing left is to give all glory and power to God because without Him, I am nothing! So, go out and find yourself some Jesus, He will make your life!
~*~*~ September 9th, 2007 ~*~*~
I FIGURED OUT HOW TO UPDATE!!! What can I say, I am not all that computer savvy. But, I do love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength!
I am doing okay. I wish I were updating a couple of months ago. Then I would have said "I AM ROCKIN!" But, the truth is, I moved to a new place and I am having a hard time right now. I miss my friends and family and I am making up for it with FOOD! I had actually convinced myself (for my whole life long) that I wasn't an emotional eater. I really believed it. I thought, nah, I am just a boredom eater. However, lately, food has been taking the place of relationships and friendships etc. I guess you might say I am eating out of lonliness and feeling sorry for myself. BLECH! This sucks. So, I am starting to realize that indeed, I am exactly that, an emotional eater. Wow, that is no fun to type.
The good things in my life: I am running. (Not as much as I was two months ago, roll eyes) But, I am still running....okay jogging. My sister and I had worked our way up to 2 miles. Now, I just run a mile by myself. (Man I miss my sister) but, for a woman who hasn't run, well, EVER, this is a huge accomplishment. And, I also started doing Body and Soul. Check it out at www.bodyandsoul.org. It's a Christian exercise program. And, well, it KICKS my hind end. I have only had one class and so far it's really working.
Now, if I can just get the eating under control! Things will be peachy. I weigh 165. But, I had weighed 160! And this extra weight just came on in ONE month!!!!!!!!!! That is really hard for me to type, but I have to hold myself accountable. SO, there she blows...I gained weight. But, I am praying through this. I know with God's help I can get back on track and fill my body with Him, not food.
This is a lifelong battle. How many times have people told me that surgery fixes your body, not your head. Man, I am so human. God wants me on my knees though and so that is where I will be. I hope my next update will be more positive. May God continue to bless us all on our journey.
Oh, let's not forget the stats:
I am 165 lbs/Size M/L top/Size M/L bottoms/Size 10 pants/Size 9 1/2 shoe. So, there has been some positive changes there.
~*~*~ December 10th, 2007 ~*~*~
In just 2 short days I will have my 2 year anniversary! It seems like a lifetime since then. In many ways time has flown, in other ways it seems to be going in slow motion. The one thing that remains constant is the Lord. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever!! I remember thinking that I was on my way to live with him eternally after having such a hard time with my surgery. i truly believed that I was going to die.
People often ask me "Was it worth it?" or "Are you glad you did this?" My answer, everytime is "YES!" I had a rough start. Things did not go smoothly, I was closer to death than life. But, the benefits have far outweighed the risks. In February I plan on running in my first 5K. For some, this may seem laughable. But, for a formerly 350 pound woman, this is a dream come true. After the race I will have fulfilled all of my goals. GLORY TO GOD ALONE! I am doing things I never even DREAMED of doing.
I cannot believe the things God is allowing me to do. I can work out to high impact aerobics/weight training/pilates etc. for a full 1 3/4 hours twice a week. I can RUN. I can play. I can pretty much do whatever I want to do physically. What an abosolute GIFT! Lord, I just honor you and give you praise.
If you are looking into having surgery. Realize these things:
1) It is a lifelong COMMITTMENT
2) You DO have to change your life
3) You cannot remain idle
4) You MUST do the work in order to maintain your health
5) Support is IMPORTANT
6) Things may NOT go according to plan
7) You could DIE
8) You could LIVE
The decision is ultimately yours. You have to weigh the pros and cons. Surgery fixes your body, not your brain and THAT small nugget of information is so important to your success
The other thing is to remember that you are made in God's image. You are BEAUTIFUL in His eyes. He is delighted by your successes and saddened when you fail, but He NEVER fails!! When and if you decide to have surgery, trust that He will hold you fast. If you decide NOT to have surgery, he will remain by your side. Either way, you are His child and He loves you. You are BEAUTIFUL!!
~*~*~ March 12, 2008 ~*~*~
Well, I HAD to update today. WHY? Because I have officially fulfilled ALL of my post WLS surgery goals. I ran 3.1 miles last night. May God receive every ounce of the glory!! My lil' sister and I went out the night before last and we ran until we were tired. Then, like any good sisters would, we looked at each other and said "Let's DRIVE and see how far we went!" So, we did. It was 2 miles!! We were shocked. So, last night we decided to run 3.1 miles. And, we DID! I was just in shock. I mean, that may seem easy breezy to some, but for this former 350 lb girl, it was just absolutely CRAZY! PRAISE GOD IN A PSALM 150 kind of way!!!
As for the rest, well, food continues to be a struggle. It will be for life. I believe that at this point God chooses not to redeem me from this addiction. Why? So, I can be on my knees. So, I can rely on Him and pray and be completely dependent upon His mercy and grace. I struggle. But, I always return to prayer and supplication to get back on track.
Here are some things I have fallen away from (and come back to some of them!) that I wish I NEVER would have done: You pre-surgery folks...TAKE HEED!
1) NEVER stop measuring your food!
2) NEVER try sweets. If you never try them, you will never crave them.
3) SODA - why? Do you really need it? Ask yourself? Do you?
4) Protein first
5) Exercise from the very beginning. Even if you feel like it's only one small block - KEEP doing it.
6) If your doctor says "You shouldn't eat it." DON'T
I consider myself successful. Why? Because, God allowed it to be so. I have lost weight. Yes, but more than that. I am changed. I am healthier, I am more motivated, I am more active, I spend time with my children - running, playing etc. So, am I at my weight goal? Not yet, but if God wills it I will be. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but, SOON! In the meantime I will keep working out, running, trying to eat in a godly way and just keep on going.
~*~*~ May 12, 2008 ~*~*~
OMW! I cannot even believe it. I have exactly 19 days until I run my first OFFICIAL 5K. I don't even know how to tell you what that feels like. ALL my life I have been overweight. I have been active, but I have NEVER been able to RUN. When I say NEVER, I mean NEVER. This is the first time in my life since probably 8th grade PE that I have RUN!! The thought of running anywhere, even away from someone chasing me was truly unattainable. So, for me to be able to do this, to RUN 5 Kilometers, 3.1 miles is RIDICULOUSLY, AMAZINGLY, INCREDIBLY humbling.
THANK YOU LORD! Without You, this would be impossible!
So, if this post reaches even 1 person, I consider it to be a success. I know there are a lot of resources out there about running/jogging etc. Google something like from the couch to 5K to find more information. But, I really wanted to share what finally got me motivated.
The thought of jogging was incredibly overwhelming. Honestly, it was nearly impossible. But, I also had a goal that I set before WLS. And I wanted to fulfill it. More than that, I really, desperately wanted to be healthy! So, I decided if I wanted to do this I needed support and accountablity. I am NOT the kind of person who is motivated by myself. I am WAYYYYYYYYYYYY to social for that. I also can talk myself out of a lot of things. I also struggle with self-control (hence the eating issues ;) Anyway, I found the best way to start jogging is to find a partner who is in the same place you are. Or someone who is willing to work with you at YOUR level.
For me, it was my little sister. I am adopted, my sister and I are not blood related. She is super-trim but, VERY unhealthy in that she really did NO exercise. Well, she and I decided that we would just run until we were out of breath and then we would walk the rest. So, we did. We "ran" a block and about DIED from huffing and puffing. And then we looked at each other and burst out laughing. So, we took our hands off our knees, and walked until we were tired. We did the same thing 2 nights later. We ran until tired (2 blocks) and then walked fast until we were tired. We did this one more night and worked up to 4 blocks. And did you realize that 4 blocks is roughly 1/4 of a mile!! May not seem like much to some, but to us this was a HUGE milestone. This continued (about 3X per week) until we started to run/walk/run/walk about 2 miles. We would run until tired, slow to walk and catch our breath and then run some more.
Anyway, we had worked ourselves up to running an entire MILE! And then I moved 12 hours away - VERY sad. For about 4 months I adjusted to the move by eating. Then I realized that I could get right back where I had started from if I didn't change my ways. So, I started to attend Body and Soul classes (www.bodyandsoul.org) two times per week. But, I MISSED running. WHA??!?!?!? Did I just say I missed it? Yep, I really did. So, I found a new friend. A size one darling little friend who had never run in her life. And she and I started running. We started a nine-week build up program 3X per week. It started at 1/2 mile per time and worked up to 3 miles per time. So, that is where I am right now. And on May 31st, my sister is driving 12 hours so that she, my neighbor and I can run our 1st official 5k. WOW - brings tears to my eyes.
Friends, if you have ever thought you might want to try this, PLEASE do. Find someone to push you. Find someone to work with. Find someone to encourage you - and JUST DO IT! Even if you haven't wanted to and now you think "well...maybe!" DO IT! Do not pass go, do not collect $200 - just START today. I promise you, it will be totally worth it.
Sorry this is so long, but I really hope to encourage someone to try something they have never thought possible. Oh, oh, oh, sorry for the stream of conciousness typing, but I wanted to mention SKIN. For ladies: get Assets by Sarah Blakely - The Fabulous Footless work great for tummy and thighs. I also wear two sports bras to hold in the girls. This allows me to run with all the skin.
Okay, may God bless you today. If you have success and something works BETTER for you. Please share it. I would love to hear your stories!!
~*~*~ June 2, 2008 ~*~*~
I DID IT! I ran my first official 5K! I came in 115th (but I don't know how many there were LOL!) and my time was 35:00. No, it's not super fast, but I am happy. This was a dream come true. I am so thrilled to bits and pieces that I even COULD do this. Thanks be to God!
My new goal is to do a 10K by fall. Although, running in the Arkansas heat is pretty nasty, so, I'll have to see. But, I WILL - repeat WILL run a 10K one day!
My sister was there with me. She came all the way from South Dakota to run with me! My neighbor was also integral in my success. She trained with me for the last two months. Well, I just had to share. I am so blessed and humbled to have acheived this awesome feat! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOD!!!!!!
~*~*~ December 6, 2008 ~*~*~
Well, I am 6 days away from my 3 year anniversary. I feel fantastic. I am constantly moving and going. I have lost 170 or so pounds. Gastric Bypass Surgery was truly a blessing to this woman.
Every day I still battle with making food choices, but I usually make the right ones. If I fall off the wagon, I eventually come back. I exercise, eat right, stay fit, and just LIVE thanks be to God!
I am currently working toward my first marathon relay (four people share 26 mile marathon.) It's only 6.2 miles, but for me, that is like saying 100 miles! I never dreamed I would be able to put on a pair of running shoes and head out to "run a couple miles." And now, by God's grace, 2 miles is easy. WOW - WOW - WOW! Thank you Jesus.
My husband and I just talked about how are lives are so different than before. While I was NEVER really UN-happy being overweight. It really did limit the things we did as a family. I tried not to let it, but it did. We still had a great life, but now we are just so much more on the move. We go hiking, jogging, walking, and most anything else physical. We even try to cook creative, healthy meals together. While I never felt deprived before I has WLS, I realize NOW that I was missing out. My life is just so much more active. And I am also a better mother and wife. My children talk all the time about making "healthy choices!" We allow them to CHOOSE whether they want treats etc though - no deprivation. But, we also encourage and educate them on what making healthy choices can do for them - thank you Captain Carlos ;)
God is so good and I am so thankful that He has guided my footsteps though this journey. I love being the new healthier me. And I know that without Him, that would not even be possible.
Surgeon Info: Surgeon:Bradley Thaemert, M.D., F.A.C.S.
WOW...so far I am super impressed. Dr. Thaemert was very friendly and extremely helpful. He took time to explain everything I wanted to talk about. He also did a good job covering the risks of surgery. Dr. Thaemert even knew details about my insurance provider that were helpful. This was only my first consult, but I think I am going to be very happy with my choice.
On my second consult he spent a lot of time with me. I had a HUGE LIST of questions and he answered EVERY one of them. He listened to me. He encouraged me when I needed to be encouraged and also cautioned me when I needed to be cautioned. He wasn't afraid to call me on the carpet a bit and I respect that!
I am 100% impressed with this man. He is gentle, yet firm, confident and knowledgeable. WLS is his BAG or perhaps I should say his POUCH! Anyway, it's his focus. Of all the doctors he works with, he is the one that has performsthe most WLS surgeries.
I am more than comfortable with this choice. I am actually AT PEACE about it and that speaks volumes.
Would I recommend Dr. Thaemert: ABSOLUTELY YES!! Insurer Info:
Blue Cross Fed Plan
I REALLY like BCBS. They have been wonderful. I was not expecting this from an insurance company. But, things moved quickly! They even had someone call and follow up. She is a WLS advocate. She has called twice and will call again after surgery. WOW!