With a little help from my friends

Jul 18, 2017

Yesterday I decided to attend my first support group meeting. It came just in time because although I have friends and family who support me, they have no idea what I'm feeling or going through. I know their hearts are in the right place but if I hear one more person say "just wait until next summer when you're in a bikini" I'll scream.

Anyway I was trolling through the Ontario forums and I noticed that not only was there a support group in my city, the meeting was that night. Before I could talk myself out of it, I responded that I would attend. All the way to the meeting I was thinking of all of the reasons that I should not attend. What if they didn't like me? What if they had ito all together and thought I was a basket case? What if they were all successfully attaining their goals and I was just beginning. What if, what if, what if. I looked up and I had arrived at the meeting place. I looked through the window of the coffee shop and saw a group of about six women, of every shape and size, laughing and talking and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that group. I walked in, picked up my coffee and walked over to the table. Before I had a chance to say anything one of the women lookred up, smiled and said,  are you with us. Then all of the women looked up, smiled and, seeing the acceptance in their eyes, and knew, yes, i was with them. I sat down and immediately felt accepted.

Each of us introduced ourselves, who we were and where we were on our journey. There were women who were waiting for a surgery date, women who hadress recently had surgery and women who were close to their goal weight. Although each woman had their own story, we all had one thing in common, the want to lose the weight that had been holding us back. That evening was spent laughing, sharing, learning, and yes, crying, I learned that I was not alone, that what I was going through others had been and they had suggestions to help me. I was now a part of a community.

I left that night with the knowledge that I could do those,  I could maintain a lifestyle that would create a healthier, happier me. I have made friends who are just a text away. I am no longer doing this on my own. Knowing these things has made me feel that I am in control and that I will succeed on this journey.

If you feel that a support group is something that would help you, check out the forums under your state or province. If there isn't one listed, think about starting one up. I'm sure that if you reach out to a member running one in another area, they will be happy to help you out. I'm really glad I did and look forward to next month's meeting.

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Today is the day

Jun 14, 2017

Getting ready for surgery today at 1 pm. So excited to put my lessons learned to use in my new lifestyle. Although I realize that it is going to be a lot of work, I'm ready to take onnotes the challenge.

See you on the other side ????


Pre-op appointment

Jun 08, 2017

So I went for my pre-op appointment this morning and as expected I met with the pharmacologist, the nurse and the Anesthesiologist. I had to laugh as I was asked by the nurse if there was any way that I could be pregnant. I answered that if I was I would be there for a room in the psych ward, not bariatric surgery (I'm 53).

Anyway, since I have a sore throat (see previous blog) I was told that if it doesn't go away at least two days before my surgery date they may have to postpone the surgery for four weeks. I can guarantee that this sore throat will be gone by then if I have to surgically remove the throat. I have been on this Optifast diet for two weeks now and have psyched myself up for the surgery. I have prepared my home for afterward, stocked my cupboards and fridge for my new life and even gone through all of the clothes that are tight and donated them. There is no way I am not having my surgery next week.

As I've said before, I really appreciate the help and guidance I've received from the blogs and forums on this site.


That's what friends are for....

Jun 07, 2017

There are three little girls, ages 5, 3 and 1, who I babysit and have a very special relationship with. Every year the 3 and 5 year old have a ballet recital of which I am always invited to. Their mom asked me back in May if I would be able to attend and when I received my surgery date it turned out that I would. Mom knows that I am on the 3 week Optifast diet. So I bused over to the auditorium (it is quite a distance from where I live) and the deal is that they would drive me home.

The three girls show up and they are all sick. Runny eyes and noses, coughing and sneezing, I'm sure you know the drill. Anyways the recital was wonderful and the girls were so cute in their costumes. After the recital I was headed for their van and was told that we were all going to grab something to eat. I told her that I was on the Optifast diet so I couldn't eat and she went on about how the girls really wanted to spend time with me and "what one night of cheating going to do anyways". I explained that I was on the Optifast diet to shrink my liver so that the surgery would be safer and she responded with "well then just have a drink with us, that won't make a difference". I told her that I would not eat or have a drink but that I would go in (considering I needed the ride) and spend some time with the girls, at this point all three of them were crying because she told them I didn't want to go in.

I went into the restaurant and everyone was enjoying their meals while I had my glass of ice water. In order to keep my mind off the food, I played with the youngest one, who was quite fussy because she wasn't feel well. We finally left about 90 minutes later.

This was on Saturday night. On Monday morning I woke up with a sore throat and stuffy nose. I am writing thing because I do need some advice as I am sure I am not the only one with these questions:

  1. During Optifast but also after the surgery, how do you handle it when everyone is going to the restaurant and you are waiting for a ride?
  2. During the Optifast weeks, how do you take care of a stuffy nose and sore throat?

I'm interested in hearing your comments on #1 since my family bases all of our gatherings around meals and I know this is going to be a challenge for me.

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One Week under my quickly loosening belt

May 31, 2017

Well it's been a week since I began the three week Optifast diet and I have to say that I am quite proud of myself. I have been able to stick to the four shakes a day and rarely need to have either 1/2 cup of chicken broth or 1/2 cup of jello in addition. Thanks to OH I have been able to educate myself through the articles that have been posted but more importantly, I have been able to put my mind at ease on what to expect, how to deal and why it needs to be done through this community. The people, through the blogs and forums have answered questions, opened my eyes and prepared me for what is to come and for that i am grateful.


This journey has only just begun (first meeting at BMI in March of 2016) but I am now convinced that with this community and the friends I have made, and those that I will make, I can make this changes to my life and I can succeed in living the rest of my long life as healthy and as active as possible.

Onward and downward


I rule the weekends!!!

May 29, 2017

Well I made it through my first weekend on Optifast. I was really worried as I would be two full days of being unsupervised (like most, I'm at the office during the week). My co-workers watch me like a hawk (which I sometimes find very intrusive) but it also makes me accountable. Without them to count how often I get a glass of water, go to the bathroom or drink my shakes, could I every survive? Add to this that it was the weekend of the "Great Glebe Garage Sale" with my daughter and my dauther-in-law and I was sure that it would be a weekend of hell.

Well, here I am on Monday, at the office and not in jail and both my daughter and daughter-in-law are speaking to me. We walked the garage sale for four hours in the hot sun. They enjoyed gigantic sausages on a bun, with my blessing. I drank my 1.5 litres of water and brought along my Optifast and bullet for lunch and we had a terrific time. I also found a few things that I was lookign for and some craft ideas to keep me busy while I recover. I have to admit though that when I went home I slept for the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday was a very restful day. Aside from the fact that my calves were killing me from all of the walking on Saturday, it was tidy up and laundry day. Other than taking the dog out for a few short walks, I spent the day listening to my book and watching Bridget Jones' baby (I needed a laugh). I did not have any problems with sticking to my program. I did spend a couple of hours reading through forums and blogs on the ObesityHelp website and was thrilled to find out that I could have a half a cup of sugar free jello.

I'm now convinced that I can get through this next two weeks and that I am ready for the changes coming. I even looked online for my summer 2018 bathingsuit.

My only issue is sleep. Has anyone found that they get up really early while they are on Optifast. I have been waking up at 4 a.m. every day (I don't have to be up until 7 a.m.) and then I fall back to sleep about two hours later and am exhausted when my alarm goes off. I tried staying away but because I have to eat within 1/2 hour after waking up, it throws off my shake plan. As well, it makes for a very long day (I usually work until 4 or 5). Love to hear what the community has to say and what they've done to deal with this.


Getting ready - Optifast Day 3

May 26, 2017

I've been pleasantly surprised at how I've adjusted to the Optifast diet. I was sure that I would be starving all of the time and then when I did get to drink, it would gag me. Well, I only get a little hungry around 2:30 and I then take care of this with my 1/2 cup of chicken broth (thanks to the community for this tip). I was also thrilled with the taste of the shakes, even the vanilla shake. Thanks to the OH community, I learned how to make that shake taste the very best it could and I actually look forward to my vanilla shake now. What I have noticed though is how many ads are on TV regarding food - eating, washing, growing and disposing of. The only cable TV shows I watch are the local news and Ellen. While watching Ellen yesterday, I noted that for every 5 minutes of Ellen, there were 2 minutes of food. I ended up turning it off and doing my laundry. Thank goodness I have Netflix.

I did get a call today for my pre-op appointment. Normally I would not be too happy about this as I absolutely hate hospitals but after reading blogs of what the appointment was for and what to expect, I am actually glad that it is coming up. I now see it as another milestone in my journey. I am so grateful that I have found this site and that the community is so forthcoming and honest about their experience. It will certainly make my journey much easier and less scary knowing that someone out there has gone through, is going through or is beginning the same path that I am on. I am lucky that I have a very support personal network but talking to and hearing from people that are actually feeling "my pain" or "my joys" is going to make this journey that much more enjoyable.

Well, this weekend in Ottawa is the Great Glebe Garage Sale. This is an annual event where residents of the Glebe, a neighbourhood that spans approximately 10 blocks wide and 10 blocks across, lay out all of the stuff that they no longer want. The weather is supposed to be amazing and my daughter and daughter-in-law will be shopping with me. It means that there will be a lot of walking, and for these two young, healthy and strong-minded women, a lot of eating. I will bring along my water, my shakes and some gum and I have some strategies to help me enjoy this day. I do have to say that on my best days, I find these two very challenging so it will be interesting to see how it goes at this point. Thankfully they have to love me, they're family

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks again for sharing your ups and downs. It really does help those of us that are heading your way.

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Well here I go

May 24, 2017

So today is the first day of my 3 week liquid diet. I had no problem with drinking the Optifast for breakfast and lunch but by 2:45 I was starting to get hunger pains. Luckily I had some salt-free chicken broth so I had a 1/2 a cup of that, boy it was the best thing I've tasted in a long time :)

I have to admit that I am having a hard time concentrating at work. I don't seem to be very coordinated and have had to resave my documents several times because I keep pushing the wrong buttons on this computer. I've decided that I will do all "thinking" work in the morning and keep my mindless tasks like scanning and filing for the afternoon.

I think I will leave the office a little early today and go home and do laundry. That should keep my mind off things. Feeling pumped that I'm two-thirds through my first day. Looking forward to seeing how I sleep tonight.

If anyone has any tips to help with temptations, I'm all ears.



About Me
Surgery Date
May 17, 2017
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8 weeks after surgery

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