Jul 11, 2014
Read my latest OH Blog article: I Fit In at FitBloggin Because I Had the Courage to Show Up
Apr 07, 2014
Today marks 11 years since my weight loss surgery, so of course that deserves a blog post. As most post-ops would I delved into my computer files to find a good “before and after” picture. Yet, I seem to have many after pictures, actually I have many before pictures as well. April 7, 2003 wasn’t the beginning of my journey, I had already began years earlier to improve my health, surgery was merely a step in what was and continues to be an incredible unpredictable journey.
In the past 11+ years my life has been filled with moments of great accomplishments and moments of even greater challenges. And I can honestly say I would not change one moment of my journey so far. I am healthier, wiser, happier, funnier (is that possible?), cuter and definitely stronger!
So as I’m scrolling through various pictures of me at different stages of my journey, highest weight, pre-op weight, pictures of my legs, lowest weight, pre reconstructive surgery, slight regain, a lot more regain.
First of all this is my LIFE, there is no before and after, it’s always in progress. I’m in the midst of completing a Masters in Health Law, I have two new articles about my Lipedema and Lymphedema Advocacy scheduled to be published in the upcoming months, and I have five conferences on my schedule for 2014.
Second, my entire message is that weight loss surgery success is not about weight, not about a number on the scale, not about how I looked then verses how I look now, it’s about health.
My journey is not about how I look, it is about how I’m living!
But Sarah according to the WLS rules you MUST post a picture on your surgiversary!
Fine! Here you go…a more realistic BEFORE….and to be continued…..
Nov 11, 2013
I'm participating in the National Health Blog Post Month on my blog and I thought I'd share this entry.
Day 9: Just admit it!
It’s taboo. Write about something that people do but don’t like to talk about or won’t admit to doing.
Nothing stirs up debate within the weight loss surgery community like a discussion about drinking diet soda. Rumors and scare tactics surround the consumption of carbonated beverages from being the cause of regain to causing pouches to explode. Surgeons' post-op protocols vary on whether or not weight loss surgery patients should consume diet soda. Some surgeons say NEVER, some say whenever as long as the bubbles don't bother you.
My surgeon's protocol was the latter, actually my nutritionist's recommendation was I could try diet soda, and if it didn't bother my stomach I could have it in moderation. So I did, and I do drink diet soda. The moderation part....um not so much.
My name is Sarah and I'm addicted to Diet Mtn Dew.
There I said it. I admit it. I do not deny I drink diet soda. It is probably my one unhealthy habit. I do not drink alcohol, I do not smoke, let me have my diet soda!
I'm not the only one. Yes, I do know many post-ops who have forever given up their bubbly soda. Kudos to you. You are stronger than I, although I'm sure there is something you enjoy, and enjoy probably a bit more than you should. Don't we all have something we over indulge in?
Drinking diet soda is so taboo that many post-ops hide their drinking. Which is odd in a community that so opening partakes in drinking alcohol. At an event a few years ago I actually had a fellow post-op question why I was drinking Diet Coke, when I should be well aware of it's relation to regain. He was drinking bourbon or whiskey on the rocks. Really?
It's interesting watching fellow post-ops "hide" their diet sodas at events. I've seen it poured into cups to hide, or taken in grocery bags to rooms for private consumption. As if there is an "image" to uphold and we must not let others see us being real humans who drink diet soda. When I attend events I drink my diet soda straight from the original bottle or can, and in public. It's interesting to see others reaction, I was even asked "where I got the contraband?" Seriously, it's diet soda, not crack. Are we not adults capable of making our own choices?
It could be worse, it could be regular soda. Right? I know, the studies say..............
But there are so many chemicals. Excuse me but take a look at the ingredient list on your protein shake.
So let's be real each other, we are humans, we are not perfect...actually I have a confession to make. The other day I mentioned that I took a couple Advil for pain in my legs. I was asked if I ate something with them since NSAIDS are also a supposed "no - no" in the WLS world. I assured the person I take proper precautions, as I also take a daily aspirin for medical reasons.
The truth is yes, I ate something...I washed the Advil down with Diet Mtn Dew and two cookies.
So tell me, do you drink diet soda? Energy drink?
Aug 07, 2013
Apr 26, 2013
They say women will argue about anything, and that was evident this past week as an online battle brewed after the release of Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches video. I wanted to write about the video sooner, but I’m glad life got in the way and I waited, because the chatter and discussion that has occurred makes me wonder, why do we care so much about what other people think of our looks? Why is there so much talk about the definition of beauty when everyone has different tastes and preferences?
When I first saw the Dove video I shared it on my Facebook page and commented that my picture on the left would probably look BETTER than the one described by the stranger. I’m beautiful, I know I’m beautiful and that is all that matters…to ME. Do I think everyone thinks I’m beautiful? No, I’m not vain. I’m realistic. My features do not appeal to everyone, but I learned long ago that I can only control what I was given and trying to please or impress EVERYONE is not possible, so I focus on what makes ME feel beautiful and not worry so much about what other people think of my appearance. Especially people whose opinions mean NOTHING in my daily life.
OMG, look at her socks!
Yes. Socks. It was the first week of my Sophmore year in high school, I probably weighed 350lbs, if not 400lbs. Wearing stylish clothes was not an easy task, options were limited due to my size, and family income. However, my mom always made sure we had a few new outfits to wear back to school. This day I was proudly wearing navy slacks (securely pegged and cuffed), and a rugby type shirt with navy, green, and hot pink stripes. I loved my outfit, I thought I looked stylish. We had to order the pants through a special Plus Size catalog and I was relieved they fit! During history class I was talking with my friends and overheard “oh my god, look at her socks” and noticed the girl was pointing my direction. I thought, what’s wrong with my SOCKS? They are JCPenney socks! They are just typical white socks??? I was so proud of my outfit, yet this girl found SOMETHING she didn’t like about it and made negative comment.
At that moment I realized no matter how hard I might try to impress others there will always be someone, or something negative to be said. I was not bothered by the comment, actually the rest of the year my best friend and I had a running joke when we saw this person, my friend would say “Sarah, are your socks ok?” Really, no tears were shed over someone judging my socks.
And from the other perspective, I do not give much thought to the positive comments and compliments I receive. Why? Because people often lie just to make people feel better and I do not need boost myself up on fakeness and lies. Growing up as an obese child I heard the phrase “You have such a pretty face, it’s such a shame.” Wait? What? Was that a compliment or a put down? What’s a shame? It’s a shame that I have a pretty face? Or it’s a shame that I’m fat?
Of course not everyone who gives a compliment is lying. And I often struggle to accept compliments, and not question the intention of the person giving it. It is hard. What I am talking about it not easy, even for me. The looks I get from others do sting, being judged negatively in the workplace because of my appearance hurts beyond emotionally but financially.
I learned not to value or devalue my self worth based on what others thought about me…period. I do not think I’m beautiful, I KNOW I’m beautiful. I am confident, smart, funny, and I have pretty eyes, a bright smile, and cute dimples. Those are the FIRST things I notice when I see a picture of myself. If prompted to find negatives I could comment about the break-out on my chin and my overgrown eyebrows. It’s funny, I took this no make-up picture specifically for this blog post to show the REAL me, then I realized I was still wearing my blue contact lenses and promptly took them out and retook the pictures. The REAL natural ME.
Saying I do not care about what others think of my appearance does not mean I do not take pride in how I look. There are also times when appearance matters, such as, work or special occasions. Self-confidence and pride in oneself allows for the inner beauty to shine through.
Self confidence is REAL beauty.
Of all the beauty posts I’ve seen in the past week, Colleen Clark comic gets it right: Our bodies do not define us.
Mar 14, 2012
Simple No Bake Cheesecake Pie
1 - 8oz cream cheese*, room temp
1 - small tub of whipped topping*, thawed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar substitute such as Splenda
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
Fresh strawberries and blueberries for topping.
With hand mixer blend cream cheese, sugar substitute, and vanilla extract until creamy. Blend in whipped topping until smooth and light, try not to over blend. Spoon mixture into pie crust and chill in refrigerator for 3 hours or until set. Add fresh berries and serve!
*you can use reduced fat versions of cream cheese and whipped topping but fat free is not recommended.
For the base recipe, fruit additional depending on what and how much you add.
| 16 Servings
|Amount Per Serving
|Total Fat||8.4 g|
|Saturated Fat||4.4 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.0 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||2.6 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||12.3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0.2 g|
Sep 20, 2010
Jul 16, 2010
On the way home from the gym I stop at the grocery and someone makes a rude comment. Last time it was a woman in an electric cart laughing at my "cankles". Yes, I have cankles, and thankfully these cankles are able to walk my nearly 400lbs body around the store and I do not need the assistance of a cart. For the record I have never used an electric cart, not that I never "needed" one, but they scare me and I'd either not go shopping or I'd endure the walk and rest myself against a normal shopping cart.
This time I didn't hear the comments, my boyfriend heard and saw the giggles. He was far more bothered by it than I am. He was actually so bothered than he was unusually quiet during dinner. I even asked "what are you thinking about?" and he declined to say. On the way home he finally came clean. It seems the three tweens who were standing in the checkout lane and quickly excused themselves as got in line, huddled in the next lane and giggled about "her".
It happens more times than I care to admit. I've been asked how am I so strong to not let that bother me. Well, of course it bothers me. Every time I get a stare or hear a giggle it stings, but only for second. After that initial sting, I remember that these people don't know me. They don't know what disease I have, how hard I work to fight it, or how much I've overcome in life.
Maybe I should tell them? Nah, I will save my energy for my priorities in life and just blog about it here.
I will say I hope those young ladies grow up to have as much self-confidence and strength that I have to deal with life's challenges.