Why surgery? Why now?

In the very small group of people that know about my upcoming surgery, and the journey I’m on. Most of the circle of people in the know were told by other people. It’s not that I’m embarrassed to say that I’m having surgery. It’s that I don’t want to deal with other people’s hang ups. Or their preconceived judgements. Even when I was younger I thought poorly of people who got the surgeries. I never said anything because I was raised with manners. f55bf837ac35307181db48e690e4a9c8But, in my heart I judged and it was not kind. It might have had more to deal with the person who got the procedure. And my dislike for them bled over to the surgery.


However I’ve gotten a lot of people asking me if I’m sure that I want to have surgery, which leads to me defending a choice that I’ve made for myself. It’s ironic that over my life I’ve had a lot of people suggest surgery, and I’ve always fought tooth and nail against the idea of it. The difference here is no one is forcing me.


The Reasons Why Now…..And Go.

  1. With the current administration Medicare may not pay for the surgery. Paying for it out of pocket isn’t at all within the limited restraints. The new American healthcare act will limit the money Medicare is able to spend on patients. That very limited amount of money will go immediately to pay for my medications and my general doctor.
  2. While I am obese I am healthy-obese. Meaning at this time I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiac issues. I do have rather serious issues, but those big hitters are high on the mortality rate. See I have all of those on both sides of my family. I was born pre-doomed with the genetic flaw.
  3. I want to travel. I want to be able to travel. Do things. I don’t want to just feel so trapped in my body.
  4. I want to watch my nieces, and nephews get married. Grow up. Make mistakes. Succeed. I want to be there for them, and with them for as long as I can. I don’t have children and they’re as close to mine as I can get.
  5. I want to publish my book.
  6. I want to feel confident when I go outside instead of waiting for someone to emotionally attack me.
  7. I want to wear cute cloths. I want to wear all the things I see, ogle over, and then flip past. I want to feel beautiful. And, when people look at me I don’t want it to be with such disgust that I hate going out of the house.


I have so many reasons to live. And I’ve almost died so many times that do I really want to squander my chance to live?



Keep the faith, and go onward my Leading Ladies and Gents.


Don’t take it lying down

All of my life I’ve been made fun of for my weight. And, I’ve always taken it. It has always hurt my feelings, and often reduced me to tears. High school and the last year of middle school were nightmares. I had this one guy who would sit behind me and poke me in the side. I was often bullied, and tortured. I spent a lot of time crying, and feeling like I was worthless. I never fought back, and when I would tell the psychiatrist at school she would tell me that I misunderstood or was wrong. Needless to say I have horrible self-esteem, and self-worth.3039dd36fa3c160445a8d794ae8c1421


Many doctors have talked to me about surgery. OR rather talked at me. No one would listen to my concerns or address them as anything valid. My weight was an issue and therefore nothing else about me mattered.


For the last couple of years I’ve had kids – mainly boys make fun of me. Pointing at me and laughing. I’ve had a little girl slap my stomach, laugh in my face and call me fat in the middle of a social gathering.

But, I’m not writing this blog to be emo or talk about all the people who wronged me or hurt me. I’m writing this blog to tell you about my journey.


But, recently there’s a change in me. All the things that I used to let those people do to me are still happening, but I’m not inclined to sit quietly and suffer. I don’t yell at them or berate them.


I’m not weak.

I’m not worthless.

I’m powerful.


And, yes it still hurts when I’m made fun of. But, I’m going to stop giving away my power and instead I’m taking it back. I stand up to myself against the rudeness and bullying. It’s shocking to me that even in these modern times that we blame the victim for calling bullies what they are. No matter if it’s a case of rudeness or straight out bullying it’s wrong.


I’ll admit one of the reasons I want to lose weight is because I’m tired of being made fun of. I’m tired of all the bratty little boys and catty little girls. I’m tired of the adult people who are so uncreative that the only insult they can hurl at me is about my weight. I want to be something else. I want it to stop. But, in the meantime I’m not going to let them get away with their cruelty. And, neither should you.d79ba1eddb2942ff7cb97450c9ad0a4a


Keep the faith, and go onward my Leading Ladies and Gents.

Going out is so hard to do!


Our family has a tradition, where on holidays or birthdays, the person in question gets to pick where we eat. And actually food is a big tradition is our family. We eat. We like to eat. 3e9662f35c4cef5c85bcc19c2226085eMy grandmother was a chef who had her own restaurant, and ran it successfully with her daughter. The cookbook is still sought after and coveted by locals. Between my Mom and Grandmother they taught me everything I know about cooking and food. Unfortunately the lessons weren’t about healthy living or eating healthy.




Our food is somewhere between Paula Dean and Julia Childs.  It tastes so good, but it is so bad for you.


This Mother’s Day my mom picked one of my favorite restaurants where the specialty is fried catfish. Fortunately the healthiest food there was steamed catfish, and even eating healthy the meal was at least 600 calories. e2dcc11fc5f0163c35fc41146adc60b9But, I went prepared. Marvelously I didn’t blow my diet. How you ask? I’m going to pretend that you did. The answer is simple, I prepared.


I know I’ve brought this up before, but eating in public is stressful. At least for me, and I consider anytime I don’t totally blow my diet out of the water a success. And, by totally I mean like sinking the titanic.


So what do I mean by prepared? Well, first I looked up the menu online, and looked through it for the healthiest options. I called to find out if the catfish was fried in a vat or dry fried, because the difference is high in calories. And, that morning I only had a protein shake so I was low on calories, and after lunch at dinner I only had another shake. Needless to go me!b65d461de11bb0b2c184efe8670110a8


Keep the faith, and go onward my Leading Ladies and Gents.

How to live on 800 Calories

I promised that I would talk about my 800 calorie diet, and if you’ve been waiting here it is. I don’t know if you’re like me but when the surgeon first said 800 calories I mentally got a sweat drop. How on earth do you eat for 800 calories? Even Lean Cuisine’s are 250 or a little more? Maybe other people are born with an internal clock telling them when they’re full, but I don’t have that. 704b14a6ba6db90e4cf1545e44ebe58dAt first you’re going to get hungry, but don’t worry once you get used to it that goes away. I’m on month 3 of this diet and I barely get hungry anymore, I still don’t have the internal food clock, but luckily I have a brain. One serious thing this diet teaches you is awareness. Awareness of everything that you can potentially put into your body. You start thinking about things. And, I don’t call food by calories. I call them points. I have 800 points I can spend.


So hint number one: Water is your friend. And, I’ll be honest I hate water. If I have a giant jug of water sitting by me. It’ll just sit there. Add some ice and I’ll sip it or eat the ice out of it. The diet is about being honest with yourself. For me I can’t drink straight water like a fish, so instead I use crystal light. 10 calories for 2 packets in a 32 ounce glass. I don’t recommend the pure flavors they’re a little on the ick side. And, in case you’re wondering the energy or fitness flavors really do give you a pep. The difference in energy and fitness is that energy has caffeine so don’t drink it before bed. Because, they work. Right now my favorite flavors are Mango, Pomegranate, and Wild berry. To me those seem to be the best.f5a5e8e0fad4e11dcb642b253107b5d9


Hint number one part two: So you’ve eaten dinner, but you’re still hungry. First things first drink water. If you’re still hungry even after you’ve ½ cup or a cup of water it’s time for food. Try protein it usually stops cravings and hunger.


Hint number two: Protein shakes. There’s a lot out there, but one thing you need to be careful of is to not get the ones for muscle growth. Muscles add pounds, and you’re on a shrinking diet. The best ones in my opinion is by Premier protein and EAS, which you can buy at Walmart. The other shake I’m starting to like is pure protein which I get at Trader Joes. With protein shakes you have to kind of taste around to find ones that you like, because not everyone is going to like the same. For example I don’t like Premier’s bananas and cream or any of its chocolate flavors, but I really dig their caramel. Adkins has a latte one that tastes just like iced coffee from starbucks. Also another thing you need to watch out for is calories. EAS’ shakes are all 100; Premier’s is all 160; and Pure Protein ranges from 110 to 170; Adkin’s coffee latte was 160.


Hint number three: You might as well go through your whole house and throw away the carbs, because on 800 calories you’re not going to have a lot of them.  There’s a flat bread at Walmart called Joseph bread, and half of it is 30 calories which is how I eat my burgers or sandwiches. They don’t always have that but you need to stay around 30 to 40 calories on the bread, and you need to be able to eat one slice instead of two.


Hint number four: Be accountable for your calories, and keep track of them. No matter what you eat, put them down. I use an app on my phone because it does all the calculations for me, tells me how many calories I’ve burned through walking, and separates meals out. The app is called Myplate from Livestrong. It’s free, but you have to deal with ads. But, it works great!


Here’s a sample of what my diet looks like in a day.


Breakfast: 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites, ½ cup of blueberries (We use spray butter because there’s no calories in it.)

Lunch: Mixed Salad, and ½ cup of salmon

Snack: (Essentially about 2 pm) Protein shake

Dinner: Spaghetti without noodles. Instead I have steamed eggplant, and the meat sauce.

Snack: (10 pm) Depends on calories at this point, but possibly a shake and fruit.



Originally I had a shake between breakfast and lunch but I’m not really hungry during the day. I get hungrier in the evening so I’ve readjusted my diet to help that issue.


Keep the faith, and go onward my Leading Ladies and Gents.

The Good, Bad, and Oh My GOSH!

I had a surprise call from my surgeon Tuesday. Instead of having the appointment Thursday, 5/4, they wanted to reschedule it to Wednesday. I, of course, said yes.


All together I’ve lost 63 lbs! Hot damn! I’m getting my purse.



At the gastric surgeon’s office it’s on the books that I’ve lost 49, but I lost the 20 lbs before I saw him. Now, I just have to figure out my other goals, and the rewards for them. If you have any ideas or advice feel free to comment.


I’m on a tentative schedule to have my surgery June 5th. We can’t carved it in stone, but only because we have to wait for the dietitian appointment, and you have to see the doctor within 30 days of the surgery date.


At the appointment meeting at the end I got a rundown on the ins and outs and everything in between. It was so overwhelming having it all verbally blown up at me at once. And, I almost stood up and walked out when they said I have to have another Upper GI after the surgery. If you’ve read my first post then you understand why. And, then I had a mini-panic attack because I found out that I’ll be in the hospital for at least 3 days, which is a huge deal. HUGE. But, the office manager just told me to talk to the doctor again when I come back in May 31st about the medicine for my anxiety. I hate down playing it as just anxiety, because it isn’t something that excusable. But, so long as it gets taken care of I guess they can call it whatever they want.


The other part that’s giving me major stress is the 2 weeks before surgery, starting May 22 where I will be on an only clear liquid diet. That means a diet consisting of protein shakes, protein water (If I can find it. It supposedly exists, but I’m beginning to feel like it might be a mythical thing only found in doctors’ offices.), water, and broth. Yup. Two weeks pre-surgery of that. The reasoning is to help shrink my liver to minimize bleeding. And, then that diet continues 3 weeks after the surgery. I’m not so worried or consumed with stress about the after surgery diet. I’m sort of figuring I won’t want to eat at that point from pain or ick feelings. And, I won’t have a large stomach that wants food.  I had to buy all liquid vitamins, calcium, and b12 to take especially after the surgery for my liquid life.


I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. But, I still want to do this. I still want to keep moving forward. If you give up at the little blips in the road you’ll never make it out to open water and to the island.



Keep the faith, and go onward my Leading Ladies and Gents.

Loving food and living



Part of a good lifestyle change is learning how to live with everything you love but in a healthy way or in moderation.   Which sounds scarier than it really is. Dieting at home is one thing, but going out into the world is intimidating and frankly terrifying. At home you can stuff yourself full of all the baby carrots you can get your hands on.


The best thing you can do when you’re going out is to pre-plan and take meals and snacks. For example, when I go to the movies I’m packing my snacks. Movie theatre food is expensive in calories, and frankly I’d rather spend the calories somewhere else. So for my snacks I bring pre-popped popcorn, one of my special zero calorie drinks, and some fruit and veggies. I tend to like kettlecorn because you get both salty and sweet. My popcorn of choice is: Orville Redenbacher’s Kettle Korn Popcorn, Single Serve Bag for those precious 100 calories. My other snacks are something like strawberries, blueberries, and baby carrots because you get a lot for the calorie point.


Chocolate. Yeah. You heard me. Chocolate. I know all of you just stared at the word and felt your mouth salivate. Believe it or not you can eat it. Yeah, take a deep breath. Let it out. Ready for the good news and bad? The bad news is that you can’t eat your weight of it and take a full body plunge into it like Augustus in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, I’m partial to milk chocolate, but dark chocolate will do. Trader Joes has a Dark Chocolate in these tins usually kept in the front of the store that are divided into a wedges. You get two of them for 60 or 80 calories depending on the one you grabbed. So far my favorite is the caramel one because it tastes a little like milk chocolate.


But, say you have an outing and you can’t pack your lunch and you have to go on menu? Yikes! Take a breath, and let it out. Remember this a lifestyle, and you have to live in this world.  The other day my nephew had a Tae Kwando exhibition, and they had snowcones. I love snowcones, and I got one. Kona sugarfree snowcones are disgusting. It tastes like chemicals, and has almost no sweetness. I knew it wouldn’t be sweet, but I thought it would be eatable. Needless to say I ended up throwing it away after 3 bites.


Other than that if you have to pick on menu just try to pick things that are healthier. Don’t pick things with lots of carbs or sugars. Try to pick things that use mainly veggies and protein. Applebees has salads and soups that are really delicious and the calories don’t sucker punch you. And, don’t beat yourself up over one meal. It’s not one meal that will really mess you up – it’s what you do after.


Keep the faith, and go onward my Leading Ladies and Gents.