A happy me

A happy me
family - is everything

Saturday, March 5, 2011

So it's the weekend. I'm home with the munchkins for the next two days, as we rarely go anywhere on the weekends. Especially in the winter!  My back is screaming at me as usual, and I am wishing I could go sit with my best friend (the heating pad) glued to my back.  BUT, hubby is doing a sleep-in so I must let him have his precious sleep because he stays up past midnight playing Casino City.  Which totally amazes me as the man WORKS at a casino! ??? 

I'm also trying to down 20grams of protein in this vanilla shake sitting next to me.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get 80 grams of protein everyday? This is a challenge. This is going to be a new life long challenge. Plus, peanut butter does not count. Too much fat content people. It's a good thing we have the 'girls' (chickens) out back so I can eat my fill of eggs.  I need a day at the grocery store where I can just take my time and find new things to use for this protein intake regime.  I think they (doctors office and nutritionist) want us to start this new plan of eating so we make that final decision whether to DO the surgery and LIVE this way, or say forget it!   I find I am eating MORE now than ever before! Weird.  These shakes make you feel so full, but you still need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and get in that second shake if your protein does not add up throughout the day. How the heck am I going to pack all this food and liquid into a tiny little pouch?  I'll be eating ALL day!  I've been told though, that if you don't keep your protein intake up to as close to 80 grams a day, you'll start losing your hair at about the 5th or 6th month into the post op.  Great.

So, this is the weekend I'm going to really attempt to DO the 80 grams a day and see how it goes.  I've also started some of my vitamins. A chewable multi and a chewable calcium that I got at our local Herb Store.  I think they taste like rubbery fruit, but hey.  You gotta do what ya gotta do.

I am also feeling the spring fever thing that everyone has been getting. You know, where you can't stand to look at one more pile of snow?  Where you just want to shovel the STUFF out of your house instead of the front walk? Yup...I got it.

The wait for a surgery date is still a big concern of mine. I have to go back for a second mammogram. Yippie. The psych eval, and two support group meetings are still yet to be done.  The blood work is over, just waiting for the results.  Wait wait wait. 

I wish I had more exciting things to report.  Just another cold wintery type day in michigan. Oh spring, where are you?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Today is going to be an interesting day for my husband and I.  We have to sit down with the principal at the school where our children go.

I am frustrated by the way they handle things.  There is a little girl in our daughters class that has RDD (reactive detatchment disorder). This is pretty serious actually. It is usually found in adopted children that come from other countries, although it's common enough here as well. This basically mean, the child was not held at birth, or through their first year or two. That when the child cried for food, attention, or love, or anything....they were left until someone could get to them. It's very sad. This causes the child to shut down emotionally and they lose FOREVER their capability to form a bond with another human being.  This sounds pretty drastic and it is.  These children need counseling for the rest of their lives basically.

Another thing that you don't find in the 'text book' descriptions online for this disorder, is that these children grow up without much of a conscience. They become master manipulators at a VERY young age, and they have no qualms in lying right to your face.  To them...any attention they get is good attention.  So, it is a very serious disorder that has to be handled with special gloves.  You CANNOT always treat them like other children in class, as they will lie to you, steal from you, try to manipulate you, and do whatever it takes to get what they want.  We have had several incidents with our daughter and this little girl. Some days they are BFF's, and others it's like a tornado went through the day and tossed our daughter out like a broken twig.  We try as parents to teach her that honesty is #1.  You must tell the truth, even if you think it might get you in trouble. Telling the truth is always the best answer.  If you live by this rule, you will have respect from others, and you can respect yourself.

Ok. So, this brings us to this mornings meeting.  I have finally had it with the way the staff deals with this other little girl and the episodes that are exploding between her and our daughter.  Last week our daughter HIT the other girl.  Now, E is not a violent child, but I can see that her frustration with the way things are being handled for her are finally escalating and she is lashing out.  I'm not saying our little E is an angel...she is too much like me for that to ever happen! HA I am saying, however, that she deserves to be heard. She is 7 yrs old and the staff refuses to listen to her pleas for help.  She is told on the playground to "stop tattling', she is told in the classroom to "go sit down" or "do you have proof?".  Really? I am disgusted. I think I am even MORE disgusted because this is a private school.  I went to a small private school, and I sure remember the days of growing up and being so frustrated when they would NOT let me defend myself or speak my side.  I will NOT let this happen to my daughter.  I loved the fact that my parents wanted me to go to a private christian school, but even then it was never perfect.  I want a private school education for my children as well.  I am just finding that it's a much harder road than I ever imagined - being a parent. God help me.

Another thought on this....how much do you want to bet? If I were 130 lbs, with tight jeans and form fitting shirt, that I'd get a hell of a lot more attention from the principal?  That he'd LISTEN to me? hmmmmm Just a thought here.  Most of what I get from him now at 220 lbs is a lot of double talk and looking down his nose at me like I'm an uneducated moron. For some reason, a lot of people look at larger (fat?) people as stupid and lazy.  Why is that? To you that know me, you know I'm a hard working mama!

My husband and I want to get across to them this morning, that what should or needs to be done is this:  In order to HELP the little girl that has this disorder, why not have her counselor come and talk to the staff and teachers? OR, why not write up something that can be read by staff and teachers so they have a better handle and understanding of what this little girl needs?  Good idea? We think so.  Everyone needs to be on the same page and right now they are not. 

God help me today, because I tend to lose my cool when I'm around stupid people. God grant me some serenity and positive words to come out of my mouth. Amen

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Morning Dreams and Memories

Mornings are the best time for me.  It's quiet in my house, everyone is sleeping.  The only sound is the soft hum of the furnace as it chases the cold.  I sit here with my cup of steaming coffee enjoying the peacefulness and stillness around me.  It's really the only quiet time I'm allowed in my day.  I have always been an early riser, and at this point in my life I am happy that this is the case.  I love this special time I have with myself and God each morning before the world starts rushing in.

I think we all sort of try to grasp some peace at some point in our day. For me it's now.

I remember back before I had children, some of my best moments were again mornings!  I'd grab my coffee mug and head to the barn to feed and water the horses.  The soft nickers as I'd slide the barn door open, and turn on the lights, were music to my ears.  If you're a horse lover, you'll understand that the smells and sounds at the barn are like a symphony. The stomp of a hoof, the soft sigh, nicker, or neigh at the sight of me was so rewarding.  I miss this part of my life, and I know at some point I will return to it. I knew when I was 3 years old that I had to have a horse. I begged my parents for years and years until they finally caved in when I was 12.  Those years that followed were the best ever.  Even to this day I am a horse owner (although he's leased to a great lady for now).

Now that my children are growing older and more involved in school activities, I still have to set aside the horse mornings for awhile longer.  So I enjoy the mornings I have, with my steaming coffee mug in hand, in the quietness of my own home. Instead of the mornings I long for again. I do not regret the decision to have children.  They are my true joy in life.  But my 'other children', the four legged ones, still call to me in my heart and soul.  Now that I have a chance at a new life without carrying around this excess baggage, I feel the tug of those longed for mornings once again. I see a light at the end of my long dreary tunnel that has held me captive and enslaved me to pain.  I had given up hope.  But God has other ideas! Thank you, God.

My journey will once again bring me full circle to the mornings I once knew.  I sit here now with the quiet around me and the smell of coffee drifting through the air....and know with my whole heart, I will find a way back to the misty mornings I dream of where I can once again fill my lungs with the warm smell of horses and the earthy smell of hay.  I will step into the stall with my boy and lean my head against his warm soft neck and hear him munching his grain, and I will be home.

I will sit here for now and dream of the day I can be me again! A better me for my children and my husband, and a better me for myself.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Dr. Visit (consult) Continuing the Journey

Ok, so today was THE doctor visit!!!! I arrived at the doctor's office at 9:30 for my day long appointment. The first half of the day was spent with the nutritionist discussing the options on food after surgery and what to put on the grocery list. Very informative by the way.  I realized after going through my 3 day food log with her, that I do NOT eat enough protein. I guess most of us don't.  We should be eating or drinking 80+ grams of protein a DAY! wow. Then I got to meet my surgeon, Dr. Featherstone,. AWESOME!!!!!! He's great! It's all about patient care.  I love his staff and think this is going to be a fantastic journey.  They don't just do your surgery and drop you .... you have a life long relationship with them.

I have my psych eval scheduled, my upper GI scheduled, my mammogram (yuck!!! really???) scheduled.  All by April 7th. So, by the looks of things, after alllllllll the appointments are done, and paperwork sent in, I won't have surgery until JUNE.  Not happy about that, but they DO have a cancellation list. ha! I'm gonna be on that one!

As for these mammograms...I am NOT looking forward to it.  I mean, you put a 10 lb jug in a vise and SQUEEZE it. Um...yeah. Think it's gonna hurt like a mother..well.. you know.  Only thing that sort of makes me feel a little better about it is that hubby is going with me (like he has a choice! ha), and I can complain and whine before and after. hee hee And maybe get him to buy me new shoes? ha!

For all of you following me and this crazy blog, get ready, because I'm gonna be pushing this thing into top gear as hard as I can!  I don't want the surgery in JUNE, because it won't work w/ my schedule for the lawn care! ha ha I NEED this surgery in early MAY at the latest.  Kids are still in school at this point too...which is a major PLUS.

Ok, so this is just an update and nothing exciting as I'd hoped at the beginning of the day.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The life of FAT

Do you ever wonder what it's like to be fat? No? Really? Well, fat people wonder all the time what it would be like to be thin.  We spend our days thinking "what if".  What if I were thin? I could play with my kids! I could ride my horse again! I could be healthy and proud of myself!

Thin people, and yes I'm categorizing you all here in a general way - sorry, love their fat friends. I was a thin person once, and I often wondered why FAT people were SO FAT! Why didn't they just eat less? Why didn't they work out more? Why didn't they try harder to lose weight? Did they spend a lot of time eating too much? Did they eat at fast food places all the time to get that big???????

I'm here to tell you, as a FAT person, that we don't really eat any more than you do on a daily basis.  How did we get here? It's different for all of us.  Me personally? I had kids.  It did something to my body and my body betrayed me. I could no longer 'diet' and lose the weight. I could no longer work out and eat less to lose weight. ANYTHING I tried only helped me stay healthy...but still fat.  I have had my meals at McD's and BK just like anyone has, but I don't eat there every day or every week for that matter. I think on an average I may eat there once or twice a month?  Plus, I've always loved the awesome salads at McD's, so I don't always eat the 'meals' they offer.  I think there are tons of 'thin' people out there that can honestly say they eat at fast food more than that.

So, what keeps us fat?  Stress? Lack of sleep?  Trust me when I tell you, it has nothing with the will power to try or fight!  Fat people are the best at trying! We have will power. Oh yes.  I was watching a youtube video the other day of a bypass patient, and she was addressing 'haters' to her vlog.  She read some of the cruel words written to her...telling her that she'd taken the easy way out, and if she hadn't been so LAZY she could have lost the weight on her own.  Really people? Do you honestly think Fat people don't TRY to lose weight? Oh, that's right...you do. Why must we judge?

I'm not trying to bash thin. I'm just trying to get across the mentality of a Fat person and that being fat does NOT mean we did it on purpose or that we have not tried everything we could to stop it from getting worse, or to make it better.  Look at Kirstie Ally! That actress has gained it, lost it, gained it, lost it...over and over!

In some cases I think it really is an addiction to food.  In my case? I have no damn idea.  Portion control? Maybe. Over the past couple years I've tried to spend more time being aware of my body, and letting it tell me when I'm full.  But, I bet you didn't know that an obese person has a stomach the size of a football or a gallon jug?  AND, the top of your stomach is where the trigger is that tells you you're full.  So, imagine how much more you have to eat or drink in order to feel that FULL feeling! A football's worth! There are so many tricks out there to help you, and I've tried them all. Eat slower, chew your food reallllllly well. Etc.

I think I just wish that FAT was not so hated.  I am invisible. But then again, I don't want to see me either so how can I blame anyone else for not wanting to look at me?  Fat people don't need haters...they hate themselves more than anyone else can.

So keep in mind next time you see an obese person out there....and try not to judge too harshly.  They are people with hopes and dreams and self worth.

I have chosen to do surgery, but many obese people don't have insurance or the finances to do this. So they live their lives in quiet desperation. Only wanting to be accepted for who they are. Big or small.

What happened to kindness? I think we've forgotten what it means.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The explanation


for any of you that stumble onto this blog, my name is Lana.  I am 42 years old and I am considering the Gastric Bypass Surgery.

If after reading that first line you have no wish to continue...then please don't read further.  This is going to be a blog about my journey and how I got to this point in my life.

To begin with, I am a mother of two beautiful children whom I adore with all my heart.  I will never regret having children, although I knew when I got pregnant at 34 years old, I would wind up fat or obese. I saw it written on the walls.  You see, I've struggled with my weight all my life.  I actually come from BIG people.  My mother was a very large woman, and her grandmother was a large woman, and on and on.  I am in no way blaming my genes on the downward spiral into fatland!  Those of you that have known me over the past 10 + years know how active I was and BUSY!!! Oh, and thin! ha

It's not like I can pick a point in my life and say "This is why and where it all began."  No, and that is because I've always struggled with my weight. I've always had to fight those 10 lbs that plague so many women on a regular basis!  However, more often than not, those 10 lbs were more like 20 for me, and sometimes even 40.  I'd lose the weight only to gain it back.  People who have never been FAT have NO idea what it is like to constantly fight yourself. Day after day....month after month...year after year, until it wears you down and destroys your self esteem worse than any cruel word could do.  I can't say I am one of those people that had to deal with being bullied about my weight. I never got that big...until now.

Eight years ago, I became pregnant with my first child.  And this was 4 months after quitting smoking! Which of course had me packing on 20 lbs right there.  I had a rough emotional ride during my pregnancy, and was put on Zoloft.  (Now, anti-depressants are not new to me, I'd been on them and off them since 1999 just before my mother died. Of course, every time you go on those devil drugs, they pack on 40 lbs.) Let me just add in here that in 2002 I went off them and lost those damn 40 lbs.  I looked great, felt great, and was on my way to a new life doing what I loved most! Working in a great Stable with horses and horse people.  This is where I met my now husband, and decided to start a family.  I was very reluctant at first to even discuss having children, as I KNEW I'd get fat and probably never see the other side of 150 lbs again.  Of course, I was right.  I now weigh in at 226.  A lot of people will say that is not fat. I care to differ.  I am a huge rolling ball of love.  I have chronic back pain which keeps me practically chair bound and glued to my heating pad. I can't play with my children on the floor or run with them in the back yard. Let's just say, that if I tried running too far, I'd probably give myself a black eye with these knockers that hang like 10 lb jugs on my chest.

Ok, so many people say, "You're fat because you're lazy and need to work out and eat better!" Well, I'm here to tell you, I've tried all that. Treadmill, Curves work out gym, and when it comes to eating healthy, I've done my research and I DO eat healthy. I do not eat more than 20 grams of sugar in a day either. I'm one of those really healthy FAT people. ha ha ha  I work outdoors April thru November with my husband in our lawn care business, and let me tell you...THAT is work!

I had sort of lost focus this past fall.  You see, 3 years ago I tried to get my insurance to pay for the Lap Band procedure, but I had to have a years worth of documentation that I was seeing a doctor, and trying to lose weight on my own.  Well, after all of that, it turned out I was not FAT ENOUGH for surgery. That was when I was 213 lbs.  My BMI (body mass index) was at 35.  Now, two years after that, I am at 226, and my BMI is at 40.  Now the crazy thing about this is that the insurance company will now pay for the surgery!! If you have a bmi at 40, you're automatically in the surgery category. Wow. Really? I'm finally fat enough? Thanks.

So, I went to a seminar on the lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass procedures.  I was all set on the lap band idea again.  Until I heard everything that was said.  There are NO studies that show how long the lap band lasts, or how long you can keep it in your body!  10 yrs? 15? No, that is not for me.  Then I talked to an old family friend (love you aunt w!!!) who told me her amazing story. She had the gastric bypass surgery 29 years ago! She says to this day it is the BEST thing she ever did for herself!!  So, I too have chosen to do a life changing surgery and take back my life!

I have my consultation with the surgeons this tuesday (march 1st), and my psych evaluation on the 16th. (God help me with that one! HA HA)  I have to attend two support group meetings. This may be a challenge as they are on monday nights! Eric works every monday until 10pm. Great.  I also, do not have my personal support group living near me! So, I don't have help with the kids so I can go to these meetings.  I am not complaining here, just stating a fact.  Most of the time Eric and I do just fine on our own....however, with this surgery, I may need to call in a few friends.

I know this is the right step for me. I know I need to do this. I know I've tried everything else I can think of! Atkins, South Beach, a version of Weight Watchers, Curves work outs, Treadmill, etc. And of course this past year the low sugar diet. (which I have not lost any weight on by the way...but I feel better).

So here it is. My journey.  Welcome along for the ride. 

I am happy to answer any questions any of you have.  Thank you.