Saturday, November 3, 2012

 My Uncomfort zone and other thoughts...

     I really hate when people use the term comfortable or comfort zone. This terminology has bothered me for years. I describe my bed or a couch as comfortable, not a state of being. Are you comfortable with this, etc... I guess you could say it is a pet peeve of mine. I'm not sure when the English language changed, but I am not digging it. lol
     Although I do hate the comfort zone phrase, I can't help but think this applies to my life lately. I  am an introvert, and also dislike crowds, so what I have done recently was difficult for me..So, about 3 weeks ago, I completed my first 5K event, along with about 5,000 other people. It was very crowded, and I knew nobody, but it was important to me to complete this, on a few different levels. 
      Next on my uncomfortable list, I signed up for a writer's conference. I attended a few weeks ago, once again going alone. Walking into a room of strangers is hard for me, but I did it. Since the conference, I have been pitching local editors my story ideas. I will keep going until someone says yes.
     You probably don't know that I have been wanting to write a book since I was young. It has been a dream of mine. When I was in graduate school, my professor asked the question, what is 1 goal you have before you die? Most people spoke of getting married or having children. I was 23 at the time and stated  I wanted to write a book. I want to take it a step further and be published. Now it is time to start working toward that dream. I have an idea and need to put pen to paper. That's right, I still like handwriting in my notebook.
    

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Before and after



A friend of mine suggested posting a before photo. I have posted both the before and after. In the second photo, I am hiking, which is one of my favorite activities. This is in Sedona, Arizona. We all have choices in life. We must live with the consequences of our decisions. The surgery didn't change anything for me. I changed my own life. Now I have a different life.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

support

It was a tough week. My days are long and take a lot of planning, but it is worth it. I get up early now, so that I can exercise, eat my breakfast and prepare my food for the day. When I am home at 9pm, I cook and eat a healthy dinner. No one ever said post-op life would be easy. In recent months, I revisited a support website I had not been on in about 3 years. It is called www.obesityhelp.com. I used to log on frequently before my surgery and also kept a blog and sometimes I would post questions. I had been looking for another bariatric support group, and found a link to a surgeon's office. The office was nice enough to email me back with the information and I will be going this month. Support is very important in regards to long-term success with the surgery. My work schedule has prevented from going to the group I used to attend. So I am thankful for the info on obesityhelp. Also, I found out they hold events throughout the country. I had no idea about this and discovered one of them is being held right in Las Vegas. I looked into it and recently purchased my ticket. I am excited to meet people from all over the United States. What a wonderful opportunity for me. Not to mention, I am covering the event for its affiliated magazine called OH (Obesityhelp). More on that another time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

my surgery date

My surgeon's office called me with a date and I remember posting it online, October 27, 2008. Now I celebrate 2 birthdays, my real one and this one, which gave me a new life. Not many people get a second chance at life, but I did. It wasn't the surgery that saved my life. I saved my own life by making a good decision for myself. This is not for everyone and I spent almost 10 years thinking it over. A person must have extreme discipline to be successful with either tpye of WLS surgery. I knew I did not want lap-band, since typically patients lose weight slower. I did not like the idea of having a band inside me. However, this has become more popular than gastric bypass. Probably because bypass is invasive and carries more risk. It is considered major surgery. It was a risk I was willing to take. Luckily I did not have time to think much about the actual surgery or be nervous. When I received the date, it was about a week away. I knew from the nutrtionist that I needed to prepare ahead of time for my liquid diet. I would not be able to eat solid foods, since my stomach needed to heal. I would not be able to drive for a few weeks and I took a 3-week medical leave from work. I also knew I would have some pain. I headed to the hospital early that morning. They said to arrive at 6am and I was not taken into the operating room until 11am. What a long wait! I had never met my surgeon until right before the operation. The operation lasted about 45 minutes and went well. I awoke in the recovery room in agonizing pain. When I got back to my room, the nurse got me out of bed. It is extremely important for patients to walk after this surgery. There was no waiting until I felt better. The pain was so bad I was bent over, using a teddy bear the hospital had given me as a pillow. I wondered what I had done to myself. But somehow I knew it would be ok. My journey was just beginning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm not ready to give up

I'm not ready to give up. I am going to win this battle. It is like going to war, a good choice of words. This is the battle of the bulge. This has been a lifetime battle and continues to present day. And I am going to win. I have worked too hard and come too far. We all hit bumps in the road and mine have been numerous lately. I need to remember where I was and where I am now. This is an ongoing, daily process of making the right choices. No whining, complaining, or excuses. This is what I signed up for, as the saying goes. Now I need to carry on. Are you wondering what I am talking about? I need to elaborate. I need to remember the road I have traveled, and all the obstacles I have already overcome.

Everyone has something in their life that is an issue. It could be internal or external. Mine is external. It is my weight. This has been a struggle throughout my life. It has held me back. I have let it control me. It has impeded my dreams and goals. It has kept me in a bubble at times, locked away from the world. It has caused me a lot of hurt and pain. Anyway, as a child and teenager, I was always overweight, or doctors would use the term obese. I still led a fairly normal life, except for my social life, which is another story. Each year, I would gain more weight. When I was 19, out of desperation, I went on a chain diet and starved myself with 500 calories per day. I lost 40 pounds and many inches, but never reached my goal weight. Soon, all the weight came back plus more. Over the years, I tried multiple diets. Each time I tried, I gained more weight and felt like a failure. In 2000, I was surfing the web one day and came upon bariatric (weight loss surgery). This was the first time I was reading about it. I did not know at the time that this article would eventually change my life. Or more importantly, I would change my own life. We do control our own destiny, don't we? I was not ready for something so radical at the time. I still wanted to lose the weight on my own, with diet and exercise. I was gaining more weight and in 2002, found myself tipping the scale at 300 pounds. It still took me awhile until I considered surgery as an option to help me. I was going on a downward sprial. It was hard to comprehend weighing that much. I decided to look into the different types of surgery. I found a surgeon that was 2 hours from where I lived at the time, but I was determined. In 2004, I contacted my insurance company and found a surgeon. After 1 denial, my insurance actually approved me for gastric bypass surgery for January 2005. I was so elated at the new chance at life. However, after I had my pre-surgical bloodwork, the surgeon's office called me and told me I had mono and that I would need to cancel my surgery. Devastated, I figured the surgery was not meant to be and I put it out of my head. I figured my weight would eventually kill me. It was such a sad time for me. Not to mention the personal tragedy I had suffered in my life in 2003. I will need to continue this post at a later time. Time to walk, make my protein shake and get ready for work.

I am finally continuing days later. Years went by until I finally had my surgery. When I moved across the country, I was uninsured, so it was not an option. Then when I found a job, I called my insurance company one day and found out there was an $11,000 copay due before the operation. So once again I went about my life, and gained more weight. In 2007 and in poor health, I decided that surgery was my only option. Othersie, I was going to die prematurely from my obesity. I took action, looked at the various insurances offered at my company and contacted them to find out about weight loss surgery coverage. I decided to write down my goals, not just regarding my weight, but other areas of my life. Seeing it on paper might help me achieve it. Open enrollment was approaching, so that October, I switched companies. I found out with medical necessity, that Aetna would cover me, and I would need to do a 6 month diet (ridiculous) with my doctor and get the proper documentation. In addition, I needed to do bloodwork before the operation. So, I needed a new internist and actually found a physician through my online investigating. The best part was he also had weight loss surgery. I became his patient, completed the diet with no weight loss, saw a nutritionist, wrote my own letter, and submitted my information to the inurance. Then I received my denial letter. But I was not ready to give up. I had done a lot of research through an online support website. I resubmitted my information and received my approval letter. This was one of the happiest days of my life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

not just a dream

Recently I was at a meeting at work, where we were asked to say something about ourselves. Everyone discussed their families, their children and husbands. When it came around to me, I spoke of being a writer,and then I realized, I think many people have the dream of the husband, children and white picket fence. But this was never my dream. When I was in graduate school in 1993, the same thing happened. My professor asked the class, what is 1 goal you have before you die? It was an easy answer for me. I want to write a book and have it published. So now I can see a pattern.

Slowly I have been returning to my writing. I can make all kinds of excuses for not writing, too tired, not enough time, etc. But it comes down to the following. I have been told by a few people recently that I have a gift and I should not waste it. And that I am wasting my time if I don't do something with this gift, since not everyone has it. This was stated from a few people who are not even friends.. They don't even know me personally, yet they are 100% correct. So I have been checking on some websites, thinking of what I can submit for publication and gathering my thoughts to work on that book I have been wanting to write since I was young. I have always considered myself a writer. As a child, I kept journals. This went on for years, into adulthood. I got away from that and started again around my late twenties. Then, about 10 years ago, I joined a writing group at a local Borders. My teacher, a published author liked my writing. Eventually when I moved I really missed this monthly group, and then I got away from my writing as well. About 2 years ago, I joined another writing group locally through meetup.com that I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, due to my schedule I am unable to attend these meetings. But I do recall one of the people stating that keeping a blog is a good way to practice your writing skills. So in Summer 2009, I went online and started my blog. Then life got in the way and I forgot about it. I got sidetracked. Now here I am, 19 months later. About 3 weeks ago I was thinking about my blog and was able to locate it online. I really want to write on here daily. I could be doing other things right now before work, but I am glad I am taking time out of my day. I feel inspired, as I have found a few writing conferences which interest me, and I have emailed a few submissions. At least I am trying, even if I get rejected. Failure is not trying.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm glad I was finally able to locate this site. I was looking under the bookmark history on my phone. Anyway, I will make sure to write this one down. And speaking of that, I am finally consolidating my logins. I have so many and I can never remember them when I want to log on. Then, I have to send for the password and I lose it again. I'm going to type them up and keep the list in the laptop. That way I won't lose the list. I never realized until recently how many logons I have. I didn't have these problems when I was younger, since there was no Internet. Anyway, more later.