Thursday, July 27, 2006

15 Minutes of Fame -- Missed!

I just had to write about this, because for the last 24 hours I was really psyched about the possibility of being an interview subject for a British documentary focusing on obesity. The producers were looking for a pre-op subject, and the moderator of our support group, Kimberly Taylor, solicited the our board for interested parties. Of course I obliged. I wanted the opportunity to be the voice for the obese population who while they may have physical and mental limitations, work to overcome the challenges they meet. I want to let people know that just because we suffer with Obesity, we are far from all letharic or stupid -- many of us lead incredibly successful lives! We just need help -- Obesity cannot be ignored, it is a serious disease, and is impacting more and more people every day.

Here is a description of what they were looking for:

"The documentary is a commission of the Current Affairs Department andaims to be a refreshingly frank and thought-provoking 60-minute filmthat will educate the British population about the reality ofobesity. Its aim is to warn people that obesity is not a condition tobe disregarded and that we must take it seriously. The way we plan todo this is, instead of reeling off more statistics and advice, tovery simply follow the journey of one person who personally suffers from the disease and listen to their story."

"...The person we arelooking to follow will be inspirational in their ability to beabsolutely honest with us about their weight, their struggles, their body and the life they lead because of it. As we document their month, as if like a journal, we wish to tell the story of someone who can really share their highs and lows with the viewer, and have the intelligence, wit, and sense of humor and reflection to really get a viewer to think hard about what life is like if you are obese."

"...We would like them to meet with British school children and educatethem about what obesity is, and possibly even lobby the BritishGovernment."

How cool of an opportunity is that?!? Of course I had to write Kimberly right away, and let her know I was interested.

Well when Kimberly heard of my interest, she was so excited! She thought I would be perfect! Here's Kimberly's response:

"Okay, you have me SO COMPLETELY EXCITED over here, I can hardly stand it! I am going to forward your blog directly to the producer. I'd cast you in a heartbeat! She will be here in a few weeks and will want to meet you in person... I LOVE that you're so articulate and in touch with what you're feeling, Donna. Wow! Amazing! You're ready for this journey. I am so excited for you, sweet friend!..."

Unfortunately though, it was all for naught. The producers responded to Kimberly this morning:

"...Thank you so much for suggesting Donna. She looks absolutely fantastic. I have just come from a meeting however with the channel and they have told me that they really want a male for the documentary. I am really sorry that this information has only now been clarified, and I hope Donna will understand that it was not she wasn't right for this project or anything personal.... she's just not a man!"

Right place. Right time. Wrong gender. Oh well. :(

That's just my luck -- if it was meant to be, it would have happened. It sure did feel good to have people think I'm in the "right" mind for my journey.

My friend Melissa, who is already a success with her WLS, wrote the nicest letter in support of me being the subject too:

"...I just wanted to send along my vote of confidence in Donna - not that you probably need it. I know it's easy to see Donna is an amazing woman. Still, with her permission, I just had to write and tell you how I think she would be absolutely perfect for it!!!

Donna is not only one of my most special friends, she is also my inspiration and motivator. I met her several years ago through her Weight Watchers online support group. From the moment I read her words of insight and encouragement, I was captivated. Donna is one, as you say, who "gets it." She always has. She gets it with the weight-loss surgery, but she's also always gotten it when it comes to living life fully as an obese person.

She, like me, has always worked to never let her weight hold her back. In fact, Donna is much more out there than I ever was. She is so athletic, adventurous and determined. Yet, I think she can articulate how her weight has placed limits on her despite her best efforts - thus the reason why weight-loss surgery is a good option for her. For the first time, she will get the results she deserves for all her efforts.

So many documentaries and articles want to focus on the obese who have low self-esteem, who have given up and who are bitter. I believe Donna represents the majority of us who often are not represented. She is realistic in that being obese has many drawbacks and heartaches - that's undeniable. However, she is also someone who proves that not everyone who is overweight is a lazy slob with a bad attitude and a life in shambles. She represents those of us countless people who have made our way in the world as best we can despite our weight. She is a devoted Mom, Wife, Daughter and Friend who is beautiful, intelligent, successful, funny and classy. She is an amazing role model for anyone.

Anyway, I just felt I had to share what's on my heart. When Donna told me of the opportunity, I could not think of anyone in this world that I feel would represent us any better. She would do us all proud. :-) Thank you!!! Melissa"

I might have been the wrong gender, but damn I have the best support system in the way of friends and family. *hugs* to Kimberly and Melissa

My Husband Found This...

If you think you're beaten, you are . . .
If you think you dare not, you don't . . .
If you like to win but you think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out on the world you find
Success begins with a person's faith,
it's all in the state of mind.

For many a race is lost
Before even a step is run;
And many a coward fails
Before ever his work's begun.

Think big and your deeds will grow,
Think small and you'll fall behind;
Believe you can and you will,
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are . . .
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to believe in yourself
Before you can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the strongest or the fastest man,
But soon or late, the one who wins,
Is the one who thinks he can.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not Much... Just Thankful

5 things I'm thankful for:

  • My Family
  • My Mom and Stepdad have now been happily married for 25 years!
  • My Daughter's hug at the end of the day.
  • That I have some of the best girlfriends a girl could wish for!

At least 1 Success from yesterday:

  • Didn't have any carbonated beverages
  • 1 Drank MORE than 64 oz. of water
  • Ate my dinner r-e-a-l s-l-o-w (and it was steak!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Label Exchange?

On my drive to work this morning I was thinking; imagine that?

I thought back to when I first found the Internet. I think it was by way of AOL chat rooms in 1996. My first screen name was RackEmUp, because I used to shoot 9-ball in an amateur league. I had no idea what the acronyms LOL, ASL, ROFLMAO, etc. meant, nor did I know what an "emoticon" was either -- I just thought it was poor typing! It was like visiting a foreign land. Soon after, I also found the worlds of mIRC and ICQ.

I can remember, upon my introduction to the Internet, stumbling across a chat room on AOL called "Big Beautiful Woman BBW and Admirers." I thought, "Truly there is no way this was real... BBW and ADMIRERS?" For the next 4 years, the acronym BBW changed my life. I finally thought I knew who I was; I took the label. I was a "BBW." A big beautiful woman.

I found an escape from my current life, acceptance by others, as well as a fiance' who actually found fat beautiful.

For the record, despite my relocation to Texas (from NJ) after his proposal. The Fiance' and I never made it down the aisle. Go figure, but I was never large enough for his fetish.

I don't regret having been part of this Internet venue, nor do I have anything negative to say about those involved in the BBW circle, or the circle itself. I found this venue during a time in my life when I needed to feel accepted and learn how to be confident. Some of my closest friends were made during this time. For someone who was as painfully shy as me, this circle was my freedom. And trust me when I say, I let freedom ring in many different ways. LOL

While I never quite bought into the ideal that obesity doesn't matter as long as you're confident and sexy, I still felt better about myself because I felt I belonged, and that in its self was somewhat empowering.

The downside was, I only felt confident and sexy in that circle. Outside of the group, I had no clue who I was. Before that I was my Mother's daughter, my first husband's wife, my BBW Admirer's fiance'. I never took the time to just be me, love me, or heck, even like me.

Something happened though. The empowerment I experienced through acceptance gave me the courage enough to move outside of my comfort zone and my circle of protection.

Despite having my closest friends active in the BBW community, I made the conscious decision to breakaway; ffriends understood my need to find out who I was. I felt like I had got to a point where I was doing things I wouldn't ordinarily do, and if I continued in that fashion, I'd probably sprial downward and life would just get, for lack of a better word, "yucky". :)

So there I was... Just me, myself, and I. No more scene to hide within.

I found I actually liked myself, and became more concerned with treating myself better, which included my health -- that was when I thought it might be a good idea, though I wasn't overly consumed with it, to get healthier and lose weight.

After almost a year of my own effort, a friend of mine was going to join Weight Watchers. Since I had hit a standstill in my weight loss, I decided, "What the heck? Why not?" She needed support, and I needed some help. So I became a WW'r (another label). I guess this is where the natural progression of leaving the BBW circle ocurred, because as I started getting healtier and losing weight, I felt less accepted in the BBW circle.

The good thing was, the more weight I lost, the better I felt. And it just wasn't about being successful with losing weight, it was about treating myself right, respecting myself, and living my life in the way I wanted... Hiking, camping, fishing, biking, even tap dancing! These were things I could only explore in a limited fashion before losing weight.

So my question is, after I have this surgery, will I forever be known as an "RNY'r"? I'm not really looking for any answers. It's just something to contemplate.

I mean, nobody wants to be "labeled" but ironically we do go through life exchanging one label for another.

Will I ever be comfortable with people not knowing the previous me?

Will I feel like I have to give someone the low-down, even though they might not have known otherwise?

I guess as time goes by and I become more accepting of my new body, health, and quality of life, how I got there won't matter anymore.

I will still be me, as I am right now... just a smaller, less fluffy, version.

I do wonder, just how much will I change, and what kinds of changes will this surgery ignite? I know change is inevitable, but I hope and pray for positive change.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Drank the Way I Ate

The moderator of an online support group I participate in, posted this article. I thought it was very interesting, and worth keeping for later reference.

This article is of particular interest as it addresses the occurrence of trading one addition for another. This is a good HEADS UP! to make you aware that this can sometimes happen after WLS if you are not vigilant about your emotional, mental, and spiritual aftercare.
We must do the head work and heart work to be successful!

'I Drank the Way I Ate'
By Jane SpencerJuly 18, 2006

For much of her life, Patty Worrells was wracked by uncontrollable food cravings. She binged on half-gallon tubs of cookies 'n cream ice cream at 3 a.m. She devoured eight cinnamon rolls at breakfast. Often, she ate in secret. By the time she was in her mid-40s, her weight had soared to 265 pounds on her 5-foot, 4-inch frame, and she was struggling with type II diabetes and arthritis.

Then, four years ago, Ms. Worrells joined the rush of Americans signing up for gastric-bypass surgery and had her stomach reduced to a tiny pouch. She dropped 134 pounds in a year. For the first time in decades, she could fit comfortably in a restaurant booth and board an airplane without glares from other passengers.Ms. Worrells was elated -- until a new craving took over.

Never a heavy drinker before surgery, she found herself going out for drinks more often with friends. Eighteen months after her surgery, she was downing 15 to 20 shots of tequila almost every night. She often woke up in the morning with bruises and scratches from drunken falls she couldn't remember.

Patty Worrells lost 134 pounds after undergoing weight-loss surgery but gained a new addiction: alcoholism.

"I drank the way I ate," Ms. Worrells says. "There was no such thing as enough." Before her surgery, alcohol never gave Ms. Worrells much of a buzz. But food was a reliable source of solace.

Growing up in Akron, Ohio, a blue-collar rubber-manufacturing town, Ms. Worrells was always a little on the heavy side. (She remembers wincing when her dad, a truck driver, introduced her to friends by saying, "That's my daughter Patty -- she likes her supper.")

When she reached her early 20s, her weight began to spiral out of control. Her high-school boyfriend, recently returned from military service overseas, was intent on marrying her, but she had fallen in love with her best friend, a woman she went to high school with. In the end, she ditched both.

Ms. Worrells sank into a deep depression. "I decided I'd be alone forever," she says. "Food became my comfort."

Feeling isolated and untethered, she joined a conservative church. For more than a decade, she threw herself into church activities, leading bible studies and joining the chorus.But the loneliness endured. At night, she consoled herself with heaping portions of pasta casseroles, French bread smothered in peanut butter, and pineapple cream pie. The cravings were intense. She gained 130 pounds, doubling her body weight."I had this emptiness inside of me that needed filling," she says.

That began to change in her mid-30s, when she went back to school, eventually earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, which she followed up with a master's degree in clinical counseling. But her weight was taking a toll on her health.

She made a snap decision to get gastric-bypass surgery. As her body weight melted away, her diabetes and arthritis all but vanished. The day her weight dropped below 200 pounds, she cried and took a photograph of the scale.Like many bariatric patients who have long been isolated by their weight, she became more social, joining a support group for bariatric patients and developing a clique of close friends. Most members of the group were in their 30s and 40s, but they began partying like wild teenagers, hosting karaoke parties, going camping, and getting into romantic entanglements."We felt like we had a lot of fun to make up for," says Mary-Jo Banish, a member of Ms. Worrells's circle. " When we were huge, we were never the life of the party."

Ms. Worrells still remembers the massive rush she got from her first sip of liquor after her surgery. "It was like putting alcohol directly into a vein," she says. "Boom!" Her reaction isn't uncommon, as bypass surgery enables food and drink, including alcohol, to pass more rapidly into the patient's system.

Ms. Worrells, who is gentle and soft spoken when sober, developed a reputation as an out-of-control partier with a taste for tequila. At parties, she often crashed into furniture and got into screaming matches with her partner for the past six years, Debbie Anello. Friend Ginny Altomari recalls hosting a Halloween party where she unsuccessfully tried to put an inebriated Ms. Worrells to bed.

Ms. Worrells wasn't the only member of the group drinking too much. At a recent meeting of her bariatric-patient support group at a Denny's restaurant in Parma, Ohio, several other women in the group recounted their own stories. "My children were devastated," recalled Jeannine Narowitz, a mother of seven who had bariatric surgery in 2003 and began drinking heavily the following year.

Once, she woke up with a black eye from a drunken fall she couldn't remember. She finally forced herself to quit after she discovered that her 15-year-old son had poured all of her liquor out and refilled the bottles with water.Ms. Worrells had plenty of experience with addiction long before her own problem started. Her father was an alcoholic who died at age 54. Her younger sister Peggy also struggled with serious addiction problems for her entire life.

Ms. Worrells struggled desperately to hide her alcohol problem from her family, and avoid disappointing her mother and sister. She never drank at family gatherings, and avoided phone calls when she was drunk.

She worked as clinical director of a substance-abuse clinic, and sometimes led group-therapy sessions for drug addicts. She says she never drank at work, but began quietly leaving the clinic at lunch to buy tequila, just to make sure she would have it when she got home at night. She frequented five different liquor stores in the area so the clerks wouldn't realize how often she was buying it.

Within eight months of her first drink after surgery, her food cravings had vanished. But she was drinking every night at home until she passed out. She stopped taking calls from her mother and sister in the evenings so she could focus on drinking, lining up shots on the stove and downing 15 to 20 shots in the course of the evening."The progression was unstoppable," says Ms. Worrells."I've never seen a person change so fast," recalls Ms. Anello, who often drank with her in the evenings and was developing her own issues with alcohol. "She became a monster."

It was a single phone call to her mother that got Ms. Worrells to seek help. One evening while Ms. Worrells was cursing and shouting in the midst of a drunken rage, Ms. Anello picked up the phone in desperation and dialed Ms. Worrells's mother. "Listen to your daughter," she said, and held up the receiver.

Ms. Worrells instantly froze -- mortified that her mother had heard her cursing. Even at age 50, she couldn't bear to let her mother down. The next day, 10 months after her drinking began, Ms. Worrells went to her first 12-step-program meeting.

Three weeks later Ms. Worrells got an evening call from her mother. Her sister Peggy had died of what was later determined to be an overdose of Xanax. Ms. Worrells remembers feeling grateful that she was sober that night, as she drove to her mother's house to take care of her.

Recovery didn't come easy. For the first eight months, she relapsed regularly, going three or four days without drinking before succumbing again. She finally had her last drink after becoming frightened by an episode when she drove drunk -- something she had vowed she would never do.

Ms. Worrells still sometimes feels the same gnawing emptiness that drove her to overeat, and later to drink. Instead of drinking in the evenings, she and Ms. Anello visit the great blue herons that nest in Cuyahoga Valley near their home, or visit a wildlife preserve.

She still attends four 12-step-program meetings a week, but she says she has no regrets about the surgery: "I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Welcome To Wherever You Are

"Welcome To Wherever You Are"
Bon Jovi

Maybe we're all different, but we're still the same.
We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins
I know sometimes it's hard for you to see
You're caught between just who you are and who you wanna be
If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning's end

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are

When everybody's in, and you're left out
And you feel your drowning, in a shadow of a doubt
Everyones a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say
When it seems you're lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody's different
Just take a look around

Be who you want to, be who you are
Everyone 's a hero, everyone 's a star

When you wanna give-in, and your hearts about to break
Remember that you're perfect
God makes no mistakes

I'm not one to blog lyrics (well frequently anyway) but I can hear myself singing this song to my Daughter someday -- corny, I know.

It's just that this song seems to embrace some of my fundamental beliefs -- being who you are, not following the crowd, doing things in your own way, in your time, on your own terms; staying true to who you are. Knowing that everyone is special and understanding the value of an individual's uniqueness. "Everyone is perfect. God makes no mistakes."

It may be a rough ride, but the ride makes me who I am today.

Welcome to me; I know where I am.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Reality Bite

She walks into the kitchen and sees them sitting there; 2 dozen doughnuts, still warm from the oven, and gooey with glaze. The smell of the bakery bounty relentlessly calls her to indulge. Without thinking she says, “Mmm-mmm”.

But then, hit with a moment of semi-consciousness, she says “Wait, I’ll be good -- just half will do.” She reaches for a knife and slices a piece of hole-less heaven in half.

As she lifts the goodness to her lips, she wakes up.

“What the hell am I doing?!”

She tosses the doughnut into the trash, and proudly leaves the kitchen.

I fought the doughnut and I won!

I know, I know; seems kind of dramatic, doesn’t it? But for the last several weeks I have not been able to keep from mindlessly snacking. To actually have that doughnut to my lips (and yes, it did touch!) and throw it out is a huge deal for me.

I realize it shouldn’t be that way, but it is nonetheless.

Victory really is sweet. ;)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Psychotherapy With Dr. K.

I don't know, it just made me giggle when it it said Dr. K., Psychotherapist on the door to her office. Of course that's what she is, but it tickeled me nonetheless. :)

The session went fine. The doctor immediately dove into my family history. She was probing for substance abuse, of which there is plenty between my Dad and my first husband.

I haven't touched on it here, but my Dad is not my biological father, but he is still "Dad", and not my Step-dad. My Step-dad, is my Mom's current husband of 25 years; if that makes much sense.

The doctctor was relieved to know that my "Dad" (an alcoholic) was not my bio-dad. She feels strongly about genetic pre-dispostion to substance abuse. After I told her about my Dad, she was not surprised to find my first marriage was to an alcoholic. Needless to say, she was happy I left the maariage when I did.

As she delved deeper and deeper into the beautiful mess that is my life, I think her head started to spin as I told her about the search for my bio-dad and finally meeting his family. We talked for 1 hour and 20 minutes -- all of a sudden, she burst out and said, "My goodness, we're done here. I never talk this long, but it was all so interesting." I got a hoot out of that.

She said I was stable, and obviously had demonstrated a good ability to adjust, and that she viewed me as someone who deals with issues head-on. She couldn't be more right, but I do go through girations getting to the end. She said my report would be more than positive, and that Dr. Naaman should have it next week.

The last question she asked me was, "What do you think your biggest challenge would be?" At first I jokingly responded (to cover up the fear!), "you mean besides giving up carbonted beverages?" Then I said, "Bidding farewell to the fat me, and learning to see and love the thin me." When that time comes, I won't hesitate to return to her for help coping.

So, outside of attending support group meetings and my appointments with Dr. W, I'm just going to have to wait it out. We're going to submit in October, but it will probably be denied. November I enroll on my Husbands insurance, and that will be effective January 1st. I'll already have everything I need to meet their requirements.

On another subject, I am having, problems with mindless snacking. I'm trying to get it in control, as I don't want to gain a ton of weight before the surgery. I ran out of my Glucophage, and I swear, as soon as I stop taking it, I gain 6 lbs! I don't know what it is.

About the pictures below: The one is my highest weight (347 lbs.), the other is my lowest adult weight (242 lbs.). When I got pregant, I was 255 lbs. I currently sit at 290 lbs. -- my weight in the picture with the family. I'm trying desperately not to hit 300 lbs. again. Yes, it's just a number, but it's just not a number I'm willing to accept.

5 things I'm thankful for:

  • My Family
  • That my Sister is so damn Cool!
  • That the Psychotherapy Session is done!
  • That my Daughter says, "bye-bye, ove you ma-ma"
  • An uneventful Hurricane Season, thus far

At least 1 Success from yesterday:

  • I did not have any carbonated beverages
  • I drank 64 oz. of water
  • Completed the Psychotherapy Session


242 lbs. (lowest attained adult weight)
Danskin Triathlon - Austin, TX
June 2003

Me at 347 lbs.
(note how 1 of me, is the size of my sister & brother-in-law)
September 2000

Me & My Family

My Pride and Joy...

Cassandra "Cassie" Rose

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Am I Crazy? I Guess We'll Find Out!

Today I go for my psych evaluation wth Dr. Kolter. Gosh, I hope she doesn't ask me how to spell psych -- I think I spell it differently every time!

I truly have no idea what to expect. I'm confident that I will be "passed", so to speak, but when you know someone is probing you mentally, it's hard to just relax.

It seems that yesterday I stirred up some conflict on a support group board for my Surgeon's pre-op and post op patients. I was simply trying to point out how the delivery of the requirements for how and what you can eat can differ from professional to professional.

1 surgeon says, "Liquids for 2 weeks..." Another says, "Liquids for 6 weeks. " One surgeon says Protein Powder is okay, while another does not want it becoming a crutch. No one is right or wrong -- it's just that professional opinions differ depending on the specialty of that professional.

For someone who is hesitant on asking questions and doing research, it can become very confusing. Especially when folks from other Bariatric programs start coming to the support group meetings, and protocols they were instructed to practice are not the same as was Dr. Naaman requires. Then Dr. Naaman's patients get up in arms wondering, "Why can't we do the same?"

It's just a mess, and I felt bad for pointing out what I did, but it's true nonetheless.

The Bariatric Program Manager called me directly and explained the background. She didn't want me to think that she was making an example out of me or my post. It's just that this recurring topic is inflammatory, and just gets people upset. I can understand that, and I was glad she called -- because I was really feeling bad.

Later, the Dietician posted a long message -- and it was probably just me being hypersensitive, but I felt like she thought I was saying she was contradicting everything we learned at the seminar, but she wasn't; that's not what I meant at all.

As a Dietician by profession, there are things she'd prefer to do/use over other options. And while she didn't say some things outright, she still did infer that "This is the way Dr. Naaman likes to do it... "but" (but you know it was there) there are are better alternatives.

Oh well.

With that I'm out of here, I ought to get some work done. But first.

5 things I'm thankful for:
  • Darren
  • Cassie
  • Having a nice standard of living
  • Having access to healthy resouces
  • Having the most supportive friends in the world!

At least 1 Success from yesterday:
  • I did not have any carbonated beverages
  • I drank 64 oz. of water

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Random Thoughts From A Nervous Nellie!

I’m sure this entry is going to be all over the place, but I had to get my thoughts written out somehwere.

Today I find myself overwhelmed with emotion and I am not sure exactly why. It could be I am simply having a bad case of PMS, or experiencing a bout with nervousness over the thought of what will happen for me after the surgery.

Actually, it could be both; and it probably is. :)

It’s not the decision to have the surgery mind you – I’m firm with my choice. It’s the aftermath I get so nervous about.

No doubt I am scared. I’m not sure anyone would blame me. I find it ironic that as I write this from the hospital where I will attend my Bariatric Nutrition class today, there is a decorative tiled compass covering the length and width of the lobby’s floor. Pehaps the compass for those who lost their way, and find themselves here to start a journey to better health? That would be me, I thought.

I know I have to let go of the past: forgive, forget, heal and move on. I have to believe that no matter what anyone has said or done to me, I am well beyond “good enough”, and that even in the unlikelyhood the surgery is not successful for me, I will still love myself and treat my body with respect and care.

Fat doesn’t make people damaged goods.

Fat makes people unhealthy.

Fat makes me feel unhealthy and creates life limitations I want to change. I just need some help changing them. I consider this surgery to be a life-long tool. Successful use of the tool is up to me.

Physically, I’ve always tried to live actively, simply because I enjoyed it, and probably because it also proved to everyone my weight was not a limitation. But now, getting older, I feel physical limitations and have signs of degrading health. I'm not about to stand by and do nothing. I want to live even more now, especially with the arrival of my Daughter, Cassie.

When I think about all the possibilities... all the things I'll be able to do with her, and I mean REALLY DO things WITH her, I feel it is an unfathomable reality.

I know it is possible, as I’ve seen success in others.

I guess the real question is, “Do I feel I deserve this?” What makes me deserve this second chance at having a quality of life, more so than someone who is heavier than me?

I so want this to work. I know I will be diligent, steadfast and persistent in my efforts, but “What if?” What if it doesn’t work for me? They say that for a small percentage of folks, this procedure does not work.

I’ve read countless journals of others who have had RNY success and failures before me. Those stories have both strengthened me and left me with more questions.

How does one prep their mind for the emergence they inevitably experience? Can any amount of therapy truly prepare you for a 360 degree change in your life?

For those who seemingly flouish with nothing but success and never have a challenge to speak of, how much are they hiding? What are they hiding? Or is it just as good an experience for those folks as they say it is?

And what about those who have the courage to share their not-so-positive experiences, only to be trampled on by those who want look away from the realities of the surgery to make themselves feel better about the choices they’ve made. Even those with courage still struggle getting to know their new self-image, and don’t seem able to fully enjoy life. They never find a way to “hush” the fat person living inside their thin body.

When your mind is not prepped properly, there is no way to hear the new voice inside, just waiting to sing.

When I started writing this I was sitting in a chair on the East side of the compass. I’ve now moved to the table on the South end, so I’m more comfortable writing. I catch myself staring at it wondering, how many different directions will I go before I’ve arrived at my destination?

I suppose too I am just at a crossroads in my life (aka mid-life crisis?). I have a loving family. I have a dear Husband (my biggest supporter) and Daughter who love me unconditionally,. I have extremely supportive friends, a good job and a beautiful home. Why isn’t that enough? Am I being selfish? And though I ask, I know I am not, but the question crosses my mind sometimes.

This surgery is not about vanity. This surgery is life-saving, life-extending, and life improving. I know this surgery will assist with achieving a quality-of-life I never knew existed.

Mish Mosh

I went for a CPAP treatment on Friday night. I did feel slightly better the next day. When I go back to the doctor he'll prescibe a CPAP machine for me. I really hope it gets me to feeling better.

On a totally unrelated subject Dr. Annette Colby's newsletter was of particular meaning to me this month -- about nurturing Optimistic Determination. I know I am far from the days when I used to nurture that spirit almost daily.

For example, when we were dating my husband and I used to share a list of "thankfuls". We had to find 5 things we were grateful for, despite all the fogginess which seemed to be surrounding us for a while. Of course, as the fog lifted, we stopped sharing the list.

Dr. Cobly suggests starting a gratitude journal; 5 things you are grateful for and 1 or more things of success. It's something I need to put some thought into -- it certainly is not wasted time, as i have felt the success of sharing this gift with myself.

Face it. No one is going to nurture that spirit for me. That responsibility is soley mine.

The Truth...

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
~ M. Scott Peck ~