A-Weigh We Go

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Saturday, February 25, 2012


In the last week, I've had two very special ladies in my life comment on how they are enjoying my blog and that they love the fact that I'm so transparent, or open and honest.  Some of that comes naturally for me.  I have a tendency to wear my emotions on my sleeve.  I don't do a good job of hiding feelings (good or bad - just ask the hubby) and most of those close to me know exactly what's on my mind at any given time.  Well, about most things.

One thing that I've hidden - to the best of my ability - is my weight.  I know that may seem odd because how does an obese person hide?  For me, I'd hide behind my hair, a "complimentary" shirt/outfit, or a well-cropped picture.  I'd hide some of the hurt and embarrassment with humor or boisterous laughter.  I'd hide behind my work-ethic and "Superior" performance evaluations.  There are a lot of ways I'd hide...if not to the world, then definitely to myself.  Hiding has done absolutely nothing to help me gain control of my eating or obesity.  As a matter of fact, it's probably been a contributing factor.  

So today, as part of working toward a healthy life, I'm coming out of hiding.  Part of my homework is to take a picture of myself before weight loss surgery and jot down feelings I have about myself and the photo.  Because I've tried to "hide" behind things in other photos, I had CME take a few shots today.  I had on three different shirts (and two different bras!) before I settled on the one below.  I have my reasons.  I will be taking additional pictures along this journey, but this is where I must start - with total transparency.

Now the hard part...to jot down the feelings associated with these pictures.  
-deep breath-  Here are my raw, unedited thoughts.

Picture 1
*I'm as wide as the door!
*I would never be caught dead in a sleeveless shirt in public. Ever. 
*My droopy stomach is dented in from the jeans.  :(
*My wrists are fat too.
*The "if I tilt my head slightly it's cuter than if I face the camera head-on" really is something I do without thinking about it.
*I've often heard, "you've got such a small face" when in all honesty it's not small...it's just not totally in proportion with my body.
*The cross (made by one my sons) on the refrigerator is an awesome reminder that God is with me in this!

Picture 2
*This is why I don't wear sleeveless shirts!
*I also would never wear my shirt tucked in while in public.
*Yes, I have on a bra.  (a "humorous" question from CME earlier, but I can't really tell that there is a distinction between my chest and my stomach.)
*My umm...derriere...seems to sit higher than I thought.  "Baby's got back...LOTS of it" comes to mind.

Picture 3
*Speaking of derrieres...  ugh!
*Fat arms make elbows even uglier!
*My legs are huge.
*I desperately need to do something with my hair!!!  :)

So, those are the thoughts that initially come to mind.  That's the old me.  That's the girl who has been stuck trying to do this on my own for too long.  Posting these pictures is scary, but it's also another step toward freedom from the past.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm too open about things, but I've determined that if I'm going to get healthy (all aspects of it) then I need to be honest about what's going on in my life.  I seriously want to let God shine through this transformation and if I'm not honest about where I started, then His glory will be diminished.

Transparency...where God's light will shine through.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Game On!

I must say that the staff at bariatric center is pretty amazing.  As I was signing in today, the receptionist asked, "So do you have a job?!"  I told her my story and she said she was really glad to hear that.  I head to the scale room (cuz I don't know what else to call it) and the nurse asked, "do you still have your job?" and again I tell my story.  The MD greets me with, "Hi Deedra, good to see you.  Do you still have a job?"  After I tell my story for the third time, he says, "As soon as we heard it nurse and I wondered if you were still employed."  They both mentioned the fact that they were proud of me for surviving the stressful time with a 3.1# weight loss, making  my total weight loss pre-op at 10.1#.  I know it doesn't seem like much to some people, but to me, it's sizable.  To me, it means my head is back in the game.  Besides the weight loss, I truly feel that the staff knows and cares about me...beyond the visits to the office.  They know my name, my face, my circumstances.  They care enough to ask about things that they know matter to me.  

I also met with the RD today.  I received the "official" binder aka "Education Manual" with all the ins and outs of this process.  RD and I talked about things like ways to season foods but not add the unnecessary fat and calories; she gave me a couple of recipes for salad dressings as well as sharing with me how to make Greek yogurt work as sour cream.  We didn't go into much detail about the post-diet yet.  She wants me to read the manual and make notes so we can discuss it at our next visit.  She believes it is much more beneficial and more readily retained if I actually read it and ask questions rather than her blah blah blahing her way through it.  I appreciate that!  So there's my next brainwork to do...learn more!

I did ask the MD of an approximate time frame for the surgery.  He understood that it wasn't because of impatience that I was asking, but rather it was because of being in limbo at work.  I told him the transition time frame and he assured me that my surgery would be way before June 1!  He even eluded to the fact that if I get to the goal weight set for me by the RD, then at the next visit (3/14) he will proceed to recommend the surgery to my insurance and get it scheduled.  He said that he was expecting (based on how well things are going) the surgery to take place in April!  (I HAVE A PSUEDO-DATE / MONTH!!  I'LL TAKE IT!)  It really does help to know a date. Makes figuring out what/where/when of work schedules much easier too.

So I'll start my reading this weekend - covering each section thoroughly:  Introduction; Medical; Surgical; Nutrition, Coping Techniques, Exercise.  I'm looking forward to diving into this one.  I'm tempted to skip ahead to the "what can I eat?" section, but I'm not going to.  I'm going to read them in the order they're in the manual.  

I did like this section of the Introduction:

Prepare For Your Success
"A Successful Bariatric Surgery Patient..."

  • Views himself or herself as a worthwhile, important person who is battling a disease, not a defect in character.
  • Keeps all scheduled appointments, even when weight loss is complete.
  • Attends monthly support groups and participates enthusiastically in them.
  • Follows the dietary guidelines closely and works with the dietitian to adjust any problem areas.
  • Notifies the nurse of any medical problems that occur after surgery as soon as possible.
  • Keeps an accurate food log for at least six months or longer.
  • Keeps a journal to express the range of emotions that will be. experienced.  (I think blogging *might* count toward this one.)
  • Practices healthy behavioral changes suggested by our counselor.
  • Commits to following an individualized exercise/fitness program.
  • Attends the recommended counseling session in order to cope with all the new changes that are involved.
  • Attends and participates in motivational projects offered by the clinic staff.
  • Refers to the educational materials frequently and seeks additional information in order to learn as much as possible about their surgery  and the changes in lifestyle that are necessary.
  • Recognizes that surgery is only a "tool" and the lifelong commitment is required in order to successfully  keep weight off.

So there you have it.  My head is officially back in the game.  Game on!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Need a Date!

The past week = major, MAJOR stress.

One week ago tomorrow, my employer let go of a significant number of people.  The majority of my co-workers and friends will be out of a job by the end of the month.  A small handful will remain until the end of May to finish some big projects.  Out of about 30 people (in 2 Departments), two of us survived the layoff.  She and I will be moved to another area beginning June 1.  Interestingly enough - she had gastric bypass surgery several years ago.

While I am grateful for the job and know that it is answered prayer, the whole situation is stressful.  I wrote about Survivor's Guilt 3 years ago; about how blessed I am, yet incredibly sad for my peers.  I feel bad when I have to ask someone who will be gone in a couple of weeks to show me how to do something or to give me access to something I didn't previously need. I don't think I've binged my way through this like I have in past.  As a matter of fact, I visited the vending machine twice since...and both times I've made choices that were labeled as "healthy" choices - though I know they're not celery or carrots!  

Other stressors have come my way as well.  Conflicts with friends have crept into the picture.  They probably have had as much effect on my psyche as the job situation.  I was in a very snacky mood today.  There were chips and salsa available in the department and I found myself munching on them.  It wasn't handfuls this time, more like 3 chips two different times.  And today was one of those days the vending machine won.  I really wanted a Snickers...because...you know, Snickers satisfies, but only temporarily.  I definitely wanted chocolate though, so I wound up with the 3-pack of small Peppermint Patties.  They're considered a "healthy choice" by the vending machine company.  I guess it's because they're low in fat, but 26g of sugar is an issue.  I suppose the choice could have been worse, but I definitely see that I reacted negatively to today's trigger situation.  Plus I know I've had more carbs today than I should have.  I wish I knew if I could blame it on PMS - but alas, that factory has been demolished.  I take full responsibility to falling prey to the old patterns.  

Since my job will be changing as of June 1, I really need to see about getting a date on the calendar for my surgery.  If I had my way, I'd have the surgery the first week of May at the latest, be out a couple of weeks, come back and start in the new area.  How will it look if I change departments and say, "Oh, by the way, I need to take a couple of weeks off for my surgery.  And by the way, I've still got 4 weeks of vacation time I've not used...and...and...and..."  Am I really going to have to tell my new boss about the surgery?  I've got a doctor's appointment on Thursday and hope to be able to discuss some of this with them.  I need a date.  Or at least a tentative date. 

So, where am I turning to deal with all of this?  God gave me "The Lord is our Banner" as a response to a question I asked him this weekend.  So in this battle I say, "You are the name I lift up in times of temptation, Lord.  You are my Jehovah-Nissi, my Banner, waving your sovereign authority clear in view of all my enemies.  When You are present, victory always follows."
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I've been doing more homework.  I told a friend yesterday that, "the homework is awful!"  But really, it's not. It's enlightening and makes me address issues that I've stuffed away into the dark nooks and crannies of my mind. The journey to those places can be awful because it means I'm really having to deal with some of the emotional junk that I'd prefer to either 1) forget, 2) hold on to with vice grips so I could pull it out whenever I want to wallow in it, or 3) pretend it never was an issue to begin with.  I think I'm going to stop calling it homework and rename it  mindwork.  Either way, it's not easy to complete the assignments some days.  It makes certain emotions surface that I had long-thought gone.  I don't know if everyone on this program has the same emotions when they do their mindwork, but in reading and researching what others are blogging about, I've found some pretty common themes.  Some statements that really hit home to me - so I know I'm not totally alone in my feelings.  We tend to grab hold of things we can control; hair, makeup, sometimes teeth (still wish I had the extra money to have them whitened!), jewelry, accessories, etc.  Things that we feel like the world has determined to be "beautiful."  Things that we have actually used as a basis for our own personal feelings of failure.

Here's a peek at where my mind has been previously:

  • "Please let me be able to crop that picture so it's a little bit more flattering."  
  • "I pray that [friend, relative, co-worker, etc.] doesn't post that picture publicly anywhere!"
  • "I'd much prefer to be the photographer...thanks, though!"
  • "Table or booth?  Hmmm... booths are nice, but will I fit?  Will I get stuck?  Will I be able to sit in that booth without my chest resting on the tabletop?" 
  • "Is this shirt long enough to cover the bottom of my stomach when I raise my hands to praise God?"  (or more times than not) "Oh no!  I can't keep both hands in the air...my shirt is riding up and everyone can see my fat droopy stomach!"  (what an awful way for Satan to lie to me and distract me from my worship!)
  • "I hope the chairs and desks are detached at the parent teacher conference.  Otherwise I may have to stand."
  • "I can't be the first in line to get food at [wedding, shower, buffet, Scout meeting, reunion...add venue here] because people are going to worry about what I put on my plate in hopes there is enough food left afterward."
  • "I can't take my kids on that ride.  I may not fit in the seat and if I do, will the safety strap/bar come down low enough to make sure the kids are safe?!?"
  • "I'll pretend to buckle this backseat seat belt - holding it in place - so know one knows that I'm too fat for it to fit." (Thank you, God, that I've never been in an auto accident under those circumstances!!!)
  • "That person sitting next to me on the plane is dreading this flight already."
  • "Is it okay to use the handicap bathroom stall so I have room to wipe???(ok...so TMI, but it's a thought that has crossed my mind at least a dozen times!)
  • "Please don't let anyone ask me a question after I took that ONE flight of stairs.  Please let me be able to have a couple of moments to breathe normally again."
  • "Where is the gym for fat people?  Everyone here is already fit!" 
  • "If I fall asleep on the beach...someone is going to make a joke about the beached whale and they're going to try to roll me back into the ocean."
  • "Every single person that sees me has already determined that I'm lazy or they just play feel sorry for me."
  • "Oh yes! I'll go to the store to get that for you...it will give me a chance to grab a candy bar (or sometimes two) and eat it in the car before anyone sees it. And if no one sees it, then no one can judge me for eating it!"

Now I realize that a lot of those thoughts are as far from the truth as they possible could be, but each statement has crossed my mind at least once.  And trust me when I say that this list is only the tip of the iceberg.  Give me a situation and I could tell you what negative and damaging thought is associated with it.

The good thing is that I promised a few friends that I would not only get my body healthy by having this surgery, but that I would work on my emotional self as well.  I'll admit it's easier said than done.  For the majority of my life, my weight and all the negativity around it has been the dominant role of Deedra.  Even when I've had successful weight losses, I've never worked on the other issues that have kept me turning to food.  Food was always a thought on my mind... "What can I eat?" "When can I eat?" "I shouldn't eat that."  "It's not time to eat."  "If I don't eat today and only drink water then when I weigh in tomorrow, I should be slightly less..." (ugh...I just typed that!)

So what I'm trying to learn (trying because it's hard to transform decades of negative thinking) is to search out the positives.  Thanks to a few friends who have guided me to see myself as God sees me.  You see, I know the thoughts above are not God's thoughts.  He says I am beautiful.

THIS is who I am:
  • I am God's child. (John 1:12)
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
  • I am a friend of God. (John 15:15)
  • I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
  • I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God! (Romans 8:31-39)
  • I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
  • I am God's temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • I am God's workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)

I found this on the internet (I know...who finds stuff there?!) and thought it was a good insight for any one of us who struggles with seeing ourselves as God sees us.  

You Are Beautiful

God says, “You are beautiful.” 
I say, “No I’m not.”

God says, “Do you think I am a liar then?” 
I say, “Of course not, You are God. 
You do not lie.”

God says, “Do you think I am mistaken then?” 
I say, “Of course not, You are God. 
You do not make mistakes.”

God says, “Do you think you know yourself better than I know you?” 
I say, “Of course not, You are God. 
You see everything. You know me better than I know myself.”

God says, “Do you think I created something ugly and bad when I created you?” 
I say, “Of course not, You are God. 
You create, and You see it is good.”

God says, “Do you think you are more powerful than me? Perhaps I create you beautiful, but you change yourself?” 
I say, “Of course not, You are God. 
How can I be so powerful as to change the essence You give me?”

God says, “When you look at it, what you think about me is insulting. 
You think I am a liar, or mistaken, or don’t know you well, or create bad things, or that I’m less powerful than you.” 
I say, “I’ve never looked at it that way before.”

God says, “Do you listen to other people more than you listen to me?” 
I say, feeling ashamed, “Yes Lord. But I thought they were talking for You.” 
God gives me a look of sadness and frustration that His people do not always speak His words.

God says, “You are beautiful.” 
I say…, and I don’t know what to say. My head, full of contradictory information, feels like it will burst. 

And I know God is telling me something I really don’t want to know. 
It goes against what I’ve been taught. 
I don’t want to know that everything I’ve been taught is wrong.

I reply, saying, 
“Yes God, I am beautiful.” 
I am crying, and I am confused. 
And I feel God will punish me for my pride. 
Yet it is God who pushes and pushes me to see this as the truth.

God holds me in His love and lets me cry. 
“Thank you,” He says. “Thank you for listening.”

PS - I'm mustering up the nerve to take my "before" pictures and get them posted.  Still struggling with the "beauty" in that.  Hope to overcome that soon!

PSS - These two songs are my audible reminders...

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wow...I Hadn't Thought of That

CME often sends me links to articles or videos that interest him.  Most of them interest me too.  This article from CNN definitely caught my attention.  Being obese, and with a family history of obesity, I worry quite a bit about my kids' weight and health as well.  My daughters are adults now, but I wish I would have taught them healthy habits when they were young.  Fighting weight issues as an adult are NEVER easy.  Hoping it's not too late to teach my boys not to only eat healthy when their parents are around, but to be aware of "rewards" that could be detrimental later.

That being said, this article about a Mom and blogger who has lost 100 pounds points out why it's so hard for kids to lose weight.  I heard myself saying, "Wow...I hadn't thought of that."

Click on the link below to find the article.
Why is it so hard for kids to lose weight?
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

So How'd It Go?

Yes, I know.  That's what you're all wondering.  "So how'd it go?"

I'll start with the endoscopy.  First, that numbing stuff they spray in the back of your throat is the worst part of the whole thing!  I was told it was bad, but I don't think anyone can truly put to words how bad it really is.  To say it takes your breath away is an understatement.  The taste...the burning...the numbing which makes it feel as if your entire throat is swelling shut...yeah it was bad.  Seriously, I'm pretty sure that if I suffered from panic attacks that would have set one off!  

This is what I remember...
Nurse:  Okay, I'm going to add this medicine to your IV which will make you a little drowsy.
CME:  Honey.  You really need to wake up;  they're getting a little frustrated that you're still here.

Yep...that's it.  And the sedatives didn't wear off until MUCH later.  I came home and slept...and slept...and slept.  

The endoscopy results showed esophagitis and gastritis.  They thought the esophagitis was from acid reflux...I'm pretty sure it was a residual effect of that nasty bug I had.  They biopsied a small part of the stomach lining because of the gastritis.  Again, I think it's caused by the bug.  I'll have a written report on those results soon.  Other than that, the results were pretty non-descript - nothing that the gastric bypass surgeon is going to be worried about at all.

My exercise evaluation was yesterday.  Even with all the stress going on, my BP was amazing at 104/68 with a heart rate of 71.  The evaluation part was a breeze.  I had to walk at an "exercise pace" around a track for 6 minutes and then take vitals again.  I walked 1,935 feet (which would be 3.6 mph) which left my heart rate at 121 and my BP of 140/70.  They then had me rest for 5 minutes to see how quickly my heart vitals would return to normal.  Mine did great!  BP 106/70 and heart rate of 79.  All of that means that my heart is capable of exercising without major concerns. 

The nurse (yeah, I don't think she was a nurse actually, but I don't remember what her "credentials" were) who worked with me spent quite a lot of time going over various exercises that she recommends; cardio and weight training.  One thing that she did say really made me feel affirmed in something I had often thought, but didn't want to say out loud.  I've always felt as if people judged me when I would say, "this really hurts my knees" or "I can't do that without my knees killing me."  Especially when it came to something that in my mind should not hurt my knees whatsoever...like the recumbent bicycles.  How on earth could THOSE hurt my knees???  I can't tell anyone that, they'll think I'm just lazy.  So when she said, "With knee problems, you probably should avoid the recumbent bicycles.  They tend to hurt the knees and sometimes the hips and back as well."  AFFIRMATION AT LAST!  I wasn't imagining it!!!

She did give me some ideas on what would work for me, the process of doing stretches, then cardio, then weight, then cardio, then cool down.  Her recommended exercise program for me is to increase the duration of exercise from 30 minutes to 60 minutes at least 3-4 times per week.  She suggests the weight machines at the Y (since I've done them before), elliptical and arc trainer and stationary (not recumbent) bicycles.  She also told me to listen to my body and if my knees scream, "stop" then stop.  I was given a resistance band and some exercises to do at home as well as encouraged to use the Wii when at home.  The nurse also suggested water exercises - I just need to get over the embarrassment of being in a swimsuit in a public place. 

So there I have it...more steps done.  More steps to take (literally and figuratively).  

With as smooth as all of this is going, I truly believe that God is affirming my decision for the surgery.  I cannot do this on my own.  It's good to know I don't have to!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Day...Another Appointment

Today is better.  For the most part, at least.  (Warning - long post ahead)

I saw the MD, RD and had my first Behavioral Modification class today.  As I admitted in my last post, I hadn't journaled my food intake all week.  The scales reflected it. I gained 1.7 pounds.  CME (hubby) mentioned that it was "normal" and more than likely I was dehydrated last week because of the bug.  I guess.  Still...

MD was nice, but almost stern about it.  He again stressed the importance of the education portion of the program.  He said something like, "Don't let this happen again.  Just get your head back in the game.  You can lose weight with just the information in the meetings, but the surgery will not be successful unless you use what you're learning."  He's right, of course.    And though it may seem silly, I'm glad I wasn't totally let off the hook about it. I cannot will not fall back into the same patterns as before.  

His nurse left me with some exercise Do's and Don'ts and at home exercises to do.  Though I chuckled reading about "Toothbrush Tush Push", "Towel Toner" and "Upside Down Toe Touches", I may try at least the towel toner one tomorrow. 

My time with RD was quick.  She gave me some more information on reading labels and definitions of the "claims" and requirements to those claims made on food labels - fat free vs. low fat vs. less fat vs. saturated fat free; high, rich in, or excellent source; etc.  It's actually kind of interesting to read.  She said that there are times it's better to not get the "light" version, but rather just eat a smaller amount of the full version.  Calories may not vary as much as you may think.  She did recommend that no more than 30% of your total calories should come from fat.  She also said to be sure to keep sugars to less than 10g/serving to help reduce the risk of dumping syndrome.

The "class" was a group of 4 patients, all in different stages of the pre-op process.  We got the opportunity to share where we are in the process and discuss responses to what we are learning.  This session was on "Stress".  Ironic?  Coincidence?  (I don't believe in coincidences, by the way.)  The first part was "Promoting Healthy Living."  We had to rate how we/our body reacts to stress by rating 0-2 in certain areas.  The list and my answers are below:

Reactions to Stress
0 = never; 1 = sometimes; 2 = always

Record your physical responses to stress:
Headache - 1
Change in Appetite - 1
Fatigue - 2
Interrupted Sleep - 1
Indigestion - 0
Lower back pain - 0

Record your psychological responses to stress:
Sadness or depression - 1
Difficulty concentrating - 1
Feeling inadequate - 1
Feeling emotionally drained - 2
Forgetful - 0

My behavior responses to stress:
Decreased productivity - 1
Increased irritability and anger - 1
Eating or smoking or drinking - 1

Causes of Stress
0 = not a source of stress; 1 = stressful; 2 = very stressful

I have too many demands - 1
I don't like my present job - 1 (only because of what's going on right now)
Communication with my poss and co-workers - 0

I worry about my safety - 0
I'm bothered by all the noise - 0
I don't like daily traffic - 0

Life Events
I've been divorced in the lats year or lost a loved one - 0
I moved within the last year - 0
Adult children/grandchildren/other family moved in - 0

Triggers for Stress
My family responsibilities are overwhelming - 1 (though I wish there was a .5)
I don't have enough fun or free time - 1
My appearance concerns me - 2

I'm concerned with my weight - 2
I'm concerned about my general health - 2
I'm concerned about my level of physical fitness - 2

I'm concerned about job security - 2 
My salary is too low to meet monthly bills - 1 (due to current situation)
I made a large purchase (house, car, tuition) - 0

We also learned some symptoms of stress.  These are the ones I recognized in my life at some point:  clearing throat (CME makes fun of me for doing this when I'm on the phone - especially if I may not like how the conversation is going or if I have to say something difficult), backache, emotional instability, nightmares, constipation (sorry TMI, I'm sure), foot tapping, irritability, negative thoughts, crying, fatigue, headache, overeating, inability to concentrate, insomnia and depression.  Yep - all of those have had a place in my life at some point.  We talked through these and how stress affects the body and methods of coping with stress (what it looks like to learn to relax, practice acceptance, etc.)  One sentence really stuck out to me:  Acceptance does not mean we are giving our approval, it meas we accept "what is" so we know what to do to take care of ourselves and what boundaries we need to set. It went on to talk about setting healthy boundaries and what that may look like.  I like this too:

Guard your personal freedoms - the freedom to choose your friends, the freedom to love, the freedom to feel what you feel, the freedom to think and believe as you choose, the freedom to structure your time as you deem appropriate, and the freedom to set your life's goals.  

We ended the class with a self esteem overview.  I wrote down when LCSW said, "Self esteem is a choice - not chance."  I'm not sure why at this point I found that note-worthy, but I hope when I look back on this whole thing it will be crystal clear to me then.  There is a lot of good information in this packet that I still need to read, but a few things that caught my eye were:
"Bariatric surgery provides the tool to help lose weight and to make bodies healthier.  However there is no surgical procedure to make minds healthier."
"Who we are is God's gift to us...What we become is our gift to God."
"Seek solitude. Schedule regular periods of quiet time for yourself.  PRAY, reflect, meditate. "
Our last task of the day was to complete a worksheet to help improve our self-esteem.
"Your self esteem is closely connected to what you recognize as your talents, capabilities, strengths, the positive qualities about yourself.
We then had to list as many characteristics as we could about ourselves in:  Performance at Work, Relationships, Personal Appearance and Performance with Daily tasks.  Though I came up with some decent ones for Performance at Work and Relationships, I struggled with finding even one "positive" for Personal Appearance and Performance of Daily Tasks.  Each one of us had to choose two of the four topics and read our lists.  Interestingly enough, we all chose performance at work and relationships.  LCSW said, "It's so funny but almost everyone chooses to share "Performance at Work" and "Relationships" as their two categories.  So many overweight people try to compensate for their weight by being excellent employees, excellent wives, mothers, and friends.  It's just so hard to be excellent all the time!  It's stressful!"

LCSW then asked this question:  Do you take as good care of yourself as you do your job and relationships (others)?  Now that's a question!  I've never thought of it that way.  The obvious answer at this point is "No, but I'm working on it!"

Tomorrow I will have my upper endoscopy and then come home to sleep off the sedatives.  Is it bad to say I'm hoping for it to be some of the best sleep I've had in weeks?!?  Even if it's bad, that's what I'm saying!  Bring on the sleep!  
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Finger Regurgitation

First let me say, this entry is sorta/kinda related to this journey, but much more about where life has taken me in the last week.  I have a feeling my fingers are about to regurgitate words all over this page.

A week ago today...that lovely day when that bug had the best of me...my cell rang and it was one of the sales managers I support.  The conversation started like this:

Me (sounding all puny): Hi [sales guy].  What's up?  (he doesn't call my cell normally)
[Sales Guy]:  Are you sitting down?
Me:  Lying down, actually.  What's going on?
[Sales Guy]:  I'm unemployed.

If the bug hadn't made me sick, that news would have done the trick.  He told me a little about what he knew, but more than anything I let him talk about how shocked he was at this decision.  How he's not had to look for a job since 1984 and how this (job) is all he knows.  I didn't say much.  I couldn't really.  I didn't know what to say other than, "I am so sorry!"  A phone call later and I found out that not only was [Sales Guy] let go, the entire sales team was let go.  My job is to support the sales team.  My future in that capacity is over.  

On Wednesday of last week, our CEO sent a company-wide email to inform everyone that there would be significant office closings throughout the country and more changes were to come.  Since the announcement, several of us have been working on all the paperwork and behind the scenes stuff to meet the deadlines given to us to make the closings happen - really not knowing what our future holds with our company.  My boss has been fantastic through this all and I have tremendous respect for him.  I can tell it's worn him down; his bleary eyes tell a lot.  So for now, I will continue to do what I've been doing for the past 16 years.  I will go to work every day and do the best job I can do.  In doing so, I hope I can bring some joy to co-workers some hope and some promises that God will provide if we trust Him.  It may not be what we want it to look like; God's plans are not our plans.  Regardless, He will meet our needs!

That was just the work side of things.

On the family side of things, parenting sometimes is the hardest job in the world.  My sons are truly very intelligent (I've got test scores to prove that point), but my oldest sometimes does just dumb stuff!  For instance...he's failing English (with less than 50%).  Why?  For not turning in his work.  That's right... he's failing HONORS English just because of lack of initiative.  And is it just English?  Well, that's the only one he's failing...but there were multiple missing assignments in most other classes as well. It's not new...it's an on-going battle.  A tiresome, frustrating and annoying battle.  He spent ALL weekend doing school work to try to get things caught up.  We'll see if it helps.  We've got an appointment with all his teachers this Thursday morning before school to see what the next steps are to try to help him get back on track (again).  I'm tired of this battle!  Makes me wonder how Jesus doesn't look at me some days and go, "I'm tired of this battle!"  But I'm so thankful He doesn't!

Plus, there are other things going on in life - not at home - that have me totally distracted and somewhat distraught.  So through all of this - work, family, and other - my emotions have been all over the board.  

This is where it's affecting my journey and why I'm posting it all here...

Not certain where my job will take me...if I have a job (and insurance)...I'm still trying to move forward with the steps necessary for surgery.  However, I'm feeling pretty emotional and almost defeated some days.  More tears have been welled-up in my eyes this week than have in quite a while.  I've not journaled my food intake faithfully like I should.  I have an "idea" of the food I'm eating - but I'm not keeping track.  Pretty sure RD is not going to be thrilled when I have blank days on my food chart.  I've not yet turned to the cabinet or refrigerator to binge my way through this, but I did buy a candy bar last night.  And yes, I ate it too.  I'm definitely not in a good place emotionally right now (not tonight at least).

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.  I have my first "Behavioral Modification" class at [bariatric center] around lunchtime.  I may wait to put on my makeup until after it's over!  On Thursday (after the meeting with my son's teachers) I will have my scope thingy (ok..ok... upper endoscopy) done to make sure my stomach and small intestine are in good shape for surgery.  Then on Valentine's day, I will complete my exercise evaluation.  That did make me chuckle a bit...checkin' out the heart on Valentine's day.  Each appointment is another step closer to the surgery.  I just need to get my head back into the game.  

I am finding that one positive emotion I have right now is peace.  I know it doesn't sound like I'm peaceful, but I believe that peace and "joy" aren't always the same thing.  Peace and sadness can be present at the same time. So I'm holding on to this truth right now:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world."  ~John 16:33

PS - My hubby has been wonderful through all that's going on.  He's been supportive and loving and goofy and really is trying to help lighten my mood.  Silly ways he answers my calls or the extra hug (even if they're virtual hugs some days) mean a lot.  I am blessed. 
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14