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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


You ever have those days when you feel like you're in the middle of a tornado just holding on and hoping you're the house and not the one wearing the ruby red slippers?  That's was my afternoon / evening.  

The day started fine, got the boys off to school, got to work...normal day.  Then, sometime around 2pm or so, my oldest daughter (mom of my g-baby) calls to tell me that she's heading to the ER because her primary care physician can't see her and she's having some major pain in her lower right side.  We make plans for me to pick up g-baby from daycare and we'll see what the ER results show.  I call home to let my sons know that evening plans will be changing...give them some instructions and carry on my afternoon.

My phone rings nearly non-stop after that.  Son 1; son 2; son 1; son 2, (text to my daughter - just got into a room at the ER); son 2; son 1...and so on and so on.  My patience was wearing thin... very thin...  I'm at work.  I don't need the constant calls/questions/interruptions.  But alas...it's 5:00pm!

I call my son-in-law's phone as I'm leaving work and the doctor just had just left the room.  Appendicitis!  More phone calls.  CME; daughter; son; attempt to call my parents; attempt to call my sister.  <repeat>

I get g-baby, stop by daughter's house to gather up stuff for g-baby to spend the night and then off to the hospital so my daughter can see her little one before surgery.  G-baby is fussing in the back of the car (she's hungry).  Phone is constantly ringing between their house and hospital - my sons again. I'm snippy.  Not meaning to be, but I can hear it in my voice and I cannot seem to stop.  Get to ER.  Daughter gets moved to room.  G-baby and son-in-law have dinner at the hospital cafeteria and I stay with daughter; she seems to to be doing okay...though she's hungry.  I call my sons...to apologize this time.  Even though I was thoroughly annoyed, I was definitely more snippy than I needed to be and they deserved an "I'm sorry" from their Mom. (Hey...we're never too old to give a sincere apology!)

By 8:00 pm, g-baby is over it all!  She no longer wants to hang out at the hospital.  (Can't say I blame her.)  We come home.  Boys have fixed dinner and have eaten. (It's nice that they're old enough to do that!)  Kitchen is a complete and utter mess.  G-baby is tired, ready for a bottle and bed.  (Separate...not at the same time.)  By 8:45 pm  g-baby is asleep, boys are in bed and I've still not had dinner.

There should be a flashing red light somewhere when I hit this stage.  WARNING!  WARNING!!!  DANGER AHEAD!!!!  But there's not.  Instead, I don't measure, eat some amount of the dinner the boys had fixed.  (It was actually pretty tasty.)  I still think I'm hungry so I look at the food in my kitchen.  Repeatedly.  Then open and close the refrigerator.  Open and close the cabinets.  Open and close the granola.  Open and close the honey wheat pretzel container.  Open. Close. Open. Close. Open. Close.

HELLO!  I am in the middle of an emotional eating tornado!  Problem is I kept getting smacked by flying debris.  A nibble of granola here, a pretzel braid there.  I recognized it...I was in the emotional eating pattern that had controlled my life for so long.  I did NOT go into full binge mode (only a nibble of granola and one pretzel), but still...I was headed that way!  ARGH!  

Truly, the mental aspect of this is the most difficult part for me.  I really thought I had gotten past that part of my food addiction.  But in all honesty, I think I've just not encountered as stressful as a situation as this afternoon has thrown my way.  As I type this, my first born (it doesn't matter that she's almost 29?!?!) is waiting to go into the operating room.  It's 9:47 pm.  I know that her hubby is there and that she's in good hands at the hospital.  But I'm the mom and I'm wishing I could be there for my daughter.  And in a way, I know I am. I'm here with her daughter, so that's one less thing she has to worry about.  Still... I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I'm really frustrated that I was tiptoeing the line of my old eating habit.  Obviously, I still have more work to do on my emotional eating problem.  I pray that God will use tonight to keep me focused and open my eyes to my weaknesses so that He can be my strength!

One good NSV did happen this evening, however.  My ex-husband showed up at the hospital.  He didn't recognize me.  :) 
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thanks A Lot Carnie Wilson

That was my thought around 3:30 this afternoon.  "Thanks a lot, Carnie Wilson!"  

I'll be honest and say that I was more than frustrated while in the breakroom at work to prepare my afternoon snack of PB2 and mashed banana.  (Did you all know that I really like PB2?!?!)  On the counter was some leftover food from a luncheon today.  Sandwiches, chips, cookies, etc.  I didn't hear the first part of the conversation, but two other employees (one male / one female) were discussing carbs and needing to lose weight etc.  Then this comment by the female caught my attention: "Well, the risks far outweigh the benefits!" The guy jumped in with, "And it's not permanent anyway.  You can stretch your stomach back out.  Look at Carnie Wilson.  She gained all her weight back. Even had the surgery twice."  

I looked up from stirring my snack and really REALLY thought about joining the conversation.  Yet, I didn't know these two.  I didn't want to be THAT person.  And I wasn't really sure that I wanted to be judged for the decision I made to have gastric bypass surgery.  So instead, I listened as they continued.  The snippets of "My doctor would NEVER recommend it - it's too risky." and "Sure, she'll lose weight, but it's highly unlikely that she'll keep it off." and "It will be interesting to see how she does." (pretty sure I knew who they were referencing...) made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.  I was mad!  I was mad that they are not well informed.  I was mad that they were so judgemental.  I was even mad at Carnie Wilson!  

Then the thought occurred that maybe, just maybe, they were a tad "jealous" (for lack of a better word) that someone else had the courage to battle their food addiction head on.  Maybe they secretly wished they had that same courage but are scared (regardless if it was through gastric bypass intervention or not).  I remember days like that.  When I'd make comments like, "I could never have gastric bypass..I'm too chicken!"  And I remember my post from a few days ago asking that we (weight loss surgery patients) show grace to people like these two.  So I finished making my snack and left them to carry on without my two cents.  (I'm quite sure they would appreciate knowing that I had a filter in place this afternoon!)

I want to reiterate something I've been saying a for a while and something I remember MD telling me very early on in this journey.  This surgery is not a cure all.  If I didn't (don't) make permanent changes - physically and emotionally, then I will not succeed.  I cannot (and will not) try to speak for anyone else on why they may have gained most or all their weight back.  I am not privy to their personal lives.  What I can tell you is that this process is not an easy process.  It is not the secret weight loss miracle everyone is in search of.  It's hard work.  Emotionally you MUST be ready.  You must be willing to address issues like emotional eating, binge eating, all that excess baggage that you've picked up along your way to the point you decide to have surgery.  The surgery alone will not "fix" your food addiction.  The surgery alone really won't even touch the surface of your food addiction.  You must be willing to take responsibility for your actions and you must be willing to make permanent changes.  You must have accountability.  (My blog is part of my accountability...if that makes sense.)  If you are considering this surgery, be ready to address all of that...and more!  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.  Not the doctors, not the surgery, not the dietician.  Not your family and friends. You. (Me).  

So thanks a lot, Carnie Wilson, for helping to remind me that I am responsible for how I use this tool (gift) that God has given me.  I will not take it for granted.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Who has a normal BMI?  This girl!  That's who!  As of this morning, my lovely Wii advised me that my BMI is "Normal"!!!  Say what?!  Normal!  Barely normal, but normal nonetheless.  First time to be at a normal BMI in my entire adult life!

Oh yeah!!  Oh yeah!!!  :::happy dancin'!!!:::

PS...the over use of exclamation points is a direct reflection of how excited I was this morning to see "normal" flash upon my TV screen.

PSS...my "before" BMI was above 40.  Dangerously obese.  Another reason to celebrate normal!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Best Blogs of 2013

I added the "Feedjit" tracker on the side of my blog because I like to see where visitors to my blog are from. It's a cool little gadget that also shows me how someone stumbled upon it.  Today I was really confused.  I saw a huge spike in volume with multiple visitors that came here via TYWKIWDBI.  So I clicked on the link to see why.  I was so surprised to see that my blog was part of Minnesotastan's list of The Best Blogs of 2013!  I am shocked!!

CME is a subscriber to TYWKIWDB so I immediately asked him if he mentioned my blog - and he did during a very brief time when Minnesotastan asked his readers to "submit recommendations".  I nearly cried seeing my blog mentioned on this list!  Another beautiful example of CME's love and support for this journey.

So, if you're here from TYWKIWDBI...welcome!  If you're here from the Bethany McDonald Memorial Blogroll...welcome!  If you've stumbled upon it by happenstance...welcome! And for my friends and family...welcome!  Thanks for taking the time to show support and read about my journey!  

CME - you are an amazing husband.  143!!

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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Couple of Things to Share

Oh where to even start?!?  A few things I wanted to get down in writing today, but I'm overly tired from a very long Saturday and the words just aren't flowing like I'd like.  So I think I'm going to just makes some random paragraphs... (hey...it happens!)

"Don't lose any more weight."  "You've lost too much weight."  "You're too skinny."  "Are you about done losing weight because you're getting too thin?!"  All comments I'm hearing recently.  I totally and fully understand that these comments are coming from well intended hearts.  They're not criticizing, they're coming from a place of concern.  Once I tell them my weight (currently 151.2) and say, "If you didn't know me and saw me, you'd not think, "oh!  that girl is too skinny!"  I'm at a good place.  I'm at a healthy weight.  Do I know if I'll lose more?  No.  It's not even been 12 months since surgery.  There is a chance I will still lose weight.  I just don't know.  Regardless, I'm at a healthy spot now.  What this does bring to light is that it's not only MY brain that has to be retrained on what I look like, but others' brains as well!  People have only really known me 100+ heavier, so the contrast (especially for those I don't see often) is a bit alarming.  The only part of this whole thing that bothers me a little is that I feel the need to explain the days I'm overly tired (like today).  Looking tired probably adds to their concern.  But the tiredness is not related to the weight loss - yet I feel I need to explain it.  -shrug-  It's okay.  I know that the comments are out of love.  I'm blessed!

Support group on Tuesday night was a blessing as well.  My friend "M" (that I met because of this blog) was there and is looking fantastic.  She looks healthy and happy and it was good to see her!  It was "show and tell" night and we all got a moment to share our stories and before and after pictures if we had them.  I took a few pictures...a couple from a trip to Cambodia in 2009, one from the summer before I embarked on this journey and one or two others at what was probably my very heaviest.  There were reasons I chose each one...but the main reason for the Cambodia trip pictures was because it was a VERY difficult time in my life for a lot of reasons.  Mentally the trip was horrible for me.  Physically, not much better.  There were some really good things that happened, don't get me wrong, but literally, it was the first time that I KNEW people were laughing at my weight.  How did I know?  Because with their pointing fingers and laughter came the words, "You so fat!"  Or there was this little bitty old Cambodian lady who literally started pinching my fat rolls.  It was horrifying!  In their defense, I (now) know they didn't know any better.  In their eyes, I must be wealthy because I had money to buy a LOT of food.  I also remember feeling bad for the elephant that I rode through the jungle.  I actively searched out the smallest team member to ride with hoping it would balance out the weight enough so the elephant would be ok.  True story.  Regardless, I look at those pictures now and realize that God has freed me from those lies.  I am no longer trapped by the embarrassment and shame of obesity!  

Speaking of support group - met a new friend.  I'll call her "K".  I loved hearing her show and tell story.  She openly talked about God healing her mentally/spiritually in order for Him to heal her physically.  I was beaming with excitement just hearing her speak of the power of Jesus Christ!  She also believes that the bariatric center we chose is wonderful on so many levels.  She calls it the "wrap around" program (or something like that) because they address every area...the surgery, the emotional/mental side, the nutrition.  I have always given them a lot of credit...and rightfully so!  K and I stayed around a chatted after support group was over.  Wow!  She's a wonderfully motivating person and I am thankful she decided to join us Tuesday night!

Temptations have been presenting themselves to me a lot lately.  Maybe they're not new, maybe I'm just more aware of them the farther out from surgery that I get. Regardless they are there.  Most days, I do really well in fighting them.  Other days it's a struggle.  (This is one thing K and I discussed.)  Again, I find myself tempted to pick up old habits.  In talking with K, I said something that was a revelation to me.  I believe Satan would love for me to fail at this.  Not only so he could whisper his nasty lies to me and hold me in bondage again, but I believe it's because I've been vocal about this being God's victory in my life.  If I "fail" then people may wonder how powerful He truly is.  Let me tell you this...if *I* fail, it wouldn't be because God isn't powerful.  It would be because I chose to not rely on His power.  There's a huge difference!  For the record...I have absolutely NO intention on failing!

Part of my tiredness today is because of a very full schedule yesterday.  I was up at 5:15am and left the house at 7:15am then didn't get back home until 1:30am this morning; then had to be up and out of the house by 7:00am today!  Except for the hour and a half that I was home yesterday afternoon...making a chicken salad...we were on the go non-stop.  Freshman Orientation for our oldest son was good for him, but a long repetitive experience for CME and me.  The thing I took away this time is that the school's latest Newsweek ranking is #7 in the Nation and #1 in the Midwest.  (I don't remember what it was last year...but pretty much the same!)  Anyway, after that we helped finish getting things set up for the 911 Gives Hope Guns & Hoses charity boxing event happening later that night.  A notable NSV for me came as I (literally) ran up the stairs at the Ford Center multiple times over the afternoon and evening...without even being out of breath!  These aren't some little stairs... this is an arena... tall... lots of steps.  Yeah...I did that!    

Some really proud moments watching CME and our oldest walk around with their VIP Passes.  It was a great bonding time for them as they were able to talk with the fighters, hear the pep talks, etc.  For an almost 14 year old boy, I don't think it gets much better than to feel extra special as your dad's sidekick!  For CME, I think it was a proud moment to be able to introduce our son to so many from the local police/fire/ems community.  Our youngest son was camping with Scouts - so it was good one-on-one time for the oldest.  After 12 rounds of police vs fire boxing, we helped tear down and count remaining merchandise.  Though it was done in record time, it was approaching midnight when someone suggested we all go to Steak and Shake.  Though tired, I was okay with going.  These are people that CME works with as part of the 911 Gives Hope Board...and it's good to be able to sit down outside that venue and share some "friend" time.

My final thought on the night is a victory that I'm claiming!  As the 15 of us are sitting around Steak and Shake, I really thought I wanted the Cheddar Scrambler.  I thought I wanted eggs...and cheese...and well, it just sounded good.  Know what I ordered?  A banana.  Yes, I went to Steak and Shake and ordered a banana while everyone else had milk shakes and burgers and fries and chili and eggs.  Yes, I had two bites of CME's meal (it had eggs!), but I enjoyed my banana!  It tasted good!  It was a sweet victory for me -  may seem like a silly thing to be excited about but I am.  It's the little things that make me smile some days.  Today, it's a banana...
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our Own Worst Critics

CME sent me the link below and then said, "You need to watch it."  He was right.  Though outer beauty is only part of who we are, Dove has done a great job of showing that how we see ourselves is not how others perceive us.  It reminds me of the very first post I published on this blog and my friend's words of "Your weight is such an issue for you that you don't see what anyone else sees when they look at you.  You are beautiful and you don't see it."

Thank you Dove.

Thank you CME.  143.

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

We Interrupt this Blog...

...for a "guest" post from Paige at Finding Joy in the Journey.  She has beautifully posted about the cowardly bombings at the Boston marathon yesterday.  Though I've never run in a marathon...or even a half marathon...I know the bond between runners is strong.  I've witnessed it in even the 5k races I've participated in over the past year.  Paige gave me permission to link to her blog...so please take the time to read the entry at the link below.  

Praying for God's peace...one that only HE can provide...for the racers, their families and friends, for the community and for our nation.

Read Paige's entry here:  My Boston Friends
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's All About Choices

In less than a month, I will be celebrating my one year "surgiversary".  Like the rest of life, it seems like it was forever ago and yet it also seems like it was just yesterday.  As I get closer to that date, my brain sometimes wonders what the next year will bring for me.  There are still inklings of doubt that creep into my mind.  Those "you're going to just gain it back" lies that Satan tries to tell me.  But I know that through God's power, He will provide me the strength and tools to defeat that lie as well!  

A realization came to me this week.  One that clearly should have been here sooner:  Every outcome is a direct result of the choices I make.  This hit me as I was trying to decide what to eat for my afternoon snack. (Still eating every 2-3 hours)  My choices were a protein bar or greek yogurt.  Each was less than 10g sugar; each had 10g of protein.  But here was the number that was my deciding factor.  The protein bar had 170 calories; the greek yogurt had 100.  Though I really thought the crunchiness of the protein bar was appealing, I decided on the yogurt.  It was a choice that I felt needed to be made.  The yogurt satisfied me just as well as the protein bar would have and I "saved" my body from 70 extra calories.  Does that mean that I'll never have a protein bar again? Absolutely not.  It means that I must continue to make conscious decisions on what I put in my body.  Gastric bypass surgery is a tool.  It is not the cure-all, fix-all, for my food addiction.  

Little habits have a way of sneaking back into our lives.  Things for me like, licking the spoon when finishing a recipe (yes, those calories count!!!) or going back for the crusted cheese that semi-burnt on the side of the pan.  What's one little bite, right?  For a food addict, one little bite is as dangerous as one little sip of alcohol is to an alcoholic; as one "hit" is to a drug addict; as one trip to the casino is to the person addicted to gambling.  Every single day, I must make the choice to not bow to the food god that wants to control me.  Instead, I must focus my eyes on the One True God that has Created me.  Every. Single. Day.

I saw this saying and thought it was worth remembering.  "My stomach is not a garbage can."  I refuse to treat it that way any longer!

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

Saturday, April 6, 2013


"Can't you just go back to dreading shopping?"  

Yes, I heard that today.  I guess I could almost consider shopping a transfer addiction...maybe?  I'm not shopping all the time, though I do look at a lot of things now that I wouldn't have in past.  (Pinterest is part of the problem too!)  It's so different to be able to walk into stores and KNOW there are clothes there that would fit!  I can pretty much wear a medium anywhere I go.  A medium!!!!!  I've done a decent job of staying the course and not buying everything I like...and definitely not at full price.  Lately, though I've been searching for various maxi skirts/dresses.  With an upcoming trip to Turkey, I want to look stylish and be comfy at the same time.  It's just hard not to want to buy new things.  Shopping has finally become somewhat fun and not a huge brain game trying to find something that I can wear and getting depressed that even the largest sizes in some stores don't fit.  I guess I could go back to dreading it...or at least pretending that I do.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14