Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I've been on vacation this week, and man have I been spending money like it's my job! I have shopped so much since Saturday I'm about shopped out. I needed some new work clothes, though, so I at least accomplished something. Still need a few more pairs of work pants and would like to find a cute pair of boots or two, but I'm just tired of shopping! Never thought I'd say that. With that said, I'll probably go again tomorrow... the allure of size 8's and small shirts is hard to resist!

I met with a personal trainer today, and I'm trying to decide if I want to pursue sessions long term. My gym offers three free sessions, so I took advantage. Today's session wasn't long, but dang did I feel it afterward. We worked mostly arms today, and 10 hours later they still feel like jello. I'm going to go back Friday and repeat the exercises we did, and I have another session on Monday. I can purchase 15 sessions now for $350, and I wonder if I just go ahead and do it if it will keep me in a routine. I haven't been exercising like I should, and I know that if I don't get into a routine I'll be in big trouble with my Dr., not to mention when the plateau hits and I have to actually work to maintain my weight.

Speaking of weight, as of this morning I'm at 158. That's 97 pounds gone since January, and 78 pounds since surgery. I'm not sure how much lower my body is going to go. I'm actually afraid of losing too much more. I don't want to look sickly. I was around 126 when I graduated high school, but a number that low scares me. Plus, I've lost most of it in a very short period of time- not quite 5 months. I don't go back to the Dr. until mid December, so I'm not sure how my body is going to react. It does seem I'm slowing down some, which makes me feel a bit better. I just hope I'm going to be able to add some foods back soon. My trainer of course doesn't want to change my diet, but said that I would probably need to get more carbs in while weight training. I guess I'll just email my nutritionist and ask her. I really want to do the weight training to tone up some areas that are, as I call them, jiggly. Luckily for me, I think I can tone up and avoid having to have plastic surgery. I was pretty proportionate when I was heavier, so I don't have the skin issues most have when they lose the weight.

I'm hoping to take some pictures soon. Lesa (my ultimate mentor in all of this) asked for some in my new clothes. If I get them taken, I'll post some. I really need a photographer, I hate trying to take self portraits...

Well, that's all the news for now. I'll update again after the training session Monday. I really think I should do the 15 visits to get me in a routine. It could be good for me. What do y'all think?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Transformation in Pictures

So, in my last post I said I'd try to post pictures of my journey so far. Here are some to get started.

My sister's graduation, December 2009.

Dad, Erika, Trish, Me December 2009

Me & my dad, March 2010

Surgical consultation, April 1, 2010

June 25, 2009- 18 days post op

June 25, 2010

July 17, 2010

August 10, 2010

August 23, 2010

September 18, 2010

September 24, 2010

October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010

As of today, I am down to 163 pounds, a loss of 73 pounds since June 7, and 92 pounds since the beginning of this year. I wore a pair of size 8 jeans today... the smallest size I've worn since high school. Yeah, I'm pretty happy!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

3 Month Check Up ( a little late, but hey...)

Went back to see Dr. O a couple of weeks ago, and everything is progressing well. As of that day, I had lost 62 pounds since my consultation on April 1. He said I am at a point where he expects patients to be after 6 months at only 3 months out. I was hoping that meant adding back some foods to my incredibly restricted diet, but no luck there. I am expected to lose around 90% of my excess body weight, and am currently at 54%. I am afraid that I would look weird if I lost that much weight, but we'll just have to wait and see how my body reacts. As of today, I'm at 169 pounds. Not too bad.

I was able to get the nurse to send me a copy of the picture they took of me on April 1. Wow. I look at it to remind myself how far I've come, but I don't hardly even recognize that person anymore. If I can get it scanned, I'll add it in. I need to post some before & after pics on here anyway, maybe that will be my next entry.

On an exciting note, I purchased a new pair of jeans today... in a size 10! I can't honestly remember the last time I wore a size 10- maybe freshman year of college? Needless to say, I was VERY pleased!

I have noticed that it's taking my mind a while to catch up with my body. It's hard to remember that I'm not the "big girl" anymore. For example, I met up with a friend the other night who is teeny, and in my mind- I was huge next to her. Now I know I'm not, but I'm just so used to being bigger than my friends that I can't seem to get my mind to accept the change.

I've been slacking on the workout front, which isn't good since I will soon leave the "honeymoon period" where the weight just falls off & I will actually have to work harder to maintain it. I hate the gym... I hate running...but I need to tone up areas of my body. I need to find more motivation to work out... if only swimsuit season were fast approaching. I bet Zach that I would be in a two-piece by next summer, so I better get on it, especially the abs part, if I want to win that bet!

Eating such a limited menu is tiring... I'm soooo sick of chicken. I keep trying to remind myself that I'm eating to live, not for pleasure anymore. It's hard now that hockey season is starting & there is nothing at the arena that I can eat, and I miss the post game Steak & Shake trips. But, I go back to see Dr. O in December, so hopefully then I'll be able to add some foods back into my diet.

Another issue I'm noticing is being cold... all the time! At the hockey game the other night, I thought I was going to shiver to death! Guess I'll be investing in thermal wear for the season.

Well, that's about all the news I have right now. I'll post again when there is something to talk about (or when I can get the pictures up).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two-Month Follow Up

Had a very short visit w/ Dr. O today. Apparently everything is progressing along well. I'm down 51 pounds since my consultation in April, and down 44 pounds since I checked into the hospital. All together, since the beginning of the year, I am down 61 pounds.

Stopped by the Predators pro shop today in hopes of finding some new shirts. I am now in a men's medium, which feels good. The women's selection is less than desirable (see my other blog), so I passed on buying anything from that section & got some men's shirts.

I need to find someone to take some pictures for me. I'm not the best at self-portraits, and the photo booth app on my MacBook is only good for so much. I've had a request for pictures, so I better hurry up & find someone to take some.

I tried on a pair of my old pants the other night. I couldn't stop looking at the difference, and didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Laugh because of how far I've come, or cry because of how big I had gotten and thinking about all the things in life I let pass me by because of my weight. Not dating, not going out with friends, all because I was ashamed of my appearance. I faked it pretty well all those years, but inside I was sad. I'm so glad I made the decision to change my life and have the surgery. I feel like my confidence is coming back, and I feel myself smiling more. I'm still insecure sometimes, but that's just part of it. Sometimes it's hard to remember I'm not that girl anymore, and I still have my "I feel fat" moments, but it's getting easier. I'm finding new ways to spend my time, working with some other girls on hockey merchandise for women, so that's exciting. I paid the last of the surgery bills off today too, so now I just need to start working on paying off some debt, then get another job. Still trying to decide about taking some classes too. The world is looking better by the day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Hair

Rewarded myself a little yesterday by getting my hair done. Here's a pic or two...

Going back to the Dr. Thursday. Will update after.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Just a quick update today. Went shopping yesterday & actually had some luck! And, I was able to shop at "normal" stores like Old Navy & NY & Co, not just at Lane Bryant. That was exciting, especially since everything I bought was on sale, and that the clothes are less expensive in stores like that. I hope that I can hold onto these pants for a little while, shopping will get expensive if not. It was actually fun to shop yesterday....a feeling I haven't felt in a long time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Finally, I hit the first of my big weight loss goals...One-derland! For those of you not in the weight loss surgery community, this means I am at a weight that begins with the number 1! This is a really big deal for me, since I haven't had a "1" weight in over six years! My poor body has been holding on to the lowest of the 200's for several days now, and I was sooooo happy this morning to get on the scale and see this. (FYI- I would have never thought I would publicly share a pic of the number on the scale....).

I have learned that each major milestone should be rewarded, but I am having a hard time deciding what I should buy. Of course, food is not an option. Clothes would be ok, except that I am losing weight so quickly I won't be able to wear them long. I'd love something tangible to be able to look at as a reminder. Maybe jewelry, but I don't wear much of it. I thought maybe a new tattoo, but I'm not sure I really want to commit to that. So, for now, I'm just going to be happy about this milestone & enjoy this feeling! It's only been 8 weeks since my surgery, so losing 37 pounds rocks!!

Well, that's the most current update I have. Will update as things continue to move forward. :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Month Checkup

Went to see Dr. O on the 15th, and I'm down 40 pounds since April 1. Clothes are becoming a problem, as all of my pants are falling off! I still don't like shopping much, so getting motivated to go find stuff is hard. I did buy one new outfit last week, but I hate to spend a lot of money on things that I won't wear long.

Dr. O seemed concerned that I am losing weight faster than he had anticipated at this point. I told him that I still didn't eat much because I stop when I feel full. He suggested that I add 1-2 protein shakes back in to help get my protein levels up. Between 3 meals, 64 ounces at least of fluid, and now protein shakes, I feel like I can't get it all in! It's a lot for someone who's stomach is the size of an egg.

Speaking of eggs- had my first really bad food experience last week. I was pissed off, and wasn't paying attention to how fast I was eating a hard boiled egg. It got stuck, and came right back up. Man that was painful! I haven't eaten an egg since. Lesson learned- eat slowly, and don't eat when you're mad!

The scale is stuck. I was losing about a pound every 2-3 days, but now I've stayed the same since the 15th. I'm dying for it to move, because I'm only 4 pounds away from my first major goal. I'm trying to decide what my reward to myself will be, as everyone says it's important to celebrate your successes. Clothes aren't an option, food is DEFINITELY not an option, so I'm thinking a 90 minute massage might do the trick, although I'd like to have something tangible to remind me of the accomplishment. Guess I'll have to think some more. I have thought about a new tattoo, but not sure I want to commit to that just yet.

This weekend was Sig Ep's annual summer party, and I was so happy to get to go. It's always great to reconnect with old friends. Now most of us still live around here- Murfreesboro, Bellevue, Nashville, but it was great to see the guys that don't live here anymore. I hadn't seen Randy in probably 14 years, Jace in 3, or Rob in at least 10. We started off at Toot's- a local favorite here in town, and the scene of many dinners during my college years. There were probably at least 20 of us. I was able to find something to eat. Chick on a Stick rocks- I just miss the cherry mustard sauce :( I stressed over what to wear this year, especially after I looked at my pics from last year and wondered why I chose that particular outfit. I was able to return a new pair of jeans for a new pair that was 2 sizes smaller, and found a shirt I loved in the back of my closet. I bought the shirt for my 30th birthday celebration, and surprisingly it fit! Thank goodness, since my backup outfit- a favorite sundress, is now too big.

Here is one of my favorite pics of the & Jace.

It was an absolute blast, and I stayed out waaaaay too late! I got home about 3:30 Sunday morning, and had to be at work just a few hours later, but it was worth it to catch up with old friends. I wish I had taken more pictures, but my camera is so bulky I didn't want to carry it around all night. Here's a link to the pics I did take:

Well, gotta figure out dinner, so when there is more to tell I'll tell it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shopping in My Closet

Haven't had too much to update. I've been back to work for a week (boo!) & am finally on regular consistency foods again. I'm learning what's good & what isn't (veggie dogs=disgusting), but since I can only eat 3-4 ounces per meal, it's not that hard. I can finally have shrimp & crab legs again-YAY!-& I've had the opportunity to indulge in both this week.

Work was pretty tough the first few days. Coming back right before a holiday weekend was hard, but I made it. I've struggled with fluid intake & learned not to take too much Vitamin D at once (hello, dry heaves). I was pretty obsessed with the scale the last couple of weeks, couldn't figure out why it wasn't moving. Lesa made me realize that I need to back away from the scale & maybe not even weigh except at dr. appointments. I've done well after talking to her about it, but I cheated & weighed yesterday, just out of curiosity & I'm down to 213- officially the lowest weight I've been in five years!! Minor victory accomplished. I knew I'd lost some, because I'm now having to go through my old clothes to find things to wear. It's been nice to shop in my closet, finding some of my favorite things fit again. It also sucks, because I'm quickly finding that they are getting too big too. I know, what a horrible problem to have, right? But I loathe shopping. I guess because I hated it so much the bigger I got. Now, I'm kinda excited to shop, but know that I can't spend too much money because soon those clothes will be too big as well. Went shopping yesterday, but didn't find anything. That always happens when I have money to spend. I held onto Christmas & birthday cash just for such reasons, but I know as soon as I spend it, I'll find things I like & won't be able to buy them.

I've started interval training, & so far it's been ok. I really want to run a 5K by the beginning of next year. I'm ready to start weight training again, but I haven't been cleared to lift yet. I enjoy weights so much more than cardio, but both are important. I go back to Dr. O on the 15th, so hopefully he will clear me to start doing more. I've only been working out at home, but I'm ready to get back to the gym. I also want to look into Zumba & yoga classes. Anything to keep me interested in exercise, as I get bored very easily.

I'm looking for a new job. I just don't believe that my purpose in life is to sell groceries. I'm also still looking into school. Jill told me I'd make a great teacher, but I can't afford that pay cut. Desiree is trying to find me a job where she works. It would be Monday-Friday, 8-5. I haven't had a schedule like that since 2000 when I worked at the newspaper. It would be great to have weekends off & a schedule where I don't have to worry about asking off for events & hockey games. I hope something opens up, I'm growing very weary of the retail business, & I'm not sure I like the direction our company is headed. By giving up my store my stress level is much lower, but I dread going to work daily. It just doesn't mean anything to me. It's hard to work in an environment where I don't feel I serve a purpose.

Speaking of work, I gotta go get ready. Will update again when I have anything interesting to say.

Friday, June 18, 2010

11 Days Post-Op

Wow, it's been a while since I posted, but it has taken me a while to feel back to "normal". So surgery went well. Still don't know why I had to be there at 5:30 am when my surgery wasn't until 10:30!! It was just me & mom since my Uncle Shorty is in the hospital & dad stayed in Murfreesboro to take care of Hershey.

Monday is a blur, as is most of Tuesday. I do remember mom's friends from work coming by- they all had the surgery too, so it was nice to meet them. Wednesday I got up and walked some & took a shower- that felt great, but it wore me out. They released me Thursday and I went home with my mom for a few days. Unjury protein did NOT agree with me- it's like sand. After my shower & subsequent 2 hour nap, Mom & I went out on Friday to see Uncle Shorty & to go to GNC & find another protein source. After we got home I was so exhausted. The new protein was nasty too. Ugh. Saturday was the back hurt all day, I felt sick to my stomach. I stayed on the couch all day w/ a heating pad. I thought I was dying.

Sunday I turned the corner a little bit. I convinced mom that I was ready to go home to Murfreesboro. Hershey was very good- he didn't jump on me or anything. Mom straightened up the house, for which I was VERY grateful. I settled in on the couch and actually didn't feel too bad. Still struggled with the protein though. Did I mention it's nasty?

Monday I braved the scale for the first time. Did my eyes deceive? Had I REALLY lost 13 pounds in a week?!? Apparently it was true. Tuesday I went to Zach's baseball game, and just walking from the car to the field & back killed me! It was great to get out though. Wednesday I visited a friend at his store, then went to Target w/ Jill & Khalil. That REALLY made me tired. Got home and just hung out till bedtime.

My follow up with Dr. Olsen was yesterday. He chided me for not getting my fluids in, so I am really trying. It's not as easy as it sounds, since you have to sip everything. I did get another week off of work since I was misinformed of when the 2 weeks off was supposed to start (discharge, not surgery day). Can't say I'm sad about not going back, except for the boredom. Since April 1 I have lost 25 pounds, most of those since last Monday. I am almost to the lowest weight I have known in 5 years!

Today I dusted off the treadmill (not ready for the gym again quite yet, as I am only able to walk in intervals) and it felt good! My bone spur didn't bother me at all for the first time in 2 years! I did two walks at 15 minutes each, getting up to 2.2 speed. Slooooow! It took me 30 minutes to walk a mile- that is slow for what I used to be able to do! It will get easier, and hopefully I'll be running again in no time. I really want to do a 5K by the first of the year.

Not eating sucks. I am DYING for something with taste & consistency. Eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese- ANYTHING! I can't advance to soft food until next Thursday (if I can hold out), so for now it's water, popsicles, ice, & broth (sound familiar?). Dr. O said to get fluids in first, then worry about protien, so that's what I am doing.

Well, now that I have caught up, I'm going back to my slushie (ice=chewable!). Will update when there is something to tell.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2 More Days

It's almost time! I'm excited, nervous, scared, but mostly excited. This week has been rough, trying to ingest mostly liquids. I did ok, but I did have solid food up until last night. Today & tomorrow,nothing but liquid & today I have to drink that nasty magnesium citrate stuff. Guess I won't be getting out much today :)

I still have so much to do- I need to get packed and figure out transportation to the hospital and care for Hershey. I would really rather drive myself, but dad is being pretty insistent about going with me. I'll figure it out sometime today.

Ok, so gonna go drink this nasty stuff and hope it takes effect quickly and that I'm not stuck in the house all day. It's too nice for me to just sit here and I'm tired of feeling depressed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Liquid Diets Suck~ 6 More Days

For someone who likes to eat as much as I do (a familial trait of being a Lawson my poppa says), this whole liquid thing is horrible. I decided even though they told me I didn't have to do the whole 10 days, I was gonna try- gotta learn will power sometime, right? I didn't realize how hard this was going to be!!

I started the liquids on Saturday- broth, water, jello, water, protein shake, broth, jello, protein shake- you get the picture. I did ok day one, but day 2 was awful! I woke up Sunday with a horrible sinus headache, but took my allergy medicine and went to work. By the end of the work day, the headache had gone from a sinus headache to a hunger headache. I felt horrible. I called my mom and we decided that it would be ok for me to eat some solid food (she's a nurse, I trust her judgement). I also ate 1 meal of solid food on Monday, but tried as much liquid as possible. Doing this on a holiday weekend made it really hard- especially when I was outside helping grill ribs!!

Today is day 4- the only solid food I've had is a few pickles. Everthing else has been liquid. By the way chicken broth > beef broth. The good news is I've lost about 3 pounds. I was hoping to lose about 10 before surgery, but now I don't care as long as this phase passes quickly! I know I'll be on liquids for a few more weeks, but I won't be as hungry so I think I'll manage better. Also, working in a grocery store is horrible when all you can consume are liquids....I really want a cookie! But, I have to remind myself that nothing will taste as good as being healthy feels. I can't give in to the many temptations I am surrounded by at work every day. I'm sure it will get easier, but right now it really sucks. Guess I will have to lock myself in the house all weekend, because it is required to be on all liquids Saturday & Sunday. Yeah, right, I'd go stir crazy! Gonna be hard though.

I'm looking forward to being able to prepare my own meals. I bought a great cookbook for people who have had WLS and I'm excited to get into it and see what new things I can try. I've never been much on cooking, since I live alone, but I think it will be fun.

Only 2 more work days till I am off. This is a much needed break from work, even though things are much better now that I gave up the stress of being a store manager. The new store is good, very quiet, not a lot of problems, which is a nice change. I think I really made the right decision by stepping down. Plus, who doesn't like to sleep in several days a week?! I like the people here, and the other managers are great. It is a whole lot more laid back, which I love! Not to say there isn't any stress- I'm over departments that have some issues, but all stores have issues.

Got a lot to get done before Monday, like pack for the hospital, arrange transportation to the hospital, and get with my sister on house sitting. I've got to make sure everything is in order, clean house, and all that fun stuff. Plus, I'm trying to squeeze in a movie with my BF Jill. Guess I better get to planning!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Farewell to Food Tour Has Come to an End

Tomorrow I am starting the liquid diet required to shrink my liver before surgery. At first I had convinced myself to only do the diet for 4 days prior, but I thought about it and decided that I have to learn will power, so I needed to attempt the full 10 days, well really 9, as surgery day I can't eat or drink anything. So of course, I have attempted to eat EVERYTHING I love. I wasn't able to fit all of my favorites in, but I did have lots of my favorite foods the last few days: Las Palmas, McDonald's, Sonic, Starbucks Coffee, well you get the idea. Plus, I had my last big GNO for a while. I am going to be the DD for a long time, so I went out with a bang!

Today was "date day" with my granddad. We go to eat at Famous Dave's weekly and have for four years, since Nana died. It was a tough decision today to pick what to eat, but I settled on the ribs & macaroni, and of course, a corn muffin. Tonight I had a really tough decision on what I wanted for my "last supper". I decided to go w/ a ribeye from O'Charley's, sweet potato fries, potato soup, and rolls. See a pattern? I love bread!! I'm going to finish tonight of with a banana split and hope that I don't get sick from all the food!

As the date gets closer, I can't help but be a little nervous. I am more excited than nervous, though. I wish it was already June 7 so we can get this show on the road! I think my mom is really nervous, but excited too. I am opening up to more people about what I'm doing, and so far everyone has been pretty supportive. Only one person asked if I didn't want to try "conventional" methods, but I explained to them that I had tried them all with no success. I hope they understand I am not trying to take the "easy way" out, as this is going to be harder than anything I have ever done. I think they understand, but I still feel a little self conscious about their reaction, like I'm just being lazy or something. The work I will have to put in will be anything BUT easy!

Anyway, things are a little better in other areas of my life. Work is going well, and the personal issues are still confusing, but I feel better about that after today. Amazing how one phone call can make you feel better. I have so much to get done in the next week, I hope I can get it all together. I am a little confused over the different supplements I have to take, hopefully my dietitian will email me back!

Ok, so I'm off to eat my banana split! Let's see how this liquid thing goes tomorrow.....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

19 Days & Counting

Yep, just 19 more days until my surgery. Is it wrong that I am counting down to it not only to improve my health but to also get a break from my job?! So much has happened in the past week that my head is still spinning.

I attended my pre-op class on May 11. The first part was all about the surgery and what to expect, etc. Then the dietitian came and talked to us about supplements, the 4 phases of eating after surgery, and how all of the habits I have now will change. For example, after surgery you can't eat and drink together or you run the risk of overeating since the liquids will push your food through more quickly. It will be a real challenge to not have a sip of something to drink during meals. You have to stop drinking 30 minutes prior to eating and can't drink again until at least 30 after your meal. You also have to consume your protein first and then if you are still hungry you can have some low-carb vegetables from "the list". You have to chew each bite at least 20 times to make sure it will be able to be swallowed. So much to learn about how to eat! But after 35 years, I guess the way I've done it hasn't worked so it's time to try something new.

After the class was over, I paid my surgery deposit and headed over to the hospital to have my pre-op lab work done. Apparently they didn't schedule me so I had to wait a lot longer than planned, ruining my lunch plans in Franklin. It wouldn't have been a big deal, but since I don't get to see the person I was having lunch with often, it kinda sucked. At least I got my surgery stuff & hospital charges paid for before leaving.

The day only got worse from there. Actually, the whole week got worse from there. First I had a run in with the district HR guy about my schedule. So sorry I had to take off for pre op stuff! This was after the run in I had with him on Monday about my review. So I enjoyed the rest of my day off and my day off the next day too. Thursday I went to a walk through at another store, and returned to my store to get ready for the big review meeting on Friday.

Friday I met with my district manager, and apparently I am not running my store well. I had a feeling all week they were out to get me, so I took some time and considered the offer they made me to step down as a store manager and return to being an assistant. It hurt, I'm not going to lie. I felt like a failure. I felt like I hadn't gotten the support I needed and that I was going to look like the loser while someone else will go in there and look like a hero. After a lot of prayer and talking it over with lots of friends & family, I took the offer. Luckily I don't lose any salary, so in the long run this move might be better for me. It is definitely less stress already. Mt. Juliet is a lot quieter than Charlotte Pike!

As the day gets closer, I am getting more and more excited. I know this is going to give me a better outlook on life, and that I will gain so much from this experience. With at least the work stress down, I can concentrate on me. Now if I could just figure out what to do with the personal life stress.

So, 19 days. My life is going to change dramatically. Maybe by then I will be able to stop letting things bother me. I have more important things to worry about, like the liquid diet that is coming up and looking into taking some classes to change careers. I have to remind myself that I am all that matters right now. I pray for strength to do the things I need to do. I pray that I am able to resolve the issues I am having. I pray that these 19 days pass quickly so I can start my new life!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Let's Start at the Beginning

Ok, so I've read that blogging or keeping a journal will be very helpful to me during this journey I am about to begin. On June 7th, 2010, I will be checking into Centennial Medical Center to undergo gastric bypass surgery. I need a place to write my feelings, celebrate my successes, and document my progress. So, here we go.

I haven't always had a weight problem. In fact, I didn't really start to notice that I was gaining weight at all until after college. I was pretty active up until then, but once I went to work at a "sit down" job, I noticed that I was gaining weight more quickly. I loved my lunch hour, it was the only time I left the office. I needed that hour every day to get outside, but that usually meant meeting up with co-workers for lunch somewhere. Las Palmas was a favorite. Unfortunately, I had also become less active than in recent years, so the weight crept up quickly. I changed jobs and went back into the retail world, where sitting down is a luxury, not a job requirement.

In 2003, I topped 200 lbs. for the first time. I decided to try the Atkins diet. I did well with it, staying on it for about 6 months and losing 30 lbs. I was down to about 170 in January 2004 when I was sent to California for three weeks for work. I was able to maintain that weight, so when I went to Hawaii in February 2004, I let myself enjoy my vacation, and fell completely off the wagon. The weight came back. I tried to go back to Atkins, but when you haven't had pasta in 6 months, and then you rediscover it....well, let's just say my love affair with carbs was re-born.

From then on, I have struggled to maintain my weight. The two most successful things I have tried in recent years were Weight Watchers & phentermine/exercise/food journal. Weight Watchers was great at first. I lost 5 lbs. the first week. Then my Nana died, and I gained it all back. I stayed with it and eventually lost 25 lbs., but never broke the 200 mark. Plus, as much as I hate math, the constant tracking & adding points was a pain. Got bored with it, gained the weight plus some back. The phentermine was a good plan too, it gave me LOTS of energy. I bought a treadmill and used it almost daily. I lost 25-30 lbs., felt great, looked good. Then I developed bone spurs in my heels. Walking became excruciating for me. Needless to say my exercise regimen took a major hit. I got depressed and eventually gave up, only to gain the weight plus some back again.

I had almost decided that this was just my lot in life, to be overweight. I was tired of trying. Only after a visit to my Dr. for a yearly physical did I decide that I needed to try one more time. See, at that particular visit I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, or insulin resistance. Basically, I was on a fast track to having type 2 diabetes, which scared the crap out of me. I asked her about weight loss surgery and if this would be an option for me. She agreed that it was worth investigating and gave me contact information for a local practice. This was last summer. I attended a informational seminar and a support group, where I met several people who answered questions for me. I decided the Lap Band would be my choice. I requested the required paperwork and set out to get the ball rolling. I took my time, reading, researching, praying, and finally turned in the paperwork in October 2009. Afterward, started having second thoughts. Not about the procedure, but the practice itself. My mom works for HCA, and has a co-worker that had bypass surgery. She sent me lots of information and I decided that I wanted to change practices. I called the Centennial Center for the Treatment of Obesity and instantly felt good about my decision. I chose Dr. Douglas Olsen as my surgeon upon the recommendation of my mother's co-worker. I filled out all of their paperwork, and was ready to schedule the procedure for the beginning of 2010.

In December 2009, I developed gall stones and had to have my gall bladder removed in January 2010. This obviously set my plans back a little. Finally in March 2010, I made the last two appointments to meet my insurance requirements. The psych evaluation was scary for me. I know I'm of sound mind, but you never know. I was cleared by the psychiatrist with the warning that my evaluation had shown that I sometimes have problems following rules. You think? If I had more self control, I probably wouldn't be doing this! In April I met with Dr. Olsen for my consultation. I went in with an open mind, and after discussing my options with him, decided that the bypass, not the band, was going to be a better choice for me. I needed a more restrictive option, since I have problems following rules. They talk about dumping syndrome, and since I hate to get sick, thought this could help keep me in line and not eat things I'm not supposed to.

So that brings us to today. I have met all of my insurance requirements to cover my surgery as medically necessary. I have scheduled the procedure, and now I'm just waiting. I meet with the dietitian Tuesday, and have my pre-surgery blood work done too. 28 days.... and I'm starting to get a little stressed about it. Add that to the stress from work this past week (Nashville flood), and uncertainty about another aspect of my personal life, and I am one big ball of stress! Luckily I have a great support system in my family & friends. They have all been so supportive and I am so thankful, as I will need their support more than ever now. It's going to be hard, but I am determined to do this and be successful. As stressed and anxious as I am right now, I can't wait to start living my life again! Please pray that I can reduce my stress these next four weeks. I need all the prayers I can get!! I hope I'll keep up with this, so I can look back & see how far I've come.