Monday, November 30, 2009


Sorry to any of my followers who I lost. I was making some blog changes and lost a bunch of info!

First Day of Liquids Went Well

Today was my first day of the full liquid pre-op diet. I did OK, but definetly felt the hunger--which is a good thing. I think I need to retrain my brain to eat when I am hungry, rather than eat when I am bored, lonely, happy, sad, at certain times of day, etc. Feeling hunger for the first time in a long time is a good thing and something to learn from.

I went to the grocery store today and stocked up on a bunch of liquid food options. My goal tonight is to clean out my cupboards and my fridge of stuff I won't be able to eat for a while. I am feeling excited and anxious but all in all, I am ready to tackle this. Just need to keep my eye on the prize, as one of my SparkPeople buddies wrote.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed

Tonight on TLC there are several shows about extreme obesity and the way food can be an addiction. It is hitting too close to home with me tonight. I am feeling tearful and just a little overwhelmed all the sudden. I think the reality of the coming weeks is really starting to sink in. I have a lot of fears about being able to change my habits and fight the addiction that food has become in my life. I know this is the right thing to do, but I don't trust my own instincts. Being heavy for so long has had a truly devastating effect on my psyche. I know I need to take a deep breath and keep things in perspective. It's all just a little bit scary--guess that's a good topic to discuss with my shrink this week. I am so glad I have someone to work through these issues with. I know that so much of this is a mental rather than physical fix. I just need to use all the tools at my disposal to make my own future.

The Countdown is On!

Tonight is my last meal of solid foods for quite some time. The countdown to surgery begins tomorrow and will become so much more real as I start all liquids for the next two weeks. I am really beginning to imagine what life will be like in the future. There are so many hopes and dreams. I hope I am ready for the changes. I have so many questions and I am feeling a few butterflies, which I know is totally normal.

It's hard to concentrate sometimes. There are so many ideas swimming in my head right now. What will next year be like? I hope that a year from now I can say, "that's the best thing I ever did for myself." I hope.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Ready for the Liquid Diet Phase

Just a week form today I will need to start on my full liquid pre-op diet. So I decided to write down a few ideas for my grocery list. Gotta think about getting ready and I wanted to give myself some different options. Thought I'd write them down here:
  • Chicken Noodle Soup (strained)
  • Vegetable Beef Soup (strained)
  • Potato Soup (strained and diluted)
  • Tomato Soup
  • V-8 Juice/Tomato Juice
  • Fruit Juice
  • Pudding
  • Jell-O
  • Applesauce
  • Milk
  • Popsicles
  • Sherbet
  • Plain Low Fat Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
  • Yogurt (no chunks)
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast
  • Boost
  • Crystal Light
  • Special K20 Water

New Number on the Scale

Saw a new number on the scale this morning. Down to 284, hope it sticks. That means I have lost 15 lbs. since my initial surgery consultation. I feel good about that. Sure it could have been a little better I suppose, but I still have about 3 weeks to drop that a little more. It would be great to get down to 20 lbs. pre-surgery. But at the very least the scale is headed in the right direction. My surgeon also said that the low calorie diet/liquid diet would help shrink my liver to make surgery easier. Hopefully I have done what I could to make that happen. I am excited to see the changes. I know that even 15 lbs. has made my pants fit better. Just imagine what a few more pounds will do. I am in a good frame of mind right now, really trying to work on my physical and mental well-being.

Taking a Little Inventory

I thought it might be a good idea to list some reasons why I am choosing to have a life changing surgery. When I am having "one of those days" which I know will come, I can look back at the list and tell myself...this is why you did this.

I originally wrote this down in July 2005, the first time I contemplated weight loss surgery but didn't follow through. These were the list of reasons why I was thinking about WLS. Warning...This could be a particularly long post, but I think it will provide some clarity later on...

Gastric Bypass July 26, 2005

Want to start the insurance pre-authorization process. Need to find out more information about the procedure, costs, doctors, etc. Get a consultation, find insurance providers.

Reasons to have it done:

300+ lbs.
Insulin resistance
Increased blood pressure
Breathing problems
Acid Reflux
Back and knee pain
I don't want to die (risks for stroke, heart attack, diabetes, etc.)

More Pictures

Here are some pictures, at various weights over the past 3-5 years. I think most of these are from about 2006 to present. In that time I was anywhere from a low of about 255 to a high of 303.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Days Keep Ticking Away

Less than three weeks until surgery! I can't believe how fast this next month or two is going to go. There are so many milestones, so many things on my to-do list. I am feeling good about my current diet. With the exception of 2 days, I have been doing really well with the 1200 calorie diet. The two days I was off, were only over by about 100-200 calories. I hope that I am doing enough.

This week is Thanksgiving, and as tempting as it may be to pig out, I know that I need to really try to stick to my 1200 calories. I can still have the things I like, I just need to have small portions. I can do this!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

22 Days and Counting

Waiting is like torture. My mind is racing with all sorts of thoughts. I have so many questions about what things will be like post-surgery. I have been trying to read up on things and understand everything that is involved. I have done some preliminary grocery shopping to prepare for the liquid phase of both pre-op and post-op. I wish I knew more, like how much pain I will be in, what the hospital stay will be like and things like that. But I suppose until I actually experience it, the best I can do is wonder.

I'm also a bit anxious about what the results will be like. I have read lots of stuff that says most people lose anywhere between 30-100% of weight. I'm not sure if I have a goal weight in mind, but I suppose under 200 would certainly be a start. I haven't been under 200 since high school for sure. So here's where the disconnect is...I felt "fat" in high school, so to be back at that weight seems both good and bad. It's a hell of a lot better than now, yet I wonder if those same feelings of insecurity and low self esteem will still exist. That's where I feel good about seeing a therapist right now, to help me work through those emotional issues. So many changes to come, I suppose I just need to take it one hurdle at a time and live in the moment.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, I am wide awake in a recently all too familiar fit of insomnia, so I decided to check in here...I am hopeful for the future and also feeling a little unsure of myself. I have watched/read the prep materials from my surgeon's office a dozen times, but I think until I am actually living with the band, I won't really know what life will be like. I have no idea what to expect. I am excited to see how fast and how much weight I will lose. I know that it may take a while to relearn habits that have been ingrained in my brain for three decades.

This has been such a long road. I have never really known a healthy weight. I think I need to tackle this in a very methodical way, to break it down piece by piece so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming. I need to work on a go-to grocery list of new foods and I need to work on planning my meals ahead of time. I think that will help me be successful with these big changes.

November is slipping away, and December will be here in a flash. I am trying to soak up as much information as I can. I am being religious about sticking to my 1200 calorie diet and I am hoping that it shows on the scale. I want my surgeon to know that I am serious about things. I have a hotel reservation made for my sister and I and we have our travel plans all set. I need to make some lists and figure out what to take with me. I think I have the financial part figured out too, so that I am ready for the up front out-of-pocket costs. It's all coming together. So much anticipation...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

26 Days and Counting...

I am consumed with too much information right now. It's nearly overwhelming to try to read all the "rules" and suggestions. The next few weeks are going to fly by. I have so much stuff to do. I think I almost need to start making some lists of things I need to do to prepare. This is such a big change, it is a lot to take in.

My sister has agreed to accompany me to the hospital, and I am so thankful for that support from her. To be honest, it is hard to accept help sometimes (Don't worry, I'm working on that with my therapist). It's been a long time since I have allowed myself to dream and hope for the future and it is a little overwhelming at times. I just have to keep staying in the moment and just take each day as it comes. This is a big investment in myself and I pray that it will all be worth it.


Since I have been cutting back on calories, I am actually feeling hunger. For so long I have been trained to just eat at certain times and haven't really listened to my body. It will be a whole new experience to really get in tune with my physical and emotional thoughts and feelings. I made an appointment with my PCP, Dr. Marciano and am scheduled to have the pre-op physical on December 1. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that this is really going to happen. The more days that pass, the more it really starts to sink in. This is going to drastically change the way I live my life. I almost don't even know what to hope for. It has been so terribly long since I felt physically able to do so many things in my life. What will life be like a year from now? I can't even imagine.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sticking to 1200 Calories

I have been using Sparkpeople again to track my foods. Today I knew exactly what I was going to eat and actually entered my food at the beginning of the day. It really helped me to stay on track. In fact this afternoon at break, they offered popcorn. I passed up on it, knowing that my supper had the rest of my calories already spoken for, for the day.

I am also trying to learn to chew and chew and chew. It really does take concentration. I hope that I can learn all of these new skills. I read through my pre-op packet today and I think I have a pretty good handle on what the expectations are for the next weeks and months to come. I will change my life for the better.

Time is Flying By!

Just got my pre-op instruction packet in the mail. Tried to read through it, but there is so much to take in, it's a little overwhelming. I am also trying to arrange travel and who is available to come with me for support and as a driver. I need to learn to be more assertive. It's not my nature to ask for things for myself. I am almost feeling guilty for asking people to have to help me. I need to get rid of that thinking.

I have been trying really hard to keep to the suggested 1200 calorie diet. It's been helping. Today the scale read 285, unclothed. I think my weight at my surgery consultation in July was right around 300. So hopefully that shows my commitment to change and helps with surgery. I'm crazy nervous and excited. There is so much to take in.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Trying Some New Liquids

Well, I thought I would ease myself into my upcoming liquid diet by trying a couple of protein drinks. I bought Special K2O Protein Drink mix, a pink lemonade mix with very low calories and about 10% RDA of protein. Tastes pretty good. I also bought Boost, a nutritional meal replacement type drink. It's chilling in the fridge as we speak, so we'll see how that tastes. I am a little leery of the texture on that one, but I am trying to keep an open mind.

I am trying to prepare both mentally and physically for the month ahead. I think these next few weeks are going to go fast!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Surgery Date Scheduled!

I can't believe how quickly things have happened this week. I scheduled a surgery date today! Dr. O'Brien's nurse will be sending a packet to me with all the details but as long as everything lines up, I am scheduled for surgery on December 15, 2009. It is absolutely surreal. I have so much to do before then. A surgery pre-op appointment with my primary physician, a 1200 calorie pre-op diet, a pre-op appointment with Dr. Brien and a mandatory prep class a week before the surgery.

Then it's a liquid diet two weeks prior to surgery. I would like to take some before pictures too. So much to think about. I need to reschedule some work things and get ready for all this to happen. I am so ready for my life to change. Gotta clean out the cupboards at home, get ready for a new way of eating and shopping and living.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Can Schedule Surgery!

After nearly half a year of waiting and wondering, I finally got the go ahead to schedule surgery! I can't believe it. I thought I might have to wait. Instead, they said that as soon as my surgeon's office receives the approval letter, I can set a date that works for me.

I am excited...nervous...scared...hopeful...and wondering what a change this will be in my life. My mind is spinning right now. I have a thousand questions. I want it to happen right away, and yet I also want some time to get my head straight. I want this to work so badly. I want to be proud of myself and the changes I am about to embark on. It's a big day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Call Back from HCMTI's CEO

Got a call back from HCMTI today from the CEO, Jack. He said that I have been APPROVED and that Troy will call me tomorrow to get the ball rolling. He stated that some of the problem might have stemmed from a lack of activity, or starting and stopping. Technically, I had inquired about the program several years ago but never actually went any farther than receiving the paperwork, so I see that as a bit of a cop out.

Anyway, I think my pushing worked in the long run. So we will see where things go from here. I still don't really know what "approved" means. Does that mean, I am approved to start the 12 months? Does that mean I am approved to set a surgery date? I suppose some of my questions will get answered tomorrow. I hope I am ready for this!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Progress? Maybe.

Well, I got tired of dealing with the crap from HCMTI and I went above their heads. After Troy's voice mail in late October and still no action a third of the way into November I decided to be a squeaky wheel. I had recently inquired to my insurance company why they hadn't paid my the claims for my pre-authorization evaluation appointments. They said they hadn't received any information from HCMTI that I was working on approval so that the claims could be approved, so as soon as they got the information they would re-run them. Another ball dropped by HCMTI. So after more placating from Troy about "we'll get you an answer soon" and "it's on my medical director's desk" I had enough.

So I called our HR department at my employer who then referred me to the assistant director of benefits at the Bureau of Personnel, Mary. She promised me she'd look into things. I provided her with a written account of my dealings with HCMTI over the last six months. She promised to follow up on it.

Well today, after months of hassle, I received a call from the head honcho, the CEO of HCMTI, Jack. He apologized and told me that there was no excuse for the things that had occurred. He promised to call me tomorrow after he had a discussion with the medical director, Dr. Luther. Maybe now I will finally be able to move forward, whatever the decision.

I can't believe that it had to come to that. But I hope that I have been decent and I don't think that I was asking for too much. I hope that doesn't affect my relationship with them in the future as I have to work with them for quite some time through this process.