Monday, June 27, 2016

Time to Buckle Down

It's been a crazy week with a lot of opportunities to eat out, family dinners and snacks all over the house.  Let's just say I haven't been doing good at all at losing some weight before my next appointments.  I see the weight loss surgeon next week and my primary doctor about 10 days after that.  I know they will expect me to lose some weight.  So, today I logged into the LOSE IT website and started tracking my food.  I also forced myself to take 2 breaks so I could log some exercise by going on a walk.  It's not much, but it's a start.  Of course, there needs to be more exercise than this to make a difference, but it's a start.

I woke up this morning with a negative little cloud over my head.  It didn't help that it was also a Monday morning and I had to motivate myself to go to work.  Plus, I had the added disadvantage that I had not been very vigilant in taking my medications in a timely manner over the weekend.  I always feel sick when I do this and it takes me a day to turn things around.  So, I opted to drink only water and avoid all carbonated drinks.  I know I have to wean myself from diet Pepsi and energy drinks, because when I do get the surgery, I won't be able to drink them ever again.  The carbonation will make gas in my tummy and that would be no bueno!

So, I was a cranky, tired woman all day and just wanted the day to end.  But, I will try harder tomorrow.  Here is what I ate today:

I will probably eat some sugar free jello still this evening, but overall, I think I am done for the day with eating,  I should go and jump on my treadmill this evening still, but the garage is about 150 degrees right now on this hot summer evening.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Consultation Appointment Created!

I received a call this morning from the bariatric offices saying that my insurance will cover the surgery, so it was time to make my appointment for the consult.  I have opted to go with Dr. Korn.  My primary doctor had referred me to Dr's., Valentine and/or Korn, and Dr. Korn had the earliest appointment, so it made sense to me to take that one.  I am sure they are both very good, but I really know very little about either.  Time to do my research to see what I can look forward to.

My appointment will be July 7th, so I am looking at about 3 weeks before I see him.  The woman I talked to, (Rebecca), said that the doctor is very strict on what he will expect from me.  He will want to see that I have been using a program to lose weight and following a strict schedule because this is a total lifetime change I will be experiencing if I want to be a success.

I feel determined to make this work.

I have been thinking a lot about changes in the last week or so.  Such as, this time the changes are different because of the huge tool I will receive to make them stick.  I have always had the ability to lose weight and stick with something, but in the back of mind is still that fear or reality, that as nice as it would be to have this be my last diet and the weight will stay off, my whole life I have experienced the reality that there will come a time where I lose my motivation, slip up and then slide back into some lazy habits and gain the weight back.  This is the first time since I was a young girl and went on my 1st "diet" that I have actually felt like this will be what I have needed.  This is what will make the difference.

More on this later...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Doctor Visit

One of the requirements from my insurance company is "over the last year, prior to surgery, the patient has actively participated in a structured, nonsurgical weight loss program, for a total of six months with failure to achieve weight loss goals or maintain weight loss.  Participation in one of these programs must be at least 3 consecutive months in duration.  Participation must be monitored by the primary care physicain providing medical oversight for the patient and must be documented in the medical record".

I am a little fuzzy on what this means?  Will they require me to see my doctor for 6 months, or 3 consecutive months?  I guess I will find this out once I get the call back from the Bariatric clinic.

Today, I went to see my primary care physician so she could document my weight.  I was actually surprised to find that I had lost 3 pounds since the last time she weighed me in May.  So, good on me.  I have noticed that my weight has gone up and down like this over the last 6 months or so; up a pounds, down 2, up 5.  But, nothing consistently less for quite some time.  I have lost 20 or 25 pounds, but always ended up right back to this weight.

My doctor reviewed my history since I have been seeing her and documented that I have a BMI of 41.5, Diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.  Nothing that I didn't already know, but important because I only needed to have one of these conditions to meet insurance criteria.

To back things up a little further, this past Tuesday, I went to a Weight Loss Surgery Seminar.  They went over the different types of surgery available, what it entails and answered questions everyone had.  It was quite a large group of possible candidates.  Some of my observations:

  • I am blessed to have mobility
  • I am blessed to be able to breathe on my own without breathing tubes and air canisters
  • There really aren't great clothing options for overlarge people.  At least not for the general population
  • Many men and women don't seem to groom themselves overly much; or at least are less motivated to if they have a large amount of weight to lose.  It makes me wonder if there is a point where we might just give up and decide it doesn't matter?  I work in a professional environment, so I put in effort every day, but I'd like to think despite that, I would try.  Who knows?
  • Doctor's who promote weight loss should look fit and healthy.  And, the one at the seminar did look fit and healthy
  • The Weight loss surgery advocate, Jeannie, had boundless energy and enthusiasm.  I think I might enjoy working with her on this journey
So, now I sit and wait.  I was told I should get a call for a consultation at the end of this month or early July.  I can live with that.  I hope my insurance comes back with an approval for me,  but I guess there isn't a lot more I can do but wait and see.  I have another Doctor appointment in July to follow up on my weight loss attempts.  She did challenge me to lose some weight and start exercising 3-5 days a week.  I need to show I can follow directions, I guess.  I have started reading the South Beach Diet book as this is the diet the doctor at the seminar recommended.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Losing to Live - It's a Journey

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article that stated that gastric bypass surgery could eliminate the symptoms of Type ll Diabetes.  My husband mentioned this in passing the weekend before while we were out on a drive.  This surprised me because he is the kind of man that likes a bigger, more rounded woman, (me in particular), but more importantly, his own mother passed away after complications from extreme weight loss.  I did mention this to him, and he replied that with the information he was reading about, the benefits seemed to outweigh the risks, and he was concerned with my medical conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and my morbid obesity, I wouldn't outlive him, which is of course a possibility the way I am going.

I contemplated this idea for awhile and then started doing my own research.  I also sent a message to my primary care physician over the online mychart website asking her opinion,  She sent me a reply that she thought it was a good idea and she would send a referral over to the bariatric surgeons.

A little bit about me.  I am 53 years old, I am considered morbidly obese, with a BMI of about 42.  Last time I was weighed by my doctor, I was 250 pounds.  I have been a chubby since I started 1st grade at the age of 6.  In looking back, I wasn't huge, but in my mind, and apparently every other child on the playground I was enormous and what they needed to fuel their enthusiasm to tease and torture.  In 3rd grade when the teacher would line us up and check our height and weight (why they thought they needed this information, I have no idea) I weighed as much as the boys and easily 30 pounds more than any of the other girls.  Moving onward into the middle school ages and the cruelty of children, I tried my hardest to keep a low profile and avoid the mean things people might say.  I certainly wasn't the chubbiest girl in my grade, but I was chubby enough and overly developed.  The attention that brought on was highly embarrassing and made even more so because I felt so defenseless with my belly rolls and clothes that didn't fit right.  My mother bought my wardrobe from  the Wards catalogs, so I didn't get to try anything on first, but of course my size was considered to be "chubby".  It even said that in the catalog!  If that doesn't set a girl off on a good self image, I don't know what will.  Then of course, there were the mean chants from my older siblings: "Shelley, Shelley, two by four, can't get through the kitchen door".

My mother put me on diets, my sister warned me before every bite that I took, and my father teased me and made fun of my fat body.  I grew up in a world where it was OK to make fun of fat people.  It was on the TV, in music, in comedy, on the playground.  Even PE teacher in 3rd grade gave me an unsatisfactory grade because I couldn't lift my own weight up a rope to touch the ceiling of the gym.

PE classes in Middle School were horrendous.  Now I had to dress down and change into my PE clothes for gym class and we were required to take a shower afterwards.  In an open shower where my body and all others girls' bodies were on display.  Sometimes, I would take a miss and a bad grade just to avoid this. This and all the other things I have mentioned were part of the building blocks that created my self-deprecating attitude towards myself, my low self-esteem, and that who I am and what I am are not as important as other people I knew.  It helped me become anti-social and untrusting of others and their motivations.  I was the best friend of the girl that got asked out on dates.  I was the buddy to the boy I had a crush on, so he could discuss HIS crush on my friends.  I was invisible,

When I went to college, things changed a bit.  At this point I was still carrying around about 30-40 extra pounds, but I tried to overcompensate by having the cute hair and the pretty make-up.  I made new friends, dated a bit and found out that boys liked me anyway, but my self esteem was still not as it should be.  I continued to constantly diet, count calories, try to exercise, but nothing seemed to last more than a few weeks, or even a month.  When I met my first husband and went to the doctor to get birth control pills, I was amazed to learn that I was 182 pounds.  I had no idea I had gained this much weight.  All the charts said a female at my height should weight 129-135 pounds.  I was a long, long way from that.

Life moved forward, I had 2 children and decided it was time to take action, so I joined Weight Watchers.  It was something I had wanted to  do back when I was in High School, but my mom said it wasn't something we could afford and she was probably  right, but I knew a girl in High School who was very chubby and she came back after summer vacation all thin and cute.  So, I joined, paid the dues and did everything they told me. I started at 205 lbs and whittled my weight down to about 145 pounds and a size 6 or 8 (depending on the clothes).  I looked great!  I felt great!  I still felt fat!  I had brain fat.  It's where you can't see yourself for who you are because you are carrying around all the issues mentioned above and there isn't any outlet to make them leave.  At the time, I had no idea what was going on.  People would tell me I looked great and I would say I need to weigh 134 pounds to look great, but I still had a ways to go.  Plus, I had the ugly phenomenon of loose skin...I didn't even know this would happen, but to me my naked stomach looked fat.  It wasn't grotesque, but I had no idea where my waist was because to me everything looked straight up and down.

The weight loss lasted for about a year and then I became pregnant with my 3rd child and after he was born I was 185 pounds.  I tried to diet, but quite frankly could never get that motivation again and slowly started packing the weight on.  I don't think I have been under 200 pounds in 25 years.  The closest I got was 213, but the highest I have been is 273.  I have joined Weight Watchers over and over again, probably 7 times, and I have joined Nutrisystem 3 times.  I also joined LA Weight Loss, bought countless diet books: South Beach, Weight Loss Clinic, Paleo Diet, Fit for Life, Adkins, the list goes on.  I've read them all, I've tried many of them.  Sometimes they would work for a week, or a month or even 3 months.  I have lost anywhere from 15-45 pounds, but never enough to make a difference.  And, the older I got, the worse my health became.

In January of 2014, my sweet mother died from complications brought on by her diabetes,  She had suffered for many years in many different ways, and it started with her Type ll Diabetes when she was in her 50's.  She left us all behind and I miss my mother so terribly.  I don't want to do this to my children.  I have 4 beautiful sons, daughters in law, grandchildren.  A loving husband.  I don't want to shorten my life on this earth because I can't get control of this issue that is slowly killing me.  Some people may say, "Just eat less and exercise more", and I honestly don't think that is the only solution.  There has to be a bigger reason why there are 500 million obese people in this world.  I don't want to be part of that group any longer.  I am ready for a change.