Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Valuable Lesson Learned...

So, another valuable lesson learned today... Under no circumstances should you, when you are alone in the gym pool and you have just finished your mile long walk, rest by floating quietly and unmoving on your back with your arms stretched out at a 90 degree angle.

Trainers might think you are dead.

I don't think I have ever seen anyone move that fast.

Then again, when you carry a lot of excess weight,  the sudden and terrified flailing and splashing around to get upright, fighting your tired body's urge to float, simply does not inspire confidence.

Thank the Lord she did not jump in the pool to rescue me. I did get a stern talking too though.

Oh well, lesson learned.

Maybe I should wear a bell?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Feel The Burn....

Yep.... weight in a whole 57 pounds lighter today at gym.  I am a bit in shock.

Highlight and low light, I am starting to get twice weekly B12 shots as I cannot absorb enough, and am pooped by lunch time everyday. Trusting my awesome healthcare provider.

I also managed 52 laps walking in the pool today. 1 mile reached. Pretty stoked!

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Killing Myself At Gym

This week I started going to gym. At 45 I have never belonged to any gym. There is a gym down the road from me right next to a retirement community. PERFECT. Average age at gym is 71.

No stud muffins to compete with. HAPPINESS.

I am starting with walking laps in the indoor pool. Being indoor the pool is heated and kept at 81 degrees F year round. 52 laps = 1 mile and I am up to 30 laps. Walking in water is easy on the joints while providing 3 x more resistance, thus burning more calories.

I can deal with that!

I do believe I scared off a little old lady while grunting in the pool. Have to keep an eye on that!

The Bucket List

After a miserable two days in hospital I was released to come home. I spent the next few days on my own feeling sorry for myself. By Sunday I was going stir crazy and was ready to go back to work.

Thank the Lord I decided to work half days for the next week as my energy got zapped around lunch time.

One of the movies I watched while recovering was The Bucket List. Now, I have been quite fortunate in that I am fairly widely traveled and have already done most of my bucket list. Europe, most of Africa, Canada, Istanbul, Egypt... ahhh Egypt.

So I decided to change my once food reward system into a travel reward system.

If I loose 100 pounds I will get to go to Egypt.

I found the perfect itinerary with Memphis Tours. 8 Days including a 4 day Nile Cruise starting at $999! Now that I can work at. Gives me 10 months to save up for and to loose the pounds.

To date I have lost 44 pounds!

Egypt here I come!

Snip, Snip

After being accepted for surgery the weeks following was a blur of mandatory weightloss classes, check-ups, EKG and blood work. Finally the day arrived and after a surprise visit at the hospital check in by a group of friends and colleagues, I checked in for surgery.

By this time my mind was numb with trepidation but I knew I had to soldier on.

The good news was that I have lost 18 pounds on my own pre-surgery on the liquid diet. Oh, and this is embarrassing but the day before you have to take a bottle of Magnesium Citrate. Quite a powerful laxative as it turned out. Well just before taking it I had a last meal of jello.

For hours I stayed very close to the toilet and I noticed that everything I am expelling is blood red. Quite confusing as I don't seem to be bleeding between bouts on the toilet. By 10 pm it finally cleared and then it hit me! The jello! It was wild cherry flavored. What an idiot. Sigh.

Got prepped for surgery at 1pm... and waited for my surgery at 3pm. Had to ask the nurse to switch the TV off as it was showing The Green Mile, a movie about a prisoner on death row and I already was freaked out enough about surgery...

Waited until 5pm and got carted off to the OR. Scooted over to the operating table and before my head even touched the pillow I was out! Afterwards I was told that surgery started at 5:50pm and I got out at 7:15pm. Stayed in recovery until 10PM. All I can remember was a no nonsense voice telling me "Sir, you HAVE TO WAKE UP NOW!" I woke up and promptly went back to sleep. They apparently fought quite a lot to get my blood pressure down.


I knew that surgery might be the final option and have started looking into it. The breakthrough came when a friend had a gastric sleeve surgery and I followed her journey. I had to get my mind around the cost and the complete lifestyle change.

I found a bariatric clinic in my city and signed on for the initial seminar. This is how they described the surgery on their website.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

In this operation, the size of the stomach is drastically reduced down to a tube about the size and shape of a banana. About two thirds of the stomach is permanently removed. This operation preserves the pylorus, which is the valve leaving the stomach. It does not involve bypassing any intestines.
Sleeve Gastrectomy

How it Works

There are three effects: restriction, dumping, and reduced appetite. Every individual person undergoing sleeve gastrectomy experiences different degrees of each effect. All of these effects work together to help a person drastically reduce the calories he or she consumes.


The much smaller stomach means you will be able to eat most, if not all types of food, but fill up much faster. About a cup to a cup and a half of food is what most people can comfortably eat.


While not as much as with gastric bypass, with a sleeve gastrectomy, you may experience unpleasant reactions to certain foods, especially high calorie liquids and sweets. Dumping can include nausea, diarrhea, cramping and low blood sugar. It is what helps you stay away from junk foods.

Reduced Appetite

As with Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy reduces a “hunger hormone” called ghrelin.

 This sounded like the solution. I know it is not the magic pill and instant solution, but a tool I can use.

Now, I just have to get past the fact that at the ripe age of 45 I have never had surgery and was a little scared of the fact!

Confirmation came when after prayer God miraculously provided all the money in three weeks and I could have the surgery without ANY debt.

The Inspiration...

I have been overweight since about 13 and it has been a gradual build up to max out at 406 pounds. The turning point came when I led a group cruise of 100 people last year and for a week I chased after them, around a huge cruise ship for 7 days. It nearly killed me.

Worse was seeing the photos afterwards. I have been fastidiously been avoiding cameras for years. These were the photos the participants took. One was a nice side-shot of me. It was not the most complimentary photo. It burned itself into my conscious. I finally knew it was time something had to be done.

I have been on all kinds of diets... loose 10 pounds here, gain back 15, loose 15, gain back 20... I am tired of that. I also realized up to that point I have been dieting for the wrong reasons. I tried to  please people, never myself.

I am happy with life, have a great job and am quite content.

This time I wanted to make the changes for me. I want to live longer.

I have been blessed not have sleep apnea or be diabetic. I am close to the cusp though. I do have high blood pressure and gout.

Just in time it seems.