Welcome to the Show!

Welcome to the Show!
This is the story of my life.
It isn't much, but it is mine. It can be a zoo.

Please keep your hands and feet tucked in at all times.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Getting Older and Wiser? Maybe.

I made it to 35! As per usual, I am spoiled. My family and friends have lavished me with love, presents, and food. Honestly, there is no other way to be treated on your birthday. It's all about the eating and the togetherness. We are serious about celebrations, and food and drinks are centerpieces to our family gatherings. I love cooking and eating because of these traditions. But my love of food and my love of lazy has led me down a very overweight and painful path. In the past 5 years, I have been diagnosed and treated for diabetes, high cholesterol, pancreatitis, sleep apnea, degenerative disk disease, and hypothyroidism. I am a walking poster child for most of the bad things you can be diagnosed with due to obesity. But on my way to this realization, I didn't care. Not that I wasn't down on myself for not getting bigger and bigger over the years. My self-esteem wasn't enough of a hindrance to quit my bad habits. Not until every doctor's visit brought more and more pills to take. I knew I had to get serious. so we changed our diet. But that wasn't enough. Nothing I do is ever enough anymore. I can't get past this weight.

As my doctor was handing me my prescriptions, he was also handing me booklets on weight loss surgery and said told me he would like to refer me. I was resistant. I felt like I hadn't given it a real try at getting the weight off myself. I started walking, went to the gym. But the next visit to the doctor didn't show improvements. He again suggested surgery, and I told him that our insurance excluded it, and we couldn't afford it. I didn't mention it was still too scary to think about, but I called the surgeon's office to confirm what I already knew. I can't afford it, and my insurance will not cover it.

But now I work for the State of Texas. Big surprise, they do have a high option with bariatric coverage. Approaching my 35th birthday, I thought long and hard about it and researched the options results and risks. Last month on the day the new plan became effective, I called the weight loss center and made my appointment. I have already attended my first consultation with my surgeon and have completed several of the items on my list of pre-op to-do's. One of which was quitting smoking. My plan is to be surgery ready by February, and to take a week off before spring break in March for the surgery, to have a total of 2 weeks off for recovery. I initially set out with the plan of doing the lap band surgery but have since changed my mind and chosen the bypass procedure.

I am very excited to get beyond this body with all its aches and pains and feel good again. I am going to change my behaviors with food and celebrations and exercise. It's going to be a total life makeover. I know that has risks, but at this point I am ready for it. I will still love to be with my family without food and drinks being the centerpiece, and I might even get the chance to race my nephew down the driveway without fear of blowing out my knees or dying from lack of oxygen. I am not choosing the easy way. Nothing about cutting and rearranging your guts is easy. It's going to be a long road of trials and tribulations. I will do my best to keep a journal of my new Adventures of Beebs. I promise not to get all preachy about food or any more condescending (mostly). I vow here and now to not lie to people about how I am losing weight. Nor will I be ashamed of knowing when I need help and asking for it. It boggles my mind that people hide the fact that they had surgery to lose weight. People tend to notice that you have gone from eating an entire watermelon to something the size of your thumb. (Just saying)

So that's my birthday present to myself. I plan on being down at least 60 lbs this time next year, the year after I plan on being on being 120 lbs lighter and toeing the 100's line. I don't think I have set unrealistic goals. I've made up my mind, and will prevail. Just you watch me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mesquite Grilled Chicken with a Side of Idiot

At the end of 2014, I was exactly where I wanted to be. I was surrounded with friends and family, and we made lovely memories. I had the unique opportunity to take the last two weeks of the year off, and I can tell you that I hope to look forward to doing the same every year from now on. After nearly a year of mind bending work hours and stress, my reward was free time.

The first month of 2015 is nearly done. It's amazing how slow the days pass, but how quickly the month ends. I am busy learning a million new things at work, and trying to not stay up until 1 am every night watching old episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix. (but it's really hard not to!) So far this year, by back has gone out, and Steven and I both had the crud. Some where in between all of the doctor appointments, it was suggested that the hubby and I should try the Atkins diet. 

Now, I am not a fan of "diets". I believe in lifestyle changes, but the word "diet" suggests a temporary change, or a negative connotation. I had to follow a strictly low fat diet a few years back when my pancreas staged a coup. I was forced into it because I had to allow my body time to recover. I did fine at first, but then I started noticing how unhealthy all the "healthy" processed foods were. Not to mention how nasty the tastes and textures were.  Fat Free cheese melts like plastic, and has the same consistency and flavor. I tried, and failed to continue following that diet. Honestly, I couldn't convince myself that all the mechanically and chemically altered foods were in any way good for me. 

But I can't say we aren't eating well now. We eat meat and veggies galore. No more junk food, and no more carbohydrate binges. Real cheese, real meat, nothing processed or otherwise mechanically separated and glued together. We are relatively carb and sugar free, and have been for the past two weeks. There have been no horrible episodes as of yet, but no one has tried to pry the diet coke from my hands. One step at a time.

Recently, I have made the observation that dieting is a lot like being pregnant. People you don't know often ask invasive questions, and offer unsolicited advice. Just today I was having lunch with my coworker. As our waiter dropped off our food, he asked me if I was on a diet. I was taken aback. I am thinking "What's it it ya?!", but I am polite even in the face of stupidity.(mostly.) I confirmed that I was. He proceeded to tell me a story about his neighbor cutting out sugar and butter and just walking a bit a day, and losing "Like 40 lbs!". Well, thanks waiter for that interesting and uplifting story of your neighbors harrowing journey. I now have the strength to eat this chicken breast and veggie plate. When I lose my first 40 lbs, I will come back here, and thank you for the motivation that carried me onto glory.

What's next? Is someone going to walk past me in the store, realize I have no signs of junk food in my cart, and ask me how far along I'm coming on my diet? As I lose the pounds are people going to touch my thinning belly and marvel at my weight loss as they would a growing belly of a pregnant woman? No. This cannot continue! Random people of Earth, please do not approach pregnant women or dieting people with an attempt to help them with your own stories of labor or weight loss. Don't tell us what to try, or what works for you. DO NOT touch us! Creepos!

I can see the humor behind my very tall, young, and skinny waiter calling me out on my healthy menu choices. He seemed very interested in nutrition, but he was being grossly inappropriate. I could tell he meant well, but he was lucky. I can imagine any other woman or some men trying to lose weight could be highly offended or embarrassed at being called out. I wouldn't berate him over his desire to help, it comes from good intentions. But one day, he is going to approach the wrong woman with his "story". If you want to give advice about weight loss, then go to school, get licensed, and allow people to come to you. Table side dietitian advice was not what I ordered for lunch.