Monday, May 3, 2010


In the last year there have been tons of changes, some significant, some more insignificant, but the one that has been most obvious other than the weight loss is my constantly changing here. Here is the newest do:

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

My nieces came to visit about two weeks ago. Every visit with them is a new and interesting experience, they change so much in just a few months and it is amazing to see the young ladies they are turning into. I am still shocked when these girls want to do something that is "just like me" When it comes to these girls their desire to do something like me is the sweetest thing they could ever say to me. So here are some pictures of their recent visit;

The Bird's Nest

I am very particular about my house. It has taken me months to paint a room because every inch must be perfect. In reality I should call it a day and put the room back together, but I can't let go of the expectation that it should be perfect. A few weeks ago I had decided to cut down two trees in the front yard. I got an estimate and got ready to do it, before I signed the paperwork the tree man noticed there was a bird's nest in the tree. I took the time to look at the nest out of my guest bedroom window, and sure enough I saw baby birds in the nest. The decision was made for me, the tree would stay. I find myself drawn to looking at the birds nest, watching the baby birds. The trees that had been the bane of my existence are now beautiful to me, watching the circle of life happening right outside my window. It motivated me to finally finish up the office I have been painting. I still haven't fully accepted the concept that sometimes things don't need to be perfect to be perfectly ok, but every day I work on it and come a little closer to that reality.

I have lost an incredible amount of weight in the last eighteen months, but it wasn't perfect for me, I was always looking for the next pound to lose, the next size to get into, the time for plastic surgery to roll around, I finally took a step back and realized that if I never lose another pound, if I never have plastic surgery, if I never get smaller than I am right now, I've done good enough and I'm happy with the way I am right now. Life is good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Me vs. The Bull

After my surgery I resolved that I was going to try new activities that I have never tried before, this week I decided to ride a mechanical bull. It didn't end well. My actual injuries were not caused by riding the bull, but by the operator shoving me over the ring around the bull before the air mat was blown up. I smashed face first (from a distance of about three feet) into the concrete floor. By smashing I mean I hit the floor nose and forehead first and then since my face was plastered to the rubber, wrenched my neck when the rest of me came down. Though I am covered with some narly looking bruises, I will share the ones to my face, since they best document my stupidity. I had two drinks and a full meal before doing this, so alcohol was not a factor in this injury. I apologize that there are no pictures of my face while riding the bull, I didn't stay on long enough for my friend to catch a shot of my face. I did enjoy my two second ride, but I'm not sure I need to do it ever again. I can however cross smashing into concrete face first and riding the mechanical bull off of my bucket list :-)

I swear the beverage in my hand is unsweetened ice tea.

Mounting a Mechanical Bull is harder than it looks. I'm going to get a thigh master before I even consider doing this again!

It looked like such a tiny scratch.

This is before the pain set in and I still thought it was funny!

Then the swelling started!

So off to the hospital we went!

First night home from the hospital.

First night another angle.

Second night, there are bruises forming under my eyes, but they are hard to see on here.

Day Three!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Reasons for My Surgery

15 months out

I can't believe my surgery was 15 months ago. There have been a lifetime of changes in those 15 months. Last year at Christmas I was already feeling better about my appearance, now for the first time in a long time, I feel pretty. I walk with confidence, I'm happier, and if you can believe it more outgoing.

I saw an online post that made me think, it was someone talking about friends treating her differently after she had lost weight. I have noticed this too, but I wonder if the change is my weight or if the change is me. It is not the pounds that I have lost that have made me look so different, it is the internal struggles, the inability to deal with negative emotions, and the time I am taking to learn new coping skills. So while you see a thinner body the change is in my eyes, my face, and my smile, the glow you see now wasn't there before, but I hope it never goes away. Of course I have many pictures as usual, I let my five year old niece take these, so I hope you all can appreciate her artistic vision.

Happy New Year!!

Its been a while since I posted but life gets away from you like that sometimes. I was worried that this holiday would be hard, but it was actually the easiest one I've had in a while, I went out to dinner with my parents and had a wonderful time just the three of us, like it was for so many years before I became an "adult" and decided to take the world on my own. My parents have been such a great source of strength these last few months. I have always had a close relationship with my parent's but I've never been the type to lean on anyone, my dad didn't raise any china dolls and I've always been determined to never act broken. I never knew that by giving up some control and leaning on them, that I would feel more centered than I have in a long time. As the holidays and the new year came upon me I felt a sense of peace and in my quiet moments I realized, I am happy. My life has changed in ways I never thought it would, and the future that I planned so carefully in my twenties has been replaced with a new zest for life. I've grown closer and reconnected with some old friends and have made some wonderful new friends.

Over the last eight years I had lost myself, I had molded my personality to try and and make it work with who everyone else wanted me to be, this year my commitment to myself (no more resolutions) is to be true to who I am, to keep the shoes that fit and move on from the ones that don't. I'm going to give more than I take, take only what I need, and offer others all that I can, no matter how things turn out the balance will always be in my favor. In my new life, and in the rediscovering of the old me I'm all in or I'm not in at all.

My nieces came down for their typical Christmas visit and we had a wonderful time. They are ten and five now and being with them is so easy and fun, though I admit I miss those cuddly baby days and a child that would fall asleep in your arms, but in exchange I have two nieces that I absolutely adore and who love me, to be loved wholly by a child is an indescribable feeling.

My sister and I and some other good friends went to First Night Raleigh, which is Raleigh's version of Times Square, we had some really good conversation, saw a really bad comedy improv show, made fun of Mia for taking so many pictures, and rang in the new year full of happiness and hope.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I would consider my life to be fairly normal at this point. I can eat a relatively normal diet, I can walk, I can run, I exercise, I buy clothes at regular and not plus size stores, but two problems have remained: I still struggle with acid reflux and insomnia. Tonight is one of those insomnia nights, I guess on a positive note I've gotten quite a bit of cleaning and organizing one. Insomnia is a post op problem that I have heard many other post op patients talk about, however it is not one that they tell you about when you are preparing for surgery. I would still take insomnia and acid reflux over the everyday struggle to exist I was living before surgery, but for those of you struggling with insomnia seek medical help, the insomnia may have a clinical cause.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Tale of Two Tables

Ten years ago I moved to NC to start law school, I moved into my first apartment and filled it with hand me down furniture from various family members. My mom gave me two tables, the oak kitchen table that sat in our kitchen as I grew up, where we did crafts, ate family dinners, decorated cookies, where I did homework and my applications for college. It was scratched and scarred and I vowed I would replace it as soon as I had my first real lawyer job, I covered it with a table cloth and tried to hide what I perceived were the flaws. Ten years later I still have that table and I've made my own memories at that table. Dinner parties with friends, scrapbooking with my friends, arts and crafts with my nieces, it is now even more scratched and scarred and stained, but has no tablecloth. I have come to appreciate the scars, and the stains and I keep finding new uses for that table. The table is just like me I'm scarred, and stained and flawed, but my foundation is strong and I will always continue to find new ways to make my life important and make memories that will last a lifetime. I look at the tiny scars on my belly that are the only outward evidence of the journey I have been on and they help me remember how far I've come.

The second table was one made by my grandfather, a simple wooden table with three legs and stains on top. Another table I couldn't wait to get rid of, I tried to sell it twice and give it away once. I tried to leave it behind when I moved but somehow this table just kept coming along and every time I would be ready to take it to the dump and get rid of it I would find another way to make it useful, just today I found just another use for the table I was finally going to get rid of. Learn to appreciate the things in our life that aren't always perfect and that don't seem to always fit, because they can become useful in the most surprising ways.

Sometimes at table is not just a table.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Flag

I bought an American flag today. I was standing on my front porch the other day just listening to the rain and I noticed, for the first time since I moved into this house three years ago, that I had a holder for a flag pole on the front of my house. My grandfather was a war veteran and his birthday was Flag Day, it was a family tradition to proudly fly the flag in his honor. Those of you that know me know that I don't believe in heaven or afterlife, but I do believe my grandfather's memory is with me now when I need him the most.

So I bought a flag. I am going to use it as a reminder to myself to stop rushing from one thing to the next and start slowing down and living life on my terms. Enjoy what I've got now and stop trying orchestrate my entire life in one day. When the flag comes I will fly it proudly, in honor of my grandfather and me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Mundane

What can I eat:

I can eat pretty much what I want, I try a little of everything and if something doesn't agree with me I usually don't eat it again. I cannot eat fast food, I have tried but it does not sit well with me. The only fast food I can eat (if I'm forced to eat fast food) is a Filet O Fish or shrimp from Long John Silver's. I still cannot drink plain water, at this point I may never be able to again. I am surviving on my beloved Teavana, my new obsession Tang, flavored water and whenever I can Starbucks.

Lately I have been having trouble eating, this could be due to the major changes in my life, or I could have another stricture, I see the doctor in a few weeks to follow up about this. I continue to take my vitamins and supplements that I will have to take for the rest of my life. I recently discovered Calcet Creamy Lemon Bites and I think I may be in love. I have to lock them away from myself or I would eat them like candy.

I continue to have issues with my hematocrit and hemaglobin and have been referred to a hematologist to see if they can figure out why my numbers are off, all of my other numbers seem to be good, but we'll see how my labs are after this latest round of eating issues.

I joined a gym and I can work out for an hour at a time and not leave feeling like I want to die, I have discovered the reason people rave about exercise endorphins, they really are an awesome thing.

So for all the loyal people that have been reading my blog for the past year, what do you want to know? Ask me and I'll post it up for everyone to read (anonymously of course).

Update on me

It has been one year and nineteen days since I had my surgery. My starting weight was 367 pounds I now weight 194 lbs. If you had told me this time last year, when I was in the midst of my post op liquid diet and regretting my decision, that I would head into 2010 171 pounds lighter and with a whole new outlook on life, I never would have believed it. This surgery has led to a lot of changes in my life, changes I never anticipated. When you meet with your surgeon before surgery they say, we operate on your stomach, not your head and it is up to you to make a change in your habits in order to keep up the weight loss. I thought the surgery would be as simple as cutting me up, sewing me back together and in the end I would be skinny. Well I'm almost skinny, I'm all sewn back up, but I'm a different me. I walk into a room with confidence, I'm not embarrassed to tell people I had the surgery it makes me proud, that I did something just for me and that I have followed through, followed my rules and shaped a totally new person.

Most people have reacted positively to my weight loss, but the dynamic in some of my relationships has changed. When you were always the overweight one, some friends don't know how to handle it when you aren't anymore. Some of those friendships will survive and some of those friendships will not.

I thought I would start the new year trying for a baby with my husband, that was the goal of the surgery. Instead I will spend the next few months learning to live on my own again, finding the single me that has been overshadowed for a long long time, and finding new goals for myself. I know that I will survive and time and dedication heal and conquer all wounds. So I find myself, sad, scared, angry and excited all at the same time. My possibilities at this point are limited only by my imagination.