Last year I had to face the fact that I am a food addict.  The last year has brought into focus that addiction and even in my limited ability to eat now, I am still fighting that addiction.  Every day I have to make the choice to eat better, to move more, to not just go have a piece of cake or the bread I am craving.  I have to make choices – and while some of it has been easy (as I have physical limitations) – I know I will have to be making these choices for the rest of my life.  And that is daunting.

If I am honest, I have some other addictions as well that I need to work on.  And they are going to be even more difficult I think.

I am addicted to stress.  I thrive on the energy it gives me and I will push myself until I am falling apart.  Who else but a stress addict would undergo a drastic life change including surgery, get married and move all in 7 months time?

I am addicted to my work.  I think this is partly due to the fact that work validated me for many years as a useful human.  When you are fat, that is all many people see so I spent years “proving” my worth to people at work. Even now as the stress of the above is coming to a close, I have started to put that attention into work.  And it has to stop.  Being driven is ok, this is not.

I am addicted to self-loathing.  This is a hard one to understand, but the single biggest struggle I have had with the weight loss, is that everyone sees me differently and I can’t see myself differently.  “Proud of you” is something I am not used to hearing from people who don’t know me well and yet I hear it all the time now.  And in my head, I can’t let go of the older image of myself I have built.  Working on it, but it will take a while.

I am addicted to negative self-talk.  I know this sounds like the above, but this habit has been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember.   If you say something nice to me or about me, I will spend the next hour or so telling myself how wrong you were and pointing out to myself how I am not that thing or how that thing is not as big a deal as what is wrong with me.  For instance, I always heard I had pretty eyes.  But in my head I kept saying that pretty eyes didn’t matter when you were fat or that other people had better eyes than mine or they were just being kind to not say the 50 things wrong with me.

I am a work in progress.   But there are things I want to be addicted to.

Movement – I don’t think I will ever be addicted to exercise, but I have spent a lifetime avoiding movement and I want to break that.  I am not talented as a dancer, but Zumba or some sort of exercise dance may be in my future.

Affirmations – I want to do daily affirmations and I want to be someone who affirms other people.

Being me – I want to be one of those people who is unabashedly me.  No pretense – just me.  Whatever that is.

Building people up – I want to be an encourager.  I do it in my head but have been too timid to do that with other people.  I feel like it is time to step it up.

Learning – I have always loved to learn.  You would not have known it by my grades in high school, but I love learning new things.  Take a class, read a book, whatever – I want to be learning.

My Bible – I have so much to learn still and I think this one needs it own category.  God has been so gracious to me and I need to prioritize Him again.



6 month update

I can’t really wrap my head around the last 6 months and all of the changes that have been happening.  I had surgery, and then complications, and then another surgery and then I got married and now I am prepping to move.  I am still not sure why I did it all at once, but I don’t regret any of it.  What a life changing time for me.

I am officially 140 lbs down from my highest weight.  And I am down 112 lbs since the surgery weight.  That alone is huge.  I am now very close to the weight I was in high school…in fact, I think I am smaller than I was when I graduated and am closing in on the weight I was when I was 14 or 15.  Not quite there…but closer each day.

One of the things I have been trying to figure out is – if I stopped losing weight today, would I be happy with the progress I have made?  The short answer is yes and no.  While it has been fun being able to buy new clothes, and I do feel accomplished, I have a goal in mind that I really want to meet.  And I am about 65 lbs from it.  Considering how far I have come, it is possible – but I have a lot of work to do to make that happen.  And it will not come as easy as it has been.

I am working on packing for the next couple of weeks.   Then once the move has happened, I will be embarking on a whole new life in a whole new place.  And honestly, I am a bit worried.

Patterns I have established here on my own in Orange, have to be re-established once I move in with J.  Eating will change again as I will be cooking for 2 and J does not have the same restrictions as I have.  My routines will shift again once I have more than my own schedule to deal with.

I do believe that the last 6 months has prepped me as much as it can.  I don’t feel unprepared.  I just feel nervous.  I know I can do this, but I just want to be sure I don’t get sidetracked.

I keep saying it but thank you to everyone for the encouragement I have received.  I love you all.  Here’s to another 6 months!



Single No More

Eternally single.  I was pretty sure that would be on my tombstone.

But 1 week ago, I married the sweetest man.  And I am happy beyond reason.   I came home today to Orange to pack and get ready for 1 more trip up there before the final move.  One more back and forth lugging my belongs along the way and then I get to move in with my husband and start this new life.

I have said over and over that I am not excited to move.  I want to clarify that if I can – I am not excited about leaving my friends, my church or the cool little town I have called home for 4 years.  I AM however excited about moving in with my husband and getting started on this life together.

I wanted to take a few moments to say thank you to everyone who attended the wedding last weekend.  It was really fun to get to share this day with you all and while I feel like I barely got to see anyone I remember your faces and the wishes you sent to us and the way you embraced us both that day.

I also want to thank the 4 people who were able to watch remotely – technology saved the day!

There are so many things I want to say about that day.  So many thank you’s and so many glad to see you’s.  For now I will say, you all made me feel beautiful and loved and cared for that day.  A true princess moment.




A New Way to Fly

A new way to fly
Far away from goodbye
Above the clouds and the rain
The memories and the pain
And the tears that they cry
Now the lesson’s been learned
They’ve all crashed and burned
But they can leave it behind
If they could just find
A new way to fly

Garth Brooks, “A New Way to Fly”

For my birthday, my mom got me the Garth Brooks Anthology Volume 1 book – it covers his first 5 albums and the stories behind how each song made it onto the album.   This song has been sticking my head lately.

This week was 5 months since the surgery.  And in less than 1 month, I am getting married.  In just under 2 months, I will move in with my husband in a new town.  It is a lot of changes in a short amount of time.

Every day, I feel like I am trying to find a new way to fly.  A new way to live my life – a life that had been largely unchanged for 44 years.  I don’t always do it well.  I don’t always succeed.  I don’t always feel like the path is as clear as I would like.   But every day I wake up and look for that new way to live a better life.

I am officially at 130 lbs lost.  I had to stop weighing myself everyday as the normal fluctuations started to drive me a bit crazy.  But that is a much slowed weight loss from where I was.  Its normal.  You plateau, you lose again…it means I need to change things up again.  But additional changes – on top of all of the other things right now – seems overwhelming.

I keep look for new ways to fly each day.  Which brings me to this verse and the reminder that every day is a new day.

Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
 His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lamentations 3:21-23 (NLT)





The Good, the Bad and the What????

Since I am apparently laying it all out there about my YouTube addiction, I decided at least 1 more post about what I am watching currently is in order.   And just so you don’t think that I am watching ONLY Gastric Bypass related videos, at the bottom of this post is a quick list of other things that have caught my eye lately.  Trust me – it has been like falling down the rabbit hole lately on YT.

Once I got past the “what do I eat now” videos and the “what I wish I had known” videos about weight loss surgery, I have been bombarded with the “Don’t Do It” and “It will ruin your life” type videos.  The same vloggers who posted the others after some time seem to regret their decision to do this.

To be honest, I think about it often.  Was this the right thing?  Will I be able to maintain this?  What if I gain back?  Will it all have been for nothing?  At this early stage in the game, it is impossible for me to know if this was truly a mistake.  I am still in the slight euphoric stage of “look how much I am losing” so I don’t have any serious perspective yet.

Saying that, when I watch the “it ruined my life” videos I am struck by a couple of things:

  1. How many people seem to do this without “knowing” the implications.  Are there doctors out there not telling patients about the reality or did you not listen when you were warned?  I was told.  My doctor made sure I understood the risks and the possible long term implications of my decision to do this.
  2. How many people will not take responsibility for some of the choices they made.  From moving back to old habits to the decision to even have surgery, it is never their fault.  They were not told, nobody was willing to help them, they had other circumstances.  It sounds harsh to say it – talk to me in a year and my tune may have changed – but this just seems like a lack of taking responsibility.
  3. Finally, how many people admit to not following the rules but try to justify the bad choices.  It happens in these videos and it happens in person.  A few times I have been in the doctors office talking to other patients and have heard them admit to breaking the rules.  “I know we can’t have XXX, but I do anyway” or “I know I need to take YYY, but I really hate it so I don’t.”   You did all of this, paid for all of this, and now you are going to risk it?

Here’s the thing:  I don’t know what is going to happen for me moving forward.  I can’t guarantee I won’t fall off the wagon.  In fact, I am guilty of some of this already.  But I keep coming back to the “I need to feel better and in order to do that, I have to…”.  It is keeping me sane for now.

I don’t pity these vloggers nor do I condemn them.  I am them.  In a year or two, that could be me.  I feel compassion for them.  I wish they had a great experience with this – mostly to give me hope that this was not a big mistake for ME.  That I will not end up writing a blog post that details how I gained it all back and how it was such a mistake for me to embark on this.  I don’t want to be that person.  Right now, I see them as a cautionary tale.  And that is why I keep watching and fighting to get my life back.  I am not there yet…but I will be.

As for what else has me fascinated on YouTube right now:



What Do I Eat Now?

My last post – I Wish I Had Known – was inspired by a YouTube video about what things they wish they had known before the surgery.  Another popular topic is to talk about what they eat at different stages of the post surgery time.  This fascinates me as each doctor seems to suggest something different and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of consistency in what doctors and patients consider appropriate.

I am almost 5 months out (5 months will be April 16) – and I had a few complications so I am further behind that I would be normally.  I am really eating at about the 3 – 4 month stage instead of 4-6 month.

First up are the vitamins.  Everyday I take:

  • Multivitamin (currently I am still taking bariatric specific ones)
  • B12
  • B Complex
  • D
  • Iron
  • Calcium Citrate
  • Biotin (to help with the hair loss)
  • Medication – I take one prescribed pill to help make sure I don’t get another ulcer

I am also supposed to have 2 – 3 protein shakes/drinks a day (my total protein intake a day should be around 60 grams).  I have struggled with this from the beginning.  But I make some progress the farther out from surgery I get.  I am currently getting in about 1 1/2 to 2 of the shakes/drinks a day.  I keep inching closer to the total.

And then there is food.   I am in the “full foods” stage – meaning I don’t have to worry as much as food texture anymore.  I am allowed 1/3 a cup of food or 3 oz at a time.  Depending on the food, I weigh or measure everything – for example 3 oz of lettuce for a salad is way too much so I use the 1/3 cup.  But 1/3 of a cup of chili is more than 3 oz so I weigh that. I am also supposed to split my portion between protein and fruit/vegetable.

Currently I have been eating a lot of the same things over and over again.  They are:

  • Taco meat – made with ground turkey usually.  And I will add low fat cheese and/or low fat/FF sour cream if I need it.  Especially after the gallbladder surgery, I had to be careful – cheese made my stomach hurt and the sour cream helped me digest it better.  I usually try to add some veggies to that if I can or I have them on the side.
  • Chili – I add in extra veggies to this so I can usually get this to be a half and half split without making 2 physical items.
  • Meatballs/mini meatloaves – this is a great one as the portion sizing is already done for you.  I still usually use ground turkey for these.
  • Salsa Chicken – I put this in the crockpot on low for the day and just use chicken and salsa.  Thats it.  I will add extra veggies if I have them or I can add a side.
  • Pot roast – again in the crockpot with lots of extra veggies.
  • Hello Fresh meals – I have to pick ones that do not use pasta or a bread source (more about that below) but I have already had some great chicken and pork recipes.  I make adjustments if needed to the recipe to make it healthier and my 2 meals for 2 people lasts me for almost a full week (and longer if I put things in the freezer).

I don’t really snack much right now – if I do it is usually unsalted almonds or cashews, Cuties, grapes or something similar.  Most of the things I have tried either don’t taste good anymore (like FF pudding) or are too sweet (like FF Popsicles/ FF jello).

I have been told to stay away from grains for the time being (1 year) and so far I have done well.  No bread, no rice, no pasta, no quinoa…it has been one of the harder things for me as I was very dependent on pasta especially when meal planning.  It is cheap and easy and fast and it tastes good.  This is to enhance my chances of significant weight loss so I get it – but boy is it difficult.

So, got a good recipe I should try for protein (as you can see I lean heavily on Mexican flavors, but am always looking for other flavor profiles that don’t need a grain and are not too difficult/fattening/suger-y)?  Let me know by commenting here or posting to my Facebook page.  Would love to try a few new ones.




I wish I had known…

Last night was not a great night for me…I didn’t feel well for the first time in a while and I am pretty sure it was connected to food this past week.  I had an off week – out of schedule, unusual foods, eating out more than normal and while I didn’t overeat, it was not the regimented eating I have been doing since the surgery.

I was watching YouTube and came across a video about 10 things someone had wish they had known before having Gastric Sleeve.  And it got me thinking about what I wish I had know before I started all of this.  So I am sharing with you today my list of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Gastric Bypass:

1.  I have forgotten (for now) what it feels like to have real physical hunger.  I know this will change over time, but I struggle more mentally than I do physically when it comes to hunger.  I tend to eat on a more scheduled timeline now vs whenever I am hungry.  I am no longer living to eat but instead feel like for the first time I am eating to live.  And that is not a bad thing.

2.   I wake up happier in general.  This has been an odd side effect that I am not sure if I can attribute to any one thing.  And I certainly don’t wake up happy every morning.  But more often than not, I wake up rested (meaning I am sleeping better) and happier.

3.  I don’t hurt as much as I used to overall.  My joints feel better in general and while I still have some bad days, or moments, I am much better than I was.

4.  When the doctor tells you a small percentage of patients have a certain complication, pay attention…it could be you.  I didn’t really listen very well and then it was me…and now I regret not paying attention.

5.  Some of the side effects are completely unexpected.  For me the oddest is that no matter what I do, I can’t get warm most of the time.  This is not something I was warned about but had read that it could happen in the early months.  I am 4.5 months in and my apartment is set at 71 degrees and I am freezing.  Craziness considering I was ALWAYS hot before.

6.  Something happens when you see the pounds fall off that you may not be ready for.  Among those is the fact that everyone is “proud” of you now, you don’t see the weight coming off in the way other people do, and at times your body feels both foreign and familiar at the same time.

7.  The first time you are able to do something that you were not able to before, you will want to do it all of the time.  I have NEVER been able to sit in a chair and cross my legs until now.  It seems so simple, but I was never able to.  I actually have to train my legs to be able to do it comfortably as it is so foreign to my body.  And now, I am doing it just because I can.

8.   The routines are harder to break than the physical addictions at times.  Now to be honest, I think I knew this before the surgery but I underestimated it greatly.  My go-to boredom thing was food.  My “watch a movie” night involved snacks.  Driving in the car, meant a trip through the drive through.  A trip to any store usually involved seeing if they had anything to snack on (you would be surprised how many stores that includes).

9.  Sitting all day is almost impossible now.  I have to get up.  I have to move.  I have to not be at my desk all day.

10.  The process is more overwhelming than you can imagine.  When they say it is a whole life change, I thought I understood what that meant.  I didn’t.  There is virtually no part of my everyday life that is the same as it relates to my physical being.  I don’t know if you can imagine that, but it is the most intense thing I have ever done.

And I will add a bonus #11:

11.  The mental game is 100,000 times harder than the physical one.  I cry in the shower every day now as my hair falls out.  I want so badly to have a doughnut but can’t.  I miss bread daily.  I have lost my voice which is unbelievably difficult as it has always been my emotional release.  I am trying to be patient…most of this is temporary (not the doughnuts probably) but it is a lot.

I want to thank everyone who has listened to me moan about this choice I made and who has cheered me on from the sidelines.  Love you all.