Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Save The Date

October 26, 2016

This is officially the date that I will undergo the surgery that I pray will be the tool that helps me to change my life.

I get a lot of questions about the procedure I am having, so click the link to find out all about Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy.  The link takes you directly to my surgeon's website.

This date is tentative pending the cooperation of my physician's office getting their crap together and faxing over a medical clearance for surgery.  A document that should be no problem, but thanks to a certain Medical Assistant in my primary's office it may take an act of God, but I digress.  Only good thoughts, right?

I officially start the process on the 21st, starting a 5 day full liquid diet.  My heart is thinking about starting it on the 17th.  I know that when it is all said and done I'll be OVER the whole liquid diet thing soon enough.

I have an amazing support system and I am so grateful for them all.  I also have some conscientious objectors.  People who like or love me that are concerned about what is going to happen.  People who are basing their opinions on what happened to so and so's cousin when they had surgery 15 years ago.  This is not your mama's gastric bypass surgery or "stomach stapling".  I fully believe through the research that I have done that this is a safer option than the actual bypass surgery which was available 20 years ago.  Not just from a surgical, but from a quality of life standpoint.

Regardless, this leg of the journey is just about to begin...

Friday, October 7, 2016

It's really happenening...

Like for real.

The insurance company approval came in yesterday.

Well, here's the real scoop...

A friend of mine was encouraging me to call the insurance company to see if it was approved.  I was hesitant because when it comes to something that is really important to me...I am a rule follower and they told me 30 days.  She is a nurse and she advised me that patients do this all the time and that it really was not a big deal.  So, reluctantly...I called.

I was approved for surgery.  Yay!


hrmpf...  Now WHEN is this happening??

I told myself that I would remain calm and give the Dr. time to receive the info before I followed up with them, but my anxiety got the better of me and I called them.  They had not received the information and I was told that they will likely call me on the same day that I receive approval letter from the insurance company.

More waiting, followed by...the approval letter in my mailbox when I got home last night.

So now, I'm waiting on this dang phone call. Experiencing a crazy mix of giddiness, anxiety, and sheer terror.  Doing everything in my power to not pick up the phone and be pushy.  To not be the heifer that calls relentlessly and nags them to schedule my surgery.  I know the deal.  You should be kind to everyone, but Especially kind to servers and medical providers.  #TrueStory

So, I guess I'll let you know when I know...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Here. We. Go.

Last Tuesday I had my last appointment with the surgeon. 

I was apprehensive because I spent a lot of last month having "last" times.  I REALLY TRIED TO BE BETTER, but it's hard.  Especially when all of those who are supporting you, don't realize how detrimental "last" times can be.  In all fairness, I had planned some "last" times of my own.

Despite all of this, I still lost a pound last month, which was all I needed to do to get the green light from the Dr. and the paperwork submitted to the insurance company.

Now we wait. 

The only thing we know for sure is that it is happening.  Sooner, rather than later.

I did select the gastric sleeve and I have been busy trying to prepare.  I purchased all the vitamins that I will need for the first month.  I've been making sure that I have access to plenty of protein shakes and powders for the first few weeks, as well as trying things like "Mush" Soup and Leek Soup that I can eat once I come off clear liquids.

Most days I'm mostly certain that this is the right decision.  Others, well...

I need it, though.

I feel like it's really my last chance to live a different life.

I read a lot about after surgery.  It's scary, but it really makes you take a hard look at how food focused your life can be.  I really didn't see myself as a food focused person, but sitting on this side of facing at least 3 and a half weeks of liquids only, I have found myself crying over my future lack of food.  What I may never eat again...


How privileged am I that this is even a fleeting thought for me?  All will be well. 

My main concerns focus around what I read about relationships, though.  I worry about friends who have maybe subconsciously given me the "fat girl" role in their lives and won't be able to figure out where I fit in otherwise.  I worry about my bigger friends and family and how they will feel and react when I am different, like I can't understand their world anymore.  ( I will always understand).  And, of course, I worry about the hubster, he's my jam.  He's the Andy to my Raggedy Ann, the Bert to my Ernie.  I have loved that man since I set eyes on him and I could lose every ounce of extra weight on my body and it would all be for nought if I lost him.  We've talked about it and he laughed.  He said, "I'm pretty easy going."  and he is.

The doc says the insurance can take up to 30 days, then surgery would be about two weeks out from then.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Seven Years

It's weird how I've been in this space for 7 years, a place where I ran to get away from all the negativity of the world. A place where I decided to put it all out there because it quieted the whispers of gossipers and "concerned" friends.  A place that let me shout, "I know what you're saying and despite it...I'm valuable."

I thought that it was going to be the success story of a lifetime.  Girl admits struggles and heartbreak.  Girl fights through her struggles and loses weight.  Girl succeeds and is promptly interviewed by Oprah and becomes an inspiration to millions.  This of course all translates into a book deal and a reality show on the OWN network (This, of course, is an evolving translation).

I would've never believed that 7 years later, I would still be here and only be thirty pounds down.  Most of my bloggy friends are gone.  Just check out the blog roll.  Most haven't written in years.  Some are gone forever.  Others have become cherished Facebook friends. 

I'm still here.

Still writing.  Still struggling.

Less heartbreak, though.

There are moments when I log in and I think to myself, "Why?  Why do I still come here and say whatever is on my heart?  It hasn't changed anything."

It is then, I remind myself that I may have only dropped thirty pounds of physical baggage, but WOW!!!, have I changed as a person!

It was somewhere along this 7 year journey that I decided to stop hiding any part of me that was real.  I decided to abandon any part of me that wasn't.  I became the most authentic me I have ever been.

If I am hurt, I say I'm hurt. 
If there is something I want, I say that I want it.
I stopped saying "I'm praying for you" and started doing it.
I spend less time thinking about empathy and more time acting on it.
I stopped letting other people de-value me and most importantly...I quit believing them when they tried.
I speak honestly and I demand the same from others.
If I am wrong...I say I'm wrong.
If I act out in a human way that results in someone being hurt...I admit it and I apologize...even if that apology falls on deaf ears.

I try to be true to myself and who I am at all times.

I own this beautiful mess.

I have learned by being honest about some of my craziest idiosyncrasies that other people are more willing to be honest about theirs and there is something freeing and deeply moving about getting to know people on their realest levels.  It allows me to really think about others and offers me an insight into the hearts of friends and drives me to be a more considerate person.

If I don't lose another pound...that's ok. I've lost so much other baggage and gained amazing perspective.

I'll keep coming back here.

Because it's home.

Friday, August 26, 2016

There are days...

There are days when I fail and days when I let myself down.

If I eat terribly or my activity level is below par or non-existent, then its easy to find my morale in the shitter.

These are days when my positive thoughts bail and my ability to put my thoughts down on paper takes a hike.

There are days when I literally can't even...  You know?

If you don't...that's fine too.

There are other days, though.

Days when everything I do is on point.  Days when I don't wrestle with cravings.  Days when I walk 7 miles. 

I'm a beast.  I'm a hero.  I am king of the effing world. 

On those days, I'm full of words.  On those days, the job that pays my bill restricts my ability to take everything that that is tumbling in my brain, slow its roll and create a permanent space for it.

Today is one of those days.

My brain is to the point that every new thought that tries to take a seat on the bus is getting the Forrest Gump treatment. 

"You can't sit here"

Something has to change.  I don't know how to change it.  I've tried.  I'll keep trying though.

I'm in awe of people like Stephen King who figured it out, withstood rejection, just kept going, and built a life around what he loved instead of trying to fit it into a life that won't allow time for it.

I'm in awe of Jane Doe, who writes stories in her spare time and never shows them to a soul.  I'm in awe of her because she does the damn thing; answers the twinge in her soul that drives her to put pen to paper.  I know that twinge.  I feel it on days like today, but I've learned to suppress it.  I've learned to tell it to shut it's filthy mouth and let me review this car accident so I can get this customer paid. 

Most of the time it works.

Today it fills me.  I can feel it in my throat, fighting it's way out. I can feel it pressuring my finger tips when I type.

Remember the movie Idle Hands?

Well, my right hand is in the mood to murder some poetry, a short story, or free verse BS.

But...I have to work.


I literally can't even.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Friend Request

I don't have many secrets.

Most of what there is to know about me, I will gladly put out there. I learned a long time ago that it was so much easier to relate to others when they are honest about their struggle.  Some of my closest friends were just acquaintances until I got to understand how they were broken and in my brokenness I was able to recognize how their jagged edges would fit into the gaping holes in my heart.  I had never really thought of it that way until my former boss said to me, "I wasn't sure how I felt about you until I realized you were broken."  At first that really confused me.  Then I realized that by sharing our brokenness, we allow an opportunity for empathy.  That empathy crushes the shell of who we want to portray ourselves to be and people see who we are really.  The REAL us.  This realness in all it's raw beauty is the foundation for any true friendship.  Those friendships are kept alive through continued realness and honesty.

So here's a dose of that honesty...

My level of inactivity over the last few weeks is borderline redonkulous.

For the last 10 days, I have been trying to stay on point with my food intake, but my movement has been a struggle.  There are reasons excuses that I reiterate to make it sound ok, but it's not.  The goal of losing as much as I can before surgery is still there, but the drive has diminished and a bit of fear has set in.

Even the hubster is having doubts.  I get the occasional "Are you sure this is what you want to do"


Resounding "YES"!!

Actually, I felt so guilty about even admitting to the fact I haven't been walking, I left my desk for a hot minute and walked half a mile.  That's what it is going to take my friends.  The whole point of everything I am doing is to be in a better place beforehand, so the surgery becomes what it is actually meant to be: a tool.

My friends keep me going.  They know I'm not doing the right thing, because they are asking me about it less and less.  I know this will sound weird, but please be honest with me.  Call me out on it.  If you love me, don't be afraid to hurt my feelings and let me know that I am holding myself back and you see that.  I believe I can win this fight, but I don't always remember that I can. If you believe I can win this fight...Tell me...Throw it in my face that I am wasting an opportunity and that I am doing myself a disservice.  Hold me accountable.

It's not your job, but it is as important as encouraging me to write or pursue some other adventure. 

In fact, it's more important.

It will guarantee you more off-color commentary that you can't believe I said.
It guarantees you church giggles until your stomach hurts over some private joke.
It guarantees you that I will be here for you when it matters to you most.

Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Story So Far...

When we last found our heroine...

I had made a very public announcement that I had changed my mind about bariatric surgery and was moving forward with having the procedure.  I  was also filling you in on my Color Run participation and looking forward to a more active and productive summer as I started to prepare myself for a journey I thought I'd never take.

That was nearly 4 months ago and boy did I take it.  Here are just a few highlights of my active summer so far:

My friend Courtney and I as we participated in the Roller Coaster Race at Six Flags over St. Louis.

My medal from my first "at your own pace marathon
Me with my second online medal which was 59.5 miles completed in 10 days
Third medal 78.5 miles complete in 19 days
I climbed to the top of the natural cave opening at Carlsbad Caverns.  (If you've ever done this, you know what I feat this is)

In two years, I'm already a different person, but not yet the person I'll become.

 I've lost 23lbs so far and I am continuing with the medically supervised weight loss and visiting my surgeon once a month.  I am down to my last two appointments.  Unfortunately, I've recently seen glimpses of old me, you know which one, the saboteur.  I hate that heifer.  She has gotten me into more trouble.  I don't really hate her, she's just too needy for me at this point.   I cannot have her in my life anymore.  I'll miss her in some ways, but truthfully I already have the best parts of her.  It's her BS I can't have.

The summer has not been all joy and success.

Despite all these strides to bettering myself, I have battled some life trolls:

1. A random woman at Wal-Mart who decided I was too disgusting for her 6 month old baby to look at and actually said as much while covering her eyes.

2. A jerky dude at Carlsbad Caverns who had to make a rude comment in front of my kids about my fat ass and that I was checking my steps on my Fitbit.  (mind you, I walked 750 ft straight up and out of the cave, while this bright spot of humanity stood in line for 3 hours waiting for the elevator up)

and finally (This one took me by surprise)

3.  My dietitian.

Let me explain...

As part of the insurance requirements for bariatric surgery, I have to have a dietary consultation and a psychiatric evaluation.  Depending on your insurance, this may happen in the beginning of the process, but seeing that my insurance requires me to go through 6 months of medically supervised weight loss, my doc did not send me right away.

Of course, I assume that all appendages of the bariatric surgery body are aware of what the other is doing, apparently, they are not...

I walk into the office and he weighs me.  (I've gained 3 lbs, so my heart kind of hurt, but mind you...this guy has no idea that I have gained weight). 

he says, "How tall are you?"
"Five foot one and one half inches"
"Are you sure"
"My license says 5'2", but I'm sure it is 5'1.5"."
"Let me take your height" "Just a hair over 5'1.5"
(I think, isn't that what I said)

We go into a different room where he asks me about my diet.  I eat the same frickin' thing Monday through Friday for all 3 meals.  I know what I eat and I KNOW the calorie count.  I lay the entire thing out for him with precision to which he responds while looking at me judgingly from over the top of his glasses, "Mmmhmmm.  Are you sure there are no exceptions?" 

I respond "Monday through Friday, no exceptions."

"Well, tell me a little bit about what happens on the weekend?  Chaos?"
"No, I stay within calorie count, but I do allow myself bread and carbs that I normally do not allow during the week."
"Well, we don't frown upon a cheat item from time to time, we do frown upon a cheat weekend."

My mind says...  Excuse me.  Where in what I said did you hear "cheat weekend"?

I say, "I wouldn't call it cheating.  I only eat between 1200 and 1400 calories per day, I am just not as strict the actual food.  It's not like I'm eating 1200 calories in donuts."

He looks at me starting with my abdomen and ending at my face and says "Mmmhmm.  What about exercise?"

"Well, up until about 2 weeks ago, I was walking at least 5 miles per day."
"How many days per week?"
"Everyday."  (hot tears building, ya'll, hot tears.)
"Mmmhmm.  well, lets set a goal...lets set a goal to eat right 7 days a week.  Do you think we can do that?"
"Sure." (with no intention of changing anything)
"Great!  Let's also set an exercise goal of walking 5 miles per day at least 6 days a week, can we do that?"
I say  "sure", but I'm thinking "I know I can, can you?"

I  leave the office totally defeated.  What the hell with this guy?  I see my surgeon tomorrow and I guess I will let him know that I think this dude is a total POS.

I totally get the people they deal with, I understand that people are not forthright, but that isn't me.  I am all in with this, I am all about being truthful with this.

I guess he missed the "I'm an emotional eater" answer on the front of the page, because this guy nearly sent me into the arms of a Cheeseburger hug. 


Instead I went back to work, walked, and vented to my friend.

Just because I have found an answer that I believe will work for me does not make the struggle any easier.

Until next time....


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Christie and the Color Run

You wake up with so much excitement.  A plan in place, Today is the day you committed to run, walk, or crawl a 5K.

Any self doubt that I have surrounding my ability to complete something of this magnitude comes in the days leading up to the race.  A lot of arguing with myself.

"It's not like you HAVE to do this."
"You paid for it, you better do it! "
"You already told everybody that you were going to do it and if you don't you will just solidify everything that that think about know the stuff they don't tell you to your face."
"What's wrong with everyone's expectations of you being correct?"

Trust me...there are worse things that I say to myself about what I do and do not accomplish on a regular basis that are much more shocking than anything I've put here today.  If you are honest with yourself and others, I'd almost be willing to bet a pile of cash that you do the same thing about your insecurities. It's an inner struggle that I choose to make public so that maybe...just day we'll all realize that we are, on some level, the same.  The struggle may be different, but the feelings behind them are the same.  Maybe, upon that realization, we'll all be a little kinder to each other.

Anyway, I digress...

This is the first time that I have attended a 5k with my little family in participation.  I'm usually by myself, with my sister or another family member, and once the fam came out to greet me when I crossed the finish line.  This is a different experience entirely. This comes with an entirely NEW set of pressure.  This is my sixth 5k.  My fourth in 2 years.  In all the run/walks I've been part of, the option to quit was always there.

I never took that option, but it was there.

This time my kids were there, so the pressure was a bit overwhelming.  I cannot quit. No matter what.  At first it weighed really heavy on my heart.  I wanted to be there alone.  I wanted them to walk ahead and finish and just leave me out there to do what I needed to do.  Strangers don't care if you cry.  My family does.  So no crying this race.  Believe it or not this left me a bit unsatisfied.  It's not that I want to cry, but it's a physical, mental, and emotional struggle to deal with hauling 280lbs 3.2 miles.  For the first mile, every time, I can't even catch my damn breath.  It's stressful.  Then comes the self-loathing.

"It's your fault.  You did this to yourself.  Now you want to cry because it's hard."  And you do.

When the determination finally kicks in, you usually have about 3/4 of a mile left and whatever pain you are feeling has to be put aside because regardless of why, when, or have to get back.  You can sit on the side of the road and cry, but when you're done...your still on the side of the road needing to get back to where you started so you can go home.  So, you might as well just keep going and not stop to cry because that just puts you behind and will leave you dehydrated.

My family WAS with me, though, so it was like having to push down all the emotion and just move.  My youngest, Erica, just kept telling me how much fun she was having and Autumn hurt herself and finished on a swollen ankle because she was determined to get her medal. 

And she did.

We all did.

We persevered as a family.

Today.  I hurt.  I hurt so bad.  I know why.  It's because I stupidly thought that I could do this without training and I know better.  I have the Roller Coaster Race on May 1st and I have a lot of work to do in the next two weeks.

So I leave you with this:   


5 Reasons To Make The Color Run Your First 5k.
1. It's the #happiest5k.
It's true.  It really is.  Lots of good music to get you pumped, free swag is thrown out at the starting line, and people are generally pleasant.  We even had some nice runners give our family some extra leis that they had.
2. It's not timed.
The Color Run is not a competition.  It's about getting out there and having a good time.  If you are worried about what people will think as you cross the finish line...don't.  Everyone does not start at the same time, instead, they release people on the course in "waves" over the course of an hour.  Since I'm a slow walker.  I try to get in the first wave, leaving plenty of people in front of me and behind me.
3. Color Stations.
The Color Run has 5 color stations that will smack you with different colored cornstarch powder as you go through them.  This is an amazing help for first timers.  Instead of worrying about when you are going to get to the end, it is almost encouraging to be at the next color station.  It's a total moral booster.
4.  It's just plain fun!
People come out in make-up, crazy hairstyles, and tu-tus.  Lots of tu-tus.  Even on men.  It's a great time where no one is taking themselves too seriously.
5. Finishers Medal
I'm not one of those "everyone gets a medal" people.  I don't think that you give all the kids an award to tell them how special they are, but...I bust my hump to complete a 5k and I love the feeling of something in my hand that says "You did it!" (Lots of races give these, but...)
Think about it.  Look for one in a city near you.
 Follow me on Twitter: @truefictionblog

Monday, April 11, 2016

Optimism Comes At A Price

I'm learning.

This week we have learned that I can make an unexpected decision.  We are now aware that I can be willing to change my plan for a better result.  We have always known that I can be thwarted by disappointment, but I'm working on that.

As the title says...Optimism comes at a price.  This is why I try not to be overly optimistic.  I try to have a wait and see approach and then if it happens, it happens, but this time I got ahead of myself and let myself go to the place where there was an end in sight.  It's not an easy way out, but it's a legitimate means to and end.  I let my heart get excited about the time frame and when I found out it wasn't going to happen the way that I believed and it left me tipped over, nearly drowned, pulling myself to the bank in the middle of Deliverance.  It took my mind to a dark place where I felt alone, armed with a broken paddle, and in the distance I can hear the banjo.

Da na neer neer neer neer neer neer neer...

Why though?  It didn't have to go to that place...did it?

Go back to any place of success in this blog.  Read the excitement.  Then read the plan.

It might say things this time 6 months from now, I could be under 250.

At no time in the 7 years this blog as existed have I ever seen under 250.

This time last year sans blogging, I was the closest I've ever been 259.  This morning I weighed in at 286.  No long term commitment.

I started this blog in July of 2009 with my so called Day of Reckoning.  Man, was I angry that day!  Why did I stop being so angry?  That is where the fire began.  That moment spent writing everything in my heart with hot tears running down my face.  That should've been my rock bottom.  Every half-assed "I'm back"  should've been a rock bottom.  I'm sitting here today knowing all I've learned about the journey I've been on and realizing that the only possible rock bottom is death. 

You don't come back from that.

I have changed the way that I eat so many times.  A lot of these changes have been lifelong.  This entire journey hasn't been lost on me.  I could give you a lifetime of blogs worth of "despite the perception all fat people are not lazy", I could send you my fitbit tracker information to show there have been why?  Why am I back to nearly the beginning?  Why am I starting over again?

Let's take them one at a time.

Why am I back to nearly the beginning? 
Consider the work of Dr. Deborah Muoio,  she has done research that she believes proves that there is a cellular memory in obese people that basically boils down to the theory that cells remember being fat. Therefore by literally working your ass off, losing 30-50 lbs, and then stalling out on your program your body in essence freaks out and tries to correct the problem causing you to gain the weight you lost plus additional pounds.  This same theory though, does not seem to apply to those who have lost extreme amounts of weight naturally or surgically.  Is it true?  I don't know, but it could definitely apply to my situation and I appreciate that forward thinking individuals are willing to consider something other than the fact that I am sedentary and eating myself to death. Anyone who knows me can attest to this being the direct opposite.

Why am I starting over again?
If I don't I'm giving up and that is unacceptable.

I have an opportunity to do something I have never done before.  I'm taking it.  It has to be delayed because I need the insurance to pay for it, so I have to play by their rules.

I do not intend to waste this 6 months.  Anything I lose in this 6 months will only propel me to where I need to be on the other side of this procedure.

Today: 286
Tomorrow: Christie

follow me on Twitter

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Road Blocks

Roadblocks are always there to pop up when you least expect them,  Yesterday, I hit my first on my newest journey.

Part of the process in gearing up for bariatric surgery is that the Dr.'s office has a rep that verifies your insurance coverage.  This was not a concern because I know that it is covered as there are several people in my office who have had it done.  When the call came in on Friday, I was thrilled.  This was quick...all I'll need to do now is make my appointment and start the 3 month countdown.


Apparently the insurance company has instituted a requirement to have 6 months of a medically supervised weight loss program in order to qualify.  This shouldn't have been a big deal to me, but it took the wind right out of my sails.  I spent some time bitching about it until I finally convinced myself that before I knew they could do everything so quickly, I was going to put it off until later in the year anyway.  So, this change in my plan was actually my original plan, which felt like the right plan initially.

I'm kind of proud of myself because all the ingredients were there to complete a recipe for disaster, but instead of spending time in self destructive behavior over my self destructive behavior, I talked myself down and realized that this just brought me back to where I was before the seminar.  It didn't and there was no reason for this to set me back any further than that.
And then...when I have my surgery in the last part of the year, I will be in much better shape and that much closer to reaching my goals.

Speaking of goals...

I accidentally skipped my 500 words yesterday.  It says I'm not supposed to try and make them up, but I will.  I've been so good.  I fell asleep, so it's not like I made a conscious decision not to write them, but this soon in the process it feels like a failure.  If there is anything I need, its to feel like I am succeeding at something. Especially those things that are so intensely personal to me. If I am going to follow through with anything at this sure as heck better be something for which I benefit.  I'm not selfish, I swear, but truthfully, I am a thousand times more likely to finish something that I am doing for someone else than I am to really begin anything that is just for me.

The Color Run is exactly a week away.  Now it's the whole clan.  My 8 year old and my mom are now joining us so that adds a level of difficulty.  Last time I did a 5K with my mom, she told me how much she regretted signing up...the whole time.  Erica has never done anything like this and I usually can not get her to turn off the TV long and walk up to her room let alone get her to walk 3.2 miles.  The adults can do what needs to be done, but somebody has to stay and finish with the kids.  I hope that's not me. I hope everyone finishes.

Follow me on Twitter: @truefictionblog