Thursday, December 1, 2016

5 Weeks Out!

In less than two weeks, I'm back on the 5k circuit. 


I'm sure it will be fine, but with everything that my body has been through over the last few months I hope that it is ready.  I'm really going to have to buck up this week and power through a 3 or 4 mile walk to convince myself it will all be ok.  Plus, it's my first cold race.  So...

Next years race season is already in the works.  It looks like the Six Flags Roller Coaster Race and The Rivertown Run are a week apart, so that will be different for me.  I usually try to space them with at least a week in between, but these are my favorites.  It's good to challenge yourself, right?  Anybody, Anybody?

Just a few days ago, I hit the 50 pound mark.  I've lost 50 pounds since I made the decision to pursue Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) Amazing.  I can't believe it myself.

My doc suggested that I find an activity that I like other than walking and I am finding that as a struggle.  Walking is easy to fit into my day, but I guess I have to go old school and break out the free weights and pump the old iron.  My skin is getting super saggy, so I guess it's time to build some support muscle.

If you have any ideas on what other types of exercise/activities I might enjoy let me know.  Leave it in comments. 

I'm also super excited about my expanding diet options and mostly finding that I'm not as excited about them once they are a reality.  For example, this week I can have cold cereal (Only if it has less than 3g of Sugar and at least 5g of Fiber).  Eating cereal is a hard decision because the amount of food that I can have at a time is so limited AND I have a massive protein requirement, but sometimes, as much as I love cottage cheese...I miss something crunchy.  This morning I measured out my Cheerios and paired it with high protein Fairlife Milk.  The first few bites were miraculous and then....Soggyville.

My new acceptable foods are all carbs.  What a waste of a diet allowance.  Basically, if I eat any of them, I struggle to get in my proteins,  Tonight, I'm going to try to make Ricotta Bake, it's easy AND looks like Lasagna without the meat and noodles.  Hope it tastes as good. 

Always looking for high protein, low carb recipes and right now the only meat I can have is deli meat or fish. If you have a recipe worth sharing, hit me up in the comments, Facebook, Twitter (@truefictionblog), or Instagram (@chrmow).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

4 Week Follow Up (Ode to Cottage Cheese)

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since I had my surgery. 

So hard to believe.

I have my second follow up with the surgeon today and I'm nervous.  I was hoping to have lost about 20lbs in this first 28 days, but I stalled out in week 3 at 15lbs lost.  This is still MAJOR and it's impact is not lost on me. 

I'm down 2 dress sizes from April, clothes actually look kinda cute on me.  I've always tried to be conscious about the way I look, but it's definitely more fun when I feel like I can dress more like I feel inside.

Tomorrow I also get to step up my diet and add thin shaved deli meat, soft cooked beans or peas, and any soup as long as there is no beef.  While I am happy to be progressing, I feel like every new food addition is a step into an uncharted territory.  Since the protein shakes are now completely gagtastic, I have been trying to plan my meals so that I can fit in enough protein to be totally free of them.  I eat fish everyday and supplement with cottage cheese and/or Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt.  In the last two weeks, cottage cheese has been my lifesaver.  It's my new perfect food.  When I'm eating something other than cottage cheese, I wish it were cottage cheese.  My family really loves it as well.  We need to buy stock in Prairie Farms because all kidding aside, we have gone through 15lbs of cottage cheese in 15 days and I can only eat it 1/2c at a time.

I'm pleased to announce that 4 weeks in, I've still never thrown up.  This was LITERALLY my biggest post surgery concern, second only to not getting enough protein and losing my hair.

My walking has continued to increase and I am now at about 4-4.5 miles per day. Getting stronger everyday!  My first post surgery race is 12/11/2016.  Ironically, The Hot Chocolate Run.  It seems unlikely to me that they will have "No sugar added", but I'm not really there for the beverages, right? I'm a little worried that it's too much too soon, but I'll never know unless I try.  I'll be walking with my friends Squirrely Berly and Susie.  I've never cried in front of them before, but unless tragedy strikes between now and then, that's likely to be the day.

All good things.  All good things.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

As Predicted

On Thursday, October 27, I awoke in the hospital to find the same old thing.  Me.

The surgery went off without a hitch if you don't count the hernia he found and repaired while he was in there. (Yes...ANOTHER hernia) Shortly after midnight, after the surgery, I was up and lapping the floor around the nurses station.  I was released from the hospital on the 27th after they confirmed that there was no leak in my gastric incision line with very little pain other than from the hernia repair.

The first few days were no big deal.  Resting and walking around the living room. A lot of thanking my husband for going above and beyond in ways only a man who took his "in sickness and in health" vows seriously can.  The clear liquid diet was first.  I wasn't experiencing any hunger, so it was more about forcing myself to get in the required protein and making sure that I was taking in enough to stay hydrated as slow and steady as possible. (not as easy as it seems it would be)
It was Sunday before I actually felt anything that was remotely like hunger and at this point, half a protein shake seemed to do the trick. 

Monday was Halloween and the hubster was gracious to drive me around while the kids did their thang. The doc probably would have liked me to walk after the surgery, but dealing with the tightness and the pulling from the hernia recovery was more than I could bear. As of Tuesday, I was getting around pretty good and was super pumped to start the full liquid diet the next day.

The full liquid diet was killing me slowly.  Not even gonna lie.  Protein shakes were getting old, protein drinks were better, but still a weird chalky flavor. Cream of Wheat was a blessing, but even with that I was dreaming of something with more substance.

The following Wednesday, a whole new world of food opened up to me.  Tuna, cheese, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, low-fiber crackers.  This is living.  With this new advancement in my diet, I could no longer stomach the protein shakes, like at all.  I try to focus on foods that are higher in protein to make sure that I am getting my recommended amounts.  That basically means I eat fish a few times a day because there is not a scenario right now where I can even contemplate a protein shake.

I started back to work on Monday which was about 17 days since my surgery.  Everything is great.  I, of course, am looking forward to next week when I get to advance my diet again and enter the wonderful world of thin shaved deli meat.  So far I've lost 15lbs since the surgery and a total of 45 since I began this journey in April.  I am excited for all the changes and the opportunities that are in the forefront. 

I have attached a couple of before an after pictures.  The before pictures were taken from this very blog in 2011, the after taken last week.

More to come...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Beginnings?

Tomorrow I am having Laproscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy.

I am a jumbled mix of excitement and nerves, but I am mostly at peace with my decision.

I have an amazing support system and while as I mentioned, there are some naysayers, my world is almost overwhelmingly positive, so thank you for that.

As I have addressed here before, I am an analyzer.  I really look into the heart of a person and see what they are truly about and I like to believe that I surround myself with generally good people.  Sure, some are catty...myself included sometimes, but it's a fun catty. (Ok, Ok, there's no such thing, we're working on it, ok?)

I've heard a lot about tomorrow and my new beginning.  It's all out of kindness and I don't want to sound at all ungrateful for the well wishes, but where did this idea come from?  This new beginning?

Sure, it all sounds great, right? 

Starting over?  Clean slate?

With all due respect, nothing about tomorrow is a clean slate.  I will not go under the knife tomorrow and wake up with a whole new body that allows me to start living the life I've always wanted.  What happens tomorrow won't remove all this extra weight in and of itself.  It will not change a minute, a word  It won't erase the fact that I haven't actively pursued a writing career.  It won't erase not even one of my 41 years.  It won't change anything, but the size of my stomach. 

If there is or was a new beginning to any of this it happened in April when I made the decision to pursue the operation.

Nothing about this is easy.

 You think it's easy?  Go on a 9 day liquid diet followed by two more weeks of a liquid diet.

This is not a new beginning, it's a different opportunity.  It's seeing the two roads diverge in the woods and taking the road that has a more direct path at being less morbidly obese.

This is a chance at being different.

All this does is mentally even my playing field.  It gives me the idea that I have a fighting chance and provides me with a weapon in my arsenal that I've never had before.

Tomorrow, when I come out of anesthesia...I will still be me. 

I will always still be me.

See you on the flip.

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.
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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

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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.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Seminar

I survived the seminar.

At least I think I did.  It was touch and go for a hot minute.

First of all, I did not want to be there.  My insurance requires it and the Dr. requires it, so it had to happen.  This, of course, was not my first rodeo.  If you have been a lifetime reader of this blog then you know that one of my first posts was about the Bariatric Surgery seminar I attended and subsequently used to make the decision that I was NEVER going to have this surgery.  Fast Forward 5 years and NEVER is now because I want to be able to fast forward to 5 years from now.

I chose to go through the program at Des Peres Hospital in Des Peres, MO because I trust the Surgeon, Dr. Matt Ricks.  Dr. Ricks is the same surgeon that performed my double hernia surgery in November and I survived that so I think I'm in good hands.

Back to the seminar.

I got off work at 4:30 pm and the hospital is 10 minutes away, but it didn't start until 6pm, so I sat in the parking lot and people watched.  People watching really means: Watching people walk in the building and predetermining whether or not they were there for the seminar.  Terrible...I know.  When it came time to me walking in the building, I knew they were figuring why I was there as well, so we're even.

Dr. Ricks was stuck in surgery and he would be in as soon as it was over.


I've sat in a room with about 35 people LITERALLY sizing each other up.  Listening to them drone on "If he says I can't have coffee, I'm out of here.  Nothing is worth giving up my coffee."

Really?  I mean...

And this is why I hate weight loss seminars.  Not everyone who is there is ready to be there.  That's ok.  I have been and it wasn't my time either, the difference??  I kept my mouth shut.  I ask actual questions like, "How long is the recovery time for gastric sleeve?", not "If I'm not emotionally ready to go back to work after the recovery time frame can it be extended?" or "I know you said that we will be up walking the day of surgery, but I don't get up and walk today, so is that flexible?"

I just don't have the patience for it.

This was different from my last seminar in one way.  The Dr. from Heart of America Bariatrics was hardcore selling the surgery.  Talking about financing and trying hard to make the sale.  Dr. Ricks was the complete opposite.  His talk was strictly about finding the right procedure for each person and about follow through.  What to expect from 100% buy in and ultimate effort and what to expect if you think this is the magic pill.  (Which I don't)

They advised that surgery could occur within 90 days of this meeting depending on insurance, so now we wait.

I have a plan to wait until the end of summer, but truthfully...he indicated the recovery time was 2 weeks.  I could totally do that in July and still get back on plan for walking and finishing out the summer race strong.

Decisions.  Decisions.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Road Ahead

I feel like I am in a constant state of exhaustion

There is so much going on and so much that I am trying to accomplish that for the first time in a long time organizing and prioritizing what I am doing is paramount.

I have been sick for the last week.  It all started on Tuesday last week, sitting at my work desk and I could feel a little tickle at the back of my forward to Wednesday morning and I felt ok, but I couldn't swallow. In that exact moment, I knew I had strep.  A quick jaunt to the Walgreens Take Care Clinic and diagnosis confirmed.  I left work.  I had to leave.  I am pretty much the expert on strep.  It hadn't happened yet, but I was about to get wiped out and less than 2 hours later, I was.

This was a huge blip.  A break in the concentration.  A break in the preparation.

In 10 days, Autumn, the hubster, and I will take on the Color Run.  We are beyond ill prepared.  Last time I went out to walk, I barely completed a mile.  I'm still coughing and wheezing...I need a break, but not from walking.

I have taken on the daunting task of completing all these races and being involved in all this activity.  I have a race/walk every other week from now until mid May and I'm adding more.  I plan to continue walking through the season straight up until my surgery which is still TBD.  The purpose is three-fold. 

  1. I am hoping to lose enough weight that I can have the lap-band instead of bypass.
  2. I need to replenish my T-shirt collection
  3. When I am home alone, I like to wear all my medals and name them while I stroke them lovingly.  (sorry, not sorry)
My seminar is tomorrow.  I have to go.  I don't want to go, but it's required.  I don't want to talk to much about it right now because I am notorious for pre-judging situations and building up things in my mind that do not matter and may or may not be based in actual reality.  I can go into further detail once I have actually been to the meeting.

I have cut a lot of my TV time.  This is good for many reasons, but I am finding that I am bad at choosing good television over drivel.  I have made the decision to limit television because TV is what keeps me from doing the things I need to do and it keeps me from writing.  It also makes me eat terribly.

The most recent addition to things on my plate is a 500 word writing challenge.  I am
charged with writing at least 500 words a day.  I found the challenge here.  Its premise is basic, write at least 500 words a day for at least 31 days.  I have been posting the work for the last two days on Facebook, but you are hereby gifted with today's 500 words.  The weight loss is important to me, but this is even more so.  Fat or thin...writing bubbles below the surface.

Wish me luck tomorrow.

Find me on Twitter: @truefictionblog

Saturday, March 26, 2016


I just wrote a half page blog about family and Oprah's temporarily thwarted plot to take over the world and then deleted it for two reasons.

1.  It was too emotional in a way that it sounded pathetically sad and self serving, even to me, and well, who needs that.

2.  Oprah has enough going on since her involvement with Weight Watchers caused the company's profits to take a nosedive and along with it her investment.  I'm sure that she is drowning her sorrows in some province in France known for it's croissants.  She doesn't need me to pile on, unless of course someone can come through with that meme of her riding a bike with a basket full of baguettes and other assorted breads, then it's on.  (Please creative types...I need this in my life)

Now that it's deleted I have to write about something else.

This has been kind of a crazy week.  After a series of hailstorms in TX, I find myself on CAT (catastrophe) duty at work.  Basically, myself and a coworker friend are assisting with settling total loss claims from the storm.  This requires everyday overtime.  SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.   They have been decent enough to let us have tomorrow off for Easter.  While this dedication to my job is not a surprise to any of us here (insert eye roll), it means that I have been eating poorly and I have not been walking. 

My first 5K of the season is 21 days away.  It's the first one with my 11 y/o as well, I cannot be thwarted!  (just so we are clear, that declaration is for when this post comes up in my Timehop in the future to remind me of my amazing resolve and so that I can question where that resolve is now.)  I have to have the resolve to push through and be an example of perseverance.  This is where they get you with this whole parenting thing.  You think you're getting this cuddly baby who loves you like you are their whole world and then have to be an example, teach them life lessons and suddenly pretend that you're not totally screwed up by your own upbringing.

Sadly, right now, I don't feel like walking.  AT ALL.  I do not have the fire for it like last year. I have 3 "races" scheduled within the next 60 days.  The Color Run -St. Louis on 04/16/2016, The Roller Coaster Race - Six Flags St. Louis on 05/01/2016, and The Rivertown Run - Washington, MO on 05/14/2016.  It'll get better...endorphins and all. 

Wish me luck or better yet pray for me.

Find me on Twitter:  @truefictionblog

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Scoop

This morning, I'm not sure how to feel about my decision to proceed with the consideration of weight loss surgery.

It feels like giving up.

I'm not giving up.

I'm calling it a course correction.  Why?  Well since you asked, its alliterative and I am in love with healthy doses of alliteration.  It also sounds better than "I am totally disappointed in myself and at this juncture my deja vu's deja vu has deja vu."

How does one get to the point of doing the one thing they said they'd never do?
I'll break it down in 10 simple steps.


1. Say you'll never do the thing. (This is key)
2. Work really hard at doing the opposite of the thing.
3.Once you really start seeing results, work half-ass at doing the opposite thing.
4. Get tired of your own BS about the opposite thing.
5.Stop doing the opposite thing.
6. Stop doing anything
7. Feel bad about yourself. (This is an important step and can sometimes switch places with #6)
8.( Warning, this is a long one)Watch about 25 episodes of My 600-lb life to solidify that you feel bad about yourself, because these people are more than double your size and they are changing their lives.  Look at what they've accomplished in a year and you have accomplished nothing in 5 or more years of trying.
9. Remind yourself that people think you're great and love you while you also tell yourself that you have them fooled and they can't possibly see that you are truly a failure.
10. Resign yourself to do the thing.

Granted #8 is oddly specific to my personal thing, but it can easily be replaced with Hoarders (shout out clutterbugs!) or something that forces you to be all up in your feelings about both the thing and the opposite of the thing.

Whew!  We work really hard at letting ourselves down don't we?  After I wrote all that out I thought from now on I should just skip steps 2-9 from now on.

I understand the amount of work and dedication that will still need to be in place for this to be successful. 

I have a plan.

It looks like this:

The Plan

  1. Visit the seminar that I've been to twice (because insurance requires it)
  2. Make the appointment with the Dr.
  3. Continue with my program.  Race season is upon us, so the plan is to continue gearing up.  I have races scheduled through May, I am planning on continuing to schedule them through the summer.
  4. Get healthier and go with surgery (unless I get so healthy I don't need surgery o_O )
Anyway, so that's the scoop from my neck of the woods right now.

Feel free to mock me online here or on your favorite social media outlet.

Twitter:  @truefictionblog

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Look Who's Back (Again)

It's me.

You knew that didn't you.

Damn, you're astute!

A lot has happened since I've been gone (again).

Let's just get the housekeeping items out of the way...

Everything worked out with my job...go figure.  I'm where I have always been and I am sooo grateful for that.  I love my people.  They love me (or they are really good at pretending they do).  I enjoy what I do in the realm of "I have to have a job".  It's not the world's most stimulating work, but I'm generally happy there and if you can't be ecstatically happy, generally happy is a good place to be.

So now that we have established that I settle...

Christmas came and went.  The New Year followed suit and a few days after my dad summoned us all together to tell us he was going to go on hospice.  Yikes!

Since I have been away, there a lot has happened with his health.  He, like myself, was diagnosed with DIABETES.  The big scary MO-FO that it is...  After years of not following the doctors direction and the plan for better health he was faced with an ultimate decision: Dialysis or Death.  He, of course, chose long as he had control over it. 

Just so we're clear...there is no control over dialysis.  It's do or die.  Simple as that.

In January, he'd had enough. 

He had fear filled moments that caused his decisions to fluctuate, but after a period of flip-flopping, he course corrected and solidified his decision to die.  On February 5th, he took his final breath and with it went my hope of a different relationship.

I still struggle with the "decision to die".  Is it suicide?  Is it giving up?

I don't understand.

I want to LIVE more than anything.  I want to take advantage of every opportunity...but I don't.

I am going through with bypass.  Feel how you feel about it.  Doesn't matter.

Did I think that I would make this decision?  Of course not.  I hoped for something better. 

Bypass won't solve my issue, I know that, but it's the only thing I haven't tried.

Until next time, peeps.