Category Archives: weight loss

Exercising

So, my Sweatin’ to the Oldies DVD set arrived about a week ago, but I didn’t learn how to use all the remotes my husband has for the TV, Blue Ray, Satellite, etc…, until yesterday. In addition, last week I foolishly came downstairs with nothing on my feet, stepped on a small plastic toy, and cut the bottom of my foot, so I wanted to get it healed up before trying the DVD’s. But yesterday I put Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 in and did the whole thing.  Today, I did it again. My plan is to do the same DVD all week, and switch to a different one each week. It was easily 40 -45 minutes of good, low impact cardio, and it’s very aptly named (SWEATIN’ to the oldies, LOL!). I did not do the floor exercises, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back up, and because my back is not strong enough for the floor work.  But when they moved to standing stretch exercises I did those. During the cardio, whenever I couldn’t keep up with the steps they were doing on the DVD I just kept moving anyway. So, I’m pretty proud of myself for finally getting going on this. One of the requirements in the bariatric program is intentional cardio exercise as close to daily as possible. I’m stil struggling with diet, but it’s a journey, I can’t change every habit overnight. I can do it a piece at a time, over a period of time.

Tomorrow (the 21st) is our 20th wedding anniversary, and I want the next year of our marriage to be physically healthier. I’m working hard on that.

I’m working on remaking myself in many ways, with the exercise DVD’s, trying to make small changes one at a time in my eating, taking care of my face (I’ve been using Mary Kay again, when I can afford it).

I want to be here for many more years, and this is the only way I can. I’m working on saving my life.

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Busy Day

Tomorrow (Saturday May 8), my twins are having their birthday party, the first one since they’ve been with us, because they hadn’t yet been placed with us for adoption at this time last year, so I did my grocery shopping today, which means the only shopping tomorrow will be to pick up their Disney Cars theme cake from Kroger (they make a very good cake, and all our boys have been able to find any theme they really wanted in the book at the Kroger bakery).  Their birthday was actually a week ago, but the friends with whom we always have our children’s parties could not be here last week, so we’re having it tomorrow instead. I just finished printing coloring pages of all the main characters from the Cars movie for all the kids to do tomorrow, plus business card size Lightning McQueen for them to use for the “pin the Lightning McQueen on the Mater” game.  The weather isn’t very dry, so instead of playing outside we’ll do the game, coloring pages, and we’ll play the Cars movie. My husband will be cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill though, he usually puts the grill under the carport.  I think they’ll have fun, I got Cars theme decorations, tableware, & favor boxes with Cars theme things to put in them.

On another note, while shopping today I bought a pedometer and a small food scale, to go with the Complete Food Count book I bought the other day, so I’m ready now to get going on my food and exercise log that I have to keep for my bariatric program. My blood sugar levels have been much better lately, and I’ve found an online source (thanks, Leslie!) for protein powder that allows you to order samples of the different flavors, it’s http://www.unjury.com, so I’ll be doing that too, probably this weekend.  I’m going to check out the library for some exercise DVD’s that will make exercising fun, too, because I’ll be much more likely to actually do the exercise then.

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Filed under adoption, Birthdays, family, health, Kids, weight loss

Another day in Detroit…

I was just too tired to do this last night when we got home, instead, I put my feet up and fell asleep! So, here’s what we did yesterday.

We got up WAY earlier than usual, the alarm was set for 5:30 am.  Mike (my husband) got up to have the first shower, then got all the kids up and downstairs for breakfast, and to get dressed in the clothes I’d had them put downstairs Tuesday night before bed. When they headed downstairs, I was able to go get my shower and get dressed, then downstairs to check my blood (159, best morning reading in a LONG time) and have my breakfast.

We left the house at about 7:40 to go drop the kids off with wonderful friends who have been helping with child care when I have appointments, and got to their house just on time for the kids to help collect the morning eggs from their chickens!  Then, we got going to Detroit for my first appointment for the day, the initial consult with my surgeon, Dr. Carlin. Commuter rush traffic is SOOOO fun!

My appointment with Dr. Carlin (this was the appointment that I was required to bring my husband to) was for 10:30, I actually signed in a little before 10:00, I think, and actually was able to have my appointment begin a little early as a result. I had to go with a nurse to be weight, blood pressure checked, height checked, and answer questions. Then I was taken to an exam room and saw Dr. Carlin’s P.A., who asked many questions, measured me, checked to make sure I’d brought and handed in to the nurse my lab reports, my letter of intent, and my 11 page questionnaire.

I Finally saw Dr. Carlin after that. We talked about the surgery and the hospital stay, and he gave me my weight loss goal that must be met before the surgery, which is 15 – 20 pounds.  The reason for this is that it will shrink the liver, making it easier to do laproscopic surgery, as opposed to open.

After Dr. Carlin, Wanda (the nurse who is the coordinator for the bariatric progam at HFH) came and took us to her office for scheduling.

Wanda & Me

The surgeons have very busy schedules this time of year. My medical clearance appointment will be June 1, and my appointment to schedule surgery is August 13, unless there’s a cancellation before then. This will be a four hour appointment, because I have to be seen by three or four different people.

Once we were done with this appointment, we went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch, then on to my other appointment, the mandatory class with the exercise people.  We had a one hour presentation, then on to exercise machines. I was able to do 15 minutes on treadmill set to 1 mile per hour, I did a quarter of a mile. The treadmill is very hard on my back.

Then I did 15 minutes on a recumbant bike, which is more of a workout than I would have guessed! I did two miles in that 15 minutes. 

After that, the specialist spoke with me about what I should do to build up strength and ability to exercise.  To begin, I’ll walk the length of my block, because that way if I get out of breath or hurt, I can stop at my porch to sit long enough to drink some water. I’ll do that until I can walk long enough without a break that I won’t need to have something close by for a sit down.  I want to get to where I can go down the street and walk the track at the high school. I’m also going to dust off the wii fit and get back to using it, especially when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor exercise.

When we left there, it was time for commuter rush traffic again, so we decided to go have dinner before coming home. We went to Big Boy, knowing I’d be working hard on changes starting today, and I had things I probably won’t have again, some for a long time, some forever. I had chicken parmesan with salad bar, and an ice cream sundae for dessert. No pop, I quit pop already. I had water.

Then we got on the freeway in time for just the tail end of the rush traffic, went back to Port Huron, and went and got our kids, picking them up about a quarter to nine. I was in bed by 11:30, which is early for me, because I’m generally up until at least 1:00 or 2:00 am.

Today, I had a breakfast hotpocket and some strawberries for breakfast, a cracker, ham & cheese lunchable for lunch (Thursday is the day my kids have their home-school gym & swim program at the YMCA, I do a lunchable or the asian chicken salad from Wendy’s), 2 slices of swiss cheese for snack,  a small piece of boneless pork chop roasted with garlic and rosemary seasoning and a serving of mashed potatoes with margarine for supper. I will probably have a small amount of deli sliced ham and cheese for a snack later.

While dinner was cooking, I went out and walked. I walked the length of my block 6 times.  I need to find out how long it actually is so that I know how far I actually walk.

I washed the dishes, folded some laundry to be put away, and did my piano practice.

I’ve decided that since I’m going on a journey to a healthy me, I may as well take care of all the things my doctors have been nagging me about, so a couple weeks ago I had my mammogram, which came back normal, then this past Monday I went to the gynocologist for my yearly (it’s been two years sice the last one, and I’m supposed to see her every six months because of having had cancer), and set up my appointment for the “you’re over 50” colonoscopy, which will be on May 11. So, I am truly working on a healthier me.

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, changes, exercise, family, food, health, just me, Kids, weight loss

Paperwork, paperwork!

I’ve begun working on the questionnaires I have to fill out and have with me next Wednesday when I see the surgeon and the cardio exercise specialist for the first time, and have been considering what I want to put into my “letter of intent” that I also have to have written before my appointment. I’m thinking that a lot of things I’ve written here in this blog will be good for the letter.  I have read the book the surgeon required (“Weight Loss Surgery, finding the thin person hiding inside you” by Barbara Thompson), and have read (and re-read!) the huge binder full of information given to me at the orientation. I have given up drinking pop (as of March 31). I feel so ready to move on with this, but realize that they have their timeline and steps for a reason. I do hope that when I see the surgeon the goal he gives me for pre-surgical weight loss is an amount I’ll be able to do quickly, because they won’t schedule the surgery until I meet it, and I am really hoping to have it sometime this summer. I want to get on with the business of living a healthier, longer life. I am totally at peace with the decision I’ve made to have gastric bypass. I’ve received no negative feedback from anyone in my life, only positive and supportive, which shows me that my friends and famly are much more open minded than I realized.

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Loving friends & family……..

When I went to the 6 hour orientation, and also when I read the book we were required to purchase and read, the question of how to handle those who would say I am taking the easy way out was addressed.  I admit, this is something I did fret about, having had people comment that they had their children “the hard way”, as if adoption was the “easy way out”.  I’m so happy that this has not happened so far.  I’ve told just about everyone who is important to me, and received wonderful support from each one so far. You never know how good your friends are, or your family either, until you need to count on them for support ad non-judgement.  I’m luckier than I realized.

Just a little discouraged though, which I’ll address in another post……..

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Neat Coincidence!

I had forgotten to mention in my post yesterday that the lady who did my bloodwork and ekg told me she had had gastric bypass 6 years ago, when he lived in Ohio.  God’s way of putting another person in my day that could answer questions and give encouragement, I’m thinking.  Anyway, she was very encouraging, and told me she’s very happy with having made this choice.  She said she ended up at a regular size 14 (as opposed to a woman’s 14, which is actually larger).  So now, I just need to wait until next week and go pick up all my results at the doctor’s office, as the surgeon wants them hand carried to my appointment with him, not faxed.

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How I got to this particular journey…

All of my adult life, I’ve battled with weight/food issues.  I’ve lost weight, lots and lots of it, but never enough, and never for very long.  Then, four years ago in May, I was in Karmanos cancer facility (in Detroit, MI) having a total hysterectomy as the result of being diagnosed with endometrial cancer.  The surgeon told me then that if I didn’t lose the excess weight, my cancer would most likely come back, and that I had to do it even if it meant bariatric treatment. Well, I did try. I lost about 30 pounds, and then gained it all back, plus more. As usual.

People who don’t struggle with obesity and weight loss problems don’t often “get” it, a lot of the time they think it’s just a matter of will power. But when you have well over 100 pounds to lose, it becomes overwhelming, and you just give up. So then, you’re seen as a big fat failure, yet again.

That’s how I’ve felt for so long it’s the only way I really recall feeling.  I remember that even when I was a teen, my parents were constantly on me about my weight, and the ideal when I was in high school (the 1970’s)seemed to be slim body, long, straight hair, and I didn’t fit that description. So, my memory is that I was a fat girl who was just a failure.  But after my mom died, I got my senior picture back, the big one that she had in a frame, and the girl I saw was NOT a fat girl. She was definitely a CURVY girl, and tall, so she definitely weighed more than a lot of the girls at school, but that girl was not FAT. 

Food became a control issue, which then became emotional eating.  Even later, as an adult, I’d come home from family gatherings and head straight for food to soothe my hurts, my anger, over whatever happened that day.  Over the years there were a lot of stress factors in my life, and I’ve gained well over a hundred pounds just since I got married almost 20 years ago.

For the past few years, I’ve been researching bariatric treatment. I finally came to the decision that this was what I needed to do, so I spoke with my primary care physician about possibly having lapband surgery. He felt that it would not give me good enough results because I have so much to lose, and he recommended gastric bypass.  He was able to show the insurance company (Health Alliance Plan, or HAP) why it’s medically necessary for me to do this now, as opposed to being made to go through a 12 month hospital based/supervised weight loss program (thankfully, as the ones the insurance would cover are not where we live), because it’s riskier for me to wait at this point with my BMI of about 51 and co-morbidities to go with it, such as diabetes.  So, HAP gave me authorization to go to Detroit (about an hour away, depending on traffic, etc) and have the psychological evaluation, which I did on March 23rd.  When we got home from Detroit it was after business hours and there was a voice mail waiting from the HAP insurance person with a call back number, saying they’d received my information from the phychological evaluation and to call back.  I, in turn, left HER a voice mail :-).  She called the next morning to tell me I had passed the evaluation and gave me an authorization number for my surgery, putting me officially on this journey!

I called the Henry Ford Hospital Bariatric Center (this is where my insurance requires me to go for this) and got my appointment for the six hour orientation, held on April 6. This would be when I began working seriously at figuring out who would keep my kids when I have to go to Detroit for long appointments and appointments when I have to have my husband with me.

I have four boys, 3 that are special needs adopted kids, one who is my step-son who lives with us and has not yet been “officially” diagnosed, but who has exhibited symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder.  My eldest is age 17, adopted at age 2.  He has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and is developmentally delayed.  My step-son is 13, but in many ways also younger than his chronological age.  My twins are age 8, but one is effectively about 5 – 6, has mild mental retardation, definite Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and has had seizures.  His twin is more seriously mentally retarded.  He is in many ways still a toddler, effectively.  We adopted the twins last year, finalizing in November.  They will have lived with us for a year this coming June.  My kids are homeschooled, using a very relaxed, eclectic, almost unschooling method, which has been very good for them, much better than when I did strict “school at home”, or as I like to call it, school in a box, where I would buy a complete curriculum from one company and keep a strict schedule, etc.  I couldn’t think of who to ask to keep them for me, because most of the homeschooling friends we have are not relaxed/unschoolers, and it would interfere with their school day.  Then I remembered that one of my friends on the Christ Centered Unschooling yahoo group that I participate in lives here, so I spoke with her about it.  She said YES!!!  And they’ve had the boys twice now and haven’t been scared off or backed out, so the boys must be being pretty good for them, LOL!

The 6 hour orientation was so informative, I was glad they held it.  There was a $50 materials fee, for which I received a huge blue binder full of all the information given at the orientation and then some, plus a book that the surgeon requires his bariatric patients to buy and read called Weight Loss Surgery (finding the thin person hiding inside you), by Barbara Thompson.  It’s an excellent book, I highly recommend it ( it can be purchased through www.WLScenter.com, a website with tons of great information on bariatric treatment).  The nurse who co-ordinates the bariatric program at Henry Ford was wonderful, I found her to be informative and really funny.  She explained to us why HFH has been designated a Center of Excellence in this specialty, which made me feel better about the insurance company requiring me to go there.  After her section was finished, the bariatric nutritionist/dietician took over, and also gave so much great information, along with answering so many questions.  During her section another person was there to speak with us, and answer questions, a very nice lady who had this surgery 4 (I think) years ago.  She even brought a pair of her old jeans so we could see how far she has come since then.  She answered every question asked of her, including questions one might consider personal and/or intrusive, like how “much did you weigh before surgery” and “what weight are you down to now”. While we were there, my surgeon consult was scheduled for April 28th.   We were finished a bit after 8:00 p.m., and headed home to pick up our boys.

The next day, I called to schedule my mandatory appointment with the cardiac excercise specialist, and was lucky enough to be scheduled the same day as the surgeon consult, which will save us a trip to Detroit, but make for a long day as one appointment is at 10:30 a.m. & the other is at 3:00 p.m., both for two hours. I also, as instructed at orientation, got an appointment with my PCP for bloodwork, chest x-ray and ekg, which I went to today.  My doctor is also working with me to get my blood sugar levels way down from where they have been, because I have to do that before surgery.  He doubled my before bed insulin in order to get my morning level to be lower, plus I’m taking a shorter acting insulin before breakfast, lunch and supper.  I’m already getting in gear with the changes I need to make. I’ve been off pop of any kind since March 31st (no carbonated beverages ever again after surgery), and am working harder on portion control. Letting go of the fast food is turning out to be more difficult, though I’ve had a lot less of it, and always with bottled water instead of pop.

So, this catches me up to where I am as of today.

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