Here We Go Again!!~

29 08 2011

Well, long time no blog.  To say I’ve been crazy busy would be an understatement.  Work has gotten extremely busy and, add to that, going to school and …. wait for it ….  dare I say a boyfriend (that sounds so silly to say at my age!).  Let’s just say I’ve been seeing someone for a little while now.  Okay, deep breath – major commitment issues on my part, but I’m getting used to it.  I hate that I’ve been so busy because you know as well as I do that the first thing to go out the door of a fat girl’s life is 1) working out and 2) eating right.  Both of those have been such a struggle lately, but I’m winning so far.


With all the stress, the first thing I want to do is eat and then when I get a free moment, I want to put my feet up and relax.  I truly wish I was one of those people who respond to stress by aggressively working out.  I like it after I’m there, but why is it the most difficult thing to do is to commit to going and then walking in and just doing it.  If I didn’t have to meet my trainer, I certainly would be slacking off.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a pill and be filled with motivation and energy!  Wait – is that heroin?  I remember the craze in fashion used to be “heroin chic” or skinny to the point of skeletal.  Ha!  I’d be the fattest heroin addict ever!    And I love my trainer, but I always accuse her of hating me when we work out.  No one else puts me through so much pain or sweat (except my mother and she’s in Louisville).  Go ahead and convince me that it’s good for you!  Yes, I know it is; but I truly wish there were magic words to make me love it.  I guess I’ll just stick with the same ol’, same ol; – good health and longer life.


Last week, I was having lunch with some friends and the conversation turned towards the old job experiences we’ve had over the years and it caused me to remember something I hadn’t thought of in years.  I used to work at St. Francis Hospital downtown back in the day and used to get to work at about 6:30-7:00 a.m. every day.  I used to come in the side physician’s entrance so I would sometimes come in with a doctor.  I was walking down the hall one morning and could feel someone coming up behind me; when they passed me, out of the corner of my eye, I saw that it was this one particular cardiothoracic surgeon who used to arrive at about the same time I did every morning.  Anyway, he was a rapid walker and was coming up behind me fast and – no kidding – when he passed me said to me, “Speed it up young lady; you need it.”  I laugh about it now, but then I just went into my office, which was secluded anyway, and ate all the snacky stuff I had hidden in my desk drawer.  I haven’t thought about that instance or that physician for many, many years, but there’s one thing I wish I could do and that’s look him up and remind him of what he said and to look at me now!  Knowing him though, he’d probably still tell me I needed it.  Ha!


I did something today that I cannot believe I did.  I actually no-showed for my appointment with Dr. Fowler to discuss my next surgery!  This shows how busy and crazy it’s been for me.  I NEVER no show and I especially NEVER no show for Dr. Fowler 1) because it’s important to me and 2) because it’s for something fun and positive, and 3) I just like Dr. Fowler – he’s cool.  Now I know surgery is not fun, but this is the big one I’ve been looking forward to.  I’m so excited for this one because we’re going to do my legs and that’s always been my huge problem area.  So, again, my apologies to Dr. Fowler (if you’re reading this – I know how valuable your time is – I’m a medical office manager and trust me I know!).    I’ll reschedule though and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with as far as his plan of treatment for my legs and thighs!  I’ll definitely keep you posted!  Oh, and I really cannot stress how much I can’t wait for this surgery as my school mate (and former friend), took a video of me bowling the other night from BEHIND!!!  OMG!  Let me formally apologize to anyone who’s had to stand behind me – I had no idea it was that bad.  But, can you believe someone who calls you friend would actually take a video or even a snapshot of you from behind.   Notice I said “former friend”.  Actually, I’m kidding on the former friend part, but not the fact that they filmed my butt!  It reminds me of that one blog I did entitled “Help, my butt seems to be missing” – Well, trust me, it’s been found!


Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot …

17 07 2011

Okay, I’m well aware it’s July with temperatures in the three-digit zone.  However, I just feel like this might be an appropriate song right now for me.  It’s been forever since I’ve blogged anything.  Mainly because life has gotten in the way — which is a great thing for me!!  I just finished up my English class and that’s a major reason why I’ve not been writing.  I did enough during class.  It was an 8 week class and that’s all I did.  People told me that class was a “make or break” class and they were definitely right.  During the course of this class, I literally wrote 64 journal entries (at least 2 pages each), 7 essays (at least 2-3 pages each), 1 research paper with works cited.  Whew!  I thought I was gonna develop carpal tunnel for sure.  I’m happy to report though that I’m one of the ones that made it.  And I made it with a 3.9 grade!!  Who would have ever thought I was so smart!  Not me for sure.  I couldn’t help reflecting back on my try at college 5-6 years ago and the horrible incident of walking out, going back to my car and dissolving into tears.  I’m SO not that person anymore!  I’m having so much fun!


The reason I’m really thinking about Old Lang Syne is related to my best friend.  For the last 2-3 years, he’s not been himself due to the fact that he was in a job that sucked and it literally was sucking the life out of him.  It was so difficult seeing him like this and not being able to solve the problem.  I’d go and visit and knew something was very wrong, but I also know him well enough that he didn’t want to talk about it.  However, I’m so happy for him now because he’s gotten a new job where the atmosphere is positive and the people welcomed him with loving, open arms.  You can just see the heavy load has been lifted off of him.  It’s so great to have him back.  And the really great part is that his job now brings him to Greenville for a couple of days a week.  Not that he literally went away, but it is nice to have my best friend back.  It’s almost like we’re getting reacquainted — me with him being so happy with his career again to the point of giddiness (yes I said giddiness) and him with me.  He’s getting to know me again too.  The confident, driven and very happy Kathy.  We’ve been best friends for over 20 years and it’s so cool to be entering into a new phase of our friendship.


I’ve also been seeing Dr. Fowler on a regular basis now for about the last two months because he had to remove a seroma that formed from my last surgery.  One of the liposuction ports in my left upper thigh never closed and formed a seroma so he had to cut it out.  I’ve been packing and dressing it.  Hopefully, it’s almost healed.  While at my appointments, we’ve been discussing my next surgery that I hope to have in October/November.  This is the big one for me; the one I’ve most been waiting for over all the others.  It’s the thighplasty.  The reason it’s such a big deal for me is that my thighs have been my #1 problem area.  Given all the other magic that Dr. Fowler has done, I can’t wait to see the results from this one.  I’ve heard it’s painful, but I don’t care — it’s worth it!  I’m working specifically with my trainer on my thighs to get them in great shape in preparation for the surgery.  I want all that excess skin GONE!  It will be so nice not to have my thighs arrive in a room 5 minutes before the rest of me.  It will be nice to have thighs that don’t jiggle so much that they can be measured on the Richter Scale.  Okay, I’ll stop now, because I’ve got a million of them.  🙂


Dr. Fowler is also going to do my eyes at the same time.  Purely cosmetic, vanity, and a reward for myself.  He’s going to do both at the next surgery.  Because of this, I’ve named my next surgery as the “Thighs & Eyes Tour”.    I have made Dr. Fowler to promise not to make me look like Kenny Rogers.  I’ve assured him there’s not a bit of Asian blood in my heritage.  Seriously though, I think I’m nearing the end of my many surgeries and for that I’m grateful.  It’s been a long, hard road – two full years of contouring and sculpting.  I’m expecting to be bionic at any time.


Really, it’s so much fun living life now.  I truly had no idea how much fun it would be.  I remember fantasizing in my younger, obese years about what life would be like if I was thin and I’ve exceeded my fantasies.  I hope I always keep being thankful and grateful for all I’ve been given.  Oh and by the way, next thing on my list that I’m actively seeking to do — Zip Lining! Taking suggestions on where I can make this happen.  I’ve always wanted to zip line, but didn’t dare for fear of breaking the cable and dragging my butt across the ground, or getting caught in the middle because the weight of me was drooping the cable so much, it wouldn’t allow me to go any further and I’d be stuck with no way to get down.  Yes, I had all the nightmares.  But now, it’s do-able and I’m definitely gonna do it!

Time for a Cool Change

12 06 2011

I’m sitting outside on this incredibly beautiful and hot day.  There’s a breeze but it’s still hot.  I love sitting on my patio with the only noise being the rustling of the trees and the birds chirping.  I’m so happy that the people who lived behind me have moved out of that house.  Someone must have complained about the dogs.  They had eight (yes, I said eight) King Charles Spaniels living in the house with them.  However, on the weekends and weekday afternoons, they would let them out in the backyard.  The combined yapping of all eight of them was enough to drive you crazy.  It was jarring to go from complete blissful silence to 10 decibel barking.  Now, I’m an animal lover but I was seriously considering the best way for these dogs to go.  But today, it’s a great afternoon.

I haven’t had time lately to even breathe much less enjoy the outdoors.  One of my favorite things to do is to sit on my patio with my waterfall, pond, flowers and trees and enjoy a nice glass of wine.  It seems like forever since I’ve been able to do this and it was in danger of being a thing of the past.  School has been keeping me very busy. What time I do have on the weekends and after work seems to be spent in homework and studying.  I haven’t had any time to keep up with my own personal writing, much less any other writing.  But, I do believe it’s time for a change – A Cool Change.

You might remember the song, “A Cool Change,” by the Little River Band.  They were one of my favorites growing up.  My taste in music was all over the place and it still is.  I loved hard rock, disco, bluegrass, (hey, I’m a Kentucky girl, first and foremost), country and classical.  However, whenever I was in a mellow frame of mind and really in need of relaxation, Cool Change is the song I’d reach for.  Sadly, some of the others were way too embarrassing to mention or admit that I listened to.  Oh, what the hay, yes, Barry Manilow records hold a major portion of my record collection.  I feel like I’m at AA – “Hello, my name is Kathy (Hi Kathy!) and I listen to Barry Manilow’s music.”

Focus Kathy – The need to stop and smell the roses and relax is very much as my core right now.  In addition to personal time being at a minimum, things are very hectic at work.  But, I do feel like I’ve got a handle on things there.  It’s been very tense for the last 2-3 months for all the staff and the physicians.  Taking on two new software implementations in this very short period of time has been overwhelming.  As a manager, I try to reassure, assist and even be the whipping post or buffer, if necessary.  I’m not complaining – it’s part of the job and that’s okay.  However, I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again; my staff and doctors are amazing!  Sure, it’s been tense and frustrating, but they’ve faced these huge challenges like the intelligent, compassionate, wonderful professionals they are.  And thank God, we’re almost through it!

My problem through all of this is that I feel like I’m out there alone.  Yes, I do get it from all sides.  It’s hard not to think this, but that’s just the “poor me” talking and not at all true.  I have colleagues, who are very supportive, as well as a very kind and compassionate boss. Where I’m really feeling it is in the one place that’s always been my Achilles’ heel – EATING and WORKING OUT.

It’s so strange how quickly old bad habits return.  Since starting school and the increased pressure at work, I’ve lapsed in taking my vitamins, watching my protein, and regularly working out.  Dang it!  All it takes is a couple of times, and it happens so fast.  I realize I can never be like the normal population.  I will never be able to ease up on myself and not constantly think about it, because I know all it takes is one time, one slip up.  I feel like an addict.  It’s ironic that my writings in my current English class all have something to do with obesity as the subject.  My research paper is even about weight loss surgery for the obese.  I’ve been doing nothing but literally eating, sleeping and thinking about obesity and weight loss for the past six weeks (like I didn’t do that for my whole life!)  And, I do mean every waking moment.  At first, I thought it would help me stay focused on my goal of being healthy, maintaining and losing weight.  But, I’ve realized I’ve been so obsessed with not having any time for anything, increased workload at school and at the office with big projects with looming deadlines, I’ve not been eating or living as healthy as I should.

I have to admit this really hit home to me this weekend.  I saw someone Saturday night while at dinner I knew had weight loss surgery about two years before me.  I knew she hadn’t really ever planned to change her lifestyle or modify her behavior because even after surgery, she still ate things she shouldn’t have been.  But, she did lose about 120 pounds after her surgery.  However, when I saw her the other night, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It looked like she had gained about 80 pounds of it back.  It shocked me, saddened me, but most of all, it scared me.  I haven’t been able to get her out of my mind since then.  That’s why it got me to thinking about the need for a change – A Cool Change.

My career is important to me as is my attending college, but I’ll be daggoned if my health is going to be affected.  I woke up with a new determination this morning.  After going to the grocery, I’ve cooked and prepared ahead some healthy meals for this week and divided them into portions and then froze them.  I did the same with raw veggies and fresh fruit.  I’m prepared!  I know myself and I know that horribly obese woman is stalking me and lurking right around the corner.  However, I’ve come too far to sabotage things.  I’m having my next plastic surgery in October and I want my legs to be in the best possible shape they can.  When Dr. Fowler does his magic with my thighs, I want muscular legs underneath all that skin that he’s going to get rid of.  It’s a major surgery and I want the best results I can achieve.  This old behavior I’ve been talking about is exactly why I always say, “Once a fat girl, always a fat girl.”  I know myself, and I know how easy it is to return to the old, bad habits.  So, time for a change – a cool, cool, cool change.



Just Fine!

24 04 2011

Blame it on my workout playlist on my iPod, but this song always gets me going and I love it, especially the part where Mary J. sings, “I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror…”  I don’t know if it’s the spring weather or the regular working out but I’ve been feeling just great lately.  I’ve got less than a week before my half-marathon.  I still wonder what I was thinking when I entered but too late to back out now!  I think its the endorphins that regularly working out brings me a positive, happy feeling.  I wonder if these scientists had it right all along when they say you get improved self-esteem by working out- go figure!

A lot’s been happening lately – crazy busy at work, school, study group, training and …. wait for it … I may have started seeing someone.  Dang that sentence is hard to say.  I don’t know if I think I’ll jinx it or if I’m truly a commitment-phobe.  I will say he’s very sweet and very easy-going.  And the best thing of all – he’s seen the Facebook page of “The Skinny …” and seen all the pictures, read all the stuff, so I didn’t have to explain anything.  It was a non-issue which was a great relief to me.  I will share something that happened last week at my friend, Beth’s house.  She had a party so I invited my friend to come with me.  It never occurred to me I’d be seeing anyone I hadn’t seen in a couple of years, but just when you’re not prepared for something, surprise!  There was a man that Beth works with at the party who, shall we say, is not known for his tactfulness.  Okay, I’ll admit it – he’s pretty clueless.  Anyway, who do we run into when we walk in Beth’s house, but this guy and his wife.  He takes one look at me and says to me (in front of my date), “Kathy!  You look great!   (to his wife) Honey, you remember Kathy — she used to be about five times bigger than she is now.”  I was stunned into silence and those of you who know me know that almost never happens.   As he and his wife walked away and I was left standing there recovering by the drive-by shooting that just occurred, I came back to consciousness and looked at my date, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well that was special,” not really sure what else to say.    And he couldn’t have responded more perfectly.  He smiled, bent down and kissed my cheek and said those three little words I really needed to hear right then —- “He’s an idiot.”  I tell you it almost brought tears to my eyes.  It was the perfect thing to say and the perfect time to do it.  We’re continuing to see each other and it’s very nice.  That’s all I’ll say about that right now.

It’s a gorgeous day today and I’ve also done something today I never in a million, gazillion years thought I’d ever do.  I laid out in the sun today in shorts and a bikini top!!!  Now, before you have to excuse yourselves to go throw up, let me explain.  Thanks to Dr. Fowler, it is possible for me to do just that.  My stomach is flat now and my breasts actually sit up where they’re supposed to, so the top fits.  I was nervous Nellie at first – I mean staying inside with one on is waaaaay different than actually going out my door where my neighbors might see me.  Heck, I remember a time when I didn’t even want to disrobe to take a shower!!!  However, I took a deep breath and just did it – I walked outside and it felt great!!  And the way I figured it, I was paying my neighbors back for all the things I’ve had to put up with over the years- verbal fights between my neighbor and her ex-husband on quiet Sunday afternoons, the new people who are renting the house behind me who have 8 (yes I said 8) King Charles Spaniels in the house and when they let them out, come yapping incessantly at me when I’m outside.  So, I figured they’d just have to put up with me in my shorts and bikini top and deal with it.  Okay, maybe I’m being the brutal one with the far worse offense, but again, I don’t care!!  It’s true freedom baby!!

So, wish me luck with my half-marathon next week.  Here’s hoping I can live through it and still be able to function.  I’ll have my beautiful friend, Candy, and my beautiful sister by my side as companions in the race.   All the rest of my friends who are coming in for the race are going to kick me off at the start of it, then go and drink until I make it to the finish line.  I told them I don’t care if they’re too intoxicated to stand and if they’ve taken down the finish line by the time I get there, I still want fanfare even if they have to hold up crepe paper or police line tape for me to run through!   I’ll also have my iPod playing and I’ll definitely be listening to Mary J. Blige telling me I’m “Just Fine” ’cause I do like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror!

You Gotta Be …

3 04 2011

What a last couple of weeks it’s been.  After all these years of being almost stagnant in so many areas of my life and not living life at all, I think I’m trying to make up for lost time.    It’s no secret that I’ve been invigorated with renewed energy that I never knew I had and didn’t think I’d ever have.  I feel like I’m on a mission to cram everything I’ve always wanted to do and never did because of my weight.  If I didn’t know it was me, I’d swear this is happening to someone else.  I know that sounds weird, but it’s the best way I can describe my feeling right now.     The most exciting thing lately is that after all these years, I’ve finally started school.  I’m almost three weeks in and it’s the greatest thing ever.  I have a girlfriend who has a theory that when people lose weight, they revert back to wearing the things that fit them before they started gaining all their weight.  For instance, if you kept that disco dress and plaid bellbottoms from the 70’s and are now able to fit in them, you’ll wear them now even though you’re looking totally ridiculous.   Not my problem though because if I wore what fit me before I started gaining all this weight, I’d be wearing dotted Swiss, smocked baby doll dresses with white tights and black paten Mary Janes.  (Okay, so I was four, but still).  On my first day of school, I resisted the urge to revert to the 80’s, wearing parachute pants, Members Only jacket and have my hair jacked to Jesus.  Rest assured I dressed appropriately for my first day.  I had other potentially embarrassing scenarios going on in my mind though.  I sat in class my first night and it was all I could do to not be an emotional crybaby.  I doubted very much that my fellow classmates would understand or have much empathy for this old woman sitting in class with tears running down her face.  I knew they’d probably think “dang, I’m in a class with an old lady who’s hormonal and weird!”  But I can tell you sitting there I was having flashbacks to my other try at going to school in the not so distant past– not fitting in the school desks/chairs, the (seemingly) long trek to class from the parking lot, up the stairs, gasping just trying to breathe, and then the usual mortification of being the fattest person in class, not to mention probably the entire school.  I can’t believe I never talked about that story at all before now, not even to my closest friends, but now that I’ve opened up that can of worms, it’s become much easier to talk about.  It’s funny that on my first night in class a couple of weeks ago, I still was the first person to arrive for class and I still had those same feelings of dread and mortification rushing back to me.  I know I say once a fat girl, always a fat girl and I get a lot of grief for saying that, but here’s what I mean – yes, the body is very different, yes, my energy and stamina is very different, but it’s a constant job to work on my mind.  That 400+ lb. woman is ever present in my mind and it’s a daily struggle – sometimes a minute to minute struggle – to “straighten” out my mind.  I know this is my personal feeling, but I think it’s a healthy fear for me – A fear that I never want to lose because I never want to go back.  I never want to take advantage of where I am now and relax thinking I’m “cured” if you will because I’m not and I never will be and you know, that’s okay with me.  But I am better and I’m getting better all the time.


Anyway, getting back to starting school again – it’s great and exciting!  I’ve had a lot of well-meaning friends and colleagues caution me though, which made me think of the above song title.  I’ve been hearing things like, “you gotta be careful and take care of yourself; don’t wear yourself out” or “you gotta remember to make time for yourself” and my favorite “you’re gonna crash and burn – it’s just a matter of time”.  And they say it so matter-of-factly like they’re telling me a good thing.   Well, let me just say, I spent 48 years not doing anything at all for myself except eating myself into a food coma and an oblivious state of mind with no quality of life and staying depressed all the time.  Enough!!


You Gotta Be is probably one of the most inspiring and motivating songs and it’s also one of my favorites.  It’s part of my iPod workout playlist and you can’t listen to the lyrics without being moved:   “Listen as your day unfolds; Challenge what the future holds; Try and keep your head up to the sky; … You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold; You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard; You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger;  You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm;  You gotta stay together;  All I know, all I know, love will save the day.”


Now, I don’t know about that last part about love saving the day – I personally think my surgeons are the ones that saved the day for me.  If you ask me, Dr. Fowler should have worn a superhero cape over his OR scrubs when he operated on me.

I look in the mirror now as opposed to a year ago and I’m amazed.  The work he’s done on me is nothing short of miraculous.  I actually have a figure. Okay, I’ll take some credit – I do work out now regularly, but I wouldn’t have been able to do so comfortably had it not been for the plastic surgery I’ve had.  My workouts were so limited because of the extra “baggage” I was carrying around.  Thank God for Dr. Fowler, or should I say “Super Hero Fowler”.


Anyway, I’m just all over the place today, but my point in all of this is I do feel tough, I do feel stronger, and I do feel wiser.  And through it all – this hectic schedule of school, study, work, working out, and making time for me – I’m determined to be cool and be calm.  Like my Czech grandfather used to say, “klidu vychladnout a shromážděny”.  Stay calm, cool and collected at all times.  That’s what will get me through because I’m definitely NOT slowing down and I’m determined not to crash and burn.  Good advice from my grandfather then and good for my life now.


Ain’t Nothing Gonna Break My Stride!

6 03 2011

I’ve always loved this song.  When I first heard it back in the …ahem … 80’s, I used to get so fired up when I listened to it.  I had decided it was going  to be the song that inspired me to lose weight and really get in shape.  Back then, the number of my attempts at losing weight were still in the double digits.  When I finally reached my limit, I think I was up to almost 4 digits in my attempts!  Anyway, I started thinking about this song again especially lately.  What triggered it was a  conversation that some women were having that I was in the vicinity of (wasn’t eavesdropping – they were just having the conversation while I was standing there doing something else).  They were talking about someone they’d seen recently who was significantly morbidly obese.  What caught my attention was that one of them said, “Just shoot me if I ever get in that kind of shape” and then others started talking very personally about how this person looked and let me just say they were not very nice comments.  Now, I stood there thinking, don’t these people remember me and that I was right there just as obese as the person they were talking about?  I walked away thinking of course they remembered me and now I was witnessing firsthand what I’m sure they thought of me when I was at that point.  Now, let me just say, these were all very nice people.  They are not evil at all and I’ve seen acts of kindness in each of them.  However, instead of going to that very dark place that I’m very capable of going in my head, instead this song popped into my mind.  I ended up humming this song to myself all day and it lifted me up.  Here’s some of the lyrics –

Ain't nothing gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving
Ain't nothing gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving

I began to think I was not going to let that conversation or the comments affect me or depress me. On the contrary, I felt empowered and even felt a little empathy for the people who were having this conversation.  I mean after all, they were just being very honest.  I felt empathy for them because they hadn't gotten to the place in their lives that they could be understanding and look further into a person's heart rather than just looking at their outside layer.

Now, trust me, it has taken a very long time for me to arrive at this place in my life.   Trust me when I say, not very long ago that conversation would have meant going home that night, ordering a large pizza, wings, consuming ice cream in large quantities, etc.    But, I’m proof that people can always be taught a better way and can learn a different behavior or thought process.   But if they don’t, well it’s on them and not me.  I’ve come way too far to not be happy and positive.  Those dark days I’ve had and to be honest, I still have to fight, are not going to overtake me like they’ve done in the past.  I’m not going to eat myself into a food coma and I’m going to keep moving.  I’ve been given a gift in the form of GB and the plastic surgeries I’ve experienced over the past year.  Now, there’s so much I want to do!


A couple of Saturdays ago, my dear dear friend, Candy, and I went to the Biltmore.  It was a beautiful day.  I hadn’t been to the Biltmore in about 3-4 years.  My memories of the last time I went were, let’s just say, not at all good. Me and a couple of my friends went and I was at my heaviest weight then.  Just starting out the day I was so exhausted because of course I spent the whole previous night, that morning and on the drive up there just obsessing and ruminating over and over about how I was going to walk and be on my feet for the walk to the house and then the tour of the house!  (Man, it just occurred to me, I must have been really sucky company for my friends!)  Anyway, I remember walking up the stairs to the house, then going through the first couple of rooms already in terrible pain.  My friends would have never guessed it though – I never let on that things were this bad – again, great actor here!  By the time I had gotten to the library, it was bad.  Then, I had to face the stairs – shock! horror!  When I’d made it up the stairs finally, I found myself wondering if they’d arrest me if I just crawled up into one of those priceless beds and took a load off!  I’m not kidding when I say I was about ready to take the chance.  I didn’t though – I don’t look very good in orange and besides I know the jumpsuits would never have fit me!  They would have had to construct a special orange jumpsuit out of some serious tarp.  I did make it through the house though and outside to the courtyard area, where I sat and waited while my friends explored the rest of the grounds (without me of course – again not living life).


This time though at the Biltmore was about as far removed from that experience as you could get.  Not only did I walk the entire house and even lingered a lot, but walked the gardens area, some of the grounds, went to the Winery, walked about there and only sat down for lunch!  I was so happy I was glowing – on such an emotional high to almost tears.  My friend even commented on how energetic and happy I seemed.  Candy and I talked over lunch about other things on my list and we’re planning on going back to the Biltmore next time to horseback ride!  Imagine me!  horseback riding!  Something I’d NEVER even considered before because I love animals too much and would never have put a horse through that!  I know my friends who were close to me recognized the pain and shape I was in, but no one was really in my head but me to know how I was thinking I was probably at my final straw and ready to throw in the towel.  I was very seriously convinced I was not going to be alive for much longer at all.


I keep having these little victories all the time.  Which is why the conversation mentioned above that I heard is not going to have a lasting effect on me.  I choose to give no credence to those kind of negative comments and only hope those ones can someday see there’s a real live person underneath that outer layer of obesity and fat that they see with their eyes- that that’s a person with feelings, with families and friends who love them – they’re just not at a very good place at the moment so have empathy because the saying is true – “there but for the grace of God, go I”.   So, I’ll take the happy moments any day – they may not seem much to anyone else, but to me they’re worth every penny, every bead of sweat, all the pain and all the time it’s taken to get here at this place in my life.  I know I’m a work in progress and always will be, but that’s what keeps me going and believe me, Ain’t Nothing Gonna Break My Stride!

Cause Baby You’re a Fireworks!

16 02 2011

First of all, I love Katy Perry.  Yes, I freely admit it.  I love all her songs – they’re fun and catchy.  Not deep, but just right.  However, when I was listening to the words of this song, it really hit me.  It so applies to my life right now, but not only to my life, but to all my female friends who are fabulous.  Here’s just a sampling of some of the words that struck me –

“Cause baby you’re a firework;  Come on show ’em what you’re worth;

Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!”;  As you shoot across the sky-y-y.

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

In my not so distant past as an obese women, I constantly kept the thought that I was wasted space – albeit a SIZEABLE waste of space.   Having the GB and the body contouring surgeries was a huge (pardon the pun) decision for me, something I did not decide on a whim.   It’s been a lot of work and pain – both physically and mentally, but I’m 110% glad I made this decision.  It’s my personal decision and I would never presume to urge someone to have it done.  It’s their personal decision. I do believe it’s something that IS deeply personal; no one should ever put pressure on you to either do it or not do it.  My best advice is to investigate and evaluate.  I know I did and I’m so glad I did.  It took me forever to investigate and find the right GB surgeon and believe me twice as long to find the perfect plastic surgeon.  I felt like I had wasted so many years thinking of myself as wasted space that if I was going to change things, then I better feel in my mind at least that I had the brightest and the best surgeons on the job and up to the task.   This three year journey has gone so fast for me. Believe it or not, at times it’s hard to remember myself at 437# and even stranger to look at pictures of myself.  It’s almost like an out of body experience.  I don’t regret a thing and it’s put me on a course that’s led to such awakening.


One of the things that I really think about a lot and that makes me mad is the fact that women in our society have such body image issues.  Especially the female friends and co-workers that I personally interact with in my life.  For instance,  I had lunch with one of my co-workers on Monday and we got on the subject of body image and this being such an issue for women.  She made the comment that “yeah, all women have body issues; we all do”.  And I readily agreed with her because I know it seems to be true especially in today’s society.  Lord knows I have mega issues myself.  But I found myself looking at her from across the table thinking, wow, this woman could be a supermodel; she’s probably one of the most beautiful women I know – how could she have issues?   If I could have three wishes, one of my wishes would be that my female friends who I truly love  would  for one day see themselves through my eyes and how I see them.  They’d see how truly amazing they are and I think that they’re all fireworks!  Don’t get crazy here, the other two wishes would of course be for riches and beauty (still with the body issues!).


Anyway, I digress.  Personally, it’s been such an uphill battle for me to embrace myself and see in the mirror someone looking back who ain’t half bad – at least I’m not breaking the mirror or sending small children screaming for their mothers!  But for me, I can freely admit I wouldn’t be in that mindset had I not gone ahead and went forth with the body contouring/plastic surgeries.  I’m not saying I’m perfect – WHEW! Far from it!  But I am at the place where I think I’m falling in love with myself (and not in a conceited, self-absorbed kind of way), but for the first time in a healthy way.  I don’t feel like a waste of space, but more like maybe I have a voice and have something to contribute.


Speaking of falling in love with myself, last night was Valentine’s night.  Of course, I did not have a date, but instead of stopping at Baskin Robbins and purchasing that beautiful giant ice cream Valentine’s cake and eating it all when I got home – all the while lamenting my lot in life (Um, am I giving away too much what my previous Valentine’s Days were like?), instead I was home alone, made a nice salad and then on a whim, went upstairs to my walk-in closet.  There, I had what you might call a love affair with my clothes.  I’ve been avoiding trying on anything until all the swelling goes down from this last surgery, but I thought, why not – do it!   So, I did.  I tried on two dresses (both size 12) that I couldn’t wear because they didn’t fit earlier  and also because they were too short because the size of my thighs made them too short.  I also tried on a navy blue suit that someone gave me – also size 12.  The jacket fit before this surgery, but not a chance with the skirt.  (Now, in sharing these sizes with you, I’ll tell you that my highest size pre-gastric bypass was size 34 and/or 5-6X.  For those of you not familiar with those sizes, go out in your back yard and pitch that 6-person tent and you’ll roughly have an idea of what my dresses looked like.)  However, I’m soooooo happy to report that all three things fit and they fit well!  I’m planning on wearing all of them this week (not at the same time, though it’s tempting).  I was so happy, dancing around and jumping up and down, hooting and hollering in my closet and bedroom that it hit me, What an absolutely perfect Valentine’s Day!!  I couldn’t have been happier and couldn’t have been given a better gift!   The thing that topped it all off was while I had the very cute small dress on, I put Kate Perry on and started singing at the top of my lungs, “Baby You’re a Fireworks! C’mon show ’em what you’re worth!”  and feeling deep in my soul that I meant it!