Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why Now.........

So I'm two years post op and most people start their blogs at the beginning of their journey, not toward the end. I have toyed with the idea and even suggested it to others. I didn't think I needed it since I am the woman who has always carried around a journal and wrote out her feelings. But lately, God has put people and situations in my path that led me here.

Today I attended a seminar at the bariatric center where I had my surgery. There was an alumni meet & greet and I was asked to be on an alumni panel with three other individuals and answer questions from other patients who had questions about we handled things or were struggling in their journey. After the alumni panel we also went and answered questions for pre-op patients after their initial surgical seminar. When answering their questions and sharing my experience it made me realize a few things:

  • I'm enjoying paying it forward to others as it was paid forward to me by many individuals I came in contact with on OH. Many of these woman who have become close friends and confidants!
  • OMG! I need to be following my own damn advice! I'm sitting on this stool telling this poor woman why she hasn't lost any weight in months and I'm listing the bandster rules to her and I'm asking myself if I've followed them more than one day this week myself!
  • WOW! This is an empowering feeling to be sitting up here and having others look at me as successful because some days I sure as hell don't feel it!
  • And lastly, how can I continue to feel that empowered rush and keep myself focused on the goal~Why I'll start a blog & share my experiences with Banderella!
And yes, my band really does have a name! About 4 months into my journey I named her! She became Banderella very quickly and many friends know what I'm referring to when I say she's being a diva bitch today! And well, I had to make her a living part of me since I plan for us to be together for a very long time to come!

So here it is, my beginning quest to pay it forward to those just starting out their banded life, those recommitting, those who just need a place to come to know they aren't alone & most of all a place for me to keep myself accountable & get back on track.

Day One of beginning this journey anew~will you join me? Tomorrow I will share some tidbits from today's seminar regarding Emotional Eating! Are you an emotional eater? I most certainly am for sure!

Let's Start at the Beginning

2 yrs ago, April 6th, 2009 I had gastric lapband surgery. Depending on who's numbers you go by and what we use as my starting weight, I've lost well over 100lbs in this journey.

But let's back up even further, I guess it would be important to explain what drove me to turn to surgical intervention to help me lose weight. First off, I've been chubby, fluffy, roly poly, chunky, obese, and downright morbidly obese since I was in elementary school.

Did I start out that way? Nope! I was a normal sized baby, normal sized toddler, normal sized until I was about 8/9 years old. Can I pinpoint the exact life experience that helped me pack on the pounds? HELL YES! But it wasn't one thing, it was a series of them, and well, I'm just not ready to share that part of things just yet! I'll save that one to still be between me & my therapist!

Thru my teens I steadily packed more pounds on. Feeling like I finally had a handle on things in my early twenties I started to feel good about things until...........Ovarian Cancer entered my life! Welcome to menopause and all the fun things that come with it. I can tell you that since that day, July 15, 1996 to April 6th, 2009, I gained 115 lbs. Granted in the years between I yo yo'd all over the place, but there is your final statistic. 13 years, 3 recurrances, the loss of two parents & my beloved godmother, All those events crushed my spirit and I reached rock bottom! My oncologists had sat me down and told me that my ovarian cancer would take me within 12-18 months. That didn't sit well with me and in my obsolute stubborness I declared that I would die when I was damn good and ready to die! They told me I'd never see my 40th birthday and with it quickly approaching I was determined to prove a bunch of people wrong! I had gone to my first seminar about lapband surgery in January 2009 after speaking to a fellow coworker who had just had the surgery. She explained what she was going thru and I thought, I can handle that, no problem! In waiting to convince my several doctors & oncologists to let me do this, my brother suffered his 8th heart attack. He is only ten years older than me and he had her first one in his early 40's. This was a major eye opener for me and made me re-examine my family history of comorbidities! Oh the list goes on forever! I have a running joke with my doctors office that there isn't a box that I can't check on the family history disease listing. You name it, someone had it on one side of the family or another. The scariest being diabetes & heart disease. Heck I already had high blood pressure and pre diabetes and was heading toward the same fate!

Once all of my doctors signed off, I did all my preop testing, went for my preop appointment with my surgeon and then we waited! As a cancer survivor I was used to the hurry up and wait procedures! I had no doubt they would approve because of the amazing letters 3 of my doctors wrote in favor of this procedure. My therapist declared me more than ready to take on the world and then came that phone call from my bariatric surgeon. "You've been approved, start your two week liquid diet today." And thus the journey began.......................................
3 yrs old - not fat yet!

No pics available prior to surgery!