Friday, August 31, 2012

I Hear Your Cry

I hear your cry.

It passes through the darkness, filters through the clouds, mingles with starlight, and finds its way to my heart on the path of a sunbeam.

I have anguished over the cry of a hare choked in the noose of a snare, a sparrow tumbled from the nest of its mother, a child thrashing helplessly in a pond, and a son shedding his blood on a cross.

Know that I hear you, also. Be at peace. Be calm.
I bring thee relief for your sorrow for I know its cause ... and its cure.

You weep for all your childhood dreams that have vanished with the years.

You weep for all your self-esteem that has been corrupted by failure.

You weep for all your potential that has been bartered for security.

You weep for all your talent that has been wasted through misuse.
You look upon yourself with disgrace and you turn in terror from the image you see in the pool. Who is this mockery of humanity staring back at you with bloodless eyes of shame?

Where is the grace of your manner, the beauty of your figure, the quickness of your movement, the clarity of your mind, the brilliance of your tongue? Who stole your goods? Is the thief's identity known to you, as it is to me?

Once you placed your head in a pillow of grass in your father's field and looked up at a cathedral of clouds and knew that all the gold of Babylon would be yours in time.

Once you read from many books and wrote on many tablets, convinced beyond any doubt that all the wisdom of Solomon would be equaled and surpassed by you.

And the seasons would flow into years until lo, you would reign supreme in your own garden of Eden.

Dost thou remember who implanted those plans and dreams and seeds of hope within you?

You cannot.

You have no memory of that moment when first you emerged from your mother's womb and I placed my hand on your soft brow. And the secret I whispered in your small ear when I bestowed my blessings upon you?

Remember our secret?

You cannot.

The passing years have destroyed your recollection, for they have filled your mind with fear and doubt and anxiety and remorse and hate and there is no room for joyful memories where these beasts habitate.

Weep no more. I am with you ... and this moment is the dividing line of your life. All that has gone before is like unto no more than that time you slept within your mother's womb. What is past is dead. Let the dead bury the dead.

This day you return from the living dead.

This day, like unto Elijah with the widow's son, I stretch myself upon thee three times and you live again.

This day, like unto Elisha with the Shunammite's son, I put my mouth upon your mouth and my eyes upon your eyes and my hands upon your hands and your flesh is warm again.

This day, like unto Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, I command you to come forth and you will walk from your cave of doom to begin a new life.

This is your birthday. This is your new date of birth. Your first life, like unto a play of the theatre, was only a rehearsal. This time the curtain is up. This time the world watches and waits to applaud. This time you will not fail.

Light your candles. Share your cake. Pour the wine. You have been reborn.

Like a butterfly from its chrysalis you will fly ... fly as high as you wish, and neither the wasps nor dragonflies nor mantids of mankind shall obstruct your mission or your search for the true riches of life.

Feel my hand upon thy head.

Attend to my wisdom.

Let me share with you, again, the secret you heard at your birth and forgot.

You are my greatest miracle.

You are the greatest miracle in the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mystery to Me.

This is a mystery to me. I keep hearing people say things like “ I am not losing weight anymore so I guess that is it for my weight loss”.  I just do not understand this. I have been on many diets and nothing stopped me from losing, but me. If I ate less and exercised more I would keep losing no matter what. How does WLS change this? Can we not do a diet anymore to lose 100 percent of what we want. Do the rules of diet change? I hear this over and over and over. “The weight loss has stopped so I guess that is it”. I just can not believe that comment. In my experience it never stops until I stop dieting. 

When we have WLS a lot of folks seem to lose a lot of weight without doing much other than doing a little exercise and eating the foods in the amounts as told by our doctors plans. Some even brag about the fact they can sometimes cheat on the foods they are supposed to eat and still lose. But then sometimes down the line the semi-automatic weight loss seems to stop or slow way down and then the comments start on I guess it is over. Why? Can we not diet on our own from now on. Can we not go to Weight Watchers, or some other program to lose the rest of the weight we want? 

One of the worst things that seems to happen is that people say “Oh I would like to lose more weight but hay I am happy with my weight loss and I feel good and even if I am a little overweight I don’t have to be skinny like a movie star etc etc”. That is bull shit. I have done it many times, it is called self justification and giving up on your goal. If you wanted to be 20 to 30 pounds over your stopping weight, you would have had it as your goal in the first place. I have seen photo after photo of people who have obviously just settled for some weight. They gave up and deep down they are still not satisfied. Some may really be, but I think that is the minority. 

I may have to eat these words in the future. But my goal is 165lbs. Kind of low for a man over 70 is only 5’9”. That is about the weight I was when I graduated from high school and less than I was when I was married. I may never make it, but I will keep trying to reach it and the good things is that as long as I am trying to lose, I don’t feel I will be gaining and getting on that downward slope again. I know my weight loss directly from WLS will slow way down or stop, but I will continue to do what is necessary to diet from that point unless there is some hard and fast physical reason it can not be done. But I doubt that is going to happen. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Atheist Quote of the Day

Yesterday someone made a post about the Atheist Quote of the Day. I made what I thought was a funny quote about there are no atheists in a foxhole. That is a pretty well known quote by men who have been in combat. I was not trying to make anyone mad or ridicule anyone’s personal beliefs. 

I support anyone right to state how they feel about any subject as I hope others respect my right. There is another post each day about Bible verses of the day. I have seldom even read those posts or made any statements at all either negative or positive. I have my own religious beliefs and would share with anyone, but only if they ask for my opinion. 

But having said that I would like to say something to those out there who are atheists. If you do not believe in God that is your privilege. I do believe in God and that is my choice. I really think it would be hard for me to not believe in some existence  after this life. I think I would go into depression and feel that many folks who are in depressed do not have faith in God. That is just my opinion but I feel it would effect me that way. Just to think when my eyes close in death that is it, just blackness forever in eternity. Does that not depress you folks? 

Let’s say that all religion is just fairy tales, still wouldn’t people still have better moral lives if they followed what most religions preach. What is the alternative? Survival  of the fittest? Religion is one of the only things in western civilization that protected poor people from kings and other rulers. 

Also this is basic and any of you that disagree with me this is for you. Lets just say that you do not believe in God and reject that message as just folk lore. You die and there is no God you are just a piece of carbon and will never be known again. BUT lets say you die and there is a God and you are called to judgment. The denial of God is a serious sin and you could be in big trouble. Wouldn’t anyone cover the basis, and do their best to gain a testimony of faith just in case? You may never have an auto accident, but I bet you have insurance. 

Also still the majority of people in the world are religious. Not just Christian but other faiths. People who do not believe in any God are in the manority. That is their right, but why do they feel they have the right to dictate to those of us who are religious as to what we can do. This is still a representative form of democracy where the majority rules. Many atheist use treats and laws to get their way over the majority. In this country this should not happen. Again just my opinion and I respect your ideas. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

After 10 years on Meds

Yesterday after meeting with my PCP and going over my blood tests we have determined that I no long have to take any meds for diabetes. I have had the disease for over 10 years the last 3 or so I have been taking insulin shots. I was maxed out on Metformin and another oral medication whose name I can not remember. I was up to 94 units of insulin each day. Now I can put the needles and insulin away and I am thankful for that. I feel that without WLS I was looking at death soon. Many times my blood counts would go over 300..Not good. Thank God I had the surgery available to me and if you are a diabetic there is hope. I am very happy but know if I don’t watch myself it can come back. I must still stick my finger regularly to make sure all is well.  I will do my best to make sure diabetes does not take over my life again. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mom's 94th Birthday

Well today was my mom’s 94th birthday. She was born in 1918 a long time ago. She has been a devoted mother and has done everything possible for me and our family. She worked two jobs when I was a kid just to make sure we had everything we needed and then some. She never wanted people to know we were poor, but of course we were. Dad worked in construction, so there were a lot of times he had no work, so some of the financial responsibility fell to mom. She always made sure we looked clean and neat and even if we had no money for new outfits, she would make us something. 

Here is a photo of her and one of her granddaughters Jami. I think you can tell they are related. 

After the birthday party at the Olive Garden where I had a salad without dressing and minestrone soup, which did not make me sick I drove Jackie and I home in the Z. Here is a photo of me. A lot of folks say I look like my mom. What do you think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

3 Month check-up and Fast Food

I went to my three month check-up with the surgeon today and all was well. He was very happy with my weight loss and my lab reports. The only thing out of the ordinary was that my B-12 was a little high and he wants me to take my B-12 supplements every other day not each day. My protein is a little low as well and he wants me to have a protein shake each day to bring those numbers up. I am a little hesitant as it will mean more calories but he seemed to think that would be OK for now but to watch it. 
He still did not release me from taking insulin. Even though it is only 5 units he said I am to continue to take it and watch if for now and report it after a couple of more weeks to my new PCP. My previous PCP Rosemary Beck who I really liked has gotten out of the field and is doing something else. I do not know what that is, but wish her luck. 

Now on to a new topic for this post, and I know I am going to sound kind of sanctimonious, but I have been reading posts on various weight loss web sites and places for help like There seems to be a recurring theme on most, that I guess, is human nature, but I believe is an issue that we all must face. And that is the desire, if not down right longing to have fast food.  

There are folks who seem to try to find replacements for some of their favorite fast foods, some who go to fast food places to eat what they can have, still on program, and those who just plain fold up and have something they know they shouldn’t. There are always reasons, for doing so, like well I was with friends or family and did not want to be the odd man/woman out. I could not find any place other than that to go in this town I was in and could not spend the time looking. Or my kid and family like to go to fast food places and I don’t want to deprive them of something they like just because of my problem. All and other reasons may be valid but lets be honest, really? Or is it the easiest thing to justify what you are doing. How many times do you say Oh well just this once. Or I will make it up doing more exercise. Or I am under my calories for the day so I can have just a little.  

Here is my problem with this thinking. Fast food is usually not as good as food as you can have at home. It is over salted, over fat, not cooked as well as it should be, may have not been kept in the most sanitary way, may just be old or mixed.  I managed a restaurant when I was in college and I can tell you for sure that some things that are used, like condiments are replenished when low by ones out of a jar or can, mixing with the old stock that was still in the serving container. Some of the stuff in the serving container may be weeks old. Not necessarily rotten, or bad, but not what you would keep in your home.  

Many meals that you get at fast food places are not actually made at the restaurant you eat at but are made miles away and trucked to the local place of business. The moving of foods makes it harder to track for quality and it makes it harder to keep it fresh. We all have heard about fast food places that have been hit with things like e Coli and salmonella. Most stuff comes pre-made out of a can even at the food factory. It is way over processed and full of chemicals used to keep it from spoiling and killing you. Problem is that the long term effect of these things is going to kill you in the long run.  

The profit per plate or meal is very small sometimes only a few pennies so believe me when I say any shortcut they can make is taken if they can get away with it. The people who work in some of these places, are not sometimes the top quality people and they sometimes do not follow company guidelines for food preparation or personal cleanliness.  

This is just my opinion so don’t kill me over it, but the best place to eat is in your home or in the home of a family member. You probably have the same germs anyway. If your friends and family don’t already know you have had WLS tell them about it and tell them you are serious about keeping it off and that you have rules as to where and how you eat. Maybe because they like you they will let you go to someplace where you can get a better meal or at least more things that you can eat on your plan. Many kids it seems are fat these days and getting fatter. People are getting heart attacks and stokes at an even greater rate, so why does anyone have to sit down to a double cheese burger and a large carton of fries?  

Really you can live very nicely NEVER going to a fast food restaurant. I do and intend to never set one foot in one of my own will.   

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feeling better about myself

Well it has been quite a ride so far on my journey to being a thinner man in better health. I have not wanted to have WLS just to look better. I have wanted this surgery for a long time and tried my best to get it, because I know my eating disorder is not eating the wrong foods or fast food, but just eating way too much. This surgery will keep me from eating that much at any one meal. Unless I elect to have many many meals, which is called grazing, I will never be able to eat that much again and should not have the problem of eating massive meals again.

Yesterday was a anniversary of two great things in my life. I had my RNY surgery 3 months ago. 5/9/2012 and my great grandson Grayson was also born on that day. So that is quite a great day for me. I have lost about 84lbs so far including the diet I was on starting in April. Grayson is doing well with his mom and dad who love him as we do. We went to Utah to see him in June and it was so much fun.

Anyway, I am starting to feel in complete control of myself now. For some time I was unsure of what I was to eat, had problems with constipation, some things made me sick and other small problems. But now I am feeling better in all regards. And one of the best things is now I have a A1C blood count of 5.5 which is a normal blood count. My doctor cut me down to 5 units of insulin from 95 I used to take each day. My doctor says that if the morning and evening counts stay the same I can stop the daily injections. I have a meeting with my surgeons next Thursday and I am thinking they will stop the insulin injections.

The weight loss is not as fast as I would like it to be, but it is coming down. I feel I will never get my weight back again. I am doing all kinds of things I didn’t think I would ever be able to do again. I am looking forward to a better and longer life. Thank God for the blessings he has given me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Current Weight Loss Progress

I just want to take a quick post here to show some photos of my current progress. I am still far away from my goal weight, but next week on the 9th of August will be my 3 month anniversary. My body has not shrunk down to reflect the weight I have lost which at this time is a little over 80 pounds. 

The highest weight I have ever recorded was 378 pounds that was in the mid 90’s as I remember it. One of the photos presented here is me at about 330 pounds when I was Dayton at a ham convention I attended in 2005.
Another one is me in my bedroom in my swimming trunks. I was about 307 pounds at this time shortly before I started my pre-operation diet. I lost about 30 pounds on the diet. 

I am now a lot smaller although I am a long way off from what I want to be, I am happy with the results so far. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Along the Trail

Yesterday on my bike ride along the Western Trail here where I live I was impressed with the scenery but especially places where people live along the trail. The trail was constructed by taking away rails from an old railroad line that used to bring logs from the forests in the Centralia Washington area to Olympia ports to be shipped all over the world. Logs are no longer transported that way so the old train lines became obsolete.  
Not a trailer but typical shack

There is a lot of beautiful things to look at along the way, but some things really impressed me. As I started my ride off of 14th street I noticed that there were many really really poor looking single wide trailers. Not only were they old and run down, they reminded me of some of the areas I have seen in  photos of slums in other parts of the world. There was junk and trash all over the place. I realize many folks do not have a lot of money and can not afford a better place to live, but they do not have to be so messy and put trash all over the place. Maybe they are sick and can not do anything, but I bet many of them just don’t care.  

Up the trail there were typical newer neighborhoods with nice homes and open nature areas with fields of wild flowers and wet lands for other creatures. It was real pleasant to see the sights and smell the fresh air. There were a lot of folks walking or running and just taking their dogs for a nice walk along the trail. There were other bikers of course, most were a lot better at it than I am, and some went zooming past me like I was standing still.  

At the end of my ride I came to an area along the trail that was a very big contrast to what the beginning of the ride was like. The homes in this area where all in a gated community. It was on a golf course with pools and homes that looked like castles. Some even had their own waterfall in their landscaping. I would think many were worth in the millions. There were two areas like this at the end of my ride which was about 6.5 miles from where I started my ride.  How strange it was to see how these people lived in contrast to how the poor people live. I wondered how in this country there could be so much difference between people in less then 10 miles along a trail.  

I do not believe in the redistribution of wealth but I can not help wonder how each of these groups got so far away from each other. Oh well just something to think about along the way to my weight loss exercise. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to have this tool to help me achieve my goals of being in better shape.