Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

Well the rainy season is defiantly here in Lacey, Washington. We had a wonderful summer, it was very nice and a record number of days without any rain and blue skies most every day. Some of you old timers may remember the song, “The Bluest Skies You’ll Ever See Are In Seattle”. Well we lived up to that this past summer. But now unfortunately we would have to change the some to the grayest skies. It is not like it rains real hard here. Most of the time it is what we call a drizzle. You can do most things in it, people here even wash their cars in it, or do things outside like yard work or play sports like golf. 

Of course with my weight loss surgery in May of this year I spent some of the summer recovering from the surgery. I was real fortunate in that I had very little pain and was not sick at all. But there were maybe 3 weeks there that I was off my normal routine. 

Jackie and I have been going to aerobic swimming classes for the past 6 years. Well to say they are aerobic is stretching it quite a bit. The classes are designed for older people in a salt water heated pool. Mainly unless you want to go beyond on your own, the class just keeps the old bones from freezing up and gets your blood moving a little more. Jackie and I are the kids in the class in our early 70’s. But there is at least one person in her 90s and many in their late 80s. 

I try my best to really exaggerate the movements and try to get my heart beating as fast as I feel safe about. In the water it is hard to tell if you are sweating but you can feel your pulse going up and you can get out of breath, so you know you are doing something for yourself. At the end of the class they let me take a few laps and during this time I really get a lot of work and know I am for me getting close to aerobic. 

This summer I also got a new bike and did quite a bit of biking on trails around the area. I really liked doing that and plan on doing it more for as long as I can. It is safe as I can go for long rides on trails here just set up for biking, walking and running. No cars to worry about. But with the rain and cold, I do not enjoy riding and will not do it until next spring so I have to find another exercise for the winter. We have a good treadmill but that is so boring. But I guess that is all I have besides walking when the skies are clear but around here that is not often. 
Many people have different opinions about weight loss surgery and exercise. Some feel they can just have the surgery and let the weight fall off. Others feel they can use extreme exercise and eat a little more aggressively and still lost weight. Some like me feel you have to do both, eat on the plan given by your surgery team and nutritionist and do some kind of routine exercise each day. I feel that part of the program is learning a new life style you plan on having for the rest of your life. Finding the foods you like and can tolerate and finding exercise that you enjoy doing that is fun for you is part of the big picture and will assure your long term success.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strange Body Changes

This is getting kind of funny but my body is changing so much that I am having a hard time recognizing myself. I used to have a lot of padding on my butt. I could sit on a chair or bench for quite a long time with no problems. But now, my fanny gets sore and I have to get up ever so often. 

I also find lumps and bumps on my body that kind of give me a start. Once I find the lump I discover that it is a bone or muscle that used to be buried under fat. 

As I have said before I used to always be hot. I seldom even needed a coat to go outside. We keep our home some what cool to save on electricity costs, but now I have to walk around the house with layers of cloths on. No more shorts and tee shirts. I have a hooded sweat shirt that I ware most of the time to keep warm.  

Just little changes, but with all the benefits that the weight loss has given me like not having to take insulin and most other medicine anymore the surgery was well worth it to me. Let alone now that my sore knees and feet seldom hurt now and what I thought would require surgery to repair soon looks less likely. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Status Check

I had Jackie take a few photos of me this morning to show the difference between what I looked like just before I had the surgery and what I look like now down 100lbs. When I started this journey I wore a size 54 inch pants. Now yesterday I got on a pair of 34 inch jeans. Please excuse the man boobs and the old man skin. I normally would not appear this naked anywhere except in the swimming pool. 
On Left 293lbs.  on Right 201lbs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hygiene Changes

This subject is going to be somewhat gross so if you are easily offended stop here.

I was interested in a comment early this week I think, from a guy who sounded a lot like me in many ways. It had to do with something very personal and embarrassing. It was about how in the heck you can wipe you fanny well after going to the bathroom Number 2. This is especially topical for men as women have a better route to the effected area. But us men have got to go around the south pole to get to our area. And there is the root of the problem. Some of us have a bigger obstacle there than others but that is for another story. Anyway for me, I had to learn to dislocate my right shoulder to get the job done. I was worried that if I got any fatter I would need to get some kind of an extension to keep myself clean. I took showers every day, sometimes two so that I did not stink which I was in deep fear of being. I always asked my wife if I smelled and that was also very embarrassing.

Now the good news. After losing over 100lbs not only can I do the duty for myself without dislocating my shoulder, I can reach not only the area I want with ease, but just about touch the other hip. This makes me very happy and so glad that I had WLS.

The other embarrassing problem I had as a Pillsbury Dough Boy was that in the shower I could not wash parts of my body well. Hell I could not even see parts of my body. I had a dickey do…for you uninformed, that meant that my stomach stuck out father than my dickey did…sorry if this is inappropriate, I warned you didn’t I? I also could just see my feet but had a very hard time reaching them to wash them properly.

As a diabetic my PCP always checked my feet to make sure I was not having problems there. One time she said “you feet are fine, but you sure do have a lot of cheese between your toes“. How embarrassing was that? No way could I hold my leg up and use a wash rag to wash between my toes.

Now the good news about that. I can see every part that I could not see before WLS. I can keep myself as clean as I want and can actually wash between my toes. What a blessing that is to me.

I don’t know if any of you have had similar problems but these are two of the reasons I am happy to have the opportunity of having WLS. For just these two of many many reasons I do not regret having RNY just 5 months ago.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mean Old Man

Over the years I have had to say NO to a lot of people, both professionally and personally. As a father many times my kids would come to me with some kind of request, and after listening to what they said and considering the pros and cons of what my decision would be, I had to lots of times say no. It is always easier to say yes and make someone happy much harder to say no and make them sad.

In our family the girls would usually start off by asking their mom for something. Mom was usually an easier touch, but unless Jackie knew for sure that I would approve, she told the girls that they would have to ask dad. They would usually say something like “well dad always says NO so no need to ask him”. That meant that their case was weak and I would not just let it slide and would make them justify what they wanted to do or have.

In my profession as the manger of a large computer center I had other managers and employees who either directly or through the management chain would ask me for something. These were most times in writing in some formal format or even verbally in my office. Many times because of policy or financial concerns, I had to say no to them as well. It was hard to do. If you were going to be fired, I was the one who gave the employee the bad news. 

When and employee had done something bad or an infraction that would cause their removal, it was not so hard as they had caused the problem upon themselves. But when I had to let someone go because of financial problems in the budget, it was much harder to do. Anyone with a heart at all would feel bad letting someone, who you knew needed the job go. Many times there were tears involved and begging. But it was my job to do that task and as much as I hated that part, it had to be done, just as telling my kids no was hard as well. 

But in my life there was another kind of NO that had to be done, and that was the hardest of all. It was telling myself NO. I have been obese most of my life with periods of time where I had lost great amounts of weight via the diet methods I had participated in through the years. They all seemed to work and I lost weight. But over the months that followed, I would slowly gain the weight back or even put on more than I had before. I did not eat bad foods like fast food, very often but would eat way to much at each meal. I would justify this behavior by saying “ I will not eat much tomorrow to make up for it, or I will work out more”, or some excuse to just eat the food and not say NO to myself. 

As I have had WLS now and am again losing great amounts of weight, I hear of others who like me are having a hard time saying NO to themselves. They are eating things that have gotten them fat in the first place. Asking other WLS people if they eat this or that, when everyone knows that those kinds of foods should be avoided. Some folks even admit that they cheat even just after having surgery. Obviously they are looking at these foods and just can’t bring themselves to say NO, I can’t have those things again. 

Some people play the middle of the road game. Well you can in moderation they will say. Or occasionally will not hurt. If it is something we all know got us fat, why ever have it? I know we are human and make mistakes, I sure do, I know. But many mistakes can be avoided by just not being where these foods are being served and by not bringing them into your home. Going to a fast food joint to get a cup of chili or a salad is just asking for problems and reinforcing your longing for the old fatso inside most of us. 

Yes it takes planning to avoid problems. Taking something with you when you go somewhere that you can eat when others are eating things you should not have.  Keeping troublesome food items out of your house. This requires support from you family, but unless they want you fat, they will help. This should have been talked about and agreed to long before surgery. If things are brought into the house that should not be there, no matter who brought them in tell them to get it out NOW or take it yourself in front of them and toss it in the trash. It will only take one or two times like this and it will not come in the house again. Tell them it is ok for them to have and enjoy, but not around you and they have to work that out themselves. 

Again you have to say the word NO you can’t screw me up and I will NOT screw myself up…I have done that too long and resolve to never doing it again. No is not a bad word so get used to saying it to yourself all the time. Then you can say YES I CAN BE SUCCESSFUL FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Meet My Second Goal!!!!

Well today, I finally met my second goal. The first was to actually have weight loss surgery. This goal is to have lost 100 pounds. This morning I have lost over 102 pounds. I weigh now not every day or even every week, but every other week. 

My weight loss is starting to slow down now and I had expected that to happen. I have only been at this for almost 5 months now and should continue to lose weight pretty regularly for at least a year, so I feel I can meet my next goals. My next goal is to be at a BMI of under 30 which would mean that I am not obese anymore just overweight. Of course my finally goal is to have a BMI in the normal range. My far off goal that I may never meet is to weigh 165 pounds or less than I weighed when I got married and about what I weighed when I graduated from high school. 

I have been very slowly adding some small amounts of other things to my daily diet. Like in the morning I have a little bit, just a bite of a vegetable and maybe a pinch of some fruit. I make these things for Jackie and have a spoonful of that stuff with my normal eggs and bacon. I am doing well now and finding that I am able to eat just fine with no problems and I am slowly migrating to what I think will be a life long meal standard that I can feel comfortable with. 

Today I am very happy with myself and proud of what I have done so far. Last Saturday night I was helping Jackie at a women’s church function and many of the women there came up to me and said, boy you are skinny and looking good. That made me feel very good about myself. But I know I have a long way to go. Some are even starting to say, you have lost enough now, you are getting too thin. I don’t think so.