Thursday, November 29, 2012

Planning For Christmas

Our tree this year
Well I made it through the Thanksgiving holiday without going against my diet plan and actually lost weight. Now of course Christmas is coming and I have the opportunity to again eat according to my plan and still lose weight. 

Normally I would be looking forward to cakes, cookies, and candy for the holiday. This year there may be some of that stuff brought into the house, but I will not be eating it myself. I really have no desire to do so this year. In years past it was always my tradition to get some good chocolates just for the season, but this year I am not going to get anything like that. 

We are putting up the normal Christmas decorations including the tree. We do not have a real tree as we do not want to cut one down just for the season and the artificial trees look very good and it is much easier for folks our age to set up and decorate. Of course Jackie has many other decorations and is busy setting them up. I got the many boxes out or the garage and brought them in for her, so she is now busy finding stuff and putting it out. Her back problems slow her down and she has to take her time doing it, but it will eventually be all set up and looking great as usual. She used to put up 5 trees but now we just put up this one tree. 

We are already making plans for what we are going to have for our Christmas Eve day dinner. Probably the normal ham and scalloped potatoes. We have the dinner early enough so the rest of the family can be home for their own Christmas Eve activities. I will post again after Christmas to let you know how I did as far as eating on my plan after Christmas.

Of course to us Christmas is much more than eating. We really do celebrate the birth of Jesus and love the music and other events associated with the holiday. As a child, I had just wonderful Christmases. My parents and grandparents went out of their way to make our Christmases just as wonderful as possible. Jackie does not have that many great memories of the season as her parents were alcoholics and Christmas was a time of great amount of drinking and sometimes things did not turn out very good for her. We always did our best to make Christmas fun and remembered for our kids and I hope they have good things to remember and tell their kids about. I am sure they will.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 First After WLS

Well yesterday I had my first major holiday after my weight loss surgery which was on 5/9/2012. I have lost 115 pounds from that day and I continue to lose and have 20 something pounds to go. I want to stop losing and will adjust my diet when my BMI reaches the normal area. I want to lose a few under that amount because as most people have a small bounce back I want to have some room to adjust. I want to be at what is considered normal BMI so that if anyone thinks I am fat or over weight I can shove it up their nose. 

Anyway we had most of the family here and Jackie did her normal great job of getting a great meal on the table. The girls helped with the clean up and that was great because both Jackie and I were very tired by the end of the day which stated at 4 AM for me. I think everyone had a good time, at least I hope so. We will probably be doing the same thing at Christmas.

I am going to document with photos what I was able to have and actually eat at the meal. Now I do not want to sound to discouraging or anything but I want to be honest and tell anyone who is thinking about having this surgery to consider the pictures and think about would you really want to have something like this at every holiday for the rest of your life? 

Here is a photo of the amount of turkey I could have on a paper plate on my scale. Note it is exactly 2.5 ounces.

The next picture is of my complete meal I planned on eating on the same paper plate on the scale. Note that it is 7.9 ounces.

The next picture is just the paper plate on a regular plate to give you an idea as to what it looks like in relation to size. Most people at our meal had the normal size plate filled and before WLS I would  have been one of them. And I would have had seconds and then a late night snack. I was not able to eat even half of what was on the plate. I ate the meat and just a taste of the cranberries, and mashed potatoes and one olive and I was so full I was near sick. For the rest of the night all I had was a couple of more olives, which I really should not have had but they were out on the table and I grabbed a couple. 

The last photo is kind of a joke, but this is what my big piece of pumpkin pie looked like with whipped cream on it. It was really just one small bite but that is it.

Ask yourself do you want to live like this for the rest of your life? In my case I am satisfied and really can live like this for the rest of my life, but if I were younger with more social functions to look forward to, I would still try every other method to lose weight. 

We had a good time and I enjoyed other things than the gluttonous food fest I used to partake in. I am still very happy about having WLS.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This is the generator we got
Well we had quite a storm here two days ago. Nothing like what they had back East with Sandy, but for us it was pretty bad. Winds up to 70 miles an hour in some places. Not that bad where I live but limbs and trees did fall. Thank heavens no damage was done to my home. That is except for what one of our dogs did to the house. While we were away swimming like we do every other day, the wind and rain came up pretty bad. One of our dogs, is very frightened about the wind. Well when we were away apparently the wind came up very badly, the light went out and our dog Patch got very scared. She clawed the back door and molding around the door very badly. I am going to have to replace it, after the holidays. Love old Patch she is a very nice dog, but was abused before we rescued her from a shelter and she get very upset with wind and noises and kind of goes crazy.
This is our dog Patch

Well that afternoon about 1 the power went out again. It was daylight so we did not panic or anything, just stayed in our big easy chairs in our media room and listened to the portable battery operated radio and dozed now and then. We decided to wait until we needed to get the new generator set up and ready until we needed to start dinner. Well 4 o’clock came and I drug out the generator to the middle of the deck, got the heavy duty extension cords out, and the heating plate to cook on. We had two large camp lights that we were using to see what we were doing, because it was quite dark in the house and outside as I was setting up everything. I hooked up the refrigerator and an electric lamp. All was well. One of the extension cords from the generator to the hot plate was not working so I looked and the cord had pulled out of the generator. I went outside to plug it back in when I noticed that the camp lights seemed to be lighting the house very well even with their small size. That is when Jackie came out and said guess what? The power is on. Sure enough the power had come back on as everything we needed to run off the power was now running real well. 

We decided to go ahead and cook our dinner on the generator and let it power the house for an hour or two just to test our ability to do thing without house power. We were able to cook or meal and do just about everything we needed to do without having commercial power running in the house. We did not have heat, but we had a man come over and work on our little gas heater and it is now working so we will not have heat if the power goes out again. We are also going to buy a small electric space heater as a back up heat source. That and the food we have stored, makes us feel pretty good that we will be able to survive for some time if a bad storm should hit us again. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Spiritual Place For Me

During my weight loss journey and transforming myself into a new person, I have come to the conclusion that as I change on the outside, I have to change my outlook on the inside. I am still the same man I was in my head. I still have longings to eat excessive amounts of food as I did before. I know full well the consequences of doing that because it seems that all through my life I have suddenly found myself 50 pounds or so over some weight I lost on a diet plan. That always discouraged me and started me on the self pity party down the road to being grossly overweight again.  

Along with trying to make my new life style a habit and something I enjoy, I also have to get my mind fixed on the things that all my life have made me happy. I am not talking just about my wife and family that have always brought me great joy, I am not talking about hobbies or things that I have owned over the years, no I am talking about outside influences and places that have made me at peace with myself. Refreshed my soul. 

All during my life there has been a place, kind of a spiritual place I have always visited that has a renewing influence on me. I have been taken to this place or gone there myself from the time I was a child with my parents to now an old man. That place for me is Point Defiance Park in Tacoma Washington. 

It is not really that special as a park. It is not that big or spectacular. There is an area that people like to go to have family picnics and get together. There is a small zoo and a beautiful rose garden area. Many little quiet places where birds and other small animals live. There is a beach area where people go in the short summer we have here to sun bathe and where young people show off their cars and flirt with each other. There is a reconstructed old log fort that is on a place where there was a real fort for the pioneers many years ago. It also has a small museum. Most of these places are along what is called the 5 mile drive. Along the drive there are viewing points where you can have a great view of Puget Sound and the mountains we have here, the Olympics and the Cascade range. Really beautiful when the sun is out and shinning. 

But for me the best part of the 5 mile drive that goes into the forested area are the big trees. These are old growth giants. 200 feet high in many places and very big and old. They seem to talk to me and speak something to my very core and spirit. They are comforting to me and give me great piece. I can not really explain it, but the feeling is always there and no matter if I am just down emotionally or really sick physically, I always feel much better after I visit the park. It has a real medicinal effect  on me. I can always count on it making my day better. 

Everyone needs a renewal place like this and part of my reformation to a new person, I will never forget this place and go back often to remind myself of what is really important in life. I am so glad it is near and open for me and my family. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In a Funk

Well today, I kind of find myself in a kind of a funk of sorts. The weather around here is kind of cool and some rain. There are things I would like to do, but the lack of money and not wanting to go outside and work to much has me kind of looking for things to do around the house.

The weight loss is kind of slowing down, as expected. I am feeling great and I am happy with what I can eat each day and feel satisfied that I will be able to live on this diet menu for the rest of my life. I have less than 30 pounds to go now and of course things will get a little slow from now on. I guess a pound or two each week would be good, but I would wish that I could hit my goal of 165 pounds faster. I am not in a race I guess and as long as I am not gaining I should be happy. I am down to a size 34 pants now and that is from a size of 54 when I started this journey. 

We are trying to save as much money as we can so that we can go on our 50th anniversary trip to England next summer. We need a new stove in the kitchen and we also need to replace the tile floor in the kitchen with something else. Tile in a kitchen was a mistake, to many tiles have broken. I do not want to replace the flooring until I put the new stove in as I will have to modify the kitchen cabinets to do that and I do not want to mess up the new floor with the construction. Jackie wants a wood floor in her kitchen. 

All the kids seem to be doing well. Sundee has a new job, but her car broke down and it will cost $1,500 to fix it. Tawni is working her head off but seems to be doing well. Shelly is as always doing her best and is in another play and having fun. I just want my girls to be happy. 

All the grandkids are also doing very well. Kendal is in college and working hard. Brittany is involved with her new son, our great grandson Grayson. Jacob is busy in school and also doing well. All of Shelly’s kids are doing better in school now that they have transferred from Spinning grade school. They are doing better in their new school which is a much better school. The school administration in their town is thinking about shutting down the old Spinning grade school because it is very old and the staff is the pits. At least that is what I hear. I hate to hear that as I went to that school as a kid. Sundee’s kids are doing fine. Chase just had his 13th birthday and is involved in sports of all kinds. He is a good student and doing fine in that regard. Sela is a bundle of energy and is a joy to her mom. Of course Saul the oldest of our grandkids is in the Washington Military Academy and is scheduled to come home for Thanksgiving for a few days and then will go back for about 1 more month until he is graduated. He then will have to attend his old high school for a semester, and then will graduate from high school. He is thinking about going into one of the military branches. I hope he goes into the navy like his great grandfathers did. We will see, but he has made great progress toward becoming a great young man in the last year. 

I am continue to work on learning to play the guitar a little. I am also trying to get my ham radio skills in mores code back to where it was years ago. Lots of time to try new things. Now that I have lost over 115 pounds I have a lot more energy and I am really looking for things to do with myself. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday !!!!

Well today is my 71st Birthday. Yes that many years ago I was born and brought into this world. So far it has been a great life. Not everything has been perfect, but pretty close. There would only be a few things I would change. 

Defiantly I would pay more attention to my weight. I would not have gone on that near starvation diet I did in my first year of college. I ate just about nothing, maybe some dry cereal or an apple ever so often and then took laxatives so that my Bms were clear and then swam a lot to drive my weight down to a dangerous level. I think I may have had anorexia in those days. No matter how skinny I got I wanted to get thinner. If my father would not have had a heart attack and I had to come home for a semester, I may have killed myself dieting. My hair started to fall out and my health in general was real bad, I got sick a lot and always had a runny nose. My mom and dad made me eat better and I gained some weight and my weight problems then stated big time. 

I would also have spent more time with my kids and not been so concerned on my work. I missed a lot of things they did and was not much help to Jackie. I hardly remember the birth of one of my daughters because I was so involved in work that I did not have much time to even think about home. Just trying to keep my head above water at work was a full time activity. But now as an old man I realize how really unimportant the things I did then were in relation to my life and I wish I had just paid more attention to my family. But they all turned out fine. All my girls have graduated from college and are doing fine in life. Jackie my wife was the first female in our family to go to college as far as I have been able to find. Now all my girls have gone and most did outstanding jobs in college and I am proud of them. One of them is of course my favorite. That is a family joke.

I remember when my grandparents were about my age. I though oh well they are going to die soon as they are very very old anyway. Now looking at the same age, I don’t feel old. I really, now after losing the weight I did, feel younger than I did many years ago. I worked in a cannery packing food for low income folks yesterday for a few hours. I picked up sack after sack of bulk food products so that they could be sorted and canned. After working all day, I still felt fine and hardly broke a sweat at all. I am looking forward to many more years and hope the good Lord allows me to stay around for at least a few more years. 

It has been a good life so far and I feel many new adventures are on the way. Jackie and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage next summer and we hope to go to England in honor of that event. Then the next year we plan on going to Europe for a visit and then who knows the sky is the limit. Well also the pocket book.

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to me.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Travel After WLS

Now after losing weight there are many things that I really love and traveling is one of them. How many times when I was very heavy it was very uncomfortable to travel, because just moving was hard and I would sweat very much and huff and puff anywhere I went. Pulling my body along let alone baggage was a major chore. I am probably imagining it but it seemed that people were looking at me and saying to themselves, “I hope that big fat guy does not sit next to me”. 

When I got on the plain I had a hard time walking down the narrow isles and then many times had to crawl over someone to get to my seat or they would get up with a look of discuss on their faces. When I got in the seat it was like putting a foot into a shoe that was too small. Sometimes depending on the type of plain I could get the seat belt around me, but sometimes I had to ask for a seat belt extension. That was always embarrassing. 

The ride to where I was going was always very uncomfortable with my legs and body rubbing against other people and having my legs and arms all twisted up to fit in the narrow space I had. I hurt my knee the first time because I had to ride all the way to the East Coast with my knee bent funny. 

Now on the last trip I took and I was 30 lbs heavier than I am now and I had all kinds of room and was treated and felt like any other passenger. I had plenty of room and could pull the tray all the way down and if the person in front of me leaned back in their chair I was not crushed like I used to be when a person did that. 

We are planning on going to England next summer for our 50th wedding anniversary. We plan on taking side tours and flying there. We know we will be much more comfortable this time and I know we will have a much better time now at a much lower weight.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

6th Month Status Report

May 9th will be 6 months from the time I had my weight loss surgery. Quite a few changes have happened to me, but most profound is that I am now down in weight more than 112 lbs. I feel so much better and can do so many things now that I thought before surgery were gone forever. I no longer need to take diabetic medications and most of the rest of the medications I used to take for other problems I was having. My legs, and feet are so much better and even my knee that needs surgery to fix is not that bad most days and I think I can put the surgery off for some time in the future. I have included here a picture of me now and a picture of what I looked like in 2005. Now consider that I had lost some weight before the 2005 photo was taken. I am about 325 lbs. in that photo, but had been over 375 lbs before. I could not tell you exactly how much I weighed because my scale would not go that far and I avoided getting weighed at the doctors office. 

I am so glad I had the surgery and so far there have been no complications and the surgery was a breeze with little pain or sickness at all.