Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 141: Contemplations on motivation.

You've all seen them. Little phrases that strike a chord in you and motivate you to push farther, work harder, do better. I decided that I would take one of those phrases and break it down to how it pertains in my life and why it does motivate me. Not every phrase will motivate every person, and I know they don't all motivate me. Some are just overdone, overexposed or just plain over. So without further ado...

"The will to conquer is the first condition of victory."

I heard this one when I started my Krav Maga classes (just 32 pounds until I can go back) and it really clicked with me. I see that will to conquer as the will I need to beat the things that lead to me being overweight in the first place. I have to eat right, get my water, take my vitamins, and work out regularly. As easy as it is to not work out, I have to conquer the desire to do nothing and get up and work out. It would be so easy to eat the slider foods, but my desire to lose my weight is stronger and my will there is strong. Getting the water...that's harder to conquer because when you're not thirsty, its a difficult motivation. But I'd rather drink all the water and avoid any more Kidney stones. My vitamins keep me healthy and that's keenly important to me. For me to be victorious in this pursuit, I have to conquer myself and my bad habits and cultivate new good habits.

I guess it comes down to one simple thing: If you're going to win at anything, you have to want it more than anything or more than anybody else wants it. And I want that goal weight almost as much as something else I want.

Hona sainara!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 140: Memorial Day and weigh in.

So it's Monday and more importantly, it's a weigh in day. I got up, said my mantra, did the necessary and stepped on the scale. My current body weight is 282 pounds. That's a 5 pound loss for the week, 111 pounds lost since surgery and 138 pounds lost overall. That is a really good feeling. I've lost 62 percent of my excess weight in 20 weeks. I'm 11 days out from my 5 month sleeveaversary as well. I can't wait to see what my weight is on June 10th.

I'm going to go workout this morning and get that out of the way so I can enjoy the rest of my day off. Speaking of which, I should get going now so I can get back and get cleaned up. I have some things I want to do today and I want to be clean before I leave the house for the day.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 139: A restful Sunday

I slept in a little this morning and then got up and had my protein shake and supplements and then cleaned the condo and got all my laundry done, so I spent the rest of the day chatting and texting with friends. I have gotten all of my protein in today and it isn't even dinner time yet, so I'm feeling really good right now. I have the day off tomorrow and I have to go visit someone, so I hope she's doing better than she was a couple of days ago.

Last night at the Revolver was fun. I was only there for an hour, but it was a good hour. I had a drink, watched the waitresses and female patrons and just had fun. After an hour, I felt a little tired so I headed for home to get some extra sleep.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to get up, weigh in and go for an early walk before my workout at the gym and then over for the visit. Days off don't come along too often, so I want to enjoy the time off. I might head out to see Pirates 4 tonight or go back to Revolver tonight. Might do both.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 138: Flippin' stores...

I went out to pick up some new jeans today, seeing as I'm down to a size 46 now. Three different stores and not one of them had the size I wanted in the cut I wanted. I'm preferential to the 514 slims, but the only jeans they had were relaxed fit or comfort fit. Argh. Even then, the price was high enough to make me realize that it's cheaper ordering the jeans online. I can order two pairs of Levi's directly from Levi for 100.00 and get free shipping. If I wanted 501's or 514's in "normal" sizes, i.e. 44 and below, no problem. I suppose in a month or so that's where I'll be, but right now it's frustrating. I figure I can wear my current pants size until I'm actually down to a size 40 and they are practically falling off my behind, but still...argh. I bought the 50s when I was 52 and they were fine for about two months.

I took my daughter and her mom to go see Kung Fu Panda 2 last night. While they were enjoying nachos, hot dogs and sodas, I was enjoying a frozen lemonade. Probably way too many carbs, but that's ok. The movie was very good. As good as the original. After the movie we got some Panda Express. I had the Beijing Beef with Chow Mein noodles. I ate about 5 pieces of the beef and a couple of forks of the noodles and then stopped. I was full and my stomach told me so. The sweet/spicy flavor of the beef was really good, better than I remember. I guess it's true that taste buds change after the surgery. I have to be careful with the spicy though, especially since I can't drink while eating.

I'm considering between going to the Revolver tonight or my Karaoke Bar. They will both cost about the same, but the Revolver is closer to me and in all honesty, I like the skimpy outfits the waitresses wear. I also think the female patrons in their various sexy western gear are very hot [growl]. If I go, I'm going to try to get there early enough to take a line dancing class.

See y'all later!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 137: After action report on the hospital visit

Woof. That was a long day, let me tell you. Originally, she was supposed the first patient in at 6am. That got moved to 10. They took her back to prep her at 1030 and we were allowed to see her once she was prepped. They didn't actually take her into surgery until almost 1pm. The surgeon came to see us just before 2 and she was fine, the surgery went just fine and she should be out of recovery in an hour to an hour and a half.

Two hours later we haven't heard anything and we're getting worried. No one has told us anything. Well, her son and I go to find a nursing station and find out what's going on. They tell us that she hasn't been released from recovery yet but she has been assigned a room and we would be able to see her shortly. Apparently, her blood pressure shot up in recovery and they had to stabilize her before they could release her. So we wait another 20 or so minutes and still nothing. I ask the nurse at the station again and she says she's in her room now and we could see her. We're a little perturbed at this, but we go to see her. She was pretty out of it, but I was expecting that.

About 530 or so her son and her mom head for the house and I sit and wait, since I promised I would. I help her with whatever she needs as she comes in and out of lucidity until her man shows up at 8pm. During one of the walks, she told me that she didn't want me to stay all night since I had to work today, so after her 8pm walk I head out and told her to call or have anyone call me if she needed me. That was one of the few things that would have gotten me to leave. Her asking me to do so. I don't think it was a matter so much of she didn't want me there so much as she didn't want me to be all worn out for work if it wasn't necessary.

She should be home now and I'll check with her in about an hour to see how she's doing.

Do Svidanja!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 136: Time to roll the support units!

So my friend is due at the hospital in less than an hour for her sleeve surgery so I have to get rolling here in a few minutes to make sure I'm there for her.

On to my own journey, I took some new pics today and built a new then and now pic and the difference in just 3 months is really kind of staggering to see. Just 3 months and I look a good 7 to 8 years younger, even with the new goatee coming in. Judging by the color I see coming in, I won't look that young for long once it grows in somewhat, but a little beard color can fix that right up. Without the beard I have something of a babyface, so it kind of balances out how old I look with how old I really am.

I had some issues this morning with my supplements. They didn't set all that well in my stomach and I felt a little queasy and shaky for about an hour. Still feeling a little shaky, truth be told, but that will pass. Getting ready to jump on my water and protein wagon for the day so I'll be prepared for the hospital and I won't have to worry so much about eating.

Well, I need to gather my things and head out. We've both been looking forward to this day for a long time and it's finally here.

Catch you all sometime tomorrow. It might be late, but I'll make sure to post before midnight.

Tepre Kurichen!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 135: new exercises!

Food, protein and water were all good today and I got 3 walks in at work at 10 minutes per walk. When my daughter and I got home, we went to the pool and swam for but half an hour and that was a good workout. I have found something new that I'm going to be doing that's lots of fun so far. But for now until I'm more used to it I'm keeping it a secret. But I will say it's great cardio for a half hour to an hour per night. And it will let me alternate out the weight training and treadmill work.

My doctor won't release me back to the Krav Maga class until I get below 250, so I'm working for that as well. But the new exercise is going to be a lot of fun as well.

And tomorrow is the big day for my friend. Surgery day is finally here and I'm going to be there for her surgery. I'm very excited for her but at the same time I'm a little worried. It's just because it is major surgery and very invasive, but her surgeon is the same surgeon that did my surgery and he's one of the best in the country. I'm sure she'll be fine, but there's always that niggling little fear that something will go wrong. Of course, I was worried about that on the day of my surgery as well. You're a fool if you're not a little worried with this kind of surgery.

So tomorrow's blog may be delayed. It depends on the activities of the day. If I can find the time, I'll post early in the morning because I don't plan on leaving until the hospital throws me out tomorrow night or Friday morning when I have to go to work.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 134: An iffy day...

Left for work this morning and forgot my protein shot, lunch didn't set well and I'm still short of my water intake by 30 ounces and I only have an hour or so to rectify that. I went to the gym, did 2 miles on the treadmill and my weight lifting, and I pushed until my muscle groups said "slow down, boss". Plus I did about a mile and a half during my walks at work.

On the bright side, I've noticed that my strength and speed are both increasing as I keep working out. Yet another NSV to track for me.

I got home, had some dinner and finished making up the Jello Protein shots for my friend who is getting her surgery on Thursday. About 26 shots, 13 each of orange and grape. The orange are higher in protein, the grape has electrolytes and protein the way I've formulated the shots. Each shot is 4 ounces, just the right size to start off with after surgery, and there's enough to last her a few days. I also picked up some additional protein shots for her, and broth and popsicles. Of the people that are closest to her, I'm the one of the few that has been through the surgery so I know first hand what she's going to be going through over the next few weeks. I just want to make this as easy as possible for her so she can focus just on recovery and healing.

Her preop is tomorrow and her mom just landed at the airport so I'm sure they are on their way home now. I have to finish my water , take my protein shot and my cholesterol meds and get to bed.

Min tian jian!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 133: Monday weigh-in

So I followed my normal Monday routine. Wake up, say my mantra, do the necessary and step on the scales. Only to find that my current body weight is now at 287 pounds. That's a 6 pound loss for the week, 106 pounds lost since surgery and 133 pounds lost overall. That felt really good to see after the weight gain last week. I have also pulled my measurements for the week as well:

Neck: 15 3/4"
Chest: 50"
Waist: 52"
Hips: 45"
Biceps: 16"
Thighs: 24"

Given that I did have a loss this week, I have to assume that with my neck measurement increasing and everything but my hips decreasing that my weight training is paying off.

In conjunction with the weight loss, my clothes shopping yesterday paid off in a big NSV for me. NSV means Non Scale Victory. Basically, a definitive measurement that shows weight loss without being affected by the number on the scale. I tried everything on before buying and I have gone down another shirt size to XLT and my slacks are now size 46 in the waist. All in all, that means I have lost 4 shirt sizes and 5 pants sizes. That is a huge NSV, loyal readers. If you are measuring purely on the numbers on the scale, stop doing that and look for your NSVs. They aren't as visible as the numbers on the scale, but they are just as important for morale. I even treated myself for that by buying myself some new MMA style Tshirts from some of my favorite vendors. 2 from Extreme Couture, 1 from Throwdown, 1 from Ranger Up! and 2 from Forged.

So track everything you do. Weight, measuremens, and your NSV's. It all adds up to success!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 132: Accomplishments

Sunday morning. I woke up at 610 am and got myself started. I went to do my shopping at Walmart. I was done by 730 and home by 740 and put everything away. I had my protein shake and supplements and started a load of laundry. Then I went to work out. I did 35 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on the weight training. Now I'm going to get a shower and go over to JCP to pick up some new slacks and other clothes for work. My slacks I'm wearing now are too big and when I cinch down the belt, at least an inch of fabric folds into itself. I never thought I would be this thrilled about having to buy new work clothes. But having to buy new clothes because they are too big works for me.

I went over my daily intakes in a previous blog, so I thought I would go over my gym routine today. My treadmill work is usually first. I use a hill profile, whatever my current weight is, at 3.5 miles per hour and level 3 or 4 depending on how I feel overall. If I'm feeling especially energetic I increase the time rather than anything else. Add in the 5 minute cooloff walk and I do 35 minutes at just under 2 miles and about 320 calories burned.

The weight routine varies a bit from day to day. The weight will change depending on how strong I feel and how difficult it gets to push the workout. Usually 30-40 pounds at either 3 sets of 15 or 4 sets of ten. The actual exercises vary from day to day as well. I always do leg extensions, but I vary the arm and body work a bit. On the arms, I will switch from lat pulldown to tricep pushdown to bicep curl from day to day. On the body I switch from bench press to incline press to shoulder press. So a workout routine for me will look like this:

30 +5 minutes treadmill
lat pulldowns with rest period of 1-2 minutes between sets
leg extensions with rest period of 1-2 minutes between sets
bench press with rest period of 1-2 minutes between sets

The next day will look like this:
30 +5 minutes treadmill
tricep pushdowns with rest period of 1-2 minutes between sets
leg extensions with rest period of 1-2 minutes between sets
incline press with rest period of 1-2 minutes between sets

It takes me anywhere from a minute to a minute and a half to do a set. I could do it faster, but the whole idea here is to work the body out, not set a speed record for pumping iron. By slowing down the reps, the muscles have to work harder and burn more calories.

So now I'm off to the shower and JCP.

Do Svidanja!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 131: The end of the day...

Well, I guess whoever said the Rapture was coming was wrong. It's nearly midnight and nothing, nada, zip. Flipping doomsayers, getting people all worked up for a load of Bullshit.

On my side...I didn't get squat done today. I had plans to do things but I let myself get distracted by a video game. One of those storyline/rpg types that takes hours to complete. I played the game for 12 hours and still haven't finished it. I remembered to eat and get my protein and water in, but other than taking a shower this morning I didn't do anything. Tomorrow has to be different. I have things I have to get accomplished tomorrow, like laundry and grocery shopping and I'm going to make myself go to the gym come hell or high water before I do anything else.

Today was one of those days when I wish I had a significant other in my life to keep me from wasting time on video games. Well, I wish I had a significant other, period. I'm tired of being alone. I go out on dates, but there's always something that isn't just right. Either there's a good physical chemistry, but we have nothing else in common, or we have things in common but no physical chemistry. Or any of a half dozen other glitches in the whole thing like incompatible work and family schedules. I've only had one where the chemistry was there and there was some common ground where we had things we could share but still have enough differences so we wouldn't get bored. But that one's past and gone now, much to my everlasting regret. I hope that in the future things will change and we can try again, but it's not happening right now. And with her surgery right around the corner, I have to stop myself from even thinking about that. She needs me in her corner to help out for the next few weeks and be there to support her through all the changes she's going to be dealing with. I have to get my mindset to total selflessness to be able to do this for her. I promised her I would be there for her and I will not let myself let her down.


Day 130: White Rabbit time...

"Oh no, I'm late, I'm late for an important date!"

Friday was one of those days where time was not on my side. Driving my daughter to school and traffic delayed us by about 20 minutes and then getting to work. Add 8.5 hours for work and that was busy as hell. Now go to get my daughter and there's a bad accident on the freeway going home and every detour was backed up at least 30 minutes. Took an hour and a half to get across town. Then I had to go to the drug store and pick up my cholesterol meds and that was another 20 minute wait. It was nearly 7 by the time we got to the condo and then her mom was another 45 minutes to come and get her and then I had to get ready to go out for my friend's last big hurrah night out before her surgery next Thursday. Didn't get home until well after midnight, so I figured "Might as well wait until morning to write the blog." So I went to bed, and here's the blog entry. So now you know why I was late.

But the night out was mostly a good time. She's been worried that I might be becoming an alcoholic because I actually drink alcohol when we're all out for a night out. I had to explain to her that I only drink when I go out and I don't keep alcohol in the condo. I still only had one drink and then stuck with bottled water the rest of the night to ease her mind. I don't think she quite understands that if I'm going to play nice with her man there, I have to get a little alcohol in me, but not too much. Enough to get a little buzz going but not enough to disable the "play nice" subroutines in my conscious mind. I did a little dancing and I was there for her when she asked me to be there.

I'll post again later today...provided we're all still here after 11am our time. The Rapture is supposedly coming today. After 42 years of doomsayers and prophets and just out and out whackos I pretty much discard it outright. The bible said it best:

See you later!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 129: What a day...

Thursdays usually suck anyway, but when you have to pull two hours of overtime and then have to run your kid to music lessons, it feels like a whole new level of sucktitude comes in. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge my daughter the lessons at all, but 2 hours overtime and then eating fast food to make sure she gets there on time and then an hour sitting around waiting for her and not getting home until 8 at night is really draining.

I had one corn dog for my dinner and even that was a fight to finish. Fast foods and I just don't get along right now. I'm at the point where fast food holds NO allure for me whatsoever. They don't taste all that good when you eat them slow and they are usually so dry that eating them without something to drink is a losing proposition. Just a lose all around.

Getting home that late also pretty much guarantees no gym time, either. I don't like working out right before bed because it gets my heart and metabolism racing and it's hard to get to sleep. I did my walks at work, so it's not like I didn't exercise today. I just didn't exercise as much as I wanted to. Oh well.

And right now I'm listening to a 10 year old grouse about how her damn video game isn't fair because she's losing. This is normally where I would tell her to "Ranger Up". That's my code for "Be quiet, deal with it, and move on to the next step instead of complaining about it." I don't mind her whining or complaining about some things, but because she's losing a video game isn't one of them.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 128: [FOXTROT]ing pain killers...

Well, I went all day without any painkillers and I've been pissing like a Russian Race Horse. It turns out that both lortab and ibuprofen can both cause water retention. Couple that with my increasing my water intake by 30 to 40 percent and I think I see why I gained a pound last week. My body was retaining water like crazy. Hopefully I'll lose the water weight gain this week.

Now that my rant is over, I'm going on about my friend who goes in for her sleeve next Thursday. She had to think long and hard, but she decided that she wants me to be there for her surgery. I think she wanted me there all along, but her man is going to be there and she knows I don't like him. Well, that's putting it mildly. But the day of surgery is going to be about her, not me, and not him. It's about her. I can play nice for that. If she wants me there, I'll play nice so I can be there for her. I figure if I can put my brain into neutral to deal with boring or unfun situations, I can put my knee-jerk reactions into lockdown for a day.

I know it's not directly about my weight loss, but she and I will be each other's support buddy for this journey. After she has her surgery, she will really understand what we go through with this surgery. And since I've already started my journey, I'll be better able to give her the support she will need. If you remember from yesterday how I talked about that one friend that you have in your life that you trust implicitly, that's what we are to each other. She trusts me and I trust her.

If you have someone like that in your life, keep them close. And remind them occasionally how much they mean to you.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 127: Some hints for prepping for surgery

Nothing really exciting on the weight loss front today, so I thought I would go over some things to do if you are getting ready to have your surgery. Just a few things that will make the post op easier.

1) Don't go crazy eating and drinking the week prior to surgery. Keep your meals light and any alcohol consumption low. Overeating or overdrinking will cause the liver to swell which will make surgery more difficult. It's ok to indulge, but don't go overboard.

2) Get some light exercise in every day, even if it's just walking. It will actually help you for when you have to get up and walk after surgery.

3) Hydrate! Make sure you get enough water and electrolytes so your body will be ready for post op. The first 18 or so hours you are only allowed ice chips, not water. Suck the ice chips slowly. Don't chew them and take a spoonful at a time.

4) Clear liquids: the first few days, you are allowed to have broth, popsicles, gatorade, apple juice, even Jello. Pick it up early and have it ready to go before you go to the hospital. If you have company coming in to help you post op, make sure they have everything they will need as well.

5) Recruit friends to be ready to help. Make sure they understand what you might need and have them waiting in the wings if you need assistance. Make sure you have contact info for all of them in advance and make sure anyone staying with you has access to that info.

6) Doctor's information: Make sure you have your regular doctor's number, the surgeon's number, and anybody else that you might need for emergency contact easily available, and I do not mean on your phone. Write it down.

7) Pain meds. This is a painful surgery. Don't think you're tough enough to go without the meds. Fill the prescription and be ready to use it. I really only needed it to be able to sleep, but everyone is different.

8) Protein shots: Get yourself stocked up and use these. The clear protein shots count as clear liquids and if you boost your protein levels, you will heal faster. Shoot for a minimum of 90g of protein per day. More if you can do it. I was doing 130g of protein when I was healing.

9) Emotions will be all over the place immediately after surgery. Make sure you have someone you can talk to and that you trust implicitly. This person should understand you as well as you understand yourself. Better, if you have that kind of person in your life. They should be able to listen and talk with you without offering advice. Someone that cares enough to just listen and be there when you need them to be. If they have had the surgery as well, that's all the better. They will have a better understanding of what you will be going through.

10) Get out, have some fun, and relax while you can. The healing takes a while and you're not going to be yourself immediately. It takes about a month to regain your strength to where you really feel like yourself again.

For all of you getting ready for your surgery, good luck. For those who have had the surgery already, you know where I'm coming from with all of this.

Do Svidanja!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 126: What the f...?

Woke up this morning and said my mantra...didn't help. I gained a flippin' pound last week! AAARGH! You know, I've been prepping myself for this eventuality ever since I had the surgery, but it's still heartbreaking when it happens. I suppose I should be glad it was only a pound. Between the influx of meds this weekend and my lack of working out over the last few weeks this was bound to happen.

Ok, I'm just going to accept it and move on. Moping about it won't get the weight off me, but working out will help. This kind of thing happens to everybody going through the surgery and corresponding weight loss. The body at some point plateaus while it adjusts to lose more weight. So today I'm going to check my measurements and also track those, not just the weight loss.

Neck: 15 1/2 "
Chest: 52"
Waist: 54"
Hips: 45"
Biceps: 17"
Thighs: 25"

So those are my measurements as of this morning. I'm going to track this on a weekly basis,the same as my weight. You'll see that while I'm upset with the gain, I'm making an active effort to find a way past it and turn this minor negative result into something positive for my journey.

It's all good!

Joi gin!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 125: Sunday's workout

My intakes were all good today. I did wake up with some pain down below this morning, but it passed soon enough and I felt right as rain. I went to the gym and did about an hour between weights and the treadmill plus I did a bit of walking around the complex today. It was all good for me. I'll probably do the same amount of time in the gym tomorrow just make the workout more strenuous to get more exercise.

Since the FB group for Gastric Sleeve Support has gone to open, I've made some new friends on FB, and one of them is a very prolific poster and seems to be a terrific lady as well. She's another one to look up to for those who are prepping for surgery or maybe need a little encouragement. She's very close to her goal weight and has had the plastic surgery to remove the excess skin and she looks fabulous. Her surgeon even moved some of the excess skin to her breasts and made them perky again. Her description, not mine. The internet has been a wonderful source of information and support for any gastric surgery patients and I'm really quite fond of my electronic friends as well as the ones in real life that have been supporting me and pulling for me all this time. I'm going to hold off for a while in regards to the surgery for removing excess skin, but I'm seriously considering it now.

But that's for a later discussion. I'm going to stay focused on my weight loss and exercise and make sure I get all my water and protein in from now until I make my goal. I don't want to jump the fence before I'm ready. One point of brightness to date, though: I've got more and more women telling me how cute and handsome I am now. I've even had some mention my trademark charming smile. Well, my family calls it trademark and charming. I just think of it as my smile. But when I've got that going and I'm trying to be charming, I'm hard to resist. My sister would say, "Watch out,ladies!" I would tell her to mind her own business. The less warning they have, the better my chances of succeeding.

Just saying.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 124: Saturday

I decided to take things really easy today given that I was still recovering from my Kidney Stone from yesterday. I got in plenty of water and kept my protein intake right at 110 grams instead of the 130 I normally shoot for every day. I also used my lortabs today to take the edge off the tenderness I had going down below. Needless to say, I was a little "fuzzy" most of the day. I definitely need to put those away until I really need them again. I do not like the fuzzy feeling even if the pain is completely masked by the Ltabs.

As of tomorrow, I'm going to hit the gym again whether I want to or not. While I went for my walk today I ran into this cute little latina and we talked for a bit while I was taking a rest from the walk and she told me how cute I was and that I would probably hit my goal weight before too long as long as I stay consistent and ramp up my exercising. I'm also going to try to cut back on my carb intake. I know it's been higher than it should be of late between having lean pockets and frozen fruit bars so I'm going to get back to good proteins for my solid foods

My friend is going to be getting her surgery here in less than two weeks and I really want her to have the same success that I've had. I think it will make a huge difference in her being happy with herself. She was there for me during my surgery and I'll be there for her during hers as long as I can be there. I'll give her as much support during her journey as I can. Now that we'll both be on the journey, we'll be able to support each other now. I think that's going to make a difference in the dynamic between us.

One step at a time, I suppose.

Min Tian Jian!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Days 122 and 123: Bad Days

I missed yesterday, My apologies. I just had too much shit going on to write the blog yesterday and nothing really interesting happened on the weight loss front anyway.

Today...just a bad day over all. I woke up at 2 in the morning with a horrible pain from my right testicle to my right flank. It took a few minuted for my brain to recognize the symptoms for what they were: Kidney stone on the move. Kidney stones can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to move if they move at all. I've always been lucky in that mine move in 6 to 12 hours and don't have to be removed. I was hoping that mine would move out in time for me to go to work, but no such luck. At 630 I called the office to tell them I was going to the hospital. I was 95% sure it was just a kidney stone, but I wanted to make sure they checked for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. The stone ended up being 3mm in size and I sure had a touch of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance going on. The doctor told me to add 8 ounces of gatorade to my daily water regimen to make sure I get my electrolytes. After that I went to get my meds and then relaxed for a bit and went to see Priest. Not a bad movie, but I felt like the "vampires" could just as easily been called "aliens" and it wouldn't change the movie that much.

Again, sorry for missing yesterday.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 121: Drawing a blank...

This is one of those blank days. I don't really have anything specific to say on the weight loss front today. Protein is good,water is good, I got my walking in. So that's all good. Hormones and moods are pretty well balanced now which makes me feel SO much better. I'm not swinging from melancholy to homicidal now, which is better for everyone around me. I'm pretty much back to my normal self now, which I haven't felt in a long time. I forgot how good it feels. I got myself so hooked on the idea that losing my weight would fix everything that I didn't let myself consider that I would need things like Testosterone to keep me balanced and healthy. The sleeve is a wonderful tool, but it can't do everything that we need as we age. I'm 42 years old now. My body is going to need medical assistance for things now that I didn't have to worry about before.

My moods and emotions are normalized now, but some things still hurt me. They probably always will. I can't just shut off my feelings, as convenient as that would be. I can't do it for myself and I won't do it for someone else. It's just not happening. Maybe in time, those feelings will fade or move to someone else. I kind of doubt it, though.

It's hard to let go when you know in your heart what's true. When you know what's real. When you can see it in the other person when you see their eyes light up when they see you. That's real.

Do Svidanja.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 120: 4 months out

Today is officially 4 months since I had my surgery. My weight as of yesterday was 292.0 lbs. That's a 2 pound loss from last week, 101 pounds lost since surgery and 128 pounds lost overall. The weather's been kind of weird around here the last 48 hours. Cold, windy and scattered showers. Abnormal weather for May. It was raining enough yesterday that I didn't walk at all. I'm not risking slipping and falling on my ass and getting soaked to the skin to walk in the rain. But I do need to get my self back into the gym and get my workouts going again. I think that's one of the reasons my weight loss has slowed over the last few weeks. I haven't been hitting the gym the way I should be. I'm getting my protein and water in and I've been working at getting my calorie intake to where it needs to be. I know it's been below where it needs to be.

On a bright note, I've been getting messages from old schoolmates on Facebook. I'm honestly surprised at how many people I have reading my blog and that are thanking me for sharing my journey with them. With all the reflection and introspection I've been doing lately I've come to realize that all my life I've pushed a lot of people away so I could avoid getting hurt. In some ways, that's a safer way to deal with it, but I refuse to live out the rest of my life as a hermit. Caves are too damn drafty. Although I guess my Condo would qualify as a man cave. But I've decided to reach out and make new friends and try to connect with old ones. What I've realized from these people reaching out to me is that I had friends and never realized it in high school and all I had to do was reach out to them. But when you get right down to it, I was too scared to reach out in fear of getting hurt, laughed at, or rejected. Seems silly now, but that fear was very real to me back then. But now, 25 years later, I can say simply, "You can laugh at me, you can reject me, but the only way you can hurt me is if I let you. And I'm not going to let you hurt me."

And if anyone thinks they can break me, that's when Feral will correct them. End of story.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 119: Contemplations on the Shapers...

In this case, I'm referring to the things in my head and my history that contributed to my becoming fat. It wasn't any single thing that caused it and I know that now. But I think all of these things added up to it. The first shaper is genetics, I'm not a skinny build. Never have been. I've always been broad shouldered and barrel chested. According to my Mom, I was an 8 pound, 13 ounce set of shoulders when I was born. Also, genetically I'm inclined to keep and maintain weight for survival coming from Irish and Scottish stock on my Dad's side. I look back at pics of me then and I can see that I wasn't fat by any stretch of the imagination. A little heavy set for sure, but not fat. That leads me to the second shaper: other kids. Kids can be unimaginably cruel to other kids that aren't like themselves and they describe what they see, not necessarily the real story. I was thick, pure and simple. A kid just sees a kid bigger than he or she is and thinks "Fat". If you hear it enough, you start to believe it whether it's the truth or not and that belief impacts your whole way of life. If you believe you're fat, you will start making the choices that will keep you fat whether you want to or not.The things you eat, drink, your play. Everything. I got moved around so much from school to school as a kid and a lot of times, I didn't have friends in my neighborhood to play with because my school was no where near my parent's house so I fell back to reading and playing with action figures, legos, anything I could play solo and not need friends to play with me. My sports skills pretty much dwindled to nothing, which further insured being picked last for teams in school. That also insured that the kids would pick on me further which made me retreat deeper.

The next Shaper has to be family. I love my parents dearly and they never wanted me to get fat, but like all parents in the 70's, they didn't have the knowledge that we have now as far as what will put weight on us. Also, I was a very picky eater and it was easier for them to give me what I wanted rather than make me eat and try different things. Plus, I was a stubborn little kid and I always wanted my way and for the most part they caved in to me. Not always, but when it came to food, they usually let me have my way. As a little kid, they probably weren't worried about it and they probably thought "He'll grow out of the baby fat when he grows up." Plus, they both grew up in families where things like sweets and sodas were rare treats and they wanted to give me and my sister all the things they couldn't have as kids, so there were always cookies and sodas in the house. They never really overindulged, but I know I did. I know they just wanted to give us what we wanted, but we didn't realize what we had to do to not overdo it. And I just want to say that my parents are not to blame for my being overweight. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just acknowledging one of the things that shaped me.

Then going into puberty. Not fun. Your body is going nuts with hormones and everything else. Now let's add pimples and cracking voices to a kid that's already having weight issues and drive that self-esteem right into the ground. Low self-esteem means low self confidence and that kills any attraction a girl might feel for you, which means you will be relegated to "just friends" status no matter how nice a guy you are. When your self confidence is really in the tank, it shows in your face, your posture, pretty much everything. It's hard to get a girl to even agree to dance when you're like that much less get them to go out on a one on one date with you. And believe me, this is the voice of experience talking.

High School....Let's just revisit shapers 1, 2 and 3, shall we and then throw in all the cute girls that won't give you the time of day and will be more inclined to make fun of you because you don't fit into the high school norm. Now let's add in that awful myth about how the pretty girls are so pretty that no one has the nerve to ask them out and the oddball guy has a chance with them. That is such a [FOXTROT]ing myth that it is so far beyond funny now that I look back at it that it makes me ill. There were probably plenty of cute girls that would have gone out with me if I asked, but I always went for the cheerleader and drama types that I didn't stand a chance with. All because of that myth. Hell, I was a virgin until I was 18 years old and well out of high school.

After high school, I went to college for a little while, but it was just more like an extension of high school for me so I went to work. I started making my own money and my best friend took me to a strip bar. 18 years old, desperate for female attention of any sort and no chances of finding a girlfriend due to the way my mind was working at the time. These strippers start showing me attention and I gravitated to it like a moth to a flame. I knew in my mind that they were really interested in my money, but I craved that attention so badly that I didn't care. In time, I became actual friends with them and getting that attention eventually rebuilt my self-confidence which led me to try actual relationships with these women. That really never worked out for me and ultimately led me to joining the Army.

The Army...now I know you're thinking "You had to lose a lot of weight to get in and then had to lose more in Basic." You're right, I did. In Basic Training I got down to 175 pounds and looked like a concentration camp victim. In Basic and Advanced training, your exercise level is very high and you are going to burn off whatever you eat plus some. Once you get to Permanent Duty (also called Permanent Party), that exercise level drops somewhat and they don't really monitor what you eat or drink. So unless you watch it and keep that exercise level up, you will put on weight. In my case, I also had a platoon sergeant in my last assignment that just hated me and wanted to get rid of me. They wouldn't let me transfer out or let him transfer me, so he did the next best thing. He gave me these early morning missions that would guarantee I didn't get any PT and didn't get me back to base until nightfall so I was eating MREs all day long. 3 MREs a day is about 8 to 9 thousand calories. They aren't meant for extended use when you sit in a truck all day long. Even one a day is too much if you aren't exercising. So what do you think happened? Yep, I gained weight and couldn't pas my PT test and he managed to get me chaptered out on Medical. I was honorably discharged, but still discharged and with a body weight of 260 at that point.

I was also married by that time and early on, we bought what we could afford to eat which was cheap and fattening. I figure that I was over 300 pounds by our 5th anniversary and exercise was never a strong point for us. At one point, I got a job that was very physically active and I wasn't eating too much and I dropped a lot of weight. Of course in that time frame I also managed to get divorced and dropped some more weight. Then I met the one I thought would be with me forever and I went and got a better job as far as money and benefits were concerned, but it wasn't as active so I got heavier than ever before, which started impacting our sex life and drove a wedge between us and eventually I lost her too. It was right after that that I had my surgery and now I'm finally in control of my weight.

But there are still plenty of days when I'm that same fat kid in High School in my head. I hope the fat kid goes away soon.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 118: Nothing really going on on my weight loss today..

It's been a busy Sunday for me. Got up and went Grocery Shopping and then came home, had a protein shake and went to town really seriously cleaning my condo. Yesterday was just straightening up, Today was deep cleaning the carpets, scrubbing the floors and bathrooms and dusting everything. I mean, this place is cleaned now. I need to get a carpet cleaner in here to do the job properly on the carpets, but it will do for now.

The birthday bash I went to last night turned out to be less of a bash than I was expecting. Counting myself, 3 people were there to celebrate with the guest of honor. That had to be disappointing. I'm glad I decided to go. I know that when I have a party of any sort and so few people show up, it's kind of disheartening, like "are these the only friends I have?". When I got home from the party, I ran into my buddy David and he and spent about 20 minutes chatting outside. It turns out that growing up, we were practically neighbors. He grew up in Wasco and I grew up in Bakersfield. For two people to grow up that near each other and become friends later in life is really amazing to me. It shows me that as big as the world is, in some ways it is still very small. He told me that my weight loss is inspiring him to try to lose some weight. He said that I'm going to have women throwing themselves at me shortly when I hit my goal weight, if I'm looking as good now at my current weight. I couldn't help but smile at that. He said that the way I was dressed was the best style for me to wear, especially the boots and jeans. He said the style I had on was really slimming and flattering to me. He actually motivated me to get my ass back into the gym and start really working at toning up everything.

As far as women throwing themselves at me...well, maybe. There's still only one I want, though.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 117: Saturday night!

The morning was very busy. Hair cuts, cleaning, other running around, taking my daughter to her voice lessons. Busy busy busy. Then I came home to do more cleaning and rest. My original plans got cancelled, unfortunately, but I got an invite to a birthday bash at the Revolver so I'm going, decked out in my slim jeans, engineers boots and a tight black t-shirt. I'm going to have some fun and just let whatever happens, happen. No muss, no fuss. No drama, no trauma. Just fun.

Protein and water are good and the testosterone shot is definitely doing it's job on everything. My emotions are very stable now and I'm feeling better than I was before. It just goes to show you that no matter how good you think you're feeling, there might be something you're missing that can make all of the difference. I'm also feeling stronger than before, which is honestly amazing to me. Tonight I feel like I can take on the world and win. Like nothing can stop me if I set my mind to what I want. So lets see what happens tonight.

Do Svidanja!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 116: Thor and dinner!

I took my daughter and ex-wife to see Thor tonight and then we went to dinner. An early Mother's day present for my ex. Good movie, but a little short. Beautiful panoramic shots and plenty of action and humor to satisfy just about anyone.

After the movie, we went to Cabo's for dinner. I had the tacos al carbon and ate about half of the meat. After that point my body just said "Stop." My ex and I had a nice adult conversation and bored my daughter to drowsy. I definitely discovered one thing. My ex and I are far better friends than we ever were as a couple. It was a good conversation. I also felt like she needed an adult to really talk to other than her coworkers, so she was glad for the opportunity to really talk.

I'll be glad when I can really eat and enjoy beef again. Beef is hard to digest to begin with and sleevers' stomachs don't handle it well in general. Mine sure didn't. After eating, my stomach was definitely upset. Not sick or queasy, but definitely a little pain going on. More adjustment, I suppose. Ona high note, the Testosterone shot my doctor gave me seems to be working. My emotions feel pretty stable right now and that's a good thing.

I have to get up and clean my place tomorrow morning so I can just relax on Sunday and not worry about anything. I take my daughter to her music lesson at noon and drop her off with her mother. We're both getting haircuts in the morning, so tomorrow is going to be busy.

That's all for tonight. More tomorrow!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 115: Bad belly day

Uggghh. Woke up with a not-right feeling in my stomach today and it didn't get any better as the day went along. Just felt awful for most of the day. No matter what I did, I didn't feel any better. Walking, water, eating, nothing. I guess we all have days like that. I suppose. Now I'm getting a little headache as well. Just one of those days, I guess.

I can't wait for Friday. The new Thor movie comes out and I'm taking my daughter to go see it. It should be fun.

There are times that I miss being able to sit down and eat dinner with...well, anyone, really. But it feels like such a waste of money to go out and eat when I can't eat that much. I hope in time I'll be able to tolerate more things, but I'm only 4 months out right now, so that's going to change in time. I guess I just miss the social aspect of eating right now. I really don't miss the food. Don't really care about that part of it. Another adjustment that will come about further down the road.

I realized today that my daughter is starting to grow up. I don't mean just getting bigger. She's starting to mature. Her responses are less like a child and more like a tween, which is what she is now. She's becoming more independent in her thought and speech and making her own decision of what she wants. That's both saddening and thrilling at the same time. I'm saddened in that my baby is growing out of being a baby and thrilled to see her develop her own personality and her own way of thinking. Well, like any parent will tell you, she might grow up, but she will always be my baby. I was there when she was born and I was the first person she saw in the nursery. I can still remember the feel of her tiny hand in mine, the grip of her tiny fingers on one of mine. Her first words, her first crawl and walk. Those events will be etched into my memory forever. I'm looking forward to other firsts. Her first date, her first day in high school, so many others to come. And with my weight loss, I have a much better chance of actually living to see her do so much more. I see now how close I really was to dying far too young because of my weight. Never again will I let myself get like that. I might never reach my goal weight, but I'll accept being within 20 pounds of my goal weight on either side.

And right now, I want to offer thanks to the people that helped me get to where I am now. First to my parents for being there for me at the beginning of my surgery and for listening to me when I needed it. To my daughter for trying to understand and help me as I needed help. To my sister Dawn and her Boyfriend Scott for listening to me when I needed them most. To my Bro Wayne for trying to protect me even when I didn't want to be protected. For all my friends on Facebook who have also cheered me on or offered encouragement online. For Doctor James Atkinson, my surgeon, for being brilliant at what he does. And mostly to Cindy for being at the surgery and cheering me on every week as I lost my weight and giving me encouraging words when I needed them most. For giving me hope when I needed it the most. For being there when I needed her more that she will ever realize.

Thank you all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 114: Contemplations on support

Lately I've been noticing that while I'm pretty much solo on doing this at home, I have lots of people that are pulling for me and cheering me on and really providing moral support for me. I've also noticed that some people that have a significant other in their life, or a super close friend, you know, that person that's supposed to help them through everything and be there for them and that person is less than supportive. Or worse, they're inconsistant and supportive one minute and nasty and almost abusive the next.

Not only do I not understand that, I'm actually really offended by it. This person is supposed to be there and provide moral support when we're at our lowest point but they don't do that. Why? What's the point of being that close to someone if they aren't going to consistently provide that support. I know in some cases the best friend has always been the "pretty" one and now that we're losing a bunch of weight that position is threatened. The significant other...that's really bothersome to me. This person should be bending over backwards to provide support. We're trying to lose weight, to get healthier, to live longer to be with them as long as possible. But they don't do it. The inconsistant ones are the worst because you can't tell how they will react to any given event or piece of news.

Now that I think about it...sometimes this journey is better traveled as a solo traveler. Maybe some days I feel a little alone, but at least I know what to expect from it. Maybe if both people have had the surgery then it would be mutually supportive. But when one has had it and the other hasn't, they will never understand what we've fought against all our lives or how hard a decision it was to make to get the surgery and then the prep work needed to get qualified for the surgery. There's no way they can understand what it means to us to finally win the battle against our weight problem unless they have been fighting it themselves. They can't know what it means to undergo this major, life-changing surgery that can't be reversed. Once its done, there's no going back. We're like this for the rest of our lives. Watching what we eat, getting our protein and water, exercising. We can't slack off at any of it.

I thank God for my friends and family and that they have all been so supportive. And I'm going to be there for any of them whenever they need my support.

Min Tian Jian!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 113: Support Group meeting tonight

Well, tonight was a very good meeting for the Gastric Surgery Support Group. Lots of talking and sharing of information and just general good feelings all around. Some people were there for encouragement, I tend to be the one there to offer encouragement. I told my story of my weight loss to date and went into details about how the hormone overdrive can make my mood swings truly epic in scale. This is the biggest drawback to losing the weight as rapidly as I have. The hormones can get really nasty in that case. I'm hoping that since my doctor has put me back on the Testosterone treatment it will stabilize the mood swings. It did help before I had the surgery, so here's hoping it continues. If the testosterone treatment stabilizes my emotions, I'll stay on it for the rest of my life if need be. I want my emotional stability back the way it was. Maybe if I can get the mood swings and emotions under control, I can get the rest of what I want in time. Sometimes it takes a while to get the whole picture and you can't do that if there are pieces missing from the puzzle. Once I get all the pieces, then I can put the puzzle together. I think I have the pieces, but it's going to take time to put them together.

I also tickled most of the group's funny bones when I told them of the 35 pounds to the inch theory and that we had two members in the group who were living proof that the theory works. A couple of the ladies weren't too pleased to find out their girls are going to shrink down and thought it was downright unfair that we regain inches...of course, you have to have the inches to begin with. You're not going to regain several inches if they weren't hidden by the fat pad to begin with. I'm lucky in that regard. Well, at least I think I am. And I've discovered that what I think is what really counts for me. What others think doesn't matter for shit in my head. Like me, don't like me. Love me or Hate me. Want me or not. My mindset is now along the lines what I want is what matters most. If I want it bad enough, I'll find a way to get it. Given the fact that I don't give up easily that won't bode well for anybody that chooses to get in my way.

My self confidence has increased by leaps and bounds to the point where I have no shame. I will say whatever may be in my head and I won't hide my body anymore. I'm going to order some better fitting clothes this next week or go get them from JCP. I'm definitely going to have try on some new shoes, since almost everything I have feels loose and sloppy on my feet.

I am hoping to get down below the 250 mark before too long and see if my doctor will release me for the Krav Maga class. I really enjoyed that class and I want to go back, but I'm going to wait for the doctor to release me officially before I do it. I'm looking forward to my class reunion at the end of next month. 25 years since I've seen most of these people. It should be interesting.

Well, that's all for tonight. I will post again tomorrow.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 112: Monday weigh in and my doctor's appointment

So I got on the scale today and I'm down by one pound this week. I was hoping for more, but a one pound loss is still a loss so I'm good with that. Didn't get all my walking in today, but I'm not going to sweat it one way or the other. My work day started at 6 this morning so I could get to my doctor's appointment with my regular doctor. He got my lab results and sleep study results back and he thinks I can do without the sleep machine for now. Hallelujah. Now if my cholesterol would go down I could get off the damn Simcor once and for all. He's very pleased with my weight loss to date. I am too, come to think about it. My weight loss since surgery is 99 pounds and my overall weight loss is 126 pounds. I may have only lost 1 pound last week,but my body proportions have changed. My clothes are fitting differently and I know that I've lost inches, so I'm ok with everything as it is.

Without going into details, I'm going to offer a prayer for a friend now. I know it has nothing to do with my journey, but in this case, I'm making an exception.

O holy St. Anthony, gentlest of saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures made you worthy when on earth to possess miraculous powers.

Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety.

Encouraged by this thought I implore of you to obtain for my friend that which she seeks.

The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so you are the Saint of Miracles.

O gentle and loving St. Anthony whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet infant Jesus who loved to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 111: AAR on Saturday and my Sunday

I did go out last night to Calico Jack's. I sang two songs, It's a Sin and Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) and they were both crowd pleasers. Although they were pumping out so much chemical smoke last night that it played merry hob hell on my throat so I couldn't get my high voice and I really need it for Separate Ways. Oh well. My alcohol tolerance is getting better. I actually drank a whole Tom Collins last night and didn't waste half of it. I also drank two bottles of water to keep hydrated and to keep my vocal cords from getting too torn up by the chem smoke.

And today I went to Walmart to do some shopping and then relaxed and took everything very easy today. Chatted with a friend online, did some internet surfing, worked on my hobby stuff and watched a bunch of episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix streaming. I also watched A Clockwork Orange. That was seriously weird. Way beyond weird, actually. The only reason I even watched it is because the Doctor Who stream started tiling and skipping. That was annoying.

Getting a bit of a headache from looking at the computer screen too much today, so I'm ending this here. I know my blogs have gotten short of late, but since I promised to keep this blog about me from now on, it's going to be shorter and quieter for a while unless something really interesting happens regarding me and my weight loss.