Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 170: OMGOMGOMG!!!!


Major NSV tonight. I was cleaning up for my parents' imminent arrival tomorrow and I stumbled across a couple of old jackets. One was my US Army Black and Gold training jacket, the other was my High School letterman's jacket. I really didn't think too much about it right then, but after I did as much as I planned to I went back and out of sheer morbid curiosity, I tried them on. To my surprise and delight, they both fit me now. I kind of wish I had found them last week before my reunion so I could have taken the letterman's jacket with me as a memento. I...what was the question? What did I earn my letters in?

Choir, if you must know.

Quit snickering.

You too, Feral. I'm on the verge of evicting you along with Fat Kid.

Anyway, I'm somewhere past overjoyed and approaching elated at this development. I honestly never thought I would fit into these jackets again, but I couldn't get rid of them either. Too many memories and connections. Now that they fit again, I can't wait for winter to arrive.

Min Tian Jian!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 169: Decisions, decisions...

So I'm closing in on my goal weight now. 68 pounds away and I'll be there before too much longer. So now I have to decide whether I'm going to undergo plastic surgery to remove the excess skin or not. I'd like to think that I won't need the surgery, that the skin will shrink up like the bariatrician said it would. The reality check says that probably won't happen, though. I know some people would say the excess skin is a trophy in the battle against weight loss. I have to be honest, my vanity says it's not what I want. I'd rather have the scars from having the skin removed and get them covered by ink.

It's a hard decision to make. If it isn't covered by my insurance one way or another, it has to come out of pocket and that's expensive. Figure a minimum of 5 grand to have the work done. But I still have a while to contemplate everything. It's possible that my skin will completely retract and I won't need the surgery at all.

[...Quit chuckling, Feral or I'll evict you like I did Fat Kid!]

I do apologize for the delayed posting. I did write this last night, but Blogger was glitching something terrible last night.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 168: still posted before midnight!

one minute before! It still counts!

Early day tomorrow. TTYL!

I'll try to expound on something tomorrow, loyal readers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 167: Monday morning weigh-in and Mini-goals achieved!

I said my mantra and stepped on the scale this morning, fully expecting a low loss or a stall. Surprise surprise, I not only lost, I lost big time. My body weight is now 268 pounds. That's 6 pounds lost for this week, 125 pounds lost since surgery and 152 pounds lost overall. That also means I hit two more mini-goals: 125 pounds lost since surgery and 150 pounds lost overall. That's worth a big old hoorah as far as I'm concerned. I wish I knew what I did differently so I could maintain a regular 5 or more pounds per week lost. Oh well, as long as it comes off that's the important thing. I don't think the Reunion trip alone did the job. I guess it's just the body adjusting to a new level of weight loss.

BTW, my percentage of weight loss is 69.09 etc percent. I've lost almost 70 percent of the weight I want to lose. I love my sleeve. My BMI is currently 36.3. Still Obese, but close to the overweight mark. I'm slowly but surely getting there.

One last thought. I know that my weight loss is a great example that the surgery works. I would make a great commercial for the effectiveness of the Gastric Sleeve Surgery. But a great commercial is not necessarily a great comparison for others that have had the surgery. I only know of one other person that had the kind of success with the surgery that I have had. We would need the disclaimers of "Results not typical". I know that some people that know me personally and have had the same surgery are a little discouraged that they have not had the success with it that I have had. I wish I could say "Here's what you have to do to have the same success.", but everybody has a different experience with the surgery. Some lose fast, some lose slow. Some lose consistently, some have stalls. Some have all sorts of complications, some breeze right through it. It's different for everyone. As long as we lose and make the changes in our lives to not only lose but maintain the loss and not regain the weight, then it's going to work for us. I know the changes aren't easy to make. We have to change from a sedentary life style to an active life style. We have to eat right, watch our protein intake, and drink our water. Most importantly, we have to change our mindset so that we don't go back to our old ways. Do I miss some of the foods I used to eat? Occasionally. Would I trade being able to eat whatever I wanted for the weight I've lost? No chance. I feel so much better than I have in a long time and I guarantee I would not have shown up for my 25th High School Reunion at my highest weight. This has been a good and positive change for me and I think it will be for most Sleevers in the long run.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 166: The Reunion

I had a great time at the reunion. Everybody there pretty much recognized me instantly and all of them said that I looked like I hadn't changed in 25 years. A few of them said that I looked better than I did in High School. All of them asked how I did it. I wasn't shy or reticent about sharing my story with them and they were all impressed by my honest and concise story. I answered any questions they had and was very much in demand with my classmates last night. I danced with a lot of very pretty ladies and had a good time.

When they served dinner, I tried a little bit of everything and stopped when my stomach gave me the stop signal. The people at my table commented on how little I had eaten and I pointed out that 4 ounces is my limit anymore. I did have a drink as well, but the bartender was clearly out of her field with what I asked for and she really didn't make it very well. A little bit later on I noticed a sizable line for the bar and I looked over and saw the bartender using her cell phone and trying to get the drinks at the same time, the awkward cow. At one point the hosts walked around and offered everyone cupcakes. I decided to throw caution to the wind and tried it. I wish I had stuck to my guns and thrown the cupcake to the winds. After two bites Bobo said "Enough of that". My stomach got a little upset so I just sat the rest of the cupcake down and I was done with it.

One of the couples there had to leave early because they had a gig to get to and some of the reunioneers decided to go watch them. I waited for about an hour and a half and then went out to watch their gig. They are really good. I spent the remainder of the night dancing with one of those pretty ladies I mentioned earlier. She and I had a really good time and I commented that it was probably best that I lived in Vegas because we would just be having too much fun together. She's happily married, but we did have a good time together just joking and dancing and having fun.

One of the best things that came out of this trip was the old friends I made connections with. I'm going to make a more active effort to keep the lines of communication open now. Maybe it will encourage me to come back to Bakersfield more often. And all the positive comments about how I looked and the positive reaction to my story really boosted my ego, so I feel renewed to continue this journey. I feel the fire that I felt the first two weeks post op and I'm going to really get back to the swing of my workouts.

One thing, and this is a major NSV for me. I had ordered a new pair of jeans for the reunion. I tried them on Wednesday and they fit just fine, not much dunlap. By Saturday afternoon when I was getting dressed, they were at least an inch too big for me. I was a little annoyed at that since I had just bought them, but I also felt really good about it because I clearly lost inches for that to happen.

I have to get ready and start locking things up around here. I'm going to meet my sister for breakfast and then head over to the bbq. After the bbq, I'm heading for home and try get my clothes together for work tomorrow.

Auf Weidersehen!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 165: Continued

I wanted to talk about something that happened last night at my meet and greet. Everyone recognized me instantly and one of them even said "My God, Shawn! You look just like you did in High School! You look fabulous! You haven't changed!" That tells me how much I really have changed over the last few months. When people that haven't seen me for 25 years tell me I look the same, I've changed for the better. By losing this weight it's like I turned the clock back on my life. I have a bunch of new old friends on facebook now and I think I'll have a bunch of new readers as well.

What surprised me was how many of us had similar events in our lives. Now a lot of them live in Bakersfield, so it's not a huge surprise there, but a few of us are coming from hundreds of miles away in completely different cities and locales and we still had a lot of the same experiences in our lives. I find myself wondering if it's a generational thing.

So I'll be meeting my bro for breakfast in a little while and then we'll head back to my mom and dad's house to hang until I have to get ready to go to the reunion. I'll be having dinner with my sister et al before that.


Day 165: Late again...

...but I REALLY don't care. I was up at 5, worked til 230 and then spent 4 hours and 15 minutes driving to Bakersfield for my reunion. Spent about an hour with my sister, her fiance' and my youngest niece and then headed out for the pre-reunion meet and greet that started in one bar and grill and ended up in a different bar and grill with a slightly changed cast of characters. It's 1240 am and I'm a little tired now. But I did have a very good time. When the venue and cast changed, so did the topics of discussion and the bulk of the talk was about SEX! Well, I have no shame and it's hard to shock me anymore, so I was right in there talking it up. I was also spending an inordinate amount of time talking to one woman in particular. We dated a couple of times in high school and we were in some of the same classes and we just fell right to chatting away. When she decided to call it a night, so did I and of course, the resident Gossip decided to point out that we were going home together. We didn't, but I'm sure the story will be different tomorrow by the time I hear it again.

I'll try to post again later today, but it's going to be just as busy.

Do Svidanja!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 164: Damn writer's block!

I'm looking at this white space and that little blinking cursor seems to be saying "neener neener neener!"

Like it knows I don't really have squat to say today, the miserable little bastard...

I'll show you, you rotten little blinker!

I've discovered that I'm either very dedicated or just stupid. It's breaking triple digits before 10 am around here and I'm still going out and walking on my breaks at work and going to work out after work. The work out after isn't so bad since the workout room is air conditioned, but walking in that heat at mid morning and heat at the top of the afternoon takes some special kind of sheer stupidity or dedication to this whole thing. On the bright side it makes getting that water in a whole lot easier.

Darci and I decided to meet for dinner and to hang out and talk for a while. It seems really odd, but we're right back to the way things were before everything happened. And I guess that's the real sign that what you really have is a friendship when after everything that happened can just be left behind and you realize you still enjoy talking and sharing each other's company. When you know you can tell that person anything and they will still be your friend after. They might not like what you have to say and they might shoot some unwanted advice your way, but its ok because you know they really want what's best for you and they want to see you happy. And before any of you start thinking about happy endings for my story, get it out of your head. Darci's engaged and I let that particular boat sail a long time ago. I'd rather just have her as a friend, like we were early on when we met.

She has started her own weight loss regimen and she's down 8 pounds so far. She said that now that she and I are about the same weight, she's using me as a motivator to keep losing weight. She said she wants to at least match me for loss and eventually surpass me. I told her to feel free, but I'm not in a race. My journey is solo. If she surpasses me in weight loss, more power to her.

My friend - forget it, I'm just going to use her name, it's easier. Cindy is down another 3 pounds this week for 18 pounds lost overall. Like I said on Monday, her weight loss is visible and I think she looks great. She's still cute as ever. She's beautiful. Truth be told, if it weren't for her, I would not have gotten my surgery. That's not exaggeration, that's the truth. She had been talking about getting the surgery for a long time and when she went to the seminar, she found out that my insurance covered the weight loss surgery and she told me. Well, I went to the next seminar and talked to my insurance company and that was it. I started my journey. So I have to say thank you, Cindy. If it hadn't been for you and your concern for my health, I would still be trudging towards an early grave from obesity related health issues. Thank you for caring as much as you do. And I know how much you care.

I'll be leaving for my Reunion tomorrow afternoon and I'm still considering whether I'm going to bother taking my laptop along. I probably will anyway, but just in case you don't hear from me for a few days, you know why.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 163: New clothes have arrived!

My outfit for my reunion arrived this afternoon. Now anybody that knows me knows how much I hate collared shirts in general. Polo's are ok, but your standard button-down, pointed colar, gotta wear a tie type shirts I really don't care for other than as the last layer in winter clothes, and preferably worn open like a shell jacket. So when I was agonizing over what I was going to wear to the Reunion I decided to ask what the dress code would be and how strictly they were enforcing it. The classmate that was organizing everything told me that a nice shirt and a nice pair of jeans would be ok as long as I stuck to the overall theme of "fire and ice" (women in red, men in blue). So I ordered a new pair of jeans (size 44 slim straights) to start with. Then I was looking for a nice shirt that wouldn't have me climbing the walls within an hour of putting it on and I remembered one of my favorite shirts was a denim long sleeve that had a banded collar. Just a narrow band of cloth, no point or wings or anything else. I went looking for just such a shirt and I found exactly what I wanted at the Wild West Mercantile webstore. Blue check and banded collar. Houston, we have lift off! I ordered that and a new vest to replace the 3x I've been wearing out. I got the same black canvas, but double breasted and size 2x instead of 3x. I can wear xl if the shirt has some give, but if the fabric has no give, it would look like crap. They all showed up this afternoon and I had a surprise. The jeans fit near perfect with only a small amount of dunlop. The shirt was actually a little baggy on me, but I don't think it's that bad . The vest is stiff and has no give whatsoever and I am very glad I went with the 2x. An xl would not fit properly right now. Maybe in 20 or 30 pounds, but not right now. I tried it all on and it's just the look I was going for.

I'll be packing tomorrow night so I'll be able to leave right after work on Friday. I'm very excited about this, but I think it's because I do look so different than I did in High School and I think this is going to be a major league boost to my self confidence.

I haven't decided if I'm taking my laptop along yet, so tomorrow or Friday may be my last posting until next Monday.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 162: Restarted the workout and a visit...

But not in that order. I went over to see my friend today to borrow some luggage for my trip this weekend and we had a nice, if altogether too brief of a visit. When I got up close to her, I could really see the difference her weight loss has made. She might not have lost a lot of weight, but I could see the difference in her face and body. She was a little down that "the girls" have gotten smaller. She's down from a G cup to a triple D. My reaction was, "They're still big and do you know how many women would spend a fortune getting their girls to that size?" When we got the luggage, she mentioned how excited I looked to be going out on this trip. Then she asked me if was really happy (which told me she's reading the blog) and I was able to say with absolute truth that I am happy. Mind you, I still want her back, but I'm happy right now as things stand. When I had to leave because I had to get to work (damn it) and we hugged, again she held on for a long while and we both had an NSV when we hugged because I was able to get my arms all the way around her and cross my hands to either side of her back. We've both lost enough weight to let that happen and we both realized it at the same time.

When I got home, I walked my daughter up to the big pool so she could go swim with her friends while I went and worked out. I did my 35 minutes on the treadmill and then did a set on the machines. I'm trying to build up my triceps a bit, so I focused on the tricep pulldowns and set the weight at 50 lbs and really got a burn going in my arms and shoulders. I did 4 sets of 10 each and I definitely need to build up the tri's to try to fill in those batwings on my arms. The rest of it will do its job as well.

On a bright note, my clothes for the Reunion will be here tomorrow and I'll be ready to go when I go to bed Thursday night so all I'll have to do Friday is get up, go to work and then drive to Bakersfield in the afternoon. I'll be meeting up with my bro and his current girlfriend Friday night, going to see my sister Saturday morning, and then the reunion Saturday night. It's going to be a fun weekend!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 161: Monday weigh-in and a Mini-Goal achieved!

Mondays are about the only days I look forward to getting up at 5 am. I wake, say my mantra and my daily prayer, and then I do the necessary and step on the scale. This week my body weight is 274 pounds. That's 4 pounds down for the week, 119 pounds down since the surgery, and 146 pounds down overall. In addition to the daily, weekly, and overall losses, I also achieved one of my mini-goals of 275 pounds. That's the same weight I was when I graduated High School, so things have changed for me now. When I graduated High school I was about 5'8" or so. Now I'm 6' tall, so that same weight is distributed differently. I also have a lot more muscle mass and broader shoulders as well. I know I look different than I did then, and the Reunion this weekend should be a blast. Again, I wish I weren't going solo but some things just haven't changed. C'est la vie.

Since I made the decision to not let myself be unhappy or despairing, I have come to the conclusion that I am happy right now. Just because you're not with someone you love right now does not mean you have to be sad or miserable. Accept what you have going on in your life right now and go with the flow or figure what you have to do to change the situation. If your weight isn't where you want it then make a change and lose the weight. If your body isn't the way you want it then figure out what you have to do to to change it and do it. I'm single right now and I'm going to live my life the way I want to live it. If I want to go to a movie with my ex-wife and daughter, I can do that. If I want to see an old friend and talk about books or games I can do that. If I want to go for a walk with my ex-girlfriend, I CAN DO THAT! I don't owe anybody any explanation for what I may or may not do. If I had my druthers, I would gladly have to explain myself to a certain someone. But right now, I'll be happy with the time I get to spend with any one of them.

Interesting thing is, my bro told me the other day "You have a significant other, bro." I just did that "Huh, WTF are you talking about? In case you forgot, I'm single." He said, "No, bro. You two may not be together right now, but you are significant to each other and will be forever. Didn't it occur to you that neither one of you wants to hurt the other? Look at what you did when Darci hurt you. You not only hurt her, you were going for specific buttons to hurt her. You and ***** know the buttons to press, but neither of you would do it. You still care about each other and neither of you is willing to burn a bridge to ruin a path back. Give it some time and you two will probably find the way back. But until then, be single and enjoy it."

So that's what I'm going to do.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 160: Father's day and AAR on the concert

So it's Sunday and Father's day. What I remember most about growing up with my father is that he acted like a father, like a parent. I'm sure he wanted to be a friend as well, but his first priority was making sure that I grew up to be a responsible man. A good man. A caring and loving man. I know he reads this blog so I just want to say you did a good job, Dad. I know I've made mistakes in my life, but I always learned from them and worked at making myself better. I've gotten hurt in the past, but you were always there if not to clean up and bandage the wounds, to listen to me when I really needed someone to listen. You gave me the example I needed to raise my own child. So thank you for everything, Dad.

Now let's put the tear-ducts on simmer. On to the report of the night at the concert.

Candace and I headed out about 3 hours prior to the concert. I figured an hour for the drive, and an hour to get situated, pick up the tickets and get something to eat. Then an hour to get seated. I called all of that about right. On the way out we saw a billboard advertising the concert and she said, "Dad, I think he's hot!" Not exactly the kind of thing you want to hear your 10 year old daughter say, especially about a 61 year old man...

We got out there about 6 and rode the monorail over to the Arena and went to get something to eat. Of course, she wanted pizza from one of those horrible little pizza by the slice places at the food court in the casino. I ate about half of mine and let her have the rest and then we shared a large lemonade which we managed to nurse throughout the time we were at the concert. Prior to getting seated, she really wanted to buy a shirt and some souvenirs and she dropped 40 dollars doing just that. She got a black and red Rick Springfield thermal shirt and some buttons. Then we got in line and she put the shirt on and had me put the buttons on her shirt. We got seated and then I had to deal with her whining for almost an hour about "When is the concert going to start?" every 5 minutes. I told her the time each time and how much longer it would be. I just had to ride it out, no matter how annoying it was to deal with.

Then the concert started and everybody was on their feet whooping and hollering. Unfortunately, our seats were at the floor level, so the only way she could see anything was by standing on her chair which was uncomfortable and a little scary for her, especially when the Bass would pulse through her chair. About an hour into the concert. She sat down and didn't look like she was really enjoying the show anymore so I asked her what was wrong. She said her feet were hurting from standing on the chair and she couldn't see if she sat down. Well, I may be a die-hard Rick Springfield fan, but I wasn't going to make her suffer through another hour (at least) because I'm a fan. She clearly wasn't enjoying herself anymore so we left. On the way out, she wanted to get a couple of more souvenirs, a guitar-shaped magnet and a keychain. Then we got on the monorail back over to Primm Valley and started the drive home, listening to Rick on my Zune. We might not have seen the whole concert, but she'll remember this first one as a great concert.

See y'all later!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 159: Super Saturday!

Ok, Candace and I got an early start and had our haircuts done before 9am so we went to the mall and walked around waiting for the stores to open so I could buy her a new outfit for the concert tonight. She couldn't find a shirt she liked, so she decided to go with the one I bought for her from Forged a couple of weeks ago. And we didn't go near the JC Penney store. We were actually shopping in the mall stores. She's at the age and size where she can fit into misses clothes, so I took her to the hot girl's stores to let her pick out some clothes with a few caveats from me. No bootie shorts, short skirts, midriff shirts or anything that looks like something you would see in a Victoria's Secret or Frederick's ad. No, I didn't actually say that, but I was watching her choices with that in mind. She picked out a couple of pairs of leggings that look like jeans and then a pair of the calf-high Converse shoes. Unfortunately, the pair she really wanted don't come in her size, so we had to settle for something that is her size. They are plain black with white soles, laces, and Converse badge. If she wants to decorate them, we can get her some stuff from Michael's and that will make them completely unique. Unfortunately, I think she got overworked and overheated. We stopped for lunch at the Olive Garden, but her stomach was still bothering her, so we cut the shopping trip short so she could come home and lay down and rest before the concert tonight. I'm going to do some laundry while she naps.

I'm going to be wearing jeans, hi tops and one of my MMA shirts. maybe my black vest as well. I've got my camera charging so I can get pics of us before the concert tonight. I think this will be a good night.

I do have plans for tomorrow as well, so the blog might be late, but it will be here!

Do Svidanja!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 158: A great Friday!

Wow. Today was a really good day. Friday, pay day, I took my daughter and her mom to see Green Lantern (in 3d) and then her mom treated me to dinner at a nice restaurant for Father's Day. The movie was really good. If you like Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds, Sci fi superheroes, or lots of good clean action, you should definitely see this movie. The special effects were really amazing and the panorama shots of the planets and universe were spectacular. Ryan Reynolds really pulled off the Hal Jordan part well. The movie was believable (well, as believable as any superhero movie can be) and the story was really enthralling. They didn't go into a huge amount of background for Hal Jordan and he got to the Ring quickly enough. The bit when he's trying to figure out the oath of the ring was hilarious.

Dinner was very good. We went to Austin's Steakhouse in the Texas Station and Candace and I split a petite Filet Mignon for about 4 ounces apiece. I also ordered a twice-baked potato as a side and had about 2 bites of it. I also had a piece of sourdough bread before dinner with butter on it. All in all it was a good dinner. Her mom and I had a good, adult conversation, including discussing weight loss. She's considering the Lap Band surgery and we had a good talk about it. She also has a great idea for a book, but I'm not saying anything here just to protect her idea. I think it's amazing and would be a best seller. We also discussed an idea we had a long time ago and we might press forward with it. A different book idea we came up with a long time ago.

Tomorrow is going to a busy and fun day. Haircuts in the morning, music lesson before noon, lunch and clothes shopping after that and then tomorrow night is the Rick Springfield concert out in Primm. It's going to be busy, but a lot of fun!

Min Tian Jian!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 157: AAARGH!!!!

Ok, the kidney stones? Gotta stop. I felt the damn thing coming on at work so I took an early lunch and went home to get my painkillers. I got back to work and popped one of my lortabs. It left me a little warm and fuzzy feeling, but that just made dealing with my customers easier. I don't know how big the stone was...honestly, I'm not even sure if there was one, but the pains were way too familiar to just ignore. Right before I went home for the day I took a prescription strength ibuprofen and I've been blessedly pain free for the night so far.

I'm taking my daughter to go see the Green Lantern tomorrow and then Saturday night we're driving out to see Rick Springfield live in concert, so this is going to be a good father's day weekend for me. This is going to be her first concert and I hope it's a good one. She already likes his music, so if the concert is good, she'll be a fan like I am.

My friend has lost 15 pounds so far, and I know she's disappointed because she wanted to lose more, but I told her to look at the big picture and that's 15 pounds she won't see again. Also, that means on the average she's lost 5 pounds a week, and that's really good. I'm sure that once she's healed and her energy levels are back to normal, weight will drop off faster. The important thing is we're both happier with our decision to have the surgery done.

On a final note, I've come to the conclusion that the only person that can make me unhappy is me. I'm the only one who can hold on my sorrow. I'm the only one who can keep despairing. Maybe letting go of those things that will be the change I really need to accomplish beyond my weight loss. Maybe letting go of the past will get me the future I really want.

See y'all later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 156: Storm's here!

Oh my GOD! I woke up feeling a little out of sorts this morning. Now, by 820, I recognize that I'm in full-on monthly rage mode. I have all sorts of nasty, destructive thoughts running through my head that will do nothing but cause trouble if I actually act on them. The reason I know it's a rage is because after a little while of letting those thoughts run amok I start asking myself "Where are these thoughts coming from?" If there's no good reason for them, nothing I can track easily and say "Ah Hah! That's what's causing it!" then I know I'm in a rage. That's when I start forcing the thoughts away and thinking about something else. If the thoughts sneak back in (and they will try) I change the thinking again. I focus on something positive. Sometimes they try to sneak through as Feral, but I know Feral too well. Sometimes they try to sneak in through Fat Kid. Sometimes they just do the full-frontal assault. In any case, I've come to recognize the signs and act towards changing them. Or at least not reacting to them.

My friend refers to this state as "being Ill". Some people call it being bitchy. No matter what you call it, it's a cycle. It happens once a month. Yes, gentle readers, it happens to us men too but we don't have anything to show cause for the event. This is why we should all have mancaves to retreat to when it occurs. We should just hide away for a day or two until things are back to normal for us. But for the loved ones around us, you need to give us some space and maybe a little TLC until we're back to normal.

I'm definitely going to workout this evening if for no other reason than to keep myself distracted.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 155: WATER!!!

Ok, I found a new way to get my water in today. Instead of drinking it from the bottle, I poured it into a cup and kept sipping throughout the day. By doing that, I've managed to get about 80 ounces of water down today and I have another 20 to go. I'm shooting for 100 ounces per day, hopefully it will stave off the fershlugginer' kidney stones. I really hate those things...

I have got to get myself back to the gym for the rest of this week. I've gotten delayed on the way home the last two days and the delays tend to piss me off to the point where all I want to do is go home and relax. I can't let myself do that anymore this week. I have to go workout and get myself back into the habit of working out. It's as simple as that.

I have less than 11 days until my 25 year class reunion and I have one important question: What the hell happened to the time? I distinctly remember my 18th and 21st birthdays and it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. I also remember my 41st birthday, so I guess it was that long ago. My weight loss combined with my maturity is going to make me look completely different to a lot of people. It should be interesting. I wish I weren't going stag, but...oh well. Can't be helped.

I've had lots of women mention how good I'm looking in my pictures lately. Words like "Hot" "Sexy" "Handsome" and a couple of phrases like "hubba hubba" "Looking Gooood" and "Studly, where have you been all my life" were all used to describe me. That's what I'm trying to focus on, things that will boost my morale and self confidence. Less on things I can't control or change right now.

Do Svidanja!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 154: Monday Weigh-in

So it's Monday. I said my mantra (Any loss is good, a stall is acceptable, gain is unacceptable) and did the necessary and stepped on the scale. My body weight is now 278 pounds. That's 2 pounds lost for the week, 115 pounds lost since surgery, and 142 pounds lost overall. I gave my measuring tape to my friend and haven't had a real opportunity to replace it yet, so I can't check that right now.

Given the issues I've been having lately with Kidney Stones, the whole weight loss thing has really been on the back burner for me. I'm going to get back to my workout routine tonight after my doctor's appointment. Provided he has some good news for me.

I have noticed that my pants are fitting a little looser over the last few days. Not enough to justify buying new ones (thank God), but they are a little looser than they were last week. Shirts are still fitting snug, but snug is good. They aren't tight, just snug. Think form-fitting.

Emotionally...I'm pretty well balanced right now, probably due to the Testosterone therapy.I still miss her and I still love her and want her back, but without the emotional storms/rages putting some power behind it, it's not destroying me bit by bit. Hopefully things will change before too much longer for the better one way or another. I've noticed that if the emotions are out of control for whatever reason, it makes the journey that much more difficult to deal with. Hormones will already go berserk due to the massive weight loss. Couple that with a Testosterone deficiency and...batten down the hatches is all I have to say.

I'm going to deviate from the mainstream of this forum for little bit right now. I know some of my readers have all sorts of personal questions that they want to ask me. I'm not going to answer a bunch that may have been in your heads and I'm not going to go into any details about her or what is going on between us. I am going to talk about my feelings regarding her.

Do you still love her? With all of my heart. I've loved her from the moment we actually met.

Can you forgive her after everything that happened? I already did.

Would you take her back? Yes, without hesitation.

Does it still hurt after all this time? It hasn't been that long and yes it does still hurt being away from her.

Why didn't you fight for her if you love her that much? Because it would have accomplished nothing and we would have ended up hating each other if I had fought at the time we split.

If your faith is what keeps you going on this, how do you not start questioning your faith? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that God is watching over me and if we were meant to be apart forever he wouldn't have given me the power of the faith I do have in this situation. I've spoken prior to this about my faith and the signs. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that the signs have always screamed out to me and struck very deep chords within me. If you've never experienced these kind of signs, you can't understand how powerful they are.

So that's the end of the questions for now. I hope this gives those of you who may have been wondering a little better insight and some answers to your questions.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 153: What the hell is that?

I had one those moments this morning. I went into the bathroom a couple of hours after I had my protein shake and my urine had a very distinct red tinge to it. Not brown, RED! It hasn't occurred since then, but I'm definitely going to be talking to my doctor about it and the kidney stone from Friday. This kidney thing is starting to concern me a bit.

Moving on to the rest of my day...I did my grocery shopping, did my laundry, texted some friends, worked on my hobby stuff and had an on and off chat with my friend. She's concerned about her energy levels not coming up to speed yet. She said her walks aren't getting any easier. I did tell her that she's still healing and that she just needs to be patient. I also had her give me a breakdown of her caloric intake and I think she might be a little short on calories. I sent her my daily meal plan and I hope it helps her.

As for me, I'm giving serious consideration to getting extra sleep in over the next few days and see if it makes a difference in my weight loss. I understand that getting extra sleep will assist in weight loss, so I'm going to try it and see what happens. I'm also going to shoot for working out five days this next week. Considering I didn't work out other than doing my walking this last week, I think I need to be doing a bit better than I have been lately.

Well, tomorrow is my weigh-in day and I'll post as soon as I am able.

See y'all later!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 152: An easy Saturday

I slept in a little today (probably due to the Lortab I took before bed last night) and woke up to no pain, thank God. It's possible the stone from yesterday was a leftover from two weeks ago and just started moving yesterday. Hopefully the doctor will be able to tell me more on Monday. I laid off the high protein intake today to give my body a chance to stabilize and maybe clear out somewhat. I stuck with protein to eat, but I didn't touch the shake or shots and I made sure to drink lots of water to help flush me out. As far as eating is concerned, I actually got a whole three and a half ounces of beef down without any issue for dinner. That, to me, is a great sign.

There was a lot more on this blog entry, but after reviewing it I realized it had nothing to do with weight loss and was getting too personal so I deleted most of the entry. Sorry, loyal readers, but I have to stay focused on keeping this blog about my weight loss. I really don't want a repeat of days 99 and 100.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 151: Are you kidding me?

Figures. I get through to Friday, everything feeling great and I develop yet another [FOXTROT]ing Kidney Stone! This time, it hit me at work. I worked through as long as I could, but had to leave work about 3 hours early. I went to get my daughter and we headed for home. I took a lortab and soaked in a warm bath for about an hour until the lortab kicked in. Went pretty fuzzy after that. So much for my plans to go out this weekend. Short of the stone moving out quickly, I'm going to have to take it easy until it does move. [sigh]

That also screwed up my water and protein intake for today as well. With a stone on the move, I tend to get nauseous and eating and drinking are both iffy at best. Oh well. Hopefully my doctor will be able to figure out what's causing them THIS time. This is the first time in almost 4 years that I've gotten stones this close together. Last time the doctors figured out that my stones were caused by stress. I hope that's not the case this time.

I do need to clarify something I've been overstating the last couple of days. I'm not having trouble keeping solids down unless I eat too much. I just can't eat a lot at one time. So if anybody has been worried about that, don't be.

My friend found out today that overextending yourself this soon after surgery will drain your energy really quickly. I hope she learned that today. She went for a long walk, twice anything she tried before and tired herself out quickly. It's a learning process, but I don't want her to over do it trying to speed up her weight loss. I don't want her to hurt herself. I don't what I would do if I lost her for good and I'm not ready to find out.

See y'all later.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 150: A milestone

Well, it's day 150 since I had my surgery. My protein and water have both been good today and I got all of my walking in today so that's all good. Dinner tonight was half of a weight watchers pepperoni pizza, but it went down and stayed down, so I'm getting better with my solids.

It's hard to believe that it's been 150 days since surgery. I can remember it so clearly, probably because it was such a pivotal day in my life. My parents were there, my friend was there and it was worth every second of nausea and every scrap of pain. I'm down by 140 pounds. I've lost 63 percent of the weight I want to lose and it's just amazing to me. I haven't quite lost a pound a day, but I don't care. It is coming off at a decent rate and that's ok with me. I know I'll get to my goal weight eventually. I had more than a few people mentioning my weight loss today and when I point out that I've lost 140 pounds, the reaction is typically, "That's a whole person you've lost!" When I get to my goal weight, I will have lost more than half of myself. And that's true not just physically. Mentally, I've changed a lot. My outlook is different now. I'm seeing things differently than I did prior to surgery. I know what I want and who I want in my life. Somehow, someway, I'll find a way to get it all in one place. I know it.

On the friend front, today was the second week post op for her and she's down 14 pounds total. That's really fantastic for her. That is literally a pound a day and about 12 percent of her total weight she wants to lose. I'm really excited that her journey has started. I think this is going to be fantastic for her and I think it will lead her to her happy place. I hope it does. I just hope she gets past the bad days quickly and just gets to being able to work out and eating as normally as she can with this surgery. It's going to make a huge difference for her life.

So that's it for tonight. I hope everyone has a great night and a better tomorrow. Always strive for a better tomorrow. If it doesn't come along, go out and get it.

Min Tian Jian!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 149: A small NSV today

I made some Turkey Chili tonight and I was able to get a full 4 ounces of unpureed chili down and keep it down. That's a first in about 5 months. That's actually a major victory in my book. For the last four months I couldn't get more than an ounce or two of anything substantial down so getting 4 ounces of the chili down is really good. I'm actually very glad for that.

On a different "victory" of sorts, my "necessary" became very regular today. Every 3 hours or so. Given that over the last 4 months I was only doing the necessary every 2 or 3 days, going regularly today is a good thing. I feel like I "necessaried" about 3 pounds off today. I guess I'll know come Monday morning at 5 AM.

Water intake is a bitch today. I can see the second half of that second 34 ounce bottle just sitting there and taunting me. It vexes me...But I'll get it down before bed. You can bet on that. Protein (thanks to the Turkey chili) is good and solidly into the 120g+ range today, and will be over 130 before I go to bed.

Got all my walking in today and I fond some great music to listen to during the walk. Currently I like "Country Girl" by Luke Bryan, "Turn out the Lights" by Lonestar and "Third Rock from the Sun" by Joe Diffie. Yes, I like Country music as well as Rock. Deal with it. Besides, the women in western wear such as skin tight blue jeans, short denim skirts or daisy dukes tend to be HOT! I know my friend will be smokin' hot when she gets to her goal weight. I have this wonderful mental image of her at her goal weight at 150 in skin tight jeans...[growl].

Ah well, good things come to those who wait...

See y'all later!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 148: Mini-goals and NSV's

I have been mentioning both of these items recently and I thought I would expound briefly on them. We all have our primary goal: our goal weight. But reaching that goal can be a long and arduous process and feel like it's taking forever. Having that in mind, we need to set mini-goals for ourselves. Break the overall goal weight into smaller, more easily-reached goals . That way, when you reach that goal, you're like "Hey, I did it!" and then you can focus on the next mini-goal, etc. I remember my first mini-goal was to lose 20 pounds after surgery. I really didn't expect to hit it in the first week, but I blasted right past it. After that, I started setting goals to specific numbers because of the amount it represented or because of some significant meaning for what that number meant to me. 343 was significant because it was 50 pounds lost since surgery. Then 320 because it would be 100 pounds lost overall. Then 300 because it's a solid round number and it would be 120 pounds lost overall. Then 393 because it represents 100 pounds lost since surgery. I just passed 280 and that represents 140 pounds lost overall. My current mini-goal is 275 because that was the weight I was when I graduated from high school. It's also right around the corner, so I should hit it fairly quickly. At least by the time my 25 year reunion comes up at the end of the month. My next goal after that is 250 pounds, just because I like the number. Mini-goals. Figure out what you want and write them down so you can track them.

NSV's, or Non-Scale Victories aren't really something you can set, more like something you notice that you have achieved. Usually you realize that it's something you've doing for a short while that you couldn't do before. My first one was when I was able to cross my legs when I was sitting. Then being able to bend over and tie my shoes. Getting into a smaller size of clothes. Changes in your body that mean you can get away from some treatments you have been doing for a while such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea. But start tracking them when you notice them.

Now you may be asking, "Why should I track them?" Because if you track them and write them down as you discover or achieve them, if you start getting discouraged, look back at everything you have achieved and remind yourself of how far you have come. Morale is as important as everything else on this journey. Keep yourself motivated with little things like these and you'll find the journey won't seem so long and arduous.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 147: VICTORY!

No, I haven't hit my goal weight or anything more significant. But it is Monday and a weigh-in day. I'm 21 weeks post-op and my body weight this morning was 280 lbs. A 2 pound loss for the week, 113 pounds lost since surgery and 140 pounds lost total. The weekly loss isn't that much but it is a loss. The overall loss is more important to me because it's a mini-goal for me. My next goal is 275, the weight I was when I graduated from high school.

I went over to see my friend today and she's looking very good. 10 pounds lost and her surgery scars are healing well. When I got out of my car, I had another NSV as well. For the longest time, I would have to grab the roof of the car to help lift myself out of the seat, but today I just swung out my legs and stood up without grabbing the roof. That was one of those "What the?" moments when I did it. We sat and talked for a while and we went for a short walk (well, short for me, anyway) and talked some more. I had to take off early because I had to get to work early, but when we hugged goodbye, it felt like neither one of us really wanted to let go. She held me a lot longer than she has in the past, like she needed to feel me holding her close.

I went to my doctor to get the results of my labs and a testosterone shot. The labs were looking very good, although he has given me a directive to stop all Iron supplements for now because he's afraid I might be developing iron toxicity. So Iron is out for now until further notice. He said my testosterone levels are low, but that's not news. What was news is that all my cholesterol levels have dropped by a hundred points across the board, so the Simcor is doing it's job admirably. He has also officially taken me off of the CPAP machine for sleeping, so I'm really glad for that. I definitely noticed that I lost some major body fat recently because when the nurse gave me my Testosterone shot, it hurt. Big time hurt. Stinging hurt. Still hurts right now as a matter of fact. She said that I have almost no fat left on my butt, so it was going to hurt a bit. She wasn't lying...owowowowow. The Doctor is going to give me a referral to a cosmetic surgeon that has some new laser treatment that will shrink up the excess skin without invasive surgery. If we can work it out, it might be medically covered so my insurance will cover it. I'm going to see the surgeon and talk to him and then talk to my insurance company and find out if any of the procedures will be covered under medical necessity.

This blog went on a bit longer than it has recently, and that's a good thing. I guess when something significant occurs in my journey, my blog will be correspondingly longer.

See y'all later!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 146: A truly restful Sunday...

I went to sleep about 930 last night and woke up to daylight in my window about 620 this morning. I took my shower and got dressed and went to do my grocery shopping. An hour later, I was home and my groceries were put away. After the active last couple of days I decided to just relax and take it easy today. No running around, no stress, just quiet. I watched a couple of movies, caught up on some email and board reading, talked to some friends and just kicked back.

Something odd I've noticed of late is that when I get up in the morning, my urine is exceptionally dark in color. It lightens up quickly, but still the color that dark concerns me. I'm going to discuss it with my doctor tomorrow, as I do anything that concerns me.

On a lighter note, that impatient feeling I had earlier has passed and I'm back to normal. Well, as normal as can be expected. I still want the weight gone, but I know it will come off at it's own rate and rushing it won't help. I'm a lot closer than I was 6 months ago, and that's pretty good for me. If I can keep up my current loss, I'll probably make my goal weight before Thanksgiving. Then I can buy a new wardrobe for Christmas. Hoorah.

So tomorrow is my weigh-in and I'm going for a quick morning visit to my friend. I'm looking forward to seeing her since the surgery. I know she's lost 10 pounds, and I hope she's feeling better than she has been.

Do Svidanja!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 145: Saturday!

Well, I've taken my supplements, drank my protein shake and half of my protein shot and now I'm getting ready to head out for some active fun. I don't know when (or if) I'll be back tonight, so I wanted to drop a short blog on here to make sure I published today. I'm having a lot more fun and becoming more active as I lose more weight, so I'm really liking my life right now.

Get out there and have some fun today, loyal readers! Go for a walk or a hike or go play at the park. Go out to the lake or anywhere else and have some fun. Get active! Go play some ball or frisbee or ride a bike!

Get off your butts and do something!

See y'all later!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 144: Friday Friday FRIDAY!!!

Thank God the end of the work day finally got here. Why is it the short work weeks always seem to take the longest to get through? Between our manager giving us a "be nice and bend over backwards to help the customer" talk yesterday and Customers losing their ever-loving minds today, I can't decide if I should be a contortionist or an acrobat. If I bend backwards to help anyone else today, I'm either going to do a back flip or my head will go straight up my 4th point of contact.

Water and protein are both good today, I got my walking in and I will be getting some exercise here shortly. Tomorrow morning will be an early exercise day because I have things I want to do tomorrow and I need to workout early so I don't have to worry about it any further on Saturday.

I'm out of time right now to go any further and I feel the need to go do something now. I'm going to follow that need and do something active. Maybe go take in a movie or a line dance class. I'm off to exercise and go do something!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 143: Feeling impatient!

You know, I know that I've lost an amazing amount of weight in such a short time and I know it's going to keep coming off, but I'm in a mood where I want to be at my goal weight NOW! Maybe it's because I have lost so much so quickly and I want it to get going off of me. I'm normally a very patient individual and capable of holding out for what I want, but tonight I don't feel that patience. It's just not there. I'm in some sort of "Gotta have it NOW" mode tonight.

When I step back and look, I realize that I have lost 62 percent of my excess weight and that is remarkable. I'm less than 40 percent away from my goal weight. That really is amazing. I'm only 20 weeks post-op and I've lost 111 pounds. Couple that with the 27 pounds I lost pre-op and I'm down 138 pounds so far. My BMI still shows me as obese, but the numbers are a lot different now.

I did have an NSV today that I discovered purely by surprise. Prior to losing my weight, I had a roll of fat on the back of my head. Basically from the base of my skull and on the top of my neck, there was a roll there. Usually hidden by my hair. Well, I stretched and tipped my head back, I ran my hand across the back of my head and it occurred to me that the roll wasn't there. I realized in that moment that it was gone! That's a huge NSV for me! I've had that roll for the longest time and now it's gone. Yay me and yay Bobo!

On to another sleever, my friend is one week post op and she has lost 10 pounds. That's great and I'm very proud of her and happy for her. She's really seeing the difference now and if she follows my examples, she should continue to lose at a good rate. But everybody is different, and whatever loss she sees will be good. Every pound lost is a pound that should never return. I can really understand now why people are so interested in my own journey. It's exciting to know that someone you know, whether virtually or in the real, is succeeding at this kind of thing.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 142: Drawing a blank...

Wow. Feels like nothing but air for writing ideas tonight.

I suppose I can talk about what led me to the decision to get my surgery. My friend (girlfriend at the time) had been talking about getting the surgery for a couple of years and she went to a seminar for the surgery. When she came home, she had made the decision to go ahead with the surgery but she also told me that my insurance was listed as covering the surgery. I went to the next seminar myself and discovered that my insurance did cover it. The following Monday I called my insurance company and the told me that yes, the surgery was almost completely covered by the plan we have at work. I did some...well, a lot...of research into the various surgery options and I discovered that the sleeve was the option that stuck with me as far as being the best option for me. For me, the fact that it requires no maintenance and it is irreversible was the best for me. It's said that a strong man knows his strengths, but a wise man knows his weaknesses. I know that I would let maintenance of a band slip because of time issues and if I have a way out, I wouldn't have to make changes I didn't want to. By going with the sleeve, I had to change everything. For me, that was the way to success for this surgery.

I then talked to my doctor about it and he agreed that this was the best thing I could do for weight loss. Two weeks later, I heard from the insurance company and I was approved for the surgery. I then embarked on a 6 month process to get everything needed for the surgery. Lab work, EKG's, classes, meetings. Whatever I needed to do to get ready for the surgery. I had a weigh in about two weeks prior to surgery, and in the year prior to that point, the scale in the doctor's office hadn't budged by so much as an ounce, and then all of a sudden the scale dropped by 7 pounds. I took that as a sign that I was finally on the right path.

Two weeks later, I was in the hospital being prepped for my surgery. My parents were on one side of me and she was on the other. Once I had the date, she asked me if she could be there. I discussed it with my parents...if you call "She wants to be there and I want her there and that's the end of it" a discussion and then I told her when to be there. The last thing I remember clearly was getting on the table in the OR and them putting a mask over my face and telling me to breathe deeply. I took one deep breath and that's the last thing I remember prior to waking up in recovery in an extraordinary amount of pain and nausea. I remember waking up in my room after that and wishing they would let me get out of bed so I could walk around and start relieving the gas pain. I remember having no real concept of the passage of time, either. At least not for a while. She left awhile after that and my parents left later and all I wanted to do was sleep, but even that was coming fitfully. It took several days after I got home before I started sleeping normally again.

The next day I had to eat my (now tiny)breakfast and lunch before they would release me. I finally got released at about 2 in the afternoon. So from the time I checked in until I got out was 30 hours. I healed remarkably fast and when I went back to work 3 weeks later, I was already down 38 pounds since the surgery.

Now here I am, almost 5 months later and I'm down 111 pounds since the surgery and 138 pounds overall. She just had her surgery done, and now we're both on the same path. It's very exciting to see someone I really care about start this path and be ready to lose their weight. I hope she does even better than I have so far.