Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a Difference 23 lbs make - before and after shot

My friend Lanora and I have gone to a couple of dances lately. Last night I did not dance as my tummy incision was hurting, but tonight I figured I could dance like a guy .. meaning just stand there and kind of move from foot to foot. I love dancing.

Last night I just wore my same old baggy stretchy jeans and a t-shirt. Tonight as I was getting ready, I thought "Why not try on the black jeans and see how far you have come." I really did not expect them to fit, but at least be a little closer to fitting.

This was my first short-term goal. To fit into these jeans. There is nothing special about the jeans.. they are still very big jeans, BUT they didn't fit me.

So I tried them on ..and imagine my surprise when I actually was able to button and zip them. Holy cow!!

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to have had the sleeve gastrectomy!!

I am posting the after picture first as it shows as the thumbnail when I post this link. And although it may not seem that I have any pride after posting all the embarrassing things I have posted, I still can't bring myself to let the before picture be the thumbnail picture :)

This picture was taken tonight. I pulled the shirt up a bit so you could see they are zipped and buttoned!! Hooray!!

This is the before picture taken February 4, 2011 where the pants had quite a ways to go before I could button or zip them.

It seems I'm also not having any mind games the last few days. I think its because the scale is moving. I am very pleased with how things are going. I appreciate the support and encouragement I receive. It really does mean a lot to me, so if you get a chance I would love for you to post comments.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mind Games

Hello, I'm Dwan and I am a food addict.

I have not been as sure of this as I am now. This last week has been a huge struggle. I am so grateful that I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy. This has helped me make it through this week.

These last few days I have gained weight. My mind tells me it is water weight. My body does this. I know this after all the crazy diets I have put it on, it is in major defense mode right now. My water intake has decreased, so my body is freaking out and holding onto the water it does have. I KNOW this, BUT my mind is still having a hard time with it. Fortunately, now that my stomach only holds about 4-6 ounces, I am forced to continue doing what I need to do to lose weight.

Let me give you some examples of the mind games going on this week. First day of getting the weight gain news was Sunday. Its not a huge weight gain, only 1.5 lbs. But discouraging none-the-less. All day Sunday my mind kept telling me I was hungry about every two hours. I forced myself to wait four hours before I ate. My body does not tell me I am hungry, as the hunger hormone was cut out. I do not physically feel hungry. This was completely in my mind. I know this, but I have no control over it. I have never had more empathy for my alcoholic friends before than I do now. Because I happen to be able to afford to do something about it, I am forced to not eat like my mind was telling me to. Hallelujah!!

The next day I did not lose or gain any weight, but I struggled all day with eating. This might also be because I am home and have the opportunity to eat freely. The next struggle. I make my small meal, but my mind tells me that there is no way I am going to be satisfied with that small amount of food. So I add an extra spoonful. Again I am grateful for the surgery as it prevents me from eating that extra spoonful, as I am completely full with the small portion.

Tuesday comes, my first post-op doctors appointment. I weigh in at the doctors at 290.0. This is 22 lbs less than my first appointment weight, but only 2 lbs less than my pre-op weigh in. My blood pressure was down. 136/80 I think it was. This is about average for me.

Now for the real test. I am out and I am hungry. I decide I am going to have my favorite meal at Olive Garden. Steak Gorgonzola. You might remember that this was also my last meal I had out before my pre-op diet. I tell the waitress, I know this might sound weird but since my stomach can only hold about 4 ounces, I am still going to order the entrée but I want the soup to go and the bread sticks to go and I will eat my small portion of the entrée but then I will take most of it to go as well. I ate a very very small portion of the meal, and took most of it home with me. I thought I actually did pretty well at my first attempt at eating out.

I will mention that I chew all of my food extremely well. This is something that I have attempted to do over the years, but have never really succeeded in doing. I probably chewed more than some people, but I know it wasn't as good as I should. Now I chew my food the way I should chew it. I think this will be very helpful.

When I knew I really had a problem

My kids ordered pizza. Yummy yummy pizza. I took the smallest slice. The crust was probably about 3-4 inches wide at the widest. Probably about 5-6 inches long. I knew this was bigger than my 4-6 ounces I can eat, but I figured I would eat til I was full and put the rest back. I was able to eat about half of it. This from the center towards the crust so in total less than half of the slice. But my mind told me it did not want to stop eating. I knew I would not be able to eat another bite as the last bite hurt after I ate it. This is a good sign that I am completely full. I was so determined to eat that pizza I came up with this great idea. I would chew the pizza then spit it out. This lasted two more bites, then I thought to myself "What the hell is wrong with you!!" How sick do I have to be that I would resort to this. Eating it just so I could spit it out? This is definitely an eating disorder. How is that different than eating and purging? Only difference was I spit it out before I swallowed it.

Now the weird thing is I did try to vomit earlier in the week. I ate something that disagreed with me. I heard some of the ladies saying that when they felt that uncomfortable they would just vomit. I tried. It was the weirdest feeling. Nothing came out. It was like dry heaving, except that I knew there was something there. So lesson learned. Do not eat anything that will disagree with you as you will have to suffer the time it takes for it to digest on its own. I mention this to the doctor and he said in time I will be able to vomit. Not that I would want to vomit, just that I would like to know that if I needed to I could. Of course, my mind went right to ingesting poison. What if somehow I ingested poison but couldn't vomit? This has never happened to me in 44 years that I know of, but somehow this is a concern for me now. How is this logical?

One other thing I noticed that I do not like. I burp a lot. This is very unladylike. I am not sure why, but when I eat, as soon as it hits my stomach it produces gas. This is something that has happened right from the beginning and happens when I drink water as well. I am not sure if this will go away after awhile or if its something I am just going to have to live with.

Good news for today. The scale did move. Not much but I am ok with that. I am just glad it moved down. I figured it was because yesterday was the first day I actually left the house. The inside incision (not the stomach but the one in the muscle) still hurts a little. I worried about driving, but seem to do ok with it yesterday and today. Today was also my first day back at work. I am only working part time in the afternoon, which works out perfectly for me.

Bad news for today. A client came in and we were talking about just coming back to work after surgery and she mentioned that she got a tummy tuck a few years back and would never do it again as she was in so much pain after the surgery. I figured it would have to be painful and figured it could muster through it, but she said it pained her for 2-3 weeks. This is scary for me. OH well .. we will see what happens in the next couple of years, maybe they will come up with something new!

God has blessed me with giving me a way to physically deal with these mind games. Now I just need to figure out how to mentally deal with them.

Love to all of you who support me in my journey!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am alive and one week post-op!!

Its been a week since I received the Sleeve Gastrectomy. Let me tell you about this journey.

After my cheating on Superbowl Sunday, I stayed true to the liquid protein diet for the next two days. It was actually pretty easy those last two days. My weight on the day of my surgery February 9th was 291.4. I had lost 14.4 lbs. Now I will admit I was pretty disappointed. I thought for sure going two weeks of not eating regular food I would surely have lost over 20 lbs. I am over that disappointment.

As of midnight the night before the surgery I was unable to eat or drink anything. I chug-a-lugged an entire bottle of water just as the clock struck 12. My time to check into the hospital was 12:30 p.m. How freaking lucky was that?? If you are an early bird you just can not appreciate that time as well as I did. My friend Bob drove me to the hospital and stayed with me through check in. My weigh in was 292 point something. I was too busy holding my breath to remember what the something was. So technically my weight loss from doctor office visit on January 25th to then was 20 lbs. I was happy with that.

I told everyone that I didn't care to have anyone sit and wait. I actually told Bob that he could just drop me off at the door, but he didn't he came in with me. After they brought me back and was having me change into a hospital gown, Bob left. A few minutes later, my son George showed up. I was totally not expecting him, but was moved to tears to have him there. I had no idea how much that would mean to me, but I was happy to see him. He sat there with me until they wheeled me out of the room. I am not exactly sure what time it was when they took me, I think it was around 3:30.

I do not remember much after the anesthesioligist gave me a shot in my IV, but that the shot hurt. Next thing I remember is waking up. I must have somehow moved to my side. They were telling me that I needed to roll over onto my back. I said no it hurt too much. They said if I rolled over they would give me a shot of morphine. Somehow someway my mind cleared enough to tell them "No, I want di-something dilanding, di.... " "Dilauded?" "YES!! Thats it!" Now I also hear my boys and my mom talking in the background. WTF was my mom doing there? Those of you that know me know that I do not have a very good relationship with my mom. I was unable to talk, my mouth was very very very dry. Someone swabbed my mouth with water. That felt great. Andi, the bariatric nurse I met with prior to surgery, gets major major kudos for telling me about Dilauded. Its 8 times more powerful than morphine. I would have had no way of knowing about it unless she told me. That shit is the BOMB!! I felt NO pain. I felt NO nausea. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ANDI!!!!

I made sure I was awake every single four hours to make sure I got my shot. I told my nurse, if I am asleep, I do not care, wake me up, give me my shot. I am not sure what time I got out of surgery. I think I heard it took about two hours. All I got to drink was 30 ml's of water each hour. That is one ounce. My mouth was sooooo dry that was not nearly enough. I was diligent in drinking my ounce each hour on the hour. My mom brought roses. They were beautiful. She also got each of the kids a stuffed animal to give to me and lots of balloons. That was nice of her.

My night shift nurse was Kurtis. He was very cool. Young and handsome. I should have got a picture of him. Of course I had my laptop there and found a video on Youtube that showed the surgery I received. It was good watching it as it explained why one of the incisions hurt, while the other incisions didn't. Kurtis and my boys watched it with me.

You can watch that video by clicking on this link:

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Kurtis made sure that I got my shots every four hours, George made sure I got my water and anything else I needed. He would make a terrific CNA. The worst part I remember after surgery, was that first moment after waking up and before the pain meds. Next would be the dry mouth. Next would be the pain from the first time getting up. Fortunately for me my son is STRONG. He gave me his strong arm and I was easily able to pull myself up while holding my stomach. Standing up.. holy cow that was another story. Yowza, that hurt. I had to breath through the pain and determined I was not going to attempt that until right after getting my pain meds. Once I got walking the pain subsided. I walked the two feet to the bathroom. Then back to the bed. Everything went well. I need to mention that my very cool nurse Kurtis, added in Toradol, when I mentioned I was having some pain drinking the water. This is a muscle relaxer or something. Let me tell you, if you ever need to go have surgery, REMEMBER THESE NAMES!! I doubt there is anything better than those two mixed together. I was definitely a happy camper!

When morning shift came, I got another young and handsome nurse named Jarvis. I also had a very sexy hot latino CNA Jerry. I really wish I took pictures of them. Around noon, I talked to my nurse and CNA telling them I am pretty sure I am suppose to get more water and something to eat like chicken broth. Neither of them have had a bariatric surgery patient before. They had no idea what my diet was suppose to be. I insisted and Jerry brought me an eight ounce cup of chicken broth. This gave me a chuckle. I told him I am pretty sure I am only suppose to have two ounces. This is ok. I measure out my chicken broth, you just keep bringing me my drugs and we will do just fine. During this time with the increase of water to two ounces, I start feeling some pain each time I drink the water. I mention it to the nurse and the doctor. Neither knew why I was feeling this pain. Only thing I can think of is that my esophagus is still very tender and when the water hits my stomach it causes bubbles and it was hurting my esophagus. I still have this problem.

Andi came in to see me after a bit and asked if I got my little cups of jello, juice and broth. I told her about my asking and getting the cup of chicken broth. Well apparently the nutritionist delivered my little meal but the nurses didn't know it was for me or to give it to me. I was able to choose only two of the three little one ounce cups. I chose the jello and juice. I liked the chicken broth Jerry gave me earlier the best, maybe it was just him. Sexy!

I determined that I was going to leave at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The hospital staff and doctor fortunately agreed. My boys came to the hospital after school and picked me up. I made sure that I got my last shot of Dilauded, then was wheeled down to the pharmacy to pick up my liquid Lortab. I had no problems getting out of the wheel chair or getting into my car. Nor did I have any problems getting up my stairs to my condo. Must have been those drugs.

My bed is very comfy. With great pillow arrangement I was very comfortable. My daughter came over with my grandson to care for me the first couple of days. People warned me that the liquid Lortab tasted horrible. I shooed their concerns away saying I can drink an ounce of just about anything if needed. Well now I know I can because that stuff.. HOLY COW .. was nasty!! I could have up to an ounce of the Lortab, but at first all I could swallow was two teaspoons one mil at a time.

My mom had her acupuncturist come out and give me a treatment. I was skeptical about this. I have never had it done before. But what the hell.. might as well try it right? He stuck several needles in my hands, arms, legs and feet and one in my head. He attached several of the needles to an electrode something or other that sent electric pulses to about 8 of the needles. It didn't hurt, I am not sure it helped, but who knows, maybe if I didn't get it I would feel way worse.

Can you see the needle sticking out of my hairline?

My mom hired a massage therapist to come over and give me a set of five massages. She got a deal for the five of $200. Kristie showed up for the first session on Friday night. I wasn't able to move much, but she came right in and got to work. I just stayed in my bed and she worked around me. She mostly worked on my legs and arms. This felt good. I also figured it would help make sure I didn't get any blood clots by making sure the circulation was working. I had one big knot of gas in my back between the shoulder blades. I was able to roll to my side so she could work on it. She did a fantastic job. She worked as deep or as light as I wanted. Now everyone who gets massages knows that to ensure not to be sore the next day you need to drink a lot of water. Well this wasn't possible AND she got that gas knot moving. Needless to say, I was in some pain the next day, but I figured it was worth it to get that gas moving and out of my system as fast as possible. Kristie came again on Saturday. I was better prepared and had position myself in the middle of my bed and supported by pillows. I also had some healing meditation music playing.

I had taken a shower earlier and felt good. My sons bought me a long handled sponge brush and put their shower head which included a hand held shower head in my shower. The shower was a huge success. The massage was a huge success. The gas moved out of my back and started trying to move its way out. Now that hurt. Fortunately, my mom came to the rescue and brought me Complete Relief Peppermint Oil gel caps. It relieves gas pain. It must worked because the gas pain went away after taking it.

Kristie came back on Tuesday and this time I was able to lay mostly on my tummy so she was able to work on the back of my legs, arms and a full back massage. It felt great. I bought a Tibetan and Chinese mediation album on Carlos' iTunes account. I am sure he has changed his password to his account now. I would definitely recommend the massage. It was great and she did a fantastic job of accommodating my immobility. She does have a massage table, but was perfectly capable of working with me on my bed. If you would like to make an appoint with Kristie you can reach her on her cell at 313-5768. The deal she gave my mom was five treatments for $200. That is a fantastic deal. I think she charges $45 per session otherwise which is also a great deal. She also works out of an office in town if you are more comfortable going to her office. I did get her permission to mention her in my blog.

So lets talk about weight loss. I gave you my pre-surgery weight. Thursday when I got home I weighed myself. I was 300.1 I figured this is from all the IVs and stress of the surgery. Yesterday I made it to the 280s. I was 287.8 yesterday and 286.5 today. I am very happy with this.

Now we will talk about eating. Yesterday I was very happy to eat. Prior to this I could only eat chicken broth comfortably. I did have 2 ounces of cottage cheese with a couple of mandarin orange wedges and that was fine, but yesterday, I had 2 ounces of tomato soup with 3 Ritz whole wheat crackers. Man oh man was that yummy. I still have some soreness with my esophagus and use my massager on my chest right over the pain and it goes away. I really like that I am full after only eating a couple of ounces of food. This is fantastic!

I will say that I have finally let myself relax. The surgeon's nurse told me some people have the surgery on Friday and are back to work on Monday. My mom didn't seem to have any problems after her LapBand surgery, so why was I taking longer. I am pretty sure its because of the different surgery. I am allowing myself the full two weeks to heal. Even then I am only going back to work part time. Fortunately my boss loves me and gives me the afternoon shift. I typically have trouble with mornings, this even pre-surgery, well its worse post-surgery. I definitely feel way better in the afternoons.

There is another person I want to mention that has helped me out tremendously this week. My Managerial Finance project partner Russ. Now this poor unsuspecting kid (a kid to me, but I am sure he is a man in his mind, I'm thinking he is early 20's), conceded to be my project partner only a week prior to the project being due. He already had done a lot of the work on the project before I got involved, then had to deal with me only putting in minimum effort and that effort while being medicated on Lortab. My only part was to do some ratios and write the memo. I did the ratios, but failed miserably on the memo. Fortunately, this kid wanted an A on the assignment so rewrote the memo. We got it turned in on time, and it is one thousand times better than anything I would have turned in myself, if I would even turn something in. I am not sure.. if it was not for Russ I probably would not have turned anything in and just failed the project. Thanks Russ!

My BMI is down 4.4 points!! Only 15.9 points more until I move out of the extreme/morbid obese category.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Confession Time

This is very difficult to write about. I have been so open about everything, some think too open, but this is something I am having difficulty talking about, let alone share it with others. I feel ashamed. As I sit here and self-analyze myself, I am not quite sure why I feel ashamed, but I do. I have learned over the years that I have feelings that do not necessarily have any logical backing, but have just accepted I have them and move on. I also expect that if you are my friend, and you accept me you will also have to accept some of my illogical feelings.

My last posting I talked about the thoughts of cheating and the encouragements I received from the Support Group to help me decide not to cheat. So what happened....

Super Bowl Sunday and my eldest son's birthday happened to fall on the same day this year. I invited all my kids, my grandson and my ex-husband over to watch the game and share in a birthday cake for George. I knew that we were going to have some finger foods and pizza for the game and a chocolate cake at half time for the birthday. I decided that I would make a completely fat-free spinach ranch dip that I could have to compensate for not eating the other food. I had whole wheat crackers. Counted them out so that I only had 2 servings which would give me 5g of fat. This is pretty similar to a shake so I figured it would be ok to have. This dip was a big hit with the family. No problem. I don't feel bad or guilty for eating this.

Then the pizza came. Pizza Hut's big dipper. At first I tried to hide the fact that I took a bite of the pizza. I knew that my kids would be very disappointed in me. I knew they would try to prevent me from eating it, but I wanted it. My desire for the food was more than my desire to please my kids. By the second piece of pizza, I didn't hide it. Some how .. some way I made a rationalization in my brain that I could eat some of it, but if I purged it right afterwards it wouldn't count. This thought process continued with the cake. When I put the piece of cake on my plate my other son told me, "Mom, you are not suppose to eat that." I said "I know Bobby, but I am going to eat this piece of cake." This said in a tone of voice of "do not question what I am doing right now". I also rationalized that two slices of the big dipper was a lot smaller than two regular slices of a pizza I would have normally ate, so I was making a difference.

I know of a couple of people who cheated on their two-week liquid protein diet and did fine during the surgery. As I was eating the second slice of pizza and could taste all the fat in the cheese, pepperoni, and crust, I started to panic. That's when the purging idea manifested. I will finish this second piece and then I will just purge it, that way it won't count. This actually seemed like a good idea, good enough in fact that I figured if it worked for the pizza it would work for the piece of cake.

So where are these feelings of shame coming from? I actually told my son Bobby later, that he didn't have to worry about me as I purged everything so it was not in my system. He didn't really respond and my mind started chattering .. What the hell was I thinking?? Does this make it ok?? This thought process is pretty sick. Does my son really want to know that somehow I rationalized the cheating by purging it?

I am ashamed I cheated. I am ashamed I purged. Double whammy!

There is really nothing I can do about it now, except to move on. I have two days left of this diet and today I drank my shakes and my water. I did not cheat, but the weird thing is that even though I felt bad about this all day, the same thought popped into my head when I walked in the door. Could I eat something and then purge it? I wasn't even hungry. Fortunately, my logical mind took over immediately after that illogical thought popped in.

I am addicted to eating. Maybe I will look into Overeaters Anonymous.

I didn't weigh myself today, as I had to get up early for work and I was all bloated from messing my system up with the purging and didn't want any more bad news. I also stopped taking the water pill yesterday and I know that causes water gain. Maybe tomorrow.

I appreciate everyone's support and encouragement. I am sorry if I disappointed you.

Confession Time

This is very difficult to write about. I have been so open about everything, some think too open, but

Friday, February 4, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes - and a Support Group

Well I am over my pisstivity of my plateau. If you read my last blog, you will know that I was extremely upset about starving my ass off on this liquid protein diet all to not lose any weight for a few days. I knew I needed help so, I went searching through a storage bucket in the bottom of my closet to find the water pills the "fat" doctor gave me a couple of years ago. I knew I needed a boost to help keep me motivated. It worked. I am now down 13.4 lbs!

Another big boost was attending the support group that was started for the bariatric surgery patients or those interested in getting bariatric surgery. In my previous life, I worked for a company that supported troubled teens boarding schools. I was always stressing how important it was for parents to attend the support groups, so they could talk with other parents going through the same thing they were. I know how important support groups are, so I was glad to find one specially for me.

Even though I knew how important a support group was to success, I was still surprised at how much I benefited from going to the support group last night.

I have been setting myself up to cheat this Sunday. Super Bowl party AND my oldest son's birthday is happening at my house. Both are based around good, yummy and fattening food. I have been imagining what I would be having at this gathering. I would order my favorite sandwich from Port o'Subs salami on sourdough bread. Port o'Subs' makes real sourdough bread. Yummy!! Then of course all of those yummy hor' dorves. After drinking all these very sweet protein shakes, the cake isn't as much of a problem for me. I have been warning my kids that I was planning on cheating on Sunday. This was so they would not give me a hard time when the day came. This was a very conscious decision. I rationalized this by telling myself that I have been so good this whole time that cheating this once would not be harmful. Interestingly, it wouldn't have mattered how many people told me not to do it I still would have done it. Attending the support group changed my mind.

The support group had mostly ladies attendants. There were two supportive husbands and a gentleman speaker. There were a variety of post-op times, from one week to over five years. It was great to see other people who have had some of the same issues I am having of being so heavy. I am so thankful that they were so open to talking about their experience. This is what led me to change my mind about cheating. One of the ladies shared how she had to have open surgery because her liver was still too fatty even after following the liquid protein diet for two weeks. She stated that she wished she could have done the diet for longer so that she wouldn't have had to have the open surgery versus the laparoscopy surgery. When I had my tubal ligation years ago, I woke up to have a large incision I was not expecting. I was a very very unhappy camper. There was nothing I could have done in that situation to prevent it, as when they went in they found my ovary enlarged to the size of a softball and needed to remove it. Why would I want to put myself in a situation where I could have made a difference? All because I wanted to indulge for a few minutes of satisfaction. Here I keep telling my oldest son to watch his actions as they could cause him some major grief in the future, and I was thinking of doing the same thing. A great friend of mine used to quote a Jimmy Buffet song when one was making an impulsive decision. "A permanent reminder of a temporary feeling."

So if you have an opportunity to attend a support group, please do. You never know how something as simple as sharing your experience can help a person struggling with their own problems. I was never expecting to receive anything that would help me through this very trying time. I was very surprised as a matter of fact. As I was driving to the meeting, I was very determined to cheat on Sunday. Driving home, I was very determined not to cheat.

It was great to see how successful these ladies where. The group as a whole has lost hundreds of pounds. This really helps to get rid of that little niggling thought at the back of my mind suggesting I will fail at this as I have on all my past diets.

I will succeed. I will fit into my 49ers varsity jacket. Not only will I fit in it will be loose on me. I will feel great and be active!

Thank you ladies for being there!

Here is a picture I didn't post on Facebook :) My niece Jessica, my sister Linda, and me January 6, 2011.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why I Fail at Diets - Its Been One Week

So I have been on this liquid diet for one week. They say it gets easier, but I do not think so. I am still freakin' starving my ass off every single day. Then the last few days there has been no movement on the scale. I have lost a total of 8.2 lbs in this first week.

This may sound like a good weight loss. Some of you may think, "Why is she disappointed?" Well, I am. And this is probably the biggest reason I fail at diets. This is also the reason I need to get this surgery. After four days of starving myself, I plateaued. Yea yea I know all the reasons. My body went into starvation mode. This said very sarcastically. Because I really do not care that it went into starvation mode, I want the scale to freakin' move. Now I say freakin' on here to keep it PG, but trust me my mind is saying the other word. According to the boys' scale (I call it my BMI scale) I have only lost 5 lbs. Are you freakin' kidding me??

It's not worth it! And that is why I fail. There is no way in hell I would have stuck to the diet with so little weight loss in the first week. Can you tell I am a little grumpy? Just be glad you are not my kids or my ex-husband.

Don't worry. I will be sticking to this stupid liquid diet for the next week as I do not want to risk any injury to my liver. I still look forward to losing all this weight, and I know without a doubt that I need this weight loss surgery to get me there.

I have also come to a decision about posting before pictures. I sometimes sit and watch my screen saver go through all the photos on my laptop. Most of you reading this blog have seen me and know what I look like. So why am I afraid of posting a picture up here? Because then I (the "I" said with a lot of emphasis) have to see what I look like. I look at those pictures, and I don't really believe that I look like that. After forcing myself to look at the pictures as they scroll by, I realized I need to post these pictures just as I need to write this blog. To motivate me. To give me the reason I am sticking to this stupid diet. To justify why I am spending all this money on this surgery.

Since I have been this weight for a very long time, I do not have any clothes from when I was thinner. I do have some clothes I can wear during the first 40 lbs of weight loss, but nothing beyond that except for ... my 49ers varsity jacket. I have had this jacket for 25 years. I have not been able to wear it for at least 20 of those years if not more. For some reason I have kept it. I think I figured I would give it to one of my kids, and I would have but none of my kids want it. :) We took it out of the closet last night and dusted it off. I took a picture of it on me, then a picture of it on my daughter. This way I have something to use as a guiding image. My daughter is wearing a thick jacket under the 49er jacket. I want to be able to wear a thick jacket under my 49er jacket and still have it fit as loosely as it does on her.

Ok .. here it is.. the big reveal:

This is my daughter and how I want to look:

I really do appreciate all the support I receive from family and friends. I really appreciate my kids who deal with my moods when I am starving, and then deal with my disappointments on the scale.

I am a brilliant vibrant woman!