Life and Everyday

Finally the family Christmas

We finally got together.  The weather cooperated and the roads did too.  It was a nice get together over all.  The kids all got along as did the adults.  🙂

We had an excellent meal….John did a pork loin on the smoker along with some chicken.  It was delish!  I didn’t eat so much that I was stuffed, but enough to be full.  I am trying to be more mindful of my eating.  I think I stretched my sleeve some.  I don’t know how to make it smaller again other than eating less by watching what I put in my mouth.  Now with the holidays officially over for me, I can’t use that as an excuse.

And….I have a cold again.  My nose is about to run off my face.  It’s so sore from blowing it.  What do you use to dry up your sinus’s?  I can’t use sudafed, but other suggestions are welcome.

Family stuff always puts me on edge but today I didn’t feel so much of that.  I felt a little of that inferiority stuff but it wasn’t overwhelming like other times.  I guess I went in with “teflon mind”.  I needed to put that distance between them and me.   I didn’t want to get into any confrontations and the like.  Found out though that my mom is leaving for Texas on Wednesday.  Wonder when they were going to get around to telling me that?  Oh well, whatever.  They will be gone for a month or so.  Coming back around the end of February or so.  Hope they have fun.

As for me and K, well, we’ll survive.  Always do.

Life and Everyday

coulda woulda shoulda

I met with Amanda last week and she challenged me on my thinking A LOT.  I have been mulling it over in my head for the past week.  Yeah….that long.  We talked about that have to’s.  All the things I “have to” do or “should” do.

But recently, like the few days, I have a case if of the I don’t wanna’s.  I don’t wanna clean the apartment.  I don’t wanna do laundry.  I don’t wanna do dishes.  I just don’t wanna do anything.  You get the picture.

I have a friend who consistently tells me to take things one day at a time or if not that, one moment at a time.  I don’t have to do everything all at once.

Amanda tells me to re-frame how I talk to myself.  Instead of telling myself that I have to do something, say that I get to do it.  I get to do the laundry because clean clothes  smell good and look good.

I don’t HAVE to do anything, really.  Except the things that keep me out of jail (if that is what I want)…to take care of my daughter and myself.

Some days I don’t wanna get up.  But I do.
Some days I don’t wanna do laundry.  But I do.
Some days I don’t wanna put gas in my car.  But I do.

Or I don’t.  But none of those “don’ts” can last long because I have responsibilities.  And my health is a very important responsibility.  So I pull my head out of the muck.  I get to go grocery shopping.  I get to go work out.  I get to cook delicious healthy food that makes me feel good.  And I get to be healthy.  It’s just that some days, it’s one moment at a time.


Life and Everyday

Thinking about a revision of my VSG

I went to see a new bariatric doc here in the Cities last week or the week before.  Can’t remember if I wrote about it or not.  I asked him about having a revision done with my VSG.  He said he wasn’t sure that would be a good thing because I have lost a fair amount of weight that was in the range of what the VSG surgery was supposed to do.  But I am not where I want to be.  I don’t look like I want.  I don’t weigh what I want either.  I know that is a head thing for me, but something I want to do and be.  something I have always wanted.

So I have been reading up on some of this stuff.  I want to share what I have found.  Let me know what you think.

Of course there are risks with revision surgery.  As with any surgery, there are risks.

  • Revision weight loss surgery procedures generally take longer.
  • Open incisions are frequently but not always needed.
  • There is greater blood loss.
  • Leaks and infections occur more frequently. It is thought that leak rates increase due to changes in blood flow to the stomach caused by the original weight loss surgery.

Here are some of the reasons they give for a revision

  • A patient may not adapt well to the lifestyle required after a particular bariatric surgery.
  • Perhaps a specific bariatric surgery does not address the metabolic needs of a patient.
  • There are anatomical changes made to a patient’s body during bariatric surgery and these changes are not always maintained.
  • the pouch may stretch and become larger
  • the outlet of a gastric pouch may increase in diameter
  • a gastro-gastric fistula may form between the gastric pouch and the bypassed stomach
  • the intestine may increase its absorptive abilities beyond what was expected
  • restriction may decrease as a result of a band slippage

Unresolved Co-Morbities

Medical Complications

As a result of bariatric surgery, some patients do have medical complications that must be treated with revision bariatric surgery. In some cases, treating medical complications with revision bariatric surgery will be similar to the treatments previously discussed for mechanical and metabolic failure, but others may require reversal of the original bariatric surgery while weight loss is preserved. Possible medical conditions requiring revision include the following:

  • ulcer
  • stricture
  • severe dumping
  • malnutrition
  • over-malabsorption
  • metabolic bone disease
  • iron deficiency/anemia
  • vitamin deficiency
  • vitamin-D deficiency
  • thiamine (vitamin B-1) deficiency


I had the VSG surgery done.  Aug 11, 2011.  My highest weigh ever has been 356 pounds.  My weight now is 243.  I know that is still heavy.  I know I have lost weight.  But I also know this is NOT where I want to be.  That may sound really selfish and vain.  But I want to look good and feel good for once in my life.  I want the whole package.  Is that too much to ask?  I am trying to get my brain in the game.  I went to the Emily Program today.  It’s a eating disorder clinic here.  I talked with a therapist there.  I know this is really odd considering what I am writing about today.  So I know my thinking is off.  I know that.  I know I need to work on my thoughts.  But that doesn’t change my want to at the moment.

So, anyways…I am going to keep reading and keep researching and keep talking to Dr. Kelly and the dietician and this new therapist and my other therapist.  Maybe some of you reading have some words of wisdom?  Let me know.



Life and Everyday

Re-start – again…..

**I found this letter a couple of days ago – happy calorie counting!
Dear Fat,

This is to inform you that your lease is coming to an end and that it is time for you to vacate the premises. We’ve had a long-term arrangement, you and I, even friendly at times, but all good things must come to an end, and it is now time for this working relationship to end.

You have brought neighborhood property values down, and have polluted the neighborhood for the last time! You are no longer wanted here and must leave.

Please pack up your bags and prepare to be evicted.

Sincerely Yours,




Ok.  time to get real serious again about this.  My stomach is killing me.  I called a bariatric doctor here in the Cities…St. Paul.  I need to get in to see one.  Before all that, I have to get all my records from Dr. LaMasters in De.s Moines where I had surgery done almost 2 years ago.  Wow.  2 years ago…Aug 11, 2011.  I had vertical gastric sleeve surgery.  I have lost a total of 107 pounds.  I have maintained that for the past year.  But, am or have been having some tummy problems for the past 6 months or so.  Some terrible acid reflux even though I take Nexium every day.  I feel like my digestion isn’t quite right.  So I am returning to protein shakes and small portions.  Going to try to see if I can get this controlled.  I will still go to this new doc and see what I can get done.

I totally bombed on my exercise.  I need to get with it.  I what happened my “give a damn busted”.  I have been so concerned with getting K in a good space and getting all that she needs in place, I forgot about me.  But she is doing well now.  Meds are working good.  She is having way less meltdowns and doing quite well actually.  School starts in about 3 1/2 weeks or so.  She is good.

Now to tackle me.  I am currently unemployed.  Which sucks.  Reading Corps was fun and challenging.  I love the kiddos I worked with dearly.  I will miss them.  But management sucked.  I will continue to support the AmeriCorps and MRC programs but not the immediate supervisors here in my town.  That was totally off topic.

Back to weight loss crap.  See how much I don’t like to talk about this now?  I am disgusted with myself once again.  I need to figure out what happened to me.  I lost myself.  I feel fat and flabby and out of control again.  I need the dedication to keep a food journal and be extremely honest.  I need someone to hold me absolutely accountable.  Even if I hate it….that is what I need.  Kick me in ass when I need it, even if I get pissed and they won’t take it personally. I need God to drop me a person to help me with this.  I want to get out of bed and not worry about getting to the YMCA to do water aerobics and work out.  No more excuses.  Kick my ass someone.  PLEASE!!!

Dammit I need to get out of this funk.

Life and Everyday

Outside My Comfort Zone



I did it!  Totally out of my comfort zone this morning.  Put on some yoga capri’s and t-shirt, grabbed K and headed to the Y.  Left her off with the YKids.  I headed up to the gym.  Totally not prepared to workout because I haven’t been in a “gym” in ages.  I don’t like working out in front of people.  I don’t like people watching me.  I don’t like feeling like people are “judging” me.  These are the things running through my head.

Pop in the headphones….tune out the messages in my mind of bad mouthing myself and the lies I keep feeding myself – the music is loud enough to drown them out.  I listen to praise and worship.  I little country, a little rock, a little 90’s, a little 80’s, etc….a little of everything.    I rode a recumbent bike for about 25 bike for about 25 minutes until the gal I was having a consult with got in.  Then I talked the personal trainer who got me acquainted with every machine up there.  Then after that, I decided to go another 45 minutes on an elliptical machine.  I worked on muscle strengthening.  OH MY!  talk about the “BURN”  I totally felt it today!  but it felt good.

soooo, with that being said.  I am ok.  so far…

have to make some phone calls today.  then get K from YKids at 3:30 -4 pm.  Then want to head back to the Y to do water aerobics at 6 pm.  I sure wish I had a bike here at home.  Going to bring back K’s bike from grammy’s this next weekend.  We are gonna ride the trails here.


Life and Everyday

Emotional Mess….still…..

I will be the first to admit that I am a hot mess.  That’s right, I said it.  I am also a pretty lousy friend right now.  As a matter of fact, I suck so much as a friend that I ran someone very important off.  Really not cool to do that to people who are your friends, but I am the one who has to live with it.  Maybe just maybe they will forgive me, and let me say I’m sorry, then it YOUR TURN TO TALK!  Maybe in time, but I digress. 

Shakespeare was one pretty smart dude. “This above all: to thine own self be true.” Being authentic. Being real. Isn’t that what it is all really about? If all you have ever wanted all your life was for someone to love you, how are they ever going to do that if you don’t love you first? I’m not saying be conceited and think that you are the best thing since sliced bread. What I am saying is the first thing that we need to do is to figure out how to love ourselves.

I am on this journey of self discovery, trying to figure out the beautiful mess that I am. My conclusion is that we are all looking for a little validation. Okay, nothing earth shattering here, I am aware of that. However, if you have self-esteem issues it might be. I looked in the mirror today and said, “Not bad Julieo.” For me, that is big. When you have had a life time of thinking you weren’t worth it, it takes a long time to undo the damage you have done.  I have a beautiful smile, the ability to make you laugh until you cry, and empathy. I shouldn’t rely on someone else to provide my reassurance.

Next up, is tackling the demons. Come on, we all have them admit it. That is why we are having this conversation anyway. Sure, some of us may have more demons than the rest of us, but we are our own worst enemies. When we do something stupid, and kick ourselves over and over, and just can’t seem to let it go, who is it that does that? It’s us, right? I don’t need to point out my flaws to anyone. Why do I want to invite someone to make life more painful for me than it already is?

Today I stood in front of the mirror, and I lifted my shirt. Along my breasts are scars.  In various places on my abdomen are scars.  You are an ugly reminder of what I did to myself to try to be just like everyone else, to be “normal”. I hate you vertical gastric sleeve scars, because of you I have had anemia, shortage of vitamin D, vitamin B, etc. Sometimes, my iron and B-12 drop so low that I suffer confusion and memory loss, my hair falls out, and things in my life are fuzzy. I don’t have control then, and I don’t like it.  I am constantly making so notes, so that when I forget things, I have somewhere to go back to try and jog my memory. Sometimes it works, and sometimes, not so much. I never wanted to be the poster child for VSG, and I still don’t.   VSG is part of why I am who I am today. Stupid scars, I love you because you probably saved my life, and because you are there, I am in the gym again. I will not fail myself this time.

Well Mr. Shakespeare, you are right. If I am not true to me, no one else is going to be.