It is well with my soul.

Look, it’s only been TWO months since my last entry.  LOL.  I say I am going to  get better at updating my blog, but yet I still vary between 2 and 6 months with the entries!  I hope in the New Year my blogging habits change- along with some other habits and changes I am planning!

So I started this blog a few years ago to chronicle the life of a D-Mom (Mother to 16 year old daughter, who is a Type 1 Diabetic), and to document the struggles and victories of a mid-40’s woman who was on a health and fitness trek.  For a couple of years, I was a force to be reckoned with.  And for the last 2 years, not so much. During these last 2 years, I’ve gained back  a lot of the 80 pounds I lost.  A lot of it was due to the injuries I incurred while in weight loss mode.  And a lot of it was just plain laziness and lack of willpower.  I am not gonna lie- the Achilles injury really put a damper on my workouts, but I could have chosen to do better with my food choices while I was recuperating from surgery.  And to date, I COULD be working out more than I have been.  My spirit is a little broken.  It is a lot broken.

If I count all the times I have attempted to lose weight, I have tried at least a dozen methods, resulting in the loss of HUNDREDS of pounds, if you add them all up.  Some of them include Herbalife back in the late 1980’s, Phen-Fen in the 1990’s, Atkins, Weight Watchers, counting calories, South Beach, more prescription meds like Belviq, Plexus and recently, Phentermine. It is worth mentioning that nearly ALL of these products and methods DID WORK. I just find many of them to be impractible for the long term due to cost, whether monetarily or physical. Phentermine was  what helped me lose weight a couple of years ago, but I also coupled the meds with an insane amount of working out each day.  Most days it was 2x per day.  Sometimes it was 3. Just depended on how I felt that day. There are  only a couple of things I really haven’t tried.  One of them  is the new weight loss injection from Novartis and that kinda thing scares me.  The other is Weight Loss Surgery (WLS).  And it is not so scary because I have 2 family members who have had the sleeve gastrectomy procedure done in the last year.  One of them is my cousin, who lives in West Virginia, and the other one is my sister, who lives a few miles down the road!

I start the process for this journey in January when my insurance changes.  I would do it tomorrow if my current insurance would allow it, but it doesn’t.  If, for some reason, I am not approved for this surgery, I am pretty certain I am going to find a way to pay for it myself.

And before anyone says “WHY ARE YOU TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT?”  Think before you even mouth those words to anyone who fights this obesity battle. It is anything but easy! 

The way this works is….first you have a consultation to see if you are a candidate for the sleeve surgery, or the traditional gastric bypass.  The “sleeve” is when the surgeon cuts away a large portion of your stomach and leaves about an 8th of it.  After the sleeve, a patient can expect to only eat about a cup of food, if that.  Right now, our stomachs can hold up to  5 liters of food.  So, once a patient has the sleeve, they will feel fuller, sooner. For a traditional bypass, they re-route your intestine after they kind of divide sections of your stomach.  The bypass is much more expensive than the sleeve, the recovery time is longer, and it is more of an intrusive surgery. Sleeved patients can be back at work after a few days. I am opting for the Sleeve.  I have the best of teachers who are able to help me, that being my sister, Teresa and my cousin, Regina.

After the consultation, I will have to meet with a nutritionist, go through a psychiatric evaluation,  schedule some sessions with a fitness expert, and devise a plan of how life will be after the surgery.  It’s a LOT of work.  This process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.  I’ve been researching it nearly every day since my sister had the surgery a year ago.  She’s lost a crazy amount of weight, but the point of it all is…she is HEALTHY.  My cousin, who has also lost about 80 pounds, is also HEALTHIER than she was before the surgery.

This is not about vanity.  it is not about being skinny.  It is about my health.  I have been chasing this goal for my entire adult life. I’ve almost gotten to the finish line a time or two, but those near-finishes have cost me physical pain, resulting in injuries.  These attempts have left me on a yo-yo path and a roller coaster ride that I soon want to EXIT.  It’s about having my life and health back in MY control.  I have not been able to cross the finish line of this life-long marathon.  I can think of nothing more that I want than to finish a strong race.  And I believe this is my TOOL to help me finish.  WLS alone is not going to get me there.  It’s work.  It’s making the right food choices or I’ll be physically ill.  It’s following the life long instructions or there’s a possibility for gaining it back.

In January, I will be scheduling the first consultation.  If you’d like to follow along on my journey. I will document it here.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  The struggles and the victories, and all of the stuff in between.  And please, if you have gone through this journey, share it with me! I would love to hear about all of your challenges AND your triumphs!

My first change is kicking the soda habit.  I don’t drink a ton of it, but I do love a diet coke SO much.  I have tried a good four times in the last 2 years to kick it.  But after I am sleeved, there’s a “no carbonation” rule that I must follow.  So why not kick the habit now and be ready for it whenever the surgery is scheduled?  No time like the present!  So November for me is #nosodanovember!

The second challenge will be no alcohol for quite a while, and I know some of you are giggling while you read and you wonder if I will be able to handle that one since I am a social drinker.  The answer is a resounding YES.  I have already started curtailing that habit as well.  It will be quite some time (likely a year) before I am supposed to have alcohol.  And when I do, it will have to be wine or liquor.  No.BEER.  Oy.  There are like 4 breweries within 5 miles of my house! When I can resume alcohol, it’ll only take a couple of ounces for me to feel it.  I think Jason is going to have a cheap date! LOL,

After surgery, it will be like pressing the reset button on me.  This will force me to make changes that I have not been able to make myself willingly change.  The result, if I don’t change, will be ugly and fast.

This is gonna be a long road, folks.  I am going to need support from friends and family.  I hope  you will stick around to hear about and see the changes in my life. I hope to tell you I crossed the finish line and grabbed my health as the prize!

I’ve done my research.  I’ve thought.  I’ve prayed.  My family is supportive.  I have tools, coaches and leaders who can help me along this journey.  But most of all, I am READY.  My heart has been broken for the longest time.  My spirit and self-esteem have suffered for way too long! It’s good in my head. It’s good in my heart.  

It is well with my SOUL.

Stay tuned. Happy November, ya’ll! I am thankful for you coming here to read a bit with me ❤