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RESOLUTION: a firm decision to do or not to do something. – random online dictionary

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

This year has been full of challenges, difficulties, and successes.  Two back-to-back surgeries and learning an entirely new job this year has left my well pretty dry right now, but I’m doing all right. The surgeries were worth it. 55 pounds lost, no helter-skelter roller coaster of emotions and the new duties at work have made today much better than this day last year.

I will go on record saying that, while this was a tough year, it was a good year. I do not do resolutions anymore, but I do have four goals for 2014. All hopefully achievable, all very necessary.

GOAL #1:  NO SURGERIES! This, I hope, is completely achievable. I enter 2014 in the best health I’ve been in for the last 20 years. While epidurals are great, morphine is awesome, and finding out who really has your back when you are medicated and laid out flat on it is educational, I’d rather not have any major medical problems to deal with in the coming year.

GOAL #2: TAKE CAMERA EVERYWHERE I do mean everywhere, except maybe the bathroom. People act a little funny when you walk into a bathroom with a DSLR around your neck. They do not, however, act weird when you walk into a bathroom with an iPhone. I will keep this in mind.

The goal here is to just take as many pictures as I can. Between the surgeries, getting healthy, work, and having my camera stolen, I didn’t take hardly any photos (in comparison to other years) in 2013. Any I did in the first half of last year are still locked away on my backup hard drive. I hope to launch my portfolio on 500x soon and I need to beef it up a bit. So if you see me walk into a bathroom with my camera tell me I need a break.

GOAL #3: HIT MY GOAL WEIGHT I had RNY gastric bypass surgery on March 25. In 9 months, I lost a whopping 55 pounds. After my first surgery this year, my weight went up to 251, the highest it’s ever been. On the day of my bypass surgery, I weighed 238 pounds. That’s the weight I measure by. My goal weight is 140-145. That’s what I weighed in high school. I will see what weight my body settles into. Meanwhile, I will exercise and eat right and do my part. The second half to the goal is always more difficult than the first. This is when I need resolve most.

GOAL #4: MORE “ME” TIME Because of all my surgeries, health issues, and work, I did not have a lot of “me” time.  In 2014, I am going on vacation and taking more short trips (with the camera, of course) and working on photography (which keeps me sane). I hope to be writing more, too. This all takes time with a recharged me. I’m an introvert, so don’t take it personally when I disappear to recharge. I will be a better me if I do.

That’s it. Anything I accomplish outside of these four goals is just gravy.  I find I accomplish more when I keep it simple and these goals seem pretty simple to me. 

Happy New Year! May your goals bring you the accomplishments you desire. 

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I’ve been lingering right under 50 pounds in my pursuit of losing 100 pounds. I have been at the gym quite a bit lately, and I know that’s holding the scale hostage somewhat. I am going broke buying clothes and have purchased my last until January unless I go through such a weight loss spurt my pants won’t stay up.

I’m trying to save money, which isn’t easy where I’m at right now. Redoing my wardrobe every six-nine weeks isn’t helping, nor was that $1000 worth of deductibles from the robberies. I’m going to Hawaii in March, regardless.  I will figure it out.

My trainer said I was pushing myself too hard. I never, ever, thought I’d hear a trainer tell me that, but she did. I tried to tell her that if I give in to the fatigue or side effects of the Tamoxifen, I will never reach my goal. This is my life now. Push, push, push. Rest on the weekends. Push, push, push.

It would help if she wouldn’t start me out with 50 pounds on certain apparatuses, but she does. I give it a shot, but usually have to cry uncle. Loudly. Then she looks at me and says, “I keep forgetting you are over forty.”

Between my trainer and the aqua fit class, I am usually exhausted by the time Friday night rolls around. Not a weekend party girl, anymore. I’m not boring, I just need the rest.

Yes, I do have more energy than I used to. Much more. I feel so good most days.  Still not sleeping well. I don’t think I ever will. So I will sleep somewhat adequately and keep pushing.

Those who know me wouldn’t expect anything less.

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Sharing this photo wasn’t easy. I never saw myself like the lefthand side shows me. I thought I was beautiful then. I was, but I had no idea what lie ahead. 

Four and a half months after RNY gastric bypass surgery, I am down a little over 45 pounds and have lost almost 6 inches (that’s a half a foot!) off my hips. After weeks of seeing next to no progress below my rib cage, all of a sudden clothes I’ve barely had time to wear are baggy.   I’m still working out the logistics of my new food reality but I have ZERO regrets about this surgery.

The photo to the right is a perfect example of how I feel right now.  My trainer C wonders, now that I’m looking really good and fabulous and rocking the tunic sports bra, that I still wear a t-shirt to the gym.  I told her I never have had the opportunity to wear any sort of sports bra that actually fit and that I wasn’t pushing the limits of, and, well, I’d never ever dreamed that taking my t-shirt off in a gym would ever be an option. I will see what happens Monday at my next work out, if I can find exercise gear that won’t fall off while I’m on the treadmill.

In other news, still unpacking my apartment. I keep rearranging the furniture and sorting books (up to three boxes to go out so far) and trying to relax when I can. I do enjoy sitting in my recliner and staring out the windows at the view of the sky and trees.  One of these days I will post a video or photo of what I’ve done, but I’ve changed my mind again and am moving the furniture around. 

I finally feel at peace in this new place.  I’ve heard no news or updates on my hoodrat thieves, but as long as They are done taking my stuff, I’m okay with that. I did find that they were using my Netflix account through the other tv and I reported that to the police and I hope that they can use the IP address to track the hoodrats down.  Given that the police took no prints, photos or made much of a report, I don’t know if they’ve given up or what, but I’ve done my part and I’m still doing my part protecting myself.

I’ve procrastinated long enough. I need to get these shelves moved!

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I wasn’t expecting to get to this milestone so quickly after getting to Onederland. I’ve lost four pounds rather quickly after a week of catered food and little sleep, but nonetheless, I stepped on the scale this morning and I’ve lost 40 pounds! 

Tomorrow marks the third month since my surgery. I had hoped to hit this milestone before then and I did it! 

Still in disbelief over how far I’ve come so fast. I’ve worked hard at eating right, eating enough, hydrating enough, and exercising. I’m still not in any routine I’d like to be yet, but I’m getting there. 

I’m still fighting nausea and fatigue from the Tamoxifen, which is also keeping the weight loss at what seems like a crawl. I will face that challenge another 8 years, so I just have to keep plugging away. I know I can do it. 

Meanwhile, if anyone has some size 14 or 12 clothes they don’t need anymore, let me know. I’m running out of clothes.

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I blinked a few times when I looked down at the scale this morning. I couldn’t believe my eyes. 199? Could it really be? 

It’s been decades since I’ve weighed under 200 pounds. So grateful to have reached goal #2 in 11 weeks!

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When I was a kid, Memorial Day marked opening weekend at the lake cottage my grandparents owned. I grew up in the water, learning to swim early on and becoming an expert in water and boat safety whether I’d planned to or not.  I was a strong swimmer and yes, my element is water.

I live where the UV warnings are out daily, so I do not frequent the pool or the beach. My skin, fueled by genetics and medicinal side effects, burns rather quickly no matter how hard I try to protect it.

When It came time to look for a gym, however, the main selling point for me was a pool. Had LA Fitness not had a pool, I would not have joined.

Fast forward a few months and I am an Aqua Fit junkie. I go every Saturday morning and I’m trying to work in Tuesday and Thursdays after work. My LA Fitness does not have those classes, so I am having to hunt around other LA Fitness locations to find a class nearby.

Aqua Fit is a highly underrated workout. 50 minutes of aerobics, weights, and core toning, with music and a motivating instructor, all the while being in the water, not getting overheated – who can beat that?  I certainly can’t. 

With Aqua Fit, the scale is moving again.  I am at 206.5 pounds now. I can’t remember the last time I weighed this, but I am certain it wasn’t in this century.  As I close in on “Onederland” I am ecstatic, but the NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories) are even more exciting.

Months ago, I made a list of things I look forward to as a thinner person – NSV’s.  I am 70 pounds from goal and I have already achieved some of them – shopping on the first floor of Macy’s, crossing my legs effortlessly, enjoying getting photographed, and having one chin. Others are right around the corner, and I’ve even achieved NSV’s that I hadn’t even thought of at the time, like putting on a shaper and having no back fat spill over. 

My surgeon was a bit disappointed that I’ve only lost 31 pounds so far until he remembered that I am taking Tamoxifen, which makes me gain weight, and now is very happy I’ve lost 31 pounds while taking Tamoxifen.  As long as the scale keeps moving, I will be satisfied as well.

The weight loss is exciting, but my ultimate goal outside of health benefits remains the same – appearing on the outside what I feel on the inside. I am still amazed that I’m even on this journey, but I am ever so grateful. 


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I weighed myself this morning and so far I’ve lost 27 pounds! This is the craziest ride I’ve been on!

I went to the gym Saturday morning to ride the recumbent bike.  It felt good to be back at the gym. I saw the water aerobics class already in progress and decided that was something I wanted to try.

This afternoon, I went to buy a bathing suit. Normally, this is the bane of a woman’s existence, especially mine, but if I wanted to be in this class I needed something that fit. I went to Academy to get a nice bathing suit, although I doubt I can wear it for more than two months or so.  

This process was not nearly as painful as it was in years past, especially since I fit in the clothes, workout gear, and bathing suits that Academy has to offer.  So I bought my first Speedo bathing suit, and hope to be in class Saturday morning!

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A month ago, I let a doctor rearrange my innards so I could lose weight once and for all. It’s been a roller coaster ride of sorts, an experiment on the grandest of scales. I’m still learning my new stomach’s limits, not just with volume, but types of food. I haven’t always done well with this venture, but I’m learning. 

As of today, I’ve lost 23 pounds. I lost 20 rather quickly, plateaued, then started losing again this week. Even with the plateau, the weight loss has taken me down a size and I can look in the mirror and see results.

My plan is to go back to the gym next week for cardio and as soon as the doctor releases me, I will call my trainer and let her whip me into gear. I know once I’m back at the gym I will lose weight even faster. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s actually happening, but it is.

I’m still waiting for all the supposed “energy” to arrive. I am still on Tamoxifen, so maybe that’s what the holdup is. I do, however, feel better than I have in a long time. A long, long, long time. I will try to remain patient and diligent and when the energy does come I will put it to good use!

In the meantime, I’m eating tiny meals, taking my vitamins, and taking care of myself!

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Well, Monday has come and gone. I had my surgery! I have entered the two week period of “What did I just do to myself!” and the endless sipping of liquids.

The surgery went well. After surgery I had an extremely difficult time for a few hours with the nausea and being paler than usual. It took whoever brings up the meds an hour and a half to get me the anti-nausea meds. I was not happy about the response time at this hospital. They did turn the temperature up in the room, which helped, and I finally settled into sleep.

Dear Laura, who has been with me now through two surgeries, delivered me to the hospital in the morning darkness and was sitting by my bed for hours. Finally, she went home and I settled into getting woken up every two hours to walk, take meds, vitals, etc.  I did walk for the first time later that evening, and again at 3 AM and more frequently thereafter. 

I couldn’t have water until I passed the dye test on Tuesday morning, which was a bit of a surprise to me. Not even ice chips. The nurse brought me swabs to keep my mouth moist. After doing the breathing treatments, my throat already sore from the surgery, I was ready for those swabs!  

The nurses began saying I would go home Tuesday if I passed the dye test – my doctor was infamous for sending patients home as soon as possible to recoup. I had all my tests extremely early that morning and then around 1 PM the doctor came in and told me I could go home.

The discharge nurse then told me I had to fill the pee pan to a certain level before SHE would let me go home. Keep in mind my stomach now only holds four ounces of anything and I had been denied liquids until about 11 that morning. 

I had gathered a bit of water, Gatorade, sugar-free lemonade around me and started sipping. And sipping. And sipping as much as my tiny pouch would hold. Output was slow. I’ll be honest, it was 4:30 before I made the offering satisfactory to my nurse! 

Finally, I was able to come home and climb into my recliner and start sipping more liquids. I took my pain medicine as soon as Laura brought it to me. I must have drank it too fast, because I had my first experience with dumping syndrome (cramps, nausea, and a fever spike). I’m glad I got that out of the way – I do NOT want to go through that ever again and now that I know what it feels like, I will walk the straight and narrow!  (which is not easy to do alone and out of it).

My college roommate, Becky, helped take care of her sister, Sarah, when she had the surgery a few years ago. Becky was her drill sergeant and made sure she did all her breathing exercises, drank her fluids, etc. They both made the offer to help me out and every day they have been chatting with me, and the accountability is wonderful. If you’ve ever seen the Beckster Stare of Disapproval you don’t ever want to see it again! I’m so grateful for them and their help! 

Now I need to sip. I can hear Becky saying that from far away. Just keep sipping. Just keep sipping. Just keep sipping…