A Visit With the Exercise Therapist

Current weight: 287 (I think)

Okay, so we all have to go to an exercise therapist who is part of our weight loss team. They talk to you about your weight loss goals and how to come closer to achieving them by physical activity. But first they have to check your resting heart rate with this little machine. We had to come “4 hours fasted” to the appointment, and having not done any exerting physical activity. I can tell you that it was not hard to NOT do any exercise because after a week on about 1400 calories, I still didn’t really feel like exerting myself.

So there was HORRIBLE news…yet very enlightening. I had to weigh-in before the appointment officially began and then they clamped my nose and had me bite down on the little white tube-machine into which I had to breathe for about 10 minutes. The results were incredible and disheartening. According to them, a woman of my age, height and weight should be burning about 1900 calories a day just from sitting still; hence the 1400-calorie diet they had put me on last week to jump-start my weight loss and begin to teach me a new way of eating. Brace yourself: I only burn 1520 calories. I could have cried. Not because I have such slow metabolism; but because they now understood completely why after a week of so few calories, I had only lost 2 freaking pounds. I had already wanted to cry after I got on the scales, which I had expected would say something great, considering how constantly hungry I’d been throughout the week. But then, to hear this!

And here is the worst news: Since my metabolism is so jacked up, they say that I should never have been eating 1400 calories. They have now restricted me to a mere 1000. I’m certain that if I have any fat readers that you already know how I reacted to this. I went directly to Dario’s and ordered a Number 1, with the hotdogs all the way. (A  #1 consists of 2 hotdogs and a million French fries and a soft drink.) And THEN I went to Dewey’s Bakery where I ordered two white on white cake squares AND a chess tart. I admit that I could not eat all the food at once, thank God. But I still ate every crumb before the end of the day. SO THERE!

Right after that, I went and joined Planet Fitness Gym. And I week later, I have lost 4 pounds–according to the scales there. So, at least that’s good.


Elated! Exuberant! Overjoyed!

Can you tell I’m happy?

I JUST GOT THE CALL from my doctor’s scheduler and she has put me down for May 21st at 10:00a.m. for my first consultation with him. I’m freaking ecstatic…or did I say that already? Now I just have to get a substitute for my classes that day, or at least one of my colleagues who has a planning period to check in on my students. Whatever, I’ll worry about that part later.

Okay, so she also scheduled me to go ahead to the nutrition class which she said will last about 2 hours. I can’t take another day off work in order to handle this process, so even though she initially put me down for June 9, we pushed it a few more days out to the 16th, when students will no longer be in school. [Oh, I just thought about the fact that if you’ve never visited my page called Career, then you probably don’t know I teach high school. Sorry about that. Also, if you don’t know that I live down in the North Carolina where we had a lot of winter weather that caused delays, absences, and early dismissals, then you are probably shocked to know that some kids will still be in school here until June 12. Sorry about that, too!]

Hah! I am so hyped. I am actually taking steps. I’m on the journey with the others of you who are already doing this too. Hurray for us!!


Warm Feelings; Mental Sunshine

I know I’ve been writing a lot about weight-loss recently, and in spite of  how positive I am trying to stay about it…it sometimes comes out rather negatively. Forgive me for that. My beloved guru says we should be someone’s “mental sunshine,” but I have fallen gravely short of that lately.

On the other side of the coin, someone made ME feel very special today and they don’t even know it. I realize that we all call each other stalkers here, but I have become a SERIOUS stalker of one of my favorite blogs. Reading her blog is absolutely addictive and I love it for the pithy anecdotes and down-to-earth way she sincerely expresses herself. Well, can you imagine how I felt when I saw on her blog roll that she actually follows me?! I know what you’re thinking: You ALWAYS know who is following you because you can see the reminders and updates whenever you log in…except that I don’t always pay much attention to that. I realize that I SHOULD, but when you have SEVERAL blogs, a few published books, a family, a full-time job, and are working on anther master’s degree…well you sometimes let things slip.

Okay, so seeing the name of one of my blogs in her blog roll just sent me over the top with all sorts of warm fuzzy endorphins shooting through my system. While I realize that she probably follows a BUNCH of blogs, and mine doesn’t necessarily mean more to her than anyone else’s, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Her blog knows that my little blog exists. And that is my mental sunshine for today, thanks to her. I don’t know why it happened, but it also made me want to be a better me, just knowing that someone–or that person in particular–is going to read what I write, and maybe, just maybe root for me that same way I do for her.

Happy writing everyone. Someone is stalking you!


The “Weighting” Game…

2015-05-02 19.49.27

This is me, at the most I have ever weighed. But I am still smiling, because I have hope…

I have taken the first step, just as I said I would, but this waiting around is difficult.

#1 I have done all my research regarding the newest weight-loss surgery, the laparoscopic sleeve. I know the risks involved and the success rates, based on the average amounts of weight lost over time by clients. I have also chosen my doctor, which is where my first mistake may have come in–but I’ll explain that in a minute.

#2 The second step is to attend a seminar where they give you all the information I just mentioned: the various surgical options, along with the risks associated with each; the insurance plans they will work with, patient history sheets to fill out, and a list of lifestyle changes clients can expect to make once they have had the surgery. Okay, so NO, I didn’t attend the information session because I did that back in 2010, the FIRST time I made up my mind to have some type of bariatric surgery. However, I DID avail myself of the online information session, which–just as I suspected–had only a few minor changes. But anyway, kudos to Wake Forest Baptist Health for trying to insure that their patients are educated before making huge choices like this one.

#3 Once you have attended the information session, perspective clients are supposed to call the office for a consultation with the doctor of their choice. Well, I did…and I’m still waiting…and “weighting”… That’s what I meant when I said that perhaps I had made a bad decision in choosing a world famous doctor like Dr. Fernandez.

It just so happens that I am privileged to live in a city that is host to one of the nation’s preeminent medical facilities. But I tend to take that for granted because, well…I grew up here! I realize that people come from all over the US (and the world?) for treatment here, but I still expect to the attended to quickly!! And I swear I didn’t choose this doctor because of what it says on the website, “Led by Dr. Adolfo “Fuzz” Fernandez, our expert bariatric surgeons have performed over 1,000 procedures since 2003…” No, the truth is that his own wife (Dr. Andrea Fernandez) referred me to him just before she gave me an endometrial ablation back in 2006. No, she didn’t refer me for weight-loss surgery, but for a quick removal of what she figured was an umbilical hernia.

I called the office on last Monday and was told that someone would get back with me to set up an appointment. Tomorrow will make one week of waiting. Should I just try to schedule with another doctor on the team who is not quite as famous as Dr. Fuzz? It’s just that I have heard so many wonderful things from happy clients of his. And one of the nurses who works with him just happens to also be my beautician [she only opens her shop by appointment]. She only expresses the greatest admiration for his work and talks about how happy and successful his patients are.

#4 The say that as soon as the consultation with the doctor has been scheduled that you can go ahead and also schedule your appointments for a psychological evaluation, for a talk with the nutritionist, and for a consultation about exercise. Then I guess after all that you will be fully set up to have the surgery.


My Decision

A year ago, I thought that I could do this on my own. I was morbidly obese, but still had a sense of hope about the possibilities of losing weight. I began to journal my eating habits with an online tool called MyFitness Pal. That was cool. I tried to overcome the pain and bitterness of having gained so much weight after taking Phentermine pills prescribed by my doctor. I began to walk for 30-45 minutes a day at least 5 times a week. Every now and then I went to the gym. Over the course of several months I think I lost about 9 pounds and a couple of inches.

So now a year has passed and my meager efforts have resulted in horrible results. I am exhausted. I weigh 20 pounds more, I think. That is, I am afraid to even get on the scales because I can no longer wear the size 18’s that I was wearing a year ago. I now wear a size 24 and sometimes a size 22. My exhaustion and depression can be seen in my face. I know this because whereas people used to call me “Sunshine” they now just ask me what’s wrong. I am irritable and in pain. My only refuge, sleep, is no longer easily accessible and is constantly interrupted with pains that play themselves out in my dreams. I frequently cry because of the state that I am in.

Then there are all the happy, fit people who tell me that “all you have to do is…” Oh, dear! How can I express how much I hate hearing simplistic solutions. If I could just do any of the hundred things that people say you have to do, well then I wouldn’t BE in this situation, now would I? I know that I must have will power, because I have accomplished so many other feats in my life. So why can’t I seem to apply that same will power to this particular challenge? I don’t know that answer. And now I am too tired to figure it out. I am not getting any younger, and I’m feeling worse by the minute. Something has to be done.

Yesterday I made the firm decision to pursue the latest laparoscopic sleeve surgery. I have heard wonderful things about it from people who have had amazing results; the risks seem few; my insurance will evidently pay for most of the procedure. What do I have to lose besides all the weight that is slowly and painfully killing me?


I Couldn’t Wait!

English: Hiking trail Soonwaldsteig

English: Hiking trail Soonwaldsteig (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did it. I actually began my new hobby, HIKING, yesterday.

I wrote about it yesterday and my plan was to get up early today in spite of the threat of rain and go out to Salem Lake. But I was so excited that after writing I went right out to a walking trail at Historic Reynolda Village, which is about 7 miles from my house and put my new hiking boots to the test.

The trail is lovely! Anyone can read about the area founded by  Mr. R. J. Reynolds in about 1917; just google it. But I can confirm that the beauty of the place lifts the spirits, just by being there in the midst of so many old and majestic trees. Yesterday’s weather was absolutely perfect for the moderate pace and easy trail conditions. I understand that the whole hike is about 4 miles, but I only saw a very limited portion because my hike was only 30 minutes.  I may have covered about 2 miles or perhaps a little less in that time. Again, this was not rigorous hiking like it would have been in a mountainous region but covering natural terrain and going up several little inclines insured that I was breathing nice and deeply. I had a ball.

Autumn is not quite here yet. There are many fallen leaves and such, but the colors are not at that vibrant peak that I will expect in just a little less than a month from now. The trees made the most wonderful natural canopy and there was an abundance of tiny red berries on green foliage that looked sort of like holly. I noticed a creek bed, but due to our recent lack of rain it was pretty low and there was almost no movement. It was pretty late in the evening when I began; nearly 5:00 p.m. so the only action was that of the squirrels digging and collecting their stashes.

My plan is to go back and finish the other half of the trail. I think that’s pretty good as a beginner. Then I will work my way up to doing the whole 4 miles all at once! I’m so proud of myself I could just burst.


My Foray into the World of Hiking

Blue diamond-shaped sign used to designate hik...

Blue diamond-shaped sign used to designate hiking trails in provincial parks in Ontario, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so hyped I can hardly contain myself!!

In my quest for wellness I have decided to add hiking into my hobbies and activities. I have always loved walking; but I’m talking about serious hiking here, something I’ve never done. We’re talking hiker boots, and trail mix and a backpack and plenty of water. Yes, sir I’m about to step off the asphalt of the par courses in town and hit the terrain where you sometimes have to be careful of your footing.

Am I prepared? Well, I just went out and bought my very first pair of hiking boots TODAY and you’ll never guess where: Walmart! I was planning on going to Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods or one of those Pro Bass Fishing places, if all else failed.  I just thought I’d check out the prices and selection in Walmart when I went in to get a money order at the money center. I never thought I’d walk out with a brand new pair of boots today.  The brand is Ozark Trail. And before you start criticizing me, let me remind you that I’m still completely new to this and it’s very doubtful that I will need some top-of-the-line prohibitively priced boots that I may rarely use.

Where will I go first? Well, I’m so fortunate as to live in a state that is known for it’s amazing places to walk and bike. Looks like the closest thing to me is the Salem Lake Trail. Yes, there’s a chance of rain tomorrow…but I’m gonna risk it. A few scattered showers never hurt anybody! Wish me luck…