Wednesday, October 27, 2010


BREAKING NEWS: my group in IS 520 -finally- earned an A on an assignment! I knew we were capable of A material. We've each done it on our own in other classes and we've worked our collective tushies off on each assignment only to earn B+'s on them. To be fair, our professor has told us that the first two assignments are extremely difficult and that we have plenty of time to make up points. So, I don't feel so badly about B+'s. :-) Still, I'm excited about our A and hope that our MidTerm, Final and the final two exercises also conspire for us to earn an A for the course. It would make me grumpy, but if it were only my grade I'd settle for a B+, but it makes me cranky to think that I've contributed in any way to someone -else- earning a B+ (unless, of course, they are used to earning C's...)

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading.

Monday, October 25, 2010

[insert witty subject line here]

Apologies for the lack of subject line. I'm just really tired and didn't want to come up with anything witty or interesting. :-)

I just mostly wanted to share an update regarding surgery and the mad dash to get it done before the end of the year. As I may've mentioned in a previous post, my insurance carrier is going to be changing in January. I really want to get the surgery done before the end of this year for a couple of reasons. Thing 1: changing carriers would mean jumping through another set of hoops that, while likely similar, still would be a new set of hoops. Wolves hate jumping through hoops just to jump through hoops, so doing that would make me cranky. Thing 2: (this is the big thing) my insurance will be going from an HMO to a PPO, meaning I'd have to come up with the deductible and co-insurance making surgery nearly cost-prohibitive for me. So, it behooves all involved to get this done before the end of the year. Because said end of the year is rapidly approaching, I emailed the insurance "guru" at my surgeon's office to see if this is even a realistic possibility.

I told her that, basically, all I have left is my last "6 month" visit and getting off the 15 pounds. She responded by saying that, once she has all the documentation in hand, she sends my file to my insurance carrier. She then has to give them 30 business days to respond, but that it usually doesn't take that long (people on my message boards have said that the same insurance carrier has responded with an approval in three days, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed). Once we have the approval letter (and I -love- how she's just assuming it will be approved), they'll check my weight and either go ahead and schedule the surgery if I've gotten the 15 pounds off or have me do the liquid diet and then schedule surgery. She said she'll do everything she can on her end to get me scheduled so I can have the surgery before the end of the year. She seemed pretty optimistic, so I'm taking a page from her book and will be optimistic, too. I'll keep doing what I'm doing and hope that my body doesn't hold out on me and have a gain again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Support Group that is actually supportive? Is that allowed?

So, I went to my support group meeting last night. I was a bit hesitant because the last one I went to was basically a re-hash of the exercise class I'd already been required to attend. But, as I told the hubby, if I keep having to sit through the lecture, maybe there is something in it that I've not yet integrated. :-) In any case, we went and the chairs were in a big circle. We had to go around the room, introduce ourselves, tell which surgery we had/are having/are thinking of having and how much weight you'd lost to that point if you wanted to. I was AMAZED at how much some of the folks had lost in such short amounts of time. I also got to see how people looked in person after having lost that much weight. I understand I was seeing them all fully dressed, but there didn't seem to be as much hangy skin as I was afraid of so I'm hopeful that I won't have that much, either. I do have about half my body weight to lose, but I'm still not as overweight as some folks who have WLS and not as overweight as some of the folks in the group started out being.

Some other things came up in the discussion that really helped me feel a LOT better about the post-op period, though I'm still nervous as bloody hell. Many suggestions came out about the biggest bang for the protein buck, which was good.

So I found a supportive support group. And that kind of sucks.

Lucy, let me 'splain.

See, during the spring semester next year (from January to May), I'll be working Thursday evenings. Unfortunately, the only day my practice has it's support group meetings is on, yep you guessed it, Thursdays. So I asked the coordinator if she knew of any other meetings that I could attend after surgery. She didn't know, so I'm going to be researching that. The other option is to see about trading nights with someone one week a month. I'll look into that, too. I know that I'll definitely need a support group after surgery and my "contract" says that I'll attend them, so... That's why I frustrated that the support group I've been attending is so supportive. I can't guarantee that I'll find that anywhere else. Thankfully, my SparkTeam on is also really supportive, and I think I'd get a lot out of hanging out at Neither of those are the same as an in-person group, though.

I've sent an email to the Patient Advocate/Insurance "guru" at my surgeon's office to see what all I need to do to ensure that I'll be able to have the surgery before the end of the year. Getting my butt back in the gym or walking more everyday would certainly not hurt. ;-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Up the hill, down the hill

Oh, I wish it were walking to which I am referring in my subject line.

I am walking, and I am attempting to stick like glue to my eating plan. Unfortunately, my glue more resembles rubber cement this week. I expect it is the mondo combo of the flu shot plus this evil antibiotic (remind me to ask the doctor if Bactrim is -really- the only choice next time). But carbs have been creeping in this week. :-( I've been journaling about it in my paper journal, and that has helped some. [Note to reader: if you think I lay it all on the line here, you have no idea.]

So, yeah, my weight is back up a bit this week. But since my rings are tight again and my feet hurt from the swelling, I know it's fluid and that it will come back off again quickly. I just need to stick to eating protein first, then veg, then whole grains. Oh, and let's not forget the gallon+ of water. :-)

It really is kind of too bad that fighting a weight problem is like Sisyphus rolling his rock up the hill. Of course, my Daddy used to say that anything worth doing was worth a bit of a struggle. Guess he was right. I don't know why I'm surprised. He usually was.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Post-Flu Shot ickies/Comments from the peanut gallery

As happens when I take a flu shot, I had a day of ickies for about 24 hours after I got jabbed. Thankfully, they are short-lived ickies and I'm feeling tons better today. I stepped on the scale this morning to see another new recent low: 282.6!!!! That means I'm down about 12 pounds this week. A friend expressed her concern regarding how fast I lost 12 pounds and I reminded her that A) it's the first week of my buckling down and I lost a LOT of fluid and B) I'm under a doctor's supervision. She calmed down after that. :-)

But her comments brought up an interesting point that I'm going to have to do some pondering on. After my surgery, I'll be losing a LOT, especially in the first 6 months or so. In fact, other people who've had the VSG have lost 100+ pounds in the first 6 months. That's a LOT. I've been pretty open about my decision to have weight loss surgery. I am not the type of person who is easily swayed by other people's pontificating. I also make ample use of my [delete] key and am certainly not above blocking people, even IRL - just ask my mother. ;-) Regardless of my openness, I expect people will prove to be just as much in denial about the surgery as they are about a lot of things I've used little words to explain to them and they'll constantly be saying "are you sure you should be losing weight so quickly". I figure that responding with the reminder that "I am under medical supervision" will be enough for most people. I hope.

All in all, though, things are going well and I believe I'm still on track to having the surgery before the end of the year. My last 6-month appointment is on 11/03. If I've not heard from my surgeon's office (they are supposed to call me) regarding surgery approval/post-op education (that you have pre-op), &c, but 11/10 or so, I'll give them a call so we can have as much time before the end of the year to get all my ducks into a conga line. I'm hoping for a surgery date of 12/17 because of the way my Christmas break falls. People have looked at me like I'm nuts because I'm actually -wanting- it so that I'll not be able to eat solids at Christmas. If solids are off the table, it'll be very, very hard for me to give in to stress eating. Surviving a holiday being unable to stress eat will help me avoid it in the future. At least that's how I'm thinking about it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Hoo ya!

That's what I'm talking about! If you sneak a peek over <--- there, you'll see that I'm now down to my lowest weight in about two years. That's what my scale at home said. I weighed at the doctor's office and his scale decided to declare a truce or something because I was down a total of 9# since my last weigh-in on his scale. :-) I attribute this success to the protein mini-meals/low in refined carbs diet that I'm doing that is a sort of hybrid between a diet that my sister sent me and what my psychologist suggested for me as a pre-op behavioral plan. I'm also walking about an hour a day now, which can't hurt.

Now, to keep up the momentum with the temps going back up to near 80... that's the trick.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Just an FYI about me

In case you haven't been reading my blog very long, I thought I'd post a sort of PSA about its content. :-) I will have times where everything is clicking along like clockwork and life is rosy in the Winter Wolf's world. Then something will happen that causes a bump in the road and I'll probably vent about it a bit. In most cases, the venting lasts for all of one post (like the last one) and then I can move on once the negativity boil is lanced and the poison is drained from it. If I'm negative for several posts in a row, please call me on it because it may be indicative of something else besides frustration.

That being said, things are clicking along once again. I've been very good with my diet the last few days and I'm already down nearly 7 pounds. I know that most of that is fluid, but I'll take it. Fat loss will come soon enough. Thankfully there really is a protein powder out there that doesn't taste like something old and diseased crawled on to my tongue to die. ;-) That makes things MUCH easier. I'll be adding some longer walks in this week, so that will really help with wringing the fluid out of my tissues and show a better loss at the doc's office on Wednesday.

Hopefully the detox period won't last much longer. I'm pushing through it, but it'll be awesome to be on the other side of the sluggish-headache-bitepeople'sheadsoff period. :-)

Believe it or not, I actually said no to cake yesterday!!!!!! There may be hope for me yet. :-)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Now that -that's- out of my system...

... I can move on to becoming fit and fabulous! :-)

I've cracked down hard on my diet and, though it's just the first day, I'm doing well. I'm being very strict with myself because that'll get the detoxing over quickly and get me on my way to feeling better through eating better.

Let's just say that the combination of drinking my quota of water and cutting back on the refined carbs has me not so worried about retaining fluid. ;-)

I'm getting a lot of protein and just a few carbs, mostly in the form of veggies. I've had no soda today, but I have had unsweetened iced tea. Cutting back on the caffeine will have have to happen after I've detoxed from the sugar. Perhaps it would be easier on me if I did it all at once, but it would definitely not be easier on those around me, so...

Have a great weekend everyone!