pathways

from 2013:

Okay, so here’s an interesting breakthrough. My brain, the well-worn pathways in my brain, tell me I’m stupid if I don’t get food. I was sitting here after denying myself junk food and feeling like I hated myself.

“Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel overwhelmingly like I hate myself right now?”

My brain is feeling bad because I am choosing not to give it the food it wants. To make a new pathway is very difficult for the brain. If I give it the food it’s asking for (that I trained it to ask for) then it’s happy. If I deny it that food, it gets mad and sad.

When I was very young, when my parents would fight, I rewarded my pleasure centers with food and that made my chaotic world seem okay. I have worn a path to my pleasure center with food. You may do it with sex or drugs or alcohol. I am making new pathways and this is the most difficult thing I have ever done. And one day my brain will thank me for good food choices.

Your brain works the exact same way. Trust me.


A friend explained pathways to me after she went through an intense therapy group for eating disorders. Still thankful for that. It has been one of the most significant pieces of the puzzle in terms of changing eating habits and emotional eating.

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Gratitude

November has officially become a month-long thankful pack of sticky notes on Facebook. That’s great. Truly. But what about the other 11 months? 🙂

So I hesitate to join, but. I will.

I am thankful for so much. But this Thanksgiving, I am deep-down, toes-to-tassel thankful for my life.

Since 2012, and really before that, I have been sick. Heart failure. Twice. Thyroid cancer. Gastric bypass. Gallbladder failure.

And now, 226 lbs lighter, I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even when I was young. Mainly because I also feel emotionally better. It feels like all the sickness is finally gone. I can just tell.

For years I struggled with a failing GB. Probably a decade, in hindsight. Also, I probably had a thyroid issue my entire life because I have been overweight from a young age.

Mom always said, “You were born hungry.” A mother knows. Just wish she could have told or shown the doctors where to look. Nonetheless, this was my destiny.

I am thankful for my trouble. It has taught me endurance.

James 1:2-4 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(Perhaps missing/lacking a few organs, but otherwise, lacking in nothing. LOL)

It has also taught me humility. Patience. Joy. Peace. Understanding. Wisdom. Tolerance. So many things.

Under any other circumstances, would I be the person I have finally come to love entirely? I don’t know. God didn’t do this to me. But he knew how far I could go. He knew the traps. He knew the joys. He knew how strong I could be with him.

I truly did not think it was possible. To see 287.6 lbs again. That’s what I was yesterday afternoon, on the scale. I did not think it was possible to live past the age of 50. I did not think it was possible to ever feel right again. Out of pain. Able to walk. Able to work.

One year ago, I was preparing for surgery. High-protein diet to shrink my liver. Thanksgiving was the last day I could eat. I savored it. Thinking it might be my last tasty morsel before a lifetime of bland, tiny meals. Or worse. My last meal before operation table disaster. Dying.

But I made it. I made it to the next Thanksgiving. How wonderful to be on the other side. Maybe that’s what it’s like to go to Heaven. Thankful to be done and home at last.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Maybe this is what I needed for this ultra-thick head. Maybe this was my come-to-Jesus moment. Maybe this was my “fall on my knees because I have nothing left.”

I’m by no means done. I am just beginning again. And I am so thankful just to be alive. And 287. 🙂


Only 87 lbs to goal!!! 😀

299.4

Welcome to Loozers Lounge!! LOL I’m the biggest loser.

I broke 300.

I did not think this was possible! So excited. only 99 lbs until skin surgery. 😀 Better find a surgeon. Wish I had my weight loss surgeon. He’s the best. But I have to afford the surgery first. Flying back to KC would cost even more.

Who cares! I weigh 299!!! Woot!

Total loss=214 lbs!!!!!

This is good news.  This has been a tough week full of sadness and setbacks. Welcome, Good News! I needed you.

302.8!

I am down to 302.8 today! I am less than 3 lbs away from the 200s! That’s amazing.

So that is a total of 211 lbs lost from my heaviest. 😀

For you that have chosen to go through gastric bypass or are in the early stages after surgery, you will hit plateaus! People don’t really talk about this. I have hit 2 major plateaus. Otherwise, it falls off.

I hit a plateau at 380 and one at 320. I seem to be through and back to losing now, but those sticky points are tough. Don’t lose faith. Always go back to the basics and you’ll come through it okay. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.

I feel great today except for some unrelated jaw pain. I feel energized and alive. My activity level is getting higher and higher. My stamina is back and I can walk, work and even ride my bike.

I used to have to take short naps during the day or limit my chores/work/exercise. But no more! I’m awake all day, working, walking, riding, enjoying life again. 🙂 I hit the hay pretty hard at the end of it all, but that’s what you’re supposed to do!

Good luck to anyone contemplating surgery. It is totally worth it. And in some cases, the only cure.

357.6

Just a quick update on my weight. This morning I weighed 357.6 lbs.

Stats:

On 8-10-2012, I weighed 513+ lbs.
Lost 101+ lbs by March 2014.
Got sick, had thyroid cancer, two bouts of heart disease, gained approx. 40 lbs. back due to inability to stabilize thyroid hormone replacement. I didn’t know it at the time, but for 2 years I was battling heart problems, thyroid failing and gallbladder failing. I was up against my own body and trying like a crazy person to lose weight. I worked out multiple times a week for hours at a time and the whole while?? I was bound to fail. Thankfully, finally, I dealt with all my issues (with the help of many doctors) and now I’m losing with the aid of WLS. It’s a tool! It can help you succeed.

On 11-28-2016, I weighed 456+ lbs.
Started liquid protein for liver-reduction diet, lost approx. 30 lbs. in 2 weeks.

On 12-12-2016, I went in for weight loss surgery.

On 1-12-2017, just one month later, I went in for gallbladder removal surgery. Gallbladder had failed. My gallbladder had probably been failing for years! Since Lilli (my daughter) was a baby. 🙂

So, just since last Thanksgiving, I’ve lost 99 lbs. 😀 In just over 4 months.

Since August 10, 2012, I’ve lost a total of 156! OMG!

I have to say, if you can’t lose weight on your own, or you’re struggling HARD, then please consider surgery. My surgeon was the best. Truly. Stanley Hoehn at The Bariatric Center of KC.

There’s a waiting list, lots of patients, lots of hoops to jump through. But that’s because they are the absolute best. Maybe in the country. Maybe the world. My friend is actually considering revision through them for a decades-long battle with her first surgery. They can help.

I’m not gonna lie. If you read my blog, you’ll know I went through hell. HELL. But I was going through hell to begin with. I finally feel normal again and I feel better than I have in over a decade.

Do it. If it’s right for you. How much is your life worth? How much is your body worth? How much is your health worth? This can change everything.

My only regret?
Not having done it sooner.

I went to Hoehn ten years ago and I was afraid. I wasn’t ready. I needed to get ready. But I’m so glad I finally went!! I have my life back.