Hurry up…and wait.

 

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I’m not known as a patient person. Not one iota. I do try. But it’s just not something I’m very good at. And when it’s someone or something else I’m waiting on, it’s even harder. If I am the direct cause of something being delayed – fine, I’ll own that. Though I’m also not known for procrastinating on some things.

Finishing my book…well, that’s an entirely different beast all together.

So at long last, I have my consultation appointment with the sleep center. The last “hurdle” of my “must do’s” from the bariatric center. That is June 27th. It took them far too long to get this up, even after I provided them with my test results of my sleep study from 2007. But, at least it’s now set and I’m in the Q.

My first appointment with the bariatric doctor is now scheduled for June 19th. Later that morning I also have my nutrition class, which I’m told will be the only class with others, after which will be one-on-one with a nutritionist. Then, a week later, my social worker (ie: psychologist) to make sure I’m really ready mentally for the surgery and all that it entails.  Those three – they decide my fate for having the surgery or not – they all have to sign off on it and give their approval. So fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I have met some great people who have gone through the surgery and they are helping me to understand what my future will hold. Of course, everyone is different and with the assumption that I do have the surgery, my experiences will be different from everyone else’s but at the same time, similar. So I’m gathering a lot of information and I’ve joined a couple of bariatric weightloss groups on Facebook, and continue to learn all I can.

I’ll be honest…some of the things I read are daunting, and downright scary. But the idea of not doing the surgery and dying too early doesn’t appeal to me at all, so it’s a matter of lesser of two evils. And I’m really trying to see this surgery as not an evil, but as a great step to bettering my health. And living longer.

I’m also meeting new people who are in the same spot of their journey as I am. White it’s nice to get information and experiences from those who have been through it, it’s also nice to go along with people going through it at the same time – to get support and to be supportive of them on their journey.

I continue with Weight Watchers until I’m told to stop by the bariatric center. While I had a bit of an “up” after my birthday week, I’m happy that I lost half of that “up” this past week. I’m not going to freak out about the “up” and am just going to keep going.

Now that summer is here, along with the hot weather and humidity, my biggest issue (and fear) is water retention. I’ve been known to add 20-30 pounds of water weight every summer. No lie. I really cannot stand the heat, it makes me feel awful and I do what I can to avoid gaining it but my body just does not cooperate. My ankles swell up very badly, and apparently the rest of me where it’s not as noticeable.

So the idea of gaining water weight makes me very anxious.

And I’m really not the person that needs more anxiety in my life.

So while I (patiently) wait for these appointments to be done, and the next set of them until I (hopefully) get my approval and surgery date, I’ll be keeping on and doing my best…

This guy is my hero:

b6544bbb2d1f8ce973857e30b39a2f39 Who doesn’t love a cute bunny with shades and wears flip-flops?!

Blessings to all.

Love,

dani1

 

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Step 3,278…

I’ve been trying to lose weight pretty much all of my adult life. I’d try, then fail. Try. Then fail. And while most people would insist that I not use the word “fail,” given my current status on the scale, there really isn’t any other way to describe it.

And sure…as Thomas Edison said:

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So, in all these years of failure, what have I learned?

  • weight-loss gimmicks don’t work
  • there is no easy way to weightloss
  • “I’ll start Monday” is never a good thing, especially if it’s Tuesday
  • you have to be willing to make sacrifices

And sometimes…sometimes you need more help in order to succeed.

If you’re like me, you hate asking for help. You don’t want to be a burden to others. You feel that you should be able to do something on your own – if only you keep trying. I thought that way for a long time. That hard work, perseverance, sheer determination and a strong will was all someone needed.

And for some people, that’s true. But for those of us who no matter how much we want something, we invariably “fail” for one reason or another. I was severely lacking most of that, but I could never explain why.

I’ve had some people tell me that I didn’t want to lose weight. I’ve had others tell me that if I really wanted it badly enough, I’d “just do it.” And still, I’ve had others tell me that it “wasn’t meant to be.”

But I’ve never liked being obese.

I’ve never liked the limited “freedom” that being obese caused. Needing a seat-belt extender on airplanes (and god-forbid you need to use the lavatory) and in a car. Squeezing into public seating in movie theatres and sporting arenas, or on a plane or bus. The wonder if when you sit on a chair whether it will hold your weight. The stares of strangers whose looks make you want to crawl under a rock because you feel so ugly. The abhorrence to having your picture taken, or seeing your reflection in a mirror or reflective glass of a building or an elevator. Or even the constant need to keep track of which places had bathrooms in which you could comfortably fit.

Whatever the philosophy might be, the end result is that despite all of this, it never was enough of a sustaining motivator to me to lose the weight and keep it off. And to be honest, that is probably my greatest shame.

But it’s a new time now. I’ve decided I need help. And I’m asking. By deciding to have the bariatric surgery, I’m asking for help. I need help.

I don’t see this as a cure-all. I never have. And while I’ve never considered weight-loss surgery as the “easy way,” I did fight the idea because I believed that it wasn’t going to be that cure-all that many of us so desperately want. It took some time for me to fully understand that the surgery was just a stepping stone on the journey.

My 3,278th, if you will. I don’t know if that’s really what step I’m on, but it’s as good a number as any.

The steps leading to the surgery will not be easy, but they won’t be necessarily difficult either. I’ve already begun preparing so that the adjustment isn’t as difficult as it could be. The surgery itself can be difficult. There are risks, certainly. There always are in major surgery, but if there is ever a time for me to be positive – it’s now.

The post-surgery will have the greatest challenges. Drastic reduction in food intake. Limited ability to eat certain foods; complete avoidance of others. Again, I’ve already started to make the transition on some of this.

For me to succeed, I am going to have to work hard. I know this. And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can work hard. I can do this.

And while I certainly wish I had made this decision years ago, I feel like I really needed to be in that place; to really believe it was the right time.

And that time is now.

My biggest fear with this entire process, besides the risks of death, are really – with the assumption of success in losing all the weight I want – is the inevitability of loose skin. And I will have a lot of it. As I’m not a spring chicken anymore, no amount of pleaded of my skin to bounce back is going to help. And in many places on my body, the skin has been stretched far too far anyway. And based on everything I’ve read of others who have gotten that far, the skin reduction surgery is actually worse to deal with than the bariatric surgery.

And I will deal with that step when I get to it.

First, I have to make it to the 3,279th.

Blessings to all.

Love,

dani1

PS:  As of this morning I am down 40 pounds since last Fall.  Yay me!

Just keep going…

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Someone asked me if I was going to stop Weight Watchers since I’m on the path to the bariatric surgery, and while I had the quick answer of “No” for her, I realize the more I thought about it that her question was a blog topic in itself. So, let me talk about that for a bit…

One of the questions I asked the nurse at the information session on the surgery was, “Do you have to lose a certain amount of weight BEFORE the surgery in order to be approved for the surgery?” You see, I’ve been watching the TV show called “My 600# Life” and while I’m not near 600 pounds, I’m still greatly obese so given that the people on the show are attempting to have the surgery done, I watch it with keen interest. And on that show, Dr. Now (Younan Nowzaradan, MD) always tells them that they must lose x amount of weight before he’ll approve them for the surgery. I didn’t understand why. I just assumed that it was a standard thing that anyone wanting to have the surgery had to do – in order to prove that you could stick to a diet plan and lose weight.

Of course, that does sort of display a paradox, doesn’t it? After all, if you can stick to a diet plan and lose weight, why would you need to have the surgery.

I understand now that it was those people on the show – because of their size – had to show Dr. Now that they could adapt and change because as I’ve been saying all along, the surgery is not the be all to end all. If I don’t work hard and stick to the plan, I won’t learn how to live, lose the weight and keep it off.

In any case, the nurse’s reply was, “No, you would just have to maintain your weight. Certainly not gain any.”

So that was one reason I decided to stick to doing Weight Watchers until I couldn’t do so any further.

The other reason is that I’ve had some success with WW so why stop now? Why get lax or lazy, slip into old habits now, after that success and potentially see all that hard work go to waste.

Despite WW being a plan that you can eat quite a bit of different foods so it’s not boring and you are better off to stick to it, it doesn’t mean that you can go “whole hog” and eat whatever you want. I have hardly had any pasta since I went on WW. While I accumulate points for an end of the week special meal, I find the idea of blowing all those points on some foods not worth it. And certainly, the limited points that one has for meals during the day, it’s often not worth it to have things such as potatoes and pasta. And while it’s an “easy” plan to basically follow, it’s still not easy to adjust.

You’re still limiting your food. Tracking your food. Measuring your food. You have to review all the labels, determine if something is too high in points…and you have to keep going.

So, the other thing is that since I’ve been on WW, I’ve learned to make better choices, and I’m to the point now where I feel pretty good about how well I’ve done up to this point. Sure, there’s a learning curve – just as there will be one (or many) after the surgery – but WW has helped me a lot also. I’ve cut way back on my pop (vice #1) consumption to the point where I rarely have it, and if I do, it’s usually as a treat because I have some extra points at the end of the day. I haven’t had potato chips (vice #2) since I started WW except a single small bag one time when we were out and I felt it wasn’t worth the 9 points.

So as I prepare for the pre- and post- surgery, a lot of things that I’m dealing with through WW is helping me to better prepare for my journey’s next path.

So, no…I won’t be stopping Weight Watchers even though I’ve decided to do the surgery. I will continue to do it until I’m told by the bariatric center that I need to stop, which could be the two weeks leading up to the surgery when I’m just on a liquid diet, or it could anytime before then. I certainly hope I have some more time on it – both as a learning tool but also, in all honesty, because I paid for 6 months and I’d like to get my money’s worth.

On Weigh-In Monday (yesterday), I lost another 4 pounds last week (and lost a daily point in WW), so I am now down a total of 14.2 pounds since joining WW, and 36.6 pounds since last August. So, yeah…I think I’m going to just keep going…

Blessings to all…

dani1

Look at me! The guinea pig.

PBSD

That means “Post-Bariatric Surgery Decision”. I just made that up. But my life from here on out is going to be quite busy. And quite challenging as well.

That’s not to say that my life hasn’t been busy. In some ways, it seems as if I have absolutely nothing going on. That I live a quite boring life. And then there are times when I realize that I simply don’t have time to do all of the things I want to do. And who doesn’t have that issue sometimes?

I’m crazy busy at my job. All. The. Damn. Time. There are not enough hours in the day to do the work I need to do and it provides a good portion of the stress I often feel. No matter how much effort I make to put a dent in it, it never seems to go down. And I know some of you might say, “Well, at least you have a job.” or “Being busy is better than not being busy.” And both of those are correct. I’m grateful I have a job. It pays well. But I also work very hard for that money. But it is a problem to feel so overwhelmed with the workload and not really have any way to deal with it except to just keep plowing through.

Oh and cry sometimes.

I also am writing my book “Kiwi Kiss” and I’m nearly done it. I get asked constantly “Are you done it yet?” and of course, non-writers have NO idea what is involved in writing novels. None. And I’m at the point where I really need to be in the mood. That’s not a great habit for a writer but it is where I’m at right now. So, while it’s nearly done, it is a process and I’m doing what I can to get it done and published. Patience, grasshopper.

funny-write

On top of that, I have a lot of other things I want to do. Read all the books on my Kindle. Paint on the few canvases I bought. Watch all the movies and tv shows in my Netflix “My List” list. Travel more. The list goes on and on.

But in between some of that, I now have to concentrate on what I have to do before the bariatric surgery, and after.

So far this week it’s been a bunch of blood work, urine testing (for pregnancy, no less – yep…that ship sailed some time ago but I find it funny they still requested it), and EKG testing. I have an appointment coming up for an ultrasound on my abdomen, and a sleep study reassessment relating to my sleep apnea.

In early May, my first appointment is with a nurse for a consultation where I have to fill out a 40 page questionnaire. Then it’s more meetings with a nurse, dietitian, psychologist and eventually the surgeon. At the same time, I am having trouble with numbness in my left pinkie and ring finger, which is thought to be carpal tunnel but I have an appointment with a neurologist to find out. He will be my 6th neurologist since I also have the neuropathy in my feet.

Oh the joys of being unhealthy.

And I’m not complaining about these appointments. Truly. They are all a necessary part of getting me to my destination, so I’ll deal with them and keep on keeping on.

But I do feel like sort of a guinea pig.

But it is what it is. My goal is obtainable, it’s just going to take some patience, and a whole lot of hard work.

And a whole lot of support will be needed. So for those of you who have stuck with me all this time, I truly appreciate it and hope you’ll stick around some more.

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And the good news is that as of this morning, I am 1.2 pounds from losing 40 since my heaviest weight late last Summer.  WOOT!

More to follow soon. Watch this space.

Blessings to all,

dani1

31 Days of Gratitude

It’s been a good week, friends. Actually, it’s been a pretty damn good week. And I’m grateful.

Grateful for everything I have. Grateful for everything I’ve ever had. Even grateful for everything that has happened to me – good or bad – because those things have made me a stronger person. A person, I hope, people feel is a great, reliable and loving friend. Someone with a big heart, who would do whatever she could to help them. Someone who didn’t take them for granted, and appreciated having them in her life.

So starting today – December 1, 2017 – I’m going to post 31 days of gratitude. Certainly that doesn’t mean that I won’t be grateful after December 31st, but for now, let’s just start here.

If anyone wants to do this with me, please do. I’ll be posting these 31 days on both Facebook (my personal page), twitter @dani052566 and my IG account:  @danielle_reaume

Let’s do this…

Day #1 

I’m grateful I’m still alive.

I’m grateful I’m still alive…

  • to see another beautiful sunny day.

December 1, 2017

  • to appreciate the beauty of nature
  • to appreciate the beauty of the Earth
  • to be here for my family, friends and Finnegan

And most importantly, I’m grateful to be here for me.

Blessings to all…

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

 

No, this isn’t Groundhog Day…

Hello,

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (for those too young to understand that terminology, please Google it), I’m starting anew.

Again.

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To say this journey has been a roller-coaster would be an understatement. For the longest time I thought that every “restart” was an embarrassment. As in, why can’t I just do it right the first time? Stick to it. Just do it. And while I won’t profess to say that I’m completely over that thinking, I have come to understand that like life, which is filled with so many things that interrupt your path, you can still be ON that path…there are just some detours that get in the way.

The key is to stay on the path, but if you sway off, get back on.

And while it does admittedly bother me that I haven’t been very successful up to this point, I need to keep trying. If I don’t, I won’t be around to entertain you fine people with my witty bantering. And how tragic would that be?

As I posted prior, I am now back home in Canada and I’m settling in more and more each day. It is still some adjustment for me, but I’m getting there. And the one thing I’m finally “there” for is to do something about my weight.

Again.

While I was at my heaviest in early July before the move, I had lost some since, but not enough and not consistently. In fact, I’ve lost and gained the same 5 pounds over the past few weeks and it’s very frustrating.

So why is this time any different? you might ask. Trust me, I’m asking myself. And while I am not going to make any promises, I’m also not going to think about the chance of failure. There’s nothing worse at trying to succeed at something and starting off with thinking about how you might fail.

Talk about setting yourself up for an epic fail!

But this time it’s mostly about frame of mind. And hopefully having someone close to me on the same journey where we can help each other out. This is hard enough to do, but to do it alone is even harder.

No matter what your “thing” is that you need to do – try to find others who will support you, help you, and maybe even walk through it with you.

After all, what is there (for me) to lose…?

Except this weight.

Never let a stumble be the end of your journey…

Broken Pot

So…here I go. Again.

My life is worth living, and I want to do so much more living before there’s no more life left. It’s time.

And it’s not going to be easy. Nothing worth it every is. And I will struggle. I will falter. I will even swear like a banshee…okay that’s a given no matter what…but I will try so very hard to do this.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw

It’s time to create. Let’s do this.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey, and supporting me. It means everything.

Blessings to all.

Dani

I’m baaack…did you miss me?

Hello my peeples!

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I know it’s been some time. The usual “tune” to this blog is that I can, and do, often go some time between writings and I have apologized for that. Often. In this case, I do have a better excuse than not having anything to say, or I simply didn’t feel like writing…

I have had a significant change in my life.

Those that know me, already know this but many of you may not. So…I have moved back to my homeland Canada, back to my hometown in Ontario. I moved in late July and have been busy settling in, taking care of legal matters, and at the same time, have continued to work for my employer training my replacement (remotely). I’ll be doing so until the end of October, at which time I am officially unemployed – for the first time in a very long time.

In any case, the last several months (more prior to the move), have been challenging – both mentally and physically.

While it may not seem that moving back to your hometown is significant to some, keep in mind that I haven’t lived here in nearly 20 years. And a lot has changed during that time. I’m also leaving a job I’ve held for nearly 20 years, and now have to find a new one (at my age!) in a city that – unless you are capable of working in a tool & die/automotive-type industry, a physical labour (<—note the spelling; I am in Canada now) job or a part-time job so they don’t have to pay you benefits – this city doesn’t have a lot to offer someone with my experience. I have been looking at the job market for over a year just to see what was “out there” and I have to say, it’s slim-pickings for sure.

And don’t even get me started on having to relearn the metric system! Though, if I’m honest, I’m not sure I learned it well enough before I moved away! 🙂

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So my life has been in a bit of chaos the last several months. Packing up to move back here meant I had to deal with some challenges I’m sure any of you who have ever moved have faced: what to keep? what to donate? what to throw out? where did I get this? why do I have this? And then the physical aspect of packing. And as you all know, being on my feet and doing physical things is a huge challenge for me. And this was a doozy.

By the time I left my empty apartment on my last night in New York, as I headed to my hotel, I cried. I cried a lot those few months. But I cried that night because it was finally all over. All of the pain it took me – mentally and of course, physically – to get through it was finally over. I’m grateful to those friends who helped me get to that point. I couldn’t have done it completely alone, and despite the help, I was still physically and emotionally drained. And so the tears flowed.

But I was also reminded of how being this size impeded everything I did in preparing for the move. The physicality was a huge barrier for me, and there were times that I cried even more because of the pain I was in. My feet. My lower back. My legs. Everywhere. It was a constant reminder of just how out of shape I am. It was a slap in the face and a “you’re a fucking idiot” every time I took a step. I was an emotional wrecking ball and there were times, I admit, I wasn’t sure I could get to the finish line.

Some legal things I had to deal with when I finally arrived back “home” didn’t help either. They weren’t anything physical I needed to deal with, but mentally, I wasn’t yet healed from the few prior months, and I honestly questioned if I had made the wrong choice in coming back. But I really knew I hadn’t. It would have happened eventually, and actually should have happened years ago – after my divorce.

But I survived.

I always do.

So here I am, 72 days after my move back home. I’m settling in. It’s been some adjustments, and I still feel a bit out of sorts sometimes. Like I’m not really living here; I’m just visiting. I’m sure that will pass soon enough. In the meantime, I’m working, helping my mom here and there, spending some time with some family and friends, and preparing to find a job.

I haven’t done any writing and I need to. I’m trying to help a director friend with getting the word out on a project of his. I’m finally finished dealing with the last of matters I had to deal with for moving back here. Things are looking up. Sort of. Kind of. I mean…you know I can’t just be completely positive and say things are going great. Besides that rarely being true, I am a bit superstitious and don’t want to jinx myself either.

Regardless, I made the decision earlier this week that I needed to buckle down more on the weight loss issue. During the months prior to moving, I really wasn’t thinking of that at all – I simply had too much else going on – so I ate indiscriminately. And it showed on the scale. But I was allowing myself that reprieve. Since I’ve been home, I’m eating more veggies and way less “take out” but I didn’t feel I was being serious enough, so I made a few adjustments and so far it’s been a good week.  I’m still not physically able to do much, but getting one thing more under control is helping.

So I’m happy to report that I am down 5.8 pounds (ugh…2.63084 kgs – see it sounds like more in non-metric/imperial measurements anyway!) since Monday. Mind you, I did detox one day earlier in the week but that didn’t do much. And I’ve been dealing with an infection which required me to drink a lot of water (and stop the detox drink) in order for the medications to work better. But I haven’t snacked as much, have had more salad/veggies (and less meat), and even less soda pop.

So, yay me!

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If this move has taught me anything (besides, cripes Dani are you some sort of pack-rat??!), it’s that with my body being so out of shape, there are so many other things that I just cannot do. And that has to change.

I will be honest and say that I’m really tired of saying “this is it!” or “I’m back on track” only to fail. But I’m using that term only because it gives a sense of how I feel, not that I’m necessarily failing. At least, I’m trying NOT to feel that way. Because it’s going to take a long time, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work, and I’m not going to be perfect at its execution, just like I won’t be perfect when I reach my ultimate goal.

Thomas Edison has one of my favourite quotes:

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So I am going to fail.

But I am going to keep on…keeping on. Until I find the way that will work, and achieve success!

Thanks for your patience, support and most of all, your love.

Blessings to all.

Love,

Dani