Hurry up…and wait.



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.





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:


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.



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

Just keep going…


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…


Look at me! The guinea pig.


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.


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.


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,


Another path. Same journey.


I’ve known for many years where I want to end up relating to my weight loss journey – what my destination looks like, and knowing that along the journey I will have struggles. And I will feel like I’ve failed – until I reached that destination.

I haven’t yet reached my destination. In fact, I’m far from it even now. But I’ve made a decision that is mine alone – that brings me just a step closer to my destination.

It won’t mean it will be easy. It won’t mean that I will be without struggles yet again. But it will give me a chance to reach my destination, and that’s really what I have been in dire need of – a chance.

No amount of determination that I could muster up through this journey has gotten me to where I want to be. But it has taught me a lot – about myself, and about what I want or need. And I not only want this – I’m not to the point where I feel I need it.

So, as of this past Monday, I am on a new path, but the same journey – with the same destination in my sights.

I’ve made the decision. And I’m ready to hit the new path running.

So, barring any issues of why I couldn’t, I’m going to have the bariatric surgery.

I’ve starting the process for pre-bariatric surgery: blood tests, ultrasound, nurse consultations, as well as consultations with a clinical social worker, psychologist, nutritionist/dietitian and eventually the surgeon.

Last Monday, my mom and I went to an information session on the surgery:

  • the pros and cons.
  • the many meetings/sessions the person must attend
  • some details on the surgery itself
  • pre- and post-operation physical changes and expectations

I already suspected before I went to it that I wanted to do it. And while, I’ll be honest, some of the “complications” do scare me, the idea of not having the surgery (and not being successful in my weight loss attempts on my own) and living a very shortened life scares me even more. There will also be plenty of sacrifices with this decision as well, but it comes down to what I want more.

And I have big plans for my future. So I need to be around to make sure they happen.

There is no set timeline for when my surgery would take place. They said that it can be as little as 5 months to 1 year, depending on how long it takes to get through all of the sessions/meetings and have all of the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. And get all those damn ducks in a row too!


I really am hoping that it happens sooner rather than later, especially before the winter months. There are three places they do the surgery that will require travel for my mom and I. We’re aiming for London, Ontario which is about 2 hours away, and we can take the train there and back.

The hospital stay is 1 or 2 days for monitoring, and then they suggest 4-6 weeks off of work. But I’m not a typical worker, am I?  I may take a week off, but I seriously doubt I will sit in my bed, bored out of my ever-loving mind, for weeks at a time when my work computer is 5 feet away. If I’m going to have to just sit around, I’d rather do so and get paid for it. Most people leave their homes to go to their jobs and depending on the type of job they do, it can be physically labouring…but not for me.

One of the funniest parts during the information sessions is the list of “Things you can’t do/have post-surgery”. They included smoking, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages and anti-inflammatory medications. Ever.

  • No smoking?  Easy
  • No alcohol?  I’m not much of a drinker anyway so I don’t have a problem with this.
  • No caffeine? I don’t drink coffee, rarely tea, so most of my caffeine would come from pop (or soda, depending on where you live).
  • No carbonated beverages? I don’t care for Perrier or beer so the only “issue” would be pop. But since I’ve been on Weight Watchers, due to the high point count for pop, I’ve only had it occasionally as a “treat” and mostly to use up some points to reach my daily limit (if you eat really well, most things don’t have points). So while it would be an adjustment, my WW journey has already prepared me to make this transition easier.

As I said before, this surgery isn’t the cure all to end all. It’s going to require a lot of hard work and attention to details, especially post-surgery relating to what I can eat and when. The first several weeks are pure liquids, then pureed, gradually adding solid foods but in such small quantities. And I’ll have to fight to “no hungry so don’t want to eat” issue. The “symptoms” of what happens if you eat too much, too fast, or the wrong things is something I want to avoid – like the plague. So, there is lots to read up on and be sure that I’m ready for each step on the journey.

I do hope you’ll stick around…exciting things are on the horizon!




Days #11, 12, 13… of 31 Days of Gratitude

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know that I can be a bit forgetful about keeping up with posting. It isn’t that I don’t want to. I really wish I could just plug into my brain and upload all of the thoughts I have, but then I feel that you’d all run screaming for the hills.

So while I don’t intend to write out 13 different blogs to cover Days 11 thru 24, I will list below those 13 things I am grateful for in one swoop (keeping them short – I’m promise). So here we go…

Day 11:  I am grateful for being raised in a household where I learned about love, hard work, appreciation instead of hate, bigotry and selfishness.

Day 12: I am grateful for the things that I often take for granted. My eyesight. My hearing. Even, despite my size and physical “disabilities”, I can still walk, drive my car, watch my favourite movies or listen to my favourite bands. I can enjoy watching the sun set, hear a baby’s laughter, or a cat’s meow.

Day 13:  I am grateful for whatever God-given talents I have. I can’t sing a lick – okay I can but no one wants to hear that – but I’m half-way decent at drawing, and I’m told, not a half-bad writer.

Day 14: I am grateful for my sense of humour. I’m sure others might protest – I’ve been told I’m a bit dry and can often be a tad sarcastic. No! You don’t say!? See…but I love to laugh, and make others laugh. As far as I’m concerned, if you can make me laugh, I’m already half in love with you.

Day 15: I am grateful for my mom’s cat Oreo. He helps to keep my boy Finny entertained and not so lonely since my Ginny left us in April. While he can be a royal pain in the ass sometimes, I know that Finny likes to have another buddy around to play with – or fight with – depending on the hour of the day.

Day 16: I am grateful that my job and experience has afforded me a decent wage where I don’t have to live pay check to pay check like so many others must. If I want something, I can get it, though I do try to limit what I want, to what I need.

Day 17: I am grateful for having had close family in my life while I grew up as an only child that I never felt alone. Some cousins were with me often, our families spending a lot of time together – and they always were just “there”.

Day 18: I am grateful for having had my dad in my life, even if for only a short time. As I get older, I remember less and less about him. And I was only eleven when he died, so much of my years with him I was too young to remember anyway, so I have to rely on family and photos to remind me. But even though he was taken from us too soon, I am always grateful for the years that I did have him. He was the best.


Day 19: I am grateful for having had the opportunity to visit the places I’ve been, especially Rome and Athens. I’ve always been fascinated with ancient things – Rome and Athens being just a small part of that fascination. But having been able to visits those cities and many others in my life so far, I feel blessed. And there are still so many more places I want to see.

Day 20: I am grateful that I have always had a roof over my head, food in my belly (too much, in fact), warm clothes in the winter, and a comfy bed to sleep in. So many do not, especially at this time of the year when their very survival depends on the things we take for granted.

Day 21: Along with Day 20, I’m also very grateful for running water, working toilets and showers, and shiny appliances to use to make plenty of food. Too often we get bogged down in our lives, worrying about this or that, that we forget about those who have nothing. And I hate that I have to be reminded of this far too often.

Day 22: I am grateful for having some of the same friends in my life for the past 30+ years. They have been with me through the good and bad, the ups and the downs, always willing to lend an ear, or offer a hug…and even to bring the tequila and the shovel. These friends have seen me at my worse, and yet they’re still here. I love them all.

Day 23: I am grateful for YOU. Sure, some of you are family and friends, even some of those I mention in previous days of gratefulness, but I don’t know some of you personally at all. Yet, many of you have taken the time to not only read my posts, but have followed me throughout this journey and my many ramblings, and you’ve stuck around, supported me and offered me words of encouragement. You will never know how much that has meant to me, but I am very grateful for it all. And YOU!  So thank you, my friends!  Red Heart on Twitter Twemoji 2.4

Day 24: As I sit here on Christmas Eve, the condo is quiet because my mom’s been sleeping now for several hours, I feel somewhat lonely. But I know I’m not. Not really. It’s hard to explain. I’m sure you have all felt like this; maybe even now as you read this you feel lonely. But just as I remind myself, please remember that even if you’re in a room full of people, you can feel lonely. Keep people you love and care about in your heart, and you will never be alone. Trust me.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. 


Regardless, may your hearts be full of love, laughter and song.



Day #3 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Day #3

For Day #3 of 31 Days of of Gratitude, I am grateful for my family. I’ve probably mentioned before that I come from a very large family. I don’t mean immediate – other than a half-sister – I don’t have any other brothers or sisters. But for other family members – I have them aplenty.

I think I’ve mentioned that I always laugh at the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula tells Ian that she has 27 first cousins (go to the 1:25min mark).

To explain why I laugh so much and to put it into perspective, when my grandmother (meme/mimi) passed away in 1985, she had 56 grandchildren (which would mean I had 55 other first cousins), 79 great grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren.

That is not a typo.

When your mother is the youngest of 16, the numbers can be “out there”. And that’s only one side!

The only difference compared to Toula’s family and mine is that – unfortunately or not – our family doesn’t spend a lot of time together, at least, as a large group. In fact, many of the cousins don’t even know each other. Some maybe don’t even get along for whatever reason. But to all of them, I’m Switzerland.

Growing up, I was closest to several because our families spent a lot of time together. Over the years, thanks to social media, I’m gotten to know some family I didn’t know before, became closer to those I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, and in general, am grateful for those that I have in my life.

With that many cousins, many of whom were older than my mom, some have left us already. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know many of them very well. The great thing about my family being so large is that there is so much to learn – about them and our family history. Stories about their parents – fathers who perhaps fought in a war or served in the military – something to be proud of.

So I love my extended family – all those crazy cousins. And while the number likely never went higher than 56 for first cousins, there are plenty more family that have been added over the years, and are still being added today.

And with a family this large, it’s really hard to feel alone. You’d hope they would be there for you, as much as you’d try to be there for them.

Because, after all, that’s what family should really be about, right?


Blessings to all.