Sunday, May 20, 2012

GRADUATION THOUGHTS

I "graduated" from high school in 1980 when I was 17. I wanted to be a teacher, but I got married 3 mos later, still at age 17 by the way (long story) and well, college after that was just not an option.

A couple years later I "graduated" into motherhood. That was one of the most rewarding times of my life, and also the beginning of the downfall of my weight struggle. I was pregnant four times and I was blessed with two living children, BOYS, I had a miscarriage at 4 1/2 months and a stillborn daughter, whom I buried in 1987. I gained most of my weight after that. Sadness is a hard thing to overcome.

I still can't explain how it got so out of control, my eating that is, but I found myself at 523+ pounds and stayed there, with a yoyo syndrome of lose 100 gain 120, lose 75 gain 100, etc. over the next 20 years. I had "graduated" into a morbidly obese woman, who was facing death. Literally. Doctors gave me 2 years max to live.

Around this same time I also "graduated" into becoming a NANA. This was one of the most amazing times in my life. I LOVE my grandson more than anything. I did NOT want to die and not see him grow up.

It was time to "graduate" into a healthy person again. I started to find creative ways to exercise, I ate good, I followed the WW plan & I lost 125 pounds. It took me 3 1/2 years to do it. But it wasn't enough. At the rate I was losing the Dr said I would still die before I got healthy. I was still on oxygen, still could barely walk or drive a car and still on many medications. I had to do more. I wanted to do more. So I went to the Bariatric DR and signed up for weight loss surgery.

In 2008, on my 46th birthday, I "graduated" into a WLS patient. My stomach is now the size of an egg. I physically cannot eat the amounts of food I was accustomed to anymore. The weight began to fall off for 18 months, I lost 200 pounds during that honeymoon period. I felt worthy again. I believed I could DO this finally.

BUT life is never perfect even for a hard core perfectionist like me. Next, I "graduated" into that dreaded period of re-gain... yep it happens... after 18 months, even though I have had surgery, I am just like everyone else, I have to watch what I eat and exercise if I want to lose or maintain. Those one taste of a chip lead to a snack bag of chips, that led to a can of pringles over the course of a day (still can't eat in one sitting). I watched new WLS friends coming into the program weighing what I weighed now, and then getting down to a size 4, and I started feeling like I was a failure. I went from 523 to 179 to 220. From a size 6X dress, that was still tight, to a size 12... now more like a 16 or an 18. Jealousy can lead a person to not think good things about themselves. I was so happy for my friends but their success was only highlighting my failures in my eyes.

"Graduation" day again, this time to a pity party, a long pity party. Why bother? I may be 1/2 the person I used to be but I am still fat. I can walk again, I can drive, I can exercise, I can ride roller coasters.


I don't need seat belt extensions on a plane but I am still fat. Everyone looks better than me. I don't like these parties. I am thankful I have friends that care enough to remind me of the things I CAN do now and how proud and inspired my journey has been. They reminded me I CAN DO ANYTHING. Anything? Even going back to school? YES especially that.

So in 2010 I enrolled in college. I want to be a licensed clinical social worker, I want to counsel and help weight loss patients, people who need to lose, are losing, or have lost weight, especially 100 pounds or more. I've been through the good times, and the bad times and fallen but I've gotten back up. I guess I have overcome. I want to help them too. Losing weight is the hardest thing anyone will ever do and with or without WLS it's always up to the individual. Yesterday, I "GRADUATED" from college with my associates degree, and a 4.0 GPA. Me... the failure. I can no longer call myself that failure word with a straight face. 



I still plan on losing more weight. I still plan on using my "tool" to control and manage the foods I CHOOSE to put in my mouth, I still plan on exercising my body in the gym and my mind with positive and encouraging thoughts. And you know what, if my weight stayed right where it is now, I am still a success. I am NOT DEAD, and I have no plans on dieing anytime soon.

I have "graduated" into an empowered, determined, & confident woman, & I want everyone to know that they TOO can be that person.


So there you go... This is where my mind is today... 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 5 of SC Trip- The Childrens Museum and GRITS

As usual Nana was up and already up and had coffee, decaf of course... oh and while I'm on the subject of coffee, let me just say if anyone plans on having me come to stay for a visit you MUST have a Keurig... I swear once you go Keurig no other coffee will do... ok back to my post... and Adam and Mama are still sleeping.

We had a treat this morning for breakfast... baby brother Jack and Jamie joined us at The Waffle House...

Adam had Waffles and Grits... what the heck is a grit anyway??? It just doesn't sound pleasant to me, makes me think of sand. Jack had grits too and BACON... doesn't that picture look like he has bacon for a tongue? LOL

We decided to go see the Children's Museum with the boys after breakfast. What a cute place... first thing Adam saw was the 2 story jungle gym thing
There were space shuttles and race cars and dinosaurs and a music room... and more. Here are a few of the pictures I got of Adam playing today
Naturally a spot where water was involved, because we all know Adam loves to get wet.
Speaking of getting wet... this cow really squirted water out when you milked her... look at that face? LOL
Is any children's place complete without a slide made from a STOMACH, lol?
Of course by the end of the trip we were all
climbing the walls lol...
Oh and I must say chasing the two boys around three floors of a museum really burns off those calories... I walked in one way and walked out THINNER here's the proof... :-)
 I think I'll leave on this positive note... Thin feels great LOL

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 4 of SC Trip- Resurrection Sunday- AKA Easter




Today we woke up with rabbit ears, HOW did that happen :-)

We watched church online and saw Papa and Autumn. That was a treat.

We are going to go to church in SC and then Adam and his brother are going to spend Easter with some of his brothers family. I hope they have lots of fun. I won't be there so I won't have any photos to post, I guess we will have to use our imagination.

Only 2 more days left of vacation... Adam broke the Internet router this morning, I got  it working but it's only a temporary fix, hopefully we can get it replaced and not lose Internet again.

Just in case I will post this now.

Happy Easter....

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 3 of SC Trip- The Monkeys Are Restless

No this isn't Jack and Adam... but I had you wondering didn't I?
Today we went to the Greenville Zoo... Adam's favorite animal was the LION... but I have to say he equally enjoyed the monkeys and snakes and birds too.

I tried to get Adam to pose with the animals but he was not cooperating... here are a few pics I managed to get...


Of course we can't go to a zoo and NOT see Nana's favorite animal... any guesses what that is???

Those of you that know me... guessed...
PINK FLAMINGOS :-)
Adam was the good big brother and tried to help mama carry the little brother because her back was killing her...

After the Zoo, poor Angie had to have her back fixed by Adam
and then we had ice cream sandwiches, watched some movies, took naps and then had pizza for dinner. The boys played with each other and laughed. They love to play with each other.

On that note... Adam and Jack say see ya again soon.... grrrrrrr in their best "bear" voice

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 2 of SC Trip- CAROWINDS

All I have to say is look at these three faces... who do you think is enjoying this ride the most? LOL.

So today was our trip to Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte NC. It was about a 2 hour drive maybe a little less, and NO RAIN. It was the perfect day for walking around a roller coaster park, slight wind, sun shining but not so hot you couldn't breathe :-)

Adam as never been on a roller coaster so it was so fun to see him experience them for the first time. He loved the first one, the second one was a loop de loop coaster and he seemed to like that as well, although he did say he felt a little dizzy. The loop de loop kind are my favorite. The third was the old wooden roller coaster, Angies favorite and the one I feared the most. We all survived.

Adam's favorite rides were the ones we got soaked on... we rode one waterfall ride three times in a row and after we dried we found another one and we were wet all over again.

Adam of course HAD TO HAVE a Squid hat...

You have to love NC... they do love their NASCAR drivers, especially Dale Earnhardt, which was the only driver I saw represented at the park.
PS Notice Adam and I are both wearing Angry Bird shirts :-)
One more pic of Adam next to the race car... oh and me trying out the squid hat :-)
We ate lunch in the park... big mistake... but Adam wanted a hot dog and fries... OMG $9 for a hot dog and fries, NO DRINK.

The ride home was uneventful... Adam fell asleep in the car and I put my feet up and let Angie do all the driving. I HAD to put my feet upt though cause she was setting them on fire with the heat.
Well I guess I'll end it here... Adam says We Will See You All Tomorrow... Good night

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 1 Of SC Vacation with Adam

Adam's plane ride was good and bad. He recently got over an ear infection, so when his ears started to pop on the first flight he was a little scared and cried. But by the second flight out of Chicago he was ready for it and no problem. Of course the fact that he took a nap helped too I think... 

We arrived in SC and the first order of business was to go get baby brother Jack!!!
 Adam and Jack finally see each other after almost a year. They both got WAY bigger, but they still knew their brother on sight :-)
 Jack is a little wrestler... He was quick to wrestle Adam to the ground and proceeded to BODY SLAM him. Adam is the tolerant big brother... he laughed. I, Nana, was a little scared he might break something, but I have to admit it was fun to watch.

 Our last event of the day was to stop by Dairy Queen for some Ice cream heaven... Angie, Jack and Adam waited patiently for their order to arrive... NOT

And here is is... Brownie something delight for Adam and Banana blizzard something for Jack... me I just had a child size cup of plain old soft chocolate and a glass of ice. I was thrilled :-)

We brought Jack home and got caught in a major rain storm, a quick trip, is there EVER a quick trip, to Walmart. $103 later we were back home to shower and get ready for bed.

Friday, Good Friday, is tomorrow. We have plans to ride roller coasters all day, hopefully the rain will decide to go elsewhere for the day.

See you tomorrow for day 2 :-)

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