Thursday, December 01, 2016

Six Months

Last week I hit my six month mark. It's seemed like a lifetime ago that I had surgery. So much of my life has changed and for the better, thankfully. I posted a picture to my Instagram account of how far I have come. I don't see the day to day changes because I see myself everyday. I see the physical changes in loose skin and bones or tendons now poking out or lines now running up my legs or arms where my muscles are now showing. I'm waiting for my six-pack abs but not sure if I'll ever see them under the loose skin, but I'm fine with just knowing they are there. I had my six month check up on Monday. My doctor was happy with my progress. I've gone from 275 to 198 and 55% of my visceral (extra) fat is gone. I'm 5% ahead of where I should be and would really like to hit my goal of 170 by the time I see him again in six months.
My workout buddy in Alaska. I wouldn't have been faithful in
my workouts without her.

There's been so many other changes that I've experienced that make me realize how far I have come. Baggier clothes, smaller sizes, being colder, being able to reach my toes when I stretch for workouts and running faster minute miles are just some of the changes I can see on the outside. On the inside I still struggle with food and my mind hasn't completely caught up with my stomach on some portions but I'm slowly getting there. I'm also changing the way I see myself. I used to be super critical and almost a bully in my thinking and self talk. I am celebrating the changes both physically and mentally. I'm content with my baggy arms and looser skin because it shows that I've worked hard. It's my badge for what I've accomplished. I rock the cute gym clothes that I never would have worn in my old self. And I'm learning as I go about holiday eating. I spent Thanksgiving with family and I managed to make it through dinner without the gut-busting-wear-your-fat-pants after meal feeling. Dad even bought a pumpkin pie since we didn't have it on Thanksgiving and one bite did me in, As much as I love pumpkin pie, I won't be eating it again because I didn't like how crappy it made me feel.

Alaska and Glacier in the background

I've experienced some other changes as well. I'm more willing to go out and try a new adventure or revisit childhood fun. Over Thanksgiving, my dad and I visited Alaska to spend time with family. In the past I would have walked out to the glacier and stopped and saw it and then walked slowly back to the car and struggled the entire time. This experience- we hiked out, climbed up, slide down and made snow angels on the glacier. Something a year ago, I would have been to uncomfortable to do much less enjoy. Dad said we all were "a bunch of kids" on the trip. I even signed up for another half marathon and am toying with the idea to do a half in every state over my lifetime. I don't have to run them (but I might see if I can).
Snow Angel on the Glacier
It's been a journey, this whole process, and I'm glad that I had the courage to take the leap. When I first started, I felt and had been told by some that it was the easy way out, I think it's harder because I have to be focused in on what I eat and I have to work out. It wasn't a magic pill. I still have to bust my butt at the gym to make a difference. The difference is that now if I eat a piece of cake or something super sweet (I did over Thanksgiving), then I have to deal with having my blood sugar spike and feeling weak and nauseated almost instantly. I've learned these past couple weeks, that even though I think I can handle it, I can't. I might get away with it once but if I repeat the process, it will come back to bite me and mess me up for a few days or even a week. It will make it so my body doesn't tolerate some of the good stuff (chicken, eggs, hamburger) that I normally eat and I have to reset my system. This is a consent learning process for me. Some days I earn an A+ other days I barely make a C-.  But it's my journey and I hope that someone along the way finds a nugget of inspiration or truth to help them on their journey. And that's why I've been sharing.

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Life, New Prespective

It's been three and a half months since surgery and my life is very different but yet the same. There are new realities- some good, some bad but you can't just sit down and whine and cry so you get up and move on. It's the only reality that's left. So you move forward just like every time your reality shifts.

Last blog post, or maybe the one before, was on my one month follow up. I was still in the recovery/.honeymoon phase. I had clean cancer reports come back and I was losing weight without working towards it. I'm still a bit in this phase but I have to work for it more and it's now more mental than anything.

The first time I went to a movie, I didn't enjoy myself. Usually a half-decent movie will get a better rating because I tolerated it for my love of popcorn. I love movie popcorn and it's not a food my body will digest, same with soda. So try sitting through a 2+ hour movie with just water. It wasn't fun and I think I hated the movie more. My second movie was better but I also had a better attitude toward not having popcorn. Time has passed and I've let the idea of buttery, salty, goodness pass (I still miss it). I also miss my ice cold soda and ice cream when it's hot. That too had to be worked through as I gave it up. It's a mental game. Sure I could have popcorn and soda but the popcorn would give me a stomach ache and the soda, burns my stomach from the carbonation and I was told I could still have it, if I let it go flat but it's not the same and so I'd rather just not start a bad habit again. I miss grilled cheese and other things but there have been so many more positives that I've experienced that the thing I've had to give up are nothing compared to the things I've gained. I've had to find new ways to deal with stress instead of turning to food. And the last few weeks have been stressful with having my dad have emergency open heart surgery for the third time because of an infection.

I've gained moments that some normal sized people take for granted. I have been overweight most of my life. I weighed 150 pounds in seventh grade and 210 starting my senior year of high school. So having normal moments has altered the way I view myself. Things like being in a hotel and having the towel wrap completely around and not showing any skin. I took a picture for my own memory. I was told I was in the wrong department shopping when I couldn't find anything that fit. The sales lady said maybe I should move away from the plus size section into the "normal" section of the store. Buying my first medium top, size 16 pants and wearing a size 14 pants have all been new experiences for me.

Don't get me wrong, I still think I am a big girl. I still have thoughts of "will that chair hold me?" or "am I going to fit in that chair, space, place?" These are things normal sized people don't think about but larger people do. I can tell you taking seven weeks off from working out messed me up. I missed the week prior to surgery because I didn't have the energy and then the six week recovery pretty much mentally and physically screwed with me. My week back I struggled, more than when I had started boot camp. I remember one workout were we had to do pull ups and dead lifts. I didn't have the strength I had prior. I could barely lift the bar or myself. I got pissed and then I cried and I was going to quit and my trainer and friend Patrisha told me it was alright and that I would get stronger so I stayed and finished the workout. I'm still not as strong as before but I'm getting there and I'm seeing improvements. I can run better, I can do a decent burpee and mountain climbers are not completely the devil that they were before. I also recently have been realizing that my journey can and will help others be healthier and that I can overcome anything. I can kind of do a pull up now so that's a goal of mine. Patrisha also pushed me to push myself so I faced my fear of box jumps and went from 18 inches to 20 inches. I'm still not comfortable with them but I'm getting there.

I've been taking more selfies because I'm starting to like myself. People have noticed my smaller self faster than I have. I caught my reflection this morning in the gym's window while working out and for a moment I didn't realize it was me. I love inheriting new clothes from friends and that's were I see my difference. I've taken measurements every two weeks or so since surgery and it's helped with the adjustment. If I was just dependent on the scale, I would have lost my mind six weeks ago. For four weeks the scale didn't budge- not a tenth of a pound. It just was stuck but I was dropping sizes. It still sticks every once in awhile but I'm not as obsessed with the scale as I once was. I hit my first goal of being under 210 a couple weeks ago and I'm close to my second goal of being under 200 lbs and my doctor's goal is for me to be 170 lbs so that's my third goal. The first time I saw the bones in my had it was slightly shocking. I had never seen my bones and it was weird. Just like I find it fascinating that I can pull my skin away from my arms (it's weird but cool) and I noticed this week that my legs are getting lines on the sides where my muscle is developing. Something I've never seen before. And my asthma is better controlled. I've started pushing myself running so I can feel my lungs struggling but nothing compared to what it was before when I was taking two asthma medicines a day. I'm also having to re-learn meal planning and grocery shopping. Buying a bunch of bananas or two squashes doesn't really work for me anymore because I find that I'm throwing out spoiled food before I can eat it. What food used to be consumed in one meal is now becoming a 2-3 meals.

It's not all roses, if I eat sugar I get sick about 12 hours later, sometimes sooner depending on what it is. I still don't have the energy or strength I had before and I will take 6-7 vitamins a day for the rest of my life. Another side effect is that my hair is falling out so I cut it trying to minimize it but it's getting worse and hopefully it will even out before I get to bald. And even though I am learning to accept it, my excess skin on my arms bugs me a little.

I am proud of my journey and how hard I have worked and what I have overcome. My dad hadn't seen me since right after I had to have the second EGD for them to tattoo the cancer area and when I showed up at his hospital room, he thought I was a nurse and it took him a minute to realize that I wasn't wearing scrubs so I wasn't a nurse and must be a visitor. Then he realized that it was me.

No matter the journey or the battle you are facing, You have to accept the new reality and as John Wayne says- even though you are afraid, saddle up anyway. You can't just give up and sit down and let the world pass you by. Get up and push through. You will be stronger because of it and you never know, you just might help someone on their journey too.

Far Left is when I started my journey (April 2015), middle is when I had surgery (May 2016) and Right is a few weeks ago (Aug 2016)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

One Month

So it has been four weeks as of today.

Here's the lessons from the last two weeks:
1. It takes a long, long time to eat cauliflower if it's puréed.
2. Walking may not be my favorite but at least I am doing something.
3. I don't have time for snacking.
4. Sometimes you need prayer to quiet the voices.
5. Netflix will be your friend.

It's been good and bad. I gave you the run down of the first two weeks last time. These two weeks have set me up for the long haul. It's more mind over matter.  I was able to shift from liquids to pureed foods and yesterday I'm now on soft foods. But really what I want to eat is something with a crunch. I haven't crunched on anything but ice since two weeks prior to surgery. I get to crunch in eight more weeks when I hit my three month mark. Then look out salad here I come!!

In the pureed stage you can have two ounces of protein (eggs, refried beans, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese) and a quarter cup of pureed fruit or cooked veggie. Did you know that if you take a head of cauliflower and cook it, puree it, it takes almost two weeks to eat it all? By then you are so sick of it you don't want to see anymore.

Through this process I have realized that my stomach doesn't handle some food that was my staples prior to surgery such as protein shakes, yogurt, squash, humus, or certain flavors such as bananas. I can eat a banana but don't make me drink something flavored banana. I have also realized that grapes with the skin on it, upset me stomach so if I want a grape, I have to peel it.

Besides the food changes, there has been a lot of other changes or struggles- mostly in my mind. It's hard in just four weeks, or even the year in preparation of surgery, to get rid of the voice in my head that has always been negative. Some will understand this voice, it's a constant looping tape saying- "you can't leave food on your plate (container), you are going to fail at this, it won't work, you couldn't do it on your own, why do you think you can do it now,  why are you eating that, just work out" and on and on. In the quiet hours of the late night when I used to snack to quiet the voice it sometimes would come back. One night it was strong and I panicked. I new I was going to fail. I had weighed myself that morning and hadn't lost weight. I have heard this voice in my head and from others my entire life. Imagine being in grade school and told you can't sit on that side of the car because you weigh too much and the shocks will rub or if you eat that it will make you fat,

It doesn't help that your only form of exercise is to walk and you hate walking unless it's with friends and you get coffee at the end (I don't get to have coffee yet, either). So I was a cranky, tired person the third week of recovery. Last week was a little better but the scale hadn't moved much. I had lost 18 pounds in the first two weeks and barely any (in my mind) the last two. I knew I was going to go to my doctor's appointment and be a disappointment. What got me over the hump that terrible night was reaching out to two of my cousins and asking for prayer.

Yesterday I was hoping my doctor would let me go back to my crossfit gym and let me at least get into a pool to swim. I had a ton of questions for the nutritionist because I was still tracking my food and was slowly creeping close to the 1200 calories a day. I was hitting my 60 grams of protein and working towards my 55 oz of water. Both the nutritionist and the doctor must have thought I had lost my mind. The nutritionist explained that I will be at 1200 calories and that I still do my 3 meals a day and if I need more protein to do a shake or snack to get it. Eating a snack takes an hour and 15 minutes to fit into my day. She also explained that I was suppose to lose more during the first two weeks post op because I was on liquids, As I transition to solid foods, it will slow but that I will continue to lose weight for the next 12-18 months just from hormones and crazy stuff my body is experiencing.

The doctor did not release me to the gym and told me to keep walking but did let me start swimming. So now I'm going to be hanging out at friend's houses that have pools. I talked with him about my slowing weight loss as well. In my mind the 20+ lbs lost in the four weeks doesn't seem like a lot but then I remember that when I would go to Weight Watchers, I'd follow the program and lose half a pound. He said the goal of the program is to get a person to lose 35% of the total excess weight by month three. I asked him where I was on the measurement of that goal. He laughed and said that I hit the benchmark in my first month. Surprise!! He went on to say that I was an ideal patient that followed the program and was making results. It just goes to show you what your mind will make you think.

I do think these last two weeks have been a struggle in my mind and I do believe some of it has been a spiritual war. My book club is reading This Present Darkness and it explained a lot of what was happening to me mentally. I have to fight the voice in my head and now that I know its a battle, there may be times that I will be fighting in reality when someone isn't supportive. I've come to realize that I don't have the time or the energy to deal with added negativity. The voice in my head is just fine and doesn't need any outside help in making me feel bad about choices.

Physically, I am feeling better. I'm not as tired and I've dropped a size or two depending on the cut. I've also lost half a size in my shoes so I had to say goodbye to quite a bit of my clothes and hoping that I say goodbye to several more in the next coming months. I even have an accountability group for walking so that I do it and not just sit around. And I have goals.

Some of my goals are weight related but my friend Ann encouraged me to set some goals that had nothing to do with a number on a scale. I will tell you that I am only 14 pounds away from what I weighed when I started my senior year of high school at 16. That is mind blowing in and of itself.

My non scale goals are to do a pull up at the gym unassisted, also do a handstand pushup (they kind of scare me). Out of the gym, I want to learn to swim, try paddle boarding, finish a half marathon in under 3 hours so that I can do a marathon and finally, hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. There are other ones that are mental that are going to sound strange but eventually I want to never have to think "Will I fit there," or "Will this chair fit/hold me," an so many more thoughts that skinny people don't ever think about but some of us extra fluffy people usually think in any situation.

I'll update again at the three month mark. It's been a journey. I feel bones that I have never felt before and it's strange but fascinating.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Two Weeks

Today marks two weeks since my surgery and a lot has changed but a lot is the same.

I had some thoughts and things I learned from this experience. So like David Letterman- here's my top ten lessons.

1. It's nice to hear a pre-op nurse tell you your "just a tiny little peanut." I've never been called tiny in my entire life.

2. It's nice to have a friend that will take you to the hospital at 5 am and stay with you three days. And you really get to know them and how they grew up and what they like to do or not do.

3. I am not much of a talker when I'm recovering. For those back home, you won't find that startling but for those down here it's shocking that I would usually only answer with a yes or a no and not talk much to anyone.

4. Your body doesn't want food but your mind still thinks about how food on commercials or what those around you are eating tastes. My dr said it's boredom hunger. Which is true. I was so bored at home but now that I'm back in my office I don't think about it.

5. A couple people offered to do a meal train for me but it just wouldn't work with my surgery and diet restrictions but someone needs to create a walking buddy train. I was so bored at home and so bored on my walks that it would have been nice to have someone walk with me. I didn't walk far .25 to 1 mile then finally 1.5 miles and very slowly.

6. I'm going to save a ton of money on groceries.

7. The nursing staff and doctors are some of the best and really put up with a lot.

8: I loved my flowers from Ann and my board. They were so pretty and made me realize that I shouldn't wait for someone to send me flowers, I should just get them myself to brighten my day.

9: I have worn a dress or very baggy shorts since surgery and I have found that I don't mind wearing dresses which may be a big shock to some people- especially my dad.

10.. This is going to be a long road and I'm ready for it but I've decided that I'm no longer going to put up with negative or unsupportive people. I don't need that in my life and if I come across as a bitch for saying something and your feelings get hurt, then so be it. You obviously never learned - "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

If you want to read in more detail about the last two weeks you can below.

First, a huge thank you to my friend Ann. Most people say they want to help or ask what I need. I really had no idea and I still don't really know how people can help. Ann has walked this path before me and I was thankful she was there, by my side for me. If she wasn't a teacher- she would make a great nurse. Her son is a nurse and I think he gets his bed side manner from her. And thank you to all who texted to see how I was. It was nice to know that I was missed and loved.

Ann came the night before and spent the night at the house then we were up at 4:30ish to get to the hospital by 5:30. We had to check in as a patient and then go upstairs to check in for the surgery. My pastor came and prayed with us. Then it was time to go back. I could not take the pregnancy test for the life of me. Even though I guaranteed I wasn't pregnant they still wanted me to pee in a cup and it took a lot of IV and about 40 minutes before I could. And it came back negative!!! Just as I predicted.

The admitting nurse made my day- maybe my year. I came to my room/bay and my gown and socks were laid out along with all the stuff they needed to attach and the bag to put my clothes in. She looked at me and said "You're just a tiny little peanut, I don't think that gown is going to fit."

Once I was all hooked up to IV and the monitors,  the stream of anesthesiologists, surgeon, assistant surgeon, assistant anesthesiologist and a few other people came through. Then Ann came back and said good bye. And that's all I remember. I don't remember moving to the operating room but I vaguely remember having an asthma or panic attack waking up as I was rolling out of someplace and someone feeding me ice chips- at first I thought it was snow because all I saw was a blurry white thing. Later I realized that was the spoon (I didn't have my glasses on to see).  The next think I remember is waking up in my bed in my room.

The doctor said that I should expect surgery to be around an hour to an hour and a half, that I would be on pain meds for awhile and that I would possibly bruised. My surgery was only 45 minutes and I stopped the pain meds and the nausea meds on Monday and was home by Tuesday afternoon and have yet to bruise. I am thankful I had a fairly easy recovery. Except for a few times that I had nausea it hurt more the actually being sick than anything. Oh, and my doctor gave me pictures of the different parts of my surgery. Nice color 4x6s. I joke that I paid for the spa package version.

I hurt a lot when I first got in the room and I remember trying to be on my side and gripping the bed handles because it hurt so bad- worse than any pain I've felt. I slept a lot that first day but I read on the board that I was to start walking by 2:30 and so I did. I think Ann and I made 2 laps the first time and I tried to add to it each time. By Tuesday we were bored with our floor so we walked around the 2nd floor too. Ann was great at helping me get unhooked from all the monitors and get my IV unhooked so I could either walk or use the bathroom.

Gib, Ann's husband came by for a quick visit and so did the Hipke family. I don't remember a lot because I would doze off then remember they were there and try and wake back up again. I did that a lot for the next couple of days. The nurses were amazing and on Tuesday again there was a parade of doctors and residents and nurses that came in to see my incisions- all five of them. I should have sold tickets because a couple of people came twice to check them out.

I had a hard time with the food which was strange for me on so many levels. The first day the food was broths and teas and jello maybe. I couldn't keep any of the broth down and usually I would take one or two bites and be done. Ann was a champion at getting me my bucket to be sick in and even when we went for a walk Tuesday morning, I had taken about about three steps out my door when I knew I was going to be sick. I said something and the poor nursing assistant was running back and forth trying to find something when Ann darted into my room and came back with my bucket. She was a life savor.  Ann would encourage me to try and eat a little more food at the meal times and to walk and move more.  Tuesday they said if I could eat lunch and keep it down I could go home. It was pudding, protein shake and creamed soup maybe. I ate the pudding and most of the shake but barely touched the soup. But I got to go home.

Tuesday my friend Emily came by. It's a good think that Ann was there because she and Emily visited while I slept. I was worried before the surgery that Ann would be bored at the house but she totally kept busy. She pruned a tree and other stuff. Getting into bed Tuesday night was crazy. It hurt to bend or sit or anything so I sort of flopped on the bed and wiggled my way (in a pain) into a place I could sleep.  I think on Wednesday she and I ran errands which was I sat in the car and walked around the two places we went. Thankfully they were short errands so I didn't have to sit and rest.

Then Wednesday night I was on my own and it wasn't bad. By then I had a bit of a routine down and I was managing well. I adapted some things since I can't lift over 10 pounds like- taking each individual thing out to the garbage and getting undressed/dressed in the laundry room so I don't have to carry my laundry basket. I even went on some short walks. I watched TV and tried to read but I went through all my saved shows and then tried to watch My 600 Pound Life on TLC, I can't watch it those people made me so mad. I tried Netflix and completed Call the Midwife and tried to watch a few new shows but just couldn't get into them. I attempted a couple books but just couldn't concentrate.

My doctor was pleased with my surgery when I saw him on Friday. He said I'm doing really well and should be able to go back to the gym at 4 weeks instead of a month. I still have some pain if I over do it and I still get really tired but I'm slowly getting back into my normal routine and self. I think on Friday I was more excited to see the nutritionist because she let me move from liquid to pureed foods. For the two weeks prior to surgery it was jello, sugar free pudding and broth. The two weeks after it was 2 ounces of Cream of Rice for breakfast, 2 oz of yogurt of lunch and 2 oz of creamed soup (straining out all the bits- mushroom, broccoli, or celery) I was so tired of those three things that I don't know if I'll ever eat any of them again- and some of you know my love for yogurt!

Now I can eat 2 oz of protein (refried beans, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, mashed up hard boiled eggs) and a quarter cup of cooked veggies or smashed fruit. It's like heaven to have variety! I found that I had to have a schedule to eat and drink and if I get off the schedule or don't plan well then I miss a meal or don't get enough fluids in. Each morning I have to crush my two pills I took before surgery and have added a priolsec  to the mix. At first I tried chewable vitamins but I had to take 4 plus three calcium tablets. I switched to liquid vitamins and now just chew the calcium and vitamin D during the day. At night I take another priolsec pill. I'll have to take the priolsec for a year to protect my stomach from ulcers and such. And I'll be on the vitamins the rest of my life. I have also discovered that when my new little stomach is full that I hiccup twice. A good warning system to have so I don't overeat. I've also realized in the last two weeks that this is harder than I thought it would be but I'm glad I did it because it's leading me to a healthier life.

Monday, May 02, 2016

A Bump and Pothole in The Highway

If you grew up on a ranch or a farm like me, then you might understand when you hit a pothole or bump in the road it can be jarring but it may also knock a little mud off the rig or cause a light to start working again- did I mention, you're driving a ranch rig. For those that don't know what a ranch rig is- it's a truck (pickup or bigger) that hauls stuff, gets in a fight with livestock or trees and has the dents and scratches to prove it and is usually covered in mud or dirt. Sometimes it doesn't have all the wiring for all the taillights (if the red covering is even still there). There is usually a shovel, rope and probably baling twine, wire or duct tape somewhere in or on the truck. You never know if you are going to need to fix a fence, dig a hole, kill a rattlesnake or put something back together. It always looks worse for wear and a if you go to town with it, people may stare. It might belch and choke out smoke but it will be dependent and get you where you need to be and get the job done. And there are always trucks in the yard to take parts off to keep it running.

I remember once as a kid, we were shipping cattle to Madras for the auction and we were in town with the stock truck and were pulled over at Belknap and 2nd street. The officer said the taillight/break light wasn't working. dad got out and kicked, it came on so the officer let us go on our way.

Sometimes I feel like the old ranch truck. I may not be the fastest or quickest but I will keep pushing and get the job done. I won't be the prettiest or smallest truck in the lot but I know I can keep pushing forward. Funny thing is- when you don't always get the best fuel or when you keep pushing forward with no road- sometimes your body gets a dent or scratch. Sometimes those dents and scratches are in places people can't see. And sometimes you have to hit a bump to shake something loose and then a pothole to make a light turn on.

Almost a year ago, I hit a bump in the road- I was 275 pounds and miserable. I couldn't fit into any of my clothes, I hurt all over and I didn't really like myself.I had done dieting and exercise for years and it wasn't working.  I asked a friend to go with me to an orientation for weight-loss surgery. I felt like I had given up on myself and was taking the easy way out. In October I started working out at my gym and I love it. I really do. However, I almost walked out after 3 weeks. I had a nutrition appointment and I left pissed and I cried. I thought about quitting because I was asked why I was overweight and what my problem was. Why I had been this way my entire life and couldn't do it on my own. The truth is I've been overweight my entire life. I weighed over 200 pounds when I graduated high school. I didn't know or trust the guy- he doesn't know all the scars and fears that have made me who I am and very few people know my full story because I really don't trust that many people. It's surprising when I hear people say how open and honest I am because I'm only open and honest to a point and it's not far for me.

Food has always been my friend. It never judge me or make me feel bad. It was a way to keep people away- to protect myself. To have a reason for why people don't like me instead of it just being me. I think quite a few people feel this way. It takes a lot of energy to fake being happy and content.   But how do you tell someone who has always been thin and who doesn't know you that there is a protection in food and being fat. People will judge you for being fat not for being broken and feeling a bit like a fraud. So I hit a bump and decided to make a change. It hasn't been easy. It's been 11 months of supervised weight loss, a psych eval and a medical scope to see how my stomach is.

By the time my scope came around, I had been comfortable at the gym and was thinking of canceling the scope and surgery and trying to go at again with diet and exercise. I had a friend encourage me to go ahead with the scope to see if there was something causing all my stomach issues. This is the pothole- They found a spot and it came back cancer so I am back to having surgery but not fully for weight loss. And I'm thankful it was caught early and that I just have to have surgery. It was like a light went back off and made me realize I need to make my health and myself a priority.

My biggest worry in all of this has actually been how I will be as a patient- meaning how do I let someone else take care of me. It's not normal- I am usually the one that takes care of others after surgery, having babies, moving, or helping when husbands are deployed. I'm haven't been the one being taken care of since I was a little girl.

So in a few weeks, I'll have surgery. Is it going to cure me- no. It is just another tool, like eating healthy and working out. Do I know what my future holds- no. I've never been under 200 pounds in my adult life. I know that I won't be in as much pain with my hips and knees and I am hoping that I won't end up with heart disease or diabetes like family members but I'm working to make myself better. And I discovered something in this almost year long journey. If you don't like me or you feel the need to talk about me- it's ok because your opinion of who I am or what I am doing, doesn't really matter. I have friends that I know love me for me (good and bad) and not for who I can pretend to be) I also have learned that I'm stronger. I used to have regret and worry about things in my past. I realized that I've been forgive for my part and that the devil was using it to keep me from moving forward. I still have those days but they are less and less.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Breakfasts on the Farm

With my new gig, I help coordinate the annual Farm City Breakfasts that my county Farm Bureau hosts. It's the opportunity for both farmers and ranchers to join with their city neighbors to have a breakfast on a farm, nursery or dairy and talk about things important to them.

We partner with each of the county Board of Supervisors and have a breakfast in their district with them and their staff and constituents. It's rather fun for some to get out on a farm or dairy and learn something or see something new. As many years as I've been in ag and working in Arizona, I'm pretty used to how our farms and ranches work- even our dairies.

But I've seen a few things that are unique- such as bison. One of our dairymen have bison and Watusi bulls along with the normal dairy cattle. They gave a show of turning them into another pasture which meant that they ran to the new pasture so we dubbed it "Running with the Bison."

I've also met some really cool people at each of these events. I've gotten to know some of our members really well and see a different side of them from the meeting personality I normally see.