I'm on a new journey to pay-it-forward & with the support of my Groupies/friends...

I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

1/31/09 Steelers Nation

Holly Cow!!!! Pittsburghers sure know how to party! It’s serious business here; with a smile! I’ve lived in several big cities with NFL teams, but Pittsburgh fans are Diehards with a Capital D. DH and I both graduated from Ohio State University, and although OSU fans are VERY loyal/we are (OSU is always rated as the fans most likely to travel with their team), I think Steeler fans take the cake in the NFL. Like I said yesterday, this isn’t a very transient city, so it’s mostly generations of Pittsburghers going WAY back. You don’t just see Steeler’s gear on people during the football season, although the face paint and nail art come out in full force then. Anytime of year here Steelers gear on people surrounds you (in LARGE amounts, not just here and there)…and I’m not just talking about the usual T-shirt, coat, hats, and flags…oh no, you’ll be sitting at the pool and suddenly notice you’re not properly dressed for the occasion. Steeler towels all over the grass, bathing suits in Black ‘N Gold, and that woman laying on the the lounger next to you with the nice pedicure…she’s got Steeler flip-flops on her feet, and yes, they’ve got bling…so do her Black ‘N Gold (‘n diamond) earrings.

Did you know that the Steelers have the most women fans of any NFL team?...and these gals can cook!...they can make a tailgate look like a 5-star buffet!...I never knew so many food come in (or can be turned to) Black ‘N Gold (*hint- bring a small toothbrush/paste in your lovely Steeler’s purse to any Steeler’s party or after you’re done eating your teeth will look like the kid who ate all the black jellybeans). We’re, of course, attending a SB party tomorrow night and I can’t wait. I’ve got my three appetizers planned…no food coloring, sorry, but the corn/black kidney bean dip certainly has the Black ‘N Gold thing going on.

Every channel has been Steelerfied since the last game and this week every broadcaster has Steelered there studio and their clothing. There was a ‘Cage the Cardinals’ rally dahntahn yesterday and swarms of people were packing the streets just to party together…OK, it’s Friday, there’s no game, no team in site here, but we’re getting together just so we can start the party early (it reminded me of those pep-rally bonfires at OSU the night before a game…only I don’t think they had a bonfire dahntahn, but they did throw eggs at a cardinal (no, not a real bird). This morning all the hospitals are wrapping the babies in their nurseries in Terrible Towels (boy did that look cute). A fact that any good Pittsburgher worth his weight in Pierogies knows, is that Myron Cope, a commentator here invented towel waving…1975, he asked fans to bring yellow kitchen dishtowels to the game to wave…they won…so the Terrible Towel was created the same season.

New songs have been written this year; as if there aren’t enough already; fight songs, rock songs, polkas (you hear them on the stations year-round). Yes, some are slow and sound like we can’t remember more than a few words… “Here We Go, Steelers” now rinse and repeat over and over and over, then add every now & again “Pittsburgh’s going to the Superbowl!” (best one to attempt after you’ve had a few IronCity beers), but others are in true Pittsburgh fashion (remember all that fast-talking smushing words together lesson from yesterday?) well this one’s got it all in spades…and you can sing it even after many Steelertini’s…it’s only one word long! It’s a tribute to the super-sexy Troy Polamalu (the background singers try to correct the Pittsburghese of the lead singer). He calls him; and this is the title…and ALL the word(s) “Puhlahmahlu”(it still cracks me up)!

Oh, and I forgot...DH won the 'Steelers Basket' of gear at out local bank today. I take that as a good omen for the team as we never win anything!

Friday, January 30, 2009

1/30/09 Steelers: Pittsburghese 101

It’s officially Steeler Fever here in Pittsburgh (although it’s a year round fanfest here), but more about that tomorrow. Today I’m going to give yunz a little lesson on Pittsburghese 101. This might come in handy if you’re watching TV on Sunday night (Have you heard yet? There’s a big game!). Who knows, they might interview one of those many Pittsburgh natives and after yunz lesson here you’ll actually know what they’re saying. I’m not poking fun, as I’m officially a Pittsburgher now. Their very friendly and inclusive here…after a mere 8 years living here, I’m now an official Pittsburgher. Yeah, each city I’ve lived in has their own slang, but it’s very pronounced here and this is not a very transient town, it’s mostly natives, so you hear it a lot. Pittsburghese is mostly VERY fast talking and they just smash all the words together.

My very first week here, I kid you not, we were talking to a carpenter who works for our builder and then I told him we needed to get somewhere, and as fast as you can say it he asks us “Da-boat-a-yunzes-g’n-dahntahn?” Now say THAT three times fast (if you can, you’re a Pittsburgher). We had no clue what he said, so DH politely asks him “Please?” Dear Lord! This is the Cincinnati word for (DH grew up there and we lived there for a year) “HUH?" or “What?” (very polite people, those Cincinnatians…Please?...they use it for EVERYTHING. Just sayin’….you might need to know this if the Bengals ever make it back to the Super Bowl.) So I’m standing there in the long pause between these two dialects, with neither one knowing what the other one just said. So I politely as our carpenter “What did you ask?” He repeats at a more normal pace, which must have seemed like super-slow-mo to him “Da…boat..a..yunzes…g’n…dahntahn?”….pause…we smiled and without a response we waved goodbye as “The both of us (you) were going downtown.”

I won’t bore you with the million or so slang abbreviations they have for locations in Pittsburgh, as you probably don’t know them (the Mon *wink*), but you need to know they (oops we) call our city The Burgh. Here’s the ones I’ve personally heard. Study up…you only have a few days left…

*Anat-A combination of two words that means and that.
*Anymore-A rather confusing construction which doesn't mean any, or more, or even anymore. Instead, it means nowadays, or currently, or these days. It almost always occurs as the first word of a sentence, as in this example: "Anymore, the traffic on Liberty Avenue moves so slow, it's quicker to walk."
*Crick-The way a Pittsburgher says creek.
*Comere-A Pittsburgh "quickie". Come here, said quickly, is comere. See also: Gahed.
*D-Pittsburghers have a lot of strange likes and dislikes. One dislike is the letter D, especially when it is in the middle of a word, next to another consonant. Being non-violent, for the most part, Pittsburghers do not rely on force to eliminate those offensive D's; instead they simply invoke one of the laws of English pronunciation and make the D's silent. Hence, couldn't becomes cooun't, wouldn't becomes wooun't, and everyone's all time favorite, didn't becomes din't.
*Da-boat-a- The both of. As in “Da-boat-a-yunz g’n dahntahn.” (my personal fav now)
*Dahntahn-The way a Pittsburgher says downtown.
*Djeatyet? Nodju?-Polish? Ukrainian? No, it's those Pittsburghers again, spitting out syllables as fast as they can and losing half of them in the process. It really means "Did you eat yet" "No. Did you?"
*Drug-It's not something we should "just say no" too. It's simply the past tense of the word drag
*Gahed-Say it quick in Pittsburgh and it's not go ahead, but rather gahed. See also: Comere
*Gumban-A word which, if said slowly, would be heard as gum band, which is what everyone else in the world calls a rubber band.
*Hafta- Have to. I haftago to the baffroom!
*Ink pen-Although there's really no reason to announce what's inside a pen, Pittsburghers do anyway. Instead of asking for just a pen, they ask for an ink pen.
*Ketch-What the Steelers offense should be doing. *You might need to know this one!
*Redd up-To clean up, or tidy up.
*Tubes-Pittsburgh slang for tunnels.
*Worsh-As a noun, it's the stuff that goes into the washing machine when it gets dirty. As a verb, it's what you do to the stuff once it gets into the washing machine.
*Yunz-The word that sets Pittsburghers apart from everyone else in the world. It means the same as all of you and is sort of a northern y'all. Yunz is singular, with yunzes usually reserved for the plural.

1/29/09 I've Got Curves!

Sure, we’ve all heard people here who, through the course of their pre-op testing, have gotten new diagnosis’ for ailments they didn’t even know they had. Sometimes it’s even helpful with insurance approval. I’ve even counseled others to have their doctor order at least basic blood test as they might have high cholesterol, or indicators of diabetes. Remember I got a diagnosis of hypertension right before the beginning of my journey.

At my last PCP monthly check we discussed my comorbidities (that word sounds like we’re all dying doesn’t it...OK so maybe it's appropriate). One of my minor ones that has gotten worse with weight is my osteoarthritis in my lower back. Adding to that is the fact that I was put on preventative medication last fall for my migraines. Suddenly I was no longer needing to take the usually daily pain medications, often strong migraine ones. So although my migraines have virtually disappeared my back pain is worse without the pain relievers. The PCP suggested I try Physical Therapy, which I’ve never done before. She ordered a new set of x-rays of my lower back/lumbar to be sure I didn’t have any disc problems and because my last set was 10 years ago, in another state.

I got a call from the nurse at the PCP’s office… “We have your x-ray results. They did find the osteoarthritis in several places, but no disc problems.” Pause “And I’m sure you already know about the scoliosis.” Pause……. me trying to process this…thinking…isn’t that the thing we always got tested for as kids…yep, the thing where your spine bends to one side….pause….(me) “No, I didn’t know. What is scoliosis?” (nurse) “It’s where your spine is curved.”…still trying to process… (me) “So is this obesity related or age?”…now grasping at straws… “And is there something I need to do about it?” (nurse) “Yeah you can get this as you age and you just need to do more of those weight bearing exercises.” (she said like it was no big deal) …I’ve got nothing…(me) “OK.”

So I somehow decided in my mind that I probably just have swayback from my weight and huge ass (Sounds plausible, right? I don’t need a diagnosis to tell me I could serve cocktails on my bum). Well, with all the stuff going on with the kids and doctors this month I’ve put off scheduling the Physical Therapy. So today, after the snow delay I took some time ask some questions online and start researching this. Apparently I do not have swayback, which is called lordosis, or even a hunchback, well it wasn’t my upper back anyway, which is called kyphosis (although it was Notre Dame where I had my 'moment' that brought me to the Lap Band, but that's another story). Nope, and I’m sure it’s no biggie, but I now have a curve to the side, which is called scoliosis. Yep, I’ve got curves! Tell a fat girl something she didn’t already know!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1/28/09 Snowed In

Good Lord…a school holiday Monday, another snow day today and they’ve already called a 2 hr. delay for tomorrow (good thing I had a day to myself yesterday…yeah, remember that naked running thing?). It sleeted on top of all the snow and the trees are all bending with ½” or more of ice coating. It’s rather pretty actually…DS2 said our Dawn Redwood tree looks like a giant crystal (no needles this time of year). You know, it does!

I called DH because he was so late getting home that I was getting worried. He was stuck at the bottom of our street (long street with two steep hills and we’re at the top) and was on his third attempt to try and get up it…let’s just say there was a few choice curse words at this point. It had taken him 2 hours to get this far and it’s normally about a 20 min. ride. He decided to give up and park at the local grocery store for the night…that’ll never do…he’s got an early flight out tomorrow morning and has to be up at 3am…what if the car gets towed, or is covered in ice, or won’t start?...hmmm…not sure what he was planning to do, walk the mile back to our house through the sleet and ice? I suggested we put some weight or people in his car and try again, so I grabbed my 18 year old and a couple of snow shovels and took my minivan carefully down the hills, sliding every now and then. We met at the grocery store and after transferring DS1 to his car we inched back to our street. Voila! They were at a crawl near the top, sliding sideways and with the tires spinning wildly, but they made it up…barely (my van fared a little better, but not much). Now I’m left wondering how he’s going to make it to the airport so early (usually a 45 min. drive…what will that be…4 hours? Here's wishing the flight is cancelled). I’m making him take my van…we really do need at least one four-wheel drive car now that we’re living in a hilly, snowy area...ya think?! I need a vacation somewhere warm!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1/27/09 Oh, yes, they call her the Streak!

It’s almost 10am and I’m sitting here in my jammies. I just realized I have nothing I HAVE to do today…no appointments, no kids at home (yes, another school holiday yesterday)…I’m alone with nothing that HAS to be done! How often does that happen? I don’t think I’ve been in this position since before the holidays! Now, what to do? And before you say “Must be nice!” it’s not that I have nothing to do, it’s that I have nothing I HAVE to do. Sure the laundry is calling me, my kitchen floor needs mopping, I’ve got piles of papers sitting in the hobby room that I started filing that are now spread out on the floor, but what to do? Well now that my computer is back from it’s ‘vacation’ after a month, I need to start tracking my food and exercise again (I’ve been catching up on everyone/websites this morning), and I do have phone calls that need to be made…I need to make my appointments with physical therapy (back osteoarthritis), the treadmill, but what to do? No one’s here…maybe I’ll go streaking through the house naked on my way to a bubble bath in the jacuzzi…oh, yeah…I'm still a 'Before'...and there’s that full glass front door I had to have…

1/26/09 Total Eclipse of the Heart

So this morning was my pre-op Cardiac MRI. I was downtown at the hospital early and after muddling through registration I finally navigated my way through the halls to the right elevator. The hospital must have had a million additions to it over the years…it’s like being a rat in a know, lab rat…fitting. I finally found myself in the bowels of the earth with no one else around and found the two solid doors that read ‘Cardiac MRI’ waiting luck, they were locked…just about the time I was questioning if I'd made a mistake and came the wrong day I found another door down the hall. Apparently I was the first appointment of the day and the receptionist thought she’d unlocked the door – so apologetic! The people there couldn’t have been nicer. I got changed, hooked up to the equipment and then onto the MRI bed…ready to start.

Let me tell you, I had a brain MRI done this fall at a different place as a clearance for putting me on medicine for my migraines (which have mostly disappeared…fabulous!). It was quite the adventure…they had me lay on a bed, then WHAT”S THIS? Without a word they snapped a plastic mask over my face (I felt like Hannibal)…no instructions, no panic button…just “Hold still. This should take about 10 min.” Out they went. That’s it! Suddenly the noises start and the bed moves…WTFlip? Why am I moving? Just when I got used to one noise it would stop…ok…WHIRL, CLUNK, WHIZ…bed moving! Yeah…lay still?? Are you kidding me? How can you lay still when this cacophony of sounds keeps startling me…and couldn’t you warn a girl that the bed will keep moving?!! Thank God there wasn’t a panic button, and only my head and chest went into the machine, and that it only lasted 10 minutes! Geez…give people some warning!

So I went this morning with some trepidation. They asked me if my blood pressure is ‘always that high?’ (yea, and I’m on meds). The Tech was so sweet and started telling me about everything that would happen (this is new), but I panicked a little when she said it would take about 45 min. I could hardly handle 10 min. how was I going to make it through 45??!! Now this is different…“pick a radio station and here are your headphones to drown out those awful noises”…smart!...and “I’ll be talking to you and telling you when to breath and when to hold your breath and you’ll hear me through the headphones.”…and the best part “Here’s a ball to squeeze if you need to come out.”…YAY…‘a PANIC BUTTON!’...oh, whoops I just said that out loud! The Tech laughed and said, “Well, yes, but we don’t like to call it that as it gives the wrong connotation and might scare people!” OK, lay down, eyes closed…I’m thinking “Go to your Happy Place, go to your Happy Place” and into the tunnel the bed goes. Now, I’ve got to say my hips and my arms were squished a bit against the walls of the tunnel the whole time…and I’m big, but I’m not enormous…I can now see why some here say they had to do this with their arms above their heads (I feel for you!). The music is playing and the Tech starts giving me my breathing instructions with her most soothing voice “In, Out, In, Out, Hold, Breath.” She warned me when the bed would move and the music drowned out a lot of the noise. After awhile I calmed down, just in time for Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to start playing on the headphones…it was so fitting that I almost started laughing…almost.

P.S. Got my computer back tonight…all better!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

1/22/09 A Busy Week

Well, my computer is still down. The 3rd power cord arrived (Dell) and now it gives me a new error message…grrr! I’ll let DH deal with it next week (traveling this week) with the guy he gets to fix our computers near his workplace. You don’t realize how much you rely on your computer until it’s gone! I’m supposed to be logging my food intake online, but with limited access, that’s been stalled.

I’ve been so busy the last week since I last checked in here. Got DD on Saturday (in a snowstorm and self-navigating several accident detours) from college…it was scary on those steep, ice covered, back roads (I need 4-wheel drive). We saw another accident on the accident detour…truck halfway in a ditch and they were trying to rock it out). DD had 2 Dr. re-check appts. scheduled for Tues. She woke up and was ill/pain Tues. around 4am (so bad she was numb and almost fainted- low blood pressure probably), but we made it to her pre-arranged Internist visit at 8:20am, but now the recheck took a new turn. The Internist ordered 5 new tests and gave her a new med Rx (the pain was short-lived so we’re hoping it wasn’t related and was just an intestinal virus). We flew downtown to the Hospital for her 10am re-check appointment only to find out her appointment wasn’t until 1pm (remind me to double-check times with DD…I love my DD). I decided to make the best of it and after MUCH finagling, begging, and phone calls we were able to get 3 of the new tests completed there, 1 started, the rest scheduled for the hospital near her college, and we had lunch in the cafeteria. I think I now know every waiting room and lab at that hospital intimately now…we sat in the last one for 2 ½ hours. We didn’t get out of there until after 4pm, so we were stuck in traffic and more snow squalls heading back to college…and we had to pick up some dinner…what a long day. DD was laughing and calling it our ‘Hospital Bonding Day’…yeah, I love you honey but, funny…not! The good news is that the test results we have so far are all good news.

DS1 had his procedure done yesterday and everything is clear. He was the last of us to go in for this. I was talking to the Gastroenterologist after the procedure and as DS1 was waking up from his ‘twilight’ anesthesia…he hears the Dr. saying ‘return in 3 years’ and DS1 wakes up and yells for all in the recovery room to hear...‘I have to drink all that S#@T again in 3 MONTHS??!!’…lovely language from my 18 year old…don’t you love it when your kids embarrass you?... ‘no honey, it’s 3 YEARS’…he doesn’t even remember it happening. Remind me to thank DH for being away on business all this week. Anyway, it’s all good...the Genetics Counselor said we don’t need genetic testing at this point (great news) and so we don’t have to all go through this again for 2-5 years depending on the person (We’re going professional then…with the prep/process…I’ve got it down pat).

Now onto my Lap Band process…I’ve made my Cardiac MRI appointment the surgeon ordered and also my Cardiologist visit. I’m done with all this stuff by mid-February. I’m still a little confused as to how surgery might happen by the end of April. I don’t finish my 6 mo. diet until the beginning of April. I called about the Pre-Op group class I have to take with the Surgeon’s office, which is only offered twice a month, and apparently you can’t schedule that until everything is turned into the insurance co. at which point the surgeon gives me a tentative surgery date. There was also some Lab Work mentioned and I’m not clear when that happens either. I’m thinking it will be early May before surgery…great, I’ll be on that lovely pre-op diet for DH’s 50th and my 49 7/8 birthdays the end of April (born on the same day). That’s OK though, DD graduates beginning of May and DS1 the beginning of June. I’m thinking I can schedule between the two as I’ll have a house full of company and parties for both events. If I align this perfectly I’ll have about 3 weeks max. to heal before the second event...and I'm not telling anyone so I have to be 'huggable' by then (hmm…maybe 2 ½ with all the prep work for the huge H.S. graduation party…hmm…maybe more like 2 if they can’t schedule me the day after my company leaves the first time...I'm living in my la-la land again aren't I?). I’d better be one of those Banders who posts ‘Yeah, I was home the same day and was fine..out shopping the next day…back to work the same week’…I’m counting on it or I’m taking your names and comin’ after you!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

1/16/09 The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

The Good:
I DID IT! Did you see?! There it is! I FINALLY created an avatar! And GET THIS…I also MADE MY OWN WL TICKER!!!!! Nope, not from a ticker site…from scratch!!! Yep, I did that! With pics even!!! Can you believe it??!! I happened upon a cool ticker on a WLS site which showed 10 pound bowling balls for weight loss…I thought that was such a cool analogy (and the creator of it already lost 11 bowling balls!). So I asked and she patiently helped me with the drawing program. Don’t ask me how to do it as I spent a day and a half (more about that later) and I still don’t know…trial and error, but with my art background it was a fun challenge. Now, I didn’t want to be a complete copy-cat so I tried to think of something else that was also about 10 pounds. It came to me…remember my family joke/blog ‘Never eat anything bigger than your head!’? Well, I googled it and apparently the average weight of a human head is 10 pounds…perfect, 10 pound heads and an atypical ticker, like me. I only wished I had more pics of me to chose from…apparently our scanner is out of sync, so all I could use were pics that were already on CD’s…so there’s my face on the ticker 1 1/2 years ago at my parent’s 50th, about 20 pounds lighter; and me on the avatar, outside, glass of wine in hand about 3 1/2 years and 30-40 pounds lighter…but I look about the same on my top half as it all went to my a$$; except DH says a little weight in the face, and the 4 years of aging, and the temporary brunette hair that will soon be back to blonde (although I’m enjoying my extra brain cells), and some bangs now…but other than that, it’s me. I’m so proud!!! Read on if you want to know why this was an EXTRA challenge!

The Bad:
I officially HATE computers. Yes, my computer is STILL down, so I haven’t been on much. Remember? My daughter closed the power cord in the recliner cutting the cord, right after Christmas. Well, after ordering two Chinese replacements from different stores and waiting for each to arrive, neither one worked (“Unsupported” and lots of beeping, whatever that means). DH finally ordered me a Dell one…to arrive this weekend. I’m not holding out much hope. So I’d been using the kids/home one. Then DH's computer and our home one both ‘caught something’; yep even with the firewall system we have. Apparently they had to bring in an outside computer guy at DH's work to fix it (their co. guys couldn’t…yikes) and the geek had to take the computer back to his co. to get help. In the process they lost everything on DH's computer and it’s still not fixed. Our home computer is still ‘bugged’ and about every third screen you switch to it knocks you off and a new screen comes up that is a fake Microsoft or Google screen (it has three different ones) telling you to click on it because the website you’re on is a potential threat. The computer geek tells us this ‘bug’ is nothing you can avoid. Apparently Microsoft headquarters got the same one. You never had to click on anything to start it, it just comes in with websites or emails (wish I knew how) and the bug is just trying to sell you something, it’s not spyware…small condolence, as that’s also the reason they can’t prosecute these hackers…laws haven’t caught up with this yet (they all ought to be taken out back and shot). If I hadn’t been so motivated to get this ticker done, I would have gone nuts…it took me an hour to do what I could normally do in 15 min….VERY AGRIVATING! So who knows what will happen when we take the home computer in, and I’m sure even IF the new power cord comes and IF this third try works this weekend on my laptop if I should risk catching this bug? If you don’t hear from me for awhile, you’ll know I’m still in computer he!!.

And The Ugly:
Tuesday I had DH take my ‘before’ pics finally. Now that we replaced the broken digital camera at Christmas, I was just waiting for a good time. He was off Tues. for the surgeon’s consult so I did it. They’re horrific (or at least the ones I've seen)!!! NO, I’m not sharing them…maybe when I have some good ‘afters’…maybe…or maybe not. Remember I’m the one who’s been running from the camera all these years and could hardly find a pic of myself for an avatar, so to see the whole me in something tight…yeah, remember I was debating the range of those before pics…from the ‘underwear girl’ (no way) to the all dolled up in the camouflage-the-fat clothes. I decided to go with something near the underwear end of the range and a step up from ‘Biggest Loser’ clothes (my legs and belly are so pasty white and dimpled, so NO). But I want to really see the changes…tight spandex sweats and a tight tank top…shows enough. I remembered to get the flabby upper arm shots and just the face pics. DH kept saying as he looked at the pics after every pose… ‘Man, that doesn’t even look like you. If someone asked me if that was my wife I would have said no.’ Now I’m not sure if he was being honest and I’ve just been such a good fat-camoflager all these years (yes, even, or especially around him) that he was truly surprised, or if he was just trying to cheer me up as there was no denying these pics could star in a horror film. Oh well, the ‘before’ ones are supposed to look bad right? I still haven’t brought myself to look at the full body shot ones yet…I need to do that…I need the same dose of reality poor DH got. Yep, I still think I looked huge at 160# 8 years ago, and I still think I look exactly the same today, 80+# heavier…there’s something wrong with my self image…those ‘before’ and hopefully ‘afters’ may be just what I need to build my body image and acceptance as I go through the changes…here’s hoping!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1/13/09 Psych and Surgeon Consult

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1/11/09 Packing B***h!

Today’s the day. I’m sad, I’m gloomy, and I need some comfort food, which is why we ate homemade lentil soup for lunch. I know, soup can no longer be the comfort food of choice post-band…slider and all that, but it’s perfect on a cold, snowy, bummer day like today. DD just left with DH to take her back to college. It’s been a fun three weeks of coloring hair, going to the movies, renting chick flicks, lunch out- just the girls, shopping, and yes, cooking. Now it’s all over…back to my ‘Boys Club’ here at home. Waaah!

The only thing that always makes this parting easier is that she’s a ‘packing b***h’ like the generations of women in my family. We’re a little OCD and like everything ‘just so’ when we’re packing. We’re not the type who could even fathom just ‘throwing a few things in a suitcase’ and hour before leaving for the airport. Therefore, we get very stressed out when packing to leave for anywhere and it brings out the absolute worst side of us.

I remember from the time I was tiny my Mom fighting with my Dad every time we left for a vacation. My Dad would always be sitting in the car with all of us honking the horn while my Mom was vacuuming her way out of the house. She would finally come out, angry, red faced, and with the last few items she’d thought of for Dad to fit in the already overstuffed car. Like me, a few minutes into the trip she was fine…I could hear her loud sigh and I knew everything was good. My Mom has always had everything we could possibly need when we arrived (usually for a camping trip-one huge canvas tent with all seven of us in it) and I marveled even then how organized she was…I guess with 5 kids you had to be. She always had everything we needed.

I got the ‘packing b***h” gene…in spades. Even worse, I also got the gene from my Dad that compels me to write everything down and pigeon hole things to the nth degree (a deadly combination). Yes, my Dad danced a jig as he saw the birth of the sticky note! He has to have a certain kind of calendar every year, because it fits the tiny sticky notes perfectly…I’m not quite that bad, unless you count the fact that I have labels for every row of food in my walk-in food pantry…OK, I’m that bad (the Doc ought to have a feild day with me at my Psych pre-op tomorrow huh?). I’ve had a packing list on my computer since our first vacation; I update it, print it out for every trip, and check each item off as I start packing weeks before a trip (thanks Dad). I am a total grump, OK ‘packing b***h’, the day before and day we’re leaving (especially if we’re leaving somewhere I want to be)…DH now knows just to steer clear of me, keep the kids out of the way, and ask me if I need help every once in a while. My house is never so clean as when I leave for a trip (thanks Mom)…what if you died and company had to come to your house…would you want them to see how messy you left it?...Mom’s words. Yes, I am my mother. Like my Mom, I’m fine once we’re on the road…I let out that sigh and I’m instantly on my trip/vacation/whatever. Even better, once we’re there I AM Mary Poppins as my extended family has dubbed me. Ask me for anything, I dare you to, I’ll have it. Once we were sitting at one of those Japanese steakhouse places at WDW. My nephew put his hand on the grill in front of us even though they’d warned us 100x that it was hot. My sister, who didn't get either of these genes, asked if I had anything as she was planning a frantic trip across the park to the first aid station. Did I have anything?!!! I had tissues to dry his eyes, antibiotic wipes to clean it, I had antibiotic lotion WITH the pain anesthetic, I had bandages of every size, I had pain reliever pills for Jr. kids even…after the ice, I hooked him up and we were good to go…Mary Poppins! (thanks Mom & Dad)

DD has definitely got the ‘packing b***h’ gene…I went in her room this morning to chat and started helping her put the clean laundry on hangars…I wasn’t doing it right…then I wasn’t sorting them right…when I turned off her TV to pack it up all he!! broke loose. Eventually I was asked to leave the room so she could ‘just get packed on my own’. ‘Packing B***h!’ It’s OK, in fact it makes the parting easier for her…she’s leaving us, I get it, I’ve been there. As she was giving me a long hug goodbye she whispered in my ear ‘I’m sorry I yelled at you earlier Mom.’ and then with a kiss it came…the sigh…it was all good…she was ready to get back to her life at school.

1/10/09 Top (Healthy) Chefs

Tonight I spent cooking. Yes, I said cooking. Stop laughing! I know you are tuned in by now to my dislike of cooking. I outed myself with my funny stories. And yes, like I’ve said, I CAN cook, I made a whole turkey dinner for Christmas with many side dishes and it was perfect. I just choose to not cook unless I have to. I think the only reason I love to bake is because the baked goods last longer than a day. I hate when you spend hours cooking a meal and then it’s gone…over and done with in mere minutes…sometimes to an appreciative audience, sometimes not. Maybe it’s the artist in me…when I create something, besides the enjoyment of the process, I’ll have to admit it’s the appreciation of all that hard work that makes it worthwhile, and in art that appreciation can last forever. Call me selfish, but I love a little appreciation. I want oooh’s and aaaah’s. There’s too little of that with cooking…lot’s of time, not much enjoyment of the process, little appreciation, non-lasting…that just doesn’t add up for me.

So tonight when my daughter suddenly decided we had to cook something special for her last home cooked dinner before returning to college, I inwardly groaned. When she started looking up recipes online, the groans became a moan in my head…there was no way she’d pick something with ingredients I already have. That meant a trip to the grocery store, in the midst of a snow/sleet storm. We braved the slush and went out, returning to my ‘Boys Club + the boyfriend’ all enjoying football on the couch.

DD had picked the recipes for her favorite meal at Olive Garden; Parmesan encrusted tilapia, steamed squash, and linguine with garlic butter. Yes, it could have been harder, ie. Lasagna, but since DH eats no seafood (his parents never had it at home, so he never developed a taste for it), we also had to make parmesan encrusted chicken breasts. Now get this, I actually had fun with the process! Yep, standing there being my daughter’s sous chef was actually fun. I poured the wine, tied the aprons, drank the wine, got the water boiling, drank the wine, chopped the squash, drank the wine, prepped the meats, drank the wine, poured more wine, and watched as she coated the meats. We had a good time, and a lovely meal.

I love that my kids like to cook. Like, I’ve said before, my Mom hated us being in the kitchen. Who can blame her with five kids running around. As great a cook as Mom is, her 4 daughters and 1 son suck at it. Three of us hate cooking, my brother loves only grilling, and one sister is an OK cook, but only because she does cook all the time. Anyway, I’m not sure if my kids like to cook because I hate it so much they had to learn to fend some for themselves, or because I’m just a great mom and I let them dabble in the kitchen from a young age. I’m choosing to believe the latter. From the time they were little I always let them help with cooking, especially baking. I’ve ‘let them’ make their own lunches for school as they got old enough. Or maybe it was actually when they got embarressed by my lunches with those notes I always wrote on their napkins, and the puzzle cut PB&J sandwiches (like I’ve been saying, I have to be creative, no ‘cut in fourths’ sandwiches for MY kids).

I did teach them, as has DH, all the basics of cooking. But I’m the one who passed on my love of fine dining and giving everything a try, at least once. I’m a foodie, or more accurately an eatie, because I love good food, but not the cooking part. Besides no seafood DH won’t eat anything on the bone (also passed down from his parents, I don’t get that one as they are a Dr. and a nurse so it can’t be gross to them, but maybe that makes it grosser to them…who knows?) and he also has some issues with textures of some foods. We also had to buy leather couches with no cording/piping because of that texture on his legs (try finding them, I dare you…about the 10th store I started calling him ‘the princess and the pea’), so I think he has lots of ‘texture issues’…it’s just weird.

It’s fun as they get older, and my two oldest are becoming adults, to watch them do the things they enjoy. My kids love all kinds of food; they can all crack a crableg like nobody’s business. DS1 ordered the seafood platter in Normandy and I watched with interest and pride as he attacked about a dozen kinds of ‘critters’ including the usual crawfish, muscles, etc. and even a sea urchin. DS1 has also taken on my love of baking. I’ll randomly find him in the kitchen baking a cake or cookies to take to school to give out to all his friends (makes him a very popular friend). He would secretly love to go to culinary or pastry school, but after selecting engineering I consoled him with the fact that he can always take cooking classes for fun. In Paris I had set up his taking a pastry class at the Ritz Escoffier (better thought of than le Cordon Bleu to Parisians) for his 18th birthday…he had a personal translator and he loved every minute. DD loves to cook and proudly says she’s the best and healthiest food cook of any of the college girl she knows. DS2 is just starting out, but he’s gotten very good at eggs…he loves my mom’s sunny side up eggs and has gradually perfected her technique of the perfect temperature and slowly basting the yolk. He’s also working on my ‘Willie May’ scrambled eggs…she was the cook at my sorority house in college and I watched her closely every morning as I sat in the kitchen while she cooked her wonderful eggs; butter first, pour the hot butter into the eggs and mix in, more butter in the pan, then finally pouring the mixture into the frying pan to cook them up…what’s not to love with all that butter. I’ve promised next weekend to make my Mom’s famous egg casserole with him (sausage, bread crumbs, you get the picture).

I hope their love of food doesn’t ever become a weight issue for them as it has for me (they’re all super thin). Hopefully, my getting thinner will be a good example of having a normal relationship with food, even good food. I think that’s why at this point, I don’t intend to be one of those who eats the rest of my life like I’m on a horrid diet. That doesn’t mean I won’t change many of the choices on what we’re cooking (take out the pasta, maybe learn to cook dessert with sugar substitues), but I don’t intend to be one of those banders who’s eating mostly protein drinks three years later. I know that works for some, but I know that won’t work for me, it hasn’t in the past and I can’t live that way forever…and what kind of example is that for my kids…personally, I think that could cause them to have more food issues then seeing me fat. I’d rather eat way less of something good, then more of something awful. I want that normal relationship (albeit way smaller portions) with good, healthy food.

I know with this banding process, it will be up to me to take the lead on healthier choices. I’ve already been collecting ‘bander’ recipes here and there. Like I said, it will be fun to watch what kind of cooks they become when they’re adults. Maybe I’ll be going to their homes for dinner…my Top (Healthy) Chefs.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

1/9/09 Insurance is Inept

Today I called my insurance company for the first time in order to confirm/ask for clarification on my benefits. I spent some time gathering information and preparing for this call online. Let’s just say I wish the insurance people were half as prepared. I really only had a few questions; 1) I wanted to confirm my policy hadn’t changed this year. 2) When exactly can I apply for approval, so what exactly is 6 months/diet (is it a certain no. of days? Is it 6 weigh-ins or 7? I’ve heard all these answers on the web.). 3) What will my costs be- deductable, percentages, maximums? And how are fills covered? 4) Do I need to remain above the minimum 35 BMI until approval?

Is it too much to ask for some clarification? In a world such as insurance where everything is supposed to be black and white, why is there so much gray? I play fair (OK, except the layers)…I get that they need minimum BMI’s and can’t just arbitrarily approve people…I won’t whine about the rules. I’m a girl; I don’t mind reading the directions, but, for example, what the heck is up with just listing examples of some comorbidities, etc., dot, dot, dot. Why not just list the specific list of ones that will gain you approval so you know if you should apply or not? Why do I have to decipher after many hours on the internet that only 5 of the obesity related comorbidities really count at all toward approval? If there are specific rules why the @%&* aren’t the rules to this ‘game’ spelled out clearly? It’s like trying to play a game that your kids made up and the rules just keep changing.

I was sweet as pie on the phone…we weren’t making any headway until I told the rep. that I had a copy of last year’s policy…OK, there we go #1 down…no changes. Then came the 6 mo. question and I explained it further. She put me on hold as she asked her supervisor. When she came back she told me it all depended on whether I’m outpatient or inpatient as different departments handle these. OK, I’m in, so WHAT DOES 6 MO. MEAN? I know you’re all screaming at me, better safe then sorry, just do the extra mo., but this is a major difference in BG-land. My kids are both graduating the next mo. so that will be dicey with ceremonies, company and parties. We skipped to costs and they were what I expected ($1000 max), but she had no idea what a fill even was. At that point she transferred me to the pre-authorization department. The rep. that answered was immediately p.o.’d when she found out I wasn’t a Drs. office and all she would tell me was my Dr. would fax the papers to them for approval…she couldn’t answer anything else. Frustration.

I took a deep breath (sigh) and decided not to sweat it as I have my surgeon’s consult next Tuesday. I’ll be meeting with the insurance expert from the surgeon’s office as well as the surgeon. She seemed to be very aware of my insurance co., so I’m hoping she has my answers.

OK, here’s my real rant…My last job being in business process improvement, this part burns me…I’m not mad at the rules, I’m mad that if there are rules, no one gave all of them to me and this is plain stupid. How can this not lead to more costs for insurance? I get that by being vague they might be able to deny a few more people at the end, but weigh that against all those who wouldn’t have ever embarked upon this process if they knew they didn’t meet the qualifications…how much money is lost on them? How many people go through months of PCP visits, pre-op visits with psych, NUT, etc. (how much does that cost?) only to get denied for something the insurance co. should have spelled out to begin with.

As difficult as diets have been for me in the past, it doesn’t begin to compare to this insurance maze. I just don’t get the game, or even more, why there’s even a game to begin with…and I’m just starting.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1/8/09 Support and a Silver Lining

January seems to be the time for all kinds of cutbacks…cutbacks of the calorie kind and now, in this economy, corporate cutbacks. Like many of you, we’ve also been hit by that fear. DH knew that the company he works for wouldn’t be immune and changes were coming soon. He’s in a key position so we’re hopeful, but we also know to plan. We talked through all the possible implications for us and yes, I worried silently, and perhaps selfishly (yes, this is the new selfish me, I’m finally ready to put me first this year, and yes, that’s still guilt you hear), that we won’t have the same great insurance when it comes time for my surgery this Spring. All my plans may be for naught. I’ve been trying to keep the stress levels at home at a minimum, but with 3 teens, that’s sometimes easier said than done.

DH's company announced yesterday that MAJOR cutbacks are planned and we’re talking MAJOR, not many details, but the amount of $$$ that will be coming out of this is huge…fear is reality. He’s been talking about what a grim atmosphere it is at work. I can relate to what he’s experiencing. I made it through a period of major layoffs about 15 years ago while working for a Fortune 500…at company headquarters where employees families had all worked there for many generations going way back…layoffs for people like that was more than grim, they felt betrayed; like their family was turning them out…it was painful. I also know that change is inevitable and life brings tests for us sometimes and ‘what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger’. DH and I have been through work trials before and it was hard, but we made it through. DH reinvented himself in the world of business, as did I (from teacher), and he worked hard to get his MBA over 8 years at night. Like I said, tests can make you stronger…so no matter what is to come, we’ll make it through.

Now DH obviously thin as are my kids, so relating to my level of desperation that has led me to WLS is hard for him to truly understand. He’s seen me lose the weight and gain it back, more times than I can count…he’s seen my struggle. I’ve shared with him as much as I can about my journey and I know he understands how important this is to me, but other than coming to meetings, he’s had a hard time knowing how to support me in this. Well, he came home tonight and told me of the latest updates at work…we should know what will happen with jobs in February...He had gathered all the information on the severance package (just in case) and we talked through all the details…but do you know what came next? All I can say is support comes in all kinds of packages..and I love my DH. He had also looked into what would happen with our insurance…he announced that no matter what happens we’ll still have our same insurance when it’s time for my surgery…my new-oh-so-selfish side was so happy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

1/7/09 Tracking and Measuring-Yikes!

As per my PCP's request I've started my food and exercise log today. I do see the benefit in this short term. In the past keeping logs has helped me with accountablity and you also learn a lot along the way. I plan to keep this up until I'm on the other side of the band and feel comfortable with what I'm allowed to eat.

My goal is not to have to do this long term though. As I've said before I find tracking every calorie, for me, becomes just trading one kind of food obsession for another. There's no way for me to not feel like I'm on a diet and being deprived some how while I'm doing this time consuming task of measuring every bite, writing it down, and entering it in. My food goal is to be on a new lifestyle change NOT ANOTHER DIET, to eat mainly what my family is eating with a few tweaks, minus the bad carbs and sweets, and obviously a whole lot less. I'm hoping that with my previous experiences with calorie counting that the learning curve post band will be easier (I'm talking just calorie counting and categories of foods not all those other things I'll need to learn). I know I'll need to go back to tracking anytime I'm not getting the results I's always helpful then.

So today I signed up for My Fitness Pal; nice site very easy to navigate and people answered my questions within minutes. It was even easy to add extra things (beyond the default) I want to track like fiber, sugar and some additional body measurements.

OK, stop right there. Sure, I know I'm a 'scale whore', yep even when I'm fat I look, but who the heck tracks their measurements as they're gaining weight? NOT ME! I think I was in college fitness class the last time I took my measurements...and I was pencil thin and teaching aerobics classes at the time...Let me just say standing there in my underwear with the measuring tape trying to figure out where to measure my waist was a humbling experience. I'm not one who carries the majority of my weight out front (now the rear is another story), but there is no longer a waist...Do you measure right under the boob line where I'm smallest, the belly button line, just above where I still have a little indent of what little remains of my waist on the sides? In the spirit of getting this over with as soon as possible I picked the largest spot and moved on. I'm pretty sure my current thigh measurement is about the same as my waist measurment in college...great.

My new computer cord came and it doesn't no access to my computer still. I've been waiting for this to load my new pedometer software. Oh well. Tomorrow I'll look at the exercise tracker on Fitness Pal. Wonder what I'll have to measure for that one? Stride? Yes, I can handle that.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1/6/09 The Biggest Loser Winner

I’m watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ right now (along with most of you I’m sure) and I just got another “Little Nudge”…Ever since I’ve decided this past summer to pursue WLS I’ve been noticing these more. Over the years, when I’ve been on my multitude of diets, all I ever noticed was the food; commercials, cooking shows, diet plans…FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! But since my decision I’ve noticed other things…those little nudges that say ‘Yeah, you’ve made the right decision, keep going toward your goal!’. Some were obvious ‘you don’t have to hit me over the head’ things like suddenly having almost no clothes to wear, and the day of my first weigh-in where I got my hypertension diagnosis…yes, the comorbidity I needed to get accepted, but scary at the same time. Some were small lightbulbs like my Mom buying me a kitchen scale that I need for weighing mail…yes, I just realized I’ll actually be using it now for food. I haven’t told anyone but DH about my decision, yet I keep getting these little nudges.

Tonight’s was a biggie though…my youngest DS2 was watching the show with me. He started off the show saying ‘You’re not as big as any of them Mom’…Bless his heart…Denial is a thing I’ve obviously taught my child well. Minutes into the show though the oldest man collapsed and passed out…my son freaked; of course the show was talking all about health problems and that obesity causes them and early death. DS who didn’t want to say anything for fear of making me mad was obviously dying to talk about it (we NEVER talk about ‘IT’, my weight). So, I gave him permission…I told him I wanted to know how he was feeling and I promised not to get mad. He said plenty…he was scared…and he had it all figured out…exactly how old I would be when he graduates college (like his sister is getting ready to) and how I might not be alive by then if I didn’t get thinner…WOW…I hate to admit it, but I’ve been so internally focused on this journey and improving my health that I’d never considered that my kids might be just as worried about my health. He made me promise that I’d be on the treadmill tomorrow morning…fighting back the tears I promised.

He’s in bed now, so I’m glad he missed the part of the show when they go to the Drs. for all the testing. I was glad he missed my tears as I watched the Dr. explain what a fatty liver is (wouldn’t have know that one before researching Lap Band)…and I certainly dropped a few more tears when the guy who had RnY explained how he’d put ON weight since the surgery…I feel for these people. In past seasons you could have found me on the couch watching this show and saying ‘yeah if I had a trainer 24/7 maybe I could get those results’…and boy have I noticed those reunion shows and how so many of those that lost major weight on this show gained a lot back…all the negatives. This year I’m hopeful…and I’m feeling like I’m being nudged in the right direction…I will be The Biggest Loser Winner!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1/5/09 This Is The Dawning Of...

Went to my PCP today for weigh-in...drumroll please....#3!!!! PARTY AT MY HOUSE! I'm thinking that means I'm about halfway there, "over the hump" or in my case "over the bump", or "over the big bumps", OK, "over lots of big bumpy cellulite"...eeew. Nothing could ruin my mood…not even the Nurse who ushered me to the scale with a loud “AND WHY ARE YOU HERE TODAY?” “For a WEIGH IN visit!” I replied as I hopped up on the scale to NO WEIGHT LOSS. I smiled at her and said “Well, at least I didn’t gain anything in Dec. and that’s something?!”…not a word…hmm…“Have a nice day!” I coo as she departs.

I see the CRNP at my PCP's office for these visits. We were chatting along about my not losing any pounds this month, and her new haircut, and me poking fun at myself (my evil ploy to keep the focus off my weight- wish I was that clever)...we were there just chatting (yes, mostly about my diet/exercise)…when she says “This is always the best part of my day!” I said “Yeah, I’ll bet it’s nice to see someone who’s happy to be here and isn’t sick!” I need to work harder on this diet…good thing, as I really do want to start my better habits now. We made some harder goals for this month and I’m starting a food journal…I also want to start that ‘bird thing’…and NO I’m not (YET) talking about eating tiny portions like a bird…you know, No drinking with meals…you can either sit at the birdfeeder or the birdbath for a drink, not both. About the time we were lamenting bad haircuts from years past, I remembered I left my DD at another Dr’s. office, so I scooted to get her.

We picked up our records at yet another Drs. for our..yet another Dr’s.appointment tomorrow morning (nothing to do with Lap Band). I came home and sorted all my Dr’s. records an into a huge pile of files…whew. Man, I thought that ‘Dashing through the Drs.’ was bad in Dec.…this next month will be worse between the whole family. That’s life. I’m proud to say that in between guitar lessons for DS2, errands, and getting 2” off my hair (couldn't have another bad haircut!), I also made my last required Dr. appt. with the NUT (No, not that kind of nut…not the Psych, the NUTritionist). So…another drumroll…if all goes as planned and no one calls again to reschedule…and when the moon is in the Seventh House…and Jupiter aligns with Mars…I’ll be through all the Dr’s. appointments (except probably a pre-op) by Feb. 5th!! Yay…then more waiting…double yay…

Sunday, January 4, 2009

1/4/09 Come to the dark side...

My DD and I decided it would be fun to color and highlight each others hair over the break. In the spirit of having my 'girls club' established at home again, I went along with it willingly. I am now a brunette for the first time in my life. I promise to post a pic soon, now that we've got a digital camera to replace the old broken one. Only problem is I'm using DH's laptop as my DD cut the cord on mine while borrowing it and closed the recliner on computer access is limited until my new cord arrives from eBay.

Anyhoo...I've always been a natural blonde, up until the time I started coloring my hair that is (I don't ever want to know what's really there now). I think my brain just grew two sizes...ha, I wish! I thought a change of hair color would go right along with my other big changes coming this year...let's just say I hope my other decisions are better made, or maybe, like other things I just need to get used to the new me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

1/2/09 Winding Down

We had the last of the holiday shindigs yesterday, played our last board game (DD and I lost at “Battle of the Sexes”...stupid sports questions!...but the guys had no idea what to use to stop a run in a stocking- HA!) and I’m exhausted. My asthma couldn’t tolerate the fresh tree another day (my kids say I’m officially now a cough drop addict…do they have a 12 step program for that?...actually, I do think the lining of my mouth is getting burned from all the menthol eucalyptus!) so I defrocked the tree and stuffed it out the door. The un-decorating is so depressing really, isn’t it? My house is now a wreck of half-undecorated rooms, bins everywhere waiting to be repacked, cookie and candy crumbs in every corner, and let’s not mention those pine needles I’ll still be vacuuming up in June (Where the flip do they keep coming from?). As much as I’m the holiday queen, I’m always happy when things are back to normal…or maybe I’m just tired? So promise me I’ll have more energy next year when I have some of this weight off…won’t that be nice…turning 50 and having MORE energy…sweet! …zzzz

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1/1/09 Join the 2009 WLS Parade!

To all you peeps planning WLS in 2009 I know you're welcoming this year with as
much anticipation as I am. There should be a parade today just for WLS patients. We’d wear shirts like our signatures with anything you felt comfortable sharing; surgery date, current BMI, hey even current weight if you’re really brave (or you’re now skinny).

We’d put all of us pre-ops at the front of the parade…it’s OK…If you can’t walk the 6 mile route we’d have floats we could ride on (hey, we’re a big group…no pun intended…we need more than that 5 1/2 mile route of the Rose Parade). The floats would be educational since pre-op is all about education…just think how much the public would learn. I know some here would be on the Insurance Maze float because they live everyday now with that crazed “will I be approved?” look…so they’ll fit right into that maze, with it’s piles of paperwork creating the walls of the maze. There’d be all those milestones along the maze…psych visit, etc. and at the end, in the back, those crazed pre-ops would hand over their papers and a giant insurance person with a big stamp in each hand “APPROVED” & “DENIED”…would stamp it (because of course we’d have animation). There’d be a 6 month diet and pre-op diet float…just think of the crazy float that pre-op diet would be…we could have swimmers doing laps in protein shakes, or maybe something not so happy as we’d want to garner some sympathy…I don’t even want to think about it yet. Myself, I’d be waving from the center of the LAP-BAND® float as the giant one inflates and deflates…we could wear smaller ones like hoola-hoops around our waists.

Then would come all those “in progress” peeps…they’d have cool floats too, but all about support because that’s what in progress is all about. Of course each of those monthly groups would build their own floats…going back in time…Think how cool these floats would be…New Year Hotties and Hunks (not sure yet?), Holiday Hotties, Notorious Novembers, Smashing Pumpkins, September Samurais, August All Stars, July Butterflies, June-Bugs, Shrinko de Mayo’s, April Avengers, Shrinking Shamrocks, Victorious Valentines,…we could go back for years! Oh, they’d be great…they’d have their own cheering sections in the crowd…because it’s all about family and friends support too.

Lastly would come all those at goal…and they’d just go nuts to end our parade in style…some would be wearing bikinis and Speedos...those pushing strollers that now have babies thanks in part to their WLS…and the floats, oh the floats (they’d pull their own of course because now they can)…Before and Afters of course…but all those things you couldn’t do before but now can…fitting in seats-roller coasters and amusement park rides…what a fun float that would be, and physical activities you’ve always wanted to try-floats of those holding trophies and blown up photos of them running marathons, climbing mountains, and playing in the parks with their families! What an inspiration this section would be!

What section would you be in? What would your float be?
Come, join the 2009 WLS Parade!!!
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