So long, 400!

Wednesday, I stepped on the scales, and for the first time since 2012, I was under 400 lbs. I still think I’m in shock. It doesn’t seem real yet. Regardless, my oldest daughter, Mariah, has been hounding me about taking photos to document my weight loss journey, and I haven’t  done it. I told her I would when I was under 400. Consequently, she took it upon herself to take a picture a couple nights ago. She then posted it side by side with a picture that was taken the day we decided to submit to Highmark for approval.


I am so lucky to have such a great kid. Her support and encouragement has been amazing, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Honestly, in the pictures, I don’t see much difference, but feeling how my clothes fit now, I KNOW there’s a difference. My clothes are MUCH MUCH looser; I’ve gotten to the point where some of my shirts are too big to wear. So I broke down and bought myself a few new things in smaller sizes.

That was difficult for me. For one, I’m not a big fan of buying clothes anyway; never have been. I’m sure it’s because fat clothes cost more to buy than “normal” clothes, but also because I always hated how I looked in them. I’m feeling much better about that now. I’m no size 5, but I’m becoming more comfortable. I ordered the new clothes online (I’m still too big to buy most things at a brick and mortar store), and most all of them fit. I bought two pairs of jeans a size smaller than the last jeans I bought (which were so tight, I couldn’t wear them for six months, starting back prior to surgery), a size 4x henley (the purple one from the photo above), and a black and white striped button up shirt in size 4x which I wore to work yesterday. I also bought a size 24 bathing suit which with any luck will fit me once the weather warms up, and another 4x button up that is still a little tight around my upper arms/armpits. I know it won’t take long to get to a point where it fits, so all in all, I feel really good about my purchases. On top of that, everything I bought was on sale. Yay me!

The nausea is still hanging around, unfortunately. It’s not quite as bad as before, but it still lasts several hours a day. I burp, and get hiccups all the time, which is extremely frustrating, but it’s getting a little easier to eat. So that’s something…

Oh, and I’ve been talking to a boy. We’re seeing each other tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂

Til next time –

Linda ❤




Status: Feeling Accomplished

My knee was really bothering me yesterday, so I iced it last night, and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning and it was huge. So at 6:45, I texted one of my supervisors and told her that I was going to stay off it today, ice it, and try to make some headway in regard to my weight loss surgery tasks.  She told me it wasn’t a problem, and to keep it up. So I am.

I had several calls I wanted to make today. I didn’t say I wanted to make the appointments today, because that’s a given. I am, however, realistic, and know that just because I called today, doesn’t mean I’m going to get anything scheduled, but I did take the first step.

Here’s my progress so far today:

  1. Filled out the nutritionist questionnaire.
  2. Called the nutritionist and left a message stating that I had received her number from Valerie at UPMC Bariatrics, and my intention to have gastric bypass surgery, and my desire to utilize her services for my monthly weigh-ins in addition to my required nutritionist meetings that are part of the process. I left a message requesting a return call.
  3. Called the contact number for the woman who runs the month support group meeting. If I can go to meetings here (which are located just a couple of blocks away from my apartment), it’ll save me six trips to Erie to the support group at the convention center.  Left a message.
  4. Called to set up my psych eval. I spoke to a very nice woman who stated I had to be transferred to the “referral line” and said I should leave a message, which I did.

HOPEFULLY, I’ll get a call back from SOMEONE today, althought I don’t expect it to be psych. They warned me in the message that it may be days before I get a return call.

My appointment with Dr. Ali is next Wednesday at 4:00pm in Erie. The plan is to work until around 1:30, then drive up to his office. (I’m always super early, and I wanted to give myself enough time to account for school buses. I’m such a nerd.) I kind of wish I had someone to go along with me, but I’m going to look at it as another step in my walk to weight loss and independence.

I’m still super stoked about having surgery, and even the process leading up to it. I just wish my knee didn’t hurt so bad. I keep telling myself that with any luck, this time next year, I’ll be getting ready to have my knee replaced. Fingers crossed anyway.

“You have such a pretty face….”

Warning – This blog entry contains fairly explicit sexual language. Please don’t read this, Mom. ❤

For whatever reason, I’ve never been at a loss when it came to male attentions. I’m guessing it’s because I have a vagina.  I think there are many men who really have no shame, and will have sex with anybody that will have them. That being said, it’s never really been an issue. Relationships, on the other hand, have always been more difficult.

I remember actually being in the midst of making out with a guy and he said ” You have such a pretty face. I’d date you if you lost some weight.”  Charming dude right there.  Makes me want to drown a kitten. I’ve also been on the other end of the spectrum, where I’ve been almost fetishized, like some sort of side-show freak. And there have been guys that fell somewhere in the middle.

My size has become an issue in regard to intimacy, for a couple of reasons. I guess it always has been, but in some cases it was more glaring than others.

BIg girl + Big guy = Failure waiting to happen.

The worst part about it? We got along so well in every other way.  He was a biologist with the same assholey sense of humor I have.  And he was brilliant. But he found a smaller woman and married her. Is it wrong that I smiled a little bit when I found out she stopped having sex with him less than a year after they got married? 🙂

I’ve also dated a few really thin guys, and while I know this is ALL ON ME,  I felt horribly uncomfortable being in public with them. Like every stranger we walked past was silently judging us. Years ago, I was head over heels for a guy who was three inches shorter than me, and built like a brick shithouse. Not an ounce of fat on the man. He loved me, but his buddies gave him crap about being with me, and that, of course, made everything uncomfortable. I recall being in a bar one night, and when I went to the ladies room, a total stranger asked him why he was with me. He was too stunned to answer, but one of his “friends” told him “You know how the old saying goes..Fatty and Skinny. Who knows why we love who we love, right?” And in his eyes, he was standing up for me!!

I don’t know will happen after I have the surgery. I’m not currently “involved” with anyone, so I don’t have to worry about having a husband or boyfriend who will have to get accustomed to the new, smaller me. I think that’s a bonus. But I can’t help but wonder how my brain is going to react to not being the “fat girl with a pretty face”. I guess that’s just something else I will have to work out. Thank goodness for support groups!

Whatever happens, I’m still so excited for what’s to come. I feel like I’m ready to burst out of my self-imposed cocoon to become the butterfly I’ve always known I am.

Be kind to each other..

Linda ❤

Twelve more days…

Twelve more days until I get to meet up with my surgeon. Dr Ali. He did the seminar I attended and he just seems like a wonderful, thoughtful doctor. I have a million questions in my head, but I think the first I’m going to ask him is …

“Why did you decide to specialize in Bariatric/Weight Loss Surgery?”

I’m anxious to find out the answer.

Over the years, I’ve transformed from the shy, quiet  wallpaper I tried to be in high school to a more outspoken, dare I say even salty, loudmouth I am today. I’m not afraid to ask questions. It’s the only way to find out the answers!

Hopefully, next week, I’ll have the chance to call the nutritionist to get that meeting set up. Valerie at Dr Ali’s office sent me a packet of GREAT information, with some links to videos I can watch online about the different surgeries, and the many aspects of each procedure. So much information! But I’m soaking it all up like a sponge. 🙂

I get more excited about it every day. I’m like a little kid, waiting for Christmas!

And away we go…

Here it is. The first in what I hope will be many entries in this online journal.  I really have no idea how this will turn out, but I’m really anxious and excited for my journey to start. My hope is that by chronically my own steps to a healthier life, I might help others in similar situations. Some of the posts may be graphic and hard to read at times, but I’ll only post what I truly believe needs put out there. Anyone who knows me knows that I can be salty and my language more than a little coarse, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.

I thought my first post should be a what started it all- the Facebook post. I was profoundly moved by the responses of support and encouragement. I had a conversation with a former classmate who wished he’d done more to defend me in the face of cruel bullying I experienced. I was truly touched, and continue to be.

Here’s the post:

So lately I’ve been posting about some medical issues I’ve had, and I’ve also made a few cryptic posts as well. So here’s the real poop:
After much thought and soul searching, I’ve decided to have Bariatric surgery. It’s always been hard for me to talk about, even though it’s always been the gorilla in the corner. I’ve been picked on, teased, dare I say even bullied about my weight for literally as long as I can remember. Beef, tits, fatass, Bertha are just a few of the names I was called in middle and high school. As I got older, people I cared about used my weight to hurt me in the most callous way possible.

My weight has limited me in many ways over the years as well. I’ve wanted nothing more in the last two years than to go with my daughter Mariah to an Avett Brothers show, but the pain has kept me from going. I have severe osteoarthritis in my left knee. I have no cartilage left. I need my knee replaced. At 46 years old. I’m in pain every damned day. And will be until I lose this weight.

So, I’m having surgery. I went to a bariatric surgery seminar last week and decided I have to do it. So, I started the ball rolling. I’ve got an appointment made with a wonderful surgeon who’s done over 2200 bariatric procedures. I’m setting up appointments with a nutritionist for monthly weight checks. I’m working on finding someone to do my psych eval. As my ortho guy said today, I’m doing everything the right way.
Now, I’m sure there are some of you out there who think “she got herself fat, why doesn’t she just buckle down and do the work and get it done.” I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Years ago, a therapist told me that because of a childhood trauma I’d suffered, and the isolation I felt as a result of that, compounded by the bullying, that I built a physical wall of fat to keep people from getting close to me, figuratively and literally. After years of therapy, and some horrible bouts of depression, I’m in a great place psychologically. My head and heart are happier than I’ve been in, probably, all my life. I’ve chosen to surround myself with people that care about me, and don’t bring me down. If you feel you fit in the group, great! I’m glad to have you there. If not, feel free to unfriend me. No hard feelings, but I need positivity now and for the next months and years to come. I’m sure I’ll be making a lot of posts about my journey and all it encompasses, and if you get tired of it, I’m sorry. But I’m taking care of me, because I have to be around to see my daughters get married. To become a grandmother. I want to be the best me I can be, and it starts now.
‪#‎Doingrightbyme‬ ‪#‎MyBestMe‬ ‪#‎BeKind‬

— at My Happy Place .

I will never be able to articulate how much the support I have received means to me. It just solidifies to me that my decision to have Bariatric sugery  or WLS (weight loss surgery) is the right one. If I doubted I had support, I know now that I was absolutely wrong. And I couldn’t be happier about that.