Wednesday, December 29, 2010


If you are stopping by because of my mention in the "other heath blogs" list on's Daily Dose  (a part of their heath and wellness section here)...WELCOME!!!  

I'm so excited (and honored) for the shout out from them.

Please come back often and feel free to leave comments!  : )

I'll be home for Christmas...

Christmas has to be my most favorite holiday ever.  I love getting presents…I love giving presents…and I love the sampling of foods I get to munch on this time of year.

Since I started working as a nurse, I tend to work Christmas eve night shift.  Mostly, it’s because I don’t have any little ones to open presents with in the morning.   But partly it’s because I can to go straight to my parent’s house after work.  This has started a new little Christmas tradition for us...breakfast with just me and my parents. 

Normally, I’m not a “breakfast person” the sense that I don’t really eat breakfast foods.  But, I look forward to this breakfast all year long.  My mother will make me anything that I want and this year I requested pancakes and sausages.   Because my mom is awesome, it was hot and ready when I got there.  I ate 2 small pancakes and 2 sausages and was totally full.

It was great.  (and by great, I mean friggin’ delicious.)  But while I was sitting there with my parents eating and chatting about my “Christmas delivery” at work (babies really are the BEST presents!) my dad looked over and said something to me that made me stop for a second. 

“ You take really small bites now.”

I paused, looked down at my fork, and saw what looked like a normal sized bite to me.   (Then again, this is the girl that ate with baby utensils for 3-4 months…)  I didn’t really know what to say.  

So, slightly confused, I think I said...“Yeah...I guess so!” and just continued eating.   

Since my surgery, I am continuously amused by not only how my eating has changed, but also by how different my actual perceptions of food are.  I suppose my servings are smaller and my eating style is different.  But at this point, I don’t even realize it anymore.  

It's awesome.

This Christmas, I ate what I felt like was a lot of things.  I just ate them in moderation.  And during the entire day, I felt completely satisfied and never felt like I was missing out on anything! 

The whole day was perfect, But one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for me was getting my brand new UGG boots.  Whether you love them or hate them, I've wanted a pair for years.  But when I went to the store to try them on, they wouldn’t fit over my calves.  (A problem I’ve had with boots my ENTIRE life!)  But this year that isn’t a problem, and I will be stylin’ the streets of Boston in the finest of sheepskin footwear.  Thanks, Santa!!!

::  happy dance  ::

What a great holiday after the most fantastic year.  I can only hope yours was just as fantastic!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know I've been a little MIA.  There was a death in my family last week which has really made it difficult for me to write.  I will be blogging about it later this week.

I remember last year at this time I had already decided that I wanted to have my surgery, but I was still waiting to find out if I had been approved by my surgeon.  My appointment with him was the last week of December.  I can't believe it's been almost a year. 

I did want to come on here really quickly to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!  I am so thankful for all my friends and family this year that have helped me through everything.  Your support is the best gift I could have ever received! 

This year has really been amazing and I love you all so much! 



Friday, December 10, 2010

Answer: The reactions of family, friends, and strangers to my surgery....

Are you experiencing any change in how your family or friends treat you? How about strangers?

In general, being a skinnier person has totally changed the way people treat me.  I continue to observe it and addressed it in a previous blog entry called "Polite wisdom..." But, I think your question was more about how people treat me once they know I have had a gastric bipass.  So I'm just going to go with that.  

The way strangers act when I tell them I’ve had a gastric bypass is just plain weird.

I get a variety of responses from them.  There are the people who are shocked…the people who feel sorry for me…and the people who know someone who has had this surgery and want to tell me their whoooole story.   

In the beginning, while I was still a bigger person, there was a lot of “Oh…you didn’t NEED to do that!"..."You weren’t THAT big!”...or “I would never do anything THAT DRASTIC to lose weight!" from people.  But I feel like, back then, I had a lot more explaining to do because of the way I ate or how I was feeling….etc etc.  Currently, it doesn’t really come up much, but when it does people usually look at me and just say “Wow. You look great.”  

From the beginning I decided to be open about my decision to have weight loss surgery, and not to try and hide it or be ashamed.  I usually just take people's reactions in stride...good and bad...and chuckle about it later.  

The way my friends and family reacted to my decision to have this surgery can best be described as “concerned.”  I think this was normal, since this is a major elective surgery that can have some unfortunate complications and has had some negative press. 

Not everyone I told beforehand agreed I should have the surgery done.  In my mind, I just knew it was the best decision.  So, I tried my best to assure them that everything would be OK and proceeded on.  I haven’t regretted that decision once. 

Now, after my extremely successful recovery, most of my friends and family are really super supportive and impressed with my new healthy lifestyle.  But, despite what I do or say, some of them still aren’t and (even though it was one of the main issues I have dealt with post-op) I have chosen to keep that issue off this blog for almost a year.  This is mainly, because I didn’t feel like stoking the flames of this ongoing issue in my life. 

But, since you asked I will tell you…as honestly as I can. 

Some people still cannot deal with the fact that I chose to have surgery to lose weight.  They think I am lazy, self centered, and just taking “the easy way out.”  They can’t handle the fact that I am a smaller person, looking great, and have more confidence and self esteem than I have ever had before in my life.  And, you know what?  That is just fine with me…. Now. 

But, when I first had this surgery, the lack of support from some of these people was debilitating.  I had a lot going on mentally and had a really difficult time dealing with this particular issue on my own. 

I searched all over the Internet to try and see if other people had had such a negative reaction from people close to them.  After weeks of looking for help on message boards and on other gastric bypass support group websites, I gave up.  There seemed to be no easy solution to this problem.

So, I just cried about it.  A lot. 

In the end, I succumbed to the distance that was established between these people and myself.  It was a difficult decision, but I felt that I needed to do this for my mental health and to facilitate my recovery.  

Was I happy about it?  No.  Was this the right decision?  To be honest about it, I'm still not sure. 

I am not angry, just hurt by the actions of these people.  In a way, I can understand how difficult it can be to see someone so close to you change so drastically.  But, what I have come to believe is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t change how these people feel.   And at this point, I realize that it’s not my job to do so.   They are the only ones who can change their minds and accept the transformation that has happened in me.  And when they do I will be here to try and fix things.  

So, to answer your question- Yes...people do treat me differently.  Sometimes it's just because I'm skinny.  Sometimes it's the negative stigma associated with the surgery.  And sometimes it's just the way people are dealing with the way I've changed personally. 

But, I have come to peace with it all.  Hopefully, someday, they will too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The cost of being skinny...

One of the first things I did after making the initial decision to have this surgery, was to see if it was going to be covered by my insurance.  I knew that I certainly couldn’t afford to pay for it on my own and I didn’t want to get too excited if it wasn’t going to happen for me.  Fortunately….(or unfortunately…however you look at it)…my BMI was high enough to have the surgery covered.  


When I got this news, I remember thinking how lucky I was that I was going to have this fantastic surgery and it wasn’t going to cost me a single dime. 

But I was wrong.  Oh so wrong.

Now, I knew that there would be co-pays and medicines involved that I would have to at least partially pay for.  (Did you know chewable and liquid forms of meds tend to be more expensive….yeah, neither did I!)  But it’s the OTHER stuff that no one tells you about that will surprise you. 

That is until now.

There are “incidental costs” that come along with having this surgery that people should be prepared for.   Some of them aren’t even medical, but I feel these things are required for success (and survival) to get you through your first year post op. 

The first is special foods.  I remember being so excited about how cheap my grocery bill was going to be.  And, yes…I certainly buy less food…but what I buy was and is DAMN expensive.  Protein shakes, protein bars, fresh fruits and veggies, low cal/low sugar/“diet” meals….it is all disgustingly overpriced.  Not to mention the amount of food you have to THROW AWAY because it spoils before you can eat it.  (Or because you can’t buy it in small enough portions.)  Eventually, I learned how to shop for myself, but occasionally this still happens and throwing away food drives me absolutely bananas.  

Next would be exercise expenses.  I joined a gym.  And got a trainer.  Sure, these costs may be considered “optional” by some people.  But, since working out was recommended by the physicians, I knew it was important.  I also felt becoming more physically fit was a necessity to have the kind of success I wanted….and have had. 

And how about the clothing?  Oh my lord, the clothing. 

I will tell you right now that after this surgery you will need to replace your ENTIRE wardrobe.  Don’t believe me?  I legitimately have NOTHING in my closet that is over 3 months old.  Including shoes…and underwear.  

It’s nuts. 

When you start dropping weight all you want to do is buy new clothes.  It’s natural….and really friggin’ exciting.  But resisting this urge is so hard.  Don’t get me wrong, you will NEED to buy clothes.  But the amount of clothes and where you buy them from will change. 

For example, I learned that when you try on a bathing suit that makes you feel good, you will buy it, no matter how much it costs.  Like the bathing suit I bought this June (see this post)….that I spent about $150 on…and wore….mmmm….less than 8 times.   In the middle of summer, I found that it didn’t fit anymore and I had to buy ANOTHER one.  (This time from the sale rack at Sears.) 

I felt like every 10 pounds I lost were going to be the last 10…and all I wanted to do was shop for new, cuter, smaller clothes.  But after doing this a few times (and donating several hundred dollars worth of “only worn 3 times” clothing) I eventually learned my lesson.

Instead of buying clothes all the time, I started a “new wardrobe” savings account that I will use next year when my weight stabilizes.  The thought of the serious amount of finacial damage I will do when I get to use this fund makes me need to take a moment to myself.   


When I was younger, I remember laying in my bed at night…staring at the ceiling and thinking to myself that no matter what the cost, I would pay any amount to be healthy and have a new body.  So, does that still apply?  Absolutely. 

But every once an awhile I think about how, with all the money I’ve spend on gastric bypass “stuff” this year, I could have a nice new car…or could have gone on a fantastic tropical vacation.  And I wonder, is it really worth it? 

And I answer yes…every single time.