- Cheryll Andrews' Weight Loss Journey
- All Services
- Behavioral Health Services
- Bone & Joint Care
- Cancer Care
- Diabetes & Endocrinology
- Emergency Care
- Health & Wellness
- Heart Care
- Hospitalist Care
- Integrative Care
- Intensive Care Unit
- Maternity & Pregnancy Care
- Occupational Health
- Other Services
- Primary Care
- Respiratory Care
- Surgical Services
- Vascular Services
- Weight Loss Surgery
- A Multidisciplinary Weight Loss Approach
- Bariatric Program Support Groups
- Bariatric Surgery Program Accreditation
- FREE Weight Loss Information Seminars
- How Bariatric Surgery Works
- Pre and Post Weight Loss Surgery Support Groups
- Weight Loss Program FAQs
- What is Obesity?
- Why is Weight Loss Surgery Effective?
- Women's Services
- Wound Care Center & Hyperbaric Medicine
Cheryll Andrews' Weight Loss Journey
Food for Thought, a Weight Loss Journal by Cheryll Andrews
Cheryll's Latest Entry is at the bottom of the page...
March 24, 2010
Thank you again for your support through this process....
today: I have been thinking .... most people who either have no weight issue or have one that's been solved through another means, cannot understand that this surgery is probably the last and only lasting opportunity I have to become a normal weight.
March 24, 2010
What do you think about calling my diary "Food for thought”?
March 25, 2010
Don’t know why, but today I feel a little anxious about seeing the psychologist.... butterflies in my stomach.
BUT.... I also feel pretty darn good about this process, and what I'll learn to incorporate into my life as a result!
March 27, 2010
Today I am visualizing then end result of my journey, and I get more excited about the possibilities! I also feel like I'm looking at this realistically, knowing that the challenges ahead are undefined, sort of, because while the program is being explained thoroughly and clearly, I will not put expectations on what will be a significant challenge to me personally. My eyes are wide open, I think, and I am open to the flow of this whole process!
April 1, 2010
I am grateful today for my support system. I've told two more strong women whom I admire and they are excited for me. One is a 2x breast cancer survivor and wrote articles through her journey that helped her reach more women and heal herself. She has offered them to me as an inspiration to help me write more about my own journey...
I love the friendships of strong balanced women.... they are the ones standing on the rim of the canyon cheering on those who are in the middle of life’s challenges, and are the ones who will break the rules to jump in and help.
Thank you for your friendship Sheila....
April 4, 2010
I am inhaling the fresh warm spring air and am brought back to my childhood and days that were destined to be beach days.... the question "what do you want to do after surgery that you can't or don't do now...
I want to go to the beach and really enjoy everything about it! I don't want spend the time feeling embarrassed or self conscious or not worthy to be there....and the discomfort because I feel the need to stay covered up... like I have in the past... I want to breathe in the salt air and feel the breeze across my body and the sand in my toes and feel strong and confident in who I am.
This journey will help me shed my own discriminations about being overweight and the limits I have imposed upon myself and at the end I will have a "normal" weight body that reflects my strong inner self.
April 5, 2010
Thank you for taking the journey with me...
I'm interested to see the compilation at the end...to see the whole story from the written perspective.
As I work towards living in the moment, I don't recall the past as regularly as I used to... it's really kind of cool...
April 9, 2010
so glad that my food habits are starting to change without having to think too hard about them... it's been said that it takes 21days to change a habit.... that's great, but how long does it take to make it stick for good.... and for me today would be a comfort food kind of day.... LOTS of work stress and no outlet at the moment.... but I feel in control of my desire to chow on french toast, with butter and syrup and bacon!!!!!
April 11, 2010
It seems that in the quiet moments while doing my best to be mindful of NOW, I am inspired by the small things like, the shift in the way my clothes fit, and the ease of my shoes going on, and the ever so slightly easier it is to take the stairs.... mighty but small victories. YAY!
April 13, 2010
This explains everything!
With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and
wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out
to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured,
educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,
Good grief, look how smart I am!
Must be where 'Smart Ass' came from
April 16, 2010
Today is not a particularly upbeat day, and that bothers me as I am always striving to find the blue sky or silver lining or just a bit of joy...so...I am getting excited about the surgery as a permanent tool to control my "set point"... The stress today comes from knowing that I have to sell my Q2 well ahead of time in order not to lose a beat while I'm recovering. sometimes I wish I didn't have a commission based job... or sales goals or managers barking, "why is this not done"... blah blah blah.... I feel like putting my fingers in my ears and singing at the top of my lungs to block it all out!
April 19, 2010
Today is the first time in a very long time that I can button the jacket that I'm wearing! YAY!!!!!!!!
April 23, 2010
I am feeling a little anxious today, in anticipation of the surgery... the last behavioral modification class was the other night and several people are already in the final pro-op prep stages .... It's exciting mostly, but I am feeling the impending permanent change and it's big... I'm not afraid just working to make the mental shift...Of course not having a lot of time to focus on it gives me waves of little shivers when I do...
I finally told my sister Diana... and as expected she didn't really "get it" and said she's jealous because she thinks I'm taking the easy way out... as opposed to what? I wonder if she thinks that a permanent surgical solution is easy because all she can see is the weight loss....I have no intention of enlightening her... she can think what she wants, I'm the one who'll end up healthier and I don't need either her permission nor approval...
April 26, 2010
I am rolling over in my mind how my sister responded to my sharing about surgery... she said she's jealous that I'm taking the "easy way out".... oh how she doesn't get it... and that makes me sad to think that my own sister who has her own weight issues thinks I'm taking the easy way out... but on the other hand, I expected no less from her which is why I choose not to tell the negative nellies in my life, what's happening... its really none of their concern and I don't want the negative energy around me as I make these changes in my life...
As of today, I am closer to setting a date for surgery and have been engrossed in changing my own thought patterns, by recognizing the choices I have and making choices other than food for gratification, and reward. The less important food is to me, the better off I'll be... food is for fuel... that's it.
All the other aspects connected to food, like social events and self-awareness and emotions are there and should be enjoyed for the experience not the food connected to them... a paradigm shift for sure!
April 28, 2010
I am back into the best state of mind...joyful and grateful... I guess a few days of processing take away from the focus of joy and gratefulness! I much prefer to be in this headspace... Had wonderful conversations with 2 dear friends. Jessica who was the original inspiration for this journey- and I can't thank God enough for her friendship... and my long time friend Louise who has spent countless hours talking with me and helping me to open my eyes, ears and heart to learning so much about life.
I believe that the friends I have chosen to be held close are the strongest most beautiful women, and I am TRULY blessed to have them. When I think about each one I am inspired to grow in compassion, self-confidence, courage and love...
PS... thank you Sheila for being one of those chosen...
May 4, 2010
so busy making sure work gets done, that I'm not focused on the impending, pre-op work tomorrow. I have many pre-op tests tomorrow morning at the hospital and then one more weigh in.... A little concerned that I won't hit the magic number and a little anxious about how the tests will work....
I am marching on the path to success!
May 5, 2010
I'm really pleased with how quickly this has progressed and am ready for surgery and the life that comes after.
May 10, 2010
And the battle ensues.... I am at the traditional point where I tend to give up on my strictness in the attempt to lose weight...And even though I have reached the pre-op goal weight, I am faced with a block of time before surgery that requires me to either maintain my current weight or keep losing.... the program team would prefer that I keep losing...
I am working to refocus my attitude into the strict mode and keep going.. If I add more weight to the lost column, it will be safer for me, and will give me a better chance at being successful long term!
I am getting more and more excited!
May 18, 2010
today I am amazed and happy to know that I am making the permanent changes to my perspective on food. And those changes will only make my success even more precious and permanent.
The reality of it all is settling in, and the idea of the outcome is thrilling.... I have no fear about the surgery and none about the challenges of the first few weeks after. I am ready.
May 21, 2010
OK, this is a huge moment for me.... I am waking up the sleeping giant within my soul....it's a little un-nerving to wake up and realize that there is so much more to give and it all comes down to self confidence and trust in God. It seems that I have known about the "bigger energy" that will be coming my way and I have had yet AGAIN another epiphany that the bigger energy is locked up inside ME! I kind of feel like that oil leak in the Gulf... they still don't know how big it will get... but they can't contain it either! That's me! I can't contain me...the energy, the joy and the growth!
It seems that the recent frustrations have bubbled to the surface, and now have dissipated, once again... My observation is that I reach a pinnacle of frustration- which is the culmination of me learning a huge lesson.... wow... then when I realize and accept it, I let the pile of angst go! Wooohooo! I have to learn to love the frustration, it means growth and more freedom... gotta love that!
May 25, 2010
Ever been in the right place at the right time to confirm the lesson you've learned and the path that you're on? Today was it! At the AHA's go Red Executive women's breakfast, I heard those messages loud and clear. The speaker even used my own words on several occasions and she's never met me... truly remarkable and inspiring to know I'm on my way!
May 27, 2010
today I feel suspended in time.... just waiting... and waiting and waiting... feeling like I did just before Arielle was born... like it wasn't real, and I was going to stay just like this forever... it's definitely a challenge for my patience, and we all know how patient I really am..... NOT! Not to worry, I know that timing is everything and that while I wait, I must be industrious in other ways.... preparing myself for the down time. That means go like wildfire at work to get all the business I can done, and making the most of introspection and applying me new behaviors so that I am as successful as I possibly can be.....
Also, thinking about my motivational tip for next week's meeting, and I don't really know how to articulate what I want to say... for me motivation comes from within myself, from listening to what makes me tick and finding joy, that's it! That's what motivates me... finding a way to tap into my own joyful spirit...that's the key to unlocking my energy and outward attitude....and success! Build a shield of joy and no negativity can penetrate through it!
May 27, 2010 (2nd entry for the day)
after re-reading my own thoughts... oy, I realize that I am constantly challenging myself to stay in the positive space, the negative energy can be so enticing, it's easy to whine and complain and focus on the stuff that drains positive energy... but I remind myself that while I choose to allow myself to give away my joy and power to someone or something that doesn't really deserve it ( all that negative), I am sapping myself of what I need to get where I have to go...
but in the spirit of leadership and compassion, I am more than willing to share my positive energy with anyone who needs a little boost of their own, and wants to share in the communal positive spirit! That creates a bigger shield of joy, and couldn't we all use more of that?
Shields at maximum!!
June 3, 2010
today is a tough one to stare down.... I will do it, but at the moment it's looking like a big challenge... the weight seems to be stuck and the wait seems to be stuck... I must find a way to get unstuck.... I DO NOT want to be stuck, so it'll do something different today and see what that brings!
From Sheila :
You can do it :>D
You are very focused and determined!!!!
It's just a minor obstacle - don't dwell on it
June 4, 2010
nothing like a huge pile of work to take ones mind off the wait... WOW for a short week it has been a LONG one... so glad to know it's Friday.... again... and that the next couple of days will give me some breathing room... I never realized that pushing rocks uphill are a good this for the weight loss challenge...
My sister says: "Just keep swimming"....
June 9, 2010
I just found out my surgery date! I am excited like a little kid who's going to the amusement park.... weird? probably not, I am ready for this and I understand that this will be a huge transition for me and my little world... I AM READY!!!!
June 6, 2010
it occurs to me since I've re-read all the entires to date... that I have not once mentioned my husband... And I think in truth it's because I don't think of him as outside of me...or separate somehow. We have been together for more than 30 years, and I feel like he's the other side of my brain... we balance each other so well, that I feel like we're pretty much one... WE ARE NOT co-dependent... just balanced, and very happy....
How does he feel about this process.... At first I think he was gung -ho because I would finally get thin... but I now know that he has worried about me and what potential health issues might've come from my weight being so out of control... so this process has given him a huge sense of relief. He is also my biggest cheerleader, and has remarked on more than one occassion.... how proud and inspired he is that I am willing to be so open and public about this journey. why? because he knows how private a person I really am...
He is my rock, and my coach and my cheerleader and my very best friend.... not to mention, my chief cook, bottlewasher, laundry guy and auto mechanic....
June 15, 2010
the sun is shining, and the air is cool and dry, mornings never get better than this! I am grateful today for everything in my life.
This journey I'm on has it's ups and downs, for sure, but isn't that really what life is in general? Lots of little loose ends to tie up before surgery.... crossing t's to make sure the insurance has nothing to reject, and making sure the team has everything.... I feel like I'm packing for a vacation.... remembering all the details, with my lists... the anticipation is growing... but I still have to carry on with daily tasks and get the $$ on the books for work, before I can feel at ease with the down time...
I was listening to a pastor the other morning.... he was talking about the difference between "stressed out" and being "distressed".... My take on it is; stress is an ongoing challenge that has harmful physical symptoms- we have to release it, and make effort to not allow it into ourselves.... and distressed is an event, a momentary sensory overload- which corrects itself..... I have been pondering that for a couple of days...
June 17, 2010
something for my spiritual side to ponder...
The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you....
and it seems that by divine intervention again, I am in exactly the place where I should be right now... it completely amazes me each time I realize the path I am on. I feel as if I'm riding the tide of my life and am bouyed up by my faith and my choice to be joyful and my choice to be open to the positive energy that draws me.
This surgery is part of the path, and the lessons I learn through the process, prepare me for what comes next, post surgery and life beyond...It's so not about food and body image, although those are the concrete lessons that open the mind to bigger and more powerful views of life.... you know, the 50,000 foot above view point....
I always wanted to know how to think bigger, and was frustrated by my own narrowmindedness. I've been amazed by those who see far beyond the mundane day to day stuff... I feel as if I am opening the door to that vision more and more every day. It started with opening my eyes about food.... "who'd a thunk it?"
June 18, 2010
up early this morning, summer is here... there is so much to finish up before I need to take some down time for the surgery.
The last details were gone over yesterday with the surgeon, anesthesia, more lab work and the program coordinator... I was suprised to know that I'll have a private room, wi-fi and pretty open visiting hours... and one of the most important details to me is knowing that there will be a senior BARIATRIC nurse taking care of me.... that's impressive... and comforting...plus of course everyone is careful to explain in detail all of the risks and what to do in case something goes wrong...
Thank you for telling me, I know it's the right thing to do, and of course I have to be informed as a patient... it is a little disconcerting, though, the emphasis that's put on the risks- eventhough the chance of complications is small, it's something that has to be addressed...and I have to measure that against how I feel about the successful outcome I am planning to achieve.
As this entry indicates, knowing the risks has not in any way detracted from my determination to go through with the bypass and continue on with my successful weightloss journey.
My pre-op weight loss goal was 19 lbs. As of yesterday I have lost 30... and I would like to see it go to 35 for the morning of surgery... some work to do, but I say "Git 'er dun"
Such a goal oriented person... I wonder if by working on this personal health goal, my work goals have suffered some this spring. I'd like to think not. I know I'm not the only seller at the office working hard and still behind goals for the quarter...I don't like it... and if I were in a different frame of mind, say last year's.... would I be able to cope with it? Interesting perspective shift...does it have to do with my new attitude about food and taking care of myself?
June 19, 2010
what a glorious morning.... summer is really here... I'm not usually a summer girl, because it means that I can't really wear all the camouflaging clothes that I can wear in the winter, so I"m always hot, trying to keep myself hidden. It's feels weird to put this in wiriting, its defninitely an innermost "something about myself" I would never share before.
This summer is different. Surgery is 10 days away, and my perspective on my body has and will continue to shift away from shame and covering it up to confidence, and clothing it appropriately for the occassion without thinking about camouflage.
People have always commented on how well I dress, and I wonder if they think the remainder of the phrase... "for a fat girl". I over dress to conceal, and feel better about myself. I'd much rather be over dressed any day, than underdressed, because that too is a stereotype of fat people... We're all stupid, and we're all wearing only frumpy stretchy clothes..and we don't care what we look like. How can we even attempt to feel better about ourselves and change the perspective, if every tine we walk past a reflective surface all we see is the stereotype looking back, because something more attractive is not available... I am one of the stronger willed, fat people who fight the system... what about the rest? Don't they deserve a break too?
Ok, so I'm on a rant about clothes, but it's important not just to me but every other overweight person who needs to wear clothes...the fashion industry discriminates against fat people, because the clothes are hideous for the most part... they're not designed with a full figure in mind, or to be flattering.... just bigger than the average sizes... as if this segment of population is an after thought... or maybe it's a punishment for not being a size zero... then again the fashion industry thinks a 10 is a plus size... OY! The designers are probably revolted at the thought of having to clothe someone who doesn't have bones sticking out...hip bones, spines, knobby knees, bony shoulders.... YUCK!... My husband takes a look at them in magazines or on TV and wonders if its like sleeping next to a bicycle...he usually yells HAVE A SANDWICH!
enough ranting for one beautiful morning...
June 22, 2010
today I am rejoicing because I comfortably fit into clothes down another size. I have been shopping in my own closet... you know that closet, I hope I'll wear that again someday closet. That day has arrived... YAY!
I have been told by someone who is 5 years out of surgery, to hold on for the ride... because it will "melt away" in the next weeks and months... I know that the ultimate goal is to be healthy... and I feel a little guilty ( yes, my vanity is rearing it's head) that I will FINALLY get to wear clothes from my "someday closet" but also enjoy wearing new things that look and feel good on me...
My little brain is finding new ways to get to it's happy place... and right now the thrill I get from shopping in my own closet... is good!
June 23, 2010
one week til surgery.... and my mind is racing with all the details that must get finished before I fall off the radar for at least a week. I don't want to be thinking about work and what's not getting done while I'm down.... too many things to remember.... pay the bills ahead, make lists of things for the family to deal with, etc.... not to mention taking care of myself... I do not want surgery to be put off for any reason expecially a cold or something like that....
just get to the OR, and take the next step after that, when I wake up...
June 24, 2010
I picked up my Friend's new cd at the post office this morning... What glorious music. Jessica is my dear friend who started this whole by-pass conversation, and it's her husband's music I am bsking in right now...It puts me into such a state of peace and gratefulness. As I listen while I work, I can't help but smile and think of all the gifts my friends give me... not the material stuff- their gifts of music, and strength, and their smiles and their support.... what a fantastic state of mind... This is where I am supposed to be...Everyone should have this kind of love coming from everywhere. Back to being bouyed by joy, peace and gratefulness on the ocean of my life.
June 28, 2010
If ever there was anticipation leading up to an event, this has been it..... It's wonderful to have all the love and support that's being given to me my friends and family. And I.... am ready emotionally, phycologically and physically to get to the OR and make the leap to the other side...
I feel like this is an "event" like a party... you go through so much preparation to be ready for the big day..... then the event lasts for a few hours.... then what you have are memories.
The cool thing with this "event" is that it's as if I'm at the top of the roller coaster, balancing and waiting for the exciting ride to pick up speed, on the other side!
June 29, 2010
one more day.... and then a new phase of work begins!
June 29, 2010
ok, the wait was killing me, but this afternoon, I have too many things to do... I'm going to go into that OR yelling WAIT WAIT, I still have one more thing to do!!!!!
July 14, 2010 (after surgery)
when I began this process, I knew that there would be fantastic opportunities to expand my horizons, and I thought that I would be able to focus some time on refining my vocal technique, at some point...
It has already begun.... having an intebation tube stuck down your throat during surgery is a necessary tool for them to monitor and care for your breathing during surgery, but it wreaks havoc on the vocal chords....my speaking voice gets tired fairly quickly and gets hoarse, but my singing voice is trashed... and so I must rebuild it.
The kicker is that I have an audition in 2 weeks.... so what did I do? I called my dear friend and pedigogy coach for some tips....
Here's the eye opening moment.... as we were talking, Paul was explaining about how to coax my chords back from the disturbance with some simple "unsinging" exercises... which will lead to new understandings of how I sing, and will offer me the impressive opportunity to replace old bad habits with new stronger ones.... we agreed that the old good habits will stay and the bad ones will be replaced....and this bypass process is where the whole thing started....
WHO'DA THUNK that I'd begin this new lifestyle AND start a new lifestyle with singing at the same time.... I AM STOKED!!!!!!!!! talk about a silver lining!!!!
July 15, 2010
today I have reached a new goal! I have hit 45lbs lost! I have not seen this weight number on the scale in many many years, and it feels great! I am encouraged to keep on keepin' on as they say...not that I wasn't encouraged before but this is just fuel for the fire! Even a few negative nelly friends are coming around... but who cares about what they think! It's about what I think about me and this process!!!
I also spoke with the director of NHMC regarding my surgery and subsequent vocal issues, and he gave me some extra time to get my voice back on track and learn the music for the fall audition. He also cautioned me not to push it too hard to bring it back, and hopes that I will take good care of myself in my recovery.... Can't ask more than that!
July 22, 2010
tough to find something to write about today...
it's all going well, and I feel that my decision to have the surgery was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I am an impatient person and am struggling to "take it easy".... and to not over do it... it's been three weeks and I am well on my way!
August 4, 2010
so today I am dealing with a recurring but unsolvable issue with a family member...and have had another ah-ha moment.... They just keep coming and I love it... They free me up to be happier and to work on other things,...
That ah-ha is that in the past- before this whole bariatric journey, I would've worked through this issue by talking it out with a friend over a nice big lunch or dinner of comfort food with drinks, and that's not really the ah-ha... the ah-ha is that it wasn't really the talk that soothed my frustrations and anger, but it was the food.... so in the end, my past coping mechanism, wasn't really working....I totally get it now!
The food kept me fat, and that kept me insulated from being vulnerable to the real issue.... therefore, I didn't REALLY deal with it....boy this is pretty important. So, today I'm dealing with it, for real without comfort food, and while it's not easy to process the load, it feels GREAT to know that I'm not adding to the pile...... YAY me!
August 10, 2010
today's thoughts take me to the what's next, question! Bring on the possibilities!
I am feeling like a million bucks and the weight is melting off. I am not hungry, and am adjusting well to the eating routine, making sure I get my protein and fluid quotas in... and moving... walking towards my month's end goal of 2 miles per walk... I measured it out on my hilly road, and there are hills in both directions, so I'm definitely getting a work out! That alone is something that only was well incorporated into my routine as a result of this program... I am definitely feeling like myself again, but with a new, more invigorated self emerging!
Which reminds of a situation that happened to me recently.... I was having a good conversation with a friend regarding the idea of her attending a bariatric informational seminar, when another person in the room jumped into the conversation... her posture was totally defensive and she blurted out a hundred reasons why she couldn't possibly have the surgery... from insurance doesn't cover that, to you have go through so much before you can have the surgery.... I said, " well.... I had the surgery just weeks ago... and if you're not ready to even consider the possibilities, then it's not for you right now".... and turned to my friend and said, "information doesn't hurt you..." She is ready to consider what the possibilities are...and I will go to the seminar with her to support her choice to find out more....
August 16, 2010
I am recalling my wonderful weekend.... visiting with dear friends. It was also the first time I'd eaten at a restaurant since my surgery.. I have to say, that I was up front with the server about my menu restrictions...no added fat or sugar, and he was very helpful in assisting me with my food selections... I ate a bite of appetizer, and then thoroughly enjoyed me entree of steamed whitefish, with a baked potato and steamed broccoli.... Of course I had to take 3/4 of it home, but it was such a wonderful time with friends!
I was sure going in that I would thoroughly enjoy the social experience! And was surprised at how much I enjoyed the food at the same time, without the emphasis on the food, as was my old idea of a good time!
August 23, 2010
It's been a while since I've put my thoughts into writing... truth is, I don't have much to say.... I am so enjoying the fun of seeing the scale move every time I get on it.... and am loving the fact that ALL of my clothes are too big... and the changes are just a whole lot of surpises!
There are no food challenges. I am getting in all the daily requirements without difficulty, the routine feels like it's settling in, and I have no adverse reactions to what I choose to eat. Nor, am I feeling deprived of anything... It's blissful, to not be hungry!
I am walking more and more and feel confident that my goal of 2 miles will be achieved by the end of this month...As a goal oriented person, I am enjoying setting new goals all the time as the previous ones are met and surpassed...
August 24, 2010
well....last evening I went to the Bariatric informational seminar in support of a friend who is considering the program... and I must say, I was happy to see the room full of interested people. It was also, a very interesting experience to be on the other side of surgery and to look back at the beginning...the very first step... I remember feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information then, but also excited about the idea that there was a real tool out there for me...
And now? Sitting there I realized that the mountain I climbed to get here, was really a little hill.... I attribute that to my attitude shift, and allowing myself to make changes one at a time, and allowing the team to assist me along the way...
Bottom line, it's all about how a candidate chooses to see the program and team! And the willingness to be open and see clearly the path to health and in my case happiness!
September 1, 2010
I wonder where this summer has gone... it's really been two months since my surgery! I am gaining more strength and energy every day!
After surgery I had to recover my singing voice as well as the rest of my body, and that was an interesting challenge all by itself. But it's coming back nicely, and I had my re-audition for New Hampshire Master Chorale yesterday. It felt terrific to walk in and surprise my director with the weight loss, but it was even more fun to know that the work I put into recovering my voice has paid off...
The new season begins in just a little over a week, and I can't wait to get back to singing with this renewed energy and spirit!
September 7, 2010
what a fantastic weekend.... perfect weather, lots of energy and time to spend with important people in my life.... my family...
I spent Saturday at the Lancaster Fair... mostly for work, but a sister, a niece and a nephew accompanied me, and we had so much fun! In my past, the fair was ALWAYS the day to eat the best junk food on the planet.... all of it concentrated in one place. You name it and it's there... I was ready for the temptation, but it never came... strangely enough, I even want "the fried everything", and the candy. instead, I packed my lunch and ate it while the rest of my party munched on everything from corn dogs to sweet potato fries and fudge... and it didn't even bother me... I was pleasantly surprised...
Then yesterday was spent with my fabulous husband. It's such a joy to be married to him. During the course of the conversation, he shared with me that the changes I'm making in my life have inspired him to make lots of changes in his attitude towards food. .This revelation, wasn't really a shocker, but made me understand even more how my actions affect others around me, without me even trying to make an impact. That's the important validation for me...
September 13, 2010
I am well on my way on this wonderful journey.... this past weekend was the start of the New Hampshire Master Chorale's 8th season. And, we had a very nice retreat at the Circle Program Camp in Groton...
Last year.... there was hiking available and I surely didn't even attempt it... way to much effort and in no shape to make it down to the lake... I am so proud of the fact that when it was announced that we were going down to the lake to do some reading, it didnt' phase me, I walked the path like it was part of my regular routine... THAT was an accomplishment for me... no one else knew that, but I sure did.
My singing friends from Master Chorale have all heard my story and are encouraging me with their kind words... It feels terrific to be bouyed up by the genuine love and support of those around you...
Singing with NHMC is what I do for me... and the music we share together and offer to the audience, fills my soul and my heart and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
#2 September 13, 2010
a few more thoughts on discrimination....
When I had my meeting with Dr. Wagner before surgery... we talked about many biases towards "fat people".... one in particular has begun rear it's ugly head for me...
when we spoke we talked about how people would treat me differently when I lost weight, even those who didn't know me... opening doors, looking me in the eye, more physical contact like- touching my hand or arm when speaking with me... and talked about what my reaction might be... I would either like it,.... or it would piss me off...Dr. Wagner bet that it would piss me off...
I must report that it cracks me up!!!!
I am just 11 weeks out of surgery... and have lost just over 65lbs, so the changes are really starting to show... and in the past week alone, there have been 5 men (in particular) whom I know and who would've NEVER touched me before... that have either put their arm around me, hugged me, touched my shoulder, or told me how "beautiful" I am....
How transparent is that?????
I'm sure that as it continues, I will acclimate.....
September 28, 2010
my next follow-up with the team is the day after tomorrow... it also comes with a weigh in... I can't wait! My scale to date has been right on with the one at the Bariatric office, so when I weigh in, I should hit another magical number....
I have NEVER in my life been excited to get on a scale... to see what I weigh.... As a matter of fact, I avoided going to the doctor for regular check ups because I didn't want the look of disapproval and finger wagging, and the embarassment because of my weight...
NOW I say, BRING IT ON! I am not proud of where I was, but I am completely confident in where I am and where I'm going.... I forgive myself for my ignorance of the past, and don't hold on to the old Cheryll. I am embracing the new me with every fiber of my being, And I am happy!
October 13, 2010
I realize it's been a while since I've put my thoughts on paper... it seems that I'm adjusting well to the new choices I've made regarding how I look at food and live my life... and am content with how it's all going.
I make the effort daily to get out and move, walking or doing an exercise video in the living room. It gives me the chance to get the extra energy out of my system, clear my head, and brainstorm new ideas. Plus I know that it's motivating my metabolism to burn the pounds away.
As for food? I don't see it as a coping mechanism anymore. And I don't need it to make a social event fun. I still enjoy eating, but I enjoy eating for what it really is, breakfast lunch and dinner...
October 18, 2010
My way of managing my eating habits and new coping mechanisms is being challenged in a big way, these days....
My husband has lost two vibrant and loving people in the last two weeks... his brother and his mother.... Grief is a funny thing, really.... I feel lethargic and unable to focus and feel as if I'm pushing through thick air just to keep going...and the sadness comes and goes. In the not too distant past, this would certainly cause me to "deal" with it by eating lots of all the wrong things... baked goodies, chocolate, wine, "comfort food" all in the attempt to fortify myself so I could get through it...
After hearing about my mother in law, I surprised my self by actually wanting to go for a walk to clear my head...and talk through the grief with my husband.... And that happened two days in a row... The truth is, that I felt a lot better after a good brisk walk than I ever felt filling myself with all that fat, sugar and extra calories...
I believe that by taking care of myself in a positive way, I am honoring those who have passed. I honor them with a clear mind and a sound body- their memories are with me always.
October 21, 2010
A dear friend sent this this morning.... it says it all exactly...
". . .you don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now." -Joan Baez
How thrilling to contemplate that we can choose every attitude we have and every action we take. We have been gifted with full responsibility for our development. What will we try today? It's our personal choice. How will we decide on a particular issue? Our options are only limited by our vision.
Every situation in life offers us a significant opportunity for making a decision that will, of necessity, influence the remaining situations we encounter. Just as we are interdependent, needing and influencing one another in all instances that bring us together, likewise our decisions are never inviolate. Each is singly important, however, its impact is multiplied by the variety of other decisions triggered.
The choice is ours for living fully today, for taking advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves. Our personal growth, our emotional and spiritual development, are in our hands. God will provide us with the guidance, and the tools.The decision to act is ours, alone.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Today I will exercise my personal power. My choices determine my development.
November 4, 2010
I have been reflecting for the past couple of days on the subject of attitude, and how it has a huge impact on my life. I believe that what you speak you bring into your life... and HOW you deal with life's challenges are much more important than the challenges themselves...
Every person has traumatic events come to them at some point. I have had my share, and bariatric surgery is HUGE event... It's all in the perspecitve, how you see it and how you react to it...
For me? It's the best tool I could have EVER given to myself to help me get control of my weight. I look at the portion restriction and food choices also as tools.... I do not "miss" the old way of eating or thinking as they did NOT serve to help me be healthy or have a healthy weight. Why would I want to go back to that? To go through the process, change my way of thinking about food, and have the surgery... those are all pieces of the puzzle that leads to success!
I am most happy when the optimism and positive perspective is shining bright!
November 23, 2010
So Thanksgiving is just two days a way.... and some of my supportive friends and family have voiced loving concern about the "challenge" of the Holiday...
funny, I don't see it as a challenge at all...I am really excited about spending time with family and friends and being grateful for all that I have, including my fantastic bariatric journey... I am comfortable with the thought of the "big dinner"... My plan is to prepare traditional foods, and to enjoy them within my dietary restrictions...
...I've given that some thought too... thinking to myself, you're so full of BS....but when all the thinking about it was over, I realized that my outlook about the holiday is no different than any other day. The important things about this special time of year are the exact same things that are important EVERY DAY....gratefulness, joy, sharing time and love with family and friends and having a positive attitude...who needs a big dinner to have all that?
December 15, 2010
"Messiah" flash mobs have made headlines as of late... and each time I watch it on youtube... I touches my heart and I end up in tears... all good tears of course...choral singing is my "love language" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" epitomizes the holiday season for me.
It's this time of year that has each one of us is reflecting on the past year. All the good things and of course the things we want to make better in the new year! Until this year, it's always been off the charts stressful, because the ever looming issue has been my weight... And while I always vowed to tackle it, DO SOMEHTING, I would inevitably fail miserably, and then have to face it, yet again, as the next new year rolled around...
NOT THIS TIME! I am well into my new life style and with 100+ pounds gone, I am thrilled... and anticipating the possibilities for 2011... no more dreading the idea of "dealing with my weight"!!!!!
My new challenge is what do I want to DO with my time and energy! All the time I spent in anguish about my weight and all the energy I DIDN'T have because of the same weight... Someone who has not had a significant weight problem or who hasn't FREED themselves from a weight problem cannot understand how ecstatic I am!!!!
January 4, 2011
It's the new year, and I have been surprised by so many people lately, in their choices for "New Year's Resolutions".... and wonder about the level of committment to themselves...
I have found that in order to be successful in this program, I have to put my commitment to ME first. It doesn't mean that I don't empathize or that I'm oblivious to others' needs. I HAVE to care about me, so that I can be there for those I love.
If I don't make and KEEP my commitment to me, NO ONE is going to do it for me...and I have no one to blame but me if I don't do the work... This journey has taught me to rely on myself, and to know that I CAN do it...
AND I AM SUCCESSFUL!!!!!!
March 18, 2011
I am thrilled to be clear... and know that I have been on this journey for a whole year already. It's the first time I have EVER been able to stay focused on a lifestyle change regarding my wieght for this long... This tells me that I have truly changed! It's about time...... I've been wanting this my whole life... and now I have it... my by-pass is the tool, but my mindset, and attitude are what have truly been changed....
I have lost close to 130 lbs... and my goal is in sight!
June 10, 2011
it's been a while... maybe too long...
I've been settling into myself... total weight loss is 145 lbs. so far, and I am making the "process" just part of my life... there are no big issues, just the regular day to day living. I am VERY conscious of what I eat and how much, and how much activity I get or need to get, but for the most part... it's all really just melding with who I am... it's not "work" any more... it's my new normal...
That's the exciting part... I feel like the real me. The former fat me, was not really me. I think of it like the tough thick skin on the outside of an orange. That outer bumpy thick and inflexible outer shell- which is still pretty and attractive, is not where the real desirable part of the orange is!....It's only when you peel it away that you get what you want, and the real prize is there.
July 4, 2011
Happy Anniversary to me! One Year post-op!
I have lost 150 lbs! and have just a few more to go before I reach my goal!
I can't believe that a year has gone by.... it's been a whirlwind. Today I have a moment to reflect.
I have changed so much in the last year. physically, (which is completely amazing) I have gone from wearing a size 26 to a size 8-10, and I'm waering so many wicked cute clothes... I'm having the time of my life discovering what styles I like and look good on my new body shape.
I have also changed psychologically... I am much more relaxed, and happy! I take the time to look at every situation and evaluate how much energy must be applied to meet the challenge, and then just go through it!
The daily mechanics of my lifestyle are still the same... pay attention to how much liquid I drink, how many grams of protein and sugar I eat... and make sure I get a wide variety of whole foods. Plus take my vitamins... but the beauty of it all is that it's habit now... I don't feel like it's work, I just know what my limits are, and am comfortable with my new "normal"
Someone recently asked what I think now...I answered her: Why did I wait so long... and I'd do it again tomorrow...
July 25, 2011
I am doing what I've always wanted to do... in the last week I have been to the beach twice! And been in that water! It felt like such an enormous victory. It was everything I wanted... and it was so sweet to be FREE!