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April 2003

My Journal for April 2003

 

4/1/03  Well, it happened.. that thing we know is coming but think wont be for a while, or we think maybe it wont happen to us I hit my first plateau. I havent gotten on a scale in two weeks, so I was expecting some significant movement, but nothing, nada, zilch. I am still 325. Well, I guess I should be lucky I didnt gain anything.

I started back to work last week, so evenings I find myself very tired. I just want to gel in front of the TV and not have to think. Even a 2 hour DVD takes too much energy for me.

Oh, let me tell you what tastes oh so good today. Orange Juice. Yum. Probably not the best choice of liquids as it does have fruit sugar in it, but it just looked so good and I wanted to have some. It is so delicious. It is ice cold and just tastes so refreshing, like candy. I am trying to drink only a little of it so I dont dump. I am going to put the bottle back in the fridge now before I go crazy.

This Friday is my birthday and I am going to try to make a cake with Splenda. Ill post on how it goes. I am hosting a BBQ at my parents house. They live on a small, residential lake and I am hoping that the weather cooperates. The forecast calls for a 30% chance of rain, but most of the time when they say its going to rain, it doesnt, or it rains the next day, so I am hoping thats what it does this time. This will be my first major post-surgery food event, and maybe I shouldnt even do it, people would say I am torturing myself, but its my 35th birthday and I just want to celebrate. I am in a time in my life where I just feel that my life is worthy of celebration and if I dont do it, no ones going to.

I have also started to notice a bit more hair coming out in the shower. I dont know if it really is more than normal or if I am just looking for it so I am now noticing it. I am not stressing about it though, my hair is thin, but I have a lot of it, and its got natural curl, so it always looks like I have more than I do. I use a special shampoo, Nioxin and also started taking Biotin. I know I am still not getting enough protein in each day but it is hard. I havent found a supplement that is a) satisfying b) convenient c) not too high in sugar. I can eat most meats but its not something I can count on, as what I can tolerate one day, I cant the next. I barbecued some tri-tip over the weekend and ate it a couple of times. Today, I tried having some for lunch and I just couldnt handle it. I only ate a couple of bites and just felt like if I ate more I was going to throw it up. Thats the reason I headed to our office lunch truck to see what they had and how I ended up with a container of orange juice on my desk. I also bought some cottage cheese but at that moment I was feeling more thirsty than hungry.

So, how did I feel about not losing any weight? Frustrated, sad, angry. I know that the weight is going to come off, that I just need to relax and not rush things, but after going through major surgery, theres just this need for immediate results. I know that my body is going through a lot, but I honestly thought that by coming back to work, being more active, eating more regularly that I would lose a little faster. I read a lot on obesityhelp.com about plateaus and what people do to get through them sometimes its because youre not eating enough, sometimes youre eating too much, sometimes eating the wrong things. I guess it makes me say, theres really know way of figuring it all out, so just do what I knowtry to get as much protein and liquid in a day as I canand stop worrying about all the rest.

I have been doing short walks during the day, 2 of my co-workers have been joining me for mile walks. I know I should do more, but with my joints it really is better to start slow. I told myself when I dropped 50 pounds I would head back to the gym, by then enough stress should be off of my knees where I can work out without too much pain. I might head back sooner, I tell myself I should, but then when it actually comes time to go, I never feel like it. I know getting started is the hardest part. From other times in my life when I worked out regularly, I know I loved it once I got started, but the first couple of weeks, as I was establishing my routine, were really hard.

I know I am getting smaller, I feel my clothes getting bigger, the ones that were skin tight are getting looser and I even wear a smaller size in some thingsdepends on the manufacturer though, theyre all different. But its great. I knew in July I was going to have the surgery, and by October, I knew that it would be either in the fall or the winter so I didnt buy any new clothes this fall or winter. By the time I had my surgery in February, I really didnt have that many clothes. I was so sick of everything I had, I hated getting dressed in the morning. Now I have a ton of clothes. I could actually go two weeks and not wear the same thing twice. Thats pretty exciting to me.

Just so you know, I do know how to use apostrophes appropriately, but for some reason, this site keeps editing them out..  oh well.  Tonight, I am too tired to care.

4-3-03   Its funny I remember all the worries I had prior to the surgeryGetting the date with the surgeon, will I get authorized or will I have to appeal, how long will all this take, the waiting, worrying about the pre-op testing, making sure everything came out okay or would the surgery have to be rescheduled, finishing up projects at work, getting everything ready at home. All of this just consumed me, became my whole life. Now that Ive had the surgery, I forget that I dont have to worry about that anymore. Sometimes these little thoughts come back to eat away at me and I forget I dont have to stress about it anymore. Ive already had the surgery. Now I just have to deal with the lifestyle changes. Its weird. I remember the night before the surgery, falling asleep thinking about everything I had to do in the morning. I was staying at my parents house and they were driving me to the hospital, but I had left something at my apartment that I needed (I cant remember what it was now), so we had to get up extra early to go to my apartment and then to the hospital. And of course, living in Southern California, we had to worry about traffic. I had to be at the hospital at 8, so I had to be at my apartment no later than 6:45 to get the stuff together (I think it was some of my medication), then get on the road to the hospital. When I had my pre-op, I had left my apartment at 7:15 and was late to the appointment at 8, so I knew we needed to leave at 7. So, to make sure we got to my apartment at 6:45, we had to leave the house no later than 5:45. I was pretty much all packed, but there were a few things that I needed to pack in the morning. So I was lying in bed, trying to sleep and worrying about all this, just going over the morning in my head over and over. Get up at 5, take a shower, dry my hair (not for fancy styling, it was just too cold to have a head of wet hair), get dressed, finish packing, hit the road, hope we dont hit traffic, get to my apartment, get the stuff together, hit the road, get to the hospital, then wait. I kept going over that in my head, over and over. It was crazy. Then, after I had the surgery, I would find myself going over it again, and I would have to remind myself that I already did it all, it all worked out, I didnt need to worry about it any more. Oh, so can you tell I am such a worrier? Its a wonder I never turned to nail-biting. I think I just turned to eating to help with my worrying. Which makes it hard now. Because I certainly still have things to worry about. Plus, I am totally obsessive-compulsive. I just take a thought and go over it and over it until I am just going crazy. Like heres another example of how I do this with disability checks still coming (from the delay it takes) and with me back at work earning my regular salary, I am starting to get just a little bit ahead of the game financially, which is great. I have some family in Norway and one of my cousins is getting married there next summer (2004), so I started to think how I might be able to go there for her wedding, if I start saving now, I could probably have enough money, plus Ill be so much healthier. I started adding up the money that I have right now and then subtracting my bills to see how much extra I have right now to start a savings account. Then I added the numbers again and again. I must have physically added up the numbers about 5 times. That doesnt count the 897 times I have gone over it in my head. Its crazy. Its a wonder I get anything productive done.

I was complaining the other day about the plateau, but I have to say one thing I wore some jeans last week for the first time, a smaller size than before the surgery and they fit but they were tight. I am wearing them today and they feel looser than last week. So something is going on. Makes it easier to relax and let the weight loss occur on its own. (Not that I think I dont have to actually do anything to encourage iteat right, exerciseIm not that stupid! LOL).

Man, today, I just feel totally hungry all day. I got to work at 8 and had a cup of cottage cheese. Then at about 9:30 I at a piece of cheese, now I am hungry again and I have felt this hunger all morning. Guess its time to go eat my lunch, since I am looking at the clock and it is now 11:25 I am having spinach salad with chicken and avocado. It sounds really good to me right now.

I am kind of at a place where nothing sounds really good to me unless its something thats not healthy. So then I get upset because I still want to eat the unhealthy stuff and I wish that I could. I guess its the whole "comfort" thing. When I eat food that tastes good, its like I feel like I am doing something fun, a treat. I need to get out of that mind set but its hard. I know I am not the first to go through this, nor will I be the last.

So heres the other thing that is on my mind I wasnt secretive with anyone about what I was doing. My friends, my family, my co-workers, everyone knew I was have the gastric bypass, even people I barely knew. For some reason, it just seemed to be the topic of conversation. And I really didnt care. It was no secret I am fat, you can look right at me and see it, and I have no shame about doing something to correct that. What bothers me know is all the questions. Every day someone is asking "how are you doing". I know people are just trying to be nice and some people I dont mind because they are my friends. Its not that I really mind when any one asks, its just tiresome to have to answer them all the time. Most people are too polite to ask me how much Ive lost and stuff like that, except close friends, and with them I dont mind. But sometimes I feel like people are just asking so Ill tell them. Oh well, this is the price you pay for not being secretive. I dont regret it though, I had to do it this way, its just how I am as a person. Having the surgery was very exciting for me, it was something I really wanted and so I was happy to share that news with people I am close to and then of course, somehow the word spread to a larger community of people but you cant really foresee that. I never swore anyone to secrecy. And really, its not a big deal, just something I was thinking about today.

4-8-03  Well, I finally did it, yesterday I drank over 64 fluid ounces. Woo Hoo. Thats the first time Ive been able to do that since the surgery. I am so proud! LOL Lets see if I can do it again. I am not sure how much protein I got in, but I ate 4 meals with protein, so thats about the best I can do. Friday was my birthday, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me so I decided that I could nibble on things this weekend that werent normally on my eating plan. Those little special things that arent good for me, but taste good. I find that for me, I cant say that any food is off limits, or Ill immediately need to have it and be tortured by the thought of it, but I respect that certain foods shouldnt be eaten on a regular basis. So I gave myself the weekend off from worrying about what I was eating. When I think back over the weekend, I still didnt do that bad. I had about 10-15 chips. I had a couple of sips of real Coke (its funny how I used to have the buy the biggest coke, and now I am satisfied with just a few sips). I had about 1/8 a cup of potato salad, about cup of barbecued beans and a turkey burger with cheese, no bun. That was what I ate for the barbecue/party I threw for myself. On Friday, there was a potluck here at work (not for me, for someone else) and I let myself munch on a few things, but even still, I didnt eat that outrageously. I had half a spinach bagel with some cream cheese, 1 egg roll and a small scoop of chicken salad. I munched on that throughout the morning, then for a late lunch, I had a grilled fish taco from Rubios (just grilled Mahi Mahi, cabbage and a corn tortilla), for dinner, I had some rotisserie chicken and a little bit of cole slaw. Saturday morning, I was going to treat myself to a couple of bites of an Egg McMuffin from McDonalds but I didnt get moving fast enough, so I just had a piece of cheese when I got over to my parents (where I was hosting the party, they have a much nicer place than me). For my birthday cake, I even made a cake with Splenda. It wasnt as good as real cake, but it wasnt bad either. It was denser and did have a bit of an aftertaste, but it was pretty good. I also did eat piece of baklava. I find that I dont dump on small amounts of sugar, but if Id have eaten the whole piece, I would have dumped. Sunday, I didnt even eat that much, I was having a lazy day and didnt even eat my first meal until about 3 and I dont even remember what I ate. Then it was back to reality on Monday.

Now there are those out there who would say, you shouldnt reward yourself with food for your birthday. But its my life and Ill make my own choices. Yes, food shouldnt be a reward. Yes, I do see a therapist to work on these issues and theyll all get worked out in time. In the mean time, my life, my business.

Oh wait, I just remembered what I ate on Sunday. I didnt eat all day, because I didnt have anything at home that sounded good. Then at 6 PM I went to Rubios for another grilled fish taco. I also decided to get some chips. I came home and ate the taco and some chips, but I ate too fast and ended up throwing up. How could I forget that? LOL oh well, the price I paid. The taco was okay, it was the chips that was too much. Ill remember it in the future.

In case you were wondering, I just turned 35. I wasnt sure how I was going to feel about that number, so far I am okay. I know that I dont have everything in life that I want right now, that I am not entirely where I want to be, but I also know that I have done something very positive for myself, something that will enhance my future. Sometimes, I get frustrated. As a child, I expected to be married and have children at a young age. But both of those goals have seemed to be out of my grasp. Mostly because I cant do them alone, they both require a willing partner. So I have to focus on other things. I make lists of things I enjoy doing and make sure I get out and do them. I set goals, things I want to accomplish. I make sure that the goals are things I can do on my own, things that dont require other people to make them happen. But still, if you asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wouldve said a mom. Thats what I wanted to be. So until thats fulfilled, there might be a part of me thats always empty. I tell myself, that at some point, if I am not married, Ill do it on my own. Whether that means adopting or having a child naturally, but as a single parent, I dont know. Ill have to decide that when the time comes. I had set a deadline of 36. Not to have a child by 36, but to make a decision what I was going to do, whether to keep waiting, or to go it alone. 36 is only a year away now, so it feels a little scary. Although at 36 I will still be in control of my life, so I can decide to postpone my decision. I just know that the longer I postpone, the less choices I will have. The clock does tick

4/12/03  I am getting ready to go to a wedding, where I will be wearing clothes that haven't fit me in over a year and a half.   But what I came on here to write about is this--My towel fits around me again!   Okay, granted, it's a bath sheet, not one of those little towels, but it fits all the way around with no skin showing!  Big day for me.

4-15-03 

I saw my surgeon last Thursday (well, actually the PA at my surgeons office. All the surgeons were in surgery except one and he was called out on an emergency, but the PA was really nice so I didnt mind) and I have lost another pound. But only one pound in a week and a half, and considering that the two weeks previous I didnt lose anything, I would say I am on a major plateau. I have continued to lose inches though so I am not losing heart. But I did decide some changes are in order. I know myself, I cant handle too many changes at one time, so I am going to take them bit by bit. Ive decided to focus on fluids right now. I think this may be one of my main stumbling blocks and if I can create good habits now, they will last me the rest of my life. So I am working really hard at getting all my fluids in each day. I have done it 4 days out of 8, so thats a big improvement for me. I am blowing through little bottles of water like crazy, but oh well.

4-21-03

So I weighed in today and I have lost 6 pounds in the last week and a half. Yippee. Looks like the water is working. I managed to get at least 64 ounces of low or no cal fluid in every day for the last week and a day, so that is helping. I am determined to keep it up. One thing that is totally helping is the Crystal Light slurpees. They just taste like such a treat. Also, I am finding it easier to drink water out of little bottles than out of a sippee cup. I have this big sipper cup at work, and when I first started back to work, I was drinking out of that. But I wasnt even getting a whole one down, which would be half of my daily required need. With the water bottles, I can drink a 16 ounce bottle in about a half hour of focused drinking. Do that 4 times a day and I am there.

It was very encouraging to finally see the scale move. Seems like its been so long since it moved more than just the tiniest bit, Id be lying if I said I wasnt discouraged. So that makes a total weight loss of 38 pounds since the surgery and 48 pounds since my consult. I had originally told myself I would go back to the gym after a 50 pound loss, but if I count since my consult, I am almost there. I think its time to get my butt back into the gym, that will help make a big difference, and its an important habit to get into. This is a very busy week for me, so I have decided that I will return to the gym next week. Tuesday of next week (Mondays are support group nights).

4-28-03

Well, this one is a long one, hope you have the patience to endure.

So I am doing great with my 64 ounces of fluid every day and I usually even get more than that. I know last week it made a difference and I was able to lose 6 pounds, Ill find out tonight how I did this week. Even if I didnt lose any weight this week, I know the water is good for me and important to my health. So I will continue with the water no matter what the scale says. I am two weeks in to my new habit and they say it takes 6 weeks to form a new habit, so I have 4 weeks to go before it is solid. I am determined not to miss a day.

So this weekend I also celebrated my triumphant (well, semi-triumphant) return to the gym. I went to the gym on Saturday with my sister. I rode the recumbant bike for 15 minutes and did 3 leg exercises with weights. I wanted to take it easy on my first time back and build up slowly as I dont want to overwhelm my knees or body. My knee did start hurting about 7 minutes into the bike ride, but I continued to pedal away. I also had trouble with it later in the day. I was getting into a van and my knee just buckled. It was weakened from the work out I guess and when I was getting into the van, I wasnt supporting myself enough with my arms. Also, later that night, my knee was hurting but by Sunday, I felt okay. So I am not going to let it stop me, just take it easy and not overdo it. I just joined a new gym and they have a pool and water aerobics classes, so I am going to start going to that. I took water aerobics last summer, and the summer before and I loved it, but last summer, I was still recovering from my car accident and it was too much for my knees. But I know that my success depends on exercise and my knees need to exercise too, so I am just going to go for it and listen to my body and not work it too hard until I know it can take it.

Man, I think I have toxic sweat! As I was riding the bike on Saturday, my eyes were burning from the sweat that was dripping in them. I think maybe its just a high saline content in sweat, or maybe my body is purifying itself of all the chemicals in it. I dont know, but it hurts when I get sweat in my eyes. Id try not to sweat but Ive never been any good at that, just seems to happen.

I was thinking about how I am having such a hard time with "forbidden" foods and how that is always an issue for me. Its a control thing. I dont like anyone saying what I can and cannot do. So to forbid something makes me want it more. Then I was thinking back to my freshman year of college when I lost 40 pounds and it seemed fairly effortless. Also I was thinking back to another time about 6 years ago when I lost a good amount of weight and several clothing sizes. The key to both of them was exercise, but also with both of these weight loss efforts, nothing was forbidden. The exercising made me want to eat healthier. After finishing up at the gym, I just didnt want to eat chips or fries or ice cream. The other thing with the freshman weight loss was that I had one day a week when I could indulge. I was "dieting" (I use that term loosely because we werent really dieting just trying to eat healthy foods) with two of my roommates and every Friday we would pick something we had been craving and do something fun together. So it might be a movie night and pizza, or one night we went to dinner downtown and had chinese food and these really good cookies from a bakery downtown. It was easier to avoid these sabotage foods when we knew we could have them on Friday if we really wanted. And it wasnt like Friday was a day to overindulge on everything we wanted, we just picked something for that night. I think it made a big difference for me.

So long ago, I promised the continuation of my weight gain/diet/weight loss history. I left off at the end of college. I weighed approximately 280 at this time. I think for many years I stayed between 280-290. This seemed to be where I would hover and remain with seemingly no effort. At sometime during my 21st year, I went on weight watchers with a number of co-workers. What I hated about weight watchers was keeping track of everything, writing it down, the structureyou can only have so many of this and that, etc. What worked was that a few of my co-workers were all doing it together, so we were supporting each other. I think I lost about 13 pounds, but then we all kind of dropped out and I stopped working there. After this, I again weighed about 280-290 for about a year.

At about 22 or 23, I went on Atkins diet with a roommate. I believe I lost about 30 pounds and got down to about 250. But I soon became bored with this and my weight quickly shot back up to about 280-290. That seemed to be where my body thought it belonged. After a few months, I went on Medifast with one protein meal a day. But that became too expensive and too boring as well, so that didnt last long. Although I believe I did lose about 20 pounds or so. But again, after that I went back up to about 280-290. I tried the Gods plan diet.. eating foods that are from Godwhole grains, protein, fruits, vegetables,etc. But that didnt really show any significant weight loss and I soon abandoned it. I also tried Susan Powter. That lasted only a short while too.

My next big weight loss effort happened when I was 26. It started with just exercising and I wasnt on a diet at all during that time. I just wanted to exercise and eat healthy. I was working full time and going to school full time and also was very active in my church. So I had very little spare time. Now I love to read. I find reading a good book so engaging, I just seem to slip right into whatever little world is created. But with such a busy schedule, there was little time for reading. I made a rule that I could read whatever I wanted as long as I was on the exercise bike. All other time was filled with activities, work, school, chores or homework. Because of this, I went to the gym nearly everyday and would ride the bike for an hour. I loved that time because it was the only time I could read whatever pleasure book I was enjoying at the moment. After a while, I just loved the feeling that working out gave me. This lasted for about a year. Although I only lost 23 pounds during that time, I went down several sizes as I lost fat and gained muscle. My body structure totally changed, I lost some of the curves and just became more lean looking, even though I was still heavy. Unfortunately, after a year, I soon found myself with severe bronchitis and I stopped going to the gym during that time. After that, I never really got my rhythm back and soon found my regular gym routine a thing of the past. Shortly after this, I began working at a state funded pre-school that had a food program. My breakfast and lunch were provided by the center and I cant say that they were very healthy. The food program is designed to include foods from all food groups but is high in calories as the children who are participating usually dont get good nutrition outside of the center. The menu was designed to represent all their calories needed for the day. This new high-fat, high calorie diet combined with the fact that I was no longer working out caused the weight to creep back on. The scary thing about it is you never see it happening. It comes on so slowly. Its almost as if you wake up one morning and look in the mirror and you have gained 50 pounds.

During this time, I ballooned up to 320. My highest at the time. I was very surprised one day to see that number on the scale. 300 pounds was always this number I thought Id never let myself reach (although I hovered just below this number for so long. I think I was reassured by the fact that I always settled in at 280-290 so I never really thought Id go above that number). Its funny how we pick these numbers that we think well never go over, but as soon as we do, we just extend the mark. I remember thinking Ill never go over 250, then it was 300, then 350. But so far, I have managed not to go over 400 and with this new life, I hope I can keep that from happening. After a friend began taking Phen-fen, I decided to give it a try. I quickly lost about 15 pounds to get down to 305, but then had some stress in my life (loss of job, death of a friend) and I soon quit taking it. I changed jobs to an office setting, I was significantly less active and also found myself in an environment where there was always a lot of foodsnack machines on every floor, potlucks, candy baskets out on desks. I quickly found myself up about 345.

At that time, I turned 30. I began to really examine my life and I made a decision. I was fat. I might always be fat. Despite a lifetime of efforts, I had never been able to change the fact that I was fat. Perhaps I never would. I was wasting too much of my life waiting to be thin. All the things I was going to do/have when I was thin. They were all just pipe dreams unless I started making them happen. So I decided why wait until I was thin? It was time to live now. And I began living. I hated looking in the mirror at my fat body. Every morning when getting in and out of the shower I forced myself to look at myself. After a while, I was no longer think, "Ugh, what a fat body", but instead thought only neutrally "Thats my body". I began to subscribe to Mode Magazine (now defunct), a magazine that was about being a larger woman (though not necessarily as large as I was). I read an article about dating and was introduced to the BBW internet scene via BBWcity. I soon began dating a guy I met off of that site. The first time I was naked with him, I was so self conscious. I remember him telling me how cute and sexy I was. Whenever I would spend time at his house, he would always tell me to take my clothes off, I would walk around the house naked. I cant believe it he really helped me gain a confidence in my beauty. During the time I dated him, I began to lose weight. Not because I was trying to, but because food was no longer that important. Once I made a decision to stop fighting my weight, I no longer needed food to rebel. Whereas before, I would eat a gallon of ice cream until it was gone, now a pint would last me a month or more. Just a taste would do. It was amazing. I lost about 60-70 pounds and soon found myself at 275.

I think too, part of what helped was a regular sex life. For me, it seems there are three things that I turn tofood, sex and shopping. If I cant have one, I want one of the others. They can all be addictions and I have to be wise.

I was maintaining my weight for about a year. I felt happy, healthy, I had energy. I was making positive changes in my life. Then in the summer of 2000, I was raped by a man I was dating. This caused a number of things to happen. I went into a severe depression, I lost confidence in myself and my ability to trust myself. I felt betrayed by my instincts. I was mad at myself for putting myself in a position of vulnerability. I turned to food for comfort. The other thing that happened during this time is that I moved in with another BBW and seemed to have friends that were mostly in the BBW scene. It became acceptable to be fat, to eat what you wanted, there was no guilt. My weight quickly came back on. The stress on my joints, my health, my confidence, my wardrobe were all immediately affected. I became hard to find stylish clothes that fit. I hated my wardrobe. I hurt all the time. Somedays I could barely walk. Then came the fateful car accident that injured my already sore knees. Then I really couldnt walk. As the summer of 2002 approached, I wanted to do something about my weight. I knew from past experiences that the best approach is exercise. I knew that once I began an exercise routine, the rest would fall into place. Thats how it always worked best for me in the past. I began taking water aerobics classes and joined a gym. Within weeks of beginning to exercise, my knees became increasingly worse. I missed work because I could not walk. My back was also injured in the car accident (as well as one the year before, so I was dealing with two car accidents a year apart), and that began to hurt more with the increased activity. I knew something had to give.

One night in July of 2002, I was on my way to a friends house for a Barbecue. She had recently had the Lap-Band surgery and another woman there had recently had the Gastric Bypass. I had four other friends who had had gastric bypass in 2002. They were all doing great, losing weight, gaining energy and feeling better. I started to wonder why I was so resistant. If this was a treatment that could help, why wouldnt I want to have it too? I talked a lot to my friends that night, why they made their decision and how it had changed their lives, what life was like after wards, etc. As I was driving home, I made my decision.

Even though I made my decision that night, I didnt jump into it. I took some time to research it. I talked to my family and made sure I had their support. They were scared for me, but supportive. They understood why I was making this decision and they knew that without weight loss, my health was in jeopardy. I finally talked to my primary care doctor in October and got my referral to the surgeon. Things flowed smoothly after that and here I am today. My all time high (that I know of, since I was not always stepping on a scale) is 366. I hope to never go near that number again, but I know there is still a lot of work ahead of me; emotional work and physical work as I get back on a fitness routine. But I know I can do it, I just need to take each change one at a time until I have them mastered. I began with water, now I am adding exercise. Next I am going to get these cravings under control. But I know I need to take it slow, or else I will get overwhelmed. There is no giving up, I went through too much to give up. I just need to be patient with myself, forgiving and focused. Thats all for now.