About vsgmom

I am the mom of 4 beautiful babies. I started this blog to document my life after weight loss surgery. I am here to share the reality of my life and how the VSG has impacted it. I am passionate about the WLS community, advocacy and support.

So here I stand….

I have started this post and deleted it time and again. I don’t have direction or intent. What do I want to write about? What do I have to share? Where have I been? What am I doing? How is life according to weight loss surgery? Does weight loss surgery even play as much of a role in my life as it did a few months ago? Am I once again redefining normal and redefining who I am? It seems I am.

I have made a conscious effort to disengage from facebook a bit, as I think being as deeply involved with it as I was, changed my perspective on a lot of things. So, cross addictions being what they are… I have found Pinterest and let me just tell you… I AM THE BIGGEST PIN HEAD OF THEM ALL! I’ve been dubbed “pin head” by the beloved Haven of http://www.blessmysouthernheart.com

Pinterest is inspirational for me. I sat there for a few days WISHING I could do a lot of the things I was seeing. Wishing I could have a lot of the things I saw. And then I asked myself why I was wishing and not doing? How much of my life had I sat on my ass wishing? This past year was all about doing! So, I started to do.

First I started cooking better for my family. HOLY MOLY, pinterest has some awesome crock pot savvy meals! I was cooking up so much that my mommy and daddy bought me a new crock pot and two AWESOME cook books to go with it!

Next I decided to tackle the house. Here is where I have to explain a little. Having four children in a very tight age group, I have always said that my house is my children’s home. I was never one to apologize for the toys and chaos strewn about. I have never been one to want my children playing in their rooms. I have wanted them on the same floor I was on. I needed to hover, they were/are/always will be devious little monsters who get into things you can’t even begin to imagine. Anyway, I digress…. they are now of an age, where I can allow them to be out of sight, and also expect them to be responsible for their own belongings.  With that in mind, I decided to start reclaiming my home. Toys were evicted from the front parlor room, formerly known as the toy room and now known as the Christmas tree room, soon to be known as Momma’s space. My husband’s love of junk mail clutter was evicted from my kitchen. All clutter was evicted from the kitchen. The dining room was also taken over by the crazy woman who possessed the momma. And son on and so forth.

Finally, I found myself admiring doodle art. I was spending hours upon hours of time looking at people’s doodles. I learned that there are names to certain types of doodles like zendoodle and line weaving. zensplosions and zenspirations. Seeing the word “zen” attached to the doodles made me reflect a bit. When I was young there was no surface that was safe from me. Oh my mother would get so angry with me as I would color in the squares of  plaid school uniform, write on the rubber sole of my shoes, draw on my jeans. I loved the feel of a roller pen on recycled paper, and the feel of a marker on a new vinyl binder. I loved the way a paper bag sucked in the ink of a sharpie marker. The sensory satisfaction I got from doodling made me content! But, it was just doodles. It wasn’t artistic. It was mindless, scribbles that felt good. hearts and circles, and hearts and clouds. Bubble letters and typical teenage angst crap. You know the type.

I got my very first journal a few days before Christmas. First I played with the back cover, then the back page. Eventually I moved on with a little confidence to do a whole page, and I completed it, then I completed my second and now I’m onto my third. I’m developing my own ways. I put pen to paper with no idea of whats going to come of it and by the end it just ends up as it is.

My doctor told me a while ago that I needed to find a way to silence my mind. To just relax and unwind, stop over thinking and just be free. I don’t really know how to free my mind, but I think that with pen and paper in hand I’m pretty close to figuring it out.

So this is where I am, this is where I stand. I’m holed up in my house, being anti social, reclaiming my life, being stingy and selfish and loving it.

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Holiday…. this one is blue.

“A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted. It is generally an official (more common) or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities.” wikipedia

All of my life holidays have been a big deal. I am the youngest of a large, loving, fun family. Sundays alone were special occasions and often a day to gather and be together. Holidays were special. We would all participate in cooking and cleaning, talking, celebrating. There was always laughter, silliness, joy.

As the years went on, my family slowly started to find themselves relocating. First Robyn to Florida, then Chris to California, Jack to Maryland, Sue to Westchester, Mom & Dad to Florida, us to Georgia. The holidays windled a slowly. BUT… we always continued to  celebrate the way Mom & Dad had us do. Brian would have Christmas Eve, Suzanne Easter. When we moved to Georgia we fumbled to get our own traditions in place. We wanted our children to feel that holidays were special. I wanted my children to feel that they were surrounded by love, just like I felt growing up.

Sometimes we would drive down to Florida to be with Mom and Dad, and some of the siblings.  This year a bunch of them are together, but we can’t be, as Kevin just had surgery and we need to be here to allow him to heal.  We have made an effort to have a celebration with family and friends for every occasion that deems celebratory. Birthdays and Holidays. We gather our nearest and dearest. We laugh and smile and watch as our children soak in the love and the smiles as well. Thats what its all about.

 

This year is tough. Kevin has just had surgery. We felt that hosting a holiday would be too much this soon. So here we are, for the first time, wondering how to make a holiday special with out company. How do you make it a special day, when it will be just like every other day. Just the six of us.

Back in 2002 I had the worst Thanksgiving of my life. I was a week out from my poor prenatal diagnosis. I was floundering with finding joy or appreciation. But I had my baby, my first son who was only 9 months old and I knew in my heart that if we didn’t start tradition THEN, holidays wouldn’t be special EVER. So, we had my inlaws and we decided that on Thanksgiving we would put up our Christmas Tree. We Laughed as my nephews hung ornaments all over one side of the tree and my niece hung them all on one branch on the bottom. I left it that way. It was my happy every morning.

I have planned to make Grandma’s Christmas Cookies with the kids on Thursday. I will roast a chicken, mash some potatoes, bake some asparagus and make some protein packed Banana pudding (thanks Melissa).

 

At some point in the day I will drag out the tree and the decorations and I will put on my happy face and we will adorn our tree with love.

 

This is going to be a difficult holiday for me. I don’t know how to make it feel like a holiday with out being surrounded by more than just us. I just hope that it isn’t a disappointment to my kids.

Do You Got Game?

Every where I turn I’m seeing these animals. Game, Fowl, chicken, rooster… cock a doodle doo! I posted about this on facebook while my husband was in surgery and my friends were all over it and some even sent me their own pictures to add. So here we are, a full out blog post dedicated to the protein of the season!

My sister has this centerpiece on her dining room table. Every time I see it, I make inappropriate comments about it. She loves it, its art. “A beautiful piece of art!”

It’s a huge rooster with muti colored tail feathers.

My resonse, typical Michelle style is “nice giant cock on the table Sue.” or “where ever did you find a cock of that caliber?”

My niece and I have had a grand ol’ time at this rooster’s expense and Suzanne has gotten down right PISSED OFF at us about it! You see, this is really quite a cherished bit of art. She loves him.

When we were in New Orleans we went to brunch at Dickie Brennan’s. As you walk in they have a similar giant rooster with colored tail feathers on a table. I missed my sister at that moment. So I sent her a text of Dickie’s cock.

Yesterday I was shopping in Costco. As I walked the main path in there it was, staring me in the face! Multicolored tail feather plumed for show. A giant cock to adorn the average holiday table!

My Friend Hope Sent me a picture of the lil guy she just picked up:

I think it needs to be noted that my very all time favorite, “made me roar with laughter, cry and gasp for breath” blog post that I have EVER read is from the very famous Bloggess, and truth be told, when I busted my sister’s chops over her cock… I had to pull out my laptop to let her read about Beyonce. No…. not THAT Beyonce…. this one…..

http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/

Go read that right now!

And because I’m not the only one of my friend’s who was touched by Beyonce.. I’m happy to introcduce you to Charlie, who is loved and adored by his owner Valerie:

I have a few things to say before I wrap this up.

#1: My sister Suzanne was ahead of the curve when it came to the IN thing with home decor

#2 There is man who didn’t let his wife buy towels, that spurred some crazy chicken fascination.

#3 this little Facebook note took off so much that it has become a blog post. My girlfriends are seriously SERIOUS about their love of ROOSTER!

20111120-172827.jpg
The cocks keep showing up. My sister Robyn sent me these two dancing. I think they’re fighting, but art is up for interpretation.

Is it all about you?

Today I was indulging my need to get lost on the net for a while & I went to twitter, where I was led to a friend’s blog to enter a give away (http://afterbedtimeblog.com/blogging/blog-to-business-freebies/) and then I read few some of the past writings I have missed out on. Vanita, the author got me thinking. How often do I actually leave a comment on the blogs that I read? Hell, how often do I leave feed back on much of anything?

We all participate on the internet with the hope of having our voices heard. A large majority of us share information as we seek and find new knowledge. Those little comments that are left, be it on a bulletin board, facebook, a photo, a group or a blog can really make somebody’s day. I know that with every little comment I see, I perk up a little. *Perk… somebody likes me… or paid attention to me… or hates me… but noticed me… perk perk**

Sure, I go through facebook and hit the friendly little like button to let somebody know that I was on their page or post or photo. Its easy and effortless, and as I sit and type this I can’t help but think.. its RUDE! Its bad etiquette. I wouldn’t go to a party and simply glance at the host with a smile and a wave as I rushed on to the next party! Is it too much to simply stop and say two words or more?

Which brings me to the thing I have noticed as I reflected upon my own poor internet/social media etiquette. You know those people… ya know THOSE people who are all over, telling everybody about all of their drama and their momma’s drama and so on. They write every stinking day about all the crap in their lives, and everybody falls all over them. Sure they get the attention, and they are seeking the attention, but how often do they venture off of their own page/post/blog/photo/note/etc to comment on those that support them?  Often? NOT REALLY. Oh yeah, they are full of the advice of what to eat or not to eat, what to wear or not to wear. How to avoid or conquer this or that… but it all happens to be on THEIR own posts!

While I may sound like I’m pointing a finger there.. believe me I’m not. I’m guilty of the very behavior I’m speaking of. I have made it a point in the past few weeks, to try every day to find one positive thing to post out there in the interwebs. Tweeting or facebooking, a blessing or observation about my kids, my friends, my life. Because frankly when it rains it pours and I didn’t want to be completely wallowing in self pity.. but somehow I was still completely self absorbed. HA! Go figure!

The funny thing is, in this community, we are all on a journey to find ourselves. Right? And so, part of the goal is to be self indulgent and self absorbed. Its a time for us to pay attention to ourselves for once! RIGHT? RIGHT… BUT rules still apply.

The GOLDEN RULE: Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. Do you like to have comments made on your posts? Of course you do. So comment on other’s posts as well. Especially to those who are ALWAYS commenting on yours and showing you support! These are your people! This is your team! Show some respect!

Share! Don’t be a glory hound or a drama queen. If you are, they’re talking behind your back! “OMG… have you noticed that WOMAN who is always. blah blah blah blah” Yeah… because you get a lot of attention… its not always going to be to your face.

Help your friends! See a great blog? Link to it! Share their words! Its awesome to be noticed! Love somebody’s tweet? Retweet it! Give credit where credit is due.

I’m going to make an effort here to do more than have a simple blog roll over there ——> I’m going to make an effort to comment more often, share other’s blogs more frequently and participate on the forums that I find helpful more often. I started this blog for a reason, and I never want to lose sight of that reason. I want to share, and help, give support and find support in return. So today I turn it around. Its no longer ALL ABOUT ME.

Thank you all

The outpouring of support and advice I received about my blog yesterday really helped.
We talked last night & I told him that he would find his own things that work for him, but vitamins and proper proteins are not areas that I will sit back and watch him be misinformed about.
I armed him with websites like Former Fat dudes Former Fat Dudes & Eggy The World According To Eggface and I invited him to learn from the best as to why a Flinstones wouldn’t work for him.
I have every intent to visit the surgeons office and ask questions, ask for the science behind their advice. Hell, one of the post op proteins is calogen based. So unacceptable for a newly post op body.
But, with out strong arming him, he seemed to understand that I have spent years researching and living this life, and maybe, just maybe, I have something to offer.
Again, thank you all!

Planning to start again…

How often in life do you get to plan a fresh start, with the knowledge of what lies ahead? In less than I week my husband will have his weight loss surgery. He will start his journey with is VSG. And he has the benefit of living with me and sharing my knowledge. While I’m excited to share my knowledge with him, I’m meeting resistance!!! WHAT? yep! I am! REALLY!

The man went to his pre-surgical meeting at the doctor’s office. He met with the surgeon’s team, the surgeon and their nutritionist. Now, I have to tell you, I love our surgeon. I do. I love the office and the support there. BUT… I do not agree with certain things that they teach. For instance… two flinstones vitamins a day? Really. Somebody please tell me how a child’s vitamin in a 400lb male body is sufficient? Now break it down to a post WLS body and tell me how it even begins to match up to what is needed. It doesn’t. Its dangerous information.  While I won’t pick apart every single aspect of what I disagree with, I will say that I have lived this life, done the research, met the experts and pride myself on the knowledge that I have. BUT… this man has gone to ONE meeting and is telling ME how things have to be.

I should sit back and not argue. I should let him take the lead in his own weight loss journey. I should let him find his own way. Right? Or… should I step in and beg him to listen?

I’m honestly a little befuddled. I don’t want to come across as strong arming the boy. I don’t want to come across as knowing better… but uh, I KNOW BETTER. Hello! I’ve struggled, I’ve lived it.. I am living it. YOU have MET my people! This man has been talked to about nutrition, about post WLS life, about just about everything… in a manner that has been casual and not about him. So why can’t he apply what he already knows to be true to his own life? UGH! I’m frustrated! I’m going to sick some of my folks on him!

So, ladies and gents….. your advice? Do I approach this as if I were approaching one of you? Do I tell him what I know to be true and tell him what I know is bad advice and what has been helpful? Do I STFU and let my friends do it? Or do I just let him fumble his way through the first few post op months on his own? (I wish I knew then what I knew now. He has the chance to have better knowledge than I did. Better insight. I wish I had a first hand perspective back then. I wish I knew.)

The face in the picture.

I was updating the photos of my journey tonight, and as I scrolled through the edit page I was actually taken aback by the face in the first picture.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was in Florida celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. I had just told my siblings and my parents that I was going to have weight loss surgery. I knew then, that I was going to make major changes in my life. I was looking forward to living. I was excited about the prospects. I know this all to be true. Yet… I see that face and there is no trace of anything but pain.

Once again, I’m going to comment on the role that the camera plays in this journey. It not only helps me to show you where I have come from, but it helps me to see where I was. It helps me to look back, and acknowledge that maybe I wasn’t as “okay” with being fat, as I thought I was. Maybe I wasn’t as “content” as I told myself I was.

I’m sad for the woman in that picture, but I don’t know if its because I know she was miserable then, or if I am judging her now. Perhaps its a little of both. Admittedly, it is NOT easy to see myself that way. As much as people show their before and after photos off, there is very little pride that comes with the before photo. Its painful to embrace. I was that person. That person IS who I am now.  Its hard. Really it is. That doesn’t go away. Regardless of how much weight you lose, you will always have been obese. You will always have been a statistic of the disease. And obesity is a disease. Its physical as well as mental. Its not pretty. It doesn’t go away.

So, thats my truth for tonight. The camera plays a role. Its important. The reminders are  sometimes difficult to reflect upon. The hurts can be covered up with clothes and new photos… but they are always going to be there. You can’t escape where you came from. You don’t get to out run your past.

http://vsgmom.com/pictures-of-my-journey/  it is NOT always pretty

It’s a Conundrum.

co·nun·drum/kəˈnəndrəm/

Noun:
  1. A confusing and difficult problem or question.
  2. A question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.

I feel like I keep dancing around this whole body change/dysmorphia/weight challenge. But I guess that’s what weight loss surgery/rapid weight loss is all about. Right?

So, this week I went back to that place that sends me into a cold sweat. I went to the fitting room. I knew that my size 12’s were loose and baggy, especially where my ass was. If your jeans don’t fit JUST right, you risk having noassatall or a massive wedge. Neither is attractive, but I guess noassatall is more comfortable.

So I fought the urge to run, the urge to flee and I tried on the size 10’s. Truth be told, I carried a number of 12’s in with me also… because well… maybe I wouldn’t fit in the 10’s and maybe a different cut of 12’s would be better. Hey, this is what it is. Its the way MY brain works. The 12’s were ALL too big, regardless of cut. The 10’s all fit, although one cut (the boyfriend cut) was NOT bariatric/loose skin friendly. Special thanks to those jeans for letting me know that I also have loose skin on my ass cheeks. Thanks for that!

So here I am wondering out loud… WHERE does one set their goals? REALLY? A BMI chart doesn’t tell you what size jeans you should be wearing. A tag in your jeans doesn’t tell you what weight you should be. So, what happens when your brain tells you that a size ten should LOOK 20lbs LOWER on the scale than it actually does? If I were to get to where the blasted BMI calculator tells me I *could/should/wish-to* be then what would the tag of my jeans read? 4? 2? 0? SERIOUSLY? Its ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean honestly… am I REALLY wasting my time wondering about this crap? BUT the answer is

I AM damn it! I fully ADMIT that a year ago, I would have been giddy to get my fat ass into a size 16, let alone a 14… 12 and a 10 was UNIMAGINABLE! SERIOUSLY! I KNOW! A ten! BUT.. BUT BUT BUTT….. I don’t feel like I LOOK like a TEN… most of the time anyway. And if you took away the camera and the mirror and simply gave me the scale… NO WAY IN HELL would the number on the scale translate into a size ten to me. NOPE, nay never!

So, while I don’t see myself as I ten USUALLY, I do take a LOT of pictures and there is a reason for that! When I was fat, I looked in the mirror and didn’t see myself as obese and as miserable as the camera saw me. I would get up, get dressed, check myself out in the mirror and say “Self, you look pretty damn cute for a big chick”. Then a week or two later I would see a photo of myself from that day and  much to my horror… there would be no trace of the cute big chick, simply frumpy cranky momma. AND NOW… well NOW… I look in the mirror and I don’t SEE thin, not fat, normal. I SEE loose skin, big girl. I don’t necessarily see obese. But I do see big. SO, I take pictures, because again… the photographs see more than what the mirror shows. The camera captures what the scale doesn’t give me, what the mirror hides, what the brain denies. The camera gives it to me straight. Be it tired, sloppy, or NOT FAT! The camera gives it to me for real. So yes folks, there are lots of pictures and there will be lots more. If I take a picture and I see fat, despite what the scale or the jeans say… the photos will keep me honest with myself.

The question, however, still remains. WHAT DETERMINES the beginning of maintenance and the end of loss? The number on the scale? The number on the jeans? The stupid freaking BMI chart? The photograph? Will there ever be a point where I will be satisfied? Will I ever it ever be ENOUGH? I just got into a size 10 and already I’m thinking about a size 8. HELLO BRAIN FUCKED! My constant friend. SIGH.

Got Slimpressions??

NO? WHAT do you mean NO!?!?!

Okay, look, this is the thing…. body shapers are a must have. No, really.. a MUST have, for just about every BODY. Let alone a post op Weight loss surgery body!

I have done the spanx, not made for the WLS folk. Really, they just aren’t. They roll, they pinch, and lets just be honest…. panty hose suck with or with out feet. Sorry spanx. you sort of really suck as a product.

I had/have the kymaro body shaper. It was on clearance at Kroger for $10. Its worth $10!! no doubt about it! Totally! I would buy more at that price. $40? HELL NO! uh-uh! why? Because for $40 I can get MORE!!

So, my eyes were opened. I tried on Slimpressions and my loose skin was pulled in, with out pinching. I could breathe. I didn’t sweat (hello, I’m menopausal, at a meet and greet and didn’t sweat!), I never do wearing them, I could sleep in these things! I am in love and really do love this product! Not only do they pull my skin into place, they smooth me out with out making me look like a barrel, they pull me up (hello boobs!), and they do not roll! I’m not even kidding!

So, until October 15 you can get 25% off of your slimpressions order with the code: SLIM25WLS for 25% off!!

Okay girls, go shopping!

www.slimpressions.com