Bari-Family

Once upon a time, a sort of big guy dated a sort of chubby girl, they got married, had babies and got obese together. The now obese wife decided that life was meant for living, and decided to have bariatric surgery to help her reach her goals of living.

A few months later, the obese wife, became a smaller version of her former self, and resembled her younger self more and more. The obese husband struggled with his emotions, trying to deal with the changes that were happening before his very eyes.

Eventually the obese husband discussed the possibilities of bariatric surgery for himself, first with his doctor then with his wife. While apprehensive to under go any form of surgery, he realized that at the rate he was going, he wouldn’t see his children graduate high school. Having lost his own father, much earlier than he should have, he decided to go forward with his plan to have weight loss surgery.

Today the obese husband has been under doctor’s care for  5 months. He went for all of his pre surgical testing, his surgeon consult and his nutritionist appointment. Today, it all became real for him, as he left the doctor’s office and the doctor said “next time I see you will be on the day of your surgery”

One month from now, he will hand in the last of his paper work and it will be submitted to the insurance company. With in the next few months we will be a bariatric family. Hopefully the changes we make in our lives now, will keep our children from struggling with obesity and poor eating habits and behaviors.

Up to this point, I was not sure he would go forward with this. In the past he has lost weight on his own.

When Kailey was born, the man was skinny!

As I have written previously, having a child with medical issues certainly contributed to both of our stress eating tendencies. It is very easy to fill the “helpless” feelings with food. I am hopeful that today marks the beginning of the changes my husband needs to live a happy life.

We're on our way... together.

 

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The end of a week of SLACKING!

 

If there is a book about how to be a good wife, a motivated mother, Susie freaking sunshine… I may need to read it. Because frankly, this past week… I have not been any of the above!

"Slacker mom reality" Hi this is totally what my house has resembled this week, and that is the exact position I have had on the couch!

 

 
So much so, that I didn’t even take Ruby out for our hike this weekend. She was very content to slack with me though.

belly up, hanging off of my lap.

 

So, once again, I fess up to bad behavior. And once again, I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. I will get up, I will move, I will not make excuses.

Tomorrow is nearly here, so I had better get some sleep. I will be accountable this week. I will check in with those who keep me on my feet, I will look at myself in the mirror, face the reality and buck up!

This past week has been chock full o’ drama! What drama you ask? Hubby with no work because things are slow, kid with scarlet fever… which, for the record is not the plague or a death sentence, a lightning bolt smacking into my air conditioner unit, children up all night because of said bolt, which my husband didn’t believe actually hit anything, A/C unit going electrically defunked, seizing up and the upstairs soaring to a high in the mid 80’s (I have a child who doesn’t sweat, this is very bad.), hot flashes, spousal arguments, and the saving grace of a friend who owns North and South Mechanical… who rigged the unit for the time being. I got to claim my very first home owners insurance claim, and now we wait to see what happens next. There has been a lot of time spent with book in hand, head in pillow, and fingers in ears. I saw my doctor and got diagnosed with migraines, ended a week long migraine, and still found 100 excuses to not do a damn thing! It ends tonight.

Tomorrow… yep…. that’s when I will put my best foot forward.

Tonight I’m going to bed, thankful that my house didn’t burn down, none of my children were hospital bound, heat stroke didn’t happen, my dog loves me no matter what, my husband loves me despite it all, only ONE of my children spewed out “I HATE YOU”, and maybe, just maybe I can still make it to NY by next weekend.

Confessions of a bariatric foodie

First off, let me point out my blog roll and the fact that there is a WHOLE blog dedicated to being a bariatric foodie. So yeah… stealing an idea here, but simply because I am inspired and frankly, I’m a self declared foodie.

I come from a family of foodies. My family has some of its very best moments in the kitchen, creating meals for each other. My dad, my sisters, my brothers, my husband, and even me… we’re all quite adveturous, and we all have amazing palates. My husband of course is beyond a foodie. He is a chef, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. His skills have been put to good use through the years, my family has no problem using him to their full advantage.

Having had weight loss surgery did not alter my taste buds. It has altered the amount of food I can consume, it has even made me apathetic toward food on occasion, but my love of new things and my palate has not changed!

On Saturday we went over to Whole Foods and we stumbled upon a tasting of peach infused balsamic vinegar. They served it over watermelon, with a bit of fresh basil. They had me at “fresh basil” so I went ahead and gave it a try. OH MY, holy peach loveliness! I am not a peach fan. Nope, just not. But this… the heavens open, a choir sang, and my brain immediately went to the endless possibilities that this product could create.

We had friends coming over for dinner, and Saturday night friends + dinner is usually finger foods. Delicious divine finger foods, made with love!

Our favorite stand by is the grilled Angus rib-eye with caramelized onions and horseradish sauce, served on a garlic Parmesan crustini. YUM!

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Then, Kevin made an amazing chicken salad with fresh grapes, pecans, and of course the peach infused balsamic vinegar. It was amazing! Sadly, there is no awesome way to capture chicken salad. Its just sort of ugly, but here it is anyway:

Chicken salad

Finally tonight, the 4th of July, we wanted simple and delicious. There is nothing as wonderful as Caprisi Salad. NOTHING! Some fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of some reduced peach balsamic vinegar:

And while confessing about the glorious things we created this weekend, here is a photo of the mocha chocolate chip cake I made for our friend’s 4th of July party, it was a hit:

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I brought them to water…

and they had a blast!

I have been making an effort to get out and hike as often as possible. It usually happens on the weekend, and lately we have been busy, so my favorite place has been neglected. I normally take Ruby and head down to the lake. There is a park there that is rough terrain, wooded trails and they lead to different parts of the lake.

Ruby loves this time together, although she is not a fan of the work out. She does love the water. I have never let her run free though, because of leash laws and the fact that she would totally go home with somebody else. Anybody who had a car would be suitable. She isn’t picky. Her leash is a standard 6′ lead. She never gets to really get down and dirty in the water.

This morning Kevin surprised me and told me that his mom was coming by to watch the kids and that we were going to go for a hike! WE as in BOTH of us! Now, this is sort of a mind blowing phenomenon for multiple reasons. FIRST: Saturdays = my husband’s day to sink into the couch and watch REALLY bad TV (hello swamp people, World’s Dumbest, Cops). Second: Its July, in Georgia and its HOT AS HELL, while my hubby can work his way around a 150 degree kitchen with no problem, getting him outside in the summer is damn near impossible. Finally, its the WOODS, NATURE and there are BUGS.

I didn’t dare question it. I quickly got dressed, threw on my running shoes, threw the hair up and popped downstairs just in time for the mother in law to arrive! A quick hello, a speedy “see ya later” and we were off. Kevin, Ruby and I.

I requested a tripe to Home Depot first. I wanted to get Rubylicious a nice long rope, so that she could really enjoy the lake at the end of the trails. We found a nice, cheap, hot pink 50′ rope and a clasp. We were off and on our way. I was pretty giddy and Ruby was fairly worked up herself. She knew where we were going!

We hit the trail, and I brought Kevin on the shortest one first. We spent some time on the shore and let Ruby explore and play!

Gonna get those splashes!

Oh this is great!

Then, much to my delight, we conquered the entire hike, from one trail to the next, up hill and down, climbing down the rocks, and through the trees… my husband was happy because I was not connected to anything digital and I was thrilled because my husband was by my side! Even Ruby kept up the pace.

We came out to an area where the water is usually higher, and had an opportunity to get down on the rocks and out to the lake. It was beautiful, and blissful and for sure to be one of my favorite memories yet.

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And we all went home, happy and proud!

joy

Oh, and… I also got quite a few compliments on the shape of my uh, rear! My husband rocks.

As simple as a laugh…

Sometimes we get so caught up with our crazy selves, that we snowball into even crazier chaos. Such is the state of my marriage. As I wrote last week, its a struggle, and post op life has a large impact on married life. Should it be that way, not really, but it is. And its common.

Once again, I was surrounded by friends, support, love and inspiration. This time I was lucky enough to have a weekend with some of my BBGC girls here in my home.  A late night on Saturday, some girl talk, men in the other room laughing at us, laughing at ourselves. Oh, the conversations were precarious and hilarious at the same time, and much to my surprise, my husband was willing to be lured in, giggled at, and eventually he was fueling the fire.

Before I knew it, my friends were laughing, I was laughing and my husband was laughing too. LAUGHING… Together? What is this dynamic taking place? When was the last time the laughter wasn’t forced or light? This was “pee your pants” laughter.

I asked Julie tonight, when was the last time she saw Kevin and I laugh together, like that? She said “New Year’s Eve”. Wow. SIX MONTHS, nearly seven. I remember the laughter that night, it was much like the laughter last night. And last night’s laughter carried into today, and today into tonight.  And I realized…..

That man, that laugh, that good sport… he is worth the world to me. How did it get to a point of being so caught up in everything else, that we forgot to laugh?

I have a decal on the back of my truck. It says “Live, Laugh, Love” . I also have a piece on my wall that says “live, laugh, love” and another that says “family, the love of family makes life beautiful”. Simple reminders that I look at EVERY DAY, and yet, they elude me.

Live laught love, Photo credit, FrolickingDirtChild

I am blessed with friends who keep it real, while being supportive. I am blessed with family that is loving, and supportive, despite my ornery disposition. I am blessed with a husband, who in the past six months has not laughed a good hearty laugh, because his wife has been too caught up with nonsense to kick back and relax.

Today is a new chapter, as is every day. A new beginning, a chance to be better, to do better, to strive for more. A chance to put in place small goals that when attained will be rewarding spiritually and mentally.

Tomorrow, I will make sure I remember to laugh.

 

Relationship Before WLS

We all read about it before we go under the knife. We all wonder what exactly WLS can do to a marriage or a relationship. Why would anything change simply because my weight has changed. The answer is, first of all, so much more than your weight changes. Second of all, your new found sense of self impacts every single relationship you have, especially the one with your significant other. The following is all about my life BEFORE WLS. The After will be in another blog.

Kevin and I started dating in ’97.  After a sad break up and a whole lot of partying  a year earlier, I had packed on some pounds. I was probably wearing a size 14/16 when I started to date Kevin. Kevin was a big guy. 6’3 or so and probably about 280lbs. I would say that we were both slightly overweight, but I wouldn’t call us obese (yet).

We dated for 2 years before we got married. In those two years we did a lot of eating out, theme parks, movies, socializing. We were a typical young couple having fun and enjoying life. As our relationship evolved into a place of comfort, some pounds were packed on. It didn’t matter to either of us. When we got married in 2000, we were a cute, slightly chubby couple. We honeymooned in Disney and had no problem sitting on a plane or going on rides. We were not too big to do an amusement park. I say that, because I know so many of us in the obese community look at ads for amusement parks and wish we could fit on a ride, and spend a day or two being a big kid. Its a way of measuring ourselves. We all do it. We eyeball something and think “I’d get stuck”. At the point of our honeymoon, getting stuck was not a worry.

When we had our first child in 2002, we were both still comfortably chubby. Blissfully happy, madly in love and blessed with the sweetest little boy that ever existed (till he was bout 10 months, then the evil mastermind came out).

Not long after our 1st son was born, we were completely shocked and surprised to learn that we were expecting baby #2 and she would be due before baby #1 even turned a year old! HOLY HELL! Yeah, momma sort of freaked out. Daddy on the other hand, was challenged by a friend to lose over 100lbs by a certain date, and he immersed himself in a life style of health and fitness. I on the other hand immersed myself in life as a gestating stay at home mom. Cutting out carbs was never going to happen in MY world. NO WAY!

4 months into my pregnancy with baby #2 we learned that our precious little girl had a number of health issues and birth defects. The hardest time of our lives was about to begin, and together we would learn how to weather the storm. Our baby girl was not expected to live. Not more than a few hours at most. “Incompatible with life” is the term we heard over and over again. Our hearts broke. We learned what true despair felt like.  We had one baby who needed his happy mommy and daddy, because that was all he knew, and we grieved for the baby who grew with in, kicking and spinning just like every other baby does.

Kailey was born Feb 2003. Just 4 days short of her big brother’s 1st birthday. Nothing could have prepared us for the roller coaster that lie ahead. Kailey lived more than a day. Kailey had medical experts all around and has made medical journals. Kailey is now 8 years old, and while she is considered medically fragile, no body ever told her that. You can check out Kailey’s story at www.kaileyrose.com. While her story is a pivotal part of “OUR” story, this blog is not about our wheelchair warrior. It is about us.

Daddy lost a boat load of weight by the time Kailey was born

While Kevin lost a boat load of weight by the time Kailey was born, I started to steadily pack on the pounds. Food became a source of comfort and coping for me.

new baby, new chins

At this point, the story turns a little. As our baby fought for her life, time and again, we fought to learn how to cope, communicate and grow.  Kevin threw himself into working multiple jobs, so that I could stay home with the two little ones. Our days consisted of therapy after therapy and doctor appointment after doctor appointment. We learned to accept the hospital as a home away from home, and together we stopped caring so much about our own health and focused on the health of our children.

We had growing pains. When your heart is heavy, and what tomorrow holds in scary, you tend to lash out at the one you love the most. While nobody else in the world could understand what we were going through more than the other, we struggled to connect, afraid that sharing our sorry or fears would hurt the other more. But life fell into a rhythm and we lived day by day, thankful for our beautiful little family.

In 2005 baby #3 was born. By this time, we had relied on food to fill the dark spots within our hearts. While we rejoiced in every single day that our baby girl was alive and well, we feared that tomorrow would be the day that the floor dropped from beneath us. We put on brave faces, but behind closed doors, we were filled with fear.

Our precious #3 brought new light into our lives. He was the happiest baby alive. HUGE, but happy. Life started to even out a bit, but the two of us were offically now obese.

Happy family

Over the years, we learned to communicate again. Our relationship was strengthened by the trials we endured. Our love was multiplied by the joy of our children. Despite the fear of what tomorrow held, we had bliss. Our lives were forever changed, but we had each other and we coped in similar ways.

We no longer went out, instead we shut in. We dove into parenthood and happily played with our children in the comfort of our home. We rarely went out, for fear of leaving the children. We were tried and true attachment parents. Baby wearing, cosleeping, breast feeding attachment parenting at its finest.

In 2006 we moved from NY to Ga. Another roller coaster of emotion. Leaving behind everything we ever knew, and moving to a place where life was completely different. Kailey’s health took a turn, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta became our second home. She has spent more time there than she did in all of her years in NY.  Unhealthy eating increased, as did anxiety and sadly so did our shut in behavior.

At the end of 2007 we welcomed baby #4 into the world. The one and only girl who was born with colic! I tell ya, that child came out screaming and did not stop until she was 4 months old! She is now a very vibrant, very social, extremely happy 3 year old. But ugh, colic… just one more thing I was never prepared to deal with.

My husband has been my best friend, every step of the way. We have been to hell and back living life with a sick child. We have had greater joys than most will ever experience, because we take such joy in everything our children do and are. We are surrounded by family and friends that love us, and don’t fear that our tomorrow may effect them.

This is all important to write about, because up next, I am going to share how Weight Loss Surgery has effected our marriage, our relationship, our harmony. We are trying to find out footing. I never would have expected that dealing with a sick child could be easier on a marriage than the changes that weight loss surgery has brought on.

Stay tuned. It will take a bit of soul searching to get this next blog out, but it will come from the heart and it may hurt to own my end of things.