Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Biggest Loser Addicts Step Forward

My name is Lea and I am addicted to The Biggest Loser!

I have my DVR set to record all new episodes! So, yeah, I am an addict too! And I don't delete them right away after I watch them either! I sometimes watch them again before I delete them...

I really like Tara and her dedication and commitment, but I hate her attitude. She can be such a bitch sometimes! And, the way she acted about Laura going home... It truly was in Laura's best interest as she would not have gotten better on campus because she would not have stayed off of that leg.

Mike and Kristen were my favorites though. I can relate to Kristen, especially since I started at 410 pounds and truly felt helpless and perhaps like I didn't really deserve it. It kills me that just when she finally realized that she DOES deserve it, she ends up going home. That sucked! And, we know she won't do quite as well at home as she was at the ranch. Mike is becoming a bit arrogant as he sees the competition thinning a bit. But, does he have the percentages that Tara does? I think she's at 41% and he's only at about 39%. That can change rapidly if she slows down and he keeps going steadily, but who knows! Tara lost 5 pounds this week! She's down to what--one seventy something? 5 pounds of that is a LOT compared to the same amount for someone who is still like 235 or so. Tara is also at a point where she is converting to muscle and I'm surprised she lost so much this week!

Centers of Excellence--Same death and complication rates...

Some insurance companies require that you go through a Center of Excellence for them to cover bariatric procedures. Why is that? Well, we assume it is because they are the best of the best and really know their stuff, right?? And, by that way of thinking, you'd also expect much lower rates for complications and deaths as a postop. BUT, according to a recent study by Dr. Edward Livingston of the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine, that is NOT the case! He writes, "Designation as a bariatric surgery center of excellence does not ensure better outcomes."

Livingston's study, which appears in The Archives of Surgery, analyzed data from patients who had surgery in 2005--19363 total patients and 5420 who utilized a center of excellence. Of those people, the patients who had surgery at a bariatric center of excellence had a death rate of 0.17% and a complication rate of 6.3%. Of the patients who did NOT use a bariatric center of excellence, the rates were a death rate of .09% and a complication rate of 6.4%. So, despite the fact that centers of excellence are usually better staffed and more costly to run, their outcomes are not better! The extra cost is apparently not warranted.

This information is quoted in a Reuters news article.

Did you have to use a bariatric center of excellence? Was it your insurance company's stipulation? or was it the only choice in your area? When you compare your experience with that of others, do you think things were better or went more smoothly? Do you think it made a difference?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Baby Bubbles...

There is nothing more enjoyable than a small baby's first bubble bath! Here's a few moments from the world's greatest grandbaby's first bubble experience!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What have YOU lost??

I've lost an average adult man AND an automobile tire!


Your weight loss =

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony

Monday, April 13, 2009

What is UP with my weight?

Well, I am running out of ideas... I am starting to think it is just my lack of exercise as I've tried low-carbing it to dump the water weight and it worked, but not completely... I am staying in the 208 to 212 range now, which is up about 5 pounds from my normal range for the last year or more. I normally range between 202 and 207. I always go up a few before "that time of the month" when I retain water and then lose it almost as soon as I start. No biggie and not stressing! But, this weight gain seems to be sticking, so perhaps it is more the winter of non-exercise than anything else? Thankfully, the weather has warmed and it is getting easier to get outside and move! This and getting ready for the half-marathon at Chicago on August 2nd may just get me back on track! If you are interested, Mandy and I are planning to do the Rock N Roll half-marathon at Chicago. Here's a link for more info! They have the COOLEST medal for this event!

Comment here if you're thinking of going too!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Finally! 21st century time!

I swear, for the last 10 years, I have crawled along at the speed of snail when it comes to internet surfing! Try to watch a You-Tube video at 21.6 kbps! It is NOT happening! But, click over there at 10 mbps and things go great! How in the world did we make it SO long at such a slow connection speed? I mean I have lived in the boonies for the last 18 years and have had no internet or slow-ass internet for the entire time. Now, I finally got satellite internet and am entering the 21st century!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

La, La, La, La Life goes on...

As the song says, La, la, la, la Life Goes On!! Two and a half years ago--Aug 29, 2006, I had gastric bypass weight loss surgery and began the journey of a lifetime. I started at 410 pounds. I now range between 202 and 205 on most any given day. I am literally HALF the person I was, physically. I can do so much more! I DO do much more than ever before. I have severe hypothyroidism and I've been overweight literally all my young adult and adult life. Now, I may still be what the antiquated BMI tables deem to be "obese," but I am living life and loving every day.

I think often of how my life would be different now if I still carried the 205 pounds I've left behind. I would still be sitting home every day full of body pain from the many ailments I dealt with. I would still be taking at least the 9 different prescription meds I took before my weight loss, if not more. I would not be working and helping support my family, which is doubly important in times like these! I would not be leading a 4-H club and the president of our 4-H leaders association. I would not be attending the support group meetings and participating in athletic events with fellow support group members. I would simply be existing, not living.

I still struggle with body image... In my head some days, I am still that 410 pound person I used to be. I still can't believe that I can go into most any store and find things that are nice and that fit well. I can not tell you how many years it has been since that was the case! How do you get past that fat-thinking about your self? How do you not do a double take when you see your own reflection in a store window or the side of someone's shiny new car and think--"Oh, who is that? She LOOKS like me, but that can't BE me! She's so small....." UGH!

Lots of things are going on right now... Hubby is being forced to change jobs yet again by a downturned economy and its effects on the trucking industry. Our older daughter and her infant son (AKA "world's greatest grandbaby") have moved home and she's in the middle of what looks to be an ugly divorce. Our younger daughter is coping with a serious weight gain this past year, tough courses at school, and facing her senior year next year which means taking the SAT and the ACT as well as preparing for graduation and all that this involves. Me, I'm working to help make ends meet, helping the older daughter swim upriver in the divorce court setting, and trying to help my younger daughter cope with life and all its challenges--both mental and physical. Hubby and I don't get to spend a lot of time together, so at times it can feel like it is all dumped on me (he is an over-the-road trucker). It is a lot like being a single mom! In the meanwhile, I am trying to get back on track with exercise and just keep my weight loss where it is--no regain is acceptable! I don't hyperfocus on those 3 or 4 pounds you gain overnight from time to time as I know that it is water weight and can be shed by counting carbs for a bit... I don't stress over getting to a "normal" BMI as I know it is not physically possible for my body/frame after 20 years of packing around 200+ extra pounds. BUT, I do strive to eat well, follow my dietician's guidelines and getting my protein and fluids in each and EVERY day. Beyond that, upping my exercise is about all I can do other than trying to keep the other stressors under control. Spring is here, though you can't tell it with the snow we're having today. I am hopeful that as I am able to get outdoors and exercise more (love working in my garden since I am now able!) that other things will start to fall in line again as well. Maybe just getting my own head on straight will help the others in my life?

Did I mention that we (myself and my younger daughter) are doing a half marathon in August in Chicago??? We've just barely begun to prepare for it, but we're going to do it! Anyone want to join us?? Hey, we are in West Virginia. If we can drive 10 hours for this, then some of you can do it too!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Susan G Komen Race for the Cure

I've been really slacking in the exercise arena this last few months... Lots of winter weather doesn't help, but today it is sunny and in the upper 70s here despite the fact that tomorrow is supposed to be rain and turn to snow (ugh--isn't it April?) on Tuesday. SO, we went for a walk. We stuck the world's greatest grandbaby in his stroller and off we went! Mandy and I used to walk this route often but it has been at least 6 mos since we did it last. It is 1 1/2 miles each way--both up and down hill each way too. Not bad considering how long it has been for both of us AND we were pushing the stroller as well. We used to do it at a 14 minute mile pace. We've got a lot of room for improvement now, but we'll get the pace we'd need for the half-marathon we're doing in August in Chicago... Anyone want to join us?? I'll get details if you're interested! And yes, this is a trip for us as we're in West Virginia. The support group I am part of does some fundraising and travels as a group for these events. That is the only way we're able to participate!

I've also signed us up for Team Medabolix for the Charleston, WV 5K event for the Susan G Komen Race for a Cure. That is May 2nd (a Saturday) at 9 am. Cost is $15 till 4/18 and then is $25. If you are from this area and can join us, please click over to our team page and join us!! That link is: =294247&lis=1&kntae294247=40BBE936D1CC4A52A27F70840AFCF55E&s upId=252454169&team=3375652

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life! Work, divorce, grandbaby...

So, I've spent some time reading other WLS blogs lately and I am noticing how over the first year or so things are all about the journey. How much weight have they lost? How far out are they? How many pants sizes have they dropped? Where are they finding the greatest clothing buys, etc? Then, over that latter part of the first year postop, their blog entries turn to more stuff about the real world and things that are going on in their life instead of just the hows and whats of their WLS journey. I read one blog that had nothing whatsoever about their WLS journey in the first 3 pages of blog entries... If it hadn't mentioned WLS in the blog description, you never would have known or guessed.

I've noticed the same thing about a lot of my posts lately. My last post, for example, was just about getting high speed internet FINALLY! The post before that was about how much time had passed (most of a month) since I'd last posted a blog entry. Granted, the one just prior to that was a link to Andrea's vitamin post at OH, but they are a bit more spaced than they used to be! SO, I am going to try and make more effort to document how WLS still affects my life these days...

But, in the meanwhile (LOL), another life update!
Work--I'm working more days than not lately. I don't know of any real full-time teaching slots for next year yet, but the substitute thing is still good and will always be there. There just aren't any benefits!

Divorce--Not mine! My daughter is getting divorced and we have an emergency hearing tomorrow for the judge to decide whether her husband gets any specified visitation time with their baby (AKA the world's greatest grandbaby) during the divorce proceedings. And, last night her hubby revealed that his mother plans to try and get custody of the baby. Apparently she thinks that she is better able to raise him than his own mother. Her 3 sons are obvious proof that this is not the case. They are 17 (18 in June I think), 18 and 20 and not one of them has a high school diploma, a driver's license OR a job! They are all living off of their parents who live off of SSI and food stamps. Oh, and the occasional student loan (his mom) for many thousand dollars that she's stated she has no intent of paying back... Must be nice to fraud the government and feel like you're still a fine, upstanding person who is better able to raise a child in this world. What a start that gives a child in today's demanding world. Heck, this very lifestyle is at the core of the divorce. Our daughter was raised in a different world--a world where people support themself and don't wait for a monthly check to pay the bills. She was raised to believe that we grow up, educate ourselves, and move out into the world to make our own way. We don't sit around and let someone else take care of us and pay our bills. She is powerfully motivated now to get away from his family and their lifestyle and to get her college education and move on with her life. We're so glad she finally came to this point!

Grandbaby... What more can I say? He's just the world's greatest grandbaby! He's a great baby. He now has two teeth! He recently had both middle teeth from the bottom front break through. He's more stable on his feet and when sitting up now. He's starting to babble and talk more. He streaks through the house in his walker and is eating up a storm! He eats about 4 jars of baby food a day these days and still nurses as well. He's about 20 pounds and well over 2 feet tall (28" last time he was measured). Before we know it, he'll have enough teeth to chew finger foods and be walking on his own!

Coming into the 21st century! High Speed Adhead!

For YEARS, we have lived out in the boonies. For the most part, that is good... Privacy! Peace and quiet! No neighbors nosing around when you're not in a friendly mood... :-) But, when it also means living with the eternal slowness of DIALUP (gulp), it sucks! I've tried for the 10 years we've been in West Virginia to find access to some sort of high speed internet and have failed miserably. But, I am finally biting the bullet and going with satellite internet. They will be out Friday morning to install and we'll be surfing in the 21st century finally! I'm soooooo sick of 19.6 kbps. I mean really, it takes so long to load the average page that you can walk away to do something and come back before they finish loading! And videos like You-Tube and the like...get real! It ain't happening! You can't even get the darned things to load, let alone watch them!

There is so much of the internet that simply is not available when you live in dialup-hell.... We'll all be so much happier when this is done and working. I know my daughter will have an easier time with most of her college classes once it is in place. And, we'll be able to download files, watch videos, and more!
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