I’ve been actively trying to reduce the amount of food I take in. My goal is between 1900-2000 calories. I had 2 challenges this weekend. This first was my gaming group:
Once a month we get together for board games and card games. There is always food involved. This week it was a potluck. I think I handled it very well because I didn’t have anything that made me want to eat and eat and eat. I had little bites, and recorded everything. I went slowly and never felt over full.
The second challenge was last night, an early valentine dinner:
My DH (Dear Husband) chose the place- a Korean grill joint. We ordered the beef tongue (I see you making that face, but it tastes just like beef) and chicken bulgogi- these are cooked on the grill. They brought out kimchi and bean sprouts and put it on the grill. There was a salad, rice paper wraps and daikon radish slice wraps.
I feel like my downfall here was A) old habit of shoveling food into my mouth and B) I never saw all my food at once nor made an attempt at cutting portions into smaller bites. Since I’ve been used to smaller portions, my old shoveling habit left me feeling uncomfortably full. Very much so. It made me think about what my stomach would feel like after surgery. I logged everything.
This meal got my DH talking about essentially food funerals. Places we had to go before the surgery. How we had to come back here again with friends (we brought home so much leftovers it was crazy- 2 orders would feed 4 people). We have a special place in Chattanooga we talked about visiting.
On the drive home though, as it became more and more apparent to me how I’d had too much in my stomach, I didn’t want to feel like I had to go to all these places. I like my reduced intake, and I like changing the way I think about foods.
The best advice I’ve heard so far is that surgery changes our bodies; only we can change our minds. This not a quick fix, it’s being committed to a total life change.
I did some research, made some calls. One Dr in AL has an $11,000 price, cash. However, his ratings on a review site are dismal with a one or two stars. Add to that he’s a surgeon, not bariatric surgeon and no thanks, I’ll pass.
A place here in Atlanta touts a $14,350 cash price. I made a call and they gave me all the extra details and costs. It’s out patient. They don’t keep you overnight. With the extras it’s more like $15,500 and they don’t take CareCredit for the discounted cash price, but offer a different lender. I really don’t want outpatient.
The doctor in TN who has a $12,000 cash price has a *lot* of great reviews on obesity boards. Also, his ratings on the med review site are 5 stars. He’s a bariatric surgeon and has been doing these since 2005 tho he’s done general surgery for 30 years. The center is accredited with the Bariatric quality society. That’s not the name but I forget the abbreviation.
I call and they are used to working with out of state patients. The people I’ve spoken with are friendly and down to earth. The nutritionist’s eval can be done as a conference call.
That was yesterday. Last night I talked it over with my mom. She’s offered to pay half- which stunned me and was such a blessing. We agreed on the TN doctor. I called back today and got the ball rolling. I was emailed forms to fill out and I still need to speak with the bariatric scheduler, but we are aiming for late May or 1st of June.
In the words of Mark Watney- F@*CK
I’ve found my first hurdle. Last night I attended my first seminar. LOVED the surgeon. But discovered the self pay cost is $18,800. No payment program. No accepting of CareCredit.
I left feeling like my happy balloon of hope had been popped. I was shaken and wanted to cry but my husband was extremely supportive and reminded me that there are other places to look into.
I love my husband.
So far the best rates I’m hearing from people on the webz is $12,000 for places in AL and TN.
Time to make some calls.
Yay! Scale victory!
Starting W 285
I danced for joy at being under the 80s. I’ve been increasing my step count weekly. I’ve been more vigilant about foods.
I want this Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG). I attended a seminar 3 years ago on weight loss surgery.
There are three types of gastric or bariatric surgery. One is a lap band. It is reversible. You can read up on it here at Wiki. Suffice to say I don’t want a silicone tube inside me that has to constantly be adjusted.
The next is Roux en-Y. This is where they make a very small stomach pouch and hook it up to a different part of the intestine. I have Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease, and phutzing with my intestines is not an option.
VSG is where the surgeon removes a large part of the stomach. This area includes where the hunger hormone is produced. The amount the patient can digest at one time is drastically reduced. This is not a reversible surgery.
I did not want it enough back then. I thought I could do extreme weight loss on my own. I did not want the regimented eating plans, really working at exercise, the finality of surgery. So how’d that work out for me? I’ve gained even more since then.
I am ready. I am making plans. I have started on vitamins that help with hair and skin. I am eating smaller meals, and exercising more. Today I will go check out Dollar Tree for baby food dishes and containers. My husband is going with me to the seminar Wednesday this week.
To borrow a phrase from my more religious friends, I am acting as if God has already given me what I’ve asked for. Bring it on.
Last night my community of friends celebrated Imbolc. It’s an old gaelic celebration. Traditionally held around the first of February, it’s the midway point between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox. Winter Solstice is the longest night, Vernal Equinox is the start of Spring. At Imbolc we get ready for the coming growth of the year and sweep out all the negativity. In gardening terms, it’s the time of year when one clears away the old growth, the dead branches, and prepares the soil for seeds in the Springtime.
We stood outside for a very long time. My feet hurt so badly. All the more motivation to take off the weight. I would shuffle from foot to foot, and finally resorted to almost a marching in place. One of our artist friends has a broom handle he’s made, and keeps from year to year. At Imbolc he fashions new bristles for it- be it straw or paper or what have you. As a symbol of sweeping out the old dirt, the old negativity, the old fears; we are “swept”. After everyone in the circle is swept, the broom’s bristles are lit in the small bonfire. Symbolically, the things that are holding you back from growing are burned away.
I don’t attend every year, and this year was cold! But it was important for me to use this time to mentally set my intentions and goals for the coming year.
I live in Atlanta. Yesterday at school we had a tailgate party in the teachers lounge. There were lots of different kinds of foods. One table just contained desserts. There was a round brownie like cookie and someone was asking about it. I said I didn’t know what it tasted like. I picked one up broke it in half and saw the caramel inside it. I said “oh it has caramel!” I then put the cookie back together and placed it on my plate without tasting it. She looked surprised and said “Aren’t you going to try it?” I said “No. Right now I don’t know what it’s like. I don’t have that taste in my head and I can say no to this desert. If I try it then I’ll know what it tastes like and I will crave it and I’ll end up taking three or four these back to my classroom. So it’s better if I don’t try it at all.”
I love salty sweet foods. It was the smartest thing for me to do.