Candy Update – 150 pounds in 11.3 months

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 31-05-2012

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Wow, what a crazy year I’ve had. I’m officially down 150 pounds from where I started this journey. I said I wanted to be at 225 when we left for Disney and the scale rewarded me this morning. I honestly cannot remember the last time I was this weight, probably high school. I still want to lose another 50 pounds and then see where we go from there, if I want to lose more or look at plastic surgery or what my next step will be. The neck fusion surgery kind of slowed things down more, but I’m okay with that. The doctor expects me to lose 2-4 pounds per month at this point. In month 11, I lost 6. I’ll take that. I don’t freak out like I did before when things stall out. I seem to lose in a stair step pattern. I’ll lose 2-5 pounds in 2-4 days and then stop for 10 days or so. I just ride it out knowing that I’m doing what I’m supposed to. Honestly, it’s kind of nice because people don’t notice as often and I don’t get the “Oh My God!” reactions. Those are nice, really nice, but I also like just kind of blending in too. *laughing*

I can’t help but think back to where I started all of this and be in awe of what I’ve accomplished. The surgery can’t fix your head so while I’ll give it 100 pounds, the last 50 have been mostly me and changing my thoughts and feelings around food and its purpose in my life. Yes, it’s helped me not really ever have hunger and keep my portions small, but I can totally eat a whole lot of calories if I really set my mind to it. Trust me, I’ve done it. And learned from it.

I’ve said it before, but the world is a different place when you’re not worried about if you’ll fit into the restaurant booth (or getting there early to make sure you’re the first one so you can request a table). Or hoping that the one store you can shop in will have black pants. Or having to ask people to move so you can slide by them at a table. Or 900 other things that the rest of the world doesn’t even think twice about.

So, we keep on going… I’m doing a great job. Not as fast as others, not as slow as some, but the good fight keeps being fought. And that’s really what it is. A fight against obesity and for the life I want and deserve.

The scale made me cry

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 26-02-2012

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Almost exactly a year ago, I stepped on the scale and cried. I realized that it was time to stop doing lip service to healing from this disease of obesity that had taken over my life and to actually to do something about it. I was frustrated with the constant circle of failure, upset with myself for being unable to control my weight and completely bewildered by what I knew I had to do to get myself healthy. I cried.

This morning I got on the scale and cried again. But for a completely different reason. Today, I am (quite literally) 2/3 the woman I was then. In the 8 months since I acted on that extremely difficult decision to have weight loss surgery (see my post in early December), I’ve lost 125 pounds (yes, you can do math, yes, I did just share “that number”). Let me say that again. I have lost 125 pounds. 125 pounds. I’ve lost another adult. I’ve lost 25 freaking bags of flour. It’s been very hard (again, I say anyone that thinks this is easy is obviously an idiot or insane LOL)

In a few more pounds I will no longer be considered “morbidly obese” and will simply be “obese”. Dropping that “morbid” word is significant to my brain for some reason. I cannot remember the last time my BMI was under 40. I realize I still have a lot way to go to get out of that obese category, but I started this insanity at “super morbidly obese”. I cannot believe I got that big and I cannot believe at how my life has changed. Since my 100 pound update, I’ve noticed more changes… in how I move, how I sit, how I carry myself, how I feel. I no longer worry about fitting anywhere. I feel somewhat like a normal person. I can buy clothes at ALMOST any department store (plus size still, but hey, I’m not limited to just a few stores). I can longer buy “Just My Size” underwear.

Okay, the underwear thing deserves it’s own paragraph here. You guys can laugh all you want. Go ahead, I’ll wait… done? Yeah, so I’ve been wearing JMS undies for FOREVER. I like the way the white granny panties briefs fit. Hey, I’m a pretty simple girl here. Well, I’m now below their largest size. I’ve bought at least 20 different brands/styles and I can NOT find one that doesn’t make me crazy or ride up in places it has absolutely no right being. I am majorly struggling with this and I’m wearing baggy drawers! (Yes, I know Hanes should be the same, but they aren’t. ARGH!) Okay… laugh again. Go ahead. Sigh.

Seriously though… this has changed my life. It’s changed my marriage (it’s true what they say that a bad relationship just gets worse and a good one just gets better, and mine has never been better). It’s changed my family, my friends, the way I look at the world, the way I look at other obese people, the way I look at skinny people, the way I feel about myself and everyone around me.

So… I’m feeling brave from being high on the adrenaline rush this has brought. Be kind, I’m still pretty sensitive about sharing this…. but this is my heaviest photo from May 2011 and my photo tonight (tired from a crazy night, but it’s all me LOL). This is what 2/3 of a woman looks like. This is what a 125 pound loss looks like.

My hair may be thinner, but so is the rest of me. My hair is growing back in, but my waist is just getting skinnier by the minute. I am wearing size 34 pants and a 5X shirt in that first photo (yes, really). The the 2nd is 24 jeans and a 2X sweater. Yesterday, I wore a size 22 slacks. Life is good.

How I Met Your Father…

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 15-12-2011

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I’ve told the kids how Tom and I met before, but I guess they just don’t pay attention. But I mentioned that we were going out this weekend to celebrate 20 years since our first date and they asked, so I thought I would share. This Saturday marks exactly 20 years since Tom and I had our first date. We are going out to a nice local restaurant (Wink) and then going to see Beauty & The Beast at Bass. This is actually very significant. When I heard it was coming and I heard the dates, I called Tom immediately and we both laughed and knew right away where we were going…

In October of 1991, I was heavy in to the Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). Back in the day, before the internet, us geeks used something called a BBS. We would dial in to another computer and use the forums, download freeware/shareware and play games and stuff like that. There was even a fancy one or two that could have multiple “nodes” and you could chat live with one or two other users. It was all very fancy. My own first connection was with an old computer that had two 5.25 floppy disks (one to run the computer and the other to house the program) and was at 300 BAUD. What’s a BAUD, you ask? Yeah, just don’t ask. It was slow. Watching one line of text scroll across, then the next line…. etc etc. This new guy showed up on the scene, named DayStar (I went by the witty name of Candie) and he was EVERYWHERE. And he replied to almost all of my messages. It was a little weird, but whatever, right? He sent me a private message  and we talked back and forth and eventually he got my phone number out of me. I cannot recall why, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

… and then he wouldn’t stop calling me. It wasn’t really stalkerish, but almost. I would talk to him, but he wanted to meet. I had a LOT of good reasons. Like my sister’s birthday party. Then my other sister’s birthday party (he totally didn’t believe me, but they really do have birthdays just two days apart). Let’s see, I was washing my hair. I had homework. I managed to NOT meet this guy for nearly two months. It’s not that I was being mean, but he was 3 years older than me. He was in the military. I was 16, he was 19. Eventually, my mother asked what was going on. I told her and she said, “He sounds like a nice guy just looking for a new friend. He is in a new city. Give him a break. What’s the big deal?”. Le Sigh. Mothers just don’t get it?

So… I hatched a plan. He was almost 20, so what did he want with a 16-year-old anyway? I decided that I would make him go away by making him realize that I was just a kid. Beauty & The Beast had just hit movie theaters. So, I would agree, but to make him think I was just a kid and make him go away, I’d insist he take me to see that movie. So, I set my plan in place. He called. He asked if we could meet again. I was pretty bratty and told him that yes, I would, but only if he’d take me to see that movie… I waited, with odd glee, as he surely was trying to back out…

… and then he said “Oh, wow, yes, of course… I love Disney stuff”. I think I may have threw up a little in my mouth. WHAT? Okay, surely, he is kidding. Maybe I could just shake him? So, we agreed to meet at the mall (on December 17th). I would be wearing a red Christmas teddy bear sweater and jeans. Ha! Do you KNOW how many people were at the mall in a red sweater? Okay, so I was kind of mean to him. He couldn’t find me, but I saw the Metallica hat and figured it was him. I followed him around for a few minutes, noticed he had a cute rear end (hey, he does!) and walked back to our meeting place to see if he actually figured out who I was. It was kind of funny, in a mean twisted way…

So, off we go to the movie. I’m thinking that surely we’ll watch it, I’ll go home and he won’t call again. Then he started singing the Disney songs. What the heck? I figured I would just change my phone number. Obviously, he was crazy. At least he paid for the movie… so, after the movie he asked if I wanted to go grab something to drink. We ended up at McDonald’s and split some fries where, once not singing Disney songs, I realized he was actually a good guy. So… he called the next day and asked if I wanted to go out on a real date. He was willing to come get me and take me somewhere.

Let me explain… this is not a small thing. I lived in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. It was a good hour for him to get there if he hit any traffic at all. So, I gave him directions. He would be there at 6pm. By 7pm, I was pretty sure I had gotten rid of him and really felt bad because he was a nice guy. Dammit. I was pretty resigned to putting on my PJs and going to bed when the phone rang. This was before cell phones and he was lost. He was also out of our area so he had to talk some small itty bitty store into letting him make a long distance call. So, yeah. He was late. He was VERY late. I have no idea what I told my parents we were doing, but by the time we got back to civilization it was later. We ended up going back to his apartment where his weird roommate was watching a movie (Backdraft, I think?) and talked for a while. I think we grabbed take out from somewhere. Not very exciting, but hey, it worked.

While I’m telling this story, I’ll take the opportunity to embarrass my husband by telling you that we went back to the car, he opened my door and leaned over a little (cuz apparently it was time to kiss) and said “I hate this part”. I think I snorted with laughter and said “Thanks”, which totally ruined my 16-year-old “moment” so I told him to just get in the car. I think later he said we should try that again and he managed to not make a really stupid comment.

And that was pretty much that. We were pretty inseparable at that point. We both have a really weird sense of humor and we have enough inside jokes (like I randomly tell him “I hate this part” when he tries to give me a kiss) to confuse all of our friends. By Valentine’s Day, I was in lurve… he asked me to marry him in March (WTF was kind of my response). We found out in June that he was being moved to Hawaii in December. At that point (I mean, I was a kid, but I was smart enough to know that THAT long distance wasn’t going to work), we decided that I would finish school, get married and move to Hawaii in a year. We had a plan. We got engaged. He left and within a week things changed in my home life and I ended up moving in with friends in December. It was tough all around. Tom found out he wouldn’t be able to get leave until September. I graduated in June, so I was kind of in flux with the whole living situation. He could, however, get leave in early March… which is why my wedding date is 1 day after the day I turned 18 – and moved to Honolulu. I graduated with my class (I only needed 1 English credit to graduate, they let me write a few papers and mail them to the school).

Yeah. I was 18. He was 21. It could have been a disaster for sure! But, we made it work. And we still make it work.

So, that my friends, is why we knew we HAD to go see Beauty & The Beast on the 17th. Exactly 20 years from our first date when we saw it in the movie theater. Can we all get a big “awwww”. Thanks :)

18 years of marriage so far :)

On Friendship and Girlfriends…

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 12-12-2011

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Those of you that know me best know that second only to my family, I value my relationship with my close friends the most. I’m lucky to have a core group of friends that have come to mean so much to me. They’ve been there with me to celebrate the most victorious moments of my life and they’ve been there to hold me up when I’ve been at my lowest moments. They keep me grounded. They renew my spirit. They keep me sane.

We’ve become so close that over 5 years ago, in October of 2006, we started a bookclub just so we’d be sure that we saw each other at least every month. And we do. A few have had had to drop out over the years, some are able to come back, some aren’t. But we all know that we share not only a love of reading and love of each other, but a friendship that has withstood through good times, bad times, children being born, children going through phases, illnesses, family insanity, etc etc. No matter what, my girlfriends are there for me. And that… that, my friends, is the true definition of friendship.

I’ve learned much from my group of friends. I’ve learned that if get enough of us together someone, inexplicably, will end up screaming “It’s a penis!”. I’ve learned that I am, sadly, not a perfect parent and that I’m not alone. I’ve learned that the Mother of the Year trophy really does get passed along and circles right back to you. I’ve learned that if one of them says “duck” you do it and ask why later. I’ve learned that I’m pretty good Mother and Wife and Friend. I’ve learned that being my true self is really who people want to see. I’ve learned that  true friends might pass you by but always come back to cross the finish line with you. I’ve learned that… I’ve learned that my life is so much richer with them there.

So, this holiday season, I just want my friends to know… I love you guys. Thank you for being there. We may not talk about the book every month, but I always leave feeling like I’ve been embraced in the world’s biggest hug.

(And a special shout out to the two who aren’t in the photo below — and to our significant others who once or twice per year allow the hen party to go pecking around their house, and deal with the kids while the approximately twelve cackling coven members laugh loud enough to cause the neighbors to come knockin’) XOXO

 

How I lost 100 pounds…

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 02-12-2011

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So, this is a hard post to write (and one I’m not sure anyone will actually read all of – it’s really ridiculously long and mainly for me). This is one of those things that when people ask “what would you do if you were brave” you write this down. I have no idea why it’s hard, but it is. I think it’s because I’m afraid of people thinking this was easy. It’s not. The decision to do what I did was hard and took many years. The decision to be open with it… well, it’s hard too. I’ve actually been working on this post for a few weeks and told myself when the scale registered 100 total lost, I’d publish it… so here goes…

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So, this is a long and rambling post… get some coffee…

Short answer: I bust my ass with exercise, I eat a lot less, I work on my mental issues surrounding food and I had weight loss surgery in June.

Now, for those that want to the real (and quite long) story…

I said when I started this whole journey that I wasn’t going to share. It was a personal thing and no one’s business. People are just so judgmental that the idea of letting people into my weight issues was hard.

See, here’s the problem. When you are overweight and share your struggles with others, you hear things like “oh, just eat less and exercise more, it worked for me!” I kind of want to use my well-oiled sarcasm and say “OH EM GEE, I never thought of that and no one ever told me. Thank you SO much for that insight.” Of course, those are the folks that would probably take it all serious and give me their diet plan of rabbit food and 4-hour-per-day workouts.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I’m fat (no, really! I know it’s hard to tell sometimes!). I’ve been overweight/obese since before Kindergarten. My counselor can tell you it has to do with my childhood (hey, mom, I’m blaming you! *laughing*) or impulse control or just plain genetics. I believe it has to do with all three myself, but the bottom line is that I’ve struggled for over 30 years with this issue.

It should also come as no surprise that while my weight issues have prevented me from doing some things, I’ve also never felt that overly self-consciousness. I’ve always kind of felt like this is who I am and you can love me or you can go away, but I’ve always believed that I’m a good person and, honestly, I do blame mom for that one. That woman instilled in all of us a “can do” and “love yourself” attitude. If I’m being honest, she’s probably the reason I’m successful in business and in my personal life today.

So, I’ve lost 100 pounds since June. Exactly. As of today. 100 pounds. I’ve done it mostly quietly, but once you hit a certain point, people start noticing and asking questions. Or they notice, but are too scared to ask (what if they’re wrong). It’s actually been kind of amusing for me to watch them. Especially since I finally bought new clothes, they’ll stop and look at me and want to say something but you can actually SEE them decide to not say anything. *laughing*

… and if they do ask and I say “yes, I have lost a good bit of weight”, they’ll invariably ask how. And this is where the hard part comes. You see, I’m one of those people that believes in authenticity. Sometimes to my own detriment. I figure that you can like me or not. It’s up to you, but this is who I am. I also have been known to over-share at times. One of my friends once said that I “live out loud” and I think that’s probably accurate.

As I said, I wasn’t going to be open and honest at first, but I found that as people asked that question, it was hard to not answer it completely honestly. I mean, us overweight folks have tried and tried and tried. Do I lie and say “oh, it was totally Richard Simmons” and then they feel inadequate for not being able to do it themselves or… do I be honest and say “I had weight loss surgery” and risk them informing me that I took the easy way out? Do I then feel compelled to defend my choice?

Perhaps I over-think this stuff?

So, what I have been doing is telling the ultimate truth. On June 21, 2011, I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Since then, I’ve been making sure to eat the right things and exercise and change my thoughts about food and what it means to me. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and if anyone tells you it’s the easy way out, they are frankly full of shit. The real story is a little more complicated than that of course, but that’s the bottom line.

The longer story is that about 8 years ago, shortly after Cassie was born, I started looking at gastric bypass, but I really hated the idea of them rearranging my intestines. I looked at the band, but there’s so many chances for complications, I never really considered that one. I’d seen people struggle with the dumping issues and everything that comes with these surgeries and I’d spent half of my life on a diet. I had pretty much decided that I had to do something else, but bypass wasn’t it. I went back on a diet (or 20). A few years ago, I decided to look into it again and came across a newer procedure called the Gastric Sleeve. It was “new” as a stand alone procedure, but had been part of another one for a long time. There was also a lot of research about gastrectomies in general. People have had parts of their stomachs removed for various reasons throughout history (cancer, etc). Oh wait. Yes, I did just say REMOVED. I have had about 75-85% of my stomach taken out. Just removed. Gone. That was it. No rerouting, no implants.

Nightline did a great story on this particular weight loss surgery, you can see it on Hulu. I identify with Holly’s story and I’m taking my kids to Disney in June, darn it! (Warning, it shows surgery but it’s a very cool piece.)

Anyway, in classic Candy fashion, I researched it to death. Everything I read pointed to Dr. Ganta. He seemed to be THE guy in Austin for the sleeve and bariatric surgeries in general. So, off I went to one of his seminars. VERY nice guy, soft spoken, but he knew his stuff. I knew he was the right surgeon. Ah! But the insurance wouldn’t cover it. I didn’t have the cash so I decided I would keep trying it on my own, make some changes and come back when I had the funds.

So, off I went to find a personal trainer and get into some sort of shape (apparently round is not the right shape – I KNOW, right!). I found Chrissy over at Libra Fitness, who has been fabulous! I started having lower back issues more often, so I found Diane Shigley over at Advanced Chiropractic, she keeps me pain free.

Earlier this year, we got new insurance and I was hoping it would be covered, but knew that the time was right. I had so many people on “Team Candy” (and yes, I do actually consider them all part of my team – they are always supportive and there for me) that I knew it was now or never. The insurance didn’t cover it, but after a short talk with Tom, we decided to just use credit and get it done. I’ll be paying it off for a few years, but I’d rather be paying it off and losing weight than sitting there doing nothing. It was time.

In March, I met with Dr. Ganta for a consult, went to my primary doctor (who was not supportive, so I ditched her after the surgery – shout out to new fabulous Dr. Alicia Grossman), got all the tests done that they required. I decided that the one piece I was missing out was the mental aspects. I mean, I’m paying some guy to cut me open and take out a large portion of a vital organ. That’s gotta screw with your head. So, I found Lynn Zipoy who quickly has become one of my favorite people.

… and on June 7th, I started the preop diet (which sucked). Surgery was June 21. It was HARD. The recovery wasn’t too bad. It was all done laparoscopically, but I had some pretty nasty abdominal muscle pain from where they cut through.

So, I’ve lost 100 pounds. I have 100 more to go where I’ll be at my “well, what does that look like” weight. According to the charts, I should lose about 35 more after that to be within “normal” ranges, but I’m going to see where that total of 200 lost looks like. Yes. I needed to lose 235 pounds. It seems incredible to me that I was carrying around 100 pounds on my body just six months ago. OR that I’m still carrying around an extra 100+.

I also have this little voice in the back of my head (that bitch needs to shut up) that keeps wondering if I’ll keep it off “this time”. I can. I have a great team. I mention all these people above that were kind of part of this whole thing, but please know that I didn’t forget about the biggest team members. That’s my wonderful loving husband, Tom, and our two kids. All have been nothing but fabulous from listening to me talk through the decision to do it, to holding my hand while I cried wondering why I did it, to sharing all the victories through this first half of the journey, to sharing a plate of fajitas with me when we go out so I don’t have to deal with leftovers. I also have a group of about 15 friends (yes, I’m very lucky, we’re all very close) that know and have been NOTHING but fabulous and supportive.

This second half will be harder than the first, but I’m ready. I’m sure I will still be trying to get the last pounds off in a year, heck probably even in two years. But it’s about the journey, not the destination. I’m 36 years old, I’m not 18. I’m never going to have the body of an 18 year old.

So, if you have a question, ask in the comments – or even email me (I have resources and another blog that I’ve posted on as I went along this crazy ride) – and I’ll answer, but these are the usual questions I get asked:

1. You were always kind of a foodie, do you miss eating food? — nope, I still enjoy frou-frou food sometimes. I just eat less of it. In fact, I can eat anything I want, including dessert. I try not to right now while I’m losing so I only indulge sporadically. I also am avoiding white carbs for the same reason.

2. My aunt’s cousin from my dog’s side of the family had bypass and cannot eat anything but baby food now, aren’t you worried about that? — Not really, I can eat 2-6 oz of food at a time now. 2 oz of dense meat (like steak or chicken), a little more if it’s fish or veggies. Also, I have less food restrictions and issue as those that have had bypass or the band. There’s no food that’s truly “off limits”, but I do make smarter choices now.

3. Wow, 4 oz on average? Aren’t you hungry? — That’s kind of cool the part! When they removed my stomach, they removed most of the stretchy part of the stomach, leaving a sleeve. Ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone is stored in that stretchy part… so I really don’t get that gnawing hunger I used to have. I do get kind of a nagging “you need to eat” feeling now and then, but there are times when I honestly forget to eat at all. Sounds good, but it’s not because I have certain protein requirements that I have to meet. It’s a challenge sometimes!

4. What about going bald? I’ve heard you lose your hair when you have surgery. — That’s one of the down sides. I will not go bald, but my hair has thinned a lot. It’s a big part of the reason that I had it cut shorter. It’s not really noticable, but yes, my hair is falling out a good clip. It should stop soon.

5. Wow, so you’ll be at your goal in another five months? — not exactly, I lost a LOT in the beginning and (as is normal), it’s slowed down to 2-3 pounds per week on average. I lose about 10 pounds per month. So, that’s perfectly normal and will slow down even more as time goes by. This surgery is NOT a cure. It’s a tool that I have to use and use properly in order to lose the weight. It takes time. I have time. It took me 36 years to get so overweight, I’m okay with it taking a few years for me to lose it.

6. So, what about loose skin? That aunt’s cousin’s said she had a lot of nasty gross skin. — yeah, this is true and yes, it’s not exactly attractive. BUT here’s my theory on it. I can walk around severely obese and unhealthy or I can walk around with loose flapping skin and be healthy and more fit. Kind of a no brainer, right? And yes, I will likely look at plastic surgery to help because it’s going to be a very big problem for me when I reach goal. It is kind of fun to flap my arms at my husband though. Tom has been amazing and we’ve had nothing but fun with the whole thing (and he’s been there for the bad times too!)

7. You don’t dump or whatever it’s called? — Nope, but I have had two times now when I’ve eaten too fast or too much (you know, that mindless eating we all do from time to time – lesson learned!) and it gets stuck or it something happens and I spend an hour or two in severe pain. It stinks, but it’s temporary and a reminder that I have to pay attention. It’s also one of the few times I can remember regretting the surgery – I’m fine afterwards, but in that moment, it’s pretty bad. Note: This differs from person to person, some people never have any problems, others have to be even more careful than I am.

8. How do I get information about the surgery? I might be interested. — If you’re in Austin, contact me and I’ll tell you about the support groups and my doctor. Otherwise, follow the couple of links I posted above. There’s also great information (and some not so great) at http://www.obesityhelp.com - I will tell you that while it really is the best decision I’ve made, it was one that *I* had to be ready for. This would not have worked for me two years ago. It had to be the right time. It’s a huge commitment on your part and not something to just decide to do one day. It doesn’t work like that.

And the cool parts of this whole thing:

1. Not worrying about if I’ll fit in a restaurant booth or chairs with arms

2. Not feeling like my life revolves around food

3. My daughter sitting ON my lap (cuz I have one now!)

4. Not buying the biggest size in the plus size clothing store

5. Jeans. Real Jeans. Just sayin’

6. Finding out how much I enjoy walking and exercising now that I can move

7. Having so much more energy to play with the kids and do the things I want/need to do

8. Being able to wear my grandmother’s wedding rings (they are too loose now for my ring finger, actually)

9. Not needing a seat belt extender for airplane trips

10. Noticing I have a collarbone!

11. Within one week, I was off ALL of my high blood pressure medications. Serious.

12. Walking 5Ks and riding a bike (I had not ridden a bike in over TWENTY years)

13. And so so so much more…

So, there you have it. I’m glad to have finally “come out of the surgery closet”. I’m lucky to have so many friends, family and various associations that I KNOW will be supportive. I kind of think that writing this post was actually harder than deciding to get the surgery in the first place. I’m proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished – deciding to change your life is really tough but I did it and I feel amazing (I’m doing 5ks here people!) – Just as an aside too, my life doesn’t revolve around my weight or surgery so please, when we see each other, let’s talk about other stuff too — AND if we are ever out and you’re not that hungry, know I’m your girl to split some fajitas ;)

I am too chicken to share before and after photos yet (I still do have quite a ways to go, I know… this is my hang up still), BUT I will take that first step and share this one. This is my lap in the car. I used to need a seat belt extension. My stomach also used to also barely graze the steering wheel. The steering wheel has been THE coolest measurement for how far I’ve come because it’s something I can see and measure and notice every day. If you’re on Facebook, you can see photos from 6 months to a year ago. HUGE difference – also my video blog (I’ll do a new one next week, the last one on there is from 2-3 months ago).

Cassie playing Bile Em Cabbage Down on Violin

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 07-11-2011

Wow, she’s come a LONG way in such a short time. She’s having a great time!

We will never forget… not even 10 years later

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 10-09-2011

If you mention 9/11 in a room of people, they will always remember that day – usually vividly, where they were, what they were doing. They will always remember that moment that they realized what was actually happening. We all have a story around that day.

For me, it was a quiet Tuesday morning. Tom was out of town (I believe in Georgia) for business. Jamie was crawling around on the bed in the master bedroom while I was folding laundry. I turned the TV on for him just minutes before the 2nd plane hit. I just stood there staring at it. It had only just registered that one plane hit and it could have been accident at that point. It took a moment for me to realize that a 2nd plane… well, that wasn’t exactly an accident. Not too long later (it seemed like minutes, but I’m sure it was probably an hour or so later, honestly I just stood there staring at the screen), the first tower fell. A friend came over with her kid, it was pre-planned. I couldn’t tell you what we said. I think we were both kind of in shock. It took Tom a few days to get home. I think he came in on Friday. He said it mostly a wasted trip, he had just gotten there Monday evening.

Five years ago, I took part in a beautiful tribute, people wrote blog posts about each of the 2996 people that died that day. Mine was Louis Arena. You can read it here.

Although it can never never compare to what happened that day, the fires in Bastrop this year have reminded me how much I admire firefighters and other rescue personnel. They truly are the ones telling people get out while they are trying to find a way in. I thank each and every one of you for what to do for us mere mortals every day.

Hug your loved ones and if you see someone that risks their lives for all of us, make sure you thank them, not just today, but every day.

I find it hard to believe that it’s been 10 years. That crawling, giggling 11 month old is now almost 11 years old. He’s not oblivious anymore. He asks questions. It’s so hard to explain to a child why someone would want to purposely crash an airplane into a building and kill 3000 people, especially when I don’t truly understand it myself – do any of us really? That 11 year old is now compassionate and loving. It’s an odd memory that I will always have of him, but one I don’t ever want to forget.

Sometimes we train them TOO well….

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Posted by Tom | Posted in Misc | Posted on 08-08-2011

Ah, laundry time at the Beauchamp Household. I wash and sort out everyone’s clothes. The kids, however, are responsible for putting their clothes on hangers and putting them away. I told the kids that after dinner tonight it was time for them to put up their clothes.

They finished eating before I did, and as I am walking down the hallway I hear them giggling. I shout out,”Are you guys putting away your clothes?”

Leave it to Jamie to put a smile on my face. His response: “We might be…I think I am…well, I COULD be…I’m not sure.”

Wow…there was a whole lot of Candy and Tom in that response…Now do I ground him or hug him? ;)

Updates – the good, the bad and the super sweet

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc, School | Posted on 19-04-2011

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IMG_8376Late photo of Cassie and her cake on her birthday…

I’ve been basically hibernating since my last post. Tax season was a bit brutal to me this year. Crazy, but should hopefully slack off once I catch up – if I ever do catch up!

The kids are doing fabulous. Jamie has really come out of his shell this year, he’s managed to drop probably 20 pounds and his grades are AMAZING. I’m so proud of him. If I could get him to get up in the morning without threatening him with bodily harm, then life would be REALLY fabulous. Cassie is puttering right now along… she loves school and loves learning and always has a smile and a hug ready for nearly everyone.

Tom got notice that due to the budget cuts, his position will be cut after this year. So yeah, he’ll have worked five months. Very sad, but we have hope that he will be rehired. He honestly loves teaching and has loved the past four months. Funny, he finally finds what he’s supposed to be doing in life and now this, but we have always believed that things happen how they are supposed to so I have faith that this is just a bump in the road. (Yes, I think he’s crazy… there’s so many of them – no way – not happening – I’d rather have bamboo shoved under my nails). But I must say that he’s been so genuinely happy that I really do hope he’s able to continue next year. The good news is that he was hired, so he’s in the rehire pool. Like I told him, if he wasn’t, he’d be in a bad position. So, see? Not all bad.

I’m doing well, getting ready for a few upcoming trips and various things going on. Excited, but already exhausted. At least I have a couple of weeks to recover before we go… it’s going to be fun! First stop is Portland, then to Dallas this Summer and then Vegas this Fall. Never been to Portland or Vegas so I’m super excited.

Not much else going on, honestly… just going day by day… we did get the kids new bikes. I know it’s sad, but our kids don’t know how to ride. They had bikes with training wheels, but Jamie took a nasty fall when he was 5 or 6 and refused to get back on it. We’re kind of making him get one because I know he’ll like it. Cassie, of course, is all over it and trying her hardest to learn. She can go if I give her a good shove, she just can’t start or turn around yet very well. It’s coming along though!

And now a sweet story (and to show you that either Tom is the sweetest husband ever or he has everyone snowed)… I texted him a few weeks ago while he was at the grocery store and asked him to bring me some jelly beans. I was going to be up most of the night and I needed something to chew on. He came home with them. No problem right? He told later that he had to go back in because he was packing the car. Awww… sweet right? Well, he went back through the line and the lady said something and he said “Oh, my wife wanted jelly beans so I came back in”. She asked when I was due (umm. no.) and he said, “Oh, she’s not pregnant, she just asked and I came back in”. She was surprised and asked something to which he replied, “Yeah, I just can’t resist a pretty face.”

Snowed or sweet? Hmmm… it’s been 18 years and I’m still not sure…

Happy Birthday, Cassie

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 11-02-2011

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Eighth BirthdayHappy Birthday, baby girl. I cannot believe you are already eight years old. Your dad and I are so proud of you who you have become. We know how lucky we are that you are just who you are – mac n cheese hating and all ;)

Keep smiling, baby girl…