Welcome to The Beauchamp Family website. This is our home away from home on the web. This site is for our family and friends who live near and far to be able to keep up with us. We will try to keep you guys up to date on our goings-on. For anything prior to January 2006, please Click Here.

— Tom, Candy, Jamie & Cassie Beauchamp, Austin, TX

Candy Update – 150 pounds in 11.3 months


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.

Mr. B’s Talent Show Performance


Posted by Candy | Posted in School | Posted on 20-05-2012


Tom participated in his school’s talent show this year… :)

Family and Friends – what matters – the personal side of my hospital stay


Posted by Candy | Posted in Illnesses | Posted on 13-04-2012

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I don’t want to rehash the whole thing and those of that follow me on Facebook already know, so check out the link we posted on my business blog about what has happened over the past week or so. It’s been a very emotional week.

The worst is that I spent a lot of time in denial. Denial about having to go to the ER. Denial about being admitted. Denial about how long I’d be there. Denial about what it will do to my work out schedules. Denial about how they’d have to do surgery, about how long it would take me to recover, you name it, I was in denial about it.

I’m better now, but I’ve reached kind of a disbelief place. I’ve spent the past 10 months of my life busting my butt to lose weight, change my life, change my body, get exercising, eat right, move, treat myself the right way… and now this. Three months is a long time to recover – and they say I won’t be full recovered for 12-18, just that a lot of my restrictions will be lifted by three months. We all worked SO hard to get to go to Disney and now I’m not sure if that’s possible. Surely it is, right? I will find out at my doctor’s follow up on the 26th.

BUT… I must tell you that I have the most amazing family and friends. Several standouts though… my sister hopped on a plane with very little notice and flew nearly 1300 miles to be here – even before we knew if there would be surgery – so she could help with the kids, help run the business, take care of the kids and make sure everyone got to school. My neighbors made sure my kids had a ride to school while I was hospitalized and had somewhere to go after school. Two very dear friends each took a kid Easter night and when we realized we forgot to prepare a basket for them in the hoopla… they went shopping and made SURE my kids had an Easter basket. Seriously. They DID THAT. One even realized I must be feeling so lonely and left out so brought all the silly Easter stuff up to the hospital and let me help put together the basket for my daughter. One is even going to the post office, dealing with all client mail and checks every single day.

THAT is friendship.

But they didn’t stop there. My dear, sweet and amazing neighbor made homemade soup. I hadn’t realized what a problem meals were becoming for us. There are 3 adults in this house, but I am useless after a few minutes of walking around (I fall asleep randomly, it’s SO much fun), Tom is trying to nursemaid me, deal with school stuff that comes for not only the kids, but himself (they are heavy into STARR testing timing). Marcy, my sister, is nursemaiding me, making sure the kids get to and from school, helping me keep my business afloat, the house, etc etc. It’s crazy around here and between the exhaustion and pain meds, I’m basically no help at all. The kids are doing what they can too, but dinner has become a huge problem. No one wants to cook. Everyone is so tired. We’ve basically been grabbing what ever food looks edible, sometimes resorting to pizza. Everyone in this house is doing what they can, but we all seems to be burning the candle at both ends. My neighbor apparently even told a few other neighbors that if they felt like helping, I was open to it. A few couldn’t cook anything, and honestly, that”s perfectly okay too, but a few bought a gift certificate for EatOutIn.com (whomever thought of that is a genius, they go to take out – real restaurants – and deliver at home!) or Subway gift cards. I’m floored that people care this much. It’s not the money either, it’s just that they thought of some small way to help in a bad situation.

This is hard for me. It’s hard for me to ask for help. I want to be able to do it all. I am super woman. I can do everything and anything all at once. I can do it! Especially something as basic as feeding my family, but the harsh reality is that I can’t do it all. Not even close. So I did something hard for me today. I accepted a group of my friends that started a menu planning thing. They are going to bring meals (mostly freezable that I can put into my freezer) by now and then for me so we have one less thing to stress about). This whole thing has been a major strain in our lives. It’s been SO hard. So I swallowed my silly pride. I know I like to help others and I’m going to accept their help too. Graciously.

When stuff like this happens it makes me realize just who in my life mean so much to me and where the love that fills my heart every day really comes from. Thank you all for reminding me that it’s okay to to let others help and it’s okay to accept it too. Major thanks for being amazing friends and family and being there. Especially those that have driven from other towns even to deliver help, or something as simple as visiting with me for a few minutes so I don’t feel lonely. I’m lucky to have amazing people in my life and please know that I’m very aware of us. My heart is full.

Heard from the Sleepover: The Politician


Posted by Candy | Posted in Heard From The BackSeat | Posted on 16-03-2012

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It’s Spring Break around here. Which means the teacher husband, the work at home mom and the two Elementary kids are ALL home ALL the time. Add in a technological melt down at the mom’s office and it’s pretty crazy. The kids are basically given free reign as long as they stay out of the way and the parents are surviving on humor and coffee.

There’s a friend over, which means they all want to sleep in the same room. There’s been a LOT of giggling this week as the kids float around with sleepovers and playdates and whatever else there is going on. It’s midnight and I hear an argument between Jamie and Cassie erupt. One of those that is probably minor but loud. The friend (J) is not involved, but is cowering on the bed like “seriously, people, I’m an only child, WHAT is the deal?” I walk in, where they both try to tell me the various transgressions…

Me: “Wait, I don’t care. Jamie, apologize to Cassie.”
Jamie: “Sorry, Cassie.”
Me: “Cassie, apologize to Jamie.”
Cassie: “I didn’t do anything!”
Me: “….” (the look)
Cassie: “Sorry, Jamie” (only a little grudgingly)
Me: “Now, Cassie apologize to J”
Cassie: “I didn’t do anything to her.”
Me: “I said…”
Cassie: “Fine, whatever. Sorry, J”
Me: “Jamie… apologize to J”
Jamie: “I’m sorry, J, for fighting with Cassie over nothing while you were here.”
Me: “Oh, that was a good one.”
Jamie: “Yeah, I know” (fist bump)
Me: “Cassie, apologize to me, please.”
Casssie: “But I…”….. “okay, sorry!!!”
Me: *sigh* “Jamie…”
Jamie: “Yeah, mom, I’m really sorry that we were arguing and interrupted your work and you had to come in here to do this.”
Me: “Oh crap… you are getting good at this.”
Tom: *laughing nearly hysterically*
Me: “Yeah, we have a politician on our hands here”

The scale made me cry


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…


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…


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…


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…


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


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!

Best. Answer. EVER.


Posted by Candy | Posted in Heard From The BackSeat, School | Posted on 25-10-2011

Tags: ,

So those that know my girl, Cassie, know that she’s one of the sweetest and most conscientious kids out there (oh and she can totally suck up as needed too).

She came home last week with this (notice her answer to #25):

Best Answer Ever

I’m not sure if I’m more amused by the answer she gave or the fact that her teacher gave her full credit. That rocks.

Then, I must wonder… did she do this because she didn’t know the answer and wanted to suck up enough so maybe the teacher WOULD give her full credit? Not that I think she’d do that (no, not that sweet innocent little angel of a girl)…

Anyway… enjoy! I laughed and made her cry. I wasn’t laughing at her answer (well, I kinda was… that mom of the year award continues to elude me!)