An anxious heart weighs a woman down, but a kind word cheers her up. Proverbs 12:25

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Journey To a Healthier Me - Month 3

This week I felt a bit overwhelmed.  On Monday, Jim and I went to my monthly (this was my 3rd month) Bariatric Surgery appointments at the Geisinger Hospital in Danville, PA.  To save us time and money they try to combine all my monthly appointments on one day each month.  So on Monday I participated in the Behavior Class, medical appointment and bariatric support group.  I was given so much information that my head is still spinning.  They gave each of us a book to read, “Weight Loss Surgery, Finding the Thin Person Hiding Inside You”, by Barbara Thompson along with our Patient Education Binder.  The education binder covers the following: 

·         Personal Responsibility
·         Changing Lifestyle
·         Building Support
·         Managing Stress
·         Setting Goals
·         Eating Styles
·         Getting Active
·         Body Image

As you can see I have much to read and learn before and after surgery.  The support group meeting was interesting because they have people who have had the surgery share their experiences and then we can ask questions and address any concerns we may have regarding before and after surgery.  It was a very informative and candid meeting to say the least.  But I have to say that it was also encouraging to see and hear from individuals from all stages of life share their weight loss journey and each one losing an incredible amount of weight in such a short amount of time.  I think I enjoyed most of all their candidness as they shared some of the difficulties and yet all said if they had it to do it all over again they would still do it again.  So that is encouraging as well. 

Next month (month 4)will be my 2 hour Bariatric Medical Evaluation, metabolic assessment and schedule appointments for labs and ultrasound and any other tests the doctors feel I should have for a proper evaluation.  Then two weeks later I will have my psych eval for bariatric surgery.  Month 5 will be the Surgery Education Class with a member of the surgery team and another support group meeting.  Then the 6th month I am to have achieved and maintained my before surgery weight loss goal and hopefully receive the “green light” from both Behavioral Medicine and Registered Dietician along with complete a written test and have all my testing, labs and referrals completed.  When all is completed,  I will meet with the surgeon for his evaluation and together we will set the surgery date. Two weeks prior to surgery I will be on what is called Stage 2 Diet (High Protein liquids primarily). 

In the mean time I will continue dieting, journal my foods and feelings etc., study all the materials and get myself ready mentally, physically and spiritually for the biggest challenge and change of my life  - but a journey that will help me to become a healthier me. 

So please continue to pray for me and my lifelong journey to become a healthier me.  So far I am more than halfway to my pre-surgery weight loss goal.  I have lost 25 lbs so far.  It’s going slow, but I can do it!!!  Yes, I do Beeleive I Can! 

"In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall." Psalm 18:29

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Are You S.M.A.R.T?

Proverbs 21:5 ESV  
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Definition of GOAL:   “A goal is a desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve—a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development”  Wikipedia

I find it interesting that when I was employed I had daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly plans/goals.  As a pastor’s wife, leader within the church I also made said plans and goals.  But I have noticed that over the years as my chronic illnesses took hold of my body they also took hold of setting plans/goals for my personal life.  I seemed to have given up on personal goals since so many days my chronic health would tell my body –“not today”.  Yet I have found that it is prudent to set short-term reachable goals.  I certainly would not set a short-term goal for myself to walk around the neighborhood.  Not when at this time I am restricted to non-weight bearing activities.  But I can set a goal to daily or even every other day use the video my sister gave me for Easy Chair Exercises. 

Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV
“And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

As I reignited my journey to become a healthier me, I have been working on my goals:  Physical, Mental, and Spiritual goals.  On January 22, 2013 I set some short-term goals and I am currently working on my long-term goals as well setting new short term goals. 

January 22, 2013 Goals for next 12 weeks:  (I will share a few)

Physical Goals:  

1.       To lose 20 lbs. or more.   2/13/13 – 24.1 lbs. lost
2.       To be able to stand or walk a little longer than I do now.  I can walk back and forth from kitchen (front of house) to our bathroom (back of house) two times without stopping. 
3.       To be able to walk into church with my walker – not use a wheelchair.  .  I believe I can do this; we just have not been to church in a few weeks due to Jim’s back and weather.
4.       To be able to get behind the wheel of the van so I can drive once again.
5.       To begin and continue using the easy chair exercise video my sister gave me.  Yes I can!
6.       To be down at least one pant size.  Let’s see – bra cup – baggie; tops – baggie; pants baggie – maybe it’s time to get out the next size in clothes I have in storage.  

Mental Goals:

1.       Not hate myself for getting this way in the first place.  Getting better with this one.
2.       Have a more “Yes I can” attitude.  Again, working on this one –
3.       Not have so many “down” “depressed” days.  In the progress….
4.       To think better about myself.  Again, working on this one….
5.       Not get discouraged and give up when I partake something above my calorie intake. I’m still here!

Spiritual Goals:

1.       See myself as God sees me. – A work in progress.
2.       To be in the Word and Prayer more often.  Oh, yes,  I am enjoying the hours with the Lord.
3.       To heed to the Holy Spirit’s voice as I am tempted.  A work in progress.
4.       To become more equipped for the Battle of the Bulge.  Every day I am getting more and training and equipped.
5.       To realize the Battle of the Bulge is NOT just about the weight and to find out what else I am battling.  Each day there are battles fought – some maybe a draw – but mostly by the end of each day the battle is won and ready for another day.  

As you can see I have met or at least I am a work in progress in regards to my short term goals. I have set S.M.A.R.T.  goals for myself so I will not get discouraged and give up. I am committed to the Commander in Chief of my life.  I know that the Battle of the Bulge is a lifelong battle.  I also know that as long as I continue in this battle and do not surrender to the enemy – this battle can and WILL be won! 

Food for Thought:  

Not all my goals are entirely weight related.  There are many people who experience some of the issues that I am experiencing and do not have a weight problem.  Have you set short and long term goals in your life?  This week, write down your physical goals; mental goals; and spiritual goals.  Work out a plan of action on how you will obtain these goals.  Are there any goals you would like to share with us? 

Dear Lord, I ask that you continue to help each of us reach our attainable goals.  May we realize who our enemy is, and commit ourselves to you, our Commander in Chief of our life and battles; knowing that in the end we will become victorious!  And we give all honor and glory to you.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What Character Trait Do You Need to Develop?

Each week in the study, Winning the Battle of the Bulge,It’s Not Just About the Weight, the author, Mary Englund Murphy, suggests we pray and ask the Lord to reveal a character trait that we need to develop.  Well, I’m in the fourth week in the study and each week the Lord reveals the same character quality! It’s sad but funny – One of my character traits that I need to develop is to be CONSISTENT. Well Lord at least I’m CONSISTENT with something!  Alright, I guess being consistent in NOT developing this character does not qualify.

I looked up the definition of CONSISTENT –Possessing firmness or coherence; Marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity: free from variation or contradiction; marked by agreement; showing steady conformity to character.  Constantly adhering to the same principles, course, and form.  

Wow, that just hit the nail on the head?  I tend to find it difficult to stay on course –steady as she goes.  I seem to be more like the hare in a race when I start something.  I’m all gun-ho- full speed ahead until I lose fuel or desire to forge ahead no matter the cost – then I quit! Instead of the hare, I need to be more like the tortoise, keeping myself on a pace that I can continue for the long run.  This battle is a lifelong battle – one that needs consistency – looking ahead and not behind.  There may be others who will reach their goals ahead of me – but I must not lose hope.  If I just keep my focus on my Lord, and the final finish line, I WILL obtain my goals.

At the beginning of any diet, the first 20 lbs. come off extremely fast for me.  It’s my body adjusting to the change in eating habits, but after the first 20 lbs. the rest comes off so slowly that I become overwhelmed when I consider how much weight I still have to lose.   I need to stop focusing on how many pounds I have to lose and just focus on one day at a time – one pound at a time.  Becoming a Healthier ME! 

It’s a daily struggle.  I have a form of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).  My mind wonders in every direction with so many thoughts and ideas.  I had a counselor several years back that would tell me (in his strong India accent), “Michele, you need to focus”.   I would reply, “That’s easier said than done!” It’s so hard to stay focus, especially if what I am doing is slow, tedious and “seemingly” non- productive.    I need to remember that not everything comes along quickly.  This weight did not come on overnight – and it will not come off overnight either!  I must commit every part of my life to the Lord; resist the devil and his tactics that would tempt me to run off course. 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

Lord, I know that this battle of the bulge is more than just weight.  Reveal to me every weight that is slowing me down to become a Healthier Me; especially the sin that easily trips me up and entice me to run off course or even quit.  Lord, this battle is a lifelong battle – May I be consistent and run with endurance to the finish line!

What character trait do you need to develop and why do you need to develop this quality? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

3 Reasons Why Gastric Bypass Patients Should Wear a Medical Alert

 Posted by Jenna White on Sun, Feb 20, 2011

 If you have had gastric bypass surgery it is important to wear a medical alert bracelet to alert EMT's or first responders to your surgery.  In order to treat you quickly and effectively, your medical alert bracelet should be engraved with some specific vital information.   To continue reading please visit the following link

An anxious heart weighs a woman down, but a kind word cheers her up. Proverbs 12:25