Weight Lost, Hope Gained…by Emily

Sharing the Hope found after WLS!

Doritos’….get behind Thee! March 25, 2011

Filed under: Motivation — Weight Lost Hope Gained @ 8:54 PM

This post will be short and sweet. To the point. I have spent all day at the hospital with my Dad. He is a heart patient and has had a rough go since September but things are looking up for him, and me! 😉 As I sit in the Family Waiting room very anxiously awaiting news that Dad has sailed through another surgery I noticed how the vending machine is *perfectly* placed. It is right under the flat screen T.V. with Fox News on. They make sure that it is always in peripheral vision. Now, don’t get me wrong I do not have anything against vending machine but I know myself, they are a recipe for disaster. If you give me a good choice with mixed nuts etc., I cannot get over the fact that 2 rows up sits……D-O-R-I-T-O-S and with those there, I bluntly admit it, that the mixed nuts WILL stay *right* where they are and the little spiral will turn to let my Doritos drop down. Just sayin’, I know myself well. To make the taunting by the position of the vending machine worse, I was stressed. I eat or crave crunchy things when I am stressed.

This is were therapy and a good support system comes into play. I came so close to caving into the craving and getting a bag of chips. It did not matter that I had plenty of good choices in my bag, I was fixated on those Doritos and really had myself convinced that they would *do the trick*. Boy, was I ever wrong!! I immediately started using the tools I have learned from therapy. I started by realizing *what* made me feel like I need those chips…..STRESS from my Dad being in surgery. I realized that the stress was bringing on anxiety and that was causing me to want to self medicate the only I knew how to for most of my life. FOOD.

I sprung into motion, I knew I had to counter what was very well going to become a disaster. It was going to be a disaster to my emotions, after I ate them I would feel guilty. It was going to become a disaster to my pouch, they are empty void calories and make me feel sluggish and blahh. It was going to become a disaster because I was about to let the Doritos beast out of the cage that I had worked to hard to suppress all this time. There is NO way that could be possible or allowed. So while I was working through the emotions on my own I reached out to my WLS Peeps and did a status update on Facebook. Their responses were overwhelming me with support! I am so blessed by the WLS community and those close to me.

I’m proud to say that I did NOT give into that vending machine, instead I gave into the encouragement of my peers. The high I felt after that was incomparable to that sucky 30 second high from Doritos’! WHAT a liberating feeling it was!! I’m so proud of myself and the growth that is taking place within me. Thank goodness for good therapist, good friends, and good ‘ol positive self talk.

Dad came out of surgery well and is resting. I came out of a potentially hazardous situation on top and feeling great!! I was and still am IN CONTROL of this thang! 😉

Finish Well,



Meet Duke. March 20, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Motivation,My Story....ever changing! — Weight Lost Hope Gained @ 1:54 PM

He is such a patient horse I tell ya!

This is Duke. My friend Rhonda is his Momma and he is such a pretty animal. The problem is I am very afraid of him. You are probably wondering why?

Well, when I was younger I was riding a female horse and a family friend was on a male horse. We rode way out into the pasture, the day was beautiful wind blowing through my hair, I felt like I was on top of the world! That is until is happened and happened so quickly. Much to my unknowing, my female horse was in heat and the male decided (WAY out in the pasture) that he wanted to “play”. She wanted NO part of that and so they started circling each other, well more so she was trying to get away from him. Jared told me to get off of the horse and I did exactly what he said because I knew and still know nothing about horses. I jumped off and got out-of-the-way before he even finished his sentence I think! I stood there as the huge animals started rearing up at each other and neying (I’m not sure if that really is a word. Haha!) really loud, I tell you that female wanted NO part of that male that was chasing her tail! They somehow got tied up in each others reigns so Jared was trying to get them undone and before you know it, the male kicked him right above his elbow shattering the bone. I am watching this in awe and don’t know what to do. I run (for an eternity) back to the house to get someone to help us leaving the horses to hash out whatever they had going on. Needless to say, that has scared me and although I will pet horses, I am very afraid of riding.

I just gave up on every getting on one again and resolved myself to the fact that it was not a good idea because the horse would sense my nervousness and that is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention I have no idea how to the use the reigns and tell the horse what I want him to do, leaving him to think….what is wrong with this idiot on my back?!?

Well like my last post mentioned, I working on my Bucket List as a part of my “finding myself”. I put riding a horse on it because I have realized I really have nothing to be afraid of riding a horse. I should be more afraid of my poor choices in what I chose to eat, think, and feel about myself. I should also not compare what happened when I was younger to what riding a horse would be like for me now. Just like we as WLS patients should not compare other people and their stories to our story or MAKE their story our story. So with knowing that I realized I had no excuse to not do this.

I called up Rhonda and said “I am ready to conquer this unrealistic fear, can I ride Duke?” “Of course you can, when do you want to go out to the stable?” I’m thinking Uhhhh, NEVER! No, that is not the way to think so we made plans to go out last weekend. She was nice in letting my children come out and ride Duke as well. I was so glad to have them with me because, as their mother, I knew I had to be strong for them. They also showed me what it was like to be fearless and I needed that more than anything in that moment. They groomed (I wasn’t too sure about it, so I just watched) Duke and got him already to put the saddle on. He is such a neat horse, he is what they call “mouthy”, when you stick your hand out flat he will rub his upper lip on your hand, so sweet! The kids loved it when he did that.

Rhonda and the kids grooming Duke and getting him ready to ride!


We walked out to the riding area and I had Mekayla go first so I could watch and learn from her. She jumped right up there and was having the time of her life. Mario was a little nervous just like me so he rode with Rhonda. Having two nervous people on the back of a horse is NOT a good idea!

Then it was my turn, my heart was racing as I put on the helmet, I kept telling myself, you CAN do this Emily! Get up there and DO IT!! I wanted to just give the helmet back to Mekayla and watch her ride, I would have been just fine sitting in the chair and playing with Sox (the farm cat, he was a lovable little guy too!) But then I had an ephipany….I wasn’t fine with being 270 pounds with a plethora of health issues so I did something about it. Why would I be fine with living in fear of riding this horse? So, there you have it, I got up on that horse. Hear still racing, breathing heavy, and with a death grip on the saddle—forget the reigns, I didn’t have time for those—He started to walk as Rhonda walked right beside him to guide him. He walked very slow and never got spooked. I soon realized that everything was ok in my world while I was ON THE BACK OF A HORSE! How could that be?!?! I would look down at his beautiful mane in awe of the fact that I was actually doing it!! It was quite emotional I must say. Rhonda was just as amazing as Duke, like Mother like Son, 😉 She kept talking to me and reassuring me that I was doing good and everything was fine. We walked around in a circle for a few minutes then I needed to get off and rest, I wore myself out from being so wound up! Mekayla got back on and trotted around some more as did Mario. Rhonda asked me if I wanted to go again, and I must say that the 2nd time was easier but (in the words of Rhonda) I cannot and am not claiming Everest over this fear after only the first ride. That is so true. I will say though, it has prompted me to THINK about MAYBE taking riding lessons which was never a thought that crossed my mind. This time last year I would have said “Yeah, right! You’re crazy!”

As you can see here, Rhonda is talking to me and trying to calm me down. She was amazing and so was Duke!

Duke and I being friends here. This was the second ride, I grabbed the reigns but only for a minute. 😉

This experience taught me some new and pretty cool stuff about myself. It taught me to really evaluate what I should be scared of and what I should not be scared of. It taught me get out of my comfort zone and try new things. It taught me be more trusting of myself and emotions. I need to trust that I have it in me to do and try new things. The most important thing of all that it taught me was to BELIEVE IN MYSELF!

This experience was brought on all because of my WLS. Two and half years ago, I had no idea who I was or what my purpose was, nor was I on a mission to find out either. My only mission in life was to find the next drive thru, gorge myself, and exist. I am truly learning what it means to LIVE and LOVE myself through the rest of my life here on earth. I urge you to do the same thing! It is rewarding, I am here to tell you there is WAY MORE power in this reward than the sucky VERY brief reward we get from food or other self sabotaging things we engage in. Life a journey NOT a destination, and I am proud to say that my Journey has begun and I can’t wait to see all that is ahead of me during my travels!

This experience was also brought on all because of my WLS due to the fact that I have gained a new friendship in Rhonda that other wise I would have never been blessed with. I trust her with everything, even my fears, You see what she did with this one, she helped me overcome it, and I honestly don’t think the outcome would have been as rewarding with anyone else guiding me! She gets me. She grounds me. She loves me and all my imperfections. She believes in me. She is there to be my #1 Cheerleader and she is also there when she knows she just needs to listen. She is one of my best friends with so many qualities I admire and adore. She sees the good in everyone when sometimes my mind is clouded by hurt. I am so humbled by her friendship and honored to call her my friend. Love ya Girl!! 😉 Thank you so much for this opportunity and I wouldn’t have wanted anybody else by my side!

Rhonda and Duke. The two beautiful souls that made a difference in my life that day! Love you both!!

I just wanted to leave this blog post with a good quote I found….

“Plant seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Until next time….

Finish Well,



I need a Rubber Ball, please? March 7, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,My Story....ever changing! — Weight Lost Hope Gained @ 10:51 AM

Recently I sat through another enlightening therapy session with Valette. One that hurt, was pretty disappointing, BUT put a name with all that I have struggled with for a long time. It was validating to finally have the AH-HAH! moment and I am ready to move forward and share that with you all! I have found out through this process that I am hugely egotistical with little to no self-esteem since losing my surgery and living in the maintenance phase now. Absurd you say?!?! Well so did I until it was explained to me and it makes total sense and is SO true. Let me explain.

I live in a glass (egotistical) ball. The bottom is hollow and wide open. I constantly need praise and affirmation for doing the right thing to keep it filled up, when it gets low—-I self medicate by what I have done best my whole life….EAT. I don’t take criticism well and when I get it my little ball crushes around me and so I self medicate again. I received all the praise and affirmations ten fold during my weight loss journey, I was on a mission as the pounds were flying off of me. I was a poster child for my WLS center with my face plastered on Billboards, commercials, and brochures. I am a patient advisor and speak monthly at the hospital with my surgeon. The scale gave me daily affirmation in continuously going down, down, down. My friends and family were constantly telling me how good I was doing. I was feeling great! Well, guess what? I’m done losing weight and I have maintained my loss. I feel great and I had my surgery to get my health back which I have now more than ever, BUT I also had my surgery to start living. Well you ARE living Emily you say!?!?!Yes and no. Yes, I run and play with my kids and have amazing chemistry with my husband since I feel better about myself but looking back over my life, my WLS is REALLY the only thing I have done and been successful at that really sets me apart and now that the weight loss part is over, I need to stop living through my WLS and move on to things in life that will help me to find my place in this world. If I don’t then it is a recipe for disaster.

You see, I have struggled lately with grazing even if it be on the “good stuff”, I am eating way too much of it, BUT only at certain times of the month. I do really good at the end of each month and the beginning of the next month. Why? You ask? Because I have my Bariatric Care Counsel meeting on the last Wednesday of each month, I speak with my surgeon the first Wednesday of each month, and have Support Group the second Tuesday of each month. With that schedule, it keeps me in the loop and my little glass (hollowed out at the bottom) egotistical ball is full and happy. But what about the rest of the time that I am not being stimulated? I graze. Yes, I have a great support group here online that I am so thankful for. But I can’t spend as much time on here as I would like with a young family at home. So without constant interaction and accountability, I stumble and that is NOT ok! We must fix that ASAP! Thank goodness for therapy!

Here is my eye-opening conversation with my therapist….

“What makes you unique?” I said, “Well, I am a mother, friend, wife and daughter.” She stopped in middle sentence and said “That is great but those are roles, WHAT makes you unique?” I said, “I am outgoing, honest, caring, funny (I like to think), compassionate, etc.” She stopped me again and said, “That’s great but those are attributes, WHAT makes YOU unique?” I quickly responded with “I guess I am not sure what you are asking me?” She says, “Do you speak a foreign language, do you paint, have you traveled the world? What makes you unique?”As I sat there and pondered the question at hand, I realized that I really couldn’t answer her question, there really isn’t anything that makes me truly unique other than one thing…..my WLS surgery. I am not discrediting my surgery by any means, I don’t want this post to sound like that in any way shape form or fashion because I wouldn’t be finding my true WHOLE self if is wasn’t for my tool. I will be forever grateful for it.

I am on a mission to find my rubber (self-esteem) ball. People that live in a rubber ball know who they are, they stand for what they believe in (those that know me know that I have a hard time believing in myself and my story), they will defend it to its death. They are the people who when talking to them, you ask them how they are doing and they will say, “I am fine, let’s talk about you!”, I have to say that this is probably the only self-esteem trait I have. I really and truly find pleasure in hearing about other people instead of talking about myself. That is probably in part due to the fact that all I have to talk about is my WLS! Rubber Ball people also take criticism well, when they are faced with it, it bounces off (NOT crush) their little ball and has not effect on them because they know who they are and what they believe in. They know what defines them and makes them unique. They know what truly makes them happy. I always thought that if I believed in myself, it was boasting and THAT was egotistical when in fact I have it all wrong…IT’S CALLED SELF ESTEEM! So I am on a mission with a “Bucket List” being made of things that I want to do, I am scared to do but need too as part of learning who I am and who I want to be, and finding my inner self and connecting once and for all! I want to find my uniqueness!!

Bucket List coming in another post….stay tuned.

Finish Well,