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Weather in Tucker, GA

Car Repairs vs New Cars

The last two years have been fraught with Honda repairs. I’ve spent about $2500 on her in 2015-16. All the parts that have been replaced were ORIGINALS, so over 20 years old. Despite the outlays, I still think it makes more sense to keep my 1994 Honda Civic EX w/ 165k on it that to get a new car. My friends think I’m out of my mind, but DANG, my car has new(ish) paint, the interior is pristine, it gets 28-30mpg in the city and about 35mpg on the highway. I’ve taken great care of her and with the new tranny and clutch, she’s pretty much a car w/ 73k on it.

I’d LOVE to have a new car, don’t get me wrong. All the bells and whistles that come on new cars are FAB! But I cannot justify the expense in the short term or the long term (insurance).

Same with the Ranger (2005, ~124k), although we put a few hundred in it recently, it is in great shape and runs as good as a Ford Ranger can. (They have some issues, but we still love them and do NOT want an F150, thanks.)

If I were to get a new car, firstly, it would not be new, it’d be used. I don’t believe in buying new cars. I’d be looking at Minis pretty much exclusively. I really like the PEP that those things have. I’d get an S turbo, manual of course. If we had to replace the Ranger, we’d be looking for another Ranger, which would have to be used since the suits at Ford decided to disco them. Idiots. The used Ranger market is so hot that Hennessey Ford sent us a letter asking if we’d consider selling OUR Ranger back to them or trading it in!! Hello, Ford Motors? You might wanna pay attention to that.

If I were to get a FUN car, I’d be looking at 61-63 Ford Galaxies, convertible. These years are the highly collectible years, so they are uber pricey. A nice one will run you around $20k. Which I don’t have, so I guess no Galaxie for ME. There are tons of 64+ Galaxies in myriad configurations. You can sometimes find these in the $5-8k range. BUT we’ve no money to dally with old cars.

So I continue to drive my 94 Honda. She’s old and can be costly with the repairs (like me), but she still runs good and looks good. I really like the form factor of the mid 90s Hondas, actually, better than the current ones. The new Civics are too big and the Fit is too ugly, so Hondas are not really on my short list. I love the Mini, always have, and I’ve driven one, so I know how much fun they are to drive. The turbo five speed will blow your fucking hair back!

But I love my Honda. And her seat conforms to my butt. There’s that. :)

More About Eating After VSG

So, after doing some more reading and youtubing, I now have proof that my “quick” move to regular foods is NOT unusual. I found a couple that both had the sleeve at the same time and their Dr cut them loose at 5 wks to eat “regular” foods. They did 2 weeks liquid, one week pureed, one week soft then onto regular food. JUST LIKE I DID. It’s all about what the Dr hands you on the little care sheet. The timelines are just suggestions, everyone is different. While I’m fine with the 5 wk timeline, someone else might be struggling and end up on the 8 wk timeline. You won’t know until you are doing it. I followed my body’s lead and when I wanted to try different foods, I did. Listen to your body!!

I’ve also been doing research on the no drinking while eating “rule” and that also depends on the person. The logic behind it is that the pouch fills up fast and you don’t want to have a liquid hogging space – which is sensible and has been my experience. Another theory is that too much fluid will “wash out” the foods too soon and you’ll not get the nutrition. That one I think is suspect, but perhaps?

What I DO NOT like is when the medical people – be it Dr, dietician, nurse or other caregiver – have hissy fits if you don’t follow *their* rules and threaten you with statements like “OH, if you drink water with meals, you’ll have trouble down the line!” Which is a total LIE (NOT told to me, but to the couple on youtube). Drinking with a meal will NOT harm the pouch, but it may not feel great to you, either. Once that puppy is healed, IT IS HEALED. It’s not going to pop open or anything! ALSO, drinking carbonated drinks will NOT stretch out the pouch. That is a myth. I drink carbonated water all the time before and now. I also drink beer, sake and wine without issue. I didn’t do these things during healing, but I do now and it’s fine – but not with meals.

So, again, when dealing with bariatric surgery (VSG in particular), do your research, but don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for YOU. The 5 wk timeline has worked fine for me (I’m almost at wk 6). Drinking with meals does NOT work for me (yet), but I don’t usually drink a lot while eating anyway. Drinking carbonated water is fine for me. As I always say: your mileage may vary.

For me, doing this procedure was precisely to NOT have to be on a diet ever again. I don’t intend to live my life counting calories, protein, carbs or anything else. I think 40 years of dieting is ENOUGH. I am very mindful of what I eat right now because I’m still adjusting and creating new habits, but I don’t intend to be keeping food logs at 6 months. I intend to live my life and still lose the weight, which is what I’m confident will happen. Here’s to NO DIETS.

To quote a guy on a forum: “I may be a renegade, but to me a normal person has some water with dinner…and my goal was to look, feel, and act like a normal person for the first time in my adult life. I am obviously not advocating that anyone follow in my footsteps; I just wanted to give a different perspective.” Yep, I feel ya, buddy, I feel ya. :)

Happy Blogiversary!

Today marks the 17th anniversary of

My whole life is in here, folks. All of it: good, bad, ugly, lovely.

I’ve been an internet oversharer for a very long time and I hope to continue until my last day. :)
Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 4.42.18 PM

This is my story. This is my life. This is my legacy.

It ain’t much, but it’s mine.

Thanks for reading! XO

Doing Better…

Not shiny and happy, but better. That big dip has been thankfully short lived.

Part of it is some good luck at getting an iPhone 5c for $76 and then finding a tokidoki case. Another part is Nick is feeling better, which naturally makes me feel better.

Some of it can be attributed to resolving to simply take care of myself and saying BUGGER OFF to the various medical people who have let me down. Between my research skills, knowing my body and some input from Amy, I think I can handle the dehisced incision myself.

To cover the backstory:

My dermatologist did not get the messages I was leaving her all last week due to idiots in the two offices she works in, so she never called me back until Friday night after 9pm. ?? When she did, she basically told me that she had no idea what to do about the incision and I should call the Wound Care Clinic for an appointment. Nice! Thanks medical person I’ve seen FOR YEARS. >:( So, Monday morning, I called this clinic and the nurse informed me that if I don’t have insurance, I’d have to pay $700 just to walk through the door. I laughed at her and said, what? She reiterated the $700 fee. I asked why it was so much and of course she had no idea but said, “well, you have to pay the hospital and the doctors”. Um. Yeah. I told her that was pure-T bullshit and hung up. Then I called another clinic – with the SAME motherfucking doctor – and their initial fee was $225. Much better, but still.

Due to these fees and bullshit, I’m very hesitant to pay for a “wound specialist” to look at a NON-infected wound, tell me I’m doing fine and sending me on my way. Which is what I feel will happen.

SO. I take care of myself, as usual.

The coordinator in Mexico called me yesterday to see how I was doing. Which is great, I appreciate it, but it devolved into her subtly implying that my slow weight loss is due to my not following the whacked out meal plan set forth by their useless dietician. Grrrrr. I’ve put the diet rant into its own post (below).

Again, it’s that deeply rooted belief that the reason Americans are fat is solely due to eating fast food and too much sugar. I resent it and it REALLY pisses me off. I was pretty pissed when I finally got off the phone. Just goes to show: NEVER believe any person whose job it is to keep you happy. NEVER. They will lie to do their job (keep you happy while you are in their care) and you will eventually see their true feelings shine through the bullshit. It’s a sad but true fact. (Anyone in Mexico reading this: I am not mad at any person, I’m mad at the overall belief that being fat and/or weight loss is strictly a factor of diet. IT IS NOT. There are REAMS of facts to back this up. NOR is this a slam at the ladies who coordinate things. They are VERY good at their jobs and very caring. I am just a very perceptive person and see through bullshit more than the average person.)

But oddly, getting pissed off about that attitude has helped pull me out of the doldrums, so hey, thanks for that, I guess.

I also had some good info from a scientist friend who did some digging and confirmed that actually, I’m on target for this procedure. She found anecdotal evidence that 15-30# was typical for the first month and 5-20# was average for the following months after VSG. The people in Mexico were just blowing hot air up my skirt with the claims of 40# in the first month – again, NEVER believe people who are paid to keep you happy. They’ll say anything. It’s not malicious, it’s their job.

In typical ME fashion, information soothes me and gets me off my ass. I feel capable of taking care of this wound and managing my weight in this new normal. I’m still not happy that I’ve lost most of my enjoyments of life (good food, good wine, cooking), but I know they’ll come back in a few months. I will continue to bitch, but overall, I’m holding on to the hope that my life WILL get back to normal and I’ll get back the few things that make me happy.

In the meantime, I’ve got a truly great partner to help me get through it and to support me when I need it. Nick has been AMAZING during all this and I have not said enough how much I could NOT have gotten through this without him. He is my rock. I love you, baby! XOXOXO

I’ll have a video for you guys by the end of the week. :)

A Little Diet Rant

This turned into its own post, a spin off of the Doing Better post. I am opinionated, yes, but I think common sense would tell anyone that the wacky diet proposed by this dietician is not really logical or even doable. I tossed it out long before I went to Mexico for the surgery and I suggest YOU toss it out, too. The coordinator calls me noncompliant, I call me SMART for being concerned about overall nutrition. I am not sorry for dissing their suggested diet and I am not sorry for sticking to my guns and doing things the way I feel is best for me. I know me better than any of YOU, so I will take care of myself as I see fit. I do respect professionals, however, I do NOT simply do as I’m told without research and deciding if it is the right path FOR ME.

People who live in this country with its poor one-size-fits-all healthcare would do well to follow my example. You must take the reins, be your own advocate and do what YOU feel is best for YOU.

I’ve pointed out to the Mexican team SEVERAL TIMES that I will NOT follow a meal plan that revolves around fruit, yogurt, smoothies and potted meat. It’s crazy and I’m not doing it. I’ve said that from DAY ONE. The coordinator implied that my slow-ish weigh loss was due to my not following their wacky diet, and went so far as to recommend that I contact that dietician and ask for help! LOL Right, let’s call the person who makes a diet for VSG patients that has meals consisting of 3+ cups volume and are laden with fruit (sugar, no nutrients) and rely on yogurt every meal. NEIN. I don’t know what planet that dietician lives on, but NO VSG patient can eat that much, like, EVER. 5 oz pouch can’t hold 2-3 cups. DUH.

Here are a coupla screen shots of the offending “diet”. This one is from the pureed section with the infamous 1 cup potted meat (deviled ham, which is 90% FAT, this is like FOUR cans):
Potted meat! YUM!
Here is a daily plan for the last few weeks called “Soft Foods” which is mostly fruit and yogurt and identical to the pureed foods diet:
Daily diet plan. Crazy.

For the record, you should NOT continue to eat pureed or soft foods indefinitely. THIS is how you’ll gain weight, since you never reach satiety. This diet is POOR. I’m not eating anything pureed at this point. I am still eating soft foods, but since pretty much all I can hold is protein, it’s mostly baked fish, canned chicken, ground chicken and veg where I can fit them in. Oh, and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I’ve found that egg beaters are awesome for this, so I have beaters with salsa. I really don’t like sweets for breakfast. I have my 30gm protein shake (Premier Protein, not cheap, but palatable) at 8pm every night. No other proteins yet and certainly few carbs – although I have had mac and cheese twice with NO REGRETS. I am averaging between 60-70 grams protein a day. My diet is FINE. Read this book for more about “mushy food syndrome”.

I have had a very smooth surgery (other than the dehisced incision) and I’ve moved through the recovery weeks well. I am not typical, but I feel that my diet has been moving along at its own pace and it’s FAR from done. I think I probably am typical, and if patients would eat a better diet and not be married to the diet given by this dietician, they’d move faster, too. I have no proof of this, but it’s my feeling.

I am on track for the average weight loss of VSG patients: 1st month is 15-30#, following months are 5-20#. I am confident that my diet has nothing whatsoever to do with my perceived slow weight loss, because it is not slow, it’s typical. I am just impatient and I want the weight GONE, like, yesterday, so it feels slow to me.

As always, I only write about MY experience and your mileage may vary (YMMV). Any advice given here is geared towards reminding you that YOU know your body better than anyone else and therefore YOU have a say in how things progress. I will not apologize for doing things my way, because it’s my body.