We are NOT alone.

Yesterday was the Southern California Weight Loss Surgery Meet and Greet in Temecula, an even put on by none other than my FAVORITE blogger, “Eggface,” aka Michelle Vicari!

First of all, let me just say, I have been BEYOND excited for this event since I hit the ‘Yes’ RSVP button! It was so nice to be in a room full of people who understand the changes that I have been adapting to for the last month. In that room, the cumulative weight loss was in the THOUSANDS. Thousands of pounds lost by 50 or so people who were brave enough to make a life-changing, and maybe even life SAVING decision. If that isn’t inspirational, then what on earth is?

I met so many courageous people. A new friend named Denise, who has lost more than 200 pounds, and was not ashamed to show her bra and undie photos at 430 lbs. I am so grateful to have met her. She had a smile on her face at all times, and was kind enough to show us how far she has come. And she isn’t done yet!

I also was lucky enough to meet my “Surgery Buddy” from the Vertical Sleeve Talk forums! She walked in the door, and I KNEW it was her, by the smile on her face. She looked at me like she knew me, and it was like seeing someone that I’ve known forever. I approached her in the forums after seeing that her surgery was scheduled for the same day as mine. She has been an awesome source of support!

I met a woman named Cindy, who had WLS 9 years ago, and has come SUCH a long way, but also hasn’t completely finished her journey yet.

It is so nice to realize that these women are so close by. It was nice to complain about protein, and hear that I am definitely NOT the only one who found out that no matter what protein it is, I’ll never be a fan! Lol. One of the nicest things about the event is that even at a table full of strangers, with the exception of ever-supportive Alex, there was a connection between all of us that made communicating easy.

The highlight? Talking to the hostess herself, of course! Shelly has so much life, energy, and SPIRIT. You can read it in her blog posts, but there is just so much to be said for a person who throws an event like this. Bringing people together to celebrate their success and journey in the fight against obesity. She stopped at every table, and greeted everyone as if they were just another friend. And, in all my star-struck glory, well…you know I HAD to get a photo.

If you’d like to learn more about Shelly, and see more from the event (I’m sure she will have it in the next blog post!), then check her out at www.theworldaccordingtoeggface.com. You can also click on the badge for her site up there on the right of this post. 😉

Overall, it was a wonderful day! After the meet and greet, Alex and I headed to the Temecula Promenade and hit a few stores, went to Lucille’s BBQ for lunch/dinner (I had a piece of fried green tomato, a piece of friend pickle, and a WHOLE piece of chicken strip! WOOO!) and then we hit the movies and saw Crazy, Stupid, Love. AWESOME movie. And not just because we get to see Ryan Gosling half naked, either!

I love days like this, that just seem to put themselves together into the perfect Saturday.

XOXO!

BIG Love.

I came across a really interesting post in my my sleeve support forums. I love that no one is ever scared to ask all of those questions that linger in the back of your head, bordering on inappropriate!

Someone was talking about how since their weight loss, they’ve seen their significant other in a different light.She is no longer attracted to him, and finds him pretty much downright disgusting after she’s lost over 100 lbs, and committed to living a healthy and active lifestyle. I found myself intrigued, because although I don’t have a significant other, so to speak, it triggered something in me.

Sadly, I guess I have always been a little shallow. I might not have been skinny, but I certainly held some disdain towards those who ate copious amounts of food without qualms. I’ve never really dated a “big guy,” so I don’t have much to go off of there, either. But I’d like to think that if my man and I got big together, we’d lose together too. Otherwise, wouldn’t things get a little tricky? SUPPORT is 99% of this battle. If it weren’t for the people who have stuck by my decisions and checked on my progress, I don’t know that I could have taken this step. It was all those people who said “Sondra, you have always done what you put your mind to. This won’t be any different.”….I may not have bothered. The push I gave myself was a huge factor. But the push from others sealed the deal.

One guy I was “dating” was quick to jump and tell me that he liked me just the way I was. He was so passive-aggressive about the whole thing that I was pretty much confused. He was in school to be a personal trainer, and yet….he was advising against my procedure. I found that shortly after that conversation, I was really no longer attracted to him. I couldn’t tell you why it bothered me so much, but it ruined our whole dynamic.

Another guy, he pretty much put it on the line that his attraction for me would be compromised if I were to lose more than 25 pounds. NICE. You better believe I don’t respond to any of his calls or texts these days….and yes, he still calls and texts. What the hell?

There’s one guy…I’m convinced without doubt that he is merely WAITING for me to be skinnier before he finally makes a move. I don’t want to believe it. But I don’t want to lie to myself, either. And the funniest part is that at one point, he had more of a shot than anyone.

I love people for WHO they are. And I’d like to think that someone getting fatter, skinnier, sexier, uglier, smarter, dumber, etc wouldn’t change my feelings for them. But at the same time, how do you start an entirely new life, with a huge focus on your eating habits and active lifestyle, and then turn your head to the lack of motivation on their part? What’s the point of being with someone who asks if you went running, but doesn’t want to run WITH you? Why bother cooking for someone who will complain about the fact that you used lean meat and no crisco? It just seems so sad to me, but at the same time, it’s a truth a lot of people have to face. How much you love someone won’t be enough if you start to feel like they don’t love you, let alone THEMSELVES, enough to make these changes, and take control of their health and livelihood.

All this to say, I guess I’m just gonna need to marry me a pro athlete. Someone who won’t mind hitting the gym with me, and who actually LIKES protein shakes. UGH! ❤

Hello world!

I never really thought of myself as the fat girl.

I have been the loud girl, the quiet girl, the weird girl, the smart girl, the crazy girl, the girl in the bright colors, the girl with the big smile…..the list goes on. I’m sure they referred to me as the fat girl. But me? I never heard it.

Problem with selective hearing? You still see what you look like every time you pass a reflective surface. You still have to learn to be ok with shopping trips with friends to places where you can really only engage yourself in the accessories section. You still take longer than everyone else to run the mile, and you still can’t help but notice some of the stares that come your way when you’re in public.

I would be a liar if I sat here and told people that I cared so much about what others thought. Problem was, I always was so much tougher on myself.

January of this year, I had my physical exam, and talked to my doctor about the options I had as far as Weight Loss Surgery(WLS). I did a TON of research, and thought the LapBand was my answer. It tied in with the healthier life style and habits I had been developing, and it was reversable. I began the process with my insurance and primary care physician, and got a referral to see my surgeon, Dr. Takata on March 8th, 2011.

First, let me just note that having a good looking man as your surgeon is QUITE the little mind game. I was determined to do well, just so that I could at least imagine our future children being an actual possibility! Anyways, Dr. Takata was impressed with all of the research I did, and made sure to inform me that he thought the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy was his preference, in terms of procedures that would be most successful.

Basically, homeboy wanted to take my tummy from a football, to a farm egg! Needless to say, I decided that someone who got a MD and everything most likely knew best, and went home to do some more research. I learned that a lot of Band patients actually end up getting Sleeve revisions! And what really made my decision? Sleeve patients lost an average of 60-80% of their excess body weight, versus Band patients and the 40-50% they lose. As I always say….Go hard, or go HOME!

On June 20th, 2011, after all was said and done, I went in for my last pre-op appointment, weighing in at 305 lbs. On June 24th, after 4 days if liquid diet, I was down to 291. As of today, I am officially at 275 lbs. Putting these numbers in black and white really HURTS me. It makes me feel ashamed, and scared, and like I was so close to failing.

But the beautiful thing about this struggle is all the victories that I have been fortunate to have, and that I look forward to celebrating. 30 lbs in 32 days….and we have only just begun!!

30 Days Post Op…..

Ahhh.

So, as of yesterday, I was 30 days post-op. Thirty days ago, a hot surgeon opened me up, and CHANGED MY LIFE.

At this point, I am 27 lbs lighter since June 20th, 2011. I last weighed in on 7/13. I plan to weigh again tomorrow and see where we are at! It is so crazy…I eat an egg, and feel full beyond belief. I drink a protein shake, and it takes me about two hours to finish it! I am beyond grateful for all of the supportive people who have stuck by me this whole time, and cannot even begin to imagine what I would do without the encouragement and support. It’s truly amazing how many people will think to check on you when you take on something like this. You learn who really cares about you, and who really celebrates your achievements WITH you.

I have a best friend that MAKES MY DAY. She drove me to and from surgery, and had a mini meltdown when the nurses rolled me to my room after surgery (as you can very well imagine, I was a HOT mess, apparently groaning about my shoulder pain!), and honestly, that’s just the beginning of the list. We have a fabulous new condo together, and now that she no longer lives in Bakersfield, things are FINALLY back to normal. We just celebrated the past weekend with a day at the Del Mar Throughbred Club Horse Races (thanks, Corky!), and then spent Sunday with her boyfriends wonderful family at Glen Ivy Spa in Corona. Nothing like being painted in green goop with your bestie to get the bonding going! Lol. It’s so nice to have her here again. I feel better when I go home, and I look forward to everything we do, because we always MAKE it fun….regardless! Give us some gossip mags and beach towels, and we will make it happen! 🙂 You can see just a glimpse of how we get down, complete with our oh so glam “My Fair Lady” style hats at the races this past weekend below(I snuck one of Lidia in there too! That girl is quite the anchor in the 5 years I have known her!):

As far as StupidHead is concerned….

Ahh….sometimes I just wish I could write him a REALLY long letter, and be able to vocalize everything that I think to tell him throughout the day. It’s kind of annoying, really. I realized that he is one of the males in my life who can actually GET UNDER my skin, and I freaked out a bit. It’s not really my style to stress over a dude. It’s not my style to give a rip about whether or not they are upset with me, or I hurt their feelings. The lines of this friendship have just become so beyond blurred. And I am just as guilty as he is. I could say no….I could ignore the calls….but I never do. I decided last night that I was going to address the fact that we’ve overstepped the appropriate friendship boundaries after a small tiff last night, and then BOOM! He goes and starts on about all the things he likes about me. It was straight out of a chick flick….”I like that thing you do with your nose, that face you make when I annoy you? And I love it when you’re angry, and then you just vent and go right back to being all sunshine and rainbows. I hear songs when I’m in the car, and just picture you smiling and singing along….”

WTF? The worst part? I remember pretty much every word he said. Which only means that we are really screwed here. So I need to start lining ’em back up again! I need to find someone that I really want to invest my time in. Maybe someone I’d actually consider fighting for. Someone I would go out of my way to express my feelings for, in the hopes that I could keep them.

OR! Maybe I can just act a straight fool for a little while! 🙂 Gotta make sure I can keep up with all these guys….settling down in the midst of so many changes and achievements could be a little foolish, after all! Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m gonna keep stalking the Victoria’s Secret website, and adding swimsuits to my shopping cart in preperation for my Sports Illustrated cover! A woman’s work is never done!

I’m thinking that this could be it, seeing as it’s my color and all. 😉

The Liya Push Up Halter Top suit from the “Beach Sexy” line at VictoriasSecret.com. I’ll take HECK YES for $500, Alex!

Love and Lipgloss!
XOXOXO ❤