Tag Archives: fat girl

Seven – Game On!

Today I talked to the surgeon’s office to find out if they want me to have another heart test.  Looks like the heart doctor gave me clearance despite my abysmal ability to complete the stress test.  So, the surgery is on!  No more tests! Yay!

I am in the final stretch.  Only a week left.  The reality is starting to set in.  My Mom will be here next week for the surgery.  I’m excited to see her and I’m glad she’ll be here for me. 

I am really upset that I could not finish the stress test.  So, today I am going to talk a little about exercise and my current lack of a plan.  Exercise is difficult for me because of my back pain and weight.  Nonetheless, I need to do something.  Not exercising is clearly not working for me.

Also, after the surgery, exercise is going to be a crucial part of my medical recovery and weight loss plan.  I only have a week before my surgery, so I will not get a lot of exercise in before the surgery, but I still need to do something now.  Any amount is an improvement over my current condition.

Starting today, I am going to make my way down to the exercise room in my apartment building and start riding the recumbent bike.  I will also start using some of the weight machines.  I do well on the bike.  In the past, I have been able to ride the bike for a half hour and more without having to stop.  I do breathe heavy, but not nearly as badly as I do while walking.  And my back pain is minor.

After the surgery, I am going to join a gym and work with a  personal trainer.  I am hoping that as I lose weight some of the pain I experience will start to abate and make exercising much easier for me.  I am going to also focus on strength training.  I think some of my back and leg pain will really start to lessen as I strengthen my muscles.  I may even start going to a chiropractor to help with some of my back problems.

But today, I am going to start by riding the bike in my exercise room and using some of the weight machines.  I am going to exercise every day until the day before my surgery.

T Minus Ten Days And Counting

I cannot believe I only have ten days left.  I still have to get a stress test.  That is scheduled for Tuesday.  I have my leave of absence approved at work and I have applied for short-term disability as well.

Today I went to GNC and bought all of my vitamins and protein drinks.  GNC was much less expensive than many of the online stores I was directed to by the doctor.  I still need to get a B-1.  GNC didn’t have it in a chewable form.  Oh yeah, that’s right.  All of my vitamins have to be chewable.  I will also have to be on vitamins and protein drinks for the rest of my life.

The protein drinks were the most difficult thing to find.  I am allergic to milk and the majority of protein drinks are made with isolated milk or whey protein.  I found a couple online that were non whey, but one of them had shellfish, the other did not have enough protein.  GNC had a couple different ones that worked.  One was a soy protein the other was egg.  I bought one of each.

This week I have to eat light.  No heavy starchy or fatty meals.  I stay on that diet all the way until the day before the surgery.  The day before, I can eat a normal meal before six on Tuesday.  No liquids or anything after midnight.  My surgery is at 8:00 am the next day on Wednesday, October 24.

I also moved all of my clothes that I will need for after the surgery to my sister’s house.  They have the guest room all set up for me.  I just need to get through this week and my stress test and I will be ready.

OH my gosh, I almost forgot…my mother is coming to town too.  I am excited to see her.  I have to do a thorough scrubbing of my apartment though.   It’s in pretty good shape now, but no where clean enough for a visit from mom.  I once had a magnet on my fridge that said this:

Show me a house that is excruciatingly clean and I’ll show you an older female relative about to visit it.

Yeah, it’s like that.  My only regret is I do not have time to get the carpets scrubbed before she arrives.

Speaking of Addiction…Confessions From A Gamer Girl

And you thought I was going to talk about food?

Part of what I am trying to do with the surgery is to change some of the non-food related activities that helped me get fat and kept me fat.  One of the things that helped keep me there was my video game addiction.

For about three years, I was pretty seriously addicted to World of Warcraft.  I kept the account open for about a year after I stopped playing on a daily basis.  I would still log on from time to time and look at my characters.  I also went through short bouts of playing for a couple of days, but the game as a whole had lost interest for me.  This summer, I closed the account completely and removed the software from my computer.

While I was deep in the thralls of Azeroth, however, I did not recognize how completely addicted I was.  I played every day for several hours at a time.  This required hours of sitting in one position with little movement.  I ate in front of the computer.  I played when I was sick.  I took staycations and played WoW all day long.

It did not help that I had family and friends who also played the game.  We would all get together on weekends, usually at my sister’s house, and play.  It was a lot of fun.  In fact, many of my friends are gamers of some sort or another, although not all of them play WoW.  Many of them do, however, play some sort of MMORPG.

For those of you not familiar with gamer-speak, MMORPG means Massively Multi-player On-line Role-Playing Game, or as it is also called…Many Men Online Role-Playing Girls.

I have to admit, it was very interesting to be so immersed into such a male dominated world.  Yes it was imaginary, but you constantly have to group up with other players to accomplish goals and complete quests.  Unless you actually carry on a conversation with the other people, they really do not know much about you and assume you are a guy.

I had one character on my realm that was fairly well-known.  I created a healing shaman and I named her Anaxamander.  Healers are always in short supply, so I was often invited to groups and raids, even if they were above my current ability because people were desperate for healers.  This taught me to become very good at healing very quickly.  It also helped me to very quickly gain the items necessary to improve my healing skills.

An in-game friend of mine invited me to a group.  He had a ventrillo account set up so that we could all log on and talk to each other live in real-time.  I started talking and one of the guys interrupted me.  I had run some dungeons and raids with him before, but we had never really talked.  He was in one of the top guilds on the realm and was fairly well-known him self. He said, “Wait…who is that talking?”  I replied, “Anaxamander.”  He replied with, “Anaxamander is a GIRL??  Dude, all this time I thought you were a guy!”

I ran into that a lot.  And I have to say, I kind of enjoyed it.  I was good at the game and I loved that it shocked the guys who dominated the world population.

Most of the in-game people I became game-friends with were guys.  Mostly, though, I stuck to gaming with my sister and some of our other friends that played.  We enjoyed doing a lot of the silly stuff.  We did the holiday quests.  We ran around getting in-game vanity pets.  At Christmas time, we would take stuff from our guild bank, wrap it in virtual wrapping paper and give stuff away to other characters.  During that time, we also started city-wide virtual snowball fights and created campfires and sat around telling holiday stories.  We were always amazed by the number of people who would come and sit with us and egg us on with our story-telling.

I also really got into doing player-versus-player battles, also known as pvp.  Many of the people who I became good gamer-friends with all played pvp.  The battles are basically two teams playing either games of capture the flag or protecting bases.  It was a lot of fun.

But as fun as the game is, for me,  it is a form of escape.  I could feel a sense of accomplishment completing game achievements, quests, and difficult raids and dungeons.  I was proud to have one of the top healing shamans on my realm.  I had a lot of in-game friends and was in one of the best guilds.  Unlike my real life, my in-game life was awesome.  I could do stuff in-game that I could not do in my real life.

Here’s the problem, none of those fun, awesome things fixed my life.  I was still morbidly obese and getting sicker.  I still had many other problems that I was not dealing with, and I was not doing the other things with my life that I wanted to do.  So, I made the decision to quit the game.  I had really stopped playing for the most part.   Closing the account was merely a formality, but an important step.

Now that I’m not spending all of my time playing WoW, I am amazed by how much time I have to do the other things I love.  I am working on improving my health. I am getting ready for the gastric by-pass surgery.  I am writing more.  Blogging more.  And I have started taking care of other things in my life that I was struggling with.

I have to admit though, I really do miss gaming.  I was surprised to discover this myself.  Recently, I read a news article about the game.  Someone was able to hack into the game and do mass killings, killing off nearly the entire world population in minutes.  I watched several videos on youtube watching an entire city of characters just drop dead.  I was cracking up.

Watching those videos though made me realize how much I do miss the game.  I actually thought about reactivating my account.  The thought scared me and I immediately shut down my web browser, closed my laptop, and walked away.

I have not reactivated my account.  I really do not want to go back to the way I was.  I want to continue to take care of my health and my weight.  I do not want to escape my life or my problems.  Maybe sometime in the future, after I’ve lost weight, fixed some of the other problems I have there will be a place in my life for video games.  Maybe not.  What I do know right now is that as long as I feel that need to fill the emptiness inside with some kind of addiction, whether it is food or games, I cannot invite WoW back into my life.

All of the images included in this post are characters that I created and  played during my time in WoW.


The Closet Project

Well, so much for a daily post, eh?

This weekend turned out to be a very busy one.  Saturday, I spent the day working on my closet, at long last.  I started cleaning out the clothes closet at one point this summer, but I never finished.  I made great progress this weekend, however.  Sunday, I spent the day meeting up with different groups of friends.  Everyone is clamoring for my time now since the surgery is so close.  I have the greatest friends.  🙂

Back to the closet project:

I have four bags of clothes that are trash.  Three bags are set to go to charity.  I took clothes out of storage and sorted through those as well.  In the end, I did 14 loads of laundry.  I also washed all of my sheets, blankets, towels, and pillow covers.  Since I will be gone for a month, I wanted to make sure everything was clean and fresh as I will be having a series of guests once I return from my convalescence and I will not be around to freshen them up later.

Cleaning out the closet was at once the easiest thing I’ve ever done and the most difficult.   There are clothes that I was anxious to get rid of and other outfits were more difficult.  Generally, the difficult ones were clothes I had not worn in a while and that I had some emotional attachment to.  They have a lot of grief and regret attached to them which is always problematic.

The clothes that I have wanted to get rid of for a very long time I kept because sometimes they were the only ones that fit me.  Generally, they were stained, ripped, had holes, worn out, or just ugly.  I purchased a few inexpensive shirts, etc this summer to get me through until after the surgery, so throwing away those clothes was easy as pie.

After cleaning out the trash, the next step was also easy.  I got rid of the clothes that I just hated.  These clothes were in good shape and perfectly wearable, so I put those clothes in bags to give to charity.  They may go to good will, or a homeless shelter.  I have not decided yet.  These clothes were easy to sort through as well.  It is easy to get rid of the things you do not like.

I found it hardest to get rid of the clothes that I really like whether they fit me or not.  I have clothes from size 14-30.  Obviously, some of those clothes I plan to keep and wear as I lose weight.  It was very difficult for me to sort through these clothes.  I have held onto these clothes for years hoping to fit back into them.  Some of these clothes I have a lot of emotional attachment to these outfits.

I found it very difficult to be judicious in deciding which of these outfits to keep or donate.  I think I did a pretty good job.  I set some standards for what I decided to keep.  I think this formula worked pretty well, especially for some of the outfits in size 16-20.

If an outfit had any of the following, they were pitched or put into the donate pile:

  • broken zippers
  • missing buttons
  • seam tears
  • holes
  • suitable for only one event, like a dress that I might only wear once
  • non-cute outfits
  • too out of fashion to be appropriate
  • out of season

Non-cute and out of fashion clothes are certainly a subjective guideline.  That is OK with me.  If there is no chance I will wear the outfit even though they may fit, there’s really no reason to wear them.  I tried to pay attention to season as well.  I have a pair of shorts that is one size too small.  Well, it is October now.  By the time I am able to wear shorts again, they will most likely be too big.  They went into the donation pile.

As far as out of fashion, I got rid of clothes that were glaringly out of fashion now.  For example, I got rid of all of my flower dresses from 1990, or as my sisters liked to call them, drapes.  They will be so pleased.

If an outfit had the following, I kept:

  • good condition
  • suitable through several size changes
  • super-cute outfits
  • appropriate for the season
  • not too far out of fashion

I kept clothes like sweaters, t-shirts, sweatshirts, loose-fitting dresses, anything less than 15 years old that wasn’t glaringly out of fashion, blouses, and anything that I could wear through at least 4 sizes.

There was a third category of items which I could not discard.  My graduation gown from college.  Yes, I still have that.  My super-cool high school letter jacket for band.  I’ll never wear it again, I cannot get rid of it.

The Penguins Hockey sweatshirt signed by one of the team members that my late father gave me.

And this groovy crocheted 1960s era hippie vest.  Granted, I was two years old  in the 1960s, but that vest is just too cool to throw away.

Now, I know my sisters would argue that I did not get rid of nearly enough clothes, evidenced by the fact that I still did 14 loads of laundry.  But I think I made a lot of progress.

As I lose weight and shrink out of my clothes, I will continue getting rid of stuff.  This process is far from over.  I feel that I am much more prepared than I was on Friday.

Less Than Three Weeks

It’s getting serious, folks.  Nineteen days and counting.

Test Updates

Today I had my endoscopy and colonoscopy.  I will spare you the details, but things look good in both places.  I have to wait for test results of cultures they took, but the doctor did not see anything that would prevent me from having my surgery.

They are testing me for celiac disease which is an intolerance to gluten.  My sister has that.  They are also testing for bacteria in my stomach.  The doctor did not see any evidence of celiac, but I have to wait for the test results.  I will be so happy if I do not have celiac.

My doctor did all of the other tests except one.  I still have to get the sonograms of my stomach.  That’s it.  That’s all I have left to do.  Well, that and the final visit with the nurse and nutritionist at the surgeon’s office.  I am going to make an appointment for Monday or Tuesday of next week to get the sonogram done. I have to go to the hospital for that.

If I get all of that done by Wednesday, I will have two whole weeks free of doctor appointments and tests.  Woo hoo.

Bad Planning

I have to tell you, I did not plan this week well.  I had the appointment with my primary doctor on Wednesday.  I could not get in until late in the afternoon.  I knew they would draw lots of blood, so I fasted all day.  Then the lab took seven vials of blood.  The phlebotomist scolded me for waiting so late in the day to do a fasting blood draw.  I had to eat something before she would let me leave.  I did bring some candy for just that reason.

After that, I went home and ate dinner, followed a few hours later by a snack.  Then Thursday, I had to do a liquid diet for Friday’s colonoscopy.  Not to mention the horrible, horrible stuff that flushes your system they make you drink the night before and the morning of.  I was completely empty going into the test and felt like I had not eaten in forever.

The morning of the test, they tell you not to drink anything for at least three hours prior to test.  Then you get there and they ask you to pee in a cup.  I was like, “OK, you made me drink stuff that flushed me out and then told me not to drink anything.  Now you want me to pee?  There’s nothing left.  I’m totally dry.”

Somehow I managed to eek out just enough for them to do a pregnancy test.  I could have saved them the trouble, but they said it was required for all women under fifty.  I was actually kind of glad to still be included in that group.  That means I’m not fifty yet.

Dealing With Stress

A few days ago, I talked about how stressed out I have been.  I also kind of freaked out about the surgery.  I am kind of glad that they    postponed the surgery.  I was not ready to deal with it yet.

I have been so stressed out that I could not get anything done.  I looked at the pile of tests, paperwork, and other things I had to do and did not think there would be any way I could possibly get any of it done in time.  It got so bad that I could not even do things like plan out a bus route to the doctor office or even pick up the phone to make an appointment.  My stress and anxiety levels were out of control.

Finally, I talked to my sisters.  They both gave me great moral support.  Just to talk about it was a great relief.  I was then able to make a plan.  I made a list of everything I had to do.  Then I divided that list up into manageable parts.  Then as I got stuff done, I checked if off my small list and the bigger list.  I was able to throw away the smaller lists one by one and now the bigger list is full of check marks.

I also did this on a smaller level as well.  Day by day I listed out each step I had to take to get through the day.  If I had a doctor appointment,I listed out all of the steps I had to take to get there and back.  Look up bus schedule.  Print directions.  Take a shower.  Find shoes.  Pack c-pap machine.  Take chicken out of freezer and put in fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.  Load dishwasher.

Yes, it was that bad.  I was constantly having anxiety attacks.  I was so overwhelmed by everything that I couldn’t do anything.  It only lasted a couple of weeks, but it was horrible.

I’m doing much better now.  As you can see, I am almost done with these tests.  I am blogging more again.  And I am feeling a lot better.  I now feel like I will be ready for the surgery.   That feeling may go up and down day by day as the surgery approaches, but at least now I have a plan to deal with those feelings.

I hope to blog a lot more before the surgery.  I might try to get a post up every day.

Here is a typical meal that I eat now.  I will take a photo of the food I will be eating after surgery and we can do a comparison.