Monday, February 27, 2012

Twas the Night Before

It's here!!! The night before my surgery, and it's strange - although I feel like my nerves should be making me sick, I have an overwhelming sense of calm.  I am exhausted - mentally, emotionally, physically, but I am so ready to get this show on the road.  I had an Upper GI this morning - yuck! - a pre-op class this afternoon, and some blood work drawn.  I am home safe with my parents, and have to be back in Nashville around 5:30am.

Dear Lord: Please protect me from harm.  Please guide my surgeon, Dr. Olsen's, hands tomorrow during this surgery.  I pray there is no unexpected complications, though I know if there is - it is Your will.  Please be with my family and friends during this time, and grant them peace.  I pray that this recovery is speedy and You will supply me the strength I need to get up and get on with life.  I thank you for all you have given me, and for all that you are going to give me.  Forgive me as I continue to fall short.  Amen. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kickin' Butt & Buckets

As promised, tonight I want to talk about my Bucket List.  The list I have made, of  25 things I want to do before I "kick the bucket."  But first ... let me tell you a little bit about my day.  I had some Pineapple Greek Yogurt for breakfast, a Chocolate protein shake for lunch, & some Chicken Broth for dinner.  I felt rough today.  I don't know if it was the weather, a mix of recently developed health concerns, or just that the hunger is finally getting to me, but it hit me hard.  On my lunch break I had an interview with the Messenger Inquirer, thanks to the anonymous tip - the Health section of MI wanted to do a story about my blog.  Then after my lunch I sent an email out to my department at work letting them know about my surgery & blog, and got so many kind responses.  Hopefully some of my co-workers are reading tonight -(I told them about my possible transfer addictions, and I think they think this read is going to be more exciting than it is).  When I got home, I had every intention of packing up and heading on to Russellville, but I was drained.  So, finally Day #6 the hunger is kicking my butt.

Okay so before I die I want to...
1 - Get a tattoo (a walrus - with sunglasses and a cigar)
2- Go fishing (and actually catch a fish)
3- Learn to drive a stick a shift
4- Drive a golf ball
5- Watch the sun rise over water
6- Eat caviar
7- Take a photo in all 50 states
8- See Phil Collins perform
9- Make snow angels
10- Sing karaoke
11- Grow something beautiful
12- Get a full-body massage
13- See Kenny G perform
14- Attend an opera
15- Get fake eyelashes
16- See NYC at Christmastime
17- Watch fireworks over the ocean
18- Perfect a recipe for meatloaf (I am so close!)
19- Swim with the dolphins
20- Get a full-body wax
21- Wear stilettos
22- Ride a motorcycle
23- Own a boat
24- Visit the Eiffel Tower
25- Drive Route 69

So there it is, 25 reasons why I am not done living - better yet - I have only just begun!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Packing List

Today I have been spacy feeling, in all honesty, I am probably not getting near the amount of water that I should.  I had a yogurt for breakfast, a strawberry protein shake for lunch, and have had a fudgesicle so far for dinner.  I may have a bowl of chicken broth before bed.  I have had a dull headache since 2pm, and am not entirely sure why (unless it’s the prior-mentioned water problem).  I had plans to go to my Shore-Watch Party, which for those of you who don’t know is some friends and I get together every Thursday and watch Jersey Shore, but I cancelled due to my headache and the fact that I have SO much to do before I go in to work tomorrow. 

Tonight I am packing a surgery bag.  This is what I plan to take:

-My IPOD (which I am filling as we speak)

-Hair ties and a brush

-My own pillow

-My Shaker Cup

-Shampoo & Powder

-Slippers & Robe (which I am hoping my mom will pick up for me tomorrow)

-Some loose clothes to change in to on discharge day


-Feminine Products: all my info says that even if you have just finished your cycle more likely than not the shock of surgery causes you to restart (Oh Joy!)

I take off tomorrow right after work, heading to my parent’s for the weekend and into the hospital Monday for all of my Pre-Op visits.  Tomorrow night I am going to post about my Bucket List.  So stay tuned…  5 days left!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coronas & Boas

Tonight’s post I would like to dedicate to my family.  I have been struggling with different blog topics, and given today’s events my mom suggested that I talk about my family.  This morning at 4:50am my cousin Rachel gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Happy BIRTHday Sadie Jane! 

Today was Day #4 of my Liquid Diet.  My Pre-Cert went through yesterday, and my cravings stayed at bay until night time.  I swear the worst part of all this is not being able to CRUNCH things.  I have considered chewing up a carrot or piece of celery and spitting it out just to get the crunch out of the way.  Today I had Cottage Cheese for Breakfast, a Strawberry Protein Shake for lunch, and am planning on having a bowl of broth and some yogurt for dinner.  Sounds great, huh?  I still feel fine, last night and today I was nauseous – but it wasn’t unbearable, and I still am not hungry.  I also have not felt one minute of fatigue, which I assumed I would. 

So back to my family, the Howard’s – It all started with my Memac and Granddaddy.  My Memac was a cook, an amazing cook.  She cooked for a church during the day and for her family on the weekends.  Some of the things I remember best were her milk gravy (man, she could make that look easy), her fudge (which is hard to duplicate), and her macaroni & cheese.  It would be impossible for me to put in words how great of a cook she was, so I am not even gonna try.  My Memac loved with a vengeance.  Her family was her pride & joy.  My Granddad was a Master Plumber when he was younger, but in the years after  he retired, he mostly just hung out.  He was a very kind & handy man.  I can remember many times when I was growing up, coming home to him helping my dad build a deck or fixing our toilet.  My grandparents lived in Utica for most of my childhood and my Granddad would go hang out across the street at the JR’s Market – a small family run convenient store that sold groceries, had a deli etc.  I can remember as a child crossing the street to tell him it was time to come home, and getting a YooHoo from the big cooler and saying “Put it on my Granddad’s tab” (I thought I was a big deal back then!)  My grandparents had three boys and a girl (who passed at a young age) – my dad, my Uncle Johnn, my Aunt Salley and my Uncle Ben. 

My Uncle Johnny is the oldest; one of my favorite of him was him always playing air guitar on my leg to some Van Halen or Jimi Hendrix.  He also used to drink Coronas (which I thought made him cool) and he would sing “Muh Muh Muh My Corona” (to the tune of “My Sharona”).  My Uncle Ben was the youngest, and in our eyes the coolest.  Some of my favorite memories with my Uncle Ben was singing Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” at the top of our lungs as we sped down Cemetery Hill and “got some air” with my cousins.  One time when I was around 10 years old, my cousins and I went to stay the night with him in Bowling Green.  My Uncle Ben had a Boa Constrictor (I was not a fan of by the way) that my brother, Clay, would love to play with.  As we were heading out to go fly kites my uncle suggested that I get a sweater out of my bag to wear “in case it got cold.”  So here I am digging through my bag for a sweater, thinking to myself “I don’t think mom put a sweater in here”, as he assured me it was there (Oh I should have known!)  Low and behold there’s that freaking snake IN MY BAG!   I had a good scream, they had a good laugh and we spent the rest of the afternoon flying kites.  Karma is one though, because if I remember correctly, we went roller skating that night and he had quite the fall. 

Enough about my uncles, six more days till surgery! It is good to be a Howard.  Night y’all see ya tomorrow!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Manic Monday

So Monday has come and gone, and I am still not hungry.  The only thing that has changed is my sleep and bowel (TMI - I know) habits.  I feel great, have energy, and seriously besides the occasional desire to "crunch" something - this is going really well. 

Before this whole process, I never understood why people said you are eating because you are bored or you are eating out of habit.  It is SO true.  Because when you stop eating, you can literally feel yourself trying to bring your thoughts to food.  If I had cash I would want to go out to eat or buy snack food.  Whenever I got with my parents, we would cat around for a few hours and then it would be "time to eat."  When I sat down to watch my nightly tv I needed popcorn or ice cream.  I recommend this "Liquid Diet" to anyone who has struggled with weight loss (that's as if you have no other underlying health issues that might make that harmful to you).  But it also shows me how much of the "habit eater" and "bored eater" I really was.   This part so far has been the best learning experience for me - learning about my body & habits. 

Today was filled with more emails, texts and phone calls from loved ones, strangers and acquaintances.  My support system is continuing to grow! 7 days to go.  Now Playing: "Come Rain Or Come Shine" - Ray Charles.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Funday

Today was fabulous! Sunday Funday has a new meaning 'round here.  I spent the day with my parents, and my youngest brother, Max.  My dad made me a new bed, I am so thankful that he is so handy!! My bed looks great and now, my room does as well.  So we cleaned (and I mean CLEANED) my room.  Window sills, floors, closets, drawers - my room is spotless.  As far as my liquids go - I am really doing better than I expected.  I had some Greek yogurt this morning with some Max Protein - Strawberry and a teaspoon of SF Raspberry syrup.  It was fairly good, but it got my protein in.  Around lunch I made some Beef Broth and a cup of my new favorite Lavendar Earl Grey tea.  For dinner I had a fudgesicle and cottage chees and a Max Protein - Cookies & Cream shake with Silk - Chocolate (<-- Best protein shake I have had up to this point). 

Tonight after I got my room in order I made my "fish bowl" of things to do rather than snack.  I came up with way more than fifty, so I am excited to start out tomorrow. 

I am so thankful that God has given me strength for this.  I really thought this was going to be a lot harder than it has been.  Besides a breif but intense moment of lust I experienced with a hot dog earlier - I have seriously done incredibly well.  Here it is, 9:53 on Day #2 and I am not hungry at all.  I am actually having to force down my water!! I would have NEVER thought it would be this easy on me.  So ... I have a week full of work and I am heading out of town for possibly the biggest event of my life. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shake that

Ten days until surgery, so I finally started my liquid diet.  Technically, I am on some form of liquid diet for the next 6 weeks.  Geesh, it seems so far away.  Right now, I am not hungry AT ALL, but I am preoccupied with food.  I never noticed how many commercials involved foods or how many scenes in movies and television shows involve eating. 

I have been fairly nervous about this whole process, but it is something that I knew I had to do so I haven't really been mentally preparing myself.  I just kept saying to myself that when it got here we would tackle it. 

So this morning when I woke up with a really empty stomach feeling I just about freaked - how in the world am I going to get through the next ten days if this is how i feel this morning?  But I got up and fixed a protein shake (Max Protein -Cookies & Cream) and a large glass of ice water.  After I drank it, I preoccupied myself with some TLC Pandora and dirty dishes.  By the time I was finished with our dishes, my stomach no longer felt empty.  So I cleaned out our refridgerator.  And then our cabinets.  And then I started some laundry.  Before I knew it was 2 o'clock.  I headed to an old friend's baby shower, I have to admit I was nervous about this because who can pass up food at an event like that - after all that is the whole reason some people even come.  But, I was able to steer clear of the food table and get in some good face time with the mother of the baby.  Then I headed to another friend's house to watch the UK game and spend time with her daughter.  I mixed another protein drink (Max Protein - Strawberry) and continued to sip on my ice water.  After the game we spent hours just talking about life and enjoying their soon-to-be two year old daughter.  When dinner time  rolled around I had packed a Tomato/Chicken Bouillon cube, so I had a bowl of broth with yet another protein shake (Max Protein - Strawberry) only this time I added a little milk to it.  The protein shakes were really not as bad as I thought they might be, and I can really tell they helped.  Like I said here it is 11:30 at night, and I am still not hungry. 

For excercise tonight, I dominated in some Just Dance 2 - had a blast and definitely worked myself into a sweat.

So, the trick is to stay busy, stay hydrated, and PROTEIN.  Or at least the trick to my first day was.  We will see how the next nine go.  Here we go guys ... Bumpy ride and all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 1: Harry and Loyd

So I have taken a two day hiatus from the blog posting world.  I have been trying to enjoy my last two days of normal living, and also been trying to organize my thoughts before venturing towards another emotional post.  Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I had a very nice dinner date with my favorite take out foods and a few of my favorite friends.  I received chocolates from my mom, very cute flowers from my dad, and Lady & the Tramp on DVD from my roommate.  All in all it was a very successful day. 
My FB timeline was inundated with two extremes, people either hating Valentine’s Day or people beaming over their gifts, flowers, loves or even engagement rings.  I have been a single girl for the past 27 Valentine’s Day, and I still think it is a wonderful holiday.  I agree with most of the “V-Day Haters” that people should show their loved ones affection on more than just 1 day of 365, but the hard reality is that most don’t.  Some men simply forget to be romantic and/or affectionate, and Valentine’s Day is just a reminder.  Coming from a lifelong relationship with two brothers and a best friend that would literally forget their heads each day if they were not attached – I quickly learned that that was no indication of how often they thought of me or even how much they cared about me. 
I had a little hiccup in the plan, in that I received news on Monday that my surgery precertification with my insurance was denied.  I have a great bunch of girls in Nashville working towards getting this rectified, but when I called their office yesterday to check that all was in motion- the nurse said that I should go ahead and start my liquids on Saturday.  SATURDAY!! A whole four extra days to prep for liquids and my new life, this was great news … except that we had eaten ALL the food in our house preparing for liquids. Tonight we spent the night at the grocery buying every imaginable calorie free drink, every flavor broth, Greek Yogurt and to our disappointment Wal-Mart was COMPLETELY out of Sugar Free popsicles.  We did, however purchase two gorgeous orchids (half off V Day gifts) and named them Harry and Loyd – so let’s see how long we can keep them alive.
I started my nightly exercising tonight, as recommended by my MD.  His recommendation is simply that I move more, his literature recommends 10 minutes a day - I feel that is most likely for individuals who cannot get around.  I am fairly active.  So I have set my goals on 30 minutes a day, and today I definitely accomplished that.  So although I ate solids foods, Day #1 has been a success.  And tomorrow I am looking forward to Jersey Shore night and some Just Dance 3 competitions with my Shore Crew.  Stay Tuned…

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My dad & Whitney

Tonight I am mourning the death of Whitney Houston, while I obviously did not know this singer, the news of her death hurts my "musical soul."  She had one of the best voices in the history of music.  I will be listening to Whitney jams this week and hopefully watching "Bodyguard."

This weekend in Russellville with my parents, we watched "50/50" and "Courageous".  50/50 was a great movie about a young man who is diagnosed with cancer.  It was such a great story.  Courageous on the other hand had a really good message to fathers, but it seemed a bit "preachy" and it was incredibly emotional.  I cried and cried.  *Spoiler Alert*  In the movie, one of the scenes is of a daughter asking her dad to dance.  Later in the movie, after the daughter is no longer living, the dad has an emotional moment of yelling "I should have danced! Why didn't I dance?"  In case I never get a chance to say it, in my life, my dad always dances!!

When I was in the fifth grade, my dad chaperoned a trip to Huntsville, Alabama - Space Camp with 20 other eighth graders.  There was a ride called a gyroscope who the attendant swore would not make you sick because as many circles as it rolled you in your stomach stayed in the same spot.  He declined the offer to be the chaperone to try, so I preceded to beg him "Please dad! It won't make you sick - he said so! Please!"  So of course, I saw the defeat in his eyes - and he reluctantly started toward the ride.  Now as a good daughter, this should have been enough (that he was willing to) but it wasn't and he went on about 8 rounds of circles - side to side, head over heel, twisting and turning into all imaginable positions.  When it was all over with, he was sick for hours!! So this is an example of something that my dad absolutely did for me, that he did not want to do.  My dad is a hardworking man, and because of that - I will never have to want for anything.  He has made absolute sure that my brothers, my mom and I will always have everything that we need.  I can only pray that one day, I can meet a man, that is half the father and husband that he is. 

So with Whitney Houston on my mind, and my dad in my heart - I am settled in watching the Grammy's.  Two more days of regular foods.  Two days till lift off!   Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Weekend Warrior.

I am spending this weekend at my parent's.  Twice a month I work at a rural medical clinic in Auburn, Ky.  It was the job I held before I moved back to Owensboro.  While I finished my Bachelor's at Western, I was able to work 20-30 hours a week at this clinic during it's first six months of operation.  It is such a great place to work.  Great people, busy environment - if I had a more reliable car I would work every weekend.  It gives me an extra $120 a month, and I enjoy it.  Unlike my Monday thru Friday job, where 90 % of my interaction is with an insurance company, when I work at the clinic 80 % of my interaction is with patients.  It allows me a nice break in my day to day.  I am also able to visit with the 'rents - so I can kill two (or three) birds with one stone!

I got an additional job offer today (more details later) but it looks like shortly I will be working 3 jobs and possibly making some moves with this blog! Hustla, Hustla (with my Katt Williams dance)

After work today my parent's and I have big plans to shop for Liquid Diet/Pre-Op/Hospital/Post-Op supplies.  I have a feeling we will be shopping at a lot of places that we have never even been in before - what an indictment on us.  There really is something to this treat your body well and it will return the favor thing (I hope).  A few years ago I read Skinny Bitch , in addition to meeting one of my favorite people of all times, this book opened my eyes to some of the ways our foods were processed and the possibilities of a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.  Although I will never, and I repeat NEVER give up my chicken & red meat, it was still a really neat concept. 

So, I am within an arm's reach of my life changes and I instead of feeling nervous and anxious, today I am totally at peace and eager even.  In order to fail, I have to at least try - I got this! I am prepared to prove people wrong and to make others proud.

Sorry I missed the post last night - my day was spent working, traveling and enjoying my parents! Have a great rest of the weekend!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Today was a weird day for me! I was running late for work this morning, and from the time I got to work until the time I left for home at 5pm I never really felt like I accomplished much.  I know I did because of the stack of outgoing mail I when I left, I just never really felt any release of pressure.  I got my medical leave approval today! This is particularly exciting for me because my experience  with HR was not a good one.  Coming from an HR major (and HR-lover) my situation was handled all wrong.  But not everyone can be as friendly and as smart (ha!) as me. 

Throughout these last two weeks, where I have really started to make my decision known - the majority of the people I come in contact with are fantastic and supportive.  But sheesh there are some that are just downright "Negative Nancys."  I honestly would like to know how they think they are helping.  I understand that some people live there lives looking for ways to "critique" or demean others - but that is NOT how I choose to live my life.  So ... since it is Jersday in my world - I will quote the infamous Deena "GET OFFA ME"  I subject myself to people like that all the time - and I never know I am doing it until it is over and I am questioning myself or my intentions.  Sorry this is so short, but it's late and I have had enough of today! Sweet Dreams.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Favorite Things

A while back a friend and I were having one of those weeks where nothing seems to go your way ( or as I like to say "everything we touched caught on fire" ) We decided that it would be a good idea to make a list of things that made us smile.  I started typing.  Item after item of things that made me happy, I made a point to list 365 things.  Once the list was complete, I was appalled that over 100 of those things were either food items, drinks, or involved eating.  No wonder I am the size of a small cow. 
When I started on this journey one of the first things I set out to do was take my list; remove all the food items; and fill it with things I loved to do that did not involve eating or drinking.  This is going to be hard for me, but I think that as I start to do other things in my life I will develop new loves.  Who knows, maybe I will start to enjoy camping again?  Or sweating? My list is at 254 we will see how long it takes me to develop new favorite things.
I had another great day, full of reassurance and love.  For those of you who don't know, I am a Billing Specialist for the hospital here in Owensboro.  My daily life consists of researching unpaid claims and competing in a sort of "tug of war" with insurance companies who are not wanting to pay claims.  Over the last six months there are a few insurance companies that I have found I have to call ALL the time.  One of the cool things about having to call so often is, if it is a smaller insurance company - you really get to know the other people on the end of the line.  I have gotten to know one rep really well, her name is Bobbi - and whenever I would call this particular insurance company I would hope it was her everytime.  Well when I found out about my surgery I was able to share that information with her.  Since I have found out I haven't talked to her at all due to some changes in the system, but today I was able to call her about a claim and we were able to do a "quick catch up" and I was able to give her the information about this blog!  I also received the sweetest email from a fellow "big girl" that was very touching.  (I am changing lives y'all)  I had a wonderful dinner with an old friend who had nothing but love and support for my life changes.  And to top off a wonderful day it looks like this blog is fixing to go from just an outlet for my emotions to possibly a business venture!
So I sit here tonight listening to my ipod and adding to my list of "Favorite Things," I cannot help but to think YET AGAIN of what a blessing my family, friends, co-workers, roommates, and blog-readers are to me! God is sure smiling on me again today!
"My life got flipped, turned upside down!" says the Fresh Prince of Bel Air - ain't that it?!?!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I had decided not to blog tonight, but when I got on to check out my dashboard I saw that somewhere during the course of today I hit 870 views.  It's pretty cool for those of you who have never blogged, you are able to see the time of day that people access your blog.  Of course you don't know who they are just that they are watching.  I am growing more and more excited each day, watching how excited all of you are to see how I do with this.  On my spreadsheet tonight it was very obvious that you all checked in around bedtime to see if I had written anything! Pretty cool, so sorry it is late - I need some new blog topics though.  Although I have only been blogging a week or so, I am running out of things I feel like are interesting or relevant.  So if you guys can think of things you would like me to blog about by all means feel free. 

One of the things that my roommate and I are doing is compiling a list of things that we are gonna be able to do instead of eat.  Next week starts our two weeks of liquid - so there is going to be a lot of spare time on our hands.  I know you don't think we spend a lot of time eating, but we normally get home from work around 5 and spend about an hour cooking dinner and then we eat and spend an additional thirty minutes cleaning the kitchen and putting up left overs.  On nights that we have friends over (which most nights we do) we spend much more time than that.  So that is an additional two hours a night (or 10 a week) which we are going to need to have something else to do!!! So we started to compile this list last week and then we are going to put all of our ideas in a fish bowl and when we are just about ready to go crazy or gnaw each other's arms off we can pull out an idea. (Also open to suggestions on this!)

Today I had an influx of random encouragements - more than one person at work went out of their way to tell me how excited they were for me or how much they enjoyed my blog.  I started my job in July, and since then haven't had a ton of luck "fitting in" socially at my job, but over the last few weeks I have found myself being drawn to certain individuals in my department and I am really loving that.  When I started I only knew two people in my department, one of which was my cubie mate for my first 90 days.  Her and I developed a  pretty steady friendship through this, and today she made a point to tell me how excited she was.  We started a brief conversation about what parts I am most looking forward to about this whole process, and I have to honestly say I am excited to be able to MOVE! I have never in my life been able to run.  I have never thought it sounded like fun, but hell I can guarantee if I am able to run- I will probably running everywhere!!

I also had some sweet comments from my roomie's family that brought tears to my eyes.  I really cannot express how relieved I am that God sent me this situation at this particular time in my life.  So if you add my wonderful work blessings, great home settings, add in lunch with my parents and some very kind text messages.  It overall makes for a great day.  7 days till transformation begins.  Stay tuned ...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting Real

Sorry for the absent post yesterday, I was busy watching my men get beat, yet again after making it back to the Super Bowl.  This weekend marked my last one out and about with my friends for awhile.  It couldn't have gone any better.  I had just the right amount of friends to make it feel like a celebration, and just enough drama to make me not want to do it again for awhile.

The last few weeks I have started "making rounds" with my friends, while I am confident this surgery will have no complications, I just want to get as much face time as possible with the people I love.  Today it felt like things were finally getting "real."  My surgery is three weeks away and I am really starting to get nervous. I know in my heart I am making the right decision, I am just having so many doubts.  Throughout this whole thing I haven't really been afraid, but today I felt it.

Halfway through the day I got a text from my roommate that said, "From this day on - write your fears down, in no particular order just on a scrap of paper, and then write down the positives when you get home we will talk about it." Great idea, right?  But today I don't really know what I am afraid of.  Change?  The Unknown? Being alone?

It's just a Monday and I am sure this feeling will pass, or get worse.  God is in control of my future! If He is with me, how could I possibly be afraid?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Great Expectations

When I was younger, I used to really enjoy singing.  Everyone I came in contact with loved my voice.  I was in All State Chorus my 5th and 6th grade year.  I attributed my love of music and my tone to the fact that my mom was a concert pianist, and music was a very big part of me growing up.  For so many years when people would gush about me being a good singer I just thanked them and went on my way.  I thought everyone was just being nice.  I mean I appreciated that they enjoyed my voice, but I never thought anything about it.  It wasn't until later in life when I a friend of mine asked me to sing "At Last" at her mom's wedding, that I really realized I had a gift.  The response was unreal, most of these people didn't know me and they went out of their way to tell me how much they enjoyed my voice. 

Since I sang at the wedding a couple of years ago, I have been very timid to do any type of singing at all.  It was almost as if, once I realized I was really good.  I didn't want to.  Once people realized I could sing, they expected more from me.   They expected me to be good, what if I messed up. 

Upon starting this blog, I knew I could  write sentences, I also knew that I had a way with words.  I could not, however, have ever predicted that this would be such a hit.  So many people enjoy my words, whether it is the honesty or the way it flows I am not sure.  But I do know, that last night's post was hard for me to post.  A lot like before in my life when I stopped singing, once people recognized my talent I felt that their expectations had changed - that was not something I felt prepared to handle.

When I was doing all my pre-decision research I came accross an article about why some people are actualloy afraid of losing weight.  I was very interested, because I had just been involved in a pretty serious conversation with my best friend (who happens to be a psychology major) and we were just discussing what reasons I could possibly have for being afraid.  The article here talked about how overweight people are held to a different standard and a lot of times less is expected of them.  In a way, this makes us feel safe. So I prefer when less or nothing is expected of me, and I don't know why. 

But ... I am determined to exceed expectations.  I want you all to expect me to sing, dance, lose this weight and write as often as possible.  Hold me to that, because it is disrespectful to my Creator, if He has chosen to bless me with these talents, and I choose not to use them, or to cover them up because I am afraid of the reaction of others.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Confessions of a Fat A**

Okay so this post is me being pretty vulnerable.  This part of the journey is hard for me – admitting how much different from the regular population I am sucks, but here we go.  Some of the things that suck about being a fat person are evident (not getting as much attention from the opposite sex or getting the under-their-breath jokes from the teenage punks as you walk by), yet others are not so much. 

The blogger I like to follow – – says that on her refrigerator she has a before and after picture from weight loss and then has a list of things that she hated about being fat.  I think that’s a great idea.  I think I will print today’s blog entry and leave it up there.
I bet that some of you never knew that when I walk into a restaurant I secretly say a prayer that the hostess won’t try to sit us in a booth.  I bet that some of you never knew that some airplanes require that you buy two seats on a plane if you are so many inches wide.  I bet that some of you never thought about the fact that I sit like a man most of the time because it is impossible for me to cross my legs and look like a lady.
I hate not being able to paint my toenails or shave my legs without getting into some weird body contortion.  I hate not being able to buy matching underwear and bras.  I hate not four-wheeling or boating in case there is a weight limit.  I hate amusement parks, ball parks, concerts, and even movie seats.  I hate shopping.  I hate that on a night out I have to take out a small loan to have a good time.  I hate not being able to buckle my seatbelt – DING DING DING.  I hate that when I go to a concert or participate in some sort of charity/work I can't fit into the event t-shirts.  I hate having my picture taken, because normally they stick me on the end or hanging off to the side where my size is so apparent.  I hate that best friends of mine have gotten married and not even been able to consider me as a bridesmaid.  I hate school desks, I got lucky as I was finishing my degree at Western as they had detached chairs in most of the classrooms, but those damn connected chairs were horribly embarrassing.  Once you squeezed yourself in, it was extremely uncomfortable and then getting out was even worse.  I hate that I am in the processing of buying a new house, with an incredibly cool attic (apparently) and I haven’t been able to see it.  Those ladders that are attached by some screws are no match for my ass.  Erin 0 Ladder 1. 
I am paranoid in crowds, I call it my “Social Anxiety” but if you know me, you know that doesn’t really explain it well.  I would talk to anything, and I am really good at making other’s comfortable.  But in this world, a lot of people judge first, get to know later.  One of the reasons for my self-confidence is because the people who know me love me.  But when I enter into a crowded bar, arena, or concert – those people don’t know me.  The only thing they know about me is that I am big.  If you take that knowledge and add in a crowd and most of the time alcohol – the results are unkind words and looks that could kill. I always tell my friend’s that a crowded bar is a fat person’s worst nightmare – let’s face it I don’t squish well.  It is hard trying to maneuver.  Whenever I find myself out at a place like that I really like to just post up and let the people who want to see me make their way to me. 
So now you know a little bit more of why it SUCKS to be fat.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Game Plan

So a lot of you guys are curious about the date of my surgery and if there is anything I have to do to prepare myself for this surgery.  On February 15th I begin the Pre-Op Liquid Portion of my diet.  This reduces the size of my liver significantly making the actual surgery safer.  I can have full liquids during these two weeks prior to my surgery.  My roommate and dear friend, Leslie, is going to try and undertake this two week venture with me.  Bless her heart if we both survive. 
Two days prior to surgery I have to switch to clear liquids.  At that point I will most likely be at my parents’ house prepping for the big day.  Monday February 27th I have all of my Pre-Op appointments in Nashville.  I will have an Upper GI, an EKG, and whatever else the anesthesia team sees necessary.  Tuesday February 28th is the big day.  My surgery is scheduled for 7:30 in the morning (I will detail the actual surgery in a later blog) I will be in the hospital (Centennial in Nashville, TN) for 2-3 days.  At that time, I plan to return to my parent’s house and begin my Two Week Post-Op Clear Liquid Diet.  I am most excited about this stage, because the surgery will be over, and I will be recovering with my mom close by!! We will get to watch trashy TV and be lazy for two whole weeks. 
When I go for my 10 day checkup I expect to be released to go back to work and start my two week full liquid portion of the diet.  At this time, my wonderful friends are going to each volunteer for a day or two to suffer through the liquid diet portion of this process with me.  At this point I will be 6 weeks in on a liquid diet, and I feel I will probably be burnt out.  I think that this idea of having some of my friends stand up and support is amazing.  So kudos to those of you who have decided to do that – and if you are interested in participating, contact my roommate Leslie Bickett for the schedule.  My 27th birthday falls right smack dab in the middle of this 2 week step – blah.  Maybe we will be able to find a birthday cake flavored protein shake recipe.  After the two weeks of the full liquids I can start having some sort of blended foods.  Where I can puree foods or eat bland, flaky fish.  I am pretty sure I will be excited to have some sort of substance.  At Easter, I am able to add most solid foods back in to my diet.  As far as raw vegetables I can add them in at the first of June.  And can begin drinking alcohol again around Labor Day. 
So that is the plan. J

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's Raining Men

As I mentioned in my first blog I have some pretty amazing men in my life.  I have already gushed about my dad, brothers, and uncles.  Both of my Grandfathers were army veterans, very kind men who worked hard their entire life.  My Granddad Howard was a Master Plumber and my Granddad Johnson a dairy farmer.  I was/am still currently never without love from the men in my family. 
But the men in my everyday life are no different.  There are a variety of them  – some factory linemen, some lawn care specialist, some military men, and some students.  The one thing they do have in common is they love them some Erin.  While I would never trade my girlfriends and the relationships I have with them.  It is so great to be able to have these guys in my life. 
My guy friend’s would do anything in the world for me.  I have a far better relationship with them in the “friend zone” than most girls that get to date them, mainly because our relationship – for the most part- lasts longer. 
Out of all the topics I have blogged about so far this is by far the most emotional for me.  I think I get so emotional because I realize that, in the end, I expect each one of these men to have a loving and faithful wife.  But right now, I am the main woman in most of these guy’s lives.  It is hard for me to express to these men the kind of lasting impression they have made in my life.  And the fear that one day a wife will take my place. I know that having this many people to love, and to be loved by is a blessing.  I also feel like if it is meant to be that I find a husband one day, he is going to have to adore me.  Because I now know what that feels like, and I refuse to be with any man who doesn’t see me like these men see me.  These men love me unconditionally and have allowed me to develop comfortably in my own skin.  I think that it is because of their relationships, I am able to feel an absolute contentment with my life. 
Some individuals are never able to feel such love in an entire lifetime, and I get to experience daily.  When I think of people who spend their whole adolescence/adulthood only getting to know one or two men the way I have gotten to know eight or nine,I am so thankful.  Some of the men in my life are there because they dated/are dating a friend of mine, some are they because their brother/sister is a friend of mine, and still some are there simply because they have been for such a long time.  Each of them holds a special place in my heart and no doubt I in theirs.