Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

This past year has been filled with laughter, love, tears, compassion, hardship, but most of all for me it's been about perseverance.

For my blog readers you have been able to see a small snippet into my life and experience some of what I'm talking about.  For friends and family you have seen first hand what this past year has entailed for me.  For both my readers and my loved ones I owe all of you a HUGE thank you.  Without the support and compassion that I have seen there is no way I would be where I am right now.

Here is a small list of the things I have experienced this past year.  I will try my best to keep them in order.  For those who are keeping track.  There is plenty to be thankful for in my life online but this is my DS blog therefore I'm going to try my hardest to keep on track with the theme.

1.  Life Came to a HALT:   In the beginning of the year, around January, I realized at 30 years old my health was declining faster than it should.  I was overweight, unhappy, uncomfortable but most importantly, unhealthy.  I started on my journey to a healthier new me.  I joined OH and started seeking out surgical options.  I also scheduled a doctors appointment with my new PCP to discuss what I could possibly do.  At this point, the option I liked best was the Lap band.  By February I had done enough research to learn that with my weight, lifestyle and for best overall results the only way for me to go was a Duodenal Switch.

2.  Time to Move On!:  By the time February rolled around I was determined on the DS.  I started to research doctors and found Dr. Greenbaum.  Not only was he one of the top docs for my surgery in the country but he was right up the street (literally 5 minutes from my house).  The best part was he took my insurance!  That was it.  mind made up, surgeon picked and support system in place!  for the next few months I researched, hit some road blocks and kept on 'truckin.

3.  Life is Forever Changed:  By June I had completed my testing, had gotten approved by insurance and had my surgery date scheduled.  On Monday, July 11th 2011 weighing in at 360lbs (I lost 19 lbs on my pre-op diet) my life changed forever.  By the end of that day I had custom designer guts and would never be the same again.  For those that paid attention I have the COOLEST surgiversary date ever!  Every year on 7/11 7-Eleven offers free Slurpees.  That means every year on the day I will relive one of the moments that changed my life forever I get a free Slurpee (I will be going for the sugar free version this year).

4.  Reality Slowly Slips Away:  Since 7/11 I have not had one week where my body hasn't changed.  If pounds weren't melting off the inches were.  I've seen frustration with my vitamins and water.  I've been furious over the fact that I can never seem to eat enough.  I've watched my immediate family change their eating habits and my wife lose weight in her own amazing way.  Nothing about my life is the same as it was.  I don't have any of the same clothes I had a year ago, My feet are smaller, I swear I'm shorter but mostly I have never felt so amazing in my life.

The old me vs the new me?

This time last year:
I weighed 379lbs.
I was wearing a size 28/30 or a 5xl with my shoes at a 10.5
I ran out of breath going across the room.
Stairs were my worst enemy.
My sleep apnea setting was the highest it's ever been, 16.
My blood sugar was completely out of control.
My cholesterol and blood pressure was getting higher every day.
Because I had no energy parenting was a chore.  To think about how this effected my son makes me sick.
Although I thought I was cooking healthy I had no idea what I was really doing to my family.
I hated going out because face it, at 379lbs taking a shower was a chore.  Going out to the car and moving around was torture.

I weigh 240lbs.
I am wearing an 18 or a 1x and my shoes are a 9 - 9.5 (I steal my sons clothes now)
I have to run around the block to run out of breath.
I love stairs.  I love the burn they make my legs feel after I've run up and down them a few times.
I am about to have a new sleep apnea study because my setting of 16 is entirely too high.
My blood sugar?  Normal.  All the diabetes signs I had such as the black rings around my neck are gone!
My cholesterol?  Normal.
My blood pressure?  Low.
My son doesn't have as much energy as I have.  Sometimes he can't even keep up with me.  
I now cook only healthy.  Everyone in my house is benefiting from the way I cook.  
I hate sitting in the house.  I look for every excuse to take a shower, get dressed and go out.

This past year has been memorable in so many ways.  I could keep going on and on but you'd get bored.  One thing is for sure, I may be thinner but I feel huge with the amount of love and people I now have in my life because of a surgery I never thought I would have the guts to have.

Thank you so much for every comment, message and like you have shown to my page.  I appreciate every single one of you.  Wether I've met you in real life, have already known you, or we know each other through IM's and forums, you have all made a tremendous difference in my life.  From the bottom of my heart, Thank you.

I can't ring in the new year and send out the old one without taking a moment to thank one of the most important people in my weight loss surgery journey.
R.I.P. Stephanie.  I will miss you forever and beyond.  I have you to thank for so many things.  Thank you for being all that you were and all that you will always be in my heart.  I dedicate my journey through WLS to you.  

-Forever Your's-
The Vanishing Mom


  1. You are an inspiration.. have a safe and happy new year.

  2. Joi,

    It is great to see how far you've come in such a short amount of time. I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!! It's also amazing how much you are growing from this experience and how it is reflecting on all aspects of your life.

    To see you finally see your self esteem shoot up and your growth in the way you view life is nothing short of a miracle.

    Keep at it and you will see your wildest dreams come true!

  3. May 2012 be even more wonderful for you! :-)


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