Monthly Archives: May 2013

Six Weeks

Six weeks from now, I’ll be taking the most important step to prolonging my life.

Six weeks from now, I’ll be getting a tool that will help me accomplish something I’ve never been able to do:  lose and subsequently keep off my excess weight.

Six weeks from now, I’ll have a tool that will allow me to leverage what I know about healthy eating and exercise to my advantage.

Six weeks from this moment, I will be minus 80% of my stomach.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

Metrics of Success

How do you measure weight loss success?

Is it just a number on the scale?  A clothing size?

Does success always have to be measured numerically?

The scientist in me likes empirical measurements and prefers quantitative measures of success to qualitative measures.   Why?  Because there’s a number associated with it, and that’s something concrete in my mind. I have always liked numerical data, because you can manipulate it in all kinds of ways–do statistical calculations, analyze it and make visual representations from it.

But the realist in me knows that those qualitative measures are the ones that will propel me through the times that the numbers don’t come back the way I’d like them to.  So how do I plan to measure my success at losing weight in ways that are not just a number?  Here are a few things I’ve thought of:

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Big things are happening at Presbyterian.  Soon.


Thanks to the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau for putting these letters up all over town as a part of their “Big Things Happen Here” campaign, and especially for putting them up at Texas Health Presbyterian, where I will be having my surgery in July.

When 70 percent is not good enough

Last week I met with my surgeon to ask a long list of questions I had for him and to schedule a date for my surgery.  The first question I had for him was

“How much weight can I expect to lose?”

He said, “Well, with the sleeve you can expect to lose 70% of your excess body weight.”

After that, he explained to me that at my height, my ideal weight would be 150, he then figured out what my excess weight was and then we both did some quick mental math.  The number we both arrived at was pretty sizable–175.

I looked at him and said, “That’s not good enough for me.”

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A Date!

So on July 8, I have a date with this man:


He’s promised to take good care of me and assured me that he is indeed good at his job. He is one of the best in the country, after all.

He’s informed me that our date will be a relatively short one, which I’m okay with. It’s not like I’ll be awake the whole time anyway.

He’s also told me that I’ll be a little sore since he’ll be making 5 incisions in my abdomen, removing a goodly portion of my stomach and possibly doing a liver biopsy. But that one is only if necessary.

He’s also informed me I’ll have a short nap, a dinner of clear broth served afterward and that I’ll be clothed in the finest gown Dallas Presbyterian has to offer.

Most importantly, he’s informed me that afterward, my life will change in some pretty miraculous ways.

I’ve never been more excited, nervous and scared to have a date as I am this one.

Like I told him yesterday at our pre-op meeting, “Let’s do this!”

The little things

I believe that the little things add up to big success.  I know this has been true in my professional life, so I’m betting the same will be true as I begin preparing for surgery next month.  Here are some little things I have done to ensure that I’ll be successful once my surgeon’s done his part–the easy part.

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Staging the House for Success and an Important Question

This week marks the beginning of the end of my pre-surgical life and body.  This week is the beginning of what is sure to be a cascade of busy-ness, most of which is related to my upcoming surgery.

I meet with a dietician this week.  I am unsure as to what will happen during this meeting, but it is something my surgeon has recommended I do, so I am doing it.  I am sure we will discuss the way I currently eat and that I will get schooled in how I should be eating, and how I will be eating post-sleeve.  I know that I have many questions for her about things I can do prior to the hardcore pre-op diet my surgeon puts all his patients on.  I am a little anxious about this preliminary meeting but I think once I get it over with, it might not be so bad, and might actually alleviate whatever anxiety I have regarding eating post-sleeve.

We have slowly begun the process of ridding the house of processed carbs, sugary things and foods we simply won’t be able to eat.  I call it “staging the house for success.”  Much like one might stage their home to successfully sell it to a willing buyer, the process of ridding the house of things that will impede my success in this major effort to lose weight is the process of staging my environment for success in my endeavor.   For example…

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