Life’s a Beach- Call Me On My Shell

•August 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Call me on my shellIt’s been hard to readjust from holidays and the extra long road trip. I keep claiming that I have jet lag but no one will believe me. I still have 2 weeks before I have to go to work but it’s full of appointments and beach time.

Yes, beach time. I’ve been walking on the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon. Beach walking is good exercise. It really works my legs and hips. I use my walking sticks just to keep my balance. I am still Esquimalt_Lagoon1terrified of falling. I also carry my chair, a book and water to reward myself with after my walk. OK! Sometimes I stop at McD’s for an iced coffee made with milk and no liquid sugar. I like it and there are no carbs.

beach-food-fridays-grilledtothemac-10jun2016-squareBut there is a downside to Esquimalt Lagoon. There are food trucks. Well, usually more of them on Fridays and Saturdays but Grilled to the Mac is there almost everyday. I ignore them. I also hate standing in line for food.

I need exercise and less food. I’ve rediscovered that since I’ve been home I can eat continuously, all day. When I was on holidays, I usually had a decent-sized breakfast, where I could pick and choose what I wanted (a biscuit, gravy and fruit) so I stopped when I was full and I get full quickly. Then we would stop around 2pm and have lunch or as Norm called it, “a snack”. I learned that it was OK to leave food on the plate because I got full and I knew I couldn’t take the leftovers with me in 90F+ weather.  And, by the time we stopped for the night, I wasn’t too hungry so a beer and some crackers (thanks, Dale, they were delicious) and 1 serving was all I would need then I was sleepy.

So, stop when I’m full, and exercise. This worked well on my holiday and they will work for me now. Since we have world-class sights and events, I really have no excuse to stay home and watch TV. I didn’t think of sightseeing as exercise so I didn’t hide from it. I can do that here, too.

Esquimalt lagoon Fisgard Lighthouse

Fisgard Lighthouse at Esquimalt Lagoon

I’ll do the beach again, today. I like the Lagoon and there’s always ducks and swans at the south end.

Thanks for listening!  ;D   Diane


I Lost 4 Pounds in 23 Days of Holidays

•August 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s hard to believe that I just got back from holidays and stepped on the scales this morning and weighed 4 pounds lighter than when I left. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN? I drove my car across Canada from Victoria to Montreal then down to Maine and back across the US to home – 6 provinces and 16 states – sitting on my bottom most of the day – driving.

Stand to lose a few poundsI did do some awesome sightseeing! Vulcan, Montreal, Stephen and Tabitha King, Boston, Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, KMart (ours are all gone!), I did do some walking. But it’s very hard to eat right on a holiday where they charge $9 for a pile of lettuce with a tomato slice on top and call it a “salad” and most hotels have breakfasts that include waffles and biscuits with gravy! French fries are staples on a holiday diet.

But I did learn something. I can’t eat big meals in one sitting. And, when you’re travelling, you can’t really take the leftovers with you in the car. It was hot and….you know ickyness!

So, I left food on my plate and being the incredibly cheap woman I am, I started ordering 1/2 portions and off the senior’s menu. $2.00 off felt better than throwing food away. I also drank a lot of water. It was hot across both countries and I sweat a lot. My four favourite beverages were: water; unsweetened ice tea; iced coffee with no sweetener; and Papst Blue Ribbon beer on ice. I had no cravings for sweet stuff. I was craving vegetables and fruit. And now I am so glad to be home. I have fresh lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers from our garden and there is no charge for the meal!

I’m glad to be home and I have no visible or psychological reason to not keep on this path.

Thank you all for listening. There is more to come.   ;D   Diane



Obesity CAN Delay Medical Treatment!

•July 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I have had so many surgeries for joint replacement; hernia repairs; babies; cancer and weight loss (irony!). I remember over 20 years ago being referred to an orthopedic surgeon because my right hip hurt so much I couldn’t put any weight on it, osteoarthritis. The surgeon examined me and said I was too heavy to receive a new joint and that it would wear out in 5 years. This was a judgement from a man who was in his 60’s and overweight himself. In British Columbia all joint replacement surgeries go through a vetting process by a committee that has the recommendations and prioritizing of the surgeon. 7 years later, with the support of my amazing family doctor, Michele Fretz, a realistic orthopod, and after being on morphine; the wait list for 5 years and then, CBC news about long wait lists, I got my first joint replacement. Alive

Now, for any surgery, even though I’ve lost over 80 pounds from my highest of 300, I go through a very thorough per-surgery regimen that includes: full check-up; x-rays; echo cardiogram; electrocardiogram; blood work; and at least 4 interviews with: pharmacist; anesthesiologist; endocrinologist; critical care doctor  etc. So, if I was still morbidly obese, I would not have had the last surgery just the hysterectomy. Our health system, and health systems almost everywhere, are reluctant to help morbidly obese patients due to the risks and they may die anyways. We each need to be evaluated on quality of life and a realistic evaluation of success.

The following is an article in the Victoria Times-Colonist and warns people of another reason to lose weight. DO IT!

Thanks for listening!  ;D  Diane

Obese B.C. patients often face surgery delays: report

Surgeons in B.C. say they often postpone, cancel or even decline to do surgery on obese patients because of worries about complications and demands on hospital resources, all known to be higher in patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 30.

The gaps in surgical care for obese patients are reported in the current B.C. Medical Journal. Nearly 400 physicians across the province responded to a questionnaire sent to general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, obstetrician/gynecologists and anesthesiologists.

Dr. Mark Dickeson, a co-author and general surgeon at Burnaby Hospital, acknowledged in an interview the concerning results: • Ninety-six per cent of surgeon respondents have delayed or declined to perform elective surgery in patients with a BMI higher than 38; • Nearly 80 per cent of surgeons delayed or declined to perform surgery due to concerns about complications in obese patients with a BMI of 30 to 34; • Patients whose cases are postponed or cancelled because of obesity either have to seek care elsewhere or go without surgery.

“With the well-documented risks and costs associated with caring for obese patients, it is not surprising that surgery for these patients is postponed or denied. This is especially concerning because comorbidities related to obesity, including gallstones, reflux, osteoarthritis, and certain malignancies, frequently require surgical intervention,” the article states.

Anesthesiologists reported they typically must modify their management of patients, according to the article.

“Anesthetic challenges arise when managing and monitoring the cardiopulmonary systems and when dosing perioperative medications. A thick neck, heavy chest and abdomen, high gastric residual volume, reduced functional residual [pulmonary] capacity, and potential underlying sleep apnea and/or hypoventilation syndrome all contribute to difficulties with airway management and ventilation,” it said.

Some of the challenges and complications of surgery in obese patients are: longer operations, longer hospital stays, higher rates of infections, higher operation failure rates, more hospital readmissions, more invasive surgery and higher risks of adverse events during surgery like injury to other organs because surgeons have trouble visualizing the surgical field due to “obscured anatomical landmarks.” Obese patients also have higher risks of blood clots, cardiac arrest and death after surgery.

Three-quarters of survey respondents think the provincial government should have at least a few hospitals in the province established as centres of excellence for managing obese surgical patients. Having hospitals with higher volumes of such patients and surgeons with more experience operating on obese patients would likely mean fewer complications, he said. As well, surgeons should be paid higher fees for operating on obese patients since cases take so much longer, he said.

Kristy Anderson, spokeswoman for the ministry of health, said the health minister needs to review the article before commenting but “providing safe, high-quality care is paramount to the ministry, health authorities and care providers.”
PAMELA FAYERMAN, 10 Jul 2016 Times Colonist-Vancouver Sun






The Dr Oz Swimsuit Slimdown Drink

•July 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I love red grapefruit! To be more specific, I love Buck Brand, organic, ruby red grapefruit (no gluten!). I currently have 6 sitting in a crystal bowl in my dining room. So, when someone posted this on Facebook. I was intrigued.

Dr Oz drink

I’ve seen cider vinegar used in many a “home cure” for every thing from a sore throat to weight loss. And cider vinegar is a fermented food. Fermented foods are very popular in in the current healthy foods movement. I’ve been taking cider vinegar capsules (no bad taste) for years to keep bladder infections away. I need a slightly acidic system.

My mom was on the grapefruit diet in the sixties (essentially a low carb diet). It kind of worked.

I also know if you drink a full (8oz/125ml) glass of water before every meal you will eat less. Honey is a natural sweetener and antibiotic.

Thus, Dr Oz’s Swimsuit Slimdown Drink should help you lose weight.

But beware. Too much juice will be high in sugar. And this plan says to drink 3 cups of juice a day that can be 354 calories. Pre-diabetics and full-blown ones will watch out for this. Grapefruit juice interferes with some medications, beware! And you are already getting a lot of vitamins and sugar in the juice so I don’t know why you need the honey (another 60 calories) except for whiners about the taste.

I’m going to have a nice fresh grapefruit right now, take a cider vinegar capsule and have a spectacular day. So, I don’t think I’ll try this drink. But if you do, please let me know how you/it did.

Thanks for listening. ;D  Diane

'Don't worry. We'll fit into these things by spring.'

‘Don’t worry. We’ll fit into these things by spring.’

Body Image -Donald Trump or Angelina Jolie

•June 24, 2016 • 1 Comment

bodyfatcartoonI am having a problem with my body image lately. OK, not just lately but for most of my life. I’ve been heavy, obese and morbidly obese. Now, I’m also covered from shoulder to knee with outrageous scars and the leftovers from weight loss. So, how’s my body image? It sucks!!!

Donald Trump and Angelina Jolie are famous, it’s their job to look pretty good in the eyes of the public. They must have public images and self-images. We can only imagine what the differences are. They can have all kinds of body-altering surgeries. They have the money and mind to do them. Now I want some alterations, too. But I wonder what their real self-images are.

I’ve heard Trump reminding the public that that thing on his head is his own hair. I bet he tries not to look at the scars from where they got it. Just look at the women he sleeps with. He does not accept plain or average women. He even said he’d date his daughter if she wasn’t related to him. I think he thinks his body is attractive, and women desire him not just his fame and fortune. I don’t have either.

Trump old hair

Donald, old hair


Donald, replanted hair



Angelina has had children (we know what happens to our bodies after that), breast augmentation and preventative mastectomies. She is criticized by the media for being too everything – thin, heavy, happy, busty, soft, rich etc. I would really like to know what HER real self-image is. She is famous and has an amazing-looking husband, too.


Angelina, too thin (according to media)

Media fat angelina

Angelina, (too fat according to media)

Up until very recently I have had full blown body dysmorphia. I’ve never really seen myself the way the world sees me. I’m trying to come back from the last surgery. Physically, there’s a lot of empty skin, a very long, puckered, mid-line abdominal scar and sundry and assorted joint replacement scars. I have been known to tell people I’ve been in knife fights and won!False Thoughts

I can get up in the morning, wash my face, moisturize, brush my teeth and hair without once actually looking at my face. I don’t do that until after coffee and adding make-up. Sad, isn’t it? Not really. It’s actually a good way to me to start the day and set myself in reality. “Am I presentable?”

Well, I’m getting better every day and am going through the “Positive Self Talk” phase for the umpteenth time in my life. My biggest problem is listening to the old tapes in my head about me. And these are so old they’re not even on cassette, some of them are on reel-to-reel. I am now playing some new digital recordings of how wonderful I am inside. That I am a smart woman who can control herself and make smart decisions. My self-image is not dependent on my body image or visible or invisible scars but on my actions and those outcomes. I am going to quit lying to myself and do the things the smart me needs to do. My body image will evolve with my self image.

Thanks for listening.  ;D  Diane



Banana Stomach – The Surgery

•June 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a number of years since I had my sleeve gastrectomy done and it does work. At one point in my life I weighed 300lbs (136kg). I was hugely, morbidly obese. I am not exaggerating. I have been heavy all my life since puberty. I ate wrong, was not active enough and devEat now Die latereloped body dismorphia. I never believed I looked as fat as I was.

Well, here’s the news, I’m still “fat”. But now, just obese!!!! I’m under 100 kg. Yes, I weigh less than my driver’s license says I do!!!!

The least I’ve ever weighed was right after my first daughter was born. I weighed less when I gave birth than when I got pregnant and she was 7lbs 11oz (3490 grams) and 13 days early. Why/how? I ate right; walked a lot; was working on my feet 8 hours a day and sleeping like a princess in a waterbed that let me sleep on my stomach comfortably. I also learned that you don’t gain weight if you are nursing and eating normally. It worked until the next pregnancy. I had learned that I wasn’t made of sugar and ice cream tasted better than yogurt and with a Dairy Queen just down the street, what could I say? “Hot Fudge Brownie Delights” is what I said. My second daughter came right on time and weighed 9lbs 7 oz (4240 grams). I think she liked that we lived near Dairy Queen, then.Run

Many years later: high blood pressure; gall bladder disease; multiple abdominal hernias; diabetic; replaced osteoarthritis joints (more to come); depression; and 100’s of failed diets; I decided to get the help I needed.

I thought a gastric bypass would solve the whole problem. You know, the magic bullet. Well, my awesome doctors knew better than I did. I needed a life-style change. I managed to get a cancellation opportunity to get in for bariatric surgery right before Christmas one year. It was a sleeve gastrectomy or nothing. I agreed. sleeve

That was the liquid food Christmas. I lost weight  quickly because I was full so fast. Over the following year I lost 80 lbs. I was feeling pretty good and then it hit. I hadn’t really changed my eating style. I could eat only a small amount at one sitting. But I could have many sittings. Chocolate went down without stopping and potato chips went down just like carrots only faster. Oh oh!

Yes, I gained a bunch of weight back. Now I’m losing it again. I’ve had so many health problems that did not have anything (that I could find) to do with my weight, that I was questioning whether it was all worth it.

YES IT IS! Good food, activity and loving myself is what it is all about. I’m still young. I have survived a lot so there must be a reason for me being around. I make a great cautionary tale.

So, as I look down at my life-formed body (Yes, I am a life form!) I am pleased that I have actively changed and am still changing – for the better! I have done things I once said I did not believe in, like: have children; have surgery to lose weight; take drugs for long-term pain and to tell the world my story. I once said I would not do those things but…I’m glad I did and there are some more for me to do. I plan on being here to do them.

Thanks for listening.   ;D Diane

Birthday suit

Terrified of Exercise

•May 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Fitness protectionI’m recovering from heavy duty abdominal surgery and I’m terrified of tearing my new muscle wall. It’s actually not new muscles but separated muscles sewn into new places to cover up four holes in my abdominal wall, the largest was almost 6 inches across. I see the doctor for my post-op check Tuesday. he’s also the wonderful doctor who did my sleeve gastrectomy quite a few years ago. It’s nice to know there’s a professional who doesn’t hate my guts.

diddly squatsBut I really am afraid to exercise. Even walking seems to strain my right side and I envision muscles pulling and going their own way. But my brain seems to have recognized that if I don’t get moving that other parts of my body will fall into disrepair or despair. With every joint replacement there has been wonderfully constructed physiotherapy regimens created for each stage of recovery. Not for this one. I mean, I’m not wanting to do sit-ups, crunches or planking, I want to make my tummy muscles stronger.

Of course my terror feeds right into my inherent laziness. I am under the cover of “recovery” but… I’ll work on it. Today walking. I actually got Norm to walk me today. We don’t have a dog so this way we both get some exercise. We need it.

Thanks for listening.  ;D   Diane



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