Tuesday, July 5th, 2005: Can it really be true that a whole year has passed since I last updated here? How did the year go so quickly? Does time speed up somehow? Wow!

So… Amazing – three years now since my DS with Dr. Baltasar. I have maintained my 210 lb weight loss. My life has seemingly gotten busier – okay – well, honestly, it has. LOL! So many more things get packed into my day because they can be. I don’t have to worry about diabetes or any of the other many co-morbidities I once juggled, or scheduling taking the many prescriptions I was on previously, or dealing with a wheelchair, or making it to frequent doctor’s appointments, or struggling to simply breathe and move. I walk effortlessly, I am healthy, I volunteer in my son’s classroom at school, I volunteer at church, I live my life to the full, I love my life.

I’ve even – gasp! – taken up exercising in the past month or so. Funny how beneficial it’s proven to be to my back pain issues! (While I’ve lost the many co-morbidities, I still have degenerative joint disease in my back, and bilateral grade 4 degeneration of my knees.) My husband, children, and my Mom and I all go to the high school track and walk each evening after dinner – a mile or two – and enjoy talking to one another while we walk. I’m amazed at how much it has helped my back pain.

As far as supplements go – I’m actually getting better about taking all of them every day. Amazing how consistency helps with that! My labs are good – going for my 3 year lab draw day after tomorrow, but I am encouraged with the fact that everything has been trending in the right direction the last couple of rounds of labs.

Food continues to be great fun! I’m not ashamed to say I love it! I love to cook. I love to experiment. I even love to eat. I know – shhhh! – those of us who are or have been MO are not supposed to admit that, but sorry, it’s true – so I must. My real guidelines are these:

1. Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague.
2. Avoid anything low fat or low carb.
3. Avoid chemicals and dyes.
4. Avoid processed foods.
5. Use fresh, whole foods.
6. Eat small meals throughout the day, with a focus on protein, fiber, and adequate fat.
7. Pay attention – and don’t overeat! – it hurts!

I love the farmer’s market, and New Season’s Market (gotta love their meat department!), and I love growing lots of my own veggies. We’ve taken up going out to the local u-pick farms and picking fresh fruits and veggies and canning our own, even. It’s been great fun!

I love it that my children are learning that food isn’t the enemy. I love that they are being given the opportunity to learn to love stuff that’s good for them, and to learn that moderation is an okay thing.

The overeating thing was a recent realization that I was consistently trying to eat too much when sitting down to the table. I don’t know when it started, but it finally dawned on me a couple of months ago that I felt so much better if I didn’t push it so much with food. It’s a strange thing giving up that one last bite – it’s a little bit of an emotional tug of war that goes on. BUT – I just feel so much better when I don’t overfill my poor little tummy! It is so worth it to slow down again, to take my time eating, and to pay attention to the fact that I’m getting full, and that I don’t have to clean my plate, and that I can be emotionally satisifed with a smaller portion consumed – in fact, more than satisfied! I haven’t changed WHAT I eat at all, just HOW MUCH of what I eat at a sitting. Little things that have helped me to keep perspective have been things like cutting sandwiches and burgers in half, ordering smaller sized items as opposed to larger – and being okay with not being able to finish something off!, and paying less attention to the speed that other people at the table are consuming their food – it’s not a race! It’s okay if I’m slow! It’s okay if I can’t eat as much as they can! I CAN – and DO – enjoy every bite. I don’t have to deny myself anything, so there’s no sorrow or deprivation involved. Funny how the brain can subtly lull you into not paying attention to the details!

It’s been a GREAT year watching my husband shrink, I’ve got to say. He had his DS with Dr. Baltasar 2 years to the day and time after I had mine. He’s lost 93 pounds, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, etc., etc. He’s gone from 3X and 4X sized clothing to XL. He’s shaved his bushy beard and got a very cute goatee now – looks awesome on him! He wears a smile a lot more nowadays, too… It was amazing what a huge and dramatic change there was as soon as the diabetes was gone – his stress level seemingly just vanished. I was blown away at how much that affected him that way!

Being a DS couple has been fun date-wise, too. We get to go to restaurants that are maybe a little more expensive, and enjoy funner food – splitting a meal between us is more than enough. We’ve enjoyed several weekends away – where we can walk, and see the sights, etc… Of course, those are not the only benefits! 🙂 LOL!

So – here I am, 3 years later. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! Am I still thrilled with Dr. Baltasar as my surgeon? More thrilled than I could have dreamed possible – he continues to be a wonderful friend, and caring participant in my life. Anything I would change? Can’t think of a single thing – except maybe have done it sooner.

So that’s my recap in a nut shell. I’ll try and do better with more frequent updates this year. If you want to chat, let me know – I’d love to email! And if you want to see our web site, check out www.bodybybaltasar.com