Friday, April 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday = An Amazing Day!!!!!

Yesterday I had an amazing experience. It didn't start out that way because I was anxious, nervous, and extremely busy at work, but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this awesome experience.

Yesterday I presented at a conference at TCU as part of the Community Health program. I was honored to have been chosen to talk in two different topic areas, but yesterday I presented on Obesity Discrimination. I was nervous, I was scared, I was anxious, and honestly I didn't know how this presentation would go, but in the end all things worked out phenomenal, but I digress.

Obesity Myths & Perceptions
I have to say that my journey through WLS has been an amazing one. For those of you who follow my blog, you've seen the ups and downs, but honestly it has been the most real, honest, and introspective experience I've had to date in my life. I am honored that I have readers and followers and I'm honored that you choose to take a moment out of your day and read it. I have had the privilege of sharing this journey with many, but today I want to highlight a friend that I've been able to reconnect with through this blog. I lived across from Brooke my freshman year in college at TCU. We were hall mates and throughout that first year we chatted, shared hallway space, and participated in a number of things within Colby Hall, but as most things do happen, life takes you in different areas. Via facebook and my blog I had been able to reconnect with Brooke. I was able to start a conversation and to create a unique friendship thousands of miles away from each other. Ironically Brooke worked at TCU doing Student Affairs work. She worked in my dream job location and so while I was searching last year, I was able to directly connect with her and then I got my job that moved me back to TCU. Over the last few months we've been busy doing our work, but we have been able to see each other (not enough!) but it has been nice to know a friendly face that is familiar on campus. Yesteray, I was setting up my board and she came to say hello and she didn't know how she made my day. She say "hello skinny!" and my heart jumped. I've never been called that and she was a great reminder that I am able to be someone new in this body. She has known me a long time and saw me at one of my heavist points in college so this was even more special for me.

Obesity Terminology
As I was putting up the display we were chatting and in my head I realized what I was about to do. I was about to post pictures of myself throughout this journey and annouce to the world that I had been obese, overweight, and fat! I was about to expose myself to everyone and voluntarily share my discrimination that I had pre, during, and post WLS and how our community needs to be more sensitive to this. As this is going through my head Brooke reassured me how awesome this was for me to do and how courageous I was for doing it. She blessed me. For that I am so thankful for her and her words. They were bigger than she ever knew. Thank you Brooke for being a cheerleader and a calming spirit yesterday!

I was able to really connect with students and lots of nursing majors. Ironically I didn't feel judged, but I felt empowered to share this personal journey as my own subject! I am empowered to know that I am able to be someone that people may know that had a positive experience with WLS and I'm excited that I can advocate. I realized yesterday more than ever that even though I'm skinnier, I'm still that fat girl in some ways. She will forever be a part of me and my identity. I don't want to ever forget all the things I learned during my days of being obese...I will not forget. I will advocate and maybe in the future things can change. This is my hope.

Yesterday I also got my blood work back round 1 with the vampire! I found out that my sugar is doing phenomnal. I hit 81 fasting on my glucose! My HDL was up to 50 which has been a struggle to get there, but thanks to dietary help and niacin I'm making it. My iron, calcium, and all the rest of the standard blood tests were normal. My cholesterol LDL is still above 200. It was 243 and I'm proud that it has dropped from 445, but I also realize I might need some help to get it under 200 and I'm ok with that as I have a history of high cholesterol in my family and heart disease. I'm still going to work to get that lower, but dropping over 200 points is a celebrations. My liver levels the ALT were high at 50 and the highest should be 40. This was high last year as well, but I need to talk to the doc about it. Nothing too worried about because my body is still going through shock, I've been taking some increased tylenol which could cause it, and my anxiety meds could also contribute. So going to the doc in May will be a good where do I stand on this. I'm very happy with being healthier. I'm excited to see that some of the vitamins and such that I might need supplements I don't need because I'm eating the right things. That makes me feel really great!

Ok enough words for me for today, here are some pics. Enjoy!

I know this may seem odd, but I've been working towards healthy nails since December of 2011. WLS patients often get "soft" nails due to protein levels, but these are the longest natural nails I've had since 2008!!! Healthy, not "soft", and my biotin is working.

Here are my TOMS. I love my TOMS and I got them last fall. I'm so proud they are falling apart! Yes, you read that right. That means I've been doing ALOT of walking and it is a honor to have a worn hole in them. Time to patch them up, but all that moving around campus and such means that I earned a new pair :-)

My new recipe binder from pinterest. I'm proud that I've got so many great food choices now!

Date with the Vampire...22 tubes and a glucose test later. This is going to bruise nicely
 (its already black and blue and purple too!)

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