Monday, November 15, 2010

Doctors Visits Garnish Challenges and Praises

In the past month, I have seen five different doctors to deal with multiple infections including cellulitus which left me on crutches for a week with periodic rides in a wheelchair at the airport and the Columbus Zoo. After being on crutches for a week, I threw my back out of allignment and couldn't bear weight on my left foot. My orthopeadic found a nodule which turned out to be inflamation/infection of the fatty tissue. Who woulda thought that fat could get infected. When the MRI was taken of that area, the MRI found a cyst on my right ovary. It turned out to be a follicular cyst and the gynecologist said my body would take care of it. My back pain was at a height even for me who has a high tolorance for pain. My regular orthopaedic referred me to another ortho at the hospital so I could make use of my financial assistance there. Again, this doctor saw something that was a concern. I bruise very easily and he wanted to get some blood tests to see if I had a clotting disorder. If we didn't get the tests and it turned out I did have a clotting disorder there was a 1 and 1000 chance that I would become paralysed from the waist down. So of course I told him to do the blood tests. Thank goodness it was negative. In the last two months, it seems like I have had some sort of infection that required antibiotics or that I needed to go to a different doctor to look at something that was found in a lab or test.I was finally able to get the clear from my chiropractor to go back to working out which is a praise. I rode the exercise bike for 20 minutes. He said to ease back into it. Also another praise, my primary care physician is cutting my 10 Mg of Lisinopril to 5 mg. I have also lost 3.5 more pounds since my last appointment 6 weeks ago for a total of 143 since right before my surgery. Please pray for continued improvement with blood pressure, talking to my psychiatrist about weaning me off the medications he prescribes, as well as the ability to get back to a reqular routine of working out.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Invitation

Today, I went on retreat with some of the women from my church. It was a good chance for me to reflect on what God has done for me and given me in the past year and my life. There are aspects of weight loss that has been more challenging that I thought. I am greatful for those of you who have given me clothes as I shrink bit by bit each month to a shadow of my former self. I love all the compliments. Who wouldn't? That part of losing weight that has been hard for me is guys. I think; no I know I was thinking before my surgery that when I had the surgery and began to loose weight I would be noticed by guys that want to date me. Still being single at 43 is hard. I have been content in my unmarried state for a while, but recently, I have been becoming more discontent. The pastor at my church has been doing a series on Marriage and Celibacy. He said that no one is single if they are in the church if they have Jesus. Through contemplation and pray alone and with others; I began to realize that being married has become an idol to me. I have confessed it, but it is funny how the devil works to deceive us and puts that a thought back into our heads or a feeling in our heart. I find myself having to put that idol at the foot of the cross daily. I am trying to walk in the celibacy that called me to right now. Please pray for me as I take this walk. Please pray that I would be reminded that I am not alone and that Jesus walks with me. Now don't get me wrong, I know these things but sometimes I have to be reminded like all of us. I still pray for a husband and I have given over to the Lord that I may never have my own biological children but He has given me so many children to be a "spiritual mother" to. As I listen to the Lord in my quiet times, He calls my name. Sometimes I go or sometimes I don't go because I am distracted, not listening, ashamed to go because I feel dirty because of my own sin or the sins that other have committed against me. Today, after hearing the story of the wealthy man that invited his friends to a grand banquet and they rejected the invitation. The wealthy man sent his servant out to the roads and the byways to invite anyone that would come. They came and the servant was sent out farther to invite more people to the banquet and fill his table with many people. I wonder what the wealthy man's friends were thinking when they rejected his invitation. I wonder why they said no. Would I say yes if the Lord invited me? I wrote a poem at the retreat as a reflection/response to this verse. It brought me to a place of recognition of the abundance of love God and his people have for me and a deep gratitude what what He has provided for me over the years.


THE INVITATION

I wonder what I would feel like if I were invited?
I wonder what I would feel like if I wasn't invited?
I want to be invited,but sometimes I am not invited.
I want to feel welcomed, but some sometimes I don't feel welcome.
To be invited to me means that others want me around, so if I am not
invited I think I am not wanted.
To be invited means that someones likes me enough or loves me enough to want me there.
If I am not invited maybe I am not liked or loved by others.
Who will invite me?
Lord, will you invite me?
Will I go?
Have you invited me and I just didn't hear you?
Was I ignoring you?
Am I am ashamed and feel dirty because of my own sin or the sins committed against me?
Do you love me Lord?
I know you love me.
I can see love for me in the family and friends you have given me.
I can see love for mein the way that you provide for me financially and materially.
I can see it in the way that you have made me healthier: body, mind,
spirit, and soul.
I can see your love for me in the relationships you have reconciled.
I can see your love for me in how you have redeemed, restored, and transformed my life.
Thank you Lord for filling in the pits and knocking down the mountains of pain and sorrow paving the way for continued transformation in my life.
Thank you Lord for washing the dark places of my past with your blood and healing my innocence.
Will you come, Clare?
Yes Lord, Yes, Lord I will come?


Will you come when He calls you?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A setback resolved and moving forward

As some of you know, I have been struggling periodically to keep food down. In August I decided to go to a gastro-intestinal doctor and see if my ulcer came back. It did not. He ordered a x-ray with barium. It turns out my lap band slipped up. As I expected (since I had the results sent to my surgeon)he asked me to come in as soon as possible. I went in on August 31st and to my surprise, my surgeon wanted me to have surgery right away when I saw him Tuesday to fix it. I told him I couldn't do it today so he said I could have surgery on Wednesday August 1st. My brother Shawn and my foster mom have been a tremendous support. Both were there before my surgery and were there when I came out of recovery. My brother called me everyday for a week to check on me. I have felt so much love from my family and friends. I even got a call from one of my coworkers the morning after the surgery. My friends at church have been a great support by providing food. My surgeon has put me on the same diet as when I had the band put in a year ago. By third day I called my surgeon's office to ask if I could go back to working out. I was eager to get back to the gym but the nurse said walking was all I could do until I saw the surgeon in two weeks. I saw him for my 2 week post op appointment and he said I could go back to working out at the gym. I even lost 3 more pounds since my surgery. My total now is 135 pounds. It is amazing how far God has brought me. My surgeon said that I have lost 60% of my body weight. My pants are getting looser and I am very close to going to Goodwill to buy size 14 pants. I can't remember the last time I wore size 14. I am so excited and so thankful to God and all of you for walking with me in this journey. Please pray for provision of a part time job after school whether it's babysitting or something else.

Monday, August 9, 2010

122 pounds and counting

So far I have lost 122 pounds. I continue to exercise 3-5 times a week. I love lifting weights. I think that has really help my weight loss. It has been really fun to go shopping. I went to Old Navy to get some polos for school. It is the first time I have ever been able to buy clothes there. It is really exciting to shop in stores that have regular sizes. I have also been able to get some cute clothes at the Good will store in Carol Stream. I have gone down another size. Depending on the brand of clothes, (the more expesive clothes I can usually fit into the smaller size)I can fit into a 16 or 18. I haven't been those sizes since I was a senior in high school. On September 16th, it will be one year since I have had the surgery. It has been an amazing journey. I have so much more energy than I used to have. I continue to have problems occasionally with vomiting. I have determined that it is because I eat too much. It is really challanging because I feel like I eat so little. Please pray that I would be able to listen to my body more closely and know when I am getting full.

Blogger Buzz: Monetize!

Blogger Buzz: Monetize!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unpacking the pounds

Yesterday, I went in to see the associate of my surgeon because I was having problems keeping food down for a few days so he removed all the fluid. Last time, he took out the fluid I still lost weight. I am wondering if just my band is enough to help me continue loosing weight. Please pray for this conversation and he would be supportive when I go for my 1 year post surgical appointment. When I weighed in I was it showed that I have lost 115 pounds. It is hard to believe that I am so close to my goal weight of 160 pounds. I am over half way there. Thank you for all your support.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Meaner Leaner Clare

I am so excited to be sharing how the Lord has blessed me in my obedience to make my body a temple. I have been able to do so much more and have longer endurance to do things like walking, standing, biking, and whatever else I like to do. Two really great things were accomplished since I started working out at ATI Fitness (the generous gift of some friends at church). First of all I have been able to increase the number in my reps and the amount that I lift and the most incredible thing was discovered at my re-evaluation. At ATI every 30 days, each member can meet with a trainer to get weight, take there measurements and go over your work out. Today, I met with Catherine. She weighed me and I hadn't lost anything, but when she took my measurements. I went from 137 pounds of lean muscle mass to 148.7 pounds of lean muscle mass. That means I lost 11 pounds of fat. It is really amazing how just adding a little bit of weight lifting can make a difference. I have also gone from a size 30 a year ago to a size 18. I am so excited. If really gives me motivation to keep on going. Last week, I initiated a walking group with folks at my church at a local forest preserve. I am really encouraged; I already have 4 people who have expressed interest in walking with me. I continue to work out at the gym, but since I have my bike I try to bike outside as much as possible. I have started biking to church every Sunday or at least I have done it two weeks in a row. I also have two friends I walk with on Mondays and Fridays. My week is full of exercise. I am so greatful for God and how He has blessed me through my friends. He continues to provide for me whether it's a gym membership, walking or workout buddies, clothes, or encouragement.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Working at Working Out

I sometimes can't believe it but I am up to exercising 7 days a week. At least 4 of those days are at ATI Fitness Center in Carol Stream where a trainer took my measurements 3 weeks ago and help design a work out plan. I started at 30 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes of weights. I have added 35 minutes on the Eliptical machine and have increase the amount of weight I do on some exercises like lifting 20 pounds on the chest press instead of 15 pounds. I have also added the leg press and bicep curl. I would appreciate your prayer as I continue to loose weight and exercise. Pray that I don't overdo it and have to take a break which is hard to get back to working out for me. Also pray that I would be patient with myself. I seem to be stagnate on my weight right now. Maybe I am just building muscle and that's why I am not loosing weight. Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Surpassing the100 Pound Mark

I sometimes can't believe I made it this far. To celebrate my 100 pound mark; I decided to have a Virtual 100 pound party. This party is not where you go to someone's house and eat food. It is a virtual party where people commit to donating food to their local food pantry. The idea was to have my friends collectively donate 100 pounds but we have surpassed that. Friends from, New York, California, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and San Paulo, Brazil have donated over 200 pounds of food. Locally, I have chosen the People's resource Center as a place I wanted people to donate. In the past few years, the People's Resource Center has helped me when I couldn't afford to buy food. They provided me with plenty to eat and at times clothes too. When I would go, one Wednesday each month; the staff there were always very kind and I always found it interesting to talk to the people waiting. There were so many people (as many as 150 or families) Many of these people are hard-working but have low income and come to the People's Resource Center for help. The need is really great now. I don't think it matter's where you live there is a need. I heard a great quote on KLOVE this week: "You can't give everything, don't give nothing, but give something." I urge you to consider donating a pound or two or food to your local food pantry. Did you know that some cans are 16 ounces and many are 12 ounces. If you donated 2 or 3 cans of food you would have between one and two pounds. One friend made a monetary donation which equals 100 pounds. She said to people at People's Resource Center and now they want to write about my story in their newsletter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Conscientious Clare Continues to Combat Calories

Today, I weighed in. It has been three weeks since my last weigh in. As some of you may recall I has some problems keeping food down and had to go to the ER about 3 weeks ago. A Cat Scan was done and it was found the the tissue around the band had become inflamed. The surgeon removed all the saline solution. I was instructed to stay on a liquid diet for a few days to let the inflammation go down. On May 16th, I hit my 8 month mark. It has been 8 months since my surgery. I was down 5 pounds since my last weigh in. I have lost a total of 97 pounds. I have a total of 44.5 inches. I think that I will reach triple digits by the end of the month. I am really encouraged by how I've done so far. Two weeks ago, I celebrated my 43rd birthday. It is hard to believe that I am 43 years old. I feel a lot younger. For my birthday, I asked for gift cards from Target so I could buy a new bike. I am very excited. I have enough to get my bike, plus a helmet and maybe a bike pump. Physically, I learned to listen to my body's cues. That has been a really plus in my weigh-loss. This has been one of the key things in my journey. In Philippians 4:13 (New International Version)it says, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." This is so true. I could not walk literally or figuratively this journey without Jesus Christ. I feel like the more weight that comes off the more confidence in Jesus to work in and through me. I praise God for what He has done in my life. One of the ways God has worked in my life is he has given me the courage to do things that I have wanted to do for a long time. In February,I took the Basic Skills Test which is a teaching test that anyone who wants to be a teacher they have to take this test. I am planning to take Spanish at College of Dupage this summer to solidify my Spanish skills. Please pray that I follow through on this. Someone has offered to help me pay for the class. That is such a blessing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

As I am loosing I am gaining too

As of yesterday, my weight loss on my "official" scale at the Bariatric Center is 92 pounds in 7 months. That is an average of 3.2 pounds a week. The surgeon would say I am right on target. I have also lost 6 pant sizes, a half size in my shoes, and a total of 26 inches just since December30, 2009. As I reflect on what I have gained; I would have to say that I have gained a greater confidence in my self and an epiphany of joy in the last 6 or 7 months. I feel like my trust in the Lord has grown. Last week, I started having problems with my car radiator and I decided to leave it in my driveway. I trusted the Lord that he would work out how I would get to work and church. I began asking people for rides and my friends really came through. I asked the church if they could help me and pay for replacement of my car radiator. It usually takes 10-14 days for a check to be processed from the church benevolence fund. I asked if I could take my car after it had been repaired and if the mechanic could wait for the check to come from the church and they said yes. I was happily surprised. The Lord continues to provide for me. The kindergarten teacher that I worked with last year started Weight Watchers in January (She said I motivated her to join WW) gave me a bag of very nice clothes. I was surprised to find there was a pair of overalls in the bag. I have always wanted a pair of overalls. I am excited of all the other things that I will gain as God continues to take me on this journey.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Several milestones: more weight, being in a tunnel, smaller jeans

In the past month, I have had several milestones. I have been experiencing some pain in my back and hips so my orthopaedic doctor ordered a MRI. I went to the hospital to have my MRI. I had a closed MRI. I was so excited because I have not been able to fit into a closed MRI in years because I was so large. That was my first mile stone. My second milestone was that I have lost 72 pounds so far. I have not been that weight for 15 years ago. My last milestone is that I am wearing jeans that are 5 sizes smaller than what I was wearing 6 months ago. I can't believe the weight is coming off so easily. I am so thankful to God for making this surgery possible.I feel like God has given me a new confidence hope through this journey. I used to feel like I needed to fill my emptiness with food but I have tried to seek God more and go to scripture. Please continue to pray for the fatigue and tiredness I have been having. My doctor said there is nothing in my blood work that is abnormal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More Weight and more inches

Today I went to the surgeon's office for my monthly weigh-in. I reached a new milestone. I am very excited about this one. Try to figure this one out. I don't tell my weight to too many people. My weight has three digits, hundreds, tens,and ones. The hundreds digit went down. I am very psyched about this new milestone. I have lost a total of 53 pounds and 27 inches if you add up inches lost in my hips, waist, each thigh, each bicep, my neck, my bust and my chest. I am feeling great. I have the whole vomiting thing under control and I am exercising. I have had the opportunity to use a gift membership to the Morton Arboretum a couple of times and its been great. I was able to walk in the snow for an hour with several breaks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Smaller Pants and 50 pounds lost

I went to my primary care doctor because I was not feeling well. The nurse weighed me and I have lost a total of 50 pounds so far. I was wearing jeans today that were baggy so I decided to try on the jeans I got for Christmas. I purposely asked for jeans that were too small so I would have jeans that would fit in a couple of months. I was so surprised but happy to see the results. Thanks for all your support.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Photo

This picture was taken this morning at church.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I HAVE A NECK!

I went to get a fill yesterday because I was sick (a stomach bug) last week when I went. I weighed in last week and had lost 40 pounds and I went back yesterday to get my fill and lost another 2 pounds in the last week. I am very excited to see the changes and that others are noticing. My new profile page is of me this summer. I will try to get someone to take a picture of me this weekend and post it. I showed the Health Aide at school my school picture from last year and she said she has noticed a difference. I have a neck now. Yeah for necks! Thanks for all your encouragement and support. Love till next time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Sucessful Moment

Today, I went to see my pulmonologist to check on my CPAP usage (nighttime breathing machine) and as routine the nurse weighed me. I found that I have lost more weight and have a net weight loss of 38 pounds. I am so excited about this. Although it has been hard in someways in the past month, I have continue to make positive changes in my life. I have walking buddies for 3 days a week and I go to the Wheaton Park District to use there indoor track. I am up to 1 mile a day with some days doing a mile and a half. You may remember that in December I had a little set back and gained 6 pounds. I have since been taking my measurements on different parts of my body: legs, arms, hips, waist, ect. Since last months weigh in I have lost a total of 5 and 1/2 inches in total in those areas. It is possible that the weight I gained was muscle. I will continue to take my measurements right around the time I see my doctor. Thank you for your continued prayers. There are working! Keep 'em coming! You can add one more prayer request and that is I have been having trouble keeping food down periodically. I haven't been able to pinpoint what it is. I do know there are some foods I can not tolerate any more like broccoli. That's a really bummer. I like broccoli. Thanks again. It's a blessing and an encouragement to have you in my life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Energy Level

I have been feeling stressed and tired a little lately. As a result, I have been eating things that I shouldn't. I have tried to eat right, but have not been successful. I can say that there have been outside variables that have caused the stress and caused me to eat unhealthy food, but I know it's just an excuse. I have been walking but I have been having pain in my left hip. I think it's just that I haven't been exercising as much as I should. Please pray that I will make good food choices and continue to walk even if I don't feel like it. Please pray for the pain in my left hip.