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Update on THE Slimmin Sam…

Posted Sep 01 2011 2:19pm

It has truly been a while since I have created a post with much substance.  Most of my posts of late have only been weigh-ins.  These have been going up…. going down….. going up….. going up again…. WTF….. going down a bit…. Etc. Weight loss is not a battle in my opinion… it is a War.  A mental and physical war with the food that makes us happy / unhappy / guilty / embarrassed / joyful / hopeful / depressed all at once.  I have had many defeats on this road.  I keep wanting to give up and throw in the towel.  In some cases, I would believe that I wasn’t worth being fit and healthy.  I would blame myself for eating too much and in turn, felt that I didn’t deserve life.  It has been a bumpy road lately and I wanted to let you in on some updates in my life.  There are some wonderful things that have been going on and I am happy you are here to share it with me.

Firstly, Lisa and I celebrated 8 years of marriage in July.  I find everyday that she keeps me motivated and gives me a sense of happiness that can’t be put in any words.  My Anna turned one in July as well and just the past two weeks has begun to walk ALL OVER the place.  She is so cute walking to me.  It is one of those times as a parent that you completely melt.  Lucas is FOUR (holy crapballs) and is starting a 3 (maybe 4) day Pre-School.  I am terrified and utterly frightened at what will happen as he ventures out into places where we can’t “monitor” his surroundings.  He is asking those 4 year old compelling questions that make it hard to answer, but it is amazing to see what he comes up with.  I really couldn’t ask for a more perfect family.  I wish I could define how I feel, but without them, my life would cease to have meaning.  I feel blessed to be part of the lives of such amazing people.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I have started a doctoral degree in Education leadership.  I am attending Appalachian State University and the doctoral program is BEYOND amazing.  The faculty is not only knowledgeable, but they also strive to implement a generative learning landscape for my cohort.  This landscape allows us to learn from each other and direct classroom discussions.  One instructor in particular, Dr. Vachel Miller, is truly the most amazing teacher I have ever had.  The way he can push us to understand things we didn’t think we know coupled with his energy level is astounding.  I am very excited he will be teaching a good number of classes to my cohort.  And BTW, I am in Cohort 19…. The best cohort to come out of ASU.

I have now started to make regular appointments with my therapist.  It is odd, because as someone with a degree based in counseling and human development, one would think I would welcome the experience.  I was just being too stubborn and promoting the same stigma that counseling and therapy is for only **** up people.  Well, my argument fell short on two facts.  First, counseling is for anyone who needs time to decompress in an atmosphere of support and empowerment (my personal opinion).  Secondly, I in fact, am a **** up person :) .  Now that I will be seeing people on a regular basis, I should be good to go.  Again, I have to go back and praise my wife for putting up with me.  Lord knows it is a challenge and a chore to deal with my sometimes.  I wish just once I could show her how much she means to me.

I have started to push myself more in professional development.  As some of you may remember, I presented on a new model of advising called “Intuitive Advising” in May of this year.  This was for the Region 3 (NC, KY, TN, SC, WV) conference of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).  During the conference, participants vote on the best presentation of the entire conference and then that individual is asked to present at the national level.  I was chosen as the best presentation and will be presenting my model of advising in Denver, CO on October 3rd, 2011.  I am nervous and excited, yet anxious and terrified.  I got great comments in Knoxville, so I hope it goes well in Denver.  You can see the information for the presentation here .  (I am in Region three.  If you click on my name, the abstract will pop up).

Lastly, my family and I have made a life changing choice for me.  For three years I have battled the notion, and finally have accepted that is the best option for me.  I have started the process for weight loss surgery.  I feel very fortunate to have come this far and not have any additional health issues.  Lately, my knees have been really giving me problems and my back as well. I have come to realize that my body can’t take the weight anymore.  I have tried everything (most things twice) and this is what I believe is best for me. There is no need to inform me of anything as I have spent three years researching and checking, so I have a pretty good idea of the risks and challenges.  The Bariatric unit at Wake Forrest Baptist Hospital is one of the best in the nation.  It involves support from nutritionists, psychiatrists, counselors, support groups, dietitians, doctors, etc.  There is a large set of things one must do before having the surgery and I am in that process.  I have scheduled the appointments with the Nutritionist and Psychiatrist.  I have been to several seminars and have a follow-up consultation on September 22nd.  I have not decided whether to do the RnY or the LapBand as both have their pros and cons.  I will speak more to Dr. Fernandez about this when I meet with him.  I don’t mean to sound defensive, but I had one person already message me on twitter to tell me I was stupid for making this decision.  I took the comment in stride and forgave his/her ignorance.  In the end, this is my life, and to have a tool like WLS is a risk I am willing to take.  If you are reading this, I most likely don’t have to tell you about the importance of living the next few years.  Anyone as large as I end up being ticking time bombs.  I want to be there as my children grow up and have more children… and then more children.  I want to see endless birthday parties and sports games.  I want to experience concerts and dances.  I want the opportunity to buy a shotgun and scare any male away from Anna until she is a proper 45 years old.  WLS is a tool to aid in this journey… it is ONLY a tool, but a powerful one at that.

So, that is me in a nutshell for the past few months.  To be honest, I have been in such a funk lately, I haven’t wanted to do anything.  I would sit in front of my computer and wonder “what am I doing here”.  I am happy to say this has ended and I feel more like myself.  Slimmin’ Zombie is dead and Sam has returned.

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