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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Today's THE Day!

Wednesday September 25th, 2013

Today's THE Day!


Well.....HELLO, Wednesday!  It's sooo nice to see you!!! Took your sweet time getting here, 'eh?

So...today is the day!! The day where I take charge of my life, and get a fresh new start!  It feels amazing!  Kind of un-real, to be honest.

Last week, I got a call from a lady at Good Sameritan...and old lady, with a crackily smokers hack voice........she wanted to check me in to the hospital over the phone, and asked me about a million questions about my health, previous surgeries, diseases, and gave me pre-op instructions......they were as follows....

1. Liquid Diet starting 6 days prior to surgery....this included all forms of liquid, but mostly I just drank skim milk with protein powder mixed in, and water with Crystal Lite.
2. Clear Liquids starting 2 days prior to surgery.....this is where things got rough.....and this morning, I'm pretty sure that my brain isn't functioning correctly!  6 days without solid food makes for a pretty tired, emotional, drained, Rachel.     Can't imagine what the next SIX weeks on liquid will be like!
3. Don't shave your abdoman!  WHAT?  Do girls do that?  I starting cracking up laughing over the phone when she said this....and in her crass, old-lady voice, she kept asking me, "Why are you laughing?"  Apparently, when you tell that to people day in and day out.....it loses it's humor.....but to me?  Hilarious!!
4.  Wash with anti-bacterial soap the morning of the surgery!  Okay....that one's easy!


So here I am....20 minutes before leaving my house.....showered, shaved, (but not my belly!), and anti-bacterialed.....and I have this weird sense of calm about me......I'm not sure if it's from the food depravation and exhaustion, or if I'm just......after 8 months of thinking about this day.........READY.

I have so much more to say.....but I HAVE TO GO!!! OMG!!! IT"S HERE!!!!!

But I do have to say....to all of you who have read my blogs, talked with me on facebook, hugged me in person, offered to help in some way.....THANK YOU!  At first, I was so ashamed of the idea of having Gastirc Bypass, that I thought I'd keep it to myself....but I'm SOOO glad that I didn't!  The amount of support, and commiseration that has been shown to me through this, has been absolutely beyond words!  You are all incredible friends, and I can't imagine going through this without all of your gentle words of encouragement!! So, thank you!!

Wish Me Luck!!!!!!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Damn Lemons


Life's Lemons.......

When life hands me lemons.......I cry until I can't see straight.

........and that's what I've been doing for the last 3 days.  If you see me out and about, with my puffy red eyes...just turn around, and pretend you didn't.

So....8 years ago, at the height of the housing market (before the crash)...we bought our first house.  It was Chad's mom's house (who decided about 5 years ago not to be a part of ours or our children's lives, so it's okay to say what I'm about to say....)  

She was in financial crisis, and begged us to buy her house, and help her get out of it.  In the 3 years she lived there, she had COMPLETELY ruined it.  His drug addicted half brother had drawn upside down crosses and pagan symbols all over it, painted windows black, and put 1000's of staples in the walls and ceilings.  (We should have known RIGHT THEN!)....it was disgusting, and dirty, and needed a crazy amount of work.....BUT.....

 We bought it anyway. 
It was such a huge, neat place....lots of built in character...a bar and a wine cellar.....and a huge backyard with a pond.....and SO much potential.  We were young, had a new baby, and thought we'd achieved the "American Dream." We were so proud.

Then we moved in.....

and it had this weird smell......

and we all started getting sick.......like ALL the time.

It was MOLDY.  It NEVER should have passed inspection.

You could stick your finger straight through the sheetrock, and when we pulled all the carpet up, it was dripping with water.  It was flooded.
How in the HELL did it pass inspection?  HOW did we get stuck with a house that was making us all sick?

We spent a lot of time feeling sorry for ourselves, and THOUSANDS of dollars over the next 6 years, remodeling the ENTIRE house, room by room...little by little....piece by piece.  My parents and Chad's parents helped us too.....trying to make a healthy place for our kids to grow up. 

Then, about 3 years ago....Chad and my Dad remodeld our kitchen.  They tore it down to bare studs....replaced the walls, floor, ceiling, electric, cabinets, appliances, and even added a bathroom to the laundry room!  My mom and I picked out flooring, tile, paint colors, and all the girlie touches!  
It was finally a place we were proud to call home. I'd wake up happy, and proud of all of the work we'd done.  And we looked forward to living there for years to come. (Yes, I'm crying as I type this.)

THEN.......
(*insert the musical notes..."DUN, DUN, DUUUUN....")

Last September, Chad and I came home from an all expences paid Pampered Chef vacation to Nashville, TN to find that our house had flooded yet again.  The carpets and walls were soaked, and made that awful squishing sound under your feet as you walked. And in just the week that we'd been gone, the black mold had started to creep back up the sides of the sheetrock.

The smell was something I can't even describe.
You couldn't take a deep breath without coughing, or feeling winded.

We had to get out.  We had to get our kids out. We couldn't breathe.

With the weight of the world on our shoulders, and the pressures of trying to figure out where and how to relocate our three small kids.....we walked away.

The housing bubble had burst years ago, and left us with a huge mortagae and a moldy house that was worth NOTHING compared to what we paid/owed.  
It was a hard decision, financially speaking....but an easy one, knowing we could no longer live in a house that was making us sick.  The reality is that we never fully got rid of the water problem, and it was always dank, and damp and moldy.  No matter how much remodeling we did.  Who knows what long term damage the mold did to our lungs.

So..........we found a beautiful rental house in Battle Ground!  It has palm trees in the yard, plenty of bedrooms, an office for my Pampered Chef business, a HUGE bathtub in the master bedroom, walk in closets, built in storage EVERYWHERE, and is in walking distance to Annaliese's school!  The ceilings are vaulted, it's open, and sunny, and HAPPY!
And the best part......?

It's DRY!
There's no mold, everything is new....and if something goes wrong....we just call the rental company, and they come fix it! It's like magic!
We were SOOOOOOO burned by buying that house, that I'm not sure I'll ever get up the guts to want to buy again.

We. Are. Happy. Here. 

Again.....insert the "DUN, DUN, DUUUUUUNNNNN......"

Thursday we got the WORST news.  Again.
Apparently the owner of our house hasn't been paying his mortgage with our rent check every month.  God knows what he HAS been doing with it.....But now he's doing a short sale on our house and 

we. have. to. move.......AGAIN!

I feel like we've absolutely failed our kids.  Especailly Annaliese.  She'll be in 3rd grade this year, and will likely have to move schools again.  THREE schools by THIRD grade. That's not fair.  And it's not the stability we wanted for her.  
Everything was perfect here.....she walks to school everyday, has a BEST FRIEND who lives NEXT DOOR, and we love her school!

Tristan starts kindergarten this fall, and we were SOO looking forward to watching them walk to school together on the first day! 
So yes, we're freaking out...and crying...and feeling sorry for ourselves.....

But we are resiliant. We are a family who loves eachother unconditionally.....and God has a plan...he always does.....wish I could figure out what we have to do in this life to have just a normal....BORING....life.........but we'll be ok.  Right?

So the search begins.........another perfect house is out there waiting for us.  Comfort and stability are in our future.....lightning can't possibly strike the same family THREE times, right?

I can't wrap my mind around moving again.  I haven't let it sink in yet.......Packing and un-packing...organizing and re-organizing.....ugh.  Here we go......another adventure awaits the Danner family.




















Wednesday, July 3, 2013

More Desperation......


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Worry, Stress, and a Hint of Desperation!

I am a worry wart by nature.
(Hey....I can SEE YOU all nodding your heads!)  
I stress out easily, get overwhelmed easily, and wear my emotions on BOTH sleeves.
I cry. A lot. Like.....all the time.
My poor husband is such a good sport!

Now that my BIG secret is out, everyone keeps asking me...."Aren't you scared?", "Aren't you nervous?" "Aren't you worried?" And  you know what?? 

I'm NOT!
Not even a little!  Not one teensie tiny bit!
Weird right?
I'm not sure why exactly, I'm not worried about the nearly 8 weeks of a liquid diet, or the fact that surgeons will be cutting 95% of my stomach out, or the inevitable skin removal surgery that will come later....but I'm not.  
I'm excited....(can you tell!!!?)

You know what I AM worried about?  Only a few things.

I'm worried that my daughter will somehow find out WHY I'm having surgery....that it will effect the way she looks at her beautiful, perfect body.  

I'm stressed that my hanging, saggy extra skin will give me ONE MORE THING to hate about my body.

And...... I'm stressed about losing my business in this process!  Most of you know I sell Pampered Chef, and that I've been very successful at it.  It's something I do that's "just for me!"  It doesn't involve kids.....
or diapers...... 
or my husband.....
 (unless he's going on a FREE PC vacation with me!)
or stress of any kind......
or anything else....it's just...... MINE!

Soooo.....I'm stressed.  Losing sleep, and worried.  
My surgery is going to be in September....the start of our biggest selling season....and the month that keeps us going for the entire rest of the holiday season!!  So yes....
I'm nervous I'm going to miss out on it all!!!

My PLAN is to book a show for EVERYDAY in August, (okay, maybe not EVERYDAY....but almost would be GREAT!)...... so that it carries me through September and on to AFTER my surgery!!!

My point here is obvious...I know......(this is where the *hint* of desperation comes in........) if YOU or literally ANYONE you know would be interested in hosting a cooking, catalog, or Facebook Pampered Chef party this summer....please, please, pretty pretty PLEASE let me know.  Ha!

We'll see.......

Anyway, I felt like I should write down my worries.....that maybe it would help me sleep better at night.....



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The BIGGEST day of my life......

The BIGGEST day of my life.........


A few days ago, I had the BIGGEST day of my life.......no LITERALLY, the BIGGEST!!

Here's the scoop...(double scoop, in my case!)

In order for my insurance to cover my surgery, there are a MILLION hoops that I've had to jump through..(though jumping is not my strongest ability at the moment!).....the first being my BMI.....that one, I hit NOOOOO problem!

The next few have been tedious.

I am in month 5 of a 6 month Dr. supervised "weight loss program."
This basically just means that I drag all 67 of my children to the Dr's office, once a month to get my weight checked.  We walk in, looking like someone just unloaded a preschool bus, armed with sucker sucking toddlers!
Oh.....and fishy crackers.....
and graham crackers......
and anything else I can put in their mouths (no...duct tape is not an option, unfortunately...)  for the 30 minutes we're in there...to keep us from being too loud and getting kicked out.

Get this....... I am NOT allowed to lose weight during this time...because my BMI is BARELY above the limit for my insurance to cover my surgery, and since I'm on a "weight loss program," I'm not allowed to gain weight either!  It's a precarious balance!

So on top of the weight loss program that I can't lose weight on, I also have had to do a 3 month psychological evaluation.  This is the "good part!"  I KNOW that a lot of my issues are mental, and I KNOW that even with surgery that they're not just going to go "POOF" and disappear.....so I have been more than happy to go see a psychologist twice a month for the last 3 months!    She, like so many other psychologists I have seen.....says that my insecurities, poor self-esteem, and self-loathing, likely comes back to my being adopted.  I however, think that is garbage.  And THAT, is for a whole other blog!  But it HAS been good, talking to her about my eating habits, anorexic/bulimic past and self-esteem....and how my wight has always been the one thing that has either made me happy or depressed in my life.......I'm working on it.......and I'm soo glad that I'll get to continue seeing her, well after my surgery is finished!

I've also had to compete numerous other tests...here's the LONG list.....
*Sleep Apnea testing
*multiple lab draws
*Cardio/Pulmonology tests
*Nutrition counseling
*Dietitian counseling
*Physical Activity classes and assessment
*Echocardiogram
*Upper GI study
*Endoscopy

and anything else they feel I need to complete.....ugh.

BUT......as I finish my list of "To-Do's".....I get closer to the big day......and guess what??????

I will NEVER AGAIN be bigger than I am today! 

 Last Wednesday, I had my final weigh-in before surgery and was given the "green light" to lose as much weight as I want to before September!! 

Last Wednesday was the BIGGEST (literally) day of my life!!!!

As I drove home from my appointment, and contemplated this thought, I started crying......
If you know me, you know that I cry ALL the time...so that's not really a big deal....but these were incredibly HAPPY tears......these last few months are going to go quickly.....and this time next year, I'll have a whole new perspective on life.

I'll be in pictures with my children....
I'll be naked in the daylight.....
I'll enjoy clothes shopping.....

I WON'T HATE what I see in the mirror.

I will NEVER be BIGGER than I am today. 
 And that is an incredible feeling.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Arm Cleavage



If we're going for honesty here....I might as well get it all out there....but remember the rules:

1. Don't judge.
2. It's okay to laugh at my "fat jokes!"  They will be funny a year from now to me too!

If you're skinny, you have no idea what I'm talking about.  If you're skinny but think you're fat, you might THINK you know what I'm talking about...but really, you have no idea.....and you suck.  Here's a little tip: Fat people find it outrageously annoying when skinny people whine about being fat.  Just sayin'

For a long time, I've been compiling a list of all the reasons that I'm DONE being a hefty heifer....every time something would make me mad, or sad, or down right depressed, I'd write it down.  So here's my list....it's a long one.

1. I want to get naked.

  Like....in the daylight. 

Just to be able to step out of the shower without 15 towels wrapped around me, and not have to peek out the door to make sure my husband wasn't anywhere near......
Last time my husband ACTUALLY saw me naked was before I was pregnant with Tristan.  He'll be 6 in October.  Sad. Honest.  Ugh.
Chad will probably like this reason too! =)

2. I have kids. Looooooads of them.  Kids think it's hilarious to point out how my "muscles are bigger than daddy's"....but really I just have fat arms.  Or ask me if I'm pregnant.....or....oh gosh....kids are just mean. And innocent...but geez.

3.  Teeter Totters are not fun.

4.  Being afraid to be the first to say you're hungry when you're with friends.  Even if you're REALLY hungry!

5. I'd really like to cuddle up on my husband's lap, without making his face turn purple.  The man needs to breathe.

6. My daughter is beautiful.  She is perfection.  I NEVER want her to know how I actually feel about myself.  NEVER.  She will NOT know the reason for my surgery until she's 30.  Maybe 35.  This damn world has enough complexes for her to worry about.  Mine will NOT be one of them.

7.  Diabetes runs in my biological family.  This really should be reason #1 for me....but honestly.....it's more about correcting years of depression and complete lack of self esteem, than it is about health. For now.

8.  Leg chafing. Don't know what I'm talking about?  Then you're not fat.  This is where....when you walk around for too long, your underwear catch on fire. Enough said.

9.  My Dad told me, "I can't wait until you're little again, " while hugging me.  I know he was being loving....but still. I agree. 

10.  Everything hurts.  My feet hurt the most....especially in the mornings.  

11.  The sun is freaking HOT in the summer.....but I still find it necessary to cover EVERY inch of my body in clothing.  Gotta hide the arm cleavage. 

 Yes, I just said arm cleavage.

12.  In Jr. High and High School I was anorexic and bulimic.  My Jr. year in HS, I was soooo proud to weigh 82lbs.  I remember seeing the scale say that number, and still feeling fat.  
That's gross.
I have obviously had some type of eating disorder for years. It's time to be DONE.

This list will probably be on-going.....until September. (Yeah!)

Thank you all for your support.  I already feel better about my decision to air all my dirty fatness to the world.....it feels good to get it all on "paper," because once it's out there for everyone to see.....I can't go back.  This is ending SOON!!