Tuesday, December 30, 2008

USAT Club National Championships - Vegas

Our club www.batonrougetri.com won the club national championships for 2008 in Boulder City Nevada on beautiful lake meade.

Here are some pictures from the event . . .

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 in Review

Before I begin my goals and expectations for 2009, I would like to review 2008.  What a year.


I am going to break this down into categories, as I will for 2009 goals:

1.     Personal

2.     Health

3.     Business

4.     Spirituality

5.     Racing!!!!!!



1.     Personal:  I would say the biggest news form 2008 would be the fact that I am going to be a daddy.  Are you kidding me!!!???  We found out in November that we will be having a baby in July 2009. 

I have become closer to a couple new friends here in Baton Rouge.  I am working on building a better relationship with Amanda’s good friend Mary.  Ryan is a wonderful person.  They have a beautiful baby boy, David who recently turned one.  Ryan is also a great source for me when it comes to my relationship with God. 


Amanda and I celebrated five years of marriage and we still kinda like one another??  I never would have thunk it, but we genuinely like to be around one another and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  She is one heck of a woman to put up with me!!!


2.     Health:  This is obviously the area of most change.  Let’s backtrack to 2005 when I hit my highest weight at 452 lbs.  Almost half a ton!  I began 2008 weighing 340ish lbs.  I continued to lose weight throughout the year, but when August came and I was still at about 270 lbs. I knew I had to kick it up a bit. 


I had surgery planned for December and I needed to be below 240 lbs by September.  When September arrived I was at a stealthy 238 lbs. 


Then December came and I had my surgery.  I had an upper body lift procedure that lasted more than eight hours.  I am still in recovery now and I hope to be walking around the neighborhood next week. 


I now weigh in at 231 pounds.  452 lbs and now 231.  Wow. 


3.     Business:  This was the area where I faced the most challenge for 2008.  As most of you know I am a Financial Planner.  And as EVERYONE knows, we are facing rough economic waters and this will continue into the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2009, in my opinion.  I have worked diligently to comfort and inform my clients during this difficult period, but I always question whether I can do better.  I hope and pray I am doing enough.  On a positive note, my office was recognized for being in the top 2% of production Nationwide.  I am in the largest Independent Broker/Dealer in America, so I am a little proud of that accomplishment.  I could not do it without my wonderful team.  They are the true backbone of our success; I am just the pretty face!


4.     Spirituality:  God is good.  Before I get into this . . . I respect all people’s spirituality or their choice not to have any, its all good. 


Were it not for my strength with God, I am not sure I would have been as strong as I was with the many challenges we faced in 2008.  With God, I was able to meet those challenges head on with confidence that I was always doing the right thing with the best of intentions and I think God and my family for that support.


However, I feel I have not given this area the attention that it deserves.  I am having a difficult time finding a church where I am comfortable learning and worshiping.  I didn’t actively pursue a church in 2008, but that will change in 2009.


5.     Racing:  Here is where I had the most fun in 2008.  I raced in 23 events, mostly triathlons, but also a couple run events and a cycling time trial at the end of the year.


I am most excited about my progress on the bike.  I can FLY now!  I am still working hard on the run, but I have also seen major improvement there as well.  I have cut most of my race finish times in half.  I am interested to see how much I can improve with the new body.  TBC in 2009!



2008 was truly a challenging year.  I am thankful that I didn’t fall back into my bad eating habits with the stress of the economy.  I think I have learned the right way and it is now a part of me.  I am looking forward to 2009 with great expectations.  I am still a in a little shock that I am going to be a daddy.  I pray I will be the daddy this baby needs.


I hope everyone has a GREAT New Years Eve!  I also hope your 2009 is the best year yet.


I will be adding my 2009 goals sometime this week.  It is going to be lofty to say the least.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

WARNING - Graphic Pictures Below

Wow, it’s been a ride.

From 452 lbs to 230 lbs over four years.

Today I finally feel comfortable showing the current results of my surgery.  It is really embarrassing and I am struggling with how I look, but I know the end result will be rocking, but right now I feel ugly and yuck. 

I warn you that these pictures are a little graphic, but I have had so many of you asking if I was going to post results to share.  I debated it and I still am a little anxious, but here you go!

I’ve posted a few pictures of my fat butt along the way and ended with my most recent post op pictures.

I welcome any questions.

The pain is beginning to become manageable and I feel a little better everyday.  I still have two drains, as you’ll see in the pictures.  I hope they come out before Christmas, but not sure that little Christmas wish will come true!


Thanks everyone for your support.  WE DID IT!!!

copy the links below each picture to see me at 450 lbs . . . wow




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Surgery Complete . . .

After Surgery

Before Surgery

It is Thursday, I know.


I thought I would be up for writing by last Friday, a couple days following what I thought would be a 7 1/2 hour surgery, but ended up to being over 8.


I first have to give some props before I move on.  


My Doctor, Dr. Lior Heller at the Baylor Medical Center in Houston Texas is one fine surgeon and a fine person.  I hope no one ever puts himself or herself in my position to need this type of aggressive procedure, but if you do . . . He is your man.  He also does many other procedures, but I can only attest to how I feel and (even though it is very early and I can't tell a lot right now) how I look.




Now to the nitty gritty . . .


Going into this I knew there would be some pain.   I was mentally prepping myself for it, but wow was I off.  Those who know me whether my Army friends, Rugby Buds, Fraternity Brothers, and triathlons friends - They know I can take some pain.  It is kind of my calling card.


The recovery after this surgery is horrible, worse than any physical pain I have very felt in my life and the fact that it has been around now for seven days and sort of getting better sucks even worse.  


Now that I have the whole pain thing out of the way I wanted to do a play by play of the last week.


Wednesday Morning:

Amanda and I woke around 4:00a to report to registration at 6:00a.  We stayed in the Marriott, which is connected to the medical center. 


When I am nervous I shut up.  I was not talking at all.  After five and a half years of marriage Amanda can read me like a book and we can communicate non-verbally with amazing precision.


The Hospital computers were messed up.  My biggest fear!  I have the fear that there is a glitch in the system and they send me to the wrong surgeon and he/she cuts off my leg when I was there for hand surgery . . . This morning there was a glitch and they had me as already checked in . . . I began my silent meditation and praying.


I was sent to another floor to wait for prepping while they “fixed” the glitch.


Are you KIDDING me! 


As I got nekkid and put on the gorgeous hat you all see here I was close to a mental collapse.  Then, the nice lady walked into the room coming from her office on another floor to assure me that everything has been taken care of.  I think I spoke for the first time (besides answering medical questions) that morning when I told her how much relief she had brought me.


After about an hour and all the IV insertion, tests, etc it was time for the surgery sleep.  I remember hugging Manders and that would be all I remember until I was talking to a nice guy named Jason in PACU (recovery).  I shot to a little humor – “So, can I go for a jog now?” he laughed.  I immediately thought – dumb azz, like he’s never heard that before.


Something was going on, I didn’t know what, but something.  Amanda confirmed this later when she told me that at first they told her I was out of surgery and that she would be able to see me in about 20 minutes. 


2 hours later . . . I got to see her beautiful face.


Turns out I think they were concerned about my low HR.  I would keep telling them I have a very low resting Heart Rate.


I fell asleep.  My surgery began at 7:45a at this time it is almost 8p.


When I woke I was in my hospital room.  Kind of a cool place if you have to be in an atmosphere like this.  What was great . . . The nurses.


From JP, Ms Micael, Randi, Fidel, and others – I was very well taken care of.  I tried not to be a pain in the butt and thanked them continually.


First thing I learn is, I have this little machine.  It goes to my IV.  This machine had a button I push.  When I push this button – I get morphine.


I pushed that button many a time over the next three days.


My Mom Deau and Dad Jerry were in the room day two bright and early.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through this without them and my Momma Henrietta.


Mom Deau and Dad Jerry had the Thursday-Sunday shift until Momma Henrietta could get to town Sunday night, where she then had duties until she left Wednesday.


Dad was unbelievable.  He stayed with me and ran all over taking care of me.  Mom did the same.  BUT MORE than that they helped relieve Amanda so she could go back to the hotel and rest, shower, be alone – She IS preggo ya know.


I have put a lot on Amanda with this surgery.  She has been a trooper.


I have 4 drains.  These are tubes that come from around the impacted area.  They pull out the fluid as a result of the surgery.  YUCK, nasty!


They are such a pain in the butt.  On day three in the hospital they gave Amanda and I a course on how to drain them and log the fluid . . . WHHHAAAATT????


These things don’t come out before I leave?


Dr. Heller would visit twice a day and he had another partner who would visit once a day and Dr. Lee, an intern visited twice during those three days.


My sister Janet just happened to be in town for a class.  She lives in Denver now.  She and her husband Dwight made a stop in the hospital and it was such a bad time.


My morphine tube had emptied.  We notified the nurse, but they couldn’t get one and 45 minutes later my body began to convulse.  I finally received a new tube and about 30 minutes later I was back in LA LA land.


I really didn’t see my incision until the day of my check out.  It goes along my hip line ALL THE WAY AROUND my body.  It was/is quite ugly.  But, there is no belly.  I mean NOTHING. 


Dad Jerry helped me put on my clothes.  My limo/wheelchair arrived and I was whisked out of the hospital right to the bedroom in our hotel room.  Now that’s service!


This was Saturday.


Now that morphine was not readily available I was taking vicadin (s/p) every 4 hours.  Oh man, this is where the pain really began to suck.  I didn’t even enjoy one of the best football games I’d seen all year in the SEC Championship game with Florida and Alabama.


I haven’t been able to eat really.  I also haven’t been able to poop.  Once in seven days so far.  I know TMI.


Everyday has gotten a little better than the day before.  I still have all four drains, which I hope come out today. 


Momma Henrietta came in Sunday night and helped so much.  She doesn’t think that she did, but just being here sitting in the room was so comforting and it also allowed Amanda to get out of the room and run around a bit. 


I hope to go home Tuesday morning.  I will know more after my Dr appointment this afternoon.


I am cutting this short because I am getting tired and I am in a little pain.  Sorry to end this so quickly.



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Surgery . . . Dratz!

RIP – The old me.


7 ½ hours. 


Seven and a half hours on an operating table. 


2005.  June.  Miserable, disgusted with myself, angry at so many areas of my life that suffered as a result of my obesity.  The beginning of the end of that life began . . . June 2005.


Tri-it-on triathlon was the first.  I began that race in the pool at about 7:30am.  Vulnerable, afraid, and embarrassed by my weight and looks, I stood in line wishing I could blend in until I entered the water.  I weighed 452 pounds when I began training for this race and weighed about 425 pounds on this day.


Three and a half years, more than 50 races including mostly triathlons, but also run races and this year a cycling time trial race, I have come to the end of that former me.


I am not exactly where I wanted to be on this day, but I am within 20 lbs of it.  I weigh in today at 249 lbs.  I’ve lost more than 200 lbs since I began, but what I have truly gained is the new me. 


Many doubted and many more who supported . . . BOTH motivated.


I meet people on a regular basis who say they follow this blog and others who tell me of a friend who uses my experiences through this blog.  Being fat sucks and is no fun.  I know there are times where you lose hope and give up or in to your cravings and dependency on food.  Fact is this – I STILL go to food for comfort – I have chosen healthier food and less of it.  There are also times that I have completely fallen off the wagon.  Once you realize you’ve fallen . . . Get back on.  No matter how bad you’ve fallen, ALL IS NOT LOST!!  Just get back on.


I am still hard on myself and intimidated in public – especially races, but it is better and I get better with “me” everyday.


You Can Do It!  I will help in anyway I can.  I try and return every email sent to me within a reasonable time and I enjoy hearing your stories and your daily obstacles.  But, what I know is – You Can Do It!


The old me was a good kind person with VERY low self esteem – This newer me is getting over it!


Then there is today . . .


Wednesday December 3, 2008 – 08:00 hours


I will be under the knife with a highly qualified surgeon who will be performing an upper body lift where he will remove about 15 to 20 pounds of loose skin that has become a mental and physical nuisance. 


I am afraid and excited at the same time.


That is not the exciting news. 


The exciting news is . . . As a result of this surgery I will be able to enjoy a healthy, active, fun life with my NEW BABY!!


Amanda is 9 weeks preggo!


We are so very happy and I am so very concerned about being a good father.  I have decided to teach my child what not to do through via my experiences!!!!!


Please pray for me tomorrow and I will post on Friday – If I am coherent – and let you know how I am doing.


Then we will begin the next chapter!