You Had One Job….

So, from the “distracted by real life and NaNoWriMo” file:

I forgot to press the Publish button.

No, really. It’s not like this is the first time this has happened, either.

So, for all those that were hovering around your Inbox on Monday, waiting for an update notice that never came, my sincere apologies.

This turned out to be a serendipitous mistake.  Yesterday  I was invited to write a guest blog post on the very subject I thought I had published on Monday. So, there is that. A repurposed blog post is still a valid one, right? (I will blast the link  out to social media as soon as the guest post is published.)

Also, in the “distractions” file: I found out that the seller we went through to sell Inheritance online was a clunker. Several hundred copies of the book were abandoned in shopping carts when potential buyers couldn’t complete their transactions.  I attempted to fix the damage, but then Providence intervened: my novel finally got published to ebook format on Amazon. And immediately started selling copies – top 500 in pretty much any subject involving the word “Vampire”.  Feel free to head to Amazon and pick up a copy for the handheld device of your choice. Heck, buy two copies. It’s only $5, after all.

And, we’ve had some changes in our household. We’ll bring you up to date on that for our pre-Thanksgiving episode on Monday. When I will NOT forget to press the “Publish” button. Honest. I’ll have Lor stand behind me with a baseball bat and everything.

Darn time change. And NaNoWriMo. Or maybe Real Life. And…

Excuses and Excuses,



Patient Zero

Photo Credit: Small Creatures via Compfight cc

(This special Saturday edition brought to you courtesy of Friday getting away from me!)

Since the beginning of Misdirected’s conversion to a full-time weight-loss surgery blog, I have attempted to keep track of everything. How I felt, what I thought, what was happening to me both inside and outside. It was a journaling experience of sorts, that has gradually turned into a journal that gets shared with several hundred people every week.

However, now that we have had a real, live surgery in the family, I have stopped paying a whole lot of attention to what is going on in my life, and am almost totally focused on what is happening to Lor post-surgery. Pain, discomfort, and diet have all been dutifully logged. Her times of energy vs. her times of exhaustion. Her doubts are measured against her optimistic periods. All carefully cataloged, and much of it recorded here.

It is no secret why I am doing this, of course: My own surgery is exactly a month from today, and I want to know what to expect. Our nutritionist laughed during my last visit, and told me I would be the best-prepared surgical patient ever, thanks to my observations of Lor. It seems kind of heartless, really, sending my wife into the trenches before I ever get there. We had a pretty well thought-out plan for why we scheduled things the way we did, but every day I wonder if we chose the correct order. I just know that I am glad to be 100% healthy and able to care for her while she is recovering from surgery and settling into her new life. And if I get to pay close attention to see what is coming down the road for me, surely that is an unintended “bonus”, and not my nefarious plan all along, right?

As it turns out, I am not alone in carefully watching this process.

Members from both sides of the clan, Lor’s and my own, check in on a regular basis. They are, of course, concerned about her health and recovery. But they are also watching this process very carefully. Obesity is not uncommon in either of our families. Lor’s success (and how hard she has to work at it) is being used as the measurement by which many others will decide if they are going to investigate surgery as a treatment option for themselves. “It is like there is a new drug treatment being tested, and I am ‘patient zero’.” Lor quipped yesterday. Her success will be what convinces a whole lot of people that there is something to this whole weight-loss surgery thing.

In that sense, Lor was the right person to go first. She is a practitioner of alternative medicine, so agreeing to have surgery in the first place meant that she really believed in the process. Everyone who knows her is aware that she is a meticulous researcher, paying special attention to what could go wrong, and never over-estimating positive potential results. (“Counting chickens” is her favorite phrase for being overly optimistic.) If she chose to do it, goes the family logic, there is really something to this.

The surgical prep and surgery have been so successful for one reason: she is stubborn. There is a reason she had already lost nearly 50 pounds before she ever had surgery – once she makes up her mind to succeed, she refuses to fail. She never set a “goal weight” exactly, talking more about the health benefits of losing (and keeping off) about 50 pounds. She already blew through that goal like an oncoming train. Next stop, 60 pounds down. Give her a day or two.

A better ambassador for the benefits of weight-loss surgery could not have been picked. But we will have to give her a few days before we start asking her to make public appearances. kissing babies, cutting ribbons, etc.

The weight of everyone’s expectations has kinda worn her out.

Recording The Success Of Patient Zero,

– Hawkwind

Lead Me Not Into Temptation

The Gathering of Cousins. I am the one with the beard.

This weekend was a special occasion in the family: two of my cousins are hitting their 50th birthdays this year, so a party was organized to get as much of the family as possible together to celebrate. It was wonderful – family members came in from as far away as Georgia to be there, and I got to see people that I hadn’t seen in years. It was so nice to see uncles, aunts, and cousins without everyone wearing black for a change.

The problem came when it was time to eat. The aunt who organized the event was very concerned, wanting to be sure that there were items that fit into my diet. I assured her that I could eat most anything that came off of the grill. relieving her concern. No, the problem wasn’t that there was not food available for me.

The problem was that everything else looked so good.

There were huge bowls of potato salad. Tortilla chips with my mother’s family-famous salsa. A beautiful marbled birthday cake with butter cream frosting. There were 3 coolers filled with different kinds of beer!

And here I was, without Lor, who couldn’t come thanks to the effects of her pre-surgical diet. Alone and unsupervised, in a wilderness of food.

I knew I was going to fail somewhere. I am no stranger to my own nature. So, I adapted. I made sure there was always a bottle of water in my hand, so any time someone offered me a beer (which was frequently – my family has watched me in action at get-togethers for 45 years now) I could just wave my water at them to show that I was supplied. I couldn’t possibly live without some of Mom’s salsa, so when items started coming off the grill I put a healthy dose of it on my burger instead of using chips to eat it. And I did have a single serving (about 2 Tablespoons) of potato salad, which I ate as slowly as I possibly could after I had finished both a lettuce-wrapped burger and bratwurst.

 I didn’t go anywhere near the birthday cake.

All things considered, I didn’t do too badly. It worked out to only about 10 grams of Carbs (almost all from the potato salad.) This time last year it would have been a couple of fully loaded burgers, a couple of bratwursts, a pile of potato salad, and a bowl filled with chips to go with Mom’s salsa. This would have all been topped off with as big a slice of cake as I could’ve managed interspersed with half a dozen beers.

And I wonder how I got to 302 pounds?

The visits with family members were gratifying, though. Those that don’t follow Misdirected all commented on how good I looked. Several that do look in here from time to time thought I had already gone through surgery, on the basis of my appearance. I actually laughed and joked and visited, instead of hiding in a corner, hovering over a plate, hoping no one would talk to me. I even participated in family photos without trying to hide in the “back line”, behind everyone else.

Though it was nice to have everyone tell me how good I was looking, it wasn’t the 33 pounds I’ve lost so far that made the difference for me. It was knowing that I was finally making changes in my life and sticking to them. At our next family get-together, I will have been through surgery, further committing to this new lifestyle of not being shackled to obesity. I will not have regained every ounce plus some extra pounds from failing on my latest fad diet. And looking forward to success, rather than anticipating failure, is making all the difference in the world for me.

Looking Forward To The Next Family Gathering,

– Hawkwind