Monday, September 19, 2005

o/` Climb..... every....... mountain........ o/`

I've just returned from Crested Butte South, Colorado....... the family's little slice of paradise. No, I did not climb every mountain, but I am more able to climb now than previously, and in that higher altitude with less oxygen, it really is beneficial to my losing weight. Of course, I stuck to the eating plan totally, and drank lots of water, which both help. Then again, I have to drink lots of water up there, or I could edge towards dehydration.

The family house is nearly all put together, after what seems like a long 6 months since we bought it. It will be my destination of choice for sometime now, except of course the weekend trips to Grand Lake, an annual trip to Lake Tahoe, and a few other sidetrips now and then. It's a 14 hour drive, but it's well worth it upon arrival. Summer and Fall are my favorite times up there, since I really don't ski anymore due to the knee problems.

All friends are welcome to join me up there sometime for a week in paradise.

My last weigh in was 389# on September 2nd. 17 days ago. At that time I had lost 105 pounds since February, and 70 since surgery. In the last 17 days, largely due to the higher altitude vacation I am sure, I lost another 24#, for a total of 129 since February, and 94# since the 6-13-05 gastric bypass surgery. WOW. That is 94# in 98 days. No wonder I feel dizzy at times, as my body has to keep readjusting. Yeah, yeah, I was always a bit light headed. heheh.

I erred and took a number of shirts with me without thinking that were now too big !!! I felt like I was wearing a tent at times. Now, especially in light of the hurricane devestation across the country so far, with more likely to come in this hurricane season, all those now too large clothing items are headed to GoodWill for those in need. They are still clothes in very good shape, just now too large for me. And some of them I did not like to wear at a point, since they were too tight for me !!

I have been through a lot with this process, but it still pales in relationship to the people of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. I feel so fortunate to have been even able to choose to do such a surgery, when there are those without good drinking water, electricity, a roof, and those with family / friends location still unknown. Having gone to Ole Miss for Graduate School 9-76 to 9-77, I know a bit about the people of Mississippi. However, Oxford is way north of the major damage area. Still, I knew people from the areas that were hit, and over the years have lost contact with them, so I have no idea if they even lived in those areas anymore, or how they or their family / friends have fared. However, my memories of Ole Miss do bring about a slight craving for some homemade cheese grits........ and those Sunday Brunches we used to do in the apartment complex. That was a good time in my life, and I learned a lot about people at Ole Miss, knowing no one when I went there, and having to grow up a bit being further away from home than I had been in undergraduate school at Oklahoma State University.

Friday, September 02, 2005

o/` Riders On The Storm.......... o/`

I cannot even fathom putting up a post, and not first and foremost mentioning the horrendous damage and devastation down by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast Many areas I have visited are seriously damaged, altered, or simply gone. It will be years of recovery for the Gulf Coast, more so than we have seen in recent storms.

And now we have New Orleans, and looting, pillaging, dehydration, starvation, homeless, fires, flooding, seperated family and friends. New Orleans definitely suffered storm damage from Hurricane Katrina. You only have to look at the SuperDome roof to confirm that. However, so much of the damage occured after Katrina, when the levies broke. I still cannot comprehend a city the size and magnitude of New Orleans living with Category 3 Levies, knowing full well that someday a Category 4 or 5 could well visit their below sea-level city.

I see the homeless, injured, sick and stranded people on TV, and realize most of them may not of even had a TV to know the storm was approaching. What other warning system was in place ? I truly do not know, since I am not from there. If there was a city-wide warning system, I am curious how effective it was ? Many of those left in New Orleans now did not have the means of transportation to evacuate, but some did. It does seem to me that today we do not take the weather predictions as seriously as we should, as often times the weather changes, and we do not get what was predicted. Therefore, the predictions do not seem as credible, although the forces of nature changing what actually occurs somewhere is not the weatherperson's fault.

My wonderful friend Karen and her husband John were not going to leave for Katrina. They however did finally leave early Sunday morning, and have been in Memphis since, awaiting the chance to get back and find out the condition of their home, car, and belongings. They are on higher ground, so hopefully have had no flooding. Still it is taking a major toll on their everyday life now just not knowing what has happened at home. However, they were lucky. They evacuated and are safe in a hotel in Memphis, a city which as adopted the evacuated with open arms, as have many other cities. Even here in Tulsa some from New Orleans have arrived to stay with friends and family, as well as some college students have transferred to state universities up here to continue their education.

All of this seems to pale my struggle with my weight over the years, and also my new found success via the gastric bypass surgery. As of yesterday when I weighed, I had lost 105 pounds since February, which means 70 since the surgery on 6-13-05. My weight loss has slowed a bit lately, as I got out of the habit of walking, due to a 5 day seminar I attended, and then the hot weather, and then......... well...... I still make some excuses of course. However, I am continuing on with my progress, and realizing just how fortunate I am in life. We all suffer setbacks and adversity in life, though most not near the magnitude of the Gulf Coast, the Tsunami, etc. As long as tomorrow comes though, things have a chance to improve. If nothing else, a situation like this helps put into perspective the song "Live Like You Were Dying......" None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Thanks to the Landmark Forum, I now live life more for the moment, and to the fullest, and have given myself the opportunity of being self-loving.