Where is Fran???

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Fran Myers
800 series
Posts: 1120
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:08 am
Location: St. Paul, MN

Where is Fran???

Post by Fran Myers » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:07 pm

Hello Everyone, Fran Here...

First, I hope everyone's Holiday Season was nice. Let's Hope 2018 is a great year.
Second, Where have I been?

I have to apologize. A lot of people here are personal friends that I care about deeply and I did just disappear. I ignored phone calls and emails. And my Very Best friends only got occasional contact. Believe me it's not you.

With being as overweight as I am, hell call it what it is-being Severely Morbidly Obese life can be very difficult. Since 2015 I have been in a lot of pain. Knees, back, ankles. Shame and all other kinds of mental BS going on. That was the year I was in Canada fishing with Jerry and Chris. What a no one knows is that I was so big that when I got on my knees to unhook the bow of the boat, I couldn't get up. I kneeled on that dock for 30 minutes wishing anyone would come and help me yet glad no one was there. I actually joined an Eating Disorder Clinic from Canada while on the Lake. I had to drive around Eagle looking for phone signal.

2016 was Great. My friend Howard from South Africa came and we had an absolutely wonderful spring and summer fishing. But the problem became that I could barely sit in the boat without extreme pain. I went to the Urgent Care because the pain was so bad that I needed a lot of Narcotic Pain meds to get through the day. Physical Therapy, needles, pills, massages. Nothing helped. It was so bad that I spent a lot of time just in my LazyBoy.

2017 I got so stir crazy that I decided to go to Florida just to get myself out. The trip was nice we learned a lot but had lots of pain.

In Feb 2017, my Doctor referred me to a new weight-loss program. Turns out it was the same place I had my Bariatric Surgery 16 years before. The appointment started great. The Doctor was attentive, had read my 30-page questionnaire before I got there, and I really felt she was on my side. At the 40-minute point she got up and left. When she came back she apologized for the sudden departure and asked if I would consider another surgery. I felt kind of silly asking for another surgery but I would do anything. Good she said.

The next hour was spent explaining how the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG) procedure I had was discontinued shortly after my surgery because of the side effects. The doctor explained that patients who received VBG surgery went one of two ways - either terribly underweight or like myself, gain everything back. Then I heard the Gall Bladder death, Kidney Stones, Hemorrhoids, and a few other things go directly back to the VBG. I was both shocked and happy. Happy because the weight gain wasn’t totally my fault.

My emotions swung to rage the next day when I started watching the required bariatric surgery educational video. It went through the different procedures, after care, follow up program, and all the things that shouldn’t happen after bariatric surgery. I nearly went crazy because most of those side effects were happening to me daily. My RAGE would have gotten completely out of control except 5 days later, after going to the Urgent Care for another round of kidney stones – I was told about a 15cm kidney tumor. Funny how rage can disappear...

Things happened very fast. At one point, I thought I was walking dead. Then within 3 weeks my kidney was gone and I was cancer free. Despite emerging from the Kidney slightly, the tumor hadn’t spread outside the fat envelope surrounding the organ. Having cancer is a roller-coaster of emotions. I guess this is one time being obese worked in my favor.

In April 2017, my pre-weight-loss surgery appointments began. It seems silly, but because I already had a surgery and was suffering, I thought I wouldn’t have to go through all the requirements again. Nope. I had to prove myself worthy for surgery and get in line. New challenges were my insurance doesn’t want to pay and the hospital doesn’t take cash...not only did I have to complete every step but I had extra tests. Seeds of anger sprouted when the Sleep Apnea Specialist prescribed a CPAP machine because he wouldn’t believe a negative test on someone my size. Then the Psychologist said I had to be on anti-depressants before she’d approve surgery. I didn’t think I was depressed.

Despite being desperate to lose weight, I didn’t know what to do. Having dieted so many times and failing…I decided that I was going to do anything to lose weight. However, I decided not to be a leaf on the wind and follow blindly. I would actively participate in decisions. I would be the Captain of my care.

Rage billowed off me like steam in mid-August 2017. After two weeks on anti-depressants I wasn’t sleeping much. My memory and attention span were affected. I did not like the idea of acting depressed while on anti-depressants. What finally broke me was the memory of an answer the surgeon didn’t give me. That question was “What happens if the Insurance won’t pay?” All I got was silence for an answer. I decided I needed to find my own answer.

So here I am at 3:30am watching YouTube when I found Penn Jillette’s talk about his weight-loss journey. I started thinking about eating nothing but potatoes for two weeks. During that time, I would figure out the next step. All I knew was corn on the cob on day 14. So, on Sept 1, 2017 after not eating anything all day I ate my first two boiled potatoes with nothing on them. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I went to bed thinking I could. When I woke up, I asked – “can I do this for the whole day?” So, I stopped ingesting soda, meat, dairy, eggs, and oil. One of the things I got from Penn was that moderation doesn’t work. That fits me very well.

I can’t lie. It wasn’t easy. I had withdrawal from so many things at once it is hard to describe. I slept a lot and got very grumpy. It was great that my wife was out of town during this time. Even now I don’t know what got me through the first week. I grew to hate potatoes.

On the 4th day of my Potato Adventure, at the height of my withdrawal - my pain went away. Since before 2014 my life was filled with pain. Cancer, abscessed incisions, and incredibly painful ankles, knees, and back. What I noticed first was that I was going up and down the stairs. Normally I dragged myself up the stairs once. If I needed something and I didn’t have it upstairs – I didn’t need it. But here I am going up and down the steps multiple times in a short period of time. No pain.

On the 7th day I was ready to eat roadkill. I was on my way to McDonalds when I thought that I couldn’t quit. So, I went to the grocery store and bought microwave white rice and broccoli. By this time I had discovered a video called ‘The Starch Solution’ and had seen a talk about the Rice Diet and using salt, soy sauce, and other things to help eat the food. This worked great for me and things got much better.

On day 14, I went to my Doctor. I stepped on the scale and weighed 20 pounds less (exactly 2 weeks before the same scale showed 400 pounds). When I told her what I was doing she said, “Now I have to worry about you becoming diabetic”. I begged her to take blood. I wanted to prove my diet was having positive effects. However, the tests showed LDL spiked, HDL fell, Triglycerides spiked up, and my kidney function spiked in a bad direction. My Doctor said I needed to add oil to my diet to get the triglycerides down. The kidney function test concerned me.

By now I had watched a LOT of videos. One of the videos said sometimes there are short-term spikes in numbers. I could wait it out, take oil, or exercise. I decided not to add oil to my diet. However, exercise is an issue. I need something low impact. More movement and breathing. Swimming? Walking? I could do it. I already felt better than I had in years. I could walk more. Heck the Fitbit is already saying I walk twice as much and I wasn’t trying. Then I saw a flyer for Tai Chi Chuan.

I have a background in Martial Arts. I hadn’t practiced in 27 years. As it turns out, I missed it like a drowning man misses air. I went from nearly sedentary to going at least 3 times a week. I started Oct 7. Realize...two weeks before my first class I couldn’t get up the stairs in my house without extreme effort and pain. Now I am climbing 2 flights of stairs to work out for 90 minutes.

By the 44th day of the Starch Solution, I had lost 42 pounds. That was Oct 13th. About October 15th I got dizzy and stopped taking my blood pressure pills and called the doctor. My BP was 134/80 and I had not had pills for 2 weeks. She said she wouldn’t prescribe pills with that BP and I have been taken off them. I can’t stop smiling.

I am down approximately 71 pounds on Jan 2, 2018. While still over 300 pounds, I feel better than I have in a long time. Two months after beginning Tai Chi and I started adding other classes. 2 days a week I exercise 3+ hours. There are more classes. As I get stronger and lighter I intend to add them as well.

It is amazing what has happened since starting the diet. My skin cleared up, my asthma improved, I sleep better, my BO changed. With very regular diarrhea I didn’t think I was constipated but those changes are impressive too. And most shocking thing of all - I have still not had any pain medications since September 1. Even with working out 15 hours a week. I get sore and then I recover before the next day. I haven’t had a recovery time like this in decades.

I can’t call what I am doing a diet. I love the food. I am not suffering at all. I eat when I want, as much as I want. Big bowls of mashed potatoes, rice and beans, and oatmeal. I am rarely hungry. Before going this diet, I measured food by the double cheese burger. If I didn’t eat every 90-120 minutes I’d get shaky. Now with the starch based diet I can go over 17 hours between meals and not be hungry. All without the weight-loss surgery side effects.

Lastly, I satisfied all the requirements for weight-loss surgery in January 2018. The surgeon wrote a letter to the insurance company. Even with the large weight-loss, they approved. My surgery is Feb 12, 2018. You would think that I wouldn’t need another surgery. The problem is that I am severely limited with the food I eat. So I have made different decisions. Before the meal plan, I had planned on a different weight-loss surgery but now I am going to get my VBG removed so I can be as close to normal as possible.

The rage that started my diet is still there but curiosity is taking its place. I ask questions like: How much weight can I lose? What adventures will I get to complete when I get my size down? I haven’t been this happy or optimistic in a long time. If I lose 200 pounds my boss said he'd buy me a trip for 2 to a Fishing Lodge in Alaska (I asked for a new Tesla Roadster...).

Fishing adventures are being planned. I will be around to events this year and hopefully a fraction of what I once was.

For anyone interested in more details of my diet I suggest watching a few video's...

Netflix -
Forks Over Knives
What the Health

YouTube -
The Starch Solution


Thanks - I am going to work out

Fran
Fran Myers

Duplex
700 series
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:54 am

Re: Where is Fran???

Post by Duplex » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:58 pm

Fran,

It takes a lot of courage to detail the struggles you've been dealing with regarding your weight. The subsequent physical problems that were due to the excess weight must have been excruciating. You deserve a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the effort you're putting forth. I wish you nothing but the best as you move ahead with your program and look forward to the seeing the new slimmed down version of Fran Myers at the next Spoonplugger outing! Keep that same mental toughness as you go forward and all the best for 2018.

Jim

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Steve Craig
800 series
Posts: 987
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:22 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Where is Fran???

Post by Steve Craig » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:31 am

Fran,
I had a feeling that this was what you were doing.
I must praise you for your courage. It takes courage and a stick-to-it mind set, and great mental attitude to do what you are doing.
I applaud your efforts, and I encourage you to not get discouraged again. You will reach some plateaus,and will tend to want to quit, but be patient and simply push through them.
Also, getting off all those meds is a HUGE step.

Interestingly enough,I too, have lost over 70 pounds this last year.
In 2015, I lost my son. I went though a depression and just didnt care anymore. I didnt care about life, other people, or even fishing. The result? I too gained weight. Lots of weight.
The Good Lord does work in mysterious ways. At the last minute, Jerry Borst talked me into coming to Canada for the first time. I thank God for Jerry, Chris, and John, Jerry's son. They helped to bring back that fire I had lost. I was able to laugh again, fish again, and a renewed zest for life again.
On the way home, I stopped to see my sister in Nebraska, and I saw myself in a photo with her after coming home. I was HUGE! I weighed 270+ pounds. While this is nothing like your weight, and I certainly dont want to take away the tremendous progress you are making, your story has inspired me to tell mine here.

I too decided to make a LIFE CHANGE. Because that is what you are doing. A total life change. I spent from Nov. 2016 to April 2017 and lost only 30 pounds. Then I started gaining again. It is a miracle how things work out. I was getting depressed again at this point and early one morning, I turned on the TV out of boredom, and there was Marie Osmond shilling for Nutrisystem. Heck, I thought. If she can do it, so can I!
So I ordered the meals. BEST THING I EVER DID TO THAT POINT!
In the next 2 months, I lost 43 pounds!
I eat all I want, six times a day, and all I add to the meals is some fruits and veggies.
The meals all taste GREAT!
The weight just drops off!
I went to 185 and I plateaued there. After the Holidays this year, I did gain back to 191 where I am currently. I feel great, I have new closes, and I dont want to weigh that much ever again.

I am currently on a maintenance plan and love it.
Also my wife lost 30 pounds as well. It seems women dont lose it like men do.

So please, please, please, stay with what you are doing. I for one, know you will get there. Set goals along the way, and stay with it!
I am so proud of you and what you are doing. You have found what works for you.
You are an inspiration.
Blessings,
Steve
Religion is a guy in church, thinking about fishing.
Relationship is a guy out fishing, thinking about God!

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madporra
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Location: South Africa
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Re: Where is Fran???

Post by madporra » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:47 am

Hey Fran, like the others have said, it takes a lot of courage to come out with all of this, kudos to you!

I too have been battling with my own internal devils, it's easy to get distracted and down.
I've become a lump of lard over the last few years, and it's started affecting my health too. Not as much as you thank goodness (wow you've been through a lot!), but still!
From higher blood pressure to a hernia operations, to a buggered heel, and and and .
And I know what you mean about battling to get off your knees!!

Thanks for your post. It's given me much needed motivation and I've actually started working out in an attempt to lose weight, so thank you!

Well done on your weightloss so far, it can only get better from here.
I wish you the best of luck and chat soon!

jwt
800 series
Posts: 481
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:21 am

Re: Where is Fran???

Post by jwt » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:38 pm

Fran you are to be commended for your persistence in the weight loss program, but more so to have the courage to open up and reveal some very personal things. As are alcohol and drug both addictions, so to is compulsive eating. You have MANY friends in the spoonplugging community who will support you in your quest. Noting but the best to you and keep up the good work my friend. I know you can do it and hope you will enjoy your fishing trip to Alaska or you new Tesla roadster.

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