I’ve taken the first steps toward my gastric sleeve surgery. In November, my husband Sid and I attended an informational meeting conducted by Dr. Helmuth Billy, a renowned bariatric surgeon based near us in Ventura. After the informational meeting, Sid and I spent a few minutes visiting with Dr. Billy and Sid came away feeling as sure and almost as confident as I in proceeding with the surgery. My first appointment in Dr. Billy’s office was on January 3 and spent a great deal of time with his nurse Melissa who was very attentive to each detail of preparing for the surgery, the surgery itself, and the post-surgery care. I set appointments for blood work, x-ray, stress test, psychological analysis and sleep analysis all of which will take place between now and March 1. On March 1 I will meet with Dr. Billy and get the surgery scheduled. I am hoping the surgery will be scheduled no later than March. I am ready! Leading up to my appointment, I have been doing some visualization work with myself to prepare myself for the drastic change that will take place in what, how much and how often I will be eating after the surgery. I will continue to do these visualizations as part of my surgery plan. At this starting point, I feel confident in my doctor and in myself and I am ready for this radical change in my life. I believe I have chosen the best and most skilled doctor available to me. I have the best support system in my husband Sid, as well as the support of my children, family and friends. I also met with my primary doctor and my acupuncturist this week and they are both supportive as well. Between now and my surgery date this doughy doll will be on high protein-low carb to try to lose 20 pounds to make the surgery easier since I carry a lot of weight in my midsection. Here’s a pic of my youngest son Ryan and me at a family wedding this past October. Next time there’s a wedding, I plan to go sleeveless! Oh . . . how much total do I need to lose? About 75 pounds. I’m just 4’11” tall, so that’s quite a lot!