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    delilas
    Latest Entry

    Ughhhhh.

     
    Four weeks at the same weight, so last week, I really crunched down, you know? Lunches around 300 cals, dinners around 500, totals between 1200-1300 a day (I am pre-op). High protein, low carb, all the water.
     
    I gained 3 pounds at last weeks weigh in. 
     
    No doubt its hormonal (grr) water weight given the timing but man. I would just like to see the scale go down for the first time in over a month!
     
    At least this week I am back down to the same damn weight I've been plateauing at. How I can hit a plateau this long when Ive only lost 11 pounds, I have no idea. 
     
    ANYWAY, on a note that isn't crying over my scale being a jerk, last Tuesday I had my mid-term fitness eval. I'm a few weeks past the middle of our classes, but thanks to the the boot, I couldn't do the eval prior. I can hold a wall sit for 20 seconds longer and do four more pushups than I could twelve weeks ago! Its not much, but I lost a lot of activity when I was waylayed by the boot for 4 weeks. 
     
    I put sticky notes on the back of my bathroom door so I see them every morning. I overall don't have an issue sticking to the diet (given I have to be accountable for classes and weigh ins!) but sometimes I need a reminder of what I'm doing this all for. Things like "to travel comfortably" and "to finally have children". I'm not typically someone into mantras or affirmations, but the visual reminder daily is helping a bit to look forward to the changes rather than be annoyed that I'm eating cauliflower. Again. <_<
     
    In the real world, I'm annoyed and irritated constantly at my current job and just not super happy here. The job is mostly me endlessly nagging diabetics and heart failure patients to stick with their diets and take their meds. To top things off, I apparently dropped my badge in the parking lot (I have no idea how, its incredibly loud, so Im not sure it wasn't stolen from my car) and it was used to break into our facility overnight by a couple people known for arson. Truly wonderful to walk into work and find an email directing you to call the police. 
     
    FABULOUS.
     
    So they really just needed a statement from me basically saying I didn't knowingly let them have access to the building. I went through security hell to have a badge reissued to me, and as I was coming back to work, an elderly lady on oxygen fell over a bump in our parking lot and hit HARD. Broken foot be damned I went flying towards her. She wrenched her shoulder hard and I couldnt stand her up because of the pain. We waited for a squad, getting nearly hit by a car twice in the process (one of them being anothe rpatient who refused to wait to leave, despite the fact the fall was behind her car).
     
    It reminded me that emergency, trauma, and "real" medicine is what I love. I like the relationships I have with my patients but nagging people is not my jam. Grabbed my GRE book and started studying so I can apply for my NP for real this fall, rather than just talking a good game about it for forever.
     
    Puppy tax for long windedness - him and his lil "bow chicka bow wow" collar :D 
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  1. Six months! I can't believe it. It's both flown by and dragged by, depending on my mood at the moment. Me six months ago seems like me in another life.

    I have lost 99.2 pounds since my pre-op diet started, one month before surgery. I have lost 80 pounds since surgery (come on, scale, can't you give me one more little pound so I can have a round number?). In the back of my head, I had a fantasy that I dared not speak of... to lose 100 pounds by my six month mark. Looks like I failed. (JUST KIDDING, I PROMISE!) I am pretty much pinching myself every day now, and not just to check on my loose skin. I'm still about 40 pounds from my stated goal weight, which I reserve the right to alter as I approach it, but that seems like a totally doable thing. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing.

    My size has decreased pretty dramatically - I am getting used to looking in the mirror and being OK with what I look like for the first time in a long time. I have a bunch of new clothes that actually fit me and aren't baggy to hide my silhouette, and they look pretty good! I'm shopping in the straight size stores with no problems at all, including some medium tops and large bottoms, with 14 mostly working. As a pear shaped person, that's to be expected. My boobs have decreased to a more reasonable size that doesn't much interfere with clothing purchases or vigorous exercise, so that's good. I'm starting to see a bit of loose skin, with flappy arms and jiggly thighs, but I would trade 10x worse loose skin for the weight loss I've had so far. I can always wear compression-y things. Depending on how things go, I could see some plastics at some point in the future, but I'm not really thinking about that yet.

    I can move better and more easily. Walking fast up hills or stairs is no problem. Getting up from the floor is easy. Getting in and out of small places is a breeze. Crossing my legs is comfortable. Heck, just standing and sitting are more comfortable. Everything just seems a little easier and more comfortable. *yay*

    I'm averaging about 700 calories a day right now, and I hit my protein goal of 65g per day about 95% of the time. Vitamins every day (I forget now and then but not often). Water is no problem for me, so I drink about 12 glasses a day or more. I've tried a few brands of protein shakes, and Syntrax Nectar (the first one I tried) is the one that tastes the best to me (best is relative here, though - sicky sweet protein drinks are not my fav). I eat a boatload of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, plus veggie fake meats and some fish and quite a bit of shrimp. I'm coming around to eggs (not their taste -yuk!) and can eat about 1 1/2 if I really try. I haven't really eaten anything I shouldn't yet - I mean, I've had like three french fries, five tortilla chips, and one tiny handful of popcorn over the last six months, really just to taste it. I haven't had any sweets or real junk food. I haven't had any real dumping episodes, but several fish-related very uncomfortable periods followed by losing the fish, which hasn't really been that terrible, just painful beforehand. Vomiting post-op is really more like when babies spit up milk - quick and not too gross, without the acid and nastiness.

    My exercise has primarily been walking. I'm getting an average of 10,000 steps a day right now, including days when I'm in the car all day or whatever. I do some squats and modified push-ups and other stuff around the house. I'm waiting until after I move to join a gym - that'll be in less than 10 days (!!!). Due to weather constraints on the Arabian Peninsula (it's hotter than a [fill in your region's idiom of choice] until October/November), my outdoor walking will probably not continue.

    My whole decision to move back to the other side of the world is really its own NSV. My husband and I have had rather bad luck in finding jobs we like here in the good ol' US of A, and we actually really enjoyed living in Dubai while we were there. However, at a higher weight, and hey, if we're being honest with each other, in the last few years there when the scale numbers were drifting ever higher, just the idea of having to sit on a plane for almost 20 hours was enough to kill my desire to go back to the Middle East. In fact, being so much heavier, I was really mentally suffering with the idea of looking for jobs at all - my self-esteem was low and getting lower. The svelter me is actually excited to start a new job and is not really worried about sitting on a plane. I mean, it'll be awful, but not like "I'd rather jump out the window than sit here for another 15 hours" awful.

    So, my six monthaversary weekend: I drove to visit old friends in Seattle. We had a great weekend, catching up and chatting. I did not tell them about WLS. They are nice and would undoubtedly have been supportive, but they are thin, from families of thin people, and would not have understood. So I was just "doing low-carb" and "not very hungry." They've seen me lose and gain before, so they politely didn't even say anything beyond, "You look good." I wore great clothes, I walked around in a skirt without shorts things on underneath to prevent chafing (thigh gap is not a realistic goal for me, I think, but less thigh chafing? definitely), I felt confident seeing old friends, I was happy to meet new people, I had an evening out with a large group with no alcohol but a nice cheese plate, I walked and walked and walked and didn't get tired or out of breath, and I came prepared with all my gear to make sure I got my protein in (shakes and bars and string cheese and almonds). I am handling it

    The one bad moment was a pretty bad one, though. My friend, bless her soul, has never been on a diet in her life, and has only a very general idea of what low-carb might mean. I offered to take them out to dinner (where I could order something appropriate), but she insisted on cooking. Too late I discovered that most of the dinner would be pretty carby, and served over white rice (?!). "Well," I thought, "I'll just dish up the other stuff and not take any rice and mutter something about carbs." Nope, I got to the table and discovered the dinner already there, plated nicely. Huge pile of white rice with carby stuff on top. "Wow," she said, "I think I dished up too much stuff! Those plates are really full!" "Yes they are," I replied out loud while shrieking silently in my head. It was enough for me for like three days. And that would be if it was low carb stuff. White rice? That might ball up in my stomach and get stuck for a month.

    I smiled and sat down. My husband was making concerned eyebrows at me. I just gave it my all. I didn't try any of the rice, but I ate as much of the stuff off the top as I could. I ate until I couldn't, in a way that I never do now. It was really pitiful how small a dent it put in my plate of food. My friend was worried that I didn't like it, of course, which is basically how I played it off (well, politely saying that it was really good but still not eating much comes off that way pretty naturally, I guess). It was horrifying. I was really embarrassed. She was really embarrassed. The only good thing I can take away from this is: next time she'll let me take her out. It was a bad end to a good weekend, and it got me thinking about what to do in the future if this happens. I'm a bit at a loss. Any helpful tips, people who've been there?

    I did run across this the other day, for situations where you get called out about weight loss if you're not open about it. It's pretty funny, if you haven't seen Clusie L's stuff before.

    https://youtu.be/uHkARvNrT6M

    There's also this one, S#!T people say to bariatric patients. If you're ever feeling that those around you are not sensitive to your situation, this may be for you: 

    https://youtu.be/Cas_-bVYcS4

    I'll leave it right there, since Clusie L is just a whole lot funnier than I am.

    Please be kind with the photos - I am so freaking nervous to post these here.

     

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  2. Week three has been rather uneventful. I'm still working on improving my stamina and walking distance but it has been a challenge. Between the muscle aches that result from the walking for any length of time and running out of energy rather quickly it makes it hard to make any significant progress in that department. I think that once my caloric intake increases a little more that will help with the energy issues. Right now it is a struggle to break the 400-500 calorie mark. As far as food consumption, the puree phase of the diet was without issues other than feeling full almost immediately. So far I have not encountered anything that my sleeve has rejected, including hot sauces!

    I have my release date 8/19 to return to work, which I think has both irritated and relieved my boss. We have a crew of 4 supervisors and one manager in the office and run 24/7. The manager transferred to Florida a week before I went out for my surgery, he would have been the one to cover the gap I was leaving. To cover me they flew in a supervisor from CA. A week after I went out on my LOA the other night supervisor quit, leaving them with another hole to fill, which they did by pulling in another supervisor from another location. The next day one of the day shift supervisors resigned and their last day is 8/22. They still have not been able to hire anyone to fill the two vacancies and are still flying in people to cover. Needless to say the boss has been scrambling to hold things together. He is happy I am returning but is bummed that it was not sooner!. I could have probably returned last week but my doctor felt that it would not be a good idea due to the stamina issue considering I work 12-13 hour shifts. The doctor wanted me to increase my caloric intake before I returned in order to combat the fatigue, but that so far has been rather difficult. Now that I am on the Soft Foods Diet phase I will be on a quest to find things to eat that are within the dietary boundaries of being high protein, low fat, no sugar but has a high caloric content… kind of sounds like a oxymoron!

    Note on the Sciatica… It seems to be getting better, the sharp pain has occurred less and now I am just getting numbness and mild pain occasionally, typically once I have been on it for a while.

     

    Stats update:

    Start Weight: 465 lbs.

    Surgery Weight: 448.3 lbs. (16.7 lbs. lost prior to surgery)

    Current Weight: 409.6 lbs. (38.7 lbs. lost since surgery)

    Total Lost: 55.4 lbs.

     

    My Saga continues...

  3. Today I had the one month check-up, which was really 6 week check-up because of my surgeon’s vacation schedule.  The doc is happy but quasi-chastised me for not losing more.  Say whaaa?  I've lost 30 lbs since surgery!  What was I ‘supposed’ to lose? (Which he refused to answer) However, if you might recall an earlier post of mine, this is somewhat due to the scale in his office registering an additional 11 lbs less than it should have during my last appointment pre-op.  The only reason I knew this was a true discrepancy is because immediately after my pre-op visit with him, I went across the hospital campus for pre-admissions testing and that scale weighed more closely with the one at home (and unless you can gain 11 lbs in a 10 min walk, we’ve got issues).  Can you believe I am actually fighting for a weight to be recorded higher?  Ironically, the nurse at the office said that two scales were out of commission because they weren’t working so they KNOW there is a problem.  I was struck dumb and left deflated after his gentle inquisition about why I wasn’t losing more.  

    The scale demons are trying to win this one and I’m telling them to S.T.F.U.  I am fitting into clothes that I haven’t felt comfortable wearing in at least 3 years! I had an awesome trip to Martha’s Vineyard! Yesterday I wore an outfit that made me feel on top of the WORLD! And the other day I tried on a dress I wore right after I graduated high school (!!), which made me both happy and sad.  Happy because = hey! more clothes to start wearing again! And sad because my poor body has been too big for too long.  I’m not all too sure how much I weighed in high school but that period of my life was the typical terror for a fat girl.  I was invisible yet the class clown to try and stay ahead of the jokes made at my expense. I was an easy target for the jerks and I have limited fond memories of my time there.  However, I do remember going with my mom to pick out this beautiful watersilk dress full of all my favorite colors.  Blues and teals and deep rich purples.  The colors of a clear night sky with a streak of the aurora borealis or of bruised purple sunsets in a deep blue and clear turquoise sky.  I remember how beautiful I felt in it and how I loved to wear it for our family’s special occasions and trips.  It’s full of both that feeling of beauty and owning something so pretty and special, but also those dark memories of being bullied that I have tried to bury. Geez louise, thinking of this dress is bringing me to tears. How can a piece of clothing evoke so much? I never realized clothing could have that power.  I guess now that it fits I need to make some new memories in it.

    ff8d931cf7b220eeea83baa01e846c28--the-aurora-purple-and-blue.jpg.6d7138bb39c407cd73b0e5a7b095365d.jpg

    In other news, I think I could amp up my exercise efforts.  I researched gyms and memberships and found one in close proximity to my work which gives a discount through my insurance so that I would theoretically only be paying $10 month.  Why is it hard to make that next step?  What am I afraid of?  And should I be doing only cardio to maximize weight loss right now?  What about these bat wings?  Can I tone without gaining muscle? But I WANT more muscle.  I want definition under this fat so I can be awesome like @athenarose and @Stephtay  ;)  Perhaps I’m afraid of making a fool out of myself.  I have been publicly embarrassed and bullied enough in my life, I try not to put myself in situations where it might happen again. 

    mermaid-muscles.jpg_size.custom_crop.1086x724.thumb.jpg.4a4278c11ffc1525480a44b11bd8ea88.jpg

    What I'm feeling 6 weeks out:  Normal. Like, sometimes I forget I had surgery. I'm certainly not as tired as I typically would have been at the end of the day pre-surgery but I still haven't had this great surge of consistent energy like I thought I might have.  I have the energy when I want (like my hiking) but its not always there or I must summon it (**cross arms in front of body, blink -- Genie?). I've been having some acid reflux/heartburn so the doc prescribed some meds for that during today's visit.  I also brought up the DEXA scan after reading about the dangers bariatric surgery may pose for calcium absorption issues (thanks  @cinwa!)  He actually said that his foreign colleagues only do self-pay surgeries and the DEXA scan is included in the package.  We will see if it goes through insurance.

    What's this vegetarian eating?  cottage cheese, protein gummy bears, protein powders, tofu and stir fry veggies, some fruit (cantaloupe, nectarine), tempeh, paneer and spinach

    What I'm not eating?  Field Roast Veggie Frankfurters - nope, way too dense no matter how much you chew.

    What I wish I wasn't eating?  This d*mn container of veggie protein mix that has begun to taste like dirt and doesn't mix well but I'm too cheap to toss it so I make myself use it.  Vitamins, all of them.

  4. Hello everyone it's been a while since I've checked in but I am happy to report that progress is being made!!

    I am currently down over 50 pounds  - it might not be the fastest weight loss but I am still very happy with the progress. It is amazing the difference that just losing 50 pounds has made on my quality of life. It is so much easier to get around, I don't have to hold my breath when I bend over to tie my shoes, I have no issue buckling the seatbelt on airplanes anymore. The little things like that make a difference. My closet has over four different sizes in it so I was able to get rid of the top two sizes and am working towards getting rid of the third size so like I said, it's progress! My weight loss goes in spurts. I'll lose very rapidly for about a week and then it stalls for two weeks or three weeks so it's really hard to predict. I am experiencing increased hair loss so I am trying to do a better job of making sure I'm getting enough protein each day and taking my vitamins. Hopefully this will chill out and I won't lose much more. I have discovered a great product called X fusion which is colored hair fibers that you can sprinkle on and it really covers up any thinning areas - love the product! I have chosen to not openly share my surgery but I do openly share the high protein drinks and foods that I discover. Maybe if I am able to lose enough to be a true "success", I will be more comfortable sharing my full journey. At 238 lbs I still have a long way to go, but like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can....

  5. LJ

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    Recent Entries

    lj1980
    Latest Entry

    Today I went to my 6 months pre op appointment

    I am no longer morbid obese I am obese now. I have come a long way. #106.2

    I am excited and proud

     

  6. Sorry it's taken this long for me to get an update out. Let's just say it's been a difficult and exhausting process to get myself back to "normal" since my surgery on 7/10. This week I can safely say that I am feeling good. The last 4 weeks though have been hard.

    Surgery itself went well, according to the surgeons. I was at the hospital Monday-Wednesday, released late Wednesday afternoon. I don't think I was taken care of very well in the hospital and that caused problems for me when I got home. At the hospital I was rarely given the opportunity to walk around the halls. During the daytime, my assigned nurse only checked up on me when I called him to use the bathroom and he would complain constantly about being so busy, so busy, so busy. The printed message on my room's wall said daytime nurses should check on patients every hour. He'd drop off pain meds and change my IV bag every 5 hours. He wouldn't let me walk the halls by myself and was too busy to walk with me. The nighttime nurses were better and I was able to walk a few times before bedtime. Trust me, I have complained to the hospital about this daytime nurse and his lack of assistance for me.

    Because I wasn't able to get up and walk while in the hospital, when I got home Wednesday I weighed 30lbs heavier than the morning I checked in for surgery. THIRTY POUNDS of gas and water and swelling. My belly was distended so far out I looked 9 months pregnant and had painful stretch marks that I never had on my body before. With all this swelling and distention, it was impossible for me to get comfortable anywhere - bed, couch, chairs. That first night at home was one of the most painful and uncomfortable experiences of my life. Honestly, the only comfortable sitting place I could find was my bathroom toilet. During the night, I sat there for a long time and slept a few minutes without discomfort.

    I had a hard time getting fluids in. I felt (and still feel) a lot of restriction in my pouch. Taking more than 1 sip every 5 minutes was difficult. Because I couldn't get much water or much protein drink in I was very weak. Feeling weak and dizzy did not help when it comes to getting up and walking. So the rest of the week and the weekend I just tried to stay comfortable and pray that the swelling in my abdomen would go down. Wednesday of the following week I was feeling a little better and sent my Dad back to his home because I thought I was doing better and could take care of myself.

    Then Thursday evening I started vomiting and had severe diarrhea. I was only drinking water and protein water (not milky protein) but it would all come up. I would have a round of vomiting and toilet time then I would fall asleep for a couple hours. I'd wake up, drink some more, vomit some more, go back to sleep. This routine continued all through the night. I thought about going to the emergency room but the idea of going back to the hospital was terrifying for me. When my Dr's office opened in the morning I called and spoke to my surgeon's PA. Since I did not have a fever it didn't seem like I had any infections. She prescribed me some anti-nausea medication and I was able to get my father to go pick it up and come back to help me. Once I was on the anti-nausea meds the vomiting stopped. The diarrhea also stopped because I didn't have anything else to give. The medication came with the side effect of sleeping so I continued my cycle of sleeping and waking up to drink a little but I really couldn't sit up more than 20 minutes or so. My eyes hurt like I had a migraine. It's obvious I was seriously dehydrated. I wasn't getting enough in and couldn't stay awake long enough to drink more. So for 3 days I basically stayed in my dark bedroom sleeping.

    On Monday the 24th I was determined to get out of bed. I had my post-op appointment the next day, Tuesday, and I needed to get some strength back in order to go to that appointment. My Dad was really helpful during all this time. I wouldn't have been able to do it without him. When we saw the Dr. on Tuesday I was back down to the same weight I was when I checked in for surgery. The swelling in my abdomen greatly reduced during all that sick time.  We talked about the situation with the vomiting and how I'm not staying awake long enough to do anything. And I was supposed to return to work the following week. I didn't think I would get able to get the strength. They gave me the go ahead to advance my diet to soft foods and ordered me to get up and walk more. Starting to eat foods really helped increase my energy. I also stopped taking the nausea pill because it was making me sleep too much. Walking was so hard because I was so physically weak but me and Dad took little walks around the block and each day I was able to walk more and more. I spent the week trying my best to drink as much as possible and eating yogurts, cottage cheese, and eggs. I felt stronger each day.

    Monday the 31st I had to go back to work. That was the end of my "disability" time at work and I would be penalized if I did not return. That day was a huge challenge. I packed all my foods and drinks and made my way in. I was still very weak, tired, and my brain didn't even want to function. But thankfully I have a desk job so once I got to my desk I could just relax a little, breath, drink, and breath some more. I'm grateful it was a relatively slow day at work so I didn't have a lot of calls to handle, and I could just take my time with the work I needed to do. When I got home that day I was exhausted to the max. I had some more cottage cheese and went to bed almost immediately. Each day at work got a little better. I actually think having the routine of work helped me a lot with my eating schedule and that helped me a lot with building up stamina and strength.

    This is almost the end of my 2nd week back at work - and my 1 month anniversary of having the surgery. I am 20lbs down from surgery day. That makes 62lbs down since I started this process last September. I do feel almost completely "normal" again. I have not had any more vomiting. I still have bowel problems from time to time but it's easier to figure out what causes that based on what I am eating. I'm still mostly living off yogurt and cottage cheese. I can't believe I'm not sick of those yet. But I have been trying to introduce new foods each day and have tolerated most everything. I can eat chicken, tuna, chili, lunch meats and cheeses. All in very tiny portions, of course. This is my new "normal". Now that I am out of the woods, the worst is behind me, and I can focus on the happy and healthy future.

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    Michael_A
    Latest Entry

    I finished my 6 months supervised diet, as required by my insurance company, on the 25th of July, when I had my 6th telephone appointment with my surgeon, who is in CA. I was hoping to be whisked right into a surgery date, but it was not to be. I still did not have a clearance letter from my PCP, which was the last insurance requirement that I had yet to meet. As well, my surgeon still was not happy with the size of my liver, and wanted me to work on shrinking it some more, so she put me on liquids only at that point. 3 protein shakes a day.

    In complete honesty, it did take me several days to get to being fully compliant on the liquids-only part.

    Well, today was my appointment with the PCP. He did a pre-op examination and sent me home with the clearance document.  I've just now scanned it in and emailed it to my insurance coordinator! Yay!

    I have another appointment with the surgeon on the 16th, with a liver ultrasound a few days before. Hopefully my liver will be at an acceptable size and I can get this show moving along. The insurance coordinator already told me that Blue Cross is pretty quick about returning the approvals, so I'm hoping it will be done by the 16th. We shall see :-)

  7. nimiety
    Latest Entry

    I had high hopes of posting on the day, but I was running off to Philadelphia and then the woods to camp for my sister's 30th, and had some personal distractions besides. More on that later.

    I had surgery on July 28th, 2016. I weighed 332 pounds. Today is August 8th, 2017, and when I belatedly replaced the batteries in my scale, I weighed 180.4 pounds. 

    It's hard to know what to say about that. 

    I've lost 151.6 pounds. I'm under my original tentative goal weight and basically at my second tentative goal weight. My BMI is 31—still obese, but barely. On July 28, 2016, my BMI was 57. On Sunday, at a party, someone without much tact said to me, "You've lost like half your bodyweight!" and she not all that far off. 

    What do you say about that? (I said, "It's been a wild year." This has become my go-to stock response. I like it because it shifts the focus of conversation off of my size and onto my experience. Most people do not care to take up that conversation, I notice.)

    I'm living my life. My life is different. And it's not. And it's different mostly in ways that have nothing to do with the weight I've lost, and it's different in ways that are intimately related to the weight I've lost. And I am still here, still the same person I've always been but also deciding who it is, that person, the person I've always been, the person I sometimes don't recognize in the mirror. I literally talked to myself in a mirror on Sunday, at that party, after that conversation. "Who are you, stranger?" I said, staring myself in the face. I was fairly drunk on two glasses of wine at the time, in my defense, but there was a strange kind of identification/disidentification with that image. She's me. She's a stranger. She doesn't look all that different, but I don't all the way recognize her.

    It's confusing.

    One year ago, literally speaking, like August 8th, 2016, I was still recovering in my parents' apartment, just across town from the hospital. I was staring at the walls. I was experiencing postsurgical depression but didn't really know it (please be aware, any newbies who happen to be reading, that it's very common among bariatric patients!). I was following the rules to the letter. My whole world was that tiny apartment and the postsurgical packets and protein and water.

    And now my world feels strange and wild and wonderful, open and full. I am struggling with the ways in which that does and doesn't feel related to my size. It has really been a wild year.

    Last July 28th, I hadn't slept and I hadn't eaten for two days and I took a wee-hours taxi from deep Brooklyn to the hospital and arrived half an hour before it opened. I remember sitting on the retaining wall with my bag and my fear. 

    This July 28th, I had the same bag with me, but was heading off to camp for my sister's birthday, and the prospect of a bus trip was different, and the prospect of a weekend party with strangers was different too. I am strange to myself and compelling to other people in ways that I was not before, and some part of it is the whirlwind, the intense energy I'm throwing off right now as my life alters and rearranges, and some part of it is the way the world sees (and doesn't see) fat people. I walk through the world and I can be anonymous in new ways and individuated in new ways. It is different to be in the world. 

    My collarbones jut. My arms are saggy lump-bags that hang and gather and pucker (they were my least favorite feature at 332 pounds, and they are my least favorite feature at 180.4 pounds). My waist caves in like an inlet between my ribcage and my hips. I have been crossing my legs every now and again. 

    I can't tell if I am still a fat person or not. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have started to think about the idea of passing. I have felt like I pass for not-fat. I have been afraid of invoking that stigma. I know that I live in a body that is non-normative. I can't tell if I want to alter that or not. Plastic surgery would alter and diminish, but not erase, that non-normativity. I will always have it in some degree. And I will always have the mind that has resulted from that having.

    A few weeks ago I heard that my ex-boyfriend was seeing someone new and it hurt. I miss him, even though I don't want to be back in that relationship. And a few weeks later, I'm also seeing someone new, and it's thrilling. That's the other reason I missed the one-year mark, honestly—romance haze. What I think is interesting about this relationship is that it's with a person who represents both the expansion of my world—O brave new world, I keep saying to myself, that has such people in it—and also an opportunity for me to claim kinds of non-normativity both consistent (fatness) and new (queerness of a couple of kinds). Bodies feel strange and new to me—the ideas and experiences and histories that live in them. There are ways in which this, more than any of my previous experiences, has made me able to really directly experience the beauty of a queered or grotesque body. I look at myself naked in the mirror and I sort of love what I see, sometimes as much for its strangeness as despite it, without having to talk myself into loving it. And also I wonder how much of that is enabled by my collarbones and cheekbones and waist. 

    I don't have to know now, and I don't. It's only a year. It's not even over. My weight is still drifting downwards. I am settling towards some equilibrium of behavior and habit, but haven't gotten to it yet. I'd still like to be a little smaller, so I am still paying attention, but I am letting things loosen up, too. Some days I feel good about that, others okay, others concerned. 

    I have not drawn very many firm conclusions, is what I'm saying. But here we are. It is a year later. My understanding is a work in progress, as indeed am I.

     

  8. Rakat
    Latest Entry

    I met with my new doctor today. My anxiety was completely wrong! I was referred to Dr. Shin. As it turns out, my doctor had WLS just a couple years ago. He was her surgeon. She spoke very highly of him. She also told me a bit about the process and such. Between now and a couple weeks, I should be getting a call from his office to set up an appointment. She faxed a letter of referral with my medical history included. Once I meet with him, things will start to happen.  I'll have to see a nutritionist. go on a diet, take a 3 hour mental exam and a series of other tests. She said it takes about 6 months to get things in order.  So, that means this Spring I should be several pounds lighter and feel healthier!  Just gotta wait a bit longer. I've waited most of the summer. A few more weeks won't be that bad.

  9. Into every vacation a little emergency dentistry must fall - that's what my mama taught me.  I was snarfing down a square of superdark chocolate (one of my few dietary indulgences for this vacation) when something went CLACK in my mouth, and the crown of my 5-year-old implant popped out.  I saved it, jammed it back in, found a dentist on the internet, and got a friend to drive me there, all in half an hour.  I could have driven myself, but with an unseated implant and visions of pain for the rest of the week in my head, I didn't trust myself to remember to stay on the left side of the road.

    The dentist was awesome.  They were able to take me immediately, and when I got there I went straight in.  The dentist had two assistants, and they were all super friendly, and took great care of me.  The implant was back in and cemented on in minutes, painlessly, and the dentist explained everything step by step.  The total cost was less than I'd pay for a cleaning at my regular dentist's office in the States.

    The crown came out at 3:30 and was back in by 4pm, so it was just a tiny blip in an overall beautiful, relaxing day.  I spent a little too much time in the sun and got a little toasted around the edges, but also played a lot with my friends' kids (and reaffirmed my choice not to have my own - omg so tired!).  We're all about to pile into cars and head back to the local seafood place for dinner.  I'm thinking possibly the garlic shrimp, this time. :)

    (Also - sorry for the double post last time, that was a bit weird!)

  10. Long story short: WLS, weird medical stuff, compromise on goal weight, and suddenly losing weight again....HOPE LIVES!!!

    Long-winded version: You know that feeling...the one that you get when you wake up and think, "I feel a couple pounds lighter today?" Then, as if    you had suddenly discovered a poisonous ant colony in your briefs, you begin sprinting while shedding every layer of clothing....all the way to the scale. And....you were right!! 

    FINALLY!!! I had to force myself to stop the ensuing spastic happy dance long enough to work out and share my joy with you lovelies.

    Why the question mark and shock??? I had given up on my original goal weight of 135. It wasn't because I thought I was getting too thin and it wasn't even because everyone on the planet wants me to "pump the breaks" at 150 lbs.... 

    As some of you may know, I struggle with Mollaret's Meningitis, a sneaky form of viral meningitis that lives in you for a mean length of 20-ish years, having recurrent episodes of acute infection and a 50/50 chance of permanent neurological damage that can range from seizures to coma. Scary, right? Well, yes, it's painful and a scary, but it also comes with debilitating light sensitivity, unbearable migraines, and seemingly endless bouts of bedrest. (Because inflammation and aggravation extend my episodes...ugh) You can just imagine what bedrest can do to your weight....especially when it's coupled with medicine that affects my memory (me:Who ate all the bananas?!?!?!? Hubby:"You did, dear.") Now, add in the fact that they essentially have to use neuro medicine to shut down feeling to control pain (so I'm not on huge amounts of fentanyl...no thank you). The result of that is: I no longer know when I'm "full." Nice, right?

    I had a major compromise process with my docs...I would begin limiting my exercise to  no or low impact, and I would bend on my goal weight....agreeing to prioritize my brain health. I'm a math geek---brain function is pretty important in my life. So, I've agreed to allow them to use me as a guinea pig...using new studies to guide their preventative plans.

    Because of this, I've been placed on some pretty severe preventative measures by my neurologist and infectious disease doctor. To limit stress and inflammation, I am complying with intermittent fasting (so my insulin only spikes once per day) and a ketogenic diet (to minimize brain damage).

    ALL of these things have really played with my weight. But, I think I may have finally (6 months later) reached a point of homeostasis in my body.....

    There may, indeed, be hope for my long term goal yet!!!!

     

  11. Food as a social connector is deeply engrained in American culture and in my life.  I am coming up on 3 weeks post-op and slowly re-entering some social aspects of my life.  The first time my husband said that someone asked us to go to dinner, my first reaction was a panicked "No! I can't!"  As I've gradually and successfully added more foods to my daily diet and had a couple experiences of feeling full and realized they are not too scary, I'm feeling more confident about starting to connect socially again over meals.  That said, I am mentally sorting through a lot of previously held notions that have shaped how I manage social situations with food that have accrued over a lifetime.

    I recalled years ago when celebrating a birthday with friends, serving up cake and one girlfriend saying that she would pass because she'd already had a dessert that day.  I remember thinking that was so strange...it was our friend's birthday, how could she not have a piece of cake?  Recently I read on TT that our world today has people making all kinds of food choices and so when those who've had WLS make a special request or decline something, it's really not that big of a deal anymore.  I think my brain has to catch up to that.  Passing on a piece of cake is not rejecting a friend or failing to recognize her special day.  Being there is what makes it special.

    In high school, so many moons ago, I felt like I was the funny girl who hung around with a bunch of pretty girls.  I didn't feel badly about it, but felt like it was what it was.  I did however pick up what I think was a fatal flaw...the notion that people who monitored their weight and eating were hyper-focused on their appearance and therefore, vain.  Being the funny one, this was not a road I would have ever gone down.  The ironic thing is that when I look at a picture of all of us from back then, we pretty much all look the same, same hair, same clothes, same make-up...in fact, it took my young niece three tries to guess who I was in the picture.

    I've always enjoyed cooking and serving food to other people.  Two weeks usually don't go by without my extended family coming over for a meal.  My SIL, who is very thin but can really eat, always says that when she comes to my house she always feels so full that she has to be rolled out afterwards.  At first I appreciated what was meant as a compliment, but as I started considering WLS, that comment resonated with me in a different way.  Why should having a fun family get-together involve me stuffing people to the point of being uncomfortable?  We can have an enjoyable time without eating in an unhealthy manner.  Every time we get together is not a special occasion or excuse for over-indulgence.

    I need to carry this same thought to dining out as well,  because in my pre-surgery life I treated meals out as if all visits to restaurants were special occasions.  The way I would peruse menus would be to look them over and find the meal that I would absolutely love the most.  I didn't generally consider if it was the best choice health-wise...I mean, I might not go to that restaurant again for some time and so I should get what I really wanted, right?  Obviously this must change.  I randomly sat next to someone at my WLS support group the other night and she shared what she ordered (and exactly how to ask for it) each time she went to a local restaurant which is a restaurant my husband and I frequent.  I was thrilled to get this information because I really didn't know what I'd order the next time we went there.  I'm realizing that help and support is literally around every corner if you're looking.

    I'm coming to a new understanding that monitoring my food choices on a daily basis is just a part of taking good care of myself.  It does not make me vain or hyper-focused on appearance.  We've had a few family get-togethers since my surgery.  We are making progress on planning and cooking healthier, yet still delicious, meals together.  Tomorrow is my first restaurant meal, aside from some soup at Panera and one of the WLS post-op staples, pintos & cheese from Taco Bell.  I am heading into this social event armed with lots of advice from TT threads.  I love the advice about focusing on the people and the conversation more so than the food.  Wish me luck!

     

  12. like_rain_to_sea
    Latest Entry

    I'm one of those people that weighs hardly ever. Its been a weird trigger for me in the past and I'd rather avoid that. So I am determined to only weigh myself at appointments and on the first of every month.

    My total weight loss so far since the start of January is 46.5 pounds (or three stone). 23 of those have been since my surgery on the 11th of May. I have also lost 17.5 inches total from various parts of my body. All in all a pretty good result. I am just happy it is coming off. I still can't eat a lot so my portion sizes remain quite small. It means I am basically eating all protein to make sure I am getting enough in. But drinking all my water in has been no problem so far.

    Had my first group appointment the other day and that was interesting. We talked a lot about nutrition and our medications and things like that. Pretty good stuff. Feeling very lucky and fortunate that my journey hasn't been as hard as some others, also a little guilty too. But I know its a different journey for everyone. 

  13. Hi everyone!

     

    So, I got a new lens! It's something I've been wanting for a really.. really.. really long time, and I hardly ever treat myself, but I bit the bullet, closed my eyes, and ordered it. I am thrilled. Thrilled with my lens, it's awesome. However, I am not able to take Selfies with it, alas.. Here are the last selfies from my other lens : 

    LYkU27gl.jpgrfAOf72l.jpg

    Goodbye old lens (No I still will use it, but I LOVE this new lens) It's a telephoto lens... So.. I took a picture of this dragonfly today. 

    fSU8N51l.jpg

    That's from about 6 feet away.. And here it is fully zoomed in :

    S1d6K4ml.jpg

    Aww.. so excited! I did try to get a picture of the waterfall and failed but it's an interesting shot of water nonetheless : 

    jwrQniul.jpg

    I am still learning how to use it, I took some shots of myself, and they all failed spectacularly :

    sxVRVd5b.jpg GaG4CgRb.jpg CoUz9qzb.jpg

    From this not big they look okay, but really they are all out of focus. Which is fine, just frustrating. Regardless.. Today I went on a short hike. I've been meaning to do more, but the past two weeks have been hectic. My kids are out of school, my landlord called and informed us that he sold our place, so we may be asked to move shortly, which sucks, We've been here 9 years, my youngest has summer school for reading, and speech therapy, and we are in the middle of a heat wave, the other day it was 110!! I did go to a lake on Monday, but I didn't take any pictures, it was incredibly hot, and I ended up swimming out the middle of the lake with my daughter on my lap (using an inter-tube), and was exhausted. So, I've not had the time or the inclination to go out and walk, but while Kira was at school today, I went out. The trail I went on is the PGE ditch, it apparently goes all the way to Lyons Dam, (Which is about an 8 mile hike), but I didn't have time to go that far. A strange shift of perception.. (I'll get to my point in a moment)

    Here is the beginning of the trail : 

    AGtKDwUl.jpg

    And about a quarter mile up the bend, or a little further is this : 

    45uNRsJl.jpg

    And walking across it is very high, but very pretty (apparently, when you get to the end of the trail, it's a mile walk along 200ft up, similar to this, Oh I can't wait) : 

    0yxZCZLl.jpg

    Now, before I lost weight (And here is my point), that minor walk, felt like it took forever. I was winded, and hurting when I got to this, point, and ready to go back. Today, getting there, was quick, and easy and I couldn't believe how short it was, and how easy my body was able to make it there. It was slightly shocking. 

    Anyways, I went about 2 miles, I wanted to go further, and I will, but I had to head back to get Kira from school.. Here are some more shots of the ditch/trail : 

    QN850wEl.jpg

    o6mkSoZl.jpg

    ltmrVkGl.jpg

    And one more shot using the new zoom on the lens.. This bird was about 50 feet away! 

    dCevyGZl.jpg

    I will have to finish figuring out how to use it, but I am still so happy with it. 

    And on a side last note.. Kira got a new headset, which she loves, and it's made my other daughter Brin, jealous : 

    yAk7EMLl.jpg

  14. Today 5 years ago I had my bypass and it was the best choice I made. Were there ups and downs? Yes but I have no regrets. I was 300 lbs and now 180. I got as low as 150 which was a healthy weight but looked sickly on me. Where I am now, I am happy. I feel and look good. My high blood pressure is no longer an issue. And my fear of getting diabetes has been pushed aside. Tomorrow is my workout day and I am looking forward to going there and staying as fit as I can. 

     

  15. lightenupwoman
    Latest Entry

    The best thing about getting a divorce was moving to this complex that has the nicest pool ever. I think my daughter and I have been every day since it opened. No kidding. 

    I was just thinking it is so nice to just swim and not feel self conscious about being over weight. And to not get winded or something when I'm playing with my daughter. 

    At the same time, the typical female brain of a woman living in this culture starts doing really annoying things. Like looking at other women's bodies and missing my curves, missing my larger size breasts, looking at women in bikinis with totally flat stomachs and realizing I will never have that. I just wish when I was young and thin I would have appreciated my body for one damn day! 

    Oh well I tell myself I need to love myself. I didn't have surgery to look good, I did it to feel good. And I need to love the fact that I made the right choice for me. This surgery was so life changing. 

    I live in an area where half the people at least are from other countries. And so there are many times I am literally the only white American at the pool, which is fine, that's how I like things to be, I've always tried to put myself into situations where there is a lot of diversity. One thing that really bothers me is that the women from some countries apparently aren't allowed to swim. But their  husbands can. And I just feel like it's so unfair. I have seen everything from a woman wearing a sari, a woman wearing the full on hijab with the full body gown/dress thing sweating by the side of the pool, and then just women who apparently have to wear long pants and three quarter length sleeves at all times. 

    And I look at them, then look at their husbands, and I just feel like this is shitty. This is so shitty. And then I wonder what they think of me, not just me, I wear a suit that has swim shorts and a tank top type thing, it's more sporty than sexy. But then you see women with huge breasts with them just hanging out or suits with almost butt floss. And I wonder what these women are really thinking, are they feeling like we American women are slutty? Does it bother them that their husbands can see us but they have to sit there in the heat and just watch their families have fun? I do have to say the husbands don't seem to notice the American women, they feel very safe and like they aren't pervs or anything. I'm not trying to say that at all. Most of them are focused on their kids and it's cute to see.

    Or who knows, maybe the moms are thinking about something else and it doesn't bother them or they are so devout that this is their religion and this is how it is, this is their role and they wouldn't want anyone to feel sorry for them. 

    I love swimming and if I couldn't swim because it was supposedly wrong for me to show my legs and arms in public, I would be so sad. 

     

  16. Regina2

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    Regina2
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    Hi I had my surgery on 4/4.  I had complications - my esophagus was perforated during surgery resulting in a second surgery you the next day to have a stent inserted into my esophagus so it could heal and a third surgery 5 1/2 weeks later to have the stent removed.  While the stent was in eating was a challenge and I threw up or heaved for weeks so I kinds missed the stages of purée and soft mostly i don't remember because of all the meds but lost almost 40 lbs. It was pretty miserable and I am still having some issues because of the perforation, that coupled with missing food I am weepy and feel sorry for myself way to much!  I read how people are so glad to have had wls and it was the best decision and I hope to feel that way soon.  I have gotten a little better with missing food but then I have a bad days with the health problems because of the surgery and it brings me down and I wonder what in the world I have done to myself.  Since the stent was removed and I actually began eating I have lost about 7 lbs in a month.  One problem I am having in particular is constipation! Yikes I think my body forgot how to poop!  I am adding benefiber but I have to add a laxative at least every other night.  Any advice on this particular issue would be appreciated! So that's my basic story, I have been reading forums and it does help but this is the first time I wrote about my journey.

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    I've never been great at managing a blog, but I plan to keep a short blog to reference days and details as I go through this journey. I attended a "Weight Loss Surgical Informational Session" hosted by Via Christi last night, which after my obsessive reaching lately, did help ease my nerves a bit. I have mixed emotions: 

    • Excitement - Ready to get the ball rolling, excited to see results 
    • Embarrassment - Haven't discussed this with anyone outside of my parents, who were the ones to bring it up to me, and my husband. I somewhat feel like I'm taking the "easy way out". Since I don't know anyone who's personally had this, I fear stigma of people gossiping behind my back about my weight loss. 
    • A mild amount of fear - What if I regret this? What if something goes wrong? Will I ever be able to eat my favorite foods again? 

    I'm not too worried about the procedure itself (leaning more towards the gastric sleeve at the moment), but moreso the healing process after and the whole post-op stage as a whole. 

    Weight: 249.6 lbs 
    BMI per CDC: 48.7

    "For your height, a normal weight range would be from 95 to 128 pounds." It's been a good 10 years since I've seen that on the scale, so I have a long way to go. 

    MEAL DIARY

    8:00 a.m. - Pre-workout 
    9:30 a.m. - Protein shake made w/ 6oz of almond milk
    9:45 a.m. - 2 scrambled eggs with cheese (est. 288 cal. per MyFitnessPal) 
    1:15 p.m. - Nutrisystem Chicken Parmesan (270 cal) 
    2:00 p.m. - 13 Apple Cinnamon rice crisps (120 cal) 
    4:30 p.m. - Sugar free lemon lime jello (10 cal) 
    8:00 p.m. - 4 oz teriyaki chicken / 0.5 cup jasmine rice 

     

  17. I grew up in upstate NY, one of 3 children; an older sister and a younger brother.  Yes I was the typical middle child; self-sufficient, lots of friends and all about going to school for the social side!  I wasn't overweight as a child, kind of gangly and Tom boyish, playing in the woods behind my house!  It was a good childhood, family camping, trips to zoos and parks and the occasional vacation to Wisconsin or North Carolina or Virginia to visit family members!  Once I hit puberty my body started to change of course but I think I took the widening hips and larger breasts as somethin I needed to tame!  That kind of set me up for failure & I spent way too much time obsessing over my changing body than it warranted.  I spent my teenage years at a normal weight but I couldn't see that!  I married when I was 18 (1 week past my 18th birthday) because I thought I was a grownup and had my 1st child at 19.  By the time I was 27 I had 5 daughters and weighed somewhere south of 180 lbs....it wasn't a bad weight for me it was just not the weight I wanted to be!  Then we moved to Florida for my husband's job...Florida is a place where you cannot hide your weight, too little clothing!  I have spent the following 20 years going from 175 lbs to 245 or so pounds, up and down with much ease really....gained 20 lbs...try this weight watchers diet....gained by 45 lbs...let's try that herbalife diet.....gained 50 lbs.....let's try phentermine and vit. K shots!!  And then we move to Tennessee two years ago....let me tell you I Love Tennessee!   But we adopted our 5 year old grandaughter and I decided to stay at home after working for a dozen plus years in a fast paced (as in you ran for 12 hrs straight, no sit down breaks or anything remotely like a break) medical floor as an RN.  I started baking our own bread (yum, yum!) And pies and goodies! And quickly ballooned up to 275 within a few months!  It has progressively gotten harder and harder to keep up with my newest charge and I feel guilty because I'm not able to keep up with her.  We went on vacation to NY by way of Gettysburg and I spent the majority of the time being out of breath or just sitting in the vehicle waiting for my husband and grandaughter to return from whatever sight I couldn't even get to!  We went to breakfast to this overpriced cafe that I sat so gingerly in the chair I couldn't enjoy even a moment of that ridiculously over priced food because I was afraid the chair would break!  We rented a rustic cabin for our stay in NY and it was beautiful there, I got to see my family but I ended up with a UTI because she says under her breath, it's hard to perform proper hygiene while in a  rustic cabin (I know TMI!)  I had already decided to try to have WLS before that vacation and it couldn't happen quick enough.  I had gotten to the point of weighing in at 316 lbs, I'm diabetic, have hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis in my back, hips and knees, high blood pressure and needless to say mobility issues and constant pain.  I want to be around to help guide my grandaughter to her adulthood.  I want to be around to enjoy our retirement and enjoy my 10 grandchildren!   I want to kayak and swim and slide downhill and just grow a garden and raise some chickens!!!!  

    I started this journey on August 30th, 2016 when I went to my first consultation at the Vanderbilt center for bariatric surgery and weight loss. I won't kid you the journey from August to finally having surgery on March 31st, 2017 was not easy, but was so worth it!!!   Ten years ago I would have told you you were crazy to say I would have WLS, but now I am so grateful and happy that I have had WLS, it's given me hope for the future that I had lost!!  Here's to a new me and here's to a new you!!!

  18. I finally had my one week follow up appointment this morning! It felt so overdue!

    My initial follow up appointment was scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, 2017 and I was so anxious for it. I wanted the doctor to give me the look over and tell me how I was doing for peace of mind. More than that, O felt ready to move and stretch a little beyond walking the 4-5 times a days around my apartment, but the staples kept me back.. I was so tender still around the incision sites that anytime I moved and felt something sting or pull, I sitting out for the count. But I know they were healing because of the itching. Itching is the universal constant for healing wounds and honestly it's the worst tease because you CAN'T scratch at them. Or also in my case: wear a bra, Because one of my incisions was right between my breasts and wearing a bra put pressure on the site and constantly rubbed at it. So for about two weeks I was free-boobing it. (An oddly freeing, but weird feeling without the support)

    Unfortunately, my appointment was pushed back two days until this morning due to an emergency with the physician's assistant. This morning was the first time driving my car in almost two weeks and it did require a little ingenuity to bend in the places I needed to. But I got it all worked out and showed up this morning at the requested 15 minutes early to do the whole check-in and paperwork process, but afterwards ending up waiting almost an 1 hour and 40 minutes passed my appointment time. Just chilling in the waiting room watching Fixer Upper on Tv. I was a little annoyed that they were so far behind schedule, but I was more worried they would tell me we'd have to cancel and reschedule again. I needed the staples OUT! Thankfully it just turned out that he had been caught up in surgery and I headed back for my weigh-in and blood pressure.

    It was a bit of a let down. :( At home I always weigh myself in the morning at the same time before I've eaten breakfast, after I've gone to the restroom, and without any clothes on. I want it to be as consistent and as accurate as possible to just weigh me. And from yesterday to this morning, for some reason that I'm guessing has to do with water weight (I haven't been the greatest at getting beyond 32 ounces yet when I should be at 50 ounces), I went up 1.7 pounds. Well dang. And then at the doctor's office, with the clothes on and everything, it was 3.7 pounds increase. Which sucks to see the numbers, but things are fitting differently and the shape of my body is changing and I'm just going to focus on the non-scale victories for a while. (but still weigh myself for the consistency) My blood pressure was 124/82 which is still in the pre-hypertension range, but it's a bonus in my book because I always free out when I go to the doctor's and the number is inflated from the anxiety. So if it's that high nervous, in chill-mode I'm gonna be in the normal ranges! And I know that as I continue to lose the weight and work on my cardio, the numbers will continue to drop all around.

    And I was nervous to get the staples out despite how much I was excited for it. A hundred irrational fears ran through my mind as I sat in the room waiting, mainly thinking in circles about:

    • Is this going to hurt?
    • Are they going to give me a shot to take the staples out?
    • Have the staples been in so long that the skin has started to grow over?
    • What if I've been over doing it and I've ripped something?
    • What if the staples rip something when they come out?
    • What if my incisions are infected?
    • What if I start bleeding again?
    • What if the incisions haven't closed enough that I have to get new staples or stitches?
    • What if I need to take more blood thinner injections?
    • Is this going to really hurt?

    I could not just settle down and let it go. But the nurse came in, and she was very friendly and all matter of fact about it. I think from start to finish, taking the staples out and putting on the new steri-strips took less than 5 minutes. She had me lay back on the standard examination table found in every doctor's office. I did get to sit propped up at an angle, so not completely flat and feeling vulnerable. I held up my shirt and bra out of the way so she could get to all the incision areas and she started before I even thought she had opened up all the supplies. There was a little bit of pain, but not from removing the staples themselves. On the incisions that had a little bit of dried blood around the staple site, I felt a slight tugging sensation to get the staple out. And depending on how much she had to tug, sometimes it's twinged the incision area. Honestly I caused myself more pain than needed because I tightened up during the procedure, so I overworked my stomach muscles and for about 40 minutes afterwards had some spasms and cramping along the main wound site. Just need to chill and go with the flow more. 

    But now that the staples are out, I am less afraid of sneezing too hard, or sitting down to fast, or stretching, or bending to the side. Driving was still an interesting endeavor after the appointment and will probably continue to be for a while, but I am cleared for full on walking now and I think that will do the most in helping to loosen up all the internal muscle stiffness. And is just in time too. Before my surgery was scheduled, I had signed up for the Warrior Dash 5k this Saturday, April 29, 2017. I know the obstacles are definitely beyond anything I'm ready for at this point, but I'm planning to push myself with the 3.1 miles. Here goes nothing. 

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    Day 4 of the 5DPT: I woke up this morning and I was 207.2. This means I've lost 6.4 lbs in 3 days. I know the 5DPT isn't about losing weight (although it goes hand in hand with eating correctly), but it's always nice to see the scale go down. I will say that today has been the hardest so far - not because i'm hungry, but I didn't have a lot of time to do prep last night for "firm proteins", so I've been living off low-sodium lunch meat and chopped chicken breast IN chicken salad so it's more dense than chicken salad alone. At this rate, a turkey burger tonight sounds amazing.

    So, I have to say - I'm not hungry. I'm not craving any carbs. I've been able to manage my 30-minute liquid cutoff before and after meals. And the 6.4 lbs has been just enough to see some of my clothes actually fit, which is always a motivator. For me, so far the 5DPT has been more of a mental reset than a physical reset, and I actually do feel like I have more confidence that my pouch still works, and that I can stick to the pouch rules and have success again. We'll see how day 5 goes, but dare I say I'm optimistic.

    MORE MOTIVATION: Interesting fact recent posted on Science Daily:  "Obesity resulted in as much as 47 percent more life-years lost than tobacco, and tobacco caused similar life-years lost as high blood pressure, new research has shown." https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170422101614.htm 

     

  19. Well, the weekend has come and gone and progress has been made in several areas.  Today I am 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 hours and 10 minutes smoke free (as of 10:30 AM). :)  According to my app, I've been smoke free for 961.11 hours, I've saved $200.25 and I've not smoked 1,001 Pall Mall Light 100's (or 5 cartons-worth).  I would reward myself with some type of treat, a movie, some electronics, etc., but unfortunately(?) my wife's budget has cannibalized the 'Cigarette Budget' and added it to the 'New Car Fund'.  Fair enough.  I'd just waste it on crap anyway.

    This weekend was a very productive one, though it almost turned out to be a bust.  Friday evening I let myself go and ate half of a large Pizza Hut pizza.  Maybe you've been there before, and maybe you haven't, but it's a weird experience in retrospect.  I had one slice of pizza, then another, then another and another.  I went to bed with my stomach aching and feeling like a slob and a loser.  I wasn't even that hungry.  It just felt good to eat.  I felt dejected and sad; worse than if I had smoked a cigarette, or even a pack of cigarettes.  Saturday I couldn't do much of anything because we had family over, one of which who has had Bariatric Surgery recently.  We ate pretty sensible on Saturday.  One weird thing I tried that I hadn't tried before was a lettuce wrapped sandwich from Jimmy Johns.  Everyone wanted Jimmy Johns for some reason.  I just ended up pulling the lettuce off and eating the meet and cheese.  The lettuce wrap did not work as intended, in my personal opinion.  It was well done, but too much.

    Sunday, I knew I had to atone.  Luckily it was a very sunny day out, even though it was only in the mid-30's.  I had to run to the office to take care of something I had forgotten about on Friday, and since my office is right on the Ohio River, I figured I'd go for a stroll, and considering I'm not under the constraints of work, I could stroll as long as I wanted.  I sat my Samsung Fit2 for an hour's walk and set out fully intending to walk a lot more than that.  And boy did I walk.  I just kept walking and walking and did a circuit through three cities!  I started in Covington, crossed over into Cincinnati, walked around the newly developed Smale Riverfront Park and passed my beloved Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds.  I did some exploring then crossed a bridge over into Newport, KY and then walked back through to Covington, KY where I started.  My results were as follows:

    Time Spent Walking: 01:36:03 (stopped and started a lot to take pictures)
    Distance: 4.04 mi
    Total Calories Burned: 722 Cal (According to Samsung SHealth)
    Average Speed: 3 MPH
    Max Speed: 5.5 MPH (Damned techno)
    Total Ascent: .59 mi
    Avg. Heart Rate: 119 bpm
    Max. Heart Rate: 146 bpm

    I don't care too much for all of the 'Total Ascent' and some of the other measurements.  I care most for the distance and the time spent.  I know that it's a lot of up and down hill stuff, it's not all flat walking, and I know my average heart rate would be higher but I stopped a lot to take pictures (in the span of 90 minutes I took a total of 75 unique pictures, two movies, and 5 panoramic pictures for reference.  Next time I walk I intend on doing so without the camera.

    At any rate, Sunday I did well on my food log.  I ate ~800 calories and burned about 722 according to Samsung.  If you read this far, can you tell me if you think that is healthy?  I know asking health questions to anyone outside of my doctor is frowned upon, but I'm curious and I feel okay, don't want to bug the physicians unless I'm really feeling funky. 

    Sorry, wanted to get this blog finished before I have to leave for my kid's doctor's appointment.  She's 15 months old today, and I've got a feeling that it's immunization city for her.  Pray that we have a nurse that doesn't drag the process out.  Most nurses can give 3 or 4 jabs in the blink of an eye and I can distract her from them.  The last one put about half a minute or more between each shot and poor baby girl did not appreciate that at all.  Neither did mommy or daddy.

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    I am reporting to the hospital tomorrow at 5:30am central time for my surgery that starts at 8am. Its been an interesting journey so far & I know that journey is only going to get more intense in the next 17 hours. I first saw the dietitian August 15, 2016, weighing in at 397lbs. Before I started my two week (2/21/2017) liquid diet, I was 355lbs. and now today, I am now 335lbs (62 lbs. lighter since August). That is a far cry (91Lbs. difference) from my highest recorded weight of 426lbs.in September 2014. 
    I want to say a big thank you to all the admins & those who have given me so much support and advice on here. Onto the next step of this journey,,,,,

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    ComingDown
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    It's 2am, getting late, and I'm listening to a 90's play list presented to me by Apple Music on iTunes.  It's adult pop of the 90's.  I'm 36.  In 1990 I was 9 or 10 depending on the month.  So the nineties coincided with my tumultuous adolescence.  I was just as crazy as any other teen but perhaps even crazier. That's a story I'll save for some other day.  :-)

    Right now lets focus on this woman I've become.  I'm creative.  I like to paint, bead necklaces, explore new and old music, and I daydream.  I'm pretty and kind of smart.  I never was married and have no kids but revel in my freedom and feel little more than gratefulness when I see my friends and with babies and children because I know my life is easier and my heart is already full.  

    My weight has become major eyesore and health issue.  I'm almost 5-5 and I weigh 324 pounds which means that I basically need to lose 200 pounds. I do have a food addiction and it is somewhat out of control.  If I'm not eating I'm reminiscing about food or plotting my next meal.  I need to grow apart from this addiction because its killing me.  

    I just wonder if I can do it without surgery but the clock is ticking and I know that a diet and exercise will not make me lose as fast as having a sleeve gastrectomy.  I can do both and lose like crazy.  I can undo the harm I've done unto myself over the years in much less time if I subject myself to this.  I just worry that I'll be one of this people who regret their decision at least in part.  I feel like after the surgery, food and I will have a weird, awkward relationship and I won't know who I am anymore. lol.  Food is a part of me like a lover I suppose.  It's been  a lifelong thing between food and I and I've lost many relationships in this life and losing my love and passion for food because I won't be able to take more than a few bites at a time sounds rather like a punishment I don't necessarily deserve.  Or do I?

    I AM one of those people.  I am one of those people who binge-ate like it was a career and didn't care about the consequences.  I refused to exercise most of the time.  Maybe punishment IS what i deserve?  

    I'm planning on getting my surgery in January 2018 so i'll have time to test myself and if needed I can prepare myself for the surgery.  I might not end up getting it if I can kick this problem without a sleeve.