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  1. So, now that I am a "Senior Member" (who knows how that happened, guess the forum knows I am here and posting often!), I thought it about time to start keeping a "journal" of my journey.  I went to post another update tonight and I thought "do I start a new subject everytime I want to give an update?" but that seemed annoying to the readers, so I thought I will just start a blog and if someone is interested they can read it but it won't bog down the forum. :)

    Anyway, tomorrow is the beginning of the surgical journey! I've been actively pursuing the WLS option since my PCP suggested it in May 2017 and saw my Bariatric Surgeon in June 2017.  I have since done all my pre-requisites (including having an endoscopy, an EKG, an ecocardiogram, a cardiology consult, a psych eval, a sleep dr eval and using a CPAP machine).  Last weekend I finished my 14 day CPAP using requirement and contacted the sleep medicine office.  They read the usage and sent clearance to my surgeon's office and my surgeon's office called me midmorning on Monday to let me know they were sending everything to the girl that gets insurance approval and then she will call and schedule my surgery. (I had been told that it takes 2 months from the time they call to actually have the surgery so it was going to be around Christmas though I really wanted around 11/8 to coincide with my school break).  Anyway, much to my shock, they called the next morning to schedule it and offered me 11/6/17!!!! I snatched it up with excitement like it was the lottery commision calling!  

    All week I have been making plans to take off work, get coverage during my absence and setting up things at home for the upcoming surgery.

    Tomorrow is my 2 week 'til surgery day and I am heading in to the city to get my PreAdmission Testing (EKG, CXR and Labs) and my final appt w/ the surgeon's NP and dietician.  It is also the day I start my 2 week liquid only diet:(  Oh well, I can bear it for a month to change me for a lifetime!  

    Tonight I had my "last meal" and all I really wanted was Pillsbury Grands flakey biscuits and butter.  I am not even a big bread/butter kind of a person...I enjoy them but rarely have them so it was a treat tonight!  Other than that, I really didn't feel like gorging food that will put pounds on that I will eventually need to take off!

    I checked the train schedules and have it all worked out to get to all 3 places on the hospital campus and then rush home in time to get to the orthopedist office to get a cortisone shot for my bursitis so I can finally get off the ibuprofen every day!  It is really starting to get real!

     

     

  2. Milestones:

    I'm 6 weeks out today - and down 27 lbs since surgery, 84 lbs overall.  Today I landed at 271 on the scale, which is a big milestone for me - it's the lowest weight I ever achieved in Paleo adventure a couple of years ago.  After this point back then, I stalled for a couple of months... and then, gave up in despair and started the inevitable climb back upwards.  271 today is also 10 lbs lost in month 2, and I'm only halfway through the month.  So, there's a lot to feel good about.  :)  It took me 2 years to get to this weight on Paleo, btw.  It's taken me since April of this year, this time.

    I've also hit a CPAP milestone - in that I've stopped using it.  I haven't worn it for the past three or four nights.  I'd hit the point where I was sleeping less with it than without it, because the air pressure was so high.  Nothing I did could stop the air from blasting out of my mouth, and I kept waking up in a panic with my mouth so dry I couldn't swallow.  Leah is monitoring me for snoring, I'm staying off my back, and I haven't felt sleepy during the days.  So I think that's going pretty well so far.  

    Food adventures:

    Yesterday we had our potluck dinner, and it was pretty successful!  Leah made lasagna and cheesy broccoli/cauliflower casserole, Meg made a caesar salad and brought potato chips, and our friends brought roasted brussels sprouts, some kind of crazy bean salad, and an apple cake.  I took a saucer instead of a big plate, and picked out a tiny sliver of lasagna (from which I removed the noodles and gave them to the dog; my portion was probably about 2 tablespoons of meat/cheee/sauce), a piece of broccoli, a piece of cauliflower, and one sprout.  No one asked me any questions about my portion sizes, even though none of them knew I'd had RNY.  They knew I was recovering from some kind of surgery, just not what kind. It took me about as long to eat my tiny portion as it did for them to eat their giant ones!  Still not over that.  Everything was great, and I was thrilled that I managed to eat actual vegetables.  

    Later, when dessert came out, I took a tiny bite of the apple cake, but passed on the mounds of pumpkin and vanilla ice cream.  Leah actually cut a little piece off her apple cake for me - and then I halved that, and gave the other half to Sadie.  (The dog may gain weight now, but better her than me ;) My bite was probably about half a tablespoon.  It was lovely, but I didn't really want or need more of it.  

    It was so awesome to be eating somewhat regular food!  The lasagna meat sauce was made with ground beef, and I didn't have any trouble with it.  The brussels sprout could have benefited from salt and garlic, but it was still nice and caramelized.  I was only able to eat the outside leaves; the inside was too fibrous.  I liked the broccoli better than the cauliflower - probably because the broccoli was softer.  I feel like I did really well last night - tried some new things, but stayed on my plan.  Later in the evening I had some cheese and yogurt, to hit my protein goals. But...

    Nightmares:

    I keep having these anxiety dreams/nightmares about screwing up.  One night I dreamed I ate a donut (this is totally because of that chick in my nutrition group who did that, I'm sure!) and then realized, halfway through the second donut, that I wasn't supposed to be eating it. It was like suddenly I remembered I had WLS and couldn't eat like that anymore.  I felt this vast sadness and despair... and at the same time, I knew I was going to finish that second donut.  It was really really awful.

    Last night, I dreamed I ate half a can of Pringles before remembering I wasn't supposed to do that anymore.  I can't remember what I did after that in the dream, but I had the same sense of sadness and failure, a certainty that I'd ruined everything.  I think THIS was because of that one bite of apple cake.  I've posted before about being worried I'd slide down a slippery slope - I'm sure a single bite of apple cake is NOT the start of a slippery slope, at least my conscious brain is sure, but my subconscious has possibly missed that memo. 

    I'm hoping as I gain more confidence in my ability to stick to my program, the nightmares will fade out.  For now, I'm just grateful that these are dreams I wake up from, and not a nightmare I'm living through anymore!

  3. like_rain_to_sea
    Latest Entry

    23 weeks and it feels a lot longer than that. Sometimes I can hardly remember my life before I did this wonderful and amazing thing for myself. I've found myself saying to a number of people that besides marrying my husband having weight loss surgery has been the best thing I have ever done.

    I must admit I have been incredibly lucky. After my surgery I had very little pain and no complications. They gave me a huge box of medication to take for pain and I only dipped into them about twice. There's only been two times where I have suffered from dumping syndrome. Once was when I had some coco powder in my normal morning protein shake which I was able to walk off fairly quickly. The second was an apple and blueberry instant porridge. Felt like a weird thing to dump from and it was pretty horrible. I got sent home from work for that one. But luckily neither of them made me vomit. Fortunately – or maybe unfortunately – I can eat pretty much anything. A real wakeup call about how I am still the one who controls what goes in my mouth.

    Sadly I am one of those people that feel hungry. But seriously after the pre-op liver shrinking diet I can handle hunger. Most of the time if I get that feeling I do eat something but something small like a little bit of chase. I had a strange phenomenon the past few weeks. Whilst eating I was getting a kind of burning feeling in my throat which I was thinking was hunger so I would eat more. That didn’t help. Sometimes it made it worse. My go to for any bad feeling stomach wise has always been to eat something. But then on Monday morning it struck me that maybe that feeling was fullness! So I really started to pay attention to it. As soon as it started coming on I instantly stopped eating and it was gone. So yup, that’s what it is. Looking back I feel stupid for not realising it earlier but I’m still learning about this new tummy of mine. It’s also brought me back to chewing the heck out of food and putting my cutlery down between bites. Oh how easy it is to forget these simple lessons.

    Getting through a whole cup of coffee before it goes cold can still be a struggle. But that’s a small thing in the overall picture. I’ve been getting my water in and all my protein with no problems. My program really discourages you from continuing to weigh and measure everything you eat after a certain point. So I have backed off from that but I still check all the labels and keep a running rough estimate of my protein for the day in my head.

    I only weigh once a month so I am unaware of any real stalls. Some months are slower than others but that’s to be expected. I'm due to weigh again on the first but so far I have lost 73.5 pounds and 29 inches on various parts of my body.

    Pretty much all the clothing I own is too big for me. I've tried not to spend money on clothes but I was forced to buy some new trousers and bras a few weeks ago. Some of my older clothes from the last time I lost weight (before it went back on) and a lot of those were even too big for me. 

    I’m getting loads of compliments. I try to take these quite humbly.

    I’m still very worried about weight going back on.

    A lady at work told me I was like a totally different person. That it was obvious how miserable I was before. I could only agree because she was right. I was a miserable person before I decided to have weight loss surgery. I never really realised how unhappy and sometimes mean I was.

    I smile more, I laugh more, and I live more.

    Someone asked me about weight loss surgery the other day. I told her to give it some very careful thought because no two experiences are the same. But that mine has been absolutely great and I love myself for it.

    <3 Much love to all the people on this forum. I don't post much but I do lurk and read and take your advice. We've got some amazing people and support on this board.

  4. A fair bit of time has passed since my last post so I figure it is time for another one. Especially considering I actually have a day off where I do not have to run a round like a mad man. As mentioned in my previous post my work life kind of exploded. I have been averaging 14-16 hour days with little sleep, but I have most of the people trained to the point that they can kind of function without someone there standing over them and as a result my hours are starting to get back to normal. Then again my normal is 12 hour shifts, so… really not that much different, just not as many days in a row.

    Another plus on the work front is my wife finally finished the coloring book she has been working on and it is now published and available on Amazon! This has been a long project and has finally been completed. Just in case you are interested it checking it out here is a link:

    Dragon Fancy

    Now for the WLS information:

    I am now 86 days post-surgery and things are still going well. I have lost 85.1 lbs. since the surgery for a total of 101.8 since I began this process. I guess a pound a day is pretty good. I hope it keeps up because I still have a long way to go! I am still only getting in about 800 calories a day, less than what my doctor would like to see, but that is all I can really get in without feeling ill. I thought as time progressed I would be better at handling a little more volume of food in my pouch but that does not seem to be the case… I still only hold about 2 oz. before I get the uncomfortable full feeling.

    Some of the side effects have been getting more… well… interesting. Being of Norse descent I have always had a natural immunity to the cold. As a matter of fact I have never had an issue of my hands or feet getting cold, even in extreme cold. My wife has always enjoyed this phenomenon because she has typically run colder and can always count on my ability to warm her up instantly in the winter. Well… that does not seem to be the case anymore. I think that Mr. Snow Miser has moved in and is messing with me. I am finding that my hands, feet and of all things my nose, have been getting cold… Very cold… especially my nose… What the heck is with that? The rest of me will be nice and warm and my nose is like someone attached an ice cube to it. I'm not sure what to do about the nose issue. When it is your hands you put on gloves... When it is your feet you put on warmer socks… but how do you keep your nose warm? Wear earmuffs front to back instead of ear to ear?

    Stats update:

    Start Weight: 465 lbs.

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

    Current Weight: 363.2 lbs. (85.1 lbs. lost since surgery)

    Total Lost: 101.8 lbs.

    Starting BMI: 63.1

    Current BMI: 49.3

    Thankfully with my work schedule I have not had an issue of keeping my energy level up. Then again I'm not sure that I would know considering that I am constantly burned out! My hours are slowly reducing so hopefully I will have more opportunity to post and comment in the forum. Just keep in mind, I am still lurking on the forum and am keeping up with reading posts as I can.

     

    Until next time… the saga continues….

  5. CurvyMermaid
    Latest Entry

    RIP.png.c31cbe670da00313031b15154285d7a9.png

    You have been both my friend and my enemy.

    I have doubted your honesty yet relied on you in many ways to tell me the brutal truth.

    In times of failure, and there were many, I blamed you and you took the blame stoically.

    In times of success, and there were many more of these lately, you were there to celebrate with me.

    It is perhaps these most recent times that I will remember most fondly.

    You went from used and abused to a vital part of my everyday life.

    The power you had over me is not gone but you will live on in your replacement.

    R. I. P. Bathroom Scale  2005-2017

     

    Anyone care to suggest  a replacement brand?  We need precision AND accuracy here folks! :D

  6. Today is my 8 month surgiversary. 

    Eight months!

    As of today, I weigh 169 pounds. I have lost 121 pounds (102 since surgery). 

    My BMI is 25.7, down from 44. 

    I’m about 5 pounds from “normal” BMI (whatever relevance you give this number)

    I lost 11 pounds this month, making it the ninth month in a row I’ll pulled double digits (-11 for the last three months in a row)

    I lost 37% of my excess weight this month - that number gets bigger and bigger as the amount I have to lose gets smaller and smaller, obviously. 

    I lost 6% of my total body weight this month. That seems like quite a lot. 

    My current, rather flexible goal weight is 150, which is now within shouting distance. 

    I feel like I’ve achieved most of my lifestyle goals. I can do the things I want to now without pain or discomfort, being out of breath, or feeling self-conscious. 

    ~~~(With the exception of swimming. *prepare for long, whiny complaining ahead* My legs look pretty awful to me - I know I’m thinner, and I should be proud of my body, but I am not now, nor have I ever been, happy with my legs. I still haven’t bought a bathing suit. I need to, since it’s getting to be bathing suit weather here now. I had a dream last night that I went to the beach with a bunch of people I’ve met here at work. They were all swimming, and I was sitting on the beach, alone, feeling sorry for myself that I didn’t have a bathing suit because I would be too self-conscious in it. This is not hard dream to analyze. Two groups of my colleagues are off on bathing suit related adventures this weekend, ones that would probably be awesome but that I didn’t want to go on. I hope the next 20 pounds brings me a little peace of mind in this area. Part of it is my general self-consciousness, but another part is pure 100% pride: I know my legs don’t look good, and I don’t want anyone to see them. I don’t feel like I can just “get over it” and come to terms with my appearance. And no, it’s not body dysmorphia. My legs do, indeed, look wobbly and cellulitey, and whatever the opposite of toned and fit is. Even when I was a runner and much thinner than I am now, they did not look good. This seems like a petty complaint, but it’s pretty central to my sense of self. I have always been ashamed of my legs, like since I was a kid. So I’m hoping the next 20 pounds will do something magical. Yes, I'm trying hard to keep in mind being thankful for my health and that I have a pair of good, functioning legs that take me where I want to go. I told you this would be whiny, and it is. It is not a feeling I am proud of, but it is an honest feeling, so I'm sharing it.)~~~

    I stopped running this week. The first week, everything felt fine. The second week, my knees felt a little achey after the first couple of days, and on the third day of running, they hurt. They kept hurting after I stopped running, and still feel a little achey now. ACL achey is not something I want to play around with, so I’m back to walking fast and lifting weights. It stinks because I was kind of getting in the groove with the running, going at a decent pace, and my body was feeling really good from it (well, other than my ACLs). I’ve kicked up my walking pace to varying between 4-4.3 mph, which is a pretty fast clip and gets my heart going pretty well. I figure 45 to 60 minutes of that is adequate for cardio, and with some weights thrown in, that’s enough to get in decent shape. This will do for now, and I’ll look back into running in another 20 pounds. Maybe that’s light enough to not hurt myself. Why do I keep saying "in another 20 pounds"? It sounds like this 150 GW I have in mind is taking on some psychological significance I didn't mean it to.

    I went out to dinner last night with a group and had some lovely coconut curry prawns, and I don’t think anyone at the table noticed my weird eating at all - I ate most of the prawns, lots of the curry sauce, and none of the rice it was served with. It was very tasty. I had a couple of glasses of wine (probably should have stopped at one, but oh well). I passed on the dessert - a big group at the table next to us had a huge birthday cake, and were apparently impressed with the level of gusto with which we sang happy birthday to a stranger, and sent over slices of cake for everyone at our table. Cake is not my thing, so that wasn’t hard, and I just pushed mine toward the garbage disposal, I mean my husband, who ate most of my share. He’s very handy for situations like these. (He’s actually lost about 30 pounds since I started this whole process, so I’m apparently not using him as my personal garbage disposal too often.) It was a good evening that showed me how easy it can be to eat what I need to eat without having to answer any questions or get weird looks. None of these people know me as anything other than what I look like now, so they will learn to accept my tiny meals as normal for me. And as I looked around at the people I was eating with, I guessed that I was probably the thinnest one at the table. None of them are very big, but just a little more overweight than me. Very strange. 

    8_month_comparison_pictures.png

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    Recent Entries

    delilas
    Latest Entry

    Updates galore :rolleyes:

     
    1) I finished my last classes on Monday and did my final fit test and exit interview for the Living Well program yesterday. On the one hand, it feels like this has been the longest 6 months of my life, and on another, it feels like its gone very quickly. I even made my initial deposit on the surgery.The only thing that really sucks is they told me they were going to submit to insurance, and then told me I needed a letter of necessity from my PCP. At no point in the past six months, nor on any paperwork, have I been told I need that. I love my PCP but he is unfortunately the type that to get any paperwork signed, I'll likely need an appointment and to shove it directly under his nose to get it done. Sooooo close and yet so far :)
     
    2) So last Wednesday was supposed to be the big day of the research study. A full 12 hours of being hooked up to various IVs and machines testing how my body processes glucose. I got there at 545 am....and left at 745 am, after two hours of them attempting to get dual IVs in me. I'm not normally a hard stick, but vein after vein kept blowing. They finally exhausted all options and sent me home. They and I want to reschedule, but they need it done prior to my pre-op appointment apparently, which could easily be this month, and they arent sure they can get me back in that quickly. They hinted at wanting me to delay my surgery to get me rescheduled, but I'm not game for that. So we'll see!
     
    3) I joined a gym, as the weather is getting cooler and before I know it, I will have every excuse to not get out and walk or hike. Also, because speaking of hiking, I know strengthening my legs would super improve my endurance ability for hikes, so my goal for cold weather is to come out swinging as soon as snow melts off the trails in spring. Theyre developing an old quarry into a metro park near me, and I'm psyched, but it looks like the trails in it will be considerably tougher than what I've been doing so far, so thats considerable motivation to hit the gym and get stronger!
     
    4) My little brother in the military has made it to Tennessee. They were initially planning on sending him all the way home (Ohio) for his hernia surgery, but now they are keeping him there for it. We'll probably be traveling down to see him in the next couple weeks. 
  7. ThriftyTheresa
    Latest Entry

    Yesterday, the 10th, would be my 3 month surgiversary. It honestly seems like so much longer than 3 months, but it is just 3 months. I've lost 48lbs since Surgery day. I'm close to 100lbs down from my highest weight in 2015. I haven't decided how or when to celebrate milestones. 100lbs since highest weight, 100lbs since starting weight, 100bs since surgery? I guess I'll just celebrate them all when the milestone arrives. Why the heck not.

    I won't have my appointment with my surgical clinic until next month but I did see my primary doctor last week. She's super happy with my progress. All of my bloodwork was good. My A1C is down to 5.1 so I am no longer considered pre-diabetic. It was 6.1 when I started this whole process last year. My cholesterol is down so we don't have to talk about cholesterol meds that she was threatening me with last year. My blood pressure is still not perfect, but it's no longer dangerous. She's keeping me on a 5mg pill (instead of the 40mg I have been on for years)  for the next 6 months just to be safe. I can't wait until I can officially be off my blood pressure meds. That's going to be the biggest and happiest goal once the time comes.

    I'm down to a pants size loose 22W from a starting size of tight 28Ws. All my 4x tops have gone away to charity. I'm still wearing 3X tops because they are comfortable, but I could probably get away with 2x or 1x in some styles. I haven't done my measurements in a while, but with my bras being completely loose and ineffective, I know I've shrunk. I need to buy new bras. The bane of the female existence.

    Overall health has been OK. I did go through about 4 weeks of really uncomfortable abdominal pain and discomfort that has finally gone away. Originally I thought I was getting a hernia but then the symptoms changed and my whole abdomen was swelling up. I wasn't constipated, daily BMs, but my guts were swelling up full of gas and I could not pass gas/fart if my life depended on it. It was very uncomfortable for a very long time. We finally chalked it up to lactose intolerance. I've dramatically cut dairy out of my diet and I have not had any more gas pains for nearly 2 weeks. It's been great being able to sleep comfortably at night when it doesn't feel like your guts are going to explode like an Alien chest-burster. But I do miss cheese.

    Eating has been fine. I don't have anything that my stomach is averted to, except dairy I guess. I can eat chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, beans, and I've been experimenting with vegan proteins. Still having mental problems with food variety. I don't want to eat the same thing every day, or even every other day, so my fridge and freezer are stocked full of healthy things so I have some variety in my life. I just have to be mindful not to be too wasteful with leftovers.

    The hair loss has begun. But I know this is normal so it's not freaking me out - yet. I'm blessed with long, thick hair so I'm not seeing any bald spots, thankfully. But WOW so much hair comes out of my head every day. As soon as October started the hair has been coming out like crazy. Again, I knew this was coming and I know it will eventually stop so I'm not freaking out. Yet.

    I've stopped going to the Overeaters Anonymous meetings. I simply found them too cult-like. Always reading the same material. Everyone saying the same thing "I'm working the steps. So grateful to my higher power." But no one is saying ANYTHING of substance. They're just regurgitating dogma from the program and complaining about their miserable lives which then drives them to food. Absolutely no one seems happy! Since I'm not struggling with food, at the moment, I've decided to stop worrying about it. I don't see how listening to people beat themselves up for their poor food choices is doing me any good. Frankly, I don't know if it's doing them any good. All I know is I was getting nothing but frustrated in that "woe is me" environment. Peace out.

    Ummm...I think that's pretty much everything as far as a life update goes. I'm just chugging along. Happy for the most part. I've got about 3 weeks before things start getting busy and crazy at work so I'm just going to ride this wave of feeling normal as long as I can for as far as it will take me.

  8. MsMasala
    Latest Entry

    Saw the colorectal surgeon today. Apparently I have issues well beyond a mere hemmeroid (which explains the OMG I WANT TO DIE pain). I'm back on serious pain killers, a cocktail of other medications and he's looking to schedule me for a surgical procedure next week. I feel slight relief since taking the medication. Bless physicians who actually care for their patients quality of life. 

    While I was there, I inadvertently talked a nurse out of having the VSG after discussing my medical history. I tried to reassure her that my complications were rare, that my initial surgeon wasn't great, and that even though it's caused me lifelong issues, it still bettered my life in so many other ways. She said she was on the fence about it, but that my experience basically "sealed," it for her. I hope she reconsiders her stance. Anyone who could benefit from these surgeries shouldn't let fear prevent them from seeking out treatment. 

    I'm also starting a new medication for the spasms as they have become unmanagable and they're occuring every day. Tomorrow I'm supposed to start going into the AIC center for daily transfusions as I can't maintain hydration due to the spasms/vomiting. 

    It also appears that 2-3 weeks from now I'll be going back in for surgery to remove the tumor they caught on the CT scan. It grew over a centimeter in a 2 week span. I am terrified of possibly losing the organ it's attached to. I can't psychologically cope with the idea. 

    I am honestly exhausted from all of the pain, and now the fear of the upcoming surgery. Any time I have to go outside I inevitably cry in public due to a spasm or rectal pain, and at worst I've screamed from it. I loathe to make a scene, but it's uncontrollable. It's a humiliating experience.

    I'm trying to remain positive.
     

  9. I had an appointment with my PCP today.  I've lost weight. I kinda figured I had. To my joyful surprise, it was a bit more than expected. Between the end of August and today, I lost 8 lbs! That doesn't seem like alot but I'll take it! Little by little, work is paying off. Now that I am seeing results, I'm going to do what I can to ensure nothing I'm doing, (or nothing I do in the future) will mess this up. I'll keep doing what I'm doing and make any necessary changes. Maybe I am getting a little carried away with the future talk. It's best to take it one day at a time. I just do not want to ruin this chance. I don't know if I will get it back again.

  10. nimiety
    Latest Entry

    I didn't lose weight in August.

    I did a lot of other things, some of them productive and some of them pleasurable—and the month was a bit of a whirlwind—and I didn't lose weight. Right now, I'm sitting pretty much the exact amount of water I'm carrying because I'm carbed up (i.e. I've been eating enough carbs to keep my glycogen stores filled & thus retaining enough water to keep that glycogen soluble, which for me is about 5-6 pounds and a look of puffiness—higher scale weight, but stable mass) above where I was at the beginning of the month.

    Now, I don't necessarily want to freak out about that. I feel pretty good about my body at this size, and the stuff that bugs me is post-weight-loss stuff, mostly—the skin stuff has gotten pretty real for me. My arms, my thighs, my stomach, my breasts—that's the stuff I struggle with. 

    I think physically I might be a little smaller than I was, but nothing major. The XLs I bought from the Gap were too big and the larges are right on point; I tried on clothes at J Crew and the 14s were roomy. I bought a one-size skirt from a boutique on West Broadway yesterday, the kind of store that doesn't even make an XL, and their stretchier larges fit just fine. I thought about a drapey blazer, but it just didn't feel like me—it's an adjustment, not just buying the thing that fits. 

    Anyway, it's time to decide what my approach is going to be for the rest of the year. My major priorities are twofold, and the first one is significantly more important than the second one:

    1) I don't want to be a lifelong dieter—that was the whole point of surgery. I chose the VSG because it's the surgical option that's most like punching the reset button on your metabolism. Ghrelin production is a major part of the regulation of appetite, and removing the fundus of the stomach, where ghrelin is produced (and which is metabolically and endocrinologically central in other ways as well), suspends the metabolic freakout and defense reactions that would normally attend extremely low calorie intakes like those that happen after surgery. As metabolic function restabilizes, the body has the chance to reset a stable setpoint, is the hope. I want a stable setpoint. I want a weight that works for me that my body will defend as metabolic regulation reestablishes itself. I also want that weight to be sustainable for me without extraordinary measures. I do not want to be one of those people who's counting every calorie and striving for extremely low caloric intake ten years after surgery. I want to be able to settle into routines that maintain a stable weight without monitoring, or counting, or the more punitive kinds of self-denial. I want my eating life to be flexible, and pleasurable, and also sustainable and healthy. I do not want to be on a diet for the rest of my life. That does NOT mean that I won't need to keep an eye on things and check in, and keep best practices in mind. I committed to doing that when I signed on for surgery. But it DOES mean that if I can be 180 pounds and eat in a way that doesn't stress me out or 150 pounds only if I eat in a way that does, and sustain that way forever, I will choose the higher weight. Stability and sanity are, in combination, priority 1 for me.

    2) That said, I have some vanity and lifestyle preferences. I would like to always be able to find my size in a straight-size store. I would like a little room for bounceback, should any occur. I don't have it right now. I'd like to have a low enough body fat percentage that plastics, if and when I go for them, can do as much for me as possible. I'd also like my cheeks to be a little less puffy, my cheekbones and jaw a little more defined. I've also thought about my powerlifting future. To be competitive, one wants to be at the top of a capped weight class, and that means either staying right where I am, or losing some more weight. The next class down caps at 158.5, so a walking-around weight of 155-160 would be a good place to land for that.

    If the "window of opportunity" for weight loss after surgery—which is to say, the amount of time it takes your metabolic function to reestablish itself and a new defensible baseline of energy balance—is about 12-18 months, I've got about five months left. Putting in some effort in those five months to see if I can maximize the benefits of surgery would save me effort down the line, which is also a way I made the decision to have surgery. I decided that I was willing to devote some seriously intensive effort so as to reduce long-term effort. We're now in a place of slightly diminishing returns—that is, the difference between weighing 160 and 180 is a lot less significant than the difference between weighing 332 and 180, or even 200 and 180, frankly. So it's harder to get the energy up every day, especially when my life has changed and is changing in all these ways that make me want to run around and be a normal person and drink drinks and do whatever.

    That said, the window is closing. And right now I'm feeling like it's worth a try to maximize that window. There are also other good circumstances for another push: the summer is ending, which means less orgiastic socializing, and the semester is starting, which means more routine. Plus, with the presence of a new person in my life, I foresee the necessity of fewer first-date drinks in my life! Not none, by the way—it's not exclusive, and it's also got some geographic distance—but definitely fewer. I'm looking forward to settling into something more routine for a few months. And so putting in some effort to see if I could lose another 20-25 pounds before the end of the calendar year seems worth it. 

    I'm going to try not to belabor myself with this. I'm going to remember priority 1. But I'm also okay with making some changes that would make the best use of my tools right now—cutting out Diet Coke again and making sure I'm pushing water, reintroducing protein shakes, skipping alcohol, and tightening up the ship a bit on food choices, especially carbs, all seem like sane principles for the next four months. Getting back on the scale daily seems to be working for me. I may go back to tracking in MFP. 

    I think there's some emotional ambivalence about being smaller than I am now, too, and that seems like an important thing to do some thinking around, but I can do that thinking while also putting in the pragmatic work. And the window is closing, so if I wait to decide, it may be too late to get the greatest possible benefit. So September-December are going to be a time of buckling back down after a loose, louche summer—not straightjacketing myself, just seeing what some reasonable effort can produce.

    So I think that's the plan. 

  11. Zyia
    Latest Entry

    Hi everyone. Wow it's been a wild month, and I've kind of lost track of time and coming on here. So, a quick update on me, (Hopefully it's quick, we'll see!)

    Two months ago, the house that I rented was sold. My old landlord told me two days after he sold it "So, I sold the place, take care!". We had lived there for almost 10 years. 10 years of life happened at that house. My son went from Kindergarten to 8th grade in that house, my youngest came home from the hospital to that house. Lots of memories. Well, the new landlord came by and served me with a new lease, and a "You have 60 days to get out" notice. 

    It is hard to find a place to live, especially when you have a zoo of pets and kids. It's hard to find a place you can afford. In fact, the stress of that was crazy. First, we tried to buy a house, and I paid off our credit cards in an attempt to boost our credit score. It worked, but not fast enough. It took almost a month of my 60 days for the credit to update and 30 days is not enough time to find a house that fits our needs, and close on it. I called the new landlord and begged him to stay, I even offered double our rent, and he was "Well, you are not the quality type of people I want living here, and I doubt you'd pass our application process". Wow. Just wow. Really, not the quality of people, I pay rent in advance, we don't party, we don't do drugs, not the type of people. 

    In a dark hour, I found myself at the local food bank, scouring through rentals, trying to find anything, anyone, anywhere we could go that would not put my kids out. I came across a newspaper (Yes they still exist), with a number on it, for a 3 bedroom house, with lots of storage and an option to rent to own. So, I called and left a message. About 30 minutes later I was called back, and a week later I signed a year lease for the new place, and with a bonus, we could keep all of our animals. 

    So, the past month has been moving houses, which is hard to do, and moving my mother in law in with us. As she was also evicted. It's been a heck of a process, that I find myself with little time to do anything else. I've had to change addresses for three kids in three different schools, in order to get my middle child on board with it, we had to do an inter-district transfer for her to remain at her current school. We now are paying for water, and sewer, and garbage. But I am not complaining, it's a house, it's a house that will feel like a home, and the location is great, I have no neighbors I have to worry about, literally, I am tucked away from a main road, with easy access but unless you were looking for my place you couldn't find it. I am thrilled. 

     But, that's not quite all that has been going on. First the negative. My sister in law, Michelle, passed away, two weeks ago, stage 4 breast cancer. She was my husbands favorite sister, and of course my mother in law is grieving from losing her daughter. It's hard to squabble about the petty things when something else happens that is devastating. The positive is that we were able to bring home another pet that was promised to my children if we ever had to move. His name is Marley, named after Michelle's favorite dog. 

    n3pEB1Ih.jpg

    But again life is full of checks and balances. Outside of my personal life, my work life is happening. My manager had retired, which left an opening for his position. Out of three people, I was given it, however, yesterday news came down that his father passed away, which was his reason for retiring, so yay I was granted the position, but yay the position may not be available. Will have to wait and see which puts me in flux. It's difficult to be in flux, I am someone who likes to know what is going on. But, to balance that out, August 1st was a year from when I had my surgery done. This past year has been amazing, the ups and the downs. I am thankful for it all. For the negatives for showing me what I can get through and do, and the positives showing me what the rewards can be. 

    A year and a month ago, I was obese, depressed, frustrated. I had no sex drive, no drive really to do anything. I was tricking myself into thinking I was happy when I was not, and I made a change for the better. I took a plunge and I am so glad that I did. At my highest I was a little over 290lbs, As of this morning, I weigh 154lbs. I fit into size 8 in pants, and small in shirts. 

    My Progression : 

    Day before surgery - 

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    Two months after surgery - 

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    Four months after surgery - 

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    6 months - 

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    Seven months - 

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    Nine months - 

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    Today - 

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    I am thrilled with how I look. I am so glad that I had my surgery done. I have excitement for a future in which I didn't even know could exist a few years ago. I am excited and happy for whatever lies my way.  (Thanks for reading :D)

     

  12. kayak19
    Latest Entry

    ...shopping in your own closet could be so fun!

    For at least three decades, when I purchased new clothes, they were usually the same size or more often they were increasingly bigger sizes.  Sometimes I'd lose some weight and pull out a pair of smaller pants I'd recently retired, but then inevitably, back they'd go to their old resting spot with the other smaller clothes in the closet or basement.

    So I, probably like many, have a wardrobe containing clothing in every letter, number or other embarrassing denotation (extra fluffy?) one can imagine.  When I was pre-op, I asked my administrative assistant, the only person at work who knows about my WLS, to help me know if I was continuing to wear something that had gotten too big.  It seems like it's really hard for people to evaluate themselves accurately about these kinds of things, so I wanted some help with this.  And this week it happened.  I came in wearing some PFBs (pants from before) and she said, "Oh no, I don't think so...those pants are making flapping noises when you walk!"  Now this was both exciting and a little terrifying.  I could only think of one other pair of PFBs that I was going to be able to wear to work (at this point, I'm not comfortable in skirts or dresses) and buying new pants, even for this exciting reason, is still my worst nightmare.

    Before surgery, I had organized my clothing into piles labeled:

    • Fit before surgery/Wear right after surgery
    • Try a little while after surgery
    • Try a little while after that
    • Donate
    • Discard

    Then I also purchased some clothes online on clearance in a variety of sizes, maybe 6 shirts and a pair of stretchy capri exercise pants, sort of thinking that I'd be down a couple sizes by next summer.   Yes, I know, it takes some people awhile...

    So today I started by trying on those new shirts, the ones for next summer.  They were a range of sizes, one size to three sizes below the size I've been wearing.  They all fit, today, right now.

    Then I tried on all my PFWBs (pants from way before).  To my amazement, I now have five pairs of pants that fit, as well as some to donate and some for in a little while.  

    Next I tried on all the clothes I had slated to wear right after surgery.  Hmmmm, shirts had become tunics and tunics had become dresses...and mostly not in a good way.  Okay, time to reorganize and add to some of the aforementioned piles.

    I started trying on the "Try a little while after surgery" and I found many more items that are working.  Wow, I feel like I spent the day shopping and I didn't spend a dime!  Not only that, it was some positive affirmation that this big effort, this daily grind of cottage cheese and calcium pills, is really working.  Pretty soon I might even be able to say "when" I lose this weight instead of "if."

    The last thing I tried on was the new stretchy capri exercise pants, 3 sizes below.  I don't know why I tried them on; they clearly looked too small, but hey, it had already been a day of miracles and at least I'd have an idea of which pile to put them in for the future.  

    I'm wearing them right now.

  13. 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....

  14. LJ

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    lj1980
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    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

     

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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 :-)

  15. 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!!!!

     

  16. 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. 

     

  17. 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. 

     

  18. 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 

     

  19. 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!!!

  20. 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 

     

  21. 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.