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  1. I'm at almost six weeks out - that's coming on Tuesday. I haven't weighed myself in almost a week, so no idea how things are going there. I'll do that tomorrow. I've been away from my scale for that time, so it doesn't reflect any amazing self-control about not weighing myself. Just no scale access.

     

    I've spent the week at the international convention for my profession (job hunting, networking, etc), and this has been an interesting challenge for my the new me. Until this week, my eating has been a purely private affair, among those who know why I'm eating like a picky toddler and not drinking during my meal. During the convention, I ate several meals out and was for the most part very successful. I was also able to bring enough snacks (shakes and string cheese) with me so I could keep up my energy all day.

     

    The convention center had just a couple of sandwich places, and staying inside the facility all day was pretty grim anyway, so we decided to venture out into the city to eat at lunch each day. I was with my husband (we're in the same profession) and my BFF who flew in for the convention, and who I told about my surgery right away. She was actually very supportive and non-judgmental about it, and as an avid exercise/nutrition freak, was very interested to hear about all the physiological stuff. Anyway, they were both OK with choosing restaurants based on whether I felt I could choose something good there. 

     

    One day I had a Mexican bowl thingy with black beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa, and olives (no rice) and it was easy to eat and tasted good. I ate only a teeny bit because the beans were pretty heavy feeling, but it all went down well. Nothing really new here, just new to eat it in a restaurant. 

     

    Another day I tried Indian food. I had already had some palak paneer (spinach and cheese) from a ready-made foil pouch, so I was pretty sure it would go OK. The restaurant stuff was of course much better tasting, and I ate a fair bit of it, but not so much that my stomach was uncomfortable. As a table, we ordered palak paneer, malai kofta (cheese curd balls in cashew gravy - sounds awful in the description, but this is one of my favorite Indian dishes), and dal maharani (spicy lentils), plus naan (bread) for my two dining partners. The dal was disgusting because it was pretty oniony, and onions taste like poison to me now, as does garlic. The two other dishes were delicious and went down very well. They were pretty spicy, which was a little bit uncomfortable, maybe because it was just a new sensation, but not too bad. These dishes are mostly of a soft, pureed texture, so very easy to eat. I wasn't bothered by not eating the naan, even though I used to LOOOOOOOVE naan. I just sort of felt like, "This is not for me," and that was it. I drank a bunch of water before the food came, and then not during or after eating, which was a little weird, particularly since the food was spicy, but I managed just fine. 

     

    Another day I had Thai food, specifically red Thai curry with tofu. This sounds easy because I've had home versions of it previously, but unfortunately, this version had deep fried tofu instead of just cubes of plain tofu. Oops. I figured I'd try it just to see, but regretted it all afternoon. It just felt not good in my stomach to the point where I will definitely not try this again any time soon. I had to sit through several sessions with a very uncomfortable feeling. 

     

    For breakfasts, I ate little rolled up snacks of sliced Tofurkey (fake lunch meat) and swiss cheese. This is my new go-to thing. It tastes good, goes down well, and fills me up. One little roll of one slice of cheese and two little slices of Tofurkey are enough to really fill me up.

     

    In the evenings, we of course had to go out because that's what you do at conferences, so we ended up at a lot of brew-pubs (it was in Seattle). I used to really love a good microbrew, but it just tastes awful to me now. The bitter part of it is the only thing I can taste, and it's terrible. I drank ice water with lemon or bloody mary mix (no booze) instead. This was not difficult. I didn't miss the beer. I did have to explain to an old friend that I'd quit drinking as he paid for a round, but I think I played it off casually enough. He didn't ask any follow up questions, anyway. I suppose he's imagining AA or something. It really says something about my fear of acknowledging my issues with my weight that having someone think I have a drinking problem seems preferable to admitting to WLS...

     

    On evening outings, food was a little more difficult since we were in pubs, but one night they had pizza (awesome amazing pizza, apparently, if my companions are to be believed), but I skipped it because I've determined that pizza (or the toppings, anyway) doesn't sit that well with me. Another night the pub we were at had a cheese plate appetizer with several nice varieties of fancy cheese, plus crackers (ate one to try it - it was OK), apple slices (delicious - I was worried it might not settle well, but it was fine), and cranberry chutney (I dunked my cheese in it a few times). This was about the perfect pub meal, and I'll have to look for places that do this in the future. I can sit and fiddle with my food for as long as I like because it's a fiddly sort of dish, plus anyone can have some of mine because it's an appetizer, anyway. 

     

    All in all, it wasn't terribly difficult to eat out as long as I did some preliminary menu research online before going. It felt like the waiters were a little weirded out by how little I was eating, but whatever, they're not paid to judge my food consumption. 

     

    I'm really glad that I've already started this journey and lost around 40 pounds since pre-op. This made me feel a lot more confident in the job interviews that I had, which I'm sure is a quality that works to my advantage in hiring decisions. I'm hoping one of the places I interviewed with offers me a job - I've got another place I applied to online but haven't interviewed with yet that I'm really well qualified for and that I really hope I get an offer from. I know I'm counting my chickens, but if I get those two offers, I'll be really pleased.

     

     

     

  2. When I started this entry, I was staring resentfully at about three-quarters of a cup of pork larb (a Vietnamese meat salad I've adapted for my nutritional needs and abilities in Vietnamese cuisine, which are fairly minimal). Here's what I wrote about it: It's good—I know it is; I've eaten several portions of it in the last couple of days. It's savory, and salty, and fresh, and bright—there's red cabbage in there for crunch, red onion for bite, fresh parsley and cilantro from the pot on the windowsill, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, coconut aminos (I finished a bottle of soy sauce and now I'm using up this substitute still lingering in my pantry from my paleo moment). And yet I'm grumpy at having to eat it. I've had a hard time getting enough of anything in the last week or so—enough food, enough water. I can't imagine why, but I'm finding it such a struggle right now. I haven't been logging this week on MyFitnessPal just because it's so clear to me that I'm way under the mark, but I also know that I'm letting myself make up some of the gap in ways that don't really help me out (i.e. don't involve protein), so I need to keep an eye on that this week.

    It's still true that I'm feeling a lot of restriction right now. I'm not sure why—I'm under a good deal of stress in my personal life, but I've never been a person who lost her appetite when she was stressed out before. Usually quite the reverse. I'm also struggling with water still—not every day, but I'm coming in at 6 glasses as frequently as at 8 or above right now, and that's not where I want to be. I had a nasty bout of constipation—the only one I've had since surgery—and that might also have been a factor in appetite, I suppose, but it's over now. Anyway, I'm still keeping an eye on things. 

    I've mentioned here that I have an eating-disorders history; I'm not sure I've mentioned how serious it was. Has been. I was in treatment during what would otherwise have been the first semester of my junior year of college—inpatient, then intensive outpatient. The kind of treatment that means you've stopped your life in order to address something that is derailing it. I don't have many friends from that troubled, tumultuous, confusing, overwhelming time in my life, but I've got a couple, one of whom is back in New York after a stint of living and working and studying abroad. She came over last Saturday and we talked food and relationships and feminism and recovery, and it was very, very good. I'd forgotten how funny she is—she has a tendency to embroider and riff, and each laugh emboldens her, egging her on to ever greater rhetorical heights. It was great fun. I actually had told her that I was thinking of surgery, but hadn't told her I'd pulled the trigger, so I had to tell her that, and then was really glad I did. She instinctively asked the right questions: how did you manage it with your parents? How are you staying sane having to think about food and your body that much? It was always funny to me in treatment, being the fat girl amongst all of these girls whose private racing minds were always circling thinness, but the fact was, I found fellowship there. Not with everyone—much like I haven't found fellowship with everyone in fat politics, or everyone in powerlifting, or everyone anywhere, I suppose—but still. There was fellowship there, understanding, of a type that people who haven't been plunged into the tumult of profound dysfunction can't really grasp. They don't see its logic. 

    Anyway, I'm picking that lens back up. I'd let it drop over the last phase of my life—I think I thought that starting an Ivy League PhD meant that I had to be all better. I think I didn't know a way to be both kind of crazy and basically fine. The people who know me from this most recent phase of my life look at me and they don't see dysfunction. They don't see remedial. They don't see chaos, or insanity, or disorder. They think I'm fine. And that helped me see myself that way. But I also think that for a long time, I've been recovered enough—recovered enough to manage, but not to thrive. The post-surgical process is pushing me to take those hard steps, the next ones. I'm grateful. I'm trying to step up. I'm also overwhelmed, afraid, anxious. 

    I feel, sometimes, like an overlap of one—like I'm the only person who has the particular blend of eating-disorders and fat-politics approaches I have. And maybe I really am. I can't decide if that's lonely or if it means I should be talking about it—thinking, writing, making. 

    Anyway, this week was a long haul. But it was good. Painful, but good; hard, but good. Teaching is keeping me sane right now—it feels like the only break I get lately from the constant throb of feelings about my life and my body and the way they're all jumbled up together. Therapy is also keeping me sane right now, which is pretty much what it says on the tin.

    Yesterday's weight was 219.6 and sub-200 is suddenly feeling real.

  3. On March 29th at 9am I will be officially moving over to the Losers Bench!  

    Am I scared - yes 

    Am I sure I am ready to do this - yes

    Why am I doing this?   Oh so many reasons.... let me list just a few of this extensive list

    1) I want to be alive to see my kids graduate - get married - have their own families. I don't want to die young and miss it all

    2) I want to be as confident in my appearance as I am in my work - can't let my weight hold me back anymore

    3) Just took my first flight where I could not buckle the seatbelt and I DO NOT want to have to ask for a seat belt extender

    4) I don't want to go into a restaurant and be afraid they will seat us in a booth that I can't squeeze into or only be able to sit in chairs with no restricting arms

    5) I want my Happy back - I am so embarrassed with my body right now that it is hard to feel sexy or affectionate because I don't want anyone touching my rolls

    6) I want to be able to shop in any store, not just the ones with Plus Sizes

    7) I want to be able to walk my dog around the lake  - heck I would be happy to just be able to walk past my block at this point

    8) I want to learn Yoga without a spotter to help get me up off the floor

    9) I don't want to dread getting on the scale

    10) I want to hike in the mountains, bike around the countryside, snorkel in the ocean, basically live life, not watch it

    Now is my time to take back my life and live it to the fullest!!

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    I work at a hospital. In fact the very same hospital in which I am seeing the Bariatrics team. While I work in a different department Bariatrics is still part of the same directorate.

    I am a hallway away from where the Waiting list coordinator/Managers/Secretaries sit. I've been to meetings with them often and I know them well enough to say hello when I see them. I quite regularly see my Bariatric consultant and a few of the other practitioners just around as part of the work day. Luckily the entire team is very professional and would never let anyone else know that I was on the waiting list for a gastric bypass. But sometimes I still feel quite awkward.

    One of the reasons is that I am quite a private person. I have only told about four people I have decided to have this done. My Husband has told his family because we are very close to them.

    But at work, I just don't want everyone that I work with knowing everything about me. I worry sometimes that my work colleagues will find out and I would rather not face their judgement. Its possible that they could be fully supportive but I'm not sure they would. One of them has made her views quite clear about WLS in the past and the other had a band but had it removed and speaks very badly of the Bypass in general. I guess its just something on my mind a lot and I worry about.

    I did manage to speak to the Bariatric waiting list coordinator and she said the guesstimate I was given of April was pretty optimistic. Its more likely to be the start of Summer. Which I am okay with. I thought April seemed a bit soon and I have no problem waiting my turn. Besides it will give me a chance to try and lose some more weight before then.

  4. 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
    Latest Entry

    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.  

  5. Feb 28th was the end of my 4th month of the Supervised Weight Loss required by insurance. I did not lose any weight - however - I did not gain any weight, either. I weighed in at exactly the same (give/take a few ounces) as I did at the end of January. I am still at 35lbs under my highest weight. I am not celebrating and I am not upset, either. I still have 2 more months of supervised weight loss before surgery and I am focused on losing more between now and then.

    February 3rd was my birthday and I allowed myself to indulge this month without guilt. I had cheesecake multiple times during the month, I had friends take me out for drinks, nachos, brunch throughout the month. My father and I went to Las Vegas to see Cher on Valentine's Day. We ate mostly convenience/fast food and I had cocktails in the casinos. I splurged on Chinese food, Indian food, and Pizza at home. But every time I ate/drank something I tracked it on MyFitnessPal. All the good and all the bad. I tracked it all. I still had "high protein/low carb" on my mind every time I make my food choices. I allowed myself to splurge on certain meals and I would balance that out with healthy choices for the rest of the day/week.

    The nurse who I met with for my appointment did not shame me for my "bad month" but actually commended me that I did not gain. She reviewed my entire month of food - all the bad and the good - and she says it shows I can do "maintenance". I don't quite agree with her, because frankly there were times where I was a complete hedonist and binged without abandon. That is something I don't want to do again.

    I am not a fan of the "everything in moderation" mindset because I certainly don't want to talk myself into destructive behavior after I have surgery. I don't want to look back on my "last hurrah!" and my "food funerals" had this month and think to myself that it would be OK to go back to poor eating habits with the false bravado that I could "cheat" and not gain. And the nurse said it was OK to cheat from time to time. That false feeling of security is how other WLS patients get regain. I don't want to even entertain that idea that cheating is OK.

    I'm a food addict. You don't tell a drug addict that it's OK to have a little heroin from time to time just to treat yourself.

    My eyes are firmly on the goal of losing more before surgery. So March 1 I am back on track and so excited to be in Month 5 out of 6!. February is now over and I am back on track. Packed breakfasts, lunches for work. I have healthy dinners planned all week. Anyway...onward and downward!

     

  6. And sixth grade is the most Tuesday of middle school. At least for me it is. Tuesday has been shown to be the most depressing day of the five day work week. On Monday you are kind of still in the weekend feeling, trying to get back into the week. Tuesday is the day you are furthest away from the weekend mentally. Wednesday is hump day, you feel like "ok I'm halfway done, I can get through this!" 

    I keep wondering why this is so difficult. I remember the days when she had tantrums, I had to change diapers, I never slept through the night and I think this can't possibly be more difficult than that was can it?

    Oh but it is. I don't know why, but I'm trying to break it down without revealing too much about my daughter. Because I'm not allowed to talk about her in public because it might embarrass her. So not only are we going through hard times, we aren't allowed to talk about it in public because oh.my.god.mom.i'm.going.to.die. 

    I'm not allowed to even look like I'm close to doing anything that might resemble dancing anywhere. Because.oh.my.god.mom. So I do it anyway because you know, she was ten days late and she didn't sleep through the night until she was five, if I want to dance a little to a good song in the Walgreen's, she can deal with it!

    Also now she is highly aware of everything I'm doing. It's annoying, to be honest. When they are younger they have no clue what you are doing in your personal life and they don't care. She's so nosey now, and I have to be so aware of everything I'm doing. It sucks to be honest. But I have to because I need to be a good role model.

    And she wants to bake all this sweet stuff, which is great. But at the same time, when she was younger I could control what food came in the house, and now it's like I'm a horrible person if I tell her she can't make cookies. I mean I'm the one who had WLS. I don't want her to feel like I'm forcing her to eat like me. She wants me to bake with her and I'm like "I had weight loss surgery, I have no interest in making things I can't or don't want to eat." I'm proud of her because she is so good at it, but again she still needs help.

    And she's learning how to cook, which again is good but it's like she's not able to do it on her own, so I have to help her.

    It's like she's this mini adult who is trying to learn so many things, it's this exhausting stage where she wants to be independent in so many things, but dammit, it's not like learning how to put a puzzle together or something, she could burn the damn house down. As it is, every time one of us cooks something that has a lot of steam in it our damn smoke alarm goes off and we take turns fanning the broom under it. I think we need to ask the landlord for a new one that doesn't go off from steam. It shouldn't be a steam alarm.

    And then there's social media, and her phone, and there are times when I look at her phone, and she gets this look on her face of fear. And I say "What are you doing?" and she acts like she's doing something she shouldn't be doing and ends up having a damn melt down over it. Then it turns out it was actually NOTHING. Like literally NOTHING. She just doesn't want me looking at her phone because. And I try and try to explain to her she should have no sense of privacy on her phone and I'm sorry but I have to be able to look at it sometimes because this world is crazy, and I feel like I'm going crazy trying to keep her safe while she naively assumes I'm insane.

    It's like she's a toddler again, when I felt like every minute of her life she was trying to kill herself. Anything she could put in her mouth went in her mouth, anything she could climb, she would climb, it was like she had a death wish. I used to have to lock the bathroom door from the inside to keep her from going in there. Then I had to unlock it from the outside with a cut wire hanger. We had baby locks on all the cabinets, we had gates at the bottom and top of the stairs. One day I looked up and she had climbed up the side of the stairs, the inches that were on the outside of the railing. 

    It's amazing to me sometimes that this girl is still alive. She's not a dare devil anymore thank god. But then I come home the other day and she's outside playing with kids. It's the first time she's done that since we moved here and I think "yay!" But then I realize I don't know who these kids are and I don't know their parents. I don't know what to tell her, how far away can she go with them, is the dog going to keep her safe? I tell her not to go into anyone's house without asking, I don't know who these kids are but at the same time I can't keep her in a damn padded cell until she goes off to college. 

    And she just decided to cook eggs one day while I wasn't home even though I told her not to use the stove, but she was fine and nothing bad happened. So I don't know, what the hell am I doing right now? And she goes through times when she is so hormonal and crabby, and I'm probably perimenopausal and she's probably going to get her period soon. She would die if she knew I was talking about this with anyone because oh.my.god.mom. Also I'm not allowed to see her in any state of undress whatsoever even when trying on clothes in a store, which is great because if I'm not in there with her she takes FOREVER because she dances around and fools around and acts silly and loses track of what she's supposed to be doing. 

    And god forbid she should see me in any state of undress ever, like if I'm getting ready to go to work and she just comes in my room she will get upset with me for not being fully dressed. Excuse me? This is my room. Oh she also loves to come in my room and snuggle, and then she wants to sleep with me again sometimes, which is cute but sometimes I just want to be alone. 

    And she has issues with her friends, and they fight like middle school girls do and she wants to tell me everything which is great because I'd rather her tell me too much than not enough! But after a while it's the same damn little fights and I just want to say "Then don't be friends anymore!" 

    And I remember my mom used to just say "go play outside! I need some peace!" and we would gladly go, and just be out all evening, and my parents had no idea where I was until it was dinner time and then we came in, ate dinner, maybe did some chores, and went back out until it was night time. They didn't entertain us or worry about our socialization or anything. 

    No wonder parents feel like we are going to lose our damn minds sometimes. 

    Anyway she drives me nuts but I love her! I just really wish I could say I enjoy every day and that we have this amazing time together but lord god, some days.....

     

  7. About 6 years ago, I joined this community and became HOOKED on the fact that I could use the gastric bypass as a tool to help in the extreme battle of the bulge.  I had my surgery on 3-19-12, and it was a complete success. 

    I'll go ahead and answer the burning question:  At my heaviest documented weight, I was 397lbs.  When my surgery was scheduled, I was down to 268lbs.  My goal weight was 145.  The lowest I ever got was 147. Today, I'm weighing in at 161(and not too happy about it). Will I battle for the last 16lbs to be gone??  Of course!!  What's 16 lbs when you started at 397?? 

    Let's get real:  life is messy.  Gastric bypass doesn't make it any less messy.  Since my last blog, I lost down to 147lbs, then gained some back.  However, I survived my hubby's 2.5 year deployment, infidelity in my marriage, a long pause then restart to my math degree (I feel your cringes from here), moving across the country, complete separation from half of my family, hospitalization for viral meningitis for one month and subsequent detox from fentanyl over the span of 2 months, AND 5 years of growth for each of my girls. 

    I decided, however, that it's important to continue my blog on thinnertimesforum.  Along the way, I will post about real life, real food, and the real challenges that I face daily.  I promise to document every achievement, shortfall, and swan dive off of the wagon. 

    Last November, I started becoming frantic, frankly.  I knew I was losing control, again.  I started looking WAY too much like 397lb me. 

    Here are my personal warning signs that I'm reverting:

    1.  Avoiding the scale or making excuses like, "That's not 'real' weight; I'm about to start my period in 2 weeks.  Or, my favorite, "It must be water weight from the salt I had yesterday."  No sweetie, it was the fries that the salt was on. 

    2.  Daily decisions to "start a new lifestyle."  In November, I decided to do the 5 day pouch. It was "ridiculous this far post-op."   Then, I decided I would live and Atkins lifestyle.  Reality check:  Atkins plus carbohydrates isn't Atkins.  It was "too hard while I'm in school." 

    3.  I suddenly have a larger stack of "goal" jeans in my closet than I do of current fit jeans.  That's okay, self, "you'll get back into them after the holidays.  The hubby must've shrunk them in the dryer." 

    4.  I keep telling myself that "I'm a health foodie. I wrote a wholefoods blog. I don't eat like that" as I'm eating a burger or handful of chips. 

    5.  My house is suddenly bursting at the seams with junk food and chocolate and I lie to myself, "it's for the hubby and the kids."  Yeah, honey?? Then, stop eating their food.

    6.  I KNOW deep down that I'm letting the food monster creep back in...nay, the food monster is here, bigger than life.  But, if I cram the food into my mouth super fast, the calories somehow won't count.....  There's not even any logic in that one.

    I'm done with that version of myself.  Done.  So, I've spent several weeks reflecting on my journey.  This is a fork in the road, a pivotal moment in my life.  Will I be a success long-term or will I become one of those people that everyone's co-worker warned you about----that lady everyone knows that had gastric bypass and ended up bigger than before. 

    Here are the truths that I've written down to remind myself what's at stake:

    1.  "Living to eat" only leads to one place.  Weight loss surgery is like playing a game of chutes and ladders.  All it did was set me back at the beginning.  If I take the same footsteps I did before, I will get to the exact same place. I used to say, "If I had it to do over again, I would have.......(never stopped running, fallen in love with nutritious food, said no to every second helping, etc...)"  I got a re-do.  I'm calling my own bluff.  Am I strong enough to do it differently this time?  Every step counts.  I will make the most of each one.

    2.  Maintaining my spoiled-brat food attitude means failure.   Eating to live means prioritizing my health TODAY, not starting tomorrow.  If there's anything we should all know, it's that being healthy is freedom and being unhealthy is a prison of flesh.  So, why have I been choosing things that are unhealthy to put inside my body?? Isn't it about time that I give it what it needs instead of what I want??  Is it only in America that we whine about eating fresh fruits and veggies while other parts of the planet don't have any??  Is it only in America that we whine about how fresh food doesn't taste good enough because we don't get the taste of cheesecake with every bite?  Are we a nation of fist-pounding toddlers refusing to eat our green beans and wanting to move straight to dessert?  Attitude is a decision.  Changing it is as easy as changing my mind.  "Do or do not, there is no try--Yoda"

    3.  There is NO cheat code for this game.  There is NO way to live a life of food splurging and NOT gain all of my weight back.  There is no magical combination of foods that will allow me to "eat the foods I love and still lose weight" unless I learn to love foods that are healthy for my body.   If my plate holds the same foods that it did when I was 397lbs, I should run, terrified, to the garbage bin, scrape it frantically, and start over.  We all know the combination to weight loss.  This is not rocket science.  Eat an appropriate amount of foods that are dense in nutrients and lead an active life.  LIVE.

    4.  I am not "cured." I will always be a food-aholic; I should never let my guard down.  Food is not a reward.  Using it to celebrate is dangerous.  Do alcoholics give themselves a pass on their birthdays or holidays?? I sure hope not.  Rewarding myself with dangerous food reinforces my food addiction and makes it easier to make excuses for the next meal...like "I've already blown "my diet" for the day, I'll start again tomorrow."  I have had enough fried and sugary foods for a lifetime.  Eating them did not make me happy.  In fact, eating them made me miserable.  I will remember that this is not my "diet," this is my life.  This is not my lifestyle.  This is my life.  This is a life that "blowing it" with a plate of food means walking back toward being a mommy that couldn't bend over to tie her own shoes.  This is a life that is worth more than trading it for a piece of cake or a slice of pizza. 

     

    BACK TO MYSELF:

    The last 16 lbs will be reached by becoming again the best version of myself, not by further depleting my body.  I'm currently on day 8 of going back her.  She wrote a daily whole foods blog and was a serious health foodie.  Every bite of food that went into her mouth was for one reason:  TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY of her life.  She believed in the power of nutrition to heal and that foods should be eaten as close to their natural state as possible.  She didn't need to count calories, fat grams, carbs, etc... because when you're living the right way, your body balances itself.  And, the greatest part of all.....I'm still her.  I just need to remind myself of that. 

     

     

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  9. madre7

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    madre7
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    Hello, I'm new. has anyone had pain like someone "kicked them in the stomach" ? when I wake up, when I drink or not., it doesn't seem to go away, walking helps but it comes right back soon. I had sleeve done on 12/14/2016 and I was wondering if anyone has any ideas that helped them relieve this awful pain. please help, thanks

  10. Warning: horn tooting ahead:

    When I began this bariatric adventure my leg pain and numbness was so bad I could barely walk or stand for five minutes. I had to stop working at a big hospital back East and move home to my family on the West coast. I told the team at the weight loss clinic that my goal was to get down to where I could be back on my feet and get back to work, if not I would have to go on disability.  I'm an ultrasound technologist, so it's long hours on hard floors all around the hospital. Well today, I got a job offer :D from the nice little hospital five minutes from my house. I have worked so hard to be able to stand and walk again. I really think I will be able to do the work.

    Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the surgeon's office for my 6 month follow up from RNY and I get to tell them the good news. I have lost over 100 lbs :D (some of that was pre-op diet) and am somewhere in Twoterville :D. My home scale won't give me a reliable reading, so I don't know exactly where I am. My primary doctor told me a few weeks ago that I am having the best outcome of anyone he has ever worked with through this process. That really helps make me feel good when I worry that I should be losing faster.

    So anyway, not to ramble and brag, but I have hit the century mark, made it to Twoterville, and got a job.  Life is good.

  11. IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT ONE MONTH HAS PASSED SINCE I WAS SLEEVED.

    HIGHEST WT. 261 LBS.

    WEIGHT AT BEGINNING OF JOURNEY 251 LBS.

    DATE OF SLEEVE OCT. 21, 2016

    WEIGHT ON DAY OF SURGERY 241 LBS.

    CURRENT WEIGHT 213.1 LBS.

    IF YOU ARE HAVING BARIATRIC SURGERY AS THE SOLUTION TO YOUR WEIGHT LOSS ISSUES, YOU COULDN'T BE MORE WRONG.

    I AM SURE YOU HAVE HEARD IT IS JUST A TOOL.....AND IT IS. HAVING BARIATRIC SURGERY REQUIRES A LIFE CHANGING COMMITMENT .  HOW YOU ASK? WELL, MOST REQUIRED PREPS ARE VERY DIFFICULT.  FOR ME, IT WAS A STRICK DIET FROM THE DAY OF MY CONSULT UNTIL 2 WEEKS BEFORE SURGERY .  THEN, IT WAS A 2 WEEK LIQUID DIET .  THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY AND ALL LIQUIDS. NO CAFFEINE ,  NO SODA, NO ALCOHOL, NO SUGARY DRINKS AND NO CARBINATED DRINKS.

    I LOVE THE WEIGHT LOSS I'VE EXPERIENCED AND THE COMPLEMENTS .  SINCE SURGERY I'VE HAD TO FOLLOW SEVERAL EATING PLANS.

    WEEK 1: SAME LIQUID DIET AS PRE OP

    WEEK 2 & 3: PUREED DIET. 1 1/2 OZ. PROTEIN AND 1 OZ. FRUIT OR VEGGIE. NOT ALL FRUITS OR VEGGIES.

    WEEK 4 & 5: SOFT DIET. SAME AS PUREED EXCEPT FOOD IS NOT PUREED.

    WEEK 5: I AM NOW ABLE TO EAT MOST FOODS AND UP TO 4 OZ. OF PROTEIN ,  IF POSSIBLE. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DIET PLAN AFTER THIS.

    IT IS IMPORTANT ,  ALTHOUGH NOT MANDATORY ,  THAT YOU HAVE THE SUPPORT OF FAMILY AND OR FRIRNDS. EACH PERSON HEALS AT A DIFFERENT RATE SO YOU MAY NEED HELP FOR LONGER THAN YOU THINK. IT TAKES A WHILE TO GAIN YOUR ENERGY BACK. I AM STILL WAITING. BUT I THANK GOD EVERYDAY THAT MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN HERE FOR ME AT EACH TURN OF MY JOURNEY. 

    FOR ME, THESE ARE THE HARDEST LIFE CHANGES:

    NO DECAF FOR A MONTH AND NO CAFFEINE AT ALL.

    NO BREAD, PASTA OR WHITE POTOES UNTIL MONTH 6.

    AND....TALK ABOUT LIFE CHANGES . .NOTHING TO DRINK BEFORE EATING, DURING EATING AND FOR AN HOUR AFTER EATING.

    EATING HAS CHANGED, TOO....TAKE A BITE, PUT FORK DOWN, CHEW AT LEAST 20 TIMES PER BITE, SWALLOW, COUNT TO AT LEAST W0 BEFORE TAKING ANOTHER BITE.

    NOW DON'T GET ME WRONG. I AM HAPPY TO MAKE THESE CHANGES. MY PURPOSE FOR THIS SURGERY WAS TO GET HEALTHY, NOT TO WEAR A BIKINI. SINCE SURGERY ,  MY BLOOD PRESSURE MEDS. HAVE BEEN CUT IN HALF, I AM OFF SOME OF MY HEARTBURN MEDS AND WILL BE OFF THE REST BY THE END OF MY 2ND MONTH. I HAVEN'T HAD TO HAVE A STEROID INJECTION IN MY BACK AND AS I SAID IN A PREVIOUS POST ,  I AM ABLE TO WALK BETTER THAN I HAVE IN YEARS.

    SO READ THIS CAREFULLY .  USE IT AS PART OF YOUR RESEARCH TO SEE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO OR WILLING TO MAKE THE NECESSARY CHANGES.

    GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR DECISIONS!!

    Clip on the pictures below. The top picture was taken at the end of week 4. The bottom picture was taken the day before surgery . 

     

    End_week_4.jpg

    2016-10-29 15.58.55.jpg

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    amandr
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    I haven't been around in a while! Lots of life has happened in the last few months. I got a new (much better) job, my husband and I are moving out of our house because our landlord decided to sell it, and I finished the last of my appointments for all my pre-op requirements last Friday! it's been very stressful and a little overwhelming but I'm trying to deal with it by taking my stress out at the gym rather than in the kitchen.

    Of course there's a problem with my new insurance, because I started a new job & thus got new insurance. It seems like what I have done so far under my old plan is not going to be enough for my new insurance. My prior employer's insurance had a 6-month monitor requirement whereas now I have to have a 12-month program. Thankfully I only lapsed one month because of the job change (I have an allowance of 3 months can be lapsed in the new program). So I think the worst that will happen is that I'm going to have to keep going with the pre-op appointments until April. I hope I can just get a waiver since I completed everything under my old plan, but since I still don't even have my insurance cards I can't be sure what I need to do yet. Until then I'm just going to stick with it, keep exercising & eating right, and keep making monthly appointments until I hear different. 

    It sucks I have to wait 6 MORE MONTHS, but honestly the first 6 went by so quickly it will be April before I know it.

    Now to make sure I don't have any holiday gain!

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    #SelfieLife #Beautiful #FaceBeat #EyebrowsonFleek etc, etc, etc!!!! 

    How many times have I taken a gorgeous photo of my face, hair done, makeup done and posted it to my social media accounts? I can't even count at this point. But the truth is, what about the other portion of my body? Some may say I am "THICK" or "CURVY" or a little extra to hold on to… I pride myself on loose fitting tank tops to disguise the muffin top that I have gradually created for myself. Jeans? I forgot what those were! The thought of trying them on one leg at a time only to get to my hips and either JUMP, shake or suck in my gut to put them on has become a tiring task in its’ self. Leggings have become my new best friend along with flats. FLATS are the new high heel for fashion in my closet! Just the thought of squeezing my now chubby toes into a sexy 5-6 inch heel is tiring enough… Now, I just want everything to SLIDE N GLIDE… slide into my leggings and glide away in my flats… awe the simple life!

    But is it really so simple? I have just been getting by and accepting the unhealthy physical change not even truly knowing that my mental has adjusted to this bad habit as well. I think that I secrete confidence and in reality I am disguising my pain and defeat. I wish I would have thought about it a while ago. I wish I would have known that my SELFIE is SELFLESS without my true worth being the  equivalent to the picture. This is NOT going to be an easy journey, but I can only pray that GOD gives me the strength and courage to make every appointment, to be sure to be as up forth and coming with all of my flaws, to be patient in the process. My goal is not to just be SKINNY! I want to be GREAT in all aspects and not just SLIDE and GLIDE thru life, but to be able to LIVE it…

     

    Today I go to my 1st VGS seminar with DR. Douglas Khan… today marks the 1st day of my new life… My #SelfieLife will no longer be just a face, but a new self-image ALL THE WAY AROUND!

  12. Jonnie

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    Jonnie
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    I just joined fitness pal, it sure sounds like alot of calories they want me to eat!! 1570 a day? wow and 196 carbs...does that sound a bit high?

  13. Hi!  Next week I will be having the sleeve surgery.  I have been debating with myself on whether or not to keep before pictures of myself.  I honestly don't want to remember or see how big I really am.  However, looking at all the before and after pics of people, it is amazing the transformation that people have gone through and achieved.  Does anyone have thoughts about this? 

    As for body measurements, I know my weight but don't really care for the rest.  Should I take measurements too?

    As for my clothing, I am throwing out anything that no longer fits me as I lose weight.  It seems if I keep it, I end up back in them again.  I am ending this yo-yo cycle on October 17th.  I think I am just stressing about everything right now. 

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    EverybodylovesADanish
    Latest Entry

    I don't know why. But i have always had problems with stalls. 
    I was never built a thin person. I have always had a little extra on the sides. That followed me through my chilhood, and up to my teens, where i did something about it. 

    I started taking Ephedra and Coffein, plus i joined i Gym. Then it started to go quick. 
    I was nearly down on my ideal weight with no stalls really. But as soon as i stopped with the pills, i regained. 
    I continued taking them as long as i could. But then i could not more. My head would not allow it. I began to experience anxiety and stress. 
    After that i was put on a SSRI. And i really began to gain weight. I stopped with them, but i could never loose weight as i could before. 
    Maybe i just got older, and my metabolism changed. I don't know. 

    But in five years, with many attempts. I have tried to loose weight, and get under 118 kg's. But never succeeded. There is something that is stopping it there. It's like i hit a brick wall every time.
    No matter what i eat, no matter how many months. It just doesn't matter. 

    But now i have had the surgery, and i'm almost down there. And i'm stalling again. I have stalled for over a week. Almost two now. 
     

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    babykinz53
    Latest Entry

    Sitting here sipping my soup, doing last minute research for my Gastric Bypass on Tuesday.

    Been on a liquid diet for 7 days, and it hasn't been too bad. Lots of yummie soup, which by the way, Imagine makes a really great line of creamy organic soups. Naturally low fat and very yummie. I am enjoying the Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, tomorrow is clear liquids so I have some broths on stand by.

     

    So far in my journey to the new me I have eliminated several things from my life.  Caffeine, Sugar, white flour, and diet pop. The diet pop was the hardest, I had physical withdraw symptoms. Every muscle in my body ached, I was light headed most of the time, and the fatigue, ohhhh the fatigue, all I wanted to do was sleep. Took a good two weeks to feel normal again. It scary the thought of something that can cause such withdraws was such a huge part of my life since I was a teenager.

     NO-DIET-SODA-300x200.jpg

     

     

  14. VicWytch
    Latest Entry

    Well, I certainly didn't expect this to happen so soon. I am 8 months out and only 2 LBS (!!!!) away from *my* goal of 130 lbs. I'm pretty amazed at this process, honestly, and a little fearful for the future. I know that I will probably weigh less than 130 lbs in the next few months, but I don't want to go too far. I'm 5'2" so presently I'm at the high range of the 'normal' BMI now. I have been 120lbs before and I was WAY too skinny and looked unhealthy. Even now people are saying "don't lose too much" and "you look great but don't lose anymore". 

    I have my next NUT/doc appointment in another month and my topic of conversation will be about maintenance. Is it too soon to start thinking about that? Everything I've read has people adding back in 'good fats' to maintain, such as nuts, avocado, cheese, etc. But these are foods I already eat--I've never gone the low-fat route on this journey as I believe good fats are essential to a healthy body. My normal blood work proves this to be true FOR ME. YMMV.

    Some things I've noticed at the 8 month mark: 

    • My appetite has not returned yet. There are times when I 'crave' certain foods, but I've not experienced hunger like I used to. I do notice when I have low blood sugar and need to eat, however. Same jitters as before.
    • I cannot tolerate chicken or turkey. At all. I've tried at various times and I still feel as if it gets stuck at top of my pouch. This saddens me greatly as I feel most of the food choices and recipes center around chicken. For substitutions, I eat shrimp (probably more than I should), ground beef, regular beef steak, white fish, tuna, and pork is ok.
    • I'm still not getting more than 900 calories a day. I try and try to add more, but I just can't do it. This worries me.
    • I absolutely love the Premier Protein shakes and usually use it as creamer in my coffee every morning. (My fav is the new Banana flavor and Chocolate of course.) This also means I've been able to cut the Splenda and Half & Half that used to be the staple. I think it's a better substitute.
    • While I haven't added any breads, pastas or rice in my diet at all, I have tried a few things: wheat thins with tuna salad, for example. Rice noodles with veggies and cod. When I was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago for work, I tried 1/2 slice of their brown bread (brod) with salted butter. (Yes, it was delicious.) But again, I notice that my pouch fills up quickly so I still tend to focus my meals on the protein first.
    • My body is entirely different than it was when I weighed this over 15 years ago. My butt sags, as does my arms and tummy. And I wear clothing very differently--which has been eye-opener. Before when I would look for the right pair of jeans to fit my booty, now I fit into every size 8 I try on, as there is no booty left to stuff in!! :-)
    • Second-hand stores are my friends. Goodwill has been a lifesaver, as has ThredUp.com which sells nice used clothing for very cheap.

    If anyone has any advice or words of wisdom, would be very glad to hear them!!!

    IMG_3946.JPG

  15. Sue Dohnim
    Latest Entry

    I changed surgeons a few months ago; we moved to a community north of Austin in March, and the drive downtown was killing me (never mind parking, ugh!), so I asked to be reassigned to a different surgeon in the clinic that's in Round Rock (I'm north of RR, too, but it's a lot closer than downtown Austin!). NB: I didn't change surgeons because I didn't like him - no, I adore Dr Faulkenberry. I already drive over 100 miles a day just to get stuff done, and to add a trip to downtown Austin was more than I could stand. I love Dr Acheson, too - just as nice, and we have a great connection re football (he's a former college QB!). 

    So I saw Dr A on June 16th. He was very happy with my progress. He nodded along with my long tale about my umpteen doctors regarding my anemia and my hypothyroidism - "as long as you're following up with it and staying on top of it, I'm not going to worry too much." Believe me, I want this other crap over and done with and stabilized so I can move on with life.

    He looked at my weight and smiled: "As of today's visit, your BMI [34.6] is no longer in the morbidly obese range." And: "Your weight is great - you're at 202; I bet it will feel great to be under 200 here shortly!" Yeah, baby!

    I've been busy with a zillion things since that day, including a blood transfusion and the beginning of a second set of ten iron infusions (yeah, I was/am walking dead anemic, have been for a long time). My son's school year ended, and I've been trying to keep him busy, including a month's camp. 

    BUT!

    Today, I finally got into an endocrinologist, Dr Singh. I have to say, I love her... and, as I said to my better half, I love all my Texas doctors. I've gotten more accomplished in the 18 months we've been here than all that time in Phoenix. My docs are no-nonsense, Dr Singh included. She popped me on Synthroid immediately with samples, before she fired off my prescription to the pharmacy. Now THAT'S progress!

    But as of today, officially at the endocrinologist's office, I weigh 197. 197! 

    I AM IN ONEDERLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *cartwheels*

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    darkandsparkling
    Latest Entry

    So, first blog entry and it's a unpleasant one! lol!.... I did something stupid and had to send an email to my senior support nurse for support......well, the experience has taught me to not have anything outside 'my plan' I have created! the liquids are not rich on that!

    Despite my senior support nurse being away on holiday, she still logged on and answered saying that I would be ok and not to worry....she said that there will be some things that I just can't eat, but that in a few months if you try them again (if you want to) then they may be ok that time! ....weird!  Just shows you how fragile you can be sometimes inside without knowing it! I certainly found out the hard way! Have absolutely no problems following the experience and feel absolutely fine! :-)

     

     

    This is the panicky email I wrote the following email yesterday to my senior nurse!:

    Sorry to disturb you, but, I have just been violently sick, threw up twice, in short succession; everything I had to eat came back up and then as there was no more it just stopped, and now feel as right as rain!  I am worried though, in case I have actually damaged any stiches or staples or something?  It seemed like my whole body went into spasm, and severe pain all over, and it was the worst I have ever felt while being sick, and a very frightening feeling.
     
    I can only assume that it was down to what I had just had.....I had drunk quite a large glass of milk, and not by sipping it either, which I know I should have done, I just didn't think.....then, as I was thinking of going to get some Bouillon for lunch, my house share mate said he had some really tasty gravy leftover from his cooking for his lunch, and said why didn't I have it...well, I did, and it was lovely, but very spicy and very rich....I guess it was too rich for me, coupled with the glass of whole milk I had (which was also his as I had run out of my skimmed and haven't been to the shops yet), I guess my body just expelled it. 
     
    What should I do? If anything? (apart from not doing that again).  Will I be ok?
     

     

  16. When I was getting ready for my gastric bypass surgery, I read whatever I could about it.  Back then, blogs and online support groups were pretty new, and few and far between, so I read a few books on the topic.  Now, there are tons of online resources, but I still really like a "all info in one place" book.  Here is a list of 7 of the most popular and helpful out there!

    The Sleeved Life  by Pennie Nicola is about her journey getting the vertical sleeve gasterectomy.  The cool thing about this book is she combines her personal story with lots of the most recent research on this type of WLS.

    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B007US3LTM&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B007US3LT

    The Big Book on the Gastric Bypass has everything about gastric bypass, from how to pick a surgeon, what to expect pre-op, how the surgery is performed, recovery, etc.  It has lots of info about afterwards as well, how much you can expect to lose, the diet, & exercising after.

    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00EBY8NOQ&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B00EBY8NO

    Weight Loss Surgery:  The Real Skinny is a great one that talks about all the "bad" parts of WLS.  It goes over the mental aspects, how to change your relationship with food, and how to handle when you don't get the results you were hoping for.

    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00GTYYVS8&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B00GTYYVS

    The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients (3rd addition) has stories from patients that have had all different bariatric surgeries.  Patients interviewed are long term success stories, from 5, 10, 15 years ago, some from 30 years ago!

    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B008MOKSOO&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B008MOKSO

    Back On Track After Weight Loss Surgery is great for any of us struggling with weight regain, with slipping into bad eating habits, not making time to work out, etc.
    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00QXLT4K2&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B00QXLT4K

    Weight Loss Surgery for DummiesWeight Loss Surgery for Dummies I absolutely love the "Dummies" books so of course this one had to make the list!  As all the other "Dummies" books, this one is written in clear, easy to understand language, tons of tips and tricks, and fun to read.

    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B008IU9MU8&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B008IU9MU

    Al Roker:  Never Goin' Back I had to include Al Roker from NBC on this list.  He is such an inspiration, and this open and honest story of his life, his struggles as a child with his weight, and what finally led him to getting bariatric surgery, is a must read

    q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0087GJPEG&Format=ir?t=bettebaria-20&l=li2&o=1&a=B0087GJPE

    Most of these are available hardcopy or on your kindle, which is personally my favorite way to read :)