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Well, apparently I am not thinking or doing much that feels novel at this point, because my last update was my 9 month update. I should write more frequently. I find that it helps me think.
That said, I kind of feel like I’ve been waiting to update until I hit goal, which I THOUGHT was going to be in the last week or so. I am holding steady at 151 pounds, though, despite my efforts, which include donating blood, shaving off all of my hair, and trying to give myself a nasty stomach bug (just kidding, I’ve taken none of these steps, I’m not even doing anything to shake up my diet like going back to all shakes or anything - just doing what I’ve been doing). Come on, hit GW already. I know, it should be slowing down now that I'm close, but COME ON!
So, as a general check in, I’m doing really really well. My health feels great. I’m not hungry yet (come on, honeymoon, give me a few more months!), I’m right on track with my eating for losing (+/-800 calories per day, 50% or so from fat, 65-85g of protein per day), and I feel pretty happy with my body at the moment. I suspect it will continue to change quite a lot over the next year, but hopefully in a good way.
I sprained my knee last weekend while hiking, so I’m not exercising at the moment. I think I’ll take a couple of weeks off and see how it feels before I try to get back into the gym in any way. It’s a bit painful, and just getting around means limping and being careful of it, but it is actually getting a lot better. It’ll be a week tomorrow, and I feel I can safely say that it’s healing. It’s funny because I actually miss going to the gym. It was really getting to be a part of my daily routine that I looked forward to, and not doing it now feels a bit sad. I guess that’s a good sign.
I’m still regularly visiting my tailor to get stuff taken in (some things are beyond the ability of a tailor now, but I’m hanging onto what I can). The tailor thinks it’s pretty funny every time I bring stuff in. It’s certainly nice not to have to buy a whole new wardrobe every couple of months. The closer I get to goal, the more quickly I move between sizes, so the more frequently I need stuff tailored. I guess it makes sense that losing 15 pounds when it’s 10% of what you weigh makes a whole lot bigger difference than when it's 5% of what you weigh... Sometimes when I try things on now, I look in the mirror and think, “Wow, I look really tiny!” That’s a nice feeling.
I did buy some new clothes in Dubai a few weekends ago - the selection there is way better than here. I bought three dresses and a pair of jeans. The dresses are really cute and I think they will last through 10 more pounds of losses just fine as they have well-defined waistlines (plus I suppose I could get them tailored if not). The jeans will not last through 10 more pounds of losses and I DON’T CARE. I never never never wear jeans when I’m really any heavier than I am now. They just don’t look good on my body - I have big legs: thighs, knees, ankles, the whole bit from top to bottom. Or bottom to ankles, I guess. I prefer to disguise them. When I was shopping, I thought, hey, I’ll try on some jeans and just see how things are going in that department. Maybe I’ll be thin enough to look good in them soon. I grabbed a pair in size 14, which I figured I had a fair chance of fitting into. In the dressing room, I pulled them up easily and buttoned them, and they fell down around my butt. They were way too big. I swapped them out for 12 and 10, and went straight for the 10s, thinking that way, I’d at least know which size was actually too small. The 10s were perfect. I probably should have gone for some 8s but I could not wrap my mind around the idea of even trying them on. Like it literally didn’t occur to me to even look at them. The 10s fit, and they’ll be too big soon, but I BOUGHT SOME JEANS! So fantastic. I’m wearing them right now. It feels like one of those totally normal things that thin people take for granted: Wearing jeans. Shopping for jeans. Trying on jeans. Fitting into jeans. Not feeling like I want to smash the mirror in the dressing room and run out crying when I see myself in the jeans. It’s a good thing that thin people don’t know what goes through our heads - they’re way too fragile to deal with that sh*t I also was able to try on a bunch of stuff that, although it fit, didn’t look how I wanted it to, so I didn’t buy it. One dress fit great, but the sleeves were too short. Something that would not have deterred me before. That’s a real luxury! Normally if it fit, I would buy it because 1) Who knows when I’ll next run into stuff that fits, and 2) Who cares, it all looks bad. Oh, and 3) I hate shopping, get me out of here. Things are different now! Shopping felt like going to Disneyland, mixed with Christmas morning. I can shop in any store I want. So fantastic. I felt like skipping through the mall.
Different from a lot of people I’ve read on here, I feel like my brain is quickly adjusting to being thinner and taking it for granted, like this is the real me and fat me was a bad dream or something. I’m not sure what that says about my psyche. My brain feels more shocked to see pictures of myself fat than thin. I feel like I could almost erase the fat years, somehow, which doesn’t seem very fair to my fat self, since of course life happens whether you’re fat or thin, and I’ve spent a lot more of my life at a weight I don’t want to be than a weight I do want to be. I seem to identify with the thin me better, though - it feels like it’s who I actually AM. Weirdly, I still look down at my body at times, and at certain angles, and think, “I still look fat,” or “My legs are still fat,” or whatever. I mean, I know it’s not really true, but my eyes do still see fat in certain places at certain times. I think it has to do with being a lot thinner, but still being the same shape, if you know what I mean. My thighs are still the biggest part of me. Therefore I look at them and think “fat.” I read somewhere long ago about some psychological study where the researchers did eye tracking on men and women when they looked in a full length mirror, and when they looked at full body photos of people of both sexes. Women tended to look at specific parts and focus on areas they perceived to be flawed, and this was true whether they looked in the mirror or at pictures of others. Men tended to take in the whole package at once (and appraise more generously). I think this seems to be true for me, and my thoughts that go along with looking at those specific areas are certainly usually negative. I try to be nicer to myself. It’s hard, though. Too many years of practice with negative thoughts about myself.
That’s about it for this update. I hope I’ll be back with celebratory news about hitting GW soon. For right now, I’m going to have a camping weekend with plenty of healthy stuff to eat (camping used to equal permission to eat anything and everything, like what happens in the desert stays in the desert). There’s actually rain in the forecast for this weekend, which is amazing because it hasn’t rained since I’ve been here (since August). This is the kind of the place in the world where, when it rains, everyone goes outside and gets excited. I’ll actually be glad to see it if it happens.
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Well, today at lunch I was in a hurry and grabbed this tuna curry thing from the natural foods store. The ingredients seemed like they'd be ok, but there were a few I hadn't tried before. It did not go well. I have been hurting for 9 hours (though it's lessened quite a bit now). I'm guessing the coconut milk was the culprit. I won't do that again! I'm planning on sticking to the stuff I know for a little while. Oof!
Everything is going well. I'm currently weighing 240lbs. That's 113lbs down form my highest weight. 66lbs down since surgery. Average 13lbs loss per month. Pretty good. I had my 100 day post-op checkup with my clinic last month. Checked in with the nutritionist, psych, and nurse provider. Everyone was pleased with me. I'm pleased with myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing too slow and sometimes I feel like I'm losing too fast. I'm just grateful to be losing anything at all.
Currently I'm in size 20W pants. Down from a tight 28W last year. Size 20W has always been my "lowest" size as an adult. I think I was a size 18W in Jr. High school. As an adult, whenever I would lose weight I usually made it down to a 20W and then the weight would slowly creep up and so would the pants size.
Size 20W is my comfort zone. I love me at this size. I feel great at this size. I love the way I look at this size. I get compliments at this size. Men notice me (and smile at me) when I'm this size. Feeling so good about being this size is probably why I would start slacking off on my diet or stop exercising in the past which would cause me to start gaining again. I have no intention of slacking off on my diet this time around. But I don't know what the future holds for me once I get to size 18W. It's going to be a whole new world for me.
I'm feeling pretty blessed overall. I was reading some posts/blogs and watching some WLS youtube people and see a lot of post-op folks struggling. I'm grateful I have not had any further complications since recovering from the surgery. I have not had any more problems with constipation. I am not having any problems eating anything (except lactose). I don't have nausea problems or vomiting (unless I get too much lactose). My biggest hurdle is still not eating often enough because I never feel hungry. And my second hurdle would be not eating enough when I am eating. I get disappointed with eating. I don't get much joy out of it before. It's a job now. Even if I'm eating something really tasty, I can only eat 1/2 cup. I miss the days when I could pig out and lick the plate clean. That's not my life anymore. I get sad about it sometimes. But I've also been really happy trying new foods and finding protein products that are tasty. It's a fine-line balance of happy/sad when it comes to food. I'm sure we're all going through that rollercoaster.
Other than all that, life is good. I took a brief vacation to Las Vegas. Had the joy of not needing a seat belt extender and could even cross my legs AND use the tray table. Ate some nice meals at fancy places - cheaply! - during happy hour. Perfect for appetizer portions and inexpensive. I did try some wine. Wine is delicious. I can sip a glass of wine for an hour, enjoy being social. I never once felt sick, or overly intoxicated, and I can go to bed sober and wake up feeling good. Wine could be slippery slope for me because I love it so much so I will have to make this a "special occasion" treat and not a frequent thing. Empty calories and potential for abuse if I indulge too much.
So that's the update. I have my 6-month checkup in January. I will be doing my blood/lab work for the first time to make sure my vitamins and all that stuff is correct. Then I won't see the docs again until my 1 year appointment in July.
Ta ta for now!
On the one hand, it feels like these two weeks have been a slow-mo of trying to force down protein and water. On the other hand, I can't believe it's already been two weeks!I met my surgeon for my first post op today. My pain with the stricture has somewhat improved on its own, and he is not convinced from my barium swallow right now that it absolutely needs dilation. We're in a "wait and see" holding pattern.I can get down about two ounces of puree. More if it's thinner like applesauce. I've been mainlining cottage cheese, pudding with unflavored protein powder added in, liquacel protein in my water, and refried beans. I realized Sunday that my "loaded potato" soup - which is actually 80% cauliflower - would be perfect. I just scooped out my little portion before adding the potato chunks in for my SO. Tastiest thing I've had in two weeks, so I ate it for most of my little meals on Monday and got the stuff to make another batch. I did the infamous ricotta bake and it was soooo good but thinner stuff is settling a bit better for now.Since surgery, I've officially lost 14 pounds, the majority of those being the first week. I hit a lot of days in a row of 300 calories or less, so my nutritionist figures I may have triggered a slowing of weight loss early because I'm eating so little. Goal is to start hitting 600 on a regular basis, hopefully.Because of the stricture, I'm not getting advanced to their stage 3 diet, which would mean I can actually start having solid foods. I'm a little bummed, but currently, anything solid - even if well chewed and moist - is a little terrifying, so I'm not all too unhappy. I would like to be as normal as possible on christmas eve, however, and currently that doesn't look like it's gonna happen.I've resolved to weigh once a week. The whole first week and a half I weighed daily, and tried to not overthink it when I gained or the scale otherwise did wonky things. I handed it to my SO yesterday and told him to only give it back on SaturdaysOtherwise, it's business as usual around here. Been setting up christmas decorations and planning the christmas eve party for my family. It'll be a little weird this year since I won't be eating most of what I cook, but I'm surprisingly fine with the concept. Also been trying to work on this massive blanket I started for a friend. It's a yarn eater and it's not going quickly, so even with all my free time from work right now, not positive I'll be able to get it done on time. I won't be back to work until 2018, as my surgeon wants everyone to be off for at least a month. Thankfully, my short term disability is kicking in this week, although this is a horrible time of year to be at 60% of my normal payHuge thank you to all you awesome people here who have been so encouraging during these last few months, and especially the last two weeks. Internet hugs and high fives all around!
I probably took off longer than anyone here....and though my first few weeks were a blur I tried to make every moment of the last few days.....tho, sadly they flew by
I am not ready to go back....just baby fears I guess....like will I get enough fluid in? how will I respond if anyone in the teacher's lounge asks why I am eating so little? what will I say when they say "where were you?" or "what kind of surgery did you have?" Funny thing is I am down 30#....enough to notice if you are paying attention, but not enough to hit you over the head w/ the thought "oh my goodness, she's dying of cancer!" I don't want to look shocking. In fact, I am wearing my regular pants (that aren't as tight but not baggy) and a shirt (that I haven't worn in a while bc it was too tight) and a long sweater over it (my M.O. is HIDE!!!) and i want to stick with that while I am becoming comfortable being back. Odd, isn't it? I am not ready to be the center of attention (might never be) but certainly right now I don't want them thinking "oh I THOUGHT that was the surgery she was having". I don't know why I can't own up to it, but I just can't...not yet. I think it stems back to not wanting to tell anyone I was on a diet bc eventually you fall off the wagon and gain it back and you are embarrassed and which no one knew in the first place. I am hoping to break out of all of that through this process but right now I am no where near that!
So, anyway, for all of you that are thinking "seriously, you took off 5 weeks and are complaining about going back?!?!"....just to rub it in, i only go back for 2 wks then I have 10 days off for Christmas break!
It's really hard to wrap my head around it, but today is the start of month 4 / end of month 3 after surgery! Getting the business stuff out of the way...
Weight loss: I was 355 when I started this process in April, 298 on surgery day, and I'm 251 today. That's 57 lbs lost before surgery and 47 lost since - a total of 104 lbs down! My monthly post surgery stats are: M1: -17, M2: -14, M3: -16. So I'm giving myself an A+ for the first quarter in the weight loss department. You November newbies reading this, take note - M2 is when I had my long stall, and I STILL lost a lot, and bounced back in M3. So cut yourselves some slack! I'm super excited about where I am right now. I'll be under 250 soon and I haven't been there in over 10 years.
Vitamins: I have generally done well with my vitamins, though I've recently had a rough patch - I'd say about a week and a half - where I've been doing very poorly with them. I'm working hard on getting back on track now. I give myself a B- on this part, because I absolutely know how important it is and I'm not letting it slide.. More on why I've been struggling in the next part...
Protein/Water: This part has been super hard for about.... two or three weeks, I'd say. And this is why I haven't been doing well with vitamins. For a little while now, every time I put something in my mouth, there's about a 50/50 chance it's coming right back out. Could be anything - vitamins, meds, a protein shake (diluted), or food of any variety - soft, puree, dense, whatever. Honestly, at first I thought I had a stricture. But I watched some videos online, and I'm pretty sure it's just that I'm eating too fast/too much. My evidence for this is that SOMETIMES things do go down! I think if i had a stricture, it would be more all-or-nothing past a certain consistency. But there are days when I can't get a protein shake down... but later I can eat ground beef. It's just a toss-up (literally).
And it's not about nausea - if it were, I'd be more worried. I'm never nauseated. I haven't had any nausea since surgery, except for one terrible tuna incident - and even then, the nausea hit WHILE I was already throwing up. No, this is about starting to feel terrible in the pouch area, burping and hiccuping repeatedly, and finally needing to make myself throw up in order to be comfortable. Which is imperative, because if I DON'T make myself throw up when this happens, it will be hours before I can eat or drink again. And then I'm behind on my protein goals, behind on my water goals, behind on my vitamin goals... etc. So this has been a pretty bad couple of weeks, and I'm pretty sure it's because I got cocky, and I hadn't been doing some basic things I needed to do:
1) Measuring carefully. So what I've figured out is that for me, since I don't have any "full" signal until it's far too late, I needed to measure my food. Not necessarily so I don't eat too many calories, because that is so not the issue, but because I can't eyeball the food and know for sure that it's not going to overload the pouch. I know, for instance, that I can eat 4 oz of yogurt, but only just BARELY 2 oz of salmon. And I need to measure those exactly using a scale, because if I eat even one bite too many, I'm losing the whole meal, and then everything deteriorates and chaos ensues on all fronts.
2) Stop beating my head against the wall. So, there's some stuff I can't eat! And I just can't eat it. It's not going to get better for a while, so I just need to stop trying. So far the things I've identified are tuna, chicken unless it is SUPER SUPER MOIST AND FRESH, packaged lunch meat, and any kind of protein shake at all. Yeah - at this point I HAVE basically tried all the protein shakes there are, and something about them has stopped working for me. I was fine with them in month one, but in month two they became hit or miss, and now they are just a solid miss every time. And it's gotten to the point that I don't even want to look at them - they are sitting in my fridge, Leah swears she will drink them, but they make me feel ill every time I see them. So if she doesn't drink them this month I'm going to get rid of them with or without her blessing.
3) Embrace what I CAN eat. This was the hardest thing, because I'm not one of those lucky people who lost all interest in food after surgery. I don't get physically hungry, ever - but I still do like food, and I like variety in my food. However, there have been days that I've been reduced to nothing but yogurt and protein bars, and I am truly, truly tired of yogurt and protein bars. Even the Oh Yeah/One bars, which are pretty good as far as protein bars go. I have also had some pretty astonishingly low calories days over the past couple of weeks - in addition to low protein - so I've had to just suck it up and eat cheese and yogurt on some days.
The good news is, I'm actually getting the hang of it again. I've had three days in a row now without throwing up even once, and I've been hitting my protein goals, and getting in 800-900 calories a day. Now that the food situation has stabilized a bit, I'm getting my vitamins and water back on track, too.
So here, for example, is what I'm eating lately:
- Siggi's triple cream yogurt in various flavors - they come in 4 oz containers which is totally perfect for me right now. Sometimes I add some granola.
- Carr's cheese melt crackers with gouda or swiss cheese on top - they're 8 carbs for 3 crackers, so I don't feel too bad about it if I only do it once a day.
- Salmon with butter/lemon/garlic, which is delicious.
- Shrimp with butter/lemon/garlic - thank you, all of you who suggested I give it a try, this is now a go-to meal for me! I can eat 4 small shrimp at a time and they are lovely.
- Fairlife whole milk, generally 1 cup mixed with 1 cup of Starbucks blonde roast unsweetened cold brew coffee from the grocery store. This is my protein shake replacement, and it's doing its work really well for me - I wouldn't be hitting my protein goals without it.
- Oh Yeah / One bars. My favorite is the almond bliss, but I also liked the seasonal pumpkin pie one I tried, and the maple donut one.
- Quest Protein chips - these are actually kind of disgusting, but super easy for me to keep down. The ones that work best are salt & vinegar, because the flavoring is strong enough to kill the basic taste of the protein chip.
- Sometimes chili - this doesn't always work for me, but I'm super happy when it does
- Pacific Organic Creamy Tomato Soup - I salt it a lot and add some greek yogurt, and it's delicious.
I've also eaten a few "off plan" things - a bite here and there. Leah ordered chicken lo mein from my favorite chicken lo mein place a few nights ago, and I hate about two bites of it. It was great, and I wasn't tempted to overeat it. Mainly I ate the chicken and onions out of it, since that's what's best about it. I bought a 75% dark chocolate bar with almonds last week and I've been eating one square per day. I ate a corner of a roll at a work dinner the other day (probably the size of a quarter.) A few times when Leah has ordered out, I've stolen one or two of her mozzarella sticks - which are granted, 95% cheese, but also have some breading, so I don't know if they count as on-or-off plan. I'm trying to walk a delicate line between feeling like I can't ever have nice things, and backsliding. For what it's worth, I'm still keeping extremely low carb with just an occasional foray outside the lines, and I don't feel like I'm at risk right now. But I'm mentioning all of this here because I need to stay accountable to myself and to you guys, and because if my weight loss slows down, I'll know what to cut out first!
So that was the rough part, but I'm getting better. I would just say as a caution to any newbies reading this - don't think that just because you're ok eating something one day, you'll still be okay eating it the next! And a smooth start doesn't always guarantee a smooth journey. I mean, I'd say I'm doing GREAT, honestly - I'm a pretty happy camper in spite of this rough patch! But I wouldn't want anybody to feel like a rough patch is the end of the world. Don't catastrophize if you run into problems - just work through them! Preferably, with help from all the amazing veterans we have here literally at our fingertips.
Now, the fun part: NSVs!!!
There have been SO SO MANY NSVs LATELY! First - I went to the office the other day to say hi to our CEO (which isn't weird; I used to be her assistant, and we came out of it really good friends). She hadn't seen me since the day before my surgery, when I stopped in to tell her what I was doing the next day. She was so wonderful and complimentary, it was great. She hugged me, and demanded a picture, and said I was her hero and a rock star. She's the best!!! It made me feel awesome. I had dressed up and done the whole makeup routine and looked good.
Other people at the office were also super complimentary - those who knew about the surgery and those who didn't. I went to an off-campus meeting today and saw another co-worker I haven't seen in months, and she said, "Wow, Kio - whatever you're doing, keep doing it!" Plus, our cleaners were in today for the first time in too long, and they were excited about my new hair cut (and new glasses!) and said I looked great. These days it seems like everybody I see says something really nice!
Plus, there's the purely physical stuff. Things FIT - even dresses I bought a little tight last month are now loose on me. I've had to move all my rings to larger fingers; one of them only fits on my index finger now. I can wear necklaces now without feeling like I've put them on around a giant sausage neck. I'm still walking Sadie regularly, always around 1.5-2 miles. And just yesterday I discovered that I can WALK UP THE STAIRS TO OUR DECK. This is an amazing new and strange thing. I admit, I had to hold on to get to the first step because it higher than the others, and I was VERY wobbly on the next 4 steps, but I went up them without holding onto anything! I feel like going up stairs without holding on is something I should be able to do even now, at this weight - but it's been so long since I've been able to, it might take a bit of rehab work or PT to get there. Still, this was a huge victory for me!
And that's where I am right now - the State of Kio at the end of Month 3. I'm probably going to update more this month about vitamins and water, since those are my current challenges. And I honestly can't wait to see where I am at the end of month 4, and month 5, and month 6... Assuming I keep losing at a rate of around 15 per month, in 3 months I could be around 210. And THAT would be a number for the record books for me - the last time I was anywhere near 210 I was actually 212, and it was 1995...
I had my 6 month follow-up today, though technically 12/14 is my 6 month mark. Everything went great. I weighed in on their scale at 169.8 (their scale is still heavier than mine). BP was 138/80, resting heart rate was 68. They said my BMI is 25, and I am no longer overweight. She was so complimentary, and it was so affirming for me. She said I get an "A+" LOL.
The lowest I can ever remember weighing in my adult life was 165. That was 20 years ago when my girls were young. When setting my goal weight, I decided to try for 10 pounds less than that, since I was going to have this handy new tool to help me. 155 became the magic number. The doctor/nutritionist said 155 was surely do-able. I am continuing to focus on that goal and I would love to reach it by my birthday on January 24th. If not, I won't be shattered. I will get there soon enough.
Food is still very much a mental game for me. I was off work the week of Thanksgiving, and was not able to exercise very much. I was also around foods/carbs/sweets that I don't normally have around me. I rationalized one bite of this, or a bite of that. After that week, I was up .6 pounds. I was angry at myself. I swore at my scale. I was immediately crabby. My husband looked at me and said, "My God babe, it's only a half a pound." Yep, I was pissed over 1/2 a pound! But that 1/2 a pound put me back in the 170's and I didn't wanna go back there. Sounds crazy, huh?
Over Christmas we are off work for a week and spending the holiday with my daugher in Wisconsin. Luckily my daughter is a healthy eater, but I know I won't get much exercise as it is freezing outside there...so again....I worry.....
Maintenance is coming. I am terrified. #HowToMaintain I am very interested in hearing from people who were exercising through out their entire weight loss period. Did you just add some calories? Allow a few more carbs?
I know I have been a little MIA lately - life has been very busy between family and work. I am now eight months out and down almost 70 pounds. I am So, So happy and I have no regrets whatsoever. I am still dealing with the side effect of thinning hair but I have realized that if I really focus on getting my protein in and supplementing with Biotin that it does help. I found the best way to get protein in is to use a Yetti cup with the iso-pure Alpine punch. It is 40 g of protein per bottle and when it is super cold, you do not get any aftertaste whatsoever. I have also recently started taking 10,000 MCG's of biotin to help with the hair loss. I sprinkle in a little bit of the X fusion hair fibers so you really cannot tell about the thinning hair. I think it is more noticeable to me than it is to anyone else. I used to get handfuls of hair falling out, now it is just five strands. I think I am finally passed that part of the journey thank goodness . Another side effect of the sleeve is that I do have a much sensitive stomach or I should say noisy stomach. Within 10 minutes of eating, my stomach starts gurgling away - too bad I don't have a mute button for that! With having this extra weight off, it does make it so much easier to be more active. I am trying to incorporate in more walking into my daily routine. One of the things that I have started doing is at work I avoid elevators in the parking garage. I will park at the top level and walk up-and-down twice every day. I also try to sneak away in the mornings to go do a quick mile on the treadmill at work. I try to time it during my favorite show, The Price is Right so that I can get my fix of Drew Carey for the day. I know it is not running marathons but I figure every little bit helps. I actually caught myself wanting to run on the treadmill which just a year ago I never would've even considered doing that. I have been traveling a lot for work these last three months which used to be so hard on me but now is not an issue at all. Rushing through airports with heavy bags doesn't even phase me now where as before I would be huffing and puffing just to go a short distance. Again I have no regrets. I know I still have a ways to go but for the first time in a long time I have hope and believe that I can get to where I want to be!
My vomiting hasn't ceased, both effortless/involuntary rumination and episodes so violent I nearly pass out. Eating is a painful chore. I've been taken back to a liquid diet and am scheduled for an EGD on Monday. I'm no longer afraid of tube feeding. At this point I may welcome it. Just holding out hope for things to get easier. After years of complications, I'm a little disappointed this surgery hasn't alleviated my symptoms. At least I've lost 25 pounds since. That's something to hold on to.
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F - orgettable?
I - rritated
V - ictory
E - xtracurricular
***Close your eyes and imagine for a moment going to an inspiring and invigorating week long work event (Yes! They exist! But if that’s hard for you, just imagine a big gathering of friends). This event gathers close to 2,000 like-minded individuals in one location for a grand sharing of ideas, networking and merry making. It happens every two years and while some attending you may have seen earlier in the year, others you only get to see every two years. These are your people! New friends, old friends, mentors, former colleagues, those you have not seen since you started a new job and received a new and life changing promotion! Imagine how excited and thrilled you are to be immersed in their presence. Excited to reconnect and get talking about the topics you love. Now imagine you are walking through the event space and you see a more recent acquaintance, you feel your face light up and you start to raise your hand to waive….when they pass right by you. Maybe that wasn’t him? Does he have a doppelganger? SO embarrassing. It’s like when you think someone is talking to you but they have a Bluetooth in their ear. But NO! we are all wearing nametags, that can’t be. I guess he didn’t remember the great conversation you had just a few short months ago. You start to doubt your memory. Your ability to have meaningful conversations with others. Your value to this wonderful group of people!! (dramatic much?)
So goes the ENTIRE gathering. I continued to walk past people that I had met at least once previously and there was no recognition. I was starting to get a complex. Wasn’t that such-and-such who offered to help me with a project? Didn’t he and I work together on a project a few years ago? Only when I was standing with a close friend as a man approached me who I had within the past year had had a few conversations with did it click. He walked up and introduced himself, and I laughingly called him out: “Joe, I know you. We talked a few month ago. You were really interested in my work and offered to send me some information!” He stuttered and my close friend said: “You’ve changed A LOT! It’s the hair and everything!” Wow! Enough change had happen that I was unrecognizable, not forgettable! I think that’s pretty d*mn cool.
Pretty much all I got to see of Rhode Island during the trip
***Eating irritates me. Seriously. No appetite, I am a faithful MyFitnessPal tracker so I know I’m getting my protein. I am annoyed at having to intake food at all. I am also irritated that my stressors at work have impacted me to the extent that I am having gastro-intestinal distress when I eat dairy. Grrr….
(Left) A photo of my Thanksgiving plate: Carmelized greek yogurt dip, herbed goat cheese on radish coins, crispy brussel sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce on a small salad plate (I need even smaller plates!).
(Right) A better use of the table for game time.
***Victory = 100+ pounds and 44# inches gone. G.O.N.E. I suppose that explains the unrecognizable bit. I celebrated by donating 100lbs of food to the local food pantry (all proteins since I know that is what my local pantry needs the most and is a bit poetic considering that’s mainly what I eat).
***Extracurricular (Activities) Is anyone else here dating? A month prior to my surgery, I ended a long-term relationship with a man I love. I won’t bore you with the details, just know good decision, difficult timing. But here I am six months later and I have been put back into the dating scene. This is NOT easy. I am a closeted sleever (meaning I am not open with the fact that I had bariatric surgery) and I eat no carbs or meat. What’s this ovo-lacto vegetarian to do? My approach has basically been to front load the date day with lots of protein so that I can ‘afford’ to not eat as much protein at the date time. Ordering a salad is second nature to me. But some dates are just happy hour drinks and it’s just weird if you don’t get a drink or if you nurse it. And a 600- calorie day, plus a martini? LOL I am figuring out this whole dating thing all over anyway – it was a long relationship and I am out of practice! – but this certainly adds a new twist! Trying to figure out a way to strap down my saggy skin to cute in date clothes has been challenging but I accept the challenge! If anyone else out there in TT land has any words of wisdom for dating, please share!
The holiday season doesn't start with the arrival of Santa at the end of the Macy's parade. It starts once I see this.
What's this vegetarian eating? Oh Yeah! Blueberry Cobbler & Maple Donut, Quest Protein Chips, egg drop soup with a scoop of Genepro unflavored protein
What I'm not eating? Premiere Protein caramel shakes - not until I shake this lacto-intolerance, although the supplements above have a mild influence on me too.
What I wish I wasn't eating? Any of it.
I'm typing this on less than 3 hours of sleep. So, if I start to ramble, please forgive me.
Testing has been completed. Psych was last week. It was easy. I had to fill out alot of paper work. Some of it was just your basic info and your medical history. Others were worksheets that screened for depression and eating disorders. When I met with the counselor, we basically just reviewed the worksheets and such. They mainly want to know that you have realistic expectations, have a support system, are not suicidal and are doing this for you, not for someone else.
Blood work and breathing test was bright and early this morning. Fasting required. I had trouble sleeping. To be honest, I haven't slept well in a few days. On Saturday night, a wind storm swept through the area. We lost power for 16 hours. I'm so used to sleeping with a fan on that I couldn't sleep without it. The winds kept howling for a few hours, too. I had to be up at 6am this morning. The testing facility was 90 minutes away from home. When I have to get up that early, I can't sleep worth a lick.
So, yay! Testing is complete. Well, almost complete. Their EKG machine was broken. So, I have to have that done somewhere else. I'm waiting until after Thanksgiving.
To answer a question that BurgundyBoy asked, I've lost weight without completely eliminating sugar. My only sugar treat is a cup of chocolate ice cream a few times a week. The rest of the time, when I want something sweet, I drink a chocolate protein shake. I've cut back on carbs, only have small portions of potatoes a couple times a week. My focus is on protein. However, with Thanksgiving being here, I might treat myself a little. My nutritionist gave me the okay to enjoy the day and the food, as long as I don't over do it and go right back on track the next day.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I am a slow loser....
At first it depressed me, it aggravated me, and had me wanting to give up. Its my way, its the way Ive done this journey for the past 3 decades. I am good at losing weight, but when it stops I give up.
Now here I am, I haven't lost any weight since June. I only lost 50 pounds since surgery......it pisses me off.
Now I can say, I have not been perfect, but I can count the number of times I have eaten off plan on one hand, I can remember each time in the past year vividly because the pain it has caused.
I do not eat bread, pasta, starches and very limited sugar. By that I mean I will have a life saver now and again and my vitamins do have sugar in them.
I go to the gym three times a week and do the machines, I can see the results, especially in my shoulders and arms. This last summer I wore tank tops for the first time in a couple decades.
I have this love hate relationship with this forum. I love reading about people who have lost weight, but it really makes me angry as well. People who have started at a higher weight than I did and have twice as much in half the time. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! but yeah them!
But here I am, a little over a year since surgery and I am stuck at 160 pounds, on my 5'2 frame. My goal was 130, but I am stuck at 160. STUCK!
I've tried everything, I've upped my calories, I've lowered my calories, I've upped my carbs and lowered my carbs. I even tried going into ketosis by stop taking my vitamins.
I am averaging about 1200 calories a day....which leads me to my other thing.
For about a month now, I have been constantly hungry....yeah I know, the end of the year honeymoon period thing. But OMG, the constant hunger. I know its not a vitamin deficiency(which was my first thought) because I had my blood panel and I am in the standard range for everything except b-12 which I was WAY high on because I was taking too high a dose.
So I graze, mostly at night. So to compensate I eat smaller meals, really just a few ounces of protein, thats what I eat, in one form or another, protein. Veggies are like a luxury to me because in order to get my 80+ grams of protein in I stick to protein snacks, lefts overs, eggs, cheese and nuts.
But yeah, I'm stuck...160.....but ya know what....I dont care! I look at before and after pics of myself and I am proud, and for the first time since 1985 I can look at pictures of myself and not cringe. I went from 3x to L-XL. I can wear cute clothes, I can wear a PDF when I kayak.
I am not giving up.........Yes its been a LONG stall, but I am not giving up. Just 30 pounds to go.....I will get there. It might take me another whole year, but I WILL GET THERE. Because regaining the weight I have lost in not an option. Its just not!
All I have to do is look at my before pictures to know, regaining is not an option.
Here I am rambling....but this forum is my ONLY support. No one knows about my surgery....maybe that's why my slow weight loss is a good thing. If I did lose 100 pounds in 6 months it would be obvious, but since I am struggling and losing slowly, I am just like everyone else on a diet.
Crazy ramble is over......
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.
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:
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?
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….
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.
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.
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 -
Two months after surgery -
Four months after surgery -
6 months -
Seven months -
Nine months -
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)
...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
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.
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 :-)
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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!!!