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  1.  

    OK, it’s official, I’ve become addicted to TTF. I’m staying at the beach in Washington state right now, and am having spotty access to the internet - the wifi has been down for days, and I can only get 3G if I’m in one corner of the bedroom, standing on one foot with my right hand holding my phone over my head at a certain angle. So, of course, I’m in the corner in the bedroom, on one foot, with my right hand holding my phone over my head… Must. Read. New. TTF. Posts. 

    It’s been almost 3 ½ months, and I’m getting in a good routine with food and exercise. I’m going for a long walk every day. Yesterday I hit 22,000 steps on my Fitbit (woo hoo!), which means I walked almost 10  miles. The beach here is like 20 uninterrupted miles long, so no limits there! ;) I’m figuring out a good food pattern, also: greek yogurt and berries for breakfast, shake for lunch, cottage cheese or fake meat lunch meat and cheese for a snack, substantial protein for dinner (veggie burger, fish, shrimp) plus a bit of vegetable. With this routine in place, I feel a bit more in control of myself and in charge, doing rather than reacting. For a while, I was always reacting: “Oh no! It’s 8pm and I haven’t had enough protein today! Better eat something!” Or, “Why don’t I have any energy? Oh, yeah, I forgot to eat for six hours.” Now I’ve got a good schedule.* I’m starting to be able to feel when my stomach is full enough or too full. I can tell when I need to eat because my energy gets low and I feel empty (still not really feeling hungry, per se, but I can tell I need food). 

    I spent some time looking through pictures on my phone yesterday, and was a bit surprised to find that I look thinner now than I have since before 2013, which is as far back as my phone photos go. I  have crossed some sort of line between “Oh my god, get that phone out of my face, I don’t even look good in a selfie taken at a creative angle” and “OK, not happy with full body shots, but face photos look fine.” This sounds fairly negative, I know, but it is actually big progress for me: I look OK in face photos. Baby steps. I’ve been cringing over photos of myself of any kind for several years now, so just being OK with face photos is great.

    As I slide down the numbers on the scale, I’m trying to reconstruct the upward climb in my mind. It’s difficult. Not long into my latest cycle of gaining, I got rid of my scale - knowing full well that it was a bad idea, but justifying it somehow, probably like this: “The numbers aren’t important. I can feel it in my body and clothes if I gain, so I need to pay attention to that.” Yeah, uh huh. That worked out well. Denial is my superpower. This is why I’m committed to weighing myself every day now - I’ve proven to myself that I can’t be trusted to NOT weigh myself every day. A number is a specific thing that can’t be ignored. 

    Almost 15 years ago, I lost a bunch of weight (after a couple of previous cycles of gaining and losing, of course) After losing 80+ pounds, by doing WW and exercising like crazy, I ended up at about 140, and was so happy. 

    I worked hard at it, but couldn’t stay that low for long, despite the 1100-1200 calories a day and 1-2 hours of exercise daily - I literally tracked every bite that went into my mouth for three years. I thought it would be easier to maintain 150, so I tried that, but slid up to 165 despite keeping calories around 1200 and continuing to exercise daily. That was a bit easier to maintain, but I was feeling despondent by then, so the scale exited stage left - I think the batteries died, was the original issue? I stayed probably between 165 (the top of healthy weight for my height) and 180 for about 5 or 6 years or so, always being very conscious of calories in and exercise. 

    Then it slid up a bit and I totally lost all motivation for trying so hard (and stopped taking photos of myself if I could help it). A few years later, a foot injury making exercise painful, some depression, my dad died, some more depression, some big life changes, more depression, more big life changes, an ankle injury making exercise painful, and presto! I had gained a whole lot more weight and had completely given up on trying to “be good.” Part of the giving up had been reading about how fruitless diet and exercise were in successfully keeping off weight - I felt like a poster child for that failure. Very thankful that part of my reading included some articles on WLS. Fast forward almost a year, and here I am, almost 70 pounds lighter and zooming down the numbers on the scale.

    When I was down around 140, I completely changed my self-image. I know that’s supposed to be hard to do, and many formerly fat people still think of themselves as fat, but I really didn’t. The image my mind had of myself was thin. I saw myself in the mirror as thin (or at least thinnish). When I grabbed clothes off the rack, I grabbed clothes that were the correct size, little ones, not big drapey ones. I thought of myself as an in-shape, exercising, active person who ate really healthily. Strangely, that self-image stuck with me until the last few years - even after I was quite a lot bigger, I saw the thinner me in the mirror, and was caught off guard when I accidentally caught a glimpse of the bigger me in a reflective surface. 

    I thought of it as temporary, even though I wasn’t doing anything to change my course, other than the weekly, monthly, whatever, commitment to a new diet and exercise plan, which was abandoned when it didn’t give me results in the time period I felt was reasonable or when it got so awful I couldn’t take it anymore (hello, juice fast). It was only in the past couple of years, when I was at my highest weight, that my brain started to realize that this wasn’t really a temporary situation anymore. 

    My brain still didn’t register how big I was. I’d avoid looking at myself in the mirror even, because the person I saw wasn’t the person I was. I just wanted to hide. I avoided buying clothes so I didn’t have to face it. I only wore drapey clothes (stylishly drapey, in my mind) so no one could see what I looked like (maybe if they couldn’t see my outline they would guess that I was still thin???). Then, finally, I figured out that I was very heavy, and couldn’t do the active things I used to - hiking, biking, running, swimming, etc. - and that since weight loss was impossible, I would probably stay heavy forever, and never be able to do those things again. What?? I’m 42, not 82! That’s when WLS started sounding like a good idea, not radical but reasonable. So thankful I did the research on it and made the rational decision. You only get one shot at life - might as well make it a good one. I have a lot of things left to do, and I’m excited to get started on them.

     

    *Was typing blog and forgot to eat breakfast until 11am. Baby steps.

     

  2. After 2 weeks of waiting for insurance approval I hadn't received any phone calls with confirmation. I had a check-in appointment yesterday and got the good news that insurance has approved the whole shebang and we chose a surgery date of July 10th.

    It's another 6 weeks of waiting - and preparing -  but I am ready!

    Part of the appointment yesterday was a group class with other patients where we went over the 3 diets we will be on. 2 week low-carb "Atkins" diet (staying under 20g carbs a day), 1 day clear liquids before surgery, and the 2 week post-op liquid only diet. 2 weeks after surgery I will have another class to take on diet advancement to pureed and soft foods.

    I loaded up on protein and vitamins at the clinic store. We go to sample a lot of the drinks and chewable vitamins before we purchased so that was very helpful. I was surprised to see the prices were a good $5 cheaper than Amazon for most products. The Unjury chicken soup might be the best medical grade food product I have ever tasted! Funny because the Unjury protein powders are absolutely vile!

    Anyway...it's happening! Now I just need to get all my ducks in a row at work and contact the powers that be regarding time off.

    I'm almost there!

  3. It was a week on Thursday that I had my surgery.

    So far I have to say its been pretty smooth sailing. I think I've been pretty fortunate to have such a good outcome. I am a little worried about what is going to happen when I hit the solid food stage. Its been so simple for me so far but I think food might be where it starts to get more difficult.

    I am still getting tired out pretty easily. We managed a trip into the city centre on Thursday and did a lot of walking around. But Friday I was totally wiped out. At one point we were walking past a Greggs and there was a lady with giant slice of pizza. It was strange because I didn't really want to eat it but its more like I remember pizza tasting good and enjoying it? I guess I am still figuring out where I am with food and how it can be a healthy part of my life.

    Feeling less tired today and managed to do some cooking for my husband and a good friend that is coming over tonight. I've always loved cooking and I didn't want to lost that hobby after weight loss surgery. But as I was cooking I realized how much I used to pick as I cooked. I can't at the moment because I am still on liquid but it was totally something I took note of and will remember in the future. Wouldn't want extra calories to slip in at a future date. I've also hit up Egghead's cooking blog after some recommendation on the forums.

    I haven't weighed myself since the surgery. In the past the scales have always been dangerous for me. So I have decided to make a firm commitment to only weigh and measure on the first of each month. My main reasons for having this surgery were for getting healthy so I am trying to think of the weight loss as an added bonus. Its going to come off, I'm confident of that.

  4. nimiety
    Latest Entry

    So, I've looked up and found myself in the countdown-to-200 portion of things. I weighed 203 this morning. 

    A ton of stuff is happening in my life right now, much of it stuff I'm not ready to talk about here yet, but even through all that stuff, which has me spread a little thin and a lot distracted, that number's got me focusing on it. It sticks in the head. It's sort of some childhood dividing line, maybe. It's a myth. It's an outdated idea. I blew through it circa age 14 and then I learned how fungible were the numbers you said you'd never cross. How little that counts. 

    I'm still doing this thing right now where I'm hovering between plus sizes and straight sizes, dancing around on a line that's hard to see and understand that has so much also to do with stigma, with social categories, with visibility, with femininity. When I walk around in the world I don't know what size I am. I feel simultaneously like I have so far to go and like I want to stop right now. 

    But there it is: 200. Below it, the girl you were supposed to be. Above it, the woman you became. (Brigid Berlin: "My mother wanted me to be a slim, respectable socialite. Instead, I became an overweight troublemaker.")

    My therapist pointed out to me yesterday that I love the woman I became more than the girl I was supposed to be, that even as I find myself with the greatest access I've ever had to the version of "slim, respectable socialite" with which I grew up, the quasi-creative white-collar job and the husband with the same kind of job and the dinner parties and the chitchat and maybe the kids you'll probably send to private school even though you have political qualms about it but honestly they have to get into college, I am also leaning the hardest into my own desire to be a spinster, a free spirit, a revolutionary, an art monster, a weirdo. She's right, and I appreciate having that pointed out to me. I was always so afraid of not being able to make my own decisions. When WLS was first being authorized for teenagers, in the late '90s, which is when I was one, the New Yorker did a piece on it and I nabbed the issue of the magazine so that my father couldn't read it. I thought if he read about it, I'd end up on the table whether I wanted to or not. (I had no idea whether I wanted to or not.) I have, historically, not really understood my ability to make my own decisions. There are a lot of reasons for this vacuum, in my life, where agency ought to have been palpable. But none of them are really the point.

    The point is that I feel it now. When I walk into the room full of people whose bodies and social selves intimidate and entice me in equal measure, even when I feel like it's not my body preventing me from being one of them, I'm still not one of them. Not in the digital media room. Not in the art room. Not in the sense of absorption that I fear. Not in the sense of being claimed, being stuck, being colonized, being coopted. Something stubborn and tenacious in me says no, rolls its eyes at the ill-informed views on Syria no matter how glamorous their speaker. 

    Which means that over 200 or under it, I am still running this show. The world won't absorb me unless I choose to be absorbed. 

    I get to choose who to be. My way. 

    Which means that being under 200 doesn't seem like such a big deal, honestly. I mean, today, anyway. I might still have a meltdown of some variety when I see a number that starts with a 1. No promises.

  5. 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!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Recent Entries

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

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

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

     

  7. Ok, sorry for the Squirts part of the title but I could not resist.  For any of you that have had the Sleeve surgery, you will totally understand what I mean - it is truly liquid in- liquid out at this point. I am now able to have full liquids which includes all soups and protein shakes but within 15 min of drinking any of those, it is time for a dash to the bathroom.  I swear, I have no clue how my body has a chance to absorb any protein with how quickly it goes through me.   Thank goodness for my Isopure protein drinks - they cost $4 a bottle but they are the only thing right now that my new smaller tummy likes.  I use the Grape Frost flavor and mix it with Ocean Spray Diet Cran-Grape juice.  The Isopure by itself has a funny after taste to me but when mixed, I don't notice it.  One bottle of Isopure has 40 grams of protein so it is a great help on trying to hit my 60 grams target.  I am not sure if I am hitting that target this early in but my Dr told me that it is really hard to during this early liquid only stage.

    Now for the good!   I am down 20 lbs since surgery (28 prior to pre-op).  I know I am not supposed to weigh myself each day but it is really hard not to.  I really need to hide the scale away and only bring it out once a week so I don't get frustrated when I have a day where it does not go down.  Overall my pain level is next to nothing now.  I am not having to take any pain meds. My stamina is not fully back yet but I am focused on increasing my activity level a little each day.  I am going on a cruise the end of May so I even ordered a new swimsuit in a smaller size as my incentive to keep my eye on the prize and make the most of this tool.  My Dr said I could start trying puree food this weekend which I am SOOOO ready for. 

    Now for the Bad.... Food Porn - yes I admit I have indulged in it.  For those of you that wonder what the heck I am talking about, I call Food Porn the act of chewing food you can't have and then spitting it out.  A couple of days ago I fixed a home made version of Shake-n-Bake Pork Chops and I could not resist.  I chewed several pieces and enjoyed the act of just chewing something and savored the wonderful tastes, then spit it out.  I of course, did this when no one else was around except for my fluffy side kick, Ginger, who luckily can only bark, not narc.  I have been good since then, but I swear I never realized how many freaking Food commercials there are on TV - when you can't have something I guess that is when you notice it more.  

    I have watched more Game Show Network and put together more puzzles in the last 2 weeks than I have in the last 10 years!  I normally am working long hours, traveling frequently, and rushing to my kids events to hardly have a chance to sit down until late at night.  I have been a fish out of water during this recovery.  I will admit it has been nice to ignore my work laptop and not feel guilty.

    I have taken 3 weeks off work so I will go back to my hectic office job next Wednesday.  I probably could have gone back a little sooner but with my frequent dashing to the bathroom, I am glad that I am not there. I will be on full puree foods when I return to work so hopefully this whole squirt mess will be calmed down.  I know TMI but what the heck, this is the one place I can be totally honest since we are all on this same crazy journey!

    That's all for now folks - blog with you again soon!   : - )

  8. Somehow I got up to 174, and I was not happy. And so I was determined to go back to basics and go to My Fitness Pal, and that lasted a few days. And then last weekend I for some reason fell asleep on Friday night and woke up at 3 pm on Saturday. I have never in my life slept so long except maybe when I was really sick or after surgery maybe? Well it's been so long I can't even remember. 

    Honestly I don't know about anyone else but one of the odd things about living with a sleeve is that because I eat so few calories and carbs that my body wakes me up in the morning on weekends fairly early. I don't even get hungry but I feel like my body wakes up because of low blood sugar maybe? Anyway it's kind of nice, like a built in alarm clock. And then I have an excuse to take a nap later on, so win win. So I'm not sure how I slept that long, between not going to the bathroom, not eating or drinking, my dog didn't even wake me up! He is such a lazy dog, I have never in my life had a dog who is so chill and laid back. 

    So I slept and had all these weird dreams. Anyway for some reason I lost four pounds in like 48 hours. I don't know what that's about. Like no idea. I don't know at all. I was going to say I don't recommend long sleeps as a method for weight loss, but that sounds incredibly silly. 

    Anyway the other thing is that my daughter is far enough into puberty that her hormones have started to outweigh her ADHD to the point where she actually gets tired in the evenings. Now I know that probably sounds like an odd thing to say. But seriously she is 12 and in her entire life the only time she is ever tired in the evenings is when she is sick. She hasn't napped since she was three unless she was very tired. She didn't sleep through the night until she was five and even then there were times when she was up and down and went through a period of sleep walking and sleep talking. I shouldn't say too much because she'll be like "oh my god mom I can't even believe you are talking about me, I'm going to die right now because can you just not talk about me? Like I'm so embarrassed right now." 

    It's strange to me that she suddenly started falling asleep a couple of days early in the evening and slept all night and then I end up sleeping for more than I ever have in like ever. 

    So I'm back at 170 which seems to be a good weight for me. My goal was 180 and I got down to I think 164 at one point but I felt like I looked gaunt. At my age my face starts to look all wrinkly and ugh and sick. 

    I went through a wake and a funeral of family of family this week. And usually I get social anxiety I guess and want to just eat a lot. At least I did prior to surgery. I just don't do that anymore. 

  9. 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.  

  10. 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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  12. madre7

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    madre7
    Latest Entry

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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
    Latest Entry

    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!

  15. Jonnie

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    Jonnie
    Latest Entry

    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?

  16. 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

     

     

  17. 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