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Ok, so I offered, then @CJireh demanded, so here goes... my first photos on TT. Fair warning, the quality on these is pretty bad - I have always avoided being photographed for obvious reasons, and I take terrible selfies. There are a couple in here that were taken by Leah, but she's not exactly a star photographer herself. I think in each of those, I have my eyes closed.
Starting at my highest weight, around 350, about a year ago, here's a very blurry me Leah snapped when I was half asleep. Included to demonstrate the epic chin(s)!
The one below is from June of this year, at basically the same weight as the one above. You can see I've done this pixie thing before... however, at that time my head looked a bit like a white bowling ball with a crew cut! This is a Leah shot, so my eyes are closed, naturally. I had to use a version of this with my eyes open for an article in our company newsletter, which spotlights random employees at random times and was having a teleworker round - you can imagine how proud I was of sharing it with my 500 coworkers...
And this is me on September 8, 2017 - fresh out of surgery! I was about 298, and as you can see ... I was pretty high when this was taken! It was about two hours after surgery, I had already started walking, but I was banging on that morphine button pretty hard and pretty often. I was also having some kind of bad rash/reaction to the face wash they gave me to use before surgery.
You can also see in this one why I rarely smile big for pictures... it makes me look a like a total lunatic.
And now, here is me today! I'm 259 in this one, with my new shiny haircut and about a football field less chin.
And this one is a bit wider angle, still from today - proud of this one because look, I have a neck! And the beginning of some shoulders...
That's it for the headshots - but when I hit 100 lbs lost I plan to post some full length shots from the night before surgery and some new shots I'll take when the blessed day arrives.
Well I feel great, actually! I'm in a little pain, but I'm already off my pain meds (might take one before bed, though, so I can sleep tonight). I don't know what sorcerer trained my surgeon, but I have had minimal pain and zero complications. I've also had zero nausea, which was a surprise. I'm getting my protein down (if I drink two shakes mixed with Fairlife 0, I only HAVE to drink 2!) and sipping water religiously. I have to pee constantly. Haha! Yesterday was probably the worst of it - I hurt a lot and was super grumpy when I got home. But today is a million times better.
So surgery went incredibly smoothly. I had a surprise hiatal hernia (*high five* @CJireh) but the surgeon said it took about 3 minutes for him to fix that up while he was in there, so no big deal. I was up and getting myself to the bathroom and walking the halls by myself the night of surgery. One nurse looked a little like my sister and came to check my vitals and woke me up, so I was elated for about 2 seconds and then started crying. She was really sweet about it when I had to explain what was up.
Today I got a shower, which was nice, and I'm watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV with the kids. I'm looking forward to my gravy-like substance for dinner (broth with raw protein powder - ha!).
So today is my 14 day post op...I made it to 2 wks....which means 4 weeks total of my liquid diet and just proving it to me was a great feeling. I know we are all on different paths and have different doctors and NUTs and stuff. And some of you have been able to have soft foods prior to 2 wks post op, so I know I COULD have had foods sooner and survived, but I needed to follow my plan for the fact I need to prove to myself that I CAN do it and CAN follow my "rules"....and I DID So since 10/23 I haven't had food and now i have earned it!!!
Today I got to eat. I was so looking forward to it, I posted here about it, I bought a bunch of foods I can have and then I waited to decide the big meal! I ended up since it was breakfast, I had scrambled eggs...I added a little cottage cheese and soy milk and used the hand blender so it was thoroughly enough. Then I cooked it, salted and peppered it and was nearly drooling. Then I sat down, and it looked kind of silly in my 4 oz container, so I decided to put in on a small plate and used my small fork. I said my prayers and asked that this would go down and stay down and be ok. Then I took my first, very bland, very disappointing bite! I expected fireworks I guess! I looked for salsa and didn't find it, so i tried a little hot sauce (which I am not even a fan of) then I sprayed it w/ butter spray, In the end, I ate about 2/3 of it but then figured why finish it because I didn't really like it. The I decided to have a protein shake an hour later and move on, looking forward to lunch.
For lunch I had refried beans and a little bit of ricotta and salsa. It was really thick and felt "heavy" and i didn't want to push it. So, I waited. Then later I added water to it and stirred and stirred....and it thinned out and then I reheated it and put fresh salsa on the top and it was delicious! I still took my time eating it....over an hour since I was watching a show w/ my husband (we usually sit at the table but I couldn't wait for all that time to just milk this small meal). Overall it was fine. I remember hearing people here having the beans and I always thought it sounded too heavy...and it felt that way today but adding lots of water made it so much better and I did enjoy it.
In a few moments I am going to go make a can of soup so that I can get the protein shake in before bed too. I am just slow and taking my time w/ this whole food thing.
Other than food, which I really had as a focus today (haha!)....I was feeling more like me today. I actually got up and cleaned the downstairs w/ my husband today which felt great to have that kind of energy (I didn't run the vacuum but i did the rest of the stuff...he mopped all the floors and vacuumed the 2 rugs). I had a candle burning and it was delightful to get the house back to where it had been post surgery. I packed away my stuff from the living room (like my breathing thing to make sure I don't get pneumonia, my cpap, my pillow, my many meds (they are in the kitchen cabinet now), my paperwork of when I have eaten etc) so it stopped looking like a hospital and more like a living room again!
Also I had a friend came over from my church today and brought me roses and we sat and talked for 2 hours which was refreshing.
As the day wraps up, I am worn out but I did have a great day! (which isn't what I could say last Monday when I was only 1 wk out, I was still shocked that I wasn't better sooner, but today I feel like I got this, I am not as uncomfortable and I am stronger!) Yea me!
addendum: I had the soup....cream of mushroom, used extra milk in it and used the hand blender and mixed it up. It wasn't delicious. It was bland again....but since soup is already high is sodium I didn't want to add salt or something. In the end, i drank it bc it was warm and yet I am not excited about it. (I think it might be that they were out of almond milk so i got organic soy milk and it is sweet and almost vanilla tasting though it doesn't say that (my almond milk will say unsweetened or vanilla or chocolate etc)....so I've never had the organic soy milk but maybe it is too sweet..i just don't know. Next time I have to mix milk it, I will use almond
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!
Time for the old monthly check-in. It’s been long enough now that this seems like a bit of a routine. It’s also been long enough that I’m not posting as frequently now… for better or worse, things have been rolling along pretty smoothly, and I don’t always have a ton of new experiences or emotions to report. That said, I seem to have squeezed out a few zillion words here, so I must have something to say. Warning: I hope you’re sitting somewhere comfortable.
Here’s the rundown:
This is the first month since the month before surgery that I’ve lost less than double digits in pounds. However, I did lose 9.8 pounds, so that’s pretty dang close. I’ll round up. I lost 10 pounds this month, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at. It’s 5.8% of what my bodyweight was at the beginning of the month. I have consistently lost around 5.5% to 6.5% of my bodyweight each month. That’s getting to be a smaller net number, but it’s the same percentage, which is interesting. If I were to lose that much again this coming month, that would put me at GW. Not sure that will happen, but I’m not too worried about it, either. I’m under 160 pounds now. That feels pretty awesome. My BMI hit “normal” about halfway through the month, and I have to say, it felt freaking awesome, despite the fact that BMI is pretty meaningless on an individual basis. It just felt like “Whew! Now I’m normal!” I truly felt like I wanted to wear it around on a t-shirt. Like it was some sort of evidence that I’m not fat.
My 9 month comparison photos don’t really look that different from my 8 month ones, just the clothes look a bit looser. My hips a little narrower. My legs a little thinner. My boobs a little smaller. It’s not a big jump like it is between some of the other months.
I’m still going at it with 800 or so calories per day. I’ve decided to do that until I’m at goal just because I can. I’m not feeling hungry or deprived, and I’m not feeling low on energy, so hey, why not. It’ll hurry things along a bit, I think, and if I can get settled at some sort of weight where I can buy some clothes and keep them for a while, I will be happy.
My current daily menu looks something like this:
Breakfast - a protein shake. It’s easy, it tastes fine, and it gets me a lot of protein. I’ve found a company in Dubai that sells Syntrax, Quest bars, and Oh Yeah 1 Bars, so I had a bunch shipped to my friend - I’m picking them up this weekend - woo! A trip to Dubai! And familiar protein! And much cheaper than the stuff I’ve been drinking.
Lunch - Greek yogurt, ½ cup, sometimes with frozen berries, plus sometimes veggie sticks
Before gym snack - Babybel cheese
After gym snack - tuna with mayo - ½ can tuna, 1 Tablespoon mayo, plus some pickles
Dinner - shrimp or Quorn fake chicken or soy fake meat or Indian cheese (paneer) in spicy sauce of some kind, often made with greek yogurt or coconut milk. Usually Indian or Thai or something spicy like that. About 3 oz of protein and some nominal vegetables in it.
Dessert - Lol! Jk! I had you going there, didn’t I? New motto: “I don’t eat sweets.” I chant this in my head so it comes out naturally when someone offers me something.
Sometimes some almonds, sometimes some cheese, sometimes a protein bar, sometimes Eggface’s egg bites, sometimes hummus and halloumi cheese and tabbouli (tabbouli from this part of the world is like 99% parsley, so not that couscous or wheat stuff we see in the US), sometimes fish.
At the end of the day it works out to between 800 and 900 calories, with about ½ the calories coming from fat, 65-80+ grams of protein, and almost always under 35 grams of carbs.
I’m not eating a huge variety of stuff right now, but that’s OK with me - my routine stuff is fine, and as long as my food is spicy, I’m happy. My sense of taste/smell has not come back (as per earlier blog posts, the lack of smell is due to what I suppose is permanent loss after a really bad cold last year, and the weird tastes are from surgery) so everything is still a little weird, but my brain seems to be rewiring my senses now so that I’m learning what various things taste like to my new senses, so it’s bothering me less.
In the past week, I’ve had cravings for salty, crunchy snacks before/after dinner, and I’m not sure what that’s about. It may be the end of the honeymoon rearing its ugly head, or it may be that I just need some more calories and salt in my diet. Long story short, I’ve been feeling like I want to eat more calories and snacks, but I’m not really hungry, so I haven’t done that.
I did have one teaspoon of Pinkberry pomegranate frozen yogurt this week. It was delicious, but I could easily stop at the one bite. I also had a couple of little bites of a traditional Omani dessert (called halwa, but really different from the halwa in other parts of the Middle East) because they were offered by a person I couldn’t afford to offend and it would have been culturally inappropriate to say no. It was amazingly delicious. It also gave me heart palpitations since I’m not used to sugar. Lesson learned: eating sweets is a cultural sacrifice I only do if I have to
I’m doing really well at going to the gym 4-5 days per week, and doing a lot of walking the other days. After the Big Hike (see the last blog post), I have decided to work hard at the gym to make things like that easier. I’ve bumped up my cardio to be a little more challenging with the addition of using the stair machine, and I’m doing faster walking on the treadmill (7kph/4.3mph) and/or elliptical. I’m not doing much in the way of weights, although I know I should. I should probably be extending my gym time to 1:30 from the current 1:00 I’m doing. I know that’s in my long term best interest to keep the weight off. I actually like going to the gym now. It’s a nice part of my day.
I went hiking last weekend, and it was fabulous to know that wherever we ended up, I was going to be fine. I wasn’t going to be that person, trudging along at the end, wheezing and panting, that everyone looks at sympathetically. We have to walk up this steep uphill for half an hour? Sure thing. I can do that. It’s a lot easier when you’re not carrying around a 130lb. backpack, let me tell you.
Resting heart rate is 53. My Fitbit says I’m in “excellent health” for my demographic (and who’s to argue with Fitbit?!). No pouch problems. Hair is growing back. Due for blood tests again, but the last ones were good. Taking all my vitamins like my life depends on it Can run up stairs and not get winded. Get antsy if I have to sit too long.
I feel fantastic. Like I can do anything. Like I’m actually a thinnish person. I’m not sure why, but I think my body dysmorphia kind of worked the opposite of how many people’s do - I never felt like I was as big as I was. I always felt like a normal sized person who was temporarily carrying around more weight that I should have been. About 10 pounds ago, I got to a point where I’m actually a little thinner than my internal image of myself. Sometimes at this point I’m surprised to see how thin I look in the mirror - whereas before I hit that point, I was pleased that I was thinner, but I wasn’t pleased at my appearance, if that makes sense. I think I might have a bit easier time of the size change than many for this reason.
I really don’t miss anything at all about being heavy - I know that’s not true for everyone, but I really didn’t identify with it. It’s something I only hated about myself, and couldn’t wait to rid myself of. I think this might be connected to the period of my life I spent as thin previously (just before and after turning 30, when I starved and exercised myself down to 140). I have kept that image of myself in the back of my head all these years, like that was the REAL me, and this fat me was a temporary setback. Yeah, temporary. Like 10 years. Just a passing phase
In the back of my head, I have a few negative thoughts. These sometimes concern my body (Droopy skin! Not my favorite! Worth it, but I don’t like it! - or: My thighs are still fat! I hate them!) but those thoughts are not too loud, and are a whole heck of a lot better than what they used to be (thoughts of self-loathing on a constant repeating loop). Some other negative thoughts include feeling sad when seeing overweight people, knowing how hard that is, and also knowing that they would not welcome me as part of the club at this point. Since I’ve moved, I don’t see anyone who’s ever known me as overweight, so the only me they know is the normal sized one (Actually, I’ve lost 30 pounds here, but no one seems to notice, since they didn’t know me before and most of my clothes are pretty baggy). I have mixed feelings about being that thin person that fat people look at and have negative thoughts.
Some other negative thoughts that pop up from time to time include: What if the losses won’t stop? (I had a dream about this), What if I just can’t take being careful about my eating forever? What if I get tired of exercising? What if I just want to eat some junk food? What if I become a really boring person because I never eat or drink with abandon? <- fat person thoughts
On the whole, I just feel pretty fabulous about myself every day. I mean, I have other problems in my life, like anyone, but as far as my self-image goes, life is good. Right now, it feels like most of my depression and negative thoughts previously were caused by being overweight (although at a certain point, that became a recursive chicken and egg thing, snowballing into… well, into what I was a year ago: fat and unhappy.
And now, the most important thing: my wardrobe
I’ve had my second trip to the tailor (thank goodness for cheap tailors!). Some of my items have now been taken in twice. This time he said, “No more on these, madame. These are finished now.” They have been taken in as much as they can be. I’ve also got a heap of things to go to the tailor again next week. I try something on I haven’t worn in a few weeks, and it’s really surprising how awfully oversized it looks. I cannot WAIT to stabilize a bit and actually buy some things that will fit for a while.
I’m dying to figure out what kind of clothes I’m going to wear. It totally stinks that it’s winter time, because what’s available in stores is totally inappropriate for the weather here. I don’t know why, but this is a world-wide phenomenon: when it’s cold in the US and Europe, stores in hot locations carry winter clothes as if it’s cold there, too. I mean, it’s like 85F/28C every day here - I do not need a wool coat, a heavy sweater, scarves/gloves/hats, or knee high boots. So I’ve got slim pickings at the moment. I’m trying to bide my time and plot my fashion trajectory. What kind of a wardrobe do I want? What’s my style? It’s been a long time since I’ve dressed in whatever I want to wear instead of whatever fits and doesn’t “make me look fat.” I’m poring over the fashion websites (I mean, not serious fashion stuff like Vogue, I’m not that kind of person, but like what people with a good sense of style actually wear sorts of websites), trying desperately to identify a style.
It needs to be a style that’s compatible with the climate here (hot, hot, and hot), somewhat conservative as far as covering up flesh goes (no sleeveless stuff, midi length or at least knee covering length skirts/dresses, not too tight of anything, nothing low-cut) so that it works in my cultural environment. And, it needs to be fun! Because I can wear fun clothes now! I feel like a teenaged girl trying to find her sense of identity through her wardrobe. I hope I don’t go through an unfortunate emo phase.
Today is my 5 month surgiversary! And let me preface this by reiterating that...I am not a Blogger! This journey has been triumphant at times, and trying at times. I do not wish to sugar coat my experience, but here goes!
My first meeting with my surgeon/weight loss facility was in January 16, 2017. I had surgery on June 14, 2017. I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea during this time period (February), since I needed a pre-existing condition for my insurance to cover WLS. The only way they cover with no conditions is if your BMI is 40%+ (morbidly obese). I was just over 35% BMI at that time. I remember meeting with the surgeon and him asking about my medical conditions, and I said no diabetes, no BP issues. Then he asked about sleep apnea and my hubby sitting in the corner was like "Yes, yes...she definitely HAS sleep apnea!" LOL...apparently he was correct since the sleep clinic diagnosed me the next month. I feel like everything suddenly fell into place, and before I knew it, it was June and I was having WLS. I can honestly say this is one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. I have lost almost 61#, and have 18# to go until my goal weight of 155. I feel a lot more confident at work. I have energy! I don't come home from work and pass out for an hour. I don't fight feeling like I am going to fall asleep at the wheel on my drive home from work. I can go up and down a flight of stairs and not have any laboured breathing whatsoever. I am walking 5 miles per day, 5 x per week. WHAT?! Who is this person?
I wanted to share a couple of pictures. This first one is from 2012. I would guess I was in the 240# range. We were having a pool party in our backyard, and I guess I felt somewhat covered in the coverup. I hated these parties. I was the largest woman there and so self conscious. As the years went on, I didn't even get in my pool with them. I would just sit in a chair in shorts and a t-shirt and pray I didn't roast too death. I was too self-conscious to even be in my own pool with anyone but my husband. I had no idea my hubby still had this pic on his iPad. I am sure I yelled at him to delete it.
The second pic is from last month, so 4 months post OP. My sister was bugging me for a pic since she lives in another state. I thought I'd do the cheesy selfie!
The biggest thing I would tell anyone contemplating WLS is that this is far more a mental game than anything. There are many obstacles to get through to get to your surgery date. Surgery is not fun - there is some pain in recovery for a few days at the least. But post-surgery, your entire mindset towards food needs to change. I have been given a tool that prohibits me from gorging myself on food. But this tool is only effectve if I am in control of what I put in my mouth!
I thank God for Thinner Times. Y'all are the best! <3
I've been in planning mode ever since I got my pre-op date last week!I've got lists on lists on lists! Shopping for the liver shrink, a few basic staples for the post op diet as well, what to take to the hospital, meals to cook and freeze for the husband, paperwork to complete, chores I want done prior. I am always happiest when I have things to check off, and man, did this give me those organizational feelsSo today, I finally met my surgeon. There are two at OSU, and I have previously met one of them, as she is the one who did my EGD. I really liked her, but she has less availability overall because she does a lot of general surgery as well as bariatric surgery, and she was also taking two weeks off in November, so they scheduled me with Dr. Needleman. I feel very comfortable with him after today, and he was very thorough and took his time with me. We signed consents today. I also signed consent for the research study I am a part of to have the surgeon take a few biopsies while they're in there.I then went on to meet with the dietician. They'd already sent me the stuff for the liver shrink diet, but we met to go over it. Ours consists of 3-4 protein/meal replacement shakes a day and either 6 ounces of chicken + non-starchy vegetables, or a frozen entree from a pre-approved list. I still haven't found a ready-made protein shake that isn't sickeningly sweet to me - I have so many just hanging out in my fridge! I do find them a bit more tolerable if I can dilute them, but I did discuss with them I do have protein drinks I dont mind - syntrax, namely - but they arent "meal replacement". He suggested doing half and half - half meal replacement and half protein drinks.After the dietician, I went on to meet with Suzy, the surgeon's assistant, who confirmed my surgery date of the 29th (!!!!!) and loaded me up with all the instructions. They also give you an incentive spirometer ahead of time, and two gatorade-like drinks. I have to drink one the day before, and one 4 hours prior to surgery. After I got back to work, I gave my boss the news (although as far as work knows, this is hernia surgery. I have several outspoken coworkers who are against WLS and I don't have the nerve to deal with them while going through everything).My liver shrink officially begins the 15th, although I am currently drinking a normal protein drink (syntrax nectar) once a day currently rather than snacking. They actually said they're fine with me partaking in Thanksgiving, just to stay away from starches and stick with meat and veggies, which is fine by me.I've been continuing the hiking every weekend. I pushed through two weekends ago and went to a really well known state park about 90 minutes away on a 34 degree drizzly morning. Most of the trails near me are pretty well maintained, but many of the trails here were nothing more than mud slicks and rocks - which is sometimes a lot of fun!My calves were murder for the rest of the week, but these three views alone were worth it, albeit I need to go back on a sunny day A waterfall, a cave, and a beautiful big lake in a valley.
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F - riends
O - verwhelmed
U - nderwater
R - est
I can't believe I'm at the four month mark and circling in on the 100 lb loss milestone! I'm hoping to hit that in month 5 - new goal! I tried to add some high impact cardio to my routine and my knee quickly put the kibosh on that - waaaay too much pain and I'm not risking another fracture. I'll keep with my normal cardio and weights - which are going well and giving me a great high after every hard workout. I'm having fun finding new ways to push myself athletically, while also not compromising my knee. The routine will change again soon now that winter is coming!
This month brought a much needed visit from my friend - with lots of misbehaving. But really, and the reason this update is one day late (which kills my perfectionist, Type A personality!) is that I have been completely overwhelmed at work. Not only with the normal work responsibilities but some emotionally charged situations at work, which is draining. No one seems to know how to handle the situation as it works up the administrative chain and I feel as though I am fending for myself, which is not a great feeling. Now that my coping mechanism of pizza is no longer an option, I found myself tempted to cope in other ways, like a glass of scotch. This is a slippery road - not because I (or my family) has ever had a problem with alcohol, but because those are empty calories I don't really want. Yes, part of the misbehaving with my friend was crafting a new cocktail (a Moscow mule martini!), which we enjoyed while she was here. But she and I both are well aware of the risks of addiction transfer. You see, both my friend and her partner had VSG 3 years ago and her partner transferred her food addiction to alcohol. I have seen the strain this has put on their relationship, the pain they both have experienced and I am happy they have endured through the struggle and I will be officiating their wedding in May. (Yay! ) And really, once someone such as myself who has been eating about 700 calories a day has a scotch, the propensity to 'graze' in the fridge or cupboards is real. So, while I am not going to toss my extensively curated scotch collection, I did decide to start coping in better ways - sunrise walks on the beach, meditation, more time on the elliptical. For those of you that may be struggling with addiction transfer to alcohol or drugs post-WLS, or even have the concern given your own personal family health history, address those issues as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to ask for help. And for those of you who struggled to find an alternative coping mechanism, like me, please feel free to comment below with what has been working for you! What new stress/anxiety coping mechanisms have you developed post-WLS? Let's share the resources with each other.
Sunrise at the lifeguard shack
Underwater is what I have been for the past week. Yes, in the figurative sense like I mention above but also physically in the chilly 66 degree waters. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tried on a wetsuit that had haunted the back of my closet for years and it fit!! It's a 7mm thickness and the thicker the wetsuit, the more warmth you keep but the less mobility you have. I swear, suited up I felt like Randy in his snowsuit from A Christmas Story.
I would rather have a few layers of thinner suits than deal with the restriction of the thicker suit, but the freezing waters and duration of time I would be exposed dictated it was finally necessary to wear the suit. With my weight loss, the suit was infinitely easier to get on. I like to think my reward was the amazing sunset I saw while out on the boat (note: I only wish that was my boat). It provided a much needed mental rest, which is necessary before I charge back into the week. This next month brings a week long trip for two conferences where I will be seeing some folks I have not seen in 2 years and "Friendsgiving" - hosting Thanksgiving for a group of friends.
What's this vegetarian eating? Trying a new Vega plant protein (not nearly as bad as previous experience), OhYeah! ONE Almond Bliss, LightLife veggie Italian sausage and chorizo, cottage cheese, eggs and cheese, soup with a scoop of GenePro unflavored protein
What I'm not eating? Lot's of stuff - keeping with the high protein, low carb keto-ish diet so no breads, pastas, beans, etc.
What foods I miss? As mentioned, I craved some pizza for coping last week but vaulted over that hurdle. Still no appetite or temptation from other foods but I am also in my final week of my Africa meds - which were very effective at killing my appetite.
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….
Yesterday, the 10th, would be my 3 month surgiversary. It honestly seems like so much longer than 3 months, but it is just 3 months. I've lost 48lbs since Surgery day. I'm close to 100lbs down from my highest weight in 2015. I haven't decided how or when to celebrate milestones. 100lbs since highest weight, 100lbs since starting weight, 100bs since surgery? I guess I'll just celebrate them all when the milestone arrives. Why the heck not.
I won't have my appointment with my surgical clinic until next month but I did see my primary doctor last week. She's super happy with my progress. All of my bloodwork was good. My A1C is down to 5.1 so I am no longer considered pre-diabetic. It was 6.1 when I started this whole process last year. My cholesterol is down so we don't have to talk about cholesterol meds that she was threatening me with last year. My blood pressure is still not perfect, but it's no longer dangerous. She's keeping me on a 5mg pill (instead of the 40mg I have been on for years) for the next 6 months just to be safe. I can't wait until I can officially be off my blood pressure meds. That's going to be the biggest and happiest goal once the time comes.
I'm down to a pants size loose 22W from a starting size of tight 28Ws. All my 4x tops have gone away to charity. I'm still wearing 3X tops because they are comfortable, but I could probably get away with 2x or 1x in some styles. I haven't done my measurements in a while, but with my bras being completely loose and ineffective, I know I've shrunk. I need to buy new bras. The bane of the female existence.
Overall health has been OK. I did go through about 4 weeks of really uncomfortable abdominal pain and discomfort that has finally gone away. Originally I thought I was getting a hernia but then the symptoms changed and my whole abdomen was swelling up. I wasn't constipated, daily BMs, but my guts were swelling up full of gas and I could not pass gas/fart if my life depended on it. It was very uncomfortable for a very long time. We finally chalked it up to lactose intolerance. I've dramatically cut dairy out of my diet and I have not had any more gas pains for nearly 2 weeks. It's been great being able to sleep comfortably at night when it doesn't feel like your guts are going to explode like an Alien chest-burster. But I do miss cheese.
Eating has been fine. I don't have anything that my stomach is averted to, except dairy I guess. I can eat chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, beans, and I've been experimenting with vegan proteins. Still having mental problems with food variety. I don't want to eat the same thing every day, or even every other day, so my fridge and freezer are stocked full of healthy things so I have some variety in my life. I just have to be mindful not to be too wasteful with leftovers.
The hair loss has begun. But I know this is normal so it's not freaking me out - yet. I'm blessed with long, thick hair so I'm not seeing any bald spots, thankfully. But WOW so much hair comes out of my head every day. As soon as October started the hair has been coming out like crazy. Again, I knew this was coming and I know it will eventually stop so I'm not freaking out. Yet.
I've stopped going to the Overeaters Anonymous meetings. I simply found them too cult-like. Always reading the same material. Everyone saying the same thing "I'm working the steps. So grateful to my higher power." But no one is saying ANYTHING of substance. They're just regurgitating dogma from the program and complaining about their miserable lives which then drives them to food. Absolutely no one seems happy! Since I'm not struggling with food, at the moment, I've decided to stop worrying about it. I don't see how listening to people beat themselves up for their poor food choices is doing me any good. Frankly, I don't know if it's doing them any good. All I know is I was getting nothing but frustrated in that "woe is me" environment. Peace out.
Ummm...I think that's pretty much everything as far as a life update goes. I'm just chugging along. Happy for the most part. I've got about 3 weeks before things start getting busy and crazy at work so I'm just going to ride this wave of feeling normal as long as I can for as far as it will take me.
Saw the colorectal surgeon today. Apparently I have issues well beyond a mere hemmeroid (which explains the OMG I WANT TO DIE pain). I'm back on serious pain killers, a cocktail of other medications and he's looking to schedule me for a surgical procedure next week. I feel slight relief since taking the medication. Bless physicians who actually care for their patients quality of life.
While I was there, I inadvertently talked a nurse out of having the VSG after discussing my medical history. I tried to reassure her that my complications were rare, that my initial surgeon wasn't great, and that even though it's caused me lifelong issues, it still bettered my life in so many other ways. She said she was on the fence about it, but that my experience basically "sealed," it for her. I hope she reconsiders her stance. Anyone who could benefit from these surgeries shouldn't let fear prevent them from seeking out treatment.
I'm also starting a new medication for the spasms as they have become unmanagable and they're occuring every day. Tomorrow I'm supposed to start going into the AIC center for daily transfusions as I can't maintain hydration due to the spasms/vomiting.
It also appears that 2-3 weeks from now I'll be going back in for surgery to remove the tumor they caught on the CT scan. It grew over a centimeter in a 2 week span. I am terrified of possibly losing the organ it's attached to. I can't psychologically cope with the idea.
I am honestly exhausted from all of the pain, and now the fear of the upcoming surgery. Any time I have to go outside I inevitably cry in public due to a spasm or rectal pain, and at worst I've screamed from it. I loathe to make a scene, but it's uncontrollable. It's a humiliating experience.
I'm trying to remain positive.
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.
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Hello everyone it's been a while since I've checked in but I am happy to report that progress is being made!!
I am currently down over 50 pounds - it might not be the fastest weight loss but I am still very happy with the progress. It is amazing the difference that just losing 50 pounds has made on my quality of life. It is so much easier to get around, I don't have to hold my breath when I bend over to tie my shoes, I have no issue buckling the seatbelt on airplanes anymore. The little things like that make a difference. My closet has over four different sizes in it so I was able to get rid of the top two sizes and am working towards getting rid of the third size so like I said, it's progress! My weight loss goes in spurts. I'll lose very rapidly for about a week and then it stalls for two weeks or three weeks so it's really hard to predict. I am experiencing increased hair loss so I am trying to do a better job of making sure I'm getting enough protein each day and taking my vitamins. Hopefully this will chill out and I won't lose much more. I have discovered a great product called X fusion which is colored hair fibers that you can sprinkle on and it really covers up any thinning areas - love the product! I have chosen to not openly share my surgery but I do openly share the high protein drinks and foods that I discover. Maybe if I am able to lose enough to be a true "success", I will be more comfortable sharing my full journey. At 238 lbs I still have a long way to go, but like the little engine that could, I think I can, I think I can....
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!!!