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  1. Today I felt pretty normal! That's a good thing - my stomach doesn't hurt, my lactose issues are at bay, and I have more energy. I went to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico and actually went for a fairly good walk on the dunes. It's gorgeous. It also did a superb job of exfoliating my feet - the white gypsum sands are extra exfoliate-y.


    I was still suffering from the aftereffects of drinkable yogurt yesterday (yogurt isn't supposed to have that much lactose! Too much for me, I guess), but woke up feeling good. I decided to totally avoid dairy today to make sure I don't have whey issues in addition to the lactose. Apparently I don't, since one day of shakes with unsweetened soy milk and I feel good. I'm going for three shakes today, and I feel like although that will be a lot, the increased calories might be good for my energy. Still have to get that last shake in, though. I also had a mini-can of low sodium V8, which is sitting very nicely with me and tastes pretty good, to boot. 


    My ingenious idea for soup today after some failures (vegetarian vegetable strained = lightly-flavored orange-tinted salty water; cream of mushroom made with soy is repulsive) was Amy's Thai coconut curry soup. I LOOOOOOOOOVE Thai coconut soup, but was a bit worried about the fat content (it's 10g per serving). It sat very well with me and was the first good tasting thing I've ingested since February 8. Not that I'm counting. It's got a bit of protein, it's very low carb for soup, and not sure if I mentioned it, but it's delicious. I'm currently staying in a hotel on my travels (off to an AirBnb tomorrow), so my "cooking" is very limited. I have a hotel microwave. Looking forward to moving on to soft foods on Monday and being able to use the AirBnb's kitchen to whip up some creative soft foods: the apparently required ricotta bake, eggs, not sure what else. 


    I know it's early days and I'm still on liquids, but it seems like I can take in a lot more liquids than other people talk about. The 64oz of water are no problem (I usually drink a lot of water), but also shakes, soups, and V8 are easy to get down pretty quickly. I mean, not in gulps, but many sips. I can take out an 8oz shake in like half an hour. I would worry a bit more about this, but I watched my leak test at the hospital (does everyone get to watch this? I thought it was fascinating!), and that liquid just does one loop-de-loop in the pouch and it's outta there. Very fast. So I think I won't worry about being able to consume liquids quickly. Apparently it all changes when the actual food starts. 


    The lolz of the day was: reading about my Fb surgery-twin support group complaining about gaining a pound today, then me consoling with the age-old wisdom of paying attention to trends, not daily changes, and THEN getting on the scale for the first time since day 7 post-op and finding out I had gained two pounds. Oddly, I think I mentally set myself up for success by thinking about other people's gains first. The two pounds really didn't faze me at all - I feel and look thinner, and logically I know that I'm not gaining weight on 500 calories a day. 


    ***************Philosophical ramblings alert!***************


    I've been doing a lot of thinking, trying to decide what my "food philosophy" is going to be once I get to that point. My nutritionist is not that specific (so far) about what kinds of foods SHE thinks I should be eating, other than her preference for a low carb low fat diet. I know that the field of nutrition is a bit conservative in their opinions about what exactly constitutes a "healthy" diet, and some people seem to do better on one than another. My problem is that I've done all the diets. And I like to research stuff, so I've read all the research on all the diets. Basically, I think I know everything, despite my obvious lack of any credentials ;)


    Low carb, high fat vs. Low carb, low fat

    For me, low carb seems to make me feel less hungry and less obsessed by food than other diets, but that usually only works if it's low carb plus a good amount of fat. Low carb, low fat makes me want to scream after not very long. However, it's very hard for a vegetarian to actually do REALLY low carb, like keto/old school Atkins style because all of the protein sources except eggs have some accompanying carbs (beans, fake meat). It's hard to get below 20g of carbs per day or whatever the target is. So my low carb isn't really super low carb, it's just pretty low carb.


    I've been watching videos by Dr. Matthew Weiner, a bariatric surgeon in Michigan who has a very particular way of dealing with post-op diets. He prefers his patients to focus on vegetables (and some fruit) and leave the protein in a secondary role. He has a lot of good info in his videos on YouTube, and he actually seems like he might be a secret vegan trying not to push his lifestyle on his patients by allowing them some limited amounts of proteins, while still getting enough protein to meet their post-op needs. 


    The idea is that if you eat enough vegetables (and fruit), which don't set off insulin reactions during digestion, you will essentially crowd out the bad stuff in your diet and naturally eat lower calorie, more satisfying food and never be hungry. I feel like this might be a good fit for me because of its reliance on non-meat protein (nuts, seeds, beans) and focus on eating adequate volume while still being good for insulin levels, leaving the patient satisfied and not in a hunger spiral due to blood sugars and whatever other weird hormonal effects of eating higher glycemic foods. 


    He also emphasizes getting off shakes and other fake-foods very quickly after surgery, and I like that. I don't like artificially sweetened things and don't eat much processed food in general, so the idea of living on shakes and bars kind of doesn't jibe with the foodie in me. In fact, his protein drink is a smoothie with fruit and greens and a scoop of plain whey protein. Sounds better to me than the chemical tasting ones I'm currently drinking. My sticking point is with the diet having not much oil (even healthy kinds) or cheese (omg I love cheese please don't take my cheese you can have my wallet just don't take my cheese). 


    I guess I've got around three months of protein focus before I really get to a point where I need to decide on my eating philosophy, so no reason to stress right now. Just food for thought. 




  2. I got a haircut yesterday. God, did it make me feel better. I lost a fair amount of hair after surgery—the stylist pointed out where it's started to grow back in, but in the meantime, my ends were dry and frayed, the top was flat, the thinness was making me was not a good scene. The second I walked into a sleek SoHo curl salon, I felt better—all those fluffy, bouncy, shiny curls! (It was also nice not to feel so out of place there—not to struggle with a robe or cringe through the cut where I had to look at myself in the mirror overflowing the chair, etc.) The cut was a good one, too—brings back my bounce and texture, frames my face nicely—and I walked out into the world again feeling much, much better about myself.

    So I put up a selfie on Instagram, which is unusual for me to do (no, not on my WLS account—on my "real" one). And much like the only time since surgery that I've changed my Facebook photo, it got a lot of attention. A lot of likes. A lot of comments. And I've noticed that men have started clicking Like on my pictures again these days. 

    That attention makes me feel really awkward. For the first flurry of Likes I feel "oh hey, my cute hair!" and then as they keep rolling in I go "oh, this isn't about my cute hair at all," and I deflate. I hate the thought that people might think that I'm specifically pointing out my own weight loss and asking for positive reinforcement about it. I hate the thought of people clicking Like on my face all "good for you!" Nope. No thanks. Do not want. The reactions make me feel retroactively angry, but also more importantly they make me feel bad in the moment—scrutinized, stripped of agency and personhood, reduced. What I want is to be left utterly alone; I want people to know that it's none of their business unless I choose to discuss it with them. But I know obviously that people react independently of what I want, and that any big change—especially a change from something socially unacceptable to something socially prized—makes it hard to avoid a big reaction. And one of the reasons I've posted a couple of pictures is specifically to ward off the shock reaction that might occur when I actually see those people in real life—at this point, even though I don't always see it, I think there's a big enough difference that that might happen (it's happened a few times now). They're innoculation so that you don't have to tell me all about it when you see me, and I just want to get it all over with as soon as possible. 

    But it's going to get worse from here. What's happening now is that I've gone from invisible-fat to normal-fat, I think, but in the event I also go from there to not-fat, well. I'm going to have to buckle up for a wild ride. And that's what's coming up. The next few months would start to take me there if things keep going as they've been going, and it's hard for me to know how I'll react and how I'll cope. I have pretty strong faith that I can, in fact, cope—my shrink, boyfriend, and friends have really been wonderful about holding my ambivalence—but that doesn't mean I'm looking forward to having to. WLS patients talk about the letdown when people stop being like "OMG!" but I just can't wait for that moment. I hope that means I'll have an easier settling-in process, when this feels like an irritation being removed rather than a motivator evaporating. If it evaporated tomorrow, it wouldn't be too soon.

  3. I've been pretty secretive about this weight loss stuff. I have only told 5 people so far; my father, 3 close friends, and 1 coworker. I keep all of them up to date with my monthly weigh-ins and they have been very supportive of me. I am hesitant to share this process with anyone else - specifically my coworkers because of how judgmental and gossipy they are. I'm wondering at what point people will start to notice my weight loss, my dietary changes, or anything else.

    Right now, at a 35lbs loss from my highest weight I can see the differences already in the mirror. My double chin is going away. My clothes are baggier and loose. I don't want to spend money on new pants yet so I have to wear a belt to keep my baggy jeans up. My winter coat is at the point where it is so big and baggy it's not keeping me warm anymore because it puffs out like a tent because it's not touching my hips or waist anymore. I know I am changing, but I am also actively looking to see my changes. No one looks at me like that. To the world, I'm just fat.

    10+ years ago me and my best friend worked really hard together and we both lost a lot of weight. We were cooking together and working out together. She lost 60lbs and I lost 50lbs. We were both wearing clothes 3+ sizes smaller. We were feeling great, looking great, and so happy with our progress. We planned a lunch to meet up with a couple of friends we hadn't seen in a long time. We were so excited to see them and excited for them to see our great weight loss. We were both expecting a WOW moment when they would walk in and say "You guys look great!" but that never happened. Neither of the women commented on our appearance for about 2 hours. So we started talking about how we had both lost a bunch of weight and both of the women were all "Oh! Wow! Good job! That's great!" but neither of them realized anything was different when they saw us or hugged us. We were both still fat. We were fat, lost a bunch of weight, and were still fat. All these women saw was me and her were fat. Not as fat as before? They probably couldn't tell the difference. It was very discouraging for us both. We both left that lunch feeling sad that our friends did not have the WOW reaction we were expecting. And not long after that we both started slipping on our healthy eating and we both stopped going to the gym. We both regained all our lost weight plus more over the years.

    I've talked about my coworker situation before. I'm not friends with these people. I'm not planning on telling them a dang thing except I am taking time off work for medical reasons. But when will they notice? I've lost 35lbs in 3 months. Has anyone noticed? No one has said anything. On one hand, no one is gossiping about me to my knowledge. If they were gossiping like they usually do I would have heard about it by now. On the other hand, they didn't bat an eyelash when I severely sprained my ankle back in September and was wearing a brace on my leg for 6 weeks. I still limp from time to time and no one ever asks me if I am OK. So what would it take for them to notice me losing weight if they are not even going to notice I have a leg brace on for 6 weeks.

    When I lose 100lbs I will still be 253lbs. I will sill be clinically Obese. The closest I have been to that weight was 275 which is where I was when me and my friend had that lunch with those blind ladies. That's only 22lbs different. So if no one noticed my weight loss when I was 275, will they notice when I'm 253? Could I lose 100lbs and not have anyone notice?

    Keeping this a secret feels safe to me because I'm safe from judgment, but not being acknowledged for my hard work will be discouraging. I wish I had more people that I felt comfortable sharing this with. I guess that's why I come to forums like this and write blog posts to get my feelings out because I really don't have many safe outlets for my thoughts and feelings, especially with this sensitive and controversial topic of weight loss surgery.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  5. 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 "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. 



    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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  7. madre7

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

  8. 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.


    HIGHEST WT. 261 LBS.


    DATE OF SLEEVE OCT. 21, 2016



















    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 . 



    2016-10-29 15.58.55.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

  10. Jonnie

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

  11. 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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    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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    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.




  12. VicWytch
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    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 which sells nice used clothing for very cheap.

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


  13. Sue Dohnim
    Latest Entry

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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



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

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


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

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


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


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


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


    Back On Track After Weight Loss Surgery is great for any of us struggling with weight regain, with slipping into bad eating habits, not making time to work out, etc.

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


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


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

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  15. Today was a frustrating day!  After talking to others regarding insurance and preauthorizations, it make me curious to see if my Bariatric office did turn in my paper work to insurance. They said 3 days ago they were sending it out.. Nothing has been sent..ugh.. Said they were waiting for the surgeon to sign it.  I need to be patient and just focus on my healthy eating and exercising ! This waiting game is not my bag.. Lol.. Just had to blow off some steam. 

  16. Hello Everyone!

    On the 10th I was officially 2 months post op! As always let me get this out of the way: I weighed 203lbs on that day. Which if you're keeping track, is only 12lbs down in a month. HOWEVER, I weighed Friday, three days AFTER my two month mark, and I came in at 199.2. I am NOT celebrating onderland yet because I'm baaaarrrrrrely under 200. Let me get to about 195 and keep it there for a couple days and I'll be partying in the streets!

    I attempted to take my measurements this month, but it didn't really work out. I have no idea if I'm putting the tape measure in the same places as the last two times, and I wasn't impressed with the results I was getting (there was almost no difference between this month and last month). I'm not sure I'm going to continue to take measurements, its just too iffy and aint nobody got time for that.

    My clothing situation continues to be ridiculous. I have about 6 shirts and three pairs of pants I can still wear, and I don't mean like, "I can wear them but they aren't very cute on me anymore." I mean like, I cant wear them because they're falling off and a boob might accidentally pop out in public. Its a great problem to have, I'm grateful, but its also irritating.

    I'm going home to Texas for a long weekend this week. I can't drink. Eating isn't fun. I don't know how this is going to go and I'm a little nervous. It will definitely be a test, both for me and my will power and discipline, but also for some of my relationships. I have a feeling many of my relationships are built on a foundation of going out to eat and drink. We shall see! However, I'm also concerned to go home because I know people are going to comment on my weight. The last time I was home I was 40+ pounds more than I am now and wearing 4 pants sizes larger than today. I feel like they're either going to think I should have lost more by now, or they're going to go way overboard telling me how great I look. Either one will make me uncomfortable honestly. I really don't like attention, predictably. Which brings me to...

    Since I've started losing weight, my boss has become incredibly inappropriate with me. It's been so bad I had to report him to HR, though HR has yet to do a darn thing... but that's another story entirely. My point is, I KNOW this wouldn't have happened to me 70 pounds ago, and knowing that makes me feel a lot of things I'm not sure I can sort out on my own. It's not just my boss of course, I've been getting more attention in general, and while its flattering and makes me feel nice in some ways, it also makes me so so uncomfortable and I feel so awkward and out of my element. I've never in my life had to worry about men approaching me. But also, it's very... confusing? -Is that the right word?- when I receive attention from other men, but not necessarily from my husband. I think I should probably start seeing a therapist. But then again I think that sounds like a painful mess, dragging everything out of the closet and looking at it, no thanks. My schedule changes in June, if I have the time to go to therapy, I promise myself I'll at least look into it.

    In other news, I feel gas pains in between my shoulders now. I didn't have this immediately following surgery but now two months later I do feel it occasionally and its actually pretty painful. Another thing is I get this weird feeling in my stomach sometimes, not necessarily painful, just kind of nauseating I guess. I'm not sure if my stomach is telling me I'm hungry, or if its just gas, or maybe some acid reflux. I really can't pin point what's happening in there! Anybody else have a weird feeling in their stomach that sounds something like what I'm describing?

    Hmm, lets see. I had to give up the bariatric advantage vitamins, they taste so bad that I catch myself accidently on purpose forgetting to take them. So I got some chewy vitamins instead and I actually compared the ingredients and they're almost exactly the same. My advice- don't spring for those Bariatric Advantage chewables. Get something cheaper.

    Oh also, I really do think my hair is falling out with a lot more frequency. I am teetering on the edge of spending gobs of money for products and supplements for hair strength/growth... but should I? I could really use some advice. My hair is already thin! I can't afford to lose anymore of it yall.

    Well I'm working on a big project for my department right now and I should probably get back to it.

    Until next time!





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    I am two weeks out of surgery. Well, technically I am only 13 days but I'm rounding up.

    I weigh 103.9kgs!!! I know this site runs on pounds but I am not American and it kind of confuses me, but that's amazing!! I am proud of myself and I cannot really remember the last time I was proud of myself or the last time I was 103.9kgs! Probably two and half years ago.

    When I first started this journey I expected something else, something much simpler, much more straightforward and less painful. I know that weight loss surgery is not the easy option, that it is difficult but I guess subconsciously, I did think of it that way.

    But it isn't.

    First of all, surgery is a nightmare, I've never had it before, never been to a doctor for anything serious, I've never stayed overnight before and I am lucky, because not only is recovery a #*%$#, hospitals are also spooky at night. 

    I also underestimated how awful the liquid diet would be. My stomach wasn't hungry, but I was jealous, of everything that everyone was eating that I could not. Honestly, I thought I would breeze through the liquid stage because I didn't mind protein shakes or soup and yoghurt. Well, that was a lie. There is something so draining about eating the same thing every day, and not chewing, or having any flavours; everything was either too bland or sickly sweet. Eating becomes a chore, and maybe this is for the best because I definitely didn't have a healthy relationship with food pre-op, but I don't like hating food, I would just like to strike a healthy balance.

    I am looking forward to eating real food, but differently, I'm excited to try new healthy recipes, the ability to leave food on my plate. Enjoy food and not gorge myself until I'm filled with self-loathing.

    Pain wise, I am doing okay, I am 2 weeks out and I feel pretty good, almost how I was pre-op barring the occasional struggle. I am moving around and I try and to go up the stairs couple of times each day, I get winded pretty easily but not sure if that's from surgery or being fat. I am lucky that my recovery is going well, I know it's because I'm young.

    It's just this has not been easy, it has not been awful and terrible, and I am very blessed, there have been no medical complications so I shouldn't complain, and I am not. I am happy I had this surgery, I am just learning that this is a tool, that you don't wake up afterwards a new person. You are still you, and you are responsible for making this work.

    It's important that I know my weaknesses

    •  I love carbohydrates. I love my 8 pieces of toast and pasta and rice, and I know that I will have to stay away from them if I want to prevent regain. It is difficult but I know it's for the best. 
    • Exercise! I am good at it. But I am also lazy and good at putting off going to the gym. A good diet is one thing, but I know I need to work out too.
    • Cheating. I am all talk, I know all about diets and healthy eating, I know a number of calories in a milkshake, I know what I should be eating and what I should be eating, therefore, is no excuse as to cheating. I have to be serious. I cannot allow it this time.

    Sorry for the rambling, I've been trying to catch up on the past two weeks and I need somewhere to place my thoughts.  


  17. Mamamac

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    I have begun the process of jumping through all of the hoops for the sleeve procedure.  I have BCBS Federal as well as some of you.  How long did it take for approval once you had all of your tests, visits, etc...