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  1. 4 likes
    I wonder if part of it is the "addiction transfer" thing that happens so often after WLS. So many people after WLS have issues with alcohol, or shopping. I think it's best to deal with it so it doesn't continue to be a problem, but I'm glad you at least are experiencing an "addiction" that isn't harmful Mine is shopping. I use it the same way I used to use food. It's entertaining when I'm bored, comfort when I'm sad, etc. I keep hoping I'll get addicted to exercise but so far no luck!
  2. 4 likes
    I feel so bad for you having that experience. I think we can all relate to how humiliating those kind of things are. Here's my embarrassingly funny MRI story... Last fall I had to have an MRI following a slightly abnormal Mammogram. It's so weird; your breasts have to hang down these 2 tube-like things which was embarrassing given the deflated, long things my breasts had become. So there I am, laying on my belly with my rear sort of up in the air and my tube sock breasts hanging down the tubes. I got the giggles and couldn't stop. They kept telling me I need to hold still but I just couldn't quit giggling; when I laughed it made my hanging breasts swing which made the giggling even worse. Soon they were giggling with me. Or maybe at me? Good times in Radiology... Now I have new pretty perky breasts, and best of all the MRI and the 6 month followup Mammo have been deemed OK There are going to be so many things that used to cause anxiety/embarrassment/humiliation that just won't even be relevant anymore. You are going to triumph in your new glorious fabulous post-WLS life!
  3. 4 likes
    @Gretta what a very brave thing to have done - it speaks volumes about the desperate fear we encounter when dealing with cancer. I'm so sorry about your mother.
  4. 4 likes
    My husband loves labneh and Laban, but all the kinds I've tried are a little salty. I like labneh when it has zaatar, but I prefer my yogurt with fruit for breakfast, so not sure labneh would be ok like that. I made hung yogurt last night and it's just about exactly like Greek yogurt (maybe a little thicker) and it was pretty easy Yes, pink walls. Who on earth made that decision? Yuk. With sandy beige floor tiles
  5. 4 likes
    Absolutely. I think I'm going to spread the word that I'm just one of those annoying low-carb people. Clusie L's video on how to make people quit asking you about your diet is hilarious: just keep giving too much (nonsensical, if you have to) information - no one wants to hear all about the details, so pretty sooon they'll leave you alone!
  6. 4 likes
    'Coming Out' as a bariatric patient is something I think about semi-frequently and even posted a bit about it at the beginning of my journey (even pre-surgery). Right now I'm in the keep-the-cat-in-the-bag category but I may change my mind at some point because I see the value of sharing the good word. I spent the majority of my life 'in the closet' about being an atheist. It was very difficult for me to speak openly with my family considering my religious beliefs are vastly different than theirs. But after realizing that my parents are amazingly loving and caring people, who may not understand but will love me unconditionally, it was a huge relief to be open about it. I'm now even active in my local humanist group - volunteering at the food bank, growing veggies for the homeless shelter in a community garden plot, doing public outreach, etc - and it feels nice to know people are seeing that I am still a good person, even without God (which is one of the judgmental and vicious statements/stigma that have been used against atheists by some such as my extended family). I am also a rape survivor, something I am not as open about and which also carries stigma. When the time is right, I have a feeling that I will be open with that as well. I am in a unique position to influence young lives and if I can help other women or men who have also survived and need to see someone that has thrived, I think the initial discomfort will be worth it. Being a rape survivor, an atheist, a bariatric surgery patient - its all woven into the fabric of my life. I should not be made to feel ashamed of it. That's me taking the long way to say I get not sharing your bariatric surgery status @Gretta and I also see the good in it. To each their own as we navigate this journey!
  7. 4 likes
    Love this! Love the personal trainer serendipity and the new sassiness. Yes! Ugh, constant nausea has to be awful. Have they given you zofran or anything for it? I was having constant nausea, & we discovered it was being caused by ursodiol/actigall I was taking to protect my gallbladder. We adjusted the dose, and things got better. I chew Extra spearmint gum whenever I'm nauseated now and am surprised at how much it helps. I got a new blender for the pureed stage 10 weeks ago, and it is still in the box. I just use my Magic Bullet for everything. I also got silicone push-up popsicle molds I have yet to use. Haven't used my gummy bear mold yet either. Teach me thy ways! I am with you on the calcium citrate being a nightmare. The Citracal petites go down easily, but they're only 200 mg of calcium. The Celebrate chews aren't bad but just way too expensive. Dubliner cheese rocks my socks too!
  8. 4 likes
    This is sooo true! I had slowly transitioned to leggings and long sweaters or loose tops so I really have no idea what my largest size truly was because that elastic can be so forgiving. And while your scale may be ticking you off, its exciting to hear of your fitness achievements. This is why the NSV are so important! AND to make advancements considering the 4 weeks of booting it up! Hooray for you!
  9. 4 likes
    Thanks for the positivity you three! @Jen581791 - I'd love to know what's happening in our bodies too! My scrub pants have felt looser, but wearing elastic pants every day does make it a bit harder to realize when stuff is fitting better Thankfully the process for NP grad school isn't too involved, but some schools want a GRE (which is odd to me since it has zero to do with nursing and most schools dont require it), so I'm studying up for that. The only other problem I've encountered is at least one of the schools I'm considering insists we find our own clinicals - how the heck are we expected to find someone to let us follow them around for 600+ hours of clinic time? Goodness. I'll probably just avoid those schools
  10. 3 likes
    @BurgundyBoy So far so good on the family front. Dad's still in some pain, but at least able to stand and sit again! Mom's completely in the clear. The army actually decided to send my brother home for his hernia surgery, which is the best news we could've possibly asked for at this point! I'll chalk it up to those great positive vibes from you. Thanks for checking in!
  11. 3 likes
    @BurgundyBoy - thanks for the advice! It's very timely. Right now Leah is downstairs having dinner and it smells awesome! I'm hoping by the time I get back home it'll make me pinch my nose. I'm definitely going to do everything I can to get where I want to be - seems silly to go to all this trouble otherwise! And I know about the honeymoon period, so I'll be trying to make the most of it. @Jen581791 - looking forward to all the surprises! And hey, slow and steady is good, too - whatever gets us there, right? @CurvyMermaid - Rest seems unlikely! I got as much sleep last night as I could - didn't even set an alarm - because I knew sleeping tonight would be hit or miss, and probably mostly miss. I'm about to head to bed, though - with my alarm set for 3:45am. YIKES. @delilas - it is SUPERCLOSE now! And you'll probably hear more from me than anybody wants to, lol... Thank you, everybody! One more post before bed, and then I'll see you all on the other side!
  12. 3 likes
    OMG, that cracks me up, @msmarymac - I'm already almost at tube-sock stage so I know exactly what you mean! Thanks for sharing that, it helped kick me out of a down mood. Post-WLS life, here I come!
  13. 3 likes
    Ahhhh. Thanks @Sleevalicious and @Jen581791 for the clarification. I think I'll make a trip to the Armenian store this afternoon. I'm now curious!
  14. 3 likes
    What a heartbreaking story, told with great feeling. I'm so sorry that your particular tipping point was a scary medically related one, but I think those might be the most powerful ones. So glad you're thinking positively about your future: it's amazing how fast it can turn around when suddenly you've actually done something tangible to change it. Next year if you go for an MRI, they might lose you down that big empty tube! So glad things have gone well for your 1900s friend (I'm picturing you two meeting, wearing dresses from Little House on the Prairie - the 1900s were a long time ago).
  15. 3 likes
    Wow, your writing of that story was so vivid, I felt like I was right there! You're days away from such a big life change! It's great to know your friend from the 1900s will be there to support you through it. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 40 and died from a recurrence at 52. I hate cancer so much. I ended up getting a prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstruction at 32 (before Angelina Jolie made it cool). Looking back, I'm amazed and happy I did that because I would constantly avoid doctors (and their scales) because of my weight. I'm so excited for both of us that medical stuff will be much easier to deal with as a result of WLS. Best wishes for a totally textbook surgery and smooth recovery.
  16. 3 likes
    We had a place in Dubai with five!!! So this is a step down in the world Yes, great veg options in this part of the world due to the many Indian residents. Nice to find British and American veg stuff, too. Makes life easier!
  17. 3 likes
    I'm so glad you love your new haircut & color and that you're getting positive feedback! I thought (and still mostly think) I prefer no one to comment on my weight changes. Aside from 2 friends and family who I have told about my surgery, I received ZERO compliments from anyone until a week ago when I hit 77 pounds lost. Yeah, I'm pretty private and don't really want to discuss it but, I must confess, I was getting pretty paranoid that the weight loss wasn't real or visible or something. Seriously, 77 pounds isn't noticeable?! Whatever. That's me taking the long way to say I can totally relate. Hooray for positive feedback!
  18. 3 likes
    You are doing so well! Congrats! Down 30% is so great. In all my moving, I haven't bought much in the way of equipment, so... Using: used plastic water bottles for shake shakers, ziploc baggies for snacks Not using: my fancy GNC shake shaker (made of plastic. Gets smelling like nasty old whey protein, threw it away!) Worth its weight in gold (although it doesn't weigh anything, so...?): My Fitness Pal. How awesome is its database? It has my local Omani brand of yogurt. No kidding.
  19. 3 likes
    Using: Bought a Vitamix (powerful blender) and use it to make not only my morning protein shake with blueberries and fiber, but also gazpacho. Now when drinking my fluids, can also get my veggies. [Amazing what a little bit of habanero pepper does to spice up those tomatoes!] It's overkill for what I need but it makes me happy to use. Not Using: 2 giant bags of protein powder, a container of pea protein vegan protein powder. Instead eating beef jerky now, grrrrrr. Worth its weight in gold: My kitchen scale.
  20. 2 likes
    So you're day shift now? That's great news! Everything I've read about sleep and weight loss says that working nights can really mess things up. You've made fantastic progress so far, and this may help you keep that up!
  21. 2 likes
    It sounds like you're doing great. Figuring out how to keep up your protein and fluids while out and about a tricky and takes practice. I still mess up from time to time. The projections on how much you "should lose," or really how much people lose on average by certain points in time, really messed with my head in the first few months. I was undershooting all of them. My speed of losses picked up, though, and now I'm overshooting all of them, so take those with a grain of salt. Don't let them determine your sense of accomplishment. You don't need the people at the doctor's office to say nice things about how you're doing, silly! That's what we're for!!! Nice job! You're doing so well! Way to go for planning a meal out! That takes courage but can make you feel so much more normal and in control. I hope you have a fun time.
  22. 2 likes
    I think we have similar tastes: I like the same Oh Yeah! One bars you do. So far the other ones I've tried (mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, and birthday cake) have been meh. So I stick with the maple kind, mostly. What? Did I just say "the maple kind"?
  23. 2 likes
    Actually, no. I mean, the maple syrup and the chocolate cake were the only things I really wouldn't normally eat - thank goodness for a menu planned by extremely fit, health-conscious people! I woke up with a bit of a weird food-craving feeling in my stomach (what I used to think was hunger but now I know it's some kind of hormonal response to carbs I guess) and I fed it some greek yogurt, and was all good. Pretty glad about that! We were gifted some banana bread by someone yesterday, and although it smelled delightful, I haven't been motivated to check it out. My husband will polish it off before I know it, so I think I'm all good as far as cravings go. I know that in my former life, it would be haunting me until I had some, so the feeling of control over that kind of thinking (or compulsion, let's call it what it is) is great.
  24. 2 likes
    I'm another one that feels my body changes. The real surprise for me has been the hollows in my underarms, they are so deep and make shaving the pits an interesting experience. I seriously believe it would be possible these days for someone to reach in and lift me up by my collarbones. Previously bones I wasn't even convinced I had...haha!!!! People have even commented recently that I have cheekbones now...more bones I wasn't sure existed in my body.
  25. 2 likes
    Exactly, it's a great problem to have I'm sure I'll shop my way out of it eventually, when I get to my goal, but in the meantime, my clothes are sagging... I'm hoping to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions!
  26. 2 likes
    Add me to the to club that used to hide from the camera whenever photos were being taken. I hated the way that I looked when I was overweight and so there are very few photos of me in the 20 or so years prior to my gastric bypass. Thankfully, now that I have reached my goal weight, I have no problem posing fro a photo and so there are lots of photos of and including me.
  27. 2 likes
    Great job, Jen! You have accomplished so much in seven months. Wow wow wow! 110 pounds! I'm so glad you like how you feel and look. You have worked so hard and been so compliant, and it has really paid off. Just awesome. Thanks for sharing.
  28. 2 likes
    298! Yes!!! Way to meet those goals! You're doing great. Hooray for new foods! Take those really slowly. Take a bite, set the spoon down, think about whether you feel full, repeat. Well done, you!
  29. 2 likes
    Wow and congratulations Jen! Your weight loss and your ability to thoughtfully self-reflect are both impressive and inspirational. I suggest that you do not buy too much clothing now as it will not fit once you reach your goal weight. Thank you for posting the photos of Oman. Oman looks lovely.
  30. 2 likes
    Lovely photos, @CurvyMermaid! The symbolic send-off of the pounds and inches is inspiring and the lanterns look beautiful. I hope you had a very happy birthday, despite the less than delicious Birthday Cake bar. I guess you can't have your cake and enjoy it, too. @Gretta I love those reviews - I may not agree with the flavor ranking, but I enjoyed the humor. Now time to figure out how to get those things over here on the other side of the world... No free Amazon Prime shipping here, unfortunately!
  31. 2 likes
    @CurvyMermaid great, thoughtful post. Thank you for the authenticity of your voice and your being willing to reveal things that must be painful. The phrase: "I felt comfortable in my own skin." From @Jen581791: the observation about how superficial external validation can be. But it is what it is. And being comfortable this way must be some kind of hard-wired primate thing. I hope everyone reading your post can glory in the superficial but delicious bath of being comfortable in themselves, or appreciate how wonderful that is. As they get to that place. _________________________________________ (Read @Zyia's posts from before her recent move).
  32. 2 likes
    Hi @NerdyLady Ayran is basically watered down and salted yogurt. My family drinks it a lot in summer. It comes in full fat or fat free versions. Laban is yogurt as everyone knows it. There are fat free, low fat and full fat versions. Labneh is drained yogurt. Traditionally, housewives will let the yogurt drain in a bag that they sew. Today it's much easier to buy it in the supermarket. Jen is right though it is lightly salted so that it doesn't turn sour. It has a thicker consistency than Greek yogurt and it is usually eaten with olive oil, olives and....bread or crackers. We also add fresh mint and tomatoes. Delicious. But you can skip the carbs and eat it like a dip with cucumbers or green peppers. It's rich in protein and calcium. It also comes in full fat low fat and fat free versions. It usually comes in 500g plastic containers. Some like Jen eat it with zaatar which is a powdered mix made with dried thyme flowers, sumac and sesame seeds. Also yum. So consistency progression goes from Ayran to yogurt to Greek yogurt,to labneh. Labneh is not common in all of the middle east. It is a staple for people in the near east. So when you go to a store try to find Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian specialties. I'm not sure but I think Israeli stores have it as well. Obviously you'll find it in the refrigerated section. Bon Appétit!!!!
  33. 2 likes
    Great update Jen! And the NSV of increased confidence in social situations with new people! You probably never realized how much of your mind was occupied on those thoughts and negative feelings until they were no longer there. I never realized how much my weight was a factor in decision making until I decided to have WLS and saw those doors of opportunity opening. I'm eager to hear if you sense any difference in the students treatment of yoy. While there may be cultural differences to account for as well, I oftentines wonder how my students perceive me based on my physical appearance (the option of chili peppers on ratemyprofessor as an example!).
  34. 2 likes
    Great going, Jen! And love your posts!
  35. 2 likes
    I love this detailed update! Four bathrooms?! So glad you've found vegetarian "meat" and other yummy options. Can't wait to hear about the gym!
  36. 2 likes
    Jen, Ah, airline meals. They are often so hot and miss when it comes to veg meals. I had the most delicious meal of my air travels on Kenya Airways. I ordered an Indian veg meal and it did not disappoint. When fellow passengers found out we were vegan (I'm not anymore), they were delighted to give us snacks. Mmmm. I'm sorry to hear that you were essentially given gruel on a bun. Glad you planned ahead and brought your bars. As you know, food is love in various cultures. I've managed to dive and weave through different food situations but I know that I stick out. You'll probably learn tricks over the next coming months that will help you gracefully turn down those invites. Let us know how you manage to do so and still be polite. I'm eager to learn your tips, Professor Jen. Giant hugs from this side of the planet! More later, gator.
  37. 2 likes
    There's a Toni & Guy just down the street! Yes, no shortage of salons here. It's really a question of me pulling the trigger - I am more afraid of the hair salon than the dentist for some reason. Oh, fear of commitment plus many years of getting bad cuts by people in countries where my hair type is rare - fine blond Northern European hair not being the norm in many places I've lived. Do not come at me with the thinning shears! Nooooooooo! Language gap never helps, either. OK, now I'm having hair salon flashbacks.
  38. 2 likes
    Thanks @tracyringo and @Sleevalicious. I should note the photos in the post are all stolen from the internet and not of me. Perhaps one day I will be as brave as others and post photos of myself but I'm not there yet.
  39. 2 likes
    @CurvyMermaid Congratulations!! I'm so happy for you. We are social creatures and being a little vain about our looks is only human. It transcends cultures and civilizations. It is simply universal. We mostly turn to surgery to get our health back but looking good is an intrinsic part of the package. So just be happy with your achievement and the compliments that come with it. Best of luck on your journey. Great haircut by the way! You look great!!!
  40. 2 likes
    Thanks @Jen581791. We took a team photo and it is the first time in a very long time where I actually like how I look. I've enjoyed shopping in my closet for new looks and I'm looking forward to doing it even more in the future. I'm not sure where you'll get your haircut at your new home - will you have an opportunity to go to a hair salon?
  41. 2 likes
    So glad to hear you're feeling great about yourself! I think that the motivation of seeing colleagues after a time was positive in that it pushed you to put your best foot forward and try a new look. External validation aside, taking a little time for some self care is a good thing, and I know I can be a bit neglectful of keeping up with my losses in terms of making sure my clothes fit and my hair is done. Whatever get you there The positive feedback from everyone must have made you feel great. It's always hard to know what people will say! Superficial? Maybe, but humans are superficial creatures. Take a minute to enjoy it.
  42. 2 likes
    Thank you, everybody! Motoring on. So hard to believe I'm exactly 1 week from surgery. I keep worrying that losing so much weight before surgery will somehow jinx me for weight lost after surgery - but I know that's just my brain's crazy sabotage program talking, so I'm ignoring it. My post-Aunt Flo drop has settled but I'm holding steady - and at this point I think I've done my part, it's time to let the docs take over for a bit!!
  43. 2 likes
    You seem to know yourself so well. That's wonderful. In reading this, I've discovered I've resolved myself to being on a diet/tracking forever (& I do think of it as a diet, not a lifestyle.). I feel like it's just my cross to bear. It's really refreshing to read about someone approaching it differently. Here's to closing out 2017 in a satisfying way, whatever that might look like to each of us. I really like how your posts make me think deeply. You have a gift!
  44. 2 likes
    YAY MEDIC ALERT BRACELETS! Im so excited to see one in the wild. I wear one (allergic to tetanus and bee stings) and will be adding my surgery stuff once I know a date. Its soooo important. Watch a trauma bay go down and you'll realize that when you're in a serious accident and unconscious, the last thing on anyones mind is to scour your chart (especially if this is a facility you've never been in before, or god forbid, they don't know who you are) to see if its okay to throw an NG tube in you, or if its okay to give a tetanus shot. The first day I worked in trauma was the day I ordered my medic alert bracelet. Your progress is amazing, and I dont think your last vacation prior to surgery is the best time to test willpower I hope you make your goal of 299 (I say as someone stuck at 301 for 6 weeks!) before surgery, but if not, you've still done absolutely amazing!
  45. 2 likes
    I dislike aspartame & SF jello, so I need to find recipes with a different flavoring and sweetener. I think I just found a good one for cinnamon bears. I even bought citric acid to make sour patch ones. I need to DO it.
  46. 2 likes
    @BurgundyBoy - I'm glad I'm not the only one saddled with some veggie protein powder. That stuff haunts me in my sleep. But I WILL SLAY THE BEAST! It's now a personal challenge to finish the tub. @Jen581791 - Yaaaaaaaz add MyFitnessPal to my Worth Its Weight In Gold category too! I love that app and I had never used it prior to surgery. Now I chart everything - and get lovely graphs, pie charts and tables for my efforts! @Gretta - They haven't given me anything for the nausea (despite my request, I don't get that?) and I've got four more weeks of treatment. Yuck. And get on that gummy bear mold Gretta! It's so easy! I have three small trays that make 50 bears each and using a combo of sugar free jello, agar (or gelatin) and Genepro Unflavored Protein powder, they end up being 1g protein per bear. It's such an easy to boost the protein.
  47. 2 likes
    @Rakat, would go on full alert here. Do you have a once-a-year change option coming up? And if not, there must be some option for WV Medicaid. You might have to change surgeons to get to this goal, and if so, look for experience, experience, experience. Given all the US uncertainties about insurance, I'd be very proactive now. Read @Res Ipsa's posts to others with insurance issues. Otherwise you are going to have to be trolling for a new spouse. Very inconvenient if not somewhat emotionally trying. (My wife has indicated she does not favor polygamy, so no luck here, plus am out of state. You'll have to look elsewhere).
  48. 2 likes
    Delila! Loving the improvement in your physical fitness! That has to feel so good. So sorry the scale isn't moving. Once the surgery helps you comfortably lower the calories, that scale will finally reflect your efforts. That was my experience anyway. Good for you pursuing the job change. So much happy coming your way shortly.
  49. 2 likes
    I like it that your doc's office asks this simple question. Last night found myself snacking after dinner (my downfall) on these cute whole peapod snacks - crunchy, adequately salty, some protein and fiber - when I realized I had probably eaten 200-300+ calories of them. Emotional eating is not just eating out of unhappiness, it can be that mindless kind of thing where you end up feeling warm and fuzzy... Self-awareness, self-awareness, self-awareness. Glad all going well with you. Your hernia was a hiatal hernia?
  50. 2 likes
    Yes! I hope you read back over this blog and feel how STRONG you sound. When doubt starts creeping in, keep this entry as ammo!!