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  1. 13 likes
    Today is my birthday and I saved a very special treat to enjoy on this special day…. I ordered a sampler pack off of Groupon and have been trying out the flavors. They are not very dense, which is a nice change from the Premiere Protein ones I have. As a birthday present to myself I did my measurements and since surgery I have lost 28”. Folks that is 2 1/3 foot less of me in this world! Overall I am closing in on the 70lb loss and – even more exciting – soon to enter into two-town. My next goal after cracking into 299 is the mythical 287. I have miscellaneous medical records that I went through in preparation for making my weight loss spreadsheet and was able to track weights all the way back to 2003, which also corresponded to my heaviest weight at 379. My lowest recorded weight for that entire time period was 287 and it was in 2012. So in at least 14 years I know I have not weighed less than 287. From there, when I hit 270 it will be my 100lb loss celebration – which I have recently celebrated with Trish (huzzah @Trish1967) and will soon celebrate with Mark (you got this @Dtrain84!). It may be early to plan these milestones out so far in advance but I like having the mini-goals. 4.1 lbs to Two Town, 17 lbs until lowest weight and 34 lbs until the 100lb loss milestone. I’m a happy camper. I’ve been buying canned food for the food pantry to represent every pound lost and that pile makes me happy. I will probably donate the 100lbs and start again otherwise it’s going to take over my living room! My celebration today is to drive up to the Poconos for a Japanese Lantern Festival. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while and the fact that this one fell on my birthday made it an obvious choice. We are supposed to have a gorgeous night for lighting the lanterns and letting them sail into the sky. You can write anything you want on the lanterns and a 66lb and 28” loss is certain something that I am exciting to send up. Those inches and pounds are gone and they aren’t welcome back.
  2. 12 likes
    Six months! I can't believe it. It's both flown by and dragged by, depending on my mood at the moment. Me six months ago seems like me in another life. I have lost 99.2 pounds since my pre-op diet started, one month before surgery. I have lost 80 pounds since surgery (come on, scale, can't you give me one more little pound so I can have a round number?). In the back of my head, I had a fantasy that I dared not speak of... to lose 100 pounds by my six month mark. Looks like I failed. (JUST KIDDING, I PROMISE!) I am pretty much pinching myself every day now, and not just to check on my loose skin. I'm still about 40 pounds from my stated goal weight, which I reserve the right to alter as I approach it, but that seems like a totally doable thing. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing. My size has decreased pretty dramatically - I am getting used to looking in the mirror and being OK with what I look like for the first time in a long time. I have a bunch of new clothes that actually fit me and aren't baggy to hide my silhouette, and they look pretty good! I'm shopping in the straight size stores with no problems at all, including some medium tops and large bottoms, with 14 mostly working. As a pear shaped person, that's to be expected. My boobs have decreased to a more reasonable size that doesn't much interfere with clothing purchases or vigorous exercise, so that's good. I'm starting to see a bit of loose skin, with flappy arms and jiggly thighs, but I would trade 10x worse loose skin for the weight loss I've had so far. I can always wear compression-y things. Depending on how things go, I could see some plastics at some point in the future, but I'm not really thinking about that yet. I can move better and more easily. Walking fast up hills or stairs is no problem. Getting up from the floor is easy. Getting in and out of small places is a breeze. Crossing my legs is comfortable. Heck, just standing and sitting are more comfortable. Everything just seems a little easier and more comfortable. *yay* I'm averaging about 700 calories a day right now, and I hit my protein goal of 65g per day about 95% of the time. Vitamins every day (I forget now and then but not often). Water is no problem for me, so I drink about 12 glasses a day or more. I've tried a few brands of protein shakes, and Syntrax Nectar (the first one I tried) is the one that tastes the best to me (best is relative here, though - sicky sweet protein drinks are not my fav). I eat a boatload of Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, plus veggie fake meats and some fish and quite a bit of shrimp. I'm coming around to eggs (not their taste -yuk!) and can eat about 1 1/2 if I really try. I haven't really eaten anything I shouldn't yet - I mean, I've had like three french fries, five tortilla chips, and one tiny handful of popcorn over the last six months, really just to taste it. I haven't had any sweets or real junk food. I haven't had any real dumping episodes, but several fish-related very uncomfortable periods followed by losing the fish, which hasn't really been that terrible, just painful beforehand. Vomiting post-op is really more like when babies spit up milk - quick and not too gross, without the acid and nastiness. My exercise has primarily been walking. I'm getting an average of 10,000 steps a day right now, including days when I'm in the car all day or whatever. I do some squats and modified push-ups and other stuff around the house. I'm waiting until after I move to join a gym - that'll be in less than 10 days (!!!). Due to weather constraints on the Arabian Peninsula (it's hotter than a [fill in your region's idiom of choice] until October/November), my outdoor walking will probably not continue. My whole decision to move back to the other side of the world is really its own NSV. My husband and I have had rather bad luck in finding jobs we like here in the good ol' US of A, and we actually really enjoyed living in Dubai while we were there. However, at a higher weight, and hey, if we're being honest with each other, in the last few years there when the scale numbers were drifting ever higher, just the idea of having to sit on a plane for almost 20 hours was enough to kill my desire to go back to the Middle East. In fact, being so much heavier, I was really mentally suffering with the idea of looking for jobs at all - my self-esteem was low and getting lower. The svelter me is actually excited to start a new job and is not really worried about sitting on a plane. I mean, it'll be awful, but not like "I'd rather jump out the window than sit here for another 15 hours" awful. So, my six monthaversary weekend: I drove to visit old friends in Seattle. We had a great weekend, catching up and chatting. I did not tell them about WLS. They are nice and would undoubtedly have been supportive, but they are thin, from families of thin people, and would not have understood. So I was just "doing low-carb" and "not very hungry." They've seen me lose and gain before, so they politely didn't even say anything beyond, "You look good." I wore great clothes, I walked around in a skirt without shorts things on underneath to prevent chafing (thigh gap is not a realistic goal for me, I think, but less thigh chafing? definitely), I felt confident seeing old friends, I was happy to meet new people, I had an evening out with a large group with no alcohol but a nice cheese plate, I walked and walked and walked and didn't get tired or out of breath, and I came prepared with all my gear to make sure I got my protein in (shakes and bars and string cheese and almonds). I am handling it The one bad moment was a pretty bad one, though. My friend, bless her soul, has never been on a diet in her life, and has only a very general idea of what low-carb might mean. I offered to take them out to dinner (where I could order something appropriate), but she insisted on cooking. Too late I discovered that most of the dinner would be pretty carby, and served over white rice (?!). "Well," I thought, "I'll just dish up the other stuff and not take any rice and mutter something about carbs." Nope, I got to the table and discovered the dinner already there, plated nicely. Huge pile of white rice with carby stuff on top. "Wow," she said, "I think I dished up too much stuff! Those plates are really full!" "Yes they are," I replied out loud while shrieking silently in my head. It was enough for me for like three days. And that would be if it was low carb stuff. White rice? That might ball up in my stomach and get stuck for a month. I smiled and sat down. My husband was making concerned eyebrows at me. I just gave it my all. I didn't try any of the rice, but I ate as much of the stuff off the top as I could. I ate until I couldn't, in a way that I never do now. It was really pitiful how small a dent it put in my plate of food. My friend was worried that I didn't like it, of course, which is basically how I played it off (well, politely saying that it was really good but still not eating much comes off that way pretty naturally, I guess). It was horrifying. I was really embarrassed. She was really embarrassed. The only good thing I can take away from this is: next time she'll let me take her out. It was a bad end to a good weekend, and it got me thinking about what to do in the future if this happens. I'm a bit at a loss. Any helpful tips, people who've been there? I did run across this the other day, for situations where you get called out about weight loss if you're not open about it. It's pretty funny, if you haven't seen Clusie L's stuff before. https://youtu.be/uHkARvNrT6M There's also this one, S#!T people say to bariatric patients. If you're ever feeling that those around you are not sensitive to your situation, this may be for you: https://youtu.be/Cas_-bVYcS4 I'll leave it right there, since Clusie L is just a whole lot funnier than I am. Please be kind with the photos - I am so freaking nervous to post these here.
  3. 9 likes
    This post is the follow-up to my post asking for advice earlier this week - http://www.thinnertimesforum.com/topic/120767-advice-for-post-op-dinner-party/ A few days ago, I starting really worrying about a dinner party I was invited to and asked for advice. I got lots of good pointers, mostly along the lines of “don’t get so worked up over this - people won’t care/notice.” Well, last night was the dinner party, so here I am for a post-party postmortem. Before the party, I had emailed the hostess to say that I was a vegetarian-who-now-eats-fish (a category I once derided as “fake-atarian” but must now dignify with the name of “pescatarian” I guess). I was happy to hear that the hostess also falls into this category, as does another guest (whew! I wouldn’t be arriving at a lamb-roast! that’s a good start!). I loaded up on protein early in the day just in case, and determined to do my best to eat a little bit of whatever was served. I was also praying for salad, since I can do a pretty decent job of taking out some green leafy vegetables without getting too full. Or maybe a buffet-style thing where I could just take tiny bits of things. I arrived to find that there were only 5 of us, total (alarm bells!) and that the hosts are sort of famous for their cooking (more alarm bells!). However, they are also very very very fit and health conscious people, so I was still holding out for something other than a giant plate of carbs. I had some wine before dinner and some veggies and hummus, which was a great option. Then, the baked brie topped with fruit and nuts and maple syrup (Canadians!! grr!) came out of the oven, and a loaded up cracker was thrust at me. “This,” I thought briefly, “would be a bad time to find out that I dump from sugar.” You see, dear reader, I have had no sugar, other than the stuff naturally occurring in dairy, fruit, and veggies, in 8 months, so I had no idea whether this would be the end of the world or no big deal. (I maybe should have experimented beforehand.) I ate the cracker with the stuff on top, and the maple syrup definitely wasn’t a selling point in my opinion, but it went down and stayed down, and I felt OK. As a non-Canadian, I do like maple syrup in theory, but do not enjoy the liberal use of it that Canadian expats seem to enjoy. Then, to table. Out come pre-plated dinners (worst case scenario!). They served seared tuna and grilled vegetables and grilled halloumi (an excellent firm salty Middle Eastern cheese, best eaten grilled or fried, doesn’t melt, just gets crispy). Yes! I can eat all of those things! I skipped the bread (and actually the salad, too, no room with this giant plate of normal sized portions!), and attacked the tuna, which was delicious. I ate really really slowly and drank wine while eating (please just wash some of this food through so I can eat more!) and managed to eat about half of the tuna, all of the halloumi and some of the veggies. I mumbled some things about low carb and how delicious everything was - it was actually really delicious. At a certain point, I was admonished to stop eating if I was full and not worry about it, since of course I was the last one eating and the only one who didn’t clean her plate I gave up at that point. Then, the hostess disappeared into the kitchen to get dessert. Which came back to the table already plated (small voice inside making strangling sounds). It was sitting in front of me before there was any possible way I could have politely declined or even asked for a smaller piece. These are people I don’t know at all, remember, and who are being very nice to me and my husband as new people, to invite us over for dinner - so I can’t really be rude here. It’s super ultra rich chocolate cake and ice cream (small voice takes on new urgency, sort of quietly screaming). I’m pretty sure I looked a little like a deer in the headlights, but I tried to be calm, really I did. I skipped the ice cream and got some tsk tsks for that, but I ate a lot (for me) of the cake. I maneuvered around the frosting and got only the cake itself, to minimize the dumping risk. I ate super slowly. I tried to refuse the fancy Italian chocolate liqueur that was served with it, and was allowed to share one with my husband (I took fake sips). The cake was good. I’m not really a chocolate person (sounds crazy, I know, but I don’t love it, and since my sense of smell went haywire last winter, it just tastes sort of bitter to me), so it wouldn’t be my thing in the best of scenarios, but at this point, I’m just eating slowly and hoping that I’m not going to have a dumping episode right here at these fine people’s house. I did not. I got a bit hot and sweaty, but nothing other than that. I’m glad I didn’t push my luck with the ice cream. I was fine. After we left, I was like “Woo hoo! I made it through being invited to someone’s house for dinner and I did OK! I ate like half of everything! I ate cake! I made it!!!!!!” I think I’ve just established myself as a person who doesn’t eat much or maybe a picky eater, which is fine. I guess that both of those things describe me now, so that’s probably a good thing. “Hi, I’m Jen, and I’m a picky eater who doesn’t eat much.” BUT, I’m a picky eater who doesn’t eat much who can go to dinner at someone’s house and not die! I did my MFP food diary when I got home (gee, I’m so fun), and I only had about 1100 calories total for the day, even including the two glasses of wine and the cake. I guess there’s only so much damage you can do if you’re eating tiny quantities. Good to keep in mind while focusing on keeping the quantities of suboptimal things small. I think this dinner was the signal to me that I need to experiment a bit more and figure out some more coping strategies for dealing with being served things that are less than ideal for my way of eating. Living the life of an expat in this part of the world means eating dinner at other people’s houses pretty frequently, as that’s a major portion of the social entertainment available. Since we’ve just arrived, I think there will be a good number of these kinds of things as people get to know us, and I’m hoping they all go as smoothly, despite my fears, as this one went. I’m about 28 pounds from GW right now, so at some point in the foreseeable future, I’m going to have to learn how to maintain, which will require learning to deal with the normal everyday food challenges presented as I go through my life. Up to this point, I’ve been narrowly focused on eating *perfectly* and this has served me well, but my strategy will have to change a bit. In general in life, I find it much easier to be an “all or nothing” kind of person - I can do *perfect* perfectly, for a while, until I can’t. I have a hard time going back to something like *perfect* after falling off the wagon, or making periodic allowances that disrupt *perfect*. This is something I need to work on. The cake didn’t kill me. The maple syrup didn’t even kill me. Today I can eat whatever I like, which in this post-WLS iteration of my life means greek yogurt and protein shakes and cheese and shrimp, and I don’t have to feel bad or guilty or anything negative at all about what I ate last night. In fact, I can feel good about it. I was flexible and I ate both to sustain my health and to perform a social function, and both of those things are important in life. And they liked us enough to invite us camping next weekend, so I guess we passed the test. I’ll make sure to bring some protein bars.
  4. 9 likes

    An update..

    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 - Today - 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)
  5. 8 likes
    Well, it’s been more than a week, and I’m surviving so far! My in-flight meals were a WLS post-op’s nightmare: giant heaps of carbs. We always sign up to get the vegetarian option, which is great on some airlines and not so great on others. KLM and Delta seem to have a carnivore with a chip on his shoulder designing the veg menu. We were actually served a hamburger bun with some kind of gloopy rice thing as the filling for one meal. Seriously? Everyone else gets eggs and cheese? Which is vegetarian (but not vegan, but we didn’t specify vegan, just veg)? But we get bread with rice? And was that any better than the previous meal, which was pasta with bread? OK, finished complaining. Luckily I had bars, bars, and more bars with me. That’s about all I ate for two days. Warning: non-WLS-related details ahead! Skip ahead if you are only here for the WLS stuff. Our new place is an apartment in a building with another new person (that’s a plus). It’s only about a 15 minute drive from the university, if traffic isn’t bad, and about a 10 minute drive to the sea, which is nice. It’s in an area with big fancy houses, and is the only apartment building, which means it’s quiet - and the local mosque is even fairly quiet, which is not a given in this part of the world. The apartment itself is big, but not very nice - three bedrooms and four bathrooms all to ourselves (I guess our cat gets her own room). It’s sparsely furnished, which makes me long for all of my nice stuff that is, sadly, sitting in a storage unit in the US for the year. The walls are freshly painted an ungodly shade of pepto bismal pink. The university seems nice so far - the campus is big enough that in the hot months you pretty much have to drive to class, but the grounds are pretty. Our department seems full of friendly, well-organized people. The classrooms and offices are nicer and better set up than I had imagined. All seems good so far. We spent the first week just doing paperwork: visas, driver’s licenses, utilities, phones, internet, bank account, etc, etc, etc. That stuff is a pain whenever you move, but at least there were people here to help with it. The weather has been pretty hot, but not as bad as we were expecting. It’s been in the 90s (low 30s C), but not in the 110s (44+C), like Dubai is getting at this time of year. Humid, though. Back to the WLS stuff. My food intake is going to be different here. Some of my staples are not easy to find or cheap here. Examples: cottage cheese is available, but it’s the British kind - it is not at all the same thing. Greek yogurt is available at a grocery store a fair drive from my house, but it’s Fage, so it’s imported, so it’s like $10 for a small tub, $4 for an individual pot - this means I will be hanging my yogurt to make my own Greek yogurt (hanging it in a cloth and letting the whey drip out turns it into Greek yogurt). Fake vegetarian meat is available! Quorn chik’n roast! Morningstar patties! Hooray! I was not expecting this here! Protein shake mixes are readily available. On the more positive side concerning food, I’m back to where I can get great Middle Eastern and Indian food, which I really enjoy. The spicy flavors appeal to my messed up post-WLS palate: if it’s really spicy, I can’t taste that it tastes weird. Some food challenges: lunch at school will probably have to be brought from home, even though I think most people eat in the dining room, so it’s a social thing. I will have to be that weird one with a Tupperware full of strange stuff instead of having what everyone else is having. I’ll deal. Another challenge: other faculty bringing nice things to eat. This is a very food-as-social-gesture culture, so saying no is hard. I’ve already had to say no to several lovely looking cakes. I hope I’m doing it gracefully. I worry about that. I managed to go out with a big group and not make a big deal of not drinking at a pub quiz - I kept getting soda water and limes, and I think it looked enough like a G&T to not be suspicious. I also managed to kick @$$ at the pub quiz, which I’m sure helped people overlook my suspicious not-drinking behavior. As a new hire, I have to undergo a health screening, the first part of which is over - it was just taking all the vitals plus getting a chest x-ray (for TB). It is a HUGE RELIEF to go to the doctor and not be afraid (I mean petrified!) of getting weighed and measured and stuff. I was like, lah-di-dah, sure you can weigh me with another person in the room. Whatevs. My pee test came back with ketones in it (I posted about that and others were kind enough to assure me that the doctor probably won’t suspect I’m dying or anything once I explain how I’m eating), and also I came up slightly hypoglycemic, but that was after hours and hours and hours of no food. It was a tough day. I get the real exam in a week or so, during which I’m sure I’ll be asked about my pee and also the giant nest of titanium staples that are very apparent, I’m sure, in my x-ray. So, it’s time to join a gym. Fortunately, there is a faculty club on campus that has all the gym sort of stuff (weights, cardio machines, pool, tennis, etc.) and is very reasonably priced. How convenient is that? We looked around today, and it looks like a pretty good setup, so we’re going to hit the gym tomorrow! We’ve really just been mall walking since we’ve been here - it’s pretty hot out, and muggy besides, so a gym will be just the thing. I’m actually looking forward to it. So far, my favorite part about this move is that I feel way more confident in meeting new people. It feels so great to just not have that 30% of my mind busy running myself down, and second guessing everything, and worrying about what I look like, and stressing about things like getting winded walking up stairs or feeling really hot and sweaty if I have to walk out in the hot weather, or trying to figure out what my next (punishment) diet is going to consist of. It’s just very freeing to not have all of those worries in my head. I can think about other things. I can focus on being more positive (I tend to be a teensy bit negative, or perhaps cynical). My weight loss doesn’t look like it’s slowing down much - in the past 30 days I’ve lost about 13 pounds. I’m still eating around 700 calories per day, I’m getting just shy of 10,000 steps per day, but I’m not really “exercising” at the moment, just walking when I can during the day. That all changes tomorrow: Gym Day. So, we’ll see how things go in the first few weeks here, but it looks as if all is well on the WL front. I currently have about 35 pounds to lose to get to goal, which sounds pretty good to me. I feel like I’m in a very good place at the moment, so I’m not in a huge rush to lose those 35 pounds. Getting closer…
  6. 7 likes

    Double Take

    After months of not seeing some of my colleagues, last week was the week we all gathered for a meeting. I was nervous. Would anyone notice? Could they tell? I had lost 60+lbs and at least 4 sizes so far. I was of the opinion that no one noticing would be the greatest failure thus far and therefore put even more pressure on myself. (unrealistic much?) I **agonized** over what to wear. I Marco Polo’d with my fashionista friend to have her critique the outfit I had come up with. She gave me great feedback, I tweaked the outfit, and laid it out for the ‘big day’. I had my hair dyed professionally (something I have never done before). I could barely sleep. Seriously, this was worse than the first day of school somehow. Where you tried to pick the outfit that most represented you and the message you wanted to give everyone on the first day. Hadn’t I progressed past vanity a long time ago? My friend and I chatted and she said that I should prepare myself for no one saying anything. This would either be due to the unfailingly polite nature of people in this region as well as the work environment or could also be due to the fact that I was still a fat person, just less fat right now. Both really good points. If I was some Southern belle, this would have been my coming out party. The big reveal. Ugh. Stop, just stop. The day dawned and I left home feeling confident that even if no one noticed, I felt good. My clothes were fitting better than they had in years. I was in love with my new haircut and color. I was ready. Then, it happened. From the first person I saw, those that knew me commented on my hair. They loved it and said it really suited me. But almost everyone followed it up with the body scan and said, you look great. One colleague who I really have only met one other time, didn’t recognize me at first. One close colleague even did a double take. She just kept saying I looked amazing and giving me another look. I felt comfortable in my own skin. It is a remarkable feeling and I am so glad I made the decision to have VSG. Enjoy these photos, which may cause you to do a double take. I know I shouldn’t look for external validation. That to rely on others to fill your bucket (to use one of those cliché team building books we’ve had to read), can lead to unreasonable disappointment. But sometimes when you are feeling good, when your insides are finally matching your outsides, you look for some validation and it’s still okay. Lately I have been feeling pretty crappy and nauseous, I try not to let it show – the whole fake-it-til-ya-make-it mentality. And to be honest, it has been wearing on me. Yesterday was a win and I really needed it. So as superficial and potentially unsustainable as it may have been, I’m going to take it.
  7. 7 likes

    Remember my secret goal?

    I think I have to thank my Aunt Flo for this number - pounds of retained water have been dropping off me since her latest visit. And in all fairness this is my stark-naked-no-jewelry-no-breakfast-yet number at home; when I went to my pre-surgical appointment, I was 301 fully dressed on their scale. BUT MINE COUNTS!!! I refuse to consider the weight of my sweater, sandals and jeans as part of my problem.
  8. 6 likes

    Seven months!

    Today is my seven-month-aversary. As of today, I have lost 110 pounds (well, 109.6, but I’m going to round up here). Holy smokes. That’s a lot. That’s a whole person. My losses this month totaled 10.4 pounds, which is the smallest number since the whole thing began, but that’s pretty normal, since I weigh a whole lot less now. I’ve figured out my monthly losses as a percentage of total body weight (calculating from my weight at the beginning of the month), and here’s how they look: M0: 6.6% (one month of pre-op low carbing) M1: 5.8% (one month after surgery) M2: 4.2% M3 5.4% M4: 6.3% M5: 6.9% M6: 5.5% M7: 5.5% Pretty crazy. I am truly stunned to look in the mirror now - I look pretty good, even to my overly self-critical eyes. I exercise regularly. I’m very careful about what I eat, but I always seem to find something that works for me (to be fair, I’m fairly selective about the restaurants I go to). I’ve got new students and new colleagues who will never know me as a fat person. That’s very liberating, mentally speaking. I had a friend, who I haven’t seen in a couple of years, come to visit last weekend, and she was really amazed. I told her about the surgery (she’s a very very close friend and a tight lipped one, as well), and she was surprised, but supportive. It was kind of nice to have someone else I care about in the loop. It was also fantastic to be able to run around and be active in the hot temperatures and high humidity here, without ending up in a puddle of sweat, panting hard, and with a red face from overexertion. We took some pictures, and I was really surprised to see how I looked in them: regular sized. My face looks thin. None of the photos were “at a bad angle” (that’s what we say when we mean “not at that one very specific angle where I don’t look quite so heavy”), and all of them looked fine. What a great feeling to not be afraid of the camera. I have very few photos of myself (particularly more than just from the shoulders up) from the last few years because I hated how they looked. Now I guess I can go back on the photographic record again… sad how our feelings about our bodies determine how we mark our passage through time with photos. *Note that the photos I’m attaching have no pictures of me - that is because all the photos of me are with my friend, and I’m not certain she’d enjoy her 15 minutes of WLS blog fame* While my friend was here, I enjoyed more “discretionary” (healthy, low-carb, but larger quantities) eating, bumping my calories up to around 900+ per day (over 1000 calories one day!!!!!), and honestly it felt good to go back to 700-800 when she left. I didn’t lose any weight for about a week, but not sure if that had anything to do with what I was taking in, or whether it was just one of those weeks when it wasn’t coming off (the week previous I lost 5 pounds, so who knows). It felt like I was constantly full at 900+ per day. I’m starting to wonder how many calories I’ll be able to maintain on, now that the end of the rapid loss phase is at least somewhat within my sights. My first week of classes is in the bag. It actually went really well, both personally and WLS-wise, as well. The new students and colleagues are really nice and the program I’m working in is a good one, so I think I’ll be happy here. I took my food with me every day (greek yogurt, string cheese, almonds, protein shakes) and was careful to eat when I needed to during the day. I brought an emergency protein bar, just in case, but I didn’t end up needing it. Having it with me was a bit of peace of mind, though. I drank quite a lot of water all day every day. I exercised at the gym on campus EVERY DAY after class - I had forgotten that when I’m thinner, I actually enjoy exercising, and it helped keep my first week stress at a manageable level. All in all, it was a very good, if exhausting, first week at a new job. Unfortunately/fortunately /, I’m going to need to find a tailor or buy some more clothes because I’ve run out of the stuff I had squirreled away from my thinner days. It’s all too big for me now. I tried it all on before I left the US, and it was definitely not tight, but workable. Now, however, it’s unwearable, like I look like I’m wearing someone else’s way too big clothes. I have three skirts, three pairs of trousers and one dress that are just too big to wear. That’s a substantial chunk of my wardrobe, since I only brought what fit in a few suitcases with me. People, these are wardrobe staples we’re talking about here! I’m having a wardrobe crisis! I’m actually kind of looking forward to doing some shopping, though: imagine that! I think I’ll try to aim for some stuff that will work for a range of weights, like dresses and skirts in stretchy or drapey fabrics, because I’m pretty sure I’ll go through some more sizes in the next few months. I’ve been watching Chemistry Queen on YouTube this week. She’s just had brachioplasty and abdominoplasty and it was very interesting to watch her videos from just before and after. It looked like she was in a lot of pain, but the results, even so early out, are impressive. She’s a really brave blogger, though, totally willing to tell it like it is and put herself out there, showing just what things look like and feel like. Thank goodness for people like that. I’m not having a lot of skin problems yet, but I do have 30 pounds to go until I get to my (somewhat arbitrary) GW, so I don’t know if I’m going to end up a bit saggier looking than I am now. My skin all feels a bit loose at the moment, like it’s not that tightly attached to me and can slide around a bit. I’m hoping that it’ll tighten some after I get to GW and it has a chance to recover a little. It’s funny how it goes in cycles - I wake up one day and notice that my chin wattle has become a thing and looks saggy, and I stress out about it and slather it (even more than usual) with three different kinds of moisturizer. This continues for a week or so. Then, one morning, I wake up and look in the mirror and it looks OK again. The chin wattle is synchronized with the arm wings and jiggly thighs - they all get really loose for a while, and then suddenly they’re not so bad again one day. Overall, I just feel really positive right now. I’m not really struggling with food issues, I’m still losing, I’m not hungry at all (yet?), and I’m looking and feeling good. Is this why they call it the honeymoon period? Photos below are of one of the many many forts in Oman, plus a shot at a resort on the beach. The water/rock color combo is stunning! I'll need to do some swimming here.
  9. 6 likes


    So, I live with my one of my best friends. I've known her for about 20 years now. In fact - while I was on vacation, I mentioned this to another friend's 7 year old kid, and he said, "Wow, you've been friends since the 1900's!" (OMG, kid, thanks.) We've been sharing a house for about 9 years now, and I'd say we're practically sisters at this point. A year or so ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. We went through two surgeries, chemo, and radiation together. She's doing great now - has all her hair back and most of her energy, and we're working on putting it behind us. One thing we have in common is health anxiety. She got hers from an overly paranoid mother. I got mine from being diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening autoimmune condition when I went to the doctor to see if I could get a cream for a rash on my hand. As I've gained weight over the years, the health anxiety has gotten worse. So when Leah was diagnosed, I got paranoid, and decided I needed to get a mammogram right away. Leah's cancer was found at stage II, by a 3D mammogram, so I determined that's what I needed as well. I've always had pretty fibrous breast tissue. And not a lot of it. I'm that rare fat girl with a C cup. So self-exams don't really work for me, as I always find something that feels like a lump, and I always think it's cancer, and it never is. This time I had two things I wanted them to check out. And everything was fine - no trace of anything scary on the mammogram OR the followup ultrasound. But the lumps were still there and I was still freaked out, so my doctor suggested I get a breast MRI to be as sure as possible. It was just an "if you are really worried about this" kind of thing, but I was, so I set up the appointment and went in. Leah went with me. A lot of MRI appointments are late in the evening, and mine was at 8pm. One of the weird features of the place I went is that the MRI facility is tucked away in a far corner of the building, at the end of a big long hallway that has no places to stop or rest. I was about 350, 360 lbs at the time. By the time I got there I was exhausted, in a ton of pain, and just ready to be done. But that's not how it works; you have to sit around and wait for the people before you to clear out, and sometimes that can take a while. When Leah was getting her pre-surgery breast MRI, we waited 2 hours before she was called in; I knitted her most of a scarf while we waited. It was only about an hour and a half for me. I went in, and was given a gown - a big one that actually covered all of me, which is not always guaranteed, as you guys are probably well aware. I put on those little grey socks they give you with the nubby white bits on the bottom for traction. And then I waited another half hour for god knows what, before they took me into the room with the machine. They had me lay down on the table, and gave me all the instructions and info - don't move, don't worry about the noise, how long it would take, that kind of thing. It was two very nice lady techs - very warm and friendly. Then they raised the table, with me on it, and the table started to slide into the machine. And then it stopped. Because I didn't fit. Actually - technically - I fit, but only pressing pretty firmly against the sides. They were worried about possible burns or the effect of being in skin contact with the machine. So these two very nice lady techs slid the table back out, and lowered it, and told me that they would not be able to do the MRI because of my size. It wasn't 100% out of the blue. I'd worried about it; I'd just also convinced myself it would be okay. That they only needed me to go in a little way, to boob-level, so it would be fine. Only it wasn't fine, and I spent the next 10 minutes being checked back out of the MRI office while trying desperately not to cry or show in any other way how mortified and humiliated I felt. Leah asked me how it went while I was signing out, but there were people around, and I couldn't say anything. I knew if I opened my mouth I'd start bawling. I just shook my head at her, and she could see the tears in my eyes not quite falling, and she didn't push me. She just helped me get out of there as fast as possible. About halfway down that long hallway the pain in my knees started to kick in again. And I started to hyperventilate. I stopped right there, holding onto the wall, with Leah pushed up close to me but not touching me because she knows me so well - she knew I'd totally lose it if she tried to comfort me. I don't have panic attacks very often - maybe three total since I've known Leah. But when I do, they follow a very strict pattern. First the need to cry, then the iron determination not to, and then the hyperventilation, lightheadedness, loss of control, and the kind of ugly-crying that absolutely requires privacy just so I don't freak out anybody else. Somehow we got out of that hallway - I don't even remember it. The next thing I remember, we're sitting in a completely deserted waiting area. It was big, but totally empty - I think it was right by the entrance to the buliding, so on our way out, and it was empty because by then it was like 10:30 at night. My hands were full of wet tissues and Leah was rubbing my back and I felt like I'd been hollowed out. At some point I must have told her what happened, because the first thing I remember her saying is that I would lose weight and we'd come back. We'd lose it together, and she knew I could because I'd done it before. Which was true. I'd dieted my way down to 270 a couple of years back, just through the paleo diet and some minor exercise. But I'd gained it all back, and it was so horribly disheartening that the thought of trying to do it again made me start crying again. Because 1) of course I'd tried to do it again already, and it hadn't worked yet, and 2) I didn't think I could stand it, emotionally, to lose weight again and gain it back again. Eventually I just ran out of emotion. We got back to the car and went home, and the next day I called my doctor, and she said we could just monitor through exams for the next year or so and it would be fine. I was too exhausted and sad to protest. And the two things I'd been concerned about did in fact go away over the next couple of months, which basically proved they were just transient hormonal lumpiness and nothing more dire. I didn't start researching weight loss surgery immediately. I didn't buy a book or look at any forums or check into my insurance. It took about 6 months before I worked up my nerve enough for any of that. But this MRI thing - that's why I did it. That's why I opened a browser and typed in "gastric bypass surgery boston." And that's why I'm sitting here writing a blog post 4 days before surgery, thinking again about all the things I don't fit into, and all the things I will fit into a year from now. Kind of blowing my mind right now, actually.
  10. 6 likes

    Making Choices

    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.
  11. 5 likes
    So, first the NSV - my period has returned! On schedule, even. Sorry guys, this may be more than you want to know. But sometimes when ladies reach a certain size, their female bits malfunction. We may get horrible periods, or crazily scheduled periods, or sometimes, like me, no periods at all. Mine has been gone for at least three or four years... until the end of August. By that time I'd lost almost 50 pounds, and I suspect that made the difference. Still - one period isn't enough to say hey, I'm better now. One period isn't a cycle. I've had the odd period over the past few years, but they would be separated by like... years. But as of yesterday, I can definitively say I'm cycling, with all the fun that implies: a whoosh of weight loss (yaaaay!) from water retention; cramps; mood swings; the whole nine yards. It's even happening on a normal schedule, for a normal number of days, at normal intervals! I never thought I'd be so happy to have it back - I'm certainly not using these eggs for anything at 46 years old! But I like what it implies about my health - I feel like I may actually be getting it back now. The scale victory I didn't really expect to have for another few days at least. The one time I managed to lose a significant amount of weight - probably four or five years ago now - there were certain milestones that stood out for me on the way down. I've kind of been mentally checking them off as I go, like little mental mini-goals. 313 was one - that was when I first thought hey, maybe I can lose weight after all! (Spoiler: That did not last.) 299 was one - I actually still have a picture of the scale in my doctor's office the first time that little slider didn't get moved over to 300. The next one was 291. That was what I weighed when I went to Chicago to a visual arts convention I used to attend yearly with friends. I had a great time - great friends, great stuff to look at, catching up with people, dressing up... it was just a really awesome trip. But... I haven't been the past few years. I felt too big, too uncomfortable. I stayed home and played cat-sitter instead, while Leah and Meg went without me. So I expected to post this when I hit 291, but the scale has tripped me up. I woke up at 290 this morning! I feel really good about that. I've got other mini-goals coming up, and I feel like I'm going to make them. And who knows where it will all end up? I'm already so much healthier than I was... it's hard to imagine where I'll be in a few months. Which is kind of why I'm keeping this blog going. Just in case, when I get there... I can't remember what it felt like to be here.
  12. 4 likes
    Thank you to Jen581791 for sending me a message checking up on me. I hadn't realized it had been so long since I did an update. It's been almost 2 months since my surgery and everything is going well. I have gotten into a good groove of working, living, eating. As far as victories go, I have lost 28lbs since surgery day. I've gone down 2 pant sizes and just gave a big clothing donation to a local charity shop. I haven't purchased any "new" clothes yet. I'm swimming in all of my blouses/tops and I am on the tightest settings of my bras so I will need to bite the bullet and get some things that fit soon. I've successfully navigated eating out with friends twice. It was nice having a bill less than $10 when everyone else at the table had bills of $20-30 because they were eating full dinner servings, alcohol, and dessert. I was a little taken aback when having a 1-on-1 dinner with a friend that she ordered and ate a dessert dish right in front of me. I was triggered with envy to say the least but I didn't let it get to me, I didn't even address it with her. I can't be food-police to other people. I can only police myself. When she offered me a bite I said "No thanks" and that was very hard to do. My other victory is I am officially off my blood pressure medication. About 3 weeks ago I started getting dizzy spells and almost fainting when standing up. I stopped taking my blood pressure pill for a couple days and went to the doctor. She said my blood pressure was no longer high enough to warrant the high-dose medication I was on. She decided I didn't need a lesser dose, that because I am still losing weight she didn't see the need to have me take anything. I'll follow up with her again in a month just to make sure I'm still good. I'm struggling with a few mental things but nothing terrible. Mostly I am obsessing a little with food variety. I know I can only eat tiny servings of anything, but I have a full freezer and refrigerator of food because I don't want to eat the same things all the time. I feel the need to go grocery shopping all the time. But in my defense, I am buying and trying a lot of new things including vegan protein options which I have started to really enjoy. I have also cooked some "large" meals for my father. I've eaten my portion, kept a portion of leftovers, and sent the rest of the meal home with Dad. He's appreciative of the extra food and I am appreciative for eating something other than yogurt. So that's what's been going on with me. I'm feeling good. Happy with my progress. I have my 3-month appointment with my surgeon next month. I'll try to get an update out around then. Thanks for reading!
  13. 3 likes
    So today I will not make my goals. More on that later! This morning I had my two-week post-op appointment with my surgeon's PA and then my two-week post-op class with my nutritionist. Both went well! The PA visit was... a bit odd. They weighed me, took my blood pressure, that kind of thing. Then the PA came in, and just asked some questions - have I had any nausea, how's the pain level, have I had any trouble swallowing/eating/etc. I'm down 13 lbs from my pre-surgery weight, and since this is day 14 post-surgery, that's just a smidge under a pound a day. I guess -- I don't know! I didn't think anyone was going to throw a party or anything, but something like "good job!" or "you're doing well" would have been nice? She basically didn't say much of anything about it. In fact the nurse before the PA came in was happier about my blood pressure - which wasn't even low, it was 130/80 because I'd just gotten lost in the hospital and trekked what felt like miles to find the place - than the PA was about my weight loss. (My BP is usually more like 120/70 so this was not an impressive reading.) So - that was kind of a downer, but whatever - 13 lbs in 14 days is good! I'm proud of myself! I mentioned two concerns - my occasional low heart rate and the pain incident from last night. She wasn't concerned about the pain - basically she said that happens, don't twist that way again, take tylenol, call if the pain gets worse or doesn't go away after a while. She did show some liveliness when I mentioned the low heart rate thing - but her suggestion was that I just make an appointment with my PCP if I continue to be concerned about it. After wearing my apple watch all night for several nights, my heart rate seems very stable in the high 50's, low 60's while I'm sleeping; the occasional 40ish number may just be the watch wobbling on my wrist or something while I sleep. I haven't felt like my heart rate was low in the past few days, and haven't had any symptoms. I'll mention it to my PCP at my upcoming pap smear appt but won't worry about it much beyond that. The nutritionist visit/class was odd. For one thing, it was a class! There were five other ladies there, and they were all in different stages of their post-op diet. A couple were in 3a, like me; some were on into 3b (which allows fish, well-cooked non-starchy veggies, chicken, moist meats); and one was about to enter stage 4 (final stage, where you can eat what works for you). There were more sleeves there than bypasses, and the nutritionist seemed to focus more on sleeve stuff - whenever she talked about stomach size she held up a banana-shaped thing, for instance. The nutritionist asked how everyone was doing with eating and hunger. One person said she had trouble making herself eat - not just no hunger, but no desire to eat anything even though she knew she should. At the other end of the spectrum was a woman who said she was hungry all the time; I felt really bad for her, that must be SO hard and so disappointing. The rest of us basically said we had no hunger but no aversions, either; we were eating what we were supposed to and hitting our protein goals more often than not. We also talked about our plans for starting our next phase and what we might eat then. I mentioned that Meg, Leah and I planned to go out to Bonefish Grill for Meg's birthday, which would be a few days after I got into stage 3b, and talked about my planned choices (tiny piece of baked/grilled fish with no breading, maybe some well-steamed broccoli (not the tough parts!) or mashed potatoes). I got the nutritionist's seal of approval on that one. If Meg or Leah get something similar I may not even order; just steal a few bites from them to save cash. I asked my question about calories - she said she really didn't like counting calories, and would prefer we just focused on meeting our protein goals now. She did however say that generally people at my stage are somewhere around 500-800 calories a day, and I fall squarely in the middle of that for the past three days, so I feel pretty normal. She ALSO said that if we got bored with our protein food sources or met our protein goals, we could try some of the "non-protein" foods for variety. They're mostly carbs. She said "'carbs' is not an evil word here" - but you know, my weight gain is always triggered by me eating lots of carbs, and I really just want to avoid them as much as I can. Someone asked about weight loss - how much should we have lost at this point? Since everyone was at a different point, I didn't think the nutritionist would answer. But she did say that generally they found that by one month out, people had lost about 20% of their excess weight. That made me wonder how I was doing - and happily, an hour or so after I left, I got the "visit summary" note in my email. I'm 2 weeks out and have lost 11.4% of my excess weight, according to their charts! Sounds on-track to me, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't hit that goal. I'm just going to do what the program says and count on it to bring me to the right place. Finally - about my goals for the day. I'm not meeting them mainly because I was out of the house at my appointments from 7:30 am - 12:30 pm. I ate some yogurt in the car on the way to the doc's office, and I drank water throughout my appointments. But when I got home, I was exhausted. I didn't sleep well last night because of the pain thing, so when I got home I crashed and slept for like... four hours. Missing four hours out of my day messed up my vitamin schedule, my eating schedule, and my drinking schedule. I'm trying to make things up, and I'll get *close*... but I'm not going to hit protein or water goals, and I didn't get any exercise. Tomorrow is another day!
  14. 3 likes

    Day 12 - odds and ends

    Rolling themeless tonight! It's been an average day. Still losing, 1 lb overnight (yay!) and still doing okay on my goals - though I'm going to need to get through most of a liter of water before bed, I've left it a little late. I drank two protein shakes today to get an even BIGGER head start on protein, which was fine - but the protein shakes are 160 cal each, which bumped my total calories up to 612 for the day by the time I'd met the protein goal. I'm not sure if that's high, or low, or just right - my nutritionist has little to say on the topic of calories. They'd be lower if I were eating low fat yogurt and ricotta, but since I'm not... I dunno. I guess I feel weird not knowing if my calories are on point, but I'll be seeing my nutritionist on Friday and I guess she can tell me. Still not hungry, still tolerating everything pretty well. I've had a little bit of nausea when I take my multivitamin - it's a Celebrate watermelon flavored chewable, and it just doesn't go down as cheerfully as my calcium does. Not enough to make me stop taking it, but enough to notice. I haven't really felt full yet, but I have noticed a sense of... something... when I take too many sips of a protein drink too quickly. Can't really describe it. I did half an hour on the treadmill today, most of it at around 1.4 mph - until recently, I wasn't really getting higher than 1.0. So that's progress! Still trying to wrap my head around the changes I'm seeing/feeling. I haven't measured anything - I find it really annoying, never remembering exactly at what point I measured the circumference of what - whether to include my belly when measuring my hips, or whatever. So I don't track that, but I do notice changes. I'm pretty tactile in general, and I find myself running my fingers over what appears to be a slowly-emerging cheekbone, or a collarbone... wrapping my fingers around my wrist... checking out new hollows and lines, finding muscle below the skin. I can tell that way that my body is changing, even when I can't see it in the mirror. I do see it in the mirror sometimes, though - in my face, and oddly, in my ankles. Bodies, right? Who knew they could get so weird? Final note - I'm going to change my avatar tonight! At least, I am if I can get this picture to upload and it isn't too low res. It's not the greatest shot, with my dark hair against a dark background, and it may be pretty degraded. But it was actually taken when I was right around this weight on my last real diet push (Paleo!), so at least it's pretty accurate, minus three years. Gnight, all!
  15. 3 likes

    The Night Before

    So, this is it... bedtime on the night before surgery. I'm pretty doubtful about sleeping - too freaked out/psyched up for that. I'll take a lorazepam and see what happens. I've done everything I can do, pre-surgery. Now it's the surgeon's turn. (And then my turn again, wheee!) I'm optimistic about things working out pretty well. He's a great surgeon, very skilled and very well respected, and Brigham is a great hospital. Assuming my anatomy is at least vaguely normal, I expect I'll survive. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll turn out to be a plan-following, quick-losing, no-nausea-having, minimal-pain-having success story this time next year. So now it's time to just say goodnight - say thank you all, for all the fabulous support and information I've found here so far and will continue to find in the months to come - say "I love you" to Leah and Meg, because they are the best friends and family I could ever ask for - cuddle the cat, who is awesome - and turn off the computer. I'll post again when I'm awake and alert enough to ask for my iPad. See you all on the flip side! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
  16. 3 likes
    I've entered this surreal mental place in the past few hours; my brain can't focus. I'm flipping back and forth between this forum and the tropical weather reddit. I was fine through the work day, focused mainly on wrapping everything up before surgery. I'm taking three weeks off, and there's just a ton of prep and hand-offs to do so the walls don't fall down while I'm gone. But when I'd done as much work as I could do, I signed off, and my head went right up into the clouds. I'm reading a lot of older posts on the forums. My inner control freak is a planner. I want to know everything right now - what are the first few minutes like when you wake up? How long before your head clears? When do they start trying to force feed you broth and water? But I know it's not possible to know ahead of time. Everybody's different. I just can't stop wondering. I've done all the things. I lost 57 lbs, so hopefully my liver will be small enough - even though I haven't lost a single pound in days, even on this mostly-liquid diet. My surgeon didn't require a fully liquid diet - so for me it's been basically two protein shakes and a small, low-cal, low-carb, protein-heavy meal, with a couple of snacks thrown in. I'll confess, I'm not really much of a snacker when trying to lose weight, so I've skipped a lot of those. I'm trying to get in as much water as I can, though that's one of my biggest challenges. I'm up to 2 liters a day and just can't force another ounce down my throat after that - plus, I then spend the entire day and most of the night running back and forth to the bathroom. I've kept up with exercise every other day or so - walking mostly. I can walk 1.2 miles now without dying - and that includes a couple of major hills! So I'm as prepared as I know how to be, and now I feel like ... my excitement is in a race against my anxiety. I'm pretty sure excitement will win. But there's definitely a coin-toss universe where I stop the gurney and tell them I'm not ready to do it. It's funny - all through this process I told myself I wasn't committing, I was just exploring the possibilities. I don't think I can even say at what point along this path that changed. Just, one day, I was talking about what-if and the next day about maybe-when. I remember for a long time reassuring Leah that "I'm just looking into it, I probably won't do it." And then one day I had to tell her, "Actually, I think I probably will." Luckily she has been great - I knew she would be, once she got past her worry for me. But now I find I'm not quite all the way past my worry for me! I wish I knew how it was going to go for me. Am I going to be one of those people who has no significant pain post-op? One of those who has agony? One of those who can't keep anything down, or one of those who never feel any restriction? Will I have dumping syndrome? Will I be a slow loser or a quick loser? Will I have a stricture? Iron-deficiency? Will I never feel hunger or food-interest again like some people report? Or will I be one of those people who feels hungry immediately after surgery? Will things taste and smell the same, or will I find I don't like stuff I used to like? Will my sense of smell go off the charts? (I kind of hope it will; that would be cool.) Will I ever hit my goal weight? If I do, will I be able to maintain it? And what's my real goal weight, anyway? I hope that I'll feel blessed if I lose even a hundred pounds - which is about where my surgeon said he expected I would end up (using that 65% figure). I felt like a rebel when I set my goal in the sidebar here at 170 - that's just a little heavier than Leah, and we could share clothes! But in my heart of hearts, I think - I'm 5'3. The upper limit of normal BMI for me is 145. Is that a thing that could actually happen? Lately, I find I'm kind of obsessively touching my body - no, not like that, get your minds out of the gutter. But - I'll wrap my fingers around my wrist, because they touch now, and they didn't before. I'll wrap my arms around my shoulders, and there's just so much less shoulder there now. And that's only down 57 lbs. What will all this be like in another 50 lbs? Another 100? I have strange hollows in the backs of my thighs where suddenly there's a border between muscle and fat. My ankles are slimmer. My knees are narrower. Isn't that weird? And if it's weird now, how am I going to cope with it in six months or a year? Aiiii. It's clearly time for bed - maybe I can pop a benadryl and put all these spinny thoughts to sleep for a while...
  17. 3 likes

    Who Knew......

    ...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 Donate Discard 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.
  18. 2 likes
    ... and all's well. Went down another pound overnight, so I woke up 286 this morning. A pretty uneventful day. I did find some great little 2-oz packages of hummus at the store, and they are yum. I've always been a hummus fan. I met my fluid goals and juuuuuust missed my protein goals. Didn't get quite as much exercise as I'm used to, though I did do a lot of walking around shopping. I wore a DRESS today. First time in probably 10 years I've done that. It came down to just hit my knees. In other news, I have no idea what to do with a dress when I sit down. Or get into a car. It was kind of a t-shirt dress, in a blue very like like the Thinner Times header color. Only a bit darker. We went to the nursery to pick up some plants (Leah decided she HAD to have a plant for her desk at work, and I found an adorable little pot like a white paint can with orange paint dripping down the side, filled with pretty little succulents. So I had to have that!) Then we went to a local farm stand to shop, and I picked up ricotta -- the whole milk kind, since I've had trouble with the part skim -- apple sauce, more hummus, greek yogurt (Wallaby - amaaaazingly good), and a few things for Stage 3b for the freezer: Some thin-sliced raw turkey cutlets (no breading) and some chicken tenders, and some canned tuna. I asked my nutritionist about dill relish with the tuna, and she okayed it, even though it's not technically "allowed" in 3b - she thinks it's probably mushy enough, and I can just chew a lot. Tuna with dill and mayo has always been my go-to tuna, though I also put onion and celery in it in the past. I can do without those, but the dill is KEY. Can you tell I'm counting down the days to 3b??? It starts THURSDAY, and lasts 21 days. Speaking of 3b - hummus is technically a 3b food. But honestly, I think if I can handle refried beans, hummus is not going to do me any harm. Yes, that IS my medical opinion. So far this has been my only deviation from my surgeon's guidelines; I think I'm doing all right on that score. After dithering a while, I decided not to go back to work next week. I feel like I could - I feel like I could have worked this week, to be honest. My commute is the five feet from my bed to my desk - I work from home. But I figured it might be a good idea to be on more solid foods before I go back - in case something goes wonky when I make that switchover. Plus, this way I get another week of sleeping 8+ hours a night and not having to work my food and vitamin schedules around meetings. My boss was super understanding. I'd told her I would try to come back in two, but might need three - and she encouraged me to take next week, the last of the three, to get back to 100%. This way when I go back I'll be a few days into 3b, and about 2 and a half weeks away from Stage 4 - the one I'll be in for the rest of my life. The one where I start introducing dense proteins and other foods to see how it goes. There IS a small list of possible "problem" foods like steak and shrimp that they encourage us not to get into until we're about 6 months out, but basically Stage 4 is relearning how to eat like a person (only a smart person, who eats their protein first). Honestly, at this point Stage 4 seems more intimidating than anything else. I'm definitely not ready mentally or emotionally to start planning menus and converting recipes. "Crack open a yogurt container" is about my speed right now - I need this time to think things through, figure out some kind of a strategy for when the food world opens up again.
  19. 2 likes
    Had company last night, and afterwards I was too tired to turn on the computer for an update. Just a few notable things: 1 - made my protein goal, made my exercise goal (30 min treadmill this time), didn't quite make my liquids goal 2 - went a bit wild after my protein shake (30 G protein) and bumped my serving size up to 1/3 cup for my Greek yogurt at one meal and ricotta at the next. Had no issues, but these are basically thick liquids so I didn't expect any. 3 - had some pain last night that was a bit concerning. Left side, midway between rib and hip, 4 inches left of belly button. I reached across my body to turn on a lamp and the twist plus the lean resulted in a sharp-ish pulling internal pain. I figured I would just not do that again ("gee doc, it hurts when I do this --") but the pain then resurfaced with non-twisting motions that require a little ab support. Fine when not moving, not great when moving. I found a comfortable position to sleep in, felt a twinge of it once or twice in the night, but that was it. This morning it feels a bit tender but the sharp pain hasn't returned. (Spoiler from Day 14 - post op appts, yet to be written - my surgeon's PA was not concerned. Suggested Tylenol and "not doing that" in the future.) I'm typing this on Day 14 in the waiting room between my post-op follow-up with the PA and my first post-op meeting with the nutritionist. News on those fronts next!
  20. 2 likes


    So two kinda cool things: First, I finally decided on a surgery, and I'm going with the sleeve. I've been weighing things heavily, and was more recently leaning towards RNY, but after a frank discussion with my cardiologist and the NP, my occasionally necessary use of high-dose NSAIDS would be more problematic if I had an RNY. Since the stomach stays in you in RNY, I could still develop an ulcer from NSAID use. Since that stomach is no longer accessible via EGD, however, I'd need surgery to fix it, and that's not something any of us would be happy with. I also have some interest in seeing how getting rid of the ghrelin and leptin receptors in my body could help me, so I'm trying to be super positive Second, I was contacted by my hospital university to take part in a research study regarding patients cognitive changes and metabolism changes after bariatric surgery. I find the science behind bariatric surgery fascinating, so although some parts of the research totally sound not fun, it's pretty well compensated and I get a free liver MRI and DEXA scan, among other things. It's really only two days both before and after surgery I give to them, although one of the days sounds ugh...I essentially have to stay in bed for 10 straight hours while they put sugar and insulin in me to measure my sugar metabolism. After I've lost 15% of my pre-surgery weight, I'll repeat the two days of testing. Upside, the payout from the research will put a very nice dent in what I owe for my surgery. In other parts of delila-land, I am still stuck in my little plateau, but unbothered by it currently because I feel great, and I now need to keep my weight within a 10 pound range for the study. We hosted a little Labor Day cookout for friends and neighbors yesterday, and fun and good food was had by all and I find lately Im not even tempted by a lot of food. My dad is having back surgery this week after fracturing his T7. My mom just got out of the hospital after a canker sore got crazy infected and she needed IV antibiotics. And for more fun, my little brother, who is currently deployed to the middle east, has a double hernia and needs surgery and currently they wont let him come home - current plan is to send him to germany for surgery and they'll even make him make up whatever time he stays for recovery and add it on to his deployment. Ugh. I can't wait until this time next year. God willing, no more medical things going on with my family and my brother will be home safe and sound. Whew!
  21. 2 likes
    Feeling pretty good - today I'm at 298 again, which is what I weighed the morning before surgery. I added 11 lbs in surgery bloat from IV fluids, swelling, etc. Have to admit, I did not enjoy my brief return to the 3's! The past week has just been healing, dropping water weight, and getting back to baseline. From here on out, any weight loss is going to feel more official. I wouldn't call myself scale-obsessed, but I do weigh every day now; traditionally, if I'm avoiding the scale, it's because I don't want to see that I'm gaining. Met my protein goal by 8pm, and I'm on my way to meeting my fluids goal; I'll be there before I go to bed. Last night I planned to sleep in the recliner again, but Leah talked me out of it on the grounds that I was probably just being crazy. Instead I slept in with her - she's a saint. She promised to poke me if at any point I looked like I might be dying in my sleep. I wore my watch, too, and according to it, I didn't drop below 52 even in the dead of the night. So I think tonight I'm going to try my own bed again (though I have quite a lot of laundry to put away before I can get into it!) I walked 1.4 miles today - most of it in Costco. For the first time in ages, I made it all the way around the store without leaning on the cart once! Leah and Meg needed food; I needed ricotta and cottage cheese. Then we went to Whole Foods, where I picked up vegetarian low-fat refried beans, greek yogurt, lime juice, stevia, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a bunch of spices - to make the next 10 days a little less boring than the last 10 days! Here's what I'm allowed for protein foods starting Monday: Fat-free Greek yogurt (without fruit chunks) Low-fat cottage cheese Part-skim ricotta cheese Tofu Vegetarian refried beans (black or pinto) Protein shakes and powders I'm not going to worry about fat content, to be honest, unless I turn out to dump on it. So I just bought normal ricotta, cottage cheese and yogurt. And I'm not a soy person, so no Tofu. Here's what I'm allowed for non-protein foods starting Monday, assuming I have met my protein goals: Fat-free or light yogurt Unsweetened applesauce Canned pears or peaches (in own juice or water; no syrup) Soft banana Oatmeal, cream of wheat, or farina Sugar-free pudding I picked up some unsweetened applesauce, but left the rest of it alone. I'm probably going to need a protein shake to meet my protein goals anyway, so I doubt I'll have a lot of "room" left after I get it all down. On that list, the only thing I'm finding remotely appealing is the applesauce, or maybe the banana. I'm actually getting a little nervous about adding things in that aren't liquids or gels. So far I haven't had any pouch issues at all - haven't had to worry about chewing, or waiting to drink, or anything like that. I've just had to remember to keep my sips pretty small. Now I'll also have to remember to take tiny bites and occasionally chew! It's a weird thought. I've also been thinking about my plans for later stages. I've always done Keto before to lose weight, and I think I'll stick to that. The rule they use for macros over on the keto reddit is "protein is a target; carbs is a limit; fat to satiety." That seems like it blends pretty well with everything I know about post WLS eating, particularly if you're not going to be eating a lot of processed foods. I'll just be doing keto with much lower portion sizes/calorie counts. From what I can see on the boards, I won't be very lonely!
  22. 2 likes

    Day 7

    Made my water goal today - but sadly missed my protein goal by 10g. Tomorrow, as Scarlett said, is another day! I made it to the movie and it was fun! The drive wasn't hard, and the movie was great. I was a little tired by the end of it, but that was probably because I didn't frontload the protein; I drank water first instead. Next time I'll do it the other way around. Sadly, last night I didn't manage to sleep in my own bed. I tried - until about 1 am, when I moved myself back down to the recliner. I got myself into an anxiety spin. My heartbeat felt weird when I was lying down, and I remembered that the nurse in the recovery room had mentioned that it was a little slow when I came out of surgery - around 45. They monitored me for it for a while. I tried to take my pulse, which felt really really slow to me. And then I looked at my heart rate history on my phone (thank you, Apple watch) and saw that it had dipped low a couple of times since the surgery, usually at night. Now, I know the Apple watch is not exactly an approved medical device. But my brain started spinning the numbers around and I started to worry if I slept fully horizontally, my heart rate would dip too low and I'd, uh.... possibly die in my sleep. And then I googled "slow heart rate after gastric bypass" and went down this bad link spiral of people who've developed bradycardia after RNY and ended up passing out and going to the ER and needing pacemakers and whatnot.... and then I moved downstairs to the recliner for the rest of the night. I also know that if I'm going to be seriously worried about this (a matter not yet decided) I should talk to my doctor about it. I do intend to mention it when I see the PA next Friday. I was not before surgery and am not now on any drugs that should affect my heart rate or blood pressure. As I sit here typing, my heart rate bouncing around between 60 and 68. That doesn't worry me... it's just dips below that, that make me nervous. Nervous enough that I'm sleeping with the apple watch on tonight, to see what happens. The problem is, health anxiety is a thing with me. I've had it ever since I went into a dermatologist's office for a little roughness on one knuckle, expecting them to give me a cream or something, and instead got handed a diagnosis for an autoimmune disorder. I no longer have the ability to distinguish between big things and little things, when it comes to health stuff. Since I'm as likely to panic over a hangnail as I am a heart attack, I have to work a lot harder at figuring out what's a legit concern. (As I'm typing, Leah came down to give me a hug and tell me to talk to my doctor because I can't just sleep in a recliner the rest of my life. Yay support systems!) Anyway, I'll either relax about it and talk to the PA on the 22nd or I'll call my surgeon sooner, depending on how worried I am/continue to be. In the meantime, 302 today - closing in on my pre-surgical weight.
  23. 2 likes

    Day 6

    Who met her protein goals today? This girl! I got up to 64g of protein in today! 21 g of that came from the Unjury chicken soup flavored protein mixed with water. It tasted good... but I'm kind of STILL tasting it, and I drank it like 10 hours ago. I'm not sure if I'll want it again. And I hit my water goal (between 48-64 ounces), too - 63.23 ounces! Down to 303 now, so that's 6 lbs of surgery weight gone. The more water I drink, the faster it seems to go. Two other milestones: 1) No pain meds today, not even tylenol, and 2) I drove! Picked my room mate up from the train station, about a 5 minute drive one way. Halfway there, it started pouring. And I'm talking like biblical rain here, with lightning and thunder and wrath of God and everything. But it was fine! My insides only felt a little bit jiggled. Tonight: Trying to sleep in my own bed. Man, I have missed it. Tomorrow: I bought myself a movie ticket! I'm going to see "IT" all by myself. Well, just me and my protein shake and water bottle, anyway. None of my friends are horror fans (in fact, they sort of utterly refuse to watch it), and I figured a Friday afternoon matinee would be a low key way to get myself out of the house. When I chose my seat on Fandango, I was the only person in the theatre. We'll see how long that lasts tomorrow! I'm also calling my dietician tomorrow to talk about the next stage of my diet. According to the written plan, I'm scheduled to transition to 3a (Soft textures) on Sunday - that's greek yogurt, ricotta, cottage cheese. But my scheduled appointment with my dietician isn't until the 22nd. So I just want to check and see if that can actually happen, or if I need to hold off. I still haven't had any hunger at all, but I'm thoroughly sick of the taste of sweet at this point, and would love to get my protein in some other way. I'm also really interested in seeing how I handle adding foods in. This has been pretty easy so far, honestly... so I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop?
  24. 2 likes
    I forgot to mention this earlier, so now I am that always-posting chick. Last night right before bed I changed into comfy sleep clothes and on a whim, decided to see what all my incisions looked like. I got quite a shock. Everything up top looked fine. The lowest of the incisions also looked fine, weren't painful, and felt cool to the touch. However, a large swath of the skin below the lower incisions was a deep, angry, mottled purple and red. I immediately became convinced I was bleeding out internally, or had some sort of hideous flesh-eating infection. I called the hospital to speak to the on-call bariatric surgeon. Who turned out to be my surgeon. Between me asking to have the on-call paged and him calling back... MAYBE ten seconds elapsed. I had not even put down my phone yet! When I told him about it, he said that was totally normal, and just bruising, and it would go away, and "Get some rest. GO TO BED!" He seemed highly amused, but said I was right to call and check, and always should if I saw or felt anything weird. He's a great doc. Anyway, for pre-ops who may be in my post-op shoes one day, here's what it looked like. Apologies for the graphic nature of the image! I'm just hoping to put some minds at ease if anyone in need should happen to wander by.
  25. 2 likes
    I'm only 2 months out from my surgery, but I am feeling some emotional ways about food lately. 2 weeks ago I went to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and went again this week as well. I figured this would been a good weekly supplement to my monthly support group meetings at the hospital. I love our hospital meetings and look forward to them every month. But then there's the 3-4 weeks between meetings where I feel I could use a little support. Sometime last year I briefly looked into seeing a therapist, outside of the psychologist they have on staff at my clinic, but I never felt comfortable with the place I tried and the therapist didn't have much background with eating disorders, let alone weight loss surgery, and I never went out of my way to try another therapist. Mostly due to laziness, and I wasn't struggling very much so it really would have been a waste of money. So what's going on in my head? I mentioned in my last post that I'm feeling the need to grocery shop and buy a lot of things for variety in my diet. That happened big time this weekend. My freezer and fridge are packed full of yummy, healthy, protein-rich food. What's the problem? I can't eat it all so why am I buying it? I am becoming a food hoarder. I'm not binging on the food, it's just sitting in the fridge. I can only eat tiny portions of anything so why am I buying all this food in bulk? Most of it is frozen food so it will last a while, but there's no reason I need to have this much food in my fridge and every day I think of something else I'd like to buy - it just popped into my head while writing this that I'd like to get some ground turnkey to make taco meat. But I have too much food already! I don't need to buy more! Before surgery my fridge and freezer were mostly bare because I'd eat out, or pick up something from the deli, occasional fast food. Now I have more food than I can reasonably handle. So far Overeaters Anonymous is not really helping with my shopping frenzy. After the meeting on Sunday I went to church and after church I went to Trader Joe's and bought more stuff. I don't go to Trader Joe's very often so it was exciting to see all the new stuff they have. I went in there to get ONE THING and I left with a full basket and an almost $50 bill. Ridiculous. I don't know if the Overeaters Anonymous thing is going to be something I will stick with, but it's pretty clear I have some compulsive behavior with food so I'm hopeful the meetings can assist. But, just like with finding a therapist, I need to find a meeting that is right for me. The two meetings I went to were at an easy location for met to get to, but it has been a very small group of just 4 people each time. We take turns reading out loud from the OA books and we can briefly comment on what we are readings. We're only allowed to "share" our issues for 3 minutes and we can't "cross-talk" which means you can't comment on what another person is saying. So there's really no support/help being offered by the participants. You just say what you want to say and everyone says "thank you for sharing" and that's it. I haven't even brought up this topic of food hoarding yet because it's never been close to the topic we are talking about. It's a very ridged structure and not as free-flowing as I would like a group-therapy-type thing to be. I've been told there are other meetings in other neighborhoods which have different formats so I need to try those and see if there is something that I am looking for. Thankfully it is free. So that's what's going on at the moment.
  26. 2 likes

    Day 1

    Following my Recovery nurse's numbering scheme, yesterday was Day Zero - surgery day! Which makes today Day One. So far so good! I'm on clear liquids right now - there's a tray in front of me with a bottle of water with crystal light peach tea, a bowl of broth, and a container of sugar free strawberry jello. The tea is the only thing remotely appetizing. The jello tastes weird and the broth is basically terrible. Not sure if that's a taste change or just hospital booth. I'm poking away at it all though. Later today I'll graduate to protein shakes! Right now I feel zero restriction, but my surgeon came by and assured me I would in later food stages. He said my pouch was just the right size. I'm having a little pain, but it's manageable. I'm still on the hydromorphone pump, but the Recovery nurse warned against using it too often. Said it slowed down the digestive system and could paralyze the stomach. But a different nurse who's been here longer said to use it when I need it. And that seems to be working out better. Its it's all pretty weird because I thought by now I'd know the answers to more questions. Here's what I know: i have had zero nausea nothing I've swallowed has tried to come back up i can tolerate cold or warm liquid i do not seem to have acquired a supernatural sense of smell i can walk forever. The pain meds don't just work on the abdomen! They work on knees and feet too. burping is highly encouraged. Passing gas too - not that I have yet. dry mouth sucks. pain was alarming for maybe the first half hour I was awake. But I clicked the button a LOT and it's been low/tolerable ever sense I haven't eaten anything that could lead to dumping so I'm not sure I'll have that. Not sure if my tastes have changed in any way. Not sure if I'll have hunger - though I haven't so far had any desire to eat anything. I guess those are lessons for another day! Now I'm about to head out for another few laps around the floor. Then a wash-up, and then maybe Leah and Meg will be here! (Oh that's another thing I learned. A few hours after I came out of anaesthesia, I was coherent and comfortable enough to sit up and chat with my friends!)
  27. 1 like
    I know it has been a long while since I last made a post. There is a reason for that. Kind of… Before I get into the non WLS side of what has been happening I'll update how things have been going for the last couple of weeks. I am now currently in week 8. I have adjusted to eating normal food as much as the definition of post-surgery "normal food" lets you. That really did not sound right… I am happily eating a post-surgery diet of normal food… just not much of it!... Ya, that's better! All kidding aside, things have been going rather well. I have been blessed with no adverse side effects and have not encountered any foods that have given me issues. I have only had two real issues, one has been with constipation, but the doctor thinks that it might have to do with the iron content in my multi-vitamin. The second has just been a recent development. I have been getting a nauseous feeling after taking my multi-vitamin, I even vomited the other day after taking it… not sure what is up with that yet. I will be getting ahold of the office on Monday to see what they have to say. I still have not been able to get my caloric intake up to where the doctor would like to see it, I have still been hovering around the 600-800 range rather than the 1000-1200 range the doctor would like to see me at. I do need to increase my exercise level, but it has been hard with the hours I have been working… That is about it, as far as the WLS. Stats update: Start Weight: 465 lbs. Surgery Weight: 448.3 lbs. (16.7 lbs. lost prior to surgery) Current Weight: 383.0 lbs. (65.3 lbs. lost since surgery) Total Lost: 82.0 lbs. Starting BMI: 63.1 Current BMI: 51.9 Now on to the daily life stuff that interferes with everything else. I work as a night shift supervisor in a 24/7 logistics office that is operated by four supervisors and one manager. Just before I went for my surgery the manager transferred to Florida, which really did not make a difference since he did not do much in the first place. He had planned this transfer back in January and had already left mentally. During the first week I was off, the other night shift supervisor quit. To top things off one of the day shift supervisors turned in her notice but agreed to stay long enough for me to return to work. In order to cover for my absence and the departure of the other night supervisor, they flew in two people from a California office. On the surface that sounds good except for the fact that the two people that came to cover had no clue what they were doing. This leads to why I have been so busy for the last month. If you have been following the math, when I returned there was only myself and one other supervisor that knew what we were doing. I spent the first two weeks just cleaning up the havoc that the two people from CA had caused by not knowing what they were doing. The second two weeks I spent training the two replacements which meant that I worked their shift with them training and was on call for them via laptop to solve any issues that came up. Basically I worked 14 days straight. Needless to say I have not had a lot of time on my hands, but it is getting better. One of the up sides of all the changes is that I was able to take the other day shift position. There is more going on involving a semi-hostile takeover that I won't be able to comment on until it is fully announced and a done deal. Needless to say the new events are going to make my life even more… errr… interesting? Until next time… the saga continues….
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    I knew once I signed a contract saying I'd keep my weight stable for this research study, I'd break that damn plateau. True to my word, I finally - FINALLY - fell below 300 pounds at last week's weigh in, and at Monday's weigh in, dropped another pound. No one at the study can tell me exactly what they consider to be stable - 5 pounds? 10 pounds? 5% of my body weight? - so I'll just keep chugging along. Even losing a couple pounds a week, I shouldn't lose more than 6 pounds before the pre-op phase of the study is over, so I'm focusing on the good - which is finally falling through that plateau! I had the second visit for the research study today. I did indirect calorimetry - wearing a really tight face mask for 30 minutes to measure my calorie burning at rest - and a long form glucose tolerance test with blood draws every 15 to 30 minutes. They had an issue getting my sugar to come back up after I drank the sugar drink. My fasting was 85, and peaked at 146 about 30 minutes later, and then quickly returned to 85. Then 68. Then 60. Then 54. They called the doc, who said they could keep going as long as I didn't get symptomatic. I didn't feel shaky, just tired and headachey, which was more from lack of caffeine. Anyway, 3 hours later, my sugar was still at 62. Upside, they gave me a sandwich and orange juice before I could leave. I have my 3rd out of 4 "life after surgery" classes this week, and only 4 more of the "Living Well" classes left as well. I can't wait. The classes have been great and the people who have been with it the longest are like a mini family group to me now, but I'm so ready to move past it. I do think it'll be a great resource for the future, though, as they have similar classes for post-ops that need reinforcement or to get back on track or just to have motivation. Also, I went hiking this weekend. Have been getting bit by the "get outdoors" bug and started researching local hiking trails and parks and was blown away by how much there was to do. Went down to a park here that normally has bison out roaming. Naturally, there were none to see when I went down there, but I tromped around a couple short trails and then some wet prairie. Made a side trip to an excellent waterfall before I returned home. I can't wait to go try another trail at a different reserve this coming weekend!
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    I went to a different OA meeting this weekend and it was a completely different experience. The OA meeting I have attended a few times has been a very small group of just 4 people in total. I travelled to a different neighborhood Saturday to try out another group and it was HUGE! 40+ people! Slightly different format but I enjoyed it. Other than introducing myself as a newcomer in the beginning of the meeting I chose not to share more about myself and that has been bothering me ever since. Perhaps because it was my first meeting this this huge group I was a little intimidated, but I'm NOT a shy person. I can talk to anybody and everybody, I just chose not to share and, in retrospect, I really should have. I've gone to enough meetings now to feel comfortable with the program but I'm not sure where I fit in as a WLS patient and a Compulsive Overeater. I've been hesitant to bring up WLS because it can be such a polarizing subject. Everybody and their mother has an opinion about WLS whether they have had it themselves or not. Also, it hasn't been brought up by anyone else and hasn't fit in with any of the topics we've talked about in the groups. People have shared deeply personal stored about binge eating, seeking food for comfort, and all the usual traps of compulsive overeating. One of my issues I'm dealing with is NOT feeling hungry. How many eyes are going to roll when I say "I forget to eat." when everyone else is talking about eating constantly? But, we're all here to get help, right, so I shouldn't care what people think. Maybe there are others like me and I just don't know it. WLS it's part of me now and it directly affects my relationship with food and eating so I need to be open about my WLS or I may not get any benefit of going to these meetings if I continue to neglect the topic. It's coming to the point where I need to look into finding an OA sponsor and it would be wonderful if I could find a sponsor who has also had WLS. I'm never going to find the right sponsor unless I put myself out there 100% and be honest.
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    Yogurt and ricotta, yay! Also vitamins! I wasn't supposed to start taking mine until I started 3a, so today's the day. I'm taking Celebrate Multi-complete 45 Chewable with Iron and Celebrate Calcium Citrate Soft Chews with vitamin D3. I started the morning with another nice scale drop (-3, seems a bit crazy after the -2 yesterday, but I'm not complaining!). Then a protein shake to get me ahead of the protein game (30g) and a trip to the vet with El Doggo, who has somehow contrived to get a UTI. After that, I had 1/4 cup of whole milk greek yogurt with a splash of lime juice and half a packet of stevia mixed in - yum! I took my time with it, but since it was basically me licking it off the back of the spoon, I didn't take 40 minutes as my surgeon's instructions suggest for meals. I'm going to have to assume that instruction is for meals that have solids in them. I tried to pay attention to my pouch, but I wasn't hungry before I ate it and didn't notice any fullness during or after eating. I suppose that's why we measure in these first stages! I sipped water and had a sugar free popsicle between, and then 2 hours later had a 1/4 cup of plain part-skim ricotta cheese. I'll be totally honest - I did not even remove it from the 1/4 cup measure! I ate it out of the scoop with a tiny spoon, one lick at a time, and it tasted nice, but again I wasn't hungry and didn't get full. However, it was just so exciting to be having something that wasn't a protein shake, I'm over the moon! The main problem so far is keeping up with my drinking, since I'm waiting half an hour after mush to drink any. It's 3pm and I'm only at about 28 oz after I finish the last few sips of this bottle - if I count shakes, which I'm planning to do from now on.
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    Day 9 - Scale victory!

    I'm going to try to keep this short, because I have a tendency to ramble and it's getting late. Woke up two more pounds down, which puts me at 296 - even my doc's office would weigh me in at under 300 now! What's more, these are pounds off my pre-surgery weight, so they're official! My first official two WLS pounds - like the first steps out the door on a long journey. Hopefully the first of many, many more. I was lazy most of the day, mostly sat around watching TV. But I felt guilty so at the end of the day I went with Leah to walk the dog. I almost turned back at the park, which is our minimum walk distance for when we're in a hurry. But after playing with Sadie in the park for a bit I felt more refreshed, so I went the rest of the way - our maximum walk circuit, which is 1.3 miles. My legs feel like noodles, but my heart feels virtuous! Hit my protein goals and water goals again today. For my last Stage 2 meal, I turned my chocolate Premier Protein shake into a Mexican hot chocolate by adding a little unsweetened cocoa and some cinnamon and heating it up. It was lovely! Tomorrow I enter the world of high-protein mush, otherwise known as 3a. I won't be at the ricotta-bake stage - I think that's more of a Stage 3b (more complicated mush, and a little soft well-chewed meat) thing. But I can get away with mixing a little tomato sauce with my ricotta, I think, and I feel like it's a step closer to my NEW normal life. Speaking of normal life, here's a snippet of conversation about food from me and Leah after our walk: Me: "Leah...there's a person on one of the gastric bypass boards I read who says that after her surgery... she discovered her stomach would not tolerate bacon." Leah: "...If you'd told me that before you had surgery, I would have tried talked you out of it." Me: "Well, if I'd known that before I had surgery, I might have let you!" Yeah... I'm still not hungry, but the monotony of the post-op diet is getting to me. I'm really hoping there's still a place for bacon in my New Normal life plan. Like maybe a slice wrapped in a lettuce leaf, with some tomato and mayo!
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    I got good news yesterday. I called the doctor to see if I could go ahead and schedule for October. That is when my new insurance coverage begins. I have an appointment to see him October 5th! Three more weeks and the journey starts stepping into high gear!
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    Day 5 recap

    So today I got up to 57oz of water, but only made it through 30 grams of protein. I feel like I slacked for the first part of the day, and spent the second part playing catch-up. Maybe tomorrow will be easier - at some point my Unjury chicken-soup-flavored protein powder should be arriving, and maybe non-sweet protein will go down better. At this point I'm so tired of sweet I could cry. I also did a ton of walking, for me - 30 minutes on the treadmill, and then later, I went outside into the real world for a walk. Down the street to our little park, then back up, then around the block. Walking outside is so much harder than inside - probably because I can balance myself against the desk part of my treadmill desk. It was good to get out there - it was a lovely, cool September afternoon. Pain level is still not bad; still no nausea; still no hunger. My throat is mostly healed, except for one tiny spot on the right side that isn't. That tiny spot is driving me a bit mental. Hopefully it'll be better tomorrow!
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    Day 4 and 5

    I meant to do this every day, at least for the first month, but I missed yesterday due to laziness. I'll make up for it with two entries today. Yesterday was pretty boring, anyway. I drank water, I walked, I drank protein, I walked, I drank tylenol, I walked. I watched 5 episodes of This is Us, which turned out to be really really good even though it doesn't have aliens or wizards and so far, nothing has blown up. I ate two sugar free popsicles. I didn't make my protein or fluid goals, but I'm working on it. The goals are 60-90 grams of protein a day and 48-64 ounces of water. Yesterday I got to 37 g protein and 42 oz of water. I need to work harder. I can't remember if I've said this before, but part of not getting to goal is fear of what's happening in the pouch. My last day in the hospital and first day home, I didn't feel anything at all in there, so I was worried I'd pop something open if I drank too fast. Then I started to be able to feel it, but it felt full pretty quickly. I think that was mostly air, but again, worried I'd do some damage if I put too much in there. I'm burping a LOT - pretty much every swallow is a swallow plus a burp. I'm trying to let go of that worry based on some advice I've seen around the forums, and just get to where I need to be. I have this half-liter water bottle, and three of them should get me to 48 ounces; I'm about halfway done with the first one now. And 60 grams of protein is two 11-oz premier protein shakes, so that's going to be the intake for the day. Another thing I'm not sure I mentioned. I went into surgery at 298 lbs on my home scale, and came out at 309 lbs. That's a post-surgical bounce of 11 lbs, which I'm guessing is 100% fluid due to inflammation plus IV liquids. I didn't lose anything until I hit 308 yesterday and then 306 today. So the water is coming off, and I'm counting that as a win. Seems like the more water I drink, the faster the water weight drops, which kind of makes sense. I still have no hunger. My friends had Thai takeout the other night, and we all sat together watching TV while they ate. I felt a little wistful - like I wished I could join them? But I wasn't hungry. And I was actually able to forget they were eating after just a few minutes. The same when Leah made some sort of pastry thing for her dinner last night. It smelled really good, but I wasn't hungry and didn't really want it. Like with good perfume - it's a great smell, but you don't want to EAT it, right? I also got in some exercise yesterday - 35 minutes of treadmill walking, spread throughout the day. Right now I'm mainly exercising to ward off clotting, but it also feels good to be moving. Maybe later today I'll try walking outside. Some things I haven't done since I've been home: 1) Driving. Getting home from the hospital was no picnic, even WITH a pillow to clutch to my belly. The roads were not great, and I felt every single pebble we went over. So I haven't been driven anywhere and haven't driven myself anywhere since surgery. I'm going to give that another week or so and see how I feel. 2) Sleeping in my own bed. Oh, how I miss it. The sheets and blankets are clean and waiting for me. I LOVE my bed, but right now I'm not comfortable sleeping anywhere but the recliner. Hopefully I can transition back to my bed when I transition to soft textures - which is like three or four days now. 3) Had a BM. Ahem. Nevermind. Now I have! TMI, but hey, I'm not blogging this experience to keep secrets. (I'm trying to be a totally open book here, so first - read at your own risk and second - if you're pre-op and have any questions about the immediate post-op experience, feel free to ask. I'm too new to this to give any advice, and I can only talk about my experience, which may be very different from yours -- but I'm happy to share if you're curious.) Oh, and I just got a follow-up call from my surgeon's PA. If I hadn't pooped yet, she would have been concerned. Even now, she wants me to take some miralax and keep working on that 64 oz of water. She says the water is more important at this point than the protein - though I should do better on both. AND - I got five gold stars from her for knowing how much protein and water I had taken in each day, so that's another win for me.
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    T-minus 7 days...

    I'm feeling a bit weird tonight about ~ everything ~ though I'm not really sure why. Maybe the reality of surgery is finally sinking in. Getting my insurance approval today removed the last obstacle, so... this thing is happening now, no turning back. In many ways I'm looking forward to it. I keep thinking about all the things I'll be able to do when I've lost weight - even half of the weight I want to! But I'm also thinking about possible downsides. My search history tonight goes from "gastric bypass weight regain" to "horseback riding near Boston" to "gastric bypass failure" and on to "yoga classes north boston". I can't decide whether I'm feeling upbeat or nervous, so I'm trying to get the internet to tell me. I know it's just my brain trying to impose some sort of order and control over a process that is now basically out of my hands until Friday evening. From now till Friday I just drink protein shakes, drink water, get lots of rest, and hope for good things. I thought maybe I could cheer myself up a bit by talking about some of the good things I'm hoping for. Top 10 things I want to do when I'm lighter: Yoga. I've spent so long being basically disabled - painful joints, sore muscles, walking by holding onto things - that I'm really looking forward to getting some flexibility back. I want to do poses and salute the sun and god knows what else... that is the extent of what I know about yoga! Crossfit. Right now it sounds absolutely horrible, but it also sounds like the kind of thing that gets you in shape and keeps you in shape through the combined forces of resistance training and cult-like peer pressure. I've never done much of the former, but I'm extremely susceptible to the latter. (however, I've just looked it up, and crossfit gyms are freaking expensive. WTH. Well, maybe I can use some of the money I'll be saving by not eating much???) Hiking. This one's a bit out there, as I have always found walking very difficult and I have a deathly fear of insects, particularly flying ones. Particularly flying ones with stingers. Still, I love the woods, and I live next to a huge lovely reservation with trails and like...terrain. I can't remember the last time I walked on anything you would call terrain. Most of the time it's challenging enough to walk on things called "concrete". But nature! I want to be in it. Mow the lawn. God knows it needs it. It combines all the worst parts of hiking with gross sweaty manual labor, but it would be great not to have to rely solely on my housemate feeling like mowing or our lovely, helpful neighbor coming over and doing it himself when he gets disgusted with the height of the grass. (really, he's great, and has never once hinted that this is his motive. But nobody is that genuinely helpful - right??? He has to be doing it for his property value. Or maybe he's just a saint.) Park far away from things. One thing I never need to know about myself is how much time I've wasted in life looking for an open parking spot close to whatever. I look forward to not having to care. I'd rather park in Timbuktu than circle endlessly finding a good spot. You know - something close enough that I can walk from the car to the thing without getting too tired/achy to actually do the thing I came there to do. Shopping! I actually just thought of this one. Not only will shopping be more fun because I can buy nicer, more flattering clothes - it'll also be easier because I can do it for more than 5 minutes without needing to sit down and rest. Stand around chatting with people at the office. I'm not the world's most outgoing person - in fact, I'm pretty socially awkward. But part of that social awkwardness has come from fear that if I walk anywhere, someone I know will stop me halfway there and want to either talk to me, or join me for one of those walking meetings like on West Wing. In the first case, I end up talking to someone while in great pain, and then having to sit down before I can continue on to wherever I was going. And in the second case, I have to huff and puff between sentences because I'm out of breath from walking. To avoid those things, I generally walk a lot of places as quickly as I can with my head down, refusing to make eye contact. Believe me when I tell you - this does not make people think you're super normal and probably a great gal to spend time with! Kayak! I actually don't really care much about kayaking, but my housemate does, and she won't do it by herself, so I want to be able to go with her. At my current weight I feel like I'd sink most boats, so I'm not too keen on it. Go back to Turks and Caicos. I had an amazing time going there at 308 lbs; I imagine going there at my goal weight would be amazing times infinity. We're planning to go back in 2 years, and I can't even imagine how different it will be. I'm looking forward to finding out. Travel of other sorts. I'm thinking maybe about Scotland. I've got a friend who lives there and I'd love to go see the countryside, maybe visit some castles. I've always been deterred by the number of stairs conjured up by the term "castle". Plus I imagine you get there by walking long distance on the moors. Or something. Are there moors in Scotland? I guess I'll find out!
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    Apparently, what they say is true, you can't believe everything you read on the internet! Yesterday, I emailed AetnaBetterHealth. I was advised to contact my DHHR case worker and also to contact WV Mountain Trust, the Medicaid Managed Care connection. My case worker was really nice. She gave me Trust's phone number and said I shouldn't have a problem. She was right! I almost can't believe it was this easy! I called and asked to switch plans. I was asked to explain why. The representative changed it on the spot! It goes into effect October 1st. Only a one month(and perhaps a few days) setback! I can wait one month. I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. Eating less. More focus on protein, less on carbs. Walking more. All that good stuff. I don't have to worry about enrollment, special circumstances or any of that crap. Thank God! I really didn't want to have to find someone to marry, LOL.
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    Counting down the days

    I've been back from vacation for a couple of weeks now and I miss it! I miss it to an unbelievable degree. My bathing suit is hanging on the back of my bedroom door, and even though I've washed it, it still smells like salt water and sand. Is it too soon to go back!? I left for vacation with the best of intentions for eating, and I managed to do well for... a couple of days. Sadly, there was too much junk food for my weak willpower to contend with, so I did my best to stay moderate with portions, but I did eat carbs while I was there. The result? I left at 308, and couldn't regulate my eating again until I'd been back for about 3 days. When I weighed in the morning of my first "good" day, I was at 319. Granted - I totally didn't gain 11 lbs in a week and a half. Most of that was water weight, and a few days of eating right had me right back down to 310. ...and then, I sort of blew it again for a few days. It was the week before my 2-week pre-surgery liver-shrinking diet, and I gave in to some food I will probably miss for a looooong time. I went back up to 314, but started my pre-surgery diet on schedule and I'm staying strict with myself. The start of the diet coincided with the start of my period, and as a result of the menstrual whoosh and the loss of carb-water in my muscles, I'm down to 306 today. So - it could have been better. If I'd stayed strict, there's every chance I could've been down below 300 already. But I still feel like I'm in a pretty good place right now - I've lost 49 lbs since my first pre-op visit and my doctor is pretty soundly impressed. I don't know how many of the 7 lbs between me and 299 I can get rid of before surgery - but I won't fail for lack of trying. And speaking of trying, I've been walking a LOT lately, to try to get myself in shape. I started with short walks to the park down the road with the dog - about a quarter of a mile altogether - and now I've built up to walking to the OTHER park much FURTHER down the road almost every day - which is a one mile round trip. By the end of these walks I'm super tired and my knees do ache - but not so much that I can't finish the walk. I couldn't have walked a mile without crying and falling over 50 lbs ago, so - this is kind of a huge deal. When I went to my first pre-op visit back in April, the main question I had was about walking. I'd been told the nurses get you up and walking right after surgery - and at that time, walking down the hall to the doctor's office was super hard for me, let alone walking around a whole hospital floor. Now, I feel confident I can do what I need to when I'm post-op! And, speaking of post-op - this came in the mail for me yesterday: The inside reads: (Kio's real name) Gastric Bypass 9/17 No Blind NG, Sugars, NSAIDS ICE (phone number) If I were super smart it would also have my blood type, but I ran out of space anyway, so whatever. =D Between this arriving, and the start of the pre-surgery diet, things are starting to feel pretty real...
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    T - W - O

    T - iming W - onder O - ddities TWO Months post-surgery. TIMING: This past month brought an amazing trip to Martha’s Vineyard (see this post) and a one-ish month weigh in that was at first underwhelming (see this post) but was a great example of the pressure we put on ourselves and the scale (accurate or otherwise).. After the lovely encouraging words from the women here on Thinner Times, I prepared to join the gym and find a trainer only to have a great opportunity drop in my lap. I was an invited panel member to a 3-day workshop this past month and was paired with a woman to be her mentor on the workshop topic. As we sat and strategized, she mentioned she needed an accountability partner for both the work we were doing as well as some personal fitness goals. I agreed to do both with her and one of my fellow panel members said she formerly owned a personal training company prior to starting at our employer, and that she could offer us some sessions for free as well as do a body fat assessment. Never in my life did I think I would get excited by those words! So with that, she and I have met twice and developed an exercise plan that evolves past my former cardio only fumblings! What perfect timing! WONDER: At this point I have lost 30% of my excess weight based on my goal weight. I am left with a sense of wonder at how much this weight loss has done for my confidence. I have always been a fairly confident individual but I think a portion of that was more of the fake-it-until-you-make-it variety. Now my friends have been calling me sassy and I am happy to own my sassiness. I work in a male-dominated, old boy network and it used to really weigh on me (pun, believe it or not, unintended) as I became accustomed to being marginalized because I was female and additionally marginalized because of my weight. I don’t know when this mental shift happened but my hesitation at speaking up or doing certain things just dropped away. I wonder where my sassiness will come out next? ODDITIES: At 2 months out I don’t know where I expected to be but here I am. My recovery was luckily a thing of beauty. Minimal gas pain immediately after and no complications since surgery, unlike some of the super-hero Trish’s here on TT who have endured many trials and tribulations during their post-surgery recovery time (I salute you @Trish1967 and @Trish13!). But there are some odditites I’m getting used to. Like I have nausea every day. Every. Day. Talk about an incentive not to eat. Surgeon and PCP say this is acceptable only considering the other medical treatments I am undergoing because of the Africa situation so I suppose it is not really related to the WLS but when added to Oddity #2, it’s not great. Oddity #2 is that apparently cold water and I are not going to have the relationship we once had. At least for right now. I was a water drinking fiend and the not-drinking-with-meals is T.O.U.G.H. Adding more nausea from cold water to the nausea of oddity #1 means I have been avoiding water – not like me at all. Oddity #3 – some of the things I bought pre-surgery, thinking I would be using them all the time, are getting dusty from lack of use while other items I bought at the last minute are getting constant use. Unused: blender, mini bento lunch boxes, Worth their weight in gold: food scale, snack sized Ziploc bags, gummy bear molds. Other post-oppers – anything gathering dust or worth their weight in gold that surprised you? A selection of items available from Etsy.com when you search 'oddity' What's this vegetarian eating? cottage cheese, protein gummy bears, protein powders, Trader Joe’s meatless Italian sausage, egg whites with nutritional yeast, Dubliner Cheese What I'm not eating? Jackfruit – nope, not jumping on that bandwagon. No matter what I try doing to it, not loving it enough to give up precious sleeve space. What I wish I wasn't eating? The miraculous-never-ending-no-matter-how-many-shakes-I-make bucket of veggie protein mix. Vitamins, I’m looking at you Calcium Citrate.