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Showing most liked content since 10/24/2017 in Blog Entries

  1. 10 points
    I came out of surgery ok (1:00 pm) but ended up in the recovery room until 10:30 pm as they didn't have a room (how rude! I asked them if they had a stable out back for me after a few hours...haha!). Turned out good though Bc I got more 1:1 care. I had a lot of nausea and dizziness, more that I realized I would. The dr said it was a combo of my anesthesia meds and pain meds (morpheine.....which reminds to advise: never become a druggie, it wasn't that fun!) despite having the endoscopy last month, they totally missed a big hiatal hernia which my dr found during surgery (fortunately since he was able to repair it yesterday ....then remember I said they don't do the barium swallow anymore? He ordered it Bc of the repair and he wanted to see how it all was today. That was my first time out of bed (10am!!!) to get to the stretcher and head down to radiology. I was so nauseated and dizzy it wasn't funny. They moved me to the table for the upper GI and I took three small sips and he stopped me Bc my pouch was so swollen. He did see a little get through so it was enough to let me start on sips of water. I was back in my room close to noon. I was put right back to bed with more nausea meds. I slept on and off until 2. During those two hours, I drank my 4 little medicine cups of water each hour as ordered, like a pro. They made me nauseous but I drank them. I decided to get up (first time standing) around 2 to go to the bathroom. I nearly threw up so they gave me the iv nausea meds. And that helped get me up. I voided like a champ (or so I was told!) and then took off for a walk. My mind wants to go but my body is saying no. I pushed it down to the end of the hall with my nurse and pole then turned around to go down another hall. Now im back in my room in the chair and got the morpheine off (they gave me a liquid oxycodeine) and I just drank the 8 oz warm tea that had been on my lunch tray (that SF jello and broth!) im feeling better than earlier in the day. I'd kill for a shower and to brush my teeth! The dry mouth was no worse after surgery than I get at home, and I don't have a sore throat from intubating, and I've had very minimal gas, so in a lot of ways it was easier than expected but the nausea/dizziness through me for a loop! (although it's been a long two days, I am still smiling...and yes, my bangs are all sticking up from all the cold washcloths on my forehead to help with the nausea! And just pretend I have makeup on!!!) haha Thanks all for your well wishes, prayers and concern!!! I'll be praying for you, @AustinJ tomorrow...and saving you a seat (yes, right now I am sitting!) in the bench!! We can scoot down when @Michael_Aarrives! Signing off, the new Tiny Tummy!!!
  2. 8 points

    I'm in surgery!!!!!

    posting from the OR....how freaky is that??? bet I am the first on TT that has done THAT!!! hahaha! (seriously though, I am just scheduling this to be posted when I am in ) I'll see you on the other side, but MOVE OVER BENCH SITTERS, I am coming over!!!!
  3. 6 points
    So here we are. I'm starting my pre-op diet a week early. I have reasons for this. Most of my work time is spent in a court room where food and drink are not allowed, but I'm not in court at all this week. I need to get on a reliable hydrating/proteining/eating schedule, so I figured it would be smart to start the process during a week with some wiggle room rather than a week when I'm in court. It certainly won't hurt me to start early. The diet is basically having a protein shake for two meals and a low-fat protein and vegetable for dinner with a couple of high protein, low-fat snacks. I can do that for two weeks. I'm having a little bit of emotional stuff going on right now about the surgery, but I'm still convinced it's the right thing for me. I have always been a body positive/fat accepting person and I do not regard BMI as a good indicator of health. Having this surgery could be perceived as something that goes against my values. I've often wondered if I'm not a hypocrite for doing it. I worry about the dynamic that I have with other body positive/fat accepting people and how that may be affected. I'm not famous and don't have the same issues, but I've looked up to Ashley Nell Tipton as someone who experienced difficulty after her decision to have a gastric bypass and has handled that tension really well. I hope that the respect and admiration I have always had for the fat community will remain apparent as I lose weight. I also realize that there will very likely be a point where I can no longer use the word "fat" as a descriptor, which is strange for me. I have always identified with fatness. I feel as though the word has been reclaimed as a more neutral, or even positive, descriptor and it's a little sad for me to think of not being able to align myself with the fat community at some point. While I look forward to losing weight, I do find beauty in fatness and do not see thinness as more (or less) attractive. I just want to feel better and to be able to move around better. So that's where my head is currently. It's a lot to take in! I know there is no such thing as being "done" with emotional work, but I do hope that I find a place to put some of these feelings within the next couple of weeks. I tend to be very aware of my mental health and my emotional state, so I will probably talk a lot about that process on this blog. I think it's a process that some people leave out of their story, so I want to include it in mine.
  4. 5 points

    Moving on

    It's been a relatively long time since I had my surgery (almost 72 hrs!) and I'm still in the hospital. Turns out that the surgery's stress on my body caused my vertigo to flare (I've had it a few times in the past but not recently but evidently that can be triggered with an infection, illness, surgery or stress. My meds were responsible for the nausea and vomitting, but not the room spinning. Today that has subsided so I'm breaking out! So much for my "is it Tuesday yet" t-shirt!!!! Haha! As for the pain, it's doable, and every day is getting better! I have a binder or and a pillow to hold against me if necessary (when getting up). This afternoon, my husband is coming up to get me and his smiles always makes me feel better, so I'm anxious for THAT prescription! My kids are home to day and tomorrow (NJ teachers conference, which is why I am off too). I miss them but they're teens so they won't be draining me or needing my care. And, just for the record.....tv selections stink!!!! Nothing good is on...I don't miss anything while being at work, there is nothing worthwhile on tv all day! Meanwhile, I've been praying for @AustinJ and his recovery and @Michael_A who is having his sugary tomorrow! Happy healing, guys!!!
  5. 5 points

    ONE WEEK and counting!!!

    So, today marks ONE MORE WEEK til the big day! I am learning a lot about me in the time leading up to the surgery. I have learned that I can live on way less calories, I know that I can succeed on NOT cheating on a super restrictive diet and that I know a darned lot about how to be successful!!! (thanks to this board!). I was watching a few youtube videos tonight on the 2 wk pre surgery diet and one packing up for the hospital (what I did use as opposed to what I packed but didn't need video)....anyway, I saw one that made me laugh out loud or want to cry, not sure which but it was a girl saying she was "supposed to start her 2 week liquid diet on the 3rd but didn't really get started until the 5th because she just didn't want to" by now it had been a few days but she had already cheated on it. Another one said most of the ppl in her support group cheated on theirs so she didn't feel so badly doing that too. Now I am not a judge who is going to say if you cheated you are weak bc face it, we have all cheated at some sort of diet(s) before or none of us would have gotten to the point of elligibility for the surgery, but I feel like I can look at people and what they say and think "you're not going to be one of the successful ones" or "you got what it takes". I think to myself silly little things like "what would @BurgundyBoy say about that?" or " @Jen581791 would never do that." or "I think @Trish1967 would have some good advice about that" Or "I bet @Gretta or @Res Ipsa would discourage against that" or " @Kio managed to not do that" or " @Trish13 knows better than that" and " @NerdyLadylooks better than that after that amount of time" (and a myriad of others or course but you get my point). I just know the advice that every one here would give (and I "hear" you guys when I am listening to others) and although I have never met any of you, I really do appreciate all the education and experience you've passed along. (and yeah, thanks for "haunting my mind" and not letting me make bad choices!) Also, I find it exciting that 1 of us is having surgery tomorrow, 3 the following week, 1 the next week and 3 the next....it is exciting to see how changing this month is going to be for all of us and super cool to see newbies joining up too! As for the diet, I am truly not hungry any more. I was nauseated and had a little intestinal issue this am, but by 11 am I was fine! I had my version of egg drop soup at dinner while the family ate their chicken and rice and I was fine (it was nice to sit and talk and laugh with them througout the meal and not be feeling sorry for myself thinking "if I hadn't gotten myself so fat, I would be able to eat with them" etc). I only had 240 calories by the end of the day (though I had 50 gm of protein) so I made another watery/icy shake (thanks Trish for the idea!) and got it up to 75gm (my dr said it has to be between 60-80 gm/day) and ended at 431 calories. One thing that a woman I watched tonight said one the 8 things she learned from her pre-surg diet was that you WILL be VERY weak. Well I honestly don't feel very weak. I did back when I was having diarrhea and nausea over and over, but now I feel like I have enough energy to keep up w/ the kids at school and I went over to visit 3 of my grandkids (6,4,and 2) and still played with them! So unless it hits me later this week (which I don't feel like it should) then I am good to go! And really this whole thing is TRAINING for post-surgery so I know I CAN do that !!! I am in the midst of writing up plans for my sub when I am gone. Also today I started my application for our state disability (NJ is one of the only 4 or 5 states w/ that) which is great since my company doesn't offer it. But anyway, all I have to do is finish the application when I have my surgery. I colored my hair since it was recommended to to it 7 days before and not after for a bit. I ordered a book which came in today called Eat it Up! by Connie Stapleton, PhD which deals a lot with your mind/body/spirit to prevent weight gain after WLS. So all in all, I feel right on schedule for needing to get things done. I go to bed tonight and wake up with only 6 days left to go! I am so pysched for this to happen!!!
  6. 5 points


    F - riends O - verwhelmed U - nderwater R - est I can't believe I'm at the four month mark and circling in on the 100 lb loss milestone! I'm hoping to hit that in month 5 - new goal! I tried to add some high impact cardio to my routine and my knee quickly put the kibosh on that - waaaay too much pain and I'm not risking another fracture. I'll keep with my normal cardio and weights - which are going well and giving me a great high after every hard workout. I'm having fun finding new ways to push myself athletically, while also not compromising my knee. The routine will change again soon now that winter is coming! This month brought a much needed visit from my friend - with lots of misbehaving. But really, and the reason this update is one day late (which kills my perfectionist, Type A personality!) is that I have been completely overwhelmed at work. Not only with the normal work responsibilities but some emotionally charged situations at work, which is draining. No one seems to know how to handle the situation as it works up the administrative chain and I feel as though I am fending for myself, which is not a great feeling. Now that my coping mechanism of pizza is no longer an option, I found myself tempted to cope in other ways, like a glass of scotch. This is a slippery road - not because I (or my family) has ever had a problem with alcohol, but because those are empty calories I don't really want. Yes, part of the misbehaving with my friend was crafting a new cocktail (a Moscow mule martini!), which we enjoyed while she was here. But she and I both are well aware of the risks of addiction transfer. You see, both my friend and her partner had VSG 3 years ago and her partner transferred her food addiction to alcohol. I have seen the strain this has put on their relationship, the pain they both have experienced and I am happy they have endured through the struggle and I will be officiating their wedding in May. (Yay! ) And really, once someone such as myself who has been eating about 700 calories a day has a scotch, the propensity to 'graze' in the fridge or cupboards is real. So, while I am not going to toss my extensively curated scotch collection, I did decide to start coping in better ways - sunrise walks on the beach, meditation, more time on the elliptical. For those of you that may be struggling with addiction transfer to alcohol or drugs post-WLS, or even have the concern given your own personal family health history, address those issues as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to ask for help. And for those of you who struggled to find an alternative coping mechanism, like me, please feel free to comment below with what has been working for you! What new stress/anxiety coping mechanisms have you developed post-WLS? Let's share the resources with each other. Sunrise at the lifeguard shack Underwater is what I have been for the past week. Yes, in the figurative sense like I mention above but also physically in the chilly 66 degree waters. As I mentioned in a previous post, I tried on a wetsuit that had haunted the back of my closet for years and it fit!! It's a 7mm thickness and the thicker the wetsuit, the more warmth you keep but the less mobility you have. I swear, suited up I felt like Randy in his snowsuit from A Christmas Story. I would rather have a few layers of thinner suits than deal with the restriction of the thicker suit, but the freezing waters and duration of time I would be exposed dictated it was finally necessary to wear the suit. With my weight loss, the suit was infinitely easier to get on. I like to think my reward was the amazing sunset I saw while out on the boat (note: I only wish that was my boat). It provided a much needed mental rest, which is necessary before I charge back into the week. This next month brings a week long trip for two conferences where I will be seeing some folks I have not seen in 2 years and "Friendsgiving" - hosting Thanksgiving for a group of friends. What's this vegetarian eating? Trying a new Vega plant protein (not nearly as bad as previous experience), OhYeah! ONE Almond Bliss, LightLife veggie Italian sausage and chorizo, cottage cheese, eggs and cheese, soup with a scoop of GenePro unflavored protein What I'm not eating? Lot's of stuff - keeping with the high protein, low carb keto-ish diet so no breads, pastas, beans, etc. What foods I miss? As mentioned, I craved some pizza for coping last week but vaulted over that hurdle. Still no appetite or temptation from other foods but I am also in my final week of my Africa meds - which were very effective at killing my appetite.
  7. 5 points
    Most of the people I’ve met since I’ve moved are very, very fit and athletic. They have somehow decided that my husband and I might fit into their world, and that’s nice - they’re fun people and do a lot of interesting stuff. Oman has amazing outdoor activities, and we’d like to take advantage of them. So, we were invited along on a hike this weekend. Hiking: I like that! However, the two women we were going with are seriously hardcore hikers, and we were nervous about this. We warned them that it might be hard for us, and they said “We’ll just go slow. You’ll be fine.” The hike was only about 6 km (3.5 miles), so not too tough, right? Well, dear reader, the first three kilometers were straight up. Like literally straight up. We went 3 kilometers up a cliff face on a trail I’d describe more as rough stones sometimes piled loosely into steps, and in that 3 kilometers gained a kilometer of altitude. Wow. It was not for the faint of heart. We started at a little village surrounded by high cliffs, and climbed up out of it. Looking up from the bottom, I just could not accept that we were going to climb all the way up there. “There must be a shortcut somewhere,” I thought, as I started up the trail, “no one could possibly climb all the way up there.” No, no shortcuts. We just hiked/climbed up, up, up and watched the village dwindle in size as we ascended above it. There were a lot of pretty hairy moments - glad I don’t have a strong fear of heights - and my hands are actually all scuffed up from using them to pull myself up things. We actually had to use a steel cable bolted to a wall to pull ourselves up onto a shelf at one point, with a huge drop just under us. I had to really talk myself down a few times - there was often a loud voice shouting in my brain that I couldn’t do it, that I’d have to go back, that I’d never make it, that I was going to die, or that this was the worst decision I’d ever made in my entire life. The moment we pulled ourselves over the top at the edge of the escarpment, I was elated! Whew! Done! Until I looked to our destination (a couple of cell towers where we’d parked one car) and could see that not only were they in the distance, a couple of miles away, but there were a bunch of rocky hills we’d have to climb over to get to them. Like literally climb in many places. My heart rate was between 120 - 160 almost all day (7 hours), and I had to stop and take plenty of breaks, especially as the altitude started making me suck wind a bit more towards the top. I fueled myself up frequently (shake, bar, almonds). It was literally the hardest thing I have ever done. I can’t believe I did it. I had no idea I would be able to. If I had seen what it looked like before we actually arrived, I never would have said yes! But I did it. It was unpleasant and painful, but I did it. When we finished, I asked whether this was a hard hike, relative to others in the area. “Oh yeah. If you can do this one, you can do any of them,” they answered. Trial by fire, then, I guess. To be fair, the views were incredible, and it was an amazing thing to do - just way, way harder than I had anticipated. I worked harder than I knew I was capable of. I got my all time high day of steps on Fitbit (27,000+), but that really just does not seem to reflect how hard it was. We spent all day climbing up, pulling ourselves up, forcing ourselves up onto the next step, the next shelf, the next ledge. My Fitness Pal thought I should have eaten 4,000 calories yesterday Well, I did eat 1,000, which is quite a lot for me. It was steep. It was hard. It was long. It was painful. There is absolutely no way on earth I would have been able to do it even a couple of months ago, let alone any longer ago than that. And other than some blisters on my feet (which always get blisters, so nothing special there), I’m no worse for the wear. I survived. Now I just have to live in fear of being invited on the next hiking trip. Here are some photos. In the top ones, the village is the one we hiked up from. In the bottom right picture you can see the cell phone towers we hiked up to at the top of the mountain. The white splotch behind the tree in the left picture is the same village, seen from the top. In the bottom pictures, you can see me, working hard. Some of the pictures are a little Where's Waldo, but I'm there.
  8. 4 points

    10 weeks tomorrow!

    Just a quick update, since I haven't done one in a while. Things are going pretty well! My energy is high, my weight loss is on track, all good there. My only complaint is that I've had some trouble with eating dense protein - I know I'm still very early out, but my nutritionist wants me getting most of my protein from real food right now, and that just... does not happen. I get by with some protein shakes and bars, and a lot of cheese, basically. Had about a week where I kept trying to eat more dense foods and failing.... so I dunno, maybe the time just isn't right for me yet. The problem came in when I tried to eat something, sat with it irritating my pouch for an hour, threw up, then couldn't eat for another couple of hours until I felt better. Those days I definitely didn't hit my protein goals, and my calories were super, super low. (I also couldn't figure out how to calculate the goal - did EVERYTHING come back up? What stayed down? How many grams? I decided in the end to throw up my hands and surrender - on days when I can't keep dense protein down, I'm not meeting my goals, and that's all I need to know. Now I've stopped trying to eat stuff like eggs and meat for a while, and life is a bit easier, goals are getting met... all good. I did find some shrimp, peeled and de-veined but not cooked! I made three pieces and was able to keep THOSE down for about an hour... then not so much. I've got some salmon to try, which is not dense but still protein and real food, but I haven't been brave enough yet. I also cut all my hair off! I'd show you guys a picture but my camera's in the other room. I started to see more hair in the shower drain, and figured I'd just get it over with. I have the pixiest of pixies right now, and since my face is starting to have an actual shape, it's not bad. The last time it was this short, I didn't feel cute at all. This time, I almost kind of do! At this point I'm sooooo close to 100 lbs down I can feel it. I'm 259, which is the lowest weight I've been in about ten years. I lost 57 lb before surgery, and I've lost almost forty since surgery - hard to wrap my head around. I'm now smaller than my next-largest friend! Leah makes jokes about how she's going to kick my @*# now, while I still have one . It's true - the weight is coming off my butt like crazy. It's also coming off my face, my chin, my neck, my upper arms, my thighs... everywhere but my belly, really. I'm going to end up reeeeeally funny looking if that doesn't change soon! Tonight I went for a long walk with Leah and the dog, and didn't hurt, and didn't have to stop halfway up any hills! After the walk, I felt a little tired, but not so tired I couldn't stand up and do dishes, wander the house, etc. No noodle legs! One thing I've found interesting about exercise is how hard it is for me to say yes to it. Every time Leah walks the dog, she asks if I want to come. I try to say yes most of the time, but it's difficult. I still FEEL like I can't do it. I feel like I'm going to get too tired, that I'm going to fall over, that I'm going to hurt too much. But then when I do say yes and go along... it's really quite easy. My brain and my heart just haven't caught up yet to the physical reality of what I can do now. Now I'm off to bed, but I wanted to check in and let everybody know I'm okay and still on track.
  9. 4 points
    Time for the old monthly check-in. It’s been long enough now that this seems like a bit of a routine. It’s also been long enough that I’m not posting as frequently now… for better or worse, things have been rolling along pretty smoothly, and I don’t always have a ton of new experiences or emotions to report. That said, I seem to have squeezed out a few zillion words here, so I must have something to say. Warning: I hope you’re sitting somewhere comfortable. Here’s the rundown: Losses This is the first month since the month before surgery that I’ve lost less than double digits in pounds. However, I did lose 9.8 pounds, so that’s pretty dang close. I’ll round up. I lost 10 pounds this month, which is definitely nothing to sneeze at. It’s 5.8% of what my bodyweight was at the beginning of the month. I have consistently lost around 5.5% to 6.5% of my bodyweight each month. That’s getting to be a smaller net number, but it’s the same percentage, which is interesting. If I were to lose that much again this coming month, that would put me at GW. Not sure that will happen, but I’m not too worried about it, either. I’m under 160 pounds now. That feels pretty awesome. My BMI hit “normal” about halfway through the month, and I have to say, it felt freaking awesome, despite the fact that BMI is pretty meaningless on an individual basis. It just felt like “Whew! Now I’m normal!” I truly felt like I wanted to wear it around on a t-shirt. Like it was some sort of evidence that I’m not fat. My 9 month comparison photos don’t really look that different from my 8 month ones, just the clothes look a bit looser. My hips a little narrower. My legs a little thinner. My boobs a little smaller. It’s not a big jump like it is between some of the other months. Food I’m still going at it with 800 or so calories per day. I’ve decided to do that until I’m at goal just because I can. I’m not feeling hungry or deprived, and I’m not feeling low on energy, so hey, why not. It’ll hurry things along a bit, I think, and if I can get settled at some sort of weight where I can buy some clothes and keep them for a while, I will be happy. My current daily menu looks something like this: Breakfast - a protein shake. It’s easy, it tastes fine, and it gets me a lot of protein. I’ve found a company in Dubai that sells Syntrax, Quest bars, and Oh Yeah 1 Bars, so I had a bunch shipped to my friend - I’m picking them up this weekend - woo! A trip to Dubai! And familiar protein! And much cheaper than the stuff I’ve been drinking. Lunch - Greek yogurt, ½ cup, sometimes with frozen berries, plus sometimes veggie sticks Before gym snack - Babybel cheese After gym snack - tuna with mayo - ½ can tuna, 1 Tablespoon mayo, plus some pickles Dinner - shrimp or Quorn fake chicken or soy fake meat or Indian cheese (paneer) in spicy sauce of some kind, often made with greek yogurt or coconut milk. Usually Indian or Thai or something spicy like that. About 3 oz of protein and some nominal vegetables in it. Dessert - Lol! Jk! I had you going there, didn’t I? New motto: “I don’t eat sweets.” I chant this in my head so it comes out naturally when someone offers me something. Sometimes some almonds, sometimes some cheese, sometimes a protein bar, sometimes Eggface’s egg bites, sometimes hummus and halloumi cheese and tabbouli (tabbouli from this part of the world is like 99% parsley, so not that couscous or wheat stuff we see in the US), sometimes fish. At the end of the day it works out to between 800 and 900 calories, with about ½ the calories coming from fat, 65-80+ grams of protein, and almost always under 35 grams of carbs. I’m not eating a huge variety of stuff right now, but that’s OK with me - my routine stuff is fine, and as long as my food is spicy, I’m happy. My sense of taste/smell has not come back (as per earlier blog posts, the lack of smell is due to what I suppose is permanent loss after a really bad cold last year, and the weird tastes are from surgery) so everything is still a little weird, but my brain seems to be rewiring my senses now so that I’m learning what various things taste like to my new senses, so it’s bothering me less. In the past week, I’ve had cravings for salty, crunchy snacks before/after dinner, and I’m not sure what that’s about. It may be the end of the honeymoon rearing its ugly head, or it may be that I just need some more calories and salt in my diet. Long story short, I’ve been feeling like I want to eat more calories and snacks, but I’m not really hungry, so I haven’t done that. I did have one teaspoon of Pinkberry pomegranate frozen yogurt this week. It was delicious, but I could easily stop at the one bite. I also had a couple of little bites of a traditional Omani dessert (called halwa, but really different from the halwa in other parts of the Middle East) because they were offered by a person I couldn’t afford to offend and it would have been culturally inappropriate to say no. It was amazingly delicious. It also gave me heart palpitations since I’m not used to sugar. Lesson learned: eating sweets is a cultural sacrifice I only do if I have to Exercise I’m doing really well at going to the gym 4-5 days per week, and doing a lot of walking the other days. After the Big Hike (see the last blog post), I have decided to work hard at the gym to make things like that easier. I’ve bumped up my cardio to be a little more challenging with the addition of using the stair machine, and I’m doing faster walking on the treadmill (7kph/4.3mph) and/or elliptical. I’m not doing much in the way of weights, although I know I should. I should probably be extending my gym time to 1:30 from the current 1:00 I’m doing. I know that’s in my long term best interest to keep the weight off. I actually like going to the gym now. It’s a nice part of my day. I went hiking last weekend, and it was fabulous to know that wherever we ended up, I was going to be fine. I wasn’t going to be that person, trudging along at the end, wheezing and panting, that everyone looks at sympathetically. We have to walk up this steep uphill for half an hour? Sure thing. I can do that. It’s a lot easier when you’re not carrying around a 130lb. backpack, let me tell you. Physical health Resting heart rate is 53. My Fitbit says I’m in “excellent health” for my demographic (and who’s to argue with Fitbit?!). No pouch problems. Hair is growing back. Due for blood tests again, but the last ones were good. Taking all my vitamins like my life depends on it Can run up stairs and not get winded. Get antsy if I have to sit too long. Emotional state I feel fantastic. Like I can do anything. Like I’m actually a thinnish person. I’m not sure why, but I think my body dysmorphia kind of worked the opposite of how many people’s do - I never felt like I was as big as I was. I always felt like a normal sized person who was temporarily carrying around more weight that I should have been. About 10 pounds ago, I got to a point where I’m actually a little thinner than my internal image of myself. Sometimes at this point I’m surprised to see how thin I look in the mirror - whereas before I hit that point, I was pleased that I was thinner, but I wasn’t pleased at my appearance, if that makes sense. I think I might have a bit easier time of the size change than many for this reason. I really don’t miss anything at all about being heavy - I know that’s not true for everyone, but I really didn’t identify with it. It’s something I only hated about myself, and couldn’t wait to rid myself of. I think this might be connected to the period of my life I spent as thin previously (just before and after turning 30, when I starved and exercised myself down to 140). I have kept that image of myself in the back of my head all these years, like that was the REAL me, and this fat me was a temporary setback. Yeah, temporary. Like 10 years. Just a passing phase In the back of my head, I have a few negative thoughts. These sometimes concern my body (Droopy skin! Not my favorite! Worth it, but I don’t like it! - or: My thighs are still fat! I hate them!) but those thoughts are not too loud, and are a whole heck of a lot better than what they used to be (thoughts of self-loathing on a constant repeating loop). Some other negative thoughts include feeling sad when seeing overweight people, knowing how hard that is, and also knowing that they would not welcome me as part of the club at this point. Since I’ve moved, I don’t see anyone who’s ever known me as overweight, so the only me they know is the normal sized one (Actually, I’ve lost 30 pounds here, but no one seems to notice, since they didn’t know me before and most of my clothes are pretty baggy). I have mixed feelings about being that thin person that fat people look at and have negative thoughts. Some other negative thoughts that pop up from time to time include: What if the losses won’t stop? (I had a dream about this), What if I just can’t take being careful about my eating forever? What if I get tired of exercising? What if I just want to eat some junk food? What if I become a really boring person because I never eat or drink with abandon? <- fat person thoughts On the whole, I just feel pretty fabulous about myself every day. I mean, I have other problems in my life, like anyone, but as far as my self-image goes, life is good. Right now, it feels like most of my depression and negative thoughts previously were caused by being overweight (although at a certain point, that became a recursive chicken and egg thing, snowballing into… well, into what I was a year ago: fat and unhappy. And now, the most important thing: my wardrobe I’ve had my second trip to the tailor (thank goodness for cheap tailors!). Some of my items have now been taken in twice. This time he said, “No more on these, madame. These are finished now.” They have been taken in as much as they can be. I’ve also got a heap of things to go to the tailor again next week. I try something on I haven’t worn in a few weeks, and it’s really surprising how awfully oversized it looks. I cannot WAIT to stabilize a bit and actually buy some things that will fit for a while. I’m dying to figure out what kind of clothes I’m going to wear. It totally stinks that it’s winter time, because what’s available in stores is totally inappropriate for the weather here. I don’t know why, but this is a world-wide phenomenon: when it’s cold in the US and Europe, stores in hot locations carry winter clothes as if it’s cold there, too. I mean, it’s like 85F/28C every day here - I do not need a wool coat, a heavy sweater, scarves/gloves/hats, or knee high boots. So I’ve got slim pickings at the moment. I’m trying to bide my time and plot my fashion trajectory. What kind of a wardrobe do I want? What’s my style? It’s been a long time since I’ve dressed in whatever I want to wear instead of whatever fits and doesn’t “make me look fat.” I’m poring over the fashion websites (I mean, not serious fashion stuff like Vogue, I’m not that kind of person, but like what people with a good sense of style actually wear sorts of websites), trying desperately to identify a style. It needs to be a style that’s compatible with the climate here (hot, hot, and hot), somewhat conservative as far as covering up flesh goes (no sleeveless stuff, midi length or at least knee covering length skirts/dresses, not too tight of anything, nothing low-cut) so that it works in my cultural environment. And, it needs to be fun! Because I can wear fun clothes now! I feel like a teenaged girl trying to find her sense of identity through her wardrobe. I hope I don’t go through an unfortunate emo phase.
  10. 4 points

    Away We Go!

    I've been in planning mode ever since I got my pre-op date last week! I've got lists on lists on lists! Shopping for the liver shrink, a few basic staples for the post op diet as well, what to take to the hospital, meals to cook and freeze for the husband, paperwork to complete, chores I want done prior. I am always happiest when I have things to check off, and man, did this give me those organizational feels So today, I finally met my surgeon. There are two at OSU, and I have previously met one of them, as she is the one who did my EGD. I really liked her, but she has less availability overall because she does a lot of general surgery as well as bariatric surgery, and she was also taking two weeks off in November, so they scheduled me with Dr. Needleman. I feel very comfortable with him after today, and he was very thorough and took his time with me. We signed consents today. I also signed consent for the research study I am a part of to have the surgeon take a few biopsies while they're in there. I then went on to meet with the dietician. They'd already sent me the stuff for the liver shrink diet, but we met to go over it. Ours consists of 3-4 protein/meal replacement shakes a day and either 6 ounces of chicken + non-starchy vegetables, or a frozen entree from a pre-approved list. I still haven't found a ready-made protein shake that isn't sickeningly sweet to me - I have so many just hanging out in my fridge! I do find them a bit more tolerable if I can dilute them, but I did discuss with them I do have protein drinks I dont mind - syntrax, namely - but they arent "meal replacement". He suggested doing half and half - half meal replacement and half protein drinks. After the dietician, I went on to meet with Suzy, the surgeon's assistant, who confirmed my surgery date of the 29th (!!!!!) and loaded me up with all the instructions. They also give you an incentive spirometer ahead of time, and two gatorade-like drinks. I have to drink one the day before, and one 4 hours prior to surgery. After I got back to work, I gave my boss the news (although as far as work knows, this is hernia surgery. I have several outspoken coworkers who are against WLS and I don't have the nerve to deal with them while going through everything). My liver shrink officially begins the 15th, although I am currently drinking a normal protein drink (syntrax nectar) once a day currently rather than snacking. They actually said they're fine with me partaking in Thanksgiving, just to stay away from starches and stick with meat and veggies, which is fine by me. I've been continuing the hiking every weekend. I pushed through two weekends ago and went to a really well known state park about 90 minutes away on a 34 degree drizzly morning. Most of the trails near me are pretty well maintained, but many of the trails here were nothing more than mud slicks and rocks - which is sometimes a lot of fun! My calves were murder for the rest of the week, but these three views alone were worth it, albeit I need to go back on a sunny day A waterfall, a cave, and a beautiful big lake in a valley.
  11. 3 points


    Well, I've done just fine on clear liquids and magnesium citrate today, though the bathroom is sure seeing a lot of me. Ha! I'm missing my sister a lot right now. I would be calling her up and joking around with her, asking her for advice. She was my dear friend. She would have come with me to the hospital. I have been talking to her anyway, even though she can't answer. I think she would be proud of me. I'm nervous, but excited to start this journey. I'm thinking about joining the gym my husband goes to so we can go together. I haven't decided yet. I haven't been all that successful at trying to work out at home, though - and he goes pretty regularly - so I'm thinking it might be wise to go with him. We'll see. It will be a little while before I can go anyway. I'll let you all know how it goes tomorrow.
  12. 3 points

    my surgical week....

    I know I have given some info here and there, but I wanted to put it all in one place. I can't remember what I posted in my morpheine induced fog. So here's what went on during the surgery. The night before my husband was out at church running a kids program that I didn't want to go to (too many germs and I wanted to be prepared mentally for the surgery) and our DD and her BF were with him. He took them to Denny's afterwards (since I never cook anymore...maybe twice since 10/23!) I stayed at home, first shaving my legs, flossing my teeth, packing my bag and trying to have everything together. Later, I tried to relax by watching youtube videos of how to prepare/what to bring etc for bariatric surgery. I debated about this since it seems to morbid, but I wrote letters to everyone in our family in case I didnt' make it. I even wrote one to our son/DIL's second baby who isn't even conceived yet, but since I know they are thinking about having another one next year or shortly after I wanted to include them). That was emotionally draining as you can imagine! I went to bed early since I couldn't have any thing after 10 pm. (which wasn't horrible since I wasn't "eating" anything anyway, it was all liquids). I actually fell right to sleep. I think it was easier since I had already packed up my cpap (which was required for me to bring w/ me...though I never used it there!) But then DH and DD came home about 10:45 and that woke me up, but I did go back to sleep by midnight and woke off and on. I got up at 6 am for a shower and to get dressed and then pack up a few things that I had to wait for (toothbrush/mascara/lipcolor...never used the makeup but was thrilled to have the toothbrush!) About 7:10 am, we dropped DS off and then headed up to the train station. It was weird taking the train to my surgery but much cheaper (it costs us $9 but to park there would have been $25 and I can't stand to spend any extra money!). Anyway, we got there at 8:10. Then we sat in the waiting room for about 10 mins before they called us back. I had to get changed and get on the bed for vitals and to answer 1,000,000 more questions. By 9:00 or so I was on my way up to the OR waiting room. Up there I met back up w/ my surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the numerous med students joining us. After going over what was going to happen, they took me back about 10:25 to start. It was so nice bc the anesthesiologist put in one iv in that waiting room...and as they were about to take me back, he injected stuff into it and said "this will feel warm and you'll start to get sleepy". I remember seeing the inside of the OR but that was it. Usually they don't start that stuff until you are in there...and when you go in there it is just unnerving to see all of the equipment etc so it was nicer to drift off as I was entering. Next thing I knew I was hearing them saying "You are all finished and in recovery"...gotta love that part of being asleep for things! I was stuck in the recovery room for a long time (DH said they told him it would take 4-5 hrs, I had no idea prior. since they told him all was well (and they had his cell number), he went to get something to eat. I was in and out during recovery but not in much pain bc of the anesthesia still in my system plus I had a morpheine drip that had I button that I can push every 6 mins to get a little amount delivered right into my bloodstream...just laying there but when my eyes were opened the room was spinning. When the dr came in to tell me how it went, he was spinning and I kept saying that. He also told me that he found a pretty major hiatal hernia (which explains why I am on Rx meds for heart burn) and he had to repair it (which I lucked out on having him find it since doing surgery on a HH after GSV surgery is evidently difficult). They finally let DH in about 5:30pm or so and after seeing I was ok, I told him he could go home....as they said I had to stay there for a few more hours and you can only have one family member visit for 5 mins of each hour, so that seemed silly to keep him up there (and fortunately we all have cell phones now so it is easy to give updates to each other). That recovery room was closing at 7 pm so the moved me to another one upstairs that is opened 24/7 and I stayed there until 10:45 pm. Finally I was moved to a room on the floor (as they hadn't had one available) and set up for the night. Things were still moving and I was dizzy. The dizziness was making me nauseous and that was a lousy combination. I kept using the morpheine pump throughout the night which helped with the pain that was surfacing. The next day was a lot of monitoring and testing and filling IVs (like they draw blood every few hours and test it and when it says it is low on calcium, they give me calcium via IV, then they'd test again and I'd be low on magnesium and then give me that....I felt like they were constantly giving me stuff! They sent me down at 8 am for a barium swallow test (Upper GI) to see how the HH was healing and if anything could leak out....it was hard to tell bc everything was so swollen but they did find that i was fine and I was allowed to take sips of water (4 little one ounce medicine cups every hour). The spinning still wouldn't go away and neither did the nausea. I thought it was from the morpheine so I tried not to give it to myself but I couldnt' make it very long w/o it. In the end, I asked for a different pain med and they tried it but it was not much different (less fog I guess but still dizzy). They couldn't send me home w/ the dizziness, so they kept me. I never had DH come up bc I didn't want him to come up on the train then have to get it back and then bring the car etc....had I known I wasn't going home, I'd have had him come up to visit...tho I was lousy company! The next day (Wed), i had already been there an extra night and yet i was still nauseated. The spinning wasn't so bad anymore....but I threw up the med that was supposed to coat my stomach ....which hurt like heck to throw up w/ that force and muscle contractions it takes! So then they couldn't send me home on Wed either! Again, I didn't have DH come up since I thought I was going home. I was still lousy company so it didn't matter to me but I felt badly for him. He asked to face time me but I barely had the strength to. My sister also asked if I wanted company and I declined. Thurs morning the nausea was gone (they had put a seasickness patch behind my ear on Wed am and that was helping too I guess). They were thinking the dizziness was just a flare of vertigo that I occaisionally have bc it wasn't med related.) Once those two things were gone, I was able to walk around more and so I dragged my pole up and down the hallway getting some strength back which helped. So I finally was d/c'd about 3 pm. The hospital is only about 7 miles away but it has so much traffic going from philly to jersey and there were stops and starts and bumps etc so I was dying. It took about 20-25 mins to get home and I held the pillow in front of me the whole way home. Pulling up was nice but it was hard to step out of the car. Once home I laid on the couch totally wiped out! Whew! I took my meds/drank my water and did the best I could. I slept on the couch bc the bed it up too high and a memory foam mattress to it is hard to pull yourself up and out of it. Today i was feeling slightly better...and I suspect I will improve each day. I am still in pain....it feels like I did tons of sit ups as my abs are totally sore (something I bet wouldn't have been so terrible had I been in better shape and had stronger abs presurgery!). On top of that, I feel pain where the 5 small incisions are (one is about 2", the rest are smaller, like 1/4" - 1/2" or so). It hurts mostly when I get up and standing straight is really difficult. I need to hold my stomach when I stand and yet I need my arms to get up. But closer to the evening it was getting easier (still hurts but not horribly). The one issue that is difficult is that I have SO much to do while I am awake! I have to drink 4 oz of liquid every hour, but not all at once, I have to pace it like 1 oz every 15 mins....I can't have more than 6 oz/hr in case I go over. Then I have meds to give myself but none of them can be together! So, I have one pain med every 4 hrs, 1 muscle relaxer every 8 hrs, 1 blood thinner shot I give myself (every other side, so I have to keep track), 1 acid reducer, 1 biotin supplement, 2 chewable calciums (but not together). 1 chewable adult multivit (not a gummy, and pretty nasty tasting), 1 iron pill, and in the end have drank 64 ounces as well as walked a lot. today I did well but only got 44 oz in! Geesh! it is so hard to arrange it all! Tomorrow I am expecting to be even better! I haven't felt any regret though....it hurts but I know it is temporary. I am not even upset about the fact I can't eat anything since I chose to do this AND I want to play by the rules so that I don't hurt my new pouch so I can be successful! Other than that, I am just glad to be on the other side and ready to start losing...and learning what and how to eat. I made my f/u appt for next Thursday and after that they will change me from clear liquids (and a littie bit of protein shake) so soft stuff, like cream soup (I can't wait) and yogurt etc . Then I think I have 2 wks of that before I get to the next stage ( which is @Kiodelicious stage I think...or I might have one more before I get there, I am not sure, it is all kinda a blur right now) where I can have more foods to eat (like a deviled egg....which sounds awesome!) So, hope it didn't scare anyone off...there were no complications just annoyances and the pain is getting pretty tolerable at this point, so all is well!!!
  13. 3 points

    5 Month Surgiversary

    Today is my 5 month surgiversary! And let me preface this by reiterating that...I am not a Blogger! This journey has been triumphant at times, and trying at times. I do not wish to sugar coat my experience, but here goes! My first meeting with my surgeon/weight loss facility was in January 16, 2017. I had surgery on June 14, 2017. I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea during this time period (February), since I needed a pre-existing condition for my insurance to cover WLS. The only way they cover with no conditions is if your BMI is 40%+ (morbidly obese). I was just over 35% BMI at that time. I remember meeting with the surgeon and him asking about my medical conditions, and I said no diabetes, no BP issues. Then he asked about sleep apnea and my hubby sitting in the corner was like "Yes, yes...she definitely HAS sleep apnea!" LOL...apparently he was correct since the sleep clinic diagnosed me the next month. I feel like everything suddenly fell into place, and before I knew it, it was June and I was having WLS. I can honestly say this is one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. I have lost almost 61#, and have 18# to go until my goal weight of 155. I feel a lot more confident at work. I have energy! I don't come home from work and pass out for an hour. I don't fight feeling like I am going to fall asleep at the wheel on my drive home from work. I can go up and down a flight of stairs and not have any laboured breathing whatsoever. I am walking 5 miles per day, 5 x per week. WHAT?! Who is this person? I wanted to share a couple of pictures. This first one is from 2012. I would guess I was in the 240# range. We were having a pool party in our backyard, and I guess I felt somewhat covered in the coverup. I hated these parties. I was the largest woman there and so self conscious. As the years went on, I didn't even get in my pool with them. I would just sit in a chair in shorts and a t-shirt and pray I didn't roast too death. I was too self-conscious to even be in my own pool with anyone but my husband. I had no idea my hubby still had this pic on his iPad. I am sure I yelled at him to delete it. The second pic is from last month, so 4 months post OP. My sister was bugging me for a pic since she lives in another state. I thought I'd do the cheesy selfie! The biggest thing I would tell anyone contemplating WLS is that this is far more a mental game than anything. There are many obstacles to get through to get to your surgery date. Surgery is not fun - there is some pain in recovery for a few days at the least. But post-surgery, your entire mindset towards food needs to change. I have been given a tool that prohibits me from gorging myself on food. But this tool is only effectve if I am in control of what I put in my mouth! I thank God for Thinner Times. Y'all are the best! <3
  14. 3 points
    Yesterday was an interesting and happy day. This work is starting to pay off! I met with the nutritionist. She went over alot of information. Some of it I already knew, from research. Some I didn't. She also asked alot of questions regarding my eating and diet history. Such as, when did I start gaining weight, what my eating habits are like, how many diets have I tried, what's the most I've lost, what's the heaviest I've weighed and such. Her main focus was after surgery. However, she strongly suggested to start training myself now that way it won't be as hard when the time finally arrives. For instance, eating slowly and in small bites. Measuring everything. Gradually cutting out carbonated drinks, sugar, and caffeine. Going through sugar and caffeine withdraw while recovering from surgery doesn't seem like fun. So, I'm with her there. Also, she gave me this cute little plate that is designed to measure portions. One space is for protein, another for veggies, another for fruit, and another for carbs. She explained that she does not believe in diets. So, she didn't put me on one. This is a lifestyle change. not something that has a beginning and an ending. Overall, she felt I'm doing fairly well. I do need to eat more veggies but other than that there aren't any issues at the moment. I'm not a vegetable person. Never have been. I love beans (basically all kinds),and potatoes. I can tolerate tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. Other than that, I'm not friendly with them. Especially onions. They make me nauseous. But, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try them again. The best part of the day, saving the best for last, I've lost 11 lbs in 1 month! When I saw the scale, I was shocked. I couldn't believe it! I was concerned I was losing motivation. Some things were going on that I felt were causing me to lose focus. But, I guess not. To be honest, I haven't been exercising as much as I should be. I've still been watching calories, though. So, I guess it paid off! Thank God! Next on the agenda is psych evaluation on 11/16. Then, blood work, breathing test and EKG on 11/20.
  15. 3 points
    So yesterday I started my pre-op diet. I got 113 grams of protein, so I feel pretty confident about my ability to pull this off. Ha! I know it won't be that easy after surgery, since I won't have the capacity to eat as much, but I think it's a good indication that I will be able to get the protein I need without a huge amount of effort. We'll see! But I want to say how awesome my husband is. He got laid off recently, so he's taken on a lot of the household responsibilities (though he certainly did his share before, too). He does the meal planning and most of the cooking currently. He looked over my diet and made sure that each dinner he makes either fits my requirements or will fit them with slight alterations. For example, last night he did a baked tofu with a sauce, but left the sauce off of mine since it had a lot of sugar in it - the tofu was still delicious! I just really appreciate his dedication to helping me through this. He's had a hard time wrapping his head around it - mainly because he worries about my safety and surgery makes him nervous - but he's made it clear that he wants to do whatever he can to support me anyway. He is, however, going to drop me off for surgery and then go find stuff to do for a couple of hours so he doesn't sit and freak out while I'm in the operating room. Haha!
  16. 3 points

    Today's the day!!!

    Thought you'd get a kick out of my shirt I'm wearing on my way out.....can't wait for tomorrow to be back home!!!! Lol!
  17. 2 points
    So today is my 14 day post op...I made it to 2 wks....which means 4 weeks total of my liquid diet and just proving it to me was a great feeling. I know we are all on different paths and have different doctors and NUTs and stuff. And some of you have been able to have soft foods prior to 2 wks post op, so I know I COULD have had foods sooner and survived, but I needed to follow my plan for the fact I need to prove to myself that I CAN do it and CAN follow my "rules"....and I DID So since 10/23 I haven't had food and now i have earned it!!! Today I got to eat. I was so looking forward to it, I posted here about it, I bought a bunch of foods I can have and then I waited to decide the big meal! I ended up since it was breakfast, I had scrambled eggs...I added a little cottage cheese and soy milk and used the hand blender so it was thoroughly enough. Then I cooked it, salted and peppered it and was nearly drooling. Then I sat down, and it looked kind of silly in my 4 oz container, so I decided to put in on a small plate and used my small fork. I said my prayers and asked that this would go down and stay down and be ok. Then I took my first, very bland, very disappointing bite! I expected fireworks I guess! I looked for salsa and didn't find it, so i tried a little hot sauce (which I am not even a fan of) then I sprayed it w/ butter spray, In the end, I ate about 2/3 of it but then figured why finish it because I didn't really like it. The I decided to have a protein shake an hour later and move on, looking forward to lunch. For lunch I had refried beans and a little bit of ricotta and salsa. It was really thick and felt "heavy" and i didn't want to push it. So, I waited. Then later I added water to it and stirred and stirred....and it thinned out and then I reheated it and put fresh salsa on the top and it was delicious! I still took my time eating it....over an hour since I was watching a show w/ my husband (we usually sit at the table but I couldn't wait for all that time to just milk this small meal). Overall it was fine. I remember hearing people here having the beans and I always thought it sounded too heavy...and it felt that way today but adding lots of water made it so much better and I did enjoy it. In a few moments I am going to go make a can of soup so that I can get the protein shake in before bed too. I am just slow and taking my time w/ this whole food thing. Other than food, which I really had as a focus today (haha!)....I was feeling more like me today. I actually got up and cleaned the downstairs w/ my husband today which felt great to have that kind of energy (I didn't run the vacuum but i did the rest of the stuff...he mopped all the floors and vacuumed the 2 rugs). I had a candle burning and it was delightful to get the house back to where it had been post surgery. I packed away my stuff from the living room (like my breathing thing to make sure I don't get pneumonia, my cpap, my pillow, my many meds (they are in the kitchen cabinet now), my paperwork of when I have eaten etc) so it stopped looking like a hospital and more like a living room again! Also I had a friend came over from my church today and brought me roses and we sat and talked for 2 hours which was refreshing. As the day wraps up, I am worn out but I did have a great day! (which isn't what I could say last Monday when I was only 1 wk out, I was still shocked that I wasn't better sooner, but today I feel like I got this, I am not as uncomfortable and I am stronger!) Yea me! addendum: I had the soup....cream of mushroom, used extra milk in it and used the hand blender and mixed it up. It wasn't delicious. It was bland again....but since soup is already high is sodium I didn't want to add salt or something. In the end, i drank it bc it was warm and yet I am not excited about it. (I think it might be that they were out of almond milk so i got organic soy milk and it is sweet and almost vanilla tasting though it doesn't say that (my almond milk will say unsweetened or vanilla or chocolate etc)....so I've never had the organic soy milk but maybe it is too sweet..i just don't know. Next time I have to mix milk it, I will use almond
  18. 2 points

    It's been 12 days already?!?!

    So, I can not believe it has already been 12 days since my surgery! I am feeling stronger with each day. Yesterday I had a lot of nausea and was frustrated about it but today it is gone (whew!). I am anxious to reach Monday because that marks two weeks and I feel like my pain around the two biggest incisions will be gone and I won't even need the Tylenol through out the day (I tried to skip it yesterday when I was nauseous, but it had been about 8 hrs and I was really feeling it (not sitting, just when I would try to stand or move or whatever). I am also looking forward to Monday for .....PUREE!!! I am so excited! I smell everyone's food at meals and I am still fine with not cheating and eating or even tasting their stuff, but it sure makes me long for something. At my appt I said to the NUT I told her I so wanted a salad and she said that is actually what most people tell her at their post op appt, weird, right? I don't want a brownie or ice cream or lasagna or fried chicken, but I would LOVE a salad!!! Any kind of salad! I was tempted to try my husband's tomato soup this afternoon and I thought "well I CAN have it on Monday so I am close and I know people who HAVE had it before 14 days, so I COULD technically have it now and not ruin my sleeve, BUT then I thought, "nope, I am staying true to this commitment and following the plan to a T!" Nothing solid has entered my mouth in weeks, who knew I could do that? I do....now! So, I also want to know that I can stick to my 4 week liquid diet without making excuses!!! But Monday, I get to eat something else!!! I have to admit, I was going to post in the first week that it hurt WAY more than I thought it would and I had ridiculous expectations for myself and things I'd be able to do that I couldn't. But then I worried that the people who haven't had the surgery would be nervous. However, the more I think about it, the more I wish I hadn't put so much expectations on myself. I had major abdominal surgery for goodness sake, and even though I had very small incisions, my muscles had been cut underneath! I was just harder on myself than I needed to be. I am finally coming around to accept it, but I was really annoyed with myself that first week that I wasn't conquering all the things (like the pain, the dizziness, the nausea and being stuck in the hospital for 4 days instead of 1). I was really disappointed in myself. However, I thought maybe I should post it here since I don't want someone else to set such high expectations for themselves and then be disappointed in themselves. But now that that is passed, I feel like I am catching up to my previous expectations and am feeling really good about my surgery and recovery! Speaking of which, I am doing phenomenal getting my liquids in. Since I saw the dr, and he said that I am doing fine w/ the 4-6 ounces, that I could have more (since I asked him) and I am doing great. Since it is only liquid and it doesn't sit in my sleeve I can have more, they just wanted to limit it at first. I drink all of the time, so I am glad I am back to that. I drank 90 oz of diluted diet peach tea (1 part snapple to 3 parts of water, I hate strong tastes, obviously) and I have had 24 oz of protein shakes (75 gm protein) and I am now having some broth. My point is, I feel hydrated about finally and loving it! (I will certainly stop back on Monday to tell you what foods I tried and how they went!!!)
  19. 2 points

    Ramblings of a slow loser.

    I am a slow loser.... At first it depressed me, it aggravated me, and had me wanting to give up. Its my way, its the way Ive done this journey for the past 3 decades. I am good at losing weight, but when it stops I give up. Now here I am, I haven't lost any weight since June. I only lost 50 pounds since surgery......it pisses me off. Now I can say, I have not been perfect, but I can count the number of times I have eaten off plan on one hand, I can remember each time in the past year vividly because the pain it has caused. I do not eat bread, pasta, starches and very limited sugar. By that I mean I will have a life saver now and again and my vitamins do have sugar in them. I go to the gym three times a week and do the machines, I can see the results, especially in my shoulders and arms. This last summer I wore tank tops for the first time in a couple decades. I have this love hate relationship with this forum. I love reading about people who have lost weight, but it really makes me angry as well. People who have started at a higher weight than I did and have twice as much in half the time. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! but yeah them! But here I am, a little over a year since surgery and I am stuck at 160 pounds, on my 5'2 frame. My goal was 130, but I am stuck at 160. STUCK! I've tried everything, I've upped my calories, I've lowered my calories, I've upped my carbs and lowered my carbs. I even tried going into ketosis by stop taking my vitamins. I am averaging about 1200 calories a day....which leads me to my other thing. For about a month now, I have been constantly hungry....yeah I know, the end of the year honeymoon period thing. But OMG, the constant hunger. I know its not a vitamin deficiency(which was my first thought) because I had my blood panel and I am in the standard range for everything except b-12 which I was WAY high on because I was taking too high a dose. So I graze, mostly at night. So to compensate I eat smaller meals, really just a few ounces of protein, thats what I eat, in one form or another, protein. Veggies are like a luxury to me because in order to get my 80+ grams of protein in I stick to protein snacks, lefts overs, eggs, cheese and nuts. But yeah, I'm stuck...160.....but ya know what....I dont care! I look at before and after pics of myself and I am proud, and for the first time since 1985 I can look at pictures of myself and not cringe. I went from 3x to L-XL. I can wear cute clothes, I can wear a PDF when I kayak. I am not giving up.........Yes its been a LONG stall, but I am not giving up. Just 30 pounds to go.....I will get there. It might take me another whole year, but I WILL GET THERE. Because regaining the weight I have lost in not an option. Its just not! All I have to do is look at my before pictures to know, regaining is not an option. Here I am rambling....but this forum is my ONLY support. No one knows about my surgery....maybe that's why my slow weight loss is a good thing. If I did lose 100 pounds in 6 months it would be obvious, but since I am struggling and losing slowly, I am just like everyone else on a diet. Crazy ramble is over......
  20. 2 points

    2 days and counting....ahhhh!

    I can NOT believe it is getting so close! Ahhhh! (that was an excited ahhhh, not a freaking out ahhh!) I can't believe how loooong the journey felt and how long I've battled this weight and I am finally stepping into the ring to battle it out once and for all! And this time I WILL be the victor!!! (I am not unrealistic in thinking I will not struggle, but this time, better tools are on my side!). I have lost so much weight these last two weeks on this liquid diet that I can SEE a difference and that is all I need to plow ahead and just make this happen! (I wish my scale's new batteries came b/c I want a pre-surg weight...but they will take one at the hospital, right?) My parents (who I was afraid to tell) came over today and brought me 3 huge bags of my SIL's clothes from size 14-18 so I will have a lot to "shrink" into! They also brought me an obscene amount of protein powder (I'll have to take a pic and post it) from my SIL. My SIL pretty much stepped out of the picture and is letting my parents and sister clean out their house and get it on the market and said to trash everything...well, I am glad I told my mom bc now I am getting their "trash" of smaller clothes and unopened protein! Before leaving, my parents prayed over me and it was such a sweet prayer leading to such a peaceful feeling! I am SO glad I told them...I don't know why I fretted so much! So today I am doing "weekend wash"....I save all the wash for the weekends when I am working and I didn't realize how much piled up! I have 8 loads to do...not counting towels and sheets etc. I am going to do our sheets simply so I can have a fresh set on the night before and into recovery (I remember some of you had to do that...I don't have to but I like the idea). Then I am cleaning my side of the bedroom floor. We have a big bedroom and as such that area seems to become "storage" for everyone. My kids clear out their rooms and what they dont' want they dump in there for me to go through and send out to whomever. Plus I have boxes there of my winter/summer clothes to swtich out etc. I just need to be mostly gone so I am not laying in bed frustrated over it or worse yet tripping on it when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night etc. Then I will pack my bag while I am up there and also I need to get my before pictures done (probably tomorrow). I do want to check my measures too, because I honestly feel like I have started to melt! I woke up about 5 am thinking "oh I am having surgery next week, I had better go have some french toast before I can't have any" ...and as I woke a little more I laughed at myself. That was all in my subconscious since I know I can't have food! But that was my old go to me floating about my brain. I am SO glad they do the 2 wk pre op diet, bc otherwise I might be tempted to do a huge last dinner meal today! I laid in bed before getting up and thought I am not really nervous, but anxious to get it over with...and by this time next week, the worst of it will be over and I will just be learning my new life style! Can you believe it?!?!?! Back to work....I can't wait to relax next week!
  21. 2 points

    I made it to DAY 4!!!

    So you all told me day 4 would get better....and you were right! The headaches stopped, the weakness left (though it wasn't horrible, I just felt low energy), the hunger pains pretty much subsided and the diarrhea was only that one time (thank goodness!) and I lost 7.9# in three days to boot!!! I could get used to this (the weight loss, not the diet). However, I feel like since the cravings stopped (not saying I wouldn't love something to eat, but I don't feel like I would kill for it! haha!) I can easily do this for the next 3-4 weeks. At first it seemed like it would be impossible to go without food for 4 wks or more, but now I am understanding that I can wait for it and survive (and lose weight as a bonus!) I assumed I would lose weight with this liquid diet but I didn't think as much as fast. But I will take it. I am not getting enough calories per day but I wasn't given an amount but I really worry that 400-450 calories a day doesn't set me up for healthy healing in 11 days. I think I will call tomorrow and see if there is a calorie amount I should be reaching. I have been getting between the 60-80 gm of protein so at least that is ok. To keep my mind busy, I went and bought 25 yards of grossgrain ribbon today and took all my measurements with them. I cut a separate one for each measurement (i.e. one for waist, one for bust, one for thigh etc) and will use them every month to mark my way down! A month after my surgery, i will wrap each one around me and mark the new mark with a red marker and put the date. The next month, I will do another color and date and watch my ribbons shrink before my eyes. I think it will be easier to visualize the losses! It should be fun! I'll post pictures of my ribbons and they go down!
  22. 2 points

    23 week update

    23 weeks and it feels a lot longer than that. Sometimes I can hardly remember my life before I did this wonderful and amazing thing for myself. I've found myself saying to a number of people that besides marrying my husband having weight loss surgery has been the best thing I have ever done. I must admit I have been incredibly lucky. After my surgery I had very little pain and no complications. They gave me a huge box of medication to take for pain and I only dipped into them about twice. There's only been two times where I have suffered from dumping syndrome. Once was when I had some coco powder in my normal morning protein shake which I was able to walk off fairly quickly. The second was an apple and blueberry instant porridge. Felt like a weird thing to dump from and it was pretty horrible. I got sent home from work for that one. But luckily neither of them made me vomit. Fortunately – or maybe unfortunately – I can eat pretty much anything. A real wakeup call about how I am still the one who controls what goes in my mouth. Sadly I am one of those people that feel hungry. But seriously after the pre-op liver shrinking diet I can handle hunger. Most of the time if I get that feeling I do eat something but something small like a little bit of chase. I had a strange phenomenon the past few weeks. Whilst eating I was getting a kind of burning feeling in my throat which I was thinking was hunger so I would eat more. That didn’t help. Sometimes it made it worse. My go to for any bad feeling stomach wise has always been to eat something. But then on Monday morning it struck me that maybe that feeling was fullness! So I really started to pay attention to it. As soon as it started coming on I instantly stopped eating and it was gone. So yup, that’s what it is. Looking back I feel stupid for not realising it earlier but I’m still learning about this new tummy of mine. It’s also brought me back to chewing the heck out of food and putting my cutlery down between bites. Oh how easy it is to forget these simple lessons. Getting through a whole cup of coffee before it goes cold can still be a struggle. But that’s a small thing in the overall picture. I’ve been getting my water in and all my protein with no problems. My program really discourages you from continuing to weigh and measure everything you eat after a certain point. So I have backed off from that but I still check all the labels and keep a running rough estimate of my protein for the day in my head. I only weigh once a month so I am unaware of any real stalls. Some months are slower than others but that’s to be expected. I'm due to weigh again on the first but so far I have lost 73.5 pounds and 29 inches on various parts of my body. Pretty much all the clothing I own is too big for me. I've tried not to spend money on clothes but I was forced to buy some new trousers and bras a few weeks ago. Some of my older clothes from the last time I lost weight (before it went back on) and a lot of those were even too big for me. I’m getting loads of compliments. I try to take these quite humbly. I’m still very worried about weight going back on. A lady at work told me I was like a totally different person. That it was obvious how miserable I was before. I could only agree because she was right. I was a miserable person before I decided to have weight loss surgery. I never really realised how unhappy and sometimes mean I was. I smile more, I laugh more, and I live more. Someone asked me about weight loss surgery the other day. I told her to give it some very careful thought because no two experiences are the same. But that mine has been absolutely great and I love myself for it. <3 Much love to all the people on this forum. I don't post much but I do lurk and read and take your advice. We've got some amazing people and support on this board.
  23. 1 point

    How it went - post-op day 2

    Well I feel great, actually! I'm in a little pain, but I'm already off my pain meds (might take one before bed, though, so I can sleep tonight). I don't know what sorcerer trained my surgeon, but I have had minimal pain and zero complications. I've also had zero nausea, which was a surprise. I'm getting my protein down (if I drink two shakes mixed with Fairlife 0, I only HAVE to drink 2!) and sipping water religiously. I have to pee constantly. Haha! Yesterday was probably the worst of it - I hurt a lot and was super grumpy when I got home. But today is a million times better. So surgery went incredibly smoothly. I had a surprise hiatal hernia (*high five* @CJireh) but the surgeon said it took about 3 minutes for him to fix that up while he was in there, so no big deal. I was up and getting myself to the bathroom and walking the halls by myself the night of surgery. One nurse looked a little like my sister and came to check my vitals and woke me up, so I was elated for about 2 seconds and then started crying. She was really sweet about it when I had to explain what was up. Today I got a shower, which was nice, and I'm watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on TV with the kids. I'm looking forward to my gravy-like substance for dinner (broth with raw protein powder - ha!).
  24. 1 point

    Tests and Tidbits

    I'm typing this on less than 3 hours of sleep. So, if I start to ramble, please forgive me. Testing has been completed. Psych was last week. It was easy. I had to fill out alot of paper work. Some of it was just your basic info and your medical history. Others were worksheets that screened for depression and eating disorders. When I met with the counselor, we basically just reviewed the worksheets and such. They mainly want to know that you have realistic expectations, have a support system, are not suicidal and are doing this for you, not for someone else. Blood work and breathing test was bright and early this morning. Fasting required. I had trouble sleeping. To be honest, I haven't slept well in a few days. On Saturday night, a wind storm swept through the area. We lost power for 16 hours. I'm so used to sleeping with a fan on that I couldn't sleep without it. The winds kept howling for a few hours, too. I had to be up at 6am this morning. The testing facility was 90 minutes away from home. When I have to get up that early, I can't sleep worth a lick. So, yay! Testing is complete. Well, almost complete. Their EKG machine was broken. So, I have to have that done somewhere else. I'm waiting until after Thanksgiving. To answer a question that BurgundyBoy asked, I've lost weight without completely eliminating sugar. My only sugar treat is a cup of chocolate ice cream a few times a week. The rest of the time, when I want something sweet, I drink a chocolate protein shake. I've cut back on carbs, only have small portions of potatoes a couple times a week. My focus is on protein. However, with Thanksgiving being here, I might treat myself a little. My nutritionist gave me the okay to enjoy the day and the food, as long as I don't over do it and go right back on track the next day. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
  25. 1 point

    2 days and counting....ahhhh!

    I can NOT believe it is getting so close! Ahhhh! (that was an excited ahhhh, not a freaking out ahhh!) I can't believe how loooong the journey felt and how long I've battled this weight and I am finally stepping into the ring to battle it out once and for all! And this time I WILL be the victor!!! (I am not unrealistic in thinking I will not struggle, but this time, better tools are on my side!). I have lost so much weight these last two weeks on this liquid diet that I can SEE a difference and that is all I need to plow ahead and just make this happen! (I wish my scale's new batteries came b/c I want a pre-surg weight...but they will take one at the hospital, right?) My parents (who I was afraid to tell) came over today and brought me 3 huge bags of my SIL's clothes from size 14-18 so I will have a lot to "shrink" into! They also brought me an obscene amount of protein powder 27.5 pounds of it to be exact (I'll have to take a pic and post it) from my SIL. My SIL pretty much stepped out of the picture and is letting my parents and sister clean out their house and get it on the market and said to trash everything...well, I am glad I told my mom bc now I am getting their "trash" of smaller clothes and unopened protein! Before leaving, my parents prayed over me and it was such a sweet prayer leading to such a peaceful feeling! I am SO glad I told them...I don't know why I fretted so much! So today I am doing "weekend wash"....I save all the wash for the weekends when I am working and I didn't realize how much piled up! I have 8 loads to do...not counting towels and sheets etc. I am going to do our sheets simply so I can have a fresh set on the night before and into recovery (I remember some of you had to do that...I don't have to but I like the idea). Then I am cleaning my side of the bedroom floor. We have a big bedroom and as such that area seems to become "storage" for everyone. My kids clear out their rooms and what they dont' want they dump in there for me to go through and send out to whomever. Plus I have boxes there of my winter/summer clothes to swtich out etc. I just need to be mostly gone so I am not laying in bed frustrated over it or worse yet tripping on it when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night etc. Then I will pack my bag while I am up there and also I need to get my before pictures done (probably tomorrow). I do want to check my measures too, because I honestly feel like I have started to melt! I woke up about 5 am thinking "oh I am having surgery next week, I had better go have some french toast before I can't have any" ...and as I woke a little more I laughed at myself. That was all in my subconscious since I know I can't have food! But that was my old go to me floating about my brain. I am SO glad they do the 2 wk pre op diet, bc otherwise I might be tempted to do a huge last dinner meal today! I laid in bed before getting up and thought I am not really nervous, but anxious to get it over with...and by this time next week, the worst of it will be over and I will just be learning my new life style! Can you believe it?!?!?! Back to work....I can't wait to relax next week!
  26. 1 point

    the 23rd

    So, in looking back I realize that my first appt with the Bariatric Surgeon and Dietician on June 23rd. That began my long long long journey to my surgery. However, in retrospect that horribly long journey took me exactly 4 months up until October 23rd when I had my last appt w/ my bariatric surgeon before the big day! I think it took incredibly long simply because there was a lot to do and learn and read and figure out....so I crammed a year's worth of learning into 4 months and it felt like forever. Now, granted I am on fast forward rushing to surgery at breakneck speed. Funny how perspective changes things! Granted there was a lot going on during those busy 4 months (such as my husband getting laid off in a "restructuring" at his hospital he worked at for decades (the same one I am getting my surgery at) and the upheaval of schedules and dynamics that causes, as well as the darned cpap machine trials and tribulations (I think I have finally come to peace with that...I slept through the night for the first time last night...my mouth stayed taped shut, my jaw didn't hurt and I didn't pull it off in the wee hours!) as well as the numerous specialists visits and everything else that filled in those 4 months. But as long as it felt (but wasn't and some of you have it much longer), I have to say I am more prepared now than when I first started, and I am glad that it took me 4 months to get here instead of rushing into it. My insurance doesn't require anything but my surgeon does and I am glad he did as it gave me time to adjust my body, head, and heart around this whole process! So, for those of you just beginning, take your time, don't feel the need to rush through the process, take the time to learn and adjust! You'll be glad you did!
  27. 1 point

    8 month surgiversary

    Today is my 8 month surgiversary. Eight months! As of today, I weigh 169 pounds. I have lost 121 pounds (102 since surgery). My BMI is 25.7, down from 44. I’m about 5 pounds from “normal” BMI (whatever relevance you give this number) I lost 11 pounds this month, making it the ninth month in a row I’ll pulled double digits (-11 for the last three months in a row) I lost 37% of my excess weight this month - that number gets bigger and bigger as the amount I have to lose gets smaller and smaller, obviously. I lost 6% of my total body weight this month. That seems like quite a lot. My current, rather flexible goal weight is 150, which is now within shouting distance. I feel like I’ve achieved most of my lifestyle goals. I can do the things I want to now without pain or discomfort, being out of breath, or feeling self-conscious. ~~~(With the exception of swimming. *prepare for long, whiny complaining ahead* My legs look pretty awful to me - I know I’m thinner, and I should be proud of my body, but I am not now, nor have I ever been, happy with my legs. I still haven’t bought a bathing suit. I need to, since it’s getting to be bathing suit weather here now. I had a dream last night that I went to the beach with a bunch of people I’ve met here at work. They were all swimming, and I was sitting on the beach, alone, feeling sorry for myself that I didn’t have a bathing suit because I would be too self-conscious in it. This is not hard dream to analyze. Two groups of my colleagues are off on bathing suit related adventures this weekend, ones that would probably be awesome but that I didn’t want to go on. I hope the next 20 pounds brings me a little peace of mind in this area. Part of it is my general self-consciousness, but another part is pure 100% pride: I know my legs don’t look good, and I don’t want anyone to see them. I don’t feel like I can just “get over it” and come to terms with my appearance. And no, it’s not body dysmorphia. My legs do, indeed, look wobbly and cellulitey, and whatever the opposite of toned and fit is. Even when I was a runner and much thinner than I am now, they did not look good. This seems like a petty complaint, but it’s pretty central to my sense of self. I have always been ashamed of my legs, like since I was a kid. So I’m hoping the next 20 pounds will do something magical. Yes, I'm trying hard to keep in mind being thankful for my health and that I have a pair of good, functioning legs that take me where I want to go. I told you this would be whiny, and it is. It is not a feeling I am proud of, but it is an honest feeling, so I'm sharing it.)~~~ I stopped running this week. The first week, everything felt fine. The second week, my knees felt a little achey after the first couple of days, and on the third day of running, they hurt. They kept hurting after I stopped running, and still feel a little achey now. ACL achey is not something I want to play around with, so I’m back to walking fast and lifting weights. It stinks because I was kind of getting in the groove with the running, going at a decent pace, and my body was feeling really good from it (well, other than my ACLs). I’ve kicked up my walking pace to varying between 4-4.3 mph, which is a pretty fast clip and gets my heart going pretty well. I figure 45 to 60 minutes of that is adequate for cardio, and with some weights thrown in, that’s enough to get in decent shape. This will do for now, and I’ll look back into running in another 20 pounds. Maybe that’s light enough to not hurt myself. Why do I keep saying "in another 20 pounds"? It sounds like this 150 GW I have in mind is taking on some psychological significance I didn't mean it to. I went out to dinner last night with a group and had some lovely coconut curry prawns, and I don’t think anyone at the table noticed my weird eating at all - I ate most of the prawns, lots of the curry sauce, and none of the rice it was served with. It was very tasty. I had a couple of glasses of wine (probably should have stopped at one, but oh well). I passed on the dessert - a big group at the table next to us had a huge birthday cake, and were apparently impressed with the level of gusto with which we sang happy birthday to a stranger, and sent over slices of cake for everyone at our table. Cake is not my thing, so that wasn’t hard, and I just pushed mine toward the garbage disposal, I mean my husband, who ate most of my share. He’s very handy for situations like these. (He’s actually lost about 30 pounds since I started this whole process, so I’m apparently not using him as my personal garbage disposal too often.) It was a good evening that showed me how easy it can be to eat what I need to eat without having to answer any questions or get weird looks. None of these people know me as anything other than what I look like now, so they will learn to accept my tiny meals as normal for me. And as I looked around at the people I was eating with, I guessed that I was probably the thinnest one at the table. None of them are very big, but just a little more overweight than me. Very strange.
  28. 1 point
    So today I made it to 9 days and counting down! It's not been too difficult getting to this place and I know it has been going very quickly and before I know it surgery day will be here!!! I haven't accomplished much today. I got up and we went to our son's show chior performance at a local town's Fall Festival. Then we walked around for a little bit. I didn't eat anything before we left because I wasn't sure if the diarrhea would make a reappearance at a place where there aren't bathrooms, so in fear, I didn't eat. I was feeling a little week and nauseated so at 11:30 am we came home and I made a chocolate shake (w/ water). I am totally understanding what @Kio was saying about getting sick of sweet stuff....I feel like I can't tolerate it any more! I nearly gagged down the shake. I can get most things down out of pure determination but I am afraid this is going to be an uphill struggle for the next month. The nausea never went away (and I ever tried the papaya enzymes!) but I never threw up nor did I have any diarrhea today. I did find a new way to get a little protein in. I can have broth (boring) but then I took the hardboiled egg whites which I can have and sliced them into the boiling broth and it was interesting....more like soup than broth. And the second egg, I sliced long thin slices like noodles instead of a thick chunk of egg which was even better! Tomorrow I think I will try to make an egg drop soup w/ just broth and egg whites and see how that turns out. Since eggs are really my only "solids" I have to enjoy them! Other than going to the Fall Festival, I spend my afternoon and evening doing absolutely nothing....which was restful but seems like I should have gotten things accomplished knowing that I have only one more weekend until surgery. However, I have felt pretty queasy so I haven't pushed myself to do anything but watch tv. (how lazy!) and of course checking up on you all here! I have picked up a lovely new "habit" or "side effect"....I have been belching all day. I have read that post op, but pre-op? It's lovely and I say excuse me so much I am already sick of hearing me say it! haha! The weight is just dropping off of me in an astonishing rate! It has been 12.9# in only 5 days! It is pretty exciting to get up each morning and see how much weight I lost! I am actually seeing myself get smaller (not much but the first place I lose is always the section under my bust (upper abs?) so I am starting to see a little more definition there which just gives me an incentive to keep going! I think I should have taken my before pic last week when I was almost 13# bigger! And it makes me wonder....you know all of those "calculators" that tell you about how much you lose on average w/ each surgery? well do they go from the day of surgery weight or the before you started to lose...like on the 14 day preop? But then I think..."who cares, I am going to BLOW that number into the water because I KNOW I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL!...and now that I have documented that, I have to do it!!!!