twinspiration

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About twinspiration

  • Rank
    Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Nevada
  • Age
    37

Information

  • Surgeon
    Ganser
  • Hospital
    Renown South Meadows
  • Height (ft-in)
    5-05
  • Start Weight
    260
  • Current Weight
    143
  • Goal Weight
    145
  • Surgery Date
    04/13/2015
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. Just doing a little research to see if there are any ultra marathoners on here, and ran across this. (wondering how to fuel and hydrate for super long distance) There is so such thing as fat adapted running, where you don't need to eat a lot of carbs for distance running if you generally avoid carbs already, or you start avoiding them again in your training. Limited good carbs are helpful, but you can fuel your running on things like avocado, protein, nut butters, etc. It can be researched on line with a simple google search. Have you found something that works for you? I don't always avoid carbs, so I am not necessarily a very good example of fat-adapted running, but if you have found something that works since you posted this, will you update on your experiences? I'm looking for distance running fuel as well!
  2. Progress

  3. I am approaching new territory! My original goal for myself was to lose enough to get me under 25 BMI, which is less than a pound away, and I'm freaking out a little. I like my body, I like what it can do now, I am running almost daily, I can outpace my 8 year old twin boys, I can hike, I can bike, I'm looking forward to ski season this year. My real goal for this surgery was to get my life back, number on the scale be damned. In that regard, my surgery has been a complete success. I currently weigh 150.8, and a bmi under 25 for my height is 149.9 or less. I could reach that number in a day or in a week, or in a month with normal fluctuations. Just a little background, I have struggled with weight my entire life. I am almost 38 years old, and the last time I weighed 150 was 9th grade. I have never been this weight in my adult life, and I don't know how hard it will be to maintain this weight. I am 6.5 months post op, and I feel like I have the "losing" part of this process down. I understand it, I know what works for me, what I can and cannot eat to see results. Here is the part that scares me. I have never been able to maintain any weight, healthy or not, ever that I can remember. I have always been gaining like crazy or trying really hard to lose, but just staying the same is all new territory for me. I am scared of this territory. How do I know if I'm at a good weight to start the maintenance process? When did you know enough was enough? I'm tempted to keep moving my goal 5 or ten more pounds down, just so I can keep the status quo and know what I'm working towards, but I can't do that forever, especially as it's getting harder and harder to lose, and as health is my ultimate goal, so being under weight is also undesirable. How do I start trying to maintain when I'm so scared that upping calories or eating more will result in total failure like it has every other time in my life? I know this is different, I have a new body and a new tool for maintaining. I have been working with a therapist for the last year and a half to get my head in the right place to deal with the challenges that come with having the surgery, losing, and having a new body, so I have someone to help me, but she hasn't been there like so many of you have. How do I ease some of my fears over the inevitable transition that is nearer than I ever thought it would be, and what should I keep in mind to be successful in maintenance? TIA for any stories and advice!!
  4. Hi! So it's a good problem to have, I know, but how do you handle the questions from well-meaning people who just don't understand the surgery or its effects? Stuff like "how much more weight do you want to lose? How much farther are you planning on letting this go? How much skinnier do you need to be? I'm worried about how fast/how much you've lost! I am nearing a reasonable goal weight, and I do look much better than I did pre-op, but I am still in the "overweight" category on the BMI scale, though only by less than 10 lbs. Ive slimmed down to what I would consider a "normal" weight and I feel great and and more active and happy than I've been in a long time. But I don't want to have to explain that to every well-meaning person who rudely asks about my personal weight loss. I also am a little tired of fielding concerned questions from people who are close to me and I feel deserve a right to ask such things because they love and care about me and are my support system. Any snappy lines or standard responses that you've found useful in such situations? Thanks!
  5. So it's been a while since I visited this site, I've been busy living my life to the fullest! Just uploaded some recent pics, updated my stats, and went through photos trying to find a good before picture. I didn't have one. Lesson to everyone, as much as you hate your "before" look, take before shots. I spent so much effort avoiding the camera I have very few pictures of myself at my highest, but how good it feels now to not recognize myself in the ones I do have. I recently had a vow renewal/wedding I never had to celebrate 20 years together, and I felt so amazing! I looked great, felt great, enjoyed my party and the company, and the next day went to the amusement park and rode all the coasters with no fear of not fitting in the seats and enjoyed my time there with my children. I am so grateful to this surgery for giving me my life back and giving me a confidence and joy that I have never had before. I'm so happy with my results, and so happy with the new me, and for the first time ever in my life, just so happy!! I don't yet consider myself at goal, I would like to lose maybe 20 more lbs, but if I lived the rest of my life right here, I know I would be healthy and active and ok.
  6. I have made it to two months post-op. 35 lbs down since surgery, and almost 75 lbs down since beginning this journey on August 1, 2014. Well, a little past that. I have had some slow weeks, some weeks not losing, some days losing big. It is definitely a process. I am finally finding the real me again, and she wants to come out and live life! I am exploring new activities, opening up to people more, and living life more fully, and for that, the surgery already counts as a success! I ordered a dress for my vow renewal event in September. I was nervous, and really guessed at the size I would need, since the event is two and a half months away. I ordered two sizes smaller than I am now. Now that it's here, I'm only a size and a half away from that dress. Good news is, I can get it on, zipped and everything. There are lumps and bumps that need to melt away, but trying to get the thing on isn't laughable, as it would have been just months ago. It is a gorgeous dress, and I am so looking forward to looking gorgeous in it. It is stunning, and forgiving of many different body flaws, and It's everything I hoped it would be when I first laid eyes on it on-line, and took a leap of faith buying it. My food intake has increased to a level I can live with. I have enough energry to go about my day, with some left over for intense spin workouts or long walks. I have many things to work on still. Even though I know it is an issue of mine, I still haven't mastered patient and mindful eating. Too many of my meals are eaten on the fly, running out the door to drop the kids off at school then into work just making it on time. Or a string cheese or boiled egg snarfed down in the car on my way to a Dr. appointment over my lunch hour. I am sometimes making my stomach a little unhappy by eating too fast, or too much, when some mindfulness during meals would be a cure to that problem. I have a hard time slowing down, and appreciating the fuel I'm putting into my body. I've been telling myself for weeks to stop multitasking while eating, and have done nothing to actually make a move toward doing it. The things that save me are the fact that I no longer have the serious cravings for sweets/junk/fast food like I did before, and I no longer have the space to eat too much of anything. At least the food choices I'm making on the fly are more or less "safe." I am beginning to see my world opening up again. I have classes I'd like to take and hobbies I'd like to resume. I want to take fly-fishing lessons with my sons. I want to go to the climbing gym. I want to get tattooed. I want to jump out of an airplane. I want to go on a date with my spouse that isn't just dinner and a movie. I want to go backpacking. I want to go kayaking. I want to explore more of my world, both urban and wild. And I have already done many things I wouldn't have dreamt of doing in my 260 lb. body. I went on an airplane and didn't have to pray the seatbelt would fit. I tried paddleboarding for the first time. I wore a swimsuit at Lake Tahoe in front of people, without a cover-up. I bought a skirt, and wear it just because it's comfortable. I don't want to just exist, I want to truly live life. And for the first time in many years, I feel alive and happy. I have lost and gained a LOT of weight over the years, but this is the first time in my adult life that I am actually hopeful that real, permanent change can be mine, and I am seeing the weight that kept me from really living fully for so long melt away like snow in the sun. Likewise, the cloud of depression and guilt that has followed me around for many years off and on, is also melting away as I turn toward the sun.
  7. Thyroid meds and tsh post-op?

    Thanks for the input everyone! I saw my doc this week and we reduced my dosage, and we will recheck in 3 months to see what my levels are. I didn't expect my thyroid issues to resolve with this surgery, but if they did that would be awesome! For now, smaller dosage, and my cholesterol numbers look much better too, though he kept me on that med. hopefully I can give them both up someday.
  8. Hi! Any fellow post-op sleevers who take thyroid meds? I take levothyroxine, have for years, .137 mg dose, and just had my first lab work done since surgery in April. I don't see my primary doc to discuss results until next week, but I looked up the results before the appointment so I can go over them and have questions prepared if I need to. January results for my tsh on the same dose I take now were around 1.5. This time they were 0.15! A ten times difference! I expected meds to need to be adjusted, my cholesterol med perhaps, but I'm very surprised to see my thyroid levels change so drastically this time around. Any similar experiences post op? Any explanations? I'm almost thinking it has to be an error! I don't feel crazy abnormal, but being less than two months post-op, what is normal anyway? Insights or experiences anyone? I wonder what the doc will have to say about it next week.
  9. How do you know when

    I am six weeks out from my sleeve surgery, and find that that full feeling is definitely there. There were some guidelines from my docs office to help recognize it too, though. Obvious are feelings of discomfort in the esophagus, and burping. Not so obvious signs though are a sneeze, or a sudden runny nose. The runny nose thing I have experienced. Eating along, (no cold or other contributing factor to a runny nose), and with one bite a good way into my meal, it's like someone turned on the waterworks, and I need a tissue. That has actually been a good tell-tale sign. I know if I eat more, It'll feel really uncomfortable. Especially about 10 minutes after I stop. I can eat until I feel full, and ten minutes later, when everythings settled and registered, I feel over-full. You will find your sign of "full" easily enough.
  10. When other people tell everyone you've had surgery. :(

    I told the people I work with in my immediate department because I knew that my being out for the surgery would affect them, and my supervisor pretty much told everyone else at work. As a matter of fact I was sitting in his office working on a computer in there and he stopped and talked to a woman out in the hall all about me and my decision to have surgery, and they both said how they could never do that to themselves, and blah blah blah. I think he felt a little sheepish when the 15 minute conversation ended and he walked into his office and I was right there. I was really apprehensive about telling everyone, and having everyone know, but I've also not had any negative reactions to my face, and lots of words of ecouragement. I was worried about others' reactions and and opinions, but having someone else "out" me made me realize that I could also hear lots of encouragement and celebrating from others, and hear from many people how they wish they could be brave enough to do it to. And I can help those people make a positive change in their lives. And I am strong enough to put the smack-down on anywone who has an opinion I don't want to hear.
  11. Six weeks out, and I'm really beginning to explore new/old foods. I am finally able to get in enough nutrition and water to keep my energy levels up and stay strong all day. I can't say how significant this is to me. I had this surgery to feel healthier, and have been waiting for that feeling to kick in. It's been a rough 3 months, both during pre-op prep, and post-op, full of ups and downs. Emotional ups and downs, wondering if I would be able to make this work, when nothing else ever has. Scale ups and downs, some deserved, others unexplainable. Moodiness and exhaustion seemed to be the status quo for the last three months. But I feel just this week like I've crossed some invisible threashold. Maybe my healing really has progressed enough, or my new behaviors are feeling more like habits. First, I have been able to get in the recommended 65 grams of protein the last couple of days. It's like suddenly I feel hungry in the right ways, when I'm supposed to, and there is room enough to eat just enough to satisfy that hunger, as well as satisfy my nutritional needs. Second, my calories consumed has made a jump to about 600-800, as opposed to the 250-350 I was able to get in for the first month post-op. I feel good at 600-800 calories. My moods aren't so volatile, and my strength and energy is far more consistent. I haven't wanted to lay down for an hours-long nap this weekend, and I've started getting my regular excersice back in, without it leaving me miserably drained afterwards. Last, I have been able to make most of my meals from real food, not protein shakes. This makes the food-lover and flavor connoisseur in me immensely pleased. Meals are still simple, but satisfying. For example this morning for breakfast I took two ounces of skinless cooked chicken breast, 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, and two diced strawberries and created a sort of berry chicken salad out of it. I ate slowly, only got about half in before my satiation signals kicked in, and I put the other half in the fridge for later today. It had texture, sweet and savory flavor, and I stayed present during the meal, because I wasn't just swollowing down the same boring protein shakes. I am still facing many of the same demons that got me where I was before. Much of my eating and snacking before surgery was out of habit. And when I am doing the same things I did before, like watching TV or catching a quick hour or two by myself, the same cravings and desires pop up. I still want something sweet at night, I still want to stop at starbucks once in a while, I still want to grab a treat when I'm feeling down. But now there is awareness that these cravings are habits, and my body doesn't need them. "Head hunger" is real. And sugar free substitute desserts do NOT satisfy those cravings at all. Although, I have found something that tastes quite divine, and I will probably use as my go-to sweet when I really want one. It's Chobani's double chocolate yogurt. It isn't fat free, or sugar free. It doesn't match the guidelines, but its far better than many other options I could give in to, and each serving still just has 12 g. of sugar. A little high in fat, but it feels like a genuine treat, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm deviating from the program too far. So if I keep it in check, and only eat one or two a week, I think I can enjoy without causing too much damage. Especially if I use it as a snack or meal, and not in addition to my regular meals. And now, let the shopping begin! My weight loss has slowed considerably since the first month post-op, for example, in each of the last two weeks I've only lost two pounds. I try not to let that bother me, though sometimes it does. I feel like my loss has a deadline. One good year, lose as much as you can, because it's much harder after the first year. So two pounds a week feels small. But the changes in my physique have been huge! I got a bunch of loaner clothes from a friend, tried them all on, and decided which I could wear now, very soon, or much later. less than three days later, even though the scale hadn't moved much, the clothes I thought I could wear now were too big, the "very soon" pile became the go-to, and the much later pile doesn't seem so very far away. I started dieting for my pre-op requirements at a size 24. I went into surgery 8 months later at a size 20/22. Yesterday I went shopping for a few necessities. Undies that didn't feel like a tent on me now were my number one priority. I went to my old stand-by, Lane Bryant, and picked up 14/16 undies, and tried on two pairs of jeans. I took a 16 to be realistic, and a 14 into the dressing room. I tried on the 16, and they were a perfect fit, brand new off the shelf. Then I told myself that because I'm changing so much right now, I wouldn't waste money by buying the 16, so long as I could get the button done up on the 14's. I came home with some only slightly-snug size 14 jeans. Thank god for stretchy denim, and thank god for my new life. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do when I can't shop at Lane Bryant anymore! I know the clothes there, what sizes I fit in, what jeans work. When my body size is small enough to open up the entirety of the retail sector, I think the options will be so overwhelming I might just cry. You mean I have to change brands of undies? And bras? and jeans? And I can shop anywhere to find them? It's enough to make my head hurt. But it's a good problem to have. So far so good, some surprises, a few dissappointments, but much progress is being made, and I hold hope that I will never go back to those size 24s again.
  12. What does full feel like?

    I'm five weeks post-op, and just starting to get into eating regular food agian. I'm having a hard time judging what "full" is too. Mostly because I am trying to balance out trying to get enough nutrition in to start feeling like I have more energy, vs not pushing it as far putting too much strain on my stomach. I'm finding that if I eat until I feel full, and stop, then 10 minutes later I feel over-full, and don't want to eat again for hours and hours. But it's hard to eat just until I don't feel hungry any more, as my program suggests, because I never feel hungry at all anymore. I think it is just going to take time and experience, and vigilance. Follow your program, and what you feel like this week won't be the same next week, or a few more weeks out, at least at first.
  13. Milestones, progress, and Onederland!

    Wow, how time flies when you are having fun...and learning what life will be like in a new body! First off, I am 1 month post-op, plus a few days. In the month since I had surgery, I am down 20 lbs. This brings me to a total of 60 lbs down since I began the pre-op diet, and 70 lbs down total from my lifetime high. I can happily say that I am more than half way to my goal!! Maybe just half. See, I've failed to set a goal with my healthcare practitioners, but I am seeing my GP and my bariatric doctor for more post-op follow-up soon, and my first question will be what should a reasonable goal be, now that we've got the particulars of surgery and recovery out of the way? Second, I ventured into unchartered waters by taking a vacation to Ft. Lauderdale while I was still on my post-op full liquid diet, about to transition to the smooth food diet. I will be honest in saying that I was a little worried about this, but not much. I know that ultimately I can find Muscle Milk at every local convenience store, and it's an ok fall-back for food. I was more worried about having enough energy to do all I wanted to do. The trip was a little bit of a whim, and I wanted to soak it all in and have as much fun as possible. I had no idea how this was going to work out, considering that I have yet to learn how to have fun, without food being a major component. I was staying at my sister's house, so we had good control over food, and she's very understanding of my needs, but we also spent a night away, on Key Largo, for an overnight trip. I voted to eat at a sushi restaurant, just because they have Miso soup on the menu. I also did transition to smooth/soft foods a little earlier than prescribed (only by 3-4 days earlier.) I ordered refried beans at one restaurant, scrambled eggs at another, and at one bar and grill, ordered the only pureed thing on the menu: fish dip. All of it tasted and smelled amazing after my long long long 5 weeks of liquid diet. Foods that I normally have little desire to eat, like sea food, tasted amazing! I did fall back on my protein shakes while we were away from home. I did end up skipping meals or going long hours between eating because we were out doing things, or because I was yet again, sick of protein shakes. But we broke up the events with rest periods, and I feel like I did a fair amount of tourist-y stuff, with a fair amount of relaxation. The biggest reward of this vacation though, was the realization that I had come so far already, and I was doing things I wouldn't have been doing 60 lbs before. I got on the airplane, and wasn't worried that I would spill out of my seat and bother my neighbor. I didn't have to give it a second thought when I put the seat belt on, and tightened it down a little even! I put on a swimming suit and went snorkeling. I put it on again and went swimming with my neice. I put it on a third time to try paddle boarding for the first time! I got on the board, stood up, kept my balance, and paddled my little arms off! I can already consider this surgery a success, because I am finding that girl that I used to be that was always willing to try something new, in spite of not being thin, and making life an adventure. I still want to lose much more weight, but I am charging into the world again heart first, and not letting my body keep me on the sidelines. Third, this week I dropped under 200 lbs for the first time in probably 7 years. The last time I was in Onderland I made it just ever so briefly when I was breast-feeding twins, and had so little at-home help and support that I never had time to feed myself. Then my babies started eating solids, and my weight started creeping back on, the less they fed. I am cautiously optimistic that I will never be over 200 lbs again. It still seems unreal to me that I might not just get tired of this and eat my way back to 270 lbs. again. I have to remind myself that this time it's different, that I have extra tools that give me a fighting chance. So as happy as I am to be experiencing these things, I have to admit that it hasn't been easy at all. I am tired a lot of the time still. I am still only able to get in between 300-500 calories a day. This leaves me drained at the end of the day, and on weekends, I can take long naps and still not quite feel rejuvinated. Sometimes chewing my multi-vitamin leaves me with a sick feeling afterward that makes it even harder to eat. There are times when I wish I'd planned ahead better, and brought more, or different food with me wherever I am. For instance, I found myself at Red Robin, still not ready to eat regular hamburger or chicken (meat only, mind you), and opted for mac n cheese because it was soft. I ate slow, I ate small bites, and it still sat in my stomach like a rock, and made me wish to never see macaroni again. And then that made me sad, because I love macaroni! I loved macaroni. See? new me didn't know that I don't love it anymore. And then old me got pissed that I ruined so much of my enjoyment in food! That is one that I have to deal with for sure. Sometimes I get frustrated and angry that I can't just have a damn sandwich already! It would make me feel less exausted! I would get all my protein in! I would have enough energy to think and maybe even work out! But I would also regret it when I felt like I had a ball of mushy sandwich stuck in my gullet. It is a learning process venturing back into the world of real food, with only a "try and see" sort of approach. I am following my guidelines, I am eating protein, I am eating soft foods. I am making mistakes, I am chosing wisely, I am chosing foolishly, I am losing weight. I am a messy work in progress, and I am grateful for the opportunity to meet the new, healthy me. And it's worth it.
  14. Rain

    High Desert country, that's where I live. Northern Nevada is grit and dust and winters and sage brush, and lives in the shadow of some pretty formidable mountains. When Spring finally comes to this land, blink and you might miss it. Come flying through from any other part of the country and you will question whether spring even exists here at all. I come from a background of love for the high desert. I have always lived in the Great Basin, whether on one side or the other, have studied it's ecology academically, and I have come to appreciate it's amazing and subtle spring. The changes are small, you have to watch for them. One day all the birds around are just a few different species, and the next, a cocophony of diverse life suddently appears on the scene. But you have to know what you are looking for, and you have to look deep in the brush to see that there are now three kinds of little brown birds flitting around in there instead of one. The ubiquitous Canada geese start pairing up in twos instead of gaggles. And the treeless hills which one day look brown and dead turn a desert shade of green. Not like the bright flourish of green that you see in perfectly idealized spring pictures, but a fuzzy little covering of dusted green that brings feelings of glory and newness only to those who live here and have learned to discern the slight differentiation. But one thing us usally true of Northern Nevada no matter what the day, what time of the year. It will be sunny, it will be breezy in the afternoon, and the dust will make it's home wherever it can settle. But there are amazing and magical times too, when the rain comes. The recent drought has hit Northern Nevada hard, as well as California, and the few rain showers we get on the shadow side of the Sierras are even fewer. Much of the time, a promising cloud comes over the mountain and moves on with just a tease of drops. Not so true this this week. We have had some real rain. Some lasting, torrential downpours. Not all at once, and not everywhere at the same time, but enough to help spring along. A true storm, dumping fast and hard, is one of my joys of life. The smell, the sound the sight, bring me peace and hope for life in this desert. Plants and animals have adapted to soak it up fast when it comes, and come to life during a good rain. And it's one of the few times that the desert spring looks truly alive and green. The dust is washed from the grasses and brush. The sage wood turns from bone to deep dark brown, the color of humous rich soil. The color become vibrant and fresh, and green looks green, and brown looks brown, and everything smells and feels new again. Such was my luck this week, where the rain came down, and my spirits lifted, and the desert took in some good, hard, deep breaths of relief. This is also how I feel after having this surgery. Deciding to have it done, then getting through the waiting and the anxiety and anticipation feels just like the desert looks when that dust has settled for far too long. Having finally made it to the other side, and learning to live in this new body, in a new way, has felt like rain. It hasn't been easy, but it's been so renewing. I feel like I am looking at my old eating habits, and recognizing them for what they are. I am learning new ways of handling food and managing my time and life and thinking within a new confine. I had gone through 8 months of dieting before surgery, and by the end of it I was at my breaking point. I didn't want to try anymore, I was tired of fighting the same fight in the same body, in the same ways as always. Effective, yes, I lost 40 lbs before surgery. But also unsustainable in the long run. I was reaching the point of being fed up and exhausted with having to think so hard about it, of working so hard for such small results. I was at the point long before the 8 months was over where I was ready to give up and just gain it all back again. And then I had the surgery. The rain came. I got help. Something physical about this body has been changed, so I can feel renewed to keep trying. I want to keep reaching for my goals, and the struggle isn't so difficult as it was two weeks ago. I still struggle, I still want the same food I ate before, but I know it won't fit, and it won't work in my new stomach. I can pass it by without a second thought. I am seeing results, and exploring a new body. I am trying on clothes I never would have considered before. (Still not buying them, this body has a long way to go and fast changes are upon me.) I am now tired of liquid diets and I just want variety and flavor, but I know that I don't want to ever go back to where I was 50 lbs ago. It was amazing to walk in to my surgeon's office for the follow-up and be post op. I was there a few days ago, for the first post-op appointment. I got questions answered, some new suggestions on how to handle my diet to try to get more energy into myself, and I'm ten more pounds down since surgery. I feel more or less ok, though I know it will be a long up-hill struggle to first get enough fuel into my body, and then to learn where to stop to be able to reach my goals. The PA I see for follow-up is caring, approachable, listens, and really knows bariatric medicine. I am in good hands, and I am looking forward to a very vibrant, and hopefully very long spring in this phase of my life. And most importantly, I got the clearance to take this new body snorkeling in Florida next week. My swimsuit will still look bad, my thighs and my tummy will still be lumpy bumpy, and I will still be painfully aware that I do not have a beach body, but I will embrace adventure unabashedly, and embrace a new me, and I will not wait for 100 pounds to come off before I start living the life I want.