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About ThriftyTheresa

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Seattle, WA


  • Hospital
    Swedish Medical Center
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass
  • Surgeon
    Dr. Brian Sung

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  1. I just finished my 4th month out of 6. I have been very happy and excited during this whole process. I have learned new food recipes, I have been packing my meals for work (breakfast and lunch), I have been reading sites like this one and various Facebook groups for information and inspiration. I guess it's all the mindset of the individual. I am SO EXCITED to get to the goal of surgery (and all of the other goals after surgery) that I am just super happy about progressing toward that goal. Learning the new food habits is not easy, and can be frustrating, but I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished in my 4 months of supervised weight loss. I am proving to myself and the doctors that I can do this and be a successful post-op patient. That being said...I understand you're hurry to want the 6 months over with as soon as possible. I started talking to my doctor in September about surgery, and I met with the surgeons office in October. But my first month of supervised weight loss did not officially start until November. I can't count my September and October appointments toward my 6 months. In order to satisfy my insurance company I am doing everything by the book, jumping through any hoop they ask me to. Satisfying the insurance so they will pay for it is just another goal. So again, perhaps it's just a mindset thing. When you're looking toward the future don't look for all the roadblocks and pitfalls and challenges. Just keep walking. You'll make it there.
  2. Feb 28th was the end of my 4th month of the Supervised Weight Loss required by insurance. I did not lose any weight - however - I did not gain any weight, either. I weighed in at exactly the same (give/take a few ounces) as I did at the end of January. I am still at 35lbs under my highest weight. I am not celebrating and I am not upset, either. I still have 2 more months of supervised weight loss before surgery and I am focused on losing more between now and then. February 3rd was my birthday and I allowed myself to indulge this month without guilt. I had cheesecake multiple times during the month, I had friends take me out for drinks, nachos, brunch throughout the month. My father and I went to Las Vegas to see Cher on Valentine's Day. We ate mostly convenience/fast food and I had cocktails in the casinos. I splurged on Chinese food, Indian food, and Pizza at home. But every time I ate/drank something I tracked it on MyFitnessPal. All the good and all the bad. I tracked it all. I still had "high protein/low carb" on my mind every time I make my food choices. I allowed myself to splurge on certain meals and I would balance that out with healthy choices for the rest of the day/week. The nurse who I met with for my appointment did not shame me for my "bad month" but actually commended me that I did not gain. She reviewed my entire month of food - all the bad and the good - and she says it shows I can do "maintenance". I don't quite agree with her, because frankly there were times where I was a complete hedonist and binged without abandon. That is something I don't want to do again. I am not a fan of the "everything in moderation" mindset because I certainly don't want to talk myself into destructive behavior after I have surgery. I don't want to look back on my "last hurrah!" and my "food funerals" had this month and think to myself that it would be OK to go back to poor eating habits with the false bravado that I could "cheat" and not gain. And the nurse said it was OK to cheat from time to time. That false feeling of security is how other WLS patients get regain. I don't want to even entertain that idea that cheating is OK. I'm a food addict. You don't tell a drug addict that it's OK to have a little heroin from time to time just to treat yourself. My eyes are firmly on the goal of losing more before surgery. So March 1 I am back on track and so excited to be in Month 5 out of 6!. February is now over and I am back on track. Packed breakfasts, lunches for work. I have healthy dinners planned all week. Anyway...onward and downward!
  3. I've been pretty secretive about this weight loss stuff. I have only told 5 people so far; my father, 3 close friends, and 1 coworker. I keep all of them up to date with my monthly weigh-ins and they have been very supportive of me. I am hesitant to share this process with anyone else - specifically my coworkers because of how judgmental and gossipy they are. I'm wondering at what point people will start to notice my weight loss, my dietary changes, or anything else. Right now, at a 35lbs loss from my highest weight I can see the differences already in the mirror. My double chin is going away. My clothes are baggier and loose. I don't want to spend money on new pants yet so I have to wear a belt to keep my baggy jeans up. My winter coat is at the point where it is so big and baggy it's not keeping me warm anymore because it puffs out like a tent because it's not touching my hips or waist anymore. I know I am changing, but I am also actively looking to see my changes. No one looks at me like that. To the world, I'm just fat. 10+ years ago me and my best friend worked really hard together and we both lost a lot of weight. We were cooking together and working out together. She lost 60lbs and I lost 50lbs. We were both wearing clothes 3+ sizes smaller. We were feeling great, looking great, and so happy with our progress. We planned a lunch to meet up with a couple of friends we hadn't seen in a long time. We were so excited to see them and excited for them to see our great weight loss. We were both expecting a WOW moment when they would walk in and say "You guys look great!" but that never happened. Neither of the women commented on our appearance for about 2 hours. So we started talking about how we had both lost a bunch of weight and both of the women were all "Oh! Wow! Good job! That's great!" but neither of them realized anything was different when they saw us or hugged us. We were both still fat. We were fat, lost a bunch of weight, and were still fat. All these women saw was me and her were fat. Not as fat as before? They probably couldn't tell the difference. It was very discouraging for us both. We both left that lunch feeling sad that our friends did not have the WOW reaction we were expecting. And not long after that we both started slipping on our healthy eating and we both stopped going to the gym. We both regained all our lost weight plus more over the years. I've talked about my coworker situation before. I'm not friends with these people. I'm not planning on telling them a dang thing except I am taking time off work for medical reasons. But when will they notice? I've lost 35lbs in 3 months. Has anyone noticed? No one has said anything. On one hand, no one is gossiping about me to my knowledge. If they were gossiping like they usually do I would have heard about it by now. On the other hand, they didn't bat an eyelash when I severely sprained my ankle back in September and was wearing a brace on my leg for 6 weeks. I still limp from time to time and no one ever asks me if I am OK. So what would it take for them to notice me losing weight if they are not even going to notice I have a leg brace on for 6 weeks. When I lose 100lbs I will still be 253lbs. I will sill be clinically Obese. The closest I have been to that weight was 275 which is where I was when me and my friend had that lunch with those blind ladies. That's only 22lbs different. So if no one noticed my weight loss when I was 275, will they notice when I'm 253? Could I lose 100lbs and not have anyone notice? Keeping this a secret feels safe to me because I'm safe from judgment, but not being acknowledged for my hard work will be discouraging. I wish I had more people that I felt comfortable sharing this with. I guess that's why I come to forums like this and write blog posts to get my feelings out because I really don't have many safe outlets for my thoughts and feelings, especially with this sensitive and controversial topic of weight loss surgery.
  4. Monday was my 3rd pre-op weigh-in - I lost 5.2lbs in January. That makes 25lbs lost since October and 35lbs lost since my highest weight in 2015. Yay! Not as great as last month when I lost 10lbs, but I am happy with 5lbs. That's more than 1 pound per week so I am pleased. That is healthy, normal weight loss. I met with the dietician again for this appointment and she was super happy with my progress. Went over my month of food that I printed out from MyFitnessPal and she liked what she saw. She was proud that I was tracking everything, even the "bad" days where I splurged and went over my calorie count or carb count. We discussed vitamins and I got some samples of the chewable vitamins I will need to use after surgery. Still waiting for my first counseling session. It took 3 weeks for the counseling center to call me and make an appointment. And now I get to wait another 4 weeks to have the appointment. I'm glad I don't have a mental health issue that needs immediate attention because this place is freaking slow to get anything done. I'm trying not to regret my decision to stick with them and wait for my appointment instead of saying "forget it!" and finding somewhere else to go. The location is convenient between work and home. Hopefully the therapist they assign me to is a good fit and it will be worth all this hassle in the end. Onto Month 4! February is my birthday month and I have a trip to Las Vegas coming up around Valentine's Day. Hoping Sin City doesn't suck me in and ruin my healthy eating. I'm going to bring protein powders and healthy snacks with me. I'm only travelling with my father so the alcohol drinking will be minimum but I will be sure to log it if I do have any. And I'm sure I will burn a lot of calories walking around like I always do on vacation. Looking forward to it.
  5. I'm almost at the end of month 3 of my 6 months. It's been going by really fast. Hope it goes by fast for you too.
  6. I have never been a cook or interested in cooking. Funny enough, I love watching cooking shows and food videos online. Probably because I am a food addict rather than a chef. With my life so far I pretty much only cook when my Dad is coming over to visit. I rarely cook for myself because I live alone and hate the cleanup afterward. Why dirty the dishes when I can grab some fried chicken at the deli or a bowl from Chipotle? This is the kind of thinking I am trying to get away from. During this pre-op weight loss I am re-learning the types of food I should eat, specifically protein rich and low carb. I've done low fat, low sugar diets before. Having the emphasis on the high protein is new for me. I never realized I was not getting enough protein in my diet, but it makes sense once I think about how much pasta and rice and potato and breads I would usually gravitate toward. Meat was an after thought. But that is changing. I've been reading a lot of blogs and watching a lot of videos for food inspiration and recently I have been trying to cook some stuff at home that I can take to work for breakfasts and lunches. My favorite thing to make, thus far, has been a chicken crust pizza. Very good and satisfied the pizza cravings while packing in the protein. Last night I tried making cauliflower cheesy breadsticks - dipped in marinara. Those were good too for a pizza craving. I will be trying both of those again because they were very easy to make. I tried making a cauliflower fried rice a couple months ago and I need to try that again. I wasn't happy with the flavor, but flavor can be changed with better spices and ingredients so I don't want to give up on that. Try, try again. My other favorite thing to make is ANYTHING I can put in a muffin pan. Great portion control. Easy to refrigerate and heat up. I've made 3 different types of egg muffins - a savory Chinese-inspired egg foo yung cup, a fresh crab , spinach & egg cup, and a basic Ham, egg, veggie and cheese cup. All of them great for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! I also made cheese stuffed turkey meatballs/mini-meatloafs. Those were fantastic. Last weekend Dad was over and I baked some salmon filets. I forgot how much I love salmon! And it's SO easy to bake. I need to have more of that in my life. I've never cooked for fun before. Cooking always seemed like drudgery but I am changing my mind about that. And as long as I do the dishes while the food is cooking/baking then I don't worry about the mess(I have to wash by hand, no dish-washer machine). And I mentally count it as activity points because I'm in the kitchen on my feet for a hour or so and not laying on the couch being a potato. Ugh...don't think about potatoes. I miss potatoes. Is there such thing as low carb potatoes? I'll have to research that.
  7. Saturday I attended my 3rd WLS support group meeting at Swedish First Hill in Seattle. The topic of the day was GOALS and setting SMART goals. The acronym SMART has several slightly different variations: S - specific, significant, stretching M - measurable, meaningful, motivational A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented T - time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable Right now my first goal is to lose at least 5lbs per month for the next 4 months. That would put me at 40lbs down, and under 300lbs, before we schedule surgery. I am already at 20lbs down and I am confident this 40lb loss is achievable. The last of my 6-month supervised weight loss appointments is on April 26th, 2017 so that is my deadline for this goal. Seems reasonable and achievable. More goals will be set up post-op, of course. In other news, still have not seen a therapist. Had the initial assessment/intake appointment 2 weeks ago and they have not contacted me to meet with a counselor yet. Kind of peeved about that. After we talked about Goals at the support meeting the ladies who run the classes asked us for suggestions for future groups and the overwhelming response was that everyone needs more emotional support and would like the Psych team to present some topics - most classes are run by the Nutritionist team. Most of the attendees are post-op and they are struggling with a lot of emotions. This is why I really want to get a grasp on this emotional stuff while I am still pre-op, to get some coping skills to help me once I become post-op. If I don't hear from the Counseling center this week I am going to get some other referrals from my insurance and find another place to go.
  8. Friday Dec 30th was my Month #2 Medically Supervised Weight Loss appointment. I lost 9.6lbs in the month of December! That's amazing considering I had a Las Vegas vacation where fast food was the daily routine and I splurged on having wine every night. So almost 10lbs down from last month - that's nearly 30lbs from my highest recorded weight in 2015. I'm so pleased with myself! And yes, I did eat that Indian food on New Year's Eve and it was delicious! The nurse went over - in HUGE detail - my blood work/labs from September. Pointing out things we want to watch for in the future. I have never had someone explain lab work so completely and really help me understand those numbers. For example, my thyroid numbers have always been "within acceptable range" but she pointed out that the number I have, although within range, is something to watch. Also my cholesterol, even though I have never been told about this before. We will do bloodwork again in February and be able to compare between September and now. She also provided me with an awesome printout of all my stats from my 3 appointments in October, November, and December to show how EVERYTHING has gone down - weight, measurements, fat %, BMI, and even blood pressure. She says since October I've lost 3.95% of my weight. They like to have at least 5% weight loss before doing surgery and at this rate I will be a star patient. YAY! So now I am officially in Month 3 of my 6-month plan toward surgery. I'm so happy with what I have accomplished thus far. Onward and upward (or is it downward?) Happy 2017 everybody!
  9. Nothing much to report this month. I actually have my 2-month weigh in later today at the surgery clinic but felt like blogging now instead of waiting until afterward. Haven't started therapy yet either. Due to holidays, et. al. they couldn't get me scheduled until Tuesday Jan 3rd. So next week I imagine I'll have a pretty big update. This year has been pretty average. That's a good thing. Nothing terrible has happened to make it bad (other than the Presidential Election) and nothing amazing has happened to make it good. Average is acceptable. No news is good news as they say. Earlier in the month I took my Dad to Vegas for a short trip. We went for a bingo event and had a really nice time. Not only did we both win some money at Bingo, but Dad also had several large wins on the slot machines and came home with pockets full of cash for the first time in nearly 10 years. Usually he doesn't have a single dollar to his name by the end of the trip. Since we both came home with money we have already booked our next Vegas trip for February. Our Christmas presents to each other were I bought the airfare and he bought tickets to go see Cher. That will be a great time. We have a blast together - he's my favorite travel companion. Diet-wise, I feel like I am doing OK but know I could be doing better. The numbers are going down on the scale at a decent pace, but I have to admit that I am not 100% complaint. This is something I plan on fully divulging to my nurse later today at the appointment. And something I plan on taking about with the therapist when we get into that as well. The full truth - On the weekends I kind of go wild with food and indulge in a little too much wine. I don't drink to intoxication, but the empty calories and carbs of 2-3 glasses of wine on a Friday and 2-3 glasses on a Saturday is not something I should be doing. I know this. Any diet I have been on has always had 'cheat days" and my weekends have been a free for all. I find myself pre-planning my weekend binging all week long. I eat clean during the week, have my protein shakes, track every morsel that goes in my mouth, don't go out to lunch with my coworkers, don't buy muffins and donuts in the cafeteria, but the entire week I'm thinking about how Friday after work I am going to treat myself. This week I have bee completely obsessed with the idea of ordering Indian food. I have not have Indian food for a couple of months and have been craving it for weeks. My fat brain is justifying it by saying "You won't be able to eat this after surgery. Don't deprive yourself now." I want it SO BAD. And I am going to get it. I know it's wrong. I know it's not on plan and I'm going to eat it anyway. I'm probably not even going to feel guilty about it. My Catholic-brain tells me that this is the perfect definition of SIN, but I also know sins are forgiven when we are truly sorry. I just haven't gotten to that sorry part yet. I'm a sinner - and it's delicious! There have been several times in the recent months where I will pre-plan binge eating. I have never realized I was a binge eater until recently. I don't always act on these urges but I sure do think about them at a lot. For example, before going to the monthly Bariatric support group at the hospital, my fat-brain tells me that after the class I could walk 3 blocks down to the Piroshky place, or take the bus to Trader Joe's and get some treats. I did not do either of these things and instead I got a ride home where I had a normal, good meal and I was proud of myself for not giving in to temptation. But last week, after work I went to the grocery store and got a bottle of wine and a single serving of cheesecake. I ate a normal, good meal for dinner but I still had wine and cheesecake as a treat. Why did I do that? I didn't need to but I did. Anyway, I'm not going to dwell on this. I don't sit around a beat myself up about my poor choices, but I want to acknowledge that I do see my poor choices, bad behavior, and hope to get better. That's why I'm entering therapy for food addiction and that's why I'm being honest with my doctors during this pre-surgery process. I have 4 more months before surgery. My New Year's Resolution is to learn from these mistakes and to better prepare myself for the future. Keep making good habits and priority and to lessen the food-reward system I have created for myself with the after-work wine and desserts. I'm still going to eat that damn Indian food tonight. It's still 2016.
  10. I really enjoyed reading this. The fact that you are able to type it out so clearly shows that you have a handle on the situation and a handle on your emotions. It's wonderful that what could have been a devastating situation you did not run to food for comfort. I especially liked the quote "I don't feel like I have a new self, I feel like instead I'm more my actual self." What an amazing self-realization! Kudos to you for all the hard work you are doing on your body, your mind, and your heart.
  11. Great job! Congratulations!
  12. It's been a couple weeks since my Psych evaluation and ever since then I have been tossing around the idea of seeing a therapist/counselor . I have never entertained the idea of seeing a shrink in my life because I do not have a history of depression or other mental illness. But I also never entertained the idea of Weight Loss Surgery until this year... After talking to the Psych at my surgical clinic I've come to realize how nice it might be to talk to someone, in depth, about my history of obesity, my relationship with food, relationships with others, and also help process my grief about the death of my mother which was directly related to her lifetime of obesity. I skimmed all of these topics with the Psych at the clinic, but overall the interview we had was about my readiness to take the step into surgery and if I was aware of what I was getting into. There's no doubt in my mind that I am ready for surgery - there was no doubt in the Psych's mind either. But the conversation clearly brought up some thoughts in my head that I have been mulling over for 2 weeks now. I've checked my insurance and found a counseling service nearby that is not affiliated with the hospital and have sent them an "application" to find me someone to talk to. I decided to try this place instead of talking to the other psychs at my weight loss clinic because I want to do this mental health work as a separate thing to the physical work I am doing for surgery and doing them at two different clinics just makes more sense to me. I like to think I have a support system in place, friends and family, to help me through rough times but I'm warming to the idea of speaking to a third-party who is not going to be an enabler or worry about hurt my feelings. Friends and family mean well but they're not professionals. So...that's the nuts and bolts of it. Hopefully in the next few days I can have a meeting with someone at the counseling center and see if I will feel comfortable talking to them.
  13. I'm sorry about your fall. I had a similar thing happen to me on the sidewalk outside of a busy shopping mall a few years ago. People just walked around me like an obstacle. I hope you weren't hurt too badly. I completely understand about the airplane issue. I'm still over 300 and I travel often, but not often enough to get first class upgrades. I try to board early if possible so I can get in my seat and be situated without feeling people stare at me or feel like I am in the way of other passengers. I typically chose window seats so I can lean into the curve of the window. Arms folded over my chest to avoid touching anyone next to me. I don't eat, drink, or get belonging out of my bag under the seat. I just put my earphones in, turn my music on, close my eyes and try to ignore everything around me for the duration of the flight. I'm uncomfortable sitting like that and usually leave the plane with an achy back, but I'd rather do that than make the person next to me uncomfortable. I also purchased my own seat belt extender on ebay and bring it with me in my coat pocket as I board so I don't have to ask the flight attendants for one. I haven't had the surgery yet but I am on track to get it next Spring/Summer. My most-cherished victory will be when I can be in an airplane without feeling self-conscious, embarrassed, or uncomfortable. Best of luck to you and safe travels.
  14. Officially finished my first of six months Medically Supervised Weight Loss. I was up 1 pound from the week before and will blame that on Stove Top Stuffing which is my Thanksgiving downfall. Me and the nurse went over my last month of food that I have been logging on MyFitnessPal. Her notes to me are that I am focusing too much on calorie restriction and I need to focus on high protein, low carb. I thought I was doing OK but she pointed out a few things that are probably preventing me from losing more on my own. She told me to stop thinking about calories completely - read labels starting with protein and carbs. Don't worry about high fat. Most high-protein foods have high fat but it's not all bad fat. Don't even look at fat. Try to achieve 100g-150g of protein every day. I have been getting under 100g, but usually between 80-90g each day. Try to stay below 100g carbs. This is the same info that the dietician gave me last month but I guess my mind really got caught up with calories so I was under-valuing my intake and not boosting it up with high enough protein. I need to eat more vegetables too. That's a no-duh. I hate most vegetables. She also said I am eating too much tuna. She said to have no more than 3 servings of tuna a week. Mercury poisoning is a real thing - LOL! I never really thought about that! Overall I am pleased with my progress for this first month of doing it on my own. Using the info she gave me I hope that month #2 will be easier and I have my fingers crossed for a higher weight loss this month. But most of all, I want to get these new eating habits to stick and prove to them I will be a good candidate for the surgery.
  15. I work in a 24/7/365 department and I had to work today - Thanksgiving day. I'm not too upset about it because it's the first time in about 4 years I've had to work today. I'm thankful for having a job and I am thankful for the health insurance that will be funding my bariatric surgery next year when the time comes. Today I came to work prepared with a decent meal for lunch and snacks. The sugar free black cherry jello is a decent substitution for cranberry sauce. The apple slices are a decent substitution for apple pie. The frozen meal is pretty tasty and not overboard on the carbs. I'm still pre-op so I can enjoy this for now. Tonight I'll have a protein shake for dinner. Friday after work I will be cooking a small turkey breast with some veggies and potatoes for me and my Dad to celebrate Thanksgiving. Next Thanksgiving's meal is going to look a lot different than this year.