Blogs

 

Taking a Good Look at the Complication

Hi all, It's been a month since surgery and a couple weeks since I got home. I'm feeling almost normal. Most of the pain gone and my strength and energy is rebuilding. I've lost 40 - 50 lbs in a month. Which feels awesome but strange. When I got out of the shower and started getting dressed, I was like I feel smaller! And yes, I still feel like that. If it weren't for the blood issue, I'd rate this as perfect. Tonight, I watched my 600lbs Life. A patient got his 2nd skin removal. On the operating table, blood drained into him. So much blood leaked into him that he flat-lined for a minute or  so. I guess what happened to me isn't that rare. Not sure how I feel about that.  

Rakat

Rakat

 

Edging up on 9 months

Just a quick update because I haven't posted a progress pic in a while!  I spent a lot of time in Boston today, shopping for a sleeper sofa for the new house.  Most of that time was in Room & Board, and when I found myself in front of a huge wall made of mirrors, it seemed like a good time.  And since I'm feeling a bit brave, here is a night before shot I have never posted.  I reserve the right to yank this down tomorrow if my nerve fails me!  I regret my choice to do my "before" practically undressed... it makes me super anxious about posting them, and I'm totally not posting in bra and undies for my afters.   I tried to get them about the same size/perspective so it would be a good comparison otherwise, though.  I can't help the fact that I was in a ball cap and look like a Newsie, though.  It was a bad hair day! The trip was full of little victories.  I went to Boston via the Orange Line and Green line, and if you know the train stations in Boston, it's a ton of stairs to get too and from the trains.  A year ago if I wanted to take a train, I had to take elevators to get from one floor to another in the station.  This time I climbed all those stairs, without even holding on - going up OR going down.  Sometimes two or three flights in a row.  Then spent at least a couple of hours in Room & Board (though part of that was "testing" sofas by lounging on them!) and going up and down THOSE stairs - there were four floors.  Then we went to Muji, a "minimalist Boston retailer" that had a little of everything - housewares, clothes, furniture, pens & stationery, just a bunch of fun stuff.  I found out I'm a medium for the purposes of linen sack dresses.    Riding on the train provided another NSV.  Not only did I fit comfortably in a seat right next to Leah - there was SPACE between us!!  About an inch of it!!!  I found it so exciting I had to take a picture, of course - mine is the leg on the right.    And now on to the life update... I may not be around much next week, and I absolutely won't be posting on my 9-month surgiversary.  Turns out we're not going to have the leisurely move-out week we had hoped for.  Events have conspired against us. Instead, we're going to have to have all of our stuff out of our house on the 7th, and camp out on a futon with a cat and a dog in an empty house until the morning of the 8th, when we'll have the closing on our current house.  Then we will have the closing on the new house that afternoon, and move everything, including three frazzled women, five unhappy cats and a dog, ...into a house that won't have any internet until the 9th. On the plus side, we get to the house early!  I'm super excited about that.  On the minus side, we have to be ready five full days before we had planned to move, and we have 24 hours in which to accomplish it when we'd thought we'd have a week.  (I have already said my "I told you so's" to Meg and Leah, who have been making fun of me for packing like a mad thing for the past week or so when "we have so much time to move!") Anyway, I will be around when I can, and I'll still be reading and reacting - just probably not posting much after this coming Monday!  I'll leave you with these bonus pics of the beasts, though:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Sadie Xander            

Kio

Kio

 

Six months

Stats: I lost 6 pounds this month, bringing my total since surgery to 68 pounds lost and my BMI slowly nudging down to 38.8.   I'm kind of sad that my six month doesn't boast better scale stats, but the difference is here: I _finally_ got cleared to restart strength exercises by physical therapy. It seems the day I started that, I hit a complete roadblock: I've been exactly the same weight since the day I started. My nutritionist says "water follows glycogen" and when you work your muscles, they uptake more glycogen. He cautioned it may be a couple weeks before I see the benefit, but promises I will actually see the benefit.    If nothing else, this whole post-op thing has been teaching my patience   In other news, I'm sorry I haven't been here as much! I've been running, running, running it seems this month. I went to VA with my mom for a couple days for an antique show, I've been studying for my GRE, hiking, and gardening every chance I get. My little garden is going nuts It's so much more fun to get outside and hike or garden! I love gardening, but the lugging and squatting and pulling was not my favorite. It seems so much easier right now!    Similarly, on my hike a couple weeks back, there were actually a few areas that had trees down over the trail and other obstacles, and I grinned and dug in to climb over them. I plan on redoing a trail I did last October, 70+ pounds ago, just to feel that difference.    I had my 6 month followup. The improvement in my cholesterol is crazy! I never had truly bad cholesterol, but we have a massive genetic issue with triglycerides in my family - all of us children started showing high trigs even as teens - even when thin - and my dad continues to have horrible issues even after his liver transplant (often higher than 500!). To see mine in the 80s makes me so happy!   I am somehow fighting a vitamin A deficiency. My multi has it, but my level dropped pretty low with my six month labs, so I'm taking a separate supplement for A now. All the rest of my labs were just peachy, and my surgeon says I'm right on track, weight loss wise. My nutritionist has me aiming for 1300 calories a day and (gulp) 130 carbs a day. So far this week, I managed to hit 1200 a couple times, but overall Im finding the adjustment rough.   Otherwise, I'm continuing to chug along and Im crossing my fingers hard that the scale starts moving again soon! 

delilas

delilas

 

Summer Vacation, baby!

This is just a general update - I haven’t done one yet this month, so here goes.  I’m three and a half months into maintenance, and so far, so good. I’m eating quite a lot, but getting used to that, so it feels pretty normal to be stuffing my face all day now. I’m at about 1800 to 2000 calories per day, which is what online caloric needs calculators say I should be taking in for my age/sex/weight/activity level. Here’s what I’ve been eating most days lately:  Breakfast: Syntrax shake with berries blended in Snack: Greek yogurt with frozen berries Lunch: Tomato and pepper and feta salad with olive oil and lemon juice Snack: Bean and veggie salad (usually Indian style stuff that my husband makes, like chickpeas and peppers and carrots and cabbage, sometimes with halloumi cheese, and lots of spices) Snack: cheese and crackers (I found Triscuits at a store here, a once in a blue moon find, so I’m having 6 crackers per day and hoping they never run out…) Snack: Peanut butter protein powder balls - this helps keep my calories high Dinner: beans and veggies, usually (again often Indian food; my husband has been great about cooking), sometimes a veggie burger patty, or Thai curry with tofu or shrimp Snack: often a square of 85% chocolate and a date or two - the dates have a ton of sugar/carbs, but they don’t seem to trigger cravings or hunger. That’s about 1800 calories. Sometimes I swap out one of the snacks with a protein bar or some nuts. I found a new brand of protein bar called Fulfill (Irish, I think?) and they are awesome like candy bars, but similar macro profile to Quest. Fortunately, I'm OK at stopping at one   Last night I went to a friend’s house, and she had a bowl of Smartfood (yummy popcorn with cheese powder, but real cheese not chemical stuff). This is my kryptonite. I mistakenly had a handful, which due to the magical properties of Smartfood turned into several handfuls. I. Couldn’t. Stop. So crunchy and delicious and moreish, as the English like to say (so good you just want more). It’s easier to just say 100% no, as stopping after one handful is harder for me. I was berating myself for letting my snacking impulses get the better of me, which they did. But when I got home, I checked the nutrition info and two cups was less than 200 calories, which fit into my day OK, so no real harm. However, I did feel that *urge to snack* that I fear, so I know Smartfood is probably not a great idea to keep in my house. Fair enough, I could have guessed that. I would have taken out the whole bag pre-op, so two cups is a pretty good stopping point for me.  I’ve been stepping it up at the gym lately, doing weights instead of just cardio. It’s interesting and kind of fun and motivating to see the amount I can lift go up. My little teensy muscles are getting bigger. I actually have arm muscles now and some definition in my shoulders and biceps and triceps and stuff. I’m just mostly doing machines at the moment. It’s really helping to tone things up and make me feel a lot stronger.  This, in turn, is probably driving some of the changes I’m seeing in my body (I’m sure it would be changing anyway, but it’s actually changing pretty quickly). I’ve just today gotten rid of the rest of the clothes I bought when I got to my original GW of 150 (let this be a lesson to you: don’t spend a ton of money on clothes until things settle down!). The things I bought when I got to my current GW of 132-137 are now getting kind of baggy. My weight has stayed the same, but my body is gaining muscle and losing fat, I suppose. I still have more loose skin than I’d like, particularly on my upper arms and on my thighs and bum, but I think that will continue to change for a while, so I’m not going to get too worked up about it quite yet.  I’m wearing about a size 2 or 4 US, but had the surreal experience of trying on a size 0 pants at The Gap the other day and having them fit. They were a little snugger than I want to wear in this part of the world, so I went with the 2s (!!!???) but the 0 fit on my body just fine. So strange. My normal top size is XS. I really never thought of myself as a S anything in my life, let alone XS, and had always told myself I had “big bones” (that comforting phrase most big people apply to themselves, usually after parents have applied it to them, I suppose). I don’t have big bones. I have medium size bones. Not small! But also not big. I mean, I realize there is definitely size inflation in the world of fashion, so I’m taking my size 0 and 2 with a size XXL grain of salt, but I looked at an old clothing catalog from the 1920s the other day, and my measurements would still put me on the small end of the size spectrum. So, I guess I’m legitimately small now. I don’t feel it, but I’ll accept it.  I’ve had the lovely experience, a few times now, of trying on clothes at a store and needing a different size while in the dressing room and calling out to the shop assistant to have them get me the right size. Smaller or bigger, doesn’t matter, I’m not embarrassed! I never never never had shop assistants do that when I was heavy because 1) I was often trying on the largest size in the store, and 2) even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t want the scrutiny so would get dressed, leave the dressing room, and go get it myself. This is a lot easier! Just yell for it.  Still having problems saying no to things I try on that fit but maybe aren’t the ideal piece of clothing. I’m so used to buying anything that fits and looks halfway decent that I have a hard time putting something back because of the color, or construction, or price, or even just because I might find something similar that might fit more perfectly. “But it fits, buy it!” says my Old Me brain. “In fact, buy one in each color!” My Old Me brain needs to catch up.  On Sunday, I’m leaving for a trip to France for a few weeks, so I may not be around here much during my travels. Here are some reasons why this whole trip is a huge NSV:  Comfortable plane travel! It’s a walking holiday, so I’ll be putting in 10+ miles per day on the trail, going from village to village - I have done this several times before, but it had gotten to be pretty unpleasant at my higher weights, and I had basically given up on ever doing it again. But here I am! Ready to walk.  I’m not stressed about gaining weight on vacation - I suspect I may lose, just due to walking a lot and not having my normal food around.  I’m not going to track my food intake! <— *record skipping sound* What!?! No, no tracking while in France. Also no food prep, which is a little scary, but I’m taking bars and shake powder, so I’ll get my protein in. I’ve gotten to buy a bunch of hiking-ish clothing for the trip that looks pretty good on me! Usually this is a style of clothing that I shy away from because it makes me look like an unfashionable potato. But now I look like a hiker! Still fairy unfashionable, but in a fit, hiking sort of way. I’m going to be in France and not in a 24 hour a day battle with myself over what I’m allowed to eat. Usually 75% of my brain is busy figuring out what to buy at the next boulangerie or patisserie because “I can’t get this at home, so might as well take advantage while I’m here.” That was a mind-set that always saw me gain a lot on vacations to France (and other places) before, but served me particularly poorly while I lived in France (both times) and led to enormous weight gains each time. Now, I may have a treat now and then, but that’s it. I’m fine with that - my brain is just way less interested in indulgences. I’m going to be in France and be a thin American person, not a fat American person. I hate hate hate how French people generally perceive Americans, and weight is a major factor in that. I’m anticipating that they will be quite a bit more friendly.  I’ve actually been training for this! I’ve been going to the gym like 4-6 times per week for ages, and also hiking 1-2 times per week. I honestly never did that on previous long walks. I just avoided the gym and hoped I’d be OK.  Here’s hoping my poor, usually blister-plagued feet hold up. I think I’ll get fewer blisters being lighter, but my feet are the weakest link, for sure. I’ve got a lot of miles to walk. Wish me luck. Last but not least, an update on my prediction about student evaluations. A few months ago, I said I was pretty sure my student evals would be better now that I’m thin because student evaluations are crap and stupid and based on totally irrelevant factors, such as appearance and gender and age and other things, rather than actual teaching proficiency or effectiveness. My evals put me at number 4 in the department, which has 200+ teachers, so yay me. Of course, now I’m pretty sure those numbers say that I’m an awesome teacher and student evaluations are completely relevant and 100% accurate and based on totally legitimate factors… 
 

6 month appointment!

I had my 6 month appointment today and it went really well! To start, the nurse who weighs us did not recognize me at all when she came in to get me - and said so! Haha! I am down 93 lbs from my first appointment and 81 since surgery (I've had those numbers wrong - I thought I lost 14 lbs before surgery, but apparently I only lost 12. Oops!). The weight range they wanted me to be at by one year was 167-194. I've surpassed their expectations, to say the least! 

They're happy with my diet, but want me to up the protein a little. I've been getting my protein in ok, but they're concerned that since I'm just riding the line, there are days when I won't be able to get it all in. They're totally right. Currently I eat about 900-1000 calories a day. I walk most days, but I REALLY want to do more exercise. It's just been a struggle to work it into my schedule. I got some advice on how to modify workout videos so that I don't get discouraged. 

I was commended on my choices of good carbs. I don't eat tons of carbs, but I do eat them and I'm careful about them, so I got kudos for that.

And y'all. Y'ALL!!!! I painted my own toenails today!!!!! I have not been able to do that in YEARS. 

Stats:

Highest Weight: 279
Surgery Weight: 267 (apparently)
Current Weight: 186
Goal Weight: 167 (I'm adjusting it to the low end of the clinic goal for now)
Dress size: 14
Toenail color: Eternal Optimist by Essie

I'll add some pictures later! I think I'm going to have my daughter take some 6 month photos for me. 
 

A little reflection

Only just found blogs .......aah  Having enjoyed reading the journeys they also feel like a time of self reflection and a way of self monitoring. So here goes I'm over 3 months now and down 42 pounds the last two weeks I have been in a stall but have not let it bother me as I know it will end as I am sticking to plan and exercising more too and can feel the inches going . I think as I gave myself a good head start pre surgery I won't see consistently high figures and feel so blessed to be on this path . We are of to Wales on holiday at the end of the week and I don' feel conerned about being able to keep on track I love to be organised so have food prep in place for the day before we go . I am developing quite an apron as they call it here. Skin hang over my tush.  No hair loss as yet have thick hair so hope it won't show as much . Much more able at work and around the farm . Had to order new nurse uniform uk 16 usa 12  Shorts last year and this year uk 14!!

Lankyliz

Lankyliz

 

8 months (and then some...)

Somehow this post has kept being put off... I meant to do it on the 9th, but ran out of brain.    I've also been busy packing for the move - we're still waiting for our closing date, but we want to be ready. (It should be in the next two weeks!)  My entire being has been focused on moving - to the extent that I think work is suffering a little.  But I've managed to stay mostly on track with my eating and -- after a brief slump that was mostly weather-related - I've also gotten back to walking every day again. Every night I go over in my head the things I want to talk about in this update... and then I fall into bed with a book and the next thing I know it's morning again. How does that keep happening!  I've got a little list together now, though, so here goes. ONEDERLAND - I'm in it!  I officially went under 200# on 5/7/18, and now on 5/18/18 I'm at 194 - I do love the week of my period!    I may be able to squeeze out another pound or two between now and Sunday if things go as they usually do this week.  (Literally squeeeeeze - imagine wringing out a soaking wash cloth!)  It's been weird, because I really didn't expect to get here.  My surgeon didn't really think I'd get here, either.  I haven't been here since I was in college!  As of today I've lost 75% of my excess weight.  How crazy is that?   Food - Like I said, I'm staying on track, keeping carbs low and protein high.  I'm actually doing better with my protein lately, averaging around 80-90g a day.  Net carbs wobble between 50-60 a day - a little higher than a lot of people go, I know, but I don't seem to have an issue at this level as long as most of them are the incidental carbs that come with my yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.   Calorie-wise, I don't keep close track - but I tend to average now around 1000-1100 a day.  I'm planning to stay in this range until maintenance.  As far as amounts go - I can definitely eat more in one sitting than I could before.  Not a ton more - but enough that I don't have to eat five times a day to get all my protein in.  I'm still getting a lot of my calories in the form of protein shakes, yogurt and cottage cheese!  But I supplement that with nuts, cheese, sliced deli meat, eggs, and sometimes bacon or some chicken.  Oh, and sashimi!  I had that for dinner tonight.  It was lovely. Health - I feel so good lately!  I mean, I've felt pretty good since surgery, but lately a lot of things seem to have gotten better. I get out of breath a lot less lately, even walking fast or climbing stairs; I can walk a lot further than I ever expected (I did 4 miles the other day at a pretty good clip - afterward I was tired and a little sore, but nothing out of the ordinary.)  Today I mowed the lawn, something I haven't done in the ten years I've lived here - front and back, and it's a double lot!  Afterwards I could feel the hard work, but was still fine for doing all the stuff I normally do in a day.  I can go up AND down the stairs in my house without holding onto the railing - I'm not quite brave enough to carry things downstairs because I'm still not quite sure of my feet, but it's still a thing I can do!  And I can go up and down the stairs at work without holding on, too, and that's two flights.  It's harder work, I'm definitely a bit out of breath by the time I get to the top, but I can do it.  I had my yearly physical earlier this month, and my cholesterol and triglycerides are much much improved, and all in the normal zone; blood glucose totally normal (though it always has been), blood pressure was great, and my doc removed "sleep apnea" from my list of conditions!  I think she's as thrilled with how short that list is getting as I am.  Maybe because this update is so late, I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about, well, myself.  So much has changed since surgery, I can't even really find a way to wrap my head around it.  Many of the vets here have said they still think of themselves as fat or overweight, or still see themselves as fat, even in the mirror.  For me - I find that every time I see myself in the mirror, it's kind of a shock. It's not that I think of myself as big anymore - I'm not, at least not like I was.  But I definitely don't expect to see a person with a narrow face and cheekbones and a jawline.  I don't expect visible collarbones.  I don't expect narrow hips or a waist that visibly nips in above them.  I don't expect narrow, non-sloping shoulders.  And when I look in the mirror and see those things, it's jarring.  I mean, wonderful - don't get me wrong!  But definitely startling.  Just yesterday I had to go to the office for a work thing, and to get into the building I have to walk along a sidewalk with a big wall of windows on one side.  I turned my head as I was walking, and it was almost like a funhouse mirror, because my legs looked LONG and THIN.  What???  I mean, I'm 5'3 - there is no part of me that is long.  But my legs are now proportional to my body, and that makes them look long.  So weird.  That's all stuff I really like about my new body... but there are things I don't like, too.  That's ALSO weird.  I'm used to just... one big uniform dislike:  Fat!  I never even really parsed it out into various fat parts like "double chin" or "big butt" - My fat was everywhere.  I'm sure there was a time when I was going up the scale that fat landed preferentially on some parts before others... but by the time I was at my highest weight, it was just piled on everywhere.  Now, I can look in the mirror and find specific things I don't like.  My rosacea is a big one - it's pretty bad, and much more noticeable on a small thin face than it was on a big moon face.  My jaw is pretty square, and I'm not quite fond of it (though I do love that I can actually see it now.)  My new slim throat is a bit wrinkly.  I mean, this is all minor stuff, nothing that I spend a lot of time thinking about - but it's just sort of novel to have specific things about my looks that I don't care for.  I'm also not particularly happy with the excess skin thing. At this point I'm pretty sure I'll be getting some plastic work done, sometime after I hit maintenance.  Part of it is appearance - I'd like to do something with my upper arms because I'd really like to be able to wear a tank or a sleeveless cami now and then in the warm months, and my bat wings are immense and floppy.  But part of it is comfort, too.  My thighs have gotten a bit difficult to manage at night when I'm trying to sleep.  I'm a side sleeper, and I have to consciously drape the flabby part of whatever thigh is on top, so that it doesn't fold over on itself and feel super bizarre.  My belly and butt are also mostly flab now, but these can be camouflaged pretty easily with the right pants and some spanx.  The bat wings are really the thing that bothers me most.  Anyway, I just mentioned what I'm not thrilled about for the sake of completion - in truth, those things are 100% outweighed by all the things I AM thrilled about.  I still get compliments a lot, and I still really like that (though I still don't fully know how to react to it!).  One of my coworkers from another department said, "You look so good... I think you have lost a whole me!"  Which is true and then some; I'm pretty sure she doesn't weigh 161#!  A neighbor stopped by while I was mowing the lawn today and said, "Kio, I have to tell you, you are so skinny now!"  And a friend said, "Are you done?  You look like you don't need to lose anything else."  I just told her that my clothes were hiding a multitude of sins, and left it at that.    It's true - I can definitely see where these last 54 lbs or so are "hiding" when I take a bath! I've noticed some fun stuff, too.  Like - my cat doesn't crawl over me in bed anymore.    He used to do it every night, several times - and he'd kind of piton himself up like he was climbing a mountain, so I had all these scratches on my shoulders, where he always started his ascent. Now he just JUMPS over - because he CAN. No more scratches!  And he's EIGHTEEN.  So you know, he can't really jump that high!  Also, I can cross my legs fully now, so that my calves line up (you told me I'd get there @CheeringCJ,and I did!). I can wrap my fingers all the way around my wrists so they overlap.  And - the steering wheel feels very far away from me these days - nowhere near my belly! Overall, I feel like I've had a good month.  I'm looking forward to seeing how many more of those I can rack up on my way to goal!    

Kio

Kio

 

Surgery Update

Long time, no see! There is so much to share and discuss. I'm not prepared to give a large update, though.  I was just released from the hospital this evening. My body and mind are wore out. For now, some basic details... I had surgery on May 2nd. Complications happened. Alot of blood filled my left lung. It had to be drained. So, a couple days after surgery, a chest tube was inserted. My lung had 2 water bottle amounts of blood in it. Afterward, I had a blood transfusion of 2 pints. I'm still trying to figure out what caused the problem. I haven't been given answers, yet.  I'll go into more detail after I get some rest.  

Rakat

Rakat

 

T - E - N

T aller E thanol N ature Ten months since surgery y'all!  Last month brought many deaths into my life, my ex-boyfriend re-entered my life (after a year!) and proposed, the harassing work situation from last year has re-surfaced and I've been house hunting for my first purchase!  I suppose at this point in my life, I really thought I'd be married (and that answer was NO) so house hunting alone has been a bit anti-climatic but still an interesting process (especially my first offer....and subsequent rejection! lol).  I keep wondering if when I walk into these houses, is it supposed to feel like a 'say-yes-to-the-dress' moment? Taller:  Everyone keeps saying I look taller, perhaps it's because I'm not as wide so my height becomes more noticeable.  When asked my height I actually go into panic mode because I don't really know anymore.  Waaaay back when at the start of the journey, a nurse measured me at 5'9", which caused incredulous laughter because I have always registered my height at 6'0".  This nurse was approximately 5' tall and very, very pregnant so I somewhat thought she just couldn't reach my head.  Re-measured a few months later (by a shorter gentlemen at my GP office) I was told 5'10.5", which I thought (and friends and family members thought) sounded off too.  With all of our technical advancements, is height really still measured by standing against a wall with a metal bar?  This becomes increasing important as we calculate BMI.  No matter what the number, everyone has been saying I look taller, which I really think means I'm not as wide and therefore people can notice my height!            Some photos I found online with folks (or cartoons!) getting their height measured.  You'll notice that the first three, the measurer is always taller than the measureree.  BUT look at the last one! When did you ever see that in the doctor's office??   Why is that pertinent?  Because our doctor's use the BMI to determine what level of tests we have to go through before getting bariatric surgery. Had my height been measured appropriately from the onset, it would have dropped my BMI and I would have needed only half the tests I needed prior to surgery.  There was also an incident with a scale within the doctor's office that measured incorrectly, I brought it to the staff's attention and it was like twisting arms to get them to change it!  Be an advocate for yourself, even for the silliest items.           Some alternatives to coping with alcohol:  archery, long beach walks, reading and talking to my therapist/friends/family Ethanol.  And by that I really mean alcohol because rather than coping with food, I have definitely been coping with an increased consumption of alcohol, which has dramatically stalled my program these last 2-3 months.  I am lucky in that I have no history of alcohol abuse, have a wonderful relationship with my therapist to treat my PTSD, and have developed some alternative strategies that are working thus far.  But even without any type of history, this surgery makes you vulnerable to these kinds of issues.  I feel like you need to be vigilant and don't be afraid to seek help.  In fact, even if you don't think you have a problem but have noticed your 'reward' after a hard day is a glass of wine or beer or drink, ask yourself what's going on and if that's the road you want to go down.  I do not feel safe from developing any other 'new' obsession now that food is off the table and I think because I did, I ended up sliding these past few months.  I'm trying not to feel so bad about that, to forgive myself and make better decisions for these next few months but focusing one day at a time. NATURE!!  Mother nature is taunting us like the saucy wench she is!  We'll have a gorgeous day and the next day I'll see my breath.  Last night I walked on the beach for about 2 hours and while it started out overcast but still pleasant, by the end it was frigid, foggy and positively spooky.  Fresh weather is just around the corner, which will brighten even my saddest moods and I plan to wring every last drop of the day.  This upcoming month brings a trip to the west coast to officiate my friend's wedding, the start of my diving for work (brrr!! cold water! 54*F), and a townwide yard sale.  While I have helped with family yard sales (well, I'm sure I stood there while my mom did all the work! lol), I've never hosted my own.  And, being the researcher I am, I have been reading online about haggle-free yard sales (not socially acceptable),  pricing strategies (be ready for hagglers) and not pricing anything strategies (you can make more and its less work).  Just like in my Poshmark, I want to do minimal work and make the most money.  So far PoshMark has brought in ~$250 for minimal work.  I don't think I can get that much out of my garage sale items but my plan is to donate anything that doesn't sell so something is better than nothing!  Thoughts from other yard sale junkies?   What's this vegetarian eating?  I created a recipe I am calling broccoli piccata with fresh lemon, capers, spaghetti squash, broccoli and some red pepper flakes.  By straining off the sauce, cooling it, mixing in genepro and then remixing the sauce with the cooked ingredients, I'm able to get some decent protein out of the recipe, while also getting in some important veggies.  I also created a veggie egg scramble that did not turn out quite so well.... lol!  Planning my meals for the week has been really helpful in making sure I eat appropriately through the week rather than just drinking protein. So let me put it to you all:  Is there a more accurate way to measure height?  For post-ops, did you struggle with an addiction transfer? For yard sale experts, to price or not to price?!      
 

My 6th Month Surgiversary!!!

I can not believe it has been a half year as of today!!!  It's been a whirlwind year and it is only half over!  I have gone through so many changes that I literally don't recognize myself! I eat about 700 cals/day, get all my vits in (I've only missed a few), get my protein in 98% of the time and usually get my water in but not as often (maybe 80% of the time it is over 120 oz).  I haven't been losing weight like I was and it is frustrating BUT it is still waaaaaay more weight than I have EVER lost in a half a year.  I am at 65# down and only 6.5# away from the goal weight my Dr gave me at my first appt in June 2017.  I was really hoping to have reached it by my 6th month and I am so close, but it is ok, I hope to reach it during this month!  Either way i am pleased because my Dr at that first appt told me it would take me 12-18 months to lose that so anything ahead of that schedule is a bonus!!!  My body is changing more rapidly than my scale.  Things are rearranging and I am liking it better and better.  I do have some loose skin on my arms and thighs but it is better than having fullness in them!  I have a few shapewear items but find I don't need them as much as I thought I would.  (not saying I won't need them more later).  I went last night to Goodwill to get new stuff and they had a FABULOUS full length mirror that made you look really long and lean and it was like I could imagine what I would look like in another 30# (if I ever got down that far)....and darn, I looked INCREDIBLE! I have hardly noticed any more hair loss since I got my hair cut.  I am sure it didn't stop, I just don't see the long pieces everywhere anymore!  I am soooo glad I did it!  And I am getting used to it and not hating it as much.  Nothing ever tangles in my brush anymore so my brush isn't pulling them out either!   Granted I still take my biotin and collagen religiously but I am not as panicked about going bald anymore! Other than that, I have been at my new job and been enjoying it and enjoying dressing up a bit more than my old job. In fact, as I mentioned I went to GW last night to get more clothes. I now own 5 pairs of size 16 dress pants and quite a few dresses/skirts all in 16 or L) and I just bought 10 blouses last night!!!  That should hold me all summer! I think I really enjoy being able to put on most anything and not hate myself in it!  I still have an issue w/ button down shirts....my chest is still a little larger than the rest of me, so when I get one big enough not to gap, it is too big all over, so for now I am staying away from button downs! I did find a great blouse that looked cute but it was an off the shoulder one (which I must say my shoulders are quite nice now!) so i would need a strapless bra but it was only $2.99 (-15% educator's discount) and so if I never wear it it is ok, but when I got it home and washed it and hung it up, I realized it was a Medium! I remember wearing a M on my first day of school my senior year....don't remember when it moved up to a large but I do remember thinking I was so fat when I was a Sr (can't imagine why!)  Granted, no other M will fit me yet but I was excited to see that one did!  I didn't take my pics this am because my husband left before I got up so I will take and post them tomorrow.  I like taking them because I can see such a difference as time goes on....though since I am closing in on my goal weight, I want the same courtesy given to contenstants on The Biggest Loser and I want to change my black shorts and tank in for compression ones so I look better in the pics!!!! haha! So now that my first half of a year is done, I can't wait to see the second half! I am having ppl come up to me ask say how great I look now (which oddly enough I hadn't had much of before now).  I get nervous about having to maintain once I finish, but that is a long way off and I can worry about it when I get there!   So for now, I am just going to be happy about where I am in life!!!!  (and I appreciate the part you all play in supporting me in this....you guys have been the best!) As promised....my 6 month before and after pictures!  See, Transforming CJ is really transforming!          
 

Month 5

First up, the stats: I dropped 9 pounds this month, which brings me to 62 since surgery and 79 since my highest! My BMI has dropped to 39.8, finally and officially putting me under 40!  I'm noticing extra skin/flabbiness to my upper arms and upper thighs. They're smaller but so much more jiggly (never before would I have thought more jiggles was a good thing!).    Where I feel like I should have hit a stride this month, I actually slumped pretty hard in meeting protein and water goals and struggled to have the motivation to do so. I didn't overeat by any means - stuck right between 700 and 900 calories still, but I neglected my protein shakes entirely, and didn't fill in the void with other protein. I just couldn't face them down, and without them, I can't yet really hit protein goals. I'm sure this doesn't at all help with hair loss, either. I started to dust myself off in the final week of this month, even when it meant eating chicken thighs four times in a day to hit protein goals. Going in to May, I need to push hard to make it my norm and keep that groove going, because it really does make all the difference!   I'm still working with physical therapy over that foot that I broke last year and reinjured this year. They don't want me doing any lower body strength right now or putting more pressure on it than my 10-hour shifts already do, which kinda sucks because a) lower body strength is by far my favorite and b) my butt is getting pretty flat with the weight loss, I could use some squats! My foot is doing loads better, though, and I'm hopeful to be hitting trails again soon.    I went to Savannah with DH from Saturday until Tuesday this week and we had a blast. Traveling in the plane was far more comfortable than it was a year ago, and we walked all over the city and Tybee Island. It was so nice to have the energy! I also wore a dress out to dinner (which never happens!) and felt very comfortable - although my legs are still quite large, it doesn't bother me as much now to let them show a bit (especially with the gift of sunless tanners). I found a bathing suit I don't hate as well, and enjoyed some time in the pool and hot tub while we were down there visiting. Savannah is absolutely gorgeous and I look forward to going back some time!    In truth, the walking, the vacation, the fitting-easier-into-a-plane-seat - it all helped get me refocused. I think I've just hit a slump. I didn't slip into old habits, but I wasn't upkeeping my new habits, either. I kind of passed the month in a haze of ambivalence that came from god knows where, but Im glad its passed. I'm picking up protein water tomorrow (to avoid any further issues with protein shakes), and picking up a bunch of shrimp and chicken to grill out this weekend in preparation for the week. I also have plans for a couple hikes this weekend and some gardening. 
I think month six is going to be great!     (Us at Fort Pulaski and some other pics from vacation  )        

delilas

delilas

 

Five months out

Hello! I haven't written any updates about how I'm doing in a while, so I figured I'd make a blog post. I'm down 87 lbs total - 73 lbs since my surgery date. I've lost 65% of my excess weight as defined by my clinic. I have 42 lbs to go before I'm at my personal goal weight. That's pretty exciting! My weight loss has slowed somewhat, but that's to be expected. I tend to not lose anything for a week or two and then drop a few lbs in a matter of days. 

Today I did a lot of yard work - a good 5 hours worth - and it was a completely different experience compared to last spring. I'm able to bend at the waist with no problems, my knees don't hurt, and I'm able to work longer and faster. It felt great to get so much work done and not be completely worn out. I mean, I'm pretty worn out - I'm a human, after all - but I'm not aching from head to toe. I feel like I can actually take care of the yard this season instead of letting it go because I don't have the energy. And I actually enjoyed the work! 

I also noticed something really interesting yesterday. So before, when I was much bigger, when I would talk to someone, I would stand with my belly at a comfortable distance. I am still standing with the same distance between my belly and the person, but the issue is that I'm much smaller now, so it brings my face too close. I noticed yesterday when I was talking to someone that they were starting to slowly back away. I turned into a close-talker because I lost weight! Haha! It's such a weird thing that I never would have thought about. Now that I realize it, of course, I'll adjust my habits. But it's so interesting how there are these little things we don't even think about until they pop up. 

Eating is going well. Carbs are kind of sneaking their way back in, so I'm having to be more vigilant with snacking and such. Today I indulged in some carbs (after I got my protein - don't worry!) due to the massive amount of calories I was burning. MyFitnessPal is concerned I'm not getting enough calories today and is saying I need another 900. Haha! It's amazing how prior to surgery, I would have scarfed down some ice cream as a "reward" for exercise. That's just not how I think anymore - not to mention the fact that it would be almost impossible to eat enough to get those calories in. Instead, I'm focusing on making sure I get all my fluids in and I ate a few crackers with cheese and some low-fat popcorn while I was on breaks from yard work today - as fuel. 

In adjusting to my new body, I'm learning to appreciate what it can do. I've really struggled to find regular exercise that I can work into my day, but when I am able to do something very active, I feel fantastic! So I'm not giving up on working out a workout. I just haven't found my thing yet. 

Picture time! This is an Eileen Fisher dress that I found at a thrift store right before my surgery for $5!!! I snagged it thinking if it didn't ever fit me, I could always sell it (the dang thing sold for $260 retail!). But it fits now. It's actually a little loose at an XL (about a size 16 in Eileen Fisher, which translates to about a 14 in Lane Bryant), but that's a good look for this dress. I love it! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

An update.....and my new job

So, I haven't been here much (nor will I be able to during the day)....as I started my NEW JOB this week! I love it and I love the extra money/perks/benefits/PTO (which I didn't get when I had my surgery!).  Better than that, I love being at a place they didn't know me as morbidly obese....afterall, my current BMI is 30, down from 42!!!!  I love dressing in real clothes and not hating my new ID pic bc of my double (triple) chin!  I love fitting in ONLY my side of the seat on the train....and not looking for the tiniest person to sit next to so we could both fit comfortably.   I feel good and professional and though I am not on the floor with my special ed kids (whom I miss terribly!), I am happy where I am at today, part in thanks to my different attitude/life that changed w/ my surgery! I also got a haircut (warning, be careful not to do it on a whim and rush to get it done at the salon at Walmart bc you need it IMMEDIATELY....bad judgement, bad haircut) BUT in all honesty, having it shorter (reverse bob) has made it feel like it stopped falling out. I am sure it didn't cure it but it is so much less noticeable....I haven't seen a single hair on my shirt....and nothing in my drain.  I have been using the collagen (someone here mentioned).  So between the haircut (which means there are less tangles to yank w/ the brush and pull out hair) and the collagen I am doing MUCH better on the baldness!   BTW, I also dyed it 2 wks ago...I had stopped doing that at 2 months so I didn't ruin it, but I read extensively that that wouldn't make it fall out any more or less, and the roots were getting pretty bad so I was glad to do it (I got the kind that was "gentle" w/ avocado oils or something).  I also started using (since my cut) this Pantene Booster Spray ($4 Amazon) which has made my hair appear MUCH thicker!!! yeah! Also I have worn my first shapewear.....it wasn't comfy but I looked much better! (highwaisted underwear type....my rough spots are my abdomen, upper and lower)  The only problem is that i need a full body shapewear, because where it stops, everything buldges out (ok so that is an exaggeration but still, it gave me slight "saddlebags" after I put them on.  I didn't want to get the kind that goes down your leg (like biking shorts) because I was afraid it would leave a mark on my thigh that you could see through my pants. So that is the latest with me....7# from my Dr's goal weight which I was hoping to reach by my 6th month anniversary but I won't make it at this point (thanks to how terrible my last month was!) but I am okay bc I know I am not done yet! I will check in when I can....(weekends/evenings).    

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

7.5 months

I missed my 7-month post -- too much going on in my life, which has been both good and bad.  The bad - my dog was attacked by another dog just over two weeks ago, and it was very scary, plus a very rocky recovery.  The good-and-bad - we are selling our house and moving!  I'm happy about it, but it's been super stressful.  We live in a very hot seller's market, and the pace of things has been daunting.  First, finding the place, making an offer, getting it accepted - that was suspenseful and crazy!  Then a week or two of crazed cleaning-out-and-throwing-away-and-putting-of-things-in-storage, plus we had a painting team in for a week of that.  Then once the place was in top shape we had to list, and since listing it's been a week of boarding the cats (except mine), day-boarding Sadie (who does not love day boarding, let me tell you), dealing with the things that cropped up in her recovery process, and having to live in a show-house for a week while people invade periodically. We had a total of three open houses (the first for brokers) and on top of that, 30 buyers toured the place individually with their realtors.  As I type this there's a showing happening - one of the last, since so far no one has booked anything for tomorrow morning.  Offers are due by noon tomorrow, but we already have two in hand - both of which are good, and one of which is VERY good.  So we're already hugely relieved, but we'd like to get back to normal life soon. The kind of life where you can cook for dinner without fear of lingering smells turning off potential buyers!  Where you don't have to throw blankets over your sofa in the evening so your dog can sleep on it! Back on the WLS topic... things are going pretty well.  In spite of the stress, I haven't done a lot of stress eating. I've had a few things that are carbier than my usual fare, but nothing crazy.  I HAVE missed a few vitamins, so now I'm working double hard on getting them in on time every day.  Sizes... I'm down to 16 jeans, and could probably go to 14's but I haven't had any time to try any on.  My XL tops are pretty big on me now, but my belly isn't quite ready for larges yet (even though my shoulders definitely are!) I'm in my monthly 3-week stall right now, hovering at 204.  SO CLOSE to oooonederland!  I'll definitely be there by the time I see my surgeon at the end of May... I just hope it'll be low enough that I register as under 200 on HIS scale, which routinely weighs me 3-4 lbs heavier than my home scale.    My weight loss has slowed down a bit, but shows no sign of stopping altogether, so I'm just keeping on.  I've also noticed I can eat more at a time now, which is good... because it's a lot easier to eat half a thing and save the other half than it is to eat a quarter of it and save 3/4!  I have leftover-fear, I always worry something will have gone off, or just be too difficult to eat after it has been in the fridge.  I still can't eat a huge amount, but enough that I no longer need to eat six times a day to get a decent number of calories in.  That's ALSO good.  I still supplement with premier protein shakes now that I can drink them again, and I always hit my protein target.  Water... is an ongoing struggle, especially on days that get busy.  So I have to be on my toes if I want to hit that target. I've noticed so many new things I can do, though!  That's always fun.  I notice something new almost every day.  For instance, I can comfortably sit on my sofa with my elbows on my knees, my head propped on my hands, and watch TV.  I could never do that before.  I can look for things under the bed... and then get up on my own!  Right now I'm sitting on a sofa, bent over to type on a laptop on a coffee table... much less belly in the way!  I can carry things (small things) up the stairs!  And when I sit in my recliner, there's just a ton more room, and I often tuck my feet up beside me.  Every day, there's something to remind me how glad I am I did this.  It's seriously the best choice I've ever made for myself!

Kio

Kio

 

Maintenance Month Two: Hold the Line

I weighed in at 134 on my 14 month surgiversary, which puts me right in the “holding steady” window. I lost a couple of pounds and was down at 132 for a couple of weeks or so, but started piling on the calories to stop that. It worked. Or, something I did worked, but I have no idea if it’s that or something else. This is all just experimentation so far. I am now eating (hang onto your hats, people) between 1800 and 2000 calories per day and maintaining. That seems totally incredible to me, in several ways. First of all, I’ve always gained weight eating that much - when I’ve been thin before, I’ve gained while eating 1200 calories per day and feeling like I was starving. So, apparently, something in me has been fixed. I can eat how much I should for my body size, sex, age, and activity level. Shocking. Second, I can’t believe I can stuff than many calories into my body after a year of eating 800 per day. It’s taken some work, and it takes some strategizing, but I’m managing. Third, I’ve had WLS and was expecting to top out at, what, maybe 1200-1400 calories per day afterwards? We’ll see how this goes long-term, but so far, I just keep losing if my intake is in that neighborhood.  I’m eating about 6-8 small meals per day, which means eating a meal, waiting an hour, drinking a bunch of water, and then eating the next meal. It’s a lot of eating. I’m also focusing on calorie dense stuff, so lots of cheese, olive oil, coconut milk, peanut butter, and other stuff like that. I’m getting like 100+ grams of protein per day, easy, not even trying, just because I’m eating a lot of high protein stuff still. My carbs are between 50 and 100 per day (I can feel it if they go higher - I tend to get that gnawing hungry feeling). The rest is fat, so lots of that (about half of my day’s calories). It’s very very very strange to feel like I HAVE to eat so much. Nice problem to have, though, I suppose, all things considered. I’m not eating unhealthy stuff at all still (no refined carbs even, just fruit and veg carbs, plus a teensy bit of whole grain, like wheat berries in a salad, plus a square of 90% chocolate most nights) so I’m not going crazy or anything.  My size is shrinking a little bit still from going to the gym a lot. I’ve been lifting weights and getting stronger, so that’s nice, plus now I look like a gym person, so I don’t feel out of place there. Although my weight has stayed the same, I lost an inch off my waist this month, so my clothes are still getting a bit looser over time, although not at the rapid pace that was happening for a while there.  A nice NSV today: I went bathing suit shopping. I’ve been swimming in rash guard type thing (top with sleeves, bottom with legs) since last fall (after not swimming at all for a long time, which is really sad because I love swimming, but hated putting on a bathing suit). However, next weekend, we’re going to a nice hotel with a pool and since it will be full of Western people, the rash guard will probably look like overkill. It’s practical for swimming at beaches with a lot of locals, as I’m not offending anyone with my uncovered flesh (I live in a Muslim country), but at a hotel will be different. I went to the store, grabbed three suits, and all of them fit just fine and looked fine. I didn’t want to jump off a bridge or run screaming and crying from the store (this is genuinely a first for me). My legs are pretty jello-y and have some loose skin, but hey, it’s nothing like I was before. I went home with the most glamorous of the three, a black tankini style one with ruching and structure and straps that make it look like an old-fashioned 1950s type of suit, but without looking matronly. I think I will look somewhat elegant. Let’s hear it for tankinis, so much more comfortable that normal one-piece suits. I generally find two piece suits to be more comfortable, but bikinis are a no-go at the pool at work, so that’s out the window. Most of my colleagues are Muslim, so bikinis are a step too far for the staff club pool. Scandalous! Another funny NSV happened when going to visit a bunch of Bronze Age tombs a couple of weekends ago (Oman is full of these things). We came upon a bunch of them, and these were pretty well preserved with little tunnels in the sides - one of the people we were with crawled inside and convinced me to, as well (hello, Indiana Jones). We went inside a few others, but then happened upon one with a smaller entry to the tunnel. Here are the surprising words I heard at this point: “Get Jen. She’s small. She’ll fit in this one.” And I did, although it was a bit of a squeeze for my shoulders and booty. And I was the only one who did, so I had to take pictures inside to show the others, all while I was quietly dying of laughter and smirking with glee.  Long-term NSV - I’ve been going hiking about twice a week recently - this is fantastic. I’m really enjoying it now that it’s so much easier, and I don’t even usually get winded at all. I still have to be very careful of my knees (and now hip, hello old people problems) but otherwise am just fine. This is an extremely treacherous place to hike, so careful is fine. It’s mostly loose jagged rocks on unmarked trails - not for the faint of heart. Anyway, I’m busy planning tons of hiking trips in my future, which is a great feeling, since I had all but given that up for lost as I gained a lot of weight.  My current project is trying to figure out my style and dress more in a coordinated, purposeful way. Fortunately, the blogosphere is full of people wanting to help me do that, so I’m busy reading blogs and looking at stuff on Pinterest. It’s nice not to have to dress in whatever fits and covers me up well and doesn’t draw attention to my fat, but it’s a bit daunting to be able to wear basically whatever I want. The available choices drive me a bit crazy - I can buy anything anywhere. It was easier when it was, “Hey, this long dark somber number covers me up just perfectly! I hardly even look fat if I squint hard enough and stand at this weird angle and dim the lights. I’ll take one of each in black, charcoal, and navy, please.”  One blogger I like pretty well is https://anuschkarees.com/ - she has a lot of advice on how to pare down your wardrobe to useful stuff only, not buy too too much, and still have a good style (including tips on how to figure out what your style actually is), without any preaching about what different body types should wear. Female Fashion Advice on Reddit has been fairly helpful, as well - just to get an idea of what other people do, and to see how other people put outfits together in a way that seems way more purposeful than how I do it (make sure everything is black or white, then if you decide to wear a color or print it will look fine!). Anyway, I’m searching for direction on “how not to just buy everything you try on just because you’re so thrilled that it looks good on you, even though it totally does not go with anything else you own and you may never actually wear it because it’s so far outside of your fashion comfort zone, daily practicality requirements, or is age- and/or situation-inappropriate in your life.”  Still suffering from weird body dysmorphia. Photos of me usually look to me like I’m thin. In the mirror, I usually look OK to myself (although less thin than in photos). But when I actually look at myself directly, like not in a mirror, but looking down at my body, I look pretty big to myself still. I’m looking down at my lap as I type this on my laptop. My thighs look big. My stomach looks like it sticks out too far. My knees look fat. Now I’m standing up, looking in the mirror. Nope, I look fine. Pretty thin. Sit back down. No, I was clearly mistaken. My thighs obviously need to lose a bit more weight. (no they don’t) It’s a constant battle. The voices in my head are a bit crazy-making at times.  Some annoying things this month:  I bought multivitamins at GNC. They seemed good. Good numbers. Then, I had a weird bout of insomnia for a couple of weeks. Randomly reading the back of my vitamins (as one does), I see they have added caffeine!!!! What?!?! I’m very sensitive to caffeine (that’s why I don’t drink coffee, well besides the fact that it tastes like poison). So, back to GNC to buy the ones with the same formula but without the word “Energy” in the name. Energy. Hmm.  When I went back to get the non-caffeinated multis, I bought calcium, but of course, as I do, I bought a whole big jar of calcium carbonate. This, despite the fact that I know I do this and try to be careful about it. I think I just looked at one and grabbed the one next to it. Sometimes it’s like I’m illiterate when I’m at the store.  Next misadventure at GNC: buying papaya enzymes. Looking for 45mg. Hey! This one has 45mg. I buy it, only to look more closely and figure out that it has 45mg of papaya fruit. 6mg of papayain (the actual enzyme). What is it with me and labels. Ryvita crackers can go to h3ll. Here where I live, finding crackers at all is hard (other than Ritz for some reason). Finding whole grain crackers is like finding the holy grail. I finally found a store that has Ryvitas! Super healthy! And they get stuck like cement in my pouch. I had them for several days in a row, and also had to vomit up whatever I ate next afterwards each day - including A. Glass. Of. Water. on the final day before I swore off Ryvitas. Yeah, it took me several days to figure out what was wrong - it was the crackers. Even if I give them more than an hour to digest, whatever I take in afterwards gets backed up and has to come back up, even if I take little bitty sips of water first to loosen things up or whatever. Now I have to eat cheese with no crackers again. Man, I’m looking forward to American crackers when I go home this summer. Which reminds me I need to throw those Ryvitas away before I get desperate for crackers someday, like maybe this evening…  And photos from hiking the last couple of weekends. First, the tomb pictures. This weekend we went up into the mountains to see the roses blooming (we were at about 2000m - 6500 ft - so it's cool up there). They make rosewater from the roses, so they're the nice smelling kind!        

Jen581791

Jen581791

 

N - I - N - E

Not an  Idiot, Not Eating This update is about 10 days late and my heart isn't in it.   I have suffered through three deaths of close family and just got back from the last funeral.  I have discovered that when the extreme stresses of life get to me, my coping mechanism of junk food (pizza, chips, etc), has zero appeal.  This is great in regards to using my tool to continue on my weight loss journey but food now has zero appeal. I am not an idiot and I know that not eating is stupid but the last thing I feel like doing is figuring out what I should/could/can eat.  I've been getting in protein through Genepro unflavored mixed with water so at least my protein and hydration is there.  Meh. In an attempt to improve my mood, below are five things that made me smile: 1.  What folks warned about during flying (having your extra skin being mistaken as something dangerous during TSA screening) is true.  I haven't been felt up this much since high school.  2. My brother is getting married!  I normally am lucky to see my brother once per year because he lives overseas but I saw him in December for the holidays and recently for the funerals.  I can tell he is so happy, and that makes me happy. 3. As an addition to above, my brother is moving near me!  After living the last 20 years on separate sides of the country or in different countries, I'm thrilled he and his wifey-to-be will be 45 minutes away from me.  4. While I haven't felt like I've lost any more noticeable weight (and haven't updated my stats in about a month, nor bought more properly fitting clothes), I apparently look quite a bit different since I saw everyone at Christmas.  I have a wonderful, supportive family and they were very lovely in their compliments. 5.  I have discovered a new hobby.  Well, I have finally started lessons on a hobby that I have wanted to learn for a long time - archery.  It's almost meditative and I'm happy to be taking some time to cultivate the interest. I need to get into the TT Forums and start getting caught up on how everyone is doing.  I feel almost estranged from my TT folks, when really this is when I should be checking in and receiving/giving support. Hugs to everyone and hugs to your families - enjoy every moment with them!    
 

My 5th Month Surgiversary!!!

My Month 5 Surgiversary!!!   Month 5 was a big struggle for me.  I wasn’t losing much weight at all (4# total! Ugh!) I was very discouraged.  I changed my eating a bit (eating more keto than what I was) and I wasn’t dropping the weight or sizes.  I decided to go back to what I was eating…tomorrow afternoon, I am making up a bunch of stuff like I used to when I was losing.  But I also started walking a lot this month.  All week I have walked between 3-6 miles a day.  I went away for a few days and though I was not able to get as much water and protein in, I still walked (and walked!). It was a rough month because I started to doubt the process….grieving that I passed the honeymoon phase of rapid weight loss and was on my way to a lifelong stall.  I struggle a lot with that.  I worry that I have failed yet another “diet”.  Also I wasn’t able to get to the board as much as I was going through a lot of changes in my household.  My husband started his dream job but wasn’t around as much as he had been and then my car got wrecked up in the ice storm and we’ve been sharing cars and making extra runs for kids etc.  So, all in all it was an off month.  My car is getting repaired this week and things are starting to get more normal (kinda!). Personally I think I can eat more than I should be able to (so I constantly fear that I have stretched my sleeve!) but I am sure I am worrying too much about it.  I doubt it could be stretched that much that quickly.  But the panic rises up in me about it too much.  Also I stress about my hair.  It wasn’t thick to begin with (I have a daughter w/ gorgeous thick hair, and I have been begging for some from her!!! Ha!)  I have been checking my brush/drain daily and had finally convinced myself that I am not losing THAT much….but today, yikes! I made sure the tub “mushroom” (hair catcher from Amazon) was clear, then I took my shower and afterwards there was so much in it that I nearly broke down.  I dried my hair and kept thinking “I have to get this cut because it is looking so much thinner and I can’t keep wearing it this way”.  I am not sure how to get it cut to draw less attn. from it….any suggestions?  I need it shorter as it is just getting scraggly.  I had a reverse bob before which would be fine for the back but not sure if that would still look scraggly in the front.  I knew this would come but I just don’t know how to deal with it.  I don’t want to chop it all off and appear bald but I also want a nice professional look that distracts from the fact there isn’t much hair left! I forgot to do my measures today but will do them tomorrow and share them.  In other news….the job I interviewed for….I GOT!!!! So, I am leaving the educational world to go back to the professional world!  (I’ve done medical/education/professional) and my new job encompasses all three of them! I start in two weeks.  I am pretty excited to get moving on my new career! I get to dress more professionally and work in a grown up world.  Now I will miss my students terribly but this is right for me and my family.  And it all goes along with the “Year of the New Me” theme!!!   HOWEVER, all that whining…but I looked at my before and after shots and I did PHENOMENAL if I must say so myself!!!  I hate to post them here for a few reasons…one is I don’t like posting personal photos on a public board (so please don’t “quote” this post so the pics won’t copy over) but also I am sooo mortified at how much I let myself go to begin with!!!!  How I EVER got THAT big I can’t even fathom!!!! I had my husband do the before and then month 1,2,3,4,5 side by side as always.  He kept saying “I can see a HUGE difference!” but I didn’t see it until he did a side by side of me in the beginning of my journey and now!!!  Holy Moly!!!  As discouraged as I was with myself this month, I am pleased as punch and super proud of me when I see the side by sides!!!     Then my husband did a weird side by side and overlapped them so I could see myself melting.....  
 

Answer and Mixed Feelings

Today, I got the call...surgery is May 2nd! Which is awesome! I'm torn, though. I don't feel as excited as I thought I would be. When I start thinking about all the stuff I have to do, like the one week liquid diet, I feel a little panicked. Actually, most of the panic revolves around that. The other stuff is easy, such as a 90 minute pre-op class and pre-testing at the hospital on the same day. The only drawback about that is I have to be there at 8:30am. I live a hour away from there. That means I have to get up like at 6am. But, whatever. It's just a minor nuisance. The diet, though. That is the big issue. Also, my entire life is going to change. While I am ready for it, can you ever be completely ready? I want this to happen. I've been chasing this since June '17. I've already made adjustments like not drinking carbonated drinks, cutting way back on bread, sweets, and the like. I've been in counseling for over a year. So, I've prepared. Why do I feel so nervous, though? Why does my sister and mother feel happier than I do?

Rakat

Rakat

 

My 4th Month Surgiversary!!! (belated)

Ok, so it is nearly my 5th month surgiversary but I still have my 4th month entry sitting on my computer, waiting for me to take pics of my "ribbons" and I decided to just post it and be done with it! ha!  (I will get around to the ribbons, I promise, I have just been so busy lately it is nuts).  Anyway, here is my entry from weeks ago:   My 4th month surgiversary!!! I can’t believe it has been 4th months….wasn’t it just last month I said I can’t believe it had been 3 months?!?!?! J I hit 50# this month!!! Whoo hoo!  I don’t feel like I am losing as fast as I was in the beginning, but I am going down still and that is good!  My clothes are still getting big but I am still wearing the same size…I am sorta inbetween, like the sizes smaller are snug but the ones I am wearing are baggy.  Hopefully it will be soon when I can just pack up these and move down to the smaller ones.  Back when I was off for my surgery, I remember being frustrated I wasn’t being paid for my time off (from my employer) despite that I have been there for 7+ years and have only taken off for the day my grandbabies were born (which was only 2 during the school year) and the day my son had surgery….other than that, no other time off.  I also was amused (and irritated) that they don’t pay be much, they had a very hard time finding a replacement for me.  They had someone fill in for me for 3 wks then they said they won’t do it anymore because the job was too hard, so the next week they had to stick someone else in my job.  Well, I remember Burgundy Boy saying I should ask for a raise.  Turns out, they gave me a raise last month for my work which no one wants!  Well, building on my new found confidence, I did more than just ask for a raise….I had applied for new jobs.  I started applying when I was out on medical leave and one called me and asked me to come in for an interview.  So, I went in and felt pretty good about me.  Not a “I have to hide behind something” kind of a feeling, but a “I have to go get a new suit and wear it” and then “I feel GREAT in this suit, so I don’t have to worry about how I look, I can just concentrate on answering my questions and meeting the team!!!”  It was such a good feeling for me.  Whether or not I get the job, it was just so refreshing not stressing over how I looked and just concentrating on my strengths!  I won’t hear back for a few weeks as they are still doing interviews, but even if I don’t get it, it was a great experience! My husband has continued to eat mostly proteins and fats but barely any carbs and his blood sugars have been great and he is down 15# and looks and feels great so it makes it pretty easy to cook for ourselves (the kids however are still eating regular).  I am very proud of him and it is nice to journey together. I had him take the 4 month pics today but I didn’t see any differences.  He said he did but I was struggling w/ it but I can STILL see a huge difference from the day before surgery until today!  I took the measure ribbons but haven’t taken a pic of them, but I will add it to this as soon as I do!  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

Four months

March has been a rollercoaster.    For starters, I finally broke the stall around March 6, and quite suddenly dropped a lot of weight.    You can see on this graph, I struggled for all of February to drop from 258 to 253, but then in March? BAM. 6 pounds in a couple days.    Overall, a total of 12 pounds this month, which brings me to a total of 53 pounds since surgery (and 70 since my highest weight!), and my BMI to 41.4. This April 18th is will be one year since I started the six month supervised program at my hospital. I can't believe I've come full circle that fast!     It takes your brain a minute to catch up with dropping weight. I still dont see it when I look in the mirror. I was surprised to hell when my husband insisted I try on a pair of hiking pants that I knew couldnt fit - they were 16s! I held them up to my waist and thought "Theres no way". Lo and behold, they fit perfectly. As did the other 5 pairs of pants I brought back to "test". In celebration, I went out the next week to buy a pair of 16 jeans from Target after pulling on my 20s and being annoyed at the saggy butt and constantly hiking them up.    Speaking of hiking pants, I went on my first group hike with Girls Who Hike (ohio chapter). I never would've been brave enough to hike with a group before. But I did, and while I was still the largest, it wasn't by much, and I was nowhere near the slowest - until the end, as we did the Old Man's Cave hike backwards....which means after some 3 miles of serious hiking (climbing up roots, jumping over washed out trails, climbing up ridges), you climb 20 some odd flights of stairs. I was dead at the end of that, and after about 10 flights, had to pause every 5 steps or so. But we all stuck together and pulled each other through it, and I got some kickass pictures out of it:
Who would believe this is Ohio in early March?! We had several doggos in our hiking group, and quite a few of them didn't mind jumping into the (very cold!) water.    Early this month, I cleaned out my closet. Here's a quick shot:   Most of those hangars in the top right used to have something on them. What's left is also 90% cold weather or dressy items, which means they'll get tossed soon, too. The dressy stuff really doesn't fit me at all anymore (they were significantly loose when I wore them to an event in January), I just dont want to get caught with my pants down (lol) if I have an interview or event to go to last minute. It was so cathartic to get rid of it all. I'm trying to be careful about buying new things, and not getting too much, but also ensuring I enjoy the experience of getting new items every so often. 4 days a week I'm in scrubs, so looking forward to being cute on a saturday is an extra bonus!   My diet is still pretty much the same. Yogurt, chicken, nuts, protein shakes. I have been down with the "adult lunchables" from oscar meyer. Essentially ham, cheese, and a few triscuits. The carb/fat/protein combo combined with 300 calories at one jump is what's currently making me capable of getting through the hustle of afternoons at work. It's still mindblowing to me that in 8 short hours I frequently get 8-11k steps in.   The other big thing this month has brought? The hair loss is real. I wouldn't be half as annoyed except I just got my hair back last year after finally being diagnosed with my thyroid issue. Annd now its all going away again, damnit. Im trying to be patient - but Ive already got the "dolls head" look to the top of my head only a few weeks in to the hair loss, so I'm a little nervous.    Another month under my belt, which is another month of making this lifestyle change. It seems pretty normal to me now to eat so little, to measure at every meal, and I don't miss going back for seconds. Once in awhile, I get a hit of surprise at how quickly I can fill up, but otherwise I'm starting to feel that this is my norm, rather than the exception. On to month 5    

delilas

delilas

 

Enjoying the Journey

A fun thing happened today...I stopped at the plus-size shop that has pretty much been the only place I've been able to shop until just recently.  Nine months ago I was purchasing 5X clothes and today I bought 0X tops (not sure the point of 0X, but that's okay, closest to size 0 that I'll ever be and that's just fine ).  I had run out of the house without a coat today and ended up putting on a coat that was in my car on the way to be donated (because it's frickin" freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth - bring on the warm weather so I can ride my new bike!).  It is a pretty blue embroidered coat from J.Jill that always made me feel like I was a little bit fashionable in my really large clothing.   The saleswoman commented that I needed a new coat, which I've been hearing a lot lately, but I've been trying to wait until next winter.  Then a few minutes later a woman got in line behind me and commented on how pretty my coat was.  I thanked her and then thought a minute and said, "Would you like this coat?"  I told her it had been in the donation pile and that I would love for her to have it.  I took it off right there and had her try it on.  It looked great on her and made her so happy.  It made me happy as well.  It's hard to get rid of some clothing even though it's exciting to be in smaller sizes and it makes a difference if you know someone is going to enjoy it as much as you did.  Not only that, it prompted a conversation about WLS.  This woman had recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and because of the experiences shared on this forum, I was able to provide information about the impact surgery has for people with that diagnosis.   My other fun story is about a recent visit with my 8 year old niece.  We were at a restaurant for a family dinner and playing games in her notebook to pass the time.  After many rounds of tic-tac-toe and the dot/square game I asked her if she'd like to play the adjective game (once an educator, always an educator).  She agreed so we took turns writing words that described each other.  Her initial list for me (not to brag or anything) consisted of awesome, best, fantastic...I was trying to get her to think a little deeper and was writing words for her like funny, talented, sensitive.  On her next turn she thought for a minute, looked me up and down and wrote "healthy."  I can barely keep from tearing up just typing this.  So glad the right messages are coming across and that I'll be able to increasingly keep up with (and be here for) her and her sister as they grow up.  

kayak19

kayak19

 

Last Required Monthly Visit!

Everything went well. My doctor praised me on losing weight and maintaining over the past 6 months. All of the tests info and such are being sent for insurance approval. He said I could get a call from his PA anytime between now and 4 weeks. Each case can vary. I could get a call tomorrow or I could get one in a month. Once I'm approved, I have to take a 90 minute pre-op class, get pre-op testing done and go on a liquid diet a week before the surgery. I have to stay over night and, if things go well, I will be sent home the next day, I feel excited, nervous, alittle overwhelmed and a bit scared all at the same time. I trust the surgeon and his staff. I guess its the fear of the unknown kicking in. I also feel impatient LOL. Tired of waiting. The end is in sight. So, that helps. I need to keep busy, though. I might start watching some episodes of my 600lbs Life.

Rakat

Rakat