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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!
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 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.....
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?
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
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.
I am actually 3 days early to post this, as my 9 month surgiversary is 3/14/18. I have to admit it is pretty crazy that it has already been 9 months!
Last week gave me an opportunity to obtain two photos that I want to share with you. I really don't have many pre-surgery photos, as I was always the one yelling to delete any pic I was in, or to dodge all pics as much as I possibly could. In the fall of 2016, they decided to put together a book for the police agency that I work at. Sadly for me, that meant a photographer coming in and taking our pictures. For once, I could not yell at someone to delete the pic. When I saw this pic, I was depressed. And it was also the pic they used on an ID card, so it was in my wallet and I had to see it. In hindsight, I see now that this pic is what prompted me ask my PCP about weight loss surgery. This pic was the kick in the pants that I NEEDED to do something for me.
The second pic was taken last week, after an 80# weight loss.
I am overwhelmed by all the changes at times. I have a hard time with sizing. Yesterday I bought a size 8 pair of shorts at Old Navy. SIZE 8! I don't ever remember being in single digit sizes. It's strange. I hold things up in the store and think "there is no way I will fit into this," and then it fits. I don't know if that is a body image issue, or just getting used to the new me.
I still mentally struggle with the fact that my restriction won't let me eat larger quantities of food. But then I remind myself that I feel great, and I can have small samples of whatever I want so I am really NOT deprived at all. I also save the food for leftovers if it is something particularily awesome that my stomach just does not have room for at the moment.
My foot is slowly getting better from the Plantar Fasciitis. I am still doing 35-50 mins 5x per week of some sort of cardio, usually still stationary biking. The weather is getting nice here now though so I plan to get back to walking.
I find myself worrying more about my husband and his weight. He eats good when we are home, but at work/lunch time he does not lol. I don't want to be the irritating wife, but I do want him to live a long healthier life. His genetics are horrible for high blood pressure/heart issues. Sometimes I feel like I must be annoying to be around, since this healthy stuff has become so important to me.
I also wonder when people will stop saying "hey skinny!" in the hallway at work. It is flattering to have your hard work acknowledged, but I don't want to get in a position where I need their affirmation to feel good about myself (if that makes sense).
So there you go - ramblings from TammyP, aka "Hey skinny" <3
So first let me say, no one ever told me there was going to be a quiz. I've been saying "I'm 6 months out..." all month - not so! I was IN THE MIDDLE of my 6th month. So in fact the last few post titles are false, because I'm a loser and I have no math.
As of today, I'm officially REALLY 6 months out. *counts slowly on fingers to double check* Yep. I am ending month 6 and starting month 7 today!
This was another low loss month, thanks to the unpredictability of my period. My lowest yet, actually! I only hit 9# down this month - and the placement of that one as the last pound lost in month 6 instead of the first one in month 7 was an executive decision on my part, to make myself feel better. I probably lost it before midnight last night instead of after midnight - right?! That's my story.
So the good news is, my period did finally arrive and busted what had been a 3 week stall. That was my longest stall yet. I kept meaning to stop weighing daily - I just couldn't make myself do it. And I may just not be that girl! I can skip a day here and there, but overall I just need to know where things stand. I think if I got to the end of a month and found I was only 5 lbs down for the month - at this point in the process - I would wig out a bit.
What I DID do, though, is check my average rate of weight loss per month - and that is a very respectable 13.67# per month so far! Plus, I just went back in time - I've been re-reading this blog from before surgery up to now. At the end of my 3-month post, I found this: "...and I honestly can't wait to see where I am at the end of month 4, and month 5, and month 6... Assuming I keep losing at a rate of around 15 per month, in 3 months I could be around 210. And THAT would be a number for the record books for me - the last time I was anywhere near 210 I was actually 212, and it was 1995... " So in spite of two "lowish" loss months (10 and 9 lbs respectively), here I am at the end of month 6 sitting at 216#. Just about where I predicted! 4 more # and I'll be at my 1995 weight. And I think I'll also be in the neighborhood of 200 (still above, but near!) by my birthday in April (which is the 9th, so one day past my measurement day anyway). In other words - big picture, I feel right on track.
Looking at my stats a little differently... I started out with 215# of *excess* weight. I've now lost 139# of that, which is 65% of my excess weight gone. Which leaves me at 216# today. My total weight right now is just ONE POUND HIGHER than my original excess weight total! And I only have 77# to go to my final goal. And only 46# to go to reach my mini-goal - which was to get down to Leah's weight (170).
I've actually thought about changing my goal to be Leah's weight, period - because maybe I should let that be my "I have DONE it!" point. I've always thought Leah looks fine as she is, and is a good healthy weight. Granted, I have thought this mostly from my status as a 355# person - but I still think it. All that remains is to see how her weight looks and feels on MY body. But since I have this tool, I want to work it as hard as I can for as long as I can to have a "buffer" - if I can get to 140 or lower without looking or feeling gaunt or unhealthy, I want to! I dunno. I keep talking myself into and back out of resetting my goal in the ticker and sidebar at 170. (One thing is sure - 170 is when I will stop talking about how much weight I lose around the house! I don't see that going down well if I keep losing. )
I've had some cool NSVs this month. I went for the Winter Walk, which was 2 miles and cold and wet, but awesome to be able to do. And day before yesterday, at work, I went both up and down the big flight of stairs in our office with my team and went like a normal person - barely holding the rail, just for balance, and not having to get both feet on a single step before moving up to the next with both feet. One foot on one step at a time! And down the same way! Ok, down I felt a LITTLE wobbly, but I made it, and it didn't even hurt. I've had some more compliments come my way - one from a neighbor I haven't really seen all winter, and one from a neighbor I've never even really spoken to, we've just seen each other around (usually during Shoveling Events!). So that was kind of cool.
As for my overall status at 6 months out? I feel really good. My back has continued to bother me at random times, but I think the overall trend in that area is better. I feel stronger, more energetic, more capable. I can do a ton more around the house and the yard. I sometimes feel almost normal! There are still things I can't do, but there are a lot fewer than there used to be. Exercise is easy and fun - I walk up to 3.5 miles a day now, if I break it into two walks, and it's never really hard anymore. Plus I got an under-desk elliptical machine - basically just pedals with resistance - that I use a lot throughout the work day to keep my blood flowing.
Eating has become easier - I can eat a full container of yogurt at a time, and meals with more than one thing in them (though they're still very small meals). I stay on plan, and I probably still eat only 800-1000 calories a day - though I've had some days a lot lower than that, here and there. Most of the time I hit my protein goal of 65g/day, and a lot of the time now I get up to 80-85g of protein a day. My net carbs stay under 50 a day, which is where I seem to do best. I've been doing really well with water lately, too - I almost always get 64 oz in, sometimes more!
In terms of WHAT I'm eating... I still do a protein shake every day, sometimes two if I get too busy to stop and eat. I still eat a lot of yogurt - now mostly in the form of Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurts. I make low-carb meat dishes in the instant pot - most recently a hamburger stew that was really good. I occasionally make some of the Eggface ricotta pancakes, though those have some bulk to them and I can usually only eat one, maybe two. I recently found some sandwich thins I like that are high in fiber content and low in carbs - they come with a "top" and a "bottom" and I only ever use one or the other per day. It's a nice, on-plan delivery system for lunch meat and cheese, and they don't give me any cravings, so I'm pretty happy. I've added some sodium-heavy things to my rotation - cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, or cheddar or parm cheese whisps (which are just baked cheese, super low carb). I've added a new probiotic in addition to the PB8, and I still take fiber gummies every day; I've also gotten better about remembering to do miralax every day - so my constipation problem has abated for now, and hopefully for good if I stay on top of things. I really can't afford to let those things slide, because the alternative is SUPER PAINFUL and no fun at all.
The last issue for updating is my skin, which - yeah, it is super loose right now. Maybe it will tighten up, maybe not, but I can't deny that it's getting kind of annoying. My arms basically look like they belong on a giant flying squirrel, and my thighs are actually uncomfortable in bed sometimes, because of the way things almost fold over completely. The more I lose, the more I think I may actually look into plastics eventually. But I think that is far in the future - maybe even a year past goal weight, assuming I get to goal. For one thing, I don't really relish the idea of another surgery (or more than one...). And for another, it'll have to be self pay, and I have no idea how I could afford it. It's just an annoyance right now, not anything dire - and it may improve as I lose weight, so I'm not making any decisions right now.
And that's my endless update for the first six months - thanks for sticking with me!! =D
Always told myself that I would not be one of those people who sign up on a forum and then abandoned it, but it’s been a year & a day since I last posted. For those who are now discovering my little blog, let me give you a quick history so you won’t have to read my two old entries:
I had always thought about having some type of surgery for years. I always dreamt that I would hit the lottery and have plastic surgery until I was like the ideal image in my head. It did not help that I used to watch shows like Nip/Tuck. It’s so easy for those with money to have surgery to have some surgeon sculpt their body until they were happy. Probably why we have plastic surgeon shows on cable tv. I realize now that even if I did have the money then that I would be constantly going in to have plastic surgery for my eating habits would never change. I ate excessively for I was depressed over how much I weighed and the vicious circle would just repeat itself. I will never look like the image I have in my head, I have accepted it which has helped change my eating habits.
Now that I have my loving wife & two beautiful daughters, I did not want health problems that are associated with my weight to cause my death. My death would have probably been from sleep apnea for my first sleep apnea test, I stopped breathing 102 times an hour. Add in: high blood pressure, spinal stenosis in my neck & lumber region, shortness of breath, light headedness, as well as other problems; I was a walking time bomb.
We’re off to see the wizard…
Late June 2016, I go in to see my primary doctor about a handicap card and he talks with me about weight lost surgery to see how interested I was in pursuing that avenue. It was time to do something, not just for me but the peace of mind of my loving family. I agreed and viewed the videos, read the paperwork, and appointments were made to see my weight loss team. August 2016, I met my team. One of the team goes over my bloodwork results, another talked about what I should eat instead of what I was eating, and finally the surgeon. Surgeon wanted me to show I was committed to this program and had to lose 20 pounds before he would sign the paperwork. Six months of countless appointments, daily food diary entries, working out at Planet Fitness; I lost 62 pounds (which 20 of those was from cutting soda from my diet) and got my surgery date, March 7th, 2017.
The night of March 6th, 2017: no food or drink and pretty much no sleep. Between being nervous and worrying about if something would go wrong, I had no intention of sleeping. Neither did my wife. We got to the hospital on March 7th, before the sun even came up and was prepped for surgery. They had to put an IV in my arm and I hate needles. I really hate needles, and anything related to needles, due to my father being a diabetic and watching him take insulin twice a day when I was younger. Now I get to watch my wife go through the same thing. Amazing how I was a 6 to 8+ cans a day soda drinker that I never became a diabetic. Anyway, I found out that they have a spray that numbs your skin before they put in an IV. I always ask for the numbing spray when I must have an IV put in now. Which came in handy for my journey after surgery was not a walk in the park….
Not a Walk in the Park…
4 P.M. March 7th, 2017. Waking up in some pain would be an understatement. They had to push pain killers in my IV as soon as they woke me up because all I did was thrash around with my arms flailing due to the pain. I have had laparoscopic surgery before when I had my gallbladder removed in 2003 and the pain then was nothing compared to this surgery. I realize that the two surgeries are way different, but the pain level was more than I was expecting and then some. Then there was Sophia…
Sophia, female, nurse, smelled like rotten trash and truly a royal pain in my you-know-what. That’s the best description I can come up with without probably being kicked off this site due to extreme use of profanity in a tirade that would take up most of this blog. I will admit that she knew her stuff when it came to medical knowledge and the application of said medicine. But had absolutely no personal skills or bed side manner. After my surgery, I was pretty much out of it and on pain management for the first 24 hours. Getting woken up hourly for tests and blood work did not make it any better. All I wanted was to sleep for at least 4 hours without any interruptions but that was not going to happen; especially with Sophia.
10 P.M. March 8th, 2017. Sophia comes in and tells me I had to drink so much of a liquid before I could sleep. Let’s see my stomach has had major surgery, I am exhausted beyond belief, and my pouch was what I thought at the time, inflamed & swollen (see my next blog). I was to the point that even a sip of water seemed to feel like I drank an ocean. Add in the IV was pumping so much fluid in me that they were waking me up by emptying my catheter bag constantly. Every time I fell asleep due to having no sleep, she would yell my name and tell me that I could not sleep until I drank it. I was to the point of throwing it at her, but I was not going to face an assault charge over her. No matter had satisfying it would have been to take my anger out on her, I am not that type of person no matter how far I was pushed.
6 A.M. March 9th, 2017 Made it through the night without telling off Sophia, let alone asking for another nurse. Walked for a short distance the day before & now walking a few laps on my hospital floor. Mostly just to get out of the room & away from Nurse Sophia. So, I am exhausted from doing my laps & hauling around my I.V. rig with my heart monitor pack hanging off my neck which is just making my spinal stenosis worse by the second, but I get back to my room and Sophia was there, lucky me. I barely get into bed after plugging all my equipment back into the wall, so it can recharge, and Sophia is asking me what I want for breakfast and lunch. I can understand ordering breakfast but lunch. I was dealing with my stomach that just wanted to be left alone and here was Sophia pushing clear liquid items. I understand that I had to eat and drink before they could discharge me. I was trying to eat and drink, so I could get away from the wicked witch nurse, but my stomach was not happy to comply. Thirty hours away from discharge, could I make it? Every second felt like a lifetime. Thankfully, I would never see Nurse Sophia ever again.
Boy, was I wrong. But first, all men are created equal, but not pouches & sleeves. (Next Blog)
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I am pre-op and I have been wanting to make a blog about my journey, if nothing else to keep a record of how I feel before and after. My highest weight was 307 pounds. That is a lot for me. I had never thought I would be that heavy. The bad thing is I gained that weight during my supervised diet. Who does that? I feel so ashamed that I gained that weight. The first 6 months of my supervised diet was basically just me getting that note from my doctor that I completed another month. I was serious, but I didn't realize how serious I needed to be until these last 3 months of my supervised diet. I have completed the last 3 months of my diet with the Cleveland Clinic and I realized my real issue. I am addicted to food. I know a lot of overweight people are, but I really really learned this on my pre-op diet. I have been eating every emotion I have ever felt. When I couldn't do it anymore, I realized I am emotionally crippled. I have no way to deal with my emotions without food. So these last 3 months have been a roller coaster of me crying and feeling more depressed than ever! I am starting to find other ways to get through these emotions, but I never imagined how hard that was going to be. I had to take a class with the Cleveland Clinic to learn to cope with my eating habits and it has REALLY helped. I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder, and know that information helps. SO, where am I now?
- Nutrition- Cleared ✓
- Surgeon- Cleared ✓
- Psych (Pending)
- Medical (Pending)
- Insurance Approval (Pending)
Current Weight: 277
Well, here I am at six weeks post-op. I was in a no-weight loss rut for about 10 days. I'd lose a few tenths of a pound, then gain it back. Up/down, up/down. Finally, three days ago, I broke through the stall. I've now lost 29 lbs (29 since the liquid diet and 19 since surgery).
I've been keeping a daily diary of everything I'm eating and drinking in MyFitnessPal. That really helps me a lot. I'm sticking with the plan. I'm upping my activity level. I'm really trying hard to get my fluid goals met every day. I'm still not doing great with the fluids.
Otherwise, I feel really well. I've officially moved to regular foods. I've been tolerating things very well. We had chicken thighs for dinner one night this past week. I was able to eat 2 oz of chicken, plus about 2 tablespoons of a goulash-y veggie mixture I made, and about a tablespoon of mashed cauliflower. That's a lot of food for me. I'm up to about 700 calories a day now.
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Here I sit, worried. My op is next Tuesday but I fly out on Monday alone, to face my future head on.
I've watched the vlogs, I've read the blogs I'm very ready to have this op.
I know it's not going to be easy, I have a fear I'm going to die on the operation table, and flying home after 5 days makes me wonder if I'll even make it through the airport from gate to exit without collapsing. Maybe I'll need a lift on one of those electric trollies to beep me through, a fat VIP!
Will my mind trip me up post op? Will my addiction fight back?
Oh dearey me, This is a happy first blog post!
One day at a time, just one foot in front of the other. Lets try to look at this from another angle.
Ok, here's a positive. I started my low calorie diet on Friday and have already lost 6lbs. There. That's my positive
Time for tea
Everything is going well. I'm currently weighing 240lbs. That's 113lbs down form my highest weight. 66lbs down since surgery. Average 13lbs loss per month. Pretty good. I had my 100 day post-op checkup with my clinic last month. Checked in with the nutritionist, psych, and nurse provider. Everyone was pleased with me. I'm pleased with myself. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing too slow and sometimes I feel like I'm losing too fast. I'm just grateful to be losing anything at all.
Currently I'm in size 20W pants. Down from a tight 28W last year. Size 20W has always been my "lowest" size as an adult. I think I was a size 18W in Jr. High school. As an adult, whenever I would lose weight I usually made it down to a 20W and then the weight would slowly creep up and so would the pants size.
Size 20W is my comfort zone. I love me at this size. I feel great at this size. I love the way I look at this size. I get compliments at this size. Men notice me (and smile at me) when I'm this size. Feeling so good about being this size is probably why I would start slacking off on my diet or stop exercising in the past which would cause me to start gaining again. I have no intention of slacking off on my diet this time around. But I don't know what the future holds for me once I get to size 18W. It's going to be a whole new world for me.
I'm feeling pretty blessed overall. I was reading some posts/blogs and watching some WLS youtube people and see a lot of post-op folks struggling. I'm grateful I have not had any further complications since recovering from the surgery. I have not had any more problems with constipation. I am not having any problems eating anything (except lactose). I don't have nausea problems or vomiting (unless I get too much lactose). My biggest hurdle is still not eating often enough because I never feel hungry. And my second hurdle would be not eating enough when I am eating. I get disappointed with eating. I don't get much joy out of it before. It's a job now. Even if I'm eating something really tasty, I can only eat 1/2 cup. I miss the days when I could pig out and lick the plate clean. That's not my life anymore. I get sad about it sometimes. But I've also been really happy trying new foods and finding protein products that are tasty. It's a fine-line balance of happy/sad when it comes to food. I'm sure we're all going through that rollercoaster.
Other than all that, life is good. I took a brief vacation to Las Vegas. Had the joy of not needing a seat belt extender and could even cross my legs AND use the tray table. Ate some nice meals at fancy places - cheaply! - during happy hour. Perfect for appetizer portions and inexpensive. I did try some wine. Wine is delicious. I can sip a glass of wine for an hour, enjoy being social. I never once felt sick, or overly intoxicated, and I can go to bed sober and wake up feeling good. Wine could be slippery slope for me because I love it so much so I will have to make this a "special occasion" treat and not a frequent thing. Empty calories and potential for abuse if I indulge too much.
So that's the update. I have my 6-month checkup in January. I will be doing my blood/lab work for the first time to make sure my vitamins and all that stuff is correct. Then I won't see the docs again until my 1 year appointment in July.
Ta ta for now!
I know I have been a little MIA lately - life has been very busy between family and work. I am now eight months out and down almost 70 pounds. I am So, So happy and I have no regrets whatsoever. I am still dealing with the side effect of thinning hair but I have realized that if I really focus on getting my protein in and supplementing with Biotin that it does help. I found the best way to get protein in is to use a Yetti cup with the iso-pure Alpine punch. It is 40 g of protein per bottle and when it is super cold, you do not get any aftertaste whatsoever. I have also recently started taking 10,000 MCG's of biotin to help with the hair loss. I sprinkle in a little bit of the X fusion hair fibers so you really cannot tell about the thinning hair. I think it is more noticeable to me than it is to anyone else. I used to get handfuls of hair falling out, now it is just five strands. I think I am finally passed that part of the journey thank goodness . Another side effect of the sleeve is that I do have a much sensitive stomach or I should say noisy stomach. Within 10 minutes of eating, my stomach starts gurgling away - too bad I don't have a mute button for that! With having this extra weight off, it does make it so much easier to be more active. I am trying to incorporate in more walking into my daily routine. One of the things that I have started doing is at work I avoid elevators in the parking garage. I will park at the top level and walk up-and-down twice every day. I also try to sneak away in the mornings to go do a quick mile on the treadmill at work. I try to time it during my favorite show, The Price is Right so that I can get my fix of Drew Carey for the day. I know it is not running marathons but I figure every little bit helps. I actually caught myself wanting to run on the treadmill which just a year ago I never would've even considered doing that. I have been traveling a lot for work these last three months which used to be so hard on me but now is not an issue at all. Rushing through airports with heavy bags doesn't even phase me now where as before I would be huffing and puffing just to go a short distance. Again I have no regrets. I know I still have a ways to go but for the first time in a long time I have hope and believe that I can get to where I want to be!
My vomiting hasn't ceased, both effortless/involuntary rumination and episodes so violent I nearly pass out. Eating is a painful chore. I've been taken back to a liquid diet and am scheduled for an EGD on Monday. I'm no longer afraid of tube feeding. At this point I may welcome it. Just holding out hope for things to get easier. After years of complications, I'm a little disappointed this surgery hasn't alleviated my symptoms. At least I've lost 25 pounds since. That's something to hold on to.
I am a slow loser....
At first it depressed me, it aggravated me, and had me wanting to give up. Its my way, its the way Ive done this journey for the past 3 decades. I am good at losing weight, but when it stops I give up.
Now here I am, I haven't lost any weight since June. I only lost 50 pounds since surgery......it pisses me off.
Now I can say, I have not been perfect, but I can count the number of times I have eaten off plan on one hand, I can remember each time in the past year vividly because the pain it has caused.
I do not eat bread, pasta, starches and very limited sugar. By that I mean I will have a life saver now and again and my vitamins do have sugar in them.
I go to the gym three times a week and do the machines, I can see the results, especially in my shoulders and arms. This last summer I wore tank tops for the first time in a couple decades.
I have this love hate relationship with this forum. I love reading about people who have lost weight, but it really makes me angry as well. People who have started at a higher weight than I did and have twice as much in half the time. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! but yeah them!
But here I am, a little over a year since surgery and I am stuck at 160 pounds, on my 5'2 frame. My goal was 130, but I am stuck at 160. STUCK!
I've tried everything, I've upped my calories, I've lowered my calories, I've upped my carbs and lowered my carbs. I even tried going into ketosis by stop taking my vitamins.
I am averaging about 1200 calories a day....which leads me to my other thing.
For about a month now, I have been constantly hungry....yeah I know, the end of the year honeymoon period thing. But OMG, the constant hunger. I know its not a vitamin deficiency(which was my first thought) because I had my blood panel and I am in the standard range for everything except b-12 which I was WAY high on because I was taking too high a dose.
So I graze, mostly at night. So to compensate I eat smaller meals, really just a few ounces of protein, thats what I eat, in one form or another, protein. Veggies are like a luxury to me because in order to get my 80+ grams of protein in I stick to protein snacks, lefts overs, eggs, cheese and nuts.
But yeah, I'm stuck...160.....but ya know what....I dont care! I look at before and after pics of myself and I am proud, and for the first time since 1985 I can look at pictures of myself and not cringe. I went from 3x to L-XL. I can wear cute clothes, I can wear a PDF when I kayak.
I am not giving up.........Yes its been a LONG stall, but I am not giving up. Just 30 pounds to go.....I will get there. It might take me another whole year, but I WILL GET THERE. Because regaining the weight I have lost in not an option. Its just not!
All I have to do is look at my before pictures to know, regaining is not an option.
Here I am rambling....but this forum is my ONLY support. No one knows about my surgery....maybe that's why my slow weight loss is a good thing. If I did lose 100 pounds in 6 months it would be obvious, but since I am struggling and losing slowly, I am just like everyone else on a diet.
Crazy ramble is over......
23 weeks and it feels a lot longer than that. Sometimes I can hardly remember my life before I did this wonderful and amazing thing for myself. I've found myself saying to a number of people that besides marrying my husband having weight loss surgery has been the best thing I have ever done.
I must admit I have been incredibly lucky. After my surgery I had very little pain and no complications. They gave me a huge box of medication to take for pain and I only dipped into them about twice. There's only been two times where I have suffered from dumping syndrome. Once was when I had some coco powder in my normal morning protein shake which I was able to walk off fairly quickly. The second was an apple and blueberry instant porridge. Felt like a weird thing to dump from and it was pretty horrible. I got sent home from work for that one. But luckily neither of them made me vomit. Fortunately – or maybe unfortunately – I can eat pretty much anything. A real wakeup call about how I am still the one who controls what goes in my mouth.
Sadly I am one of those people that feel hungry. But seriously after the pre-op liver shrinking diet I can handle hunger. Most of the time if I get that feeling I do eat something but something small like a little bit of chase. I had a strange phenomenon the past few weeks. Whilst eating I was getting a kind of burning feeling in my throat which I was thinking was hunger so I would eat more. That didn’t help. Sometimes it made it worse. My go to for any bad feeling stomach wise has always been to eat something. But then on Monday morning it struck me that maybe that feeling was fullness! So I really started to pay attention to it. As soon as it started coming on I instantly stopped eating and it was gone. So yup, that’s what it is. Looking back I feel stupid for not realising it earlier but I’m still learning about this new tummy of mine. It’s also brought me back to chewing the heck out of food and putting my cutlery down between bites. Oh how easy it is to forget these simple lessons.
Getting through a whole cup of coffee before it goes cold can still be a struggle. But that’s a small thing in the overall picture. I’ve been getting my water in and all my protein with no problems. My program really discourages you from continuing to weigh and measure everything you eat after a certain point. So I have backed off from that but I still check all the labels and keep a running rough estimate of my protein for the day in my head.
I only weigh once a month so I am unaware of any real stalls. Some months are slower than others but that’s to be expected. I'm due to weigh again on the first but so far I have lost 73.5 pounds and 29 inches on various parts of my body.
Pretty much all the clothing I own is too big for me. I've tried not to spend money on clothes but I was forced to buy some new trousers and bras a few weeks ago. Some of my older clothes from the last time I lost weight (before it went back on) and a lot of those were even too big for me.
I’m getting loads of compliments. I try to take these quite humbly.
I’m still very worried about weight going back on.
A lady at work told me I was like a totally different person. That it was obvious how miserable I was before. I could only agree because she was right. I was a miserable person before I decided to have weight loss surgery. I never really realised how unhappy and sometimes mean I was.
I smile more, I laugh more, and I live more.
Someone asked me about weight loss surgery the other day. I told her to give it some very careful thought because no two experiences are the same. But that mine has been absolutely great and I love myself for it.
<3 Much love to all the people on this forum. I don't post much but I do lurk and read and take your advice. We've got some amazing people and support on this board.
A fair bit of time has passed since my last post so I figure it is time for another one. Especially considering I actually have a day off where I do not have to run a round like a mad man. As mentioned in my previous post my work life kind of exploded. I have been averaging 14-16 hour days with little sleep, but I have most of the people trained to the point that they can kind of function without someone there standing over them and as a result my hours are starting to get back to normal. Then again my normal is 12 hour shifts, so… really not that much different, just not as many days in a row.
Another plus on the work front is my wife finally finished the coloring book she has been working on and it is now published and available on Amazon! This has been a long project and has finally been completed. Just in case you are interested it checking it out here is a link:
Now for the WLS information:
I am now 86 days post-surgery and things are still going well. I have lost 85.1 lbs. since the surgery for a total of 101.8 since I began this process. I guess a pound a day is pretty good. I hope it keeps up because I still have a long way to go! I am still only getting in about 800 calories a day, less than what my doctor would like to see, but that is all I can really get in without feeling ill. I thought as time progressed I would be better at handling a little more volume of food in my pouch but that does not seem to be the case… I still only hold about 2 oz. before I get the uncomfortable full feeling.
Some of the side effects have been getting more… well… interesting. Being of Norse descent I have always had a natural immunity to the cold. As a matter of fact I have never had an issue of my hands or feet getting cold, even in extreme cold. My wife has always enjoyed this phenomenon because she has typically run colder and can always count on my ability to warm her up instantly in the winter. Well… that does not seem to be the case anymore. I think that Mr. Snow Miser has moved in and is messing with me. I am finding that my hands, feet and of all things my nose, have been getting cold… Very cold… especially my nose… What the heck is with that? The rest of me will be nice and warm and my nose is like someone attached an ice cube to it. I'm not sure what to do about the nose issue. When it is your hands you put on gloves... When it is your feet you put on warmer socks… but how do you keep your nose warm? Wear earmuffs front to back instead of ear to ear?
Start Weight: 465 lbs.
Surgery Weight: 448.3 lbs. (16.7 lbs. lost prior to surgery)
Current Weight: 363.2 lbs. (85.1 lbs. lost since surgery)
Total Lost: 101.8 lbs.
Starting BMI: 63.1
Current BMI: 49.3
Thankfully with my work schedule I have not had an issue of keeping my energy level up. Then again I'm not sure that I would know considering that I am constantly burned out! My hours are slowly reducing so hopefully I will have more opportunity to post and comment in the forum. Just keep in mind, I am still lurking on the forum and am keeping up with reading posts as I can.
Until next time… the saga continues….
I didn't lose weight in August.
I did a lot of other things, some of them productive and some of them pleasurable—and the month was a bit of a whirlwind—and I didn't lose weight. Right now, I'm sitting pretty much the exact amount of water I'm carrying because I'm carbed up (i.e. I've been eating enough carbs to keep my glycogen stores filled & thus retaining enough water to keep that glycogen soluble, which for me is about 5-6 pounds and a look of puffiness—higher scale weight, but stable mass) above where I was at the beginning of the month.
Now, I don't necessarily want to freak out about that. I feel pretty good about my body at this size, and the stuff that bugs me is post-weight-loss stuff, mostly—the skin stuff has gotten pretty real for me. My arms, my thighs, my stomach, my breasts—that's the stuff I struggle with.
I think physically I might be a little smaller than I was, but nothing major. The XLs I bought from the Gap were too big and the larges are right on point; I tried on clothes at J Crew and the 14s were roomy. I bought a one-size skirt from a boutique on West Broadway yesterday, the kind of store that doesn't even make an XL, and their stretchier larges fit just fine. I thought about a drapey blazer, but it just didn't feel like me—it's an adjustment, not just buying the thing that fits.
Anyway, it's time to decide what my approach is going to be for the rest of the year. My major priorities are twofold, and the first one is significantly more important than the second one:
1) I don't want to be a lifelong dieter—that was the whole point of surgery. I chose the VSG because it's the surgical option that's most like punching the reset button on your metabolism. Ghrelin production is a major part of the regulation of appetite, and removing the fundus of the stomach, where ghrelin is produced (and which is metabolically and endocrinologically central in other ways as well), suspends the metabolic freakout and defense reactions that would normally attend extremely low calorie intakes like those that happen after surgery. As metabolic function restabilizes, the body has the chance to reset a stable setpoint, is the hope. I want a stable setpoint. I want a weight that works for me that my body will defend as metabolic regulation reestablishes itself. I also want that weight to be sustainable for me without extraordinary measures. I do not want to be one of those people who's counting every calorie and striving for extremely low caloric intake ten years after surgery. I want to be able to settle into routines that maintain a stable weight without monitoring, or counting, or the more punitive kinds of self-denial. I want my eating life to be flexible, and pleasurable, and also sustainable and healthy. I do not want to be on a diet for the rest of my life. That does NOT mean that I won't need to keep an eye on things and check in, and keep best practices in mind. I committed to doing that when I signed on for surgery. But it DOES mean that if I can be 180 pounds and eat in a way that doesn't stress me out or 150 pounds only if I eat in a way that does, and sustain that way forever, I will choose the higher weight. Stability and sanity are, in combination, priority 1 for me.
2) That said, I have some vanity and lifestyle preferences. I would like to always be able to find my size in a straight-size store. I would like a little room for bounceback, should any occur. I don't have it right now. I'd like to have a low enough body fat percentage that plastics, if and when I go for them, can do as much for me as possible. I'd also like my cheeks to be a little less puffy, my cheekbones and jaw a little more defined. I've also thought about my powerlifting future. To be competitive, one wants to be at the top of a capped weight class, and that means either staying right where I am, or losing some more weight. The next class down caps at 158.5, so a walking-around weight of 155-160 would be a good place to land for that.
If the "window of opportunity" for weight loss after surgery—which is to say, the amount of time it takes your metabolic function to reestablish itself and a new defensible baseline of energy balance—is about 12-18 months, I've got about five months left. Putting in some effort in those five months to see if I can maximize the benefits of surgery would save me effort down the line, which is also a way I made the decision to have surgery. I decided that I was willing to devote some seriously intensive effort so as to reduce long-term effort. We're now in a place of slightly diminishing returns—that is, the difference between weighing 160 and 180 is a lot less significant than the difference between weighing 332 and 180, or even 200 and 180, frankly. So it's harder to get the energy up every day, especially when my life has changed and is changing in all these ways that make me want to run around and be a normal person and drink drinks and do whatever.
That said, the window is closing. And right now I'm feeling like it's worth a try to maximize that window. There are also other good circumstances for another push: the summer is ending, which means less orgiastic socializing, and the semester is starting, which means more routine. Plus, with the presence of a new person in my life, I foresee the necessity of fewer first-date drinks in my life! Not none, by the way—it's not exclusive, and it's also got some geographic distance—but definitely fewer. I'm looking forward to settling into something more routine for a few months. And so putting in some effort to see if I could lose another 20-25 pounds before the end of the calendar year seems worth it.
I'm going to try not to belabor myself with this. I'm going to remember priority 1. But I'm also okay with making some changes that would make the best use of my tools right now—cutting out Diet Coke again and making sure I'm pushing water, reintroducing protein shakes, skipping alcohol, and tightening up the ship a bit on food choices, especially carbs, all seem like sane principles for the next four months. Getting back on the scale daily seems to be working for me. I may go back to tracking in MFP.
I think there's some emotional ambivalence about being smaller than I am now, too, and that seems like an important thing to do some thinking around, but I can do that thinking while also putting in the pragmatic work. And the window is closing, so if I wait to decide, it may be too late to get the greatest possible benefit. So September-December are going to be a time of buckling back down after a loose, louche summer—not straightjacketing myself, just seeing what some reasonable effort can produce.
So I think that's the plan.
Hi everyone. Wow it's been a wild month, and I've kind of lost track of time and coming on here. So, a quick update on me, (Hopefully it's quick, we'll see!)
Two months ago, the house that I rented was sold. My old landlord told me two days after he sold it "So, I sold the place, take care!". We had lived there for almost 10 years. 10 years of life happened at that house. My son went from Kindergarten to 8th grade in that house, my youngest came home from the hospital to that house. Lots of memories. Well, the new landlord came by and served me with a new lease, and a "You have 60 days to get out" notice.
It is hard to find a place to live, especially when you have a zoo of pets and kids. It's hard to find a place you can afford. In fact, the stress of that was crazy. First, we tried to buy a house, and I paid off our credit cards in an attempt to boost our credit score. It worked, but not fast enough. It took almost a month of my 60 days for the credit to update and 30 days is not enough time to find a house that fits our needs, and close on it. I called the new landlord and begged him to stay, I even offered double our rent, and he was "Well, you are not the quality type of people I want living here, and I doubt you'd pass our application process". Wow. Just wow. Really, not the quality of people, I pay rent in advance, we don't party, we don't do drugs, not the type of people.
In a dark hour, I found myself at the local food bank, scouring through rentals, trying to find anything, anyone, anywhere we could go that would not put my kids out. I came across a newspaper (Yes they still exist), with a number on it, for a 3 bedroom house, with lots of storage and an option to rent to own. So, I called and left a message. About 30 minutes later I was called back, and a week later I signed a year lease for the new place, and with a bonus, we could keep all of our animals.
So, the past month has been moving houses, which is hard to do, and moving my mother in law in with us. As she was also evicted. It's been a heck of a process, that I find myself with little time to do anything else. I've had to change addresses for three kids in three different schools, in order to get my middle child on board with it, we had to do an inter-district transfer for her to remain at her current school. We now are paying for water, and sewer, and garbage. But I am not complaining, it's a house, it's a house that will feel like a home, and the location is great, I have no neighbors I have to worry about, literally, I am tucked away from a main road, with easy access but unless you were looking for my place you couldn't find it. I am thrilled.
But, that's not quite all that has been going on. First the negative. My sister in law, Michelle, passed away, two weeks ago, stage 4 breast cancer. She was my husbands favorite sister, and of course my mother in law is grieving from losing her daughter. It's hard to squabble about the petty things when something else happens that is devastating. The positive is that we were able to bring home another pet that was promised to my children if we ever had to move. His name is Marley, named after Michelle's favorite dog.
But again life is full of checks and balances. Outside of my personal life, my work life is happening. My manager had retired, which left an opening for his position. Out of three people, I was given it, however, yesterday news came down that his father passed away, which was his reason for retiring, so yay I was granted the position, but yay the position may not be available. Will have to wait and see which puts me in flux. It's difficult to be in flux, I am someone who likes to know what is going on. But, to balance that out, August 1st was a year from when I had my surgery done. This past year has been amazing, the ups and the downs. I am thankful for it all. For the negatives for showing me what I can get through and do, and the positives showing me what the rewards can be.
A year and a month ago, I was obese, depressed, frustrated. I had no sex drive, no drive really to do anything. I was tricking myself into thinking I was happy when I was not, and I made a change for the better. I took a plunge and I am so glad that I did. At my highest I was a little over 290lbs, As of this morning, I weigh 154lbs. I fit into size 8 in pants, and small in shirts.
My Progression :
Day before surgery -
Two months after surgery -
Four months after surgery -
6 months -
Seven months -
Nine months -
I am thrilled with how I look. I am so glad that I had my surgery done. I have excitement for a future in which I didn't even know could exist a few years ago. I am excited and happy for whatever lies my way. (Thanks for reading :D)
I finished my 6 months supervised diet, as required by my insurance company, on the 25th of July, when I had my 6th telephone appointment with my surgeon, who is in CA. I was hoping to be whisked right into a surgery date, but it was not to be. I still did not have a clearance letter from my PCP, which was the last insurance requirement that I had yet to meet. As well, my surgeon still was not happy with the size of my liver, and wanted me to work on shrinking it some more, so she put me on liquids only at that point. 3 protein shakes a day.
In complete honesty, it did take me several days to get to being fully compliant on the liquids-only part.
Well, today was my appointment with the PCP. He did a pre-op examination and sent me home with the clearance document. I've just now scanned it in and emailed it to my insurance coordinator! Yay!
I have another appointment with the surgeon on the 16th, with a liver ultrasound a few days before. Hopefully my liver will be at an acceptable size and I can get this show moving along. The insurance coordinator already told me that Blue Cross is pretty quick about returning the approvals, so I'm hoping it will be done by the 16th. We shall see :-)
Long story short: WLS, weird medical stuff, compromise on goal weight, and suddenly losing weight again....HOPE LIVES!!!
Long-winded version: You know that feeling...the one that you get when you wake up and think, "I feel a couple pounds lighter today?" Then, as if you had suddenly discovered a poisonous ant colony in your briefs, you begin sprinting while shedding every layer of clothing....all the way to the scale. And....you were right!!
FINALLY!!! I had to force myself to stop the ensuing spastic happy dance long enough to work out and share my joy with you lovelies.
Why the question mark and shock??? I had given up on my original goal weight of 135. It wasn't because I thought I was getting too thin and it wasn't even because everyone on the planet wants me to "pump the breaks" at 150 lbs....
As some of you may know, I struggle with Mollaret's Meningitis, a sneaky form of viral meningitis that lives in you for a mean length of 20-ish years, having recurrent episodes of acute infection and a 50/50 chance of permanent neurological damage that can range from seizures to coma. Scary, right? Well, yes, it's painful and a scary, but it also comes with debilitating light sensitivity, unbearable migraines, and seemingly endless bouts of bedrest. (Because inflammation and aggravation extend my episodes...ugh) You can just imagine what bedrest can do to your weight....especially when it's coupled with medicine that affects my memory (me:Who ate all the bananas?!?!?!? Hubby:"You did, dear.") Now, add in the fact that they essentially have to use neuro medicine to shut down feeling to control pain (so I'm not on huge amounts of fentanyl...no thank you). The result of that is: I no longer know when I'm "full." Nice, right?
I had a major compromise process with my docs...I would begin limiting my exercise to no or low impact, and I would bend on my goal weight....agreeing to prioritize my brain health. I'm a math geek---brain function is pretty important in my life. So, I've agreed to allow them to use me as a guinea pig...using new studies to guide their preventative plans.
Because of this, I've been placed on some pretty severe preventative measures by my neurologist and infectious disease doctor. To limit stress and inflammation, I am complying with intermittent fasting (so my insulin only spikes once per day) and a ketogenic diet (to minimize brain damage).
ALL of these things have really played with my weight. But, I think I may have finally (6 months later) reached a point of homeostasis in my body.....
There may, indeed, be hope for my long term goal yet!!!!
Today 5 years ago I had my bypass and it was the best choice I made. Were there ups and downs? Yes but I have no regrets. I was 300 lbs and now 180. I got as low as 150 which was a healthy weight but looked sickly on me. Where I am now, I am happy. I feel and look good. My high blood pressure is no longer an issue. And my fear of getting diabetes has been pushed aside. Tomorrow is my workout day and I am looking forward to going there and staying as fit as I can.