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After hitting 135.8 a month ago and deciding that this number would be my official GW, I’ve had the very strange experience of… success. I weighed in on my official 13 month date and I was 135.8 still. My weight fluctuated up within about a two pound window and down within a half pound window, but stayed really stable all month. This is after losing 7 pounds the month before, and after a streak of losing mostly double digits every month for a year, so I’m chalking that up as a stunning success.
So, what did I do to screech on the brakes? I upped my calories from just about 1000 (where I’ve been since hitting my initial GW in December - I was at 800 for the year preceding that) to 1200-1400 basically overnight. It has been a struggle and sometimes feels like I’m eating all day every day. I’ve had a few bouts of “my body just isn’t going to accept any more food today” but overall it’s been doable, thanks to some calorically dense foods. Here’s what I’ve been eating this month (an average day):
Breakfast: Syntrax shake with berries blended in (plus psyllium for “regularity”)
Snack: ½ cup Greek yogurt (full fat) with berries or pomegranate seeds
Lunch: Tuna or egg salad (made with Hellman’s light just because I can’t tell the difference and the idea of having twice as many calories in the mayo as the food seems weird to me). ½ can tuna or two eggs, plus a tablespoon of mayo (and strong mustard and sometimes pickles)
Snack: Small Greek salad (⅓ cucumber, ⅓ tomato, 1 oz feta, 1t olive oil, 1t balsamic)
Snack: Peanut butter protein balls - just no sugar peanut butter with Syntrax vanilla or chocolate creamed into it with a fork until it’s crumbly but holds its shape well enough to make balls out of. I then roll them in shredded coconut so they don’t stick to each other when I’m storing them. There are recipes online that have you add fake sweeteners, or cream cheese, or what have you, but I’ve found they taste quite good like this, plus they’re super easy. With the quantities I’m using, MFP tells me they are 125 calories each with 10g of protein. For my snack, I eat 2 or 3. These have basically replaced protein bars as my emergency food. I figure they’re cheaper, almost as easy, and probably slightly more natural. They’re smaller than a ping pong ball, so very calorie dense.
Snack: 2 Ryvita crackers with 2 slices of cheese
Dinner: Fake meat plus beans and veggies in some form (usually about a cup of food now, if it’s moist enough)
Snack: I have a couple of dates or some almonds after dinner pretty often - if I do, it’s a 1400 calorie day. If I don’t, it’s a 1200 calorie day.
So, see what I mean about eating all day? I feel like I’m constantly eating. I don’t think I can really eat more at each meal than I do, certainly not dinner, so this is the best way to get in as many calories as I am. I think I might try to up my calories a bit more just to see if I really will gain anything if I do. I’d like to explore my limits, I think. I suppose it probably varies with macros, but I’d like to know where I stand. If I start to gain, I guess I get to experiment further with either reducing calories or reducing carbs and seeing where that lands me. I’d rather reduce carbs, to be honest, but I’m willing to keep an open mind.
Anyway, eating like that gets me like 100g of protein per day (wow). I’m getting around 60g of carbs (more on days with dates, but dates don’t seem to trigger my carb reaction, so I feel like that’s OK) and I feel like I’m not in keto anymore, but I don’t have test strips, so that’s a total guess. The rest is fat, obviously, and there’s quite a bit of that in my diet.
Every single day, I wake up, step on the scale, and feel disappointed when I haven’t lost anything. Consciously, I know that’s my goal now, but subconsciously, I was pretty invested in that feeling of success you get when you lose. It was a whole year of that, added to a lifetime of having that be my very most sacred goal, so I suppose it’s no wonder that stopping is hard. But my mind feels a bit discombobulated at times. I can see how chasing that feeling of success and validation could lead to some unhealthy behaviors (continued losing, shopping addiction, orthorexia, exercise addiction, etc). I'm aiming to keep my unhealthy behaviors firmly in the shopping addiction realm, with a touch of internet addiction. I can tend to get a little single-minded about pursuing some new thing, so keeping it confined to non-health-related behavior is probably for the best.
I’m lifting weights at the gym now, which is good. My arms are getting stronger and are starting to look a bit nicer. With such a small amount of body fat on them, you can really see all the muscles (and veins and arteries and tendons and ligaments) which makes it funny to gain muscle. It looks like I’m way more fit than I feel like I am. My knee and hip are both getting quite a lot better after giving them more than a month rest from too much walking. I’ve been mostly doing exercise bicycle, rowing machine, and some elliptical for my cardio, which has been a strange departure from the treadmill for me, but hopefully what I need to get over my injury. I really am a gym person now, I guess, since I had a hard time giving up exercise, even to let my injury heal, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my routine. I’ve been going to the gym about 4 days per week, plus one day of hiking per week, so I haven’t reduced my exercise time, but I’ve had to scale back on how hard I’m working.
Nice NSV: I’ve joined a hiking club. We go once a week after work, just to the foothills not far outside of town, and we go for about an hour and a half each time. It’s so nice to be able to keep up with everyone and not worry about that! Hiking is sooooooo much more enjoyable when I’m not carrying around a bunch of extra weight. It’s fun! An associated NSV is that this hiking group always has a bunch of photos posted to its Fb page of each hike, and I'm in a fair number of them, and I don't cringe! There's one of me from last week, a total booty shot of me climbing up over a bunch of rocks, and I look fine! Hiking photos attached, including booty shot.
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
One of the side effects of weight loss surgery is the gradual funeral for potentially some of your favorite clothes and a re-introduction of shopping fun. As I’ve said before, I am a big thrift store shopper. This is a great way to add some new clothes into my wardrobe without breaking the bank. Sure, I could wait until I’m at goal but I strongly believe that what you wear impacts how you feel. This emerging body can fit into so many new fashions!
But with the clothes funeral, I knew I wanted to offset some of my purchases (even if they were thrift store) with resale and evaluated a few options. I should note that I reserved this effort of resale only for the nicest items, not designer names, but only the items that showed no wear. The more well loved clothes I donated. For the nicest clothing, my local consignment store said they did not deal in enough business with plus-size fashion to make it worth my while. ThreadUp was a negative experience - bluntly it was a complete and total ripoff. With this program, you mail in a box of clothes and they decide what they are worth. You are given no choice to counter and I think they use this to their advantage to lowball you.
My greatest success has been with Poshmark. Poshmark is free to sign-up and easy to post within the app and through a computer. The basic system is that you add items to your ‘closet’ and any item that sells under $15, Poshmark takes $2.95. Any sales of $15 or more, the fee is 20%. In exchange, they handle the shipping label and customer service end, although people still message you with specific questions on your items. If it has to do with shipping and payment then Poshmark should take care of it.
POSITIVE EXPERIENCES SO FAR
Easy to use – both as seller and buyer, with clothing and accessories.
Lots of users on the site so you’ll get plenty of views and before I had even posted all of the original items I wanted to post, I had sold an item!
Simple system to claim your money (or spend it back on Poshmark)
Nice options to increase sales (like ‘Bundle’ discounts where shoppers that buy more than 1 item can get a discount). What is nice about this option is that I can control how many items are required in the bundle to get the discount and how much of a discount. In addition, as a shopper adds things to a bundle or even ‘likes’ an item, you can offer them a private discount, which can include shipping or overall cost of the item.
POINTS TO CONSIDER
You must have your own supply of shipping boxes/bags. I just bought some off of Amazon and also went to Dollar Tree when I sold larger items. I sold a jacket and found a box at work. So not really a big deal but worth mentioning.
The shipping label covers up to 5 lbs so if you sell any items that weigh more than that, you are losing a big cut of your profit (see figure below for what they charge for overweight items).
From the buyer end, you only have the option of a $6.49 expedited shipping label, which can be pricey if you buy just one item although if you buy a bundle, it would work out in your favor.
Also from the buyer end, you obviously don’t get to try items on so it works best if 1) the item is a style and size you know will fit from other purchases and 2) is low priced enough that you’re willing to take a risk.
I have only needed to contact the Poshmark Customer Service once (when I went to print the shipping label, the buyer’s name was absent) and unfortunately their ‘assistance’ was useless. I was able to message the buyer directly to get her name but I am interested to see how they handle any ‘real’ problems should they arise.
Who knows how long it might take to sell some items? If you want a quick way to get rid of items, eBay might be a better option. I have some wetsuits, winter jackets, waders that I’ll be selling because they are just too specialty for this audience.
Overall, it has been a pretty good experience. I’m not trying to make loads of money off of the items (most items I price in the $8-10 range) but my earnings did fund the purchase of some bras in my correct size, some new underwear and my sassy thrift dresses! While I have not yet purchased from Poshmark, I will definitely look in more interest once I reach maintenance. My size is changing too much right now to know what would fit so I really need to be in a dressing room.
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)
HI everyone! I had an upper GI endoscopy on Friday. Aside from a small hernia, no problems were found. Next up is the last supervised weight check in. Then, everything gets submitted to insurance! My appointment is March 20. So, who knows? I might be approved by the end of March!
I was very nervous at the scope. I had never been "put under" for any procedure before. I was also nervous about what might be found. I had nothing to worry about. As soon as the IV was put in my arm and the mouth thing was inserted, they pumped me with meds. I was out like a light! The scope only lasted 2 minutes. I was asleep for 15 minutes. I felt groggy and out of it for the rest of the day.
A few years ago, I was told I had gall stones. So, I assumed the scope would highlight them. Either they are gone or the doctor didn't see them. Unsure. If he sees them during surgery, will he remove them?
Wow, so here we are...I'm two very close steps to surgery. Seeing the doctor and info getting submitted. It's just a matter of waiting.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
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
Woof. February was hard.
I'm down 9 pounds this month, which is a bitter pill because it seems so small. I started the month off pretty sick with a sinus infect and in a 10 day stall, then had 6 pounds slide off in 3 days after I felt better. Then I struggle bussed for the remainder of the month to lose the other three pounds. In total, that makes me 58 pounds down since my highest weight and 41 pounds since surgery. My BMI has dropped to 43.4
I changed jobs mid-month, and went from a very sedentary desk job to one in which its not uncommon for me to get home and see that I got 11,000 steps in during the 8 hours I was at work. I was going to bed exhausted and sleeping like a rock for 8 hours, waking up exhausted, and going back for another round. I was dutifully eating my protein and my typical 700 calories, and chalked it all up to an adjustment period. Now, I'm wondering if the sudden increase in activity is not the reason I'm having trouble. (Coincidentally, the new job and the exhaustion is why I havent been as active on here).
That all said, I am losing inches during this stall of sorts. And when that happens, I tend to see the weight slide away at some point, but this early out, I feel like 3 pounds in 3ish weeks on average is kinda miserable and I'm disappointed for not making double digits during February.
I had a small lightbulb moment this week about the exhaustion being related to too few calories for the work I'm doing, and upped my calories to 900-1,000 for a couple days. I felt considerably better at work the next days, which is a plus, but the scale still refuses to budge from 253, which is where I've been since the 26th. I went ahead and emailed my nutritionist Friday to ask for advice on the situation, but any words of wisdom from my TTFers would be greatly appreciated as well!
Other highlights this month: Im annoyingly in between sizes. Most XLs are a bit too small for comfort, but XXLs are baggy. I've joined a local "girls who hike" chapter and am looking forward to outings with them - one tomorrow, in fact! I'm not afraid of a three mile hike with strangers at this point, which is worlds away from where I was in fall I need to hit the gym more often for strength to do steeper hikes this spring and summer.
I'm currently mostly eating leftovers (whatever protein I made the day before), yogurt, nuts or jerky, and protein shakes. I'm struggling to drink enough water at my new job, and just trying to be more cognizant that when I have a moment to rest, I need a cup of water in my hand each time.
Overall, I'm hoping March gets me back on board as far as seeing the pounds slip away. I know losing inches is still a sign in the right direction, but damned if those scale numbers don't give reassurance
Today is a Snow Day so no work today! I'm cozied up in my CuddlDuds with some coffee, looking at the falling snow and thinking about how different my life is now compared to this time last year. Tomorrow is my seven month surgery anniversary, so I thought a list of differences to celebrate might be in order...
- Got up to get more coffee and just used my legs to stand up, did not have to push myself off the couch with my arms
- Woke up yesterday with some kind of (painful and debilitating) shoulder injury (turned out to be a tendon had slipped out and after a trip to the chiro is 95% better) and all I could think about was how this would interrupt my exercise routines (whaaat?!?). I should add that although I was in pain, I still went to my workout (modified of course) at 6 am (whaaaat, whaaaat?!?!)
- I have goals, weight/health related and other, and I am succeeding at them. It amazes me how feeling good about yourself health-wise impacts all other areas (I know, duh!)
- There is a long flight of stairs where I work that has created great anxiety for me, who's watching, am I breathing heavy, do I have to two foot the stairs...that I now actually look forward to climbing. I currently can walk up them without holding the rail and am anticipating a day when I can skip up them like young thin people do, without thinking about it.
- I fit in all chairs and no longer have to google restaurants before agreeing to outings to check to see if their chairs are sturdy or spindly. Bring on those cheap spindly chairs!
- I can zip up my old boots, circa 2003-ish? Because I've been out of fashion-thinking since about that time, I really have no idea if they are still wearable from a fashion standpoint, I think maybe they are, but they are zipped nonetheless!
- I am comfortable trying different types of exercise, classes, venues and am not worried that others including the instructors are wondering what on earth I'm doing there.
- Love, Love, Loving my exercise classes - they are the best parts of my day now.
- I am at the top of my list of priorities - I know it's such a cliche, but I can do all the things on my list of priorities and take better care of all the people in my home and work life when I take good care of myself. That means thinking about and acting on it every single day, not just with the leftover crumbs or special occasions. My health and well-being are worth those efforts. (again a cliche)
- I'm starting to be able to buy clothes at regular stores, have a foot in both worlds currently. BUT, just bought a school spiritwear shirt and not only did I not have to call the vendor to make a special arrangement for a really big shirt (beyond the plus sizes on the form), I also did not have pay $4 extra for a regular plus size. Most people would have no idea what a big deal that is, to just pick up the form, check the box and order your shirt.
- I am comfortable talking about my WL journey (when I choose to). Never talked about my weight with anyone really prior to this.
- I am no longer worried that I'm going to be crushed by my steering wheel if I have so much as a fender bender.
- I can run an errand or two and not have to take a big nap/rest afterwards (and bring in all the groceries, well okay the much smaller amount of groceries, and put them away and then do more stuff!)
- Sleeping comfortably in my bed after several years of armchair sleeping due to sleep apnea, reflux and just not being able to find a comfortable position.
- Find myself planning and participating in more social activities, many of which involve physical activity. February is a busy month this year!
- I could probably continue to think of more things all day, but probably the biggest difference is that every day I wake up and feel hopeful that my health, well-being, mobility, appearance and satisfaction with my life is going to continue to improve. Finding Thinner Times was the tipping point for me, causing me to decide that I would in fact go through with the surgery and where I found the community of people who were serious about making sustainable changes. I'm so thankful for all of you - for sharing your stories, successes, challenges, tough love, humor and compassion.
Namaste (yes, I'm a yoga girl now!) and happy Snow Day!
I can hardly believe it has been 3 months since I had my surgery! I still have yet to experience one second of regret!
I am down 47# (which is great but I was secretly hoping to be at 50# at 3 months but I am totally happy w/ 47….can’t remember the last time I lost that much…or if I even have!) I have been this weight before…it isn’t that I am tiny or light, but it just feels so different because it happened so fast that I barely can adjust! I forgot to measure myself this morning so I will have to do that tomorrow and post a separate post (don’t worry, I know you are dying to read my lengthy posts so I promise to give more details than you possibly want…and to keep you reading, I might follow it up with the pictures you’ve been asking for! Ha!)
I’ve gone down 4 pants sizes and my shirts are bigger (I have gone down a shirt size but I don’t like things tight so I could go down more but am not trying to bring more attention to my shape!). It is amazing how my wardrobe has grown! I haven’t bought a thing yet…I was going to go to a thrift store over the weekend but I went through some old things and got about 8 pairs of “new” pants! I wore a pair Sunday and it was funny bc I went to pull them down and realized I had to use the button/zipper which I haven’t used in so long I had forgotten I needed them! I have a stack of “new” (old) clothes that fit me now…I couldn’t even fit them in my drawers so they are stacked up on the side of them! I can get used to this! And it’s only been 3 months…I had NO idea that I would see such a difference SO quickly! Speaking of pants…I have single-handedly decided to bring back the Canadian Mountie style pants!!! All of my pants are too baggy in the hips and thighs and I looked down the other day and they were sticking out to the side like I was a Mountie and I thought “it’s time to move down a size or two!”
My wedding band is too big so I wear it on my right hand or if it is too big there, on my index finger on my left hand! I bought a smaller stainless steel one but it hasn’t come yet...but that should hold me over for a while because I don’t want to size mine yet until I am at a weight I am staying at.
My menstrual cycle is all messed up…but I don’t know if that is because I am 51 or if it is because of the extra estrogen floating about my body. I will just have to wait it out and see but boy, it is annoying! (especially since I figured out that I plateau when I ovulate and don’t lose again until menstruation begins…only I am stuck in a weird part of my cycle for the past two weeks…and it isn’t the losing part!).
Foods are losing interest for me…which is weird. It didn’t happen at first but now I have a feeling of “darn it, it’s dinner time and I need to have something to eat!” whereas in the past, I was like “yum, that was a delicious lunch, wonder what I can eat for dinner!”. So it is a weird thing, but also a little annoying because I don’t feel like cooking or eating. One thing I have noticed is I was a chronic taste-tester when I was cooking/baking before but I can NOT do that at all now! If I start tasting what I am making the signal is already at my brain that I am full by the time I try to sit down to eat….and I know I haven’t had my 4 oz (or even close). So, I have to figure something else out. I am going to try the gum trick and put gum in my mouth so I can’t taste something while I am making it. Otherwise I am not able to get all of my food in! Which just strikes me as so funny! Who knew I would be wired that differently…those signals never helped me before!
My niece married my best friend from high school’s son…I haven’t seen the friend since we lost touch after high school (back in the 80s!) and it is funny b/c I get anxiety seeing ppl I grew up w/ bc I don’t want them to think “man, she let herself go”! Anyway, I will see her in April when she throws a baby shower for my niece and I am not the least bit afraid of it. She is very thin (and adorable) but I am not upset at all because I feel great and I feel like I look great (which GOING UP at this weight, I felt terrible but oddly enough ON MY WAY DOWN at the exact same weight I feel AMAZING!) Isn’t that funny how that works?
I read an article last week (I think Jen posted a list of like 10 articles or so to read and it was in there) about 2 ppl that had WLS and the author followed them for a year and recorded how they did and felt and I was so intrigued by it. They both reported how their brains changed…not just the size of their stomach. I kept thinking the same thing w/ myself but thought it was just self-induced euphoria because I am losing weight so quickly/easily but iti seems it is a real occurrence! I am simply amazed at how differently I feel and act and present myself (I stand up straighter, I look people in the eye more etc). It is incredible how different the new me is! I barely recognize her, but I sure like her!!!
My labs were good….my iron down (but I’ve always been anemic and with my lovely new cycles, it is not surprising) so my PCP doubled my iron script (which means double the constipation! Ugh!) and my Vit A was low so I am taking one daily w/ my multivitamin now.
An interesting thing happened this month. My husband was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. While I don’t like the diagnosis at all, I know it can be controlled and he can get off the medication. The good thing was now he is eating more like I am (higher protein, low carbs) and it makes it much easier to make meals around our house. (however, and this is just a minor thing...I finally weighed less than him for only the second time in our 33+ years of being married...I was there once for about a month and then I gained and went back past him. This month I was finally below him again and that isn’t an insult to him, that is just an accomplishment for me…it’s embarrassing for me as a woman to weigh more than a man! But after one week on this new diabetic diet, he is 5# less than me!!! What are the odds? But in the scheme of things, I am glad he is getting healthier and I will pass him on my way down again, I am just at a plateau right now.)
I have heard you asking for my pictures…you know, because I am so "famous" here on Thinner Times (LOL!)….and I did promise I would post at 3 months. Granted, I have been afraid to post them because frankly they look fatter than I SEE myself and I still look at them and gasp! I can see a little difference but mostly I think “wow, look how big I am! But being a person of my word, although these pics make me feel uncomfortable, I will share them with you all. I know I am sounding silly bc I am posting them on a public board, but if you reply to this post, can you please not “quote” the whole thing so the pictures would be included in your posts? That way if the insecure me needs to take them down, I can delete them from my post and they won’t remain on the board (thanks). I know I sound like a nut but I am never so sure how I feel about this being public (if it were private I’d leave them here for posterity’s sake!) Anyway, the first one is the day before my surgery, the second one is one month after, the third is two months after and the fourth is today at three months, 47 pounds and many inches after!
I have also attached my measuring ribbons.....the end was 3 mo ago, then a line for each month post op....this is an easy way for me to visualize my shrinking!
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.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
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.