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Before/during

I realized today I was wearing the same dress I wore in my work photo today. It fits a little differently now. (Excuse my squint - the sun was shining directly in my eyeballs).

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

6 months out... again?...still?! (...In which I can't count)

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  

Kio

Kio

 

My Surgery- A Year Later

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)

sonnybuck

sonnybuck

 

Almost Ready...

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.

Rakat

Rakat

 

I have been meaning to do this

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

ParaSix66

ParaSix66

 

E - I - G - H - T

E - nvious I -cy G - azes H - otness T - rainer I'm at the eight month point and if I am to be totally honest, I have felt like I've fallen off the wagon of positivity and am grumpily envious of all these folks getting to goal.  I know this is a mind game and it is not helpful to compare myself to others, but there it is.  While I am so excited to see these TT rockstars posting their exciting news it has made me wonder if I shoulda coulda woulda been there already too?  So this past month I revisited the list of NSVs I had hoped to achieve through this process and I felt proud of what I had accomplished so far.  I also had started a quote sheet with insights from the wise posters on TT and came across this gem:  One of the common psychological issues people face is disappointment at losing more slowly than they would like. We all have been through so much, and so want rapid success! but we have to be kind to ourselves and not be unrealistic.     (thanks @BurgundyBoy for those words) So the me-in-the-past KNEW the me-in-the-future would feel this way and I just have to remember to keep myself in check.        So last time I posted that I had a $281.25 electric bill and my goal this month was to lower that bill, even if it meant spending more time in an icy cold state.  With some great suggestions from folks here who are also feeling the cold, I decreased my electric bill to $128.53!  Electric blankets, fleecy layers and some creativity!  I'm not sure how sustainable this icy existence is but until I reach goal, I don't want to invest in more expensive but more efficient base layers.   Being down 140lbs, my body is new to me and its been challenging but dare I say fun in dressing it.  In hitting up some thrift stores I have found quite a few very sassy dresses.  I can't wear them to work so I almost didn't buy them but for $8, I decided to splurge.  These are dresses that make me feel so good about myself, its like an instant ego boost.  Over the past month, my friends and I have been going out to hear some live music and I've had the opportunity to wear the dresses.  Okay, let's be real, I kinda went looking for events where I could actually wear the dresses!  While I have always taken pride in my style and looking good, this feel good high is like no other!  And as I've mentioned before, I am a single woman navigating the dating world at the same time as the bariatric world.  While I have always been a socially confident woman, over the years as I was at my highest weight I became used to being invisible in these social situations and focusing more on having fun than scoping out potential dates.  In going out with my friends in these sassy dresses, I apparently am no longer invisible, although now I may be oblivious to appreciative gazes of my new hotness.  My girlfriends are good wingwomen and they like to point it out to me. I know I'm in the minority here on TT when it comes to dating, but for those lurking or who can relate - did you experience an increase in attention?  Was it positive or negative for you? How cool is this graphic?  There is a muscular me hidden below the fat and I'm trying to expose her! My trainer says I've lost too much muscle.  Le sigh.  We had been focusing on weight loss because you obviously can't lose weight at the same time as build muscle but I also don't want to lose too much muscle, which is where I am at now. So we've added some more weight-bearing exercises to at least slow that decline.  Hopefully it doesn't slow my weight loss too much but I've prepared myself mentally for that....at least I think I have...  

CurvyMermaid

CurvyMermaid

 

Three months

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  

delilas

delilas

 

Three month follow-up

So I had my 3 month follow-up appointment today and everything is pretty great! I'm down 63 lbs total by their scale, 52 lbs since surgery (66 total by mine, which is the one I go by since I weigh more often and have more reliable data here), which they consider to be about a month ahead of schedule. My blood pressure was 124/78, so they took "hypertension risk" off my chart since this is the second appointment where it's been in a good range. My heart rate was 62 bpm. I need to exercise more, but I already knew that and I'm working on it. My diet has been great, so there were no issues advancing to their stage 4 diet, where there aren't really any limitations other than stay relatively low-calorie, get my protein, avoid sugar, and keep the carbs down. Other than that, I'm free to eat what I can tolerate. I'm SO excited for salad!  I'm feeling good. My joint pain is almost nonexistent. I have a little bit of creakiness still in my knees, but it's not too bad and improving all the time. My clothes are either fitting better or falling off of me, depending on when I bought them. I can walk in heels again, though I'm still a little nervous about that so I'm not pushing it. I also need to get my rings resized! Though I may just set them aside and wait until I'm at goal weight before doing it so that I don't weaken the bands. 

Speaking of goal weight, I've set a long term goal. It's 150 lbs. That's technically still overweight according to the BMI chart, but I figure I'll have some skin left over and I've always carried more weight than I look like I'm carrying, even when at an in-range weight, so I'm giving myself an extra 8-10 lbs to work with there. That means losing a total of 129 lbs. I'm already halfway there! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

6.5 months - having a little whiiiiine with my cheese today

Whine, you know, is super low carb.  Sadly, also low protein.    This isn't really a serious whine - just a touch of frustration.  Part of it is with my weight loss pattern, and part of it is with my crazy brain. So - like many of the other ladies here, my weight loss follows a specific pattern in tune with my monthly visitor.  I tend to lose almost all my weight each month just before and just during my period.  Even on months when my period doesn't show (I'm just starting to get it back) -- the symptoms do, and the pattern holds. So I lose a big bump of weight in about a week, a week and a half.... And then, for the rest of the month, zip. Zero. NADA! You would think, since I'm fully aware of how this works, I'd be fine with it.  Maybe even fine enough to stop weighing during the weeks that I know I won't be losing much if anything.  But I'm not that gal - I weigh every day, and every day when I see the same weight (or a pound up, then a pound back down, then a pound up and then down again) I have this little internal "ugh!" of frustration.  It doesn't help that my cycle is kind of uneven.  So my weight loss may "bunch up" in one month if I have a weight loss phase both at the beginning and the end, or it may lead to a month where I lose very little because my cycle hits just outside of my monthly measurement window. The problem is - my brain.  There's what I know with my sane, rational brain - that this is all about my cycle, that it's mostly water retention followed by flushing, yadda yadda yadda.  And then there's what my crazybrain whispers at me:  "The honeymooon period is over."  "This is as close to goal as you're ever going to get." "Well, your doctor SAID you might not make it down to 200."  Etc, etc, etc.  Right now I'm in my monthly stall phase, and though my body is telling me it's probably about to start losing again, my crazybrain is still whispering mean things at me when I least expect it. It doesn't make me do anything differently... but it does sometimes make me a bit sad, when sadness is totally uncalled for.  In fact, this is one of the happiest times of my life - I'm healthier, stronger, more fit, more able than I have been in over a decade.  I just sometimes need to call myself out on it, so I can see in print how silly I am...    

Kio

Kio

 

One Year *cue music: Celebration, by Kool and the Gang*

I cannot believe the changes I’ve gone through in the past year. It’s truly shocking. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have this amazing do-over that is WLS. Long story short, one year post-op and I’m where I want to be: 135 pounds, healthy, and happy. The losing phase is over (well, I want it to be, we’ll see how that pans out). Thank you everyone at TTF for your nonstop and sometimes even relentless support. I have received kind words, insightful advice, interesting facts, heartfelt congratulations, and sharp yet timely reminders when I've needed them. Your nonjudgmental and sympathetic ears have perhaps been bombarded by a bit too much about me from time to time, but I thank you for listening.  One year ago, I was in Mexico, waiting for my surgery appointment. I was fat, depressed, desperate, afraid, but hopeful. My surgeon, a WLS patient himself, made me feel OK about seeking help and being the “before” picture. I felt like he was going to take away some of the burden of my previous failures and give me what I needed to be successful. I felt taken care of.  Before I started down the WLS path, I had stopped looking forward to the future, as it seemed like it didn’t hold anything positive or fun, but the idea that this surgery could turn all of that around and give me my life back was like a shining beacon of hope. I didn’t quite trust that WLS would be the magic bullet for me, but I knew that it was my best bet. I’d done all the reading and researching, and the stories were amazing - but in the back of my head, I held on to the thought that there wasn’t a guarantee of success. I might not be one of the successful ones, the ones whose blogs were so inspirational, the ones whose YouTube videos made me tear up with joy. I might end up like the remorseful, desperate, bitter people with their stories of why WLS “failed them.” This thought was so frightening. I’ve done the whole “lose a ton of weight and gain it right back” thing before, more than once. I didn’t want that to happen again. Because of these dark little doubts in the back of my mind, I swore to myself that I would be *perfect* after my surgery. I would do *everything right*. I knew that this do-over was a one-time-only offer, so I wanted to make sure everything I was in control of was *absolutely perfect*. I knew my metabolism was crap, but I also knew that my will was strong, my desire to succeed was strong, and my ability to follow the rules on a diet was strong. Maybe my crap metabolism would not allow me to get to GW, but I wanted to be sure I was doing everything in my power to give myself the best possible chance. I didn’t want to look back on my first year out and think, “Well, I guess I could have tried a little harder.” So I made sure that I tried as hard as I could. I was basically perfect for a year. Not everyone has the fortitude to do this, but tapping into my own psychological strengths/weaknesses, I knew that drawing some hard lines in the sand would be my best bet. I haven’t had a piece of bread since early January 2017. Or pasta. Or rice. Or sweets. Or soda. None. It was easier for me to say flat-out no, so that was my approach. My surgery was an unqualified success. I had a relatively easy recovery, and despite some initial doubts about whether I was losing fast enough (OK, we all think we’re slow losers at some point, thank you for talking me down, TTF fam), I lost steadily and well (one more time for the newbies: yes, I felt like I was a slow loser and I was going to fail!). My feelings after the first month were positive enough to give me back hope for my future, so I interviewed for and was offered a job back in the place I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to be doing. The future started looking like a fun place where I could enjoy myself and live my life as a happy and active person.  For my first few months, I was unemployed (well, and technically homeless, but that was by choice, so can’t really feel sorry for myself there), so I had plenty of time to make sure I was taking the very best care of myself. I measured. I weighed. I counted. I tracked. I made spreadsheets. I ate between 600 and 800 calories per day every day until I got to GW (with the exception of maybe 5 days at around 1000). Fitbit and My Fitness Pal became my obsessions because hey, that’s who I am. I was meticulous. With a twinge of shame, I will confess that I sometimes weighed myself multiple times per day “for science.” <— not recommended but sort of interesting to me - I usually weigh the least right before lunch! Eventually I started to feel like a normal sized person again. I was down to a weight that made me hang my head with shame (and eat to comfort myself) when I was there on the way up, but on the way down, it felt fantastic. I had to buy some new clothes. They were still drapey, and I was still working hard to cover up my fat, but I felt better about myself. I was able to exercise and be more active, too. I moved to the other side of the world at six months out. It threw my rhythms into quite a shock, but instead of resorting to food for comfort, I doubled down and took comfort in being in control of what I was eating. Many of my normal foods were not available (no cottage cheese, omg, tragedy strikes!), so I had to find new things and be resourceful. In previous moves to new countries, or even back to home from abroad, I always always gained weight, every single time. This was new: I was still losing. Within about two months of moving, all of the clothes that I had brought with me were too big. This was the beginning of my wardrobe worries. I fretted that I was going through sizes too fast. I fretted that I didn’t know what style I would seek out for myself when I started shopping in earnest. I fretted that I wouldn’t ever get to a place where I was really pleased with myself. This was all silly, of course - I managed to find things to wear just fine. I found a tailor to take in my clothes. I bought a few things. I started figuring out my style. And I’m totally happy with my current state. All the new people I’ve met here think of me as being a thin and fit person (I feel a bit like I’m fooling them or like I’m an impostor, but I’m not). I mean, many have noticed that I’ve lost a lot of weight since I’ve been here, but they know I’m active and that I’m a health-food low-carb whole-foods protein-shake freak. I’ve taken up hiking again - I had always loved it but finally quit doing it when I got too heavy and it just became painful and unpleasant. Now, I’ve joined a hiking club and do it regularly (every week!). It’s not hard to haul myself up a steep hill. I don’t get wheezing out-of-breath tired. My heart doesn’t pound. I don’t have to stop and “admire the view” twice as often as anyone else. All a part of the new persona. Moving to a new country has actually probably made it easier to be a "new person." In December, at just past 10 months out, I hit my original GW of 150. Woo hoo! I celebrated by buying a few outfits that are now too big for me  That’s OK, though - they were a fun way to spend the day, and I probably would have spent that money on food previously, so all in all it wasn’t a total loss. I do need to get those clothes to the tailor, though, that reminds me. Anyway, there I was, at GW but not really certain I wanted to stop. What would I look and feel like a little bit thinner? Because I cannot simply let things be, I spent the next two months fretting about when to stop. Thank you for your patience, support, kind words, and excellent advice, TTF fam. Finally, at 15 pounds below my original GW, I had my husband take some pictures of me, and hey! That’s what it took. Yes, I need to stop losing now. That was a week ago. Since then, I’ve upped my calories to about 1200 per day. That may need to go up, but I’m experimenting. I have now had the life-changing experience of NOT TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT. Yes, for the first time in my life, I’m actually NOT trying to lose weight! I’m not planning a diet, figuring out how to sabotage myself or rationalize cheating on a diet, berating myself for failing on a diet, or in any other way dieting. I’m still tracking like a crazy fool, but I’m tracking to make sure I eat ENOUGH, which is hard.  I bought myself a pair of bright orange jeans yesterday afternoon. Because I can! For all of you pear-shaped ladies out there, I know you’ll understand. From the waist down, it’s been skirts or dark “flattering” colors my whole life. Please don’t look at my booty or thighs! However, I now have a small (absent?) booty and thinnish thighs, so to celebrate, I bought bright orange jeans. I’m wearing them right now. I also bought a pair of bright coral pink trousers. I hereby retire from the all-dark-clothes-all-the-time club. I don’t remember who on the forum said their shopping mantra was “If it’s not black, put it back,” but that has been my go-to color all my life. Well, navy blue or charcoal to spice things up occasionally, right? I’ve decided that I will wear funky bright colors and flashy stuff if I want to because I can.  While my eyes still do not always see a thin person in the mirror (I look fat to myself about half the time), I know that I am now a thin person. My sense of identity is growing to include “thin person” now, although my inner fat girl is probably here with me forever (you know, the one who thinks of excuses not to do xyz because it’ll draw attention to her various issues, or else thinks of excuses to do something food-adjacent to cash in on the treats). I can’t for the life of me pull a piece of clothing off the rack that’ll come close to fitting correctly, but I’m starting to learn the numbers game with sizes, anyway. I’m that person who always takes the stairs. I always have a food contingency plan - a carefully packed lunch and snacks, an emergency protein bar, and my ever-present water bottle. I go to the gym instead of watching TV or having a cocktail. My priorities are just very different. I’ve taken this year to cement into place some very different new habits that I hope will stick with me forever.  TTF fam, thank you so much for your support and friendship. They have meant so much to me this year - whether in awesome NSV moments or when I’m hanging my head over the toilet because I’ve eaten something that just didn’t work, you’ve been there for me when I’ve needed it! I love you all.   

Jen581791

Jen581791

 

7 Months Later...

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!

kayak19

kayak19

 

6 months... seriously!?

I can't believe it's been six months since my surgery today.  It doesn't seem like reality.  It seems like just yesterday I was drinking protein shakes and eating plain greek yogurt... OH WAIT THAT'S BECAUSE IT WAS!    Yeah, my diet has advanced significantly, but yogurt and protein shakes are still my main staples. I'm happy to report that my trouble keeping things down is in the past.  The past month or so I've been doing really well on that score.  I still sometimes eat the wrong thing (by which I mean something my pouch doesn't like) or eat something too fast, and end up bent over the toilet.  But it's an extreme rarity now.  I think I've gotten a lot better at slowing down and picking my foods. In addition to yogurt and protein shakes, I sometimes eat cheese, or some chicken or fish in a sauce, or sausage, or bacon, or eggs (breakfast foods seem to work pretty well for me).  Fruit generally works, though I've really only tried berries in yogurt.  I've eaten the top off a pizza slice once or twice.  I can eat meat loaf, and I can definitely eat mozzarella sticks (well, I can eat one mozzarella stick!)  I'm sure there's other stuff I've tried, but I can't remember it all now.  I feel like I'm eating pretty normally, just a lot less.  And of course it's a weird new normal that doesn't include junk food or any of the stuff I used to eat.  I'm totally fine with my diet right now.  I'm usually somewhere between 800-1000 calories a day, and most days I hit my protein goals. I still don't really get hungry; I get food-wanting spells, but they're pretty easy to either ward off or just feed with something that's actually good for me. I still struggle with water, though - that's the hardest thing for me, and probably always will be.  The funny thing is, I can gulp all I want - I haven't had any issues with that at all.  But at the back of my mind there's this voice saying "ugh, if you drink all that you'll have to pee every five minutes all night."  And that voice is not actually wrong.  I try to frontload the liquids but it's just a really hard mental block to overcome.  My walking has stalled out a little because of the weather, but I'm not too bugged about that.  I have my "Walk for Homelessness" coming up on the 11th, which is 2 miles, and I'll have to walk about half a mile to get to it.  As long as I can still do the distance I've hit so far, I'm happy to wait by the fire until spring to get more ambitious.    So, stats.  My weight is 225 right now, and my BMI is I think 39.8?  Something like that.  So I've lost 130 lbs total since April - 73 of that since surgery on September 8th.  That is over 35% of my starting weight, friends... a third of me is gone, an entire person's worth of weight. Kind of mindblowing.  I have passed my surgeon's "success" weight for me, which was to lose 60% of my excess body weight - 129 lbs.  I'm only 55 lbs away from my original goal, which was 170 - Leah's current weight (not a coincidence!).  And I haven't slowed down yet - after a pretty lackluster month 5 (only 10 lbs lost), I lost 16 this month.  I'm hoping I can do something close to that next month too, and really surprise my surgeon when I see him on March 29th! Beyond that, the proof is in the pics, right?  The new ones are at the bottom... I put in a few old ones just to remind myself how far I've come.  9 months ago: 6 months ago - Surgery day! 3 months ago (well, 11 weeks...) And today! And now just updating with my photo from after the Boston Winter Walk for the Homeless: that's me (left) and my bff/housemate Leah (right).

Kio

Kio

 

My Three Month Surgiversary!!!

Month 3?!?! 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!        

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

Tales of Woe: My $281.25 Utilities Bill

For us folks here in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly the farther northern parts, its that time of year when you need to layer up and batten down.  When you wish for luxuries like electric blankets, remote starting cars and heated car seats - the finer things in life which have become even more valuable to myself and my fellow losers!  Winter has been particularly brutal in my neck o' the woods and after shedding over 120 lbs of excess weight (and more to go), my natural heating blanket has left with the pounds of fat.  Many here on the forum can attest to the new 'always chilly' or 'always frickin' cold' mantra that we now sing.  My song comes to the tune of a $281.25 electric bill for the past month, which would typically crest at ~$100.  OUCH!  I guess all of those times when I inched the electric baseboard heaters just a wee bit warmer have added up in a big way.  I'm going to have start wearing a hat and gloves at home...   And now for your viewing pleasure, animals in sweaters!           

CurvyMermaid

CurvyMermaid

 

10 weeks out

I realized today that I'm 10 weeks from my surgery date. I've lost 55 lbs total, 41 after surgery. That's an average of 4.1 lbs a week since surgery - consistently! I never could get results like that on my own. I'm thrilled with my progress! 

I'm doing well with eating, but getting pretty bored. Luckily, I found out about this place that sells mainly paleo prepared meals. Most (but not all) paleo entrees they have fit within my eating plan. They charge about $10 per meal, but because I can only eat a little at a time, one meal is about four meals for me. I can bring them home and divide them up to put in the fridge or freezer for lunches. Tonight I had Italian sausage and spaghetti squash from there that was really good! I'm also trying to find some new recipes in some cookbooks that I hope will liven things up a bit. It's about three weeks before my diet will progress again, so I just need to make it a little longer before I can have a salad.

I'm struggling with hydration - still. I'm thinking about getting one of those blinking lights that reminds you to drink water. Or I may make a hydration calendar on my phone that will make my Fitbit vibrate. I haven't decided how I'm going to do it, but I really need to get it figured out. It's going to be a serious issue if I don't. 
 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Two months!

Woohoo! I've made it through two months. It's both gone by in a flash and seemed to have taken forever, at the same time.   I've lost 49 pounds since the day I walked into the first pre-op class, and 32 pounds since surgery. I have lost over 5 points off my BMI since surgery (over 8 points from my highest weight!).    I feel like I have settled into a decent routine and Im hitting water and protein nearly without exception. I'm still pretty reliant on protein shakes to meet protein goals, but I expect that will continue until I can get more than 2 ounces of solid protein in.    I'm currently eating lots of greek yogurt (dannon's "zero artificial sweeteners" brand is my jam), chicken, shrimp, babybel, and lots of leftovers. My dinners have been focusing on things I can easily make for both me and DH - something I can serve over rice or pasta for him, but is still fine for me without it - and I can generally split my "portion" into something I can eat several times. I've made gumbo or other creole dishes at least once a week, as they're cheap and easy to make a large amount, and I just portion out a bit each day to take to work with me. Snackwise, I love a small spoonful of peanut butter or 1/4 of a protein bar if I need something later in the evening. Or threading a piece of deli pepperoni, a chunk of cheese, and a black olive on a toothpick.    I average between 65-70 grams of protein daily, 60-70 ounces of water, and about 600-700 calories. Some days more, some days less. The nutritionist today told me to try to up my calories, but honestly, I'm full all day long, and I can't get more than 2 oz of protein in at a time. I think I'll add a bit more fat in to up calories a bit for now and see how it goes.    I'm walking most days and hitting the gym a couple times a week. I finally got cleared today to do weight lifting, which I enjoy far more than cardio, and I'm already looking forward to setting up a plan and getting in the gym. It was suddenly beautiful Sunday (50 degrees and sunny!), so I went out to a very muddy trail and happily traipsed through the woods. I can't wait for the weather to clear for more hiking! I have a list of 20 preserves/parks that I want to hit this spring.   I am having hip pain on both sides after walking. Whether its a block or two miles, the pain is about the same and not something I felt until the last 15 pounds or so. I'm subbing collagen powder for whey a couple times a week to see if that helps. On the upside, my knees feel much better.   I don't have to go back to see the surgeon's clinic again for four months, which is nice. They'll do my first real post-op labs then to check how my vitamin program is doing. I will admit to sucking at remembering my vitamins some days, but its getting better. Theyre taking me off my PPI today since I've had no reflux symptoms at all (thank goodness).   I interviewed for two different jobs yesterday. Neither is my ideal, but either is better than where I am. One would be 4 ten hour shifts a week, which would be great to give me a little extra time to hike and record audiobooks this spring. Although it is largely assisting with colonoscopies so....thats a lot of butts     Speaking of butts, if no one has told you today, you have a nice one  

delilas

delilas

 

6 Weeks Post-Op

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. 

pandygirl

pandygirl

 

S - E - V - E - N

S - cale E - ndgame
V - itamins
E - xtra Money
N - ew Discovery
  Scale – I am down 120lbs, 60% of my excess weight or 32% of my original body size.  I’ve lost a 1/3 of myself….weird.  So my scale crapped out a few months ago and I didn’t immediately purchase a new one.  Mostly because I hate shopping and it happened before the holidays so I thought, let me try to do without.  My review?  I did okay I guess (still lost) but I am glad to have a scale back in my life.  I need SOMETHING to help track progress and while clothing does do it somewhat, considering I am in a size 16 now and therefore still plus-size, there is a lot of give in those sizes and I don’t like the wiggle room.  I am still in my ‘honeymoon’ period for losing so to take full advantage, I have a new scale in my life and I’m okay with that.   A feature of MyFitness Pal - my commonly logged foods for 2017 (no, not real gummy bears! My protein ones) Endgame – there have been quite a few ThinnerTimes posters that were recently post-WLS when I started here at TT and have now entered maintenance OR posters that have entered that magical phase post-maintenance: Skin Removal.  It’s made me reflect on my endgame even though I am just past a potential halfway mark.  I picked 170 as my goal weight solely because it is the ‘normal’ BMI but it might not be the end goal, I remain flexible.  I don’t even know how to anticipate how long it will take me to reach that goal – end of 2018?  If I stick with 170 as my goal, that’s 80 more pounds which seems more than reasonable.  In fact, I bet I could lose another 100 this year…delirious?  I fully realize that as you start to lose weight, it becomes harder to lose more so this next 100 will be harder but dare I dream??              FLY EAGLES FLY! Vitamins – are my arch nemesis.  I hate taking them because they make me nauseous and I have even (pre-WLS) thrown up from taking them on an empty stomach.  Now, with even less in my stomach most of the time, eeeek!  I have tried the calcium chews and just chewable pills in general, tasty but there is still that mental block of fear-of-throwing-up.  My surgeon only suggests two multivitamins per day (one in AM, on in PM) and Calcium Citrate (1000mg).  My solution was remarkably easy and has been working well so far – take the pills with me to work!  Because you have to space out the multivitamins, and the calcium citrate from the vitamins, I was really struggling because I didn’t want to take them without food in my stomach.  Simple solution, and so far much more successful.  Anyone else have any tricks for getting their vitamins in?  Am I the only whiner about vitamins?   Extra Money – now that I’m saving money on food, I seem to be spending it on expensive protein bars and shakes. LOL  Okay, and maybe also cheese from the good part of the grocery store.  I was reading an article somewhere about websites such as HealthyWage or DietBet and d*mn do I wish I would have done those pre-WLS! I would have been raking in the dough! I’m not sure if there is a restriction that prevents weight loss surgery patients from participating but for those of you pre-WLS, think about it: You can guarantee that you’ll make the money!  I did the calculate bet on HealthyWage and if I bet $100/month that I would weight 80lbs less in a year, I would ‘win’ back the $1,200 plus $2,600.  This is an interesting concept to me but it totally reads like some weird pyramid scheme…I have a sure fire way to give you a 221% return on your money!  I haven’t looked at these sites in more depth so I’m sure there are things in the fine print that make this doubtful but I had fun with the idea that I could bet that I would still be losing weight and I could be CONFIDENT that I would!   New discovery – besides my vitamin ‘trick’, I have for the very first time tried a new plant based protein that is actually tasty!  When I was on the west coast visiting my gal pals, I made them take me to Grocery Outlet because I just love their deals!  On my coast, its most similar to Aldi in that you might not know what you find but it will most likely be a great deal.  In my never ending quest to find a good alternative to soy/whey/etc protein, I picked up a bag of Peanut Protein Blend (by Protein Energy Power) and decided to get really risky with the Chocolate flavor.  It. Is. Tasty!  The details are that in 2 scoops you get 17g protein when mixed with water, if you use Fairlife Milk, you can up that to 30g per serving.  There are 170 calories, 14g carbs (fiber and sugars – evaporated cane sugar, stevia, monk fruit sweeteners)  and has an enzyme and probiotic blend.  There are also ‘instructions’ on how to turn it into peanut butter (just use less water).  Nut protein sources tend to have so much fat and carbs that I am a bit leary but this is a great new option!  My second new discovery is my new bra size.  Wow, down 6 band sizes and up 3 cups.  The girls thank you TT for encouraging the new measurements and purchasing of some lovely new bras. J  And because I also like to brag about deals, these new bras were on sale for $15 each!  SCORE!         Left: Super magically delish protein; Right: Some cheap protein water also at the Grocery Outlet (99 cents!) but tasted slightly like a melted orange popsicle What's this vegetarian eating?  Protein gummy bears (will be trying a cinnamon bear recipe next), Greek yogurt, cottage cheese with different Mrs. Dash seasonings (have you checked these out lately – Mrs. Dash has diversified!!), ricotta bake (revisiting an old favorite), Trader Joe’s meatless meatballs, protein free foods:  celery and clementines What I'm not eating?  Spicy food.  I just can’t handle it now, but I’m hoping that will change at some point and I can enjoy my hot sauces and spices again. What I wish I wasn't eating?  Nothing. I’m not eating much so each thing I put in my mouth is gonna be tasty!

CurvyMermaid

CurvyMermaid

 

3rd week of month 5 - an ER visit, a stall, and some random stuff

Hi, TTFam.  It's been a crazy month for me so far, so I figured why not go wild and post off my usual monthly schedule?    This goes on for a bit, as usual, covering every thought that has crossed my mind for the past 3 weeks...   This month so far has been all about my back.  Around Saturday last week, my upper back started hurting quite a lot.  I put it down at first to increase in exercise - I'm trying to walk a bit faster as well as a bit farther these days.  But it got worse through the day, and a lot worse on Sunday - Sunday night it was very hard to sleep through it.  I landed in the ER in the middle of the night Monday, because I woke up from pain that increased sharply when I took a deep breath.  On my surgeon's (long ago) advice when I first started the program, I went to the ER for his system - Brigham & Women's.  That meant a 3am trip into Boston with me driving, since Leah is scared of driving in the city.  Awesome! For those of us in the healthcare professions, some quick details.  They put me on an EKG right away - no sign of heart attack.  Checked my O2 sat, which was fine.  Vitals all normal.  Blood tests normal.  Actually, my blood pressure was pretty awesome.  Listened to my breathing, and everything sounded great.  They didn't check d-dimer because I have an autoimmune condition - my d-dimer results are always slightly elevated due to inflammation from that.  They did a CT with contrast, and around noon Tuesday, the CT results finally came back - everything was normal, so I wasn't having a pulmonary embolism, either.  The clotting issue was what I was worried about, given some of the recent troubles of @Ronny and @Ladybugzzz86!  I was in the ER for a total of 8 hours, most of which was waiting.  In the end, it was ruled as something musculoskeletal, and I was referred to my PCP.  Honestly, I was pretty sure it was something like a pinched nerve, but you just don't want to screw around with anything that causes you pain when you breathe.  PE symptoms vary widely person to person, but that's a big one.  Plus ,when you're a woman of a certain age, the list of heart attack symptoms is longer and weirder than an L. Ron Hubbard novel, so I just wanted to be on the safe side.  Also, the pain was mid-to-upper back, with no arm pain, so I felt it was likely to be somewhere in the thoracic area - and thoracic spine issues are pretty rare.  So I was a good do-bee and went in to make sure of my self-diagnosis. They sent me home with oxy, which was a bit funny because just Monday morning I'd sent an NYT article to my team about the oxy addiction epidemic in New Hampshire.  Because I've just stopped using my CPAP without getting re-evaluated yet for sleep apnea (bad me, but the CPAP was making it HARDER to sleep, not easier), I didn't take any oxy before I slept, which was most of Tuesday.  I did take one when I woke up on Wednesday, and another when I woke up on Thursday.  That was enough oxy for me - it is beyond me how people can use that stuff recreationally.  Between feeling loopy and constipation issues, whyyyyy????  Haven't touched it since.  I am, however, now out of liquid tylenol. Thursday and Friday were my infusion days (autoimmune thing, every six weeks I do a two-day infusion, about 4 hours a day) and blissfully, my infusions come with steroids.    So right now my back is feeling mostly fine again.  I haven't really walked since Sunday, so today I'm going to start again, just at an easier pace and shorter distance.  Unrelated to my ER trip or my narcotic prescription, I've also been dealing with some serious constipation for about a week and a half now. I'm not very good at remembering miralax, and my water intake has not been the best.  I'm going shopping for psyllium today that I can add to shakes and whatnot, and I've ordered some of the probiotic @cinwa often recommends (PB8)!  I'm also going to pick up some milk of magnesia just to kick things off right while I wait for the probiotic to arrive.  One of my little mental tricks for handling stalls is that my current weight on my ticker or sidebar only ever go DOWN.  When I'm stalled, bouncing around between numbers, I never revise it upwards.  So for instance, right now my sidebar reads 234, but I weighed in this morning at 236.  Yesterday it was 237.  So 234 is 1) what I assume my actual weight is most likely to be, since it's common to play around with water weight in a few-pound range, and 2) my new temporary goal.  At this point I also have to assume the gain is related to constipation - stuff is going in... nothing is coming out!!  (I also tend to gain a pound or two with infusions that drains off pretty quickly, so there's that.) At any rate, this bouncing has been going on for less than a week, so I'm not even really calling it a stall.  Just ... an annoying occurrence.    Switching gears for some good stuff - the reason I tried to increase my walking speed and distance is that I signed up for the Boston Winter Walk for Homelessness with a team at work!  It's February 11, and it's just 2 miles around the Copley area downtown, but this is the first time I've ever - like EVER in my life!! - signed up for anything like this.  My normal dog-walking distance is 1.9 miles, which I do every day that the weather is nice enough, so it shouldn't be a stretch for me.  But dog-walking speed with my dog is not good enough for public viewing.  Sadie isn't happy with a walk unless she has sniffed all of creation on the way.  I wanted to be sure I can keep up with the pack! I also sat down on the floor last night and got up again without help.  I probably could have done this two months ago too, but it's one of those things that it didn't occur to me to try.  For so many years, the impossibility of that simple action just made it... not a thing I would even consider.  But I'd like to be doing more exercise, and I don't want to pay for a gym, so in addition to walking, Leah and I are going to get some exercise mats and work out together to videos - weights, sit-ups, push-ups, planks, core stuff.  And... I'm practicing with stairs.  Right now I can walk up a few short steps without holding onto anything, but it's uh... not pretty.  After years of having to hold on for support, my balance is totally non-existent, and I don't have any strength in the muscles that keep you from wobbling all over the place when climbing.  Every day I do a short "step routine" on the bottom step of our stairs - up and down as many times as I can without falling over.  Just being able to do one is new.  Now I can do like... fifteen or twenty.    When I can do more, without effort, I'll try going all the way up without holding on.  But I'm deathly afraid of falling, so that's still in the future.  How great will it be, though, to be able to actually CARRY STUFF UP THE STAIRS.  Some of my workarounds to get stuff from the first to the second floor of my house over the past few years have been extremely MacGyveresque. Finally - and this is super exciting for me - I can now access the Brigham patient gateway again!  Something went wrong with my account in mid-October, and after months of waiting, they finally were able to fix it this past Wednesday.  I have a LOT of doctor's appointments in my life due to my autoimmune condition. I have to see my dermatologist every three months, and now every ONE month since I'm on accutane; also because of accutane, I have to get a pregnancy test at my PCPs office every month; I have to get my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist every six months because of one of my autoimmune meds; and now I have bariatric appointments all the time - nutrition, psych, PA, surgeon. So being unable to access the patient gateway has been a huge problem for me.  I organized my life through that gateway, and I've felt blind without it. I'm SO EXCITED it's back and I can just look up when appointments are again, and print out schedules! And what I have learned is that my next bariatric appointment is with my actual surgeon, and it's on March 29.  I haven't seen him since the day after surgery - I see his PAs at my regular check-ins.  As much as I would love being under 200 by the time I see him, that is an impossible dream.  But if I lose even 10# between now and then, I'll have lost over 60% of my excess weight - so he should be pretty happy with me!  (and if I lose 20# by then, I'll be around 215 - within spitting distance of Onederland!!!  I won't make it there by my birthday (April 9, first day of Month 7) but May is not out of the question...) I don't know if my weight loss is actually slowing down, or if my weight loss timing is just weird - most of my weight loss happens right after my period, and then I stay stalled for a bit, then lose again after the next one.  Sometimes this bridges the end of my months in a weird way.  But the first flush of BIG loss months seems to be over now.  It looks like I'm in a 10-12/month range now, and I just hope that continues - I can take a slow down, as long as it doesn't stop!  

Kio

Kio

 

Before/After

So here's a before photo (it's a work photo, professionally done) and an after (which is not so professional, as it was taken with my phone in a poorly lit room - ha!). I was lamenting yesterday to my husband about how I couldn't tell the difference. I can now that I've looked at this. Holy crap!     

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Week 7

I keep thinking I'm farther along than I am. The 29th will be my two month, but I keep thinking I'm 8 weeks out... My last update says week 6, but it was actually week 5     Returning to work week 6 posed some fun new challenges. I find I'm not eating as much throughout the day and way overpacked my first couple days back to work. I am still hitting all goals, at least!   My scrubs are loose and I've gotten a lot of comments from coworkers, especially about the loss in my face, which I think is about 50/50 dermarolling vs WLS. There's one pair of scrub pants I bought only a few months before surgery and I have to hike them to my bra line in order for them to stay up.  I did take before/after pictures at 5 weeks as well, and was actually surprised that theres a decent difference in them. I may post them after I do my two month pictures.   A couple times I've hit a bit of a wall energy wise at work, but nothing super serious and getting up and moving seems to help.    I've made it a point to really start getting to the gym regularly and have noticed pretty pleasant effects for the weight loss. The only tough part is getting out of bed when it's 5 degrees Fahrenheit out! I'm trying to get in the mindset that I can go after dinner. I've a total attitude that after dinner is my chill time, but there's really no reason I can't chill for 30 minutes at the gym on an elliptical, right? It's a tough mindset to break, but the couple times I've managed to make myself go after dinner, it was a nice way to get tired for bed and I wake up to a pound lost. Also, have found I actually kind of enjoy trudging through the snow to take a walk around the block. Its quiet and empty out and pretty peaceful.   My rings don't fit. I find this funny because I'm currently about the same size I was on my wedding day (and I was 10-20 pounds lighter than this when we were engaged), but nonetheless, the suckers won't stay on. I got a silicone band for now so I don't have to get things resized multiple times.  have a job fair to attend this weekend and thankfully my dress clothes aren't falling off, but I will need to clamp the pants and the shirt in the back a little to make them fit better. I promised my mom I wouldn't stick with clothes that are too big for me, but this soon out I don't yet see a point in replacing much. I'm happy to toss things as they become too large, but I wear scrubs 5 days a week and my weekend go-to currently is a tunic and leggings,    As of today, I'm 29 pounds down since surgery. In the beginning of January, things were moving so slowly I was afraid I wouldn't hit even 10 pounds down this month, but things picked up considerably after I started to really hit water, protein, and exercise goals, so I'm pretty sure I can eke out another couple pounds before the 29th  

delilas

delilas

 

I can't be trusted

To celebrate my 50 lb loss (yes! 50 lbs! I did it!), I hit the clearance rack at Target. I came home with a sequined dress, a lacy goth-y dress, a lace skirt, and a glittery skirt. I did buy a sensible black sweater dress that I can wear to work, but other than that, it was all shiny glittery lacy stuff. I guess the inner fashionista has made her way out and she can't be trusted at Target. 

But I have lost 50 lbs! I had started out with a goal weight of 185, but I shifted that to 179 - a 100 lb loss - so I'm halfway there. I'm down from a size 24 to a size 20. I'm guessing I have a couple of weeks before I can get into a size 18 - already! 

I'm going to the gym regularly, but I'm still finding my rhythm. I did cardio today and plan to do upper body tomorrow. I'm taking it pretty easy and using this time to get into the habit and trying not to get caught up in worrying about how many calories I'm burning or how much muscle I'm building. I'm just getting into the swing of things and not pressuring myself. I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to be able to go and get everyone around in the morning, so that's been not the most fun. However, my husband started school this week - which includes a free gym membership - so he may start getting the kids up and letting me get to the gym a little later than that. I hope that works out. This 5:00 a.m. business is nonsense! 

Cardamom77

Cardamom77

 

Photo Confusion & Smaller than My Bestie

I recently returned from a trip to visit one of my nearest and dearest friends on the west coast.  Due to the remote location she lives, I don't often get to see her and certainly not in the 6 months post-surgery.  Once I landed in Seattle it was a 9 hour drive to her home and I was BEAT when I got there.  We have Marco Polo'd frequently since surgery (a great video message app) so she knew generally what I looked like but she still said she was shocked at my smaller body.  Just like my mom, when she hugged me, she exclaimed about getting her arms around me.  I knew she was excited and happy for me.                                                          What followed next was five days of shenanigans just like we had together back in college.  We saw dinosaurs (1st picture on left), beautiful turquoise water with chocolate brown sands (middle picture) and every morning I was greeted with a gorgeous view of the ocean (far right picture).  When I saw the picture my friend took in the dinosaur park, it took me a hot minute to realize it was me in the photo.  I still feel dissociated from my body size at this point and am surprised/confused when I see myself in the mirror....or in photos others have taken.  Lately I've not been shying away from photos as much and I'm okay with what I see right now - as long as you can't see the arm flaps and belly rolls!   But really, my self-respect in regards to my appearance has started to come back and while I'm not a crazy selfie taker - that will just never be me - I don't shy away from being in photos with my friends and family.  It's like there is a record of me in life now.  Has anyone else been the subject of more photos now that they are losing weight?  For those that are still waiting for surgery, do you avoid the camera as much as I did? (Pretty much like you don't exist at any family and friend gatherings) My friend and I took a few mini road trips while I was in town and we always tended to do our deepest talks during these road trips - enjoying the sights, the fresh air and hikes through the redwoods.  Before we left the first time I had asked to borrow an extra sweatshirt (this weight loss means I get MUCH chillier than I expect) and she jokingly said we might be the same size now - something that had never been true for the 14 years of our friendship.  I laughed and said, most likely not so give me something that was big on her.  I put the sweatshirt on and it did indeed fit big.  And then, during a trip at the end of my visit, we spoke openly about our weights.  My 100#+ weight loss and my current weight versus her current weight and it turns out I am 12# lighter than her now.  It's an odd feeling to have that shift in the friend dynamic.  In this case, it was not at all a negative behavior towards me but my dear, sweet friend was notably down on herself after that exchange.  I have no doubt that she was/is still excited for my losses and life change but rather than be inspired to make her own, she seemed so saddened that she is at the size she is - which has been relatively stable for the entirety of time that I have known her.  I feel bitter sweet about my visit.  I love this friend and miss her most terribly.  The milestone of 'Smaller Than My Bestie" was not a milestone I had anticipated and I can't quite decide if it was a good one or a bad one.  Has the friend dynamic for anyone else changed with weight loss?  

CurvyMermaid

CurvyMermaid