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About this blog

Romans 12:2  "And be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your soul that you may experience what is that good and well pleasing and perfect will of God."

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I gave blood today and had two great things happen...

First of all, the lady who was taking information said to me “how much to you weigh?” And for once I didnt’ have to whisper (or lie!) and I just said 166 like I was “normal people” and then later I got a free T-shirt and she asked me what size and I said large,  she said “that is going to be huge on you, you look much smaller than a large!”  WHAT???  You are my new BFF, lady!!!  Never leave my side and just keep reminding me that I am MUCH SMALLER!!! I think that is my weird  thing I am dealing w/ this month, is being a NORMAL person.  Part of me feels so out of place, like I’ve entered the land of the regular people and I don’t belong, yet, I’ve been given a pass to enter and see what it is like.  I don’t know if any of you are dealing w/ that or if I am just a weirdo but I just have this weird feeling of “so this is what it feels like to be normal” I am not thin or skinny and never will be but I am just normal and regular!  It is bizzzare like I am in wonderland w/ Alice and everything is different than i am used to.  I feel like I don’t belong here and will be asked to leave when i gain the weight back.   Such odd feelings!     I ran into my surgeon on the way up from the train and he said he really doesn’t recognize me anymore when he’ sees me!  Awesome!  I reminded him that just before surgery I told him I was going to be his ideal patient and he laughed today and agreed and said “I wish they all were like you!”  I went to my support group meeting tonight and I just want to scream to them, STOP DIETING AND CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE!  They are talking about eating rice cakes and whole wheat pasta w/ just a “little” Alfredo sauce...what?????  We had a NUT there tonight (tho she never works w/ Baritatric pts, just diabetics, so it was a poor choice).  She was suggesting for breakfast 2 hard boiled eggs, an apple cut up and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter...and I said “I am 8 months out but there is still NO way I could eat an entire apple and 2 eggs and PB!”  She didn’t get it anymore than the ppl at the group did!  My leader gets it. I told them I eat mostly meat at dinner....I just get my protein into me first and if I have any room left a bite or two of veggies, I don’t have a side salad like they were talking about, I don’t have room.  I just think they don’t get it.  I feel like the WLS ambassador to them all, explaining things.  Which I dont’ mind but still, they are just so clueless!

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

My 8th month surgiversary (on time for once!)

Another month?!?  I can’t believe how fast time flies. Sometimes it feels that I recently had surgery but sometimes it feels my sleeve has been part of my life for years!  Honestly I’m glad it’s part of my life and will be with me forever!  Before my surgery I remember wondering would I regret my choice to barbarically have the majority of my stomach severed off and stapled back up just to be thinner?  Of course in my research I found it was not all that barbaric and most people are fine with it.  Obviously I went ahead with it and had it done. Not. A. Single. Moment. Of. Regret. Ever!  Even when it hurt when I woke up, no regret. Even when I was on my fourth week of liquids only, no regret. Even when I was sitting at Thanksgiving dinner eating pureed, no regret. Never, ever once.  Of course now that I’ve lost 75#, hit my doctor’s goal weight, am out of plus sizes forever, lost tons of inches, and went down 5 sizes there isn’t even a thought of why I’d even HAVE a second of regret! My weight loss has slowed considerably and I’m trying different things to see if I can change that up. The inches lost is slowing as you can see in the ribbon picture but my body shape is still shrinking (as you can see in my monthly shots). It’s been a bit of a mind game when my Dr was so impressed, I started resting on my laurels. I added more carbs into my diet and that hasn’t helped. It’s been mostly good carbs (fruit) but I’m responding by holding on dearly to every ounce and I want to make this year work for me so I decided to wait until after Nov 6th to add them back in on a regular basis.  I still want to continue to lose weight and I want to make the most of these next 4 months.     I do like how I feel like a totally different person. Like I’m getting a glimpse into the world of normal size persons and not fretting 100% of the time if I’m the biggest person in the room or if I look dumpy in these clothes or if I will fit in that seat etc. I spend a lot less time worrying over silly (though real) things like that!  I’m still not thin but I’m not morbidly obese either!  My back is much thinner (my front is smaller but loves to hang on to it’s overhang!) and I occasionally catch glimpses of my reflection and don’t recognize myself! (Specially from the side, where i was so big)  I was attributing it to “good mirrors” and “good angles” at first til I realized how consistent it was and my dear husband is always trying to convince me how thin I am because I don’t always see it.  I can’t stress enough how my mental outlook has changed also. It’s too difficult to explain but I suspect you guys get it bc you’ve gone through it! (Which is why it is so comfortable here….you guys GET IT!).  I do find myself in a weird limbo of not being fat but not being a dieter either. Like my friends are either skinny or fat and not trying or desperately trying every diet out there in order to yoyo up and down. I don’t fit into any of those categories. I wish I was able to admit to the surgery bc I feel like I’m playing into the ignorance about it but there is just too much prejudice around it for me to be able to admit to it right now. I feel like if I kept it off for years and was a really WLS success story then I could admit it but right now I feel they’d be watching for me to fall/fail (and part of me is afraid of that too!). I find myself in my old brain wondering when this will be done. It’s been a great ride, but when will the regain start?  I keep wanting to see ppl I haven’t seen in a long time bc this is my thin summer….who knows what next year will bring?  It’s a terrible way to think of things and I’m working on rewiring my brain but from so.many years of the cycle I’m just used to going back up after my skinny season. So it’s a continual process of discovering and growing and changing as all of you know from your own journey! Here’s my pictures from today (I couldn’t find the tank top so I have a substitute one on). And look here, I got my 8th month surgiversary post and pics up THAT DAY and not 3 wks later…haha!   

My 7th month surgiversary (a little late)

It's been absolutely a break neck speed I've been functioning at for the past few weeks. Our oldest daughter had a new baby (our 5th grandchild!) and I got to be there for the birth again, one of our sons graduated, my husband's car died which left  us scrambling for a few days searching the web for a good deal that we could pay cash for and we found a terrific car for only $7K, my husband is having his ordination service this weekend and I am hosting a party/reception for 150 ppl afterwards, the kids program I run at church (3yr-5th gr) started up last week (I have to organize my 25 leaders, write the curriculum and teach two classes every week) and our dear friend passed away suddenly Tuesday, leaving a vacancy in the preschool room so I had to go in there and teach last night which was very difficult to do.  Saturday we have her funeral (my husband is doing that) and our granddaughter's dance recital and then back to church to set up for the reception.  So it's a mixed bag of joy and sorrow and a whole lot of late nights and work. The long and short of it, is life is precious ....and I CAN DO this!  I haven't stress eaten or turned to my long lost friend, the refrigerator.  It may be hard to keep up emotionally but physically I got this. I remember back in the day when I'd get so overwhelmed that I'd nearly give up.  Now with my new sleeve, my new body, my new brain and my new outlook, I don't get that same way. I still feel plenty confident that there is nothing God and I can't handle together.  (Addendum: I wrote this yesterday morning but didn't have a chance to post it bc my brother in law got rushed to the ER with chest pains (he was fine in the end) so my husband rushed up to be with him. He was there for ten minutes when he (my husband) dropped his phone, bent over to pick it up, and passed out and hit his head on his brother's bed! So then they threw him on a stretcher and checked him into the ER!  Turns out my husband was fine...he was prepping for his colonoscopy today so he was on just a liquid diet but he hadn't had anything yet (just a little water) when he rushed off to the hospital so his blood sugar had dropped (he's not used to the difference of fasting with being diabetic now) plus his BP was low bc he has lost weight and his BP meds are too much for him (his doc had cut them in half but may have to cut them out altogether).  So anyway, another brother of theirs left work to rush in and be at the ER with BOTH of them!  I told him to be careful bc there is only one more brother that could come help him out if he ends.up as.a patient, and he lives far away in Florida!!!  What a bizarre day, right?!?  You cant make this stuff up....my life is indeed interesting to say the least! I was keeping my adult kids informed via group chat and they were cracking me up talking about how the guys were doing a three stooges schtick there..."paging Dr Howard, Dr Fine and Dr Howard"!  Haha! At least we can all laugh about their crazy day.)   As for my past month, the scale didn't move tons, which was disappointing, but one day into my 7th month and I got to my doctor's goal weight of 170 he set for me to lose in the first 12-18 months!  Then I went up a few, down one for days and now I am consistently in my 160s (168.6, whew!) and pretty content there. My personal goal is 160 and I would be thrilled with that. I know that is totally doable now (where beforehand I doubted even 170 was doable....I hadn't been there is years. Last time I was in my 160s, the calendar was in the 1980s!!!!). (addendum #2: down more weight today...down to 166.4!!!! I've been losing every day this week...like back on the beginning!  Whoo hoo!  I'll take it!) I am in a size 14 pants and a L top. My pants always look big so I get a new smaller size that seems snug until I look in the full length mirror at work and see the baggy thighs and then I know it's time to go lower again! (Again, I'll take that!) My husband and I walk 3 miles (5 makes total for the day). most every night except when it rains. I don't make excuses.  Last night I was emtionally and physically drained when we got home from church (where I was running the kids program and teaching my departed friend's class in her place) so that would've meant come home, grab a snack (or two) and crash on the sofa. Last night, it meant have a cheese stick and go walk three miles for an hour with my hubby!  I like my new life!   I have my 6th month check up next week with my bariatric surgeon and nutritionist  (a month late bc I needed the new insurance).  I'll be interested to see my lab work afterwards. I'm sure he will be proud I made it to his goal already.  As for the way I look, I'll post my pic but I couldn't notice any difference.  However I know I don't hate my pics that candidly get snapped. (I don't have to edit them and crop out my butt or fat arm etc) Between my new grandbaby and my son's graduation I've had lots of pics I didn't know were being taken and I am shocked at how different I look. Oddly enough, our oldest DTR was behind us taking pics (see attached) at the grad and I was so surprised that my shoulders and the back of my neck were normal looking ( they used to be very rounded and almost hunched looking ).That is a nice surprise I never thought about as a result from my surgery.  I'm adjusting well to my new job and I'm fine with the fact that I'm not off during the summer like when I was teaching. I am getting to know my co-workers which is much easier when I'm not so self conscious of myself. I have a walking buddy that walks as fast as I do so we can get about 1.75 miles in during our our 30 min lunch.  Last night my husband was prepping for his colonoscopy (translate: couldn't leave the house) So I walked without him last night.  I got 10K steps but then kept walking. I had a call to make about the party we're hosting this weekend and so I just did that while I kept walking. Ended up with 14K steps!  I also added HIIT into it and did half the track speed walking or light jogging and was fine, not work out. So all in all I am in a great place and loving it. Never a millisecond of regret!!!    

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

My 6th Month Surgiversary!!!

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

An update.....and my new job

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

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

My 5th Month Surgiversary!!!

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

My 4th Month Surgiversary!!! (belated)

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

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

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

 

My Two Month Surgiversary!!!

(ok, so it took me 2 days to get this compiled!) 2 months...it flew by and I am loving every second of it! I am having fun with clothes again…it’s been a long time since that has happened.  Nothing is tight anymore and I feel so much more confident and I am mixing and matching and accessorizing and just loving it…and I haven’t spent a dime yet!!!  WHY didn’t I have this surgery 10 years ago when I was determined to get to my goal weight and never made it (despite paying hundreds of dollars to Weight Watchers?!?!) I did my measurements and 2 month pictures (I think I will post the pics next month…I saw a big difference in them but for some reason I am still embarrassed about them).  So, after looking at my measurements I think I have concrete evidence as to why my bra band got too big to work anymore and I had to go down a size and why I no longer need the buttons and zippers on my pants anymore….. I lost 15.25” the first month, and then this month I lost another 17”!!!  Some highlights are a whopping 4.75” off of my waist, and my chest (where my bra band is measured is down a full 4”!!! My hips are down 3”, my thighs are down 2.25” each, and my arms are down a total of 2”!!! Here’s the picture of my body measuring ribbons too!  AMAZING, right?!?!?  I never thought I could lose this much in 2 months!!!  I also lost 11.8 pounds this month.  I felt like I was at a stall most of the month, but when I looked at the graph I was shocked that it was almost 12#!!! I had no idea it would be that much! My parents are coming up tomorrow for a funeral and I haven’t seen them in 2 months, so it will be interesting to see what they think! I haven’t told them how much I lost, so it should be a happy surprise! I am so glad I told them about it. So, I am the incredible shrinking woman!!!  And honestly I am FEELING INCREDIBLE!!! 

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

8 weeks out!

8 weeks already?!?! First of all, I can’t believe I have reached 8 weeks, where did the time go?  I have no pain, and haven’t for weeks so that is great I don’t even have pain when I eat or anything.  I did have an issue with my incision (the bigger one that had the stomach pulled through)…it had a “piece of suture” sticking through it at my last surgeon’s visit (12/8) and it occasionally bleeds in the center but it hasn’t for a few weeks.  However, I woke up the other day and it was bloody around it so I took a shower and washed it off, but then it was bleeding again after it.  What is up with that?  It never hurts and when it does bleed, I just put Neosporin ointment on a Band-Aid and it heals up but it has never quite seemed to stay sealed in the center (it never looks opened, it must just have the tiniest opening).  Has anyone had issues with theirs?  I am not worried about it because it is never infected etc but it is odd.  Here are pics of it when I woke up 12/23 and then after I showered….you can see a small opening but it isn’t opened looking now).  Anyway, enough of that….as for food, I am “allowed” anything (except for bread, pasta etc which I have to wait until I reach goal or one year out, which I could really care less about, I haven’t had them in months and am fine w/o them and nuts which I can’t have for a year but I’d like to!)  I was posting today that I can’t really do salad well…I’ve tried two times but it just fills me up and I don’t get enough protein out of to benefit from it….so I am going to wait a while on that again.  I haven’t had anything hurt or come back up or disagree or anything….which is great but then again it makes me nervous since I was hoping for more “restriction”!  Silly that I worry about it because if I did have a bunch of things I can’t eat or that get stuck or I throw up, I’d certainly be complaining about that! So today is the beginning of a new year….2018 has arrived and do you know what one of the nicest things about it is???  For the first time in decades I am not making a resolution to lose weight!  That is the most freeing feeling ever! I was just talking to my husband about that yesterday….I finally don’t have to make that resolution.  Funny thing was last year on this day I had no idea what this year would bring…I had no idea I would decide to get WLS and then have it done and be fully recovered by the time January 1st rolled around again! It is amazing to me!  I WILL lose weight this year, I HAVE to!  Next year I will have to resolve to keep it off, but this is my easy year….yet I don’t want to squander it.  I want to work at it so that I get the most of it and the most weight off that I can!  I have started to do weird things….like doing squats when taking something out of the dryer, and bun clenches while folding!  All things that utilize the new muscles that have found their way out of the layers of fat that once covered them!  I challenge myself to how tight I can hold my stomach while doing certain things and I do twist the whole time I am brushing my teeth.  It’s become in interesting game with my body and its newly discovered muscles!  Oddly enough the fronts of my shins hurt from how many toe raises I do while sitting (like right now I am doing them!).  I figured it can’t hurt so I’ll just keep doing them all!  I have no real tangible idea of what I will look like next year.  I was at Walmart yesterday and saw a cute Christmas shirt on clearance for $4…..and I stood there so long looking at the Large and it looked SO small, but then figuring I would probably be a Medium then, so I pulled the medium off the rack and thought “there is no way on earth that would fit me”!  I should have just bought it to see next year! J  But my used to being fat self can’t fathom it at all!!!  So, I left it on the rack walking away trying to imagine the new me! I had a dream last week….I was in a pageant and I was mortified because I hate being the center of attention….but then I realized I looked nice and was dressed nice in a pretty dress that was very slim.  I stood in front of the mirror before going out on the stage and thought “it’s not so scary, I am presentable”….I didn’t see the face on the mirror, but my face has never been what’s held me back, it’s always been my weight and my appearance in clothes that made me want to fade into the background. I woke up feeling very confident (never did finish, but the feeling was there that I COULD go out on stage and not hide).  I kept thinking of it all day….it wasn’t anything concrete, it was just a feeling it gave me that the fear and shame of hiding from the public is going away!  I like that! Clothes have become easy for me.  I have lost 39# and I am easily out of my “fat clothes” (sz 22) that I had to buy this fall since last year’s fat clothes didn’t fit me!  My last year’s clothes that were 20s fit nicely though there is no need for buttons/snaps and zippers, I can pull them down w/o using them so it won’t be long till they are too big but for now I am enjoying that I don’t have to make sure the shirt is long enough to cover the fact that they look too tight in the front or I don’t have to wear a tight cami underneath to try to control the muffin top!  I tried on a new pair of 18s that I never wore and they were snug but zipped right up….I have a feeling that next month they will be ok!  I am loving this! I have so many more clothes to choose from now.  I used to rotate the same 5 outfits every week….and by that I mean 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of jeans (Friday dress down day) and 5 shirts (fortunately on Friday we wear school spirit clothes and my school has given me at least 10 shirts so I have plenty to rotate through, but the 3 that were clingy so I never wear them, I just might dig out soon and wear!!!)  Now I have so many clothes that USED to fit that fit again so I am “shopping” in my own closet...saving money AND feeling good about myself!!!  One interesting thing is I have lost so many inches under my bust that all my bras are too loose…already!!! It is awesome and thank goodness I saved some on my way “up” because I had to get rid of my good bras already.  I have read about bra extenders but I need bra shorteners!  The other interesting thing that I LOVE is that losing all those inches there make my shirt do what women’s shirts are supposed to do (you’ll understand, ladies) and actually glide over my bust and then just hang down!!!  In the recent year(s) I have looked like I grew a second pair of bosoms and they fell just beneath my first pair and my shirts had to accommodate them along with the third set that was less like bosoms and more like a spare tire roll under my waist!  (that by the way is still there just someone is letting the air out of my spare! Amen to that!)  So I am feeling more feminine having a more normal (one bosom!) shape! (you get what I am saying, right girlfriends?!?!) Another thing different in me is that I am looking for another job…and I have the confidence to go for interviews….I love my job and I make a big difference with the special needs kids I work with but I am not crazy about any other aspect of it.  I was out for 5 wks and got no paid time off. (I actually got approved by the state for 5 wks short term disability at half pay but haven’t seen a dime yet).  Everyone loves what I do but I am grossly underpaid for it. I talked to them about a raise but it is out of everyone’s hands so I am told.  Plus I don’t get benefits, and my husband’s job was dissolved and his severance package ends this month and then we have no benefits, so I am thinking I need more money and benefits for my new job.  I wasn’t thinking a career but now I am thinking “why not?”  I am 51 now and I can get back to my FT career I had at the university I worked at before (I took the school job because it allows me to be close to my kids while in elementary/high school and one is out, one is a sophomore and the other (my one I worry most about bc he is autistic) is in 8th grade and heading to high school next year).  I debate about this all day long but I am getting a peace about it.  I pray about it every day and I wonder what God will have for us this year, but I also know He will provide for us and take care of us, and I am so thrilled He let me get this surgery 100% paid before our benefits ran out!!!  And now I have the confidence to go where ever He will lead me to this year.   anyway, here's my biggest incision...no, it's not T shaped, that is just where the blood dripped down...and in the center is the little part it bleeds from.    

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

HALFWAY to GOAL (#1!)

So, today I stepped on the scale and it had gone down (after a week of nothing, which I am coming to grips with that being the normal journey!).  When I put it in my weight loss tracker, I see that I am halfway to my goal weight already!  That is AMAZING to me since it has only been 7.5 wks!  (actually I could say just under 10 wks since starting my presurgery liquid diet).  And yes, I know there are tenths of a pound, but I decided to let @Kioinfluence me to not count them today! haha!.  So, I am not letting up, I am inspired to keep pushing onward and see when I can make my dr given goal.  Once I hit that, I will celebrate, and then push on further!  I have no intention stopping at 170, and it wouldn't be a bad place to be,  I just feel that I can go lower....especially w/ my support group here!!! I am feeling differences every day at this point.  My arms were feeling dry, so I rubbed lotion on them today and I thought "these feel smaller, is that possible?!?"  The fat jeans I bought in September bc my previous fat pants had worn out (where the thighs rub...you all know the embarrassment of that, I am sure!)....anyway, I wore them today and had to pull them up constantly....in fact I don't even have to unsnap/zip them when I take them down, I just pull them and down they come!  It is time to dig through my old stuff to find the next size (or two) down!!!  This is pretty cool, right those who have been here before me?!?!  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

Tomorrow I go back to work....

I probably took off longer than anyone here....and though my first few weeks were a blur I tried to make every moment of the last few days.....tho, sadly they flew by I am not ready to go back....just baby fears I guess....like will I get enough fluid in?  how will I respond if anyone in the teacher's lounge asks why I am eating so little?  what will I say when they say "where were you?"  or "what kind of surgery did you have?"  Funny thing is I am down 30#....enough to notice if you are paying attention, but not enough to hit you over the head w/ the thought "oh my goodness, she's dying of cancer!"  I don't want to look shocking.  In fact, I am wearing my regular pants (that aren't as tight but not baggy) and a shirt (that I haven't worn in a while bc it was too tight) and a long sweater over it (my M.O. is HIDE!!!) and i want to stick with that while I am becoming comfortable being back.  Odd, isn't it?  I am not ready to be the center of attention (might never be) but certainly right now I don't want them thinking "oh I THOUGHT that was the surgery she was having".  I don't know why I can't own up to it, but I just can't...not yet.  I think it stems back to not wanting to tell anyone I was on a diet bc eventually you fall off the wagon and gain it back and you are embarrassed and which no one knew in the first place.  I am hoping to break out of all of that through this process but right now I am no where near that! So, anyway, for all of you that are thinking "seriously, you took off 5 weeks and are complaining about going back?!?!"....just to rub it in, i only go back for 2 wks then I have 10 days off for Christmas break!   

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

My HOLY MOLY Moment!!!

So I took my measurements this morning and was going to tack them on yesterday's entry but I was so stunned that I thought they needed a post all their own!!! Remember when I posted about the ribbons I was doing to take my measurements? well, here is the STUNNING difference when I took them today! I was so shocked!  This explains why my clothes aren't tight anymore!!!     And my total inches went down 15.25" in 6 weeks ....the best being my abdomen which literally went down 3"!!!!  That is my Holy Moly Moment!!! Here are my weights too.....the beginning weight was my highest....and I am so close to 30# I almost want to count it (wasn't it you, @Kio that said not to count the point whatevers? ha!)  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

My One Month Surgerversary!

Well, I can hardly believe it was one month ago today that I "went under the knife" as they say.  Not a second of regret, not when it hurt so bad, not when the room spun for 2 days, not when I threw up for the first time and thought I split an incision, not when I couldn't walk without dragging IVs all over with me, not when I got home and tried my hardest not to sneeze or laugh which was so painful, not when I couldn't sleep in my own bed but had to position myself just so on the recliner, not when I was on my 5th bucket of protein mix, not when I was roasting turkey on Thanksgiving and didn't get the "trimmings and desserts", not when I stalled for 2 weeks.....basically not at ALL, not one single, solitary second!!!   I am pretty much healed completely at this point.  I can sneeze without seeing stars, I can get up without holding my stomach and  I can wear pants that snap/button again!  I am pretty much all set with my new tool and ready for the shedding to begin! I had a 2 wk stall, but then have lost consistently since.  It may be a pound, or just 2/10th of an ounce, but I am going down something each day now.  i don't expect that to be the case forever but I will take it for now!  To date, I have lost 29.5# in the last 8 weeks.  I am officially on my "forever" eating plan....the only restrictions are  that I can't have any breads/cereals/pasta etc until I reach my goal weight but I am sure by that time, I will have gotten so out of the habit of eating them that I am not going to go wild and gobble them up.  Last night I had a chicken leg for dinner....it was so delicious!!! I didn't eat the skin of course but it was cooked w/ the skin on so it was so juicy (which is why I started my first solid meat w/ dark meat so it was moist).  My plate looked funny since it had just a little leg on it but it surely did the trick and filled me up.  I used the smaller salad plate but it still looked lost on it, I might have to go to the bread plate or saucer and use that so mentally it doesn't look bad for me to see it because my eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach still!  When I eat (usually something pureed), it feels like it sits in my pouch but it eventually moves along.  Actually it is a good system, it makes me feel full so I don't over eat and it is too full feeling to want to drink so it keeps me from drinking....when it moves on, I feel like I can drink again and by then the 30 mins is up, so it actually times itself out well. I have lost enough that my pants are baggy and my shirts fit MUCH better but no need to get new things for a while.  I went in a lot around my ribs (which is where I always lose first) so I thought my before surgery and 1 month pics would be stunning but hardly!  I will not post them yet until there is a noticeable difference, which might not be until next year....haha! So, onward and upward to month 2!  I'm pretty excited still about what my new life is going to bring!   (I haven't done my measurements yet, so I will add them probably in the morning)  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

Revelations at the Salvation Army today...

Well, first of all, I am on week three and doing fine with purees. I have another 4 days left of them until I can move on, but I am fine where I am at as long as I have so many flavors and choices of things I can puree!  It didn't start off as easy the things even on my list from my NUT were too thick!  She said the consistency of applesauce BUT nothing was.  I tried refried beans....nope, they were too thick and just sat in my tiny new stomach (which really just feels like it is in the middle of my chest!).  So by trial and error I figured out that if I put things in my cute little kitchenaid chopper and add liquid like milk, water,  greek yogurt etc, and hit puree, it turns out perfectly digestible for me!        Yesterday I had a root canal which really pained me and I am on antibiotics now so I am also taking probiotics so as not to hurt my poor insides that have been through enough.  It's a pain having the mouth work done but at least I am still off work (they only do the root canals in the day time bc it takes over 2 hours) so it worked perfectly.  When I go back for my crown I will be at work but they can do that at 6 pm.  It works out great that I am on pureed foods right now bc boy does that side of my mouth hurt to chew! There is a lot of drama at work right now....no one wants to do my job bc it is hard.  Well, la-de-dah, so it is, just suck it up and do it!  They had to have the school nurse help out w a student and I think to myself, if I wasn't ever there, what would you do?  (probably send the child out of district at a whopping expense!)  Now granted I am a nurse (LPN) but don't get paid to be one at school but still, these are things that can be handled and ppl keep emailing me about how difficult everything has been.  That has spurred me on to apply for some new jobs in my spare time this week. Nothing may come of them or something might but either way, I just needed to try.  I am annoyed i am not getting paid for my time off (no PTO at my job) and no hoilday pay, no benefits etc despite it being FT so basically it is a stinking job that isn't easy but I do it bc of compassion but maybe it is time to do something I would be better compensated for....we'll see! My husband has been out of work since Aug (still on a good severance pay package until end of January) but he had an initial interview 2 wks ago and got called for a 2nd interview for next week.  His previous job (of 22+ yrs) didn't require him to wear a suit but he was thinking he should wear one for the interview and since he didn't have a current one that wasn't too dressy (from our kids' weddings) we went to the Salvation Army store today.  While he was looking (it was a brand new one and we'd never been there but it was huge and bright and clean!) I was browsing around at clothes.  I found some adorable dresses that were a size 12 and I started to think of my pre-programmed response of "these will never fit me" and then my current mind had to say "you know what?  they just might!"  In fact I am a sz 12 when I am in the 170s and that was the goal my dr set for me and I am sure I can get there (IF I stay HERE and keep collecting support and a wealth of info!)!  So, in the reframed mindset, I began looking around for fun (not ready to buy anything yet) to see what stuff I would like when I get there!  Granted, if you've never thrift store shopped, you have to know that 8 out of every 10 things are totally out of style so it is it kind of hit or miss and entertaining....like "I remember the big shoulders look!".  Still I continued to look around in fun.  I thought "that's too ugly", "that's too stripped", "that's too young"...etc and then I stopped for  a moment and thought "what IS my style?"  I stood there, dead in my tracks and with little tears running down my cheeks when I realized I simply DON'T have a style!!!!  I have been fat for so long and dressing just to hide or be comfortable or not to spend any money and draw attn to my body!  That isn't a style at all. This new revelation really hit me, I haven't actually had a style in years....and it made me sad and choked me up a bit that I am 51 years old and have wasted much of my life hiding and never having a style!  How sad is that? So I wiped my little tears and promised myself that by next year I will HAVE a style and know what I like and what I really LOVE! It will be a huge paradigm shift for me for sure.  I've not liked what I have looked like in so many years that it will be hard to fathom for sure and I can't yet wrap my head around it but knowing that I WILL get there is a nice feeling!  (and if my DH gets this job and I lose the weight, I WILL BE BUYING NEW CLOTHES next year...haha!)  So there is my emotional journey for the day.  No one ever said this whole WLS journey wasn't without it's ups and downs and I knew that but I didn't think about the discoveries (good and bad) I'd make along the way!        

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

2 weeks post-op!!!! I made it to PUREED foods!

So today is my 14 day post op...I made it to 2 wks....which means 4 weeks total of my liquid diet and just proving it to me was a great feeling.  I know we are all on different paths and have different doctors and NUTs and stuff.  And some of you have been able to have soft foods prior to 2 wks post op, so I know I COULD have had foods sooner and survived, but I needed to follow my plan for the fact I need to prove to myself that I CAN do it and CAN follow my "rules"....and I DID  So since 10/23 I haven't had food and now i have earned it!!! Today I got to eat.  I was so looking forward to it, I posted here about it, I bought a bunch of foods I can have and then I waited to decide the big meal! I ended up since it was breakfast, I had scrambled eggs...I added a little cottage cheese and soy milk and used the hand blender so it was thoroughly enough.  Then I cooked it, salted and peppered it and was nearly drooling.  Then I sat down, and it looked kind of silly in my 4 oz container, so I decided to put in on a small plate and used my small fork.  I said my prayers and asked that this would go down and stay down and be ok.  Then I took my first, very bland, very disappointing bite!  I expected fireworks I guess! I looked for salsa and didn't find it, so i tried a little hot sauce (which I am not even a fan of) then I sprayed it w/ butter spray,  In the end, I ate about 2/3 of it but then figured why finish it because I didn't really like it.  The I decided to have a protein shake an hour later and move on, looking forward to lunch. For lunch I had refried beans and a little bit of ricotta and salsa.  It was really thick and felt "heavy" and i didn't want to push it.  So, I waited.  Then later I added water to it and stirred and stirred....and it thinned out and then I reheated it and put fresh salsa on the top and it was delicious!  I still took my time eating it....over an hour since I was watching a show w/ my husband (we usually sit at the table but I couldn't wait for all that time to just milk this small meal).  Overall it was fine.  I remember hearing people here having the beans and I always thought it sounded too heavy...and it felt that way today but adding lots of water made it so much better and I did enjoy it.   In a few moments I am going to go make a can of soup so that I can get the protein shake in before bed too.  I am just slow and taking my time w/ this whole food thing. Other than food, which I really had as a focus today (haha!)....I was feeling more like me today.  I actually got up and cleaned the downstairs w/ my husband today which felt great to have that kind of energy (I didn't run the vacuum but i did the rest of the stuff...he mopped all the floors and vacuumed the 2 rugs).  I had a candle burning and it was delightful to get the house back to where it had been post surgery.  I packed away my stuff from the living room (like my breathing thing to make sure I don't get pneumonia, my cpap,  my pillow, my many meds (they are in the kitchen cabinet now), my paperwork of when I have eaten etc) so it stopped looking like a hospital and more like a living room again!  Also I had a friend came over from my church today and brought me roses and we sat and talked for 2 hours which was refreshing.   As the day wraps up, I am worn out but I did have a great day! (which isn't what I could say last Monday when I was only 1 wk out, I was still shocked that I wasn't better sooner, but today I feel like I got this, I am not as uncomfortable and I am stronger!)  Yea me! addendum:  I had the soup....cream of mushroom, used extra milk in it and used the hand blender and mixed it up.  It wasn't delicious.  It was bland again....but since soup is already high is sodium I didn't want to add salt or something.  In the end, i drank it bc it was warm and yet I am not excited about it.  (I think it might be that they were out of almond milk so i got  organic soy milk and it is sweet and almost vanilla tasting though it doesn't say that (my almond milk will say unsweetened or vanilla or chocolate etc)....so I've never had the organic soy milk but maybe it is too sweet..i just don't know.  Next time I have to mix milk it, I will use almond    

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

It's been 12 days already?!?!

So, I can not believe it has already been 12 days since my surgery!  I am feeling stronger with each day.  Yesterday I had a lot of nausea and was frustrated about it but today it is gone (whew!).  I am anxious to reach Monday because that marks two weeks and I feel like my pain around the two biggest incisions will be gone and I won't even need the Tylenol through out the day  (I tried to skip it yesterday when I was nauseous, but it had been about 8 hrs and I was really feeling it (not sitting, just when I would try to stand or move or whatever).   I am also looking forward to Monday for .....PUREE!!!  I am so excited!  I smell everyone's food at meals and I am still fine with not cheating and eating or even tasting their stuff, but it sure makes me long for something.  At my appt I said to the NUT I told her I so wanted a salad and she said that is actually what most people tell her at their post op appt, weird, right?  I don't want a brownie or ice cream or lasagna or fried chicken, but I would LOVE a salad!!!  Any kind of salad!  I was tempted to try my husband's tomato soup this afternoon and I thought "well I CAN have it on Monday so I am close and I know people who HAVE had it before 14 days, so I COULD technically have it now and not ruin my sleeve, BUT then I thought, "nope, I am staying true to this commitment and following the plan to a T!" Nothing solid has entered my mouth in weeks, who knew I could do that?  I do....now!  So, I also want to know that I can stick to my 4 week liquid diet without making excuses!!!  But Monday, I get to eat something else!!! I have to admit, I was going to post in the first week that it hurt WAY more than I thought it would and I had ridiculous expectations for myself and things I'd be able to do that I couldn't.  But then I worried that the people who haven't had the surgery would be nervous.  However, the more I think about it, the more I wish I hadn't put so much expectations on myself.  I had major abdominal surgery for goodness sake, and even though I had very small incisions, my muscles had been cut underneath!  I was just harder on myself than I needed to be.  I am finally coming around to accept it, but I was really annoyed with myself that first week that I wasn't conquering all the things (like the pain, the dizziness, the nausea and being stuck in the hospital for 4 days instead of 1).  I was really disappointed in myself.  However, I thought maybe I should post it here since I don't want someone else to set such high expectations for themselves and then be disappointed in themselves. But now that that is passed, I feel like I am catching up to my previous expectations and am feeling really good about my surgery and recovery! Speaking of which,  I am doing phenomenal getting my liquids in.  Since I saw the dr, and he said that I am doing fine w/ the 4-6 ounces, that I could have more (since I asked him) and I am doing great.  Since it is only liquid and it doesn't sit in my sleeve I can have more, they just wanted to limit it at first. I drink all of the time, so I am glad I am back to that.  I drank 90 oz  of diluted diet peach tea (1 part snapple to 3 parts of water, I hate strong tastes, obviously) and I have had 24 oz of protein shakes (75 gm protein) and I am now having some broth.  My point is, I feel hydrated about finally and loving it! (I will certainly stop back on Monday to tell you what foods I tried and how they went!!!) 

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

my surgical week....

I know I have given some info here and there, but I wanted to put it all in one place.   I can't remember what I posted  in my morpheine induced fog.  So here's what went on during the surgery.  The night before my husband was out at church running a kids program that I didn't want to go to (too many germs and I wanted to be prepared mentally for the surgery) and our DD and her BF were with him.  He took them to Denny's afterwards (since I never cook anymore...maybe twice since 10/23!) I stayed at home, first shaving my legs, flossing my teeth, packing my bag and trying to have everything together.  Later, I tried to relax by watching youtube videos of how to prepare/what to bring etc for bariatric surgery.  I debated about this since it seems to morbid, but I wrote letters to everyone in our family in case I didnt' make it.  I even wrote one to our son/DIL's  second baby who isn't even conceived yet, but since I know they are thinking about having another one next year or shortly after I wanted to include them).  That was emotionally draining as you can imagine!  I went to bed early since I couldn't have any thing after 10 pm.  (which wasn't horrible since I wasn't "eating" anything anyway, it was all liquids).  I actually fell right to sleep.  I think it was easier since I had already packed up my cpap (which was required for me to bring w/ me...though I never used it there!)  But then DH and DD came home about 10:45 and that woke me up, but I did go back to sleep by midnight and woke off and on.  I got up at 6 am for a shower and to get dressed and then pack up a few things that I had to wait for (toothbrush/mascara/lipcolor...never used the makeup but was thrilled to have the toothbrush!)   About 7:10 am, we dropped DS off and then headed up to the train station.  It was weird taking the train to my surgery but much cheaper (it costs us $9 but to park there would have been $25 and I can't stand to spend any extra money!).  Anyway, we got there at 8:10.  Then we sat in the waiting room for about 10 mins before they called us back. I had to get changed and get on the bed for vitals and to answer 1,000,000 more questions.  By 9:00 or so I was on my way up to the OR waiting room.  Up there I met back up w/ my surgeon, the anesthesiologist and the numerous med students joining us.  After going over what was going to happen, they took me back about 10:25 to start. It was so nice bc the anesthesiologist put in one iv in that waiting room...and as they were about to take me back, he injected stuff into it and said "this will feel warm and you'll start to get sleepy". I remember seeing the inside of the OR but that was it.  Usually they don't start that stuff until you are in there...and when you go in there it is just unnerving to see all of the equipment etc so it was nicer to drift off as I was entering.   Next thing I knew I was hearing them saying "You are all finished and in recovery"...gotta love that part of being asleep for things!  I was stuck in the recovery room for a long time (DH said they told him it would take 4-5 hrs, I had no idea prior.  since they told him all was well (and they had his cell number), he went to get something to eat.  I was in and out during recovery but not in much pain bc of the anesthesia still in my system plus I had a morpheine drip that had I button that I can push every 6 mins to get a little amount delivered right into my bloodstream...just laying there but when my eyes were opened the room was spinning.  When the dr came in to tell me how it went, he was spinning and I kept saying that.  He also told me that he found a pretty major hiatal hernia (which explains why I am on Rx meds for heart burn) and he had to repair it (which I lucked out on having him find it since doing surgery on a HH after GSV surgery is evidently difficult). They finally let DH in about 5:30pm or so and after seeing I was ok, I told him he could go home....as they said I had to stay there for a few more hours and you can only have one family member visit for 5 mins of each hour, so that seemed silly to keep him up there (and fortunately we all have cell phones now so it is easy to give updates to each other). That recovery room was closing at 7 pm so the moved me to another one upstairs that is opened 24/7 and I stayed there until 10:45 pm.  Finally I was moved to a room on the floor (as they hadn't had one available) and set up for the night.     Things were still moving and I was dizzy.  The dizziness was making me nauseous and that was a lousy combination.  I kept using the morpheine pump throughout the night which helped with the pain that was surfacing.  The next day was a lot of monitoring and testing and filling IVs (like they draw blood every few hours and test it and when it says it is low on calcium, they give me calcium via IV, then they'd test again and I'd be low on magnesium and then give me that....I felt like they were constantly giving me stuff!  They sent me down at 8 am for a barium swallow test (Upper GI) to see how the HH was healing and if anything could leak out....it was hard to tell bc everything was so swollen but they did find that i was fine and I was allowed to take sips of water (4 little one ounce medicine cups every hour).  The spinning still wouldn't go away and neither did the nausea. I thought it was from the morpheine so I tried not to give it to myself but I couldnt' make it very long w/o it. In the end, I asked for a different pain med and they tried it but it was not much different (less fog I guess but still dizzy).  They couldn't send me home w/ the dizziness, so they kept me.  I never had DH come up bc I didn't want him to come up on the train then have to get it back and then bring the car etc....had I known I wasn't going home, I'd have had him come up to visit...tho I was lousy company!   The next day (Wed), i had already been there an extra night and yet i was still nauseated.  The spinning wasn't so bad anymore....but I threw up the med that was supposed to coat my stomach ....which hurt like heck to throw up w/ that force and muscle contractions it takes!  So then they couldn't send me home on Wed either!  Again, I didn't have DH come up since I thought I was going home.  I was still lousy company so it didn't matter to me but I felt badly for him.  He asked to face time me but I barely had the strength to.  My sister also asked if I wanted company and I declined.     Thurs morning the nausea was gone (they had put a seasickness patch behind my ear on Wed am and that was helping too I guess).  They were thinking the dizziness was just a flare of vertigo that I occaisionally have bc it wasn't med related.)  Once those two things were gone, I was able to walk around more and so I dragged my pole up and down the hallway getting some strength back which helped.  So I finally was d/c'd about 3 pm.   The hospital is only about 7 miles away but it has so much traffic going from philly to jersey and there were stops and starts and bumps etc so I was dying.  It took about 20-25 mins to get home and I held the pillow in front of me the whole way home.  Pulling up was nice but it was hard to step out of the car. Once home I laid on the couch totally wiped out!  Whew!  I took my meds/drank my water and did the best I could.  I slept on the couch bc the bed it up too high and a memory foam mattress to it is hard to pull yourself up and out of it.     Today i was feeling slightly better...and I suspect I will improve each day.  I am still in pain....it feels like I did tons of sit ups as my abs are totally sore (something I bet wouldn't have been so terrible had I been in better shape and had stronger abs presurgery!).  On top of that, I feel pain where the 5 small incisions are (one is about 2", the rest are smaller, like 1/4" - 1/2" or so).  It hurts mostly when I get up and standing straight is really difficult.  I need to hold my stomach when I stand and yet I need my arms to get up.  But closer to the evening it was getting easier (still hurts but not horribly).   The one issue that is difficult is that I have SO much to do while I am awake!  I have to drink 4 oz of liquid every hour, but not all at once, I have to pace it like 1 oz every 15 mins....I can't have more than 6 oz/hr in case I go over.  Then I have meds to give myself but none of them can be together!  So, I have one pain med every 4 hrs, 1 muscle relaxer every 8 hrs, 1 blood thinner shot I give myself (every other side, so I have to keep track), 1 acid reducer, 1 biotin supplement, 2 chewable calciums (but not together). 1 chewable adult multivit (not a gummy, and pretty nasty tasting), 1 iron pill, and in the end have drank 64 ounces as well as walked a lot.  today I did well but only got 44 oz in!  Geesh!  it is so hard to arrange it all!     Tomorrow I am expecting to be even better!   I haven't felt any regret though....it hurts but I know it is temporary.  I am not even upset about the fact I can't eat anything since I chose to do this AND I want to play by the rules so that I don't hurt my new pouch so I can be successful!   Other than that, I am just glad to be on the other side and ready to start losing...and learning what and how to eat.  I made my f/u appt for next Thursday and after that they will change me from clear liquids (and a littie bit of protein shake) so soft stuff, like cream soup (I can't wait) and yogurt etc .  Then I think I have 2 wks of that before I get to the next stage ( which is @Kiodelicious stage I think...or I might have one more before I get there, I am not sure, it is all kinda a blur right now) where I can have more foods to eat (like a deviled egg....which sounds awesome!)   So, hope it didn't scare anyone off...there were no complications just annoyances and the pain is getting pretty tolerable at this point, so all is well!!!  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

Moving on

It's been a relatively long time since I had my surgery (almost 72 hrs!) and I'm still in the hospital. Turns out that the surgery's stress on my body caused my vertigo to flare (I've had it a few times in the past but not recently but evidently that can be triggered with an infection, illness, surgery or stress. My meds were responsible for the nausea and vomitting, but not the room spinning.  Today that has subsided so I'm breaking out! So much for my "is it Tuesday yet" t-shirt!!!! Haha! As for the pain, it's doable, and every day is getting better!  I have a binder or and a pillow to hold against me if necessary (when getting up).   This afternoon, my husband is coming up to get me and his smiles always makes me feel better, so I'm anxious for THAT prescription!   My kids are home to day and tomorrow (NJ teachers conference, which is why I am off too).   I miss them but they're teens so they won't be draining me or needing my care.  And, just for the record.....tv selections stink!!!!  Nothing good is on...I don't miss anything while being at work, there is nothing worthwhile on tv all day! Meanwhile, I've been praying for @AustinJ and his recovery and @Michael_A who is having his sugary tomorrow!  Happy healing, guys!!! 

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

A bit of a rough start but doing better

I came out of surgery ok (1:00 pm) but ended up in the recovery room until 10:30 pm as they didn't have a room (how rude! I asked them if they had a stable out back for me after a few hours...haha!). Turned out good though Bc I got more 1:1 care. I had a lot of nausea and dizziness, more that I realized I would. The dr said it was a combo of my anesthesia meds and pain meds (morpheine.....which reminds to advise: never become a druggie, it wasn't that fun!) despite having the endoscopy last month, they totally missed a big hiatal hernia which my dr found during surgery (fortunately since he was able to repair it yesterday ....then remember I said they don't do the barium swallow anymore? He ordered it Bc of the repair and he wanted to see how it all was today. That was my first time out of bed (10am!!!) to get to the stretcher and head down to radiology. I was so nauseated and dizzy it wasn't funny. They moved me to the table for the upper GI and I took three small sips and he stopped me Bc my pouch was so swollen. He did see a little get through so it was enough to let me start on sips of water.  I was back in my room close to noon. I was put right back to bed with more nausea meds. I slept on and off until 2. During those two hours, I drank my 4 little medicine cups of water each hour as ordered, like a pro. They made me nauseous but I drank them.  I decided to get up (first time standing) around 2 to go to the bathroom. I nearly threw up so they gave me the iv nausea meds. And that helped get me up. I voided like a champ (or so I was told!) and then took off for a walk. My mind wants to go but my body is saying no. I pushed it down to the end of the hall with my nurse and pole then turned around to go down another hall.  Now im back in my room in the chair and got the morpheine off (they gave me a liquid oxycodeine) and I just drank the 8 oz warm tea that had been on my lunch tray (that SF jello and broth!) im feeling better than earlier in the day. I'd kill for a shower and to brush my teeth! The dry mouth was no worse after surgery than I get at home, and I don't have a sore throat from intubating, and I've had very minimal gas, so in a lot of ways it was easier than expected but the nausea/dizziness through me for a loop! (although it's been a long two days, I am still smiling...and yes, my bangs are all sticking up from all the cold washcloths on my forehead to help with the nausea! And just pretend I have makeup on!!!) haha   Thanks all for your well wishes, prayers and concern!!! I'll be praying for you, @AustinJ tomorrow...and saving you a seat (yes, right now I am sitting!) in the bench!!  We can scoot down when @Michael_Aarrives!    Signing off, the new Tiny Tummy!!!  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

I'm in surgery!!!!!

posting from the OR....how freaky is that???   bet I am the first on TT that has done THAT!!! hahaha! (seriously though, I am just scheduling this to be posted when I am in ) I'll see you on the other side, but MOVE OVER BENCH SITTERS, I am coming over!!!!

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

'Twas the Night Before Surgery.....

and all through my house, not a creature is stirring (my son is in the other room but he keeps to himself, my dh, son and dd are out)....and I am sitting here in a bit of a funk. I am super excited about having this surgery, I sought after it, was glad my insurance covered it, found the surgeon I trust and wore the darned c-pap machine all to get this done so I am getting it done!!!   And I am getting it done TOMORROW!!! However, that being said, I was just telling Austin, that I feel like a hormonal woman which makes no sense....I feel like I could cry at any moment and for no reason. I am not afraid of the pain, the surgery or having complications or not making it....I am basically not really afraid of anything.  I am excited about having it done. So, put those two things together and does it sound like a person about to burst into tears?!?  I don't know why I am feeilng this way! I guess just getting to this point that was so out there in the future but yet it is REAL tonight is freaking me out a bit. I know I will be fine once I am done tomorrow, I just feel a little nuts tonight.  I am glad everyone went out because I need space and quiet (and my poor husband doesn't know what to do w/ me so he keeps asking if I am ok). I am wondering how I will sleep tonight, last night I woke up a lot thinking about it.   I think my body and brain are confusing themselves over what to feel....excitement vs apprension and the outcome is just craziness!   I did all my pre-op stuff today....like shave my legs (haha!), remove my nail polish, and take my pre-op pics.  Now they were a shock!  I had my dh take them and honestly the way I see myself is never as bad as I look (which I guess is a blessing).  I have felt like I was losing so much weight that I thought my pics would make me question why am I having this done.  NOT SO!  I saw them and nearly died!  He did front and side view and then I was done and he said don't you want the back?  And I said "no!" but he encouraged me so I could see the difference.  I was shocked to see such a huge backside (something I rarely see! and frankly I am glad!).  My bag is backed w/ my cpap machine, my biotene and a pen/paper.  I also have a fresh shirt for coming home (will wear same sweat pants I am wearing there) and my hospital pjs.  I still want to throw my toothbrush in but will wait until the morning...that and my brush. I will check in as soon as  I can and let you know how I am doing!   Here's a little update. I just spent the last hour writing notes to all of my kids, grandkids and husband. I cried through each one, which actually felt good to cry.  I sealed them and will leave them near my clock, but I know they will never read them, but knowing they are there just in case, I feel comforted.   Now to get this done!!!           These were on my iPad this morning  the pic of my before and after will be is the screen on the days until app. The other is my home page with the iCal next to the days until.   it's almost here!!!

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

2 days and counting....ahhhh!

I can NOT believe it is getting so close!  Ahhhh!  (that was an excited ahhhh, not a freaking out ahhh!)  I can't believe how loooong the journey felt and how long I've battled this weight and I am finally stepping into the ring to battle it out once and for all!  And this time I WILL be the victor!!!  (I am not unrealistic in thinking I will not struggle, but this time, better tools are on my side!). I have lost so much weight these last two weeks on this liquid diet that I can SEE a difference and that is all I need to plow ahead and just make this happen!  (I wish my scale's new batteries came b/c I want a pre-surg weight...but they will take one at the hospital, right?)   My parents (who I was afraid to tell) came over today and brought me 3 huge bags of my SIL's clothes from size 14-18 so I will have a lot to "shrink" into!  They also brought me an obscene amount of protein powder (I'll have to take a pic and post it) from my SIL.  My SIL pretty much stepped out of the picture and is letting my parents and sister clean out their house and get it on the market and said to trash everything...well, I am glad I told my mom bc now I am getting their "trash" of smaller clothes and unopened protein!   Before leaving, my parents prayed over me and it was such a sweet prayer leading to such a peaceful feeling!  I am SO glad I told them...I don't know why I fretted so much!   So today I am doing "weekend wash"....I save all the wash for the weekends when I am working and I didn't realize how much piled up! I have 8 loads to do...not counting towels and sheets etc.  I am going to do our sheets simply so I can have a fresh set on the night before and into recovery (I remember some of you had to do that...I don't have to but I like the idea).  Then I am cleaning my side of the bedroom floor.  We have a big bedroom and as such that area seems to become "storage" for everyone.  My kids clear out their rooms and what they dont' want they dump in there for me to go through and send out to whomever.  Plus I have boxes there of my winter/summer clothes to swtich out etc.  I just need to be mostly gone so I am not laying in bed frustrated over it or worse yet tripping on it when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night etc.  Then I will pack my bag while I am up there and also I need to get my before pictures done (probably tomorrow).  I do want to check my measures too, because I honestly feel like I have started to melt! I woke up about 5 am thinking "oh I am having surgery next week, I had better go have some french toast before I can't have any" ...and as I woke a little more I laughed at myself.  That was all in my subconscious since I know I can't have food! But that was my old go to me floating about my brain.  I am SO glad they do the 2 wk pre op diet, bc otherwise I might be tempted to do a huge last dinner meal today!  I laid in bed before getting up and thought I am not really nervous, but anxious to get it over with...and by this time next week, the worst of it will be over and I will just be learning my new life style!  Can you believe it?!?!?! Back to work....I can't wait to relax next week!  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ

 

2 days and counting....ahhhh!

I can NOT believe it is getting so close!  Ahhhh!  (that was an excited ahhhh, not a freaking out ahhh!)  I can't believe how loooong the journey felt and how long I've battled this weight and I am finally stepping into the ring to battle it out once and for all!  And this time I WILL be the victor!!!  (I am not unrealistic in thinking I will not struggle, but this time, better tools are on my side!). I have lost so much weight these last two weeks on this liquid diet that I can SEE a difference and that is all I need to plow ahead and just make this happen!  (I wish my scale's new batteries came b/c I want a pre-surg weight...but they will take one at the hospital, right?)   My parents (who I was afraid to tell) came over today and brought me 3 huge bags of my SIL's clothes from size 14-18 so I will have a lot to "shrink" into!  They also brought me an obscene amount of protein powder 27.5 pounds of it to be exact  (I'll have to take a pic and post it) from my SIL.  My SIL pretty much stepped out of the picture and is letting my parents and sister clean out their house and get it on the market and said to trash everything...well, I am glad I told my mom bc now I am getting their "trash" of smaller clothes and unopened protein!   Before leaving, my parents prayed over me and it was such a sweet prayer leading to such a peaceful feeling!  I am SO glad I told them...I don't know why I fretted so much!   So today I am doing "weekend wash"....I save all the wash for the weekends when I am working and I didn't realize how much piled up! I have 8 loads to do...not counting towels and sheets etc.  I am going to do our sheets simply so I can have a fresh set on the night before and into recovery (I remember some of you had to do that...I don't have to but I like the idea).  Then I am cleaning my side of the bedroom floor.  We have a big bedroom and as such that area seems to become "storage" for everyone.  My kids clear out their rooms and what they dont' want they dump in there for me to go through and send out to whomever.  Plus I have boxes there of my winter/summer clothes to swtich out etc.  I just need to be mostly gone so I am not laying in bed frustrated over it or worse yet tripping on it when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night etc.  Then I will pack my bag while I am up there and also I need to get my before pictures done (probably tomorrow).  I do want to check my measures too, because I honestly feel like I have started to melt! I woke up about 5 am thinking "oh I am having surgery next week, I had better go have some french toast before I can't have any" ...and as I woke a little more I laughed at myself.  That was all in my subconscious since I know I can't have food! But that was my old go to me floating about my brain.  I am SO glad they do the 2 wk pre op diet, bc otherwise I might be tempted to do a huge last dinner meal today!  I laid in bed before getting up and thought I am not really nervous, but anxious to get it over with...and by this time next week, the worst of it will be over and I will just be learning my new life style!  Can you believe it?!?!?! Back to work....I can't wait to relax next week!  

CheeringCJ

CheeringCJ