Maybe not as fast as before, but I'm having a loss week this week. I admit, I struggled this month, mentally and emotionally. Intellectually I know that my weight loss is periodic - I stall for about 3 weeks a month, then lose over one week, then stall again for 3 weeks. It's like clockwork. But somehow I felt sure that this month's stall was different - that this was the stall that wasn't going to break, that I wouldn't lose anything, that I might even end up regaining. I'd gone up about 2 lbs in the middle of my stall weeks, then dropped down one and stayed. And stayed... and stayed - I was 186.6 for ten. days. straight! without variation. Didn't seem to matter what I ate or how much I drank. 186.6 started to feel PERMANENT. The brain is a scary device, y'all. And it will screw with you just for giggles.
But then I went down to 183, and that's where I am today. I *hope* I have a few more pounds of loss to go before I settle into the next stall. One of my little mini-goals was to be below 180 by my August vacation, which starts on August 8th. I know missing that won't mean anything in terms of how my body feels or looks - nobody is going to be weighing me to the tenth of an ounce with their eyeballs! But I just *want* it, so I'm hoping I can get there. Also, if I don't, it'll mean I only count 2 lbs of loss for this month - because my 3 week stall will likely still be in effect by August 8.
ANYWAY. That's enough of scale numbers. Time to talk about other numbers... like my heart rate and BP.
I thought very hard about subtitling this post "Still Not Dead!" My pulse is super low these days. My resting heart rate is in the low 50's throughout the day, and (according to my apple watch) dips into the low 40's while I'm sleeping. I know this because I got a new sleep tracking app, and it requires that I sleep with the watch on. The first night, my watch kept waking me up to alert me to my low pulse! That was kind of freaky. It's even dipped down to 39 once or twice at night.
And then: Today is the 2nd day of my every-five-to-six-weeks IvIG infusion for my autoimmune issues (which don't do me any harm as long as I get the infusions). Every 5 weeks or so a visiting nurse shows up and I have two days of infusions - 4 hours each day. Then I'm good to go for another 5-6 weeks. During the infusions, the nurse has to check my pulse, temp, and blood pressure at the start, once an hour, and again at the end. Today my first BP reading was 86/59! I was like - "Uh, that can't be right, can it?" At my last infusion my average was something like 115/80. We re-checked it a few times over the next five to ten minutes and got 100/60, 95/59, 106/55. I asked my nurse if I were, perhaps, dying. She asked me how I felt - and I felt basically fine. Normal. I certainly didn't feel anything that would indicate a suspiciously low BP. She said as long as I felt ok, I shouldn't worry about it.
I know a lot of you vets have the same issues - suddenly low BP and pulse rates after surgery. I did a search for "bradycardia" and low pulse and low heart rate here, and found a LOT of posts on it (including one of mine, from back near surgery day!). So I know this isn't something to be really nervous about, but honestly - since when have I needed a reason to have health anxiety!? It doesn't help that yesterday my nurse told me how she ended up in the ER a few weeks ago with an extremely low pulse - in the 20's. She had RNY 10 years ago, so she's also a serious vet, but this was the first time she ever had that issue. (For those of us who worry about regain, here's some inspiration: She did regain a LOT of the weight she had lost originally... and has now lost it all again, just by getting back on the program.)
I'm just going to keep an eye on it, and see how it goes. If I stay worried, I'll talk to my PCP about it. But I suspect she'll say the same - if I feel good, don't worry about it! I wonder if this is somehow related to how hard our bodies had to work to get our blood around when we were much more obese? Maybe we DO have the hearts (and heart rates, and BP) of elite athletes from doing all that work!
In other numbers news, I'm wearing size 14 pants now! Granted, they are pretty damn tight. The first time I fit into them, I told Leah it was like having an external lap band on top of my RNY! But they fit well enough to wear in public, so I'll take it.
I'm eating mostly (I'd say about 95%) on plan, and the 5% off plan moments are few and far between. I'm much better at getting my protein in these days, and my liquids. I use Fairlife Milk instead of Premier Protein shakes unless I'm in a SUPER hurry. And I'd say that most of my food still falls into the category of "mushy". I still eat a lot of greek yogurt, some eggs, some refried beans, some chili, some cheese, and the occasional protein bar (I like Kirkland brand these days, which have a ton of fiber and protein and taste "okay" but not great). About 300 of my daily calories (which hover around 1000 each day) come from Fairlife whole milk. I don't do a lot of vegetables, but I do go through salad phases sometimes, and I love berries - mostly blackberries and strawberries, but also some blueberries. I'd love to eat apples, but they're a bit too stiff/woody for me still. My new "sister in law" (Meg's brother's wife) made us brunch this past weekend, and made two LOVELY quiches - which may be the only way I eat eggs from now on, they were SO delicious. As far as meat goes... I mostly stick with easy stuff like bacon, ground beef (in chili or in "burger" form with cheese and lots of mustard). And lately, scallops! What else... oh, so those Mission carb balance tortillas with 4g net carbs and a whole bunch of fiber? I eat those sometimes. Usually with refried beans in the middle and a bunch of shredded cheese melted on it, and then dipped in greek yogurt (which is exactly like sour cream!). Leah makes fajitas some nights, and I'll spread guac on one of those tortillas and then shred chicken on top of it, and layer on onions and some sour cream. It is FABULOUS, and essentially the only way I can eat chicken - which 9 times out of 10 is just too dry for me.
With regard to exercise - I'm still mostly walking. But I have joined a gym and intend to start using it! I just need to get through this infusion, which takes a lot out of me for a couple of days, and then I'm going back in to start my official workouts! I'm smaller now, but ready to get STRONGER too.
Finally - I FINALLY had a follow-up appointment with my actual surgeon! I had most of my immediate follow-up with his PAs and with the NUT. I was supposed to meet with the surgeon at 6 months, but it was rescheduled... and then rescheduled again... and then again. The last time I asked what was up, and learned he had had some health issues of his own. But I did see him last month, and it went great. He was really impressed with my progress - he said I had lost over 70% of my excess weight in just 9 months, and if I never lost another pound I was still one of the best outcomes he'd had. Then he went on to say that he expected I would keep losing for a while yet - and asked me how I was doing with loose skin, etc. So we talked about that for a while, and he said if I ever wanted to have anything done, just let him know, and he'd refer me to a great plastic surgeon. And he told me to document EVERY skin issue I had, no matter how small, to make a case for insurance covering it. I made a point of telling him that I'd really been looking forward to meeting with him just so I could thank him, because he had changed my life for the better in ways I couldn't even begin to describe - and he said I'd just made his day.
So another month down - two more to go before my Surgiversary! I can't wait to get there, and see where I've landed after a full year. I have Great Expectations.