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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/25/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    My two year surgiversary was last week, and had a my follow-up with my surgeon's office. My weight one year ago was 150, last week it was 153. She said she is not the least bit concerned since my BMI is still in a good range (23.3). My labs were good. For most people 3 pounds is like nothing. For me, it's irritating. Normally I do tend shift 2-3 pounds. I am still under my goal weight which was 155. But that 3 pounds bugs me. :/ Maintenance is not fun. While I enjoy the freedom, I also have such a deep seeded fear that I will mess this up. Each and every day in maintenance you STILL need to be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. Is it worth it to be thin? ABSOLUTELY! Would I do it all over again? Yes but sooner! Some days would I like to just not think about carbs and nibble on this or that? Yup LOL. All in all though, things are going very well. You all have been and continue to be the biggest inspirations to me. Thanks for being faithful to supporting each other <3 And now... for some pics xoxoxo
  2. 3 points

    My 5DPT

    So, I have held the idea of a 5DPT in the back of my mind for when I “needed” it. I’ve been slowly but steadily going up since January. (I thought it was only 5# but when I looked back at my weight chart, it was nearly 10#!!!! GULP!!!! So, it was none to late to pull that fall-back out and use it. I wasn’t sure it would help me lose weight but if it at least helps me kick my carb habit and make my pouch remember its size!!! Day 1: I got up (really early, it was an early schedule I was working that week, up at 4 am, home by 2:30) and made a big shake out of 3 c unsweetened almond milk and 2 scoops of protein shake mix (30 gm protein) and then drank some and left the rest in the refrigerator so I would be able to drink it later (I don’t want to be hungry and be lazy and think “I don’t want to make a shake” so I wanted it RTD. I put it a big 32 oz cup w/ a straw so if I came in the kitchen and “needed” something ASAP to stop from grabbing a snack, it was available. I headed off to work and drank 2 12 oz hot teas (I do every day at work) and by 11 I was hungry. So I had a cup of broth. About noon, I was feeling that hunger again, so I had a RTD vanilla shake w/ very low carbs. I had stomach hunger, but I was also having the desire to chew, so after my broth, I had a piece of gum. That seemed to help enough. I also had poured myself a 20 oz water from the water cooler and had drank that between 6 am and noon so I refilled another. About 2 I had another broth but this time it was a unjury protein broth (chili flavor) which was good and thick and filling. I left for home shortly after that. When I arrived home at 3 pm, I wanted to eat something. Some hunger mixed with some head hunger. I was SOOOOO glad when I got home that I could open the refrigerator and just sip some of that chocolate shake I had made!!!! Things got tougher as I opened the freezer and the ice trays were water! Yikes! I listened and there was no sound (compressor or fan) and the temps were climbing (on our 2 yr old $2000 appliance who’s warranty has expired!). Of course my husband was out of state at a convention and he is such a handy man that can fix anything, but it was up to me. I started emptying the meat that was softening and just then my son in law stopped over to drop something off for my son so he offered to take my box of meat to his deep freezer. What I had left, I put in the garage freezer and tossed some and started to cook some (I had found 6 different bags of frozen meatballs so I threw them in a crock pot w/ a jar of sauce and let them cook, which wasn’t such a good idea for someone on a liquid diet! I so wanted to eat them!). I was on the phone w/ Samsung troubleshooting and trying my best to fix it. Finally I hung up as there was nothing left I could do.. I decided to pull it out and check behind it. Had I known it weighed a ton (or what felt like it!) I wouldn’t have tried but it was a good thing I did bc it I couldn’t move it, but I jerked it forward on one side and the sweet sound of the compressor and fan kicked on! Whew! But all that work, and food and I didn’t stress eat a thing!!! I collapsed into bed at 11:30 that night with a smile on my face that I COULD do this!!! Day 2: started early again at 4 am. Again, I made another big shake to keep in the fridge (which was still working ...whew!). I headed to work, drank my 2 teas, my water, my broth, and my shakes. it was getting easier. I would have liked to have eaten something but I could definitely handle not eating for 2 days (after all, I kept reasoning that I had gone 4 whole weeks on liquids when I was having my surgery!). Day 3: I had a shake again in the am bc at 4 am that is the easiest thing!!! for lunch (11 am), I had a lemon pepper tuna packet and it tasted sooo delicious! I had greek yogurt (low carb) for an afternoon snack. Funny thing was I had forgotten that a yogurt was 5.3 oz and my food was supposed to be 4 oz. BUT my pouch reminded me and I couldn’t finish the yogurt cup! AMAZING! For dinner I had another tuna pouch because it was easy and I was running out the door. When I got home, I had a string cheese bc I was hungry. I went to bed feeling proud of me again. Day 4: Feeling more and more confident. This was my day to “sleep in” until 5:15 am! I had a greek yogurt (most of it, couldn’t finish it) for bfast when I got to work at 7:30. At 11 I had a string cheese and at 1 I had a tuna packet again. For dinner, I had 4 small turkey meatballs w/ a piece of provolone on top but I couldn’t finish it. It was SO cool to have my restriction back!!! Day 5: I had yogurt for bfast and tuna for lunch. I kept up with drinking lots of water all 5 days which helped. For dinner I had dark meat chicken and some grilled veggies but filled quickly. Day 6: I stepped on the scale and was rewarded!!!! 6.0#!!!! Day 7: Scale: 7.7# down Day 8: Scale 8.4#!!! So worth it! My clothes feel better, my faith in the scale (haha!) and my hope in my ability to lose weight again after not having lost all year was restored, as was the size of my pouch!!! I still want to keep actively losing so I am not having carbs and still drinking a lot, chewing a lot and watching portions (all the things we were experts at at the beginning!). I think I may continue to do a liquid day every Monday until I am down to where I want to be and then figure what to do to maintain. Just wanted to document my progress for everyone out there who hasn’t tried it and was wondering what it would be like. It was so much easier than “dieting” used to be. Telling myself “no” comes easier these days as the reward is quick and encouraging! I feel renewed in my journey!
  3. 1 point
    Another month down. Some new, and not so great, little demon habits started sneaking in this month. Messy head messages, really. Because I was still "underweight" according to my doc, and because I have been nervous the last two weeks about a month-long trip coming up, I started letting myself snack way more, and even ate emotionally some. YUCK! Hated it! I gained 3 pounds, which is no big deal as it's in my happy range, but I'm not happy AT ALL about how it made me feel. It made me feel out of control and defeated. Stopping that!! I'm glad that this month is over and the trip is here. We leave tonight for a month in Samoa. It will be an adventure of a lifetime, and I know I'll feel relaxed and happy once we are on the plane tonight! The 24+ hours it will take to get there (in middle seats, in economy) will not be bad as all the prep work will be done. And I have to admit it feels great knowing I can shift from side to side in my seat because I have ample room now! Thank heavens!!! Exercise has been great this month. I've worked up to running 5 miles at a clip and that feels good. And our gym got some Peletron bikes, so I've done a few online classes on them. OMG!! Kicked my butt!! I'm literally dripping with sweat after a 30 minute class! I highly recommend them if you're feeling like you're in good shape and need to be knocked down a few pegs! Maybe it's just me, but they are tough! Good, but tough! I had an NSV yesterday that I've really been looking forward to. I've never been small enough to feel comfortable in white jeans. So when I started maintenance, I vowed to get some white jeans this summer. Well, I live in Houston, and it's too hot to wear white jeans in summer! BUT, a few weeks ago I saw a white jean skirt on major markdown from last summer. Size Zero. It fit!!!! What?!?!?!?! So had to buy it! Here it is. Wore it for the first time yesterday as my momma taught me to not wear white until after Memorial Day. Anyone else get that one? haha! I've added the picture below. Time to go and do last minute packing! ALOFA! (That's aloha in Samoan :)) Maintenance Diary - 1st month - Range 135.4 - 140 pounds 2nd month - Range 133.0 - 135.4 pounds 3rd month - Range 127.2 - 133.0 4th month - Range 125.0 - 128.0 5th month - Range 124.0 - 126.6 6th month - Range 124.6 - 127.8 7th month - Range 126.4 - 130.4 8th month - Starts today!!
  4. 1 point
    When there's a need to open up. There are some things in life that are easy to talk about; work, life, simple day to day things. Then, there are things that you struggle to even face alone, much less involving someone else in it. It's time that I open up about my biggest struggle. A struggle that I've faced my entire life. A struggle that almost killed me. I'm overweight. Those two words are so hard to say. I cry each time I associate them with myself. I have let that fact, and the people who liked to use it against me, almost ruin my life. For many years they succeeded, but in July 2018, I decided that it was time to stop letting things like that destroy me and take accountability for what I let happen to me. My weight brought on a whole list of health problems; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, T2 diabetes, and chronic pain. I took more medications in one day than some senior citizens take in a week. My health had gone to *&amp;^%. I tried to manage things with the medications for a few years, but the numbers always seemed to creep back up no matter my efforts. I was constantly at the doctors for one of the many medical issues I was dealing with. One day, I was sitting in the waiting room for yet another doctor's appointment, and I decided to ask her about weight loss surgery. I'd been reading up on it online for over a year before I decided to speak to her. There was so much information about the success rates the surgery had on putting all of my current health issues into remission. On top of the fact that it would help me lose the weight that a lifetime of unhealthy choices and lack of information packed on. Before I continue with that, let me give you a little background. My mother was a single mom because my dad took off when I was a baby. I think she resented having me. At least, that's how she made me feel. She was adopted, and those people were on and off as to whether they were going to accept me. Many times, being physically and verbally abusive to me as a child, to which my mother never intervened. The people I went to school with were bullies, verbally and physically attacking me on a daily basis. Again, my mother never intervened. She would wake me up in the morning and take me to the babysitter's house. Sometimes the babysitter would give me breakfast, but most times not. I'd walk myself to school. The walk wasn't too long, just under a mile, but it was my favorite part of the day. After school, I'd just walk home and take care of myself until my mom got home. She didn't cook, she'd usually just come home with something from Mc Donald's or Burger King. Both were only a few blocks away from the house on her way home. I would just sit where ever and eat. By the time I was done eating, my mom was usually asleep on the couch. I would finish my homework, get myself a bath, and go to bed when I got tired. I grew up with no structure or security. One of the results of that was being an overweight child. Anyways, back to forward progression. So, my doctor is in the room with me, giving me the results of yet another blood test, and I asked her about weight loss surgery. The look on her face when I finally took that step to ask was one of pride. I blinked back tears because I knew that it was my last resort. I'd tried and failed dozens of diets, always falling back into the same habits that I was in before. She took extra time during that visit to put in the request to get things started. She warned me that it was going to be a long and hard road, but that she believed in my ability to get there. I had so many things that I needed to do. Attend classes regularly, a minimum of 12 classes with no less than 3 in one month before they'd even consider the next steps. Once they approved the next steps, I had so many things that I needed to do. I had to see a dietician two times, no more than 60 days apart. I needed a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea. A complete set of blood work to rule out thyroid or genetic disorders. A psychologist to rule out any mental health issues. I had to maintain constant contact with my regular doctor so she could monitor my progress and weight loss and physical activities. Every week, I would be at the Thursday evening meetings that my insurance required me to attend, and I was amazed at how little I actually knew about healthy eating. I slowly added the new information into my eating habits and forced myself to make sure that I stuck to the changes. I didn't always succeed, but I wouldn't let myself stay off track for too long. I would get right back on track. I was determined to succeed. I knew more than just losing weight was on the line. My life was on the line. There was around one month wait time between each step, needing further approval from my insurance before I could progress. At times, I felt discouraged because the wait times always scared me that something was going to go wrong and I would just get a denial letter. There were times that my fears almost caused me to question if everything was worth it. Slowly, a few ounces at a time at first, the number on the scale started to go down. This time, it didn't feel like previous attempts, because I had more knowledge on what I could and should be doing. I made sure to complete each step with flying colors, showing my newly gained knowledge on proper eating and nutrition. I also acknowledged my past struggles and failures, even to the point that I would break down in tears as I opened up. Each person that I needed to see would tell me their assessment at the end of each appointment. It was a huge confidence booster hearing such positive things coming from them about the impression I made. The hardest appointment for me to go through was the psychologist. My insurance required that I basically walk her through my entire life up to that point so she can determine whether I have any issues that would cause me to fail after the surgery. I opened up to her about my childhood, family, school, everything! I also told her about my decisions to walk away from the toxicity that my family was, because I couldn't handle them in my life. That appointment was 4 hours long and an hour and a half drive both ways to get there. There were two full booklets that I needed to fill out before I could even speak to the psychologist. She spoke to me at the end and said that she was going to submit her opinion that I would be the ideal candidate for weight loss surgery based on her assessment. As I completed each step, my confidence slowly began to grow. I no longer felt like I was as useless as my past made me feel. The number on the scale kept going down, a little every week. I was so anxiously waiting for my surgeon appointment. That wait felt like it was the longest. When I finally got the information for who my surgeon would be, I shook as I called to set up an appointment. The night before the appointment, I couldn't sleep. When I walked into the bariatric clinic, I was greeted by some of the nicest people I've ever come across in my life. The surgeon gave me a list of things that I still needed to complete. That list was amazingly small though and I felt confident that I'd complete everything in time for my next surgeon visit in three weeks time. There was a weight loss requirement, which is common for all weight loss surgeons, that I needed to complete. My surgeon looked at my overall weight loss since beginning my journey to him and decided that he was only going to require me to lose 5 more pounds before my next appointment. I was so nervous walking in to that next appointment because I wanted to surprise him with the amount of weight that I lost since the last time that I saw him. He walked in with a huge smile on his face and proclaimed that I've lost 14 pounds since the last time I saw him. He was certain that I'd get the final approval from my insurance company, so he scheduled my surgery appointment before I left the office that day. I left his office that day in tears because I was so happy and excited. The night before surgery, I couldn't sleep. I was so tired but I was also so nervous. I got there at 8am like the instructions said, and waited an hour before they called me to the back to get ready for surgery. That hour felt like weeks, but when I got to the back, everything went by so fast. They had me change into one of those lovely surgical gowns where your butt always hangs out. As soon as I was changed, there was a whole group of people who came in to speak to me one after another. The last person who came to speak to me was the anethesiologist. He was just asking questions about if I'd ever had some anesthesia before and if I suffered any side effects. The charge nurse was still sitting next to the bed waiting to ask me a few more questions after the anesthesiologist finished with me. Little did I know that as soon as I looked away, the anesthesiologist injected something into the IV that knocked me out. I don't remember anything after that point, so I'm scared I said something embarassing before they took me in to surgery. I vaguely remember waking up in the recovery room in horrible pain. I wasn't awake very long because I heard them comment on me not even being fully awake and moaning in pain. They must have given me something for the pain because I was out like a light again. I slept until they took me to my actual room. I don't remember anything from the recovery room except those few seconds with the pain and that one comment. I also don't remember getting moved to my room, or the several hours after that where I was being cared for by the nurse on duty. She filled me in on everything a few days later before I left the hospital. I slept most of Monday, obviously because I hadn't slept the night before and just had major surgery. The surgeon also repaired a hernia that was found during the endoscopy they required. Tuesday wasn't much better, but I did notice there was a decrease in the pain. I didn't have to ask for pain meds as much as they were thinking. Wednesday, I was about to get discharged from the hospital, but my fluid intake was still way too low and they were worried about dehydration. To be completely honest, I wasn't feeling like I was ready to come home on Wednesday. My body just didn't feel right. So the surgeon decided we would check again Thursday and see how things were. Thursday morning, I felt so much better than the day before. I was able to drink fluids more regularly. I went through those 1 ounce cups every 15 minutes like they told me to. I was also able to drink some protein shake diluted with water without the liquid hurting on the way down. I felt ready. I was excited to get home to see my cats because I know they both missed me. Honestly, I missed them too. It's now Monday night. One week post surgery. I'm still on a liquid only diet right now. I can't drink more than a couple ounces at a time. I don't feel hungry. I have to remind myself to drink enough. I've been adding unflavored protein powder to my soups to make sure that I get enough protein in. I've been working on increasing my fluid intake. Right now, I'm at about 45 ounces for the day and it's only 5:30pm. I'm also at about 50 grams of protein for the day. My goal is 90 for the time being. I'm working my way up there. I don't want to push too much too fast and end up making myself sick or damaging my new stomach. Progress so far, in the four days since I've been home: I've lost 12 pounds I'm off my blood pressure medication I'm off my cholesterol medication I'm off one diabetic medication completely My second diabetic medication dose is cut in half My blood sugar has been in the 80-95 (non-diabetic) range every day Overall, I'm down 60 pounds from my highest weight (when I started this journey) and most importantly I feel like I've gotten my life back.
  5. 1 point

    19 months - stillllll losing

    Hard to believe it's been such a long time since I last updated! I never meant to let a month go by without posting here. WLS was such a huge point of change and disruption in my life (in the best possible way) that I didn't think there would ever come a time that I didn't need to talk about it endlessly. But truth - after a while, the machinery of normal life grinds on, and other priorities begin to reassert themselves. At 19 months out, I feel pretty evenly-keeled about my surgery and post-surgical experience. I have a lot fewer questions these days. I have a pretty firm grasp of how my new digestive system works, and how to manage its little quirks. I do still need this place - it's a touchstone for me, a reminder to keep doing what I'm supposed to do, a reminder that I didn't set out on this path alone and don't have to travel it alone. I think I'll kind of always need it. But I don't check in multiple times a day anymore - or even every single day. I think that's a good thing, because some of those check-ins were out of fear. Now, I mostly check in because I miss you guys, and because I want to help answer questions for n00bs, and because I want to know how everybody is doing. I can still say this, though - even though I'm not here every day, my WLS is still almost always at the forefront of my mind. I'm thinking about it when I get out of bed (easily) in the morning, when I go to sleep (without my CPAP machine) at night, when I put on my medium-sized clothes for the day, when I look at my new thin body in the mirror, when I'm on minute 20 of a long hot shower because it doesn't hurt me anymore to stand up that long, when I park at the back of a parking lot or walk into a mall for a few hours of shopping, when I'm first out in the morning to grab the snowblower and spend a few hours cleaning off the driveway, when I'm walking up and down the stairs without holding on, when I jog from one room to another for no reason... there's literally no part of my life now that doesn't remind me that I am a new, happier, healthier, stronger person. Maybe that will fade someday, but at 19 months out... it's still front and center, all the time. With regards to weight loss, things are still going well for me. I see you guys who had surgery around the same time I did sneaking off into the Maintenance Cafe, and I'm jealous! But I'm not quite there yet, myself. I toy with the idea sometimes - I'm at a weight that I could be happy maintaining long-term - but I'm just not quite ready to call it yet. I'd really like to make it to the goal in my sidebar (140# - normal BMI for me) -- which is arbitrary, super ambitious, and probably not a great weight for me to maintain long term... but which I'd like to see at least once before I say I'm done. Getting into the numbers: In September 2018, at my last update, I was 173#. My weight loss has been slowing down as I go, and at that time, I was fairly sure I wasn't actually going to lose much more. But today I weigh in at 158#, so as slow as the going feels lately, it's still actually going. From my highest recorded weight, around April/May 2017, I'm down 197# total. I can't believe I'm within 3# of losing 200 total -- that number just feels insane! And I'm down 15# since my last "official" weigh in, which at this point was about 7 months ago. (I no longer compare my weight to my sister's, because I'm now 12# less than the last weight of hers that I knew for sure. I feel like I officially live in crazy-world - I'm the smallest/lightest person in my household, and the new designated "person who does all the hard stuff" like climbing, lifting, mowing, snowblowing, etc.) In terms of how it works... after the first couple of crazy loss months after surgery, I used to have a "loss week" each month. I'd maintain within a pound either way of a number for three weeks, and then in the 4th week I'd drop everything I was going to drop for that month. I don't really know when loss is going to happen now. It doesn't seem to happen on a schedule. It's more like... I hit 169, and was pretty happy. Then a while later I realized I'd hit 166, and that was nice, and then I went back up to 168. Then a while later, surprise, 165. It's just sort of a two steps down, one step up kind of thing - but the trend is still generally down. (Honestly - I suspect I may STILL have one loss week a month- but the losses are so small, maybe just a pound or two, that they can easily be masked by how much water and salt I consume on any given day. It doesn't mean it's not happening, just that it's harder to see exactly when.) As for what I'm doing... I still weigh myself basically every day, and I still record new "low" weights here for my signature and my profile/sidebar. The only time I'll skip a day is if I know I won't see a loss - generally if I've had any kind of a "splurge" the day before, like on a holiday or something. I find the scale keeps me honest, and helps me decide how strict I'm going to be with carbs on any given day. I still eat mostly on program, but I do have periods of a day to a couple of days where I'll vary the percentage of nutrients in favor of carbs. It's not exactly optimal, but my keto days far outweigh my non-keto days, and I feel like I'm still on track. I've eaten some stuff I shouldn't have, but I'm proud to say that none of those things are Doritos or Mike & Ike's . And I still can't eat very MUCH, which is a blessing. So when I do go a little overboard, it's kind of like... falling out of the boat into shallow end of the kiddie pool, instead of into the ocean. Yesterday, for instance - as a treat, we went out for lunch, and I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a bag of chips. Then I cut the crust off the sandwich so it was actually a pretty tiny sandwich, and maybe ate 3 or 4 chips, and felt totally satisfied and full. It's not something I would do as anything other than a rare treat, but it didn't trigger cravings or set me off on a crazy carb spiral, so I'm not too worried about it. Most days are still the usual - coffee with Fairlife, protein bar or shake, yogurt and/or cottage cheese for the daytime... and then something mostly protein for dinner. I find that having a "usual" makes the usual that much easier to get back to. (My nutritionist is fine with all this, but would like me to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my meals. I haven't quite managed to do that yet. Maybe it'll be easier now with summer coming - that is prime fruit and veggie time! ) For most of the winter, I honestly didn't get a lot of exercise in. I stopped going to the gym or using the treadmill, and only did outside walks on really nice days - which are few and far between in Massachusetts winters. But I've been doing more lately - mostly on the treadmill. For the past couple of weeks, I've been doing long and slow walks while I either work, or watch stuff on TV, or read. By "long" I mean I spend 1-2 hours on the treadmill (usually divided into 2 sessions if I do 2 hours), and anywhere from 1.7-2.5 mph depending on how hard I'm working. I like it - it keeps me off my butt. As I've said here many times, the one failure of my WLS is that it did not make me magically less lazy! My commitment to exercise is still half-hearted at best. Other good stuff, though: I had gall bladder surgery recently, which relieved a lot of sort of ongoing stomach pain. I had my WLS surgeon do it, and in my pre-op appointment I was stunned when he pointed out to his little student doctor person that it would be far easier to do this surgery on me now, because I'm now normal-sized (NORMAL SIZED?! YES. THAT IS WHAT HE SAID!!!) I can walk as long as I want and as far as I want now, without pain (except a touch of foot arthritis, which is a lot more manageable than it used to be). And it it occurred to me just the other morning that I was just BOUNCING out of bed in the mornings - literally bouncing off the edge and onto my feet! This compared to the many, many overweight years where I would swing my legs carefully to the side and sort of slide to my feet, testing all the way for pain and balance. For any of you out there still in your decision-making phase, I can truthfully say that my life is unimaginably better now than it was before surgery. You know that saying - that money can't buy happiness, but it makes misery a lot easier to bear? I feel that way about my WLS. Being smaller hasn't magically solved all my life's problems - but it does make ALL of my life problems a hell of a lot easier to face!!! And now finally, because it's been so long... here's proof-of-life, from about a week ago.