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About heddi

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    United States


  • Surgeon
    Andres Castellanos
  • Hospital
    Hahnemann University, Philadelphia
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass
  • Surgeon
    Andres Castellanos

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2,197 profile views
  1. Lavash Bread

    I love the lavash bread. I am able to get a big pack of I think 16 sheets at BJ's club for $4. Since 1 serving is 1/2 sheet (and plenty for my wee pouchie), it lasts forever. Just saw that they have very low carb pitas as well. Out of the 2, I think I like the lavash better bc it's more versatile, but the pita is great for finally a sandwich-type thing!
  2. Post Surgery

    Me in the year before surgery
  3. Not as much fun as I had hoped!!

    It will get better, I promise. I started at a 22 and could "shop my closet" down to 16 give or take. I dropped to an 18 pretty quickly and my shirts got big and baggy real fast. I'm a year + out and I still shop at thrift stores. I am trying to think of the last time I bought new, full priced clothing and it was way before surgery. I'm still dropping sizes....weight is around 140 x last few months but I've gone from a 10 to a 6 in that time frame. Just bought 6's two weeks ago. From a 22. Yeah. It will get better. It will get more fun. As you lose, your proportions will change. My boobs went WAY down. WAAAAY. The idea of me fitting in a size M shirt was the most ridiculously laughable thing ever, and yet here I am, in a M shirt and not looking like it was painted on. Shopping finally got "fun" when I was in L shirts and sz 14's and 12's Much more variety, I found. Go to different thrift stores. Find some in "upscale" parts of town - you'll find clothes in better conditions and better, more longer lasting brands. I got a pair of $160 jeans for $4 at goodwill the other day. $160 jeans. Rofl. Try not to get discouraged. I found it discouraging before surgery that the choices in the size 20+ range were so limited, and didn't have any accomodations for different body sizes -- if your'e a size 20, you're just big all over. At least now you'll soon be able to buy things that fit your hips and your waist, your boobs and your thighs, etc. Clothing will fit you better. NOw I can go into the store and buy a size 6 pant and a size M shirt and I don't even have to try it on. It will fit.
  4. Sweet Tooth

    Do not plan on being an automatic dumper if you get RNY. I have not officially "dumped," and I have RNY. I have had dumpish-syndromes, but not the everything spewing out of every orifice for 30 minutes, feeling of impending doom, wishing you were dead. Instead, if I eat something that is particularly rich (for me, it's more heavy/greasy than sweet/sugary), I will start to get sweat on my brow and upper lip, I'll get nauseous, but I've never actually really been able to vomit since the surgery. I may have the urge to have a BM (like everything is being pushed through), but no diarrhea and nothing lasting. I'll feel hot, then cold, then hot. Then it goes away. The first time it happened, I had taken 1 bite of corned beef. The next time, I had eaten some duck The third time was with a Dunkin Donuts Dunkachino-- 2 sips. It can also happen if I eat too much, physically -- was at dinner with friends, having a good time, and was just eating too much. Immediately felt like hot garbage. However, this past week I traveled for business and shared a chocolate cake slice with a coworker. This thing was as dense as a black hole - and I had not one symptom. It doesn't happen all the time, it doesn't happen every time, and I have re-eaten all of those things (except the dunkachino...that wasn't mine) and it hasn't occured again. So it's not that much of a deterrent when you can't determine when it will happen, I guess. At any rate, like others have said, don't look at it as a tool associated with surgery but rather a side effect of the surgery. It will ultimately be up to you to decide what you put in your mouth. That is the most impowering concept, to me. It's all me.
  5. Attn all sugar addicts: I have a question

    SUgar addict? Honey, come sit next to Heddi and let's talk. I used to drink 1/2 gallon of sweet tea A. DAY. Every day. Every fricking day for years I drank 1/2 gallon of sweet tea. And cookies and cakes and why have 1 donut when you can buy 2 get one and eat all three off them and have the iced coffee with sugar and cream and sweet flavor and chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk and a milkshake and canoli with lunch. Every day. I had RNY in October 2015. Totally lost my sweet tooth. I think the restriction just after surgery (liquid, clear liquid, soft, etc) by the time I could eat something with sugar, it was like pouring straight sugar right down my throat. Ugh. A year and a month out I'm just...no. I'm not as ADVERSE to sweet as I was in the first 6 months, and I don't dump unless I have something CRAZY SUPER SWEET AND RICH, but for the most part, I'm just naah. I had gotten an iced tea, unsweetneed but they brought me sweet instead -- I thought I was going to die. It was unpalatable to me. Completely disgusting. Took one sip and nope nope nope Your tastes will most likely change in ways you'd never imagine. It's not just that I lost my sweet tooth, but all carbs. I sometimes eat some low carb crackers and cheese and meat for lunch and even after a while, the few carbs in the crackers are even too sweet, and these aren't sweet crackers. Just "Crackers". I could lay down a double cheeseburger with bacon in my past life. Now I'm like...nah. Even without the bun, no. I'll have a salad with chicken, or soup, or chili, or something. A year+ in and I don't feel restricted at all in what I'm "allowed" to eat. If I want chocolate cake, I'll get a chocolate cake. I'll eat 1/4 of a piece, have the runs because it's so rich, wish I could die, and remember that next time I think I want a chocolate cake. I don't have cravings. I don't revolve my life around food and eating. I feel more free to eat what I want because I"m not constrained by my old way of thinking -- meat + veg + carb + dessert. 7 shrimp for dinner. Lavash bread with cheese and chicken. A cup of soup. It's freeing to me to be satisfied with these things, instead of having what I felt was a bottomless pit inside of me that could never be filled.
  6. Pre Surgery

    Me in the year before surgery
  7. My husband obviously knew from the beginning, and it was never an issue--he's quite supportive. We are childfree by choice so no kids. I told some close coworkers once I had a surgery date set. I told other family members once I had the surgery and had started losing weight. I didn't want to "jinx" myself and tell them and then not see results. I think at this point about 90% of the people I know know that I've had the surgery. I'm actually at the point that i can't remember who I've told or not, now I don't see it as any big secret. I'm proud of what I've done and the success I've had, so if it pops up in conversation it's not a big deal like I thought it once was. Every single person, aside from one very early on, has been supportive. And even that person has totally changed their views on WLS and congratulates me on my success.
  8. Oh Energy!!! Prior to my surgery, I was borderline narcoleptic - "idiopathic hypersomnolence" -- meaning, I could sleep anywhere, for as long as possible. When I did my sleep study (years ago), I slept for 10 hours, woke up for the daytime sleepiness test and for that they have you stay awake for an hour, sleep for an hour. I was falling asleep between the tests....the somonologist kept yelling at me that i was messing up the tests. Naps were mandatory during lunch, after work, before dinner, after dinner. I was a sleep monster. Now this was always cyclical with me, and I would go through phases where I was so beat that I could hardly move, and other times where I was fine and never needed naps. In addition to the hypersomnolence, I snored. BAD. not apnea, but pretty darn close. I had the surgery during a "not so bad" sleepiness phase, but I would still nap on occasion. It's been nearly a year since surgery. I haven't snored one oink since having my surgery. I took a nap on Thurs and Fri @ lunch because I wasn't feeling well. I don't nap. I don't need naps. On the weekends, I'm up and awake and ready to go at 9, 10am. I used to literally require 10-14 hours of sleep JUST to function. Now, I go to bed at 10, lights out at 11-1130 and sometimes I can fall asleep right away, other times I toss and turn. I'm up at 615-645 for work and I feel fine. I'm rather sedentary at work but active after work. Energy? Ha! This is Energy Plus. Also not hurting after doing nothing is great, too.
  9. I'm about 11mos post-RNY, and I'm doing great. I don't feel limited on foods and do well with the 99% protein and 1% veg or whatever I eat. I live on meat, cheese, and eggs, basically and it's fine but my gosh, I have lately been wanting something crunchy. I have bought kind-of low carb crackers to eat with cheese and deli meat, but I know they're not the best for me and am having a heck of a time finding anything WLS-friendly that is crunchy. I'm specifically wanting something savory. I've done the baked-cheese-slices, which is fine...anything else that someone could suggest that could substitute as a cracker or a chip? Thanks!
  10. Protein Shakes

    In my first few weeks after surgery, I found i Had best luck with "unflavored" mixed with light / low sugar fruit juice or broth. I am 10 months out and *just* finished the 5lb bag of EOS Vanilla I bought pre surgery. If I never see another vanilla shake again it will be too soon. Great pre-surgery. Post surgery I wished I could have ripped my tongue out. Know that this depend-on-protein-shake time will pass soon and you'll be able to add protein-rich foods like refried beans, yogurt, soft cheese, etc, to your diet. YOU CAN DO IT!
  11. Had surgery Oct 13, 2015 with a max weight of 232, size 22 pants day of surgery, size 48DD bra, size XXL shirts. 10 months out and i'm around 145-147 (hovering, stalling, but clothes getting looser and I'm not discouraged), size 8, 36C, Med shirts (and pants and everything else) The first picture was from September 2013, basically near my max. The pic on the right was from Friday night. You wouldn't believe it but I have a waist--a real waist! and ankles!!! No really. Here's a face pic. Left is from when I was in Spain, Sept 2014 vs last week. I am a completely different person
  12. NP I do want to make clear that (as someone else told ME on this forum) none of us got to the point of needing surgery because we overate fruits and veggies. We got this way because we had a dysfunctional relationship with food and overate the wrong things. I definitely put the brakes on the bad things that i used to eat. No more fast food, no more french fries, no potato chips or other junk. Deserts are few and far rather than an every day thing. So I don't eat like I used to. I don't eat the things that i used to. But I don't feel like my life is less because I skip the big mac and fries. Rather, for lunch yesterday I got sushi--SUSHI. And it lasted 2 meals. What at treat! Dinner the other night was steak and shrimp!!! That's like, every day now, not just special occasions. SO yeah, the diet does change but for me, it changes for the better. I am eating high quality food, I still eat out at restaruants, I still can get things at fast food places, but the choices are better, the quality is higher, the food is better. I *feel* like crap when I eat crap food. I don't have dumping syndrome but I physically feel like garbage when I eat something I shouldn't. Bread sits in my pouch like a stone and uuugh. Fried foods make me feel real foamy--probably the closest to "dumping" that I get. --on edit: When I get grumpy because I can't have that chick fil-a sandwich, I think about how today I was able to go to the store, pick clothes off the rack, and knew they would fit without trying them on. How my size 8's are getting a little loosy goosy. How Miss Triple-D Boobies can now fit into a size M top and not feel like I'm in a straight jacket. I think about how I don't get pooped out taking a walk. That my back and knees don't hurt. That my bras have 2 loops, not 4 or 5 on the back strap. That I'm not "The Fat Girl" anymore. I'm just Heddi. That people treat me nicer, that I'm listened to instead of just glazed over because I'm the Fat Girl. That I have strangers give me winks and smiles. And I think yeah, who needs chick-fil-a- fried sandwich? I'll take the grilled nuggets, please, and a lemonade with stevia.
  13. Don't go into this looking at food and thinking "oh, this will be the last time I eat this" or "i'm never going to have that again." -- maybe you will, maybe you won't, maybe not for a while. I pretty much eat everything I ate prior to surgery, just smarter. I was a carb addict pre-surg, and would have had a deep fried potato sandwich if it was available (with a sprinkling of sugar on the top). I don't eat bread anymore but it's not because "I CANT" but because I choose not to. I haven't had a potato since surgery -- again, by choice, not by force. I eat a brownie---1/2 instead of 4. I drink tea -- stevia instead of sugar. I had chicken fingers -- baked instead fried, two instead of 8. It's all about choices. When you see the results (and you will see results) it will finally hit like ah! it's worth it. My one "guilty" pleasure is beer on the weekends. IT's my only carb, and I'm fine with it. ALcohol consumption after surgery is a very delicate topic here, but it works for me. It doesn't get me drunker than before surgery, and I know my limits, and I know that drinking my carbs on the weekend means that i have to be extra careful to make better choices other times. For me, it's a give and take. Before surgery (as i think we all know) the frustration with diet/excercise/lifestyle modification was that you eat 200 calories a day and exercise for 2 hours a day and you lose 5 lbs in 2 months and it's not sustainable and you fall off the wagon once and it all comes back. Now, it is sustainable. It is long-term, and there are results. It makes it SO much easier to make the decision of whether I want this or that, or if I'm willing to cheat with X or not, that okay, I can have this, but am I willing to forego the consequences? Sometimes yes, mostly no. That helps keep me on track SHort version - don't fear going into this that you will live a deprived life after surgery. Yes, the first month or 2 can be monotonous because you're limited to what is soft, what is strained, what is clear liquid. Then once you're on real food your'e limited by what the pouch will tolerate, how much you can hold, getting full, etc. I'm, what, 9 months out and I don't feel limited at all. I actually enjoy eating more than before because pre-surgery, eating was something I did. A mindless task like scratching my butt or taking a nap. The more I could shovel in my gaping maw, the better. Now, I make much better choices and can have a much more decadent palate because that dinner is going to be 3 meals, not one. That salad will be split in two with still some throw-aways. I have a much wider variety of choices because I'm actually putting thought into what I WANT and what I FEEL LIKE, not just "What is put in front of me I will eat regardless"
  14. New Liquids phase...

    I agree with others. It may be the quantity that you're drinking -- try getting the unflavored and mixing with juice and remember sip sip sip. You're not going to get it all down. You're not going to meet your protein or water goals. You have to try, though. I was able to get protein + low-cal grape juice or protein + water + crystal lite much better than flavored protein + milk or water
  15. Supplement cost

    for supplements, find what your surgeon wants you to have and what you need to have. I was able to finagle with my nutritionist and this is what works for me: Costco gummy vitamins - 2 bottles of 200 each (each serving is 2 gummies) $9. Usually there is a coupon that brings them to $7-8 for 2, at which point i stock up. So each bottle is 100 servings, if I take 4 pills a day (2 AM 2 PM) that's 25 days per bottle, so the 2 pack lasts me just under 2 months. So it comes out to $3.50-$5 per month for vitamins These don't have the thamine or niacin that my program wants me to have. These are both B vitamins. I have to take a B12 supplement b/c in addition to the malabsorption of B12 via surgery, I have "naturally" low B12. So rather than take a B12 supplement, I take a b-complex pill that has B12, thamine, and niacin. I got a bottle of 150 somewhere for roughly $10-$15. 1 tab a day = 5 months worth of supplements, so that's cheap The iron was about $10 for a bottle of 400. 1 tablet a day = over 1 year of Iron I take Vitamin C to help with iron absorption, and that was Costco vit C, several hundred for $10 or less. This will last me months. Vitamin D - I was taking this more frequently because my numbers were low, but since moving to FL and buying a house with a pool, I'm able to get much more VitD. I was taking I think 5,000 iu's a day, but that's down to 2500 now. A bottle at Costco is $10-$20, and that will last me about 4 months. Calcium I get through costco. $16 for a few hundred. Three tabs a day, so a few months supply. I went over all of this with my nutritionist and surgeon and they were pleased with the plan, and my numbers afterwards. I was not going to pay $20-$40 a month PER SUPPLEMENT to get speciality bariatric vitamins. It wasn't going to happen, and this works out financially for me Remember, this is what works for me on the basis of my health needs and with the Ok of my surgeon & nutritionist. This may not work for you. I haven't bought new clothes isnce before surgery. I get everything at Goodwill. Well, I buy new undies and bras. Everything else is a short-term rental thorugh goodwill. Wear it for a few weeks then re-donate.