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About DorkyCool

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 04/15/1966

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    United States
  • Age


  • Surgeon
  • Hospital
    Cleveland Clinic
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

Recent Profile Visitors

2,143 profile views
  1. Hi guys . . . I'm like Bloody Mary. Say my name enough times and I will appear . . . (I sort of keep up with things here with the email notifications). I'm actually sort of exactly the same. Life is challenging and complicated and my husband just had another brain surgery yesterday, trying to resolve his trigeminal neurolgia. My work is challenging and fun but very particularly stressful right now. The thing you really want to know is how's the post surgery life. The honeymoon phase is a REAL THING. About a year out, I found that I could and would gain weight if I wasn't careful. The difference between now and pre-surgery is that my efforts actually have an impact. Everytime the stress ramps up, I start struggling to sleep. When I get tired, I inevitably compensate by eating. Then the scale and my pants alert me to a problem, and I can adjust my behaviors and get the weight back down. My two critical strategies are 1. exercise -- particularly riding my bike, but when the weather doesn't permit, I like doing the wii fit or just hitting the steps in my apartment building. My job is so sedentary and deadline driven -- I can go hours/days without moving, so that's the challenge with that strategy, but I keep at it. If I can't ride often, I ride far. I rode 8.5 miles on Monday. 2. Eating core foods -- If I think I'm slipping on protein or fiber I track my food on MyFitnessPal, but the numbers make me play games ("Oh, I can still eat more today!") To lose or maintain, I focus on eating "core foods" as defined by the old weight watchers plan, so unprocessed, lean foods basically, no bread, one cold cereal/day, like that. I used to eat 5 milk duds a day, but when I'm doing the core foods, I allow myself to have whatever sweet if it's truly special (not a result of craving or temptation). Doing this eliminated a lot of sugar cravings - I startled myself by going over a week without eating a single sweet thing, which I'm pretty sure is a first in my life. I guess there is a third strategy, which is I did have to shift away from too much bariatric community stuff online. This group is amazing, so supportive, and I do read the email notifications. But if I delve too much I start comparing my journey. "Should I try to lose more?" "This person is only eating 800 calories a day -- I should cut down to that!" "I hit my predicted weight loss but these guys are doing so MUCH BETTER!" This is why you don't see me too often -- I have to stay gentle with myself. That old way of thinking (bad foods/good foods, constantly feeling guilty & anxious and like a failure for not being more thing) just rolls me into old habits. So please forgive me for holding back just a little, but I love seeing all your successes and insights, and do thank you for letting my participate this little bit.
  2. Hi friends just checking in. Work has had me so very busy and I don't spend a lot of time focusing on my weight (for the first time in my life). I walk almost every day and I work consistently on modifying my habits to add more resistance or stretching or steps. I eat as I should most days, but don't track everything. I'm glad I DID track everything, because now I'm keenly aware when I start to veer off course. My weight seems to have settled exactly where they said it would, at 60% of my excess weight lost. That puts me at a very happy 185. My knees are still troublesome, my belly is soft and floppy and I have heartburn every day. And when I walk I look at my reflection in the shop windows. My legs look strong and lean. I look cute in my clothes. I seem to have endless energy. I could maybe lose more weight, but all my life I've wanted to be like a normal person, just living life, enjoying my food, being active, and not obsessing about my weight. I am that right now, and I'm not going to risk losing it by obsessing over losing more weight. Sleeve patients almost always lose 60% of their excess weight (bypass lose 70%). I have seen some bariatric patients feel like failures because they didn't lose more. That's not for me. I try to savor this miracle every day. I'm thankful if this post encouraged some people to go forward with more confidence -- there are sure plenty of naysayers out there, but I have no regrets. On my worst day, no regrets. I'm so happy for all of us that we have access to WLS! PS I couldn't find any full body pics of myself except the one in the fur coat. I found that in the thrift shop and I spend a lot of time saying things like, "Winter is coming." But I didn't buy it, even though my niece called me Macklemore.
  3. Tearing up. So happy for you! He is beautiful! Your family is beautiful!
  4. Greer - so excited! Yay yay yay! My heart is with you!
  5. Eight months out. Tangible Progress: I've hit some milestones. After keeping me in suspense for like 5 weeks, my body grudgingly, sluggishly agreed to drop to Onederland. I'm 196 right now, which means I've lost just under 60 pounds and have just over 40 to goal. My latest venture to our local thrift shop had my trying on and fitting into size 16 jeans, so I'm wearing some 16 and some 18. Insights: In the bariatric support group, I complained that my underwear falls down in my clothes now, so I need to buy new. The others started insisting that I can shop at regular stores now. It was very upsetting to me -- I almost started crying. Still sorting that out. Still haven't gone to a regular store -- My Tom brought me home underwear and bras. My kryptonite is feeling left out -- I may not want that food but if you are eating it and I feel left out, now I want it. I've always had counselors tell me I "run high" and the bariatric psych sees more often than the usual schedule. So I finally broke down and saw a psychiatrist who indicated that I am on the bi-polar spectrum and almost certainly would have been diagnosed with ADD if anyone had bothered to take me to a doctor when I was daydreaming through school as a kid. I knew I have manic periods but have always insisted I didn't have depressive ones, but now I'm paying closer attention, and I think those week+ periods when I can't function, have "monkey brain," can't get anything accomplished, can't quite sleep, etc, are my depressive periods. Or ADD. I don't know. Anyway, it has been a relief to have actual professionals confirm what I've always known: that something isn't quite right. The psych and the bariatric psych are both comfortable with me managing myself sans meds at the moment. I've never completely gone off the rails with impulsive behavior, but I've always felt the potential, so I'm glad to have other people helping me watch for it. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think I look like a "normal" (the bariatric department HATES that I put it that way), but mostly I feel like a weight-loss impostor. Life (Holy Crap) Managing my issues is a time-consuming business. My dirty secret is that I spend literally hours with to-do lists, long term and short term goals, assessing my progress, marking things off, giving myself grades for each category in each week. I've done this for something like 3 decades, in secret, with shame. In the past couple of months, I've revealed it for the first time to Tom and my kids, and then the psych's. This, I believe, is why I haven't gone completely off the rails and why I can stay off meds (thank God -- they're pretty sure it would dull my creativity and I don't want to live that way). So I'm a tiny bit more open about it and a tiny bit less ashamed. But in terms of time, Managing Me is like a part time job. My Tom's trigeminal neuralgia is worse -- he's in pain almost continually and can barely talk through a bad flare up (every couple of days). He's also having hormone problems because of painkillers. So between my issues and his, we have runs of nights where we don't sleep. Our karaoke business is going along. It's huge for Tom -- he gets through most shows and he loves it. It's not lucrative but it pays for itself and a little extra and keeps him from being absorbed by pain. Every Saturday night we do the show then drive the hour home to Cleveland (or book a hotel in Akron) so we're up until 3 or later. It's almost impossible to establish regular hours in our house. My eldest daughter's anxiety is getting the better of her -- she's been able to keep working but had to quit school. My youngest daughter is the stereotypical rebellious teen that her sister never was. She has opted out of her education, I'm up early and late monitoring her studies in a way I didn't have to when she was 7. Between drama, psych appointments, and long long motivational conversations, they are both more time-consuming than they were five years ago. Is that how that's supposed to go? My deluded mother is moving to Cambodia to "live with" my brother. She and his wife have never spent more than a couple of days in the same house without major drama, so she'll be back in a month or so with no car, no home, and debilitating culture shock (I know this from when she visited them in India). So we're hustling to refurbish a mobile home for Tom's parents to live in, finally get them in decent, safe, long-term housing, so we'll be free to deal with Narcissa when she returns. So fixing, painting, spending even more nights in the hotel in Akron, commuting the hour back and forth. My database business is limping along. I could totally boot it into super healthy full time, but every week there are other life things that demand my attention, so I don't work full time or study to get certified. Not being certified is giving me Impostor Syndrome. No. Not being certified is exacerbating my Impostor Syndrome. We moved to the Cleveland area because here is where the work is, but currently my only regular paying client right now is located in -- you guessed it -- Akron. So commuting back and forth once a week for them. We do try to combine these trips as much as possible. Out of the blue, my publisher contacted me a few months ago and wants to release one of my ebooks as a print book, and pay me an advance. Which is very nice and I appreciate it and all and at one time would have killed for it but they want me to participate in the marketing and all, and I can't. I really just don't have anymore bandwidth. I approved all their edits with enthusiasm, but it was a total lie -- I never even clicked open the file. In addition: I teach art classes once a week, a writing workshop once a month, and run two database users groups. Food & Exercise Twice a week I do an hour resistance -- sit ups, arm weights, leg exercises. I have significant bat wings hanging down from my arms (I wave them and sing "I believe I can fly") but I also have a bit of a response when I flex. So I make My Tom look at my muscles a lot. I also try for 7000 steps a day. But, lately, not so much. My dominant goal lately has been to build a solid, long term "normal." I've started cooking again and I'm building a repertoire of meals and snacks. I'm doing the chia seed pudding, the protein/greek yogurt dip, the spinach burgers. I record my efforts, take pics and post them on the bariatric recipes group on Facebook. Pretty proud of this. If I eat 3 of those meals and 2 snacks, I know I'm where I should be with protein, calories, carbs and fiber. That's the goal. The reality is more like this: On weekends, I pack food but usually have a diet soda, some fast food, and sweets. With the days off for the mobile home, I've had more "weekends" than usual. Also, on "normal" days, I usually have something sweet or some simple carbs at the end of the day because I'm wrung out and tired and not done. I'm eating a sweet while I type this. Virtually the ONLY consistent thing about me is that I'm erratic and unpredictable. I lose, but slowly. I actually don't mind losing slowly (usually), but I mind the idea that I'm going to fail to reach my goal and regain. For new and even old WLS people, this has to sound terrifying or even ungrateful. I read a lot of posts and no one else seems to be living this way, so either no one is or no one reports it. This is my truth. This is my messy imperfect journey. What I'm working on As I mentioned, went to a psych and working on finding a regular counselor again. Obviously I have more work to do with eating issues. Also as I mentioned, I'm working on creating the lifestyle of healthy foods. I'm exhausted (which is when my eating is the worst), so some things definitely have to give. I teetered on the idea of sending the 14 year old to boarding school or perhaps a convent, but then I'd just have to take the road trip to pick her up when they couldn't take one more demand to explain and justify their insistence on keeping her alive and on track. Also, without my supervision she'd surely get more piercings, and we're running out of intact flesh. My writing group has seen me through the worst years of my life, and I love working with the new writers. However, even though they only meet once a month, it's one of many things I have to plan for and worry about. And, of course, it's in Akron, so there's another 2 hours of driving. On the drive down today I made the decision and passed the leadership to someone else. A painful decision that left me with a feeling of relief. One less thing. I'm going to work with my users groups online rather than meeting monthly, especially with the Akron group. The mobile home is almost done and all the siblings are helping with that, so that's almost over. Art is critical, so that stays. Painting is part of how I center. I talked to Tom about the karaoke show and I'm going to sit out about one show a month. This is a worry because if he has a bad flare up I don't want him driving. Us staying in the hotel is also a worry because then the kid is unsupervised. But I'll assess and make the best call I can each week. I insisted my oldest daughter see a psych, since she wasn't progressing with just a counselor. As I suspected, the psych couldn't get her on Lexipro fast enough, so hopefully she will get less fragile and more independent. So: In Conclusion: That's where I am at 8 months out. Tired. Grappling with 5 decades of eating habits. And part of the Sandwich Generation (caring for parents on one side and kids on the other). 60 pounds down and in size 16's, with a tiny bit of barely detectable muscle definition in my upper arms. Grateful. So so grateful for my sleeve, the support of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric Department, and all you fellow travelers. And protein powder, flavored teas, chia seeds and the people who invented aspartame. The picture of me in the blue shirt is Christmas 2014, so somewhere 245-254. The second pic is a selfie from the show last Saturday.
  6. Step by step -- you're doing great.
  7. Congratulations!!! What a beautiful pic! Your 14 year old's hair is the identical color of my 14 year old's hair, by the way. lol
  8. Jolls . . . You are magical. You always cut right to the core of the question. I don't have any brilliant answers or insights. So I guess I'm also just chiming in in solidarity. <3 Keena
  9. Hi Greer -- Just checking in. Know that my heart is with you over this coming month!!! The kitchen is gorgeous, the nursery is gorgeous-er, and we're all excited to see pics of the most gorgeous-est of all, whenever he's ready to make his appearance. Please tell him that although I have never met him and likely will never meet him in person, I love him and wish him many many full days of laughter and joy, a peaceful homeland and healthy planet, and that he will always be centered in his ideals and strengths. Will you pass that blessing on/in for me? He's off to a great start with your happy family. Although I'm not often on here right now, I get notifications, and I watch the ones from this thread very closely!!!
  10. My 14 year old gave me a hug the other day, then jumped back and gave me a strange look. "That's weird." "What is?" "It just feels weird. My arms go all the way around."
  11. I'm in the same boat -- I put on jeans that feel tight, so I think I've gained. Then they loosen up through the day and it drives me crazy. Getting dressed is an Olympic event right now.
  12. DorkyCool

    Oh, hi!

    So . . . we moved, my kid was in the hospital for a week and a half, my adult child moved home and she's a complete basketcase, and my work went crazy. Two people pm'd me on here, which came to me via email, and thank God Greer's pregnancy news has all been in the Deep Thoughts thread, so I've been able to follow that. Because at first I was too crazed to log in and then I was like, yes, but I need time to explain everything, so I'll log in later. I still don't have time -- I should be working right now -- but I got the email with the "Oh, so precious the eyes and cheeks!" and I was like, "Crap! Eli's here!!! I have to log in right NOW!" Ultrasound, huh? lol Anyway, Hi! Now that I'm here, I've decided to not try to fill in all that's gone on with me, but I will say that , these days I'm firmly tracking and walking and doing well. I write everything down and get as close as I can to my benchmarks: <1300 calories, >75 g protein, >25 g fiber, <46 g sugar (so sneaky), at least 7000 steps but trying for 10,000. I'll update my stats, but for now: starting weight was 254, surgery weight was 243.6, and current weight is 204.6. :-) My NSV victories: size 18 pants (from 24), able to cross my legs although I still need to prop my toe to hold it, I can and frequently do pass the elevator and climb all 4 flights up to our apartment, I run the length of the parking garage to our car because it's fun, and, to be blunt, sex is so fun without the extra padding. My second biggest victory, although scale, was when My Tom and I both weighed the other day and for the very first time ever I weighed less than him (he's a lean 5'11" and can eat anything, the rat). My very biggest victory was when my beloved cousin who is raising her four grandchildren and who talked but never got the surgery sat me down with questions -- and has now begun the process for her own. I know . . . that's not really my victory. But it would be worth it to do this just to move her to save her life. Any downsides? Chronic indigestion (I don't care). Some negativity from a few people (I don't care). Receding hairline (I don't care). I can move I can breathe. My biggest recent revelation was that I was afraid to track my food and really try because every other time I'd tried I'd failed so I felt like trying would break the magic charm of the surgery. Turns out, it didn't. :-) Actually, that was one of those stupid assumptions that as soon as you realize it exists, it dissolves in it's own absurdity. I'm going to skim and see how all of you are, update my stats and then work, but while you haven't seen me, I want you to know that I have seen you, via email, and you guys continue to be a huge part of my success. <3
  13. I'm actually curious about the same thing, because I'm pretty sure I'm a freak. :-) Two weeks after my surgery I went to a professional conference. There was beautiful food there. I wasn't tempted at all by the the sweets, but I ate whatever other food they had, trying to concentrate on protein. I don't remember much of it, or much of the conference, but I think a lot of it was sort of spicy, glazed asian type stuff. I don't really know. After that I was limited only in portions -- I could eat everything, including sweets. Bagels were too dense and I tried a couple of bites of pizza that made me puke, but I can and did eat small portions of everything else, and a few times I went overboard on sweets. This is the second summer in a row that I barely remember -- my GP had a name for what happens to me, but the anesthetic doesn't clear my system for a long time. So, as I said, as I've gained clarity, I've gotten more and more aware. Now I can't eat eggs, but can eat bagels. For the very first time in my life I'm in this serene place with food, eating a beautiful balance of protein, fruit, veg and complex carbs. I was worried when I started going over 1000 calories (like 3 weeks ago, so about a bit over 2 months out), but the nutritionist at Cleveland Clinic said 1500 is fine. I don't want or need that many, but my need varies some based on how active I am. There have been some 1500 calorie days. Today (I'm done eating), I'm at 951 calories, 83 grams of protein and 27 grams of fiber. That feels perfect for today. Anyone else want to share on this? I know most of you have tiny portions. It makes me anxious.
  14. Be impressed with me because I certainly am. My Tom cooks every night, and when he doesn't he orders in. Tonight he and the 14 yo decided on boxed mac and cheese and hot dogs, so . . . no. I took one whole morning last week and really strategized -- how can I get my 25 g of fiber, 67 g of protein and stay at 1260 cals (my nut said 1500 but that's too much for me)? I analyzed nutrients, calculated some sample days and figured it all out, and I'm super happy to report that it's going really well. I know this makes me weird, but my food feels more under control than the first 2 months post WLS. I just feel better and I'm more able to think and really tune in to my body. I felt I could eat anything right after, but now I can't. I ate eggs then and now they make me sick. I'm not sure what happened there, but it might be because of the anesthesia. It took me a solid 6 weeks to come back to myself after I got my tonsils out last year, so I might really have just still been messed up. ANYWAY, all this to say, no on the mac and dogs. But since I'd done all that strategizing, I was prepared. I'd had him pick up frozen fajita chicken, because it's fast and easy. I scrounged in the fridge for whichever veggies we had left, chopped a zucchini, some baby carrots and a half onion, cooked them in water and 2 packs of the powdered broth left from my 2 week pre op, then added the chicken. Really good! But I made way too much. I tried to share but they wanted their mac and dogs.
  15. Yes, practically up the street, from the duplex to a 4th floor apartment. The movers come Thursday -- I can't wait to have it done! We're way behind packing after My Tom being in the hospital for 3 days!