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About Obsidian

  • Rank
  • Birthday December 15

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Florence, KY
  • Interests
    Music, Baseball, Hockey, Cincinnati Cyclones, Columbus Bluejackets, Boston Bruins, Travelling, Cruising, Beaches, Sailing, I've got a lot of interests... lol
  • Age


  • Hospital
    St. Elizabeth
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Vertical Sleeve

Recent Profile Visitors

738 profile views
  1. Dr. Callery, I know this issue is mentioned a lot, but I have a concern regarding surgery. Namely, the need for it. When I started this journey, I initially went into a visit with my PCP (first time with new doctor). The doctor, personality wise, was excellent and meets my needs. He's honest, he can be a coach instead of a guide (advised he would absolutely hold me responsible for things that I say I'll do), and he was very even tempered and didn't brow-beat me to death (this has been my usual experience). I told him that I was interested in quitting smoking, losing weight and that I had started down this path with my old PCP but could no longer go to him due to a switch in insurance. My last PCP had assisted me with severe sleep apnea and working together I was able to get treated and now have a BiPAP that I use religiously. So, to cut to the chase, Doctor prescribed Welbutrin XL for the smoking. Gave me some basic instructions and voila, I've been smoke free for going on two months. The Welbutrin plus knowing I couldn't continue my journey really got me in gear and helped me get through the rough days where I craved constantly. Now I barely crave them. However, when I had mentioned interest in anorexants (sp?) to my doctor, he seemed to dismiss them. I told my doctor that I seldom feel full, that I mindlessly eat, and that I sabotage eat (you ate two slices of pizza, might as well eat two more, etc.) Either way, I thought that I would like to try medically resolving the issue and, worse case scenario, if I wasn't able to lose, then I could at least say that I've exhausted all options prior to having surgery. My doctor AND my surgeon both advised that because of my BMI being 50 at the time and because of my comorbidity (sleep apnea) that I should skip the medicine and go straight to surgery. I know I'm second guessing Doctors who have years of instruction and experience, but this seems a bit forced to me. Especially with asking about anorexants point blank to both my PCP and my Surgeon. I understand that documented losses are minimal, and that long term losses are smaller still. However, I've been able to lose weight before, and I feel like I'm motivated this time to make a permanent life change. If I can get the weight off this time, I won't allow myself to fall into old habits. I'm more educated and focused about things now, especially knowing that I quit smoking. Quitting smoking has really helped my confidence; it was something I never thought I'd do. To add some tertiary information, I've stopped drinking all soda, I've followed the 'Portioned Plate' advice from my nutritionist. I've been creating weekly menus for the entire day, and holding fast to them, keeping myself accountable. I've been eating lean protein, non-starchy vegetables and healthy whole wheat grains (when necessary), taking my vitamins and loading up on water. I've went from zero exercise in a sedentary office environment to standing while I work, and walking on my lunches and breaks (at least 2.5 miles/day). My weight is falling off of me and I can already tell a difference in my body. HOWEVER, I still have those afternoon/pre-dinner cravings where I know I'm not really hungry yet, and if I eat now I'm just going to ruin my appetite for dinner. THIS SPECIFIC TIME is when I wish I insisted that I had an anorexant. If I had that, and hadn't snacked before dinner unnecessarily, how much extra could I have lost? Sorry for this monolith of text, but I wanted to be thorough. I like my PCP very much and feel he wouldn't lead me astray, I like my surgeon and my nutritionist. I just feel like if I go along with this surgery and I don't at least try the anorexants, that I'm going to wonder the rest of my life. Curiosity killing the cat, here? Of note, I am not diagnosed with hypertension but I was notified that I have elevated blood pressure (probably should have mentioned this earlier but I seriously just remembered...). I think this was one of the reasons my PCP gave pause. I know that my blood pressure will be under control at my next visit. I've lost weight and quit smoking, and I had chain smoked before I went in to see my PCP, and I had severe reservations about going to the doctor (I have an irrational fear of Doctors, nothing personal). I'm feeling great! Loving the exercise! My blood pressure is 'normal' enough for me to give platelets again (something I couldn't do because of BP before). If that is the case and my blood pressure is stable and normal, should I push the issue with the medicine route or should I give up on suggesting it and continue with the surgery? I know surgery will alter my set-point and I'm honestly EXCITED about the surgery and the tool of a smaller stomach. I'd just hate to jump straight to 'the end' for expedience and risk skipping a crucial chapter. Thanks for you time and consideration and if you need to bill me for an hour, I understand. Highest Weight: ~360 Beginning Weight: 355 Current Weight: 338
  2. Yeah, like I may have mentioned, I live in Kentucky and it's about the cheapest place for decent quality cigarettes in the developed world. I can buy a carton of top quality cigarettes for $38.00 including tax, and that's if the cigarette companies aren't offering incentives. Sometimes I can buy a pack of 20 of my favorite brand for $2.50. It used to be because Kentucky earned a lot of money from tobacco taxes because that's literally all that used to be grown on farms here. You never saw corn or soy. When I was a kid I worked tobacco fields for extra money during the summer. Every field and bottom you'd see in my area of Kentucky was covered in Tobacco. Now all of those farms are shut down or have switched to corn or soy. I'd say Kentucky cigarette taxes are due to go through the roof, because we simply aren't growing it anymore. As far as the pizza incident, I'm giving myself a bit of a reprieve on it. I mean, after all, it's done and over with. I'm 4 months out from surgery and I'm still working out healthy eating habits. The fact that I've lost weight while quitting smoking is a big deal for me. I always thought I'd gain when I quit. But one thing is for sure, if I can get this eating under control, my weight is going to fall off. Like I said, I'm exercising like crazy now. Walking through the pain and discomfort and reminding myself that every painful step I take now is one less painful step I'll have to take in the future. Thanks for the kind words.
  3. Thank you for the kind words. As far as weight gain from the pizza disaster, just an FYI, I'm pre-op, so your mileage may vary. I didn't necessarily GAIN weight from it, but I did notice I hadn't lost as much as I had planned on losing that week, I'm my eating habits were directly to blame, because I have been exercising my ever-loving butt off. I'm walking 2+ miles a day on hilly terrain and I'm being very careful with portion size and what I'm putting in my mouth. I'm trying to get used to eating habits that I'll have to make after surgery, that way I don't struggle with them after.
  4. Well, the weekend has come and gone and progress has been made in several areas. Today I am 1 month, 2 weeks, 2 hours and 10 minutes smoke free (as of 10:30 AM). According to my app, I've been smoke free for 961.11 hours, I've saved $200.25 and I've not smoked 1,001 Pall Mall Light 100's (or 5 cartons-worth). I would reward myself with some type of treat, a movie, some electronics, etc., but unfortunately(?) my wife's budget has cannibalized the 'Cigarette Budget' and added it to the 'New Car Fund'. Fair enough. I'd just waste it on crap anyway. This weekend was a very productive one, though it almost turned out to be a bust. Friday evening I let myself go and ate half of a large Pizza Hut pizza. Maybe you've been there before, and maybe you haven't, but it's a weird experience in retrospect. I had one slice of pizza, then another, then another and another. I went to bed with my stomach aching and feeling like a slob and a loser. I wasn't even that hungry. It just felt good to eat. I felt dejected and sad; worse than if I had smoked a cigarette, or even a pack of cigarettes. Saturday I couldn't do much of anything because we had family over, one of which who has had Bariatric Surgery recently. We ate pretty sensible on Saturday. One weird thing I tried that I hadn't tried before was a lettuce wrapped sandwich from Jimmy Johns. Everyone wanted Jimmy Johns for some reason. I just ended up pulling the lettuce off and eating the meet and cheese. The lettuce wrap did not work as intended, in my personal opinion. It was well done, but too much. Sunday, I knew I had to atone. Luckily it was a very sunny day out, even though it was only in the mid-30's. I had to run to the office to take care of something I had forgotten about on Friday, and since my office is right on the Ohio River, I figured I'd go for a stroll, and considering I'm not under the constraints of work, I could stroll as long as I wanted. I sat my Samsung Fit2 for an hour's walk and set out fully intending to walk a lot more than that. And boy did I walk. I just kept walking and walking and did a circuit through three cities! I started in Covington, crossed over into Cincinnati, walked around the newly developed Smale Riverfront Park and passed my beloved Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds. I did some exploring then crossed a bridge over into Newport, KY and then walked back through to Covington, KY where I started. My results were as follows: Time Spent Walking: 01:36:03 (stopped and started a lot to take pictures) Distance: 4.04 mi Total Calories Burned: 722 Cal (According to Samsung SHealth) Average Speed: 3 MPH Max Speed: 5.5 MPH (Damned techno) Total Ascent: .59 mi Avg. Heart Rate: 119 bpm Max. Heart Rate: 146 bpm I don't care too much for all of the 'Total Ascent' and some of the other measurements. I care most for the distance and the time spent. I know that it's a lot of up and down hill stuff, it's not all flat walking, and I know my average heart rate would be higher but I stopped a lot to take pictures (in the span of 90 minutes I took a total of 75 unique pictures, two movies, and 5 panoramic pictures for reference. Next time I walk I intend on doing so without the camera. At any rate, Sunday I did well on my food log. I ate ~800 calories and burned about 722 according to Samsung. If you read this far, can you tell me if you think that is healthy? I know asking health questions to anyone outside of my doctor is frowned upon, but I'm curious and I feel okay, don't want to bug the physicians unless I'm really feeling funky. Sorry, wanted to get this blog finished before I have to leave for my kid's doctor's appointment. She's 15 months old today, and I've got a feeling that it's immunization city for her. Pray that we have a nurse that doesn't drag the process out. Most nurses can give 3 or 4 jabs in the blink of an eye and I can distract her from them. The last one put about half a minute or more between each shot and poor baby girl did not appreciate that at all. Neither did mommy or daddy.
  5. Glad you went through and came out the other side! Just remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You've already completed one journey, now you're starting a second! Keep positive and keep reminding yourself of your goals and why you went through with this in the first place. If someone tries to chip away at your progress or rain on your parade, don't give them the time of day. At the end of the day you're responsible for you, and if people want to hate, they're going to regardless. Everyone else wishes you well and good luck!
  6. At this point, as a smoker who doesn't want to smoke anymore anyway, I've kind of gotten resigned to the fact that I've got to jump through extra hoops and endure my Two Minutes Hate in any particular junction of my life. My salve is that I know I've rounded a corner this time, and also that I've been fat for the better part of ~30 years. I can handle waiting for treatment for an extra 3 months. I have a pretty easy going temper though, especially when I feel resigned towards something. My PCP prescribed Welbutron XL (sp?) 300 mg. My problem has been remembering to take it. I justify learning to remember as practice for when I end up having to take a daily vitamin supplement. The Welbutron, I suppose, has worked pretty well. I say I suppose because honestly I was as miserable as I have ever been, but I actually did it this time, as opposed to the other times. Whether this was due to the medicine or because I knew I would not be able to progress with possible BS if I didn't is certainly up for debate. Thanks for the comment, that's pretty much how I'm attacking this. One foot at a time. This time two months ago my journey hadn't even started. Now I'm two months in, developing healthy habits and excited to continue this Bataan Death March.
  7. Absolutely! I'm 4.5 months out from surgery. My insurance says 3 months, but has a provision for smokers that they must be 6 months off the stuff before surgery can be approved. So, eh, what's 6 months compared to ~30 years? My aunt and uncle (the folks alluded to above) kind of know the score, just not EVERYTHING about the surgery. They think it's potential, not in stone, and honestly, they're technically not wrong. But my aunt was very hospitable and served grilled 4 oz pork chops with fresh green beans, roasted potatoes and macaroni and cheese. I had one pork chop, a serving of green beans and roasted potatoes and skipped the macaroni and cheese. I would have skipped the roasted potatoes, too, but here was my excuse: Prior to eating dinner, I have consumed (of my own volition) 533 calories, most of which were protein. I had also walked 2.2 miles of a hilly walk at 3.5 - 4 MPH, which is just a hitch below jogging, while climbing stairs as they come (and there were plenty), which, according to Samsung S Health equated to an estimated 300+- calorie burn. So, if those numbers are to be believed, my net calories before dinner were somewhere around 233 and it was 7:00 PM. So I ate the ****ed potatoes. hahaha
  8. I'm with you there. I'm this way with Hockey. I grew up in Eastern Kentucky. Not exactly a hockey region. Huntington, WV, however, did have a minor league hockey team that my uncle had season tickets to. I've been a fan of the sport since I was very young, but it's the one sport I never got to play, at least on actual ice. Like I posted in my blog, that's one of my goals. There is a rec league here in Cincinnati for adults of all skill levels. Other than being around as long as possible for my wife and daughter, that goal is the one I'm most excited to reach. Anyway, I'll not make the comments section of your blog a messaging service. Thanks for the reads and responses.
  9. I'm with you on the clothes box. I have a large tub of clothes in my basement storage that I mournfully walk past every time I go down there. Unfortunately these clothes are a decade old and I'm going to look very silly breaking them out and wearing them again. But I'll be damned if I won't. Not all are bad, but none are current or trendy. But I never was really current or trendy. As a matter of fact, I'm wagering that 80% of the shirts are band T's or T's centered around car culture. And I'll wear my Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Megadeth, Tool, etc. shirts with pride once they fit again. It's a time capsule of college me. 32 year old husband, father me is no less excited. On the other hand, I hate buying clothes for me at my current weight. Once they no longer fit I will not miss them. I'll be tempted to burn them on a pyre in the back yard, but they'll probably just make the trip to Goodwill.
  10. Additionally, my experience comes from regional lifting meets in high school and football coaches with beer guts. I had success, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion.
  11. I just put two and two together while reading your later entries and realized I was a neophyte attempting to explain something to a master. I apologize for that. I immediately came back here to delete the comment and noticed the reply. Now where is that crow?
  12. I know this post is quite old, but I wanted to throw something out there that occurred to me while reading. Even if you can only lift 20 lbs., those lifts can be meaningful. Long story short, during weight training, it's not uncommon to not have an available spotter. Sometimes in order to lift safely, you need to lift lightly. This is boiling it down to it's basics, but think of the weight you are lifting as a denominator to the repetitions you have to do. If you're working to exhaustion, you're going to lift until you can't lift anymore. Whether it is lifting a 300 lbs. rack or lifting two 10 lbs. dumbbells. If you have to do 100 reps to exhaust the muscles you're working, do the 100 reps. I always worked to exhaustion. I used the weights to reduce the reps (to a point; not elaborating in a comment on a half year old entry). If I had a spotter, I would do 1 rep of heaviest, 5 reps of heavy, 10 reps of medium, 20 reps of light, etc. But those reps were guidelines to assist me in dialing in the correct weight to lift. I'm lifting to exhaustion, every time. If that means 10 reps of 'heavy' or 5 reps of medium. Summary: You CAN meaningfully lift 20 lbs. Now, whether it's okay to work to exhaustion a month out from major surgery is another question. Can't wait to find out the answer. Sorry, and hope I'm not coming off as condescending. Really enjoying your journey!
  13. I feel obnoxiously motivated yesterday and today and I'm not quite sure why. I've wanted this type of motivation for years. Motivation to do things I used to do; things I used to enjoy. Motivation to lose weight, to not smoke, to be active and to be careful about what I eat. All of these things always seemed like challenges I would never complete, singly, let alone at the same time. I feel like I've bit off quite a bit and that I should be choking on it, but instead I'm excited for it, looking forward to the next bite. Food analogy about losing weight. Fat kid Inception. Yesterday I walked for a total of 50 minutes and 2.67 miles. I work in downtown Covington, Kentucky which is on the Ohio River, directly across from Cincinnati, Ohio. When I go for my walks I usually two blocks to the Ohio River landing and walk down the river and look at the old architecture lining 'River Row'. Old, beautiful houses in that area. Yesterday, I tackled a three-story stair from Ohio River landing to the Roebling Bridge, a suspension bridge between Kentucky and Ohio. I walked across the suspension bridge into Cincinnati, then walked back, taking pictures along the way. I've saved a couple but am on my work computer so unknown if they will actually upload. I haven't exercised on purpose for more than a half hour in a decade or more. I'm hesitant in celebration because I'm unsure of whether this new found motivation is fleeting or here to stay. But I'm hopeful. I did not stick to my meal menus yesterday, but I feel like I could have done much worse. I know that's dangerous thinking. I followed my menu until I got home. My wife is a social worker and some days she may receive a report just before the end of her day. Yesterday was one of those days. She's usually home before I am, but yesterday she didn't get home until closer to 6:30 PM. I was starving so I ate two servings of mixed greens salad with two servings of light Asian Sesame Vinaigrette dressing. I'm not sure whether I would classify this as giving into a craving or giving into hunger. Giving into hunger, I'm cool with. I'm hungry, I need to eat. But I was craving that salad. But on the same token, I could think of much worse things to crave and fold over. Speaking of successfully resisted cravings, I've been absolutely dying for regular Coke and a Hershey Bar with almonds. Even before I got serious about this journey or even considered it, I would have a Hershey Bar with almonds maybe once a month and a can of regular Coke on a similar rotation. But every day I go into the break room to get ice and the vending machines are sitting there with that candy bar and Coke. Or baked BBQ lays. Or pizzeria Combos. I'm sorry if I'm triggering anyone here, but I've had the worst cravings for these foods. I mean, I know I feel like they're bad cravings because I'm actually resisting them. Previously when I had a craving it was no big deal. I'd just buy them and eat them. Self control has never been my strong suit, but I'm learning. Substitute the craving with water, a black coffee, a walk. Just like smoking. Concentrate on getting through the next 15 minutes without eating and you'll be alright. I'm going to try and surpass my time, distance and steps walked today. That's my goal for the day. Even if it's one extra step. For the record, my steps were 13,000 when I took my counter off at 5:00 PM. First time I've counted steps past 10,000. This evening we are going to my folks and it's going to be interesting eating right on someone else's 'menu'. I'm interested in what you've learned on your own personal journeys here. If I'm presented with crap that I can't eat tonight, do I just try and eat a healthy portion of it, or do I decline and wait until afterward to eat? What if I'm starving by that point? What if I'm starving when I get there? Everything in moderation or strict adherence? Thanks in advance!
  14. Your writing makes mine read like Youtube comments, but I like it. I enjoyed your descriptions as much as the content! I identify with how you feel, talking to your younger self. This sounds illogical and silly, but sometimes I associate my negative thoughts on any given subject (never positive, though, oddly enough) with Future-Me warning Present-Me. Especially in those moments where I'm telling myself, 'you really shouldn't be doing this'. I also identify with not wanting my picture taken. I remember wanting to be in every single picture ever, in any angle, and demanding to receive copies. Now I dodge the camera like someone is pointing a gun at me. I can't wait to take those reassuring pictures without having to snap 27 'testers'. I sound like the most vane man I know. :/ Looking forward to more!
  15. Obsidian

    C'est La Vie

    Welcome! I'm a long time lurker myself and have just recently pulled the trigger on becoming an active member. I started keeping a blog too so that I can document my journey. I think it's a great idea! I'm sorry you had the experience with people giving you gruff in your intro post. Obviously not the best thing to have happen when you've been shy about introducing yourself. I didn't see the comments or your intro post, but I'm pretty laid back when it comes to getting shame or hate or whatever you want to call it. Piss on them. If they aren't my doctor, medical team, surgeon, or my wife, they aren't worth the energy it would take to even read (or listen) to what they have to say. A wise man once told me, "Consider the source..." If someone gives you crap, especially on here, just remind yourself why you are doing what you're doing and look forward to all of the things there are to look forward to. And I think not wanting to discuss WLS with a lot of people is pretty normal. There is a social stigma attached to it that is uneducated and pointless. I wrote about something similar in my most recent blog. My wife, mom and brother know. End of list. As far as I'm concerned, it isn't anyone's business and if anyone asks me, if I feel like lying, I will. My life, my rules. Welcome again! Looking forward to following your journey!