• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About Kio

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday April 9

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Boston area
  • Age


  • Surgeon
    Scott Shikora
  • Hospital
    Brigham & Women's
  • Height (ft-in)
  • Start Weight
  • Current Weight
  • Goal Weight
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Surgery Date
  • Surgery Type
    Gastric Bypass

Recent Profile Visitors

2,438 profile views
  1. Kio

    One year!

    Hi everyone! Thank you! Sorry I basically dropped this blog post and ran - exciting things happening in the Kio household this past week. Leah got a new job! She's been interviewing for about three months, and we've been in near-constant update-resume-write-cover letter-send-repeat mode the whole time. She had four first-interviews and one second-interview - which was almost immediately followed by an offer. She starts on October 1! @CheeringCJ - You are right, they are already making me do more work around the house, LOL! Though it's kind of funny - Leah still instinctively tells me "don't carry that, it's too heavy!" or tries to take the majority of the groceries in. And I still instinctively tend to let her! It's hard to adjust when we've been doing it this way for so long. She certainly doesn't mind me doing all the lawn-mowing and leaf-blowing and weed-whacking, though... @Jen581791 - it's true, last year I did not think I would ever get to Leah's weight. I never thought I'd get anywhere NEAR it. I think in my heart of hearts, I thought I MIGHT get under 200? Maybe? But the idea that I could get to Leah's weight seemed like a pipe dream. Today I can wear all her clothes and... confidentially? Some of them fit me better. She doesn't seem to mind that I've caught up with her - she's really an amazing person, really sweet and supportive. Though she does keep calling herself fat and saying she needs to lose weight... and I think I maybe trigger that more lately. I just whap her when she does it - after all, I don't feel like I'm "fat" anymore, so she shouldn't either. Also - I do think I'm having another loss week maybe? I went down under 173 today, though who knows what tomorrow will bring. It doesn't really make sense that my loss would just stop dead at the 1 year mark... but somewhere inside, I think that's what I expected. I guess we'll see what happens over the next little while! @BurgundyBoy - I'm not sure about kayaking anymore, after my mosquito adventures this summer - but maybe with a sufficient amount of Deep Woods OFF! I could risk it next summer. I still want to get back into riding. I read the conversation on biking long distance you were having with @Cardamom77 and @Chefman77 with great envy. Where do you go to bike long distances in Boston? I'm pretty nervous around traffic, but would love to do some really long rides. @Cardamom77 - maybe make a list of the stuff you do now that you love, that you COULDN'T do a year ago! I would love that. I'm thinking of doing one myself - the little things I can do that are easier or better, that I couldn't do before or that were super hard before. There are just so many of those and I am sooooo grateful! @Carina, @TammyP - thank you thank you! The blog keeps me keeping on, thank you for checking in with me!!
  2. Kio

    Coping mechanisms with binge-eating

    My issue isn't so much overeating - which I can't really do anymore thanks to the pouch - but occasionally wanting to graze. I find it far easier to prevent circumstances that lead to grazing than to just... tell myself I shouldn't graze. Basically this means keeping busy, for me. If I'm sitting around watching TV, I get the munchies. So I limit my TV watching. During the day, when I normally would be watching TV, I get out of the house. This weekend, for instance, I spent both Saturday and Sunday doing yard work, interspersed with prepping some crock pot meals for later this week. With my mind and hands already busy, there was less opportunity to graze and I think about it less. I work from home, which makes work days tricky, because there's always food available just downstairs. But if I'm up in my office actually working on a task, with some water or coffee next to me, I know I won't be grazing because it would be an interruption, and I don't like work interruptions. Once I'm on a task, I like to motor on until I'm done (sometimes I even put off peeing, even though the bathroom is like five feet down the hall!) My suggestion would be to analyze your daily life, and figure out what activities tend to preclude overeating, and which activities encourage overeating. Then do a lot more of the former, and a lot less of the latter!
  3. Kio

    Finally had my MRI and testing done

    I can TOTALLY relate. I'm so sorry you're back in medical hell, Trish - but glad you are in such great health otherwise, to help you weather it. (BTW, agree with the others that your symptoms seem pretty mechanical rather than neurological. Also, doesn't MS tend to come on at an earlier age? Average age is 34 according to the internet, with 50 at the very top of the range. Which isn't to say there aren't outliers, but... with so much else going on, to be diagnosed with MS at 51 on top of it would seem a bit ... targeted. Unless you've pissed off an Elder God somehow, I'm going to insist that you do NOT have MS on top of the rest of it!) *hughughug* Sending you all the best thoughts, as always. Keep us posted, okay?
  4. @Jen581791 - I love love love it! That is the perfect thing. Happy to know I have far less gravitas than the good old OED! @cinwa - I am totally going to own the last 33lbs. I know it's possible, even in year 2!
  5. Kio

    One year!

    Hey, all you Losers! I'm a day late, but I wanted to post something to commemorate my one year surgiversary. It's so hard to believe it's been a year! And yet so much has happened, so much has changed - sometimes it feels like it's been far longer than just 12 months. Sorry in advance, this is going to be another long Kio post (tm). In fact... this may be my longest one yet! A re-cap of my story: I started thinking seriously about WLS in April of 2017, but I wasn't really sure I'd go through with it until... probably sometime in June of that year. I weighed myself in April for the first time in over a year, and clocked in on my home scale at 355 - which I have been using as my starting weight, though I know I've weighed upwards of that. I think my high weight was really about 365-375, but I'd lost 100 lbs from that somewhere in 2013 or so on Paleo, and had been steadily regaining ever since. I had given up entirely, and was eating so much crap. My typical day started with taking my housemate Leah to the train, then going to Dunkin and getting a double order of hashbrowns and either a couple of donuts or a breakfast sandwich and some donuts and a sugary coffee. Then I'd swing over to the drug store and pick up some chips (Doritos or sour cream and onion Stax were my drug of choice) and some Mike & Ike or a bag of chocolate candy. I'd work on all that through the morning, then order something out for lunch (a burger or something with fries and a coke), then after lunch start work again on the chips and candy. They'd be gone by the time Leah got home, and then we'd typically order out for dinner. There was also almost always a dessert. This was practically *every day*. I was a food addict of the first order, and it was getting worse. I lost my dad in 2016. He was the best dad ever. He made it to 84. He had sleep apnea, diabetes, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and COPD, and was getting around via motorized wheel chair for around the last 5 years of his life. I miss him terribly. When he died, he weighed about what I did. I think that's what made me decide to try again - try something, anything, to avoid living out his past as my future. It took some time and a few more precipitating events (not much worse in life than needing an MRI and not fitting in the machine). But eventually April 2017 rolled around and I started investigating WLS. At the same time I went totally low carb / keto. I knew it would work - it had before - I just had no faith that it would work long-term. I still think I was right about that - it wouldn't have worked long-term - but it worked great to get me to a safer weight for surgery, and that was the logic I used. I wasn't sure I was going to have surgery yet... but still, weighing less, just in case, seemed like a good idea. I met my surgeon for the first time in May, at 350 lbs. I had some issues that ruled out the sleeve, so we agreed on bypass. I went through the program's various appointments with a "we'll see" attitude, and sometime in June, I went from "if I have surgery" to "when I have surgery" in my head. It coincided with the point at which I had to pay a $350 non-refundable program fee to the hospital. I wasn't about to lay that out for no reason. I went through it, got my surgery date, and on September 8 (weighing 298 lbs!) I went under the knife. Everything I could say about the journey after that, I've pretty much already said over the past year in this blog. So let's fast forward to yesterday! Yesterday morning, I got on the scale first thing, as usual. I weighed 173 lbs. That's a loss of 182 lbs total, 125 since my surgery date. I now weigh less than half of what I did when I first started this journey, which means I've lost an entire ME in this process. And since I'm a big fan of reflecting and looking back, it's time to go to the LIST! Here's what I wanted out of WLS when I started - originally posted September 2, 2017, a week before surgery. Commentary in black is from that date; commentary in red is from today. Top 10 things I want to do when I'm lighter: Yoga. I've spent so long being basically disabled - painful joints, sore muscles, walking by holding onto things - that I'm really looking forward to getting some flexibility back. I want to do poses and salute the sun and god knows what else... that is the extent of what I know about yoga! I... have not done any yoga yet. Yoga classes, it turns out, are expensive! But I'm counting this as half a win anyway, because I do stretching sessions with a trainer at my gym. I keep waiting for something to be too hard to do... but nothing is too hard. I've got a little twinge in one shoulder unrelated to weight, but that was it. And I am TONS more flexible than I used to be! Crossfit. Right now it sounds absolutely horrible, but it also sounds like the kind of thing that gets you in shape and keeps you in shape through the combined forces of resistance training and cult-like peer pressure. I've never done much of the former, but I'm extremely susceptible to the latter. (however, I've just looked it up, and crossfit gyms are freaking expensive. WTH. Well, maybe I can use some of the money I'll be saving by not eating much???) I checked out a Crossfit gym, but honestly, it DID give me a really strong cult vibe, so I stayed away. Also, super expensive. But this is a win anyway, because about two months ago, I joined my local Planet Fitness, and I've been alternating resistance training one day with cardio the next. I feel really good - like with the stretching, when my trainer first showed me the weight machines, I kept waiting for some movement I couldn't do. But there never was one. Everything was possible! It even felt GOOD. Plus, PF has an on-call trainer you can get help from as part of your membership, no extra fee - or take random classes from, which are usually 1:1. I've been taking shameless advantage. Hiking. This one's a bit out there, as I have always found walking very difficult and I have a deathly fear of insects, particularly flying ones. Particularly flying ones with stingers. Still, I love the woods, and I live next to a huge lovely reservation with trails and like...terrain. I can't remember the last time I walked on anything you would call terrain. Most of the time it's challenging enough to walk on things called "concrete". But nature! I want to be in it. OK so, truth... this is just half a win. I am still deathly afraid of insects. And the mosquitoes have been dining on me WAY too frequently lately. I do not hike. Maybe I will when Fall really sets in and the mosquitoes all die off. But right now, not so much. Instead, I walk the dog a LOT. Anywhere from 2 to 4 miles. And that may not sound like a lot to many of you, but for me it's a new life. I couldn't walk from one end of my living room to the other a year ago, not without pain and breathlessness. Now I can walk a few miles and come back home and mow the lawn. Speaking of... Mow the lawn. God knows it needs it. It combines all the worst parts of hiking with gross sweaty manual labor, but it would be great not to have to rely solely on my housemate feeling like mowing or our lovely, helpful neighbor coming over and doing it himself when he gets disgusted with the height of the grass. (really, he's great, and has never once hinted that this is his motive. But nobody is that genuinely helpful - right??? He has to be doing it for his property value. Or maybe he's just a saint.) This one definitely goes in the "win" column. I mow the lawn like a mad thing - and we moved to a bigger place with a bigger yard three months ago, so the mowing is pretty intense. It takes me three charges of the lawnmower battery to do the front, and at least two to do the back. Then there is weedwhacking to do - about an hour to do the entire perimeter and the edges of all the beds - and then the clean-up, which is mainly blowing grass off the driveway and sidewalks. I've gone from watching my housemate mow the lawn because I could barely do one trip the length of it to being the sole person in charge of lawnmowing in the household. Park far away from things. One thing I never need to know about myself is how much time I've wasted in life looking for an open parking spot close to whatever. I look forward to not having to care. I'd rather park in Timbuktu than circle endlessly finding a good spot. You know - something close enough that I can walk from the car to the thing without getting too tired/achy to actually do the thing I came there to do. Another full win. I can park blocks away if I need to, and I often do. At Costco or when we need to be downtown, I don't think anything of parking a long way away and walking in to wherever I need to be! Shopping! I actually just thought of this one. Not only will shopping be more fun because I can buy nicer, more flattering clothes - it'll also be easier because I can do it for more than 5 minutes without needing to sit down and rest. Another win! I can wander endlessly through clothes stores, department stores, grocery stores... and I never need to sit down to rest. AND I never need to hold onto a shopping cart! I used to have to prop my front half up on the cart, basically, leaning on it like a walker. Now I often grab a handbasket in the grocery store instead of a cart, and I amble around as long as I want. Stand around chatting with people at the office. I'm not the world's most outgoing person - in fact, I'm pretty socially awkward. But part of that social awkwardness has come from fear that if I walk anywhere, someone I know will stop me halfway there and want to either talk to me, or join me for one of those walking meetings like on West Wing. In the first case, I end up talking to someone while in great pain, and then having to sit down before I can continue on to wherever I was going. And in the second case, I have to huff and puff between sentences because I'm out of breath from walking. To avoid those things, I generally walk a lot of places as quickly as I can with my head down, refusing to make eye contact. Believe me when I tell you - this does not make people think you're super normal and probably a great gal to spend time with! Definite win. I stand and chat ALL THE TIME at work now. Or walk and chat, like we were characters in The West Wing. I am a fully upright and mobile Kio now! It has really expanded my social world at work a lot, and I love it. Kayak! I actually don't really care much about kayaking, but my housemate does, and she won't do it by herself, so I want to be able to go with her. At my current weight I feel like I'd sink most boats, so I'm not too keen on it. No win here... but to be fair, we don't own any kayaks, and Leah hasn't gone kayaking either yet! When she does, I will totally go with her. And I won't sink the boat, because WE WEIGH EXACTLY THE SAME NOW. Go back to Turks and Caicos. I had an amazing time going there at 308 lbs; I imagine going there at my goal weight would be amazing times infinity. We're planning to go back in 2 years, and I can't even imagine how different it will be. I'm looking forward to finding out. No win here yet, either, but that is financially driven, not weight-driven. I would go in a heartbeat, and I would love it, but we're still saving. Right now, the plan is maybe to go next year. And I am QUITE sure it will be totally amazing! Travel of other sorts. I'm thinking maybe about Scotland. I've got a friend who lives there and I'd love to go see the countryside, maybe visit some castles. I've always been deterred by the number of stairs conjured up by the term "castle". Plus I imagine you get there by walking long distance on the moors. Or something. Are there moors in Scotland? I guess I'll find out! I haven't been to Scotland... again, finances. But I have done other travel - most notably a road trip to Chicago that was perfectly miserable when I did it several years ago, and which was awesome and fun this year. I drove all the way, and was comfortable all the way - I didn't feel stuffed into the driver's seat even once. So half a win! So a definite 6.5 out of 10 on things I wanted to do. But you know, I really count this as 10 out of 10 - because I COULD do any of these, if I wanted to and had infinite cash on hand. I'm no longer limited by my weight - just finances and personal inclination. Just the fact that I COULD do something, just by wanting to, is enough to count it as a win here. I have so many more choices now, and my world has opened up so much... and THAT is what's really important. There are a few negatives. I have a lot of floppy skin hanging out on my arms and belly and thighs - enough that I'm seriously considering plastics, if I make it down to goal and manage to stay there. I have a daily, haunting fear of failure - that I'll never make it to goal. That I'll stop losing, start gaining, and end up back where I started. My weight loss HAS slowed - I only lost 3 lbs this month, though that was at least partly due to a splurge on vacation. And I've felt hungry lately - mainly in the mornings when I wait too long before breakfast. I can eat more lately - not a ton more, but definitely more than I used to. My hope is that these fears will keep me honest, and on track - and not just drive me insane. And honestly - I wonder what I would have said if, a year ago, my doc had told me: "You'll lose most of your excess weight. But only for about three years. Then you'll gain it back." Would I have gone through with it anyway? I think I would have. I don't think that will happen - I think I'll be okay. But I do think I would have gone ahead, even if there had been some kind of expiration date. This experience would make it worth it. So I'm going to keep on keeping on! I know I have all of you guys to cheer me on and help me stay on track - you've been with me this far, and I'm sure TT will help me haul myself the rest of the way to goal. I'm so grateful to you all, and to this wonderful, supportive place. *HUGS* to you losers!!! (33 lbs to go! I can TOTALLY do this!!!) (Pics to come... after more mowing!)
  6. Kio

    Confession time...

    I totally agree that you have every right to control information about your own body! Don't feel guilty. It's not the choice I've made, but it's a choice I understand and respect. If you do feel like her question was maybe a call out for help, you can always build the white lie out a bit further. You can tell her you didn't lose it through WLS, but you know several people who went that route and had really great success with it. But it's not necessary - just something that might help with any regret you might be feeling, without violating your personal sense of privacy.
  7. I think it's a really personal decision, because your overall health and how much you have to lose are a big part of it. For me - I didn't have diabetes or high blood pressure, but I did have sleep apnea. My BMI was just over 60, and I was pretty disabled by my weight - I'm only 5'3", and I was barely able to get around. I wasn't in a wheel chair or anything, but I couldn't walk the length of a room without holding onto something, and standing and walking really hurt. I was really heavy when I met my doc, around 355, but he never said anything about the DS to me, and I'm not even sure if it was a thing he ever performed. So I was choosing between the sleeve and gastric bypass. I knew that the bypass was considered more invasive, but I had also read that people lost a bit more weight on it - and I had SO very much to lose. (Now I know you can lose just as much with a sleeve - but I didn't at the time.) But the biggest issue for me was that I had very bad GERD, and I'd just been diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus - changes to the bottom of my esophagus that made me a higher risk for esophageal cancer, that were caused by the GERD. The sleeve has a reputation for making GERD much worse, while the gastric bypass basically cures GERD. So it was a pretty easy decision for me - the sleeve would have made my GERD and Barrett's worse, while the bypass made them better. I'm surprised your doc is recommending DS for you, since according to your sidebar, you don't seem overweight enough to fall into that category. But maybe I don't really understand all the factors as they relate to your personal situation. Did the doctor say why he thought you needed the DS instead of the bypass? For what it's worth, in terms of weight loss, I lost 57 lbs before surgery and I've now lost a total of 182 lbs. So all other things being equal, you could lose what you need to lose with the bypass. I'm guessing there must be some other health factor that's leading your doc to suggest DS?
  8. Thanks, @Nana Trish and @Cheesehead! I'm planning to start year 2 right, tightening up a few little places where my plan had gone slack. Nothing off the rails, just little things I've let slide a bit. I've got 33 lbs to go to goal, and I really want to get there! @CheeringCJ, I forgot to answer your question - no, I never did go back for that MRI! By the time I could have, the little bumps I felt had gone away, so it was apparently nothing to worry about. But if it ever happens again, my new skinny bod and I are ready! (Editing to add for anyone not familiar with this, everything was clear on the mammogram and ultrasound, but I was still nervous so my doc suggested an MRI basically to ease my mind. When I couldn't complete the MRI, she was fine with "wait and see" and everything has, in fact, been all clear.)
  9. HA! Yes, I was TOTALLY not sleeping at that time a year ago. I was last night though! Like a ROCK. As time has gone by this month I've been thinking a lot about my surgiversary. Now that it's here, I plan to post - but it's hard to decide what to say! So many things have changed in my life - and not just due to surgery. I've moved to a new house in a new town, I have a new room mate to go with my old room mate, I have two new cats in our house (bringing the total number of cats to five, plus one dog, omg). As one of our old neighbors said last weekend, it's an entirely new life for all of us! I'm so glad I got to go on this journey with you, @CheeringCJ - and with all the other amazing supportive people I've met here. Some strangers are good strangers, no matter how strange they turn out to be.
  10. Not sure I should be advocating this since I’m cutting back myself... but I drink a LOT of iced coffee! I just use Fairlife 2% milk, which is super proteiny, instead of regular milk. The coffee is Starbucks unsweetened medium roast cold brew, which you can get in a big jug in the cold section of most grocery stores these days. It is delish. I’m cutting back, not cutting OUT - I’m just trying to get my calories through more dense proteins these days so I stay full longer. And I could literally drink this for all 64 oz of my fluids each day and still want another before bed, which is noooooot such a grand idea. I’m trying to limit to just 18 oz of the mixture a day (8 oz milk, 10 oz coffee). It’s basically my daily protein shake.
  11. I'm just one year out, so not speaking for myself - but my friendly neighborhood infusion nurse had RNY 10 years ago, and had about 80 lbs of regain. She has lost it this past year, and is almost down to her original (post-RNY-success) weight. Her regain was also after having kids - two, I think! She went full-on keto, and has had amazing success with it.
  12. Kio

    There's nothing wrong with you

    Right?! I was giving some thought yesterday to the amount of money I've spent, and the amount I used to eat - and it was insane. So much wasted time and effort. I'm really glad I finally worked my way around to WLS - I had always been one of those people who said they would never do it. So there's that much hope at least - for those of you with people in your lives who say that. Sometimes they come around!
  13. Kio

    There's nothing wrong with you

    @CheeringCJ, @tracyringo, @Cardamom77, @Res Ipsa - sorry about the late reply! I got eaten alive by mosquitoes while doing lawn work yesterday (I guess they thought it was a buffet!) so I took two benadryl and promptly passed out for the night. (That answers the question of whether my body can absorb caplets - it totally can!). The forum I posted on isn't really a give-and-take kind of place. Well, parts of it are, but the advice-seeking part isn't. You basically post your question - it can be about anything at all, weighty or trivial (many people seek help for naming their cats, for instance, which has always baffled me) - and a bunch of forum people answer. Hopefully you get some good input, say a quick thank you, and that's it. There's a LITTLE back and forth, but it's discouraged, because the idea is that others can come later and do a search for the advice they need, find your thread, and not have to post their own question. So chit-chat in threads is avoided. I In this particular case, she said all the answers were really encouraging, thanked everyone, and that was it. You can "favorite" responses, and mine got about 13, so that's pretty good. Other answers ran the gamut from "read this book that changed my life" to "I lost 100 lbs and kept it off, here's what I did" to "I feel the same way, so I just do these things and try to be forgiving of myself." None of them are bad answers, but I feel like - they are not going to be terrifically helpful, unless she's genetically gifted in that area and also in that tiny percentage of people who can dedicate their lives to weight loss and nothing else.
  14. Kio

    We will never die!

    Here is an NBC News article about how eating cheese and yogurt will help us live forever. And here is the Washington Post article that confirms and expands upon that premise. And 100% for the cheese puns, here's the Metafilter post I got the links from. You're welcome!
  15. 20 min with a weed whacker at the wrong time of day.  :(  Now I look like I have a pox.  BRB while I claw my legs off...:wacko:

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. msmarymac


      Looks like chigger y'all have those in Boston??  They are usually found in grass/weeds and can't usually be seen.  Itch like the devil.  Have an affinity for tight spaces...dare I ask, any around underwear/elastic area?

    3. Kio


      @msmarymac - no, none around the undies; these were totally focused on my legs below the calf.  I WAS in pretty high weeds, though - we had let the side yard go all to hell while we were prepping for, and then actually on our vacation.  It was about knee height in some places.  It's possible that there was a mix - some of them were definitely mosquitoes because I saw the little monsters, but other bites do look like the little red dots the internet just told me about...

    4. msmarymac


      Chiggers are a part of summer in this part of the US.  A dreadful part!  We learn as kids never to venture out into grass without some sort of protection: bug spray, or sulfur powder.  They are dreadful little buggers and itch like nothing else.  Hope you're starting to get some relief by now.  We used to coat the bites with clear fingernail polish to keep from scratching.  Or, if you're tough enough use rubbing alcohol on them.  It burns like fire but that burning sensation seems to keep it from itching lol.  We're pretty brutal here in the plains :)