Monday, June 21, 2010

8 months post-op, and oh yea...ONEDERLAND!!

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been so nervous to weigh myself for the last couple of weeks. I had a doctor's appointment two weeks ago and I was 206. Then it was my time of the month (yay for three months in a row!), so I just avoided the scale like the plague to avoid disappointment. Yesterday, I needed to do my 8 month stats. I do pictures and stats every two months and while technically that would have been Saturday, I lost track of the date (it was the weekend!). Anyway, I was hoping for a 202 - and I couldn't BELIEVE it when I saw 198 on the scale! I weighed myself three times to be sure. YEP! 198!!!! I'm officially out of the 200s and the scale starts with a 1 - therefore I'm in ONEderland! And it's NICE here!!!

Here are my pictures. I've been wearing the same camisole for all my pictures, but it's just too big now so I'm wearing a size XL top my sister-in-law gave me in the "during" pic and those are size 16 Lee jeans. I'm wearing a size 14 dress :)

Before: 324 lbs (these pictures were taken at 313 lbs), BMI 52.3, size 24 pants

During: 198 (126 lb loss), BMI 32







I can't even begin to describe the difference that I feel. When I look at the before pictures, all I can think about is how much pain I was always in. It was hard to stay balanced between my big butt and stomach pulling me back and forwards. My knees always hurt and I had headaches all.the.time. I have so much more energy now. And my overall confidence is greater. I feel better. I love getting dressed up and doing my hair and makeup. It's a whole other world.

I am very strict with my eating. I haven't veered much away from my staples. I think it's a little nervousness about weight loss success. I know that what I've eaten has worked and I don't want to change it up until I'm at goal. So, I stick with meats, edamame, cheese, and veggies. Of course, I have the occasional bite or two of dessert. And I don't feel guilty about it whatsoever. I've also gone out three times since surgery and had drinks with friends. I am much more of a lightweight, but I let myself enjoy the occasional drink. My surgeon didn't tell me to avoid, he just warned me that it may hit me quickly and that I obviously shouldn't drink too many calories. But occasionally, I'm sure he would be fine with it. I've been working out for the past 6 weeks, at least once a week but usually twice. I am so unmotivated so it's hard, but at least I'm doing something. I had my wedding rings resized recently - I went from a 9 to a 7.

My surgeon's goal for me is 174. So I am 24 lbs away from success in his eyes. But I may want to go a little lower - like 150. We'll see. So far, I am VERY happy with my progress and would do it again in a heartbeat!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Last couple of weeks

Steve and I have started working out at least twice a week - usually three times - and it's really made a difference in my weight loss. Last week I lost 4 lbs and this week's loss is 3 lbs. This is a great improvement from the 1-2 lb loss I was experiencing. I'm down to 210 lbs this week - onederland is so close!

We've really been enjoying our late spring/early summer. Steve finished his MBA! And we celebrated with family by going to dinner the night of (four chicken wings for me) and going to SeaWorld the next day. I was able to enjoy SeaWorld without dying of exhaustion. The next weekend we hosted our cousin and her triplet boys and were able to enjoy the community pool and keep up with them. This past weekend we went to Weeki Wachee Springs and I wasn't too big for the water slides! I'm comfortable in my one piece bathing suit with board shorts and don't feel as self conscious about my body. I feel so free to do all these fun things!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Well, that would explain it...

TMI warning

Well, now I understand how it was physically possible not to lose weight this week. I got my period today. And I would just like to add that this is 28 days after my last period! OMG - is my body working normally??? Hopefully, these regular cycles will keep up - that will tremendously help us TTC. Even though I have awful cramps and a backache, I'm so grateful. Yahoo!

Monday, May 3, 2010

How is it physically possible?

I didn't lose any weight this week. GRRRRRRR. I don't know how it's PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE! I eat like a freaking BIRD! Last week I lost 4 lbs and the two weeks before that nothing. I didn't work out as much as I should have last week, but I didn't work out at all for the longest time and still lost weight. I guess I'm out of the "honeymoon" period. But my logical mind still does not understand how I can consume 600-700 calories a day and not lose weight. I know people may say I'm not getting enough calories - which makes even less sense to my logical mind. I'm going to weigh tomorrow and see what the scale says. I swear my weight fluctuates so much from day to day, from morning to afternoon. I always weigh Monday mornings and it made me look forward to one aspect of Monday. I'm going to have to rethink that now that the scale isn't making me happy anymore!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good things and the Dentist

Steve and I had so much fun after I posted the doc appt post. I had gotten home from work a little early since I had the doc appt (around 5 as opposed to the usual 6), so we had a few hours of daylight left. Instead of going to the gym, we went for a walk around the neighborhood and then jumped in the community pool! It was so much fun. I hadn't swam in so long and after all this time of being focused on my weight, it felt good to feel weightless. We also had a ton of fun just being with each other. Walking home with the sun going down was so, so nice. It was a great time.

In news completely opposite of "great": I had to go to the dentist today because I've been having such a hard time with one of my teeth. The gum has been sore and it's been very sensitive. Come to find out my gum has receded and the root is exposed. There is nothing that can be done about it. I just have to brush with a prescription toothpaste for the next 3-6 months until the sensitivity is lessened. The dentist said over time I won't be able to feel it anymore. Bummer. I wish there was an instant fix because I'm tired of chewing on one side of my mouth. And weight loss surgery patients have to have good dentition to chew the million times that are necessary so food doesn't get "stuck". Boo.

Ok, back to good news. I found an amazing protein bar. "Impossible," you say? Nope - it is the Pure Protein bar in Chocolate Deluxe. Yummmm... It does have quite a bit of carbs (13 g), but my nutritionist said that was ok because they are good, vegetable carbs and I only eat one a couple times a week. And it has 20 g of protein.

Here is the website. You can't buy them on this website, but they have a "where to buy" section. I picked mine up at Walmart (rarely do I go to Walmart, but I need a cheap in-between-sizes bathing suit!) and have also bought them from Publix. I also tried the Blueberry Crumb Cake flavor which was also amazing. They are chewy and not rock-hard like other protein bars I've tried. And yes, those are real (fake) chocolate chips you see! I say it again - yummmmm. And yes, the protein bars and my dental problems are completely unrelated!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Doc Appt

Steve and I met with Dr. Koppman today for my 6 month check-up. It was nice to have Steve's support and for him to see first-hand the kinds of things the doctor is keeping up with. I had labs done and most everything looked great. He said my HDL (good) cholesterol isn't exactly where he likes to see it and my triglycerides were a little high. But these things will continue to improve as I lose weight so he's not concerned. My iron was normal, but at the low end of normal, so I have to be more diligent about taking my iron. The only bad thing was my folic acid - this was low. The normal range is 2.7-17 and mine was 4. So it wasn't the worst, but it was pretty bad, especially if I want to conceive in 6 months. Which by the way, he said we could plan for!! He wants me back in October - October 12 is my appt - for a year follow-up and wrote me a script for labs to get before that appt. If my labs look good then he said he would have no problem advising pregnancy!! OMG - I am so excited. And we talked about my goal weight - which is much higher than what I thought I saw on their computer. He has it at 174. I may choose to go under that, but that is when he would consider me successful. That is a total of a 150 lbs loss - and I've already lost 104! I can SO do the last 46 lbs. That's NOTHING!!

Overall, I am very happy and the doctor is very happy with my progress. And Steve is happy too!


I lost 4 lbs this week! (Well, 8 days). It's about time the scale moved more than 1 lb a week! It has to be because I switched back to Crystal Light and exercised twice last week. I'll be keeping it up. This large loss couldn't have come at a better time. I was so frustrated last night after reading on OH's "Pregnancy After WLS" board. Most women on there were saying their doctors made them be at a stable weight for 6 months before encouraging a pregnancy. Since I still have a ways to go it, the slower I lose, the longer we have to wait.

Steve is going with me to the surgeon this afternoon for my 6 month checkup. I'll ask him what his criteria are and we need to settle on a goal weight. I peeked at their computer one time and saw their goal for me at 135, which I think is just crazy. I weighed more than that in high school. I would be happy at 160 or 165. So we'll see what happens. I'll write a follow-up to that appt.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

6 months, 100 lbs - pictures

I didn't take a picture prior to the pre-op diet. Before the pre-op diet, I weighed 324 lbs. I lost 11 lbs. during pre-op so these before pictures are at 313 lbs.

After: 224 lbs (100 lbs lost)
Before:After: 224 lbs (100 lbs lost)

Before:After: 224 lbs (100 lbs lost)
What a difference!

Monday, April 19, 2010

6 months

In some ways, I can't believe today marks 6 months since my surgery. In other ways, I feel like the time is dragging! Today was a big milestone - not only has it been 6 months since my surgery, but I've also hit the 100 lbs loss mark with a total loss of 100.3 lbs! I'll take it! I am very proud of my loss but I still have at least 60 lbs to go. I have to keep my eye on the prize and lately, I've been losing very slowly. (TMI alert) I actually got a period on my own, which is a huge deal for me! 4/5-4/11, which means I probably didn't lose weight that week. But I wouldn't know because I was too scared to weigh! Anyway, I've only been losing about 1 lb/week which is in the right direction but not as quickly as I'd like. At that pace, it would take me over a year longer to lose the rest of the weight - and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to maintain that because gradually I'll be able to eat a little more and take in more calories. The "honeymoon" period is already over and it only gets harder from here! This is when it kicks in that the surgery is only a tool. It enables me to make healthier choices and also got me to a size that is comfortable so I can exercise.

Part of the reason I think my weight loss has slowed is because of LIQUID CALORIES. BOOOO. See, I gave up artificial sweeteners but couldn't do plain water without getting nauseous. So I started flavoring my water with 100% fruit juice. Slowly, I went from 1/4 juice in my drink to 1/2 juice in my drink. Then, my hubs bought me a fantastic new tumbler - which I love - and it has encouraged me to drink more. Which is usually great! But, I'm just drinking more juice. About 1/2 a bottle a day. I calculated it today and it's 480 calories a day just in juice. That is ridiculous. Especially since most wls patients only take in 600-700 calories a day in the weight loss phase (as opposed to the maintenance phase). Sooooo...what's a girl to do? I hate to do this, but I think I'm going back to Crystal Light for now. I actually didn't notice a difference when I stopped using artificial sweeteners - no boost of energy or anything like that. Psychologically, I'm much happier not using them. But I can't sabotage my weight loss like this. There is a new Crystal Light called Pro Fitness or something like that and it uses real sugar to sweeten it - just a little. Unfortunately, it only comes in three flavors and they are very tart. I can't stand drinking tart things all day - it's like only drinking lemonade - it gets old very fast. So we'll see. I just know that I need to cut down on juice.

Tonight, Steve and I went to the gym at my work for the first time! I went 30 minutes on the treadmill at 3.0 speed. I'll work my way up, but I was maintaining a "weight loss" heart rate the majority of the time (except for warm-up and cool down). It feels great working out - I only hope I keep it up. I always go through these phases in life. I used to go through diet phases - I would have never kept up 6 months of healthy eating if it wasn't for the sleeve. If only there was a surgery that forced me to exercise!

I had my annual exam with my gynecologist last week. In addition to the usual unpleasantness, I spoke to him about my weight loss, PCOS bloodwork (need to get that done), and TTC. He said that he'll be curious to see how my body cycles once I'm under a BMI of 30 (I'm at 36.2 now). Me too! My next appointment with the bariatric surgeon is 4/27. I'm going to ask him about when he'll clear me for TTC - before surgery he said 12-18 months. I'd like to know when he'll give me to ok - do I have to be at a certain weight for a certain period of time? Anyway, Steve is going to come with me so I have his support too. I'm soooo eager to start trying - Steve too. We can't wait to have a little munchkin. We've been picking out names to keep us patient. It helps us to feel like we are still moving towards that point. We've also begun thinking about nursery plans. It's somewhat embarrassing to admit these things, but it does help us during this waiting period. 6 months down and at least 6 months to go!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I must say that I am extremely happy with my weight loss this week. I went from 244 to 239 - yahoo! Two more lbs until I'm halfway to goal. I can't believe it. My mom came over last weekend and helped me clean out my closet. I'm now wearing pants somewhere between 18-20 and I can fit into 14/16 or 16/18 tops. I've never really considered myself "bottom heavy" so I'm surprised that there is a difference. Clothing manufacturers are ridiculous. Anyway, I have about 70 items for the consignment store! I'll use the money I make for new clothes. I couldn't believe some of the items that were too small on me prior to surgery that are too big on me now. I was actually sad to see some of them go because they were so pretty! I did keep my "fat jeans" for comparison later!

In less happy news, I have been plagued by headaches recently. I had them often before surgery but felt a reprieve for a while. The past couple of weeks have been filled with headaches - especially when I first wake up in the morning. Like I usually do, I'll probably just put up with the ailment until my next doctor's appointment, which isn't until 4/6.

I'm in a funk today. Not much energy - I just want to go home and take a nap. I guess it doesn't help that I started my day with a bad attitude. On my way to work today, I was thinking how my whole life I've been actively doing something. But for the past few years I've just been waiting. Waiting for life to move on. I know I should "enjoy the journey" and all that jazz, but it's so hard when I just want to start a family. 2006 I graduated UCF, 2007 I graduated with my MBA, later in 2007 we got married and bought our first home. 2008, 2009, and 2010 are my "waiting years". Hopefully, 2011 will be my pregnant year! Haha. It's not just a baby I'm waiting on. I'm also waiting to lose all my weight so I can be at a stable weight for the first time in forever. And financially I feel like there is always a better place to be. It's all very frustrating! And I have NEVER claimed to be a patient person.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Artificial sweeteners

I just completed two weeks without using artificial sweeteners (except for the occasional piece of gum). I was relying too much on them and I know they cannot be healthy for me. I read Skinny Bitch and the part they had about them was hilariously inspiring. The main culprit in my diet was Crystal Lite. I used it for almost every drink. I am supposed to get in about 80-100oz of liquid a day and since surgery have not been able to drink plain water. For some reason, plain water just sits funny in my tummy and I sorta gag when I drink it.

So giving up my Crystal Lite was not easy. The first couple of days I tried to force plain water. Well, that didn't work. I ended up only getting 20oz the first day and probably less the second day. So I moved on to something else that has been working really well. I fill my container up with 3/4 water and then add a splash of 100% fruit juice for flavoring. I like Juicy Juice's Fruit Punch. I ordered Capella's Flavlet Water Drops in Peach. It is a flavor agent made from Stevia. I received it yesterday but didn't care for it. The flavoring reminded me of an artificial medicine flavor. So far the juice thing is working so I think I'll stick with that.

With giving up artificial sweeteners I thought I would feel refreshed and "clean" feeling, but I haven't felt much of a difference. It doesn't dissuade me from staying away from them, but I wish I was more energized or something! Actually, in the past 10 days I've only lost 3 lbs which is slow for me. I know it's hard to complain when I'm still losing but if I only lost 3 lbs every 10 days all the time, then I would only lose 9 lbs every month and it would take me 9 more months to reach goal. I know it's silly to worry about such a thing but when I am only eating crumbs and have been through so much I feel like I deserve to be at goal already!

One reason I think my loss has slowed this week is because of the lack of fluids I got in for those couple of days. Plus I may have been drinking more than I do now when I was using Crystal Lite. I've heard that if sleevers don't get all their fluids in the loss slows down. So I'll need to keep pushing myself. Now that I've figured out something that works it shouldn't be a problem.

In other news, the triplets come today for a visit! They are two years old now and it's unbelievable the little people they are becoming. Before they arrive, Steve and I are hitting the mall because I need to get my wedding rings resized before I lose them! I also need pants for work. I think I'm an 18 now, but sometimes I'm still a 20. I can't wait til I'm a 10!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wish someone would have told me...

I recently posted this to the VSG forum on when someone asked what we wish we would have known. After I wrote it, I realized I wanted to keep it!

I wish someone had reminded me that this is a serious change in your life and you will need to focus on you for a while. You will become a little high maintenance and you will need to be a little selfish. But it is for your health and well-being. This is surgery and you may experience some pain. You may also be nauseous. But it's a relatively quick recovery and some people do much better than others. You will have struggles and the first couple of weeks are the hardest when it comes to cravings (yes, even when you are 1 day out and uncomfortable!). It will pass and you will fall into a new lifestyle that is the new "you". The results may feel slow sometimes and then one day you'll wake up and realize just how far you've come.

Losing my hair

Well, it's happened! I knew it would, but hoped it wouldn't. I've always "shed" a lot - especially when I wash my hair. But yesterday when I was getting ready I noticed a RECEDING HAIRLINE! OMG. I thought my hair would thin out but I didn't think I'd get noticeable patches!! Luckily I'm able to pull down some flyaways and cover it. I think it's only noticeable when I point it out to people - which I'm only doing to my mom and husband! I should have washed my hair tonight but now I'm nervous. And I have this irrational fear that I'll go to bed and wake up bald. I didn't think it would affect me this much but there were a lot of things I've reacted differently to than I thought I would. Oh, this journey is so full of ups and downs!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Before & After Photos

Almost 4 months out - wow, what a difference.

Before at 324 lbs:
After at 247 lbs:



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Amazing VSG results on YouTube

Mark -

PCP follow-up today

I went and saw my primary care doctor today. She is so proud of me. She didn't know much about the sleeve until I asked her for her letter of support and she started doing research about it. She is so pleased with what she has learned and my results that she has since referred two of her patients to check it out. If I helped to change their life around the way mine has been changed then I am very happy!

Yesterday, a student came into my office who hadn't seen me since pre-op. She doesn't know about the surgery and when I stood up she asked "have you lost weight?". It made me smile. For some reason, hearing it from strangers is so powerful! I'm at 247 today - so down 77 lbs. I love being below 250 - it feels like such a milestone to me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sleeve diet guide

This is the best document I've found that clearly explains the sleeve diet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Doc Appt & Support Group

Every first Tuesday of the month is support group. I try to schedule my doctor appointments for the same afternoon so I can take the time in between for errands. So today my doctor appt was at 3:45pm and then support group is at 7pm. I went to Target in between to go shopping for my best friend's baby shower on Saturday. But anyway, my doctor's appt went great. I saw Dr. Koppman and he is very happy with my weight loss. I've lost 35% of my excess body weight in just over 3 months. Sounds good to me! I'm down to exactly 250. Which means I'm down 74 lbs and I'm halfway through the 200s! I can't even IMAGINE how I'm going to feel when I'm in the 100s. Oh my gosh, that will be amazing.

One thing I spoke with Dr. Koppman about is the time I stay full. See, I get full very quickly but I'm hungry again in only a couple of hours. He said he's not surprised since my stomach still empties just like pre-op. With the sleeve surgery, a new "pouch" is not made and the pyloric valve is still functioning normal. But he said to try and see if I can manage to eat some veggies with my protein to keep my satiety longer. So, I'll work on that.

Support group was great. There were a lot of people at this one - about 30. The theme was "Depression and Anxiety". Since I came straight from the doctor's/Target, Steve didn't come with me this time. But it was very interesting to hear the other people's stories. We talked about the common things as bariatric patients that make us depressed and/or anxious. We did talk a little about the clinical side of depression and anxiety but it was more focused on the emotional side. It was so refreshing to hear others talk about how overwhelming the bariatric plan is to their life. I find that to be so true. My days have to be so carefully planned. Between eating, drinking, vitamins, and the required time in between, it seems as though there isn't enough hours in the day. And that doesn't even include exercise which seems so elusive to someone who works full-time, tries to manage a household, tries to maintain a personal life, and makes sure she spends quality time with her husband. But I think it ties to the topic of last month's support group which was "be kind to yourself". I can't do everything - I can only do what I can. And I'm doing pretty darn good so I'm happy with that! I think as time goes on and I become more comfortable with my routine then I'll be better able to add in the extras.

Overall, good day. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Three months - Reflections

I'll have my husband take pictures soon, but in the meantime here are some reflections as I pass my three month "surgiversary".

I think I'm a fast loser. But ya know what? I wish it was faster! I don't think anyone is ever happy with the rate of loss. We bariatric folks are put through A LOT. Our whole lives change! Is it to much to ask for instant gratification??? Haha - of course it's crazy talk, but I really think that is my problem. I feel like I DESERVE to be at goal because I had a major surgery, a major life change. Impatient? ABSOLUTELY!

As far as eating goes, I know I'm not the model patient. I can barely get in 2 oz at a time and I know I'm not hitting my protein goal every day. But I do what I can. I listen to my body and I've found a balance between my doctor's orders and my body's orders.

At the last support group I went to, the counselor said that we should be nicer to ourselves. We are so concerned about others' feelings and others' perceptions of us. But what about our feelings and perceptions of ourselves? Take time to breathe. Relax. Do what you enjoy. Most of us enjoyed eating and now...well, not so much. So concentrate on the other things you enjoy. Concentrate on family and actually talking while having a meal together.

I can't believe how much I've changed during these first three months. I can only imagine how I'll look back on the next three months! Having the sleeve surgery was the best decision I've ever made. Don't get me wrong - it's the hardest thing I've ever done and it is still an everyday struggle for me. But I wouldn't change it for all the biscuits and gravy in the world!