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. :)