Monday, December 29, 2008

Weight Stall

My weight loss is stalled and has been for the last two weeks. This is common and normal, but doesn't stop me from feeling frustrated. I must continue to eat because If eat less then my body will truly go into starvation mode. I am going to up my protein and my fluids and see if that helps.

Meet My Feet

They have been a mystery to me for such a long time.. You will notice that scale shows my weight at 290lbs which brings my total eight loss to seventy pounds! I am still stalled and have not lost anything in two weeks, but I'm sticking to the plan and hope it works.

So why a post about my feet? For months before the surgery my feet would swell, and they would look like I had some type of medical condition or really fat feet. To cope, I got pedicures, I stretched my shoes, limited what I would wear and chose flip flops whenever I could. The swelling I once had is now completely gone and I have back what I think are my cute little feet. The only bad news is that now none of my shoes fit properly and I'm pretty much forced to wear flip flops or buy new shoes. (Not that I mind the flip flops :-))

Dumping Syndrome

"Dumping Syndrome: Whereby stomach contents move too rapidly through the small intestine. Symptoms include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and, occasionally, diarrhea after eating, as well as the inability to eat sweets without becoming so weak and sweaty that the patient may have to lie down until the symptoms pass."

I have thought up until today that I would be one of the lucky ones that did not dump. I was wrong. Tonight I ate 1/4 of an apple with about a Tbs. and a half of peanut butter. I finished and knew immediately something was wrong. My stomach was gurgling I felt nauseous and weak and really tired. PB was on my safe food list and I used the low sugar kind as well, but apparently it did not agree with my body and it will be quite a while before I try that again.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Surgery Side Effects

Tailbone Pain

I did not know this before the surgery but a common complication is pain in the tailbone. Apparently you are losing weight so rapidly that your body just cannot keep up and compensate for the weightloss. My muscles don't support my spine the way they use to and I have a lot less padding (well less maybe not a lot less :-)) and so my tailbone hurts constantly. It is not just a nagging ache either, the pain can be quite bad at times. It is worse because it is not really an area you can rest unless I want to spend all day lying on my stomach. I have to go in next week for an x-ray to rule out any other problems and if everything is fine they will talk about treatment options. They involve cortisone injections, core muscle exercises and if the pain is really intense an epidural in your spine to block the nerves while the muscles catch up. Sounds worse than it is and while I am not exaclty comfortable now, if this is the worse that happens I will still be thrilled with the surgery. Honestly, even if I knew about this before hand it would not have changed my mind.

Hair Loss

I have worried a lot about losing my hair. It is always something I liked and didn't want it to drastically change. At this point if it happens it happens, but im hoping it does not. I have noticed I am losing a bit more hair than usual so I'm taking pictures so I can compare later.

Two Month Pictures

I figured it would be easiest if I kept all of the comparison photos in one post. You can see my two month photos here:


But here are some other's I took so you can see the changes in my face;

New Year's Resolutions

I think I have resolved to lose weight every year for the past ten years, and while there have been minor victories nothing has ever lasted. As I lose the weight I am shedding the old me, the one that held herself back from doing the things she wanted to do. I have felt restless the last week, I think maybe it is from all the changes happening in my life. I've been cleaning and organizing, searching for new hairstyles, trying on old clothes. I think what I need is a project to channel my energy into, so first I will get the house in tip top shape and then move on to my next project, furthering my career.

So what am I resolving to do this year:

Exercise three times a week.
Take my vitamins.
Be true to myself and put my family first.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and happy holidays and I wish you all a wonderful new year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Before and After (Do you know this girl?)

I used to know her, a long time ago. This morning when I woke up I snapped a picture. No make up, bed head, and something really wacky going on with my eyebrows. When I compare this picture to a picture taken on my wedding day, it hardly looks like the same person to me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weight loss update

I believe I have entered what will be my first stall. I have lost 60lbs, but have not lost anything in the last five days. I am told this is normal and the scale will start moving again soon. This weekend I begin exercising and I think that will do wonders to get the scale moving.

What I'm eating now:

I'm still eating everything I was before though eating has become more of a challenge than it was before. I would say that about 80% of the time I have no problem, but I am noticing some foods that agreed with me before no longer agree with me. For a few weeks I was eating quiche every day, then one day the one with bacon starting causing me pains in my pouch. I have laid off of it for a while and hope eventually I can go back to it.

Coffee--I always loved coffee but it used to upset my stomach. One pleasant change since the surgery is it no longer does that. I limit it to only one cup with caffeine per day and then switch to decaf, but it might be time to dust off the coffee maker. (No more indulging my starbucks habit until I have a job :-))

Fage--is a greek yogurt that is very sour almost like sour cream, but is very high in protein. I've been putting French Onion soup mix in it and having my own version of (soy) chips and dip. It feels like a guilty pleasure.

Chocolate pudding--I have discovered that cook and serve chocolate pudding with protein powder is quite good and when I find the time to make it, I have it just about every night.

Cream of Chicken soup--Jeff has been sick and so I made him some chicken soup, the chicken was a little tough so I blended it up in my magic bullet and added fat free half and half. I really liked it. So much that I ate it for lunch and dinner for four days in a row.

Chicken--Some people have trouble with chicken, but as long as it is moist I have no problems with it. It is one food I can reliably get down.

Cheese--I still have string cheese every day.

Life gets more and more normal every day. I am able to go to a restaurant and find something to eat, and it is once again the enjoyable social event it used to be, only now its cheaper.

WOW Moments

When you have surgery like this it is hard to see the weight loss in yourself. I look in the mirror every day and while I know my clothes are too big and the scale says I'm losing weight, it is hard to see the changes on a daily basis. I'm proud to say that I've had my first few wow moments:

I looked in the mirror the other day and I saw the me that had been missing for so long. The chubby cheeks are still there (and in reality no matter how much weight I lost may always be there) but there is a definition to my face, my eyes are brighter, my neck is slimmer. I see myself the way I always thought I should look in pictures.

I look forward to physical activity. A trip to the mall is an exciting idea. I have excess energy which I haven't had in years and am happily planning all my organization projects. Yesterday Jeff scheduled an appraiser to come to our house, giving us about 4 hours to get the house cleaned. I vacuumed and scrubbed and cleaned and organized without breaking a sweat and when I was done, I wasn't exhausted.

All of a sudden there are lots of babies and children in my life. The stamina to walk around holding a baby was something I hadn't been able to do in a long time. A trip to target holding a baby the entire time now tires out nothing but my arms.

Officially Unemployed

I am unemployed. I suppose this is a thought that should make me unhappy, but it does not. For the last five years I have run a million miles an hour making money for someone else, working for someone else and playing by their rules. They operated on my stomach, but it is also like they operated on my brain. It gave me clarity on my life, and three weeks out of the office made me realize exactly how unhappy I was, and so here I sit jobless and yet happy and free. Like I can finally breath again. Life works in mysterious ways and for every door that closes another one opens and now I must choose which one to walk through.

My new years resolution is that I am taking me back.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Almost Forgot, weight update..

I am down 57lbs!!!

What am I eating..

This might be boring for some of you, but I'm trying to make this blog something I can show to other's who have had or are considering the surgery and so I can look back and remember. So at almost six weeks out, I can eat:

Cheese--any kind of cheese, it is a staple that I practically live on. I love mozzarella cheese and we are going through a ridiculous amount of cheese stick in that house. I can also have ricotta, cottage cheese, cheddar, Havarti dill (my favorite) and pretty much any kind of cheese I want. I haven't had cream cheese yet, but mainly because I like it on a cracker and I am trying to keep my carbs low.

Bread--Many people have problems with bread after WLS. I have only had bread twice since the surgery but I haven't had any problems with it. I am not making it a habit or consuming large quantities, but it is nice to know that it is not something I can never have again.

Lunch Meat--Lunch meat was never a favorite of mine, but I like it more after my surgery, I have it about two or three times a week. I occasionally have it with a cracker but usually just dip it in mustard.

Seafood--I love all kinds of seafood and always have. It was the easiest thing for me to digest in the beginning and I still love it. I've been enjoying shrimp, scallops and lobster. I've rediscovered my love of Tuna. I used to eat this all the time and then went several years without having it.

Meat--I have had chicken and turkey with no problems. I tried a hamburger and it didn't sit well so it will probably be another few weeks until I am brave enough to try beef again.

Nuts--I waited a while to try these, but they are such an easy thing to eat that I finally broke down and had some almonds today. The jury is still out on whether they agreed with me or not.

Desserts--Not much in the way of dessert, but I have been making pudding. This counts as high protein because I make it with milk. I also found some sugar free cookies yesterday which are just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Eggs--I've never been a big egg fan but i'm practically living on them now. I have a mini frozen quiche or an omelet at least three times a week.

Fruits--I haven't tried too many fruits yet, mainly because I am afraid of the high sugar content. I have had grapes and banana's with no problem. I have really been wanted watermelon and I think that will be the next new thing that I try.

Drinks--I am still drinking mainly tea, I got sick of herbal tea and finally switched to regular tea. I am mixing it with mashed up oranges and for now I am enjoying it. I can drink that and V8. I still have a hard time with water and I can't drink anything with fake flavoring. I still enjoy my nightly hot cocoa with milk for extra protein and do just fine with regular milk as long as I take a lactaid first.

2,500 mg of calcium citrate (10 pills a day)
36mg of Iron (two pills a day)
2 B-50 Complex pills
1 Biotin Pill
1 Tender D3 pill
Sublingual B-12
2 multi-vitamins

Getting Sick, Bouncing Back

On Saturday I woke up with a sore throat, on Sunday the aches started and by Monday I was officially sick. I went to the doctor and got an antibiotic, cough syrup and a decongestant, I had my first post weight loss surgery upper respiratory infection. In the past I usually feel better within twenty four hours of taking an antibiotic. I took my first one Monday night and expected to feel better by Tuesday, it didn't happen.

I have learned that I can no longer take extended release medications. They work very well for about three or four hours and then I have twelve hours until the next dose. I couldn't sleep at night because I was coughing so badly and the medicine would only give me three or four hours of relief. I also discovered that the antibiotic Omnicef is no longer nearly as effective for me as it once was. I kept feeling worse and worse, until Friday I couldn't take it anymore and called my doctor crying about what misery I was in. She gave me three different cough medications and the antibiotic Levaquin. The Levaquin did the trick and I started feeling better on Saturday morning. I have a nagging cough that the doc says it may take a few weeks to get over.

That's the good news. The bad news is I'm exhausted. Last week I could barely eat, eating food made me feel sick and I had a hard enough time getting in all my liquid. Now I'm eating again but I'm tired, in that bone weary sleep for a week kind of way. It is a reminder that my body is different now and I can't just keep moving and pushing until I feel better. While I feel really good most days, I don't have any energy reserves, something simple that I might have once pushed through can knock me on my butt for a week. It may not always be this way, but for now I'll take this as a warning and be thankful I wasn't really sick. I rarely take a sick day, but I might have to take it as a sign that I need to slow down and relax when I don't feel well. Relax....that's a new concept for me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

As Promised, Pictures

Day of Surgery

IMG_0528.jpg picture by FinallyForMe

One month Out

IMG_0559.jpg picture by FinallyForMe

Two Months Out

10 Weeks Out (Same Sweatshirt as day of surgery)

10 Weeks Out (Clothes that kind of fit)

Day of Surgery
IMG_0527.jpg picture by FinallyForMe

One month out
IMG_0558.jpg picture by FinallyForMe

Two Months Out

10 Weeks Out (Clothes that Kind of Fit)

Day of Surgery

IMG_0526.jpg picture by FinallyForMe

One month Out

IMG_0557.jpg picture by FinallyForMe

Two months Out

10 Weeks Out (Same Sweatshirt as Day of Surgery)

10 Weeks Out (Clothes that Kind of fit)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One Month Out

If someone told me how much my life would change in just one month I would never have believed them. For years I refused to consider this surgery, I thought it was too radical, too permanent, not necessary. I thought I was fine with my weight and that it wasn't a problem, the reality is I was lying to myself. My only regret is that I didn't do this sooner. At first was afraid to tell people I was planning to have this surgery, afraid that they would judge me, afraid of how they would react, but now I want to shout it from the rooftops. I FEEL GREAT!

Thanksgiving was great, I had been worried about how I would do with the food but it went fine. I could eat everything that everyone else ate, only a lot less. My bad spell with food seems to be a thing of the past. I can eat more and more variety. It is interesting that as my stomach heals I am able to eat even less than I was before. To put it in perspective I can eat one quarter of a chicken breast or half a cup of soup or one egg or two cheesesticks. I usually eat about 500-600 calories a day.

I have officially hit my first weight loss stall. As of Thanksgiving I had lost fifty pounds, I have not lost any weight in the last few days. I am trying to ride it out and not focus on my weight. Even though I may not be actively losing weight I am still getting smaller, right now I don't have a single pair of pants that fit and I am not complaining.

On Black Friday I decided to go out shopping with my mom at the crack of dawn. (I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea). To compound my stupidity we decided to go to K-Mart, I get nauseous thinking about going to a Walmart so why I thought I could handle K-Mart I don't know. I waited in line to save four dollars on some toy for my niece. I am going to chalk it up for temporary insanity. We walked around all morning running in and out of stores and though I was tired from a lack of sleep I had no aches, no pains, and I could have kept going.

Now that the physical healing from the surgery is done, the next step is to exercise. I am going to start by using the treadmill and will build up from there . I took the picture but haven't posted them yet, I promise I will soon.