Sunday, December 21, 2014

Beauty Products After Surgery

So I am almost two months post-op and doing great.  I'm able to eat just about anything, but I choose to stay away from fried food and complex carbs (bread, pasta, rice). My new stomach can handle them, but my new lifestyle knows I shouldn't have them. Weight loss started to slow down with sodium intake, water retention, and increase of exercise. I have read that it will pick back up once my body adjusts to the new diet of eating normal food again. I'm still happy with 1.5 to 2 lbs a week, but this past week I picked back up.

I thought I would post about some of the products I use for scars and to help with skin elasticity. I saw a dermatologist about scarring from my breast cancer and they recommended Oil of Olay Total Effects 7 for a body wash.  I have been pretty happy with it so I also the face moisturizer.  It smooths skin and I can tell a big difference.

 I have five scars from my bypass surgery, so I am hoping they will diminish with constant use of recommended products. I use Bio oil and Mederma directly on my scars. I normally use one in the morning and one in the evening.  The scars are not too bad, but I'm so tired of scars!

The last product I use on my arms and thighs. Those are the areas of my body I fear my skin will sag. A friend of mine recommended Nieva's Q10 Gel Cream.  I haven't used this long enough to talk about it's effectiveness. 

Fitness - I have been in the gym doing cardio, weight training, and working on my flexibility. I am looking forward to becoming even more active over the holiday break and leading in to the Spring tennis season!

Total weight loss - 42.2 lbs
December 21, 2014 - 203.8
December 11, 2014 - 210.6 lbs
Five weeks post-op, November 28, 2014 - 214 lbs
Four weeks post-op, November 21, 2014 - 216 lbs
Three weeks post-op, November 14, 2014 - 221.9 lbs
Two weeks post-op, Nov 7, 2014 - 226.6 lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31, 2014 - 231.8 lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24, 2014 - 239 lbs
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14, 2014 - 246 lbs

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Adding the gym back in to my life :) and pictures!

I knew I had to start sometime...I felt good enough this week to hit the gym.  I worked out three times this week! I had to prepare myself mentally not to drop the weight I was used to seeing because of this. I NEVER loose weight when I start working out. The gym came easy to me though. I did a mile in 17:53 one day and then 16:36 two days later.  I also spent time on the elliptical. I really want to jog and do some weight training, but I told myself not until after my tube is out. My goal is to get to 12:00 by Christmas!

My other issue this week was not eating enough calories each day. I fell below 600 calories a few days. With working out, I am not sure that was a good idea.  I am fully on soft food, but I drink one protein shake a day until I am sure I can get 60+ grams of protein. I am eating just about everything fairly well.  I am still staying away from all bread, pasta, rice, uncooked veggies, steak, pork, all fried food, and sweets.  I eat about a cup of food at each setting with two snacks (when I can remember). I have grown to love beans! Mom found me the Bush's La Cocina beans and I LOVE them!!

I'm super excited that my G-Tube comes out Tuesday!! It is showing more and more with weight loss. It is being held by one small needless to say, I can't wait for it to come out!

Here are some pictures!! I don't see too much of a difference, but I am one size down in clothing...almost two.

Four weeks out - 

Nov. 29

Weigh-in results - total loss 32 lbs
Five weeks post-op, November 28 - 214
Four weeks post-op, November 21 - 216
Three weeks post-op, November 14 - 221.9
Two weeks post-op, Nov 7 - 226.6 lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31 - 231.8 lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24 - 239 lbs
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14 - 246 lbs

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Four weeks out weigh-in! I get to eat FOOD now :)

I am officially able to eat soft food! This  means I can add in other proteins like chicken and fish. I actually started this phase three days early when I tried two ounces of chicken and some ahi tuna and it didn't bother me! I was at a birthday party at TGI Fridays and I ordered the small chicken skewers and ahi tuna bites. I got full really fast. That was my first experience with solid food and I survived!!  I then went out to eat for my anniversary. I took a bite of a flat bread and it did not go down properly, either due to not enough chewing or too big of a bite. It was very painful so I had to stand in the restroom for a bit. After 20 mins, I felt better and learned not to make that mistake again!! I had to skip my soup, but I ate some of my chicken. 

I have been doing well on soft foods since I started. I definitely do not eat as much as I was able to with the liquid proteins. I probably eat about a half cup of solid food. So far I have tried boneless chicken breast, baked chicken leg, sliced smoked turkey, scrabbled eggs, meatballs, cooked squash and zucchini, cooked carrots, mashed potatoes, baked beans, ground beef, string cheese, and oatmeal. I am basically steering clear from any bread, pasta, rice, anything fried, all sweets, sugar, and high-fat foods. I do fine with spicy, so I am keeping that. heheh

Because I started eating "solid" food, I was scared my weight loss would have slowed down. I actually lost more weight this past week! Bodies are so weird. I am still eating between 600-800 calories. I feel that I will probably default around this range for quite a while. A question to my doctor will be a safe caloric range. I still keep track of everything I eat, even though it is harder now that it is not packaged in a container all the time. I can see how it is hard to get in all the protein you need. I will continue to supplement a meal with a protein shake to ensure I get 60 plus grams. Though I do get full really fast, I do get hungry again, however it normally takes 2-3 hours on the amount of food I am eating right now. 

The hardest thing for me is not the "do not drink before and after meals for 30 minutes", but the eating slowly. I have to learn to put the fork down in between bites. Especially when I am hungry and wanting to eat!

I have not yet made it to the gym. However, I am moving well and not tired every day. I still do get tired at times, but it is normally after a busy day.  Since we are off this week, I am hoping to get to it. I know it will give me energy and make it easier for me after the tube comes out! 

Other exciting things this week include fitting in to clothes that I haven't worn in two years! Before surgery I was a size 18/20. Now my size 20's are too big and I am comfortable in my sized 18 clothes. I have a few size 16 I now fit. My goal is to be a solid size 16 by Christmas. 

Weigh-in results - total loss 30 lbs
Four weeks post-op, November 21 - 216
Three weeks post-op, November 14 - 221.9
Two weeks post-op, Nov 7 - 226.6 lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31 - 231.8 lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24 - 239 lbs
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14 - 246 lbs

30 pounds down - 81 to go!! Pictures next week :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Week three post-op and weigh-in!

Week three was pretty good. I have started sleeping on both sides comfortably, which I need because I hate sleeping on my back. It's the little things. I am still on liquid proteins, soups, pureed beans, cottage cheese, etc and I have stuck to that pretty dead on. I did try peanut butter in my protein shake and I didn't feel too well after. I'm not sure if it was the peanut butter though. I still drink one liquid protein supplement a day, which has 30 grams of protein. I'm averaging about 70 to 75 grams of protein a day and 600 to 700 calories.

Things that I have added comfortably to my diet, along with liquid protein, so far include: Hot sauce, all types of spices, melted cheese, sour cream, all my chewable vitamins, sugar free and crustless pumpkin pie, butternut squash soup, french onion soup without the bread, potato soup, black and pinto beans, and ricotta cheese.  I do not eat more than 1/2 to 1 cup of food at a time (4 to 8 ounces). I do get hungry at times because of the liquid base of my diet. I don't believe it stays with me as long. The fullest I feel is when I eat the beans (of course).

I get to move to soft food next weekend! I'm super excited and ready to try out my new stomach. I am going to be able to start foods that I can cut with the side of a fork or spoon. I'm looking forward to chicken and some fish.

During week four, I really would like to return to the gym and complete a light cardio workout. I will not be able to fully workout until my G-tube is out and I'm healed up from that. The tube comes out December 2. I have plans for my fourth 5k at the end of January so I would like to start training for that after the New Year. I would like to run some of it :) I am flying up north December 11, so I will be excited to finally fit more comfortably in an airplane seat!!  Bucket List Here I Come!!

Weigh-in results - total loss 24.1 lbs
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14 - 246 lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24 - 239 lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31 - 231.8 lbs
Two weeks post-op, Nov 7 - 226.6 lbs
Three weeks post-op, November 14 - 221.9

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week two Post-op...Social life on a liquid diet

Week two has been a  breeze!  I have returned back to work and feel about 75%.  I get tired pretty easy still, so I am taking my weekends to recoup. The week got easier as I went. Since I am in education, however not a classroom teacher, and have more or less a desk job, it was easy for me to return 10 days after surgery. My doctor asked me why...I told him I felt ready!

I had my two week post-op visit with my doctor. He checked my G-tube (which I absolutely hate!) and said all my other incisions looked great. I told him I am eating well and feeling good. Almost scarily good. I can easily eat a half cup to a cup of food, in about 10-15 minutes. I have no signs of nausea and I don't get overly full. I have integrated soups in my diet. Mainly because I have been out to eat three times in the past week.

I am very social and part of that is joining people out to dinner. I first tried Crisper's Butternut Squash soup, LOVED it! I was only able to eat the cup and not the bowl. Next, I tried a broccoli cheddar at Bob Evans. I left out the big chunks of broccoli but it was still good. Last, I had French Onion at Red Robin.  I also ordered their black beans and smashed them, so I didn't finish much of either. I find it pretty easy to eat out with friends in this stage. Soups are low calorie (as long as you don't get the ones laden with cream) and have protein. The only down side, is I know going out to eat contributed to my obesity. Therefore, I have to be very careful when returning to normal. I know eventually I will be well enough to be tempted by fried food and bad-carb food. I am learning to like things that are much better for me,

My doctor said I could start my vitamins! I was super excited. Since I had issues with my iron when I was going through chemo, I decided to buy a chewable multivitamin with iron. I then take two calcium tablets, one around lunch and one at night. Finally, I take a biotin to help maintain my hair and nail growth. I shopped around and found the most affordable for what I wanted. I take the ones below:

Some of my favorite things to eat are below. Premier protein tastes great and it is 30 grams of protein.  I either have it for breakfast or I sip on it throughout the morning after breakfast. To make sure I get over 65 grams of protein, I usually drink one a day right now. I do use protein powders, but I try to get real food in first. I will also drink a cup of milk at night if I am low on protein for the day. The doctor said to get at least 60 grams, but I aim for 75 just to make sure. 

Weight loss is happening! I lost some real fast at first and then when I introduced the protein liquids, it slowed a little. I also became more active and the first few days of that, my body had to get used to. I don't want to loose too fast because I don't want to deal with the sagging skin. I can't wait to start working out in the gym though.

Weigh-in results - total loss 19.4 lbs
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14 - 246 lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24 - 239 lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31 - 231.8 lbs

Two weeks post-op, Nov 7 - 226.6 lbs

Friday, October 31, 2014

One week post-op! Day-to-day and weekly weigh-in

I am exactly one week post-op today.  It's 11:50am and I have already had 40 grams of protein, 20 fluid ounces, and completed a mile walk today.  I must say that the key to feeling better faster is to get moving and make sure you get 60+ grams of protein so you can heal. I definitely could tell the difference yesterday (six days post-op), when I could sit up on my own in bed. I also drove for the first time yesterday and attended a class for 2.5 hours.  I had to forego all my prescribed pain medication for the day so I could drive and I didn't have simple Tylenol at home.  Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain by 8:30pm when I walked in the door.  I stopped and picked up some Tylenol and Tylenol PM so I can sleep better.

I slept through the night starting at four days post-op.  However, I was still not able to get myself out of bed, so I had to move to a chair at 4am when my husband left for work. Now I sleep through the night but am still uncomfortable of having to sleep only on my back.  My next big move is to sleep on my right side.

The pain is minimal and I am sore in my drainage areas and where I was poked.  I still have a G-Tube in for feeding and getting liquids, but I never use it since I am doing so well on my own. The G-Tube is probably the most painful and I am supposed to have it through December 2.  I am going to see if they can take it out next week or any time sooner.

I have already replaced the gauze for one drain with a big band-aid.  I have six holes in my tummy. They went through my belly button (which was man-created anyways), then I two holes slightly above my belly button, one to the left and one to the right. Then I have one small hole straight above my belly button, under my breasts. The last two holes are the G-Tube and where the JP drain was.  I am only worried about scarring where the G-Tube is and in the hole to the right of my belly button. I will put bio oil on these once healed.

So what does my diet look like?

I finished clear liquids on Monday but I mainly drank water, broth and had jello on those days.  Starting Tuesday some of my meals looked like this:

Breakfast -
Premier Protein Drink (30 grams of protein)

Sipped on Blue Raspberry water by Proti, it is a pack of blue liquid you add to water. (15 grams of protein) I would try to have the 10-12 ounces done by lunch time.

Lunch -
1/2 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese mixed with spices(10 grams of protein) OR home made protein shake.
I have used pumpkin pie filling my mom made (without the sugar) and mixed it with a scoop of protein powder, milk and ice (30 grams of protein). I have also made a hazelnut shake with sugar free hazelnut creamer and protein powder and milk (30 grams of protein)

Continue to sip on water, maybe have apple sauce or jello for a snack.

Dinner -
1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese mixed with spices (9 grams of protein) OR 10-12 ounces of water mixed with Unjury's Chicken flavored protein powder (20 grams of protein).

Snack -
1/2 cup of low-fat milk (4.5 grams of protein) or the Ricotta cheese

I always make sure to get 70+ grams of protein a day. I would like to introduce something savory like mashed black beans with low fat cheese or sour cream in to my diet next week.

Let's talk exercise - 
My goal was to walk a mile in one walk by one week post-op.  I did just that today!  I walk 2-3 times a day, depending on other physical activities I have going on that day.  I started walking the day after I got home from the hospital.  Starting next week, I will introduce minimal weigh training for my arms at home.  I am hoping to be back in the gym by Thanksgiving, if not sooner just to get some cardio. I keep track of everything on my S5 phone which has an app for fitness. I think I will be ready for work on Monday...3 days away!

Finally, weigh-in results - 
Weight at pre-op appointment, Oct 14 - 246lbs
Weight morning of surgery, Oct 24 - 239lbs
One week post-op, Oct 31 - 231.8lbs

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Before, During, and After Surgery...Made it through!

The pre-op diet and I meshed pretty well.  It was very hard, fighting the temptation to eat just one last meal with lots of fried food and carbs.  My weight fluctuated during the last week due to having to stop my blood pressure meds and starting my monthly cycle.  I went in to surgery weighing about 7-8 ponds lighter than I had two weeks prior.

The day before surgery was clear liquids.  I cheated on this day because I added protein powder to my clears.  I didn't know I wasn't supposed to, but when I mentioned it to my doctor, he said it was fine. I'm glad I got those extra grams of protein!!

I did sleep the night before. Being that I was so nervous, I was surprised I did.  I woke and did the usual wash with the medicated hand rub they give you. Mom and Dad were on time, 5:15, and I was off to ORMC!

The drill was the same in pre-surgery prep. I had to brush my teeth, gums, and tongue with the medicated liquid and then they clean my tummy very well. My doctor came by, as well as the anesthesiologist, head nurse, and a few other people I had no idea what their purpose was. The nurse put two IVs in me and started the happy juice.  The best thing about happy juice, is that you feel it right away!  What a great feeling! 

Once I go to the operating room, the only thing I really remember was having conversation with the people in there.  The nurse put oxygen over my mouth and within seconds I was out.  I didn't even count down from ten....sneaky people. 

I don't remember recovery, but I do remember when they said I can go to my room.  I don't remember going to my room, but I remember waking up and being there.  The pain was minimal at the time, but I was very nauseous.  They knew all patients generally were so they put a patch behind my ear and placed a reletext bracelet on me which sent mirco pulses (felt like I was being shocked) up my hand. Every time I walked I felt nauseous, so they treated me for that.

I was in and out of sleep the whole day.  Melissa, Rick, and Ry came to visit and I barely remember that.  Herb got off work and stayed the night :) 

The second post-op day I had less nausea and more pain.  I had to drink the blue dye to make sure my new stomach did not have leaks in it.  I passed the test and began drinking and eat clear liquids.  I didn't want much, I wasn't hungry. I didn't manage to drink some chicken broth and eat some jello.  It is vital that I take in 64 oz of liquid a day to keep hydrated.  I have a G-tube that also helps with this.  I have to drain it three times a day, but I also can put liquids in it to get my nutrition.

I was released from the hospital on day two and made it home.  I am currently on clear liquids until Tuesday, then I can have my protein drinks and other liquid protein supplements. I can't wait!  I don't feel like I am getting enough nutrition. 

Being at home is much better than in the hospital, even though I am here alone.  I can move well, but the pain kicks in when I use my stomach muscles. I am doing more and more clear liquids so my tummy is making weird noises. However, I haven't had any nausea..knock on wood!  For now, I am laid up in a plush red chair in the library.  I can not get in bed or lay on the couch because it hurts too much to get up. Other than walking around the house, I know I have to go for longer walks.  I am waiting for Herb to get home to monitor me, in case I fall. 

Things are good though.  I can't complain. Day by day...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nutrition Appointment...moving right along. 15 days and counting

I met with the nutritionist this past Tuesday, which is a prerequisite for surgery.  I had to fill out a form about my current diet and exercise habits.  She met with me individually to weigh me and figure out how many calories I need to consume to lose weight.  We settled on about 1200.  I also voiced my concern about my iron levels and the best way to keep them up.  She discussed a supplement with me. 

Next, she met with a small group of us and went over the paperwork below.  We tried vitamin samples, looked at food samples she recommended, and she spoke about what our diet would look like from two weeks before surgery as well as after surgery.  She told us about the best protein powders to buy and how much protein we needed to get each day.

We concluded the session with what to do when issues come up such as dumping, constipation, and so forth.  It was very informative!!

My next steps are my blood work tomorrow morning and my gallbladder ultrasound tomorrow morning.  My pre-op appointment is Tuesday, the 14th and all that stuff has to be done prior. They have emailed me my pre-op paperwork of dos and don'ts.  I may post that next  blog! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Bariatric Visit....and more bucket list items

This past Tuesday I had my initial bariatric appointment. Mom, Dad, and Herb went with me…more so because we were going to Epcot’s food and wine afterwards. LOL 

So I arrived right before 11:30, they took the $250 payment, did my vitals and went over my new patient paperwork.  My blood pressure was 170/100, which of course set a red flag off right away.  I weighed in at 242, which I already knew.  My weight has been pretty steady since last December. Soon after the vitals check, mom and I joined four other ladies in a small classroom with some charts and a white board.  They doctor entered soon after.  The doctor did his spiel, explained each option of weight loss surgery, and answered any general questions. We were in the classroom for about 45 minutes.

Each patient was then ushered in to an examination room.  The doctor then visited us individually.  We spoke about the surgery that I would like done, the risks, my cancer, and the next steps.  He suggested the gastric sleeve, simply because I was a self-pay patient and there is a higher risk and more need surgery could be possible in the future, say for a bowel blockage. I let him know I wasn’t too concerned because I felt my insurance was heading in the right direction with eventually covering weight loss procedure….also, I take risks! It’s what I do.  I did voice my main concern of becoming anemic and he agreed, I just asked for the best supplement I could get.  The doctor also mentioned he could take my gallbladder out and it would be covered.  One of the worse things, is getting gall stones…problem solved.

He approved me for surgery and my last step was to see the scheduler and get the ball rolling.  The scheduler gave me the price break down (totaling approx. $20,500), a script for blood work, and a script for an ultrasound of my gallbladder.  In order to schedule the surgery, the surgeon fee had to be paid, approx. $6,700.  Some may think this is a lot for a surgery.  I see it as a car payment ($400 a month). I know I would rather have a life changing surgery to use as a tool for the rest of my life, to help me become healthy. I rather be thin than drive off in a new car at this moment. 

The surgery is scheduled for Oct 24th but I have numerous appointments leading up to it.  However, I do not have to see a psychologist because I am a self-pay patient.  My timeline is below.  The entire balance for surgery has to be paid by day of.

Sept 29th – Initial appointment
Oct 7th – Nutritionist appointment
Oct 10th – Blood work appointment (free) Ultrasound for gallbladder (insurance covers)
Oct 14th – Pre-op appointment
Oct 24th – Surgery

I am very excited… to say the least. 


#21 - Let's just say better over all hygiene. I look forward to not have as many rolls and crevasses. Plus, I will be able to reach more places to shave ;)  hahaha, TMI I know.

#22 - I want to be able to do 10 pull-ups! 

#23 - I have always wanted to become a certified Scuba Diver.  Part of me is scared and the other part knows I need to be in better shape.  This is something I will definitely do!

#24 - To weight less than I did in High School!  My senior year, I probably weighed about 170. I thought I was soooo fat at the time. geezzz.. 

#25 - I would like to take up yoga and increase my flexibility.  I am hoping this will also enhance my sexual performance in the bedroom....and other places I will be able to fit with my new, slimmer body ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

15 to 20 chews per bite, seriously? annnnd some Bucket list items

So I like looking at tips and tricks for bariatric eating. More importantly, I like for friends and family to see what I will experience so I don't look like a total freak! But really??? 15-20 chews per bite? Two minutes between bites? I knew I would have to chew more....but man. I also know that investing in some baby spoons is key for training portion size. This is what I found...

"Eat slowly.
Foods should be eaten slowly. Since most bariatric patients were fast eaters in their previous life, this can be a difficult behavior to change. Use tools such as small baby spoons and forks to help slow you down. An egg timer is a handy way of making sure that you wait two minutes between bites, which helps you stretch the meal period to the suggested 20 to 30 minutes.

Chew your food carefully.
Chewing your food carefully, perhaps up to 15-20 chews per bite, until the foods feels pureed before swallowing, will help slow you down. It is also important to chew foods well to ensure that nothing gets stuck passing through the narrowed outlet from the pouch. Failure to eat small portions, eat slowly and chew carefully can lead to vomiting, which is never considered normal."

The eating slowly, I can handle...I am not sure about this 15-20 chews per bite. That will take some getting used to. It fits right up there with not drinking 30 mins before or after eating. Grrrr

Anyhow, my appointment is on Tuesday, a week away! I am looking forward to finding out more, but not really looking forward to staying there three hours. I have questions already that I would like to ask:

  • What is the time frame after the initial appointment? 
  • What's the best way to keep my Iron up? 
  • What is the best exercise to start with while getting back into the work out groove? 
  • How long do they recommend I stay on liquid/puree/soft foods? 
  • How can I avoid the cost of the blood work and MRI? 

More Bucket list items....Wooohooooooo

#16 - It's coming close to Halloween and I can't help thinking that I will not be buying a costume this year, because A, I don't really have anywhere to wear it to, and B (more importantly) they never make anything cute over a size 16.  I CAN'T WAIT TO BUY A NORMAL SIZED COSTUME....and may start with this one....

#17 - I can't wait to see the look of surprise on faces of those I do not see often after losing weight.  Seeing someone after a major change, whether it is weight loss or just a drastic hair cut, is always fun!

 #18 - I would like to go horseback riding, either on the beach or through a jungle-type environment.  Again, most horseback riding requirements have weight limitations and I always hit the borderline number.  I don't want to have to worry about that!

#19 - This is corny, but I can't wait to wrap a regular sized bath towel around me!!!!!!  It's cold when there are gaps!

#20 - I would like to sign up for my first Warrior Dash once I am in better shape.  This looks like so much fun, but I don't want to get stuck or not be able to pull myself along.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Psych Eval? and some more Bucket List Items!

So I am less than two weeks away from my initial bariatric appointment. I am getting excited, to say the least.  I am still battling a cold, so I am hoping to be 100% be the time of the appointment, but I have been religiously taking my vitamins!!  This is a big thing for me, because when I was going through chemo I was supposed to take them and I never did.  Woot!

I have had some interesting conversations with people regarding the surgery and for the most part they are very supportive.  The common topic, however, is the psychological evaluation.  I knew from the beginning that I would have to jump this hurdle. I know there are many different reasons as to why someone has to have a pysch eval.   One reason is being able to deal with how people (old and new) treat the newly transformed you.  Men will notice you more, women may react differently.... I told my mom that I never had issues pulling men's attention...LOL. She thought I was funny. Someone told me that they knew a person that went through the surgery and their attitude changed for the worse.  I can't see myself doing this.  I will just be happy to be healthy and have more energy.

The other reason people see a psychologist is to get used to being in their new skin. Some still see themselves as overweight when they look in the mirror after losing even 100 pounds.  I think I am different in the fact that I don't think or feel like I am the size I am now.  I mean, I know I am overweight, but I don't physically FEEL or think I look 240 pounds.  Not until I go shopping for clothes, or try to sit on an airplane, or exercise...then I realize I AM that big.

I have done a good job in cutting my portion sizes and eating snacks.  I still am not getting enough water....this will be a challenge.  Not being able to drink but an ounce at a time will also be a challenge since I like to chug water when I work out.


#11 - I want to wear a two piece bathing suit that isn't a tankini!  I would prefer to wear a yellow polka dotted bikini just so I can sing the song!

#12 - Zip lining!  wooohooo Most places have a weight limit and I can do some....but I want to be able to pick which zip line I would like to do!

#13 - I want a second tattoo.  Preferably on my hip line (because I want to be able to hide it),  I have thought about trying to cover up some of my scar from my DIEP surgery, but I will have to wait and see!  I have been a huge fan of "To Thine Own Self Be True", feathers, something breast cancer related, or something in Italian. 

#14 - I have so many pairs of Gucci and Prada heels that I never wear because I mess shoes up from being too heavy or they are just hard to wear all day.  I can't WAIT to have less weight on my shoes and wear cuter ones!  PLUS....SOMEONE will owe me a pair of red Manolos when I get to 160 pounds!

#15 - I want to do a best friends photo shoot with my girls!  Since I have always be the heaviest one, by a long shot, I never wanted to do these.  I would like to hire a professional Photog and head over to Disney or some other fabulous location!  Along with my family, these ladies are my rock and support system...they keep me in line :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Continuation of the Weight Loss Bucket List

I have stuck to my vitamin regimen 100% the past week. That is big for me! Wooohooo! I have not, however, been able to go a lunch or dinner without drinking while eating.  That is going to be very hard for me.  I also have to fit one more workout in for the week.

So me beginning a weight loss bucket list sparked some conversation between me and another friend who has lost weight.  She mentioned she had wanted to do something since losing weight and it so happened to be on my list as well...

#6 - Wrap my legs around my man while being picked up (this also has a very sexual meaning, but i'm keeping this PG, hahahah)

#7 - I look forward to being able to tie or fasten my shoes without huffing and puffing for air!

#8 - I'm definitely doing a pin-up photo shoot!

#9 - I have done 5ks in the past, but I would like to train and be able to run an entire race with ease.

#10 - I can't wait to be able to buy a tennis skirt and not be afraid to wear it in public!!   :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

My journey to a healthier me...and my Weight Loss Bucket List!

I have been overweight my entire life. I'm not talking about a mere 10-20 pounds overweight or a socially acceptable size 12.  I'm talking about weighing 170 my senior year in high school. The scale slowly crept up over the past 18 years since high school. I have been MORBIDLY obese most of my adult life, meaning 100 pounds or more over the weight that doctors deem me healthy.  Losing 40-50 pounds would still not get me close to the 135 my doctor says I should weigh at my height of 5'4".

A school board weight loss program aided me in losing 20 pounds in 2009, only to pack them back on the next year, plus an extra 10. In 2012, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I joined the gym, hired a personal trainer, and dropped 35 pounds again, just to gain it all back in 2014. Along the way I have attempted the HCG drops, Adipex, Low-Carb foods, the Atkins Diet, and any other pill you can buy. The only positive that has come out of this struggle is that I have become more active - at the gym and with different sports. With numerous attempts at yo-yo dieting under my belt, I have made the extremely informed decision to undergo bariatric surgery - more specifically, gastric bypass.

There are three options to chose from: gastric bypass, sleeve gastronomy, or lap-band.  I knew right away I did not want to do the lap band surgery.  I didn't want something foreign in my body and I did not want the frequent doctor visits to adjust the band. I seriously see doctors way too much as it is. There has been more research on the bypass procedure verses the sleeve, with similar side effects and better results, so I decided to go with the bypass surgery.

Gastric Bypass

Sleeve Gastronomy

There are people close to me that have had the procedure, some with more success than others. I understand one thing - it is not a cure all. It is merely a tool to aid in weight loss.  The work is actually harder than 5 diets combined and of course much more uncomfortable if one falls back to unhealthy habits.

My biggest worry with having the surgery is becoming anemic. While undergoing chemo, I had to have an iron infusion.  If you have ever had an infusion you know they are 6-7 hours of no fun. I have already started taking my multivitamin, Calcium with VitD, and a sub-lingual B12 pill.  I will have to take vitamins for the rest of my life.  I will boost my iron through food selection and an iron supplement. Another worry is getting used to not drinking while I eat.  I am supposed to drink 20-30 mins before and after eating.

I have also started eating smaller portions.  I will have to give up my coffee for a while, but I had to do that with my DIEP breast reconstruction, so I got this!  I have to eliminate sugar and high fat foods. Otherwise, I will become sick. I don't want to be sick... I also use bio oil on my tummy, thighs and arms to ensure better skin elasticity.

I feel I am ready to make this decision. Most people are excited for me...some don't understand or agree that I would take drastic measures. At the end of the day, it is my decision that I make for me, no one else. My goal is to lose an initial 110 pounds, develop healthy eating habits, and tone like crazy in the gym.  Most research says that bypass patients gain 10-20% of their weight back once they hit the five year mark.

My initial appointment is Sept 30th and I hear they keep me for three hours....eeek!

So the most exciting part of the post, my Weight Loss Bucket List!
I have a list of about 30 things so far that I want to do once I lose 75% of my weight (which is approximately 75 pounds). I know some things I could do now, but nothing beats doing these things with a slimmer, healthier body. I am not adding them all at once. If you have always been on the thinner side, you may have taken these simple things for granted, so please don't laugh at me. I will add some more next week ;)

#1 - I can't wait to buy clothes from any store I would like.  I have always been a fashionista trapped in a chunky girl's body. Which has made clothes buying limited. I can't wait to put together some fantastic outfits and I get to start with WINTER!

#2 - I look forward to fitting comfortably in airplane/movie/theater/arena seats without imposing on the person next to me! 

#3 - Crossing my legs...

#4 - I am going to take pole dancing lessons....which means I am hitting the gym to increase my upper body strength. 

#5 - I look forward to coming off my high blood pressure medicine.  It makes me pee a lot!