Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here we are 6 and a half months post-op

Its interesting .. for some reason I have not wanted to blog. It was a physical reaction. Every time I thought I should blog I felt sick to my stomach. I am not sure why. Lack of motivation? Summer time blues? Not enough time? Who knows.

I finally got back on because my boyfriend (that's right I have one now) is taking a class that requires him to blog. Since he needed help getting signed on I thought I would come over here and take a look at mine.

Here is my update.

I am down 88.5 lbs!!! I feel great. I am in the mid-teens.
I am down a total of almost 80 inches.

I went to a dance the other day and some one asked me how I was doing (they had not seen me in a long time) and I replied.. it feels great being able to come to a dance and not be the fattest person there. She just laughed and said I am sure it is. You have no idea!

I still have body image dysforia .. this is where you do not see your body for what it is. I still see myself as being FAT FAT FAT .. which I am .. but I only need to lose 2 points of my BMI to be below the "morbidly obese" category.

For the first time since they made body fat monitors that you hold in your hand or stand on etc, I am NOT 50%. If anyone very overweight has tried them you know that the max number on it is 50%. I have never seen anything other than 50% as a reading on there. Two weeks ago, I got on my BMI scale and weighed. I wrote down all the numbers, weight, body fat percentage, muscle percentage, water percentage, BMI, and calorie count to maintain the current weight. It was not until I got back to my computer that and was putting the information into the spreadsheet that I realized that it say 48.4% body fat!!!! I had to stand up and do the hokie pokie dance just a little. What a freaking great feeling that was!

So now that I am down in the teens, I have two races going on. One to my 100 lb mark and the next to be under 200. These two marks are less than 6 lbs from each other .. the 100 lb mark will put me at 205.8. Really I just want to skip that and be 198! It will be here.. this I have faith in.

Next up in my life is my new guy. On New Year's day I made a resolution to stay single for the year while I and working on myself. This resolution actually lasted longer than most of my resolutions. I stayed single for over 7 months. He is very encouraging and supportive. He even made it through my "cleansing days"! Well he did ask me to eat something :) I think he begged me to eat something!

I finally went and bought new underwear. Wow what a difference .. I had to buy some 3 sizes smaller .. haha .. the old ones were hard to give up but I needed to move on.

It feels great being able to fit in booths, fit on rides, go places that before I would never have accomplished.

I went to the county fair and went on three rides. I would never ever have tried those rides before.

Last night we were at the park and someone asked if I had played "pickle ball" I said.. um .. I just lost 88.5 lbs and before that I have never played any sports/games so all of these games are new to me. Even volleyball. I am enjoying learning these games and playing with my man.

Here are some updated photos:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy to be down 50+ pounds or am I?

I want to lose weight faster, but I am not doing what it takes to make it go faster. This is why I had the surgery done. If I had not had it done, I would totally be gaining weight right now. I went in to a "give up" mode. I haven't given up, because seriously .. I can't. I am so thankful for that! I am also very glad I am writing this blog. It is nice to see that only two posts ago I was struggling with getting down to the 250's now I am struggling with getting down to the 240's. It shows progress. Progress I forget. I forget because of these little struggles.

Some days I feel good about my weight loss. Some days.. especially when I see pictures of myself, I feel like I have so much more to lose. I see other people's weight loss as being so much greater than mine. As of today I am down 53 pounds. I didn't even weigh myself yesterday because I was so unhappy with the scale. I would struggle down a couple of pounds then the next day get on the scale to see an entire week's worth of weight loss gone. That sucks!!! I keep reminding myself .. its water weight .. its water weight. I even talk to my scale. Ok.. be nice to me today. What??? I told you to be nice today.. what's wrong with you .. damn scale!!

Another mind game that plagues me is that it seems that whatever slight I receive I automatically perceive it as being related to my weight. For instance, I was at a party and got interrupted during my introduction, however crazy it sounds, I immediately thought, he wouldn't have done that if I was skinny. At this same party, there was a member of the band who I met a long ass time ago, but he didn't seem interested in dating. He was there with his girlfriend who was just "overweight". (We are all relegated to my, normal weight, over weight, obese and morbidly obese now!) I immediately thought, it was my weight that kept him from asking me out. Truth is I always feel that way if someone is not interested in dating me. Another example was at two concerts I went to. Even though I was the first person to get a kiss from Russell of Air Supply, I felt slighted later when we were all down front by the stage. I knew for positive that it was because of my weight. I was watching another band play at a local bar and the guitarist came out to the crowd, he came up close to all the skinny girls, but he kept his distance from me. Of course, I assume this is because I was the fattest person there. Are all of these truths? Its possible. It is also possible, I just perceive them as slights and would have happened even if I was skinny. Will I have these same weird thought patterns when I am skinny? Will I think.. they only like me because I am skinny.. If I was fat they would not pay any attention to me. Who knows. If I wasn't such a self-analyzer I wouldn't have anything to write about on this blog. :)

Taking pictures

One thing I have noticed is I am taking more full body pictures. I haven't purposely done that for quite some time and a good reason why I was in such denial. So if I keep in mind that comparing what I looked like just three months ago to what I look like now it is a difference.

Speaking of that .. here is a before and after 50 pounds picture. Thanks to Andi for taking the before picture as I am not sure I can find a full body of just me photo.

Loose skin ... will I have it?

I was at the rec center swimming, when I notice a lady come to the pool. I was doing exactly what I hope people do not do to me while I am walking around in my swimsuit. I was judging her. It was not a mean judgement. I wanted to talk to her. She obviously had lost a lot of weight. She was wearing a bathing suit that showed off a LOT of saggy skin. Arms, legs, back and stomach. She was not fat at all. I worry I am going to look like that. If I do, will it prevent me from wearing a bathing suit? I wanted to know how much she started out at. How fast she lost her weight. Does she regret it? I think if I would have been at the edge of the pool at the same time she was I would have broached the subject. The problem is .. would she be offended?

For my birthday, which is on May 4th this coming Wednesday, I received 10 LipLaser sessions from my mom. She has had this done. My research into this shows that it is not for obese people, but since I am losing the weight it will be a nice booster. A main reason I want to get this is it does skin tightening. Will this make a difference? I figure if it does, I will have it done periodically throughout my weight loss so that at the end, hopefully the saggy skin won't be as big of a problem.

Priceless! My daughter who weighs 125 pounds, was complaining about the back of her legs and the bumps she sees there. She sees me putting on my shorts and she says, "Oh now I know where I get those lumps in my legs from!" Brat!!

Its all in the mind!

The other day both of my boys needed to use the cars, so I was left with driving one of the scooters. It is humorous because what I saw in my minds eye was, I am sure, not what other people were seeing.

I saw myself as one of those bitchin' Harley chicks. Not the hard core dikes. (No offense meant, but being from San Francisco, its what they would have called themselves.) I am thinking of the sexy playboy bunny looking Harley chick. I felt so good, I took a picture of myself. Reality wasn't anything near my mind's eye, but I was still feeling good. Here I am:

Feeling sexy?

I found that it really does make a difference the clothes that you wear. I found that wearing clothes that fit me and were cute made me feel a lot more sexier. In my last post, I commented on not feeling sexy like I did last time I weighed 250. I went to a party the other night and wore my new jeans and a cute top I had from before and felt a lot better about myself. The other day I went to a party and was able to wear my size 22 jeans. They were still a little tight, but I was able to wear them and still be fairly comfortable in them. There was a little buzz kill when I had someone take a full body pic of me and then I looked at it. Ug .. I just have to keep reminding myself that at least its not me looking at a pic of me being 300 pounds!!

Here is the pic they took...

And the pic I took to make myself feel better!


This last week has been crazy with finals and papers due etc. so I did not make the time to go swimming. I almost put down that I couldn't but the truth is I didn't. I am sure I could have made the time if I really wanted to. But my point in writing this, is I went swimming and I actually saw someone else who swims in the lap pool with a snorkel! The poor guy probably thought I was crazy. I told him how glad I was that FINALLY someone else came to the pool to swim laps that doesn't know how or who can't swim like the professionals. I told him I was going to write about him in my blog. I didn't ask his name as he really didn't seem like he wanted to chit chat. (Is it because I'm fat?)

I am thinking of writing up my swimming regimen. It seems to work really well for me. I can feel my muscles through the fat now!!

I do 20 minutes of swimming with fins and weights. Each lap I use the weights differently. Going one way I swim on front holding the weights out in front or on side hands up or down with the weights barely beneath the water. Coming back I swim on my back holding the weights out at side or close to side hands up or down. I really feel the muscles working on all parts this way. I take a break for a few mins while I am holding the weights together directly below my chin. I use my chin to push the weights below the water. Great neck/chin workout. I then use the snorkel and swim for 20 minutes. After that I use the weights with the snorkel which gives more of a water aerobics while swimming. Lap going one way I do a front to back motion with the weights like I was running with the weights. One arm forward while the other is going back. On the way back I do arms out at side then down underneath me to touch sort of like a butterfly motion. All the while my legs are getting a work out with the fins. Those fins make a HUGE difference and I would definitely recommend them. Maybe someday when this all works out, I will make a video :)


I am sure I sound like a preacher to those I talk to who are considering weight loss surgery. It has already made such a difference in my life. I complain about struggles, but in truth, I would have these struggles in my life no matter what, at least now I get to have them while I am losing weight.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at msdms at y mail dot com. That really is ymail not yahoo.

This will be a great week!! I am positive I will reach my weight goal. Only 2.9 pounds to go until I am in the 240's. My birthday is on Wednesday!!! Support Group is Thursday evening. I am having lunch with some long lost friends. And last but not least... this semester will be over!!

I am grateful I was able to have the Sleeve Gastrectomy. It has made a huge difference in my life!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What size am I?

It was a lot of fun trying on my black jeans and having them fit me after taking that picture of them not fitting me. So, yesterday I decided to buy a couple pairs of jeans in the next two sizes down so that I could gage my weight loss by fitting into the jeans.

I have been so intent on my weight loss goal of 250 by my birthday, that the interim weight loss just seem like numbers. I have lost 48 pounds as of today. I have a big benchmark coming up in 2 pounds, but I am more interested in 7.8 pound benchmark. In reality I want to see the 7.9 pound benchmark. The problem with seeing these benchmarks so close is I do not appreciate these other pounds I have lost.

My point in bringing this up is that by fitting into these jeans it will help me appreciate the little scale movements along the way.

Someone asked me the other night what size pants I wore when I started this. They were 26 stretchy. This means I could not fit into a regular size 26 so probably a 28 or 30. I do not know because no one local carries those sizes. The black jeans I was able to put on a few weeks ago were a size 26. They fit me now to where I can wear them and sit in them very comfortably. I went to Wal-Mart last night to buy some food, and walked past the women's department and saw some jeans on sale so I bought two pair. One a size 24 and one a size 22. I didn't try them on.

As I am getting ready for bed I remember the jeans. Its about midnight. I take out the size 24 jeans and try them on. Imagine my surprise when I pull them on and go to button them up to find that they button very easily. I can sit in them easily and comfortably!! I was sooooo glad that my son Roberto was still up. He was in bed, but I had to go show him. Next I went in and tried the size 22's. They were tight but I was still able to button them and zip them with not much struggle! My poor friend .. she got a long text last night after midnight. This is an exciting day. I am wearing my new jeans to work today!

I find it quite interesting that in 2006 I weighed around 250, but for some reason I felt a lot sexier then than I do now. I think it had a lot to do with my friend Eddy. I blogged before about my experience with Eddy under the BBW post. I mentioned this to my son last night, that I felt sexier in 2006 than I do now. His brilliant reply that his 17 year old brain made was, "I think its just age mom." Hmmmmm ... BRAT!!! That was only 5 years ago! Talk about a buzz killer!

This is me 5 years ago, when I thought I was sexy. I can see it in the stance.

I want to get that mindset back. I want to feel sexy like that again. I look in the mirror and I just see fat. Very fat. Yes I am glad I am not as fat as I was at Christmas last year, I don't even want to remember how fat I was then, but I am still very fat.

I am very glad to have my new friends from the support group as my friends on Facebook. But it is funny to see that most of them have started at where I am now and have lost weight. I have lost 48 pounds to be where they were when they started. Oh well.. at least I am not where I was and will never be there again.

Grocery Shopping

It has been a long time since I have been grocery shopping. When I would go grocery shopping, it was for immediate needs. Such as, we are having a BBQ and need condiments, etc. My poor boys. All their friends have moms who cook for them. My kids all know how to cook and I am not sure what they eat, but they are still living so they must be eating something. Its sad but its true.

Last night, I decide to do some grocery shopping. I bought water, eggs, milk, cheese, pepperoni, crackers, (these last three to take to work today for all of us to snack on during this stressful day when people think their taxes are due) several different kinds of fruit, and three fresh crock pot dinners. My son, Roberto, went shopping with me. He went to get the non-food items while I was getting the food. When he caught up with me, he asked, "Um.. what's all this stuff?" "Who is going to cook it?" When I got home, my son Carlos asked, "What is all this junk, and what am I suppose to eat?" How sad is this?

I know that my boys are trying to eat healthier so I hope I will be a better influence on them instead of it always being the other way around. If I send Carlos to the store to get something he always comes back with some fruit. So I wonder if he was surprised that there was a lot of fruit in the groceries?

On another note

I was contemplating on waiting until after tax season to have the sleeve gastrectomy done, but then chose to have it done right after first peak. My reasoning was .. why wait .. I could have it done now and lose 30-40 pounds by the end of tax season. Well its very possible I will be down 50 pounds by the end of tax season. I am sooooooo glad that I had the weight loss surgery when I did. I am soooooo grateful I was able to start this journey. I paid cash for this and do not regret a single cent.

My recommendation

If you are looking at having weight loss surgery, my recommendations would be: (I am, of course, not a doctor. These are just my opinions and what my research has taught me.)

Lap-Band for those of you only needing to lose 60 pounds or less. This really isn't for those of us that are morbidly obese. If you choose this route, make sure that you do the follow up visits. Make sure that you have your lap-band serviced regularly.

Sleeve Gastrectomy I would recommend this for people who are morbidly obese, but do not have medical issues relating to such high weight. This has worked great for me. I am very very satisfied with this surgery. I am able to eat what I want, but just very limited in quantity. I have not had it long enough to tell you if I have any problems with mal-absorption, but my research has told me that this type of surgery doesn't have that big of a problem with mal-absorption. There wasn't any bypass done, so everything should be fine.

Gastric Bypass I would recommend this for people who are morbidly obese, and have issues with diabetes. What I have heard is that the "dumping syndrome" that is caused by eating sugary or high carb foods is such a bad side effect that people will tend to stay away from those types of foods which will therefore help the diabetes.

We have all searched for that magic pill to help us lose weight. This has been my magic pill. I am so glad that I took it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Scale Addict and Measurements

Hello, my name is Dwan and I am a scale addict!! I shake my head as I write this, but I know it is true. I keep telling myself that I need to weigh only once a week. But every single morning I wake up, I can not help myself. I can't even sleep in anymore because as soon as I wake up I tell myself I need to get up and weigh myself. I lay there an think.. no you are not going to weigh yourself .. go back to sleep, but the idea of seeing how much if anything I have lost is just too irresistible.

Of course when I am hitting a benchmark its worse. I had to write this blog today because I think I am insane. I have been very close to being in the 250's. My scale for the last few days has read:

Monday: 262.3
Tuesday: 262.5
Wednesday: 261.3
Thursday: 261.8
Friday: 261.4
Saturday: 260.3

Up until now I have been taking only a half of my water pill. I decide that now I am going to take a full water pill, just so I can make sure I meet this benchmark. I mean I have less than half a pound to make it. So I want to ensure I make it because I know my scale loves to play games with me.

This morning is Sunday. Sleep in day. I am exhausted. What time do I wake up?? 7 A.M.!! For those of you that know me .. this is just unreal. Can I go back to sleep?? Of course not!! Because what do I have to do?? Weigh myself .. because what if??

I get up and do the morning routine, come on you know what it is. Get up .. potty... did I potty enough?? Lets sit here just a minute more to make sure. Then strip. You know those panties and t-shirt must weigh a pound or two. I even got my legs and armpits waxed yesterday so I don't have to worry about leg hair weighing me down. I pull the scale out from the wall to the exact point I do every day. I have little lines in my linoleum so I know exactly where my scale needs to be. I toe it into position. I push my toe on it to get it to light up. I wait for the little 0.0 to show up and then I step on it. I position my toes on the scale so they are exactly lined up with the outside of the reader. And I wait. It goes through its little slot machine roll. And bam.. 260.1. Are you kidding me??? I start talking to my scale. Come on.. be nice to me. You do not want me to be disappointed do you?? Stupid scale!

So I decide that its obviously too early to weigh myself. I go back to sleep right after I take another full water pill. I decide that I am going to weigh myself after I get up at a decent hour. I sleep until 10:30. I get up and go through my routine again. I coach my scale to give me some good news. Slot machine roll ..... bam 260.0. Now my scale goes by .1 pounds so all it has to do is go down by .1 and I am in the 250's. Come on scale.. whats wrong with you! I get off the scale. I step back on placing my feet to the outermost area of the scale. Slot machine rollllll ... bam 260.0 Damn scale! I do this process a couple more times. Then I lose it and I weigh myself while I'm holding onto the towel rack. Nice!!! I'm 232!! Some day!! Then I take one more measurement and its still 260.0.

I realize that I am now officially crazy. I laugh at my antics. What does it matter if I am in the 250's today or tomorrow?? I know I am going to lose it. I post my official weight today in my spreadsheet as 260.0. I am now down 45.8 pounds and have exactly 10 pounds to lose to my first big weight loss goal. It is three and a half weeks until my birthday so I am going to be ahead of the game!


Good news!!! I am now no longer as fat around as I am tall. I have lost about 6 inches in my hips which is the biggest measurement I have. Fortunately, the bariatrics department gives you a measuring tape that is 72 inches long instead of the regular measuring tape that is only 60 inches long. My beginning hips measurements was 64.25 they are now 58.5 inches. Yes that is still big .. but at least I am officially taller than that :) I lost 6.25 inches in my waist. 3 inches each in chest, ribs, and each thigh. My total inches lost is 37.75.


I feel a lot better. I swam laps with my dumbbells three times last week.

One of the things I want to work on is my eating. I am eating a ton less, but I am still not eating healthy. I know that unless I fix this, I will not be able to maintain my weight once I lose it.

I had a great time at the support group this week. There was a vibrant speaker there and it was fun to chat with my new friends.

A problem I am having is constipation. Yea .. not a topic one likes to talk about, but hell.. I have talked about everything else .. so why not! I know that my bowels are not getting hydrated enough, therefore they are constipated. I have been taking my chewable fiber pills, but they are not helping. I have very small irregular bowel movements. I ran across someone who does Colon Hydrotherapy and I think I am going to consult with them. I used to think that was weird, but right now the thought of hydrating my colon sounds very nice and comforting. I will keep you updated on that.

Best wishes, love, peace and happiness!!

I am very grateful I was able to have the sleeve gastrectomy. It was worth every single penny!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bathing Suits and Big Boobs Ug!

Now I have heard over the years there are very few women who like going swimsuit shopping and who do not get depressed viewing themselves under the fluorescent lights in the dressing room mirrors in these ill-fitting swim suits that show everything. I was having this experience yesterday as I was swimsuit shopping yesterday.

I am not sure why it is but it seems to me that every swimsuit I have tried on in the past and yesterday all have that "pretend bra" in them. I guess its padded there so that it can offer some support and cover your perky nipples when they hit the cold water. The problem I have with these swimsuits is they all seem to come with a B cup bra in them. I don't know many women my size who can fit into a B cup so this means anyone trying on a swimsuit my size is going to have failure. We are already having trouble as it is finding a swimsuit in our size why put the added failure of making it not fit right and leave things bulging out where they shouldn't be???

My first stop in my swimsuit shopping was a local thrift shop. Let me tell you, most of the swimsuits I tried on there were practically brand new. You know why?? Because as they didn't fit me I am sure they didn't fit the woman who bought them so she didn't wear it. They probably did as I used to do and bought them without trying them on. I tried on four swimsuits there. All in my "size". They were all listed as 3X or a size 24W. I was ready to cry each time I put one on.

You do not get my size and not have a bunch of gobblely gook under your arms and rolls on the side of your back. I don't know about you, but I do not want to show the world this. I want a swimsuit that covers/hides it. Two of the swimsuits I tried on were halter style suits. This means they barely covered the "girls" and didn't cover any of the under the arms/side of the back stuff. Two of the bathing suits were shoulder straps but for some reason they felt they should put the boobs around the belly button. WTF??? I was really hoping I could find a swimsuit at the thrift shop as I have ambitious plans to not fit in it long.

Being here in this little city, we do not have a whole lot of options, so after leaving the thrift shop, wanting to cry, I decided to head over to Wally World to see what they had out. At the last moment I decided to turn left instead of right and ended up at Kohl's. Kohl's does not have a huge selection of plus size clothes, but they are usually a nice selection. I was about to give up on finding a swimsuit there when I accidentally came across a half rack of suits at the very very back of the section. I was looking at the sizes and became very irritated when most of the suits were a size 16 or 18, they had a couple of size 20s and ONE size 22. There happen to be a sales associate standing nearby and I asked her: "Is there a reason Kohl's stops at size 22? I mean there are several women here that are bigger than a size 22." She said: "I do not know, they must not be very popular." Being already depressed from the last store I did not, at the time, find this very humorous! I know she was referring to the swimsuits, but the way it came out I just wanted to bite her head off. Good thing I didn't.

She told me to try the suit on and if I found a style I liked we could scan the ticket and see what size they had it available online and they had free shipping. So I took the only size 22 they had to the dressing room. There is something to say for spending more money on a bathing suit. I tried on the swimsuit and just stared into the mirror. I couldn't believe it.. it actually fit and looked nice and covered everything that I wanted it to cover. For the first time in my life as a fat chick, I found a bathing suit that actually fit and looked nice. As it turned out, the same sales associate was in the dressing room as I was walking out very pleased with the suit. I stopped long enough to tell her I took back everything I said and I was very pleased with the swimsuit and thanked her for encouraging me to try it on.

On the next note: I am down 42.1 pounds today!!! I might change to weighing once a week as I am still struggling day to day with water weight, but I am pleased with my weight loss. Only 13.7 pounds to my first major weight loss goal that I plan to meet before my birthday. May 4th for all of you wanting to know! I am very excited about this! My current weight is 263.7. It is strange but I have to stop myself when I think about my weight. I keep thinking that I am still 300 pounds. I am now officially in the mid-200s. My next goal will be my grandson's birthday and I would like to be down 30 lbs by then. It is at the end of May so I think it is a pretty reasonable goal. I will have some great before and after photos then. I have not posted any pics of me from my grandson's first birthday because of how horrible I look in them. (Personal opinion I know)

I went to the doctor's office last week (not the surgeon) and he was very impressed with my weight loss. I was down 43 pounds by his scale in just over 2 months.

I am continuing my swimming, but it seems I only go about twice a week, maybe now I will go more with my very nice bathing suit. I have fixed my problem with the mask. I now use the cap, goggles, nose plug, snorkel and fins. I swim laps for about an hour then I go to the kiddie lap pool and use the dumbbells the pool provides and walk back and forth while keeping the dumbbells under water and working on different arm muscles. I may still look like a retard, but I feel very good while and after I am doing it and NOW I wont be flashing everyone at the pool.

Here are the photos:

My new swimsuit. I look at this and I really like the suit, of course I want to be a lot thinner, but it is what it is.

This is what they were seeing while wearing my other swimsuit. I felt very self-conscious wearing it like I was exposing too much on purpose.

My new swim gear.

My fins. These fins actually give my legs a great workout, much more so than swimming without them.

I am very very grateful I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy. I would recommend it to anyone considering weight loss options and they have a lot of weight to lose.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Water water water .. UG!!

Water pill or no water pill. Am I the only one that struggles with this? I don't want to keep using this as a crutch, but it seems like I do over and over again. This time I lasted an entire week before caving and taking one.

It all started out with reaching that small goal of being in the 260's. It happened for a day. One day. Then I went camping. I was down 37.7 lbs the day I went camping.

We went to Zions National Park with our trailer in tow. Zions is well known for their fantastic hiking trails. We got there fairly early. Ok early for me which was before dark. George and Carlos took off on the scooter and Roberto and I decided to take a drive through the park. We stopped at one of the shortest hikes there. Its called Weeping Rock. This trail is only a quarter of a mile long, but very steep. I wanted to tackle this hike now that I was down some weight as the last time I went I stopped half way up it and used the excuse there was too much ice and I would fall. Roberto being the sweet guy he is offered to pull me along. About half way up I had to stop to let my heart rate slow down and catch some breath. I told Roberto to go ahead and wait for me at the top. After one more stop and every one passing me I made it to the waterfall. My throat was burning and my nose was running and I thought I was going to pass out, but I made it!! After taking about 5 minutes to get my heart from pounding out of my body, I got to look around at the fall. It was very pretty. I thought for sure I must have lost 10 lbs with that hike.

Here is the proof!

The next day, the cutest grandbaby in the world showed up and I went over to the river beach and played with him feeling really good that I was moving around instead of just being lazy and staying at the camp. I won't mention that my three boys were off hiking/climbing the Watchman mountain which took them about 3 hours. Someday I will go with them!!

As usual, I ate some of the food, but not much. The second day my mom came and took us to dinner, I didn't order anything just took a couple of bites from her plate. Didn't even eat the huge dessert she ordered. I was planning on hitting the 40 pound mark when I got back.

Well wouldn't you know that I struggle with every single little benchmark so why should this one be any different? I got home and weighed the next day and after not weighing for three days I had gained a pound. WHAT?!?! Grrrr!!! I started a detox program the night before and thought maybe it was my body getting used to that. I thought I was going to wait it out. I know its impossible that I actually gained fat, so it had to be water weight. For whatever reason my body was holding the water. The next day I gained a half pound, then the next day was a pound and the next day was another pound. You can only imagine my dismay!! WTF!!! For me to actually gain a pound I would have to eat about 5,000 calories. That is enough over what it takes to maintain the body weight I have right now to actually gain a pound of fat. I would put my calorie intake between 1,000 to 1,500 a day. I should be losing weight. So this leads me to believing this is water weight. I wake up and my face is all puffy and I just know its going to be a bad day on the scale.

So why is my body struggling so bad with water weight? I have mentioned this in past posts. I went to see my surgeon yesterday and he didn't have an answer for me. So I will have to go on my theory alone. It must be the types of food I am eating along with getting frustrated over not losing weight or gaining weight that I know is water so taking my water pill, but not liking the water pill so only taking it a couple of times so my body is reacting to that by holding more water. My water pill I am talking about is a prescription I received while seeing the Fat Doctor. Thats what I called her she was a physician specializing in bariatric diets. Its called Maxzide with 75mg of Triamterene and 50mg of HCTZ. The HCTZ is the diuretic or what helps your body release water. I used to take this every day. When I tried to get off of it I was miserable. My body swelled up so bad it hurt. It took me quite a while before I could stop taking it completely. This is why I do not want to get into the habit of taking it again. Another big reason I don't want to take it is because my friend who is also taking the same for high blood pressure ended up in the hospital when they doubled his HCTZ to 25mg. Holy cow! I was taking twice that for about six months.

Needless to say when the scale went up to 273.3 today I took the damn pill. I will deal with the consequences later!

On a good note:

The docs official weight loss for me is 34.4 pounds. This is not where I wanted it to be, but dang its still good. I got the clearance to only go back every three months. My blood pressure was 124 over 80. I am happy with that. The doc assured me the need to burp every time I eat will pass.

You might recall that I made a commitment to purchase the family annual pass to the rec center. I kept that commitment. I purchased it about a week and a half ago and used it for the first time tonight. I had a blast!! And I went all by myself. I called all of my kids (hello.. this is the reason I bought the FAMILY pass!) to see if anyone would go with me. Every single one of them were busy. Hmmmm .. I am thinking they just knew that I was going to show up like the nerd who goes swimming, snorkle, face mask, and fins with the little blow up sea monster that fits around your waist. Well I had everything but the floaty. I don't need one, I float very well all by myself.

So I show up to the pool with all my equipment and the lap lanes are full. I am not sure why I thought I would go unnoticed, but I did. As I am walking to the lap lanes and I see all the swimmers who know how to swim making great laps, I think "maybe I will just head to the kiddie pool and walk around". That did not happen.. well not yet anyways. A very cool rec center worker asked me if I wanted him to find me a lane. I said .. um no I think I will just head over to the kiddie pool. He said .. no.. let me find you a lane. These guys will share with you. Um.. well... ok.. I say thinking that this was crazy and wanted to just crawl in my bag of stuff. He found me a lane alright .. sharing with mister "I have been swimming for 20 years" in a speedo and goggles. Are you kidding me?? Isn't there any little old ladies or a kid who also doesn't know how to swim?? Oh well... what can I do but jump in. We agreed (me and my lane partner) that I would stay on one side and he would stay on the other. Thank God I took my equipment out of the packaging BEFORE I got there at least I didn't have to look like a dork who just bought the stuff. I pretended like I knew what I was doing. I was practicing for my diving trip to Hawaii of course!! I put my mask on then attach the snorkle. I get in the pool and then put the fins on. Trying my hardest to look like I knew what I was doing .. all along knowing I was looking like a complete dork. I put my head in the water and start to go .. two feet later I am up sputtering and trying to pull my mask off because it is full of water. Ug! I can't reach the ground because in those two feet it has dropped to at least 6 feet. I am surprised the life guard didn't jump in! Fortunately, my mask is fogged up as well so I can't see if anyone is laughing their asses off at me. I dump the water out of the mask and try again.. it takes me several laps before I decide to try the snorkle with just the goggles (you know the ones that just cover your eyes). I only go a few feet before knowing for sure this is not a good idea. I can not breath underwater without getting water up my nose. So I settle back in using the face mask with the snorkle. I deal with the water and actually end up doing laps for about an hour. I didn't count how many laps I did, I just know for every one I did my lane partner did two. Oh well .. who cares. I was happy I was exercising and enjoying it. I later went into the kiddie pool and walked the length using the water dumbbells the center provides. It was very cool and I stayed there in the kiddie pool for another half hour and felt great!

I have made a mental shopping list. I want to get a swim cap as my hair kept getting caught in my mask. I want to get a nose plug so I can swim with the goggles and the snorkle. I want to get a bathing suit. Swimming in shorts is ok but they do not dry like a suit would which means different short each time I go swimming. I have learned that I need to use the kiddie pool first to do my laps with the dumbbells because it closes 2 hours before the lap pool does.

So the question will be.. will I go shopping tomorrow or swimming.

I am so grateful I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy. Even through all of the struggles I am over 30 pounds less than I was at the beginning of the year!!

Ok get ready for a laugh.. here are the pics!

Here I am in my gear!

Well I deleted the fins picture. I think it was showing off the "girls" more than the fins and that was not my purpose. :) Sorry guys!!

Here are the swimmers in the next lane which were swimming like the pros

Being more active and its fun!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Goal weight - Is it realistic?

My goal weight is 135 lbs. I am 5 feet and 3/4 inches. This weight may be at the top end of the charts for my height, but I seriously have big bones that are very dense. Any time before this when I have dieted, my goal weight was 150 lbs. This seemed more realistic to me for some reason. I guess thinking that over the years my muscles got heavier, and my bones got heavier. I am also thinking about the extra skin I will undoubtedly have. Maybe I will get down to 150 and need 15 lbs of extra skin removed. I think what I will do is leave my goal at 135 but as I get down towards the 150 mark, I will start going by body fat percentage, although I am not sure that those things are any more accurate than just using the charts.

As of today, I am down 35.6 lbs. This leaves me at needing to lose 135 lbs to be 135 lbs. The exciting thing is my first short term weight goal of being 250 by my birthday will probably be accomplished a month ahead of schedule. This is very very exciting. This means that I can weigh less than I have in the last 10-15 years by my birthday.

The interesting thing about being so heavy is that its still hard for me to see the 35.6 lbs gone. I mean I sort of see it in the mirror. But most people would not come up to me and say "Did you lose weight?" Not that they get the chance. I am constantly boasting about my weight loss. I am thinking about making a road trip up to San Francisco with my kids this summer. My first high school (I went to four) is having a 40th anniversary celebration. I thought it would be fun to go to, as well as see my (ex) but in my heart still my in-laws. Recently, I started thinking .. even though losing 60 or 70 lbs, I will still be 100 lbs more than they remember me in high school .. and still around the same weight I was when I last saw most of my in-laws. They couldn't appreciate the amount I lost. I mean I am sure they would congratulate me, but it's not like they saw me at 300 then saw me at 230. My in-laws probably saw me at 230 but high school?? They saw me at 125.

This is a picture of a high school friend and I. Of course I am the dark haired one. :)

This is another picture of when I was in high school. No laughing at the dress!

So you can see my point. Thats what they saw me as. So even going at 230-240 I will still have gained 100 lbs since they saw me. I will say that one of the things that did cross my mind is going just so they could see me now so that if I were go to the next one they could then appreciate what I have accomplished. Sometimes I really wonder about my sanity!

I think that making short term goals is very helpful. I started out making a column in my spreadsheet of pounds to go until my goal weight. This was a little overwhelming. It started at 170 lbs. Its now 135 lbs. I added a column that gave me my pounds to lose until my first goal of 250. It started at 55.8 lbs. Now it is 20.2. This seems more reasonable to me and is not as overwhelming. For some reason it helps me to feel more accomplished. Its the same weight loss, but seeing the 20.2 just makes it seem like it is much more accomplishable. (I know .. accomplishable is not a word.. but it is appropriate.)

Tomorrow I plan to be in the 260's. I know I have been there in 2006, but I just do not remember it. This is very exciting!! I am so grateful for getting the sleeve gastrectomy. It has helped me reach goals I never thought I was going to make. I am very grateful that I was able to do it now when I can enjoy life. I feel livelier. I am getting my membership to the gym/community center today.

I feel successful!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I have been waiting to hit the 30 lb mark....

Its been a while since I last blogged. I have been waiting to hit the 30 pound mark, which is not coming. My weight loss over this last week has been small and the last few days I have gained. I know this is water weight. It is weird after so many years of dieting I do know my body's reactions. If I eat certain foods or eat at certain times I can guarantee weight gain. For example, I know if I eat Chinese food, I will undoubtedly weigh more the next day. Even when I am eating such small portions. It is not because I am eating more than my 2,356 calories which is what it takes to maintain my current weight, but because of the ingredients. It causes me to hold water. I know if I eat late at night and have acid reflux while I am sleeping, my body reacts by holding water.

The latter actually occurred last night. I was doing so good yesterday, as I have not been losing and wanted to hit that 30 pound mark, but when I got home after work, around 9 p.m., I knew there was a piece of cheesecake in the fridge calling my name. I did the right thing and took only a small piece. (Ok maybe the right thing would have been not to take it at all.) I have learned this makes it easier not to overeat. When I say small, I mean very small. It wasn't even a 2 inch square piece. I took a bite or two of it, then got involved with a conference call. The call was semi-stressful, dealing with a sick relative and my ex-husband at the same time. After the call, it was probably around midnight, I almost unconsciously ate the rest of the cheesecake. This was bad. Acid reflux while you are sleeping is very bad. Waking up in the middle of the night coughing acid because you inhaled it while sleeping is miserable. Prior to the surgery if I had heartburn/acid reflux I would take a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Now I am afraid it will hurt too much because it causes a lot of gas in the stomach. I need to get some Tums or something that will help me out if this ever occurs again. I knew as soon as I woke up with the acid reflux that the scale was not going to be happy with me in the morning. (Interesting how this is the second thing I think about, after the pain.) Sure enough, when I woke up and walked towards the mirror I knew. My face was puffy. I still weighed myself so I can keep track, but I gained almost a half of a pound.

I figured this was actually good news. One, I knew I was going to gain water weight. Two, usually its at least a pound. Three, this means that I actually lost weight, and it will show as soon as the water weight leaves me.

Now, I have told you before how water pills just mess with my system, and yes they make me feel good for the short term, but do not help out in the long term, but today I was desperate. I have been waiting to get to the 30 pound mark for several days now. So I took a half of a pill. This would be equivalent to 25 mg of HCTZ.

I am so grateful to have the sleeve gastrectomy. Even with this slight weight gain, I still do not feel failure. I would like the weight to come off faster, but I know for a fact it will happen. Taking away the sense of failure, even with the weight gain, feels tremendous. To some 28 pounds is alot, to me its seems little compared to what I need to lose. I will tell you this, it is great to look at my spreadsheet and see the pounds to goal shrink. From 170 to 142. I almost like looking at this more than the pounds lost. My first short term goal of being 250 by my birthday, started out at 55.8 and is now 27.4. This is exciting. I am half way there.


I took my measurements on January 26, 2011. This is the day I started the liquid protein diet. I measure: neck, left wrist, right wrist, left upper arm, right upper arm, under arms above chest, chest, ribs, waist, hips, left thigh, right thigh, left calf, right calf, left ankle, right ankle. I measured myself on March 2, 2011 and have lost 20.25 inches total. This is good news! The biggest losers were the waist at 3.5 inches and the hips at 3.25 inches. This is why those black jeans fit. The guys will be happy to know that the chest and ribs went down exactly the same 1.5 inches. This means the cup size stays the same, just the band size goes down.

I fully expect to hit that 30 pound mark tomorrow. I am excited.

Support Group

I attended the New Beginnings support group last Thursday. It was fantastic. Trevor Smith, who is an Exercise Physiologist was the speaker. He was great.. and good looking! I have never heard of an Exercise Physiologist before. He explained that it is someone who knows the workings of your body and how it relates to exercise. He also reaffirmed what I have thought all along but what goes against what all those little skinny kids who are called personal trainers at the gyms promote, the best way to lose fat is to exercise with weights.

I remember going to the Gold's Gym and hiring a personal trainer. She gave me this routine that was completely ridiculous. I told her that curling 2 lb weights was not how I was going to lose weight. She insisted that I wanted to tone not build muscle. I explained to her that yes I do want to build muscle as muscle burns fat. Of course, she was the "expert". Well, I decided maybe I needed a guy trainer. Someone who was interested in weight training. Nope.. he said the same thing. I gave the same response. He insisted I needed to tone not build muscle. I told him, calf pressing 50 lbs is nothing to me.. I calf press 300 lbs every day.. duh! The best personal trainer I ever had was my friend Tony. He was a body builder. A serious body builder - Olympian size body builder. He worked my ass off and was great to look at. Unfortunately, I do not know whatever happened to Tony.

The ladies at the support group who have attended Trevor's bariatric exercise class said they really liked it and that Trevor really pushes them. I could see him like a Bob from the Biggest Loser. Pushy but nice. Unfortunately, Trevor's only openings right now is in his 7 a.m. class. For those of you that know me, that's just impossible. So, I have contacted the Washington Community Center, which has a gym and a great lap pool, as well as exercise classes and of course the fun pool with the lazy river. They are having a special going on now with no enrollment fees and the first month free, then $45 a month for the entire family up to 6 members. I will be joining them soon. Actually, I am going to make a commitment to join them this week. They are also sponsoring the local radio station's Biggest Loser contest. Their trainers have experience with working out with bariatric patients and helping them to lose weight. I will look into finding one that is right for me.

Back to the support group. It is so great to attend the meeting. It is so encouraging. I hope I can make as great an impact on others as they do on me. I hope those coming to the meetings who have not received the help we have get the encouragement they need to make the right decision for them. As far as I know, the group is not closed to those only seeking surgery. I would encourage anyone who is needing help with weight loss to attend. We get great information regarding exercise, weight loss, behavioral guidance and I am sure much more. It is on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Health and Performance building lower level.

I want to thank all of you who support me. I love your encouragement!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a Difference 23 lbs make - before and after shot

My friend Lanora and I have gone to a couple of dances lately. Last night I did not dance as my tummy incision was hurting, but tonight I figured I could dance like a guy .. meaning just stand there and kind of move from foot to foot. I love dancing.

Last night I just wore my same old baggy stretchy jeans and a t-shirt. Tonight as I was getting ready, I thought "Why not try on the black jeans and see how far you have come." I really did not expect them to fit, but at least be a little closer to fitting.

This was my first short-term goal. To fit into these jeans. There is nothing special about the jeans.. they are still very big jeans, BUT they didn't fit me.

So I tried them on ..and imagine my surprise when I actually was able to button and zip them. Holy cow!!

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to have had the sleeve gastrectomy!!

I am posting the after picture first as it shows as the thumbnail when I post this link. And although it may not seem that I have any pride after posting all the embarrassing things I have posted, I still can't bring myself to let the before picture be the thumbnail picture :)

This picture was taken tonight. I pulled the shirt up a bit so you could see they are zipped and buttoned!! Hooray!!

This is the before picture taken February 4, 2011 where the pants had quite a ways to go before I could button or zip them.

It seems I'm also not having any mind games the last few days. I think its because the scale is moving. I am very pleased with how things are going. I appreciate the support and encouragement I receive. It really does mean a lot to me, so if you get a chance I would love for you to post comments.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mind Games

Hello, I'm Dwan and I am a food addict.

I have not been as sure of this as I am now. This last week has been a huge struggle. I am so grateful that I had the Sleeve Gastrectomy. This has helped me make it through this week.

These last few days I have gained weight. My mind tells me it is water weight. My body does this. I know this after all the crazy diets I have put it on, it is in major defense mode right now. My water intake has decreased, so my body is freaking out and holding onto the water it does have. I KNOW this, BUT my mind is still having a hard time with it. Fortunately, now that my stomach only holds about 4-6 ounces, I am forced to continue doing what I need to do to lose weight.

Let me give you some examples of the mind games going on this week. First day of getting the weight gain news was Sunday. Its not a huge weight gain, only 1.5 lbs. But discouraging none-the-less. All day Sunday my mind kept telling me I was hungry about every two hours. I forced myself to wait four hours before I ate. My body does not tell me I am hungry, as the hunger hormone was cut out. I do not physically feel hungry. This was completely in my mind. I know this, but I have no control over it. I have never had more empathy for my alcoholic friends before than I do now. Because I happen to be able to afford to do something about it, I am forced to not eat like my mind was telling me to. Hallelujah!!

The next day I did not lose or gain any weight, but I struggled all day with eating. This might also be because I am home and have the opportunity to eat freely. The next struggle. I make my small meal, but my mind tells me that there is no way I am going to be satisfied with that small amount of food. So I add an extra spoonful. Again I am grateful for the surgery as it prevents me from eating that extra spoonful, as I am completely full with the small portion.

Tuesday comes, my first post-op doctors appointment. I weigh in at the doctors at 290.0. This is 22 lbs less than my first appointment weight, but only 2 lbs less than my pre-op weigh in. My blood pressure was down. 136/80 I think it was. This is about average for me.

Now for the real test. I am out and I am hungry. I decide I am going to have my favorite meal at Olive Garden. Steak Gorgonzola. You might remember that this was also my last meal I had out before my pre-op diet. I tell the waitress, I know this might sound weird but since my stomach can only hold about 4 ounces, I am still going to order the entrée but I want the soup to go and the bread sticks to go and I will eat my small portion of the entrée but then I will take most of it to go as well. I ate a very very small portion of the meal, and took most of it home with me. I thought I actually did pretty well at my first attempt at eating out.

I will mention that I chew all of my food extremely well. This is something that I have attempted to do over the years, but have never really succeeded in doing. I probably chewed more than some people, but I know it wasn't as good as I should. Now I chew my food the way I should chew it. I think this will be very helpful.

When I knew I really had a problem

My kids ordered pizza. Yummy yummy pizza. I took the smallest slice. The crust was probably about 3-4 inches wide at the widest. Probably about 5-6 inches long. I knew this was bigger than my 4-6 ounces I can eat, but I figured I would eat til I was full and put the rest back. I was able to eat about half of it. This from the center towards the crust so in total less than half of the slice. But my mind told me it did not want to stop eating. I knew I would not be able to eat another bite as the last bite hurt after I ate it. This is a good sign that I am completely full. I was so determined to eat that pizza I came up with this great idea. I would chew the pizza then spit it out. This lasted two more bites, then I thought to myself "What the hell is wrong with you!!" How sick do I have to be that I would resort to this. Eating it just so I could spit it out? This is definitely an eating disorder. How is that different than eating and purging? Only difference was I spit it out before I swallowed it.

Now the weird thing is I did try to vomit earlier in the week. I ate something that disagreed with me. I heard some of the ladies saying that when they felt that uncomfortable they would just vomit. I tried. It was the weirdest feeling. Nothing came out. It was like dry heaving, except that I knew there was something there. So lesson learned. Do not eat anything that will disagree with you as you will have to suffer the time it takes for it to digest on its own. I mention this to the doctor and he said in time I will be able to vomit. Not that I would want to vomit, just that I would like to know that if I needed to I could. Of course, my mind went right to ingesting poison. What if somehow I ingested poison but couldn't vomit? This has never happened to me in 44 years that I know of, but somehow this is a concern for me now. How is this logical?

One other thing I noticed that I do not like. I burp a lot. This is very unladylike. I am not sure why, but when I eat, as soon as it hits my stomach it produces gas. This is something that has happened right from the beginning and happens when I drink water as well. I am not sure if this will go away after awhile or if its something I am just going to have to live with.

Good news for today. The scale did move. Not much but I am ok with that. I am just glad it moved down. I figured it was because yesterday was the first day I actually left the house. The inside incision (not the stomach but the one in the muscle) still hurts a little. I worried about driving, but seem to do ok with it yesterday and today. Today was also my first day back at work. I am only working part time in the afternoon, which works out perfectly for me.

Bad news for today. A client came in and we were talking about just coming back to work after surgery and she mentioned that she got a tummy tuck a few years back and would never do it again as she was in so much pain after the surgery. I figured it would have to be painful and figured it could muster through it, but she said it pained her for 2-3 weeks. This is scary for me. OH well .. we will see what happens in the next couple of years, maybe they will come up with something new!

God has blessed me with giving me a way to physically deal with these mind games. Now I just need to figure out how to mentally deal with them.

Love to all of you who support me in my journey!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am alive and one week post-op!!

Its been a week since I received the Sleeve Gastrectomy. Let me tell you about this journey.

After my cheating on Superbowl Sunday, I stayed true to the liquid protein diet for the next two days. It was actually pretty easy those last two days. My weight on the day of my surgery February 9th was 291.4. I had lost 14.4 lbs. Now I will admit I was pretty disappointed. I thought for sure going two weeks of not eating regular food I would surely have lost over 20 lbs. I am over that disappointment.

As of midnight the night before the surgery I was unable to eat or drink anything. I chug-a-lugged an entire bottle of water just as the clock struck 12. My time to check into the hospital was 12:30 p.m. How freaking lucky was that?? If you are an early bird you just can not appreciate that time as well as I did. My friend Bob drove me to the hospital and stayed with me through check in. My weigh in was 292 point something. I was too busy holding my breath to remember what the something was. So technically my weight loss from doctor office visit on January 25th to then was 20 lbs. I was happy with that.

I told everyone that I didn't care to have anyone sit and wait. I actually told Bob that he could just drop me off at the door, but he didn't he came in with me. After they brought me back and was having me change into a hospital gown, Bob left. A few minutes later, my son George showed up. I was totally not expecting him, but was moved to tears to have him there. I had no idea how much that would mean to me, but I was happy to see him. He sat there with me until they wheeled me out of the room. I am not exactly sure what time it was when they took me, I think it was around 3:30.

I do not remember much after the anesthesioligist gave me a shot in my IV, but that the shot hurt. Next thing I remember is waking up. I must have somehow moved to my side. They were telling me that I needed to roll over onto my back. I said no it hurt too much. They said if I rolled over they would give me a shot of morphine. Somehow someway my mind cleared enough to tell them "No, I want di-something dilanding, di.... " "Dilauded?" "YES!! Thats it!" Now I also hear my boys and my mom talking in the background. WTF was my mom doing there? Those of you that know me know that I do not have a very good relationship with my mom. I was unable to talk, my mouth was very very very dry. Someone swabbed my mouth with water. That felt great. Andi, the bariatric nurse I met with prior to surgery, gets major major kudos for telling me about Dilauded. Its 8 times more powerful than morphine. I would have had no way of knowing about it unless she told me. That shit is the BOMB!! I felt NO pain. I felt NO nausea. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ANDI!!!!

I made sure I was awake every single four hours to make sure I got my shot. I told my nurse, if I am asleep, I do not care, wake me up, give me my shot. I am not sure what time I got out of surgery. I think I heard it took about two hours. All I got to drink was 30 ml's of water each hour. That is one ounce. My mouth was sooooo dry that was not nearly enough. I was diligent in drinking my ounce each hour on the hour. My mom brought roses. They were beautiful. She also got each of the kids a stuffed animal to give to me and lots of balloons. That was nice of her.

My night shift nurse was Kurtis. He was very cool. Young and handsome. I should have got a picture of him. Of course I had my laptop there and found a video on Youtube that showed the surgery I received. It was good watching it as it explained why one of the incisions hurt, while the other incisions didn't. Kurtis and my boys watched it with me.

You can watch that video by clicking on this link:

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Kurtis made sure that I got my shots every four hours, George made sure I got my water and anything else I needed. He would make a terrific CNA. The worst part I remember after surgery, was that first moment after waking up and before the pain meds. Next would be the dry mouth. Next would be the pain from the first time getting up. Fortunately for me my son is STRONG. He gave me his strong arm and I was easily able to pull myself up while holding my stomach. Standing up.. holy cow that was another story. Yowza, that hurt. I had to breath through the pain and determined I was not going to attempt that until right after getting my pain meds. Once I got walking the pain subsided. I walked the two feet to the bathroom. Then back to the bed. Everything went well. I need to mention that my very cool nurse Kurtis, added in Toradol, when I mentioned I was having some pain drinking the water. This is a muscle relaxer or something. Let me tell you, if you ever need to go have surgery, REMEMBER THESE NAMES!! I doubt there is anything better than those two mixed together. I was definitely a happy camper!

When morning shift came, I got another young and handsome nurse named Jarvis. I also had a very sexy hot latino CNA Jerry. I really wish I took pictures of them. Around noon, I talked to my nurse and CNA telling them I am pretty sure I am suppose to get more water and something to eat like chicken broth. Neither of them have had a bariatric surgery patient before. They had no idea what my diet was suppose to be. I insisted and Jerry brought me an eight ounce cup of chicken broth. This gave me a chuckle. I told him I am pretty sure I am only suppose to have two ounces. This is ok. I measure out my chicken broth, you just keep bringing me my drugs and we will do just fine. During this time with the increase of water to two ounces, I start feeling some pain each time I drink the water. I mention it to the nurse and the doctor. Neither knew why I was feeling this pain. Only thing I can think of is that my esophagus is still very tender and when the water hits my stomach it causes bubbles and it was hurting my esophagus. I still have this problem.

Andi came in to see me after a bit and asked if I got my little cups of jello, juice and broth. I told her about my asking and getting the cup of chicken broth. Well apparently the nutritionist delivered my little meal but the nurses didn't know it was for me or to give it to me. I was able to choose only two of the three little one ounce cups. I chose the jello and juice. I liked the chicken broth Jerry gave me earlier the best, maybe it was just him. Sexy!

I determined that I was going to leave at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The hospital staff and doctor fortunately agreed. My boys came to the hospital after school and picked me up. I made sure that I got my last shot of Dilauded, then was wheeled down to the pharmacy to pick up my liquid Lortab. I had no problems getting out of the wheel chair or getting into my car. Nor did I have any problems getting up my stairs to my condo. Must have been those drugs.

My bed is very comfy. With great pillow arrangement I was very comfortable. My daughter came over with my grandson to care for me the first couple of days. People warned me that the liquid Lortab tasted horrible. I shooed their concerns away saying I can drink an ounce of just about anything if needed. Well now I know I can because that stuff.. HOLY COW .. was nasty!! I could have up to an ounce of the Lortab, but at first all I could swallow was two teaspoons one mil at a time.

My mom had her acupuncturist come out and give me a treatment. I was skeptical about this. I have never had it done before. But what the hell.. might as well try it right? He stuck several needles in my hands, arms, legs and feet and one in my head. He attached several of the needles to an electrode something or other that sent electric pulses to about 8 of the needles. It didn't hurt, I am not sure it helped, but who knows, maybe if I didn't get it I would feel way worse.

Can you see the needle sticking out of my hairline?

My mom hired a massage therapist to come over and give me a set of five massages. She got a deal for the five of $200. Kristie showed up for the first session on Friday night. I wasn't able to move much, but she came right in and got to work. I just stayed in my bed and she worked around me. She mostly worked on my legs and arms. This felt good. I also figured it would help make sure I didn't get any blood clots by making sure the circulation was working. I had one big knot of gas in my back between the shoulder blades. I was able to roll to my side so she could work on it. She did a fantastic job. She worked as deep or as light as I wanted. Now everyone who gets massages knows that to ensure not to be sore the next day you need to drink a lot of water. Well this wasn't possible AND she got that gas knot moving. Needless to say, I was in some pain the next day, but I figured it was worth it to get that gas moving and out of my system as fast as possible. Kristie came again on Saturday. I was better prepared and had position myself in the middle of my bed and supported by pillows. I also had some healing meditation music playing.

I had taken a shower earlier and felt good. My sons bought me a long handled sponge brush and put their shower head which included a hand held shower head in my shower. The shower was a huge success. The massage was a huge success. The gas moved out of my back and started trying to move its way out. Now that hurt. Fortunately, my mom came to the rescue and brought me Complete Relief Peppermint Oil gel caps. It relieves gas pain. It must worked because the gas pain went away after taking it.

Kristie came back on Tuesday and this time I was able to lay mostly on my tummy so she was able to work on the back of my legs, arms and a full back massage. It felt great. I bought a Tibetan and Chinese mediation album on Carlos' iTunes account. I am sure he has changed his password to his account now. I would definitely recommend the massage. It was great and she did a fantastic job of accommodating my immobility. She does have a massage table, but was perfectly capable of working with me on my bed. If you would like to make an appoint with Kristie you can reach her on her cell at 313-5768. The deal she gave my mom was five treatments for $200. That is a fantastic deal. I think she charges $45 per session otherwise which is also a great deal. She also works out of an office in town if you are more comfortable going to her office. I did get her permission to mention her in my blog.

So lets talk about weight loss. I gave you my pre-surgery weight. Thursday when I got home I weighed myself. I was 300.1 I figured this is from all the IVs and stress of the surgery. Yesterday I made it to the 280s. I was 287.8 yesterday and 286.5 today. I am very happy with this.

Now we will talk about eating. Yesterday I was very happy to eat. Prior to this I could only eat chicken broth comfortably. I did have 2 ounces of cottage cheese with a couple of mandarin orange wedges and that was fine, but yesterday, I had 2 ounces of tomato soup with 3 Ritz whole wheat crackers. Man oh man was that yummy. I still have some soreness with my esophagus and use my massager on my chest right over the pain and it goes away. I really like that I am full after only eating a couple of ounces of food. This is fantastic!

I will say that I have finally let myself relax. The surgeon's nurse told me some people have the surgery on Friday and are back to work on Monday. My mom didn't seem to have any problems after her LapBand surgery, so why was I taking longer. I am pretty sure its because of the different surgery. I am allowing myself the full two weeks to heal. Even then I am only going back to work part time. Fortunately my boss loves me and gives me the afternoon shift. I typically have trouble with mornings, this even pre-surgery, well its worse post-surgery. I definitely feel way better in the afternoons.

There is another person I want to mention that has helped me out tremendously this week. My Managerial Finance project partner Russ. Now this poor unsuspecting kid (a kid to me, but I am sure he is a man in his mind, I'm thinking he is early 20's), conceded to be my project partner only a week prior to the project being due. He already had done a lot of the work on the project before I got involved, then had to deal with me only putting in minimum effort and that effort while being medicated on Lortab. My only part was to do some ratios and write the memo. I did the ratios, but failed miserably on the memo. Fortunately, this kid wanted an A on the assignment so rewrote the memo. We got it turned in on time, and it is one thousand times better than anything I would have turned in myself, if I would even turn something in. I am not sure.. if it was not for Russ I probably would not have turned anything in and just failed the project. Thanks Russ!

My BMI is down 4.4 points!! Only 15.9 points more until I move out of the extreme/morbid obese category.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Confession Time

This is very difficult to write about. I have been so open about everything, some think too open, but this is something I am having difficulty talking about, let alone share it with others. I feel ashamed. As I sit here and self-analyze myself, I am not quite sure why I feel ashamed, but I do. I have learned over the years that I have feelings that do not necessarily have any logical backing, but have just accepted I have them and move on. I also expect that if you are my friend, and you accept me you will also have to accept some of my illogical feelings.

My last posting I talked about the thoughts of cheating and the encouragements I received from the Support Group to help me decide not to cheat. So what happened....

Super Bowl Sunday and my eldest son's birthday happened to fall on the same day this year. I invited all my kids, my grandson and my ex-husband over to watch the game and share in a birthday cake for George. I knew that we were going to have some finger foods and pizza for the game and a chocolate cake at half time for the birthday. I decided that I would make a completely fat-free spinach ranch dip that I could have to compensate for not eating the other food. I had whole wheat crackers. Counted them out so that I only had 2 servings which would give me 5g of fat. This is pretty similar to a shake so I figured it would be ok to have. This dip was a big hit with the family. No problem. I don't feel bad or guilty for eating this.

Then the pizza came. Pizza Hut's big dipper. At first I tried to hide the fact that I took a bite of the pizza. I knew that my kids would be very disappointed in me. I knew they would try to prevent me from eating it, but I wanted it. My desire for the food was more than my desire to please my kids. By the second piece of pizza, I didn't hide it. Some how .. some way I made a rationalization in my brain that I could eat some of it, but if I purged it right afterwards it wouldn't count. This thought process continued with the cake. When I put the piece of cake on my plate my other son told me, "Mom, you are not suppose to eat that." I said "I know Bobby, but I am going to eat this piece of cake." This said in a tone of voice of "do not question what I am doing right now". I also rationalized that two slices of the big dipper was a lot smaller than two regular slices of a pizza I would have normally ate, so I was making a difference.

I know of a couple of people who cheated on their two-week liquid protein diet and did fine during the surgery. As I was eating the second slice of pizza and could taste all the fat in the cheese, pepperoni, and crust, I started to panic. That's when the purging idea manifested. I will finish this second piece and then I will just purge it, that way it won't count. This actually seemed like a good idea, good enough in fact that I figured if it worked for the pizza it would work for the piece of cake.

So where are these feelings of shame coming from? I actually told my son Bobby later, that he didn't have to worry about me as I purged everything so it was not in my system. He didn't really respond and my mind started chattering .. What the hell was I thinking?? Does this make it ok?? This thought process is pretty sick. Does my son really want to know that somehow I rationalized the cheating by purging it?

I am ashamed I cheated. I am ashamed I purged. Double whammy!

There is really nothing I can do about it now, except to move on. I have two days left of this diet and today I drank my shakes and my water. I did not cheat, but the weird thing is that even though I felt bad about this all day, the same thought popped into my head when I walked in the door. Could I eat something and then purge it? I wasn't even hungry. Fortunately, my logical mind took over immediately after that illogical thought popped in.

I am addicted to eating. Maybe I will look into Overeaters Anonymous.

I didn't weigh myself today, as I had to get up early for work and I was all bloated from messing my system up with the purging and didn't want any more bad news. I also stopped taking the water pill yesterday and I know that causes water gain. Maybe tomorrow.

I appreciate everyone's support and encouragement. I am sorry if I disappointed you.

Confession Time

This is very difficult to write about. I have been so open about everything, some think too open, but

Friday, February 4, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes - and a Support Group

Well I am over my pisstivity of my plateau. If you read my last blog, you will know that I was extremely upset about starving my ass off on this liquid protein diet all to not lose any weight for a few days. I knew I needed help so, I went searching through a storage bucket in the bottom of my closet to find the water pills the "fat" doctor gave me a couple of years ago. I knew I needed a boost to help keep me motivated. It worked. I am now down 13.4 lbs!

Another big boost was attending the support group that was started for the bariatric surgery patients or those interested in getting bariatric surgery. In my previous life, I worked for a company that supported troubled teens boarding schools. I was always stressing how important it was for parents to attend the support groups, so they could talk with other parents going through the same thing they were. I know how important support groups are, so I was glad to find one specially for me.

Even though I knew how important a support group was to success, I was still surprised at how much I benefited from going to the support group last night.

I have been setting myself up to cheat this Sunday. Super Bowl party AND my oldest son's birthday is happening at my house. Both are based around good, yummy and fattening food. I have been imagining what I would be having at this gathering. I would order my favorite sandwich from Port o'Subs salami on sourdough bread. Port o'Subs' makes real sourdough bread. Yummy!! Then of course all of those yummy hor' dorves. After drinking all these very sweet protein shakes, the cake isn't as much of a problem for me. I have been warning my kids that I was planning on cheating on Sunday. This was so they would not give me a hard time when the day came. This was a very conscious decision. I rationalized this by telling myself that I have been so good this whole time that cheating this once would not be harmful. Interestingly, it wouldn't have mattered how many people told me not to do it I still would have done it. Attending the support group changed my mind.

The support group had mostly ladies attendants. There were two supportive husbands and a gentleman speaker. There were a variety of post-op times, from one week to over five years. It was great to see other people who have had some of the same issues I am having of being so heavy. I am so thankful that they were so open to talking about their experience. This is what led me to change my mind about cheating. One of the ladies shared how she had to have open surgery because her liver was still too fatty even after following the liquid protein diet for two weeks. She stated that she wished she could have done the diet for longer so that she wouldn't have had to have the open surgery versus the laparoscopy surgery. When I had my tubal ligation years ago, I woke up to have a large incision I was not expecting. I was a very very unhappy camper. There was nothing I could have done in that situation to prevent it, as when they went in they found my ovary enlarged to the size of a softball and needed to remove it. Why would I want to put myself in a situation where I could have made a difference? All because I wanted to indulge for a few minutes of satisfaction. Here I keep telling my oldest son to watch his actions as they could cause him some major grief in the future, and I was thinking of doing the same thing. A great friend of mine used to quote a Jimmy Buffet song when one was making an impulsive decision. "A permanent reminder of a temporary feeling."

So if you have an opportunity to attend a support group, please do. You never know how something as simple as sharing your experience can help a person struggling with their own problems. I was never expecting to receive anything that would help me through this very trying time. I was very surprised as a matter of fact. As I was driving to the meeting, I was very determined to cheat on Sunday. Driving home, I was very determined not to cheat.

It was great to see how successful these ladies where. The group as a whole has lost hundreds of pounds. This really helps to get rid of that little niggling thought at the back of my mind suggesting I will fail at this as I have on all my past diets.

I will succeed. I will fit into my 49ers varsity jacket. Not only will I fit in it ..it will be loose on me. I will feel great and be active!

Thank you ladies for being there!

Here is a picture I didn't post on Facebook :) My niece Jessica, my sister Linda, and me January 6, 2011.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why I Fail at Diets - Its Been One Week

So I have been on this liquid diet for one week. They say it gets easier, but I do not think so. I am still freakin' starving my ass off every single day. Then the last few days there has been no movement on the scale. I have lost a total of 8.2 lbs in this first week.

This may sound like a good weight loss. Some of you may think, "Why is she disappointed?" Well, I am. And this is probably the biggest reason I fail at diets. This is also the reason I need to get this surgery. After four days of starving myself, I plateaued. Yea yea I know all the reasons. My body went into starvation mode. This said very sarcastically. Because I really do not care that it went into starvation mode, I want the scale to freakin' move. Now I say freakin' on here to keep it PG, but trust me my mind is saying the other word. According to the boys' scale (I call it my BMI scale) I have only lost 5 lbs. Are you freakin' kidding me??

It's not worth it! And that is why I fail. There is no way in hell I would have stuck to the diet with so little weight loss in the first week. Can you tell I am a little grumpy? Just be glad you are not my kids or my ex-husband.

Don't worry. I will be sticking to this stupid liquid diet for the next week as I do not want to risk any injury to my liver. I still look forward to losing all this weight, and I know without a doubt that I need this weight loss surgery to get me there.

I have also come to a decision about posting before pictures. I sometimes sit and watch my screen saver go through all the photos on my laptop. Most of you reading this blog have seen me and know what I look like. So why am I afraid of posting a picture up here? Because then I (the "I" said with a lot of emphasis) have to see what I look like. I look at those pictures, and I don't really believe that I look like that. After forcing myself to look at the pictures as they scroll by, I realized I need to post these pictures just as I need to write this blog. To motivate me. To give me the reason I am sticking to this stupid diet. To justify why I am spending all this money on this surgery.

Since I have been this weight for a very long time, I do not have any clothes from when I was thinner. I do have some clothes I can wear during the first 40 lbs of weight loss, but nothing beyond that except for ... my 49ers varsity jacket. I have had this jacket for 25 years. I have not been able to wear it for at least 20 of those years if not more. For some reason I have kept it. I think I figured I would give it to one of my kids, and I would have but none of my kids want it. :) We took it out of the closet last night and dusted it off. I took a picture of it on me, then a picture of it on my daughter. This way I have something to use as a guiding image. My daughter is wearing a thick jacket under the 49er jacket. I want to be able to wear a thick jacket under my 49er jacket and still have it fit as loosely as it does on her.

Ok .. here it is.. the big reveal:

This is my daughter and how I want to look:

I really do appreciate all the support I receive from family and friends. I really appreciate my kids who deal with my moods when I am starving, and then deal with my disappointments on the scale.

I am a brilliant vibrant woman!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's Official, I Am No Longer A SSBBW!!

I gave hint to my weight several posts ago by saying I was considered a SSBBW. You have to be over 300 lbs to be considered SSBBW. Well I have broken the 300 lb mark!! How many of you are excited to see a 2 start out your weight digits?? There are only a select few of us.

I am glad I am forced into doing this liquid diet because last night I would have totally gone off of it. I went out with my girlfriend to a singles dance that is put on by the predominant religion here in Utah. It is a great place to have some good clean fun. I had one of my shakes right before going in so I thought I would be ok. I drank lots of water while I was there, but I was still starving after just a few minutes of going in. After about two hours, my stomach was rumbling extravagantly. They always have finger foods at the dances, but last night was a dessert contest. I would have never passed up taking at least a few pieces before even if I was on a diet, let alone being starving. Some how some way I made it through. My girlfriend Lanora was quite supportive. When she ate, she ate away from me. That was very sweet of her. I have noticed the smells of food are much stronger right now. Maybe part of being able to stick to this diet is knowing that I can eat again real soon. It will be much different eating for me, but at least I know there is an end to this soon.

I have a lot of weight to lose so when I start a diet, I have to figure I am going to be on this diet for years to lose all the weight I want to lose. I usually put a short term goal, such as 50 lbs or even 20 lbs, but I still know there isn't a close end. In the end, I figure it is not worth the pain and denial of yummy food to be thin. I have analyzed this for the last few days. How is it I am able to deny myself eating when I am so hungry? This is new behavior for me.

I Had A Dream!

I had a dream yesterday morning just before I woke up. I don't remember who the other people were in the dream, but they offered me food and soda the scoundrels! I started eating the food and drinking the soda. In the dream I felt disappointed in myself for eating the food but it did not stop me. This is very typical behavior for me. My poor children, who have always tried to be supportive of my past weight loss attempts, also became disappointed in me every time I went off my diets. I remember having a contest with a guy I was dating a few years ago. "Beat the addiction" He was going to stop drinking alcohol and I was going to stop eating extra carbs. The bet was $100. I didn't fess up to losing right away, but I remember that when I gave him the $100, instead of being happy he won the money, he was very disappointed that I gave up. Disappointment is hard to live down so when I woke up from the dream I was relieved and said out loud, "Thank God! It was only a dream!" I reassured myself I did NOT go off my diet. I find it totally weird how messed up this weight has made me.

What A Difference An Angle Makes!

I am going to post two pictures that I took yesterday. Both were taken within minutes of each other, but probably explains why I have such a skewed picture in my mind of what I look like. I see myself as the first picture. Yes I look overweight, but not as overweight as I really am.

This next picture is what others see, but I refuse to see. If its in the mirror, I refuse to see it. I look at specific things in the mirror, not the whole picture. When it does pop out, such as when I see myself reflected in the window as I am walking to my car or pass a mirror, I look away. When those pictures of me show up on my screen saver that I do not delete because I think they will make great "before" pictures, I shake my head in disgust. My thoughts run bi-polar. I am disgusted with myself. I know I am a great person. This body does not show who I really am. This is what others see, and even this picture does not show the whole picture.

I, very much, am looking forward to bringing my body into alignment with my personality. I am an outgoing vibrant and brilliant woman. If you came here through my Facebook link, you might notice that I only posted the former picture on there. You will also notice that most of the picture I posted on there are taken from a downward angle and I am looking to the side. I still refuse to post any of my real fat pictures on there. I probably wont ever post those pictures on there. So only the very few who read the blog will ever see any of my "fat" pictures.

My current weight: 299.0 Total weight loss since January 26th (3 days): 6.8 lbs

I am on my way!