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Monday, December 30, 2013

Body Image

When I weighed 349 lbs I told myself that I wasn't really that big.  I would compare myself to others and say "I may be fat but I'm not that fat".  The truth is I was fat, fat, fat, fat.  I convinced myself that I knew I was fat and I was comfortable with it.  But that was a lie.  I was never comfortable with being overweight.  I was always very conscious of my weight and tried to hide it with clothing and I tried to hide myself.  "This false perception is a subconscious coping strategy to protect us from the brutal truth, the truth about how big morbidly obese really is." (http://www.populararticles.com/article12490.html)
It's funny the things you learn to accept over the years.  Like the way people avoid you, the way people look and then whisper to their friends and laugh.  The way people ignore you or treat you like you are disgusting/dirty.  I have been ignored by waiters, food servers, sales clerks and others on numerous occasions.  In fact there was a time in my life that I would have never gone out to eat by myself, just because of the way people looked at me.
I hated shopping even in the big size stores and don't even ask about trying things on.  I told myself that it was okay that I was overweight and that I was comfortable with it.  But in truth I never was.  I never really looked at myself in a mirror, even to put my make up I would look but not really see myself.  I hate having my picture taken.  Why because pictures don't really lie.
The worst part of this is how I dealt with it.  I ate, drowned myself in over eating and food.  My life revolved around food.  I would be eating breakfast and I'd be planning my snack, lunch and dinner at the same time.
Now here I am almost 100lbs lighter and when I look in the mirror I still see a big fat, fat, fat person.  I know it sounds crazy but I see myself as very fat.  As I've lost weight I've become very critical of myself.  People tell me how great I look and all I can think about is all the fat rolls I have.
I still have trouble buying clothes that fit because I want to buy items that are smaller but that are still loose and hide my body.

So how do I get through this and have a somewhat healthy attitude about my body and all the work I'm doing to become healthier?
One thing is going to yoga three times a week.  Three times a week I put on exercise spandex pants (form fitting) a sports bra and razor back form fitted tank top.  I stand in class with 10-15 other skinny people and proceed to do Bikram yoga.  Am I able to look in the mirror at myself?  Well it's hard because what I see is this huge fat woman with flabby chicken wings for arms and fat rolls stuffed into a form fitting yoga outfit.
It's hard to look in the mirror, I find myself focusing on spots in the mirror that I'm not in.  I force myself to look in the mirror at the beginning of class and during several of the postures.  This is a very uncomfortable and difficult challenge for me but I force myself.
The other thing I've done is work on buying clothes that fit and may be a little snug.  I'm trying not to hide behind the clothing but it's hard.  I still want tops that are baggy and hide me.  The hardest part of the clothing is wearing bras that fit and lift instead of flatten and push down.
I know I have a long way to go to accepting my body as it is but I will keep trying.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bikram yoga

Well, Wednesday saw my 13th Bikram yoga class since 11/17/2013.  I'm still a little shocked that I keep going back but the improvements I've had in my joints in the last 4-5 weeks is well worth the torture session.
When I started my knees were stiff and I could not kneel.  Now kneeling is not a problem and my overall joint pain 75% reduced.  After suffering for so many years with chronic, ankle, toe, hand, wrists, knees and shoulder pain.  To have such a decrease and during the cold months is amazing for me.  For example I spent the day running back and forth organizing a party at work, I had to make multiple trips and carrying things etc and was on my feet for several hours, in flat dress shoes no less.  Last year this nearly did me in and I was barely able to walk to my car.  Today I may have been a little tired but I was not in pain, my knees and ankles are not stiff and swollen.
While the 90 min sessions are pure torture the benefits have been so amazing for me.  Just to have a some pain relief that does not require medication is wonderful.
As to the yoga poses yes I can do many of them.  I have trouble with some of the balancing ones as I have very little core strength, but each class sees some improvement.  I have learned that I need to push myself until it starts to hurt and then back off on the pose.  I have over stretched a few muscles a few times so I'm learning to listen to my body.  Each time I focus on improving only one pose out of the 26 and not all of them.  The last class was the best yet and I noticed that I'm getting better at controlling my breath.  Over all I enjoy this type of yoga, I like the challenge and I'm so happy with the improvement in my joints.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

8 months

Well it will be 8 months tomorrow since I've had my gastric sleeve.  Last week I bought my first pair of size 18 jeans which I still can hardly believe.  I can't remember when I was able to last wear a size 18.  Other changes include regular exercise for the last month I've been going to Bikram yoga 3 times a week and yes i have survived every session.  Although I will admit several of the sessions I did wonder if I was going to survive the torture chamber.  the thing that keeps me going is that I see people much smaller than me not able to many of moves or they have just as much trouble as I do.
I would go more often but I truly do need a day in between to recover my body.  It takes me longer to get the fluids in that I need the day of and the day after.
The biggest change is how much my life does not seem to revolve around when and what I'm going to eat next.  Food just does not seem that important.  I do notice that I graze more when I'm bored or not busy with something so I'm watching my self a little closer.  I am grabbing more fruit and not going for the crunchy high calorie snacks so that helps.  I've also found that drinking a cup of tea helps also.
 I think the worst thing is that I still see myself as being extremely obese,  I'm still very body conscious and when I look in the mirror I don't see that I've lost any weight.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Yoga adventure

Since I have plateaued for a month now I decided to try something different for my exercise routine.
Of course a Groupon offering made it easier to decide.  This morning I went to my first Birkum Yoga class (http://bikramyoga.com/)
Conducted in a heated room, Bikram Yoga safely and effectively detoxifies the body through perspiration, stretches and tones the muscles and delivers fresh, high speed oxygenated blood to every cell and organ in the body.
Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class is a series of twenty-six Hatha Yoga postures and two breathing exercises designed to provide a challenging, invigorating, rejuvenating, healing and effective yoga experience. During this 90 minute class, you work every muscle, tendon, ligament, joint and internal organ in the body. 

The goal of the first class is to just stay in the heated humidified room.  That was a challenge toward the last 30mins of the class.  You are moving through poses and the sweat is flowing off you like you are standing in a shower.  Several of the poses I was unable to do due to flexibility but I know that will come.  Another hard part was getting into the pose when you as so slippery with sweat and trying to stay in the position.  I managed to stay in the room the entire time it was a great relief to step out to a cooler room once done.  I felt pretty good just tired.  It is now 4 hours later and I'm still drinking water to rehydrate and I fell wiped and have no tolerance for heat.  It's 70 degrees here and I had to turn on the air conditioning because I'm hot.
Yes I will be going back and I know that it will get easier.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Little things

"Just because your miracle doesn't look like the miracle you were expecting, that doesn't mean it isn't the one you've been waiting for" http://www.live-inspired.com/Fight-On-P1257

I was asked today what things in my life have changed since I had bariatric surgery.  My attitude towards food and the way I eat of course are the biggest.  But upon reflection I realized that a number of other smaller changes have occurred. 
I have re discovered my love of tea.  Not just any tea but a good cup of herbal tea.  I actually had to buy a tea pot, cups and saucers.  Drinking tea from a cup and saucer makes the tea better and serving it from a ceramic tea pot seems just perfect.  I really enjoy my evening ritual of making and drinking a pot of caffeine free herbal tea before bed.  It has reminded me how important the little things are and that sometimes simple pleasures make a much bigger impact than you realize.  I feel more grounded since I have started this ritual again and have been able to handle the high stress in my work life much more calmly.   I now have a hot water maker in my office at work and spend the first hour drinking a cup of zen tea every morning while addressing my email. 
So yes re discovering my love of tea has changed my life.  This would have not happened without my having bariatric surgery.  I have been to addicted to Coke Zero and Diet Coke to even think about enjoying a cup of tea.

Monday, October 14, 2013

6 months after surgery

Well it's been 6 months since surgery.  It's hard to believe.  I keep thinking how people say having bariatric surgery is the easy way.  I hate to tell them it is so far from the easy way.  Your life and the way eat changes whether you want it to or not.  If I eat one bite to much I'm throwing up, I have tripled the number of pills I take even though they are all supplements.  You have to keep track of how much protein and water you have every day.  You actually have to set a timer to remind you to eat.  food doesn't taste the same as it used to.  I still am not able to eat salad, tomato soup, eggs and shrimp. There are things I think will be good that after one bite I never want to eat it again. 
While the benefits definitely out weigh the inconveniences it is far from the easy way out obesity.  I spend more time tending to and monitoring my weight and food intact than I ever did on any diet.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I finally wore the new scrubs I purchased the week before I had surgery.  They are 2 sizes down from then.  As I was posting the pictures earlier I realized how much weight I have lost.  76 pounds is a lot. To put it in perspective pull out a pound of butter/margarine (or 4 sticks).  I've lost 304 sticks of butter or 76 pounds of butter.  I wish I could get a picture of 76 pound containers of butter.  I think it's amazing how we don't really think about our weight in terms of food products.  But I know I have eaten my weight in butter over my life time probably 3-4 times.
Yes I feel better although I have periods where I'm tired and that is more related to low blood sugar and forgetting to eat.  I'm also working on lowering my last blood pressure medication and my blood pressure is lower than it should be at times which adds to the tired feeling.  However my labs look great and that is because of the juice plus, zinc, B12, calcium, and iron.  I also am strict about getting my water and at least 90 grams of protein in a day.
I'm asked all the time if the surgery was worth it.  The answer is yes and I'll never regret finally doing it.

4 months and 76lbs pounds gone

8/18/2013/4 months after surgery-273lbs

3/29/2013-2 week to surgey-349lbs

Monday, August 5, 2013

107 days and counting

It's been 107 days since my surgery. Everything seems to be going smoothly.  The weight loss tally so far is 70lbs lost.  I'm told frequently that I don't look like someone who has had bar attic surgery.  Because I look healthy and do not have a grey sickly tinge to my skin.  I know may people start to look wiped out around the three month point.  But I'm very careful about following the rules of getting enough protein and water in everyday.  I also make sure to take my juice plus, B12, zinc, calcium, and iron.  These things are very important to keep you well nourished after surgery. But the protein and water are the highest priority.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

Today the Doctor stopped one of my blood pressure medications.  I'm so excited to finally see some of the medications starting to be dropped off.  Now I'm just waiting for my first set of labs to come back......

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Day in the life.

The morning starts with B12 and a blood pressure pill

Breakfast 0900- 30 grams of protein

1030 starts the first liter of water

1130 need a little stress reducing, 6 M&M's

1pm it's lunch time- another 30grams of protein

2pm starts the second liter of water for the day

3pm a little cinnamon coated nuts- 15 grams of protein

It's 4pm and I still have about 3/4 cup of water to drink to get my 2 liters in.

530pm- it's dinner time-14 grams of protein with a little carb

Whats left after dinner,  I could only eat the slider patty and half the bun.

7pm I needed a lime Popsicle as the slider was a touch spicy.  This is a mini one

8pm I start taking my Juice plus, Calcium and night time pills.  This will take me 1 hour.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Little frustrations.

So this week has been sort of annoying.  I have had an acne break out on my face, I haven't had that issue in many years.  I've also been very tired, nodding off while I'm working at my computer.  I called the doctor and she had me start Zinc and Vitamin E for the skin issues, she also told me to use Aloe gel on my face at night.  These three things worked with in 24 hours for the skin issues.  I was told to increase my protein shakes so I'm getting 90 grams of protein in plus whatever food I'm eating.  I'm hitting a period of rapid weight loss as I've lost 3lbs since Monday and need more protein to maintain my strength.  This morning I was a little weak and felt very depleted.  However after I had my morning shake I felt better.  I really notice that the mornings are tough if I don't get in that protein shake with in 2 hours of waking up.  Going for so many hours at night without having anything to eat really takes a lot out of you.  During the day I need to have something at least every three hours and that is pushing it.  I keep nuts at my desk to munch on along with my water.

I had to order a special pill holder/keeper so I can keep track of everything I need to take.  At least a lot of it is vitamins and not prescription meds.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New clothes are needed

Well a week ago Sunday I tried on a several pairs of pants that I've been waiting to wear.  They were all to tight to button.  So this week I have two pairs of them and they are both way to big.  I may only lost 3lbs but have lost 3 inches as well.  It's great but a little harsh on my wardrobe.  I guess I'll be shopping this weekend for some work pants.  I haven't lost that many inches in my upper body mostly in my legs and waist.

Friday, July 12, 2013

An exciting moment..

So today during a meeting at work I leaned back in my chair and crossed my leg at the knee level.  It took a few minutes to sink in but I was so amazed.  I have not been able to sit with my legs crossed in years.  I was so taken back that I forgot I was in a meeting.
I know that I've dropped 60+ pounds but I don't think it really hit until today.  Yesterday I realized that the pants I had on were way to big.  I of course did not notice until half way thru the work day.  I added them to the donate pile when I got home.  Even though I have not lost any weight for two weeks I have dropped several inches just in the last week.  On Monday I wore a pair of hospital scrubs to work and I washed them Wednesday and wore them again today.  They were very loose and I had trouble keeping them tied tight enough to stay up.  I didn't have that issue on Monday when I wore them.

I understand that I will always have a body image issue.  You can not weigh over 300lbs for most of your life and not have one.  But little things like being able to cross you legs and walking up a flight of stairs really make you realize how much in life you have missed.  I see my co-workers who have had this surgery and you can tell they are loosing weight.  However when I look at myself I feel like I haven't lost as much.  But in reality I have. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My first big social event after surgery.

On Thursday I attended a 3 day scrapbooking convention here in Las Vegas.  This was my first big outing away from home since I had surgery.  I had it all planned out.  I packed enough protein shakes, juice plus, b12 and calcium for the three days.  Not only was I going to be attending classes but would also be working our Close to my Heart booth for 4 hours each day.
Living in Las Vegas I know how important water is and certainly learned that the first week back to work after my surgery.  So I made plans to keep up with my water drinking.  When I work and at home I keep 4 32 ounce bottles filled with water in the refrigerator and I make sure to drink at the min 2 of those a day.  I usually get in 2 and half.  I will do three if I've been traveling out in the heat or have spent a lot of time outside.
Well my careful planning did not turn out the way I would have liked.  I was so excited on Thursday that I only really drank 1 32 ounce bottle of water and did not really have that much after that.  On Friday I only got in about 40 ounces.  I realized Friday night that I did not get enough water in.  I was having headaches and was very tired even though I had a 2 hour nap that day.  On Saturday my headache continued and was really constipated.  My lips were dry and chapped and I was really craving water.  I had 40 ounces of water that morning while I worked in the CTMH booth but is was not enough.  Once I got home around 5pm I proceeded to drink 64 ounces of water and my headache went away.  I still felt weak, tired and vomited my dinner after I ate. I ended up sleeping for 14 hours but did get up 3 times during the night to get more water.
Sunday was much better as I drank 4 32 ounce bottles of water and really focused myself on getting enough water in me to re hydrate and get myself back on track.

After the incident I had the first week back to work I have been very careful about water and getting enough.  But it is so easy when you do social events that are out side your normal routine to get off track.  You are really more susceptible to dehydration after any bariatric surgery.  Next time I will be more focused on the water and make sure to take at least two of my water bottles with me to keep track.  While this time the dehydration was not as bad as before it definitely was not fun and it was a learning experience.

I did have lots of fun, bought some really great stuff and picked up a few new customers for my Close to my Heart scrapbooking business.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

8 weeks since surgery

 It's now been two months since I had my surgery.  It's been a journey so far.  I've had re learn how to eat and drink.  It does feel strange to never have hunger pains and to feel full after only a few bites.  I'm still amazed at how little I eat.  While food tastes good I really only have a few bites and am done.  I have discovered that I much prefer to have a protein shake or nectar protein drink.  I feel better with those than when I eat something.  I think it's because of the high protein content. 
I've had a few bites of cheesecake and a little chocolate but not much.  I like the sugar free products better.  I really enjoy weight watchers snack size fudge bars and ice cream cones.  Those are the perfect size.  I also like weight watchers candies if I need a bite of chocolate.  although wanting a piece of chocolate and ice cream is more my taste buds and my head.  My stomach could care less what it gets. I really do never feel hungry.  I can tell when I've gone to long as my stomach will start to cramp because it's empty.
Today I had a chicken wing and yes it was deep fried. Don't ask me why I had it.  It tasted good but boy did it sit like a rock in my stomach for about an hour.  It was my first fried food and I will be steering clear of that for a while.

I've been very careful about getting enough water in.  Since I live in the desert and we have started having daily temps of 110 I really push to 2.5 liters in a day.  I carry around a 750ml water bottle that I sip all day.  I was working outside on Tuesday in the heat and I noticed quickly that I needed to keep drinking to stay hydrated.  You don't realize how hard it is to get enough water in when you can only drink so much at a time.
Anyway as of Monday June 10, 2013 I had lost a total of 54 lbs.  I feel thinner and my clothes are baggy.  You can really see it in my face. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

ARGHHHHH weight loss plateau.

I've hit my first plateau and did not loose any weight this week.  I have lost a few inches which makes it a little better.
What Causes Plateaus?

Several factors in the post-surgical patient may come into play and lead to plateaus. Brief periods during which little or no weight loss occurs may coincide with a woman's menstrual cycle and the amount of bloating or water weight gain she experiences.

Another common culprit for bariatric surgery patients is the GI tract. Severe constipation can lead to a weight loss plateau.

Finally, when the body loses weight following bariatric surgery, it loses weight from everywhere--lean muscle mass as well as stores of fatty tissue. As the body recovers from the surgery, and the patient starts to move around and exercise, they rebuild lean muscle mass.

Since muscle weighs more than fat, your scales may show that your weight loss has stopped, but you'll still be losing inches and looking thinner to the people who know you. And it won't be long before your body adjusts itself to your new weight and is ready to start losing again.

These plateaus are why surgeons often caution patients not to weigh too frequently--a couple of times a month is plenty--and not to be too upset if the numbers they see are higher than they'd like.

When a Plateau Spells a Problem

As your body heals from surgery, and your food choices increase, it can be very tempting to slide back into some of the old eating habits that caused weight gain in the first place.

You, of course, are the only one who knows if you're "cheating." If you are, schedule a cleaning of your refrigerator and pantry and rid the house of foods that lead you astray. Then make a conscious effort to return to the eating habits that your surgeon suggests,

 these suggestions included

    Eating 3 small, low-fat, high-protein meals per day
    Avoiding sweets and carbs
    Making time to savor every meal
    Not skipping meals
    Moving my body, whether that means walking, exercising, or cleaning the house

The Bottom Line

If you hit one or more plateaus a few months out from weight loss surgery, don't worry that your weight has stabilized permanently--it hasn't. Statistically, you will probably alternate between cycles of rapid and slow weight loss for the first 18 months or so after surgery. By that time, you will have lost about 75% of your excess weight, and your body will start to stabilize for the long term. Even then, however, if you want to shed a few more pounds, you can still do so by shaving off a few calories and adding a few minutes to your exercise program.

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013 My first week back to work

Well, I managed to survive the week.  Although it was questionable on Tuesday.  I learned about dehydration and how quickly that can happen now.  On Monday I was busy on my first day back and did not keep track of how much water I had.  In the afternoon I had to travel to another hospital across town and it was over 100 degrees outside.  By the time I got home that night I was weak and my legs felt like rubber.  I figured it was just fatigue.  However I felt even worse in the morning but forced myself to go to work.  I had to come around noon and I barely made it I was so weak.  I figured out later in the day that I had not had enough water in the last two days.  I felt a lot better after 3 liters of water which took me several hours to get in.
Needless to say I am back to keeping track of how much water I get in a day.  I had been doing this at home but didn't do it at work.
I should have realized how easy it would be to become dehydrated especially since I live in the desert.  It just never dawned on me until it was almost to late.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My first steak meal

I should have taken a picture.  It was one slice of a Fillet of Beef (would have been equal to 2 bites for anyone else) and a tablespoon of mashed potato's.  While it tasted great I was miserable afterward
 and for the rest of the night.  My stomach felt like I had pulled a muscle.  I was sore, still this morning but things have gotten better.  I will be sticking with ground beef and tender chicken for a few more weeks.
My biggest challenge is not gulping water.  I want to take a big drink and I know I can't.  It just doesn't seem the same when you have to sip it like you would wine.
And if I have to see one pizza commercial I may cry... I really am missing pizza.....  It will be a few months before I can have a few bites, 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

20 days after surgery

Well I have had my 1st post op appointment last week.  Everything has gone well.  I have advanced to a regular high protein diet.  I'm amazed at how little I'm able to actually eat.  For dinner tonight I made half of a hamburger patty and was only able to eat a quarter of it.  What surprises me is that I never seem to get hungry and have to remind myself I need to eat.  I much prefer a protein shake to solid food although it takes me two hours to drink and 11 oz shake.  At the most I have been able to get in maybe 50 grams of protein a day and almost 1 liter of water.
I knew my eating life would change I just was not truly prepared for how drastic it is.  I eat less then 600 calories a day.  I still am weak toward the end of the day and don't have a lot of energy.  The doctor told me this would improve as my body adjusts to the low calories and activity levels.  I'm really glad I still have a week and half before I go back to work.  I think working will be a challenge for my endurance.

I was reflecting back to the things I wish I had known before surgery so I would have been more prepared.
1-That water was going to hurt so much even when warmed.  Popsicles went down much better.
2-Taking pills with apple sauce instead of water.
3-Not to worry about anything but fluid for the first few days.  They told me to have thinned protein shakes everyday but my stomach did not like those.
4-Gas-X to help the gas bubbles you get in your stomach.  Those kept getting stuck and the gas-x helped dissolve them.
5-That the gas pains from the CO2 they used to fill your abdomen with during surgery would last 5-7 days after surgery.  I was told it would only last a few days.  However it really last longer and walking is the best thing and taking Tylenol even though you don't have abdominal pain helps also.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

1 Week after Surgery

Well it was a week ago today......  Everything has been going well and as expected.  I think the worst part has been the gas pain.  Otherwise I've been pain free since day 3 after surgery.  I've been out to the store several times since Sunday and each trip gets better.  Although they still wear me out.  I've taken the dogs for a walk around my apartment complex several times and boy does that wear you out completely. 
I'm eating mostly Greek yogurt, Popsicles and protein pudding.  I have no cravings for food nor am I hungry.  I can only tolerate about a half cup of food at a time and it takes me about 1 hour to eat it.  If you eat it faster you get more stomach gas and that is very unpleasant.  The biggest challenge is getting enough water in to keep yourself hydrated. You need to sip the water you can't just take a big drink so it takes longer and you must be careful not to drink more than 1 cup an hour or your stomach will get upset.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 3 after Surgery...

It's been 3 days since my surgery.  Everyday gets a little better.  I have had to break down and start crushing my pain pills. They really hurt when I swallowed them whole.  This is because of the swelling and irritation of the esophagus.  During the surgery they also do a scope down the esophagus and there is a lot of manipulation and this irritates everything.  Anyway the crushed pills go down much easier.
I was very happy yesterday I was able to keep down a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.  The first non popsicle item I have had.  This morning I was able to get 15 grams of protein with my crushed pills.
The wonder slim products are great as you can make a 1/2 cup pudding or a 1 cup of liquid shake.  I made the pudding and was able to get it all in.  I make sure to take small bites and eat it over an hour.  There will no longer be the fast meal.  You have to eat slowly so as not to upset your stomach.  I had to buy baby spoons and forks to eat with so that I get little bits.  Those work really well.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's all done..

Surgery went well.  I have the hardest part behind me.  My new baby stomach is very angry as it did not like being cut up.  I've been keeping down clear liquids only.  This will go on for a few more days.   Thursday after surgery and Friday morning saw a lot pain related to the gas they use to blow up your abdomen with.  By Friday after noon all of that seemed to be gone.  The pain is not to bad.  I get sharp little pains when ever I put something in my stomach water or whatever.
I have also learned not to drink from a straw as that increases the amount gas bubbles you get.
I'm going to be trying chicken broth at some point today and hopefully that will be okay.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

14 hours to Surgery

I can't believe that I have made it this far.  Tomorrow is surgery day and I'm very excited.  I have to admit 6 months ago i never thought I would make it this far.  2 weeks ago when I started the pre-surgery diet I was sure I would be starving and have fallen off the diet.  But I realized on Monday that I wasn't really hungry and I found myself forgetting to have my shake.
I had to set my clock to remind me to have a shake every four hours during the day.
I cleaned out the house and refrig this weekend and got rid of everything I could no longer eat and I have stocked up on items for the first two weeks.  Sugar free Popsicles, chicken broth with extra protein, new whey liquid protein and of course protein shakes.
I have lost 24 pounds since I started the pre surgery diet so I know I'm ready for surgery.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

7 days to go

Well, 7 days to go.  I had my pre-operative appointment yesterday so am already for the day of surgery.  I'm very sick of the protein shakes but have finally gotten my shipment of Wonderslim puddings.  The chocolate marshmallow is great with only 60 cal and 12 gram of protein. Whats nice is that the calories are low enough that I can 2 of them and get 24 grams of protein. Just as good has a protein shake.
I've lost 19 pounds with the pre-surgery diet and have dropped a clothing size already. Good thing I only have 4 more days of work to go.  I didn't want to have by new work clothes until after surgery.
The most frustrating thing this week has been dealing with my medical leave paper work and the company that manages our leaves.  It used to be so much easier when it was just handled by our HR department.  So hopefully I won't be faxing and filling out forms on the day of surgery.

Monday, April 8, 2013

10 days to go.

I have now been officially following the pre-surgery diet for 1 week.  I have lost 17lbs.  Yes I'm starving.  I would have traded both of my Dachshunds today for a chocolate bar and a large pizza.  Instead I had a protein shake with some sugar free chocolate syrup.  I'm still eating every 3 hours as I get weak and dizzy.  I started making my protein shakes with Greek yogurt and that adds an additional 12 grams of protein. That has helped a lot.
I have also started using my baby fork and spoon to eat with.  Boy just doing that slows you way down.  Only small bites fit on the fork and that helps you take longer to eat.  I have also stopped drinking any liquids 30min before, during and 30 min after my real food meal.  That helps me fill up on the protein more than I would if I was also drinking an 8oz glass of water.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

12 days to go

So I've been doing this one lean/green meal day and protein shakes for the other two meals and snacks pre-surgery diet since Monday. On Monday my weight was 349lbs yesterday I was down to 338Ib.  11 pounds in 5 days wow.
The protein shakes last about 3 hours and then I start getting shaky and weak feeling especially if I've been really busy at work running around.  I started adding New Whey Liquid protein to my water to give me a little extra protein so I wouldn't have that sudden drop every three hours.  That has worked well.

I came up with this idea of freezing my soy milk for the shakes instead of using ice cubes.  However that did not work out as well as it should have.  I found these great ice cube trays at the dollar store, yes I know.  Anyway the milk froze very nicely but I'm having a lot of trouble getting them out of the trays as the trays are just breaking.  I'll be buying regular heavy duty trays when I go to the store next.  Good thing I'm only out a dollar.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

15 days to go...

I was told today that my surgery date is being moved up by a day.  I'm very excited..  I started the pre-surgery diet this week.  I started a few days early so I would be used to it.  I'm glad I started replacing breakfast with a protein shake last week it has been a much easier transitioning to replacing lunch with a shake also.
I have to admit I would love an extra large pizza right now.  But I'll be having some protein jello instead.
The purpose of the high protein, calorie restricted diet  prior to surgery is to decrease the size of the liver, which can shorten operating time. It also helps to reduce the amount of fat in the upper abdomen. Since this area is the specific surgical site, the reduction of this fat is beneficial to the safety of the procedure. Adopting a healthy, reduced calorie diet plan prior to bariatric surgery gets you into the habit of eating less, eating healthy and making the essential dietary changes that will be required after your bariatric surgery, and for the rest of your life.
Because of the close proximity of the liver to the stomach, having the liver slightly smaller than normal aids the physician in performing the surgery without interference and lowers the risk of complications.

Friday, March 29, 2013

21 days to surgery....Photos

I'm starting the 21 day count down to surgery day.  Just seven days until I start the 2 week pre-operation diet. The pre-operation diet is very simple and consists of a protein shake for breakfast and lunch and lean meat (chicken or fish) and green vegetables for dinner.  For snacks you get to have more protein shakes.
I decided to make it easier on myself and started having a protein shake for breakfast every day this week.  I will start adding the lunch shake as well on Monday.  This will be easier on me then just starting the full on diet next week.
My biggest challenge will be the sugar.  I love sweets and deserts.  To help myself with this I have ordered a high protein sugar free pudding (wonder slim product).  I have tried several of the high protein products and have found a few that I really like.  My favorites so far are all the wonder slim products. 
21 days and counting;
Weight: 348lbs
Size 28W pants, 30/32W top, and size 10 shoes.
The thing I hate the most: having my picture taken.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My choice of Procedure: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

How Does The Gastric Sleeve Work?

The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive form of weight loss surgery in which approximately 85% of the stomach is removed leaving a cylindrical or sleeve shaped stomach with a capacity ranging from about 60 to 150 cc, depending upon the surgeon performing the procedure. Unlike many other forms of bariatric surgery, the outlet valve and the nerves to the stomach remain intact and, while the stomach is drastically reduced in size, its function is preserved. Again, unlike other forms of surgery such as the Roux en Y gastric bypass, the sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible.
Because the new stomach continues to function normally there are far fewer restrictions on the foods which patients can consume after surgery, albeit that the quantity of food eaten will be considerably reduced. This is seen by many patients as being one of the great advantages of the sleeve gastrectomy, as is the fact that the removal of the majority of the stomach also results in the virtual elimination of hormones produced within the stomach which stimulate hunger.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the gastric sleeve lies in the fact that it does not involve any bypass of the intestinal tract and patients do not therefore suffer the complications of intestinal bypass such as intestinal obstruction, anemia, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiency and protein deficiency. It also makes it a suitable form of surgery for patients who are already suffering from anemia, Crohn's disease and a variety of other conditions that would place them at high risk for surgery involving intestinal bypass.

Facts about the gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy:

Alternative names: vertical sleeve gastrectomy, sleeve gastrectomy, greater curvature gastrectomy, parietal gastrectomy, gastric reduction and vertical gastroplasty.

Surgery for high BMI patients. For patients with a particularly high body mass index (typically 50+) many forms of weight loss surgery are either difficult to perform or present increased risk. As a result, a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (or increasingly a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) is sometimes performed as the first of a two-part weight loss solution to provide an initial drop in weight which then makes other bariatric follow up possible at a reduced level of risk.

Surgery for low BMI patients. For obese patients with a relatively low body mass index the vertical sleeve gastrectomy can also prove a good choice, especially where existing conditions (such as anemia or Crohn's disease) prevent them from having other forms of bariatric surgery. In addition, patients may choose this form of surgery if they are concerned about the long-term affects of bypass surgery or object to having a 'foreign' body implanted into their body, as is the case with lap band surgery.

Who Should Consider Gastric Sleeve Surgery
  • This kind of surgery is best for any person who is unable to have regular follow up visits that the gastric banding procedures need such as the Realize Band surgery and the Lap Band surgery.
  • A person scared of the long-term effects of intestinal bypass such as: anemia, intestinal obstruction and protein deficiency.
  • People who don’t want foreign objects in their stomach like you see with the Lap Band surgery.
  • People who are unable to do conventional weight loss surgery because of a serious medical condition like anemia and Chrohn’s disease, or a person who has had a number of surgeries.
  • People who are using anti-inflammatory medicines and most avoid the gastric bypass surgery. 
  • Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery
    During sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon will remove the larger, rounded part of the stomach.
    • The remaining stomach looks like a sleeve (or hose or tube) and holds about 15 percent as much food as the original stomach.
    • The surgeon will remove the larger, rounded part of the stomach from the body. (This is the only gastric surgery in which part of the  stomach is taken out of the body.)
    • Unlike gastric bypass, which changes stomach openings, sleeve gastrectomy leaves the openings intact.
    • It may be a safer and more effective option than gastric bypass for patients with very high BMI, those with medical problems like anemia, Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, extensive prior surgeries and other complex medical conditions.
    Advantages of The Gastric Sleeve Procedure
    • Sleeve gastrectomy may be safer than gastric bypass for patients who have a number of health risks.
    • It lowers the risk of ulcers compared to gastric bypass.
    • The surgery cuts away the part of the stomach that produces grehlin, a stomach hormone that stimulates hunger.
    • Though the stomach is smaller, the openings are left intact, so digestion can go on as normal.
    • The body is free of foreign objects like the Lap Band®.
    Gastric Sleeve Surgery Risks
    • Anytime you have anesthesia or surgery, there is a risk of blood clots, other complications or death.
    • Do not smoke. Smoking would put you at high risk for infection, blood clots, slow healing and other life-threatening complications.
    • Complications can occur with the stapling, such as leaks or bleeding.
    • You may need malabsorptive surgery – intestinal bypass or duodenal switch – in addition to your sleeve gastrectomy in order to lose all the weight you need and want to lose.
    • The smaller portion of the stomach may stretch.
    • Foods that you eat now may cause discomfort, nausea or vomiting after your surgery.
    • Gastric surgery puts you at higher than normal risk of developing gallstones and gallbladder disease.
    • You will not lose weight or maintain your weight loss unless you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. This is the reason they stress long-term follow-up with your doctor.