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  1. My whole life I've either been gaining or losing. The end.

    Gaining or losing.

    Can I just stop and say, I'm really tired of that? (wah! someone call me an wah-mbulance! Sorry for whining--I know I'm not unique in this condition. That could be most of us...or is most of us.)

    One of the things I have "heard" along the path to WLS is to be careful about how successful I am on the pre-surgery diet (not the pre-op diet...the one that you follow as part of your 3-6 months of supervised weight loss). I've lost about 50lbs since the beginning of May (unsupervised weight loss for most of it). I did it by pretending to eat like someone immediately post WLS, going through the steps to add food stages back into their lives. Through it I was only consuming about 400-600 cals/day. I had a few nutritional deficiencies that showed up in my blood work, but dang it! For the first time in my life I lost weight like a normal person--rather than the typical 3-4lbs per month loss that could be wiped out with one ill-planned meal. So in extrapolating the 3-6 month period until surgery (and submission of insurance information for qualification), I realized, my weight would continue to go down. Of course, it wouldn't be in a linear path, and I'm sure there would be stalls...but still, right?

    So my surgeon put the kabosh on the whole 400-600 calorie thing and wanted me up around the 900-1000cal area--which I did. Oddly enough, the month where I ate between 800-850 calories per day was my most successful month from a pounds lost perspective. I reached 1000 cals/day only to be told that she (the surgeon) felt I was still consuming too few calories and actually wanted me up around 1500 cals/day. Now, I personally think she did a little bait and switch on me just to get me up to the 1000 cals/day. Had she told me in the beginning I needed to eat 1500 cals/day--I woulda told her she was nuts! I gain weight on a 1200 calorie per day Weight Watcher style diet. I lose only about 2-3lbs per month on a 1200 calorie low carb diet. Ugh! What's a girl to do?

    Since mid-September I've been eating 1200 cals per day. My weight went back up to 241 from 237.8lbs. Sheesh! But I stuck the landing and have forced myself to eat the 1200 calories per day, despite the scary gain. Remember, my whole life it's either gain or lose and nothing in between--chicken or feathers. The fear of course is that once the gain starts, where does it stop? It's been EXCRUTIATINGLY painful to lose this 50lbs. So. Much. Hunger. And now that I'm eating 1200 cals/day my taste buds are awake again and hunger is worse than ever. More days of feeling starved than I felt when eating 400 cals/day!

    So. Much. Hunger!

    Today I'm finally turning a corner and moving back down the scale. I'm at 239lbs this morning. I know I have to be at 40BMI to qualify without co-morbidities, or 35BMI with 1 co-morbidity. My medical chart has a litany of co-morbid health issues including: breast cancer, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, low thyroid, GERD with pre-cancerous changes in my esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, osteoarthritis with degenerative hips and discs, chronic bursitis, pericardial effusion, asthma, left arm lymphedema, and chronic pain--to name just a few. But the problem is...what does the actual insurance company count as a co-morbid disease? Like with high blood pressure, does it only count if I'm on 3 medicines and my diastolic is still 90 or above? Do they count breast cancer on a 10 year endocrine therapy as a co-morbidity? Is the osteoarthritis a co-morbid disease if I'm not on a drug to treat it--other than an occasional cortisone shot and PT? These questions just keep churning and burning in my mind along with the whole gain or lose. Gain or lose. There is NO maintain. It's a word that is absolutely missing from my personal lexicon.

    So the dilemma is, do I disobey the surgeon and lower my calories so I can continue to lose weight during this 3-6 month period? Or do I raise them and risk gaining weight back? The last thing she said to me was, "Don't gain any weight."

    Do I safely and confidently go below the 40BMI shelf, trusting in my safety net of co-morbidities? Do I push downward toward 35BMI during this 3-6 month supervised diet? Will that success put me at risk for being "too good at losing weight without surgery?" Or do I "try" to stay where I am? Remember, Yoda--for me it's either do or do not--there is no "try." I'm either gaining or losing. At my current weight of 239lbs my BMI is 41. At 232lbs it shifts to a 39.8BMI--only a 7lb loss determines that difference. At 204lbs I'm at 35BMI. The issue is how much do I trust my co-morbidities? Most of us can lose the weight. I'm almost positive I can lose down to 204lbs over time. It may take going back to eating 800-850 calories per day. The issue is losing enough to get me to a normal BMI. The issue is maintaining that weight. THAT is what I have not been successful doing in 46 years. I started my first diet when I was 9 years old. The issue is being able to have a sustainable enough calorie level where I can live happily and not gain weight. Who can do that on 800-850 calories permanently? I don't know too many capable of that--at least with an unaltered tummy/digestive system. I know that calorie level will be impossible for me.

    Then the other question is, am I being so stupid to risk WLS when I have these abnormal cells in my gullet, tummy, and gut? If I have a sleeve, the chances are good it will make the esophagus worse because of the GERD--maybe the tummy and duodenum too. But at least the gastro guy can monitor them for cancerous changes. If I have an RNY they will no longer be able to monitor the remnant stomach or the duodenum. The esophagus might get a little better, but the risk of ulcers and cancer goes up in the remnant stomach and roux limb of the duodenum.

    My stress over making the "right" decision is so crazy huge. My head just spins and spins trying to play out the odds and reason out if-then solutions and outcomes. At what point do I just simply make a decision, trust, and rest peacefully with that decision? My surgeon did not give me any definitives at the second appointment. She only said she has to talk to the gastro guy about it--which is responsible of her and great. It means her ego isn't writing checks at the expense of my health.

    So to summarize, I'm in Limboland without much direction right now--teetering on a bad threshold of 40-41BMI (a 7lb threshold) that could determine my fate for the next 2 years. (If the insurance company doesn't accept any of my health issues as co-morbid and I drop below the 40BMI deck, it will take 2 years of weight history above 40BMI to re-qualify. I don't operate well in Limboland. I like to color inside the lines and have a clear path with logical steps and progressions. The unknown is shaky ground.

    I don't know if that stress is making my blood pressure go up--or if it's the high levels of chronic pain I deal with, but I was just put on a second blood pressure medicine last week, and this morning it was still 162/90. :o:blink::angry: It's enough to drive me crazy...and trust me, it's a short trip.

    More later...

     

  2. Morning Morning Bariatric World,

    Well I am 8 Weeks out today from my VSG on 07/17/2017. I'm down to 258.2 from my high of 315. Don't have a clue what my day of surgery weight was since I missed that somehow, but was around 286 I think. I'm feeling very good physical wise. Starting to notice some skin on my upper arms and definitely on my tummy. Needing to up my exercise with some weights now.  :) 

    Other than that I'm doing very good. Eating well. No more than 1/2 cup 4 - 5 times a day. But Oh man - did I mess up Yesterday. I had waited a bit too long to eat since i was running around so much. We stopped and got a rotisserie chicken since it was getting so late. I was shaking so I knew I was needing to eat something. I ate too fast and too much since I didn't take the time to weight or measure my food. first up  -  i do note throw up - just never could  well. Usually had to be pretty bad for me too. Last time I did was in 2003 when I got the stomach flu while pregnant - not cool. But I was able to  last night. It took some work but I finally did. (I had to make myself) It felt like food was stuck up into my chest. Like it was all back up. Hurt to move, to talk, to even breath. I will so never do that again. I'm feeling good today and started off with just a simple shake this morning. Doing well :) Lesson learned - -I keep handies in my purse now like the fantatic "Think turkey" on this site. Thanksgiving flavor is the bomb. 

    But other than that just going day to day, week to week. About all there is after you get to this point. I'll probably get on here every few weeks or if something different happens. 

    Hope everyone is doing wonderful pre or post-op. Many blessing to you all on your Weight Loss Journeys.

    LaTeR gAtErS :251_crocodile:

  3. Hello all I thought I would come on and give everyone an up date on where I am in my weight loss journey. I have had some up and downs happen in my life there  for I was not able to eat like I need to. But I am back on track and I just see my doctor and dietitian and I'm HAPPY to say I'm down 4LBS!!! I'm happy about that but  they had to add somethings to my check list that I understand why but still bums me out. I have to get my heart check and oked for surgery. So know I have three things let on my check list 1- loss the weight they want me to loss 2- Get my heart checked and cleaned from a Cardiologist 3-Get cleaned from my sleep doctor because of my sleepapna.  I'm hoping I can do this all by Nov 2017-Jan 2018. so I can have my surgery by the beginning of Next year 2018 and start the year fresh. well that's all for now.....    

    Take care and remember everything happens in GODS time and all things are possible through god! (See Philippians 4:13 my late Grandpa lived my that....) 

     

  4. I had my surgery Wednesday I was scheduled for 1:00 pm but patient issues pushed me to 6:00 pm when they finally wheeled me away. I had 5 extra hours of am I really doing this to think about. Sitting outside my operating room listening to my anesthesiologist promise hes my guardian angel. (I really think he was.) It hit me, I am doing this for me 11 months of work no way I'm backing out now so I put on my brave face and with a little liquid brave from my angel I was drifting asleep.  I woke up groggy at 9:00 pm the rest of the night I just wanted sleep. I felt feeling pretty good, my nurses were dolls  and my pain  was totally bearable. I had asked my surgeon if I could leave by Thursday at 1:00 pm  to make it to my daughters surgery. He was willing to let me go if all the tests fell into place....Then I with my per-counted  chickens had an issue Thursday  my drain tube completely filled up with blood, they would empty it and an hour later it would be full again.  So I got an extra day in the hospital I would get sharp pains when I would get up to use the bathroom my doctor was very reassuring just making sure I'm fine and no reason to panic.  Were going to watch it ''he said'' so we did witch brings us to today. Everything I thought I would need in the hospital I didn't need at all. I needed rest and sleep and water. My daughter watched the six blood draws in 24 hours and the countless bags of fluid be emptied, and asked me if I would do it again answer: Hell yes the pain the blood work was minor. I have been home now for 5  hours  in bed and I couldn't resist the scale with my all liquid diet. Day of surgery 214  now 208

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    I'm about a month post op now, when I think of how far I've come just in this month I am happy.  Before the surgery, I had thought of every negative thing that I'm sure everyone does...I had a ton of people telling me horror stories, mostly family members.  I even had some of them telling me these things immediately post op after I had come through the worst of it.  I shut it down and didn't let it get to me.

    I'm at the age where any kind of surgery is fairly scary.  My main thought was, "Will I wake up?".  I even said that to my surgeon who chuckled and reassured me everything would be just fine.

    I woke up after the surgery in horrible pain, I kept breathing through it and then I had to remind myself, "Girl you are not in labor, tell them you're hurting and get some of those pain meds!".  They took care of my pain and wheeled me to my room after recovery.  I got up and walked to the bathroom, walked to my bed and faced having to take that first sip of water.  It felt weird, it tasted terrible but I did it.  I did it because I knew it would make my recovery go smoother and I would be less likely to feel nauseous.

    The next morning I went home to face the dreaded clear liquid diet, and I got through that.   To be honest, I wasn't hungry so it wasn't a problem.  Then on to full liquid, yucky protein shakes tasted ok, but that lentil soup I whipped into a thin liquid tasted like heaven to me and I savored every sip.  Then on to pureed and now soft foods and still I savor every single bite.  Food tastes so good to me now, I don't really know why.  I used to eat pizza, slather everything with butter.  Now I eat healthy7 and nothing that I shouldn't and it tastes wonderful.  So happy and counting my blessings on that.

    Pre-op I had worried so much about giving all that up and also the tiny portions I would have to eat.  I had forgotten that my point of reference was my normal sized stomach, not thinking that my stomach would be tiny and those tiny portions would be just perfect for me.  I'm finding out, my perceptions are just out of whack and have been most of my life.

    I am having very good luck with my surgery, I think part of that is following the program that I am supposed to be on.  I feel blessed that I was able to have the opportunity to have the surgery, many of the health issues I had are already going away and for me that is the most important thing in my life.  I look forward to my new life of health and well being.  :D

  5. I don't know how to talk to anybody on here.  most times I write anything it gets ignored.  Other than being an voyeur I don't think this site is very good.  My VSG was scheduled 9/8/2017, I got a call from the hospital telling me that my surgery hasn't been approved yet, haven't heard anything from my surgeons office telling me anything.  SO I called my insurance and was told my surgery was denied.  I'm devastated.  I know I can appeal, but they said it can take 30 to 60 days to do that and I shouldn't plan on surgery next week.  I'd told my co-workers, bought all my post-op food, scheduled the time off.  scheduled my Mom to come stay with me, started my pre-op diet and have been working for months for this.   I've had to openly admit and talk about the worst thing about myself for months now, thinking it's going to be worth it.  everything is going to be fine.  IT'S NOT OK AND I'M NOT OK.   

  6. My weight has been the one thing I can't really control in life. 

    I come from a long line of tall, big-boned giants in my family. (Seriously, my dad is a non-athlete and needed a knee replacement the size of a football player's.) I am 5'9 and have always had long legs and curves, even at my highest weight. I developed earlier than other girls when I was in my teens, and owned a size 12 (Between 165-185 lbs) until my sophomore year in college.  I've always loved my body and felt that it was beautiful even if I was more voluptuous than other girls in school. 

    During college I ate more. I discovered that beer and wine were good. (You know, before you realized they contained boat loads of empty calories?) My sleep patterns changed and the stress of tests, papers and social life added up-- and so did the pounds. By the time I graduated I was larger (Size 18-20, 240-260 lbs) but still had my curves. Dieting became more of a priority now, but the dieting almost made it worse. I would lose weight, regain. Cut carbs, try intuitive eating, then go to a doctor, go to the gym and try to get on a new plan, try the South Beach Diet, Eat Vegetarian... you get it? Right? 

    I felt like my energy was sucked up with trying to lose the pounds and it was discouraging thinking about it. I worked hard at my career while still trying to work out and eat less carbs. I was supervised by a doctor, personal trainer and nutritionist-- but somehow I just couldn't stop the lose and regain cycle I had started. Every time I stepped on the scale, I was more than 20 lbs heavier than the last time. I wore nice clothes to the office, but as my weight creeped higher and higher-- my heels got lower and lower-- because my sitting and walking posture were losing strength. I felt my muscles weaken and it was weird for me. (By this time, I was about 300-320 lbs.) 

    I added more time in the gym to help keep me active and to prevent myself from becoming completely glued to my office chair or in meetings. I gave up alcohol and only drank water.For a year and a half before my wedding, I worked out 4-5 days a week (cardio and strength). My diet was balanced, (whole grain, lean meats, vegetables, occasional treats) but between working out, going to work 40-55 hours a week-- I ate way more when I came home. Not out of stress, but because I felt HUNGRY. No fast foods, no crazy fried foods-- just balanced meals choices... but HUGE portions. I ended up losing 5 pounds in a year and a half for my wedding. Then gaining 15 while on my honeymoon-- my highest weight. (376 lbs.) 

    So let's fast forward to today: I am a successful profession in marketing. I have some competitive skills and work well with others. I am able to look people in the eye with the same confidence I have always had. I love myself, and I love my life. I just want to be a winner of my own health, too. I am working out in the gym still, eating a balanced diet, now reducing my portions and I weighed in today at 358 lbs. I am currently at a size high 24 and low 26. I still wear heels to work, but low ones. I am at a point where I can walk up and down stairs, quickly through hallways and to my car with a bit of a heavy breath-- but still doable. My chair is snugger than I would like it to be, but it works. I pass on the endless parade of employee birthday cakes, but still participate in the celebrations. 

    My struggle now is trying to control the urge to eat at night and keep my calories in check. It's hard. It's hard not to be tired after work. It's hard to be as focused on my duties, be a leader and ensure I take care of my body with the proper nutrients and exercise it needs. I have some aches that I didn't have before. My lower back gets tight and my joints crack more. This is a new development and one of the reasons I am moving forward with the VSG surgery. Working out IS HARDER at this weight, and it still feels like I am not getting anywhere. However, I am staying positive no matter what.

    I have decided that I am going to take control and apply this tool (the VSG, is a tool-- not a cure-all) to my gym routine and eat like my nutritionist instructs. Protein, small amounts, stay away from those starchy carbs. I only drink water and iced coffee with a little light cream in the morning. I am already learning to love my scale and thinking of it as a unit of measurement. (The same way I would measure success at work.) I can still be my big-boned, tall self at work-- I just need some help and taking these next steps will help me do that. 

    Anyone else struggle with the weight and work? (In the office or at home?) I'd love to hear about it. I will continue to write more. The good, the bad and the UGLY :) It's here we can all share these experiences and learn from each other. 

     

     

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    paucod
    Latest Entry

    Surgery on Tuesday.22 Aug17.   Weather looks stormy for the weekend.    Thursday. Well now we have a hurricane and all my "support "has either evacuated or is too busy for me. Thank goodness my mates are in same home.  They have tended to me like champs.   Shots, G2, pop sickles, med reminders and anything else I have needed. Thank u C3 and Joe

  7. Had my 7 week PS followup on Monday! Dr is very pleased the boobies are healing nicely. No incisions opened up which is great!  However  my left nipple still has not popped out yet.  Was told to keep massaging it, which I will do. Told I could finally wear a regular bra. However we did discussed the fact that I bought the B cup bra in the style I use to wear  and am smaller than that B cup bra. Yet, my friend gave me her padded B cup bra  and the cup part fits over my boobies nicely. The padding comes out. The Dr and I discussed  sewing those paddings into my B cup bra as I need the back and sides higher which is my bra style. I do sew so I was pleased to hear to go ahead and do that for now.

    Good News! The Dr wants me back on Sept 11th for the next consultation for PS which will be my arms. I was hoping for my tummy but I still have about 27 pounds before I get to goal. The Dr felt that the arms were ready to be worked on and the extra 27 I have to lose wouldn't really affect the arms as much as the tummy. Plus I have a hernia so he needs to coordinate with another surgeon  for the hernia repair and tummy surgery at the same time   This will  be done next year.  

    I am able to go back to swimming and can go to the gym if I wish to do so. I have been walking with my walker and also my cane and have been riding my bike. I am feeling great and have so much more confidence and am becoming more involved in life. I am looking forward to finding out about the arm lift and how long of a recovery period I will need. I don't know if getting the arm lift will help with my ability to walk better but I do know it will help with the types of blouses I will be able to wear. No more long sleeves!

  8. Has it surprised you in any way where the weight comes off of you first? 

    I'm not completely sure what I was expecting, but having no children, and being able to feel that most of my stomach fat was on top of the muscle, I had a reasonable hope that my relatively small waist was still under there somewhere. 

    What I wasn't expecting is for all the weight to start literally falling off my stomach and upper thighs quite like it did without touching my booty (hurrah!) 

    So this rambling post is all leading up to one thing: a celebratory jump for joy that my waist is now 35" and heading down, putting me in the healthy waist range again for the first time in years.  I went from 52-49-56, which blew my mind and made me want to cry when I saw it two and a half years ago to 45-35-46 now. 

    7 inches off my chest, most of them from my back I and under arms, and an acceptable amount from my boobs, which still look boob-shaped and lifted*  My back isn't as "melty/bulgey" as it was before, and my ribs visibly go "in" under the bra, rather than my breasts sitting on top of my stomach.  I do have more issues with slipping out of the bottom of my bra a little if the band isn't tight enough. 

    10 inches off my hips, whichever came mostly off the lower stomach area and saddlebags.  My booty has always been muscular, and only lost a thin layer of fat, which my wife says just defined the muscles already there more. Losing fat along my back also re-revealed the top curve of my butt, which is nice.  I feel cute in dresses again, but I've gone back to looking a little weird in floaty clothes, which is boo because I do like floaty Stevie Nicks Witchy Hippie Goth looks.  I don't measure my thighs, but they have definitely gone down.  My legs are more symmetrical, and the wife swears she can see muscle in the back through the cellulite.  Which is never going away, i know, but I'm okay with that.  I've made my peace. 

    Then the big hurrah.  I lost fourteen inches off of my waist.  Some of it is from the stomach, some from the back, some from the flanks, so everyone chipped in, but I did not in my wildest dreams expect to recover my waist so quickly.  I got married in a custom Victorian corset two years ago when my waist was almost at maximum size, and my corset maker, bless her, made the corset for tight lacing, getting me down somewhere around forty twoish at the wedding with more room to pull tight.  I thought I'd never be able to wear the corset again, but I tried it on yesterday, and it just barely fits. The laces close all the way, and it just gently shapes my hips a bit and holds my waist in that particular corset shape, but it still fit, it was soooo comfortable, and it looked even better than it did on my wedding day.  I should get a picture of that. Maybe the whole outfit, which was steampunk and had the corset on top, so that should hold it together.

    On the down side, when I was rushing to get dressed, I grabbed an old favorite retro dress that my wife wore to our ring ceremony (hers was a size smaller than mine, and mine was very tight at the time), pulled it over my head without unzipping, and looked down at what should have been a cute skull and roses dress, but was only shapeless skull and roses fabric gaping over my bra.  I'm still debating whether to have it tailored in or make pillows. 

    What changes and discoveries about your weight loss patterns and changing shape have taken you most by surprise or lit you up with celebratory joy? IMG_0121.thumb.PNG.1ddd64da20068c2d5d4865f3879830a1.PNG

     

     

     

     

     

    * This was a huge worry for me, as I'd had breast reduction in 2013, and while I'd be happy with smaller boobs, I really didn't want to go back to flat, shapeless boobs, which run in the family.  Just not enough strong connective tissue in our lineage, plus that weird stretchy Celtic skin. Whew. I suspect I dodged it, because the surgeon removed as much non-glandular tissue as he could while trying to preserve nerves and glands, so that's may have left me with relatively de-fatted boobs, in case anyone was considering a breast reduction BEFORE gastric surgery.  I was 42J+ at my most extreme, 38E at surgery, and now 36DD or DDD, possibly 34..  I haven't gone bra shopping in a while. 

  9. heidianderson
    Latest Entry

    So, I have decided that before my 40th Birthday there are a few things I would like to do, one of which I have registered to complete on October 21, 2017 and that is a 5K walk.  I am currently 10 weeks post-op and with my surgeon and PCP's blessing I was given the okay to start training for that event.  I have turn over a completely new way of living and that is for the better.  Do not get me wrong I still have some bumps in this journey but I will not allow for those bumps to define me.  I will continue to keep you all posted on my journey and wish nothing but the best for each and everyone of you.  

  10. peteandsummer123
    Latest Entry

    Hello,

    For months my urine has the strongest and strangest odor.  It does not smell like concentrated urine and it is very light in color since I drink a ton of water so I know it's not that.    It is just this very bizarre and pungent odor.  I am so embarrassed when my husband goes in the bathroom after me because the smell is so strong.  Anybody else had this issue? 

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    Tomorrow is my day to meet with the doctor for a free consultation and to determine if I qualify (due to my insurance carrier). I'm am so nervous that I am literally making myself sick to my stomach. Feeling anxious only because I really want the lap band. has anyone been in my shoes? Please send your positive feedback. 

  11. gmanbat
    Latest Entry

    I went from 210 back to 260. I reverted to old habits. Back on medications that I had shed before. Not the sleeves fault. My head is the culprit.

    It stops now. 

    Eating right, exercising right. 

    It shall be done!

  12. So it has been one month (and one day) but hey who is counting, since surgery and I have lost 29 pounds since surgery and 32 from my highest weight.  I can't say any of this has been easy.  I spent two days in the hospital instead of one because the medicine they used to inject my stomach area to numb it didn't really work on me.  This is probably because I am used to narcotic medications due to neck and back issues along with how much I was given when I was in an induced coma in 2005 and in my recovery after.  So the pain was much greater than I anticipated and it wasn't gas pain.  

    Once I got out, things were ok. I was able to keep my liquids down but I was still tired and to this day I am still easily tired.  I am having a hard time getting to the goal of 100 grams of Protein and 100 oz of liquids a day but I will keep fighting to do so.

    Now that my wife has started her solid meals it is interesting trying to share a small plate of food and not even being able to eat that all.  Plus having to find things that we can eat when we are out.  Just much harder than we thought.  The looks we get when we ask for specialized things.  People don't understand and think we are crazy.  

    Until next time!

     

    Noel

  13. skp
    Latest Entry

    Weight is stabilized at 121. Still can't eat a whole lot but decent. I did a workout program for 56 days and i definitely gained muscle or look toned. Belly is gone :)

  14. I have been thinking (more so daydreaming) about the after results of my upcoming weight loss surgery. I am currently in the paperwork process to be approved. It may be due to my over-planning, but I can't help but wonder if I'll have a lot or minimal extra skin? How much will I change when I no longer am burdened by my weight? Due to these constant questions repeating in my head, I decided to do some research on the subjects.

    I know that genetics and age play a part in skin elasticity, but I wanted to be sure. What is extra skin? What is the real cause of it? and How do I combat it? Skin in general is an organ. It has the ability to grow and to shrink. Although as you age you can lose elasticity; I found you can replenish your collagen with 1: diet and 2: good hygiene (such as moisturizing your skin with natural products). In my opinion this seems like a win. The cause of excess skin after extreme weight loss is due to the elasticity needing time to adjust. I found out that this can take up to or a little over two years. It seems like a long time, but I may be willing to bide my time to prevent going under the knife to have skin removal surgery; in the event that I may need it. However, what really was an interesting find was that the loose skin most people are concerned with is actually not just skin; It is in actuality skin with a lot of leftover fat underneath it also known as subcutaneous fat. In order to actually see what loose skin is, or how much you have, you would have to burn this fat off. Hmmm...interesting. So, apparently the loose skin would be a thin layer like grabbing the skin on the back of your hand versus grabbing the underarm flap which most people see as extra skin but is actually leftover fat.  I get it now. So I guess my goal would be to get to extra skin by lifting weights and hope my skin bounces back.  

    My plan is to get a personal trainer once I heal up after surgery. I want to make sure I maximize my potential. I have always wanted to be one of those fit people. I work out sporadically and oftentimes regularly (confusing I know). The best explanation is that at times I become defeated when the scale doesn't move enough with all the hard work I do. I know now that it's due to my eating habits and lack of sleep.  I want to find joy in physical activity without feeling weighed down and tired due to my weight on my frame. I look forward to riding my bike regularly, rollerskating without fear of falling (due to locked knees holding up my frame), running, and yoga- definitely yoga. I've never been a thin adult, and I cannot even imagine what my life has in store for me post surgery.

     Honestly I cannot wait till after. I'm sure most of us can't either. Who will I be if I am no longer the fat girl? I've become so accustomed to what and who I am, if this is no longer in the way; what will I do with myself? Will I start doing solo activities again like I did at one time; after losing 51 pounds? I'm hoping I feel normal again. For the past few years I have had some deterioration of my health and have been feeling it. Will this change or will I forever feel this way? Being comfortable in my own skin is something I dare to dream. 

    I am waiting on forever after. I get it now. :-)

  15. PamK

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    I had my sleeve done on Feb 2013.  It's been 4 years.  I didn't loose all my weight - started at 273 & made it down to 211.  I am currently 223, but I did gain a bunch (was up to 248) I lost 24 pounds by eating 2 fruits a day, 3 servings of proteins & 2 low calorie veggies a day - OH & most importantly, 1/2 my weight in ounces of water (200 pounds drinks 100 ounces of water).

    I believe when I had it done, my doctor said it was still very new & I wouldn't be able to loose more than 70 pounds.  So I didn't (I guess I'm very influenced!  lol)  Now he said it was a most popular method of the gastric surgeries & everyone is having BIG success!

    I need to have my gall bladder out.  So I found out my gastric sleeve surgeon also takes care of this surgery & is part of my insurance.  His opinion is, while he is taking it out, He should either tighten OR redo my sleeve - depending on what needs to be done after doing some tests. And as long as my gall bladder doesn't flare with pain & I can wait a bit, (for insurance approval?) he can do them at the same time.  I would only have to recover once.

    It's tempting - but do I want to start over?  Am I not able to do this with my existing sleeve? Would I be sorry if I didn't get a "tune up?"

    I'm only 5'1" so yes, 223 is still morbidly obese!  

    Would you start over?

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    I meet with the Bariatric surgeon in two days to be sure I'm a candidate for Bariatric Sleeve surgery.

    I'm 65 years old with everything wrong with me that's on the list of co- morbitities.  Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea , pulmonary hypertension, elevated cholesterol, shortness of breath- you name it!

    Even though I'm committed to having this surgery, if I am a candidate, I'm very nervous and anxious.  This will be the biggest challenge of my life😫

  16. 5 beautiful years. Some drastic lifestyle changes (I went back to school and stopped all exercise like playing squash, running and cycling as well as reformer pilates) contributed to me gaining about 25 pounds in the last year and I am ready to lose them again. The problem is I can eat and drink anything and a lot of anything too. I have had many health challenges over the past 3 years and am in menopause, flashing like a red light all the time. Nothing helps and the hormones that were prescribed drove me nuts! 

    But life is great. I never did go for any plastics as I was too scared. Of course I regret this now. However, if I can manage to lose this weight I will go for a facelift as I look really old, and maybe some more work. Dieting will be an adjustment as I seem to have this same old I will start tomorrow therefor feast today mentality at the moment. 

    Today was the first day of low carb, protein first and I got through the day ok. 

    As I sit here, I wonder how many of the other "old timers" have maintained and how many are still battling the bulge like me 😂😂😂😂😂

  17. So, today is 11 days post-op. I'm doing pretty well. My incisions are healing fabulously. I'm walking every day. Now, with this I should put in a disclaimer...I walk every day in bursts. LOL. I still get tired pretty easily. If I can keep my mind occupied, then I can walk for a longer time than when I'm trying to do household chores or something like that. For instance, my mom and I went to Burlington Coat Factory. That store is so much trouble! LOL I kept falling in love with all the clothes that I'll be able to wear once I reach my goal weight. Plus their housewares area is unreal. Such great prices! I was able to walk around the store for about a half hour before I REALLY had to sit down somewhere. And I've noticed, standing still....not a real great idea. It makes me more sore and wears me out so much faster than actually walking around.

    Even a week and a half out I'm still pretty sore in my tummy. But again, that soreness is usually amplified by sitting in one place too long. Like tonight playing Castle Panic with the family because it's Saturday - Family game night. It's a tradition we instigated several months ago where my kids, me, and my mom all get together for pizza and games and/or movies. It's a time for family bonding and it's almost always awesome. Only time it isn't awesome is when one of us is not feeling good or is in a rotten mood and pretty much kills it for all of us. It's life. It happens. Thankfully, it doesn't happen often. Tonight was hard though. I LOVE pizza. Hot pizza. Cold Pizza. Cold Pizza for breakfast. Cold Pizza for lunch. Hot pizza for supper. Veggie pizza, meat pizza, everything pizza, pineapple and ham/canadian bacon pizza...just no jalepenos please. LOL. I even found out before surgery that BBQ Chicken pizza isn't bad either! After not eating anything solid for 13 straight days, the smell of that pizza everyone was enjoying was so hard to endure even though I was "full" from my protein shakes, broth, and water. Believe me, drinking an once of fluid every 15 minutes with a tummy the size of an egg keeps me pretty full all the time. I have an alarm set on my phone to go off every 15 minutes to remind me to sip some water. I've made it my theme song. It's Rachel Platton's Fight song. I felt it appropriate since I'm fighting to take my life back from my food demons. 

    The other hard part is dealing with the people in my life who are resistant to change. Like my oldest son. He wasn't happy about me getting this surgery. At all. He likes having something to hold on to that's more than the skin and bones that he is built like. He doesn't like change of any kind. He's fought his senior year every step of the way because it means change. He still doesn't understand that change is inevitable. And you can either roll with it, or be rolled over by it. I used to thrive on change. Until 2013 happened and there was so much change in so little time that my mind couldn't deal with it and pretty much ceased to function correctly. I fight every day to get my mind to function as it once did. To thrive on change again would be such a blessing. But my son. He has never dealt with change well. So, instead of supporting me, he teases me. Just like his father used to do every time I tried a diet or tried to lose weight. He'd purposely get something that I could not eat. That he knew I couldn't eat. And he'd bring it to me and say "Here hon, look what I got you. A chocolate glazed donut with bavarian cream filling. Your favorite. Oh...that's right. You can't have these can you? I'm so sorry. I guess I'm just going to have to eat it myself." And then he'd proceed to eat one of my favorite donuts in front of me, pretending to savor every last morsel. My son hasn't been quite as cruel as his father was, but he'd get a kiwi and slice and eat it and slurp the sweet juice from it and say things like "Gee, mom, don't you just wish you could have one of these right now?" Then he'd laugh and finish eating his kiwi and walk away. Or, hey mom, don't you just wish you could have a slice of this delicious pizza. I'm so sorry you can't. It's SOOOO good!" So, that's been really hard the last week or so. I really didn't care the first week because I really just wasn't hungry for anything at all. I had no appetite. Nothing sounded good, nothing tasted good. Not particularly. And after 4 days of chocolate shakes I was ready to scream. Now, after 2 solid weeks of nothing solid and only sweet protein shakes...I've already got supper for next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday planned out! Salmon,  bunless Turkey burgers, and pizza!!!! with sauteed zucchini and mushrooms....mashed cauliflower......stewed tomatoes.....asparugus, spinach, tilapia, cottage cheese!!!!! Yogurt! OMG, I'm making myself so hungry...I really need to stop. See, I don't see my surgeon again until May 4. The last time I ate anything solid was April 16. 17.5 days without anything solid to eat. I'm about to go mad. But it will be okay. I know I can do this. I have to do this.

    I saw my primary care person yesterday. (She's a nurse practitioner, so technically not Dr, but might as well be.) My weight there was 258. Actually one pound less than what I was the morning of my surgery! She took me completely off my diabetes medicine. And I see her again in 6 weeks. Then, she's sure she's going to be taking me off my blood pressure medicine and my thyroid medicine. So, I'll be down to only the medicines for my back pain and my acid reducer, so 3 medications! Quite a change from the 7 or 8 I've been taking the past few years. I'm really excited.

    Well, that's all the updates I can think of right now guys. Oh!  But let me tell you something about those 4 in 1 protein shakes (you know, the ones that have all the vitamins already in them so you don't have to swallow a handful of vitamins quite yet or chew those nasty tasting chewable)....

    If you get the vanilla flavor (I imagine it could work with chocolate too, but not with as much variety) you can add things like the Sugar Free Orange Crush water flavoring to the mix and if you drink it cold, it tastes just like an orange creamcicle! Raspberry Ice is really good too. Cherry is okay, but not one of my favorites. You can add unsweetened cocoa  powder to the mix to make a chocolate. Add Unsweetened cocoa powder along with the Raspberry Ice to make a chocolate raspberry shake. There's so many possibilities. The only problem I've found is that you get really tired of the sweet stuff all day every day. I look forward to supper when I have my cup of Bone Broth (the beef is my favorite) It's by Great Value if you have a walmart in your area. It's the only broth that I found in the entire store that has 7 grams of protein per serving. All the other broths only had a whopping 2 grams of protein per serving!!!! Anyway, nature is now calling again (one of the drawbacks to constantly drinking...lol)

    Praying for healthy, happy, love filled days for you and yours!

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    I have jumped through all of the hoops that were laid out by my insurance company.  My surgeon's office submitted my information for insurance approval yesterday.  Now, it's time to sit and wait.  Except, I am not the "sit and wait" type.  I shall prepare to divide and conquer.  

    List making has begun:

    1. Items to pack for the hospital
    2. Books to read after surgery
    3. Movies/TV shows added to my Netflix queue
    4. Additional questions for my surgeon at my final pre-op appointment
    5. Food ideas for the full-liquid stage (which lasts for 5 weeks post-op!)

    I have also decided to implement life-long lifestyle changes now, rather than later.  Per my nutritionist, adults can only handle 2-3 major changes at once, so I figure I by starting now, I am setting myself up for success.  Some of these changes I will be working on over the next several weeks are:

    1. Eliminate caffeine
    2. Eliminate refined sugars
    3. Have several smaller meals throughout the day
    4. Chew food more thoroughly
    5. Eat slowly
    6. No liquids with meals
    7. No straws
    8. No gum
    9. Find replacement activities for when head hunger or the urge to boredom eat kicks in
    10. Start walking more

    Additionally, I have started the process of cleaning out my pantry and freezer, getting rid of any food items that are not in line with my new lifestyle.  If it is something I shouldn't consume after surgery, I certainly do not need it now.  I am not one to waste food, however, I do not want to "waste" my health any further and these items will be removed from my home.  Anything that can go to the food pantry, will.

    Lastly, I have begun taste testing various protein shakes and "clear liquids" for those stages after surgery.  I plan to use my blog as a place to post my reviews for me to revisit when the time comes.  

    Here goes nothing.  Or everything.

  18. GACaldwell
    Latest Entry

    2 days till the 8 month mark. 

    I've survived the two big events i had to do this year. Hopefully the rest of the year is a bit less hectic now. I needed to take a break and just not worry about weight for the last month or so. I still tried to eat well and drink my water but I knew I didn't have time to exercise or be totally focused so i just gave myself a break. I lost and gained the same 5 lbs over and over again. It was still depressing. 

    Now that's over and I turned 39 on Sunday..I'm getting back to basics this week and tracking my food and water. Next week Ill start Yoga 3 times per week again and Tabata training (Still hate it!) 2 times per week, per the dietician. I THINK I maybe broke my stall this morning and made it below 170 but we will have to see if that will hold through till Monday at my actual weigh in. Admittedly, I started taking my adipex again (1/2 in the am & 1/2 in the Pm though Im prescribed 1 1/2 a day) to try and help with the cravings/head hunger. It helps. Im eating less which has always been an issue for me. 

    The dietician wants to adjust my goal weight to 155 instead of 135. That would put me 15 lbs from my goal weight right now which is weird to say. She's more interested in my body fat percentage than anything though. At the beginning of April it was 38% and she wants it at 33%...like I said before, I'm solid. I think Ill be happy at 155 or so because im just not focused on the scale number and I want to be healthy. I'm certainly not losing weight at a rapid rate at this point and for me, it will probably still be a struggle to keep it off for the rest of my life. That's ok. I'm committed. Right now I need to focus on toning and building muscle back. I really really want to be able to do a pull up. It's a goal for my 39th year!

    One thing...when we went to the convention this year, I noticed how much more attention I got as compared to other years. There were a lot of compliments. I expect that from people who know me and have known me for years both heavy and slimmer...but i had complete strangers intentionally give me compliments. I had one woman walk across a crowded patio just to introduce herself to ONLY me. It was unnerving.  Part of my brain wanted to scream "Damn it ! I was cute before too!" and i'm still working on just saying thank you without being self deprecating.

    Im working on looking at the big picture instead of focusing on the next lb down (or up) or the next calorie intake. I NEED to know those things, but I don't need to let them control my life. This years goals are being met, slowly but surely. Ill get there, no matter where there is. 

  19. MollieVSGHopeful
    Latest Entry

    Things seem to be progressing and moving along, yet the surgery date feels so far away. Since my last entry I've completed my psychiatric evaluation, home sleep apnea link, had my monthly appointments, and attended a support group at my surgery center. 

    I'm really disappointed with my psychiatric evaluation, as the doctor recommended I return for therapy prior to surgery to address potential binge eating behaviors. I was honest on all of the material of course, but I did not see myself as someone who has an issue with binge eating. Hopefully, one visit will cut it and I'll be cleared. 

    My home sleep apnea link study went just as I had expected and I've been recommended for a full sleep study. This is something I look forward to doing, as I have long suffered through sleep issues and look forward to being helped in that department.

    My monthly visits have gone as expected and I've lost weight sticking to my goals each month. I have a lot of pride that I do not indulge in Starbucks Mocha Lattes every single morning and only reserve them for a once a month treat.

    The support group was also helpful and I was able to glean some useful information. The topic of the group was inspirational stories and a panel of 6 people who had surgery gave their stories on their surgeries. It truly was inspiring and reaffirmed that I made the right choice to have the sleeve rather than the gastric bypass.

    I have also scheduled my appointment with my PCP to get my weight history and a letter of medical necessity. I am content with where I am on my journey in all areas aside from the minor hiccup of the psychiatric evaluation and further therapy.  

  20. have my second pre-op appointment with my surgeon.  I have read, researched, and spoken to many people that have had this surgery.   I am working hard on staying positive and having realistic expectations.  I have not been worried about complications at all, until today.  I know these negative thoughts are normal.  My strategy is to push them aside and focus on all the benefits this surgery will bring.  In the past few days, arthritis in my hips has been acting up due to the weather changes.  I know that carrying all this extra weight does not help.  

    My son is graduating from High School 9 days after my surgery.  My first goal is to be there for him.  It did suck that the dress that I bought for the graduation would not fit. My hope is that it fits by the time of the graduation. This is exactly why I am having this surgery, to be there for my family.  I am not so focused on a weight goal,  more on being healthy.