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educationrulz

LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by educationrulz

  1. I'm pretty confident about my decision to go with this surgeon, but it would help me feel even better to hear how someone else's surgery and postop care went. I've read numerous positive reviews on OH, but I'd love to hear from someone on this forum. Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post here. Thanks
  2. educationrulz

    Still craving carbonation

    I've been drinking sodas since about 4 months out. I might have started a little earlier with flat ones but I can't remember exactly. At almost one year out, I drink sodas every other day or two or three. I wasn't a diet soda drinker until I had to lose weight fast on my preop diet to qualify for surgery. Now, I alternate between mostly diet and occasional regular soda. Soda is the only liquid I can't drink fast. I take baby sips and one lasts forever, but I almost always throw out at least half of my drink instead of sipping on it until it's gone - especially if it's regular and not diet. I try to keep the calories down as much as possible because soda was my biggest weakness preop. Like Tiff, I don't care for artificial sweeteners, but I've decided to stick to mostly diet since I really don't drink that many in comparison to other drinks I usually have. I had hoped to not have them be a part of my post op diet, but they crept back in. I can say with all certainty that my relationship with soda is very different than preop. I now have a soda when I get the taste for one, but I can easily resist if I feel the need to. I don't HAVE to have them and I don't HAVE to finish them. I also only buy diet drinks to keep at home. My occasional regular calorie sodas are when I am at a social function or on the run and get the taste for one. They definitely don't give me the same "pleasure" that they used to. I won't say they taste bad, but it's not the same feeling - which is a good thing because it makes me less addicted to them. I know that doctors don't want weight loss patients to drink sodas and that I am breaking the rules. I don't want to encourage others to do it. I'm just describing my experience with it. As far as my stomach goes, I can't say that it seems to have stretched beyond what is typical for a year post op. I'm still only able to eat a fraction of what I could preop and I'm still losing pretty steadily - with a few stalls here and there. I just don't have enough soda in my stomach at any one time to cause stretching and bloating. I feel way more give in my stomach when I eat close to my limit than when I'm sipping a soda. I just don't get the whole "soda stretches your stomach thing"...
  3. educationrulz

    Well HELLO Sprout

    Congratulations Tiff - on the sprout and the half lemons. I've given some thought to having another baby (even in my advanced years) if I'm lucky enuf to meet a great man in the near future. But I am freaked out about not being able to give the baby the proper nourishment. I still don't feel like I can really eat a decent amount for most of my meals. I rely on Protein drinks to even get close to 60 grams a day. How can we balance the limits of the sleeve and the "eating for two" thing??
  4. educationrulz

    NSV shout outs

    -slipping into size 12s like butta (starting size 22) -can't remember the last time I sweated while engaged in normal, daily activity, like moving around getting dressed in the morning. used to be an almost daily thing. -i too have put "booth fear" behind me. i can slide into any restaurant booth with room to spare. -made it through a slight regain/stall after vacation and I'm back on the downswing again. it is amazing to be able to get back on track so much easier than before surgery.
  5. educationrulz

    VSG Failure

    I'm not sure if I have much to offer that will help you, so I do send my best wishes your way and to mbridgeman. I noticed that you said you sometimes feel pain when you eat even though you don't throw up. It sounds like you might be ignoring your full signals. I think it's great that you can eat anything - but that doesn't mean you have to eat anything ALL the time. Schedule some treats into your weekly meal plan and then focus on Proteins and some healthy veggies the rest of the time. It's not as frustrating when you know you'll be able to have a cookie or small slice of cake soon. Most importantly, STOP eating when you feel that pain twinge. Get up and put the remaining food out of sight for at least 10 minutes when you get that twinge. You'll start to realize that once you've moved on to the next activity, you won't think about the food as much as you do when it's still in your face. This has been very helpful to me - especially when I have something really yummy that my mind keeps telling me I have to eat more of but my stomach really isn't interested. This whole deal is definitely a work in progress. You still have the tool you need to be successful so don't give up on yourself. Take it a day at a time and try to incorporate some positive habits while not focusing so much on the negative. Like Dawn said, a Protein shake for breakfast every day works for me. Eating every three hours is fine if it's a healthy protein choice most of the time. Good luck with your journey.
  6. educationrulz

    NSV shout outs

    I'm TOTALLY looking forward to taking my daughter to Disneyworld this year! I took her 2 years ago and walking around was a little bit of a struggle, even though I was fairly active at the time. But, this time I'll be sporting some size 14s - maybe 12s (down from size 22) and will be able to bounce around just like my daughter. I plan to laugh, ride, and nibble on a yummy turkey leg.
  7. educationrulz

    3 Week Stall HELP!!!!

    I went through the same thing. That was actually the primary factor in me going on a scale strike and I'm still on it except for about once a month. The only honest suggestion I could give (outside of what you've already tried) is to be patient. I know that sounds like a crock of horse poop, but believe me - THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
  8. I'm almost 8 months out and still have at least one Protein drink a day. My surgeon doesn't think I should still need them, but I told him I wouldn't get in a decent amount of protein otherwise. My sleeve is undergoing what seems to be another size adjustment in the last couple of weeks and I'm eating a little more than I could at 6 months. Even by the 6 month mark, there was NO WAY I could eat enough food to get in 60 gm of protein. Sometimes, I don't even get in 60 with a Protein Drink included. This is mostly due to a small capacity in my sleeve, but also due to the fact that I am determined to eat like a normal person sometimes. I want a few bites of a potato with my steak, a few bites of crackers with my tuna, and a few bites of bread with my burger. (When it comes to bread, it's literally like 2 bites.) But, at least I feel like a normal person when I eat. In exchange for that normalcy, I drink a protein drink - usually for breakfast since my sleeve doesn't tolerate food well in the morning. I'm slowly reaching the point where I can see that I will be able to get enough protein through natural food sources, but I intend to keep some type of drink at the ready at all times for when I have a low protein-eating day. I talked to an insurance case manager recently who was 4 years out from the sleeve. She said she still uses Protein drinks occasionally for when she doesn't get enough protein on a particular day. Athletes and bodybuilders use protein supplements all the time - who's to say we can't use them as long as we want to?
  9. educationrulz

    2 days out

    braz, This might sound like a load of BS to you right now, but "THIS TOO SHALL PASS!" I was right where you are 7 months ago. It took me WAY longer to feel somewhat normal (4 weeks) than it did alot of folks around here. I cried, moped, regretted, languished, got dehydrated, and almost passed out in the sun a few times. But, once I got through the initial fews weeks of painful swallowing and started getting some real nourishment in my body, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can't believe I ever stressed about drinking 2% milk! Boy did my body need that milk fat! Then, my clothes started getting really loose, and I was like, "hmmm, let me rethink this whole thing..." Now, I love my sleeve and I'm so proud of myself for taking this major step to improve my quality of life. It hasn't been easy by any means, but by my 6 month mark, I was 100% convinced that I had made the right decision - a far cry from how I felt in the weeks after surgery. If 6 months feels like it's a lifetime away, think about being overweight for 10, 20, or 30 years. (It's been 30 for me.) It makes 6 months seem like a blip on the radar screen. http://www.verticals...__1#entry104372
  10. That sounds like a great surgical and travel experience. My hospital stay was soooo boring, and painful unfortunately. But, the floor and staff were great, so I can't hold my pain experiences against anyone. But, I did walk alot like you and I think that contributed to my overall fast healing. Congratulations on getting your sleeve! BTW, can you explain your ticker? It says 233 lbs gained. Is that how much you're wanting to lose?
  11. educationrulz

    Diet Post op questions

    Sounds like SOMEBODY hit the ole crack pipe right before the meeting! :hat: Is this dude going to be doing your surgery? If so, you might want to either have a one on one with him ASAP or talk to another doctor within Kaiser about a REAL postop diet. I posted a copy of my postop diet on my blog if you want to check it out. Best wishes.
  12. I don't think we really need more. We just to be more vigilant about getting in fluids due to diminished stomach capacity. I found this on the Mayo Clinic website and it sounds comparable to what sleevers are recommended to drink: Every day you lose Water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water. So how much water does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? In general, doctors recommend 8 or 9 cups. Here are the most common ways of calculating that amount: Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter (about 4 cups) of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total Fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Another approach to water intake is the "8 x 8 rule" — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," as all fluids count toward the daily total. Although the approach really isn't supported by scientific evidence, many people use this easy-to-remember rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink. Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. For many of us, it is very difficult to get in 60+ oz of fluids in the early days postop. You will really just have to force it down all day until your sleeve relaxes a bit and lets you drink more than baby sips. I got slightly dehyrated in my second week postop because it hurt so much to drink anything. But, after that bad experience, I started keeping a bottle of something in my hand or close by at all times. Gatorade worked better for me in that phase. It will get better. Just stick with it.
  13. educationrulz

    Weight loss,,does this sound right?

    I don't think this is unusual for someone starting out over 300 pounds. It should level off and slow down soon, which will be a good thing too because you don't want to keep losing like that for months and months. At some point it would probably catch up with you Healthwise. Congratulations on your surgery and weight loss!
  14. IB, Honestly, one cup of dense foods does sound like alot for 2 months out. I could barely eat a few bites of solid food at a time at that point. But as you can see from the posts on VST, there are alot of individual differences in sleevers' capacities. I don't see how you could have stretched your sleeve unless you have been consistently eating to the point of extreme discomfort every time you eat. If you're eating until you get your full signals, then you've probably got a bigger sleeve than many of us. I've heard that something as odd as your height can affect your sleeve capacity - like taller people might have a longer stomach and therefore a bigger sleeve. Like you said, the hernia repair could have influenced what you surgeon could do with the stomach size. You will have get some more definitive answers from the doctor at your next appointment. I don't think any of this is a deal breaker for you. You can still lose a lot of weight, as another person mentioned, eating the amount you eat. Just keep in mind that your sleeve will relax/stretch to some degree over time. By 6 months out, you will most likely be able to eat noticeably more than you can eat now at 2 months. Be vigilant about acknowledging your full signals and stop immediately when you get that twinge. Also, set time limits on your meals. If it's taking you an hour to eat that much food, set a firm 1/2 hour time limits on your meals. If it takes you 30 minutes to eat a cup, cut the meals to 15 to 20 minutes. You will probably find that if you throw away what you haven't eaten after that time limit, you won't really still be hungry without the extra food. You should still feel satisfied at least for a few hours. Remember, we don't have to eat everything that's in front of us just because it's there. This was a big weak area for me preop, and I"m still fighting with it - even when my stomach is protesting. I've learned that leftovers are my friend and they save me lots of money on food. As you already know, you've got to watch your carb intake. Supplement with heavier Protein drinks and this should cut down on your desire to eat as often. Unfortanately, you may have to work harder at this than sleevers with a small stomach capacity, but you can do it. :cheer2:
  15. Heather, I'm glad to hear that things seem to be less heated between you and your hubby about your choice of surgery. Ultimately, you have to make the best choice for yourself. Why not pick what many think is the better surgery since your insurance will cover it? So many people don't have that luxury. I was so thankful that I "discovered" the sleeve in the process of researching the band. Big save... :clap2: I think you're definitely going to be able to make your preop weight loss goal. I needed to lose 12 pounds before my surgery - not because my surgeon required the loss, but because that's how much my sorry butt needed to lose to get back to my initial consult weight. I started my 2 week preop diet a few days early and ended up loosing 15 pounds!!! It was totally low/no carbs. Other than carbs, I ate what I wanted. No counting calories, fat grams, etc... I couldn't have kept it up long term but it was doable for a couple of week. I'm not sure if you're still doing South Beach or something else but be sure you're not getting too FEW calories. Even the postop sleevers here can attest to how that will stall your weight loss. Focus on ditching the carbs and you'll be scheduling your surgery before you know it!
  16. educationrulz

    When to go back to work?

    Wow! You guys are soldiers! I felt like crap for close to 4 weeks. Luckily I"m a teacher and had 6 weeks over summer break to get it together. I guess I would have made do with less time though if it had been necessary. The weakness, fatigue, and lightheadedness were the dealbreakers for me. Being in the Hotlanta heat didn't help much with the lightheadedness. STAY OUT OF THE SUN in the first few weeks post op! It'll get ya for sure.
  17. I agree with Mommy2Girls. Get the specifics from the insurance co. before you make any costly decisions. My insurance company told me that I would be disqualified if my weight went too low, but I had more wiggle room on my BMI than you do. But, I've also read that some insurance companies use the 1st consult weight as the qualifying weight since they want or require you to lose weight on the supervised diet. With that being said, DON'T LOSE ANY WEIGHT OVER THE NEXT 6 MONTHS! I know that's counterintuitive, but since medical insurance can be a big game sometimes, why can't we play the game too? Short of criminal acts and blatant immorality, do what you have to do to get your surgery paid for - if you can take the 6 month wait. I intentionally held back on my weight loss efforts so I wouldn't even have to worry about this issue. It didn't hinder my qualifying in any way. But, again, that's an insurance issue. It was worth it for me. I got to explore my issues through 6 months of insurance subsidized counseling and I spent between $1100 and $1300 for everything involved in my VSG, including preop visits and tests (copays), surgeon's program fee, hospital stay and medications. It was well worth the 6 month wait and the insurance hoops. Having said that, if I had not been able to do this through insurance, I would definitely have gone the self-pay route. That's when bank robbery might have been involved. Just kidding...
  18. WOW, deja vu! Maybe these two very different posts will help someone out. Of course getting from one to the other was the tricky part.... http://www.verticals...h__1#entry57617 http://www.verticals...__1#entry104372 Glad to hear that some of you with the preop freak-outs have already made it through. For those who haven't had surgery yet, just remember that it wasn't easy to come to this decision so you have to trust your instincts and your motivations. It would be very wierd if you weren't freaking out on some level. Hold on to your goals and reasons for having the surgery and you'll get through the nerves.
  19. educationrulz

    My Vita Mix came!!

    Sorry, I don't have any suggestions. I ordered the Magic Bullet system through Wal-Mart and only used it a few times. This was totally due to laziness on my part. I keep meaning to get back to it because I rely on Protein drinks alot and they would be much better in the form of a smoothie. I'm a teacher too, so maybe I'll get more use out of it over the summer break. BTW, I agree with you that QVC is a dangerous friend. LOVE IT!!!! Have fun with your Vitamix.
  20. educationrulz

    6 Month Update

    I'm excited to be giving my 6 month surgery update. There were times when I didn't think I could do this, but it gets easier every day and every month. I feel pretty much like a normal person now. I eat whatever I want (within reason) and my sleeve keeps me in line. I am thankful for that control. I still have occasional moments of pity for myself when I can't eat a big meal or a large serving of something. But, I'm always able to put it in perspective when I remind myself of the positive life changes I've had post op. I can now move around with much less knee pain than I was having. I can't remember the last time I got short of breath doing a normal activity like WALKING up some stairs. I have gone from a size 22W to a 16 Misses. Since I had to buy a suit in a size 14 this past weekend, I guess I'll officially be in that size soon. WOW! Now that's results. It feels so good to go to the "regular" clothing section and pull something off the rack. Shopping for clothes is so much less stressful than it was a few months ago. I wasn't exercising much until around the 5 month mark. I'm getting a regular exercise schedule going now. I can tell that it is keeping the weight loss more steady and will hopefully help me firm up some. I seem to go through small stages of loose, wrinkly looking skin to smooth skin. This mostly happens on my thighs and a little on the upper arms. Overall, I'm doing pretty good with not having too much flabby skin. My hair was fine until recently and I thought I might get off without hair loss. But, right around the 5 month mark, it started shedding real bad. At least I was anticipating that it might happen so I wasn't totally shocked. I immediately started wearing wigs and am currently enjoying trying out some new styles and colors that I would not have been brave enough to try with my own hair. I thought that Thanksgiving and Christmas would be awful in terms of not being able to eat, but it was barely a blip on the radar. I ate a little of everything I wanted to eat with no problems. As usual, I stopped when I got my full signal and tasted a little more later when I was ready or hungry. The biggest thing I have to monitor with eating these days is that my sleeve handles different volumes depending on the time of day. In the morning, I can barely eat anything at all. I've taken to drinking a Protein shake for Breakfast instead of trying to eat because it was getting frustrating to feel stuffed after 3 or 4 bites. At lunch time, I can take in a little more depending on my stress level and how busy I am that day. When I'm stressed or rushed, I can't get down too much. If I'm able to take my time, I can eat about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of food at lunch. I don't like to linger over my food too long, but sometimes I have to just nibble on it while I work (after my official lunch time is over) or I would never get in a decent amount of real food protein. Evening or dinner time is when I can eat what seems like a normal amount of food. I can easily do a cup of food for dinner most nights. Sometimes it freaks me out a little to eat that much, but I have to remind myself of how little I've actually eaten all day. So, it all balances out. I'm always careful to not stuff myself at dinner just because I can eat more at that time. I still listen to my full signals and stop when I feel it. Like many other sleevers, I have found it way too easy to take in junk food so I have to really watch myself with that. I am able to drink soda with no problem. I just can't gulp them the way I used to and the way I can Water. Sodas have always been a problem area for me but I luckily acclimmated myself to diet sodas on my preop diet, so that's mostly what I drink. I occasionally have a regular soda but in general they seem too sweet for me to drink more than a little of. The diet sodas don't seem to be having a negative impact on my weight loss or stretching my stomach. I started experimenting slowly with diet sodas around 4 months and am used to them now. It takes me a long time to drink a normal amount of soda and I rarely finish whatever I have ordered/bought so I don't worry about taking in too much. I was cleared to go back to regular caffeinated tea about a month or so after surgery and haven't had any problems with that either. I do drink regular sweet tea when I drink it. I don't drink a lot of it the way I used to, I guess because it's too sweet. But it still tastes good (better than soda) so I don't stress about it since I'm drinking a small amount compared to before surgery. Like many other WLS patients, I struggled with whether to tell people about my surgery. I decided to tell them so that I wouldn't feel like I was being deceitful about how I lost weight. I know that's not the best decision for everyone, but it's the best choice for me. I also decided that I wasn't going to talk about the surgery I had or give out any other info. I know that some people are too invasive/nosy/insensitive with their questions and I didn't want to have to deal with that. I can just imagine someone asking me how much of stomach I let the doctor cut out, how many times I've thrown up, or how many times a week I poop. I'm sure some of you have dealt with that BS. My strategy of telling people that I'm not giving out any details about my surgery, including what kind of surgery I had, has been extremely successful. The minute I tell people that I'm not telling what kind of surgery I had or that I'm not giving out any details, I generally don't get any other questions. I mean not one more question after that. On the maybe two occasions that someone tried to push it a little further I just looked at them blankly and smiled and let them figure out why I wasn't talking anymore. They got the message REAL fast. It's kind of funny sometimes. I tend to tell friends or closer acquaintances that it makes me uncomfortable to talk about it and they respect that immediately without feeling like I"m shutting them out. Maybe this strategy will work for someone else. I think in time I may be more open about the surgery, but I'm not ready right now. Overall, this was the best health decision I could have ever made for myself. I hope that other people who are on the fence about it can benefit from this blog and from other people's blogs. Feel free to post any questions. I don't sign on as often as I used to, so if I don't respond it's because I haven't been online in a while. But I will respond to all questions as soon as I see them. Best wishes to everyone. :cheer2:
  21. educationrulz

    6 Month Update

    You're doing great Donna! Isn't it amazing how fast these months have flown? It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting on the table in the OR area trying to decide if I was going to get up and run out of there. Somehow, my surgeon walked up at just the right moment to see if I was ready. He smiled reassuringly at me and patted me on the leg. I just took a deep breath and layed back to wait for my ride into the OR. Now, my life has totally changed as a result of this surgery. I find myself starting to reach for things that I didn't have the confidence to seek before surgery. I agree with you that it's good to stop stressing about some of the daily stuff and just enjoy living a new lifestyle.
  22. educationrulz

    WHY ME???

    As a former breadaholic/carboholic, I find myself looking longingly at a crescent roll or piece of texas toast like it's an old lover who knew how to knock my socks off. At 6 months out, I CANNOT eat bread to any degree of satisfaction. But, I am coming to peace with it because I can pretty much eat anything else I want. Being able to put on some size 14 pants instead of size 22 softens the blow too. For me, Pasta and rice don't go down as easily as other things, but I can at least have a few bites when I want to without dire consequences. Bread doesn't make me throw up but boy it fills me up super fast and makes me uncomfortable, so I just stay away for the most part or I would never get in any Protein. I'm not sure if this will change for me at a year out, but I don't give it too much thought. If I get a hamburger, I might eat one bite of the bottom bun with the meat, and then I start in on the meat and cheese. That initial taste of the bread seems to satisfy me enough to move on. I'm kind of hoping I don't ever get to where I can chug down some bread because then I'll have to really fight with myself about it the way I am currently fighting with myself about those damn chocolate chip Cookies and cake that I have no problem eating. Anyway, to directly address the question: I agree with others that toast and crackers do seem to work better than doughy bread. I would say to back off the bread for a couple of weeks and then try again with toast and some of the thinner breads like pita. You might not ever be able to put down a full piece of regular bread or a roll, but you should be able to find some modified ways to satisfy that taste.
  23. educationrulz

    Diet Carbonated Drink

    Regadless of your surgeon's rules, I doubt any of us sleevers could ever chug back soda the way we could preop. Our stomachs just won't take those kinds of hits anymore. So, I personally feel that the volume of soda you can drink postop will be greatly reduced compared to preop. Does that make it a good choice? No, but it doesn't mean that soda is the end of the road either - especially if you stick to the diet kind. I started experimenting with flat soda and small sips at about 4 months out. It wasn't ever uncomfortable in a painful way, just weird feeling at first - kind of like solid food was at first. Now, at 6 months out, I can drink it at full fizz but not a lot of it and not very fast. A 20 oz bottle lasts for days or more. I usually lose interest before I finish that much. I pretty much drink diet pepsi and diet dr pepper. If I'm out somewhere, I might get a small regular soda but I rarely finish the whole thing. I haven't noticed any changes in my stomach capacity and it doesn't cause me any pain. When I talked to the nurse about this, she said that sodas were not recommended of course, but that some sleevers have no problems with them. I'm lucky that I don't crave them the way I used to. I view them like any other drink now, not as the lifeline I used to view them as before surgery. Overall, they don't taste quite the same as they did preop, but that's more of an issue with the regular sodas. I'm glad that I still have the option to drink a soda if I get the taste for it. My main goal with sodas is to be sure I reach more for the diet variety than the regular kind. Since the regular is generally too sweet tasting, this has been real easy to manage.
  24. educationrulz

    food feels caught in throat

    I hate to hear that you are having these problems. The weight loss is great but I'm sure it's hard to enjoy when you're struggling to eat on a regular basis. I also take Prevacid and it's the only thing that consistently works for me. But, if I try to cut back on it I have the same symptoms you're having. I agree with Tiff that if you are alternating or just not taking your PPI daily this could be the problem. It only takes two days without it for me to start struggling and 2 days on it for the problems to clear up. It might take longer for others. Or, you might need to try a totally different PPI until you find the right one. I think acid could definitely be your primary problem even though it seems like your acid problem was resolved. But, I"m not sure about the vomitting thing..that could be a different issue. Do you find that you can eat more at certain times of the day? This is a big issue for me and I have to be mindful that as the day progresses, the looser my sleeve gets and the more I can eat. For others, it's the opposite. But, if I'm nervous or stressed it doesn't matter what time of the day it is - a few bites is my limit. I would imagine that a date situation could cause this type of problem, especially if I'm already self-conscious about how my date would view my eating habits. I think you should call or schedule a follow up with your surgeon , or PCP if your surgeon is out of state, and get some clarity on what is going on, a recommendation for a PPI regimen if needed, and any followup testing that may be necessary to see if there is a physical problem causing these issues. I hope things improve for you soon. Please let us know how you are doing.
  25. educationrulz

    What were/are your safe clothes?

    I'm a firm believer that looking good in clothes at any size is all about taking the time to choose what flatters your body. If you've ever come across that perfect pair of pants, or watched an episode of "What Not to Wear", you know what I mean. I certainly don't believe that hiding behind super baggy clothes is flattering. faith, I think it's great that you're embracing your ability to look good in clothes that you previously shied away from. Just wait until your weight REALLY starts to drop. You are going to be out of control - and I mean that in a good way! Just watch your wallet because it's more addictive the smaller you get. I'm in Misses sizes after about 20 years in the women's section and I don't even know how to act. I had to turn to Goodwill or risk going broke. I refuse to live in two or three outfits when I am starting to look so HOT! ...can't believe I'm starting to thing that way about myself. Anyway, I've had to turn to Goodwill to keep my finances somewhat in order. I have found that preop, my go-to piece of clothing was the Worthington dress pants line from JCPenney. I could pick up any pair in my size and they fit perfectly. When I put those pants on, I felt so put together and classy looking. I wore them to work religiously and rarely had to Iron them if I took them out of the dryer as soon as it stopped and hung them up. They concealed my abdomen and somehow made my flatish butt look good. If anyone is looking for a good pair of trousers, try these. http://www2.jcpenney...tId=70656|71640 Some comfortable shapewear doesn't hurt either...

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