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Everything posted by CraftyChristie

  1. CraftyChristie

    Tips for Success

    I came across this article a few months ago and it helps a lot to keep things in perspective for long term success. Top 10 Most Common Mistakes WLS Patients Make I will also post it here just to make it easier... ----------------------------------------------------------- While weight loss surgery (WLS) is considered the most successful treatment for morbid obesity, it is just the first step toward a fresh start. Weight regain is a common phenomenon, as is illness when weight loss surgery patients do not follow recommended guidelines. Breaking old patterns, establishing an effective post-WLS lifestyle, and addressing the emotional issues that often complicate obesity takes more than commitment; it takes support, information, and resources. The National Association for Weight Loss Surgery (NAWLS) helps WLS patients shape new lives. We teach people what they need to know and help them makes the changes they need to make to achieve long-term WLS success -- physically, mentally, and spiritually. In a November 2005 poll conducted by NAWLS, the following were identified as the top 10 mistakes WLS patients make: 1st Mistake: Not Taking Vitamins, supplements, or Minerals Every WLS patient has specific nutritional needs depending on the type of surgery you have had. Not only is it a good idea to ask your surgeon for guidelines, but also consult with an experienced WLS nutritionist. Understand there is not a standard practice that all surgeons and nutritionists follow in guiding WLS patients. So, it is important to do your own research, get your lab tests done regularly, and learn how to read the results. Some conditions and symptoms that can occur when you are deficient in vitamins, supplements, or minerals include: Osteoporosis; pernicious anemia; muscle spasms; high blood pressure; burning tongue; fatigue; loss of appetite; weakness; constipation and diarrhea; numbness and tingling in the hands and feet; being tired, lethargic, or dizzy; forgetfulness, and lowered immune functioning. Keep in mind, too, that some conditions caused by not taking your vitamins, supplements, or minerals are irreversible. For example, a Vitamin B-1 deficiency can result in permanent neurological deficits, including the loss of the ability to walk. 2nd Mistake: Assuming You Have Been Cured of Your Obesity A "pink cloud" or honeymoon experience is common following WLS. When you are feeling better than you have in years, and the weight is coming off easily, it's hard to imagine you will ever struggle again. But unfortunately, it is very common for WLS patients to not lose to their goal weight or to regain some of their weight back. A small weight regain may be normal, but huge gains usually can be avoided with support, education, effort, and careful attention to living a healthy WLS lifestyle. For most WLSers, if you don't change what you've always done, you're going to keep getting what you've always gotten -- even after weight loss surgery. 3rd Mistake: Drinking with Meals Yes, it's hard for some people to avoid drinking with meals, but the tool of not drinking with meals is a critical key to long-term success. If you drink while you eat, your food washes out of your stomach much more quickly, you can eat more, you get hungry sooner, and you are at more risk for snacking. Being too hungry is much more likely to lead to poor food choices and/or overeating. 4th Mistake: Not Eating Right Of course everyone should eat right, but in this society eating right is a challenge. You have to make it as easy on yourself as possible. Eat all your meals--don't skip. Don't keep unhealthy food in sight where it will call to you all the time. Try to feed yourself at regular intervals so that you aren't as tempted to make a poor choice. And consider having a couple of absolutes: for example, avoid fried foods completely, avoid sugary foods, always use low-fat options, or only eat in a restaurant once a week. Choose your "absolutes" based on your trigger foods and your self knowledge about what foods and/or situations are problematic for you. 5th Mistake: Not Drinking Enough Water Most WLS patients are at risk for dehydration. Drinking a minimum of 64 oz. of water per day will help you avoid this risk. Adequate water intake will also help you flush out your system as you lose weight and avoid kidney stones. Drinking enough water helps with your weight loss, too. 6th Mistake: Grazing Many people who have had WLS regret that they ever started grazing, which is nibbling small amounts here and there over the course of the day. It's one thing to eat the three to five small meals you and your doctor agree you need. It's something else altogether when you start to graze, eating any number of unplanned Snacks. Grazing can easily make your weight creep up. Eating enough at meal time, and eating planned snacks when necessary, will help you resist grazing. Make a plan for what you will do when you crave food, but are not truly hungry. For example, take up a hobby to keep your hands busy or call on someone in your support group for encouragement. 7th Mistake: Not Exercising Regularly Exercise is one of the best weapons a WLS patient has to fight weight regain. Not only does exercise boost your spirits, it is a great way to keep your metabolism running strong. When you exercise, you build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn, even at rest! 8th Mistake: Eating the Wrong Carbs (or Eating Too Much) Let's face it, refined carbohydrates are addictive. If you eat refined carbohydrates they will make you crave more refined carbohydrates. There are plenty of complex carbohydrates to choose from, which have beneficial vitamins. For example, if you can handle pastas, try whole grain Kamut pasta--in moderation, of course. (Kamut Pasta doesn't have the flavor some people find unpleasant in the whole wheat pastas.) Try using your complex carbohydrates as "condiments," rather than as the center point of your meal. Try sprinkling a tablespoon of brown rice on your stir-fried meat and veggies. 9th Mistake: Going Back to Drinking Soda Drinking soda is controversial in WLS circles. Some people claim soda stretches your stomach or pouch. What we know it does is keep you from getting the hydration your body requires after WLS--because when you're drinking soda, you're not drinking water! In addition, diet soda has been connected to weight gain in the general population. The best thing you can do is find other, healthier drinks to fall in love with. They are out there. 10th Mistake: Drinking Alcohol If you drank alcohol before surgery, you are likely to want to resume drinking alcohol following surgery. Most surgeons recommend waiting one year after surgery. And it is in your best interest to understand the consequences of drinking alcohol before you do it. Alcohol is connected with weight regain, because alcohol has 7 calories per gram, while Protein and vegetables have 4 calories per gram. Also, some people develop an addiction to alcohol after WLS, so be very cautious. Depending on your type of WLS, you may get drunker, quicker after surgery, which can cause health problems and put you in dangerous situations. If you think you have a drinking problem, get help right away. Putting off stopping drinking doesn't make it any easier, and could make you a lot sicker.
  2. CraftyChristie

    Before and After pic 7 months out

    SO AWESOME!!!! I would love to hike the grand canyon! (I still haven't even seen it). Being able to do new things feels so great. This winter I finally took up snowshoeing after talking about it for 5 years. Feels so great! Congrats to you!! Maybe next... rock climbing??? eee!
  3. CraftyChristie

    The Century Club

    Whoooo hooooo!!!!! You can sit next to me at the club meetings Way to go!
  4. CraftyChristie

    Surgerverssary With Pics!!

    Are you kidding? You are DEFINITELY a success story Great job!!
  5. CraftyChristie

    Goodbye 50lbs (photos!)

    You look AMAZING my friend!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see you in person
  6. CraftyChristie

    11 months anniversary

    Congrats, that is wonderful! And I LOVE your saying .... "added years to my life and life to my years"... I'm totally going to have to use that!
  7. CraftyChristie

    Hello Onederland!

    Very excited for you - what a feeling!! I am still waiting for this milestone myself and can't wait to do that happy dance Congratulations on your huge accomplishment!!!
  8. Way to go Julie!!!!! Don't pinch yourself... cuz it will hurt... cuz it's all real :-D
  9. CraftyChristie

    18 months post op today!

    SO awesome!!! When I read your post what strikes me most is you get to live like a NORMAL person. Even people who don't struggle with weight may gain some on a cruise, a holiday, etc... but then it comes right back off when they go back to their regular routine... and that's exactly how it's going for you. That's awesome and what I am really hoping to have Thanks for sharing your story.
  10. This is most similar to my approach as well. I haven't kept it from anyone and I posted it on Facebook, and I continue to post my monthly stats updates on Facebook as well. Many people are supportive and luckily the ones who aren't don't say much. I had a few people I felt I had to 'defend' myself too. Surprisingly, the naturally thin people have been supportive. They realize they can't understand what I'm going through. It's those who have "struggled" with weight loss (I'm talking 10-20 lbs) that feel they can have an opinion. I did this and I lost the weight, I did that and I lost the weight... you can too. Sorry but losing 20 lbs is NOT anywhere near the same as losing 150 lbs. I tell them, I've lost 40 or 50 lbs about TEN times before. Yes I can do it. But I can't maintain it long term and keep it off. My body fights me tooth and nail. I explain that I know how to have the right habits, otherwise I never could have lost 40 or 50 lbs before....so that I will be doing those things with surgery as a tool, a helper, and it's not easy or a quick fix, that I still have to put in all the work if I want to be successful long term. I politely tell them that losing more than 100 lbs is NOT something they can understand... that it isn't their fault that they can't understand, but to please realize that they don't understand. I also shared the statistics from my surgeon, that if you have more than 100 lbs to lose you have less than a 2% chance of doing it on your own with long term success, even combining nutrition, exercise, meds and psychological therapy. Sharing all of these things SEEMS to give them a new perspective. I say you don't have to agree with me, but I know this is best for me so let's just live and let live. As for the other part - post op - I still don't keep it a secret. I feel like if I say "I watch what I eat, high Protein low carb, and I exercise 5 days a week" - yes these things are true, and it would be okay to say that, BUT... what is that going to do to the other person? Most people out there do want to lose weight so that might make them think 'she lost 90 lbs like that, i should be able to do it too. I'm such a failure because I can't".... the LAST thing I would EVER want to be a part of is perpetuating this false belief that you are a failure for not being able to do it on your own. Not that I want to tell everyone else to have surgery... but I don't want them to think that I am somehow better or more successful than they are. I want to let them know I had this tool to help me. If that backfires on me and makes them think I cheated or took the easy way, that's fine... I would rather that then to make someone feel worse about themselves.
  11. CraftyChristie

    5 Months Video & Progress Pics

    I use Photoshop I put them side by side and use guidelines at the head and feet to make sure I get them the same size. But when I do my 'real life' comparisons I just use Picnik which is an online editor. You could use that and it's much easier, but there isn't a lot of control over getting the sizes of the two images to be the same.
  12. I'm almost 5 months. There's nothing I "can't" eat, or that is "intolerable"... but I do find I am more aware of how foods make my body feel now, and so I CHOOSE not to eat certain things. Fried foods or fast food make me feel heavy inside, and lethargic. They are not off limits, but I have gotten to a place where I only have the things that feel WORTH IT to me. I love mozzarella sticks so I still have those sometimes, and french fries are okay if I only have 3-4 of them. But everything else fried I say no to, most of the time... But it truly is a choice for me, because I would rather say no to it than feel that way. Many people don't seem to be as sensitive to how the foods make them feel so this doesn't bother them, or maybe they ignore it. My husband finds he feels the same way with heavy/greasy/fried foods so he tends to avoid them as well. I guess what i'm saying is nothing "upsets" my stomach, but different foods make me feel different ways and I make choices based on that. Hope this helps some!
  13. CraftyChristie

    I just want to cry

    1) I know there is a sticky post int his forum all about post WLS depression, you might find some helpful things in there. 2) hormonal imbalance is super common post op. Hormones are stored in fat cells, so as your fat cells shrink, the hormones are released into your body. My dr. confirmed this, I had heard it on here, she said it is true. 3) you are going through changes, and you are healing, you may have less energy right now, etc.... many reasons to feel a little sad! Hang in there, focus on the positives and you will feel better soon
  14. CraftyChristie

    Comparing START to 4 MONTHS post-op, 3 views

    This comparison is between my before photos and at 4 months post op (Sept 20th 2010). Weight: 230 lbs, Loss 80 lbs.
  15. CraftyChristie

    NSV: underwear!

    CONGRATS!! That is awesome!!! My hubby started as a 54 and is now wearing 46's. Being into the 30's is still a dream to him but I know he will get there!!
  16. Copying this over from my blog. Just getting my thoughts out and if you have opinions, or experiences to share, I would love to hear them!!!! Right now I'm in a little bit of a funk. Weight loss has really slowed down this month. I expected this to happen but I didn't think it would happen so soon. I guess it could be temporary and things could pick up again, but I am not sure what to expect. I'm not really stalled or anything, but this month has definitely been different. When I came off my two week 'stall' during my Chicago vacation, I lost 4 lbs the next week which is awesome... then it stayed the same for another week. Then I lost 5 more lbs over the next couple of weeks but now it's stopped again. So far this "month" (meaning since my surgaversary on Sept 20th) I've lost 6 lbs and now I'm stuck. With less than 2 weeks til the end of my "month", I don't see myself losing 15 lbs this month like I have been, unless things REALLY pick up. I am okay with slower loss, and if that's what I'm slipping into now, I will deal with that... it's just the unknown that I guess has me a little worried. There's a lot of things going on. For one, my body has been all messed up since surgery... I had to go off my birth control for surgery and wait 6 weeks after before taking it again. I had no period from the time I went off the pill 6 weeks prior, to the time I went back on it 6 weeks after. After being on it for a few weeks I got my period and I have basically had it EVER SINCE. I think I am going on about 7 weeks of having it at this point. It gets lighter, then heavier, almost like I am still having a "period week" when it's heavier, but it never completely goes away. I really miss being so regular like I was before... and I am so tired from all the hormonal changes. I'm off the pill this week, and start up again on Saturday... really hoping THIS will be the cycle that my body gets back on track. Please? My other issue is this week (which I guess my body thinks is period week) I feel so hungry all the time. I'm eating a lot more. Not more amount at a time, but more often. I just can't seem to stay satisfied. I am hoping and praying this is hormonal and will fix itself too... but I'm scared to death that what if it isn't?! What if I stay this hungry? It will be sooooo much harder and sooooo much slower to lose the weight if that is the case. I'm still working out 3-5 days a week. This week was 4. But nothing is happening on the scale at all. This is the first time I would say I have felt freaked out about the scale not moving. Most of the time it doesn't phase me at all. But this time because of the hunger I'm feeling, and because I'm working out as much as I am, I don't know... it's making me nervous. It is probably silly to think the loss could be stopping or at least slowing way down this soon. But I can't help but be scared. There is that part of me that still doesn't BELIEVE that all of this is real. That part of me that thinks I'll start gaining it all back now. I think that part is getting the better of me today. I just really want to see things start moving again. I'm getting all my Protein, I'm eating well. I have noticed my Water intake going down so my focus today is hydrate hydrate hydrate and I'm going to try to stay focused on that each day. Not sure what else I can do but just WAIT. Hopefully patiently... lol.
  17. CraftyChristie

    Just My Thoughts... Your Opinions??

    Thank you so much Sandy & Maddie I am trying to hang in there and believe!! Still no change... actually, went up just slightly. Grr. But I know it will pass... I know it will pass.... I know it will pass. Now I'm sick on top of everything, with a super sore throat... not sure how bad it will get either Thank you so very much for your support and kind words.
  18. CraftyChristie

    Just My Thoughts... Your Opinions??

    Thank you so much. That was a reminder that I needed to hear. When I started out I never thought I'd be at 86 pounds during my 5th month. So you're right, even if I stall for a long time, I am still doing fine. I'm definitely working on changing things up, I've done some different workouts and working on that Fluid intake, and I've let my calories fluctuate a lot and eating varied foods. Hope something works soon!!
  19. CraftyChristie

    My 1st Before and "During" pics

    Wow look how much less space you take up!!!!! :-D It's amazing! Congrats sweetie! I also love what you've done with your hair!
  20. CraftyChristie

    Um... endowment?

    My hubby's is making an appearance after his 65 lbs lost so far.... :001_tt2:
  21. CraftyChristie

    sharing my little succes with you

    Congratulations!!! What wonderful progress and you look great!!

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