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  1. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Canary Diamond for a blog entry, To The Men: I Get It Now; a.k.a. Damn, Girl   
    My libido is through the roof since having surgery. It is, without a doubt, the highest it has ever been in my life. A juicy, throbbing beast of arousal. It's like I have a whole new set of nerve endings and with the slightest whiff of sexuality they are firing on all pistons. I haven't even lost that much weight; the weight I'm at now is one I've been at many times in my life, with unspectacular effects on my sex drive.
    But everything has changed. I understand the appeal of David Guetta songs. I understand why people risk going to jail for public indecency. I understand why women look forward to doing laundry so much. I even think I may be beginning to understand how it feels to be a man. Make that a teenage boy. Let me put it this way, I don't think I'll need to continue the 30 Day Abs Challenge to see results by next week.
    I have a theory for this: For the first time in my life, the prospect of a toned, sexy body is real. Guaranteed, in fact, as long as I don't push my sleeve. I think my libido went to sleep years ago when it realized it wasn't going to be put to use anytime soon, and now it has awoken like a bear jolted out of hibernation by jumper cables.
    And how the hell is it that men KNOW when you're feeling like this? Walking my dog today, literally every man I passed turned his head. Two guys even slowed their cars waaaaaaaaayyyy down as they were passing by and watched me. I was wearing sweatpants, slurping on a protein shake, and carrying a bag of $h!t - not exactly exuding an air of....well, what I'd just done in the shower.
    If you can relate, I would love to hear from you. Especially if you're single like me. How did/do you keep yourself under control? I feel like I'm on the verge of doing something stupid. As a teacher in a small town, something tells me if I were caught in a park humping the statues people wouldn't want me around their children anymore.
  2. Like
    Annie04 reacted to southernsoul for a blog entry, Second week post op and into the third   
    My second week postop was SO much better than the first week. The addition of kefir (liquid yogurt) in my diet really helped to bring my diarrhea under control & everything in the whole world looked much better after that!
    My surgeon had me on 2 full weeks of clear liquids plus skim milk postop. It was definitely tough to go that long on just clear liquids, even with skim milk & the addition of kefir one week in. I was aware that many other docs do not require 2 weeks on clears, but I just figured this was my karmic payback for having a generous pre-op diet that was not just a bunch of shakes. Even though I had heard this might happen, I was still surprised to find myself never experiencing hunger...either physical or head hunger. A couple of times I was in a restaurant or somewhere else around yummy food, but I was barely tempted. The food looked good, smelled great...and still, I only had a tiny ripple of want, and then I forgot about it.
    Here's what else surprised me, though...the number of pre-op and post-op sleeve peeps who encouraged me to cheat on, or disregard, my surgeon's instructions! Granted, nobody was encouraging me to eat a cookie or something like that, but several folks encouraged me to have some yogurt, or a protein shake, or pudding. Even though I knew it it probably wouldn't hurt me to give in, I chose to stick to the plan as outlined by my surgeon.
    Maybe it's a small thing, but it seems to me that developing our self-discipline skills is a big part of this journey. I assume that my surgeon has chosen his post-op guidelines because he believes them to be the best way to ensure a successful start. Part of the information we learn on this & other WLS sites is just how much variation there is among surgeons, and their pre- and post-op plans. We know what other folks are being told by their doctors, and sometimes it might be easy to think, "Well, that person's doctor said it wasn't a problem, so why does my surgeon care? It won't really matter if I just....." I know that suggesting that someone have a yogurt is not the end of the world, but rationalization and justification are twin pathways on the slipperiest of slopes. I don't want to get started down that road. I will be the first to admit that my self-discipline skills can certainly use some work, but I am making the best effort I possible can to be successful on this journey.
  3. Like
    Annie04 reacted to southernsoul for a blog entry, My first few days post-op   
    I have felt very lucky to have had a couple of months preop to be on this site & learn from others. I appreciate the knowledge, advice, and the sharing of experiences I have found here, and I plan to pay it forward by posting regularly on my post op progress. So far, my experience has been pretty good, although in some ways it’s different than what I imagined.
    I was sleeved on Wednesday, June 19 at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, GA. When I woke up from surgery, I felt queasy, but I didn’t get sick. The nursing staff was great, and so was my special bariatric nurse, Debbie. I was able to wear my own gown & robe, and somehow that made me feel better. I was up walking within a couple of hours of being in my room. I needed help walking at first, mainly just to have somebody keep the IV stand out of my way. At first, I was instructed to walk once every four hours, but on the second day they bumped it up to once every 2 hours. By the second day, I could do it by myself, but my husband usually came with me anyway. I used the breathing tube thing (spirometer?) almost every hour. I never hit the goal they set for me, but I came fairly close. I didn’t sleep much on Wednesday night, only dozing on and off. They came in to take vitals every 4 hours & I just couldn’t get comfortable.
    That first afternoon, another VST member, journeybegins05032013 came by to meet me, and brought me the sweetest goody bag with samples of different protein powders & flavors, drink mix-ins, iron & calcium chews, a Dr. Seuss book, and a lovely journal. It was such a thoughtful gesture! I have also received wonderful calls, texts, and messages from many of my sleeve peeps, and I am just so thankful for this community.
    WARNING – Grossness alert! The next paragraph is about poop.
    Based on what I had read from others, I was expecting to not have a BM for several days. However, on Thursday morning I started pooping. It was extremely liquid, just like it had been the night before surgery with the bowel cleanse. It literally felt like I was peeing from the back side. Almost every time I peed, I would let go some more from the back. As a result, my anus hurt a lot. It was very tender & made it even more uncomfortable to lie on my back. The liquid poop has continued at home, but strangely enough I did not fart until this morning, on the 4th day out. I have been burping like crazy, but not farting. I never even used a Gas-X strip since I was pooping so much.
    I am on clear liquids for 2 weeks, and then will be on full liquids for 2 more weeks. My doc counts skim milk as a clear, and I’m supposed to take in 32 oz of skim milk & 32 oz of other clears every day. I made SF Jello with milk & it turned out pretty good. I used about a quarter or half cup of boiling water to dissolve & then mixed in about 1 cup & a half of skim milk. I just tried the Unjury Chicken soup with water, but next time will make it with warm milk & see how that works out. I’m not doing a good job tracking my intake, and I really need to get better about that. I am going to start using MyFitnessPal today, since I know it has been so helpful for so many folks. My energy level is still pretty low. I am walking around my house every couple of hours & taking a longer walk with the hubs every evening. I’m trying not to push myself, and just give my body a chance to heal. I haven’t felt hungry at all, either physical hunger or head hunger. Overall, I feel pretty good about my recovery so far and about how my food intake is going. For the next week, I have nothing on my schedule away from the house except for Wednesday. I am planning to keep taking it easy and just continue to heal & build my stamina back up. One day at a time, little by little, I will get to where I want to be.
  4. Like
    Annie04 reacted to southernsoul for a blog entry, Happiness, self-esteem, and WLS   
    I'm going to lay out some thoughts I've been having. My intent is not to minimize the experience of anyone else, but simply to offer my own thoughts and beliefs. I know this journey is different for all of us, but I am always saddened when I see a post about how a pre-op person can't wait to "be skinny" or "look hot" or "feel good about myself again". Skinny does not equal happy. Skinny does not equal hot. Skinny does not equal feeling good about ourselves. There are just as many skinny people who are unhappy, unattractive, and down on themselves as fat people. Happiness, feeling attractive, and feeling good about oneself are characteristics generated from within, not without.
    A few years ago, at a very low point in my life, happiness seemed to me like a foreign concept. I could not remember the last time I had felt genuinely joyous or happy about anything. Intellectually, I knew that there were many things in my life that were desirable. I had a good job, a comfortable house, a dependable car, some money in the bank, food in the fridge, etc. But despite these things, I was unhappy. Now, I had good reasons to be unhappy, or so I thought. My marriage was failing, I was coming to grips with the fact that I would never be a mother, I wanted desperately to change my life but felt completely stuck, and so on. I remember reading somewhere that happy is a verb...it's an action, not a passive condition. I began to wonder...if I truly felt that there was no spark of happiness or joy in my life, who's fault was that? Who was responsible for my happiness? The answer, of course, is me. I was failing myself. I was not loving myself, or being kind to myself.
    I decided that if happy was an action, I was going to try and exercise my happy muscle. I was going to try and find one thing to feel happy about for a few minutes every day. My goal was 3-5 minutes a day of active happiness. I thought that would be super easy. After all, I had been able to identify good things in my life, so how hard could it be to think about them for a couple of minutes every day? Well, it was actually harder than I expected, but I stuck with it. I had to set a timer in the beginning, but I made myself do it every single day. Gradually, I noticed it got easier. Some days all I could come up with was something like the weather, or the fact that my bills were paid on time, but damn it...if that was all I had, then I was damn well going to focus on it & feel happy for 3 freakin' minutes.
    I eventually began to notice that I felt happier overall. I'm not sure why, because by this time I was just divorced and trying to figure out dating at 270 lbs & maintaining my new house, etc, but regardless, I felt happier. After meeting the man who has become my 2nd husband, he said that one of the things that attracted him to me was that I always seemed happy. I'm not saying that this is somehow a magic bullet against bad stuff happening, but holding happiness in my mind for a few minutes every day helps me to deal with the inevitable downs of life. It seems to me that consciously taking time to feel happy each day has somehow made a state of happiness more accessible in my brain.
    It's been almost 7 years since I began my happiness quest, and I can honestly say I feel happier today than I ever have in my life. To quote Charlotte in the Sex and The City movie, "I feel happy every day. Not all day every day, but every day I feel happy." In choosing to have the sleeve, I absolutely do not expect it to make me happy, because I'm already happy. I feel pretty good about myself today, this minute, at 300+ lbs. Yes, there are things I want to do, but I can't right now. Yes, I have pain every day & difficulty walking, but I still feel good about who I am and what I have to offer in my small corner of the world. I am aware that I am probably judged negatively by some people because of my weight, but I don't even really notice that. Today, I find it so much easier to find things in my life that make me genuinely happy. I am definitely looking forward to weighing less and seeing an improvement in my mobility, but I don't think it will make me somehow better or more acceptable or a more worthy person. I am enough, right now, just as I am. We all are, and we are all so very precious. Today, right now, at this very moment, we are beautiful, and we are valuable, and we are enough. I believe that with all my heart, and I hope you do, too.
  5. Like
    Annie04 reacted to southernsoul for a blog entry, Weeks five and six...cooking, clothes, and returning hungers   
    This week I had my 6 week postop appointment. I am down about 43 lbs total, including my 2 week preop diet. After hitting 40 lbs down at 4 weeks, I went up & down the same pound for about a week. After 3 or 4 days, I stopped weighing myself every day & just waited about 5 days or so before weighing again. When I did, I was down 2 pounds & another one came off before my follow up appointment. I think my body was adjusting to having more solid food. At week 5, I was finally able to start cooking again & enjoying the kinds of food I love. I'm still focusing on softer foods, but being able to cook good food & start sharing dinner with my husband again has really boosted my outlook. In addition, I can tell my clothes are getting too big & I'm starting to pull out clothes I haven't worn in years. I found a really cute knit pencil skirt online at Target & I bought both a 3X and a 2X (Target stuff runs small on me). The 3X fits great now & the 2X will fit before too long. It's perfect for somebody with a bountiful booty & the hubs loves it.
    A new cookbook I am exploring right now is called Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. It's a paleo cookbook, and Melissa also has a great blog called The Clothes Make The Girl. The paleo style of eating seems to fit in really well with our postop guidelines, so I decided to check it out. So far, I have really enjoyed everything I have tried from the book. She includes a sections on staples of a paleo pantry & ways to cook ahead the simple parts of a meal (meat, veggies, etc) that you then can use over a whole week with many variations.
    I found Well Fed on Amazon, along with several other paleo cookbooks I'm thinking of trying now.
    Over the last couple of weeks, I have had several social things to go to, plus a couple of times where I have had to be away from home for a whole day or overnight without much access to decent food. I've had to plan ahead for eating properly, and I've also had to get over my nervousness about social or party eating. I've been surprised at the things I've been tempted by & the things I have NOT been tempted by. One party was hosted by a friend who is a very good baker, and his parties always include some yummy cakes. I expected to be pretty tempted to have a bite of cake, but I wasn't. It was so weird, but I was happy with cheese & some olives & hardly looked twice at the cakes. However, last night we were at another friend's house they put out some Triscuits. OMG, I absolutely HAD to have a damn Triscuit. I was actually distracted from the conversation because I kept glancing at the Triscuits. Seriously, I'm obsessing over a Triscuit?? WTH??? I ended up eating 4 over the whole evening & they were yummy. I also had a little wine, but I didn't even finish one glass.
    I have noticed that I am starting to feel hunger again. A couple of times, I have been very hungry & my first 2 or 3 bites have been either too big and/or taken in too fast. Each time, I have thrown up right away. I need to do better about keeping it slow & small no matter how hungry I am. I am also struggling to take in 64 oz of water a day. I carry my bottle around, but forget to drink from it. The most I usually drink is 36 to 48 oz, and I know I need to do better than that.
    The other thing I'm noticing is that I'm "hungry" to get out and do more stuff now. My knees are feeling much better, and I am so much more enthusiastic about going shopping or to the grocery store or to a party without worrying about pain from standing or feeling like I am stuck in a chair while everyone else is mingling. Call it hunger for life, but that's the other hunger that's coming back & I am so grateful to feel it. Life is for living, and although I was never a person who withdrew from life, I certainly felt restricted in what I was physically able to do. My next NSV outing will be to go to our big farmer's market on a Saturday morning. Maybe next week? We'll see!
  6. Like
    Annie04 reacted to PhotoLover8 for a blog entry, 4 days post op, doing well!   
    I'm doing good! Both surgeries went well. The doctor said the gall bladder was more difficult than he thought but was successful. He called my sleeve "beautiful" and all went without a hitch there. Can't eat very much at all and still having pain but its only 4 days post op. I was in the hospital 3 nights because my blood pressure and pain were a little out of hand. They got the blood pressure under control by Saturday evening. They had to do a test on Sunday because they gave me 4 pills to take by mouth and it gave me a lot of pain. They had me drink this special liquid while they took pictures and the doctor said there were no leaks but the sleeve is really tight and it's going to take a while for the inflammation to go down. He also said that because the sleeve is so tight that even over time as my stomach might stretch some it will never be all that big. All in all, I'm doing better and just waiting to get to my "new" normal. My tongue has been slightly numb since surgery and I'm still waiting for that to go away. I have a follow up with Dr. Shukla next week. Thanks to all who have checked on me!
  7. Like
    Annie04 reacted to JillianMarie73 for a blog entry, Two Weeks Out!   
    I am feeling great!! Here are the stats:

    Highest: 298
    Pre-op 277
    Surgery: 261 (I did 4 weeks pre-op voluntarily)
    Home: 271 (Fluid I guess?)
    Today: 252  
    25 since the start of my pre-op! 46 over all from my highest! WHOOP WHOOP! I can’t believe I am a scant 3 lbs away from my 240s… which I haven’t seen since 2005!! Then when I reach 230-235, I am going to try on my wedding dress from my second wedding – I am greedily hoping that day will be June 19 – the same day I take my Motorcycle drivers test. Two victories in one day will be quite fitting I think! 17 lbs in 26 days? It’s possible… but the journey is amazing.
    My clothes are fitting better, I see a difference in my face and I can feel the difference in my tummy – and my incisions are ITCHY!!! (Which means they are healing nicely!)
    The first week of clear liquids got to me a little bit… I was missing the comfort feeling of food, although I must say I wasn’t feeling hungry in the traditional sense. I have read that quite a few people have had trouble getting their protein in, so I am glad that I tried a few products before surgery, because the one I have, Alpine Punch by Isopure, is super easy to get in and digest. It mixes just like Crystal Light, and the consistency is nice and thin. I also opted for G2 Gatorade over the last two weeks instead of water, to ensure my electrolytes stay exactly where they need to be. I have been taking a chewable multivitamin, B12 and Caltrate every day 2x, along with finishing my prescriptions. I am down to one left (my acid blocker), twice a day for 45 more days… so that will just be daily routine with vitamins for some time to come.
    Needless to say by the time day 8 came, I could not wait to eat some low fat cottage cheese and thicker soups!! I made two recipes that are absolutely delicious!! Celery Root soup, and Curried Sweet Potato. On their own they do not offer much in the way of protein but they have proven to be great low cal, healthy tummy trainers and have helped me experiment with how fast or slow and how much to eat. I’ll post the recipes below. I have also had a zero fat yogurt here and there, and decaf coffee with cream from Tim Hortons. That’s pretty exciting stuff, although I have noticed that the added fat in the cream tends to travel at the speed of light (sorry TMI) however, at this point I am using that as a tool!
    Monday starts the mushy foods “Things I could eat if I had no teeth” phase and I am pretty darn excited about that! Mmmmm…. Baked fish, Scrambled eggs, hummus! I can’t wait!!
    I don’t think there is much more to say at this point. Doing really well, feeling great. Oh, and last week I contacted my surgeon; Dr. Rodriguez via email because I had a question and he responded within 30 minutes. I will never be able to express how amazing he and his surgical team are.
    Highly recommended!!
    Celery Root Soup
    Small Chopped Onion
    1 tbsp of butter / margarine
    4 cups of chicken broth (low sodium is best)
    2 tsp of thyme
    1 large celery root

    Peel and chop celery root into small cubes, set aside
    Place onion and butter over medium heat in a pot and simmer until onion is soft
    Pour chicken broth into pot with onions/butter and add in chopped up celery root (there should be enough broth to cover all vegetable)
    Add thyme
    Add broth and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until celery root is tender.
    With immersion blender or in blender, puree soup.

    Curried Sweet Potato Soup
    2 sweet potatoes (2-1/4 lb)
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tbsp minced gingerroot, (or 1 tsp/5 mL ground ginger)
    2 tsp mild curry paste (or curry powder with a touch of water to make a paste)
    4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

    Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes; set aside.
    In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, gingerroot and curry paste, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until softened.
    Add sweet potatoes; stir for 1 minute or until coated.
    Add broth and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
    With immersion blender or in blender, puree soup.

  8. Like
    Annie04 reacted to gogogirl for a blog entry, My Body Gallery   
    Roaming around I found this website which is pretty cool. Shows really women at different weights, heights, and shapes. I think it will help me to get a better idea of where I want to end up.
  9. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Amberlydw8 for a blog entry, Protein! Where to get it...   
    Hi all...I am almost 5 weeks post op! Wow the time has flown by!
    Sorry I have not been on here in a while giving an update or posting about something I have kinda been in what some people call a "stall" for the past two weeks. Kinda puts a damper on things. The first week I was really pretty ok with it. I had just lost 40lb in 2 months and was just stoked to start seeing the changes in my body and in my attitude/personality. Then by the 2nd week it just started to get depressing, I even gained 1 pound... I started getting a little mad and was trying to figure out how to amp up my loss again.
    I had just started adding solid foods back into my diet but I was not getting over 600-700 cal a day. (which I thought was good) I was having a little bit of a hard time with my protein and liquid intake. So I figured that must be the problem. Last Tuesday I had my first WLS support group meeting with my supper awesome friend Tina. By some amazing divine appointment God had them focusing on PROTEIN! She had a ton of samples to try from different products and gave us a bunch of ideas on how to add bits of protein to our diets through out the day. Apparently just about everyone in the group had been struggling with some kind of stall recently and so that was the topic of focus! How perfect for me
    And because I know how common it is for us new VSG'ers to have a hard time with proper protein levels I thought I would share what I learned, my new favorite products, and a few new ideas on how to use protein.
    First, my new best friend is "Big Train". I have always loved this brand but had no idea that they had a bariatric friendly line of protein powders. So now I can have my love of coffee and drink it too I do live in Seattle... Its almost against the law to not like coffee over here... lol
    Here is the link for the Big Train drinks. I love them! The cool thing is, I can not taste the protein in them at all! I have tried the vanilla and the espresso (both are fantastic) and have just ordered the sampler pac to try the rest before purchasing in bulk...
    My 2nd new brand of protein is Chike... I had never heard of this brand till my meeting this week. I tried the coffee flavor and again it was really good! I ordered the sample pac of this brand also. I really like being able to take a little packet of powder with me rather than mixing up a whole days worth at once. I need to find some kind of little container that holds one serving though, because it is so much cheaper to buy the tub rather than the packets... Anyway, here is the link for Chike.
    Third... I know most of you guys know about Unjury. But recently I have made a few friends who had never heard of it. For all of you newbies out there here is an awesome product! Unjury is said to be one of the best forms of protein. One of the best on the market. Its protein has really good absorption into the body. I have been told some of the cheaper proteins don't benefit the body as well as others. I totally get that, most food now a days dose not benefit the body at all so I am sure they cheat on this kind of stuff also...
    Anyway, Unjury makes a "non-flavored" powder that you can put in just about anything from soup to pudding, to drinks. I have been adding it to my Crystal Light or Mio drinks. When you add it to a fruity drink it kinda turns it into a cream cycle taste. Not bad when it is giving you 20+ grams of protein in each scoop... I also put some strawberry lemon-aid into a vanilla powder and it was pretty good too..
    I also found this website http://www.bariatricchoice.com/bariatric-protein-shakes-smoothies-drinks-12.html It looks like it has a ton of different high protein options including Nectar (which I have ordered the sample pack but have not tried yet) It might be a cool place to get some extra ideas from.
    (And by the way I just started loosing weight again! I dropped 1 pound yesterday. I really believe its because I am drinking more and added more protein)
    So, to give you an idea on how I get my protein and liquids in...
    In the morning I start out with either a mixed fruit and veggie shake with a scoop of Unjury in it.
    Or, I have a coffee drink with either the Big Train or the Chike. Rite there in that morning drink I have just got 20 grams of protein in...
    As a snack I will have a cheese stick or cup of Greek yogurt. (6-12 g protein)
    Then for lunch I make sure to have some kind of meat, eggs or cheese. All of which are low in carbs. (remember we like low carbs
    During the day I will have a "snack" by putting one scoop of protein powder in with a beverage. There is another 20 grams.
    For dinner I have been trying to get in some veggies with my meat. So weather I have 1/2 a hamburger patty or a few ounces of fish, I try to get in either salad or another green vegetable.
    If I work it good like that, I am over 70 grams of protein. Plus the shakes alone have given me about 30 ounces of water so I only have to concentrate on another 30 through out the day.
    To tell you the truth, its the liquids I am still having trouble with. It is really hard to drink that much through out the day. But I am trying...
    I hope I was able to help some of you guys...
    I know I was really struggling with ideas on how to get enough every day...
    Good luck to you all! And let me know what you think of my ideas. Also, If any of you have some products or mix ideas for me please let me know! I am always looking for something new to try.
    Later all!!! "HUGS"
  10. Like
    Annie04 got a reaction from DrmBig4Evr for a blog entry, Just took the first step   
    I want to thank everyone on this site for their advice when it came to selecting a doctor. I appreciate all of the feedback and as of last night I made my decision and sent in my paper work to Alma at Ready4achange. All of the doctors that I was considering are amazing and have taken such great care of all of my friends here on this site and on the Facebook page that I recently joined. I ended up selecting Dr. Fernando Garcia for reasons that are personal to me. I have been corresponding back and forth with him and Alma since last night due to a red flag that I had made aware to him. Last summer when I was preparing for foot surgery my pre-op EKG read "Suspect Anteroseptal Infarction" (Suspect Heart Attack) I was not cleared for surgery and sent to a cardiologist who did a Stress test and took pictures of my heart. The cardiologist said my heart is perfect. The problem is that all my EKG's moving forward read the same possible heart attack ( had another one in December 2012). So in order to be accepted by Dr. Garcia for this surgery, I have to get clearance by my cardiologist for this surgery. I am totally ok with that. He needs to have a comfort level with me as well and I didn't want any surprises when I get to Mexico and have an irregular EKG. After I get clearance from the cardiologist next week, I will schedule a tentative surgery date. I am still looking at late May. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers you all!!! I I II FirsFFFF
  11. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Amberlydw8 for a blog entry, None Scale Victories of the week :)   
    Hey guys
    I just had to post a little entry about all of my little (or not so little) NSV of the week! (Sorry in advance for all the colors..lol Made me think of being in middle school again. hahaha)
    So the first thing I noticed this last week was that my rings are getting loose. I have this one ring my sister got for me, and I just love it. It used to fit on my ring finger but I have had to move it to my pointer finger because it was about to fall off the other day... (It used to be tight)
    Second... I went down a full pant Size!!! Ya know how jeans can vary in size? Well I was in a size 22 when I started and about a week ago I was able to fit into my big 20's... But today I got into my small 20's Oh ya.. And they fit and look good So excited! That is one step closer to being back in the teen digest
    Third... I can tie my shoes so much easier! I used to have to sit down try to reach for my feet across my huge tummy. Now its no problem
    Forth... I have noticed that my libido has just launched to a whole new level..lol It seems like every other thought is about sex... ha ha ha...
    AND!!! to top it off... I have lost 19 inches over my whole body !!!!
    Yay for me
    I hope all of you out there are having as much success as I am. I hope your finding the little things that encourage you and push you through each day. Keep your eyes out for the little details that make you smile. Cloths that fit different, The fact that moving is easier, You feel different, You sleep better, your off some meds... etc...

    What are your none scale victories

    of the week?

    Please share!!!!

  12. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Amberlydw8 for a blog entry, 2 Week update   
    Hi all...
    So, I am now 2 weeks out from surgery! I am down 13lb since surgery and 33lb total. I am really starting to feel good. I have become addicted to watching The Biggest Looser,on hulu and it is motivating me to work out more. I have a feeling that I have the potential to become one of those work out obsessed people. I am so excited about that! I have always wanted to be like that. I want to start lifting weights and toning up in the next week or two.
    So far I am walking about 3 miles 5 times a week. I have a personal goal of doing a 5K in a few months so I going to start training for that soon. I figure, If i can walk a 5K just fine I can run it by the end of summer!
    As for what I am eating, I think I am doing really well. I have been mostly drinking shakes, eating greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I am starting to work in scrambled eggs, cream of wheat and little bits of chicken. I noticed that even though I can do a full 9-11 oz shake in about 1/2 hour I can only get in a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and only about 2 oz of chicken. Its crazy how the more dense the food the less you can eat. I am going to try the cream of wheat this morning and see how that works out
    I want to give a little shout out to my friend TTL... Way to go with surgery this week! I'm glad everything is going so well for you! Keep up the good work
    Have a great week everyone!
    Happy Passover to everyone, (or Happy Easter )
  13. Like
    Annie04 reacted to joatsaint for a blog entry, My Favorite Mexican Food   
    One of my favorite Mexican foods. I've been eating this stuff for about 4 weeks straight.
    I got all the ingredients at Walmart. It cost about $4 for 2 days worth of meals (4 - 6 meals in my case). It's very filling and sticks with me.
    1 lb of chicken breast.
    1 pkg of Taco Bell Taco seasoning.
    (I tried other name brand taco mixes and the store brands, Taco Bell tastes the best and is just as cheap. There is a Taco Bell chipolte version as well, but I liked the regular version the best. )
    1 can of gebhardt refried beans w/fat.
    (I tried the non-fat version and I like the fat version better. It only has 2grams of fat per serving.)
    Salsa or Picante or Taco sauce to taste
    1 pkg of your favorite shredded cheese.
    I grill the chicken breast and run it through my food processor.
    Mix the taco seasoning with about 1/2 cup of water and mix it thoroughly. I mix it in my protein shake shaker.
    Toss the chicken into a pot or pan and add the taco seasoning.
    Bring it up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
    Mix the chicken and beans in a bowl. Add some salsa if it's too thick for your taste.
    Spoon some of the mixture into a bowl and top with cheese and salsa.

  14. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Amberlydw8 for a blog entry, My surgery in Mexico!   
    Hey all...
    Well, I am home safe and sound and SLEEVED!!!
    I promised all of you a detailed update of how everything went for me in Mexico. From as much as I can tell, everything is going great. I am progressing normally for post surgery and am working through all the crazy feelings and thoughts..lol
    So to start off I chose to schedule my surgery with Dr Ortiz at the Obesity Control Center in Tijuana Mexico. I got to meet Dr Ortiz before my surgery and he was very nice. He spoke to me allot of what dietary changes I would be making post op and he talked to me about what to eat to have long term success with the surgery. Because as all of us know it is a tool to use to help us achieve our goal. Its not going to do it for us
    PS. This is going to be kinda long, I have a few friends who wanted to know EVERYTHING that happened.
    I flew in a day early (on Sunday) because I didn't want to deal with travel and surgery all in one day. When we got to the airport I got a text from my driver Joel (very nice guy). He told me where to wait for him, that he was driving a gold colored van and that my name was in the window. He unfortunately was running a little late because the boarder was backed up (which is understandable) but he would be there soon. After he picked me and my sister up we drove around to pick up another lady. Loren (Ren) my new bestie and her husband Tom were waiting at another airline. We were all driven to the border together and had a great time talking to each other about ourselves and our goals for after surgery.
    At the border we had to get out of the van and walk through customs. Piece of cake... They didn't even want to see our passports. Just X-ray the bags and we were through (not sure if this is how it is all the time but it was really easy for us) Once we walked out the door on the other side our driver was waiting for us and drove us the rest of the way to our hotel. Apparently they don't care who comes into Mexico, just who leaves...lol We had a nice night just relaxing by the pool, having dinner in the restaurant. Yes... I had soup, but I did splurge and have the last piece of bread I will probably have for quite a while...
    Monday morning we were up by 5:30am. Showered, dressed and fasting for a 6:40am pick up. We drove to the hospital and were there by 7am. There were a total of 5 people having surgery that day and we all just waited in the waiting room. One by one we were brought back to start our pre op testing. I unfortunately got to go last... yay! Oh well... Pre op testing included; blood work, ekg, dental check up (not kidding... i even got a tooth fixed before surgery! awesome!) and a interview with the nutritionist Dr. Miranda (who is supper nice! ).
    I went in for surgery at about 3:30pm The different thing about the OCC is that you walk into surgery yourself and lay down on the table. Kinda strange and just a little scary, but I was knocked out pretty quick after that. I woke up in my hospital bed with my sisters there. Between 4pm-6pm all visitors have to leave and go back to the hotel for the night,. The night nurse was really great and got me extra pillows and more pain meds when ever I needed them. I did have a rather unnerving drain hanging from my side when I woke up. I hear that it is quite common. Its dose not hurt at all, its just really disturbing to think about..lol.. I was up and down all night not sleeping very well, but I guess its good to keep walking. It helps move the gas around and out. I didn't have any bad gas pain till day 3.
    Tuesday morning we were up and discharged by 9am. We got some prescriptions to take with us. I would suggest bringing some extra pain pills like extra strength Tylenol or something stronger if you have it, just for back up. We were driven back to the hotel for the day. I laid out by the pool for just about an hour and got the perfect sun burn. (You know, the kind that looks bad and red but never hurts and turns into a good tan Then at dinner time I had a couple ounces of chicken broth.
    The hotel makes if fresh, but it seemed to be really strong (salty) so i diluted it in half with water. I think I might have had about 2 oz and was done. I drank the rest an hour later... The hotel also has something called "green juice" its so great! It is fresh juiced fruit and veggies and tastes great!
    Wednesday; We were all picked up again at about 9am and taken back to the hospital for a check up. We again waited in the lobby till they were ready for each of us. Loren and I both hopped that they would take out the drain but no luck. That was for tomorrow. When I was called back in for my check up. The nurse weighed me, I had gained 7lbs after surgery because of all the fluids they pump into you during surgery. I think its a good thing too because you really don't drink allot the first couple days. She took me and checked all my incisions changed the bandage around my drain tube, emptied out what had collected in the drain (SO GROSS!) and took my blood pressure.
    After my appointment I took a short nap and felt good enough to take a walk so my sisters and I went shopping. We took a cab over to Revolution Ave and got some cool things to take home. After that I was exhausted and went back to the hotel.
    Later that night a friend of mine Kasey (from the forum) had just gotten back from her surgery and was ready for a visit, so we spent the evening chatting in her room till we were both to tired to keep talking... Love you Kasey
    Thursday morning I was back to the hospital again about 9am for my last check up. They took out the drain (which didn't hurt, it just felt like something moving inside me for a moment, totally nasty) Changed my bandage again and took my vitals. After that I was on my way.
    We (Me my sisters, Loren and her husband) were picked up and drove to the border where we had to get out again to walk across. The only difference is on this side of the border, there are like 1000-2000 people in line waiting to get into the states. It takes hours! So our very smart driver pulled out a wheal chair and said... One of you in the chair and look very sick. The rest of you go with and help push and carry the bags. You can go all the way to the front of the line and get through stay together!. Well apparently this worked EVERY time, except for us. We somehow got Mr Ass Hat patrol guard who who was on some power testosterone trip and made us split up and only Me (i was in the chair) and one person pushing me was allowed to go through... He was a major jerk! Well, once we were on the other side we were able to find a higher ranking guard and he was very kind and helped us get everyone else across.
    From there it was smooth sailing to the airport and home!
    I really hope this helps some of you. I know that another lady laid out all the details for me before I left and it helped me so much!!! Thank you Shelley And I wanted to pass it on for those of you who were going after me. You are welcome to ask me any questions. I would be happy to share anything else that I may have left out.
    Also, I am proud to say that 5 days out I have lost all the water weight from surgery and am down 1lb from pre surgery weight! Oh ya... I am on my way
    Love you guys! Best of luck to you all on your journey. Remember! You deserve it!
  15. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Amberlydw8 for a blog entry, Skin... what can we do to help our skin?   
    Hi guys...
    As you are starting to see, I really like to find natural ways to help my body. I really don't like all the chemicals and unnatural things people put in and on their body's. Over the past few weeks before surgery I have wanted to start taking care of my skin. Mainly because I am worried about the loose skin thing after I start loosing weight. I am sure I can't escape it all, but I figure if I start now I can at least get a jump start on it. I can make it better than it might have been without the effort.
    So through my research, I stumbled upon "dry skin brushing"
    It is said to help with
    ~ Removes toxins from your body
    ~Tighten your skin
    ~Help exfoliate dead skin cells
    ~Help with aging
    and half a dozen other benefits... I am adding a link to one of the main articles I found helpful.
    I figure if I add this into my daily life of keeping my skin hydrated, taking skin helping vitamins and staying fully hydrated, maybe I can get some of the elasticity back in my skin.
    Give it a try or at the least look into it. I know I am going to try it.
    It can't hurt
  16. Like
    Annie04 reacted to Amberlydw8 for a blog entry, Almost on my way...   
    Well. I have two days till I leave and only 3 days till surgery! Wow, you were all right when you said time would fly by... Except for this last week, which has crawled by and an absurdly slow pace!!! OMG could a day get any longer? This last few days seem to stretch on forever... But I know that I am almost there so I am trying to just stay buys. Busy really helps.
    So this pre op diet has been a little tough at times. I think by starting my diet so early and working my way into it I have really helped my body not go into the shock of "no food". When I first got my surgery date scheduled last month I started rite away on a low carb diet. I knew I had to loose at least 15lb before surgery and I was not going to play around with my time. I had 4 weeks to go before surgery and i was going to make the best of it.
    I started the first week by replacing one meal a day with a protein shake. This was easy. I was never really hungry and I eat when I wanted. I just made sure it was all very low carb. The 2nd week I replaced 2 meals a day with protein shakes. Again, not too hard for me. I was a little deprived but I still felt good and I always had dinner to look forward to. By the end of the first two weeks I was already down 12lb. Yay for me! I was very happy with myself. Then to the hard part. 2 weeks of full liquids only... Oh boy
    By starting off slow I think I really helped myself be acclimated to not eating much. Even though it was hard the first few days (well most days were hard) I don't think it was as hard as it could have been. I had already found a couple shakes I liked, I was able to keep myself busy enough to keep my mind off of things and I was loosing weight. Which we all know is a huge boost of motivation!
    Yes, I did cheat... But I cheated with things that I knew were not going to mess up my weight loss. During those times that I "JUST HAD TO EAT SOMETHING!" I would choose a pure protein. I had a few ounces of chicken one night. I had a grilled hamburger patty one evening, and last night I had 1/2 a can of tuna. The crazy thing! Even now without surgery those little tiny meals made me feel satisfied. That made me supper happy
    So now, I have 2 days of liquid left before surgery. I can totally do this!
    I am a little nervous, but I am so much more excited that I hardly notice the nervous side of me. Maybe I will break down the day before or the morning of surgery, but I really don't think so. Only time will tell. But I know for a fact that this is what God wants for my life. There is no other way things would have fallen into place so effortlessly. Between, the money being there, to the timing of my scheduling and even two of my sisters being able to come with me. Its just amazing...
    So stay tuned Ill keep you all updated. I know I have many friends who are waiting to see how everything goes and I have promised a detailed account of my time at OCC and the care I receive from Dr Ortiz and his staff.
  17. Like
    Annie04 reacted to LifetimeLoser for a blog entry, Pre op weight loss   
    So I am on the 6th day of my 7 day pre-op liquid diet. I did one week of no carbs (basically the induction phase of the south beach diet) before I started this liquid diet to ease myself into things. I lost 5 lbs on the week of no carbs and so far 7 lbs on this liquid diet. I started at 311 and I wanted to be under 300lbs by the time I went in for surgery! My first goal achieved!!!
    The liquid diet isn't so bad. I mean besides having dreams of forgetting I'm on a liquid diet and stuffing my face. One night I even had a dream that I smoked some weed and just started binge eating. Thank goodness these things were only in a dream. I haven't cheated once and am almost done. I just kept thinking, "If I can't do this for a week, then how do I expect to do this for the rest of my life." Somehow I found enough motivation to stick with it.
    Now, I'm just swimming along. "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming." And soon it will be my time to take the fall...Wednesday October 30th, 2013 is the day my life will change forever.

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