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About SueSaBelle

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  • Birthday 11/26/1969

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  1. SueSaBelle

    What is the best feedback your therapist ever gave you?

    There are two things that helped me tremendously: 1.) At my initial surgical consultation, the surgeon told me that after you gain 50 or more pounds, your body won't let you successfully lose weight without resetting your hormones. So all those times I lost weight, I was guaranteed to gain it all back and then some. Years of yo-yo dieting since I was in 7th grade added up and it wasn't because I didn't have any willpower or I needed to exercise more (I was constantly walking to train for the SGK 3 Day 60 mile events). When I heard this, I began to sob with relief from the weight being lifted off my shoulders. 2.) When I went my therapist and told her about my Mom and the constant diets I was on since middle school (even though I was the smallest girl on my volleyball team), she made me look at things differently. She said that my Mom had horrible diet advice but I needed to remember that the advice was coming from a place of love. My Mom had seen how hard it was for my Aunt growing up and she didn't want me going through that. While it was difficult to hear this, it allowed me to forgive my Mom & myself and move forward. It has allowed me to quiet that inner voice and stop beating myself up for every little thing that I perceive that isn't perfect. Losing the weight is easy, I have done it at least 10 times. Keeping it off was the hard part. By doing the "head work" I am able to identify my triggers for comfort food and do something different like walk the dog, knit to keep my hands occupied while watching a movie with the hubby and chose healthier versions like cukes when I want something crunchy. Also I allow myself to eat a craving if I really want it. 4 Doves milk chocolate squares have a certain melt in your mouth texture that I love. Other brands of chocolate aren't the same. Every day, every meal, every bite is a choice you make. They all won't be the healthiest but I make sure if I am going to waste valuable stomach space on a food, that it is worth it. My husband laughs when I spit something into a napkin because to me it isn't flavorful enough or it doesn't have the right mouthfeel - this was when I was craving vanilla bean ice cream and nothing was right. When I talk to my surgeon, he told me to have the real stuff - just limit how much. Sure enough it only took one small scoop and then I didn't touch it again. Sorry for the rambling but I hope this helps
  2. SueSaBelle

    Thermage anyone?

    One of the things I have been using is Rodan & Fields skin care line. I use to have horrible skin from years of being a millwright in a steel mill. I had sun damage, freckles, horrible acne and acne scars. I use the Reverse Lightening Regimen and have the Derma-Roller with intensive renewing Serum and my skin has improved greatly. I started using these products about 4 years ago so I was concerned that when I had WLS 17 months ago, I would develop a turkey neck like I had seen on other people. I have been fortunate that it is not that bad - my husband only sees it when I look down. Even though I am 50, I see it is tightening up so if you can work on it over time, I recommend some type of roller to use 2 times a week and a good skin care line. I even saw a video where a woman used a roller on her postpartum belly to help firm it up. Unfortunately, I have way too much excess skin for that to work so I am looking into plastics for that.
  3. I had started my WLS journey because I needed a right total hip replacement due to osteoarthritis and my ortho surgeon wanded my BMI to be under 40 before he would do it. Fast forward to the shots in my hip no longer working so I had my hip replaced on 5-29-2018. I had gastric bypass on 9-5-2018. Today I have lost 149 pounds and I am still recovering from my left total hip replacement on 1-17-2020. Recovery this time was so much easier - I was back to work in 17 days. I am still doing PT to make sure I have the proper gait and muscle recovery. I look back at pictures and think how did I walk 60 miles in 3 days with all this excess weight? Like everyone else, I only regret not doing the surgery sooner.
  4. I have told anyone and everyone. I have found the more open I am, the more I am healing mentally and emotionally. I grew up in a household where you could never be less than perfect or show the World your "dirty laundry". My mother was the only one who was against surgery despite me needing to lose weight because of having osteoarthritis and needing a right total hip replacement. She told me I needed to have more willpower and eat less. Thank goodness for therapy and research. Everyone else has been pretty great. Surgery was 9-5-2018 so Thanksgiving was when I had my first meal with my extended family. I quietly put a little bite of everything on my plate while my Mother sat next to me watching. My cousin is the one who announced loudly "Is that all you are going to eat?" despite knowing I had RNY and she works in hospital administration. Interestingly enough, my Mom responded that I could always have more but why waste overfilling my plate. My husband just smiled and said, "I get to eat her leftovers" which made everyone laugh. My husband and I go out to eat pretty often and it has become normal for us to split a dinner or I take a lot home. You learn not to be embarrassed when asked if everything was okay because you leave so much food on your plate. I always reassure the waitstaff and say that I had stomach surgery so I can't eat much. If they ask more questions, I will answer them to the best of my ability. Everyone at work has been supportive. Food gets brought in quite often and I pick and chose what is best for me and my plan. Sugar free doesn't always agree with my pouch and so sometimes I will have a few bites of something sweet. With me, I find that if I am told I can't have something, I will obsessively crave it. Often I will have a bite and it won't taste as good as I think it should so I won't eat it. I have learned that I don't have to clean my plate. People at work see the results of my choices and easily accept when I say no thank you and don't try to guilt me into eating. It probably also helps that I have also told everyone that I will be getting a left total hip replacement in January. All in all, do what is best for you. I found that as I lost weight, I became more confident with myself and my choices and other people's opinions didn't matter. The only opinion that did matter was my husband's. He found complimentary things to say when I was "morbidly obese" and still finds them now that I am "overweight". I could find many things that I don't like about my body but I chose to look at all the wonderful positive things that it allows me to do along with all the non-scale victories. And as the saying goes "what other people think of me is none of my business" - I am too busy enjoying my new life.
  5. SueSaBelle

    Medical ID Bracelets

    I ended up getting one from Lauren's Hope and use the same tag for different bracelets. Since I do some long distance training for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day, I wanted something just in case. I was able to put my name, RNY bypass with the date, Asthma, No blind NG tube, No NSAIDs, my husband's name & phone number and my doctor's phone number.
  6. SueSaBelle

    Random Rant on Love. Rambling.

    I really enjoyed reading your piece. It reminds me of what I was feeling about 9 years ago. I was 40 and my son was graduating from high school. I had been a single parent for 16 years who only dated when my son was at his father's house. Years of pressure from family to be normal - my Dad liked to say I did everything bassackwards - I got pregnant and refused to marry the father, I bought my own house and lastly got married. I believed in "soul mates" and everlasting love but still hadn't experienced it for myself. I wondered if I would ever be worthy of love and all the while my Aunt would tell me to stop worrying about it, work on loving myself and it would happen when I least expected it. I got tired of being the fifth wheel in social situations and dating was a nightmare. Needless to say, my Aunt was right. I met my husband at work - he was my partner for a few years. We would socialize on group outings so when he asked me to go to a play with him, I didn't even realize he was asking me out on a date. I was so use to being in the "friend zone" at work that it didn't register with me until he held my hand during the play. The next day I was still dazed and confused about how I felt - I never thought of him romantically and he definitely didn't fit my type. This was a good thing though. He was confident in who he was as a nerd and a father and in turn made me feel comfortable with myself. It is hard to describe that level of comfort. I didn't have to pretend to be something I am not, he liked how I looked without make-up, and didn't care how much I weighed. Over the past 7 years of marriage, his support and love have been constant through family strife and a couple of surgeries that I have had. I am no longer anxious about fitting in. I know my place is next to him and he is my best friend. Don't get me wrong - there are times when we argue and need our space. But I know that we will work things out because we do love each other and I will never doubt it. He does the quiet little things that show me his love, unlike others who have gone over the top to declare their love but don't stay true. Does it look like Hollywood ideal love? Some days it does with random dancing in the kitchen while making dinner together. Others days it's far from it with cleaning the toilet or all the other mundane household chores. Is it possible to have more than one "soul mate?" I think so but I also believe in God and that this relationship came along when it was suppose to. My husband tells me that he wishes we would have met in our twenties before he married his first wife. I tell him I love the thought but I don't think we would have appreciated each other if we met back then. Those earlier experiences helped shape who we are and what we would become. All I know is that I am grateful for him for loving me "just as I am" even though I keep changing. I hope you one day fine your "comfortable person."
  7. SueSaBelle

    Menstrual cycles

    Mine most definitely did. I use to be fairly regular (every 28 days) with heavy flows for 5 days before RNY on 9-5-2018. Now, I am very irregular with light flows and having hot flashes occasionally. Since I am 49, I have a feeling I am heading straight into menopause...yay me!
  8. SueSaBelle


    I have fallen in love with coffee again after getting the okay from my surgeon at my 3 month check up since I was getting all of my water in. I started out slowly with one cup and 2 half and half. Now at 9 months I love drinking it with my Premier protein shake. On my way to work, I drink 30 oz of water in the morning. When I get to work I have a 50/50 ratio of coffee to Premier. I no longer use half and half. I like the warm creamy vanilla taste but adore the caramel mix! And I don't have to worry about the acid in my stomach.
  9. SueSaBelle

    Let's talk about body dysmorphia

    This topic is still on my mind. FB has reminded me of where I was a year ago and I am able to look at myself and see that yes I was morbidly obese. When I compare a picture from yesterday's 15 mile training walk to a year ago when I was still recuperating from a total hip replacement, I can see what was obvious to everyone but me. I never talked about my weight since it was such a source of embarrassment and pain. Thankfully my husband sensed this and knew to never bring it up. When I did he was always supportive and even joined me in eating healthy. He has really helped me when it comes to the mental aspect of losing weight. For example, a few years ago we went to an amusement park with our middle child and friends to celebrate their high school graduation. They took off and my husband and I made our way to a roller coaster. When we sat down and I couldn't get the bar to lock, I was shocked. I was mortified when I realized that I had to get up in front of all those people waiting in line. I could feel the judgey comments and disparaging remarks being muttered under their breath. My husband just got up and said this ride hurts my back - let's get out of here and go to the casino. Yesterday, he asked if I wanted to go back to the amusement park with the kids. While I told him yes, I also explained to him that our daughter wouldn't be able to fit any more because of her weight gain, even though she has a different body shape ( I am an apple and she gained hers in her bottom half and our daughter needed a seat belt extender on the last air flight). I explained that I don't want her to have to go through the same experience and how much I loved him for the way he reacted. I have vowed to keep taking pictures of myself and looking at myself in the mirror when I step out of the shower. I can see the flaws but then I remind myself that this body has been through some trials and allows me to do some amazing things that I couldn't have done a year ago. When the BMI chart had my doctor telling me I need to lose another 71 lbs, I laughed. Here is why: my job requires me to lift 50-100 lbs. I have been doing this for over 23 years. I have some muscle on me under all the fat. I showed him a picture of my coworker who is 5' 8" and weighs 180 lbs. She doesn't have an ounce of fat on her but is considered overweight, borderline obese. My surgeon understood that I will not be going by his chart. I will continue to follow my program and do the activities I love but I will not stress about getting down to a number on a scale. I want to be healthy and active, not sickly and weak just to say I can fit in a size 2 jeans. With my personality and competitiveness, I could easily fixate on that but it wouldn't be healthy for me. I don't have to have an "all or nothing" mentality. It can be one day at a time, making a healthy choice for that day. Because soon all those tiny individual choices add up to positive changes.
  10. SueSaBelle

    Let's talk about body dysmorphia

    I was glad to stumble onto this topic. I have always found that I have denied how big or small I was. What makes me even angrier is looking back at my 7th grade picture I was the smallest girl on my volleyball team but my Mom made me feel like I was a whale with her comments and way of dieting. I realize that she loves me in her own way but her diet information was never good. I think it caused me to become an emotional eater which compounded problems. So how do you change 35 years of negative voices in your head that resemble your parents? Phrases like " You look wonderful in your bridesmaid dress but if you lost some weight, you would be stunning" (Dad) or "Men don't marry fat women so you better lose that weight" (Mom). It takes a therapist telling you that certain behaviors I grew up with were actually emotional abuse. It takes a husband who loves you no matter how much you weigh telling you over and over again that your Mother isn't always right. It is the realization that every morning I wake up, I no longer have that deep bone achiness and pain that I was use to and thought was normal. It comes from facing 50 and realizing that I will never become the tight toned 20 something that I could be if I just lost the extra weight. I know that life is always going to have problems and losing weight will not make them all magically go away. I have a ways to go but I am trying to be realistic about my weight loss and being happy and loving with myself as a person who is aging. I truly think coming here and reading about everyone else's experiences helps. I know that I am not alone. This article was very interesting to me: https://www.thecut.com/2013/11/what-no-one-tells-you-about-dramatic-weight-loss.html
  11. SueSaBelle


    My husband was against it until I needed a total hip replacement due to Stage 4 osteoarthritis at age 48. What really sealed the deal is when we went for the initial consultation and the surgeon explained how when our bodies reach a certain point they fight losing weight and how bad yo-yo dieting is and no matter how much you diet, it is not your fault that you can't lose weight. I began to cry when I heard that. For years my mother told me, "If you had more willpower, you could lose the weight." It really upset my husband to see me cry, because he thought I was generally happy and he never really noticed my extra weight. Since then, he has been 100% on board and my biggest help with the mental and emotional aspects of losing weight. He combats the negative voices in my head and I am learning that I am worth self-love.
  12. SueSaBelle

    Favorite non scale victory

    My favorite NSV was when my husband and I went to the new Little Ceaser's Arena for Pink's concert. I had never been but many people told me how small the seats were which became a huge anxiety fixation. Everyone knows that feeling...well my husband sat down first and had to squeeze in because in the first row of mezzanine the drink holders were on the arms of the seats and made it even more of a tight squeeze. He told me, "I don't know, honey, if I had to squeeze in, it might be tougher for you." I SLIDE IN EASILY AND HAD SPARE ROOM IN MY SEAT!!!!! I could even cross my legs in my seat. Yes, it was an amazing feeling to let all of the anxiety and stress go and enjoy Pink's amazing performance. My husband even apologized - he knew I weighed less then him now but that really demonstrated it.
  13. SueSaBelle

    Energy level?

    I was still tired after 2 plus months out from surgery so at my 3 month post check up, my surgeon had me start taking B12 (5000 mg) daily along with the once-a-week nasal spray he prescribed. What a huge difference that made!!! I finally felt like my old self. I used the Kirkland brand from Costco that was cherry flavored. At my 6 month check up, he told me to use it every other day since my levels were high. This doesn't harm you because B12 is water soluble and you pee out any extra but why waste money.
  14. SueSaBelle

    Insurance covered vitamins?

    I have. My surgeon prescribed the B12 nasal spray for once a week and I also get my Bariactiv Iron, Multi-vitamin and Calcium + D3 & Magnesium for free. They are chewables and taste horrible if I do chew them. I am able to suck on them and they are much more tolerable. I figure I can put on my big girl panties and deal with the taste in order to save over $70 a month in vitamins.
  15. SueSaBelle

    Roller Coasters?!

    I am also looking forward to riding roller coasters again. I know when I last went to Universal, I weighed 260 and have an apple shape. I was able to fit, but it was still embarrassing to have to smoosh myself in. This summer coming up the Hubby and I are definitely going to Cedar Point. Then my niece who was in the Disney College Program wants us to go there for Halloween and if I travel to Florida, I definitely have to return to Diagon Alley!