Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A year later

A year ago I was just 4 weeks away from my surgery.  I can't even begin to explain just how much my life has changed.  I'm going to try my best to share all the marvelous things I have experienced.

This post was supposed to wait until my actual Surgiversary but today I hit a HUGE milestone.  I am finally in Onderland.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with what that means, my weight is in the 100's.  When I woke up this morning I weighed in at 200.00 lbs.  After a long poo and stripping off all my clothes I weighed in at 198.9.  If I wasn't so sick from this head cold I would of screamed.  I am literally almost half the woman I was a year ago.

So besides the numbers on the scale what else has changed?

1.  For starters my clothes size.  I started out in a 28/30.  Today I fluctuate between a 10-14.  It's a funny thing actually,  This is the only group of sizes I have found to be so different.  When I was a size 20 I was a firm 20, same goes for every size from 16 and up.  A size 10-14 is a funny thing.  Some size 10s fit me awesome while others won't go over my thighs.  Some size 14s just fit and some fall right off.  I am officially in a size of clothes that I can't leach off my friends.  That feels weird.  I actually have to start buying clothes.  Thank goodness for Goodwill.

2.  My self confidence is through the roof.  I still have my insecure moments but at this point I see them as being normal.  I no longer hold my head down when I walk.  I know I am full of awesome and finally no one has to remind me of that.  I can thank my awesome online and real life support system for helping me realize just how much I rock!

3.  I have a job.  I stand on my feet for 9 hours a day and I freaking love it.  Most people would consider my job mediocre, but I love it.  I couldn't ask for a better work environment and I really feel good about what I do.  Plus it's like getting paid to work out.  You could ask for more?

4.  My friends.  The people I talked to prior to WLS aren't really around anymore.  Some have faded away for various reasons.  Some I had to release because I realized just how toxic they were for me.  I no longer have the patience for drama or negativity.  The people I now consider my friends compliment me in every way as I hopefully do them.  I value my friendships more than ever and maybe it's because I'm finally at a place in my life where I can see just how much we mean to each other.  Some of my closest friends I have never met face to face.  Its amazing how close you can be to people on the other side of the continent.  We fight the same battles and hold the same values.  My in person friends mean just as much to me.  My friends mean the world to me.  Thats not something I could of said a year ago.

5.  My family.  Family has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  The support they have shown me through the past year means so much.  They have never failed to lift me up whenever I've needed it.  My immediate family has shown me what it's really meant to be loved.  I couldn't wake up every day without knowing they have my back.  Through thick and thin they have shown me just how unconditional their love is.  We are closer than we've ever been.  I have no doubt that what our relationships lacked was hugely my fault.  I kept myself excluded from family activities and relationships.  My brothers wedding was a huge turning point for me when it came to how I interacted with those that mean so much to me.  It was the first time I saw just how much my energy had to do with how I enjoyed social family situations.

6.  My posture.  As silly as this might sound this is big for me.  I never realized how hunched over I was.  I stand straighter, sit straighter and my back thanks me for it.  It takes some getting used to but every day I make it a point to check how I"m sitting and standing.

7.  My energy level is amazing.  I never thought I would feel this active.  I can't sit still.  I go for walks in the morning and I'm almost ready to start jogging.  My ten year old thinks this is awesome.  He joins me for my morning walks most of the time and honestly it is the best quality time I could ask for.  We talk, we share and we enjoy the silent.

8.  Lastly the scale.  I can't wrap my head around what it says to me.  198lbs.... I know I still have plenty of weight to lose but honestly if I didn't lose another lb I would be happy right where I am.  To me 198lbs is heaven.

Sharing this past year on my blog has been quite the experience.  I still plan on posting although I can tell you now that sitting still long enough to type all of this out is hard.  If I'm not working the last place I want to be is tied down to my computer chair.  The best way I think to get updates at this point is my Facebook page.  I won't completely abandoned this blog though.  I still have a ton of reviews to post.  Hopefully the next thing I'll be posting is new pictures.  I look awesome and it's about time I share.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Blame Game

My whole life I've been able to blame my weight on a lot of my problems.  Everything from problems with jobs and relationships to problems with daily life and responsibilities.  Think about it, at 379lbs I wheezed when I just sat still, walking was a chore and no matter how clean I was it was hard to keep giant fat rolls from creating a small past mid-day.  My main focus was food so when given a job to do all I could think about was the next break I could grab and what I could eat.  I was always tired because even if I used my CPAP machine my sleep apnea was so severe that I never slept peacefully.  I would fall asleep in the middle of the day doing tasks at the computer because my body was so tired from the restless sleep apnea brings.  

Now at 200lbs I'm still "a big girl" but no where near as big as I was at 379lbs.  My sleep apnea is almost resolved and I can actually get a decent nights sleep, this means no more falling asleep while doing simple tasks.  I can run and go anywhere without running out of breath.  I don't wheeze when speaking to someone nor do I mouth breath anymore.  My confidence is at an all time high and I approach life's situations with a new outlook.  My weight is no longer an excuse.

Thinking about the fact that my weight isn't at the forefront of my life anymore I applied to jobs.  Better than applying I scored a job!  I could of easily found a desk job that had me sitting all day, but I didn't want that.  I wanted a job that keeps me moving, on my feet and interacting with customers. I wanted flexible hours and a great staff.  I found all that and more.  I work at WAWA!  Those of you on the East coast will know exactly what I'm talking about and why I'm so excited.  Those of you who don't know, I highly suggest on your next trip out this way you seek one out.  Wawa is a deli/convenience store with superior customer service and atmosphere.  I have friends who move away from them and have their coffee and products shipped to them.

As far as a weight update goes, I'm bouncing between 200 and 210.  I hope it's not the end of the road for me (and I doubt it is) but regardless of what the scale says I feel fantastic!  Today I even had my 10 year old jog with me.  We watched The Fat Boy Chronicles together for motivation and he's going to be joining me on my morning jogs for now on.

In the next few days be on the look out for my favorite new product!  I had the amazing opportunity to review Oh Yeah! protein drinks and I am blown away by them.  I'm waiting to hear back to see if I can do a give away with my review before I post.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Next stop, RELIEF!

When I first thought about starting a blog I promised myself I wouldn't hide the uglies when I blogged.

You see WLS comes with many pretties: 
Losing weight
Feeling fantastic
New clothes
The look on peoples faces
The amazing food I get to eat
The wonderful people I've met
The list could go on...

This comes with a price though.  Some of the uglies:
The vitamin regimen
Constant lab work
Saggy skin
Losing clothes you love
Losing friends because they can't handle your success
Body dis-morphia
Constipation due to vitamin supplements (this is my biggest ugly)

So in full disclosure and I warn you now this is about to get really ugly.  

Calcium sucks.  So does iron but that's another post.  Adding just one to my vitamins makes my insides turn to concrete right away.  I take an insane amount of calcium.  Right now my dosage is 600mg 3 x a day.  Thats 6 300mg pills a day.  Remember that I don't absorb most of the fat I eat so when dealing with constipation adding a healthy dose of fat can keep things moving.  With that in mind here's what I've added to my day to try and combat the constipation ugly:
A full tablespoon of Virgin Coconut Oil in my coffee with full fat creamer (I drink two cups of this a day)
A prune with each calcium dose
A magnesium oxide (140 mg) with each calcium dose (2 of these with my morning dose)
I eat my weight in fat, at least 2 sticks of butter a day and as much bacon as I can handle.
I try to add as much healthy fiber to my diet as possible.

Even with those precautions I still get stopped up when I take just a few of my calcium's. So what do I do?  I've researched, whined and complained on the forums and finally gave in and bought a giant bottle of Miralax.  Why Miralax?  This is how it was explained to me. It pulls water into your intestines and helps gently flush everything out and keeps things moving.  It's safer and gentler long term than stool softeners.  Up until today I've been living on enemas and misery.  I know I need my calcium so I have to find something that works.   Today shall start "The Great Miralax Experiment".  I'll make sure I keep you updated to see how this will play out.  Hopefully this will be the trick into keeping this look on my face:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's talk bread

I was once a lover of bread.

Crusty Italian bread,
Tender French bread,
Spinach dipping bowls made out of bread,
Warm fresh Ciabatta bread,
Chunks of bread dipped in Italian oils.

In other words if it was made with flour I was in love.

Then I had my surgery.....
A lover of bread I am no more.  
By choice really.  

I know plenty of WLSers who hunt for their perfect loaf that will not cause gas or bloating just to enjoy a slice.  Honestly, that gets expensive.  I've seen loaves of bread that are advertised as carb friendly for as high as $13.00 (no that's not a typo).

If and when I do crave bread now, I eat a bite.  
A bite.  
No more, no less.  
It satisfies my craving and it's enough for me to move on from it.  I hope I'm able to continue this although I know this might not always be true.  I don't crave bread the way I used to, so right now it's not too hard for me.

My family is full of bread lovers, mostly my son.  I find myself scouting out the best and cheapest varieties for him.  His diet is simple, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or additives, no MSG or nitrates either.  Because of health and food needs we are a label reading family.  Because of this I ran into something amazing I couldn't help but share.

This has everything we look for in a bread at only $2.00 a loaf!  My favorite part?  Should I want to indulge in a few bites there is only 11.5 net carbs a slice (label reads as a 2 slice serving, minus the fiber), and to top it off the kid loves it!  It also doesn't bother my tummy one bit.  After one slice I have had no gas, no anything.

I couldn't help but share this!  Finding a bread that is easy for our tummies to handle and doesn't push us over the carb limit is so hard.  Just please remember, sometimes my tummy decides to play "made of steel", just because it isn't a bother to me doesn't mean it won't bother you.  This is true for every food and every WLSer in every stage.  We vary in tastes, capacity, and mileage.  

This loaf was given to me from a friend who noticed the carb count and thought I would enjoy it, but I vow that on tomorrows grocery trip I will be hunting this down. 

Arnold Soft Family Honey Wheat (No Artificial Colors, Flavors or High Fructose Corn Syrup)!
(Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I was trying to hurry)

I know the label is hard to read so check out what I grabbed from their site below

List of ingredients from their site Arnold Bakery:



Friday, April 27, 2012

I gained some and I lost some

I'm almost 10 months post-op.  I've learned a lot in these past few months.  I've also lost a lot.

I've learned that friends come and go but family (blood or bond) will stick with you forever.
I've learned that I know nothing close to what I thought I knew.  Each and every day is a learning experience whether it's about Weight Loss Surgery or life in general.
I've learned to love my body no matter what misshapen form it may take on.  Right now I look like a deflated Macys balloon, but put on some clothes and I look like a million bucks!
I've learned that love knows no bounds.

I've lost a few friends along this journey and I miss them dearly but sticking up for myself and my beliefs are something that is easier to do now.  No matter what the circumstance I have finally learned that it is not ok to be trampled on or under appreciated.

My biggest accomplishment?  I've lost 175lbs!

My hair is finally starting to grow back!  See:

What you can't see is my "new growth" that takes me about half an hour to tame.  But it finally looks a bit fuller :)

Here is my most recent before and after for those keeping track :
Yellow shirt June, 2011 @ 379lbs / Purple shirt April, 2012 @205lbs

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Speaking Out

We finally were able to find a decent car at a decent price.  That meant a whole lot of running around and doing errands yesterday. It also meant seeing a lot of people some of which I've never met and some of whom by chance got to see my old ID.  These stories are worth sharing and this was the first place I thought of.

For me speaking out about my weight loss is easy.  I don't think twice about it.  Some of the "vetts" who have had this surgery far longer than I taught me that speaking out and paying it forward is the best thing I can do.  Because of them I've even gone as far as print up full color business cards as my "before" picture for moments just like the ones below.  As soon as I can snap a good picture of them I'll post them on my Facebook Fan Page for you to see.

My first trip yesterday was to the insurance company to give them a copy of the title for my new car so I could head to DMV and get it registered.  I love my insurance company.  They are sweet, always remember who I am and probably the chattiest bunch of kind women I have ever met.  One of them in particular always remembers who I am and it never fails to make me feel special.  She always remembers who I was until yesterday that is.  I haven't seen them since August, and even then I think she had off for the day, so I haven't seen her in probably a year.  Yesterday she had a full conversation with me and had no clue who I was until she heard my name and her jaw dropped to the floor.  I spent the next half hour with some of the women from the insurance company crowded around to hear all about my surgery and I even passed on my "before and during" card.  I don't know that I made a difference with any of them per say but even if in passing they mention it to a friend who contemplates it or what I had to say simply lowered the stigma of WLS in general than I did my job.    Not to mention the flattery that comes along with someone being so shocked to see the new you.  I absolutely love it and I'm finally starting to get used to the compliments.

Next, I stopped by my dads house to grab him so he could keep me company on my all day adventure and while I was there he had an old family friend there who hasn't seen me in ages although has been following my updates on Facebook.  The look on her face when I walked in is what I live for!  I wanted to squeeze her and never let go.  My favorite comment?  "You look like you're already at 150lbs" Bless her heart! Thank you "S" for making my day!

My last and final trip of amazement believe it or not was the Department of Motor Vehicles.  They wanted to confiscate my license because I was over due for a new picture!  This of course led to a whole conversation with the picture ladies who I also ended up passing my card onto.  I love when I leave a place such as a store or office and as I'm leaving, after the conversation of my weightloss is over I still here on the way out "Keep it up girl!" and "Congratulations!".  By the time I made it home last night I was on cloud 9.

My lesson in all of this is, don't be afraid to be open about you're surgery.  You never could imagine the way a few compliments from a stranger or a conversation with an old friend will make you feel but better yet how great it will make them feel.  You don't have to take it to the lengths I have by blogging.  Sometimes just a little info for someone who has never heard of your surgery or met someone with WLS can be the encouragement someone needs to start taking control of their own life.  I wish I would of met someone who had WLS years ago, maybe I wouldn't of waited so long.

Friday, March 30, 2012

10 lbs of Patience

( SCHOOLS DONE!!!!!  Well ok, almost done.  I have a week worth of tests and then I'm DONE!!!!  Which means, coming back to my blog and no more empty promises of posts.  )

I feel like I can't escape the dreaded ten lbs.

I've always been a weigher.  I was warned this was a bad idea and for some I've seen first hand how bad of an idea it can be, for me thought this whole DS experience has felt like a science experiment.  I weigh every day sometimes twice a day.  I can't imagine not weighing everyday.  I like to see how what I eat, how I move, and where my cycle is changes what I weigh at any given time.  I'm also such a huge loser that my 2 month long stall didn't even freak me out.  It almost felt like a mini vacation if that makes sense.  When I lose everyday my body almost feels tired.  Plus when I stall I almost always go down in a size or two and imho losing inches is far more satisfying than losing lbs sometimes.

I feel like 10lbs is this revolving goal.  I couldn't help but laugh about it this morning.  First it was 10 lbs or more that Greenbaum wanted me to lose before my surgery date.  Then I was waiting on the edge of my seat for 10 more lbs until I hit under 200lbs.  Then the tension in my house could be felt as I waited patiently for the last 10lbs before I hit The Century Club.  NOW I wait again for the last 10lbs before I'm in ONDERLAND!!! I'm not rushing it, right now I'm in a losing streak and for the past week have been averaging about a loss of 1 - 1.5 lbs a day.  Even if I stall thats ok too, I'm about to ovulate and that sometimes puts me in a little bit of a stall.

I say this every time I hit a "milestone", if I don't lose another lb I'd be happy where I am right now.  I weigh 209. 20freaking9.  I haven't weight that since I was a teenager.  More importantly I have NEVER felt this awesome in my life.  I also have to admit that I'm a bit scared of what seeing a 1 in front of my weight is going to feel like.  I don't ever remember seeing that.  I'm nervous and excited all at the same time.

One of the ways I help keep track of my weight is a nifty little app on my Android.  Check out my chart:

As of this morning:

HW: 379lbs (6/2011)
SW: 360lbs (7/11/11)
CW: 209lbs (3/30/12)
GW: 150lbs

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