Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Review

Yesterday upon arriving home from the dentist and running a few errands I found a mysterious box on my doorstep.  Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found 5 bottles of the coveted DaVinici Sugar Free Syrups that I've heard so much about from my favorite forum at I couldn't wait to break one open and try some.  Since it was nearing time for my dinner shake of my liquid diet I figured why not go for my all time favorite drink Kahlua and Cream!

I was not disappointed.    

I used:
4 ice cubes
12 oz. of water

I blended everything on high until it was nice and frothy, which tends to be more filling, which is a great tip when all you get to eat is 3 shakes a day.  Then I sipped, then I licked my fingers, then the spoon I used to scrape the sides of the blender and had my DP not have stopped me I may have even licked the inside of the blender. Let me tell you, I was in heaven.  When I first ordered the flavors from Dr. Greenbaum I had only grabbed a few vanilla because It doesn't tend to be my favorite flavor.  Oy Vey I wish I had gotten more vanilla.  Mixing vanilla with these wonderful syrups really gives me a whole new variety of drinks to choose from.  

One of the most interesting and delightful things I noticed was that I didn't even realize it was sugar free!  I tend to be very sensitive to sugar substitutes.  I can taste the chemical after taste even with something as simple as Splenda, not so with this syrup.  I had no chemical aftertaste.  I actually felt as if I had cheated on my liquid diet. 

I can't wait to try the other flavors and I promise to not just let you know how they go but for the pre-op's dealing with a liquid diet I'll see if I can dig up some friendly recipes to go with them. 

Whether your on a liquid diet, or need a kick for your protein shakes, grab some.  You won't be disappointed.  Your taste buds will thank me.  And when you realize that chugging down the things we need just got a little bit easier, let me know.  I love to see the love spread around!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 4

Sometimes coming up with a good blog title can be daunting.  Since today is day 4 of my liquid diet I decided to go with the obvious .  And since I have no suggestions for today's blog here just a run down of what's been going on in the Vanishing Household. 

On day four of my liquid diet I'm still ready to rip heads off and have even thought about cheating but who the hell am I kidding?  This is for me!  I've worked to hard to give up now.  Thanks to my wonderful DP I've been able to stay relatively on track.  In an effort to help her own weight loss she's cutting out all carbs which really helps me.  We've been cheering each other on.  I want to chew, and no gum doesn't help.  I want to chew, swallow, and feel satisfied.  I want to taste a juicy rubbed steak and pick gristle out of my teeth.  Soon enough, soon enough.

Good news for today is that I received my shipment of samples from DaVinci that I will start sampling tomorrow for my first "Wednesday Review".  I think I'm going to try the Kahlua sample first.  Check it out!  I was so excited to find this at my doorstep today!

That's all for today.  I was going to go crawl into my hole and be miserable, but I think I'm going to go for a walk instead.  

Dr. Grenbaum and The Vanishing Sisters

[EDIT: this was written on Monday but I had to wait until Tuesday to post, expect more rambling from me later today!]

Today I met what I will affectionately call the Vanishing Sisters.  They are the nurses and program advisors for the Bariatric Program for Dr. Greenbaum.  I never really spoke to much about my surgeon so lets start off with that.

Dr. Greenbaum

I've been interested in WLS for years but the time and place and situations never seemed right.  About six months ago I had an appointment with my Primary Care Doctor (PCP) who said that if I didn't do something drastic my pre-diabetes would turn into full blown with little help of diet in a matter of just a few months.  My father was and still is recovering from a massive heart attack that should of left him dead 2 years ago, he is my biggest inspiration.  Taking these things into consideration I decided Fuck it, lets do this!  I diligently searched and and consulted with my insurance company.  Through them I found Dr. David Greenbaum (also his profile on OH).  Not only are his past patients a great dedication to a wonderful surgeon and bariatric program but everything I have read about and heard about this man is wonderful.  He comes highly recommended and his stats are amazing.  No he is not "God" but I've heard his hands are like magic once he opens you up.  His after care is also phenomenal!  He follows his patients very closely and makes himself available to us for anything we need.  So now that I've told you about the amazing surgeon I was dying to meet you have to hear the kicker.  The best part, the part that made all of this seem worth it, his office is 5 minutes from my house!  I've heard of people traveling to him from other states, driving for hours on end just to use him.  He's 5 minutes from me!  That among so many other things made me feel like this was meant to be.

The Vanishing Sisters

Yesterday was pretty normal, routine pre admission testing things.  Some blood work, a chest x-ray, vitals.  I actually ran into an old friend, it was soo nice to see her.  She is and always will be one of the only phlebotomists who can draw my blood without any pain and actually get my veins to work.  Seeing a familiar face also put me at ease a little bit. When that was all done I had my bariatric class.  This was fun!  I am an over-preparer.  I had literature that they didn't even have.  I had information stored in my noggin they had expected to teach me.  All thanks to the wonderful people over at .  They had me prepped and ready to go.  TinaMarie actually liked one of the packages I had so much she copied it for herself.  I still managed to learn alot though.  I learned about the tubes and drains (which I already knew but never saw) and a Novocaine pump for the suture line.  We ended up just reviewing what I already knew and chit chatting for the time we had. Once we were done with TinaMarie and Debbie We were introduced to one of the Prepare for Surgery volunteers.  She was WONDERFUL! She gave us our book and a relaxation CD and a "happy stone".

Not only do I feel confident and more relaxed about my surgery but I feel confident about my support system.  They talked to my DP like she was part of the team and actually had some things for her to sign.  Now I just have to wait these two weeks, It's like the last two weeks of your due date when your pregnant.  No matter what you do to speed things up it just won't happen until it's time and it seems to take forever.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Would you like your torture Shaken or Stirred?

WARNING: I will complain, I will bitch, I hold nothing back.  I am a food addict.  This is withdraw.  By Tuesday I should be back to my normal happy self but in the meantime...... deal with it!

Day  2 of my liquid diet and I have to disagree with who ever came up with this idea.  It's not horrible as in there's no way I can do it.  It is horrible in the way that I'd rather have my teeth pulled with no Novocaine and rusty dental equipment.  

Thank Goodness for my mother who happened to have sugar free syrups to make this a little more interesting.  So far I've been able to turn my banana shakes into 'Banana Fosters', my chocolate shakes into 'Chocolate Raspberry Truffles', and my vanilla shakes into 'Irish Cream Heaven'.  Ohh don't forget my lavish chicken broth that I have seasoned with every type of salt and pepper concoction I can come up with. This coupled with long naps to combat the lack of energy I'm feeling and this short term liquid diet is totally livable.  Let's just hope my sunny disposition is just as cheery this time next week.

To combat the blues and the lack of explosions on my taste buds I have made my lemon water a staple.  It's half pure lemon juice, half water poured over as many ice cubes as I can fit in a 16oz tumbler.  I like my lemon water.  No, let me rephrase that, I LOVE my lemon water!  It's such a nice pick me up.

To start my official countdown I've added a ticker tot he top of my blog.  Now you can count down with my too!

Now that wasn't too bad, was it?  I complained and maybe even went a little over board but nothing my favorite people couldn't handle.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I'm writing this on a Saturday because last night I grabbed the midget and decided to spend time at my moms for the weekend.  My partner had other family obligations and I have to admit, she was right.  She told me to use this weekend to spend quality time with my family.  As much as I would of loved her here to enjoy the weekend with us, this has really given me time to reconnect with my mom.  We had my celebratory Last Night o' Food and munchies.  My mom and step-dad treated us to some Mexican, and for dessert, a smoothie for me, and some ice cream for the rest of the bunch.  I of course came home (well to her house) and almost collapsed from all the food I ate.  It was a great ending to a great day. 

My mom lives in the woods.  

No really, I mean the woods, like Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs woods.

Nothing spells relaxing than the sound of nothing but trees and birds.

Her house is nicely tucked away and behind her house is a clearing with trees and plenty of woodland animals to make you feel like you steped into the story of Red Ridinghood.  It's relaxing, calm and the perfect start to my liquid diet.  I was totally apprehensive of coming here to start this. I have recently quit smoking, my monthly friend should be here by tomorrow and I just had to say good bye to my soul mate (food).  I had wanted to curl into a ball, put some Netflix on with my headphones and not leave the bed all weekend.  I'm glad I have family who pushes me.  My mom played guilt trip until I agreed to come and I am grateful for every minute of it.  I can go out on her deck and listen to the trees, or I can curl up on her couch with her and watch some QVC (hey, don't judge us), or I can sit at her kitchen table with an awesome view of everything that is calm.  Not to mention I made sure I packed my xanex for the tough moments.  Plus this isn't really good bye to food.  Since I chose the DS it's more like "I'll see you later good friend" My diet post surgery won't be restrictive like some of the other weight loss surgeries.  I'll be able to eat all I love again, it's just a matter of time. 

This is the perfect ending to a near perfect week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I thrive for schedules

I need a schedule for everything.  I've always thrived this way, and as my mother can tell you without a schedule I can not function.  My blog should be no different.  Starting next week my blog schedule will be as follows:

Monday - A day to learn, this will consist of an article, a news source, or something of educational information about WLS or healthy living in general.
Tuesday - Tell me Tuesdays will be a post of suggestions from my audience.  Until my audience grows I'll be asking loved ones for suggestions.  Maybe it's a recipe you want me to try out or a specific topic that would be interesting to write about.  As long as it involves WLS or healthy living it counts!
Wednesday -  This will be my product review days.  I've already been contacted by a few companies who are popular in the WLS community that will be sending me samples to try out and review.  This should be fun and will kick off the ground more once I'm a few weeks post-op.
Thursday - I need a day to ramble and Thursdays will be it.  It will also be my day of rest.  If you ever expect to not see a post from me expect it to be on a Thursday. However since I like to talk a lot (well, type I guess) I will probably find something to bore you with. I've contemplated making it confession Thursdays.  We'll see about this one.
Friday - Week in review.  How was your week?  I'd love to hear from you and I promise to share all of my nitty gritty details with you. 
Saturday and Sunday - Why would you really be reading this on a weekend?  I can't be the only one without a life.  But if you really want to hang out with me I can make this a recipe post. 

Tonight I will be making banners.  A few for me and one for a company that has won my heart.  See you tomorrow!

But I like my food crunchy!

Well guys and gals, this is it!  Saturday morning I officially start my liquid diet.  I get to drink all of these for the next 14 days!

They asked me what flavors I preferred and I picked chocolate and banana although I think I should of thrown some more strawberry in there too.  Honestly though, no matter what flavor I got it's not going to be fun.  Hopefully with a little bit of DaVinci's syrup I can try and make it fun!

What I thought was a pre-op class wasn't.  My class will be on Monday starting at 8:30 for testing.  The appointment I had yesterday was a pre-op appointment with my surgeon Dr. Greenbaum.

For those curious about the brand of shakes I'll be drinking here is the nutritional information.  I'm about to do some of my school work and when I'm done I'm going to make a list of topics and what days I'll post so that I can spread the information out rather than bombard you all at once.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
Follow the Yellow Brick, Follow the Yellow Brick,
Follow the Yellow Brick Road.

We're off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.
Because of the wonderful things he does.
We're off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Now that you have that song stuck in your head I'll continue :)

But that's how I'm feeling today. Tomorrow is my pre-surgery class.  I'm more than anxious, I'm nervous.  I've learned so much over the past six months from the forums over at that for me to have to "learn" more is scary.  What couldn't I know?  Is there something I could of missed?  What if the information I'm going to learn is different than what I already know? Do I have room in my head for new information?  Shit, what about the list of questions I've been meaning to gather to take with me?!  I am so unprepared, well not really but thats how I feel.

Tomorrow I also get my pre-surgery liquid diet.  I don't start it until the 27th which means the next few days are going to be spent doing what every fat person does best, eating my fricken heart out.  Probably not the healthiest thing in the world, but a liquid diet for 2 weeks is a big deal for me.  After my surgery my liquid diet will continue until my tummy is healed.  Dr. Greenbaum (my surgeon) will keep me on a semi-liquid diet for the first few weeks.  Translation: Nothing super yummy for over a month.  Oh yeah the next few days are going to be filled with calorie fun!

I can't wait to return with tons of more WLS information to fill your heads with.  Wish me luck!


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Diet

I'll be 31 this year and I can safely say that the number of diets I've tried rival the amount of years I've been around.

To name a few there was:
Richard Simmons (who to this day is my favorite)
Weight Watchers
OA (it's a way of life, not a diet)
The Lemonade Diet
Jenny Craig
The Popsicle Diet (totally  made of by me and it was one of the best)
South Beach
and the Google Diets which consist of every combination of things I could find through Google including starvation. 

Writing all the means of torture I have put myself through is important. It helps to make it clear that WLS is not the easy way out.  Nor is it the Cure-All.  In order to get to this point in my life I needed to really try my hardest at everything else.  What I learned from those attempts is that I can easily lose the weight I need to be healthy, however keeping it off is another story.  I won't lie to you and tell you that these things are out of my control because they're not, I just need a little bit of help in that department.  To put it simply, I am unable to continue living the way I would need to stay at a healthy weight without some form of extreme intervention.  And that's what the DS is for me.  I will still need to "diet", but with my DS it will be different.  I will still need to watch what I eat, but with the DS I will have a tool that will assist me.

How will things be different?  I know your curious because frankly I was too.  At first I couldn't figure out why anyone would want to put themselves through major surgery willingly.  So here's the breakdown. 

First, absorption: 

Carbs, which are no good for us even with a normal stomach and intestinal track with can do more than make losing weight hard post DS.  Although eating simple carbs are not unheard of after my surgery they can make me gassy, bloated and plain uncomfortable if I over do it.  Complex carbs are normally tolerated. 

Fats, which are bad for you, will be good for me!  I will only absorb about 20% of fats.  Fats will be critical for my survival and healthy digestive system.  Constipated?  Try some bacon to lube things up!  As a matter of fact my diet will consist of a fat filled, high protein diet. I wouldn't suggest putting a straw in a bucket of bacon grease but just try to imagine if that cheesy, greasy hamburger was 80% fat free without taking away the taste? 

Protein, has always had a special place in my heart.  I would take a big juicy steak over a piece of chocolate cake any day!  Post-DS I will have to pack on the protein and diet won't be enough.  From what I've been able to learn from everyone who is already years out of surgery is that protein shakes will play a major role in my life for the rest of my life no matter how much protein I am already consuming.  Whey protein will help keep my energy up more so than all the protein I'll be able to get from food. 

Next Malnorishment:

Since I'll still have a portion of my stomach and I will still have my large intestines I will be able to absorb some things.  But just like I will be missing 80% of the fat I eat , the same thing holds true for other vitamins and nutrients.  Because I will be severely malnourished I will need a regimen of vitamins and supplements in order to survive.  The absorption rate varies per breakdown so the supplement list is pretty intense.  A full copy of supplements with more info can be found at and through Vitalady . As much as I would love to copy and paste what Vitaladys regimens are, I won't because she truly deserves the time it takes to click on her link.  Do check it out though.  It's pretty intense but following her regimens are critical to a healthy body.  There are also labs to be done every 3-6 months, following a strict vitamin regimen can help narrow down where you may need help if anything should ever fall low.

Ta Ta For Now as my favorite Tigger would say.  My Pre-op Class is on Wednesday and I have tons to prepare for!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

All about the Dark Side

Humorously dubbed the Dark Side by fellow forum users the DS can seem complicated to those who are new to WLS.  It is the most restrictive, and malnourishing surgery available.  I once thought this was reserved for the Severely Obese but I've seen quite a few people who are of the smaller variety use this surgery to it's full potential.

I am going to be stealing facts figures and wording from DS Facts .  This is One of the most informative and thorough website you'll find on my surgery. 

First the procedure.  This was the most important part for me to learn early on since this is what my innards will look like once everything is all said and done.

One of the key things for me is that your keeping your Pylorus Valve.  This is important for a number of reasons, mainly it prevents you from what is called Dumping Syndrome.  Imagine having a piece of candy only to be visited for the next few hours from nausea, vomiting, sweats and horrible gas.  That's what happens when your missing your pylorus valve. I want to keep mine. 

From the website:
"Approximately 70% of the stomach is removed along the greater curvature, also called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). The remaining stomach is fully functioning, banana shaped and about 3 - 5 oz in size which restricts the amount you can consume. The pylorus continues to control the stomach emptying into the small intestine; as a result patients do not experience "dumping". The upper portion of the duodenum remains in use; food digests to an absorbable consistency in the stomach before moving into the small intestine. This allows for better absorption of nutrients like vitamin B12, calcium, iron and protein when compared to gastric bypass procedures."

"The intestines are switched so that food from the stomach and the digestive juices travel separate paths and don't mix until they meet up towards the end of the small intestine.
The alimentary limb carries the food.
The biliopancreatic limb carries the bile and digestive juices.
The common channel, also known as the common tract or common limb, is the point from where the alimentary and biliopancreatic limbs meet in the small intestine to where they move into the large intestine. The common channel is where a DS patient's food, bile and digestive juices mix and nutrients are absorbed. Since the common channel makes up such a small portion of the small intestine dietary starches, fats and complex carbohydrates are not fully absorbed."

When all is said and done, I will absorb only 20% of fats.  This of course comes at a price such as only absorbing 60% of proteins. 

Check out the website for more info.  I'm about to go and enjoy my stuffed peppers made from scratch and pop in a movie :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today in the forums I had posted about a great website I found.  This was one of my replies that I made for someone that had a hard time growing up.  I felt like it belonged here on my blog too:

Thank you for sharing! 

WLS won't fix the emotional scars.  A therapist might be able to help.  I have one now and she is amazing.

I'm a pre-op and I can only speak from what I've learned from post-ops and what I've learned from my therapist.  WLS is not a magic button.  It will not give you the answers to your problems.  It is however a terrific tool to help you lose your weight.  It will not give you confidence.  That comes from within.  But it will help you get to the point where weight isn't your biggest concern anymore so you can tackle the other peoblems in your life.  It will not make you pretty.  In fact from what I've learned the bags of skin and eventual scars from plastic surgery will give you a whole new set of insecurities.  But it will help make you feel lighter and better able to put on a spanx and go out into that world and hit it head on.  You feel amazing when you look back at all the weight you managed to lose and keep off and realize that YOU took control of the situation and managed to get yourself there.  YOU took all the vitamins and supplements to make yourself healthy.  YOU followed your doctors orders and were able to handle any complications.  WLS won't do that for you, only you can. 

I used to think it was a magic button and it took me about a year to realize it's not.  Yet I still can't wait to be under that knife.  I can't wait to have bags of skin and save up for a tummy tuck.  I can't wait to own at least 5 pairs of spanx.  But most of all I can't wait to have a tool that will assist me in finally having control of my life.  I can't wait to worry more about what I'm going to wear to look my best than if my bigg ass is going to break a chair.  I'm 379lbs and I can't wait to see 200 or less.  I can do it without WLS but without WLS couldn't keep it off, I wouldn't be able to maintain.
When I think back on what I've been through in my life I try my hardest to use it as motivation.  Every hateful word, every pencil that was thrown to me in the hallways of school, every punch from a boyfriend and he called me a fat bitch, every "butterball" or Marshmallow Puff comment, and every friend I lost because they wouldn't take the time to know the girl behind the chubby face.  Those are the things I use to drive me to the WLS.  They make me stronger.


So I'm late with my first post. I know, it's just, well, ok, so I don't have a good excuse.

Let's start off with a little background info on that girl in the picture to the right.

Right away I'm going to tell you that I'm blunt. I tell it how it is. Sometimes what I write might be offensive, I refuse to apologize for that. It's your option to read what I write, you always have the option to press alt+F4.

I'm been chubby my whole life since about 12. I was that fat girl in school everyone teased. Looking back on it though I wasn't really all that heavy, I just wish I knew that then. Over the years I've watched myself get bigger, and bigger and bigger, with a break here and there when I would crash diet. I really put the pounds on after I had my son, and once the company I worked for (that I LOVED) filed for a reorganization and laid everyone off in 2006 everything really took a turn for the worst. This is officially the heaviest I've ever been. At 30 I now weigh in at 361lbs. My weight sickens me. When I think about it I get nauseous. I run out of breath just walking to my front door. It's hard to wipe my bum. No matter how much I shower, no matter how much I scrub I swear I still stink. My chin touches my chest. But what makes me even sadder is that no matter what I do, no matter how much I move around and watch what I eat, I know that no matter how much weight I lose it will come right back and with a few friends in tow. I have severe sleep apnea. I have pre-diabetes and my PCP has told me that if I don't change how I live now I will have full blown diabetes in a matter of a few months. Heart disease and diabetes runs in my family and so does a bunch of other fun fat diseases.

Today I take a stand against my weight. This stops now.  Over the past few months I have been through numerous tests.  I've been poked and prodded and I finally have my surgery approval.  On July 11th 2011 I will FINALLY get the tool I need to be successful in my weightloss.

Friday, June 17, 2011


First post to be published by the time I go to bed tonight.  In the mean time check out one of my favorite Blogs for living with WLS.  She has AWESOME recipes, ideas and CONTESTS!!!  She also looks amazing!  Click the link below to check her out while wait for me to get off my lazy butt :)  

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