Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy New Year!

I had my one-year appointment with my surgeon and had been prepared to endure a lecture. Thankfully, he seems to be happy with the fact that I was still below the weight I'd been in September, regardless of how much below. He told me that plateus happen and that many of his patients actually manage to lose (his word, which I hate) significantly in the second year. I had another body scan which is always enlightening. ;-) I go back to see him in June for my 18-month appointment and I'm determined to be at goal by then. Dammit.

I have some friends who have joined me on the "let's OWN 2012" bandwagon and we sat down on New Year's Day and set goals and have promised to be accountable to each other for support, cheerleading, and ass-kicking as the need requires. I think that will be extremely helpful.

I started 2012 with writing down all of my food and drink in a journal. I'm not judging, just recording. Right now I'm simply concerned with two questions: am I eating enough protein? and am I drinking enough water? Based on the first few days of the year, no on the protein and yes-ish on the water. In other words, I'm drinking my bare minimum so I need to bump it up a smidgen.

I've decided that 2012 is going to be my year to clear out the clutter in all aspects of my life. I will get to my goal weight, I will have a clean and pleasing home and we will make great strides towards being debt-free. I don't know that we can manage being completely debt-free but we'll certainly be a lot closer by 12/31/2012. :-)This is a big year for me because I will earn my MSIS in August. I'll have to start deciding what I'm going to do with my degree. Right now, though, I have to concentrate on surviving the next two semesters while preparing for comprehensive exams. But it'll be grand when I'm done. I honestly don't know what I'll do with all of that free time. I will probably fill some of it with creative endeavors. I'd like to take a ceramics class. I've always wanted to do that, and it sounds like a lot of fun.

I hope that everyone had a great holiday and that your new year is off to a pleasant start.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Long-Ass Semester

I'm a bit depressed. I look at my ticker and see that it hasn't moved AT ALL since my 9-month visit. But it's my own fault. I've not been as on-task as I should be regarding my program. School is eating my head and that's a reason, but not an excuse. There really are no excuses. I don't really feel like pontificating about my failures right now. I just thought I'd swing by and let anyone who still actually reads this blog know that I'm not dead.

My clothes are still getting bigger and I'm still getting the "how much more have you lost" comments, so I guess my body composition is changing. Still, it's highly unlikely that I'll be at goal by December 22nd. Hell, right now I'd be thrilled with being down 100 pounds. Okay, I'd be thrilled with the scale moving in the proper direction again. It's up to me to do that, so...

My semester is over on December 7th. I'm going to get in as much exercise as I can in a completely unorganized fashion until then. After that, I'm going to spend as much time in the gym as I can Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (I still work Thursday evenings until December 15). Maybe kicking my own ass in the gym and re-committing to my eating plan will show some actual results.

I did survive my first post-op Thanksgiving. You'd think I'd be used to how little I can actually eat these days, but... Anyway, I'm alive, I'm mad at myself, and I'm moving on. Hope all are well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nine Month Follow-Up

My visit with the surgeon went a lot better than I feared. From my initial weigh-in, I'm now down 75 pounds and he fully expects me to be down a full 100 by my 1-year visit. I agree. It just wouldn't be me if I didn't crunch the numbers so... I have 25 pounds before I'm at 100 pounds gone and I have 69 before I'm at goal. I need to banish an average of 2 pounds/week between now and my next visit to hit the 100 pounds gone milestone, and 5 pounds/week to hit goal. If my body starts cooperating and I have a couple of wooshes, then goal is not entirely out of the question. So, that's what I'm shooting for. My current goal is to be 150 pounds by my visit on December 22, 2011. I won't be upset if I don't get there, but I figure that I'll shoot for the larger goal and be tickled magenta if I hit the smaller goal. ;-)

The nurse who checked me in today had the VSG done about two years ago and she told me that she had a loooooong plateu around the 9-month mark where she didn't lose anything for three months. Yeah, that sounds about right. But she was encouraging because she said that she suddenly dropped about twenty pounds in two weeks. So I'm not losing hope. I'm going to cling to my program with teeth and toenails if I have to now that I'm back on it and I WILL have a couple of wooshes, darn it.

Dr. C said that my labs look good except my cholesterol/triglycerides/LDL are still high, even with the meds. :-( So, I'm going to check in with my Internist in the next month or so and see what path we want to take now. I'm going to look into ways to combine oatmeal and some protein-rich substance at breakfast so I can start getting some soluble fiber in. Maybe that will help. I seem to remember Quaker having a high protein oatmeal. Maybe I just dreamt that, though. I do that sometimes. The plus side to my labs looking good is that I can stay with the cheaper vitamins. He recommended trying a prenatal vitamin and adding an extra B-12. I'll look and see what I can find.

All in all, a good visit... except for the part where I had my body scan and ended up leaving my keys and bracelet in the tray. *sigh* The husband is going to go by after work and grab my keys for me. Goober, thy name is me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Scale Hates Me...

...But that's okay. I hate it back. *sigh*

Normally, I'm not so downhearted regarding the number on the scale. I've come a LONG way in that regard. But I have my 9-month follow-up with my surgeon in the morning and I'm concerned that he'll not be very happy with my progress. I kind of hope that my scale is broken, but I doubt it. And, if it is, with my luck it's weighing me light.

My frustration comes from the fact that I've been walking and not just strolling. I've been really walking briskly. And I've been doing it every day. I know I need to add resistance in there, but I'm trying to make sure cardio is a habit again first. I've been drinking my water, I've seriously curtailed my caffeine intake, I'm getting my protein... And the scale seems like it's stuck. I'm really hoping that my surgeon will be open to making suggestions rather than just yelling at me (in so much as he would actually -yell-). My clothes are fitting more and more loosely and I'm feeling lighter and people keep commenting on how I look like I'm still losing. So why in nine kinds of truly horrific hell is the scale taunting me?!?

I have to wonder if it's something as simple as my vitamins. I tried an experiment to see if the vitamins I could get for about a third of the price of the Building Blocks vitamins would be enough for my nutritional needs. Now I have to wonder if I'm simply not giving my body what it needs so it's not giving me what I need. I.e. weight banishing. I had blood drawn last week and I'm sure it will tell me one way or the other and if my blood levels are not where they are supposed to be, I will bite the bullet and order the Building Block vitamins and switch back. This is not based on anything scientific but anecdotal research tells me that, when I was taking the Building Blocks, I was banishing at a pretty steady clip. When I started taking the One-A-Day + B-complex + Calcium combo, I stopped banishing and I stopped having the serious amounts of energy that I had before. I'll see what my lab work says, but I am thinking of trying my own experiment and going back on the BB vitamins and see what that does. I'll have to check my cash situation but it might allow me to get a month's worth at the surgeon's tomorrow then I can order online after that. A 3-month supply is cheaper, even with shipping, than it is to buy monthly at my surgeon's office.

All I know is that -something- is standing in my way right now. For a couple of months, it was -me- standing in my way because I wasn't exercising and/or eating exactly well. But I'm doing both now and it's not had much of an effect. Maybe I need to go back to keeping a food log. That way I can have a black and white picture of what I'm eating/drinking so I can crunch the numbers. That might be helpful. I also need to get back into the habit of bringing my food from home rather than making sacrifices to the cafeteria gods in hopes that there is something that I can eat. Time to come up with a menu and get to the supermarket.

So, yeah. The scale hates me but it's motivating me to try to fix the problem rather than giving in and eating candy corn by the handful which is what I would have done this time last year.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm alive, I promise!

Time for some tough love. :-) If you'll look at my ticker, you'll see a weight of 218 or so. That weight is from the last time I logged in about three months ago. *sigh* And my weight is right at that now, three months later. I admit full culpability because my eating has not been very clean and I've certainly not exercised like I should. Explanations, not excuses: the summer semester nearly killed me, and I'm not being metaphorical here. There wasn't a night the entire 10 weeks when I was in bed before midnight due to the workload my professors heaped on us. The sleep deprivation combined with the excessive heat did not fill me with the burning desire to work out. I also ended up eating a bunch of crap because of the time constraints placed on me.

What did I learn? Well, it's cooler now, so I'm back to walking every chance I get. I currently have prayers out to the universe to make us a two-car family because my having my own car would allow me to go to the gym and lift weights three days a week regardless of what my class schedule is. With my having to take the bus, I finish my shift at 4:30, but I have to wait until 5PM for the shuttle van which is sometimes on time, sometimes not. Then I get to the transit station to wait on either my bus or a trolley. In either case, I barely get to where I'm going for class in time. Sometimes I have about 15 minutes before class to get my laptop set up, get logged in and get settled before class. If I had a car, I could leave on the dot of 4:30 and go to the gym before class because I could drive straight to where I'm doing my class. So, if y'all would add your prayers to mine for an affordable, reliable, dependable vehicle, I'd certainly appreciate it!

I do have a weight workout I can do at home, but there's something psychologically rewarding about actually going to the gym. Besides, the weights there are more adaptable than having a bunch of dumbbells at home. Regardless of the psychological reward, I'm going to have to start doing some sort of resistance work and if it has to be at home, then it has to be at home.

The point of this post is that I've not pushed myself the way that I need to but I've started to as of today. I've had a protein-y breakfast, I had a protein drink as a snack and I'm getting ready to have a protein-y lunch. I've walked for 15 minutes already today and will be walking another 30-45 this evening. Maybe more if I can convince my husband that he should take a walk with me. :-) Wish me luck on that holy quest.

I printed out something my sister calls "The Diet". It calls for a lot of protein drinks, but my surgeon wants me to get most of my protein from food. So I'm substituting "protein drink" at a few of the mini-meals for "something low carb that contains at least 20 grams of protein". I'm hoping that will work. I'm sure she'll tell me if I'm smoking crack. ;-) "The Diet" is extremely close to what my surgeon recommends, so that's why it's printed and taped into the front of my calendar. I have managed to squeeze 11 pounds of fluid and fat off my body in one week with this thing, and I think that's something I need to get myself jumpstarted. I've also cut waaaaaaay back on caffiene because it is a stimulant that was making me want to eat too much. I have also determined that, if I'm going to drink coffee, the only way I'm allowing it is if it has a scoop of protein powder in it. :-D Coffee with chocolate protein powder is actually pretty good. Just remember to let the coffee cool to under 120 degrees or the protein will solidify like an egg white.

So. Long and short. I'm alive. I'm still at the weight I was three months ago, but that is rapidly going to change. I've recommitted to my program and to my own health and wellness. Operation Skinny-Minny has begun!!!!

This semester isn't as crazy with the workload, so I'm managing to get into the bed much earlier these days. I think that will help, as will the reduced stress. Cortisol really doesn't do much for one's weight loss attempts except thwart them. ;-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ah, the dreaded stall

Most WLS surgery patients hit a huge stall at about 3 weeks after surgery. I didn't. Mine waited until I was almost 6 months after surgery, where I've been sitting at the same weight (up and down, and down and up) for a month now. *le sigh* I'm trying to power through it because I know that, from here on out, banishing is going to get harder and harder. From my high, I'm currently down about 83# and am down almost 53# since surgery. I'd really hoped to have more banished by my 6-month anniversary (this past Monday), but I also knew that PCOS and hypothyroid would make me a slower loser, so... 53# is not too shabby and it's still 53# less than I was carrying around 6 months ago and I'm not knocking it.

So, what does a cranky wolfcub who's scale is being a bitch do? She tries on clothes that have either never fit or have not fit in a long time to see how things are going. I am now able to get into a couple of dresses that I've never been able to wear, including the dress that I'm intending to wear when hubby & I renew our vows sometime this year. I may even have to have it altered before much longer. Ah, darn. ;-) I tried on a pair of size 16 pants. These are not 16W, they are regular old 16s. Snug? You bet. But I can get them on AND zipped! 16s!!!!! The next time I'm out and about, I may try on some 16W just to get an idea of where I am there. I'm thinking they are about 5 pounds away, or a few measely inches. :-) So, if I can actually start getting my sorry butt into the gym to start firming up, I should be good to go soon.

I'm really, really hoping that I start wooshing for a couple of weeks so that I can still meet the goal my surgeon set for me. He wanted me to be under 200 by my 6-month follow-up, which has, providentially, been moved to July 14. I'll need a few woosh weeks to get there. I'm going to knuckle down on my eating and start measuring my food again. I'm also going to up my cardio and resistance and just see how I do. I've been working on flexibility and can actually put all ten fingertips on the floor again. I'm very close to putting my palms down on the floor, and that's very exciting!

Wish me luck that I can power through this stall and get the scale consistently moving in a downward trend again. I can't abide by the idea that this is all I'm going to banish. Darn it.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Quick update

Since my summer term starts today, please forgive me if my posting is sporadic. I did want to drop by and do a quick update, though.

First: I did end up making an A in the other class. Woot! That means I currently have a 3.92 GPA. *happy woofie dance*

Second: If you take a look at my ticker, you'll see that I'm under 220 for the first time since 2007 and I am rapidly approaching the lowest weight I've been at since 1997. I still have about 19 pounds to go before I hit Onederland, which was my surgeon's goal for my appointment on 06/30. I think I can do it if I continue to buckle down like I have been. I hit a stall at the middle of May and it just broke last week, so... Grr. But it's all part of the process. I can actually get my new corset on and hooked, but it's let out all the way and there's still a gap between the hooks, so I'm loathe to say that it "fits". Still, pyrrhic victories are still victories, right? :-)

Related to the number on the scale is the fact that I can now bend at the waist and touch my toes. I can even put all ten fingertips on the floor and, if I'm warmed up, I can put my palms on the floor!!! I think I'm almost as excited about my flexibility coming back as I am with banishing weight. :-) J. was putting lotion on my back last night and we were both pleasantly surprised to discover that my low back wasn't swollen like it has been pretty much constantly for over a decade.

Why didn't I do this ten years ago?

Thankfully, the pool at our complex is now open for the season. It's been so hot this past week that all I've wanted to do is melt into a puddle, so I need some way to get my cardio and swimming helps me accomplish that without falling down from heat exhaustion. I'll eventually get used to the heat, but the seasons in East Tennessee tend to shift without a clutch leaving you going "wait, was that my transmission?" as it clunks into pieces. :-) I did the same thing when we downshifted from 70 degrees to 40, so I know it'll get better. One good thing about the heat is that it's encouraging me to get my fluid in.

Classes start tonight for the summer term. I'm taking Information Network Applications and Rural Library Management. I don't know if I'm cut out for management, personality-wise, but I'm sure as heck going to have all the knowledge necessary. :-) Wish me luck!