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!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sorry I *bampfed* Guys

Life has been full of special specialness the last couple of weeks while the semester clanked to its finish. I've gotten one grade back, the grade for my Resources and Services for Young Adults class. My Prof told me that I received the 2nd highest average in the class. Woot! So, I know I have an A there. I've completed the web modules (story there in a mo') and the grade I received on the last assignment -should- have me in A territory in my Public Library Management class, but I'm waiting on the official grade report. If it's not an A, I won't have missed it by much. Now I have almost a month before my summer term starts.

Now, the story. Apparently, I am the Queen of All Web Modules. Or, at least, those in my class. ;-) Yesterday our web modules were due for IS 554 and I received two separate calls asking me to help figure out how to load their modules. I guess we all have to be good at something. Thankfully, I've had experience with web authoring so FTP isn't any big deal to me. I guess I didn't think about how it would be difficult for people who've never done it before - especially when the directions are missing a couple of steps. I hate it when documentation is behind. ;-) Still, I hope that I was helpful and that the folks who called me were able to get everything posted the way they hoped. I don't think they read this blog, but if they do: CALL ME EARLIER NEXT TIME. :-)

I had another mad dash morning. :-( I don't know why the bus runs on time or late when I am patiently waiting at the stop but early when I'm running late. That blasted Murphy! So, my bus ran early and the trolley ran late. *shrug* Thankfully I still made the van, only because the driver took pity on me and pulled over as I was jogging towards him. I tried to call to let the dispatcher know I was running late, but apparently there was only one person in the office answering calls AND manning the radio (poor planning? Of course.) so I wasn't able to get through. Oh, well. I made it to work.

I saw some friends this weekend and was gifted with an awesome black brocade corset. It does not fit at the moment, but we are all hopeful that it will by the next time I see them in late June, especially since my surgeon is wanting me to be under 200 by 06/30. I've had issues getting all my fluid/protein the past couple of weeks so my weight was up a smidge this week. I've left the tickers alone because I know it was a fluke and I've been pushing fluid and protein along with my exercise this week. I'm determined to be both under 200 and able to wear my corset by the end of June. :-)

Gym tonight if the pesky headache I've had for two days doesn't turn into a migraine. Wish me luck since it's been a LONG time since I've lifted weights. I'm going WF for the summer. I'll have to revisit my schedule in the Fall when I have class on W/F, but this will get me in the habit, I hope.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Monday, All!

I had another mad dash last week that almost wasn't as successful as the one last Friday. Thankfully, the shuttle driver was nice enough to wait a few extra minutes for me. I drank my fluid and ate my protein and walked last week, and ended up with a recent low. Unfortunately, I had ham for Easter dinner so I held on to just enough fluid to not be at that weight this AM for my "official" weigh-in. Still, I've banished another 1.2# this week and that's still awesome.

My semester is winding down and I have a LOT left to get done this week. I've got a reader's response paper to do for IS 572 then the final assignment in our semester-long user-centered evaluation and assessment for IS 554. Then I have to edit the returned assignments for 554 and convert them to web pages to upload them to the class's website. Fun times. Unless I've totally miscalculated (which is entirely possible), I should earn an A for both classes. If I don't get that in 554, it shouldn't be any lower than an A- or B+. So, life is good regarding my GPA. :-)

As soon as the term ends, which is technically Friday regarding when I have to be "in class", I'm going to start my serious get-to-the-gym, get-lots-of-cardio workout routine. I have a goal to get under 200 before the end of June, and I really want to meet that goal as long before 06/30 (my 6-month appointment) as I can. :-)

Speaking of appointments... I got an EOB from my insurance company a couple of days ago. For some reason, they've denied the claim for my last appointment with my surgeon saying that the condition for which I was seen is excluded in my policy. That means that, according to the EOB, I'll have to pay the full cost of the visit. I'm not going to worry about it until I actually get a bill from the surgeon's office, but that's annoying. I suppose I should call and find out why the hell they've decided not to pay for my follow-ups. I expect it is something like WLS is covered if pre-approved and I was on a different insurance when I had the surgery so BCBS didn't approve the surgery and thusly won't pay for follow ups or something equally as stupid. *sigh* Thankfully, it's only $100 and it's only every 3 months. I guess we'll just have to see how it comes out in the wash. *grr*

I told DH that I'd be working my sleeve even harder now because I definitely want to get my money's worth out of the appointments. :-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A new week, a new decade!

Thankfully, I managed to get to the bus and to work without the Keystone Kops-ian mad dash of Friday. Though I was doing some thinking about it... I've been trying to figure out how to get in an additional walk on the days I have class and that might be the key. I will, however, actually -plan- for it so that I have enough time to ensure that I get to the trolley/transit station in plenty of time to catch the shuttle. Failing to plan is just planning to fail, as it were. This summer, my classes are on Tuesday/Thursday, so I'll ponder walking in the AM. It'll be a bit cooler then, anyway, which just makes life easier all around. :-)

Thanks in part to the mad dash (and thanks to staying on program by getting my protein, fluid and exercise), I've banished an additional 2.2# this week. I now have less than 80# before I'm at goal! I see my Ob/Gyn on Thursday, and I really wanted to be under 230 at that appointment. I am hopeful that her scale with cooperate and show me as under 230 like my scale at home does. We are rapidly approaching the smallest I've been since I started at this job/got married 15 years ago. In 2007, when I lost a bunch of weight on Weight Watchers, I got down to 220. Give me a week or three and I'll stroll right on past that and do my happy Woofie dance. :-)

My current goal peice is a suit that I was gifted in 2007. It's a 16W and I thought I'd try on the skirt this weekend, as a gauge. I can get it on and zipped, but it's too tight to even sit down in, so I'd definitely NOT leave the house. Still, the fact that I can even get it on is amazing. I went through a bunch of clothes this weekend that I'd had bagged up, and now I have some more that I can actually wear. :-) It's so much fun going shopping in my own closet.

I've already walked for 20 minutes this morning and plan an hour this afternoon, weather and allergies permitting. Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Wild Morning, or Why I ♥ my Sleeve

I had a wild morning. I woke up a little later than I should have, but got up and got ready to leave the house -mostly- on time. I wended my way to my bus stop, only to see my bus drive by my stop as I was coming down the hill. As you might imagine, the air around me was colored several different shades of blue. I looked at the time and saw it was 6:49AM. To put this in perspective, that meant that I needed to get from where I was then standing to the downtown transit hub where I catch my work shuttle in 31 minutes. Could I do it? Let's find out!

6:49AM I curse up a blue streak but then put on my big girl panties and haul ass to get to the nearest trolley stop because the next bus will be too late for me to catch my shuttle, which only leaves one time/day from the hub. The traffic light gods must have not been happy with me because I caught every single red light I could catch between my street and the trolley stop, which meant I needed to walk/jog part of the way (I'm glad I wore my trainers today). As I approached the stop, I saw the trolley pulling up to the light before the turn and I had to hurry to make sure that I got to the stop before it did.

7:05AM I catch the trolley and try to re-learn how to breathe. ;-)

7:11AM I get to the stop nearest (still two blocks away) the transit hub. As I crested the hill, I saw the shuttle van parked in front of the building. Thankfully, the rest of the trip was downhill.

7:20AM I stepped onto the van and caught my breath. The driver had needed to take a phone call, so we didn't end up pulling off until 7:23, but I still made it on time!!!

The moral of this story is that I would physically not have been able to do this before surgery. I was carrying around entirely too much extra weight to handle the short bursts of speed I required today. I would also still be trying to catch my breath. :-) I totally ♥ my Sleeve!

In other exciting news, I'm at the lowest weight I've been in over three years. Even if I don't hold it on Monday, I'll know I've gotten here and know that I'll be here soon enough. Who knows, though? I might run off some more between now and Monday. ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What a wild weekend

To begin with, I had the "is my body taunting me?" to deal with. The answer to that question is no, no it wasn't. :-) It was an actual, albeit short, period. But the hormonal surge gave me a migraine that lasted about four days. :-( Thankfully, both the period and migraine are in the past and I am left with an actual woosh on the scale. I've banished another 2.2# and the NSV for the week is that I'm actually wearing the 18Ws I'd tried on & were snug, as they actually fit! *boggle*

DH & I celebrate 15 years of being married tomorrow! I'm now officially 40# lighter than I was at surgery and I'm almost 71# lighter than my high. Life is good.

Friday, April 08, 2011

My Body is Taunting Me (Possible TMI)

I've posted a few times about the glory that is menstrual irregularity, particularly post-op. I've got a few whammies going for? me in that regard, on top of being post-op. I have hypothyroidism, PCOS and I've just gotten off the Pill after nearly 15 years. So, yeah, my poor body doesn't know what the hell to think. Then I threw the copious estrogen dump that happens during rapid weight loss into the mix. So, I suppose it's not fair to be mad at my body when it taunts me with PMS-like symptoms without the payoff in the form of an actual period. Maybe it's not fair, but I'm testy anyway. You know why? Cuz I'm hormonal, that's why. :-) Hopefully my body will get it's act together and actually let me do more than spot heavily this month. I guess we'll see. I do go see my Ob/Gyn in a couple of weeks, so hopefully we can get to the bottom of it. Is it just my body getting back in synch after 15 years of medically-regulated "periods"? Is it the hormonal soup of BCP, low thyroid, PCOS and being post-op? Or do I have the grand and glorious world of perimenopause/menopause to explore? Inquiring minds want to know. ;-)

Needless to say, life is full of special specialness right now.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The scale is my friend today!

As I've mentioned, I weigh myself every day but only record my weight on my "official" weigh-in day, Monday. I chose Monday because I had my surgery on Monday so it keeps my statistics cleaner and it keeps me more accountable on the weekends. That being said, it's always nice to get on the scale and see a new recent low, even if it's not "official". :-) So, I'm going to keep pushing and see if I can get it even lower by Monday.

I've been eating about every 2.5-3 hours to keep my furnace stoked and I've been walking as much as I can, but at LEAST 20 minutes daily. I'm going to go Friday and get new shoes because I can really tell that the ones I've been wearing need to be replaced. Given the amount of walking I'm doing, I need to budget to replace my shoes a LOT more frequently than I have in the past. :-) I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but my current plan is to train for the half-marathon next March/April (I'm sure of the date) here in K-ville. I'll be walking it rather than running it, but I'd like to see if I can work up to running a 5K by my birthday in October. I'll just have to see what my knees and hip will put up with after schlepping around this extra weight for so long.

Hope everyone is well and that Spring has sprung where you are.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three-month Appointment Update/Rough Week/NSV

I had my 3-month appointment with the surgeon this morning. I didn't get the full 40# banished but 39.3 is still darn good, IMHO. :-) I've been kind of thinking that I'm banishing slowly, but he told me that I'm on par with the average bypass patient, so I guess I'm doing better than I thought. Thus far, I've not really had a stall to speak of, so that's part of why I'm doing so well. He told me that his ultimate goal for me is 150 and asked me if I'd be happy there. I don't know about the rest of you, but that sounds just fine with me. :-) It's about 20# above my "ideal", but we both agree that it's a realistic goal. I'm all about realistic. So, as of this appointment, I've now banished 38% of my EW, and he considers anything above 60% a success. I got a copy of my labs, and I'll have a better idea of how I'm doing when I input the numbers into my spreadsheet - update forthcoming. :-) I do know off the top of my head that my HDL is much better, which means the exercise is paying off. My goal from Dr. C for my 6-month appointment in June is to be under 200. I'd already set that goal for myself, so it's nice to see that we're on the same page. :-) It means maintaining my 2.5#+/week average, but I still think it's a realistic goal. All-in-all, a good appointment.

I have had kind of a rough week, so my good appointment this morning, and the NSV I'll tell you about in a mo' were very welcome. Saturday, I tried to go camping. Unfortunately, the weather conspired against us and we had to come home Saturday night. The damp cold settled into my joints/muscles quite well, and left me on the teetering edge of a Fibro flare. Then I was up way too late on Sunday (though I'm certainly not complaining about the reason ;-)). Monday I was just dragging, but in decent spirits. Tuesday, one of our faculty members (and the man I'd taken Spanish from) had a stroke and died. I didn't know him as well as I would've liked, but we'd had many conversations over the years about Spanish, Hispanic culture and books since we both loved to read. Yesterday would have been my Daddy's 73rd birthday, and I tend to miss him a lot on his birthday. I'm a bit better today, but it's still been a rough week.

In my last post, I mentioned the 18Ws I'd hung onto. Well, the pair I'd tried on that didn't fit is probably the smallest of the three pairs. I am always confused how pairs of pants in the same size, from the same lable, cut with the same pattern can be different, but these are. I have a black pair, a khaki pair, and a burgandy/maroon pair and the burgandys are the smallest. I was able to wear the black the longest on the way back up the scale, so I figured they were cut just a little bit bigger. Anyway, I decided I'd try them on again yesterday for a little non-scale encouragement. Even if they didn't fit, even if I couldn't button or zip them, just knowing I can get them up over my hips means I'm doing the right thing. So I pulled on the black pair. Up over my hips they went (that was nothing new). To my supremely happy surprise, they also buttoned... and zipped! And I didn't even need to do the on-the-bed-butt-wiggle to do it! I nearly cried! So, I thought I'd try the khaki pair. Same thing. Up. Button. Zip. Woot! Now, for the smallest of the three. Up. Button. It took a little more wiggling to zip them, but I still did it standing up!!!!! They are still a little to snug for my comfort regarding wearing them out of the house. But I now know that they'll fit just fine on our anniversary. :-)

Now I just need to get out and get new sneakers so my feet don't give out on me doing all this walking. :-)

Happy Thursday, everyone. Hope the sun comes back soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Victories of the Scale and Non-Scale Variety

First, the scale victory. I've banished an additional pound at this week's weigh-in. I'm not down as far as a low during the week, but I only record the weight at my "official" weigh-in and it's still good. :-) I'm edging closer and closer to 40# banished since surgery. As of this AM, it's 38.2#. I'm really, really okay with that. It's still almost 3#/week and I think that's pretty good! Hopefully, I'll have a woosh week this week and banish a LOT. I have my 3-month appointment with my surgeon on Thursday, and having the full 40# banished by then would be AWESOME! We'll just have to see.

Now, the non-scale victory. I've been walking around in clothes that make me look like a kid playing dress up. Thanks to my tax refund finally showing up, I went yesterday and got a few pairs of pants. I wasn't really sure what size I'd need, but figured I'd take a stab, try them on, and go from there. :-) Well, my victory is that, in 3 months, I've gone from a 26/28 to an 18/20!!!!!!! My new button-and-zipper pants are a 20W. Holy guacamole, Batman! Just for gits and shiggles, I tried on a pair of the 18W's I've had hanging around since 2007, knowing I'd get back into them eventually. They are nowhere near where I can actually button or zip them, but I CAN get them up over my hips! Woot! I don't know if I'll be able to get them buttoned and zipped by our anniversary on 04/13 but I'm definitely still going to try. It's 2.5 weeks away. Even if they are so tight I can't breathe and I certainly wouldn't wear them OUT, I'll count it. ;-)

While we were out and about yesterday, we also went to the supermarket, so I have high-protein noms to take my brekkie and lunch and snacks, leaving me less vulnerable to the dreck they serve in the cafeteria here at work. This is an good thing. So, proper foodness, exercise, fluids... oh, yeah. I sense a WOOSH. How 'bout y'all? Favorable weather conditions for the next evolution. Hooah!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Official Weigh-In

So, I alluded to a new recent low in my last post. I hit that, and it just got better for my official weigh in! I'm now at 234.6! From my high, I've now banished 66.4# and since surgery, 37.2#. I'd hoped to have banished an even 40# by my 3 month surgiversary, and I got close. But I walked every weekday last week, and started my strength-training routine, so I'll count that more as my victory. :-) I took my measurements, too, yesterday and I've shrunk an additional 11.5" since last month! I'm kicking myself for not having done "before" measurements because now I won't know how much total, but since the measurements I took for my 1-month surgiversary on January 20, I'm now 33" smaller! I can definitely tell that shrinkage in the way my clothes don't fit. ;-) I'm not sure that what went on over the weekend could really be counted as a "period", though I've had lighter when I was on the Pill. Since I'm no longer wanting to suck at the teat of the Reese's Cup factory, I'm gonna count it at least for now. :-) If I suddenly have a more obviously "normal" period, I'll re-figure. :-)

I finally got a 5# dumbbell, so I can really get down to doing the routine my sis sent me. Hope it starts firming up my batwings, as they are getting kinda annoying since it's almost sleeveless weather. ;-)

I'll be seeing some people this weekend who haven't seen me since well before surgery. I wonder if they'll even recognize me. Heck, there are days when -I- don't recognize me. :-) I saw a friend on Friday who'd not seen me since before surgery and she declared me the "Incredible Shrinking Woman". That was kinda kewl! I see my surgeon next week for my 3-month follow-up. I hope he's as happy with my progress as I've been.

Have a great week, everyone! Hope the weather is as nice in your area as it is here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good week so far!

It's been a great week so far, regarding exercise. I walked part of the way or all of the home Monday, Tuesday and yesterday. Yesterday, I walked 20 minutes on my AM break AND walked all the way home. Today is my late day, so I walked for an hour before work! Yesterday, I did a simple resistance routine, though with light weight because I've not gotten out to get a heavier one yet. :-) Something is better than nothing, right?

Food-wise, not as good. I've made the best choices I can, but my head hunger is AWFUL! I don't know if it's the "Super Moon" or if I'm gearing up for the worst period known to humankind or what, but it's been really bad. I'd like to honestly be able to tell you that I've not succumbed to my head hunger. But if I sat here and told you that, I'd be lying. So I won't. I'm trying to eat something with protein in it every 2 hours or so. That's helped. I figure that, if my body is fed, then my head can just STFU. :-) If anyone else has helpful hints for slaying the head hunger beastie, hit me in the comments.

To end on an up note: I had my lowest weigh-in in recent history. It's not official, so I won't tell you. But it's the lowest it's been in about 3 years. :-) We are rapidly approaching the lowest my weight has been in over a decade. Kinda scary, actually. Maybe that's part of what is behind the head hunger? Hmmm... I shall have to ponder.

In any case, I hope that you all are having a great week. The weather here is beautiful and I've really been enjoying getting out and walking in the fresh air and sunshine. It'd be nice if I'd remembered that the Bradford Pears bloom right around now and had started taking my allergy meds about a week ago. Oh, well. I'm gonna make a note in my calender to start at the beginning of March next year to give it plenty of time to kick in before the darn trees start with their bloomin' blooming. :-) With the cold snap we just had, the Dogwoods are hot on their trail, which means I'll be miserable by next week. I'll just keep taking the meds and hope for the best. TTFN!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Current Theme Song

I know I cannot be the only person on the planet who has their own internal soundtrack. :-) If I am, just play along with me, okay? Every so often, I hear a song the grabs me by my emotions and fills me with motivation and inspiration to be my best me. I consider that my "theme song". Right now, my theme song is Katy Perry's "Firework".

Lyrics from

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting throught the wind
Wanting to start again

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gunna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe-awe-awe"

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on slet your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe-awe-awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

What's your theme song?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Countdown to 3 months

On March 20, I will celebrate my 3-month "surgiversary". I can hardly believe it's been three months already, but I can also hardly believe that it's -only- been three months. YKWIM? So much has changed in my life for the better in those three months, that it's difficult to believe that it's all happened in such a short amount of time. Since I hit the weight that prompted me to seek out a tool to assist me with taking off my excess weight, I've banished 64 pounds. Since surgery, almost three months ago, I've banished 35. I'm off medication for blood sugar, I can walk for an hour at a stretch without feeling like I'm going to d-i-e. I'm down two sizes, including fitting into a pair of jeans I've not worn since 2007, which are a size withOUT a W! It's really pushing the bounds of possible, I'm sure, but I would LOVE it if I could banish enough this week to be down a round 40 pounds by the 20th. I'm going to give it every effort and know that, even if I fall short of the number on the scale, I'll have done everything I can this week right.

* I will walk every day it's not raining, for at least 45 minutes.
* If it -is- raining, I will utilize my pedaler for at least 1 hour.
* I will stretch my muscles.
* I will drink (sip, sip, sip) at least 70oz of fluid.
* I will take in at least 70g of protein.
* I will keep my kCal between 600 and 800.
* I will limit my carbs, particularly refined ones.
* I will meditate or utilize some other method for stilling and centering my mind.
* I will make mindful choices regarding everything I take in, whether that's food, drink, or information.

For any of you reading who may be thinking that weight loss surgery is a "quick fix" or "the easy way out", let me disabuse you of that notion. My surgeon operated on one of my internal organs. He removed 85% of my stomach, leaving me with a banana-shaped stomach that will hold roughly 6oz of food. I try to keep my intake/meal to around 4oz to prevent pain and indigestion, which means that I need to eat about every 3 hours or so to ensure I take in what I'm supposed to daily. I have to, daily & for the rest of my life, take vitamin supplements. I have to have follow-up blood work/visits with the surgeon every three months for the first 18 months post-op and then annually FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I think I may eventually have my protein/carb/kCal/fluid balance so firmly entrenched as a habit that I don't have to constantly think about it, but right now, I have to think about every bite of food and every sip of liquid that goes into my body. Yes, the surgery did help me lose a lot of my hunger and cravings and it physically stops me from over-eating. However, the surgery was on my stomach, not my head. I have to always be aware of my motivations for eating. I now have to eat to live rather than living to eat. As a food addict, that is a ROUGH transition.

I'd decided when I started the journey towards surgery, that I wouldn't hide the fact; that I'd be open about my decision. Frankly, I figured that if people I see every day knew I was having surgery, they wouldn't start to wonder if I were dying when I started losing weight as quickly as I have. :-) I told my MIL early in the process because she is a nurse at the hospital where I had my surgery, and I wanted to get her take on my surgeon. I waited to tell my mom until I had my date, not because I thought she'd try to talk me out of it, but because I have met my mom and know that, were the Americans to enter a "worrying" team into the Olympics, she'd win the gold, for sure. ;-) I also wanted to be open about it, so that if anyone around me were considering surgery, they'd KNOW someone who'd had it, and they could ask questions. Also why my blog is open to the public, as it were. Hiding in the dark does nothing but make you afraid of the light.

If you are a person who can just cut back on soda and lose the weight you need to lose, good for you! If you believe that, for you, you need to go to Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous and sweat for each pound, I'm here to support you the whole way! I've tried everything and have realized one thing about myself: I can follow -any- diet you put in front of me, so long as I'm not hungry and so long as nothing is completely off limits. The VSG has removed the hunger component and since there isn't any malabsorption/dumping, nothing is completely off limits. I -choose-, however, to limit foods that I know are triggers for me and/or are slider foods that make me make poor choices. The Sleeve is nothing more than a tool. I'm still having to do the hard work with my diet and exercise that anyone else has to do. I just have internal support. :-)

So, that's what I've learned in the past 3 months. I can't wait to see what the next 15 months has in store.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

I had a post all written and then lost my internet connection. :-( So, count yourself lucky that I'm not going to try to re-create it, just hit the highlights.

I'm on Spring Break this week. I still have to work (just like I worked during my College's SB), but I don't have to stress about getting to class on time this week. I have a few projects/assignments/papers due in the next few weeks, so I'm intending to see if I can't actually get myself ahead a little this week so that I can go out of town in a couple of weeks and not stress about it. Hell, who am I kidding? I'll stress anyway, but I'm going to try to mitigate it. ;-)

Hormones are still whack. I think we can all agree that is my default setting right now. Tired and hormonal. LOL But I'm putting a plan in place so that I can better deal with the hormonal-based cravings. I'm not exactly hungry post-op and I can't eat very much at a time, anyway. But the cravings are just about killing me. Sheesh! I'm really trying not to feed the beast in hopes that starving it will make it go away. Not having a lot of luck. Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted. I don't mind the PMS-like stuff that I'm dealing with, but it would be all kinds of awesome if I'd actually get the menstrual to go with the pre-menstrual. YKWIM? Frankly, I'm so not in the way of caring if I'm fertile or not. DH had a vasectomy, anyway, so we are obviously not wanting kidlets. Thusly, I don't really much care if I -ever- get a period again, so long as I'm not stuck in this constant state of any-day-now-really. My only concern re: periods & the lack thereof is the accompanying side-effects of low estrogen/other hormones. I can work around that, though.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hormones AKA the roller coaster ride from H-E-L-L

Just as a warning to those who come after me:

VSG screws with your hormones. No, really, it does! Not only does it help defeat the hunger hormone, ghrelin, losing weight quickly (and I think that 3-ish pounds/week is pretty quickly) floods your system with the hormones your body has stored in your fat cells. So I've got all that going for me. Plus, after 15+ years, I went off of hormonal birth control just before surgery, most recently the progestin-only "mini pill".

So what does that mean? It means that my monthly cycles are all screwed up. *sigh* Everything I've read has said that it might be as long as 6 months before I get normalized again. Right now, I can't even say with certainty that I'm "late" since I've not had a period that my body was in full control of since 1995. The Pill suppresses ovulation and the "period" you have is really hormone withdrawl bleeding. So, my body's all like "Wait, what? You mean I have to re-learn how to ovulate now? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?" And I'm all like "Yeah, and it'd be nice if you'd figure out how so I can actually get off of this hormonal roller coaster." :-)

Between DH's vasectomy in January and us faithfully using condoms, the liklihood of my being pregnant is EXTREMELY low, but I'll be testing that to make sure. I have my annual with my OBGYN next month and if my period is still AWOL by then, I'll be talking to her about this and see what she recommends OTHER than going back on hormonal BC. In the interim, cross your fingers for me that my body gets with the program ASAP. :-)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Shopping Happened and an NSV*

*For those not in the know, NSV = non-scale victory.

So, DH & I went shopping yesterday and I got a week's worth of foodness for breakfast/lunch/snax. If you have not tried the pomegranate Chobani Greek yogurt, you are missing out. Yes, it's a bit high in carbs at 21g. But it has 14g of protein and I've really cut my carbs on other things. My menu for the day is:

Brekkie: Chobani; 140 kCal, 21g carb, 14g protein
Snack 1: 2 pc light string cheese; 120 kCal, 2g carb, 12g protein
Lunch: Chicken "salad" (canned chicken breast w/ green grapes); 110 kCal, 5g carb; 20g protein
Snack 2: Atkins ready-to-drink shake; 160 kCal, 3g carb, 15 g protein

So, without supper (which I've not decided on yet), I'm at 530 kCal, 31g carb and 61g protein. I'm supposed to get 600-800 kCal, 45-ish g carb and 70+ g protein, so I think I'm doing pretty well with that menu. :-) I also picked up some of those flavor things that you can put in water which will help me drink water and not buy LifeWater from our cafeteria (saving me a BUNCH). I've had 20oz of fluid so far and have another bottle waiting for me to have finished my yogurt. I -may- re-think my plan, but right now, I've decided to eat pretty much the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch and only changing it up at supper. Dr. Oz says something about eating the same thing everyday. I'll have to re-read that, maybe. But basically, if I can find a menu that fills my requirements, then I can rock my Sleeve and worry about variety when I've gotten closer to my goal weight. I have about 6 months from surgery as a "honeymoon" period where banishing excess weight is easier. I'm almost 3 months out, so I really need to buckle down and take advantage of the next three months.

I did have a pleasant shock this weekend, though. I am keeping a spreadsheet with all of my lab results and measurements so I can track the changes throughout my journey. I wasn't on my computer the day I took my measurements in February for my 2-month update, so I just jotted them down on a piece of paper. When I was on my laptop on Friday for class, I decided that I'd go ahead and enter them. When all was said and done, I'd discovered that I'd shrunk 21.5" in ONE MONTH!!! So, while the scale and I might be continuing our adversarial relationship (though it showed that I'd banished 2.8# this week), the tape measure and I are bosom friends. :-) No wonder my clothes are falling off of me!

So, my week is off to a pretty darn good start. I'm getting ready to take my AM walk (though it's much cooler today than it has been). How's everyone else doing?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Old Habits Die Hard

I've noticed that a few of my old habits are trying very diligently to sneak back into my life. Since surgery, it's physically impossible to eat more than about 3/4 of a cup of food at a time. If I even try (which I have occasionally), I'm in a LOT of pain until the food starts to digest and move out of my teensy tummy. I've also allowed too many carbs to sneak back in. So I went over to one of my favorite sites, Bariatric Eating and downloaded their nifty food journal. I'm planning on making good use of it for the rest of March and make sure I'm back on track. I've allowed myself to eat without measuring too often, so I'm bringing the measuring cups back out. I've also not brought my own food from home and that is the WORST thing a post-op bariatric patient can do. In fact, I don't recommend it for anyone. If you leave too much of your food to chance, you're sometimes left with having to make a choice between the lesser of two evils. It may be lesser, but it's still evil. :-) This weekend, I'm going to plan out my meals and I'm going to go to the supermarket and get the makings of those meals. I'm going to write down what I eat, and I AM getting back on track. I'm still averaging about 3#/week since surgery, but that's on the very low end of where I should be right now, almost 11 weeks out. I'm losing inches, and I'm excited about that, too, but I need to buckle down and rock my Sleeve!

I made a comment on a group of which I'm a part on FaceBook that the wellness journey is not a race, it's a revolution. It's so true! There really is NO finish line. I have a goal weight and several mini-goals like "be out of the 250s by the end of January", "be down at least 30# since surgery by the end of February"; goals which I have met, by the way. I'm not really sure what my March goal is, yet. I should probably set that, huh? I think that it'll be "start and maintain an exercise program". I've already started one, but it's not really regimented. I also need to add weights ASAP because weight lifting will help build the connective tissue that will help me not look like a sharpei when I've banished all my weight. :-) I do have class two nights/week, but I have the routine that my sis sent me that I can actually do while I'm in class since it's online. ;-) So long as I'm not required to participate in a discussion, I can huff and puff and move my body while I'm listening to my instructor or professor. So there. I'd thought about waiting until class was over on two of the nights (I'm shooting for MWF), but class isn't over until 9PM and if I work out too close to bedtime, I won't sleep.

Okay. So "start and maintain an exercise program, including resistance training" shall be my goal for March. I think it's probably a better goal than any sort of scale-related goal because I actually have control over what I make my body do. The scale? As adversarial as our relationship tends to be... I don't want my goal to fall short simply because the scale hates me that day.

DH & my anniversary is on April 13, which is a little over a month from now. I'm currently wearing a 22W pants and 18/20 or L-XL top. Do you think it's realistic to set a goal of being in an 18W pants by then? The last time I wore an 18W, I weighed about 220#, for reference (I weighed right at 240 this AM). That's my tenative goal, in any case. I honestly believe that if I buckle down and get back with my eating plan AND exercise most days of the week including resistance 3X/week, that 20 pounds is on the low end of what I can drop in almost a month and a half. I guess we'll see. :-)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Medical Anomalies 'r' Us

Just got a call from my Internist's nurse (which is a surprise in and of itself, but that's another story). She wanted to tell me that all the arthritis/lupus/etc tests came back negative, but that I had elevated strep antibodies. That's news to me, because I think I'd remember strep throat, right? Anyway. Apparently, strep infection CAN cause the joint pain I've been experiencing. So, she's called in a Z-pak.

Riddle me this, Batman.... How in the name of all that is good, decent and holy did my cholesterol get WORSE????? Apparently worse enough that the doc wants me back on the cholesterol meds. :-( Thankfully I'd already gotten them re-filled prior to surgery, so I have some. It is my hope that I'll be able to get back off of them as I continue to banish weight. I did do some reading regarding perimenopause this morning. Yeah, I'm a smidge young for it, but I have a LOT of the symptoms, and have had for a year or so. Even on BCP, my periods were weird. They weren't terribly irregular, but they weren't regular, either. And they've been getting lighter and lighter, then I'll have one that's extremely heavy. I read that elevated LDL is often present in women in perimenopause. Dunno. I go see my Ob/Gyn next month, so I'll talk to her about it. Sadly, there's not a lot they can check to see if that's the case, but maybe she'll have some suggestions regarding the cholesterol. The periods? Meh. I can deal. I'm just concerned about my cholesterol. I did read that women who have PCOS and/or hypothyroidism (lucky me, I have both) and women who've never delivered a baby (me again) tend to go into perimenopause earlier. I'll be 38 at my next birthday, and that's not too far under the average of 41 that I think I'm totally crazy. :-) Okay, I may be totally crazy, but this is not the proof. So, I'll just add that to the things I want to talk to my Ob/Gyn about. The thing that throws me is the idea that you can get an idea of when you'll go through menopause based on when your mother did. Unfortunately, my mother had a complete hysterectomy when she was in her early 30's, so I have no idea when she would have gone through if her body'd been left to its own devices.

Mostly, I'll just keep trucking with my VSG diet, exercise and stress management. Everything will work itself out and it'll all be all right. :-) At least it's not RA causing my joints to hurt!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Monday!

First, a couple of NSVs.

1. I wore a pair of jeans in public. I've not been able to wear these jeans since my major weightloss in 2007, so woot! The best part about them is that they are a size that does not have a W in it. They're still 22s but they're NOT 22Ws. :-)

2. I did an hour on my pedaler yesterday. The pedaler is kind of like a stationary bike, but you can use it either on the floor or on a tabletop. My legs feel like I worked them, so I guess I had it on the right tension. :-)

Now the SV: If I was in a stall, it was short-lived because I banished almost 3.5 pounds this week. Woot! As of this morning, I'm down 60# since my high and 31# since surgery. That means I'm still averaging about 3#/week. While I would, of course, love it to be faster, I'm thrilled to be banishing 3#/week. If I continue at that rate, I'll be at goal by October or so. Since my birthday is October, that would be a GREAT birthday prezzie to myself, don't you think?

I'm going to go get a couple of dumbbells today (or, more accurately, DH is going to pick them up for me) and I'll start the resistance workout that my superawesomesexy sister sent me. I know I'll probably still have some skin issues to deal with when I get to goal, but I want to minimize them as much as I possibly can, and that's going to require resistance work on a regular basis while I'm still in banish mode. I'll eventually want to get my boobs fixed, but the same superawesomesexy sister and I figured we might make it a sisters' vacation and get ours done at the same time in a year or so. I guess we'll just have to see. I didn't have a lot of excess skin when I lost 50# a few years ago, so I'm hoping that, since I'm not going down in huge jumps, I may be able to have my skin catch up. We'll see.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 25, 2011

First Post-Op Visit with the Internist

I had my first visit with my Internist since surgery yesterday. It was so exciting for his scale to NOT be the instrument of torture it normally is. :-) In fact, the nurse had to move the "big block". If your weight has never fluctuated more than 50 pounds, you may not have experienced this. But, most doctors' scales (unless they are digital) weigh with two blocks. One that measures in finer amounts of about a pound, and one that measures in 50-pound increments. Before surgery, she looked at my chart, saw what my weight was last time, and set it up accordingly. It's been consistently above 250 for several years, so that's where we'd always start. This time, she had to set the big block on 200!!!!! Being under 250 on his scale (with which I have a hate-hate relationship because it usually weighs me about 3 pounds+ higher than mine at home does) was my goal for my first post-op visit, and I made it! I weighed 244 on his scale, which is just slightly over what my scale said before I left, but I weighed without shoes at home, so that probably accounts for it. Being at 244 means I'm down 40 pounds!!! since my last visit with him in November, before I started my liquid diet. Needless to say, we are both very happy with that!

I brought him a copy of the lab work I'd had done in January for my surgeon so he could see how I was doing. He ordered lab work yesterday just to see what another month had done to my cholesterol. Based on last month's lab work, however, he's OK for me to stay off the Metformin! We're waiting on the results from this month's lab work to see if I get to stay off the Pravastatin (a cholesterol drug). My LDL went up a smidge between November and January, so he wants to see if it's gone back down. It's not in the danger zone, so he's considering taking a wait-and-see on that, too, unless it's gone way up. He also said that my potassium is fine, so he's OK with my staying on both diuretics for now and that more weight loss will probably take care of the swelling issue, and he checked my thyroid again to see if I'm on the correct dosage. He said that, if I felt like I didn't need the Wellbutrin anymore, to come talk to him and we'd start trying to get me off of it. So, for the moment, I'm still on the vitamin regimine set up by my surgeon's office, Wellbutrin (depression), Levoxyl (thyroid), Spironolactone (a diuretic, but used to treat symptoms of PCOS) and Lasix (a diuretic for the swelling in my ankles and calves). My BP was up a little and I'm not sure why. I've not been going overboard on caffiene and I hadn't had any prior to the appointment. I am still retaining some fluid, so that may be why. I'll keep checking it and we'll discuss it at my next appointment as necessary.

I also talked with him about the issues I'm having with my hands/wrists. Yes, they've been puffy from fluid retention. But I'm also having pain in both wrists that's NOT carpal tunnel (I have that, too, so I know what it feels like) and I have two joints that have been swelling/red/tender/hot. He poked around on them to see if he felt any joint changes. Since he was ordering lab work anyway, he decided to check my arthritis markers (ANA, sed rate, &c). I'm hoping that, if it -is- arthritis, it's osteo rather than rheumatoid. Rheumatoid is progressive; osteo, mostly just annoying. I told him my right knee is bugging me again, but we both agreed that my losing weight was just about the best thing I could be doing for it. I also said that I was going to be getting new running/walking shoes soon, which couldn't hurt. :-)

My next appointment with my surgeon (for my 3-month follow-up) is on March 17th. Which is about three weeks. I was at 254.5 at my 1-month. Is a 20-25# loss too much to ask? I'm already down 10-ish. Heck, at this point, I'll take what I can get - especially if it means that my stall has broken/hasn't gotten well-rooted. I'm getting that PMS-y kind of feeling so I expect I'll be getting a visit from TOM relatively soon. I'm having to kind of play that by ear because, without being on the Pill, I've no idea when to expect it. *shrug* I'm much happier off the Pill, so I'll put up with a little irregularity. :-)

Have a great weekend, gang!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Well, for the first time since surgery, I'm UP on a weigh-in. I guess I'm in the holding pattern of "is it a stall? is it NOT a stall?". *le sigh* I'm drinking, drinking, drinking in case it's a fluid retention thing because I was without my diuretics for a few days. I know that it'll all come out fine in the end because I'm not eating enough to have actually gained fat. Mostly just trying not to beat myself up about it.

On a somewhat related note, I don't know if it's the fact that I've banished nearly 60 pounds total or if it's because I'm not taking hormonal birth contorl or if my surgeon just flipped a switch when he was in removing 85% of my stomach, but my libido has gone into overdrive. I'm not complaining, and neither is my DH. ;-) It's just a little weird considering how low my libido has been over the years. YKWIM?

Right now, I'm just praying that the rain comes soon so my head will quit hurting. Then, stay gone until after I do a long-ish walk this afternoon. I really don't want to have to do the treadmill. :-/

Have a great week, gang.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Having a Rough Coupla Weeks

So, okay. I was running late about two weeks ago & I just shoved my meds into my bookbag so I'd have them with me. I remembered to take them that day & somehow one bottle got back to its usual spot, but the others didn't. So I spent almost a week trying to find them which means I also spent nearly a week without my thyroid meds or my anti-depressant. That fed into the flare that the cold started, leaving me in a not-good place. The flare was swiss-cheesing my brain, making it hard for me to remember -anything-, including where I'd left my pills. Thanks be to all that is good, decent & holy that I was looking for something in my bookbag & I found them. I'm now back on all my meds but not being on my anti-depressant left me with a craving for sugar that I'm not proud to admit I indulged a couple of times. The only problem is that, like everything else I've tried since surgery, I tolerated the sugar just fine. :-( so now I'm detoxing from that so I can get back on track. I'm pondering doing a week (or even three days) of liquids to get me back into the proper mind-set. I dunno. All I know is that the scale is going in the wrong direction & I need that to stop.

I guess it just goes to show that my surgeon operated on my stomach, not my mind. I'm the only one who can do that. I did brush off my pen-and-paper journal yesterday and had a little talk with myself. I also made an appointment with my Internist since he's not seen me since about a month before surgery. At my last weigh-in on Monday, I was at 243.6. My appointment is a week from today. I'm setting myself a goal to be under 240 by then. I have my work cut out for me, but I'm counting on a difficult goal being the jumpstart I need to get my a$$ back in gear. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 04, 2011

And now, a school update...

I realized it had been a while since I blathered about school. I figured I'd give us all a break from my blathering about my VSG journey, mostly because it'll all start to run together after a while. :-) Things are going well on that end except for the fact that I currently have a cold so I'm not able to exercise as much. But I'm taking care of myself so that I can start back at the gym, hopefully this coming week. *crosses fingers*

So, school...

I'll preface this by saying that I didn't really have much of a life -before- I started grad school. I don't have a lot of friends, and those I do have are on different schedules than I am, so I don't see much of them except on the weekend. I still make time for them because I need some sort of contact with people. That being said, if I had known when I signed up to take the GRE to get into school and if I had known when I sat down to write my application essay and if I had known when I accepted the scholarship that working full-time and taking 6 hours/semester of graduate work would leave me this bereft of a life, this tired, and this stressed (too much to do, too little time) I might not have even bothered. So it's probably a good thing that I -didn't- know. Heck, I'm lying. On some level I knew. I don't believe the being bereft of a life will change a whole lot, and like I said, I didn't really have one to begin with. But I think I can do something about the tired and stressed.

It all comes down to time-management. I started grad school in a summer semester. If you can avoid this, do. :-) But the thing is, I wasn't nearly as stressed or tired during that semester, which you'd think would not be the case seeing as it's a truncated semester. The reason? Because I spent time EVERY DAY on school. Whether it was reading, researching or writing, I spent a couple hours daily on it. I got everything done that I needed to, and ended up with two As to show for it. Last semester, I didn't do what I needed to and ended up with an A and a B+ to show for it. The A was in a class I could've completed blindfolded but the B+ was in a class that I should've gotten an A in. Thankfully, it's not too late in the semester to rectify the situation. Luckily, my gym and the downtown branch of our public library are about a block away from one another. So I'm thinking of going to the gym Monday & Tuesday, then going to the library until it closes at 8PM. That'll give me about 2 hours at the library those two nights. Wednesday & Friday, I have class but I can do a little after class both nights, and more on Friday. Thursday is my evening shift, so I can do school stuff in the morning. That's scheduled time every weekday. If that's not enough time, I'll do some on the weekends, as well, but I would really like to leave a day free where I don't have to think about school or work. :-) I know that might not be possible, but I can dream, right?

Wellness is all about taking care of one's mind, body and spirit. I'll get right on that. ;-)

As a side note, in May I will have completed my first year in the Program. :-) I'll finish with my coursework in August 2012. I can survive four more semesters. Right?

Monday, January 31, 2011

First Goal Achieved!

I've been setting a series of short-term, definitely achievable goals to keep me motivated. These are along with the biggies of "Onederland" (getting under 200), "Clothing sizes that start with a 1 or are single-digit", "Be comfortable in a bathing suit... in public"... That sort of thing. The first of my mini-goals was to be in a new decade on the scale by the end of January. Since I hovered around 251 most of the week, I wasn't sure that was going to happen. But it did!!!!

247.6 this morning, gang! That means almost 25 pounds since surgery and almost 54 since my high weight. WOOT! I tried on one of my goal peices, a pair of jeans I've not worn in over 3 years, to check my size progress. While they are entirely too tight for me to think about wearing them out of the house, I was able to get them on, buttoned and zipped! I expect that, by next week, I will be able to wear them out. With this weigh-in, I'm averaging about 4 pounds/week and I'm hoping to push it a little closer to 4.5 or 5 pounds/week as I start upping my exercise this week. That being said, my next mini-goal is to be out of the 230's by the end of February. It's almost 18 pounds in 4 weeks, but I still think it's acheivable. Especially now that I'm getting a better handle on balancing my fluids and protein and now that I can work out a bit harder.

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Exercise: the Plan (tm)

So, I've been giving a fair amount of thought of how my exercise plan is going to look after next Monday, when I'm cleared to start lifting weights again. Part of my problem is that, with classes two nights/week and one evening shift a week, it's kind of hard to schedule time to exercise. However, I know that exercise will not only facilitate the banishment of my excess weight, it will also help me keep my stress levels under control. Since I'm going to grad school AND working full time AND trying to keep my house from looking like an episode of "Horders", I definitely need some stress managment, STAT. :-) So, the current blueprint is as follows:

Monday: AM walk break; PM walk/swim/other cardio (after work)
Tuesday: AM walk break; weights; maybe some cardio
Wednesday: AM walk break; walk between quitting time & time for the bus
Thursday: AM walk; weights
Friday: AM walk break; walk between quitting time & time for the bus
Saturday: swim/cardio; weights
Sunday: random activity, probably housework for the most part

I know that life gets in the way and that I won't be able to exercise EVERY SINGLE DAY. However, I'm shooting for cardio 4-6X/week and weights at least 2X/week. I think that's realistic. I'm also putting it out to the universe and my readers that I'll start slowly with the weights, even though I used to lift pretty regularly. It's been a while since I lifted regularly, so I need to pretty much start over. So, for the first couple of weeks, I'll do 1 set of 15 reps or so, just to get used to doing it again. THEN I can kick my own a$$. ;-)

Somewhere between exercise, housework and classes, I need to fit in time for projects, reading, et cetera. Gah! Thankfully, after this semester, I have one more year. I can hold out for 3 more semesters, right? Right?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Was it -really- a stall? Hmm...

I'm trying to decide how I'd define a stall. The fact that I didn't lose each day like I had been made me want to call last week a stall. But, between Monday last and yesterday, I'm down 3.4#. If I ended up with a net loss, is it -really- a stall? I don't really think it is, to be honest. So, I think that, the next time I say I'm in a stall, what I'll mean is that I've not seen the scale move in a downward direction for at least two weeks. -Then- it's a stall for reals.

The weigh-in yesterday puts me down 20.2# since surgery (average of 4#/week) and 49.2# since my high. I'm so totally OK with that! If I average about 16#/mo, I'll be at goal in approximately 7 months. That just boggles me! Seriously! I expect as I move forward and get smaller, my banishings will get smaller as well, so it might take me a full year, but that's OK, too.

I'm definitely going to have to go buy some new clothes soon, though. I'll have to go cheap because I'll not be in them long. :-) The real shopping spree will wait until I'm at goal!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dreaded Week 3 Stall

I've read over and over on the message boards at ObesityHelp about the dreaded week 3 stall. I was warned about it. I knew to expect it. Then week 3 went by and I was still losing. Now I'm in week 4, and I think it's got me in it's clutches. :-( I've been bouncing around within the same pound all week. I'm sure that part of it is due to the constipation that I've just now gotten past, part of it is the fact that I started solids this week, and part is that, well, after losing almost 30# in a month and a half, my body decided to pause and re-group. I just hope that the stall isn't that long and that I can get back to losing really darn soon now.

So, for anyone who thinks that the Dreaded Week 3 Stall(tm) won't happen to them... be prepared for a rude shock. ;-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1 Month Visit

At my surgeon's office, for whatever reason, the one-month visits are overseen by the nurse, rather than the doctor. *shrug* Whatever. His scale doesn't love me as much as it usually does in that it only weighed me 0.5# lighter than my scale at home. (It's normally closer to 4#.) Still, the nurse said I was doing about average, so that's good. My labs all looked good, too, which means I'm getting my protein and other nutrients. My blood sugar is only slightly elevated, and that's without the Metformin! My cholesterol is almost normal, too, without meds!!!!!! I can't wait to see what it looks like next time! From my baseline, I've now lost 22% of my excess weight. I'm seriously OK with that. The only "scolding", if you can even call it that, was about the mashed potatoes I've had during the mushies phase. I didn't mind that so much because she gave me the best news evah! I got to start trying solid foods yesterday!!!! I'm going slowly because I know that not everything I try will agree with Sleeva, Warrior Princess. (Okay, I'm trying out names... we'll see if that one sticks ;-).) So far, I've tried string cheese (no problems), tuna steak (didn't really enjoy it, but no problems) and imitation crab meat (no problems). Now that I can have solid food, and because I have to eat protein first, carbs from things like mashed potatoes will become much less of a problem.

Thankfully, the weather has warmed up a smidge, so I'll be able to walk some this afternoon I think... assuming it doesnt' rain. :-) If it does, I'll just go walk on the treadmill. It'll be alright.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A bit of a pity-party

So, I had myself a bit of a pity party. It was really an opportunity for an attitude change, actually. Thankfully, it didn't last as long as some of my PP's have lasted in the past and I thought about not blogging about it. But I figured that maybe someone would get something out of the lesson, so here we are.

As I've mentioned before, I am a member on ObesityHelp. ( This is a FANTASTIC site and it's where I did a LOT of my research regarding VSG. The thing about it, though, is that you get to compare your progress to those who had their surgery on or around the same day you did. I had my surgery on 12/20, so it'll be 4 weeks on 01/17. I've seen folks who've lost 30# in that amount of time and folks who've lost 10#. I'm comparing apples to apples here and am only looking at folks who've had VSG. RNY or Duodenal Switch folks will definitely lose faster, especially at first. I'm kinda in the middle of the spectrum at 15# but my PP this time made me wonder if I was gonna lose this "slowly" the entire time. Then I started doing the math...

From my high weight (February 2010), I'm down 44 pounds.
From my initial weigh-in at my surgeon's office (April 2010), I'm down 38 pounds.
From the start of my liquid diet (December 2010), I'm down 27 pounds.
Since surgery (12/20/2010), I'm down 15 pounds.

The last time I lost even close to 50 pounds in a year, I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown and was following Weight Watchers like it was my religion. With my sleeve (as yet unnamed), I'm fairly confident that what I take off this time will STAY off.

So, yeah. I had a bit of a pity party. At my next opportunity, I'm going to the supermarket and am grabbing 4 10-pound bags of potatoes and am carrying them around. That's usually a strong wake-up call. ;-)

I have noticed the corelation between days I actually get my protein & fluid and 20-min of exercise and a drop on the scale the next day. A big "duh" perhaps, but I'm a pattern finder. Once I see the pattern, I stick to it as long as it's working. When it stops, I look for a new pattern. So, here's to the pattern working for a while. And here's to short-lived pity parties.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back to school tonight/SNOW!/Week 3

After about a month off (and a LOT happening), I'm back to school tonight. I'm taking IS 572: Resources and Services for Young Adults and IS 554: Public Library Management. I didn't spend as much time in "study mode" last term as I probably should have, so I'm planning to do a lot more library time and study time this term. I'm excited to get to read a bunch of award-winning YA fiction this term. I'm not sure that "excited" is the word I'd use for how I feel about IS 554 as I've only worked in Academic Libraries, but I'll be learning new information which is never a bad thing, IMHO.

Since Saturday, Knoxville has been under a blanket of snow! I can't believe how much snow we've gotten and the merry hell it's played with trying to get anywhere and do anything. I was -supposed- to go get blood drawn on Monday in preparation for my 1-month appointment next week. Hubby and I gave it the old college try, but after the 9th car in a ditch, we determined that going home and living to try another day was a good idea. We thought about trying yesterday, but saw that the roads weren't much better, so we left it to this morning. Thankfully, it was clear all the way so I was able to get my blood drawn. Since my surgeon's office is in the same building, I went up and told them that I'd -just- had blood drawn and wondered if there would be enough time between today and my appointment Monday or if I needed to reschedule. I was told that the lab was usually really good about getting results to them quickly, so it was all good. :-) Thankfully I don't have to do this again until March (3-month visit), so hopefully the weather will cooperate next time.

As of this morning, I'm down 14.6 pounds since surgery! I'm really hoping for 20 by my appointment on Monday. We'll see, I suppose. I do want to report that I'm so tired of mushies. Thankfully, I'm not on liquids anymore, but soft proteins aren't -that- much better. I have decided that I like pureed pinto beans with cheese pretty good and eggs are OK. Cottage cheese and yogurt seem to be my staples right now, and they are getting kind of old. I'm pondering trying pureed chicken or something, just for a change. I'm hoping that I'll be cleared to try solids soon. I know that the diet progressions are to aid in healing, and that's about the only reason I'm being patient. :-) I'm also hoping that my weigh restriction will be lifted so I can start lifting weights again. I've been walking as I can, but with snow everywhere and it being bitterly cold, I'm relagated to the treadmill or the mall. Bo-ring! Still, you have to exercise, you know? So far, I've escaped the dreaded Week 3 Stall. Of course, I say that now... I just hope that, if a stall is coming, that it waits until after Monday. :-)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2-week Update: Soft Proteins!

After spending what seemed like half my life on liquids, I've graduated to the soft proteins diet stage! In my BVSG days (that's "before vertical sleeve") I liked cottage cheese pretty well. Enough, in fact, that I would frequently have it and some canned fruit (in juice, not syrup) for supper during the summer. Let me tell you, though, after a month on liquids, that first bite of cottage cheese was HEAVEN!! I'm still having to do some protein drinks to make sure I hit my magic protein gram count, but it's nice being able to eat something a bit more recognizable as "food".

According to my scale, I'm down 11 pounds since surgery, which is 5.5 pounds/week. I'm trying to just keep doing what I'm supposed to be doing and not worry that I'm not losing "fast enough". I'm sure it will start to come off more quickly as I build up to walking 30-45 minutes/day and am cleared to start lifting weights again. In the spirit of walking a bit further every day, I'm planning a trip to the library after work. I may also try a 10-minute walk this afternoon if it ever gets above 40 degrees. :-)

I was a little worried about the whole restrictive part of this procedure while I was on liquids. I wasn't really ever that hungry, but I didn't ever really feel "full", either. Last night, I had what is probably the weirdest supper ever: garlic mashed potatoes, a poached egg and a slice of cheese. I handled it all really well, but I definitely felt the restriction. I thought that was pretty kewl, even if I did eat about a bite and a half past satisfied. I'm glad I'm getting a picture of what my meal size needs to be. I'm on soft proteins for 4 weeks and then I get to tip-toe into the world of "real" food. I'm collecting sleeve-friendly recipes, so feel free to shoot me links to either recipes or cookbooks. :-)

The two best things about the surgery (aside from the weight loss, obviously) is that it has almost completely cured me of my caffiene addiction and I'm only on four prescriptions! I still have a bit of tea now and again, but too much caffiene gives me a headache now (probably due to dehydration), so I don't over-do it, and I don't even have some daily now! My New Year's resolution is to do everything within my power to be off of everything other than vitamins by my 1 year surgiversary. I understand that it may not be possible to get off of -everything- because I don't know if an underactive thyroid will spontaneously fix itself, but I'm gonna do what I can.