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.