Six Months Out - Full Body Picture

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I fit in my goal dress!!!

So, when I first started my journey, I met a gal at the support group wearing a super cute dress. A few days later, I ran into her during my post op at the surgeon's office and she was wearing the same dress, so I told her it was cute. She offered me the dress and I said Thanks, but no thanks. I told her it would never fit me, but she told me to have faith that it would!

At last week's support group meeting, she told me she had the dress in her car for me. I tried it on today, with absolutely no hope/thought that it would fit today. Well, it does!! LOL

I think it's too young for me, and it's definitely too low cut, but I'm crying because I never in a million years thought this dress would fit me and it does. THIS is a true NSV!!!

Maybe in another 20 or 30 pounds I'll feel differently, but right now, I will not be wearing this dress in public. I'm pumped, though, to see real, tangible results of all the treadmill, exercise, and recumbent bike time I've put into me!

Happy Dancing Today!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Life with the Sleeve

So, for the last few days, I've been incredibly busy with work. That's a great thing, but it makes keeping up with my eating/drinking a little tough. I've posted before that I must get 64 oz of water and 70 g of protein in me daily for optimal results from my sleeve. So, here's how I've done it the last few days.

Each morning, I try to drink 1 16.9 oz bottle of water before I leave the house. I also take my meds with this bottle of water, so I have a mini babybel right after I take the meds. My multi-vitamin is in my morning med routine and it contains iron. Iron on an empty stomach for me is a no-go.

I take a Premium Nutrition protein bar with me in my purse. This often becomes my official breakfast, and it's a great start to my day. They are under 300 calories and have 30g of protein. I prefer the Yogurt Peanut Crunch bar, but any of them are okay tasting. I buy a box of 15 at Sam's for around $14 dollars. Another bottle of water goes with me, usually flavored with Mio drops. If you haven't tried these, they are the BOMB!  The orange/tangerine drops make my water taste like Sun**Kist, IMO.

Since I usually drive about an hour, I try to finish the bottle of water and the protein bar on my drive. Food first, wait half an hour, then drink the water. I'm usually pretty close to finishing the water. Thank goodness I can drink faster now than I could right after surgery!

If I have lunch, it's usually around 1:30 or 2pm. I take something with me if I know I'll be out that late, usually a tuna kit or a can of soup. If I do have to resort to eating somewhere, I prefer a sit down restaurant because they almost always have a chicken breast/veggie combination I can eat. If I must do fast food, I'll order a salad with grilled chicken or a grilled chicken breast sandwich and eat part of the chicken and veggies on the sandwich. I'm still not eating much bread at all. I think I had a piece of bread last sop up the gravy from my homemade beef stew! ;)

I'm getting a little more creative at home with dinner. Chicken and pork have been my go-to meats for a long time, but I'm now adding a little beef in there. I like to set up the crock pot in the morning with a piece of meat and some dried beans. Season it well with chopped onion and some spices and I can let dinner cook all day. It's been really nice to walk in the door with dinner waiting on me the last few days.

My real challenge in the last couple of weeks is to start cooking for one person instead of half an army. When I bought this place, my son stayed in the apartment we had been sharing. He was a great disposal for all of my leftovers before and now I have to eat them myself or get over throwing away food. My thrifty brain has a conniption every time I toss food, so I have been working on cooking smaller amounts, or on freezing the leftovers.

One trick I found is to purchase a full package of meat, pork chops, thin sliced steaks, etc, freeze them on a cookie sheet, then store them in a plastic bag or container in the freezer. Right now mine are in a round tupperware container, but I'm going to look for two or three medium containers on my next goodwill run.  With a label, these should be a great place to store my meat. It's not like I need a ton. I can still barely handle 3 oz of meat per meal, so a medium container should be more than enough.

I also bought some "single serving" size veggies. Those are two servings (or more) for me, so I'll buy a bag of loose veggies next time and just dish out a spoon or two at a time.

One thing that seems to work really well for me, though, isn't tightwad at all: bottled water. I have a couple of water bottles and a water dispenser in my fridge, but I seem to remember to take water better if I can just grab a bottle from the fridge. Since I'm spending so little on other food, for right now, I'll use them. I really need to get myself in the habit of filling up my reusable water bottles and keeping them in the fridge, but I'm making a little progress at a time.

I do snack, but I try to make it healthy. I keep string cheese, mini babybel cheese, and peanut butter in the fridge/pantry. I've found that I really like something crunchy, too, so I have a bag of pretzels. I can eat 4 or 5 and feel satisfied, and they are great to dip in peanut butter for a sweet treat.  I also keep skinny cow ice cream in the freezer, but my lactose intolerance hit me pretty hard this week.

In other news, American Idol is back!! That's my one TV show that I don't like to miss. I really enjoy watching the young singers who are trying out...and, my track record is pretty good on who will be the biggest stars. That doesn't mean I always pick the winner, but I can usually tell who is going to go on to have a good career.

Monday, January 23, 2012

20 pounds closer to goal in under 5 minutes!!! :)

OMG!!! Just got 20 pounds closer to goal!!! Saw my surgeon today and finally remembered to ask him about a goal weight. His answer is 190, my number is 170. He says I'll bee too thin at 170 since I'm 5 feet 8. So, I am officially halfway to goal!!! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How fast did you lose weight?

Family members have asked me if I think I'm losing weight quickly or slowly compared to others who have had VSG.  My response is that truthfully, I could care less if I'm a slow loser or a fast loser, so long as I'm a loser (of weight, that is)! :) I started at a 53 BMI, and I've lost 81 pounds in 4.5 months. IMO, that's the perfect rate of weight loss for ME.

One thing about losing slowly is that it gives your skin more of an opportunity to rebound so you will hopefully have less loose skin when you get to goal. Losing slowly also means you are probably losing more fat than muscle, which is great! Less muscle to have to rebuild.

And, numbers on the scale do NOT tell the whole story. I look for the NSVs or non scale victories. Are my pants looser? Can I walk further, do more, do I have more energy? All of those things add up, not just the pounds lost according to the scale. If you look through the any picture gallery, you'll see people who are 172 pounds that wear a size zero and people who weigh 172 who are a size 10. The differences are in height and muscle tone, usually. So the scale doesn't tell the whole story.

Muscle does weigh more than fat. Muscle also helps us burn fat, so building strong muscles is important. I stall when I work out, then a few pounds will whoosh off in a day or two. But, when I work out, I lose inches. By doing basic workouts, walking, bicycle, light weight lifting, I have lost two pants sizes in the last three weeks. I also haven't lost an ounce in over a week. Am I worried? Nope. I keep eating my protein, drinking my water, and working out. The weight loss will happen, but I want to be a solidly built 170, not a flabby 170.

The bonus of working out is the energy boost. IMO, everything looks better when you get that serotonin boost from working out and, BELIEVE ME, I can use that energy boost right now! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where I am Right Now In My Journey

So, as of a few days ago, I'm at 271.2...that .2 is important, LOL.  I had a small stall for a few days before that, then dropped nearly 10 pounds overnight. I've been working on my water intake because a drop that big HAS to be water, right? But, the loss has stayed.

I also dropped a pants size in jeans, which are the most unforgiving clothes, IMO. And, the new jeans I bought are already getting loose. I think I'm about to drop a few more pounds on the scale.

I've added in more raw and cooked veggies, and I'm getting ready to try some edamame. I found it in the freezer case the other night in single serving containers, so it's going to probably be lunch tomorrow.

I also dropped a bra size, from 46DD to 44C. I think that's pretty good, and the girls still look okay. I'm afraid they'll deflate completely, which would not be a good thing!

I haven't been on the treadmill as much lately, but I've been subbing work in the yard for the treadmill. My new place has steps leading up to the front and back doors, so I'm getting some stair work on them. I already see improvement in my ability to walk up steps, which is amazing!

Pictures, I know I've got to post some. I'll save that for when I'm home this week and see if I can't get some posted for you all.

Still working on grieving for my friend. I'm coming out of the numb stage now and hoping the worst will wait until after tomorrow since I have a busy work day planned.

Oh, and, most importantly, I now have internet service at home!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My "Talk" for Someone Considering VSG Surgery

I have posted my journey before, but I'll paraphrase it. I have been heavy most of my adult life, gaining a few pounds a year. But, I've been mostly healthy with no major problems. Until last May, when I got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital, which started a roller coaster ride of co-morbidities. Within three months, I was on oxygen, coumadin for blood clots, was dx with rheumatoid arthritis, borderline diabetic, etc. The list was as long as my arm and then I was hospitalized a second time for the blood clots, which threw two pulmonary embolisms into my lungs. Between May and August, I was told to prepare to die three times. My doctors told me I wouldn't live another year unless I got the weight off me fast.

I'm not looking for sympathy by posting all of that, just telling you that you can be perfectly healthy one day and practically on death's doorstep the next. When the problems hit, they hit with a vengeance. I was lucky that I didn't die from the pneumonia or from the pulmonary embolisms. It was almost too late for me to have WLS when I finally decided that I had to do it. Because I had all those other problems, instead of "just" being sleeved, I had to have two more operations in order to have the sleeve done.

Nobody knows how much time they have left, but I was determined to give my body a fighting chance at living. I hate to see someone put off WLS, especially if it's because they are currently healthy. If you're ready and want to take this weight off now, this is an amazing tool to help do that. And, I hope that it will save others from having to go through what I've been through.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


STILL fighting with Comcast, trying to get my internet up on a consistent basis. What a PITA!!! Now, it's their equipment not working right. Of course, when the tech was here this morning, it worked perfectly for him!! ARGHHHH!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bad, Horrible, Very Not Weight Loss Related News

I've waited a few days to post this because it's just totally fresh, raw, and painful. One of my best friends in this world died last Saturday. I originally met her when I did some recruiting for a Network of notaries. We became fast friends and I've probably spoken to her every day of the last 5 years.

Last week she had some weakness in her right leg and, after urging from everyone she knows, she went to the doctor on Thursday. He told her that she was fine, prescribed antibiotics and sent her home. She joked with me Thursday evening that the doc told her "This won't kill you."

It didn't. The coroner gave his report and says that she died of heart and kidney disease. I know for a fact that she didn't know she had either one.

Lynn, my friend, was a wonderful person. She had her moments of non-wonderful, but so do I. Her daughters are grown, barely, and the youngest had just left home right before Christmas. If she could see them, she'd be proud of how those gals and their daddy have stepped up and handled things in the last few days. I'm amazed that daddy is coherent since he was with Lynn when she passed. I haven't asked for details, but I understand it was very sudden.

I'm attending her memorial service tomorrow to say goodbye to a woman that I have come to love like a sister. Which means that we've fought and hugged and shared the details of our lives in great detail. I'm going to miss her. Words cannot express how much. I'm still in disbelief and shock. I keep waiting for the phone to ring and for Lynn to laugh and say "Wasn't that a funny joke?" Then I'd have to beat her, but I'd be so happy to hear her voice that I wouldn't know what to say.

Time to go figure out what I'm going to wear. I'm not sure that I have anything funeral appropriate that fits me. Definitely not something I wanted to be doing today.

I'm gonna steal Toby Keith's words: "I'm gonna miss that smile. I'm gonna miss you my friend. I'm not cryin' cause I feel so sorry for you. I'm crying for me."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cable Problems Abound

I'm so not impressed with Comcast Cable. When I called last week to move my service, they informed me that I would have to be treated as if I were a new subscriber because I'm now in a different "market". The bright side of this is that I should be installed sooner than those who were "just" transferring service and that I should receive a call back on Thursday or Friday to confirm me new, closer, installation date.

On Tuesday, I spent most of the afternoon trying to find someone who could tell me if I will be installed sooner, or if I am actually stuck waiting until Sunday for an installer. After 3 frustrating hours on the phone, I do not have any answers. So, apparently, I'm stuck. I will be back online as soon as possible. Right now, I'm cadging some wifi at Denny's. Thank you, Denny's for Free WiFi. And a big fooey on Comcast for being so customer service oriented! NOT!