Weight Loss Stats and Measurements

This is a record of my weight loss (W) and inches lost (I) post-op:

Starting weight before surgery: 322.0 lb. Prior to surgery I lost 22lbs.

Weight on day of surgery: 300.0 lb

Starting weight after surgery: 312.0 (often times you will gain weight while in the hospital due to i.v. fluids and gas pumped into the abdomen.)

Total weight loss to date is 74.3 pounds, which includes 10lbs lost pre-op. The record below is of post-op weight loss only.

Month 1 (Jan. 2012)~ -30lbs lost (W), Did not take measurements at this point.

Month 2 (Feb. 2012)~ -10.2lbs lost (W), -16 inches lost total from arms, bust, hips, waist, thighs and neck (I)

Friday, June 29, 2012

I am still here and doing well!

Hi all! I know I have been MIA but I have been so busy living life and getting back to Grad school after taking the Winter semester off to have the VSG. I am happy to report that I have lost 92.8 pounds as of this morning...almost to 100lbs lost! I am truly amazed at how my body has changed. I went through weight loss hell during the month of May as I was stalled for an entire month!! I literally wanted to blow up my scale and I promise you I am not a violent person, LOL! There were even a few days during the stall that I was near tears thinking my weight loss was over...now I realize how ridiculous my thoughts were, but it really wasn't helping that I was weighing myself everyday.

I am eating normally and averaging anywhere between 800 and 900 calories per day, which consists of about 75-80grams of protein and between 40-60 carbs. I struggle with water/fluid intake but I always try to get in at least 64 ounces per day. I am able to eat out if I like, but I am very picky with what I choose from the menu. Seafood is my go to choice when eating out. Salmon is now one of my favorite sources of protein. Very rarely do I wish I could eat more at one sitting, but I honestly think that the feeling comes from my old way of thinking as I am not hungry when the feeling emerges so I am happy to have my sleeve back me up during those rare moments.

Overall, I am doing well and feel blessed that I was able to have this surgery! Til next time...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Moving Right Along!

It's been a while since I posted as I have been dealing with some medical issues in relation to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, and bulging discs in my neck. I have been undergoing steroid epidural injections and needless to say I haven't been in the best shape lately; very sore and achy. However, things are going pretty well with my weight loss.

I have lost 74 pounds and am in a good groove with my new lifestyle. I have come to realize that I have a fussy sleeve(stomach)! Most days I suffer with mild reflux despite taking medication to prevent too much acid production. I am starting to believe that I am eating too fast. I have now started eating a bite of food and then waiting a minute or so before taking another bite. I also found that I absolutely cannot drink Crystal Light or any flavored drinks with citric acid as an ingredient as it will make my reflux symptoms ten times worse. I basically drink water and unsweetened decaf iced tea. I am getting a bit bored with what I am eating and will be looking for some new recipes. On a daily basis I am pretty much eating The same type of protein...shrimp, chicken and beef jerkey. Sometimes I will have ground turkey or pulled pork but I have to make sure those are in some kind of sauce for lubrication. Lately I have been incorporating about 50-60 grams of carbs along with 80-90 grams of protein.

My quality of life in regard to my weight loss has definitely improved and by quite a bit. My energy level is definitely better, I can stand and walk for a long period of time without my feet hurting. Going up and down stairs is no problem and neither is bending over. I have been shopping in regular clothing stores and dropping sizes quickly. Everytime I turn around my clothes are too big. It can be frustrating when I go to get dressed but hey, I'll take it...no complaining about that here! My personal confidence has really grown and I actually like looking at myself in the mirror and getting dressed to go out. The only thing that bugs me a little bit is how jiggly my body is and the loose skin I am developing. I will definitely be looking into plastic surgery for my stomach, arms and possibly my inner thighs. Exercising is touch and go with me right now due to my neck and back problems so I am worried about muscle tone, but I can only do what I can do. As the blog title says, I am moving right along and pleased with my progress! Til next time...

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Things have been quite exciting since my last post!  I finally understand why there are many people "addicted" to shopping...let me explain.  I have never liked shopping for clothing.  Shopping was an exercise in futility and I absolutely shopped out of necessity.  I really had no understanding of my girlfriends who loved looking at clothes and shoes or why they enjoyed trying things on for hours.  I loathed shopping because for me the things to choose from were VERY limited.  I was confined to shopping in plus size stores and I had gotten to the point where I couldn't even shop in the more fashionable plus size stores because the way I am proportioned I could never find tops that would fit comfortably over my large arms. I could only shop at Catherine's for tops. Why window shop and look at the latest fashions when I couldn't wear them?  I am happy to say that my outlook has changed!

I have lost 50.2lbs to date and it was getting to the point that my clothes were hanging off of me because they were too big.  I kept procrastinating about going clothes shopping and after exploring why I was hesitating I realized that I was fearful of what my experience would be.  I know that sounds silly, but you have to remember that shopping was NEVER fun for me and was always a chore.  I would be frustrated and hot trying on item after item that did not fit.  I would often take 10 items into the dressing room and come out with nothing...talk about depressing!!  Well, I sucked it up and went shopping by myself and boy oh boy did I have a blast!!  I was sore for 2 days after my shopping trip as I shopped for almost 4 hours!

I was happy to discover that I had dropped from a size 26/28 in jeans to a size 22 and from a 4x in yoga style pants to a 1x!!  I dropped from a 5x in a zip up jacket to a 1x jacket and I can now wear 2x and 1x tops where I used to wear a 4x to fit across my bust and around my arms.  I actually thought something was wrong with the original pair of yoga pants I was trying on because I couldn't fathom dropping to a 1x, which I have actually never worn because I skipped from wearing regular sizes to a 2x in my last year of high school.  Well, once I realized that I could fit these new sizes I started crying in the dressing room.  My brain went crazy and I started thinking of all of the places I could now shop for clothes (can you say...shopping addict in the making, LOL).  I left Catherine's Plus Size store and went to Target where I recalled that last summer I tried to buy a 4x top from there and I couldn't even get it over my head.  I am happy to say that I left Target with 3 new tops and 2 new pair of capris!!  I have since been to so many other stores it isn't even funny.  This shopping experience was a major positive milestone for me, MAJOR!!

My other wonderful experience and milestone was when I reached 50lbs lost as of today.  I have lost 50lbs before and I obviously gained it back or else I wouldn't be here having lost it again.  However there are differences this time.  First and foremost, I am not starving or feeling deprived.  This is huge as I always dieted before while hanging on by the skin of my teeth.  I am full and fulfilled when I go to bed at night.  Secondly, I have and will continue to use this journey as a chance to get to know myself.  I have never put myself first or thought myself worthy of the attention that I have been giving myself these last few weeks.  I now realize that I deserve to be happy and not living behind the big wall of obesity.  Being overweight has robbed me of so many experiences and I have finally made the choice to work on claiming my life back and living it to the fullest.  I hate that I wasted so many years being sad about this and mad about that.  My new motto is "LOVE LIFE"!!  Here's to milestones, a happy life and introspection!! Check out my recent photos...Til Next Time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Settling In , the Dreaded 3 Week Stall, & Exercise

Things have been going pretty well. I was instructed by my dietician to get in at least 65 grams of protein per day along with 64oz or more of water as well. I have been hitting the protein target by eating six small meals per day. My meals consist of 2oz of protein in the form of shrimp, fish, chicken, cheese, protein shakes and beans. I have not had any substantial amount of milk since surgery. Ever since eating yogurt and getting sick from it (nauseous and a golf ball sensation in my throat) I have been reluctant to have any milk products. I tried a very small amount of yogurt for second time and it went ok, but I still don't want a repeat of the previous experience. This weekend I plan on getting some greek yogurt and Silk milk to try. I am now on a soft diet and can eat most things except those with hard pieces, nuts, seeds and raw fruits and vegetables. I am cleared to add those things slowly into my diet next week on Thursday. I really feel like I am slowly but surely settling into my new life with my tiny stomach.

Eating is becoming somewhat boring, believe it or not! I loved meat prior to surgery. A meal was not complete if there was no meat!! I never could understand how a dish like macaroni and cheese was considered a main entree as it was meatless. So when I realized that protein was the main food choice with the VSG surgery I knew it was for me. Well, here it comes...I AM SICK OF MEAT, LOL!! I want a salad and some fruit. I can have the fruit (not raw) at this point but only after I have eaten my protein and I just don't have any room in my stomach yet. I am full and satisfied after my 2oz of meat. In terms of hunger, I do experience it but it is easily satisfied with the small portions I eat. Speaking of small portions, I am consuming just under 600 calories per day and I have been the same flippin weight for 15 days!! How is that even possible??... it's called a stall.

I knew to expect the stall around the three week mark from the many posters on the VSG Obesity Help Message Board. That place has been a wealth of information for me and I visit it daily. My body is most likely trying to figure out what the heck I have done to it and adjust to my weight loss up to this point. I consulted my dietician today and she said that stalls and plateaus during weight loss happen and to keep following my plan. My mind comprehends all of the technical information regarding stalls, but it is still frustrating to see the same number on the scale everyday. I went a few days without weighing myself as I was driving myself crazy obsessing over the lack of weight loss. However, of course I pulled out the scale again shortly thereafter. I started exercising in an effort to change things up. I went to the gym and walked for thirty minutes on the treadmill. I was really proud of myself! I was a tad bit shaky and dizzy when I stopped walking.

Overall, exercising is not going too well. I was EXTREMELY sore after the intial work out and had a headache for three days afterward. I don't know if I was having a Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up or if I overdid it. I waited until today to workout for the second time and I got sick again; lightheaded and nauseous. I drank plenty of water afterward and then had a protein snack. I guess I will have to address these issues with the doctor and exercise physiologist at the weight control center. My 6 week follow-up is next week.

My incisions are healing up nicely but itching like crazy! Hydrocortisone cream helps along with making sure my skin stays moisturized. My energy level is slowly returning but I still don't feel 100%. My abdominal muscles are sore by the end of the day, but nothing major. One thing that has changed is my teeth brushing habits. I used to brush twice per day but now I brush several times per day as I have this awful taste in my mouth, which according to the doctor comes from being in Ketosis and losing weight so rapidly. All in all, most of the things I am experiencing are minor and just a normal part of recuperation and my new life with a sleeved stomach.

Emotionally I feel so much better. I was very reliant on food to get me through boredom, tough times and for just plain old enjoyment. I am now trying to discover who I am without the unhealthy dependence on food. I am still journaling and really trying to make time for much needed introspection into my feelings about many past issues and hurts. Overeating allowed me to take brief escapes from those things I didn't want to face or deal with. I realize that it is time to move on and make room for new, happy memories. There is so much life left to live and dwelling on the past is a waste of precious time! Until next time...

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's all about the flavor!

I am so excited that I am now feeling a bit better. I realize that I will have good days and bad days, and that is ok! It appears that some swelling has gone down in my sleeve (new stomach)as I am up to 2 full ounces of food with no discomfort...woohoo!! I am up to about 400 calories per day which includes 2 protein shakes that have 15 grams of protein each. The shakes are 100 calories, lactose free Muscle Milk Shakes. But on to the "good stuff"!

Thanks to advice given to me by a good friend, I am choosing to focus on what I can eat rather than what I can't. Sounds simple enough but I wasn't doing that. I have been focused on what is missing or gone from my meals and that type of thinking will not help me reach my goal. I have been on a mission to be creative with what I choose to eat. One of my favorites is shrimp with a dash of cocktail sauce. I am on the puree stage of my post op eating plan and I made sure with the dietician that shrimp was an acceptable protein choice at this point and it is definitely ok as long as its run through the blender. I simply take two tiger prawn shrimp and puree them with about a teaspoon of cocktail sauce...ahh, seafood heaven!! For those that don't know me well, seafood is my absolute favorite food.

Next I got a big burst of flavor from Progresso Soup's Chicken Tuscany with a teaspoon of sour cream. The soup was rich and bursting with flavor. I know some of you will say "yuck" to my nect favorite, but I have been eating sardines every day; no bones of course. They are very flavorful and I do absolutely nothing to them; I eat them right out of the can! Last but not least are refried beans with a tablespoon of queso cheese or chili with a tablespoon of queso both run through the blender of course; each of these taste like nacho dip...yum!

Flavor is the key! I grew up in a household where my Mom cooked with a lot of spices. Food was always well seasoned, so bland food jsut doesn't work for me. My mission is to create and eat things that are full of flavor and that resemble dishes I loved in the past. I am really going to work on taking the focus away from how much I am eating and turn it to what I am eating in terms of how it is prepared and seasoned. After all, it's all about the flavor!!...til next time

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cry, Cry, Cry!

I promised to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Well, right now I am in the middle of some ugly emotional turmoil. The emotional aspects of having this surgery are not suprising to me but they are much more difficult than I anticipated. First off it is taking me longer to recuperate than I thought. I am still very tired and one of my incisions is still sore. I don't feel like doing much of anything because I just don't have the physical energy. The doctor tells me this is normal but it is still difficult to deal with. Not to be too dramatic, but it feels like I am missing out on alot. I have to remind myself that this is only temporary!

In terms of eating, it is just so hard to wrap my brain around eating 1-2ounces of food. I want to eat and then I sit down to these extremely tiny portions and I feel so abnormal. In other words I am angry that in order to have some control over my food addiction, I have to once again be different than everyone else. What normal person eats 1-2 ounces of food? I have always felt different from others and this is just another way that I am set apart. My choice in how much I eat has been taken away and I am mad about it! I guess I am feeling like "why me", hence my post title "Cry, Cry, Cry". I having been crying all morning. Ultimately I know I made the right decision for myself, but I guess I have to take this emotional journey to accept the situation as it is. I was headed for an early death at the weight I was. I have to take and maintain control of my health! There is no turning back. The larger portion of my stomach is gone and I have to accept that, along with the responsibility for allowing myself to become super morbidly obese in the first place.

I know I will look back on this post and realize that it was necessary for me to cry and to be angry in order to heal and face my fabulous future...til next time!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Serving Spoons and Dancing Tacos

Ok, the last 14 days have taken me on such an emotional roller coaster! Let's start out with the stats...I have lost 25lbs since coming home 10 days ago (I gained 15 in the hospital; they pump alot of fluid into you and air into the abdomen for the surgery). Total I have lost over 32lbs! My winter coat is too big, my favorite pair of jeans are baggy and my jogging clothes are swallowing me up. I had to get new underwear in a size smaller than I used to wear and now my bra is too big. Trust me, I am not complaining one bit! However, I would be lying if I said that my head isn't lagging behind the physical changes that I am experiencing.

When I first came home from the hospital I really and I mean really struggled with what many call "head hunger". I was not physically hungry but my mind was insisting that I was. This was a very strange place to be in. It was so difficult to know that my family was having taco night and I couldn't join them (I had to follow a liquid diet for several days post surgery). On another occasion my Mom sent spaghetti over for dinner and I literally spent 10 or more minutes in the kitchen talking myself out of licking a serving spoon that had spaghetti sauce on it...for the record I have NEVER licked a serving spoon in my life!! It was starting to become real apparent to me how addicted to food I really am. It is like the food had to be taken away from me to get clear insight as to what to do mentally to begin tackling the challenge ahead of me. Things got so difficult from a mental standpoint that I began having dreams about dancing tacos begging me to eat them, LOL!

To help cope with the emotional aspects of this journey I have begun journaling my feelings each day. I also allow myself to just really sit with my feelings...if I need to cry, I cry. Everything gets better with time and I am allowing myself the time I need to better myself. I have spent so much of my life energy thinking about others, what they think and how to keep them happy. All the while neglecting myself, my wants and needs. I am now a priority in my own eyes and I am going to work hard to keep it that way! Last, but definitely not least, prayer and believing that GOD has got my back has gotten me through the last 14 days!!

Currently I am feeling pretty good. I still have some minor pain at the largest incision site and MAJOR fatigue. The fatigue keeps me from feeling like doing much, however I did venture out last night with my husband for a tea at Starbucks and to the grocery store to grab a few items. I am currently on the puree stage of my post op plan. This stage is so much better than the liquid stage as there are more options to choose from. In a couple of weeks I will move to the soft food stage where food choices will more closely resemble a normal diet. I am able to drink fluids comfortably and I have experienced no vomitting, thank you Lord! Overall, I am happy with my choice to be sleeved and I am looking forward to what the future holds!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I did it!!

I am officially sleeved! I had my weight loss surgery on Jan. 5th along with a small hernia repair. I came through the surgery just fine and spent two days in the hospital before being released. The days leading up to surgery were restless. I was nervous and very anxious. I also had periods of feeling sorry for myself in regard to having to resort to surgery to help me get control of my weight..I was sort of feeling like "why me?". Well, obviously I got over those feelings and forged ahead with the surgery.

I woke up in quite a bit of pain. It felt like a hot poker was plunged through my upper left abdomen. The surgeon later explained to me that the pain I was having was most likely from the hernia repair and not the gastrectomy itself. I used my morphine pain pump religiously while I was in the hospital. I also had trouble urinating after the surgery and had to be catheterized a few times before I was able to go on my own. This was attributed to a "sleepy" bladder caused by the anesthesia. The hospital staff was pretty good but I got absolutely no rest there as my vital signs were being checked constantly, which of course is a good thing!

This is my 5th day post op and I have times when I feel ok and others where I feel bloated and sore. I had a horrible case of head hunger last night. My family had taco night but because I am on a full iquid diet for the next 9 days I had to partake in some delicious beef broth...um, NOT! Everything smelled so good, but funny thing was, I wasn't physically hungry at all. The mind is a powerful thing!! I made it through and today is new day. I have been surviving on broth, yogurt, which my tummy doesn't agree with, popsicles, creamed soups and protein drinks. Tea has also been a life saver. I am struggling trying to meet my protein requirements but a family friend (thanks Debra) gave me a good suggestion to help with that. I am going to try a protein smoothie with no sugar added from Topical Smoothie. All in all I am hanging in there..oh yeah I forgot to mention that I have lost 12.8lbs since coming home on Saturday! Till next time...