"What is she gonna talk about now?"

Basically, I've always been the "fat friend", the "fat cousin", the "fat ____" you fill in the blank. Started gaining when I was young, around 8 or 9 years old. From then on I just kept getting bigger and bigger. I can diet and lose weight, but I can't keep it off by myself. I did this surgery to feel better. To be healthier. To give myself a chance to live longer. I want to know what it feels like to walk the mall without breathing hard and feeling like I'm gonna keel over! I want to ride bikes with my family. I'm going to be successful this time.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Guess it's time to update.

I hit a stall a couple weeks ago and finally broke it today when I dropped to 271. Aahhhh....feels good. I expect the stalls because they are a normal part of the journey but it doesn't make them any less frustrating. Oh well, I'm thankful for this surgery and quickly get over the frustration.

Pouchy is still trying to heal from the ulcer. I'm still having pain so the gastro increased my PPI and had me do a H. Pylori blood test yesterday. Haven't gotten the results yet and am anxious to get them back. 

I've lost more inches because I can now fit into a size 24! That's huge. I started out in a 30/32 so getting to a 24 in 4 months just amazes me. Thank goodness for Goodwill! 

I have been crocheting and working on Christmas shopping. It's one of my favorite times of year, but I have been stressing over all the "goodie opportunities" that are starting to crop up. Halloween came and went with no temptation to eat candy so that's a plus. But I'm now fighting off a little sadness/anxiety over not being able to partake in the usual holiday food explosion. The crocheting and shopping help a little. I'm currently trying to figure out a WLS friendly Thanksgiving menu that the whole family will eat. 

We are sending youngest (20 yr old) son back to the Midwest on 12/7 so he can spend Christmas with the grandparents. He will be there until February. I already miss him! This will be my first Christmas without him and I'm not feeling too happy about that. But what makes up for it is that my parents WILL have him....they are usually alone on Christmas so there is no way I can complain. 

I've had some wonderful coworkers who have given me scrubs they can no longer wear and I could not be more grateful. When I wear clothes that actually fit and are not too baggy from shrinking out of them I get a lot of compliments on how I look. I had one patient who got a little TOO complimentary and actually creeped me out. Ha! I'm still working on how to take the compliments gracefully. Not use to it! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pouchy Is Not Completely Happy

So yesterday I found myself in the ER after conversations with my surgeon and the gastroenterologist that she consults with. They did a work up that included an upper endoscopy and lo and behold......I have an anastomotic ulcer. I know I'm lucky that this is the only complication I have had since the surgery in July, but it bums me out that even though I have done all I'm supposed to do --meaning no Nsaids, caffeine, smoking, etc-- I still get a friggin' ulcer. Sigh.....

Ok, over the pity party. Now on to healing Mr. Pouchy. 

They started me on Carafate and omeprazole twice a day to see if this heals over time. I'll make sure to be extra careful with that I'm eating and drinking, although I don't know if I can do anything much different. This concerns me because if I am already not doing or eating things that cause ulcers does that mean I'll be prone to them no matter what? Am I going to be fighting ulcers the rest of my life just because I had this surgery?  Will I get scarring that will cause a stricture? Good grief, I guess I just need to take it as it comes. Pouchy should start feeling better after a week or two they said, otherwise we'll need to look further. 

In other news.....I needed some new shoes and was able to find some really cool ones at the outlets and the biggest excitement was that I did not need a wide width! The silliest thing, but it made me so happy! Also, went to the Old Navy Outlet and was able to fit into their 2X shirts. Bought two long sleeve shirts for $6 and a cute jacket for $15. I have a feeling the smaller I get the more I'm going to love to shop. I have never been able to shop at Old Navy unless it was their online 4X yoga pants. lol  So many people take shopping off the rack for granted. It was a great feeling.

And one of the biggest NSV's I have had so far--I was able to take a bike ride after being unable to for way too long! Got out my Townie and hit the road! I sat comfortably with no pain and felt great afterwards. I'll be taking rides every weekend. I would love to ride during the week but I generally leave when it's dark and get home when it's dark!  Having a full time job really puts a hamper on life. HA!!



Sunday, October 13, 2013

3 Months Later

It's been a bit over 3 months since surgery and here are some of the changes that have been happening:

1) I've lost 74 lbs since my highest weight. Down to 281. Soon I will be the weight on my driver's license. lol I have always put 275 on it, even when I weighed 355. 

2) I tried on and bought a pair of 24W cargo pants at the "Walmarts" yesterday. Unbelievable. Now, I still think these are cut big and probably can't fit into 24Ws in any other brand, but it was exciting all the same. I am coming down from a size 30/32W. 

3) Mixed up bowels. TMI for some, so skip this one if you want. For the first 2 months I was constantly having loose stools and diarrhea. When I hit that 3rd month I stopped. Literally. Now I'm dealing with constipation. Painful constipation! I spent 30 freakin' minutes on the potty one day and it was agonizing. At my 3 month follow up the Internal Medicine bariatric specialist said we could safely add in Benefiber, a stool softener AND Miralax daily. So with all that and upping my water intake I'm hoping things will start moving along better. It's not fun!

4) I am able to shave my legs in the shower again! I have to be careful with dizziness from bending over but I'm physically able to reach down and shave. Loving that!

5) I can pull the steering well in my car in the bottom most position. This is how I prefer to drive, but was unable to for a long time because of big legs and tummy. It's the little things that get me excited. lol

6) I can sit in my office chair at work and pull one leg up under me, which is ultra comfy for me. 

7) I can walk up 2 flights of stairs without being out of breath!

8) A1c is down to 6.0%. Off all insulin and down to 500mg metformin twice a day.

9) Still cannot tolerate chicken breast unless it is done in the crock pot. Chicken thighs, no problem. But darn that chicken breast, every time it causes some pain and nausea.

10) I'm cooking more now than I did before surgery. This is good because it means we are not eating JUNK! I'm actually enjoying cooking new things with fresh ingredients. 

11) The urge to do other things when I'm stressed, sad, mad, etc is really bad the past couple weeks. I'm working on this. 

12) I'm finding bones here and there. My knees are looking a bit knobby. lol 

13) I'm getting way more smiles and "friendlies" from strangers. Some have debated whether or not this is because we fat people are looking more "normal" and therefore the prejudice is lessening. Some think it's because as we gain more confidence we look more approachable. More on what I think about this later!

14) Being on my feet for longer periods does not hurt. My tootsies are breathing a sigh of relief! 

There, that's a start. I forgot to mention the moods are still driving me crazy. I get irritated so much easier and have less tolerance for bullshit. And the breakouts on my face. Damn pimples! 

But there is so much more good stuff and great feelings going on that it makes it all worth it. I'm so happy I had this surgery and even though I'm still a fresh newbie I would say I would do it all over again. My quality of life has gained by leaps and bounds already, I can't even imagine how much better it's going to get!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Two months out from WLS

And I'm so happy I had this surgery and would do it over again. As of today I have lost a total of 62 lbs, with 38 pounds of that lost just since the surgery. Already, I can walk longer and stand on my feet for longer periods of time without hurting. I can breathe better. I can sleep better. I am excited to get to 100 lbs lost, because I can't even imagine what things I'll be able to do that I have either never been able to, or at least not in a very long time. But I need to cool my jets! One day at a time, Lori. It's a process. 

The emotions are still running wild from the hormone dumping but I noticed the more exercise I get the better I feel. I need to hit the gym more often. I feel like I'm starting to get some energy, too. I am not too tired to cook now when I get home from work and I feel like I can spend more time doing what needs to be done instead of being so tired I just want to sit on the couch or sleep. This is real progress. 

Here is a side by side of me that I just did today. In the black tank it's the day before surgery. In the blue....that's me today. Not a huge difference yet, but I can see it in  my face and upper body. 

  I made this WLS friendly casserole for my lunches this week, plus enough leftover for a meal or two for my guys. Bariatric Foodie is one of my absolute favorite sites for meal and protein shake ideas. She had the surgery herself so she knows what she is talking about! Check her out!

I went to the gym today and did 30 minutes on the treadmill. I tried the elliptical a few weeks ago, but could not do over a measly 3 minutes! It looks like so much fun that I can't wait to build up endurance and leg muscles to really get on it and go. I know I should not feel this way but it's embarrassing to get on it and then get off 3 minutes later. I feel like all the athletic people are snickering. Still working on that self esteem issue. ;)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Emotions, NSV's, and Little Bits

Last week I went back to work for the first time after my surgery and was overwhelmed by the reaction I got from my friends and co-workers. Apparently we don't see the change in ourselves as much as others do and last week proved that to me. All positive comments, lots of hugs of congratulations and welcome back. It felt great and meant a lot, but in the same token was a bit overwhelming because I am not used to getting so much attention. I will have to adjust to that from what I have read on other WLS blogs and forums. 

NSV's (non-scale victory) for the past week: 

1) I was able to get up earlier than I did preop and actually take the time to blow out my hair, put on some makeup and, most importantly, eat a healthy breakfast. Before surgery I would shower, let my hair dry naturally and run out the door. I would grab a drive-thru high fat, high calorie breakfast or a Starbucks on the way. Bad, bad girl! I also packed my lunch the night before and ate it instead of eating the lunches we get from the drug reps. 

2) Geekboy (DH) and I went shopping in San Jose yesterday and walked, walked, walked. Normally my feet would be killing me and I'd be pooped out before we even finished. Not this time! And my feet are not even hurting today. This feels really good. I feel like I am starting to live life again instead of watching everyone else live it!

3) I fixed dinner every night after work. Preop I would have been too tired and probably grabbed junk through drive-thru or had Geekboy bring junk to us since he gets home after I do. I think back now and really look at how much junk I was eating and I'm astounded. My poor body being put through that. Ugh! 

One scale victory this week -- I FINALLY broke my 10 day stall. I was not completely freaking out yet because I know they will happen, but I gotta tell ya I was sure getting frustrated! I feel so much better being 3 lbs away from 300 rather than only 1 lb! LOL Ridiculous, I know. 

Hormone dumping also began this week. Holy crap! Happy, sad, pissed off, giddy, crying, wanting to tear someone's head off......it has begun. I'm hoping it doesn't last long! I'm certainly getting a lesson of "breathe and count to 10". 

I made some of these today to have for breakfast this week. Yum! Next I'm going to mix some tuna salad together for my lunches and make Geekboy and I salads for tomorrow night's dinner. I have a support group meeting after work and he will not be home from his work until around 9:00. My salad consists of maybe 5 butter lettuce pieces, 3 ounces grilled chicken and 1 cube of diced reduced fat cheese and fat free dressing. I can't wait to start trying more fresh veggies to add to it, but I can't eat that much yet! 

Here we go into another week............ 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back To Work This Week!

I go back on Tuesday. I guess I'm ready to go back. I mean, if I was able to I would love to be able to stay home full time and possibly do some volunteer work, but hey...isn't that everybody's dream? 

I am ready to be busy again, but I'm not ready for getting out of my comfort zone of a routine. This new life of mine post-op is going pretty well and I'm scared that work will be bad for me food wise. I work in a healthcare office and please believe me when I tell you they are the WORST environments for healthy eating. Drug reps constantly bring free lunches and it's mostly crap. Grateful patients will bring all kinds of goodies around the holidays, or just "because".  And the potlucks are filled with yummy, fattening, high calorie fare that no one can resist! This is going to be a true test. Couple that with a stressful environment and it could be disastrous.

I ordered a Bento Box (I got mine in Garden. Cute!)  like the one Michelle uses over at eggface.com because I think it's a brilliant idea for those of us who need that visual of our portion controlled meals. I have my water flavorings, my emergency protein powder and bars and a head full of ideas I can focus on instead of food when the issue comes up. I have established good habits but I'm still having some anxiety over this. Deep breath, Lori. 

On the NSV (non-scale victory) front - I tried on all my scrubs to see what fit and what doesn't. I was thrilled to find out that I can fit into scrubs I have not been able to where in almost 7 years. I look a bit dated but I just don't care....because I can fit them! And they will do until I lose enough to need to actually buy more. I did, however, need to go to the Walmarts and see if I could fit their largest size because I needed a pair of black and a pair of blue since mine in those colors are now way to big. I have never been able to fit into Wally World's scrubs. Today I fit in and bought them in 3X! I'm down from a 5X! I was ecstatic, to say the least. And the bonus is that they only cost $5.96 a pair. What?! 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Do Not Like the Number 3

Only because I distinctly remember the first time I ever saw a 3 as the first number on the scale. Mortified does not even begin to describe what I was feeling. Add to that embarrassed, depressed, disgusted, incredulous. But the worst of all, hopeless. I saw that number and I felt utterly hopeless. I thought, "Well, it's all over now. I have gone too far, there is no hope of ever losing enough weight." And I stupidly self sabotaged my way up the scale.  Instead of getting my head together and taking control, I let that number give me license to eat even more and become even more addicted.

Well, today felt like a MAJOR victory for me on the scale. I weighed in at......299 lbs!! Yeah, I know, it's 1 pound away from the evil number and I could gain it again just from normal post op up and downs. But that's ok! I know I can lose it again because I have already done it! Most of us WLSers celebrate when we get to ONEderland, and I certainly will when that happens! But getting to TWOville feels pretty damn good for now!  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Making the Changes

I love the Farmer's Market! And it fits right in with my new life of eating healthier. I should be cleared for regular solid foods at my 6 week post op appointment, which is next Friday and I can't wait to start incorporating some tasty fresh veggies into my meals. I have already been enjoying zucchini, but I'm ready to have some crunch back. I have been eating canned as per my doctor's list of foods that are fine for this stage, but I miss the fresh. Who knew I'd be craving salad! Here is my mini haul from the Farmer's Market today. My family will benefit from this. 

Those berries smell heavenly. I think I'll use the avocado rolled up with some thinly sliced turkey.  The zucchini will be sauteed with some herbs and a touch of olive oil.  The peach is for my DH (aka Geekboy) and the sweet corn is for my boys. I will miss the fresh produce when the farmer's markets close. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Before

To everyone around me I was a happy fat person. I often joked about my own weight to take away the awkwardness of any given situation that came up where my weight might be an issue. This seemed easier than trying to fit myself where it wouldn't! At least I could bow out gracefully and save face instead of being faced with embarrassment. 

I was a chubby child after age 8 and continued to get bigger as I grew up. Poor eating habits, what I now know was depression, and a constant feeling of loneliness fueled my need to eat my feelings. I haven't worked out all these past issues yet, but I continue to work on them and hope someday I can get to the bottom of why I became addicted to food.

                              This picture is me right before surgery, at 331 lbs. 

                                       Here I am at my highest weight of 355 lbs.


 I hated and avoided pictures as much as possible. I hope that posting these and looking back will help to keep me accountable. I never want to go back there again! I was not a happy fat person. I was miserable inside my layers of fat and felt like I was choking off all the life I had. But it was a "comfortable" place. Right now, it doesn't make much sense but that's the only way I can describe it. It's the only thing I knew, basically, so it was a comfort in it's own effed up way. 

Then one day I finally came to the realization that I might die. No, not might. I most certainly would die before the age of 60 if I didn't do something to change. Why did it take so long to figure that out? .....................

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Post-Op Bucket List

Most post-ops have a list of things they hope to do after surgery, mostly things a large person either has a hard time doing or cannot do at all with all the weight they carry. It's not just a wish list. It's a goal list...a great motivation!  Most of these things are everyday things that thin, able-bodied people take for granted. I can't wait to start marking off the list! 

1. To walk up my stairs without pain in my knees.  DONE!

2. To walk even a short distance without being short of breath.  DONE!

3. Keep up with my husband or kids when we are out.

4. To stand for a long period without pain.

5. Be off insulin and to at least cut down on other meds.   DONE!

6. Cut down my risk of heart attack and stroke.

7. Bike with my guys.

8. Cross my legs.

9. Have the energy to do daily chores, cleaning without being in pain and exhaustion.

10. Fit in one airplane seat without an extender.

11. Ride amusement park rides with my husband.

12. Fit in a regular lawn chair.

13. Buy clothes off the rack instead of special ordering.

14. Have a smaller shoe size.

15. Not be "the fat friend".

16. Actually enjoy exercise.

17. Have a smaller ring size.

18. Spend a day hiking without feeling like I'm going to die.

19. Increase my chances of living longer.

20. Sit comfortably in and be able to get up and out of the bathtub.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Up From Under What??

Up from under the layers of fat that have been drowning me for 30 plus years, that's what. I had bariatric surgery on 7/10/13 and am finally coming up out of the darkness that has plagued me and my self esteem since I can remember. I will journal my experiences here and hopefully pass along some useful information for others who are looking into bariatric surgery as a tool to getting their health and life back.  Let's see where this is going to take me... 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

It's Been A Month Already?!

Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since my RNY and I can't believe how quick the time has gone and how fast the weight is coming off. As of today I have lost 22 pounds since surgery. That's over 5 lbs a week! I think that's pretty astounding for me, because I sure haven't lost that fast in the past.
So things are still going well, only had a couple issues come up really. The fatigue is still sometimes overwhelming. When I think I've gotten some energy back I get a lot of things done, but then I wake up completely zapped the next morning. Also, I have come across the food getting "stuck" feeling twice and actually vomited for the first time. One was chicken that I think was not moist enough and the other was some baked cod. Not sure what the deal was with the fish but I'm not trying it again for a good long while! I also ordered some papaya enzymes off Amazon since I can't find them around here. I want to be prepared next time! All in all I think I've been pretty fortunate with the surgery so far.
The weight loss is really showing in my clothes.  I started out in a 30/32 and my pants/shorts are getting too loose. My guys told me I need to buy a belt! lol  I have tried on a pair of my old 28s but they are just a bit too snug I think, so I'm right in between. Hopefully in the next week or two I'll move on down a size! So exciting.
I got my haircut into a bob style in prep for the hair loss that will most likely occur. I have super thin hair already so I'm very nervous about it but there's not much else I can do except good shampoo, a good cut, biotin and protein! And also a little of this stuff. I love it.
I have been having weird dreams occasionally since surgery. Bizarre dreams usually. But last night was my first food dream. I dreamed I was getting ready to eat fast food but I kept telling myself, "You can't eat that! Don't eat that!"  That's when I woke up. That was truly weird.
Moving forward..............

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Two Weeks Post Op

Today was my first post op appointment with my surgeon and I must say it went very well. I am down 14lbs from my surgery weight of 331. Actually, I gained 9lbs while in the hospital from the fluids and gas so I lost that, too! My incisions are healing well, all for one that looks a little angry at the moment. Dr. said it's not infected yet so I'm going to keep some antibiotic ointment on it for awhile. She cleared me for the gym, just treadmill and elliptical....no weightlifting yet. Also, no pool for another 2 weeks. I was hoping to go swimming this week but that will just have to wait. She is a little concerned about my loose stools and diarrhea so I have to do a stool sample to check on it. She said it's probably just my "innards" adjusting, plus all the liquids I've been on, but we'll check to be safe. I was also cleared for Stage III of the diet --- Soft foods! Yahoooo! I'm ready to chew. lol
I'm  happy so far with my RNY. I know there are going to be challenges coming, especially with actually eating real food again, but I'm ready to deal with it. I feel good about this and am so glad I had this surgery. I'm off insulin, off one of my BP meds, and off a migraine med. My metformin is cut in half. I just can't believe it. Feeling really good right now!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Can't Believe It Happened!

So last Wed, 7/10/13, I officially became a post op!!  From the sounds of it, my surgery and hospitalization went very routinely and I'm so grateful for that.
I had to be at the hospital by 8:30 am and the surgery was scheduled to start between 10 and 11. The preop nurses had me change into this cool gown that can attach to a hose that blows warm air into it to help keep you warm. The anesthesiologist warmed me up before knocking me out on the table. What a cool thing! Anyway, I sat in a recliner chilling with my hubby in one of the little preop rooms while waiting for surgery. While there they hooked my IV up and got my heart monitor pads on and did a vitals check. My surgeon and the anesthesiologist both came in and talked to me and answered questions and really helped me feel at ease. Then when it was time to go one of the nurses walked me back to the OR. I've never had a surgery where you walked yourself to the OR table. lol My surgeon introduced everyone in the room and helped me get up on the table. At this point, I'm ready to cry from all the nerves. She explained again what was happening (I guess so you can get up and run if you chicken out! LOL ) and then held my hand the entire time until I was knocked out. She is such a sweet, compassionate doctor.
A couple hours later I started waking up in recovery. Boy, that was not fun. My throat was on fire and I couldn't really talk. I was in a ton of pain from the incisions. I remember a nurse telling me she will give me pain meds and then I must have fallen back to sleep. Next thing I remember is being whooshed over onto another bed with that thing they put under you then blow up when they transfer large patients to another bed. OUCH! The nurse explained I was in my own room now and told me to push the button on the pain pump whenever I needed to. I pushed that button more times than I can remember. lol 
Over the next 24 hours I sucked on ice chips and slept, basically. And walked, walked, walked. I was taking pills fine, although it was tricky to swallow them without taking a big gulp of water. I peed on my own from the start because, to my delight, they do not use catheters anymore. I was released the day after surgery and had a loooong hour ride home on bumpy freeways, but made it by hugging a pillow tight to me.
Since then I've been drinking, walking and resting. The pain has really gotten better, in fact, better enough I'm only taking regular Tylenol now. I was given liquid Lortab to come home with and it was helpful in the beginning for sure. I'm not getting all my protein in yet, but they told me to concentrate on liquids for right now to stave off dehydration. I'm working hard on that. Drinking is not as hard as I thought it would be, thankfully, so I'm keeping hydrated.
I'm tolerating about a 1/4 cup of food at meal times. So far I've tolerated cottage cheese, no sugar added applesauce, creamed soups that are strained and vanilla Greek yogurt. All of these are on my doctor's full liquid plan. Tonight I think I'm going to try some very thinned refried beans with some melted cheese on top. I'm trying all kinds of liquid protein shake samples. It's not easy finding one that is truly good! I'll keep at it. At least I'm getting some protein in while I try.
I feel like I'm really lucky that everything is going so well. I'm on this new journey that is going to make my health and life better and I couldn't have asked for a better start!