It's hard...

I'm not breastfeeding and I'm not pregnant... but I've still got those horrible horrible eating habits.  I'm truly struggling at this point to find my way back into "weight-loss" mode.  I was stuck at 163 forever.  Now that I'm not breastfeeding but still consuming the same amount of calories, I'm at 168.

This is a big struggle for me.  I felt really good about myself at 163, but now that I've gained a solid 5 pounds I feel really shitty about myself.  I know 5 pounds isn't that big of a deal- but what is a big deal is the fact that I can't seem to get a good grip on my eating habits.

I really thought I'd be at goal by now... and I totally could be with more self control.  I've got the whole gym routine down.  I love going to the gym.  Granted, I should do more weights... but I am really loving my cardio routines right now.  Eating habits are what screws me... and it sucks.

So I need to start holding myself more accountable... and maybe, just maybe, I'll start updating this blog more... but who knows.  I know this part of WLS would be interesting to read about when I was just starting out... to see what it's like years later, once the novelty of it wears thin.  Not that having WLS was a novelty... but the pouch worked amazingly well those first 6 months.

Anyway... let's hope I can get back into some healthy eating routine soon.  I would love to be at goal by summer.


TWO years later...

December 2, 2007

... and now-- TWO years later

ALMOST AT GOAL!!!  Well, I'm 3 pounds away from being where my doctor wants me to be... and about 18 pounds from where I want to be.  I was really hoping to be there by now, but oh well.  I have a beautiful 9 month old little boy who kind of threw a wrench in my plans... and this breastfeeding bit isn't helping me limit my calories either ;-)  I'll get there someday- but for now, I'm not too concerned... I'm just super thrilled to be where I am.
Thank you to EVERYONE of you who has supported me over the last 2 years... it's been such an amazing journey.  I love you all.


One week...

So in one week I'll be at the 6 month mark... my goal was to be at MY goal weight (150) by September 7.

Well, I've got good news and I've got bad news...

Bad news:
I won't make it to MY goal by September 7

Good news:
I will make it to my doctors' goal by September 7 (160)

I'm really hoping to get back into the weight loss blog world shortly... I just feel like there isn't much to say. I am losing weight- but I'm ashamed to say that it is not with much hard work that I'm doing so. I'm still breastfeeding and needing lots of extra calories. I've also not started a workout regime quite yet- mostly because I'm exhausted, but also because if I workout I need more calories... and I'm not sure I can do that right now.

Anyways- hopefully I'll get back into things soon... I'd like to be at my goal weight in 2 months- by November 7th. I'm currently at 161- so I've got 11 pounds in 2 months. It's doable, especially if I start working out again and being more aware of the types of food I am eating. So let's hope I can find my good friend motivation... if you see her, send her my way.



Wow! 9 months later and I'm ready to get back on the weight loss band wagon. I'm SO ready... but it's SO hard!!! Like I said, I've developed some pretty poor habits while pregnant, but I'm determined to break them one at a time. The first goal was to start adding more protein drinks back into my diet- and I am SO happy to report that this is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be... mainly because my protein shake aversion is GONE! HOORAY! No, I still don't think the shakes taste "good" necessarily, but I'm no longer gagging them down... a definite plus.

Breastfeeding requires that I take in even more calories than I was taking in during the last month of my pregnancy- and it hasn't been too hard to accomplish this goal since I'm starving all the time. I need to, however, find more variety in my snacks- it's very hard since I need something quick and easy... and I need something to keep at my bedside for those pesky middle of the night feedings ;-)

I don't have many exercise restrictions- I'm just supposed to listen to my body... and unfortunately my body isn't letting me do much. I walked Milo (the dog) yesterday and had a pretty brisk pace- I was crampy by the end of the walk and by the end of the day the cramps and pains were still there. Today is a little better, but not by much. I'm going to add in some arm and leg exercises that don't require so much cardio, as I'm thinking it was the faster movement and bouncing around that got to me.

SO, the big news... the weight gain/loss totals.
When I found out I was pregnant: 186
Lowest weight (from malnutrition/morning sickness/lack of water): 175 (I hardly count this since it was a result of not being able to eat properly or take in enough fluids)
The day I gave birth: 193
One week later: 183
My goal weight given to me by my doctor: 160
Personal goal weight: 150

Weight to lose: 23 lbs (doctor goal) & 33 lbs (Amanda goal)
My goal for reaching my goal: 6 months from Zac's birthday- September 7th


Another comparison

38 weeks pregnant w/baby no-name

40 weeks pregnant with Deacon

This comparison actually makes me want to cry... I hate how I look when I'm pregnant with Deacon- and I'm reminded of why I didn't take ANY belly pics prior to this one :(

Interesting comparison

The other day Damien brought the measuring tape out that I used to measure myself during my weight loss... and he measured my pregnant belly- I was right around 38 weeks pregnant.

... and my tummy now is a few inches smaller than it was the day before my surgery. Amazing.


Pregnancy and WLS... my review

I got pregnant at about the 6 month post-op point. We are told over and over again to wait at least 18 months- but preferably a year. I've even heard some surgeons go as far as to say that they would just prefer their patients to have the surgery after they are done having children in general. I never really listened to WHY they didn't want me to get pregnant, I more so just heard the general message- don't get pregnant.

Well, I'm here to tell you WHY they tell us not to get pregnant so close after our surgery- but I first want to say a few positive things. I am VERY blessed to have such a supportive family and group of friends- that knew when I needed to eat healthier and knew how hard this was on me. I am equally as blessed to have such an amazing team of doctors that know what they're talking about- other than a bad advice nurse at the beginning of the pregnancy.

I never in a million years would have guessed I'd get pregnant on my own, let alone get pregnant with a "surprise." This baby is the biggest surprise of my life and the most welcome one... I am so excited to see what life has in store for this little one- he's definitely meant to be.

So on to the point of my post- 9 months in review... Why our surgeons don't want us to get pregnant so early out:

1. It is next to impossible to eat enough calories for you and the baby. The baby is going to be fine as long as you're eating something- the baby takes the nutrients first and gives you the leftovers. So early on in the first trimester when I was horribly sick to my stomach 24/7 and only eating roughly 800 calories a day (tops) the baby was taking what he needed and leaving me with the rest- which wasn't much. I cannot begin to tell you how weak I felt and how miserable I was in the first trimester. My emotions were everywhere... on top of having pregnancy emotions I was dealing with a body that was in starvation mode.

2. Cravings. Is this something a doctor will specifically talk to you about? Probably not- but in my opinion, it's important to note that cravings are a huge part of why being pregnant so early out was miserable for me. What pregnant woman craves protein shakes and healthy foods? Sure there are plenty of times when healthier foods sound good, but most of the time I'm craving foods that are high in carbs or sweet. I'll admit- I tested my pouch and paid for it big time. I tried eating foods that I knew weren't good for me... and my pouch let me know quickly how wrong I was to do that- which meant that I had to spend a good 2-3 hours sick from my experiment and sick from the morning sickness at the same time. Not a good combo.

3. Aversions. Again, not something a surgeon will specifically talk to you about- but it's something to take note of. The smell of my protein drinks was enough to make me gag. Literally. I could mix the protein with anything and I'd still smell that protein-ness... and I'd get sick. So for a good solid 2 months I had a huge deficiency in protein... I tried many times to force the protein down but it would come back up- and then I'd spend hours that day not being able to eat anything else because I was so sick to my stomach. I decided it was more important that I just keep trying to get in calories and protein elsewhere and deal with the deficiency later.

4. Bad habits. I have developed SO many bad habits over the past 9 months and am absolutely terrified of what my life is going to be like when I go back to eating like a true bariatric patient. After I give birth I'll be breastfeeding so I will continue needing the calories- but the cravings that I've given into over the past few months will need to end. My diet needs to go back to higher protein foods, protein supplements and a LOT fewer carbs. Being pregnant I've given myself the excuse- "I need to eat that for the added calories," or I'll say, "I'm pregnant and craving it... so I can eat it." It's really hard to say no to those voices in your head when you're pregnant... I should have tried a little harder, but I didn't and oh well- it just means working harder later.

5. Small babies/Premature babies. The risk of having a premature baby or a low birth weight baby increases significantly in WLS patients. During this pregnancy I have not gained very much weight and the baby is measuring small- not too small, but small enough to have caused some concern around the 30 week mark. It is terrifying when they start talking about something that could be wrong with your baby- especially when you know that the problem is because of you. I know that being a WLS patient increased my odds of a low birth weight baby- and I know that having a baby too early probably increased my chances even more. I didn't sit around and blame myself or feel sorry for myself- but the feelings it provoked just weren't worth it.

6. Gallbladder Attacks. Being a WLS patient increases your chances of having gallbladder (GB) issues... and being pregnant does too. I never knew this, but learned it at around 28ish weeks (maybe sooner?). I have had around 10 GB attacks during this pregnancy- 3 of which I would categorize as being the worst pain I've suffered in my entire life (this includes pain suffered from surgeries and giving birth). There is NOTHING they can do for you if you are having a GB attack and you are in your 2nd or 3rd trimester... unless of course your GB is infected and it is an emergency. But for the general attack, don't expect any relief- it's just a wait it out sort of deal. Misery.

7. Finally, being 6 months post-op I was still learning how to live my new life as a WLS patient. I was still having food issues and still learning a lot of new habits... 6 months did not give me long enough to utilize this tool I was given and lose all the weight I could have lost. The first 18 months of being a WLS patient provide you with the best opportunity to lose the most weight and develope good habits... and unfortunately when you get pregnant at 6 months post op you haven't even give your body half that time to do what it should be doing. It's been a hard road mentally and physically.

This baby is a blessing and is SO very wanted... but it's been a hard 9 months. It's been very emotional. The food issue has been very frustrating for me and has caused me a lot of grief. As much as I love that I haven't gained a lot of weight, I still feel guilty that I haven't been able to eat enough to make this baby plump up a bit more...

So with all that being said, if you are a WLS patient or candidate, take the advice of your surgeon seriously- know that getting pregnant being 18 months post-op is not a good idea.


While I am very nervous to get back to living the life of a true bariatric patient in a couple of weeks (minus the added calories I need for breastfeeding)- I am also really motivated. I'm excited to get back into my hardcore workouts and healthier eating. My goal is to be at my goal weight at 6 months post-partum... so approximately September 6th. This blog will start being a lot more active again once I am able to start my new regime...


Not a good blogger am I?

I've been horrible at maintaining this blog lately... I had to post today because I couldn't let 2 months go by without posting.

Most of my updates have been on our family blog- because with the baby I just feel it's more applicable.

I'm going to try and break out a good post in the next day or two so be on the look out... if there are any readers left to be looking out, LOL.


Hey girl you ARE beautiful... one year later

One year later... and 26 weeks pregnant

December 2, 2007... the day before my surgery

One year later...

December 2, 2007

One year later...

December 2, 2007

What a difference one year can make. I'm having some serious self-image issues tonight- it doesn't help that I'm feeling like crap... but I had every intention of writing this beautifully written post about how great I feel, yada yada. But in all honesty I kinda feel like crap right now and I honestly just need a reminder of how far I have come and that I am beautiful (am I the only one that has a hard time saying that out loud about themselves?).

Part of me really thought my one year anniversary would come to me as something brilliant and powerful... but really it was just another day- and maybe that's part of the let down of how I'm feeling.

Anyways, I'm done feeling sorry for myself (at least through this blog post)... Pictures speak louder than words anyways and these pictures say more than I ever could.


Happy Thanksgiving- weight loss surgery style

Thanksgiving used to be very different for me- I have honestly never been a fan of Thanksgiving dinner... I am not a huge fan of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes or cranberries. What I do love about Thanksgiving is the dessert (but NOT pumpkin pie), rolls, mashed potatoes and appetizers. It's always been the main focus for me... what will we have on hand for dessert and what will we eat before our actual meal? But this year was different... my main focus was the actual meal. I've learned to really like turkey... and all the wonderful veggie casserole dishes that come with the meal. Today I also made a salad which was so good. I was able to put a little stuffing and mashed potatoes on my plate- and they were both excellent... but for the first time ever my plate had more good stuff on it than bad stuff. And after dinner I had a reduced sugar brownie and a very small taste of Cate's mince meat pie... both small portions than the kids got.

So I know I say I have horrible eating habits, but maybe I don't give myself enough credit. I know I could be doing so much better than I am, but I need to recognize that I am doing remarkably well... considering one year ago I would have eaten 3 times as much (if not more) than I ate today. I also would have loaded up on regular soda the entire day too.

So I hope you've all had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving day... this was my first ever healthy Thanksgiving and it wasn't any less special than the years passed- which means food is no longer the center of my life like it used to be.


No more scale for me...

I'm finding myself way too upset about the rising numbers... so I'm done with the scale. I'm going to ask that my nurses and doctor not share with my my rising numbers as well. It just upsets me and I start to panic about whether or not I'm normal or whether or not I'm a complete failure in regards to my surgery. It's not worth it.

I started this pregnancy at 186... I got down to 174.6... today I was 185.6- which sent shock waves through my system. So I've gained 11 pounds in like 2 months???!!! Seriously? I've still got 4 months to go, and they say you gain the most at the end!!!

It's so insane to me because I was SO much heavier during my first pregnancy and I didn't care at all about weight gain... I don't even know how much I gained- it was a lot and way too much, but I didn't care.

I wish I had more to report... or more positives to report- but this is the hard part for me. I also know I need to start working on my eating habits. Maybe I wouldn't be gaining as much if I ate healthier. I just feel so stupid for letting myself get into some of these bad habits- but many of them were started because I was so nauseous and needed to eat anything my stomach could handle. Now I don't have that kind of excuse- now I'm just eating it because it's hard to give it up. Food is like crack- it's an addiction. And these addictions never fully go away- it's why recovering alcoholics can't have "just one drink"- because it's never just one... recovering food addicts should never do what I have done and start in on just one or two bad habits again (carbs and diet soda for instance)- granted, many of these bad habits are hardly at the level they used to be... they're quite manageable- but who's to say they'll stay that way? I mean, I got fat for a reason- my inability to control myself.

I think I need a therapist...


General updates... nothing too exciting

I don't have much to report... pregnancy is going well- I'm still concerned about how much I'm gaining, but I know I shouldn't be. And I guess my biggest concern is that I find myself having lack of self control when it comes to food and my cravings... which is exactly what I used to do pre-surgery. Once I had the surgery I was in such a good routine of healthy eating- and now it's like that was all thrown out the window. I don't eat horribly now, but it's certainly no good and it will need to change when the baby is born- if not sooner. I just fear that I will become one of those people you read about- you know, the ones who lose a lot of weight from the surgery and gain it all back because they were dumb?! It's enough to cause a mini-panic attack... but not enough to make me say no to the bowl of cereal in the middle of the night :(

The other day someone (who is pregnant and due a week BEFORE me) said to me, "Wow! You're showing a lot more than me!" Um, great... thanks! I wanted to run away and throw myself into my bowl of cereal. I'm really not doing too well with the weight gain to be honest- I hate seeing that scale go up- and I really hate people noticing my growing belly. I personally love my growing belly... I just wish no one else would notice it.

Enough complaining... Unnamed baby boy is doing great- he's kicking up a storm. Most days he just tumbles around in my tummy, stopping occasionally to get the hiccups and go to sleep. Today he enjoyed pouncing on my bladder and pelvis... what a strange feeling. He also lets me know when I'm sleeping in an uncomfortable position... He's quite the character already and it makes me laugh (most of the time).


Everything sounds good...

So I'm reading back on my blog- oh the days when nothing sounded good. Maybe I will gain a pound a week from here on out how I've been eating lately. Everything sounds good. I'm planning some cook ahead meals with my friends and every.single.meal they suggest sounds like heaven. And I'm always hungry... I think I ate dinner 3 times yesterday. My real dinner at 5ish, another light dinner around 7ish and then a bowl of tuna noodle casserole around 10. Thankfully each time I eat it's a small amount of food.

Still craving sweets... darn this baby boy. I thought boys were supposed to make you crave meats! This one is craving everything under the sun, especially if it's sweet... or taco bell.

Oh well... This post was inspired by the fact that it's 11 a.m. and I am more than ready for lunch!!!


A pound a week from here on out? No thanks

Ok, so I just got my weekly updated for this baby... and it said something about how most women have gained 10 lbs by this point and that I should expect to gain about a pound a week from here on out. So 20 pounds between now and March? I'd be almost 200 lbs again!!! I am not exaggerating when I say that thought makes me want to hyperventilate. I know at one point 200 lbs seemed like heaven to me... and trust me, I don't take that for granted. But I really do not want to be in the 200's again, ever.

Ok, panic attack over... kind of... not really.


A much better day...

Yesterday was rough... seriously rough. When I was walking into Target my knees gave out and I almost fell down- and then I almost ran into a moving u-haul truck because I could only focus on the pain in my legs. It was a really long day. I tried to keep moving- because the more I stayed still the more I would hurt when I'd get up. But when I'd move around too much I would hurt a lot too. It was a lose:lose situation.

Today I am a new woman. Thank God. My legs are still sore and my chest is also a bit sore... but nothing like yesterday. I am no longer wincing in pain when I sit down and I don't have a limp when I walk...

This is how I was the very first time I worked out with Sarah- which was almost 2 years ago. Funny thing is that I thought the workout was pretty easy-peasy. I wasn't drenched in sweat, I wasn't out of breath, etc... I knew I'd be sore the next day, but I really wasn't prepared for what I went through, LOL.

But this is a good lesson to all you post-op's or even any of you who are trying to lose weight- don't take these long breaks between workouts!!! It's NOT worth it! I know getting to the gym isn't easy... trust me. I should be going to the gym today, but I have no clue if I'm going to be able to motivate myself to do so. But I do know that if I don't go today I WILL go tomorrow. Going to the gym and/or having an exercise plan you do at home is one of the most important weight loss steps!