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!


The next day...

I think I'm dying... last night driving to Damien's birthday dinner I said, "wow, I'm surprised I'm getting sore already!" Little did I know that that was just the beginning... as the night went on I got more and more sore but it was manageable, so I took some Tylenol a warm bath and went to bed. I woke up at 5 a.m. unable to move. Seriously. LOL. The unfortunate part was that Deacon was crying for me and daddy just wasn't cutting it. Getting out of bed took forever and putting on clothes took even longer... and then crawling into a twin sized bed with my rambuctous 3 year old was torture.

So here I sit at 8 a.m. with a sore butt, thighs and chest- my arms are a bit sore but nothing compared to the other 3 areas. The worst thing I could do is just sit around all day doing nothing- so I need to find ways to get up and walk around a bit more. We're off to Costco in a little bit so that might help- Costco makes everything better (especially when you've got coupons!)



Oh my gosh I am so happy to report that I have had all restrictions lifted and I was able to go back to the gym for the first time in over two months!!! Seriously I was SO excited about this. But I made myself promise that I'd drink a protein drink before I worked out- it's a must to increase my protein and caloric intake if I'm going to be lifting and on the treadmill again. So this morning I woke up, ate a small breakfast and made myself a 42 gram protein drink- and was out the door by 7:30. I got on the treadmill for 15 minutes- level 3 incline at a speed of 3.2... pretty easy, but I didn't want to over do it. I had no clue what to expect from my body so I needed to do something I knew I could do. I now know I could handle a bit more so that's good to report. I then lifted for 35 minutes with Sarah and it was GREAT. My body responded really well to it, and we did a fairly simple circuit with everything but abs. My booty is going to be the most sore tomorrow- but that's always the case for me, my legs and butt get the most sore.

Anyways, I'm thrilled beyond belief to get back in the gym. I absolutely adore Sarah- especially because she's honest with me. She noticed right away that my arms are having some serious issues- which SUCKS because when I got pregnant I had gotten my arms to a really good point... and now they're flabbier than ever. But thankfully she's got a lot of hope that we can fix that if I work hard- which I will because I don't want flabby arms!!!



No need to worry!

After much research and talking to some friends and doctors I am no longer concerned about my gallbladder. It's a VERY common occurence during pregnancy and also common in people who have had gastric bypass... so two strikes against me. There isn't much they can do it about since I'm pregnant, so I'm not going to freak out about it. If the attacks keep happening with such severity (yesterday was HORRIBLE) I will call my primary care physician and see if we can do something about it... but until then my plan of attack is to just eat a relatively bland (HA!) and low fat diet- which is odd seeing as though I didn't eat a high in fat meal yesterday when my worst attack ever happened. A lot of websites also commented that it can happen when you eat too much... and that might have been a possibility yesterday. To be honest I really wasn't paying too much attention since I was in the middle of a program for work.

So that's that... we'll see what happens and pray that attacks like yesterday don't happen again!


Gall bladder issues...

So I think I'm having gall bladder attacks... I just googled the pain I'm dealing with and immediately I saw tons of sites on gall bladder issues. I've got all the symptoms. I just never knew what was wrong with me- I thought I was just going crazy. As unhappy as I am that something could be wrong with me, I'm always relieved when there is a reason for pain... that I'm not becoming a hypochondriac or a big baby.

Will call the surgeon in the morning... and the ob. Then I'll report back.

p.s. I really want a Kudos bar right about now...


Distorted thinking... among other things.

As you know from a previous post I'm having issues with my distorted thinking... one minute I'm feeling great about how I look and the next minute I think I'm looking more like a whale than a human being. These past few days I'm feeling overly bloated and overly fat... but I'm instantly amazed when I step on the scale and I'm DOWN in weight. It's beyond me. I've now lost a little over 10 lbs since I found out about the baby... and I'm at exactly 175- which is where I wanted to stop. Not that I feel like I have much control over that. The problem is that I'm not eating enough of the right foods- high in protein and high in calories. I need to get that figured out- but I think by the time I figure out how to eat right the baby will be here. All the wrong foods are sounding good and tasting good. As I type this my mouth is watering thinking of taco bell... and it's not even 10 a.m.! On top of it being too early to eat taco bell, taco bell really isn't the best meal choice. Why can't my body be craving grilled chicken breast with whole grain rice and a side of broccoli? Ick. I try every single night to eat a "good for me" type of meal... and every single night I end up on the couch feeling like I'm going to barf. Yet I can eat cereal, peanut butter sandwiches and granola bars and feel fine. This child has it in for me.

My only prayer is that when I have the baby I am able to go back to healthier eating habits.

Anyways, I can't complain (too much)- we're all healthy, and really that's all a mom can ever ask for.


Peanut Butter & Jelly

I'm addicted... I eat peanut butter and jelly more than I ever have in my life. It's pretty much one of my only sources of protein. Oh well, it's better than cookies, right?

I'm feeling much better about myself... mainly because of all the compliments I'm receiving about how great I look, LOL. It sounds so self centered and shallow, but I'm being honest. I went to a support group on Monday and the guest speaker was a plastic surgeon... as he went around the room and asked how much we had each lost he would ask certain people if they were done. I realized he was only asking this of the people who looked like they could be done- and he asked me!!! It made my night, LOL. I'm definitely getting a pregnant pooch- and it's making me feel a lot better to know that the only place that's growing is my belly.

I'm almost positive I'm eating enough calories during the day- though I do have my off days... I definitely still don't feel 100% myself. I'm more tired than normal and many foods and smells can send me over the edge with nausea. But one thing is for certain- I love peanut butter and jelly... and cereal- both things I will need to quit once I'm done breastfeeding and back on track to lose the rest of my weight!!!

I'm not sure what ever gave me the idea to blog this late at night- I had every intention of a great update... but no such luck, I'm half asleep and can hardly think straight. Not a good way to blog.



It's how I feel. Fat. My stomach is sticking out and it's flabby. I haven't been to the gym in about 2 months. I have no energy ever and I'm eating shitty foods with minimal traces of protein all day long. But the worst part is that I just feel fat. The scale is officially done going down I think... I know I said I didn't want it to go down anymore, but it's a really hard realization for me that it is officially going to stand still or even start going up soon. I know it's going to be really hard for me to see the 180's again and God forbid I end up seeing the 190's... I don't want to be that close to 200 again. I've worked so hard to get where I am and as stupid as it sounds, those high numbers literally scare me. They scare me because under non-pregnancy circumstances the raising numbers mean failure... and I know I'm not a failure, but I'm terrified that once those numbers go up they won't come back down. The worst part is that I'm at that annoying pregnancy stage where I just look fatter around the middle. I don't look pregnant... thankfully everyone who knows me knows that I'm pregnant- or else they would be wondering how many brownies I've been letting myself eat lately. Those who don't know me probably just think I have a beer belly.

The nausea is subsiding ever so slightly, but the past couple of days I've just felt really weak with a headache and tummy issues... it's not the same as the morning sickness nausea though. I really think it's a sign that I *need* to start finding a way to eat healthier and live a healthier day to day lifestyle.

More than anything I do need to force myself to get more protein and calories in because I start going back to the gym on Tuesday. I'm not pushing myself... if I feel sick, I'll stop. Lord knows on a day like today I wouldn't have eaten enough calories to allow myself more than a 5 minute workout.

Anyways, I'm just having a huge pity party for myself and my growing belly tonight...


I'm SO hungry

... but nothing sounds good. Ok, that's a lie, there are a few things that sound good, but most of them involve spending money- for the past week all I want is Olive Garden soup and salad... which is relatively inexpensive since they do the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks for $6.99- but that adds up!!! Thank God for the internet- I found a recipe for their soup online and Damien kindly made it for me- to be ready for dinner tonight! Hopefully it's as good as the real deal...

I'm currently surviving on Cheerios, Special K (vanilla & almond), a few cheese sticks, and Shredded Wheat. Occasionally I'll branch out and have something else- but most of the time it just gets me sick. I'm laying here horrified at my diet, but I am seriously trying hard to eat more. The only things that sound good are carbs... when I don't want cereal I want another carb- and normally it's what sits better with me too. We had meatloaf for dinner last night and I felt so disgusting after about 4-5 bites. So I ate some tostitos w/cream cheese and salsa. Ugh.

The problem isn't that I'm not hungry... I'm starving. I'm laying here wanting something to eat- my stomach is growling, but I cannot think of a single thing other than cereal that I want to eat. Maybe some more chips, salsa & cream cheese.

The other bummer is that my protein drinks now make me gag... The only liquids I can get in without feeling sick- water & milk from my cereal. If I add any crystal lite to the drink I'm going to feel sick... and Lord knows adding the protein isn't going to help.

I called my surgeon this morning because I need to figure out how much protein I really need to be forcing myself to eat... she's in surgery all day today so hopefully I'll hear from her tomorrow.

I'm really hoping that all this passes as I enter into my second trimester (can you believe I'm already almost out of the first trimester!!!)... with Deacon, at least, I felt signfiicantly better around 12-13 weeks. But with Deacon I craved protein (and orange juice)...

Oh well, I really have very little room to complain. I'm feeling good otherwise and the baby is doing well. Compared to some women who spend their days throwing up, I'm doing wonderfuly.

I've now lost a little over 6 lbs since we found out about the baby... When I first got pregnant I made a goal for myself not to go below 175- and I'm currently at 177.2. I'm hoping to not lose anymore weight than this, but I'm ok as long as I stay above 175. Once I hit that mark I'm really going to have to figure something out with my nutritionist... I don't think I need to lose much more weight than this.

Well that's all for now- check out my other blog for pictures of the little baby... http://365amanda.blogspot.com


Some updates

Things are going well on my end... I'm a touch nauseous from time to time and that's really prohibitive when it comes to eating. The problem isn't so much that I don't *want* to eat it's just that I can't find anything that sounds good. My "typical" meals aren't sounding very good and most of the time I just want to eat a PB&J sandwich. I'm keeping up with my protein drinks- but even those are getting gross to me... I just ordered a bunch of new ones and I'm hoping that helps significantly.

I've lost about 3 lbs since I found out about the baby... which is pretty good I think. I'm not trying to lose weight, so 3 lbs seems like a low enough number to me. I'm really trying hard to keep up with the 2000 calorie a day diet- and I'm hoping that now that we're home from vacation that will be a bit easier- there was lots of food to chose from while in Ohio, but I was so busy I could never keep up with the calorie count.

All in all things are going well. I feel the same as I did with Deacon- exhausted and motion sick. It's all fine with me as long as we're all healthy.


Um, change of plans...

I've been wanting to type this blog for a while now... and in reality, I'm going to type it all out and not even publish it right away because it's just not time for everyone to know yet.

I'm pregnant... and it was all on our own. Deacon was conceived via fertility treatments and last year I had a miscarriage from an IVF cycle. In between Deacon's birth and that IVF cycle I had 2 other early miscarriages. My body really isn't all that into reproducing.

So last week when my period was due I started spotting- I figured that was my period. 4 days later the spotting hadn't gotten any worse so it had me curious- I've heard of plenty of women who spot early on in pregnancy. But no, that couldn't be me. First of all, I'm reproductively challenged, second of all, Damien and I were careful this month about our timing (yes, I know, I'm getting pretty detailed... oh well). Around 9:00 p.m. I finally convinced myself to stop worrying and go buy a pregnancy test... which I really hated to do since they cost an arm and a leg. So $15 later I'm home with two pregnancy tests. Damien and I were watching our favorite summer reality show (So you think you can dance) and I got up in the middle of it to take the test. I peed and immediately saw a second line... ummmmm... I was seeing things, right? Right. So I went back to my show. 5 minutes later went back to check- yep, there's that line. I don't think I'm making it up. I call Damien- he see's it too. I call Dawn and send her a picture online, she sees it too (and in the process makes fun of my ridiculous picture I took holding the pregnancy test).

Long story short, I actually am pregnant... after blood work and an ultrasound to confirm it, I do have a little life growing inside of me.

So why am I posting about this on this blog? It seems like it would be more appropriate on my family blog. Well, not really. The problem with this pregnancy is that I shouldn't be pregnant. I was supposed to wait until 18 months after my surgery to get pregnant... and it's only been about 7 months.

What does this mean for me? First of all, anything is possible- and if I take care of myself and the baby everything will be fine. But I need to do a lot to keep everything working right- take all my vitamins religiously, get in my 100 grams of protein a day, drink all my water and most of all, up my caloric intake. That's the hard part- more calories.

I know I'm going to be fine and I know the baby is going to be fine... because I plan to do WHATEVER I'm told to do by my ob and my surgeon. There is nothing I won't do.

So for the next 9 months you won't be hearing too much about rapid weight loss (ok, who am I kidding... it's never been RAPID weight loss anyways, LOL) or obtaining my weight loss and fitness goals- but rather you'll hear what it's like to be pregnant after WLS.

I'm so excited to go through this pregnancy. I was VERY unhealthy when I was pregnant with Deacon and weighed about 50 lbs more than I do now when I got pregnant with him- so I'm very pleased to be where I am now.


A new goal...

So I have a new weight goal... I went to see my surgeon yesterday and she thought my goal was too skinny. I have based my goal on what those nifty little charts always say your weight should be for your specific height- she told me I was stupid. Ok, she didn't call me stupid... but she did ask who I thought wrote those guidelines and I said, "I don't know. The experts!" HA! Anyways, she wants my goal to be 160 and thinks that's a good weight for me. Originally I thought 145. I'm thinking we should compromise and go with 155... but I figure if I'm willing to listen to the "online experts" for so long the least I could do is entertain her 160 goal until I'm there and re-assess the situation then.

So that's my goal. 160. I will say that it's exciting to see my ticker say that I "only" have about 23 pounds left to lose.



I'M NOT OBESE ANYMORE!!! I am officially just OVERWEIGHT!!!

I never thought I'd be so excited about being overweight. LOL.

In all seriousness, this is really exciting for me. When I started my weight loss journey almost two years ago I was considered morbidly obese... and I was still considered morbidly obese when I had my surgery. And now I'm just overweight... and in 30 lbs my BMI will be considered "normal." 7 months ago when I had my surgery I had 122 lbs to lose. It seemed so unbelievably unobtainable. How does someone lose 122 lbs? That's like an entire person (well, ok, an entire skinny and petite person who probably could eat a brownie or two).

Everyday I amaze myself. I have NEVER been so amazed with myself- I love who I am. I know I keep saying that, but I can't get over it. It's weird to go from a place of self-hate to self-love. That transformation is very surreal and it's kind of happened overnight.

Anyways, I'm just quite pleased with my new BMI status as you can probably tell :)



From the bottom of my heart- thank you all so much for the compliments, well wishes, comments, etc... I cannot even begin to tell you how much they mean to me.

8 months ago I could not even look at myself in a mirror, let alone take a picture and love what I saw. 8 months ago I took a picture with my son and the only reason I didn't delete it was because I knew I needed to have some memories of me with him as a 2 year old... but I hated how I looked. I was so unhappy. I'm such a different person today and I'm so happy- not just because I look better but because I feel better. I FEEL like a different person.

But anyways, thank you, again, for all your love and support- I was so worried about people judging me for having this surgery and no one has. I have received absolutely no negativity. And what I love is that those of you who were skeptical didn't judge- you just asked questions and made sure I was taking care of myself- and for that I am so grateful.


Almost 100 lbs later...

Since my surgery I've lost more than 80, but since I started losing weight I've lost close to 100 lbs (6 lbs away today). These two pictures are of me at my highest non-pregnancy weight and me at my lowest weight in almost 10 years. Below are more pictures.

7 months later...

Picture overload time... These pictures were all taken 7 months apart. I have now lost over 80 lbs since my surgery. In 6 more lbs I will have lost 100 lbs since my highest non-pregnancy weight. I am absolutely amazed.


Long time no updates...

So the weight is still coming off slowly, but I am happy with the fact that my body fat percentage is going down faster than my weight seems to be. For the first time in my life I feel muscles in my arms and my legs... it's kind of amazing. I came to this epiphany a while ago that I'm really ok not losing really fast anymore. Why? Because I finally know and completely understand that this is not a race. I've said it before, but this time I know what it means. I've hit so many milestones lately that I hardly have time to realize that I'm not losing much.

First of all, it's been a long time goal of mine to run a 10 minute mile. As of yesterday I can run .96 miles in 10 minutes- I'm so close!!! But even cooler than that is that I am able to run for that entire 10 minutes. I have *never* in my life been able to do that. I'm so proud of myself- I try to be modest about it, but I could scream it from the roof tops that this fat girl is finally getting in shape.

My workouts with Sarah are getting a lot harder... which I have always taken as a compliment- she believes I can work harder than I am. I no longer look like such an idiot on the weights floor. Yesterday I was doing a bicep curl with 12 lb weights... and the guy next to me was using 32.5 pound weights. I had to laugh... here I am proud of my little 12 lb weights and this guy next to me more than doubles it, LOL. I've got a long way to go, but considering I started with 3 lb weights, I'm happy with where I am. I feel like every time I come home from working out with Sarah I tell Damien about a new and near impossible set she's made me do... he amuses me and tells me how amazed he is and how great I look :)

I still miss eating. Sure, I am able to eat most anything I want now... but what I miss is the emotional eating- you know, the kind of eating you're not supposed to do. Just the other day I was stressed at work and all I could think about was a coke and a candy bar... and then I just started thinking about how 7-8 months ago I would not have thought twice about going and eating just that. How disgusting. I can now look back on my old eating habits with such disgust- which is a good thing. But it doesn't mean I don't miss it from time to time. I still miss soda more than I miss anything else. Soda is such a powerful addiction and I'm happy to have given it up, but man, it's rough. The other day on the airplane I was near tears because all I wanted was a coke or ginger ale to help my nausea... but instead I ordered a cup of ice and prayed that flight would go quickly.

Anyways, overall I'm doing great... I feel great. I'm really proud of myself. It's been a long time since I've been so proud of myself. I love the person I have become over the past few months and I love being healthier.


Couple more :)

Since the day before my surgery I've also been taking pictures from our web cam to get a good shot of my face... so the top picture is two days before the surgery and the bottom picture is today.

A few new pictures...

Wow... I have a really hard time posting these pictures because I'm so mortified with my "before" pictures. I just can't even believe it's me... The two "after" pictures were taken today- down 64 lbs.

(love the outfit too, huh?)



It took me a month to do it, but I'm half way there!!! This month has been very stressful for me- Deacon has been sick and work is really busy... I've also gotten very little sleep. I've been reading a ton of studies that say that stress and lack of sleep will prevent you from losing weight- and I think I'm a perfect example of that. I've been eating right and exercising at least 4 days a week (mostly 5 days)... but getting very little sleep. I see all this changing very soon as Deacon has been healthy for a couple of days now and work slows down after Friday.

We joined a new gym- California Family Fitness. I was really excited about this gym at first, but when I went I realized that all the equipment was different than what I'm used to... and the equipment isn't as good. It's all new, but it's not as good as the stuff at Gold's Gym. I was really down about this for a while, but promised myself that I would go for a month and try it out... I'm finally getting used to it, but I still would prefer to workout at Gold's. We joined CFF because they are much more family friendly- which is what we need. I need to feel comfortable taking Deacon to the childcare room. Plus, CFF has 3 pools... Gold's has none. With our membership we can go to the pool as often as we want- and they have a kids splash zone which is SO neat (has slides and other playground equipment for the kids in the water). I wish I could keep my membership at Gold's and at CFF... but that's a bit pricey.

Anyways, all is good... I'm very happy to be over half way there. There is so much that I love about having lost all this weight:
  • my workouts are MUCH more productive
  • I can jog much longer than I could before... I'm up to being able to jog for 5 minutes straight- a HUGE deal for me
  • I can now shop in the regular sized section of Target... this is a big deal because I used to only be able to shop at Lane Bryant- and their clothes are hecka expensive! I was thrilled to pieces when I could go to Target and buy a t-shirt for $5... it's something I haven't been able to do in years
There are tons more, but those are the 3 things that are exciting me the most right now. I'm very grateful for this surgery and think that it was the smartest thing I have ever done.


Almost half way there...

I'm 8 lbs away from being half way there!!! LOL.

I've been dealing with a bit of a stall the past 3 weeks and I think I've finally overcome that hurdle. Thank God. This is what they don't warn you about- that you won't constantly lose weight. I mean, seriously- I *was* expecting miracles after this surgery and I think a lot of my expectations were very unrealistic. Thankfully I've been able to talk to plenty of people to know that I'm normal with my weight loss. And even better yet, I've learned to have much more realistic expectations of myself.


Things seem so much more obtainable now...

When I first started I looked at the amount of weight I had to lose and thought how impossible that seemed. 122 lbs is a LOT of weight. Duh. How in the world was I going to lose that? That's when I began looking into gastric bypass surgery... I knew that the best way to get to my goal was this surgery- especially after I did my research.

Here I am, 3 months out, and I need to lose 70 more lbs. SO much more obtainable, IMO. It's amazing because had I "just" needed to lose 70 lbs in the first place, I wouldn't have had surgery. I would have had a long road ahead of me, because 70 lbs is a lot, but it doesn't sound impossible. I know to a lot of people this seems like so much weight, but to someone who has been so heavy for so long, 70 more lbs seems heavenly to me.

I am now on month 4 and I feel great. Frustrating days are few and far between. My body can handle almost any healthy food I try- which is great because some people have a hard time with certain foods. I've been so lucky with how well my body has adjusted to all of this. Because I am such a picky eater I do have a hard time with my no carb lifestyle- but it's so much easier than it was a month ago.

As I said a month ago, I still really miss soda. I have no clue why this is the one thing that has been really hard... I am still really craving a coke and I'm hoping this craving goes away soon because it's driving me a bit batty.

Oh, and it's Girl Scout Cookie time... oh my gosh this has been HUGE for me resisting the temptation to buy a box at the grocery store. First of all, it's hard enough to say no to the cookies, but secondly, it's really hard to say no to these adorable little girls. This Sunday I almost bought a box because I felt so guilty saying no. But I can't buy a box because I know myself and I know I would eat the cookies- because the cookies are so small my body could handle one at a time. But I know myself too well- I wouldn't just eat one a day. I would eat one every couple of hours! LOL. So no cookies in this house.

Another exciting development... When I first started exercising I was determined to get better at running. I started off running a 20 minute mile and am now down to a 12:45 minute mile!!! I know it's still a slow mile but I'm so excited that I've progressed so much. I've also been working with a personal trainer who has increasingly made my workouts a lot harder- which is great because by doing this she trusts my body can now handle it. As much as the harder workouts drive me crazy, I am so proud of myself for even having someone trust that I can do them- and that motivates me more than anything. I no longer feel like the fattest person at the gym and I am so much more confident... which is SO nice.

Anyways, I feel really fortunate to have made it this far with no complications (::knocks on wood::). I am also very happy with how healthy Damien and I have become through this process. We look at food very differently now than we ever have- and hopefully because of this we can teach Deacon healthy eating habits as well.


Cute pictures...

No it's not weight loss related, but I just loved these pictures we took today. I'll be back sometime tomorrow to give some good updates :)


Today was a good day

First I need to say that what I'm about to write is actually really hard for me. This entire time I've told you all how much I've lost and I've shown you a picture of my "before."- but I've never posted my weight or what size clothes I wear. It's something I'm actually really embarrassed about- but no matter how hard I try, it is impossible to tell the story I want to tell without detailing my size. So here goes...

A week ago I ordered a skirt on oldnavy.com in a size 20... I got it yesterday and it was really way too big on me. Not just "kind of" too big- way too big. I was SO excited because this meant that I was in a size 20 pant size- I've always been one size smaller with skirts than pants. So I went to the actual store today to exchange it for a size 18. While I was in the store I got a size 18 skirt and a ton of pants in a size 20. I was like a kid in a candy store- I haven't shopped in a non-plus sized store in YEARS. I got to the dressing room and I started my typical dressing room prayer, "God, please let something fit... please." So I tried on the skirts- perfect fit! Hooray! Next I tried on a size 20 jeans... they didn't fit.


So not only am I able to shop at Old Navy, I'm able to buy one size smaller than their biggest size. For all you heavy people, you KNOW this is a big deal. It's always exciting to know you're not the heaviest size they accommodate.

It was a GREAT feeling. I cried in the dressing room. Sat down and cried. I wanted to call someone in the dressing room, but decided that would be really weird for anyone who could hear my phone call. So I had a moment to myself... and went back into the store and got tons more clothes.

Thankfully I'm in a huge frugal mode right now- I left the store with a very modest amount of new (and VERY needed) clothes.

(and trust me, I'm very much in need of new clothes)

Today was a good day. (cue the Ice Cube music)


Some pictures...

Thought you'd all be interested to see some progress :)
Picture #1 taken the day before surgery
Picture #2 taken yesterday


2 months...

I cannot believe it's been over two months. Seriously it amazes me. Life has gotten so much easier over the past month- and I feel somewhat normal most of the time.

Yesterday Oprah did a show on teens and weight loss surgery. Oprah is clearly against having surgery of any kind to treat obesity- and that frustrates me to no end. In every single show she does about WLS (weight loss surgery) she talks about all the negatives- and doesn't focus on the positives. Now, I am all for telling people like it is- I have no problems telling people what sucks about this surgery, what I don't like about this surgery, etc... However, I feel that is important that we include the whole picture in our story telling. Not all WLS patients suffer from addiction transfer (transferring food addiction to another addiction- like alcohol). Oprah also seems to think that all WLS patients forgo a psychological evaluation and ignore any and all psychological issues that caused them to get fat in the first place- but she seems to always ignore this with people who lose weight "on their own" (as if they miraculously are healed of all psychological issues because they did not have surgery). And that's another grievance... the implication that those who have WLS are not doing it "on their own," or are taking the "easy way out." Nothing bothers me more than those two statements... as if this surgery is doing all the work for me. As if I get up in the morning and my food choices are miraculously made for me because I have had this surgery. Last I checked this surgery didn't come with a live-in cook and nutritionist- or maybe my insurance just sucks.

Anyways, I could go on and on about Oprah and her misinformed views on WLS... but I won't.

So back to me...

On Oprah her cameras followed around a boy (17 years old) having WLS- and the cameras were there on him when he woke up from recovery. For some reason that picture of him laying there really touched me. I was instantly taken back to the first moments I remember after waking up in the hospital. I thought to myself, "oh my gosh, I really did it..." And then I thanked God for letting me live... and then I thought again, "oh my gosh, I really did it." I never, in a million years, thought I would follow through with it. The entire time I was preparing for the surgery I kept telling myself that it wasn't too late to back out- even the morning of my surgery I was thinking about saying, "No thanks." I woke up from that surgery terrified... I had really done it. I woke up really sick and I'm sure that didn't help my feelings of panic. The nurse had to constantly remind me to breath and I hurt... but I was just so thankful to be alive. All I remember was how nauseas and tired I was... so nauseas.

The first week was the hardest- I went through a huge carb withdraw. I was miserable. I should have detoxed myself from carbs well before this surgery. I remember the first week I would just be so upset when my mom, Damien and Deacon would eat around me... I was so "hungry"- at least I thought I was. Thankfully that first month flew by and things got easier day by day.

This second month has been all about perfecting my routine... learning when I should drink my protein, knowing how much protein I need to feel my best, what foods my body likes best, etc... I am no longer as obsessed with what I can't have anymore. I sure do miss certain foods/drinks, but honestly it doesn't overcome me like it did the first month. I'm at a point now where I know that in due time I can have a taste of whatever I want... and I'm also at a point where I realize that there is much more to life than food.

Protein crisis solved (for now at least)

I just sold the containers of protein I don't like...

Before my surgery I found a message board dedicated to weight loss surgery patients... it's a plethora of information and an overall great community. The other night I posted my frustration and someone said they would be interested in purchasing my unwanted protein. Whew!

This still doesn't solve the overall problem that exists, but at least I got some money back :)


My grievance with protein drinks...

The saga continues...

My current frustration is that you cannot buy samples of everything. So I go to the store and I want to buy something new... so I did. I get it home and I really don't like it that much. But I can't return it! And no one will buy a opened canister of protein mix from me. So I have to either suck it up (which I'm choosing to do) or throw it away (essentially throwing away $35).


About to hit my first goal...

My first goal was 40 lbs in 2 months. Sunday will be exactly two months and I am SO close to hitting that 40 mark. I've got two more days of going to the gym so I'm thinking that should get me there... let's hope!

My next goal is WAY too lofty and I don't plan to make it... but I wanted to have lost 50 lbs by my 2 month check up which is Feb.12. I'm not too sure I can do that- but it's worth a try.

I'm feeling great and doing great. I occasionally make a bad food choice and get myself a bit too sick- it's not like candy or sweets or anything like that, it's just that I've eaten too much or I've eaten too fast. Thankfully I've never gotten really sick (::knocks on wood::).

If I'm feeling up to it, I might post some before and during pictures sometime this week... they're embarrassing but amazing to see. Even the picture I took 2 weeks after surgery looks significantly different. We'll see. I might wait until I've lost 50 to post my first official pictures.

Unfortunately I'm sick with some type of throat illness (I've got no voice and my throat hurts) so I'm going to go back and lay down...



I have to just say how amazingly supportive Damien has been throughout this process... seriously, I am amazed. When I began this journey I told him that I could not do it without him doing it with me. I didn't need for him to have the surgery, but I needed for him to eliminate all the bad food choices and stop eating out. Without giving it a second thought, he agreed. From day one he has been the most supportive and loving husband... there has never been a time that he's complained about eating the food I've cooked (during my liquid diet phase he ate soup with me many times for dinner) and he's always SO respectful about what he eats around me.

I could not have done this without him. Period.

And not only has he been 100% supportive, he's also getting healthier in the process... I'm very proud to say that he's already lost 16 lbs!!! Yay for him :)

Some updates

Wow, I haven't been on here in forever.

Things with me are going really well. I'm finally getting to the point where I feel normal again. The routine is setting in and I don't feel as sorry for myself so much anymore. For the first few weeks I was constantly thinking about food and how I felt so deprived. I dreaded the start of each weekend because I craved my old life... eating out as a form of entertainment.

My new life is hard at times... I have to plan every single meal. I don't eat many convenience foods because convenience foods tend to be full of carbs or sugar. I used to do pancakes or waffles in the morning on the weekends, but not anymore- now I need to give it some more thought. More thought has to go into everything I choose to eat. At first this was much harder than it is now. It's starting to become quite routine. I know what my body needs.

One thing that is still hard for me is soda... I don't miss it as much as I did a few weeks ago, but I really do miss it. I love soda- especially Coke and Dr. Pepper. I was in the grocery store today and as I was checking out I was just staring at the soda that I didn't even realize that the lady at the check stand was talking to me. Pathetic, yes. LOL.

I am constantly amazed by my life life... I feel great and I've got a ton more self confidence. I don't think I have more self-confidence because I'm thinner, but because I'm finally taking charge and getting healthy. I'm making the decision to get healthy and I'm actually doing a great job. It's such a confidence booster to do something so good for yourself.


Protein update

I honestly do have a couple protein drinks I can handle... but they get old, quick.

As I said in the post- it doesn't matter what I think of them- I have to drink them. It's not an option!

Thankfully I'm finally able to eat more solid protein during the day- which has helped a lot... less protein drinks for me :)

Something frustrating

I think one of the most frustrating things that's going on right now is how slowly the weight is coming off. I know, I know, I've lost over 30 lbs in less than 2 months- I've never been able to do that. But it's getting to the point where I'm a bit frustrated that it's not coming off a little faster right now. I'm not expecting the moon and stars... but I'm expecting some amazing results- and so far, the amazing results came in the first two weeks and that's it.

I just had these goals I wanted to hit by the 3 month mark and right now I'm pretty far away from obtaining them. I really don't want to be at the 2 month mark and have only lost 30 lbs... that mean 15 pounds a month, which honestly doesn't seem like a lot, considering what I've done to my body! I mean, seriously, do you all realize what I'm eating here? One would think the weight would literally be falling off my body.

I am really proud of myself, but I feel like I've been staring at the same weight range for weeks... So here's the deal- this week I am going to exercise 4 times this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I am going to continue consuming around 100 grams of protein a day. I want to see that scale go down a lot next week and I'm determined.



I have been drinking these damned protein shakes as religiously as I can handle... and it's starting to get old. Real fast. I drink one in the morning when I first get to work, and then later in the afternoon I make another one while I'm at work... and of course as I'm making it, I get these stupid comments like, "Making margaritas?" (the drink is pink and needs to be shaken)

It's not really an option though... I really don't want my hair to fall out and I don't want to look funny and saggy once I lose all this weight.

Stupid f'ing protein.



I'm done making unobtainable goals. In fact, I am starting to cringe when I hear people say things like, "I'm going to do (insert activity here) for (insert length)"- because, in my opinion, you are just setting yourself up to fail. Because there will be times when you cannot get to that activity for that amount of time... and what happens that first, second or third time?- you get discouraged. I am done being discouraged. Being discouraged leads to failure- especially for those of us dealing with this weight loss journey. We beat ourselves up way too much for the littlest set backs. So why not stop setting these goals we might not reach, or goals we might not be able to maintain... and start making goals we CAN follow.

Instead of saying, "I will exercise 5 days a week for 60 minutes each day," say something like, "I am going to exercise more during the week," or, "I will push my exercise limits and try new things." Schedule time into your schedule to go to the gym 5 days a week... but understand that sometimes it is not possible- and be ok with that!!!

As the minister of my church talked about last week- at no other time in life do we quit something because we've had a set-back. At work, if you've had a setback or you've made a mistake, do you walk out and quit? Or do you quietly (or loudly) cuss out the computer screen and move on with your daily grind?

In my old life (pre-surgery) I used to always give up on diets when I would originally fail... one little candy bar, or snack would cause me to stop eating healthy all together? Why? Because I convinced myself that one slip up meant I had no will-power. My God, how many times did I tell myself I had no will-power? Hundreds. And of course I had no will-power- I convinced myself that I didn't have any!!! There was no reason to try again... because I already set myself up to fail.

Anyways, I say all this because I'm in the process of evaluating my goals for 2008 and have been thinking about this a lot lately. Once I get everything situated and written down I'll share my goals and hopes for this year...


I'm getting boring...

I know I don't post as much as I used to... I'm not even sure who reads this anymore anyways, so most of the time I assume I've updated everyone as to how I'm doing. But then I remember that I have a bunch of online friends and friends who I don't talk to as much that do read this, so I then I feel bad and get back on here :)

I am still struggling with the absence of carbs and sweets from my diet. It's not a big of a deal as it used to be, but I long for the day that I can eat "normal" again- but then I smack myself back into reality... this IS the new normal for me. No more meals consisting entirely of carbs, no more pints of Ben and Jerry's, no more making a cake just for the fun of it. That was the old way of life... and it was so unhealthy- and it was the exact reason why I had this surgery in the first place. Yes, I can eat some carbs and indulge every now and then if I wanted to- but I need to be so careful. I know myself... and allowing myself to eat a little pasta is like opening the flood gates- same goes with dessert type foods. One little piece of cake turns into eating half the cake in one sitting. I love cake (what fat girl doesn't love cake?).

I remember the first week after my surgery... I was so upset about not being able to eat a freaking cracker. Oh my gosh I was devastated. I'm not that bad anymore. I have had a few crackers, but because they really settle my upset stomach. But my body really has adjusted to the no carb lifestyle... the detox was rough, but worth it.

I go back to work tomorrow... I'm a bit nervous- I've really enjoyed being home for the past month. But it's time to get life back to normal... and life certainly isn't normal when I'm at home napping (even though that does sound fabulous). I know that I need to stay focussed on my goals when I'm at work and work hard at making sure I have enough healthy snacks. I've got my protein drinks packed and my lunch made. I'm set for tomorrow at least.

My weight loss stall has ended, but the scale is moving much slower than it did the first week or so! I guess that's pretty normal though ;-) Not like I should be losing 15 a week- would be nice though, LOL.

I'm off to bed... I need a good nights sleep... I haven't woken up so early and had to be functional at the same time in over a month!!! Yikes!