I know! I know! I’ve been missing in action lately (about 2 months) but I’ve got a good excuse; I’ve been busy living life. Work has been CRAZY busy, my wife and I both had birthdays and I put together a stellar birthday weekend with lots of travelling, we bought a house (we signed papers last Thursday and get the keys Monday after work) and I’m helping one of our daughters with wedding planning.
I am one busy lady!!! I wanted to make sure to write on the anniversary of my surgery though.
I had my Lap Band surgery on July 29th, 2016. I was almost 500lbs. I had severe chronic back pain and sciatica, lymphedema of the legs, difficulty with movement and breathing and was always just generally uncomfortable. I didn’t get that way overnight. I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was as n emotional eater and developed an addiction; food was my drug of choice.
Fast forward 365 days…I am down -90lbs and holding. I have been at this current weight for about a month which is A-OK with me. The weight loss with the band has been slow and steady; about 2-3lbs loss per week on average. I’ve learned to have a different relationship with food for sure. Mental health counseling and medication helps me with finding healthier ways to process emotions, anxiety and depression. I’m able to eat about a shot glass amount of food at a sitting so what I choose to eat is super important; nothing too starchy or too fibrous. I also have to be cognizant of how quickly I eat; I have to make sure everything is chewed REALLY well. Because my stomach has limited space, gas or sort back up from eating too quickly can’t be expelled by a burp; I am literally unable.
This journey has been frustrating, scary and quite indelicate at times; for me and for my wife. She deserves an award. I had to learn to eat for sustenance and not allow my ‘eyes to be bigger than my stomach’; literally and figuratively. I had to learn that there are going to be things that I will never eat again and embrace that. Pancakes, waffles, bread…just a few of the things I used to love that I simply can’t have since the surgery. I also have to avoid other favorites like bananas and pineapples, asparagus and broccoli; anything too high in sugar or too stringy/fibrous. Totally worth it though. If i have the unfortunate incidence of food getting stuck on the way down or getting an air bubble trapped while eating, I get one of two results. If I’m lucky, I can stand and walk or put my arms over my head or drink a little bit of a warm beverage and coax it on through. What often happens (here’s the indelicate part) is that it gets stuck and my body forces it back out the way it came. Sounds simple right? Well, because the size of my working tummy is greatly reduced, it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable and excruciating things I’ve experienced.
Looking back would I make the decision to have the procedure again? Absolutely!! I have been able to completely discontinue 4 medications. I no longer have pain and swelling in my muscles and joints. I find that I am a lot more adventurous because I can walk and move for longer periods of time without having to rest. We’ve been on hikes and to festivals and sporting events; I’m experiencing a lot more of my life as opposed to being an observer. I’m able to buy clothes of the rack which I’ve been too big to do for years. It feels AMAZING to be able to walk into the store and try things on. Most importantly, I’m starting to have more days where I feel good in my skin. Not every day but most days and that is a good feeling.
This has been one of the most amazing years of my life!!!
It’s been two weeks and I have lost 2lbs. I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with my eating; lots of eating out. I feel like I’ve gotten back on track and I managed not to gain any weight so I’m happy. My diet is back to mostly protein and vegetables, low fat and limited carbs.
My beverage cleanse? I lasted sick days. I had developed a bad cold and had a hot toddy or 3. I think I might try it again so that I can do the whole 10 days but I made it further than I thought I would. Coffee is life!!
I’m interested in seeing what this next week brings as far as weight loss goes. I started taking my phentermine at the end of last week. I’m interested in seeing what effect it has; any noticeable difference.
This past Thursday, I had my monthly appointment with Dr. Fox. I am down 7lbs for the month. I opted not to get a ‘fill’ because I seem to be doing well. He gave me a prescription for phentermine. It will help with my appetite thereby boosting my weight loss numbers and give me more energy. I did my regular Friday weigh-in and found I was down 3lbs for the week. That made me happy because I had no weight loss the previous week.
The energy boost will come in handy because I will be off caffeine, at least for the next 10 days. I read an article yesterday on MindBodyGreen by a woman who drank only water for 10 days. A beverage cleanse; it is effectively a tastebud cleanse. She said, she experienced food and non-water beverages differently after the cleanse. Plus, there were skin and body benefits. I love a good challenge and I can definitely stand to drink more water. I start tomorrow. Cheers!
Last week, I took on the challenge of not complaining; about anything. Some days were definitely easier than others but I made it. It took a concentrated effort in some cases and made for what seemed to be a longer week than usual.
I’m going to do it again this week. We’ll see how it goes.
Two weeks ago, I had my monthly appointment with my surgeon and I express to him my concern over the fact that I have not had any weight loss for a month. His response was not to admonish me but simply to say that my plateau may not be my fault. It could just be a matter of needing to tighten the band more than we had in the past. So that’s what we did. in the two weeks since then I am down 8 pounds. It has been an adjustment because I’m able to eat even less than I was used to eating because my pouch filled up even more quickly.
Slowly but surely, I’m learning what I can and can’t tolerate with the pouch. Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet), cheese, yogurt (Carbmaster), cottage cheese, eggs, fish, veggies, apple sauce, soups; most of what sustains me. Also, I drink 2 Premier Protein shakes a day. Most importantly, I chew everything thoroughly so big chunks don’t get stuck and I eat slowly so my body can register being full. An over full pouch is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I also learned that I am allergic to MCT Oil. My wife uses it in smoothies for long-acting energy. We added some to our protein shakes and it made my mouth and face numb and tingly and I was sick and vomiting all day.
My body has changed in a lot of ways but my face is where I see the most significant change as it pertains to my weight loss.The pic on the left is from when I was close to my heaviest and on the right is last week at work. 👀
I’ll leave you with this; blew my mind. 5lbs of fat is equal to the weight of a standard brick…
Keeping that in mind has been let for me to put my weight loss in perspective. I have lost the equivalent of 14 bricks. 70lbs=14 bricks. Imagine carrying around 14 bricks for years. It’s crazy to think about but for the better part of 3 yrs, I had been carrying that around. My goal is to lose 26 more bricks.
Its been 3wks since my last post!! I’ve had a lot going on with rolling out a new software system at work. I haven’t really had time for extra.
Anywhoooooo…I have been up and down over the past 3 weeks as far as my weight goes. So, one thing you should know is that when your band needs a “fill”, you can tell because you actually feel hungry and you eat more because you can. I didn’t have a fill at last month’s appointment but I should have. I’ve had a month of bad snacking and a little bit of overindulging and my numbers show it.
I am down 7lbs this week. I am down a total of 55lbs according to my scale. It seems that each scale I hit has fluctuations but are close enough. I am 1lb less than I was 3wks ago when I last posted. I’ll take that. Plus, I got a band fill this past Thursday so I should be back on track.
I’ve been hitting the gym eeeaaarrrrllllllyyyyy in the morning at 5am. My wife gets off work at 4am and we meet up there. Its hard getting up that early but I’m committed to doing the work.
I am a few days late with this one. I started back to work yesterday so I took advantage of every last bit of the weekend and spent little to no time with a screen in front of my face.
As of this past Friday (weigh day), I am down another -5.6lbs so I am at 449.2lbs. That is a total of -15.2lbs down since the surgery date (7/29/16) and -40lbs since my pre-surgery education (7/20/16).
I am feeling AMAZING!! Already I am better able to move around and breath. The constant swelling in my legs and feet has gone way down and is no longer painful and I can walk 20ft without excruciating back pain.
Seriously though, I could not be more excited to share with you. We were on vacation in California last week. Friday morning, I missed a call from my surgeons office. I checked my voicemail and called right back thinking there was yet another hang up. The insurance coordinator said “We got you approved for your surgery. I can give you some dates for your pre-surgery and surgery to consider”. I dropped the phone. I picked it back up really quickly and grabbed my calendar. She said “You can call me back if you need to check the dates and coordinate with your work schedule”. I assured her that would not be necessary and that I am not waiting any longer than I have to.
So, here it is…I have pre-surgery education that lasts all day on 7/20 and then my surgery is scheduled for 7/29. LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY!!! I am excited and nervous but most importantly, I’m ready.
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t bring you along to this point in the journey and just leave you hanging. I will make sure to keep you all updated every step of the way up to the surgery and post-surgery.