Tuesday, December 28, 2010

6 Months Post-Op

Today marks 6 months since I had the Duodenal Switch Procedure. I stepped up on the dreaded scale this morning and was pleasantly surprised at the number staring back at me. In 6 months I have lost 123 lbs!!! It's like I lost a whole person! I had been carrying the extra weight of a person on my back, literally. But now I'm down 123 lbs!!!!! Hip hip hooray & Bless God!

I was nervous, as usual, to step onto the scales this morning. I was especially nervous since this past weekend was Christmas and I did quite a bit of celebrating in the form of food. :- I ate more chocolate than I thought was humanly possibly. There were M&M's from my stocking, cookies from an exchange earlier in the week, cake balls, chocolate covered pretzels, and chocolate covered popcorn, just to name a few. I felt the need to sample these treats every time I walked passed them, hungry or not. My stomach would even start to hurt and grumble but I would continue to eat the sweets. Really? Thank God for a surgery that works, even when I do not work the way I should.

6 Months Post-Op photos!

The best part about taking these pictures this evening is that I had to keep pulling my pants up. They are falling off of me! Yay! The shirt is even getting a bit baggyish too. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Can Relate

I received a forward today from a friend with these weight related quotes. I thought they were hilarious and I could absolutely relate!

"I have metal fillings in my teeth. My refrigerator magnets keep pulling me into the kitchen. That's why I can't lose weight!"

"What fits your busy schedule better, exercising on hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"

I'm going to order a broiled skinless chicken breast, but I want you to bring me lasagna and garlic bread by mistake."

"If you put a crouton on your sundae instead of a cherry, it counts as a salad."

"The handle on your recliner does not qualify as an exercise machine."

"I was going to wake up early to go jogging but my toes voted against me 10 to 1."

"My doctor told me to start my exercise program very gradually. Today I drove past a store that sells sweat pants."

"The healthiest part of a donut is the hole. Unfortunately, you have to eat through the rest of the donut to get there!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Target Clothes

Okay, get this...I bought a pair of jeans from Target! Yes, me! No, for real! Can you believe it?! TARGET CLOTHES!!! Me! I know you are thinking, "That's common and everyone does it." Not this big girl...not until now!

I was floating on air two weeks ago when I purchased my first pair of jeans from Target. I've never been able to wear clothes from there before. Yes, they were still plus size, but I could shop at a regular store just like anybody else. I've needed new jeans for awhile now. When others start to notice your pants are too baggy it's a bit embarrassing. I attempted to buy some at Wal-Mart a few weeks back, but after trying them on they were too short, tight, and looked cheap. Of course I don't want to spend much money on clothes as I shrink through the sizes, but still, I want them to look alright. I really didn't think the Target jeans would work either, but I figured why not check them out. I was nervous putting them on and zipping them in the dressing room. I nearly teared up when was able to get them on! I was on a natural high when I left the store that evening.

I was completely bummed out when I wore them the next day and the zipper wouldn't stay up. I figured it was because I was too big for them and was making them bust at the seams. That night when I got home I inspected them and the bottom of the zipper was missing the little clasp thing that holds it together. Yay, it wasn't me! I returned them to the store and sadly, they didn't have any others in that size and color. After going to two more Targets, I found the size and color I wanted and was thrilled once again. So much so that I got brave a tried on a few shirts, which fit also. How cool is that? I did the smart thing and only bought one. ;) You can't imagine the feeling of being able to shop for clothes at Target if you'd never been really overweight. I normally just shop at Lane Bryant & The Avenue and have to pay their expensive prices because that's what fits. Not any longer! Yippee!!!! I've even asked for a Target gift card for Christmas so I can do a little more damage in the clothing department. I can't wait! ;-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Months Post-Op

Sunday was 5 months since I had my DS weight loss surgery. I can't believe it's already been that long! It's not always smooth sailing, but as I've said numerous times, it's worth it.

I weighed myself this morning and in 5 months I've lost 106 lbs!!!!!! Yes, I am thrilled. However, I can't help being a little disappointed that I only lost 10 lbs in the last month when the month before I lost 20. I know, I know, shut up, right?! I know my weight loss will not be the same from month to month and there are even things I could have done in the last month to help it along more. I haven't been exercising AT ALL. I hate it, and therefore I come up with every excuse in the book to not do it. Yes, life gets busy and a few excuses are valid, but really?! I'm pretty sure I managed to fit in a lot of TV time, some of which I could have exchanged for the dreaded exercise! :-P I also need to watch my carb intake. I've gotten a bit lax lately. I've eaten too many chips/crackers, potatoes, and the occasional bread. It's time to tighten the reigns on those things once again and remember the long term goal.

I took my 5 month pictures yesterday. It's so fun to see the difference.

I look a bit lopsided here. I think I had my pants pulled up weird! lol!

Getting smaller! Yay!

These pants are starting to get a little baggy!

I even think the back fat is getting a little smaller. Not a ton yet, but maybe a little.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

4 months post-op and 96 lbs gone!

I had my DS surgery 4 months ago today. I cannot believe it's already been that long. What I also can't believe, and am SO THRILLED about, is that in these past 4 months I have lost 96 lbs. Yes, 96 lbs!!!!! I weighed myself three times yesterday because I couldn't believe it. I thought surely the scale was wrong. That's 20 lbs in the last month! OH. MY. GOSH! I am so excited! No, it's hasn't all been a walk in the park, but it's been worth it. Even the days when I don't feel well because some food didn't agree with me, I'm still thankful for this procedure. It has definitely given me a whole new outlook on life. It's given me my life back. It's pretty awesome!
06-27-10 - day before surgery
I can't believe my eyes! This comparison has seriously taken my breath away!
10-31-10 - 4 months post-op
I was asked by a fellow blogger about what I eat. I eat a pretty big variety of things. The thing that really helps me is that my stomach is 2/3's smaller than it originally was so that gives me restriction. I also only absorb 20% of the fat I eat which I feel is my saving grace. I try to eat healthy though; lots of protein with salads or veggies. My breakfasts usually consist of 2 scrambled eggs, or an omelet that I eat on for half the day, or a cup of cottage cheese, sometimes along with a fiber bar. Lunches, as I said, may be salads, or some type of meat along with veggies and/or a salad. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I've had nachos as well. I just try to not make that a daily, or weekly, event. I've been trying to stay away from carbs as well; things like breads, pastas, rices, and potatoes. Unfortunately potatoes are one of my faves and I've had them one too many times lately. The good thing is I definitely can't eat as much of them as before surgery. My dinners are pretty random. Last night it was just cottage cheese because I felt kinda icky. Sometimes it's scrambled eggs, refried beans, fajita meat with the fixin's, minus the tortilla, tuna, chicken, whatever. I eat out a lot too, but try to make good choices. But like I said, I'm nowhere near perfect. This month, being my birthday month, I had a lot of celebrations and eating out so there was definitely an over abundance of chips to munch on and sweets to partake in. I think what I'm learning is that I can have those things occasionally. It just has to be in moderation. Not daily, like the old me. I also need to learn not to beat myself up when I do splurge. I'm not there yet, but trying. I don't want to feel so guilty every time I eat M&M's or crackers. I want to find that healthy fine line in between going hog wild over things and feeling total guilt from eating them. I will get there. It's a process.

What a difference 4 months make!

Thanks again for following me on this journey. I look forward to lots of more fun weigh-ins and before/after photos! :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dallas Komen 5K

Dallas Komen Race for the Cure was Saturday, October 16th. Leigh Ann, Joy, & I, as well as what seemed like a trillion other people, participated in the 5K event. There were so many participants that we couldn't walk very fast if we'd wanted to. It seemed like we were just taking a leisurely stroll through some pretty neighborhoods. We finished the 5K in 1:32.12, however we technically didn't even cross the start line of the Race until it had been officially going on for at least 20 minutes. ;)

the sea of people

As we were walking the 3.1 miles of the 5K I was thinking to myself what an incredible event this was. Komen and Race for the Cure is an awesome organization that is helping to find a cure for breast cancer and for that I am above and beyond grateful. But I was also thinking about how it was incredible that I was participating in my 2nd 5K in 3 weeks. I thought about the ease in which I was able to walk the 5K. Yes, I was hot and sweaty but I was in no great pain. I thought back to 3 1/2 month ago, pre-surgery, where walking from the parking garage at work to my desk had me winded and sweaty. What an incredible difference weight loss makes. When you are at your highest weight and have completely given up, everything seems impossible; kind of like you are drowning. But now...now I sort of feel invincible. Like I have been given my life back. It's weird to stop and think about. My weight has kept me a prisoner my entire life, and now I feel like the chains are gone. It's a fabulous feeling.

crossing the finish line

I can't wait to see what else this wonderful weight loss journey will hold!

Monday, October 4, 2010

3 Months Post-Op

As of September 28th it's been 3 months since my DS surgery. Time flies when you're having fun!

At my 3 month check-up on 9-16-10 I had lost 66.5 lbs. I was thrilled! I had a good check-up with my surgeon and he said I was doing well and on track. Yay! My blood pressure is good too since going off meds. I weighed on my own scales on 9-29-10 and my total lost was 75 lbs!!!! I couldn't believe it. Having surgery was the best decision I could have made! I look forward to the months to come. This is working! Praise God!

Here are my 3 month post-op pics that I took yesterday.

Back fat, oh back fat.

I decided to post this photo because I want to be able to see the shrinkage of the back fat and back spare tire during this journey. I hadn't taken pictures of my back until now, but after trying on clothes in the 3 way mirror yesterday I saw the way my back looks in clingy clothing. YIKES! I've lost in my stomach, in the front, but what about this?!?!?! I sure hope it's next to start shrinking. Stay tuned!

Oh, and on a side note, trying on clothes yesterday didn't make me want to cry and go into a deep depression. Some items were actually TOO BIG! Whoo hoo! I even bought a pair of pants for work that are 2-3 sizes smaller than what I've been wearing. It was VERY exciting! AND my foot is shrinking too. The size 11's didn't fit. It was GREAT!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heels and Hills and Him 5K

heading out Saturday

Keelie & I participated in the Heels and Hills and Him 5K this past Sunday. Heels and Hills is a non-profit dedicated to promoting and increasing involvement in women's fitness (this event included men's fitness as well ;) ). It was held in Las Colinas in the Williams Square area.

Keelie and I decided to make an overnight trip of the event since we both live 30+ minutes away from where the race was held. We picked up our packets Saturday afternoon at the Holiday Inn Express, where we also stayed that night. It was a very nice hotel room, by the way. We lounged around, went to a movie, ate dinner, and did a little shopping. Then it was back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep for the race.

Race morning...shrinking a bit!
We both popped up at 6 am when our alarms went off and were out the door by 6:30. The race site wasn't far from our hotel so we were there in plenty of time. Our 5K got started at 7:45. The announcer said "GO" and we were off. I told Keelie to definitely not stay behind with me. I only planned on jogging a bit of the 5K and she was going to try to run the whole thing. This was my 4th 5K to participate in, but my first since having my DS procedure back in June. I have been working out for a little while now so I knew I could do this. Would it be easy? No, but I could do it. My original goal was to use my C25K program to jog in intervals throughout the race. I started the program and jogged the first 1:30 min and 3 min times, but I was quickly tiring out. I then changed my goal. I knew there was no way I'd make it through the 3.1 miles if I did C25K the whole time so I decided to just walk fast and "try" to jog again at the end, if at all possible. The weather wasn't too bad Sunday morning and I very much enjoyed the sprinkle of rain that trickled down on me for about a min during the 5K. It was a much needed refresher. The race course went down one road, looped around and went back up the other side to make the 3.1 miles. As I was just on the way down the first stretch of road I spotted Keelie on the opposite side of the road jogging. She was doing great. I kept trucking along. Having strangers around me helped me to go faster. I didn't want them to do better than me, especially if they were older than I was. Ha! That helped me to keep my pace up. I hit the home stretch and spotted Keelie waiting for me at the corner. She'd finished and come back to wait. She walked with me for a few minutes, but with the finish line in site I decided to jog the rest of the way in. It wasn't easy and about halfway to the finish line I sure did want to quit. I didn't though. How embarrassing would it have been to quit with everyone now watching me?! Ha! I jogged in and crossed the finished line. The announcer even called out "Way to go 5K finisher Kristi!" (My name was on my bib.)

Having my chip time removed just after finishing.

I finished! Yay! And in under an hour. I wasn't sure of my exact time but I knew it had taken less than an hour, which was a big accomplishment for me. I'm pretty sure my previous 5Ks had taken longer than that. We grabbed water, bananas, and went to take some pictures, and stretch some. I could feel the burn in my legs! Then they posted the 5 & 10K results. We walked over to check out our times. It looked like they had only posted the first 20 people from each of the categories so I wasn't listed. I knew I was nowhere near the top. However, Keelie had registered in the Athena category for women over 150 lbs, instead of her age range, which is an option offered to the women participants. Right away I spotted Keelie's name on the list. SHE GOT FIRST! She hadn't seen her name yet and was looking lower down on the list so I pointed it out to her. It was SO exciting! We were THRILLED. FIRST! Amazing! And she jogged the 5K in 32:34.7 min, which was two minutes faster then the 5K she did in June. Whoo hooo! I was soooo proud of her. Everyone else's results weren't going to be posted until that evening on the website so we took off and headed to breakfast at Corner Bakery. I did get my results Sunday evening though. I did the 5K in 52:27.2 min, which probably consisted of 5-6 min of jogging and the rest walking. I came in 191st out of 209. I was pleased. I did it in under an hour and wasn't last. Hehe. That made me happy!

5K finishers at Williams Square

Filling up on protein & fruit after the race. It was delish!

It was a fun event and we plan to be back in May for the all women 5K. Keelie & I commented on the way home how different this was for us. In the past, getting together would consist of going to splurge on super unhealthy food until we made ourselves sick and then head off to some sedentary activity. Who were these girls that just did this 5K?!?! Oh, that's right...the new us! ;-)

Check out official race photos here. Just plug in BIB Numbers 2132 and 2293. You can see Keelie & my photo finishes!

Friday, September 17, 2010

So this whole working out thing...

I hate it. I mean really DESPISE IT. I'd rather clean litter boxes, pooper scoop the yard, or do toilets instead of exercise. Do you understand my hatred for it?!

So I've been working out for 4 weeks now. Yes, I've worked out previously in the last 30 years, but the times have been few and far between. Now if you are keeping track of when I started working out you know if should have been 5 weeks by now. Yeah, I didn't do anything last week. Nothing. My elliptical that sits snugly beside my bed stared me in the face and I just turned my head. I'd like to blame it on being out of town for Labor Day, heading back out of town the next weekend to celebrate a 1st b-day, the laundry & packing I needed to do, and the rest I needed to get. But let's face it, I was home for three days and did nothing. And I'm pretty sure my family and friends wouldn't have minded me working out when I was at their houses either. I just chose not to. Yup, that was my decision. And boy has it kicked my booty this week.

So I'm on week 4 of C25K. Week 4 consists of the 5 minute warm up, 3 min jog, 1:30 min walk, 5 min jog, 2:30 min walk, 3 min jog, 1:30 min walk, 5 min jog, 5 minute cool down, and then go home and crash. By Wednesday I still hadn't done any of it so I decided it was time to get off my rump. I got home late though so I decided to do it on my elliptical; just go much faster on the running intervals as I did once before in the past. I was sweating bullets and feeling the burn, but I survived. There was definitely grunting during those 5 min jogs and I regretted the non-workouts from the week before, but I finished. Then there was last night...

Last night can only be described as an epic exercise FAIL. I wasn't even going to workout last night. I very much dislike working out two days in a row. I'm always so tired by the next day. However, I was in a funk mood yesterday and when I drove home I noticed it was super pretty so I thought exercise might help pull me out of the funk. Yeah, no. I started off alright. I finished the 3 min jog just fine and was in the neighborhood across from my apts. But that stinkin' 5 min jog came all too quickly. I tried, I really did. But with 2:53 left to go I walked. Grrr. I was irritated with myself. So after I minute of walking I ran the last nearly 2 min. 4 min in all, but not 5. At that point I was hurting. My stomach was hurting and I was so tired. I told myself I had to continue though. It was time for the next 3 min jog and unfortunately I was on an incline. It was killing me. I ran just a little bit of that one, got to a flatter surface and then ran again, but it was probably only 1:30 in all. At this point I'm frustrated, stomach still hurting, sweating profusely, and not entirely sure where I am. I mean, I know I'm still in the neighborhood but the streets all wind together and I didn't pay close enough attention to my surroundings when I started my exercising. I quickly found the road that led back to my apt but it was uphill and I didn't want to attempt the last 5 min jog going up that street. So what do I do? Run further away from home, although much running wasn't involved. I probably didn't even get a min in. I was DONE. My stomach was really hurting now and I had HAD IT! I had FAILED this stupid C25K. Doing it on the elliptical is NOTHING like actually running it. Instead of turning around and heading home uphill I kept walking in the direction I was going. Didn't this street curve back around to where I needed to be. Oh wait, it doesn't. Crap, where am I? The sun is setting and I'm semi-lost. Okay, not lost, but turned around. I could turn back around and go back the way I had come, but ugh, uphill. Then I see a main road in the distance and realize, yes, I have gone way out of my way and was not headed home. Instead of turning around I decided that walking down the grass embankment, hopping over the little stream, walking up the other side of the grass embankment was a good idea. REALLY? All that to avoid uphill?! Just as I was crossing the stream I though about snakes which freaked me out and had me going faster. Could I run from a snake? Uh, no. I finally got to the street I crossed the stream for and headed down it to hit the street that would eventually take me back home. I noticed it was dusk, which worried me because I was on a random street I didn't know. Then the white utility van slowly crept by. Oh my goodness! What if they jumped out and tried to throw me in and kidnap me? Edward from Twilight would not appear out of the shadows to save me as he'd done Bella. Man, dang it. I'd just be dead. The van passed, I realized I was insane, and kept going...and going and going and going. I got to my complex and had to sprint to make it through the gate since I didn't have my clicker with me. That did me in. I finally arrived home an hour after I had left. That stupid 31 min C25K had lasted WAY too long.

So yes, I do not like exercise. And what do I do now? I clearly didn't complete the week 4 workout. Quit C25K and do something else? Keep trying to do week 4 until I master it even if it takes a lot longer than it should. I don't know. Right now I can't think about exercising again. Everything from my hips down is sore.

Keelie & I after exercising two weeks ago. It was a happy, simpler time!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Two Months Post-Op

I can't believe it's been two months today that I had my DS surgery! The time has really flown by and I'm really feeling quite well. I've been back to work a month now and have successfully started a workout routine. I've completed the first two weeks of C25K!!! I weighed at my primary care doc's office this week (dang allergies/sinuses) and as of Thursday, August 26th I had lost 49 lbs. Whoo hooo!

Headed to the lake this afternoon!

2 months post-op progress photos

I did week 2, day 3 of C25K on my elliptical tonight. I had put the last workout off since I hadn't felt well this week and it was time to get it in before I started week three tomorrow. This was my 'proof' photo that I sent to Keelie to confirm I followed through on doing it! Using the elliptical was good. It was different, but still felt like a really good workout. I just went a lot faster during the jogging times. As you can see, I was still breaking a good sweat! ;-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

43 lbs lost

I have lost 43 lbs in 7 weeks! Whoo hooo! Hip hip hooray!

I get nervous every time I weigh. I know I shouldn't live and die by the scale, but ultimately I do want the scale to reflect a loss every time. I actually had to end up going to the doctor this past Tuesday. After my first C25K adventure one of my incisions started to swell a bit and be red and sore. Great. I was a bit freaked as to what I may have done to it so I called the doc's office and they told me to come in so the PA could check it out. It turned out to be nothing big. It just got a bit irritated for one reason or another. Actually, by the time I got to my doc appointment it was already a lot better. Of course. The PA just said that it probably pulled away from the skin a bit and was not an issue. I even quizzed her about what kind of working out I should be doing at this point. I was secretly hoping she'd tell me not to run. Yes, I guess I'm still looking for excuses to not continue C25K. lol. She told me I should be doing 30 min of exercise a day and that I could do whatever I wanted, besides ab work, like crunches, etc. I'm not cleared for that until after 3 months post-op. I even questioned her. "It's okay for me to run at this size? My heart and breathing will be okay?" The answer was yes. Dang. lol. She did say that walking fast and jogging at this point were the same in affecting weight loss. I guess she knew I wasn't really sprinting or anything! It did cross my mind for a split sec to tell Keelie she said I couldn't run. Yes, I'm sometimes evil. lol. I did jokingly tell her I was only supposed to be doing the couch part of C25K. She didn't buy it. Ha. It was a good appointment though and I was thrilled and the number on the scale. I asked if I was on track with my weight loss and the PA said yes and that the doc would be pleased! Yay!

I've noticed in the last few weeks that my jeans are getting bigger and bigger. Another yay! This past week when I wore my jeans to work my friend kept singing "Pants on the Ground", courtesy American Idol this past season. I didn't even mind when she called me saggy butt. It thrilled me. I thought I'd share some saggy butt photos. They aren't the best, and ignore my junky apt, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I hate to exercise. It's pretty much my least favorite thing...ever. I've never enjoyed it. Probably because I've always been big and therefore it's NEVER been fun for me. However, I do know, unfortunately, that weight loss and exercise go hand in hand. Anytime I've ever been pretty successful in the past with losing weight it has included exercise. Fine, it's necessary, but I still don't have to like it! ;) According to my doctor's office I need to be doing about 30 minutes of exercise a day...walking, swimming, running, whatever I feel like. Bleh!

Keelie got it in her head that I needed to start running as part of my exercise. Yeah, she's crazy. I told her as much. She's been running for awhile now as part of her weight loss program, even winning a medal at a 5K she participated in. However, we are most definitely not the same person and I kept telling her that I COULD NOT RUN. Keelie is also an avid Biggest Loser watcher and she told me that if all those people could do it, many heavier than myself, then I could too. Whatever! LOL! One point she made stuck with me though. She said this would be something different than I had ever done before. That sounded like a challenge to me...something I had to prove to myself...that I could do this.

Since Keelie & I are planning on participating in 5Ks that are coming up in the next few months, she told me I needed to start training. Of course I thought I was just going to be walking! But last week I get a text from Keelie saying to google Couch to 5K. So I did. It looked pretty interesting. You start out very slowly (5 min warm-up, 20 mins alternating jogging 60 secs and walking 90 secs, then a 5 min cool-down) and then work up to jogging a 5K throughout the 9 week program. There was even an app for the iPhone so I decided I'd download it and try this out. No promises. I told Keelie I'd start last Wednesday. Well, Wednesday came and went and I decided I was just too busy and tired so I'd start Monday. I would also avoid Keelie until that time. LOL. Although I knew in the back of my mind that she'd soon be asking. I got the dreaded text from her on Friday. "How is training going?" Well crap! After a lengthy text conversation of telling her I was really busy and I couldn't run, she said she'd be over that night and we were doing this. "Today is the day!" I wasn't thrilled, but said okay. I was dreading it and nervous about it all day. We decided that we would go to the local high school track to do the C25K. I had called that afternoon to make sure the track was open to the public. I was told all the local ISD's tracks were open to the public. Great! We arrived at the track and hopped out of the car. No one was there, but then again it was Friday night. They were at the movies or eating out, not exercising like us fools! Ha! It also smelled weird. I thought like spray paint, Keelie though sun tan oil. We head up to the track and then see the picture below. Workers were outside resurfacing the entire track! Are you kidding me?! That explains the weird smell! I didn't want to do this in the first place, we get here and can't even use the track that I had just inquired about that day! It wasn't meant to be!

Keelie had other ideas, and I wasn't really ready to give up that quickly either. So we headed to the football stadium nearby. It was locked up tight so we decided to just use the grassy, dark practice field across the parking lot. After the first 60 sec run we moved to the parking lot. The grassy field was way too dark, full of holes, and scary. I have a history of falling and breaking my ankle and I wasn't really in the mood to do so Friday night. We didn't talk much during our workout, mostly because I couldn't breathe. I dreaded each time we had to jog. I watched my phone tick down the minutes until I could walk again. Toward the end of the 20 minutes it was time to jog again and I just couldn't. I could NOT breathe. I told Keelie it was time to jog but I wasn't going to be able to this time; I would just walk. Keelie immediately starting saying "NO, you have to do! You can't quit now. Keep going! Think about blogging about this." I was SO irritated! I did NOT want to run. But I did. Nearly out of breathe and dying, I jogged. However, I will admit that I wanted to push Keelie down onto the pavement. LOL. I told her so afterward and we laughed. I quit being mad at her a minute later and was pretty happy with her when we finished and I did the WHOLE thing. Jogged EVERY time the program said to. I DID IT! I ran. I will admit my running/jogging was the slowest a person has ever done it. It's kind of like a fast walk with a bounce. But I DID IT! Yay! Here's the proof in the photo!

It's good to have a best friend who calls ya on your crap. Keelie knew I wasn't going to start this thing on my own. She showed up and made me do it and I'm SO glad she did. Now that's a best friend. Love ya Keelie!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What do you see?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about self-image. I just finished watching the second season of 'Ruby', the journey of a once 700+ lb woman who is now in the 300 lb range and still battling her food addiction daily. In the two hour season finale she and her friends, who are also battling with weight issues, went to a 6 day intensive program with an addiction specialist. One of the exercises they did was to draw life size versions of themselves, the way they thought they looked. It was very interesting to see the results compared to the actual way they looked. Some people thought they were much bigger than they actually were, and of course others didn't see their large sizes at all. The addiction specialist talked a lot about actually looking in the mirror and seeing yourself for what you really are. Of course I didn't feel like I had an issue with this. I know I'm big...huge. I know I always have been. There is NO WAY I see myself as smaller than I really am. I look in the mirror daily. Yes I was looking in the mirror daily before surgery, but was a I really seeing?

I ran across this picture this past week. It was taken of me, without me knowing, at the Susan G. Komen North Texas Race for the Cure on June 12 this year. I was mortified when I saw it. I knew I was obese before surgery, and still am at this point, but I honestly hadn't seen THIS. I knew I was at my very biggest, but STILL. I just had not SEEN this! My stomach protruding as if I'm about 18 months pregnant, my non-existent neck, and then of course those arms. It was sweltering that day, as it normally is in Texas in June, and so I had rolled my sleeves up on my t-shirt. Yeah, maybe not the best idea. I remember this day. It was HARD for me. I could feel my excess weight all day long. I didn't have the energy I normally do at the Race. I couldn't squat to take pictures as I normally can. At one point I did squat and was seriously scared I wouldn't be able to get back up. I was pouring sweat profusely and it was hard to breathe. I was miserable walking around the Race course. When it was all over I was thrilled. I was also sad. Sad that I felt this way. I DIDN'T want to feel this way! Seeing this picture the past week brought it all back. I NEVER want to be at this point again. NEVER! I honestly felt like I was dying, which in reality I was. I was killing myself with the weight. In the weeks leading up to surgery I would have thoughts of "I can feel myself dying. I hope I can just make it until surgery day." I never shared that with anyone. Who wants to admit that?! Not me. It's amazing how nearly 6 weeks later and 39 lbs lost that hopeless feeling is gone. I think it immediately disappeared the day I had surgery. My hope was back. I guess I was looking before, just refusing to see.

Last Thursday I got together with two ladies who have also had the DS procedure. They both had it about 3 1/2 years ago. It was great talking to them since they have both been where I am. I got some good advice and enjoyed hearing and sharing stories of surgery side effects and such. One thing kept creeping up though...that ugly self image. Both ladies have lost incredible amounts of weight and are so much smaller than they were before their procedure, yet they certainly do not see themselves as I saw them. They both still want to lose weight, are not happy in the size they are wearing, and have that mental block of still seeing themselves large. It bothered me. I'm following behind them and I don't want to feel that way. I don't ever want to forget where I've come from and what I've accomplished. I don't ever want to not be able to see myself. When I am at goal I want to see that, be happy about it, and not still see my self as that morbidly obese girl. Don't get me wrong, I KNOW the mental part is one of the hardest things to change, but I DO want to change it. I'm looking into seeing a behavioral psychologist because I want to get healthy...both psychically and mentally. I never want to take for granted the accomplishments I make in this weight loss journey.

Friday, July 30, 2010

One Month Post-Op

It's been one month since surgery. I can't believe it! Time has really flown, and thankfully I am actually feeling human again. Whooo hooo!!!

I just took my one month post-op pics, a few days late, but going back to work this week has made me pretty tired. I can see subtle differences when I compare my pre-op photos to the ones I took today. I look less like I'm about to pop at any second. :-) Unfortunately I don't know how much weight I've lost now. The new scale I bought is not working and I haven't returned it and bought a new one yet. I hope to soon though.

I am definitely enjoying my non-scale victories. Such as having clothes fit, and or be lose, that were skin tight before surgery. I also enjoyed being able to sit in the chairs in the cafeteria at work and actually not feel wedged in like I had to lay back to fit. I could reach across the table with ease to grab the salt & pepper! My rings are fitting again too. Yay! And the best part...the compliments, even from people that have no idea what I did. It makes me feel really good!

I'm looking forward to all the changes to come!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Protein is very important to my post-op nutrition. I need 80-100 grams per day. I've learned quite a bit about protein lately. Did you know protein is the major component of muscle tissue? It keeps blood sugar stable, promotes satiety, and is needed for hormone and digestive enzymes. Protein is also needed for a healthy immune system, and is essential to carry oxygen in the blood. Who knew?! I make sure nearly everything I eat now has protein in it and I'm also on the lookout for new items that have lots of protein in them.

Here are some of my most recent finds:

EAS Myoplex with 42 g of protein!!! I was shocked when I found this last night at Kroger. I had not found a drink with that much protein in it so far. It was a little expensive, 4 for close to $13, but the 17 oz bottles seemed worth a try. I also don't mind the taste of them. They are not gritty like some protein drinks. I think it tastes similar to a less sweet chocolate milk.

Braum's 4% Milkfat Cottage Cheese. I located this while visiting my parents last weekend. A 1/2 c. of this has 14 g of protein. Awesome! It tastes really good too, but then again I do love cottage cheese.

Last but not least is the Special K Protein Water Mix. It has 5 g of protein in it, which isn't a whole lot, however it's better than nothing, AND I might as well get protein in while drinking my water. It tastes pretty good too, and I've seen it in three different flavors; Pink Lemonade, Ice Tea with Lemon, and Strawberry Kiwi.

Feel free to let me know of any great protein finds you may have!!!

28 lbs lost!

I had my post-opt class/check-up yesterday at Dr. Stewart's office. It went very well. I'm down 28 lbs in just 2 1/2 weeks. Whoooo and hooooo!!!!!! They also took me off my Diovan/HCT blood pressure medicine. I was shocked! My blood pressure was something like 107/70 WITHOUT medication. The nurse practitioner said it would have probably been in the 80's with meds. After ALL these years of being on it I almost didn't want to come off it for fear something would go wrong. I put my trust in the experts though and have stopped taking the medicine. I just can't believe it. She said my incisions looked good and everything sounded okay. I told her about the burning pain around my belly button and she did say it was a muscle and for me to rotate ice and heat for the pain. It will just take a little while to feel better.

The class was very informative as well. We talked about water consumption, getting enough protein and fats, and what we can all advance our diets to now. It was also nice to talk to the other two women who have had the DS like myself. One of the girls and I shared experiences about the horrible nurse from Denton Regional. We were cracking up that we both had her and she was horrible to us both. We also all shared our contact info so we can keep in touch and share good products we may find. All in all it was a good appointment and I had no issues driving for the first time after surgery. I even went to the grocery store last night for the first time post-op. It wasn't the easiest experience but I survived. I'm honestly just excited to be feeling more human these days! :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Squishy/Soft Food Boredom

I have to admit that I'm a little bored of this diet stage after surgery. Don't get me wrong, this stage is MUCH better than ice chips or full liquids, but it's definitely lacking excitement. I've been on squishy/soft foods since day 8 and have immensely enjoyed the mashed potatoes, refried beans, scrambled eggs, tuna, etc., but I'm ready to move on. I really wanted to add salsa to my refried beans this evening but that's not on my approved list so I decided not to. I also thought it just wasn't a smart decision for a new stomach. LOL! I have my post-op class/appt tomorrow afternoon so hopefully they'll have a new list of foods to advance to. For now I'll just wait and be happy I'm able to eat at all! ;-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Two Weeks Out

I can't believe it's already been TWO WEEKS since I had my DS procedure! It's definitely been eventful. I seem to have experienced the most random side effects. I realize this may be TMI, but I'm documenting everything I've been through! After getting home the Thursday after surgery I was having some bleeding when using the bathroom. After calling my doctor's office that Friday it was determined that the stress of surgery had caused me to start my period. Yeah, that's what you want to deal with right after surgery! LOL. Then on Saturday right after surgery, I got a yeast infection due to the antibiotics I'd been on during my stay in the hospital. Lovely. During my first days home my back hurt pretty badly because of the hospital bed, but that thankfully didn't last too long. Then last Tuesday and Wednesday I had a terrible pain in my side. I wasn't sure what was going on so I took Gas-X and did lots of walking to see if I could rule that out. The pain wasn't relieved after the gas was, so it was off to the doctor last Thursday for me. After seeing the doc he said it was probably just a sore muscle since I'm using different ones instead of using my stomach muscles like normal. Thank goodness it was nothing serious. While at the doctor's office I also started having an allergic reaction to the steri strips that were covering my incisions. He removed them all and told me that taking them off and using cortisone cream would make them better. Oh how they have itched. They have just now stopped, knock on wood. The nurse weighed me before I saw the doc and I had lost 20 POUNDS!!!! Whoo hoooo! I was thrilled!

This weekend I felt well enough to visit my family for my Mom's birthday. I even ventured out with Mom to visit Grandma at the retirement home. Courtney picked me up Friday because I haven't driven yet. The last day I took pain meds was last Wednesday though so I'm about ready to drive. I know it will be sore and pull some but should be alright. I should be able to drive to my post-op class this Thursday.

All in all I feel as though I'm turning a corner. I'm feeling better and am able to do more. I was pretty excited that I was able to lay on my side some the last two days. This was very exciting since I sleep on my side and haven't been able to since surgery. It's made for some not so fun INSOMNIA lately. I'm praying that's over now though!

Surgery continued


This was a pretty difficult day in the hospital. Keelie & I didn't get much sleep in the wee hours of the morning between the IV machine beeping, nurses and techs coming in, and just not being able to. Around 5 am I decided I would sit up again and possibly walk. I don't think the nurse believed I was actually going to because she left the room while I was sitting up on the side of the bed and didn't return for quite awhile. However this allowed me to feel more comfortable being upright and let me stretch and helped me to feel better overall. Eventually the nurse returned and I was ready to walk. We slowly walked halfway down the hall, to the nurses station, and back. The nurse seemed impressed that I had already walked and she must have told the tech because she walked in like she already knew and seemed impressed too. Hello, my pre-op class told me that I would be up walking after surgery so I needed to stay on target! :-)

I thankfully got my hated catheter out at noon, which thrilled me. However, the afternoon was quite hard. My IV that was put in the day before for surgery quit working, which I brought to the nurse's attention after I noticed my arm swelling and hurting. What followed definitely felt like terror. The nurse proceeded to poke me three times in attempts to making new IV's work. She put one in my right arm, which set the IV machine off every time I moved my right hand. Since I am right-handed it was quite difficult to not move. After the machine going off numerous times, my arm starting to swell, and the nurse saying that the IV had quit working, she then pricked me in my left arm which immediately blew the vein. Next the same nurse moved the IV to another spot in my left arm and that one set the machine to beeping almost every time I breathed. IT WAS MISERABLE!!! The beeping was driving me insane, really. I could not make the nurse understand that I wasn't even moving my hand, as she accused me of quite a few times, and it would just go off. I even walked down to the nurses station to talk to them about it, and that is when I just lost it. The nurse made the comment that I was just too tall for the IV machine. Really? SERIOUSLY? Another nurse standing nearby commented how I wasn't too tall. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm not nearly the tallest person to ever have an IV. What in the world?! And in the midst of it all the tech thought it would be a great time to take my blood pressure, pulse ox, and temp, and to continually giggle. I was done. Hit a wall. I commented how I wasn't feeling well and then just started crying. I made it back to my room and couldn't stop crying. FINALLY another nurse came in and put a new IV in my right arm that worked and didn't set the machine off. She was my hero! My IV worked correctly the rest of the time. I also requested that my nurse and tech not be my nurse and tech again the next day. They didn't return for the rest of my stay. Thank you Jesus! After my breakdown Keelie graciously volunteered to stay with me Tuesday night as well. She was a GREAT help!
working on breathing Tuesday evening

flowers from Leah, Leigh Ann, Marge, & Hannah that arrived Tuesday


I slept a lot this day and it felt great. I had quite a few visitors as well. Uncle James dropped by around 11 am for a visit. Then Mom arrived around noon to help me get a shower. I hadn't had one since Monday before surgery and I was REALLY wanting one. It was pretty horrible, honestly. There wasn't an actual "shower". There was a bathroom with a toilet and sink on one side and a shower head on the other with a drain in the floor. I still had my drain in my side, and had to have my IV and incisions covered, so it made it quite challenging. I sat on the shower chair with my back to the water as Mom would spray me down. I was quite glad when that 45 MINUTE shower was done. I had been unplugged from my IV (so no pain meds) and was in pain.

Leah, Margaret, Paul, and Hannah came for a visit that evening. The nurse dropped by during their visit to unplug me from my IV for good. Goodbye morphine! ;-) Courtney arrived to spend the night with me. Then Deborah and Caryn popped in for a visit as well.

Wednesday night, tiring out

beautiful flowers from Deb & Caryn, roses and stargazer lilies, my fav!


Going home day!!! My doctor stopped in early and said I could go home. Yippeee!!!!!! The nurse took my drain out and I felt like a new woman!!! I practically bounced out of bed. The discharge papers went through, Keelie, Mom, and Dad arrived to help me and Court load up, and I was OUT OF THERE! Being at home and in my own bed was the best thing EVER!!!! No more hospital bed killing my back or nurses trying to drive me nuts! Yay! No more hospitals stays for me in the near future, fingers crossed!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



The day finally arrived after months of preparation!!! I had the Duodenal Switch Procedure last Monday, June 28th, at 11:30 am. Keelie picked me up that morning at 9 and we headed to the hospital, as I had to check-in at 10. I was surprisingly calm. I figured I'd be beside myself at some point Sunday, but I wasn't, and the calm had held over on Monday as well. God had definitely given me a peace. My stomach did flutter and drop a bit when I got out of the car but it was short lived. I was quickly called from the waiting room and had my IV hooked up and gave numerous bits of information to the nurses. I visited with Mom & Keelie a bit and then it was time to go. They were taking me back around 11:10 am. A hospital on time?! No way! I said a quick hello to Uncle James and Debra as I was wheeled away. I recall seeing Sue, the PA, in the operating room and that's about all I remember, thankfully.

The next thing I remember was waking up in recovery and I was NOT happy. I was hurting. I could feel the dreaded catheter and my incisions were uncomfortable as well. I remember the nurse trying to wake me and all I could think is "GO AWAY!" I was hurting and didn't want to wake up for that. I then became VERY stressed and anxious. I looked around a bit and saw only one other patient. However, there were what seemed like TONS of nurses back there and you would have thought it was water-cooler-visiting-hour. I just remember them having extremely loud, personal conversations. It was so annoying and was definitely stressing me out. I just kept praying and passing back out. The next thing I remember is being wheeled to my room, but being asked who was there with me and being told they had been unable to find my family. Yeah, that didn't help my anxiety. I arrived at the room where they then said they had put me in the wrong bed after surgery and they would have to move me. They asked if I would be able to help them by scooting over. This wasn't my first surgery experience and I knew many times they make you move beds and it's extremely painful. I told them I didn't know if I would be able to move myself (like they would leave me if I didn't cooperate or something) but said I'd try. I did try a little bit but it hurt BAD. I guess they finally gave up on me because they started moving me with the bed sheet and the backboard. I wanted to scream. It hurt SO bad. They laid the bed completely flat which was a killer. Hello, surgery sight is the stomach! I don't want to be stretched flat. Ugh. At that point hitting a few nurses did cross my mind. I just wanted to be left alone. The bed switch was finally made and I felt somewhat better. Then my family arrived. I was relieved since I had been told they couldn't find them.

At this point I was very in and out of it. I know nurses came by to get my vitals and I also know I complained about my catheter more than once. I was extremely hot as well. Keelie gave me cold cloths to cool me down (as seen in the lovely photo above, courtesy of my sister). My family and Keelie were talking to me and it continued to stress me out and cause anxiety. I told them that I just couldn't have them talking. They quieted down but I could hear my mom whispering, which was still stressing me. In my head I just sat up some and told them I couldn't have them talking at all. What they all told me is that I was throwing my hands up telling them not to talk. I think they were all scared. LOL!

The next thing I remembered was actually coming to and Mom & Dad were in the room. At this point I was more awake, than any other time, and was calm. I could carry on conversations with them. Courtney & Keelie returned from eating and Mom & Dad headed out for the night. I told the nurse I wanted to sit up, and possibly walk, around 10 pm. Getting up was VERY hard, but I finally did it with the help of the nurse and Keelie & Courtney. I sat there for a little bit and decided I would not be able to walk at this point so I got back in bed. Just an fyi, getting in and out of bed after surgery...NOT EASY. You would think they would come up with a better system, or better beds for people who were just operated on, so the in and out wouldn't be so painful.

The following day provided troubles of it's own, but we'll reminisce about those another day! ;-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

La Madeleine - The Last Meal

As I said in my previous post, I ate La Madeleine for my last meal on Sunday, June 27th. I had to stop eating at noon for surgery the next day. La Madeleine wasn't really what I had in mind but The Original Pancake House had a wait and I was on a time crunch, so Leah, Leigh Ann, and I headed to La Madeleine to scarf some food before I had to quit eating.

I decided on the Chicken Parisien - marinated chicken breast, bacon, melted cheddar, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato on a sourdough roll. I got the Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta Salade as my side, and got the Potato Soup as well. Last meal, remember. Of course I washed it all down with two glasses of Dr. Pepper. I was being very mindful of the time because I didn't want to do anything to compromise my surgery. I wanted to play exactly by the rules. I was trying to eat everything by noon and I guess I wasn't paying attention to how fast I was eating or my lack of chewing. All the sudden I was stuck and my mouth began to fill with saliva. Stuck due to the lap band I still had. Of course right about that time Leah and Leigh Ann direct a question to me. I was so embarrassed. They know my band struggles and knew what was happening. I barely got out the words "Talk amongst yourself" and signaled that I was having issues.

I quickly walked to the bathroom to throw up and of course all the stalls were occupied. I stood there a minute and thought "don't throw-up, don't throw-up, don't-throw up" and then there it came. I could not keep it in. I lunged toward the sink, pulled out the wicker trash can (yes wicker), and threw up. Of course there were two people watching my embarrassing moment. One lady quickly left the bathroom and the girl at the sink putting on her make-up moved over as quickly as possible. Right at that moment a stall cleared up and I bolted. Of course by that time there was nothing left to throw up and I was completely fine so I just hung out in there another minute before exiting. I went to the sink to wash my hands and profusely apologized to the girl still putting her make-up on. She said she felt bad for me and she understood. No, she didn't, but that's okay. Then I was out to rejoin the girls and finish my meal. Oh yes, by throwing up what always got stuck with the lap band you feel fine and can go right back to eating. Yes, I know, not normal.

This incident was perfect by happening at my last meal. It just reiterated that by having surgery the next day I was doing the right thing. I was getting rid of my band and all the issues I'd had with it for the last 4 1/2 years. I would be starting over on the right path. Although pretty embarrassing, throwing up was very symbolic for me. The weeks leading up to surgery did the same thing for me. Little things would happen here and there and I'd just think "yes, having surgery is absolutely the right decision".


Before my DS surgery last week I did a lot of things to get ready for it. I cleaned the apt, went grocery shopping for the things I needed after surgery, ate out A LOT (Cheesecake Factory, Posados, La Madeleine, etc.), drank LOTS of sweet tea and 'real' Dr. Pepper (had to get all those 'last meals' in before the big day), and I also took 'before' pictures, as well as measurements. I want to be sure and document my progress along the way through photos and measurements. I've seen lots of people do so and the comparisons are amazing. I can't wait! So here they are. They are terrible, but necessary.

Sunday, June 27th, 2010
Waist measurement - way tight 60"

Bust measurement - 58"

Hip measurement - the measuring tape wouldn't even reach around to measure
Bicep measurement - 20"
Thigh measurement - 32"
Current clothing size - 26/28, 30/32
Shoe size - 11 (sometimes wide)
Bra size - 48 B