Sunday, June 30, 2013

Goals?

My weight loss journey has always been one for health - knowing my family history, co-morbidities were going to sneak up on me as I continued to get older if I didn't take care of this obesity STAT.  Unfortunately, the LapBand was less than ideal for me...I'm excited that I'm now down 25.6 pounds since my 10 day pre-op diet started before my Gastric Sleeve surgery on June 7.  I'm starting to see the loss on my body and feel the loss in my clothes, and in tracking my every intake on MyFitnessPal, I know I'm doing this the healthy way, too!

Long-term health is definitely the main objective, and I'm super stoked to finally see some light at the end of the "battle with obesity" tunnel.  But, somewhat superficially, what else do I hope to get out of this?  Ooo - I know!  Let's make a list!!  I do love me some lists!!

Weight Loss Journey Goals

  • Lose 25 pounds - check!  (Having something to check off makes my list feel good)
  • Lose 61 pounds - This will put me at 250, which is the weight I was 2 years ago when I moved to the East Coast.
  • Lose 72 pounds - At this loss, I'll officially have lost more than I have left to lose!
  • Lose 96 pounds - Puts me at 215, one pound less than the lowest weight I recall being as an adult.
  • Lose 112 pounds - Onederland!
  • Lose 142 pounds - At 169, I'll be exactly half the person I was pre-LapBand.
Sure, the goal losses aren't your standard "25, 50, 75, etc.," but I feel that my goal numbers have purpose...symbolism, if you will.  I've got no timeline for any of the above goals, as I don't yet know how my body will lose weight once I'm back on normal foods and past the initial recovery phases of being a post-op sleever.  Ideally, though?  I'd love to hit that second target by the time my birthday rolls around on August 28.  36 pounds in 2 months?  Maybe.  I wouldn't expect that kind of loss long term, but it just might be doable in my post-op recovery mode!

Life as a Thin Person Goals
  • Be a stunning bride! - No date set, but it's gotta happen sometime!  Nick and I have been together almost 3.5 years now!
  • Wear a bathing suit without feeling the need to wear some cover up skirt, shirt, etc.
  • Shop in any clothing store I want to, knowing that clothes fit me.
  • Allow my inner confidence to reflect on the outside.
  • Not be afraid of any chair or seat - no matter how fragile it looks!
  • Eliminate back, tailbone & knee issues - while other incidents caused the issues, the weight sure ain't helping!
  • Not being the heaviest person in the room.  Cuz I usually am.
  • Be a runner.  I have visions of spending hours on my weekends jogging, running marathons, etc.
  • Using food as energy, rather than letting it be the focus of my time.
  • Not feeling guilty about a cupcake, appetizer, etc. because "I really shouldn't eat that."
  • Having the energy to do more than "commute, work, commute, TV, bed."
I'm sure there are others on my list, but they're escaping my brain at the moment.  What about you?  What "life as a thin person goals" do you have?!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"I don't care about weight loss right now."

I went to a follow-up with my doctor on Tuesday (18 days post-op), just a few days into the "puree" stage of my post-op recovery diet.  I expressed frustration at not having lost weight in the past week as I stepped on their scale (despite my head understanding all of the reasons why stalls happen, and knowing that the weight will come off eventually as I continue to do the right things).  What shocked me, though, was the response from my doctor....

"I don't care about weight loss right now, it'll come off eventually!"  

I absolutely LOVE my doctor and appreciate that he's more interested in me making a full recovery (it's been textbook so far) than in dropping pounds as of yet...his response made me recognize that my new "tool" isn't quite ready to do it's job yet.  Clearly, the post-op diet is in place to help your stomach heal and to transition slowly through diet phases in order to re-acclimate your stomach to various foods in the world.

Just.  Hard to wrap my "gut" around the fact that I'm not losing weight at this point, despite my head knowing what's going on.  

will say, though, that it makes me excited for things to come!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Eve of 2 Weeks Post-Op

Tomorrow will be two weeks post-op...and I can't believe my surgery was that recent!  My week off of work last week for recovery was well spent sleeping and adjusting to massive liquid intake - I've now been at work (including the 3+ hour commute each day) all week and have been doing fine!  My energy gets a little low now and then, but I'm blaming that on the severe calorie deficit...I think the post-op sleepiness has subsided.

I've been on "full liquids" since shortly after my surgery - essentially, anything that passes through a straw has been my daily diet.  Am I sick of protein shakes?  Yup.  Am I drinking a ton of water?  Yup.  Am I taking my vitamins?  Yup (although there is more on that...see below).  Am I hungry?  Nope.  I find myself eating just to (a) ramp up my energy and (b) to ensure I'm getting 70g of protein each day.  I could totally get used to this lifestyle!

Vitamins.  Eff you.  I've been great about taking my multivitamins (berry flavored) and "calcium + D" each day and have been using the Bariatric Advantage brand - honestly, I had a bunch leftover in my pantry that hadn't expired and I thought I should use them before I tapped into the Opurity brand I stocked up on pre-surgery.  I've been getting all of my chewable vitamins in each day - with BA?  That's 6 multivitamins (in 2 doses - one in the morning, one at night) and 5 "calcium +D" (that taste like ass...cuz they're lemon flavored...and I hate lemon flavored).  I've been pleased that, until yesterday, I had no post-op issues.

Yesterday?  Sweet mother of baby Jesus.  I took my 3 multi's right before going to bed.  Chewed 'em up as I walked upstairs to my bedroom.  And then?  Nausea.  Mild, but nausea nonetheless.  Um.  Why?!?  Chalking it up to my tummy being unhappy, I grabbed my lil' box of vitamins on my way out of the house this morning as I went to work.

By the way?  I found these cute lil' plastic containers designed to hold salad dressing "to go" for your lunches...they're perfect for holding all the vitamins I have to consume in a day!

As I'm sitting on 95N in Northern Virginia today, going slower than a turtle in rush hour traffic, I grabbed my lil' box and took out my morning multi's...chewed 'em up...and got SICK.  Imagine this: I'm in Lane 2 of bumper to bumper traffic.  I get sweaty.  I'm doin' that lil' gag motion - you know, the one where you just know vomit is coming, but you're trying to hold it in.  I roll down the window, turn the radio off (because that was going to help, right?) and turn the AC on full blast.  I'm sweating while I look around my clean car for an empty cup, bottle - ANYTHING - that I could puke into.  I just know the trail of multivitamin spittle is a-comin'.  Nope.  Damn my clean car.  I furiously merge into Lane 1, only to piss off the other "bumper-to-bumpers" that were mad I added a delay to their 2mph drive.  My thought process was to pull off on the left shoulder and vomit - in front of the bajillions of D.C. metro commuters - if I needed to.

Thankfully, I drank a few sips of water in between deep breaths and the moment passed.  Eff you vitamins.

Thinking that this was my body's way of telling me it's hungry and knowing that I'm allowed to transition to purees (anything that doesn't require chewing) tomorrow, I decided I would try the multi's again this evening with some Pintos n' Cheese I picked up earlier at Taco Bell.

Side note?  That $0.99 was worth every damn penny.  After 2 weeks of liquids, nothing has ever tasted so good in my life!

I chewed up my evening dose of multi's and started to eat a bite o' beans.  Surely this new approach - having food to accompany the multi's - would help, right?  Bite 2.  Yum...oh...shit.  I'm gonna hurl.  Quickly, much more rapidly than this morning, I was NAWWW-SHUS!  I ran to the bathroom and vomited...only, my stomach doesn't have much in it...so I dry heaved and spit up some berry flavored spittle, along with some unprocessed Pintos...until the moment passed.

Tomorrow's plan?  I'm switching to the Opurity vitamins.  We'll see if it makes a difference.  I had e-mailed my nutritionist earlier today telling her about the onset of nausea, despite taking the same vitamins I'd BEEN taking...no reply yet.  I go in for a follow-up on Tuesday, so we may discuss other options then if the Opurity causes the same sickiness.

Ugh.

Update: Switching to Opurity vitamins did the trick!  Bariatric Advantage can suck it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week 1 Stall.

Seriously?!

Throughout my 10 day pre-op diet and the initial days post-op I was steadily losing weight.

Surgery was 6-7-13.  When I felt well enough post-op, I continued to weigh myself daily (I really need to get over that habit) and moderately lost until 6-12-13 for a total of 18 pounds lost.

It's now 6-16-13.  My scale hasn't budged in 4 days.  I'm doing everything right (fluids/protein/rest/vitamins) for the most part and my scale doesn't want to reflect that.

I've read a lot about sleeve patients stalling in Week 3 as their bodies recover from the trauma of surgery and calorie reduction, and I know I recovered faster than many I've read about...but really?!  Stalling 6 days post-op?

Ugh.  I'll be patient.  My calorie intake is stabilizing now that I'm comfortable with the "full liquid" stage of recovery (I get to continue this joyous stage until next weekend), and I'll continue to follow doc's orders on liquids/proteins/vitamins because I don't want "user error" to be any reason for hiccups in my process.  It's not as if I'm consuming more calories than my body uses - nowhere near that.

Just.  Dude.

C'mon!

And, yes, I took body measurements on surgery eve (6-6-13), so I'll update those every few weeks to see the transition when the scale won't talk to me.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm full.

I've spent a lot of time online this week at Vertical Sleeve Talk interacting with pre- and post-op sleevers and, up until today, I felt blessed to have such a great recovery.  I've proudly flaunted the fact that I've been able to get down the minimum fluid and protein recommended for each day since Day 3 post-op.  I've been taking it easy, going slowly, etc., but know that my committment to "the rules" has been a large part of my healing process.

Today?  I can't do it.  I just can't.  As of now I'm at 57g of protein today (I'm supposed to shoot for 70g) and have had maybe 40oz of liquid (goal is 64oz).  While it's not too far away from the minimums, I have felt SO FULL all day today and had to really push myself to get in what I have.  I've had to take two naps today despite my only trip being to the vet - I took advantage of my time off of work to have my kitties' annual visits and shots done today (side note: boyfriend came along to carry the kitties in their carriers because I have a lifting restriction - he's so wonderful!).

I don't necessarily feel horrible today, but it seems like it's been the roughest post-op day this week as far as intake goes (other than Days 1 and 2).  I'm now sitting here with a cup of ice water, sipping away while I socialize and blog online.  I'm thirsty, but I can't bear the thought of ingesting anything else thicker than water tonight.  :::sigh:::


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Post-Op Doctor Visit

I visited with my doctor, nutritionist (NUT) and physician's assistant (PA) today at the 6 day post-op mark.  All went well with the visit - they remarked out how great I was looking 6 days out, removed the last of the steristrips (wounds are healing nicely!) and had a good time reliving my surgery with me.  Due to the 2+ years of chronic LapBand slip I dealt with, my stomach had ballooned and morphed itself into a non-standard looking stomach.  They had quite the grapple in dealing with removing all of the excess they wanted to remove - from dealing with the staple line of my new stomach to pulling out such amount of mass from the tiny incision above my belly button, they had never seen something so large!  Regardless, the surgery was flawless and the pictures (which I got to take home!) show a perfect sleeve.  My doc and PA are quite proud of their work!  Even more so, they reminded me that the barium swallow I did on Saturday morning (Day 1 post-op - I was still in the hospital then) was a perfect picture of what they want a sleeve to be.

We talked about my intake - my fluid, protein and vitamins have all met the minimum since Day 4 - and they advised me to stay on "full liquids" until the end of week 2.  At that point, I'm allowed to transition to purees and should schedule a follow-up with the PA and NUT again to make sure my speedy textbook recovery is still going strong!  I stopped taking the pain and anti-nausea pills on Tuesday (Day 4) but had kept the anti-nausea patch they had prescribed for me on until today.  Essentially, the patch is good for 72 hours - they made sure one was put on me just prior to my surgery and I had switched it out for a new one on Monday.  I've just removed that patch and, barring any further nauseous episodes, I'll be medicine free while I continue to recover!

The only real symptoms I've faced this week have been blurriness (blamed on the anti-nausea patch), dry mouth (but, surprisingly, no chapped lips - also blamed on the anti-nausea patch) and exhaustion.  Now that the patch has been removed, I look forward to eliminating the first two symptoms. Unfortunately, the exhaustion will continue for a week or two (at least!) while my body continues to recover from the major surgery I had 6 days ago.  My PA reminded me that the first 2-3 weeks post-op are crucial for recovery, so continuing to meet my goals for liquids, protein and vitamins are all key...and, of course, I need to get as much rest as possible.

On the whole I'm feeling good, although it's annoying when a simple trip to the doctor and grocery store can leave you so exhaus-tee-ated.  I'm returning to work on Monday (3+ hour commute round trip) and will continue to go slow until my body adjusts.  I foresee a week of early bedtimes next week!  Thanks to all of you who have given your support here and on Facebook - y'all rock!  I'm looking forward to progressing and being successful!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Time to Transition!

Although I felt comfortable enough adding milk and a cheddar cheese soup (just a few sips) into my diet yesterday, today I officially get to transition to "full liquids," which will add yogurt, pudding, strained cream soups (low fat, reduced sodium) & Cream of Wheat to my shopping list.  I'm excited to make some SF pudding with my Unjury protein powder - who can resist getting your protein in while eating pudding?!  I'm really amazed at the ease of my recovery thus far (:::knock on wood:::).  I exceeded my fluid and protein requirements yesterday (Day 3 post op) and I'm going to just continue on that trend line to make sure I'm doing all I can to have a textbook recovery!  My energy level is still somewhat weak, but I'll continue to get some R&R and sip, sip, sip throughout the day.  I'm confident that I'll be fine to return to work on Monday!

Besides, who wouldn't be stoked to step on the scale this morning and see 16 pounds of weight loss since she started her 10-day pre-op diet 2 weeks ago?  I lost 10 pounds in the 10 days of pre-op diet and 6 pounds since surgery 4 days ago.  I'm okay with that trend line!

I've got a follow up to see the doctor on Thursday; I'm sure he'll be pleased with my progress and results thus far!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 3 Post-Op

I'm at the point in recovery where my brain is ready for more food/activity, but my stomach isn't following...could it be that because today is Monday, and I'd normally be sitting in traffic on my way to work?  I'm thankful for taking this week off, and I fully intend to follow all post-op instructions (including diet!) so that I can maximize healing, minimize complications, and use this tool for what it's meant to do!  I'm actually not hungry, and I recognize that, but starting to miss the act of chewing (Pringles sound good right now!)...but it will be awhile before I get there, so I'll be patient!

My goal each day is to drink 64oz of clear liquids and have 70g protein.  I had stockpiled Unjury in 4 flavors prior to surgery and managed to get down a watered-down "Strawberry Sorbet" and "Chocolate Splendor," in addition to some water and Crystal Light, yesterday for a total of 58oz of liquid and 42g protein - not too bad considering it was only Day 2 post-op!  Drinking liquids/protein is a full time job right now, and it's all I'm dealing with beyond sleeping off and on throughout the day.  I feel like I've been getting up and down enough to use the restroom, refill water bottles, etc., but I would like to start some light treadmill work today to increase my activity (anyone know when the danger of blood clot formation passes?).

Overall, recovery seems to be uneventful...and that's exactly what I want it to be!  I'm looking forward to the transition to "full liquids" tomorrow!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sleeved!

Good morning everyone, and welcome to my new life as a sleeved person!  All went well with my surgery and, barring some nausea at the hospital while in recovery, I'm doing great!  I was discharged at 3pm Saturday after the procedure was completed Friday morning.  Unfortunately, my nausea got the best of me on Friday while transitioning into my own observation room, and then again on Saturday morning after drinking the nasty gastric thinner and Barium for my swallow test.  Once I was able to prove I could hold down liquids, I was ready to go home!

I don't have much remaining nausea/pain at this point, but I'm staying on my meds anyway to ensure the nausea stays away - I have no interest in heading back to the hospital because I, literally, "bust a gut."  My doctor assured me that once I had made it to the point where they'd discharged me, it'd be rare to complicate anything from the surgery, but you can never be too careful!

So now I sleep, sip water, sleep, sip, sleep, sip...and I'll continue to do that until I feel more energy.  Took this week off of work, so I look forward to my sleep/sip cycles - very relaxing!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In less than 24 hours...

...I will be awake and in my observation period at the hospital as I begin my recovery from Gastric Sleeve surgery!  My surgery is scheduled at 9:15am with a 7:15am arrival time.  I'm told that the procedure will take roughly 2 hours, followed by an hour in recovery as I awake from my anesthesia sleep.

P.S. I love anesthesia sleep.  I always get SUCH good, deep sleep!!

My doctor has me signed up for a 23-hour observation in my own room following the surgery - gotta make sure I can tolerate fluids, excrete said fluids and clear a barium swallow Saturday morning before I'll be released into my boyfriend's care at home.

P.P.S. Why 23 hours?  So odd.

SO looking forward to this new journey, and to put all of the research into practice!  Seriously, I've read more about the Sleeve than I ever did about the LapBand (and I read a certified f*ckton on that)!  Perhaps it's because there is absolutely no going back from my choice this time?  Regardless, I'm ready.  Brang it!