Category Archives: Weight Loss Surgery

I’ve Finally Lost Enough To Wear Jeans from Lane Bryant

I’m sitting at my laptop with a glass of sparkling water after a lovely day with Michael and Mom, and I want to talk about clothes right now. It’s crazy to think that I had to lose nearly 100 pounds before being able to wear jeans from Lane Bryant, but that’s reality. It’s sad, but true.

The number on the scale finally seems to be moving again, at least a little, and I’m knocking on the door of 100 pounds lost. There’s something about that number that makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, particularly since I’m so close to it at my 6-month mark. I’m not sure if I’ll hit that number goal before March 28th. Actually, I don’t know if I’ll even weigh in on that day because I already feel like I’m experiencing success.

Michael and I went to Mom’s house recently, and I pulled out several pairs of jeans that haven’t fit in the last several years. There are some that are still one size too small, but several of them already fit again. I even have a couple pairs from Avenue that are smaller in size. (I’m thankful they were around when nothing from LB worked!)

The number inside the jeans doesn’t matter too much though. It’s just a good feeling to know I’m back on a healthier track, and it’s even cooler to see the evidence of that in my clothing! A couple of weeks ago I cleaned out my closet and got rid of several bags of clothes that are too big now. Whew!

Now I need to find tops. I love tunics and long cardigans because they typically make me feel more put together than a simple shirt. I also have a long torso, so it can be challenging finding shirts that are long enough even when they fit everywhere else.

I am currently using GwynnieBee to supplement my wardrobe. I wear dresses to work frequently, and I love closeting items that are a size smaller than the last ones. I seriously need to take pictures in the dresses because several of them have been adorable! They’re great for dresses, but I rarely closet tops there because I like to have complete outfits when my boxes arrive. Does anyone else here use GwynnieBee?

It’s hard to express how good it feels to wear clothes that were way too small. I regretted gaining too much weight to wear them for quite some time, but now I choose to focus on the fact that I’m getting smaller and feeling healthier once again.

Now I’m going to finish my relaxing glass of sparkly and prepare for a long day at the office tomorrow.

 

 

Is Sparkling Water Bad After Weight-Loss Surgery?

I had one long stall pretty quickly after surgery, and, once again, the scale isn’t moving. I’m tracking my intake more closely now than I have been, but I’m also looking for things that I could or should be doing differently.

Sparkling water is my favorite beverage by far. Sometimes I drink flavored ones, but my absolute favorite drink is unflavored La Croix. I love it more than I used to love cake. There’s nothing more satisfying (in the way of food things) than starting the day or going home and enjoying a sparkling water.

Some people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer. All I want is a glass of bubbly…bubbly water.

Earlier this week a good friend who had lap band surgery was surprised to learn that I was drinking sparkling water at dinner. (I don’t usually drink anything during my meal, but I drink before it and after.)

She said that she saw someone put a carbonated beverage in a ziplock bag only to watch the bag expand due to the bubbles. She was told that the same thing could happen to our stomachs if we drink water. I immediately stopped drinking the sparkling water and started looking for answers.

I tried calling the dietitian I met with at my surgeon’s office, but they’ve never seemed interested in giving guidance beyond the 8 weeks after surgery. I hope she calls me back, but I asked people about it all day.

One of my co-workers, whose career is based on health and wellness, said that the difference between our bodies and a ziplock is that our bodies allow air to escape.

Everyone else I discussed this with recognized that it’s unhealthy to drink sodas (regular and diet,) and I agree. I haven’t had a soft drink of any kind since April 2, 2009. It’s been almost 8 years since I drank a Coke. Obviously, that garbage isn’t good for you, but does that same go for carbonated water?

Has anyone reading this had the gastric sleeve surgery? Were you told not to drink sparkling water?

Is sparkling water getting a bad rap because it’s unfairly being linked to soft drinks?

 

 

Finally! Happy Monday!

I feel so much better! It’s been almost a month since my surgery, and I finally feel like myself again. I’m walking more, spending time with friends and getting back to normal. I’m even going into the office for a while today.

It hasn’t been easy, but it seems like the hardest part is over. Now I just need to continue trusting the process, being patient and living my life without focusing on the scale for a while. I think if I do those things, my weight will decrease without me worrying about it.

The last several days have been good, and I’m so incredibly thankful for it.

 

The Next Chapter

This process is still frustrating, but I feel so much better this week. The last few days have been mostly good, and I finally feel like I’m getting back to normal. I plan to go back to work, at least a little next week, and I think that will help me feel some normality too.

Yesterday my incredibly patient boyfriend and I walked around Audubon Park at my speed. Tortoises could have passed me on the track, but it felt so good to be moving that I didn’t care. I exceeded 10,000 steps for the first time since surgery.

Today my new bed arrived, which is exciting. I mentioned recently that Michael loves his king-size Tempurpedic bed and that my queen-size queen spring mattress needed to be replaced. The delivery guys showed up early, which was awesome. It was so weird and awesome to lie down on it and let it conform to my body. Now we both have awesome beds, and I’m seriously looking forward to going to sleep tonight.

Overall, things are looking up. It’s still frustrating that I can’t eat things, but in about a month all of my restrictions will be lifted. Right now I’m drinking lots of protein and eating Greek yogurt. In the coming week I plan to try oatmeal, potatoes and bananas. I obviously won’t be able to eat much of any of it, but I’m looking forward to having more options.

I’ve been home for a little over three weeks, and it’s been difficult and emotional. I’m so thankful for my family, my boyfriend and a few close friends. I know I’ve already said it, but Mom and Michael made this so much easier than it would have been. I don’t know how I would have gotten through this without them.

I feel pretty disconnected from everyone else right now, but I’m looking forward to jumping back into life and seeing what’s ahead in this next chapter.

 

 

 

Healing After Weight-Loss Surgery

Whoever says that weight-loss surgery is the easy way out has never had to heal after weight-loss surgery.

I used to think I’d feel like a failure if I did this, but in reality I’m proud of myself for keeping a positive attitude during surgery and recovery. This stuff is hard, but I’m looking forward to seeing the results of my efforts.

I’ve been surprised by the outpouring of prayers and encouragement I’ve received from people online and in my everyday life. I know I’ve already said it, but no one could ever ask for a better support group than what I have.

Mom is still here, and I’m thankful because I need her. She’s great at encouraging me to walk, rest and sip. I don’t know how I’d get through this without her. She has been so patient and helpful, and she’ll be that way as long as she needs to be.

Michael has been great too. He makes sure that Mom and I have everything we need and reminds me that the more I move around the quicker I’ll heal. (I don’t particularly like that part, but I know he’s right.) It’s such a weird feeling to sit right next to the guy I’m in love with without wanting to curl up next to him. There’s just too much discomfort for that right now.

Unfortunately, that also means that I’m skipping church tomorrow. My church community is filled with awesome people, and on an average Sunday I get loads of hugs from kids and adults. I can’t handle that yet, and if someone tried to hug me right now I’d probably cry. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

I slept better last night than I did my first night home, but it was still rough. I woke up around 4 am, then I went back to sleep and awakened for the day at 8:20 am.

As I write this I’m sitting in my bed, hoping that I’ll be comfortable enough to take a nap in a few minutes.

I wish I could say that I feel awesome, but I’m not quite there yet. Right now my pain level is at 5 or 6, but I’m looking forward to improving each day.

Until then…

No More Chewing Food…For Now…

Today is the last day that I’m going to chew food for a while. My two-week liver-shrinking, liquid diet begins tonight, and I’m ready to get started. I’m sure it’s going to be challenging, but it’s time to do it.

liver-shrinking-dietI haven’t met or heard from anyone who had to do liquids for two weeks prior to surgery, but I’m following the instructions of my surgeon.

I’ll have 3 or 4 protein shakes a day, and as much chicken broth as I want. I can also have things like Powerade Zero and sugar-free popsicles, jello, etc. I wouldn’t usually ingest sugar-free anything, but I’m doing it right now because I’m committed to following the rules in this.

After surgery I’ll continue consuming liquids until Week 5, at which point I’ll be able to eat oatmeal, half of a banana or a few bites of a sweet potato. I’d like to think that by that time, even though I may be tired of not eating and/or thinking of not eating, that my weight-loss will motivate me to continue.

It’s going to be a big adjustment. I expect it to be challenging, but I also expect Jesus to give me enough strength to handle it day by day.

I’m not going to pretend here…I’m nervous. I’m not scared to have surgery, but I know that my relationship with food is about to change. I’m also a little afraid that I’ll be starving or irritable or both during the two weeks prior to surgery.

My final surgery clearance is scheduled for tomorrow, and I’m ready for that to be over too. I’m tired of thinking about it, but I’m also tired of being a slave to food.

Everything is in place, so that I don’t need to feel stress. My plan to is to be off work for two weeks, but if I need to be off longer that’ll be okay too.  I couldn’t be more thankful for that!

I’m just ready to get through this big, challenging thing, and I can’t wait for the day that I look back and say that it was totally worth it.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Update: Psych Exam, Exercise and Processing My Feelings On All of It

I completed my psychological evaluation for surgical clearance today, and now all of the testing is complete. I’m seeing my doctor on Tuesday, at which point she will have to send in some additional paperwork. If all goes well I’ll be able to schedule a surgery date soon.

If I need to wait until after September to have it, which is a very real possibility, then I’ll plan to do it in January. Either way, I’m ready to know the timeline because I’m tired of thinking about it, talking about it, wondering about it, etc.

I’m also actively trying to shift my focus from my impending surgery because I’m tired of hearing everyone’s opinion about it. I know that I invited the opinions of others the moment I shared the news that I was exploring the process, and I did that for specific reasons.

Weight Loss Surgery is a big deal, and I didn’t want to hide the fact that I’m doing it. I don’t want it o be a secret; I just want people to understand that just because I’m not terrified doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the risks, the difficulty of the post-surgery and the potential for life-altering changes. I do appreciate the support, encouragement and testimonials I’ve heard from many of you, so keep those coming!

If my doctor thinks I should wait a few months to do it I’ll do that. If my doctor and the surgeon give me the go ahead I’ll do that. After a week or so of eating junk that I don’t usually eat (since I wasn’t sure when I’d get to do it again) t’m at peace about the process. It’s ridiculous to think that I ate doughnuts twice last week after eating only once or twice all year simply because of the impending changes. Thankfully, I kicked my own butt back into reality,  and I’m prepared to do whatever my doctor suggests because I want to set myself up to experience the utmost success.

My skin no longer hurts so much that it keeps me from exercising, sweating or moving. It was a rough period of about 7 weeks total, but for the last 7 or 8 days I’ve felt 99% okay. I’m still reminded of the areas that aren’t healed, but sitting down, standing up and stepping into the shower no longer brings me to tears like it did.

I’m preparing for a 5k that I’m doing with my boyfriend and friends on September 10th, so right now my focus is on cardio, cardio, cardio. They’ll all finish in under half an hour, but it’ll take me about 67 minutes. I’m okay with that because they’ll be waiting for me on the field inside the Superdome, where the race ends.

I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do, and now I have to wait. I’m more patient than most would expect, and I sincerely do want to do what my doctors think is best. Time flies, so I’m going to enjoy the next few days, weeks and months. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where my health is a year from now.

Until then…