Tag Archives: Weight-Loss

Five Days Post Op

I’ve officially reached the “why in the hell would I do this to myself?” phase, and I’m not happy about it. I’m healing and dropping a little weight, but I’m exhausted from showering, walking and trying to drink 48 ounces of liquids each day.

Yesterday I was struggling with cabin fever, so my boyfriend and Mom took me on a little trip to a place I’m always comfortable. I slept much better than I have since surgery, and I know I’m healing. I know I have to be patient…blah, blah, blah…I’m just ready to see some progress. I’m ready to confidently move around without fear of the gripping pain that comes with moving too quickly. I’m ready to curl up in my own bed, which just isn’t possible yet.

Right now it takes me almost 5 minutes to drink an ounce of anything. I knew it would be like this, but it’s still hard to wrap my head around it. It’s even hard to hold my iPad up long enough to read books, answer messages on social media and such.

I know I shouldn’t complain about this awesome opportunity that I had to regain control of my body while losing weight, but today I’m frustrated. Today I need to be reminded that I made a carefully thought out choice and that everyone I know who has been through it says it was the best choice they’ve ever made.

I definitely don’t feel like that now, but I know feelings lie. I know this was a good decision, but right now it’s hard. I guess that’s just part of my process, but what I should do is remind myself that God is faithful and cut myself some slack since it’s been less than a week.

My goal for today is to read, walk, sip and spend time with people I love, and hopefully, I’ll improve a bit more tomorrow.

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…

Less Than One Week

I felt much better today than I did last night, and I’m thankful for that. I’m still hungry, and I spent a big part of the day dreaming about the ounce or two of chicken that I’ll be able to eat about 7 weeks from now. Instead of chicken I forced myself to drink protein and water. I’m more tired than usual too, but I’m down over 14 pounds from last week. That’s encouraging.

It’s hard to think about anything else at this point, and I suppose that’s okay. I’m tired of talking and thinking about it, but it’s one of themes important things I’ve ever done. My surgery is less than one week away, and I’m just ready to get through it. I’m not looking forward to being in the hospital, but I am looking forward to returning home to start the healing process.

sakroots

In an attempt to take my mind off of my hunger I spent some time looking for black boots online, but I didn’t find any that I wanted. I’ll just need to look for them locally because it’s too hard to know what will fit well.

I did find a pair of rain boots, and they’ve been on my wish list for quite a while. I ordered them because I already know the size and fit, and I’m looking forward to a rainy day in October when I can wear them.

While online shopping I paused to watch the series premier of Designated Survivor. I had high hopes for it because I adore Kiefer Sutherland, and it didn’t disappoint. The first episode was great, so now I have two fall TV favorites.

I’m worn out, but I’m okay.I’m resting well at night, but it doesn’t take much to wear me out. I ordered the vitamins that I’ll need, so I’m looking forward to having more energy soon. Until then I’ll just continue to take it day by day and look forward to next week, when what seems to be the hardest part, will be over. I hope I’m right about that.

 

 

I Want To Cry…and Eat Food…

I’m a week into the liquids phase. I’m down 13 pounds so far, but today wasn’t easy. I went into the office and chatted with my boss, who is also a dear friend, and I left after less than an hour. I just didn’t want to be there today, so I left.

A big part of my job requires talking to people, which is my favorite thing about it. I just had trouble finding my smile this morning. Thankfully, my amazing support system extends to work, and I was able leave without issue.

When I left I met Michael at the movies to see “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” then we watched “Snowden.” I don’t think I’ve ever watched two movies in the same day at a theater, but tickets are dirt cheap on Tuesdays. It was a great way to zone out and to take a break from thinking about the lack of food and my upcoming surgery. Surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered by the smell of popcorn, but as we were leaving the theater I was hungry even though I brought protein shakes with me.

When I came home Michael joined me here too, and we had a great evening. I’m so thankful for that man. He’s the kind of man I’ve always dreamed of spending my life with, and it’s even more amazing than I hoped it would be. He’s my strong arm, and he knows what I need before I say it.

Tonight I needed to curl up and relax, and he knew it. I’m much sleepier right now than I usually am, and I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about it. I’m just going to rest as much as possible and remind myself that I’m halfway through this first phase.

When Michael left I cried for a few minutes. I can’t explain exactly why, but the tears have come and gone a few times today. It probably doesn’t help that it’s almost that time in a girl’s life. (Ladies, you know what I mean.)

Right now I’m hungry, but I’m going to go to sleep feeling victorious once again. I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be better than today.

 

I Can Do This

I’m several days into my liquids phase, and while it’s not fun it’s not miserable. I avoid situations that might feel like torture (like watching everyone eat pizza,) but I’m okay otherwise. I have a cozy, comfortable home, and it’s my favorite place to be right now.

Yesterday after church I skipped my weekly lunch with friends, and I went home. My plan to was to change clothes and head to the mall to do a little shopping, but I took a long, afternoon nap instead. It’s just easier to be here right now because food is everywhere, and I’m hyper-aware of my desire to eat something no matter where I am. It made me feel sad and lonely for a few minutes until I realized how excited I am about this opportunity.

I also feel empowered right now. As much as it sucks to skip a delicious meal among friends, it also feels good to think about how well I’m doing in sticking to the plan. The liver-shrinking diet isn’t sustainable long-term, nor should it be. It’s definitely giving me more confidence by the day though, which was unexpected.

The truth is I really didn’t know if I could do it. I have to give all credit to Jesus because He’s strong in my weakness, but it’s incredible to know that He provides enough strength everyday.

Mornings are good for me because I don’t want food, but evenings are tougher. Thankfully, I discovered my love for Ramen broth and strained French onion soup. Those things satisfy my craving for savory things, which makes this phase much easier to tolerate.

Now I’m enjoying a quiet night at home with Michael. I love it when he’s here, and it’s comforting to know that he has already experienced this. He’s traveling a lot for work now, so he can be here for my surgery.

Overall things are going much smoother than I could have imagined. I don’t know why I’m always so surprised when God provides exactly what I need. Thank you, Jesus.

I’m looking forward to chewing things again, but I’m going to make it through the next several weeks until it happens.

I know I can do it now, and that is a tremendous feeling.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

My Surgery Date is Set

There’s so much to share on my blog this week, but right now my focus is on my surgery. The date is set, and it’s happening before the end of the month. On one hand I feel excited, anxious and ready to get this show on the road, and on the other it still doesn’t feel real.

I have the best support system a person could hope to have, and I feel more at peace in every area of my life than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve gained more knowledge on the subject – what it will be like before and after, etc., and I believe that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

As confident as I feel about the surgery I also feel unsure about a lot of things. What it will be like to live with a smaller stomach?  What level of pain I can expect to experience after surgery? How will I feel throughout the two-week liquid diet prior to surgery? Won’t that be harder than the liquid diet post-surgery? Will I still like my favorite protein shake by the time my food restrictions have been lifted?

The weekend was filled with fun and challenging things that I’ll write about later, but I also addressed the fears I have pertaining to the surgery itself. Michael and I were talking about what it will be like when I get home from the hospital.

I’ll be off work for a couple of weeks, which is okay with me. I love my job, but I also love the idea that I’ll be forced to take some time to relax. I’ll have an excuse to stay at home long enough to catch up on this season of Suits. (Thank you, DVR.) I’ll also watch new shows like Designated Survivor and This is Us.

I should be able to walk before I return home too, and thankfully, I live in a neighborhood that has all kinds of things to see and experience. I’ll also play more Pokemon Go since I already love that pointless game. I also have lots of yarn, painting supplies and books, which will provide hours of entertainment.

I’m as prepared as I can be, and I’ve spent the last few weeks wrapping my head around how differently I’ll treat food. I’m not a binge-eater, but I’ll have to readjust to eating at home more often when I get to the point where I can actually consume food again.

Right now I’m taking it one step at a time. I feel fine one moment and overwhelmed at other moments. When I get overwhelmed I remind myself that I don’t have to face it all today, and I refocus on what matters at that moment.

I firmly believe that God opened this door for me, and I think the timing is brilliant because my heart and mind needed to heal first. Now it’s time to heal my body.

I’m nervous about the discomfort I may feel after the surgery, but honestly, I’m not comfortable in my body at this size now. I mean, I’m used to it, but so many things would be easier if my body lived at a healthier weight. The little pain that I may or may not feel will be worth it.

 

Before Photos and Courage

I’ve always been a fan of photos, and I’m never one to shy away from the camera. I’ve gotten so good at using specific angles and filters that I don’t always see myself as heavy as I am.

I definitely know how big I am when I think about squeezing into a booth in a restaurant. ( I just can’t.) I’m also keenly aware of it when I’m a passenger in someone else’s car, or when I’m walking with people in the middle of Summer in New Orleans, sweating while they’re all just a little warm.

IMG_3535 2Sometimes I see myself as heavy as I am, but most of the time I’m not ready to face it. I didn’t gain back everything I lost, but I regained most of it. It doesn’t feel good, but I don’t beat myself up about it either.

I’ve learned to focus on the positive things, which is important. I just focused on loving myself so much for a while that I stopped focusing on other things that matter too. Now, I love who I am as a person, which took some serious effort and reflection, but I also want my body to be smaller.

IMG_3608 2I’ve been taking before pictures everywhere I go. I’ve posted some of them, though I don’t have the courage to post all of them. I’m proud of myself for continuing to live a full life, even as a plus-size person, but now that weight-loss feels imminent I’m facing the realization that my life hasn’t been as easy as it could be if I wasn’t so concerned with little obstacles that most people don’t have to face.

When I think of what life will be like after significant weight-loss I don’t picture a perfect existence, in which nothing bad ever happens. I don’t look forward to the attention I’ll receive from people who might ignore me now, nor do I even look forward to hearing how great I look in comparison. I already know that I’m loved and worthy. I’ve known it for a while now.

I’m looking forward to the feeling I get when I can run a mile or more without stopping. I’m looking forward to walking into a restaurant and not caring if we sit at a table or in a booth. I’m also looking forward to the day I can sit in the chairs at my church without leaving with bruises on my butt and without fidgeting through the sermon because it hurts to sit in the seats.

As you can imagine I’m really looking forward to the day in which I can buckle my seatbelt in coach (not that I want to start sitting exclusively in coach again, but I definitely can’t wait to know that I can!) In fact, I’ll happily fly in coach when I know I can do it in one seat.

IMG_3409

I know those days are coming, and I’m ready to experience them. The changes in the way I look at food and the way I eat it are scary, but I’m not expecting any surprises. I know what has to change, and I’m working on it. I’ve been working on it for a long, long time, and I’m finally getting some much needed help in that area.

I have the best support system I could ever hope to have, and I’m set up for success at work and at home. I believe I can do this, and I’m looking forward to the day that I can look back and say that I proved it to myself.

In the picture on the left I was laughing because I usually stand up straight. I roll my shoulders back just a little and walk with my head high, but I slouched for this “before” photo. I think I look hilarious and adorable in the photo, and I definitely don’t feel like I look as large as I am. I posted the photo because it didn’t make me feel bad about myself, there are many more on my iPhone’s camera roll that do. I’m ready to be healthy and fit. I’m ready to see some results, so the changes have started.

I’m ready for what’s coming, and I’m going to practice patience over the next several months as this new chapter unfolds.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Update: Two Weeks Prior To Surgery

Last night I dreamed about having weight-loss surgery, more specifically, I dreamed about the recovery stage. I woke up immediately remembering that it’s going to be a reality soon, then I quickly wondered what level of pain or discomfort I’ll feel when I return home.

I woke up earlier than I needed to this morning, but I laid in bed for nearly an hour contemplating the future, as in, the rest of this month. I’ve already begun praying for God’s strength because it only seems doable by His grace, and when I got up I started making little plans to make it as palatable as possible.

I started by measuring out a week (or more) of the protein powder that I’ll be drinking prior to surgery. I’ll be drinking the same stuff after the clear liquids phase, post surgery, but right now I’m more concerned with everything leading up to the surgery date. (One step at a time, you know?)

Two weeks prior to surgery I will have to drink protein shakes and clear liquids. Two weeks seems intense, but I also know I can do it. I’ll just deal with the hunger and/or frustration if it occurs. I’m not going to assume anything right now because I just don’t know.

The goal at the liquids stage will be to drink 3-4 protein shakes per day, and clear liquids. (More on the latter in a moment.)

Teras Whey

Each container contains two scoops of my favorite protein powder, Tera’s Whey. This stuff is magnificent! I drink it everyday, and I’m not tired of it yet. I’m just going to assume that I can make it through two weeks of only these drinks and clear liquids without despising them by the end. The kicker here is that I’ll be drinking them with water instead of  unsweetened almond milk. They taste okay with water, but the almost milk makes them almost decadent.

I’m also allowed to have clear liquids. The list, which is short, includes:

  • Thin broths or bouillon and bases (no veggies or meat chunks)
  • Sugar-free Jello
  • Sugar-free “diet” juice, fitness waters, Crystal Light, Powerade Zero (They were very adamant that I should stay away from Gatorade.)
  • Sugar-free popsicles (When I saw these at the grocery store last week they looked much more appealing than I thought they would.)
  • Decaffeinated coffee, tea, herbal or flavored sugar-free tea, hot or cold (One cup of regular coffee per day is allowed after Week 5, post-op.)
  • Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Stevia or Equal)

Almost everything on the list above seems like a chemical storm to me, but I’m following their rules throughout this process. I can definitely appreciate the herbal tea, and I think I’ll allow myself to eat the Jello and popsicles, etc.

The day before surgery I’ll have only clear liquids. I’m thinking that I’ll lose a significant amount of weight prior to surgery just from doing this two-week thing.

As intimidating as this feels in certain moments I’m ready to get started. It’s not quite time yet, and in some ways, I think it’s harder to wait than to just do it.

I’ve decided to give myself a reward when I complete the liquids phase before and after surgery.   I’ve never been a fan of rewarding myself with food (thankfully, since I won’t be able to.) I do enjoy rewarding myself though, so I’m going to buy this laptop backpack by The North Face when I reach my first goal. It will be useful everyday, but I’m looking forward to using it on our trip to Colorado for Christmas.My boyfriend and I are also talking about heading to Costa Rica to in January.

I’m guessing the two weeks prior will be the hardest part, but what do I know? I do know that many people were able to do this, and I believe I will too.

Now I’m going to do my best to stop thinking about the days ahead, and I’m going to enjoy this stormy Monday with friends.

 

 

 

 

 

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…