It has been a year since surgery

January 12, 2014 - Leave a Response

I have lost 70 pounds and have 50 to go. I know I should have lost more by now but I feel good about my progress. I also broke my foot in April and was in a cast for 12 weeks then non weight bearing for another 8 weeks. It took me until October to be able to walk for exercise again. I am finally getting back on track. I have realized that I must raise the bar on my nutrition and fitness. I have started running but then had to take a break when I got the flu. Life happens and I just dust off and get back up! Overall I am very happy and do feel like I’ve found a more permanent solution and am done with the loose-gain roller coaster.

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Aversion therapy

February 5, 2013 - Leave a Response

Inadvertently weight-loss surgery seems to create a form of aversion therapy. Eating the wrong things cause sickness. Eating too fast will cause sickness as will not chewing enough. Eating while distracted causes a person to do all of those things: eat too much, too fast and without enough chewing. Eating while preoccupied therefore, causes sickness. I love ice cream. Each time I’ve tried to eat ice cream I get sick. It is primarily because I eat too much. It tastes so good it’s hard to stop! The richness of this dairy treat doesn’t help. After trying ice cream a few times and getting sick, I no longer want ice cream. I’m sure after awhile the memory will fade and I’ll try again. Right now I have no desire for ice cream.

At first I thought this was a weight loss surgery conspiracy, this surprise aversion therapy. It’s not. When I follow my surgeons directions I have no problems. It’s all me.

Eight weeks and one day

February 2, 2013 - Leave a Response

The last eight weeks have been all about taking it day by day. Maybe the next eight weeks will be as well. Today was a much better day emotionally. Maybe because the pants I wore today were way too baggy and are headed for the donation bag. Maybe it’s because the XL cardigan I bought from the thrift store was almost a little too big. I felt good about myself today. I felt pretty. For the most part I made good food choices. It was a tough week at work and I made it to Friday with a weekend ahead with no plans! I’m looking forward to having a free two days. I’m sure I’ll keep busy, but I don’t have to do anything! It’s very cold here in Ohio so I can stay indoors and do some organization, but only if I feel like it!

I cruised the VSG forums and followed some debates on how much protein is enough and what kind of protein is best. Burned out on protein drinks, I am getting my protein from regular food, especially meat, dairy and beans with an occasional protein drink or bar. I realize what works for me is unique to me. I can’t measure myself against others. It is trial and error to learn what works for me. It is so nice to share my journey with others, but the journey is still mine to take.

Stamina

February 1, 2013 - One Response

I am starting to notice my improved stamina. I’m not running any races yet. It is the stamina to get through the work day then stop at the grocery store on the way home. What I am gaining is the energy to go to meetings, travel between locations, meet with people, and keep my brain working all day. I guess I didn’t realize how sluggish I felt. I feel like I have the energy to be a better employee. I’m taking better care of my home. I’ve been cooking more. Some days I am just brimming with energy. I love those days! Those days happen when I get enough protein and water. I can tell when I don’t get enough nutrients. I’m tired, my legs are tired and I get dizzy. I have noticed though that my cranky attitude is starting to come out at work. I have to be careful and censor myself more at work. I just find myself snapping at people over things that would not have bothered me before. I really hope it is temporary. Today was a rough day. I know I didn’t get enough to eat and by 4p I had a hard time holding my temper. I’m sure I said things that would have been better left unsaid.

A quick word about emotions…
While I am complaining about my mood swings and bitchiness I think in the long run it is a good thing. Before surgery food helped me keep everything inside. Keeping everything inside made me eat more. You can see the cycle. I think I am becoming a more interesting person. I am more comfortable saying what I think. I enjoy things more, I feel things more strongly. Happy is happier and sad is sadder. I can’t always be Miss cheerful and roll with the punches. I have feelings and desires to which I am entitled. I don’t have to hide who I am because of how much I weigh. My guess is that this is a double edged sword. The more weight I loose, the more I will need to deal with Feelings. I wonder who I am and who I will become.

Things stay the same

January 31, 2013 - 2 Responses

I kind of thought that post surgery I wouldn’t have such hang ups with the scale. I thought since I’d be losing weight so fast I’d look forward to the scale. This is not the case at all. I did get on it I. The first few weeks but I am again avoiding it. Sure I’m losing but I still get upset if it doesn’t seem to be enough. I know I’m not perfect about what I consume so I still get those guilt feelings and then dread the scale. I’m still driven to eat by stress and emotions. I doubt that will ever go away. I do find it easier to make better choices most of the time. Although I am slowly shrinking I still see myself as big. Others can tell I’m losing, but I can’t. I wonder if I will ever see myself with any accuracy.

It’s easy to slip back into old habits

January 30, 2013 - Leave a Response

I find myself falling back into my old habits. Tomorrow I am exactly 8 weeks post surgery. The bills are rolling in from the surgeon, anesthesia, lab, hospital and the doctors office. While my insurance only covers half of the surgery, I am thankful that I have insurance. I realize how lucky I am to have good insurance and to be able to afford this type of surgery. Some days I feel vain and selfish as if I had cosmetic surgery. Other days I know my life depends on me reducing my weight.

Those bad habits? I still battle them every day. This afternoon I had the urge for cookies. I made it all the way to the elevator to go down to the vending machines. I was able to stop myself and eat the chicken breast that I brought for lunch. Candy, ice cream, baked goods still tempt me. I crave potato chips. Some foods don’t taste any good any more. I grabbed a bag of fritos today and after a few chips realized that they taste like salty, greasy cardboard. I find I can only eat high quality chocolate. Most candy tastes very blah to me as do most baked goods. I can’t stand greasy meats. The taste is too strong.

I am at a turning point. I need to change my habits and behavior to take full advantage of this surgery. I am ok with being a food and exercise fanatic. I have a lot of work to do to heal my body
but the possibilities are exciting and scary. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my free time. I want to hike and run trails with my dog Zeke. I was thinking about this last night laying in bed and felt an almost overwhelming fear. I’m turning 48 in a month. I broke my ankle a little over a year ago. I feel weak and unsteady. Can I do the things I want to without hurting myself? Even now, writing about this memory I feel fear welling up inside of me. I can see why older women can get so fearful they won’t leave the house. I decided today that I need to face my fears. I can do what I want I just need to take it slow. I may not be able to hike a difficult trail right away but I can work up to it both mentally and physically. I don’t want to just exist I want to live! This is why I put myself through this process.

Feeling lucky

January 29, 2013 - Leave a Response

I am on several VSG forums. I feel fortunate that I have had no issues. Some of my online friends have been in the hospital one or more times because of dehydration, vomiting, etc. While I experience nausea I know it has to do with the way that I eat. If I am careful about what I eat I feel good. I still don’t have much energy or stamina. I need to start working out but by the time I get home from work I am so tired. While I am inpatient and think I should feel better faster, I realize how lucky I am!

I am nearly eight weeks out. Mood swings are becoming more controllable. I’m not weighing myself but I can tell by my clothes that I am shrinking. I still wonder if it will be worth it now that I understand I will never be the same.

hormones

January 27, 2013 - Leave a Response

Taking my food away makes me cranky. At the same time I believe that as my fat dissolves it is releasing hormones and toxins that were stored for my future enjoyment. I feel crazy, emotional, intolerant, inpatient. I am mean and angry. After some reflection I really do think that it is hormonal. The mood swings, the hot and cold flashes and the irritability all remind my of PMS when I used to have it. I also wonder what deleterious effect there is with the removal of my stomach. Mood wise I feel like a different person. I don’t want to be different, just thinner. I am hoping that these hormonal fluctuations subside. I keep reminding myself that it has only been seven weeks. There is a lot of recovery ahead.

I can no longer tolerate

January 26, 2013 - Leave a Response

Soda pop or just “pop” for us Midwesterners.
Potato chips
Chocolate of any kind
Other bagged snacks: Cheetos, Doritos, sun chips, Tortilla, cheezits, etc
Most dairy although I can somewhat tolerate yogurt
Steak
Ice cream
I haven’t even tried raw fruit or veggies
Tortillas, bread
Baked goods
Eggs
More than a quarter cup of food
Vitamins
Pills

Yes,these things for the most part are not good for me.however I feel as though my previously infinite choice of foods has narrowed to hot tea, mints and special k protein bars.

Food is not the meaning of life. Unfortunately our culture is so focused on food. I have realized in the last seven weeks that I will need to be a little fanatical when it comes to the food that I put in my body. In my desire to be normal I end up being abnormal with special requirements.

I want my stomach back

January 26, 2013 - Leave a Response

It has been seven weeks since eighty percent of my stomach was removed. I miss it. I want to enjoy eating again. Now I have to eat for nutrition. It is what I wanted. The change is bigger and harder than I expected. Eating correctly for my sleeve stomach is critical to how I feel. One or two bites too many and I feel sick. I haven’t vomited yet but I’ve hugged the toilet a few times. Hot tea and mints are my rescue tools. I have dumping syndrome even though it is not supposed to happen with this surgery. I can’t eat my favorite foods any more. The nausea I feel after eating chocolate or other treats is turning into a form of aversion therapy.

I admit that I haven’t followed the rules perfectly. I am generally abiding by them but some days I just do the best I can to get calories. I recently traveled to Las Vegas for vacation. Eating at restaurants is very difficult. The food is so tempting it is hard to stick to small portions. I got sick almost every time I ate. I came home with a renewed desire to follow the rules more closely.

My rules of the sleeve
1. Measure out the portion of food I can eat. Thinking I’ll know when to stop when faced with a plate of food doesn’t work.
2. Eat protein first
3. Chew 30 times
4. Eat frequently to avoid feeling starving which leads to eating too fast
5. Eat slowly taking time between bites.
6. Don’t eat while distracted it leads to over eating.
7. Take vitamins

I’ve noticed a loss in muscle mass. I need to start working out but haven’t felt up to it.

While I’ve recovered well from the surgery I still have regrets. There is no going back.