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Things are changing!

Things have been going really well lately – although I am exceptionally tired however, I am pretty sure I can attribute that to a culmination of things like starting school again, working out every day, not getting enough sleep, and it being close to that time of the month for me. But hopefully this too shall pass and I will acclimate to my new schedule. Aside from this, I do feel really good. I am glad to back in school and starting my practicum rotation for my clinical hours. I am probably one of the few people in the world who feels like this, but I feel like I am actually more put together and just thrive more in general when my life is very busy.

Well, in my last post I had talked about my personal trainer and how I was already seeing the differences. Well, I had such a crazy NSV the other day and I felt so ridiculously proud of myself. As you’ve read before, I’ve been seening a personal trainer (PT) for almost 3 months now – and WOW! I can see so many differences it’s crazy! I’ve even begun to develop what I like to call ‘baby muscles’ in my biceps and triceps and my legs are starting to look significantly firmer. But now for the NSV! So the other day we were training and my trainer said “Give me 12 push-ups” of course, my first reaction was to tell him he was crazy and that I was not going to be able to do 12 push-ups. However, given his job, he forced me to get on my knees and do them (they were girl push ups). Well, guess what?!?! I didn’t only do one push up, but I did the complete 12 in perfect form without breaking a sweat! I have never in my life been able to do this. Not only was my trainer impressed with me, but I was also very impressed with myself. I just couldn’t believe it. I had been a little upset that the scale’s movement had started to slow down and that I wasn’t seeing many change – however, being able to do this shows me that even though I am not losing as quickly as I would like, that I am in fact gaining muscle (which weighs more than fat) and thus could be attributed to the slow weight loss.

Aside from that, I am also starting to feel more confident. I find myself wanting to be in more pictures and actually wanting to get dressed and do my make-up. Honestly, in the past couple of months prior to surgery I was just so uncomfortable with myself that I did not want to go out anywhere and I definitely did not want to be included in pictures. I felt terrible. Now, the terrible feeling has subsided and I am starting to feel great. It also helps that my weightloss is not becoming apparent and more and more people are starting to notice. It is not uncommong for people at school to come up and tell me how great I look and that I need to keep it up! That’s always a wonderful feeling.

Also, something I want to share with you guys: I know most of you either use or have heard of my fitness pal (MFP). I know most people LOVE it but I couldn’t stand it. I thought it was rather difficult to use and just didn’t have all of the clarity that I wanted it to have. Well! Low and behold, I found this app called mynetdiary (mynetdiary.com) and I cannot tell you just how much I love it. It is so clear and easy to use and it has really helped me keep track of what I have been eating since starting school. So in case anyone else out there is like me and doesn’t like MFP, check this out.

Oh! And major news today! I am at 200.2! I AM SO CLOSE TO WONDERLAND!!!! Its incredible. I can’t wait to see that 199 on the scale!!

 

S&N

Hair Losss, Personal Training and much more

I’m a couple days shy of being 4 months post op … and now that I write it out, I realize just how little time has passed. Lately it feels as though I had this surgery years ago – having this little revelation however makes me feel better about my weight loss up until this point. As of today, I have lost a total of 41 lbs which when averages out means I’ve lost 10 pounds a month or 2 pounds a week for the past 4 months. Although this is not as fast as I would like, it is something that I would not have been able to accomplish on my own with out my new tool and thus I must look at this weight loss favorably instead of ‘not enough’. When the scale doesn’t move I have a tendency to beat myself up about and spend the day wondering if it was something I ate or if I didn’t exercise enough the day before. I won’t lie, its very frustrating – its human nature (at least in our position), you want to see the scale keep moving and when it stalls or fluctuates, it is very disheartening. 

As far as food itself goes, I have been very lucky and have not had any difficulties. I can keep everything down and have no developed any intolerances. 

However, I have had a significant problem with hair loss. I noticed it a little after I wrote my last post. All of a sudden it was EVERYWHERE and I am not exageratting. When I would shower it would literally come off in clumps and let’s not even talk about brushing my hair. I was truly fearful that I was going to go bald. The amount of hair I was losing just seemed to be too excessive (but thankfully, no bald spots yet). What I ended up doing to correct this is that I started taking biotin, folic acid, and a vitamin that I found called Viviscal. I’m normally not one to brag about a product but if you are having difficulties with you hair … and not just hair loss but may it is not as shiny or think … I have found this to work. I had started taking it about 2 or 3 months before surgery and I saw a tremendous difference in my hair then. I couldn’t take it for awhile after surgery because the pills were too big and then once I was cleared to swallow them I kind of forgot about them. Hopefully they will work just as well this time around. Aside from adding these vitamins to the regimen, I also cut off more than 10 inches of my hair. I feel that cutting the length of the hair drastically reduced the hair loss – I am still losing but it does not seem to be as much as before. 

Also! (And I am most proud of this!) Two weeks after I finished the summer semester (so probably around mid-july) I started training with a personal trainer! Aside from going to a personal trainer, I have also been going to the gym everyday even when I don’t have a scheduled session. (If anyone reading this is in the Miami area, I would be more than happy to share the trainers information.) Needless to say, I have fallen in love with exercise. When I miss a day, which hasn’t happened often, I feel crummy the whole day. I love the sore feeling I get after and intense day of training. What I think is so crazy is that even though its only been about 2 months, I can already see definition. For example, my triceps are so well formed already even though they are still under a layer of fat when you touch them you can feel the muscle definition. Also, my quads look insane. Although the scale hasn’t moved much, it does make me happy to see the changes in my body. Also, this train also helps combat with any problems I may have from loose skin so hopefully, I won’t. 

The fun part to all of this is I just started school today so I am going to desparately try to arrange it so that I can continue my training and maintain a sane school schedule!

 – S&N

 

I’m a little late … almost two months!

So I’m a little late … the last time I updated this blog was forever ago. Things have been a little hectic around here. I am currently finishing up a six week summer semester which personally, I find to be harder than a class during the regular semester especially at the graduate level. However, I finally finish next Thursday and I couldn’t be happier. I have the next six weeks off from school and it will finally give me time to put myself first and just focus on me.

I will be two months post-op on June 1st. So I guess this post is like a one month and a half post almost two month-ish? I guess we should start out with the numbers: my highest weight was 262 and my current weight is 217 for a total loss of 45 lbs. However, I have only lost 25 lbs since the actual surgery. I can’t say that I am too happy about that to be honest. I had expected by the second month to have a lost a little more than that but it is what its. I guess I should be optimistic and just think that I am still losing.

I had a really long stall from June 2nd until June 16th. That’s 14 days! MORE THAN TWO WEEKS! The.scale.didn’t.move. I have no idea what happened and it kind of scares me. I never in my life thought that I would stall for so long so quickly after my surgery and I did. I’ll be honest, it truly made me question my decision to have VSG. I thought that I had made the wrong choice or that I should have stuck with my orignial plan of RNY… and often, I just felt like a failure. I mean, who has WLS and doesn’t lose weight?! To say that I was frustrated is truly minimizing it but I’ll leave it at that.

So during this stall, I had a lot of time to think. I was working out. I was eating properly. AND YET I still wasn’t losing weight. So I started to think about things that changed from the first inital month to where I was at the moment …. AND then it hit me! I had restarted taking my birth control after the first month. At first I didn’t think it could be possible that that could be hindering my WLS as they had approved me to start taking it again but it was the only think I could think of that had changed. So I decided when my time came around to restart the next pack, I wouldn’t and I would see how that went. WELL, let’s just say that after being off of it for only a week I have lost 3.5 lbs AND broke the stall. Now, this might all be in my head and I am just trying to make an excuse for the stall but I am going stand with my belief that the two things are correlated. It kind of upsets me that I missed out on 14+ days that I could have been losing weight – it also means that it probably slowed my weight loss in the first month as well. But there is nothing I can do about it now, just proceed.

Other than that, I’m not having difficulties anywhere else. And it’s almost like I never had sugery. I can pretty much eat most things at this point, the only thing that I have had dificulties with is very dry things like almonds or peanuts. These feel like they get stuck in my throat and I can’t swallow. Also, potatoes make me feel bad too. My mom makes this thing called Carne con Papa which I guess can be called a beef stew in english minus the vegetables. Well before surgery, my favorite part of the meal was the potatoes … but now, it kind of makes no difference – the meat is equally as good and the potatoes literally make me feel so full that I can’t possibly take more than a bite or two.

I’ve had several NSV too! and that is just so exciting! Here’s a few:

  1. Fitting into clothes at regular stores again
  2. Wearing old clothes that I had saved from when I was smaller
  3. Being able to get in and out of my car easier
  4. Not feeling so out of breath going up the stairs
  5. Walking 5 miles without feeling like I’m dying
  6. Old shoes fitting again

And that’s just to name a few!

Well! That’s all I have for today! I promise to keep up with this more often!

S&N

I don’t know if this is normal but I am in constant fear that I am going to stretch my pouch. I don’t know why I think like that but I do. I also think that I am taking in a lot more than I should be. AH! I just been a mess these couple of days and I just don’t know why!

Do any of you guys ever feel like this?

Two Weeks Post-Op

So! It’s been two weeks since I had surgery. As I’ve said before, I have had a very smooth recovery process. I have yet to have any form of nausea of vomitting and if that never happens that would be perfectly okay with me.

There aren’t really a lot of things to update on. I am finally now on soft foods. Although my soft food diet is some what different that those that I have seen online from other doctors.I am getting a little bored with my food choices. I really, really cannot wait until I can have some Tuna or Chicken. The past couple of days I have actually had a really hard time to getting my protein in and mainly it is just because I am over the sweetness. I am also having trouble with my vitamins … I originally bought the Celebrate Protein Drinks with the multivitamin already included in it and I just can’t stomach it. Something about it makes me want to vomit. Also, I bought the celebrate chewable calcium tablets but they are so chalky that they are very disgusting to eat. Other than that, I am talking all of my other vitamins just like the Dr. ordered.

I have a confession – I was bad yesterday. Due to all of my salty cravings, I gave in and I bought myself a Croqueta (For those of you that do not know what that is, they are like these little sausage looking things that have these mushy meat or chicken inside of them and are deep fried). I know! I know! I just needed something salty so badly. I felt terrible after eating it. And the worst part about the whole situation is that it didn’t even taste that great. Before surgery, I could have like 6 or 7 of them and they were delicious but when I ate that one yesterday (and trust me, one was waaaaaay more than enough – definitely felt the restriction) it just really wasn’t worth it.  But I promised myself that I would never do that again.

Since I am now allowed soft foods, last night I decided to try this recipe that I found on The World According to Eggface called Shelly’s Baked Ricotta. Let me tell you – I WAS IN HEAVEN! This was the most amazing thing that I have eaten since I started the pre-op diet and since surgery itself. It was warm and savory and just delicious! I did cut the recipe in half and put it in an 8 ounce ramekin and it was STILL to much for me. I was only able to eat may a third of the ramekin before I felt restriction!

Other than those two things, everything else is going well!

S&N

6 Days Post-Op

I’ve been meaning to write every single day, but I have just been so tired and trying to find things to occupy my time that I hadn’t gotten around to it. So now I’ll recap the last couple of days including my surgery day

Wednesday, May 1st 2013

This was my surgery date! We got to the hospital a little late (and if any of you are hispanic, you will understand that this is a common occurence) but that was fine, they didn’t really make a big fuss about it. They started prepping me and before I knew it, I was taken back into the pre-op room. I had a lot of family with my and they all slowly would coming and wish me luck. I was scheduled to go in at 11 a.m. but slowly the time started ticking away and I wasn’t taken in. Apparently the Dr. had an emergency to deal with first and so he got backed up. I ended up going in at about 3:30 p.m.; my surgery lasted exactly two hours between the time they wheeled me out of the post-op room to the time I was in the recovery room. 

Now, recovery was a completely different thing. I think I woke up before they had anticipated me too. I still had my NG tube in place and all I could feel was seering pain in my abdomen. At that point I started crying and all I remember is the nurses moving around frantically! It was definitely a scary process and I think it evoked a lot more fear in me than I would of have if I had woken up without the NG tube and has already been administered pain medication. Once my family came in, my mom kind of freaked out because I was so frantic that she decided to stay the night although the original plan was supposed that my sister was supposed to say. 

That night itself is a bit of a blur. I remember them coming in to give me an injection to reduce blood clots (which hurt like hell!) and they came in to check my blood sugar, and they came in a couple of times to change my IV fluids. Aside from that all I did was sleep. 

May 2-3, 2013

These days did not have anything really special happen. I was only in mild pain. They only needed to give me the IV painkillers 3 times during my stay at the hospital. Aside from that they had me on liquid Tylenol so that may be a reason why. I also never felt nauseas. If it weren’t for the fact that my abdomen was sore, I wouldn’t have thought I had surgery. The only thing I can recall was on the day that I was supposed to be discharged, I had this very sharp pain right underneath my chest bone and no matter how much I walked or was patted on the back it wouldn’t go away. Finally they gave me some liquid pain killers and it knocked me out and when I woke up it was gone. Still have no idea what that was. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

I’ve been working really hard on getting all of my protein and fluids in and its rather difficult. I’ve been managing to get about 50g the past two days and about a total of 38 ounces of fluids (which I know is not that much), but I am working on it and hoping to increase it soon. I also haven’t had to taken any form of pain medication in the past two days! 

I currently have two frustrations: 1) they could not give me a follow up appointment for 17 days! and 2) everything is sweet!

I mean, the Doc knows we need to schedule a follow up appt 7-10 days following surgery so how is it possible that NOTHING is avaliable for 17 days! I feel like I’ve had a rather easy recovery process and I desperatly want to know if I can move on to the next food phase a little early and the two weeks he initially wanted. Also, I need to start driving to school on the 13th and I need the okay for that. My journey is more than an hour a way each way and I just wanted to talk to him about any precautions I need to take or any extra steps I should do but of course, why would it be so easy to get a hold of your Dr. after you just had major surgery.

The fact that everything is so sweet is driving me crazy. I mean, I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve taken to calling protein shakes sugar water because that’s what they are beginning to taste like and I HATE it. I guess I am going to need to become a little more creative about my food choices especially if I am going to stay on this liquid diet for another week! Aside from this I am also going stir-crazy. My mom does not understand why I can’t just relax but I guess I am so used to always being so busy that it’s rather difficult to do this.

———————————————————————————————————————-

I haven’t included this in a previous post but here are my stats!

Highest Weight: 262

Start of Liquid Diet Pre-Op: 252

Day of Surgery: 244

May 6th, 2013: 234

S&N

It’s Here!

The past few days have been incredibly hectic.

I went away for the weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday, which was no easy feat considering I was on a liquid diet. Although I must say that my friends were very supportive during this time!

Aside from that, I’ve been prepping for surgery! My surgery is TOMORROW! I can’t believe the day is here! I must admit that I did second guess myself for several days but after attending my pre-op class this morning, I know this is the right choice! After all of this waiting it seems as though this is unreal and is just a dream. But I know that by this time tomorrow I will already have my new tummy!

Ahhhhhh! So crazy! I can’t even find words to express how I’m feeling.

School Stress + Liquid Diet = >=O

I guess I didn’t really give this much thought when I chose the day of my surgery. 

I am currently a graduate student working towards my doctoral degree – this also mean that I am a graduate student currently working her way through one of the most frustrating finals week in her entire life! This semester has been really difficult. My program forced 7 classes on us each with the same amount of graduate level course work as all of the others. So in other words, there was not a single “easy-A” class in this entire bunch. To make things worse, my program also has policy that states that if we recieve a C in any class we are held back a year and are unable to start our practicum (which start this upcoming fall) and instead of being in a 5 year program it turns into a 6 year program. 

Now, add all of this stress with the stress of a liquid diet and it results in a very angry, poorly concentrated student. The only good thing about all of this is that it has allowed me to realize that I am in fact a stress eater and used food as a coping mechanism for my continually high levels of stress. (Obviously now that I have realized this I will try to develop other ways to cope with this stress.) But it also has me kind of worried as well … tomorrow is my last final exam and conicidently the one I have studied least for and I feel like despite the countless hours I have spent looking at all of these thing, none of them are sticking in my brain and I am taunting myself with the possibility of failing. 

Although I am utterly excited for my surgery (its only 7 days away!!!) I just wished I would have thought this through a little better so I wouldn’t be in the situation I am.

Wish me luck!

S&N

Liquid Diets! >.<

Today is my 4th day on my pre-op liquid diet. The first two days were absolutely terrible. I was definitely experiencing a lot of head hunger and there were moments where I even doubted my decision to have this surgery. But I must say that my family has been a tremendous support during this time. They have taken measures to eat before I get home so I will not be tempted by the smells and watching everyone else eat. My mom, who is not an avid cooker, has even made me some purees so that I can eat other things other than the protein shakes. All of this support is very appreciated and I don’t think I would have even made it this far without their support. 

I think that my biggest problem during these past couple of days has been the fact that most of the things that I can drink or eat are sweet. Now, I like sweets just as much as the next person but when the majority of the things you are able to ingest are sweet – you get sick and tired of it VERY quickly. So I’ve been working on incorporating a lot of broth and purees into my diet for the next 10 days just so that I can get that savory taste too. Yesterday was by far the easiest day but I think that as the days go on it will get easier and easier. The way I see it is that this is a small sacrifice to pay in other to be a healthier me in the future. 

Currently I’ve been drinking the Premier Protein Shakes (you can buy them at Costco) in Vanilla and Chocolate. Yesterday, I decided to try Muscle Milk – Bananas and Creme yesterday and I must say that it was DELICIOUS. I had heard so many bad things about muslce milk in the past that I was apprehensive about tasting it. But boy was I proven wrong! Definitely something I am going to be drinking more often. Aside from that I also went and bought some ISOPURE in a couple different flavors. Not only is it important for me to get my protein in right now so I feel full and my body doesn’t have significant withdrawals but it is beyond important for me to get my protein in after surgery. So I figured by trying out different protein drinks right now I would have a general idea about what I like and don’t like. If any of you have any protein recommendations, both ready-made or powder, I am all ears!

I have also been researching different viatmin brands. I know that might vitamin intake is a little different that those who will be having or are going to have the by-pass. I called my surgerons office today and asked them about it but all they suggest was that I purchase it from them. While I trust them, I’m not really sure about the pricing they have or if they are just recommending them because they get a certain percentage of their sales. So again, I am open to any recommendations in this area. 

All else thus far is going well! And to the few who have come by my blog, THANK YOU! And hope you’ll enjoy reading!

S&N

Hello! 11 Days Pre-Op

I’m starting this blog in an effort to document my journey through weight loss surgery (WLS). While I will be able to see the physical differences rather quickly after surgery, I know I am also going to be dealing with a lot of psychological factors too. (I like to call them head games). I also hope to be able to use this as a bit of an outlet to deal with this and possibly connect with other people who are on the same journey or will soon be starting the journey as well. 

I opted to have the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) after a long and serious debate over the Gastric-Bypass. When I first started this process I was all about the By-Pass and nothing presented to me would deviate my focus from it. But after a year in this process and lots and lots (and I mean LOTS) of research, I changed my mind to the VSG. Personally, I decided on the VSG because they do not have to touch my intestines, there is no malabsorption, and may studies have found the weightloss to be comparable. But I cannot stress the individuality of this decision. Everyone who decides to have WLS does so for different reason and so there are different benefits/risks for each person depending on the person’s needs. However, the one thing I would advise is to do your own research – get your hands on as many books, websites, or in my case, research studies as you can – and analyze the pros and cons of each of the surgeries.

Finally after almost a year in this process and a lot of hoop jumping with the insurance, I was approved and my surgery is scheduled for May 1, 2013. To tell you that I am excited doesn’t even begin to describe what I am feeling! I literally do not stop looking up information online or reading books and I definitely do not stop talking about it (which I am sure all of my friends are sick of me talking about this). I’ve only told a select few about my upcoming surgery and I’ve mainly kept it to my immediate family. I just don’t really know how receptive a lot of people will be to this and honestly, it keeps me from having to justify myself to people who don’t really care and are just being nosey. 

Well! I think this is enough for my first post!

S&N