The journey so far...

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

I was very excited to step on the scale and see a new number -- 175! I had a sort of unofficial goal with myself to reach 175 by Christmas, and I did it!

So, to update, my starting weight was 229, weight at surgery on Sept. 14 was 214. So far, I've lost a total of 54 lbs. Woo! =)

Goals for now: continue getting enough water every day, but also get enough protein, which has been a lot harder recently.

I hope you're all doing great!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A very, very short dinner party

One of the hardest things I've encountered since my wls has been how to deal with dinner parties and other functions where the main focus is on food. It's not that I overeat, thankfully; it's just that I'm done eating so much faster than everyone else, and then there's not much to do besides watch everyone else eat. Talking, of course, is the obvious answer, but I'm not great at creating conversations, especially with people I don't know well. So, tonight is my work Christmas dinner, and it just seems like a lot of hassle to go through for half an hour of awkward conversation followed by six small bites of food followed by an hour of awkward conversation while everyone else eats. And I'm PMSy and frankly would just rather not go. I hate to be anti-social, but there it is. What would y'all do?

Friday, November 25, 2011

180 Degree Turnaround

I'm still here. I'm not quite sure why I dropped off the radar after my surgery. I thought I'd have so much to say, want to document everything I experienced. Nope! For some reason, my journey has felt incredibly personal, very introspective. I really haven't felt like I wanted to blog about anything. But today, for whatever reason, I do. :)

So, to get me back into the swing of things, a List Of Things I've Experienced:

1. BY THE NUMBERS -- my weight this morning: 180.8 lbs! That's down 49 lbs. from my top weight of 229 when I started with my bariatric program, and 39 lbs. since the date of my surgery (Sept. 14). In a few more pounds, I will go from obese to just overweight. :)

2. People are starting to make eye contact with me again. Give me a friendly smile. Guys hold doors for me. Offer me their seats in a crowded room. My husband thinks I'm just noticing it more now, or they are picking up on my newfound confidence, but...I'm pretty sure none of that happened very much when I was at my top weight.

3. I went bra shopping, and actually found one that mostly fits!

4. I tried on clothes in the regular size section, and some of them fit!

5. I feel like I can move so much easier.

6. I'm kind of surprised that the weight has come off this fast and this easily. I'm nine or ten weeks out and have lost about 2/3 of the weight I need to lose. I remember my first meeting with the surgeon, when he told me that with the VSG, I could expect to lose about 35 to 40 lbs. Less than 3 months in, I'm past that!

7. I'm pretty much worried all the time that I will stretch out my stomach. I have eaten more than I should a couple of times. It was SO uncomfortable those times, which is good since I don't ever want to get in the habit of letting that happen. I wonder at what point I can stop worrying about that -- if ever?

8. First Thanksgiving after bariatric surgery went pretty well. To be honest, I kind of did miss stuffing myself with good food, but given the choice between being chock-full of good food and all the above things (plus, you know, the whole 'being healthier' thing), I'll take all the above. :) And hopefully at some point, I won't miss big meals anymore. :) I was able to eat a couple of ounces of turkey with cranberry sauce and a bite or two of a couple of sides. I even had three bites of pumpkin pie later on, so I didn't feel deprived at all. I've always thought holidays were more about family than food, anyway, and I think that helps me come to terms with eating less holiday food. We'll see how Christmas goes in a few weeks!

9. Oh! And just about the only thing I've found that I absolutely do not like/can't eat are most powdered protein shakes. They are just so sickeningly sweet! For whatever reason, I can still drink the EAS AdvantEDGE shakes. Dairy products in general sometimes make my stomach gurgle and complain, but so far I can still eat them.

So anyway, that's me. Hope you're all doing well. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I have a teeny little sleeve

Hey, y'all! It's a new day and a new me! I was sleeved on Wednesday and aside from some bumps along the road, it's gone really well so far!

Here's what I remember. My surgery was scheduled for 2 p.m. and we were told to be there by 10 a.m. We arrived at 9:40 p.m. (traffic was light, for a change!) We didn't have to wait too long until we were brought back to the room. I got changed out of all of my clothes (except I was given permission to wear some of those oh-so-stylin' fancy granny panties because my TOM had of course decided to make an appearance. *eyeroll* They had given me a typical hospital gown, along with littleAnswered about a billion questions. Got my IV line in (and was very pleased that they used lidocaine to numb the area so it didn't hurt at all. The surgeon popped in at about 11 to say he was ahead of schedule and we would probably get into surgery earlier than scheduled. Yay! I had had NOTHING AT ALL by mouth after I had a drink of water at 11 p.m. Tuesday night, so this was great news.

So, we waited. I kept applying chapstick becase my lips were so dry. And we waited some more. Finally, at about 3 p.m., the nurse came in to start my IV antibiotics and said it would be about an hour until they were ready for me! Argh! My husband and I made the decision that he would leave immediately and go pick up our daughter at school, and hopefully get back not long after I went into surgery. I have to tell you, it sucked to have my support person leave, but we had no choice. My daugher had to be picked up, and no one else could do it on such short notice. So, I spent the last hour waiting by myself, driven to distraction by thirst.

Finally, they came to get me. I was wheeled into the operating room and asked to scoot over onto the actual operating table. And...the next thing I remember is waking up to a nurse's voice.

"Mrs. B., wake up; your surgery is over and it went well." I cracked open my eyes and looked around. And that's when the nausea started.

I'm not talking about "hmm, I wonder if I should take some Tums" kind of nausea. I'm talking about the "oh, God, I'm going to puke and I can't puke because I'll pull out my staples, but I can't stop it, so I'm going to puke!" kind of nausea. At that point, I could barely speak. The nurse kept asking if I was in pain, which I was, but the most pressing need at the moment was to NOT PUKE. I guess I finally was able to articulate that I needed something for nausea. They injected something into my IV line, and I felt a SLIGHT relief that lasted about 15 seconds, after which I started begging for something else.

Meanwhile, they had had to turn off my pacemaker/defibrillator during the surgery, and I could hear the heart monitor alarming almost constantly. I could hear them talking quietly to each other about needing to get someone down here to get my pacemaker/defib started up again. They gave me something else for the nausea, which worked about as well as the first one. By this time, I was dry-heaving almost constantly, and OMG it did hurt. "We're going to give you something for the nausea," someone said, and the next thing I remember, I was waking up in recovery AGAIN. There was much less nausea at this point, though it didn't completely stop until Friday night.

Finally, they started to take me to my room. Hubby was there waiting for me. I found out that it was after 9:30 p.m. -- I had been in Recovery for THREE HOURS. Hubby had to leave almost immediately to get home before the kids' bedtime. I was given sweet, blessed pain killers and more anti-nausea medication.

I slept about three hours and then insisted the floor nurses get me up and let me walk. Yow, the gas pains were awful! One would think there might be a way to expand the abdoment without needing to blow us up like a balloon and wait for the gas to dissipate by now! And I asked for something to drink. A lot. "Nothing by mouth for the first 18 hours" is my surgeon's policy. I asked to be able to brush my teeth. Nope. I asked if I could just gargle and spit. No. Ice chips? Nope. I just had to tough it out.

Thursday at mid-day, I finally got to drink some watered-down Crystal Light and apple juice...and it kinda hurt. I had my leak/swallow test. Aside from another bout with nausea, it was okay. Everything looked great!

Back to the room, and back to trying to drink something. The nurse brought me some sort of tomato cream soup, which irritated my throat and burned in my stomach. Vanilla milk went down a bit easier.

Friday was the day I was supposed to go home, but I still wasn't able to get down four ounces every hour, so they kept me another day. Frankly, I'm glad they did. I had the opportunity to walk more, practice sipping and  be sure I could tolerate enough liquids to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Okay, getting tired now, so to make a long story a little bit shorter, I got to come home today. Yay!

I hope y'all are all well! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The stomach comes out...tomorrow! (Sing it with me!)

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
My surgery's tomorrow!
It's only a day away.

So! Tomorrow's the big day. I can't believe it's finally here! I'm a little nervous and a LOT excited. I'm also tired from (I assume) being on clear liquids for the past day, and most of all, ready to get this show on the road.

For a little while today, I thought I wasn't going to get to have surgery after all. I went for my "anesthesia interview" and the nurse practicianer saw something on my stress test report that she said was a problem. She said the report showed that part of my heart was not beating properly, that it looked ischemic -- basically meaning I had blockage in one of my arteries. She and my cardiologist and the technician who did my stress test went back and forth on the phone and via fax for 20 minutes or so, after which they determined that the problem was with the computer printout, not my heart. Phew!

So I suppose that's all for now. See you all on the other side. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I have a date (and other news)!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 -- a new hope!

That's the day I'll have my sleeve surgery. I can hardly believe after all this time, I actually have a date. It's actually going to happen -- and so soon! The whole process has been wait, wait, wait, and now everything is HURRY!

I start my liquid diet this Wednesday, and oddly enough, I'm almost more worried about that than I am about the surgery itself. I've discovered that I kind of have this irrational fear of being hungry. Isn't that weird? Or maybe it's that I fear that I can't handle any sort of hunger. I don't know! All I know is, I'm stressing the next couple of weeks.

[On a related note, what are your favorite protein drinks?]

Tomorrow, I have to have a stress test and an Upper GI. I can't have anything by mouth after midnight, and I don't even check in until 12:55 p.m. It'll be suppertime before I can eat or even have water. I am sweating this, too! I'm drinking as much as I can this evening, and I'm thinking of setting my alarm for 11:45 to have a protein shake and more water. So, we'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I got some unexpected news this past week -- I have cataracts and need surgery. I'm 43, y'all! Why is my body falling apart already? They wanted to go ahead and do them both before my sleeve surgery, but man, I just didn't think I could deal with it. I scheduled the first one for two weeks after my sleeve, and the other one for two weeks after that. On the upside, after the cataracts are out, I won't need glasses anymore, which is nice.

That's about it from here. Hope you're all doing well. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Insurance approved my surgery!

Yes, yes, yes!!! I just had a call from my bariatric center, and insurance has approved my surgery! *snoopydances* Hopefully next week I should get a date!

Have a great weekend, everyone! <3

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More waiting...

I met my surgeon today. Yay!

He wants me to have a stress test before surgery. Boo!

My file was sent to my insurance company. Yay!

But I didn't get a date for the surgery yet. Boo!

The surgeon thinks VSG surgery will be the best choice for me. Yay!

I also have to have some sort of swallowing test -- just when I thought I had finally finished all of that. Boo!

I was only up one pound -- either something magical happened or the surgeon's scales are EXTREMELY kind. Yay!

Dr. Surgeon said I just barely qualify for surgery based on my weight. Um. Boo? Yay? (Which leads me to ask: why did they have me lose five percent? What if I'd lost too much? Sheesh!)

So, now I wait to hear from the insurance company. Boo! Dr. Surgeon said it could be as soon as two days. His insurance staff said no way; it'll be at least a week. Double Boo!

My knee and back feel almost completely better! No new body parts are currently falling apart! Yay!

So, I guess that's it from this end. Oh, one more thing -- do any of you hang out on I asked a couple of questions there, some people there are not terribly supportive/welcoming, are they? Are they just rude to newbies, or is everyone fair game? Also? I was really angry to see some comments blaming the girl who died after her DS revision for her own death. "We told her so!" Hmm...self-righteous much?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm bummed!

So, I physically feel pretty crummy -- my knee's still a little sore, my lower back is KILLING me (seriously, I'm walking like I'm 90 years old) and I'm still ravenous ALL OF THE TIME. I finally got in a very gentle 30 minutes on my beloved recumbent bike today, but I have to go very slow and easy because of my body falling to pieces around me. And, you know what ravenous + much less exercise means, right? Ugh.

I'm anxious for my first appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, but also kind of dreading it because I've gained four pounds since I hit my 5 percent. What's going to happen when I show up at the surgeon's office, and I'm sure they'll want to weigh me, and when they see I'm no longer at 5 percent, what happens then? Has anyone heard of this happening to anyone? Will they send me back to try to lose those four pounds back? Will my insurance deny me for it?

Ugh, y'all, I'm trying so hard, and sometimes it feels like I'll never make it to the actual surgery! And I'm feeling awfully petulant that we show up at the bariatric practice because we have trouble losing weight and keeping it off, and what's the first thing they say? "Lose weight." Does that sound like cruel and inhuman punishment to anyone else? ;)

Erk, sorry for the whine-age. I'm going to bed and find a better attitude in the morning. *hugs for all*

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Have to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time...

The fam and I went for some light hiking today! We picked two easy trails, about a mile long each, and had a break in between. My knee's a little sore tonight but not too bad. I'm hopeful that I can get back in a routine soon. :)

I wish I hated pictures of myself less -- it would've been nice to be in some of the pictures. But I just don't wan't to look at myself at this point. Hopefully soon!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gimme my exercise!

I've made an interesting discovery in the past three days -- since my knee flaked out on me and I was told to lay off exercising for a few days. What discovery was this?


In the past three days, in addition to sitting on my butt, I've slipped back into my old ways of eating, and, unfortunately, the weight I lost is already piling back on. I've felt almost constantly hungry -- ravenous to the point of distraction! And I'm pretty sure I'm still supposed to be at 219 when I see the surgeon a week from Tuesday.

So, my plan is this:

1. Back on two-protein shakes, one small meal per day. Limit snacks to fruit or sugar-free popsicle.
2. Get back on the recumbent bike -- but take it slower, and listen to my body. I'm hopeful that wearing the brace will limit irritation to the bursa.
3. Get out of the house and away from electronic distractions.

All right, body, we can do this. One foot in front of the other. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Four things make a post!

Thing One: I have met my 5 percent weight loss, and am now waiting for an appointment to see the surgeon. I'm told I should expect surgery in about a month. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Thing Two: I got brave and uploaded an actual picture of me for my profile. I don't particularly care for the pic (exactly how many chins do I have there?!), but it's taken from a photo of me and my daughter at a Carolina Gamecocks football game last fall, and it was such an awesome day that it makes me happy to see it anyway. :D

Thing Three: Owwie.

My knee started hurting a little on Monday while I was riding my beloved recumbent exercise bike. I kept going, and the knee was sore. Exercised again on Tuesday and Wednesday (because I was working hard to lose the last of the 5 percent!) and it got worse and worse. This morning, I could barely walk on it. It's apparently bursitis. On one hand, I'm bummed that I can't work out for a few days, but...I have to admit, I kinda like that I have a battle wound.

Yes, I'm weird. 8-)

Thing Four: this is the entire contents of my (very new) iPhone's music:

Loser -- Glee cast version
Carolina in My Mind -- James Taylor (not for exercise, but I love the song!)
Let's Go Crazy -- Prince
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It -- Will Smith
It's My Life/Confessions, Pt. II -- Glee cast version
Loser Like Me -- Glee cast version
Hold My Hand -- Hootie and the Blowfish
Cruel Summer -- Bananarama
Epic -- Faith No More

Please give me suggestions for great motivational music. :)

G'night, y'all!

P.S. If I haven't friended you back, please poke me!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's fun for a girl and a boy!

Dig that green shag carpeting, Daddy-O!

What walks down stairs
alone or in pairs
and makes a slink-it-y sound?
A sling, a spring, a marvelous thing
everyone knows it's Slinky!
It's Slinky! It's Slinky
for fun it's a wonderful toy!
It's fun for a girl and a boy!

For some reason that I can't fathom, I have this song stuck in my head today, so I had to go find the old-school commercial jingle that I grew up singing along with. (And now I've earwormed all of you. You're welcome. ;) )

It started me thinking about the games we played with our Slinky, and that got me thinking about the other games we played as kids. Kickball, Freeze Tag, Hide and Seek. We played CHiPs and our bicycles were our highway patrol motorcycles. A pair of groovy roller skates on our feet made us Dorothy Hamill, or we made a roller derby on the carport. We had a big Yellow Poplar in our front yard, and I climbed it many days, and later carved into it the initials of the boy I liked. There was always something fun to do.

We were getting exercise, though we were having too much fun to notice. So I wonder -- when did exercising stop being fun? Why did we stop playing? When did it stop being something we wanted to do every day, and become a chore that we got over with as soon as possible?

When did it become work? I mean, we even call it working out! Is it any wonder that we don't want to do it?

So, my goal from here on out, for the rest of my life, is going to be to find the fun. I don't want to work; I want to play! This weekend, my family and I are going camping, so I'll have lots of opportunity to play. I want to paddle a canoe again! I'm going to rent a paddle boat! I'm going to play in the water and not care how I look in a swimsuit -- because what matters is playing and having fun with my family. :D

How about you? What did you play when you were a kid? How do you find the fun in your exercise now? I'd love to hear your ideas. :D

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Yay, followers!

I'm heading off to bed in approximately 3.5 minutes (gotta get up early so I can get my exercise on before work!) but I wanted to say hi to folks who are new followers! *waves like the great big dork she is* I'm so happy to get to know you all. :D

Also, if I haven't followed you back yet (this goes for "older" followers, too) please poke me with a sharp stick (or, you know, comment ;)  ). I want to follow everyone, but sometimes Blogger does weird things and I don't end up following someone when I'm supposed to be. Or maybe I'm doing something weird -- WHO KNOWS?! But anyway, I'll keep tryin' until I'm followin'. :)

Sweet dreams, y'all!

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's VSG for me!

(Is anyone else having issues with Blogger not wanting to post pictures? I can upload them just fine, but then they don't show up inserted in the post. Hrm...)

I have to admit, I was beginning to get annoyed with my bariatric practice. I called them Friday and asked to talk to someone about the VSG -- explaining that I was done with everything I needed to do leading up to surgery, with the exception of losing two more pounds. I explained that since I was not scheduled to see the MD again, I needed to talk to someone about whether VSG would be appropriate for me. I mentioned that my insurance has just begun paying for VSG, and I was interested in pursuing it.

Nobody returned my call on Friday, which I sort of expected. But then nobody called me Monday morning, either, which is when I started to become annoyed. I called the practice back, and this time was allowed to actually leave a voicemail. I was told, though, that the person would be in and out all day, and therefore might not be able to return the call right away.

ANYWAY, to cut a long, boring story somewhat shorter, late this afternoon I finally got a call back. 'Yes,' the program coordinator told me, 'your insurance is now paying for VSG. I've looked over your chart, and I think that would be absolutely perfect for you.' Not only that, but she went ahead and noted in my chart that I'm having VSG surgery! Just like that! I even know who the surgeon will be!

To say that I'm excited would be a HUGE, MAMMOTH understatement! My intestines don't have to be cut! I get to keep my pylorus! Less nutritional deficiencies! Y'all, I AM PUMPED!

So! I can weigh in Wednesday after the support group, and assuming I'm still at 219 then (and there's no reason I shouldn't be), my file goes to insurance for approval, and I get an appointment to see the surgeon! *twirls*

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Just finished a 45-minute ride on my exercise bike! I always forget how awesome the post-workout high feels. :D I think I'm claiming that as my first NSV. :D

Saturday, July 30, 2011 a magic number

(Points to anyone who gets the reference in the title!)

So, after a week of bouncing around from 223 to 225 (despite me eating two protein shakes and one small meal for the past six weeks AND exercising hard for nine of the past ten days!), my official weigh-in at the bariatric practice was 222.2. Which, I have to admit, was disappointing, because I must get to 219 before my file can be sent to my insurance for approval and before I can get an appointment to see the surgeon.

I stepped onto the scale fully expecting to see 222 or 223. My morning weight is not usually my lowest of the day, because I tend to retain water overnight, especially if I've had salt the day before. After I take my meds, the excess water is flushed out of my system, and then I get my lowest weight for the day.

All of that is to explain why I was so excited to see the number 219.8 on my scale this morning! FINALLY! I know I need to lose a couple of more pounds to allow for clothes, etc. when I weigh in, but at least at this moment, I am there! Woohoo!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gastric Sleeve surgery?

So, I had pretty much decided on the gastric bypass. Read all about it, researched, talked to my doctor -- it was all good. But now, apparently, my insurance is also starting to pay for gastric sleeve surgery, and I'm right back in Indecisionville.

On the one hand, it would seem to be a good thing to not have to cut into my intestines. On the other hand, from the little I've read about the gastric sleeve, it apparently results in less weight loss than the bypass, and weight loss is the name of the game, right?

So now, I don't know! I'm not scheduled to see the regular medical doctor anymore -- after I lose three more pounds (*eyeroll*) I get scheduled to see the surgeon. What do I do?

Have any of you had the gastric sleeve? Or can you suggest bloggers who had that surgery so I can read first hand accounts?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My fat apparently loves me.

For almost five weeks now, I've been on the two-protein-shakes-and-one-reasonable-meal diet that my bariatric m.d. suggested. I lost five or six pounds right off the bat. But now my weight isn't budging!

Yesterday, I had the two protein drinks, 1/4 cup of fat free cottage cheese, one container of greek yogurt and a peach during the day. For supper, we had grilled chicken (I ate two legs), one small piece (4 inches) of corn on the cob, and steamed broccoli. After supper, I had a chunk of watermelon and a suger-free popsicle. (I just remembered that I also had a tablespoon of peanut butter in the afternoon.)

I've exercised for five of the past seven days. Good, hard exercise that had me sweating profusely and out of breath. Thirty to 45 minutes at a time.

So why is my scale refusing to budge? I was briefly at 221.8 a few days ago, but since then it's bounced around from 223.8 to 225. I don't understand it!

I had hoped to be at 219 (my required five percent loss) by the time I go to my last nutrition class Thursday afternoon, but it doesn't look like that will happen. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! Maybe I need to go to three protein drinks per day just to get these last few pounds off.

Also, while I'm whining: I have a task to do at work that I despise, and I am procrastinating like whoa. ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011


So, I watched a few seconds minutes of a laparoscopic roux-en-y surgery. Um. Owwie?

I'm not typically squeamish, but wow, watching that was a bad idea. I wish I could just get it over with already and not spend so much time obsessing over thinking about it.

Maybe it'll help to list some of the reasons (besides health, which is, of course, the main reason I want the surgery. In no particular order:

* I'd like to be able to fit into a bra. Seriously. Have you ever tried looking for a 42A bra? It doesn't exist -- well, it may exist, but the cups are waaaaay larger than what an A cup should be. I kinda got the short end of the stick in the boobular area. I started developing early -- I was the first girl in 3rd grade who had to wear a bra -- and stopped developing shortly afterward. And not to make mountains out of molehills (see what I did there?), but I didn't get the extra boobage you're supposed to get when you breastfeed, either. So, I got fat, but I didn't get the gazongas to go along with it. Which leads me to...

*I'd like to fit into clothing. If you wear plus-size clothes, you may have noticed that the shirts, in general, play up the boobs. I'm sure I'd like it, if I actually had any boobs to play up. Instead, when I put on plus-size tops, I look like a little kid playing with her mama's clothes. So, I mostly wear shell tops in warm weather (I currently have five that I rotate over and over and over again) and twinsets in cold weather. Nothing else fits.

*I'd like to not feel crowded in our shower stall. I'm forever bumping my elbows, or brushing the cold shower walls with my butt-ticular area. And I end up having to step sideways out of the stall to get through the door without bumping jiggly bits.

*I'd like to not feel tired all the time, or out of breath when I walk a block from my car to the office. That's actually getting better since I started working out on my recumbent bike! I want to feel well enough to pursue my goal of becoming a nurse.

*I want to like people looking at me again. Now, I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror, so I guess I assume everyone else feels the same way.

*I'd like to feel like a normal person. That's not too much to ask, is it?

In less heavy (geddit???) news, I ordered some Nectar protein drinks on the suggestion of someone in my bariatric practice's support group. Who knew chocolate shakes were going to get old?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Have I mentioned that I love my exercise bike? Also, an iPhone question

Aren't those commercials where people say, 'I love my bank!' in various ways annoying? And yet...I feel that way about my recumbent bike.

I had a treadmill for several years and actually used it a good bit, but I hated it. My balance is off because of a couple of meds I take, so I always felt slightly wobbly and worried that I was going to miss-step and fall off or something. Not to mention that it made my feet and knees hurt. To top it off, I felt like a lumbering elephant on it. No matter how much I tried to move gracefully, my feet ended up slapping the moving track -- clomp, clomp clomp. Ugh. Just not fun.

So I got a recumbent exercise bike, and wow, what a difference! No worries about losing my balance. My feet and knees never hurt. And I actually feel like my movements are graceful and strong. I've had my bike for about four weeks, and it's made a world of difference. I can already tell that my legs and core are stronger. And as an added bonus, I point a fan towards me and -- although I do get good and sweaty -- at no point do I feel like I want to die!

Today, I set out to ride 30 minutes while the hub and kids went grocery shopping. At 30 minutes I thought, 'I could go more.' So I did! I went 45 minutes, and STILL didn't feel like I wanted to die! :D

On the weight-loss front, my scale said 221.8 this morning. I did a happy dance right there on my bathroom scale. I need to be down to 219 by Thursday, which is when I go back to the weight loss practice for my final nutrition class. If I make weigh-in then, my file gets sent to the insurance company and I get an appointment to meet with the surgeon! Man, for months it felt like I was running in molasses, and suddenly I'm almost done!

And now the above-mentioned question. Those of you using iPhones, do you know of a good app for posting to Blogger? I just got my iPhone this week, so I'm very much a newbie. Any ideas? Thanks!

Monday, July 18, 2011

More hoops jumped through!

I'm still here, jumping through every hoop they give me! I saw the regular bariatric doctor for the last time (I guess?) today, and then had the first of two nutrition classes.

/bitch and whine on

Okay, I understand that they have to give these basic nutrition courses in case someone has never heard it in their life, but seriously -- I'm willing to bet that most of the people in that room knew as much or more about nutrition, calories and protein than any of the three registered dietitions in the room. We overweight people have obsessed over, calculated and fudged enough calories in our time! We've lost (and regained and lost again!) weight. WE KNOW HOW. We are here because we need help getting there and STAYING THERE.

/bitch and whine off

ANYWAY. So, yes, the basic nutrition class is done. All I have left to do is the second nutrition class a week from Thursday (which I'm hoping will be more relevant to post-surgery diet than this class was). Oh, and lose 5 more pounds. The doctor I've been seeing (who said don't worry about losing the whole 16 lbs.) up and MOVED AWAY, so I have a new one, and this one is being a stickler for the five percent. It shouldn't be too hard.

After that, everything gets sent to my insurance and I get set up with an appointment to see the surgeon. The nurse said they usually hear back from insurance within a couple of weeks! Is it possible I may be getting my surgery in August?! SO EXCITED!

Oh, and I'm also excited because I finally got a recumbent exercise bike and I LOVE IT! I can go hard on it for 30 minutes and not even feel like I'm dying (which, you know, is always a plus.) I've been getting my lazy butt up 45 minutes early in the morning to fit in 30 minutes on the bike and another shower before work. Yep, I'm a little bit proud of that. \o/

Anyway, I'm off to catch up on my reading and see what y'all are up to! :D

Friday, July 1, 2011

All right, STOP -- Fangirl time!

Okay, it's Friday afternoon and I'm about to cut this place loose. I leave you with an awesome, upbeat song that I LOVE! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yay, followers!

I'm so excited to have eight followers! *squishes followers to mah bosom*

*ahem* I mean...Hi! ;)

Also, despite the tone of my last post, I can promise I really am not a Debbie Downer. Also, I found out a reason for the person yesterday telling me the RNY horror story, and now that I understand, I think it won't be quite so awkward to see this person on a regular basis.

So, I'm still in the hoop-jumping-through phase. My cardiologist signed off for me to have surgery, and even said I don't need to have a stress test, YES! I see the bariatric practice's nutritionist a second time in July, and have my third visit with the doctor. Oh, and I'm planning to go to the practice's support meeting next week. I'm SO, SO, SO pumped to get to talk to more people who have done this before!

Exercise today: walked as fast as I possibly could for 28 minutes on my lunch break, and omg my legs are KILLING me. I know at some point, my body will stop screaming through every millisecond I exercise. Just gotta hang on until that time. Oh, and I'm strongly considering getting a recumbent exercise bike this weekend.

Eating today: two protein drinks for breakfast and lunch, greek yogurt, grapes and an apple for snacks. Gluten-free pasta with meat sauce and veggies for supper. Watermelon for dessert. And the less said about those cheese puffs I had afterwards, the better, hmm?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not a good day.

You know how, when you're pregnant, everyone in the world wants to tell you birth horror stories? 32-hour labors! Caesarian sections without benefit of painkillers! Giving birth in the back seat of a car on the interstate!

Well, someone gave me a roux-en-y horror story today. Not only was it a horror story that ended in someone's death, it was a death that this person directly attributed to bariatric surgery.

What makes it worse is that I'm going to have to see this person on a regular basis. Even if she never brings it up again, every time I see her, I'm going to think of that horror story. AWKWARD!

I don't know; it's stressing me out. I was confident and excited to have the surgery, and now I'm worried and stressed. I wish I could talk to someone who's been through it and come out the other side.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Music: I'm On My Way -- The Proclaimers

This is basically my theme song these days (and I definitely recommend The Proclaimers; they're awesome!) It's what I keep telling myself throughout the long process leading up to WLS: I'm on my way! I've embedded a video of the song below, for all of you who are also on your way. :)

Review: Muscle Milk Light

A co-worker of mine who is working on gaining muscle definition sometimes drinks Muscle Milk, and I've been meaning to try it too, so I picked up a four-pack ready-to-drink in chocolate last night.

It's quite a bit more expensive than the EAS Advantedge Carb Control shakes I've been drinking, but it had a few less calories. And I expected it to taste great, given the cost.

WRONG! I've heard people describe certain protein drinks as tasting like monkey ass -- well, now I know what they mean. The taste was just awful. Yes, it's chocolate, but even a confirmed chocoholic like myself has to draw the line at chocolate-covered monkey ass. Yuck!

So, now I'm stuck with three containers of monkey ass.

This is why I hesitate to buy anything new without sampling it first. Which reminds me -- why don't health food stores, GNCs, etc., hold taste-testings so we'll know what we're getting before we invest $40 in a container of powdered monkey ass? The GNC person I spoke with yesterday tried to sell me some Wheybolic something-or-other. "If you don't like it, you can return it for up to 30 days," she said. Well, that's great, but I KNOW ME. I am the Queen of Procrastination, y'all. That carton of monkey ass would be sitting untouched in the back of my pantry for the next 11 years, before I finally get ashamed enough to throw it out.

*ahem* All righty, then. Today, I'm planning to hit up Wally World and see what they have, and hopefully also order a few samples (even if they are insanely overpriced) online.

Have a great one!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One more hoop jumped through

I had the psychological eval today. I couldn't believe the guy actually used the Rorschach Test on me! I had to bite my tongue not to laugh. I mean, it's just such a cliche'! Clearly, I had too many psych classes in college.

Here's one of them. What do you see?

I saw the Eiffel Tower at the top, in gray, and two fiddler crabs in blue on each side. Looking at it now, I also see two seahorses in pink.

I had mentioned earlier when we were talking that I'm going to be working part-time in the Human Resources department, and after the Rorschach test, he told me that my responses indicated I would be well-suited to working there. Okay! Not sure how much stock I put into what I see in ink blots, but we'll go with that, dude.

After the ink blots, I had to answer fifty bazillion bubble sheet questions. I was a little disturbed that they had about ten different variations of "people are watching me" or "someone else is controlling my thoughts." I'm paranoid, but I'm not that crazycakes!

On the pre-op weight loss, the protein shakes twice a day and one meal seem to be working. I've dropped five pounds since Thursday! Now if I can just keep going; then surgery will help me keep it up.

Coming up in July: visit two with the nutritionist, visit three with the medical doctor, and at least one support group meeting.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Free stuff is good!

Well, I had this longish, witty and (hopefully) interesting post all written up, clicked "publish" and...apparently, it disappeared into the rift. So, do me a favor and imagine this post is both witty and interesting, mmkay? TY!

ANYway, the point of the Post That Got Away is this: if you have any interest in weight loss surgery whatsoever, go read The World According to Eggface. There's a wealth of information in her blog.

And it just so happens that she's giving away some awesome stuff! But mostly, go read her blog. :)

Okay, let's see if Blogger cooperates this time...

Indecision -- to tell or not to tell?

I haven't made up my mind yet who to tell that I'm having bariatric surgery. So far, my husband and teenage daughter know, my sister and one friend at work. But I'm hesitant to tell others at this point.

If I am indeed having the roux en y surgery, I'm probably going to have to take two weeks off work. So, what do I tell my boss? Since I'm planning to use paid sick leave for part of that time, I tend to think I'll need to at least tell him...what? That I'm having a medical procedure? I mean, he's a good guy; I like him, and our workplace is much closer-knit than the typical workplace. I know he would keep it to himself if I told him.

But at the same time...this surgery feels much more personal to me, for some reason, than the one three years ago (defibrillator/pacemaker implanted.) Maybe I'm ashamed, even though intellectually I know it's something that will help me get healthy and stay healthy.

And then there's the subject of my other boss. It's complicated, but basically I'm being moved to another department for two days of the week because of budget cuts (stoopid economy.) Other Boss seems nice, but I don't know her very well. It's going to be harder to tell her.

And my dad is another question. He's older, not in the best of health and often frail emotionally. He worries. A LOT. My first instinct is not to tell him, but I see him frequently enough that he will probably realize I've had surgery (unless I heal superquick, I suppose.) And I'll be losing a lot of weight quickly, which may make him worry. So, do I tell him before and know he will worry, or tell him afterwards and know he will be mad that I didn't tell him...or not tell him at all?

Ugh, I don't know.

I'd love to hear how others have handled telling or not telling!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I CAN get there from here.

Well, it's been harder to get back in the habit of blogging than I anticipated, but I'm still on my way. The only questions are, where are we going, and how do we get there?

I had my second visit with the bariatric doctor yesterday. Sadly, I appear to be the only person on the planet who can eat much less food, exercise more than twice as much as I had been, and still gain weight. *facepalm* And since I'm supposed to be losing about 14 lbs. before surgery, I'm now on a two-protein-shakes-a-day, one-small-meal-a-day plan that my doctor suggested. So far, it's been fine, and I've not had much hunger. And I went for a walk on my lunch break today, and while it did seem that I was going to keel over a few times, I kept going, and went quite a bit farther than I have been. Hopefully I can keep this up and see a decrease in my weight next time.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to evict the Cheetos. Poor Cheetos; it's not them -- it's me. I simply cannot resist their cheesy, salty, crunchy goodness. So they're going to have to go. *sniffle* Goodbye, my Cheetos!

I think I'm a bit closer to making a decision between RNY surgery and lap-band. My doctor said RNY patients tend to do a lot better, lose a lot more weight, and keep it off better. I'm concerned about having to take two weeks off work to recover -- at this point, I simply don't have that much leave accumulated. I used it all when I had pneumonia in January. And the fact that I'm running around to various appointments that are required for the bariatric program is making it harder to accumulate leave. But! If it's the right way to go, it's all going to work itself out just fine in the end. Meanwhile, I'm planning to go to the bariatric program's support meetings next month; my doctor said they should be helpful in making my decision.

One last note: I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to post separately about something, but it just would've turned into negativity, and I don't want to give into that. I really am an upbeat, positive person, so I surely don't want to turn into the Debbie Downer type. Suffice it to say that I met with the nutritionist at the bariatric program, and have another meeting with him next month.

Oh, and I almost forgot -- I go Monday for the psych evaluation. Hopefully, they don't think I'm crazycakes or anything. ;)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Road So Far

I have to say, the whole process leading up to bariatric surgery has been frustrating so far. Let's recap:

1) Having been thinking about it since shortly after the New Year, I finally asked my doctor what she thought of Lap-Band surgery sometime in March. To my surprise, she thought it was an excellent idea and gave me the contact information for the bariatric practice. I called and signed up for the informational session.

2) Attended the informational session in April. Liked what I heard enough to sign up for the orientation session.

3) Attended the orientation session, paid $50 orientation fee. Received "Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies" (I'm not even kidding) and a notebook with some decent info on pre- and post- surgery diet. Took a nutritional evaluation.

4) Had first meeting with MD for the bariatric practice. The doctor (who is not the one who will do the surgery) seemed knowledgeable and for the most part, he was easy to like. I'm trying to ignore the fact that he looks like he graduated from kindergarten a few years ago. That's a slight exaggeration, but he did look pretty dang young. Paid the first 1/3 of the $400 "program fee" (non-refundable, and not covered by insurance.)

Apparently, the program fee includes the cost of the book and notebook from the orientation meeting, as well as an "InBody" evaluation. This machine reminded me of those old-timey scales that used to be found in drugstores, which would give you "Your Wate and Fate." Those used to give you your weight and fortune for a penny. This one produced a one-page evaluation that told me how much I weigh, my BMI and how much I need to lose...all of which I knew before I stepped on this glorified bathroom scales. There is some other information as well, such as my body water balance (apparently in the normal range), muscle development in all four limbs (also normal) and exactly how much of my body is muscle or fat. Interesting enough, but do I really need to know this? More to the point, was it worth paying for? I'm not convinced, so far. One number that did seem potentially useful was basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories I burn per day at rest -- 1498 kcal. I have no idea if that is higher or lower than normal.

I told the doctor that I haven't yet decided whether to have gastric bypass or the lap-band. He gave me a little more information (for instance, he said 90 percent of their surgeries are gastric bypass) and told me to do some more thinking about it. Paid $50 for the doctor visit.

The fifth and most-recent happening, I'm going to give its own post.

Anyway, I don't have a clear idea of even when the surgery will take place. One person told me six months of meetings/appointments would be required, one said four, and still another (the one who handles the insurance companies) said three. I'm hoping for three, obviously. And I'm really no closer to deciding between gastric bypass and lap-band. Maybe someone who reads this will have some advice. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Repurposing this blog -- I'm On My Way

Well, for the four of you who may still be following this blog, thank you! As you may have noticed, this place has been gathering dust lately. I'm working on changing that!

So, over the next...however long it takes...I'm going to be deleting a bunch of posts that have little original content i.e. those with only embedded videos. It's likely that all of those are still on my youtube account, if for some reason you have grown attached to preview videos of three-year-old episodes of Supernatural. ;)

Of course, I hope y'all will decide to stick around for what comes next. My plan is to begin documenting a journey that I have just begun.

I am planning to have bariatric surgery. I'm in the initial stages of what turned out to be a longer, more complex and more frustrating process than I had imagined, and I find myself wanting to talk about it -- and write about it.

I do still want to write about fannish pursuits. Who knows; maybe this blog will become known as the home of the biggest fangirl who ever...became a smaller fangirl?

I'll work on that one.

Coming soon (I hope) will be an entry to explain what has happened (and not happened) so far in my journey.