- Name: Shannon N.
- Username: AmeliaLove
- Location: Livonia, MI, USA
- Member Since: 3/9/2009
- BMI: 43.8
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (05/07/09)
- Surgeon: Mark Pleatman MD
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Under 300! on June 17, 2009 10:29 am
Yesterday I weighed in at 298.5! Yippee!
I have been on a real "clean eating" type of kick for the most part. I have been limiting my intake of garbage pretty significantly. The only things I have had not "clean" are frappuccinos. I know, I know. Sugar, sugar, sugar with a side of caffeine. I have a couple a week. I am working on it. I am trying to look at the other side of the coin, though, and remember that I am eating really healthy. Yesterday I had a protein shake, tuna & cheese, Greek yogurt, strawberries, chicken, and asparagus. Oh, and I had a Kashi cinnamon raisin flax cookie...not the best thing to eat, but I am doing rather well, I think.
The funniest thing is that I physically no longer crave junk from drive-thrus. I do have a "head" craving for it, though. I am hoping that goes away with time, as I realize that my body needs wholesome food, not junk.
Tomorrow is Farmers Market day! Yippee! I can't believe the difference fresh, local food makes in recipes. We had asparagus last night and my husband said, "This is the best asparagus ever!" It really was. I don't think I have ever had asparagus that fresh...and that was 5 days old!
I am also picking up a batch of raw milk tomorrow -- whole, creamy, raw milk. I know, I know. If anyone cares to read this, people will probably say, "Oh, that is so gross!" or "You could get listeria from raw milk!" Alas, I know the ins and outs of it. It is from an organic dairy farm in North Branch. They bring it to Livonia, so I, along with other raw milk enthusiasts, can pick it up there. Anyway, it's really not that gross (or dangerous). I'm going to make yogurt from it...which involves heating it! ;) If my yogurt turns out anything like my friend, who made hers with raw milk, I'm going to be in heaven. I have made yogurt from pasteurized milk before...it was yummy...just not like hers!
I have to clean up a little bit before my sister-in-law gets here to watch Amelia for a few hours.
Oh, btw, I am wearing a size 22/24 top! :)
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One month post-op on June 8, 2009 10:30 am
Well, yesterday was officially one month post-op. I lost 20 pounds. My measurements changed too:
Chest: -5" (I believe part of this change is because I stopped nursing!)
I was starting to worry that I'm eating too much. I haven't lost my appetite at all. However, I can now control it and I can make healthier choices...for the most part.
I admit that I feel guilty because I am not a low-carb success story. I tried low carb for two weeks while I was on purees. OMG. I had no energy and felt miserable. I am not sure why it doesn't work for me. Now that I'm a month out, I might try again...maybe I'll have more energy now.
My weight loss is not as fast as many people's. It wasn't before surgery either (hence, my near breakdown in front of Dr. Pleatman when I hadn't lost any weight pre-op). I know I have autoimmune hypothyroidism, but I thought I would at least be able to lose at a more reasonable pace. Sure, 20 pounds is nothing to sneeze at. I just want this surgery to work so badly.
On that note, I think everyone has their battles. One of my lovely OH friends, Maggie, is having trouble getting in 500 calories a day (at around 2 months post-op)! I have absolutely no trouble doing that -- and I'm only a month out. I get hungry quickly because I can't really eat all that much of course. I really wish my hunger was taken away like some people's.
I am starting to wonder if this surgery can work just by eating normal, healthy foods in smaller portions. You know, like eating like a normal person, not a weight loss surgery patient. I am so torn. I want to be a normal eater for once in my life. I guess I thought I could have the VSG and do that. Eat pretty healthy 90% of the time, protein first, and the weight would come off. Now I'm getting worried that it's not so simple. So many people have success with low carb and then they end up gaining weight if they eat carbs. That scares me. It's not that I'm a bread or pasta fanatic; I just want to be a normal eater.
Speaking of "normal eating," that is how I lost 60+ pounds awhile back. I learned how to recognize my hunger and satiety signals and I didn't deprive myself of anything. I ate what I wanted, but only until satified. This meant pizza, steak, whatever. And I lost weight. But then I got pregnant. After I had Amelia, my hormones got seriously screwed up or something. I no longer had a satiety signal at all. I could eat and eat and eat. I had never felt that way in my life. Hence, my choice of the VSG. I want to be able to eat healthy food (and treats) in moderation, only until satisfied. Now I'm worried that if I don't eat low carb, I won't succeed. I have decided that I'm not going to worry about it for another month, though. I will see how I am doing at two months post-op and go from there.
I have had too much sugar. I had a couple Starbucks frappuccinos and an iced vanilla latte. I also had a few small brownies and ice cream a couple days in a row. I was so disappointed in myself. I still ate under 900 calories those days, but I want to break the sugar habit. Oh, and I don't do sugar-free anything. I can't. Tummy aches and headaches result from artificial sweeteners. I am working at getting better on the sugar front.
I am getting close to twoterville! Only 3 more pounds to go!
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Two weeks post-op on May 21, 2009 10:44 am
Well, today is the day to start purees. Yay...I think. I haven't been feeling that well. I'm going to take it slowly. I am really tired. I am getting at least 60 grams of protein a day and all my fluids. I guess it just takes some time.
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I am going to try to increase my protein to 90-100 grams a day. I think I may need it to stabilize my blood sugar. I am not having trouble getting a fair amount of carbs, which I need because I have hypoglycemia. I went to a support group last night that is run by a registered dietitian and a social worker. I love that the RD, Patti, is totally not carb-phobic. I am not either, although, reading these message boards are enough to make me that way. I truly feel much better when I have a bit of carbohydrates, like I have more focus and clarity. I'm not talking excessive carbs. I'm just talking a couple bites. Now that I'm starting mushies, though, it might be harder to get the carbs because I can eat very little...hence the 1/2 cup of cottage cheese I've been nibbling on for awhile. I think I'm just scared to eat too much because I don't want to get sick.
As for weight loss -- nothing, nada, zero loss since last week. I'm going to remain positive and not even focus on it further. My eyes are on the big prize -- a healthy body and positive mind. The weight will come off. I believe we, as a culture of women, have a great deal of distrust in our bodies. I am going into this with the trust that, if I do the right thing, my body will do its part to shed the excess pounds.
Had my 1 week post-op visit with Dr. Pleatman today on May 13, 2009 7:51 pm
In 6 days, I am down 9.5 pounds according to Dr. Pleatman's scale.
My home scale has been a little more lenient, though. Before my surgery, I was right around 320. This morning I weighed in at 306.8.
I am happy with that so far.
Okay, so here are my thoughts:
1) I am still hungry. Or at least I think I am. The thing about me is that I used to be able to stop eating when satiated without a problem. I had lost 60 pounds before getting pregnant with Amelia. And I was on my way to losing more. I could eat what I wanted (mostly healthy foods) and I stopped when satisfied. I had no issues with that. Well, after the birth of Amelia, that all changed. My appetite went from pretty normal to completely ravenous. I never felt satisfied, full, stuffed, nothing. I felt hungry all the time. That was a novel feeling to me. I don't know where it came from, but I didn't like it. And, even though I was nursing, I gained weight. So, I knew I had to do something and researched the VSG. I knew that was my answer. I needed portion control. And I needed help with feeling hungry (hence, removal of the portion of the stomach responsible for ghrelin which is responsible for hunger). So, fast forward nearly a week out of surgery and, although the hunger is much removed, I do still feel hungry. But it's not that insatiable, never-ending hunger. My hunger is able to be satisfied now.
2) I woke up in a GREAT DEAL OF PAIN. However, by the afternoon, I felt 50% better. And by the next day, I felt 75% better. And now, nearly a week later, I feel pretty darn good...just a little tired.
I've been off the pain meds for a couple days now.
3) I miss food. I miss the chewing sensation. I miss salt. But I have figured out some really good things. For example, I am sick of broth and low fat strained cream soups. So, today I made meatless pureed chili. I took salsa, water, and refried beans and pureed them until very smooth. Then I added that to tomato soup, v-8, a little water, and chili seasonings. I ended up with completely smooth chili. It really hit the spot. And it was thin enough to be considered full liquid also.
4) I am already sick of protein shakes. Although, tonight for my snack, I made a pumpkin yogurt smoothie and it's a really nice change (and very healthy!). I forgot to add a scoop of unflavored protein powder, but by itself, it's already 10 grams of protein.
5) I have cheated a bit. I had the most awful taste in my mouth and I took a small piece of a bbq rib and chewed and chewed and chewed. Then I spit it out. I know, not the best thing to do, but the taste in my mouth was awful. Some people on the message boards think it's ketosis. They might be right. But the rib helped get that nasty taste out of my mouth. And when I was craving salt, I licked pretzels.
6) I haven't had trouble getting in protein. In the last couple days, I have averaged 75 grams of protein. I am eating right around 800 calories a day. That may be considered a lot, but I feel happy with it. Hey, I have to live with this. From what I'm told, once I start eating food, though, my calories may go down because food is much more satisfying.
7) I am CRAVING eggs. I cannot wait to eat eggs. I just hope they agree with me.
8) I met some of Dr. Pleatman's other patients today at my appointment and went out to lunch with them. Obviously I didn't eat, but they did. It was very interesting to see how they ate. One had chicken chili and a small greek salad. She had a few bites of the chili and maybe 1/3 of the salad. The other had chicken quesadillas. She ate maybe half of it and took the meat/cheese out of the tortilla so she got in her protein. It was a really good thing for me to see how they ate because now I know that I can
do this. They didn't eat like freaks or make a scene about their meals. It made me see how human this can be.
9) I am really struggling when my husband eats in front of me. I hope this gets better with time.
Okay, for now, that is all. Hopefully things will keep getting better!
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Two days post-op! on May 9, 2009 9:00 am
I did it! Thank you all for your support!
I think that without the support from my friends here on OH, I would have backed out. I was scared, but realized this is the best thing for me and my family.
According to Dr. Pleatman, the surgery went well and was uneventful. I woke up in recovery in a lot of pain. I remember moaning and groaning. And the nurses kept telling me that they had given me all the medicine they could. Because my breathing was getting shallow, they couldn't give me anymore morphine. I remember the anesthesiologist being in the recovery room asking me why I was trying to break the bed (I was pounding on the rail). I told him I'm in a lot of pain. He got kind of mad at the nurse anesthetist for not giving me torodol to control the pain. I like the anesthesiologist. He was a good patient advocate and wanted what was best for the patient. He also believes in alternative therapies to control nausea (like ear patches, acupressure points, etc.).
Once I got up to my room and was able to walk, I started feeling better. I walked a lot -- probably 6 or 7 times. And I walked around the whole floor. All the nurses referred to me as "the lady in pink" because I was wearing the "traveling mumu" that Eileen sent me. That mumu was such a lifesaver! It was so comfortable and cool because it was sleeveless and I was hot from the pain meds. Plus, it's nice to not have to have your backside hanging out.
Today I started my full liquid diet. I have had a tiny bit of pudding and 1/2 of a protein shake. The shake went down better than the pudding, so I think I'll stick to that for awhile. I'm going to try to get in as much protein as possible. Plus my protein shake has some fiber in it (since it has oats), so that is good...I haven't yet used the bathroom or even passed gas.
Well, I'm getting tired, so I'm going to go drink some water and rest.
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Surgery in the morning on May 6, 2009 7:18 pm
Wow, the day is here. I can't believe how quickly the day arrived. So, if there's anyone out there reading this that has a surgery date more than a month away, don't worry -- it will get here quickly!
All day I have felt a great deal of ambivalence. I want to eat, eat, eat. That's what I do when I'm stressed, anxious, nervous (or happy, sad, embarrassed)...or any emotion really. I just want to eat so I don't have to deal with the emotion I'm feeling. I couldn't eat today, so it was hard. I keep going back and forth between excitement and fear. I am
excited to have surgery to finally get help conquering my weight issues. Yet, I am fearful of many things. I am reminded of the song The Rose
by Bette Midler. There is a profound verse in it that says:
It's the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken
who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live
That describes me perfectly. I don't know how to let go and live. I remain inhibited by so many thoughts. I'm afraid of how I'll look, what others think of me, of trying something and failing, and so on. Whenever a positive thought enters my mind, a negative follow-up thought occurs that tears down the previous positive thought. I don't know how to stop this cycle. It's not like I want to think negative things.
Part of me thinks that I felt so beat down by my emotionally abusive father that I automatically tear myself down before anyone else has the chance. And if I do receive criticism, I'm right there with a comeback. It's like it's okay for me to tear myself down, but I don't want others to have that same opportunity.
I am glad I am having surgery. But I'm fearful. I'm afraid of not being able to eat. I struggle internally with myself. I crave certain foods like cheeseburgers, fries, mac & cheese, as well as salads, grilled chicken, and hummus. This is going to be a completely different way of eating. I think I am ready for it, but resistant because I've been entrenched in my poor habits for so long.
Today I made a photo collage of my baby, Amelia, entitled "My Motivation." I'm taking it with me to the hospital. I want to be here for her years from now. I don't want to die a young death. I want her to know that she is worth all this. I am worth all this. I keep focusing on Amelia and how much I want to be around for her. But I want to be around for me too. I want to be part of a happy family and hopefully have more children someday. I want to teach my children the value of activity and proper nutrition, regardless of their propensity for a certain size. Some people are just chunkier than others. I was a chunky kid, but by no means fat. But I was made to feel very fat and starved myself at 11 years old to please my mom and doctor. They didn't care that I starved myself. They just cared that I lost 30 pounds in month. In fact, I passed out one day during my starvation phase and no one once thought, "Hey this girl is not eating." I want to teach my children that exercise and proper nutrition are the building blocks of a healthy life. Sure, it's nice to be an ideal weight -- but sometimes our bodies have a mind of their own.
So, that is it. I am having surgery in less than 10 hours. I'll post a post-op update!
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Surgery is less than 3 days away... on May 4, 2009 4:08 pm
Well, I had my pre-op appointment with Dr. Pleatman today. I did not lose any weight. I cannot believe it. From my first appointment, I gained 1.5 pounds and I lost 1 pound from my surgery prep class. So, I am essentially the same after really, really cutting down my calories, carbs, and caffeine.
I thought Dr. Pleatman would be really upset with me. But he wasn't. If anything, he acted like I was a little nuts about being so worried about it! He said something like, "Well, I can bet you'll lose weight after surgery." I guess I was worried about nothing. He said I could be retaining fluid, as I cut my calories way down but still didn't lose weight.
I took my daughter, Amelia, with me to the appointment. It was sort of cute. Dr. Pleatman was trying to ignore her smiling at him, I think. But she got to him and he started smiling at her and talking to her. It was kind of funny.
So, I can't believe my surgery date is fast approaching. It seems so surreal. I think the key is to keep a healthy mindset. Tomorrow isn't going to be an all-out eating frenzy. I can't look at it that way. I think that I need to approach this with a lifelong mindset. I can have many foods in the future. Having surgery doesn't mean I absolutely cannot have my favorite foods again. It just means I have to approach them differently. And I have heard that some people develop a distaste for what was once their favorite foods. So, I guess I'll see.
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A week until surgery... on April 29, 2009 9:26 pm
Surgery is a week away. I am very excited. One of my new friends on OH (hi Maggie!) doesn't yet realize how much her last PM meant to me. She told me about how Subway used to be a really big thing for her. Now it doesn't call her name so much. She says having her sleeve is liberating. I can't wait. It feels really good to have others understand. Most people don't realize how it feels to wake up thinking about food. All my moves are calculated based on when and how much I was going to eat at different intervals throughout the day. Sometimes, I would take Amelia out in the cold Michigan winter just to get a double cheeseburger and fries. I could have just stayed inside and had a tuna sandwich, but you know, I had to get my McD's fix.
My pre-op diet is going okay. I caved and had a Snickers bar today. In the last couple days I have not only cut WAY back on calories and carbs, but my caffeine intake has been drastically lowered. I've had some iced tea, but compared to the amount of caffeine I was drinking, I have cut way back. Yesterday I was feeling a little dizzy in the evening. Today that feeling continued, but intensified. I had a very difficult time working. I am exhausted, dizzy, lightheaded, and just plain out of it. I know it's got to be caffeine-related. My manager at work gave me a small carton of OJ. She thought I had low blood sugar. I drank it and felt slightly better, but not much. I think it is caffeine withdrawal. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Well, speaking of tired, it's past my bed time.
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My proposed diet for Tuesday, April 28 on April 27, 2009 2:10 pm
(calories in parentheses) *protein between asterisks*
8 am: Protein meal replacement with milk (250) *30*
11 am: apple with pb (250) *7*
1 pm: protein meal replacement with milk (250) *30*
4 pm: egg salad, cucumber, vegetables (230) *15*
7 pm: crab stuffed flounder, steamed vegetables (390) *36*
9 pm: 1/2 protein meal replacement with milk (120) *14*
Total calories: 1490
Estimated protein: 132 grams
I promise that I will do my best to follow my diet as closely as possible.
I promise that I will walk at least 20 minutes.
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10 DAYS until VSG surgery! on April 27, 2009 1:52 pm
I have 10 days until I am sleeved. I am excited, nervous, anxious, and worried all at the same time. I can't think ahead to that, though. I need to think about each day until that point.
Here I am, my weight above my surgical consult weight. And I only have a week to lose at least 5-8 pounds before my pre-op appointment. Dr. Pleatman didn't give me a specific amount to lose. He just said "lose some weight." It seemed really non-committal on his part, almost like it isn't required. But I talked with one of his most recent patients and she said he got upset when she hadn't lost weight at her pre-op appointment. Apparently, he had been sort of vague about his expectations to her also.
I am upset with myself that I haven't lost weight. I am eating like a pig. Today that ends...although what I ate for lunch today was atrocious. I had TWO double cheeseburgers. I'm so embarrassed. But I am committing to eating no more than 1500 calories a day until my pre-op appointment.
I have never had this constant hunger feeling. It started after having Amelia, my beautiful 6.5 month old baby girl. In fact, before getting pregnant, I had lost 65 pounds pretty much without dieting (I went to Weight Watchers with my husband for support; I sort of did my own thing). I merely ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was satisfied. I used to think, "Well, if I can lose weight, why can't other heavy people?" I so do not think that anymore. I am hungry constantly...from the time I wake up until I go to bed unless I stuff myself (like I did with TWO double cheeseburgers) today. Then I'm full for a couple hours and hungry again.
I am probably going to cry this week, but I refuse to let myself give in and eat what I want. This blog is going to keep me accountable this week. I'm going to post what I have eaten each day until surgery. I just have to have some accountability. I CAN DO THIS.
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