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Surgeon TestimonialDonald J Scholten MDI am impressed with Dr. Scholten, and his staff. My first contact was with Anne at a Circle of Friends meeting. She is a very outgoing, friendly person. I could hardly believeit when I went to the office 10 days later and she recognized me...there had been 27 people at that meeting! Impressive!
When you first go in they have you watch a video which is outdated...they need to do something about that. The book they give you has some outdated info in it too.
Even though I knew alot about the procedure before hand, Dr. Scholten sat with my mom and I and made sure I clearly understood the surgery and my responsiblities in this new lifestyle. He very much empahisizes that surgery is only one piece of the puzzle of success....you have to be committed to following the food plan, daily exercise, and taking vitamins in order to really be successful. MaryKay, his nurse, is a very efficient, knowledgeable person. Amy in their insurance office was great -- knew her stuff and went out of her way to get me scheduled prior to a change in my insurance! My surgery is on OCT. 16th, so I'll give me feedback after that.
- Travel - I'm gone every chance I get...which is less now that I'm a Mom!
- Dogs - We have 2 labs..Daisy and Raven
- Adoption - We have adopted 4 children....3 girls and 1 boy. Licensed for fostercare.
- Camping - We camp every chance we get - have a pop-up camper, now that I have kids!
- Hiking - We hike at Hartwick Pines, which is nearby, and also in the UP
- Dating - Not any more....got married in April 2005
- Christianity - I work as a Catholic Youth Minister, so God is my life!
- Shopping - Like it, just rarely have the chance!
8/1/08 on August 1, 2008 8:19 pm
Weighing in at 201.6 today...anxious to see onederland again...it's been too long! I'm crazy busy with work, and am very proud of myself for not soothing my stress level with junk! Still on crutches, bend is coming way too slow!
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Latest update on July 26, 2008 4:10 pm
July 26, 2008
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I'm weighing in at 205. I'm STILL on crutches....but getting stronger, healing, and starting to bend. I do have a cane that I use mostly around the house....hopefully I can be crutchless within 2 weeks. There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
I am going to see an old friend the beginning of October, and I want to use that as motivation to get losing. Ironically., a co-worker has also set a goal of losing 25 lbs....my goal by October 3rd...which will put me at 180. We are going to work together and encourage each other. She is working out, which I can't do....except PT....but at least I am walking the underwater treadmill for 30 minutes 3 times a week. This friend hasn't seen me since my wedding...at 140lbs., so my gain will still be obvious, but at least I'll feel better about myself! She loved me at 300, so she doesn't care what size I am! Our girls weekend will be a good reward for working hard!
healing and holding on June 25, 2008 2:55 pm
June 25, 2008
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I am still on crutches and in a straight leg brace. I am progressing in PT, and it appears this surgery is healing, so another operation may not be necessary. I am bored and sick of sitting!! My weight today is 201.8, which means that I am holding well....even have lost a little. I'm pleased with this, since I'm not getting much exercise!
Laid Up...Again on June 4, 2008 8:55 am
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On May 20th I fell and shattered my knee cap, requiring surgery. I cannot bend my leg for at least 2 months, and may require more surgery. I will be in physical therapy for at least 3 months, probably much longer. I have no idea what my current weight is, but it is probably pretty much maintaining. I've been trying to watch my snacking since I cannot exercise. It helps that getting to the kitchen is difficult! I'm totally bummed that I can't complete my 30 day challenge at Curves, as I was really enjoying it.
here again on May 16, 2008 8:01 am
I have started the 30 day challenge on Curves to get me started. I just checked last years post and discovered I am 20 lbs. heavier than June 2007! I didn't think it was that bad. So, I guess I need to lose 20 lbs. to fit into last summers' clothes. My starting weight at Curves was 205.5.
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Cut and pasted from my old profile:
I have been over weight since I was about 6 years old. Like most, I dealt with years of teasing and low self-esteem throughout my childhood and young adulthood. By the time I graduated from high school I weighed 212 lbs. I started trying various diets when I was 12 years old. A few times I lost as much as 50 - 70 lbs., but have always gained it back plus more weight.
In 1996 I put myself through intense counselling to identify the root of my weight issue. I had known for years that it was connected with my discomfort with being attractive, connected with having been sexually abused as a child. I feel that I have effectively faced this demon, and am prepared to deal with this fear. For once, I think I am ready to live as a thin person successfully. Finally I can uncover the person that has been hiding under these rolls of fat!
In the fall of 2000 I learned of a couple acquaintances that were having WLS. While I supported their decision, I thought there was no way I would ever "modify my body" like that. Well, after a couple years of watching both of them become thin, confident women, I re-thought this through! Come to think of it, when we overeat and become obese, we are modifying our body from the way God created us to be each and everyday!
So through much prayer and research, I determined that WLS was the answer to getting the excess weight off for good. I want to be healthy and active for my children before they are all grown up. I'm tired of my children (and me) being embarrassed by my size. I came to realize how large I had gotten when I could no longer buckle the safety belt to ride a roller coaster at Cedar Point! I'm a huge roller coaster fan, so this was an eye opener.
In January 2003 I contacted the Bariatric Treatment Center to begin the paperwork. I got all my records, psyche eval and doctors letters. In March I met my doctor and really liked him. Only about a week later I received a letter from BTC telling me they no longer accepted my insurance, effective immediately! No surgery! I was devastated! I immediately tried contacting other surgeons, but they were swamped with calls from people in the same boat as me....and I didn't know anything about them, so I was leary.
I was depressed that my dream had slipped through my fingers, and basically put it on the back burner for a while because I felt I couldn't fix the situation. Finally in late August someone I had contacted months earlier contacted me with Dr. Scholten's name, asking if I had called him. I had, and he was swamped months earlier. Ironically I was bringing my daughter to our PCP that day, so I asked him if he knew of any WLS surgeons not connected with BTC. He referred me to the same doctor! I called his office from the parking lot, and to my surprise was able to get in only two weeks later. Since I already had all my files, letters,and psyche eval., the process went very quickly. I was able to schedule surgery for October 16, 2003.
At the time of my consult in late September I weighed 294 lbs.(my highest ever was 313 in fall 1996). Dr. Scholten requires a pre-op diet, on which I lost 12 lbs. On the day of surgery I weighed 282 lbs.
Surgery was rather uneventful, as were the pre-op tests. The scariest moment was when I went for my "leak test" the morning after surgery and the barium wasn't going through my stoma. It wasn't leaking, but it also wasn't going anywhere, which appeared to concern the technicians, which freaked me out! They had to reconnect the suction (don't know terms) and suck it back out of my stomach. Later that day the doctor ordered the tube removed, which scared me. They also required me to start trying to drink a protein drink. I had about 1/2 ounce and it filled me to the point of being uncomfortable...and stayed that way for several hours. I had horrible gas bubbles trying to find there way out for the first few days, but gradually things started working okay and gradually increased what I could drink. I had surgery on Thursday morning, and was released from the hospital on Sunday morning.
12/02/03 I have been doing very well. I am following my doctor's program exactly, and have yet to be sick at all. It has been 6 1/2 weeks since surgery, and I am down 43 lbs. I am currently at 251 lbs. I can hardly wait to get under 250! It has been at least 8 years since I have been there! I work hard to get my protein in each day, along with my water. I was doing better on my exercise than what I have the past few days. Winter has officially arrived here in northern Michigan, which means I have to work hard to not hibernate!
12/11/03 (8 weeks post op) Today my PCP said I look ten years younger! I just laughed and said, "yeah right!". He said that I do indeed look younger, and that from a medical stand point I probably have already added 10 years to my life by getting nearly 50 lbs. off! I hadn't thought about that, really, but I guess its true. Anyway, I have had 3 different MEN compliment me today. Women have been noticing for awhile, but now the guys are noticing! yipppee! Yesterday I went to Kohl's and got a couple bras that actually fit....seem to be losing it there quickly! While there I did some Christmas shopping. An outfit I found for my mom looked too big for her (she's an 18 usually), so I thought I'd try it on to see how tight it was on me (I'm basically wearing 22's, and some large 20's)The 18 fit ME!! It runs big obviously, but I was so excited...I haven't worn an 18 in more than 10 years! Oh yeah, and I'm officially under 250!! And almost hitting the 50 lb. mark!
12/30/03: Down 58 lbs.! I went shopping (consignment shop) over the weekend and discovered that I now wear size 20 pants! At the time of surgery I was basically wearing size 26, with a few larger 24's still fitting. It's been a long time since I could wear a 20! I seem to lose weight in chunks...I don't lose anything for nearly two weeks, and then suddenly lose 5 - 7 lbs. at once. As long as that continues, I can live with that!
On the down side, I am going through some testing to see if I maybe in "premature ovarian failure"...menopause. I am only 35 and would dearly love to have a baby, but its not looking good! I pray that this is not the case. I am bracing myself for this possible reality, but it will be a very difficult thing for me to accept. Having a baby was a main goal once I get this weight off. Yes, I know I can adopt...I already have in fact,..but I have always been fascinated by the miracle of birth and desparately want to experience pregnancy and childbirth.
1/18/04: It was 3 months on Friday since surgery and I'm down 67 lbs!!! I can really see the difference, and others are saying "WOW!"....which is a nice feeling! I still don't know about the menopause thing...they are doing more tests. Apparently my situation has the doctors pouring over books and scratching their heads. Nothing new with that! I am still feeling great. My mood has been better. I just finished an insane week and am thrilled with how well I felt and how much energy I had through it all! Thank you Dr. Scholten and Blue Cross!! I'm a new woman!
2/2/04: Well I have lost another 5 lbs., down to 222. It seems like my weight loss is starting to slow down, but I guess 5 lbs. in two weeks isn't all that bad. I've done very well at exercising the past two weeks. I started back at Curves, and went 4 times the first week and 3 times the second week. I've also been shovelling lots of snow...we got a record breaking 74.1 inches of snow in the month of January! I went shopping last weekend and bought 6 sweaters on clearance......and I bought them all from the "regular" ladies dept.! They're all XL's except one, which is a Large! My mom also bought me one, which is a 16W..they all fit great, and I'm now drawing lots of compliments since I'm not hiding behind a circus tent anymore! I bought a pair of Levi jeans on Saturday...they're a size 20W, but boy do they look good! I haven't been able to wear Levi's since I was a teenager! Oh, no news on the menopause thing except to report that I did get the ultrasound and bloodwork done last week. The ultrasound technician said there were clearly no cysts or tumors. I guess in a way I was hoping there would be, as it would explain the situation and might be more fixable!
2/9/04: 218!! I'm under 220! I don't normally post this soon, but I had to celebrate this milestone! I'm continuing to do well with my exercise..at least 4 days a week for over 3 weeks now. This is MUCH more consistent than I had been! Another big goal being met: I'm dating again! I have two dates this coming weekend! No lonely Valentines Day for me this year! Wooohoooo!
2/16/04: Today is my four month "re-birthday". I have lost 80 pounds!! Down to 214.....only 2 lbs. heavier than when I graduated from high school.....99 lbs. less than my all-time highest weight of 313. I went out with two different guys (Mike & Adam) last weekend..one of them twice. Both are nice guys, and I'll probably see them both again...Mike for sure..he's coming over for dinner and the hockey game tonight! It's kinda stressful, as I've never dated 2 people at once before. Oh the pressures of being an attractive woman again!!
3/2/04: Down to 210. Weightloss has slowed immensely the past couple weeks. I haven't been doing much exercise since I put my back out a couple weeks ago. Time to get moving again!! I can tell that I am able to eat more, and this concerns me. I'm also starting to get slightly hungry sometimes.....is the honeymoon over? I sure hope not!!! I really want to lose at LEAST another 40 lbs., preferably 55 lbs. I sure hope I can get this weight loss moving again!! This past weekend I cleared 10 garbage bags full of clothes out of my room!! Yes, you can walk in there again! Anyone who wears sizes 22, 24, 26 or 28 should head over to the bargain box here in Gaylord...they now have lots of them to sell!! I kept my "business attire" stuff to have my mom bring to a consignment shop in Grand Rapids later this month. After all that, I do still have plenty of clothes, although most of them are winter clothes. I did go buy 2 short sleeve shirts, and ordered a swimsuit for my trip to Las Vegas next week. The swimsuits that I had were like gunny sacks on me!! It was hilarious! I totally guessed on size, so when it arrives in the mail, I hope it fits!! The hot tub sounds wonderful right now! Well, hopefully I will have a large weight loss to report in a couple weeks!!
3/16/04: My five month anniversary! I'm down 91 pounds...only 4 lbs. to the 100's!!! Weight loss is slowing slightly..but 11 pounds in a month still isn't bad. I'll take it!! I have less than 50 lbs. to go to my goal of 155..it's looking more and more possible as time goes by. I am now able to wear some size 16 pants & large shirts!! It is looking like an abdomenoplasty will be in my future, though! The inches seem to go all at once. I no more than get rid of my big clothes, and I have a whole new group of "big" clothes again!! I'm not being as religious with my exercise as I should. Spring weather would really help, as I have the walking bug!!! My love life is going wonderfully!! My trip to Las Vegas was great!! I'm loving life!!
4/5/04: 196 lbs. (-98) It seems like weight loss has REALLY slowed down!!!...But I suppose I'm anxious to get to the century club, so it might seem extra slow! I am under 200 now, and NO LONGER OBESE!!!! I am doing well. I can't believe how easy it is to do various physical tasks. I walked my old 3 mile route a couple weeks ago (now that spring has arrived), and was able to shave 9 minutes off my old time! The compliments keep coming in too. I'm wearing size 16 mostly, but yesterday wore a size 14 skirt all day!! Woohooo!
4/12/04: 193 lbs. (-101) Century Club!!! Wooohoooo!!! I made the century club on Easter Sunday, which is a perfect day for such a celebration! I can hardly believe that I'm here already! I honestly thought it would be more like August before I hit this goal. Also, the easter bunny brought me a size 14 capri outfit...which fit perfectly!! Every time I go to put something new on I always think it looks too small....and then I'm ecstatic when I can wear it comfortably! My next goal is to really increase my exercise and see if I can tighten up some of this skin....I seem to have WAY too much of it these days!!
4/26/04: 189 lbs. (-105) Life is great! I have been pretty successful with increasing my exercise. I can't believe how easy some things have become. I played kick ball with the youth group on Saturday Night....and I wasn't even winded after running to second base! Wooohoooo! I need to be disciplined with my eating though. I'm surprise by how much I am able to eat....although its still a far cry from what I used to eat. Lately I've been munching on a handful of chips almost everyday, which is something I need to stop! Otherwise I look and feel great! I got measured last week...and I forgot to write down how many inches I lost, but it was alot!! In two months time I lost over 6 inches on my waist alone! I can wear a size 14 in almost everything now! The only bummer is that it is almost impossible to plan clothing ahead, as I have no idea what size I will be from one week to the next practically!! We are going to Chicago in only 3 weeks and I will be seeing my old room mate from college...I sure would like to be into a 12...but that may be pushing it! I also have a friend from grad school coming in from Tennessee in 4 weeks....and she's a size 12...wouldn't it be cool to be the same size?! Regardless, it will be fun to see their reactions. Jan (from TN) met me at my all time highest of 313 lbs.....and now I'm under 190!! A BIG difference!
5/16/04: 184 lbs (-110) Seven Months Post-op - I went for my 6 month check-up with Dr. Scholten last week. He thinks I'm doing great! I still feel great, and although the lbs. have slowed, the inches must still be coming off. I'm wearing 14's and some 12's now! I haven't worn 12's since I WAS 12! For Mother's Day I got an outfit that is a medium. I didn't think it would fit..it fits great! I honestly never thought I'd wear a medium! I'm less than 30 lbs. to goal now. I can already see that I'm going to have to buckle down and work harder now to reach that goal. I really want to though, even though I'm happy with how I look right now. I just want to prove to myself that I can do this!!! I have joined a golf league for the summer, and plan to go horseback riding next weekend! Woohoo! I haven't done that in years...I was afraid for the horse! My century club photo is up. It's a pretty big difference, but I think I still look pretty fat. I wonder if I'll ever not see myself as a fat person!
6/2/04: 181 lbs, (-113) Well, I didn't go horse back riding yet. It rained the entire time my friend was here. She was really shocked by the looks of me though. She and my little sister agreed they would consider me as a "thin" person now! Wow! That is something I have never been considered! Weightloss is very slow now. I've been at 181.2 for about 10 days, and am anxious to be under 180. I was in jr. high the last time I was below 180! I have some scary health stuff going on...but I am fairly certain it's not related to WLS. They have determined that I am in early menopause and will never conceive a child without a donor egg. But in the meantime through some of the blood tests they have discovered that I tested positive for some antibody to my thyrod which is very serious, and can destroy my auto-immune system. They are now going to be doing a whole series of blood tests to see what all is happening, and the list of possibilities is very scary!! Time to get praying!
6/4/04: 179!!!!!! I know I just updated a couple days ago, but this is a landmark day! I'm under 180! Wooohooo!! Next goal: get under 175! Hopefully I'll be there by my next post, which will be my 8 month anniversary. We'll see! In the mean time, hallelujah!! I haven't been under 180 since jr. high!
6/16/04: 177 (-113) Well, I'm not under 175 yet, but I did lose 7 lbs. this month. I guess I can't complain! I hope it keeps coming!!
7/6/04: 172 (-122) Weightloss has slowed, but is still coming gradually. I'm going to buckle down and exercise more the next 9 days to see if I can still achieve a 7 - 8 lb. loss this month. I'm only 17 lbs. to goal, and would like to achieve goal by my 1 year anniversary on October 16th. I know it's going to get a lot slower, so I need to make the best of it while its still moving!! I couldn't be happier with having had this surgery!!
7/16/04: 169 (-125) Nine months since surgery. Unbelievable! I'm only 14 lbs. to goal! I have truly been recreated. My life is unbelievably different from how it was 9 months ago. Physically I am able to do so much! Trails I hiked last year are so easy to do now! I've met SO MANY of my goals already, and so much quicker than I ever imagined! This week I made an appointment for my initial consult with a Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Pummill. I know I won't be eligible for surgery for a while, as I'm still losing weight (8 lbs. this month!), but I want to start looking into it and gathering information to be prepared when it is time!
7/29/04: 167 (-127) My weightloss seems to have stalled. It seems to fluctuate daily within a 1 1/2 lb. range. I guess I need to be more patient since I'm only about 12 lbs. to goal! I've been spoiled by steady weightloss, I guess. As has been true when my weightloss has slowed in the past, I must be losing inches. I went shopping last night at Christopher and Banks. I fit into a size 10 skirt!!!!! Unbelievable! I shopped at that same store only 12 days ago and bought size 12....so obviously I'm losing inches! Recently I've been researching what my "goal weight" should be. Dr. Scholten doesn't set one for you, and its been years since I've looked at one of those charts (always thought they were a joke!). Anyway, my goal of 155 is correct for my height and bone size. I even double checked my bone size and measure well into the "large frame" category. Its looking like I may very well reach 155 or close to it BEFORE having a TT, and so will be possibly quite below it after the TT. My mom is getting concerned about me being too thin, and wants me to stop losing. I feel that I eat alot as it is, and that the weight will soon stop coming off (and perhaps it has!) without me having to worry about it. I go see Dr. Scholten on August 12th, and we'll see what he has to say. My goal is to be at or under 164 by my birthday on August 13th. That will put me into the "normal" range for my BMI. What a nice gift that would be! I have a consult with Dr. Pummill to discuss TT and other reconstructive surgery on August 23rd. I'm working harder at exercise to try to lower my body fat index and see if I can tighten things up better on my own. This whole experience has just been phenomenal!! I have had new pics taken and will get those sent in soon. I think that my "roll" of skin is really obvious!
8/16/04: 165 (-129) Ten Months since surgery!
What a journey this has been! It's hard to believe it has been ten months already. Perhaps more amazing than that is how much my body and my life have changed in that amount of time!! I'm getting quite near goal, and my weight loss is very slow now. I can only count a four pound loss last month. A couple days it has actually read 164, but today it was 165...so that's the official record of the day! Bummer! I wanted the 130 lb. loss on this anniversary day, but oh well! Who can be too bummed with these results?! I saw Dr. Scholten last week. It was a very brief visit. He is very pleased with my progress and basically just said that he doesn't need to even ask if I'm doing what I'm supposed to because he can look at me and tell that I am. Told me to keep it up and he'll see me in 3 months. My goal is to be at 155 by that visit, and have my body fat percentage down into the 20's....I'm shooting for 27 (it's currently 33% on his scale). This is going to require alot of exercise, but I know I can do it!! I have another incentive to exercise...I have a wedding dress to fit into in a few months!! Mike proposed to me on my 36th birthday last Friday. We haven't set a date yet, but are working on it. It will be spring or summer 2005! Wooohooo!! My daughters are both super excited too! I might try to wear my mom's gown, which never would have been possible before WLS! Life is good!!! Very good!
9/8/04: 160 (-134) Just checking in! Five pounds to goal!! I had thought the weight was coming off SOOOO SLOOOOOWWW..but looking at this, I guess I'm still moving steadily!! My goal is to reach 155 by October 16th. At this point, I'd say that is very doable! Although I call 155 "my goal", I plan to try to get into..and stay in..the 140's long term. I will be at or below 155 by my tummy tuck, and with the skin removal I should easily be under 150! And there to stay! Oh yeah, the official wedding date is April 23, 2005!! I'm not able to wear my mom's gown, but I'm having a great time shopping for my own!! I had my consult with Dr. Pummill a couple weeks ago. She thinks I might have a hernia, or at least a weak spot that is going to herniate. Yikes! She has referred me to a general surgeon (Dr. Haraj) that she works with. This being the case, I have decided to definitely go ahead with the tummy tuck before Christmas. As active as I am, I don't want to risk the hernia getting worse. This will also mean I will have a nice flat tummy before my wedding. Wooohooo! I am also going to be having breast reconstruction, possibly in January or so. We'll see on that one. One at a time! I'll be back at the eleven month mark in a few days!
9/16/04: 159 (-135) Eleven months post-op Only 4 lbs. to goal!! I've been doing well at buckling down to get these last few pounds off. I'm confident I will make it comfortably before my one year anniversary. My knee (I "bruised" the cartilege and have been restricted) is almost healed, so I will be able to get walking/hiking again soon. I think I will attempt a shorter walk this weekend and see how that goes. I'm technically not supposed to do anything for another week, but I'm sick of doing nothing!! I also want to start seeing that body fat percentage go down, which is going to require some work! I bought my wedding dress yesterday..it is beautiful!!! It fits perfect...which means it will need alterations in the spring, but I doubt if it will need a ton. I still intend to get my tummy tuck this fall, so I'll lose a few inches, but they tell me they can take those dresses in several sizes if necessary, so I'm not worried! Thankfully I know at least 3 excellent seamstresses!
10/1/04, 157 (-137) Two pounds to goal....and boy are they stubborn!! I actually was at 156 for a day or two, but it is now back to 157. Oh well. Still a couple weeks til my "re-birthday". Yesterday I learned that I have 2 hernias, a small one above my belly button and a larger one below my belly button. I'm surprised, as I was VERY diligent about wearing my binder and not lifting. Anyway, Dr. Hares will be repairing the hernias and meshing my whole abdomen to hopefully prevent more hernias. This will be done on November 3rd along with my tummy tuck!
10/6/04: 155 (-139.......-158 from highest) GOAL!!!!!!!!
Woooohooooo!!! I can hardly believe my eyes!! Today I reached the goal weight I have only dreamt of for years!! It is 355 days since my RNY, and I have reached my ultimate goal...not just my "I can be comfortable here" goal! My tummy tuck is less than a month away, and by the time that is done I should be in a comfortable range below my goal so that I can stay down there! Thank you God, family, friends, WLS family, co-workers, and especially Dr. Scholten & staff!! I could not have done this without everyone's support!
10/17/04: 155 (at goal and holding!) One year (& one day) post-op! I would have posted yesterday on my one year anniversary, but I was too busy celebrating!! Mike and I went to Traverse City for the night, staying at the Grand Traverse Resort. We gambled a little (very little...we lost quickly!), went to dinner at Boone's, started our gift registry at Home Depot for the wedding, and relaxed in the whirl pool. It was fun! One year ago today (the day after surgery) was awful, as I recall! The day after is about the roughest of them all, as I remember the horrible leak test, and I also was running a temp for a few hours. That day is simply a memory now, though! I look and feel great, and so far, staying at goal isn't too difficult! What a great year this has been! Tummy tuck in 2 1/2 weeks!
10/27/04: 155 & holding! Sometimes the scale says 154, but basically I'm staying put without much trouble. Actually, I've been snacking more and feared I'd start gaining, but I haven't thankfully. It's weird to fear weight gain from apples and fat free pretzels!! My how my perspective has changed! Last night I got out my fat pants for the first time since surgery. I have been looking at them for months, but couldn't bear to touch them! I think I feared they might fit still! Anyway, I cried whenI unfolded them! They are enormous! I had NO IDEA I was that unhealthy! They are a size 28...the largest size I ever wore. Today I am wearing a 10. I wore them at 313 lbs., now I'm 155...less than half!! It was a sobering and shocking experience. It has left me all the more convicted to NEVER let my weight get out of control again! Also, yesterday I went to the doctor as I am having blackout spells when I stand up too fast. He checked my bloodpressue. It runs on the low side of normal. When I first came in it was 122/80...normal. He had me lay down and relax....it was 98/63. He kept the cuff on me, had me sit up quickly, and took it immediately...it was 89/60, a minute later it was 103 over something. Weird! He called it "orthostatic hypotension" and is referring me to a heart doctor. He's not too concerned...says it may be temporary..just that my body needs to readjust to its new size....my heart is used to working much harder than it now needs to. I may need to take medication to regulate it...we'll see. Anyway, my hernia repair and tummy tuck are one week from today!! Wooohoooo!
11/12/04: 145 Post-tummy tuck! Well my hernia repair and tummy tuck were 9 days ago. I am still sore, but the results are great. I got one drain out today, and the other should come out next week. Dr. Pummill was able to get 6 lbs. of skin off me, which is double what she had predicted. It's amazing to see 145 on my scale....ten pounds below my original goal. IT's time for me to "hold steady"...we'll see how that works. It's already odd not seeing (or expecting to see) the scale go downward. Next week after my drain is removed I am anxious to see what size I can wear. I probably won't know for certain for a couple more weeks due to swelling...but I am curious!
11/30/04: 144 lbs., (-150 since surgery, -169 from highest ever) Size 6!!! Woo hooo! I still have some swelling, but I think size 6 will be accurate..perhaps some 4's will fit too. The drainage has been quite the fiasco. The second drain plugged up, and fluid collected in my abdomen. When Dr. Pummill removed the clogged drain, fluid went all over the place. She pushed it all out of my abdomen, and assumed it was done, but the next morning I woke up to that same area swelled back out again..the pocket had refilled with fluid. So, back to Grand Blanc again! This time she reopened the hole and stuck in a makeshift drain to keep the fluid draining. This worked for a couple days, until the drain pulled out in my sleep. There was still fluid in my abdomen, so she stuck a syringe in to draw it out..but it kept coming...by 70 ml she decided that I probably really needed to have another drain put in, as there was more fluid than we had expected by far. She called Dr. Hares to consult, and he felt I should be admitted to the hospital asap to pump me full of antibiotics and to get a CAT scan to see if the fluid was reaching the meshing..which would be a serious problem. After 24 hours it was determined that I did not have an infection and the fluid was not touching the meshing, so they sent me home to "watch" the fluid. Well, I am headed back into surgery on Friday to remove the fluid and to have another drain put back in for a week or so to be sure I am done draining! Fun, fun. They tell me all this drainage is normal, especially with as extensive as my hernia repair/meshing and tummy tuck were. I am very thankful that I have not had an infection! Also, my weight seems to be holding steadily without too much effort! At this point I am seriously considering holding off with the breast reconstructive surgery I am currently scheduled for on December 30th. A big reason is because I am tired of being "out of commission", and also tired of continuously relying on others to help me and my kids (although Mike has been a Godsend). Another reason is because I recently discovered that I possibly have Raynaud's Syndrome, which is potentially related to the positive antibody test of a couple months ago. This may be a sign of an auto immune disease, such as lupus. So, basically, I think I need to explore some of this and know what is going on with my body before I challenge it any further. This will mean my body won't be quite so "perfect" in that wedding dress, but its been a whole lot less than perfect all of my life, so what's new! I intend to get an official "after" photo soon!
12/16/04/; 141 lbs. (-153 lbs.)(-172 from highest) 14 months post-op, and below goal, attempting to hold! Well, the drain surgery was a breeze. The only problem was that the drain they inserted fell out a couple days later..before they wanted it to. It had not been stitched in. Anyway, thankfully very little fluid built up and they were able to aspirate it in the doctors office instead of redoing the surgery. It does not appear to still be collecting fluid. I see Dr. Pummill tomorrow, but I think all is great..finally! I'm watching my weight closely to not continue to lose. Yet another doctor has told me I must stop losing. I really am trying! As much as I'd like to see the 130's, I know I need to fight to stay here in the 140's. I've done well, I think, as I've stayed in the same 4 lb. range for 6 weeks now. I did cancel the breast surgery for now. I'm out of time off from work, and I think my body needs time to feel well and pain free. Probably next fall I will get it done! Christmas is next week. This year all I asked for was new clothes!! It's great to be building a wardrobe I'll actually be wearing long term! Have a blessed Christmas everyone!! I'm as excited as a little kid...new thin body and new fiance to show off! God has truly blessed me! My new picture should be up within the next week or so!
1/4/05: 140 lbs. (-154 since surgery, -173 overall) My new photo is up. It isn't the greatest to show of my flat tummy, but I think I "officially" look like a thin person...and even I can see that now! The holidays were wonderful. I got several new articles of clothing...I can even wear size 4 pants!! Woohoo! I have been watching my weight very closely...at one point saw the 130's for a few days, then after a couple "grazing" days over new years was at 144, now back to 140. I'm watching it daily and trying to stabilize. I have my checkup with Dr. Scholten on Jan. 13th and am anxious to see what he has to say. It was fun to see people I hadn't seen in a while, as well as the phone calls provoked by a christmas newsletter I sent out to out-of-state friends. One friend said "well, the hair looks like Kathy Anderson, but nothing else about this person in the photo looks like Kathy Anderson!". Fun! Deep down, I'm still me!
1/16/05: 141 lbs., 15 months post-op; I had my final check up with Dr. Scholten and "graduated" from his care. He says I am now a "race car", and used to be a "dump truck". I will forever require more maintenance and be more fragile, but with proper care I'll do...and look..great!! I thanked him and his staff for everything they've done for me. I'm so thankful to be at goal and feeling good! While in GR my mom and I did a ton of wedding planning stuff!! Only a little over 3 months til the big day!! I'm feeling good about it now that we got several things done last week. I have a few things to get done in the next couple weeks, but then can "coast"...just a little! At least I'm healthy!! On Saturday I meet with the seemstress to begin alterations on my dress...which is now a full 3 sizes too big!
1/31/05: 141 lbs. and holding! Nothing much to report. Just checking in to make sure my weight is stabilizing, and it is! Yippeee! I'm still not exercising like I should, which makes me mad at myself. This isn't an easy time of year for me to get motivated..never has been. This week is supposed to be very mild weather-wise, so perhaps that will help. I'm headed to California the end of the month and am staying with my cousin. She's excited that I can go work out with her at the gym...that makes me a little nervous!! I'm a weakling!!
3/16/05: 144 lbs. - Still in my goal range (140 - 145), but snacking too much!!! Aaauuuggghhhh! I am so embarrassed to have to record a gain on here! Perhaps this will be my motivation to get my emotional eating back under control. It's the late night snacking that I've started doing that is the worst! Gotta stop it! The wedding is 5 1/2 weeks away, and my stress level is sky high! My daughter is REALLY challenging us (Mike especially) right now. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get things done. There are small things that need to get done for the wedding that I just can't seem to fit in edge-wise! I wish I had more vacation time available, because I could really use to take a day or two to just get things done so I wasn't so stressed! I did manage to fit in a Pilates class last week, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately it doesn't fit into my schedule again for a couple weeks at least! I need to come up with something else to do instead of eat when I'm stressed. If I can't control this now, I'm doomed for the future, and I simply CANNOT allow weight gain!
On the other hand, my trip to California was alot of fun! I had a good time with my cousin. I was very proud of myself...went to the gym with her and completed 2 hour long workouts! Every muscle in my legs was killing me, but I did it! We also went horse back riding, which was a "post-weight-loss" goal of mine. It was a blast! She also took me shopping and helped me select cuter clothes. Both she and her daughter had trouble adjusting to the idea that I'm smaller than both of them. I was able to buy one pair of size 5 jeans, and 2 pair of size 7's. I also got my hair cut (about 9 inches!) and highlighted. I love it! The night before I left we hung out at her neighbor's house and a male friend of hers (who kept flirting with me) remarked that I was sexy and it was probably good (for his marriage) that I live a long way away! It was fun to be flirted with, and shocking to be called sexy...but Mike has nothing to worry about! (Although I think it would be nice if HE was the one calling me sexy....hmmmm.)
4/16/05: 144 lbs. Still holding!! I'm staying pretty comfortably within goal range (140 - 145), but I'd prefer to be a little lower in that range for comfort. I am getting married next weekend!! It is unbelievable that the big day is almost here! I have never been married..and neither has Mike, so this is very exciting for both of us!! I have been doing much better about exercising now that the weather is nice. I've been parking in the "back 40" again at work, so that I automatically get more walking in. I have also been walking more regularly. We also went hiking at Hartwick Pines on Saturday...and am able to do it 10 minutes faster than before!! Mike and I went golfing after church, and I did much better...tied him!! I'm a crappy golfer and am usually in the 70's, or mid 60's..I got a 51! Perhaps I'll have a better golfing year now that my weight has stabiliized and is not shifting all over the place! Well, I have plenty to do at work and for the wedding! The next photo I submit will be one of me in my wedding dress!
5/16/05: 146 lbs.....gained 2 lbs. Yikes!! I've been quite depressed the past week or so....the big let down after all the wedding excitement, I think. I've been snacking alot. I am officially out of my goal range (140 - 145) so I am making myself follow the guidelines I set for myself should this occur. I know its not a huge amount, but I need to prove to myself that I can get under control. I'll be posting in a week or two to see how my "damage control" is going. It has finally stopped raining outside, which will help my emotional state!! Hopefully I'll have some wedding pics to show off soon. I have them...just need them on disc!
6/15/05: 144 lbs....Back in range! The past month has been interesting. First, I have pretty lousy self-control, I have discovered. I guess the one thing I can be proud of is that I'm still fighting the fight and not just surrendering to my old bad habits...but I'm also not very pleased with myself and my seeming lack of motivation much of the time!! All I can do is keep working at it, and view each moment as another opportunity to make better choices. Tomorrow I'm taking a group to Mackinac Island (which is why I'm posting a day early). I can hardly wait to ride bikes all over, and walk, walk, walk!! A couple years ago trips like this made me nervous because I was so out of shape..no more!! I STILL need to finish my wedding thank you's and square away pictures!! Aaaauuuggghhhhh! I'm just not an organized person, and never will be, I guess!
8/27/05: 142 lbs. Wow! It's been a while!! I've done well at staying in my "normal" range, and feel comfrotable here. The past few months have had their challenges. Following a tick bite the beginning of June, I managed to contract Lyme's Disease, which sapped my energy level and caused frequent achiness. I think I'm mainly past it now, but I need to get exercising and rebuilding my energy levels. There has been a TON of stress with my job and daughters. I've discovered there is still a little voice in my head that thinks food is the answer in stressful times, but I'm battling it successfully so far, and am still committed for the long haul. We just returned from our honeymoon a few days ago, which was wonderful. Maine is a gorgeous state, and it was great to be away from work and just spend time together!
9/16/05: 143 lbs. (-170) My weight is maintaining very well, which I'm pleased with. Life is super busy. Our honeymoon already seems like a long time ago. We may be adopting another daughter soon, which will be wonderful but add even more to our already crazy full lives! I'm awaiting results of a cat scan I had a couple weeks ago to see if I have hernias. They (and I) are virtually certain I have one just above my belly button. It isn't an umbilical one though..its an incisional that is just located by the belly button. Assuming all is okay I will probably wait until spring to have it fixed, so that I can continue to bowl
12/22/05: 153 lbs. (-160) Well, obviously I've been a bad girl the past couple months!! I discovered I can tolerate sugar without becoming ill...and that's a problem!! I've been very depressed and under alot of stress, and have resorted to old habits to sooth my weary soul. I just started on a new anti-depressant, which I think will help. At first I was going to bust my butt to try to get the extra pounds off before the holidays (which would require basic starvation...yet another old bad habit!) and have decided to get it under control and maintain for the next week or so, and once the craziness is passed, then focus on getting the pounds off. I think they'll come off pretty easy once I refocus. So far my clothes still fit fine, and people are still complimenting me on how good I look...which I don't deserve, but this helps me to realize that I haven't sabotaged it all and can still salvage all my hard work!!
4/13/06: 166 lbs. (-147) Obviously I've been doing crappy!!! The winter has been rough for me. I sunk back into bad habits. I've been emotional eating big time....alot of sugar. I'm disgusted with myself. Spring seems to have arrived, and I'm hoping I can get myself out of this funk and taking better care of myself. I'm up into a size 10....most of my 6's dont; even come close to fitting! My stress level has been sky high, but no excuse is acceptable!
4/20/06: 164 (-149) Getting going in the right direction! I am going to do a weekly weigh-in on Fridays with some coworkers for the next 6 weeks. I could use the motivational assistance!!
Well, obviously I've continued to gain. Actually, I've recently lost nearly 5 lbs....so I'm improving. I needed to get back here and on the straight and narrow. I look at myself and my journal and am disgusted with how I've been doing the past 9 months or so. Enough is enough!! We recently acquired a newborn foster baby...got him at just 4 days old!! People keep complimenting me for looking good for just having had a baby!! So, I figure, this is my opportunity to kick myself into gear and take off the "baby weight", lol. My goal is to get back to 155. I don't know if I care to get back to 145...I was always weak, cold, and feeling dizzy! I'll worry about 145 once I achieve 155! I am setting a goal to be back at 155 by October 16, 2006...my 3 yr. WLS anniversary. That is a very reasonable 2 lbs. a week. Honestly, I've discovered that if I just eat right, the weight regulates pretty well...which tells you just how much junk I've been eating! I'm sitting here in size 12's, much to my dismay...but I deserve it too.
4/18/07 - 180 lbs. ..I suck!! I've been eating more than my share of crap, and it shows! This winter has been terrible for me. I'm wearing 12's and 14's...occasionally pouring myself into 10's that are very uncomfortable. I'm glad that spring is here. I'm setting a goal to get back walking. A friend has given me a backpack for the baby, which will enable me to get back hiking, which I love to do. I'm setting a RULE that every day that is over 50 degrees I MUST get out and walk. I'm also setting a mileage goal of a minimum of 8 miles a week to start (I used to walk 3 miles each day, so this is very reasonable to start...I want it to obtainable so I will be successful!). Life is very busy..we're in the midst of a complete kitchen makeover, which will take about another month; and then my daughter graduates from high school. I have a goal to lose weight before our family reunion the beginning of July. I'd really like to be at or below 160 by then!!! I need to get back to the basics....protein, water, and walking!!!
Watch me melt!:
9/1996: 313 lbs. All time highest weight - Committed to Lose!
9/18/03: 294 lbs.
10/16/03: 282 lbs. (-12) Surgery Day!
11/6/03: 264 lbs. (-30)
11/22/03: 254 lbs. (-40)
12/02/03: 251 lbs. (-43)
12/11/03: 246 lbs. (-48)
12/30/03: 236 lbs. (-58)
1/16/04: 227 lbs. (-67) Three Months since surgery
2/2/04: 222 lbs. (-72)
2/9/04: 218 lbs. (-76)
2/16/04: 214 lbs. (-80) Four Months since surgery
3/2/04: 210 lbs. (-84)
3/16/04: 203 lbs. (-91) Five Months since surgery
4/5/04: 196 lbs. (-98)
4/12/04: 193 lbs. (-101) CENTURY CLUB!!!!!!!
4/16/04: 192 lbs. (-102) Six Months since surgery
4/26/04: 189 lbs. (-105)
5/16/04: 184 lbs. (-110) Seven Months since surgery
6/2/04: 181 lbs. (-113)
6/16/04: 177 lbs. (-117) Eight Months since surgery
7/6/04: 172 lbs. (-122)
7/16/04: 169 lbs. (-125) Nine Months since surgery
7/29/04: 167 lbs. (-127)
8/16/04: 165 lbs. (-129) Ten Months since surgery
8/20/04: 164 lbs. (-130) Normal BMI!!!
9/08/04: 160 lbs. (-134)
9/16/04: 159 lbs. (-135) Eleven Months since surgery
10/1/04: 157 lbs. (-137)
10/6/04: 155 lbs. (-139) GOAL! GOAL!! GOAL!!!
10/16/04: 155 lbs. (-139) Ony year post-op & At Goal!
10/27/04: 155 lbs. (-139)
11/12/04: 145 lbs. (-149) Post Tummy Tuck & hernia repair
11/30/04: 144 lbs. (-150) 13 1/2 months post-op
12/16/04: 141 lbs. (-153) 14 months post-op
1/4/05: 140 lbs. (-154) (-173 overall)
1/16/05: 141 lbs. (-153) 15 months post-op
1/31/05: 141 lbs. (-153) (-172 overall) 15 1/2 months out
3/16/05: 144 lbs. (-150) 17 months post-op
4/16/05: 144 lbs. (-150) 18 months post-op
5/16/05: 146 lbs. (-148) 19 months post-op
5/15/05: 144 lbs. (-150) 20 months post-op
8/27/05: 142 lbs. (-151/-171) 22 months + post-op
9/16/05: 143 lbs (-150/-170) 23 months post-op
12/22/05 153 lbs. (-140/-160) 26+months post-op
4/13/06: 166 lbs. (-127/-147) 30 months post-op
4/20/06: 164 lbs. (-149)
8/18/6: 173 lbs. (-140)
This is my "forming" plan on how I will keep the weight off.
To keep my weight off I will:
1. Weigh myself twice a week to always know where I'm at. If I get out of my range (Once at goal I'm setting a 5 lb. range to keep myself within) I will make myself go on strictly protein and water days until I'm back in range.
2. Exercise....I really enjoy a variety of activites, but have a hard time making them a regular part of my schedule. I've been working hard at finding different people to do different things with...that helps!
3. Allow myself a bite or two of "treats", but then walk away from them. I am already finding that I "forget" about food WAY easier than I ever did before (it used to call me from the other room!). The other day I discovered some sugar free chocolate covered peanuts I bought in mid June. They were great, but I apparently had a handful of them and forgot all about them!! The "old Kathy" could NEVER have done that! They wouldn't have lasted a day, let alone 3 months!!
4. Keep looking at those I know who have gained their weight back and remind myself that could happen to me if I don't keep working my program every single day!
5. Continue to be diligent about my water, protein, vitamin and mineral intake.
Photo Note: The 2 summer photos (lt. blue shorts & green skirt photos) were taken in July 2004 at 167 lbs. (-127). The winter picture (navy pants, lt. blue/white vest) is at goal weight (140) taken in December 2004, 14 months post-op