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Surgeon TestimonialAdam Naaman, M.D.From the start it was obvious to me that Dr. Naaman and his staff are the absolutel real deal; they're there to truly help and Dr. Naaman is a far cry from billboard surgeron looking to make his pockets chubby full of money.rnrnIt doesn't hurt that Dr. Naaman is noted as one of the tops in the nation for Laparoscopic RNY. Furthermore, he is also known for taking on the more challenging cases other surgeons won't touch, so keep that in mind when comparing complication rates of multiple surgeons. rnrnIn my opinion, Dr. Naaman is a quiet listener, so someone who needs to be stroked and reassured consistently could mistake him for not seeming engaged, but make no mistake, he and his staff are totally about your care.rnrnHis office staff runs like an orchestrated work. Each person has their instrument to play, and when they play together, it's beautiful music! It just makes the process so easy! The other thing that I found of great assistance was the pre-requisite list. I considered that my part to play. The seminar is more than thorough, and I loved the chance to meet Dr. Naaman there first, before the actual consultation. rnrnA large part of Dr. Naaman's protocol is aftercare in the way of support groups, follow-up visits. He preaches the importance of changing your lifestyle, walking and hydrating until you're blue in the face, but it is jut that important for success. On his website , they podcasts are available for the events where they have speakers come in -- it's really helpful to refer back to them as needed. rnrnAs far as one being better than the other; surgical competance or bedside manner? Again, I think he is a quiet man, yet is still friendly, professional and totally approachable. But someone who needs a lot of stroking reassurance should let him know what your needs are -- I have no doubt he'll make you feel as warm and fuzzy as possible! rnrnFor me, the main thing I was looking for was surgical competance. I knew I had my family and my friends for support, stroking and reassurance. |
OH Conference in H-Town... on November 17, 2008 9:55 am
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Just got back from the conference. I felt that content-wise it was one of the better ones I have been to, but then again it could be because I am in a place in my "journey."
Jeremy, fitness guy, gave me an hour of his time one on one to talk about my exercise and nutrition. There could be several things going on, so he made some suggestions.
First I'm going to lower my protein intake (I was getting up to 180 g's per day. He suggested between 120 and 130 is plenty, and that at 2 years out absorption is not as much of an issue. In lieu of the protein I'm cutting, I'm going to add some carbs. I'm going to cut my cardio down to 2 HIGH intensity interval sessions a week, plus a 30 mile bike ride. Weight training will remain, but it will be a consistent 4 times a week.
The caloric breakdown will be:
125-130 grams of protein/ 520 cal
150 grams of Carbs /600 cal
30 grams of fat/ 270 cal
I'm pretty comfortable getting in about 1300 to 1400 calories and with the suggested changes in my workout, it might help.
But... I also found out, and I can't believe I didn't realize this: In spite of my 212 lb. body, I sit at 34% body fat. I'm on the cusp of being of healthy body fat (25% to 32%). Jeremy suggested focusing on that fact and forget about BMI. I told him what I'm most worried about is my waist measurement, as I am apple-shaped and carry my weight in the middle. I told him I want to lose 6" on my waist. And truly, I don't care what the scale says I'm at if I get to that point.
Then I did the most unexpected thing. While watching a plastic surgeon's presentation I saw pictures of bodies that looked like mine... my double cottage cheese stomach that looks like someone hung it from a coat hook. I saw a few more pictures, and it got me thinking..."Could that really be my stomach?" It sure looked like it. I was brave. I signed up for a free consult. I felt kind of stupid because I figured he'd think I was nuts coming in with my 200+ lbs.; but he didn't.
What he did say was " You did an excellent job with your weight loss. Your back looks great." He said, "I don't recommend a circumferential body lift, but instead an extended tummy tuck." "Huh?" I thought? I was stunned... still am.
As he's got my pannus in his hands, he says "...all this will be gone." I was stunned. I asked, "About how many inches would that take off my waist?" He said "4" easily, possibly 5" or 6." Of course he had to qualify that because it wasn't a detailed consult, but he "felt very good about it" and said again that I definitely don't need a full body lift.
So, in the end there's really not a whole lot I can do about my pannus. I never ever thought I'd be a candidate for plastics, but as I understand it at the moment, for my body this will be the only way to get my desired result. Now I understand why plastics are so important to post-ops. It kind of wraps everything up in a bow; it help complete the journey for you.
Knowing that, coupled with the fact I'm so close to being in a healthy body fat % range really makes me feel better about where I am. Add to that no longer being Diabetic and no longer experiencing sleep apnea and it's a pretty good deal. :)
So unlike my previous post, although I'm not yet a member of the centruy club, I'm feeling much better about what I've achieved. :)
2 Years Out... on November 17, 2008 9:48 am
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So my 2 year will be here on Saturday and I have very mixed emotions.
Quite honestly I don't know why I haven't had the success others have experienced and it is frustrating -- I have to admit it. I eat right, God knows I exercise. I've talked to several professionals but no one offers any answers -- they say, "eat more", "eat less", even "don't workout so hard." Still at 2 years out I've not hit -100 lbs. (since surgery). It's like my body is taunting me, holding me pretty much the same at -95 lbs. I know folks who break the rules daily, or totally disregard them and don't exercise -- even they yield better results! And yeah, it pisses me off sometimes... I feel cheated and admittedly, childish, at times. It's pathetic sometimes.
I can't let this be something that saddens me though. Do I regret my choice? Hell no -- just for the simple fact I am no longer Diabetic is reason enough for me. Knowing I won't face the same fate my Grandmother did, losing limbs -- or having to inject myself the rest of my life (and still have issues) makes it worth while.
I am in better health now, more than ever, and I can't believe 2 years has passed so quickly. I have done so much and accomplished so many things I thought I'd never do. Simple things, like being able to fit comfortably in chairs, to challenges like the MS150.
Like I said... "time flies when you're having fun.", and I am.
Do I still think something is wrong? Yeah. How can I create no less than a 1,000 calorie deficit a day and not lose... even to lose s-l-o-w-l-y would be more than welcome! I have to get to the bottom of this. This was exactly the same problem I had pre-op. Exactly. I got to a certain weight, but never could get lower than that.
Sometimes I don't feel like I can be an active participant in communities because of my lack of generally perceived success. I try focusing on what I achieve, and use that as my personal barometer, but it's not the same. Peers look at me puzzled, as if I'm hiding some dark truth about what's really going on behind the scenes. My blog is really my only outlet and I've really not met someone else like me to talk with and share information in an effort to figure out what is happening with my body. I participate on OH occasionally, but just don't feel like I belong.
Ugh... enough! I knew this wasn't going to be an easy road... I just thought that since I had already made certain changes, I wouldn't have as big of a challenge as others. I know how to eat right and exercise. Most of the time I can keep my head in the game, unless I'm purposefully reflecting on past progress, or lack thereof.
At this point I'm not even targeting a certain weight... I just want my hip-to-waist ratio to be healthy and that means just 6" off my waist and hips. Just 6"! I know in my heart I'll get there, but it will take more time and more effort, which is fine. Luckily I like this thing they call exercise... and plan to continue to do it for the rest of my life. :)
So here I am... definitely looking better than pre-op, but still have a long way to go.
First Solo Triathlon - Done! on June 24, 2008 11:48 am
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I came... I tri'd... I finished!
I did it! I finished the tri. We could not have asked for better weather, but by the time the run started it was getting HOT!
The lake was fairly calm and instead of an in-water start, they did a time-trial start, every 5 seconds. I really liked that. The swim was a challenge, but not nearly the chaos I had prepared myself for.
I crossed the swim start and had to wait as the lifeguards were actually bringing an athlete back. This guy was cut and buff... I was so curious as to why he didn't make it to the first bouy; of course it could be anything. That kind of made me a little more nervous. Anyway, my time had started, but I couldn't get in the water until this guy was in.
Darren took some video of me swimming; I couldn't believe it was me. Except for my droopy elbows, I was doing pretty good. About half-way I back-stroked it to get a rest to try to pull it out the last third.
I didn't try to speed through my transitions, I was just steady and took my time.
The bike... not to be tootin' my horn, was a joke after doing the MS150 in April, that was a breeze. The run on the other hand... oiy! The first mile seemed longer than the last. I probably walked a mile/jogged a mile total.
The total elapsed time was 1:15 when I crossed... that's from start of the entire race. I was one of the last couple dozen swimmers to jump in. I'll get my official times tomorrow.
I feel very accomplished right now. I feel like I could do it again and I definitely won't stop the swimming. I can only imagine how well I would have done if I had enough pool time under my belt!
Anyway... that's it. I'll leave you all with some pictures:
MS150 - Done! on April 14, 2008 9:26 am
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Well, I finished! And yes, I am proud. I'm also very grateful that everyone was so supportive, as their generosity gave me (and 13,000 other riders) the opportunity to experience something very special. The time on the bike was as challenging as it was fun... and at times even meditative.
Despite the fact that I always did things that were active in nature pre-op, the MS150 was one of those things I secretly feared; I could never fully commit to to it. In fact, I'd swim before I'd commit to riding 150 miles!! So completing the tour really makes me proud and it is like beating an old fear.
See the rest of my MS150 pictures in my photo album!
I grew up in a family of professional dancers. Mom danced with Radio City and the Metropolitan Ballet, my step dad was on Broadway and is currently a professor of dance. Even my sister is now a reputable dance teacher as an adult. You might see where weight was a constant issue in our home while I was growing up, and I always had challenges with weight.
I spent my life doing things that overweight people wouldn't ordinarily do. I excelled at any of the sports I tried in high school. I also danced for 13 years. I was actually good, which used to upset my Mom to no end; she used to say I had the "natural ability, but not the body." As an adult I did a triathlon at 242 lbs and was taking tap dance lessons at 30 years old and over 300 lbs. Looking back I realize that while I did enjoy doing those activities, I did them to prove to myself (and others) there wasn't a real problem with my weight.
Beginning in 2002 I went through several different life-changing events: Relocation, new job, new home, engagement, marriage and high-risk pregnancy. I had my Daughter in 2003, and while I did awesome with little weight gain during the pregnancy, I didn't do so good after. I totally forgot about taking care of me, and began eating out of stress and emotion. I was a Gestational Diabetic during my pregnancy, and the Diabetes didn't go away, so my eating was not helping my disease.
I saw my endocrinologist who followed me through my pregnancy and we talked about approaches to weight loss; medications surgical procedures. I was really against them all. I knew I had lost weight 105 lbs. on my own before, but why couldn't I do it again? Then my former PCP made mention of the surgery again. A friend of mine had had lots of success with surgery, but I still couldn't embrace the idea I needed that kind of help. It was fine for others, and I would support them, just not for me.
Despite trying to ignore them, there were signs all over the place.
It seemed like in the snap of a finger, I found myself becoming physically limited. My knees started to hurt and I found myself saying, when I lose 20 lbs. I'll get back on my bike or when I lose 30 lbs. I take my Rollerblades out of the closet. The summer came, and I wouldn't take my Daughter to the pool -- In short, I was no longer living life, I was avoiding it. To top it all off, I was now being treated for Diabetes and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.
The more the scale rose, the more I felt my self-esteem drop, and it was affecting the people I love around me. And of course, the main focus of my life, my Daughter. How on Earth could I keep her from having my issues with food and weight, if I could not learn to be a good role model for her?
Food was a constant source of strife. I don't care if I was counting, points, calories, fat, protein, or deciding what to eat, not to eat, where to eat, or when to eat. It was all just more overwhelming than I knew it was supposed to be. I knew I wanted a healthy relationship with food -- one where food was fuel for my body, and nothing more.
Since no one has time to waste when it comes to living their life to the fullest, I finally woke up and acknowledged the signs and explored WLS as an option. I knew I needed the restriction, the disconnect from food, and the re-training of my thoughts about food. I took my time making my decision, but when I did, that was it. I knew it was the right thing without question.