- Username: LittleMissSunshine
- Member Since: 3/18/2011
- BMI: 43.1
- Surgery date scheduled
- Surgery Type: VSG (05/23/11)
- Surgeon: Joseph Chebli
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Surgeon TestimonialJoseph ChebliAfter reading through all 112 reviews of Dr. Chebli here on OH and finding very little in the way of negative comments, coupled with his being a multiple-year recipient of the Top Docs award, I decided to schedule an initial consult for the VSG (I almost got a LapBand from a different surgeon, but that's another story... check my blog if you're interested).
If I had to choose three words to describe Dr. Chebli, they would be direct, thorough and meticulous. I don't know about you, but those are qualities I would absolutely want in a surgeon!
There is no question whatsoever that Dr. Chebli is a Type A personality from the east coast. If you're a native west coaster, take that into consideration going in. It seems to me that people out here tend to be not as direct, so meeting someone who is when you're not used to it (I'm from Boston, so he made me feel right at home) can be surprising and may take you back a bit.
As another reviewer said, let him get through all the information he wants to make sure you have first and then ask your questions -- you'll probably find that by the time he's finished he's already answered 95% (or more) of what you were going to ask.
At your initial consult, he'll give you a binder that will walk you through everything you need to know and do in the weeks leading up to surgery... this will be your Bible both before and after surgery as it also lists all the post-op resources available in both the Seattle and Eastside areas (he works out of both Northwest and Evergreen hospitals). If you have any questions as you're following up on everything, don't hesitate to call his office... his staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.
During my pre-op appointment, not only did Dr. Chebli go through all the information I expected, he also described the operation in great detail, even explaining the most up-to-date techniques being used and why. While some of it went over my head (I could have stopped him and asked for clarification, but wanted to see what I could gather from context clues), I understood the majority and was impressed at his depth of knowledge and the attention he pays to what the leading VSG surgeons are doing to mitigate the risk of complications.
As I write this, I'm 10 days post-op and have had no problems whatsoever. Everything has been textbook without so much as a single run-in with nausea or vomiting. I even managed to make it through those first few days without worrying about getting my required amount of protein and fluids in -- a common concern to all post-ops -- thanks to his detailed discharge instructions. He truly leaves no stone unturned and while acknowledging that all surgeries carry risk, he makes you feel as though there will be no surprises that are within his grasp to control, that you'll know exactly what you need to do, when you need to do it.
It's also worth mentioning that I have heard from several nurses in the Seattle area here on the forums who've worked with Dr. Chebli and the one thing they all said about him was that he's an outstanding patient advocate. I definitely got that vibe while I was in the hospital... it became quite clear that the staff intended to make sure his instructions were followed to a T. It's hard to describe, but it's like when you go to a restaurant with someone who used to work there and still knows everyone... there's a certain degree of feeling like you're getting the white glove treatment. I don't know if it's that the hospital staff was so attentive out of respect, intimidation or a mixture of both, but it definitely translates into a great experience for Dr. Chebli's patients!
In summary, Dr. Chebli gets my highest recommendation... I can see why he wins the Top Docs award for bariatric surgery year after year. Don't hesitate to send me a private message if you want more information.
- Parenting - I try to follow positive discipline principles with our 5 yr old son.
- Movies - Harold & Maude, Little Miss Sunshine... love the thought-provokers.
- Music - Mostly rock, jambands, alternative, and folk/singer/songwriter
- Politics - Kennedy-loving Massachusetts liberal and proud of it!
- Counterculture - "Taking Woodstock" will be part of our son's cultural education.
- Baseball - Only the Red Sox, especially during the play offs.
- Road Trips - As soon as our son is old enough, we will take a summer vacation on Phish tour!
- Computer and Internet Surfing - Blogs, forums, facebook, twitter... total social media geek.
- Paranormal Research and Investigations - Always been enamored with ghost stories.
- Atheism/Agnostic - Raised Catholic, developed critical thinking skills, now it's the DIY approach.
Hopping Back on the Wagon... Take Two on December 14, 2011 11:58 am
So I met with Dr. Chebli last week. Not surprisingly, he was unimpressed that I only lost 4lbs since my previous visit. Frankly, I was surprised it had been that much... I thought it was only 2lbs (which just goes to show how often I've been weighing myself).
Instead of meeting with him every 2 months, as I had been when it was smooth sailing, he's got me back on every 1 month until I can get the scale moving again. I'm actually kind of glad he did that, it may be the kick in the ass I need to get back on the wagon again.
I keep using the "holidays" excuse -- to myself and others -- but that's a cop out and I know it. Yes, it's a stressful and bittersweet time of year and there are more caloric/carb challenges than usual what with all the running around, parties, etc... but that doesn't mean I have to make poor choices every time I eat, which I have been lately.
On the upside, I know my patterns by now; the surgery changes a lot, but my patterns remain the same:
Phase 1: Eating whatever, whenever and no exercise
Phase 2: Eating more mindfully (though not perfect) and sporadic exercise
Phase 3: Momentum established, 98% mindful eating and regular exercise routine (3-5 days/week)
I'm in Phase 2 right now, which is the hardest... why I keep putting myself back into it time and time again, I don't know, but hopefully that's what my new therapist will help me with (met with her twice and have a 3rd appointment scheduled for after the holidays... so far, so good). I anticipate struggling with Phase 2 until after Christmas is over, though I may surprise myself. Regardless though, I know I always have that fire lit under my butt with the new year -- that's when I started looking into surgery in earnest last year -- so even if I do struggle until after Christmas, I know Phase 3 won't be too far off from there.
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The Struggle Continues on November 10, 2011 9:13 pm
Well, the therapist I wanted to see (yes, I got two names, but I prefer spilling my guts to a woman... no offense, guys) is booked solid through to the end of November -- I took the first spot she had available on 11/30. In the meantime, I'm being more midful than I have been lately, but still not 100% back on the wagon.
On the upside, I've dropped a few pounds in the past week even though I haven't made too many changes, so now I'm wondering if maintaining all this time was because I wasn't following the program to the letter, or if it was a 2 month stall that would have happened regardless of what I was eating. I mean, I did lose about 80lbs with just a few 2-3 week periods of not losing... maybe my body just needed a breather? I've heard of people running into stalls that last 6 weeks or more (even talked to someone who had a 5 month stall... 5 months!!!!), so maybe that's what it really was? Even when I wasn't eating what I should, I still wasn't eating much if you compare the volume to what I was doing before. If I had kept up with journaling, I'd have a better idea of what my calorie/carb intake was, but you know how it goes. When you're "being bad", you typically aren't so concerned with those accountability measures ;-p.
I guess if the loss continues despite my not being hyper vigilant like I was before, then I'll have my answer (and I'll be PSYCHED!). I'm not going to back off from my attempts to get a handle on the out of controlness, of course, I do still need to be making smart nutritional decisions, but it would be pretty damn cool to find out that I'm still able to lose even when I'm not being as strict as I had been from January through August of this past year.
Okay, that's all for now. I just wanted to check in and give y'all an update... hope everyone's doing well! :)
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It's Been a While... on October 17, 2011 9:25 pm
When I was thinking of a title for this, that Staind song came to mind, specifically the line that says:
"It's been a while since I've gone and fucked things up, just like I always do..."
That's essentially why there hasn't been a post from me here since the end of July. I was cleared for regular foods mid-August and I decided that since the restrictions were gone, now I needed to take the ol' sleeve for a test drive to see what I could and couldn't tolerate. The only thing that gave me any trouble was dry microwave popcorn... caramel corn, oddly enough, was no problem at all.
Yeah. Caramel corn. I think you see where I'm going with this.
It wasn't long before I started slipping back into my old habits again. On the upside, while I haven't lost anything, I've maintained my weight since cutting loose back in August. If I hadn't had this surgery and had just been dieting for a few months, I would have gained back most of what I've lost by now (80lbs total, 48 since surgery). The fact that the only price to pay for all my wonton ways has been that I haven't lost anything is incredible to me. I am so grateful that I was able to have this surgery, I can't even tell you.
The only time I feel any twinge of regret is in those instances when I have something particularly delicious in front of me and feel cheated in that I can only have a few bites of it before I feel full. Of course, that "regret" is short-lived because no sooner do I notice it when I also recognize that having more was at the very root of my food issues. If I could have more, I would... and more... and more... and I wouldn't stop, even when I was full. Now, the full feeling is enough to stop me. It's more uncomfortable now than it was before, and for that I'm so thankful. This surgery does exactly what I hoped it would, I just need to start using it properly again.
As we see here on the forums time and time again... the operation is on our stomachs, not our heads. I am still battling the same issues that have always plagued me, and I don't see finding my way clear of those without help.
The other day I put up a post on my surgeon's FB page (it's a sort of online support group) asking if anyone could recommend a good one-on-one therapist who specializes in emotional eating and food addiction issues. I have 2 names, I'm going to meet with at least one, if not both of them as soon as possible. I've seen therapists before, two different ones, but neither specialized in weight issues.... these two do. I'm hoping that'll make all the difference.
I'm going to try to get back into the habit of checking in here regularly again. Thank you to those of you who sent private messages to check in, I appreciate that you were thinking of me :).
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"Inspiration, Move Me Brightly..." on July 22, 2011 10:59 pm
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We all have our own reasons for having arrived at the point of considering (and going through with) having WLS: watching a parent or other loved one struggle and ultimately succumb to health problems from obesity, wanting to be a better partner to our spouse, a better parent to our children or just simply being fed up with a stunted life that we know
can be better.
While some may turn to therapy or perhaps their faith when they run across difficult or challenging periods in their lives, I turn to music. You may walk out of a psychologist's office or a Sunday morning mass feeling refreshed and encouraged, that's how I feel when I walk out of a live show. I've been inspired, reassured and moved to tears by music far more than I ever was in the eight years of formal religious training and sacrament preparation that was shoved down my throat as a kid (yes, I'm a bitter, disillusioned ex-Catholic).
When I set out to put a playlist together, my first priority is getting the cadence progression right
, but there is a secondary consideration when I'm choosing songs. It's not something I shoot for with every song, but I do try to incorporate a few songs that "speak to me"... if you know what I mean.
Here's a quick run-down of some of the songs in my current playlist rotation that elicit an emotional response from me... sometimes motivating, sometimes reflective, but always something that helps strengthen my resolve with every listen:
Magic by Olivia Newton-John
(speed: 1.8). Yes, it's cheesy 80s and Xanadu is by no means tops on my list of favorite movies, but if you think about the song being sung to you by the slimmer, healthier you that's been waiting for their turn to shine, it works.
Safe and Sound by Sheryl Crow
(speed: 2.2). This one makes me think of my mom... she passed away 2 years ago at age 72 following cancer, a stroke, a heart attack and cancer again. She was morbidly obese for as long as I can remember.
Ordinary World by Duran Duran
(speed: 2.3). Although this one is pretty obviously about learning how to pick the pieces after a break up, I'm able to repurpose it for my own needs..."But I won't cry for yesterday, there's an ordinary world somehow I have to find... and as I try to make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive".
The Cave by Mumford & Sons
(speed: 2.3). I don't know what the original inspiration for this song was, but I have to think it was some sort of self-defeating, life-limiting affliction because the metaphors certainly lend themselves well to thinking of it in terms of battling obesity... for me, "the cave" = surgery.
Run by Snow Patrol
(speed: 2.5). Another one that reminds me of my mom, especially now that she's gone: "Light up, light up... as if you have a choice... even if you can not hear my voice, I'll be right beside you, dear".
In the Waiting Line by Zero 7
(speed: 2.6). Not so much the lyrics with this one, but the groove... I'm totally going to seduce my husband with this song playing in the background as soon as I feel confident enough to rock some lingerie ;}.
The Resolution by Jack's Mannequin
(speed: 3.2). Another post-break up song, but it works for battling your demons too.
I'm sure there are more songs like this in my collection, these are just the ones that fit into the cadence I'm working with right now, so I thought I'd share.
So... what songs get you going?
(Oh, and if you didn't recognize it... the post title is a nod to lyrics in Terrapin Station by the Grateful Dead
Playlists for Non-Exercisers on July 18, 2011 5:17 pm
So in my last post
, I mentioned how I'm a little psycho when it comes to playlists:
I'm a big fan of working out to music, so much so that I actually create playlists with songs that I've assigned elliptical speed values to so that it starts with slower songs for the warm-up and cool down phases and progresses to more upbeat songs for the actual "level 7" phase.
Maybe it's just the Libra in me, but it just breaks my brain when my stride cadence isn't in sync with whatever song my Zune decided to pull out of the shuffle crapshoot. This isn't a new thing, mind you... I first came up with this little system to "mitigate the risk" (pardon the corporate speak, but it fits) of this happening around 10 years ago when I was using a portable disc player. Man, was that labor intensive compared to now with MP3s... but I digress.
Point being, I was going to pop on here with a post about peppering your playlists with songs that inspire and motivate you and make some suggestions of my own (that'll be another post), but then it ocurred to me that it might be more helpful to outline the afore-mentioned cadence-to-music syncing thing as a follow up to my last post. Not only does going through this playlist process align your movements to the music, it's also a great way to get a sense for the different levels of exertion so you can associate a song with that level 7 or 8 you're striving toward.
Where my last post showed you what to look for when exercising, this one tells you how to apply it to create a personalized work out that works for you (pun intended).
So, if you're interested, here's how it's done
1.) Open your music software and create a new playlist (if you're old school, proceed to step 5 and in addition to pen and paper, take your portable CD player and a stack of discs with you).
2.) Add whatever songs you want, but try to do a mix of slow, medium and fast songs -- the order doesn't matter... yet.
3.) Keep an eye on how much time your playlist covers, cater it to meet your typical workout duration or a bit longer if you want to be able to skip a song or two here and there.
4.) Sync this new playlist to your player.
5.) The next time you're on the elliptical (you can walk with your new playlist later, you need to assign a speed value first), bring a pen and pad of paper with you.
6.) Play this new playlist in sequential order -- turn off shuffle.
7.) Find the beat and move to it... when you've got a consistent rhythm going, notice your speed value: mph, strides per minute, whatever (NOTE: songs that seem super fast can also be slow if you skip a beat between strides).
8.) Write that speed value down and either finish out the song if it's comfortable, or move on to the next one.
9.) Lather, rinse repeat... write down values for each of the songs on your playlist.
10.) After your workout, go back to the playlist as it appears in your software... right click on the song title and choose "Rename"
11.) Edit each song so the speed value appears before the title, e.g. 2.2 - Cornflake Girl.
12.) Manually re-arrange the songs with the lowest value first, building up to the highest value and then one or two low value songs at the end (cool down).
13.) Re-sync this playlist with your player with the newly revamped song order.
You now have a customized work out that will help you determine where your level 7 and 8 cadences are. After you've done this work out once, you should know which songs you could maintain the speed of comfortably on and which ones were above your ability. If you have too many that are too fast, restart this whole process with slower songs and create a new playlist that's more your speed.
Over time as you "audition" more and more songs, you'll have a wider variety of speeds to choose from and you'll be better able to cater your workouts to meet your (hopefully!) evolving need to be challenged.
If you try this and come up with a playlist you love, be sure to come back and post it so anyone else reading can try it out!
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Workout Tips for Non-Exercisers on July 12, 2011 10:35 pm
If you fall into the category of people who, like myself, never played a sport, never saw gym class as anything but pure torture and struggled to figure out how anyone could sustain any cardio activity for more than 5-10 minutes, this post is for you.
Step One: Evaluate Your Options
Walking is the go-to exercise for most morbidly (or super morbidly) obese people, presumably because it's easy and everyone knows how to do it. While that may be the case, sometimes the path of least resistance doesn't necessarily equate to best the best thing for you... or your joints. If you find that walking is leaving you with achey hips, knees and ankles, you might want to consider trying something different to start out with until you can drop enough weight so that walking isn't so taxing on your body.
I've been a fan of the elliptical trainer since they first arrived on the gym circuit scene back in the 90s... my personal preference is the Precor EFX (the old school style with stationary handgrips). Although it's not no impact like swimming or water aerobics, it is low impact and easy to learn, so if you haven't used one before, there's no time like the present! You move the foot pedals as though you're cross-country skiing and adjust the incline and resistance to suit your workout needs, which brings us to...
Step Two: Excercise "in the Zone"
This is where I should probably point out that whole thing about don't start any exercise program without your doctor's consent, because if you follow the advice I'm about to give here and drop dead of a heart attack, I don't want your family coming after me. So there, you've been warned.
One of the biggest challenges I faced when figuring out how this whole exercise thing worked was learning how to recognize when I was "in the zone". Having had no formal exercise background to draw from, I resorted to research to help me figure it out. Eventually I ran across a book Oprah wrote with her personal trainer, Bob Greene called "Make the Connection".. In a chapter where he discusses exercising at the right level of intensity, he offers this super handy guidance:
Picture a scale from 0 to 10, what follows are descriptions of how you should be feeling at each level.
0. This is how you feel when at rest. There is no feeling of fatigue, your breath is not at all elevated. You will not experience this at all during exercise.
1. This is how you feel working at your desk or reading. There is no feeling of fatigue, you breathing is not elevated.
2. This is how you might feel while getting dressed. There is little or no feeling of fatigue, your breathing is not elevated. You will rarely experience this low level while exercising.
3. This is how you'd feel walking across the room to turn on the television. There is little feeling of fatigue, you might be slightly aware of your breathing, but it's slow and natural. You might experience this right at the beginning of an exercise session.
4. This is the feeling you'd get while slowly walking outside. There is a very slight feeling of fatigue, your breathing is slightly elevated, but comfortable. You should experience this level during the initial stages of your warm-up.
5. This is the feeling you might get while walking briskly to the store. There is a slight feeling of fatigue, you are aware of your breathing and it's deeper than in level 4. You should experience this level near the end of your warm-up.
6. This is the feeling you might get when you're walking somewhere and are very late. There is a general feeling of fatigue, but you know that you can maintain this level. Your breathing is somewhat deep and you are aware of it. you should experience this level in the transition from your warm-up to your exercise session and during the initial phase of learning how to work at level seven or eight.
7. This is the feeling you get when you're exercising vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue, but you are quite sure you can maintain this level for the rest of your session. Your breathing is deep and you're definitely aware of it. You can carry on a conversation, but you would probably prefer not to. This is the baseline level of exercise that you will maintain in your sessions.
8. This is the feeling you might get when you are exercising very vigorously. There is a very definite feeling of fatigue, and if you asked yourself if you could continue for the remainder of your session, you think you could, but are not 100% sure. Your breathing is very deep, you can still carry on a conversation, but you don't feel like it. This becomes the feeling you should experieince only after you are comfortable reaching a level seven and are ready for a more intense workout. This is the level that produces rapid results, but you must learn how to maintain it. Exercising at this level is difficult for many people.
9. This is how you would feel when exercising very, very vigorously. You would experience a very definite feeling of fatigue and if you asked yourself if you could continue for the remainder of your session, you rpobably could not. Your breathing is very labored and it would be very difficult to carry on a conversation. This is a feeling you may experience for shor periods when trying to achieve a level 8. This is a level that many athletes train at and it is difficult for them. You should not be experiencing a level 9 on a routine basis and should slow down when you do.
10. You should not experience a level 10. This is the feeling you would experieince with all-out exercise. This level cannot be maintained for very long and there is no benefit in reaching it.
Bob recommends doing a minimum of 20 minutes in level 7 or 8 in each exercise session. While it does take some time and effort to get there, once you're able to maintain that level of activity, you WILL start to feel that burst of energy you hear so much about from people who rave about what exercise does for them.
So... how do you get there?
Step Three: Establishing Your Rhythmic Cadence
I'm a big fan of working out to music, so much so that I actually create playlists with songs that I've assigned elliptical speed values so that it starts with slower songs for the warm-up and cool down phases and progresses to more upbeat songs for the actual "level 7" phase.
Whether you listen to music or not, you need to establish a regular, even cadence in your breathing in order to start to work towards exercising at levels higher than what you're used to. I've found that no matter the resistence level I'm using, if I take one breath in that spans a forward movement for each foot, that does the trick. So breathe in... (left forward, right forward)... breathe out... (left forward, right forward)... breathe in... (left forward, right forward)... lather, rinse, repeat. When I'm moving faster, my breathing also picks up in proportion.
The next time you start a workout, make a point to concentrate on keeping your breathing even and steady. If you're having trouble with the one breath in for every 2 steps rule, slow down.... you're pushing yourself too hard. Start out slow at the lowest resistance/incline level and experiment with gradually increasing resistance/speed to see where you start noticing the sign posts of each level as described above.
NOTE: Don't shoot for level 7 right off the bat... if you're just starting out, try to get to a point where you can maintain level 5 for 20 minutes. Once you've mastered that, push a few of those minutes up to level 6 each day until you've made the change over to doing level 6 for 20 full minutes. Take the same approach to achieve level 7.
So, that's it. If you walked into this post not knowing where to start or what physical signs to look for when it comes to exercise, you now have at least some semblance of an idea on what you need to do... all you have to do now is get out there and do it!
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Eating, Energy and Exercise on July 11, 2011 8:26 pm
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I know I'm not the only one who's heard that weight loss mantra about how you're setting yourself up for failure if you try to make too many major changes too quickly. The wisdom being that it's best to make a small, manageable change and only move on to a new one once that first small change has become a part of your life; a habit.
I get that, it makes sense in theory and I'm sure it works great for those with self-discipline that would rival a drill seargent's, but I am not one of those people. I know my faults and my limitations and with that awareness comes the realization that while small changes work for some, people like me need a shakabuku; a swift spirtual kick to the head that alters one's reality forever (stolen from Grosse Point Blank
... great movie).
Eating: A Work in Progress
Now that I'm on the other side of surgery, that experience in and of itself has taken on the luster of being its own shakabuku; my reality is forever altered -- there's no question about that. Where I once ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, now I log everything that passes my lips to ensure that I'm getting in enough protein each day. Where I could just grab breakfast or lunch on the go, now I have to plan ahead to make sure I'll have whatever I need no matter where I am. Where before I was able to rationalize a "cheat" after a hard day, now I have to remind myself of what I went through because of all those cheats that went awry.
I'm still in the pureed stage for another 11 days (not like I'm counting or anything), which means my choices are still limited to what I can put through a food processor, so I know that the work I have to do in rebuilding my eating habits from the ground up is still very much in the beginning stages (the babyfood consistency is enough of a reminder to keep that top of mind each day).
What's the point of this section? I suppose it's this: experiment until you find healthy choices that work for you. Take a look at recipe ideas from your fellow OHers and from sites like The World According to Eggface
... get some new ideas and try them out. You're not going to do yourself any favors by simply suffering through these phases with the bare minimum of choices only to devolve back into your old fast food or super fatty/sugary stand-bys once you're cleared for regular food. Crap food is still crap food, no matter how little of it you eat... if you're filling up with junk, you're not filling up with what your body needs.
The mindset all of us need to adopt and live by is that we're moving on from those bad habits; we're casting off those foods and behaviors that aren't doing us any good. Of course, the challenge there is once you remove something, you need to create something new to replace what's been lost... but how do we do that?
Maybe that's the way to look at these diet phases: these
are those small changes your inner drill seargent needs to adapt. Not in the sense of working pureed foods into your normal diet, but perhaps an influence of it... where you might not have considered a dip for vegetables or crackers a source or protein before, now you might. Where cheese was once something you only ever ate on pizza, now it can be a snack or meal supplement (not to mention the variety of cheeses there are out there to try). Where you once only had a milkshake at a fast food place, now you'll come up with new and deceptively decadent ways to make protein shakes less boring.
Keep an eye out for opportunities to expand your food repertoire where you can... you just might develop a few new habits along the way.
Energy and Exercise, Those Elusive Bitches
Although I'm feeling way better than I did in the weeks following my VSG, I'm struggling with drumming up the energy to do more than what I absolutely have to. I can pull off taking care of my daily routine, but despite wanting
to be more active, BEING more active is proving to be a challenge. I knew that it would be.
One of the first questions I asked Dr. Chebli when I met with him was how soon after surgery could I get back on the elliptical trainer -- I was concerned that my recovery would necessitate a significant set back in light of all the endurance and stamina I had been steadily building at the gym each week; I was proud of the progress I'd made and didn't want to start back at square one. His response was, "As soon as you feel well enough to", which was fair, but not the answer I wanted. Unfortunately, I was right about the recovery presenting a set back; I'm not at square one, but pretty close to it and that's frustrating.
I know how difficult it is for me to build up the regular exercise momentum thing. I know how it goes by now: I just have to suck it up for about 2 weeks and commit to doing it every day. Once that commitment is fullfilled, the momentum is established and I feel like crap if I don't exercise... as opposed to feeling like crap being the norm; apparently it's the basis of comparison that's the motivating factor.
As my mom was fond of reminding me, "you're fat 'cause you're lazy and you're lazy 'cause you're fat". I suppose I could put a more positive spin on that... perhaps "you have no energy because you're inactive, and you're inactive because you have no energy". There, that sounds better at least. Euphemisms aside, I know what the issue is and I know what I need to do to remedy it... I just haven't been successful at it yet.
I guess that's where my next "small change" needs to be, huh?
Next Up... Twoderville! on July 11, 2011 5:52 pm
As much as I had hoped to be one of those lucky folks who see a stall come and go in the space of a week or so, alas, it was not to be. My stall started on June 12th when I arrived at 307 (from 328 on the day of surgery, 20 days earlier) and proceeded to float between there and 309 for the next few weeks. Because my digital scale broke sometime shortly after noticing the stall had taken hold, I've been completely cluess as to what my weight was doing.
Well, maybe not completely
Like an addict searching for a fix, I used to sneak peeks on friends' scales if they had one easily accessible, but even those never showed anything other than 307-309. Last Friday I caught a glimpse of a 306 on a mid-day attempt shortly after lunch, but didn't want to get my hopes up too high.
This morning, one day shy of my one-month stalliversary, I finally made good on the promise to myself that I'd break the work-from-home rut I had gotten into and kick my own ass out the door to get to the gym. Shortly after arriving there and re-talking myself into following through with the work out (I felt like shit and almost excused myself from doing it even though I was THERE
), I made my way over to the scale in the women's locker room and cautiously stepped on, positive I'd see 307-309, but hopeful that the 306 from Friday at my friend's house had held on.
303... no, wait... 302.8... no... 303... uh... 302.5... 303.
Fuck it, I'm a glass half-full kinda gal, so I'm calling it at 302
. See ya later, Stall... don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out! WOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! That gave me the inspiration to suck it up on get on the elliptical despite how craptastic I felt. And I'm glad that I did... I took it super easy, but still managed to pull off 470 calories in 50 minutes.
I can't believe I'm just 3 (4?) pounds away from being under 300! I remember when I went over that mark like it was yesterday.
I knew it was coming; I was pregnant with my son and I was supposed to be putting on weight. Even though I knew doing so was a good sign of a healthy, normal pregnancy, I almost cried when the nurse picked up that biggest metal box on the scale and pushed it to the 300 mark for the first, but not the last, time in my life. The last time a nurse did that was another first...it was this past January in my almost-(lapband)surgeon's office when I hit my highest weight ever at 360.
So yeah, right now at 302 (303... STFU, Schizo!) I'm at a weight I haven't seen since before my son was born... he's five years old now.
Am I happy? Hell no... I'm ecstatic!
My first goal was to get under 300lbs and now that that's looming large on the horizon, I have to think of a new goal... I think this is the first time I've ever set a lofty goal and hit it when it came to losing weight, so I'm feeling a little out of my element. What should it be? Under 250 perhaps?
Meh... I'll cross that bridge when I come to it; I don't want to count my chickens lest I check again and see it bounced back up to 309. Oh, wait... Aunt Flo actually showed up last night, so that weight I saw this morning is actually lower once I get rid of all the bloat.
I COULD BE UNDER 300LBS RIGHT NOW
AND NOT EVEN KNOW
Fuckleberries... I guess I'll just have to be patient.
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Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde on June 29, 2011 4:25 pm
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I don't know about you, but I'm pretty fricking jazzed about the lack of hunger that's accompanied my sleeve. Even though I knew there was a chance it was temporary, I was happy to finally experience what it must be like for "normal" people who only eat when their stomachs are empty.
Last night, however, I got a reminder that just because the physical hunger has gone from Godzilla to Kermit the Frog doesn't mean that the battle is over... not by a long shot.
Head Hunger Rears Its Ugly... uh... Head
Not long ago I had a conversation with a friend around wondering where my "trigger" point is for carbs; at what point does the mindlessness
start to creep in? I know that if I keep it under 20-30g per day, I'm fine... no cravings, no obsessing over what else I can eat. What I don't know, is how many carbs I can tolerate before I start floating into that Dr. Jekyl/Mrs. Hyde danger zone?
Yesterday I was doing pretty well. I had my usual protein shake breakfast, had 2 tbsps of pureed egg salad for lunch and noticed that the vending machine at work has a tuna & crackers snack pack in it. I can have both of those, so I had that and found that I'm probably better off making sure the tuna is pureed first as I'm not so great with chewing to a paste yet. Not a big deal, not painful, but I definitely felt it sitting there after I ate it... I probably won't do that again until after I'm on the soft foods phase at the end of July.
I got home, had my 2oz of sloppy joe puree with some sour cream (reminded me of a taco) and a sugar free popsicle and thought that was it for the night. But I wanted another popsicle... and another... and another... and another. Then I remembered that I had picked up some Ritz crackers, which I hadn't tried with the hummus yet... so I had some of that.
Then I was done... and I was scared. It started to feel like my control was slipping; I had to get a handle on it. I went over to log my foods and saw that I was now up to 54 carbs for the day.
Journaling... NOW I Get It!
I've been a big proponent of using a site like MyFitnessPal.com to log everything that passes your lips. Not only did it help me avoid going over my 30g allotment when I was on the pre-op diet, now that I'm finding my way back to regular food, it's helping me identify where that tipping point is.
I still don't know exactly where that threshold is because I caught myself early enough that I hadn't yet ventured into auto-pilot territory, but I have a feeling I'll get a better feel for where the line in the sand is in the months to come.
The Obligatory Husband Vent on June 27, 2011 7:02 pm
As wonderful as my husband is, there are some things he just doesn't understand and probably never will.
Take, for example, 3pm on the day before my scheduled (but not completed) lapband surgery when I got the call from the surgeon's office letting me know that the operation I was planning on having in 16 hours and had been preparing for over the past month may not happen. It could have, if I wanted to go with a surgeon I'd never met, but if I wanted my surgeon, I'd need to wait another 3-4 weeks while the shoulder he just dislocated healed.
In that moment when I saw the choice in front of me, I didn't know what to do and told the woman on the phone I'd call her back with a decision within the hour. I put the phone down and started sobbing; the emotional dam of everything riding on this surgery broke loose and I wasn't going to stop it.
My husband, who was already annoyed with me for some trivial bullshit reason (as is typically the case given the quarter inch fuse on his temper), walks in to the kitchen on his way out to work, sees me a mess and rather than softening and asking what's wrong, he freaks the fuck out because he thinks I'm crying over his recent gruffness. When I explain he has nothing to do with it and what that phone call was, he gets annoyed again because he sees this little bump in the road as not a big deal and nothing to cry over.
Then there was the time when, after jumping through all the hoops to get the VSG, I got a rejection letter from my insurance provider, despite having been told not once, but TWICE that it's a covered proceedure. The tears that came while reading that letter made no sense to him either; I shouldn't be getting sad, I should be getting mad! I should start writing my appeal letter now. I should go apeshit on them. I should... I should... I should...
Thanks, hon... you let me know what I should feel and how I should react and I'll just pull that emotion right out of the rolodex so that everything I do will be in line with your perception of the world and how people should behave in it.
I get that boys are socialized differently and some guys grow up with very little understanding or know-how when it comes to dealing when women (or anyone, for that matter) are showing extreme emotions, but Jesus Christ! We've been together 11 years, you'd think he'd learn something about it by now! And yes, I have told him point blank that when I'm upset or crying that I don't need his criticism, I need his support. I know he's just trying to be helpful, but telling me what I'm feeling and how I'm reacting is somehow wrong, misguided, inappropriate, etc. doesn't fix the problem... it only makes me feel like I'm inferior, abnormal, broken, etc.
Again, not helpful.
What would be helpful is if he'd just STFU with the judgements and advice long enough to let me just vent. Why is it so hard for men to understand, all you have to do is say, "Honey, what's wrong?" and then just nod and look concerned while she talks? Just do that and you'll be fine, guys! Don't try to tell her anything unless she asks for your opinion... just let her talk.!
*sigh* Glad I got that off my chest.
This started to be a post about how my stall is refusing to give up, but it took another path... I guess I needed it to. The connection there is that when I told him I was frustrated at having been stalled for the past 15 days, he didn't understand how I could be frustrated when I knew that just about everyone runs into a 3 week stall. Apparently in his world, if you know something suck ass is on its way, you can't be miffed at the suck-assyness of the situation when it arrives.
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My story... where to begin?
I suppose at the beginning of my weight issues since that's why we're all here.
Looking back through photo albums, I was a normal-sized kid throughout most of my childhood. All that changed when I was about 10 years old. If you were to flip through my class pictures from first grade on, you have to scan the rows of faces to find me all the way up to the fifth grade picture... then you can't miss me, I'm twice the size of the other kids. Clearly something had happened that precipitated such a drastic change. While I know some may have a story about a swift, blunt traumatic event that turned their world upside down in one fell swoop, mine is more about a gradual unraveling that snowballed into a perfect storm that would dictate the course my young life would take.
I won't bore you with details, but suffice it to say that a depressed, formerly alcoholic single mother who loses her one remaining parent and the sibling she was closest to in the space of 2 years and then inherits a house and has to work 2, sometimes 3 jobs in order to keep up with the expenses of maintaining it and all the bills and property taxes that come with home ownership isn't conducive to an emotionally healthy, well-adjusted childhood.
When my mother was around and awake (her untreated depression typically kept her in bed 24/7 on weekends), it was typically when she'd stop at home for about an hour between jobs to make--or bring--dinner. Not surprisingly, the guilt she felt from not only being a single parent, but also depriving me of her being present as much as she'd like to be, and as much as I needed her to be, drove her to give me anything I wanted... and I wanted McDonalds and pizza and potato chips and ice cream. Fast food was easier for her and gave her more time to spend with me, so it quickly became the norm.
There's more to it than that, but there's a pretty decent overview that'll give you an idea of why I've been battling my weight for 25 of my 35 years. After repeated attempts and failures at just about every weight loss method under the sun, I'm finally ready to consider WLS. The closest I came to being thin was during my college years... I got down to 190 as a result of living the rock and roll, on-the-road lifestyle. I was doing alright with maintaining, and then I met my husband. Falling in love is a really scary, vulnerable, emotionally stressful thing... I didn't expect that a side effect of it would be gaining all my weight back, and then some.
My husband has been phenomenal through all this, never so much as a complaint or a suggestion that I do X, Y or Z to try to lose weight... I can't wait to give him back the woman he fell in love with.