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Measurements on February 7, 2012 5:05 am
Feb. 7, 2012
I've started a running program ("Run Your Butt Off") that is challenging, but not too challenging - totally doable. The program asks that one takes his/her measurements at Week 1, and then see what Week 12 brings...
I've only been doing it a few weeks, but the measurement taking reminded me of OH's health tracker, so I thought I might look at my pre-surgery measurements and where I am now, a year and a half later.
Holy smokes, if I do say so myself.
PRE-SURGERY GOAL CURRENT (i've pretty much been this way for the past year)
WEIGHT: 275 150 150.5
WAIST 52 33 35.5 (but I wonder how many inches the extra skin is??)
HIPS 58 38 38.75 ("")
NECK 16 14.5 13
BICEP 18 12 12
FOREARM 11.25 10 8.75
CHEST 51 50 37
THIGH 26 24 19
CALF 26 13 13
SIZE 3X M/L
SIZE 26/28 8-10-12
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What a year and a half can bring... on January 21, 2012 10:59 am
January 21, 2012
It's been -oh-so-long since I've written...and I think, without looking at my previous posts, that what I'm about to write might be repetitive, but here I go:
I had my surgery in August 2010. I weighed 275. I knew without the surgery I would never, ever be able to lose weight. Thank you, BCBS PPO, for giving us larger folks a second chance at life (seriously, I think I might write them a letter).
I thought I would possibly die when I got the operation (lap. gastric bypass) - if not on the operating table, then soon thereafter due to some complication. Glad to say: I'm still here! Zero complications, nothing weird. All good.
I also thought - such paranoia! - that people who had the surgery no longer wrote on OH because they had died or they gained all the weight back or whatever. For me, that hasn't been the case. I don't write on OH much anymore because I am not completely obsessed about my weight as I was before the surgery, and right after. I'm just plugging along with life.
I've weighed about 150-155 since last March, 2011. It feels good. I feel...exactly the same as a person on the inside, only healthier. My apnea is just about gone, but I still have major sleep issues. I've reduced my thyroid medication.
I like fitting into a size 10 or 12. I like being able to sit in a chair and not feeling like it will break. I like being able to run around with my kids. I like feeling healthier. I like that I'm afraid to eat sugar because I might get sick. I like eating small quantities of food and feel full. I like surprising people with photos of me 120 pounds heavier.
I'm not a fan of taking vitamins, but it's the same stuff that I would have taken anyways because even before surgery I had to take iron and b-12 due to my having those anemias.
I'm not a fan of my horrible pannis - it's still here and it's still just floppy. When I run it makes sounds -- so I try to wear things that holds it in. But then it gets sweaty and more irritated, sometimes with a horrible painful rash. Nothing seems to make it feel better. I hope I can get it lopped off this year. (I also have major batwings and supper saggy inner thighs, but besides looking horrible, it's much less of a concern for me than the pannis.)
I'm also not a fan of my poop (really, who is?), but hear that is because I had my gall bladder out (I had gall stones since 2005) at the same time I had the bypass. A bit heavy/greasy (sorry, but I'm being honest and open here) - so that's still kinda weird for me.
I've been exercising - and surprise! It feels pretty good. I've been reading all this stuff about exercising 30 minutes a day is not only good for yoru heart health, but your mental and neuro health as well. I've been doing a program called "Run Your Butt Off". I'm not doing it too lose weight per se, but I'm not complaning about that aspect of it either. ; ) I'd like to see if I can indeed run for 30 minutes straight. How weird would that be?
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My One Year Follow Up Results/What's in a Year? on August 9, 2011 12:13 pm
August 9, 2011
My surgiversary was August 2, 2011. My surgery weight was 273 (I am 5'6") and now I'm down to 151. My nurse's goal for me was 160, my goal for me was 155. Now that I'm at 151, I want to go into my 140s to just see what that feels like!
My surgeon was Dr. Choi at Danbury Hospital and I had an RNY. I had Blue Shield/Blue Cross/Anthem - PPO.
My lab results were all normal, though I need to drink more water. My cholesterol levels were better, my calcium/protein/everything else looked fine. I no longer have to wear a C-PAP (I had a sleep study done in June) -- AMEN.
What I *do* need to do is to continue to check in with myself regularly by doing a food diary - what I am I drinking/eating? Is it still good, healthy? I need to schedule excercise and try to go to bed at a decent hour. I can eat more these days, which is fine, but I still need portion control.
It's hard for me to look at those "before" pictures of me that are posted on this website, but good to look at them as a reminder of where I never want to be again. It's easier on this side of the fence... I have less fear to do things -- like see old friends, have photos taken of me, sit comfortably in a chair or an airplane, to try on clothes. I feel less judged.
Last year I changed from an HMO to a PPO because I knew the HMO wouldn't cover surgery. The process was so freaking easy and QUICK - I was accepted right away and I remember thinking - "Well, wait a minute. Isn't this supposed to be harder?" I remember thinking that I wasn't THAT fat, was I? Sure, I was over 100 pounds over weight, but I didn't FEEL 100 pounds over weight! And, well, them accepting me for surgery just made me FEEL as morbidly obese as I was.
I am thankful that I did NOT have to do the pre-surgery diet that so many have to go through. I had to have liquids-only about 48 hours before surgery, but that's it.
I actually enjoyed being tested for everything-under-the-sun before surgery. They found a polyp in my colon, they found my heart was just fine, that I was B-12 anemic, that I had arthritis and I had bad sleep apnea.
I remember right before surgery, I saw a food commercial and misted/teared, thinking about how I was going to miss food (for the record, every so often I *DO* miss ice cream, or something like a delicious, chewy warm cinnamon roll, but am THANKFUL that I can't have it because I know I'll get sick).
I remember being totally obsessive about coming onto OBESITYHELP.com to find out all the information I could, and being fearful that something really horribly bad was going to happen during surgery or after (it didn't).
I remember saying "What the F**k am I doing" outloud, to my wife, as we drove into the hospital parking lot the morning of surgery, but then being totally calm at the hospital, embracing whatever was coming my way and having a positive attitude about it as something that must be done because I couldn't lose the weight myself. I just couldn't.
I remember, after surgery, that my roommate in the hospital had a horrible time. I don't want to say she was whiney, but...she wouldn't get up and walk...she felt really sick and barfed. I got sick my first day (and I am thankful that i shut my eyes when I did so, because the nurse nervously said, "that's ok, that's ok, that is just surgery remnants."). Once I asked to be taken off of the morphine, I was fine and getting up and down those hospital halls as much as I could.
I remember being in the hospital and taking about an hour to sip an ounce of water, and wondering if that was what my life was going to be like now (it's not - by a longshot).
I am thankful that my surgeon had me on a liquid diet for a longtime after surgery, and then the pureed diet. I think it helped me lose a lot in the beginning, and it was encouraging to me to not get sick trying new foods and dropping off so much weight. But I recall missing FLAVORFUL foods.
I knew I couldn't have popcorn (why is that, by the way?), and I remember licking off the flavor of of one cheddar popcorn for a treat at some point in time during the liquid stage. Seriously!
I charted my weight loss every Monday for at least 6 months. Now I think I'll weigh myself every few weeks just to make sure I'm not gaining which, of course, is my biggest fear: failure.
The folks at the doctor's office reminded me that successful patients keep food diaries, excercise regularly, drink lots of water and do NOT drink water during of right after a meal. I need to keep that in mind as I move forward.
In the end of this year, I am so thankful to have had the surgery, and am amused that it was MUCH less dramatic than what I thought it was going to be. It's really not dramatic at all -- I am always able to eat something that's good for me, and am helping my kids make healthier food choices, too, so they don't end up like I was.
I didn't hate my old life as a big person, I want to be clear, but there just seems to be more opportunities for a quality life at this size.
Upward and onward.
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almost a year... on July 25, 2011 9:22 pm
July 26, 2011
It's been almost a year since my surgery - wow. I think i'm staying somewhere in my 150s (I'm too afraid to weigh myself after a month abroad), and I now know that I can stuff myself. I'm back on the wagon since being at home and super self-conscious not to start over-snacking or eating late at night before bed. A simple food diary every once and awhile reminds me to watch what I eat, and that every calorie does indeed count. I still try to make good, healthy food choices and trying to balance protein, calories, carbs and fiber.
Overall, life is still good on this side of the surgery - no problems except my panni still bugs me. It gets gross down there. Ick. That, and I'm still trying to figure out my clothing issues. Am I a 10 or a 12 or a 14? My clothes don't quite fit right, and even the size 10 jeans fall down and the 14 feels fine around the waist but sags in the butt. And there is a lot of extra skin (see panni issue) that I at times have to control with some sort of shape wear when I wear more form fiting clothes. Not that I'm complaining, just blogging about the experience. :)
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oh, it's been so long since i've written! on June 9, 2011 12:53 pm
June 9, 2011
It's been so long since I've written, but here I am -- still alive and still much smaller than I was just 10 months ago. I think I stopped losing weight a couple of months ago. I don't know; I am not as obsessive about weighing myself. All I know is that last night I wore a size 10 jeans and got lots of complement.
I still haven't bought a lot of new clothes, so when I wear something a little more snug on my body, I do get lot of comments.
I remember right before my surgery and right after my surgery I was on this website ALL THE TIME. I wondered if I was going to die, what the hell was I doing, was I losing weight fast enough -- the whole thing. And WHERE, I wondered, WERE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAD HAD THE SURGERY?
And the truth is, in my experience, that we become less obsessed with this website because we are off, indeed, living our lives. The whole surgery things is not, as it turns out, as dramatic as we all think it will be. We find out what we can eat, what we can't eat, and how much we can eat without feeling ill and then we move on. We go about our lives because the only thing that has changed, really, is the size of our stomach and what we can eat and how much. We're probaly more hyper-aware about food than we have ever been, but that's a good thing.
I'm still thrilled (and I know I'm still in the "honey-moon" phase, that I had the surgery. I can now catch up to my running kids: I can sit in chairs with confidence, I can do things like horseback ride or skydive or sleep on a bunk without too much fear of the weight limits... I can take pictures with my kids and not be so self-conscious about it.
it's all good.
The only thing that I am still trying to figure out is my clothing size -- somewhere in between 10 and 14.
I like eating healthier things and not being able to eat sugar. And I like passing my knowledge of healthier eating onto my kids. I think that's been the best part of the whole thing.
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July 11, 2010
I'm not even sure where to begin with my story, but my guess is that somewhere down the line the world will figure out that being obese is much more complicated than eating more calories than what you burn off through exercise. I believe it's a cocktail of genetics, environment, emotional and physical. I think there a ton of reasons why I am here today, at 5'6" and 273 pounds.
My dad's side of the family was large. I recall grandma wearing a mu-mu everytime I saw her. Dad was not slim, nor was his sister, but he'd always squeeze my belly and say "what's that??".
My mom was slightly obsessed with weight, and she was named "figure queen" in high school. She was one of those people who took Phen-Fen and then had to get open heart surgery because of the valve problems it created.
Starting in Kindergarten, kids (and some adults) teased me for being fat, but I have to say, I never really felt fat -- though I had to wear Husky jeans and not the cool Ditto jeans every other girl was wearing.
My mom sent me off to Weight Watchers when I was 7 -- and through the years sent me to a fat therapist/psychologist, Nutri -System, etc. At one point in time, we lived with a padlock and chain wrapped around the fridge. Ironically, if my mom wanted me to do something that I didn't want to do, I was always bribed with an ice cream cone from Thrifty's drugstore -- something I could never pass up! ; )
In high school, I had some more teasing but it pretty much rolled off my shoulders. I was aware of my weight, sure, but I look back and think -- eh, I wasn't THAT fat. Just a bit chunky. And a few times I recall the ol' line: "You have such a pretty face, if only..." I also recall my driver's license saying I was 135, but I know I weighed more. Doesn't everyone lie on their drivers license?
In college, I had a good friend who was taking a class and had to measure BMI. She measured mine. I recall to this day she kinda scratched her head and said "Hmm. I think I did this wrong. It says you are obese."
After college, I remember telling my first wife, as a joke, that my goal was to hit 300 pounds by the time she went to her 25th high school reunion. The only other thing I remember in terms of weight is that I weighed about 160 in 1995 after I started working out after a break up, running a couple of miles a day.
I started dating my now second wife back in 1998 and we used to take nice long hikes together. At times she would tell me when I started gaining weight, and I told her back then (and I'll tell her now) that weight doesn't matter. She needs to love me for me, not what I look like. My wife (we live in CT and got married in Dec. 2008) is one of those really, really healthy people who get full on a bowl of salad and trains for tri-athalons. She tried to do an eating regimen for me but the fact is we are totally different. Her almonds and cottage cheese make her full, but I would be left starving. She can't relate in terms of portion size, but she's supportive and wants to help.
When I was pregnant in 2005, I actually lost weight, and was somewhere around 230-240. Just last summer, I weighed around 255, but now I am 273. How did this happen?
I am surprised when I see pictures of me because I just don't feel that big (and therefore shy away from all photos). I feel tired a lot (was just diagnosed as b-12 anemic) and lethargic, so exercising is difficult for me. I walk my dog.
But the real reason I am doing this now is because
- my knees hurt (turns out I'm arthritic);
- my hips hurt;
- I started to have chest pains (and am fine, btw);
- my PCP recomemended it;
- my 3x shirts are getting tighter;
- I travel every year and hope to god that I can snap the airplane seatbelt without having to ask for an extender;
- I have to be super careful whenever I sit down in a chair, hoping it won't break;
- I'd like to have more energy for my kids (and wife!);
- I'm tired of seeing weight limits on things,
- I almost did not fit in the carnival ride that my daughter really wanted to go on;
- I don't want people who haven't seen me in forever to see me now and say "whooooooooooa"; and
- I'd like to be able to take a photo with my family that doesn't partially hide my face (or any photo, for that matter).
and the list goes on.
so -- i've been thinking about doing surgery since 2008, and now here I am. I am hoping for an RNY in August.
Wow, this is kinda like therapy! Sorry so long, but there you have it. That's my story.