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Again, It has been a while on April 13, 2010 3:19 pm
I noticed that I have not updated my blog in a while. At first the reason was because my keyboard was broken and it was more trouble than it was worth. The keyboard has been fixed though and I have no excuse. I just updated my ticker and to date I have lost 143 pounds. I have been very open recently about my surgery. Initially I told no one and some of my family (most of them) still don't know. The other day I shared my journey with some of my co-workers and showed them the before pictures. They did not even recognize me, some of them said "Who is that?". Now these are all nurses and of course they told me about all the bad cases that they have seen. I pointed out to them the fact that as nurses you are only going to see the sick, the ones with issues. The happy people like me don't spend much time in the hospital, unless of course you work there like I do. So, I have gotten to the point where I feel successful, not afraid of failure and I don't mind sharing. I am courageous enough to stand up for what I believe and the decisions that I made for myself when anyone challenges why I did what I did. Unless you lived it, you have no idea what it feels like every day of your life. So, now I just don't care what people think! I did what I had to do for me and I would do it again and again. I am not at my goal but 143 pounds is an amazing accomplishment. I will be honest and admit that I still see the fat girl in the mirror at times. Sometimes I don't and I never know what I will see from day to day. I am working to lose an additional 40-45 pounds but this is me, the surgery has done what it was meant to do and the rest is on me. When I tell people that I am trying to lose that 40-45 pounds they look at me like I am crazy but I am still considered obese, I just want to have a normal BMI and that is what my goal is based on. I started my journey wearing 3x tops and bottoms, 30-32 tops, 26-28 bottoms. Now I am wearing L-XL tops and 14-16 bottoms. There are some things that I could do differently to help the process along and I am working on making those changes. It is a daily struggle. All in all, I am happier then I have ever been. I love my life although money is still an issue and likely will be for the next few years, everything else is going great. I am happy and that is all that matters.
That's all for now...
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It's been a while on October 19, 2009 3:46 pm
It has been over 3 months since I updated my profile. I have been incredibly busy with my new job and with nursing school. I am doing well in school, I received A's in my first 2 classes and I am finishing up my other 2 classes for the semester. I have started clinicals and have been taking care of patients for a couple of weeks now. My weight loss is still slowly progressing. I will be a year out from my revision in a month. My total weight loss since the beginning of this journey is 132.4 pounds. I have finally made it to onderland (195.6 this morning) and I have about another 40-60 lbs til my goal weight which is between 140-160. I will know when I get there what it is. I am planning on looking into plastics next summer. That is all for now.
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7/5/09 on July 5, 2009 5:11 pm
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Well, a lot has happened since my last post. I have started my new job, did orientation on Monday and started my training on Friday. I think I am going to like the job but I am worried about my memory. I need to be able to learn the doctors so I can recognize their faces, this will probably be one of the hardest parts of the job. The other hard part is reading their handwriting. Other than that I am picking up things pretty well. I started on 6/29 and my benefits became effective 7/1. I am really happy about that because for the last week or so I have been having this weird pain in my side/abdomen. Even though my benefits are eff 7/1 I don't have an insurance card and it will take some time for me to get into the system so I haven't been able to see a doctor yet. I am thinking I will contact my surgeon Monday, I actually tried to reach him Thursday but was not able to. I just remembered that I have another # for him and I will try it tomorrow. I think he will see me without the insurance and maybe I can get to the bottom of this pain. I hate to say it but being off for so long has made me not want to work, I have to get back in the mindset of actually working. I am supposed to work evenings but I am training in the daytime and that is really hard for me. I am definitely a night person. I will be working this Tues and Thurs after my nutrition class 1:30 - 7 and 12 hours on Wed, 7a-7p, that one is the one I am worried about. I mean, how do you go from not working to working 12 hours in 1 day. Oh, well, I will handle the best way I can. I am picking up the system pretty well and am excited about what is to come. I also went to orientation at my school for the nursing program and I got my schedule. I will be doing clinicals in the fall at the same hospital that I will be working at, I could not have asked for a more perfect schedule. It was so random too, I just happened to sit on the right side of the room in orientation, everyone on that side will be doing clinicals at that particular hospital. I will have a early class on Monday for the first 5 weeks, it starts at 7:45, that will be hard for me but it is only 5 weeks. Other than that, I have been trying to watch my diet, I could do better with this and I plan to. I barbecued today so I have some healthy grilled chicken for the next few days. I have not been working out much but I have been staying active. I will be cancelling my gym membership because I just can not afford it right now. I have included a picture of me from last weekend. I went to a mini reunion for my elementary school. I have not seen those people for 17 years and it was good to reconnect with them. I have since taken my braids out and along with them, some of my hair came out. To think, I was trying to give my hair a break and it seems like I did more harm than good. I am trying to work with the natural texture of my hair and I bought some kinky-curly to style it with. Today was the first time I used it and I liked it, it is a little stiff but I will mix it with some moisturizer tomorrow. I will add pics without the braids soon. I am still trying to work out this hair of mine, it is one of my biggest frustrations but I would not trade the weight loss to have the hair back. It will come back eventually. That's all for now.
6/19/09 on June 19, 2009 3:53 pm
It has been a couple of weeks since I blogged. Just thought I would do a quick update. Life is good right now, I feel my blessings coming my way and I am very grateful. I just started summer school this week, not sure what I was thinking on that. I mean, I know why I took the class but I really should have taken a break because things are about to get really crazy. It's cool though, I am taking a class that can only benefit my journey right now ~ Nutrition~. I am learning a lot and while I know a lot of it doesn't apply to me, our nutritional needs are a little different with the malabsorption issue, it is still valuable information. I think I am going to enjoy the class. We have to do a group project and I am doing mine on how to treat ADHD in children with the diet. This topic is near and dear to me since my son is ADHD. I may even try some of the stuff out on him cause his meds ain't working. I took him to McDonald's today, someplace we don't go often. I asked him to walk down to that end over there and get yourself a straw, I didn't get myself anything, just got him a meal. He walked over there to where the straws were then came back and asked me if I got him a straw. WTF!?!?! I am like, what did you just walk over there for if you didn't get a straw, poor thing, didn't know an answer to that. He can't focus for nothing right now. This is a perfect time to see if there is something natural that I can do to help him while he is not in school. Anyway, my eating habits are getting better although I need to do better planning because sometimes I find that it is 4 in the afternoon and I haven't eaten anything and that is not a good idea for me. The weight is coming off very slowly but I am confident that I will get to where I want to be. I will be starting my new job on June 29th, I am very excited about it. Next week on the 23rd I am going to orientation for Nursing school, it starts in August. After this summer class the only classes I have for the next two years are Nursing classes, all electives and other mandatory classes will be complete. I will probably take some occupational spanish though, have a feeling that I am going to need it. I haven't been to the gym much but I have been staying active playing tennis and walking. I am in a really happy place right now and I definitely know who is to thank for that.
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It has been a great week so far on June 3, 2009 3:22 pm
Everyone that knows me knows that I was laid off unexpectedly along with many others at my company back in early February. I was angry and hurt at the way it happened and all that has happened since then. This week, it seems like things are finally getting better. I am not overly religious but I am spiritual and I pray in good and bad times. Yesterday, with the help of one of my cousins, I had an interview at a hospital in my town. It is significant that it is in my town because this is a very small suburb and I was commuting 2 1/2 - 3 hours a day at my last job (except when I was telecommuting). Anyway, the position is nothing fancy, it is part time evenings as a Unit Secretary at the 1 hospital in this suburb. My cousin and I don't talk very often, but she is a R.N. which is what I am trying to be and I knew that she worked at this hospital. I applied for the job and later called her to ask her who could I reach out to in order to get an interview. Well, she went above and beyond, she first recommended me to her manager and had them follow up with H.R. They called me the next day but I was not there and they never returned my calls or answered when I called them several times. I was going to call her back and let her know what happened but when I came in on Saturday evening after going to see a movie, she had left a message with the director's cell phone # as well as her manager's #. I called and long story short, they scheduled me for an interview yesterday morning. The interview went great and I will be working there in the very near future. I am waiting for the official details from H.R. I am very excited because I will finally have benefits again, this is one of the things that upset me most about getting laid off ~ losing my benefits. I couldn't afford to keep the Cobra and I was lied to about how much I needed to pay and ended up not able to keep it past 1 month. The other thing that happened this week is today I received the acceptance letter for the nursing program at my school. There were over 300 applicants for only 80 spots and it was very competitive. I am very excited because things are finally falling into place. The new job will work very well with the school schedule and if I am really lucky I may be able to do my clinicals at the same hospital that I will be working at. It is very close to both home and school.
On another note, my son is out of school this Friday! It seems like it is too soon, oh well, I will be trying to find stuff for us to get into all summer.
Here is a pic of me before my interview yesterday.
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I can honestly say that I have not always been big. As I think about how old I am now though it seems like I have been overweight half of my life. I have always had a huge appetite. Before surgery I could eat and eat and eat. That is how I got to where I am today. I never noticed that my appetite was too big when I was younger because I was so active and athletic that I could easily burn those extra calories off. Of course with age and responsibility I have found less and less time to be active. I also had a foot injury from a previous job that greatly reduced my ability to be active. Walking is now an everyday pain for me. I am hopeful that with this surgery I will decrease the amount of foot pain that I have with the decrease in weight. I am a single parent, have been for all of my son's life. I recently put myself through college and received my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems. As hard as it was to do this while being a single parent and working full time, I know that this degree allowed me to get my current job which had the excellent insurance to cover this surgery. That being said, I hate my job so much right now. There is no security and jobs are going overseas everyday. While I was out recovering from Lap Band surgery 5 of my very good friends at work were laid off. Ever since then I have been expected to put in anywhere from 10-12 hours a day with no extra pay, and this is right after returning to work from having this surgery. I am convinced that my employer is not concerned about me or my health or they would not place such demands on my time. Therefore I am actively seeking new employment. Anyway, back to WLS, this has been one of the best decisions of my life. I chose not to tell many people of my decision initially. I told my mother, my son, my ex-boyfriend(we are still close), and a co-worker from my former job. I didn't tell anyone else. I know how judgemental people can be, especially my family and I didn't want to hear anyone's opinion. I gave a lot of thought to this and my mind was made up. Now, after my surgery, I have slowly told more people, my father, my brother, a couple of aunts and uncles and one person at my new job. At this point I don't really care what anyone thinks of my decision because it was just that, my decision. My doctor had me on the 2 week liquid diet. I remember them saying it gets better after the first few days, NOT. This was definitely not the case for me, the entire 2 weeks was torture and I was so happy when the day of surgery finally arrived. I knew that I would be on liquids for another week but at least I would not be so hungry. Before my 2 week diet I weighed 328lbs, on the day of surgery I was 315lbs, the last time I weighed myself I was 297.8. So, I am making lots of progress right now. I am careful not to weigh myself too often. I am not feeling much restriction at this point since I am still unfilled. First fill is 4/16/07 and I can't weight. I feel like I can eat anything in any quantity. I am careful not to eat as much as I want to but I think I am still eating more than I should. My doctor progressed me very quickly. One day clear liquids, one week full liquids, one week mushies, one week soft foods, and by week four I was slowly introducing regular foods in small bites and chewed very well. The only thing that I don't tolerate too well as of right now is rice. I don't have any problems with bread or pasta although I try to limit consumption of these as much as possible. This is really hard though because I love bread and pasta. So far this process has been great, I have not had any complications, nothing has gotten stuck, no PB'ing or anything. I love OH and how supportive everyone is.
By Chrisette Michele
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