- Username: nsblue
- Location: Brookfield. NS, Canada
- Member Since: 2/25/2011
- BMI: 29.3
- Post Op
- Surgery Type: VSG (12/06/11)
- Surgeon: James Ellsmere
I'm Not In Any Photos Yet.
Before & After
There are currently no before and after photos for this member.See these instructions
if you wish to submit your own Before & After photos.
Reality..... on November 18, 2011 2:40 am
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist.
Sometimes in our hopes or dreams, our reality can become so blurred and even forgotten. In the last week I have been contemplating many, many things. With the impending appointment with my surgeon fast approaching, and my desire to "get this done", I am hit with the reality of it all.
For many years of neglecting my health, ignoring the "signs", I got myself to where I was... no doubt about it. Along this journey I have learned so much and I must stop and realize things cannot be rushed because of "want". Yes, for sure I do NEED my hernia fixed, that is a given. But in all reality, when I really think of my situation, I now know in all honesty that come in 3 weeks I will not be having my hernia repair. I will be having the VSG; a wonderful tool that I know will help me immensely along my journey to get me to my goal and keep me there.
With the extreme of my hernia repair, I know it will be major surgery; one that cannot be rushed into and I would be a fool to assume or push for it to be. I know tests and scans need to be done, plastic surgeons to confer, as well as my surgeon needs to be well prepped going in to know the best course of action not to mention my weight to be down to the point there will be absolute no doubt of breaking out the repair. Having total faith in my surgeon and he doing what's best for me, I truly feel without even hearing it from him, that his plan on wed will be VSG in Dec and hernia repair by the end of Jan/Feb which I will totally agree with.
Living with this hernia, I want to do what is best and safe for me... not rush it.... and do this proper. I know I will feel more secure in a repair at a lower weight than what I am now. Having a repair and living with the fear of my size pushing it out is something I don't need and would rather have confidence going in for full recovery without any complications. This is my reality today, and I am happy with it.
Another reality check was in the last week showing some of my family and friends my hernia. A big step for me. I guess in showing it, made it more real, "a coming out of the closet" so to speak. Having been super morbidly obese, having my guts hang fully outside my abdominal wall is a sight... but it is my reality and something I live with daily. ( Click HERE to see a picture of my present reality; be forewarned, it is not pretty and may be offensive to some) A reminder how I once neglected my health and allowed it to happen over a fear of doctors and lack of esteem that "I didn't matter".
Never has it become more evident to me in the past 2 years that one's health is so important, and we must do whatever it takes to gain every ounce we can. If I can in my life inspire others to get healthy I will. I feel all that I have gone through and am going through is for a purpose. There is always a reason for the things that happen in our lives. If we open our hearts to learn, we become richer for it... n hey...I am the richest woman alive and will gladly share.... "HEALTH IS WEALTH"!!!
| Leave a comment.
Commitment.... on October 22, 2011 3:30 pm
It is nearly 8 months ago when Dr Ellsmere asked those words “Are you committed to this”. I was taken aback when asked that, for I had already lost 120 pounds, surely that must show commitment? I hesitated in answering him and gave a very weak “yes”. But after going home, reading and seeing that there was a lot more I could do… the word commitment took on a whole new different meaning.
“Commitment is what transforms the promise into reality.
It is the words that speak, boldly of your intentions.
And the actions which speak, louder than the words.
It is making the time, when there is none.
Coming through, time after time after time, year after year after year.
Commitment is the stuff character is made of;
The power to change the face of things.
It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.”
It is said, “There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
I needed to be committed to me. I dug in, did what needed to be done, stuck with it even when things were real hard... and today as a result in learning what I did, I continue on this journey stronger. Losing weight is hard work, and many do not see that part, or hear the conflict within…. they see the weight loss, not the doubt, sweat, tears, uncertainty and aloneness one can feel on this journey at times.
8 months later and with 155 more pounds gone, I can say with no hesitation or doubt, yes I am committed. Of all the times I have dieted, lost then gained again and then some…. those days are gone. I realized I never changed my lifestyle or my behaviors; I just followed a diet only to return to the way I once was. I was not committed. I can say, without a doubt the pounds gone are gone forever…. I did not lose them, I will not be trying to find them EVER AGAIN.
For those of you struggling with a lifestyle change, I ask you “Are you committed to this?” I hope for your own health you will examine yourself honestly and make those changes.
| Leave a comment.
Reflection....... on September 20, 2011 4:10 am
Today seems like one of those days that my mind is thinking back on many, many things. Not that reflection doesn’t happen any other day but today is a bit different. Today I am finally out of the 300's. I was 299.0lbs this morning. I don't think it really has sunk in yet, probably will take a bit to sink in. 50 more pounds and I will be able to get this hernia fixed... man things are happening!!
This weekend will also mark two years since I started to get healthy. Two years, WOW, so much has transpired; when I think of everything it is hard to believe.I guess first starting off on my journey, I really wasn't focused on me. Sure I needed a health change as much as my husband and knew it, but in helping him... he helped me.... and I helped myself. I miss having that companionship but I truely feel love is eternal...and it's that love that keeps me going and pressing me forward. One thing Curtis taught me is health is so important and life is precious...we need to fight for every single breath.... this is my fight against obesity.... towards being healthy.
Life has changed so much for me, sometimes it's hard to grasp. Still there are days when a “down feeling” comes over me and doubts slip in, discouragement seeps through, and for short times I do struggle. I think I always will have those moments; I just don’t talk of them much or don’t share when I have them. I have found ways to muddle through them n keep going… you have to when alone.
Changes, lol wow....just the other day while walking in the mall, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrored glass; I had to take a double look… I guess it rather shocked me. WOW, is that me? I had to take another look lol. Sometimes I have to pinch myself at the physical changes going on. It is in these time your "fat" brain has to assimulate to it all lol. Perhaps I finally need a full length mirror at home eh lol. A few people have used the term "skinny" when describing me.. I really have to chuckle because that is just not a term associated with me LOL. but I guess compared to how I use to be, I guess one might use that term to describe as in comparison to what I was.
Walking daily on the 289 for the last 6 months I have had many vehicles “beep” their horn or “wave”… not having a clue as to the “who” of many of them, I give a “nod” or “wave” going by. I have had two occasions where two vehicles have slowed down to quickly give me praise on my progress then quickly speed off… still not knowing who exactly they are. It makes me smile that just a stranger in passing who happens to see a difference in me over the months as they travel by, would stop and acknowledge it. How one life can touch another without even speaking... guess I am having wow moments along this journey.
There are sections of the road where Curtis & I first started walking together; they hold special memories. I often talk to him on my walks, feel like he is there with me listening to my ramblings. From laughter to tears while walking, if one looked close enough they surely would think a mad woman’s loose from Dartmouth lol. When I think how walking from the car to the grocery store or from the door of the hospital to the elevator was a big task for me, and now here I can walk almost 4mph and not tire, and walk to Eric Sandeson’s or Bea Kennedy’s!! LOL Colin always teased me asking if I made it to Brookield yet LOL I figure I could in a little over 2 hours praps if I wanted lol.
I looked at my BMI this morning, 42.93. WOW 6 months ago in Dr Ellsmere’s office I was 61.6 and am down 131.1 lbs since. I wonder if that’s commitment for him lol.
I walk into stores now looking at the clothes...actually seeing clothes that fit me!! Being able to fit into xl & 2x clothes from once wearing 8x and upwards. Had to make my clothes for nothing in the stores fit me. Seems different to go into a store n be able to pick over clothes that fit. Even to try on other people clothes is cool; had tried on my sisters gee (sp?) the other day, not to mention I now can wear Curtis’ jean shirt and fall jacket. Everything is just sooo different.
Another thing in my life which amazes me..I am now on one injection of 3u of insulin a day!! WOOO HOOOO!!! I was on 2 injections of 90u & 80u 2 years ago…. And I DID IT!! When I think of it all it really blows my mind... I am nearly off insulin and I got myself off my blood pressure meds too...definitely everything is changing for the good and I feel great!!! and I know I am healthier that I have ever been in years.
Well I have 251 pounds gone.. WOW!! I now stop myself from using the term “lost” because usually when losing something, you try and find it LOL well, I definitely do not want to ever find 251lbs ever again!!
Well here's to the next 110lbs to go.... watch out!! here I come!!
I must say, to those who are struggling on your weightloss journeys... hang on, keep at it... YOU CAN MAKE IT!! Look at me.. if I can do it...anyone can... YOU & YOUR HEALTH are SO WORTH IT!!
| Leave a comment.
Stalls & Plateaus...Working your way through them on August 7, 2011 4:48 pm
There was a time I had thought they were both in the same, but apparently not. A stall is a month or more of no weight loss and a plateau is a few days/weeks. Call it what you wish, to those who are losing weight, it is the biggest non-motivator. It causes panic and discouragement; even failure to give up. Seeing the scale to stop or even to go up a few ounces sends terror through the dieter, questioning everything that they are doing. Been there, done that, but as I look back I am thankful that I questioned, that I stood my ground and watched things closely. You can learn a lot that will help you in your weight loss journey. Guaranteed, there will be more plateaus and stalls to work through, so why not learn about yourself and your body.
Be the first to leave a comment.
While searching on the internet for any info, I came across something very interesting. It has helped me put things into perspective on how a body works….
"Our bodies use glycogen for short term energy storage. Glycogen is not very soluble, but it is stored in our muscles for quick energy -- one pound of glycogen requires 4 lbs of water to keep it soluble, and the average, glycogen storage capacity is about 2 lbs. So, when you are not getting in enough food, your body turns first to stored glycogen, which is easy to break down for energy. And when you use up 2 lbs of glycogen, you also lose 8 lbs of water that was used to store it -- voila -- the "easy" 10 lbs that most people lose in the first week of a diet.
As you stay in caloric deficit, however, your body starts to realize that this is not a short term problem. You start mobilizing fat from your adipose tissue and burning fat for energy. But your body also realizes that fat can't be used for short bursts of energy -- like, to outrun a sabertooth tiger. So, it starts converting some of the fat into glycogen, and rebuilding the glycogen stores. And as it puts back the 2 lbs of glycogen into the muscle, 8 lbs of water has to be stored with it to keep it soluble. So, even though you might still be LOSING energy content to your body, your weight will not go down or you might even GAIN for a while as you retain water to dissolve the glycogen that is being reformed and stored."
This made a lot of sense to me, and it helped me immensely. I kept repeating to myself during my first stall (which was 4 weeks)…”this is normal, my body is adapting, my body is adapting…its doing its thing…” I knew I was following my diet plan, drinking my water, exercising…. everything I should be doing to lose weight, I was doing. Has to be something else, right? There is always that seed of doubt. So, I did a bit more searching.
Everyone seems to have ideas of how to get through the dreaded stall or plateaus. Some I agree with, others I question. What everyone has to do is put everything you are doing under a fine microscope, watch it, compare weights, and watch how your body reacts. In doing this, you will have a better understanding how your own body works. Remember, what works for another may be entirely different for you… we are all unique.
Keep in mind this is my weight loss plan….
- Make sure you drink your MINIMUM 8 cups of water daily. I now drink 9 cups a day, when I add the liquid from my food I can add 2 1/2 more cups. A total of 11 ½ cups daily.
- My caloric intake is NO MORE than 1200 a day. I choose WISELY with those 1200 calories. I have 3 meals a day as well as 3 healthy snacks a day to keep my blood sugars level as well as to feed my metabolism. You can see my food logs on myfitnesspal.com.
- I plan my meals AHEAD. “fail to plan…plan to fail” It’s best to plan so you can choose wisely and not be grabbing in a last moment … which sometimes can lead to poor choices.
- My sugar content I keep LOW. I try to keep 8grams of sugar per 100 calories. Some fruits are higher in sugar and that is OK. I keep sugar content in mind and choose wisely. I usually have two fruits a day which helps keep my bowl movement regular. If for any reason I do not have a bowl movement, and the fruit or veggies I eat does not work, I get out the benefiber.
- I eat a lot of salads and vegetables
- My sodium I keep an eye on. I use no salt. Sometime the choices I have may have higher sodium content but I moderate them. Salt retains fluid, affects blood pressure and too much can create weight gain, not a friend if trying to lose weight. One day I decided to treat myself to a 4oz strip loin with steak spice… my treats are far and few between, but I enjoyed it immensely… so did my scales the next morning with a 1 ½ pound gain LOL not to worry, it came off in a day, but sure was interesting to see salt at work.
- My protein must be 60-80 grams a day. I actually strive for 80 grams a day. Protein keeps the lean muscle mass not to mention it is a healer.
- I make sure to take a muli-vitamin daily. Whatever I do not get from my food, I feel I will get from my vitamin. My doctor checks my blood every 3 months so I do not become deficient on anything.
- I do not eat after 7pm.
- I have divorced potato chips, bars, candy, sweets etc. Potato chips were always a downfall and one is never enough for me, so for me it is best I stay away.
- I absolutely have NO pop NO caffeine NO alcohol NO gum.
- I make sure to eat slow, savor and enjoy what I eat, on smaller plates/dishes.. Making new “comfort” foods is my plan.
- I limit my carbs. Although my carb intake is not as low as some call “low”, for me to limit is best. I still have an occasional small baked potato, or ½ cup of rice, once in a blue moon pasta. Bread I have stayed away from by choice. I use a snackbread with my tuna salad etc. that I find very satisfying.
- I keep my fats low. I use skim milk, low fat cottage cheese, low fat cheese, extra lean hamburg, becel, calorie wise dressings. Olive oil IF I happen to use any oil in cooking.
- I still have occasional slice of bacon or one slice of pizza but I fit it into my diet plan or not have it. Even for my birthday I had baked a sugar free banana cake. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too LOL. One small calculated piece though fit into my diet plan and it was very satisfying.
- I walk DAILY. For 45 minutes I walk briskly with 2 ½ lb weights on each wrist, lifting my arms up every 100 steps for 60 then repeat. It is my cardio time you could say…a time where a light sweat is made. I then go for another walk but times vary. Dependant on my pedometer is how long of a walk I take. My goal is to always get at least 10000 steps in a day. Lately I have been getting 11000 to 18000, which I log. I walk RAIN or SHINE no excuses.
- I lift weights daily. To help tone my arms.
- I weigh regularly. Usually every morning as soon as I get up but after I have used the washroom. Some may go crazy doing this, but for me I can stay on top of my progress and react.
- Work on my behavioral changes. I examine myself regularly and pin point those behaviors, which are not doing so good and figure what plan I have to re-adjust to help change them
- I make sure I get my sleep. At least 7 hours for me.Our bodies while sleeping restores and in fact burns calories while it rests. Therefore, sleep is very important in weight loss.
*So when I hit a stall or plateau I first check my food logs. Was there anything to attribute to it (example the steak spice on my steak which made me gain) If so I adjust accordingly. And watch.
*If there isn’t anything out of the norm, I check the totals on calories. If I have been on a close to 1200 range, I cut back to approx 1000 or vise versa. I have found it good to switch things up every few days so that your body doesn’t get use to the numbers. I also do this with my food etc. Variety and change keeps things guessing.
*I check to see if my steps have fallen short etc. Have I added something different? Is my body adjusting to it? If I feel this is so, I continue with what I have been doing. Exercise is a MUST. Some say exercising more can break a stall. I haven’t tried this, maybe someday I will LOL
*I make sure every now and then to increase my protein amounts. (more than 80)
*Waiting can be the hardest. Find a support system whether a friend or on-line. YOU WILL get through it. Remember why you are on this healthy path, how far you have come, look through pictures, old clothes, whatever it takes to remind you that what you are doing the right thing. Keep with your program, You WILL get through it.
Hello, my name is Melanie. I am 48 years old, live just outside of Brookfield NS, am recently widowed, and have a son, Matthew who is 25.
For as long as I can remember I have been overweight; morbidly obese to be exact. I can remember seeing those words on a doctors report in '88, when sent to Halifax when I was pregnant for my daughter; seeing that word was a shock to me, obese was bad enough, but seeing "morbidly" attatched was an OMG. You would think that would have been a wake up call I needed, but no.
In '88 my daughter passed away from SIDS. With numerous failed attempts with diets over the years, my bad habits and emotional eating continued. The secret of how much I weighed to family and friends was kept, and at times even a secret from myself. When one doesn't fit into store bought clothes or can get on a normal scale, you build a life of hiding, avoid it, therefore the problem doesn't exist.
I ended in the hospital with a ruptured appendix that nearly killed me, (I was 445 lbs then) and subsequesnt appendectomy later in the fall of '86. It was late that fall that my brother told my mother how much I weighed, he had heard it (as well as other stories the surgeon boasted of) around the supper table at his friends house. The friend's mom was a surgical nurse in the OR where I had had my surgery. I wrote the hospital, and never heard anything back. My faith in doctors needless to say diminished.
In "92 I was rushed into emergency surgery for what they thought an incarcerated hernia, but when opened up, found a very large abcess, which remained open to heal. I was in the hospital 10 weeks... then my father passed away and I then was let out and went back to emerge daily for dressing changes. Still had a hernia. I had lost some weight in the following year...but as always gained what I had lost and then some.
In September of 2009 I reached my biggest. The exact weight I am not sure, but looking back I would have to say I was at least 550 pounds, if not more. Being laid off in January and having been in emergency the day before with pain due to the hernia; it was revealed that my gut was fully outside my abdominal wall. The doctor had told me that if I was to be rushed into emerge with a perforation, they would be able to open me up but not close me. So elective surgery was a must and he would put a referral into Dr Klassin in Halifax to see me. My health was in bad need of a turn around. I went home, got on my diabetic diet, watched my bloodsugars, took my insulin, and then after a month of not hearing anything I called the doctors office. I inquired of the referral, of which I got the run around, and in throwing a fit finally got a response that they would call Dr Klassins office for I wasn't allowed. I never heard back. and being fed up, gave up and began to eat whatever i wanted once again.
On Sept 25th 2009 my life changed. A wake up call on health issues that will forever be burned in my memory. My husband of 25 years was diagnosed with High Blood pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes and Penile cancer. He had an immediate amputation. Lymphadenectomy followed, he then had a heart attack, went into cardiac arrest, paddled back, heart cath/stent put in, genital edema, subsequent surgury for what they thought a perineal abcess but found to be a reoccurring tumor of the kind before and had mestates in the lungs. Curtis passed away July 14th, 2010.
In helping Curtis get his diet on track, diabetes & cholesterol controlled, I too hopped on the band wagon and have been on ever since. Eventhough I have had my moments, they are short lived for I am determined to keep this path I am on to a heathier me. In September '09 I was on 90 units of insulin in the am and 80 units at night. Today I am on 35 units in the am and 25 units at night, and am fitting into clothes I can buy in a store! I started seeing the doctor regularly the end of July, in which she got me into see Doctor Dzierzanowski who referred me to Dr Ellsmere.
Finally on Tuesday Feb 22nd I received a call from Diane to see Dr.Ellsmere on Feb 24th.
Dr. Ellsmere said he would put me on the Weight Loss Program, and once 30 pounds down (was weighed in at 430lbs) I would have the first surgery so to lose weight. Then once down to 250 I would have a hernia repair. He said in two years I will have this fixed. I was to get the website url and read all I could, and Diane would call me with the date.