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Surgeon TestimonialScott A. Shikora M.D.Dr. Shikora was amazing from the get-go. As the head of the Tufts-New England Medical Center Obesity Consult Center, I knew that I was in good hands, but after meeting with him, any lingering questions or doubts were instantly removed. Competent, confident, funny, sarcastic....he was everything I'd ever want in a surgeon! His pre-op visit settled my nerves and he visited me both days of my hospital stay. All in all, I made the right choice and would recommend him to anyone in a heartbeat!
- Sports - I'm a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots
- Teaching - I teach 8th grade U.S. History and absolutely LOVE IT!
- Singing - I'm an avid singer - have been singing barbershop harmony since 1997
What a long strange trip it's been...... on July 12, 2008 12:54 pm
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Well, to say it's been a while is more than an understatement......but as I got busier with my teaching last fall, I found less and less time to even visit here on OH, let alone blog....
But now it's been nearly 13 months since my life began again, so it's fitting that I take a look back at how far I've come in my journey thus far.
The weight loss has definitely slowed down....I dipped under 200 on March 25th and have pretty much maintained that weight ever since (currently at 197). I'm not at all disappointed, as I originally figured my "goal" weight would be around 200. While my weight has basically stayed the same, my body continues to reconfigure itself, a condition I chalk up to my running and gym workouts. I'm now comfortably wearing size 34 pants, and even have one pair of shorts that are a size 32, so considering I used to wear a size 50, I've got nothing to complain about. I recently attended a family wedding and had to buy new clothes.....I wore a 40 regular jacket.....my last jacket was a 54 regular, so again, no complaints!
Energy-wise, I'm feeling great. I started running at the end of January and have done 3 five-mile road races and 5 5K road races since mid-March. I've absolutely fallen in love with running and still cannot believe I'm able to do it. Naturally, my competitive nature has me always wanting to put up a PR each time I go out (so far, 26:45 for 5K, 44:18 for 5-miler), but I'm really only interested in doing my best and completing the run. I'm doing a 5K tomorrow morning and another 5-miler next Thursday evening, then I've got no races planned until the end of August. My main goal for the fall is to complete my first half marathon (Bay State - Lowell, MA - 10/19/08), so my training will take on a new focus starting next week. It's nice to get the t-shirts from each race, as I've had to get rid of SO many of my old t-shirts that no longer fit!
It was so much fun flying down to Baltimore for the wedding last week. The last time I'd been on a plane (July 2006), I could just fasten the seatbelt.....literally stretched it to it's limits. This time, I fastened it easily, tightened it, and was shocked at how many inches of slack seatbelt was left. It really brought home how much my body has changed since the surgery.
I've found that I can eat more than I thought I'd be able to eat, but that started around 3 months post-op. It's not really a concern, as my diet is totally healthy, but considering how many stories I've read of people being able to eat only tiny portions even years out, it makes me wonder whether the surgeon operated on my stomach or on my head!!! I'm so pleased with my progress and feel that if I wanted to lose a bit more weight, I probably could do it, but I like where I'm at. It feels manageable and healthy and that's such a long way from where I was just a few short months ago.
Is it really called "One-derland"? on October 17, 2007 11:58 am
Ok, so here's the deal........first off, it's been ages since I last posted. Not surprising, really, as since the beginning of school in late August, my free time has been severely compromised, leaving me little time to obsess/contemplate/process my rapidly decreasing weight...
but then I got on the scale Tuesday morning....just like I do every Tuesday morning.
It read: 226
I had to spend a moment to look at that number and realize what it represented to me. On October 23, 2006, I weighed in at my doctor's office at a hefty (all-time high) 327 pounds, prompting this whole journey I've been on for the last 51 weeks. So in a week short of a year, I've dropped 101 pounds. That's includes the 71 pounds I've dropped since my surgery nearly 4 months ago. WOW!
Needless to say, I'm feeling great about the new me. Physically, I've never felt better, I'm wearing "tiny" clothes (size 38 pants, size "L" polo shirts), and I'm finally able to once again wear my college ring which has been gathering dust for the last 10 years. Again, I know that this journey is still in the very early stages, but it's been an amazing ride thus far!
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11 Week Report on September 4, 2007 5:08 pm
Ok, so it's a weird title, but considering that some of my posts somehow ended up getting erased, I'm not going to worry about titles anymore!
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So my surgery was 11 weeks ago today..............and the numbers must be reported:
High Weight (10/23/06): 327
Surgery day weight (6/19/07): 297
Weight 4 wks post-op (7/17/07): 265
Weight 8 wks post-op (8/14/07): 253
Weight 11 wks post-op (9/4/07): 243
So I'm down 54 pounds from surgery day, and down 84 pounds from my all-time high..........and I can't say that I'm anything less than thrilled with my progress! I feel better and better each day and I'm just in wonderland when it comes to my "new" life.
My annual physical took place a few weeks ago and it was a total love-fest. My PCP is thrilled my results thus far and has been very encouraging throughout the entire process. When he got my bloodwork back from the lab, he sent me my results with a wonderful note. I actually feel compelled to note those results here, as they dramatically indicate the change in my internal health since the surgery.
Cholesterol 203 158
HDL 32 55
LDL 138 89
Triglycerides 212 69
All in all, no complaints!
The compliments keep coming every day from many of my colleagues. Seems like everyone either wants to know what I'm doing or want to share their own WLS experiences or those of someone they know. My energy level is higher than it's been in years and I'm able to wear dress shoes all day long without feeling like a cripple when I get home. I think one of the other nice things about losing all this weight is that I have choices again...........and it's all good!
More to come in the following weeks!
Back to school....and the world! on August 26, 2007 6:11 pm
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I cannot believe that summer is at its end, but tomorrow morning, I head back to school to get ready for the coming school year. This summer has just flown by as I've been focused so hard on my recovery from surgery and beginning to learn the new relationship with food that I'm still working on developing. As any of you who are post-op already know, the notion that WLS is somehow the "easy way out" of obesity is a complete fallacy, and if the general public (or as I like to call them, the "great unwashed" LOL) only knew how difficult it is for someone like me to attempt to rewire my brain where food is concerned, they'd never claim anything about this process was "easy"!
Only 3 other teachers in my school knew what I was going to do on June 19th, but I think even they will be shocked when they see me tomorrow morning. The 50 pounds I've lost post-op has made a tremendous difference in my appearance, and it hasn't hurt my self esteem any either. I'm really looking forward to blowing some minds tomorrow morning and beyond as my colleagues get a good look at the "new" Bill.....should be fun!
One of the most beautiful side effects of the surgery and the weight loss is the improvement in my outlook on life and everyone around me. I'm simply a much more positive person........oh, I'm still a bit of a pessimist and a cynic, but all in all, I'm really excited about my life, my career, my marriage, my family, and everything we're involved in. Feeling this way is not something I'm used to..........but I'm sure enjoying getting used to it!
Donated 4 big trashbags full of old clothes today..........went through the closet and dresser drawers and said goodbye to clothes that have served me well, but now represent someone I'm not and will never be again. Naturally, I kept one pair of pants......size 50 Dockers. Gotta have something for the "after" pictures!!
Clothes shopping for school was a blast.........shopping in NORMAL stores again! Buying polo shirts and dress shirts in a size LARGE.....can't even remember the last time I didn't wear an extra large, and suddenly I'm down two whole sizes! WEEEEEEEEE!
My pants are down to a 42, although I'm sure in no time, I'll be in the 30's again for the first time in 30 years!
That's all for now........I'm sure I'll have MUCH more to post about tomorrow.
Not sure what happened...... on August 26, 2007 8:12 am
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I went to edit the posting I made about 2 weeks ago.......and somehow it got completely wiped out.......ARGH!
Oh well, guess I'll just have to post again a bit later today.....
I don't think I'm all that different from many of the other people on this site. Growing up in an overweight family, I can't say that I've been obese my entire life, but I've certainly always felt that way. I know that I was always among the biggest of my peers, but it's only been in the last 10 years or so that my weight has, for lack of a better term, "ballooned" to its present level. My weight has always been an issue for me, but after being diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea in 8/05 and being put on blood pressure medication last October, I finally reached a point where I realized that WLS was going to be the tool to allow me to take control of (and truly LIVE!) my life.
I've always been an active person, but over the last 10 years, I've found myself becoming increasingly less active....no longer joining recreational softball leagues, no longer riding my road bike, etc. I've found that most physical activities have become either uncomfortable, painful, embarrassing, or all three combined. Either way, I've retreated from things that used to give me joy.
My wife is exceptionally supportive of my efforts to change my life, and without her encouragement, this journey would be unthinkable. Still, it's my 3 year old son Ben who provides the most encouragement of all. I want to be around to be the kind of active father he truly deserves and to see him grow into manhood, and I truly believe that without the surgery, that might never happen. That thought alone keeps me motivated to make the lifestyle changes I'm going to need to make in order to be successful.