- HEALTH TRACKER
Belmont, CA, USA
Post Op - BMI: 30.0
Surgery Type: RNY
Member ID: W1072288052
Surgeon: Jamshid Nazarian M.D., F.A.C.S
Click here for Brian's surgery support page
Click here for Before & After pictures page
Click here for the 12/2002 Reunion Page
Click here to print Brian's cards
(You can print your own cards, and if you're good at it,
you can help print cards for your friends as well!)
Click here to view Brian’s friends.
Another pic of me and Melissa on a recent date.
Well for the past 6 months I've been friends with this girl I met off Match named Melissa. She met her then-BF around that time too, but for some reason she still hung out with me on occasion as friends, invited me to New Years Eve party stuff. We became kinda close friends, sharing personal stuff, etc. She and her BF were having probs, she was wanting break up with him, but didn't want to be alone, however she and I were growing closer. So she finally breaks up with him a few weeks ago and now we are "seeing" each other and have some fun activities planned ahead. Things look pretty good, but taking things slow. Here the full pic of me and Melissa from a lunch we had about a month ago. I'll add some more as soon as I get them.
Yeah, here are some more recent pics of me
Ok, yea its official. I'm bad about updating my profile.
But today is very special. 3 years ago today, I had my WLS. I look back and I've found the greatest transformation for me has occured in this 3rd year. Yes the physical transformations occured in the first 2 years and those are what people mostly notice. But for me, this 3rd year has been quite an eye-opener emotionally.
I've done things in this 3rd year that I never imagined. Yeah I still suck at the dating game, but I've gained 5 female friends over the year. I've had zero female friends in the past. I've probably made more friends in the past 18 months than I have in my entire life. I've met people from OH, who are great and wonderful.
I've discovered what love is and how powerful it can be. I've learned to deal with my emotions and not hide from them. I've learned to not hide from people so much (I still do somewhat). And I'm finally getting a sense of who I am. The journey is still far from complete and there's tons and tons of work still to be done.
I've discovered that people approach me and want to know me on some level. Before I was just "the jolly fat guy" and now I'm a cool guy to hang out with or just talk to casually.
This surgery has gone far beyond just a physical thing, it really is a mental change. I still fight the food demon every day and realize it is never gonna go away and I resolve to never let it beat me mentally.
As for PS, well that just isn't happening until some other things happen and if all goes to plan, then maybe in 3 yrs I can have it done. I am still working, but just no insurance.
I still can't believe its been 3 years, it seems like only yesterday I was being wheeled to the OR at 7 am and then waking up in ICU at 1:20 in the afternoon.
Thanks to all those that I've gotten to know and who've sent me emails. I'm really excited about the future!
Till next time.
Wow oh wow, been a long time, sorry bout that :) I got a lot of catching up to do.
First off, I have job now lol. I work for Oracle helping them manage their websites. It is a contract job, which means no benefits, but it is a paycheck and could lead to something better either with them or another company. I don't know how long it will last, but the longer the better money-wise.
Second, a pretty important streak came to an end in late January. I somehow bungled my way into 2 "dates" with actual "women" *gasp* My 1st 2 dates ever. These were just like meet and greet stuff, had lunch, and then nothing more. I chalk it up to a good experience. I still have some other firsts that have yet to broken and if you are betting, I'd be the Over on those staying intact. The date streak is anew...5 months and counting.
Third, the PS front...it is dead. My COBRA ran out, so basically that means until I get new insurance (and deal with various exclusions) or win the lottery, then I won't be having any plastic surgery. You might ask if I'm bummed about it...and I'm really not. I've known nothing but living with this body and its deformities, so for me to endure this for an indefinite amount of time isn't the worst thing. The worst thing would still be weighing 585 lbs or more!
What else has happened these past few months....I had a birthday in February, turned 28. Hmmm oh yea, I believe this checker at Fry's hit on me indirectly and I was too shocked/stupid to realize it and blew the opportunity (yea I'm a putz). I pulled out my ID to pay with my CC and she commented "cute picture" then started chatting me up about the games I bought. This had never, EVER happened to me before, so it didn't really dawn on me what she was doing. Usually with any type of female, I try to get out and away ASAP lol.
I had a good shot with a chick from Match recently, had lots in common, she was cute, etc., but when I told her I was temporarily living with my parents, she bailed out like a fighter pilot about to crash into the ocean. I guess if she couldn't handle that dealbreaker, then she couldn't have handled my other ones (WLS, etc.)
Other than that, I'm still in good health, excerising regulary, the weight is stable and now I'm just hoping some pieces fall into place.
Feel free to e-mail me if you wish :)
Well today is my 2nd birthday. 2 years ago I was on an operating table getting cut open and beginning a new life. A year ago I was still about 300 lbs, but now I'm 215 and pretty much at goal. The only thing remaining is to have surgery to remove the 15+ lbs of extra skin that hangs everywhere. Insurance continues to deny me, but I'm hoping that once a new request is submitted and worded in a different way, that it will be approved.
I saw another PS for a 2nd opinion and he said I shouldn't lose any more weight because I have very low bodyfat, I'm in prime condition for surgery. Even though the scale says 215, everyone says I don't look 215.
I haven't changed my habits since surgery, I still watch my diet, I still excerise nearly every day, still increasing my distance (up to 4 miles in 1 hour). Once the skin is removed, I'm sure I'll be able to do so much more.
2 years ago, I couldn't fathom walking 1 mile yet alone 4, now it is routine. My PCP once told me that to lose weight, I had to walk 3 miles day and I walk out of his office thinking he was the craziest doc ever. Now 3 miles is too easy!
2 years ago, I couldn't fly without buying 2 seats, now I need just 1 with room to spare. I had to quit what I love to do most, bowling, because of weight, now I'm better than ever at it. I picked up a new sport, golf, that I would never have been able to try before.
2 years ago, I would have never gone to Vegas to meet with some of the great people in OH chat. I had a great time and hope I can do it again soon. While I'm still guarded about meeting new people, the feeling that all they see is a very fat guy is gone. I'm still quite secretive about my surgery, it's just something I regard as very personal. Once I tell people how much I've lost, I always feel like the spotlight comes on me and that's something I don't like. When I started my job at SBC, no one knew I was once 585 lbs, but then some people noticed I was losing weight, so I eventually had to tell some. Sure, they are supportive, but to me, it is not a big deal, it is something I had to do.
2 years ago, I couldn't even think about dating, even a year ago it was a passing thought. Now I can think about it, it just still isn't happening LOL. The online stuff is warming up a bit though, so perhaps I'll get date #1 in 2005.
2 years ago, I had a job, a year ago I didn't and now I still don't. So that is something, in the negative, that has changed. But I'm sure when something comes along, I present myself much better than I would have 2 years ago. I'm also looking at changing careers, but I have no idea what to change to. 2 years ago, health sucked, but career was good. Now health is great, career is in the toilet. I'm hoping things will all come together at some point soon.
Well that is my 2 year update, 370 lbs gone and still hoping that one day, I'll make the 400 lb loss club. Feel free to e-mail me, even though I don't update my profile as often as I'd like, I still do read and respond to e-mail :)
New pics from Vegas Trip
Let's see, nothing has changed much since my last update. Still waiting on PS approval because Cigna has had trouble receiving the pics even though my doc's office sent them in with all the paperwork. Still planning on October, though if my job get extended, I'll have to push it back.
Weight keeps coming off, though I'm trying to slow it down, I don't want to get the doc mad at me.
I saw my regular doc last month and asked him about medication to help with my social anxiety disorder. I get extremely anxious sometimes around people, really to the point where I have a physical reaction (rapid heartbeat, shaking, etc.) So I'm trying Zoloft for 6 weeks and I've noticed I have not had any intense axiety feelings since. Of course, real test will be when I actually have to do something that would be uncomfortable.
I recently got a set of golf clubs and hit the driving range for the first time. Was fun, but challenging. I got a long way to go to be ready to take on a real course.
Got some new pics taken today. Here they are:
Alright, back again. I saw Dr. Nazarian yesterday. Most of the visit was about the plastic surgery. He thinks he can get it done in 2 stages, one stage will be tummy to legs, then the 2nd surgery will be chest, arms and whatever is left over. He's talking about doing this a month apart, which seems awfully close. Dunno if I'll go for that. He also said I don't have to lose any more weight. I still think I need to lose some, but I'm not going to try as hard I guess. If I do lose some more that is great. I'm not going to change my food or excerise routine because I like it and it is comfortable.
I've also started to see a psych, not for food issues, because I truly believe I didn't have the food issues that others commonly have. I need to work out some things that were caused by the weight. I look back at my psych eval and Dr. Ben told me that it would be good to get help way before this, but I laughed it off. Now he's right. I lost all this weight, but I'm still the same miserable person inside. And if you read my story at the bottom of this profile, you can guess that it has to do with family and relationships.
I'm also going to stop going to Weight Watchers regularly. I'll still go once a month to weigh in, but the leader and I talked and he thinks I've got a good handle on things.
Lastly, I went bowling today (just practice) and shot a 288~!!! My highest game in 10 years. I've shot a 298 once when I was 18 (and probably a good 450 lbs), so I'm hoping I'm getting close to getting that elusive 300 game.
That's all for now.
Let's start off with big news....351 lbs gone. I'm really at a loss to explain how it feels, so don't ask me lol. I do know that this is really the final stretch run toward the Quad Club. The Quad Club would be -400 lbs which would put me at ideal goal.
I see Dr. Nazarian in 2 weeks and will be interesting to see how much more he wants me to lose before PS. I'm hoping to get to 200, but he want me to stop sooner. Actually if it were up to him, he'd do the PS right now, but I have to wait till this job ends.
For those wondering about my lymphedema, it continues to improve. Really they almost look normal except for some loose skin on the left leg that I think only surgery can correct.
I'm doing a summer bowling league with my brother on Monday nights, so I'm pumped for that. Haven't done a summer league in about 4 years. Even got a couple new bowling balls.
No progress on the online dating thing...not much of a surprise to me, just confirms what I've thought before.
Till next time...
Been a while since I updated. Lots of things going on. First off, I started a new job...contract job with SBC. Will last about 5 months, but I need it. This pushes back my PS plans to about October or so, barring anything else happening.
Weight loss continues to progress. I'm at 236 lbs now, which makes it almost 350 lbs lost. I'm still hopeful I can reach 200 lbs before PS.
I'm back in my parents home after moving in 2 weeks ago. It sucks, but necessary. Finally got my treadmill moved in so I can get back to stable excerise routine.
I've also entered into the online "dating" thing...as more of a bet with some people in chat than anything else. Nothing serious yet and I don't expect much from it. Gotta be much easier for women to do this than men.
That's all for now.
Time for an update as I have worthy news. Saw Dr. Nazarian on Saturday. He was very pleased as usual and said I'm in prime shape for plastic surgery. I'll need more than one surgery for sure, but the first surgery will encompass getting rid of the hanging pannus/apron, reconstructing the abdominal wall (god know I never had a good one), lifting the inner thighs and doing a mons lift or what I call a "johnson recovery". If there is time, he'll do my chest as well, but not sure. This surgery is going to be upwards of 8 hours. As soon as the insurance gets off their ass and approves this, I'll schedule a date. Dr. N really doesn't me to lose much more weight, not sure why, but that is a good thing.
Speaking of weight, I'm in a stall/plateau. I've lost like 1 lb in 2 weeks. I know this is probably normal, but I'd like to get down to 240 before the first surgery. Just is real hard to lose right now. Whether I excerise more or less, eat more or less, weight just stays the same. It is much more mentally than physically to deal with. Physically I'm great, but mentally it is grind because in the back of my mind it is like "is this all I can do?" But I think the mental discipline I've developed these last 15 months will help me weather this storm and the scale will soon start to go down again.
Still no luck on my job search, I'm moving back with my parents on the 24th-25th and will be fully out of my condo by April 30th. Been helping them clean up and move things around at their house. When all my surgeries are done, I can then concentrate on looking for jobs out of the area.
Till next time...
Well big day today. I reached my latest milestone in weight loss, 250 lbs. With that, I put up a new pic. I haven't been 250 since I was about 10 years old just to give you an idea of how overweight I was as a kid. So to reach this goal is a huge lift mentally for me going into my plastic surgery in May. I'm on my way to the goal weight of 200 lbs.
I see Dr. Nazarian in 2 weeks on April 3rd and I'll finally get a date and more info about the first procedure he wants to do.
At the bottom of my profile, you can see my weight loss progression.
Well March is here, new month, but still no job. Still sending out resumes when I can, but looking more and more like I'll have to move back with the parents.
Weight-wise, things are still progressing as I close in on the 250 lb mark and another pic update. Gonna add more of my story to this profile and give people some insight into my journey (or psychosis haha). Maybe one day I'll have some happy news to report. People keep saying that something will come up, but each passing day that is harder to believe in this economy.
Well I saw Dr. Nazarian on Saturday and he continues to be impressed by my progress. The next time I see him, he said I'll be ready for my first plastic surgery, a tummy tuck and mastoplexy (man-boob removal). I asked him about a Lower Body Lift, but he said it would be too hard on me and it would be better to do it in stages. So in 2-3 months I'll have chest and tummy done, then the 2nd surgery will be butt, legs and arms. He expects 15-20 lbs to come off in the 1st surgery. He took pics of my belly and chest for insurance purposes.
My staph infections are definitely caused by the loose skin. I have another one forming that I'm trying to fight off on my lower back with a hot compress, seems to be working.
In job news, I'm going to a job fair tomorrow. Don't know what to expect, but can't hurt to check things out, circulate the resume and see if I can get lucky.
That's all for now.
Been a while since I updated. Thanks to those that e-mail. Really enjoy reading and responding to comments and questions.
Job hunt still going on, had a phone interview yesterday, but today got the standard rejection e-mail. At least it was something. Not sure if this is the field I should continue in.
I do have some positives, still losing weight, though the body is trying to fight me again. I have to work really hard to just drop 1.5 lbs. I signed up for fitday.com and have begun tracking what I've eaten and I've probably increased intake too much, so I will cut back a bit and see if that works.
I see my surgeon on Saturday Feb 7th, will talk with him about a host of things from my edema to staph infections and see if he recommends a lower body lift. My edema has improved a lot, but my left leg may require a more aggressive compression method because it is lagging behind the right leg. I want to be under 260 when I see him, but not sure that will happen if the body keeps fighting.
Also been trying to get the homeowners association to clean the clogged gutter above my patio. Yesterday it rained hard and flooded the patio, almost into the house. A guy came by and drilled holes in the bottom of the wood railing to help drain water better. They need to fix this soon.
Will update again with my surgeon's report after Saturday.
Another 2 weeks, another 6 pounds gone. Slowing move the BMI scale down toward the magic 35 mark.
Still no luck with the job search.
I have been battling staph infections the past month. I've had 2 on my right buttock the past month. My doc is puzzled. They go away with time and antibotics, but are very painful. He says if I get another one, I have to go to a surgeon and be checked for an abcess under the skin. My surgeon thinks that is unlikely. I'm hoping this just relates to the excess skin I have back there and perhaps this can justify a lower body lift to the insurance.
My leg edema continues to improve I think, just by looking at it. I go to the edema therapist again next Wednesday and have new measurements taken. I've started taking Pycnogenol and Horsechestnut seed to help.
Well that is all for now, thanks to the people that write, I appreciate it.
Hey, finally got around to doing a profile. If you are reading this, thanks for checking it out. Finally got a lot of time on my hands as I got laid off from my job. Guess the upside is I can now workout a bit more. Everyone says something will come along, hope they are right.
As you can probably tell, I just passed the 300 lb mark in total weight loss, which now leaves me 80 lbs short of "goal"
If I can reach 200 on my own, then I hope the skin surgery can take me to 180-185 range and I will be so thrilled. My weight loss has sped up since I last saw Dr. N, which gives me hope that I can reach that 200 by June.
Will update this when things develop. Drop me a line if you wish :)
My battle with weight began at the tender age of 2 when my doc told my mom I was 5 lbs overweight. By the time I was 4 I was 75 lbs and by 5 I had reached 100 lbs. The weight kept increasing really fast, by age 9 I was already in men's sizes and by 13 I was over 350 lbs and could no longer be weighed on a regular scale. I was checked for every type of medical condition and thyroid problem and nothing was found. The big question is why...and it is a question that I ask myself quite often. I do not remember anything emotionally significant that would cause emotional eating, all I remember is that I liked food.
Both sides of my family have obesity history, my mom has battled her weight all her life, my brother too until recently. My family environment was most likely the cause because we lived with my grandma who did all of the cooking. And being of Portuguese heritage, she cooked a certain way, the fatty way. Even though she cooked the fatty food we ate and encouraged us to do so, she would then always complain about how fat we were. In the morning, she'd make comments, then in the afternoon be baking a cake for dessert that night. By the time I was self-aware of what was going on, the weight was already out of control.
I did try to lose weight, I did 2 stints at the local gyms, and even though I thought I was doing good, I could never measure progress. I still see the scale as a progress marker and good or bad, that's what it is. I could never get on the scale, so I could never get motivated. I also could never get the food part right. Yes I went to nutritionists several times, but it really went in one ear and out the other. I knew I couldn't do this by myself and family around me was unwilling, didn't care or sabotaged my efforts.
Weight continued to increase throughout high school and college, I mostly stayed to myself and made very few friends. Once I graduated and was making money on my own, my eating habits got worse and the weight started to gain more steadily. It got to the point where I couldn't even shop at the Big and Tall stores anymore, I had to order clothes online. I also had to give up my favorite sport, bowling. I could no longer take the strain on my hips. Walking just a block would really zap me. Somewhere in 2001, I just gave up. I resigned myself that there was no way out of this mess and I would never be normal.
My mom and brother were losing weight through Weight Watchers in 2002 and doing well. My mom would make comments several times a week "We gotta do something about your weight Brian" and this really ticked me off. I mean ticked me off to the extreme, I don't know why I held back, but I internalized my anger. When she said that, I would always say to myself "You had 25 years to do something about my weight and NOW you want to do something." I had other thoughts that were far worse and not fit for print here believe me.
So where did I get turned around? Well I was surfing the Net one day at work and went to an old site that I used to visit. It was the homepage of a couple of Internet DJs that I used to listen to. One of them named Dan Schulz was a really big guy, about 350 lbs. On the site was a link to a new site he started about Gastric Bypass surgery. I spent a lot of time there listening to the archived shows that he did with various doctors and patients. Dan himself lost about 100 lbs with the surgery and looked good. I could identify with him and his story, for the first time I thought that I could escape this fat prison. I started researching doctors and came upon the Liv-Lite Program. They had a center in Los Angeles and I began the process of contacting them.
I attended my first seminar in September 2002, I didn't meet Dr. Nazarian, just listened and Program Manager Rick got the ball rolling with the insurance. Intially I was supposed to have surgery in October, but at the October seminar I met with Dr. Nazarian and after examining me, he didn't want to operate. He said I needed to lose 40-50 lbs. I felt like I got hit in the gut. I was too fat to even have this surgery, I really was cursed. I didn't even know how much I weighed, but I must be a lost cause. After talking with my mom, I finally relented and went to Weight Watchers. They had a scale that could weigh me and so the next morning, we went to the early Sunday meeting and I stepped on the scale. It was October 20th, 2002.
585.2....585.2 is what that read. I was more stunned than anything. 14.8 more lbs would be 600 lbs. I had no idea things were that severe. My WW leader Frank was positive and upbeat that I could do this, so I gave it a chance. I followed the program and I finally had family support since my mom and brother had been on WW and my grandma was out of the house due to health problems. The WW program combined with a water pill that I was on, helped me drop 16 lbs in 1 week, all water weight of course, but it was still 16 lbs. I continued to drop and lost 45 lbs in 2 months. I also got cleared by a cardiologist and pulminologist who saw no reason I shouldn't be able to handle surgery. When I saw Dr. Nazarian in November, he was pleased and surgery was then scheduled for December 13th, 2002.
I left for Los Angeles on December 11th and the next day I went through a battery of tests. The worst was the abdominal ultrasound, not because of the test itself, but because I had to lay flat on my back and my back started to spasm. All my tests came back normal and I checked into the hospital about 3:30 pm on the 12th. After visits from many doctors, including the psych, I was in my room awaiting surgery. I don't know how much sleep I got, but I don't sleep well in strange beds anyway. I wasn't tired when I was awaken by the nurse who took my BP. Soon after, my parents arrived and then I was wheeled in for surgery.
The first thing I remember waking up was a clock on the wall in the hallway, it read 1:20 pm. I had gone into surgery about 7:30 am, I was out about 6 hours. I could hear people around me, but my perphial vision was still blurry, all I could see was the clock and feel the pain in my back, it was spasming again. I had asked the doc to keep me sitting upright after surgery so at least lessen the pain in my back. I did feel some pain from the incision, but it wasn't bad. I realized I was in ICU and had pulled through surgery, I had a tube up my nose, but it wasn't bothering me. My parents were there too.
After 24 hours in the ICU, I was moved to a regular room with a special bed so I could pull myself up. I had no tubes, just the IV in my arm. Later that day, I was taken for the Barium swallow test to test for leaks and I insisted on walking there because to get in a wheelchair was the worst pain imaginable. Bending over any degree was painful and the wheelchairs were so low that it was 10 times as bad. The test came back good and I was given ice chips to "eat" well no way I was hungry, but I had some anyway. The next day I was started on some clear liquids and an awful protein drink, tasted like sand, but I drank what I could. 1 day before I was to be released, a nurse gave me a drug called regalin (sp?) that was supposed to restart my intestines and bowels. Boy did it ever. Before surgery, I suffered quite badly from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and this stuff made my colon go into overdrive. For 3 days it was non-stop diarreha. Dr. Nazarian wouldn't release me and called in several specialists before 1 doc finally figured out that regalin was the cause and gave me some Immodium.
I was discharged on Saturday the 21st and went back to the motel my mom had been staying at. I finally flew home on Sunday and began recovery. Dr. N's post-op eating program was 3 stages: 1 month of liquids, 1 month puree and 1 month soft foods.
Liquids were not too bad, but I would sit in front of the TV a lot and the fast food commercials would drive me insane. I could not bear to eat with my family, so I drank my meals in another room and never went out when they were eating. It was the only thing that kept me sane. My first weigh-in post-surgery was about 10 days after I got home from the hospital, it read 507. Whoah! I weighed just before I left the hospital and weighed 540, so in 10 days I had lost 33 lbs. That was all the motivation I needed.
I returned to work after 4 weeks off and began the puree stage, that was the roughest part because puree food is like baby food consistency, it was awful. I much rather have liquids than that, but I preserved because I wanted to succeed. About 6 weeks post-op, I started to excerise. At that point, I had lost about 70 lbs since surgery and started with short 10 minute walks. My building was big and in the back was a deserted parking lot, so I could walk and no one could see. I began to increase the time as I got more comfortable and eventually started to lap the building. I continually wanted to challenge myself and challenge my body.
I was losing weight rapidly and reached the 100 lb loss mark in mid-March, about 3 months post-op. When I got my own apartment in May 2003, I bought a treadmill and could work out at home. I keep a strict excerise routine and can do 3 miles in 60 minutes.
Well that's my story, don't want to be too wordy and hope you can take some inspiration from this in your journey as well.
My weight loss progression
Leg Edema pictures from 12-03 and 2-04