Jul 13, 2013
Yesterday was my 1 month surgiversary. I did photos, measurement, and weigh in.
By The Numbers
I had started playing around with better diet at the end of May, even though the official start of my preop diet wasn't until 5/29. I thought the first of the month would be easy to remember. I measured on the 23rd to see if I could attempt to capture evidence of the elusive 3 week stall and the veterans' advice that you are losing inches during that time. More later on this topic. I remeasured on 7/1, a month down from the original measurement, and again on my 1 month surgiversary.
In total, I lost 28.3 pounds in the period of time from 6/1 through 7/12, so most of my preop phase through 1 month out. In that same time, I lost 19.25 inches.
Most importantly, I hit my goal of 20 pounds down since the morning of surgery. I also know that it's going to slow down rapidly from here, but I am pleased with the head start that I got.
My measurements really surprised me, and although it is too early on a Saturday for me to be doing any sort of serious math, I can certainly play around with visuals. So, I mapped my measurement info on top of my weight loss graph. Here is what I found:
First, that spike between 6/10 and 6/17 is my post surgery spike. If you are a newbie and you see this, let me clarify: YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT IN THE HOSPITAL - in my case, 10 pounds. Luckily, mine came off pretty quickly - within days, and I was able to get down to business.
As you can see by the graph, I never really stalled, but I did hit what I referred to as the doldrums in late June starting at around 2 weeks out. Loss was sluggish at best, stagnant at worst, and I was trading the same half pound back and forth for a few days there. So, we'll call that my "3 week stall". I marked it on the graph.
You might have heard vets tell you if you are not losing pounds, you are likely losing inches. I wanted to see if I could find this for myself. I started looking around at what my measurements were doing in that time. I marked them on the graph, as well. I did a little bit of math, and found this. Between the first and second measurements (8.5" lost), it equated to an average of .38 inches lost per day. In the second segment (3.5" lost), it equated to an average of .43 inches lost per day. BUT, in the final segment, which included the tail end of my "stall" and beyond, (7.25" lost) it equated to an amazing .60" lost per day. That is over 1/2 an inch per day lost off of my body! No WONDER it felt during this time like my pants fit loosely one day but reached comical, clown-pant proportions seemingly overnight. So, in Mythbuster fashion, I will rate the advice that if you are not losing pounds you are probably losing inches...
Here is why I didn't rate it confirmed. I could not prove, based on the measurements I did, that inch loss occurred at the same time as pound loss. But, I will say it shows that there are good things going on internally when we're stalled (or, for me, sailing in circles). More importantly, it probably also proves that I will never win the Nobel Prize for math, so if anyone who is/was a math major reads this and wants to take a swing at some different analysis, I will be more than happy to share my raw data.
How I'm feeling
I think the sleeve and I have ended the first month on really good terms.
On protein: In the first month, my sleeve and I had one mild disagreement over a Chike shake, leading me to the conclusion that while Chike shakes taste good, I need to avoid them for the time being. Unjury is providing the smoothest sailing for me at the moment. Even my preop go-to, Isopure, tastes very metallic now. Oh, and I cannot forget my old friends Syntrax Nectar Lemon Tea and Roadside Lemonade. They have really gotten me through, with their 100 calorie, thin liquid, non-creamy goodness. My only gripe about the Nectar shakes is that when I put them in my shaker bottle, I get a lot of foam, which is somewhat offputting. If I stir them in a cup, they don't really mix all that well, but there is less foam.
On eating: My doc seems to have a very conservative diet advancement plan, so at 30 days out, I have only spent about 3 days on pureed. And you know what, that is ok. I still find myself reverting back to full liquids (blenderized soup) for lunch most days. I'm playing around with how to amp up protein, like adding 2 tablespoons of unflavored Greek yogurt to some spicy soup (hint: it tastes like sour cream!). It's very doable at the moment. My best purchase was my Magic Bullet blender. I blenderize everything in that thing. Highly worth it.
On drinking: I have learned a few things: 1. It is hard for me to drink drink drink, so I needed my in-your-face reminder rings (see previous blog post about human abacus method of tracking liquid consumption). 2) room temp beverages go down much more gracefully than cold. 3) flavored beverages go down much more gracefully than unflavored, but strong flavorings stop me in my tracks. (see my previous blog post about 2 things I won't do again). 4) I lose better the more water I consume.
On energy: The first two weeks, I felt like this:
I would try to do something (like get up and brush my teeth) and at the beginning, I'd feel fine. But, not long into it, I was just wiped out, sort of like the chicken at the bottom of the image, in the walkway. I was on track to become a contender for the Olympic napping team. Toward the end of that time, I rapidly felt better, and once that started, I started talking to my doc and boss about returning to work. The doc was unconvinced, but I persuaded him that the brain was coming back online, but I recognized the body was lagging and needed more time, so how about working remotely? Everyone was happy about that, and I returned on POD 28, from the comfort of my bedroom recliner chair. Perhaps happiest of all was my family. Once the brain woke up it noticed plenty of things that needed to be done around the house, and since the body was still on restriction, this meant they were elected to carry out my work. So, they were more than happy to have mom distracted with work again.
I return to work, swimming, working out with my trainer, and, well, anything else I want to do in less than two weeks. I think it is funny how the doc said that once I clear my 6 week checkup, I will be cleared to do kickboxing (if I want. I don't want). It amuses me that one day I cannot lift 26 pounds but the next, I can kickbox. I am sure there is a progression underneath here somewhere, but since they are not tracking me every day, I appreciate that I need to follow the rules till then.
On healing: 3/4 of my incisions are closed and fine, but still feel a little "grabby" inside now and then. I figure this means they're still healing on the inside. The one in my belly button continues to lag, but it looks like it's in the final stages of losing the last of the scab now. Immediately after surgery, I was covered in a lacy, itchy rash on my abdomen and back. I figure it was either a reaction to the iodine prep stuff they used, a generalized reaction to the steristrips, and/or a reaction to CT contrast they used when checking me for clots.
On getting on with my life: Two big things have happened: First, I bought clothes from a regular store, in a size XL. (you will see the dress in my photo at the end). Second, I hired an image consultant to help me redefine my style. I am already learning a lot and am looking forward to Laurie 2.0 as we go. I cannot wait to restart with my trainer, and I think the combination of the three will be such a great combination. I work my sleeve + work out and keep losing, my image consultant helps me target my look, and I keep shopping in regular stores! Wheeeee!
Finally, here is a photo of me taken last night, with my son who graduated from high school (in my XL size dress):