Exciting Update! Life and All it's GLORY!
Jun 18, 2015
Well, it's been about 6 months since I've updated my blog. It's been a crazy 6 months to say the least! There have been entirely too many ups and downs for such a short amount of time. But I've made it through relatively unscathed. I won't bore you with the details on the downs... It's all just a part of life; living and dying.
For the ups, though! Where to start! I got a new tattoo. I'm completely in love with it! It was my Super Pi day birthday present. 3.14!!!
I tried the vitamin patches you see advertised from time to time. Several of the DSers have been giving them a try since they bypass our malabsorption and absorb directly into the skin. It seems to be working well for many of them. I was not so lucky. For some reason, the patches messed with my kidneys and my urine production decreased dramatically. I began swelling and the weight was piling back on. I was on the patches for 6 weeks and gained about 18 lbs during that time. Once I realized it may be the patches, I discontinued use and the weight came back off within a few weeks. I'm holding steady at 203 right now. I'm not sure what made me react that way to the patches, but now I know that what I was doing before was just fine! This whole journey is trial and error. Keep trying new things until you find what works for you!!
Musings from the past are shaping the future... At 425+, I lost so much of myself. I was just the shell of a person... Just existing and taking up space. As I began to lose after the sleeve, I started to feel like myself again, but I could never quite reach her. And regaining so much weight, I felt like the failure of a lifetime. I lost so much time and all the progress I'd made seemed gone. After adding the DS and losing the regain and taking this new body to new lows... I still felt like something was missing... An integral piece of the puzzle of what made me, me. I knew I wanted to go back to school and finish my degree, but every option felt as though I was settling for what was convenient. I don't want convenience. I want a challenge. I want passion. I want a life that is exciting and worth every moment that I'm living it!
So, I guess the biggest news I have is that I'm back in school!! But best of all, I am refusing to settle. I spent 2 years working on a psychology degree that I didn't want because it was convenient. But working in mental health for a state licensing board, I understand the ins and outs of credentialing and all the bureaucracy that goes along with the pissing contest that is the mental health field... best whiny voice I can muster "My credential is better than your credential." Not only that, it takes a special person to counsel people. I am an enabler. Enablers do NOT make good therapists! LOL! So... Going back to my roots. Going back to my original hopes and dreams that drove me from kindergarten through my senior year of high school. I'm now a 34 year old pre-med student!!! I'm working on a biology bachelors in human medicine! This never would have been possible 225+ lbs ago! There's just no way. With every pound I gained, I fell further and further from the life I wanted. Goals no longer became attainable... Just hopeless pipe-dreams. But not anymore. Way cool, huh!?!?
Some of the downs I've had during the year have driven me to make the pre-med decision even more. Not only has it always been my dream to be a doctor, but I've always been compulsively drawn to helping people. No matter the problem, I will fight tooth and nail to help figure out what's going on. And of course, my most favorite pastime is researching. Dealing with obesity my entire life, I'm curious about what causes it. There's so much freaking data out there.
I'll tell you, though... The most fun part about being a pre-med student is the unlimited access to medical journals. A DS friend sent me on a researchers wild goose chase when he mentioned that there was a correlation between leptin resistance and obesity. So a few weeks ago, I had my leptin levels tested... just for curiosity's sake. My leptin level came back at 10.6 and my range should be somewhere between 40-125 based on my BMI. If you don't know, leptin is the satiety hormone. The opposite of ghrelin. Leptin is produced and secreted by your fat cells. This helps regulate your weight. If you are leptin deficient or leptin resistant, you have a harder time losing weight because your body constantly believes it is in starvation mode... therefore holding on to everything you consume. No matter how healthy you may be eating or how much you may be exercising. Your body doesn't recognize or doesn't produce enough leptin to make your body burn the calories for energy. Instead the calories are stored as more fat.
So... in researching more. This was where I found information on not just leptin resistance, but congenital leptin deficiency. I needed to understand why a person's leptin would be deficient. If leptin is produced by fat cells, wouldn't an obese person have high levels of leptin. There had to be something blocking the production. But what is it??? LLLOOONNNGGG story short... I found a correlation between high levels of cardiovascular C-Reactive Protein and the inhibition of leptin production. If a person is deficient... and not just resistant, can't deficiencies be corrected? By naturally lowering the C-Reactive Protein levels in the blood, the affect should be that leptin production will naturally increase.
So I'm playing guinea pig. The DSer's diet is extremely inflammatory. No matter how much we absorb or don't... it's fat and protein. I'm changing things up a bit. I'm balancing out my diet a bit better. FRESH everything, more omegas, little to no processed foods. Few extra supplements to help reduce inflammation. After doing this for a while, I'll go have my leptin levels checked again to see if there is an increase. Along with checking the CV C-reactive protein marker. Wish I had a baseline for that one...
So that's been my last 6 months. Lots of wonderful things. Dreams, goals, passion... I'm finding it all. If there is anything that I've learned during this journey, it's that ANYTHING is possible! It's never too late to change my fate. And most of all... I AM ENOUGH!!!!
Feeling normal... For the first time EVER!
Dec 17, 2014
Truly... it's an odd feeling sometimes. Being overweight/obese/super morbidly obese my entire life to being just normal is... surreal. I remember the last time I was in a medium/large top and size 16 pants. I was probably in 7th grade. Prepubescence didn't make that time any easier for me either. Middle school was a nightmare. Lots of bullying and all of it revolved around my weight. At 5'1.5, a few extra lbs definitely make a very big difference on this body.
But here I am... at 198 lbs all the way from 425. And I must say, I look tiny!!!
7.5 years out and I'm definitely enjoying the journey... with all its dips, dives, speed bumps, road blocks, twists, and turns.
227 down. But the wisdom gained has been priceless!
Sep 04, 2014
After all this time... I finally made it! On August 25th, I had a circumferential abdominoplasty and a mastopexy to help remove skin. The surgeon removed 22 lbs of skin but after losing that, the scale is still moving in the right direction! I must say that once I saw 199 on the scale, I cried like a baby. I started this journey over 7 years ago when I had the sleeve. Just shy of 2 years post addition of the duodenal switch, I never dreamed this would actually happen. I knew it was possible but starting out 425+ pounds... onederland just seems elusive! But I'm here! I'm only 39 pounds away from my goal weight and for the first time in my life, I truly believe that I will get there!
MAJOR MILESTONE!!! 200 lbs gone!
Feb 17, 2014
This is 7 years in the making!!! My highest known weight was 425 lbs. On February 15, 2014, I got on the scale and weighed 225 lbs! I will be 33 next month and I haven't seen this weight since middle school!
I am still so in shock, I don't even know what to say.
I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm closer than I've ever been.
Next goal is 212. I'll be half the person I was. =)
NSV of a LIFETIME!
Feb 10, 2014
For the girls birthdays, we got them tickets to the New Orleans Wizard World Comic Con. On Saturday, we spent the better part of our 10 hour adventure on our feet - walking and seeing everything there was to see at this amazing event! I was amazed by my FitBit's readout at the end of the night. Almost 17,000 steps and nearly 7 miles walked. I think about where I was 7 years ago when I started this journey... I even reread My Story and remembered how badly my back hurt just to stand at the sink to wash dishes. An outing like this was something that only existed in my wildest dreams. I never want MY weight to stand in the way of someone else's dreams and for a long time, my inability to do things like this has kept my girls isolated. That's so not fair to them. The memories they created on this trip will be ones that will last a lifetime... They got to meet Glen (Steven Yeun) from The Walking Dead and get a picture with him. They got to see Stan Lee and Dean Cain and Linda Hamilton and Zach Galligan! We sat in the audience for a taping of an episode of SyFy's The Heroes of Cosplay! Those are so few of the many awesome things we saw and did!!!
There is absolutely no way I could have done this 200 lbs ago. No way.... So this was something completely foreign to me. I've been big for so long, I tend to avoid social situations and crowds like the plague. I think I mentioned before that I deal with an insane amount of anxiety. But despite being sick (2 weeks now with a head cold and chest congestion), I did it. I didn’t allow my insecurities keep me from enjoying myself. I didn’t even think about how still being 100 lbs overweight would affect my joints or how much pain I might be in later. I didn’t once allow any of that to keep my girls from having the absolute best time possible.
We had a freaking blast! They are already planning to go again next year!!! Who knew living was gonna be so much fun!?!?!?
Waiting for the big 200!!!
Dec 17, 2013
This has been a moment in the making for almost 7 years now. My highest known weight is 425 lbs. As of this morning, I'm sitting pretty at 229 lbs. I don't know why, but I can't wait to make a post somewhere announcing that I've lost 200 lbs. I think to myself... That doesn't seem like a very attractive quality - to be able to say, I've lost 200 lbs and don't look like a stick... to be able to say I've lost 200 lbs and still have more to go... meh... It's my reality and I could care less what other people may think of me. Losing 200 lbs is an AMAZING achievement!
So I'm ALMOST there... 4 lbs... This is what ALMOST 200 lbs lost looks like. Not too shabby if I may say so... =)
Keep moving forward!!! One day at a time.
Taking Things to a New Kind of Low!!!
Nov 07, 2013
I'm a few days shy of being 13 months out from my Duodenal Switch. I have finally surpassed my lowest weight and lost ALL of the weight I'd regained. My weight this morning... 234. 2 lbs less than where things took a screeching halt the last time.
So... This is new territory for me. Being this weight represents so many things to me right now and some of them are scary. For the first time in 15+ years of being together, I weigh less than my husband. From my heaviest weight, I have lost 191 lbs. 9 lbs away from 200 lbs lost... I am 35 lbs away from ONEDERLAND! I'm almost in need of a size 18 pants. All of these things and MORE make me excited and anxious about going further.
All of my concerns are in my head. Mostly doubts... Can I do this? Can I be successful? So much of my life can be chocked off to unfinished projects and half realized dreams. I don't want this journey to be that way. I have a goal. Maybe it's too lofty. Maybe it's not. But I'll never know if I don't give it everything I have and at least go for it!
This next year coming up is representing a big change for our family. In just about any circumstance, change is scary. It's tough not knowing what to expect. The only thing we can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best. With that said... Stress is a huge trigger for me to eat. I will be battling this and I know and understand that this will be a daily struggle for me. But I will remember that I do not need to stress over things that are beyond my control. We will make it through and be better for it in the end!!!
2014 is going to be a GREAT year!!!!!
7 Months?? Not this time!!!!! - 11 months out
Sep 15, 2013
The last time I went through this whole weight loss journey, I got stuck in the 240's for 7 months! I managed to break through and get into the 230's for about 2 seconds before climbing back up to the 350's. Now... here I am again in the 240's. I've been here for 2 months already. This morning's weight was 244. I refuse to be stuck here for another 5 months. But I can say that I know this won't be the case. My weight loss might be slowing down, but I can say that it's not because I'm eating the wrong things this time.
Here is my latest photo comparison. The first picture was taken Dec. 2006. I remember this day so clearly. This was the day that I thought I was having a heart attack when instead I was having a panic attack. I went to urgent care and their scale said 425 lbs. This was the moment that sparked the change. I was 25 years old. It makes me so sad for the girl I see in that picture. 7 years later at 245 in the second picture. I still have such a long way to go, but I have come so far already. I don't ever want to forget that girl... but I know I don't ever want to be where she was ever again.
Goals have been so important to me on this journey. Not necessarily weight goals, but more accomplishments. My most recent one I've been working on is to prepare for a 5k that we will be participating in this fall. I'm up to 2 miles in 39 minutes before I feel like I'm going to keel over. And that's pushing it. So I'm trying not to push so hard and just keep at it. I'll get there. My goal is to finish the 5k in under an hour. So if I can do that, then I'm good! I can improve from there. But that gives me something to work at.
I'm debating on getting a personal trainer after the first of the year. I'm not 100% on this yet. The thought of it freaks me out. But at the same time, I feel like I need someone telling me what to do so I can make the most of this body I have. It will be tough not being able to see the results under the rolls and folds of skin, but at least I know it's under there and I'll see it one day when I have the extra bits removed. And using a personal trainer will only help me get to that point faster. So I'll be weighing the options. It's in the budget... so we shall see!!!
Till next time!!!
10 months out!!! Can't stop me now!
Aug 29, 2013
The first pic is from my highest of 425 lbs. The infamous black skirt that I wore at that weight... and my most recent pic at 250 lbs - taken on 7.29.13
Currently, I'm at 248 lbs. Just got results from my hematologist and my iron levels are in completely normal ranges! I will be going to see my primary care doctor in a few months to have a full panel of blood work done again to check my other levels and see if my other deficiencies are improving.
I anticipated being a slow loser since I wasn't a virgin DSer, but I am really pleased with how well I've done so far. I'm learning every day what is best for this body and the DS makes it easy to keep making those good choices. Best of all, I'm learning to not turn to food when I'm stressed. The foods I used to run to for comfort cause me so much pain and agony, I'd rather just find a more constructive way to de-stress. So I've spent most of my weekends crafting. Pinterest is my new best friend (cough cough... transferred addiction)! LMAO!
The only demon I haven't managed to conquer is the lazy one... Well, maybe not lazy... Just a lack of motivation to MOVE! And when I do, I'm not consistent. I choose not to make it a priority. And when I try to, I make excuses to justify why I just don't do it.... Too busy, too tired, too preoccupied, too hot... Helping a kid with homework, gotta clean house, gotta do laundry, gotta shop, gotta cook... In the back of my mind, I KNOW that exercise is just as important as taking my vitamins every day. So why CAN I commit myself to taking my vitamins but I CAN'T manage to get off my ass and bounce for 5 minutes or take a walk around the neighborhood. *Stupid slap*
From 425 to 248... I don't have my weight holding me back anymore. My excuses are getting lame... even to me!
As a means to quit making excuses, I'm committing myself to a 1/2 marathon! In February of 2015... But to get started, I've got to work my way up. I don't do 1 mile let alone 13!!! To force me to start training, as a family, we are planning to participate in our first family 5k in November. Couch to 5k here I come!! Do they make a bed to 5k? Or a floor to 5k? I'll get there... but I have to start somewhere. And the road to somewhere starts with the first step.
8 Months Later...
Jun 11, 2013
It's been 2 months since my last update. I just made 6 years out with my sleeve and 8 months now with my DS. I have learned more about my body in the last 2 months than I have during this entire journey. I neglected to obtain the proper follow-up care, vitamin supplementation, and routine labs when I was sleeved and now I'm dealing with the consequences of having to play catch-up. I am working closely with a fantastic hematologist to help me correct my deficiencies as well as addressing my iron deficient anemia via iron infusions. Just had my first one last week.
From 425 at my highest to 236 at my lowest... to making it back up to 353 back down to 258. I remember being at my lowest weight thinking I was still so huge. And then gaining 117 lbs and wishing I just could have appreciated the size I was at the time. Well I'm in that size again and I can tell you it feels good!! I am definitely appreciating this journey much more than I did the first time around. I am learning by leaps and bounds. Every day seems to be something new. Re-learning the DS way of life and how blessed I am to have such an amazing second chance. It's just fantastic.
Being that I am a revision, I expected my weight loss to be slower. I am ecstatic that I have lost 95 lbs in just 8 months. I feel like asking for any more would be greedy...
In going through this journey for the second time, I'm learning how important it is to set goals and maintain some kind of accountability. I have a group that I post to every week for a weekly update. I tell it all... the good, the bad, and the ugly. There is no other way for me now. Because if I can't be honest with myself, how will I ever get anywhere? I'm done with the justifications. I'm done with the exceptions. I want to be healthy and live a life that I can look back and be proud of.
So far... I'm feeling pretty proud.