Almost a year out

Aug 21, 2008

I am almost a year out from surgery. I have been thinking about what changes have occurred in my life this last year. I have lost 130 lbs and gone from a size 28W to an 18, for pants and skirts and from 3x to L in tops. I wore the new suit I bought for a court appearance yesterday and it was amazing to realize I was wearing a cute misses suit from JC Penny, when a year ago I would have had to order something online.   I went off of all my blood pressure medication and my pulse rate has made a huge drop. I have been very fortunate, while I have sagging skin it is not as bad as I expected. I am very comfortable in this smaller skin but I still find myself thinking of my self as fat. Hopefully, my mental picture will adjust to match my physical picture over the next year.    I have done very well food wise. I carry a water bottle with me all the time. I drink mostly water and herbal tea. I can eat most anything that I have tried. I still tend to focus on protein but I have had a few more carb foods in my diet over the past month. I can have small amounts of some foods like chocolate or a single cookie, with out too much trouble but mostly I limit these. There are several things that were a major part of my diet before surgery that I have not had in the last year. These include diet soda, pizza, bread and pasta. I have tried small amounts of rice and potatoes but they are not a major part of my diet.    I exercise regularly, which I also did before surgery but I have so much more energy and can do things that I never imagined. I have run sprints, done pull ups, jumping type exercises and it is amazing to see how much stronger my body has become.    I am having a blast dancing; I have more stamina and can dance for hours which I love. I have been able to buy costumes off of the rack and while that has been very exciting it also has been a little expensive. I would rather buy costumes than work clothes.    Overall my life has changed dramatically over the last year but it is still my life. I still do the things I love including go out to dinner with friends about once a week.   I still love to cook and am learning how to better size down my cooking so I don't eat it for weeks.    Amy

The nine month update

Jun 15, 2008

It has been a while since I sent out my last update, and I have had a lot of wonderful experiences that I want to share, so I am apologizing in advance for this long entry, also while this is a nine month update I did not have a baby but I have lost a small person  

First lets talk about the numbers, as of yesterday June 14th, I am 9 months out of surgery and have lost a total of 120lbs. I have also been measuring my arms, calves, ankles, legs, hips, waist, and bust and have lost a total of 81 inches. I started in a size 28W pants and a size 3x top. I am now wearing a size L top and a size 16W pant. My feet are even smaller, I no longer need wide shoes and have dropped between ½ and 1 size depending on the shoe. All of this puts me 30 lbs from my surgeons goal for me, now I would actually like to be a little lower than that so I am shooting for about another 50 lbs. Now I have reached the part of my journey where it will be somewhat harder to lose weight so I suspect it may take at least a year for me to reach my goal but that is ok by me.

I am generally eating about ½ to ¾ of a cup for a meal, some days it is more and others it is less. I am still eating mostly high protein low carb but I have tried a small bite of rice, bread and pasta and they seem to be ok, but they will never be a huge part of my diet. That seems so strange to me because I was a huge bread pasta and rice eater I frequently had all carb dinners. But I am really not that interested in them any more, I also really don’t get hungry. I know when I have waited to long to eat but it is not the overwhelming hunger that would make me want to eat everything in the fridge.

Now I want to share a couple of stories about how this surgery has changed my life.

I have bought a couple of tops in xl and such but a couple of weekends ago Ross to get a cheap bra for a costume. Next to Ross was a dress barn. I haven't been clothes shopping anywhere but discount stores but wanted to see what the new spring stuff was. I saw this on dress in the misses sizes that I just loved, but all they had was a 16 and I really didn't think it would fit so I decide to look at the women's stuff. There was a great sexy halter dress in an 18W so I tried it on and it was too big, so I went to the 16W and it was about right. Well I decided that if a 16W fit I might actually fit into a 16 dress so I picked up several others that I had liked, including the one that I spotted as I went in the store. I decided that the first dress I looked at was perfect, It fit great. (ok I need to wear a real bra and some control panties). It took me 22 years but I am now shopping in misses sizes and I can't wait to see all the new stuff I can wear.

Since I started bellydancing, I have taken dance workshops at least a couple of times a year. Generally these workshops are about 4.5 hours long, with a 1/2 hour break in the middle to catch your breath and have a snack.

Before surgery I would generally make it through about 3 hours of the workshop and be completely spent. The next day I would barely be able to move. Well I did a workshop last weekend and it was incredible. I danced all 4 hours, learned a ton, had more energy and was better able to move and was actually complimented by the instructor on how well I was doing.

I am so thankful for how well this has worked out. I know some people have heard horror stories about surgery and I also know some people with problems but I have been extremely fortunate that I have had no complications and this surgery has really changed my life. Now I still have to deal with my emotional issues related to eating but I am working on that and as always I am a work in progress.

Instresting realization post surgery

May 05, 2008

I was out with some dancer friends this weekend and we were talking about our favorite restaurant Grecian Gardens and how much we miss it now that it is closed. Now given that I needed WLS it might be easy to see that what we missed was the food. Well the food was pretty good particularly their dolmathes and avgolemono soup, but generally the service wasn't great. But we loved the place because they supported belly dancers. The owner paid (not much) a dancer to be their every night and one Saturday a month they held open dances so people could perform. The owners were elderly and it closed suddenly about a year ago. So after talking about Grecian, I started craving dolmathes and avgolemono soup. Now I never found a place that had as good dolmathes but Olympus burger comes pretty close, and their soup is pretty good, but they add chicken to the soup.

I still have trouble with ground meat, so dolmathes are not currently on my list of foods to try, but that soup has been in my brain all weekend. So tonight after the gym I stopped by Olympus burger and got a container of soup, and a grilled chicken salad (for lunch/dinner tomorrow). I really enjoyed my 1/2 a cup of soup. It tasted wonderful, and I realized that I was as satisfied with that 1/2 cup of soup, and didn't have to eat the entire container.

I have been noticing that I really enjoy my food now that I have learned to slow down and savor what I am eating. In the past I would have eaten the entire container of soup and the grilled chicken salad and not really enjoyed my meal. Before I was eating quantity and now I have learned to enjoy each bite. I knew that surgery would change my life but I really didn't understand all the little things that make this such a wonderful adventure.

Amy :)

I am no longer Morbidly Obese!!!!!!

Apr 11, 2008

I have lost 100 lbs since my surgery 7 months ago. I now have a BMI of 39.1, meaning that while I am still obese but not morbidly obese. I started this journey at 350 lbs and am now just under 250. I went to see my surgeon this week and he is very pleased with my progress. He was very surprised when I reminded mentioned that I had been on blood pressure meds before surgery, because I have been off them for months, and my blood pressure numbers of 127 over 77 with a pulse of 50. Before surgery, I always had a resting heart rate in the 80-90’s.

I seem to be growing out of my clothes fairly quickly right now, but that is kinda fun!. . I went to Mexico City with Nancy a friend that lives in the same appt complex. We saw some amazing history and had a great time wondering all over the city. Now there were days that my feet hurt from all the walking and standing but I never felt exhausted and even made it ½ way up the pyramid of the sun. (I would have made it all the way but I was more worried about getting down the steep stairs in the short amount of time I had before the bus left.

The history in Mexico city and the city itself was amazing and I will definitely be going back to see more. The current population is about 27 million people. The traffic was indescribable, they would squeeze their car into any available space, but they were courteous drivers and we didn’t see any accidents. We also went to the Basilica de Guadeloupe, which was very amazing and left me pretty speechless, a common occurrence on this trip! The people we extremely helpful and pleasant, and we had no problems until we

I am so happy about how gastric bypass has changed my life. While it was a big decision, I know that it was the only possible way for me to be healthy again. It also is not a easy way out. I still have to watch what I eat, eat very slowly, don’t drink anything with my meals, generally only drink water, and exercise, and I have been fortunate that I rarely get sick. But I still have to follow my Dr rules about eating and drinking or I will get sick. Now if it would finally decide to be warm I could spend more time outside!.

Six months and I have lost a ¼ of myself .

Mar 16, 2008

I had my gastric bypass 6 months ago Wednesday. I am amazed at all of the changes that my body has undergone. I have lost about 90 lbs and 66 inches, my bmi has gone from 54.8 to 40.6. That means I have lost a 25% of my body weight and about ½ of the total weight I want to lose. That works out to an average of 3.4 lbs a week.

I can honestly say I don’t know when I was this weight the last time. I know that I weight less now than I did when I moved to Salt Lake City. I have been extremely fortunate that I have had almost no complications. There are days where I still struggle to get in all of my calcium supplements, I generally only miss one of the 4 I take daily. I have gotten off of all my prescription medication except my allergy meds. I

I have completely outgrown my entire wardrobe, and have been able to donate most of my stuff to a local thrift store. Luckily, I found a great sale on some work attire and ended up buying some tops in my current size and the next size down for $5 each. I even grew into a xl coat that I won at a work contest 5 years ago that never fit. Before I had surgery I was wearing a size 28 pant and now I am between an 18-20. I even bought a size 18 swimming suit that fits.

I have so much more energy than I ever remember having. I have been working out with a trainer and going to the gym and I can’t wait until spring actually gets here so I can spend more time outside. I had my first belly dance performance of the year, and while there were some glitches, the best part was how great I looked in my costume. This is the first time I have been able to purchase a commercial costume. They never even came close to fitting, so I had always made my own.

I really do feel like a new person and I am looking forward to the next goal, which is to have a bmi of less than 40 which would take me out of the Morbid obese category.

I hope everyone has a great Easter and spring.


Strugle with food and stress

Feb 20, 2008

I have been struggling a lot this week with food. I am grazing and snacking outside of meal time and more from habbit and not hunger. (snacks have been soy nuts, jerky, and I did eat some popcorn)

I know that part of it is I use food to deal with stress and my seasonal depression. I think part of it is that my PCP recomended that I stop my depression meds and in hindsight I probably should have waited until spring. I started back on them today.

It is not helping that work is very slow and we are in a transition phase between companies. While in the longer term I think things will be better at work, I am not fully billable for the first time in 6 years and it is very scarry.

The work that I do have is also pushing me into a realm where I am not very comfortable. I am headed to Pa this weekend to teach an 80 hour training course. I have done some short single day classes but this is the first time I have taught a 2 week course. Also the material I am presenting is not my own, it was put together by someone elses. I am scared about teaching the class, and there is a lot of client specific information that I am still just learning. I am also worried about how the stress of teaching, and travel will impact my eating, vitamin, and drinking schedule. ( I fly to Pa sunday feb 24th teach for 5 days, fly back to SLC on Feb 29th, dance on Sat March 1st, fly back to Pa on March 2nd and teach for the rest of the week returning to Slc on March 7th)

Complicating things my biggest stress reduction activity, bellydancing is also stressful right now. I am actually using frequent flyer miles to fly home for the weekend (in the middle of the training course) to make the biggest performance of the year.

I know that everything will probably work out fine but I am really stressed right now, and I am working very hard to not fall back into bad habits.

Sorry for the long rant but I needed to get this off my chest.


Five Months later. I don’t know how my life could be any better

Feb 10, 2008

So it is almost 5 months since I had gastric bypass surgery. There have been a lot of changes in my life that I would never have expected. I started this journey to be healthier, by taking a drastic approach to addressing my weight issues. I was fortunate that my insurance approved my surgery but I still would have had surgery with out insurance. The experience has been priceless.

As of today, I have lost almost 85 lbs, and 59 inches, with 10 off my hips, and nine off of my waist, and I even lost 2.5 inches around my neck. My BMI has dropped from 53.3 to 41.7.

More importantly, I am no longer on any high blood pressure medication, my blood pressure is 106/68 with a pulse of 73. I don’t know what changed but my resting heart rate has dropped since surgery. Before surgery, my resting heart rate was in the high 80’s low 90’s, it is now consistently in the low 70’s.

I have so much more energy and everything I do is easier. I don’t have trouble carrying stuff up to my apartment, I am not tired after dance practice and don’t get winded during practice. I even went to a 4 hr dance workshop yesterday and while I was beat at the end, I was able to do almost all the workshop. (I did have a problem getting dizzy when we were doing part of it by I think it was way too much spinning).

I have all new clothing in my closet, nothing else fits and it was all donated to a local charity. I have a lot less stuff in my closet because I don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes that I won’t be able to wear for long.

Right now I have a pair of size 20 pants that fit great, but last summer I had to buy size 28 jeans for work. My feet are even getting smaller. I have worn size 9 ½ wide for years and I have a great pair of 8 ½ dress pumps that I love. None of my rings fit, and the new watches I bought at Christmas, will have to be adjusted.

Overall I have been very fortunate, I really haven’t had any problems. But weight loss surgery still requires that I watch my diet and exercise regularly. I am still working out a schedule to get all of my vitamins in every day. I do better on the weekdays but weekends get me off track. The biggest issue is calcium. I can only take one pill at a time and I have to space it around my other vitamins, so getting in all 4 is a really challenge some days but I am getting better.

I eat a lot differently now. My diet is mostly protein, and vegetables. I am generally eating about 800-900 calories a day with about 75g of protein. I drink water, iced and hot tea, and sugar free lemonade. I have not had a diet coke since August. I still dance every week, and I also work out at 24 hour fitness. As I learned in the past, it works much better for me to stop at the gym on my way home from work, so I get there at least 3 days a week.

I posted a picture of me taken this week. I am working to finalize my performance costume for the year and this is a first look at the costume. I am stunned at how different I look. It wasn’t until I saw this picture that I really saw the change in myself.

Things are great and only going to get better.


Life is Good

Jan 20, 2008

Hi I wanted to update you all on my progress.
I am still thrilled with my surgery, and this morning I weighted 271 lbs.  Which put me right at 80 lbs lost.  I have not been this weight in a long long time.  That is less than I weighed in 2000 when I got my Masters Degree.  I also went out to purchase pants this weekend and my top has gone down from a 3x to a 1x in turtlenecks, and I also bought a pair of 20 pants down from 28. 
I am amazed at how much better I feel, and I have lots more energy.  I realized Thursday after dance class that I danced the entire hour and wasn't completely out of breath.  I also fit into my costume bra, I may still have to add some to the belt but the bra fits great.  Also, I got the result from my Company Physical, and my blood work is great.  My total cholesterol was 139, my triglycerides were 87 and my cholesterol/DHL ration was 3.3 which givees me a coronary heart disease rick of below average.  Even better my BMI was 54.9 which made me Super Morbid Obesity.  Now my BMI is 42.4, which still is Extremely Obese, but it is getting lower and I am Extremely happy. 
I did struggle this week with food, mainly because I am really tired of eating the same old things.  So I didn't cook last weekend and really didn't plan well.  I am still not really hungry but I do notice when I go too long with out eating.  I also went out to Lunch with a friend and I made what I thought was a good choice, a chile pulled pork sandwich with smoked gouda cheese, with a garden salad.  While, it wasn't a bad choice, I ate 1/2 the pork and cheese off the sandwich and some of the veggies in ranch dressing, I also go a huge serving of potato chips.  I will know better next time to ask that they leave the chips off.  I did eat a couple of chips but because I have to focus on getting enough protein, I was full and couldn't eat more an 2. 
I think that is one of the best parts about the surgery.  While I still have to watch what I eat and exercise, the surgery makes it almost impossible for me to screw things up too badly.  I know that I would have eaten all the chips before surgery because they were there and I could.  This time they were there but I couldn't eat them. 
I also have to admit that looking better is also a great bonus.  I was cleaning out my car yesterday and my neighbor pulled into the adjacent parking place, and told me she couldn't figure out who was in my car, then realized it was me!. 

Four Months

Jan 06, 2008

Well I survived my first holiday season after surgery. I did eat a few of the Hershey kisses that I brought back and some Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M but overall I did fairly well.

I was with my parents in Las Vegas and Laughlin Nevada for most of the holidays, and had to eat out for most meals. I am really getting better at that which is a really good thing with me. I know that with my Job the reality is I will always have to travel and deal with food on the road.

I went for my 4 month follow up visit and the Dr is very pleased with my progress. I don't have to go back for another 4 months.

Overall I am down almost 70 lbs and I have lost over 45 inches. I have really seen the difference in my clothes and I actually bought a 14/16 sweater while on vacation (a huge change from the 26 that I was wearing a couple of months ago).

I am very excited about the New Year and the new me. I know that it will be a much healthier 2008.


3 month update

Dec 15, 2007

It has been a little over 3 months since I had surgery. What a different 3 months can make. I have been off of my blood pressure medication for a month. It amazes me that I have a normal blood pressure with no medication. I had been on blood pressure meds for about 12 years.

I have lost about 65 lbs, and have had to purchase new clothes. Everything I owned previously is pretyy much falling off. I have been able to wear a couple of suits that I bought several years ago. When I bought them they came with skirts, and pants. Well the skirt fit but I had never been able to get into the pants. Now they fit great so I will be wearing then for a while and hopefully shortly they will also be falling off.

My weight loss has been somewhat eratic, I lose a big # and then sit there for a couple of weeks, but I have noticed that when I don't lose lbs I lose inches. I have been measuring myself at 12 different locations. I have lost 6 inches off my waist, 5.5 off my hips and 7 off my chest. I have lost a total of 35 inches.

Overall things are going well and I am very happy with my progress.

About Me
salt Lake City , UT
Surgery Date
Sep 29, 2007
Member Since

Friends 29

Latest Blog 17
Almost a year out
The nine month update
Instresting realization post surgery
I am no longer Morbidly Obese!!!!!!
Six months and I have lost a ¼ of myself .
Strugle with food and stress
Five Months later. I don’t know how my life could be any better
Life is Good
Four Months
3 month update