Long Time No See

Oct 10, 2011

Wow, talk about being gone for a while.  It seems like yesterday I was one on the forum looking for help and advice.  I am now 3.5 years post op and I have managed to keep off half of what I lost.  I started out at 367, lost down to 210 and I am now a very comfortable 280.  I have had plastic surgery and have to stomach of a 21 year old now = hard as a rock.  I can wear 42 jeans, tuck in my shirt and have my waist look much smaller than my stomach.  I work out 4-5 days a week  about 30-60 minutes and I have the energy of a young buck, both in and outside of the bedroom.  Life is great, I would love to get back down to 210, but honestly, I was really working out and running like crazy 6-7 days a week, 2 hours of workouts a day.  Not really normal by any means.  I am on NO meds of any kind except for B12 shots, fish oil, multivitamins, and calcium citrate.  I can eat pretty much anything I want, just kid size portions.  It is nice having the security of a small pouch so you can't overindulge.  Nice to know I will have that forever.  

It is crazy, the other night I was out with some friends prior to going to a college football game and one of the guys actually put down 3 of those mammoth size $6 burgers from Hardees, plus fries, and a large Coke.  I was totally floored and dismayed.  It was all I could do to eat the $1 burger, half of a medium fry, and half of a medium Coke.  That instance just reminded me of how great life was.   

All in all, things worked out really good for me.  One of the BEST LIFE SAVING DECISIONS I EVER MADE.  :-) 

Checking In

Jun 18, 2009

Well I am about to go on a trip with my father and my two kids to Pennsylvania and leave the wife so she can have some peace and quite to herself.  Actually it is about me and my dad having a little bonding time and visiting inlaws we haven't seen in a while.  My kids will be seeing their Great Great Grandmother for like the second time in their lives up in PA.  The other great thing about this trip is that we are going to Hershey Park - Amusement rides galore - last time I was there, I could only ride 3 rides because of my size at that time = 5'7" and 367 pounds.  Now that I am about 220, I will be able to ride everything that they have to offer.  Needless to say, I am overly excited about this trip for that one very reason alone. 

Weight is still awesome.  Maintaining everything pretty easily.  Exercise just keeps getting easier and easier every single day.  I take nothing for granted about my new lease on life now.  I am having fun doing all the things I dreamed of being able to do.  I actually go outside without my shirt on now, I take my shirt off at the pool/beach and feel very confident in how I look now - I actually feel like I own the room when I walk into a place now - I know that sounds arrogant, but actually I'm not - I am just stating that I now have a confidence in myself that shows on the outside instead of me just feeling it on the inside - like when I was overweight/fat.  It is truly amazing the compliments and the flirting that goes on with me now - never in a million years did I think this would happen, but lo and behold it has happened - I have become the person that I often dreamed of becoming.  It is truly, and I do mean truly, amazing at what this surgery has done for my life in all aspects.  I would do it again in a skinny minute - no questions asked, no hesitations whatsoever.

Be good, TazRN

Good Living

Jun 04, 2009

How's it going?  Well, things seem to be rolling along just like my last post.  No real issues to complain about.  Still living life like there is no tomorrow.  I am still constantly working out like a fiend now.  I run religiously now and find I feel like crapolla if I miss a day of running (2-4 miles) + I lift weights 30-45 minutes after doing my run.  Note - I always run first to get my metabolism and heart rate up, that way, when I lift weights, my metabolism is still in overdrive.  Lifting weights will get your metabolism up too, but not like running will.  In doing all of this working out, I have put on a good solid 10 pounds of muscle mass.  It was kind of irritating because I am trying to lose weight, not gain it, but the medical person in me knows the muscle weight gain is fine.  For reassurance and confirmation, I spoke to the doctor about it and he said that is fine.  As long as my waist is getting smaller or staying the same, that is fine - I am now a 38 waist - I could probably squeeze into a 36, but I wouldn't like it for the long haul over an entire day. 

No real food issues to speak of.  I find I can pretty much eat whatever I like, but I do try to make good choices when picking my foods - I am always thinking protein first and everything else is just icing on the cake.  All of the things I did preoperatively/postoperatively have continued to work for me.  I work hard at trying to follow the guidelines for eating and whatnot.  I do slip sometimes and indulge in some special treat (for me, it is Jelly Belly jelly beans - sour flavored - oh my God - makes my mouth drool thinking about them).  Unlike before when I would slip and stay on a continuous indulgence of something tasty, I now only have a little bit and feel very satisified.  Instead of eating the whole bag, I will only eat a handful or two.  Big difference now.  

Well, what more can one say.  Everything you can imagine in my life has turned out for the better because of having gastric bypass surgery.  I would tell everyone who is thinking about, go for it.  Do it for yourself, not for other people around you - yes, those people like your wife/husband/kids will benefit greatly from you having the surgery, but ultimately, you have to be the one to live with it, so do it for yourself so you can be happy.  I will say this now, I see so many people who are over weight now and I look at them and say to myself  "that used to be me 15 months ago".  I sometimes just want to run up to them and preach the gospel about gastric bypass surgery and how it can change their lives.  I really need to do a better job of promoting that to people, but it is a fine line to cross - I don't want to offend people or push something on them that they don't want.  Tough call.

Well, that is enough for now.


Catching Up

Apr 27, 2009

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month and a week since I have posted.  I am finding that it is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with everything.  I remember when I first started this whole process and I wondered if I would ever get to the point I am at now.  Don't get me wrong - I was very confident in me being able to do it, but to actually visualize myself where I am at now, it seems like so long ago and it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders or should I say my body.  I feel like such a different person now - I am more outgoing, more personable, more social in all aspects of my life.  I find myself now taking my shirt off outside and being the envy of other men in the neighborhood and the gym - I have become a total gym rat - my wife thinks I am married to the gym and not her anymore.  Many of my neighbors and friends can't believe how well I have turned out - seeing how they new me before my surgery ad how I looked then.  Total dramatic change - quite jaw dropping if you look at my pictures and compare before and after shots.  Life is certainly greener on the other side when you aren't so heavy.  People treat you very different when you are heavy. 

It has been such a wonderful experience for me and my family.  I am finally the person who I always wanted to be.  I look in the mirror and truly love my self not just mentally, but physically also.  I am not being conceitied, but it is what it is - I like the way I look now and I now know that other people love the way I look.  If I had a dollar for every compliment I have received so far, I could buy a new car - literally.  I am going to take every compliment I get because I have truly worked my tail off to get where I am now.  I have said this many times, the surgery is a tool we are given to help us, but what we do with that tool after surgery is totally up to us.  I have used my tool to the fullest to become the best person that I know how to be.

Life is fantastic.  I feel like I am beating a dead horse sometimes by saying this all the time, but it never gets old in my book. 


Thoughts On Scale Numbers/Height-Weight Charts

Mar 20, 2009

People often wonder and compare their bodies to insurance weight charts.  This really is a bad idea for all of us involved.   There are just too many variables to factor in when you look at things like body composition, age, height, race, sex, genetics, exercise, etc. - you get my drift.  You can't go by the charts that insurance companies use because they are antiquated relics that should be abolished - somehow we are all still defined by these criminally insane charts - not fair, but that is the reality.

I'm 5'7" and now weigh 220 pounds, solid as a rock all over with veins popping out everywhere, 1XL shirts, 36 waist  - I started out at 367 pounds and a 56 waist 12 months ago.  My surgeon says I am at the perfect weight for my body type.  Say What?  Yes, that is what I said also!!!  If you look at those charts - it says I should weigh about 158-160.  No way, no how - I would be on deaths doorstep or six feet under - per my doctor.   I always had a personal goal of 200, but now as time has progressed onward, I realize I may never get there - and that is okay.  My surgeon never discussed goal weights because they are not realistic - as he put it to me almost a year ago when I started my weightloss journey - "why put that pressure/expectation on yourself - it is only a number".  He says more patients come up with that "Goal Weight crap" than the surgeons do.  As he puts it, people get these goal weight ideas from the "weightloss web sites and forums" - we actually help perpetuate this problem.  Even though he told me this, I still put a goal weight on myself initially.  It was only recently in the last month and a half that I have given up on this pipe dream.  For me, it is now all about how I feel mentally.  It is more about how my clothes fit, what my lab work looks like, and how I look in the mirror.  I could care less about the scale number now.  I have actually put weight on, but it is good weight gain from muscle mass and not bad weight gain from fat storage deposits.   

Always remember this if nothing else, your weight is not ever going to be defined by a number ( you may want it to be and that may be the expectation of others - very hard for people to get past this point - it was for me).  Try to define yourself by how you feel mentally and how your clothes fit.  If you can do those two things, the number just won't matter or have as much meaning anymore.     


What's Been Happening?

Feb 25, 2009

Well, the answer to that question is LIFE.  It seems like that is my answer for everything now a days.  My life is still utterly magnificent now that I have gone through all of these changes - physically, mentally, and socially.

My body feels like it has fully healed up from having plastic surgery.  No bad issues/concerns to report (knock on wood).  Physically, I am working out like a fiend.  I lift weights continuously and I now do a full out run (run - not walk some and then run some - big difference) of at least 2 miles every day except for Sunday.  A year ago I never would have thought that this would be tangible or even possible.  What a difference from then and now - holy cow. 

I am maintaining a pretty normal lifestyle now in terms of food I eat and incorporating those eating habits into my personal life with my family - both at home and out in restaurants.  I feel really normal now - for the longest time I never thought I would get to this point because I thought I would have so many diet restrictions - little did I know.  My body is maintaing a constant weight now of about 224-230 = anywhere from a 137 to 143 pound weightloss.  I have put some weight on from my previous low of about 217, but I am actually attributing that weight gain to muscle mass.  I feel solid as a rock.  My clothes keep getting smaller = waist is now 36-38 (it used to be 38-40) inches even though I have put on about 7-16 pounds.  I am happy as can be.  I feel like when summer rolls around, I will get back down to that weight of 217.  If not that is okay.  I am no longer so focused on a number like in the earlier stages of my weightloss.  I am aware of my weight in terms of a number, but it really is irrelavent as compared to my clothes and how they fit, as well as how I see myself in the mirror.  I love how I look now and that is a far cry from how I felt about my body image just 6-10 months ago.  

In closing, I have my one year follow up with Dr. Givens on 3/3/2009.  I look forward to that moment.  I thank God everyday for giving me a second chance with my health, my quality of life, and the opportunity to be around so much longer now for my kids and my wife.


Life Update

Feb 04, 2009

What do I say that hasn't been said already so many times.  Things in general are outstanding.  I absolutely love my newfound zest for life and all it has to offer me each and everyday.  Health is fantastic.  I recently had a 1 yr. followup for lab work and all looks great.  My A1C score (long term diabetic indicator) is 4.9 = healthy as can be.  Calcium, B12, Iron,etc. is well within normal limits.  I couldn't be happier with the decision I made to have the RNY procedure.  It has well been worth everything I have had to go through to get where I am now.  Along those same lines, I am doing well post-op (6 weeks) from having had plastic surgery for a panniculectomy.  I love having my 21 year old "abs of steel".  I don't have the 6 pack or 8 pack abs of steel, but there is no extra skin whatsoever, I am flat as a board and my abdomen is hard as a rock baby. I love the fact that I now can wear jeans/pants and not have that stomach roll make me feel so self concious.  It is nice to be looked at complimented on how good looking I am now versus where I was almost a year ago.  My self-confidence is amazing now.  I no longer worry about what people think or say about me because I now know that people are no longer starring or talking about me because of being so overweight.  That one fact alone is worth anything in the world - at least it is to me.  

Oh well, enough for now.  I really do need to get some fresh pictures posted of my new stomach.



Three Weeks Plastics Postop

Jan 13, 2009

I saw the doctor yesterday and things are doing just fine.  I did have one little snafu postop that happens pretty regularly.  I had developed a small rounded area to the left of my belly button in the last couple of days and come to find out, it was what they call a seroma - blood filled sac.  I originally was worried it might be a hernia that had developed postop, but he reassured me it definitely was not.  To fix this problem he injected a need right into the sac and removed about 100cc of old blood.  You could actually tell it was starting to break down already.  It really was not painful at all and he even said it would have went away on its own eventually.  Having him remove the old blood definitely felt better, both mentally and physically.  It smoothed my rock hard abs out to being flat once again.  He did tell me it is possible that it might fill up again, but it should subside and be just fine.

Other than that, life is awesome, weight remains steady and holding at about 225 now.  I have not been able to workout now for about three weeks nad it is killing me, mentally, on the inside.  I really do miss the gym and what a new lease on life it has given me, in addition to to thaving the RNY surgery.  The surgeon did tell me I could start working back out as I could tolerate it.  My incision line looks great and it will just keep getting better with each and every passing day.  I plan to jump full force into working out again come Monday of next week on the 19th of January.  That will have been one full month off.  I would start back today, but with the seroma having been drained yesterday, I thought it might be best to give it one more week -which the surgeon said was okay.  I really do plan to buckle down when I start back working out and I hope to lose my last remaining 15 pounds of weight.  No matter what happens, even if I don't lose the last 15 pounds, I will still be okay and life will be excellent.  

I am tickled pink with my new body and my new lease on life.  


One Week Plastics Follow-up

Dec 31, 2008

I just got my drainage tube out yesterday - 1 week post-op.  Not fun showering with the drainage tube hanging around your neck.  It was definitely painful the first two days, but overall it has been a very good experience with the plastic surgery.  I would do it again in a "skinny" minute.  I look/feel fantastic now.  I have the rock hard abdomen of a young 21 year old college kid.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever look the way I do now.  I can move/bend my body in ways that were never possible 10 months ago.  It is almost unreal to look down now and see a slim stomach minus the FAT Roll - that is basically what I had left over since losing all my weight.  I can see the tips of my toes with no problem whatsoever.  Life is great and it just keeps on getting better every single day.

Anyway, be good and have a safe Happy New Year.  Party hard and enjoy the moment. 



4 Days Post Op - Plastics

Dec 27, 2008

I must say that things are much better than I anticipated at this point.  I feel great and I feel like doing more than I am supposed to.  I am taking it easy, but it is hard to refrain from lifting objects around the house.  I am so used to cleaning (that is the neat freak in me) - vacuming, windows, dishes, making beds, etc. - it is hard to resist the urge to have a clean house.  My wife has taken over those things for now, but she isn't quite as anal about those things like I am. 

I am off of my pain medicine now.  I don't really have any pain at the incision sites that I can tell.  They did create a new belly button and my whole stomach area feels relatively numb.  I'm not sure if that is related to numbing medication the surgeon may have used or if it is related to nerve endings that were cut.  I guess time will tell.  I have my first follow up visit with the plastic surgeon on Tuesday of next week so he will give me the definitive answer about everything then.

Until then, take care and be good.


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May 28, 2007
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