Two Year Surgerversary Update :-) Still at goal

Mar 09, 2012

Well - long time no post for me - My last post I think captures the essence of where I am in my journey - but I wanted to come back and post at 2 years just so that there is a record of my progress.  Dear OH posters, I couldn't have got this far without your help and support and from reading lots and lots of posts on this forum from people going through the same journey as I did - so thank you all - I appreciate everything - the good, the bad and the ugly !


NOTE :It’s exactly two years ago today (well yesterday because I lost this post once!) that I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy and started my weight loss journey.  Today has been a bit of a reflective day, so the tone of my blog might reflect that. I never undertook the decision to have surgery lightly but am so, so pleased that I did and that I have made positive changes to my life as a result of that. Surgery has never, in my opinion, been the easy way out. I just know that I have worked extremely hard throughout every step of my journey to get to where I am today and I do not regret having surgery at all.


If you’ve read some of my earlier posts on this blog, you will know about the weight loss surgery I had and that I lost 72kgs in weight – exactly half of me – oops – now I’ve just revealed my current weight to you all – and surely no lady reveals her weight, it’s as bad, if not worse, than revealing your age !  45 in case you are wondering !  There you go – the awkward bit is out there !

When I started my weight loss journey (exactly 2 years ago today) regaining weight was one of the things that really weighed heavily on my mind (excuse the pun!).   I was adamant that I didn’t want to undergo major surgery only to regain weight at some later stage.  Sadly there are people who never reach their goal, or who do and then regain significant amounts of weight – there are even some surgeons who tell their patients to expect this and in a way it feels like they give them permission to do so as it’s to be expected !  But equally there are lots of success stories of people who lose the weight and keep it off – and these were the stories which inspired me when I was doing my research.

The people who lost the weight, reached goal and maintained their loss – were the people who, in my opinion got ‘IT’ ! Whatever ‘IT’ was – they GOT ‘IT’ and I wanted to plan to have ‘IT’ in place by the time I reached my goal.

My goal when I started losing weight was to be able to wear a UK size 16 clothes so that I could expand my shopping experiences beyond the few plus size shops and to reach a normal BMI as well as to be healthy and fit – but I didn’t have a clue as to what this meant in terms of goals or targets.  As I started losing weight I started to track things and I became a bit of a numbers junkie !  If it was a number which could be measured in any way – then I was going to track it and chart it (boy I love Numbers on the Mac – it’s so clever !)

Amongst other things I tracked :

  • Nutrition – calories in, grams of fat, carbs, sugar, protein
  • Exercise – daily steps, exercise intensity, Heart-Rate, Calories burned, distance, Resting Heart Rate, Blood Pressure
  • Measurements – my vital statistics, weight and BMI, dress size, shoe size (yes my feet got smaller!)
  • Body Composition – % fat, pounds of lean mass (muscle)
  • Pictures – I took monthly pictures to show my progress

I became an ‘expert’ in all things that could be counted, tracked or measured and it really helped me to be focused and stay on track.  Sometimes I couldn’t see a change on the scale but I could note that I lost inches, other times when the weight loss slowed down I was able to try and workout should I modify my eating or exercise plan etc using the information I had to hand.  But mostly just having this information at hand was a constant reminder to me of what progress I had made and equally how much work there was to still be done. The combination of all of this helped to keep me on track.

It also allowed me to reassess my goals and to refine them as my journey progressed.  For instance I became less focused on what the scales said compared to how my body composition was changing in terms of gaining muscle and losing fat. And as my exercise increased I became more focused on increasing my exercise intensity and complexity rather than how many calories I burned each session.  I also set myself exercise goals – to run a 10k and to run a 1/2 marathon which I achieved 10 months after my surgery whilst still overweight (and of course I ran them again this year and will probably continue to do so).

As I lost weight I made big changes to my life :

  • I started to think about food in terms of fuel or nutrition for my body with an emphasis of clean eating
  • I started to enjoy exercise and to miss it when I didn’t do it (who would have thought I would do that!)
  • I broke the cycle of habitual celebratory/commissary and frankly mindless eating and the sugar cravings associated with that.
  • I started to enjoy the ever changing shape of my body and how I felt (definitely more lean and toned and energetic, but also more confident, and more sexy too)
  • I became an ‘expert’ at quick food shopping – it doesn’t take long when you only visit about 10 aisles in the entire shop !
  • Heck – I even started to enjoy shopping for clothes and accessories which is something I didn’t enjoy when I was larger.
  • But most importantly I became more conscious of ME

As a result of doing all of the above I’m not at a point where I truly believe that I have GOT ‘IT’ – my own version of ‘IT’ that works for me.  Whilst the changes I had to make were dramatic at the start of my journey I’ve now adopted them as ‘just the way I do things’ and they are far more intuitive now.

So what is ‘IT’ for me ? – Well it’s not just one thing – it’s a combination of the following :

  • I’m not quite the numbers freak that I was ! – though I still weigh weekly and keep a check on my body composition  – but to be honest the fit of my clothes is just as good a measure for me now.
  • I know how much I can eat without having to weigh or measure or track it on-line although once in a while I will diary the odd day or two just to see how it is in reality.
  • I eat clean, because I like the way my body feels when I do this and I don’t like how it responds and feels when I don’t.
  • I exercise regularly and am constantly challenging my body to do more with lots of variety in terms of where and how I do my fitness.
  • I eat consciously and make adjustments to allow for the odd sugary treat or alcoholic drink or two (hey I am only human after all !!
  • I am learning to work with a completely new body shape – I have to dress to make curves now rather than to hide lumps and bumps !
  • And a result of this I have maintained my weight loss and am within my goal weight range (I have a 5lb acceptable tolerance range).

And in terms of the other numbers (well you didn’t think I’d completely forget about them did you ?) :

  • my body fat has reduced from a truly cringe worthy 49% to 22%.
  • My resting heart- rate has reduced from 109 to 52
  • My BMI is almost a perfect 25 – just a little above
  • I wear size 10/12 clothes !!!
  • My shoe size dropped down a size !
  • My bra size has reduced significantly
  • And as for my vital statistics – well – they are a secret !  but they are getting closer to Marilyn Munro numbers compared to those of a beached whale !

And in true me blog style – here’s a little reminder of some of my progress from March 2010 to today (and in even truer me style – most of the pictures are still taken in full length mirrors in the gym or washrooms !)

I wasn't able to upload the pictures so please click on the link - and feel free to subscribe to my new blog if you so wish to do so whilst you are there :-)


I've moved on ....

Nov 13, 2011

Ooops - sorry blog followers and OH readers - I've become a terrible OH blogger !

I got a comment on my blog a few days ago, and an email from a fellow OH'er a few weeks ago checking I was ok and this prompted me to realise that I haven't blogged for a while again - I am sorry - I really wanted to 'pay it back' to other people going through weight loss and plastics so that my experiences could help others as others have helped me and to some extent I've done this as I've blogged about every step of my journey until about 18 months out and for me  I guess the 18 month point is the stage where I realised that I've moved on and no longer really think too much about my VSG surgery or my plastics (TT and Breast Lift) 7 months ago and (thigh and arm lift) 5 months ago.

I'm still within my target weight range and find maintaining quite easy - I still focus on nutrition so protein first, but heh I'm human so do have food and alcohol treats and goodies which I really enjoy.  I'm still maintaining my fitness and am on track to do a 10k run and 1/2 marathon (23k's) in Jan and Feb next year.

My scars are healing well from all of my plastics and I see my surgeon next month for the final pics and sign off and then I really have completed my journey.

I still support ladies who live in the Middle East who have had/or are thinking about weight loss surgery and meet up with some of the ladies regularly - I really enjoy that as it's great to share experiences and the highs/lows of our journey.

I'm beginning to come to terms with being smaller - I think my head is beginning to catch up with the body which is great - though I've still not bought a full length mirror - so regularly make the security guys laugh as I am checking myself out in the mirrors in the lift to our appartment.
  I'm much more body conscious now - an extra 5lbs on my smaller frame is the equivalent of 25lbs on a heavier one and I can feel it - both in terms of my body composition and in terms of the way my clothes fits - so please be patient if a skinny friend frets about an extra couple of pounds - because believe me - you do notice it and it does bother you - as much as an extra 25lbs bothers a bigger person.

I'm currently on holiday in Indonesia and have just been on a 3 day trip on a boat to see Orangutans in Borneo which was amazing - what was more amazing was how great the trip was now that I'm so much smaller and more agile.  I didn't really appreciate that until I took a look at a few pictures from the last river boat trip we took in India 4 years when I was probably at my heaviest.  I've even bravely including a few pictures of me in a swimsuit at my heaviest compared to one taken today.  These are probably some of my less flattering bigger pictures which I've never been brave enough to share until today - I guess I feel that I owe it to you guys and myself to be honest about where my weight loss journey started and as to where it's ended - not that I'm giving up - just that I'm happy at being me and am proud of the decisions I made to have my VSG surgery and my plastics - I'm proud of the work I put into getting fit and healthy and most of all I'm very pleased that I found OH and learned from others and hopefully you can learn from me too.

I will blog occassionally, just not as often :-) as life continues for me much better than it did before I undertook this journey.

Not bad for a 45 year old heh ??


Ooops haven't blogged for ages .... Living Life :-)

Sep 28, 2011

Thanks to janetf83 for reminding me that I haven't blogged for ages - I've just checked and it's about 6 or 7 weeks since I last blogged about everything.  Where does the time go ?

Well I guess for me - I feel like I've moved on & am no longer on a countdown from my VSG (18 1/2 months ago) or my TT & Breast Lift (5 months ago) or my Arm & Thigh Lift (3 months ago) - I'm now just living life !

Hubby reminded me the other day that I hadn't asked him to take my 18 month VSG progress pictures which I have done religiously every 9th of every month since I had my surgery - I will get him to take 1 final set - but really I think that's the end of my monthly progress shots as I'm now very comfortably in the maintenance stage of my VSG journey - I guess I've been there for a while.  I never quite made my "half of me" goal (which was never really a true goal - but would have been nice to say - "YUP - I'm exactly half of the woman I used to be"), or the "normal BMI" goal - which I missed by 1lb - BUT I'm SO HAPPY WHERE I AM - I don't need to hit an arbitrary number to realise that I've achieved everything I wanted to do in terms of the scales & my progress - so what if it's 99% EWL not 100% - what difference is 1lb going to make & it's a brave doctor whose going to tell me I'm overweight & get away with it :-)  Also if you read my blog, you know that I'm not really a fan of BMI as I don't think it's the best measure of health.

So where does that leave me ?  Well maintenance is quite easy - I mainly eat primal - which is protein, veggies & fruit with some dairy (yogurt, milk, cream & butter).  I feel great on primal food - I don't feel great on crappy carbs (processed food) - but do occasionally have the odd muffin or ice-cream when I'm out - I'm human after all.  By following this way of life I seem to keep my body weight between 161lbs - 165lbs with the odd jump up to 168lbs - then it drops again.  I'm not too bothered - I'm still swelling up massively after exercise so I guess some of this is water weight and some of it is just normal body fluctuations.  What I will never do though is allow myself to get above 168lbs as this is my mental STOP sign & I know that if I cut out the extra carbs then my body responds accordingly & the scales drop again.

I don't track calories, protein or fat anymore - I still eat off a side plate, weigh my protein (150g dense protein max) - so I know I have plenty of restriction - actually it still fluctuates so some days I can eat 150g and some days less - no big deal.

I occassionally have the odd half glass of wine - it does go to my head so I don't have it too often but really enjoy it when I do, I've also had Baileys which is ok but too much gives me a sugar rush and I feel terrible.  I've not had one sip of fizzy drink/water since surgery and don't intend to again as frankly I don't miss it.

Exercise wise I'm almost back to normal - I've started running again and am in training for the half marathon next Feb (I want to do it in a good time so am training properly).  I go to Body Combat and RPM classes, I am back at Pilates - mat & reformer and try to get in 10,000 steps per day.  I am getting so much fitter now that I am smaller it's quite amazing - the other day I did 3 classes in a day and felt great - I have so much energy these days - it's FAB.

I had to take 4 months off exercise whilst I had my plastic surgery and as a result of that I lost something like 5lbs of muscle which turned into 5lbs of fat - I'm working on changing this as my main focus now (apart from to run the 1/2 marathon in a decent time) is to change my body composition and to reduce my overall fat percentage and increase my muscle - easier than it sounds - but totally doable.

I'm really pleased with the results of my plastic surgery - my breasts are just perfect (sorry sounds like I am boasting & and in a way I am !) - it's so lovely to be able to wear lovely lingerie and to be able to exercise without being hit in the face with my boobs ! - Seriously though my surgeon did a great job & I'm really pleased with the results.  My tummy is lovely & flat and my abs underneath are looking great - I'd quite like to get a six pack though - or a bit more definition - so am working on that.

The arms & thighs are also looking good though the scars are taking longer to fade than I would like - but I'm impatient !  Whilst the surgeon didn't remove lots of skin or fat from these areas - he concentrates on making everything proportional - the work he did has made such a difference - both in terms of form & function.

I am still swelling up if I exercise or overdo things particularly my tummy - I'm told it can take up to 12 months for the swelling to stop - I don't wear my compression gear anymore (yee hi) - but do occassionally wear an ab binder if my tummy is uncomfortable due to swelling and this seems to help to reduce the swelling and give me support.

My head is still catching up with all of this change - I still haven't bought a full size mirror (which I should do) so only really check myself out in the gym mirror or in the lift !   I'm wearing clothes which are size 6-8 US but still start out with much bigger clothes when I go shopping - the girls in the shops are getting a bit fed up with me now as I'm always asking them to bring smaller clothes to the changing room ! - I'm even brave enough to wear my bikini out on the beach & at the pool - AND I FEEL GOOD IN IT - yup even though I'm in my mid 40's !!  I've also bought more form fitting exercise clothes - you know - the close fitting lycra stuff & it looks good & I now stand at the front of my Body Combat class & am not hiding out at the back.

Now that I'm smaller I can appreciate how thin ladies say they can feel if they've gained a few pounds - I used to think that was rubbish - I mean I could gain 14lbs and not really feel it - but now that I'm smaller I'm more body aware, wear more fitted clothes & yes, a pound or two really does make a difference - so I now 'get' what they were on about - in fact - it's now me saying those things and my bigger friends saying 'no, what are you on about ?' - GO FIGURE - all this is new to me and I'm working my way through it.....

My new challenge is clothes shopping - I'm finding it hard to know what suits me and my new figure/shape - I am so tempted to buy things 'just because they fit' - which is what I did when I was fat - only this time it's because I get carried away by the excitement of something fitting in a small size rather than desperately be thankful that SOMETHING fit me when I was bigger.  It's a crazy feeling - I think I might need to engage the services of a personal shopper to help me figure out what suits me since I plan on investing in a full wardrobe of new clothes which will be of the fitted kind rather than having a large wardrobe of various sizes of unfitted, loose, comfortable wear.

So whilst this won't be my last post, I probably won't post here so often as I have done on the first & second parts of my weight loss & plastics journey - as I'll be out there - living life and having fun. 

                     ****** I now have more energy, take care of myself & my nutrition & I'm loving life ******

Would I do all this again ? - YES - in a heartbeat - I wish I had done it sooner - but hindsight is great !
Why I never saw myself getting bigger and took action at that time - I don't know
Am I proud of what I've achieved ? - HELL YES !

And here are a few pics taken in the last few weeks and of course, the before pics which I'm glad I took but are painful to look back on :: ENJOY !


4mths post TT & Breast Lift & 2 mths post Arm&Thigh Lift pics

Aug 17, 2011

Yup - time is flying by and I'm almost 4 months post TT (with muscle repair) and breast lift and 2 months and 1 week post arm & thigh lift.  I've put some pics below to show how I look today - I'm very swollen in the pics (up about 2 inches on my waist and hips) - I took this pics just after I did a hard pilates reformer class this morning which makes me swell)

I was cleared for exercise last week and whilst I am delighted with this, I've found it harder to get back into than I had anticipated - though to be fair, I've not done any exercise (with the exception of walking) for 4 months now - so in reality I should have expected a slow start back - heh - you know I was soooo missing my exercise - I guess I forgot that I would lose fitness in the interim :-(  and I have to confess that I'm finding it really frustrating.

In the gym, I've lost quite a lot of my fitness and am having to go back to basics with my running (I've started the C25k programme again so that I can increase my running incrementally) and have had to reduce the amount that I'm lifting quite a lot.  At pilates - whilst my ab muscles are still strong, they are not as strong as they were prior to my surgery and I know that I'm not able to do some of the moves with as much control as I was able to do previously - plus I've had to modify some of the moves as I can feel my scars pulling which is uncomfortable - particularly in my thighs and arms.
  I also get weird feelings with my ab muscles - they are numb so I can't always feel that I'm pulling my muscles in, plus then I can almost feel where he has done the muscle tightening - so it's a bit weird - I don't think I can 'pop' anything - but it still feels like I could explode and rip everything open (which would be somewhat unpleasant to say the least !).

Anyway - 'slow & steady wins the race' - so back to basics for me and then I can build up.  On the advice of my pilates trainer, I've decided to go to pilates mat classes for the next month so that I can concentrate on building my ab muscles and let the rest of my scars heal and stretch out a bit more before I go back to pilates reformer - which works on pulleys and weights.  I'm somewhat not pleased about this - as I worked really hard before my surgery to get to level 3 on the reformer (which is the top level my studio does) - but I know it's the right thing for the long term - so will swallow the advice and go back to basics (aaaarrrrggggghhhhh - frustrating).

On a positive note - I treated myself to some nice new gym kit - I got medium yoga pants & bra capris from Victoria's Secret (size Medium - yay !) and also some compression capri's and running tights from Fila which are great at giving support whilst you are swollen.  So whilst I hardly have any clothes that fits me - I have some great gym kit - well surely you've gotta look your best when you are your most sweaty !

Anyway here are the pics - I still have swollen thighs and am hoping these will shrink down a bit at the top, and also hoping that my arms will shrink down a bit - they still feel very swollen and delicate.  Whilst I don't have to wear my compression garments - I wear my sleeves when exercising and wear my shorts at night to reduce the swelling overnight.  I'm also still using the silicon strips and various lotions & potions on my scars - which are currently going through the 'red' healing phase !

PS - If you are considering surgery - you might want to ask for removal of the 'side bra fat' - which I still have & should have asked to get removed - I left it to my surgeon to decide if I needed it or not when he did my arm lift -after surgery he said not - to be fair it only shows when I  wear a bra - his answer - not to wear one ! (and to be fair I could do that now I have pert boobs!) and also note that a thigh lift doesn't reduce your saggy knees - so now I need a kneee lift (only joking !!)


17 Months Post VSG Pics & EXERCISE post plastics - YEAH !

Aug 11, 2011

Hey blog - here are my 17 month progress pics.  Down 140lbs since surgery and kinda at goal (read my previous post).  I had my VSG in March 2010 @ 299lbs & as of today amd @ 160lbs (okay actually only 139lbs down - but hey - call me out if you want to!).  I'm also 4 months post Tummy Tuck with muscle repair and breast lift, and 2 months post Arm & Thigh Lift.

The gym pics were taken this morning - day 3 of being cleared for exercise after my plastic surgery - YEAH - and coz I worked a bit too hard in the gym this morning (a 5k and some weights - oops sorry I got carried away !) I'm super swollen - but heh - it will get better.

PS if you don't have a full length miror - you can always cheat - elevator pics and sneaky gym pics are my new obsession ! (not been caught out yet - but I've had a few near misses !)

The pic on the far right is a reminder of how big my thighs were before losing weight (actually I'd already lost 40lbs - but it's the first shot of me in gym kit) and my thigh lift and how they are today - for some reason a few days ago I thought they were still too big and had a word about this with my surgeon - but you know what - the more I look at them - the more I LOVE THEM ! - and YES they are still swollen & bruised !

Oh yeah - the hairdresser today (who I've never met before) - told me that I had the wrong haircut and it didn't suit my slim face (yes he said slim !!) - he said that I had a cut suitable for someone with a rounder face (aka me 17 months ago !!) - and that he could give me a much more suitable cut which would flatter my features - so I've completely fallen for this line and am having a new haircut next week.  Mind you - he also said it would make me look in my late 20's/early 30's and make my husband very happy ! - given I'm 44 now - I'll take that as well - yes Mr Lebanese hairdresser - flattery for this chick - will get you everywhere !!! - THANK YOU !



Body Composition & BMI - 17 month VSG update

Aug 10, 2011

Earlier this week it was my 17 month surgerversary of my VSG and I'm maintaining between 160 and 164lbs which is great.  I still want to get to 159 - normal BMI - and 150 - which would be exactly half of me - but if I REALLY WANTED TO get to 159/155 - I would be there by now - so in a way these are 'head' rather than 'heart' numbers.  What do I mean by that ? - well - if you've read my blog before - you'll know that I have an internal debate with myself about what my goal weight should be as frankly I'm not a fan of BMI as it doesn't take into account body composition.

So here goes : I'm 5 foot 7 tall and started my weight loss journey at 299lbs

At the start of my weight loss journey I focussed on the loss of pounds and inches, but as I've got closer to the end of my journey I started focussing on the composition of my body as well as what the scales are saying.

I exercise a lot (pilates reformer, squash, running, gym, body combat, RPM) and have done since I had my sleeve and tracking composition helps to see what's going on and also to help with target weight loss.

I currently weigh 160 lbs which according to the BMI scale is 1lb away from the high end of normal BMI.  If you take a look at the BMI tables then the middle of the BMI range for my height is 141lbs.

So, ok - 159 seems doable, and 141 - wow lovely - I COULD be striving towards getting to 141 and working really hard to get there BUT and it's a big BUT - my body composition is as follows :

I have 131lbs of lean mass (muscles, bone, electrolytes and fluids) - assuming I maintain the lean mass (which is what I plan to do)

at 25% body fat (which is in the middle of the fat % range for a woman) - my idea weight is 131 + 33 = 163lbs,
at 30% (the higher end of the % fat range for a women ) my idea weight is 131 + 40 = 171lbs.
at 20% (the lower end of body fat for a women) then the weight is 131 +26 + 157lbs

Below 20% body fat you are starting to look at the kind of % body fat that athletes/body builders have.

It's unlikely that I'm ever going to get much below 157lbs (unless I seriously want to reduce body fat) as I have a significant amount of lean body mass.  If I maintain my lean mass then the middle of the BMI range of 141lbs - would mean that I would only have 10lbs of fat which is not healthy at all and I'm not sure would even be possible - the only way I could get there is to reduce my lean mass - muscles, bone, fluids or electrolytes - NO THANK YOU !

So I guess I'm saying that it's more than just the scales, particularly if you train a lot and are building muscle - hopefully the picture below helps to demonstrate this.

PS - a pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same ! - but fat takes up 5x more space than muscle - hence how you can shape up and lose inches and not necessarily lose pounds !

I got my composition test done at a nutrition shop, I think in the US you also have the BodPod - or your personal trainer/gym should be able to help you work this out.



Exercise - post plastic surgery

Aug 08, 2011

So I went to see my plastic surgeon yesterday as I had some more rogue stitches which needed to be removed & he CLEARED ME FOR EXERCISE !!! Yay - I have been so desperate to get back into the gym !

Good news, he also said I don't need to wear my compression garments anymore.  I was so pleased I took the shorts off in the office and refused to put them back on !  I am still wearing my sleeves as my arms are very numb and they don't feel right when the garments are not on yet.  I'll start weaning myself off of them slowly.

I did have a discussion with him about the size of my thighs after my thigh lift - he thinks my thighs are a great size and in proportion to my body - though I can't see that as I can still grab some skin & fat (but I think my head is not caught up with my body yet).  I'm not ungrateful for the work he's done - I guess I am so pleased with my breasts and tummy, it's difficult when you are not so pleased with the next stage.  To be honest I'm still swollen - but think I often forget this when I look in the mirror, I also have a selective memory about how bad I used to look and I do find it hard to see my true size - I've mentioned this in other posts before.  Anyway, on reflection and after looking at myself long & hard in a full length mirror (which does make a difference - we don't have any in the appt) - I think he is right and that my thighs are in proportion to the rest of me.  It's not the scars - I am more than happy with them, it's not the bruising and swelling from the hematoma as I know this will go - it's just the general size of my thighs which to me seem large - BUT I am wearing size 10/12 trousers so I know they are not large - just a bit of a head fug going on.

I'm still pushing and pulling the odd stitch out of my arms and legs - the disolvable stitches haven't all disolved and sometimes I need to push those out as they make my arms sore and they start pushing through my incision.  I'm also pulling out or trimming the odd black or blue stitch as they come to the surface - or get them dealt with by the surgeon if they are a bit stuck !

Anyway, today I went to the gym - I was surprised how much my fitness has slipped - but am sure that I will soon be able to work up to my previous levels.  I did some running (1.6k's, some X Trainer and some weights) generally I felt ok - but got tired quickly and could feel it pulling on the scars and also could feel a kind of numb/swelling (if that makes sense?) - I wasn't uncomfortable - just burned out a bit quicker than I thought I would.

I'm also starting back at pilates reformer classes tomorrow and RPM on Thursday which is great as I have really missed my classes, exercise buddies and routines - its also Ramadan here so no eating /drinking outside between sunrise & sunset - so it's good to have a purpose to go out (you can usually drink discreetly at exercises classes).

I also bought a new swimming costume today as I'm not yet brave enough to wear my new bikini - I got UK size 12 and it's too big !! - so think that the size 10 will be perfect - that's a US 6 - I know I've mentioned sizes before - but I still can't quite get my head around sizes !

So here's a reminder of my exercise journey in pics, including one today.  I can't believe what I looked like when I started exercising at 262lbs - and this was 37lbs lower than my starting weight !  (& NO that's not a burger bag in my hand in the first shot - though it does look like one ! - it's a bag from the organic shop).


7 weeks post arm&thigh lift : hot in compression garments !

Aug 05, 2011

Boy is it hot ! - I'm 7 weeks post arm and thigh lift plastic surgery (and 3 months post TT and breast lift) and I'm still in compression garments.  Today it's 122F outside which is fairly typical for this time of year - although it will get hotter - it's also very humid and dusty.

So I'm still following my surgeon's instructions of wearing compression leggings and sleeves 24/7 - initially he said do this for 1 month then move to 12 hours per day - but as I'm still swollen and suffering the after effects of the hematoma in my thigh he said to keep them on 24/7 for at least 2 months - basically he said the longer the better - as I have thin skin and the swelling could make the skin stretch.

So here I am - trying to be an expert in hiding my garments whilst still staying as cool as possible (see pics) - not cool as in trendy ! - just cool as in temperature - just in case you were wondering !!  By the way - I just realised that I don't have a full length mirror in the appt - so I've resorted to taking pictures in the lifts of my building !

You can see from the shots that my thigh is still swollen and bruised and my arms are also still swollen - maybe I'll sign up for some more lymphatic drainage sessions and see if that can help with the swelling - to be honest I'm slightly fed up as I thought this would have resolved itself by now.  In addition to the large hematoma I also developed a smaller swelling along the incision line of my leg this week which was drained - it looked like it was a rogue stitch pushing its way out - but it turned out to be some additional fluid which then built up along the scar line and burst causing my incision to open up a bit - but it's healing again now.  Not sure why it built up - but hopefully this will be the end of it.

In more positive news - just 1 more week until I'm cleared for exercise - YAY ! - I did go to the pool this week and did a very small swim and was shocked at how badly it pulled on my arms and thighs - so am guessing that my transition back to exercise is going to be a bit slower than I had hoped - no 10k in the next few weeks or so at least !!!  My pilates teacher said I'd have to go back to beginner classes for a while - and I agree that I should do this - although I worked so hard to go up to level 3 classes over the last year - never mind I know that I can work up to level 3 again soon.

In the meantime I've been researching and buying some new gym kit - I bought some great Fila resistance capris and running tights which have built in additional compression panels in the legs - they feel great and give my thighs more support - I should maybe look at getting a compression top also.  I'll definately be working out in my compression sleeves - I may hide them under a long sleeved top or just bit the bullet and wear them as is with a normal t-shirt over the top (see the pic) - to be honest I don't think the sleeves are too bad - I definately need to wear them as my arms still feel very swollen and numb.  I also invested in some new sports bras - 36B ! - tiny - I used to have to wear 2 x sports bras when I was running to keep the girls from bouncing everywhere and giving the locals and eye full ! - I'm hoping that my smaller breasts should be much more comfortable running and the lack of bat wings should help with air flow !

I also saw that spanx have released shape gymwear -

Anyway - no pain - no gain, onwards and downwards and all that stuff !!


16 Months Post VSG - Typical Day of Food

Jul 26, 2011

I thought I'd share with you a typical day's worth of food.  I'm in the maintenance phase of my journey and recovering from 2 rounds of plastic surgery so am eating for nutrition and healing.  I'm able to maintain my weight within a 3lb range at the moment with no exercise - although I will start this again soon when I'm cleared to do so.

This comes out at about 1300 cals, 116g protein, 87g carbs, 55g fat

The majority of my carbs are from milk/yogurt and fruit/veg and from my bran buds. I hardly ever eat carbs in any other form eg muffins, bread etc

I still weigh my protein portions and eat protein first
I eat off of side plates (and always will)
I often use smaller cutlery - eg cake size
I log my food on about once a week just to keep an eye on things
I weigh daily
I eat regularly - typically 3 meals and 3 snacks
I drink at least 120oz of water per day - often more

If I'm really trying to pack in the protein, I would add a protein shake or a protein drink (Isopure) to add 25g or 40g or protein for about an extra 110 to 160 cals - but I prefer to get my protein and cals in by eating rather than drinking if possible (having said that I LOVE my latte - it's my daily treat !)


TT & Breast Lift -3 months out - Arm&Thigh Lift - 6 weeks out

Jul 26, 2011

On Sunday it was 3 months after my Tummy Tuck with muscle repair and breast lift followed 7 weeks later by a medial thigh lift and arm lift.

The tummy and breasts are great - I'm now working on scar management - using silicon strips and contractubex gel plus some arnica oil.   I'm not suffering any swelling at all that I can notice, although this could be slightly disguised as I am still wearing a compression garment for my thighs - so maybe it's masking any tummy swelling.

My arms and thighs are healing nicely considering I'm so early out.  I still have a large lump in my right thigh which is the result of the hematoma which was drained but now needs to be readsorbed by the body which I think will take some time.  The scar has finally closed up on my thigh after I popped some stiches as a result of the hematoma.

My arms are healing nicely - though they do keep spitting out bits of stitches from time to time - which is a bit irrating - but I can live with.

I was finally cleared for driving after the thigh/arm lift and drove yesterday for the first time - driving is not too bad - but I can certainly feel it later in the day as my arms/legs swell up and get tight - no biggie - it's all part of the healing process - not helped by the fact that it was 122F yesterday so it was HOT !

I'm still in compression sleeves and leggings 24/7 - the surgeon said the longer I can keep them on the better - particularly as the skin in the arms/legs is quite thin and prone to stretching whilst it's still swollen.  Whilst they are a pain to wear I'll follow his instructions as he's my expert in this.  So I'm planning on another 3 - 4 weeks in 24/7 compression then I'll move it down to 12 hours per day so so.  I have invested in some compression exercise capris which I think will provide some well needed support too.

So, finally no more dressings to change - just manual lymphatic drainage massages to my arms and legs which I can do myself and plenty of scar massage for all of my scars plus silicon strips overnight which is totally doable.

Hopefully I'm cleared for exercise mid Aug - I can't wait - counting down the days !

Clothes wise - I've bought a few new smaller bras (36C) and panties (size 6) and am wearing trousers in size 6 and tops in either size 6 or 8 - AMAZING !!  I feel the need to go on a shopping spree but will wait for a while as I know I am still swollen and have a way to go yet - UNBELIEVABLE !!

Food wise - am concentrating on protein and having some carbs - eg Allbran, Wholewheat toast etc - maintaining between 160lbs - 163lbs - but I want to get to 159lbs so need to work on this - albeit it's not urgent I need to make sure my body has enough nutrients to repair itself.

Anyway here are some progress pics.