Wednesday, November 6, 2013

70 lbs gone!!!

Good evening all!
I've reached another milestone today, I have lost 70 lbs since my WLS adventure began, and am FINALLY at my pre-pregnancy weight. (yeah, I know that was over 5 years ago...but I haven't seen the 220's since then!)

I am so excited, I never imagined that I would have lost so much at just under 4 months post-op!

Lately, I have had several people ask me what I eat now - so I'm going to share what a typical day in my new lifestyle looks like.

Breakfast:  half of an Ensure Protein drink, or a sausage and cheese sandwich (which is a half piece of turkey sausage, half piece of wheat toast and half slice of cheese with a small amount of apple butter).  I can't eat the whole thing when I make the sausage sandwich...but it's a nice change of pace every once in a while!
Snack:  some days I get a little hungry between breakfast and lunch, so I will have a slice of cheese or a cracker with peanut butter on it.
Lunch:  Lunch is typically left over from dinner the night before - and it's usually only 2 small spoonful's of it.  Today, for example, I had 2 small chunks of chicken with a little gravy and a few small slices of carrots.
Dinner: Dinner is whatever my family is having, just a really small portion.

Yesterday I made chicken in the crockpot and served it over mashed potatoes with a side of broccoli and carrots.  
From that I had: 1 small spoonful of mashed potatoes and 2 chunks of chicken with a little bit of the gravy mixed in. 

 Crockpot chicken is much easier to eat post- WLS, because it is so tender.  Chicken can pose a problem for a lot of us, especially if it's tough.  My nutritionist recommended cooking my meats in the crockpot, and it sure makes a difference.

I get full really quick, and the hard part is learning to STOP before I get full.  It's definitely a learning process, and I am improving when it comes to that.  Eating until you're full is a BAD idea, because the food is still expanding in your stomach at that point.  Bread is really a no-go now, as is anything with a lot of sugar or anything that is starchy or has a lot of fiber.  I know as I continue to adjust and my body finishes healing, I'll be able to add some of those things back into my diet.  But, in the meantime, it's a great opportunity to get out of those bad habits that I had developed.  I no longer want or think I need bread at every meal, and eating starches is a treat that I don't indulge in often at all.  I stick to protein and vegetables now at meals...and by the time I've eaten the protein, I really don't want anything else.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, post WLS

Well, I survived my first Halloween post surgery and I'm so proud of myself! Typically, I would be the Mom sneaking the candy but this year I don't even want it. What a difference a few months can make! P.s. I'm also down a total of 69 lbs!! I am going to post more pics soon....stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

55 lbs and a new perspective on food

As I'm talking with a  friend today about the surgery I had, she asked me "what do you do at events?", "did you get depressed?".  The answer to those questions:  Yes, I did go through a period of depression.  Food is a major part of our lives, whether we are eating healthy or not...especially in the South.  We eat at every occasion - Weddings, Church, Funerals, Birthdays, Just's part of our culture.  My husband and I love to eat!  We love good BBQ and stew, we love good steaks and burgers.  It is still hard to go out with my family, to my favorite places, and only eat two bites.  It was hard today at the faculty meeting at school not to enjoy some of the yummy snacks that were available - I mean good grief!  They had a fall table set with apple pie, sliced apples with caramel sauce and apple cider.  Of course, the old Amanda would have had some of all of it!  The new Amanda had a small cup of cider.  And you know what?!?!  I didn't miss the pie or the caramel sauce. 
I now know when I am hungry, and I know how to make healthy choices.  I also know that every once in a while, it's ok to have a small bite of something yummy and sweet.  I shouldn't deprive myself totally - but I also don't CRAVE those things anymore and I'm so thankful for that!

I consider the few weeks after my surgery as my "detox" period.  That was the hardest part - getting the bad stuff out of my system so I don't crave it anymore.  And a friend who has actually gone through a drug rehab detox program, said that a lot of the things I experienced were very similar to what was experienced by them in rehab.  It was tough, I wouldn't ever want to do it again, so I don't want to put the bad stuff in my body anymore. 

 Lesson learned - I'm not going back!

Monday, September 16, 2013

2 Months and 50 pounds!

I stepped on the scale this morning and was amazed to see the number!  I have lost 51 lbs since my surgery 2 months and 6 days ago!  Here's a before & after pic.

Before: 294 lbs

Now: 243 lbs

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My first 5k is a month away...and I'm FREAKING out....

So, months ago before I had my surgery I decided to sign the hubs and I up for a 5k in October.  That was when I was still under the impression that my surgery and recovery would be a piece of cake and that student teaching would also be easy.

Now that I'm actually starting to feel OK again, and have realized that standing all day in a classroom is not that easy....I'm still exhausted and I'm thinking, "how in the heck am I going to manage to walk in a 5k...?" I went online and downloaded a Couch to 5k app for my phone...and now I need the motivation and energy to actually go outside in this wretched heat and start it.  Thankfully the nausea I was dealing with has eased up, but I'm still so tired at the end of the day that the thought of training for a 5k is really daunting.

I know I can do this...(I think...)   So, on October 5th, in Piedmont Park - we will be attempting the Fire Fly run, 5k.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

4 weeks post-op, the scale and NSV's!

This has been a REALLY long 4 weeks. I am glad to finally be feeling better, and have a little bit of energy. I weighed in this morning and the scale says I've lost 28 lbs total. 1 more pound and I will have lost 10% of my starting body weight - that is the goal my doctor's office gave me for my 6 week follow up visit. I'm so happy to know that I will have surpassed that goal!

I swam Monday and did 10 laps along the length of my aunt & uncle's pool.  I was really proud of myself for doing it- but I was EXHAUSTED when I got home that afternoon.  I was physically weak.
That's something I've noticed post-op.  Now that I'm eating for survival/nutrition - I notice when I need to eat.  I'm finally learning what physical vs. emotional hunger is and I'm also no longer craving sugary sweets!  Praise the Lord!   
Now, onto NSV's (non-scale victories). The most noticeable NSV is that my shoes are loose now. I had read that other folks who have had WLS lost shoe sizes along with pants sizes. I expected it, but not this soon. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pitty Party, table for 1

For the record, to anyone who has ever said or thought that WLS is the easy way out....PLEASE come hang out with me for a day or so. It is not easy...there is nothing easy about recovering from a major surgery. There is nothing easy about detoxing from a sugar addiction. (I have a friend who compared what I am going through to their time in rehab). When I heard that I laughed...cause atleast in rehab you get to eat food....and you get drugs to help you come off the drugs. Ironic...I know! I am so weak and tired all the time. I am really looking forward to having the ability to get enough nourishment in my body so I have energy for basic activities. At this point, taking a shows exhausts me. Crazy! Ok...that's my vent for the day. I know this pain and discomfort will all be worth it one this point I have NO idea when that will be....I'm holding out hope that it's soon. Night

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Emotions running wild...and 25 lbs gone

Before I left the hospital, the head bariatric nurse came in to check on me.  She gave me lots of useful information about the first few weeks of life with a smaller stomach.  One thing she mentioned, that I didn't pay much attention to, was that my emotions may be all over the place for a while after the surgery.  I hadn't read this anywhere while researching about the gastric I really didn't expect it would be an issue.

I've been having "moments" for the past week, but hadn't actually broken down and cried yet.  Well...yesterday the floodgates opened.  I started crying in the car, on the way to play mini-golf with my hubby and son.  What the heck?!  After my little crying spell I did feel much better....but today I feel really blue.  I honestly feel like I have the "baby blues" all over again.  I hadn't expected this at all, and I'm many people actually go through this and don't say anything about it? 

On a positive note - I've lost 25 lbs since I started this journey.  YAY!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nausea - you are not my friend

Wow!  This week Nausea hit me, and it hit hard!  It came out of nowhere - suddenly I felt terrible and couldn't drink anything.  I went to bed, hoping it would help me if I got some rest.  Needless to say, I'm now on some anti-nausea meds...every 4 hours like clockwork.  I don't want to go back to feeling like that.
Only being allowed clear liquids and low-fat milk makes it hard enough to stay hydrated and get enough nutrients in...add nausea and not being able to get the milk in and it makes for a very weak girl. 

On the plus side, I'm now down to 272 on my home scale - that's 18 lbs down.  Woo hoo!  I go for my 2 week follow up Wednesday, and I'm going to see what the scale at the doctor's office shows. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

4 days post'll all be worth it in the end, right!?

Wow - I seriously underestimated this surgery and what the recovery would be like! 
The pain and soreness from the incision area is one thing, the terrible feeling in my chest after I drink anything.  It feels like I'm having a heart attack!  Ouch!
I have been told I need to drink at least 32 oz of milk and 32 oz of clear liquids each day.  Well, I have been having a hard time getting just the milk in!

Me, in the pre-op area, waiting to be taken into surgery.  The "Happy Juice" has taken affect at this I'm all Smiles! :)
My 1st meal after surgery.  1 oz cups of jello, broth and juice....yummy, I know!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

And it begins...


...the weight loss, that is!
I started the "official" pre-op diet on Tuesday, weighing in at 292lbs. (Even typing that number is terrifying - but I'm using this blog to document my journey & I have to be truthful, so there you go.)

This morning I decided to weigh in...just to see if this whole "low carb" thing works.  Well, it does!
I'm down 3lbs, to 289.  Wow!

I am so excited, I needed to see that on the scale this morning.  Low carbs is hard and that 3lb weight loss gave me the encouragement I needed to face the next few days.

I'm so proud of myself for not cheating, and for sticking to this. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Low-Carbs....Day 1....No turning back now!

So, today is day 1 of the low carb pre-op diet I've been prescribed.
I found a really great, no-carb protein shake that I decided to use instead of all of that meat and cheese.  So, for breakfast, lunch and snacks - the shakes are my go-to option.
I'm glad I did a trial-run with the low carb diet...I learned that I hate lunch meat rolled up with a slice of cheese...yuck! 
I love this new shake, though - it's really yummy, especially if I blend it in my new Ninja blender with lots of crushed ice and cold water.
I'm not great at those "selfies" that people take in the mirror...but here is my "day 1" pic.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

No Carb pre-op diet?!?

So, who out there has gone through the whole "pre-op" diet for WLS?  I've read lots of blogs/FB posts, etc. about pre-op diets being liquids only. 
Well, my doc has prescribed a no/low carb diet prior to surgery.
Has anyone else been given this pre-op diet?

Well, I'm working through a "test run" of low carbs and it is HARD!  Carbs are in everything.  Last week I tried eating meats, cheeses and green veggies - way hard and I am not that huge a fan of meat or cheese when I can't have bread or pasta with it.  So, this week I'm trying a no carb protein shake instead - so far I'm not doing so great.  It's not really filling me up.
I have decided that tomorrow I will do a shake every couple of hours - instead of just breakfast and lunch.  We'll see how it goes!

In other news, I've ordered and received a bathing suit that I've decided will be my "goal" swimsuit!  I have a really nice swimsuit that I got last year from Torrid - it's a great, retro-style suit.  It's a size 24.  :(  I went only and found that they still have that suit, so I ordered it in the smallest size Torrid sells...a 12.  So, it's literally HALF the size of my current suit.

I will take a "before" pic in my current suit - and can't wait to be able to take the "after" in the size 12!
Check out the side-by-side below.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Before & After

I was "window shopping" on last night and had an idea...I want to do Before & After pics in my black swimsuit that I bought last year (in a size 3x...blah!).  So, I checked and Torrid still has that suit!  It's on sale, so I ordered it in the smallest size they have (which is a 0 -aka 12 in big girl sizes). 

I have decided that the size 12 swimsuit will be my goal swimsuit.  I don't ever remember being a size 12, so even imagining being able to put it on is just crazy to me. 

I can't wait to post those Before & After pics...but I'm not putting the Before online until I have reached my goal and can post the After at the same time. :)

I'm busy preparing for the surgery.  The pre-op diet that my doc as prescribed is essentially the induction phase of the Atkins diet.  That's 20 carbs a day...meats, cheese, eggs and green veggies.  My hubby and I have decided to start it early, so we'll be used to it and so we'll have time to make mistakes while we learn what we can and can't eat.
We started this past Monday, so today is day 5.  It's been a rough week - but we are learning and I am confident that next week will be better.

Only 33 days until my surgery!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog Stalking...I mean, looking for motivation

I have really started searching out blogs written by people who have had WLS (weight loss surgery).  I love reading the stories, and seeing the pictures that they post.  so, to anyone who is brave enough to share your story online - Thank You!  It's so good to see that others have been where I am, and that this "tool" works if you work at it.
For anyone who is not familiar with WLS - there are several options.  I am having the sleeve - it is the third option in the picture I've attached. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's finally happening!

Thank God!!!
 I've finally been approved for WLS!
I'm writing this blog now as a way to record my journey to WLS and my journey to a healthy weight.
My surgery is scheduled for 7/10/13 & I am so excited!
I have chosen to have the vertical sleeve - this is where approximately 80% of my stomach will be removed - leaving a banana-shaped portion behind. 

There are alot of steps to take before surgery - and I'm working on those now.
I met with a dietician, to discuss how the way I eat will change after surgery.  I'm a little nervous about this - mainly because I still have a family to cook for - even though I won't be eating most of what they eat...I'll also have to stop "tasting" as I cook. 
I have so many goals, and I know, with God's help, I can reach them all.  I want to live a healthy and long life - free of illnesses caused by being overweight.  I'm excited to discover what life can be like at a healthy weight.

one of my goals:  to do a head stand like this...I love reading Steph Hendel's facebook posts - she's such an inspiration to me to live a healthy life.