10+ weeks post-op

I went to dinner with a group of new friends over the weekend. We’re all moms whose children all went to the same school at one point or another. Not necessarily at the same time, but that’s our common denominator. It’s pretty cool, if you ask me. I’m not a people-y person whatsoever so going to dinner with a group of women (one of which I’ve known for about three years now and consider a dear friend) I’ve only known for about a year is very much out of my comfort zone, but it’s been quite enjoyable.

This was actually our second dinner out since my surgery, but the first time it (WLS) came up as a focal point during dinner.

Generally, being the non-people-y person that I am, I absolutely avoid having the conversation be all about me for too long. I’m just not comfortable with it. But Saturday was different. And in a good way.

There was five of us that evening and all but me and one other were of average size. And the one besides me who was a little fluffy, wasn’t morbidly obese like me.

They asked how I was feeling, how I was doing. They commented that I looked good and that they could see a difference in my face and appearance despite my comments of the scale not going down in about a month’s time.

“So what was it that really pushed you to get the surgery?” one spokesperson finally asked.

I smiled. I didn’t feel judged. I felt like they really wanted to know why I went the route I did, when I did. And it all boiled down to just needing a little extra help and not being ashamed to seek it out.

I told them how I’d lost 50-plus pounds three times in my adult life. I told them how I’d been overweight since puberty hit, how I got my first period at age 9 and how, by age 10, I was in a regular adult sized bra (never even knew about “training bras”). I told them how I went to a ton of schools (including 4 high schools) because my mom was constantly evading credit collectors. I told them how food became my best friend- sometimes my only friend.

I also told them about losing 75 pounds in less than a year with a low carb diet (and how freaking HOT I had become) and exercise. I told them about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014, and how I’d lost 60 pounds in less than a year by watching what I ate and exercising sometimes twice a day to avoid being put on medication for the diabetes.

I told them all of this not for them to feel sorry for me and not as an excuse for my morbid obesity, but because this was where I came from and this all led to my decision to get WLS. I just had enough with fighting obesity and just needed help getting healthy.

It’s not about being thin for me.

It’s not about Not being fat.

It’s about feeling good and alive and able and HEALTHY.

For once in my friggin life I want to be as healthy as possible… for myself and my sweet baby girl (who is 7).

And for once in my life, I feel like this is all truly doable…thanks to WLS.

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43 days post op

Eating real food… whoa it’s filling!

Last night I had chicken salad I made the night before (chopped up rotisserie chicken, chopped up celery, dressing including mayo, non fat greek yogurt, seasonsings)  that I was really looking forward to eating all day. I accidentally ate too much. And by that I mean, I didn’t really believe I was full but holy mother of all there is, I was SO full. I’m not sure how I didn’t end up puking but I didn’t. Instead, the food just sat there right below my throat. I guess all the food (and I swear it wasn’t more than 1/4 cup) just filled my tiny tummy to the point that it got backed up into my esophagus? That’s how it felt at least.

And here I am now again in the same situation after eating some chicken fried rice(d veggies). No real rice involved– just rice sized veggies and chicken and soy sauce. Again, I don’t think I’ve eaten more than a 1/4 cup of food and BAM the food is just backed up again. It feels like I could hurl at any second, but I don’t think I will, thankfully.

I guess I really DID have WLS after all. Seriously, most of the time, I just FEEL so normal that I guess I forget that I just cannot eat all that much. I’ve GOT to start paying more attention to what I’m eating and how much of it because I do not like this feeling of wanting to vomit.

That said, this week I’ve been fabulous with my food choices. Limited carbs, lots of protein (first- always first!!), tons of water. I haven’t stepped on the scale much and that’s okay… for me, it’s about how I feel and I’m feeling damn good (when I’m not stuffed to the max) and my clothes are getting bigger and bigger on me! 🙂

I haven’t really had anyone comment yet about if I’m losing weight, but I’m  okay with that, too. Only a very select few people even know I had the surgery, so at least when/if I get comments, they’ll be legit. Besides, my coworkers and such have seen me lose a LOT of weight before and gain it back more than once now in the near 15 years I’ve worked here… so I’m guessing for any of them to comment this time, it will take a significant amount lost and maintained for a while.

Good thing I didn’t have VSG for other people’s perception of me eh.

 

6 weeks (tomorrow)!

I met with the PA yesterday for my 6 week (tomorrow) follow-up appointment. As of yesterday’s weigh in at the office, I’m 23 pounds down since day of surgery, 31 since pre-op diet (41.3 BMI vs 47.3).

The best news, to me, is that I officially get to stop crushing pills (which was probably the worst thing about this whole experience for me) (I haven’t crushed them in a week already) and start eating everything and doing anything fitness wise too!

The PA said that they want me now to try and just have three meals a day and we talked a bit about how I feel like I’m constantly eating/hungry. She said I need to forget about all the smooth SLIDER foods and just eat real, high in protein food now: eggs, cheese, lean meats. She claims this will keep me much fuller for much longer and it makes total sense. Protein first (always), then veggies and fruit. Limit carbs.

Basically, it’s time to start officially living life normally again. Sounds good to me!

I scheduled another appointment for my three month follow-up end of March. Two weeks prior to that I’ll have my blood tested so they can go over the results at the follow-up. I’m already taking only half the dose of the pill I’m on for high blood pressure (my BP has been awesomely “normal” for ages). Hopefully I can quit taking it all together, as well as quit taking the lowest dose I’m on for high cholesterol.

The only thing that’s left is to start committing to exercising. I have no freaking excuses anymore not to do something more than just walk as much throughout the day as I can. Yeah, I park far away on purpose and get up at least once an hour if not more, but I need to do more. For my mind and my body.

5 weeks post-op

I love food so much. Even with a much smaller stomach, I still love all foods so freaking much. I’ve slowly introduced so many different foods and with absolutely no problems. None of it causes me any sort of negative issues. I’m not sure if this makes me happy or sad. On one hand, I’m elated because it means I’ll be able to eat anything, but on the other hand, I’m pissed because golly gee surgery truly DIDN’T fix my addiction.

WLS is a tool. You’ll hear this time and time again. It’s how you use that tool that matters most. And I really and truly need to own this. I know this all to be the way it is, yet I find that I’m sneaking in Hershey Kisses or french fries, etc. I won’t beat myself up about this though because I’m not feasting on these things and they’re not daily occurrences. But I do need to own up to it.

***

The best thing about WLS, for me, is the inability to eat a lot of whatever it is I’m eating… but, sadly, I find that I do get hungry often and I can and I do eat every couple of hours. I try to just drink more water, but unless it’s coffee or something more substantial than water, my stomach seems to be demanding more food and I generally give in and eat something.

This is problematic to me because I don’t feel like I’m utilizing the tool the best I can. ESPECIALLY THIS SOON OUT FROM SURGERY!

 

Saturday, for example, my sweets and a couple of her friends went ice skating. Then we all went out to eat to a burger and shake joint. Everyone ordered burgers, fries and shakes (my absolute favorite meal of all time!). I ordered a bowl of chili and a kid size shake. I drank maybe half the shake and had three small bites from the chili. I was beyond stuffed. I realize that a milkshake isn’t a good option after WLS, but the fact that I didn’t/couldn’t finish it made me happy as a clam. And the fact that I couldn’t finish the chili and had to take it home did, too… until a couple hours later when I ended up finishing the rest of the chili!

I guess my point to this is that I’m NOT digging the fact that I seem to be eating every couple of hours. I feel like I’m totally failing the gift that I consider WLS to be!

***

This morning I stopped at the grocery store before coming to work to stock up on foods for when I’m working. I bought cottage cheese and no sugar added fruit cups (breakfast), bananas (that I’ll mash up with some PB2 if I need something sweet), 80 calorie/12g protein yogurt cups (snacks), a ton of soups and tuna packets (lunches).

Wednesday I have my 6 week followup with the surgeon. I will tell him that I feel like I’m constantly eating despite getting full quickly and see what he says.

 

25 days post-op

I’m still here and still blending my foods and very much looking forward to the next stage of soft foods which I can start implementing on Friday: scrambled eggs, tuna, salmon, etc.

Friday is also going to be my first full day back to work in the office. I started working from home for 4 hours every morning last week. I’m so grateful that my boss is so cool regarding all of this because I didn’t want to eat away at all my sick time, yet work is a good 45 minutes each way away, and my stamina still isn’t quite up to par. Truthfully, I could probably use another week or so home, but I know I’ll be fine going back full time too. I just like being home and not interacting with people. 🙂

I talked to the surgeon’s office today and they want me to hold off on any activity that’s too strenuous until 6 weeks post-op. I was inquiring about incorporating yoga and the PA said I could try some stretching, but to be very mindful of any pain and to take things slow. In the meantime, she suggested more walking (which I haven’t been doing much of except for in the house back and forth) and a recumbent bike (which I actually have!). So now I need to get in the habit again with activity. Once I’m in the habit (in the past I’ve done it first thing in the AM or walked during breaks and at lunch during work), I’m consistent and I always feel so much better.

 

post op day 21

Three weeks ago I had a good portion of my stomach removed. And, as a result, today I simply cannot eat as much food as I used to, or that I may want to, or that my head may tell me I can. THANK GOD.

I meet with the nutritionist for the first time since before surgery this afternoon. I’m curious to hear what they have to say. The scale hasn’t moved much since moving from a liquid diet to a blended diet. I’m guessing it’s the carbs from my everyday eats of Farina and blended cream of soups that have potatoes and/or rice and/or noodles in them. My program requires two weeks of blended food before moving on to the next stage of soft foods. While this blended stage is going much better than the liquid, I’m very much looking forward to incorporating other foods WITHOUT having to blend them: eggs, tuna, cheeses, etc. I’m hoping to lessen my carb intake at that point.

I wonder if my nutritionist can tell me if I can do yoga yet or if I should ask the surgeon’s office. I didn’t think to ask about it at my first follow-up with the surgeon since I was only 10 days out and wasn’t really feeling the energy to do much of anything. But I’m definitely itching to do something more these days and the sub zero temps has kept me inside. Plus I’m back to working part-time (from home). But I love me some yoga and hope to start doing that again soon.

Tomorrow I’ll be going to a bariatrics support group meeting. It’ll be my third meeting but my first post-op. Yay!

two weeks post-op

On one hand, the time has dragged. On the other, it went by in a flash.

My six incisions look better each day. The biggest one, about two inches wide, just above my belly button is finally unbruised. Man, that was looking hairy for a while. Now I just need the bruises from the blood thinner shots to go the ef away. I haven’t had any itching or oozing or anything. In fact, a couple of the incisions were so small, you can barely notice them.

I’m sipping on some blended cream of chicken and rice soup to which I added some bone broth to thin out a bit. It’s fucking delicious. I also added a scoop of unflavored Genepro protein powder for more protein. I’m having absolutely no problem getting enough protein in. 90+ grams every day! All thanks to the unflavored PP because man alive, those flavors from Bariatrics Advantage that I had to use the past month were just too gag me.

Calorie intake has been about 500 a day. Never in all my life did I think I would be saying I’m living on 500 calories a day. But I am. Somehow. This is how I’m dropping the weight so fast, I know. It’s also why I’m taking vitamins and such. It’s why I had the surgery to remove most of my stomach–to make it “easier” to consume fewer calories. I get all this. But what I don’t entirely understand is when/if I should be consuming more. My first follow-up appointment with the NUT is next Friday. I’m hoping to learn more then. In the meantime, I’ll go by the instructions I was given: week 2 & 3 = 4-6 meals a day of blended foods of which I can now include cooked vegetables! Oh my am I excited. Applesauce, mashed potatoes…….. YUMMMMMMMM

Numbers so far… I’m down 24 pounds since starting the pre-op liquid diet on 12/2 & 14 pounds since surgery two weeks ago today. My husband calls me Skinny and tells me nearly every day he can see me getting smaller and smaller. I’m no longer popping out of my bra and shirts that used to be tight aren’t anymore. I don’t really care about the number on the scale- never really have. For me it’s about how I’m feeling and right now, I’m feeling pretty great… I just wish I didn’t get so tired so quickly. But hopefully that will change with the addition of more calories.