31 October 2006

Photographic Evidence

The first shot I scanned from my passport. I took it at a Walgreens around the corner, about 2-3 weeks before I left for Brazil. It was for my Brazilian visa. The second photo I took one Saturday after I'd done a little cleaning around the house, hence the do-rag.

Good grief. Before I constructed this comparison shot, I honestly didn't think I looked too much different, but now I think I kinda do. What's weird though is that I look at these two photos and neither fits to what I think I look like. Does that make any sense? I'm definitely feeling a little bit of a disconnect, BUT I am happy to see progress being made!

So freakin' weird. It almost feels like I am looking at two completely different people.

30 October 2006

Two Months

Two months ago, right about now actually, I was walking down the street with Durval in Curitiba, Brazil on the way to the hospital to have a Biliopancreatice Diversion w/ Duodenal Switch with the legendary, Dr. Joao Marchesini. Surprisingly, I was pretty calm and would actually remain so the rest of the day. I didn't cry once, which surprised me to be quite frank. I thought I'd be freaking out, but I made a decision pretty early on to put all of it into God's hands and I would be alright. Surgery was textbook, recovery was textbook, except for a cold I caught from my support people and seroma I got a week later. I made it back to the US in one piece. That was my goal.

Two months ago, my life changed in so many ways. I'm not an entirely different person, but I now put myself first instead of my business or my business partner and her life. I take care of me first. I do for me first because I need to and this is the time that I should. Strangely, I feel more empowered because I am taking care of me. My life now requires it. My day-to-day is all about protein, water, supplements and exercise, and you know what? It feels good.

Two months ago, I was sitting at the highest weight I have ever been. It's almost unbelievable how I got so big and honestly, outside of the people who read this blog, no one I know knows how bad it got. Moving in the world was difficult. I was isolating myself because I didn't fit. My health was slowly declining and I honestly felt like this surgery was my last hope. It was my private pain. My brother had recently passed away. He was SMO, was diabetic and had high blood pressure. I could have understandably postponed my surgery to go to his funeral, but in my heart I knew that no matter what, I had to go to Brazil and get this surgery done. I didn't want to end up like him, dead way before my time. When asked what is it that I had hoped to get out of this surgery, I paused and said "I want my chance."

Today, I have so much hope. Today, I breathe easier, walk easier. Today, I am off my insulin resistance medication. Today, my blood pressure medication has been reduced. Today, every day gets better.

I have a long way to go, as most morbidly obese people do, but I am getting there, one day at a time.

Two months ago today, I weighed 510 lbs, down from a high of 516.6. Today I weigh 447.4 lbs. That's 69.2 lbs lost since my highest, and 63 lbs since surgery. Not too bad :). That is the most weight I've ever lost in my life! Simply amazing. Thank you, God! Thank you Dr. M! Thank you everyone who has helped me in the past two months, especially my switch buddies, Jamie, Deb, Jackie & Kevin, my role model, Kim, my business partner, D, (even though I want to choke her sometimes), my two support people and of course, my family.

28 October 2006

Guy, Part II

First of all, I'm checking in at 448.6 lbs today. Woo-hoo!

A couple of things that are not necessarily clear about my previous post. Our relationship was never romantic, never sexual. During school, Guy and this one other person I'll call Gal were two people I really admired and they both happened to work together in the same office. They are about 7 years older than me and in my eyes epitomized what young, smart sophisticated people should be like. I, in some ways, idolized them. They were incredibly popular with the students because they were just downright cool, like one of us but with money, cars and off campus apartments.

At one point, I made a decision that I really wanted to be friends with them. I thought they would be a good influence on me and that I could learn a lot, plus they were a lot of fun to hang around with and that's what I did. I hung around with them a lot. In between classes, I'd go to their office and maybe make myself useful. Since I was in a bunch of clubs, a couple of which they were advisors for, I could make like I was stopping by for club reason. Overtime as I became more of fixture in their day to day, the relationships changed from advisor-student to more of a friendship. We'd talk about our families, growing up, campus gossip, etc. We'd start helping each other out, if I needed a ride to the grocery store, Gal would take me. If Guy needed some computer help, I'd offer.

Slowly, I became really emotionally involved. During this time, I kept a journal and when I go back and read it now, I am amazed at how ... what's the word... obsessive, I was about him. Half the time I laugh about it, the other half I feel really sad for the girl I was back then. I had never had nor have I since had a relationship like that.

During the time I was school and when we were hanging out, I felt like we were building a pretty decent friendship even though I was constantly questioning it. A lot of it was my insecurity, a lot of it his. My crush didn't help things at all.

I feel like I'm rambling, like I'm making a very poor attempt at giving a clear picture of something that really isn't. Let me wrap it up. There wasn't one huge thing that made me start thinking differently about the relationship. I just started to get tired of having to do all the work. Giving and giving and getting very little back and I'm not talking stuff. At some point, you just questioning yourself "Is this friendship worth it?" and when you start doing that a lot, well then, I guess you really have your answer.

I feel bad because for a long time I felt like this person would be in my life forever. I'd go to his wedding, he'd go to mine. We'd meet up maybe once a year at College, I'd call him about business advice, he'd call me about some alumni crap he thought I'd be interested in. The thing is, it really hinged on him being a better version of himself. I figured with time, he'd grow up a little, but in the last 10 years, he's still the same person doing the same silly shit he did before.

I didn't expect this to preoccupy most of my day, but I guess it's not a bad thing to pause and reflect at what looks like the definitive decline of a friendship. I told my sister once that Guy was dangerous for me. Not that I was ever fearful of him, it was that I couldn't trust that I wouldn't compromise who I am for him. And that's it. Who knows what the future holds. Who knows what will happen when I do run into him again. I know it will happen, it's just a matter of time. I just hope and pray that it amounts to nothing at all.


I am 18 years old when I first meet him. It was at an open house type thing in the basketball arena at College. I was a freshman, less than a week removed from my hometown and he was a newly hired staff member in the alumni association. He maybe said hi, I said hi and that was it. A couple of years go by, I do my thing and he does his. I got really involved in a lot of student organizations and so our paths would cross every now and again, but nothing significant. My junior year, one of the organizations I am president of, loses it's advisor and it is recommended that we seek this guy out. Guy agrees and over the course of the year we spend a lot of time together and slowly but surely we start getting more comfortable with each other, start sharing personal information, etc. We start developing a friendship. Honestly, a friendship I sought out.

Then things start to slowly change. We spend more time together and develop a real bond or so I think. I spend a lot of time working on being a good friend to him. He's an advisor to other student groups, I join some of those groups and help out where I can. He starts taking some graduate course. I sometimes help him with his homework. Slowly, it becomes obvious to me that I have a serious crush on this guy and let me tell you, physically, he's worth the attention. I start obsessing about what he's doing, when & if he's going to call, when will I see him next. All kinds of ridiculous immature things. The saddest part of this is at some point he finds out I like him and so starts taking advantage of my willingness to be helpful and nice. Yeah, he may take me and my friends out to dinner or take us bowling or maybe let me borrow his car, but the burden of the "friendship" is definitely on me. I'm doing all the work.

I start feeling really confused. I start realizing that "wait, I am putting way more into this friendship than he is". Are we really friends, or am I the biggest sucker in the world? I spend ungodly amounts of time worrying about this fact. Is he truly my friend or is he just using me?

Senior year. First semester, more of the same, but second semester, things start changing for me. This guy starts pulling away a little bit. Why? I'm not sure, but I've got other things on my mind like graduation, finding a job, finding a city to move to, etc. Instead of running after him, I just go about my business. Things are tenuous, but not unpleasant. Graduation comes and goes and I spend my summer in the same town, earning as much money as I can before I move down to Atlanta.

Things between us are at times really good and really weird. He does some really sweet things like take me for a walk around the lake, a tradition at our school, but then he does some silly shit like not even calling me back after we've made plans to go do something. One night, we go bowling with a bunch of our friends and we start talking about where and when some of us will be leaving to go off into the world and he says to me. "I want you to stay here in Collegetown". I, thinking he's joking, say "Heck no! I'm going to Atlanta, baby!" or something to that effect. It isn't until some time later that I realize that maybe he wasn't joking, but I have no way to be sure. This haunts me to this day.

In a few weeks I leave to Atlanta and have sporadic contact with him although I think about him a lot. Its always the case where the person who moves away, always tries to keep close contact with those who didn't so it would be the case where I would email and call and at first, he would always respond but then as time when on, his responses would be less and less frequent, but then he'd send a sweet email and say something like "I love and miss you".

At one point, he says "I have a golf thingy in Atlanta, I'll be in town" Cool. I'm excited. He calls and leaves me a message when he arrives late one night. I call him that night, no answer. I call him the next morning and leave a message. I call a couple hours later and again. You get the picture. I call maybe 10-12 more times that day and never hear a word. He never bothers to call me back. I'm heartbroken and confused. The truth is he could have come into town and I would have never known, but why even call if he was going to do me like that?

The next several years, more of the same. My sister and I take a weekend up to Big City which Collegetown is right outside of and try to hook up with Guy. He never shows up. He'll call a few weeks lately apologetic and sweet, I say what's up, he gives some lame excuse, I forgive, we move on. Whatever strong feelings I had for him are long faded, but he still holds a special place in my heart that I think he always will.

Last year. My best friend meets up in Big City with my high school-aged nephew and I. We plan to run around Big City for a day and then head to Collegetown for the big football game. I bring my nephew along because he really loves College and wants to eventually play football there. We spend the day in the Big City and drive down to a small town outside of Collegetown that night. I foolishly call Guy and let him know we are in town and I'd love to see him. I'd like my nephew to meet him because Guy played football at College and could talk to my nephew about the whole experience. I'm thinking it would be a good thing to not only see him, but to do something good for my nephew as well. This guy calls early Saturday morning to see where we are at. I say about 45 mins away from Collegetown. He asks how many game tickets we have, I say two (best friend opts to skip the game). I ask if he is going to go to the tailgater, he says probably and says he has to go and call us back. 15 mins later he calls back, he wants to know if we are willing to go to some other small town on the way to Collegetown to drop off our game tickets to some person and he'll give us the two tickets we have instead to help him out. I'm shocked. I called this guy a couple of months before this trip to let him know we were coming, he had plenty of time to do whatever he needed to do to meet us in Collegetown. I should also note this weekend, a lot of mutual friends will be in attendance so it's not like he was coming down to just meet me. In essence he was more interested in us "doing him this favor" instead of actually coming down (1 hr drive) to see a "good" friend. Anyway, we get to the Collegetown and the tailgater, there are lots of old college buddies around, good food & drink. I call Guy, no answer. I call at least three more times, no answer, never calls back. At that point, I feel hurt and disappointed. I've known guy for 12+ years and this is what I get? At that exact moment, I decide that that's that. I am done with Guy. I haven't said a word to NOR heard a word from Guy since that day...until last night.

I'm at home listening to some music, getting some work done so I never hear my cellphone ring in the other room at around 11:30 PM. It's Guy. He says, in an upbeat voice, "Hi, it's Guy, I am in town for a day or two. Call me back." So it's the next morning and what to do? The truth of the matter is, I put my heart and soul into a friendship that wasn't much of a friendship. I did most of the work and he reaped most of the benefit. I feel like I had/have a strong almost cosmic connection to Guy, but being too involved with him is too much work and can take a great emotional toll. I feel confident in that I have been an excellent friend to him, going far beyond what a lot of his other friends have done. I care about him and probably always will, and he knows that so it's convenient for him to have a kind-hearted soul in the background that he can call up when he needs something, whether to do a favor or for emotional support. I know this guy doesn't have a lot of people he trusts and in some ways I feel priviledged to be one of those persons, but I don't necessarily trust him. I'm not the same person I was when I was 23, 24 years old and was under his spell. That pipedream got crushed long ago. I'm not under any delusions at the moment.

There are two quotes that I think about when he starts coming into the picture, one from Maya Angelou "When people show you who they are, believe them." and one from the movie Harriett, the Spy: "You can't be my friend if you're not my friend".

I write all this because although my initial reaction was to call him and maybe relive some of the great fun we have, and you know we probably would, the truth is, I'm not calling him back. I don't trust that if I called him back, he'd answer the phone. I don't trust that if I leave a message, he'd call back. I don't trust that he'd commit to any plans (especially if he felt he had better odds doing something else). I don't trust that I won't get too emotionally involved. I don't trust that he won't be asking me for something. Part of me really still likes him and part of me really misses the fun we used to have and honestly, a tiny part of me thinks that something good may come out of all this if I do reach out. I've long felt that he feels the same connection and maybe if he was more physically attracted to me (hint, hint) we'd probably be together and that's not an easy pill to swallow. Now having had the surgery, what happens a year or two from now when word gets out that I'm not fat anymore? We have many mutual friends and the word will get out. Will he really start trying to make moves? I don't know, a lot of this is pure speculation, but I do know that right now, this minute, I am best served not having anything to do with him. I'm not even going to bother to call and make up some lie that I'm out of town or too busy. I'm just going to ignore the phone call and not even open the door to any possibilities. It's just too risky.

I can't control a lot of things in my life, but I can control this.

26 October 2006


I had a big food day yesterday, but one thing has got me a little troubled. I had a late night snack. It's my first since the surgery. One of my old vices. I thought I was hungry, now I am not so sure. It's worrisome because I don't want to resume any old pre-op habits. I don't want food to be a comfort. I am usually done eating around 8 pm and am usually well satisfied, but for some reason, I thought I could use a snack. All it was was a simple quesadilla made with cheddar cheese & a low carb tortilla, but if this becomes a pattern it could easily turn to something more nefarious. Thank God above that I have no interest in sweets right now. My two forays into grits did not end well - lots and LOTS of deadly gas. Plus, everything is tastes so much sweeter now. I was drinking Crystal Light at support group last week and I swear it tasted candy sweet to me. Gross. Before surgery, I didn't really like it cause it tasted not sweet enough!

I think that fact that I'm worried about all this is a good thing because I don't want to fail, I want to change my mind along with my body.

Yesterday's food:

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
S - Low Carb tortilla w/ pastrami & mild cheddar (27 grams)
L - Ground Beef Patty & a slice of cheddar, provolone & American cheeses (36 grams)
S - Low Carb tortilla w/ 1.5 oz. Slow cooked pot roast, couple bites of green beans & potato (27 grams)
D - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar (15 grams)

Totals: 1602 calories, 109g fat, 36g carbs, 151g protein

Wow, that's a lot of protein and calories but I still weighed in at 450.4. Like I said, I am a little worried, but not freaking out.

25 October 2006


I had a good day yesterday. I had lunch with a guy who still works at a company I used to work at and we're looking to possibly bring him on board. This whole situation is marred with potential problems though so we have to be careful. First of all, both my business partner and I worked at this other company, which we are oft to call, HellHole and we did not leave on good terms. Second, the CEO of Hellhole, whom we'd like to refer to as @sshole is just that. He is a cowardly morally corrupt psychopath who has tried to/threatened to sue us numerous times for all kinds of false accusations and if we do end up hiring this guy, he'll probably try to pull some shit. Lastly, there is a trust factor. I actually hired this guy at the old company but I am not 100% sure I can trust him to not spill the beans to @sshole. Not to be all paranoid, but there are significant financial stakes in play and I wouldn't put it past @sshole to want to send in a mole of some kind.

The plusses are that this guy will have a very shallow learning curve as he knows the industry, he's got the skills and he's familiar with the workload. I am not sure how it will all play out in the end. Our lunch was good though. We went to a Mexican restaurant and I ordered two cheese enchilads and a pork tamale knowing full well the majority of it was coming home. I ate an enchilada there and spread the rest out over two meals during the day. I haven't the slightest idea what the nutritional value of all that was, but it sure was good.

After lunch, I made a quick stop at Barnes & Noble to drool over the Moleskine display and picked out three to purchase, I also picked up paperback copies of two Augusten Burrough's books, Dry & Magical Thinking. I didn't dare linger too much as I've been known to kill a day at the bookstore without thinking too much about it. Next I went to SuperTarget. My goal was to pick up a few things, but more importantly, walk the whole store as my exercise and that's what I did. I didn't go down every aisle, but I went down many and at least walked the entire perimeter. By the time I reached checkout I was tired, thirsty and a little sweaty. Although it's cold as crap here in Atlanta, I was burning up in the store. I bought myself a bottle of water on the way out and went home. I probably spent a good hour or so in Target and I have no idea how far I walked.

Yesterday's food:
B - Godawful Protein Water (20 grams protein)
L - 1 cheese enchilada w/ a couple spoonfuls of Mexican rice (?? protein)
S - 1/2 cheese enchilada w/ 1/2 pork tamale (?? protein)
D - 1/2 cheese enchilada w/ 1/2 pork tamale (?? protein)
S - Ground Beef Patty & a slice of cheddar, provolone & American cheeses (36 grams)

Totals: I have no idea. I could guesstimate, but what's the use? I probably got over 80 grams of protein, but not over 100. The carbs were obviously high, but not too much and I know I had my fair share of sodium. All in all, not too bad.

I should just go ahead and admit that I'm a scale addict. I haven't put the scale up yet. It's been too good to me lately!!! I am really going to try to put it away at the end of the month because that'll be my two month anniversary. It's just hard to put it away after the difficult time I had during my stall. I want to be secure in the knowledge that things are definitely moving in the right direction.

Anyway, weight for today: 450.8 lbs.

24 October 2006

I heart DS

I frequent the ObesityHelp.com messageboards quite a bit, especially the Duodenal Switch board, they are, afterall my homies. I've noticed that many people who had surgery within a month or so are straight up raving about their DS, how much they love it. Me? I'm not there yet. I'm not sure what I feel completely about it. I'm very happy to have had it, but for me this is still a test. I'm not 100% convinced it will get me to where I want to be. Call me jaded, but at least I understand why I'm this way. First of all, my weight today is a weight I've been in the recent past so although it's a nice and welcome change from 516, it's not entirely new to me. Second, ... well, there is no second, that's pretty much it. When I first came to Atlanta 9 years ago, I weighed 404 lbs. In early January 2001, I weighed 424 and by the summer had lost down to around 370-375 through low-carbing and Body-for-Life. I think when I get down to 369 is when I can start really loving my DS because I will know it has taken me somewhere I know I could not have gone myself. Who knows, it may be sooner than that. It may be when I leave the 400's for good. It'll be good to say I'll never be 400 lbs again.

At least now I can say I'll never be 500 lbs again and I definitely thank my DS for that.


A little bit more about my doctor's appointment. I hadn't seen my PCP since I got back from Brazil and was excited to tell her all about it. Luckily, she was happy to hear it. I can't say enough about Dr. B. She's great and I found out that her office is familiar with WLS patients and although I had to do some explaining about the DS, they are ready and willing to do the things I need in order to make sure everything goes well. The only sucky thing about the whole visit was that my blood pressure was still elevated so I'm still on my BP meds. Bummer. I was hoping to be off of them, but since I only just started exercising, I'm hoping when I go in in 6 weeks for labs, et al, I will be able to get off them.

When I went to the local Eckerd's store to get my prescription filled, I always wonder the store for a few minutes because the fine folks in the pharmacy are really quick about getting things done. Anyway, I happened down into the diet section and noticed a 20 oz bottle of something called Protein Water by Stacker2 and I decided I'd buy it, take it home and see what it takes like. Well, I just finished it about 10 minutes ago and it's the most godawful tasting crap I've tasted in a long time. Blech. Be warned, it tastes like battery acid and grape Kool-Aid. I finished it though because it was replacing my usual Roadside Lemonade.

Anyway, yesterday's food:

B - EAS AdvantEdge RTD Shake (30 grams protein)
S - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar (15 grams)
L - 1.5 oz. Slow cooked pot roast, couple bites of potato (13 grams)
D - Ground Beef Patty & a slice of cheddar, provolone & American cheeses (36 grams)
S - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar & 2 oz pastrami (27 grams)

Totals: 1344 calories, 88g fat, 45g carbs, 121g protein

I tried to mix it up the last two days with my morning protein drink, but I think I am going to go back to old faithful - Roadside Lemonade. It just works for me. Anyway, the carbs were kinda high, but remember 23 of the 45 grams is fiber.

Today's weight: 452.8.

23 October 2006

My day today.

Saw the PCP this afternoon. Was pretty excited about the surgery. Adjusted the blood pressure medication. Went to the office. Chit-chatted with the business partner. Got stuck in traffic. Picked up my new prescription. Bought two bags of ice, pastrami and some Oust from the grocery store. Came home, starving, made a hamburger. Watched a little football. Damn Cowboys. Went to bed.


So I cheated. I didn't put up my scale last night. I kinda forgot and then when I saw it this morning, I just had to jump on. I'm kinda glad I did, 455.2 lbs. Not too bad. I rode my exercise bike for 25 mins yesterday while I watched football. My butt was hurting too much to do much more than that.

Yesterday's food:

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
S - 2 oz. Slow cooked pot roast, couple bites of potato (16 grams)
L - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar (15 grams)
D - Ground Beef Patty & a slice of cheddar, provolone & American cheeses (36 grams)
S - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar (15 grams)
S - EAS Protien Drink (15 grams)

Totals: 1462 calories, 95g fat, 33g carbs, 143g protein

For some reason, I was starving yesterday, especially mid to late evening hence the extra snack. I know that's a lot of cheese, but cheese is one of my favorite foods. I decided to eat when I felt hungry and listen to my body instead of just trying to follow a "diet". I guess I did okay since I lost a pound. The scale is definitely going away for sure until the 30th.

I have a busy day today. I have my doctor's appointment that I missed last Friday, I'm going into the office and I have a bunch of errands to run. I won't be hopping on the bike today as I'll be doing plenty of walking...well, I might do a quick 10-15 min ride later today just to try to get my butt used to the dang seat.

Off I go!

21 October 2006

Day 6 - Hallelujah

I have to admit something. When I first had the surgery, I don't think I was fully mentally prepared for post-op life. I really wasn't. All my energy, and I do mean ALL, was spent on making sure I survived surgery and made it home in one piece. After I got home, the reality of having the DS hit me hard. I really struggled for a good week or two. Now things are different and I've realized how much of a commitment this surgery/new life is. I don't want to scare anyone away from having WLS, but one needs to know what one is getting oneself involved in.

Thank God I get to work from home because from 8 AM to around 9 PM, my main goals in life are (1)nutrition (2) hydration and (3) supplementation. Before surgery, I could sit at my desk for 3-4 hours programming away. Not any more. I can't sit for 1.5 hours straight. I eat 5-6 times a day every 1.5-2.0 hours. In between those times, I have to get my water in. I have to take vitamins and supplements 4 times a day when I'm not eating AND let's not even talk about having to go the potty. At least 2-4 times a day. This surgery requires that kind of vigilance. Mind you, it won't be like this forever. Things do calm down and get easier. If I had to get up and go out to work today, yes, I could probably handle it like most post-ops do. The important thing to remember is overall vigilance. I have a finite time in which to make the most out of my weight loss window and if I am not compliant with my doctor's orders, if I don't eat right, get my vitamins in, drink my water, exercise, then I'm doomed to being disappointed. Kim, at support group meeting, really confirmed that for me.

Luckily, I have been able to get myself into a routine and I have been able to employ some timesaving measures like the pot roast thing, for example. I've also been able to make sure I have quick snacks or ready made protein drinks just in case my schedule does get crazy or when I get caught up in other crap.

I don't expect to be perfect, but I am going to try my hardest. I don't want to be sitting here a year from now full of regrets.

Yesterday's food:

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
S - 3 oz. Slow cooked pot roast, couple bites of potato (25 grams)
L - Ground Beef Patty & two slices Mild Cheddar (32 grams)
D - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar (15 grams)
S - Low Carb tortilla w/ two slices mild cheddar (15 grams)

Totals: 1323 calories, 85g fat, 28g carbs, 132g protein

The carb levels are probably a little high, but because of the LC Tortillas, 16 of those 28 grams of carbs are fiber. I made quesadillas, yum. I'm gonna try an LC enchilada casserole one of these days with lots of meat, cheese & onions. Yum.

Anyway, I am saving the best news for last. First I gotta say, THANK YOU GOD. This morning I weighed in at 456.4 lbs. Looks like my stall is broken. Talk about a sigh of relief. I think it was a combination of a lot of things that did it, eating more, exercising more (been getting on my exercise bike and walking), drinking more water, staying away from salty foods, etc.

Today, I am taking my weekly pictures, taking my measurements and putting away the scale for at least a week. I don't think weighing everyday is doing me much good.

Big sigh. I think things are moving in the right direction.

20 October 2006

Day 5 - Shopping

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and spent like $120. Now, I won't be spending this much $$$ every week, but this time around, I bought several things that I could have probably gotten at a Target or Wal-mart - a plastic bottle for my morning shakes, Swiffer refills, garbage bags, etc. After talking to the nutritionist last night, I felt like I needed to get more "real food" and less processed stuff, plus I was pretty determined to buy my first pot roast. I cooked the pot roast and it was delicious!!! I put in onion, two potatoes and some low sodium canned grean beans. Yum! I took 6 small plastic containers that I bought and divvied up most of the pot roast into those containers. I even measured it all out -- roughly 3 oz of cooked pot roast, a few potato chunks, a couple of slivers of onions, and about 1/4 cup of grean beans. Each serving pretty much filled each 9 oz plastic container. There's no way I could eat all 9 oz. in one sitting, but it would work divinely as two meals. I left a little bit of the roast and onions to eat over the weekend so I won't have to cook.

I also bought a tray of chicken legs. I can't deal with the thighs, believe it or not, they are too dry and my gag reflect kicks in. Dry meat does that to me now. Ugh. Anyway, I'm going to cook those in my Nesco and freeze most of it in single servings.

Yesterday's food:

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
S - EAS Protein Drink (15 grams)
L - Ground Beef Patty & two slices Mild Cheddar (32 grams)
D - 2 oz. Slow cooked pot roast, couple bites of potato/greenbeans (16 grams)
S - Two slices mild cheddar (10 grams)

Totals: 1041 calories, 60g fat, 12g carbs, 119g protein

I have to explain why two protein drinks. I had a scheduled Dr.'s appt at 11:45 AM and I left the house at 11AM sharp figuring I had about a 20-25 minute drive and I'd have a little extra time, I hate being late. Well, as soon as I got on the freeway, traffic just about stopped. There was no way I was going to make my appointment so I had to call and cancel. That totally threw my whole schedule off because I had planned on having lunch right after my appointment, but I ended being stuck in traffic forever, like an hour. I got off the first exit and headed back, but I stopped at the grocery store to do my food shopping because I knew I was running low on supplies at home. I didn't get home til like 1:30 pm and I didn't have any prepared food so in order not to pass out, I drank an EAS shake. About an hour and a half later I was eating the hamburger patty so I had a valid reason. This was hardly typical.

Anyhoo, I noticed something today. Before I left for Brazil, which I now realize I haven't talked too much about, my heartbeat was racing all the time. I think it was some form of white coat syndrome. Seriously, for a good week before through my surgery date, my heartrate was about 100-110 bpm, resting. Ridiculous, huh? I guess in my own way, I was freaking out. Well, I just took my heartrate and it's 60. Can you believe that? And I don't even exercise all that much -- I will be -- but not so far. Wow.

Well, I am hoping I am doing something right, this morning's weigh in: 460.0 lbs.

First Wow Moment

I don't think I am unusual in that although I've lost somewhere between 55-65 lbs, I don't feel any different and I don't notice that much of a difference, especially for someone of my size. It's just going to take a little more before I will be able to say "Goddang, I'm shrinkin'", but yesterday I had my first wow moment and I must share. Like I mentioned before, I attended my bariatric surgery support group meeting last night and because a friend and great supporter and role model of mine was leading the group, I decided to sit up front. Well, when I sat in my seat, I immediately noticed a difference, the seat wasn't entirely uncomfortable. I was shocked. All previous times I sat in those chairs, by the time I left, the area where the armrests pressed up against my hips were numbed and well on their way to being bruised. Sometimes, it was bad enough to leave marks and my skin would peel, but not last night! My ass fit in the chair! Holy crap! I couldn't believe it. No numbness, no pain, no bruising! How cool is that! Mind you I was last in those chairs a mere 4 weeks ago so even though I've been plateauing for the last 3+ weeks, I guess the inches were melting away...


Day 4 - Better

Last night, I actually found myself debating whether or not I wanted to go to support group or not. Silly me, what the hell was wrong with me for entertaining such thoughts. I have no idea, actually I do, I was just apprehensive about having to talk about my stall and I wasn't feeling all that great emotionally. Luckily, I got over all that crap and went and once again, I'm so glad I did. It was great and exactly what I needed.

I had a chance to talk with another DS-er, who is 3-4 weeks ahead of me and ironically we both are having stall/plateau issues. I immediately felt better. There were a few pre-ops there and we talked about the surgery itself, the immediate after life and what happens a few weeks out. The biggest thing for me was talking to the nutritionist who always attends and we went over what I was eating, the breakdown - how much protein/fat/carbs/water and I think we pinpointed a couple of areas where I need to make some changes. First, check my sodium intake. I've been depending on some processed foods a little too much, especially the sausages & pickles. So as of today, no more of that. Second, with increased protein, must come increased water. I did not know that, so my goal is to get in 100 oz of water instead of 64-80 oz. Third, exercise. I need to start moving. If I hadn't said it before, let me say it now, I friggin hate exercise. Hate. Bane of my existence, but like Kim (our supprot group leader) said last night, the surgery was the last ditch effort for me and it doesn't make any sense to not take full advantage of it. So my goal is to exercise everyday. Whether it's walking or riding my exercise bike or dancing for 1/2 an hour. I've got to do it and I will. One thing that I think I might want to do is take walks and bring my camera along, I may have to first hop in my car and drive a little bit, but I think it's something that will maintain my interest.

Anyway, since I knew I was putting an end to some of my fave salty foods, I had one last sausage and one last pickle last night:

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
S - Half of Egg, cheese w/ EC sausage (12.5 grams)
L - Other Half of Egg, cheese w/ EC sausage (12.5 grams)
S - Ham, Cheese & grits (.33 cup) (11 grams)
D - EC Sausage (8 grams)

Totals: 1099 calories, 66g fat, 29g carbs, 88g protein.

Morning Weigh-In: 462.6

19 October 2006

Day 3 - Poop

Okay. Day 3 of this whole "eating more" experiment. Not sure it's working, but oh well. I didn't have a incredibly great day. I had made mayself a great dinner, but one bite and I felt like I was gonna hurl, so I opted for something more tolerable.

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
S - Earl Campbell Sausage w/ mustard (16 grams)
L - Roasted Chicken (29 grams)
S - New Whey Liquid Protein (25 grams)
D - Started off as Roasted Chicked w/ green beans, but ended up being Earl Campbell Sausage (8 grams)

Totals: 1483 calories, 91g fat, 22g carbs, 126g protein.

Yes, that's a good bit of fat, but I only absorb about 20-25% of it so it's not a big deal, plus it makes sure the plumbing isn't too clogged up. Speaking of, I still feel like I am having constipation issues. I have a somewhat heavy feeling in my abdomen that I can't seem to get rid of unless I take some kind of laxative or something which I don't want to have to do all the time.

I had upped my magnesium so that I take a 250mg pill 4 times a day with my Calcium Citrate and that has definitely helped, that coupled with the extra fat, I have 1-2 good poops a day. Typically one first thing in the AM. This morning I had a significant one and I noticed that a lot of the swelling I had in my legs is gone. I was hoping that would be reflected on the scale, but I've hopped on this morning and it reads 464.6 lbs.

I don't know. I am so discouraged.

18 October 2006


Y'know it's kinda !@#$-ed up how your weight can truly mess with your head. It's sad that it often comes to this. You know what I hate more than the fact that the scale is not moving, I hate the way it makes me feel about myself. I'm sure there is a valid biological or physiological reason why the scale isn't moving downwards. Intellectually, I fully understand and comprehend and accept this. Emotionally, completely different story. I mean, take your pick, either I'm the first person in human history whose DS doesn't work for them or my surgery is !@#$-ed up or this is just as good as it gets. All these thoughts have been preoccupying my mind and it sucks. It sucks ass. Hey look at me! I'm the idiot who paid $15,000 to lose 50 lbs.

Ugh, this sucks and as I hop on the scale every morning and record my weight, I feel more and more like a failure. The weight should be coming off and it's not. What is it exactly that I am doing so wrong? It's a cruel thing, I tell ya. I keep thinking that maybe this isn't meant for me. Maybe I wasn't meant to be thin and healthy, that no matter what I do, it's just not going to happen for me and that, my friends, is the most frightening thing of all. Something I really don't want to accept because it's a dark, dark place and I'm not sure there is a way out of that. So, what can I do? I just keep doing what I do hoping and praying that I either figure out what the problem is and fix it or that in due time, things will change.

It just sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. It doesn't help that practically everyone I see who knows I have had the surgery asks me how much weight I've lost at seemingly every opportunity. Tomorrow (thank God) my support group meets and we'll be talking about how to best stay on track with all the post-op requirements and believe you me, I will be a rapt attendee. I just don't look forward to anyone asking me how much weight I've lost. There are people who have had the surgery around the same time as I have and who weigh like 100-150 lbs less than me who have lost more weight than I have.

I know I'm not supposed to compare myself to others, but still. It's depressing and yes, I'd like some cheese with my whine.

17 October 2006

Day 2

Not a bad day today. I had to interrupt my routine for an emergency situation with some friends of mine so I missed a meal, but still got over 100 grams of protein. I've noticed that I am definitely retaining water, it's pretty obvious in my legs.

B - Nectar Roadside Lemonade Protein Drink (46 grams protein)
L - Beef/Green bean/potato Hash w/ cheese (~34 grams)
D - Beef/Green bean/potato Hash w/ cheese (~34 grams)
S - Provolone Cheese slices (~15 grams)

Totals: 1350 calories, 79g fat, 33g carbs, 130g protein

About 60 oz of water and supplements.

Today I weighed in at 464.4 lbs. This is getting depressing.

Day 1

Yesterday I ate the following:

B - Isopure RTD (40 grams protein)
S - Beef/Green bean/potato Hash w/ cheese (~30 grams)
L - Shrimp w/ light butter sauce (27 grams)
D - Beef/Green bean/potato Hash w/ cheese (~30 grams)

In total about 128g protein, 20g carbs and 68 g fat. I also had about 80 oz of water and all my supplements.

Today I weighed in at 464.6 lbs.

16 October 2006


I think I know what my problem is. Not enough food. When comparing what I had been eating to what my doctor and his nutritionist said I should be eating, there was a great disparity. I had been getting between 60-80 grams of protein and not much else. Last night I made a decision to get between 100-120 grams a day with at least 80 grams of that coming from real food. I think I still need at least one protein drink a day for now, but I am going to start eating more. A little light bulb went off for me when after I finished a "normal" meal, I was able to drink quite a bit of water afterwards which told me that I maybe wasn't eating enough. I had a good dinner and snack last night which put over 100 grams and today I weighed in at 465.6. It really just confirms for me that my body is holding on to any and all nutrition it can get, so my goal for this week is eat, eat, eat and we'll see what happens.

15 October 2006

Dr. M.

So I did email Dr. Marchesini yesterday about my wonderful stall and he basically said to calm down. This is hard. He said the week to week weight loss isn't what's important, it's how much you lose in a year. Ugh. Intellectually, I know all this, but dangit, it's just a complete mindf-ck when the scale doesn't move appropriately. Totally playing with my emotions.


Before I left for Brazil, I ordered a new scale. This one was fancy, it went up to 550 lbs, had like 16 different sensors and would actually talk to you and tell you what your weight was so you didn't have to look down. I immediately put away my old scale in favor of this new one. Fast forward to today. As you know, I've been dealing with a stall. I started the month at 466 and today weighed in at 462. Only 4 lbs in over 2 weeks. Needless to say, I ain't too happy about that. So on a whim, I pull out my old scale. Talk about torture. I hop on and it reads 453. !#@$&%.

Ugh. So I did a little test. I got my firesafe and put it on both scales. The new one said it weighed 38.2 lbs, the old one, 37.5. The new one goes up in increments of .2, the old one .5. I'm not sure what to think, and although it's tempting to use the old scale's #, I will stick with the new scale for consistency's sake. Grrrrr.

13 October 2006

Hollow Leg

Did I tell you about my hollow leg when it comes to water? Man, I can drink some water. It goes through me like you would not believe. I can down like 44 oz in like 15-20 mins if I was inclined to and not feel bad. I love ice cold water and as long as I drink with a straw and not gulp, I can drink the whole big glass, no problem!

Anyway, I've been emailing back and forth with one of my Marchesini switch buddies. She had her surgery exactly one week before me and it has been great to be able to see the road ahead. I asked her about stalling and she said she experienced a three week stall probably around the 4-5 week mark. Sucks for her, but gives me comfort with what I am dealing with. I am at the 6 1/2 week mark and I think I am doing ok. For example, what I ate today:

B - EAS AdvantEdge Protein Drink
S - Earl Campbell Sausage
L - 1/4 cup of grits with butter
S - 2.5 oz Pork Country Ribs
D - New Whey Liquid Protein
S - Dill Pickles

That's not a ton of food, but it's not bad. Maybe around 60-70 grams of protein. I feel like I am getting full and feel satisfied. I don't get any serious hunger pangs so I'm not too incredibly worried. The stall itself breeds more worry than anything. I don't want to be the dreaded idiot that this surgery doesn't work for. Right now I am at the weight loss level which matches the most amount of weight I've lost in a singular effort in the past. I think that's probably the reason for the stall. My body is like "Whoa Nelly!!!!" At least, I hope that's the reason.

I don't know, it's weird. The past couple of days, overall, I've felt pretty good. I've been dealing with a bit of constipation which friggin sucks. I had to take some good old Milk of Magnesia last night to get things moving and spent the better part of my early morning evacuating my plumbing. Not fun, but I feel much better. I kinda felt bloated and stuffed up, quite uncomfortable. I don't want to continue taking the MoM for long periods of time so I've incorporated some cheapo magnesium into my diet and I will pick up some better quality magnesium once these pills run out. I had constipation issues when I was low carbing so it's not entirely unheard of. Not surprisingly, the scale read a loss of 1.6 lbs. Thank God!

I haven't been much of an exerciser. I ain't gonna lie. I hate exercising with the passion of a thousand suns. Hate it ... BUT ... I gotta figure out a way to incorporate it into my life. I DO NOT want to squander my weight-loss window. I don't want to be reading this shit a year from now full of regret. The best suggestion I have right now is to move my exercise bike from my office to my bedroom and ride the dang thing when I watch TV in the late mornings (I like to watch my Tivo'd The People's Court after I've put in a couple hours of work). This way I can get in a good hour of moderate exercise. Not ideal, but it's better than nothing, especially since I'm working from home and the furthest I have to walk is like from my bed to my office which takes all of 10 seconds.

Anyway, it's strange not having food as a crutch anymore, not that I have needed it in the past few weeks. I haven't had a single solitary sweet food since surgery. I've had a few sugar free popsicles, but that's about it and that was more about being hot than anything else. I've been to the grocery store a few times and it didn't even cross my mind to grab a box of doughnuts or some cookies. Not at all. No cravings whatsoever. Strange. I love sweets. They taste good, but I have no desire for that stuff besides I think the resulting gas could peel paint off the walls. The grits I had earlier are causing me grief and I barely had any!

I think the work required to just get the proper nutrition is a deterrent for me because it is a day long effort to get the protein, get all the supplements in, get all the water in. Not an hour goes by between 8 AM and 8 PM that I'm not either eating, drinking water or taking some dang pills. The days are flying by because between trying to be healthy and getting some work done, I have no time to be bored or be listless.

I'm not freaking out about the stall, I haven't really talked to Dr. M about it and I'm not really switching up my eating all that much...maybe a little more fat and/or protein and/or carbs here and there, but nothing drastic. I am happy the scales moved this morning and I'm hoping that tomorrow will show some loss as well. If things aren't moving my Monday, I will send Dr. M a note and see what he says. I suspect he might say to get more protein in or to just calm the heck down. I don't know, we'll see.

11 October 2006


I am most definitely stalled. I've been within the same 5 lbs for like two weeks now. Not fun and a tad bit frustrating. I have these fleeting moments of "Oh my God, this is it for me. This is all I am going to lose." God, I hope not. You gotta admit though, it's a scary proposition. The last time I lost a considerable amount of weight, I stalled as well which in/directly caused me to go off plan, but now there is no plan. There is no diet to get off of. This is my life, this is how I live, there is nothing I can do besides keep doing what I am doing.

I've got the vitamin thing pretty nailed. The protein still requires some work, but I'm usually in the 65-85 range. The water is in the 60 oz per day range. I dunno. I had some serious constipation issues which I've gotten past, but the scale ain't moving much. Sigh. I guess I just have to take in all in stride and just keep the faith that this will work for me.

God help me.

06 October 2006


Yesterday, I crossed over a new threshold. I dropped out of the 460s into the 450s. I am close to 60 lbs of loss. Needless to say, I am pretty happy, but I sometimes find myself a little impatient. I am trying to look at all this like "good-bye 460's you'll never see me again!", but I am also reminded that I have a long ass way to go and I just have to exercise some patience -- one day at a time.

Today, I get a little company. My sister is coming into town to visit. I am too excited! She's really my best friend in the world and the one I used to call late at night when I was freaking about about the surgery before I actually went. She has been 200% supportive! This weekend should be a lot of fun. Typically we make the rounds to a bunch of restaurants in Atlanta and I suspect this year might not be too different. Regardless of what we do, I'm just glad she'll be here.

My food has been interesting the last couple of days. I have certainly eaten more solid foods. I've had the toppings to a small slice of pizza, a couple of chicken wings, cheese & beef enchiladas. I'm surprising myself. No bathroom issues either. Amazing. I still have my one protein shake a day, but I feel like I'm doing much better.


03 October 2006


The same day I got a box in the mail of my supply of Nectar Roadside Lemonade and New Whey Liquid protein, I had a hunkering for a hamburger. A nice and hot, greasy, cheesy hamburger. So, I went and got me one. I stopped by the Wendy's by my house and ordered a Wendy's Classic double, plain. I got home, promptly put three slices of cheese on it, popped it in the microwave for a few seconds and cut it into 6 equal pieces. I had one piece for lunch. Pretty. Damn. Good. The best part, I don't want any more of it. It was good, but not mindblowing. It was a little rough going down, but so far no problems. We'll see if I say the same in a few hours.

02 October 2006

Monday Stuff

It's been an interesting couple of days. I am finding that I trending toward eating less actual food and consuming more protein drinks. Honestly, I think I was moving too fast. I have tried, I promise you, I have tried to get my protein in via food, but it ain't working. It's too hard. Now I am looking at drinking 2 protein drinks a day and I think I am fine with that, at least I will get the protein in.

Granted it's only been a couple of days, but I find that if my two bookend meals are protein drinks I feel much better and it seems like getting in my water is easier. I seem to do and feel better on softer foods. Today I had 6 Ritz crackers with Philadelphia Cream Cheese - Light and it was grand. Went down with no problems. The shrimp I had was a little rougher going down, but tolerable and actually quite good. I think I overcooked the shrimp though.

Anyway, my incision got a little infected and I had a slight fever over the weekend. I wasn't feeling terribly well and was content not doing much of anything besides sitting or laying around. It is healing and the hole is getting smaller and smaller, I guess I was being a worrier for no good reason. I had been changing my dressings twice a day and had been using tape to secure the pads, but after peeling off my skin for the umpteenth time, I had to put an end to it. It hurt and I don't want any permanent marks because of it. I am now just letting my binder secure the huge pads in place. I can't wait to be rid of it all.

I rode my exercise bike for a good 15 mins today and wasn't entirely exhausted. I probably could have ridden it longer had I had my bottle of water close at hand. I may try to do 20 mins tomorrow. I read a few cautionary tales from people who didn't take full advantage of their "windows". I don't want that to be me, but I will say it is difficult to exercise when you're exhausted, but I don't know if I'm exhausted because I ain't moving much. I started to feel like if I don't get moving then I'm setting myself up for failure. I don't feel the flat out exhaustion I felt when I first got home so I feel like if I want more energy then I gotta get the blood flowing. At one point this afternoon, I was freezing my butt off and it was 82 degrees outside. I just felt like I couldn't get warm like I used to and I think it might be my metabolism. It's ironic because I used wake up on fire and now I'm complaining about being cold. I know I have lost 50+ lbs, but it's not that much insulation considering where I started from.

Food Log (according to Fitday):
1 Isopure RTD - Grape Frost
6 Ritz Crackers w/ Light cream cheese
2 oz Deli Honey Turkey
8.5 Shrimp w/ .25 tb butter
2 small dill pickles
1 sugar free popsicle
1 Isopure RTD - Alpine Punch

694 calories, 18 grams of fat (is that enough??), 21g carbs, 112g protein (probably the most since I've been home)