29 April 2007

Number Crunching

Tomorrow will be a good day. Besides being payday (which means more toys for my camera) it is also be the end of month 8 for me. This morning I weighed in at 352.4 lbs for a total loss for the month with one day remaining at 17.2 lbs and a grand total of 164.2 lbs. Woo-hoo!

I did some number crunching specifically related to the day I stopped eating cheese and what my loss was like before and after. Here are the results:

Date Range Start End Total Loss
2/19 - 3/25 389.6 378.4 -11.2 lbs
3/26 - 4/29 378.4 352.4 -26.0 lbs

The difference is clear, I lost over twice as much in the last five weeks, than I did in the first five! Amazing. My goal in May is to have a really clean month. This month, I had a few lapses, but will still end the month down 17+ lbs. In May, I want to see what the weight loss will be like when I am super compliant with everything from food to water to vitamins/supplements.

All of this just reinforces the fact that having this surgery is not a quick fix, the weight just won't fall off without any effort on your part, you can't eat whatever the heck you want, all of this requires hard work and vigilance. My diet, nutrition and health still occupies a great deal of my time and energy and that will be the case for a good long while. Just when I think I have something down pat, something else rears it's ugly head and then it's back to asking questions, really evaluating what I'm eating & drinking, being mindful of my poop patterns (as gross as that sounds) and how I generally feel day in and day out. I'll tell you one thing, for me and a lot of DSers, poop tells the story. There are two things that are indicative of me having issues, weight loss and poop patterns. Get on any Duodenal Switch message board and I guarantee you there will be quite a few poop related posts. I've gotten good at knowing how much poop there should be, how often I should be going and most importantly, what effect my diet has on my poop and it's frequency. If you pay attention to your poop patterns it'll help you troubleshoot problems when they occur.

I tell ya, I've never talked about poop in my life as much as I have in the last 8 months! Anyway, enough of that. According to my own personal goals, I am roughly 1/2 way there. Dr. Marchesini has said 250-260 would be a good goal weight for me to start considering plastics with the end goal of ending around 200. Personally, I'd be happy at 200 lbs before I start considering plastics with the end result being around 185 lbs. My sister thinks that's too low for me, but I won't know until I get closer to that number. I'm a person who doesn't look their weight. People who have seen me at my highest can't believe I weighed that much and people who see me now, can't believe I weigh what I do. I think it's because I'm tall, almost 6 feet. I don't know where I will end up, but I am happy to be at least 1/2 way there in 8 months.

It's hard to reconcile where I was last August versus where I am now. I have been able to have some comfort in still being fat. I know that sounds weird, but it's something I know and it's something I can deal with. We're getting into unknown territory here and it's a little scary. I think the next six months are going to be really interesting for me. Boy, if you thought I had "head" issues now.... Speaking of, I have to ask this question. Airplane seats. I am hoping to lose another 20-30 lbs before I fly, putting me at around 325 lbs, how uncomforable is an airplane seat going to be at that point? Just thinking about it stresses me out...

Anyway, another beautiful day in Georgia and I am going to take advantage. Gonna take my camera out and get some sun.

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28 April 2007

Where doth the time go....

Since I've started the job a couple of months ago, it seems like time just flies by. I can't believe it's almost May. I'm a couple days away from my 8 month surgiversary and weighed in at exactly 353 lbs with a 16.6 lb loss for the month and that's with a poor eating Easter week. If I'm lucky, I can maybe hit 18 lbs loss for the whole month. Woo-hoo!!! Y'know what's weird? It's hard to believe I ever weighed 516 lbs and it's hard to believe I weigh 353 now...

Yesterday, one of my co-workers remarked on my weight loss, mind you I've only been there two months. Alarms immediately went off. I checked my spreadsheet and I've lost around 35 lbs since I started that job. No one there knows I had the surgery and I want to keep it that way, luckily I don't eat weird, like maybe RNYs do, so I've been able to keep any questions at bay.

So we all know about my issues with clothes shopping, so this morning I dug up a pile of clothes I had acquired at one of my support group meetings from a few months ago, I really don't remember when, maybe November or something. Anyway, there were a few size 24 skirts, a couple of 24 pants, a 26 dress and some sweaters. I tried on both pairs of 24 pants and they were too small, couldn't zip them up AT ALL, but I did get them on, I tried both skirts and pretty much the same thing although I did get closer to zipping those up. I could get them past my hips, but would need to suck in as much as I could and maybe could zip them up, but they would both be skin tight, look bad and be uncomfortable. The dress, much to my delight, actually fit perfectly. I can not believe it! A size 26...geez. As a comparison, last summer, pre-surgery, I had a size 34 gray skirt that was too small and hadn't worn since 2004. I also have a size 34 skirt that I had to keep unzipping in order to breathe and just wore a long shirt over it to hide the fact that I couldn't keep it zipped. Lane Bryant is the de facto plus size shop, but I haven't been able to buy anything consistently from them in years. I could usually buy a dressy blouse here or there, but I can't even remember the last time I bought a pair of pants or a skirt or anything like that. The last time I think I remember buying anything from there was probably before I left for college, maybe 15 years ago. I have 6 more weeks before I leave for my reunion, I'll be utterly thrilled to fit in those size 24s.

Some things that I've noticed as of late:
1. I've developed weird pains in the last couple of months. I went through a phase where my back would be killing me, now when I go to bed, I can't lay on my sides for too long because the opposite side (the side I'm not laying on) starts to hurt around my hips. Sucks.
2. I've become accustomed to eating my food lukewarm/room temperature. I was one of those types that loved my food hot and hated when my food wasn't piping hot. Now, it doesn't bother me that much when it takes me a while to eat my food and a good portion of it is room temperature by the time I finish.
3. Weirdest thing ever: Often the area between my shoulders gets numb and tingly. This happens when only when I am at work and I've been sitting at my desk working for an extended period of time. I think it's a combination of the sitting in that one position, the bras I wear and maybe shifting body weight or something. The only relief I get is when I put my arms up behind my head and grab my elbows and stretch for a minute or two. It never happens when I am home or walking around or driving or anything, just at work.

Well, it promises to be a nice day in Atlanta today so I am going to change clothes real quick and go for a walk, maybe I'll take my camera with me.

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26 April 2007

Still Alive...

Just been very busy... Here's a quick summary. Went to support group meeting last week, it was incredibly awesome, as usual. More reminders that I need to get smaller clothes. Will finally take up the offers for free stuff and say goodbye to the stuff I've been hanging onto. Been loving my new camera, it makes me a very happy girl and makes me want to spend my entire paycheck on photography goodies....must resist. I had two slices of cheese this past weekend and had a not so good reaction....gas...edema...constipation. Finally cleared up and confirmed my no-cheese imperative...sigh...I really, really miss it though. Down to 355.6 lbs. Woo-hoo!!! Makes 161 lbs lost. Wow. I tried on a shirt that I bought years ago that was a size 4x and for years hadn't been able to wear it because it was too small (I had totally forgotten about it). I've actually had dreams about finally being able to wear the shirt. Put it on a couple of days ago...too big...am comfortably in a 3X and will start buying 2X which makes me happy because there is a limited edition t-shirt I want to buy in August when I got to a football at my alma mater, largest size, I believe is a XL. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Having some latent anxiety about going home for my family reunion in about 6 weeks, mostly about flying on a plane. I bailed out on getting on a plane a few months ago because I was so anxious abou the whole seat thing, that was maybe 50-60 lbs ago. If I am lucky, I can drop another 25-30 lbs in 6 weeks and be down to 325-330. Will that be enough? I don't know. I hope so, gotta start exercising more...

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15 April 2007

Buh-Bye 360's

I weighed in at 358.0 lbs this morning. I am out of the 360's. Buh-bye. This is probably common knowledge to many people, but it only recently just occurred to me, that every pound loss is more noticeable now then say 100 lbs ago. I lounge around in a few pairs of drawstring shorts and athletic pants. I tie them tight enough to stay on, but loose enough that I don't have to untie them to take them off. Lately, it seems I have to make adjustments far more frequently than I did in the past, maybe every two weeks or so. It's a good thing.

I wasn't so good over Easter. I had a couple Cadbury eggs and I wasn't getting enough protein in BUT I didn't have any cheese and the only thing that had gluten in it was the coating for some chicken strips I had for a couple of meals. I've also had a Diet Pepsi and a couple of Diet Cokes in the last week or so. Overall, not too much damage. Thank God the holidays are over. Deviations from my normal day-to-day routine cause me problems and that is an area I have to get better about.

Anyway, it's a rainy, chilly day here in Atlanta so accordingly I am going to veg the hell out -- after I run to the grocery store. I'm a little sore, but only in my shoulders from carrying the signs yesterday. I'm actually surprised because of all the walking I did.


14 April 2007

Mr. President?

I am exhausted. I'm generally not a political gal, but like many people I've found myself caught up in the buzz that is Barack Obama and I found out a few days ago that he was coming to Atlanta for a rally at Georgia Tech. Instead of just showing up for it and being one in the crowd (of apparently 20,000!) I decided to volunteer. I got there just before 8:00 AM and spent the next 4 hours running around, helping out where I could. When Mr. Obama finally took the stage, I had a good spot to hear his speech and was moved, moved by his words, moved by the sheer size of the crowd, but mostly moved by all the different kinds of people there. It was just wonderful to see so many people coming together in hopefulness. It's something I won't ever forget. This was a big moment for me because I know I would not have bothered to volunteered for anything or anybody a year ago, I know I would not have been in any kind of shape to do the walking, lifting and carrying involved, but today I did it. I walked around GT's hilly campus and passed out signs, I helped setup and take down barricades, I ran around tying and placing balloons, it was great. I did have to take a little break because I needed some water and food around 11:30 or so, but overall I did pretty good. I surprised myself. Things like this confirm for me that I can do more stuff now, that I can make up my mind to do something and go freakin' do it and not have to worry too much about the physical requirements involved.

Overall, a great day. I know I will be sore in the morning, but it was oh so worth it. By the way, I totally got to shake his hand and nearly melted....

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09 April 2007

Did I really wear those????

I had a bad day at work, so instead of eating a bag of Oreos (as if I could eat a bag of Oreos), I decided to take some pictures of myself. I feel mildly vain, but I feel good so, there ya go. Anyway, on to the show:

This is me in my most favorite pair of jeans that I can no longer wear (anyone from my support group will recognize them). I am also wearing my belt that I refuse to give up. I find that I punch holes about every 6 weeks or so. What's interesting about this belt is that I remember having to NOT wear it because it wasn't big enough. Heh...

This is me, sans belt. You can see just how big these freakin' jeans are now. These are the pair that I will wear when I'm at goal ... with about 2 or 3 friends in them.

This is the front view. I can probably fit a couple of my smaller nieces and nephews in there if I wanted to.

These photos make me happy as you can clearly see from my face. If I ever get ridiculous or bummed out about life, please, someone direct me to these photos.

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06 April 2007

Oy, my stomach

My innards hurt. I've been pooping all day, lovely oil slicks. I honestly didn't think I was eating too much fat, but maybe I need to scale it down some since I've dropped my cheese intake. I'm not sure what the problem is, but it's got me wanting to spend my days in bed chugging ice water. I'm going to talk to my PCP soon about it. Usually when I have stomach issues, they resolve themselves in a couple of days, if not a day, but I've been aching since Monday and that ain't right.

Anyway, if you'd had your calculators out and were paying close attention, you would have maybe noticed I've now lost 154.2 lbs. I can't even believe it. It's all surreal, the clothes I bought 6 weeks ago are too big now. I need to poke more holes in my belt. I adjusted the seat in my car closer to the steering wheel for the first time since surgery. I got a call from friend I haven't seen in two years. He's leaving a job of 6 years to finally start his own company, since I've been doing just that for two years, he wants to get together in the near future for lunch so that I might share some pointers. This is one of the many people who have no idea I had surgery and I'm not even sure there is a big enough difference from when I last saw him for him to really take note. I have no idea, but it's been on my mind, if I tell him then the word will surely get out to our many mutual friends. I know he'd be ecstatic for me, he's a genuine good-hearted soul, but right now, I don't really want the attention. I almost feel like I don't want to see anybody til I'm done, y'know? Is that weird?

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The Cheese/Gluten Chronicles

Aussieabroad asked how did I narrow my problems down to cheese and I wrote this one day at work in response to her that I never sent so I thought I'd post it here:

Well, I have known that I was lactose intolerant to some degree for quite awhile. It has gotten worse over time and since I had the DS, it's gotten even worse so I have been avoiding the things that have, in the past, caused some minor issues, but now cause semi-major issues, like milk, ice cream, etc. However, I never thought cheese could be a problem because I have eaten it my whole life without any gas or cramps or anything when I ate it, only when I drank milk or ate ice cream. In March, I decided to eat much cleaner and to avoid anything high in carbs/sugar so I started snacking on cheese cubes for a mid-afternoon snack. On a typical day I'd eat 4-6 slices of cheese and maybe 1-2 more ounces in cheese cubes so that was a lot. During this whole time I had constant constipation and then a little light went off. Sometime ago, someone posted a comment on this blog and noted that cheese was notorious for causing constipation and I thought "hmmm....maybe there's something to that." So I did a little research and found some supporting although not definitive evidence and thought I'd try it, couldn't hurt. I think the proof is in the pudding. I've dropped over 10 lbs in like 4-5 days (now 16 lbs in 11 days). Now, I've also gone as gluten free as I can. I had been enjoying Nature's Own Double Fiber wheat bread for several weeks and prior to that had enjoyed La Tortilla Low Carb Whole Wheat tortillas for about 6 months. Cutting those types of things out has worked wonders

It really is amazing. What's interesting is that as it seems like as long as I stay away from all dairy (except for butter, that's one thing I haven't given up BUT I have reduced my intake) and not eat any products with gluten I am good. No gas, no edema, no stalls. Last Sunday I tested that theory, well at least a part of it anyway with the whole Bloomin' Onion thing at Outback. I ate with two other people and they had no problems, me I was hurting for four days and just today I feel back to normal. It kinda sucks that I haven't been at my peak weight loss efficiency because of cheese/gluten consumption, but I am happy I did figure something out and now I can continue on my journey with even more tools to success.

Speaking of, I weighed in at 362.4 this morning. Woo-hoo! I have the day off so I am going to get some work done for my business, hope my tummy settles down a little more and relax. Tomorrow and Sunday promise to be fun-filled and jam packed. BTW, I did get my camera and progress photos will be on the way.


02 April 2007


Yesterday, I went out with a friend who is going through some things in her life. She's actually BP's daughter and long story short, she is moving up north in a month in order to find herself and put a little distance between her and her mom. She is 25 years old and has been under her mother her whole life, not being able to live her own life and over the last few months I have been encouraging and helping her to realize that she needs to be up and out. Needless to say, her mother is not too keen, especially since the daughter has been seeing a therapist and BP is convinced that her daughter is out and out deriding her to the therapist. Why she is all that concerned and freaked out about her daughter leaving I don't fully understand. What I do understand is the daughters situation which I why I have spent so much time in the last 3-4 months helping her out. I think it's imperative that she leave.

Anyhoo, we hung out most of the afternoon and ended up at Outback for lunch. It was crap and I splurged a little. I had 1/4 of a lame bloomin' onion and a Diet Coke. We then left and went to Friday's and I had another Diet Coke, 6-8 shrimp and a couple of Jack Daniel's ribs. Still no cheese and maybe had between 50-70 carbs between the Onion and the JD ribs. I'm proud that I showed restraint because it would have been easy not to. Anyway, I was mildly concerned about my weight this morning, but I am happy to report that I weighed in at 366.6 lbs which hits the magical mark for me with a grandtotal loss of 150 lbs. Woo-hoo!

I am so very happy!!! Off to work I go with a smile! By the way, I fit comfortably in both booths at Outback & Fridays!

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