5 Months Post Op

30 Jan

It has been a while since I posted so I will start out by sharing my current stats:

SW: 264, Size 20/22

CW: 206, Size 14

Surgery Date was August 30th so officially today is 5 Months!

I have learned so much about my new body some hard to learn some not so hard.  Here are some revelations:

  • When I feel full, I NEED TO STOP EATING! Otherwise I am in pain and end of throwing up.
  • This is not a quick fix.  I still watch everything that goes into my mouth.
  • Carbs are my enemy. They were before my surgery and still are.  When I eat breads, pastas, etc.  I gain.
  • Exercise has to be a HABIT!  No real loss without it.
  • Follow the plan, eat protein first then veggies.
  • One piece of fruit a day for a snack helps me be regular.

Those are my thoughts for today.  I wanted to share my current revelation photo.  The photo on the left was right before surgery with my cute daughter August 2013, the photo on the left is my cute daughter again and December 2013.  When I don’t think the scale is moving I look at this image and I am reminded of how far I have come.

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Thanks for reading!

-Allison

So it’s been a while…

23 Jan

Yeah, I came to update my stats, since I try to update them regularly, and realized that neither I nor Allison had updated the blog in 2 MONTHS…um, whoops!

In our defense, the holidays + our busiest time at work + our graduate programs + our families leaves us little time to do much else, and blogging takes a backseat.

Hopefully we’ll get better at making a weekly post at least. So Allison is around 5 months post op now, and I’ve just passed the 3 month mark. Both of us have lost around 50% of our excess body weight which some days feels like not enough, but when you look at the progress we’ve made in a relatively short time, it’s really incredible. The picture below is a before and after of a shot I took at a wedding in June and then wearing the same (oversized) dress and cardigan in December. It’s hard to believe that used to be me!

Before and Now

I think we both have to admit that the holidays somewhat derailed our eating. We both experienced some frustrating stalls and not nearly enough time in the gym. But I think a huge part of this journey is identifying your problem areas, correcting them and moving past them.

I’m working on doing some 5K training and I have to say, I’ve never found running so therapeutic. I can do a 60 second run/30 second walk interval so effortlessly and sometimes try to push myself more…but I really shouldn’t do that since it creates muscle pain/injury that I want to try to avoid. We are running a local Run or Dye 5K in April and I’m looking forward to being able to run most of the race.

snowy

This week I’m working on focusing more on my eating. I find myself hungrier these days and snacking more than I should. So I’m trying to find ways to be conscious of that snacking habit, and make good choices when I do snack (cheese, meats, etc) versus giving into the carb monster.

In NSV news, today we had a weird bomb threat/evacuation at work, which caused like 500 people to head for the stairs. I’m happy to report I didn’t get out of breath at all going down the three flights of stairs, or coming up them. In fact, I think it’s made me commit to using the stairs more regularly. With time NOT on my side, sneaking in exercise when I can

is a big contributing factor to my success.

So my goal for the 4th post-op month is to reach the magic 199.9 number. I can do it, right? Only 14.9 lbs to go!

I’ll leave you with a pic of myself and my hubby celebrating our 10th anniversary in NYC about a month ago. It’s awesome how much easier it is to do everything a vacation requires when you lose half of your excess self!

Frustrated

13 Nov

So I have been frustrated this week and Lindsay reminded me “Blog About It” . So here it goes . I have been at same weights for 2 weeks , I track all my food I drink water (can always have more) , eat 60-80 gm of protein and work out 2-3 times a week . Not perfect but not too bad either . Up 2 lbs down 2 lbs , up and down up and down so the scale doesn’t move . I have lost 38 lbs sine august 30th . That’s good but how come all the other sleevers on forums drop so much more ??

I don’t want a pity party I just want this stall to move along . So this week I have kicked my work out up to every day . I am going to try not to weigh myself until Sunday and not be frustrated ( for too long) .

I love seeing fellow sleevers on myfitnesspal I would love to pal up and learn how you guys are doing it . Add me at allisonkeney2.

Also found a new free app worth sharing : this app breaks down the statistics of the process . It showed me that I have lost 33% of my much needed weight loss . My average weekly loss is 3.64 . In reality I couldn’t do this on my own , I needed the sleeve and need to remind myself that this is not a quick fix , it is a tool . It is still up to me , up to me to stay on the path no matter how long it takes .

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NSV

12 Nov

I’ve reached the time in my weight loss journey where stalls start to happen. It’s the first but certainly won’t be the last. It’s times like these when it’s important to find NSVs or Non-Scale Victories that encourage and motivate you. NSVs are a great way to really evaluate the impact of your efforts. So, I’ll start with my first and list a few smaller ones. 

The first HUGE NSV is the dress I’m wearing to work today. I haven’t been able to wear it in TEN YEARS. 10 years!!! I carried it from place to place hoping to one day lose enough weight to fit in it. Not only have I not been able to wear it in 10 years, but it is a REGULAR SIZE FROM A REGULAR STORE! Ok, as regular as XL can be. But, without further ado, my Merona XL wrap dress from Target!

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I look at the difference between my lumpy former self from last summer and my much more smooth self from today, and I can truly count it as a victory!

A few other NSVs I experienced the past week or so:

  • My hubby noticed he could wrap his arms all the way around me (felt amazing!)
  • Effortlessly walked 5 miles at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
  • My rings completely flew off my hand while getting something out of the fridge
  • I am throwing too-big clothes in my ThredUp bag like crazy
  • My size 22 fat jeans that I’m keeping for my after picture are WAY too big to even try to wear
  • I’m hovering between a size 16 and 18
  • I’m excited to fit in an airplane seat for my 10 year anniversary trip next month 🙂

The dreaded STALL

11 Nov

No matter what type of WLS, diet, or program you are on, you WILL have a STALL. I repeat, it WILL HAPPEN. Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “Oh, I know it happens to everyone else but it won’t happen to me because I will do x, y, z”…well, news flash, it’s going to happen to you no matter what you do. Even if you follow all the rules, drink all the water, eat all the protein, and exercise, you will stall. I found an interesting blog post that explains a stall biologically:XXL-Model, übergewichtige Frau auf der Waage

A “stall” a few weeks out is inevitable, and here’s why.

Our bodies use glycogen for short term energy storage. Glycogen is not very soluble, but it is stored in our muscles for quick energy — one pound of glycogen requires 4 lbs of water to keep it soluble, and the average glycogen storage capacity is about 2 lbs. So, when you are not getting in enough food, your body turns first to stored glycogen, which is easy to break down for energy. And when you use up 2 lbs of glycogen, you also lose 8 lbs of water that was used to store it — voila — the “easy” 10 lbs that most people lose in the first week of a diet.

As you stay in caloric deficit, however, your body starts to realize that this is not a short term problem. You start mobilizing fat from your adipose tissue and burning fat for energy. But your body also realizes that fat can’t be used for short bursts of energy — like, to outrun a saber tooth tiger. So, it starts converting some of the fat into glycogen, and rebuilding the glycogen stores. And as it puts back the 2 lbs of glycogen into the muscle, 8 lbs of water has to be stored with it to keep it soluble. So, even though you might still be LOSING energy content to your body, your weight will not go down or you might even GAIN for a while as you retain water to dissolve the glycogen that is being reformed and stored.

Breathe, and fuggedaboudit for a few days.

http://www.dsfacts.com/weight-loss-stall-or-plateau.html#.UoEdaPnkv3Y

Well um, that explains a lot! Rapid weight loss is a shock to our body. And it needs to stop and rest at certain points to resume it’s biological processes in order to continue fat loss. So if you’re doing everything right, it may still happen. Think about the weight loss journey like long staircase. As you climb up, you may initially be able to climb 3 or 4 stories before you need to stop at a landing and rest. Then you regain your energy and can climb up another story or two before you stop and rest again. You will eventually make it to the top of the staircase as long as you keep pushing through, however, you might need several landing breaks and that’s ok.

So, remember that if you had the vertical sleeve surgery, you will likely lose 65-85% of your excess weight in one year. So I know that by one year, I can expect to lose between 100 and 125 lbs. Having lost 43 lbs in 6 weeks, I’d say I’m doing pretty damn good. In fact, I’ve ALREADY lost 28.6% of my excess weight! So, don’t focus on the number, focus on the plan. Stay motivated, know that it WILL come off in time, exercise, eat your protein, drink your water and don’t pay so much attention to the number on the scale…oh who am I kidding, you’re not going to stay away from the scale — but just try not to get too terribly frustrated when you get on and see a number you don’t like, because chances are, in a week or two, you’ll say goodbye to that number forever, and by next year, you won’t even remember what that number felt like!

Changes

1 Nov

There’s some amazing things that happen to your body post-sleeve. In addition to the obvious movement on the scale, your body starts to reshape and reconfigure as it works to accommodate the new and improved version of yourself.

Sometimes, those changes might be evident to everyone else but you. In fact, more often than not, other people will notice how great you look before you do. You will be grumbling to yourself because in your scale obsession you discovered you gained 0.4 lbs overnight, meanwhile other people are watching your transformation in awe.

But at some point, when you least expect it, you will see it.

It happened today for both me and Allison. We had been complaining about the trivial things like gross-tasting protein shakes, lack of appetite and getting in all our water. Then a colleague suggested we take a picture since we “look so great”. We obliged, obviously not excited as obesity tends to make you a little camera shy! But what we saw in the picture was incredible. It was this shocking, new, intermediate version of us that looked completely different from the us we photographed last month. We pulled a picture of us from last month and finally, we saw the changes.

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Allison and Lindsay 09/27/2013 and 11/1/2013. Amazing what can happen in 35 days.

So this is our advice. Take pictures, and take them often. Throughout your entire journey, even before you start losing weight. You won’t be able to see the changes from day to day, and that can get discouraging, so these pictures will become treasured snapshots of your progress. Rejoice in the small victories, and embrace your changes, because they all add up to the new you.

Avoiding Halloween Pitfalls

30 Oct

Halloween candy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Tricks

As we embark upon the holiday season, the first holiday that can be difficult for me is HALLOWEEN.  I am not sure why, I am really not a fan of Halloween.  My kids always dressed up, I didn’t .  I have a pumpkin but I don’t carve it because I like to keep it out until Thanksgiving.  But yes, I do love the Halloween Candy.  My favorite is Reese Peanut butter cups and Twix Bars.  The big day is upon on tomorrow  but I have planned in advance for this day.  Here are some things I have done to prepare myself as well as GOING to do to get through the day and still stay on plan.

  1. I purchased candy that I DO NOT LIKE but little kids do.  Nerds, Bottlecaps, Suckers,  you know all the non-chocolate candy.  Yep, amazing even the husband doesn’t like them so the bags have not even been opened.
  2. Hold off on breaking open those bags of candy until just before trick-or-treaters arrive. Take it a step further and wait until Halloween day to purchase your treats!
  3. Prepare and have on hand some healthy high protein snacks for the day.  I don’t want to be handing out candy and be hungry at same time.
  4. DRINK LOTS AND LOTS of water the day of.  You and I both know this keeps us full.  Hard to think of food when I am full from water.  Hoping the craving for chocolate will pass as well.
  5. IF you have kiddies in the house, consider a candy exchange.  Several dentists in our area pay kids per pound of candy .  This is huge incentive to get rid of the candy.  Then take kids to dollar tree or Walmart and let them pick out some thing fun to do or play with.
  6. If you are walking with the kids, make it an exercise bonus.  One fun-size Snickers candy bar contains 72 calories. It will take a 19 minutes walk to burn that off.   That sounds like a bonus plan for me!
  7. Remember that Halloween, like other holidays, is just one day of the year. If you have a slip, get back on and stay the course.

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Protein, Protein, Protein

29 Oct

This has been a difficult thing for me to get in.  I do believe that my weight is slow because of this, my average is about 46-50 gm of protein.  I need MORE!  So I have been researching some different tips and ideas on how to get it in.  Here is what I have come up with:

  • Isopure:  1/4 of bottle to 20 oz of water (diluted).  I drink 3-4 of these water flavored/isopure drinks a day.  That gives me about 30-40 gm of protein plus I get in all my water.

isopure

  • Turkey/Ham and Cheese Roll ups: Two pieces of deli turkey rolled with two pieces of reduced-fat Swiss cheese will give you those 24 grams. I like to use Boars-head through the deli because it has less sodium and processed “goodies”.

turkey roll up

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Beef Jerky: three ounces of beef jerky for those 24 gm of protein

Beef Jerky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Peanut Butter.  Just a tablespoon is perfect! My favorite go to for a quick snack, protein and a treat. (The fat content is pretty high, so this is an occasional treat.

peanut butter

Post-Op Day 1: I made it!

17 Oct

So I made it. I’m being discharged from the hospital today and I’m really glad to be going home. I wanted to share some of the good, the bad and the ugly from surgery, so people would have an idea what to expect.

The Good

As soon as they stick that mask on your face, you forget everything you were worried about
The bariatric nurses are amazing at finding creative ways to manage your pain and nausea
For the first time in probably your whole life, you wake up NOT FEELING HUNGRY!

The Bad

You may have an NG tube and it will cause horrible gagging and nausea
You will have pain, especially in the incisions where your stomach (and in my case gall bladder as well) were removed
You may have a JP drain which will cause all kinds of discomfort
You will have HORRIBLE dry-mouth (chapstick, ice chips, and frequent rinsing will help with this)
If you have staples, it will make you more uncomfortable than just the surgery

The Ugly

For the first few hours after you wake up, you will definitely regret having done this, but the buyer’s remorse will pass by tomorrow
The day 2 leak test liquid is the most disgusting tasting stuff on earth and will turn your lips and mouth blue and your pee green
You will need to force yourself to eat and drink something in order to go home, tip: the broth settles better than anything else
That JP tube is WAY longer than you had imagined, and having it removed feels like pulling a tapeworm
You will feel like your intestines are falling out of your body anytime you stand up (use a pillow to hold it all in)
You may vomit lots of blood, freaking yourself and your spouse out (sorry babe!)

Despite all of this, you will survive, and you will be so thankful you made this choice!

Video

Preop Day 14: Twas the Night before surgery

15 Oct

Just some thoughts, fears, symptoms and general ramblings while in my hotel room a mere 10 hours from going under the knife. It was all fun and games til it was real.

Even though I mention constipation, I will write a separate post about it, because it deserves it’s own post.

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