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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.


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!



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!



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.

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!


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.


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.

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!


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.


Day 6 Preop: Thoughts and Advice

9 Oct

I threw this video together in the Ikea parking lot because I felt like there’s a lot of things I wish people would have told me about preop and how to manage it better. I learned by trial and error, and I wanna pay that labor forward. So here it is, folks!

P.S. I HATE watching videos of myself…I realize I have a lisp, my face is uneven and I make bizarre faces…BUT I know how much videos have helped me, so I’m going to keep doing them for YOU 🙂

Resisting Temptation

20 Sep

I think that any person who has struggled with obesity and thus has a love/hate relationship with food has probably been here. And it’s really hard. My office is full of culinary aficionados. I think it’s just normal to use food as a means to social interaction.  There is always some food, somewhere and it’s usually loaded with carbs.

Fridays are our eating out days when we usually go to lunch at local restaurants. Fortunately this gives me some control over what I eat. However, most Friday mornings people will bring in Dunkin Donuts, Einstein’s Bros, muffins or all of the above. And just forget about all the birthdays, baby showers and other celebratory events. And so, when you’re trying to avoid carbs and someone sets a dozen glazed donuts and a box full of bagels 3 feet away, it can be terribly overwhelming and a little bit frustrating. 

So, how do you avoid the temptations? Cuz, to be honest, sitting here with my cup of water and Coconut Isopure isn’t doing it for me! I can’t really walk away because I sorta work here. So far they’ve been there 2 1/2 hours and I’ve resisted, but I’ve considered having “just half of one”. I’ve adjusted MFP to see what it would do to my day if I just had one.

I tell you, confronting food issues is really tough. Allison (who is now 3 weeks post-sleeve) told me that it’s hard to find anything appetizing anymore. In a way, it’s the thing I’m most looking forward to. I don’t want to be controlled by food, I want to be able to eat because I have to to fuel my body. I’m looking forward to having a tool that helps me manage these food issues.

But for now, I’m just saying no to temptation, because I know in 26 days my life will drastically change and I’m going to take control now.


Intro to My Journey

19 Sep

Just a quick webcam introduction to who I am and why I’m here.

My hope is to chronicle this journey through weekly videos in addition to posts, so this is the beginning of a looong journey, my friends. Only 3 weeks 5 days til I get sleeved, but who’s counting?

Step 4: Embrace Protein

2 Sep

At first I was annoyed, but now I’m glad that my Drs office requires patients to start a high protein,  low fat diet as soon as surgery is scheduled.  So I gave myself the weekend and decided that today would be the start of my diet.

I’m looking forward to it for several reasons. First off, it gives my body plenty of time to wean off refined sugars and simple carbs, which is just good eating anyhow. Second off, it gives me a good month to start experimenting with protein and figure out what I like. Finally, it gives me the opportunity to lose a significant amount of weight before the liquid diet even begins. The nice thing about my liquid diet is that its simply replacing two of my three high-protein meals with protein shakes each day, so again, not a super huge adjustment.

I lost a good amount of weight (25 lbs in 3 weeks) on Atkins back in January,  so I’ll just modify it to eat less fat and more lean protein. I’m gunna have to do a lot of reading on meal ideas and  options so I can fully embrace my new way of eating. Had a delicious egg and veggie scramble this morning along with some iced coffee with FF half & half and splenda. Here’s to embracing protein!


My delish low carb breakfast.

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