My Progress!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Momentum


I think I may finally be headed under the 380’s for good. I didn’t weigh myself in the last few days, but the last time I weighed myself I was at 379.something. It is that time of the month, we’ll see what the scale says tomorrow.

I have been crazy busy the last few days working. I’ve mentioned before that I work a FT job and a part time job and I recently have started getting some freelance writing work which has kept me pretty busy the last week or so. I’m pretty excited about the work actually although most of what I’m doing is working for content mills, but I actually got a job doing some real writing on a topic that I’m fairly familiar with and it pays fairly well. I just turned in my first 5 articles so we’ll see if they think I’m good enough to give anymore work to. Either way, I’m grateful for the work as we are feeling the pinch financially (from being off a month after the surgery), but honestly..it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve managed to get enough work done on these new jobs that I think it will help us catch up. It just means that I have even less time to do stuff in my “spare time”…whatever that is lol!

One thing I am NOT doing is letting all the work interfere with my working out. I use my lunch hour to get at least a 20 minute walk on the treadmill in and if I can manage to get the car from Erik (I have to drive him to work and pick him up at midnight when he gets off), Tanner and I go to the gym or the pool at the YMCA and get another workout in.

I wanted to mention that recently I’ve had some challenges…just slight cravings or having something in the house that I wouldn’t mind a little bit of. We’ve had this bottle of regular pepsi in our fridge since we had some friends over for Pizza a few weeks ago and the other day, I wanted a taste of it so bad! I was a coke fiend in my former life (I’m referring to the soda of course) and I haven’t had any since before the surgery. We really aren’t supposed to drink carbonated beverages at all because the gas could cause stretching of our stomach and probably make us fairly uncomfortable overall. Anyway, in addition to the soda, erik ran and got breakfast for himself and Tanner the other day (from the Mexican place I practically own stock in) and he grabbed me this breakfast plate I got occasionally. It comes with this ridiculously large amount of scrambled eggs that has salsa and cheese and bits of bacon I think (all ok on my diet by the way), a side of refried beans, and another large side of the BEST potatoes/hashbrowns. I think it also comes with two tortillas….seriously this could probably feed at least three people comfortably. I can’t believe I used to polish off the whole thing almost by myself.

Anyway, Erik must have kept the tortillas, but the potatoes were still there. The whole time I’m eating I’m looking at the potatoes thinking….a nibble won’t hurt. They haven’t said that I CAN’T have carbs, I just need to track them and keep them under a certain number. However, one of the main rules is protein first so I ate 4-5 bites of the eggs and a few spoonfuls of the beans and by the time I was done, I really didn’t see a point in tasting the potatoes. I realized I was full and just packed it back up and put it into the fridge for later. There was so much food left over, I probably could have lived off that one meal (not including the potatoes) for at least 4 more meals…I’m not kidding. I had a little more of the egg before we headed to the pool just to make sure I had some protein on my stomach and then Tanner finished it off for breakfast the next morning. If you are wondering what happened to the pepsi, it is still in our fridge. I haven’t had that either. I think I’ve just decided that watching the scale drop each day (even in minute increments) is SO much more fun than giving in to those cravings. I know that some day, I’ll be able to have those things in moderation so what’s the hurry? At some point, if I do give in to a craving, I’m making sure it goes in my sparkpeople account so that I know exactly what it cost me for the day. Since the surgery, I’ve diligently kept my food log there and it really has been invaluable to me for keeping my eye on the prize.

I guess I’m “confessing” this because I want anyone who reads this to know that bariatric surgery is most definitely NOT the magic pill. You still have to deal with head hunger and all the other hang-ups you had about food pre-surgery. While the VSG has helped me feel like a normal person for the first time in my life (eating more to FUEL my body rather than to FILL some empty place inside myself), I still have to exercise will power each and every day to eat the things I know my body needs, not what it thinks it wants. I have to make myself get on that treadmill or out to the pool every day. It may be easier, but it definitely isn’t easy. Would I be where I am today without the surgery though? I doubt it. I feel like this behemoth of a rock that was poised at the top of a very long hill just ready to start my descent, but nothing seemed to be able to nudge me in the right direction. That is what the VSG did…it gave me the nudge and initial momentum I needed to start my descent down the hill. Now I just have to keep the momentum going and guess what? For the first time in my life I KNOW that I will do this!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Late Update!



I wanted to post the above picture so that you guys could see how awesome Tanner is doing. He continues to work out hard and follow our eating plan without too many complaints and he is really enjoying all the accolades he is getting for his new look! It is so exciting to see!! The before pic is actually from last year, but essentially, it still shows off his weight loss. He may have even gotten a bit heavier since the top picture was taken.

I have to apologize for being so derelict in my blogging duties. I meant to update things Tuesday for my two month surgi-versary, but kept waiting for Erik to take my pictures and get my measurements. He’s working his second job now, so it was tough trying to coordinate our schedules. I tried to enlist a friend to come over, but both of my off days, something came up and she wasn’t able to make it. I finally did get Erik to take my measurements and I'm including them below. I can't believe it is up to 20" already! Awesome!!

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I only lost a pound this week, but considering I lost 7 last week, I’m not going to complain (too loudly). I think I may be around that time of the month so I could be retaining water. My back has been sore for the last week…not sure if that is due to the period that may be on its way or what. It has kind of impacted my workouts, but not too badly.

I am currently up to 20 minutes at a time on the treadmill. I hate every single second of it, but I do it! Treadmill walking just isn’t any fun, but right now, it helps to have a little support for my back vs. walking outside. I’ve also been going to the pool and continuing my workouts there so I know I’m doing all I can to facilitate my weight loss.

Another reason I have been reluctant to blog is because I have been had a pretty crappy attitude. Some stuff happened with Erik over the weekend, nothing major, just annoying crap that happens when two people live together and he always has a hard time adjusting to working his second job (he doesn’t work it over the summer) so he gets kind of whiney about it which is annoying because I am working just as much as he is. It probably doesn’t help that I could possibly be PMSing so more sensitive than usual, but I just wasn’t in the mood to get on here and be a negative nelly.

Overall, I am very pleased with my progress so far. Waiting on the cups of the 380’s/370’s and can’t wait to cross over finally! I doubt I’m going to hit my goal of 375 by the end of the month, but I’m doing everything I possibly can to get there so we’ll see!

If you didn’t see, I did add a recipe to my recipe blog and hope to update several more over the next couple of weeks. I’ve tried some new ones recently that were very good so I can’t wait to share them!

Hope everyone else is doing well in your own weight loss journey :)

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Unexpected side effect of my WLS

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you another wonderful side effect of this surgery. It has absolutely nothing to do with me though. Since I started getting serious about this surgery and working towards losing the 30 lbs I had to get off pre-surgery up to now, Tanner has lost almost 20 lbs!

We really started changing the way we ate; cooking more at home, limiting eating out to one day a week (Friday) provided Tanner worked out at least 5 days the preceding week and ate healthy the rest of the time. A friend warned me against rewarding him with food, but I mentioned that I thought the lesson in this exercise was more about how you CAN indulge once in a while as long as you are eating healthy and being physically active the rest of the time. Initially, it was a shock to Tanner’s system (more his head than anything else) because we ate out quite a bit as a family and he wasn’t all that thrilled with eating “boring” meals at home. Starting off, we did a lot of lean cuisines at home because I was still pretty exhausted and cooking took a lot out of me so I can’t say that I blame him referring to dinner time as boring. Now that I’m feeling healthier, I have been able to create quite a few recipes and borrow others from the internet which makes him feel like we are indulging without really breaking our caloric bank. I hope to eventually start adding these to my recipe blog. I’ve put it off because I always forget to take pictures when I’m cooking, but I think I’ll just start uploading what we are eating because I know low carbers (VSGers in particular) are always looking for ways to get their protein in. Don’t get the wrong idea though…what I’m eating isn’t Martha Stewart special by any stretch of the imagination.

Not only has Tanner been walking on the treadmill at home (at least 30 minutes at a time, often almost an hour), but often elects to walk without even being reminded to walk! He has also been going swimming with me almost every day and taking a water aerobics class with me. He gets excited every time he weighs himself and sees the numbers going down. It really is cool and I’m hoping this might mean that I can still have a positive impact on his diet and exercise habits before he gets too old and moves out on his own. Guess we’ll have to see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You look same!


Sorry guys, got this almost written and meant to post yesterday, but got busy with school stuff. Incidentally, I think I've just decided that I won't be able to take any classes this semester. I won't be able to get my loan processed and approved in time to pay for classes and books. This means that I most likely won't get the classes done in time to apply to nursing school next November (for admission May of 2012.) The upside is that, by the time I can take my classes, Erik will probably have his Interpreting certification which means he will be making more money. He has said that because I put him through 3-4 years of school while we were married (he wasn't working at the time), he will make up the difference financially so that I can maybe work part time and focus more on school when it is my turn.

I also got to thinking about how rushing to get these courses in before November was probably going to stress me out. I needed to take two courses in the Fall, Spring, and Summer(meaty courses) and I know that if I got overwhelmed, my workout would be the first thing to go. I took it as a sign that, as excited as I am about getting back in school, I need to stay focused on getting healthier. Not to mention that, by the time I actually am able to get into nursing school, I'm going to be a thin, hot sexy version of myself who will be able to run circles around all those 20-something students I'll be attending with ;)

Ok, now for yesterday's post:

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This week’s weight loss is a whopping 7 lbs people!! The biggest change is that I have been much more active so I’m definitely going to be keeping that up. Can you believe it? I am now down a total of 80 lbs!! I actually stepped on the scale last night (when I seem to weigh the least for some reason) and I was at 383, but this morning I was back at 385, but I am extremely happy with that number. Excited about the prospect of being in the 370’s next week or the week after! I would love to hit 375 by the end of the month, so we’ll see.

Since my last blog post, I’ve been busy working out and trying to see if I can get registered for some classes online. As far as working out, I am now up to 15 minutes at a time on the treadmill and doing at least 25-30 minutes a day PLUS going to a water aerobics class 2-3 times a week PLUS just going to the pool and walking the pool. I feel AMAZING! I have so much more energy and actually look forward to working out. Even Tanner has jumped on the bandwagon. This summer, he has lost about 15 lbs and he is starting to hop on the treadmill himself without any prodding from me! I can’t wait to get our bikes so that we can start going for bike rides this fall.

Today as a reward for hitting 80 lbs lost, I went and got a pedicure. I was so excited because my toes looked hideous! I couldn’t wait to get them all buffed and filed and polished..not to mention the leg massage! Tanner came along so that he could get his hair cut next door. He wasn’t happy about it either, he wants to grow it out, but he has his daddy’s hair and it doesn’t really get long…it just gets bushy. I was past tired of looking at it so I insisted that he come with me and get it done. He tried to argue about it, but I told him if he said one more word about getting his hair cut I’d tell them to shave his head. Instantly he said, “I was just teasing mom, I wasn’t really mad!” Heh, yeah, that’s what I THOUGHT! ;)

I head back to the nail place with a smile on my face, already feeling the bubbly water caressing my feet, the massage chair working out all the sore muscles from all the working out I’ve been doing. I walk in and they escort me to the chair. I mention to the man doing my pedi that I haven’t been in for a while because I had surgery so my feet looked horrible. He smiles and asks me what surgery I had. I tell him a little bit about the VSG and he says “Oh, so you will be losing a lot of weight yes?” (he’s Vietnamese). I tell him I hope so and indicate that I had already lost 32 lbs with a huge smile on my face. He cocks his head and looks at me quizzically as he says “You look same!” Gotta love their ability to say whatever the heck is on their mind (you may remember this post…I don’t have good luck at nail salons obviously.) I thought it was funny though because I really don’t think he was trying to be mean; I think it is just a cultural thing. He later mentioned that I had good feet for a fat person (because they aren’t super thick on the bottom lol), so that has to count for something right ;). He was also very sweet to Tanner who was talking his ear off about all things asian (anime, manga, china, japan, where Vietnam was, what he eats, etc so I guess we weren’t all the politically correct either).

Erik and I always joked that we could never take Tanner to Japan or China when he was younger (Tanner’s pick whenever we talked about where we would like to travel) because he’d be trying to karate chop everyone or asking them if they “speak Chinese food” (he actually asked an asian person this once…thankfully they had no clue what he said). If he wasn’t doing those two things, we were certain he’d be asking everyone if they knew Jackie Chan. Asia was definitely off limits years ago and I’m not too sure it is still off limits for our family :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bariatric Advantage Supplements, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways


Ok, so I've been rather Pollyanna-ish since my surgery. Please don't take this post to mean that I am headed down the long and bumpy trail of negativity, but I just have to get this out of my system.

1. I hate you because no matter what i have on my stomach, taking your multi-vitamin makes me projectile vomit within about 2 minutes.
2. I hate you because your calcium supplements are like trying to choke down HUGE sweet tarts. In small doses, this might be a nice treat. In the quarter-sized, quarter inch thick discs we have to take 3 times a day....not so much. I defy anyone to bite into one of these without inhaling some of the chalk dust mid-chew. *cough, cough* I thought maybe I was a freak and gave one to Erik (he was making fun of this particular complaint of mine). He bit into it and about two seconds later, started coughing!!)
3. I hate your passion fruit flavored iron because it leaves my mouth tasting like I just spit shined a dirty locker room with nothing but my tongue. At home, I've dubbed this particular flavor "Sweaty Ball Sac" Flavor. I may have mentioned this before so forgive me if I repeat myself. I honestly haven't tasted any sweaty ball sacs, but I imagine they must taste an awful lot like the "Passion Fruit" flavored iron from BA.
4. I hate you because I have to take so many of you, I often feel as if I'm popping pills all day long. They are seriously a meal in and of themselves.
5. I hate you because I spent a fortune on you pre-surgery and am now needing to find alternative supplements that I can actually take.

Ok, I guess that is all the hate I can muster up at the moment. Thanks for letting me vent!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

6 week Surgiversary!

So I’m 6 weeks from my surgery date. When I weighed myself this morning I was at 392. That is an even 25 lbs since surgery (a little over 4 lbs a week) and 73 lbs from my highest weight! Sometimes I still can’t believe I am ACTUALLY on the other side of 400 lbs!!! It’s amazing!

Tanner and I went to the pool this afternoon. I walked for about an hour in the pool and then did a water aerobics class for an hour. When I got home, I was at 387! Of course, I think I’m slightly dehydrated as I have a bit of a headache so I’m guzzling water as fast as I can sip so I’ll probably be closer to 392 tomorrow, but it was sure nice to see the scale registering in the 380’s!!

I usually have Erik take my picture each week on Tuesday, but I decided that I will probably just do it monthly instead. It is hard to see much change from week to week.

I sent my transcripts in to the nursing school I’m considering (one of them) to see if they can tell me exactly what pre-requisites I need to take and whether they will let me take online classes for the ones I know I need (chem. 1 and 2, microbiology, nutrition). I’m kind of excited about getting back in to school honestly although chemistry scares the crap out of me! I love science, but I just am not into chemistry at all :( I’m sure I can handle it though. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to pay for the classes. I’m not in a huge hurry though so if I can’t get registered this semester, I will try for next semester.

I also renewed my membership at the YMCA today. I have a membership at the bariatric gym as well, but they don’t really have any classes or anything and I’m hoping to eventually start taking some of the bootcamp style classes at the YMCA. I will most likely keep my membership at the smaller gym because I can use the pool during the winter months and I just like the attention I can get at the smaller gym.

Overall, I’ve increased my activity and have managed to walk or swim every day for the last week. I’m walking on the treadmill and outside. I try to switch it up because I know walking outside seems to stress my core and upper body more; most likely because I’m not supporting my upper body the way I do on the treadmill.

Oops! One last thing. I have cut out the protein bars I was eating (about one or two a day) because they were often easier to grab than running to the kitchen while I was working to make up a quick meal. I’ll have to wait and see if it impacts my weight loss at all. It has been a bit slower than I thought it might be and maybe the sugar alcohols in the bars are impacting my weight loss. I know when I did low carb before, I had to stay away from most bars, etc because of that. We’ll see ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Future Ponderings


Having this surgery and actually getting a good deal of weight off for the first time in several years has really made me think more about my future since it looks like I might actually have a future now :) One thing I have really wanted to do was go back to school. I graduated back in '95 with a bachelor's in Communication Disorders (speech pathology), had Tanner two months later, took a year off to be with him and then tried to go back to Graduate school. I got a semester under my belt during the summer, started the fall semester and then Tanner got meningitis that October 6th and life as I knew it was turned upside down.

I decided to take the rest of the semester off to regroup, but as it got closer to the Spring, I just knew that Tanner would suffer if I tried to go through the rigors of graduate school. He needed my time and attention more than he ever did and he had a whole list of doctors, specialists, physical therapists, speech therapists, ECI case workers, etc. There just wasn't any way I could do it all and I wasn't going to sacrifice my role as a mother so that I could finish my graduate degree.

I can tell you now that I have NEVER regretted my decision. My mother helped Erik and I with bills for years so that I could stay home and be his mom and get him to and from his various appointments. When Tanner went into Kindergarten, we were decided to move from San Antonio to San Marcos so that he could attend the Texas School for the Deaf which was about 45 miles north. He spent a year there and we came to the realization that while Tanner was helped by signing, he was also very dependent on what auditory ability he had. He was also very oral and both of these things meant that he didn't exactly fit in all that well with the voice off signing at TSD. His classmates were always asking me if he was hearing because he talked so much lol.

I had tried a few times to get back into grad school, but something always seemed to happen and I had to withdraw. Luckily my undergraduate performance spoke for itself and the Dean gave me a lot of leeway I doubt he would have given to many others. I finally just took it as a sign that I needed to focus on Tanner and save school for another time.

When he got into school full time, I went back to work. I was lucky enough to find a job with the American Cancer Society and worked there until 2007. I LOVED my work with ACS and the only reason I left was because we had to move back to San Antonio and I just couldn't do an 1.5 hr commute both ways.

During my tenure at ACS, I started looking into Nursing. Around 2001, I got serious about it. Started ordering catalogs from nursing schools in San Antonio (we were now living half way between where I worked in Austin and San Antonio) and had pretty much decided on the program I wanted to apply to. I was this close to submitting all my transcripts, etc when my mom was diagnosed with cancer that November. You all know how that turned out. From that point on, things in my life really spiraled out of control and I just decided to focus on work and getting Tanner all growed up as best I could.

So, if I haven't bored you to tears yet...One of the things I've been considering is what I want to do when I go back to school. What do I want to BE? I've considered the following options:

1. Physician's assistant
2. Nursing (likely oncology, obstetrics, maybe even hospice)
3. Go to culinary school in a baking and p√Ętisserie program
4. PharmD program
5. Travel Agent

I've pretty much narrowed it down to Nursing at this point. I've always loved science and the medical field in general and I think I'd have comparable pay to a PA, be able to complete a Nursing degree much faster than a PA and have more flexibility ultimately. I had been considering the PharmD program because of the money, but I KNOW it would bore me to tears. The travel agent would be fun and I think I'd enjoy the free travel, etc but I'm not going to make the sort of money I want to make. Ditto for the culinary school (I've often fantasized about having my own bakery some day).

So, at this point, I am researching what courses I need to take to get into nursing school. Right now it looks like chem 1 and 2 with labs, microbiology with lab and nutrition and maybe human growth and development. A local school has an accelerated RN program that I could complete in 15 months, but you have to be able to apply Nov 1 for admittance next May. I may try to apply next November though. Who knows, maybe I'll have changed my mind again by then.

Anyway, it is nice to have a future to look forward to no matter where I end up :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Progress Pictures

Hey guys, I think I'm going to make this the page where I post progress Pictures. I'm not all that skilled in creating another place on my blog to post them all and it probably won't be pretty (except for my smiling and slimmer face of course), but it will let you see how things are going. When I update, I will post and link to this page so that you can see the latest pics. Here's what I have so far. I missed the week after my surgery, but as you can see, it isn't all that noticable right now, but just wait a few months ;)

The day of surgery pics, I couldn't wear any makeup or do my hair so sorry for looking so rough.

The pics on July 12th were taken right before I went into the hospital for dehydration. You can see how sick and tired I was I think :(

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What I did for exercise TODAY!


Spent about four hours at the pool. Some of that was pool walking, some was swimming, some was just playing and having fun with the Tan-man!! I think I got burned a bit through that shirt though. Geez, like I'm hiding anything by wearing it right lol??

I also took a half mile walk with Tanner first thing this morning. We took the puppies with us and mid-walk Tanner turns to me and with absolute disgust in his voice says "Why do dogs think it is so fun to go for a walk??" He cracks me up on a daily basis.

This was the first time I've walked OFF treadmill and It tired me out a bit more than I expected it to. Mostly in my shoulders believe it or not! I suppose because on the treadmill, I can support my upper body a bit by holding on to the side rails. Oh well, I lived. I may wake up a little earlier tomorrow so that I can get another walk in before I start work at 7:30.

This weekend, I'm going to have Erik help me set up a strength training program so that I can start alternating days with strength training. I've gotten a little taste of freedom, a little taste of sunshine, cutting a few links off these chains off at a time and I want MORE!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guess What I did for exercise today?


Yeah, that is yours truly at THE GROCERY STORE!!! Well, really it was Walmart (let's hope I just don't end up on the people of walmart website lol), but that is ME shopping for the first time in 3-4 years?

It was a very short trip and Erik was with me. I walked the whole produce area and about 5 long aisles shopping mostly the frozen food section. The whole trip was maybe 20 minutes tops and I had to go sit down while Erik got checked out, but I loved every minute of it!!

I am working on getting some pictures uploaded to the blog. I've been working on it tonight and was hoping to post them tonight, but I have to shrink them down so hopefully I'll get it done tomorrow. Honestly, I've taken pictures every week, but even if you look at my day of surgery pic and compare it to the pics I took today, I really can't see a big difference yet and you probably won't either, but that's ok. I feel great and it is only a matter of time before the change is obvious right?

By the way, I HATE that pic of me at Walmart lol. I obviously need to invest in some better bras lol!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

10 minute walk felt like NOTHING!!!

Holy cow peoples!!! I have spent the last several weeks really taking it easy. Like taking a 2 hour nap in the afternoon easy. Like laying in bed reading a book easy. I was a little paranoid about getting dehydrated again so I was really focused on making sure I could stay hydrated without activity before I added activity back in...I wasn't just being lazy ;)

I started back at the pool last week, but today was my first day back on the treadmill. I had a 10 minute break at work so I decided I'd jump on the treadmill and see if I could make it the whole 10 minutes. Pre-surgery, I literally watched EVERY SINGLE SECOND tick by and by 6 minutes I was just completely out of steam. My knees would be killing me and I would be out of breath like I'd just ran a marathon or something.

Today, my knees bothered me a bit. My calves felt a little tight, but the first time I looked at the time to see where I was I was past 6 minutes! Seriously, pre-surgery...I'd glance at the clock at like 2.5 minutes thinking I had to be almost done with my measly 6 minute walk! I got off at 10 because I had to get back on the phones, but I could have gone longer!

I'm pretty psyched about it :) The scale has me back down to 396 so that is another great thing! I'm taking Tanner swimming after I get off work and I may try to walk again on my next break. I don't want to overdo it and injure my knees so I'm going to continue out of the water exercise at a modest pace.