Wednesday, July 15, 2015

One Month Post-op

I am one month post-op today! I have also met my goal of loosing my first 25lbs today! 

In the past 2 weeks, I have purchased a treadmill and am walking 1hr/day. I am now allowed to eat 1/4c of vegtable or fruit with my 1/4c of protien food each day. I am still drinking 2 protien shakes a day and taking my vitamins. Even though I am allowed 1/4c of protien (or 2oz), I am finding I can only eat half of that at a meal. I have decided to split it between "lunch" and "dinner" into two mini-meals. I find this more satisfying and it helps me take in the extra nutrients. I have not experienced any negative impact on my progress either. My calorie intake averages 500/day or less. 

For exercise, I walk 1 solid hour in the morning, then regular daily activities with occasional evening strolls as well. I average 8,000-12,000 steps per day, 5 flights of stairs, 3-4 miles, and 2,000-2500 calories burned. I have a Fitbit that keeps track for me.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2 Week Post-op Follow Up, and blurbs from Facebook up to it

June 21
Feeling great, and ready to get to the next stage of this journey. I miss some food, but am doing pretty good with it. Down 12.6lb!

June 22
Bored with broth, protien shakes and jello diet. Get to add solids on the 29th. Hoping the next few days go by fast, or I get cleared early! Even pudding would be a blessing right now! At least it is good I feel so good.

June 25
Down 15.5 lbs as of this morning, I am about to start licking spices for flavor, lol! Got the ok to eat egg, and plain greek yogurt... Man, that stuff is NASTY!

June 28
Today is FINALLY the last day of my liquid diet! I am down 16.5 lbs. Doing great, and very ready to move forward!

June 29
I got to eat chicken tonight! AWESOME!! I was allowed 2 oz, but only needed to eat 1 oz and felt full! It was SO good though! Thank goodness the liquid diet is over!

June 30
Had my 2 week follow up appointment today. It went stellar! I am doing great, and now have my vitamins and a goal sheet. They predict I can loose 85lbs in 6months, and over 100 by a year out! I was kinda shocked, in a good way! Hope I can keep up with the goal sheet! Down 17.5lbs!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One week post op

I am one week out from my discharge from the hospital. My surgery was on the 15th, and I am doing well. My biggest challenge has been jealousy of people being able to eat food around me and not being able to partake myself. As far as being hungry goes, I really not very hungry at all. The small amounts that I do eat are enough to satisfy me

Today I officially graduate to being able to lay down flat again at night, and not use the spirometer for breathing exercises anymore. I am down 15 pounds from when I started the pre-op diet. It is still like throwing a chair off the Titanic, but it is an improvement for sure. I was finally cleared to add egg to my diet, and Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is way tart and I don't really like it. Having the egg was nice though.  

I can't wait, in just a few days I will be able to start adding more soft proteins like chicken to my diet and refried beans! I'm really looking forward to that. According to my diet schedule I can begin eating these foods on the 29th. My follow up appointment with the doctor is on the 30th.

Bye Bye!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Three days and counting

Today I am three days away from surgery. I am wondering if I should have a "Last Supper"? I've been staying active and following my diet very well. I don't know if I should go ahead and take advantage of a last opportunity, or if it will ruin my detox? I am conflicted.

I am remembering once again what it feels like to be hungry, and not just shove any random thing into your mouth to get rid of that feeling. It is really actually kind of bizzare are after not feeling it for so long. My stomach feels "clean", empty, "pure".

So what do I do? Do I continue down that path, or do I have a Last Supper? Of course I would go back to clean eating after, but what effect would it have? Really would it have any? Would it just ruin my progress for the day. Am I past the point of no return? It is easier to diet when you know it's not forever, but mine will be forever. What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Diet and exercise suck

It has been four days of diet and increased activity. Sticking to as close to two protein shakes, and one lean protein meal per day as I can. I am freaking exhausted! Oh yeah, and a little cranky too!

Everybody knows that whoever said "a good diet and lots of exercise will make you feel good!" Is a damn liar! Somebody needs to tell you that at first it makes you feel like crap. In the middle of my preop week, and ready to be done with it. I'm ready for Monday to get here already. I know I have a lot more being tired, and other discomforts to put up with in the next few weeks, but at least hopefully I will not be hungry all the time!    Four days down four to go…

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Week Before

So, I am on day two of my pre-op diet, and so far it is going well. I have been able to stick to two protein shakes and a lean protein meal for the majority of my food intake. I lost a pound on my first weigh in this morning. As I stated on Facebook, "it is like a grain of sand off of a beach, but I'll take it!"

Thanks to my new Fitbit, I am much more aware of my food intake, and my activity level. (By the way I have a Fitbit Charge HR, and so does my husband. If you are trying to get fit, I HIGHLY recommend the investment!) This is going to be a very good thing. Obviously post surgery I will have weight loss, but in this week before it is really helping me stick to what I need to do to prepare my body. I have also been assigned breathing exercises, that feel very silly, but will be important. 

I had a sad moment Friday night when I had to say goodbye to my last pizza goldfish. Stupid as that may sound, that little snack has been a big part of my life for a while now. Snacking at night has been a bad habit for a long time. Those days are over! For the rest of my life snacking is taboo!

I am closing out the eve of June 7 tonight, and entering day number one of my one week count down. This time next week I will be going to bed getting ready to wake up very early to prep for surgery.

I've gathered all the things I need together for the surgery coming up at the end of the week and the days following my discharge from the hospital. In addition to what I call my "preop kit" I have also gotten a few articles of loose fitting clothing for my days of recovery. If all goes well I should be home Tuesday 6/16 in the afternoon. I will be sure to update this blog and Facebook as soon as I am up to it. Even from the hospital if I am allowed.

My Pre-op "Kit"

No one is trying to sugarcoat anything for me, The surgery is lapriscopic, and I will have four small incisions made in my stomach. The excess part of my stomach to be removed will be done so through my belly button. I know there will be uncomfortableness and the possibility of complications. Some of the medications perscribed are for nausea, gas, pain, and heartburn. Though I may or may not experience these symptoms, I must be prepared. Diarreah is also something to look forward to I'm sure. In the long run I feel it will all be worth it. That is what I am told also by the majority of people I've spoken to who have been through it. No one thus far has regretted it. Dr. Chaisson is one of the top surgeons in the world, and I am in the very best hands I could possibly hope for with this procedure.

My mother will be coming out to help, and my friends have volunteered to help if needed. It is very touching to know we have such kind friends. I have started a small local, online support group of a few women who are in different stages of their bariatric journeys. I hope to be able to help others some day when I am weeks, months, and years out from my sleeve procedure. I hope I am already helping some to understand the nature of taking on such a commitment.

I cannot wait to start loosing the weight and selling off all my "fat" clothes! Granted, I think my wardrobe is pretty fabulous, but it needs to be downsized in more than one way! I will not mourn the loss of items this time, nor will I try to hold onto them in case I need them in the future. One of my favorite mottos to major life events is "Do it once, do it right!" This applied to getting married, moving cross country, and having a baby. Now it applies to this.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Today I had my two pre-op appointments. First I had paperwork, then an EKG, then bloodwork, then more paperwork and instructions on how to scrub-prep the day before and of surgery. I was given a special soap called Dyna-Hex2. I am to shower using it the day before once in the morning, once in the evening, and the in the morning the day of surgery. So Sunday 6/14 and VERY early on 6/15. I need to be at the hospital 2 hrs before surgery on Monday 6/15, so 7:30am, and surgery is at 9:30am. I will be staying overnight, just 1 night, if all goes well. I should be able to return home Tuesday afternoon.

At my second appointment we went over the meds I will need pre and post-op and my diet for the next few weeks. I was given a bariatric surgery handbook that will be my procedure bible. Evertyhing I need to know is in there. The surgeon went over and had me sign some consent forms and answered any other questions we had, which were not many. The next time I see him I will be on the operating table. My surgery will be taking place at the Surgical center at Northwest Medical.

Pre-op Materials

I will  get to partake in my daughter's Birthday celebration tomorrow, then I am supposed to begin using my protien shakes more often than meals, with a lean protien meal once a day. While they are not strict with this, they do recommend following this type of diet as closely as possible up to my surgery date to get my body used to it. This will be the trickiest part for me I think, since I still have a full size tummy and a full size appetite. I am going to do my best though as this is very important to me!

A pre-op photo shoot I took:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A day in the life...

What is the heaviest thing you have ever lifted/carried? 25, 50, 100lb? Imagine having someone tell you that once you picked it up, you could never put it down again. How would you feel at the end of the day? Tired, in pain, like you never want to do that again? That is what I have been carrying every day for decades. It's like someone strapped 50lbs of flour to my front and back and said, "Ok, now deal with it!" I should be getting some heck of a workout for all this heavy lifting, right!? Nope!

I will be MOST grateful for the weight to be lifted, and to feel at ease in regular activity. It is like when you get sick, you can't remember how it feels to be well, and once you are, you are so grateful for it all over again. It is so hard to feel like a human being wrapped in a fat suit that won't come off.

You may be saying, "Oh poor you, you brought it on yourself!" Well, in part you would be right. But NOBODY (in their right mind) does this on purpose. One day you wake up and wonder, "How did I get here?" "Life happens when you're making other plans." and "Weight happens when you're planning other life." For me literally.The pregnancy and post-partum was the straw that broke me.

It is time to turn things around. I am encountering new people on a daily basis with stories to tell, and advice and help to offer. Life is placing everything in front of me, I just must walk the path.

Today, as I squeezed into my swimsuit and felt back fat roll over the top, and thighs cling to the swim skirt as my posterior lifted the back higher than the front, I could not help but feel sadness and hope at the same time. I took note of the others at the pool. There were all sizes, I still fall in the middle somewhere. Upper-middle, but middle none the less. I can go out without shame. I feel beautiful anyway. I will feel even more so after taking this step to improve myself, my health, and my life.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Getting Real

With just over two weeks until the big day, I am starting to feel it sinking in. I just got another call for more preop testing. The next two weeks will be busy. I have two different appointments on the morning of June 4. Both in the same medical complex. I think with all the testing it is really hitting home that this is happening! I am so ready, I feel the anxiety of excitement setting in. I can hardly believe the ways that my life is going to change so dramatically!

So what is going to happen at these appointments? To be honest I'm not 100% sure. I know I need to bring my ID, insurance card, and list of medications. I know we will be going over my pre-op and post op diet, and follow up appointments. I'm expecting some blood work too. Wow! I will continue to keep you posted.

I am sitting here looking at before and after photos of people who had the gastric sleeve procedure. Amazing! This is the great hope! I want to cry just thinking about it! This time next year will be very different for me. Even this time next month!

Example of woman about my age and size.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Getting Ready

I am currently in the preparation phase for my weight-loss surgery. I have begun gathering some of the essentials I will need for post op. I have ordered a Fitbit, some workout clothes, and my protein shakes. I ordered a Fitbit accessory too, although that is not required it is pretty cute!

As much as I don't like seeing it, I took some before photos in my new workout clothes. I will post them below. The protein shakes will be my diet for the first two weeks post op. I will need to learn the Fitbit well, and make it my new best friend.

Protien shakes

 Fitbit Charge HR, Plum
Fitbit Charge HR, Plum

Fitbit bracelet from ZFirness

And,.. the BEFORE photos:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Amope Pedi-Perfect

A brief review of the Amope Pedi-Perfect…

On May 11, 2015 I ordered my Amope from eBay. I selected the pink, although they come in different colors. They retail for around $50 each. I found one for $26. I have to say if I had paid $50 I may have been disappointed. But for $26 I am very happy!

The Amope has an easy to hold handle and easy to use design. To replace the cartridges is also very simple. Refills for the device cost around $12. You get two for that price. The motor is not as strong as I expected, but is enough to do the job. Also the grit on the file could be courser, but again it is enough to do the job. It may take several passes to get the results you're looking for.

After using this product for about a week and a half, my feet look and feel wonderful! I would recommend this product to others.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Date Set!

Wonderful news! Yesterday I got a message that I have insurance approval for my surgery!!!  Today, it is official! I have a date: Pre-op appointment will be June 4, surgery June 15! Here we go!

My procedure will be the Sleeve Gastrectomy, done by Dr.Patrick M. Chiasson through the Southern Arizona Center for minimally Invasive Surgery. I have been waiting over a decade for this, and most recently about 9 months since attending the free seminar to surgery date.

Before getting a surgery date I had a checklist to complete:
  • Attend Bariatric Seminar
  • Get PCP referral
  • 6 months PCP supervised diet history
  • Psychological Assesment
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Gastroscopy
After my surgery I will spend the first 2 weeks on a protien shake only diet. I need to get a health monitoring device like a Fitbit, or a pedomiter. After the 2 weeks. My "Perfect Plate" will look like this:

I am not nervous... yet. I don't know if I will be as the date approaches or not, but I do know I am ready!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Weight and See

Over the past few days, I have realized that there are many things in my life I should be documenting. The most important right now would be my journey through weight gain and hopefully loss. Through the years I have struggled with this my entire life. I have not even gotten to the procedure yet, and I am already having people asking me questions about it. Asking what kind of programs I have done before, and how I got to the point I am at now.

Let me tell you, it has not been easy. I have tried everything from calorie counting, personal training, medical supervised hCG weight loss, and just plain old exercise. I consider myself genetically unfortunate. I know there is more I can do to help myself, I just need help to do it. Weight-loss surgery is going to be the key for me to finally winning this battle. Let me start by giving you a brief history…

I have been fighting my weight my entire life. I'm going to focus on the last five years, since explaining away 20 would be very difficult. Through childhood and teenage years I suffered from being overweight. The year before my wedding 2005-2006 I kept a calorie journal and did personal training, and worked out six out of seven days a week for two hours a day, and maintained a 1200 to 1500 cal diet. this resulted in the loss of 35 pounds. This may seem like a lot to most of you, but for all the work it was not worth it. I really should've lost double that. After getting married, still in a plus size gown, I continued exercise and a reasonable diet.

Over the years my weight continued to yo-yo. Five years ago I hit my heaviest, until now, and decided I needed to take drastic measures. I visited a medical weight-loss center and started the hCG diet. I had also tried pills, but those did not work as well. The HCG diet is very expensive and difficult. You lose about 20 pounds a month but it cost you a few hundred dollars at a time, and often you need to do multiple rounds. You can only eat 500 cal a day and you are restricted to a very small list of specific foods. After the diet you must continue a program called maintenance to maintain your weight. I speak from experience, that if you want to stay your weight you must follow this and not stray. After about a year and a half or so of maintaining fairly well, we started trying for a baby. During my pregnancy I gained a lot of weight, and only lost some after. I unfortunately encountered postpartum depression, and sciatica issues making the weight pile on after baby. It has been a continued struggle and downward spiral since.

I am now at my heaviest, and most miserable. I have health issues, and I'm prediabetic. My life needs to change. I have a three-year-old daughter who needs me, as well as a loving and supportive husband. I will be doing the gastric sleeve procedure. It is my great hope for a future and a normal life.

I started the journey six months ago. I contacted my insurance and contacted the southern Arizona Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery with Dr. Chaisson. I know someone who in the past has gone to him for the surgery and had great success. After going to a pre-consultation seminar, I got insurance verification that they do cover most of the surgery costs, and was able to go for my first consult. My insurance requires six months of supervised primary care physician visits before you can get the surgery done. I also needed to go for a psych eval and nutritional counseling. As of April 27, 2015, I completed the six months with my PCP. I have completed all other steps as well, and my paperwork has been submitted to insurance for final approval. I am on pins and needles awaiting the word from the insurance that all is a go. I will feel so much better once I have my final surgery date.

I will try to continue to keep everyone posted on how I am doing and how this process affects my life. I hope that others can learn from my experiences.

Some before and afters from HCG
Sept 2010
May 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Keurig 2.0 K250 from Influenster

I am so in love with my new Keurig 2.0 that I simply must talk about it! I received a FREE Keurig 2.0 K250 from Influenster. I was elated when i got the email saying I was in for the Kerig Vox Box, and over the moon with excitement when it arrived! The package contained my new Keurig 2.0 K250 brewer, instruction booklet, a Keurig sampler, a box of Green Mountain pod samplers, cleaning solution, and a filter.

Since my Vox Box's arrival, I have registered my brewer and taken advantage of the buy 2 get 2 free K-Caraffe Pods offer from Keurig. I also ordered right away the K-Caraffe and 2 boxes of flavored coffee pods from 

I am impressed by the ease of use with the K250, and how hot the coffee comes out and stays in the caraffe! I also love the ability to customize my beverage, and the "strong" brew option especially when brewing over ice! It is a HUGE plus for me that my iced coffee tumbler fits under the spout, as iced is how I prefer my coffee. I think it is very convinient to be able to brew more than 1 cup at a time with the caraffe too!

This is my new setup fron Influenster and Keurig: 

Here it is with the careffe and additional pods: 

And with my tumbler ready to brew: 

I think my old coffee maker is about to become obsolete, and will be replaced by the Keurig 2.0 K250! #HelloKeurig!

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."