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