Monday, April 22, 2013
About 7 1/2 years ago my Dad had his Weight Loss Surgery. He came out of surgery fine, but was having trouble using his C-PAP machine with the staples. They had planned on doing a simple surgery to put in a trache tube so he could breathe freely. He died while they were trying to do it. They don't know what happened... there was never an autopsy, they just said his heart did something strange. So he never got the chance to lose the weight.
I had been talking to the same surgeon about my own WLS. My insurance took another 6 months to be approved and have a date set. Even though my Dad died, I thought he would want me to go through with it.
So, I had my surgery in Fall of 2005. I was 426 at my highest, I had lost 20 pounds before surgery on my own just doing the liquid pre op diet, and maybe 10-20 minutes of just walking in place a day. I was psyched for surgery. It took a while to recover, I remember how painful it was to lay down... I had so many pillows surrounding me, even holding my arms up. Eventually it got better, and I was so happy when I could lay on my side again. I went from liquids, to soft blended foods, and finally to solids.
I was doing great, I was losing weight... I wasn't really sticking to what I was supposed to be eating though. I was supposed to be focusing on protein as my main source of food. I got in the mindset that I'd lose weight eating normal foods, just in very small amounts. I was also drinking before and through meals. It was only sipping, but I've always done that - sipped on drinks throughout the day. I'm never without a drink next to me or in hand. And as I lost weight my activity level increased because I wasn't in pain all the time. But I wasn't exercising really. As long as the weight was coming off I was pretty much being lazy and not following my diet better. I believe this is what screwed up my weight loss, and regain after.
I lost a total of 125 pounds, I went from 426 to 301. I wasn't to my goal, but I was happy. I got married, I got pregnant about 2 months after I got married (about 2 yrs post op). I gained around 50 pounds during this (my 3rd) pregnancy. After I had my daughter I didn't lose any of the baby weight. So I was back up around 345 for a while. I noticed I was gaining a couple pounds here and there over the years since. And lately it seems to have sped up. I'm back up to 405, only 20 pounds away from my highest ever.
I've been so depressed and ashamed of myself. I had this great opportunity, and it was working pretty well for even as much as I was screwing it up... and I messed it up. I've been so depressed and embarrassed about the regain, that I don't even tell people about the surgery anymore. My marriage didn't work out, and I've since been in my current relationship for 2 years. I didn't tell him about the surgery for over a year, and I felt stupid when I did finally tell him. I didn't want to hide something like that from him. He loves me for who I am, he doesn't care if I lose any weight or even gain.
He never really asked how much I weighed, and recently found out I was up around 400, and all of a sudden he was more worried about my health. He knew it was getting bad because my herniated disks in my back and neck started really causing a lot of pain again.
My nerve pain from my lower back down my right leg has gotten so bad it causes me to stop in my tracks and actually scream out because it's so intense. I also feel like my leg is weak or limp when it hits, and am afraid sometime I may not be able to hold myself up.
So I went to the doctor... he gave me some steroids and muscle relaxers and 800mg ibuprofen which I'm probably not supposed to be taking because it's rough on my stomach. He said give it a few weeks and if it hadn't gotten better we'd order a new MRI to see what's going on. The steroids were supposed to reduce the swelling and help with the pain. I went through the whole 6 days and they didn't help at all. The muscle relaxers never really helped with pain either. But I took them now and then when I thought I would be sore later on.
They also drew some blood to check my Thyroid and for Anemia, also my B12 level was non existent, so I am taking a sublingual pill everyday, and I have a lot more energy but not exactly physical energy. I'm actually hoping it may be a Thyroid problem, that just getting it back in check would help with my weight loss. That it'd be something that simple.
Funny timing - I actually just got ahold of their office, my Thyroid is sluggish they said and want me to do a replacement medication... and recheck the levels in about 6 weeks. So hopefully, with getting back on my diet, and starting to walk more... getting my Thyroid back in check may help with my weight loss.
I'm just done - I have to do something NOW! I've been in a good mindset about getting back on track. I'm going to do a few days liquid diet, possibly longer. But I just need to shrink my stomach down a little. I did one for 10 days back in Oct/Nov and after the liquids I could hardly eat a cheese sandwich. So I know I can shrink my stomach to a decent amount. The biggest thing is going to be sticking to lots of protein, and a little veggies and fruits. Also, getting used to not drinking before, during, and after meals. But still managing to get in enough fluids between. I plan to just start walking... I have a huge baby of an 80 pound dog. Normally he goes out on a lead line since we don't have a fenced yard, and the kids take him on walks sometimes. But I'd like to get him out on a walk at least twice a day myself, start off just walking around the block and see how much I can handle without over doing it. And work on building up my strength and stamina.
There's a pool here but we just recently moved in - I have to see if there are steps, if it's only a ladder I can't do it (at least not yet). I'm also going to start taking my youngest to the playground here since the weather if finally getting nicer. And I'm sure she'll be poking at me to go pretty often LOL.
I can't really afford it, I took money out of what I've saved to pay for some repairs. But I decided my health is more important right now. I just ordered a new exercise ball. When we moved in and inflated my old one it had a leak. So I'll be able to sit on it when I'm at the computer and it will help build up my back and stomach a bit. And I can do my old therapy stretching for my neck and back, and build my muscles back up, and hopefully alleviate my pain a little.
So I'm just about ready to go... I've decided to start my liquids this coming weekend for at least 3-4 days til the beginning of May. And then go back to my post op diet, the way I'm supposed to be eating. Right now I'm taking my B12 in the morning, will be taking my thyroid supplement as soon as I get to the pharmacy.
I decided to up my protein intake since I had some shake mix just sitting around. I saw an idea I liked of adding it to coffee. I love coffee, and I probably drink way too much. The coffee isn't so bad, as the extra creamer I add to it. So I can add the protein mix now for some extra creaminess and flavor. I've already started that, I'm also going to cut out caffeine and switch to just 2 16 oz cups a day instead of the more normal 4-5. I'll have one in the morning while I'm waking up, and sometime in the evening.
I'm trying to stay away from grains and starches, but will allow myself at least a serving a day so I don't go insane. So for breakfast I'm going to try a serving of grits with an over easy egg mixed in. If that doesn't end up filling enough I may just try 2 eggs. I'll have to try to figure out some other good breakfasts. I want to save fruits more as snacks. And I may try some plain oats and mix in some cinnamon (which is supposed to boost metabolism) and a little splenda.
Today I'm going to have one of my favorite things, that I don't have often enough. Just some lettuce with a piece of turkey bacon and slice of tomato... and just a tiny smear or mayo or ranch. I really would like to get away from the mayo or find a substitute that still has that rich creamy flavor without so much fat and calories... any suggestions would be great. I'm going to just try to switch to light and stay away from using it as much as possible for now. And may try a light ranch, or another type of lighter salad dressing. I'm just not huge on really tangy or vinigary flavors.
Dinners I'm just going to try a lean meat, We already cook a lot of baked skinless chicken breast, and pork loin. Beef seems to be a bit too expensive. So dinner will just be a few ounces of a lean protein, and one or two types of veggies... maybe a small potato once in a while or a small portion of rice.
OMG over the weekend we had a birthday party for my daughter and we grilled these kabobs with peppers and zuchinni and summer squash and just a little pork loin soaked in terriyaki... they were so amazing. I'm making some more today with chicken breast, but we're out of the yummy peppers. I'm sure they'll still be awesome.
I actually really do enjoy eating healthier foods. I don't just eat them to diet, I love cooking and trying new things.
I love using the crock pot like once a week, but it seems like soups may not be so good of an idea since liquids pass through easily I take in a lot more than I should. I would like to still have bean soup or a turkey chili once in a while. I like squash/ sweet potato soup, and wouldn't mind trying a cabbage/ carrot kind of soup... but probably will be the only one eating it. And about a week or so ago I made a vegetable soup and forgot I was out of potatoes to add, and it was just as delicious. I also don't add meat anymore to save a little on my grocery budget. (since it's not much of a budget) And also to save on extra calories and fat. Last time I just added a can of beans. Which would give me some extra protein. I'll have to make that again now that I'm talking about it.
And for snacks I want to stick to a piece of fruit, maybe with some yogurt or even a little peanut butter maybe. I'd love to try almond butter but I think it costs too much. I'm not huge on raw veggies, but maybe baby carrots or something I can handle eating raw. Cucumbers are good too. I also love making little snack baggies up of seeds or nuts. Usually almonds and walnuts, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. All raw and unsalted. But the kids usually eat them up and I run out. Also again, the food budget. I don't have much to work with. Why does eating right have to cost so much?!?!
So wish me luck! This isn't a diet... it's how I'm supposed to eat for the rest of my life. I'm hoping I can start losing again, hopefully a little quicker than normal since I've had surgery. I'm still hoping I can use my surgery as a tool. And my past experience with therapy to build up my strength again, and get into some exercises on a regular basis. I feel like I'm in a better place now than I was at the time of surgery. Well, at least in my mind. I know I was psyched then, but now I'm more serious. Maybe even a little pissed off which I think can be a good motivator. I don't just hope to lose weight this time, I know if I do this I'm GOING to lose weight!!!
I'll try to update now and then when I see some progress.
If you made it through all my ranting I hope you come back to check up.