NORAKENO's SparkPeople Blog NORAKENO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Continuing I rode my recumbent bike again today for ten minutes. I also did about ten minutes of resistance and strength training with my bands. I stayed within my calorie range. I will continue to track my foods and move my body. I hope to increase the minutes on Sunday. My knees and legs ache but I'm doing it and that makes me feel good. Mon, 27 Feb 2012 21:34:12 EST Somewhat Successful Yesterday I stated some goals in returning to SP. I did well today. I logged everything that I put into my mouth. I stayed within my SP ranges for everything tracked. I did drink a little soda with dinner. I did eat a couple ounces of barbecue chips. I tossed the rest of them into the garbage so I wouldn't eat any more of them. I drank six cups of water so far and willl down two more before bed. I was not going to do any moving but have been really down today so after dinner I rode my station... Sun, 26 Feb 2012 21:00:31 EST Making My Way Back to You I think my body is trying to tell me something. Thinking about eating French fries makes me nauseous. Eating anything sweet makes my stomach cramp. Drinking diet soda makes my tummy burn. So ... I am done! I am going to get back to eating healthy, drinking water, and moving my body. I am going to use the tracker here. I am going to increase my water back to at least 64 oz per day. To start, I am going to move my body for at least 15 minutes once a day and next week I am going to get back to d... Sat, 25 Feb 2012 23:10:24 EST New Territory I have finally managed to get into new territory in the weight loss. I had been stuck at 265-270 since last July. This past week I managed to go from 269 down to my current weight as of today 263.8! Woo hoo for me! <BR> <BR> I've been really increasing the protein and it seems to be paying off. I'm also staying on the high end of the calorie range and making better food choices. The exercise is still my three days a week classes and I'm trying to get myself to commit to walking and using the... Sun, 9 May 2010 08:50:17 EST Exercise is Good Water aerobics on Wednesday was intense. We did steps in the water. I didn't think it was all that different but I am here to tell you that while it didn't seem all that rough, I have sore muscles that scream otherwise. Hope we start to step more regularly in the water. I enjoyed it and know that the soreness is good. <BR> <BR> The weather here in Chicagoland has been beautiful this past week. I started walking with the girls at work about a mile every day, at least. On Thursday, I got out ... Sat, 20 Mar 2010 07:58:44 EST 18 Months Post Op I cannot believe it's really been that long since I had my gastric bypass. I really need to post new photos as I haven't taken any or posted new ones since July of last year. I think I need them to get myself motivated and going once again. <BR> <BR> Saw my surgeon and on his scale my weight was up 5 lbs since July. He was not amused; neither am I! I have honestly been having a LOT of issues with food. I have been stress eating and that means eating whatever I can get my hands on. Unfortunat... Wed, 10 Mar 2010 07:23:39 EST February Update I am still going up and down on the blasted scale. I have been doing this since July. It's frustrating. Talk at my support group meeting last night about this issue by many and the consensus is that now, 18 months post op, it is more a mind game than anything. I have to make a more conscious effort to stay away from the old habits of eating to comfort myself and eating the things that piled on the pounds in the first place. Healthy foods, like fresh fruit (which I love) is just so expensive.... Thu, 18 Feb 2010 07:35:42 EST Five Years Later I started my initial weight loss journey five years ago this month. I decided that being super morbidly obese was no longer acceptable. I made the decision that carrying around 530 lbs. was no longer for me. I was tired of being tired. I was over having to ask someone to put my socks and shoes on my feet and to then tie my shoes. I was sick of having to sit down to shower, cook, and do dishes. I was ashamed of having to send my family in to do the shopping because I could no longer make it th... Sun, 3 Jan 2010 09:52:29 EST Walking, Reflections, and Plans I think I mentioned before that I now have an iPod touch and I purchased a Nike+ sensor that acts as a pedometer. I LOVE it! Went for my first walk on Saturday, using this, and walked for an hour. During that time I walked two and a half miles and burned 478 calories according to the iPod. I actually lost track of how many laps I did on the track at the park! <BR> <BR> While walking, I reflected how just after surgery I couldn't even make it all the way around once. I had to actually cut thr... Mon, 23 Nov 2009 09:17:58 EST The power I am trudging onward and will not let others have the power to keep me from achieving my goal. I tell my girls at work all the time not to give away their power. They are always blaming someone for their mistakes, faults, short comings ... I tell them to stand up and take responsibility for their actions. I tell them blaming others is giving them way too much power over them. They are letting others control how their life turns out and they need to take that power back. So ... I am working on... Wed, 18 Nov 2009 08:37:31 EST Ta Da! As my granddaughter Chloe would say ... "Ta da!" <BR> <BR> I got up this morning, took my shower, and stepped on the proverbial scales. I had to rub my eyes to be sure I was seeing the number I thought I was seeing. Tim (the hubby) and I just had this conversation last night discussing how I was nearing a MAJOR milestone in my journey. The scale read 265 lbs. I started out at 530 lbs. If you do the math, you'll find I have now lost the amount of weight that I currently weigh. I am only one h... Tue, 20 Oct 2009 07:01:49 EST All good things must come to an end ... or so someone has said. <BR> <BR> We all come to a realization at some point that the pounds are just not going to fall off forever. I know I've been the same weight, give or take four pounds, for three months now. I have not given up. I feel fantastic. I look pretty good, compared to where I have come from. If I remain this weight I will be okay. My health and quality of life has drastically improved and that's what this whole process has been about for me. <BR> <BR> My surgeon says I shou... Sat, 17 Oct 2009 08:04:04 EST It's been a while I guess it's been quite some time since I did any kind of update here. My one year post op passed in September. I am maintaining at right about 270 pounds. My surgeon says I should be able to lose another 40 lbs before I am done. I guess time will tell. I haven't been as diligent as I could be and I know this. <BR> <BR> My protein levels are down. I just cannot eat enough protein. I have to find a drink I can tolerate but so far, they all make me gag. I have a friend who said to try Muscle M... Mon, 5 Oct 2009 23:14:40 EST Progression I try to get here more often but sometimes there just isn't anything to say. Life has been busy and crazy but I'm hanging in there. I had a wonderful July 4th weekend visiting with my sister and my girls. It was just what I needed after a couple of really horrible weeks at work. <BR> <BR> First there was the scare that I may be out of a job. Illinois government cannot settle on a budget (and is currently operating without one) and the IL Department of Children and Family Services made a bunc... Wed, 8 Jul 2009 08:27:06 EST Update of the last month Minimal weight loss last month. I was frustrated until I noticed that my body fat percentage is going down, though the number remains the same. I am exchanging fat for muscle which weighs much more. It's all good. I also realized that I may not be taking enough calories due to the exercise and increased my calories. Guess what? That has made all the difference in the world and I am back to losing pounds once again. I am realizing it is still a slow and steady process. My surgery was and is a ... Fri, 3 Jul 2009 07:38:26 EST Surgery Follow-up I went to see my surgeon on Tuesday for my nine month follow-up. I can't believe it's been that long since I had my surgery! As I said in my last blog post here, progress is being made and I'm happy with that. <BR> <BR> He said I'm doing GREAT and obviously doing the right things. He said I look good and so far he sees no problems. He always checks me for a hernia. I don't want one, but he did say should I develop one, the insurance company would then pay for my stomach skin removal at the s... Thu, 18 Jun 2009 07:26:58 EST Nine months later <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A better month was had than last month. I lost ten pounds and am sitting at just under 100 lbs gone since my surgery nine months ago. The journey continues and I have a lot of the same struggles I had pre-op but I just can't eat a lot of food at one time. I seem to be able to eat pretty much anything. I choose not to, most of the time, but I do try things from time to time. I know that now it's more a matter of keepin... Sun, 7 Jun 2009 10:02:40 EST Eight Months The following is my May blurb which may go unnoticed if not posted as a blog entry so here it is: Eight months out and the losing has slowed dramatically. My surgeon warned me at my last visit that I would likely only lose about one pound per week now. I didn't want to believe it, but he was right. The month of April, I managed to lose only six pounds. I'm a little frustrated with this as I still have about 90 lbs to go to get to the number I'd like to be at. The hanging belly skin is beginn... Sun, 3 May 2009 16:31:25 EST Whew! I cannot believe it's been so long since I posted here. Life has been busy with the job change but that's really just an excuse. I haven't had much to share or to say lately. Today I did have an accomplishment, though. <BR> <BR> I completed, for the first time in over four years, the entire one mile walk with Leslie Sandsone ... her Walk Away the Pounds DVD. I used to do it when I weighed 530 pounds but did it from a sitting down position. Today I wanted to go walk outside, but it's raining ... Mon, 23 Mar 2009 10:47:59 EST Two Milestones in 24 Hours! I had another milestone happen yesterday. At the end of the day I had walked 8349 steps. That is the most steps I've ever had recorded on my pedometer. According to the pedometer, that was the same as walking 2.37 miles. Of those steps, 1885 of them were aerobic steps over 20 minutes which means for at least 20 minutes yesterday, I was burning fat. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill at an average rate of 2.5 mph but did bursts of 3 mph when the instructor had others running. My knees were scre... Wed, 4 Mar 2009 09:47:52 EST 26 Weeks Post Op This week I am officially 26 weeks post op. That means six months and down 83 lbs since surgery. I'm averaging just over three pounds per week so all is well. If I continue with that average, I should be at or near my goal weight come September. <BR> <BR> I still feel great, though I have been sick this past week. Caught a cold bug from somewhere and have been struggling with it all week. On Benadryl now to at least keep the eyes from watering and the nose from dripping. I feel slightly bet... Sun, 1 Mar 2009 16:51:41 EST I am free to run ... I absolutely love a Christian song called "I am Free". It ran through my head this past week when I hit what for me was a major accomplishment. To the average person, this will not even be worth mentioning but for me it was HUGE! <BR> <BR> The hubby and I had gone to the fitness center here at our apartment complex so I could walk on the treadmill and work out with weights. I didn't really feel like going but the hubby encouraged me as only he can. He knows that I'll be mad at myself if I do... Sun, 15 Feb 2009 10:07:46 EST Five Months Post-Op and Progress is Being Made <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Next week will be five months since my surgery. I decided to change my dates for weight, measurements, photos, and progress updates to the first of the month for simplicity sake. Here is how things are today. <BR> <BR> Start Weight in Jan. 2005: 530 lbs. (Started dieting on my own.) <BR> Start Weight in Feb. 2008: 425 lbs. (Started testing for weight loss surgery.) <BR> Surgery Day Weight in Sept. 2008: 387 lbs. <BR>... Sun, 1 Feb 2009 14:39:20 EST 317.2 Woo Hoo! I'm having a blessed day. Down in weight to 317.2 lbs. today. I cannot remember exactly when I was this thin. I know it's been over 20 years for sure. I'll likely post updated photos on my Sparkpage shortly after February 8th which will be the five month mark of my surgery. <BR> <BR> I have my nutrition support group tonight. I went to exercise class last night. I went to the fitness center here at the apartment complex first. Walked on the treadmill a total of 30 minutes yesterday with 27 o... Wed, 21 Jan 2009 17:12:36 EST Today I am progressing in the exercise arena, obviously. Today the hubby and I went to the fitness center here at our apartment complex. I managed to walk on the treadmill for 18 minutes. I was shooting for 20 but then decided at the last minute to increase from 2.6 to 3.0 mph near the end of the walk. Oh my! My heart was pounding. My breathing got very labored. The sweat was pouring. I did the 3.0 for a total of one minute but it was a HUGE accomplishment for me. Now I know I can do it. The entire... Mon, 19 Jan 2009 16:24:32 EST NSVs last week So, I forgot to tell everyone about two significant NSVs (non-scale victories) I achieved last week. That tells you how frustrating a week I had, that I forgot to share these things. Then again, it gives me something to share today. LOL <BR> <BR> First was hitting just under 7000 steps on my pedometer Tuesday. The most I'd ever hit before that was just over 6000. Woo hoo! I couldn't believe that I walked that many steps in one day. I remember a time when I lamented that I couldn't even hit 1... Sun, 18 Jan 2009 10:16:54 EST Chugging Along I'm still here and chugging along. I've been going to the fitness center in our apartment complex to walk on the treadmill and work out with free weights. I go to classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This past week my abs have been screaming since class. Who knew I even had them? LOL <BR> <BR> Went last night to a health fair sponsored by the hospital where I had surgery and the bariatric center. It was nice. I had my body fat measured. Oh boy! I found out that my body fat is 47.5%. My fat wei... Fri, 16 Jan 2009 17:05:09 EST Incidental Exercise My sister came up yesterday and we went to a good sized flea market here in Chicagoland. According to my pedometer, we walked over a mile just there. I did very well with all the walking. At one point I could have sat down and rested but there was no place to do that so I trudged on through. My knees were screaming near the end but I never complained. I just kept going. I will say that not only my knees, but my ankles as well are letting me know that they were pushed to their limits yesterday... Sun, 11 Jan 2009 07:32:45 EST A breif update ... I guess it's been a while since I posted anything here. I managed to gain about three pounds over the Christmas holiday. I think it was the extra sodium that got me. Well, that and the two Hershey kisses per day as well as grazing instead of eating my normal three days and one to two snacks if I got hungry. I know what happened and have since lost those extra pounds so it's all good. Life continues. <BR> <BR> I feel great and am looking forward to getting back to working out this week. Most ... Sun, 4 Jan 2009 07:16:25 EST Three month visit with surgeon I didn't get time to post Monday but as of then I was down to 330 lbs which means I've lost a total of 200 lbs since starting my journey in Jan of 2005. It's been a long road and I still have about 130ish pounds to go to be where I think I'd like to be. I'm so proud of myself and feeling GREAT! <BR> <BR> Saw my surgeon Tuesday. He said I'm progressing very well. I advised him I haven't had a menstrual cycle since surgery. He said that happens and one of these days it very likely will come ba... Fri, 19 Dec 2008 18:24:22 EST Three Months Post Op and All is Good No weight change for me in the last few days. Today is the three month anniversary of my surgery. I am down a total of 52.5 pounds since the day of surgery. I am down 76 pounds since the end of July when I started the pre-op diet. Things are going well. <BR> <BR> I did measurements and lost 4.75 inches off my waist since my last set. I also lost 1.5 inches from my hips. The other places I measure (bust, upper arm, thigh, neck) were minimal changes. My thigh measurement stayed the same. *sigh... Mon, 8 Dec 2008 19:04:25 EST Another night of fitness I had a good time at the gym last night. I didn't do as well as I did last week but I did the best I felt I could. The cold is playing havoc with the ole knees. I lasted only ten mins on the treadmill (vs 15 last week). I did 13 mins (two more than last week) on the NuStep at a pace of 88-100 steps per min and a workload of 2. And I did only five minutes (vs 15 last week) on the recumbent bike. My knees were screaming! <BR> <BR> Then we moved to the second part of the class. She started us o... Wed, 3 Dec 2008 15:20:35 EST Amazing I had an AMAZING holiday! The hubby and I spent it with my sister and her family, for the most part. We enjoyed a fantastic "dinner" prepared by my sister who took into account that there are things I just cannot eat and also that the hubby is a diabetic. She made two pies (apple and cherry) and both were sugar free. How awesome is that? I confess I had a very small (about 3/4 inch) sliver of each and they were both GREAT! She gave me a huge plate which I put too much food onto and was wastef... Sun, 30 Nov 2008 09:43:13 EST How much of ME am I going to lose? First, thanks to all who commented on my blog entries yesterday. I am so inspired and encouraged by each of you. I love sharing with everyone and getting feedback. Thank you so much! <BR> <BR> Now, this entry is a strange one for me. I started this process so long ago (four years ago come January) and so much has changed for me. Those who have known me for so long know that my life was pretty much hell back then. I weighed 530 pounds or more. I didn't do anything that required exerting mysel... Sun, 23 Nov 2008 09:40:25 EST My First Visit to the Gym Okay ... So I walk into the gym and there were quite a few people there. Lynda told me they are never busy but today they were. I put my things in the locker room and came out. Lynda was on a treadmill so I figured what the heck! > <em>68</em> She came over to help me get started cuz she knew it was my first time. I started and the pace was way too slow. I ended up walking about twelve minutes and the majority of it was at a pace of 1.6 miles per hour. Total distance walked was a quarter o... Sat, 22 Nov 2008 17:10:26 EST Off to the gym I just wanted to say good morning before I head off to the gym. Yes, I am going to the gym today. Lynda (a gal from my water aerobics class) invited me to be her guest so I'm going. I have on a pair of 5X capri pants cinched up at the waist with a drawstring to keep them up, an old t-shirt, ankle socks, and good gym shoes. I hope I don't embarrass or hurt myself while I'm there. I have no clue what to do when I get there. Lynda works out every day and weighs like 230 lbs. She had lapband surg... Sat, 22 Nov 2008 09:13:22 EST Plans for Exercise The weight is still coming off. I'm now down to 344 today and am beginning to think I may make my 20 pound goal this month which right now means I need to lose about 9 more pounds before month's end. I think I can do this, especially since I'm going to start an exercise class next week that meets two nights a week and one night of strength training. I'll be exercising four nights a week with my water aerobics tossed in there as well so hopefully this will be a good thing. I'm also going to tr... Tue, 18 Nov 2008 16:19:45 EST Tracking is working Tracking my protein has been a great way to get me back on track. Before last week I was just eating and hoping I was getting what I needed. After a couple days, I realized I wasn't getting the protein I should have been and started to diligently make sure that I get at least 60 grams per day. That still isn't where I need it as I'm supposed to consume 70-90 grams but it's a start and a lot of days I do get near 70 now. That said ... <BR> <BR> Last week I managed to have my weight go down. I... Mon, 10 Nov 2008 16:53:17 EST Change in center of gravity ... Talk about a change in my center of gravity due to losing weight ... well it has changed but no one has really talked about it. Following is one of the ways I know, however, this was probably not due to the gravity except that everything must fall down! <BR> <BR> I walked to the A and B homes on Friday morning about 1:30 AM. I went into the B home and talked a few minutes and grabbed their paperwork. As I went out the door and started down the steps, the porch light went off. It's some kind ... Sat, 8 Nov 2008 07:39:28 EST The Scale has Moved FINALLY, the scale moved today! In tracking since Sunday, I found I wasn't getting at least the protein I need. I'm supposed to be getting 70-90 grams post op. Once I adjusted that, the weight did come down 1.5 lbs overnight. Woo hoo! Now I'm just praying it continues. <BR> <BR> Water aerobics was great last night! One of the men had surgery back in March and is down 100 lbs. I was complaining about the scale and he told me to keep myself off of it except to weigh once a week. I try, I reall... Tue, 4 Nov 2008 18:23:00 EST Water Aerobics I've gone to two water aerobics classes now and enjoyed both of them so much. I have two different instructors and they each work us so differently. I LOVE that! I've been able to keep up and even push myself to jog faster in the water. It's been kind of freeing. <BR> <BR> I'm still doing my walking. I even walk to two of the home each night at work. A couple nights it was chilly and I was tempted to drive but it's such a sense of satisfaction to look at my pedometer and see those steps addi... Fri, 31 Oct 2008 12:57:53 EST Victories are MINE! It's back to water aerobics for me tonight. I don't want to go cuz I know the water is going to be COLD. Add to that the dropping temps here in northern IL and it spells doom. The hubby will make me go though, so no worries. <BR> <BR> I had a good non-scale victory today. Last summer before going to Alaska to see my dear friend and sister Teresa from right here on SP, I purchased a bra top for wearing to swim. I never wore it for a couple reasons, but was glad not to because it really didn't... Mon, 27 Oct 2008 16:42:12 EST Primary Doctor Appointment I went to my primary doc today. The nurse was amazed at how much weight I've lost. She asked the doctor if I had my surgery already and he said that I had. She said she could really see the weight loss. That was encouraging! The doc told me that I'm doing awesome and that people have the misconception that after gastric bypass surgery they will lose weight quicker but he said that isn't true. He said the reality is that people lose quite a bit the first month and then the weight loss slows fo... Fri, 24 Oct 2008 18:51:38 EST Better Day Today Today was a much better day. The dark cloud that surrounded me yesterday seems to have moved on (though it's pouring rain here right now). I honestly think I just get into funks. <BR> <BR> I did quite well with walking at the store. I did not go to the track but I did walk at work. I managed to walk over half a mile yesterday and by the time I came home from work this morning, I had already walked over half a mile for today as well. <BR> <BR> Work went okay. I did find myself getting up an... Mon, 20 Oct 2008 17:30:32 EST Feeling Lost For quite a while now, like over a year, I have bad days. Days where no matter what, the sun does not shine in my world. They are dark and desolate and I feel so alone. Sounds kind of silly saying that here, where I know I'm NEVER alone. I have so many who check in on me, motivate me, encourage me, and just plain out care about me and how I'm doing. But today is not a good day for me. I feel so lost and I don't know why. <BR> <BR> I have walked every day since Tuesday this past week my quart... Sun, 19 Oct 2008 14:38:44 EST Crap! Got a call from my primary today. The result of the PT-INR done yesterday was not good. I have dropped from 1.4 to 1.0 and they want me to be at 2.0-3.0. After some thinking I believe it dropped because of my bariatric vitamins. Vitamin K can affect the Coumadin levels and there is 120 mcg of vitamin K in my vitamins. UGH! He increased my Coumadin and I have to go to the clinic on Tuesday to have my level checked again. I just want OFF that stuff, period. <BR> <BR> Did my quarter mile walk ... Fri, 17 Oct 2008 18:44:23 EST Home Again I am finally home again from the hospital. This hospitalization had nothing to do with my surgery per the cardiologist and I'm thankful for that. I had surgery to increase my health, not to make more problems for me. <BR> <BR> I feel good. The heparin they had me on via IV caused a problem with my blood platelets. They had to eventually stop it as my platelet level dropped every day I was in the hospital. Once they stopped it, the count started to rise again. I may not be able to have that d... Mon, 13 Oct 2008 06:49:44 EST In the Hospital Tuesday afternoon I went to see my surgeon for my four week follow-up. I had felt a little off kilter since Saturday. I thought I just needed an adjustment in my blood pressure meds. He reached out and took my pulse and it was erratic. He had them do an EKG and it was abnormal. He called my primary doc who said to send me to the ER. Got to the ER and they determined I was in atrial fibrillation (a-fib) and I ended up being admitted. I was put on different medications and as of two nights ago ... Fri, 10 Oct 2008 14:55:06 EST Still Searching Thanks for all the protein comments. I am still searching for one that I like. I did try something I got from finally. It was orange flavored. I made orange crystal lite and added half the packet of powder. It was tolerable but oh so sweet. Next time, I'll use the rest of the bag and add it to the water and see how it is. <BR> <BR> I got the high protein ice cream recipes (thanks Ingrid) but haven't tried any of them yet. I got an ice cream maker but am still checking out protei... Fri, 3 Oct 2008 06:30:37 EST Protein I have to date tried pre-made shakes like EAS Carb Control and Atkins Advantage. I thought they both tasted pretty awful. I tried bottled Isopure (Apple Melon) and ugh! Had it tasted more like apple and less like honeydew, I may have liked it. I have Blue Raspberry to try and then I give up. I did order some samples from and will try them but I'm discouraged about the protein drinks I've tried this far. Protein is so important at this stage and I know I need to make sure I'm gett... Sun, 28 Sep 2008 09:19:25 EST