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My cat Gwen (Guinevere) - almost pure Russian Blue

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Early April 2005 - approx 10 months after surgery, down about 70 to 90 lbs

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1998 at almost my heaviest weight

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I'm a 60+ woman who had Weight Loss Surgery in 2004. Have since regained a lot, but am back on track. I love my family, most people, cats (I'm owned by an almost pure Russian Blue named Gwen), and making beaded jewelry.


After many, many, many attempts over the years to not only lose various amounts of excess weight but to keep any of the lost weight off, and winding up with degeneration in my knees, I decided to have Gastric Bypass done. This was not an easy decision. I investigated the various types of WLS. I went through various tests and specialist appointments (including a few sessions with a psychologist), and searched online to see what others had experienced with their own WLS. I did a lot of thinking and debating. Ultimately, I decided that I had to do something. An orthopedist actually told me that losing weight as much and as quickly as possible was the only way for me to avoid having knee replacements in the near future! So I decided to do it.

Although I had a specific Bariatric practice I really wanted to choose, I wound up having to choose a different doctor since he accepted my insurance plan. On June 22, 2004 I had Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass done laparoscopically. Thankfully, I had no real problems with the surgery and my recovery was pretty uneventful. By a year later, I had lost about 100 lbs (including about 20 I lost just prior to the surgery). I eventually lost a total of 134.5 lbs. Unfortunately, I made some poor choices and eventually regained 76 lbs.

Now, I KNOW that I chose to do what I did or didn't do, so I can't really blame anyone else, but I think had a few things been different my results would have been better. The doctor I'd used (now retired) was a good surgeon, but his practice wasn't very comprehensive, and he had a very lax attitude about what to do after surgery. Although he advised caution in eating and told me I should also exercise, he said that it would be okay to have certain things like chocolate candy as long as I ate it in moderation. If I could do that I wouldn't have gotten to almost 300 lbs!!!

Before I took my first bite of some chocolate (I think it was a Hershey's Kiss), I prayed that I would immediately experience severe dumping - I DREAD the idea of throwing up! Well, my prayer was not answered. I found that as long as I ate slowly and gave it some time to digest I could even avoid any heart palpitations or any other negative reaction. Over time I could eat larger and larger quantities of some of my favorite "goodies." Which, of course, partially defeated my having had the WLS.

The surgeon's practice did have a support group of sorts. But it was not well attended (sometimes I was the only one there, and it also frequently got cancelled), and didn't really seem to be worth my attending it. There was no online support or any process to deal with nutrition or psychological problems. Eventually I even stopped going for follow-up care.

Fast forward to mid-March of 2012. I was miserable. I hated how I looked and felt. My knees were hurting me again. My back and neck had joined in the pain-giving (turns out that I have a family-inherited trait of severe arthritis). I was severely depressed, and hid more and more from the world. Except when I HAD to do something else, I sat all day using the computer and/or watching TV (while “snacking” on mostly chocolate candy, cookies, and potato chips – I put snacking in quotes because many times this constant grazing replaced entire meals). Finally, I decided that I HAD to do something to change my unhealthy lifestyle - I knew that if I didn't, it would just get worse and worse.

So I got online and checked out the Bariatric Practice I'd originally wanted to use. This time it turned out that my husband's latest insurance was used by the practice! I signed up for a free web seminar on WLS revisions, which was on March 13th. After the webinar I got to talk to the doctor who performs the type I might need (Band Over Bypass) if I decide to go that route. He suggested that I make an appointment to see him. He also told me to check out the Back On Track classes being given by a social worker who is part of the practice. I did both.

I have been attending the BOT classes (have 2 left to go of the 6). I also have attended the practice's real-time support group and a local real-time support group (Long Island Post-Ops). The latter has been extremely motivating! And I've joined some Teams on SparkPeople (of course), in addition to participating in other online support groups (especially ones related to WLS). Additionally, I have been reading both "The Spark" and "Full-Filled" (by Renne Stephens) and doing the writing/thinking work pertaining to them, including trying to add exercise into my life. Something must be working, since I have actually lost 18 lbs (as of May 28th) since I started these things!

I now realize that failing to get the proper support I need, including continued follow-ups with my bariatric doctor and attending a support group, was like giving up. I need to make sure I get all the help I can. Becoming morbidly obese wasn't just a matter of overeating, it was a psychological thing, too. I realize that after the BOT classes are over I will have to get some psychological help to keep my motivation and to learn how to deal with the problems that caused my obesity. Whether that means continuing to see the social worker who runs the BOT program or finding a psychologist for therapy sessions, I MUST do what I can to improve my life and my health. My happiness depends upon it!

I hope, as time goes by, that visitors to my page will see I've succeeded in learning how to live a healthy and happy life! I also hope they, too, succeed in making their dreams come true!

Member Since: 4/4/2012

Fitness Minutes: 1,910

My Goals:
- Blog at least 3x a week, even if just briefly [not doing well on this one! LOL]
- Read at least one SF's blog per day and comment on it
- Find at least one thing to be grateful for each day
- Call or contact a friend to "connect" at least twice
- Attend at least 1 social event
- Eat my minimum allowed calories at least 4x a wk
- Eat 3 fruit and/or vegetable servings per day
- Lose at least 5 lbs
- Exercise at least 5x a week, minimum of 10 minutes
- By end of month, most exercise sessions should be a minimum of 20 minutes
- Take a 20 minute minimum walk around neighborhood, on Massapequa Preserve's trail, or a track at least once a week
- Use my exercise equipment or DVDs 3x a week

- Walk a 5k
- Lose 70 - 100 more pounds, hopefully by my daughter's wedding
- Learn to love myself
- Speak more positively
- Be more adventurous!
- Have fun!

My Program:
- Eat mostly protein and non-starchy vegetables
- Limit or even eliminate snacking (or at least grazing)
- Exercise regularly; use my treadmill, Wii Fit, and walk outdoors when weather permits
- Attend in-person support groups and visit/post to online groups
- Read motivational things
- Read and work on "The Spark" and "Full-Filled"
- Appointments with my Bariatric surgeon & any testing he thinks is needed
- Follow-ups with the nutritionist
- Therapy to deal with depression, etc.
- Journal

Personal Information:
- Originally from Canarsie, Brooklyn, NY
- Now live in Massapequa, LI, NY
- Have 2 grown children
- Married
- At 45 1/2 years of age, I found out I was adopted
- Found my birth mother 2 years later
- I enjoy making beaded jewelry
- Had Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass surgery in 2004


Highest known wt (6/2004): 299.5
Re-start wt (3/26/12): 241
Monday wt: (7/23/12) 210
Wt released this wk: 1.5 lbs

Other Information:
Small steps often lead to big victories!

It's attitude that's important!

Read More About RADAZZLE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 27)

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    In my spark goodie I was trying to say Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best!
    2850 days ago
  • v BGAIL521
    Hope you are having a great holiday! Happy Labor Day! emoticon
    2971 days ago
    Welcome to our Chair Exercise Team. You have made the right choice to become a part of our team and from my experience I can say that you will be greatly benefited here. Help in the form of our leaders. Wish you all the Best.
    Co-Leader Chair Exercise Team
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2978 days ago
  • v EMMABE1
    Just dropped by to say - Hi. and welcome you to The “Chair Exercise” Team
    Welcome to the most friendly, most supportive team in SparkPeople land!! - Please feel free to jump in and join in the message boards. It has been proved that people who contribute to message boards and blog regularly lose more weight, more easily than those who don’t, so come on in.
    It is a great place to be and you will find lots of friends, ideas and links to help and support you at all stages on your journey.
    I hope you succeed in all the goals you set.
    Enjoy the journey
    emoticon Hi from Australia
    Ann (Co-leader Chair Exercise Team, and ~Indygirl Challenge)
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Catch a smile - be part of the SMILE EPIDEMIC!!

    2979 days ago
  • v NOMIS1
    Thanks I also added you as a friend
    2983 days ago
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