Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Well, it's been over a year since I've posted and a lot has changed since then. During 2011 I dropped about 40 some odd pounds and was down to 299. I went up and down a few lbs after that but could not get below 299. No matter what I did including dieting and exercising, I couldn't get past that number. And like every other time I've failed to lose weight, I said "Screw it" and ate whatever I wanted again. It was disheartening and frustrating. By March 2012, I had gained back all of the weight I had lost except for 8 lbs. I was devastated and so very tired of the Weight Loss Roller Coaster I had spent my life riding. The ups and downs. The twists and turns. So over it!! Not to mention, I was getting older and it was getting harder to get the weight off each year. And to top it off, my children were starting to put on weight. I know I shouldn't worry about it yet because they are so young (5 & 7) but I am terrified they will have to go through what I went through as an overweight teenager. The loneliness, feeling like an outsider all the time, being different. It's a hard road and I don't want that for my babies. But how could I tell them how to eat or to get active if I wasn't doing it? I didn't want them to end up being obese like me. Not my babies.

I finally made the decision to pursue weight loss surgery again. And I was on a mission. It wasn't just for my health but for my babies. I wanted to be a good role model for them. I made the appointment to see my doctor in March of 2012 and was taking the 3 month Options class that Kaiser requires by April. I wasn't playing around this time. I knew this was what I wanted and it showed. Instead of being bored in the classes and resenting even having to be there, I was eager for them. I enjoyed them. I wanted to learn what I needed to do to change my behavior. The class prepares you for the surgery. It is taught by nutritionists, nurses, and they even have former patients come in to discuss how the surgery has changed their lives. They discussed the different options, how to prepare for them and the life changes you have to make after surgery. It was an incredibly informative class.

I will admit I wasn't the best student in the class and had only lost 6 lbs by the end. Not very encouraging but I knew I could do this. I decided on the gastric sleeve for a variety of reasons most importantly being that it was less intrusive and if needed I would be able to have my stomach scoped later on in life. That was a huge factor for me. Plus, the idea of having my intestines re-routed in the RNY (gastric bypass) surgery freaked me out. I didn't hesitate after the class and had my surgery a month after it ended on August 16, 2012.

Your life is completely different after surgery. I have to concentrate on eating protein and I can only eat about 3/4 of a cup of food at a time. Seems so small, right? But I'm 7 months out now and it feels like a huge amount of food in my stomach. The pain of being full is a big deterrent for overeating. Overall, I can eat what I want. I tend to avoid pasta, rice and breads just because of the carbs and the fact that I need more protein than normal. 100-110 grams of protein a day. It takes up most of the calories I'm allowed. There are a few things that I can't eat. My stomach just can't handle them anymore. Lettuce is a killer. I found that out at Disneyland. Not the best place to try incorporating new foods back into my diet. Learned that the hard way when I had to spend 2 hours laying down in the hotel while everyone was at Disneyland. But I've found a way around that. I order salads without lettuce. Yes, I get strange looks but it works..LOL I also order sandwiches without the bread.

Overall, I am down 99 lbs. Yep, 1 lb away from a 100. I'm wearing a size 18/20 as compared to being too big to fit in my 28s. I've lost a total of 57 inches off of my body. I feel so much better than I did before. I'm able to do so many more things than I could before. Some of my biggest accomplishments include:

  • Being able to ride on the rides at Disneyland with my children. The first time I've been able to do that ever!! I am not ashamed to say I cried on Dumbo...LOL And so did my mom when she saw me. 

  • Getting up off the floor unassisted - sounds silly but when you can't do it for years and finally can, trust me the tears of joy start. 

  • Riding my bike and finally not feeling like I'm going to fall if I go too slow. 

  • Being able to play with my kids physically. To run and walk to the park. To enjoy the time with them.

  • Wearing heels again all day at work. I've missed that so much!

  • Riding on an airplane for the first time in over 7 years and being able to fit in the seat without an extender for the seat belt. I was so nervous on the way to the airport and the relief when I realized I fit was incredible.

So many more changes have happened since I made the decision to change my life. I know that the common misconception is that having surgery is the easy way out. I felt that way myself which is why it was so hard for me to make the decision to have it. But it's not true. I still have to work hard to lose weight. I have to watch what I eat and work out. Yes, I said work out. The Queen of I hate working out is now a fanatic but more about that in another post..LOL It's not always easy. The pain if I overeat or eat something I can't digest is unbearable. I had to give up all carbonation and some days I'd kill for a Diet Pepsi or a Lime-A-Rita or a freaking class of champagne. But I can't have any of that. The bubbles HURT!!

I've had to find new ways to eat and this journey has definitely had some bumps. I've taken a hard look at my relationship with food. I can't eat when I'm angry or stressed or upset. I've had to learn to grieve for the loss of a loved one in a different way. Can't eat the grief away anymore. It's been a challenge but you know what? Knowing everything I know, I'd make the same decision all over again. I'm (believe it or not) actually happy. And after a lifetime of being obese and depressed it's a nice change.

Here is a before and after picture. The one of the right is December 2009 and the one on the left is December 2012.




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