Best Decision Ever. 107 pounds down in 10 months!

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I was always kind of on the chunky side as a kid...

I was always kind of on the chunky side as a kid and teenager, but as a young adult, I went into the military and got myself in shape. But two years after I went in, my metabolism inexplicably slowed to a crawl. Neither my doctors, nor the dietitian and personal trainer assigned to me by the Air Force could explain it. I was doing everything right, and the weight kept piling on. I went from a Normal BMI to Obese in less than 1 year. By April of 2015, I was pushing towards morbidly obese. This drastic change in weight caused me to develop idiopathic intracranial hypertension putting me at risk for blindness and giving me excruciating crushing headaches. So, my medical team recommended vertical sleeve gastrectomy. What a life changer it's been so far! I'm one day shy of three months out as of today and I've lost 53 pounds already! I was 249 the day before surgery and I'm 196 today. I was told originally I could expect to lose about 60% of my excess weight which was estimated to be 100 pounds and that weight loss would occur over 12-18 months. I've lost 53 of those 60 pounds already in three months and at my last follow-up, my surgeon said based on my success, there's no reason I can't lose as much as I want to lose. My goal weight is now 150, but if I lose a little more than that, I'd be okay with that, too. ;) On the downside: my headaches aren't any better yet (fingers still crossed), I've developed terrible acid reflux (GERD) that I didn't have before, and since surgery, I've also developed a hiatal hernia that's giving me no end of trouble and discomfort. So, it's not all sunshine and roses having one of these procedures. I've lost a huge amount of weight, yes, but given myself two more health problems I didn't have before while not resolving the one thing I really needed the surgery for.

Waiting sucks when you can't eat

Still having difficulties eating and drinking what I'm supposed to, due to the hiatal hernia I've developed. Earliest appointment I could get with my doctor is July 14, and that's just to discuss what's going on. Who knows when something will be done about the problem? Since I'm not eating or drinking much, my body has gone into self-defense conservation mode and weight loss has almost stalled. Down only 1 more pound since I last posted. C'est la vie, I suppose. I'll update again after my appointment. It's important, I think, that I share the potential complications of this procedure and the outcomes of those complications.

Drum Roll, please!!!

As of today, I'm no longer obese on the BMI charts!!! Three months and ten days ago, I was a mere 6 pounds from being morbidly obese, but now, I'm merely overweight! 58 pounds lost since my sleeve gastrectomy. Today, I bought a couple clothing items in size MEDIUM! This is huge for me. I was wearing XL and XXL just a couple months ago! I finally had to break down and buy new shorts because all of my capris and pants were falling off of me. (I didn't want to buy new stuff until my weight had stabilized more--I was content to go through summer in my baggy clothes like a hobo, until it became a matter of public indecency, hahaha.) I'm looking forward to my appointment Tuesday with my surgeon to show off my progress and hopefully get some answers about this darn hiatal hernia I've developed.

3.5 month follow-up done today!

Normally, my surgeon follows up at 6 months. Mine was moved up to 4 months because of the difficulties I'm having eating and drinking. Then, when my hiatal hernia was diagnosed, I was bumped up to 3.5 month follow-up. My doctor was very pleased with my weight loss, was disheartened that the weight loss has not yet helped my headaches, and still concerned about my calorie intake and fluid intake. I've been given permission to 'cheat' to get more calories in--eat things that are higher calorie but still get me my protein. I've basically been told to literally drink all day long. Not sure how that's going to work. It still hurts to drink. Stupid hernia causing terrible GERD! Speaking of the hernia--going back under the knife to get that fixed either the last week of September or first week of October. The scheduling nurse will be calling me. It looks like he thinks it can be fixed without converting my sleeve to the full gastric bypass. Phew! The reason I have to wait so long is to allow the internal scar tissue/adhesions to get as soft as possible, which is at about the 6 month point from my sleeve operation. He figures my weight will probably be about 170 by then, but I'm hoping for even lower! :) I'm already counting down the days until I can get this fixed. I accidentally took a normal size swallow of iced tea today and it brought tears to my eyes, it hurt so badly going down. But now, I need a nap. I've exhausted all the energy my 400 calories provides, hahaha.

Vanity, thy name is Kim...

Since I've lost so much weight, I feel so much more comfortable in my skin in a way I never have. Even when I was much thinner in the military, I didn't feel as self-confident as I do now. I think the weight loss plus the added maturity of years and wisdom (last time I was this thin I was 25, ten years ago!) has helped. So I bought a selfie stick (hangs head in shame) and have been gleefully taking pictures of the skinnier me. Since nobody forces you to click on my review and see them, I thought I'd share them with you guys instead of saturating my Facebook feed--I think my friends are getting tired of my vanity run amok, hahaha.

What a grocery shopping cart looks like these days...

Went grocery shopping today! Stocked up on protein shakes that are on sale through 7/19 ($11.83 for a case of 12!). Also got some Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. Even though I'm 3.5 months out and could technically eat whatever, these days I have to revert back to the earlier liquids/soft food diet for the most part because I'm having such a hard time eating due to the hernia. Here's what we got today:
4 cases of Premier Protein
1 large tub of Vanilla Greek Yogurt (Fit & Light)
1 case of Yoplait 100 calorie Greek yogurt Whips
1 ginormous tub of cottage cheese (looks more like a tub of butter, hahaha)
1 carton of grapes (excellent snack that's mostly water to help me get the fluid in).
Now to clean out the refrigerator to make room for this stuff!

The dreaded stall....

Yup, I've hit a plateau. It's either that, or its that time of the month (which is entirely likely, now that I think about it). Either way, the weight is holding steady for over a week, despite doing what I'm supposed to do. But, that's okay. Even though the number on the scale isn't changing, my body is. Two weeks ago, I broke down and bought some new shorts, shirts, and dresses. Remember I gushed over how one of the shirts was a medium and so was one of the dresses (but it was one of those empire waist maxi dresses, so a medium didn't seem quite such a big deal for that)? Well, luckily I kept the tags on some of the shorts. Yup, they had to be exchanged for the next size down! 14! Wahoo! I haven't seen that size in quite awhile! And on a whim, I tried on my old Air Force uniform, and it fits better now than it did when I got out in 2007! Yippee, skippy! So, anyway, I went back to Old Navy to exchange my shorts, and on a whim, I tried on two dresses in mediums, but they're dresses designed to be fitted, not loose and flowing like the other dress I bought. Oh yeah, they fit perfectly. Clothes shopping is fun again! I no longer have to search for the biggest size in stores like Old Navy. Now, I just have to be careful not to buy too many new things while my body is still shrinking.
I went to a theme park on Friday, and spent most of the day in the water park. For the first time that I can remember, I just walked around in my bikini with no cover-up or t-shirt. I'm still self-conscious about my hips and thighs, so my bottoms have that little skirt to them, but yeah, even in my days life guarding in that same water park many, many moons ago, I wore a one piece. Got oodles of good exercise in that day.
For those of you reading who are freshly sleeved, or about to be sleeved, I remembered something the other day that I wish I had been told would happen. More than likely, there will come a day in the first couple months or so, where you've lost a pretty substantial amount of weight, and your hips will just start aching. Mine hurt so badly, I almost wanted to cry. I couldn't get comfortable doing anything--laying, standing, sitting, it all hurt. I initially thought it was because the day before I had done quite a bit of walking wearing some heels (which I never wear). So I went to google, and as I started typing 'my hips hurt after we(aring high heels)' the Google search bar prefilled 'my hips hurt after weight loss surgery'. So I clicked, and found out that when you lose a substantial amount of weight rapidly, your body has to relearn how to move properly. Your muscles and skeletal system are so used to compensating for your weight in a certain way, that when that weight is not there suddenly, it takes time for them to adjust. Hence the aching bones and muscles in my hips. It's apparently extremely normal to have this happen. Wish my doctor would've told me so I could've been prepared, hahahaha! But luckily, for me, it didn't last more than a couple days (muscles are quick learners and thankfully got with the new program rapidly). So, yeah, heads up to that issue.
If I remember any other little tidbits like that, I'll be sure to post it here!

Excited to find a way to get my protein in!

As I've chronicled, I'm having ongoing problems with eating and drinking. This has made getting my protein in either expensive or impossible. Until I discovered Quest's protein chips! 1.5 ounce bag packs 21g of protein! Woohoo! So, a premier protein shake (160 cal), a bag of chips (120 cal) and I've almost hit my protein goal (51 of 60 grams!) with minimal calories and carbs. Plus since the chips break down easily when you chew them into mush, my stomach handles them better than steak or chicken. Now, I've just got to find a trick to get my fluids in!

Advice needed!

So, I'm 4 months post-sleeve. I had been doing extremely well with my weight loss, exceeding mine and my doctors' expectations, but for two weeks now the weight has been the same and the past couple days it's even gone up a tiny bit! Yikes! That's not what I want! I don't understand. I'm being more physically active now than I was when the weight was just flying off of me, I'm not eating differently (other than making sure I meet my protein goal, which I wasn't too good about before). I'd think that maybe it's muscle mass but I don't think I'm doing that much to build up muscle. I walk between 3-5 miles a day, swim for about 30 minutes, and do some light aerobics and strength training exercises for about 30 minutes (on the Wii Fit, so definitely nothing hardcore).
Due to problems with my hiatal hernia, I'm averaging about 500-700 calories a day, food wise. It's all very protein-oriented with very little carbs or fat. I do struggle to drink the water I'm supposed to-- if I drink 64 ounces of water/fluid a day, I'd only be able to eat about 300 calories a day, due to the hernia squeezing off my stomach and making it uncomfortable to eat and drink. I think as a consequence of not getting enough water (and possibly enough fiber), I'm getting backed up. I feel like I'm carrying loads of poo, but stool softeners and laxatives produce nothing. Anybody have similar issues or have any advice?

Eat your fiber!

Warning: this update may be considered TMI. Consider yourself warned, hahaha.

So, for two weeks, I've been terribly constipated. At first, I thought it was from not drinking enough water, so I endeavored to increase my water intake, even though that meant my food intake suffered (darn hernia!). Didn't work. Nor did the laxatives and stool softeners I tried. (Guess I could've tried the nasty magnesium citrate that I had to drink pre-surgery, but I wasn't about to put myself through that misery again, lol). So, then I thought maybe not enough fiber. Went to the store to get myself some dark greens to blend in with my daily protein shake only to be struck by severe abdominal pain yesterday. I'm talking the kind of pain associated with appendicitis and in the same area. This occurred while working at training camp for an NFL team. So I had quick, easy access to some medics for evaluation and since I don't have an appendix, they were concerned about a bowel obstruction or something twisted inside and suggested I go to the hospital. So, I did (but not in an ambulance like they wanted....didn't want an ambulance ride for what could very well be run of the mill constipation, hahaha).
Once at the ER, I was seen straight away (lucky day and no wait!) and after passing the pregnancy test (gotta make sure no bun in the oven causing mischief), I was put in for an abdominal CT. Which meant I had to drink contrast. When the nurse mixed up the contrast and told me I needed to drink it all over the course of 30 minutes, I almost cried. There I am, already feeling a lot of pain and fullness, and she wanted me to drink one liter of fluid in 30 minutes, and me with my tiny sleeved stomach and a hernia to boot? I told her flat out I wouldn't be able to drink that much unless she wanted to wait several hours. So, after running back and forth talking to radiology and the doctors, it was decided that I just drink as much as I can. Which ended up being about 1/2 liter in a little over an hour. And I consider that a Herculean effort on my part. I was so close to just vomiting it all up by the last few swallows. The CT came back beautiful according to the on-call surgeon, with my sleeve behaving as it should and no other indications of obstruction or bad juju going on. I was simply, just as I had suspected, full of crap.
So, I was then given the oddest prescription I've ever received. In addition to the stool softeners and miralax, I was ordered to eat at least one serving of a high fiber cereal like raisin bran every day. For me, this is massive, because I try to focus all my food intake on my protein because I can't eat very much. So this means I'll have to amp up my normal premier protein shake with some more protein powder and probably some Greek yogurt thrown in so that I can add in cereal to my diet and still get my protein. I can't wait until this stupid hernia gets fixed!
So the moral of this story is to make sure you get enough fiber in addition to your water and protein and calcium and all that other stuff we have to keep an eye on, otherwise you could end up like me and be full of crap. :)
P.S.---The contrast ended up being the magic bullet and helped clean me out last night when I got home. :)

The vanity still runneth over...

So, it was tax-free weekend in VA this past weekend and I took advantage of it to buy some more clothes. I shopped the clearance racks so I wouldn't spend too much on clothes that I'll hopefully only wear for a few months. But you know, I did the huge closet purge and ended up with most of my bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans, and trousers) gone and several t-shirts beyond baggy. I've been wearing a continuous rotation of the khaki shorts I bought a few weeks ago and I wanted some more variety! But I digress. As of today, I'm at 65 pounds lost in 4 months (after stalling and actually gaining the past two weeks I'm back on the downward slide, thankfully). I was wearing size 18/20 dresses and skirts, and anywhere between 18 (tight) to 22 (reasonably loose and comfy) shorts and pants. Non-numbered sizes were XL in shirts, and XL or XXL in bottoms. As of yesterday, I'm a firm Medium in tops and bottoms, and number wise, 14 in dresses, skirts, jeans, and shorts and I even fit in a pair of size 12 shorts! They're a bit tight for my taste (though not uncomfortably so) but actually in line with what seems to be fashionable these days for shorts. I just prefer a little more wiggle room, as a personal preference. I bought them though, because they technically fit and they're a good incentive to keep working towards. I didn't take a picture with them on, unfortunately, but I did have some fun in the fitting room, lol. I love how 'skinny' I feel. I am also highly amused that I'm still about 40 pounds over my lowest adult weight (which was in late 2003), yet I am wearing smaller tops and almost the same size pants as I did then. Weird where weight settles on you!

4.5 months out and feeling fine...

Well, feeling fine except for my ongoing hernia issue, but nothing to be done for that for another 6 weeks. I've officially lost more weight now than the doctors told me to expect to lose over the course of 18 months. So, I'm pretty over the moon about that. I'm healthier looking than I've probably looked in almost 20 years. I feel more energetic and addicted to working out and doing my fitness thing, lol.
My surgery start weight was 249.
This morning I weighed 182. I joked to my friend last night that I've lost the equivalent of an elementary school child. :)
Spoke to my surgeon's nurse today about scheduling the hernia operation. Surgeon is on vacation, so I won't know for sure until a little over a week from now when exactly I'll be making the trek over the mountains to WV, but she said end of September-beginning of October would probably be good.
Today, played a couple rounds of mini golf, rode go karts, and played bumper boats with my friends from law school. A nice way to have fun and relax.

It's all gravy from here on out and I'm looking forward to it!

Well, the other day I officially surpassed the maximum weight that I was originally told that I could expect to lose. It's been less than 5 months and I've lost 70 pounds, brought my BMI down from 39 to 28.1, and lost several clothing sizes and I'm not done yet! I'm determined to be the healthiest me that I can be and that means more than just letting the surgery do the weight loss work.
I've been spending a lot of time at my neighborhood pool this summer, but with summer winding down, I've had to face the reality that the pool is going to close soon. And then what would I do?! I have severe back and shoulder problems that prevent me from working out on land. Luckily, practically in my backyard, there is a state of the art aquatics center that was relatively inexpensive to join. So, the other day, that's what I did, and I've been coming almost every day to either just swim or participate in the aquatic classes. Whew, what a workout those provide! I just finished Aqua Boot Camp about 30 minutes ago and my arms are so tired I can't even hold up my phone to take a selfie! I had to brace my arm on my leg, lol.
I'm excited about this part of the journey. I've always loved the water since I was a kid, and was even a lifeguard for two summers after high school, but as the weight started piling on, I became self-conscious and didn't like putting a swimsuit on and going out in public. The first two summers I lived in my current apartment complex, I didn't even use the pool once! What a change this summer has made, thanks to the sleeve! I'm a water bug again and I love it. Looking forward to seeing where this stage of the journey gets me! Expect to see more pool selfies! :)

Non-scale victories

Tonight, I want to talk about non-scale victories. These are just as important, possibly more so, than the numbers on the scale. I've celebrated several non-scale victories over the past few weeks, even as the numbers on the scale have stayed the same (or even gone up!--it sure sucks to be a woman, sometimes if you get my meaning! ;))
1) I have idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a rare disorder that is more prevalent in obese women of reproductive age. It's the whole reason I had the surgery. It can result in permanent blindness due to swelling pressing on the optic nerves. I've been on several medications to try and control the swelling and pressure. Well, the other week, my neuro-ophthalmologist examined my eyes and determined the evidence of constant swelling and pressure has subsided and felt comfortable taking me off two of the medications. That's a major non-scale victory for me!
2) Muscle weighs more than fat. I've been working out hard. I even have the beginnings of a biceps muscle starting to really show on my right arm. But what that means, is that even as I continue to work hard at being the best me possible, it looks like on the scale that nothing is happening. But in reality the opposite is true. A couple weeks ago, I bought some size 14 jeans. Good thing I kept the tags on them because they have to go back. Too big for me already, before I could even wear them. The other night I bought two pairs of size 10 jeans. One of them fits like a dream, the other is slightly tight, but given how quickly I'm going through clothes it won't be that way for long. So, even though the number on the scale hasn't moved, clearly some magic is working to melt off inches. My money is on muscle weighing more than fat. I haven't been a size 10 in a decade or more. Major non-scale victory there!
3) support from family and friends. I've been so fortunate to have so many people rooting me on and boosting my self-confidence along the way. Some days, I feel discouraged when the numbers on the scale don't move, but then somebody will see me or comment on my Facebook page and tell me how great I look now, and it makes all the difference. Remember, it's a marathon and not a sprint. The process takes time, but you're still moving down the right road to being the best you that you can be. Things like that motivate me and inspire me, and my self-esteem and confidence have grown so much over the past several months. I now wish that I had more 'before' pictures of me (whole body pictures) because I get a kick out of looking at side by side comparison pictures and seeing how far I've come and imagining how much further I will go.

So, those are my major non-scale victories; what are yours? Focus on them when the numbers stall out every now and then!

Almost 6 months have passed...

I'm a week shy of 6 months since my surgery. What changes this procedure has made in my life! Getting thinner, getting healthier, and getting happier!
I'm 5'7" and my starting weight the day before surgery was 249. My BMI was (I believe, I'll have to double check) 39. I was wearing XL tops and XXL bottoms and my numerical sizes were about US 20 - 22. I got out of breath walking upstairs to my bedroom. I was having debilitating pressure headaches lasting for days sometimes.
Today, I'm at 170 pounds and my BMI is 26.75. I wear a medium in tops and dresses and can probably comfortably go to a small in tops. Numerically, I'm a solid size 10 in both jeans and dresses. I swim almost every day and no longer get winded doing the lightest exercise. I still get pressure headaches, but they do not last nearly as long as before and are not as intense. I've been able to come off some of my medication for them.
I still have a bit to go. I still have my hernia correction surgery to come. I've made it my personal goal to lose 100 pounds, so I still have 21 pounds to go to get there. My goal is to be there by the end of this year. I'll do it. I know I can.

Finally a date for my next procedure!

I've finally been able to get my surgeon's nurse to nail down a date for the surgery to fix the hiatal hernia I developed after I had the sleeve. November 12, I'll be going back under and am ever so pleased to get that stupid hernia fixed. Am a bit disgruntled that it's 6 weeks later than I was originally told we would try and get it done, but oh well. Now, I just have to hope the gas pain isn't so bad. I had terrible referred pain in my left shoulder from the gas after the sleeve was done and I am not anxious to relive that pain, hahaha.
In other news, I continue to swim and lose inches and pounds. I have successfully managed to go broke buying clothes trying to keep up with my rapidly shrinking self. In the past month and a half, things have really taken off. On the scale front, it looks like my weight loss has slowed, but on the body front, I'm telling you the inches are melting off like butter on a hot roll. I figure this comes from all the water aerobics classes I do. My muscles are toning up which weighs more than the fat I've been losing. I'm a comfortable size 10 now and hoping to stay this size long enough to get some substantial wear out of the size 10 clothes I've been forced to buy. I took a whole bunch of clothes to Goodwill and will probably have to make another donation before long---this time with the clothes I was just buying/wearing in August! Good thing it's getting colder--wearing oversized, bulky sweatshirts won't look so hobo-ish as wearing oversized summer clothes does!
I continue to struggle to drink as much as I should and am hopeful that once this hernia is fixed, that issue will improve. But, I've always called myself a camel and have never been a big drinker anyway. I have a strong gag reflex and it is triggered if I try to drink when I'm not thirsty, and I'm very rarely thirsty.
The food quantity that I can eat still amazes me. Tonight, I made myself homemade fajitas for the first time since my surgery (6 months!). Prior to surgery, I could eat 4 or 5 fajitas in one sitting. Oh sure, I'd feel like I overate afterwards, but no problems during the eating, hahaha. Tonight, I couldn't even finish one rather meager fajita. I'm going to be eating fajitas for days, lol.
Well, until next time my good people!

6 months out photo array

For your viewing pleasure. :) Six months out stats: High weight/surgery weight: 249 lbs,
Current weight: 167 lbs

Surgery BMI: 39/Obese (6 pounds shy of being morbidly obese)
Current BMI: 26.28/Overweight (8 pounds away from healthy!)

7 months

Hard to believe it's been seven months already! In less than 24 hours, I'll be back at the hospital to check in for my procedure to fix my hiatal hernia! Finally!! No more pain when I eat and drink (especially when I drink!!!!). It's been such a challenge for me to get my fluids in with this stupid thing. I wonder if my weight loss will pick up once I can drink more and eat more than 600-700 calories a day? I hope so!!

As of this morning, my current weight is 161.0, which is just two measly pounds away from putting me at a normal, healthy BMI!!!! My surgery weight was 249, so that puts me at 88 pounds lost. It's not been easy, especially dealing with this hernia, but I'm in love with my new, healthier lifestyle! I love going to the pool almost every day and doing my workouts (even though I jokingly complain about them to my instructors while I'm doing them). I still get shocked when I pull my jeans out of the dryer to fold them and I see the waist size and think that these can't possibly fit. In my mind's eye, I still see my size 22 rear and have a hard time picturing that fitting into some size 10 skinny jeans. And even my 10s are getting a tad loose (especially my beloved Old Navy boyfriend jeans). It could be time to drop to an 8. The other day I was wearing them and got tired of hiking them up, so I dug through my closet for a belt. I found one that would look cute with the jeans, I thought, only to realize that clothes aren't the only things you need to downsize when you lose huge amounts of weight. This was one of those braided leather belts that you just buckle through the weave, and I put it on and seriously had so much excess that I had to thread the excess all the way around through the back belt loops. ???? I definitely did not look as cute as I thought I would when getting dressed that day, hahaha.

Today, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I magically lose these two pounds by Thursday, because I would love to see my surgeon in person for the first time since he did my sleeve and have a normal, healthy BMI and weight. I know I've already surpassed their original expectations for weight loss, but that would make it just so much better!!! I'm so competitive with myself, y'all, it's funny. ???? But since I'm eating at Denny's and Texas Roadhouse tomorrow for my free Veterans Day meals, realistically, it's not happening, lol. On that note, a huge thank you to any realselfers out there who have also served in the Armed Forces!

Wahooo! Wowzers! Yeah buddy! And all that jazz...

I had my hernia repair surgery on Thursday. Yay! But let me back up a bit before the surgery, to when my surgical team saw me for the first time since April (all of my follow up care has been done either via Internet or with my local doctors). When I was coming down the hall to the office to do pre-op stuff, they had to use my suitcase to identify me. My doctor was like 'you're half the person you were!'. It felt good to get that recognition from them. Plus, when I took my jacket off (I admit to dressing cutely to show off), they immediately noticed my baby bicep muscle in my right arm and asked if I'm working out. When I told them I'm doing about 7-8 hours a week in the pool, they said that was impressive. So yay! Good job me! :)
Anyway, back to after the surgery. This time I came out of anesthesia much better than after the sleeve, when I came to vomiting and getting that suctioned out of my mouth. No vomiting this time, and not so much nausea, but some. Mostly, what I felt was like my chest was in a vice or really big bear hug. It felt so tight. My stomach, where I had six incisions (a couple new, but mostly they went through my sleeve sites) didn't hurt at all. So, while in recovery, I just kept taking deep, deep breaths to try and ease the tightness in my chest. I also chattered to the nurses a lot, because it seemed like talking helped me to bring on little burps to get rid of the gas from the procedure. I was brought up to my room eventually and briefed by the nurses about my pain pump and all that jazz, and I immediately asked if I could get up and change so I could walk. It got messy here because I had unexpectedly started my period the day before surgery and of course, wasn't allowed a tampon in the OR. Add to that quite natural situation the fact that I had been given a shot of heparin blood thinner before surgery and, my room, and the bathroom ended up looking like a scene from a horror movie. To quote a line from 'Bones': "There was so much blood!" Anyway, we got me and the room and everything cleaned up, I got dressed and sat back down for awhile since I was a bit lightheaded after all that, and finally once I wasn't so dizzy, I got up and walked. I walked those halls like I was strutting the catwalk in my slippers, way-too-big pj pants, Apple t-shirt, and robe. I felt good. Just had nagging gas pain in my left shoulder (which I had anticipated and remembered after my sleeve). Got back in bed after several laps and went to sleep. The next morning, everyone came to check in starting with the med student at an ungodly hour, and told me that I'm probably the first patient that they've had who didn't hit the pain pump at least once. But my stomach didn't hurt. Not even rising to the level of needing a Tylenol, much less morphine. They took me downstairs to do my upper GI swallow test to make sure my stomach was staying below my diaphragm, and then sent me back upstairs where I changed into my normal people clothes and walked the halls while waiting for my brunch tray to be brought. Sadly, I'm back on full liquids for two weeks to allow inflammation around my esophagus to subside. So I ate my cream of wheat and drank my apple juice, lol. Hallelujah, no pain with drinking!!!! That's like a first for me since I had the sleeve!!!! Woohoo. Was discharged and sent on my way that day. Still never used the pain pump.
Got home that night, stepped on the scale, and winced. My weight was up 11.8 pounds since my pre-op weight. I knew it was bad because I looked like the stay-puft marshmallow man. My watch had to be two holes looser than usual, my boots were tight zipping up, and I felt very bloated. Darn IV fluids and inflammatory response fluids, hahaha. Well, since Friday, I am very pleased to report that my kidneys have done an outstanding job of processing out the excess, and that my weight as of this morning is now down to..........
158.4!!!!! Yes, that's right! 158.4!! As a reminder, my weight the day of surgery was 249. So in 7 months, I've lost 91 pounds, and gone from being just 6 pounds shy of morbidly obese to being normal/healthy on the BMI chart!!!!!! This girl is officially no longer overweight!!!!!!!!! *Does happy dance* And my doctor said that the little bit of loose skin I have (mainly around my upper arms, a bit like bat wings, lol) will probably still tighten up some more on its own, especially if I keep working out. No need for any skin surgeries for this girl!!!! (Good thing too, because I have no money for that!) I haven't been a healthy weight in over 11 years. It feels so good, I almost want to cry. I know my fellow real-selfers out there can and will empathize. So, I've surpassed my doctor's goal of 60 pounds lost, I've now passed the next step of making it to a healthy weight, now I've just got my goal of 149 (an even 100 pound weight loss) in sight! Anything beyond the 149 will be gravy---I admit, I'd like to see what it's like to be lower than that, but realistically, 149 is a much better goal for me. I'm almost there....

New goals

So, after I passed my doctors' expectations of 60-70 pounds lost, I set my own arbitrary goal of 100 pounds. I set that goal simply because it seemed like a reach (30-40 pounds more than what the doctors expected), and a nice round number. There was no science behind it and I didn't put a lot of thought into it. But now that I'm 1.5 pounds away from that goal, I need new goals. And I'm looking for advice on setting those goals from my fellow realselfers. I'm not done with this weight loss journey. I can feel that I still have room to lose weight and still be healthy. I'm going to continue working out and getting fit. I've done some research and my body frame is mostly small except my hips. Apparently there was a cosmic mixup that gave me large frame hips with a small frame body (judging by bone measurements). I have tiny wrists and ankles, narrow shoulders, but huge hip bones that are widely set. It makes figuring out a good goal difficult since I can't simply say I have a certain body frame. So, how did you guys set your goals? What factors did you take into consideration? My doctor told me there's no reason I can't lose as much as I want, so it's pretty much on me, hahaha. The minimum healthy weight for my height is I think 118, but I'm not sure I want to go that low (though it's only 33 pounds away!!!) But I also want to move past my old goal of 149.
I'm so excited that in the next few days I'll meet this huge milestone of 100 pounds lost, but now I'm venturing into unknown and unplanned territory. I can't believe that I've been able to do this in just 7 and a half months. I was told 60-70 pounds over 12-18 months. This has been much faster than I ever anticipated, not that I'm complaining!
Well, any advice on setting goals will be greatly appreciated. My next follow-up with my surgeon is on the 1st of December and I will discuss the advice I receive with my doctor to help plan the next stages!

Eight months post-op

Today I am 8 months post op. Whew, it's been a whirlwind. Yesterday, I had my follow-up with my surgeon since it was a little over two weeks since my hiatal hernia repair. The same surgical team that did my sleeve did the hernia repair since they're the most familiar with my altered guys, hahaha. The surgeon is very pleased with my progress and he commended me for my lifestyle changes that I've made. He said those are what will help me continue to be successful so long as I don't fall back into bad habits, especially next year when my stomach pouch will naturally expand a bit. We decided that 135 pounds is a good goal for me to aim for, and that once I get there, I should work at maintaining that weight rather than actively continuing to try and lose. I think that's going to be the hard thing for me, because I don't feel like I'm actively trying to lose now; it's just happening that way!! But maybe my body will just let me know when it's ready to settle! Because I'm doing so well from both surgeries (I'm completely off my antacid and haven't had any heartburn since the hernia repair!) he's decided he doesn't need to see me again for 6 months, which will put me at 14 months post-sleeve when I go for my next surgical follow-up. Next week, I still have one more follow-up with the endocrinologist who referred me for the weight loss surgery and I guess then I'll find out when/if he wants to see me again. Yay!!!
The nutritionist yesterday asked me how much protein I get in a day (between 60-70g), and then asked me if I was still using protein supplements. Um, yes!!!! Half of my daily protein probably comes from supplements, hahaha. I just can't eat that much to get it from my food!
Drawback from having my hernia fixed: now, I feel hungry all the time! I still can't eat much at a time, but I hate this hungry feeling after not having it for so long. The surgeon said to just eat more frequently in smaller amounts. Seems like a lot of work to me, hahaha. Hopefully, I can stay committed to eating correctly. :)
IBS continues to be a struggle for me, and unlike before surgery when I tended to be more IBS-D (though I was officially IBS-A), now I tend to be way more IBS-C. I finally had to break down last night and take some medication to break up the blockage. It worked to an extent and hopefully if I take it for a few more days, the rest that I know is in there will pass.
Lastly, I'm including an updated before/after. It's mainly from the chest up in both pictures, but I feel like it really shows a huge difference and the best part is they were taken almost exactly a year apart (some of my before pictures I've previously posted are a few years olds). The before was taken on Christmas Day in 2014, and the after was taken yesterday (1 December 2015).

Nerve pain?

Ever since my hiatal hernia repair, I've had a patch of skin on my belly around and between two of the incision sites that has been numb to the touch. I figured that a nerve or two must've been nicked or cut during the surgery. Well, the past couple days, I've started getting sharp, burning pain in my skin in one spot where it's numb. I'm presuming it's nerve pain, as the incision sites themselves are pretty healed and the pain comes even when I'm just sitting not doing anything that might 'pull'. Has anybody else experienced numbness and/or burning pain in the skin at or near your incision sites? I've never had this with either my appendectomy or my sleeve, but I'm familiar with nerve pain in my legs (I have nerve issues in my back and my legs) and that's why I think that's what it is. If you have experienced it, does it get better or is this just something I'll need to put up with?

Achievement Unlocked!

Achievement unlocked: Lose 100 pounds! Yep, this morning, I weighed in at 149.4. Surgery weight on April 2 was 249. In 8 months and 13 days, I've shed 100 pounds and I still have difficulty believing it's been possible. When I shop for clothes, I have a hard time remembering that I don't have to go to the plus sizes or even large. I'm a solid medium (and probably a small in tops, but it hasn't been a necessity the past few months to buy any of those) now--I had to buy a new peacoat there other night because my other wool coats were just so large that they let the cold right in. I'm wearing size 8 jeans, and I can't remember a time in my life where I ever wore size 8, except for maybe very briefly after boot camp in 2003. But even then, I think I wore 10s mostly. Now, to work on my ultimate goal of being 135 before I transition to maintenance stage.

The struggle is real....

...when it comes to clothing! This summer I had to buy a whole new wardrobe since nothing fit me after I had the sleeve done. Finally, the weight loss slowed down enough that I figured the shorts I bought in August would be good for next summer. Well, thanks to an extremely bizarre month that will see it almost 80 degrees in central Virginia on Christmas Day, I went digging for my shorts to wear the next few days, only to find that not a single pair of shorts I have fits me anymore. Even the smallest size can easily be yanked down off my hips without even undoing the fastenings.

I have to buy a whole other summer wardrobe, again. And in the meantime, I'm stuck either wearing jeans or dresses/skirts in the tropical weather we are having. *sigh*

I guess it's a good problem to have, right?

Anyone interested in clothes size 16-size 12? (US sizes)

Just some photos to feed my narcissism....

Stat update:
Surgery weight on 4/2/15: 249
Weight today 1/10/16: 147

Favorite foods: Oikos Triple Zero Greek yogurt, Quest Protein Chips, Flapjack's Mighty Muffin, Special K Protein cereal, cottage cheese, string cheese, skim milk, and Premier Protein ready-made chocolate shake. Really, this is what I live on in various combinations. Sometimes I'll add in chicken or steak, but day in, day out this is what I eat. It's working so I'm reluctant to change, hahah. Oh and I get fruits and veggies in too when I can. Bananas, strawberries are on the menu the past few days.

Borrowed a pair of shorts from my sister in law on Christmas Day since it was 80+ degrees and we went to the beach. Never thought I'd ever be able to borrow clothes from her as I see her as so skinny and in my mind I'm still chunky. But they fit perfectly. And the new tank top they gave me for Christmas was perfect to wear that day!

Pulled out some pj pants last night and couldn't keep them up without practically pulling the drawstring as tight as it would go. Both of my legs fit down one leg hole. I hadn't realized how much I've changed until then. I still have my pjs I was wearing in my pre surgery photo. Some day soon, I'll take a picture of me now in them for comparison.

Almost there!!!

Well, after I blew the original weight loss expectations out of the window (go me!!!!), I had to come up with a new goal. I settled on 135 pounds as my target weight. I decided this was a good goal because a healthy weight range for my height is between 118-159 pounds, and I figure 135 puts me in the middle of that range. I know that as my sleeve stretches a little more over the next few months that I will likely gain a little bit of the weight lost back, so I wanted to have a cushion. One of my doctors told me that I could stop losing now, but he understood when I explained my thinking and concern with future gain (and this was when I was ten pounds heavier than I am now). As of today, I am at 142.4 pounds. My surgery weight on April 1, 2015 was 249. I've come such a long way and I don't want to go back, so I want to be very careful now as I prepare to enter the maintenance stage. So my question for those of you who are in the maintenance stage (1 year+ post surgery): how do you maintain? I'm still losing without trying. How do you know when you're done losing and/or how do you stop losing? I don't want to resort to unhealthy habits of eating higher calorie foods just to stop losing weight. But I also don't want to lose too much more than my target weight. I'm starting to wonder if putting the brakes on will be as easy as I thought it would be. I feel like stopping the weight loss and maintaining a set weight will be the most difficult part of this process. Maybe I'll feel different once my sleeve stretches out more? I think I have to remember that I'm still less than ten months out and that weight loss occurs over twelve-eighteen months, according to my doctor. I guess I could very well end up in the lower end of my healthy weight range for my height. I wouldn't complain, but I am afraid of going under that number. That's still 24 pounds away for me, but that number doesn't seem so large when I consider how much I've already lost and that I'm still losing on average 2-3 pounds a week. Any advice? Am I worrying and stressing over this for no reason? Lol.
And I finally have some loose skin. :( I had been doing so well with my skin shrinking right along with me, but I found some the other day in my inner thighs and butt area. Guess I need some good workouts for those areas to build up the muscle to replace the fat and tighten things up! But all things considered, even the tiny bit of loose skin I have isn't that bad.
I think that about sums up this update! Keep it real, my friends! :) I look forward to any advice you may have.


Okay, so this is like the third time I've tried to update in the past couple weeks. The first time, the battery ran out on my iPad. The second time, the real self app crashed on my phone, erasing everything. So fingers crossed!

Greetings!!! It's been awhile, but to be honest, there's not too much new to report. For the month of February, I was on a plateau, and honestly thought that I must've entered the maintenance stage a little early. But nope! March has me back to my old tricks and losing about a half pound a day! My weight had been down to 142.6 at the end of January, got up to 149 at one point in February, and today is mercifully down to 139.6! So to review:
High Weight/Surgery weight: 249 (April 2, 2015)
Current Weight: 139.6 (March 7, 2016)
Weight Loss: 109.4 pounds in 11 months
% of excess weight (using 159 as target--highest healthy BMI weight): 121.78%

Fun Part Two!

Well, the app failed me again! It cut off my review!!!!
You didn't even get the explanation for the hair! continue....the clothes journey continues. I keep dropping out of sizes! When I had surgery my sizes were XL/XXL and 20/22 (depending on the item--for some things I could squeeze my rear into some 18s). As of today, I'm wearing small (and even bought an XS top the other day!) and 4/6 (again, depending on the item). Mediums don't look too baggy, yet, so I'm holding on to those clothes too, otherwise I'd have only a few things to wear!

How I'm working my magic: I basically eat the same things day in and day out. Greek yogurt (Oikos Triple Zero, Chobani flips, and Chobani crunch), cottage cheese, skim milk, protein shakes (Premier Protein ready made), and whatever I want for dinner. I've eaten Papa John's Pizza, Mexican, McDonald's, and homemade pizza in the past week, lol. Moderation is the key. I've found that as long as I get my protein in and my water/fluid, and don't overindulge in anything else, I'm good.

A few weeks ago, my sister in law and I decided to do something fun with my hair. I've been wanting galaxy hair for ages, so we just did it. It's a fun way to celebrate how great I'm looking and how I'm feeling (most days). It's semi-permanent so it's quickly washing out and fading from its original gloriousness, but I still get compliments. Still undecided whether I want to keep it up.

Sorry for the brusque tone of this write up! I was way more chatty and conversational on my previous attempt (and I know there was stuff I mentioned there that I'm forgetting now), but it's exasperating that I keep having trouble updating. Until next time, keep it real, friends!

A little before & after

As I come up on my 1 year anniversary on April 2, I'd like to share a little before and after using the same dress (which I've had altered to fit my new body). Not much has changed numbers wise since my last update, though I can now wear a size 2 in some jeans. :)

The photo on the left is today, the ones on the right are from my graduation photo session in spring 2013 (2 years before surgery).

1st Anniversary!

Time flies when the weight is melting off! So much has changed for me in a year. I don't have much new to say, so I'll just recap.

Height: 5'7" (67 inches)
Weight when first referred for sleeve: 233
BMI when referred: 36.5
Weight on day before surgery: 249
BMI on day before surgery: 39.0
Clothing size(s) worn at surgery: 18-22 (18 generally tight, 22 generally a bit looser), XL/XXL
1 year anniversary weight: 138
Anniversary BMI: 21.6
Anniversary clothing size(s): 2-6, Small

And for your bonus viewing pleasure, courtesy of TimeHop, I have a before and after photo taken exactly 1 year apart in the same pj's. Looking forward to seeing where I go from here. On April 12, I'm being interviewed for a medical school lecture about my weight loss success with the sleeve.

Boob problems

Alas, whilst I am overall quite pleased with my weight loss journey thanks to the sleeve, there is one area that depresses me. My boobs. I used to have some. Now, I don't.

Never have I had to buy so many bras as I have the past year. And it seems like I barely get any use out of them before they're too big and need to be put to pasture. When I started this journey, I was wearing a 40D/38DD bra and those probably should've been bumped up a bit but I always get my bras at Victoria's Secret and those are generally the largest sizes you can buy in their stores, so I made them work, lol.

Yesterday, I went bra shopping for what seems like the umpteenth time this year, and am now a size 32C. Bye bye, boobs! ???????????? And being a C is probably thanks to the extra flabby skin my boobs have right now. If my body absorbs that at all, I'll be like a 32A. My boobs seriously look like wrinkled, saggy sacks. Maybe when my body size has settled down and my weight is stable for a year or so, I'll need to investigate getting a boob job. I honestly never thought I'd be considering one of those! Even before I got overweight while I was in the Air Force my bra size was still larger than this. The boobs have been cannibalized!!! Save the tatas!!!! Lol. But seriously, crying, too.

P.S. I may have entered the maintenance stage. Weight has been holding steady at the 138-140 range for awhile now. But I've also slacked on my good eating habits, so who knows? In a couple weeks, I may try the pouch reset diet. Just to see, you know? My surgeon said weight loss should last 18 months before maintenance begins and I've still got 6 months left to go. In other news, Tuesday I'll be interviewed at a medical school lecture about my success in weight loss using weight loss surgery! I like being a success story!

Beach body baby!

Oh yeah. It's totally happening this summer. For the first time since I was a young child, I feel comfortable wearing a full bikini. Last summer, the weight loss from the sleeve helped me feel confident and comfortable enough to wear a bikini top, but I was still quite self-conscious about my hips and thighs so I wore bathing skirts and shorts with my bikini tops. Not this year!!! Last month, I moved to Wilmington, NC, so I can now go to the beach whenever I want and I am totally taking advantage of it. I've had a few beach days already this season and am gloriously taking in all of the Vitamin D that the sun will give me!! Hahahaha! Loving it! Still holding steady at basically the same weight, though I've gone up and down a few pounds here and there (I've lost the few pounds I went up, thankfully).

P.S. Don't forget to take your multivitamins! I confessed to the medical students and my doctor that I hadn't been taking them because I got some that smelled so badly I couldn't stomach swallowing them. Well, my doctor was okay with it, but I felt really guilty after for kinda putting him on the spot with my confession, so I took the nasty ones back to GNC and exchanged them for some Olly gummies and started taking them and within a week, I got my period for the second time in a month (the first was almost three months late). Apparently, I actually was malnourished of certain vitamins and so that was throwing off my cycle as my body was in conservation mode, but now that I'm back on track, my body is resetting itself, too. Yay! Unexpected but good, hahaha!

Scar update

Some people have asked about the scar situation after surgery. I have now had three laparoscopic surgeries on my abdomen. An appendectomy in November 2008, the sleeve gastrectomy in April 2015, and a hiatal hernia repair in November 2015. I've taken a few pictures to show my scars. Everybody scars and heals differently. I did nothing to treat any of my scars or incisions beyond basic wound care when they were fresh and getting stitches/staples removed in a timely manner. No creams or lotions or anything like that have been used. Just good ol' Mother Nature and lots of sun last summer and starting up again this spring.

New favorite outfit

I found an outfit that is like my spirit animal. Seriously, it sings to me. I eyed it for weeks on the mannequin in the store every time I went to the mall. Finally last night I went in and tried it on and fell even more in love with it. I expect I will live in it this summer. It makes me feel pretty and it is super comfortable, too! Love it.

Checking in

Well, this is probably the longest I've gone since checking in on this site---I was here all the time for awhile. But not much has changed. I've been on a plateau since the beginning of March. I fluctuate between 138-143. But in all honesty, I know I've been slacking off on the protein, not getting all of my water in, and just generally eating poorly (though still keeping to small portions!). So I'm going to force myself to get back on track. It's hard for me during the summer because I hate heavy foods during the summer---it's hot and humid here and I am just never very hungry and protein stuff just fills you up and sits heavy in the heat. Last year, it was easier because I was still very restricted in how much I could eat and drink thanks to my hernia. It's also possible I've gone out of the losing stage and onto the maintenance stage. I can't make that determination until I talk to my surgeon. I have my next follow-up appointment with him on June 28. If you've been following my progress, you'll know that I lament the loss of my chest. So, I've scheduled a free consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss a breast lift. It's something I'll have to save up for (part of the reason why I've scheduled the consult so I could find out how much I need to save) and so it will be a long way out, but I'm curious to find out my options there. I'll keep you posted on that score! Mainly, thanks to my intracranial hypertension still flaring up along with my migraines, I've been relaxing on the beach and at the pool so far this summer. Thanks to the sleeve and losing more weight than was ever expected, I'm not super self-conscious in a bathing suit anymore! I'm rocking bikinis all the way this summer! :) I'm also more tan than I've ever been in my life, even though I'm not out very long every day. I wonder if taking so much vitamin d3 supplement has anything to do with that? Between the calcium citrate and what's in my multivitamin and what I take in via food and drink, I'm getting so much Vitamin d3 these days, lol. Stat summary: Sleeve surgery: 4/2/15 Sleeve weight: 249 Height: 5'7" Hernia surgery: 11/15/15 Current weight: 141 Low weight: 138 Clothing sizes: pre-surgery 20-22, XL-XXL Currently size 4, Small


I like it when my Timehop app pops up a picture of me from years ago that I can use for comparison to remind myself of how far I've come. Today's photo shows me on 9 July 2012 and 9 July 2016. In 2012, I was living it up in Italy on a study abroad trip, and in 2016, I'm about to go on a road trip to PA to visit friends and family (but totally had to go to the pool first!). In 2012, I was about 230 pounds. In 2016, I'm about 135. I think I actually look much younger in 2016 than I did four years ago. Feeling good about myself! :)


After several months of buying clothes in small and sizes 2-6, I confess to recently getting several items in XL and size 14/16. And I'm not pregnant.

However, before you all go "Shame. Shame. Shame" on me, I have another confession. Those clothes in XL and 14/16 actually are coming from the kids' section. Yes, I can now fit in children's clothing. ???? But since kids clothes are cheaper, generally, this is not bad. I've broadened my shopping choices! Hahahaha. Plus, I can match my nieces, now. Which we've totally done.
I'm about 1.6 pounds off of my readjusted goal weight. Getting there, slowly but surely. (My weight has been extremely steady the past five months or so, fluctuating up or down a few pounds, but gradually the low end of the fluctuations is starting to fall.)
I have been experiencing problems with horrifically low blood pressure though, and was wondering if anyone else who's been through what we have has had the same issue? My blood pressure pre-surgery tended to be on the low side of normal and now it's straight into hypotension levels (seriously--middle of the day, standing up, and I get readings like 87/54). It's causing me to feel constantly tired, dizzy, lightheaded--I blacked out twice at the bookstore a few weeks ago. I'm always cold (I'm seriously welcoming this intense heat we are having) and having more headaches. Blah. It's not always sunshine and roses over here, I guess.

Figured out a cure for a stall....

....but it's not pretty or pleasant.

Pretty much since February, I've been stalled on the weight loss. I fluctuated up or down a few pounds but always stayed in the same range of between 137-142. This was just a little frustrating since I had set my (totally arbitrary) target at 135. Being so close yet never getting there was getting old. So Friday morning, when I stepped on the scale and was 139, I finally gave up. I figured this is the weight my body is happiest at (considering it held steady for six months), and it's still a healthy weight for my height, so I was okay with it. Less than 12 hours later, I was having my brother take me to the ER because I was violently ill. I had gone to 136.8 from 139.2 in less than half a day, all from being so extremely ill. I'll spare you the graphic details of my illness, only to say that it was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life and that one of my outstanding questions regarding my hiatal hernia repair surgery from November (partial Dor fundoplication) was answered resoundingly (yes, I am able to vomit and yes, it is exceedingly painful). The ER doc fixed me up with two liters of IV fluids, 2 injections of IV Zofran, and one injection of IV Dilaudid. Less than 24 hours after I first got sick, I was back to almost feeling normal. So much so that Saturday evening, I even chanced eating some Chick fil A chicken nuggets and had no problem with them. Sunday (yesterday), I weighed myself and was down to 135.6. Well, hey!! I made my target weight!! Yay! Still was a bit weak and tired feeling so I took it kind of easy and didn't do much beyond stripping my bed and remaking it. So, imagine my surprise to find my weight today to be 133.6---after I've eaten brunch?! Like what would it have been before I ate? Probably not too much of a difference but still! How on earth did I lose almost two more pounds essentially laying in bed? I wasn't sick anymore yesterday. The only thing I figure is that fighting off this bug has jumped my metabolic rate up quite a bit. That and I'm probably peeing away all the IV fluids they gave me in the wee hours of Saturday morning so I'm finally learning the true effects of the very short but very nasty illness.

So, long story short, my six month long stall was broken by a bout of viral gastroenteritis. Naturally, I don't recommend anyone experiencing a stall go out and find such germs, as it is most definitely not a fun or healthy way to lose weight, but if it happens to you and you get to relieve some of that stall frustration, well then there's a silver lining to every cloud, right?

HW: 249
SW: 249
GW1: 169
GW2: 149
GW3: 135
CW: 133.6 (as you see, my doctors and I had to keep adjusting my goal weight as I kept busting those targets! Don't think I'm going to set a new one, though. I'm happy with this weight, and I really don't want to keep buying all new clothes, lol).

2 years

Man, has it been two years already? Sure enough! Actually two years and two months. I'm a little delinquent, I know.

I haven't updated much over the past year because there hasn't been much to update. I'm pretty much holding steady on the weight front. Maintaining at about 130 pounds give or take a couple pounds here and there. Health issues are also holding steady so I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad, hahaha. I'd like it if they had gone away with the extra weight!

I struggle with regulating my body temperature now. I get cold really easily but then when I bundle up or adjust the thermostat I get really hot. My fingers are almost always like little blocks of ice. Poor circulation, it seems, probably related to my ongoing low blood pressure problems.

Thankfully as I've maintained weight, the drain on my checking account from having to buy new clothes has drastically slowed. I still can't be trusted by myself in Old Navy or Target or Victoria's Secret but I no longer *need* to buy new clothes. It's just a want, hahaha!

I'll post again after my follow up with my surgeon which is supposed to happen sometime this month or possibly next month since I am having surgery to fix my shoulder next week and I probably won't be up for driving 500 miles round trip to the office for a bit. If all goes well, I think that will be my last bariatric follow-up (based on what I was told last year). He said then that he's never released a patient so quickly but he thought that I'd be the first if I kept it up and I think I have!

I've included some pictures of me from the past several months. Enjoy!
Huntington Bariatric Surgeon

Awesome. I met Dr Nease the day of the procedure (I mainly meet with Dr Canterbury as the VA doctor) and he immediately put me at ease. Excellent bedside manner. When I developed my complications, Dr Canterbury has been diligent about following up.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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