33 Years Old, Ready to Be Healthy and Happy! Lancaster, PA

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Hello all, This is my first post here, although...

Hello all,
This is my first post here, although I've read probably every single review of this procedure on here! I am currently 5'4" and approximately 240lbs. I was about 244 when I started this journey last July, quickly lost 10lbs or maybe a few more with diet and exercise, and then just recently started putting some back on due to quitting smoking and having an underactive thyroid (I've been on Synthroid since I was 12, and last week my bloodwork came back a little abnormal so medication was adjusted). My surgery is scheduled for 2/17/15, just a little over a month from today. I am really not nervous at all, much more excited than nervous. I do tend to have an adverse reaction to anesthesia, but once that is out of my system, my body bounces back from surgery very quickly. I've had 3 abdominal surgeries in just over 3 years (2 c-sections and gallbladder removal 6 weeks ago). Each time I've felt almost normal within 3-4 days post-op and I hope this will go the same way! I don't have a lot of real support for this surgery, although my family in general supports whatever I decide. My husband and mom in particular are uncomfortable with me having the surgery, they feel like I "don't really need it" (I'm like 100lbs overweight) and that I can lose weight other ways (I've tried every way I can think of and can't lose more than 10-15lbs). I'm ready to lose this weight and NEVER gain it back. I have a pre-op class at my doctor's office on Wednesday, and then a pre-op appointment with my surgeon next week. Then it's the liquid diet and countdown to surgery. I'm ready! I'll post some "before" pics in a few days and will be updating my review for everyone, as things progress :)

3 weeks to go!

3 weeks from surgery! My mom has now offered for me to take a month off of work with full pay (I work for her) to do an intensive weight loss program and forget the surgery. I laughed because I find it amusing that she is trying to bribe me with cold hard cash...but it also makes me feel bad because she is clearly terrified for me! Ugh. My decision is final though, it's time to do what's right for me. Please excuse my bedroom in these pics, I'm in the middle of remodeling! These pics are at approximately 238lbs.

Pre-op liquid diet starts tomorrow

Luckily, I only have one week of liquids. However, I'm a little nervous. With my doctor, If you gain weight between your pre-op appointment with the surgeon and day of surgery, they will cancel your surgery right then and there. I am not worried about the liquids - I am confident that I can get through it without cheating. But I have gained like 5-6lbs since my pre-op appointment like 2 weeks ago and I don't even know how! I haven't had much of the "eat it now before I can't eat anymore" line of thinking like I thought I would. My last meal was baked fish and roasted Brussels sprouts lol. But my thyroid has been all over the place and I've been having a problem with "irregularity", sorry for the TMI. I had recently started biotin and now stopped it just in case that had something to with it. I just don't know what it is. This liquid diet better get those 5lbs off though because I surely am not ok with surgery being cancelled. Especially if I'm following the rules!

Anyway, does anyone have any tips for helping the next week to go smoothly for me?

Hit a stall - in the pre-op diet! Help!

Not really sure what's going on here, I have been following the diet to a tee. Mine is a liquids-only diet for 1 week, and includes up to 5 servings of protein. Protein has to be in the form of shakes (under 10g sugar), unflavored protein added to low sugar soups, and fat-free Light and Fit Greek yogurt (I guess that's considered a liquid lol). Also I can have unlimited sugar free, non-carbonated, and non-caffeinated drinks, broths, and jello. Well the first 2-3 days were going great and I dropped 8lbs, which I'm taking to be the "water weight", as 6 of those pounds were the first day! Today is day 6 and I haven't lost anything since day 3. This has happened to me before when I've done low-carb or Atkins-type diets. The first day or 2 I would drop several pounds then it would just peter out. And this time there's not even any food involved so I KNOW I'm not miscounting carbs or anything like that. I am positive that everything I've consumed is sugar free or very low net carbs (as directed by my doctor), and has been well under 1000 calories per day. Oh and I am well-hydrated, mostly I drink water (never have been big on flavored drinks or sodas). What the heck is going on? Could my body have a problem with sugar substitutes? Any advice is welcomed.

At least I only have 2 days left til surgery. I'm hanging in there til then.

I'm on the other side!

Meaning that I'm sleeved, not that I'm dead and writing as a ghost lol. Hard time with anesthesia as is par for the course with me. My surgery was at about 11am and I couldn't fully awake until 5:30. I am having terrible gas pains and will be walking to alleviate that as soon as I'm able. They do make me walk every 4 hours but I can't make it very far yet. Stomach is very sore, like I got kicked in it. but the soreness is completely bearable, it's the gas pain that is putting the smackdown on me. Yeah I just said smackdown, I must still be loopy lol. Anyway, otherwise I feel like my usual self, I will find out what being sleeved is really all about tomorrow when they give me liquids again. But the good news is that I don't feel hungry at all, and this is after getting on the operating table with my stomach growling so loud people could hear it lol.

Gas pains are no joke

Hey guys, I'm having a terrible time here with gas pains - all over my body. This is not the gas that you can expel on your own - you just have to wait for your body to absorb it. It is making me truly miserable and I'm having a hard time finding comfortable positions. I am on liquid narcotics that I can barely get down because it's just gross, but other liquids are going down fine. I'm just laying low til I get some relief from gas pains. I hope it will be very soon...I am ready to move on from pain!

1 Week Post-Op

I wish I could say the last week flew by, but it didn't lol. It's been a long week and I feel a little like I just came out of heavy battle. The first few days were pretty horrifying and that was ONLY because of the CO2 pains. As I mentioned before, my doctor uses extra to test the staple line, and I guess he didn't do a very good job of getting out as much as he could. For days I was completely miserable. And wouldn't you know, my period showed up super early the day after surgery! The nerve! But I can finally say things are really looking up. I'm sleeping well and pain has been downgraded to a slight soreness - I haven't taken anything for pain in days. I have had some lingering upper back/shoulder/neck irritation and all around "creakiness" that I'll be addressing with a massage therapist in the next week or 2. I'm super paranoid about hair loss so I am very vigilant about protein. I've been drinking only the Premier Protein shakes (from Costco) as they have an excellent 30g of protein each. I drink one in the morning and one in the evening, and then fit in other liquids around those. So I know I am getting at least 60g per day, and always at least a little more than that in the other stuff I drink here and there (I don't worry about adding other protein powders and stuff). I am still on full liquids and will be until next week :( I am ready for some variety, that's for sure. Sometimes it is hard to cook for my children because their food smells really good. Hunger and the ability to be around food has returned for me, which is good and bad. Good, because once it was gone I did feel a little depressed - one of the things I enjoyed the most in life is cooking for people, and I felt like that was gone all of a sudden. It felt like a huge loss. But my inability to look at food or even recipes disappeared after a couple days. The bad part about hunger is obviously that I'm on a very restricted diet and can't have much that I would like. The hunger now though is much less than before. Now it is a little bit generally around mealtimes, and oddly enough a few terrible hunger pains in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping. A few sips of water is enough to take care of the hunger at night. I have not started vitamins yet - that is at the 2 week post-op mark. I guess my doctor wants to make sure I've got the fluids and protein down first. Now for numbers - Before liquid diet I was 244lbs. Day of surgery I was 232lbs. This morning I am 225lbs. It seems a little crazy looking at those numbers because I haven't been 225 in about 5 years or more, AND it blows my mind that I have lost almost 20lbs in 2 weeks. I haven't tried on my "skinny jeans" yet because I feel like my stomach is still a little distended and tender, but maybe I should get a move on that because I might be too small for them soon! I am clearly not one of those people who lose like 12 or 14lbs the first week, although I am completely happy with 7lbs. I'm keeping in mind too that I could be still holding on to some hospital fluids, plus I am still finishing up the period. Oh, plus I've done practically no exercise. We have had record-breaking cold weather this week, and it was only nice enough to go for a walk one day. As the weather improves, I WILL be walking. And when my doctor approves it, I'm going back to the gym. Either way, the scale is going DOWN and that is a fantastic feeling!! And now that I'm feeling better after surgery, life is looking good. Looking forward to the next weeks and months :)

2 Weeks post-op

Well this week was a bit of a disappointment but a learning experience as well. I only lost 2 pounds this week. Not really sure how that's even possible because I know I'm taking in less than 700-800 calories a day, and usually closer to 500. It is a very frustrating feeling to see the scale not move one bit for 5+ days in a row, especially so soon after surgery! I had a follow-up with my surgeon yesterday and he said it is so normal, he doesn't even look at my weight loss numbers until 4 months post-op. He also said that my body believes it is starving and is doing all it can to hold on to the weight, and also when I am losing, it will be in spurts (or steps) rather than a consistent slope. Which I've read before and understand in my head....applying it to my OWN weight loss is less easy to accept :) This morning I was down maybe half a pound though from my huge stall, so maybe things are on the move again. Fingers crossed! Oh and I also got scolded for weighing myself more than once a week. I just don't think I can go that long lol. I've been weighing myself daily for a long time (granted, the scale was always going the wrong way before). It's hard to change that habit. It's easy to turn neurotic even though you known damn well losing a large amount of weight is going to take some time! My surgeon also told me no more protein shakes, which I protested. He then agreed that I could keep one daily since I'm so worried about my hair falling out and I tend to be too busy in the mornings to cook. But he wants all of my protein to come from food now. A little intimidating as I can only eat about 4-5 bites of food at a time! The good news is that I have been cleared for the gym and have no restrictions on exercise. So all in all, it's been a challenging week but a lesson in patience. I still lost 2 pounds though, and 2 pounds lost is way better than 2 pounds gained, and better than nothing lost as well. I will update you guys at my 1-month post op date. Until then I wish you well on your journeys and happy losing!

1 month post-op

Whew! What a month it's been. I had a small complication, an infected incision. At most it was uncomfortable, and within 24 hours of being on an antibiotic, it started healing up nicely. There are other much scarier complications and if that was all I get, it's a deal! I am still losing very slowly, but I am still not getting in exercise except a walk here and there. I had to hold off my gym plans with my troublesome incision, but I have a good workout scheduled later today after my appointment with the dietician. Also, I may be losing slow, but I can eat anything I want. Now I'm not saying I'm eating junk food or anything, but I've heard of many people developing sensitivities to dairy, ground meat, chicken, etc. because their new stomachs can't handle it for a long time if ever. I have had none of that. I HAVE noticed that if I eat a little too much or a little too fast, I will get severe heartburn and I'll feel like sh*t until it settles down. That's not fun. It is a good reminder though to eat slow and pay attention to when my body is saying "enough". It is definitely hard to get used to new portions. Yesterday I accidentally waited too long to eat and I was ravenous. I felt like I could eat a lot. Then I ate 2 pieces of lunchmeat with a little cream cheese and I was getting full. I ate a little Halo mandarin orange and then I was very full. Long story short, I feel really good. Really healthy. I love that I don't feel like I had to give up anything except the food addiction. I don't have to stop eating things I love, I just have to eat less. And I will never eat for emotional comfort again. Before the surgery I was afraid that I wouldn't want to cook anymore or that the variety of what I could eat would be severely restricted. I'm so happy that I'm still ME - just with a healthier relationship with food, and with less weight! I started at 244 pre-liquid diet, 232 day of surgery, and this morning I am 220. People are able to see that I'm losing weight, especially in my face. My skinny jeans are starting to get a little big on me :) Once I lose another 10lbs or so, I will change my status to "worth it", as it will have been worth it to me to have the surgery even if I don't lose any more than that! (But hopefully I will). I'll update in another month or so! Good luck on all of your journeys!

2 Months Post-Op

Hello everyone,

It's now 2 months since surgery and I feel great! I am still losing slow and steady, 1-2lbs a week. Starting weight was 244, day of surgery was 232 and today I'm at 212. It feels so good to be close to the 200 mark, although at my rate, I won't expect to be in the 100's for another 2 months or so. And I'm ok with that!

I had a nasty bout of pancreatitis about a month ago. That was very scary and very painful! I am undergoing testing to find out why that happened, as I had my non-functioning gallbladder removed before WLS. However, I have heard of other WLS patients that have had pancreatitis after losing weight. We shall see, but hopefully it was a freak event that won't be happening again.

I have no problems with fluids or vitamins, I can eat whatever I want in small portions. It is truly a wonderful feeling. No more post-meal guilt! And I have never vomited - something I was worried about before surgery. However, I will say like many others have said, this is a tool! It is VERY EASY to slide back into old habits. Last week I realized that I was not eating the way I should be. There have been a few times that I reached for a bag of cheese curls or whatever I have in the house for the kids, just because I feel like munching on something unhealthy. Is it possible to do that and still lose weight? Yes. Is it good for you? No. And it will sabotage your efforts. So because of these unhealthy cravings and because I'm appalled at how much my kids are becoming obsessed with junk food, I overhauled our household eating habits. I'm now buying no junk food at all. Healthy dinners for everyone - and if I get in that mood where I want to graze on something bad, well there's nothing there but healthy stuff! If I wanted something that badly, I guess I would allow myself to have it - but I'd have to go make a special trip for it. Which is very difficult for me as I always have my little kids with me and I have to pack everyone up. It's just something I have to keep in check, and I imagine I'm not the only one. It will only get harder later when we are able to eat more. I want this surgery to be a success!

I am still ridiculously busy, and as I left my husband just before surgery, I'm also a single mom. Therefore exercise has been not much more than walking the neighborhood with kids and dog, and some Kinect dancing/sports games with the kids (which are AWESOME by the way).

Before surgery, I was constantly reading other people's stories. It bothered me that people post like crazy and then a few months after surgery, they disappeared. I always wondered, what happened to them? Did they get sick? Why did they stop posting? Now I realize that once you get into your groove of weight loss, you get your life back! It's not the only thing on your mind anymore. I will make a big effort to make sure I'm updating my story for other people, but now I know people are not disappearing after WLS because they got sick or died from the surgery. It's because they are living full and healthy lives :)

I went out with some friends last weekend and let me tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to have about a thousand people compliment you on how good you look, and getting hit on (I'm not dating as I'm newly single, but it's still flattering)! And I am only down 32lbs. I am very much looking forward to what happens when I'm down 50, or 70lbs! If weight loss surgery is something you're just reading about and considering, I strongly encourage you to go ahead with it. It feels like a miracle, a real gift that enabled me to start looking better, feeling better, and get my confidence back! Happy losing!


Yesterday I went to Old Navy to pick up some new clothes. What I previously considered my "skinny jeans" (size 18) were getting loose so I was hoping that I could fit into 16s. Lo and behold, I fit in 14s! AND I fit into size L tops. I couldn't believe it! 2 and a half months ago I was a size 20 or 1-2X and now lathes and size 14 jeans. Wow! Super excited. Granted, some stuff is a bit tight on me but still fit pretty well and I know I'll only be losing more. I'm posting some pics (yes they were taken in the fitting room lol). One pic I think I look smaller than what I really am but oh well, good angle I guess. And I did just switch my review to "worth it"...that one moment in the fitting room alone was worth it.

3 months post-op

Good morning everyone. I am now 3 months out and feeling great. Not much new to report here. I had a terrible stomach virus (so did all of my kids and everyone else close to us - let me tell you, 2 toddlers plus vomiting and diarrhea is not fun lol). That week I was pretty excited to lose 5 pounds. Of course once I got over the virus, those 5lbs came right back lol. Dehydration will do that. Every Tuesday I track my weight on my phone and how much of a loss it was from the week before. I'll upload that pic so you can see what my loss has been like. I get compliments all the time now about how good I look. The lady that does my nails tells me every time I'm in there now. She says I look completely different and that I will be perfect if I lose just a little more, like 10lbs. Little does she know that I intend on losing more like 45 more pounds haha. But I'm lucky in the sense that I start looking REALLY good at about 180lbs, so that's another 25 or so pounds. There is such a thing as being big-boned and I am certainly that. I'm not stressing over goal weight though, I'm grateful for the 38lbs I lost so far. Still squeezing my a$$ into old navy size 14 jeans and I'm still feeling very blissful about that! Anyway, I'm feeling good, still loving food and loving to cook but loving that it doesn't take much to fill me up! Until my next update, take care of yourselves and good luck!


I have finally hit the 100's and I'm so happy! Today is about 4 and a half months since surgery. Started at 244 and today I am 198. 46lbs down! I've got another 38lbs to goal weight, but with my large frame, I'll be happy with less than that. I'm happy now. Yes I'm still overweight but I feel like I'm starting to look "normal". As in my weight is not automatically the first thing people notice about me. I am truly grateful for that. I LOVE clothes shopping now (although my bank account is crying out for mercy lol). It is so wonderful to be able to shop in pretty much any store I want. Not sure if I mentioned this before, but I was thrilled about a month or 2 ago that I could shop at Victoria's Secret again after being told about 5 years ago that I should go to a department store where they could accommodate my size. I tell my best friend and my mom over and over again how happy I am that I have done this surgery. I get compliments from all of my casual friends on how great I look. And I know it's only going to get even better. I hope all of your journeys are going well! Happy 4th of July to my American readers!

6 months post-op!

Wow...I can't believe tomorrow will be six months since my surgery. Although it's been about a year and 2 months since I first made the call to the bariatric center to learn more about weight loss surgery. Well let's start with the numbers. My highest weight in the last several years (not counting pregnancies) was 275. At the start of this journey, and up to the pre-op diet, my weight was 244. Today I am 192lbs. So since the beginning of pre-op diet, I have lost 52lbs. That is a lot of weight, and I've even been a slow loser. Almost every week I lose 1-2lbs, although there have been a couple weeks that I've lost nothing. There are others that have lost much more than me, but it's all relative to how much you have to lose and about a million other things. Early on I felt a little frustrated and impatient at the slow loss, but I am actually very grateful for it now. I look good. A close friend of mine told me the other day that I don't have that starving look that many people get with rapid weight loss. Maybe you've seen it - people that are still heavy but have that haggard look. Not sure how to explain it. But anyway, I look healthy and younger. There are several things I wanted to talk about in this post. First of all, hair loss. Yes, I did have some and yes it was kinda scary. Even now I still think I lose more hair than I did before surgery. But I actually think I don't look any different. We're not talking bald spots or chunks of hair coming out. I just definitely noticed more hair in my brush, on my clothes, etc. I have also noticed that my hair is more fragile and has been breaking easily but this is a lifelong problem for me. I already had very fine hair. I do make sure to drink a protein shake once every few days or so, especially if I'm feeling like I'm not getting quite enough protein in. But in my experience, the hair loss is not even noticeable by anyone other than you! Another thing I wanted to mention: sweat, and the lack of it! I've been heavy for a long time and have always gotten hot very easily. Summers were particularly terrible. And I would always start perspiring before anyone else even felt uncomfortable by the heat. Throw some anxiety into the mix, and basically I felt like I was always sweating and always hot and uncomfortable. I had even contemplated talking to my doctor about it, thinking it was a medical problem. I am extremely happy to report that with weight loss, that has all but disappeared. I find that I can tolerate heat a thousand times better. I've even made comments to people about how mild of a summer we're having and they look at me like I'm psycho. We're not having a mild summer - I just have a lot less weight contributing to my heat intolerance! It's awesome. I can actually enjoy being outside now. As far as eating habits go, things are pretty easy for me. I eat the protein first, and if there's room, have a few bites of whatever else I have on my plate. I go out to eat frequently and I always need a box, unless I'm ordering a small appetizer for my meal. I have learned that soup is not worth it. If I get a cup of soup with my lunch, well the soup is all I can eat haha. And I just don't love soup enough for that to be ok. Usually I'll order a salad (with some kind of meat), or I'll get a sandwich. If I get a sandwich, I can only eat half of it, maybe 3/4 of it if it's small. Many times, I'll take several bites, and then I'll ditch the bread and just eat the lunchmeat or burger or whatever out of it. I actually crave meat and vegetables more than anything else. Not sure if I was always that way or if it's how my newer eating habits shaped me, but I'm happy with it. I rarely eat fruit (just because I've never been a fruit person). I might have some bread/potatoes/dessert but it's only if I really feel like I want it, and then only a few bites. I never feel like I'm depriving myself - because I'm not! I never tell myself that I can't have anything. Most of the time I'm eating something high protein, but if I want something, I'll have it! I'm just very happy that now, the "wanting" is now just a small craving that is satisfied with just a few bites. No more of the obsessive, mass quantities kind of cravings that I used to have. It is truly wonderful. I keep hearing people say "I used to live to eat, and now I eat to live" and I really hate that saying haha. While I absolutely respect everyone else's journeys, that is not me. I still really love food and to cook. But the love of food has shifted to healthier, high quality ingredients, not cheap junk food which is what I mostly wanted before. It's definitely a healthier relationship with food. Overall, I am so happy with my progress. My surgeon wants me to be at about 160lbs at my 1-year appointment, which is only 32lbs away. Considering I've already lost 52lbs, I think it will happen. Like I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have a large frame and am big all over - so I think I will look pretty damn skinny at 160lbs. Thank you to all of you who have been supportive, and I hope I've been able to encourage some of you in your own weight loss paths. Until next time....take care!!

9 months Post-op

Hey everyone!
Today is 9 months since surgery and I wanted to drop in to update my review. Wow what a 9 months it's been! Jumping straight to numbers...my highest in the last several years was something like 275lbs, maybe higher. Day 1 of pre-op diet: 244lbs. Today: 178lbs! That's a 66lb loss and I'm ecstatic. I am officially the lowest weight I've ever been as an adult. What a glorious feeling! My journey is far from over, however. I saw my surgeon for a follow-up several weeks ago and surprisingly, he said that I lost a little less than he expected. But then he followed it up with saying that my numbers have been consistent the whole time which is what they like to see. So basically, I've lost slower than others which I already knew, haha. But like I've said before, although I've lost slow and was frustrated early on, I am very grateful for the slow loss now. The hair loss I experienced was minimal and I even have very fine and brittle hair as it is. Plus the slow loss was just way healthier for my body in general. My energy level is awesome. Gone are the days that I feel wiped out and half-dead by 6pm. I HAVE noticed that I get cold much easier than before. But I welcome that feeling because nothing sucks more than being the only person sweating like crazy when no one else is uncomfortable, just because you're fat. Now I can wear long sleeves! Coats! Layers! Things I never felt comfortable in before because I was always HOT. I have also noticed that my butt is getting, shall we say, bony? Haha. My son plays football and this past season I noticed that I definitely have less of a cushion on those hard bleachers than I used to. I am not complaining! I will carry around a cushion like an old lady if I have to if that's what the thin life is about lol. I will say that although I very much intend to lose a bit more weight, the weight loss is slowing now even more than before. There are more weeks that I lose nothing or just one pound. Once every couple months I'll have a crazy 4lb loss in a week but that is not the norm. I do still weigh myself daily, but I find that I am now never frustrated or angry at the scale anymore. It's just business. And I will weigh myself daily for the rest of my life if it keeps my weight from ever getting out of control again. I'm pretty much the same with food. I eat everything. There's nothing that doesn't "agree" with me. I do still make the protein portion of my meal the priority, then veggies, then the other stuff last. I drink coffee every day (yes, the caffeinated kind). Other than the coffee, I drink mostly only water. I might treat myself now and then to a Starbucks drink that I have customized with nonfat milk, no whipped cream, and much less of the sugar syrups. Oh and occasionally some nonfat milk plain at home. But usually, just water (and my daily cup or 2 of joe). I still have a huge problem area in my lower belly, but after 3 kids and the 2 youngest of them were c-sections, I knew I was going to have that. I will consider surgery when the weight loss has leveled off. But all in all I am SO happy. I feel great and I look good too. Good luck to everyone reading! Wishing you all the best! P.S. - I'm adding a pic of me at my heaviest about 4 and a half years ago, and a current pic. Loving the difference :)


Hello my peeps! I apologize for being late on my one year update. I was waiting to have my 1-year appointment with my surgeon that I had to reschedule due to work conflicts. But I'm here now! Let's get right to the good stuff. My highest recent weight was about 275lbs (although higher many years ago, I'm just going by the last several years). At my first appointment with my surgeon, I was 244lbs. Today I am 161lbs. BOOM!! I have done a lot of yo-yo-ing with weight in my life, but even at my very skinniest (if you can call it that), I was still almost 20lbs heavier than what I am right now. I started on this journey wearing 2X tops and size 22/24 jeans. I now wear mediums and size 10! I still have a badonkadonk and big boobs...which is quite alright with me. My goal was never to be actually skinny, it was to be NOT obese. I wanted to feel healthy, comfortable in my skin, confident, and beautiful. Thanks to this surgery and lifestyle change, I DO now. My life is so good now. My energy level is awesome. I wake up refreshed and motivated. I have a very busy life with work and kids but I have all the energy I need to handle it now. I don't feel wiped out by late afternoon anymore. My happiness with myself now overflows to other areas of my life. I handle stress easier. I'm more patient with my kids. Now for the confessions: I know I've talked the whole "it's a tool" thing to death like everyone else, but I was still hanging on to bad habits while I was preaching it. My vice (well I have a lot of vices but for the sake of this conversation) is coffee. I love coffee. I drink multiple cups a day. That isn't a problem in itself; the problem is I love very SWEET coffee and very CREAMY coffee. About 2 months ago, I was in the middle of a huge stall. I was at 177lbs for six weeks. First I thought, "oh everyone has stalls, this is normal." Then I thought, "maybe this is the weight my body just wants to be at." The truth? I realized that I was drinking 400 CALORIES A DAY IN COFFEE CREAMER!! What?! Not sure how I missed that. Anyway, I switched to a sugar-free creamer, and started measuring how much I was using so I could keep an eye on it. I also spent a week or 2 doing VERY low-carb eating to jump start the weight loss again. It worked, and I have lost another 16lbs since then. My surgeon was very pleased with me (even gave me a high-five haha). He had told me all along that I was losing slower than he wanted, and had adjusted my 1-year goal to be between 170-180lbs. Well I knocked it out of the park and made it to my original goal of 160 (plus a pound or two, no big deal) with a lot of hard work. Another confession: I don't work out. I live an active lifestyle, such as chasing my toddlers, doing a lot of cleaning (mostly because of toddlers), taking the kids on walks, and jumping on the massive trampoline we got for Christmas. The idea of doing boring work with weights and traditional work-out stuff is unbearable to me. Although I was very proud of myself a few weeks ago: we have a large sports complex close by that my teenage son goes to for training, and I went out on a limb and signed myself up for an evening of indoor rock climbing while I was waiting for him. It's something that I never would have done being heavy, but I did it and I killed it :) So I do get exercise in, I just don't set aside days and times to "work out". Let's talk about skin! Do I have loose skin? Yes, in some places. A little bit under my arms, which actually doesn't bother me too much. A lot on my lower belly. I've had 2 c-sections in the last five years and a lot of weight fluctuation. My lower belly is a mess. Now that I've lost most of the weight, I have scheduled a consultation with a plastic surgeon for next month. I would like them to just remove this lower belly mass so that my clothes fit better and I can be even more confident. As it is, I dress myself to accentuate the good stuff and hide the bad :) Before I end this long post, I want to touch on vitamins. I stopped taking vitamins months ago (please do not do this without permission from your doctor). My goal was to be able to eat so healthily that I did not need additional vitamins. Well 2 weeks ago, I got tons of bloodwork checking my vitamin levels and almost everything was exactly where it should be. I was just the slightest bit low on Vitamin A and zinc, but only by a tiny bit. My doctor was pretty amazed at that as well and gave his support for me to stay off of vitamins. (Please advise - this would NOT be appropriate for bypass patients. Due to the malabsorption component of gastric bypass surgery, it is my understanding that bypass patients MUST be on vitamins for life). All in all, this surgery has saved my life!! It has changed my life drastically! I am SO HAPPY. I've got some fighting daughters right now so I better get off of here. I will try to continue to update every six months or so. But in the meantime, please feel free to email me with questions you might have about my journey or the surgery. sarah_conklin@comcast.net

Thank you all for following along with me. My surgeon will be emailing me the before and after photos they took and I will post them for you to see when I get them :) Happy losing all, xoxo

Added a few pics

Quick update

Hey everyone, I know it hasn't been long since I last updated but wanted to drop by. Holding steady at 160lbs right now, and today I fit into a size 8 jeans! (I'll post a pic since clearly i have no shame with fitting room selfies). Yes!! Also today I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon. I'm considering a tummy tuck and breast lift. If I do it, I'll have a body that I've never had in my life. I went straight from little kid to plus sized. If I could have the surgery tomorrow, I would. But I need to find a way to come up with the $15,000 and that will take time! Also I need to requit smoking again (boo me) and stay quit for four months. So this wouldn't be happening until probably this fall. But I'm excited and I'm really happy where things are, and where they're heading :)
Dr. Joseph McPhee

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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 Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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