Getting the Weight off Once and for All... - Tijuana, MX

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I've been reading about everyone else's experience...

I've been reading about everyone else's experience on Real Self and it has helped me decide to have my surgery at the obesity control center in Tijuana MX. I can say that I was curious about going out of country from the start because I am privately paying for the procedure and the local hospital wants almost 3X as much money. My husband finally got on board with the idea and now I am doing all my pre-op work to get ready! My surgery is scheduled for August 21st 2015! (eek!)

I have the same story you've heard a thousand times. Overweight since I was a kid -- got it under control a couple times in my late teens and again in my middle twenties. Only to completely lose a grip and end up at an all time high in my late 30's. My husband and I really want to start a family, we've been married for 10 years this fall. We weren't even trying for a long time because I always thought I'd get my weight down and unfortunately time is not on my side anymore. My last straw was the miscarriage I had almost a year ago. After which I was so incredibly depressed I put on another 30lbs. This spring I decided that it was either figure out a way to get it together or start the process of adopting a child. I decided to give myself another shot at getting this weight off.

I always thought losing weight via WLS was a short cut for people with no will power. I've since learned that it takes just as much work! The benefit is I won't be able to bail on the process because my anatomy will have changed. I can lose 30-40lbs on my own now but then when life happens (vacation, sickness, busy at work) I fall off ... gain some back plus more and repeat! So this is my story and hopefully some of you will be here for support as I will be for you!

I haven't decided yet whether I want to have pics with my face or without but either way I'll upload before pics at some point.

HW 331
CW 305 (25 to go before my surgery so I am in hard core lose mode)

Pre-Op Diet

Soooooo yeah this pre-op diet is no joke. It's not the full liquid diet yet but at this time it is 2 shakes, all the veggies I can eat and a few ounces of lean protein for dinner. Sugar free popsicles, water, air ... It's wild over here! The nut is talking about switching me to all liquids early to make sure I make it to the goal before surgery. Not sure how I feel about it bc I'll be on the liquid diet after surgery too. Seems like an awful long time to be drinking my meals. But I've read others who went to the Obesity Control Center and had to pay extra for not getting their weight down so I definitely do NOT want to go that route. I have been absolutely faithful but my goal is aggressive and my surgery is coming faster than I thought. I was optimistic when I scheduled so I will continue to kick butt and make this goal. I feel like it's a little challenge to myself to do what I can to make this work. I'm afraid if I let myself off the hook it'll stretch out forever.

I have been walking like it's my job getting at least 4 miles a day. This is huge for me. I was the queen of sedentary lifestyle! Trying to stay positive and not worry because it won't help.

HW 331
CW 298
GW(pre-surgery) 280

Rough week...

I don't especially feel like I want to fall off course but I do feel tired this week. I think it's the lack of carbs and all of the exercise. I am making good progress though, so there's that. As August 1st looms I am starting to feel nervous about my surgery! I haven't told anyone but my husband and my business partner but I don't see myself lying if people ask about the weight loss. I know some of the people in my life are going to be crazy judgmental and negative and I don't need that right now. I can see the look on my dad, sisters, brother, all the in- laws, and my friend's faces and hear the judgy-ness in their voice ... I just can't imagine many being on board and I am struggling staying positive with this drastic diet as it is. (I haven't gotten hungry +anger = hangry-- so that's a plus) I do have a few people who would cheer me on if I told them but both mine and my husband's families are tight knit so I can't imagine them keeping their mouth shut and not blabbing to the ones who aren't going to be supportive. They'd only tell because they would be excited for me and not think about how some of the others would not be. I know my family, even when you say "don't tell anyone" they can't help themselves. I don't need people telling me I'm being insane for getting it done AND going to Mexico for the surgery. As I read other people's point of view I do realize I will need the support, so I am trying to decide whether I will wait to tell them after the surgery or tell some of them now. I especially think my mom would be hurt to know I went all the way to Mexico AND had surgery without telling her so that's where this whole rant is coming from.

In other news, I lost another few pounds this week so I think I'll make my goal. I just keep plugging away. The place I'm having it done gave me a tall order; almost 40 pounds before the surgery-- I had already lost 11 from when I started the first program at the hospital which I thought would count towards the new place but no such luck. So a total of 51 pounds seemed absolutely nuts to me. I've never made it past 38 pounds in all of my weight loss attempts throughout the years. The local hospital that I originally signed up for only wanted me to lose 20 which seemed so much more reasonable, but they also wanted another $20,000 to do the surgery. I was considering spending the extra money because 51 pounds seems insane and if I was able to lose that kind of weight what the heck would I need surgery for? But my husband thought that was a silly reason (easy for him to say) to spend $24,000 which we'd have to scrape together because I'm private pay. After all my intimidation, regarding getting all of that weight off before hand, I realized 1. even when I do lose the 51 I'll still need surgery to help me stay on track to get the other 100+ pounds off and 2. I want the chance to tackle this so badly that I will put in the work to get to my goal AND I believe in myself that I can do it, because I'm worth it. Remind me I said that if I start to waiver lol. After losing 36 of the 51, I'm feeling a little more confident! I have 15 more pounds to go!

HW 331
CW 295
GW (pre-surgery) 280

Before pics

I decided who cares if I show my face -- I don't have any plans of doing the naked shots so why not?

My surgery is THIS WEEK!!!

Ok so I was freaking out a little because even though I am on this strict liquid diet my weight hasn't changed much. I have never put this much effort in to anything and not had (at the very least) decent results. I was really bummed. I thought maybe I'd have to reschedule as I am still 10lbs away from my goal. I emailed the surgery center and they said that since I've been keeping in regular communication about my struggles and been asking for advice etc. they will let me have the surgery anyways. They wanted my BMI to be 51 or less but it'll be at 52 if I don't make it to my goal. She basically said close enough! I think a big reason they aren't too concerned is because I've lost over 40lbs so they know I'm not playing around. The other thing that was effecting me is the time of the month. I always get bloaty the week before. My emotions from not eating food, discouragement from not seeing the scale move, and mood swings from mother nature and I'm just as surprised as anyone that I am still giving my best effort. I won't lie I did think "what would be the harm in pushing back till the end of September?" "What's my rush?... I wouldn't have to be so extreme if I push it out a little.." And I answered my crazy self by saying I AM IN A RUSH!! I need this change and I can't let myself bail now. I'm done giving up, pushing off, procrastinating my way through life with excuse after excuse. This is my time. I got this!

The nerves that I feel are mostly stemming from the idea of the permanence of it all. Many on here talk about how you can eventually eat regular again but just not in crazy quantities anymore. I guess that's ok but I've been drinking shakes for weeks and I still have two more weeks after surgery before I can taste food again. LOL I think whatever mush I get on the soft phase will taste like heaven compared to constant protein powder.

Friday 8/21 is my surgery date. I land in Mexico on Thursday 8/20 to get situated. I was freaked out all week because I couldn't find my passport. (I haven't flown anywhere in a long time) I finally found it in the junk drawer this morning. Not sure how it got there but grateful I won't be stressing over that anymore. I put mine and my husband's together in one place so that we aren't scrambling around looking for anything. We return Tuesday the following week. I am not sure how long I can take off work because I own a business that's pretty dependent on me. I hope I have the best case scenario in recovery and I bounce back pretty quickly. I'm expecting to be tired so I won't push myself but I do need to get back to the office as soon as possible.

I'll try and be sure to check in within a few days after my surgery. Thanks for all of your support! Say a little prayer for me!

I'm sleeved!

So it's really hard to sum up this experience but I'm gonna give it my best shot. The trip to Tijuana was easy although I have to admit I was dreading it. I haven't flown anywhere since my honeymoon 10 years ago. I knew flying at this weight would not be fun. We flew southwest because they'll let you buy a second seat and refund you the money, that way you aren't smooshing some poor stranger for the entire flight. They gave us pre-boarding priveleges to get my husband, mine and my extra seat before the bulk of the passengers got on. It was fine. I was a little bummed bc my pre board pass said I was disabled and I found that embarrassing and I needed a seat belt extender which I also found embarrassing. I only address this bc it was the one thing I didn't really read about when reading reviews of other big folks taking planes to have surgery so I thought I'd tell that part of my journey as well.

Day 1-8/20--in Tijuana started with OCC (obesity control center) sending a shuttle to the San Diego airport and the van had a sign in the window with my name on it. It was surreal but the driver was friendly, professional and spoke decent English. He drove us through customs which was a lot like how I'd imagine being sent to the principal's office feels like followed by another security check across the building where they actually went through our bags again. From there it was on to the Marriott. The facility is beautiful, clean and the staff is friendly! Our room felt like we were still in America similar standards as we have in the states. They give me 3 bowls of broth, two Popsicles and two bottles of water everyday as a part of my OCC package. I'm nervous but somehow I find sleep.

Day 2-- 8/21--SURGERY DAY!!! to my surprise there are 5 other ladies having surgery today too! The shuttle leaves the hotel at 6:15am to take us and our companions to the surgery center. My nerves are fried. I'm excited and worried about a million things. Those of you who have followed my journey so far know I didn't make it to my pre-surgery weight loss goal so I'm concerned about what the scale will say. When I left my house yesterday I was 291. (11 pounds from goal.) The ride to the center was not glamorous Tijuana isn't the most well kept city but when we arrived inside the surgery center the lobby was welcoming, clean and very nice. We all filled out paperwork. I was also nervous bc I wanted to be the first or one of the first of the day I didn't know if my nerves could take being the last one to go. People who had surgery yesterday were released into the lobby and were upbeat and chipper as we sat waiting to be called back. They told us briefly about their experiences before their shuttle back to the hotel. One other lady gets called back and then it's me! I'm the second of the day. Lucia sat me down for my dietary appt pre-surgery and my husband finds out my weight which has been a secret for so long. ( I mention this because I didn't realize this would happen and although it was good for us I might have wanted to know that they'd planned on sharing everything in that meeting) I weighed in at 286lb so somewhere on my flight across America I lost 5lbs. My goal was missed by 6. The nutritionist was happy and I felt relief. After a couple other tests and conversations I was sent back to my room. The room was nice but didn't have a bathroom like a typical American hospital room which was ok. The nurse assigned to me was Edgar he was super nice and Michell who barely spoke to me. Dr. Ortiz is Ah-mazing! He came into the room all smiles and stories --a little goofy to break the ice. Then he wowed us with his knowledge of the obesity epidemic. I met with a local surgeon in Ohio and there was no comparison Dr. Ariel Ortiz is the reason I felt like everything would be more than fine. Finally it's my turn and I'll tell you this is the only part of the surgery center experience that did not meet expectations. I was wheeled to the operating room in a wheel chair. Then I had to get up on the operating table ... It seemed weird bc I've had my appendix removed and a scope in the US and this part is so different. The anesthesiologist didn't introduce himself he was talking to another nurse in Spanish while taping monitors to me. I was so nervous and I saw him shooting the meds into my IV without counting me out or any reassuring words my eye lids are heavy and I'm out. I wake up in so much pain I don't think my pain meds were right. I remember saying over and over again in and out of sleep my stomach hurts...
Dr. Ortiz checks back saying my liver was shrunken nicely and everything went perfect. I feel proud that I did my part losing 34 of the 40 they wanted for me a total of 45 from when I started at Akron General in April. The evening of surgery was hard my stomach was tender and the gas pain was not good. My husband had to leave with the shuttle at 4p back the hotel no overnight guests in the surgery center. My nurse Edgar vanished and Hector took his place. He was nice and mellow. In the states often times when shifts change people say goodbye and the next shift introduces themselves. Not so much here.. While most are super friendly compared to their American counterparts some of their customs are slightly different not a huge deal. I was uncomfortable and I could hear some of the other ladies socializing as they walked their gas pains away in the hall. I stayed to myself except when I had to walk to the bathroom at the end of the hall. I'd say hello and exchange pleasantries then head back to my room. I got through it it wasn't pretty, I didn't have it the worst but I didn't bounce back as fast as a couple of the girls but the pain meds made sleep tolerable.

Day 3 -8/22 --back to the Marriott the hotel shuttle brings our companions to come get us we are all discharged back to our hotel. Everyone is quiet, tired, tender and some are gassy. (My gas-x is on my couch at home somehow forgotten) Getting in my liquids seems impossible I take a few sips of broth and a couple sips of water and sleep most of the day. Not much progress on the gas pain but it isn't as horrible as surgery day so I'll take it.

Day 4 - 8/23--- 2 days since surgery and I'm feeling a little better. We go for a nice walk. I'm trying a little harder with my water and broth and not making a ton of progress. I'm making a better effort because I don't want to get dehydrated. Still tired but not outrageously so the gas pain isn't unbearable and seems to come and go now. Looking forward to steady improvement. Tomorrow I have my dye test to make certain nothing's leaking and Tuesday we head home.

Thanks for the well wishes I plan to add pics! I'm excited I made it to the sleeved side!

Tijuana pics!

Feeling better

Things are a tad weird for me right now. My pains are gone but the stupid head hunger has started. I can't eat/drink a third of a cup of broth right now so it's not like I'm even considering doing anything about it but it feels so real. I was hoping to not feel hunger at all so I am worried I'm the weirdo whose body isn't cooperating. Got pretty sick a couple times bc of not tolerating some of the authorized foods. Thank God I haven't vomited so far it's "just" stomach distress and feeling overall crummy but definitely learning what I can and can't do. Anybody know where to get recipes for creamy soups/drinks that are healthy? I can't just have broth and water but most other things aren't sitting well -- any advice helps! I do want to add a positive that I am feeling pretty good I've got some kinks to work out with my diet but overall things aren't too bad.


Because I was having such a hard time with getting my liquids in since the surgery, yesterday I started getting dehydrated. I think that was what the bathroom issues were about plus I was a mess with confusion, I couldn't pee and a low grade fever etc. I remembered a girl saying she didn't recognize the signs and ended up hospitalized and recommended electrolytes to keep hydrated. So my husband got me electrolytes and I made myself drink last night and all day today. My stomach has somewhat settled and even though some of the drinks took awhile I was able to drink two protein shakes today, water and electrolytes. I am already feeling better. I'm on day 6 and I remember reading other reviews where around this time people have a hard time adjusting and start to regret. It helps me know that this is normal and will pass. That's part of what I love about this site.

Tomorrow I am officially 1 week post-op. I am going to weigh in for the first time. I've decided to try and weigh once a week because in the past I've tended to become obsessed with the scale. I have a long journey ahead of me and I really don't want to be obsessed all like that. I'll let you know how it goes!

First Post op Weigh-in

So I weighed in today...
HW 331
Pre Surgery 286
CW 277
9 pounds in one week... I know it's high because I haven't really been eating but today I had a whole cup of soup .. might've taken me a looong time to eat it but I got it all down! I don't really expect the huge numbers to continue but I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

One strange thing.. I've lost 54pounds so far and my clothes are loose but still fit. I must have been like a stuffed sausage in my clothes before. It's weird because I didn't think my clothes were tight at the time(most of them anyways). I can't believe with that much weight off me I am still wearing the same size! On the plus side I am fitting in to clothes that have been hanging in my closet for years so I have a lot more choices! This is gonna be fun! : )

Strange happenings!

So I am a real estate broker and yesterday I was showing homes to a client and one of the homes on our tour cancelled last minute. That cancellation left a gap of time where we had to find something to do. They wanted ice cream or something to eat in general and I said I would follow them to where ever they wanted but I wasn't going to eat. (I didn't want to lose track of them because we had more homes to see after the break) The husband went to Mr. Hero and got a burger and waffle fries and the wife walked across the plaza and got Chinese. .... I drank water. The food smelled incredible and I felt like I was in some kind of special torture... that's the sleeved life! At least at my stage it is.

One of my employees asked me how much I've lost and I told her 60lbs. She was like do you have a goal or is this a lifestyle? I said lifestyle. Then she said " That's great! I know people who are so drastic and have had a surgery to lose their weight and I want to tell them YOU can die-- it's ridiculous just go on a diet!!!" I was stunned. She was one of the people at my office I thought I could share with but I am glad I didn't, especially not pre-surgery because I didn't need any of that negativity before hand. She's definitely ignorant about the process and she's also skinny so she doesn't understand but I froze in that moment and didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything which made me feel like I was a liar. Oh well I don't care -- at this point I've got to preserve my sanity and all this water and shakes has me feeling more vulnerable than I would if I was fully nourished. This was the first time I've been confronted with whether or not to disclose my situation. I should probably figure out what I will say in the future.

Things are looking better

Soooo, part of my sleeve journey has somehow gone awry already! I haven't been able to get in all of my protein, or drinks etc. I have been practicing daily but am scared all of my hair will fall out if I don't start making more progress. So far no hair loss but I do feel a certain kind of pressure in the back of my mind saying time is of the essence.

I visited my sister this weekend out of state on my first few days of the pureed stage. I did well with grits but not so good with oatmeal. I couldn't eat a whole soft "fried" egg which surprised me. Remember, I'm not telling people yet and my poor sister seemed offended that I wasn't eating more of her food even though I explained my diet is really restricted right now. I experienced a lot this weekend: food pushers, food guilt, and peer pressure. The time I tried to eat a little more I was so incredibly uncomfortable I thought I might puke. I had to walk it off. I am learning to listen to my body and block out all of the other noise.

I was really excited to be back on food but it is definitely like learning my body all over again. To my surprise I can't deal with sweets at all -- not that I'm trying anything crazy but I tried a piece of gum to blow bubbles with my niece and ended up with an immediate nausea and had to spit it out. I also tried a Lay's potato chip which I chewed to a pulp and it surprisingly went down with no issue. I'm not sure I want anything "junky" to go down easily but that was one of the pressure food moments. Everyone was eating the appetizers-- chips and dip or veggies and dips. I definitely couldn't eat carrots or celery on the veggie tray-- the other bowl was chips so I ate one of those because I knew I could chew it to puree consistency and that's how I found out I could tolerate it. I definitely had to walk away from the table so I didn't go down that road. Trying to stay on the straight and narrow over here!

I almost forgot I was sleeved when we were sitting around the fire at night and the bottle of jack was being passed around suddenly (this has NEVER happened in my family life-- passing a bottle for everyone to take a swig? WEIRD) I passed it to my husband and people were trying to pressure me to drink. I then remember I couldn't drink and told them all to stop pressuring me!!! They quickly lost interest.

Besides my food issues I had a good time. It definitely makes we realize I need to have a response because it really is noticeable when you aren't or barely eating. People do pay attention for some weird reason. People want you to do what they think you should do so I guess if I don't tell my situation I need to have an alternative plan because being put on the spot sucked big time.

I am down 15 pounds and I need to get more calories so I don't stall out. I know I am eating/drinking too few. I'm learning over here! I feel like I want to eat/drink but my actually intake is so restricted. I'll check back in to report any new experience or progress! Talk to you all soon! : )

Dumping Syndrome!

I got the bright idea to try a waffle fry from Chick fil-a ... I'm not 100% sure what I was thinking but I ate a few and then threw it all up. Not fun; lesson learned. Moral to the story: don't eat junk. The end. : (
* a little self reflection revealed that I wanted to eat something normal and I thought because I could tolerate a potato chip last weekend that I could have a couple fries and nobody would get hurt. I'm struggling a little... tired of protein shakes etc. I just have to get some recipes and focus. *

Wedding fun!

My cousin got married today but I had learned my lesson from my previous mishap. I stuck to protein and veggies and skipped the cake. I didn't miss it at all. One of my sisters (not the one from last weekend) mentioned I wasn't eating much but nobody else seemed to care. I'm getting the hang of this but I need more calories and more protein bc I have hit the dreaded week 3 stall. :-/ The positive is I am starting to have a jaw line! I've attached a photo of me at the wedding.

I've got comparative-itis!

I can't seem to stop looking at other's weight loss before and after pics on Facebook. Most give the time it took to lose however many pounds. I know stalls will happen and everybody is different but I feel like I'm behind in losing. I can't seem to eat enough protein and drink enough and I think that's really holding me back. Plus I'm starting to get nervous that I'm the one person this won't work for and I've gone through all this for nothing. Sorry for the pity party--I don't have a whole lot of support. That's one of the negatives about going to Mexico; no support networks like if I'd had it at a local hospital. I'll still email them tomorrow to see if they have any advice.

Feeling Encouraged

Ok, just so you all know, I seemed to have snapped out of my funk. Thanks for all your love and support! Yes, I have noticed I don't have a big fat puffy face anymore and people have started commenting on how "thin" I look. I laugh a little because I still weigh 270lbs! I so desperately want into the 260's-- which is my short term goal right now. And ultimately I will be so happy when my weight doesn't start with a 2! At least for now I can be thankful it's not starting with a 3 anymore!

I have been reading around the site some other's reviews as suggested (shout out to Crafty)and I do notice people who have lost a significant amount of weight struggling around 3-6 weeks post op. It comforts me some to know this will pass, progress will start again, and I'll start to feel more normal again.

Yesterday, I ate and drank more than I have since I started this journey. I ate cottage cheese and a few grapes, egg whites and a couple GRILLED chicken fingers. I skipped the puréed phase bc it completely grossed me out to think about blending up meat. I moved myself to soft foods (still yogurt, beans etc-- nothing crazy or crunchy) and I just chew it to a pulp. I did make a list of foods with lots of protein to help get it all in but to my dismay I cannot tolerate tuna salad yet. I thought that was gonna be a good one!

Anyways, I think I found a local WLS support group that I'm going to check out. I'll still be here posting and checking in with you all too. I am praying it's a good fit. For whatever reason any kind of local group I've ever tried to join (weight watchers, medically supervised liquid diet group, over eaters anonymous etc) has an average age of 60 and I've always been the youngest person in the room. Praying for couple young -ish people to be friends with while going through all this! I love any kind of support from people of all ages but it's nice to have a few in your own age group. I'll let you know how it goes.

PS. People reading this who are considering the surgery ... Even with my recent struggles I don't regret it and would do it all over again.

TMI? Advice needed!

Ok if you are not a fan of over sharing please walk away now......

I am Constipated with a capital C. I take my probiotics, yogurt and miralax and nothing. I'm going to try adding more veggies but does anyone have any ideas? This is really getting old!

In other news that local support group is cancelled indefinitely so y'all are stuck with me and my craziness!

Goodbye my friend food.

So my hard head finally understands this isn't a cure all. I really thought I did understand it. Maybe you've heard it a million times... it's a tool. Let that sink in. I won't lie, I thought this part would be easier! I didn't realize that head hunger would feel so real. I did amazing pre-op, I lost 45lbs on my own. But now my head is struggling and rebelling a little... I think it's because I am truly losing one of my longest, oldest, and very best friends. True that friend was trying to kill me but it still gave me comfort all throughout my life from simple boredom to the worst day ever, it was always there for me.

I miss my friend and I know (from reading other reviews) some time soon, I won't miss it anymore and that honestly scares me a little. Will it stay gone like an imaginary friend from childhood that suddenly vanishes -- never to return again? Will it be like a fatal attraction that pops back up stalking me every time I'm stressed or sad? It's a fear that I'm working on; the scariness of gaining it all back once I finally release it. I could hope for the best case scenario where I set my friend free and as I get healthy it returns to me. in small quantities. in moderation. once in a great while. The nut (nutritionist for those who haven't started the process yet) said it's healthy to have fears so I hold onto that.

I cannot believe the turn of events. I had it together pre-op-- I had done some counseling for a few years before even going in to this and was so dedicated to making good food choices. I thought I'd burst out of the gates unstoppable. Lol wellllllll, it hasn't quite gone that way. I might try and be crazy and take a small bite of something I shouldn't be eating but my stomach is the size of banana still swollen inside so not much can get through. I couldn't mess this up if I wanted to but it still doesn't make it easy. If it wasn't for all of you I'd probably be covered in protein shakes sitting in a corner somewhere.

Anyways, this is a really weird post I know. But I think it's important for all the sleeve hopefuls to know your food issues won't vanish. Whether it comes to beg in the beginning when the fear of change smacks you in the face or a month later when it's time to start eating regular food again or when suddenly you can eat a little more because you are completely healed, or even after you hit goal and start to relax again.... at some point we all have to deal with saying goodbye to the one who got us into this mess to begin with. Hopefully dealing with this head on in the beginning will make it easier to move forward.

Things are looking up!

Just wanted to check in and say my stall is still here. I am eating more food so my numbers aren't so out of wack. Don't worry it's all cottage cheese and turkey etc. I am just trying to up my water intake. I haven't been able to drink as much but I am trying! I started tracking my food this week to make sure I am getting all of my protein in. That has helped tremendously.

I started with a personal trainer this week and I walked more than I had been doing. I feel better and have plans of stepping it up another notch in the week to come. I am going to get out of this plateau if it takes everything I've got. I am dedicated to figuring this out!

My goal is to lose another 40 pounds by Thanksgiving... that'll put me at 100 pounds down. I think I can, I think I can... wait... I KNOW I can. Then I want to be out of the 200's by the end of the year which is a while away yet but that's why I did this. I want drastic results so I'm about step it up big time ladies and gents!

I feel like a new person. I think my ode to food or goodbye to food post really helped me. It was therapeutic, almost like a journal entry. It's like saying it "out loud?" (in writing-- you know what I mean) really took the power out of it and I woke up feeling like: I got this! I have NEVER EVER lost 60lbs in my chubby lil' life so I am now celebrating it rather than feeling sad that my progress has stalled. My depression is lifting and I can see the light! It was almost like a postpartum. I definitely haven't been the one who walked out of the operating room to complete and total immediate success but that's ok! I'm me and this is my journey -- it won't be like anyone else's and I am ok with that. Really, I am!

Till next time everyone!

Let's do something fun!

Ok everyone! I am thinking we should do something fun! Answers should be NSV (non-scale victories)

If you have already had the sleeve -- what is your favorite new thing about your body or your life or something you can now do since your surgery that was hard or impossible before?

If you are yet to be sleeved or sleeve hopeful-- what are you looking forward to the most?

I will say so far.. I like how thin my face is AND how easy it is to reach my feet! lol Also, I like not being winded so easy, the sex is WAY better so far, and going to a restaurant without being worried about being sat at a booth. (I have to admit that is a new one but the last two places I've gone I have fit comfortably--Yay!)

What's yours?

New level and Weigh- In

Drum roll please.... Tomorrow I will be sleeved for 40 days! I received an email from the surgery center letting me know it's time to eat solid food! I've been eating cottage cheese and yogurt so long that I completely forgot to count the days! I'm happy to be less restricted but have no idea where to start. I can eat so little still, I'm not sure what's worth trying.

Okay, one of my favorite things about this website is seeing how much people have lost. So since I am coming to my "next level" I figured it's appropriate to tell you all where I am weight wise. I have to remind you all that I have stalled but otherwise I am pretty proud so far of my progress. Today the surgery center told me what to do to break my stall and if it works I will post that info.

HW (start of pre-op diet) 331
Day of Surgery 286
CW 269
GW 135-160?

I wanted to be farther along but I lost 45 before surgery and 17 since. I'm okay with 62 pounds and once I lose 3 more I will be 20 down since surgery which is my next baby goal.

My effort to become more regular again is working so I am hoping that it will help the scale move.
Magnesium supplements (in addition to the supplements I am already taking) and fiber pills (I didn't want to add more carbs) have worked wonders for me!

I jumped the gun with the trainer, the surgery center says I shouldn't be lifting weight till 60 days. So I had to temporarily break up with my trainer today. : (

Still trying to get a grip on my emotional issues. I am really battling the blues but have seen that it happens to some of us. I feel a lot better than I did but not completely like myself. I am normally upbeat person before the surgery so I think it's just the adjusting to life without my go-to stress manager but I'll get past it. I am hoping to try some new activities that will distract me a bit! I definitely think I will feel SO much better when progress resumes.

Update to the update

Although I know it isn't all about the scale, most of us did this procedure to watch it move! And this morning, it finally did!!!

HW 331
Day of Surgery 286
CW 265
GW 135-160?

I am 21lbs down on my 40th day. I'll take it! I hadn't even gotten a chance to try what the surgery center told me to do to un-stall that scale moved by the grace of God! I have to step away from the scale for at least a week so that's enough of that. I just really needed it to move it was driving me insane!

Some pics and update!

I am currently working on not obsessing over the scale and continuing to not compare myself to others! Be forewarned those are a couple pitfalls to look out for.

I am down another couple pounds -- six overall since my two week stall. I'm at 68lbs down. I'm chasing that 32 pounds to get to 100 lost. I feel so focused. Food doesn't really feel like a challenge, I am closer to eating whatever I want but still gravitate to my safety foods.

I ran for the first time in YEARS this past week doing one of those interval running apps and was sore for days. It felt great!

My cousins were pointing out how "small" my face is getting I still weigh 263 at this point. They asked how much I've lost (68lbs) and how long it's taken me... 6 months. I never stopped to do the math and it is very cool. I'm hoping the sleeved side will work this even faster with my new stomach. I've attached a crazy fat photo of me from the side and a recent side pic and front pic. May not be that obvious yet but I can sure tell a difference!

All things new...

So for probably a good 10-12 years I was consistently in a size 24 I still have a bunch of clothes in that size that my belly and booty could no longer fit. For the past 5-6 years as my weight grew to epic proportions I went up to a size 28 and full disclosure some of those were tight and I probably could have worn a 32 at some point if I woulda found that size anywhere. As most of you know even most plus sized stores stop at 28 so I had a panic in my head that I was gonna be doomed to mail order or internet shopping......

Fast forward to almost 70lbs gone ... My pics from the last post showed me how huge my pants were. I could feel it but even in a full length mirror I couldn't see the extent of the crazy bagginess! So I went to Lane Bryant-- I hate trying on clothes but I had to bc I had no idea what my new size is. I got one new pair of jeans and one new pair of black pants in a size 24. That may not be news to some but size 24 is regular fat in my head. After being so fat forever it was a relief to get down into the most common plus size size...I almost cried in the fitting room!

Happy Friday everyone! And the journey continues....

Skin firming and scar cream..suggestions?

Any suggestions? I've been noticing my neck is getting a little weird while I've been deflating and yesterday in the dressing room one of my thighs looked like this isn't gonna go well if I don't find something, while I'm shrinking, to help my skin. And one of my scars is darker than the others too so that's might need something. I'm researching but wondered if anyone had used anything that worked well for them?

More Pics!

So my scale died last week (not permanently dead but batteries died) and I didn't buy new batteries because I had started to have an unhealthy self to scale relationship. Instead I have been working on my food, moving more, and paying attention to how I look and feel. Following that thought process I decided to make one of those weight loss collages. I don't know by how much my weight has changed in the full body collage because I didn't weigh in this week or last (and that photo is from last week) but it's at least 70 pounds gone. So crazy how subtle some of the changes feel but doing the collage really makes it side- by- side- oh- my- gosh- I- look- so- different, obvious!

2 month update

I am a little over 2 months out from surgery. October was good to me and I lost another 19lbs since the beginning of the month. In total I have lost 75lbs. 45 before surgery and 30 since. I am still on trend of half a pound a day or 1 pound every other day whichever way you want to look at it. That's a great loss for a couple of months. AND I've never in my life lost 75lbs. I keep looking ahead at my next goal. I want out of the 250's and I want to be able to say I've lost 80lbs. That's what I'm shooting for next! I am trying to make mini-goals and then my milestones. My next milestone is of course 100 down and then hopefully soon after onederland. I have 25lbs till that 100 pound milestone which I am hoping if November is great like October then maybe early December? and then from there 31 pounds to onederland.

I'm doing well. I haven't had as much head hunger and food isn't nagging me as much anymore. My head isn't going crazy as I am finding other ways of coping with stress so I don't feel so nutso without food. I've gone out to eat some and been able to pick out normal dinners and mostly my choices have more to do with what will reheat well rather than junky junk. So I have been getting things like rice bowls without rice and grilled chicken sandwich with no bun.

I have been trying to stay focused on my protein and that seems to help me stay on track. I have been walking more and I am enjoying the weather before it turns on us completely.

I do believe this is worth it 100%. And even though other people make it seem like you'll wake up in a month at a size 2 the reality is it doesn't go like that for everyone. For the people who are thinking about doing this: keep in mind that there are other benefits to this process besides the fast loss. The biggest part I LOVE is my inability to quit. I love that I could never get past 35-40lbs off before giving up pre-surgery and now I'm at 75 down because my anatomy is changed and I can't decide to give up, eat my weight in french fries, or fall off my program till New Year's. It feels nice to know that as I am adjusting to this new lifestyle I am setting the stage for success for the rest of my life.

HW: 331
SW: 286
CW: 256
GW: 150

This new pic is me today-- 75 down!

Quick Update 80pounds down!

I am officially 80 pounds down! Yipppeeeee! I haven't been on here much but trying to check in a couple times a month. If you message me I will get back to you! Thank you all for all the love and support -- I truly appreciate it. You want to know something funny? I'm on Myfitnesspal, this site, and a support group on Facebook and it was like magic as soon as I was 70 pounds down people started asking my advice. I would say a lot of this process is challenging so if anyone needs to ask questions-- bring it! Talk to you all soon!

HW 331
SW 286
CW 251

Next goal... out of the 250's and 90 pounds down.... until next time! : )

Update! 90lbs lost

Hi Everyone! I've been missing in action! The holidays and work have me swamped! I have been doing ok I am still not losing as fast as I want but it's really adding up. I am officially 4 months from surgery and while I thought I would/could lose an additional 70 pounds so far the actual number is 45lbs. When I add that to what I lost pre-surgery I am officially down 90lbs. I'll take it. I'm averaging about 10-12lb loss every month and I try and keep in mind that 1. maybe my skin won't be as saggy 2. 12 pounds x 10 months is pretty damn good. 3. I'm really ok with it. I am pretty proud of myself. 90 lbs is nothing to sneeze at. I'm happier, I feel healthier and even though at times I miss really being able to eat like a grown up I honestly can say this is 100% worth it. I just give the nitty gritty because I think when I researched I saw a lot of people losing 100lbs in 3 months and I thought about it a little unrealistically. Otherwise I am really happy with where I am. I am making a conscious choice to enjoy the holidays. I don't go completely haywire and definitely haven't gained anything (still losing) but having a small bite of whatever is being served at parties and social gatherings.

I have read many bariatric support groups say that moderation is a no-no for long term success but I'm not sure if I will ever get on board with that. I guess it'll depend on how it works for me long term. I won't mind though because I don't feel addicted to sugar or carbs or anything really and that's another testament to this process. Sometimes I forget to eat, all the time I can't eat much and besides going out with others who have full plates of food I really don't think about it anymore. I really do look at people's plates and think how in the heck are they eating all of that!? Basically, I waffle between being grossed out by the excessive amounts of food and missing being "normal" once in a while. Overall I don't miss my dear old friend and I'm glad. I'm better off because of it and I feel amazing.

One of the weird side effects of being down 90lbs is people commenting on my progress. I am still not comfortable with all of the compliments and people asking me for updates. (not you guys but friends/family/co-workers) I still haven't told anyone about the surgery and I am still ok with that. I feel like I've gone through enough for right now and sharing with everyone after all of this time seems like a hassle. Maybe one day.... for now I just tell them I'm eating mostly low carb and walking. I don't really elaborate past that. Judge if you must but it is for my own mental health at this point. I don't feel ready for any negatives and when I get to my goal I will be more likely to share.

Anyways, I hope you all have an amazing holiday season and I will try a little better to check in more often!

HW -- 331
SW -- 286
CW -- 241
GW -- 150

Checking in!

So it's been awhile since I've checked in but there's a very good reason for it. I am currently 8 mos. post op and 6 months pregnant with my first child. I'm due to have my baby girl in June! Obviously unintentional but we are excited. I've been married 10 years so it's long overdue even if she surprised us!

I lost 23lbs my first trimester and since then I've maintained.

My current stats:

HW 331
SW 286
CW 238

Almost 100lbs down but I'm ok restarting once the baby gets here. My surgery team was super supportive because even though the rules are to wait 18months life happens!

Hope you all are doing well losing weight and kicking butt. I'll try and check in more often!

New Life

Hi Everyone! It's been a long while since I've last updated and I'm not sure that I will again. Just had a few people reach out an ask how I am. 2016 was an incredible year for me. In the year and few months since my surgery I had a baby and lost over 115lbs. Yes, I got pregnant 2.5 months out! At first it was a struggle to eat but pregnancy hormones actually relaxed my stomach so that I could eat enough to stay nourished. My baby was born perfectly healthy in July and weighed a whopping 7lbs. She's perfect.

I haven't reached my goal yet and my whole process is going a little slower than everyone else's-- I imagine but I wouldn't trade her for the world. I am trying to get back on track and make it to goal. I still have 60lbs I'd like to lose. Overall, I am so happy with my new life and body. If you are considering the sleeve it is well worth it and not as restrictive as full on bypass. I feel like a completely different person and I don't regret it at all. I don't worry about all of the things that used to haunt me everyday. Will I fit in that chair?, will I fit in that booth?, if I sit here will everyone else still be able to get past me?, can I really squeeze by these people without knocking them over?... walking any distance was hard, climbing steps made me lose my breath, I couldn't tie my shoes without effort... I felt left out of a lot of things. I thought I was happy for the most part but I think I was mostly faking it because now I truly feel like a different person. Still me-- just shinier, happier, healthier, and not dreading anything.

I have to say that I haven't heard much from Dr. Ortiz's staff besides a monthly email prompting me to weigh in. I am healthy and had a perfect experience. I am not sure how I'd feel about the after care had I had any complications. I'm not upset with them only because mostly everything has gone right for me. Just a warning of sorts for people who are considering medical tourism. Their "state of the art follow up system" is not true -- or at least I haven't experienced it -- I am truly on my own. It doesn't matter now because I veered off track having the baby but if I was still chugging along doing everything traditionally I know I would feel differently. Nobody really understands what it's like so having the regular visits, bloodwork, and support groups would have been nice. It's a trade off for saving so much money.

My stats:

HW 331
SW 286
CW 210
GW 150

Good luck to everyone considering this! The hardest part once you've had it is the first month or so. After that it feels like a new lease on life. NO regrets. None. Without this surgery I wouldn't have my daughter and that's a fact.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Mexico Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Ariel Ortiz, Lucia the nutritionist, and the majority of the nursing, doctors and support staff live up to their reputation as a center for excellence. I didn't rate after care yet because I'm only a couple days out but I will update as time moves on.

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