Here's my FULL story
My Weight loss Journal
October 2006, when I decided to do the surgery, I did it rather quickly. I didn't do much research. I had a client that did it and she was having great success, so she was my resource I relied on... Not the brightest idea to do for such a serious surgery, but that is what I did.
I chose the Roux en Y because I knew that if there was a way to cheat I would, and I needed something that would keep me in line long enough until "hopefully" I had gained control over my eating. I had my surgery February 26, 2007.
The next day in the afternoon I was rushed into emergency surgery due to "someone" on the medical team clipped/snagged my lower intestines which allowed bile to escape for the past 24+ hours. During this corrective surgery I had stopped breathing and they had to put a breathing tube down my throat. After surgery I was sedated for 2 or 3 days for the strong antibiotics could take control of the infection that the bile had already caused.
I didn’t realize that bile could do so much to the body in such a short time. I’m not sure if it’s because of the bile or the surgery or combination, but since the surgery(s) for the next couple of years:
- My energy level was nonexistent, I barely had the energy to walk around my great room 3 times and then had to take a couple hour nap after my walk
- I couldn’t carry on more than a five minute conversation because it wore me out
- Very weak and lost a substantial amount of lean body mass due to malnutrition (we’ll discuss later)
- I stumbled backwards A LOT when I got tired, so I always had someone walk beside me when we were in public (mall or grocery shopping)
- I forgot (and still do) simple words
- My eye sight I don’t think is as sharp then before…
Around the four months mark after surgery, I had a melt down because I couldn’t have a cheeseburger (my doctor didn’t want his patients eating beef for the first year). At the time it was very difficult and painful that I couldn’t enjoy a cheeseburger like the rest of my family could and did. I cried like a baby, because I was mourning food. I didn’t realize until that moment that food had such a grip (addiction) on me until then. Then I vowed to myself that “I WOULD NEVER PAY SOMEONE TO MAKE ME FAT AGAIN!” I did try a couple of times to eat a cheeseburger (veggie/turkey and even bison) from fast food/restaurants, but I would throw up after a bite or two, so I gave up, and now I only eat ones that I can control the fat content and how it’s made…. I love mine, they don’t make me fat. Lol!
During this same time, I did question my decision as to if I had made the right decision for the surgery… After feeling sorry for myself for a few hours, I picked myself up and told myself, I made this decision and now it’s too late to go back, so suck it up and move on…and so I did. Now that I look back, I didn’t realize how much I really did need the surgery and ALSO a change in my thinking process. It took me a few years to realize that I eat food to live, and NOT live to eat food. I also learned during this time, that I didn’t have to gorge myself, because there was another meal in a few hours. I know that sounds silly now, but at the time, food was SERIOUS business to me, now not so much, or not in a negative sense… It is very important for nutrition purposes but not to have to rely on it to enjoy myself or my company. :D
So by October 2007, I had lost exactly 100 lbs and now weighed 144 lbs, at the end of Oct. I had shoulder surgery (I don’t know if this had to do with anything from this point on, but it was part of my journey).
In December 2007, I weighed 116 lbs, January 2008 I was 109 lbs, I called the nutritionist concerned that I was at the minimum weight that I should be at according to their stats (110 -130) and she asked me what I was eating and I told her (I followed their food plan to a “T” didn’t sway one way or the other), she told me that I wasn’t eating enough ( was only eating 600-900 calories daily) and that I needed to add 200 -400 calories more and so I did and by my March 5th, 2008 (my year appointment) I was down to 104 lbs. At this point I couldn’t hardly get out of bed by myself (I didn’t have the strength), and my vision at times were like a kaleidoscope and my heart had palpitations.
While I was there the nutritionist told me that if I didn’t gain weight the following month that they were going to put a feeding tube in me…. Can you say SCARED? She told me that she usually does not tell her patients to do this, but in my circumstances, I MUST… and that was to eat a handful of nuts as often as I could until I gained enough weight. It took me around a year and a half to gain 21 lbs. (to 125 lbs.) and since then that is where my weight has been.
Fast forward to today, I have managed to maintain my weight by journaling, weighing myself daily (doctor not recommended), giving myself a two pound +/- and that is IT. I have read A LOT of bariatric books, cook books, websites and watched and DO watch MANY food cook shows and learn how to prepare food (savory and desserts) in a little to no fat and NO WHITE SUGAR – PERIOD, whole wheat breads (but at a minimum), whole wheat pasta (prefer the tofu noodles in the tofu section of the store, they’re only 20 calories per serving). I’m on a 1,200 calorie intake. (Everyone will NOT be the same amount and your activity level influences’ your calorie intake). I don’t really exercise because I lose weight too easy; however I should strength train to keep strong muscles and bones.
In reality, if I would exercise then I would need to increase my calorie intake, and I’m not mentally ready to do that… All I see is more food, more weight… I know, I know, that isn’t how it would be, but that is how my mind sees it.
How I keep my weight in check
*NEVER GIVE MYSELF EXCUSE TO GAIN more than my 2 lbs.
*I take vitamins daily
*Don’t drink 30 minutes before or after
*Journal what I eat because this tells me where I’ve gone out of control
*I weigh myself daily
*I measure myself monthly
*NEVER EVER ALLOW MYSELF TO GAIN MORE THAN 2 POUNDS… NO EXCUSES!
*I compare my body measurements every 6 months to make sure I’m on track
*I HOLD MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE for what I put in my mouth
*I always carry something to drink with me, usually tea (cold/hot) sweetened by splenda
*I always have nuts in my car in case I start to get hungry
*Eat only two snacks a day only if needed (not wanted) (I’m big on protein, so mine is usually 1/2oz. of nuts and small apple) I analyze if I’m really hungry or just want something, if it’s a want, then I try and distract my attention to something else to get my mind off of food
*When I’m needing something to eat, I evaluate its nutritional value, if I feel that it will not hold me over till the next meal, then I tend not to eat that, I go for the more protein/fiber option. I notice that when I don’t choose the appropriate choice, my eating/calories goes up for that day
*Protein is a big portion of my diet, so I’ll eat approx 3 – 5oz of protein (usually chicken, fish, turkey), then I’ll have a serving of veggies. I’m not a huge fruit eater
*I eat out rarely
*Just because something says it’s organic doesn’t mean they don’t load it with lots of sugar and fats
*Vegetarian/vegan doesn’t mean that it is healthy just because it doesn’t have saturated fats, usually high in sugars, heavily breaded and deep fried
*Sugar free, just means no white sugar but usually plenty of sugar alcohols that can make my sugar spike and gain weight
*Low/fat free doesn’t mean that it’s healthy, it can have a lot of substitutions that are unhealthy
*LEARN WHAT A PORPORTION PER SERVING. READ YOUR FOOD LABELS.
*Better foods that come pre packaged will have very few ingredients. Sugar WILL NOT be in the top of the ingredient list
*Eat till you’re comfortable, not FULL… It takes your brain 20 minutes to process that it is full
*Choose whole foods instead of processed foods (Pre packaged foods are not the best choice even if they are low calorie meals – too much sodium and preservatives)
*I do not eat any white sugar or your basic all purpose white flour products. (I use splenda and unbleached whole wheat white flour) and VERY LITTLE
*I only have whole wheat pasta, maybe 1 time a week with lots of proteins and veggies and usually less than a serving of. (I use just enough pasta to have the flavor but not the calories)
*I may have 2 servings of whole wheat breads in a week - if that
*When I bake, I bake with splenda, whole wheat white flour and/or whole wheat pastry flour, I usually add freshly ground flax seed for fiber, and more nutritional value and cut the flour by that amount of freshly ground flax seed used, I use half the fat or take it totally out depending on the recipe and use applesauce
*I don’t eat fried or fatty foods
*I don’t eat hamburgers from any fast food restaurant (rather they be turkey, bison or beef) because the added fat they add to the meat that makes me ill - literally
*I don’t eat red meat often because it’s hard to digest and causes inflammation in the body, and I don’t eat pork either because of the digestion issue
*If I get a grilled chicken sandwich at a restaurant, I always asked for it to be served open faced so I can hollow out the bread. These sandwiches are usually big, so I usually take half of the sandwich home
*I eat out maybe 3 times a month (not often because I can’t control how the food is prepared even eating healthy - according to the restaurant measures.) A restaurant healthy version of a meal usually around 500 calories, my version of the same meal is about 300 calories… Big difference if you eat out often
*I’ve learned that just because something is organic, natural or vegetarian, doesn’t mean that the food doesn’t have a lot of sugar or fats (calories)
*I’m on a 1200 +/- calorie diet, so that gives me approximately 300 calories for each meal and 300 calories for 2 snacks a day, or my meal can go over its 300 and take away from the snack calorie amount.
My typical meals would be:
2 Jimmy Dean turkey sausages
1 whole wheat pan cake/crepe
2 Jimmy Dean turkey sausages
2 Tbls. Sugar free syrup
Crustless (meatless) quiche
6” chicken sandwich from Subway – whole wheat bread that’s hollowed out w/ veggies, no dressing
Skinless cooked/grilled Small chicken breast w/ Marana sauce and cheese on top w/ 4 spears of asparagus
Skinless cooked/grilled small chicken breast w/ half of yam topped with splenda brown sugar
Could be the same type of meal as lunch
homemade pizza (not the wisest choice)
Chicken parmesan (using panko crumbs and egg for coating) w/ asparagus or yam topped w/splenda brown sugar
I don’t have snacks every day… Just usually when I don’t choose the proper foods or if I’m running late on eating my next meal.
*1 oz. nuts
*Apple, grapefruit, cantaloupe or some non sweet fruit (really sweet fruit, usually has high sugar content, which makes me ill)
*Natural Peanut Butter w/ celery
*The baked goods that I’ve made are in a healthier version that is also higher in protein and fiber.
USE SWEETS SPARINGLY… BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW HEALTHIER/LIGHTER THEY ARE… YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT.
(USE CAUTION AND CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS, IT IS EASY FOR THIS TO GET OUT OF HAND QUICK!!!)
This is what works for me… You’ll have to find the program that will work for you for a lifetime, not just short term.
I’m not saying I have totally conquered this quest, but have made it over some huge hurdles, and as long as I stay vigilant about my journey and beware of what I am putting in my body, I believe I can continue to being a success story.
Nearly 5 years out, I was FINALLY ready mentally, emotionally for cosmetic surgery. Before having surgery I wanted to make sure I was a success story and not a statistic as to one that gained most or all of my weight back. As of November 21, 2011, I had “Mommy Makeover” cosmetic surgery, plus a little liposuction on outer hips. I’m thrilled with the outcome and look forward to see what the future has in store.
As to the Nay Sayers out there, that say “well or oh you had weight loss surgery” REMEMBER this is only a tool and you CAN AND WILL regain your weight back if you don’t make lifestyle changes. It’s typically easy to lose most if not all your weight the first year if you have around 150 lbs. to lose. (depending on which surgery you have done and your beginning weight, for some it may take a year or two more). But if you start to challenge your “tool” (new stomach) and start to intake the foods and have big portions that got you where you were when you decided to have surgery… YOU WILL REGAIN A LOT IF NOT ALL YOUR WEIGHT BACK.
I chose to make lifestyle changes that no matter where I go. What I eat or how it’s prepared, most everyone around knows that I had weight loss surgery and knows I take my food lifestyle seriously. Family back home usually do not prepare meals the same way. I always have to do some grocery shopping for my meals or I ask to prepare my own meal when we go back home to visit. I’m okay with this and I don’t think I offend anyone by doing so. I try to avoid making people around me uncomfortable because they may not have “my” foods in their homes. I don’t want them to be uncomfortable about what they are going to prepare for me, and I don’t have to compromise my lifestyle. It’s a win-win for everyone.
In November 2011, I decided to have cosmetic surgery to put this “humpty dumpty” back together again. I had been thinking about it for the past three years, but wanted to make sure I kept the weight off before doing such drastic surgery. I had a breast lift / implants, tummy tuck, outer thighs liposuction. For now I’m comfortable with this surgery... Later, I may do the rest of body lift (back side), and maybe inner thighs, but I will wait on inner thighs till a technique comes along to where they do not need to cut all the way down my inner thigh down to my knees… I’m a vain person and I’m not ready for the long scar… I don’t mind 6” scar from the groin area down, but not down to the knees.
As of February 2012 it has been FIVE years and I’m feeling pretty FABULOUS.
In March 2012, I started a cooking class called “Dish Healthier” for a small group for those that are TRULY wanting to learn to eat healthier, rather one had weight loss surgery or not. There are no excuses’ allowed here as to why you don’t eat healthy except that you didn’t know how, and that is why they come to cooking class. I have found that the support groups that I attend do not focus on how to teach us to cook better for us. My thought is, how can one learn better but by hands on?
If this story inspires just one person then it was worth sitting down and putting it together. If you have any questions or want support, I’m just a call, email, text away.
My surgery cost $1,300 with insurance.