ONE YEAR PLUS POST OP. CW: 125lbs

I have a confession: I'm addicted to Real Self. A...

I have a confession: I'm addicted to Real Self. A few nights ago, I had my ipad on my lap, fork in one hand with Cinnabon at my side. And I thought to myself, my gosh, I'm reading blogs about weight loss and look at me devouring this Cinnabon! Then last night it was a full glass of ice-cream, ipad on lap, reading the BBL blogs and again feeling guilt.... So tonight I decided to start my blog instead of eating fattening foods while reading other person's stories!
I've struggled with weight all my life. I remember at 9 years old being in a dietitian's office with my mum speaking in hushed tones about her overweight daughter. I am from Trinidad and Tobago where there is a yearly carnival and on a few occasions I have canceled my participation because I could not stand to put my body on parade in those beautiful costumes because I was worried about what people would think.
I am tired of being the fattest woman at meetings. I am tired of making excuses not to go to the beach with friends when I returned home after living abroad for a long time, for just those reasons....To be able to go to the beach and enjoy the island life. I am tired of looking in the mirror and not seeing my real self... I am tired of struggling to look good for work. I am tired of having to reach for plus size clothing.
So, I'm getting sleeved on April 9. It's such a secretive thing here (in Trinidad). Is it that way in the US and other countries? People just don't talk about it here. So I was at a meeting a few months ago and I saw a friend of mine who I had not seen in a long time. I had not seen her in ages....years. And there she was looking glorious, beautiful, slim, glamorous!!! I was like, OMG you look amazing! What kind of diet did you do? And she told me that although she did not tell many people, she would tell me her secret. So she proceeded to tell me about the "sleeve". I had NEVER heard about it. In fact I was considering full body lipo. Thank God for that chance encounter. She told me her surgeon (luckily one of the best in Latin American and the Caribbean is based right here). I made an appointment to see him and after the first consultation I was SOLD. I just had a second consultation last week as I had some more questions. Will the staples rust? Will rough sex dislodge the staples (I got raised eyebrows at that question)!!!! Will I starve? Will i wake up during surgery (at which the doc looked scandalized)!!!! Lololol. He was very patient and in the end I was booked for April 9. Insurance here will not pay for such a procedure so it's out of pocket but I am so excited to invest in me.
About me: 37. No kids (but I love kids). Career focused and really want to look great in my suits and high heels. I have an image or idea of me that isn't reflected in the mirror. It kills me daily. My lowest weight was 136. To accomplish this I barely ate and was in the gym 2 hours a day in the week and 4 hours each Saturday and Sunday. My heaviest was 204. Then I went on HCG and lived on that for about 2 years. That kept me down to about 170. I came off of HCG about 4 months ago. The weight piled back on. I'm about 198 now. I still have clothes from my slim days in my closet that I can't wait to wear. Oh I'm 5'3.
Next week I'll go do the bloodwork and also start the two week pre-op diet.
I am nervous but more excited. I'll post some pics soon.
Just like the other ladies on real self, I'm have gained strength from this website and thank goodness that I stumbled upon it when starting research on the sleeve.
Stay good real selfers! I'll post again soon with pics.

FIRST SET OF PICS

I'm going to be brave and post pics. I really enjoy the pics that other bloggers post, and the pics really help tell the story...the journey. I'm going to post pics from various stages of weight over the past few years, including now.
I forgot to mention in my last post that I'll be seeing a nutritionist next week before starting the pre-op diet. Thanks Puppy's Mom for reminding me... Love the support in this site!!!

Trying pics again

My pics didn't post the last time so I'm trying again. I looooove my country's annual carnival so in my blogs I'll probably be referring to carnival a lot. The women in Trinidad are obsessive about having the perfect body for the carnival and many women here to to Venezuela to get procedures done but it's all very hush hush.
I'm not so secretive but my close friends have told me not to tell anyone that I'm doing the sleeve. I'm not really shy about showing my face so I'll just post pics without blocking my face. I would also love to tell more people about the sleeve. I feel like if I had know about it sooner, I could have done this way before now. But better late than never. My birthday is April 5 and surgery is April 9.... Happy birthday to me!!! Next carnival I want to look amazing in my costume. Wish me luck.
I'll post more pics and write more later. I just wanted to try to post my first set of pics once more.

A Few More Pics

Just posting a few more carnival related pics. Seeing the nutritionist this week and doing bloodwork. I'll update in a few days.

TRINIDAD CARNIVAL

Just done pics of the ladies from Trinidad carnival 2015!!! Inspiration!!!

IN HOSPITAL BED ABOUT TO BE SLEEVED!!!!!!!!!!

Heeeeeeey Ladies!!!!!! I haven't posted in a while but as I mentioned I'm a career woman so things can get very hectic. Because of work commitments I had to postpone the procedure by one week. But the time has come and here I ammmmmm in the hospital bed. Just saw the surgeon. He's always very serious, even during the initial consultations. But very kind. I like him a lot. Very no nonsense kind of guy. The time is now approximately 11am. I'll be going in around 2pm. So I'd like to use this opportunity to update you ladies on what's been happening over the past few weeks. Firstly though, I removed the pictures of myself just because I suddenly had a bout of the "shys". And a huge case of "what ifs". What if someone from work stumbled upon this. What if someone wanted to be mean and posted my pics online from here. So I removed them. BUT I'll put them back up with the face blocked out. It's less fun that way but maybe I'll become braver with time. But for sure I'll put my pics back up with face blocked out especially as it's important to record the journey with pics. The reviews with pics have helped me so much!!!
Alright, so I started the pre-op diet about a week and a half ago. I was 196 then and today I was 185. That's a huge loss in two weeks. It was a high protein, no carb diet. The day would start with two eggs made into an omelet or scrambled. Included would usually be cheese, onions, tomatoes and sweet peppers. I'd usually have olives on the side as I love olives. Morning snack would be almonds. Lunch would be grilled chicken or fish with lots of veggies and salad. Dinner was usually very small. Just a half can of tuna and some salad. There was one night when I ate a big dinner, all within the diet and the next morning I had put on 2 pounds. But that's my body. Sigh. The big dinner comprised a slice of grilled fish, a piece of grilled chicken, and lots of grilled veggies. The darned scale is ALWAYS so unforgiving.
Last night I was very emotional. I cried and basically shouted at my boyfriend for not waking up while I was crying to comfort me. I was being completely unreasonable. He did well though. He held me and calmed me down. He doesn't think I need this. He loves me no matter what. But I need this for me. Last night after I had calmed down I was telling him that this is allllll about me. It's not about attracting men because I love the man that I'm with. It's not about pleasing other people. It's about ME liking what I see when I look in the mirror. It's about going into a store and not heading straight to plus size. It's about walking into my meetings with confidence. My job is very high pressure, at the executive level. I sometimes wonder If people think I'm lazy because I'm overweight. I wonder if they judge me by my weight first. It's a serious mind game. I'm ready for that to be over and for me to start living my life in my real body. The one that I know is under here. The bloodwork was really good. Cholesterol was a little high but that was all. So all is well for the surgery.
My mum is here with me, thank goodness. My mum doesn't think I need it but she is thin and gorgeous. She doesn't understand the struggle. But what I LOVE LOVE LOVE about her is even though she does not agree, she supports me to end. So she's right here reading her kindle and playing solitaire. So cute!!!!!
Time check: 11:30am. Let me talk about where I'm doing my procedure. As I mentioned I'm from Trinidad and Tobago. I'm doing my procedure at Westshore Medical Complex. It's a modern state of the art facility and the service here is amazing. I'm in my own room with TV, closet etc. I had one of those beeping machines but they rolled it out. Guess I don't need it. I was sad to see them roll it out as it felt fancy!! Lol.
So I'm third today. Doc said the procedure will take 1 hour.
I spoke to the person who first told me about this surgery and who underwent it about one year ago. She's now slim, sexy, glowing and happy. We've been what's apping and I feel really comfortable. The nerves are subsiding and it's all excitement.
I'll message tomorrow after the procedure and let you ladies know how I'm doing!!!! See you on the other side!!!!!!!

THREE DAYS POST OP!!!!!!!

WOW!! What a journey this has been. Let me tell you, nothing anyone writes can really prepare you for post op. It's tough. I had to spend an extra night at the hospital as nothing as staying down. I'm much better now. Mum taking care of me. I'm posting some pics. Remember I'm still in some pain and discomfort so sorry of pics aren't the best. I'll write a full review in a few days. Big hugssss ladies!!! .....looks like pics are posting upsided down. Bleh. Too weak to fix this right now. Sorryyyyy.

CONFUSED ABOUT BROTH!!!

Veterans, any advice on how to make a nice tasting broth? What should I put in it? Have you guys noticed that allllllll the ads on TV are about food??? Half are about food and the other half are about weight loss products. It's crazy. Still a bit too weak to write a lot but I think I'll be up to it tomorrow. Will update on my liquid diet. Any broth advice would be welcome!!

TWO WEEKS POST OP!!! Feeling great!!!!!

Heeeey Laaaaadeeeezzz!!! I'm a little over two weeks post op and feeling great. My weight is now 175. I was hoping to lose a bit more quickly but my dietitian says I'm progressing well. And my clothes and suits are fitting slacker!!! Yaaaaay. I am so happy I did this. No regrets whatsoever.

I promised to write about the entire surgery experience so here goes:
When I was wheeled into surgery I met the team including nurses. I joked and called them the "A-team" and asked them to take good care of me. They promised to. I didn't see my surgeon just before surgery as he was in another room. However I gave the anesthesiologist a message for him: "thank you and take care of me". The anesthesiologist chatted with me and made me super comfortable. I laid down on the operating table, he gave me the anesthetic and the next thing I knew I was being woken up as surgery was over!!! My surgeon was right there telling me that everything went perfectly, and seconds later my mum was there holding my hand as I was being wheeled back into my private room.

I wasn't in pain and to be honest this experience has been one more of discomfort than pain. I didn't have and still haven't had any serious gas pains or anything of that nature.

Recovery in the first few days was not easy. I had to spend an extra night at the hospital as I just could not eat. I would look at the tea and soup and try to eat. All I could manage was a teaspoon. After the second night however, I was really good. There was pain in the first two days and I thank God that I was at such a good medical facility as the nurses were there by my side as soon as I buzzed and gave me the meds that made things okay in minutes. A funny thing about the nurses: I was the "smallest" gastric sleeve patient they had ever seen (after the pre-op diet I was down to 186), so they would all find excuses to come "visit" me to talk about what prompted me to do this surgery. It was really nice chatting with them. It's so interesting how many people think about doing this but are afraid to make the move. One nurse in particular was so funny: she said: "girrrrrl if you need the sleeve I need the whole bypass story", and she did a funny kind of dance while caressing her very curvy figure.

So after two nights I went home to my mum's place. I was placed on strictly liquids for 2 weeks. Clear liquids including my favorite coconut water! 100% apple juice which I had to dilute half and half with water. My protein shakes were not clear. I used a strawberry flavored protein shake which my dietitian said was fine.

I have just been switched to purees/soft food which I am loving. I started on Friday and today is Sunday. So for breakfast I've been having an egg, lunch is usually a puréed soup and for dinner mashed sweet potatoes. I have to have one protein shake a day which is better than having to get down 3 cups in the liquid phase. So far so good. Oh and snacks in between which include watermelon, Greek yogurt and protein shakes so far.

I must admit that I took my niece to see Avengers a few nights ago and snuck in about 6-8 grains of popcorn. I chewed them up really really well and convinced myself that they could count as puréed. Then last night I snuck in the very end of a pizza slice. As in a tiny tiny bite which tasted like heaven. I was chewing it up really really well and my boyfriend caught me. He was like, WHAT ARE YOU. CHEWING!!!!! I was like, OMG nothing!! Anyways, he made me spit it out. I was very thankful I didn't swallow that flour.

Im now on a regimen of vitamins which I understand I'll have to take for the rest of my life. Chewable one a days, chewable calcium and chewable b-12 which I need to change to sublingual soon. The chewable Calciums are amazing. They are from the nature's made brand I believe. I'll take pics of the vitamins and post soon. I also need to post some updated pics of myself which I promise to do very soon! I'll have to post them in the upcoming days.

Oh I forgot to mention: my doc has me walking a lot. 4 times a week. And I have to start weight training in six weeks.

So that's it for now laydeeez!!!! Holla at you soooon (lol).

SOFT FOOD WAS TOO THICK!

I just threw up for the first time since surgery. When I said that nothing was staying down in the first few days, I really meant that nothing would go down. I just could not eat. So as I mentioned in the last post, I switched to purees a few days ago . So I just went out and bought a soup. It's a local Caribbean soup made with cassava, dasheen, and beef. The broth itself was made with split peas. Brought that home, threw it in the blender and pureed it. It came out quite thick and boy was it yummy! A few minutes later I could feel it coming up. Long story short, I won't be having thick pureed soup again. My dietitian said that I must wait 30-45 minutes after eating before injesting liquids again so I now have to wait to drink something. Im not getting the hang of the pureed. Any advice?

People are noticing!!

Laaaaydeeez! Just wanted to say that I'm at work and two people today commented on my weight loss. One person actually said, "it seems like everyday I see you, you get smaller and smaller... your face is shrinking!". It's such a good feeling. I wish the scale would go down faster but I've put it away for a few days.

I'd also like to thank ZaraAmi for the excellent advice on food! Thanks hunny! Okay back to work.

Big Hugzzzz

VITAMIN B12 INJECTIONS ROCK!!!!

Last week I almost crashed. I felt so tired and lethargic. I'd go to bed at 8pm, and sleep till 6am without waking. That's unheard of for me. After that happened a few nights in a row, I knew that something was off. I read my diet sheets from top to bottom again to see what I was doing wrong. While I knew that I had to take vitamin B12 in either injections or sublingual, I didn't pay too much attention to that as I found B12 chewables in my neighborhood pharmacy. In reviewing my diet sheet, that was the only thing that I thought could possibly be the issue.... Using B12 chewables instead of the injection or sublingual. So I called a few pharmacies, found a bottle of multi-dose vitamin B12 and got the pharmacist to show me how to load the liquid into a syringe. So the regular dosage is 1ml per day for 5 days. But the pharmacist told me that I could do 3ml in one shot. Then skip one week. Let me tell you that injection was life!!! I felt so alive just a few moments after taking it. And for the rest of the week I've been full of life no energy. So I strongly recommend taking the b12 injections. There's really no substitute!!!

ONE MONTH PICS!!! BEFORE AND AFTER!!!

I finally made some time today to take some pics and find the apps that allow me to pixelate the faces in the pics. I wore the red dress today to a meeting. I was not embarrassed or shy or ashamed. I was darn proud of me!!! For the first time in a long time I did a presentation before a large group and was sure that they were focusing on what I was saying rather than the overweight presenter. What a feeling!
I have not been a slave to the scale. I've been a slave to the mirror. As I mentioned in the previous posts, I put the scale away. I do have a weigh in at my dietitians office on Friday to I'll update about weight at that time. I also took pics in my bra and the moooost unflattering bikini bottom I have. I want to try them on in a month or two to see the difference.
The BEFORE pics.... These were taken on my birthday....April 5th, just a little over a month ago, and 11 days before surgery. At that time I was 196. My last weigh in was 175. I'm hoping for a nice drop on Friday. 170? Fingers crossed!!! I took the before pics at the ocean. I only wore the bikini at night when most people had left the beach and it was really dark out. I refuse(d)? to be seen in the daytime with all this weight on my body.
I'm looking forward to Friday when I graduate to solids. Gotta start walking more!!! Soooo busy. Must make time...must make time!

BEFORE AND AFTER PICS

Pics didn't upload in last post. Trying again.

ONE MONTH POST OP!!!!

Two days ago I hit my one month mark. I lost 17 pounds since the surgery, and 27 pounds since I started the process with the post-op diet. I have been on solids for 2 days now. I am loving it! But taking it slowly, and introducing new foods slowly. Last week I had yummy crab soup but it all came up because it was made with heavy cream, and I didn't realise that. My clothes are still fitting slacker and slacker. And everytime I see a small drop on the scale I rejoice. I've brought the scale back out but if I get obsessed again I'm going to put it away again.

I'm now 169. I CANNOT tell you the last time I saw the 160's. OMG!! 160 is my next target.

My eventual goal is 130. I have NEVER been 130. Not even in high school. Always 140 and up. So this is my dream. It seems surreal that I could even ever be that. But i'm going to stick to my diet and exercise cause this is the best chance I've got. Carnival 2016 here I come!!!

I WENT TO A PARTY!!!!!!!!

One of the things I avoided like the plague was partying. I hated struggling to find something to wear. I hated to see myself amongst the slim beautiful people. However....drum roll.....(smile), I went to a party this weekend and felt amazing! I didn't feel fat and out of place. Of course, I'm not where I want to be yet, not even close. But at close to 20 lbs down since surgery, and 30 down including post-op diet, I'm feeling pretty good about my image. I even took pictures at the event!! Unheard of for me! Now, I must admit that I almost didn't wear this dress because I did not like how my legs looked. My boyfriend convinced me that I looked sexy (God bless him), so I went with a brave outlook. I'm now looking forward to the summer! Continue to lose weight and go out, and enjoy a social life. I have years to make up for! No looking back!!

40 LBS DOWN!!!!!!

Real self!!!! It's been a while!!! Been so busy!!! Well so far I've lost 40 lbs in total. 30 since surgery which was two and a half months ago. And 40 including pre-op diet. I'm still working with a dietitian. Oh, I'm 156 lbs!!! I can't tell you guys the last time I was in the 150's. It's almost surreal. I've not been exercising which is bad. The good thing is I'm not losing weight super super fast, so my skin is fine although I'm not exercising. But I really should exercise. I keep saying that every week. July 16 will make it 3 months. So I'll post more pics then.

My diet has been basically one cup of food for lunch. Yogurt for breakfast. Oatmeal or cream of wheat for dinner. Snacks are half a fruit, and sometimes a protien shake. I don't feel hungry unless I skip a meal.

My next goal is 149. To be in the 140's would be a whole other level of surreal.

Clothes are slack now. Work clothes look ridiculous but I don't want to get new clothes yet as I'm still losing.

Well that's it for now. Take care!!! Will post on July 16.

54 LBS DOWN AND FEELING GREAT!!

It's been a while since I posted. We'll I'm now down to 142 lbs. It feels amazing. All my old clothes are fitting again. Suits fit perfectly. I down to a 6-8. I feel healthy. No complaints. I'm eating healthy but from time to time I allow myself to have a small treat. A piece of chocolate here, a bit of pasta there. Exercise is something I'm still struggling with but I got a girlfriend to join the gym with me in September. So I'm looking forward to that. It's been a little over four months since the surgery and my oh my how time flies!

I recently got a promotion at work which means I have to be a lot more visible. I make a lot of appearances and go to many meetings. Looking and more importantly feeling the way I do now is invaluable. It's hard to imagine that just a few months ago I was overweight and depressed. I feel so healthy, vibrant and confident.

These past two months, carnival bands have been showcasing next year's costumes. I'm going to post pics of me now. And also post some pics of the costumes I like most for next year. My pics were taken at a poolside party. I'm becoming quite social! I still have not made it to the beach. Still scared to show my body. Need to go to the gym and work on these legs!

I will try to post more often. Especially pics. Life is even busier since the promotion but two months between posts is tooo long.

Take care fam!

Much love!!

Ate Sushi Now Weight Up

So I ate Sushi and my scale went up by 3 lbs. That can't be normal. Ok I weighed this evening which is bad cause I just ate a few hours ago. I'll have to weigh again in the morning to see the real damage. I think I should go back to pureed for a month to get more weight off as its moving so slowly now. I also need to drink more water. Any suggestions??

Broke Stall and Wore Bikini!!!!

Fam!! I broke the stall. Drank two Protien shakes per day and increased water intake. I'm now down to 139! And I went to the beach yesterday. The beach has always been difficult for me. But yesterday I felt confident and happy. I'll write more soon but here are some pics in the meantime.

One Year Out

I CANNOT believe how much time has passed since my last post. So many messages inbox. I did what I hate to see other bloggers do which is disappear just when u want to see their results. Well, there is so much to update on.... OMG. Broke up with boyfriend. Seeing someone new. So much attention I guess it was hard to sustain my relationship.

I'm now 129 lbs. I actually fluctate between 125 and 130. Most days I'm about 127. I like staying in the 120's. I feel healthy and great!!!! I eat anything now. Sometimes I feel really guilty about my eating choices. I'm actually going on a diet because I want to get down to 125 for an upcoming trip.

Carnival was DA BOMB. Do people still say that? I'm attaching pics to this post so you can see my body including the good and the bad.

I didn't exercise for a looooong time. Until about 10 months out... So have some sagging skin on my upper arms but it's not terrible. Also upper thighs. My pics will show it all.... No photoshop.

I worked with my nutritionist for about 6 months. She was a key support in my journey. I also worked with a personal trainer for 2 months.

I'm trying to think of the key things..... Lotssssss of water.

When I hit a stall, and it happened many many times.... I was patient and increased water intake, increased protein shakes... Ate low low carbs and waited it out. I had 2 month stalls.... It was so frustrating. But be patient with the sleeve. Biggest stall was around 140. Man..... But as I said I'm down to 120's. Some friends say I look too skinny. I love this look though. It's what I wanted. I will check my inbox more and post at least once a month. I'm excited by all the Trinis that have reached out to me!!!

April 2015- just before my life changed

Few more pics

Opera

I went to the opera today with my mum. It was such a great show. I had coffee with sugar and cream... Two cups... But the cups were small. Bravo!!

PS: Today's weight: 129

One and a half years later... Lowest weight so far

Hi realself. Well for the past two months or so I have been fluctuating between 123 and 125. I'm on vacation now and eating lots of fattening stuff though. I'm a size 2-3. I wear size small. Medium never fits anymore (that still surprises me). I eat almost anything but in small amounts. On different days I can eat different amounts. But certainly never as much as before. I sometimes forget to take my vitamins which isn't good. Hoping to join a gym soon. In my pics you will see the loose skin on my upper arms and inner thighs. Thinking of going to Colombia next year to fix that and do some implants. Since surgery my breasts have gotten smaller and droopier. I'll post more pics soon. Bye for now.
Dr. Dilip Dan

Dr. Dilip Dan is a excellent surgeon. He is exceedingly professional and no-nonsense. I am so thankful to him and his team for holding my hand through this process. I highly recommend him!!!!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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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