For over 4 weeks I have been in a stall, going up and down between the same 2 pounds. Today, I finally broke that stall and hit a HUGE milestone at the same time! I am finally under 400 pounds! I’ve lost almost 10 BMI points. I am ecstatic!
I also got a measuring tape today and measured myself. I’m down a total of 28 inches! I’ve also lost 7 inches in my chest, which is really showing, both in the mirror, and in my bras.
So while I may not have been losing the last almost 5 weeks, I have been losing inches and I’m excited about that.
Monday is 6 weeks out. I have my 6 week post-op class Monday morning. I’ll be opened up for more foods, such as steak, pork, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m excited. I also get to work out more starting Monday, walk more often, and further. Start using weights and my bike. Plus I can lift things again and go swimming!
I’m starting to feel like a normal person again. Except today, today every time I stood up, I got dizzy. I’m not sure what was up with that. I’ve also been getting headaches every day in the afternoon. My fibromyalgia has seemed to have gotten worse since surgery. But overall, I am starting to feel better than right after surgery. More energy and more like myself.
Even with the frustration that was a nearly 5 week stall when I’m only about 6 weeks out, I have never regretted my decision. I am so thankful for this tool. And as of today, I’m 22 pounds down from the day of surgery. I never could have done that in less than 6 weeks before. I am so grateful. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.
I went camping this weekend for the first time since surgery. It was phenomenal! Here’s a picture of me sitting at the river side while my brothers fished. This was about 2pm. I went fishing for about 3 hours but after that time, my abdomen started to get sore so I took the rest of the day off and just kept my 3 brothers company while they fished. We fished on the lake, in the river, and on the pond and it was a a fun, wonderful, relaxing day.
Figuring out camping food for the weekend was interesting because I was still on pureed foods, but I got it all worked out and had a splendid time. The hardest part was letting my brothers set up and tear down and carry all the heavy stuff.
This morning was my 3 week post-op nutrition class. I advance today from purees to soft foods. I’m sooo excited! This opens up so many food options for me. I was getting tired of soups and yogurt and beans. I can now have things like fish and seafood, canned chicken, deli meats and cheeses, ground meat, nut butters, etc. Real food again! I can now eat up to 3 ounces if I’m able, but I know my stomach only holds about 2 ounces still, and I get to go from eating every 2 hours to every 3 hours!
Overall I’m down 22 pounds from the date of surgery and 57 pounds total since I started my weight loss journey. I haven’t regretted this surgery for a moment yet, though I know I could potentially regret it during hard times in the future. There’s always that possibility. But for now, in this moment, I am content.
Monday was my one week post-op and I officially got to start pureed foods. I get to eat refried beans, Greek yogurt, sugar-free pudding, ricotta bake, strained soups, and scrambled egg whites. I add unflavored protein powder to the beans, pudding, and soup to help get my protein in.
So far things have gone very smoothly. I eat about a tablespoon at a time right now. As the swelling continues to go down in my stomach I’ll be able to eat a little more. However, even eating every hour, with only eating a tablespoon at a time, I’m only able to get in about 300 calories in a day. This is messing with my head. As a recovering bulimic, seeing the number 300 consistently in MyFitnessPal makes me want to only eat under 300 calories in a day. It makes me scared for when I can eat more because that means more calories. It’s also a mind trip to be eating all day long and to only get to 300 calories.
It is very tedious eating all day. By the time 6 or 7pm comes around, I don’t want to eat anymore. I’m also already tired of eating the things I’m allowed to eat. I am looking forward, in a week and a half, to eating soft foods. That will greatly expand what I can eat.
So I was sleeved Monday morning, the 26th. When I first woke up in recovery, I was in the absolute worst pain of my life, both in my abdomen and my chest. I was also ridiculously nauseous. I was afraid I was going to feel like that forever, but they were able to get the pain under control in about 2 hours and I was finally taken to my room. I spent Monday night in the hospital. I got to go home yesterday afternoon after proving I could take in enough water and protein drinks.
Since getting home, I’ve made a setup like above with my little solo cups and a 10 minute reminder. I drink through those 6 cups in an hour, 4 cups of water and 2 cups of protein drink. Then, after finishing all my cups, I go for a short walk, about 10 minutes. Afterward, I come back, refill my cups, and start over again. So, staying hydrated and walking are taking all my time at the moment. I don’t mind, though. This is what I signed up for. I knew it coming in. And I’m so happy to finally be sleeved.
My surgery is tomorrow morning! I have to be at the hospital in 22 hours. I will be in bed in about 11 hours. I’m so full of anticipation. I don’t know if my excitement has ever been higher. I literally can’t sit still. I keep finding things around the house to do, last minute tasks that need completing, because I just can’t settle. I feel weak from not having had food in 3 days, but my energy is high from adrenaline. It’s a weird feeling.
My bag is packed except for my last minute items. I need to take a shower tonight with my special soap before I go to bed. I set aside clean pajamas for tonight to make sure I would have something absolutely clean to wear the night before surgery after my special shower. I have to shower again in the morning with the special soap before I leave for the hospital. I have, I think, enough popsicles and broth to last the day, though I am low on Jello. But I think I’ll be able to get through the day.
I painted my toenails yesterday, red to match my fingers. I was told by my hospital that having my nails done was fine, which I was super excited about. Here’s what my fingers look like:
Now it’s just a waiting game. Waiting for the next 11 hours to pass. Hoping I can sleep tonight through the anticipation and excitement. Waiting through the early morning tomorrow. Waiting at the hospital tomorrow. Waiting. Waiting. But soon, oh so soon, my life will change for the better! I am so ready!!
This morning I started my bowel prep. I took 3 glasses of Metamucil today. It was awful. It tasted ok, but the texture was gag-worthy and it made me sick to my stomach, made me sweat, gave me stomach cramps, and a headache. I’m not looking forward to 3 more days of this.
This evening I picked up the foods/liquids I need to start my clear liquid diet tomorrow morning. It was then that it hit me that tomorrow when I wake up, it will be just 3 days until my surgery. Then the permanence of this surgery hit me like a brick. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I knew that it was permanent and I took that into account when deciding whether to move forward with this surgery. However, the permanence of it didn’t truly hit me until tonight. Then I had my first real moment of “what am I doing?”
Don’t get me wrong, I still know this is absolutely the right decision for me. But the seriousness and permanence of the surgery had not truly hit me until now. I think it’s because I have worked toward this for so long, 2 years now, that it’s seemed so distant and a “what-if” for so long that the reality never sunk in until I realized how very close surgery actually is now.
This morning I had to go to the hospital where I’ll be having my surgery to have pre-op testing. I had to get labs done, get an EKG, and give a medical history, as well as go over instructions for the day of surgery, register for surgery, and pay my copay. I can’t believe that surgery is next Monday, the 26th! I’m so excited, yet so impatient for it to come!
Thursday I have to start my bowel prep. I start with metamucil for 2 days, then metamucil and colace for 2 days. Friday, I start clear liquids, and can’t take certain of my medications up until surgery. Starting midnight the night before surgery, no food or liquids, including water. I can take certain medications the morning of surgery with a sip of water. The night before surgery and the morning of I need to shower with fragrance-free soap. My surgery is scheduled for 11:30am on Monday, and I need to report at the hospital at 8:30am.
I was given a fast pass today so I don’t have to take my ID, insurance card, or bank card to the hospital on the day of surgery, which makes me feel much better, since I won’t have anyone at the hospital to watch my things. I have packed my robe, slippers, the dress I’m coming home in, and my fast-pass in my hospital bag. Everything else I’ll need to pack the morning of because it’s stuff I need between now and then like my phone, phone charger, etc. However, I’m not taking a lot to the hospital. If my previous surgeries are any indication, I’ll be sleeping a lot except when they wake me to walk around or drink.
I’m almost done packing and getting things ready to move. Hopefully, I’ll be done by the time I start clear liquids on Friday. Then I can just relax, redo my nails, and get myself ready to have surgery.
My surgery is scheduled for less than 3 weeks away. I’m still waiting to hear that it’s been approved by my insurance, which is nerve-wracking. As my surgery date gets closer, I get more and more excited. I’m not really nervous at this point, but I anticipate that will come the day or two beforehand.
I have so much to do before surgery. I need to pack up my whole house and I’m running out of time. I was camping this last weekend and yesterday I spent the whole day babysitting for my sister who just had surgery for her broken arm. Next week I am busy every day, and will be gone Sunday through Tuesday and next Friday through the following Tuesday. So, I am running out of time to pack everything, which makes me a little anxious.
The anxiety from the not know whether insurance will approve my surgery in time and the excitement about the surgery itself and the worry about whether I can get everything done feels like a tug-of-war inside me. I feel so full of emotion right now.
Yesterday morning I finally had my follow-up with the Psychiatrist. We went over the report he’s going to send over to the surgeon and he officially recommended me for surgery! I was so relieved and excited when I heard those words. I felt like the initial meeting with him went well, but I was still so nervous that for some reason he would feel I was a bad candidate for surgery. Now I just have to wait for my surgeon’s office to get the paperwork from him and they can finally submit everything to my insurance! I’m scheduled for surgery on June 26th, so hopefully that doesn’t need to get pushed back due to delays with insurance.
This morning, I did a teleconference pre-op nutrition class. It had a lot of good information, and not just nutrition, but information on what to expect from the hospital stay, what to bring to the hospital, and so forth. She also talked about preparing for surgery, such as the pre-op diet and bowel cleanse. Following surgery, I will be on liquids only for a week, which is a much shorter time than some people I’ve seen, and I’m not complaining. Then I get to move on to pureed foods. At 3-4 weeks I can move onto soft food, and finally at 6 weeks I move to solids. Each stage has its own requirements and rules and I have them all listed out. It’s going to be quite the journey. One that I’m oh-so-excited for!
Studies have shown that 97 percent of dieters regain everything they lost, plus some, within three years. This has been my reality all my life. I have tried every diet, and I have lost some weight, but I always regain it again, and usually more than I lost. And it doesn’t take me 3 years to do. But the main point here is that, for most people, dieting just doesn’t work.
However, in recent longer-term studies over 25 years of patients who have had bariatric surgery, the majority of them not only lost most of their excess weight, they were able to keep it off over the course of the 25 year study. Why the difference? Well, surgery provides a physical tool that helps to lose weight, but it also comes with a series of lifestyle changes.
There are various changes you need to make to your lifestyle when you have bariatric surgery.
- For example, I will need to eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. For the rest of my life.
- I have to eat protein first, and I can’t eat certain foods like bread because it will swell up in my tiny tummy and get stuck.
- Immediately after the surgery, I will have to drink water and protein shakes from a 2 ounce cup every 30 minutes to stay hydrated and get my protein in.
- I will need to avoid sweets to avoid dumping syndrome.
- I will need to avoid liquids for 30 minutes before and after I eat.
- I will need to stay ON TOP of my fluid intake to keep from getting dehydrated because I will no longer be able to chug or intake large amounts of water when I get behind on water.
- I will need to chew my food more and eat more slowly.
- I will need to avoid straws to keep air bubbles from getting into my new tiny tummy.
- I will have to learn to eat in a totally new way, being only able to eat about 3-4 ounces of food at a time.
- I will have to take special bariatric vitamins because my body won’t absorb vitamins the same way anymore.
- I will need to exercise, just like anyone else trying to lose weight.
There are also side effects to the surgery, such as:
- Hair loss
- Dumping syndrome
- Energy loss
So as you see, there’s nothing “easy” about this surgery. However, I do feel like it’s a good fit for me, and the best hope for me for my health.