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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Not Bad... Not Bad at All

I'm doing fine. I'm rarely thinking about food during the day at work, and I haven't been tempted by anything.

I do wish however my surgeon wasn't such a stickler for this long full liquids phase. 27 more days.... 27 more days until soft foods.

It's really been a couple sh*tty days at work this week. I'm thankful for the short week. If I haven't blown it with emotional eating by now, I'll make it the 27 more days!

I meet with our office's managing consultant tomorrow... maybe some of my issues will get resolved... just maybe.

Thanks for all the supportive notes - I appreciate the thoughts and kindness. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back to Work

Well, today marks 2 weeks post-op for me and I'm headed back to work. I'm down 24 lbs. as of this morning, and overall I feel great!

I'm blessed that it has been remarkably easy to stay in control while at home, so it leaves me wondering, "Where was this resolve pre-op?"

This is such a challenging time of year at the office, as there's all kinds of junk in every breakroom and every office you visit. I guess I feel like my resolve might be a farse; that when I get to the office, I won't be able to stay in control.

Although I could just lock myself up in my office. LOL

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Post Op - Day 11

I had a real good day yesterday. No particular reason. I just felt good. :)

I hit the gym in the morning and did 2.5 miles on the elliptical in 31 minutes. I started off with an 11 minute mile -- I haven't done that in forever! That being said it is easier to do a mile on the elliptical trainer, than in it is to run on the ground. After the 1st mile, I spent the next 10 minutes doing sprint intervals, then the last 10 doing resistance intervals. 22 days until I'm training again!

Darren I got the lights on the tree. We've yet to hang the ornaments -- hopefully we'll get that done today. I also trim my stairwell railing with Poinsettias, which also needs to get done -- hopefully today.

I can't believe I go back to work next Wednesday! The good thing is, my first week back is a short week and the following week I have a 3-day project management class, so that makes for a short week once again. Nice way to ease back into things.

I have to admit, if I'm uneasy about anything, it's going back to work. I'm in total control at home. I know that I can be at work too, its just easier at home.

Tried some no sugar added Carnation Instant Breakfast yesterday. I'm not sure if I drank it too fast, or if it just upset my tummy. It was the Malt flavored one -- maybe that wasn't a good choice? Yesterday's menu also included a homemade yogurt (Kefir) smoothie, butternut squash soup and some grits for dinner.

Guess that's it. I'm off to take my vitamins and have my smoothie. Gotta get my day started.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Post Op - Day 9

Today I woke and my stomach felt practically normal! Either I'm getting used to how it feels, or everything is starting to feel the way it used to.

Eating-wise I've been doing fine. Haven't really been hungry, but I did eat 4 times yesterday between 5:00 am and 9:30 pm. Homemade yogurt smoothie, homemade split pea soup and some cream of wheat.

It was a quiet Thanksgiving. We introduced Cassie to the Macy's Parade and Charlie Brown. :)

I'm off to the gym. I've been cleared for the elliptical and can return to Jimmy (my personal trainer) on December 18th!

Most importantly though, I'll be able to pick up my Cass-a-frass again!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Plenty of Thanks

With the sharing the news of my recent surgery, you wouldn't believe what the number 1 response is: "Right before Thanksgiving!?!"

Well, first the BIC (big insurance companies) don't let you be very picky, so you do it when you must. I'm ever so thankful for the life-redo, that it is beyond words. And to have such a skilled surgeon and staff pull me through in a fashion that I can actually enjoy my Thanksgiving more than comfortably, is a gift in itself.

We'll be spending today at home. I'm making a small, smoked turkey breast for Darren and Cassie. Some mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, and cheddar-broccoli wild rice casserole. For me, I'm having some homemade split pea soup. Truth be told, it's really not bothering me one bit not to be indulging. Where was this resolve at other times? This surgery is amazing!

We'll watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade, and I Tivo'd Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow we're going to the Christmas Tree farm and will take a hayride to get a tree. We'll do it, even though I still have a problem with hayrides in 75 degree weather. LOL

To you and yours, I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving, and that you are reminded of what is truly important to be thankful for.

:)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Drain is Gone...

...along with 16 lbs.! Everything is great. I'm cleared for full liquids and and can use the elliptical instead of walking. In 3 weeks I'll be released to return to the trainer.

Now, becasue I don't be all *faux* about it. I think they used my initial consultation weight... I was like 303 - 304 ish, I think. I weighed right after lunch, in full clothes, with boots, so the weight is definitely skewed.

The problem is, when he said 16 lbs, I was so stunned, I didn't catch my weight for today. I think it was 288.

On the day of the surgery, I weight 299 at the hospital and 298 at home. So really while the gross loss is 16, the surgery netted an 11 lb. loss so far.

That's the scoop!

Pictures: They Don't Lie!

This was taken just 3 hours before surgery!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Post Op - Day 6

I'm having a decent day. I feel pretty good -- just wish my allergies would subside! I get my drain out tomorrow -- I'm so happy!

I went to the gym this morning and did my treadmill, a moderate 3.0 mph, with a 3.0 incline for 30 minutes.

The Bariatric Program Coordinator for the hospital asked the online support group what was their "ah-ha" moment was, when they made the decision to have the surgery, so I thought I would answer the question, because it wasn't just one moment. It was a sequence of events that led me here.

I grew up in a family of professional dancers. Mom was a Rockette and in the Metropolitan Ballet, my step dad was on Broadway and is currently a professor of dance. Even my sister is now a reputable dance teacher as an adult. You might see where weight was a constant issue in our home while I was growing up, and I always had challenges with weight.

I spent my life doing things that overweight people wouldn't ordinarily do. I excelled at any of the sports I tried in high school. I also danced on and off for many years. I was actually good, which used to upset my Mom to no end; she used to say I had the "natural ability, but not the body." As an adult I did a triathlon at 242 lbs and was taking tap dance lessons at 30 years old and over 300 lbs.

Beginning in 2002 I went through several different life-changing events: Relocation, new job, new home, engagement, marriage and high-risk pregnancy. I had my Daughter in 2003, and while I did awesome with little weight gain during the pregnancy, I didn't do so good after. I totally forgot about taking care of me, and began eating out of stress and emotion. I was a Gestational Diabetic during my pregnancy, and the Diabetes didn't go away, so my eating was not helping my disease.

I saw my endocrinologist who followed me through my pregnancy and we talked about approaches to weight loss; medications surgical procedures. I was really against them all. I knew I had done it before, but why couldn't I do it again? Then my former PCP made mention of the surgery again. A friend of mine (Melissa Deaver) had had lots of success with surgery, but I still couldn't embrace the idea I needed that kind of help. It was fine for others, and I would support them, just not for me.

Despite trying to ignore them, there were signs all over the place.

It seemed like in the snap of a finger, I found myself becoming physically limited. My knees started to hurt and I found myself saying, when I lose 20 lbs. I'll get back on my bike or when I lose 30 lbs. I take my Rollerblades out of the closet. The summer came, and I wouldn't take my Daughter to the pool -- In short, I was no longer living life, I was avoiding it. To top it all off, I was began treatment for for Diabetes.

The more the scale rose, the more I felt my self-esteem drop, and it was affecting the people I love around me. And of course, the main focus of my life, my Daughter. How on Earth could I keep her from having my issues with food and weight, if I could not learn to be a good role model for her?

Food was a constant source of strife. I don't care if I was counting, points, calories, fat, protein, or deciding what to eat, not to eat, where to eat, or when to eat. It was all just more overwhelming than I knew it was supposed to be. I knew I wanted a healthy relationship with food -- one where food was fuel for my body, and nothing more.

Since no one has time to waste when it comes to living their life to the fullest, I finally woke up and acknowledged the signs and explored WLS as an option. I knew I needed the restriction, the disconnect from food, and the re-training of my thoughts about food. I took my time making my decision, but when I did, that was it. I knew it was the right thing without question.

That's all for today. :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Post Op - Day 5

My 2 post-op friends, Melissa and Liz invited me to go to a local WLS support group meeting tonight. This morning, I really wanted to go. I had been trying to psych myself up for meeting a bunch of new folks all day, but I just could migrate to a proper mindset. These 2 women are super special, making arrangements to pick me up and take me home. I feel bad bailing on them, but I just need to rest. I love you girls for thinking of me and giving me so much encouragement and support.

While I might be "hibernating", I still think a lot of how I feel mentally during this time immediately after surgery is improved (not erradicated) by positive and focused thoughts about the larger picture and potential outcome. Physiologically I can't change what is happening to my body, but at least I can give myself a shot at managing my mental disposition. :) It sounds hoakie, but I think meditative thoughts on the postive outcome of this each and every night.

By the time I got around to finally posting today, I'm a little tired -- I went to the gym for my walking, to the store to pickup some last minute needs for Turkey Day, and then made some homemade potato soup for Wednesday! I'm planing on making split pea too.

I got some great tips from Liz this morning on suggestions of things to eat for 5 weeks subsequent to this Wednesday, for which I was thankful! If I can get it through a straw and it meets nutritional guidelines, it's probably okay. That doesn't mean I can liquefy a cheeseburger!

I had planned on making Cream of Sweet Potato Soup, but then she told me her problems with the fibers in the potatoes. I mention it here so that others might consider what happened to her, but her Mom was ready to take her to the ER. Liz knew it would pass, and it did, but she learned a lesson. I just chose Sweet Potato over White Potato because of the nutritional content and it's Glycemic Index.

She also told me tomato soup was really hard on her stomach with the acidity of it.

The plain broths from-the-box were killing me. Eeeeyuck! So Liz told me to check-out the Campbell's clear broth based soups and strain all the stuff out them. What a difference!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Post Op - Day 4


Goals... I don't want to set any expectations, other than achieving a healhty BMI.

So, at 66", my 'Normal' body weight should be between 118 lbs. and 148 lbs.

I can't even fathom 118 lbs.right now!

I guess I will shoot for the middle of the range, 133 lbs.? I don't know; just seems so unimaginable at this point! But it will happen. I will make it happen.


Once again, I'm feeling better today than yesterday. I'm going to venture out with my family to the food store (Mommies never get a break!), do some laundry and get my morning walk in.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Post Op - Day 3

Well, as for right now I'm feeling pretty good. I've been walking 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night -- and yes, sip, sip, sipping as the day is long.

It's not nearly as bad as I thought, but I'll be glad when the the clear liquids phase is over; I'm having my drain removed next Wednesday. After the drain is gone, I can move to full liquids and I'm sure it will feel like world until I tire of them too! Pre-op I used to do homemade yogurt smoothies all the time, so being able to have them for breakfast again will feel somewhat "normal."

I use plain lowfat Kefir, friut, vanilla extract and Splenda. The Kefir is a probiotic -- it's like yogurt, but it's the consistency of buttermilk. Thin enough to get through a straw.

I also have cream soups, cream of wheat, malto-o-meal and grits to look forward too! Whooohooo! ;)

Today I actually went to the gym to walk. Up until this morning, I had been walking around my neighborhood. I did 30 minutes at 3.0. It felt good to know that now when I exercise, my efforts will be rewarded.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes. I'm off to take some meds and rest. :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Home!

Discharged at 12:30, and got home by 2pm. My pain was really a 6/7 -- I'm not that tough.

I'm coming down off my last shot of Demerol now, so I ought to go.

Thanks Melissa, for updated --- thank everyone for the well wishes. Will update more later!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Welcome to your new life, Beautiful Butterfly!!!

Hello all -

I am pleased to report that this is the first day of Donna's new life!!!

That's right -she made it through surgery just fine and is recovering as I type. I spoke with her wonderful hubby and he said she is groggy and her pain level hovers around 5 or 6. Man, for me, it was a pain level of 11. But then again, I knew Donna was a lot tougher than me. This only confirms it for me without a doubt!

I am just so excited for her - I can't even write about it without crying! I've been on the verge of tears all day just thinking about how happy I am for her to be able to do this for herself! I love that woman so much - she is just so amazing and I want nothing but the best for her!

You all will never know how deserving Donna is of this miracle. She will make the absolute most of this re-do in life, no doubt about it. Never have I met anyone who is so disciplined, dedicated and determined. I've always felt that it was so unfair that she had to struggle so much with weight loss when she truly gave it her all. Now, she will get the rewards for the effort. I know she will cherish this tool with all her heart and never take it for granted.

It will be so exciting seeing her world open up in ways she can't imagine. There will be so many things for her to experience and celebrate - she has no idea. I wish I could tell her about it all but these are things that are best left for her to discover on her own and enjoy when they happen. I know she will definitely share them here when she does! :-)

Well I need to close this out. I am about to go see her. Darren said she has been doing her walking and breathing treatments. I expected nothing less than total compliance from her. :-) I cannot WAIT to see her. Plus, it's always good for me to go back to that first day in my mind. It reminds me of just how far I've come and makes me treasure this tool even more than I already do.

God has blessed me abundantly in this journey and I know He will bless Donna as she now travels down this path of transformation. Thank You God for protecting Donna. Please bless her abundantly as she begins her new life by giving her a strong, healthy and capable body to match her incredible and beautiful spirit.

I love you Butterfly!!!!!!

xoxo
Melissa

"I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for."
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tomorrow is the Day!

I really feel like I should have something insightful to write today -- maybe a letter to my fat, bidding it a not-so-fond farewell? I guess not... or maybe later.

The strange thing is, I don't have anything to say that I haven't already said.

As I've told more than a few people, I'm nervous and excited all at once. As when I had my daughter via C-Section, I was extremely calm the night before. So much so, my mother had to comment on it -- especially since I am an undeniably the most emotional person in my family. It wasn't until I held Cassie for the first time, that I really lost it. If that was any indicator, I'm sure that it will hit me some time tomorrow.

Arrangements have been made for everything and I just have a few things to finish up at home tonight. Hopefully I'll be home by Friday... that would be great!

I have my last training session tonight, and they're going to re-measure and weigh me. I know they'll seem my hard work by my measurements. Unfortunately, being off my Glucophage for nearly a week shows a 4 lb gain on the scale. Every time I go off it for a period of time I gain, despite any honest effort. My PCP has told me to stop taking it, and we'll just see how things go. Since the surgery is malabsorbtive, I most likely won't need it! We're just going to have to watch for twilight syndrome.

Just a few more hours until I can leave for the day and I can't wait!

Guess next time I post I'll be on the losing side. :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

This Weekend....

This weekend was a busy one for me, but it was good. It definitely kept the time from dragging.

My Friday night, girls night out, started off slow. There was awful weather and a lot of the group had to work late. By around 10, we still hadn't gone out, but I was bored and went ahead anyway. We were all texting one another with logistics as I waited.

I got to the club and found a seat. I like to people-watch, I wasn't terribly bored waiting on everyone. In fact, while sitting there a guy introduced himself to me. He was taller than tall. If I had to guess, I know he was taller than my brother, who is 6'6", but I digress...

Anyway, we got to talking. After about an hour he was asking me, "What's your deal? Why are you here alone?" I explained the night's events to him, and for some reason told him we were going to celebrate both my birthday and re-birthday; that I was having weight loss surgery on Wednesday.

He said, "No kidding?" "I had it 5 years ago!"

So it was kind of cool that of all the people that could have talked to me, he did. We talked about his experience and it was good -- at the least it passed the time away until my friends showed up. When they did, we celebrated and had a great time!

On Saturday, Darren let me sleep late, and I had a training session. Date night was nice. We went to dinner. I didn't go nuts, but I did have a nice steak. We were going to go for ice cream, but I passed. :)

Sunday was a support group meeting. They had a personal trainer from one of the hoity-toity gyms in Houston come and talk to us. It was good, despite his presentation being appropriately geared toward getting people who were once sedentary to move. He did explain some biological body mechanics, which I found interesting. After he spoke, a post-op named Gina, did a presentation on her progress and shared her experience through a slide show of pictures, it was very well done. Yay for you, Gina! Actually, they asked Melissa to be the speaker for next month!

Anyway, I'm just going to spend the next 2 days getting things in order. I'm trying to keep Cassie's routine as normal as possible. I'm hoping to come home by Friday morning, if not sooner!

I have a ton of work to do, so I had better run.

Friday, November 10, 2006

5 DAYS!

I'm not really sure where all the time went! It seemed to get here so fast! I've made arrangements for my friend Melissa to post updates to my blog while I'm out of commission.

I haven't officially weighed or measured with the trainer, but after 3 1/2 weeks I'm down 6 1/2 lbs and am at 297. I know the core workout he's giving me is already changing my body shape, because my clothes just fit better, and I've only had 6 sessions so far (I'll have 2 more before the surgery) . At the least, I'm achieving my goal of not gaining anymore before the surgery!

The only thing I'll be cleared to do right after surgery is walk, and that's just what I'll be doing, until they release me to full activity.

I'm supposed to go out tonight to celebrate both my birthday and upcoming re-birthday with the girls tonight. I'm looking forward to it -- I just want to have some fun. :)



The whole "Devas" thing is an inside joke -- too much to explain, but really, we're not full of ourselves. From Left to Right is Toni, Liz, Me and Melissa. All of them have had Gastric Bypass. Ironically enough I met Melissa when I started a Weight Watchers Yahoo group years ago, and we've been friends ever since. Liz I met many years back when I was participated in the BBW scene back in Dallas, and now she lives here in Houston. I met Toni through Melissa; Toni was her co-worker.

Tomorrow night we're going to put Cassie in "Parent's Night Out" at school. Darren and I are actually going to have a date night -- maybe dinner and a movie. My daughter is 2 years old, and except for an overnight at a bed and breakfast when we were visiting my Mom, we've not had an adult night out since she was born --and man, do we need it! It takes so much time being being Mommy and Daddy that we have to remember to make time to nurture our relationship as Husband and Wife!



My birthday came and went without much fuss. I was out of town and most people forgot about it, which is fine. I can fool them all into thinking I'm going to be 39 next year, as opposed to 40. Darren bought me a lovely limited edition Coach bag (yeah, I'm a purse snot) that I would never have bought myself. I got some gift cards too, which I'll hoard until I need some new clothes.

It seems odd that for the last week, I've had little appetite. It's been surprisingly easy to practice restraint and self-control, eating my planned meals and staying away from the crap in the office. I'm not sure, but could it be my self-conscious is prepping me? Not that it bothers me, but all of a sudden it seems so much easier. Strange.

I guess that's about it for now -- I should get to work.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back from 'Bama (no banjo on my knee!)

Made it back from Alabama. It was as relaxing as was expected, so that was nice. When there's not much around, there's nothing left to do but relax. We spent time down on the 100+ year old family farm and took Cassie fishing for the first time. Now granted it's a stocked pond, but she caught 4 fish! She was just so curious; it was exciting to see her interest.

I can't believe I have just 6 days. The trip really did keep my mind off it. We didn't even try to tell Darren's 80 year old mother about it. I mean this in the nicest way; she's very simple minded. If we tried to tell her about the surgery it would just make her head spin. Of course we'll have some explaining to do later, but we can brush pass some of the details (for her benefit).

I am concerned as to how to deal with her after though. She is a Food Pusher with a capital F! If we're not doing something at a particular moment, you can bet we're either talking about food or eating food. It's really bad. I'll have to think on how to approach this in a fragile manner.

6 days!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No. Pre-op Work Today (For Real)

Okay, so yesterday was pretty much a diaster. Work was one challenge after another and I was drained. I left work late and couldn't remember if my pre-op appointment was at 2pm or 2:30 -- I had it all f'd up my my Blackberry (you know those digital assistants are only good if the data is entered accurately!).

I get on the road with time enough ahead of me to make it there by 2pm. As my luck would have it this particular highway is under construction AND to make matters worse it was down to 1 lane because of a car fire. I was ticked, but tried to relax by hoping no one was seirously injured. I called my surgeon's office, after I moved no more than 1/2 mile in 30 minutes, and warned them I might be late.

Of course they understood, but I got stressed when they said, "you have to be here by 3pm, or we can't see you." I'm leaving for vacation and having the pre-op work done when I get back was apparently too late.

I made it to the office by 2:45 -- waited until 3 before I saw the doctor. I rushed to the hospital for the pre-op work, and there was a 3 hour wait. Crud! I waited a while, but the receptionist motioned me to the desk and told me I could come back tomorrow -- so I took advantage of the offer thinking, "I could make it to my training session if I leave now."

I hit the road, get to the gym with 10 minutes to spare. I go to the locker-room and my phone rings. It's my trainer -- he's not there. Most of his afternoon appointments canceled, so he went home for the day.

See, I made the mistake of giving him the courtesy of letting him know I might be late. He said, no worries, that since I was his last appointment he'd wait for me, even if I was late. I told him to call me if he didn't feel like waiting on me, and I promised to call him with an update on my ETA. I called him and told him I'd be there -- like I promised. He did not call me and tell me he decided to go home. I was pissed.

Some days it just seems like everthing is a challenge. Argh... I'm done venting. :)

I just left the gym and got home to what is really important -- TorT'ing with my Minnie Mouse.