Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Very Bariatric Christmas

Christmas this year was pretty damned awesome. Also it was the first time my Christmas stocking wasn't FULL of chocolate and candy. And you know what? That was fine by me!

Aside from lots of lovely gifts from my friends and parents, I also got the best gift I could have ever imagined. I was getting out of the shower and looked at my nude body in the full length mirror. I then realized that, while I'm not happy with my body, I am no longer disgusted by it. I couldn't believe that I was looking at myself (and trust me, I'm still all lumpy and saggy and not at all good looking naked) and I wasn't cringing or thinking of how much I hated what I saw. I realized just how amazing our bodies really are. I weighed early this morning and found that I have lost 111 lbs!

And for tonight, I made a nice little Bariatric friendly dinner. It's a half of a chicken breast, rubbed with ranch dressing mix. Then wrapped with bacon and cheese and baked. Also made myself a small side of mushrooms sauteed in butter. Yep, I sure do suffer with my new diet. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Oh Eight

Yup, I'm down 108 lbs now. Seems like I'm losing a steady 2 to 3 lbs a week. I admit, I was expecting the 5 to 10lb weeks to last longer. I'm slightly bummed that the weight loss has slowed a bit, but I still feel better every day and hopefully I'm looking better as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What is 100 lbs?

  • 100 16oz bottles of soda
  • 400 sticks of butter
  • 3 large bags of dog food
  • a 2 month old horse
  • a Newfoundland
  • a high fashion runway model (*cough* anorexic *cough*)
  • 5 car tires
  • the amount of weight I no longer carry around on my body!
Yup, I hit my first milestone. I am now part of the Century Club. So what does it feel like?

I can stand for a much longer period of time.
I can do an entire sink full of dishes and not have any back pain.
I can go up and down a flight of stairs (omfg!!!)
I can take my dogs for a 30 min walk.
The jeans I wore in my 98lb picture are already getting loose.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3 months!

I had my 3 month appointment today. Fairly good labs. I'm a little difficient in iron and calcium so I'm adding more supplements. Overall I feel great and I have lots a whopping 89 lbs! I fit into a size 26/28 which I haven't worn since 2007. I still don't SEE the weight loss, even though I can feel it and see it in my clothes. Everyone comments on how much slimmer I look. Oh well, I guess I'll see it eventually.

And no, no pictures yet. I want to take my pics at my 100lb weight loss. Only 11 more pounds to go!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Low Carb, High Flavor Enchilada Casserole

As a fatty, I love mexican food. I mean I really LOOOOOVE mexican food. So I HAD to find a DS friendly way to make my beloved enchilada casserole. And tonight I think I perfected it!! I don't really measure amounts when I cook so this is more of a tutorial than a recipe.

The Ingeredients:
-Your favorite meat (I use crock pot roasted pork shredded up; recipe coming soon!)
-Mexican style shredded cheese (or use colby jack like I did tonight since we're out of Mexican)
-Macayo's Enchilada Sauce (or sub your favorite red enchilada sauce)
-canned mild diced green chilis
-zucchini, sliced VERY thin (I use my mandoline)

The Assembly:
-Smear enough enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan to just coat it. This prevents zucchini from sticking.
-Place a layer of sliced zucchini down to cover the bottom.
-Layer on some meat, the more the merrier!
-Scoop ~1 small can of green chilis over the meat and spread out
-Add a nice layer of cheese... don't be stingy!
-Cover with encilada sauce
-Repeat zucchini/meat/chili/cheese/sauce layer as deep as your dish will take
-Bake at 425 for ~30 mins.
-THE CRUICAL STEP: you have have have have to let this sit to thicken. It will be very liquidy when it first comes out, but give it half an hour to sit and it sets up just like if you had used tortillas instead of zucchini

The result:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gotta love Fall!

We fired off our woodstove last night for the first time this season. I swear, there is NOTHING better than a cold evening curled up next to a blazing fire.

In another note, I'm down 72lbs as of last Tuesday. That is hard to believe. I'm damn close to losing my first 100lbs and I think I would be more excited if that seemed more real. Right now it seems more like a concept or a phrase someone says. It's hard to believe that I ACTUALLY will have lost that much. Even now it's hard to believe I've lost 2 large bags of dog food (I like to put my weight loss into real life conceptual comparisons). Granted the entire 72lb didn't happen after surgery (42 since surgery, 30 pre surgery) but still!

And I don't feel deprived at all. I eat eggs and bacon for breakfast if I feel like it. Or yogurt. Or some goat cheese with all-bran crackers. Lunches lately have been caprese-esque with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and a generous spoonful of pesto. Dinner: amazing roasted pork, sometimes plain and sometimes with a little enchilada sauce and cheese melted on top. This surgery ROCKS!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Caramel Apples and Cupcakes

I was obsessing over the caramel apples at Safeway. OBSESSING. Like for almost 2 weeks obsessing. Finally I decided it was damn time to have one and to hell with the sugar content. While I was in the Safeway bakery picking out my apple, I saw and immediately bought a S'more Cupcake. (picture was not taken by me)

Just look at that bastard, in all its glory! I got back to the office and recruited a friend to come partake because I knew I would never be able to eat all my loot (nor did I really want to).

I unevenly cut the cupcake in half and took the smaller half. Holy shit! Really there is no other explanation. The cupcake was orgasmic. Not to be outdone, I sliced off about 1/4 of the caramel apple and ate that. Very good and satisfied my craving, but didn't hold a candle to that damned cupcake.

And the consequence? Yeah, explosive unpleasantness in the bathroom. Worst smell I've had yet.

The verdict? WORTH IT!!!! But I won't be doing that again for a LONG time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Pizza. Man I had been CRAAAAAVING pizza lately. I think it was the salty, cheesy goodness that I wanted. Well, on a Friday my work bought us some pizza for a "congrats, you survived a week of intense training" reward. The pizza was INCREDIBLY thin crusted, and I ate a couple of square pieces (small, maybe the size of my palm).

It was good. It was better than good, it was AAAAMAZING. And it was also probably the most carbs I've had at one time since surgery. My experience was one of pleasure. I got a little bloated and uncomfortable later that day, which I know is from the pizza crust.

In all, it was worth it. And it was yet another example of being able to eat "normal" food at a healthy portion size.

6 Weeks

Well, here I am about 6 weeks out. I feel AWESOME! Below are some stats:

Pounds: 398
Total Loss: 62
Dress Size: 32
Walk Duration: 20 mins

And now the Then and Nows, or BS (before surgery, not bullshit!) and AS.

Then: I could barely get out of bed in the morning and it took a VENTI Starbucks Mocha to wake me up.
Now: I hit snooze a few times, but then pretty much jump out of bed with all this ENERGY!

Then: A 15 minute trip to the grocery store left me in pain and exhausted.
Now: I just walked around Sam's Club for an hour with NO pain and NO tiredness.

Then: A typical breakfast for me would be 2 Bacon/Egg/Cheese Biscuits, 1 egg McMuffin, and 2 cinnamon melts all from McD's with a LARGE diet coke.
Now: Breakfast usually consists of a piece of string cheese, 1 egg, and maybe a little cottage cheese if I have room. (And the best thing is, I'm more full on this than I was on the other breakfasts).

Then: I circled parking lots for the Diva parking spot. Fat girls, y'all know what I'm talking about.
Now: I park wherever and don't even worry about the walk to the store taking a toll on me. Now granted I'm not quite able to park at the BACK of the lot yet. Not sure if that is physically unable or psychologically unable. But either way, back of the lot is coming.

And for a few surprises...

I find that if I think about baked goods, my brain goes "oo that sounds goooooood" but as soon as I think about EATING those baked goods my whole body says "Eat it and plan to spend 10 hours on the toilet, beeyotch."

My biggest craving right now? Fruits and veggies. It's not that I can't have these foods, but right now I just don't have enough room in my belly. Once I get my protein in, I can't fit anything else. One of these days I'm going to have a few bites of banana though, dammit.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Epic Jeans of Awesomeness

Right before I had surgery, I was wearing a size 32 jeans. STRETCH jeans. Stretched to within an inch of their lives I might add. But today, today was a very special day. I tried on my favorite pair of pre-op jeans, size 32 and NON-stretchy. I couldn't wear them for almost a year. And I wore them tonight, without discomfort. They're a little snug, but NOT tight.

I will try to get a pic in the next few days and update this post.

But officially I have finally started backing into my old wardrobe!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dispelling DS Myths

I have been hearing a LOT of misinformation about the type of surgery I chose. I was going to write up a post on it, but someone from the ObesityHelp forums said it way better than I ever could. And so, with permission from the lovely Kirmy (the authoress), I present "Enough of the Bull poo poo ca caaaaaaaaa!"

If I have to hear again how I'm going to fall down dead in a puddle of my own diarrhea by another uninformed nit wit giving health advice to newbies I'm gonna stage a dirty protest in THEIR bathroom!

Once upon a time I thought the DS old timers were a little draconian in how they jumped all over idiots on the boards there by giving DSers a reputation akin to Attila the Hun. Now I get it! Having to argue against a tide of misinformation and deliberate deception is enough to make anyone want to crack heads! LEAVE IT OUT!

So once more for the road:

I shit twice a day. It goes like this: One big soft crap that empties the distal end of colon followed an hour later after coffee and toasted ham and cheese sandwich with another soft formed crap from the proximal end of my colon. This totally empties my colon....totally...i.e. there is utterly nothing left but a lone tumble weed rattling about and the sound of the "Good the Bad and the Ugly" playing. I then get about my chaotic lifestyle. Loads of DSers get constipation and need to take magnesium in big doses to crap daily.

The RNY has dumping and foamies to stop you from eating like a dick, The VSG has painful restriction that makes you want to explode like a toad in the sun if you over eat (I've got your VSG as the first part of my GI tract peoples), the lap band just makes eating anything difficult or not at all, or will eventually give you the motherfucker of gastritis anyway so eating is going to be a detractor for many . The DSers hot wired STOP button is diarrhea. How do I give myself diarrhea? Well I ingest say two donuts, a bowl of pasta and top if off with chocolate in large amounts and a milkshake, I'll have about 5-7 loose bowel motions over the next 8 hours. I know not to eat white processed carbs in large quantities but sometimes I think "ahhh fuck it" and have a night of terribleness. This happens once a fortnight maybe. I choose this it doesn't happen to me!

I eat several times a day because I'm body building allegedly although my arse is still 40cms down my thighs and swinging. My eating habits mirror the skinny people I know. I can eat in a restaurant like anyone else and not stand out as the person that can only eat three spoon fulls of food. I eat a small to medium portion size. An example of my daily diet is:

Coffee, full fat lacto free milk, x1 slice of toast, 1 tbl spoon of butter, three slices of ham, one tomato, melted cheddar cheese and diced onion. NOM! Then another coffee.

Morning tea:
Chicken leg , orange sliced. Protein shake (75gms protein) with half full fat cream and milk

Sirloin steak cooked in garlic butter and mushrooms, Cream sauce if I can be arsed. Potato if I can fit it in

Afternoon Tea:
Packet of crisps or corn-chips, guacamole dip, more coffee decaf. Milk and cream

Usually a chicken or prawn curry. Tonight I'm making Mogul lamb with basmati rice and salad.

Chocolate and a decaff coffee, an apple or banana

Late snack:
Cheese slices and ham.

Am I a glutton? Nope. Anyone reading that and coming to the conclusion that that is an excessive amount to eat has food issues they need to closely look at. If by eating in a normal adult grazing and main meal pattern smacks of gluttony then I'm a glutton...a happy contented glutton. It is really hard to maintain a life of austere restriction. Food is beautiful and a celebration and I for one want to love eating not live in fear of food as the enemy. It nourishes me both physically and emotionally. I want to enjoy it for the rest of my life.....simple! If you (like the Royal We) need to diet to feel good then bang on. I won't. I can't keep that shit up.

So why then are all DSers being painted as shit smeared vitamin deficient anorexics or compulsive eating hysterics? I'm not! I don't know anyone that is and I've been active on the boards for about three years or more. I remember one women who had to be revised because of their weight loss being too extreme. That is three out of thousands of people that pass through this forum each day. I don't hear DSers screaming that all RNY folk are laying about in a bubble of foam unconscious with reactive hypoglycemia. I don't hear DSers telling VSG patients they are living on borrowed time and that their stomachs will rupture or they'll stretch to the size of the moon. OK we give lap bands a kicking cause many are revised from a lap band or have had terrible personal experiences due to them. For me my sister had massive esophageal erosion and her band slipped up and almost ruptured the upper aspect of her stomach. I would never tell anyone to get this surgery....ever!

Let me be clear that different surgeries exist to meet different needs. Surgeons are making money off us. Misinformation is easier to spread then good surgical intervention that may cost extra theater time and expense. Look deeper then throw away comments made by so called "experts". As a Nurse Practitioner I've heard some serious bullshit bandied about by surgeons and Physicians in my time so the "experts" are just as clouded with prejudice as anyone else. Medical misinformation is usually surrounding any procedure dealing with politically hot topics. The fact that 50% of UK and US people are projected to be morbidly obese by 2030 should get your antenna wobbling. There is LOTS AND LOTS of money to be made off us fat bastards. Doing three RNY's to one DS or Three VSG's to one DS is financially more sensible isn't it? Why would I tell you to get a DS then when you're going to cost me £22000 in lost patient revenues for one day? and understand.

I am healthy to the point of being an athlete now. I don't smell, I'm not a glutton, I don't hate you because you're not having the same surgery as me. Just don't piss on my gate and then tell me not to come and crap in your flowers.

Nu ff Said. Enjoy your day and pass the butter please.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lactose intolerant?

At first I thought so. I got to a point earlier this week where dairy made me feel nasty. Not nauseated, but bloated and yucky. I couldn't eat my beloved cottage cheese. I also couldn't eat ricotta and my protein shakes are made with whey protein. What's a girl to do? Cheat. Hold on, I cheated in a good way.

I was supposed to stick to pureed foods for another 4 or 5 days. I cheated by moving on to soft foods.

Meat (tee hee) my savior: Ground turkey - oh dear lord where has this been all my life? I mean, I've always liked it but MAN was this good. I chewed the living shit out of it to make it easier on my widdle stomach and to my surprise and delight, no nausea or nasty feelings. AND the small amount of ground turkey I can consume packs a whopping 20g of protein. SCORE!

Also noteworthy are scrambled eggs - I add a tablespoon or two of water to a single egg, add salt and a small amount of black pepper and then cook. It's super soft and moist, and best of all it's 7g of protein.

After a couple days of my non-dairy diet I discovered something. I'm NOT lactose intolerant. I was just eating so goddamned much cottage cheese and ricotta cheese that my stomach was all "dude, knock it off." I can now eat a little dairy each day. I just can't use it as a staple anymore, which is fine now that I can eat meat again.

On my list to try next:
- shrimp
- ground turkey with pasta sauce
- low sodium deli meats
- string cheese
- banana
- greek yogurt with finely diced strawberries

Oh, and a word to the wise: broccoli and cheese pureed soup with GNC unflavored soy protein = NASTY STUFF!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What the hell happened to me

Ok, so exactly what surgery did I have? What does it do? I've had a lot of people asking me these questions. Here is my best non-sciencey explanation for non-sciencey people: I have Franken-guts.

The name of the surgery I had was Duodenal Switch. I did NOT have gastric bypass (known as RNY or Roux-en-Y). The Duodenal Switch and the RNY both combine a restrictive element and a malabsorptive element, but that is where the similarities end.

In the Duodenal Switch, 85% of my stomach was removed. This is the restrictive element. I can only consume a small amount of food at a time. The most important thing to me regarding this surgery is that my remaining stomach remains a stomach. I do not have a "pouch" like bypass patients. I have an honest to blog functioning stomach with acid producers and a pyloric valve (not a stoma). It churns and gurgles and does all the things a stomach should do.

The second part of my surgery causes the calories I DO consume to be malabsorbed. The intestines are rerouted so that the food I eat does not have as long of a journey through the small intestine (where all nutrients as well as calories and fats are absorbed). I absorb about 20% of the fat I ingest. Pretty neat, huh? On the down side, it also means I absorb significantly less vitamins and other nutrients. I have to load up on protein and vitamins and minerals in order to not become malnourished. Tit for tat, as far as I see it.

So what does this all mean?
  • Because I don't have a "pouch" I can consume slightly larger quantities of food than a bypass patient.
  • I NEED to consume larger quantities of nutrients because my malabsorption is higher than that of a bypass patient.
  • I will not get "dumping syndrome" if I eat sugar or fat. However, I will pay for overindulgence with very unpleasant bathroom emissions.
  • I have an extremely good chance of maintaining at least 85% of my weight loss after 10 years (as opposed to other weight loss surgery outcomes).
  • I HAVE FRANKEN-GUTS!!! Sorry, but that amuses me to no end.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First food

Do you know how damned good cottage cheese is?

That good. It was FANTASTIC to finally move on to pureed foods after being on liquids for so long. I've become quite the cottage cheese fiend. I'm also drinking protein shakes, having cream soups (like cream of chicken) and I am going to try some re-fried beans tonight.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 3: Release!

Day 3 I was released from the hospital in the late afternoon. I had been doing well with walking and pain meds, sipping on broth and eating jello. It felt SO good to get out of the hospital. We checked into a hotel where we would spend the next 3 nights. The purpose was two-fold. I wanted to continue to recover in air conditioning AND I didn't want to recover near jumpy doggies.

The hotel room was very nice and quite comfortable, although walking from the car to our room was an endurance test for me. The room had a big screen TV and cable but it took a couple days before I could even handle watching it. Most of my time was spent sleeping, walking around, or contemplating my new future.

I'm home now, at my apartment. I miss the air conditioning but I'm glad to have a comfy place to sleep and my dogs and ferrets around me.

Day 2: my first day as a post-op

Day 2 started off with the usual round of medications, pain killers, and vital sign exams. Around mid morning I was taken down to do a swallow study to check for any leaks or blockages. The men who transported me were very very kind and tried to make sure I wasn't jostled. When I got down to the radiology lab, the nurses were... not as nice. They weren't mean per se, but I was in a lot of pain and they seemed to have the "ok we know let's just do this and stop crying" attitude. I had to climb on a large platform that jerked me around (excruciating) and I had to drink this greasy, nasty sour stuff. The only good thing is I got to see the liquid pouring through my new small stomach and intestines on the computer screen. I was cleared and told my swallow study was perfect.

The people transporting me back upstairs straight up sucked. The guy pushed VERY fast and we almost crashed into 2 gurneys and a group of docs. I got bumped on every bump and he just seemed to be in a hurry to get me back to my room. Once there, I got another large dose of pain meds and took a nap. It had been quite an ordeal.

The rest of the day was spent hobbling around the hospital hall with a walker, since I had to get up and walk each hour. Not fun, but necessary.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 1: Surgery and beyond

I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am to check in for pre-op services. My husband accompanied me to a small bed bay surrounded by curtains. I changed into the hospital gown and got my two IVs started. They gave me some medicine to relax me and before I knew it, I was being wheeled to surgery. The room looked like the ORs on TV but less chaotic. I had to scootch myself onto the OR bed myself, and that is the last I remember. I remember being in the recovery room and only being able to speak one word answers. Things like "puke" to mean "I'm nauseated."

The first real thing I remember is being wheeled from recovery to my hospital room. My parents and husband were there. Mostly at this point I slept. I don't remember my day nurse, but my night nurse was a young guy named Chris. Chris kept the pain meds coming and really helped me to survive. At that point I was not drinking or walking... I was just laying in bed trying not to cry and I kept thinking "why the hell did I do this to myself?"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Before" pics

So I have been putting off posting my before pics because I'm embarassed at how bad I look. Then tonight I realized "well shit, everyone who is reading this blog sees me in person so it's not like they haven't seen this before!"

So anyway, here are a few of my official "before" pics.

Way before (because I'm a smartass like that):

High School:

And now, the official "Before" photo.....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And so it begins...

Welcome to my weight loss journey. I will have weight loss surgery on August 10th, 2011. I will be posting of my experiences during this time of change.

To those of you with more tender sensibilities, I will warn you that this blog WILL be crass but it will also be honest. I mean, look at the title...