Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Goal

Ok, I know it's after Christmas now but I had to post what's going on with a goal I had set. I had wanted to be down to 225 lbs by Christmas and was stuck at about 228 lbs for a few weeks. I got within a 1/2 lb of that goal as of Christmas day.

Today however, I got on the scale and was 222.4 lbs! That means in the past week I have lost 6 lbs! I am so exicted about this! I was sick yesterday, I think I had a touch of the flu and was in the bathroom a few times with the runs (TMI I know lol) but I don't think that accounts for all the weight loss. I have also been more active and Chris got me a leg machine to work out with for Christmas so I was using that a bit too. I've also been eating more, not all bad foods but I normally don't eat enough which is probably why my weight loss slows down. I've had some sweets but not many so I am surprised still to have lost that much!

I am 12 lbs away from hitting the century club, which means I will have lost 100 lbs! I am also close to Onderland, being below 200 lbs! I haven't been there in about 16 years!!

I am so excited to have lost weight through the holidays for once, instead of gaining lol. I love my RNY!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hair Loss

Wow, it's been almost a month since I've posted a blog! Bad me!!

Anyways, in that time I started to notice that a bit of my hair was "shedding", kinda like the amount of hair you tend to lose after having a baby. I wasn't concerned. THEN, one day I am in the shower and noticed my hands were covered in hair! Gobs of it!! I didn't really panic but I did think, ok here we go....

I knew that there was a possibility of losing some hair. It's a much talked about subject after weight loss surgery. I think it's the combination of the anesthetic from surgery and the rapid weight loss. At any rate, you can lose hair and a lot of it. One of the reasons you need to be diligent with taking protein supplements is that it is supposed to help prevent hair loss.

I started to get a bit lax in taking my protein shakes. I was supposed to take two a day and I was lucky if I got one in, then it was down to 2-3 per week. Well, that's when the hair started to go.

I didn't panic though. I had hoped and thought I'd be one of the lucky ones who didn't experience this but I was. I had had surgeries before and never had hair loss. Anyways, I just thought I'd ride it out.

Well, after clogging the drains many times and getting sick and tired of having to try and get all the lost hairs off my hands when I shampooed, I decided to do something about it. I went to my good friends on and asked them for their advice. One of the girls there who lives in Windsor and goes to my support group responded with what our surgeon suggested (we have the same surgeon also). He suggests a vitamin called Maxi-Hair that I guess you can only get in the states.

Last week my mom had to cross the border with my grandma so she offered to pick me up some. She managed to find some for me, talk about horse pills!! Now, we are not supposed to swallow anything bigger than an M&M so I cut the first one in half and it was still hard to swallow. I am not big on taking pills lol. After that first one I got lazy and didn`t cut them but man, if you swallow them hurts going down sideways!

So, it`s been a week now since I started taking them. They are good for hair growth, nails and skin. So far I have noticed my skin is getting better. I usually have eczema on my hands pretty bad in the winter and it`s all cleared up! I think the hair loss has slowed down a bit but I am also not taking my protein shakes like I should be. I am just so tired of them. I think I am going to try some more protein bars instead of the shakes.

I`m glad I have a lot of hair so the loss is not noticeable to anyone but me. If I run my hands through my hair I can see a ton of lost hairs on them after pulling them away and my hair feels thinned out. I have always had very healthy hair, even though I dye it, and now it`s breaking and I have split ends, yuck!

Hopefully things get better from here on out. On the up side, I have now lost 80 lbs in 4.5 months and am past the halfway to goal mark! I tried on some jeans the other day, size 18 and they not only fit but they are a tad bit on the loose side! From a size 26 to 18 in 4 months! I also bought a large shirt, no more 5X`s!! I love the compliments I get now lol. I am 3 lbs away from the goal I wanted to hit by Christmas. I am loving my RNY and so proud of myself! Go me!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hell Is...Hitting A Plateau!

Ok this is my beef.....I've done so good losing weight after my surgery, I mean, 71 lbs in 3 months is nothing to sneeze at! The past 2-3 weeks though are driving me nuts!!

I know I've hit a plateau, which is where your body goes "whoa man, she's starving herself so let's hang onto some fat to use for energy!" I've lost maybe 2 lbs total this month which is frustrating after seeing 10-20 lbs come off in a month prior to this.

I know my weight loss is supposed to slow down somewhat but it's still supposed to be pretty fast coming off for the first 6 months right? I worry myself that if my weight loss slows down now I will never get to my goal weight. I should add that my surgeon told me to aim for a weight of 150-160 lbs instead of the goal of 140 lbs I set. I know I will have some loose skin that will account for some of that weight also. I have about 88 lbs more to lose. After weight loss surgery you generally have an 18 month window to lose your weight before you are in the maintenance stage. I worry that if I slow down now I'll never get to goal...

Ok, so it's been a couple weeks and I can't say I'm in a complete stall. I've still lost 1-2 lbs but oh so painfully slowly! I wanted to lose another 20 lbs by Christmas...yeah right! I weigh 137 lbs right now and for sure want to be below 200 by my birthday in April. That would average losing about 2 lbs a week.

I have been horrible in getting my protein shakes in lately and I know that is not a good thing. My hair is starting to shed a bit more than normal which worries me. A lot of ppl I know who had this surgery lost their hair around the 3 month mark, not all of it (don't want to scare you too much! lol) but a good bit of it. I am trying not to allow that to happen and one way is to get in enough protein, which I am not doing right now....

Anyways, hopefully by my next post I can tell you I've gotten over this danged plateau and am on my way to my goal weight!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hi, My Name Is Gina And I Am A Binge Eater

Allow me to explain the title of this blog with what happened to me this past weekend.

On Thursday afternoon my mother asked me if I wanted to go out with her and my 3 year old niece to walk through Ojibway Park to which I said yes. On the way she said she was going to take my niece through the McDonald's drive thru but then changed her mind and we ended up at Appleby's.

I have not really gone to any restaurants since my surgery for a few reasons. First I was afraid that there'd be nothing on the menu I could handle since I haven't been able to eat much or keep certain new foods down. Also I was afraid of wasting food or eating too much and needing to throw it up.

Well I ended up ordering the appetizer sampler which has riblets, cheese quesadillas, mozzarella sticks, & tortilla chips with spinach dip. I also ordered french onion soup but I only sipped the broth part. I shared the appetizer with my mom and I ordered water to drink. I didn't eat a whole bunch but I felt bad about my choice as there was a lot of carbs.

Afterwards we walked for about a mile through Ojibway Park so I didn't feel as bad. Thing is....I couldn't stop thinking about that appetizer sampler after that!

Friday night Chris and I went to Blockbuster to get some movies to watch and I suggested going to get some take out at Appleby's. It had been on my mind all day! This time I got the sampler and also a banana/mango smoothie (not a good choice but I am tired of water and stay away from pop which is my downfall). I ate about half of it while watching movies. Eating while watching tv is not good as you are not aware of how much you eat and you end up eating more than you should.

On Saturday it was my niece's birthday and my sister decided to take the younger kids to see Madagascar 2 at the theater. I got Kalli (my 7 year old) a kiddie popcorn deal with twizzlers and drink. She ended up not wanting any of it so I ate the popcorn and twizzler. After the movie we went back to my sister's where we had stuffed crust pizza from Little Caesar's. I had a piece and a crazy bread stick but I only ate half of each. Then I had a small piece of chocolate pudding cake and a small scoop of chocolate ice cream but only ate half of that also.

I felt like such a failure after eating all I did this weekend. I posted about how I felt on and thank goodness for the good support we all receive there! One of the supporters is from my own Windsor Weight Loss Surgery Support Group. Dawn e-mailed me and told me I sounded a lot like her, a binge eater. I thought "omg yes! How could I forget?!" I do binge eat but I haven't since my surgery. It's also getting to be almost that time of month and I always binged more at that time. I don't feel so bad now. I've also tried to eat better today. I am getting myself back on track. I've failed other weight loss attempts before by cheating and feeling I failed but this time I have a tool to help surgery! I am getting back on track.

I am such a perfectionist so I do tend to be hard on myself. I know I am not perfect but I have to accept that I am human and will slip up, but as long as I recognize that I am allowed to make mistakes as long as I fix it after than I will be fine!

Binge eating is not done out of hunger! I feel hungry but it's head hunger, not once did my tummy growl! I can usually take or leave food and have to remind myself to eat. I will always struggle with not binging but at least I know what my problem is and can plan ahead to avoid situations. I can also slip up and not feel I failed...I will just get back on track!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

3 Month Checkup

Today was my 3 month checkup with Dr. Hendrick. My appointment was at noon and my mom drove me across the border to see him, I'm nervous driving over in the states by myself lol.

Anyways, he seemed pretty happy with my results so far, losing 70 lbs in 3 months. I asked him what a realistic goal weight was for me and he said probably about 150-160 lbs. I had been aiming for 140 but I might still reach never know!

Dr Hendrick said my scar is healing ok and even though it looks a bit raised up and red that it will fade and go down, that it's still healing. That was a relief! Sometimes if I do a lot of activities it turns purple lol. I'm not as upset having the scar as I thought I would be though.

He was happy to hear I have an exercise video I work out to now. Before I wasn't doing anything besides the demanding things I do at work. I had started walking shortly after my surgery but I never seemed to have the time to get out and walk. So now I do my Leslie Sandsone Walk Away The Pounds video lol. It's pretty easy and I walk anywhere from 1-3 miles during it while still in my house!

One thing I learned is that I am not getting enough protein supplements in. I try to drink one protein shake each day but he said for the first year at least it HAS to be two! They aren't that bad but I don't eat much, have to remind myself or force myself to eat. I know if I don't eat I won't lose either so I try but I have no appetite. I do drink a ton of water though. So now I have to try and fit those protein shakes in.

I'd like to lose another 10-15 lbs by Christmas. Chris (bf) tells me I am looking really good/hot lol. He thinks this is what I looked like when we met but I've told him I still need to lose 35 lbs to get to that point!

Anyways, I need to get some bloodwork done and go see Dr. Hendrick again in February, 2009. I hope to have lost at least 100 lbs by then if not more!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Wow Moments

Well, earlier tonight I went out for Halloween with my boyfriend and our daughter. Kalli is in a wheelchair and getting her ready and taking her out can be a bit challenging sometimes. Every year for Halloween I ended up following her and my bf in my van, getting out for short walks before I would get too tired or out of breath.

This year I not only pushed her chair (with her in it, 50 lbs of kid lol) but I walked for a long distance, pushing that chair up steep driveways and I didn't get too tired! I didn't even get winded lol. My bf asked me if I was on steroids and he admitted to not being able to keep up with me. He is younger, fit and works out and he had to sit down! He said that just last year it would have been me sitting down!

I got home and had tons of energy and my bf and daughter went to sleep right away lol. I love my RNY! I feel more alive now than I have in years and have lost 67 lbs now since August 4th! I go see my surgeon on Tuesday (4 days), hope he is happy with my weight loss too!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for but of course at the top of my list right now is how healthy I feel since my surgery! I have lost 63 lbs now and feel so good! I have energy to do things I haven't done in years.

Yesterday is when my family had our turkey dinner at my sister's house. I cooked the turkey, stuffing and made devilled eggs. I really thought it would be horrible or a real challenge at least with all that food. We had turkey, stuffing, cabbage rolls, ham, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, devilled eggs, vegetable platter with artichoke dip, meat and cheese platter, salad, rolls, wine, pumpkin and apple pies, brownies, cupcakes, fried cheesecake rolls, etc. You name it we had a feast!

I decided to pace myself eating and go for the protein first. I haven't been able to eat more than a few bites of something until now so I ate slow. I took a bite of turkey, a bite of ham, a half a cabbage roll (left off the cabbage), had a bit of sour cream on the cabbage roll, a bite or two of the mashed potatoes with gravy on it, a few small bites of stuffing. I had a small slice of pumpkin pie about an hour after dinner. I also had two crackers with artichoke dip on them later. The only thing that didn't sit well with me was the two sips of red merlot wine, it burned so I laid off that lol.

I was amazed I could eat that much! I was real worried about thanksgiving because of that, it's one of my favourite holidays and as I cook the turkey and stuffing I had to smell it all day long lol.

I am so thankful for everything and especially how much my life has changed for the better. Another "wow" moment I had was making the devilled eggs. For years now I had to sit down to make them as it was too exhausting to stand up and my hands would always be numb from my carpal tunnel syndrome. Well not only did I stand the whole time making them but my hands did not go numb at all. I was ecstatic!

I am living again and for that I am forever grateful!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

9 weeks!

Well it's been 9 weeks now since my weight loss surgery and I am now down 60 lbs! Can you believe it?! I feel great and am looking better and better! Last night at work my work pants fell down and I had to catch them real quick and pull them up lol. I had to order a smaller pair.

I am getting comments on how great I look and it's getting embarassing. I love how good I feel though! I can now put on my own socks and shoes (don't need help at all) and can walk or stand for long periods without being out of breath! Chris (my boyfriend) says that when he puts his arm around me in bed at night that I feel like half the person I was lol.

I just can't believe how healthy I feel! I feel like I really do have a new lease on life and it's awesome.

I go back to see my surgeon in a month and he had wanted me to lose a total of 80 or more by then. At first I didn't think I'd make it but now it seems attainable. Only 20 more lbs and the way they are coming problem lol.

I had hit a small stall for about a week or so but now it seems like I am losing every day again. I've tried to increase my protein so maybe that helped.

Anyways, I am sooooo loving my weight loss!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The mirror vs. pictures

Why is it that you can look in the mirror thinking you look pretty damned good then when you see a picture of yourself you cringe and say to yourself "omg! I look that bad?!"

Today I went shopping at Pennington's. I love that store but can't wait until I can shop for clothes in normal stores! Anyways, I tried on a few things and of course loved them all. I didn't have enough money to purchase every item I liked so I chose a shirt and a sweater and a purse (don't ask me why but I have a thing for purses and buy new purses like every month). I tried the clothes on in the dressing room and liked how I looked for a change. Usually those store mirrors make me look like a gorilla or something. So, I get home and change into my new clothes. I decided I had looked pretty good in them so I should take a few pics of myself. I figured I could post them up on my profile at to show my 56 lb weight loss since my surgery almost 9 weeks ago.

Well, I took one pic, thought it was a bad angle, so took another. REALLY bad angle lol. I took a few more before giving up! Why do I look pretty good in the mirror but the pics made me look huge still?? Can't figure that one out lol.

So, I will wait until a bit more weight comes off unless I can figure out how to airbrush my head onto some supermodel's body lol. Either way, no pics of me!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Ok, let's talk protein shall we?

Protein is very important for success with weight loss after weight loss surgery. I had been having a hard time with getting enough protein in if any at all some days. I noticed my weight loss slowed right down. The protein shakes I had I kind of got tired of and it was all I could do to choke them down some days. I also had a hard time keeping other protein in the house, eggs, cheese, etc because my kids were eating it all on me!

So, I ordered a new kind of shake that is very good from fortius. I got chocolate banana explosion and decadent chocolate peanut butter. The banana one is very good but the peanut butter one I think I made wrong. It turned out as thick as melted marshmallows lol. I will try that one again tomorrow, I had a taste and I am done with protein shakes for today lol.

I had gotten into the bad habit of eating sunflower seeds lately too. I wanted something to munch on that didn't have sugar and that I could get down since I still can't seem to eat much. With the sunflower seeds I could eat a ton! That is when I stopped concentrating on protein and stopped losing weight. I stopped the sunflower seeds and in one day lost 6 lbs! Well, that should tell me something eh? lol

Protein is important after weight loss surgery to help you heal. It helps to prevent hair loss which can occur a couple months after surgery. I am two months out and so far no hair loss. Protein helps to prevent losing muscle while also losing fat. Your body will use the protein to burn the fat while carbs will be held onto by the body and you won't lose weight.

Protein bars are good for protein also but a bit heavy after surgery. I try to get a lot of my protein from drinking 1% milk, eating low fat cheese and any meat I can get my hands on. I also try to eat eggs but I have a hard time finishing one whole egg still lol.

I've lost 56 lbs now in 8 weeks. I want to try and lose 10-20 more in the next month so I have to concentrate a lot on getting that protein in for sure!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

8 Weeks Gone!

Well it's been 8 weeks now since my surgery and I've lost 50 lbs but the weight loss seems to have slowed right down. I'm not too worried but it is discouraging all the same. I know my body has to adjust and to lose 50 lbs in two months is amazing! I feel so good and am looking a lot better.

The eating is getting a bit better too. Tonight I was able to eat a whole taco! That is so awesome! Usually I take two to three bites of something and am so full but tonight I ate a whole taco, slowly but with no problem!

I also tried on some old clothes that either I had outgrown or were too tight and they fit! Some fit good while others are loose lol. It's so amazing to try on clothes and have them be loose instead of too tight! I still don't want to post any pics until I feel it is really noticeable. Hopefully soon.

Anyways, I've lost 50 lbs now and have about 119 lbs to go until I reach my goal. It seems a lot but I know I can do it and I will!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Lately I have been discouraged about not being able to eat more than a couple of bites still. I had gotten to the point where I was back to just fluids, soup, shakes because it didn't seem worth it to make anything to eat if I was going to just take two bites of it.

Well today I am so, so close to reaching the first big goal I set for myself. Originally I had about 160 lbs to lose so I decided my goals would be in 50 lbs increments. I got on the scale today and have lost 49.4 lbs which is so close to that 50 lb mark but I let out a little squeal of delight lol. I started off at 308 lbs and am now 259 lbs (amazing to be in the 250's now!). Also, my bf keeps calling me "flat ass" now lol, I tell him it's just cuz all my clothes are hanging on me but he keeps teasing me. I am afraid to try on smaller clothes yet, don't know why. I think I am afraid that if I try on smaller clothes and they don't fit I will be depressed. It does look funny though to see my size 4X clothes on me. I look like a little kid playing dress up in her mom's clothes!

I feel so much healthier but one of the best benefits of my surgery is that my kids are now eating healthier because there is no more junk food in the house! My 16 year old has taken up walking for exercise and my 12 year old who had gained weight is now losing it, my 18 year old son has really thinned out and well my 7 year old takes after her dad and is a skinny minnie! My kids were never fat but they had gained weight in the last year and I didn't want to see them go down the same road I did. I was skinny as a kid, always active and into sports. Once I had kids though my eating habits got really bad and fast food was just too easy when I was busy and on the go. To see my kids already into bad habits scared me but now they are learning to be healthy again. When they were younger I always made sure they had veggies (they were rare kids who loved veggies lol) and fruit. Now we have all those healthy things in the house again and instead of reaching for junk they have fruit or some other healthy snack.

My bf keeps complimenting me left and right which I love lol. He tells me how small I am now (I am still 60 lbs heavier than when we met!) and how he can get his arms around me so much easier. He loved me at my heaviest and when I told him I wanted the surgery he said he didn't want me to, because of the risks, but he wanted me to feel better and be healthier so he was behind me all the way.

I just have to say that having others support you in your weight loss goes a very long way towards helping you be successful. The more I feel supported the better I am doing. It is still hard some days and I want to give in to some temptation but I've done pretty good. I got a kick in the ass the other day when I tried a sip of Sprite lol, man ,my tummy burned for 5 minutes just from one sip, won't do that again! Other than little slips like that I just try to get in protein and fluids lol.

So, I think it's been about 7 weeks since surgery and to have gotten to my first big goal is just so encouraging! My surgeon wants me to lose a total of 80 lbs by my next appointment in November, which worries me lol. I don't know if I can attain that but maybe if I up my activity, I must admit I lack seriously in that. I have a little over a month to lose 30 more pounds by my next appointment lol.

Anyways, I'm so glad to have a lot of support and to hear compliments keeps me going. I wouldn't be so successful without the support I have!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

6 Weeks Post Op

So, it's been 6 weeks already since my weight loss surgery. It doesn't seem like that long but sometimes it seems like forever. The times it seems like forever is when I am trying to eat something, take two bites and am full. I want to hurry up and get to the point where I can eat normal or somewhat normal again.

I have lost 45 lbs so far and love the way I am looking and feeling! I've had a few small "wow" moments so far. The other day I went through a turnstile without getting stuck or having to turn sideways and go up on my toes to try and make it through! I actually went straight through it and had room to spare! I have room in the bathtub too when taking a bath lol. I used to almost wedge myself in. My clothes are all really getting loose on me also. Soon I will have to go shopping methinks ;)

Everyone is noticing my weight loss but not everyone seems to be happy for me. I've actually had a few others who have had the same surgery tell me they are jealous of how well I am doing and I make them feel like about taking the wind out of my sails! I've also had others who I've known a long time stop talking to me. Jealousy is an ugly thing and I don't know why people can't just be happy for me. I didn't do this to myself just to look better than others. I did it to be healthy and to feel more confident, to boost my self esteem. More than anything though I missed being active!

Before surgery I would be huffing and puffing at the slightest movement, taking a few steps exhausted me! Now I feel so full of energy. I took 3 of my kids shopping at the mall the other day and walked and walked without getting tired or out of breath! It was amazing lol.

One concern I had resolved itself in this past week. I had been badly constipated since surgery. I know this is TMI but if you are having this problem or are considering the surgery you might need to hear this lol. I tried everything to relieve myself. I ate tons of fruit, took milk of magnesia several times (grossest stuff ever!) and walked to try and get things moving. Finally I went to the store and got some dulcolax which my surgeon recommended. You have to be careful after surgery which meds you ingest as some can now be very harmful. Anyways, I took 3 little dulcolax pills like the instructions said at 7pm. The box said to give it 12 hours to work so I figured I'd go by 7am before I had to get the kids off to school. body has no timetable it goes by lol. I did not go by morning, in body waited until 1 hour before I had to go to work at 4pm! It figures lol. I actually lost 2 lbs by the time I was done lol. Of course I had to go to work feeling very weak with my butt burning like it was on fire! Try to avoid getting constipated if at all possible! Walk, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and don't let it go for long. I let it go way too long, almost 5 weeks! If you don't go for a week, you need to do something about it!!

I am still learning how to eat all over again. Some foods are just too heavy for me yet and I end up throwing them up. I really hate puking and try to avoid it at all costs but the pain is so bad I have no choice! I really hate taking my time eating also because my food gets too cold. I love my food piping hot! I chew and chew until my food is pulp but by then it tastes gross and the whole time I am chewing I have to really force myself not to swallow early, it's like swallowing is now involuntary lol. It sure is a learning process and I can't wait to be past this stage.

The problems I've had are so minor but frustrating all the same. Do I regret the surgery? No, I am healthy and love how I look and feel and know that in a few months I will be even better but at time I do wish I could order some fast food and chow down lol. Old habits die hard but they will die because this is a new me and I need to learn to be healthy again for me as well as my kids. I also want to be a good role model for them, it would kill me if in the future I was sitting in a waiting room while one of them had the same surgery as I've had. I wouldn't wish this on anyone and wish I had never let myself get to this point. I am so glad however that I had this option! I had run out of options and would not have lived a whole lot longer if not for this surgery, it saved my life!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things I've Learned

Well I am going into week 4 post op and I am still learning about my "pouch". I have discovered that I need to eat very slowly because if I eat too fast I become full before I know it. I've had a bite in my mouth being chewed up when I get that full feeling and decide to swallow it anyways, big mistake! Twice now I've had to run up to the bathroom where I lose whatever I ate. The puking is not as bad as the pain that occurs before I puke! I feel like someone hit me with a baseball bat where my diaghram is and I can't get a breathe in. The more I try to relieve it the more it hurts until I throw up. Once I throw up the pain is gone instantly.

On another note I also thought I had hit a plateau which is normal while your body tries to adjust. For a few days I was stuck on this one pound I was trying to lose, then overnight I lost 2 lbs lol. I have now lost 40 lbs in just 3 weeks! That is the most I have ever lost in any weight loss attempt. The last time I lost 40 lbs was through Weight Watchers about 15 years ago and it took me about a year to lose it lol.

I am feeling thinner and so much more healthy. I have noticed my carpal tunnel syndrome seems to be gone! I can do things without being out of breathe or tired now too! My scar is healing but right now it's itchy because the skin around it is peeling.

So anyways, I've learned that I have to eat SLOWLY and that plateaus do pass. Oh and one more thing....if you get that full feeling do not drink anything! It will make it a hundred times worse lol. This is hard to do too because I am always thirsty and that full feeling can last hours!

Until next time I post, have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Well, I saw Dr Hendrick on tuesday. He said it looked like I am doing really well. I had half my staples taken out, the other half will be next week. The drainage tube was also removed and I feel so freeeeeeee!

Since then I have been getting on the scale and amazed at the numbers already. I started out at I think 306 lbs and the surgery made me swell to 315, now I am 285 lbs! I feel thinner too and have to keep making my binder tighter.

I've had a concern since yesterday though. I started to feel like I had this lump inside me, around my diaphragm. When I ate something I felt too full, for hours. Today it feels like I have this fist trying to push my insides out....I have no clue what it is but it lasted all day. If it does go away it's for like a minute or so, that's it.

I was hoping not to have to call my surgeon but I think I will tomorrow. It's making me not even want to eat at all, or even drink.

Also, I have a slight surface infection where the drain was but I keep getting air to it and alcohol. I will post again once I find out what this other problem is. I'm deathly afraid of it being a hernia and needing more surgery....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

6 Days Post-Op

Well here is it Sunday afternoon, 6 days after having had my RNY surgery. I am still on a full clear liquid only diet which doesn't bother me as I am not hungry at all! I am mostly sipping either a water bottle or a glass of 50% water, 50% white grape juice (or apple). Today I tried a couple of sips of a protein shake as I still have not moved my bowels. This might seem like too much info but it's very important to avoid any bowel obstruction. My bowels have never worked regular so this does not surprise me.

My surgeon had told me to take some milk of magnesia if I didn't have a BM by friday. I did that, several times, nothing! MOM is the grossest tasting thing too! I've been gassy which can be anywhere from slightly uncomfortable to really painful. It took me until yesterday to be able to pass gas lol. I know the anesthetic deadens the bowels so it's vital to get them moving asap after surgery but they must be alive if I can pass gas now!

I feel better every single day. The first two were the most challenging as I was sore enough to need help getting up. It wasn't a bad excruciating pain though, just real sore moving certain ways. I will tell you that laughing is not a funny matter! My daughter and I were watching Family Guy on tv and one part made me burst out laughing without thinking. OMG, I thought I ripped my guts wide open! I told my daughter to stop laughing cuz I was in pain but she kept laughing which made me laugh more. Needless to say I had to take some pain meds right after that lol.

When I do feel a bit stiff or sore I get up and walk laps. It really helps to move. I've been trying to sip fluids but can't fit much in, a sip or two and I am full. I know when I am full cuz I tend to hiccup if I had too much or drank too fast lol. It kinda hurts though, like food stuck in the esophogus if you swallow a bite too large to go down right.

I hate wearing this binder around me but am grateful for its support at the same time. I also hate the leg compressors my surgeon wants me to wear for now but I am trying to follow all he wants me to do.

I go see the surgeon on Tuesday morning. I think he will be taking 1/2 my staples out by then. I took some pics of my tummy with the staples, not a pretty picture right now, but I want to document everything. I know it will all get better as time goes on.

Every day I feel better, stronger, more alive. I had gained about 15 lbs from the surgery, most likely the IV fluids and swelling and lost it all now. I do feel thinner though and I think I can see it in my face, neck, arms and legs. I feel it in my waist but with my tummy all swollen still it's hard to tell.

I am not walking a full mile a day like my surgeon told me to. I couldn't even do that before surgery! I have however worked up from where I was. I figured out online that 2000 steps was a mile so I walk laps around my kitchen/living room. I could only get in 400-500 the first two days. Yesterday I got in 1100 and today I can walk faster and more upright. I haven't finished all my laps yet today but have done 700 so far.

I've noticed today I am irritable. I don't know if it's hormones or just having fluids. It could be hormones though. Everyone warned me that the surgery would bring on my period but I thought it was safe as mine was just 2 weeks ago...oh no though, it came on yesterday, ugh! Not a heavy one thank goodness! It's just one more thing to worry about though!

Anyways, I think that is all I have to report for now. I'm going to go do some laps and maybe that will get my bowels moving lol. Ciao!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Open RNY Surgery, August 4th, 2008

I am home from the hospital and feeling up to posting but I just posted a long recap of my surgery to my site so member could see how I did, so I am just going to paste that post here. Sorry, if I had more energy I would put up more details lol.

I've been too tired since getting home to post much but I am feeling better at the moment so I wanted to share my surgery experience.

I got to Henry Ford hospital (in Wyandotte, Michigan) early. My appointment was for 10:15am but I got there with my mom and 16 year old daughter around 9:15am. My other kids stayed home to help take care of my 7 year old who has special needs. So anyways, we were given a buzzer. The first buzz meant they were asking me to come in and the second was for my family after the surgery was over. I saw Dr Hendrick, my surgeon, come out and speak to Denise's family. Her mom, dad and husband were there...all very nice people! We spoke to them after and heard Denise was doing well. I felt so relieved to hear that. I was called in shortly after that.

The nurses there were sooo wonderful and I was just so amazed at how things are run there. I must say I much prefer there to our Windsor hospitals. The nurses told me that Dr Hendrick was a fantastic doctor but also very serious about his patients following his rules. The nurses also told me that Dr Hendrick has the nicest patients out of all the surgeons there and they always ask him where he finds us lol.

I was fixed up with two IV's, that is what he wants. One bruised me pretty badly but didn't hurt. I then had the team come in to talk to me and then Dr Hendrick. I felt very calm going in. The anesthesiologist gave me something to calm me down anyways and I don't remember anything after that lol.

Next thing I remember is waking up, being told I did really good and was fine. They moved me to my room which I barely remember as I was so groggy. As soon as was possible they allowed my mom and daughter in the room. My mom told me then what Dr Hendrick had told her about my surgery. I guess when he was telling her she burst into tears, my mom is NOT a crier, but I really am fine. First, the surgery took about 2 hours instead of just 1-1.5 hours. My liver was fatty which I kinda expected, all that damned fast food! He also told my mom that I am one of those rare people who grows fatty deposits on the inside of my body as well as the outside of it. He then told her what scared her. He said my uterus is enlarged and as soon as I am well I need to get that checked out. He told me later it could be fibroids but it definitely needs to be checked. I think my mom lost it cuz my aunt, my dad's sister just found out in November she had breast cancer, by January had a double mastectomy and was on chemo and radiation up until last month. So of course my mom was scared it could be cancer or something very serious. My mom has also worked in hospitals and for doctors most of her life so she knows what could go wrong.

The first day I was more or less out of it. Very groggy and slept a lot. By midnight they had me dangle my feet over the edge of the bed, making me a bit dizzy but not bad. I had an On-Q Pain Buster pump attached to me, it sent pain meds right to the incision site. I also had liquid dilaudid in an IV. I also had a binder around me to hold it all in lol.

The nurses were sooooo wonderful, anytime I needed them they were right there and so nice. My parents were up to see me one night and I pressed the button for a nurse. They were amazed she showed up in my room immediately. Back in Windsor you never see that lol.

The second day I started to walk, had my catheter taken out first (no big deal), and walked the length of the hall and back. It's not a small hall either. We had to walk that 10 times a day. They marked it off on a board in our room. I was going to the bathroom ok, voiding that is, no bm yet and if none by friday I have to take some milk of magnesia. I was walking slightly bent over.

Let me tell you what to pack. NOTHING! I seriously never touched my suitcase lol. I was not allowed a shower until I got home and the gowns they had there were so nice and comfy, roomy with no back panel showing ass lol. In other words, they cover you right up. I am normally the type who wants to be in my own clothes but I really didn't mind.

By the third day I was getting ready to go. I was on one of my "walks" when my doctor caught me and sent me to my room so he could talk to me about going home. I tried to sneak past him as he was writing something down but then I heard "Where are you going?" So back to my room I went lol. He asked me if I had any questions which I didn't. I think the only question I ever asked him was if he sutured and stapled, answer was yes. So I was told I could go home anytime. I called my mom up to tell her. The nurses then showed me how to empty the drain that is attached to me, easy as pie and not bad to look at lol. They also made sure I knew how to give myself the Lovenox, blood thinner shots, in my tummy.

I asked for a wheelchair to leave, only cuz I still felt a bit nervous about getting dizzy. My mom helped me into her van and away we went. Easy ride home across the border too!

I came home to everyone being so gentle with me, like I was fragile lol. I've always been a trouper though. My dogs were so happy to see me, my husky kept licking me and staring at me nervously like he wanted to make sure I was ok lol.

Once things settled down I had my boyfriend come help me in the bathroom with things. I was afraid to fall more than anything. He was so good about it all lol. He really didn't mind too much helping me to go or anything but reminded me he MUST love me to do this lol. Then I emptied my drain and gave myself my shot. My boyfriend told me then he was glad I was the independant type because that would have been too much for him lol, he's a bit squeamish!

My first night was not too bad. I slept in my daughter's hospital bed but found the mattress was too soft right now for me so I moved to the couch for now. I have had a bit of pain but it's more like pulled tummy muscles. I am having more of a hard time getting anything in. I take little sips of 50% water 50% pure apple juice. I am awake more now and try to get my walking in. I walk around my kitchen and living room lol, figured out that a mile is about 2000 steps so I am aiming for that right now. I seem to have to pee a lot (tmi I know lol) and not much comes out.

My breathing is getting better but I need to use my breathing apparatus more. See, in open RNY they collapse part of the left lung (or it just collapses on it's own, I forget which) so afterwards I felt short of breathe but the more you do the breathing exercises the better it is.

Anyways, that is my long surgery story lol. Sorry it's so long but I figured it is going to be helpful for those about to have surgery to hear it all from someone who just went through it, while memories are fresh. The pain really isn't that bad and the binder I am wearing helps a lot. The worst pain I have had so far is a huge headache!

So, hope you all got something out of this. I might not feel 100% yet but it's tolerable and I know that day by day I will get better. I go back to my surgeon on Tuesday to get my drain out and half my stitches.

Pretty soon I will be posting my wow moments so stand by!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Surgery Tomorrow!

Well, this is it! Tomorrow I am having RNY Gastric Bypass surgery at Henry Ford hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan. Dr. Steven Hendrick is my surgeon and I sure hope he is on the ball tomorrow lol.

I am starving right now! Been on this liquid diet for a week, yes I cheated a bit but seriously not much. Today was only clear fluids and after midnight I can't even have water! I am nervous but also excited. I think I am more nervous than I'll admit to myself because it is 11:25pm and I am delaying packing! I need to get this done so I can sleep lol. My mom is picking me up and Tanya, my 16 year old is coming with us. Jesse, Katie and Kalli will stay home.

I got to spend time with my whole family today and am so glad I got to enjoy my kids today. They calm me down and always give me that will to fight, to live. I love them more than anything so I know I have no choice but to make it through this.

Well, I should really go and get things ready now. Wish me luck and send up prayers for me to recover quickly and well! Soon I will be able to freely live my life again!!!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Liquid Diet

Well, I've been trying to follow this liquid diet I have to be on the week before surgery and it's been tough. I had a gross protein drink that made me feel so sick so I ended up having nothing but water for 3 days straight. Well, I ended up feeling so weak at work and dizzy and cranky! The good news is that since last week I have now lost 15 lbs! I finally got some good protein drinks from a couple of new friends I met first through OH ( and then I met them in person at the Windsor Weight Loss Surgery Support Group. The protein they gave me tasted really good so I feel much better.

I have a confession however and I want to share it for a reason. Even though I got those protein drinks today and felt better, the 3 days of just water had gotten to me I guess. I cheated and went to Burger King at 1am. I didn't want anyone to catch me eating but I just had that "craving" that I couldn't ignore! I am telling you this because I know some of you have people in your lives (like I do) that will say you can do it on your own. They will say you don 't need the surgery, just stop eating junk!

This is my message to all of you who think I can lose the weight on my own. Being obese is not a social issue as much as it is a disease. We tell alcoholics to go to rehab and we know it is a disease, that they can never touch another drink or they will once again be victims. Being obese is not just a disease, it is so varied in what causes it for each person yet we all feel the same outcomes. We might eat to protect ourselves from the world in larger bodies, we eat for comfort, we eat because the taste of food going down our throats is the best feeling in the world that no drug could even begin to come close to. There are many reason why a person becomes obese, predisposition to obesity (it's just in the genes!), stress, low self-esteem, depression....the list could go on and on and on! Sure we can go on a diet, lose some or most or all of the weight we need to. I can guarantee though that the obese person who loses it through dieting and even exercise will 99% of the time gain it back. Something will trigger it and the addiction is too strong to resist. Food is a basic necessity for life as we all know. An obese person can hide behind that whereas a smoker, drug addict, alcoholic cannot say that they will die without having what they crave. Food on the other hand is something humans need to survive. It's easy then to not give it a second thought or feel as guilty. We also though will not only eat guilt-free in front of everyone but we will later on turn into closet-eaters. Hiding when we eat and how much we eat, raiding the fridge in the middle of the night or getting late snacks at the store so nobody sees us to berate us or make us feel guilty.

So, sure I could diet. I just lost 15 lbs on this liquid diet in a week. My surgery is on Monday however (it's now friday). Without the surgery I can 100% guarantee that those 15 lbs would be back on me within a month, bringing along 5 extra lbs to boot! I've been through it all sooooooo many times over the years! Don't tell me I can do it on my own! I would have already damn it!! Do you think I want to cut my stomach open and rip most of it apart, leaving a little pouch? Do you think I enjoy pain or changing my life forever. The only life I knew since birth and then taking away my one comfort when I need eat until I feel better?! I wish I could do it on my own so much. I wish food didn't have this hold on me!

Ok enough ranting lol. I cheated on this liquid diet but I am not beating myself up over it. One cheat will not kill me and I didn't even finish it, I gave half to my dog lol. I just needed to savor the taste of something good tonight. It was a stressful day at work and then my french bulldog was in respiratory distress and he is in the animal hospital overnight hooked up to IV's. He's ok but I am worried. A lot of things built up and food has always been my comfort.

Well, my surgery is in a few days. I got my prescriptions filled tonight and am basically ready for it now. So the countdown is now on!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Well this is it, the last stretch before my surgery. Yesterday I went to Henry Ford hospital over in Wyandotte, Michigan to get my PATs done (pre-admission tests). My mom took me over there and things went pretty smoothly on the way there. The border had a bit of a wait because for some reason they were checking all the vehicles for something. After that we found our way really easy and got to the hospital at about 9:45am. My appointment was for 10 and by the time we got in there it was 9:55am. They called me in and took some blood then did an EKG on me which took no time at all. I was told that the anesthesiologist had reviewed my chart the day before and did not need to see me so I was done. I was out of there at 10:10am lol.

So, we started home after that and I was thinking how easy everything has been so far, nothing has gone wrong. I'm thinking that is a good omen. I mean I prayed before I even committed to this that if it was the right thing to do that everything would go smoothly, quickly and easily. So far it has!

Anyways, we got on the freeway and were driving...and driving...and driving.....and suddenly we realized nothing looked familiar and we had been driving too long. Suddenly we see a sign...."Welcome to Ohio"!!!!!! Yikes, don't ask me how we did it but we ended up in Ohio lmao! I think we were in Toledo or something. Well, we were cracking up and panicking about how to get home. So, I turn on my dad's GPS and it tells me only the streets I am on, not which way to go. I finally get it programmed right but it told me to get off the freeway so I told my mom that but it didn't feel right. We were on telegraph road then, a longggg road lol. It was like a long country road and we started to look for a gas station. After what seemed like forever we found one, by then the stupid GPS battery had died lol. Anyways, we got back on I75 and made it back to the bridge. Yay! lol By that time we were laughing hysterically at everything lol.

So, now I just have to wait. One week of a full liquid diet and then my surgery is August 4th. The hospital will call me the friday before to tell me what time to be there and what time my surgery is at. I am still nervous but so excited at the same time. I already lost 7 lbs this week, from working my ass off at work lol, probably all sweat I lost but at the hospital they weighed me in at 302lbs I believe and I'm sure I will lose more this week with work and the liquid diet I am to be on.

I really can't wait to lose all this weight, to be the person I used to be, to be healthy again!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The New Job

Well, this is going on day 3 of working at my new job since I finished training. Last night was crazy busy! We had hordes of ppl coming into McDonald's after the mall closed and the theatre let out. Thank goodness we had some help when a guy who works there but wasn't shifted on came back into the kitchen and helped us out a bit. We had just two of us back there and the store was hoppin!

I need to get myself some non-skid shoes. I slide all over in the grease lol. I wish too that the humidity would die down, it's brutal in the kitchen in this heat! My face is bright red from being so hot and by the time I get home I need to take a nice, long, cold bath to both cool down and get all the salt from sweating off me, yeah it's gross!

The worst part of this job is how much my feet hurt!! I thought it would be hard on my back since I have a bad back but no, it's my feet! By the time midnight rolls around and I can go home I can barely walk as I hobble out to my van. It hurts to even take the emergency brake off with my foot lol. Last night I came home, stripped down, took a cold bath and some pain killers then was in bed by 1am. I could NOT sleep though! The pain in my feet was horrible and I was laying there in agony as my feet throbbed. I got so desperate I tried something I knew would work but if you don't want to hear TMI stop reading now lol. I lay there wondering why the pain killers weren't working and willing my natural endorphins to kick in when I thought to myself how I know one natural way to release! I contemplated it and then woke my boyfriend, Chris, up. He didn't mind (lol as if he would) and believe it or worked! I was able to relax afterwards, pain free, and fall asleep lol!

I got up this morning and got on the scale. I don't know if it's from running my ass ragged or sweating my ass off but I lost 3 lbs overnight!! It's not a fun way to lose but at least I lost something lol.

Well, it is 12:30pm and I am sitting here with my feet up until I have to get ready for work. I dread going in and hope my feet are ok by then, at least they aren't as bad as last night!

Friday I go for my PATs at Henry Ford hospital in Wyandotte, Michigan. I think my parents are driving me, at first it didn't look like they would. I hope they do, driving across the border scares the crap outta me! Anyways, I am going to go relax some more lol, ciao!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Surgery Date Is Getting Closer!

This past week has been pretty busy. I have been training at my new job at McDonald's for one thing. It's gone pretty well but I am soooo tired by the time I come home and the heat this week doesn't help. Saturday (the 19th) was my daughter Tanya's Sweet 16th birthday so I had a lot of running around for that and spent a small fortune on it all. It went well I think. We had a pool party at my parents' house and I had to work so I showed up a bit late for it. It rained a bit but everyone still swam lol. I think everyone had fun.

This Friday I go for my PATs at Henry Ford hospital. I'm not too sure if I have to drive myself or if my parents are taking me. It's at 10am and my mom has to work, I'm just so afraid to drive by myself across the border! I don't think I have to ask for the night off work cuz it shouldn't take long there.

My nervousness has died down a bit and I more or less just want to get this over with. I think the fact that I was so busy learning the new job this week and getting things ready for Tanya's party it kept my mind off of things related to the surgery. I do notice that I am having a hard time staying on my feet at work the whole time, maybe this will be better after the surgery...I hope!

I hope things go well with this surgery. I can't have anything happen or go wrong. My kids need me and I want to be here for them. I love them more than anything and they are my whole life. I just want to be healthy so I can be here forever for them!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Little Breakdown Yesterday

Hey there, sorry I didn't post yesterday but I had a kind of lazy day and I also had a bit of a breakdown lol. Thank goodness for the friends I have made on OH (that's for those who don't know). Everyone is so great there!

Anyways, I woke up around 9am even though I didn't get to bed until like 5am, damned insomnia. My mom was calling so that woke me up. I saw that I had a message so I listened to my answering machine...omg the hospital had called at 7:30am! I got the number off the message and nervously dialed it. I got an answering machine so I left a message. Then I made another call and during that time Henry Ford hospital called again! I don't know why my call waiting didn't go off but they must have wondered "wth" because I had just called them and now didn't answer. I was just about to call back when they called me lol. The girl on the other end was about to go on break so she tried to call one more time, thank goodness!

The girl I spoke to was soooo nice! She got all my info and booked me in for the 25th, next friday for my PATs. In my excitement I did not think to ask what PAT stood for or what to expect lol. I was told to get valet parked and they would give me a voucher to get it for free. She told me to just bring myself. Nothing else needed. She had me talk to someone else too who I was told also had the surgery and if I had any questions I could ask her. I didn't really have any though but she was real nice too and booked me in for the 25th.

So, I get off the phone and it's all seeming so close and real now right? I let out a little "whoop!" then laughed, then burst into tears! Ummm ok wth?! I calmed myself down, then laughed again at the fact that I had cried then started to cry again, harder!! Ok, so now I am thinking "ok I've lost it, I am certifiable now!". I went onto OH and posted about how I was feeling. I am so thankful that there are people there who have gone through it and can validate how I feel! They all encouraged me and told me how normal it was to freak out like that lol. Phew! I had thought I was crazy lmao.

It just seems so real, so final now. This is the last hurdle I have to jump over to get to the finish line. I will be a winner by being a loser hehehe. I can't wait to lose weight but I am scared at the same time. I remember my back surgery and being scared but not this bad. I need to stay calm, focus, and especially remain calm going into the surgery!

Now I have to tell my new boss that I need next friday off, hope that goes well!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bathing Beauty? I Think Not!

So far this summer I have gone swimming twice. I thought it was bad enough showing off my huge body in a bathing suit when we went to Mitchell's Bay. At least there I didn't know anyone, there were hardly any people there, and there were other overweight people in the water. I do kind of feel though that I was some kind of example to them all, as if they were saying "If she can wear a bathing suit looking like that then I can wear mine!"

The second time was yesterday. We took the kids to my parents' house swimming in their inground pool. I had to go in so I could stay with Kalli in the water and was nervous about wearing my bathing suit in the pool. In the past I have either worn a long t-shirt over it in the pool or I have worn shirt and shorts over it lol. I no longer have anything that even remotely covers any of my fat so for the first time since I think I was a teenager I went in the pool with just my bathing suit on. It's much harder to look like Shamu in front of family let me just tell you! I also thought that maybe now they will all see why I need the gastric bypass surgery lol.

The weird thing about all this is...I know how bad I look, how big....but in a year I will look so different that I don't mind showing off my fat now! How weird is that?? It's not that I want to show my fat to everyone it's just that I know now I won't always look like this. I am still ashamed but next year I will feel proud.

Today might be a different story though. I am starting the training for my new job and I am assuming they will have my new uniform. I hate uniforms, they never fit right. This one I was told runs small. I have a feeling that even though I told them my size that the pants just won't fit. I even went up a size just in case. I know I will be losing weight soon but in the meantime I am going to be humiliated telling my trainer or manager that the size 26 pants do not fit. Ugh, I dread starting this job just for that! No, actually not just for that reason...I am also worried that I won't be able to stand for that long. This weight, 300 lbs, is hard to carry and standing for any amount of time is almost impossible anymore. Well, we shall see how this goes...

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard

Well, tomorrow I start training for my new job. Since I will somewhat have a routine again I decided that now is the time to get myself back on track. I need to cut out the junk food and bad eating habits and slowly get myself into the new habits I will need to develop after the surgery. I figure if I start off slow it won't seem like such a shock. I am so used to eating fast food all the time and getting munchies from the store that I know it will be hard for at least a few days. Old habits die hard for me lol. I also know from doing this before that once I get over the initial cravings and withdrawals it is usually smooth sailing and won't seem so bad.

So, I am thinking that starting today I am going to try and eat my protein bars instead of reaching for junk food and I am going to carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go and sip, sip, sip! Right after the surgery I need to stay hydrated and need to get in a lot of water. This has always been hard for me. I can never drink a whole lot and water just does not seem too appealing sometimes. Right now with it being summer it's not too hard but I hardly need to drink in the winter. I do need to get used to it now.

I also want to start logging the food I eat. I know if I see it in writing I will feel much more guilty about eating what I do and I'll probably even be appalled once I realize just how much junk I consume. I need to get my head out of this "last supper" phase and be smart. I want to go into the surgery as healthy as possible!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now That's Much Better

I hate being scale obsessed, have been obsessed with scales since I was young. I wake up every day, go into the bathroom, pee (tmi? sorry lol), take off all my clothes (and glasses) then step on the scale. If I don't like the number I step off then step back on trying to make sure I am dead set in the middle of it, not leaning (could cause the scale to go up lol), and see if anything changes. It never does, of course lol. I always weigh myself naked, make sure I've gotten my bodily functions taken care of, never weigh AFTER a shower or bath (in case water gets soaked up in my skin and weighs me down), not even a hair band in, and I take off my glasses even though I am practically blind without them and have to squint hard to read the scale lol. You get the point now? My relationship with my scale has never changed and I doubt it ever will at this point. I have an obsession.

So, as I reported yesterday I was mad at my scale. "It" made me gain 7 lbs. Ok I know not to blame the scale but it's easier that way. This morning I was afraid to get on because I was bad before bed last night and ate Arby's as well as 3 protein bars! I cringed as I stepped on but was surprised. I am down 3 lbs! So those 3 lbs are most likely water weight but so what?! I am down 3 lbs! I feel a little better now lol. I am not so mad at my scale, all is forgiven.

I am going to try and eat better now. I also need to give up pop, that is going to be hard! I have such an addiction and I love my Dr. Peppers! I very rarely drink anything BUT pop. I know, I know...not good at all. So I will have some withdrawals and might be bitchy but I better try now so it won't be so hard after the surgery.

Anyways, I am off to the beach. Hope nobody mistakes me for a beached whale!

Get Me Off This Crazy Ride!

Ok, weight loss surgery is in less than a month now. If you could see me you'd think I was on death row and just given a request for my last supper!

I swear I am eating triple what I am used to because I feel I have to get in all my favourite foods before the surgery. I am eating fast food like it's going out of style! I really need to stop and catch my breathe, realize that it's not like I'll never be able to eat again. As a matter of fact, some people I have spoken to who had the surgery can eat almost anything they want, just in smaller portions.

I really don't know how I will be after the surgery. Some are pretty sick and others breeze through it. I know I will be fine as I have always been strong and healed quickly. What I am wondering is what foods I will be able to tolerate. Some post-ops have dumping syndrome with just about everything bad for them, others just certain types of foods, others don't get it at all. I am hoping I at least get it a bit so I won't want to fall back into bad habits.

Anyways, I got on the scale this morning after two weeks of going hog wild with food to see I gained 7 freaking pounds!! OMG!!!! I had lost 2-3 pounds a few weeks ago, well those are gained back plus 5 more pounds! I need to get control of myself now. It can't be healthy for me to gain before the surgery. I was hoping to start my weight loss now.

Last time I got on a scale I was 302 lbs, now I am 309 lbs! Somebody smack me! Ban me from fast food restaurants!!

Ok, I'm going to try and do better now. I'm taking two of my daughters to the beach tomorrow and I dread showing any skin lol. Hopefully next summer I will be showing off some skin!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Beginning

Well this is the beginning of my story. I tend to ramble sometimes so please be patient lol.
I grew up in Windsor, Ontario with my parents and my younger sister, Andrea. I had a good childhood if somewhat sheltered. I was brought up in a Christian home and was one of the few kids who had parents who were still together.

I was never overweight as a kid. I was very active and participated in sports. I had an athletic type body. I do remember however that body image issues started when I was about 12-13 years old, I think I was in grade 7. Boys started to notice my body. Most boys that age start to notice girls more I think lol. I didn't know how to react to it all and then one day I was told that all the boys in grade 7 and 8 had voted me as having the nicest butt. Most girls would be proud of that and I was in a way but I was also mortified! From that day on I tried to wear shirts that were long enough to cover my butt. In grade 8 I started to develop a bit faster than some of the other girls. Meaning, I got myself some curves. Well, I got more attention from the boys but I remember one boy telling me my butt had gotten bigger. I was actually a normal size but that comment stayed with me. When I was 15 there was a boy I liked and he liked me also. One day he decided to blurt out that I could stand to lose 10lbs! I was crushed, even more so that he dumped me, who weighed about 120 pounds then for a girl who was maybe 200lbs!!

It's bad enough to be told you are overweight by kids your own age but even worse to hear it from teachers. By grade 10 I was 5'4" and weighed 150lbs. I did not look fat, I think my thighs looked a bit chunky but I know I was NOT fat. I had this gym teacher who was in love with herself. She really thought she was the best thing since sliced bread, apparently so did the boys' gym teacher who was having an affair with her. Well, one day she decides to get all the girls on a scale. Most of the girls were scrawny, no muscle to them at all. I was not only into sports but by that time I had been regularly working out with weights. I had muscle. So, I get on that scale and this teacher tells me I am fat. I was so embarassed!! Some of the other girls were merciless after that, taunting me and whispering and laughing at me. I began to hate school, largely because of one teacher's ignorant comment.

Although these comments were damaging and caused me to have a low self-esteem I still was not fat. At most I was 10-15 lbs overweight. Then, I met a guy. I won't go into the whole long sordid story but he ended up being my husband. Anyways, I was in love and weight dropped off me. The weird thing is...I looked in the mirror and saw a fat girl. No matter how good I looked, how much weight I lost, I saw a huge person standing there. Up until the day before my wedding my dress had to keep being taken in at the waist but I felt fat. I would binge on food then take laxatives to try to get rid of it. I tried to make myself throw up but I never had a strong gag reflex. I was getting dizzy and weak from not eating. Then I'd go crazy eating as much as I could for days.

I love food, I really really do. I'm a taurus and I read once that the taste of good food going down a tauruses throat is one of those almost out of body experiences that can't be described. I agree! I get such a high from food! I will eat and eat until I feel I will burst but the good feelings it gives me makes it soooo worth it.

Yes I am now going to tell you about my weight gain, how I got to this point. As a kid my hungarian mother was an awesome cook which is probably why I have such a love affair with food, but she also would not allow a lot of snacking. She believed we needed to be well fed but not overfed and we were always told if we ate bad we'd get fat.

Well, I got married a month after I turned 20. It suddenly hit me that I could eat as much as I wanted whenever I wanted. I had nobody to control my eating. I hid it quite well for the first month when I'd go get myself munchies. Then, a month or so after getting married (and already gaining 5-10 lbs) I got pregnant. Yippee! Now I had an excuse to eat all I wanted!! Of course my husband didn't know that "eating for two" is an old wives tale and I wonder if he realized I was eating more for an army than for two. I developed cravings and HAD to have a Harvey's cheeseburger every night. I also had my hubby go pick me up a ton of junk food from the variety store near us every night as well as a very occasional banana split. I craved junk food like mad when I was pregnant with my son.

After having my son I lost most of the weight but was probably still 15 lbs overweight. I had gained 46 lbs while pregnant. My junk food diet did not stop after he was born however.
Skip forward two years and I had gained about 25 pounds from my junk food diet then I got pregnant again. I felt relieved, I could hide my weight gain behind my pregnancy. After my daughter's birth I was disgusted with how I looked and went to Weight Watchers. I managed to lose 40 pounds and did really well. I was within 20 pounds of my goal when I hit a plateau that would not budge. My marriage was going well with my new weight loss but there were money problems that stressed me out. My son was in the terrible twos and I had a baby to take care of as well as running myself ragged chasing my son. My stress was always only relieved in one way...FOOD.

I started to cheat on my Weight Watchers diet. Then I found myself skipping getting weighed on the weeks I know I gained instead of lost. Eventually I stopped going and kept eating.
Early spring of 1995 I was pretty big and my marriage was crumbling. My husband had been abusive on and off over the years but it started to become more of a regular thing. He was verbally abusive more than physically at that point but soon he would be both most of the time. I got pregnant with my third child and shortly after my husband was telling me he wanted out of our marriage. He had friends who were making the single life look promising and fun. I started to suspect he was cheating and then I caught him with evidence of his cheating. He'd just lie and lie while I sank deeper into depression. At the time I felt like such a hypocrit, something I hate with a passion, because I was choir leader at church as well as a sunday school teacher, yet my home life was far from perfect. I did everything right, everything a wife should. I think the larger I got the more abusive he became. I was not healthy for that third pregnancy and then I found out I had gestational diabetes. I had to pick my finger several times a day and give myself shots of insulin in my legs. I was getting more and more depressed while my husband spent more and more nights away from home, out all night.

When I was 29 I ended up having back surgery for a herniated disk that had plagued me for 2 years. It was a pivotal moment for me. I travelled to London with my mom and my youngest, Katie who was 2 at the time. I was scared to death and when I made it out ok I called my husband to share with him that I was ok. He was abrupt with me and told me he was too busy to talk. That was when it hit me. I could not hold my marriage together any longer and if he was that selfish...I didn't want to stay in a loveless marriage with him. I decided to let go. I had lost weight before the surgery. I had gotten up to my highest at the time of 220 pounds and lost 20 before the surgery. I remember reading the report of my surgery in which the surgeon described me as a "morbidly obese" woman. I was horrified! I had lost weight even and was still considered morbidly obese?!?

I just want to note that when I was 200 lbs I did not look like a typical 200 lb woman. I don't know if it's from the working out I did when I was younger or just my body type but I looked thinner than I weighed.

So, after deciding my marriage was over I met another man. Chris has been with me for 10 years now. I'm still a bit shy to remarry but who knows what the future holds. I started smoking during all this too, when I turned 30. Smoking was always something I had been against. I think I not only wanted to try and shock my husband since he smoked and didn't want me to start, but I also was trying to cry out for help. Nobody caught on though...I self-destruct when I am at the end of my rope and I tend to do things to hurt myself rather than hurting others. Anyways, shortly after I met Chris I had a lot of traumatizing events happen to me that eventually lead to me having to fight in court over the course of 5 years to protect my children from their father. This was a very stressful time and took all of my energy. Chris and I had a child together during the time I was going through my divorce and child/custody fight. I had a very very hard pregnancy. I remember at one point thinking I would die before she was born I felt so bad. I gained 76 lbs with that pregnancy! It was very high risk, I had gestational diabetes again, only this time we had a hard time controlling my blood sugar even though I did everything I was supposed to.I was filling up with fluid and I couldn't feel my feet anymore nor did they resemble feet at all. I was going to the hospital 3 times a week for non-stress tests and once a week for ultrasounds. When I had Kalli she was very floppy and they could not get her to cry. Off she was wisked to be put into an incubator receiving 100% oxygen. I had quit smoking as soon as I found out I was pregnant and did everything right. We didn't find out until Kalli was between 6 and 9 months old that she had a disability. I started to smoke again. I blamed myself, adding to my depression and self-loathing. After a year long maternity leave I was back at work and soon after I changed to a different company. Then I decided to go back to school and take nursing. I made it through a year but they messed up the program and none of us were accepted in the next year due to a screw up on the college's part. so I went back to my old job. I didn't have the drive I used to though for anything. At one point I lost my job and went into a deep depression. I sat at my computer all day long and all night. I never went out, never socialized. I lost a lot of my friends but I didn't care. It seemed that all the life I had in me was depleted with all the stress from fighting to protect my kids. I also had a lot of problems with nasty neighbours who thank God finally moved out. During this whole time I was of course eating. I'd eat fast food a LOT and it was nothing for me to spend $30 or so a night on junk food from the store...every night!

So there I was, sitting at my computer hour after hour, pushing my kids away, sinking deeper into depression while I built a wall of fat around me to protect myself. My fat had become my security blanket. I got to the point where I didn't get out of my pajamas and some days I didn't have the energy to take a shower.

I can't really say what my breaking point was but I did have one. It was like I woke up one day and saw that I wanted a life, a good one. I got a job which was one stress or weight off my shoulders. I started to do a lot of soul searching, trying to "find myself". I realized that because of all the crap that had gone on in my life that I needed to get rid of the baggage and be who I really was deep down, not the person that all the crap had made me become.

One of the big changes was my weight. I knew I needed it off. I couldn't even feel alive until I did this. In the past year and a half I had gone from 220 lbs to 306 lbs! A 86 lb gain!! I was almost sick when I realized what I had done to myself. I knew I didn't feel healthy anymore but seeing the numbers scared me. I tried the Atkins diet and lost 8 lbs the first week. Then my lifestyle and working midnights in a gas station/convenience store got in the way and I gained it back plus 2 more pounds, UGH!

Now keep in mind that for the past two years I had done some casual research on weight loss surgery but when I had first started to look into it I was about 240 lbs and everything I read said I had to be 300 lbs before I'd qualify as I didn't have any co-morbidities. I also knew some people who had weight loss surgery and asked them questions, most did great with it and one said she'd never do it again and she gained some of the weight back.

One night while I was at work this tiny little woman came into the store. She was looking for something to munch on while she was on the road as her work had called her to go out of town that night. Then she said something that shocked the hell outta me. She said, "You'd never know I used to be 300 lbs!" as she grabbed a bag of chips lol. I was floored! No way was this woman so tiny yet had weighed 300 lbs at one time! What's more is she told me she was 60 years old! I found this incredible. I was in awe and all of a sudden excited at the same time. I asked her a gazillion questions. She was great in answering me and after she left I seriously felt that God had sent me an Angel that night. It was like she was a messenger and handed me the answer I had been looking for. I thought, if she can do it at her age, why can't I at mine? I'm still fairly young and somewhat healthy but if I keep going the way I am I won't be healthy for much longer.
So, first thing I had to do was find myself a family doctor. Mine had retired years ago and I never had one since. He had taken care of me and my family for so long and knew everything about me. Was it possible to start over with a new one and get this surgery? I decided it was worth a shot.

Please understand I am not one to ever go to a doctor so I had no idea how to go about finding one. I went to a clinic with a minor problem I've had for a while and didn't care much for but I figured it was a baby step towards fixing myself up. While there they informed me my health card expired 6 years ago. I almost died laughing and told them "that should tell you how often I see a doctor!". So, off I went to apply for a new one. I got a temp and went back with it. I was asked who my family doc is. I replied I don't have one. They told me of two newer doctors who were taking patients. It hard to find a doctor in Windsor who is accepting new patients. I called the woman doctor figuring I'd rather have a woman. I got an appointment to meet her! I was so excited! I was even more excited to learn she is my age and she is nice and friendly.

By this time I know fate must be involved or something. I've always believed nothing just happens by chance. I now believe God sent that woman into my work that night to get me started on this path. So now I am sitting there with my new doctor and she sets it up for me to get all my bloodwork done since I couldn't remember last time I had any done. I get all that done and go back to her a week later for the results. Everything is normal, some things a bit on the low side like iron and B12 and my blood pressure is low. I was shocked that I wasn't diabetic yet, at the weight I am!

She told me I needed to lose weight and to quit smoking. I said I was interested so she put me on Champix to quit smoking and I asked her about weight loss surgery. She said she'd look into it and it might take a few weeks but she'd get back to me with some info. Well she called me back two days later! What was even more shocking? She told me I was already pre-approved for weight loss surgery!! I was in shock. She was just going to "look into it" and all of a sudden I am pre-approved by OHIP?!? I was excited though to say the least. I was having much success with the Champix to quit smoking also. I knew I needed to quit before I could have the surgery. So my doctor gives me the number of a surgeon in Michigan to call. I called and the woman on the other end was so nice. She said she thought she'd hear from me sooner, I was a bit taken aback by that but I guess my doctor had told them I'd be calling. She set me up with a seminar to attend on May 1, 2008.

My 39th birthday was April 27, 2008. I had chosen that date to totally quit smoking by. On April 26, 2008 as I was getting ready for bed I had my last cigarette. I can't begin to describe how great it is to breathe, to smell, to taste, to be able to laugh without choking! I am so happy and this is just the first step towards being healthy!

Ok so, timeline? I asked my doctor about the surgery middle to late April, got pre-approved at the end of April by OHIP to have the surgery done out of country. May 1, 2008 I took my mom with me to a seminar. Dr Steven Hendrick, my surgeon, seemed to be a very nice man with a good sense of humour who genuinely cares about his patients. I had good vibes about this. I had my bloodwork done shortly after and faxed the results over to his office in Wyandotte, Michigan. My surgery was set to take place at Henry Ford Hospital, Wyandotte, Michigan. On May 15th, 2008 I drove over the border with my parents to have a consult with Dr Hendrick that was to last the whole day. There was a group of us there. We listened to a physiotherapist speak as well as program director, the surgeon, a nutritionist and psychologist. The doctor and psychologist saw us individually. I was the last appointment of the day. I was told they'd call me when OHIP gave the final approval.

I think it took 3 days before I got the final approval. I was sooo excited but there was on drawback. Dr Hendrick was worried I might have sleep apnea so he requested I do a sleep study first before he'd go ahead with surgery. I deflated. I called to get my doctor to refer me for a sleep study, The sleep study clinic got me an appointment right away with the doctor there. Once there I was told it could take weeks to get in to do the sleep study but they'd put me on a cancellation list. Then they noticed I work the midnight shift at my job. They had 1 opening for during the day to do the study, right after I got off work, in two days! Everything was falling into place so quickly and smoothly!

I did the sleep study and was told it could take 6 weeks to get the results but that the doctor would rush it for me. Incidentally, he was my allergist/asthma specialist when I was younger and he remembered me lol. So, I called the end of that week and they had my results. I didn't have sleep apnea and could go forward with the surgery. I called Dr Hendricks office was told I needed to fax a copy of the results. I called the sleep clinic back, only the doctor could do that and he just left for a weeks vacation! I was crestfallen. I waited and when he got back I called again. I was told they had faxed the results to my family doctor a week ago...what the hell?!! I called my family doctor and they said no they did not get a copy so I called the sleep study again (grrr) and they faxed over another copy. I get to my doctors office later to pick it up so I can fax it to my surgeons, well guess what? They lost the freaking results!!! I waited for about 20 minutes while they looked and then had the sleep clinic fax it again only to find out the dimwits hadn't looked in the fax machine in the back where my results were sitting! Sheesh. So, I get it and race over to staples to fax it to my surgeon (for some reason my doctor won't fax things if they are going over the border, we have to do it), while at staples I see a sale going on. I've been looking to buy a new computer chair as mine was falling apart. I saw one there, regular $200 on for $100, so I snatched that baby up! It is so comfy!

Ok, so I decide to call my surgeon's office in the morning to see if they got the fax as it was now 5pm. I call the next morning and find out they won't be in the office until the next week! Ahhhhhhh! So, I waited lol. I'm not a patient person either.

FINALLY the next week I call and at first was told they didn't get my fax. I almost cried! Then Rachel (the nutritionist who is a sweetheart!) said to hang on, she'd check on the surgeon's desk. It was there! Yay! So she set up a date for my surgery. I had been hoping for end of June but that would be too soon, like a week or so. July would be good too but I guess all the spots filled up quick. I got August 4th. It's not too bad but I wish it was sooner. Now I am glad and think it happened that way for a reason. One of my friends I met on is going to also have her surgery the same day, same surgeon, same hospital.

Ok, so this all went too smoothly and quickly. I am now catching my breathe and had my little freak out moments but I want to tell you something. Before I went to my doctor in the first place to ask about the surgery, I prayed. I always leave my major life decisions to God. My prayer was simple, "God, if this is meant to be, if it is your will then please let everything go smoothly and quickly". That's how my journey has started out so far! I believe it will continue to go just as quickly and smoothly. I also believe the people coming into my life now are no accident, God has a plan ;)