I Had Sleeve Surgery!


My last post was almost 2 years ago and right now I'm about a week out from VSG aka Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It took me a while to get here, but I'm here.

Surgery went fine and well after a 2 week liquid diet.  I was in the hospital for 1 day and then home.  The goal is to have 64 oz. of liquids each day and it took me 5 days to get there (this includes broth, jello, popsicles, protein).  I haven't had too much protein because it sits really heavy in my stomach right now.  Bone broth and half water half Propel (or other electrolyte drink) has been my go-to so far.  And, now I can finish a whole popsicle, as long as I'm not loaded up with water or other before.

It's a lot of trial and error and diligence.  I made a chart for myself so I can make sure I'm accurately accounting for my movement, my vitamins (there's SO MANY), and my intake.

I feel pretty decent, getting out most days for either a walk around the neighborhood or around a store.  I'm not up to pushing a cart, so I carry my food or whatever I'm looking for.  

I pooped, once.  On day 4 I believe -- I had gas on day 1, which is a good sign apparently.  My poop was not anything remarkable, more of a small explosion.  But it's something.  I suspect there will be more.  I just want to make sure to document some of this.

I've been hovering around 289-293 for quite some time.  There are some points where I've gotten up to 304 (from my records), but for the most part held in at 289ish.  

Here's a few stats.

Start of liquid diet: 294

End of liquid diet: 283 (day of surgery)

Day after surgery: 285 

(Almost) 1 week later: 276

So, since starting the liquid diet I'm down close to 20 pounds.  I haven't been at this weight in years (see sidebar).  I can definitely feel it when sitting criss-cross-applesauce and when wiping my butt already.  I'm still sore in my tummy, but I'm able to move better each day, which is nice.  I've been cooking and trying to clean here in there.  I do still enjoy cooking -- it's almost kind of freeing when I'm not eating it.  I just cook to enjoy cooking and there's no worry about should I or shouldn't I or whatever.  I've been freezing little bits here and there in 2oz containers for later.  I did lick some food off my finger (a very tiny amount of sauce) and even that felt like it sat heavy.

So there's all that in a nutshell.

Weight Loss Surgery Program!

 My last post was 3.5 years ago.  A lot has happened since that, but a lot has stayed the same, too.  Actually in the weight category it's mostly stayed the same.

I was riding around barking on 300's door for quite some time, hanging in around 297.  It was frustrating.  I'm not saying I didn't have any part in it.  I was maintaining by just allowing myself the grace not to pay attention to my health through nourishing foods.  I don't eat junk food, but even good foods can keep weight on.

At any rate, I somehow pulled the reigns a bit and logged food, etc. and got myself in a better direction.  I also started the bariatric program at our local hospital.  End goal: Weight Loss Surgery.

It's always been at the back of my mind, honestly, but I never wanted to go to that "extreme."  Besides, I couldn't afford it, and our insurance did not cover it, so it wasn't really even worth thinking about, so I also convinced myself not to even think about it.

But now it is a choice.  Everyone calls it a TOOL just like anything else (trackers, programs, diets).  It's no miracle, you have to work with it or it won't work.  Unless you're one of the "lucky" ones that ends up basically starving to death and can't consume foods like a normal human anymore.  Believe me I've read about those.  The good stories outweigh the bad.  But the bad sit heavy on the brain.

I'm not going to talk too much about all of that, but just to say that I'm in the running for it, and looking to get approved after my last session in February.

Then... who knows.  With Covid, who knows how long it would take to get in.  I'm not entirely sure.  But sometime this spring could be my time.

Some days I'm so excited I just want to have the surgery, already! And other times I'm like, girl you are not getting this surgery who are you kidding?

Today I'm somewhere in the middle of that, but I'm also working on completing the things I need to to have it be an option.  I just need them to "pass" me and my insurance to approve it.  Then we're a "go."

But I also need to decide between the Sleeve (VSG) or Bypass (RNY).  Everyone has their own reasons for their choice, and googling will tell you some ways to narrow it down.  But it's a weird thing for a surgeon to let you decide.  So I need to talk to mine about that.

I was totally for VSG when I started all of this.  Less tinkering with the toolbox, I guess.  But as I read on, I wonder if "going all the way" might be the best option.  I'm not yet 50, and I hope I have a good 25+ years of health and mobility left in me.  I don't want to be in the hospital for all kinds of issues related to this surgery.

In fact, I've never had surgery.  Well, C-section.  But that's it.  

The whole thing is weird to me if I think on it too much.  And, though I know it would be the fight of my life (since I've been fat and battling the foodieinme forever.  

But I remember saying that it would be wonderful to wake up at a healthy weight and just have to maintain it.  Not that it would be easy, but goodness it would be wonderful.  This is kinda sorta like that, but you get a jump start before surgery, a baptism-by-fire while recovering, and then you have the job of using what you've learned to maintain it.

I like to write so you might see more posts of me writing about this.  Mostly it's just me getting my own words out.  But I've been helped tremendously from others who have journaled (videos, writing, etc.) so maybe this will do the same for others.  I may or may not leave my old stuff published, I don't know.  OR I'll make a fresh start.

I Started Metformin Again

I want to leave myself a little note.
I started Metformin again.
I'm on Day 3.

Haven't had any issues with it as of yet.  It was about 3 (which means 5) years ago that I went on it, got through about a week, bumped it up, and went off.  My doctor still wanted me to give it another try, and I'm embarrassed to say it took me this long to do it. 

At any rate, I feel fine so far.  I'm not going to bump up over 500 mg, though, unless I have a very good reason.  I seem to do better on smaller doses of things.

I've been tired lately - or wanting to sleep longer.  Maybe it's age, maybe I'm sleeping better.  I used to want to sleep, sleep, sleep when I was a teenager.  The last few years I've been getting up early no matter what, and now the last few months I want to sleep again.  It could be that I've been taking the sertraline and my morning anxiety is lessened?  I don't really know.  I never related it to that before, so I'll have to think on that.

Jease, any more meds?!  Haha.

I've tried to keep my anxiety under control, but I can't, so I'm trying meds.  They're definitely helping, no doubt.  My PMS is greatly lessened.  It's not a 100% turnaround or anything, but it's minimized. 

I still haven't gone to the gym (I renewed my membership). 

I've been walking more since I absolutely LOVE fall, and could spend every day outside in this weather.

Old Goals

I'm keeping a record of my old goals here so I can remember them.  But updated my goals so I can re-achieve them.

 238 (100 pounds GONE)

Mini Goals
 below 280
 below 270
 good habits through May
 size 24 pants
 clothes too loose
 jog 1 mile

 Goals Achieved 
 stay below 300
 Bike the 5-mile loop, no stopping
 below 290 (8/24/12)
 below285 (10/12)
 below 277 (11/12/12)
 below 269 (1/2 way to goal) (1/28/13)
 fit comfortably into clothes again (1/13)
 260 (lower than my lowest) 4/22/13
 257 (see this) 4/29/13
 someone ask if I've lost weight (not family) (6/13)

How Many Starting Again Posts Can I Have


I guess I never "stopped" battling, or working on living a healthier lifestyle.  But I haven't been as intentional about it as I needed to.

Truth is I've been relatively healthy with my eating, and my walking.  But I need to lose weight.  That's the bottom line.  

For vanity reasons (let's be honest) - my clothes are tight.
For practical reasons - my body feels unnecessarily uncomfortable wrapped in so much fat.
For health reasons - carrying around this much excessive weight can't be healthy for me.

So, I've been intentional in other areas - like just trying to stay afloat of life, enjoying my time off, enjoying family, taking walks... but I really do need to TRY to shed some weight.  

I'd love to see 220, but I don't know.   Right now I really do need to start over.  I'm in another chapter of my life, and have NO reason not to focus on myself right now.

My short term goal is to get below 280.  I was balancing at 283 for a long time, and then started on Sertraline this summer and hit 290, which was where I seemed to hover, getting as high as 293 quite a few times.

I don't know if it was/is the Sertraline, or if it's the vacation that I took early in the season - or if it's hormones, or laziness.  I honestly don't know.

What I do know is that four short years ago on June 17, 2013 I was 249 pounds and felt A GREAT DEAL BETTER.  And now, a little over 4 years later I am 40 pounds heavier.

What changed?

My job changed.  I left a part-time job that I had for 6 years, and moved to full-time work.

I would have to say that was the major change in my life.  The good of that is that I've learned new skills, challenged myself in the workplace, and have met new people.  The not-so-good is that I've had a stressful time of things.  The first two jobs I had were stressful and one of them occupied way too much of my time.  The second one was a stepping stone, and the third brought me to a position that I've been trying to land since I took the first job.   

Though this current position is my "goal position" - it's been ladled with stress.  There's been a lot of turnover, and it was somewhat of a clean-up job when I started.  By this year, it was to be smooth sailing for me.  It's not there yet.  I come home stressed and edgy.  I take work home with me.  

Bottom line is if I can't find a work/life balance this year, I think I will give up what is to be my "dream job" - which I don't want to do.  But I worry that the balance weighs heavy on the job part, and not on the life part, and don't want to miss out on the second chapter of my life because I'm so wrapped up in my job.

I'm also trying to grow as a person and NOT give so much of myself to my work that I can't have a life on any day but the weekend.  A big part of that, for me, is losing weight so that I'm more comfortable to do the things I want to do, and I have to be intentional and have the energy to do that.

I have to figure out how because I don't want to wait a year to make that happen.

This post is a lot of babble, but writing it out helps me work through it.  That's one of the ways I focus on myself, I think.  

Checking In Before Weekend

I'm Day 5 into logging calories/carbs/fat, and trying to keep my streak for 30 days (even if I go above the goals I'm aiming for).

As with anytime you really stick to a restrictive way of eating, I've lost a few pounds.  I was at 280 this morning, which is the lowest I've fluctuated in a while.  I'm really wanting to leave March under 280.  If I can stick with this, I should be able to reach that goal no problem.

The weekends kill me though.  That's why I wanted to check in quick before the weekend.

I've really stuck to plan all week despite circumstances being not-so-great for success.  We were out of town last weekend, and I left with a pretty bare fridge.  I haven't been able to shop much at all this week, but have still managed to scrape together some meals.

At any rate, I'm hoping to do decent over the weekend and still be able to log a 280 (or less) weight next week when I check back in.

Have a great weekend.

I Wear My Seatbelt (Unless It Doesn't Fit)

I’m in a rut.
Not a stall or anything, but a life rut.

It’s daunting to need to lose a good 80 pounds.  Even 50 is daunting.  It sounds exciting, because it would CHANGE MY LIFE.  But it is a LOT of work.  Time that I might not have.  Or maybe it’s faith or patience that I don’t have.  Maybe more than I want to give.

I have a dear friend who is right around the weight I am.  She struggles, too.  Every time we get together we talk about our weight and why we can’t change it, and what we might be missing.  This last time it was rides.  Carnival rides.  Being too fat.  That was the major tangible thing we could come up with.

I can think of others, but we were a couple cocktails in and that stood out.

Did I ever tell you about riding in my dad’s truck?  How the seatbelt didn’t fit around me?  It wasn’t a big truck, and the seats didn’t slide back.  He’d pick me up on more than one occasion and I’d have to tuck my seatbelt in next to me, or hold it down so it looked like I had my seatbelt on.  And – it’s not like my dad is an unloving jerk.  But I didn’t want to tell him.  I didn’t want to say it out loud that I couldn’t fit that darn belt around me.  This was when I was 330 pounds, give or take.  I’d just given birth not too long ago.  It was before I lost the 50 pounds that I never found again.

It was horrible.

Because, I WEAR MY SEATBELT.  So, not only was I hiding from my dad, I was terrified for my own safety.  My dad is a bit of a reckless driver, which never helped the situation.

It was a horrible, shameful feeling. 

I just can’t find the time or desire to get over this hump.  I do know it will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I’ve maintained at 283 for too long.

I’m taking steps, and I’ll talk about that next time.