One snail

One snail

Friday, August 2, 2013

Am I really approaching One-der-land?

I was stunned to enter my weight at My Fitness Pal today (I have lost a few more pounds in the past two weeks), and see that I appear to be getting close to a dream-land for us larger folks: getting under 200 pounds.  In fact, there's a name for it--when your weight starts with a "1" (instead of a "2" or "3") you have entered ONEDERLAND.  I've been so focused on getting ready for my hip replacement this summer, that this goal snuck up on me.  In 8 pounds, I'll be there!

Is it like the one in Alice in WONDERLAND?  When you think about it, there are actually a lot of food and size concepts in that book.

There's the famous "Eat me" and "Drink me" items:

There's the Tea Party with the Mad Hatter where Alice never seems to get anything to eat or drink:

There's the mushroom (complete with Caterpillar and his hookah) where one side makes you larger and one side makes you smaller:

And of course, we have the scene where Alice grows to an enormous size, and only can shrink when she eats pebbles that are thrown at her and turn into cakes:

No wonder Alice is confused!  I kind of lived this life for years...bigger then smaller, then repeat.  Now I'm 8 pounds away from a number I hardly remember.  Today I put on a pair of pants that started with a "1" (size 18).  All I can say is...I'm the Cheshire Cat.  :-)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Checking back...

Well, it has been many weeks since I've made a post here.  Life DOES get in the way, including one of my co-workers having a stroke, my dad having surgery, and going out of town to a conference.  Since my last post, I have lost another 20 pounds (so down a total of 120), but it should have been more.  My body and mindset went into a maintenance-mode, so I didn't gain, but didn't lose.  I am now 7 months post-gastric-bypass, and I'd like to lose another 40 pounds before my surgery anniversary date in December.

I know I can do it--I lost 40 pounds BEFORE my surgery, getting ready--but I need to re-focus.  One of the things that has really gotten in the way for me is my continuing pain from arthritis in my hip.  I had hoped (and my orthopedic doc had hoped) that losing weight would reduce the pain, but that didn't happen.  I finally went in for updated x-rays, and we found that not only do I have no cartilage left in my left hip, I have significant bone spurs on each side of the joint.  So...I am going to go ahead and have it replaced.  At least losing weight has made the surgery much safer for me.

The hip replacement is scheduled for August 16--exactly 4 weeks from now.  I need to start on some specific exercises for my hip to get ready, AND I want to see if I can lose 5 pounds by then.  I still won't be able to do too much walking on my treadmill, but will do what I can.

So, that's my update!  I hope to get to check in on some of your blogs, and stay more connected.  Leave me an update on yourself or link to your blog if you read this!

P.S. I am looking forward to doing the the My Tiny Tank Walk/Run sponsored by Tracy over at My Tiny Tank!  It's in celebration of her 13th year surgery anniversary, and is on July 24th, so check it out if you want to join choose your own mode and length of walk/run, so it's right up my alley right now!

Monday, April 1, 2013

100 pounds down!!!

Yes, it's true!  I have lost a total of 100 pounds!  It's not an April Fools' Day joke either. :-)

That's 40 pounds before gastric bypass on December 14, and then 60 pounds after. Woohoo!

I have to make this short but sweet, but just had to announce this...

Have a good week!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Finally using my new scale!

A while back, I won a great scale in a give-a-way from Tracy at My Tiny Tank.  It's an EatSmart scale.  I got it in the mail, and before I could start using it, or take any pictures, I got sick.  :-(

However, now I am well, and I got out my new scale today!  Here are some pictures of its first use:
New scale on left...old scale on right!  

Weighing out 1 oz of Tillamook Medium Cheddar.  (When I have cheese, I would rather have a small amount of the real stuff.)

I am vegetarian, so rely on cheese and dairy for some of my protein.  Rather than buy the expensive pre-packaged string cheese, babybels or cheddar squares, I buy a larger size from Costco and slice it myself.  Of course, cheese is on the high-fat side, so I want to stay very aware of how much I'm having!  I've been using an antiquated scale...maybe from the 70's?  (Okay, I'm making that up, but it IS very old and I think it's actually supposed to be a postal scale.)

This new scale makes it SO easy to measure out 1 ounce, and put it in separate ziplocks. All ready to go into my bento-box-style lunch box for work (from Laptop Lunches)  Then I re-use the ziplocks for the next round.

Thanks SO much to Tracy at MyTinyTank (her facebook page is here:  MyTinyTank) and to Karen at EatSmart Products (their facebook page is here: EatSmartProducts) for this wonderful gift!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Feeling better...

Well, that flu thing caught up to me.  I had a flu shot, and thought since I'd made it through January (the first month after my surgery) that my immune system had  I have now been sick nearly two weeks, and luckily just have the cough and some head congestion left.  (I kind of feel like my head is underwater...weird.)

During this time, I have not done hardly anything I am supposed to.  I didn't log my food.  I didn't exercise.  I didn't get in all my vitamins.  I certainly didn't get in all my protein, since I had several days of broth and popsicles  due to the yucky sore throat. :-(

However, I didn't gain, and actually kept slowly losing.  Of course that may change now that I'm getting back to eating "normally" (well, normal for my tiny tummy).  I've actually lost 90 pounds now total--50 since surgery in December.  :-)

I'm WAY behind at work (have been doing online work at home even), so don't have much time to say a lot more, but wanted to get a post in here to help me in getting back in the swing of things.

Hope everyone is doing well, and I look forward to catching up on your blogs soon...hopefully this weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another advance...crunch, crunch!

Yes, I've been "advanced" again...this time to the "advanced" foods.  I saw my surgeon and his team yesterday, and got the okay to eat whatever I can tolerate.  That includes salad and raw veggies!  I've been cooking my veg. soft (not quite mush, but bordering on it) for the past 6 weeks, so I am looking forward to the change.  Since I'm vegetarian, I haven't had to deal with the experience of eating and perhaps not tolerating meat-substances, so protein sources will remain pretty much the same.  However, a little more crunch will be welcome. :-)

Since schedules meant my 2 week follow-up was at 3 weeks, and my 6 week follow-up was at 9 weeks, we decided to have my blood drawn yesterday and skip the 3 month visit.  (It would be 3 weeks away...seemed a little much.)  They gave me a B-12 shot and sent me on my way.  So long as everything continues to go well, I will go in again in the middle of May.
And, they say everything IS going well.  I've lost 82 pounds, 42 of it since my surgery December 14, so according to them, that puts me right on track as far as weight loss.  They warned it might start to slow soon, and that exercise would be especially important moving into that phase.  I am having a lot of pain in my left hip (where I have no cartilage left), so may ask my primary care doc for a referral to PT again to see if some new exercises of the hip muscles are in order.  I thought it was interesting that my nutritionist mentioned the changes our bodies must make as we shift our weight (either up OR down).  She is pregnant (due in April) and used herself as an example!

   On a somewhat related topic, my clothes have been falling off me (especially my pants), so I went out to a couple of thrift shops after my doctor's appointments yesterday.  However, I came home with pants that were too small!  I think I was compensating for the annoyance of having to hitch my pants up when I walk--but it is very frustrating.  Now I'll have to go out again, probably to different shops because they didn't really have good choices in the next sizes up anyway.  I really was clueless about pants sizes, but think I overestimated my progress.  :-(

On a totally UN-related topic, it's a three day weekend!  Although I of course have grading and such to do, it will be nice to have three days to sleep in a little and hang around in my (very baggy) casual clothes.  If you get a holiday also, hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

10 Things Thursday

Ten things!

  1. As of today, I have lost 80 pounds--exactly half-way to my preliminary goal of 175 pounds!
  2. I have lost 7 inches from my chest.
  3. I have lost 8 inches from my hips.
  4. I have lost 10 inches from my waist.
  5. Walking on the treadmill this evening, I spontaneously walked to two songs without holding on.  (This is a big deal.  I have arthritis in my hips, and usually have to steady myself by holding the sides of the treadmill.)
  6. I bent over to tie my shoe.  (Just once. Just one shoe. Not sure I could repeat this consistently yet.)
  7. I have to wash clothes twice a week because I run out of work pants before I run out of week.
  8. There are about 5 full kitchen-trash-can-size bags of clothes that need to go to the thrift store.
  9. I need to get some clothes from the thrift store.  I am thinking pants with belt loops.  Otherwise my pants might fall down when I have to lean over to pick up my white board marker (which I'm always dropping) during class.
  10. I asked my partner to take new photos of me today, because I haven't taken any since before my surgery.  Of course, we did it right after I was done exercising (because the previous pics were in the same location--standing on our treadmill).  I was sweaty and my hair was all fuzzy.  However, here's the comparison below if you want to see.  :-O
October 2012 vs. February 2013:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Just for fun video...

I know I don't always watch videos that people post, so it's okay with me if you skip this one, but it has such a simple, important message that I had to put it up.  Some days you just need a positive phrase in your head!  (The kids in it are very cute, too.)

Grandaddy Nature Anthem:

Friday, February 1, 2013

75 pounds lost...and let's not find it!

Yesterday I reached a nifty milestone:  a total loss of 75 pounds since I started this journey on August 28.  That's when I got the preliminary approval from my insurance company--with the requirement to lose 5% of my body weight.  My weight then was 335.

December 14, by then 40 pounds down, at 295, I was wheeled into surgery, and was wheeled out with a gastric bypass.

Fast forward to January 31, just about 7 weeks after surgery, and I'm down another 35 pounds, at 260, for a total of (yes, it's math) 75 pounds lost.

Lost...and let's not try to find it!

If you read my last post, you know I had a little turbulence after talking to my insurance company nutritionist last week.  A little overreaction on my part probably--I got a bit of a judgment vibe from her, that I wasn't losing fast enough since surgery.  Turns out it was just a blip on the radar.

In another 2 weeks, I have my next follow-up with my surgeon and his team, and expect to be released to an advanced diet then.  It probably could have been sooner--for some people it's at 6 weeks out--but scheduling conflicts meant February 14 was the soonest I could get in.  I keep moving forward--and the timing for everything just is what it is.

I realize I haven't used this blog to set any specific goals--more just reports, and my thoughts on the process.  I want to change that, and there's a fun challenge going on over at Bariatric Foodie.  It's Week One in the Bariatric Foodie Pledge!  Check it out if you want to try it--there are even prizes!  So, here's my Week One pledge:  I will walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes at least 6 days this next week.

Let me know what your Week One goal for February will be!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I thought things were going well...and then...

I've been racing along, super busy with work (more on that below), and feeling pleased with my progress.  I was making it closer to my water and protein goals, getting more vitamins in, and watching my clothes start to fall off.  Has it ever happened to you, though, that all of a sudden something takes the wind out of your sails?

That's what happened to me this week.  I had my "phone consultation" with my nutritionist.  (Now, this is not the one from my surgeon's office--this one is part of my requirements from my insurance company.)  She asked her usual questions about how I was feeling, my energy, etc., and then asked what my weight was.  I told her (it was 266).  There was this pause.  Then she said, "How do you feel about that?"  Gulp. There was something in her tone.  I said I felt pretty good--I was continuing to lose, but perhaps had come to a little plateau.  Wasn't that normal?  I had read a lot about those 3rd or 4th week stalls.  Her response:  silence.

In truth, I hadn't paid much attention to how many pounds I had lost since I last talked to her two weeks ago.  I was losing...I was happy about that.  So I said to her, "It sounds like you think I am not doing well...that I should be losing more."  She compared my loss in the previous two weeks (10 pounds) to my loss in this last two weeks (5 pounds).  I did what I needed to do to get through the last part of the phone call. ("Yes, okay.  Yes, I'll try that.  Yes, I'll up my exercise.")  I hung up and sat kind of stunned.

I started to second-guess myself.  Have I been eating too much fat?  Did I eat too many calories?  I did take one tiny bite of that cake pop from Starbucks.  I ate a little rice with my tofu and broccoli.  I did skip a few workouts because my arthritis has been super painful. (We went from 30's and crisp to 40's and a damp fog here.)  OH NO!  Have I messed this whole thing up???

Later, telling this experience to my partner (the phone call took place at work), I burst into tears.  And here's the response that got me to stop crying:  Don't let what she said get you down.  She doesn't know you. She's never really met you. She can't even see what you look like! You are doing amazing.

And I started to feel a little better.  I am a unique individual.  I might not be following some chart they hand out at the nutrition team meetings.  But I can still feel good about the past two weeks.  I also don't need to reject the information I heard altogether.  (So...I really should focus more on my exercise, despite my hip pain.)

What do you think?  Am I making excuses?  Should I take what she said more seriously?  I don't know, but I do know I've also had a few important NSVs last week:

  1. My primary care doc reduced my blood pressure meds by half.
  2. She is referring me for a home-study on my sleep apnea, because I have some signs that I might need lower pressure on my CPAP--or even not need it.
  3. I get comments every day from co-workers about how good I look (or how my clothes are falling off, lol)
  4. I had to put two more pairs of pants in the "donate" bags, because I was tripping over them.
Oh, and I lost 4 more pounds since Thursday's phone call.  That puts me 2 pounds away from a 75 pound total loss (since August when I started preparing for surgery).

So, a little happier now, and with a little additional motivation for change, I'm ready to tackle the work week tomorrow.  Speaking of, here's my report on how work has been going... has been a whirlwind!  I went back to work full-time on the 2nd week of the term, and we're now going into the 5th week.  Just when I have my schedule down, I have to revise it because something else gets added.  Luckily, I'm feeling a lot (a lot!) more energy, because I sure need it!  I'm teaching a full-time load plus some, doing my department chair duties on top of that, and also working on training faculty in our new online teaching software.  (If you know about online classroom management programs, we're moving from Blackboard to Canvas.)  But it's all lots of fun--I really do love my job. :-)

As you can see, I haven't had much time to blog--although I'm trying to keep up on reading some of my blog list!  I don't know what this next week will bring, but hopefully I can keep up at least a weekly report.

Take care, all!

Friday, January 11, 2013

4 weeks since surgery

Wow!  4 weeks have passed since I went into the hospital to have my gastric bypass.  It has both been sooooo slow, and sooooo fast!  Here are a few of my accomplishments so far:

  1. Let's just start with the scale:  LOST 25 pounds!  With the 40 I lost before surgery, that puts me down 65.
  2. Proved I can give myself a shot.  My doctor required twice-a-day injections of a blood thinner (Lovenox) for 28 days after I left the hospital.  Although I am lucky enough to have a super partner who did most of them for me, I have also done it myself!  It is kind of scary, but I keep telling myself if I didn't get this surgery, I might have been injecting myself with insulin for life.
  3. Had to bag up some clothes to donate because they are too big.  I did a big purge of the closet!  (Unfortunately the bags are still here in the house--I couldn't lift them at first per doctor's orders, lol!)
  4. Gained an even greater appreciation for the amazing support people in my life.  They did so much for me--I can't even list!--and I was actually able to LET them take care of me. (This is an accomplishment for a caregiver-type like me.)
...and here are a few of the challenges:
  1. I had no idea how difficult it would be to manage X amount of water and Y amount of protein and Z amount of vitamins, especially when you can't have X with Y, and you can only have Z with certain other Z, and there are only a certain number of waking hours in a day!
  2. Finding okay protein powders.  Enough said about that.
  3. I keep wanting to do projects at home that involve lifting, bending, and carrying, but I am still fairly sore on my left side.  Thinking I should try to hold off for a little longer.
  4. It takes longer than I'd have thought to get back to my regular stamina level.  I went back to work full-time on Monday and kept going from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm--repeat on Tuesday--then...crashing commenced!  I didn't understand why everyone at work kept stopping by my office to check on me!  I'm glad it's the weekend now. :-)
It's a work in progress...but I know I made the right choice.  What an amazing start to 2013 and to my 50th year on the planet. :-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Time to Advance! Charge!

The weight-loss-surgery arena (and really, blogging in general!) has such interesting language.  I'm a newbie to a lot of this, being just 3 weeks out.  Oops...I did it already:

3 weeks out = 3 weeks after having had weight loss surgery

When I first started reading blogs focused on weight loss, I was a little confused.  Everyone is always having an NSV!

NSV = Non-Scale Victory = something cool that happens during weight loss besides seeing your pounds or kilos going down.

Then, for the ladies, they would have a visit from TOM, or TTOTM.  Tom?  Is he someone who travels around the world somehow making a woman's weight go up or stall?

TOM = Time Of the Month and TTOTM = That Time Of The Month

I started reading forums (like, and needed a decoder ring at first to break the code people had on their posts, such as "HW = a, SW = b, CW = c, GW = d."  Translated this is:

HW = highest weight
SW = surgery weight (or start weight, if losing without surgery)
CW = current weight
GW = goal weight

And I will admit that I puzzled over this one for a while:  OT in the title of a post

OT = Off Topic = a post on a weight loss forum not related to weight loss

Now, I totally understand acronyms and assigning specific meaning to words and phrases!  After all, my training is in mental health, and we have ADHD, ODD, GAD, SAD, BPD, PTSD, DID, NOS and the DSM, among others.

But I have to admit, I got quite the visual when my surgeon said I could "advance my diet" yesterday.  Advance it?  As in, the zombies are advancing?  As in, some jobs required an advanced degree?  Or as in Monopoly, the "advance to the nearest railroad" card?

I guess it is all of that, really--my pureed diet was like preschool, and now I've advanced a grade to primary school.  I am advancing in my fight against the fat cells.  My diet graduated and is now in 1st grade, so gave up naps for language arts and mathematics.

I don't know, maybe I think about these things too much--or I have way too vivid of an imagination--or my mind doesn't really see the world in the usual way.  But what I WILL say is I am SO glad to advance to soft foods!  I can't even say how glad.  I had puree for 3 weeks, due to the holidays.  That's long enough!

Soft foods, look out, because I'm advanced!

P.S. I can't really eat apples yet.  I just liked this picture. :-)