It’s now 10 months post surgery. In some ways seems like only yesterday, other ways seems like its been a way of life for me. I really struggled getting below the 200 pound mark. I spent a month toying with it. I changed gyms and started going regularly again. I highly recommend the trainers at www.seeresultsfitness.com. I’ve been working out over a year and have not been nearly as sore as I have been after their supervised workouts. The results clearly speak for themselves as I have dropped 8 pounds in the 3 weeks I have been working out there. I have now lost 124 pounds wich leaves me only 14 pounds from the doctor’s goal weight. My goal is to lose 34 more pounds. I know I can, I just have to be disciplined about what I eat and how much.I entered the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. I have 208 days to get my act together. The whole family will be running! So I should say WE have 208 days! I have my goals for the next few months cut out for me. I would love to run it all the way. I am confident that we can finish it, I just would like to do well. I have several friends that are running with me. http://www.500festival.com/marathon/ is the link to sign up and join me. Hurry up, because it will sell out. Friends tell me this is the most enjoyable mini that they participate in. Who knows – I may even compete in more than one next year!
Yeah, I keep hearing that from my friends and family. It’s been awhile…It sure has! I have now lost 107 pounds. Where in the world did it all go!?!? I can now eat pretty much anything but sugar and bread – good thing too. Because going on a cruise restricted would have been no fun! Just a side note, but did you realize that you can get sugar free deserts and fruit even on a cruise? I’ll have to give a shout out to Carnival Cruise Lines for their healthy choices. I proved you can lose weight, even on a cruise.
Here is another interesting observation from someone formerly claiming to be, “Big boned.”. I am now in an average sized man’s wardrobe – key here is average now days is still large! So, I am not the big guy coming down the halls anymore. Well, the problem is, I still see myself as a “big guy” – just that others don’t. So when I go barreling down a crowded hallway now, people don’t move for me. Now a 100 pounds ago, that was not a problem. Today is a different story. Not that I mind moving now, as it’s much easier to weave in and around the people that are just standing there or shuffling along. They warned us at the bariatric center that things like this would happen, but who woulda thunk it? Not me! I have quite a few more stories I’ll be sharing in coming weeks. Let me hear back from you on your observations.
I have really been procrastinating on updating this blog. Sorry! I got to move to stage 2 on January 8th. Stage 2 means you get to eat some real foods and the limitation of physical activity has been lifted. I celebrated moving to stage 2 by eating crab legs and mashed potatoes at Red Lobster. I got to eat 2 whole ounces of crab legs and 1 ounce of potatoes!!! After only eating 2 ounces, I was stuffed. New foods include fish, chicken and turkey. I celebrated on Saturday by hitting the gym and actually lifting weights. It’s stunning how much strength I had lost in just 6 weeks. I paid for my exuberance in the gym by being sore for the next 3 or 4 days. Oh well, as they say – “No pain, no gain.”.
As of today I am 55 pounds down and have lost 3 sizes in my pants!!! As you may guess this is quite exciting to me. All my shirts droop and my pants are baggy. I tossed all but 1 pair of my fat pants and am still wearing the shirts. Sometime soon I am going to go shopping. I would like to get down 1 more size before shopping as I am very close to getting there. It’s also been COLD here too, and I hate to get out to shop. The other good news is the rest of the family is eating better and losing weight. It’s such a blessing to have the whole family go work out with me, even though Charlie is now stronger than me and he rubs my face in it.
I have been doing very well following the stage 2 plan. I have had a couple of episodes of dumping syndrome too. Dumping syndrome does WONDERS for developing willpower, let me tell you. For me the dumping syndrome events involve nausea, cold sweats, getting very pale, and feeling weak. It’s not the worst symptoms, but it does make sure you are staying on the plan. Once was when I ate too fast for breakfast, so I have started getting up earlier so I can eat slower. The other has been drinking the decaf coffee at church. I can drink decaf from anywhere but there, go figure. The dumping syndrome does tend to freak everyone out, so for their health, I try to avoid it too *grins*.
My whole mental attitude toward all of this is fantastic. I have to thank the doctors and staff at Columbus Bariatrics. They did an excellent job preparing me for what was going to happen. For me, knowing what is going to happen makes me much more able to deal with it. As everyone that knows me can attest, I hate unpleasant surprises. I have also found a noticeable improvement in my energy and activity as my weight loss has occurred. I am much more attentive and energetic at home and at work. I know early in stage 1, I was feeling some frustrations regarding my perceived lack of progress, but now I know I did the right thing. My next doctor appointment is February 19th. I get to add pork, rice and pasta – I think. Thanks for all of you that have to put up with me rambling.
I have made it to 4 weeks post surgery. Only 2 more weeks of stage 1 eating – woohoo!!! I did great with the Christmas Dinner. I had lima beans and good ol’ homemade mashed potatoes like everyone else and had a tiny sliver of ham. I chewed it up really good, and enjoyed my meal without feeling like I was missing out. My wife makes the best trash (that would be chex mix for those of you not blessed enough to be Southern) and I was really good there – only at 1 piece of mix and a pecan at one time. It was just enough taste to suit me. Since the recipe is loaded with butter and bacon grease, you better tread lightly.
Yesterday was Lisa’s birthday and traditionally we have always taken the birthday boy or girl out to eat at the restaurant of their choice. We went to a mexican place because re-fried beans are on my list. I ate my 2 ounces off her plate! They were the best darned beans ever!
I finally made it to the gym today. I got in a couple of leg lifts that didn’t use the abs (think calves and hip abductor/adductor) and a good 30 minutes on the treadmill. I was nearly back up to my old intensity by the end of the session. Oh yeah, I am 37 pounds down as of today!
I had my post surgery followup appointment on Friday 12/18. Everything looks good. They were tremendously pleased at the progress I have made. I have lost 25 pounds in the 17 days after surgery! I was a little disappointed at the lack of inches around the waistline, but I was assured that is normal. I had only shrunk an inch when they measured me, but the weight is peeling off. I am supposed to walk more and get more and more active. High activity makes my side hurt, much like the old stitch in the side we got when we were kids. They told me this is normal too. Overall, I am feeling very positive about the results. I have been following the program 100% and it clearly shows.
They said this is the toughest part of the program. My hunger and desire to eat real food is returning, but I am still restricted to a soft foods diet. This is normal too. I try not to focus much on food, so that I can block it and not let it bother me. So far it is working. The protein shakes curb any feelings of hunger that I have.
My family has been super supportive. All of them are eating better and losing some weight as a result of this. It’s hard for everyone to eat correctly since we are now in “eating season” – The period from Thanksgiving until Valentines is known as that. The family is still having some goodies, but not nearly as many.
It’s been a little over a week since surgery. I am getting used to the soft foods diet. They told us before surgery that we would not want to eat, but we would have to. Amazingly, they were right! It is a chore to eat even the 2 ounces that I get for each meal. The challenge to eating is the “Can’t drink 30 minutes before or after” rule. Those that know me, know I am always drinking something! Yesterday I tried getting up and eating breakfast first thing. Not a good idea…talk about dry!
I was able to make it to the Bari Support group on Thursday night. The dietitian was surprised to see me so soon. I had to run back to the doctor’s office on Friday to pick up a stupid form. Then I went to see some friends at a Christmas party. I was not able to stay very long due to pain. Here I am almost 2 weeks out. Where in the world did that come from? Oh well, I will take it easy again the next few days and see how things go. The good news, was no pain medication last night. I did get to enjoy being with friends, even if for a short time.
It is now Monday, and I was released from the hospital on Friday, 12/4. The surgery went fine, no problems other than the doctor realized that I do have very good abdominal muscles. I was walking almost a half mile within 12 hours of surgery. The morphine was used sparingly, but it and the anesthesia kept me somewhat foggy until Sunday, hence the lack of updates.
I had heard about how this part of the hospital stay or that test was the worst. To me, the worst was going into the Operating Room. Seeing all those people in there, all gowned up, the big lights, and the cold starkness of the room made my hair stand on end! Lisa did take a couple of ‘nice’ pictures of me after I came out of recovery. I’ll have to remember to thank her for that.
I am beginning to figure out this stage 1 meal plan. I tried to drink from a sippy cup on Friday night. That was bad! Nothing like a gas lock going all the way through you. The meals are 2 OUNCES for each meal. Usually a protein like eggs, cheese, or beans, and a carb like mashed potatoes or grits. 1 OUNCE of each. I have to spend 20 – 30 minutes eating that ‘meal’. Oddly enough, I am very full after the meals. I am not much in the mood to eat anything right now. Food commercials on TV make me queasy. The protein shakes are 3 times a day too. They are pretty good.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include thank you to all the people who have assisted us during this time. Thanks first to my Creator, Lord, and Savior for answered prayers, and the many many people who prayed for me. The peace I felt while in the hospital and beyond was indescribable. Special thanks to Steve, Tami, and Tony who came and sat with Lisa and visited while in the hospital. Thank you to Sara, James, Bridgette, Tami and Gail who gave us rides. Thank you to my wife Lisa for her tremendous support during all this. I have to also thank my children, Jenna and Charlie. They were able to keep the house running and functioned so well with great independence during this. God is Great!
Dang! Surgery date is almost here! I can’t believe it. I getting the feeling that it’s groundhog day in one sense, because I have read and re read all the day before surgery rules. Now that tomorrow is the prep day, I actually get to follow the lengthy guidelines tomorrow. The other side if almost feels like being condemned. My last dinner out, my last real meal, last workout, last last last…I am ready to get this done and move forward! I have worked hard in the gym this week getting ready, done my food log, and all the breathing exercises.
Today it’s a case of the nerves. I am just tired of the waiting! I am mentally prepared for the regimen that I have to follow during each phase of the post op. I ask that everyone keeps me and my family in your prayers.
Tomorrow starts the rounds of testing. No eating or drinking after midnight. I can wait – really. It’s always so much fun to sit in waiting rooms waiting to get poked, prodded, and made to stand or lay in awkward positions.
It’s now inside 30 days, so it’s becoming more and more real to me. There are times that I am sitting here thinking “Have you lost your mind?”. I have chosen to do the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. It means 3 days in the hospital and weeks of eating soft foods. I often prefer to call it “gruel”. I know it is going to be hard, but I am firmly committed to it.
There is a support session tomorrow night. I plan to go to it. I need the encouragement. That’s the reason for this blog. Thanks to all who commented on the blog or facebook. I covet your prayers.