Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weight Loss Photo Collection

More Photos of my progress!

230 lbs, clothes shopping!
220 lbs, dressed as an Axe Murderer for Halloween.
220 lbs, Camping and Hiking.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

White Bean Stew

Adapted from

1 yellow or white onion chopped2-3 cloves of garlic
2 cans of white beans, pinto beans, lima beans or other beans (14 oz each)
2 cans crushed tomato or tomato sauce (14 oz each)
2-3 zucchini and/or yellow squash sliced into coins
2 tablespoons smoked paprika (or regular paprika and a tablespoon of liquid smoke)
1 bag washed baby spinach leaves
1 cup of fresh, chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil

1)      Drizzle extra virgin olive oil into a large sauce pan, then caramelize the onion and the garlic.
2)      Place beans and their canning liquid, tomato, zucchini/squash and paprika (and smoke) in large saucepan.
3)      Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is soft.
4)      Add spinach and cilantro.  Continue to cook, stirring, until the spinach is just wilted.  About a minute or so.

It's a pretty thick stew and is very filling.  The recipe makes quite a few servings though, so it might work better to try to scale down the recipe for gastric bypass patients that don't have families to help them eat it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Many Milestones

Down to 235 lbs!

It's amazing how often we hit milestones while losing weight.  Keep yourself motivated, don't take your accomplishments for granted!

Some milestones I've hit
Dropping from 4x to 3x to 2x in shirt sizes
Wearing "Real Jeans"  instead of stretch jeans with an elastic waistband
Hitting my "college weight" on the scale
Not looking ridiculous wearing a belt
Going on my first hike ever
Seeing a waist in the mirror
Noticing my collar bones
Walking for an hour without breaking a sweat
Noticing on a rainy day that my body in stir crazy, craving exercise!
Buying heeled boots
Enjoying going clothing shopping
Catching guys checking me out

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

240 lbs Exactly!

What a nice surprise this morning!  My scale read 240.0, on the nose!  It is hard to believe that I'm down 50 pounds since my surgery.  It has been almost 12 weeks.  I get compliments from friends and co-workers who have noticed the weight loss.  Once in a while I get a glimpse of myself in a mirror and can see a change, but most of the time I don't see a big difference.

I'm losing a few clothing items due to my shrinking size.  This is a good thing, but it means I need to do some clothing shopping eventually.  A co-worker that is at his year anniversary for his WLS suggested going to Good Will to find clothes for now, since I am not at my goal weight yet.  I'll get around to it soon, hopefully!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Going Very Well!

280 lbs, my weight just prior to surgery.

I had almost no problems advancing myself through the six stages of foods and have hardly had any problems with foods so far.  It still amazes me that I can feel very hungry, eat a few bites and suddenly feel over full.  The past few days I've been packing small lunchables for work and I can't finish them in one sitting.  It's crazy to think that I can't eat as much as a small school child, but I guess that's what it takes to loose the weight.

Walking at work has been a great way to keep myself motivated and moving.  Half an hour on my lunch break is just enough time to walk around the sidewalks here and "feel the burn".  I try to take lunch early so that it's not too hot outside yet when I go out to walk.  I figured that since I'm not really eating a lunch (a few bites at my desk hardly counts) and I know that I am at work five days a week, this is a perfect way to get the activity time in.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pureed Foods

Advanced myself to pureed foods yesterday.  The tuna salad I made was the most delicious thing ever.  Or maybe it's just that I'm tired of yogurt and smoothies already.  I put a can of tuna (including the water), a tablespoon of lite mayo and 4-5 dill pickle slices into the blender.  It was amazing.  Tonight I had pureed chicken.  I put the chicken, a little chicken broth and a spoon of lite mayo into the blender.  Yum!

My incision sites are healing well.  The two smallest ones seem "deeper" and are healing more slowly than the rest.  I got a nice card from Rex Hospital today.  I need to write them back a thank-you letter.  The nurses there were very kind during my stay and did what they could to make my time there more positive. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Post-Op Appointment

Things are going very well.  I've been advanced to the stage two foods (full liquids such as protein shakes, yogurt, sugar free pudding).  I had a lovely walk to this morning and spent the afternoon shopping for fresh fruits to make shakes with.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Story

Before Weight Watchers and Gastric Bypass - 310 lbs approx
I grew up in a home with very poor eating habbits.  We hardly ever had fresh produce in the house or juice.  The foods we had were mostly sweet cereals, milk, soda, sweet snack foods, chips and microwavable foods.  My family ate out very often, sometimes as often as three times in a single day.  Needless to say I was not getting the nutrition I needed and had very little self control when I moved out as a young adult.

Dieting had been something I had been doing off and on since before I was overweight.  I'm pretty sure dieting helped me become overweight.  A few months of denying myself practically everything that I wanted to eat and then binging on those terrible foods afterwards was not healthy.

At 30, I saw my scale tip at 311 lbs.  I knew I had to do something.  Through weight watchers I was able to get myself down to 278 lbs.  I was only in weight watchers for a month or two but stuck with the plan  for about 4 months.  Then I kept the weight off for about a year, balancing myself between 280 and 285.  It was nice to be making healthier choices most of the time and the change wasn't that difficult.  It just wasn't enough.

My family has a history of many medical problems, most of which are weight related.  I decided that I needed to do something more direct about my weight and take care of my health now before I have problems.  In fact, I have had several doctors and medical personel looking at my test results before surgery and they all remarked how healthy I am!  Let's keep it that way!

I went to Dr. Moran's Office for their free seminar on weight loss surgery options.  I love the Raleigh Center for Weight Loss.  They offer the seminars for free to show people what both gastric bypass and lapband surgeries entail and give you the information on each.  Dr. Moran and his staff provide you with the pros and cons of both surgeries and let you decide which one is best for you.  They'll advise you but the decision is ultimately up to you.

After a series of medical tests:  sleep study (I had a mild type of sleep apnea), blood work, chest x-ray, barium swollow, and an ultra-sound, I was approved by my insurance for the surgery.  I have Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  I more than exceeded their requirements for a high BMI to qualify for the surgery.

On June 9th, 2011 (Thursday morning) I had my Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Procedure.  I had high blood pressure after the surgery and the medical staff at Rex Hospital made sure that I was stable before they sent me up to my room in the surgery recovery wing.  The staff at Rex Hospital are very familiar with weight loss surgery patients and are great at taking care of them post surgery.  I had a rough night Friday Night with nausia and dizzyness caused by dehydration but by Saturday morning I was feeling 90% back to myself.  I was walking the halls of the hospital wing, teasing the nurses that I was making a break for it, showering myself, dressing myself, packing my bags and then I was released Saturday afternoon.

When I got home, I was disappointed that I had actually gained a few pounds while in the hospital.  I have to assume that this was due to water weight gain (since I was dehydrated the staff at Rex kept me on a fluid IV drip up until the time I left).  I was also a little bruised and puffy around my stomach (as to be expected).
Today is Tuesday, June 14th and I'm down a few pounds from where I was before the surgery.  I'm back to 280.2 pounds.  Basically everything I lose from this point forward will put me ahead of where I was by dieting on weight watchers last year.

I've spent the last few days sorting clothes and doing laundry.  I found out that I have 15 pairs of jeans to shrink into!  15 pairs of jeans - 3 that I was wearing pre-surgery, 1 that needs a button sewn to it, and 11 pairs of jeans waiting for me to shrink into them!  I got excited looking at some of the nice looking clothes that I already own that are just a few sizes too small for me to wear right now.  It'll save me money at first by being able to wear these.  Many of them look brand new and I'm sure that a few were on clearance sale but never fit me.

This first week on clear liquids is going well.  I'm drinking a lot of crystal light (the lemonade is awesome).  Hot tea has always been a favorite of mine and I'm enjoying the decaffeinated teas I've been drinking this week (a packet of splenda makes them more awesome!).  I also found out that I am allowed to drink ISOPURE protein shakes this week.  I find that the shakes are not that great without fruit or milk, but that comes next week.  I'm very lucky that the Food Lion grocery stores here are having a BIG sale on fruit this week.  I'm going to pick up a bunch, wash them, chop them, zip lock bag them and freeze them for next week's protein shakes.

I feel like I'm at the start of a very positive and healthy journey that only result in great changes for myself.