I will update this post regularly. This post is fixed so that it will always appear at the top of the blog, for more posts, please scroll down.
9/1/2013 - Decision Day
9/13 - PCP
12/2 - Surgeon
12/11 – Nut #1
12/13 - PCP
1/2/2014 - Psych Eval
1/3 – Nut #2 (HW: 319, SMO)
1/7 – Endoscopy
2/12 - PCP for pre-op screening (EKG and blood work)
2/18 - Insurance approval!
2/19 - Started mental health therapy
2/21 - Stopped BCP pre-op
3/3-12 - Pre-op Diet
3/4 - Endoscopy #2
3/10 - Surgeon for Pre-op
3/11 - Pre-op nurse interview on the phone
3/13 - SURGERY!! (SW: 296)
3/24 - Surgeon Follow-Up (2 weeks) (OW: 290)
3/14-26 - Full Liquid Diet
3/27-4/9 - Pureed Diet and start vitamins
4/10-23 - Soft Solids Diet
4/24-Life - Forever Diet
5/6 - Surgeon Follow-Up (6 weeks) (OW: 270)
5/17 - Lab Results
6/13 - Three Month Update
6/20 - Surgeon Follow-up #3 and NUT (3 months) (OW: 253)
7/22 - Shared Surgery on Facebook
9/13 - Six Month Update
9/29 - Lab Results
9/30 - Surgeon Follow-Up (6 months) (OW: 218)
12/13 - Nine Month Update
1/1/2015 - 2015 Goals
3/13 - One Year Update
4/20 - Surgeon Follow-Up (1 year) (OW: 185)
9/2 - Fall Term (Composition and Rhetoric [A], Personal Trainer Fundamentals [A], Nutrition and Weight Management [A], Introduction to Sport Management [A], and Introduction to Legal Issues of Sports, Recreation and Leisure [A])
1/1/2016 - 2016 Goals
1/6 - Winter Term (Introduction to Psychology [A])
1/25 - Spring Term (Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology [A] +Lab [A], Composition and Literature [A], Personal Health and Fitness [A], Introduction to Sport Psychology [A], Wellness for a Diverse Society [A])
3/13 - Surgiversary #2
4/9 - Dad Died
6/13 - Summer II Term (Human Development Through the Lifespan [A])
7/5 - Summer III Term (Introduction to Interpersonal Communication [A])
7/23 - Started Vyvanse (lisdexamphetamine) to address diagnosed Binge Eating Disorder
8/29 - Fall Term (Anatomy and Physiology 1+Lab, Physics 1+Lab, Introduction to Kinesiology)
10/11 - Surgeon Follow-Up (2 years) (OW 175) and thoughts on Plastic Surgery
10/27-9/3 - early voting
10/28 - massage
11/24 - thanksgiving
5/18/2017 - A.A. graduation
Binge Eating Disorder (my story, diagnosis process, treatment, etc.)
Daily Protein Shake Contents
Mental Health Thoughts
Most Recent ASMBS Guidelines
Pureed Foods I Ate
School Meal Ideas
Vitamin Schedule (with product links) and Tips for Storing and Taking Vitamins
Weekly Meal Plans
Why I Chose VSG
WLS Promises for the Beginner
Weights, Measurements, and Pictures
(3/20/14) 291 - Extremely Obese BMI
(4/29/14) 269 - Fifty Lost/25% EWL
(5/17/14) 260 - Driver's License Weight
(8/2/14) 233 - Obese BMI
(9/12/14) 219 - One Hundred Lost/50% EWL
(11/25/14) 199 - "Onederland"
(4/28/15) 180 - Age 18
(8/11/16) 180 - Weight before dad's brain cancer diagnosis in 3/2015
(9/9/16) 174 - Overweight BMI
169 - One Hundred Fifty Lost/75% EWL
159.5 - Half the person I used to be
150 - Start the Plastics Countdown
145 - Normal BMI
120 - 100% EWL (based on Ideal Weight calculations)
ULTIMATE DREAM GOAL - 120 pounds, 20% body fat (Normal BMI range is 145-109)
Height - 5'4"
I should be studying, but my eyes don't want to function anymore. I've been working all day, so I think it's time to take a break.
I had my two year follow-up on Tuesday and it went super well. Here's what I wrote on FB:
Surgeon is totally thrilled with me. He's thrilled that this far out I'm down 6 lb since last year. He was over the moon when I told him that I've actually lost 20 since June due to gain after my dad's death.
He thinks I need to see a cardiologist as I shouldn't be experiencing orthostatic hypertension this far post-op. Which is good to hear since my PCP yesterday dismissed my concern.
And he thinks I could start pursuing plastics now if I was ready to. That's the weirdest thing. I still want to lose 50 lb and he says I can if I want, but that I don't need to as far as he is concerned.
Yearly follow ups for forever I guess? Maybe March 2017 won't suck so much and I can be on time with my 3 year.
The thing about plastics was a total mind fuck. How on earth can he think I'm ready for plastics when I still want to lose 20 pounds before I even talk to a surgeon for a consult?!
So I've been thinking a lot about plastics and this is my plan. (My mom even said she might be able to help out with the financials, which would be awesome.)
January 2017 - call to schedule appointment with surgeon (I've already got the one I'm 99% sure I'll be using selected)
March 2017 - see surgeon for consult over spring break
May/June 2017 - as soon after Memorial Day as possible, have my first round of plastic surgery. This will be after I graduate with my AA and before I start taking BS classes. This will give me two weeks to recover before classes start, and I'll do a light load of 1 or 1.5 classes that term. All of my BS classes are online and it'll all be reading/writing stuff.
Aug 2017 - Apparently my surgeon likes to have 3 months recovery time between surgeries, but I'm hopeful that I can have my second round of plastics around 8-9 weeks so that I can do it between summer and fall terms. If not, I can always take off the first part of the fall term. The BS college has a weird course schedule which will probably work to my favor.
So now I just need to reach my self-imposed mini goal of 150 which is where I want to be before I have plastic surgery.
The plan is that I'll be getting 4 procedures in, hopefully, 2 surgeries. Lower body lift, arm lift, breast lift, and thigh lift. The order and combination will be dependent upon the surgeon's recommendations. From what I can gather, based on other patients of his that I've spoken with, I should be budgeting 30-35k for everything. *gulp*
I feel like I’m a broken record encouraging people to add a therapist to their tool belt in the fight against obesity and, since I have a moment, I want to try to coalesce those thoughts. “You” is used as a generic you here. It means “we” and “me” and “all of us.”
Clearly we all got to obesity for a reason. It’s rare that the reason is physiological, most of the time it is mental. (And if it is physiological, it’s even more rare that it is solely physiological.) We eat for whatever reason we eat. We don’t move enough. We don’t care about what we put into our bodies. We aren’t thoughtful about what we consume. We convince ourselves that we’re content with obesity. We do one of these things or all of them in combination.
One of the common refrains on the boards is that surgery is only on our stomachs, not our brains. This means that, even if you have surgery, it’s not going to change what’s going on in your brain. The surgery is awesome, but correcting that brain stuff is way more challenging in my opinion and, if it’s neglected, no surgery in the world is going to cure/fix/permanently resolve the obesity.
My recommendation is to find a therapist, keep track of your eating habits, talk to your PCP or a psychiatrist about eating disorders, keep seeing your therapist. All of this sucks, it’s hard, there’s still a huge stigma in our society about mental health, but if you want lifelong success, I think that it’s necessary to fight these battles.
If you care about your health, you need to care about your mental health as well.
I’m writing this at 2.6 years post-op. I started seeing a therapist a few months pre-op and continued for 2 years. The bulk of that time was weekly appointments; I had a few months at every other week. Now I’m in maintenance and see my therapist as needed. About 2.5 years post-op I finally got my Binge Eating Disorder diagnosed. In retrospect, I know that I’ve had BED for all of my memorable life. I didn’t KNOW that I had it until I started my current college path and it kept cropping up in various classes. Even then, it took me about a year of KNOWING before I finally sought diagnosis and treatment.
For the first year or so post-op, all the happy post-op feelings were enough to keep my BED at bay. Once my dad’s cancer spread to his brain, I stopped being able to keep the BED under control and, when he died, the BED came back in full force and I was no longer able to control it.
I am a prime example of the surgery only acting on the stomach and not the brain. Clearly WLS did not fix my BED in any way. And, if I hadn’t sought out the mental help that I’ve pursued, I would have easily gained right back up to my original high weight. No surgery in the world would have fixed that or changed that course.
What surgery DOES do, and I feel that this is often missed, is it gives you breathing space to address the mental health concerns. It takes away the constant battle with food. It takes away the constant feelings of failure and moral judgment that obesity is laden with. We all know that society views the obese as lazy and unworthy – it’s not uncommon for us to start to see ourselves that way as well. Surgery took those pressures and those feelings away for long enough that I could start to see the person I could be and work to be kind to her. So that when the BED did rear it’s ugly head again, I was NOT going to let it win. My year of freedom from BED and the 18 months that followed.. these showed me that I wasn’t lazy. That I WAS worthy. And those 2.5 years told me that I was someone worth fighting for and that this life I was working toward was the life that I wanted. I don’t think that I would have gotten to this place without WLS.
What should your takeaway be from my thoughts on this? I don’t know. You do you. I know that I’m not saying every obese person has some mental illness, because I don’t think that’s true. I do believe that obesity is a symptom that is often treated as a disease. We all got to be obese for reasons. We all have baggage that put us, and kept us, on the road to obesity. If we don’t deal with those reasons, if we don’t let that baggage go, then the symptom that obesity is will always come back no matter what surgery we have, no matter how many revisions we get or how many resets we do.
And this is what I believe.
1. Reach plastics goal by graduation - 21 to go!
2. Get back to running and complete Zombies Run! 5k Training Plan - heading out for w4d2 in a few minutes.
3. Complete two races - 5 miler complete, 5k in 2 weeks.
4. Fitness classes twice a week - not doing very well with this one. Once a week seems do-able, but twice a week can be a challenge since I’m finding I need more sleep than I used to.
5. Meditation - Nope.
6. Pass all classes with a minimum grade of B - 9 classes for the year so far, 5 more to go - getting there!
7. Stay on track for 5/2017 graduation for my AA in Exercise and Sport Science - getting closer!
8. Take care of myself as best I can - I feel like I’m doing okay with this. I went to see my therapist when I felt things slipping and that’s a big deal for me.
9. Support my mom as best as I can - going to see her next weekend to take her out to see Girl on the Train :D
10. Average 1 mile per day running - I added this goal in October, so it’s not 1 mile per day for the whole year, but 1 mile per day for the year remaining after I set the goal. Runkeeper tells me I’m on track.
It's hard for me to keep up with posting since I'm just so busy all the time with school and life. With school there's always another thing to work on, so I'm never truly finished nor do I ever feel caught up.
But I'm doing well. I haven't binged since I started Vyvanse and my weight loss is totally on track. It's pretty awesome :D
First of the month means it's time to update goals!
1. Reach plastics goal by graduation - getting there.
2. Get back to running and complete Zombies Run! 5k Training Plan - w1d2 complete!
3. Complete two races - 16 days until the 5 miler, eek? I’m so not ready. I plan on doing the race, but it won’t be pretty.
4. Fitness classes twice a week - so far, so good.
5. Meditation - I just got my Sona (which is a wearable HR monitor, etc) and my goal is 5 “resonance minutes” a day. So far, so good.
6. Pass all classes with a minimum grade of B - 9 classes for the year so far, 5 more to go - check!
7. Stay on track for 5/2017 graduation for my AA in Exercise and Sport Science - check!
8. Take care of myself as best I can - I think I’m doing okay here!
9. Support my mom as best as I can - And I think I’m okay here as well.
I rewrote my 2016 goals at the end of July, since the ones I had written at the beginning of the year were no longer useful for me. I don’t like how vague some of these are, so they might evolve as the year goes on, but I think they’re acceptable. I plan to get back into the habit of touching base with my progress every month.
Things are going well, I'm glad I'm only taking three classes (plus two labs) this term because Anatomy is going to, yet again, kick my ass.
My dad's service went really well, as did everything that went along with it.
Classes started today - at least Physics and Kinesiology. I think they'll be okay. The moment of truth will be tomorrow when I get the Anatomy syllabus. We'll see what tomorrow brings!
My eating is going really well. Thank goodness for Vyvanse. It would have been so easy for me to have just gorged the entire weekend, there was so much food. But I didn't. I'm feeling really great about things.
Today would have been my parents' 51st anniversary. :(
Things are going pretty well. I'm at my lowest weight ever. I start the higher dosage of Vyvanse tomorrow. I'm trying to get my exercise mojo back. My current plan is to do pilates and yoga on Wednesday. Then I'll start running on the 30th and start lifting on the 10th. My fall term fitness schedule looks like this:
M - weights
Tu - running
W - pilates class
Th - running
F - pilates/yoga class, tai chi class, pilates class
Sa - weights
Su - running
My next race is coming up way too quickly and I am completely unprepared, but there is a very long time limit, so I'll be fine.
I've also gotten information about the local climbing place and hope to be able to check it out at some point. If I like it, I might invest in my own harness and buy a multi-visit pass.
It's also worth noting that I can only lose 15 more pounds of lean mass at this point, so I need to get back to exercising to get my fat mass down.
This is an interesting article -- https://github.com/arielf/weight-loss
Life is going well. I had my first Vyvanse follow up and my dosage was increased from 30 to 40. I still have a few days left at 30 before I make the transition.
I have finished my two summer classes - As in both.
My mom is totally moved into her new place and seems to be adjusting well, although it's traumatic.