Wednesday, October 23, 2013


A year ago today I was in Mexicali, Mexico.  I was spending the night in a hotel after finishing some tests  Dr. Alberto Aceves was my surgeon.  He and all of his staff are very thorough, helpful and accessible.  The care I received was excellent and I would recommend the option of undergoing bariatric surgery with him in Mexico to anyone.
and interviews with the Bariatric surgeons at the Hospital Almater.

My experience with weight loss surgery has been chronicled here in the past year.  I did great in the hospital but after a week or or at home I started having some problems with tolerating foods.  I went as slowly as I could introducing different soft foods and then more options into my diet to meet my nutrition and protein needs - I had a difficult time for about 3 months but slowly found the foods and vitamins that worked for me.  There was, and in some ways still is, a certain sameness to what I eat each day.  I remained as patient as I could and put up with bouts of nausea and gastric distress when I strayed from what my body could handle. Having those outcomes in mind makes it a lot easier to stay on the straight and narrow - believe me!

My weight loss has been quite swift and I suppose to people around me, pretty shocking. My kids never knew me at the size I am now - for my husband it was a distant memory!

 It may seem like fast = easy.  In some ways I guess it has been.  When you have a physical barrier to overeating it does make it "easier."  Though I've worked  hard to do it right:  get my vitamins, protein, liquids and exercise - just like all the other times I have "dieted."  Except now this is my life and not a diet I can safely stray away from on a whim.  To maintain lifelong health - I have to stick with these requirements.

I am proud that I have done so well in this first year and I believe I can safely maintain my new found healthy weight and lifestyle.

I want to thank my good friend Christina for making this possible and all my friends and family who have been cheering me on!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Since I met my goal weight  (I actually dipped under it by about 7 pounds and then gained back 3) - more people have been commenting about how I look.  I take it as confirmation that the weight goal I set is correct as most people are saying how "tiny" I look.  In a world full of women trying to wear size 2-6, I seem to be around a size 10 and apparently look good at this size.

I say apparently because, as odd as it may sound, I thought I looked pretty good when I was 135 pounds heavier. I mean. I know I was obese, but somehow I just never thought I looked especially bad.  I have shown my "before" photo to a couple of people at work who didn't know me before my weight loss and they were so shocked.  Then I can see it, as if through their eyes - the huge difference in then and now.  But in my mind; in my memory I feel pretty much the same.

Don't get me wrong.  This has been life changing in so many ways and I am glad I did it and believe I will maintain my healthier weight.  However - I am not changed.

We celebrated our 29th anniversary this week.  I put a photo from our wedding up on my other blog. When I looked at that picture,  I can honestly say I don't know how my size now compares to then.  I guess it is a form of body dismorphia that I can't grasp my own appearance as others do.  My wedding dress is stored in the closet and I think I will take it out and try it on!  That will tell me something, for sure.

I know many women dislike this and that about their appearance, and I have not loved all of me all my life.  I am lucky, though, that I was never obsessed with my faults and flaws and now that I have exchanged a lot of pounds for a lot of baggy and saggy bits I can accept the exchange and carry on.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I am now a year from the start of my weight loss.   Last year I was on my pre-op liquid only diet for the
week leading up to my BPD-DS weight loss surgery. I was asked to lose 20 pounds in the month between the time I scheduled my surgery and when it occurred - and I did it.  A lot of people said why did I need surgery if I could lose 20 pounds in a month?  Clearly people who were not aware of just how many times I had lost that 20 pounds (or 80 pounds) and gained it back!!

I reached my goal to lose 130 pounds last month.  I am working on a maintenance diet now - I lost a few pounds and gained a few - so I guess I am doing it right.  My latest labs are just coming back and I see I still need to work on my supplements and protein intake - that's why we keep up with the labs every 3 months.  Even though I can eat more, my body is still adjusting to these changes and I need to keep my awareness up with regard to what it needs to remain healthy.

I made a mistake in switching to a different potassium supplement - the quality must not have been good because my potassium really dropped down, even though I was taking it every day.  I went right out and got the one my doctor prescribed.

I am still struggling with my protein intake.  The same old song.  I feel like I eat all day long and still can't get enough grams of protein in.  I am going to have to get more creative.

If I get too heavy on the carb side of the food pyramid,  my body certainly reminds me.  No just the gassy kind of reminder, but I get diarrhea, too.  I don't mean to get gross, but simply to inform as I know there are people wanting to get the real picture of this whole life changing surgery.  While I can carefully and selectively eat carbs - there is a consequence of going too far!

 I am happy to say that I get to enjoy a few cocktails when we go out.  Wine is hard on my stomach and I can't drink enough of it to get tipsy - but a good martini goes down easily and has yet to give me grief!

I have been getting to the gym less which is not ideal.  I need to get back  to  weight workouts.  I know that building muscle is important and will make me feel and look better, too.

We ride bikes every weekend and I can tell I am stronger and faster as time goes by.  We also started taking dance lessons - Western Swing dancing to be specific.  Two nights a week we are dancing for a couple of hours.  Fun, good exercise and another great activity for us to do together.

So that's the physical side of things - more on the emotional side coming up.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I have mentioned that I have been close to my original weight loss goal for or some time.  My weight has been fluctuating and hovering just above that goal number but this weekend I got on the scale and found I had reached it.  Goooaaaalll!

When I was on vacation my sister was having me try clothes on from her closet - a new experience for me.  She gave me some capri pants and I wore her swimsuit for a couple of days.  Mine is still a big old plus size one.  swim suits are just so expensive and I didn't want to invest in one until I am at a stable size... We also tried on clothes at a consignment shop and I bought a few things in smaller sizes than I ever thought I would wear.  Pretty cool.

 I am now actively working to keep my weight at the current level.  Not just because my husband is calling me bony butt (we both miss my former JLo-ness) but because I think I have lost enough.  I have a lot of extra skin and a pretty major poochy lower stomach which can all be covered effectively with clothing.  I don't want to go further and get beyond my current "issues."  My sister is very into me getting plastic surgery to remove the excess skin (and weight) but it isn't something I am interested in spending money on in the foreseeable future.

I also can't keep buying new clothes!  I mean, I like shopping and buying clothes, I always have.  But now I want to buy clothes which will last in my wardrobe.  I  have too many things I have bought and worn a few times and now find are too big.  I am looking for a local consignment store (with a better attitude than than the ones in my town which are very snobby) and hope to make some trades with my too big clothes.

This week will be 10 months since weight loss surgery.  I continue to increase my capacity to eat but still have to be careful not to eat too fast or too much. I still count my protein every single day and aim for 100 grams.  I am vigilant about taking my vitamins.  I am exercising.

I had my first real cookie last week and had no problem with the carbs backfiring on me.  That will not be an everyday occurrence but it is nice to know I can indulge now and then with no major ill effects.  I am also enjoying a cocktail or two most weekends and used some Advil this weekend with no stomach upset.  So the things I was promised would heal and become more "normal" have happened.

Now I am adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains back into my diet.  When I was in Idaho I bought some Huckleberry Jam at the Farmer's Market and have been using it on my peanut butter sandwiches - heaven! So sad it is almost gone...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I went on a trip which involved 3 airplane rides.  It is the first timeI traveled since I lost 130 pounds and boy is it a different experience. This time it was my luggage that was overweight!

 When I traveled by air I was never shaped so that I had to request a seat belt extender.  I did prefer being able to lift the arm between the seats to give my bottom more room.  Which was fine on a plane with no one next to me or a family member who didn't mind sharing a little extra space.  But there were a number of flights in my life where I was very crammed in and working hard throughout the flight to keep myself in my own space.

The other thing is the tray table.  I could use it if the person in front of me didn't recline. I didn't have much room to maneuver, but I could get it down and put a drink and a book on it.

The hardest thing of all was walking down the aisle.  Not the walking kinda sideways part; I am pretty graceful no matter my size.  No, it was the fellow passengers watching me approach with that "don't even think about sitting next to me and taking up my space" look.

This trip no one glared at me, I had no problem fitting the seat, using the tray table and was, frankly, surprised by how roomy my seat was.

It was a revelation to me to feel comfortable on a plane. I made a pledge to myself that if I sit next to a large person in a future flight I will raise the seat divider and do my best to make the trip pleasant for us both.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Today it is 9 months since I had my BPD-DS weight loss surgery.  I have lost 126 pounds and am 4 pounds from my original goal.  I think back to the day I went to Mexico and remember being excited - not nervous at all.  I was sure this was the right thing to do then and so grateful that I had the opportunity to have it done. (Thanks Christina.)

Tom and I went for a bike ride last Sunday and as we were leaving a neighbor I don't often see came over and asked if I was "disappearing". Like many others she asked how I was doing it and I said diet and exercise.  I feel right saying that - I am dieting and exercising.  The surgery was a tool.  My tiny stomach makes me eat less and I am very careful about what I eat.  I am more open with some people about the procedure and answer direct questions more factually - but for most people I simply say I don't eat much and that is the truth.
I occasionally want to say something to obese women I see, especially the ones out and about with their kids.  This has been such a liberation for me and I wish I could confer it on others.  I don't say anything to these women but I wish I could find a way to let them know the value of this, and if their insurance would cover it (unlike mine) urge them to consider it.  I wish I had been able to have it done years ago.

It is not easy.  There is no easy.  But as difficult as things are sometimes and as restrictive as my diet can be, I am so happy that I had the surgery.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I have been amazed and humbled by how fast I have lost so much weight.  I have always had to work so hard for weight loss - no matter how low my calories and high my exercise level, it has always been a struggle.

October 2012 I had already lost almost 20 lbs pre-op.
Now not quite 9 months since surgery and I am down 126 pounds.  Today I updated my "weight loss ticker" and see I am 4 pounds from my original goal and am wondering what my new goal should be.

 I am already focused on my fitness, so that continues to be something I want to challenge.  I had a great meeting with a trainer and got a whole bunch of new stuff to work on.  Tom and I did  25 miles on the bikes today and it was so easy -  now I need to see if I can do more hilly rides to challenge myself (I had to walk the bike up one hill today...)

But the weight thing, I am not sure about.  I have not been especially weight focused through life because I have always "weighed more" than I look.  Maybe aiming for a clothing size?  I am not all that attached to being a certain size but it was a bit of a thrill to buy a pair of size 12 capri pants.  Most of the things I have been buying are 14 or a large, but I have a couple of mediums, now, too.   I was a 12 when I got married and even though size 12 is bigger now than it was then - hey - a size 12 is cool with me!

July 4, 2013
Some people do lose more weight after this surgery than they plan on.  I really hope I will not be one of the people who end up having an issue with that.  I am noticing every week now that I can eat more at a sitting and make an effort to add more fruits and veggies to my daily meals in addition to the required protein.

I try to add fat where I can, too.  Sounds funny in this fat phobic world, but I need more fat since I only absorb about 40% of what I eat.  Fat is good for hair, skin, digestion and vitamin absorption.

This morning we went out to breakfast on our bike ride and I had 1 egg with some cheese scrambled in and 2 1/2 slices of bacon.  I was amazed I could eat all that!  I couldn't last month.  So if I keep this up I should be able to stop the weight loss and start the life long maintenance of my new, healthier bod.