Weight Loss Surgery
My Gastric Bypass Experience
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Well it is April 1st 2009 and the scale this morning is down to 153 pounds! (April Fools! really 286) I went to a covered dish dinner last night and served both the pork chops with apples and onions, and the shrimp and grits. The shrimp and grits were a huge hit! Those that could stand the heat loved them. I will have to play with that recipe some more and make it milder.
On my Facebook page, (Yes I have a Facebook page) I got a lot of comments on yesterdays photo shoot, (See the March Blog) and the one we did with Ellen in mid March. They feel we are looking great. That is a good thing, I like recognition as much as the next guy.... But it is still a bit surreal. To me I am me. The same me I have always been except grumpier. I am just not happy concerning my weight loss, and life in general. Work sucks, (I am just not a salesman) the financial outlook with Ellen being laid off at the end of the month makes it hard for me to see a promising future, and the overall mood in the country right now is pretty bleak. In fact bleak is an excellent description of how I am feeling. I have been waiting for this chance to be thin (thinner) all of my life, and now that it is really happening I just am not happy about it (or anything in general). I will tell you one thing that I am happy about. Those pictures! or especially the one found to the left, with my arms crossed. I look at that and think what a flattering picture. I do not like almost all pictures of my self, but that one I do like. Very flattering I think.
I feel I might be coming down with something on top of it. You know that feeling you get when you don't feel ill, but for some reason you don't feel right and kind of blah? That is what I am feeling today, bleak and blah. I hope it is not a cold because that would set my schedule back another week, and I will be a raging lunatic by then, but it is most likely nothing.
This Thursday night we will launch a new and improved look to the website. You will have to tune in Friday and check it out. We are shooting for a more professional look that is neater and more organized. I hope that it meets with your approval.... Or not it really doesn't matter anyway.
To a large degree my weight loss is dependant on having the surgery, but to another, I try to eat healthy foods that will do me the most good all around. I find this information everywhere, and I am hoping it leads me to an overall healthier lifestyle. I always try to keep in mind that this will only last 12-18 months and then it is up to me. So here are some tips to live my according to Best Foods for a Flat Belly Yahoo.com By Lucy Danziger, SELF Editor-in-Chief - Posted on Mon, Mar 30, 2009, 12:03 pm PDT
What if someone told you that the way you eat could whittle your waistline? Sure, you'd think. Give up carbs and rely on rabbit food. Not true! I'm happy to tell you that there are other, yummier ways to go. Certain foods and styles of eating can indeed help flatten your belly (and everywhere else, for that matter). Try these tips and you'll uncover an amazing middle in no time.
Gimme a C: I love pink grapefruit and that's a good thing, since research has found that foods that are naturally rich in vitamin C—think citrus fruit, cantaloupe and red peppers—can help reduce fat absorption. In fact, skip it and you may see your middle expand, since diets low in vitamin C have been linked to bigger waistlines. Meet your daily goal of 75 milligrams by snacking on an orange or a cup of strawberries. See how these small changes can add up to big results.
Tea up: Women with
the highest consumption of catechins, the plant-based antioxidants in tea
that may boost fat burn, put on fewer pounds over 14 years than those who
drank less tea, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals. Try to
choose green or white varieties, which contain the most catechins. Learn how
to maximize the benefits of tea and other superfoods.
Peel it off: Reach for a banana and you'll banish bloat faster than you can say Buddha belly. The fruit contains 422 mg of potassium, which controls the amount of puff-producing sodium in your system. Toss a banana in your bag for a fabulous ab-flattening snack. Try our Flat Abs Fast plan for more bloat-reducing tips and tricks.
Go low: Consuming
just one meal of low-glycemic-index foods, those that your body digests
slowly, can help you feel fuller all day so you're less likely to pack your
tummy with treats, a study in the Journal of the American College of
Nutrition reports. Low-GI foods include oatmeal and vegetables (sorry, not
potatoes), as well as some fruit like grapefruit and blueberries. Oatmeal
Meatballs are a tasty way to curb cravings.
Stroll away your
sweet craving: Loco for cocoa? Me, too. A little dark chocolate is fine, but
if you've already hit your limit, try lacing up your sneakers! Chocolate
lovers who walked for 15 minutes reported reduced hankerings during the walk
and even afterward, according to a study in the journal Appetite.
high-fructose corn syrup: Scan labels and you're likely to see high-fructose
corn syrup on many ingredient lists...even on things like tomato sauce! When
you do, put down that jar and look for something else. Why? High-fructose
corn syrup can cause a surge in your blood sugar, and some research suggests
it messes up your hunger and satiety signals, like leptin, leaving you less
satisfied and causing you to eat more. When leptin responses fail, it's
tougher to control appetite. The result: Extra calories get deposited as
fat. To prevent this, trade packaged foods with high-fructose corn syrup for
ones with healthy fats and fiber—think veggies, hummus, nuts or sunflower
Snap your snack: Taking a photo of your plateful of food can keep you slim. People who took pictures of everything they ate for five days reported consuming fewer snacks and being less likely to go back for seconds than during a week-long period in which they kept a written food diary, a study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison finds. Try capturing your meals for a week to help eyeball portion sizes as well as color variety—aim for more green, less white (unless it's cauliflower).
Before I sign off I want to remind everyone to check out this website. It has been a favorite of mine for some time. It is called Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About. It is a great read. It is by a guy named Mil Millington and can be found at http://www.mil-millington.com. If you like his stuff there is the ability to buy his books. Check it out, we are not alone.....
|Its Thursday April 2, 2009 and I hate to cave
in and admit it: I am ill. This may be a mild spring cold
because I was miserable last night and this morning I feel much better.
There is nothing like an irritated throat to make you feel that way.
As the day progresses I will see where it goes. As a man I am of
course winy about everything. I am scheduled to teach my last class
for this semester at Vo-Tech tonight, but I am not sure I am going to make
it there. I will have to make a decision by 2. Frankly I would rather
go home today and go to bed. I feel it is really from being so busy
the last three weeks. Out late every night, and up early each morning
just runs you down. It needs to stop.
I weighed in at 287 this morning, and so I am up a pound. That is fine, I am not so easy to panic now. Anyway back to work.
The cold is progressing well. The sore throat has passed and now we are into a stuffy nose, coughing, and sneezing. I have much to do and no time to be sick, and now I have this. Well, we are into day 3 of 7 of sickness, and I am looking forward to two days off, where I don't HAVE to be anywhere special.
Last night we unveiled the new web site, I hope you all like it. it is simple and professional, so I think it will get the notice it deserves. I am going to add some tweaks, over the next week or so, but for the mot part it is sound the way it is.
I was thinking about getting thinner last night. I still view myself as a fat man. At 286 (or 7 whatever it is today) I am still a big guy, but I still clear a path as if I am 400+. I move chairs out of the way, even though I don't have to any more. I Will not go into crowded rooms because I don't think I can fit. I still turn sideways to go through small openings, even though I no longer need to. Sometimes I think I will always feel like a big fat guy, especially when little things I notice do not seem to change (Like relations with the lady of my life). Life is clueing me in as to the fact, that is either was not my size doing that, or at least not just my size. Perhaps I was a jerk as well. I hate to think of it that way but perhaps that is the case.
Clothes that fit
This weekend I was ill, but that did not stop me from a mission. When I got dressed for work on Friday I put on what clothes I had and it just could not be done any more. They were just too big. I was waiting for P.T. Barnum to show up with poles and elephants! So I vowed that I needed to deal with this issue this weekend. My first stop Friday night was to CE Roth, my haberdashers. The reworked my clothes, and retailored them, but this is the end of the line for these outfits. Any more and there just is no more taking them in. So I left them with their project, and went on my way. The only flaw was that I left them ALL of my pants save for two pair, a casual, and a formal. (I also have my suit.) Saturday I did a big load of nothing. except host a dinner for my friends. Poor Ellen did all the work. I rested with my cold in bed, and that was a good plan because I felt much better on Sunday. But I did divest myself of all my old too big clothing to them. No going back or regaining now, as I am far to cheap for that. Sunday morning, I took inventory, and found I only had three shirts to wear. So off to the shops to find more. $287.00 dollars of well spent money later, I have something to wear. All of my coworkers complemented me on my attire today, and there is still more to come!
As I was at the Crossings, Ellen purchased some new sneakers, and more peep toed shoes! I will sow pictures as I can get them. One thing she said as she was trying them on in how empowering this process is. She can now shop in mainstream stores instead of those dedicated to plus sizes. I now feel the same way, after trip to Wal-Mart, I found two pair of 48 (That is right I said size 48) jeans and they were not the biggest ones they carry! for $10.00 each. Compared to the normal 25 to 55 bucks I normally pay for them. Shopping in mainstream stores is not only fun but less expensive, and she is right it is empowering. I was even thinking of stopping in to Brooks Brothers to look at some shirts for my size 18 neck. As a side note I got a "Nice Jeans Weetie" from Ellen when trying on the jeans at Wal-Mart . She has a thing about how men look in jeans. She is so cute sometimes!
To give you an idea as to where I am in my life, I was a Senior in High School and had a 46 inch waist and a 17 1/2 shirt with 33 sleeves. It is not a goal of mine to reach that, but rather a milestone. I am looking to get smaller than that. My Dad is apparently worries about my weight loss. He spoke to my Doctor about it telling him that I stuff myself until I throw-up. Throwing up is a side of this that effects almost everyone. He doesn't get that. He also informed me that 90% of these operations fail. Not true, but that is a prime example of the support I have gotten from him most of my life. The point here to take home is He cares, and is worried. I should speak to Ellen about getting him a copy of WLS for Dummies. Perhaps then he will understand how this works.
Some folks are writing in about how much I eat these days, and I commented to Ellen at lunch on Sunday, that If I could continue to eat at this level (Amount) and remain svelte and healthy, I could be happy with that. Lets recap what I consumed on Sunday. Breakfast: 2 Centrum Vitamins, Lunch: 4-5 small meatballs in sauce with grated cheese, and an unsweetened iced tea. Dinner: Steak and caser salad with sun dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, roasted red peppers, and tomatoes, mixed into the salad. (About a half of a small bowl of this salad, and about 3 oz of steak.) and later with tea, a narrow slice of low fat, no sugar cheese cake that Ellen had made with Splenda. Looking around the room at lunch I said to Ellen that I know this sounds off coming from me, but I can't believe how much we Americans eat at a sitting! Huge amounts of food was served and consumed at the food court at the Crossings! Not that I was not on board with that 6 month ago, I was looking for whatever a serving was plus more at that time. Now ordering a side order of meatballs and an unsweetened iced tea, and I was stuffed for hours!
So That's it for day See you all tomorrow!
Mr. Clean Mr. Clean....
It's Tuesday April 7th and frankly I have nothing new to report or talk about. I did pitch in to help with more family chores than usual last night. I sorted laundry Ellen's way. What I mean by that is I sorted it separated it by jeans, darks, and lights/whites. In my world they all go in together. I wear them together they can bathe together. (Hence why I do not do laundry often) But Ellen is slightly more picky than that. She wants them separated. I also cooked dinner and Zach and Ellen cleaned up. That was nice, Dinner takes a while to settle with me and I need time to sit and let it before doing dishes. If they would have waited I would have done it, and if I had done it right away, I would have thrown up. Realizing the prosecution of me by Ellen is all in my head. I always feel if I do not accomplish things on her timetable, I have failed somehow. The other day she asked me to get up and start a fire as our friends were coming over. I got up, got dressed, (A half hour later) and did so, to come out into the living room and find her starting a fire. If she would just let me have the time to do the things she asked me to do, that would be fine. Another example. I like to clean. I am good at it. But I only like to clean on my schedule, and I like to be alone or with Zach when I do it. God forbid I am not in a mood to clean when it is on a day that Ellen is scheduled to clean.... Then I do nothing around the house, and she never gets any help. Keep in mind that this is all going on in my head. Sometimes I am so screwed up...
Today is Thursday April 9th 2009 and it is officially
Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday or Great and Holy Thursday), is
the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that
commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the
fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by
Good Friday. In 2009, Maundy Thursday will occur on April 9 in most
Last night thanks to my friend Marc who argued me out of going to sit Shivah with him, I stayed home, fixed the toilet, and got some well needed rest for Ellen. I guess she did well on her interview, yesterday although she is not as warm and fuzzy as she was the first time.
Today is the last day in our week this week, as we are off for Good Friday tomorrow. I hope to be productive around the house and get it spotless tomorrow, for Easter. My brother and his family are going to Pam's family for the holiday. I will miss them. I know deep down how we have to share each other and that is important, but holiday, just is not a holiday without Pam. I love her so much, she has ALWAYS been behind me supporting my hopes and dreams. Besides, the dogs will really miss "cheesecake lady" The girls are very special as well. I love Laura and Leslie as if they were my own, and would do anything for them. They are the greatest girls in the world and also have been a load of support in my endeavors. I love working with Leslie in projects. She is so smart, and seems to beg for knowledge. Laura is brilliant in her own way, more mechanical than Leslie she wants to know everything and the level of detail on how it works, where Leslie is more into results. I at one time thought Law for Laura, as she defends everyone, but now I see he more in an engineering role. She kind of reminds me of a female Thomas Edison!
As much as the girls hate to admit it they really have Pam and Doug to thank for this upbringing. They have tried to do the best they always could for the girls, and they have never really wanted for anything. They had all their needs met, and some. Pam has given Leslie the refinement of a young lady, and corporate sense, and Laura has gotten her thirst for knowledge and invention from her father. I hope when the time comes and I am gone they remember me fondly as I will always remember them.
Well, Easter is coming on Sunday, and I am going to try Lamb for the first time since the surgery. I have always loved lamb, and I do not bother with the green jelly. I also always loved Lamb and cheese sandwiches. we will see how it reacts.
See you all later, and I hope all of my Jewish friends had a great celebration of the sun, and a happy Passover!
Good morning all. By the time you read this it will be Tuesday April 13th 2009 and I weighed in (Before bed tonight) 275! A few more particulars: I now am in a 50 pants, and 18 /34 shirt, and a 54 Jacket. That is down from weighing 403 pounds, a 62 pants, 22 /36 shirt and a 64 jacket for a total loss of 128 pounds with my 200 mark in sight. 200 may not be my final destination altogether but it will be where I pause, take inventory, and decide where I am going from there. I just can't "weight" to get to that point. HA HA! very punny! at the moment I am entertaining offers from publishers who want to publish the blog. Nobody serious yet, but we will see where it goes. Life gets lots of offers, but the ones that come to fruition are the ones that count.
|One step forward and two
Today is Wednesday April 15th. Both tax day and the day the Titanic sunk. (Goodnight Marc Ashman, where ever you are.) So any more good news? I have some. Remember yesterday and 275 BABY? yeah well today is 279.5! If I shift my weight on the scale around I can even get it to read 280. Now yesterday here is what I ate.
1 Bottle of Crystal Light iced tea.
1 Onion Ring from Alaska Pete's
4 Buffalo chicken wing pieces from Alaska Pete's
2 BK Burger shots
1 Order of Small French Fries
1 Minute Maid Light Lemonade
1 Coffee Cup of Turkey Hill Diet Orange Iced Tea
4 Pieces Of Boiled Ham (Smoked Shoulder) (Less than 3 Ozs total spread over the day)
That's it in total
It must be the portion at Burger King (Salt Factory) and the ham eaten after 10:00.
I gotta figure this out....
||Up up up...
Today is Thursday April 17th, and today the highlight of my day is getting my septic pumped. Why am I so up today? Well this morning I got another surprise. I gained another half a pound. now I am up to 280 again. 5 pounds lost and gained within a week. How annoying. When you gain wait for like 40 years and one year you loose steadily for 6 months then things like this happen it really sucks. I know deep down that this won't last, but on the other hand the clock is ticking. You only get 12 to 18 months for wholesale weight loss and you really want this to work and keep going as much as you can during this period. Anyway I am bitchy about that, and seemingly everything else. I am just an unhappy bastard these days, and really don't know what to do about it. I will say this I am tired of being angry all the time. Here is quite a moment folks, I am bitchy about being tired of being bitchy. My bitchyness aside, I do have some insight here to offer. Remember in past blogs where I said :If only I was not fat I could... Now that I am not so fat, I am putting the blame on finances. If only we were not so broke I could.... Now that issue is pretty much been handled by the financial talents of my wife Ellen, I can't blame my shortcomings on my finances anymore either. No, I just have to take ownership of them and just figure out that I am just an ass that pretty much nobody wants or needs, and get on with life. I have just pretty much had it with life at this point. Now I have to go make lunch for everyone. Perfect.... just friggin perfect....
"On a warm summers evening on a train bound for nowhere, I met up with the gambler; we were both too tired to sleep. So we took turns a staring out the window at the darkness until boredom overtook us, and he began to speak."
I personally am not much of a gambler. Ellen can certainly attest to this. I went to Mississippi one time to pick up a friend of mine Elias Jose Reyas, from the Air Force base in Biloxi, and he took us out to a couple of riverboat casinos to check out the action. I decided then and there that investing in gambling was no way to get rich. I have been doing some reflecting as to my decision to have the surgery. I remember closing up my office for the last time before the surgery, and thinking that I may not be back. I wonder how many people go through this on their final hours. and I wonder about the chance I took. The decision could make me ever so much more healthy and of course kill me.
"He said, son, I've made a life out of reading peoples faces, and knowing what their cards were by the way they held their eyes. So if you don't mind my saying, I can see your out of aces. For a taste of your whiskey Ill give you some advice."
I asked a lot of people about the surgery before I had it. Nobody (Except maybe Eric) told me to go get it. They all said that that was a decision I had to make for myself. I at the time did not understand that. I felt it would have been much easier on me if everyone said: "Just do it." But even my Primary Doctor was hesitant. In fact it was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I often struggled with the idea, and often I would think: "If I could just walk in with a grand in my hand and get this done, then I would do it." but it doesn't work that way. You need the time for a reason to read everyone face and make your analysis.
"So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow, then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light. The night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression, Said, if you're goanna play the game, boy, you gotta learn to play it right. You got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, Know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money when you're sitting at the table. There'll be time enough for counting when the dealings done."
To be sure there are days when I wonder why? Sometimes I feel I was much happier when I was fat. I also had something to blame my problems on. Now none of that is there anymore, nor does it matter. The clock still ticks, and I still have problems. I am counting and recounting and I hope for my life I made the right decision. My job is not any different, since the surgery, my sex life has not improved to be sure, and now I am spending a fortune on clothing, and I am still in debt up to my eyeballs. I hope and pray each day I made the right decision.
"Now every gambler knows that the secret to surviving Is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. cause very hands a winner and very hands a loser, And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."
Now I was not hoping to die in my sleep, but I will admit it was a concern. For the second time in my life, I did cast aside medical advice. I cast away both a vaporizer, and a CPAP machine, and did not die. Now I am not advocating that you discard your doctors advice, but health treatment has to make sense in some way, and for those two items it just did not. so knowing what to throw away, and knowing what to keep will serve you well. The problem is when this encroaches into you daily life. This is a big change and I am not only talking physically. Mentally this is tough too. How solid is your marriage? like any big change in your life this takes it's toll on that, your kids, and everything else.
"So when he'd finished speaking, he turned back towards the window, crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep. Somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even. But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep."
So that is my advise to you. I, like my counterparts am not going to tell you to get the surgery, nor can I tell you whether or not you have the solidity of mind to get the procedure done. I realize I have been discussing this in abstract terms, but sometimes you have to keep general and clinical so the crap in your life doesn't creep out and affect someone else's decisions. Think about it long and hard. It took me seven years for a reason. Yes sometimes I was much happier when I was fatter, but I am much healthier now. All I am saying is think about it, make your decision, lay your cards on the table, because life is a gamble like it or not.
See you all Monday.
Allstate Septic Truck. For a while I was not sure what was more septic, the inside of this rtuck or the inside of me!
Body, Me Casa...
It is Sunday April 26th 2009 and It is hard to fathom, but April is winding down quickly. I realize, it is WAY past tomorrow as promised above, and to tell you the truth I have been soooooo sick, I lost a entire week in the process. There is some Gastric bypass information to add because of this! so I will fill you in on the details of last week. Monday I had the guys from Allstate Septic of 5167 Berry Hollow Road, Bangor, PA out (GREAT GUYS! 610.498.3111 Use them you won’t be sorry.) to check out a septic problem I was having. I did talk The Boss into letting me go home for a brief time and look into the issues, turn off the breakers and such. When I got back to work, it had felt like in the last hour a truck had fallen on me. My lower back hurt, I was weak, lightheaded, sweating, and such. I finished my meeting and walked to the bathroom and thought I was going down during the short walk there. I sat in the bathroom for a while, until I felt I had the strength to get back to my desk, and by then I had the cold shakes. The boss took pity on my and made me some soup which helped a lot, and I finished up the work on my desk and went home. All I did was go upstairs, find my bed crawled in and that was it! When Ellen came home and found me in a pool of sweat, freezing and a 101.5 temperature. I had an infection of so sort and it was beginning to rage.
Tuesday I spoke to my Primary MD and he felt something was up and put me on a Z-Pack. They always work well for me. Wednesday I was still running a fever, but was feeling a little better due to the Z Pack. Thursday I went back to work, but the fever would come and go. It was too soon, my body really needed another day. I felt lightheaded and they sent me home early as I really was not better yet.
Here is the Gastric bypass tidbit: I never took a lot of stock in missing meals before when I was sick as I had lots of fuel to fight whatever, now my reserves are not as such, and it underlines that you really need to visit the table at meal times only and eat the right kind of foods. Here is the GP twist: For the purpose of this discussion I am going to call the fluid that your lymphatic system creates and gives you the coughing and sneezing, and such "fluid". As long as we are all clear on that, let’s proceed. When you have a pouch the size of an egg, (I assume mine still is as I feel I have not done anything improper to make it any bigger, no beer, soda, or other bubbly beverages) it fills up with this "fluid" quite fast. It keeps it pretty full too, not leaving a lot of room for food or other inputs. Also your gag reflex is different, so keep something handy near you to do that in. As you are getting sicker, and fighting the intruder, taking anything in to our body to help that in now 50 times harder. I was losing ground, and getting weaker in the process. To underline this, while in the process of getting better over 5 days and not doing much but laying around and drinking whatever I could get down, I lost another 5 pounds! I was 271 Monday morning, 265 by Friday morning, and now that it is Sunday I am 268. Not the recommended method I assure you.
So as it turns out, it was just a sinus infection from a cold I thought I had beaten a week ago and was still barely a memory. I lost a Week of my life from the ordeal, and a few pounds to boot.
|Life as the old me...
Monday April 20th 2009 Today is the beginning of what looks like will be a killer week. I am out late every every night this week. It will be trying to assure you. This weekend was a test of fortitude. Ellen cooked BBQ all weekend with the accompanying smells and such. If I keep living like this I might turn into this guy again. I hope not.