Thursday, May 24, 2012

First year post op...

Last wednesday I hit my one year "surgerversary".  It has been one year since my life changing gastric bypass surgery.  I had made the initial decision to have my surgery in October 2010.  I decided on a doctor and made my appointment for the seminar in December 2010 (weighing in around 346lbs).  My seminar and first consultation, where I weighed in at 330lbs.  I dropped down to about 296-298lbs, which is what my surgeon asked for (he asked for a 50lb drop to have a healthy, easier surgery) just in time for my May 16th, 2011 surgery date.

In my first year as a post op gastric bypass patient, I have lost a total of 133 lbs in the 12 months post surgery.  I have lost a grand total of 183lbs since December of 2010.

I went from a size (almost) 28/30 in pants and an XXXL top... so a 10/12/14 (depending on the store) pants and a M/L top.  I went from an almost 46DD bra... to a 34DD.

I really can't explain in words how much my life has changed in my first year post op.  It has been, and continues to be the most incredible journey I've ever put myself through.  I can't even begin to explain how amazing my life is now.  Granted... my life was amazing prior to surgery... but even more so now.

I decided to look at some of my old posts and I decided to answer some of the things I had questioned prior to surgery.

Here are some questions I asked myself in February of 2011.

  • Will I like my new body?
    • Yes.  I do like my new body.  Not every day.  I am still not crazy about the shape and extra skin... but I am IN LOVE with what my new body can do.  My new body can do push ups, sit ups, run MILES... and it even biked 40+miles.
  • Will I still see the fat version of myself in the mirror?
    • Yes.  I do.  Plain and simple.  I see my the fat body.  I only see the difference in pictures, mainly my before and after pictures when I have the fat me and new me side by side.
  • Will my friends still love me just the same?
    • Yes.  Yes they do.  Not all of them.  I've made friends and I've lost friends, my MAIN group of girls... the loves of my life... my end all be all of friends... still love me just the same and they are always telling me how amazing I look and how proud they are of me :) 
  • Will I change my personal style once I fit into "normal" clothes?
    • Yes.  My personal style has changed because I'm finding new styles of clothing that I love to wear now that I'm in a size 10/12/14(depending on what I'm wearing and where I shop).  I'm loving leggings because a: I'm too friggin short for any jeans to look right now me and b: I can pull them up to my bra and they act as a body shaper to hold in the extra skin.  I also am LOVING dresses.  This shall be another summer of no pants.  Being 346lbs and wearing a size 24-28, I was SO limited on what I could wear.  Now that I can wear pretty much ANYTHING... its opened up a whole new world to me.  I try really hard now to not leave my house in pajamas and oversized sweatshirts like I used to.  At least not on a daily basis... because sometimes... lets face it... its comfy. that same post I started a bucket list of things I wanted to do with my future skinny self.  I added to that list in July 2011.  Here is that list:

  • Bungee Jump
  • Sky Dive
  • Dance in a cage
  • Hang Glide
  • Zip Line over the Grand Canyon (I'm sure this is possible...)
  • Scuba Dive
  • Dance in a cage while surrounded by sharks
  • Lay naked on a beach
  • Learn how to surf
  • Cartwheel for one mile
  • Pole Dance (and get paid to do it.)
  • Run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and then a Marathon (those will be in that order) 
  • Climb more mountains
  • Rock Climb
  • Become a personal trainer
  • Learn how to country line dance
  • write a book about my WLS journey
  • Marry a New York Ranger 
So... let me just edit it... I'm kind of ridiculous with the things I wanted to do as of last July.

  • Bungee Jump
  • Sky Dive
  • Hang Glide
  • Zip Line over the Grand Canyon (I'm sure this is possible...)
  • Scuba Dive
  • Lay naked on a beach
  • Learn how to surf
  • Cartwheel
  • Take pole dancing lessons (I've heard its a killer work out)
  • Run a:
    • 5K(2 races so far!)
    • 10K(Not an official race, but I've run over 6 miles twice now)
    • Half Marathon
    • Marathon
  • Climb more mountains
  • Rock Climb
  • Become a personal trainer and a bariatric nutritionist
  • write a book about my WLS journey
So, I gave up my "dreams" of dancing in cages and getting paid to dance on a pole.  I really am not sure why I was going toward that. It was a fleeting thought and I'm not quite sure why I thought it was a good idea.  I also am giving up my dream to marry a New York Ranger.  I still love my blueshirts and all... but I also really love my boyfriend.  

I still want to hang glide and jump out of planes because those are things I've always wanted to do... and now I can do them. I plan on jumping out of a plane as a birthday present to myself.

Now that I'm a year out... this is when it gets "tough".  This whole journey has been tough but once a WLS patient hits their year...  its going to get harder.  The pounds are not going to be coming off as quickly.  A lot more foods are tolerable so its going making sure that you are making the right choices every single time.  Its going to be a challenge... and well... Challenge accepted!

Here are some things I've done in my post-op life :)

Turned 23 <3

Got to see my Aunt Laureen after a long 7 years!!

Met and fell in love with an amazing and utterly ridiculous man

Got under 200lbs for the first time since elementary school

Shaved my head for children's cancer research

Ran my first 5k :)

Biked 40 miles

During the TD 5 boro bike tour

And I beat Tom to the finish line!

Went from a size 26/28 to a size 10/12!

So thats been my life pretty much in my first year post op.  Clearly A LOT more has also happened...  babies and engagements and weddings... its crazy.

But yeah...  I love my life these days <3

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy as a hippo.

Its a simple concept really.  A novel idea.  The state of happiness is something everyone strives for. 

In the simplest terms, all happiness is ... is the state of being happy.  Having good fortune, contentment, joy.

Everyone just wants to be happy, correct?

I think its one thing if you feel happy... but when others notice, and comment on how happy you are... I think that's the best part and how you know you actually are happy.

Last night I was at a going away party for some old friends.  These are people who have known me since I was 16.  I was a pretty nasty teenager.  A lot of people can tell you that.  More than the usual "teen angst" . I was nasty and bitter and a straight up bitch for 98% of the time.  I hated pretty much everyone and everything.  I was a miserable girl.

I knew I was angry back then... but I never really realized how much effort and energy I spent into being SO nasty to people, until recently. 

I was angry because of my home situation, my weight, still being too young to have as much freedom as my older friends, school.  Typical crap.  But I took my anger to a whole new level.  Of course I was still friendly and I still had fun with my friends... But I would throw temper tantrums over stupid shit.

After like 2-3 years of friendship... me and a few of these people had a falling out.  A bad one.  It was childish and stupid and I can admit that now.  We said nasty things for a lot of reasons, but mainly it was to just be bitches.

Then about a year or two ago... we decided to occasionally get together.  We knew our relationship could never go back to how we used to be.  (and we were super close... we spent almost all of our time together) But... now we had a nice, adult, civil relationship.

Now that two of them are moving, not only IN with each other after a 6 year relationship together (which I watched happen and develop right before my very eyes lol) ... but they are moving to Virginia.

So last night we had a going away party at their favorite bar.  Its been a few months since I've seen all of them... probably since like September...  and I was bringing Tom.   I was always single or just hooking up with people when we were friends back in the day... so they have never seen me with a boyfriend. 

And I was also about 50lbs lighter than the last time they'd seen me. 

And I was dressed like an adult.

The reactions to the weight loss are always the best.  I won't lie.

"Where did the other half of you go" I think is at the point my favorite thing to hear... because in 6lbs... I will have lost 1/2 of myself.  Literally.

I was so excited to see everyone too.   Its really nice to see the people who have seen you at your worst and know they still care about you.   Its really nice to be able to say "Oh man... remember when we did this".  Its really nice to have that.  Those lifelong friends even if you dont spend every moment with them.

Everyone thought Tom seemed really great and everything.  Which... well.. duh.  I've got a pretty awesome boyfriend.

After Tom left, I was talking to Fred... and he just kept saying how happy I looked and he asked me if I was happy.

And I smiled and said... "yeah... I am.  What a novel fuckin concept".   He gave me the answer "I'm happy you're happy" and gave me one of the biggest hugs this guy has ever given me.

And this time... when I said... "I am"  I wasn't lying.

I am genuinely happy.

I have my life back again.  I did something amazing for myself. I'm back in school to follow a career I'm incredibly passionate about. I have the most amazing group of friends.  I have an incredible boyfriend and a serious, functional, HEALTHY relationship.

I'm happy. We've all grown up.  We might have grown apart in some ways... but we found our way back to each other in new ways. 

I'm happy for my friends that are taking the next step of their lives together.  I'm happy we're friends again.  I'm happy I'm planning to visit them once they're settled in.

I'm just happy.

Happy as a hippo.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What my body can do...

So.  After my last post... we all know how we feel about my body.  Love to hate, hate to love.  You get the gist.

Well.  What I'm trying to do now is make some cognitive changes.  By that I mean, I'm attempting to change my thought process regarding my body.

Instead of focusing on *what my body looks like*... I want to focus on what my body *CAN DO*

This is what I've got so far:
I can ride a bike.  Actually.. I rode that bike for almost 15 miles this past Sunday.  Tom and I are planning to do the 5 Borough Bike Tour which is about 40 miles.  Thats on May 6th.

I can run a mile 13:07.  Thats what I did today.   Last March I posted on my blog that on my second fitness test at my gym I ran the mile in about 16:06.

(Confession time:  I did have that time on the tredmill.. however...  I didn't run the whole thing.  I did put my feet up on the side for quite a bit and just let the machine go...  so... yeah.)

I have a running goal:  One 5k every month starting in April until November ( i figure I'll do the turkey trot... it sounds fun)

My body can also do push ups.  25.  Like real push ups.  Back straight, ass down, up and down.  (my forearms even have MUSCLE DEFINITION!!! holy crap!)

My body is pretty awesome at yoga poses.  And balancing.  And the flexible stuff.

My body is pretty awesome. And I have to tell myself that... because...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Its a love hate relationship....

With my body that is.  Lately I've been having some issues mentally with how I look physically.  While I weigh 184 lbs and my body fat percentage is down to about 23%... I still see a girl who weighs a lot more than that.  The hardest part of the surgery is now.  It wasn't the actual surgery.  It wasn't the relearning how to eat.  It wasn't giving up a lot of my favorite foods.  It wasn't changing my lifestyle.  Its now.  Dealing with my body.  Dealing with the body dysmorphia disorder.

I feel AMAZING.  I feel stronger.  I feel *healthy*. But... I'm having a lot of issues looking in the mirror and seeing myself as "thin".  A lot of whats on my body now isn't even fat.  Its skin.  Getting measured today and having Ty do the body fat measurement has definitely helped with that today.  Back in December, when I started going back to the gym...  I was at around 30% body fat... Last month I was at around 26%... Today I was 23% body fat! That's in the "fitness" category!!! This made me so happy an really helped me realize how much of my body is just skin. It doesn't make it completely better... But it certainly helps!!  I don't even know what I was body fat percentage wise at my highest weight of 346lbs.

I am planning on seeking help to talk to someone about the BDD.  Because its becoming a serious problem for me.  I'm constantly obsessing over how I look in what I'm wearing (or not wearing). I'm constantly poking at my body to see what bones I can feel (to make sure I can still feel them) and I also constantly poke at my skin trying to determine if its skin or fat.  The obsessing is getting in the way of how I go about my days.  I've been late to things because I change my outfit because I think I look huge in it.  I watch myself in the mirrors at the gym to see what bounces and how much it moves and I think everyone else is staring at it too. Meanwhile.. I know... LOGICALLY... that no one else is staring at my body at the gym because they're all staring at their body.  And trying not to die during the workout. 

I also think a lot of my freaking out has to do with the fact that I'm like... only 40lbs to goal. .... Since Sept. 26 (almost exactly 5 months ago) I lost 40lbs.  Thats also including my stall for the entire month of November. In October I lost about 13lbs...  In November I only lost 1lb. But then in December I dropped about 12lbs.  Then since 12/29 (when I hit Onederland!) I've lost another 15lbs.  

Sometimes I think I'm not losing fast enough.  Then I put things into perspective like that... and ... its wow.  In 9 months... I've lost 112lbs....  Since December 2010... I've lost 162. Its kinda incredible. 

And I know that's how I have to keep looking at it.  

That I'm incredible.       

Here is what 162lbs gone looks like btw.

Also!! Before I forget!!!  Ya gotta check out Eggface's blog! She's having another AWESOME giveaway!!!  I really want to win this one so I can try different proteins and WLS friendly snacks!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm back baby!!!!

So I've been gone since October.... Apparently. I didn't mean it... I swear. It's just life happens and gets in the way.... Things just happen.

Well. Let me briefly catch you up on the past four months:

Team extreme!!
Shopping! (too much, to tell the truth)
Back to college!!
St. Baldricks day!

Okay. So now I'll go into detail of these. You can choose to follow along if you so wish to do so. Basically ... I'm just gonna talk about myself a lot.

Okay. First up...

Boymanfriend. In October I met an awesome guy, named Tom, on POF. We started emailing, and then texting, and then he asked me on a date. It was all downhill from there. And by that... I mean he's incredible and we've been together ever since. We get along famously and he is so supportive of me and my surgery. He also lives an active lifestyle so for the beginning of our relationship, when it was warmer out, we would go on hikes and walks. He definitely encouraged me to go back to the gym, without actually saying it. He's pretty much perfect and I am absolutely crazy about him. He's my unicorn<3

Speaking of the gym.... I am officially back at team extreme :)  It feels so good to be back.  Ty and the boys are still just as amazing and I didnt really realize just how much I missed them and working out until I was back every day. Yeah, I occasionally popped in to say hi, or get my measurements taken... but working out with them is so much fun and it really pushes my limits and it feels so good to things again.  I will say one thing... things are STILL hard to do..... but... I feel GREAT after my workouts.  I can't believe how much more my body can do now at a time and how much things dont hurt so much since I've dropped about 110lbs since the last time I worked out there.  I had Ty do my measurements when about 2 weeks into me going back... and all I remember is that my body fat percentage was about 30-31% .. which.. for women.. is on the high side of the "acceptable" range.  Then I had him re-do my measurements about 4 weeks after that... and my body fat percentage went down to about 25-26%.  In 4 weeks I dropped about 5% body fat.  I've got MUSCLES.  I'm workin on those guns.  Don't worry.. you'll all be invited to the gun show ;)

Sometimes when I'm working out and something is really hard to do... I can't believe how I did this when I was 330lbs.   How my body handled that... I have no idea.  The body is quite incredible, aint it?

So ... aside from Tom being so supportive... the other thing that drove me back to the gym was my stall.  I only lost about a lb from the end of oct-november.  I admit... I was snacking, and not eating the right things... and I wasn't moving.  Or at least I wasn't moving as much as I should have been moving.  So I rebooted my thought process and went back to basics and started moving and then I dropped 12 lbs from end of november to end of december.

Which! Brings me toooooo.....
ONDERLAND!!!!  For those of you non WLS-ers and those WLS-ers not familiar with our jargon... ONDERLAND... is the term we use when we hit 199.9 lbs.  Thats the day we are no longer in the 200s.  My goal was to hit ONDERLAND prior to 2012.  And on December 29, 2011... I weighed in at 199.5 :)  So I did it... I reached the goal I set for myself, with 2 days to spare.  It was the best feeling I ever had.  It was almost better than sex.

Because I am down now a grand total of 157lbs... I have been doing quite a bit of shopping.  Where ever I want.. because now I fit into "mainstream stores".  Like.. I can just go into old navy and pick up a "L" or an "XL" and know it will fit.  Or a size 14 jean from there.  Or I can go into Kohls and shop in the juniors section (true story, I bought two dresses last week.. one was a 13 from the juniors section and one was a L from the juniors section).  Its just amazing.  Another thing I bought related to my WLS is a Magic Bullet Blender.  Its amazing and I now make the most delicious protein shakes EVERRRRRR.

Having the magic bullet makes getting in my protein easier.., which is important because now I'm back in college!!  I made my schedule so I'm only there two days a week.. but i'm there for about 10 hours. If i really wanted to, i could go home on a break I have to sit down at my table and eat... but to save gas money, and time... I pack my lunch and dinner and 2 snacks.  I drink a protein shake on my way there, and work in my lunch and snacks throughout the rest of the day.  I am so happy to be back in school.  Right now I'm just going back to get credits towards my AA in liberal arts.  Then I plan on transferring to Queens College for nutrition and fitness.  If I do well over the semester, I want to apply for september... I may do a second semester at Suffolk though and apply to QC for next January.  I'm so excited I decided to go back though :)

Okay... So here the big one!


On March 11th, I will be shaving my head to help raise awareness for kids with cancer! I am in need of sponsors!!!   My goal is to raise $200 that will go towards kids with cancer, via St. Baldricks organization.  They will also donate my hair, since its long enough (or at least should be) to go towards making a wig :)

If youre reading this... please... go to and donate!!

Even a dollar makes a difference!!

And if you can't donate because finances are tight... I understand... but please spread the word!! It will mean so much to me and SOO much to the kids you will help out!!!

and ... I'll be bald!!  :)

So... thats all for now...  when I have time, I'll update and add some pictures to show my progress :) I am going to blog at least once a week.  Thats my goal!!!