Sunday, October 23, 2016

One year

Yesterday marked one year from my surgery date.
I have lost 115 pounds.
I started at a size 26/28 and am now in a 12/14. I don't ever remember wearing this size. I didn't have a goal to begin with aside from becoming healthier so the clothing sizes are a wonderful surprise.
I, unfortunately, did not take measurements. When I go to my year follow up appointment on the 31st, they will measure my waist. Once I implement a better workout regimen, I will take measurements as my goal will be toning and building muscle.
I am happier. I am able to do more things physically. I was never not confident but I have more confidence now.

Here is a side by side comparison photo. The picture on the left is from 1 day before surgery last year. The picture on the right is from last week.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Comparison Photo

I made a comparison photo.
I used a picture from a time where I was happy with life, but was unhappy with the way I felt about myself and my weight caused struggles. This picture was prior to surgery, but I wanted to do something that showed me where I came from and where I am today.
I still have work to do and will every day, but this was very helpful for me to see and very motivating to continue moving forward.


Sunday, April 24, 2016


I feel often like there isn't much to update when it comes to my surgery journey. Most days I feel like the actual surgery journey is over. I know this is a lifelong alteration, but I almost feel as if I didn't really have surgery.
  • There are no foods that I have trouble with. I attribute this to waiting a little longer to try new things after surgery. I kept to a strict regimen of food for a few months out. I am coming up on 6 months out now and have no issues. I do eat sweets occasionally. I most definitely have to limit those. When I overdo sugar I feel like crap (overdoing it is nowhere near like I did prior to surgery - for example, eating a whole Reese's Peanut Butter cup is bordering on too much for me in one sitting). I have not tried ice cream, but really haven't had the desire. I have had blended fruit and frozen yogurt/milk.
  • I still don't drink enough water/fluids. I have always struggled with this and, I'm sure, will continue to struggle with it. I do really well for a while and then I fall off the bandwagon and deal with minor constipation and irritability from being dehydrated. I do not get sick, but I do feel miserable until I get the water balance back in my body.
  • I have major support from my boyfriend still. He has adapted his portion sizes so that we split a lot of things. He will make one steak instead of two. I will eat my portion and he eats the rest. It is still, by far, healthier than the portions either of used to eat before my surgery. He has since had his gallbladder removed and the smaller portions are helping with weight control and him feeling better.
    He also compliments me on my outfits. No, not every day. No, not every outfit. There are some that he just really likes and he mentions it. This came from a discussion about the need for me to not be the only one noticing any change. He also has commented that I just seem happier (even when I complain that some of my clothes are too big and I have to change them before going to work - yes, I still have some that need to be altered (learning to alter clothing is on my to-do list for this summer) and some more things to purchase in the right sizes).
  • My mom and I are sharing a journey with a different timeline. She had her surgery 2 months after I did. It is still very interesting to see the differences in our journeys and be able to talk about anything related to it.
  • As of today, I have lost a total of 84 pounds since the day of surgery. I do not feel like I've lost that amount of weight, but I also know that I have more to go. My hours are changing at work and I will have more time and more room (buying a house) to be able to workout at home in order to boost the excess fat loss and tone the little bit of loose skin that I do have.
  • I periodically still notice random things that I wasn't able to do prior to surgery. I can bend down under my desk and come back up without struggling to breathe or pushing my belly out of the way. I can walk up and down stairs at work and at home without being winded. I can sit with my legs crossed, comfortably. I can sit with my knees together. I can wrap my arms all the way around people when I hug them. Sex is easier and more fun. Yes, I went there. Energy levels are higher.
  • I can wipe myself more easily. Yes, this was a struggle prior to the weight loss. I can reach behind my back and undo my own bra. No, I could not do that before. I can bend over to tie my shoes and only worry about moving my boobs out of the way instead of struggling to breathe and reach the laces.
  • If I don't track my food intake, I don't eat as well as I should. It is very important for me to log everything that I eat.
  • I am able to shop in the non plus size clothing sections which means I have a better selection of cute clothes. I receive more compliments than I ever have at work. I enjoy them, but I also find it sad that it took losing the weight and being able to find cuter clothes to get those compliments.
Life is settling down for the moment. I have the summer off from classes. My work schedule is going back to five 8-hour days (from four 10-hour days). I am able to spend more time crafting which is relaxing to me. We will be buying a house soon (not sure exactly when as we are waiting on the appraisal and the offer from family). Life is wonderful and I am absolutely thankful for my body alteration.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dresses and shopping with my mama

My mom had the sleeve surgery in December so we've been sharing our journeys together. My surgery was in October so I had a few months of learning and losing ahead of her. We decided to go shopping for clothes together today. I can't remember the last time we did that. I needed a new bra and am always looking for new, smaller clothes as the weight falls off. She needed some new clothes and new bra as well.

We met at a boutique where they do special bra fitting. I had dropped a few band sizes but the cup size was the same. I ended up getting one bra from there and I'll order some less expensive ones online. I'm not sure when I'll need to order a different size so I don't want to spend a lot of money on them yet.

We went to Cato - one of my favorite places to shop. Their stores are set up like Fashion Bug used to be where they have smaller sizes on one side and larger sizes on the other. Their clearance prices are wonderful (dresses for $6, pants for $4...I find some great deal there). I walked in and found a super cute spring outfit (black and bright yellow) hanging on the wall. I just had to try it on. I found all the pieces and tried them on and bought it. I rarely pay full price for clothing, but I just had to have that outfit. I did not take a picture, but I will when I wear it. My mom had some trouble finding things that fit well, so I just wandered and tried more things on. I was trying on a lot of size 14/16 in the larger section, so I asked the manager there (she's amazing too) what the difference was between the 14/16 on the larger side and the XL on the smaller side. She said they were mostly equivalent. I hopped over to the other side to see what was over there. Mostly the same styles, but there were some things that were not on the other side. A whole new world opened up for me.
This is one dress I bought (on clearance)...from the smaller sizes section of the store:

I just love the fit of it! It is actually sort of a sweater material.
Again, I forget most of the time to take pictures, so I don't have a picture of the other dress I bought.

We then went out to eat at TGI Fridays. I had a small portion of the wings (Parmesan Garlic). They were pretty good. They were a little greasy, but the flavor was delicious. I didn't have any trouble with them.
We went to Avenue after that. Mom was able to find a great shirt to go with her favorite leggings. I realized that the sizes there are all too big for me. Time to scratch that store off my list.
We had a great day shopping together. I spent the next day at her store helping and trying on clothes (like I always end up doing).

Here are a couple of other dresses that I have worn recently (I'm really digging wearing dresses):

This black and green dress was given to me by my mom.

This retro-style dress was one I purchased from Cato (in a size just a little too tight for me at the time) a while back (on clearance, of course). And, of course, the work bathroom selfies.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Today is the day I officially hit Onederland.
Apparently it's a term used for when overweight people (weighing over 200 pounds) reach a weight of under 200 pounds.
My official weight today is 197.6 pounds.
It has been a long time since I've seen anything under 200 on the scale.
This makes a total of 74.4 pounds gone from my body.
That is a large number to me and I feel wonderful. I have much work to do to tone my body, but that will change when my work schedule changes at the end of April. I will be going to the gym with my boyfriend and riding bikes with him as well (as long as the weather cooperates).
I catch myself sneaking glimpses in mirrors and windows as I walk by them. I genuinely feel cute a lot of days. Life is good!

I have been terrible at taking pictures for milestones and did not take one on this day.
Pictures to come though.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cooking day with a friend

One of the supervisors at work is having the sleeve surgery this summer. We have become rather close while talking about the surgery. She is also a great mentor for my career as I plan to pursue a supervisory role at work in the future as well.

In preparation of her surgery, she has altered her eating and has implemented healthier choices and has been tracking her food. I can't stress the importance of anyone preparing for this surgery to begin by making small changes prior to surgery. Reading labels, tracking your intake (water, nutrients, protein), and cooking more at home can really open your eyes to how your life will change after the surgery. Yes, the sleeve helps with your eating choices, but ultimately it's up to us to make good decisions. It's up to me whether I want to have cake or not. The sleeve helps me not eat too much of anything, but it's up to me what I put in my body.

Anyway...we pulled a couple of recipes off from Pinterest, made a grocery list, and went shopping. We had to stop at a couple of different stores because the first one didn't have a spaghetti squash.

Here are the recipes we made:
Ricotta Bake 
Mashed potatoes and cauliflower (We didn't really follow a recipe for this. We boiled a few potatoes, threw the cauliflower in toward the end of the potatoes cooking, drained them, added a little Fairlife milk, a little butter, and a little garlic powder, and then blended with a hand mixer.)
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan, Spinach, and Mushrooms - I think this would be amazing with some grilled chicken or even tofu.
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins - The flavor of these was great, but they were very dry. I will make these again but with alterations. I will add more egg whites (maybe throw in a full egg as well) and something more for moisture (perhaps some worcestershire sauce as well). I may cut down on some of the oats as well or find a recipe that calls for quinoa instead. So many options!

Here is our food:

This was definitely a fun day and I look forward to doing another one in the future. Perhaps after her surgery would be better. Our schedules don't line up currently so we'll see what we can come up with.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Casually cute for the hockey game

I won tickets from work to a local hockey game this evening. I love live hockey! We (my boyfriend and I) got to sit in my work's suite which was super nice. Free drinks (water and soda) and time with people I work with. It was so much fun!
Before I left work, I sneaked a picture of my outfit:

Yes, this is picture of me in the bathroom at work. I don't have a full-length mirror at home so this is the next best place for me to get a picture.
This is the first time I've worn tennis shoes to work in a long time. I think I had on jeans that I finally didn't have to wear a belt with. The shirt was purchased at one of my local Goodwill stores. I don't shop there often, but occasionally I find something I just have to get. I love the print on it. The scattered triangles have a mix of white, pink, green, and light blue. It's just such a fun geometric print. I realized after wearing it tonight that I need to wear a tank top underneath it to make sure the "girls" don't pop out and say hello. I have just the light blue cami with lace on top to wear under it too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Today I am thankful

Today I am thankful for family and friends.
This week is one of the toughest and craziest weeks I have ever had.
This past Friday afternoon, we were notified that my uncle (mom's side) had passed away. He had been battling some health issues and was doing well but recovery was going to be a long road. He died peacefully and is no longer suffering.

Saturday morning around 1:30 am, I was notified that my father was on the way to the hospital with my grandmother (his mother) who was having a heart attack. She passed away shortly after that message. This was very unexpected. She was doing well recovering from a knee replacement and was her usual happy loving self when we gathered on New Year's Day to celebrate the holidays and her birthday.

Early Monday morning (around 2:30 am) I took my boyfriend into the emergency room for a pancreatitis attack. This is something we have been dealing with for about 6 months. He was scheduled for a cholecystectomy on February 1, but they are keeping him in the hospital and working him on for surgery now. I am thankful that they are not waiting so he does not need to suffer through any more painful attacks.

I struggled yesterday to get my protein in. I woke up late, spent the day at the hospital working on homework and forgot to eat as often as I should have. I was so exhausted when I got home that I ate a little bit and then went to bed.

Today I am eating while in the hospital and have a couple of snacks with me. I will be meeting my sister at the airport and then having dinner with family. My nephew was born in September and this will be the first time I get to see him in person. I don't like the unfortunate circumstances but I am so thankful to be able to spend time with her and my nephew. She's coming home thanks to my brother's in-laws. They are wonderful people and paid for her flight.

I will struggle this week for protein but I will do my best.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Not much change

Today is just an update because I haven't posted one in a week.
I haven't weighed myself in a while. I was so excited to have hit the 50 pounds lost goal that I didn't want to spoil it for a while.
I still have not ordered my fitness tracker. I have had lots of input from others and just need to bite the bullet and purchase one. I have a few friends that I have reached out to that have not provided their information on the ones they use. My plan is to have one ordered by the end of this week regardless of whether I have heard back from them or not. Realistically I can order one and probably sell it and get a different one if I end up not liking it.

I rescheduled my hair appointment for next week. I am still really excited to get it done. I will be working at my mom's store the majority of the day tomorrow and then heading to a friend's house (Maggie...I don't usually put names in here, but she is one of my very good friends and I spend time crafting with her so you might hear her name more than this). I will be helping her set up for a big day of crafting on Saturday. I'd love to say that I will spend some time crafting, and I may, but more than likely I will end up running around helping others. I love helping people learn new things and just seeing what everyone else makes. It really is a wonderful thing when people can come together to enjoy their passion.

I've been sort of down this week. I started feeling sick on Sunday evening (just a cold) and ended up taking the day off on Monday. I was lazy yet productive. That means I sat on my butt and did homework, played games, researched for school, and researched things for my blogs (I'm slowly learning HTML coding and how to make more fancy things). Yesterday I was absolutely miserable, but had an awesome day at work. I found out at the beginning of my day that I did not get the job for which I had interviewed. That is okay. Although the hours would have been great for me, I feel that this solidifies that the path I was taking before my leave for surgery was the right one so I will continue down that path (leadership). I had a couple of meetings, a job shadow, and a group listening session (where we listen to calls and learn from them).

I have found that I can eat more than I could a few weeks ago. I'm eating anywhere from 2-4 ounces of food at each meal. I tried a recipe for Protein Squares. It was okay. I made it in a 9x13 pan but they were very thin. I think I will use a smaller pan next time. Also, they turned out very dry to me and I even added a little more liquids than the recipe called for. They have great flavor, but I will be making some tweaking some things for next time.

I have tried pizza. Actual pizza. From a pizza shop. It was okay. I ended up taking a few bites of the flavored crust and just eating the toppings from the pizza. It was delicious. I still love the Wonton Pizza Bites I mentioned before, but it was nice to be able to eat something that everyone else was having (we had it while at a friend's house).

My boyfriend has been using my Torani sugar-free syrups to flavor water and carbonated water so that he doesn't buy and drink much soda. This has been a great change for him and he's enjoying mixing the flavors. It is nice to have support with the changes I have made in eating as well.

That's about it. I'm signing off to jump in the shower and get ready for my first day of on-campus class this semester. I have not taken a class on campus in a long time. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Legs crossed and 52 pounds down

I am sitting waiting to get my hair cut. This is my first hair cut since surgery (actually it's been around 7-8 months since my last cut). Nothing fancy; just trimming and thinning. The fancy thing will come next week when I get a new color on the under side of my hair. There will be pictures of that.
As I sit here, I comfortably have my legs crossed. This is not the first time I've done this but it is still strange for it to be comfortable.
This is a wonderful NSV to have.

I have also noticed that I cross my arms more often than I used to. A friend of mine who had the same surgery in May says she does it too because her boobs aren't in the way like they were before. Mine still get in the way, but I'm okay with them; we've become pals.

I had a scale victory today as well. I am officially 52 pounds down since surgery. Fifty pounds was my first major goal so my reward will be purchasing a fitness tracker this week. I will post about that when it arrives and I've had some time to use it.
I feel amazing. I still wear a 2x in most shirts, but some I can wear a 1x. My boobs are rather large so I'm not sure how quickly I will drop shirt sizes. I also have much to lose in the belly area. I wear around a size 18 pants - down from a size 26. I also find that I am wearing more girly things more often because I feel great in them.

I have been out the majority of the day running errands. I struggle with getting fluids and food in when I am out and about. I brought my water bottle with me and drank most of it. I ended up grabbing a few things while out (string cheese, almonds, protein shake, hummus) and I'll have some chicken when I get home. I did a lot of driving and there was no reason I couldn't have been sipping on a protein shake or munching on protein snacks.

I start a new college semester on Monday. I already know that, for one of my classes, I need to complete 5 hours of volunteering. I hope my schedule changes back to 8-hour days sooner rather than later to help get everything in. I had an interview on Tuesday for a position in a different department. It will be a better position for my career as well as for my health. I will find out about that position next week.
Currently, I work full time (4 10-hour days) and take classes part time (3 classes this semester to keep up with financial aid requirements).
Oh, the joys of being an adult.

I purchased 4 bottles of the Torani sugar free syrups to use in protein shakes. I purchased them at World Market. I am excited to utilize some of the recipes and flavor ideas I have found on Pinterest.
My other errands consisted of purchasing my textbooks for the semester, getting adjusted at my chiropractor's office, shopping at Costco, buying a pair of pants at Goodwill, and visiting my boyfriend's brother.
Yes, I shop at Goodwill periodically. No, I don't agree with the amount of money the company CEO makes. My local shops have a reward program that I signed up for. As quickly as I am going through sizes, it is worth it for me to shop at thrift shops. I do shop other places than Goodwill. This one just happened to be a couple of doors down from my hair salon.

Time for me to sign off. I am off to do some more shopping at our local grocery store, unload my car from all the shopping I've done today, and get some rest for more shopping tomorrow. I love having a couple of weekdays off!