The Gift

Merry Christmas Eve!

This year I have been blessed with the gift of weight loss surgery, weight loss and a new family of fellow WLS friends=family. These gifts all feel like a true blessing and the year almost feels too good to be true. Weight loss surgery has opened up tremendous opportunities for me and changed me in ways that I never could have imagined.

Image 5Two weeks ago I applied for a new job within my company.  This position will recruit and hire IT professionals for our new Atlanta, Georgia hub.  I rocked the interview.  My confidence was soaring.  I am quite certain 6 months ago I would not have had the courage to apply, nor the courage to make a complete life changing move, and I am even more certain that the confidence and excitement that exuded from me in the interview would not have been as high.  I looked and felt GOOD in my new haircut and suit.   I got the job *:) happy!

This year I have been blessed with the gift of weight loss surgery, weight loss and a new family of fellow WLS friends.  These gifts all feel like a true blessing and the year almost feels too good to be true.  Weight loss surgery has opened up tremendous opportunities for me and changed me in ways that I never could have imagined.


What I know for sure is that I cannot let this gift slip away.  I must continue to track my food in MyFitnessPal.  I must continue to take my recommended vitamins every day.  I must continue to drink 64+ ounces every day.  I must try to get a 70-90 grams of protein in a day.  I must continue to exercise and build strength.  And most of all I must continue to participate in a weight loss surgery support group.  disneyquoteI will continue to write Tuesday Tips for Daily Juice and hope that I can find an in person community in my new hometown.  And if I don’t find one…I’ll start one and give that gift to others!
So I am transitioning from weight loss surgery mode to “I have to sell a house, buy a house, and move my family by March 17th!!” mode.  The 105 pounds I have lost to date has been life changing.  It has prepared me for this arduous task.  I completed 3 months of physical therapy yesterday as well.  I can now comfortably go up and down stairs.  My balance is returning to normal and my core and lower body strength are increasing.  I have given myself the gift of good health and wellness.  And I am so thankful that God provided me with this opportunity and I was brave enough to take the chance.

I want to thank my family and friends for all the love and support you gave me during the last year.  It has truly been a gift beyond compare!  I love you all!  XOXO

Robyn

Laparoscopic RNY 6/3/2013

HW 338/ CW 233

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Over the Counter Drugs

I am sick! I have an interview today at work.  Murphy’s Law would of course set in and give me a whopping cough and this morning and NO VOICE! So I was taking hot showers, drinking hot tea and trying to get my voice back before 10:00 a.m. I did manage to squeak my way through the interview, but I was noticeably affected.

This is the first time that I have been sick since my laparoscopic RNY gastric bypass in June. So I had to dig out my list of over the counter medicine options for a cold and cough. Wow was I missing that ibuprofen. I have body aches and joint pain and the tylenol was not really doing the trick. Luckily Mucinex and Robitussen are on the approved list.

If you are considering weight loss surgery or are a post-op, you should have this list handy because you never know when an illness like diarrhea, constipation, allergic reactions, cold, cough or pain will strike and trying to dig through all of your paperwork isn’t fun when you feel like crap!

This is a lengthy list and there are a lot of no-nos after bariatric surgery. A big one is no Aleve, Ibuprofen, or aspirin (unless your heart doctor approves).

What I do know is this cough/cold has really removed my appetite again. However it could be intensifying the weakness I’m feeling so I’ve tried to drink a protein shake and stay hydrated. I’m even feeling a little nauseous occasionally and I’m sure this is being caused by the phlegm that is ending up in my pouch!

Please share your concerns about over the counter drug changes after surgery and post-ops please share tips you’ve found work well when you’re sick.

I missed the nutrition class tonight because I wasn’t feeling well and I really miss that group!

Robyn
Dr. Marshall Lap RNY 6/3/2013
HW 338/ CW 234

6 Month Post-Op Details

Yesterday I made 2 trips to Peoria. First thing in the morning for my Bod Pod measurement and my 6 month post op visit. This Long Term Clinic appointment went very well. I met with Melinda the nurse, Lori the nutritionist, and Dr. Marshall the man himself. All of my blood work came back very good. As a matter of fact I need to cut my B1 in half as it was a little higher than it needed to be. I lost 92 pounds with my clothes and boots on. At home I have lost 97 pounds which was only slightly disappointing because I was really hoping to hit that 100 pound milestone by this appointment, but my loss has slowed down quite a bit this month. My bod pod revealed that I had lost 15 pounds of muscle and that I lost over 60 pounds of fat. So the progress was very good and I was encouraged to continue strength training to try to gain back 5 pounds of muscle in the next 6 months.  I know the numbers don’t add up quite right, but that is because I gained weight between the initial bod pod measurement and my surgery date.  So I lost about 71 pounds of fat!

I had a couple of issues to report to the team. First that I continue to have a reoccurring yeast type infection between the folds of my skin on my lower abdomen. YUCK! I don’t seem to go very long without treatment prescribed by my GP for that without it flaring up again. Second that I have something coming out of my upper incision.

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Yes, 6 months out and a suture or something is working its way to the surface. Weird, I know. Dr Marshall told me to just pull it out when it comes through and to call if it seems to be getting infected. And he’ll see me in 6 months. That’s literally about all he said. So that’s my 6 month report!
My second trip to Peoria was for the Monday night meeting at the Riverplex.  A lovely young lady named Angie, a 2 month RNY post op, reported being hungry all the time and she was frustrated. Understandably so! I remember having a full aversion to food and practically forcing myself to eat in those first few months. However gone are those days and that urge to snack and pick at food and the desire to eat is back. Lori the nutritionist earlier in the day had encouraged me to ask myse
lf why I am eating or why am I hungry? So I shared this at the meeting with this frustrated woman. It is so hard to tell if we are really hungry or if our brain is just not wanting to give up that old habit!

I know I’ve been stressed the last couple of weeks and I definitely want to feed that stress. I’ve wanted to snack a lot. I know I’m not hungry. I know it’s the anxiousness and that’s always how I’ve handled that in the past. SOOO, I had to go back to that list I created before surgery. That exercise I did where I made a list of all the other things that comfort me and make me feel good, that I enjoy besides food. So Sunday night I took an hour and a half bath! I turned on my headphones, fixed myself some sugar free, caffeine free International House of Coffee hot chocolate and zoned out! I loved it. Sometimes it’s so simple if I really just STOP and think about why am I hungry. What else could I do right now instead of putting food in my mouth?

Robyn
Dr. Marshall Lap RNY 6/3/2013
HW 338/ CW 241

It’s Not EASY!

Today is my 6 month Anniversary of my Laparoscopic RNY with Dr. Marshall. I’ve lost 94 pounds. I was hoping to hit an even 100 by today. But I’m really pleased with my total loss.

However if I’m honest I have stress eating slipping back in. I’m in the middle of a really stressful career fork in the road right now. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m having to make big decisions that may impact my whole family. I’m hungry!

Today, I ate. I ate frequently. There were definite binging moments. Smaller amounts than I used to eat but I felt that old inability to stop eating. The only thing I can do is talk about it here with you because I know you’ll understand. My food addiction is still there. Tomorrow I’ll try again. Luckily my tool is working and preventing me from going too far!Image 1

On a positive note I did very well over the holiday weekend. I made a Thanksgiving day plan and I stuck with it. I ate and then I left the foodfest. It worked well.

What do you do to stop the madness of stress eating? I want you to know that this journey isn’t all skinny jeans and knee length boots! Not even the big compliment I received from a coworker kept me from binging today. But I’d still do it all again in a heartbeat because today was just one day out of 365!!

Robyn
Dr. Marshall Lap RNY 6/3/2013
HW 338/ 244

Food Smells Good!

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This past weekend my husband and I were blessed with an opportunity to slip away for an extended weekend at Walt Disney World. We are Disney fans and have always wanted to go without the kids. This was an opportunity to celebrate my weight loss by trying out this 91 pound lighter body and to spend some quality time together. We also have some potential big life changes coming our way and needed the time to talk. Anyway, I think you get the picture.

Here is where it gets tricky. We’ve been to Disney World many times and before my RNY gastric bypass, I would say 75% of the enjoyment for me was about the food. There is food EVERYWHERE! The World is filled with delicious treats and fine cuisine! I knew this going in but thought I could handle it. I mean seriously this new body just wants to get out and move and see all the not kid friendly things we always miss out on. I was wrong! 5 1/2 months post laparoscopic RNY gastric bypass and my brain still smelled all of those smells and saw all of the options. My husband still needed to eat. We went in with a plan. We would share meals. We do this at restaurants at home without any trouble. This was hard for me! It wasn’t the sharing that was hard, it was as if I were in mourning for the food. I was having food envy. I MISSED indulging in all that goodness.  In the past it’s always been about the food for me. This is the first time I have been worried about eating since my surgery. The good news is that I didn’t do too bad. I mean my tummy just doesn’t let me eat much.

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Image 4The bad news is that I ate more frequently and I did not log my food for 3 days. So I know I consumed more than 800 calories a day. I need to be careful about the eating all day long on Thanksgiving too. Then of course there are endless food days at work and parties and Christmas coming up.

We go back to Disney World for 2 weeks the day after Christmas and I need to do something differently. I’ll be taking my own snacks and protein shakes and try to stay on my daily routine next time instead of winging it like I did over the weekend.

Thanks Mom and Dad for giving us the time to spend a weekend together, alone!  Priceless!

Robyn
Dr. Marshall Lap RNY 6/3/2013

HW 338/ CW 246

Slowly But Surely

Today I am 23 weeks and 5 days post operative laparoscopic Roux En Y gastric Bypass.  In my last blog post I reported that I had hit a plateau.  Luckily it did not last too long, but the weight does seem to be coming off a little slower since that time.  On 10/29 I weighed 253.3 and I weigh 246.7 today.  For a loss of 6.6 pounds in just about 3 weeks.  That’s not horrible and it’s certainly heading in the right direction.  But the daily weigh-ins have become disappointing.  I think I will try not stepping on the scale so frequently moving forward.

In order to help keep my spirits up about the loss I started looking back at pictures.  Even 6 months ago the difference is quite striking.  My work badge is shocking (not pictured).  I even went back to look at honeymoon and wedding pictures from 8 years ago and I am definitely smaller now.  Then there are the pictures from our last Disney World trip in May, 2013.  It’s an amazing difference as a matter of fact the pictures of me almost make me depressed.  How could I not see that?  I guess I did, I just wasn’t able to do anything about it at the time.

Robyn 5 Month collage

The top 2 pictures are my work pictures.  I just changed from the pic on the left to the pic on the right.  I’ve received lots of feedback from co-workers on the picture change.  I really wasn’t expecting anyone to notice.  But there are a lot of friends at work that haven’t actually seen me in person yet because we no longer work together daily.

Then on the bottom row we have picture #1 from my honeymoon in 2005 in Hawaii, then the picture of me with Mickey was in May of 2013.  The last picture is from earlier this week when I tried on my new size 14/16 pjs.  I feel really good about this size and I have to say if I could maintain this weight I’d be happy to stay right here.

Overall I’m at a 91 pound total loss.  That’s exciting and encouraging.  I’m looking forward to the 100 pounds lost.  Then I’ll focus on the next 50.  I just keep telling myself that if 246 feels this good maybe 186 will feel like 20!  Right now I’m going to focus on that next 8 pounds and hopefully I’ll get that taken care of before my December 9th – 6 month post op check-up.  🙂