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WLS Chronicles ~ Maintaining

25 Jul

It has been almost SEVEN months since my surgery and I am still absolutely overjoyed at my decision.  I have found more energy than I EVER remember having, am only on one medication (hypothyroidism) and I am feeling more confident than ever.  This surgery has given me a new lease on life and I LOVE it!

Now, I make the best decisions with ease on food and drink choices.  I eat a LOT of cheese.  A LOT.  Mostly I eat eggs, bacon, chicken, broccoli, more chicken, cheese, beef, cauliflower, more cheese….ha ha ha!  I drink coffee.  A LOT OF COFFEE.  Splenda, sugar free creamer and the occasional sugar free Torani syrup are necessary in this new life.

I find myself with tons of energy during the day, when you are supposed to have it!  Moving was still exhausting but I could tell many times that I was able to do more, lift more, move longer when we were packing up our home of four years!  (We moved from NC to TX….not sure if I blogged on that…will do if I haven’t!)

Do I get hungry?  It depends.  If I miss a meal, I get hungry around the six hour mark.  I usually eat every three hours…so I can tell if I missed one easily.  But the hunger is different.  I crave protein and healthy foods.  I love roasted veggies.  I feel like I can TASTE foods better because I’m eating so much healthier.

Do I cheat?  I guess it depends on your definition.  I eat a few M&M’s (peanut) with my cheese and crackers if I am creating my own bento box.  Peanut M&M’s do contain protein so it’s not a terrible choice.  But I eat a max of FIVE.  It gives me enough of a sweet taste but will not wreck my life plan.  I ate a bite of my Mom’s birthday cake.  I have licked icing off of a knife.  In the last few weeks (since my nutritionist told me to treat myself every now and then) I have let myself have more carbs a few times a week.  Sweet potato – yessssssss.  (with butter + cinnamon + splenda)

Do I have cravings?  Yes.  As mentioned before I crave healthy foods.  I do have unhealthy wants as well.  I want soft, white bread.  All the time.  LOL  I do not cave on that one and I won’t.  Sandwiches were a go-to for me and I do miss them but I would rather stick to my plan.

All in all, I am doing quite well at adjusting to “life after bariatric surgery” and have had VERY few issues.  I have had “dumping syndrome” a couple of times, both after having something with a large amount of milk.  I (obviously) now avoid large amounts of milk.  I find that if I don’t plan, I see either a stall or I don’t feel my best.  SO – I plan!  🙂

In all honesty, the hardest parts of this journey have been been:

  • the planning – it can take as much time as you want it to take…from a few minutes to stop and think “do I have my water and a healthy protein” every time I walk out the door to a few hours meal planning/grocery shopping/prepping.  You get what you put into it.  It is SO worth it to take the time to figure out what works for your schedule, your new tummy and your family/lifestyle.
  • the change in habits – (I mean I am from the South where EVERYTHING revolves around eating!)  Thinking about food nonstop is a really hard habit to break.  We are inundated with Food Network, recipes/videos on Facebook, food everywhere we go – it is extremely hard for someone who is trying to live a new lifestyle of eating to live and not living to eat.
  • the emotions from support and nonsupport – This one is pretty self explanatory but the support I have received from my husband, parents, children, in-laws, friends and weight loss surgery family has been nothing short of amazing.  The feedback on my progress, on pictures, on my meals….I can’t tell you how important it has been.  It’s the reason I had to “come out of the kitchen” (my Dad coined that!) a month after my surgery.  I had all intentions of only telling a few people but I quickly realized that the cheerleading and kudos and encouragement meant far more to me than my privacy or pride.  The negative side of that, of course, is opening yourself up to criticism, snarky comments or judgements.  The worst thing you can do to someone who has lost 105 pounds is NOT MENTION IT.  I promise.  It is awkward.  I feel like I’m searching for the reason they aren’t noticing or mentioning it or is it me or am I not that different or or or or orrrrr….I feel like saying, “You mad, bro?” when someone doesn’t!!!   (One day I am going to post a Dos and Don’ts I PROMISE!)
  • the impact on my family (good and bad) – I think I covered most of this already but it does impact every day life, of course.  I prefer to not go to Texas Roadhouse.  I LOVED it.  Truly.  BUT THOSE ROLLS THOUGH.  That one is a hard one.  They are EVERYWHERE.  I am certainly not going to ask my family to not eat them, so I just don’t go there.  It is where they go without me and have their own dates and I stay home or find something else to do.  No problem.  Am I jealous when they all get dessert?  You betcha.  I’m human.  Occasionally, I’ll have a bite (depending on what I have eaten) but I have resisted overdoing it.  We truly have to plan our day trips, date nights and dinners out in a way that we have never had to before.  Our kids are picky (ok, so is Mike) so we’ve always had to plan ahead – look at menus – but NOW it’s an extra challenge with my new tummy.  I am SO appreciative of understanding kids – they really have never complained about the changes.  Of course, I feel like that’s probably because they see the good in this new lifestyle.  They see me healthy and energized…and most of all, happy.

 

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Results are In! (Well, some….)

8 Aug

So, after all that has happened (his almost fainting, stroke like symptoms, general exhaustion, findings of liver and kidney function issues) and his appointment this past Monday at a hematologist (still awaiting all of the results from that)…we were looking forward to today!  He had a three hour glucose test last week and we knew we were to find out the results today.  (Never mind the fact the I went yesterday for lab work {Vitamin D} and saw the Doctor and he TOLD ME the results!)

First, we talked about the hematologist (who Mike loves) and his findings so far.  He wrote our PCP a dissertation on my husband.  Swoon.  It was about all of the issues and what he thinks might be going on with my sweetie’s blood.  As of now, they are leaning towards a diagnosis of polycythemia.  You can find more information about THAT here.  Basically, his body is making too many red blood cells.  This can lead to complications since they blood flow may decrease and stress on organs can increase.  Obviously, this is a great concern to us and is wayyy up there on the priority list to figure out what’s going on.  The hematologist took 13 vials of blood on Monday to test for all sorts of things, levels, genetic markers.  The follow up for that is in two weeks and I’m very anxious to see what that is!

Now, on to the PCP’s test results of the three hour glucose test.  So, normally, a non-diabetic person should have a glucose level of 60-100 at most times.  Once they eat something, it should normally raise no higher than 160 (even if it’s seven ice cream sundaes and four Sonic slushies).  So, 30 minutes after Mike started his test (and had drank that lovely stuff that all pregnant women get to experience)…his glucose was at 262.  Yes, TWO HUNDRED SIXTY TWO.  Yikes!  The interesting thing?  At three hours…it was 56.  So, he spikes WAY up and he drops WAY low.  The good doctor hesitated to label him “diabetic” (probably due to insurance if you want to know the truth) but is treating it as such.  Put him on a medicine (Januvia) and will see him back in 6 weeks.  He also let him know he needs to lose ten percent of his weight and gave him some diet tips and levels to stay within.

I am really hoping this is a wake up call for BOTH of us.  For ALL of us.  My family, extended family, friends, whoever might be reading this.  Bad habits are SO easy to fall into and SO hard to break.  We let our kids grow up eating whatever is easy for us all and then expect them to turn from those habits when it matters???  So silly and I KNOW this.  So, I started typing this when my hand started cramping from making menus and lists of things that are “safe”.  We will not do this cold turkey, but we will make swift changes (already did for supper) that will affect our diet, weight and our LIFE.  We can’t continue to live by convenience and just expect to feel good because it tastes good!  Also, boot camp on Saturday for me was not a one time deal.  Mike has even expressed interest in going so I am TOTALLY down with that.  I would love to show him up work out with him.  I have found myself trying to do push ups around the house too…from different elevations…to see if my upper arm strength is existent any better.  I just want to be able to know that he and I are doing everything we can to improve our lives.  I feel like a twelve step program could help though!!!

Okay…I’m wrapping this up, just wanted to update those who asked and were praying!  Thank you so much.  I serve a Mighty God and I know that He will bring us through this.  I have much faith in that!!

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