I’m going to be joining the loser’s bench!

It’s official!
It’s finally here!
I got approved!
I’m going to be joining the losers bench!

When, you say? MAY 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, just wow. It seriously felt like this day was never, ever going to come. I haven’t blogged in the longest time and a whole lot clearly has happened since then! I did try to blog when I was traveling back home to CT to visit my family before I had a major surgery, but apparently WP’s mobile app does not like me. But, I am back, and I plan on blogging much more frequently, especially since I will have loads more time while I am healing.

I had my last weigh in with my surgeon back on March 28 and let me tell you, the whole time leading up to it, I was a nervous wreck. For the entire 3 months of my pre-op plan, I only lost 3lbs total. Most of which I lost in month 2. I’ve been changing my diet, walking more, doing some low impact HIIT workouts, admittedly not the most consistently, but doing them and my scale was just not budging whatsoever. As a last effort, I started drinking 2 shakes a day and still, nothing would change in my weight loss! I was feeling defeated and so worried that I was going to somehow gain or I was not going to be approved for surgery, but I kept on.

I was a nervous wreck the morning of my appointment,  but I went in, and got myself weighed. From there, everything kept moving forward and they were going to submit for approval. I was so relieved! I spoke with the new nutritionist at my surgeons office and she said as far as my eating and stuff, I was doing well which was encouraging.

I left there feeling so excited to continue to be moving through the approval process. The wait though, UGH, the wait. Let me tell you, the longest wait EVER. Then, during my wait, the PA called me and said I needed to have my doctor send over their recommendation letter. I was FURIOUS! I had asked my doctor to send that two weeks prior. So when you’re waiting for an approval and you get news like this, it takes all that you’ve got to not lose your cool!

I kept my cool tho! I thankfully spoke with a lot of helpful ladies at both my doctors office and my surgeons office who got it all sorted out for me and sent to insurance in less than a few hours! 2 hours later, YA GIRL WAS APPROVED!

So now, I’m still focusing on what I eat and prepping for surgery. I made a shopping list and bought a lot of recommended items already, like a heating pad, chapstick, biotene, gas-x strips, protein water (assorted flavors) and loads¬† more and just trying to get the house all cleaned up and squared away so it’s one less thing to worry about post-op.

28 days to go! Feels so nuts!!! I would say I’m about 98% excited and 2% nervous.

I’m nervous about some complications, nervous about what it’s going to be like on the “other side”, nervous about pain, little things. Trying not to get myself all worked up though and remain focused on my WHY.

My husband told me the other day, “You’re so brave.” and I’ve been finding strength in that. Strength from his support of me in this process.

This tool is worth it and I know it’s going to rock my world and change my life and I sure as hell can’t wait.

10 NEW things to add to my bucket list – POST OP!

Do you have a bucket list? I’m sure most of us do, or even if we don’t have an actual written list, there are things in our head that we dream of doing one day. Some of mine currently include things like: living overseas for at least 1 year minimum, going to Greece, and learning a new language (and actually speak it!).

But, I’ve been thinking recently, are there things that I never added to my list because of my health or weight? Yep, there sure is. So, I decided to think up 10 new things to add to my bucket list that I think I’ll definitely be able to do post-op.

1. Go Zip Lining
Ah, zip lining! I’ve had so many opportunities to do it but I never did because of weight limits or because I didn’t think I could handle the course! No more!

2. Go to a public pool party
I know this one isn’t extreme and I’ve never been one who’s hid herself in bathing suit covers, but being somewhere like a pool party in a bathing suit did wreck my nerves. I’ve always wanted to be on vacation and just be comfortable enough to attend one and be comfortable to swim up to the bar (even if after RNY, it’s just for water! lol)

3. Go go-kart racing
Normally, go kart racing doesn’t appeal to me. It’s not something I immediately think of doing, but the last time I went go-kart racing, I couldn’t buckle the seat belt which was horrifying! So, I want to do it again, just because I can. Period.

4. Attend a large music festival
Again, this is one that doesn’t seem like it is weight related, but for me it kinda is. I’ve attended music festivals, smaller ones, and have always been uncomfortable because of my weight. Either dancing around or just from the temperature (since they’re typically in warm weather). I want to be able to attend a music festival and not feel like I have to cover up or be sweating like a pig and being self conscious about it. I want to just enjoy the music and move my body!

5. Run a 5K
Since I’ve started to put weight back on, I haven’t been able to run. I never was able to run a full 5K. I’m praying post-RNY that I will be able to get back to running and run a full 5K!

6. Climb an indoor rock wall
This always looks super dope and I’ve always been too chicken, again because of my weight and well, my lack of strength in my arms.

7. Go to an indoor trampoline house and bounce around like a kid!
Read that sentence again. ‘NUFF SAID.

8. Do a boudoir photo sheet.
You would think this would be about my husband, and yes, he will be a recipient of the photos, but this is on my bucket list for ME. I want to do a classy, but sexy photo shoot of me loving my body (even if I have extra skin!!). Embracing my new beauty.

9. Renew my wedding vows in a brand new dress.
I didn’t lose weight for my wedding like I had hoped. In fact, I gained. Thankfully I still fit into my wedding dress (after being altered though) and I was just not happy with my size during that time. I want to do a new photo shoot with my husband, maybe to celebrate one of our anniversaries and renew our wedding vows and renew our photos together.

10. Take dancing classes.
I danced for 15 years and when I stopped in my late teens, I packed on the weight. Dancing is a passion of mine and I would love to be able to get back into dancing all the time, without feeling self conscious or out of breath within a minute!

What will you add to your bucket list?

The countdown…

Technically 40 DAYS.

Until what? My last weigh in before my surgeons team can submit for approval for my RNY! It just got real. I mean, it’s been real the whole time, but it’s getting so close now! Most of me is excited, but there is a part of me that is still freakin’ out. At the end of the day, it’s a major surgery and complications can happen!

I had my appointment on Monday with the PA and nutritionist. We discussed Barrett’s Esophagus and why my surgeon does not do sleeve if you have BE, then Calvin and I unloaded a TON of questions on her. Most of my questions were about long-term RNY life. This is what I have been panicking about the most. I’m only 31 years old, will be having RNY (which has malabsorption issues), and I plan on having a family and being around for them for a very long time. She reassured me that they do have patients who are 10+ years out who are fine and healthy. She also assured me that I will be asked to do annual bloodwork to ensure my vitamin levels are all good. She also assured me that for the first year, they will be seeing me quite often. So, all of this made me feel pretty good.

Calvin chimed in with his own set of questions too, which I am so thankful for. I’m so thankful that he takes the time off to even come to the appointments with me. He has been a nervous nelly since the beginning, more so than me, but because of that, he thinks of great questions that I’m not even thinking about.

As the PA answered all of our questions, my wall started to drop about being scared for RNY. There are parts of me that are admittedly still nervous, but I am giving those worries to God. Whatever happens is all in God’s plan and I need to trust that. I don’t know what his plans are for me yet, but I will soon find out!

After we talked to the PA, the nutritionist came in to see how I’ve been doing and I was so honest with her where I’ve been struggling. I have not been perfect at all, but I am sure as hell trying to make improvements. I shared some of my recent meals with her, like THIS loaded cauliflower waffle…. My mouth is watering looking at it. I asked all of my questions about absorbing vitamins, how can I ensure I get all my nutrients met, should I be worried about high cholesterol with all this protein, and uh…. what about pooping? LOL serious stuff. All the recipes I have found have been loaded with cheese and gooeyness, that it concerns me about cholesterol (even though I modify recipes left and right) and all that protein, doesn’t exactly keep things flowing. So… a girl had to ask!

Sadly, my NUT is leaving and I will have a new one next meeting, but I feel good and she said she felt good about where I am not. I haven’t really lost much/any weight, but I have not been gaining and she see’s that I am trying to make changes and trying new things in preparation for my new tool.

So, in a few hours, I went from worried hypochondriac to empowered future bariatric patient! I only have two more tests to do, which I am doing in the morning, and then it’s just waiting until my appointment and hopefully I will get a surgery date soon!

And…. check this thing out. Helloooooooooooo nurse. This baby was so FREAKIN good! So good, we made it again a few days ago. This thing had me wanting to start sharing recipes that I’ve tried on here! So, COMMENT if you want me to!

… and if you’re in this process with me, do you have your date yet? I will be sitting on the bench in May, so I’m looking for buddies around the same time!

Feeling discouraged…

I’m feeling discouraged…..

WOMP… WOMP… WOMP…

It really is only because of what I’ve been allowing into my life recently. So, I really can’t be mad at anyone but myself right now. I have my next appointment with my surgeon on Monday and I’m honestly nervous as hell. I’m feeling discouraged about the appointment because I haven’t had the weight loss I had hoped.

Why not? Because I am a slacker and can honestly admit that I haven’t focused 100% on cutting my calories. Yes, I’ve been adjusting my diet, increasing my protein, but I haven’t been focusing enough. My tracking hasn’t been spot on and I was snacky and well, I had some food funerals! Yeah, this early, I did it. We were originally scheduled to go back home to CT a few weekends ago, but because of the storm we had to stay back. Our plan in CT, was for me to get a lobster. A whole lobster, not just a tail. I’m a New England girl. We survive on seafood. So because we didn’t go, my husband treated me to my lobster dinner locally.

Thinking back on it now, had he told me he wasn’t going to take me, I can honestly say that I probably would have kicked and screamed like a child. Why? Because I’m experiencing a loss right now. It’s food. Things I have enjoyed my entire life. But that’s just the thing, I ate for pure enjoyment not to feed my body. Yes, we should enjoy our food, but enough to feed our body, not just eating for enjoyment and no other reason. During my psych evaluation, I realized I’m a celebration eater. I’m not so much an emotional eater when I’m sad or anything, but when I am happy, that’s when I looked to food. Got a new job? Eat. Got engaged? Eat. Friend came to town? Eat. Bought a new house? Eat. On Vacation? Eat. LOST WEIGHT? Eat. <– Seriously, WTF. I am totally re-evaluating my thought process on that, because that makes no damn sense.

On the one hand, I’m thankful my insurance doesn’t “require” weight loss, however, my surgeon ideally likes to see patients lose prior to surgery. I think showing that we are focused and can be successful with our new tool. Which I totally get.

So, I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself today. Essentially telling myself that I clearly need to get my shit together. I need to show myself and my surgeon that I CAN do this. I need to focus on getting ME healthy. I have one more month of a medically supervised diet and I am kicking my ass into gear this last 30 days.

STOP THE FCKN EXCUSES! STOP THE WHINING. STOP THE FOOD FUNERALS!

Did anyone else struggle in their medically supervised phase? PLEASE please please share! Reach out to me! I can’t have been the only one.

I’m SEEKING SUPPORT! A RNY buddy? A weight loss buddy? SOMEONE!

Here’s to looking forward to Monday and being scared for Monday!

Oh BTW, you can’t do the gastric sleeve

Yesterday was quite the unexpected day. I started my day going to get the required blood work needed pre-op, thinking this is the last thing I have to do until my next appointment! Yeah, well, that lasted a short while.

The blood work was easy. I signed in, stuck out my arm, as usual she struggled to find my veins, she took my blood and I left. Easy transaction.

I did not expect to get my results back within 4 hours and have a call from the PA and my Endo doc in the same afternoon. Most of my blood work came back perfectly fine which I had expected. My blood work is usually all good, it’s just my high blood pressure that is a pain in my ass. I need to start a B12 vitamin now. It’s technically in the normal range, but they’d like to see it a little higher for surgery. Easy enough, grab another vitamin and go. 

My clotting test was not in the range they’d like to see, but after talking to my PCP they think it was just an error. So I’m going to stop my garlic supplement and test again since I think that is thinning my blood which I def don’t want right now. 

The PA happened to see my Endo results before the Endo office had a chance to call  me, which showed that I have Barrett’s Esophagus. Which from what they explained to me is technically a pre-cancerous condition (insert PANIC) but mine is benign (breathe out panic). Because of the BE, they do not recommend doing the sleeve because you’d still have acid reflux, which I certainly don’t want if I have BE. 

Needless to say I was a little panicked after we hung up. For some reason, gastric bypass freaks me out more than the sleeve. Maybe it’s the malabsorption thing or the dumping or the higher risk of complications, who knows. But on the same note, I know it’s been around much longer, many people have successfully had it, and I don’t have the slightest clue as to what issues I may or may not have. After researching more, talking with my husband,  and thinking it through I am still going to go through with the process. But, I will be asking a whole set of new questions at my next appointment later this month. 

I then, spoke with the Endoscopy nurse who out my mind at ease about the whole Barrett’s Esophagus thing. Long story short on that, I will be on a PPI (like Prilosec) for some time, and will have a follow up with me in 6mo and yearly endoscopies done to check on my Barrett’s. So that really put my mind at ease. And with having RNY instead of my current stomach or sleeve, I won’t have to deal with acid going into my esophagus., further worsening it, *phew.

Even though I got news that I didn’t really want to hear, I thank God for starting this journey. Had I not started, I wouldn’t be on the right path to getting healthier and I would have never known that I had BE which would have not been good. 

So I’m on new meds, new vitamins, and now just waiting for my next steps.

….. until next time.

 

The never ending phase of testing…

YO! I’m back.

Seriously, though. The past few weeks have been extra crazy. In the past two weeks, since I blogged last, I decided to start up my own small business (still in the VERY early phase!) which has taken up an insane amount of my time trying to get that off the ground. Plus, I’m in that point of pre-op where I feel like the tests will never end.

In actuality, it was only 2 tests, but I’ve been trying to get all my appointments squared away prior to surgery. I had my second weigh in my with doctor and I lost a whopping 2lbs since my first appointment to start my doctor supervised nutrition. I’m doing Weight Watchers, since my insurance allows it and my doctor is happy with me doing it. In the 3 weeks leading up to my doctors appointment, I wasn’t losing a thing! If I’m being honest, I could’ve tracked better and ate better foods and not indulged when I did. But, when I finally started working out more, more than just walking, I finally saw some change. *Phew.

So, I’m trying to really focus on getting my workouts in and really be good about tracking. I’ve been cleaning up what foods we have in the house. Not bringing home all sorts of chocolate and trying all sorts of things that I see other VSG patients getting the OK to eat (Hello, sugar free popsicles). I’ve been trying all sorts of protein too, to try and prep myself for my new life and what I might like (although, I am aware that my tastes may change, and hey, I’m cool if they do!) So, please, any support from anyone reading this would be so amazing!

Last week, I had my psych evaluation and my endoscopy all in the same day. I was super nervous for my psych clearance, I don’t know why. But she was dope and I had no problem opening up to her. Not at all what I had expected, but she made me comfortable which I needed. After that, I had my endoscopy, which went well!

I’m thankful that all the people my surgeon is referring me to are excellent at what they do. They know my surgeon, they make this process easier for me, because it’s easy to get confused! I didn’t known what to expect for an endo and I was surprised when it only took a few mins. While I waited in the hospital bed, I prayed and God answered my prayers. Nothing serious to report from my endo. I have a very small hiatal hernia and some signs of acid reflux, which even with that, I am thankful it’s not a large hernia and something worse like GERD or something.

Tomorrow morning is my bloodwork. Then that’s it for testing until I see my surgeons PA later this month and from what I know, more tests!

I appreciate all the testing, but good God, it’s exhausting.
Anyone else feel overwhelmed with all the testing?

Weight loss struggles, pre-op

Ugh! I’ve been struggling to lose weight.

Not just now. But it seems for the past 6 months I just end up going up and down around the same 5lbs. I am cleaning up my diet in preparation for surgery, granted I haven’t been perfect. As I lead up to surgery, I’ve been buying all sorts of shakes to see what I might like during my 10 day liquid diet and potentially after surgery. I’ve committed myself to drinking shakes for breakfast and trying not to snack as much all day. When I crave sweets, I’ve been keeping things like sugar free popsicles in the house and no sugar added fudgesicles.

This week, I’ve been craving carbs like a mad woman tho. I’m a woman, I have my period, and I’m trying to fight my cravings. I’ve kept myself from eating a horse, but man, the carb craving is insane.

Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers as I lead up to my surgery, so I’m really trying to focus on tracking all my food so I know I’m not going totally wild.

I’m trying to keep my head in the game and really focus. Not gonna lie though, it’s a struggle.

Time is going fast!

Where did all the time go?

It literally seems like yesterday I started the blog and started this VSG process. When I kicked off the blog a week ago, I had all the intentions to get the blog updated more frequently and finish simple things like the About Me page, but it is now the 20th and I still haven’t. Oops! (Promise, I will be working on that now for sure!)

So what’s all been happening the past week? It’s been pretty quiet to be honest. I did, however, weigh in on Saturday morning and lost 4.2lbs in one week! Last week, I fasted solids during the day (drank liquids only) and had normal meals in the evening. I was fasting with my church and this also gave me the perfecr opportunity to start trying different proteins before surgery and ones that I might like during the 10 day pre-op diet.

This week, I’ve honestly struggled a bit more and I feel like my weight loss won’t be near as much, but I am trying not to beat myself up! I’ve been struggling to lose weight for many, many months now. I’ll lose the same few pounds and gain the same few pounds (literally, 3-4lbs), which is frustrating. So, I’m going to stick to drinking protein shakes for breakfast and more protein to my diet. I’m honestly nervous to step on the scale this week. I’m nervous that I’ll have stayed on my bodies trend of mini roller coaster.

This past few weeks has really given me insight on where some of my challenges are mentally with how I think, which I am actually appreciating a lot. It gave me the motivation to start looking at some bariatric books to begin reading them pre-op. I’m looking specifically for ones related to VSG if I can, but really, any books that I can either learn more or ones that I feel that I’d be able to relate to. Any suggestions anyone?

Next week, I’ll be attending my 2nd supervised diet appointment with my primary doc and then the following week, I have my endo scheduled and my psych evaluation in the same day. The only few things I need to do is go get my bloodwork done and call about a cardiologist so I can get clearance. So thankful for my surgeons checklist, because time is moving fast!

Why Blog?

Ciao! Hello!

As of today, right now, this moment (…. or actually 15min ago) I decided that I am going to blog my VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) journey. I’ll be sharing it here on this blog with you. Whoever you are, reading this.

Why? I’ve tried to blog a million times. I never kept with it or just didn’t know what to say. At this point in my life, however, I think I will have quite a bit to blog about. I know on this journey, I’m going to have a lot of ups and downs and will want to share or vent, or just track my experience.

Enter this blog, to fill all that.

So I will get into all the details in future posts about me, why I chose VSG, where I’m at in my the process, and so on, so be on the lookout.