Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eggface Time

I think that will be my new official post title for anything Eggface related, like this here giveaway she is so generously hosting. Check this out for her holiday giveaway basket o' Celebrate goodies! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 months - 74 lbs down

Well I just passed my 5 month surgerversary on the 27th of November. I know this is a little late, sorry about that. I just get distracted and then I don't realize I didn't jot down my thoughts or anything. So I started this journey at 353 pounds. I am 5 foot 4 if anyone is interested to know that. So I had a 1 week pre-op diet that I don't think I really lost much weight per se but I lost a lot of water. I have a desk job that I do at home and I also play lots of video games on the computer, so I tend to retain a lot of water. Well... I USED to. So I think I was like basically the same weight when I went to the hospital to have my VSG surgery but honestly I'm not sure I really can remember exactly if I lost anything during that week. I DO remember walking out of my hospital room dressed and ready to go the next day and asking if they could weigh me, because they had not. The nurse rolled a scale on over and it said 340. So from then until now it's been 61 pounds but in all it's been 74. I always count from my highest weight because the time pre-op to now is all from the same journey.

So I just can't believe I'm about 75 pounds down already.. I had a goal to be 275 by New Years, sort of like a first true goal. I mean, I was ecstatic to be under 300 pounds let me tell you!! But it just didn't feel like a bigger picture type of milestone to me. So my second goal will be 250 just because it feels like a good number. After that, 199. That will be the day!!!!! I have not seen 100's since I was about 13 years old or maybe even younger. No joke!!!

So I know I can do it, 4 lbs by New Years. I will roll in the New Year with a smile on my face ready to kick ass!! 75 lbs in 2013? I KNOW I can do it. I've ALREADY done it once! I can do it twice! 150 lbs is a huge deal. My ultimate goal for ever is to be 150 lbs, but I am not sure if I will be able to get this because of the skin I will have. So this one is an ultimate goal but it's "loose" hahaha pun intended, because of the loose skin. Get it?? Anyway, if I have to have plastic surgery to get rid of some skin to be able to get to 150 then it will just have to be at a time that can happen. 175 would be amazing and definitely still a healthy weight range.

I can FEEL my clavicle bones coming through but still can't see it unless I do some weird shoulder maneuvers (you know you've done it). I am waiting the day I can see those babies poking right on out!! I remember after my sister lose weight with RNY coming to her house after a couple weeks or so not seeing her and being like HOLY CRAP I CAN SEE YOUR CLAVICLES!! It was an awesome moment for her for sure.

Time to wrap this up, it's almost 2 AM. I had so many blessings today. I was approved for $170 food stamps (finally) so this should help me out a great deal again. It's been almost 2 months but they are giving me $90 for the month of November so I should have $260 right off the bat. I just have to wait for the EBT card to come. I don't know if anyone else out there is having financial difficulties as I am, or has. But I'm not ashamed. I make about $300/mo and my financing bill is $440 a month for my VSG. I have someone in my life who has actually taken it upon themselves to pay this for me. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for this person and for God having this person been in my life at the moments that they were and kind and capable enough to do such a thing for another unworthy human being. I had a woman today send me a message on Facebook to offer some Prilosec because of my financial difficulties and having such a bad acid build up post-op and having to "stretch out" the 14 day packs that you get. It really is coinsidental because I had picked 1 person from my group at random (there were a couple in the group that were not random) to send a Christmas card to, and this was the woman. I had made the card up for her to be as a surprise, and then checked Facebook and had a message from her. It was too cool! I just have so many people I wish I could meet in person and give a huge hug to and just spend real quality time with them. It's nice having positive people in my life for once, who GENUINELY care and would do such kind things.

All I know is, once the holidays are over and everything financially gets put back together, I will 100% be paying it forward. So that makes like 3 people from my support group to lend a hand to me, without my asking. I had asked for peoples unwanted protein powders before and a woman sent cash instead for me to buy what I wanted. I believe I posted about that previously but I'll never forget it. Every one of these people that have helped me along the way are getting a Christmas card. It IS the least I can do right now. And I feel like God is really on my side right now. I just have to keep on doin' what I'm doin'.

Sorry for the lengthy post! I hear people do not like these as much.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Portion Control!

Wow. Okay so the last week I feel hungry, all the time. I thought it may be due to some sort of weird carb intake but according to MyFitnessPal I've only been MAYBE in the 60's as a high. That's still not a LOT compared to before. But also I noticed I eat a bit more before I feel my restriction than I usually do. What is going on? Is it due to a menstrual cycle perhaps coming on (I think it's early but it's possible)? I am freaking out. Of course the portion size is within reason compared to what it was like pre-op but I feel like this is not normal. I could easily eat a cup of food and feel like I could eat more, that real restricted feeling not coming on yet. I'm so confused and freaking out. I don't want to mess up my stomach :( I've just been watching what I eat. Today's total carbs are at 28 and that was with a bit of rice in my dinner and a tiny taste of bread (I made something for lunch I didn't like and was on the go, this was a POOR excuse!). Dinner was out of my control. It was brown rice but rice all the same.

So... I'm hung. I don't know what's wrong. I feel hungry about every 3 or so hours just from what little I been eating the past week for portion. I was fine with my portioning until a week ago and it's just been like I can't get enough. And my restriction does not feel like it is there as much as it was? Blahhhh.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let's pretend.. It's Monday!

This is from

"If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!"

Dear Santa: List at least ten things that you may or may not need that you’d love to find under your tree this year! 
So for my list I'm not going to put ONLY practical items that I wish for, but my "dream" items too since 10 items I actually want and could potentially get is sort of slim, since I don't feel I really want things that I don't already have that aren't really expensive.

1. I want the Verizon samsung tablet because it's cheaper than the iPad:

2. Or maybe I could just get the iPad 2 itself from Verizon:

3. I also would love a Macbook Pro because I used Macs back in college and I like them for things like editing video and graphics and would just love one of these, even if it wasn't a new one!

4. I would love a FitBit. I don't know the difference between THE ONE and the ZIP but I doubt it would matter much which one. I am starting to get more and more active (I think) and would love to be able to better keep track. Something that knows when I'm in a car and when I'm walking or running myself.

5. There are a number of flavors of sugar free Torani syrups that I'd really just LOVE to be able to try but they are just not in my budget. They cost too much to purchase online because you also pay shipping and there are some flavors harder to find that you don't see on websites with free shipping. Trust me, I've searched everywhere. The main one is pumpkin pie, but there's a few others I'd love to try like the Chicken and Waffles one. I don't know why but this sounds good to me?
6. There are a number of kitchen tools that I would love to have to assist with my weight loss process and portion control. I'll list a few majors. The mini loaf pan (also wouldn't mind a mini muffin pan too):

7. An ice cream maker, so I can make protein ice cream like eggface does! Here:

8. Some sort of Ninja blender, because a lot of friends use blenders to make some delicious stuff but I don't have one strong enough for anything other than fruit, veggies or ice:

9. I REALLY REALLY want this (alongside the ice cream maker of course). It's called a Bento Box and they are really great to balance out portion without having to weigh and also for on-the-go days when you might pack a lunch with you! This might result in more picnics at the nature trail!

10. And last but not least, I'd love for my mom and my dog to be here for Christmas. They can't come, because my mom's car sucks and wouldn't make the 10 hour trip. But also because she is going to try to move here after she gets her tax return. So in the meantime, it's been almost 5 months since I came to GA and I miss my doggie with all my might and I miss my momma, too!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Who's asleep?! I'm still going!

Hey y'all! Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I'm sorry for not posting sooner. It was hectic! I did the entire dinner by myself, but it was only 2 of us. We wanted to do a full blown Thanksgiving so that we can just have leftovers for days. I froze about half the turkey once I got it all off the bones. I'm getting pretty good at this whole taking meat off of bones thing!

We had turkey, ham with a mustard glaze I made, dressing cooked in and around the turkey (to soak up some turkey grease!), my grandma's old mashed potatoes recipe, canned cranberry sauce (hey we love that stuff), macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, some Heinz turkey gravy, candied yams, Sara Lee pumpkin pie and some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Since Thanksgiving I've had about 3 meals out of this and a few snacks of cold turkey meat. I had about 2 slices of pie total and about 3 cookies total. I did not really watch carb intake for the dressing or the mashed potatoes. I was going to but I decided I'd have only 1 tablespoon of each thing.

I did that the next day also. I had made a turkey, mashed potato and gravy sandwich but instead of bread I put it inside hydroponic lettuce. I love that stuff. Just put the stuff in the microwave then placed it inside the lettuce. Nice alternative to the bread!

So I weighed this morning and I was actually down 2 pounds! I was squishing my face because I was like this has to say 3 lbs gained I know it will.. nope! I weighed a 2nd time and it said the same thing. I'm now at 285! I'm about to hit my 5 month mark and I just lost 8-9 pounds in the last week and a half! I guess it's because I've been good at keeping protein up, and not snacking other than later on Thanksgiving night because we ate so early, about 4 PM. I had a few bites of cold turkey around 8 or 9.

So I think that my plan worked out. I didn't put a specific limit on myself nutrition wise but I said a tablespoon of everything and that's what I did. Except the turkey and ham, those are full of protein and so that's never got a limit. I feel victorious. I did a great job on the cooking and I did a great job on not going overboard! I didn't stuff myself until I felt sick. That is a huge accomplishment for me!

Oh yeah and we got some great black friday deals. We didn't go early or anything, just woke up naturally about 8 or 9 AM and went off to a few stores. I usually go to thrift stores on this day but here I guess they aren't open so this is what we're doing today! Still going going going..

I felt so stiff and weird yesterday. I had no idea why my body was feeling like I just ran a marathon after walking around WalMart and not super long. I can usually do this x3. I then realized I had been walking and standing ALL DAY on Thanksgiving in the kitchen. I did not sit down but 2 times for 5 minute periods until after 4 PM. I started at 9:30 AM. That's so awesome! I could not do that before. My back would have been out by 11 pre op.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Dietary Life

Just thought I might make a post about what I do/was told to do by my nutritionist as far as what I look for in my foods (nutrition facts). Holly over at 300pd also does this but I actually had this instructed to me by my NUT, I just was not entirely following it. For me, it is hard to know what is really right when you have so many conflicting diet plans from others who have had the same surgery as you. It was nice to find someone who has had success and does the same thing you were told to do.

So basically I am on a low-carb diet. I obviously don't want to entirely disregard calories and fat, but they sort of go hand in hand most of the time when you have a low carb food you don't have a lot of calories or fat. Now this is not always true, just like something might have low carbs but have loads of sugar. If there are loads of sugar it may as well say high carb on it.

But there is also another thing we consider into the carb counting. If an item has 5g+ of fiber in it, you subtract that from the overall carb amount and this new number that you get is the "net carb". So say something has 10g of carbs, but there is 7g of fiber. Technically that item only has 3g of carbs. For whatever reason that I don't fully understand, the fiber sort of "counteracts" that carbohydrate or.. whatever. You can read more information here.

So the ROT (rule of thumb) that I am told to go by is no more than 40g of carbs PER DAY. This is very difficult. Utilizing a program or app for your phone (such as MyFitnessPal) really helps to keep track of this. A lot of items you input into there already has NET carbs programmed for you as you search for something (but not always). But if not, it does calculate everything if you input every food and drink item you had that day. So at the end of the day you can look on that day's chart and see easily all the calories, fat, carbs, sugar, fiber and protein and various others. So you can just take the total amount of carbs that day and subtract any fiber from that.

But in all, this is really the #1 main goal I aim for is 40g of carbs a day or less. I use MFP (MyFitnessPa) when I remember to calculate my daily intake and make sure I'm doing okay. My name on there is Discordya if you'd like to find me :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

He sent an Angel to me today

Before I had my surgery I joined up on a forum called and when I had gotten my surgery date, I had grouped up with some other ladies and gents who had been or were to be sleeved that very same month in a group on Facebook. So a couple of months post op I really had gone into a financial down spiral and have been struggling for things that I needed on the more expensive side food-wise. If you are post-op then you know that the #1 money sink for us is protein. Not only the powders but the ready to drinks also. I had gathered the courage to ask for help in my support group with any leftover packets of protein powder they may have extra or that they didn't like because I was running low and scared I'd be without. A couple of ladies had sent generous amounts and more than I could ever have asked for. It was so kind of them and I thanked them from the bottom of my heart.

But today.. it was about 1.5 months ago I had asked this, and today I got a letter in the mail. I knew someone had gotten a return from the post office for forgetting postage and knew it was coming in but I did not expect a letter instead of a package. In this letter this woman had so generously put $40 so that I could pick out some protein that I like instead of getting something more of what I did not like. This was completely unexpected and I feel that since Holly had been talking about the Atkins shakes and me trying them and liking their taste much more than others, it just fit the puzzle to the T. I really can't understand what moved this woman to do such a kind thing for me, but I truly believe she is an Angel sent from the heavens. I can't even put into words how this made me feel. I instantly had tears streaming down my face because it is a time that I needed this to happen so much because before I needed it but I needed it now more than then.

You see, I have been on Food Stamps for a while now. I work and make money but I don't make a lot and just need the help sometimes. Before when I had purchased EAS protein and Muscle Milk, these were not covered when I swiped my Food Stamps card. But when I had gone to Kroger here and gotten the Atkins ones and swiped the card, they were accepted. So now the Food Stamps are discontinued as of 10/31. So you see? This is a gift. Not only from this kind hearted woman, but from God. Thank you. Thank you so, so much.

Pa pa pa pa eggface

Okay so.. a lot of the things post-op that I've tried recipe-wise and have told family and friends about in glorious hallelujah's (because let's face it.. it's hard to know what to eat when you spent a life time eating like crap) so now I'm going to share the website with you where I find all my delicious post weight loss surgery recipes. And what better way than to do it with promoting her current giveaway?! Yes, Shelley over at theworldaccordingtoeggface hosts WLS related giveaways every so often to her faithful followers. So check it out at THIS LINK and let me know what you find there that you might want to try!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Great Milestone

So today I found myself curious to see what the scale says. I don't schedule it specifically or anything but I try to do it once a week or less. I had weighed myself 3 or 4 days ago and had gone from 294 to 293 but sometimes during TOM (time of the month) it tends to fluctuate a lot so I just wanted to see what it said.

... and it said 288. I almost flipped my lid! I was ecstatic! Now of course I had first thought it was just being wonky, as digital scales can sometimes be for any number of reasons. So I stepped on it once again and it had said 290. So I said ok which is it, 2 pounds is a bit significant. So I stepped on it again and 288. So I said ok I'll make best out of 3 and stepped yet again, 290. Ok ONE more time we have 2 and 2. So again I stepped and there it was, 288.

I am so so so so happy! I've not seen under 300 pounds in a very long time so now to be under 290 pounds I feel so accomplished and healthy and everything. I knew this reboot I did the other day and a half reboot yesterday (sorry, forgot to post) would help a lot. I just had a 1 pound loss so now to see a 5 pound loss is just... awesome!

Now if only my clothes would fit differently... I've had a couple of pairs of pants that have gotten sooo baggy, but I have a few jeans that feel they fit about the same. Not much looser 'round the waste or thighs. I've always found cute things in the 22/24 size range and 2x shirt size range but 3x and 28 pants are more rare. I'm anticipating that size range, and below of course!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Things I Never Had

I was going to make today's post another food log but I decided I don't need to really track my food that much because I do use MyFitnessPal for that (I just like to share it with you all sometimes) so I wanted to sort of make a list of things I am excited about being able to enjoy about myself, my body, life, etc that I never had a chance to before because of my weight.

So... here goes. THE LIST:

1. Ankles. I guess I could use the ugly word here in saying that I've always had "cankles" as far as I can remember. It's not as bad as some but I'd love to see define ankles on me!

2. High heels. I put this one under the first because they are sort of hand in hand. Technically I can wear high heels, but I don't really feel it is sexy or practical because they just look ridiculous on me. I have worn them, or wedge or chunky heels, with jeans but not often. It's also a bit unstable feeling with true high heels that are not wedge or chunky because of the weight so that is why I await the day when I'm small enough that it's not as unstable feeling.

3. Wrists. It's the same effect as the cankles only it's on my wrists. I'd love a define wrist area where bracelets don't get "lost". I can see a difference already but there's still this puffy area that puffs out just below my hand and I want that to go away so I can wear bracelets. I love jewelry!

4. Clavicles. I desperately want to see my clavicles! I have never seen them in a defined way on myself ever. I await the day that you can see them. I can already feel them more than I ever could but you still can't see them.

5. Being able to sit in lawn chairs or other such shaped chairs that have arm rests and are not made particularly wide, but just a normal size. I can sit in these and to this day I have never actually broken a chair (has to be mere chance) but I want to be able to sit in them without my thighs being choked to death by the arm rests and getting up to bruises or soreness from arm rests squeezing my thighs in.

6. Once you get up passed size 22, it really is hard to find things that are not made for a completely different age range. I'm only 27, so things that are fashionable and cute to me are not necessarily the same as someone 37 or 47, etc. There are a lot more stores now than there used to be, and even Wal-Mart has gotten on board with having more variety in plus size (does anyone remember when you could not see much passed 18?) but even still when you get passed 22-24 size range the choices become more limited. So having been a size 30/32 I could find things yes but it was few and far between that I could find something that I felt I could wear anywhere at any time. I always see things I want that don't go passed a size 22 or 24 and I will celebrate with a nice small shopping spree when I hit the 22/24 size range. Even in thrift stores those sizes are a lot more common than anything bigger (2x versus 3-4x).

7. There's been a number of things I have done but stressed and feared over my weight being an issue. 5 or 6 years ago I had the opportunity to go on a small boat trip with my friend and her family one 4th of July holiday and I did go but I feared how I'd get on that boat. I didn't end up making a fool of myself or anything since I've always been fairly lucky in being limber but I did have a small anxiety attack within myself before getting on it. But I haven't ridden an air plane for years because I fear they would want to charge me a 2nd seat. I don't go on rides at carnivals or anything because I fear they have a weight limit. Etc.

8. I want to be able to run. I probably could run a little right now, actually I know I can because I have tried, but it hurts when my flabs are jiggling so much and pulling downward. I have a very hanging type belly and a small/medium pannus. For those who may not know what that is, it is basically when you see large people have sort of a 2nd hanging belly on the lower abdomen area (not the crotch although it can hang over it if it is large enough). So I don't know if spanks or anything like that would help with jiggling things but I have not tried. I figured I could just walk/power walk until some more weight comes off before trying those things.

9. I await the day when I can walk in public or into a store without people staring at me or giving me weird looks. Now let me explain that I am fairly limber as I already said above, and I dress nice and fashionable as much as possible. But I'm still big. So you can just see sometimes people look with those judgmental stares and I just hate that. I went into Ulta the other day to look for some nail polish and nail art related items and not a single person asked if I wanted help, although they did greet me at the door. But I noticed a few other ladies kept getting bugged by the employees and such so I just want to be able to be noticed again. You'd think that since you are huge you'd get noticed a lot but it's always just a negative energy type of being noticed and not just that you are a normal human being type where you might actually be interested in something at a shop or just whatever.

10. I'm sort of a hard rock, metal music type of girl. I love clothing that is sort of on the scene side as well as rockabilly. I love love love the pinup girl type of clothing. I love cute wedge shoes with a polka dot halter dress and short hair look. But these things I don't feel good wearing not to mention I don't find much in my size. I want to wear a huge off-the-shoulder shirt with some band I love on it and leggings with some cute flats with pyramid studs or spikes, etc. I want to be able to dress the way I always wished I could but could never find things in relation in my size. This may be related to an earlier number but not entirely so I made it separate.

11. I want to be able to wear cute bras and panties. I do wear those now but the choices are very limited, especially since I don't wear wired bras because they poke my overly large arms all day and leave tiny bruises. They have cute non wired bras everywhere in stores, but never do they go anywhere near my size. The cup size is not the problem so much as the number size. Same goes for panties. I can find loads of cute panties that are not granny panties, but when you are big they do not stay on the hips very well even though they are the right size. They go up your giant butt and it's just uncomfortable. Now I know thongs and g-strings are always going to be up your butt no matter what size you are but I'm just talking about like a brief cut panty or whatever the ones that are normal panties but have like a lace part over the hip, you know what I mean.

12. I want to be able to look in the mirror and not see a double chin. I want to be able to see myself in photos without noticing rolls and double chin in every single one unless I take the photo in a "Facebook" pose.

I think that's it for now. Please don't take anything in this post as me being "insecure". I'm not insecure, I don't feel bad about a lot of these things or sit around dwelling on them, but I do want to change myself and be able to enjoy these things. I'm not being hard on myself here, I've just always been aware of things to do with being a large person. I can't tell you how much I hate when you say something to a friend like how you wish you could have ankles again and they say "oh don't be insecure, you don't have cankles!" I just want to change it, and a big part of motivating to go through with change is by acknowledging that you are big, the things you don't like about it and going for the change to be able to love yourself.

I may edit this if I think of more another time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Second Day in the Life of my Sleevie!

Today is another day that I decided to post about today's diet. There's a reason I decided to do another one so soon. I will get into the reason for yesterday's detox. I think I need to do another day or 2 of detox.

So I woke up this morning feeling pretty awesome. Energetic and ready for the day. Monday's are my Sunday since I am off Sunday's and Monday's. I don't usually eat breakfast and yes, I know this is technically bad. I never was a breakfast type of person. So it was probably about 12 or 12:30 when I decided to have lunch. I had an Atkin's Cafe Caramel shake:

And then I had about 3-5 balls of the mozzarella cheese from this delicious salad (didn't like the cherry tomatoes):

And that was it until dinner. I decided to have some chicken but since it was already about 5:30-6:00 PM I knew I wouldn't have time to thaw out some chicken breast so I opted for the next best thing:

They are microwavable in their little pouches so I just cooked them for 1:30 minutes (I made 2, one for me and one for the bf) and then took them out the pouches, sprinkled some mozzarella shreds on top and some chopped tomatoes and cooked them again for an additional 30 seconds. I sided with some of the above cheese ball and tomato salad shown above.

 But this... this is the culprit of my frustrations, stress, irritation and cravings. I found these 5 for $5 they have a few different mixes but this is one I like most at WalMart. I don't know why I got them, I guess mostly thinking that Jacob would eat them and because on the rare occasion I get something without thinking just on the fly but usually give it to Jacob with no issues. This has not been so easy. I've had about 2 whole bags of these in the past 2 weeks. Now 1/2 cup is a lot of food and 20g carbs is bad but not horrific. If I had stayed 20g or less in carbs throughout the whole day then had a 1/2 cup of these then I'd still technically be under my daily carb goal of 40g. But they are just all around bad and not nutritious at all. The carb foods like this, anything bread or cracker types of food really make me crave crave crave. I messed up tonight and had a bit, you can see how much is gone on that bottom right corner. A bit less than 1/2 cup but still. I hope Jacob will just eat the crap out of them and I can learn my lesson and get back on track all around. I did not do bad today at all, I got in quite a bit of protein and such but these little buggers just need to never appear again. I have made it a strict point to REALLY watch what I'm purchasing. We bought these at first with a few of the "dessert mix" ones for Jacob but I had gone back a 2nd time for more of these because I was craving them so bad. No no no, never again!:

The only other thing I "plan" on having today is my usual evening coffee. I use instant coffee since I don't have a single serving coffee maker and I like the taste of the instant coffees, and just a powder creamer since they are low carb and have no sugar. I sweeten with about half a packet of Stevia in the raw. Mmmmmm, I shall end this now so I can go enjoy a cup.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My First: A day in the life of my sleevie!

Since yesterday was a really good day to do sort of a "reboot" and go back to a "basics" diet to try to detox a bit and get things straightened out within myself, I offer you this "a day in the life of my sleeve" type of post. I always enjoyed reading these of other bloggers who have had the same type of WLS as I have had, so maybe I can post mine to help myself to keep "in check" and also to maybe offer some insight as well.

So first I had made up my mind to do an entire day of Protein Shakes per suggestion of a really lovely new acquaintance named Holly from 300 Pounds down. I really dislike 95% of the types of protein I have tried, but the ready to drink (RTD) ones seem to be the ones I can tolerate most. Generally speaking, these have less protein than powder ones. The ones I currently use are the Atkins brand ones. These are actually a suggestion again from Holly over at 300 Pounds Down and a very useful one at that. The Cafe Caramel ones taste just like a delicious cold coffee drink and they are made with real coffee, which we ARE allowed to have. I've tried the Cafe Caramel as well as the Wild Berry and French Vanilla. I do not like French Vanilla as I generally don't like vanilla flavors anyway but the other 2 are REALLY good! They have 1-2g of sugar, 5-7g fiber, 14-15g of protein and 1-3g of carbs depending on the flavor. This is what they look like:

After about 5:30 PM I was starting to get really hungry even though I was trying to drink a protein drink every 2 hours. I didn't feel like I was starving or anything but there was a bit of hunger twinge, but I think mostly it was just my mouth and my head wondering why I have not chewed anything for so long. So since we were at Target (which is a rare treat for me), I decided to look for these tomato basil string cheeses I have been hearing about a lot lately and what do you know? They had them! And they are <1g of carb per stick with I think roughly 4g of protein? But do not quote me on that. I've had 4 of these today. This is the brand I got:

I had bought these the other day from Wal-Mart but I had a few cubes of these today as well:

My current boyfriend that I'm living with, his mother had made a homemade lentil soup that just had some lentils, onion and garlic all fresh. I had probably 2 oz of this. All-in-all today I was at about 18g of carbs total. This is what I'm trying to detox back off of and get back on track with my proper foods. This is all I've had today. Protein shakes, some cheese and a few bites of lentil soup. Even though I did not succeed with an all liquid diet for the day, I feel confident and content over what I did end up eating today. Being under 20g of carbs was not necessarily a goal but it is the carb rich foods that force your body to crave more more more of those carb filled foods. I'm trying to stop this craving.

Welcome to My World

Hello everyone! I hope I find you faring well today. Today is the day I decided to start documenting my journey. I will try to figure out how to set up an official About Me page with all the nitty gritty details about myself, but in a nutshell here goes..

My name is Sara and I'm 27 years old. As of June 27, 2012 I am now a weight loss surgery (WLS) post op patient. I opted to have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) after struggling with obesity for just about my entire life. I started "chunking out" when I was roughly 8 or 9 years old and just slowly progressed more and more into being over weight. Food has been a huge part of my family and it was only natural because of that for it to become a huge part of my life, too. The males in my father's side of the family have been of the Chef variety so good food and unhealthy treats were always available, particularly for Holidays. My grandmother on my mother's side was always a wiz in the kitchen when it came to making delicious treats. I don't blame any of my family for my struggles with weight. I am a firm believer that once you reach a certain age (12, 13 or so..) that you are well enough educated (generally speaking) to know good food from bad food.

So I've been lucky so far to have not developed any health problems such as diabetes, but I have had what they call "borderline" high blood pressure that they never felt was bad enough to treat with medicine. So as you can imagine, I had tried loads of different diets such as Weight Watchers, South Beach, soup diets, blah blah. The last one I tried was something called Roca Labs that was actually quite a nice success. I lost just almost 20 pounds in a 3 month period. Basically what it is is a formula consisting of fiber in which this thickens after you swallow a certain amount and "feed" it liquids throughout the day and "expel" it at night. Basically it was filling up a good portion of your stomach so that when you eat you feel fuller faster. This was not your typical dietary supplement. Actually, it isn't a supplement at all. It just fills up your stomach so that when you eat you feel full faster because literally, you are full of that stuff.

So it only made me want to have something like that more permanently. A boyfriend I was dating at the time and I had done some research about something that would help me for a more long term period. My sister had Gastric Bypass (RNY) roughly 4 years ago now so weight loss surgery has always been something I wanted desperately as a tool. I could see how it worked for her and longed to be able to have an opportunity for a tool like that. We (my boyfriend and I) looked into the surgery but since I do not have insurance it was just too costly out of pocket and I refused to go out of the country for the surgery. Apparently you can go out of state to a few different offering countries that have these surgeries for a cheaper price. I did not want to take any additional risks for my own personal life. I know a few people who have done VSG and other surgeries out of country and have done just fine but I've heard of a lot of complications and possible complications that have/can come of it.

 Anyway back on topic.. So we found that there was actually a bariatric surgeon in my very own hometown of Fort Myers, Florida. He does the surgeries in Naples, Florida but has a consult office in Fort Myers and also offers support groups there, as well. So we looked to see what they had to offer on their website and we found out about medical financing. It has not occurred to really request financing for medical specifically but it had been on our mind the possibility to finance it some other way, like a small loan or something. So we consulted the surgeon's office about it and they instructed us on what we could do to finance it (what companies they accept, etc) and after lots of paperwork and notaries and overnight shipping of documents, etc we were accepted for $15,000 out of $18,000. Then we had to have $3,000 down payment that we get back after we finish paying off the loan. So I thought I was out of luck but my boyfriend surprised me by paying the extra $5,000. So I had my surgery 2 weeks later! It went by soooo fast. By this time I had gained my weight back that I had lost earlier in the year. I was 353 by the time I was doing my pre-op diet which was 1 week long with only 2 days of clear liquids. Then when I left the hospital I was 340 pounds.

Today, roughly 4.5 months postop I am 294 pounds. I've lost a total of 59 pounds but since actual surgery I've lost 46 pounds. I've lost 1 pant size (from 30/32 to 28) and can wear from 4x to 3x shirts now.

It was brought to my attention that I should document my struggles and worries since I seem to have a bit of trouble getting through things just as the next person, but they find help in blogging so I am here to try my hand at it. I really hope this helps. So here I am :)