Weight Loss Ticker

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Getting Weight Loss Surgery!

Hello All... I've been gone from "Blogger Land" so long that I'm not sure if anyone is still out there. If there is, thanks for reading. If not, that's fine because someone will eventually stumble across this one day or I'll need to go back to this for inspiration or something. So my writing is not in vain. If you are reading, thanks a lot. Feel free to leave a comment.

Anyway, A LOT has changed since I last posted. I gained a crap-load of my weight back and I decided that traditional weight loss methods will also have to be combined with surgical ones. Loosing the weight has never been a problem for me. It always comes off. Keeping it off has always been another story. I'm not giving up. I'm not taking the easy way out and I'm not lazy. If that's what you think weight loss surgery (WLS) is all about, you have absolutely no idea how much work and dedication it takes to even get through the approval process, let alone live the lifestyle that I'm preparing to commit myself to.

Maybe you're against WLS. Maybe you've had it. Maybe you've only heard bad things about it. Maybe you're indifferent to it. Whatever the case may be, over the next couple of years, I plan on sharing the good, the bad, the ugly and the raw truth about WLS as I go through it. I also plan on talking about day to day life and miscellaneous ramblings from my mind but since WLS will be such a big part of my life, I decided to document it.

Sometimes I feel "insane" for signing up for this. So this blog was appropriately entitled "Shanita's Journey to Insanity and Beyond". LOL

Right now, I'm about 70% through the insurance process. I thank God that my insurance is not very strict. There are a lot of requirements but it isn't as bad as other people that I have met. Of course, the first step was that I had to take was to prove that I was even a candidate for bariatric surgery. No problem! I'm 5 feet tall and weight 245 pounds. Persons that want to be considered as candidates should have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more with comorbidities (other medical problems attributed to their weight, i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and PCOS to name a few). People with a BMI of 40 or more are generally considered candidates. My BMI is a 49. Normal is 18.5 to 24.9. You do the math.

*Let me stop right now and warn you all that I am not a doctor or any other type of medical professional. I explain things in terminology that us laypeople can understand. You should never take anything I say here as medical advice or anything other than my opinion*

Anyway, once it's settled that you are a "candidate", your approval process begins. This is where you begin to jump through random hoops for your insurance company. Some bariatric programs and surgeons have their own requirements that they would like their patients to meet. There is no getting around these requirements and fast forwarding through to a surgery date. I have heard of some folks going to Mexico and self paying to cut through some of the red tape. Others do it because they are uninsured or under-insured. That is an option but I don't know anyone personally that has done it so I can't personally endorse it or knock it.

In the last couple of months, I have had a sleep study, an EKG, an upper GI, a horrible barium swallow test, an ultrasound of my liver, random blood tests, and I'm not finished yet. I'm also required to undergo 3 months of medical weight management, get cleared by a psychiatrist, attend a nutrition class and a support group. The requirements after surgery are even more stringent but I know it will all be worth it in the end. I will complete my 2nd medical weight management appointment next Monday.

You may have noticed by now that I keep referring to this as WLS instead of specifying which surgery I plan on having.There are basically 4 types being performed today. There is the platinum standard, also referred to as the D.S. or  Duodenal Switch. Unfortunately, my center does not do this surgery. This surgery has the highest success rates but it also has the highest rate of nutritional deficiencies in the long run. Then there is the gold standard and probably most common surgery, the gastric bypass. There is the lap-bad, which my center tries to discourage patients from getting due to the many complications and slow weight loss. Lastly, there is the VSG (sleeve procedure) which is relatively new for weight loss purposes in the U.S. but quickly growing. 

I've spent many hours studying the pros and cons of each surgery. At this point, I realize that regardless of which surgery I choose, my success is ultimately up to me. I'm leaning more toward the gastric bypass but considering the sleeve as well. I will make a final and firm decision on 7/29 (which is also my brother's birthday)  when I meet with the surgeon. It's ultimately my decision but I will take whatever he has to say very seriously into consideration. I'm formulating a list of questions for him now. If anyone has any they would like me to ask him, feel free to let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Welcome to my journey beyond insanity!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vow Renewal and Progress (or lack therof)

Hey Folks... It's been a long time since I've posted to this blog. A lot has been going on lately. We renewed our vows in Jamaica a couple of weeks ago. The ceremony was beautiful. Here's a pic of me and the hubby.

We had a really great turnout. 15 relatives and friends joined us for the occasion. I couldn't have asked for better weather either. The forcast called for weather everyday we were there. But you know what? We get a drop of rain that day. It was extreemly hot but no rain. See how happy we all are?
I'm not quite sure what's wrong with the date stamp and time on this pic but you guys get the idea. Right? Anyhoo... We had a really good time and I can't wait to go back. In fact, I can see myself going back to Jamaica every other year if not every year. I absolutely loved it! Here's a few more pics my special day.
 I just had to modify the preacher's words to my own taste. I was SO happy and excited here. I would marry this man over and over again. (I really would like to do that every 5 years.)

I know father's don't usually walk the brie down the aisle for a renewal but we eloped the first time. My father cried at the honor....

 This is (right to left) my step-mother, father, ME, and my "OTS", Tiffany
 Me and my Papa Bear again
 This is a little out of order but that was me on my way to the wedding...

 I liked this picture.... Everything was absolutely spectacular.

Yes, I ate that cake and everything else I saw. I was on a "see-food diet". If they let me see it I was ready to eat it. I really have to do better folks. I didn't reach my goal weight by the wedding but I have a good time anyway. That's been a valuable lesson for me. I need to stop being so concerned with dates and deadlines and remember that I'm in this for the long haul. Maybe if I say that enough I'll start to believe it and do what I need to accomplish those goals one day soon. Until we speak again....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Here We Go Again....

Hello Blog World!

I've been away for quite some time. I wish that I could tell you I continued to do all the things I purposed in my heart as far as getting healthier and better shape but I haven't. In fact, I've been doing pretty much whatever I wanted to do stopping myself only when others are around. Comments like "are you really going to eat all that?" or, "I thought you were on a diet", and my favorite "that's why you're fat" are SO not helping. Yeah, I know most people call themselves helping but it becomes irking to have someone question everything you lift to put into your mouth.

I was ashamed.

Then I got angry...

There's nothing more frustrating than the skinny friend who has never struggled with her waist line, let alone obesity a day in her life telling you how to loose weight. Like, WTF... Who asked you?  What do you know?

I found myself saving certain meals or snacks until  I could be alone and not hear anyone's criticism. But why should I have to do that? I'm grown. Right???? On the other-hand, aren't I the same one that told everyone that I needed help. So why am I getting so mad at people for helping me?

At this point, I'm confused...

Maybe food therapy would help...

So, I hate to sound like a broken record but I'm going to give it another go. I'll start out simply by reducing carbs limiting them to one day per week and whole grain stuff only on that day. I'll continue to stay away from fried and fast food. I will also be starting the 30 Day Shred over again today. I figure I shouldn't get too bored with 20-25 minutes of HIIT per day. We'll see.....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Better Luck Next Time

Hey Folks. Happy Friday!!! I have been really looking forward to this long weekend. It'll be a 4 day weekend for me and my baby is headed to first grade on Tuesday. He's not looking forward to trading in summer trips for book reports but he'll get over it. I hope....

The last time we talked I told you guys I was going to try to finish up the C25K week 5, run #3. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I was well into the 20min running phase when suddenly I felt weak and sore all over. These weren't my normal running aches and pains. This felt as if it was something serious. I had already not been feeling like myself lately with feelings of what Web MD diagnosed as fibromyalgia . I felt numbness, soreness and burning aching pain. I tried to push through the pain and get through the workout but it wasn't happening.

I felt so defeated. This was the first time in over a year that I started a workout and didn't finish it. I reasoned that it was better to be safe than sorry and seek some real medical attention and lean not to my own medical understanding which is very limited seeing that I'm an Accountant in a hospital and know nothing about the clinical side. I forget that every now and again. (LOL)

I went to the doctor and she conducted a series of tests to analyze my strength (and I think coordination). She was pleased with my performance and decided to run "a few tests". When I got to the lab, "a few tests" ended up being 8 tubes of blood. Needless to say, I became even more concerned. The lab tech was not sure what all of the tests were for. Among the ones she did understand were cholesterol, diabetes, thyroids, blood count, anemia, and rheumatoid something or other. I know this is bad but I'm really hoping that my thyroid is behind my weight issues. Oh, how nice it would be to pop a pill and be a healthy weight again. I don't even need to be skinny - just healthy (and sexy would be nice too, LOL), Shoot, I'll settle for having only one stomach.

Anywho.. I decided to take it easy for a few days until the results come back unless I wake up feeling like my old self again. I'm really hoping that this is all in my mind or stress related from me being so disappointed in my weight loss (or lack thereof). So for now, I guess I'll just have to wait. Maybe I'll try to do some low impact exercise and gradually build my way back up. Again, I can't believe I failed to finish week 5.  I won't give up. Better luck next time...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weight Loss Surgery?

Today is a new day. Yesterday was rough for me. I was feeling pretty down and ready to just give up on this whole weight loss journey and accept the reality that I'm a "fit fat girl" and that's probably all I'll ever be unless I get gastric bypass. The thought of having weight loss surgery has crossed my mind several times but friends would always talk me out of it. They say things to me like "that's the lazy way out", or "you don't need that", or "just work harder".

And that's easy for them to say because when they look in the mirror and see themselves they don't see what I see when I look at myself. Now I realize that I've come a long way and I could be heavier but it really sucks to put your best foot forward and still come up short every time. To be honest, the only reason I haven't gotten the surgery is because I was holding out hope that I would have another baby. I'll be 30 in November (Lord willing) and would sorta like to wrap up the baby making business by then. I have a 13 year old daughter and a 6 year old son so I don't think I need to space these kids out any further than I'm already doing. Otherwise, I'll be one of those grandparents with babies that are younger than their grandchildren. I know I shouldn't judge but I find it kinda tacky.

Thoughts of having weight loss surgery have resurfaced now that the baby ideas are pretty much out of the window. I've been doing a lot of research on the procedure and the idea of having to take pills everyday afterward is my new biggest deterrent. UGH! Where is the "magic pill" that makes healthy food taste like your favorite bad foods? I'm so waiting for one that can make cauliflower taste like cake. Yes, I'm 29 years old and can't swallow a pill to save my life (or my figure).

I  know several people who have had the surgery and gained all of their weight back. I'm not quite sure how or why you would go through all that to return to your old weight and heavier. But hey, who am I to judge? Then there is the issue of hanging skin or expensive, elective surgery to have it removed. But then there are those that had the surgery, kept the weight off, came off medications and are happy they decided to go through with the process. I would hope that if I did talk myself and husband into me having the surgery that I would be in the latter group and use surgery as a tool and not a crutch.

I haven't given up my "old fashioned" weight loss efforts. I'm just bouncing the surgery idea around a bit. I've been putting off finishing up week 5 of my C25K running program. I'm a little intimidated at the thought of running 20min without stopping. I'm not sure why because I used to do it everyday when I had a treadmill at home. I've been having bad pains throughout my body. I was going to hold off on working out until after my appointment tomorrow but I figured one little workout won't do too much more damage if any. I'm just looking forward to finishing week 5 up so I can go back to my running/walking intervals.

There's been a lot going on lately so I probably need the 20min run to clear my mind. I know I've been in a bit of a funk lately. This too shall pass. I decided that this is my blog. It's not doing me any good to be pretentious. Do I like this journey? Yes, but it gets hard sometimes. If I can post the good, I can post the bad as well. Hopefully, one day (soon) I'll look back on these bad days and laugh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Peice of My Mind....

Poor Pity me:
"I'm depressed. There I've said it. I feel selfish to feel so down. I have a wonderful family, a pretty decent job and good health. So what the heck gives me the right to feel depressed because I can't stop stuffing my big fat mouth? There are plenty people in this world that don't have enough to eat, let alone eat just because they are bored. But here I am blessed beyond measure and all I can seem to do is complain? I ought to be ashamed of myself."

Bitchy me:
"Girl, if you don't pull yourself up by your bootstraps, find some motivation and do what you need to do to get where you want to be than you deserve to feel down. Get over yourself. You didn't become morbidly obese overnight and you damn sure won't see the 100's overnight and your diet is SO not helping you get there. You can run on the treadmill until you turn blue in the face but if you keep taking in more calories than your expending, you'll always be round".

Am I the only one that has these conversations with themselves? I feel crazy for even asking. Sure other people get frustrated with themselves and go back and forth rationalizing wrongs and giving themselves pep-talks but I think I may take it to another level. I just can't understand why I can't seem to get it right. Just reading this as I'm typing it I can see that what I need is "balance".

Balance has always been an issue with me. I started this blog in hopes that I would stay motivated and it would keep me accountable to myself and whomever I should meet out there in blog-land. Well, at first I was blogging everyday and even twice per day. But somehow that got down to me being lucky if I was even blogging once a week. See what I mean? Balance, I need balance.

I have some really good food days where I stick to the script and eat only meats and veggies. I don't mind working out. In fact, I love it. At times, I can work out everyday and follow the diet but as soon as I have one slip up, I'm back to the races. My binges are usually followed with severe guilt and promises to myself that I'll get it together, I'll change, I'll stay away from people, places and things that drive me to eat. But....

Wait a minute... I sound like a damn "foodaholic". Then again, I guess that's what I am. How can things that taste so good to me be so bad for me? Why is it that others can eat whatever they want and gain nothing yet, I have one weekend where I have two normal dinners and all of my handwork for the week is undone. Why me???
But then I hear a voice that asks, "why not you?" Why can't I get through this? I know I haven't been the best Christian lately BUT one thing I know for sure is that ALL things are truly possible through Christ. My prayer is that I will earnestly, wholeheartedly bring Him into this journey and in fact, ask Him to lead me. I can't do this alone. I'm very unsuccessful like a fat hamster running fast as she can on a wheel but only managing to go in circles (literally and metaphorically, LOL). Seriously though, I don't want to seek the Lord on a regular basis just for this but I do believe He's allowed me to fail so miserably at this to call to my attention to the fact that I can't do anything without him.

I get the point, Lord but please help your fat child down here.

I know this post is all over the place. I had no idea where I was going with it when I started. My vow renewal is October 18th (a little over a month away) and I am only 4 lbs closer to my 30lb weight loss goal. I'm considering going back to the weight loss doctor and taking his crazy appetite suppressants just to look good in my dress but there may not even be enough time for that. I lost 14lbs in 2 weeks before without exercise so imagine what I could do running on top of that.

I'm not too sure about making it to the gym today. I've been having really bad body aches. It started in my knees and radiated to my back, legs, wrists ankles and even my eyeballs hurt. I've been really tired and just weak. I'm sort of thinking its more of a matter of me being stressed about this journey than it is of me hurting myself with all the impact of running. But I have a Dr's. appointment on Thursday so I'll let her tell me what's wrong with me and steer clear of Web MD. Regardless of how I feel, I'll be back in the gym tomorrow as I haven't been there since Friday and NEED to get at least 3 runs in per week to prepare for the 5K (October 2nd). If I'm feeling up to it, I'll try to knock out level 2 of Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" but I'm not making myself any promises. 

I'm depressed. I shouldn't be. Everyone has their struggles. I know its okay to feel however I feel but I don't want to allow these feelings to consume me so much that they become physical ailments. I have to make some choices and some changes or October 18th will come and I'll look like a whale on my beach wedding...

Thanks for listening....

Monday, August 29, 2011

C25K - Week 5, Day 1 & 2

I started week 5 of the Couch to 5K program yesterday. I was terrified at the thought of the three intervals of 5 minute runs. Everything seemed to be getting in the way. My new sports bra was too big so "The Twins" didn't have the support they needed. (That was a first considering most sports bras are too small for my DD's). Anyway, the Pandora application on my cell phone was not cooperating and there wasn't anything good on the TV in front of my treadmill. I wanted to quit even before I started. I'm glad I didn't.

As I progress in the program, I'm discovering that there is "freedom" in the longer periods of running because I'm in less of a rush to check the time, distance or speed on the treadmill. I know I have a lot to do so I'm able to just take it in stride and enjoy it. I'm also happy to report that I maintained my usual slow running speed of 4MPH throughout the workout. I'm planning on increasing this once I get my stamina together.

I got my last run in before Hurricane Irene on Friday evening. I was supposed to go back to the gym today but I just don't feel like it. Rather than push myself and not perform as well as I should, I'm going to take another day off. I'll be back at it tomorrow (hopefully). I think the real reason why I'm procrastinating is the thought of the 20min straight that I have to run without any breaks. Pray for me yall.... I can say that the program has built my confidence to the point where I know that I can do the run and the only person stopping me is me.

I haven't lost any more weight but I do feel that I may be loosing inches. Therefore, I've decided to do the 30 Day Shred 4 days a week and run the other 3 or something like that. I'm not sure...

Day 2 was murder! I had to run 8 min. intervals this time. I'm really looking forward to the 3rd and final run of week 5. That's when I have to do the 20min straight. If I get through that, I know I'll be able to get through 60min. of straight running and I should be able to do my 5K in 45min. (I know, it's not a high goal but its huge for me. LOL)