3 years & 11 months Post-Op

Today, 7/18/18, I am 3 years and 11 months Post-Op Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  My ‘sleeve’ still plays a role in my life, I still have restriction.  I can eat as much as somebody with a normal stomach who is watching their portions and calorie counting, but I will feel extremely full. On days when I don’t exercise (rest days), I maybe eat 1,200 calories.  But on days that I strength train and do cardio… I could eat anywhere from 1,600-2,000 calories.  However, currently I’m eating 1,600 calories a day, per my personal trainer.

I went on vacation the week July 2nd and I was going to be away from my gym (which is at work), so I got a gym membership at Axiom Fitness, and also decided to get a personal trainer.  I signed up for a 4 month commitment just to see where I’m at as far as how heavy I’m lifting and where I’m at endurance wise.  She set me up to eat 1,600 calories per day (150g protein, 160g carbs, 40g fat), and I will meet with her once a week for a 60 minute training session.

I can’t believe that in one month from today I will be 4 years post-op.  It doesn’t seem like its been that long.  Part of me is mad at myself for having not reached my goal weight yet.  How did I lose 125 lbs just to gain 45 lbs back.  Good news is, I’ve lost 35 lbs of that regain and as of today I’m sitting at 235 lbs.  10 lbs until my lowest adult weight and 35-50 lbs until “goal weight”… I used to think my goal weight should be within the “healthy BMI” range, which for somebody who is 5’9″ would be 126 to 168 lbs.

According to my latest InBody Scan, my lean body mass (skeleton, muscle, organs, water) is 148 lbs.  If I were to weigh 168 lbs, that means I’d only have 12% Body Fat… which is not a healthy range, I’d look like a skeleton at 168 lbs.  I’m currently sitting at approximately 40% Body Fat.  The goal is to get down to 25-30% Body Fat, which means that I should get to 200 lbs right?!

More to come…

 

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4 Years Later…

I started this blog in May of 2014 with the intention of getting my story out there and possibly helping as many people as possible with their decision to (or not to) get weight loss surgery.  My 4 year surgiversary is quickly approaching (8/18/18) and I have a few things to update ya’ll on.

Since my last post in Novemberof 2015 a lot has happened. At that point in time my weight was 228 lbs and little did I know that I was only going to lose 3 more lbs, then gain 45 lbs back.

You heard that right.  I gained 45 lbs from January 2016 to October 2017.  It’s really hard to put that out there, but it happens.  I never thought it would happen to me.  I look back on my blog posts and see how adamant I was about never becoming who I was again!  Stepping on the scale (having avoided it for over 6 months) in October 2017 really opened my eyes, 270 lbs, wow.

Lets look at a timeline of what happened over the last 2.5 years…

December 2015 – 16 months post op, hit 225 lbs (125 lbs lost)

January 2016 – Completed a half-marathon, was feeling super accomplished.  I’m pretty sure I took everything for granted and started eating however I wanted again.

February 2016 – 230 lbs…and slowly stopped weighing myself for a while

June 2016 – 240 lbs… and at this point I must have realized, holy shit “I gained 15 lbs!” because I started weighing again every day and apparently changed something because the weight was sloooooowly coming off again.

July 2016 – 238 lbs

August 2016 – 2 years post op, weighing in at 236 lbs… seems like I gave up around mid August, because I stopped weighing myself, again.

September 2016 – Received a job promotion w/ relocation and started prepping my move to Boise, ID from Anaheim, CA.

October 2016 – moved to Boise, ID

November 2016 – 238 lbs, surprisingly ‘maintained’ for the 6 months prior to this.

January 2017 – 248 lbs… This is when I started drinking very heavily on the weekends.  I was drinking about 3 bottles of wine every Saturday.  And I was NOT watching what I was eating.

March 2017 – 259 lbs… What the hell was I doing?!?!?

April 2017 – 260 lbs, seeing this must have kicked my ass into gear because, check May out.

May 2017 – 253 lbs… deleted my Instagram account because I was feeling like a failure and I was under a microscope.  I didn’t feel like I was a good role model.

June 2017 – 260 lbs, whoops just kidding, gave up again.

Stopped weighing myself after that, and I was very depressed.

October 2017 – 270 lbs… wow Michelle, just wow. I decided I really had to change, otherwise I would keep losing 5 lbs, but then gaining 10 right back.  I joined Weight Watchers, and it definitely was an eye opener.

November 2017 – 264 lbs

December 2017 – 260 lbs… but then I let Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Years get in the way…

January 2018 – 263 lbs, stopped doing Weight Watchers… didn’t want to pay the fee anymore and felt like I learned enough to move forward on my own.

February 2018 – 260 lbs… made a new Instagram account and started getting very serious about getting the weight off and I was working out 5 days a week (cardio).

March 2018 – 253 lbs… started lifting weights 5 days a week with some cardio at the tail end (15 min elliptical warm-up, 45-60 min strength training, 20-30 min cardio).

April 2018 – 253 lbs

May 2018 – 251 lbs… was stalled for a very long time, decided to cut out Dairy.

June 2018 – 242 lbs

As of today, 6/25/18, I am 238 lbs, where I was when I moved to Boise, ID.  It has taken me 4.5 months to lose the damage I caused over the course of 1 year and 8 months. Now my next little goal is to lose 13 more lbs to reach my lowest.  I really wanted to hit 225 lbs (again) by my 4 year surgiversary, but I’ve been losing about 5 lbs a month on average.  I’m a little less than 8 weeks away.  According to MyFitnessPal, I can achieve this goal, but… I doubt it. I’ll be happy if I’m 230 lbs by then, I think that is doable.

With all of this said, please don’t give up. Keep going. Do not let 5…10…15 lbs of regain deter you from reaching your goals.  I wish I could go back and slap my old self from 2 years ago.  However, I’m stronger now (mentally and physically) than I ever have been.  I am 100% honest when I say, I’m glad I regained 45 lbs, it has taught me a lot and has given me the wake up call I needed to make this a lifestyle change.  I look forward to waking up at 5am and going to the gym every day to push myself to the limit.  It excites me.  I am no longer putting shitty food in my body on a daily basis.  I don’t go out drinking with my coworkers anymore.  I am not going to look back on this in 2 years from now and think ‘What the hell happened this time?!’

 

15 Months Later

Time flies.

I can’t believe I had weight loss surgery 15 months ago.  I’m now down to 228 lbs, which brings me to 122 lbs lost. I have a BMI of 33, which still categorizes me as obese… Obese class 1 to be exact. Once I hit 200 lbs I’ll be in the overweight category and once I hit 169 lbs I’ll be normal. The high side of normal, but normal.  I can’t see myself losing another 60 lbs though, it seems so crazy.

Still don’t regret my decision to have weight loss surgery. Best decision I’ve ever made. Advice I can give to those that are looking to have weight loss surgery, lose as much weight as you possibly can in your first 6 months post op because it slows down tremendously after that. High protein, low carb. Going low carb at first was easy for me, but after 6 months I started working carbs back in… And they’re oh so yummy.

Something I’ve struggled with, getting my water in. I don’t drink nearly as much water as I should. I’m lucky to drink 32 oz of water a day when I should be doubling that.

Thats all for now. Not much else to say!

Run Michelle, Run.

It has been a while hasn’t it? I’ve totally neglected my blog.

I’ve lost 21 more lbs since my last blog entry on February 10th, bringing me down to 239 lbs with a total loss of 111 lbs so far.  The weight loss has definitely slowed down. Even though I’m still eating way less calories than my body burns, it seems to still want to hold onto this fat.

In order to lose more weight I need to push my body further and harder than I’m used to.  I have to step out of my comfort zone of walking and into the uncharted territory of running.

I downloaded an app on my phone called Couch to 5k otherwise known as C25k.  It’s an 8 week program that brings you from sitting on a couch to running/jogging a 5k.  I’m on week 2 and I’m surprised at how well I’m doing. I’m able to complete every training session without stopping. It consists of a 5 minute warm up walk, then a 20 minutes period of alternating between jogging and walking, then a 5 minute cool down walk.  I have a ridiculous amount of energy now and I actually get excited to complete each session.

Once I have the 5k down I will be training for a 10k, then a 15k, then a half marathon.

I’ll be doing the Dodgers 15k on September 13, 2015 (in 13 weeks) and the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon on January 17, 2016 (in 32 weeks).

I got this.

This is not a piece of cake.

If anyone tells you having weight loss surgery is the easy way out, please tell them to kindly go F$%& themselves.  I’m almost 6 months post op. The honeymoon stage is over.  From here on out, this will be my hard work and wise choices. I’ve been making wise choices/ (for the most part) from the beginning, but there were times I slipped up.

I can stomach anything and everything.  I could sit and eat things like pretzels and popcorn all day… but I won’t. For some odd reason, snack food does not get me full, protein gets me full fast, but nothing else does. If I wanted to, I could drink frappucinos 24/7 and gain all my weight back. However, now that I’ve lost 90 lbs since my highest weight, I don’t want to ever let myself be the person I used to be.  I’m so much more happier and outgoing now.

I wake up and I actually WANT to go exercise.  I’ve been hiking every weekend, just as a Sunday thing, but now I want to go during the week as well.  I used to just walk a half mile out, and walk the half mile back to my house.  Now I’ll walk 4-6 miles at one time.  I’ll slowly work up to jogging and running as well.

So I’m down to 260 lbs from 350 lbs.  I’ve lost 60 lbs since surgery, 90 lbs overall.  That averages to 10 lbs lost per month, which my surgeon and personal trainer say is a good amount of weight to lose per month. According to my trainer I have about 100 lbs of fat left to lose and 10 lbs of muscle to gain.

Furthermore, I’ve even had 3 long stalls  that lasted a month each time.  So if you’re reading this and you stall or plateau a lot, don’t get discouraged, it is normal and it’ll eventually fall off.

5 Months Post-Op

My last blog entry was right before Thanksgiving on November 22nd, I weighed 278 lbs.

Then on December 22nd I weighed in at 268 lbs, I lost 10 lbs in 1 month, not too shabby.

Since December 22nd I’ve been teetering between 265-268 lbs! So far I’m at a 3 week stall.  I’m almost 5 months out (as of January 18th), these kind of stalls are expected.  It is terribly frustrating though!!!

So when I disappear from my blog for a month at a time, you can understand why.


I’ve been keeping track of my measurements though…

June 6, 2014 December 28, 2015
Weight 350 lbs 265  lbs
Neck 14.5 13.5
Chest 49 45
Waist 42 38.5
Hips 58 51
Bicep 19 17
Forearm 11.5 11
Thigh 36 31
Calf 20 18
250 inches 225 inches

I’ve lost 25 inches and 85 lbs!  I think that’s good, I’m not really sure what is a good amount of inches to lose along with 85 lbs.


In other news, I started going to the gym again, after having not been in over 1.5 years.  I got back with my personal trainer as well… I can never make myself as sore as he makes me. Yesterday was arm day and he killed me.  I can hardly get my clothes on and off. It hurts to buckle my seat belt, it hurts to turn the steering wheel, I’m a hot mess, but it’s a great feeling to be sore again.

I told him that my goal was to tone up and build muscle, and hopefully that will help with my skin elasticity.  I’m also hoping to hit 100 lbs lost by my 6 month surgiversary on February 18th!  I have 5.5 weeks to lose 15 lbs! That’s roughly 3 lbs a week that I need to lose! I can and will do this!


Oh oh oh!  I’m going to New York City on January 16th!  First time ever!  The girl I’m staying with is somebody I met on WordPress, and she also had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy! Go figure!


Not much else to report right now, so here are some pictures…

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3 Months Post Op

Hey There!!!

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Left: August 18, 2014                          Right: November 22, 2014

These past 3 months since surgery have flown by extremely fast. Back in May 2014, when I was considering surgery, I would have no idea the drastic changes that would take place in the 6 months that followed.

To recap, I weighed approximately 350 lbs at my highest known weight (I’m 5’9″ fyi). I had vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery on August 18th, 2014.  As of today I am 278 lbs.  I’m down 72 lbs in 4 months (I include the month before surgery because I kicked ass that month and lost 30 lbs.)  The last time I was in the 270’s was when I was 20 years old (10 years ago WTF!!!!)  Aaaand I want to lose another 100 lbs.  That seems almost impossible, but I’ve already lost 70 lbs, so I’m almost halfway there.


So if you’re curious what I eat on a daily basis…

Breakfast

Consists of either a protein shake or a greek yogurt with pumpkin seeds.

Lunch

Leftovers (protein of course)! I’m always eating people’s leftovers. What would last somebody 1 meal will last me 3 meals.

If I don’t have leftovers I usually eat a frozen Morningstar veggie patty with some pickles and whatever condiment I feel like having.

Dinner

Chicken… for the most part.

Snacks

Cheese, lunch meat, almonds, peanuts, edamame, hard boiled eggs, etc.


These food choices gets really boring. Sometimes I’ll stand at the fridge, door wide open, staring into the abyss.  Not knowing what I’m going to eat. I probably do that 5 times a day and never pick anything out.  I never have HUNGER pains. I just know when its time to eat, when I need protein, etc.  I’m not going to lie, there have been several days where I’ve only eaten once, simply because I forgot to eat the other 2 times. There have been days where I haven’t drank enough water and I paid dearly for it the next day! Dehydration is not a joke folks.  Get your water in. Please.


On another note, I want to give a shout out to all of you who are cheering for me.  Do you know that I’m one of the VERY few people that tell everyone they know about their surgery?  SO MANY people keep it a secret.  I would like to say that 9 out of 10 people that lose a drastic amount of weight have had weight loss surgery.  I’ve met several weight loss surgery patients in real life/instagram/facebook and they would never tell anybody outside of their parents about the surgery… hell I think there are some people out there that don’t tell their parents. The reason why these weight loss surgery patients don’t tell anybody about the surgery is because they’re afraid they will be judged or gossiped about. F that!

What is it in people that thinks it gives them the right to judge other people’s actions? Especially if those actions only affect the person making the decision.  Weight loss surgery helps people, it doesn’t hinder them.  Sure there are people that gain their weight back, but they make very poor choices.  They eat because of head hunger, not because they’re really hungry. They graze all day, snack, whatever you want to call it.

Long story short, thanks for not judging me and thanks for all of your support.

And if you’re reading this and you had weight loss surgery and kept it a secret, screw all the haters and the people who you think would judge you. They aren’t worth being in your life if they would judge you anyway.