Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter


Monday, August 26, 2013

                                          Tomorrow is the Big Day!

So I missed a couple of days blogging.  We have been having internet problems and hopefully that is all behind us now!

So I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am tomorrow for my 7:30 am surgery.  I am not a morning person so the sooner they put me under anesthesia so I can sleep, the better :)  Seriously, I am really not nervous at all.  I have had quite a few surgeries in my life so for the most part I know what to expect.  I was pleasantly surprised earlier this evening when I received a phone call from a Dr. Gardner who said he will be my anesthesiologist tomorrow and he wondered if I had any questions.  I have never had a call from one of the docs involved in a surgery before.  I am more and more impressed with Parker Adventist Hospital the more I deal with them. 

Today was Day 7 of the liquid diet.  For those of you who are pre-op, it really wasn't that bad.  I highly recommend that you add broth and sugar free jello to your regime.  I didn't the 1st two days because I didn't understand that I could have them on this phase.  When the dietitian in the doc's office told me that I was very happy and it helped so much!

Well, I am going to log off and get ready for the big experience!  I'm sure it will be a while before I get back on here but I will have lots to share!

Friday, August 23, 2013

                              Day 4 of Liquid Diet

Wow, this is actually getting really easy.  They told me it would about day 4 but I tend to be a bit of a skeptic.  Yesterday when I was at the surgeon's office I saw, Erica, the dietitian and was picking her brain about this pre-op liquid diet and discovered there was more I could have than just the protein shakes.  She told me I could have low-sodium broth and sugar-free jello and that it would count as part of my fluid intake.  That may not sound like a big deal but I found having something a little salty/savory like chicken broth has made all the difference in the world!  I am someone who loves my sweets/sugar but 3 days of sweet protein shakes was getting old.  So I had some chicken broth as part of my "dinner" last night and as part of my "lunch" today and I have to tell you, grandma is a much happier camper now, lol!

Yesterday as I mentioned, I saw my surgeon for the pre-op visit and we talked about all the possibilities of complications that were at all possible.  The list is actually quite long but I figure it this way.  I am quite literally dying from the complications of obesity anyway.  My health has gone to heck in a hand basket the last few years and I feel I have nothing to lose.  Besides I truly believe what scripture says in Hebrews 9:27, that it is appointed unto men once to die.  I believe this means we each have that appointed time that only God knows and when it is my time, it is my time.  So I am going for it and expecting a good outcome either way!

Another plus of this liquid diet is that I have dropped 2 more pounds.  That means since the day I 1st met Dr. Long (4/29/13) I am down 24 lbs. Now there are people who will be saying, "Well, why do you even need this surgery?  If you can lose weight without it why don't you just keep doing what you're doing?"  If you've read this blog from the beginning then you know that I have lost weight on my own, substantial amounts, several times!  I just believe after all my research that I need this tool (the gastric bypass) to help me to really change once and for all who I am as it relates to food and eating.  I will still be the one who has to do the hard work involved.  The surgery is not a magic button that makes it so I never want to overeat again but it does offer me a better chance to turn around my many health issues (diabetes, oxygen use, bad joints, hypertension, heart issues, etc.) At my age it has become much more about saving my life than looking good.  I had pretty much given up on myself but this surgical option has given me hope and a new outlook that I haven't felt for many years.

That is about all I've got for today.  Only 3 full days left before my surgery.  Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

                                  Moving Right Along!

So today was kind of a big day.  First I went to the hospital for blood work and to get registered for my surgery.  That took an hour and 15 minutes.  Then I went to my surgeons office for my pre-op meeting with him.  Now first off I have to say that my surgeon, Dr. Joshua Long and all of his staff are just so incredibly awesome.  When I began this journey back in April I had no clue what a Center of Excellence was but I have to say, now that I've done so much research and truly understand what this means, The Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado in Parker meets and exceeds everything I have read that you want to have in a doctor's office when you start down this path.  And even though I am a 63 y/o grandmother I will say that it does not hurt when your surgeon is really easy on the eyes either, lol!

Dr. Long really took his time with me and went over everything I can expect to happen the day of surgery.  He filled me in on every possible complication that could possibly happen.  I am a bit of a higher risk than most patients due to several co-morbidities and while we do not expect any bad things to happen, I really appreciated that he took the time to explain what each thing was and what could cause it to happen.  Because of my issues he told me I will go home with a drain for 2 weeks.  The goal of the drain is to help the insides heal well.

We went over each and every one of my meds and which ones I needed to stop now and which ones I should continue until the day of surgery.  I discovered that one of the meds I am on for arthritis pain, Celebrex, is one that I will have to discontinue as it is not good for a bypass patient.  It helps a lot with the pain so I am just praying big time now that getting 100 lbs off my joints will stop most of the pain! And because I am on blood thinners I will have to stop them and bridge the time til surgery and a few days after with a drug called Lovenox.  It is injected in the stomach twice a day.  I have had to do this before for other surgeries so it is no big deal to me.  Plus, since I am diabetic I am used to injecting myself.

Today is also my 3rd day on the liquid diet.  I'm really not experiencing hunger, just that urge to want to eat because it is what  we do, right?  I am supposed to get 5 shakes in each day and I am finding myself surprised that I am having trouble doing that!  Who knew I would ever have trouble getting any kind of food or drink in??!!  Today, because I got a late start due to the appointments and had to be fasting for my blood work, I am really struggling.  It was nearly 1pm before I got home from the doctor's and I have only gotten 2 shakes in so far and it is after 5pm!  I have a feeling I may only get 4 in today.

Oh, and I also took my measurements today!  I sure wish I had thought to take them before I lost 22lbs but better late than never, right?  I am going be brave and post them here.

Neck - 17 inches
Upper Arm - 17 inches  How can my neck and my arm be the same size?!
Upper Chest - 44
Across Breasts - 47
Waist - 44
Hips - 50
Thigh - 27
Directly above Knee - 19
Calf - 17
Ankle - 11

I know, it does not give you a visual of a very pretty sight but it is what it is and if I am going to be any help to anyone who has had this kind of surgery or who is contemplating it then I must be honest.  And so there you have it, friends :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

                                        My Story - Part 3

So yesterday I left off with the saga of my experience with my Diet Center franchise. That fiasco was over in 1991.  And when I say over, I only mean that we closed the business.  I was soon to learn that in some ways it would never be over for me and for the next 20+ years I would allow it to affect much of what I did or did not do.  I continued for  most of that time to avoid going anywhere that I might run into someone associated in anyway with Diet Center.  That included clients, other Diet Center owners, their employees, my ex-employees, etc.  So every time anyone wanted to go to The Renaissance Fair, Taste of Colorado, an amusement park, a fair or festival of any kind, I would make up an excuse why I couldn't go.  I was so ashamed that I had failed.  I felt like I failed all of the people that I had worked with over the 7 years that my business was open.  I had believed we could all keep our weight off and now I proved I was a fraud.  At least that is what the voices in my head continually told me.

Meanwhile, I was continuing to gain weight.  I just felt like I didn't care anymore how big I got.  I am very blessed to have a husband who loves me in spite of any dumb or crazy thing I do but I didn't love me. 
This was at my son Eric's wedding and as you can see I had gained a lot of weight, for the first time I was well over 200, about 235 or so.

Finally, I had another chance to get healthy.  I was offered a chance to be part of a 10 year study looking at the effects of even a small weight loss on the heart health of diabetics.  As with most things, Ms. OCD jumped in with both feet.  While I weighed about 198 when I started the Diet Center program I now weighed 243 when I started the LookAHEAD study.  I was in the intensive lifestyle intervention part of the study and met with my mentor/counselor, Marsha, once a week and started on a healthy plan that included 2 liquid meals a day (either slim-fast or glucerna) and 1 healthy meal of real food.  I even got my developmentally disabled daughter, Shannon, following the regimen with me.  Over the next year I dropped 60+ pounds and was looking and feeling pretty darn good.  Shannon and I even went on a Scrapbooking Cruise to the Caribbean during this time and did pretty well with our eating plan.  Then came Christmas and we went to Arizona to spend it with my mother-in-law and brother and sister-in-law. 
This was in AZ at Christmas.

Steve's mom was one amazing, amazing cook and she loved people with food all of her life.  When she discovered that I wasn't going to be eating her wonderful concoctions she became upset.  She kept looking at me and saying, "Really?" I am saying it to myself now in her voice.  "Really?"  Well, eventually I caved and that was it for me.  I have always had an issue with not doing something perfect and if I was going to  go off my plan it was going to be all the way.  After all, it was Christmas, I had been perfect for a year, I almost never got to eat my MIL's food so Katie bar the door! 

The big problem with me or someone like me with all-or-nothing thinking is that I couldn't (or wouldn't) get myself back on track once we were back home.  I stopped going to the visits with my counselor or any event that the study put on.  I put all my weight back on and got back into my mode of not wanting any of those people to see me and see what a failure I was.  What a vicious cycle I put myself in.  And the really sad part is how many years I have wasted not having any kind of a life.  I have become so much of a recluse.

But...I am ready for that to be over.  I am ready to take whatever years God will give me and start doing things and having a life.  I am ready to spend time with people I love. doing things that matter.  I am ready to take whatever health I can regain and have some fun.  I want to see my grandchildren grow up and graduate from high school, go to college, get married and have children of their own.  I am ready to live!!!!!!

I hope I can be an influence for good to other obese people who are in the same boat I have been sailing in.  To be a force for good in helping others to avoid losing years and years of their life to the shame and embarrassment I felt.  I hope this little blog reaches someone that I can make a difference in their life!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

                               My Story - Part 2

Here I am at the end of my first day of my pre-op liquid diet and while I had very little problem with wanting to eat I do have to say that protein shakes are not that great.  I was supposed to drink 5 but only got 4 in and since it is after 8pm I think I am done!  I have to try some of the recipes I have been collecting to try to make them more palatable.

I discovered a website that I want to share because if anyone ever reads this blog I want them to have this info because it is freaking fantastic!  I happened upon it accidentally and I love, love, love it.  It is...  It is hosted by two women who both had RNY bypass about 6 years ago.  They started the show in 2008 and it is still up and running.  I believe there are 162 episodes available to view.  Each episode is 8-10 minutes long and it is entertaining, informative and motivational.  These two are a hoot!  They became friends through their surgery.  They had the same doctor and same hospital.  Most of the bloopers they just leave in although I did see one episode that was all bloopers.  You go to the show date archives and if you are like me you want to start at the beginning but each show can be viewed and enjoyed separately. You won't be sorry, I promise.

Yesterday I started down the road of my dieting and weight loss history. I left off at a time when we had moved back to the Denver area and I discovered I was just a couple pounds shy of that dreaded 200 pound mark.  I decided I needed to do something about it and so on Jan. 2nd, 1984 I made an appointment at my local Diet Center.
I signed up that day and as I always do, I was the perfect little (okay maybe not so little!) dieter.  I followed the program to a T and at the end of 4 months had lost 60 lbs.  My counselor, Darlene, and I also became best buds through this time frame.  She also  had lost a substantial amount of weight on the program.  The owner of the Diet Center kind of latched on to me and kept telling me I would be perfect to run a center.  These were franchises and of course, she would get a kick-back if I purchased one.  Well, I was psyched!  I was on that high that we feel when we have just lost a lot of weight.  I was young, 34, and I was on top of the world basking in the compliments that come with the weight loss and the new body.  I convinced my hubby that I just had to do this and we took a 2nd mortgage out on our home and purchased our franchise. Before long Darlene and I were on a trip to Rexburg, Idaho for a week of training. 
I am the one in the middle in the blue dress and my best bud, Darlene is the beautiful little blonde in the bottom left side.  This is our entire class of franchisees and counselors.
This is me with the founder of Diet Center, Sybil Ferguson.

She as a counselor/employee and I as a counselor/franchisee.  I opened a center in a town about 45 minutes from my home (my territory) and began a very different life, at least for me.  Every day I help other people lose weight and in the beginning I believed so much in the program (I was the one that was programmed!!!) that I was confident I would keep my weight off forever.  Forever!!

For a few years everything was hunky dory but we all know that our problem with food goes so much deeper than any diet program.  It wasn't too long until the pounds began to creep back on and I couldn't get myself in control.  Eventually, I had to hire some gals to run my center because I was too embarrassed to show my face around there and not having to be accountable I gained more and more weight.  I forgot to say that after a couple of years I had purchased a 2nd franchise so I had another location to be responsible for.  I felt like Dolly Parton's character in Steel Magnolias when she opened her 2nd salon and said, "I'm a chain!" but before long it felt like I was wearing a chain and I was miserable and so I ate!  I sold the 2nd center to a local radio celebrity who had lost weight with me and I would only go to my other center to collect income and do payroll on the weekend when no one was around.  I was in a trap I had put myself in and finally we just closed the doors. 

For many years after that I avoided going much of anywhere.  I never went to local fairs or events on the off chance that one of my previous clients or employees might see me.  I became more and more of a recluse as time went on.  I was so ashamed of how I had preached that the program was the answer to long-term success with your weight.  I imagine there were some people who lost their weight and have maintained that loss but if you are here and you are contemplating bariatric surgery or have had it already then you know that no diet, no program is the magic bullet to fix the problem.  There is so much more to this problem of obesity and food addiction than we even know.

I guess that's enough of my gloomy story for now.  Tomorrow is Day 2 of my liquid diet and I am still psyched for my surgery and my future even if I am not psyched for 13+ days of a liquid diet, lol!

Monday, August 19, 2013

                                            My Story

Well, here I am Day 3 of my blogging adventure, 8 days before surgery and 1 day before starting my 7 day pre-op diet. I believe I am ready to do this liquid diet.  Lots of wls people seem to have a real problem sticking to it completely.  I don't think I will because in my long life of dieting I have done liquid diets twice.  One was optifast and the other was part of a diabetes study I am part of.  Now to be fair, the study one was actually 2 meals that were shakes (you could do Slimfast or Glucerna) and then a healthy meal for dinner.  I seem to be able to do the liquid diets pretty easily but we shall see!

I have to say that I am struggling a little getting ready for tomorrow.  I have definitely overeaten the last few days.  Somehow I think I have been justifying it to myself because I have stuck with healthy foods but overeating is overeating and I have not felt nearly as good as when I don't eat so much.

I was actually a skinny kid.  I grew up in Denver, CO.  The area where we lived was unincorporated at the time and was annexed into Denver when I was 12 but we always say it was Denver anyway.  We were pretty poor.  My dad was an alcoholic and my mom worked as a bartender (go figure :)) I have 3 brothers, 2 older and one younger and we were on our own most of the time.  We played and played and played outdoors.  We had no real accountability and so we did whatever we wanted.  All that activity kept me thin.  I was a wild teenager in the 60's and had a fake ID and would go to the Airmen's Club at Lowry Air Force Base with my older friends.  We would drink beer and dance with all the airmen.  I had a new boyfriend every few weeks until one night I was 3 sheets to the wind and hit on this guy that was sitting at the bar with his buddies.  We started dating and within a couple of months we eloped.  I was 16, he was 19, we ended up in Ft. Walton Beach, FL.  This was about the time I started thinking I was fat.  When I look at pictures from back then I can only wish to be that "fat" now, lol!  Even after I had my daughter, Shannon, when I was 17 I really wasn't fat but somehow I had started down that road to thinking I was and the poor self-esteem that goes along with it.

After I had my son, Eric, when I was 22 I started packing on the pounds.  I have never really been that active, except when I was a kid, and it began to catch up with me. By this time, Steve was out of the military and we were living in a Chicago suburb near where he grew up.  I don't even know what I weighed when I got married because we never owned a scale growing up and I didn't own one yet.  I just knew I kept having to get bigger clothes.  We moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado when Eric was 2 and soon I decided to try the Atkins diet.  As I mentioned I am a bit OCD and when I do pretty much anything I feel I have to follow it to the letter and so I lost weight really well on Atkins.  I don't recall exactly what I weighed to start but I believe it was about 185 (I would even love that weight today!)

 I went down to 129, which is probably a bit too thin for me and as soon as I figure out how to post pictures here I will post a couple from "the good old days".  I kept pretty close to that weight for a couple of years and then I got pregnant with my 3rd child, Corey, and gained about 50 lbs with him.  We were living in Greeley, CO by this time and besides my own 3 kids, I was doing home daycare for 4-5 other kids.  I never really lost the weight from the pregnancy so I was back up to about 185 again.  Over the next couple of years I crept up a little more and a little more.  We moved back to the Denver area and I soon discovered on the scale one day that I was only a couple of pounds shy of that dreaded 200 mark.  In the next day or so I will tell you about that next diet and the good, the bad and the ugly that occurred through losing it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

                                Getting Ready

Well, I am in total shock!  I figured it would be a long time until I would have any page views on my blog and I assumed (you all know what they say about assuming, lol!) that I would only have views after I let my friends and relatives know I had a blog but I just logged on and had 23 views since I started yesterday.  Thank you, whoever you are, I am no longer just talking to myself!

I can't believe how nervous or anxious I have suddenly become.  That is just not me.  I think I am worried about being perfect with everything.  I am trying to get all the right vitamins.  The nurse said I really will want liquid vitamins for the first couple of weeks but I am gonna go ahead and try the chewable ones I already purchased and if the are a problem then I will spring for some liquid ones.  I had been stocking up on protein shakes to be ready for the liquid diet I am starting day after tomorrow.  I had bought mostly Atkins because they are the lowest in carbs but tons of people including the nurse (who by the way had the VSG surgery a year ago so she knows!) say they are terrible and that I should exchange them.  So my dear sweet hubby is off right now returning stuff and getting me new stuff. I had bought B-vitamins and then found out I need the sublingual B's and since I tend to see myself as pretty tough I figured I could swallow my Calcium Citrate and my D3 but got convinced to return those and get chewable ones.

Last night we had an outdoor movie night at my brother's.  They have been hosting them all summer, sometimes with the kids, sometimes just adults.  They got a big blow-up screen and a projector and hooked it up to their Bose system.  It is pretty awesome.  They purchased a ton of movie type candy, you know, like Junior Mints, Mike and Ike, etc. and most of the summer I have been partaking but last night I threw a protein bar in my purse.  When the candy got passed around I said, "No thanks, I brought a protein bar. " My sweet niece who was delivering candy said, "Well, good for you." So there I sat in the dark, watching the movie and slowly, with teeny bites and chewing well enjoyed my protein bar.  I had thrown 3 different ones in my purse so I could have a choice. Enter the monster, no, not on the movie screen, the one in my head.  It started saying, "Wouldn't you like to just have another protein bar? After all, you have 2 more in there." I fought with myself for a while and finally convinced myself that it was only the "old me" talking and I am creating a "new me" and there are going to be many, many times in my future when I am gonna want to eat something I shouldn't so I might as well start having victories over that monster now because he isn't going away!  I reminded myself of something I read somewhere recently and put on a sticky note on my computer.  I don't know where I saw it so I am sorry I can't properly attribute it but it is good and it is true!

  Just because you got the monkey off your back does not mean the circus has left town forever!

We have to be hypervigilant with ourselves, I guess forever. And some of you out there probably have a longer forever on this earth than I do so keep working on that self-talk in your head.  Keep it positive and don't beat yourself up! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

                             Beginning the Journey

A taste of eggnog for granddaughter, Lily!

Hi everyone!  My name is Colleen and in 11 days I am going to have the Roux-N-Y bypass.  I have been researching my surgery and what I need to do afterward for several months.  I have read many, many blogs and they have helped me so much!  But the one thing I have begun to notice is that all the bloggers I have found are significantly younger than my...ahem...63 years of age, lol!  I have even been on the hunt for older bloggers but to no avail so I decided to throw my hat in the ring and join you. 
Yesterday I had what my surgeon's office calls, a "binder class".  I was given a 3-ring binder filled with info at the beginning of this journey and yesterday I went to a class along with 4 other gals who are having the same surgery to go over everything in detail, meaning, when to stop meds, what to do for our pre-op diet, our post-op diet, long-term diet, etc., etc. OMGosh!  Anyone who ever tries to tell you that you are taking the easy way out by having surgery should be tarred and feathered!  This is not easy, it is not going to be easy and if it were easy, everyone who is obese would do it and they would all keep their weight off forever!
When I went for my 1st visit there were several recommendations I was given and since I tend to be just a wee bit OCD, I have followed them to the letter and the funny thing is that without changing very much else in my life I have lost 20 lbs. in the last 3 and 1/2 months.  I had been wanting to give up my diet soda for a while after reading some articles that convinced me aspartame is so bad for me but I couldn't seem to do it, I drank too much coffee and was always wishing I drank less of it and I am fairly disabled and don't get any exercise.  So what have I done you may be asking?  Well, my Dr. and his minions said, "No more carbonated drinks!" that was 4/29/13 and guess what?  I have had no carbonated drinks since 4/29/13. Did I say I may be a little OCD? :) The Doc said, "Cut out the caffeine!" That very day I began making my coffee 1/2 decaf and gradually moved to all decaf and now I rarely have more than 1 cup a day.  I stopped using straws, I stopped chewing gum, I stopped drinking 30 minutes before a meal, during a meal and 30 minutes after a meal.  I bought smaller plates and eating utensils (and I didn't just buy them I use them too!)  I began to chew, chew, chew my food. And...drumroll...I have started walking on my treadmill. The 1st week I could only walk a 1 minute but I kept it up and soon I could do 2 minutes, then 3, then 4.  I am all the way up to 10 minutes and for those of you who are thinking, "That is pathetic, I could do that in my sleep." Please remember, I am disabled, with nothing to hold on to I have to use a cane, I am on oxygen but I am doing it and someday I will be walking the 150 minutes a week my surgeon wants and who knows what else?!   All of these are things I will have to do after the surgery and so I figured I better get started, right?
Next Tuesday I start my pre-op protein shake/liquid diet, then Thursday I see the surgeon and go to the hospital for some pre-op stuff then the following Tuesday, August 27th is Surgery Day.  I wanted to get this blog started before surgery on the off chance that someday, someone who needs to hear someone who is pre-op talking will read this blog. I will be back tomorrow to continue the chronicles of my journey, meanwhile here's to a new and brighter future!!