About VSG

Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss tool in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (often with surgical staples, glue and possibly cauterization) to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach and is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why no liquids within an hr of eating?

Think of your stomach like the drain in your sink.
If you drink water, it goes through fast and quick.
If you eat food it sits (which is what makes you feel full) until it digests... slowly.
If you drink WHILE (or while there is/or shortly thereafter WILL be) you eat, it flushes the food that is making you feel full through your system quickly so you don't feel satiety as long.
This does 2 things... it empties your stomach making that feeling of fullness not last as long AND it pushes the food through your entire system too fast which means you don't get the nutrients you need from the food you just ate.

And, if you don't believe ME... watch it with him!

I think everyone. I mean EVERYONE... pre/non/post sleeve should really adopt this practise of not eating while/before/during eating.  It helps us not eat as much... which of course is what food establishments WANT us to do!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A dark truth about diet soda

I found this online yesterday ... It's specifically about diet sodas but we all know full sugar is terrible for us so...

Taken from Lumosity.com

Diet Sodas: Changing Your Brain And Your Waistline- from a study out of the University of California San Diego

Diet sodas may not be helping you lose weight—in fact, these and other artificially sweetened foods may sabotage your diet by confusing and rewiring your brain’s reward centers. This study from the journal Physiology & Behavior is yet another example of how lifestyle choices can alter your brain—negatively or positively.

Scanning diet soda drinkers' brains
The University of San Diego study followed 24 young adults: half the group drank at least one serving of diet soda every day, while the other half avoided the artificially sweetened drinks. These adults were then hooked up to brain scanning equipment while scientists fed them water alternately flavored by natural and artificial sweeteners—then the researchers sat back and watched what unfolded in the brain.

The results, according to University of California San Diego researchers Green and Murphy, were pronounced: [Diet soda drinkers] who consumed a greater number of diet sodas had reduced caudate head activation. These findings may provide some insight into the link between diet soda consumption and obesity.”

Artificial sweeteners confuse reward
A little bit of background: the caudate head is a part of the brain involved in signaling reward and controlling food intake—and its decreased activity in the brains of diet soda drinkers has substantial implications.
Researchers posit that consumption of diet soda had confused the reward loops normally processed by the caudate head: because sweetness was no longer a reliable indicator of incoming calories, the brain had trained itself to respond less in the face of sweet flavors. Unreliable sweet tastes threw off normal predictions about calories and energy in the changed brains of diet soda drinkers—making it more likely that these people would consume additional calories later in the day.

Small choices can affect your brain
This newest study is pretty preliminary; it’s difficult to say how drastically diet sodas can affect bigger questions of lifestyle and health based on such short-term brain activation patterns. Still, this recent investigation provides an interesting reflection on how choices and actions made in everyday life can powerfully influence the way your brain is wired—in other words, the concept of neuroplasticity.
We can’t always foresee the unintended negative responses our brain makes—who would have thought diet coke might do quite the opposite of what its name suggests?—but there are positive ways to harness your brain’s ability to change.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's your true body size?

This site showed me that while I always thought I was hourglass... turns out I'm triangle!!
(which was provided by Munchkin at gastricsleeve.com)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

gnocchi = the devil

I am in freaking LOVE with gnocchi.  Like... holy shit.

I tried it for the first time after we moved here to Vancouver.  I'm so glad I didn't know about it pre-sleeve because oh my hell its so yummy.  My fav is cooked with a cream sauce including pees, ham, mushrooms.... mmmmmmmmmm  so freaking yummy.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dr Sauceda quote info

I got another quote for the body work I want to get done.  This doctor recommends a lower body lift and he would also do some augmentation on my butt to give me back some of the roundness I lost with my weight.  My bum is pretty flat now so that would be nice.  This surgeon also does the correction of the mons area to ensure its nice and smooth.

His email... 
I have seen your pictures , and in my opinion we can do a lower body lift and a breast lift plus augmentation.
The tattoo is not at risk. We can do some augmentation on your butt, this is not like having implants, but we can use some of the tissue we'll take off to make some improvement in that area.
The price for your procedures (lower body lift and breast lift plus augmentation) is : XXXX (omitted because everyone is different but for reference is near half of the other local surgeon)
This is all inclusive, this means the surgery, clinic fees, anesthesiologist and surgeon fees, compression garments ,medication, hotel stay for 12 days, local transportation, and I'll refund your airfare up to $600 usd.  If you have more questions please let me know.
We use periareolar , lolly pop incision and inverted T, which one is going to be the one on your case?
This depends on my evaluation when I see you and touch your skin in person.
Probably in your case will be the lolly pop incision, but I can change my mind (this is only to achieve the best result possible).
The breast size , or implant size , we'll(me and you) are going to decide this.
If the lipo is a small one, I can do it.
Now you need to realize that the weight loss patient have had fat loss, and your skin hanged after this. So, I can not do a very big lipo, because the skin can hang one more time.
If you do a desk job, probably 4 weeks off work will be enough.

HALF the price.  But it means I will have to do medical tourism again... and this time be gone for 12 days.  The benefit to this surgeon is that he doesn't put you under a general anesthetic... he does sedation with a epidural basically.  So you don't have the after effects of the anesthesia ... or the dangers too!
I'm still so torn on this.  It's still ALOT of money and I don't know if I can bring myself to spend that much.

After this post, I thought I should just add onto this one with the replies to my questions... so ... continued!

1.-Is there enough tissue in your opinion for a lift only?
No, there is not enough tissue, and you can tell because when you use your bra, the upper part of your breast is empty.

2.-What size would that make me if I didn't choose an implant?Probably less than a B cup. Because right now, you're not a D cup,probably not even a C cup, your breast right now is 80% skin.

3.-Have you done breast lifts with fat injection (if my body had enough available) before?
Yes, but this technique, we have to do multiple sessions, this means you have to come here between 3 to 4 times. I mean for a local patient, this can be done, for a foreign patient is unpractical.

4.- If I went with the augmentation, what type of implant do you use?
Are they silicone? Saline?

We usually use silicone implants (I'm told the GUMMI BEAR implants are used), the saline ones you have to replace them every ten years, but not the silicone ones, those can stay with you (if they don't have any problem) all your life.

5.-Also I am an asthmatic and allergic to Penicillin and Erythromycin... does that change the care that you are able to provide?
If your asthma is under control, and your asthma crisis are not as often, we can do the procedure.
I am sending you some medical forms you need to read , fill and send it back to me by email.  In there you'll find some lab test we need for your procedure, those have to been done within 6 weeks from your surgery.
The antibiotic in this cases can be ciprophoxacin or levophloxacin.

6.- Thank you, unfortunately , your right, there are some things I can do, and some things I can't. I always try to do the best for my patients, because the best result, the more patient am I going to have. But I can not do miracles.

This surgeon has a huge following of very happy patients that love him dearly.  He not only is their doctor but their friend.  They all say he will visit with you every single day along with members of his staff through the day to check on you, re-do dressings, etc.  Once you're back at home he expects daily emails to ensure everything is going well or if they're not, that you tell him.  He's one of the few doctors that actually CARES.... I like that part more than the price.  By far.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Plastics... first consult

My first Plastics consult aka reconstructive surgery (even the doc called it that.. it's not considered cosmetic!) ... local surgeon.

First the burning questions... 
What would the doctor recommend, the plusses of using him and lastly I'll discuss the cost.

He recommended the following procedures for me:
  • Full abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck aka TT) which would include lipo, muscle repair, relocating the belly button as well as lipo in the mons which is the pubic area that tends to become rather pronounced ... like a little hill... post TT so they'd flatten it out some by removing some fat.
  • Breast Lift (Mastopexy) which would include implants (260cc) which post op would make me a solid full C cup. Not a deflated ...anywhere from B to D cup depending on the bra.
  • BodyTite Liposuction on my flanks. In lieu of a lower body lift which I frankly do not need, he suggested more what I could use is some lipo with laser tightening in my lower saddlebags/hips/back to smooth, tighten and shape that area. 
BodyTite on YouTube  

Plusses of using this doctor include...
  1. It's LOCAL, literally blocks from my home, in case something should be an issue. There's no flying anywhere to have this done in another city or country and then having to fly home and deal with post-op complications and care with local docs.
  2. He provides a pain pump. Sweet. Most surgeons I've looked at so far don't.
  3. NO drains. He doesn't use them because the pain pump would be made ineffective with them... and better, he hasn't needed them
  4. He suggests I would likely be back at work within the month at the latest... not up to 12 weeks like some people have had
  5. The actual surgery time is under 5 hours. He doesn't like having surgeries for longer than that as it starts to increase complication rates.
  6. He provides all the post-op dressings, post op care, touch ups within the first year

The costs... (all inclusive) 

Abdominoplasty $10,065.44
BodyTite Lipo $5084.80
Bilateral Breast Lift $7,095.20

Total for all 3 = $22,245.44 CDN

We can't afford that. I can't ask hubby to put that kind of money into something as selfish as this. My WLS was one thing... and besides, it was only $5k plus travel costs... AND I was able to recover 1/2 of it since it was out of country medical.... this is over 4x that, completely unrecoverable. I'm sad. Hubby is not against it and would let me do it because he knows it's what I want but, the guilt...

Friday, August 31, 2012

A "sleeved" work around today....

Our branch manager brought in fresh hot donuts for some great results on month end today. 

I really wanted one but didn't want to actually eat a donut.  So I got a honey glazed one, took a bite, chewed it to mush just so I could get the flavour and then spit it out. 

Now I have a donut with a bite out of it sitting on my desk that I don't want anymore!


Monday, August 27, 2012

ZEE heart... it burns!!!

I've been having alot of heartburn lately and I haven't been able to pin down what's doing it just yet.

Tonight I had 1 slice of cheddar cheese (old) and 3 medium sized shrimps with cocktail sauce for dinner.   Heartburn.
Earlier today, I had 2 tablespoons of tuna salad (made at home just with miracle whip and pepper) on plain saltines for lunch.  Heartburn.
Last night, I had 1 vietnamese spring roll for dinner.   Heartburn.

Not sure what the common denominator is just yet.  Anyone with suggestions, please, chime in.

I do not take ANYTHING for acid up to this point.  This is new-ish... probably last month or 2.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I am getting closer to 1.5 yrs out.   Very very very few people at work know I had WLS, all of my family and close friends do though.  My family/friends are all on board and frankly some are thinking about doing it for themselves!  The thing is, since my surgery I have changed branches/provinces ... so no one in the new branch at work knows my new weight is actually NEW since they've only seen me at THIS weight.

But I have a bad habit.  I get PISSED when people that clearly have not had weight issues make comments about how other's eat/their weight/etc.... and start to get annoyed quickly and comment how regardless of their diet, its no one's business how they are as a PERSON/MANAGER... etc... they have NOTHING to do with each other.  It really makes me MAD when people in my office do that and I'm not quiet about it either.

My weight is MY business.  If I choose to tell someone about my WLS, then I will.  Mostly I will tell others that (I feel) struggle with their weight but even then, its a slippery slope.  You don't want to offend.  In their place, I would be so seriously embarrassed if someone brought up my weight.  As much as I want to help those people, I know who might actually benefit from a life changing surgery such as this... its certainly NOT for the faint of heart.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Extra skin

Saw a new doc this week that will be our new family doctor here.  He was a sweet old guy, very kind and soft spoken.  He seemed genuinely concerned about why I had WLS and asked me about skin folds.  I think this is a great thing.  He documented my folds and mentioned skin removal... I said yes i wanted it. From what I've heard, if its documented well enough, they will cover it on the BC health plan.  Fingers crossed.

For reference... this is what 15 yrs of yo yo dieting from 250-130 lbs does to my body for extra skin.  I have a push up bra on so you can't see the carnage up top unfortunately but after that appt, I thought I should document this somewhere.  This is why there will not be a midriff baring ANYTHING on me until this is dealt with.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Something that someone I know said in one of her posts has been resonating with me and I realized that over the last month-ish... I too no longer FEEL skinny.   

I feel average.  I'm still the same size, no change in my weight.  But I think its my perception. 

In Edmonton, people tended to be on the heavier side so I found myself (erroneously or not) comparing my body size in relation to theirs.  Here in Vancouver, the population is largely Asian and as a rule, they tend to be rail thin.  So now, I find myself comparing to their body size and I don't feel "fat" but I certainly don't feel like I'm among the slimmest.

Such a head game.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I've been seeing the amazing results from a few different WLS patients surgery recently and I'm amazed at the results so early post op... it makes me envious!

It's definitely something that I want to do for myself in a year or so. I want to wait until my weight has stabilized for a longer term before I make that move as I know that it will re-distribute a little over time. But the extra skin that plagues my sight makes me uncomfortable naked. I feel like I look great in clothing but out of it my panni, the saggy boobies that look like water balloons .... the skin so loose I can grab it and pinch it and it STAYS pinched... those are the parts of my surgery experience that I don't like.

I'm happy with my size and I feel healthier than I have in a very long time. I don't have the issues with my knees or back like I once did. I don't huff and puff going up a set of stairs anymore. I feel GOOD. Next, I want to look as good as I feel and I know that means that plastics are in my future at some point.

Monday, June 11, 2012

1.25-ish years post op.

I'm still able to eat anything I want.  In moderation.  A bite of something my head or mouth wants.  Most often though, they want PROTEIN... I just want MEAT.  Give me sliced meat wrapped around cheese and I'm a happy girl.  But, when I don't have that (for whatever reason), Sleevie keeps me honest if I'm not being honest with myself.

I've noticed a few changes in recent months.

I'm now able to drink a "few gulps" of water. .... I wasn't able to drink more than 1 mouthful at a few minute time up to a year out without feeling nausea.  Now I can do ... gulp, gulp, gulp.  Usually that last gulp leads to a bit of that full burpy nausea though.

I can eat a TAD more now than I used to.
I ate for dinner tonight for example:
1 whole grain flatbed hamburger bun with 1 slice meat, 1 slice cheese, 1 tsp pineapple
It took me about an hour to eat both sides of the bun which had the condiments split btwn them.

I still avoid carbonation and frankly do not miss it at all.  Haven't had anything (except a few sips here and there) since surgery over a year ago.... I really don't miss that at all.  Surprisingly!

I've managed my weight loss of 91 lbs relatively easily so far.

What do I do?

  • I walk 20 min per day.. fast.
  • I (unintentionally, unconsciously) keep my calories around 1000-1200 a day thanks to sleevie
  • I still focus on protein being the main source of everything I put in my mouth (with some exceptions of wine lately)

What I want to do?

  • Become STRONG.  I'm going to start Hot Yoga with a friend.  I loved it the few times I've done it in the past.... I might not be the most flexible or coordinated but dayum... I feel like a million bucks after I've spent an hour (or more) in that hot room sweating and stretching!!  Hot yoga is my strengthening start.
  • Work on more conditioning.  I walk fast every day to and from work (1 km each way) but I'd like to see more cardio.

After Yoga... I have a ball, a mat, a roller... I will (plan to) get a few hand weights.... I've had dreams *literally* of the workouts I plan to do using my own body weight in the area around here as well as the cardio that I can do in this area... there's so much uphill walking available to me within a couple of minutes of here that I need to take advantage of!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


The last 2 month-ish has been hard. VERY hard. I've been having way too much wine. Way too often.

I'm fully aware that post-WLS transfer addictions are a serious problem.  I KNOW that I should be careful that I'm not among that statistic but right now, its what I've been using to cope with my stress ... moving to a new province away from what I know and taking a new job with added responsibility....  Wrong or right, its what's working for me right now to deal.  Stress has played a HUGE part in this and the method that I've chosen to do to deal with it.  Hubby and I have even enabled each other completely in this.  He's smoking, I'm drinking.  We're both fully aware of what we're doing and how much we dislike each other's choices but are willing to overlook them right now

We both know that this is something that we need to change but we've chosen to accept it for what it is and to try not to judge the other person.  We have yet to pick a "quit date" but it will be likely in the next week or so.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Packers, loaders.... unloaders, unpackers... everything went well. We had a few small damages but overall its been a great move. We've unpacked & placed pretty much everything in the last 4 days since the unpackers left. Our home is starting to look like a HOME. We still ADORE our rooftop deck... like LOVE LOVE LOVE. Hubby has managed to make us a few friends and we're one of very few caucasians in the 2 bldgs. That's fine with us!!! We've already been invited to a house party in the next bldg and we're trying to get our neighbours on either side of us to agree to a rooftop party between our places (we can open the gates between all three places) ... that will be up to hubby ... he's the party coordinator 

Today was day 1 at my new office. I won't lie. I DID need my ativan at one point. I was shaking. JItterying... heart racing...

I hope that I can do better tomorrow since I'll know where I'm going and have a better handle on my team. I spent the day with them and my boss going over some of the coming changes and doing some triage with new business coming in. It wasn't a bad day considering I didn't have ANY computer or (technically) authority to make any decisions I was being asked to make.

I think that I did good. I just hope that the IT guy shows up and fixes my computer tomorrow so I can get a bunch of clearing out done and get things in order. THere's a lot to learn and having no real station, makes it harder!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A new chapter...

Sometimes in life you have to do what you're most scared of doing. Step out of your comfort zone...remember what you deserve and don't settle for anything less.  It's time to re-create myself and learn who I want to be/I am ... again.  Employee/peer/manager.... another cog/different cog in the wheel.

dumb Tomorrow is my last day!!!

I'm actually ready to move on RIGHT NOW. I spent ALL of today training my replacement and most of tomorrow will be the same.

I still have to pack the rest of the stuff at my desk and hubby is coming to pick it up and bring me my luggage as I go straight to Calgary from work on the bus starting at 430pm. Thursday/Friday I will be in Calgary doing management training with all the managers from Aviva Western Canada (eep... why am I so nervous!? I feel like a bit of a fraud actually going to this training!). While I'm gone to Calgary for training, the packers come Thursday, movers come Friday! Friday night 630pm I'm back on the bus back to Edmonton and Saturday morning we do the final inspection/hand over keys to our new (lease to own) tenant and we're off back to Calgary....

Sat night Calgary, AB (3.5 hr drive)
Sunday Sicamous, BC (6 hr drive)
Monday Kelowna, BC (2 hr drive)
Tuesday Burnaby, BC ( 4.5 hrs to our new home!)

Next few days will be STRESS mixed with excitement! So much to do, so little time!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Burnin pain ... continued...

After my last post, someone asked if it was my gallbladder.  I immediately discounted it as I had read the pain is on the right side and into the back... but after talking to a girl at work who had her gallbladder out 2 weeks ago and reading online... I think that there is actually a really good chance it was my gallbladder.

Gallbladder issues are relatively common post WLS and I was warned to watch for it but when I went to the hospital they didn't even bring it up even when I said that I'd had WLS and lost so much weight.

When I talked to the girl at work she said for her it didn't matter if the food was overly fatty or greasy, sometimes her gallbladder would act up when she ate too much. I did eat too much that night. I know I did. I was burping like mad. The stuffed mushroom was so good that my mouth kept wanting to finish the rest of it and I had 2 bites too many and was rather uncomfortable the rest of the evening from over-eating so its possible it brought it on. When I showed her where my pain was and explained how it felt she was nodding the whole time telling me that's just how hers felt and that I should get an ultrasound to check it.

I guess that's something to look forward to when I get to Vancouver!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Burnin pain

Rough day.  I was woken this morning at 2am with intense sharp pain in my tummy.  The burning pain continued for hours before i finally gave up and went in to the urgent care. They have no idea why I have this pain.  The doc palpated my abdomen, they took pee, blood and X-rays.  Nothing.  All he commented was that my xiphoid was swollen.  They gave me pantaloc and a maalox/anesthetic mix to drink that numbed my throat and sent me on my way with a script for a month of pantaloc.  I admit that this morning I was afraid I had a leak.  A year out a leak would  be damn near impossible but the pain was right where sleevie sits and I was scared.  They assured me I had no leak, no ulcers, no hernias... just this unknown pain.  I'm hanging out napping and dealing with moderate burning in my gut now and am afraid to put anything in me for fear it will make it hurt again.  I know I need to eat though... but I'm scared it will make it worse.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New bloodwork results!


GREAT NEWS!! For those that didn't see my FB... I just had new blood work done last week.

My iron went from 17 to 47 with the injections! WOOT... Doc still wants it over 50 but this is awesome  I can definitely tell the injections were working, my energy has increased tenfold and WAY less dizzy issues

My Vit D is still lower than she wants but everyone in Canada is low in Vit D so I just have to double my Vit D dose and I should get that up easy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Step ONE to our MOVE!!

Tomorrow we come to Vancouver to find a place to live.

I'm freakin out.

Pray we find a place to love live....

Friday, April 27, 2012

1 YEAR!!


1 year I've been rocking my sleeve and regained my love and zest of life!  I feel amazing!

My highest weight ever was 245 (around 2004), surgery day I was 223 lbs.

Today I am 132 lbs and living the maintain lifestyle! 

My single regret about my surgery?


If you're thinking about this surgery, do your research, ask questions, send me a message.... I will help any way I can!  This is about YOU, YOUR HEALTH, and the rest of your life.  Which will be longer because you will be healthier without that extra weight on your body!  Do it!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm feeling a little melancholy tonight

I'm planning our going away/goodbye party.  I'm watching people around me here experience exciting new challenges, my best friend's daughter growing up, my brothers, my sisters.... I think about all of them and how much I'm going to miss in their lives.  I know that we don't see each other here as much as we should/I'd like to... but now that I'm leaving this province it just feels so very final.    I know that this move is what's best for us (Hubby and I) and our lives and we're going to have a great life but every now and then nostalgia hits me and I'm drawn into a feeling of loss and sadness for what I will miss not living in the city I was born in.  That I grew up in. That everyone I know and love is in. And that I KNOW inside and out.

I'm nervous and scared and excited and sad and worried all at once.  What a range of emotions I'm experiencing as the date grows near.  A month... a mere month until we are literally on our own.  Just the 2 of us (and Bailie) .... in a city we have only visited a few times, in an office I've never been in, with people I don't know, in a position I'm scared the shit out of.

Tell me I can do this.  Even if I don't believe you.  Tell me I can because tonight, I'm FREAKING THE HECK OUT.

Much of it likely is because hubby is really being an ass tonight and its making me lonely for the life I'll be missing.  *sigh*

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Latest.... April 2012

I know I haven't been around in the last couple of weeks.  Sorry :((((((   (my version of a HUGE sad face)

Things that are new... lets see....

I've really been working out the last few weeks and I'm feeling really good and strong these days.  My iron issues may be working themselves out... I still have another set of bloodwork to get through but its looking better.  I feel more energetic in the last few weeks since I've finished my iron injections and been taking Cyklokapron during my cycle to reduce the bleeding during my cycle.  I'm hoping they're doing the trick as I really feel that this isn't something that is going to get better with high iron foods.

Time is ticking by with our move to BC.  We're about a month away now.  Thankfully we've managed to unload one of our homes by doing rent to own and we're hoping for an offer to purchase on the other this week coming up.  I'm a little stressed as I've accepted the Manager position in the branch in Vancouver and I'm nervous about the changes.  A new home, new province, new branch.. and new job.  It's a lot!

I've lost another pound in the last few weeks.  I'm ok with it as it's only a pound and its happened in the same amount of time that I've been working out so its not that bad.  I'm still hoping I don't reach the 120's though.  I'm currently at 132 lbs.


I seriously love www.bariatrictv.com

They are hilarious and informative!! Check it out!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

WLS Do's and Don'ts

borrowed from LilMissDiva from VST

DO remove the word ONLY from your vocabulary. Ex: I’ve ONLY lost 10 Lbs in 2 weeks… Now let’s look at this again without the word ONLY: I’ve lost 10 Lbs in 2 weeks!! See what I mean? Perception is reality folks!!

DON’T assume you’ll never eat all of your favorite foods again. This is just an excuse your brain has designed to allow you to indulge. You WILL eat all your favorites again someday, just much less but find it to me more enjoyable. Which leads directly into the next:

DON’T do the “last meal” syndrome. You will only sabotage your weight loss you might have pre-surgery or set you back further from your ultimate goal post-op. This surgery is very serious and is for the serious minded. Use this time wisely to get the feeling of how life might be like post op.

DO learn all of the rules pre-op that you will endure post-op. Such as, no drinking with meals, using smaller utensils and plates, engaging in some type of workout routine, limiting your sugar and sodium intake, joining as many WLS support groups as you can.

DO celebrate every single pound lost! Imagine one pound of butter. Yeah… that’s gone from your body forever. It is noteworthy and worth every bit of a pat on the back as any others that may go along with it.

DON’T compare your successes and losses to others. Chances are very high that you will only come out on the short end and only find yourself disappointed. Everyone’s journeys are their own…

DO keep track of your losses in many different ways than just the scale! Examples:

DO keep one set of your largest clothes you’ve ever worn. Make it a point to try them on, especially when you’re having a down moment. You will find this will really pick up your spirits! This is a real rollercoaster of a ride, and anything that will keep you positive is what you should do!

DON'T keep any other fat clothes around. Get rid of them ASAP. You're never going to fit them again, right? So... off to donations they go.

DO take photos of yourself just before your surgery. Keep them close. Again, having a bad day? Look at them and compare them. As a matter of fact, take photos of yourself often. You will also find that the more you lose, the more you will want to take pictures. Nothing wrong with that!!! That goes with celebrating your losses. ;-)

DO take measurements of yourself often. Keeping track of all your inches lost will really keep you on the right track when your scale is being stubborn!!

DO reward yourself every time you hit a mini goal. Make some more worthy than others. I like to go shopping when I hit a goal, it is my favorite thing to do now.

DON’T let the scale define you. Great majority of us will endure many fluctuations and stalls in this journey. It is what it is… patience is the key here. Meditate and envision yourself months down the road at your goal. Smile, then move on!!

DO find out about measuring body fat! It’s more than just weight loss, FAT LOSS is the real goal here. Keep in mind that the BMI scale is greatly inaccurate and most Health Studies do prove this. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE) our body fat % ranges should be average: 25-31% for Women and 18-24% for men. Any higher is considered obese. However it does go more in depth, according to ages and more. Everyone has different genetic make ups, frame sizes and fitness levels... even a different ethnicity can post differences.

DO have many goals in sight. Having only one, especially a simple weight goal you will find can be difficult. Have many MINI goals along your journey, and more than just ones that involve the scale. Such as, clothing size goals, body fat% goals, fitness or workout goals, dietary goals, etc…

DO challenge yourself always!! Whether it’s a global challenge with others, or personal challenges... It will keep you motivated and always willing to go further than you ever thought you could!

DO have a mentor! Find someone that you can trust and confide in, and that you know has “been there”. Preferably someone you know in person. You will find many folks in your life who have been there, for obesity is worldwide now and there are so many who have been able to defeat this demon. It’s not easy! It quite literally is the toughest feat I’ve ever had to endure. I can say this too, my job will never be done. This is for life!

And finally…

DON’T ever beat yourself up! We all make mistakes, and dare I say not one person on this Earth is perfect. I try hard to be, no doubt! I always admit that I’m a perfectionist – but I’m far from perfect. I just try to be… The only thing you can do is pick yourself up, give yourself a pep talk, perhaps contact your mentor for reassurance and move on!!! Again, this is for life. Every day you wake up is a second chance.

DO look for solutions to your problems. Otherwise they will just become excuses.

DON’T EVER GIVE UP. I don’t think any explanation is necessary here.

Good luck to all of you. This journey is a tough one, but if you are here, then you believed in yourself enough to give yourself the life you’ve always dreamed of. YOU WILL BE successful. Always keep that in mind.

Add-ons by other experienced sleevers:

DO keep a list of NSV (Non scale victories) to reflect on when times are getting hard. Can you walk up 2 extra flights of stairs before getting winded? Cross your legs?" and

"DO NOT be afraid to change things if they aren't working. Stalls happen even gains happen. If you are on a long stall look at your eating and decided if changes need to be made. Utilize your tool!" -- Southern Sleever

DO: Keep a food diary of what you eat and drink. This is a great learning tool as to which foods have what amounts of fat, protein and carbs that add up to your daily intake goals. There are many ways to diary your food - from old fashioned pen and notebook to many options via smartphone apps. Keeping one is the important thing - however is right for you. I use mine now to look back for meal ideas when I hit a blank as to what to prepare for a day or a week.

DO: Realize this is not a diet to be followed for a while then set aside. This is a permanent lifestyle change. Yes, the amount of food you eat will increase as time passes, but your relationship with food will be forever altered. How you celebrate your joys, successes and holidays will be different. How you mourn your sorrows will be different. Some people need outside help to get through the sometimes overwhelming mental changes this process brings. If you need help with this part of the deal- reach out and get it. -- SKCUNNINGHAM

DO roll with the punches!! -- fern
This site makes me sad


I found it because hubby has mentioned that 's been feeling the need to vomit after meals and its been happening daily.  It's not that he wants to, he just suddenly gets nausea and goes running.  So I googled "throwing up after eating" and found myself on this site...

I just want to hug all these girls (mostly females I'm willing to bet) and tell them that they're beautiful and not to fear food.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Had a pretty good day all things considered.  I slept late, lazed around a little bit and then went out and got some flowers and went to the cemetery. It was good, I feel very peaceful after spending some time there.  Afterwards I went and got a lottery ticket ... fingers crossed!!

Came home and spent some time doing computer stuff with my bro, tried on some new threads I picked up yesterday and then had a good workout with Bob and Biggest Loser on the Kinect.  Feeling good

Only minus to the day... I ate too fast and ended up worshipping the porcelain god.  Haven't done that in awhile.... my bad.

Mini fashion show below :)

A serious moment and remembrance

April 6, 1992  I lost my younger brother (middle child) to suicide.  He ended his life over the Easter long weekend and I was the one that found him the morning we were all going back to school.

I was 15 years old and he was 13.

It was the worst day of my life and I know that with certainty.  I honestly cannot imagine something worse than that day. I lost my mom only a few years later where I, as the eldest, had to make the decision to turn off machines and chose to be there when it happened... that wasn't a good choice, it was equally traumatizing and will remain in my memory almost as clearly as the day we lost my brother.

Today is Shawn Michael Massey's 20th year without his family that loved him deeply.  I decided to post this because I felt the strong need to remember him this year since I'll be leaving Alberta and will have little chance to visit his grave site after this anniversary.  Also I posted it to remember the pain I felt and have continued to feel in the 20 years since.  I've had nightmares of that day for the last 20 years and I wish I could let them go.  It's very hard not to remember things etched in your memory with dynamite.  Paint or wallpaper... or denial.... they're all easier to remove.

To my little brother that would be 33 years old today if he had still been here.  I love you.  I always will.  Take care of mom.

I don't normally post stuff quite so intimate, private or personal but this is important and I want it to be logged on the internet for all time because my family is my family for all time.  I still count my brother among my siblings even though he's no longer of this earth.  He is the only thing that makes me want to believe in a higher power.  And in that higher power, I pray hard... constantly... for leniency and forgiveness in this choice he made.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WLS musings

I'm having some difficulty on the boards of late.  I see these posts asking about making choices post op (early post op especially) for different foods they "think" they can have and if its ok. For some reason I think that if they get the "approval" from their anonymous online peers then it must be ok and then they have someone to blame other than themselves when it all goes wrong

All I have been able to reply is basically this:

Do you want to lose weight?
Do you want to keep it off?
Do you want to change your relationship with food?
Do you want to be posting about stalls (or worse complications!) because of your choices?
Do you want to be among the statistics of people that REGAIN their weight?

You only get one good shot at this post op.  Why make choices that you KNOW aren't good for you or not on your surgeons plan?  Do you think that the surgeon made the plan up purely to torture you?

Think about this.  Think about your choices post op.  And then after that, its up to you to make this choice.  You can eat the foods you're not cleared to because you think its ok... or you can eat the foods you're supposed to because you want to optimize your results for as long as you can!

I'm having less and less patience with this as I get further from my surgery.  Are people really thinking this or are they just trolling?  I'm having difficulty deciding if they REALLY wanted this healthy life or just chose surgery simply to get SKINNY.

signed (nearly) 1 year post op and lower than goal

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Iron issues

I'm starting to wonder.  I go to a close-by medicentre to get my weekly injections and the doc there pulled my bloodwork info because he said I should have seen SOME changes in my bloodwork with all these injections.  He said that my ferritin level is fine at 17 (low is 12)  and so is my hemoglobin at 121 (low is 120).... so now I am really confused.

I see my doc on the 11th so I plan to ask her what the heck she's seeing that he's not and if this is all really necessary at all.  It still doesn't explain my dizziness, fatigue and fainting but at least if I can stop with these darn weekly injections, its a plus... especially if they're unnecessary which it sounds like they are?!  A week ago I was freaking that I was a step away from a transfusion and today I'm wondering if the last 1.5 months of weekly injections were even ever required...
Figured out what my iron injection feels like that I get every week.

A charley horse in your ass muscle.  It HURTS!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Body Image... and Plastics?

Why is it that when I was 100 lbs heavier I actually was LESS self conscious of my body? Is it some kind of body dysmorphia, was I actually more confident or was it all a facade to keep myself in a bubble of denial?

When I was heavier I had no problem prancing around nekkid in the house. I didn't even care if I passed in front of an open window. I felt comfortable in my skin (I thought so anyway) and I felt like a sexy beast.
Now I want to turn the lights off. I feel like I have little grandma boobages (I went from 38E to 34D) and the amount of wrinkly ass extra skin on my tummy makes me want to hide my body. All I can focus on was how badly I want to get plastics and how to best hold my body so I and my hubby can't see the yucky skin.

When I was bigger I remember saying to myself and others... he's is just happy you're naked, he's not judging your body, you are! And now, pot meet kettle. I can't even listen to my own damn advice.

Do any of my dear readers have these body image issues with yo yo dieting? How can you get past them? I get it .. love yourself, that's a no brainer. Is there anything else you can do though??

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weight updates

Today I'm at 133 lbs.  I'm not trying to lose any more weight.  It's still coming off too easily for my liking.  I've added Pro Performance Mass I.V. instead of the lower calorie one (1/2 serving) to get more calories in.  I am striving to get in 1200-1500 calories a day now that I've finally gone back to the gym.  I've been twice now with the new trainer.  I hurt.  lol.

http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12409762"]http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12409762   With 980 calories, 60 grams of protein (from 8 different sources!) and only 10 grams of sugar, Mass I.V. gives you more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

I hope it gives me the energy, calories and protein I need to build some muscle and stop losing weight!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More iron lamentations...

As I've mentioned, I'm having a lot of problems with my iron. I honestly do not feel that my sleeve has anything to do with it as I've had issues for a lot of my life with anemia (as a child) and even a platelet transfusion due to an allergic reaction to a drug when I was 6 years old... it basically made me a hemophilic as I couldn't stop bruising. My platelets weren't working. I had a condition called thrombocytopena purpura.

I'm wondering if that condition somehow transformed or something. I'm now waiting on my doc to actually GIVE me my numbers but after a fainting episode due to Low BP and Anemia complication, I have been on Iron injections every week (daily for a week, then weekly since). I've experienced a great deal of fatigue since my surgery and just chalked it up to a little but of laziness and more of not enough calories. Now, it appears I may actually have a medical reason why I'm so very very tired all the time.

After a couple of months of oral iron supplementation with zero results, I had moved to injected iron. Still, no results (as of today). The nurse called and told me that my doc wants another 3 months of iron injections (done weekly of 2ml) and then another re-test to see if there's any changes. I'm scared now. I feel like if they're going to have to transfuse, then just DO IT. I'm moving to another province in 2.5 months and I'd like to not do this from scratch with a new doc....

I don't know what to say. I'm mostly nervous, scared there's something FOREVER wrong with me (because of, or exacerbated by my sleeve) and I don't really know where to turn right now. I've got an appt with my PCP April 11 and I plan to ask for a hemotogist referral at that time.

Any suggestions, feedback, commiseration, thoughts... anything.....

Bleh and Meh

I'm becoming more upset about this iron issue. Just got a call from my doc. No change in my iron levels at all. I've been getting injections for weeks and NOTHING. She wants me to keep doing the weekly injections and re-test in 3 mo and go from there. 3 months from now I'll be in Vancouver and have to go through this all over again with a new doc.

WHY is my body not keeping iron? Even if I ate NOTHING AT ALL, the injections should be making SOME help
Does this mean that I won't be able to maintain my iron for the rest of my life? Will I need another transfusion? I'm scared of this now.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


*whine* I feel like shite. Went to sleep at 7pm last night. Apparently I was out in seconds because hubby said that someone called for me and even with the phone right beside the bed, I didn't hear it. He woke me up at 11pm to give me more nyquil and I was back in slumber land before long. Throat isn't as bad today as yesterday but the overall feeling like crapola is worse. I can't even focus on stuff. Bad idea to have me working on the stuff I have to do but I can't afford another sick day already. I just had one less than 2 weeks ago because I was crapping myself.


Friday, March 9, 2012


Happy Birthday GOAL baby.... GOAL!!!!

I reached my ultimate goal weight this morning!

135 lbs!
10.5 months since surgery and I'm so much healthier.

The small things I notice... NSV's!

I can see through the space between my thighs standing normally!
My visible collarbones are a permanent fixture.
I can RUN! Even with asthma, I can run and not get light headed or out of breath!
My knees don't click anymore!
My lower back doesn't bother me anymore!
I couldn't care less about the scale these days. I jumped on this morning purely out of curiousity
Hubby can now wrap one arm all the way around my body
I now search for Size Small (sometimes Medium) and/or Sizes 4-6 and not 18/20 or XL/1X
I haven't been on anti-depressants in nearly a year (although I nearly went on them again back in nov/dec, I'm feeling alot better now)
I feel STRONGER. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically.
I feel empowered.

I CAN do this and I am so excited for everyone in their own journey to see that regardless of how we get there, we all have the same goal at heart. Our health!

I'm so so so happy

Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 1 down

Today was my final day of my daily injections.  Now I get to go weekly.

I AM feeling better.  Hubby says I look more refreshed and less white and sunken.  I do notice more energy and I'm not as dizzy when I stand.... so maybe its working.
I get my iron tested in a week... see where I'm at and if I need to do this for another 2 months every week.  I hope not!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some bariatric notes I want to remember...

I was posting on Gastric Sleeve and realized that this advice that I was giving to someone who is pre-op about this decision is good enough that I need to keep it here.... perhaps I'll add to it as time goes by.

Things to remember - 
- vitamins are SO important post op. More than that, vitamins in liquid or chewable form (bariatric if possible) are best for us post-op and you WILL need to take them for the rest of your life to remain healthy. 
- water is your friend. People say that pre-op but its more important post op as we can become dehydrated easily because we can't get in the volume we were able to once before. No more can you down a whole bottle of gatorade after a good workout.... it's going to take a 1/2 hour (at LEAST) to drink that bottle post op!
- CHEW. CHEW. CHEW. Everything should be chewed to MUSH. 
- Take SMALL bites. If necessary, do like I've done and choose to eat from children's plates and with their cutlery. It helps remind me how small I need to be eating.
- NEVER eat more than 1 cup (if that.. I can still only get 1/2 cup in) in a sitting
- NEVER take longer than 20 minutes to eat your meal.... this goes to how small of a serving you should eat and how long you should be chewing!
- Do not drink within 30 mins of eating... before or after
- Don't drink soda. It's not good for you anyway and takes up liquids where you should be having water. I haven't had soda in a year and I don't even miss it.
- Don't rush your food stages. 
- You're not really HUNGRY (physically)... your head might be but not your stomach. 
- Eat something every few hours to keep your metabolism burning and to get your calories in. 
- Choose protein first. ALWAYS.

I think one of the main things I believe about my journey is this... You only get 1 chance post op to do this right. You've made this MAJOR life changing decision to remove part of your stomach... don't waste it with excuses to yourself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Turning a corner

Feeling a bit better today.  Haven't pooped myself in a whole 24 hours now.  YAY!  Tummy isn't quite right yet but its getting less touchy.

Iron injection #3 was yesterday in the right buttock.... it hurt.  It still hurts/tender-y this morning.  She must have got me good in the muscle.  Have I mentioned that I HATE needles? 

When I was a kid, I had alot of medical issues and was in the hospital fairly often with pnemonia as a complication of being asthmatic (or is it the other way around...?) and then a blood problem (called thrombocytopenic purpura caused by an allergic reaction to a drug called Ilosone ..look it up I had to!!) that required a platelet transfusion.  So I got alot of pokes.  So many IV's that I have old poke hole scars in my right elbow bend and left top of my hand. 

Consequently, I loathe needles.  When I was a child in the hospital I would choose the NASTY tasting meds any day over the injections of adrenaline they'd give me in my tummy that I'd have to get when my asthma was really bad. I try and be a grown up about it now and just suck it up but my heart rate increases exponentially when I need to get a shot or blood drawn.  I WAS trying to be a contributing member of society by giving blood every few months but it looks like that's been taken away from me now too.  My iron is too low now to donate.  There's not enough left over for me!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's something I ate or a virus but this tummy bug has been kicking my ass the last 2 days. The cramping and the explosive liquishits are bad enough but not being able to get anything in isn't helping matters I don't think. Even Gatorade hurts my sore tummy and I fear putting anything else in because it passes through me within 20 minutes. So in the last 1.5 days I've had about 1 cup of a protein mango smoothie, 1 cheese string, 1 bite of a raisin bagel with butter, and 1/2 an Arby's jr bacon cheddar burger (minus the bun). The Arby's was because hubby and I went to get something to eat and that was all that was around... not the best choice but frankly I was just happy that I didn't crap myself before I got home. I know that not eating isn't good for me nutrition wise but I just can't get anything to stay IN me right now and the cramping in my stomach makes me not want to try anything else.

In other news, crapping for 2 days leads to new lows on the scale!

Can you find some food that is high in iron to eat?
From webmd
To boost the amount of iron in your diet, try these foods:

Red meat
Egg yolks
Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards)
Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
Turkey or chicken giblets
Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans

I do eat eggs and turkey frequently but that's really it among that list. I don't eat cereal, it just isn't worth it for me nutritionally otherwise and how little I can eat, its just not going to do anything. Red meat is still a tough one for me. Some days I get one bite and sleevie says NO WAY. I don't get enough spinach... I should eat more of that.

Had my first iron injection last night. Went to the walk in centre near home (so I wouldn't have to drive 45 min every day to my PCP for a simple injection) and told them what I was there for. 1 hour 45 min later, the doctor told me that she wouldn't do it.  She had a bad experience with anaphylactic reaction from an iron injection in the past and wasn't comfortable doing it. I was pretty pissed off that I'd waited all that time to be told they wouldn't do it. They called another walk-in just down the street and they were equipped and willing to do it so we went there, waited another half hour, got the injection and then had to wait another half hour there to make sure I had no reactions. I get to do this every day for the next 6 days... and then weekly for 2 months. At least now though, I have appointments at the walk-in and they will do it. Only issue is that I have to take every afternoon off work at 230pm to get the injection because its at 315 (1/2 hour commute). I'm going to do the weekly injections on the weekends but the next few days at work are going to put me behind... especially since I'm not a work today because my toilet and I are getting more acquainted with each other