Monday, June 25, 2012


This is going to be short and sweet, I will try to update soon.  Just adding a few quick pictures of my extra skin.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm About To Get Real

98.6 lbs gone!  I'm only 1.4 pounds away from being able to say I've lost 100 lbs.  So exciting!  I'm wearing a size 14 now.  Interestingly, my shoe size has also dropped.  I've went from a 7 Wide to a 6 1/2.

My eating habits have taken a turn for he worse.  I mean they've gotten bad.  Carbs and sugar every day.  I decided to do something about it and went all liquid protein for a day.  The most unbelievable thing happened.  My tolerance for sugar and fried foods went out the window!  I am now getting sick when I eat something I shouldn't.  This is new, and I don't know if has anything to do with going liquid for a day but that's when it started.  I'm going to count this as a blessing.  A deterrent.  Hopefully this will help get me back on track.

I've started drinking my morning coffee with a scoop of protein.  Sometimes I'll add some coffee creamer, too.  A cup of coffee with Nectar Vanilla Bean Torte and Coffeemate Warm Cinnamon Sugar Cookie is to die for!  Absolutely delicious.  I know it's a few extra calories, but it's better than a lot of things I can think of for breakfast.... like donuts!  Um yeah, I don't know if I want to get started on that.  I was in Schnucks a few weeks ago and saw a fried croissant.  I used to love those, so I thought I'd just get one.  Well, that one turned into three or four over the next couple weeks.  This, my friends, is exactly why I decided I needed to do a day of liquids to try to get myself back on track.  I'm still not back on track, but it's much better than it was! I'm focusing on protein first but that sweet snack is killing me.  I have to stop.  Now.

Classes are just about over for the semester.  I took two finals today and have one more in a couple days.  I'll be so glad to be finished this semester!  Looks like as long as I passed all of my classes, I have my Associate's Degree.  Then, I'm taking the spring semester of and starting back up at the university next fall to finish my bachelor's.  Hopefully, it'll be on to my master's after that!

Okay, time to get real.  I'm still having body issues.  Lots of body issues.  I see myself and I look so big to me in the mirror.  It's only when I look at a picture do I actually see me.  My clothes are starting to fit a little better, but I'm still struggling with a lot of extra skin.  I have a bit more fat to lose, but I'm getting a lot more toned now.  I think it's because I do a lot of squatting and lifting at work, I'm strengthening my muscles.  Even my husband and my doctor have noticed.  I can actually see my muscles when I flex.  Hooray!  Unfortunately, no matter how much I work out and how much I tone, I am not going to lose the extra skin and a bunch of fat is going to continue hanging around.

So tonight I leave you with a couple pictures of a 34 year old woman who let her body go for 15 years, getting larger and larger.  A woman who has had 4 babies, two of them being twins.  A woman who reached the whopping weight of 286 lbs and has lost 78% of her excess body weight.  This is for all those pre-op patients out there wondering what their body will look like after they have lost weight.  I can't say that you'll look like me.  Maybe you'll be lucky and your skin will bounce back.  Mine won't.  The only way for me to get rid of this now is plastic surgery.  Once my BMI hits 30 (it's now 32) I am to return to my plastic surgeon for a followup.  This, folks, is why I wear Spanx.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Burt's Bees Skincare

One thing that we're all told before weight loss surgery is to expect changes in skin.  People who have oily skin my get dry skin, and those with dry skin may get oily.  There's a science behind it and it mostly leads back to hormone fluctuations. 

As a BzzAgent, I recently had the opportunity to try out a new line of skin care from Burt's Bees.  I've always loved this brand so I was thrilled to give it a shot.  I received a couple bottles of Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin.  One was a cleanser and the other a moisturizer. 

As soon as I put on the cleanser, I knew that I liked it.  The scent was light and natural, not heavy with perfumes.  It went on very smooth and rinsed away easily, leaving no film or residue.  It did not feel harsh on my skin. 
Next, I used the moisturizer.  It also went on smooth and was not oily or greasy.  It left my skin feeling so smooth. 

I've been using both the cleanser and moisturizer for about two weeks now.  I've noticed that my skin is smoother and softer.  Best of all, I'm not left with breakouts like I was with my old skin care products. I'm sold.  In fact, I plan on buying the matching eye cream as well. 

If you're looking for a new skin care regimen post surgery, I highly recommend you give the Burt's Bees Natural Skin Solution for Sensitive Skin products a try!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nine Month Update

It's been one year since my first consultation with my surgeon and a little over nine months since my surgery.  A lot has happened since my last update, but it's mostly just person stuff, not surgery related.  I've lost ten pounds since my last update.  Most of that was within the past month or so, believe it or not!  When I look at my weight loss ticker, it just doesn't seem real.  189.  That's 97 lbs lost and 39 to go until I reach my goal.  I've lost 77% of my excess body weight, so even if I don't lose anymore, I consider this surgery to be successful.  I do, however, plan on losing a lot more!

I started a new job in September and that has kept me very busy.  I'm got a job in a deli/bakery.  I may have mentioned before that I have a lot of bakery experience.  Because it's been so hard to find a job, I took it knowing that it would be very hard on my new lifestyle.  Being around all of those delicious goodies all day has been very hard and I'll admit to have indulged more times than I should have - my vice being puff pastries and cheesecake.  I think the novelty of them are starting to wear off and I'm getting back on track.  In fact, I lost three pounds this past week alone!  It's also been difficult because when I'm at work I have to eat fast and eat whatever I can get a hold of.  Sometimes there's some kind of high protein entree in the hot case but it's mostly fried food.  This is how I've found out that I'm able to tolerate fried foods once more.  I'm also able to eat bread again.  This scares me a bit, so I'm trying hard to avoid them.

My schedule is very hectic right now.  I go to class through the day then work in the evening.  Sometimes I am fortunate to work during the day on days I don't have school.  I don't see my kids as often as I'd like, some days for just an hour a day.  I miss them, I miss being home and I miss eating right.  So you'll have to forgive me for not updating my blog lately, I really just haven't had time!

Speaking of school, check out this photo to the left.  This was me in March 2010 when I was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  My how things change!  I look at that and can't believe that's me.  It's true that you really don't realize how big you are.  I look like me only grossly swollen.

I was wearing a size 28 in this picture, and it was tight.  Today I'm in a 16 in pants and can wear a large or some mediums in shirts.  My pants are significantly bigger than my shirts because I have a lot of excess skin around my abdomen.  Details about that in a bit, though, first I want to talk about my clothing size.  I found Spanx to be my best friend.  They really hold things in and make a better fit.  Right now I have to tuck the excess skin into my pants and it just looks horrible.  I'm wearing a pant size 1-2 sizes bigger than my waist and legs, so it always looks frumpy and I hate that!

About a month ago, I decided it was time to buy a couple good bras.  I'd had two bra measurements done and neither of them were correct.  I started this journey at a 48DDD.  I thought what fit me best right now was a 38DDD.  That was until I went for an actual bra fitting.  I tried on a few bras and had someone adjust them and finally found my size.  Hold on to your seats.  38G!!  Holy cow.  This just validated the feeling that I had that my breasts were way too big and causing problems (mostly back pain.)  It was impossible to walk into a store and find a bra in my size.  I did buy to balconet bras from Lane Bryant and let me tell you the results are amazing.  I'm half tempted to post a comparison picture between my old bra and the new one.

So I figured I'd had enough and made a consultation with a local plastic surgeon who was highly recommended by people associated with my bariatric surgeon.  I mostly talked with her about a breast reduction, to which she said I was a good candidate for.  I must get my BMI to 30 (it's currently 33) and be at a stable weight for three months before I can have surgery.  So we're working on it, almost there!  Hoping by next spring, maybe summer, I'll be able to get that taken care of.
Gross hanging skin in the back and in the front!

I also talked to her about a panniculectomy - removal of the excess skin.  She said that will have to be a totally separate surgery and we will discuss it more later.  It's going to be a lot more complicated as far as getting insurance approval for because it has to be proven to be medically necessary.  This is true (because of rashes and such) but it's harder to prove that it is needed.
This skin is not going to go away on it's own.  To the left is a picture of me, 37 weeks pregnant with my twins.  My belly stretched out so big!  I have too many stretchmarks to count.  My skin has totally lost it's elasticity.  Even if I got down to 120 lbs (which I don't plan on) I will still have the hanging skin because it's just not possible for it to bounce back.

After the first of the year, and when I get closer to my goal weight, I will be working more towards my goal of a panniculectomy.  I dream about it, how wonderful it'll be to just zip up a pair of jeans in the correct size and have them hug my body.  Instead, they are tight around the abdomen and way too loose around the waist and in the legs.  I recently bought a pair of size 16 jeans from Old Navy.  I tried on a pair of 14s but I couldn't get them comfortably zipped.  Instead, I have the 16s which are too baggy and I have to keep pulling up but at least they zip, right?  If I wore my Spanx every day I could probably wear the 14s.  But I don't want to wear them to work because let's face it, they are not exactly comfortable and I do a lot of physical work with lifting and squatting.

Speaking of lifting and squatting, I went to see my primary doctor a couple weeks ago to get a prescription for B12 shots.  She had seen me only a month prior to that visit and said even though I'd only lost a few pounds I looked even smaller.  She said I looked toned and the new job was probably giving me a nice workout.  I do feel a little more toned, too.  This morning I had my husband feel my thigh and even he said it felt a lot harder.  Yay for toning!  Oh, back to the B12.  I got the injections so I didn't have to remember to take a pill every day.  I'll inject myself once a month.  I haven't done it yet, my first one will be in two weeks.  I think I'll see if my mother-in-law can do it for me since she's an RN.  Now I just need to find a multivitamin that I like and remember to take my iron!

I'm still drinking a protein shake for breakfast most mornings.  I haven't had one in the past week because I had a mild stomach bug (my first one since surgery) and sometimes the protein shakes upset my stomach anyway.  Didn't want to tempt fate.  I have found a new way to enjoy my protein shakes, though - fat free coffee creamer!  Sure it has a few calories and carbs but I'm not using much of it and I love the flavor that it gives a straight Vanilla Bean Torte flavored Nectar protein powder.  Delicious.  Just typing about it makes me want to go get one.

I guess that's about it for updates.  I seriously need to develop an "ick" factor for the food at work.  I need to get my eating back under control and get the spark back that I had just after surgery.  I'm so close to goal, I don't want to blow it now!

I want to give a special shout out to my support group at New Life Weight Loss Center in Herrin, IL.  These people have become a family to me.  I love you all so much and am grateful for the friendships I have made and support you all give me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender 200W

Oh, the things I imagine using this handy piece of kitchen equipment for!  It's the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender 200W.  I have a chance to try one through Bzz Agent and I'm really hoping they pick me.  Then, I'll be able to tell you all the wonderful things it could do!  The first thing I'd try, of course, is a protein shake.  Maybe some protein in coffee because I can never quite get that to blend well enough.  Purees! Oh, the purees this thing could do, which we all know is essential to the new bariatric patient.  I would make purees with it even now.  I'd puree cauliflower to make mashed cauliflower or cauliflower pizza crust.  I'd puree squash to make soup.  The list goes on and on!  I bet it would even whip eggs to make a fluffy omelet.  Mmmm!!  This thing could be a bariatric patient's best friend!  I hope they choose me so I can tell you all first hand how this tool works!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blender Bottles

I've went through so many blender bottles since starting my weight loss journey a year ago.  They have almost all leaked.  I have a new opportunity to try the BlenderBottle by Sundesa.  I'll be getting it through BzzAgent.  I'm so excited to try it!  I still have one protein shake a day, religiously, so I'm really looking forward to this Bzz campaign.

I'll be posting more of an update post in the very near future!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Well, I did it!  Just a day after I made the last post, I made  it to Onederland.  My weight is finally in the 100's.  It's been a long time coming but I did it.  You know the odd thing, I think I made it because I slightly increased my calories.  It makes me wonder if my metabolism just needed a jolt.  I got about 1000 calories a day a few days in a row.  Now I will drop it back down to 800 and see what happens.

Granted the reason for my calorie increase was not a good one.  I was preparing for my twins' birthday party.  I made a ton of lollipops and cupcakes.  I had to sample some to make sure they were okay.  Well, maybe I didn't have to, but would you serve food you hadn't tasted?

The last time I weighed this much was in 2003.  The time before that was high school.  I actually got down to 172 last time I lost a massive amount of weight and will be thrilled to reach that again.

Did you do the math?  8 years ago I weighed 172.  A year ago I weighed 286. I actually gained most of that within a year!  That's a 114 lb gain.  Yikes.  Thank you progesterone & estrogen.  I stand by my claim that Provera is the devil in shot and/or pill form.  So now I've lost 87 lbs of that regain.

That brings me to mini-goals.  I think I've shared some, but I've made a few more so it's time to post them again.

  • 199 lbs (Onederland)
  • Fit into husband's t-shirts
  • 195 lbs (Less than husband)
  • 186 lbs (100 pounds lost)
  • 172 lbs (weight I was at my last weight)
  • 167 lbs / BMI 29 (No longer obese)
  • 150 lbs - Goal Weight
I don't know if I'll get to my goal weight but I'm going to try my hardest!  At 6 months out my weight loss has definitely slowed, but it has not stopped and that's the important part.

The picture above is one that I took at my twins' birthday party.  It was at the Science Center and there was a full length mirror, which I don't have at home, so I took full advantage of it.  Quite honestly, I was surprised by how thin I looked.  I'm also getting my curves back.

Speaking of curves, I've got plenty of them but not how I'd like them.  Sure my breasts are looking a little better, it's no longer the same size as my waist and my pear shape is finally going away, but I have so much loose skin.  This is a picture taken of me from behind.  Those aren't fat rolls on my back.  It's hanging skin.  It's even worse in the front.  So much so that it hangs over my pubic area.  I'd probably be a size 12 by now if it wasn't there.  Maybe even a 10.  But as it is I have to tuck it in and then the front of my jeans look funky (you can see this in the post below where I'm standing in front of my husband's Trans Am.) 

My jeans are baggy in the legs, loose around the waist but tight around the lower abdomen.  I hope everything catches up because I hate it.  It's awful and takes a lot to maintain so I don't get a rash or odor under the skin.  It adds an extra 5-10 minutes to my shower time to make sure everything is completely dry plus adding any powder or anti-chafing gel that may be necessary.

I don't know if plastic surgery will be something that I'll be able to do, but if I have the opportunity I'll definitely consider it.  If I wasn't so diligent with staying dry and clean I'd be having major issues with rashes right now.  We'll see when that time comes.