Weight Loss

2 Years, 5 Months After Weight Loss Surgery

I have friends now who have never seen me at my heaviest, or even close to it. They don't know me as a formerly very fat person, only as I am right now. For the people who have known me longer, my struggle with weight loss was so very visible, as was my success.

I'm almost done. That's a scary thought.

120 Pounds Gone

With weight loss surgery, you get two years tops of weight loss benefit. After that, you have to try twice as hard to lose weight half as quickly. In just under two years, I lost 120 lbs. I went from 296 to 176. For the past six months, I have been maintaining my weight between 176 and 169. (Side note: I've been at 169 once before, when I was 24. I've never weighed less than that as an adult.) I wasn't trying to maintain, but I didn't realize that I needed to change my behavior again in order to keep losing weight.

1000 Calories Is Not a Lot

I have an end goal in mind. I'm not there yet. I need to work much harder than I have been to get there. Since I had logged onto Livestrong to get that weight chart, I decided to track my food today. I was SHOCKED to see that in order to lose 2 lbs/week, I should be consuming an 1100 cal/day diet. At my highest weight, to lose 2 lbs/day, I could consume twice that amount. It takes fewer calories to keep this smaller body running. I don't even know what an 1100 calorie day looks like. Not really. I need to diligently track my food intake again until I get a handle on it. I consumed 1300 calories today, and exercised a little. I only took half of my supplements, but I had 109g of protein. Tracking what I eat does more than help me lose weight, it makes me focus on nutrition.

Bombshell Unfinished

At the beginning of the year, one of the three words I chose to help me reach my goals was "Bombshell." I thought that focusing on my looks (because I am oh so vain) would keep me on track with weight loss. I was able to stick with what I'd been doing for two years, but I didn't realize that I needed a new plan. I know it now.

There's another piece to this body puzzle -- a few extra pieces that don't belong. An unpleasant byproduct of massive weight loss is extra skin. Oh, the skin. My arms look twice the width they are because half of that is skin. Naked, the rest of my body looks like a melted candle. And, I hate when I talk about this to someone with a mom belly or chubby arms, because she says, "Wear a tank top if you want to wear a tank top," or, "I have a pooch, too." It's not the same thing. This is not normal wear and tear. I can hide it with foundation garments and clothes, but until I have this extra skin surgically removed, I am going to feel like I am unfinished.

I plan to have three procedures done in two separate sessions. I am hoping to have the first two surgeries in August, and the third in November or December. I'd like to schedule them around school vacations so that my aunt (a teacher) will be available (hopefully) to help care for my kids during the hardest part of the recovery. I'm waiting until August, so I can fill this skin with more muscle and lose more fat.

Now for Some Pictures


This picture was taken at my highest weight, in 2009.

Before 296lbs


This picture was taken within the past month.



20 Months After Gastric Bypass

I haven't been posting about my progress lately because it hasn't seemed like I have made any progress. I don't like to post about the minor backslides, or plateaus for the same reason I only record weight losses on my chart. With weight loss, I absolutely have to focus on the positive, or I get caught up in a vicious cycle of self-sabotage. Rather than try to figure out why or how I end up in that cycle, I just avoid it altogether. I only post when things are good. I only record my weight when it's down.

Speaking of which, I broke a months-long plateau and finally broke out of the 180s. Today, I weigh 179.8. I recorded my weight on Livestrong.com, where I track everything. This is the chart showing my high weight, a few months before my surgery. It's hard to believe that two years ago, I weighed nearly 120 pounds more than I do now.



You know how sometimes you break up with your bad boyfriend and then you accidentally sleep with him a week later?

Yeah, I fell off the carb wagon. Halloween got the better of me. If I didn't have two little girls who would be heartbroken, all of this candy would be in the trash right now. The bulk of it is going to work with me tomorrow. My coworkers will devour it before lunch time.

Also, I swear this is not a weight loss blog.

Major Weight Loss Milestone Achieved


That's right. I finally weigh less than 200 lbs. As of this morning, I weigh 199.2. I have been hovering around 205 FOR A MONTH. Kicking refined carbs to the curb helped me push through the plateau. I'm so glad to be on the other side. The last time I saw this weight, was in 2000, right before I got married.

I'm trying to think of a way to celebrate that won't cost $600 (new tattoo), and doesn't involve food (I am so much better than that loser pizza). A friend suggested shopping but, according to Foursquare, I have checked in at the mall 12 weeks in a row, so shopping doesn't feel celebratory to me. Any ideas about how I can celebrate this milestone?

Four pounds to go to the next milestone:

249 (under 250)

234 (50 lbs lost)

209 (75 lbs lost)

199 (under 200 and what I weighed when I got married)

195 (100 lbs down from my highest weight)

186 (100 lbs lost)

175 (what I weighed when I met my husband)

169 (my lowest weight as an adult)

149 (under 150)

139 (goal)

P.S. I am still planning to move to Texas, so if you know of any jobs or contacts in Dallas or Austin, please let me know.

A Lesson in Behavioral Therapy


I quit eating refined carbohydrates yesterday. It has only been one day, but it has been a breeze. I had an epiphany on my way to work in the morning (that's when I do my best thinking). I am like THAT girl who keeps going back to her terrible boyfriend. I was never THAT girl. I prided myself on not being THAT girl. I may not have great will power, but I have more than my fair share of pride.

Once I realized that I was acting like THAT girl, but with carbs instead of a man, it was easy to quit. I was disgusted with myself for being so weak. All day yesterday, whenever I was tempted by carbs -- now, here comes the crazy part, only it isn't crazy since I have a degree in psychology, it's science* -- I said to myself, "I don't need that bad ex-boyfriend." This triggered the same emotions I had following break-ups when I was single, as well as some of the same thoughts, like, "I am so much better than that loser."

I've never been able to quit carbs in the past, but I have broken up with a lot of boyfriends and never looked back. THAT, I can do. Check in two months and I guarantee that I will be boasting (goes well with the pride) about how I never went back to my ex. I mean, chips.

*It's science, not crazy, is another thing I tell myself.

Ten Months After Gastric Bypass

I have a confession to make. I haven't been following the rules. I haven't been getting enough protein. I haven't been taking in enough fluids. I haven't been taking my supplements. I haven't been exercising. I haven't been losing weight as quickly as I could. So, it's back to the basics for me.

Today, I weigh 202 lbs. That is a loss of 84 lbs since I had surgery. Even though I am so close to a milestone weight (199!), I am not going to weigh myself again until November 29th, the first anniversary of my surgery. I hope that I will have lost 100 lbs by then, but I am going to focus on following the rules for the next two months, not my weight. When I concentrate on my weight, I play too many games with myself. Like, hey, I lost two pounds in the last two days, I can totally eat a bag of chips.

I am in a size 16 now, mostly. I have a couple pairs of pants that fit very nicely and a couple that are super tight. Like, obscenely tight. Most of my tops are size XL now. I still have a couple XXLs, but I also have a couple Ls. I thought about taking a new picture for you, but I am sick today and I don't feel like putting on clothes and combing my hair. Speaking of my hair, it's still falling out, but the doctor said that should be tapering off now and stopping within the next couple months. Getting back on track with my supplements will help, too.

One of my goals is to have calves that measure 14 inches or less in circumference. Most of the really cute boots I want have a shaft circumference of 14.5 inches.

Measurements (inches lost from start):

Chest: 7 inches

Waist: 5 inches

Hips: 12 inches

Arm: 5 inches

Calf: 4 inches (now at 15 inches)

Thigh: 7 inches

Neck: 2 inches

Check back for an update in two months. But, you know, keep reading my blog in the meantime because I do post other things.


I weighed myself the next day. 201.6. But now I'm really done weighing myself. It does not matter WHEN I hit 199. It will happen. My health is more important than my weight. My health is more important than my weight. My health is more important than my weight.My health is more important than my weight...

Almost to Onederland


"Onederland" is what the people in my weight loss surgery forum call it when they finally drop below 200 lbs. I currently weigh 211. I would like to make it to Onederland by my birthday on September 20th. (I'll be 37, by the way.) That gives me 36 days to lose 12 lbs, which is totally doable. If you see me with chips or a cookie, slap that crap right out of my hand. Thanks.

Almost Eight Months After Gastric Bypass

I had some new pics taken. Once they are done being processed, I will post a full body shot, but here is a head shot to keep you until then. Oh, and an update on measurements. As of last week, I am 70 lbs down from surgery and 80 lbs down from my highest weight of 296.

Inches lost in eight months:

Chest: 5.5

Hips: 11

Waist: 4

(I KNEW I was less pear-shaped than before, which is totally weird.)

Arm: 4

Thigh: 6

Calf: 4

Neck: 2


Seven-and-a-Half Months After Gastric Bypass

The last couple months have been slow going when it came it the number on the scale, but I've finally made it to 70 lbs lost. That's a lot of pounds, yo. I haven't been too alarmed by the stall because I know I have been losing inches. My size 18 pants are getting looser and looser. (I can't wait to ditch the ones I bought at Wal-Mart.)

High weight: 296

Surgery weight: 286

Current weight: 216

I hope to get down to 199 by my birthday on September 20th. I am going to reward myself with a new tattoo. I want a big dragon to cover the lizard I got when I was 18. You can see the lizard in this picture from my wedding. Coincidentally, I weighed about 199 when I got married.


I plan to use the artist who did this to Undomestic Diva. (Photos by Megan Hook)



Weight Loss Milestones: Six-Month Update

I have lost 63 lbs. and I weigh 223 lbs. I have crossed off two of my weight loss milestones.

249 (under 250)

234 (50 lbs lost)

209 (75 lbs lost)

199 (under 200 and what I weighed when I got married)

195 (100 lbs down from my highest weight)

184 (100 lbs lost)

175 (what I weighed when I met my husband)

169 (my lowest weight as an adult)

149 (under 150)

139 (goal)

Six Months After Gastric Bypass

I am hopefully at the end of a three-week weight loss stall. This is the longest stall I have had, so I am consoling myself with a loss of inches. Six months out from surgery, I have lost a total of 60 lbs. and 28 inches. I have gone from wearing size 26 and 4X, to wearing size 18 and 1X. My shoe size has gone from a 10 back down to a 9. On the negative side, my hair is falling out. The doctor said that this should stop in about three months. The new supplements I added seem to be helping as well.

Inches lost*:

  • 3.25 inches off my waist
  • 8 inches off my hips
  • 4.5 inches off my chest
  • 4.75 inches off each thigh
  • 2.75 inches off each calf
  • 2.25 inches off each arm
  • 2.25 inches off my neck (!)

Things I have been doing well:

  • Not eating too much
  • Eating enough protein
  • Wearing my Fitbit
  • Increasing my supplement intake

Things I need to do better:

  • Drink more fluids
  • Exercise more, and more consistently
  • Take all of my supplements (I had to add iron, B1, Omega-3, and Biotin based on my bloodwork last month)
  • Stop eating chips

*If you happen to look back at the last time I reported inches, you might notice some discrepancies. The last numbers were wrong. I think. Who knows?

The Capacity of My Pouch

The part of my anatomy where my food goes since I had surgery is called a "pouch." It was formerly the top part of my stomach. (The rest of my stomach is still in there, making digestive juices, which it adds to my intestines farther down the path. No food goes into that stomach anymore.) If I eat too much, I feel painfully full. My pouch rarely feels empty, though, so my appetite is greatly diminished.

Here are some examples to illustrate the capacity of my pouch:

  • Half of a small Lunchables
  • Most of a Taco Bell hard taco
  • One chicken thigh
  • One cup of thin turkey chili
  • 1/3 of a six-inch Subway sandwich on flatbread
  • Half a cup of pasta
  • 1/4 of an entree-sized salad in a restaurant
  • Most of a restaurant-sized hamburger patty
  • Two scrambled eggs
  • 1/4 of a deli sandwich
  • One, single-serving bag of chips
  • Two small crab cakes or one big crabcake
  • 8 medium-sized shrimp
  • One mini wheat pita from Trader Joe's with as much red pepper hummus as I can pile on it

Four Months After Gastric Bypass

I don't really want to post a weight loss update this month. I took pictures, but I didn't like them, so I don't want to post them. I didn't take my measurements because I hate doing that. I have lost almost 50 lbs. Almost. I have hit another stall and I can't quite get there. This stall will break, so I am not worried, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating in the moment.

I went to SXSW in Austin, TX four weeks ago. I came home four pounds lighter and addicted to diet soda again.

Ok, here are some pictures.

Highest weight ever:


Last month at SXSW:


Three Months After Gastric Bypass

As of today, I am down 41 lbs. I forgot to take my measurements at the beginning of the month, so I'll just wait until next month. I hate doing it. Those numbers are meaningless to me. I care more about the size of the clothes I wear. Right now, I am all 2s: 2X tops and size 22 pants. I am down one size in tops and two sizes in pants.

I actually have a lot of pants that fit me right now. I'm not quite sure how that happened. I have a pair of black chinos, a pair of black slacks, a pair of black jeans, and two pairs of blue jeans. The black jeans are are the only ones I can wear with flat shoes. All of the other pants have to be worn with tall shoes (read: four-inch platform wedges). This poses a bit of a problem since I am leaving in a few days to go to a conference that will entail five days of WALKING. I will probably buy another pair of jeans that I can wear with flat shoes. I can't remember the last time I owned six pairs of pants, all in the same size, that fit me well.

Related: I must stop spending so much money on clothes. I am going to have wait until I am in 18s to buy new clothes again.

Weight Loss Milestones

I have lost 35 lbs and I weigh 249 lbs. Getting under 250 was my first major milestone. Here is a list of all of them:

249 (under 250)

234 (50 lbs lost)

209 (75 lbs lost)

199 (under 200 and what I weighed when I got married)

195 (100 lbs down from my highest weight)

184 (100 lbs lost)

175 (what I weighed when I met my husband)

169 (my lowest weight as an adult)

149 (under 150)

139 (goal.. I am not sure if this is realistic)

Two Months After Gastric Bypass

I haven't taken pictures yet this month, but I did weigh and measure. The loss of inches this month isn't nearly as dramatic as last month, but I have lost more weight, so that's nice. (Surgery was 11/29/10.)

Since last month, I have lost:

  • 9 pounds (31 total)
  • .75 inches off my chest (2.5 total)
  • 0 inches off my hips (5 total)
  • .75 inches off my waist (2.75 total)
  • .25 inches off my neck (1.75 total)
  • (arm and leg measurements were a little screwy)

I found a great support group to go to once a month. They do a clothing exchange before the meeting, which is cool. I have a lot of 3X stuff to bring next month. I am continuing to do well with protein and I am doing better with the fluids. I am still not doing well with my supplements. I don't know how to make myself get into the habit on this one. I have always been terrible about. I also need to motivate myself to exercise. That's another thing I have always been terrible about.

Things I had been doing well with but I have not been doing so well lately are: eating things of little nutritional value, and consuming caffeinated, carbonated beverages. I am already back on track with the food. That part was actually pretty easy. (New tiny tummy helps immensely.) Oh, but I love diet soda. I can't drink it the way I used to, so there is no danger of returning to my former levels of mass consumption, but I can't seem to cut it out entirely.

One Month After Gastric Bypass

I was making myself a little crazy by weighing in every day, so I only weigh in once a week now, and I take my measurements monthly. I also take pictures monthly (but I won't be showing those for awhile).

Since my surgery on 11/29/10, I have lost:

  • 22 pounds
  • 2 inches off my chest
  • 5 inches off my hips
  • 5 inches off my waist
  • 1 inch off my neck
  • 1 inch off each arm
  • 2 inches off each calf
  • 2 inches off each thigh

Since my surgery, I have gained:

  • Clothes that fit me better
  • An easier time going up stairs
  • Dragon breath

Things I have been doing well:

  • Getting enough protein every day
  • Not eating things I shouldn't eat
  • Staying away from caffeine
  • Staying away from carbonated drinks

Things I need to improve:

  • Getting enough fluid every day
  • Trying new foods
  • Taking all of my supplements every day
  • Finding a support group