Thursday, January 31, 2008

PCP Visit

I went to my PCP today. She gave me a presciption for Lasik, which is a diuretic. I know I am retaining water, and I think I am retaining a good bit of it. She also ran some bloodwork to make sure that it was not arthitis related. I was down 11 pounds since my last visit a month ago. She commented that I looked great. I tried on some size 14 skirts today at lunch and they FIT. Woooo Hoooo!!!

My best friend is coming in to pick up her fiance tonight, so I am going to go out for dinner. Yummo!

Why is it that....

when I eat whatever I want I lose weight? No, I don't go hog wild like the days I did as a pre-op, but still. MLK weekend, I tried to eat protein first, but ate whatever I wanted. The result...I went down several pounds. Now that I am back on the straight and narrow...NOTHING. This sucks. I just want good actions to equal good results, and it doesn't. Will I ever see ONDERLAND?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I started my Couch to 5K today, the second training of the week, and I couldn't finish it. I was wiped. I am going to try again tomorrow.


I weighed on a newer school scale this morning. I weighed myself on this scale about 2 weeks ago. According to it, fully clothed (I did take off my shoes), I weighed 8 pounds less than what I weighed two weeks ago. I need to relax, step back, take a breath, and TRUST MY DS. Some days it is just SO DIFFICULT TO DO!!!

I got two more compliments today. One lady said I looked like I was losing several pounds by the day. It never fails every time I wear clothes that actually FIT me, I get compliments. This is hard at times, because as a fat person you always camouflage yourself. I have a hard time distinguishing the line between what "fits" and what is too "tight" (for my personal comfort level) sometimes.


I am down one of the four pounds that bounced back on me. That is a relief, a HUGE relief. I want to be under 200 so badly. This is so important to me. Not just from a cosmetic (beauty-type) standpoint, but a health standpoint. I want to reach a healthy weight and maintain it. I am so pleased wtih the progress I am making, but I want more progress. I know it would do me a world of good to lock the scale up for a few weeks, but the longest I've stayed off the scale was on vacation. (Truthfully, I would have packed the thing had I thought it would have not been broken by how airport baggers handle things.) I am having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that my weight loss is greatly slowly down. I knew it couldn't continue at the speed of light forever, I just want some reassurance that I will reach goal.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Small Shopping Trip

Ok, so I go into Wal-Mart to get some sugar free Double Bubble Bubble gum. That was a bust. So, I decide to wonder over to the clothing section. I ended up buying two pairs of size 16 pants. I have went down 11 pant sizes....WOW! This is still amazing to wrap my head around. I also decided to try on some workout pants. I could totally wear size 12/14 workout pants! I looked very good on me to boot! They were made by the Danskin company. The last things I owned by Danskin were size 3X, and those were TIGHT.

I got my hair cut and colored this afternoon that was nice. Tomorrow I have my braces consult after school and then my second Couch to 5K Week Three training session. I am back to doing my running on my treadmill because it is really cold. I don't want to be able to use "it is cold" as an excuse. Depending on how I feel I may run in the morning.

Mini Motivators

(From Back in Skinny Jeans)

Bingham on Rest....

"But resting is not doing nothing. Resting is giving the body a chance to recoup, to renew itself, and ultimately to rebuild itself into a body that will move faster or farther. The rest phase is the only time that the body has to bring itself up to your expectations. The days when you don't run are the days when your body incorporates the new strength needed for the next run."


The scale did not move back down yet. GRRR!!!

I wanted to make a comment on my new running shoes. Having a great pair of running shoes really does make all the difference in the WORLD! My shoes were not super expensive, but they do provide some much needed support. Yesterday was the first time I ran with them, and I really could tell a lot of difference.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Couch to 5K

Week three of Couch to 5K is tough! I just did the first round of training this evening. I added up the minutes I ran, and it came up to nine minutes. I am excited about that. I am running on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The program recommends three days a week, but I have been doing four days a week.

Interesting Tidbit

800 lives a day are lost to obesity.

Yet, insurance companies are denying people WLS all the time.

(From an interview on Fox News with the Center for Obesity.)


In July I will be going to Columbia. It looks like I will be there for ten days. My friend Sam from college is doing a Fullbright Teaching position there. There will be about 6 of us going down to visit him once his job is finished. We will be purchasing our ticket sometime in the next month. Before having my DS, I would have been worried about not being able to keep up with the heavy physical demands of touring with a group, but I am not worried about that anymore. Although I would have never picked Columbia as a country to visit, seeing it from someone who has lived there for a year (and a very fluent Spanish speaker) will be a huge plus.

The only other place I have planned for the summer is to go to Nashville for a Literacy Conference for five days.

Spring Break....I am crossing my fingers, but it looks like my friend Penny and I will be going to Niagara Falls and then on up into Toronto, Canada for six days. :)

Hating the Bounce!!!

The scale was up FOUR pounds this morning!!! GRRRR!!! I hate when this happens. I know there are several logical reasons, but still. I am most likely retaining water. Gag. I don't mind hanging out at a particular number for some time, but bouncing drives me insane! I feel like it is double work, like I have to lose that weight, then get back to the regularly scheduled program of my overall weight loss. I guess the DS has spoiled me because I often stay at a certain number for several days or even a few weeks.

I am also entering into a different stage about receiving compliments on my weight loss. I really would like the compliments to stop. Well, I really wouldn't mind if it was only close friends that complimented from this point forward. I am really ready to blend in. I don't want to be known as the girl who lost XXX number of pounds. I was really serious when I said after my weight loss I'd like to take a job where no one knew I was fat.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lifetime's "Queen Sized" Movie

Tonight I watch Lifetime's "Queen Sized" movie. It is the real story of a girl in South Carolina who won Homecoming Queen. She was a plus sized. The movie touched so many cords with me. The ridicule, the not having so many friends, etc....It was weird, like I was reliving part of my high school career over again.

A few things I remember from my high school years regarding my weight...

1. My freshman year having a guy say that I needed to be in the "Building Blocks" club. It was a club for pregnant/teenage mothers.

2. Never having a date through all four years of high school. I even remember asking a guy, Shawn, to the Christmas dance, and getting turned down.

3. My junior year eating four doughnuts every day for lunch.

4. Going to my junior and senior prom ALONE, and wearing old lady formals from the Lane Bryant catalog.

5. Working all summer babysitting to buy "cool" clothes, and only being able to afford a few items from Lane Bryant.

6. Having a hard time fitting into the desks at school.

7. Being in the high school band in 9th and 10th mom was a "band mom" and we were getting fitted for marching band uniforms. She told me that I had the LARGEST uniform the band had.

8. When guys would be interested in me, it was to try to get involved with one of my friends. They wanted to how how to impress them, etc.

My New Running Shoes

I went to Swag Sports today and got my new running shoes. The guy was really awesome, and helped me pick out the pair that worked with what my needs were. He said I needed a shoe with a lot of support because I was flat footed. I asked him when I would need to get another pair of shoes, and he said, "Your legs will tell you." Typically, with normal usage, he said about 3-4 months. I ended up getting a 10.5. I thought the 10 was comfortable enough, but he thought my foot was too close to the end. That means I have officially lost half of a shoe size since having my DS. :)


I really do spend a lot of time studying my ever changing body. My thighs are not just one big blob of fat anymore. The fat has really started to separate from the muscle. (I know what a lovely mental me, it is much better than looking at it in person each day! Plastics, oh I cannot wait!!!) In saying all this, my actual "thighs" are not really that big at all. I guess over the years, I was assuming that I was big boned, etc, but I really don't think that is true. My thighs are actually pretty proportionate with the rest of my body (minus the fat). It is cool to think that I am on my way from thunder thighs to possibly some "hot" legs in the future!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Target had so many CUTE spring skirts! I was totally shopping in the misses section! I tried on several, and really loved them. I could wear size 16! I am going to wait a while, but I do think I will buy a few of them. If I wait until about spring break, who knows, I may be in the size 14!

There was also a really flattering dress from the misses section, size XL (not XXL--I didn't need the largest size in the section). I can't find a picture of it on the Target website. I so want to shop, but I am really trying my best to hold off!

I wanted to buy some of the "Assets" body shaping wear. This is Target's version of Spanx. I LOVE Spanx, but don't really want to invest in it until I am closer to a size that I plan to stay. The price on the Assets body shapers (from under bra to mid thigh) was only $20. The Spanx version is $79.

The only disappointment on my shopping trip was looking at the athletic clothing line. I was actually interested in purchasing some of this for my running. I tried the Champion Line, and I could fit into the XL, but it was too tight to wear for workout out. Perhaps I'll be able to fit in it as I get closer to my 5K runs.

Peanut Butter Cookies - Low Carb Friendly

From Paula Deen.....

1 cup of Splenda
1 egg
1 cup of peanut butter
1 tsp of vanilla

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. (No longer, because there is no flour, and the cookies will crumble.)


10 Months Post Op

Here are my 10 month Post-Op Pictures! I am wearing a size 14/16 top and pants! (I'll take that ANYDAY over a women's size 36 and 4X-5X shirts.)
I weighed in at 205 pounds. I lost 10 pounds this month. I have lost a grand total of 188.6 pounds since March 26, 2007. I have lost 29.5 points off my BMI. I am only six pounds from ONEDERLAND, and nine pounds from being losing half my body weight! I am 14 pounds from an overweight BMI. I'll be posting my inches lost on the 1st of the month.
Non-scale progress this month:
  • I am really pleased with the amount of water I am getting in. Best of all, it doesn't seem like "work" to get the water in, I actually really like it. The trick for me is to ALWAYS have my water bottle with me. All those sips really do add up.
  • I started running. It was something I never imagined myself being able to do for so many years, and I can't begin to tell you how GOOD it actually feels.
  • I registered for two 5Ks this summer.
  • I really don't "stand out" like a sore thumb any more. When I go into a meeting, a store, there are many people that are my size (and many people that I am smaller than).
  • I fit into a size 16 pair of pants!
  • I am overall pleased with my food choices. I am doing really well with eating high protein and high fat foods.
  • My mom didn't recognize me from behind when trying to find me in a restaurant.

Friday, January 25, 2008

And She's Off....

I registered for TWO 5K Races today. I will be running in the Englishton Park Captain's Romp on June 14 (in Indiana). On July 26 (I will be 16 months post-op), I will be running in the 5K Run for Recovery. I am going to get new running shoes tomorrow. I am very excited about that. :) Both races are not local. I am pretty excited about them not being local. It will take some pressure off me, and will just allow me to RUN. I can't believe this is becoming a reality.

Odd Social Situations

Today we are taking my boss out to lunch for her 50th birthday. I love my boss, she is a terrific person. Where are we going? To a KOREAN restaurant. Pre-DS, I was never a big "food experimenter", and I have gotten somewhat better as a post-op. I have no clue what I can eat there, and I have to go to a two hour meeting afterwards! I may not eat anything just to be on the safe side. The only thing I hate about doing that is that I will feel that I am drawing attention to myself, which I never want to do.

Someone got her a blizzard cake, which would normally be something I would love. She wanted some kind of "banana" blizzard cake, and honestly that sounds NASTY! It will be easy for me to avoid that!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fit Day

I did Fit Day yesterday, and my calorie total came up to 3336 calories. Of course, after doing DS Math, I absorbed about 1100 calories. The majority of my calories came from fat first, protein next, and the least amount came from carbs. I don't think I am going to do Fit Day every day, but I will try to check in once a week or so just to see how things are going.

I am down another pound this morning. I weighed in at 205. As I've said a million times over, I am so ready to see ONDERLAND! :) I do want to do something big once I reach this milestone, but I'm not sure what. I would love to celebrate it with my KADS support group, and I'm sure that we will. I am still not at the regulation weight for skydiving, or I think I would go ahead and do that. I'll have to ponder this question a bit more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I have really been focusing more on eating higher fat foods. I have also really worked at eating more. GAG! It seems like a CHORE. I am doing it though. I am seeing positive results on the scale. After so many years of dieting, it is weird convincing yourself that "eating more" is what your body needs. I have to remember that my body has been SURGICALLY ALTERED, and has different needs and requirements.

I have also been thinking about the "source" of my carbs. Carbs that come from nut products or beans, while they still count, seem to have more effect on the scale moving downward. Something to keep in mind as I go forward. I know many people say a carb is a carb is a carb. I have also nixed the SF Dove Chocolates.

I am bored with my clothes. I want some new outfits. I bought two dress shirts and a pair of pants to tide me over until spring, but still! I was getting ready to say that "this time next year" I will have the same size clothes, and I can actually build a nice wardrobe. Yet, that is not true. I plan on having extensive plastics done in the summer of '09, so I still have some time to hold off. It is wild to think that by the end of the summer I could possibly be in a size 12. That would be so awesome.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Got the Job!!!

I got the job teaching GED classes to adults! The lady offered me the job on the spot after my interview. She said it could be 4-6 weeks before I start, because of paperwork, etc. I will either be teaching adults GED courses, OR working with children teaching them academic skills while their parents are working on getting their GED. It is a Family Literacy Program, which I was really interested in. Either way, I am a happy camper!

Queen- Somebody to Love

I want someone to love!!! SIGH!


I am down another TWO pounds! :) I weighed in at 206 this morning. I am inching my way to ONDERLAND. I can't believe that I am at this weight. I was so thrilled to be under 350, then under 300, then under 250, now I am so close to being under 200! We all had expectations entering into our WLS journey, but it is wild watching expectations turn into ACTUAL REALITIES. I was so happy to see the success of others leading up to my surgery, but it is happening to me.

I got to talk with my friend Shandi last night. She had her DS in November. She is doing really well. It was a good encouragement to hear her success. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

What Happened?

I was talking with my best friend Penny today over lunch. We were both talking about our weight loss journey. One thing that really hit me was the RAPID weight gain I had from 5th to 7th grade. The more I thought about it, the more it intrigued me. I am honestly considering calling my pediatrician's office to see if they still have my medical records (I am guessing NOT). Roughly guessing in my head, I gained about 75 pounds during that time. I just wonder what happened? My family had no emotionally traumatic events, etc. I know I can't turn back time, but I do wonder.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hanging Out with My Friend

My friend Penny is visiting from college. We are having a good time. :) We went to Catos today and I got a size 14/16 pair of black pants and two 14/16 tops. I will show you them on the 26th (my 10 month post-op pictures). It felt so good for those pants to fit and zip up.

I was looking forward to seeing my friend for several reasons, but one of them was to go out to eat at some places I don't regularly go. Yes, I've had a few things I would not normally have, but it is weird. Food just doesn't have the hold on me like it once did. Yes, I "enjoyed" it, but I was not a SLAVE to it if that makes any sense. We went to IHOP, and I got the Harvest Grain pancakes. I had 1 1/4 of a pancake, and about 1/3 of a thing of hashbrowns. I didn't WANT anymore. I've lived in the "clean your plate" world for so long, I am still learning to be at awe with this "eat until you are satisfied" world. I like it here better. I feel better.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fit Day ...

I think I am going to start using Fit Day. I used it in the beginning very limited. I am a whiz at adding my carbs and protein up in my head, but I'd like to see what my total calorie count is (and then of course figure out what my absorbed calories are taking into account that we don't absorb 80% of the calories from fat). I am thinking that on a typical day my calories may not be enough. I know that I get a decent amount of calories from fat. The problem with using Fit Day is because I tend to become a bit OCD with stuff like that. That is why I quit using Microsoft Money a few years back. I can give it a solid try for a month and see how things go.

The other thing I am confused about is how increased exercise should affect the amount of calories/food that I need to consume. I am NEVER hungry. EVER. Should I just eat more because I am exercising more? I don't know how to handle this.

I just want to keep things going in the right direction. I want to keep moving down the scale. Losing only 7 pounds has put a scare in me. I know it had to slow down, but I still have a decent amount of weight to lose. I don't want to not reach goal. I know a ton of people have stalled as they approached ONEDERLAND. That seems to be par for the course.

Good News

I have a job interview on Tuesday! This would be for a secondary job, not to replace my current position. This job would be working with adults to get their GED. I have never done this before, but have been interested in this type of work for some time. My mom did it for a few years, and said it was the most rewarding work she had ever done. Even though I have not taught GED classes before, I am hoping that my current job as a Literacy Specialist, would give me a strong start at getting this job. I am a natural encourager too, and I think that would be a big part of this job, helping individuals have the confidence to take the test.

The lady that I babysit for commented on my weight loss last night saying I just keep getting thinner and thinner. I have not really lost that much lately, but I do think that my weight has shifted some, so that might help. I also wonder with all the compliments that I have been getting if I am starting to resemble a "normal" person's weight loss. When you are extremely overweight like I was, it takes at LEAST 50 pounds lost before people say anything (and even then it is typically your CLOSE friends/relatives). When you are not as big, people can start to see the changes of even ten pounds. I kinda wonder if that is where I am at now, I am at a smaller size so people notice the changes easier.


Study Shows How Protein Helps Keep Hunger At Bay

Friday, January 18, 2008


Thoughts from Bingham's Book....

"Getting faster wasn't a smooth, linear progression. It was a frustrating series of good days and bad days."

How much this quote relates to WLS. I let myself get frustrated, because I want the complete smooth linear progression. Yet I forget that even though there are many factors I can control, there are also factors I cannot control. If my body feels I am losing too quickly, it is going to slow down my weight loss process, etc. I can't let the bad days get me down. There is a definite progression, I need to realize that it comes with good and bad days.

Another quote I enjoyed from the chapter:

"Some of the lessons to be learned about yourselves can be best learned as we push toward the edges of our abilities. The truths for which we search, about what and how much we are willing to do, can only be discovered as we continue to ask more of ourselves."


(From Back in Skinny Jeans.) This quote sure has some truth to it! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dinner with Mom, etc...

I had dinner with my mom tonight. I got to Applebees before her. I went ahead and got a table for us. She had to call my cell phone to find out where we were sitting. When she sat down she said, "You look so skinny from behind, I didn't recognize you." :)

I have also noticed that when I sit in seats, I rarely spill out of the seat. The seat holds my entire body. This has never been the case before. It is pretty cool.

I ran into a lady that I used to work with, who had not seen me since prior to my surgery. She couldn't believe my transformation. I told her that I wanted to lose about 40 additional pounds. She said she didn't see where it would come from. I know she was being nice, but it sure made me feel good.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Conversation Today...

I went to a conference with my boss and co-worker today. We had an hour drive each way. On the way back, we started talking about relationships. They started speaking of one coworker who was single. "She has such a nice personality, I don't see why she can't find anyone." (etc, etc, etc.) Both of these women have never been more than 20 pounds overweight (if that). The coworker they were talking about was significantly overweight.

Yeah, sure it is nice to think that in a perfect world people would look at your heart, and not just your outward appearance. We all know that is not true. It is hard to get a date when you are SMO. I know, I've lived it. I know that several of you have as well. I didn't comment to my coworker and boss, because I know they wouldn't get it.

I sometimes wish that I had met "the one" who had loved me when I was fat and would love me when I got thin. That was not the case for me.

Scale Signs

From Back in Skinny Jeans....

Pinch Me

I'm dreaming. I've never had real long term success with losing weight. The fact that I have lost 185 pounds seems so surreal to me. I'm in a dreamy this is awesome mood right now. It feels so amazing not be exhausted. I love not having to worry if my pants will zip, or if I can breath once they are zipped. (I used to hardly dry ANYTHING because I didn't want to take the chance that it would shrink even more, now I don't even give that a second thought.) I feel like I get more respect as a professional.

I really feel like the rest of the weight will come off. Wherever I am meant to land, I will land weight wise. I know before long I will see ONDERLAND. I am guessing that I have not been there since the end of fifth grade. I was a fat kid before fat kids were everywhere (like they are now adays).

Life is good. Having the DS was the best decision I have ever made. I am thankful for Dr. Huacuz, and the fact that he saved my life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A First

I often look at myself in the mirror at a side profile. For the first time in my LIFE, my boobs and gut are even! My gut always used to stick out further than my boobs. WOW, how cool is that. I will post a picture soon just to show you guys how cool it is. I can't wait for my boobs to stick out further because my gut is completely FLAT.

Although my weight loss has slowed, the compliments really have been pouring in. I guess my body is settling, and the loss is showing. One principal said she didn't even recognize me. (I had not been in her school since August. Thinking about it, I have lost roughly 90 or so pounds since August.)

I had to "safety pin" my shirt tighter today. I didn't realize that I was showing much cleavage because it was too loose. I guess I won't be be wearing that shirt anymore.

One of my friends is coming in this weekend. That will be good times. I am looking forward to the nice three day weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Had a Blast!

I had a great time with my high school friend! We talked about a lot of stuff, and really caught up on old times. He has matured considerably. That makes me happy. :)

On a weight related note: I am starting to feel like I really fit in. I don't feel like there is a neon sign telling people to gawk at me. It is the most refreshing feeling in the world.


I am so ready to go shopping for clothes. I am making myself hold out for spring. Even then, most of it will be done at the one consigment store I love, Target, and Wal-Mart. I am hoping by then I will also be a size 14 in tops too. I think the only thing that is really preventing that now is my arm fat. GAG!

I know it is a pain to buy clothes frequently when you are changing sizes constantly. Since I have gotten smaller, I like my clothes to fit. I also notice that when my clothes fit, I receive more compliments on them and my overall appearance.

It is strange going from "what will cover me up the best" (pre-DS) to now "how can I look more polished." I genuinely want to look nicer now. It is a weird thing to explain.

I'm going to take pictures tonight with my friend. I am trying to take pictures of my face every ten pounds down.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DS Math - Diana Cox

This was written by Diana Cox. (Permission granted from author.) It is a great explanation of DS Math concerning calories absorbed.

You may be wondering how DSers can eat 3000+ calories per day and not gain weight. Some people also seem to have difficulty understanding why our arteries aren't clogging up, since most of us eat about 50% of our calories as fat. And my personal favorite is the accusations that we are eating like pigs at a trough or somesuch. For those of you who are genuinely interested, this is how the DS works.

I (and many if not most DS post-ops over 2 years out) eat about 3000 cal/day most days. But we don't absorb that much, of course. This is the "magic" and the pleasure of how the DS works, and why it works. The mathematics of malabsorption look something like this:

I always get about 100 g of protein/day (and NONE of it makes me puke or foam or gets stuck, and I have NEVER had protein shake -- since surgery, I have eaten all my protein as FOOD). 100 g of protein x 4 cal/g = 400 cal eaten; x 0.6 (60% of protein absorbed) = 240 cal from protein absorbed.

Since I eat at least 50% of my calories as fat (full fat mayo to my heart's content; butter with my seafood and veggies; full fat salad dressing, and lots of it, with my salads and veggie dips; nice marbled meats including steak, bacon and crispy chicken skin), let's call it 1530 calories which equals 170 g of fat (fat is 9 cal/g) to make the math easier. But I absorb only 20% of the fat I eat, for only 306 cal from fat absorbed.

So, fat + protein eaten = 1930 calories of the 3000 I eat per day. That leaves 1070 cal or 267.5 g of carbs (4 cal/g). But I only absorb about 60% of complex carbs. I have to account for sugar first, because I do absorb 100% of sugars -- I would guestimate that I eat about 50 g of sugar/day x 4 cal/g for 200 calories from sugar absorbed; of the remaining 870 calories of complex carbs x 0.6 (60% absorbed) = 522 cal from complex carbs absorbed.

So, my ABSORBED calories from 3000 ingested calories (eating 100 g of protein, about 50% fat and the rest carbs) is:
240 cal protein
306 cal fat
200 cal sugars
522 cal complex carbs
1268 calories absorbed per day from eating 3000 cal
And that is why I (and other DSers) can eat like that, not exercise, and still be either maintaining or losing weight. It doesn't suck!

To be clear, I am NOT advocating not exercising! Everyone needs exercise for cardiovascular health, bone health, looking toned, etc. My point is, exercise for losing or maintaining weight loss isn't as necessary for most DSers.

As for arteries clogging from all that fat -- what doesn't get absorbed doesn't get to my arteries, of course! My total cholesterol is 167, my HDLs are 53, and my LDLs are 95. My triglycerides are 95. All of which numbers are EXCELLENT -- my doctor wishes her levels were that good. My CRP (an indicator of inflammation and thus cardiovascular risk, especially in women), which was a dangerous 10 times normal pre-op, and which was not helped much by statins, is now completely normal with NO statins. My cardiologist released me -- there is no need to see him anymore! (A personal note: My cholesterol was 189 prior to my DS. My current cholesterol is 108. I don't know the specific individual numbers, but my doctor said they were well within range.)

Note that contrary to unfounded accusations, I don't eat huge amounts of food at a time (nor do most of us) -- I do eat smaller, higher calorie meals (full of yummy fat!), and I eat 4-6 times/day. I didn't binge pre-op, and I don't binge now. I usually get at least a snack if not an entire second meal out of a restaurant meal, which for me is generally sharing a couple of appetizers with my husband, sometimes a piece or two of bread with LOTS of butter, an entree of my own, and sharing a dessert, along with a drink (Mai Tai!). I usually take home some of one of the appetizers, and half of my main course, and finish it off before bed or for breakfast the next day.

I didn't have a major sweet tooth pre-op, but I eat even fewer sweets now -- the DS changes metabolism to correct insulin resistance, and after 2-4 bites of something sweet, I am generally done. I am satisfied with less sweets than I was pre-op -- sweets taste DELICIOUS for a couple of bites, and then taste overly sweet. I get both the pleasure of having sweets with no repercussions, and no fear of overindulgence. Sometimes, when I feel inclined to indulge but find myself physically not wanting more, this is almost amusingly annoying. No willpower needed!

By the way, based on studies on people with short bowel syndrome, intestinal adaptation is generally complete by about 2 years out. The statistics of weight loss maintenance over 10-15 years with the DS supports the theory that the same is true for DSers -- if there was continued adaptation of the intestines after two years, there would likely be significant and ongoing weight gain in long term DSers, which there generally isn't.


Tomorrow I am having dinner with an old friend from high school. We were best friends in high school, but our relationship parted during college. He contacted HIV my junior year of college. Our major parting came from the fact that he continued to do whatever he wanted, not informing his partners of his status. This broke my heart. In the end, I couldn't be his friend because of it.

He has been HIV positive for 8 years. He has not taken care of himself physically (by way of check-ups or medication) either. I am scared to see how he may look physically. I worry about him, and often have thought of him over the years.

I hope that dinner goes ok tomorrow. I pray that he has matured. I hope he is taking care of himself. I hope I know how to handle myself regardless.


I lost two more pounds! I weigh 208 today. :) I have lost a total of 7 pounds so far this month. I still have twelve more days to go this month, so hopefully I will lose a few more pounds. I am "hoping" that by the end of next month (11 months post op), I will be in ONDERLAND.

I have not run in three days. The break was good. I WILL be running this evening.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

DS Research Study

A new paper by Marceau et al. detailing 15 years of DS results:
Obesity Surgery, 17, 1421-1430 (2007)
Duodenal Switch: long-Term Results
Picard Marceau, MD, PhD1;Simon Biron, MD, MSc1; Frederic-Simon Hould, MD1; Stefane. Lebel, MD1; Simon Marceau, MD1; Odette Lescelleur, MD1; Laurent Biertho, MD1; Serge Simard, MSc2
'Department ofSurgery, Laval University, Laval Hospital, Quebec, Canada; 2Biostatistician Laval Hospital Research Center

Results: Survival rate was 92% after DS. The risk of death (Excess Hazard Ratio (EHR) was 1.2, almost that of the general population. After a mean of 7.3 years (range 2-15), 92% of patients with an initial BMI > 50 kg/m2 obtained a BMI <35>50 obtained a BMI <40.>5 was decreased by 86%. Patients' satisfaction in regard to weight loss was graded 3.6 on a basis of 5, and 95% of patients were satisfied with the overall results. Operative mortality was 1% which is comparable with gastric bypass surgery. The need for revision for malnutrition was rare (0.7%) and total reversal was exceptional (0.2%). Failure to lose >25% of initial excess weight was 1.3%. Revision for failure to lose sufficient weight was needed in only 1.5%. Severe anemia, deficiency in vitamins or bone damage were exceptional, easily treatable, preventable and no permanent damage was documented.

Conclusion: In the long term, DS was very efficient in terms of cure rate for morbid obesity and its comorbidities. In terms of risk/benefit, DS was very sucessful with an appropriate system of follow-up.


In our view, morbid obesity is a metabolic disease that extends beyond uncontrolled appetite and abnormal food intake. For the past 25 years, our goal has been to change the basic physiology of these patients, allowing for excess weight loss, maintenance of weight loss and continuation of a normal life. We consider that it is important for quality of life to be able to eat normally. We felt that it was preferable not to concentrate our effort on food restriction, giving a false impression that the only problem is a lack of control of food intake, but rather to target correction of the metabolic dysfunction. In these patients, the difficulty has never been to attain weight loss, but to maintain that weight loss. Morbid obesity should be considered a chronic disease, which requires treatment for life.

The first 8 years (1982-1990), BPD as described by Scopinaro was the procedure of choice within this center. While the results were positive, a decrease in side effects with improvement of absorption were further targets. The procedure was modified successfully. For the last 15 years (1992-2007), DS has been our primary procedure for all patients. This choice has been reinforced with additional knowledge on important involvement of intestinal hormones in the etiology of obesity. It was also reinforced by the high long-term failure rates reported for numerous other procedures.

The present study could be considered exceptional. The Canadian medical system has facilitated an efficient follow-up of a large unselected cohort. We are not aware of any comparable study, using a consistent procedure with such an extended and thorough complete follow-up.

Our review shows excellent long-term results after 15 years. Both the weight loss and its maintenance compared favorably with any other procedure. It has the best "cure rate" where cure rate is defined as the absence of morbid obesity: 83% of those with an initial BMI >50 maintained a BMI <40 and 92% of those with an initial BMI <50 maintained a postoperative BMI <35.

DS also targeted co-morbidities. It "cured" most diabetic and dyslipidemic patients. For other associated morbidities, results were related to the extent of weight loss, where DS was as efficient as any other procedure.

The reluctance for using DS has been the concern over long-term risks. The present review should be reassuring. The procedure saves lives. A 15-year survival rate of 92% is much better than that of nonoperated morbidly obese subjects and perhaps even better than after RYGBP.8 The operative mortality was found to be comparable to that of RYGBP.13

The long-term risk for malnutrition is real but preventable. Deficiency in albumin, iron, calcium and fat-soluble vitamins requires compliance and medical attention. These deficiencies were rare, they appeared slowly, and were always reversible without permanent damage.
The procedure was relatively secure for bone maintenance. It is possible that with the medical attention provided after surgery, including increased physical activity, better alimentation and appropriate nutritional supplements, the procedure may even be beneficial for bone metabolism, rather than representing a risk.

The negative side-effects with DS were not benign. The unpleasant odor of stool and gas and the frequent abdominal bloating were the price to pay for these patients and it was a major preoccupation for many of them. However, 95% of patients declared themselves satisfied despite this handicap and no one has required reversal of the procedure for this reason.
The present evaluation has an important characteristic, in that it is comprised of a non-selected group of patients. No pre-selection was done on the basis of age, BMI, eating behavior, financial or psychological conditions, merits or expected difficulties for follow-up. With appropriate support, the procedure was found to be useful for all groups.

Thus, the global applications should be appreciated. We conclude that with a structured and devoted treatment team, DS is a very efficient bariatric operation, to the great satisfaction of both the patients and the care-providers.

Finally, one of the striking conclusions of this study is that, in spite of the inherent mortality risk of the bariatric surgery, the long-term outcomes are more positive than the mortality risk without surgery. Furthermore, in spite of the side-effects which are not minimal, the overall patient satisfaction dominates. These two points highlight the profound effect that morbid obesity has, not only on mortality, but also on quality of life.

KADS Meeting

We had two new people join our group! Stephanie is a pre-op and will be having her surgery March 31st. Jesika is two years post-op. (WOW! She looks AWESOME!!!) Vicki will be having her surgery about 2 weeks after Stephanie. We had such a great time talking. We went to Victoria's Secret (for my bra shopping), browsing at a shoe store, and of course had some of THE best ice cream in the world....GRAETERS!

Bra shopping was fun. Turns out I am bigger than what I thought....I am a 38C. I found several bras that I hope will "accent" what little I have there. It was nice being able to shop at Victoria's Secret. I felt girly. :)

Friday, January 11, 2008


I have scheduled a consult for braces. I had braces as a kid, but the dentist was really shady. He literally closed up shop in the middle of the night, and I never got retainers, etc. I still have a decent overbite too. I want to see what she can do with my teeth. There are going to be several factors to consider: how long I will have to wear them, what "major" work might need to be done (surgery, weird devices, etc), and of course cost. I go next week. I'll keep you posted. With all I have planned with plastic surgery, I figure I might as well go head to toe with this transformation!

Size 18....

I'm getting much closer to saying FAREWELL to size 18. Several of my size 18 pants are getting pretty loose. When I officially reach size 16 (I'd say by the end of February), I will have gone down ELEVEN PANT SIZES since my DS!!! That blows my mind.

Every now and then, I try on my pre-op pants, and I can't believe I used to not only fill those pants up, but they were VERY TIGHT when I wore them to Mexico to get my DS. I am almost to the point where I can fit into half of my pre-op pants. I'd say in the next 15 pounds I will be able to do it. That picture will really hit home with how much weight that I have lost.

I have heard once you hit size 14, that your clothing size changes roughly every ten pounds. Fat clothes were always pretty generous. You could usually go 15-25 pounds up or down, and not need to change a size. It will be a different experience watching my clothing size change that often. It would be awesome to think that this summer I could possibly be a size 12. That I could be shopping in the "regular" part of any store. It almost seems too good to be true. :)

Watch out size 16, here I come. (That won't be my final stopping point though! Wooooo Hooooo!)

Note: I looked back in my blog and in August I was talking about getting to a size 26. Five months later, and I'm looking at a size 16!!! :)

Support Group

We are having our Kentucky Area Duodenal Switch Support Group meeting tonight. I am so excited!!! We found another pre-op who lives in Indiana (but very close to Louisville) who will be attending. There is also a possibility of two additional people. Our small group is starting to grow. I am so glad. I started out with grand intentions of going to the local support group here, but it is exclusively RNY and Lap-Band patients. I want to talk with people who experience the same things I do.

I'll run again tonight. I am actually looking forward to it. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I am taking a break from running today. I will be back at it tomorrow. My carbs should be ending at about 33 today. My protein should be at 135. Nothing else too exciting to report.

Don't Let The Scale Define YOU

or your Happiness. (From Back in Skinny Jeans)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I ran for about seven tenths of a mile tonight. I went eight tenths, but I walked about 1/10 of the way.

This morning I saw an old friend. Actually, it was a really good friend prior to me having WLS. She spoke, and was nice, but it was very different. We were about the same size before I had surgery. It was weird seeing my old body double right there in front of me. It is one thing seeing it in pictures, but it is another seeing it right in front of your eyes in real life.

I think about how I would feel if she had been the person who had WLS, and not me. I would love to think that I would be super supportive, etc. Yet, at the same time, I could see myself withdrawing just like she has over time.

My Thighs

I can actually see some muscle definition in my thighs. There is still quite a bit of fat on them, but it is wild to see some muscle definition. It is so cool looking. I am hoping that this continues to be the trend as I begin to run more, and incorporate more aerobic exercise into my daily routine. I would much rather be a musclar person than just a thin person. I am enjoying watching my body change. In a bit, I'll be going out for my run. :)

Bra Shopping

Friday I am going to get measured for a bra at Victoria's Secret. My boobs are so little. I need a bra with lots of padding. I need some hope and help until (much later down the line) am able to get a boob job. With all the different types of bras, there has to be one type of bra that makes my boobs look good. I am hoping that I find a bra that is similar to Lane Bryant's Balconette bra.


I dropped four pounds overnight! I weighed in at 210 today. 11 pounds to ONEDERland. 19 pounds to an overweight BMI!

I watched The Biggest Loser: Couples last night. I don't really agree with the practices of the biggest loser, but I like watching how people who are really overweight can indeed push themselves. When they push themselves, they are amazed what they can do.

When it came time for the weigh in, there were two women whose weight was comparable to mine. I couldn't believe it. I think this is for two reasons. One, I have a hard time at times seeing that I am indeed much smaller than I used to be. Two, every human body is so different. We all carry our weight in different places. I carry the bulk of my excess weight in my thighs and hips.

Progress feels so good. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Progress...It Is A Beautiful Thing!

Before I went for a run tonight, I went to Wal-Mart to buy some workout pants. I have several pairs of shorts, but no pants. I ended up buying two pair of size 16/18 workout pants. I decided to try on two pairs of size 16 dress pants. THEY FIT. They ZIPPED UP. Yes, they were tight, but my body (particulary my hips and thighs which are always the toughest) fit into a size 16!!! This thrills me to no end, especially since I am not seeing much progress on the scale going down the past two weeks. :)

I ran for six tenths of a mile. I stopped for about 45-60 seconds after every two tenths of a mile. I am so pumped that I RAN again!!! I am going to run tomorrow night, but I am taking Thursday night off. I really am glad that I decided to go ahead and start running. I have some soreness, but I don't have any pain. My joints do not hurt. I really feel good. I cannot begin to say what running has done for me mentally. I am not concentrating on anything to do with my speed, just moving my feet one in front of the other.

From Bingham's book: (On lessons learned from running...)

"I learned how to be defeated, but not beaten. I learned how to admire
those who were faster than me without allowing myself to believe that they were
better than me. I learned that the real high was in finding your
limitations and exceeding them.

Progress is indeed a beautiful thing.

I am also thinking about signing up for a non-competitive sport team with the rec department for the summer. I am thinking kickball or volleyball. I think that would be fun to do.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Woot! Woot!

Tonight I ran for 4 tenths of a mile! Tonight was the first time I ran off a treadmill. It felt so good to feel the wind against my body, and to feel my body move each step. My body RAN, yet AGAIN!!! :)

From Bingham's Book:
"Those of us who have come to running later in life first must erase years of mental tapes of ourselves as everything except athletes. Athletes can't be them. Athletes must be us."

I am working on erasing the years of mental tapes of me as anything but a couch potato. I want to become an athlete. Little by little, step by step, I will become that.


The scale is not budging, and it is really ticking me off. Granted, I am happy that it is not going up, but I want it to go down. There are so many logical explanations to this. First, I lost 17 pounds last month. Most of that weight was at the beginning of last month, but that was still a lot to drop in one month. Second, I am right below the lowest weight I have been in so many years it is not funny. My body has been taken out of its comfort zone. I am sure there are more logical reasons if I sat and thought about it.

Even with I see the logical reasons, my brain doesn't want to process those. My brain is saying I am failing my DS. Thoughts like, I paid a bunch of money, and left the country to have surgery, and I'm still going to end up fat for the rest of my life are dancing in my head. No one has any type of WLS and expects to fail. The reality is there are failures out there. I don't want to be one of them. Has the train stopped after nine months? I am scared.

I had thought about not weighing until the end of the month, but I really don't have the willpower for that. (The scales would not be able to be in my house in order for that to happen.) I also think what if I got to the end of the month and there was no change, or even worse...I had gained.

I upped my carbs for three days to see if that would help things, and it did not. I am going back to low carbs today.

Sorry for such a negative post, but I am really discouraged. I truly want to lose 50 more pounds, so I can be a healthy person. I am fighting for my health, and it is a fight I don't take lightly. I didn't care about my health for so many years, and that is how I ended up at 393 pounds.

I know this is one of those points where the rubber meets the road, and I really have to barrel down. It is hard, because I feel like I am giving things my all, and I am not seeing any results.

I want to get back in bed, have a good cry, and go back to sleep. :(

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I've Noticed...

When I stand sideways in the mirror I don't look pregnant anymore. I don't have a washboard stomach, but man it makes me smile looking and realizing I don't look like I am going to give birth any second either. I feel normal when I look at myself from the side. Great times.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I ran for six minutes today. I know this is going to get old hearing about these mini steps, but I am so thrilled that I am making them.

I want to look for a 5K to register for. That will give me a goal to train for.

From Bingham's book...
"I finally understood that getting in shape wasn't something that you did. It was something that you were always doing."


Daily Weigh-Ins Help Keep the Pounds Off

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tapping Into It...

From Bingham's Book:

"It may surprise you to know that no human physical achievement, no matter how extraordinary, was accomplished by someone with a body that was fundamentally different
from yours and mine. All of the extraordinary feats of courage or tenacity or will were done by people just like you. That same potential resides in your body. It's just a matter of tapping it."

Tapping takes time, energy, and effort. I have not always had the best self esteem in my life, but through my DS, I have learned that I am worth the effort. Tomorrow I will run again, and work on tapping into the inner athlete in me that is dying to get out.

"It's easy to excuse yourself from dreaming of physical accomplishments if you believe that your body can't be different than it is. But it can. It can be strong, firmer, and more powerful. And when it is, you'll begin to consider all the possibilities."

Watch out world, I'm grabbing the bull by the horns with this exercise thing.


A few minutes after I wrote my last post, I got back on the treadmill and ran again. I ran for five minutes.

I got my running books by John "The Penguin" Bingham. I am reading "The Courage to Start: A Guide to Running for Your Life."

Here are some quotes from the introduction that really grabbed me.

"It was a mistake to quit running. I know that now. It was a
mistake to give up the joy I felt when I moved my body without nothing more
than my own legs, to let others steal my satisfaction from me. It was
a mistake that I won't make again."

As a SMO person, I have often let others steal my satisfaction from me. Yet, I am not going to let others take that from me. I refuse to let the stares of others, or their thoughts of me, stop me from achieving goals. I want to feel the joy of moving my body.

"Rediscovering the simple pleasure of running as an adult is a strange,
frustrating, wonderful, confusing, and ultimately immensely satisfying
preoccupation. It's hard to erase all the old images of yourself as clumsy
and uncoordinated and forget the feeling of isolation you felt when you were
always the last one chosen."

"Successful 'adult-onset' are made, not born. To those of us who simply want to run, the value of genetics is highly overrated. Running doesn't require an extraordinary combination of muscle and bone. It requires only the desire to move our bodies and the wisdom to accept the difference between our will and our won't."

I have never had an atheltic past. Here are my brief athletic encounterings: I played t-ball when I was five, soccer when I was in second grade, and a cheerleader in third and fourth grade. There is a lot of mental blocking to overcome that I could never become an athlete. Yet, Bingham says successful adult-onset athletes are MADE. I can choose to be a successful adult athlete. It comes down to whether I will or I won't.

"But as a runner, you have to face the truth about yourself on a regular basis, and it makes you more honest. You can't pretend to be faster than you are. You can't pretend that you are better prepared than you are. You cannot pretend to be a runner, you atually have to run."

"We all need to live out our dreams. We need to spend less time planning and organizing and more time doing. We need to spend less time worrying about doing things well and more time rejoicing that we are doing them at all."

This last quote really resonates deeply with me. I am a huge
planner and organizer. Yet I had this surgery to start living out my
dreams. To be able to have a life without limits. So what if I
can't run well, or I can barely run five minutes, I am running.

A WOW...

I ran for four minutes tonight on the treadmill.

Ok, for you hard core exercise people, you can laugh, but I am so proud of myself! I RAN. Run and Tiffany have never gone in the same sentence before.

I started thinking today about my whole waiting until I weighed 180 before starting to run. I was using my weak left ankle as the reason to wait. It occurred to me that I should at least TRY before deciding if I needed to wait. Maybe the fact that my ankle has 179 pounds less to support might make it ok with running now. I decided to give it a shot.

I'm not sure exactly what speed I was going, I know it was a jog. I was on my treadmill, but only had it going at 3.4 miles per hour. I just started to jog. I didn't change the speed up any higher because I've had some fears with the treadmill, and even faller off of it twice recently.

I want to make the transition. From the girl who could barely move, to the girl who moves all the time. I want to be fit. I saw a girl with a "26.2" sticker on her car today. I thought to myself, I'd love to run a marathon before I turn thirty. Here is to success....celebrate each victory along the way. Today it is running for four minutes. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Know Your Stuff...

(Sorry, another work related post ahead.)

Nothing upsets me more when people don't know their stuff. When you are a specialist, you should be on top of your game. Today, during my presentation, one of the people from the state sat in on our meeting. She asked me what something in my presentation meant. Normally, I would be very patient (if I were doing a training with teachers), but I was appalled. This is her field. The term was not a new one, and was something that she should have knowledge of. I know I was not the only person that couldn't believe she didn't know the term.

I don't want to come off cocky, but it is critical to know your stuff. When you leave college, it is your job to stay educated in your field. I know I am a nerd, and really like reading about my field. I just feel that you should be passionate about what you do. It takes time to really stay well read in your profession, but so critical.

Back to the Salt Mines....

Vacation is over, and it is back to work this morning for me. I have to work in Frankfort at the Department of Education today. This morning I will be presenting a 185 page power point presentation that I have developed to the other 11 people who have my job across the state. They will get to tear it apart, and then I will regroup and revise it from there. Days like these remind me that I really am an adult. I will definitely need a coffee this morning.

Since losing weight, I have so much more confidence in getting up in front of groups. Before, I always felt as if they were staring at me, only thinking of how huge I was. Now I feel that people are actually listening to the content that I am delivering. There is one graduate professor, Coach South, I owe a huge debt of gratitude for as far as my public speaking abilities. He really worked with me, as they were HORRIBLE. He saw a gem, and really encouraged me to keep trying the public speaking. It is so much easier now than it used to be.

I don't like days I have to travel out of town, because I feel like it throws my eating off track. Today, I'm just going to stick with chicken salad and hard boiled eggs for lunch.

Some highlights of January that I am looking forward to:

* Getting to see Phantom of the Opera with some friends
* Seeing an old high school friend that now lives in Portland, Oregon (there are also some trepidations about that, which I will elaborate on later)
* The annual "Girls Just Want to Have Fun Weekend"

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


There is being cautious, and there is just plain obsessing over stupid things.

Today I had lunch with my friends, and had bread with my meal. I didn't have a lot of it, but on the way home, I started to obsess over it. I seriously was mad at myself for letting myself eat the bread. Just a few minutes ago, it hit me. I have not had ANY bread for over 6 weeks. Why am I beating myself up for just a little bit on occasion?

I like how my perspective has changed post DS. Prior to surgery, just having some bread would not have even come close for me considering that as "ruining" my day. My eating was so out of control, even my worst day on the DS, makes me look like a saint pre-op. I like that I have a shorter check on myself now. I think things through. Yes, today I really did over think it. I'm so happy I'm not the person that I was.

Last Day Off....

Today is my last day off work. I'm going to have lunch with some friends. One friend I have not seen in a few months, so I am excited about that. Other than that, I don't plan on doing much. I want to relax. I am ready to tackle the new year, and the challenges that will come from my job. I have learned a lot in my position, and try to take each day as an opportunity to improve my skill set.

I forgot to is cold, freezing cold. When you lose 179 pounds, you are COLD all the time. (Well, at least I am.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Starting to Socialize...

I am going to join a Bible study on January 15th. It will be a multi-age women's group Bible study. It is a Beth Moore bible study. I have done these before in small groups, as well as on my own. The group will meet 13 times.

This will be good for my spirit.

I Can't...


I have been obese my entire life. I can squat, but feel really akward with the whole balance thing. I guess there are so many muscles that I have not used there, that it makes the exercise difficult. This is something I will have to practice in order to be able to do it effortlessly.

It fascinates me to see how effortlessly people do this every day. I see people bend down to tie their kids shoes, or squat down to pick things up. One day, I will be one of those people.

Clothing Size Charts...

I have been looking online at different websites. I am looking at their clothing size charts. My waist is a size 16. My hips are still a size 18. If they had measurements for thighs, I'm sure they would still be a size 18. I want to get into a 16. I want to go down a size.

I have these brief thoughts that I'd be ok with just losing a little bit each month, as long as I get to goal. I so want to reach goal. I have such little patience. While I have accomplished so much, I don't want to be satisfied. I am scared of becoming complacent. I am happy that I am the size that I am now, but I don't want to stay this size. While life is grand here, I want to be smaller! I want to be healthier!

Keep pressing on!