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PRESURGERY: 07/04/2002 07/06/2002 08/22/2002 08/31/2002 03/08/2003 05/03/2003 05/11/2003 05/12/2003 05/17/2003 05/26/2003 05/30/2003 06/02/2003 06/04/2003 06/05/2003 06/09/2003 06/12/2003 06/25/2003 07/02/2003 07/10/2003

POSTSURGERY: 07/15/2003 07/17/2003 07/29/2003 08/04/2003 08/10/2003 08/15/2003 08/19/2003 08/22/2003 08/30/2003 10/14/2003 12/09/2003 10/21/2004

07/04/2002
Well, I am working toward probably having Gastric Bypass surgery. Since Isaac was born, I have developed two bad knees, and x-rays have shown "arthritis changes" which is quite consistent with my family history (on both sides). I know my knees would be much happier if they weren't having to haul this much weight around. Yes, I know how to fix that, and I've been on the diet roller coaster TOO many times since I was a teenager. I have lost weight, then gained it back. That's part of why I don't have a gall bladder any more. Yes, I know cutting back on fats and sweets and getting more exercise is supposedly the key. But my body craves FAT, and a carrot just isn't going to satisfy the urge. And exercise is quite uncomfortable when one is large.

Sorry, one of my pet peeves is self-appointed "experts" who feel qualified to judge me and my weight, and they know exactly what I need to do. The vast majority of these individuals think that because their sister/aunt/mother/friend lost twenty pounds on whatever diet, that it's easy. That's just the beginning. The problem isn't just losing the weight, but being able to sustain the weight loss.

So that's enough of the rant. A few months ago I had seen my regular doctor (about something else, probably just a checkup, but I don't remember) and she had mentioned (extremely briefly) that if I wanted to discuss surgical treatment, that was an option. I had an appointment with her on 06/10/2002 to start the referral process. She had said it usually takes about a year before the surgery actually occurs. I got a booklet from the Kaiser Education office before leaving that day. I have also done some research on-line. I do think I'm being realistic in my expectations regarding surgery.

The next steps are an appointment with a nutritionist (scheduled for 08/30/2002) then a psych evaluation, followed by a return appointment with my regular doc. I'll probably write more before the next appointments. Keep an eye on this space for the next installment!

07/06/2002
One thing I want to make very clear is that I would not even be considering the surgery without the complete support of David, my wonderful husband and companion. He has always said that the decision is completely up to me, and that he is here for me either way. I don't have to look like Cindy Crawford to keep him. He is also committed to helping me after the surgery, while I am recuperating.

08/22/2002
I went to a support group last night for gastric bypass patients, either those who have had or are considering the surgery. There were three other women there, all of whom have had the surgery. Two of them had it through Kaiser at Pacific Bariatric in San Diego (click here for link to their site in a new window). They both raved about the care they had there. One of the women had the surgery two years ago, and went from 360 pounds to ~160. She said that if she had to have the surgery every year for the rest of her life, she would without a doubt. One of the other ladies had the surgery a little less than three months ago, and the third had it about four weeks ago. I found the meeting very helpful. I was able to ask about things like dumping (vomiting after eating the wrong food), the amount of pain after surgery (minimal), etc. They were able to allay some of my concerns and were very supportive. We exchanged (they exchanged, I listened) tips about food. I also learned about a consignment shop for larger women's clothing. There are other support groups (one on the first Wednesday of the month, and one on the fourth Saturday) which I will also be attending.

One of the items discussed during the meeting is the psychological impact, and how major weight loss can affect marriages by completely altering the dynamics of the relationship. David and I are committed to keeping the lines of communication open. Fortunately, we do communicate well, and he is very supportive. And no, I'm not going to get skinny and find myself a boy toy. I appreciate and respect David too much for that sort of nonsense!

08/31/2002
Yesterday I had a meeting with a nutritionist, which is part of the evaluation process for gastric bypass. I think it went well. She did tell me that Kaiser is now doing a lot of gastric bypasses in South San Francisco, but from what I've heard, I would prefer San Diego, although it's much farther away. I like the fact that Pacific Bariatric (see above) has the amount of experience, and that the hospital (Scripps Mercy) knows how to deal with post-surgical gastric bypass patients. One of the things the nutritionist did say I need to make sure the dietetic staff at whichever hospital knows is that I am somewhat lactose intolerant (Lactaid works great). David also mentioned that I have problems with soy. I definitely will have to make sure to mention these problems, since both lactose and soy cause gas and diarrhea. Since after the surgery, both the inlet and the outlet to the stomach are quite small, things like gas can be excruciating!

The next step in the whole process is a psych consult, which is next week. I don't really know what to expect from that, but I'm not going to worry about it too much. I think I'm pretty reasonable in my expectations, I have a very strong relationship with David, who is committed to helping me after the surgery. I have a strong sense of who I am, and so I don't expect major identity problems after losing weight. I'll still be the same me we all know and love, only less so?

03/08/2003
Well, it's been quite a while since I've written , so I'm definitely overdue! A lot has happened. I did get a letter from Kaiser letting me know that I had been approved, and my case was being forwarded to the Bariatric department in South San Francisco. Then nothing happened for months. Finally (in December?) I called to find out what was my status. I was informed that my case had been transferred to the Richmond Bariatrics program, which didn't exist yet. Kaiser was in the process of setting up the Richmond Bariatrics department. So in February I got a call from a very nice young woman named Jessica letting me know that I was to attend the orientation class at Richmond on March 6. Later that day I was to have a meeting with the surgeon. The only downside was that on that February 10, I had had a positive pregnancy test! So everything is on hold until after I have the baby. What's that old cliche about life is what happens to you while you're making other plans? I did go to the orientation and met with the surgeon. It turns out the surgeon is also expecting, due in June. As far as I can figure (not really having been paying attention), I'm due in mid-September.

In the meantime, I am continuing to attend two support group meetings a month, and will probably be attending a monthly case management group once a month. I need to find out if they want me to attend that one, since my surgery has been postponed. It sounds like I can have the surgery within a few months of delivery, depending on if I am nursing. I will be trying to nurse for at least the first couple of months. However, I was never able to successfully nurse Isaac, since my milk never really came down. So we'll see how all that shakes out. I do know that the daycare where Isaac goes will take infants as young as three months. My guess is that the surgery will happen after Little One is there. That way, the entire load won't be on David.

I'll try to keep you posted better, but right now everything is on hold.

05/03/2003
I'm back on track for the surgery. Unfortunately, the baby didn't make it, apparently dying at about 17 weeks. This was detected during a routine ultrasound on April 28. Since then I have had a D&C. This coming Thursday I have an appointment with a different surgeon, since the other surgeon I saw in March is going out on maternity leave herself. I also have an appointment with the case manager on the same day. The following Thursday I have an appointment with the nutritionist.

05/11/2003
I went to the meetings with the surgeon and case manager on Thursday. The meetings went well. I need to lose 32 pounds before they'll do the surgery. I was told that the nutritionist will probably put me on a 1200 calorie diet, so I'm trying to get started now.

I have a new tool to monitor the process. I started by looking for computerized calorie counters with additional nutritional info, such as protein, vitamin content, etc. I discovered something called DietOrganizer. It includes info from the Department of Agriculture about ~6000 foods, with the ability to add foods. I can use it to track my measurements in addition to my weight. I can also log exercise, and it calculates the calorie usage, factoring in the fact that different weight bodies use different amounts of energy to do certain exercises. I have also set goals for daily intake of certain nutrients, such as protein, iron, vitamin B12, etc. This is useful because after surgery, certain nutrients are not as well absorbed, so intake needs to be increased.

The program is called DietOrganizer, costs $39.95, and can be downloaded at www.dietorganizer.com. There is a free trial version available, so you can try it before you buy it. I researched about ten programs before deciding on this one. The ease of use, ability to add foods, log exercise calorie usage, and general versatility I found to be superior. The only feature it lacks is an electric cattle prod to get me out of my recliner and on the exercise bike!

05/12/2003
Still trying to get on track here. The food limits aren't being that much of a problem, although I'm still not all that sure what to eat. I know that after the surgery, most of my intake will have to be protein, but I also know there will be less total volume. I have ordered ProComplex (lots of vanilla, little bit of chocolate) which will become part of my daily diet, even before the surgery. Yesterday I ate slightly more than 1000 calories, and didn't feel particularly hungry.

David is also somewhat uncertain as to what is good food for me, and what is not. This whole thing is a learning process for all of us!

05/17/2003
Well, so far things are going GREAT! I saw the nutritionist on Thursday, who chewed me out for not exercising. She did say it looked like I'm on the right track with my food. I committed to bringing the exercycle down from upstairs. It was in our big bathroom upstairs. That room is very rarely used. That would be a reasonable place for it if it weren't for the fact that that room gets HOT. I had told her that I'd get the exercycle downstairs by last night, but there was some cleaning and moving of stuff that needed to be done before there was room for it downstairs. It ended up not coming downstairs until this morning.

Got the ProComplex yesterday, and had the first taste this morning. I'm still tapering off coffee, since caffeine is forbidden after the surgery. This morning I was planning on having one scoop of the chocolate flavor ProComplex, seven ounces of coffee, and a cup of skim milk whipped together in the blender. Unfortunately, it turned out we were out of my milk, so I substituted a banana instead of the milk. Not a bad combination. I'd heard of chocolate combined with coffee, and chocolate combined with banana, but not all three

05/26/2003
Got back from Baycon earlier today. Figuring out what to eat there was quite a challenge, since I'm still feeling my way, as it were. I did moderately well, except dinner yesterday, which had way too much fat. I had half a rotisserie chicken, except I gave the breast to David. I did eat the skin. Also the veggies were sauteed in about a pound of butter. At least I didn't eat the mashed potatoes.

I did do pretty well for breakfasts, since we took a blender and ProComplex.

I had a terrible time sleeping, since the bed was extremely hard. I kept waking up with whichever hip I was sleeping on aching badly from the weight pressing down on it. So my bones were very achy all day.

05/30/2003
It's been a few days since I wrote, so here goes. I've been doing pretty well on strictly calories, but way too much fat.

Tonight we went to dinner at Mel's (or whatever they're called these days). I decided on the tostada salad with chicken breast. It was HUGE! Although I ate too much of the things in it that aren't so good for me, I did also get some ideas on how to adapt the recipe. I came up with the idea of mixing salsa with either nonfat yogurt or NF sour cream. That might be an interesting dressing. NF or LF refried beans and cheddar cheese would make the fat grams come down. Skip the olives. (although I'd rather not).

Tomorrow I'm off to get my hair cut. I'll also take a look (maybe) for a replacement exercise bike. I can at least see what's available.

I've just fired off a note to Chevy's suggesting that they have the nutritional information available on their website.

06/02/2003
We got a new exercise bike yesterday. The old one was miserably uncomfortable, noisy, and didn't have any way to adjust the resistance. So we went out to SportMart in San Leandro yesterday, and found a new one for $199 (on sale). I got it in the house all by myself, and put it together. By then I was pooped enough that I didn't actually use it. I'll go do one of its programs in a few minutes.

I have a support group meeting tonight, with a new group in Richmond. This one is led by a professional, rather than lay-led like the other two I've been going to. That reminds me, I need to look into finding a sitter for Wednesday nights when I have the other groups I go to. I have meetings on the first and third Wednesday evenings, and David has a programmer meeting every other Wednesday. Sometimes that means we have meetings on alternate Wednesdays, but then we'll encounter a month with five Wednesdays and then the meetings are on the same night again. That's the situation we're in now. Also it would be nice to go out to dinner sometime without having to worry about Isaac's behavior.

I notice that I'm starting to play mind games with myself. I find myself thinking "I didn't have that last bacon avocado cheeseburger (with mayo and fries)." I'm also starting to encounter bouts of hunger, which really hadn't been a problem for the first couple of weeks of dieting. Argh!

Now I'm realizing that I will mostly have to say good-bye to dark meat chicken and turkey, since they have much more fat. I just don't like chicken breast as much! Sigh.

06/04/2003
Buncha stuff happened today. First of all, this morning I had David take some nude pictures of me. They were some of the most disgusting pictures I have seen. I had him get some of the least flattering shots I could think of. These included sitting on the edge of a chair with my thighs hanging down. He got shots of my butt. All in all, not a pretty bunch of pictures! I'm going to edit them slightly (mask out pubic hair and nipples) and put them on the site. I might have an interim set taken between now and goal weight to show my progress. That ought to act as motivation!

The next thing that happened is that I actually exercised this afternoon! I had planned on using the exercise bike for twenty minutes, but could only handle about seven minutes. I could probably have gone a few more minutes, but I also know myself well enough to know that if I were in severe pain the following day, that would serve as a disincentive. That's okay, I'll go for a bit longer each day. This is a process, not an event.

Went to the bigger, non-Pacific Bariatric meeting tonight. I always enjoy the meetings. In fact, I enjoy all the meetings I've been to, either in Oakland or Richmond. I found out that one of the gals who was going to have surgery late in March had had some delays, but is going down to Pacific Bariatric next week. We were talking about ProComplex and different ways to mix it. She mentioned that she had been looking for the packets, but was having problems finding them. I remembered that I had found an ad for variety packs, but couldn't remember where. Fortunately, I was able to find the site by checking my Mozilla history. I was able to send her the link, as well as info about the Yahoo groups I have been reading. That reminds me, someone gave me an e-mail address, and I'm pretty sure it was so I could send the Yahoo group info. I'd better do that before I have another brain fart and forget. Besides, it's pretty late.

06/05/2003
I just got through editing some of the pictures David took yesterday. ICK! I wanted the butt ugly (literally) naked truth, and I got it! The pictures are at www.smallboxes.com/gbpics.htm.

06/09/2003
I've been working on the exercise issue, and doing pretty well! I've been doing the exercise bike every day, for a little bit longer each time. I did 10.8 minutes today. I also notice that it's getting a lot easier, to the extent that my pulse doesn't go up as much as it used to. I've been continuing on the food plan also, but finding it almost hard to eat the full 1200 calories. An average day is less than 1000. It's amazing what a difference not eating the garbage makes. I won't claim not to have been tempted on occasion, but it hasn't been too bad. I guess that means I'm getting there, baby step by baby step.

Hey, I just realized something. I seem to have more energy! Does this make sense? I am ingesting less energy in the way of calories, but am expelling more in the form of exercise. So how do I have more energy? COOL! Now if I could only get rid of the backache that has been plaguing me all day!

06/12/2003
Well, yesterday was the first day I didn't do any exercise since I had started, but then I didn't eat all my food either. But I do have a good reason. I've been somewhat sick for the last few days. Isaac had been sent home sick on Monday. David had to stay home with him on Tuesday because I was committed to taking a friend to San Francisco for medical appointments, after which he would not be able to drive.

We had had tickets for "A Day Out With Thomas" (the tank engine) for weeks, and that was yesterday. That was in Sacramento, so we met my mother there. Fortunately Isaac was feeling a lot better, although he did get somewhat cranky later in the day. Of course, it didn't help that he didn't get a nap. The problem I had was that I felt awful, particularly later in the day. I got a bad headache, and was definitely feverish. I did take some ibuprofen and David drove home. Not too long after we got home, Isaac declared that he was sleepy, so he went to bed. I went to bed not too long after. I turned off the light before 8:30. I still feel like someone sandpapered my throat, and somewhat headachy, but not as bad as yesterday. So I don't know how I'll do today. I know I won't eat anything I shouldn't. I'm just not sure I'll eat everything I should, or that I'll get my exercise in. I'll try to update later. I must say, keeping this journal, whether anyone reads it or not, is being useful.

06/25/2003
Well, I'm still sick, although I think I'm on the mend. The good news is that I think I'll be getting a surgery date on the tenth of next month, when I have another appointment with the surgeon. After the case management meeting 06/19/2003 the case manager was talking about possibly fast-tracking me, giving me a surgery date before I lost my 10%. Of course, by the time I have my appointment on the tenth, I will have lost that, then some.

Late evening: I don't believe this! I haven't done the exercise bike for two weeks, and I survived doing TWENTY MINUTES this evening. I just finished a few minutes ago, so am still pretty hot and sweaty. Once I stopped I started coughing, but did pretty well. Yeay Eleanor!

07/02/2003
I HAVE A SURGERY DATE! Day before yesterday, Chris, one of the case managers for the bariatrics program at Kaiser Richmond, left a message on my cell phone voice mail. She said she needed to set up a bunch of appointments for me. I asked her roughly when I might have the surgery. "Oh, you're tentatively scheduled for the 22nd." Of course, that's dependent on the surgeon approving me. The means I have to keep on track, eating what I should and exercising. That also assumes the anesthesiologist doesn't find anything that alarms him. I don't think he will, I don't have any heart problems or anything like that.

I am so excited! So much so that I wasn't able to sleep well last night. I've been having problems sleeping for the past few nights. I might end up going back on the Trazadone until after the surgery.

I did do one thing slightly naughty last night. I felt like going out to dinner with David last night. We went to a nearby Japanese restaurant, and I had sushi with teriyaki salmon. The meal started with miso soup and a salad with a peanut dressing. I still haven't finished entering the meal in DietOrganizer, since it's a bit tricky figuring out how much of what was in the meal. That is one advantage to eating at home, since that means I can control what I eat. Oh well, I do think I made pretty good food choices, going for low carb (except the rice in the sushi. I didn't even eat my rice. Isaac got that.

How about that, a binge of Japanese food? No chocolate, no high fat, none of that sort of stuff. No chocolate, no cheese, nothing like that.

07/10/2003
Big News! I went in today for a whole slew of appointments, in preparation for my surgery on the 22nd. First I saw a physician's assistant, who did a history and physical. Then I saw an anesthesiologist. Then I went and had an EKG. Then I mixed half a cup of water in with my protein powder that I had taken with me in a shaker cup, since I knew I was going to be at Kaiser most of the day, and didn't want to wait until late in the day to have my lunch. Then I saw Dr. Fisher.

The meeting with Dr. Fisher went extremely well. I had some questions for him, which he answered quite nicely. I think he was somewhat impressed by my preparation, both in terms of asking educated questions, and in terms of the exercise I have been doing.

We did discuss protein shakes. He said that some patients have claimed that they were doing the shakes the way they were supposed to, just mixing with water, and either not losing weight or losing slowly. I pointed out that the shakes I do have at least 20 grams of protein, and less than 130 calories. Neither one of us can understand how someone can get too many calories from those, unless they're putting other stuff in the shakes. I suggested to Dr. Fisher that I do the shakes for the first two weeks. Then at the time of my follow-up, two weeks after surgery, if I haven't been losing at the rate he and I think I should, I'd do things his way. He said that sounded fine to him. Then he had another question for me.

Apparently one of his patients had lost the 10% required, and was scheduled for the 15th, and decided to cancel. Did I want to have the surgery on the 15th instead of the 22nd? Needless to say, I said YES! He said I'd been doing very well, and he has no doubt that I'll do well after the surgery.

So then I needed to find out about doing a mini pre-op class, since I had been scheduled for the one on the 17th. I ended up talking to Chris, the case manager. I showed her the printouts from the DietOrganizer program and gave her copies of the lists of Yahoo groups I find useful and the support group meetings I know about. We left it that her assistant was going to call me tomorrow with information about when where etc. Then I went and got blood drawn. I had gotten there not long after ten this morning, and left about five in the evening, by the time I finished getting stuck. Busy, exciting day!

Then David, Isaac, and I went out to dinner. I was slightly naughty, but really pretty good. Mostly protein, not too much fat. I'm pretty sure I finished the day under 1000 calories. What a day! I'm still very excited, and it's after eleven. I'm going to go upstairs, take some trazadone, and try to get some sleep.

07/15/2003
9:06 p.m. Well, I'm now on the other side! I showed up at 8:30 and walked into the OR about an hour later. I think it was about three hours after that when I woke up in the recovery room. I definitely hurt, like someone was rearranging my innards using sharp instruments. I do have one of those little buttons that gives me good drugs.

I'm waiting for the "lift team" to come help me out of bed for walkies. They got me up earlier. Not fun! I'm okay (sort of) while lying down or standing up, but the transition from one to the other is a big ouch!

07/17/2003
12::25 a.m. I'm doing quite well. I don't have the Foley in any more, and have been peeing just fine. I had gained about ten pounds on the lactated Ringers that was in my IV. I've been peeing that out at a great rate.

At this point I'm on NO pain meds, although they're available.

OK, to backtrack a bit - Tuesday night was pretty bad. People came in every two hours to get my vitals, and I was supposed to walk every four hours. At one point I was going to walk, but had to do some deep breathing first. I guess that brought up some remnants of the anesthetic gas. The nurse said that happens. Anyway, I started feeling like I was going to throw up, although I didn't. That was pretty miserable, although at least they didn't make me walk on that occasion. I really don't remember what time that was.

Wednesday morning Dr. Fisher came by. He said I was okay for clear liquid diet. He said my pouch is about 30 ccs. That's less than half a ProComplex scoop! Now the trick is not to stretch it out. Dr. Fisher also said I'd probably go home Thursday. I had been figuring Friday, but that's not what he thinks. Honestly, I didn't believe him then, but now I do.

Sorry, I realize this is rambling, but it is the middle of the night, and I'm doing this on my Palm Pilot, which isn't meant for long entries. Live with it.

Anyway, Wednesday I really turned a corner. I got disconnected from my IV. I got rid of my catheter. I can get out of bed by myself and walk the circuit without help and without a walker. I guess I really will be ready to go home!

Teddy came by to visit. She's like my mentor. She had the surgery about three years ago, and says it saved her life. Anyway, she brought me some sort of botanical drink, which she says she loves. That was so sweet of her. Then Chris the case manager came by to let me know about a bunch of follow-up appointments and to see how I was doing. Then David brought Isaac for a short visit.

I also got calls from Dad and from Berenice. All in all, a busy day!

Well, I'm going to drink another ounce of my herb tea, then go to sleep!

10:23 p.m. I'm home, and definitely glad to be. I had hundreds of Yahoo discussion group messages. I'm not even half way through them. I will be sleeping in my big recliner downstairs, since the waterbed sounds like a bad idea. Getting up from a chair is bad enough! I did have Isaac on my lap for a few minutes this evening. I explained that he needed to stay on my legs, and not lean on my tummy. Now if I could only convince Goodnik, the 14 pound cat of that! She has really missed me!

One thing that was kinda fun is that while I was waiting for my pain shot before I left the hospital, I had already dressed and saw Steve Brook, Chris Powell, and a bunch of other people go past my door. I figured they were part of the pre-op class I would have been in if my surgery hadn't been rescheduled. So I wandered out and said hello. I think it was Steve who asked how I was doing. I said something along the lines of "If you want me to BS you, you're talking to the wrong person!" Then I told them how my stay had been. I let them know that the first 24 hours were basically hell, but then it would start getting dramatically better. I think (hope?) they appreciated the honesty!

Well, I do need to get some sleep. I hope to sleep better in my chair than I did at the hospital. At least no one will be taking my vitals.

07/29/2003
It's been twelve days since my surgery. I notice I don't have a lot of energy, but that's not surprising. The only real problem I've had is about six days after surgery, I developed KILLER itching around my incision. I didn't know if it was an allergy to the adhesive holding on the steristrips over my incision, or maybe an allergy to the absorbable sutures. I have regular sutures on the skin layer, but there are probably absorbables on some of the lower layers. I ended up removing the steristrips and gently scrubbing away all the adhesive I could, making sure not to stretch my incision. David very sweetly went and got me a bunch of different creams, trying to find one that would help. The one that seemed to work is Lanacaine, which has a topical anesthetic and an antiseptic. Between that on the outside and Benadryl on the inside, I was able to survive several days which otherwise would have driven me to the psych ward. Imagine your tummy covered with mosquito bites or poison oak!

I've been on "full liquids" since I left the hospital. A few days ago I started going nuts. I wanted something I could CHEW. Gum is a no-no, since we tend to swallow air, which can get caught in our pouches and become really uncomfortable. David very sweetly heated up two ounces of Progresso Chicken Barley soup for me. It has veggies like carrot, celery, but they are really quite soft, as is the barley. I did make sure they were thoroughly chewed before swallowing. The only items that were not already soft were the chunks of chicken. I would take a small piece in my mouth (about a quarter of the original piece) and thoroughly chew it before swallowing. Doing that, I actually had something to chew, that was a bit savory, rather than sweet. Most of the things on the full liquids diet are sweet, and I wanted something that wasn't.

I admit (mea culpa!) that last night was the first time I really did any exercise since leaving the hospital. David had to pick up Isaac at daycare (about three blocks away). We walked together the first block (fairly long, slightly uphill) then he went on ahead. The plan was that he would come back with Isaac, and we would walk back home together. During the time he was collecting Isaac, I turned the corner and walked the block at the top of the hill, as it were. So we all met up about a block earlier than originally planned. We all walked down the hill on the street parallel to the one we live on, then over and back to our house. In other words, I walked around the block.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that that pretty well wiped me out. I know, that means I need to do that more often, and I plan to. I need to get my stamina back up. I might also try the exercise bike, although I'm afraid it will hurt my tummy. I do have the "binder" they gave me, which is a large, adjustable elastic band which goes around the waist and helps support the tummy. I did appreciate having it during the walk last night.

Well, I have an appointment this morning with Chris, the case manager. David has to come with me, because I'm not supposed to drive until cleared to do so by the surgeon. My next appointment with him is Thursday, day after tomorrow. He will probably remove my stitches and hopefully clear me to drive.

Oh, the one other thing about all this is that I was thinking I would spend the first couple of weeks, or at least several nights, sleeping in the recliner downstairs. We have a waterbed (old fashioned like a big plastic bag filled with water in a wooden frame) and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get out of it. About three in the morning on my second night home, I woke up and decided I was going to risk it. I was tired of sleeping in the chair by myself (except the cat). So I made my way upstairs and managed to get into bed. To say the least, David was surprised when I suddenly joined him. I didn't even have much trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Fortunately I had gotten practice getting out of bed while pregnant, and was able to use the same technique. Dr. Fisher thought I wouldn't be able to sleep in the waterbed for a couple of weeks!

Well, I guess that's enough for now. Isaac is up, and we need to get him ready for school and try to get some breakfast into him.

08/04/2003
Well, things are getting better. I'm able to do more day by day. I can now fairly comfortably pick Isaac up to do things like change his diaper. Last night all three of us took a fairly long walk. I notice I still sometimes have pain in the left collarbone area, which is standard referred pain for a diaphram injury. I'm about to risk taking a bath. The last three times I took a shower, I almost passed out. Probably just low blood pressure. It didn't help that the water was fairly warm, which means all the blood rushes to the surface of the skin, leaving less for the rest of the body. Hence the blood pressure drops. That's the way Mom explained it. I guess I'll try a bath instead, since I'm alone in the house.

I really haven't had any food problems, except when I forget I can't scarf my food like a normie, and something feels like it gets stuck. It'll feel like I have a fist-sized rock stuck behind the middle of my breastbone. Although I know we aren't supposed to drink with our meals, when that happens, I take a couple of swallows of water to help things unstick. As long as I chew thoroughly and eat slowly, I seem to be fine. Of course, I have been careful not to push it.

08/10/2003
It's been an interesting week. Last Monday was a support group meeting at Richmond. I really enjoyed it, but then I always do. That meeting is a moderated one. Michele, who leads it, is really good and understanding,

On Tuesday I overdid it. I took the gray car in to be smogged, then went for a walk while waiting. I ended up walking too far, getting overheated and dehydrated. It didn't help that I was wearing the wrong shoes, and got some NASTY blisters on my feet. I was pretty well wiped out the rest of the evening. Oh, and it turned out that the car's computer, the smog station's computer, and the state computer don't talk well together. I have to take the car to the dealership on Monday, so they can smog it. Sigh.

On Wednesday, David's sister Jeanne and her partner Patti came for a visit. Patti's cousin got married, so they were out for that. Because my feet were still miserable, I drove to the tot park near daycare, while everyone else walked to pick Isaac up at daycare, then to the tot park. We all had a nice visit for a couple of hours. Then Jeanne and Patti's ride came to get them. Then David, Isaac, and I went to a local Japanese restaurant. I was feeling daring and wanted sushi. So I had a sushi and tempura combo. I had about three bites of the salad, which had a peanut dressing. Passed up the soup. Had three of the small pieces of California roll sushi, the two tempura shrimp, and one green bean. Didn't eat any of the rice. Came charging home, changed my clothes, then went to the support group in Oakland. It's nominally for Pacific Bariatrics people, but isn't limited. It was a great meeting.

On Thursday, I got up early to go to the orientation meeting at Richmond. I felt it was important, not only to support the people who were where I was five months ago, but also the Richmond program, which I credit with saving my life. Toward the end of the meeting Chris, the Case Manager, invited me to address the group. I don't necessarily consider myself the best example, but I was there. I told them that I had been there five months ago, and why I had had the surgery. I also told them how excited I was to have had it. I also invited anyone with questions to drop me a line. Then I got home, tried some of the leftover sushi, and got sick. It was probably the nigiri sushi that did it. I felt pretty crappy the rest of the day.

Friday, was been pretty quiet, except for lots of activity on the Yahoo groups. One person who had been there had some wonderfully flattering things to say. I quote:

To my surprise, this group's Eleanor was there too! I probably caught her off guard when I stopped to talk with her. Eleanor, how does fame feel??? I almost felt like I should've whipped out my autograph book (yikes, I'm dating myself) for Eleanor's signature! Anyways, Eleanor's comments were motivating and well taken by everyone in the class. They should make that a regular part of the orientations!

Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon I felt like having gyros. I do love lamb. So we went to the Emeryville Public Market, where there are a lot of different food stands. There's one there that has nice gyros that we've been going to for years. Well, after I had had a few pieces, I started to feel like it had gotten stuck. I ended up having to go puke a couple of times. David drove home, which was a good thing, since I puked a couple more times into a paper cup on the way home. One nice thing about the surgery is that when I barf, the valume is pretty low, and it's mostly mucus. Sorry to gross you out there.

This morning, instead of a protein shake, I decided to have a bit of the leftover gyros. Had no problems. Had some more at lunch, and it felt like it got stuck. This evening I cut some of the leftover into pieces, threw it into a small pan, heated it up, and threw a couple of eggs in (after the meat was warmed up) and scrambled it all together. No problem. Go figure. I guess the problem yesterday may have been that I ate too fast. I know a few times I've felt like something got stuck, and it was usually because either I ate too fast, or it was too dry. I'm learning.

I'm in a rather strange position. I have read a fair amount about the surgery, and have learned a lot from the Yahoo postings. It amazes me that some people apparently look on me as some sort of expert. I don't think I try to come across that way, but I do share what I've learned. This afternoon, someone had asked on one of the groups where to get protein powders. It turns out she lives in Richmond. She sent me a private e-mail, asking me to call her. So I did so, and we ended up chatting for just over an hour. David had taken Isaac to ride a water taxi. It was a wonderful chinwag.

Well, I need to wrap this up, since I need to head to bed pretty soon. I have to take the car in tomorrow and see if I can get it smogged. At this point the registration is overdue, becahse of the inability to smog it last week. I also need to do some other shopping. And I need to upload this and some other files I've been working on.

08/15/2003
I'm having issues right now. I think I advanced myself too quickly in trying foods. Something about that low boredom threshhold. I've gotten sick a couple of times, and uncomfortable a couple of others. I find that I do pretty well with oriental foods, just trying to make sure to limit the carbs and focus on the protein.

Right now, my weight loss seems to have stalled. I know this is common a few weeks after surgery, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I decided I needed to get more exercise. I've been doing more walking, doing things like picking Isaac up at daycare. Today I joined the YMCA so I could go to their water aerobics classes. I know a lot of people with bad knees who swear by water aerobics. Last night I ordered two swimsuits, quick while they were still available. The stores are clearing out swimwear preparing for fall. I'm hoping they arrive soon. In the meantime, I'll keep forcing myself to walk more. Hmm, maybe I should see about getting myself back on the exercise bike. I haven't been on it since my surgery. Right now I don't want to build muscle, since I want the scales to go down. But the Y does have an excellent Women's Fitness Center with all the fancy machines. I figure I'll start with those in a few months.

Alright, it's clear I know what I need to do. I need to pay more attention to what I'm eating. I'm not willing to go back to plain bland, but I do need to start paying more attention to portion control. I also need to get off my duff and do more exercise. Oh my gosh, what a concept! Eat less, eat only the right things, exercise more, lose weight! At least I don't seem to find it as hard as it used to be before the surgery. Still ain't fun!

08/19/2003
Well, I got chewed out today by Chris, the case manager. I had a follow-up appointment today, and I had actually gained weight! ICK!!!

So what I am doing about it? Well, since I think part of the problem is that I may have stretched my pouch, I'm doing a protein feast for three days to see if that helps shrink the pouch. A protein feast is just protein, no carbs. Most of the time it is just protein shakes, which is what I will be doing. Some people add one meal of chicken, fish, or another protein source.

I will also be resuming the exercise bike, and when my feast is over, I will be going back to weighing and measuring everything. Chris did say that I shouldn't worry about building muscle, because doing so will increase my metabolic rate. Okay, back on the bike tomorrow.

Tomorrow I need to find a place to have Isaac's birthday party. I'm also going to have to figure out what we will have for that. I'm leaning toward a meat and cheese platter, and maybe some raw veggies. Of course I will have to get some sort of cake, but I won't eat any of it. I might make David cut and serve. I think we'll have it in Tilden Park near the steam trains, since Isaac really likes the trains.

08/22/2003
WOW, I sure started a firestorm online. To start at the beginning, yesterday I had a follow-up appointment. It was supposed to be with Dr. Baggs, but actually Dr. Fisher came in. He was disappointed with my lack of progress. He and I had had an agreement that if doing things "my way", which meant including protein drinks, didn't work, I would drop the protein drinks and do things his way. So I am off the protein shakes, at least for now. He also asked me to be as open about my lack of weight loss and the fact that he believed it was due to the shakes as I had been when making it clear that I am (still) an advocate of them. I agreed. I went home and posted a message to the four Yahoo groups I post to. Here it is in full:

Subject: Bad News and Protein Drinks

Hi All,

Well, I've been pretty unhappy since Tuesday. I had a follow-up appointment with the case manager, and found out I haven't lost ANY weight. My weight is the same as it was two weeks after my surgery. I think most of the problem is that I got too advanced with food too fast. The doctor says it's because of the soft calories in my breakfast shake. The agreement I had made with him was that if doing things "my way" didn't work, I'd try it his way. He said he could tell I hadn't been losing weight, because my face looked too good. He said what I've been doing would be great for maintenance, but not for weight loss. When I told him that if I didn't do the shakes, I felt like s**t. He said "That's good, you should!"

So I'm going to stop the protein shakes for two weeks, and go back to basics. That means meals being only two ounces, almost all protein. I'm not real happy about it, but I'm also not happy about the lack of weight loss. So, like I said, I'm off the protein drinks for at least two weeks, and we'll reevaluate after that.

I will keep everyone posted. I will be updating my journal also. You can follow the link in my sig if you're interested.

I WILL be returning to the protein drinks once I'm on maintenance, because I know I will need the extra protein. I am still taking all my vitamins, even though sometimes I expect to start rattling there are so many of them!

I also printed a copy for Dr. Fisher and dropped it off before my nutritionist appontment in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, as I said, I had an appointment with Beth, who is the new nutritionist. She said she didn't think the lack of weight loss is due to the shakes, but instead is probably due to the lack of exercise. She said that I probably could get all the protein I need from food. I'm to have three ounces of meat or three eggs at each of my three meals. I did ask her about what I heard that we don't absorb protein from food all that well, and that the protein from the shakes is better absorbed. She said she would be looking into that.

When I got home, there were a lot of messages on the Yahoo groups. Some of them were attacking Dr. Fisher, calling him a jerk, hypocrite, etc. Some were attacking me, saying that if I wasn't going to do what the doctor told me, I had no business having had the surgery at all. Most of the messages were pretty supportive. After reading some of the more vitriolic ones, I felt I needed to send a follow-up message. Here it is:

Subject: Follow-up to Bad News and Protein Drinks

Well, I seem to have gotten QUITE a reaction from my last post. I must say, some of the reaction has been unreasonably harsh. In some cases, it's been harsh toward me, and in some cases, it's been harsh toward my doctor.

First of all, regarding the attacks on my doctor. Although I may not agree with everything he said, and many of you may not, I do not feel that attacks on his motives or character are the least bit justified. He has different opinions than many doctors. Let me point out that there is still research being done on protein shakes. If you take a look at the latest issue of WLS Lifestyles, there is an article about soft calories. They call into question the whole idea of protein shakes. I find him to be an honorable man, who CARES ABOUT HIS PATIENTS! He is not a hypocrite, nor a jerk! It is clear that doctors are continuing to learn, and they should. When he said I should feel like s--t, he meant that I should feel like I was burning more energy than I was ingesting, WHILE I WAS STILL TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT. He did not mean I should feel that way forever.

Now, regarding the attacks/questions directed toward me. First of all, let me clarify what shakes I was doing. I was doing shakes with at least 30 grams of protein and less than 130 calories, made with water, no milk, no fruit. I was having just one a day, as my breakfast. Although I started adding foods sooner than I should have, I was still keeping the carbs down, sticking mostly with proteins. Yes, some of my portions were larger than they should have been, but they were not huge. I admit I was not exercising. Dr. Fisher said he did not think that was the problem, and that I would have to run a marathon to lose significant weight.

As a follow-up, this afternoon, after my appointment with the surgeon, I met with Beth, who is the nutritionist for the Kaiser Richmond Bariatrics program. I described for her exactly what I had been eating on a daily basis. She is not as opposed to the shakes as Dr. Fisher. She does not really think it was the shakes that caused my lack of weight loss. She thinks it's the lack of exercise. She did reassure me that I can get most, if not all, of the protein I will need from food. She told me to eat either three ounces of meat/poultry/fish or three eggs at each meal. She is going to do more research to find out how much protein we REALLY absorb from food, as opposed to from the protein shakes.

And last, I do want to thank those who have expressed their support. I have received many messages of support, making me feel that many of you do care, even when some of you were chewing me out.

So where do I go from here? Well, I am (admittedly reluctantly) off the protein shakes, at least for now. I will be following the nutritionist's advice in getting as much protein in as possible within the three ounce meals. And I will be exercising, including working on building some muscle. Yes, that should increase my resting metabolism. I now am awaiting the arrival of THREE swimsuits for water aerobics. One is approximately the size I am now (30), one is 26, and one is 20. Since swimsuits are becoming less available due to fall clothing coming into the stores, I figured I'd better get them while I can. I'm continuing to drink my water and take my vitamins (I think I rattle when I walk now).

One thing I do have to add here. It would have been very easy for me to just shut up and not say anything about what the doctor said today. Part of the reason I posted publicly is that I told him I would, since I have been an outspoken advocate of the shakes. Another part of the reason is that I feel I have to remain accountable. I have spent too long being ashamed of myself and my body. Morbid obesity (at least for me) is DEFINITELY a disease of isolation. I am determined not to let myself crawl back under some rock. Heck, I even have nekkid pictures of myself on my own website (go to the url in my sig, then follow the link to pictures if you're curious), as well as a full chronicle of my weight loss journey, and it ain't sugar coated either (whoops, can't I find a better phrase than that?)! If I'm going to crow about successes, I also have to admit when I stumble.

I did appreciate the sentiment that a couple of people expressed that although you may not agree with some of the actions I have taken, that we need to love and support everyone in these groups. Isn't that why we call them support groups? Believe me, I do rely on all of you for support, and have from the very beginning of my journey. I do thank all of you for your support and your feedback. I will keep everyone posted on how I'm doing, and please feel free to ask me, especially if it feels like I'm trying to crawl under a rock again.

Whew, this has been a much longer post than I intended it to be, but if I go back and edit it, I'll probably just chop it up so it makes even less sense, or lose nerve and not post it at all. Well, probably not, knowing me. I do have to get some sleep, since I have a three-year-old little boy who doesn't care if Mommy didn't get enough sleep, he gets up when he wants to, which means we get up. Also my husband (David, bestest guy I've ever known, without whose love and support I wouldn't have even considered this) has been dropping hints that it's time to go to bed now.

Thank you all for bearing with me. I really do appreciate the support, and will try to support any of you in any way I can. I lift you, you lift me, and together we ascend. Sorry, don't know where I heard that, but it does seem to fit support groups.

Well, on one of the groups, which happens to be one of the smaller ones, with quite a few people who know me through the support group meetings, one person (whom I do not believe I have met in person) in particular expressed strong disgust toward me and everything I had said. It was a personal attack. What I was surprised by was the reaction of others to her message, particularly from people who have met me in person. What followed was a flurry of quite nasty messages, many of them attacking her. Finally I felt I needed to do what I could to calm things down some, so I posted the following message:

Subject: Truce?

One thing I never want to see in this support group is divisiveness. I do feel that attacking each other, even in support of someone else we see as having been attacked, is contrary to the spirit of a SUPPORT group. No, we don't have to agree with everything anyone says. I do learn from hearing from people who disagree with me.

I would ask that we stop sniping at each other. We need to help each other to meet our goals. Hurt feelings (in my case at least) tend to isolate us. Haven't most of us been isolated enough by our obesity already?

So I would respectfully suggest that we ALL need to remember that we are all brothers and sisters in our weight loss journey. If we disagree with what someone is doing, there are three possibilities. One is that the other person is right, and we are wrong. One possibility is that we are equally right (or wrong). The other possibility is that we are right, and the other person is wrong. If we truly believe that to be the case, we DO need to feel we can express that here, but we do (I feel) need to express that in a loving, supportive way. How would you tell your best friend you thought he/she had screwed up? I feel we need to be that supportive and considerate here.

I've seen other support groups broken apart by divisiveness and hurt feelings. I do not want to be a part in any way to that happening here. There is too much at stake!

Fortunately the uproar seems to have stopped.

The only other thing going on is that Isaac's birthday is coming up. I had been planning on having his birthday party at Tilden Park near the steam trains. Come to find out that there aren't any picnic tables near the trains. I also wanted to reserve tables, but that turned out to be impossible. So I tried the zoo, which is where his birthday party was last year. All the tables were reserved. I finally decided the heck with it and made reservations at El Torito. His party will be on Sunday the 31st, which is actually the day after his birthday. I'm a little nervous about how I'm going to do, but I figure I'll have a small piece of the carnitas and either some salad or some fruit. The restaaurant will provide a small sundae for Isaac, in lieu of a birthday cake. That should be fine.

08/30/2003
Today was Isaac's birthday, although the party is tomorrow.We drove to about a block away from the library. We returned the videos we had checked out last week, and checked out four more. Then I started walking toward Cafe Giovanni with Isaac in the stroller, while David went and got the car. David managed to get a perfect parking space right in front of the restaurant.

I'm actually pretty pleased at how I did at dinner. Isaac had spaghetti and meatball, large portions of which ended up distributed all over him. David had eggplant parmegiana. I had a calimari salad, which did also have a few shrimp. I didn't even have any of the focaccia (I LOVE focaccia). After we were done, we ordered chocolate mousse with a candle for Isaac. It turned out he didn't much like it. Oh well, so he didn't eat much of that. And I didn't even TASTE it! Hurray me!

Tomorrow we're having that brunch buffet for Isaac's birthday party. I'll just have to be careful. I might sneak a scale with me to keep an eye on how much food I'm getting. I think I'll do pretty well. After all, there well be a lot of eyes watching me.

Well, I'd better head off to bed pretty soon. Isaac's party is in exactly twelve hours. There's a bunch of stuff I need to do tomorrow before the party, including give him a bath to finish washing off the rest of the spaghetti.

10/14/2003
Well, it's been a while since I updated this page. There have been a couple of developments since my last posting.

First of all, I fear my surgeon and I have come to a parting of the ways. His attitude is that if someone doesn't lose all their excess weight in six months, they probably never will. The problem is that he apparently doesn't believe in plateaus. If someone's weight loss has stalled, that person is obviously doing somehing wrong. I know several people who are no longer getting follow-up, because they don't want to be made to feel like a failure.

I have left a message for my primary doc asking for a standing lab order, so I can track my own lab results. That way I can address problems before they become critical.

Since my surgery, I have lost more than 45 pounds, which is about half a pound a day. I can deal with that. Not only that, but I already have more energy, and can do a lot of things I haven't been able to do for years. Feels good! Sorry Doc, I refuse to feel like a failure!

Last Saturday we all went to the zoo. I rode the merry-go-round with Isaac three times, the little roller coaster once, the train once, and watched him ride on the little cars several times. Then we went into the zoo area, and walked around for a while. I was pleased that although I was tired, I wasn't constantly looking for a bench to sit down on. In fact, it was David who decided it was time to go, since we had been planning on going to IKEA to get me a desk to use for studying. In the past, I would have been constantly sitting down to rest for a couple of minutes.

One thing I have learned, through repeated demonstration, is that I cannot handle simple carbs. If I eat bread, pasta, or potato, I puke it right back up. I can eat a small amount of rice, at least in sushi. I'm still learning what pouchie will tolerate. That's okay.

Oh, there is one other piece of news. I encouraged (bullied?) David into an appointment with his doc to see about a referral for the surgery himself. He is a few inches shorter than I am, and at this point is about fifteen pounds heavier than I am. I went with him to the doctor's, and his doc agrees that he is a good candidate. It should help with his sleep apnea, and his cholesterol.

The one concern I have is that because of my conflict with the folks in Richmond, I don't want David to suffer any repercussions. There are some things that will be happening in the next few weeks that will clarify if that will be a problem or not. If it looks like it will be, we'll push to have his surgery at either South San Francisco or Pacific Bariatrics in San Diego.

Well, got some stuff I need to do before I go to bed, and it's starting to get late, so I'd better sign off and upload this.

12/09/2003
Sorry to keep everyone waiting so long for updates. I now have a life! I'm going to cheat a little by quoting a posting I did on the Yahoo groups I belong to.

Just figured I'd give everyone an update on how I'm doing. LIFE IS GOOD!

First of all, I am close to joining the Century Club. That is my goal as a Christmas present to myself. The weight is NOT the most important thing though. To me, and it's why I had the surgery, the quality of life is improved beyond belief. As an example, today I took our three-year-old son to the zoo. I was able to keep up with him for a couple of hours there, until it was time to come home for HIS nap. After his nap, I bullied my husband into joining Isaac and me on a walk up to Telegraph Avenue to browse the street vendors. Walking all over the place. By the time we got home, my feet were sore, and my knees (pre-arthritis changes bilaterally) were a bit sore, but I felt like I could have done about twice that far.

It seems like just a few weeks ago I was thrilled to be able to fit into the size 30 jeans I hadn't been able to wear since before Isaac was conceived. If I tried wearing them now, I'd need suspenders, or they'd be around my ankles. I recently got several pairs of size 24, but they're getting to be too big! I know, no buying large quantities of anything, because I'll shrink out of them. Pretty soon, I'll be able to buy clothes just about anywhere.

I had missed all my regular support group meetings last month, because I had been taking a tax preparation class through H&R Block. I have now completed that (got an A!) and am now going through more training through Block. Anyhoo, last Wednesday I finally got back to one of my regular meetings. The first thing that everyone said was "Where the hell have you been?" The second was "You look great!"

One of the ladies at the meeting shared something with me that brought tears to my eyes. She said she had gotten a phone call from her daughter, who has sometimes accompanied her to the meetings. Anyway, she said her daughter had called, saying she had seen me at the mall. She was going to say hi, but then I had to take off chasing Isaac. The daughter was just thrilled to see how good I looked. That means a lot to me that her daughter was so impressed that she called her mother just to report this.

I feel twenty years younger! Am I doing everything I should? No, I'm not going to try to con anyone, including myself. I don't officially exercise, but I do find myself walking all over the place. That isn't because I force myself to, but because it's comfortable for me to do so. I have more energy than I can EVER remember having!

I still don't know for sure if I dump, but there have been a couple of times when I was suspicious that I might have had a mild dumping episode, but from fats, not sugars. I haven't tested the sugar at all. Heck, the most I permit myself is about half a fruit serving a day, and that's pretty rare.

Occasionally I have had a bite or two of pasta or rice. If I limit it to that much, I'm okay. If I have more than that, I puke everything back up. I'm glad about this, because it does help keep me honest. If I forget and eat too much or too fast, not chewing enough, I get sick. Most of the time I don't do well with poultry, but do great with fish, shellfish, beef (rare and moist, please), lamb, etc. I had gyros for dinner tonight while out with hubby and son. Ate half the meat, a bite or two of hummus, a couple of bites of salad, and a couple of bites of rice. On the way back, hubby and son stopped at Mrs. Fields to get Isaac a cookie. I stepped in, and there was only one thing that was at all tempting. That was a cheesecake bar. I decided that was a good time for me to step outside and wait for them there.

Oh, and for you folks in places like Boston (where my husband was raised)? Today was bright and sunny, a bit cool (I think the high was 60), but I only needed a jacket while riding the little train with Isaac, which goes up on the side of a hill, with no protection from breezes. I love the Bay Area!

Sorry about the length, but I'm just so happy! Life began anew for me at 45, and there's no way I would ever go back! Like I said, LIFE IS GOOD!

Anyway, that gives anyone interested a rough idea of what is going on with me. I am incredibly happy, and grateful. At the risk of repeating myself, LIFE IS GOOD!

10/21/2004
My, it sure has been a long time since I updated this journal. Well, here's a start!

First of all, I think I might be at goal. When I started, I thought I wanted to get down to about 150. Well, right now, I think I might be too thin above the waist. I still have a fair amount to lose in the thighs, and little on my butt, but I don't see it coming off there. I think any more weight I lose would come from the face, arms, and upper body. I think I will probably have plastic surgery on my thighs in about a year. That will give my weight time to distribute itself where it will.

It certainly has been a wonderful ride so far. I have far more energy than I think I've ever had before. I can even keep up with Isaac, who is now four. I'll be dressing up as a VAMPire for Halloween. Have I done everything perfect? No. I sometimes eat things I shouldn't. I do try to focus on protein, and am a firm believer in protein drinks. I know how I feel when I drink them, and how I feel when I don't. That's why I do.

Well, I publicly stated that I'd upload pictures this evening, so will finish this entry so I can upload it too.

Date last modified: 10/21/2004
all contents © 2002-2003 by Eleanor Oster