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Mon, May. 1st, 2006, 05:21 pm
A Year & A Bit OR Baby's Still Got Back!

At long last, this is my one-year-out-from-surgery post.  I had my duodenal switch surgery at USC Hospital on 24 March 2005.    Front_before_and_afterMy surgeon was Howard Kaufman who did an amazing job.   That morning I weighed 357 pounds on the hospital scale.  That was 10 pounds down from my high weight of 367.   I didn't really lose 10 pounds pre-op, more like 5, but I'd spent the previous evening before surgery celebrating my last night pre-op  with a bowel prep for surgery.



Sooo, can I just say, what a difference a year makes?   



Yeah, okay, so it's really been 13 months since surgery.  This post is a bit late.  But heaven knows I've never been one to be on time with anything.  I'm kind of crappy and unreliable that way.  Sorry. 



But I thought I might try and buy you off with some pictures.


Right_before_and_after



Soooo, for my friends the picture 'hos, here ya go.  I'm glad you encouraged me to get them done this month, otherwise I might have waited until I could get my hair cut.  But you get me in my wild and woolly state.  Seriously, I think the prenatal vitamins are finally causing my hair to grow at about twice the rate it did pre-op.  It's grown a least an inch an a half in the last two and a half months.  Hope that means I'm healthy.



Please excuse the expression on my face for the front picture this month -- it's supposed to be funny.  Paul took several front shots -- this was going to be a joke.  But I like the way my 13 month self seems to be giving my pre-op self an ironic look.  Besides, I still freeze up and my mouth looks funny in most pictures.  This pose kind of takes care of that.



This month, Paul did something a little different for me.  We did the front / side / back photo arrays as before, but I also had him do a pre-op and now side by side for me.  I'll put them all up  because really, can there be too many pictures of me on this blog?  Seriously, I know I loved looking at before and after pictures when I was pre-op and in my early days post-op.  It just seemed so magic and impossible.   When you get to the array photos, you may notice that the thumbnails are rather small.  Just click on them to see the bigger version. 


Back_before_and_after



Thinking about  it, I still love looking at people's before and after pictures and progress photos, though I don't trawl through them quite as obsessively as I once did.  And seeing the changes still feels magical and impossible all at once.  (If you want to see some amazing duodenal switch post-op transformations, check out the photo arrays on Marybeth's or Sharon's or Kim's blogs.  They're all three smokin' hot babes, really.  And as an added plus, they write well too. )



When someone puts up a new blog, the first thing I look for are the pictures.   Putting the photos side-by-side this month and looking at a year ago versus today, I really can see the difference and I can tell I've been transformed.  That's kind of amazing to me because it isn't something I can see in the mirror on a day-to-day basis.  It's not even something I see when I look at the photo itself.  It's only seeing the before and now together that makes the change seem clear and real.



Front_so_far



I like this one of me from the side this month.  It's partly the cut of my jeans, but I love that it looks like I've still got my 'back' (er, that would be my bum, right?).  The cut of the jeans do their best, but Fred's definitely still rather tucked in.   My tummy is pretty round.  And I fear that my hernia, by late afternoon, can start making an appearance.  Still, honestly I'm not complaining.  Things are looking pretty good and I have to say I feel totally normal when I see the pictures.  The figure I see isn't someone I'd think of as "obese," even though that's where my BMI (31.1 as of today) puts me.  But hey, that sure beats the delightful label of  "super super morbidly obese," right? Right_so_far



That's what the poor girl on the left got to see on her medical charts by the way.  Couldn't they just have used something like "fatty mcfatty"?  Why must medical science be both cruel and insulting all at once?



Looking at these pictures is a bit painful because it reminds me about how hard life was back then.  Even the progress photos were hard for the first few months because my weight started so high that even losing 50 pounds made little difference in how I looked.  I've said this before, but I will again.  I don;t think I knew how overweight I was until I started losing and saw the pictures.  The irony is that now I don't see myself as I am either.  But hey, I'm working on it, really. 



Back_so_farAnd at least when I look at the pictures now, I don't see an obese woman.  Whatever the BMI charts may say.  I mean, is someone in size 14 jeans really "obese"?  Or, as I see myself, just a normal late 30 something with willful hair?



I've still got 30 pounds to lose.  But that's a long way from 200.   And looking at my hips and thighs, I hope I know where the last round is going to come from.  Thanks for being with me through this journey.  It's been a trip so far, hasn't it?

Fri, Jan. 13th, 2006, 09:26 pm
A Century and a Half!

Minus150 Weight: 206.6


On March 24th, the morning of my duodenal switch surgery, I weighed 357 (which was down 10 pounds from my high weight at my PCP's office in November of 2004).  This morning (yes, I still weigh everyday) I'm 206.6 which means I've lost over 150 pounds since surgery and 160 from my high weight.   I'm so excited.  If we had the cash right now, I'd try and see if I could talk Paul into a trip to Disneyland to celebrate. 


Weddingday_1


After trying the scale again 4 times just to be sure, I took a picture of the numbers as I did on September 10, 2005, the day the scale said I'd lost 100 pounds. 


Wow!  Even though it's felt like the losses have slowed down, I've lost this last 50 pounds in just over 4 months.  And check out my BMI.  While I'm still considered "obese" I'm no longer "super morbid" or even "morbid"-ly so. 


No Disneyland today.  I guess I'll have to celebrate with Law and Order at the gym.  ;-)


Just for fun... on the left is a picture of me last year on our wedding day.   It was the closest thing I allowed to a "body shot" -- but you'll have to trust me when I say that the size 4X dress barely used to reach to my ankles.   
Oneyearwedding_1


And on the right is a picture Paul took of me today in the same wedding dress (though sadly without the lovely flowers).  Six inches of the dress now puddles onthe ground around me and it was all I could do to keep the neckline from plunging beyond decency.


Part of me is kind of sad that it just doesn't fit at all anymore.  As you can read in an entry on my other blog (which has definitely suffered as this one has gotten more and more of my attention) I went through an awful lot trying to get the dress on-time for our wedding. 


That said, I'm obviously not sorry to be down 160 pounds.  And it's great not being a 4X anymore.  These days I wouldn't have to go through all that hassle to get a wedding (or any other kind of) dress at short notice -- I could go into a store and actually try something on and buy it off the rack. 


PS.  Seems like it's a day for celebrations.  Check out Kim on her 6th month DS anniversary!  Isn't she beyond gorgeous?  Go Kim, go! 

Wed, Aug. 10th, 2005, 03:15 pm
The other blog

As ever, I dont update this blog as often as my Typepad one.  It's at A Smaller Target.   Why not?  I'm lazy and the typepad one is easier.  :b

Wed, Aug. 10th, 2005, 02:46 pm
Month 4 pictures

I forgot to put these up here. It's been 4 months (well, 4.5 now) and here are my progress pictures.

I didn't expect there to be very much change this month.  After all, I've only lost 13 pounds and my sizes seem to be just a little smaller than they were at the start of last month.  However, I can see a difference in my pictures.  Can you?

I'm wearing my new jeans, which are already getting a little loose and a top I bought at Gap.  It's an XL.  But not a plus size.  That makes me feel very proud, even though I know it's stretchy.  Because it's still an XL from Gap.  I haven't been able to wear anything from Gap in over  a decade.  Woo hoo.  I wanna go back and get one in every color!

Month4_front_so_farFront (the picture should open to a larger image if you click on it.)  I can see a change -- especially in my face.  I think my neck looks a little longer, which is good as I've always thought I looked like my head rested on my shoulders.  And my face looks a lot more lined.  Not so good, but then again it looks a lot less like a moon.  I do seem to have developed "helmet" head hair.  Or, as HWLBO commented when we were looking at the pictures, my hair gives me a kind of Darth Vader look.  (The force is with you young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.)

Month4_right_so_farSide picture.  Okay, can I just say that it makes such a difference to have a bra that really supports?  Not only does it look better to have my breasts up off my stomach (sheesh!) but it feels so much better.  This one is worth every cent of the $65 it cost.  If I didn't think so before, I sure do after seeing this picture. Other thoughts?  It's frustrating to see my arms.  They're not at all looking good, they don't feel like they're losing weight, except that the skin is getting all loose and hanging down.  Add to that that I have years worth of eczema scars on my arms and I'm left just hoping that somehow my stretched out skin finds a way to snap back.   Still got that stomach.  When will it leave?  Don't they say that low carb diets get rid of belly fat first?  Please please!

Month4_back_so_far And last but not least (because it's certainly not the smallest or anything) the backside shot.  I can see a difference and these jeans are flattering.  Sadly, the picture also gives an even better look at my arms.  They need help -- I have to go get some weights or something.  I'm also enjoying having shoulders again and can't wait until my upper arms aren't wider than my shoulders when my arms are at rest.  


Fri, Jul. 1st, 2005, 10:53 am
Three Month Pictures

Yesterday my husband took my three month post duodenal switch pictures and then helped me use Fireworks to put them side-by-side.  I'm not quite sure how to put pictures up here so if this doesn't work they're on my blog,  but I'm going to try. 

Apologies in advance if I screw this up somehow.

From the front:

From the side:

From the back:

I've got a long way to go yet, but it's been a great ride. 

Tue, Jun. 21st, 2005, 02:57 pm
Moments of WLS Humor

These may not seem funny to you, but in the manner of the lame comedian, I laughed for about 20 minutes after each.

2 nights ago, I fixed myself a very small plate of food, sat down and realized I'd only be able to eat a third or so of it. So I put some in the 'fridge and came back to the table.

Husband: Are your eyes bigger than your stomach?
Me: Yeah... matter of fact, they are.

Last night:
We've been having a very rough time financially in the last 6 months as my husband is still waiting for the bloody INS (or whatever they call themselves these days) to send him a work permit so he can go back to his job. It's been discouraging for him and me so last night I was trying to boost both our spirits by talking about the good stuff we're going to be taking from this experience.

Me: "No, it's really good. I feel like we've gotten a much better handle on our expenses. I'm not impulse shopping nearly so much, we're being a lot more careful when we go out. Mostly though, I'm cooking at home a lot more and I think that's saving us a ton on our food dollar."

Him: Just stares at me.

Me: "Or it could be that I've had 85% of my stomach removed. Yeah, that's probably made my food a lot cheaper...."

[close on us both laughing, me so hard I end up making attractive snorting noises.]

Fri, Jun. 17th, 2005, 08:23 am
My Skinny Jeans Fit Yesterday!

Woo Hoo! It was so great. I have a job interview today that I should be totally freaked about, but all I can do is think about my skinny jeans.

Okay, they're size 26. But they're skinny to me -- they've only fit when I was at my smallest for the last 4 years.   And now I'll never have to stick them away again because they've gotten too small.  Only because I have.  :)

Read all about it and see pictures if ya want!  (I didn't put this in my LiveJournal because I wanted to use the pictures so it's in my TypePad blog).

Thu, Jun. 16th, 2005, 09:40 pm
A Smaller Target

I do have a blog about my weight loss surgery, but it's not here. It's here. You're very welcome to come and visit and post. :)