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Gastric Bypass - My road to becoming healthy

AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
edited Jun 2011 in Fitness
I've been keeping a blog in the few months since I had RNY gastric bypass surgery.

Below I'd like to share with you my first post from 6/11/09. So far there are 14 posts in total.




Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is me

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Hello. My name is Amanda. I'm 24 years old, 5'8" and currently weight 307 pounds. I wear a size 22/24. I've thought about, researched, and put off initiating gastric bypass since I was 18. I've been overweight for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until late 2008 that it really hit me. And it hit me with this photo. My sister-in-law took this photo. All I could think was "Who is that person, and what are they smuggling under their shirt?!" That person was me. On a day that I thought I looked pretty fantastic. My pre-diabetic, insulin resistant body was putting on more and more weight. My joints hurt, ached, and throbbed. My headaches were more sever than ever. I was training to become a massage therapist, eating healthier, and was more aware than ever of what I was putting into my body... Still the pounds piled on. From August 2008, to March 2009 I had put on nearly 40 pounds, despite my best efforts.

It was in December of 2008 that my boss secretly had gastric bypass surgery. When she told me about it... I just needed to know all of the details. She gave me her surgeon's number, and before I knew it I was calling the Beaumont Weight Control Center. I set up to attend their seminar in late December. I gave myself a month... double checked with my insurance and gathered up $600 for their lifetime program... by February 2009 I was ready to meet with the doctor and start my process.

After 13 vials of blood, several EKGs, a stress test, a sleep apnea test, a psychological evaluation, and a meeting with both the dietitian and exercise specialist, I was approved by my doctor to undergo gastric bypass surgery. My file was then sent to my surgeon. I had to wait 6 weeks for that appointment... meet with a group, then one on one, and was then approved by my surgeon. Then I waited for another month for my surgeon's office to get everything sorted out with my insurance company. Then they submitted my file...

I received my rejection for surgery in May 2009. I was devastated... My prior medically supervised diet, and the time I had been with the weight control center added up to 8 months of documentation... when my insurance company only required 6 months... I was told that we would wait, and start an appeals process. my surgeon's office resubmitted with additional medical, and it almost worked like magic. On June 4, 2009 I received a call from my surgeon's office saying that I was approved!!! I was absolutely ecstatic!! We scheduled right there, and now I'm simply at the end of my waiting!!!! July 20, 2009 is my surgery date.

My plans, and hopes for this blog is to put my experience out there. When I was researching, I was pulling up as many photos, blogs, and forum postings as I could!! Each and every one helped me!! I know what works and what to absolute avoid!! I hope to post meals and recipes that work well for me, in hopes that it may help someone else considering this. This is a life changing experience and I'm very excited to document it.

I have been lucky to have tons of supporters!!! My boss, and friend at the office have been so kind to give me clothing to help in my transition. I currently have more clothes that are way to small (at the moment, but not for long!!!) than those that I can wear. I'd like to put thanks out to my supporters... My biggest fan, Steven, my boyfriend. He has been at my side for almost 3 years, and has always been a positive force. I am very lucky to love, and be loved by such a wonderful man. Second, my parents!! Lynn and Angie. Mum, and Da!! Thank you for worrying about me... but thank you for supporting my choices in life... even if you didn't always agree.
My best friends at Irene's! Kira, Justin, Heather! I love you all! This would have been much harder (though I would still make the same decision) without people who love me, and cared about me more than to just say "Uh huh" They all love me enough to ask questions... quiz and even drill me to make sure I know the answers!! That I'm a unofficial expert before I go through with this. Just... THANK YOU!!

As I said prior... I weigh 307 pounds. My BMI is 48(point something). Other than the pre-diabetes, insulin resistance... I'm really healthy! No sleep apnea, no blood abnormalities. Clean! Which makes me a great candidate for this! I hope, when all is said and done, to loose 140-150 pounds. Today... that is my goal.

I will keep you posted!!

XO - Amanda
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Comments

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Yay Amanda! A friend of mine from college had a similar procedure and the results were outstanding. She definitely didn't have the smoothest road at times (I was her designated hospital chauffeur when something acted up during that first year afterward) but overall she's been very pleased, I think.
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Monday, June 29, 2009

    My time is coming.

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    Well, I will be 25 in one week... and my surgery is three weeks from today.

    I'm not nervous for my surgery. I know what is meant to happen will happen. What I can't seem to wrap my head around is how I may look. The dreaded skin folds, or will it not be too bad. Skin looses memory, it becomes damaged. Where my skin may look just fine on my 307 pound frame, it's still a mystery what it may look like on a 250, 200, or 150 pound frame. I'm prepared for the fact I may need skin removal. But I've already made the decision not to do so until Steven and I are done having children. I think that is the wisest choice.

    In addition to how my skin will look, I have a rather large tattoo on my lower back... Now... with the weight loss, what will it look like (besides a giant red penis... I could kill the "artist" for that) (which will be recolored!!!! After the weight settles)

    Anyway... I've seen where they have done the skin removal from the back too, and left a tattoo literally cut in half. the tattoo is just on my back now... but when I loose the excess weight.. where will it end up? Hip to hip? Wrapping around my hips? Just don't know.

    So, surgery in three weeks, pre-op instructions next week. Everyday I get a little more excited.

    My next tattoo? My surgery date, small and delicate, where I can see it always... To remember the day I worked towards. The day that will change the rest of my life. To remember the struggle of 25 years of being fat (yes, from what I understand I was a chubby baby too). And to forever remember the day I took the first real (irreversible) step towards a healthy future not only for my but my family, and the children I want.

    Enough of my babble... Goodnight

    XO

    Amanda
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Gastric Bypass: Not the "Easy Way Out"

    Recently, I was told that someone very close to me thought I was taking the "easy way out" with my decision to have gastric bypass surgery.

    Aside from being hurtful, it really made me question my support system. In the end, I decided that (again) I am doing this for me, and that's what matters most. This person will very quickly see that there is nothing truly "easy" about having this surgery, the peporation or what a life changing event this is.

    It is now 10 days until surgery. I am drinking 4, 8 oz. protein shakes a day. All I have right now is a chocolate flavor, and am very much looking forward to getting the lemonade flavor next week. I only wish that every protein shake out there wasn't sooooo sweet. Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Fruit Punch, Lemonade, Tropical Punch, annnnd Peanut Butter Chocolate. Need to get the unflavored protein powder as well, add it to chicken broth, and other softer foods.

    Anyway... once again I was scouring the Internet for people's personal WLS stories. I cam across a blog that displayed the 7 reasons WLS is not the EASY WAY OUT! I'd like to share that with you. I'll post pre surgery photos soon.

    XO

    Amanda


    Re-posted from: http://www.sortingthoughts.us/wp/archives/587

    Have some respect for WLSers! Here’s why:

    1. Hell Week.
    The days immediately following surgery are the most intense, miserable experience you can imagine. You have been through major surgery and your body will not let you forget it. The pain is bad enough, but the fatigue is worse.Then there is your sudden withdrawal from food. You see it everywhere: your family’s meals, in commercials. You will experience cravings that drive mental anguish to new levels.Hormone levels go a bit haywire, and depression is common. So are vast mood swings. You may well feel like you’re just going insane.All this leads to a serious case of buyers remorse. Why on earth did I do this to my body? Of course, this regret contributes to the mental anguish.Hell Week can be as short as a few days or as long as a couple of weeks. And everyone goes through it.

    2. Dumping.
    Most gastric bypass patients will experience dumping at least once, some more often. Dumping happens when food (which hasn’t been broken down as thoroughly as it was before surgery) enters the small intestine too quickly. You start to sweat. You’re nauseas and you may even throw up. Or you could have diarrhea. And then you are exhausted and want to sleep.It’s the most miserable feeling you can imagine, and you will do anything to avoid experiencing it again.

    3. Suddenly removing food from your life is traumatic.
    More so than you can imagine. And it’s not like you can sneak around and cheat like you can on a diet – at least not for a long while. It’s as if a close friend has died.Then there are the emotional ramifications of this loss. You have to do “brain surgery‿ on yourself, discovering why you overate to begin with and how to change destructive behaviors. It can be very uncomfortable, even though its healthy in the long run.

    4. Complications.
    There are lots of potential complications and some unpleasant side effects. You can develop infections from surgery. You could develop gall stones and need your gall bladder out. You could develop a stricture (incredibly painful!) and need more surgery. You can develop reactive hypoglycemia, have food blocking the exit of your pouch (again very painful!) or become constipated. Or you could just have painful, smelly gas.

    5. Vitamins.
    With gastric bypass, the part of your intestine that absorbs much of your nutrients is bypassed. So you must take a range of vitamins every day for the rest of your life. This can mean anywhere from 4 pills up to 12 or more, each and every day. If you don’t take vitamins, or if the ones you take aren’t good enough, you can develop life-threatening deficiencies. You may wind up having to take regular shots or get regular blood transfusions. Either way, it’s no walk in the park.

    6. Protein and water requirements.
    In addition to constantly popping vitamins, gastric bypass patients must get 60 – 80 grams of protein and 48 – 64 ounces of water every day into a pouch that holds about 1 cup at a time. Lets just say that’s not easy and requires constant effort.

    7. You still have to watch what you eat and exercise.
    This is the biggest myth out there – that having gastric bypass surgery means weight magically falls off of you with no effort. And while you may lose some weight without exercise, if you want to see real results you have to get moving. And you can’t just shove anything in your mouth, either. Even if you happen to be one of the “lucky‿ few who can eat anything without dumping, unhealthy foods will stop weight loss and start regain. Just like they will for anyone else
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Pre-Op Photos

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    So, those are my before photos. Taken Friday, July 17, 2009. 3 days before surgery. If anything I've learned through massage school it was to accept your self. I mean, we had to get undressed, walk around in sheets and have perfect strangers massage our near naked bodies, on the very first day of class. So world.... this is me. I can't wait for my arms to lay straight to my sides.

    Surgery is scheduled for 8:00 am on July 20, 2009. That's tomorrow. I can hardly believe it's all come so quickly. People keep asking my if I'm nervous. I can't say nervous, but the anticipation is killing me. It's like being a child and waiting for Christmas. You just NEED it to be here already.

    The psychologist talked to up about the self arguments you have just prior to surgery. It's true. I can't tell you all how many times I've gone back and forth about how I don't really need this, I'm blowing things out of proportion, There are people out there who need this more than I do. And the truth is: I do need this, everything else I have done in past years to manage my weight has absolutely failed, and in turn I felt like a failure for being unable to control it. I'm not blowing things out if proportion, my life will not get better if I cannot lose this weight. I will develop type 2 diabetes, and probably some more very serious conditions. And it is true, there are people out there that need this more than I do. But I need to do this for me, take care of myself, and then I can help better take care of others.

    Such is life.

    I'll update in a few days and let you all know how everything went.

    Much love!

    XO-- Amanda
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Post Surgery Update

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    Soooo, I went into surgery on Monday. My pre-surgery weight was 297. 11 pounds down from my last weigh in. So, that is proof that 8 oz protein shakes, 4 times a day, 1 serving of fruit and a high protein meal will help you loose weight, even if you don't like it.

    Surgery went better than expected. I was out of the OR in 80 minutes and in my own room by 11 am. Anesthesia sucks. My throat is just starting to feel better. In addition, pain medication sucks... I'm just starting not to feel nauseous with it.

    But all in all, I'm living life one half cup of Yoplait at a time. Creamed soup, crystal light lemonade with ice... and disastrous results trying to make high protein jello.

    Sleep lots, and have TONS of support. Life will get back to normal.

    Lots of love

    XO- Amanda
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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    So, for the first time in my life the other day, the smell of french fries and chicken strips nearly made me vomit. Not that I was eating them of course, but they were in the same room that I was.

    So here are the things I've come to love in my one week post-gastric bypass.

    1. Crystal Light Natural Lemonade.... Perfect with crushed ice!!!

    2. Dannon Light & Fit 4 oz yogurts. Perfect portion wise!!!
    Low Sugar, Okay Carbs
    BEWARE: Has fruit pieces. Eat around them or strain your yogurt (bound to be messy)

    3. Chicken soup broth!!!
    Go to your local coney island. Get a huge to go container of their chicken soup (mostly broth please)
    Take it home, strain out all of the pieces that are not broth and pitch them.
    Let said remaining broth cool. When cool skim off the nasty orangy grease layer on top. Do this slowly to get as much off as possible!!!
    Heat up in 4 oz portions in a mug and enjoy.

    This tastes MUCH better than any chicken broth I have bought yet.

    The cream soups I have tried have all been okay... nothing note worthy though

    Now for the BADDIES!!!

    1. Vitamin World Unflavored Soy Protein Powder!!! YUCK!!!
    This stuff tastes like potatoes to begin with. When added to ANYTHING it changes the consistency to that of mashed potatoes.

    2. I have found that mixing above soy protein powder with jello ends very badly!!! You get a tri layer effect from this! The bottom, a thick gritty (potatoey) fruit flavored bottom layer, a not quite solidified middle layer, and a foamy, frothy, full of little soy powder chunky top layer.

    It's just very bad. Don't attempt it!! :(

    For an up side to the protein powder I have been recommended to try the following from a very trusted source:
    Isopure Whey Protein Isolate - Unflavored


    Link: http://www.supplementwarehouse.com/viewitem.asp?idproduct=161092

    That will give those of you who are interested all the fun facts about this!! I will be picking up some soon (as pureed foods are only a week away!!!) I understand it should mix well with the applesauce and mashed potatoes I'm waiting for!!!


    A few more tid-bits.

    DO TAKE a half hour to eat your 4 ounces of yogurt!

    You WILL HURT if you eat or drink too quickly! Not that this is end all be all pain, I mean you just had abdominal surgery... but it is very unpleasant!!

    Get off your pain meds as soon as possible! Today is my first full day with no narcotic pain meds, it's glorious!! (Plus Lortab Elixir tastes nasty!!!) Tylenol only for me!

    Okay, so I have 6 incisions, the largest being about 2 inches and on my right side. As all of you know (or should know) your stomach is on your left. What they do is move all of your organs around using this 2 inch incision on the right. They rip up the fascia that holds you all in place. This hurts most of all. None of my other incisions hurt. If anything they are itchy because they are healing... But not being able to get up with hurting on that right side is getting old fast!! I didn't even bruise badly (I put ARNICA around the incision sites once or twice a day <3).

    BABY SPOONS ARE YOUR FRIENDS!!!

    Well that's it for me tonight... Thanks for tuning in!!


    XO - Amanda
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Pureed Foods...

    So my lovelies, I received my Isopure today!!! BIG SPECIAL NOTE!!!! IT DOES NOT DISSOLVE IN HOT WATER!!! Perhaps hot food, but we needed two takes just to make some mashed potatoes tonight. I made some Hungary Jack with their smallest portion. I dissolved about half a scoop into the cold water and then heated it. It gets frothy... but added some silk, and the potato flakes and then WALAH!!! Yummy Potatoes!!! Spray with your I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (ICBINB) and some garlic seasoning... perfect :)

    Protein Lemonade = Bad... :(:(

    More goodies:
    4 oz fat free refried beans, 2 pinches reduced fat Mexican blend cheese, more than a little taco bell mild sauce... = NOM!

    Also, 1 low fat cheese stick dipped in hummos!!! Very Nom!!


    Also I tried a scrambled egg this morning... Sigh. It was bad news :(
    One Organic large brown egg. Added silk, and popped it in the microwave. When all said and done and scrambled I added about a half a slice of reduced fat pepper jack cheese. Melt and scramble more.

    Now, I don't know if it was that I woke up feeling ucky, or the the egg this morning... but I felt TERRIBLE until about 1 pm today!

    Drinking water hurt... I only had about 2 spoons of applesauce at lunch that also hurt... I finally nibbled some Gerber Graduate Puffs (Peach) and that seemed to do the trick... I've been able to eat and drink just fine for the rest of the day...

    So... Beware the egg... I guess.
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Monday, August 17, 2009

    Week 4

    So today is my 4 weeks post-op. Justly, I had to run to the scale and check how many pounds down I am... I am proud to announce that I have lost 21 pounds in those 4 weeks, and 32 pounds total!

    So for food updates.

    Pureed land... it sucks.
    Mashed potatoes and refried beans only take you soooo far.

    I did find that I fell in love with a little something I like to call lasagna paste.
    1/4c Ricotta Cheese
    1/4c Italian herb tomato sauce
    Pinch of mozzarella cheese...

    Nuke it and ta-da! Lasagna paste.

    I am finally now on to soft foods. I found that my belly enjoys over easy eggs much more than scrambled!!! I also have a bit of a love for salsa at the moment.

    Otherwise the biggest news yet is that I'm down a size as well.

    Today I picked up a pair of 22 jeans, and they fit first time. No too big in the hips and fine at the waist... of vice versa. It was just lovely. Not sure I can wear them long... but today. I'm in love.

    Also want to throw another thanks to my Steven. My poor guy has been dealing with my bitch fest all week... He's a trooper. I love him.
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Amazing Shake!!!!

    Okay... so I was looking through my cook book looking for something nice to take to a potluck next week.

    What I came across was something called Protein Power. I modified the recipe a little and it was AMAZING!

    1 1/2c Ice
    1 1/2c Light Soy Milk
    2 tbs Sugar Free Hot Cocoa Mix
    1 tbs Dry Milk
    2 tsp Banana Cream Sugar Free Instant Pudding
    2 tbs Smart Balance Peanut Butter (Mine has a yellow cap and 2g sugar per 2 tbs)

    Mixed it all up in a blender and it came out kinda like a thick shake... chocolate peanut buttery goodness!!!

    Had to share!!! soooooo good!

    Took my 4oz, and stuff the rest in a insulated mug in the freezer to take to class tonight.

    Hell, I bet it would even freeze and turn out like some semi-ice cream, for those who are feaning for some?

    Hope you all enjoy!!!
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Anothers Perception

    So the other day I arrive at my cousin's house for a little get together. It's about 6 pm, and I have eaten since 2. So my cousin invites me to get a plate of whatever I could eat, and enjoy. I set my purse down and said "Thanks, I'm actually hungry!" My grandmother turned to me and said "No you're not... It's just in your head!!!"

    I actually laughed, then explained that it had been several hours since I last ate...

    Apparently having gastric bypass mean that you will never be hungry or need to eat again... :)

    I love my Grams.
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Saturday, October 3, 2009

    8 week photos.

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    I forgot to add these for you <3
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    Too long.

    So, I see it's been over a month since I've posted here. Life has been busy, and I have been lazy <3 walah... guess that's the trick.

    As for food...

    I've found that I can no longer tolerate the protein shakes... they make me want to vomit after one sip :( However, I have been cleared by my dietitian for protein bars!!! So happy.. Below is the bar I've found most satisfying!

    Protein Plus - High Protein Bar - Reduced Sugar | POWERBAR
    22g Protein. 1g Sugar.
    http://www.strongernutrition.com/Products/Protein-Plus-High-Protein-Bars-200106.aspx

    Peanut Butter with chocolate. I can only eat about half a bar at a time, they're very dense. But delicious! And full of the protein that we so desperately need.

    In addition, I've been cleared for nuts as well, peanut, cashews, almonds, walnuts... here I come!!!

    It takes care of that "I need a crunchy salty snack" feeling... My personal favorite is cashews with sea salt.

    As for food on the go... Wendy's Chili is still a big favorite!!! I still sneak a fry or two from Steven... but I wouldn't recommend that to anyone <3 quesadillas are great! cheese and chicken with some peppers and a crisp tortilla. also (from Ram's Horn) the Chicken and Cheese wrap, with the low fat Italian dressing. Has chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce in a crisp tortilla a wrap.

    About two weeks ago I was also cleared for salads... so far I've only dove into a grilled chicken salad (that consisted of chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomato, with low fat Italian dressing) but it was a little heaven on earth. Kinda getting back to what I REALLY loved to eat pre-op!

    Oatmeal is still a favorite... plain with splenda. Special K has a protein enriched cereal!!! It's great!!! TRY IT!!!! and for my sweet snack, I have a handful of LIFE cereal, dry.

    Laughing Cow, light, spreadable cheese... plain or with reduced fat crackers... YUMMY! Get low fat dressing... learn to like spices and herbs... you're going to need variation, because the same thing gets boring (especially chicken)

    If you have a Target near you and like fun nut combinations... look for "True North" in their snack isle. my favorites so far are the Pecan Almond Peanut Clusters, and Citrus Burst Not Clusters (which taste like PB&J... soo yummy!) They also have peanut butter blended with different things (ie, cinnamon, cranberry vanilla, and dark chocolate) all have pretty low sugar... and I picked up the cinnamon one yesterday... I'll let you know how it goes.

    For portion control.. get smaller bowls... get smaller plates!!! I get the little "dessert" bowls... they're great for cereal in the morning... (because if you're anything like me and loooooove a HUGE bowl of crunchy cereal in the morning... It's a life saver for portion control)

    I hate to say this... but post surgery... it's really all about food. What can I eat... how much... and if you though you were food obsessed prior to surgery... prepare for a 10 fold increase.

    So... that's what's been going on food wise the last month or so... PS. Scrambled eggs still make me sick, as well as ANY CHINESE FOOD! Chicken and Veggies, Chinese style... equal much pain!!! Just avoid it! Also... I'm sure you know, but avoid dry chicken... it sucks!

    I'm wearing a size 22 jeans right now... haven't ventured to see if I can fit the 20's yet.... The hard thing is really mentally accepting what's happening to your body. If you're like me (and I'm sure many people have similar stories to mine) It's a yo-yo with the scale... up a pound, down two, up three... for MANY years.... then all of a sudden you're losing 2 pounds... then three... then five.... all of a sudden you've lost 50 (me so far!!!) and you can't really wrap your head around it. I thought I was going to be able to... and it's much harder than I thought.

    I was getting into the shower last weekend, and saw myself naked in front of the mirror (something which I regularly avoid) and it kinda hit me... My body is changing!!!! It's different... I have hips!!! It's something that you don't see as much as others do... because face it.. .if they're not living with you they're not seeing you everyday... and losing pound by pound doesn't make much a difference if you're watching it everyday... but if that someone doesn't see you for 3 or 4 weeks... and you've dropped 15 or 20 pounds... they're the one who has the shock and awe...

    Perhaps that is enough of my thoughts for one day.

    As always, that's for reading... I hope my experiences can help someone out there..

    Much love,
    Amanda XO
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Friday, October 16, 2009

    My White Chili

    Another quick and super easy the recipe for you all

    48 oz Swanson’s Chicken Broth
    2 lbs cooked Ground Turkey, Shredded Turkey or Shredded Chicken
    48 oz Great Northern Beans
    1 Can sweet corn
    ½ large sweet onion, chopped
    3 chopped green onion
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tbsp oregano
    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    4 oz chopped green chilies (mild)
    1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tbsp minced garlic

    Throw everything in a Crockpot on high for 4 hours.



    Enjoy!!
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Monday, November 2, 2009

    250 Pounds!!!

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    Alrightly faithful followers!!! I know you're all clammering to know what's going on in my little journey...


    Well lovies, today I stepped on the scale and saw it stop at 250 pounds.

    250 POUNDS!!!

    That's nearly 60 pounds gone in the 3 1/2 months since surgery!!!

    As you can tell, I'm more than a little excited!

    On another note:

    I'm finally starting to feel normal again. My hair is falling out in handfuls :( It's a good thing I have thick dark hair.

    But eating. Splitting up a meal right away when we eat out. It's feeling normal... eating what's on the plate... and stopping when I'm full.

    I haven't been sick in weeks, and I'm very grateful.
    I will tell anyone that the first few months were the hardest... It's discouraging and heartbreaking. Anyone who watched me in the first few months will attest to that. Steven, Mum, Da... they know. And to a degree I know it was heartbreaking for them (especially my Mum)

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    It gets easier.

    I've lost almost 60 pounds... and I've only gone down one pant size... I could hardly believe it!!!! But my Aunt threw her arms around me for a hug the other night, and commented on how easily her arms went around my shoulders... It really hit me then... It's not the belly or thighs I'm loosing in (although I have no butt to begin with and that has shrunk.. :( ) It was a majority in my back that I lost.

    It's where I really wanted to loose as well... My body is beginning to feel more proportionate to me now.

    There have been so many changes in these few months... I can hardly stand the anticipation of what the next few months will bring.

    It doesn't all fall off at one time... It's bit by bit... stay focused. :)


    On a side note:
    For Halloween we dressed up Friday at work... I wore a skirt for my costume... It was an old skirt, and I knew it was too big... but I thew on some hose, and my spanx anyway... While walking up to my building, I felt my skirt brushing my lower calf... I thought "I don't remember it being that long" Two seconds later it was around my ankles, and my arms are full... It ended up safety pinned to my tank top for the party the next day.

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    In short... don't under estimate a size or two too big. lol <3<3
  • LINLIN Tri_State Area
    edited Nov 2009
    Proud of you, Amanda, you're doing great. :)
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Week 14 photos

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    Behold my week 14 photos...

    Not much to see I know, not much has changed.

    Steven and I are starting the gym. I'm a little apprehensive as I really haven't been to the gym in over two years, and as I enjoy walking... I hate the smell of dude sweat and the spray cleaner for machines. Give me the smell of Michigan's autumn leaves any day.
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    Thanksgiving Etc.

    With all of the bad that has transpired this last week I can't really complain. Tons of celebrating!!! Thanksgiving, My Da's birthday, and a new job offer! So we've had tons of rich and delicious food, and many drinks.

    With all of that, I've still lost a pound this week... sitting myself around a comfortable 65 pound weight loss since 7/20/09.

    Below is what I've learned:

    Alcohol:
    Must be extremely limited. It’s all calories, carbs, and sugar.
    Not that I’m a beer drinker, but the lovely men of Icrontic (Rob, and Brian… that’s you <3) introduced me to a few beers that don’t make me retch immediately. I couldn’t finish 1/3 of a bottle… It’s heavy and carbonated…
    Wine… I love my wine! Had a glass on Thanksgiving, and one last night for celebratory purposes… Was able to consume more wine than beer…
    Liquor isn’t really my friend anymore :( While expected this still makes me a little sad. My favorite drink is an Amaretto Sour. Simple and sweet. Prior to surgery I was able to drink 2-3 over the course of an evening and be fine… Now I can barely get through one without feeling it.

    I’ve found that liquor has the biggest impact in the alcohol world… So if you’re drinking socially, stick to something you can sip throughout the evening.

    Food:
    Always stick to your protein first. It doesn’t matter how tempting the roll is, or Grandma’s homemade mashed potatoes…. Eat the turkey first! You will stuff your pouch full of carbs… and not have room for what your body really needs. You’re only able to take so much in now... choose wisely.

    Thanksgiving was probably the best day of this weekend. There was turkey, small scoop of mashed potatoes, ½ a heat n’ serve roll, some sweet potato (cinnamon only) and my wine. Sure… again carb heavy on what got on my plate… but the turkey was eaten first… and nothing else on the plate got finished. And again… Didn’t over eat or feel sick.

    Better yet. Didn’t have the urge to eat, eat, eat.


    All in all I’ve feeling good about the way things are progressing.
    I still look in the mirror and see the 311 pound me. But I’m finding that I’m more comfortable in social settings. And I feel people perceive and react to me differently than they use to.

    Life is changing dramatically. Everyday I find that one challenge I faced isn’t as hard as it once was. Everyday always brings a new challenge though.

    My latest is being defined by others by having Gastric Bypass. Difficult to explain, but I promise to touch more on this later.

    XO- Amanda
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    AWESOME... My wife is 4 months away form being eligible for bypass. While she is not as big as you were, she is still seeing similar issues... knees, back, and then the emotional issues.

    Reading your journal has helped me see what she will need to go through and how it can change her life. Keep going and I am glad you are feeling better and getting healthier. :thumbsup:
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    edited Nov 2009
    That is so awesome!

    I looked at that picture from the first post and couldn't believe it, it looked nothing like the person I met at Oktoberfest.

    Great work, and keep it up!
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    Blech... Anyone want to take my vitamins for me??? Taking them twice a day is just gross!!! :(

    I'm looking forward to making a great appearance at Decemberween next Saturday. :) It's the first time I've ever really fit into a corset, and confidently wore heels.

    Look out world.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    I can't take non-coated vitamins. As soon as I get them in my mouth, I retch. I've given up on them.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    As soon as I get you in my mouth, I retch, Shwaip. I know the feeling.
  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    I can't take adult vitamins, they make me nauseous for hours. Children's chewables for me!

    Also, can't wait to see you strut your stuff at ICDB.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    As soon as I get you in my mouth, I retch, Shwaip. I know the feeling.

    Then why do you keep putting me there?
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    Shwaip, he's heard the taste gets better! ;D
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    Annes wrote:
    I can't take adult vitamins, they make me nauseous for hours. Children's chewables for me!

    Also, can't wait to see you strut your stuff at ICDB.

    Back when I was crazy and I'd give up any sweets or junk food for lent entirely I would eat the sour patch vitamins as candy. Heh.
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    So, what do you do when:

    Your trusted source says that the weight loss you're experiancing (where you are loosing weight first) is based on genetics.

    You're experiancing hight anxiety about Strenght Training at a gym.

    Your doctor that has been following your weight loss through bariatric surgery tells you that you have heavy thighs.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    You trust the source. You trust the source again to steer you the right way at the gym. And you trust the source a third time when they say that the weight will come off where it wants, when it wants. ;)
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    There's no need to be anxious about the gym, Amanda. You'll do fine there. :) I was pretty self conscious about going to the gym when I first started going too, but everyone is there for the same reason.

    If it helps, you could purposefully seek out a gym that has a certain population, shall we say. For example, the gym I go to doesn't have tons of super young hot people running around all the time, and I kind of like that. While the eye candy can be fun, I feel less self conscious around a slightly older, less hotter crowd. (And by less self-conscious I also mean less catty, heh.)

    Beyond that, if you get a group to go with or see the same people all the time, going to the gym isn't so bad. I joined a gravity class at my gym which is super fun, especially because I have the same trainer and group of ladies every week. Our trainer is super sassy and hilarious, and she makes the class way more fun than it would be otherwise. I know that Rob will tell you that it's more efficient just to do free weights rather than use any kind of machine, but I personally think that as long as you're doing something that you're doing alright. I know that I have a lot more fun and work a lot harder in the gravity class than I do with free weights on my own, so I figure it's okay. (I bow to your expertise in most excercise matters, dearest Robert, but I love my gravity class!)

    Either way Amanda you've come a really far way, and I'm sure that you'll continue to go far. Keep up the good work. :)
  • AlidraAlidra Metro Detroit Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    Monday, December 7, 2009

    240 Pounds!!

    SSPX1296.jpg



    Today I had to get new scrubs for my new job as a massage therapist!! The top was an XL, and the bottoms were a L!
    First time I've ever fit into a Large!!!

    Small accomplishments are not always that small :):):)
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Dec 2009
    from someone who put his body through hell to lose 57lbs., congrats on your success
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