17
Apr
15

Starting a weight loss journey today….

Heather_Johnson_Before_Collage

Way back when… I used to weigh 350 lbs. I went down to 150 lbs by eating only 3 pints of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie dough ice cream a day and on Sunday’s I ate winter soup. That was so not a healthy way to lose weight. Over the last 16 years, I’ve steadily, slowly, packed on the weight again. The contributing factors were many.

First, I gained 72 lbs while pregnant with my eldest son and was unable to lose the weight after I gave birth. I only gained a net 2 lbs with my second son’s pregnancy but after I gave birth to him, I gained another 30. I was 166 lbs when I confirmed my pregnancy with my eldest. By time my youngest was a year old, I was 240 lbs. I stayed that weight for about six years. When I began chemotherapy treatments, I started gaining weight rapidly because part of my chemo drugs was prednisone, a steroid. I jumped up to 298 and stayed there until 2014 when I started gaining weight again and added 30 lbs. I’m down a few pounds here in April of 2015 and weighed in two days ago at 313 lbs.

My doctor explained to me to that I am “metabolic efficient”. Meaning, my body will burn exactly what I take in. Great for maintaining weight… not so great for losing weight. I tried many different ways to lose weight over these years. I’ve tried different eating plans. I’ve tried exercising best I can. Doctor-supervised, physical therapist, nutritionist.. no matter what we tried, I either just didn’t lose anything or I gained weight.

I had a consultation with a general surgeon. I have a hiatal hernia and bad gall bladder. There is a surgical fix for a hernia that takes the stomach and staples it to the diaphragm. With my medical history, they decided that would not be a good option for me. Also, not being able to eat 3 times a day has had its impact on my weight. The hernia blocks food from passing into my stomach and small bowel for digestion. It just sits there and if I eat as often as I am supposed to, I clog up my esophagus and end up vomiting.

What I eat plays a rather larger part for me. I don’t like meat all that much nor veggies. I’m a pastatarian. Pasta and breads. That turns into stored fat on my belly. So, I have to make some BIG changes.

After the past six years, talking with various doctors and nutritionists and other professionals,  I have decided to have gastric bypass surgery– specifically the Roux en Y procedure. Because of my hernia, I am starting the post-surgical diet now. Two weeks before surgery, I will start an all liquid diet. My calories will be restricted to 800 a day (what I take in now). I’m to start walking 10 minutes a day and quit smoking. If I smoke, or even ingest second hand smoke, my surgery will be canceled. No refunds.

This is a whole program one has to go through. It starts with an initial consult with the surgeon. Then a brief consult with the surgery program director. Then a seminar. Then 3 appointments over 3 months with a nutritionist. And 3 appointments over 3 months with an exercise supervisor. A psychological assessment to make sure one is ready, willing and able to handle the life-long changes this surgery will create. THEN another consult with the surgeon and then the surgery gets scheduled. Then the surgery happens and regular follow ups for the rest of my life with the surgeon and my regular physician. I will take supplements for the rest of my life, too.

The hardest parts, for me, will be the not smoking and the diet changes. My regular physician who has had the same procedure done on himself said that after two years, my diet will resume to normal but that I just won’t eat the same quantities. So, I will be able to eat my yummy food again, one day. Just won’t be the same amounts. I can deal with that.

Because of my hernia issues, as I mentioned above, I am on the post-surgical diet. Also, it will help me get into the groove of all liquid diet I will need to be on 2weeks before the surgery. That is to shrink the liver to make the surgery easier to perform. Today, I had a peach protein shake for breakfast. I will have another for lunch. I will have half a can of prepared cream of celery soup. That is it. And I started my multi-vitamins.

The shake recipe is 8 oz. of  low-fat milk ,one serving of low calorie, low sugar yogurt, cup of ice, and a scoop of protein shake mix. I have found I do not like the chocolate one because I did not add the yogurt. I am going to try that one tomorrow with strawberry yogurt. If I STILL don’t like it, then I won’t us it anymore. I  do like the French vanilla.

Smelling the food the rest of my family eats is difficult. But not too hard to deal with. Keeping an eye on the prize. This weight loss will help so many of my health problems. I do not have diabetes but this surgery cures Type 2 in most patients who have it. It will help with my hypertension, osteoarthritis, other chronic pain issues like fibromyalgia. And on and on the list goes.

I’ll post some as I go along, at each step. this is going to be epic!

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5 Responses to “Starting a weight loss journey today….”


  1. April 19, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I want you to know two things, Heather. First of all, I love you. Secondly, I am proud of you. I hope you will call me any time of the day or night if you need encouragement or someone to sit on you so you can’t smoke. I know you can do this and I’m praying that you will have the strength to succeed.

    I hope everyone there will smoke OUTSIDE so that, eventually, the house will not smell of smoke. That has always been my downfall, I think, whenever I’ve tried to quit.

    You can do this.

    Jerry


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