Sunday, September 30, 2012


This past week I hit a HUGE goal of mine! My weight now begins with a "1" instead of a "2" and even sadly, yes, a "3"!!!! This is the first time I have been below 200 pounds in a REALLY long time! The last time my weight started with a "1" was in high school! I am barely there at 198lbs, but I am there! Whoo hooo!

Another huge goal of mine was to buy pants in a regular size clothing store (for example, not a plus size store) and that goal happened recently as well. I bought pants at The Loft Outlet store this past month! Yay! One of the pair of pants can be seen in the photo below...

This photo was from this weekend at a local corn maze. Looking at the pictures made me realize just how far I have come! It is strange seeing myself now. I am not used to seeing myself this way!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weight Loss Update

Hello everyone! I know it has been way too long since my last update! I have been adjusting back into life back at my new/old job. For those who don't know, I left CVS and am I am back at Rite Aid. Both are great companies, I just feel like life at Rite Aid was the better choice for me.

On the weight loss front, I have started running which is something I have always thought I would enjoy but was never able to do before now. I will admit that I really do enjoy it! It is such a great stress reliever and gives me time to just unwind. I haven't been going as often as I probably should, but I find other ways of exercising as well. I also enjoy a good bike ride! We live in a pretty good size development that includes some restaurants, a gym, apartments, town houses (which is what we live in), and single family homes. It is full of hills and last year I could not make it up any of them on my bike. I am very pleased to say that this summer I am making it up the hills (slowly) without stopping!

I have been pretty hesitant to put my actual weights on here because I was really embarrassed by what I did weigh at my heaviest, but I know that is in the past and I am only heading down from here! So, here are my before and "now" pictures with weights included....

Before: This is me at my heaviest (318lbs) in November 2011 :(   I took this picture with the intention of never sharing it so please excuse the fact that I look like I just rolled out of bed (because I pretty much had)!

Now: This picture was taken this morning (9-2-2012) and my current weight is 207lbs!

I also wanted to share a close up of my new hair cut and color :)

I know I still have a LONG way to go on my weight loss, but I already feel 150% better! It is amazing what what loosing 111 pounds will do for you!
My surgeon, Dr. Ku, mentioned at my last appointment that my body is about to enter into uncharted territory.....I am soon going to be at a height and weight that I have never been at before and it will probably freak my body out. I am really looking forward to that moment!
So I have 8 more pounds to loose and then I will FINALLY be under 200 pounds! It has been so long since I have actually been any weight that begins with a "1" and I am super excited for this moment to occur! In fact, I was probably in Jr. High or High school the last time my weight started with a 1!
I hope that by sharing my actual weights that I have somehow inspired someone who is maybe thinking about loosing weight or having weight loss surgery. One thing I have learned is that surgery is not the "easy" way out! I never thought it would be, but it takes a lot of dedication and there have been moments when I have brief periods of regret.....but these are always very brief moments that pass quickly!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Today I had a scope done of my stomach to find out why I have been throwing up almost everyday since my surgery. The opening to my "pouch" should have been 12mm (what he originally made it), and mine was only 8mm. That is why I have been getting sick so often. So the doctor was able to dilate the opening back to 12mm and this should help! He did mention that some people have to have a 2nd procedure done, but I really hope that I don't have to have another one! It was a painless procedure, but I still don't want to go through another one. He also mentioned something about sutures coming out and my stomach trying to digest them, but I was still coming out of anesthesia at that point, and don't remember much. He did say that that could have contributed to my vomiting as well.
I have spent the rest of the day chilling out and watching/sleeping through movies!
I will be back on liquids for at least 2-4 days then progress back up to solid foods again. That part is kind of frustrating, but if it fixes me, I'm all for it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It has been 9 weeks since I had surgery and I am feeling great! I have not done the best job of taking weekly pictures as I would have liked to have done. I did go to a few events this past weekend though so I will share some pictures from the weekend.

So far I have lost 75 pounds since November 1 and 46 pounds since my surgery on March 14th!!

I am technically allowed to have pretty much anything I want to eat at this point (except for sugar and alcohol). However, I am not able to eat anything I want. I have had a very difficult time keeping food down to be completely honest. I spoke to my doctor about this a few weeks ago and he said that his patients tend to have a harder time with certain foods because he tends to make his pouches smaller. My "pouch" will stretch out over time and this is the reason he makes them smaller to begin with. He has found that patients have better long term success if he goes small. For the same reasons, he also makes the opening to the pouch smaller as well. He feels like my opening (or stoma) became smaller than what he made it as it healed, causing me to not be able to tolerate food very well at all. He said that eventually it will stretch out and I will be ok, but there is a procedure that can be done to stretch it back out to the size it needs to be so that I am not throwing up all the time. This would be an out-patient procedure that would include putting a tube down my throat with a balloon and camera on the end. He would see if the stoma needs to be stretched and if it does, he would inflate the balloon to stretch the stoma, deflate it, and remove the tube. I was hesitant about having to have another procedure done, so I told him that I wanted to give it a few weeks and see how things go. Well, it has been almost 2 weeks since I saw him, and things are not getting any better. So, I will be calling his office to schedule to have this procedure done soon (hopefully). It is quite frustrating not being able to keep food down....especially those days when NOTHING wants to stay down (I had one of those days last Friday) - they are exhausting! Here are some pictures, enjoy!

Getting ready to go to a wedding:

My friend Erin and I at our co-worker's wedding:

Mother's Day 2012 with my step-kids, husband, and mother-in-law:

This is another before picture I found. (I hate this picture of me) This is from a weekend trip that I made last fall with my friend Kelsey. She lives in DC and I met her along her way to Pittsburgh where we met her father and brother and she picked up this car! Super excited about possibly going to MN this summer to celebrate her wedding! Still waiting to figure out if I can get the time off work since I did just start a new job.....but super excited for her even if I don't get to go!

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Month Down!

It has been a little over 1 month since my surgery! It is hard to believe that it has been that long already! I am doing great! I have been back at work for 2 weeks and so far I am holding up well(even with the extra 13 hour shift I volunteered for last week). Here are a few pictures of my progress so far:

As you can see in the picture above, I have lost 25 pounds since my surgery! I have lost a little more since then, but don't have any official pictures yet! It is hard to tell a difference in the 2 pictures above in my opinion, but I still wanted to document my journey week by week!

I am on soft foods now, but I am having a little difficulty tolerating them. It has been a bit of a challenge finding foods that I am able to keep down and that don't make me feel horrible! This has not been fun to deal with while working!

I am enjoying being more active since my surgery. My energy level is way up and I want to be doing something active rather than just sitting around the house. I am enjoying going to the gym (I have even started interval running on the treadmill). Also, this past weekend, we road bikes as a family for about 2 or 3 hours on Saturday and on Sunday I took Donavan and Luna to a local park where we walked every trail the kids could possibly find! It was so much fun! I did manage to get a few injuries while hiking, even though I have no clue what I did to hurt myself! I guess that's what happens when you turn 30!?

Here are a few pictures from this past Saturday! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Before and After (So far)

I just wanted to share my before and after (so far) pictures with everyone. I started the process at the end of October going to my surgeon's office and meeting with the Nutritionists and Exercise Physiologists, and getting a Psychological evaluation. I was able to loose 31 pounds on my own before surgery on March 14.

The first 2 weeks of my post surgery life have been rather uneventful. I have been off of work and have just been hanging out at the house and taking it pretty easy. I do go for a walk outside most days as the weather has been simply AMAZING (up until the past day or so, it's turned a little chilly here in PA). I lived on a "full liquid" diet which wasn't so bad (until the very end).
My Full Liquid Diet options included:
  • Protein Shakes
  • Pre-Made Protein Drinks
  • Sugar Free Pudding (thinned out with milk)
  • No Sugar added Yogurt (thinned out with milk)
  • 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom (thinned out with milk and strained)...these were truly a life saver as it was the one thing that didn't make me gag at the end of the 2 weeks!
  • Cream of Wheat (thinned out with milk)
  • Skim Milk
  • Any sugar free drink (Crystal Light, SF Kool-Aid, water, etc.)
  • Decaf Coffee
  • Sugar Free Popsicles
The first week I was having about 1/2 a cup of a "full liquid" as my meals (protein shakes, pudding, yogurt, etc...anything a little thicker with some protein) and I drank "clear liquids" in between. The 2nd week I was able to increase up to a full cup as tolerated (but I was only able to finish that much a few times).

Today (or probably yesterday the time I get this up), I was able to start Phase 2 of my recovery period, Pureed Foods! I was actually really looking forward to this for several days since my liquid diet was starting to make me feel sick towards the end. I realized today it's really not that exciting LOL.
My Pureed Diet options include:
  • Any low fat, sugar free (or only 4grams or less of added sugar) foods are able to be pureed
  • All of the items listed above are still allowed
  • Baby Food
  • Fat Free or 1% Cottage Cheese
  • Scrambled or Poached Eggs
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Pureed Soups
  • Mashed Potatoes (but I should stay away from these as much as possible since there is no protein in them)
Some of the things I have pureed have been ok, but others, not so much! I did have some baby food today and once I added just a touch of salt and pepper to them, they were ok. I don't think I want to stick with those though. I just bought a Magic Bullet so I am looking forward to making my own pureed foods instead.
I am eating 1/2 a cup of food/meal and still having full liquid snacks so that I can get in more protein. Since today was the first day on this phase, I did have some difficulty getting a full 1/2 cup down. They did say that is ok and actually quite normal at first. I will be on this phase for 2 weeks before I get to move up to "Soft Foods" - Yay!
I start back to work next Monday and I know that is going to be a whole new challenge of being able to fit in all my meals and fluid throughout the day. As a retail pharmacist, there is not much down time in the day and I struggled with even being able to eat (or drink) most days before surgery, but that is simply not an option for me now!

I go to the doctor on Friday and I will find out how much I have officially lost then!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

This is going to be a really quick post. I just wanted to share my New Year's Resolution with you guys. This year I have decided to push myself beyond my own expectations for myself! What does this mean exactly? In some areas of my life, I am not quite sure, but here are a few that I have really thought about and wanted to share:

Spiritually - I want my relationship with Christ to grow farther and deeper than I could have ever imagined! I want to REALLY live for Christ each and every day. I know I can't be perfect and I will fail at times, I am human, but I want to experience Him this year like never before!

Financially - We are waiting for our house to sell (about 2 more weeks) and after this we really want to get rid of a lot of our debt. This will mean that will probably rent a place to live for a while, but that is ok. We want to be able to be out of debt so that we can do whatever God wants us to do and have more freedom.

Emotionally - I want to continue to fall more and more in love with my husband every day. I want to strengthen and deepen my current friendships and relationships with family. I want to develop new friendships with people I meet this year.

I am just ready to live a life filled with more - LIFE! Not that I have a boring life now, but I just want to experience more and live my life to the fullest. I want to push myself to do things that I never thought that I would be able to do. We all have limits for ourselves set in our minds of what we feel that we can achieve. I want to go beyond that and see what I can truly do with the help of God and find out where He will lead me and what He will teach me this year!