Sunday, May 24, 2015

the scale is moving!

I'm so happy to report that the scale is moving down again!  I'm now at 138 pounds lost!

I am hoping to get to under 200 pounds by June 15 (just 6 pounds until I'm 199!!), which is my next follow-up appointment.  A (hopefully)15 pound loss in 6 months isn't impressive for someone who's had gastric bypass, but I know logically that it's reasonable.  Especially after what I lost in the first year.  Basically any weight I lose now is all me.  It's not the surgery doing it.  I spent a lot of time snacking and not tracking my food intake, so that's what happens:  I don't lose weight.  BUT...I didn't gain either. That's a first for me.

While I haven't lost a ton of weight this time, I've developed some good habits finally, and that's what surgery is for:  it gives you a "reset" and gives you a chance to start over and develop good habits.  The fact that I've developed good habits is something to be proud of.  This is what I've done:

  • I now track my food with MyFitnessPal every day.  I sometimes slack on the weekends, but I still log some of my food.
  • I walk every day at work.  I make two laps around the outside of the building, which equals about 1 mile.
  • I've stopped eating so many peanuts.  And if I eat them, I measure.  And track.
  • I've started eating fruit or celery and hummus instead of Chex Mix.
  • I'm doing yard work.  Doesn't sound like an accomplishment, but it is for me. For years my husband had to do it by himself.  I either didn't want to do it, or I was too tired from being too fat, or any other excuse I could come up with.  I might come out and help a little bit, but I was quickly winded and overwhelmed.  I've realized over the last few months that I enjoy being outside. Having an awesome yard helps, too.

I'm not 100% sure what my weight goal will be.  I'm thinking about 20 more pounds and I'm done.  That would bring me to 180, which is the top of the weight range for my height and build.  But I'll see what the doctor says. 

Will I have skin removal surgery?  I don't know.  I always said I'd never do that, but as I lose more weight, I can definitely see why people change their mind:  they want their outsides to match their insides.  Plus, shopping for pants really gets to be an issue.  If I buy a size that fits my waist and allows room for the extra skin, the hips and legs are huge.  If I buy pants that fit the hips and legs, the waist is a little tight.  To the people who say, "Exercise! There's no reason to have surgery,"  I can exercise until the cows come home (and I DO exercise).  The extra skin is only going to reduce to a certain point.  40 years is a long time to stretch, retract, stretch, retract, stretch and retract your skin again.  That does a lot of damage.  And to those people that have said all I have to do is exercise and skin surgery (and gastric bypass) is the easy way out (and I know for a fact there are at least 2 people who know me who have said this), go get your own house in order before you comment on mine.  I've seen your house and it ain't no pretty sight.  


  1. Congrats on the recent success! I have been following your blog for some time--I found you from AAM. I am also struggling with weight issues and weighing the decision to try losing weight on my own or getting WLS. I am just over 300 lbs and the heaviest i have been in my whole life... I told myself i would never hit 300, well, here I am... So your blog has been an inspiration to me and i appreciate all your advice! Would you be willing to share if insurance covers WLS and/or skin removal surgery? Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm so happy to know someone is reading and getting a little inspiration; I often wonder if this all just goes into a black hole. LOL

      I told myself the same exact thing, that I'd never hit 300, but I did. And went beyond to 343. Finally I just got tired of all the yo-yoing back and forth, and decided to go for it. I looked at it as a last ditch effort.

      I had Aetna at the time and yes, they covered the surgery itself. It has to be considered "medically necessary" for that to happen. I had to go through a lot of testing and stuff. The doctors that handled my testing were in network so they paid 80%, and since that wasn't the actual surgery there weren't any restrictions. That amounted to something like $3,000.00 I think. My surgeon was out of network, so Aetna paid 60% for the surgery itself. Lucky for me, the surgeon "forgave" the rest of the bill so I didn't have to pay anything to him other than the office copays before and after.

      Aetna's policy on skin removal is the same: it must be "medically necessary." And I believe the standard coverage applies, like I mentioned above. That means that having the excess skin is causing problems, like rashes and such. It has to be documented by either the WLS surgeon or someone like a dermatologist. Basically you have to prove that the excess skin needs to be removed, because it's causing problems.

      I'm with a different company now, so I'm not what their policy is.

      I say you should really seriously consider the surgery if all other things, like dieting, have failed. This is for life. While I seem to have no surgery-related issues at all, that doesn't happen for everyone. Some people really struggle both physically and psychologically. You should check out the docs in your area and attend one of their free seminars (they all have them I think). But don't do just that. Talk to people who have had the surgery. The docs all talk about how wonderful it is and really emphasize the positive. They don't talk about the inevitable hair loss (it stops!), the constipation (that can be helped), all the daily supplements, or the fact that you'll likely have to drink a protein shake everyday for the rest of your life. Those aren't horrible things, but they're a part of post-WLS life. And each month you'll be spending money on that protein and those supplements.

      If you ever want someone to talk to, I'm here. I know this is a public forum so you won't want to publish your email address (me either), but feel free to send your email to AAM. I'm sure Alison will get it to me.

      Good luck!!

    2. Thank you so much for your kind reply! I don't mind sharing my email address--its my junk email, so i can always refer you to my real email through there and perhaps we can be support buddies from time to time! Feel free to get back to me at badger_doc at yahoo dot com if you'd like. My last ditch effort is kind of using what I've been reading on your blog--trying a diet that is low calorie, but very high in protein to see if that helps kick start my weight loss. I don't know if it is safe to do so--i believe you mentioned you were eating about 900 calories worth when you first got WLS. I don't know if i can go that low, but i thought it would be worth the try. Then add in exercise and see what happens after i lose an initial 30-50 lbs. Not sure if i should run that by a doctor or just try to do it on my own. I am so bad at tracking my food intake... I just get lazy after a while and start estimating and not weighing my food, so that doesn't help matters... But i just really wanted to thank you and let you know that your blog is amazing and there are people out there that read it and get inspired to change their life! I appreciate that you are so open with everything. It makes it easier for me to talk about too.

    3. Thanks! I will email you later. I'd love to be support buddies - I need all I can get sometimes.

      I think 900 calories would be really, really low for you. Although, I don't know your height or weight, so that could be reasonable. I'm 5'11" so while it is really low, my weight is now low enough where 900 isn't all that unreasonable anymore. Plus, I have limited stomach capacity nowadays. Actually, I keep it to about 1,100 these days. It's low enough for me to lose weight, but not starve myself. And once I lose my last 30 pounds I'll be increasing my intake to whatever is required to maintain my weight.