How Much Does Stuff Weigh? [infographic]

How Much Does Stuff Weigh? [infographic]

Rapid and significant weight loss through gastric bypass isn’t the typical weight loss experience. While 2 pounds a week is considered a “healthy” rate to lose weight, there are periods of rapid weight loss where some patience can lose over 50 pounds in a month. While it feels good to drop pounds and lose inches, it’s sometimes hard to visualize how much weight you’ve actually lost.

In Bariatric Bad Girl Club, we’ve talked about certain lists of weights and how much our losses equate to in everyday items. My coworker Joseph created this infographic for our site at work, and I thought it would be fun to share here. When we discussed it in BBGC, it was a hilarious conversation because the largest weight on this infographic is 100 pounds, and many people in the group have lost much more weight. So we came up with funny combinations of what our losses were equivalent to. My favorite? A response from @Trina_Lockary on Twitter.

dishwasher cement tweet

How much have I lost? At 122 pounds, I’ve lost a toilet, a car tire, and 8 sticks of butter. Let the good times roll.

Wordless Wednesday: Slimming Down and Wearing Spandex

Nicole bullock weight loss

Wordless Wednesday: January 2012 to January 2013

nicole bullock weight loss

Wordless Wednesday: Facial Comparison At 10 Months


Wordless Wednesday: Ten Months – 120 Pounds


Month 10 Post-Op Update

nicole bullock weight loss comparison

Sometimes it’s hard to really see the progress within yourself in a weight loss journey. You notice small changes, but you don’t always recognize how you’re changing in the grand scheme of things.

When you look at this side-by-side comparison picture of me, it’s obvious I’ve lost a significant amount of weight (119 pounds as of today). But this picture does not reflect the other ways I’m changing and evolving as a human soul.

As I’ve discussed in multiple posts on my blog, the most difficult part of the weight loss surgery journey for me has been my emotional evolution. Sorting out my self-image and the relationship between my long-held beliefs about body can be very confusing. I don’t always know if I’ll recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. Sometimes I’m larger than I’m expecting, other times I just don’t look like me. I hadn’t been morbidly obese my whole life, and on my “skinny days” I see a very young Nicole staring back at me.

rei winter workout clothes

Not that youth is a bad thing! It’s fun to ask people how old they think I am. Lately, it’s usually 25-27 years old. Most people are surprised when I tell them I’m 32 and I have a 12 year old daughter.

I feel like I can look more youthful with my “new body.” I’m dressing in more age-appropriate clothing (since I’m not limited by juvenile “youth plus” or the mature fashions in the women’s department (that I shouldn’t have to wear for a few decades). Before surgery, I was wearing 28/30 size jeans. Now I’m in size 18 jeans, and even smaller in stretchy activewear. In the picture I’m wearing here, I’m in a 14/16 yoga pant and a men’s large jacket. I’m starting to pick around and try on fashions in XXL and XL sizes in the “regular” women’s department, instead of being limited to the plus size racks.

nicole bullock weight loss

As I’ve dropped weight and I’m dressing more my style, I am getting a lot of attention on my appearance. After years of feeling like I was either ignored or shunned for being morbidly obese, it’s fun to be closer to average-size. I’ve been blessed with great features (especially my hair and eyes), so even at my highest weight I got compliments. But now I get them every day, and from people who probably would never have talked to me before. I’ve noticed men being more gentlemanly, flirtatious and chivalrous, and women warm up to me in conversation more quickly. I’m enjoying the barriers that are diminishing in my social life.

As much as I’m lapping up the attention, I’m also conflicted at times by it. The compliments I’m getting about my body are exciting, but I’m noticing people are more complimentary in general.  I get kind comments on my  professional talents and more praise on the projects I accomplish. I feel like I’m working as hard as I ever was, but I get more attention for it. The horrible assumption that “fat = lazy” has become more prevalent as I drop pounds and I’m suddenly not considered lazy anymore. Surgery didn’t magically make me a go-getter…I’ve always been one.

Nicole Bullock KSL blogger event

I’ve had some fun non-scale victories lately, and one of them is having the confidence to be fun and playful on camera. I went to an event this week hosted by KSL 5 Television, and was able to tour and goof off in the studio. I took a lot of pictures with my friends, and I wasn’t always concerned about the angle I was standing at, or if the way my head was tilted gave me a double chin.

I was given the opportunity to be interviewed on a segment about children and online safety on KSL yesterday. Had I not lost the weight, I would have let the opportunity pass by. But with my increased confidence with my weight loss, I accepted in a heartbeat. I was excited to be on camera, and my worries about the segment were limited to what I’d look best in on camera. If you’d like to watch the segment, here it is:

Last week, my family returned from a 8 days in England and Ireland. I was able to fully enjoy the trip, including the days where we walked around the city for 10 hours. I’ll be writing a post about my experiences in London this weekend.


Six Month Update – 100 Pounds

100 pound weight loss
August marked my 6-month mark since gastric bypass surgery. August also marked my biggest milestone yet – hitting 100 pounds lost. I was stuck at a plateau for over 3 weeks, varying between 96-99 pounds lost, and I finally hit 100 pounds. I can’t tell you how excited I am.

Last week I pulled out my pre-op jeans. They are size 28/30 elastic-waist stretch jeans that I wore to and from the hospital for surgery. They used to be a tight fight, especially on my belly and calves. Now I wear a 20/22 jean. I’m still wearing “plus size” clothes, and it’s been interesting to see that losing 100 pounds hasn’t made me drop clothing sizes as quickly as I expected. But I think the next 100 pounds will be where the big size/shape changes happen.

Since surgery, I’ve lost the following amounts on my body measurements

  • Neck -2.25″
  • Bust -8″
  • Chest -8″
  • Waist -11″
  • Hip -14″
  • Thigh -6.5″
  • Calf -3.5″
  • Ankle -2″
  • Upper arm -3″
  • Wrist -2″

I’ve noticed a reduction in joint pain, sleep apnea symptoms, circulation problems, and back pain. I feel more “mobile” – it’s easier to fit into chairs with arms, I have more stamina for physical activity, and I find myself more willing to try new things. When I was in New York City a few weeks ago, I did LOTS of walking. Several miles a day. I walked enough to wear myself out and get blisters all over my feet…and it felt great!

It feels like I’m used to my life as a weight loss surgery patient. I’m more intuitive with my body’s signals and am better and respecting its limitations. The two ongoing struggles I have are with fatigue and hair loss. Luckily, the hair loss has diminished, and it’s only slightly worse than “normal.” I have patches that are thinner than I’m comfortable with, but it doesn’t freak me out every time I run a brush through my hair.

I don’t know when the fatigue will improve. I’ve upped my protein intake and doses of vitamin B12 and D. I also resumed taking Provigil, which helps with my daytime sleepiness from sleep apnea. Some days I’m fine, other days I can hardly make it through the workday.

While 100 pounds is a significant accomplishment, my journey is far from over. I’m still 100 pounds overweight. I know that the next hundred will not come off as quickly or easily as the first hundred, and it’s possible I may stall out and my body won’t let me get to my goal weight. But I have hope. I am grateful for what I’ve been able to do for my health, and am grateful for all of the support I’ve received along the way.

Sixty-Four Pounds

Last week was my three month mark from surgery, and I’m down 64 pounds. The first two months, the weight came off fast – about 25 pounds per month. Last month, only 10.

Many people are under the impression that the weight just “melts off” after you have surgery, but the last month was proof to me that if you’re not measuring and tracking every bite, it slows down dramatically. I have to admit, I’m not measuring and tracking what I eat on a daily basis. I’ve gotten comfortable with what’s on my food list, and I can usually “eyeball” the portion that I should be eating. But since I’m not dropping the pounds as fast, I’m back to measuring.

When I look in the mirror, I can see the progress in my body. I’ve lost 8.5 inches in my waist (from 49 to 40.5), 7 inches off my bust (52 to 45), and 8 inches off my butt/hips (62 to 54). When I look at my sideview, I see that my belly is flatter and less pronounced, my butt is smaller, lower and is less bubbled out, and my back is less flabby. My arms are smaller too, so when I have them at my sides, it doesn’t feel so jiggly.

But when people mention my weight loss, I still get a lot of “Wow, I really see it in your face!”

I went bra shopping last week because my bras all fit wrong. I have so much extra space in the cups and my band size is down 5 inches. I’ve gone from being really tight on the last set of hooks to being baggy on the tightest setting. I had three different people measure me and suggest bras, but I got three different sizes. 25 bras later, I didn’t find one that I loved. Guess that means more bra shopping.

This weekend I’m going out of town again. I have another cousin getting married, so I’m starting the drive to LA on Thursday afternoon. But I’ll be stopping in Las Vegas for the night, and meet up with some of my Bariatric Bad Girls Club friends. It’s the Weigh Loss Surgery Foundation of America meet-up, and I would totally stay the weekend if it didn’t conflict with the wedding.


Behind The Lens

This weekend I was at the Breathing Space Blogger Retreat. It was a meetup of 75 bloggers, mostly local to the Wasatch Front area, held at Daybreak. I’ve known about the retreat for several months, and one my factors of motivation was to lose enough weight to look good in pictures.

For a long time, I’ve shuddered at the thought of group photos. I’m usually the largest woman in the groups, and I just pore over the pictures in nit-picky comparison. But this week I hit the 60 pound mark in my weight loss, and I had some cute clothes to wear, and I got into a mindset where I didn’t feel like I needed to stress out about how I looked for the conference.

On Friday afternoon, I went to the salon at Daybreak for a complimentary shampoo and style. The attendees of the conference  got to choose a free service, and I wanted my hair done. I was thinking we could do something fancy, and I wanted to look good for the Stepford Wives party, so I found a picture of a rockin’ 60’s beehive style. I was totally bummed when they said I’d have to pay a lot extra to do it. So I told the stylist to do whatever she wanted with my hair. She blew it out and gave it some wave, and dubbed it my “Kardashian hair.”

That evening was the Stepford Wives party, and I had a custom dress made by eShakti. I’d never ordered a dress off measurements before, and I wanted it to not be too big, so I guessed where I’d be in a few weeks when I bought it in early April. It was very tight when I got it, and the sleeves were way too tiny in circumference. I ended up picking out the stitching to get the sleeves off and wear it with a little jacket. As you can see – I’m regaining my waistline! The party was so fun, and there were so many fun dresses and outfits. The party was hard to eat at though – Corner Bakery catered the dinner, but there wasn’t much I could eat. I am addicted to their tomato basil soup, but dinner was a choice of sandwiches. I ate the meat out of my sandwich, but I was still hungry and faced an army of dessert choices. I nibbled on a few sweets, but resisted the urge to binge on cream cheese brownies and Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes.

Saturday was full of classes and ended with a Cinco de Mayo party. As the day went on, Jenny K (the official conference photographer) was snapping away. I started getting nervous about what pictures she was taking of me. When I went through her photostream after the conference, I felt so self-conscious. So many pictures of me from “bad angles.” In the one to the left, I can’t even tell I’ve lost weight, especially compared to the above picture in my green dress. I started feeling really hard on myself. You can’t always control what pictures are taken and shared. But you can try to control the way you think and perceive what you see.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been having a hard time emotionally with my weight loss. I care too much about what other people think, and I’m having a hard time accepting myself. I love getting compliments and attention, but sometimes I have a very hard time believing the things people say to me. I look at photos of myself so critically, and wonder if other people are judging me as harshly as I do to myself. Luckily, I’ve been finding out who really cares about me, and who I can depend on when things are hard. I gained some great new friends at the conference, and felt more accepted by new acquaintances than I have in a long time. I think I intimidate some people, and I’m hoping that I’m becoming more approachable with my weight loss. I know that I’m working on myself physically, spiritually, and mentally, and these doubts and struggles are just part of the journey.

Comparison – Down 50 Pounds

nicole bullock weight lossSeveral people asked me to post a side-by-side comparison of how I look from before surgery until now. After hitting the 50 pound milestone, I thought it was a good time.

Although I’ve lost weight and inches all over my body, people still say to me, “Yeah, I can see it in your face.” So today is a face shot. I’ve gone from a triple chin to one and a half (meaning, I still have a lot of extra skin and fat, but it’s not quite so chubby). My cheeks aren’t so round. My eyes look brighter and I don’t look so tired.

With such a big difference at 50 pounds, I wonder where I’ll be at 100. Or 150. Or 200.