Three Years Later: Life After My Gastric Bypass Surgery

(null)Transparency can be a difficult thing.

When I decided to start Beauty and the Bypass, I was feeling empowered. After years of unsuccessful weight loss attempts, I was ready to proactively change my life. I was motivated to not only be a success for myself, but to inspire other people to do hard things.

Year one was the year of achievement. I went under the knife. I shared my ups, downs, and sideways moments. I hit many numerical goals and shared frequent non-scale victories. I lost 100 pounds in 6.5 months, and was down exactly 130 pounds on my one year “surgiversary.” But that was a one-day weight…and possibly a fluke with my scale.

At the beginning, I wanted desperately to be able to glide into Onederland and be under 200 pounds. But on my best and lowest day, I was 241. I hovered between 245 and 255 for the next year, struggling with reactive hypoglycemia, mono, peritonsillar abscesses and some deep mental health struggles. In October 2013, I had a tonsillectomy which resolved the recurring infections and mono. However, within a month of the surgery, I moved from Salt Lake City to Detroit and started a new job. Talk about a crazy whirlwind!

nicole bullock weight lossOnce I was in Detroit, I had a few personal epiphanies about my happiness. Because I was in a new place, re-establishing friend groups and professional ties…I realized how taxing it was to be “weight loss girl”. I was insecure about my weight loss success story because I was still technically obese. While specific numerical weight goals were in my head, my real personal goals were physical health (reduction of comorbid conditions like sleep apnea and hypertension), mental health, and ability of participate in physical activities without my weight/size limiting me. I realized that I had achieved improved health and activity, but my mental health was still lacking.

As a sufferer of depression and anxiety since my teen years, I’ve tried plenty of medications and met with quite a few mental health professionals. The pills and visits seemed to help me situationally, but I still would get into phases where my coping skills were poor. And whereas food was a frequent coping mechanism prior to surgery, I had lost my ability to medicate with food to a degree. After a long hard look at my life, my happiness, and my health…I decided that blogging no longer brought me the satisfaction it had for over a decade.

So I stopped giving myself arbitrary expectations of writing posts…just because. I got many concerned messages from readers, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to say. I was living my life as a healthier woman, and didn’t necessarily want the voyeurs of the interwebz to have access to my deepest and darkest. I posted a little on my Beauty and the Bypass Twitter and Facebook pages, but the previous drive to maintain my online success was gone. I declined sponsorships, product reviews, and opportunities to make money off my weight loss success. Some days I regretted it…but it was largely a relief to take myself out of the spotlight.

I knew I’d still want to make occasional updates on the blog, but I feel like most of my gastric bypass story has been told. There are bloggers I adore such as Melting Mama and Eggface who continually update the WLS world on post-op life. But since several people have asked me to give an update, here are a few highlights of 2014.

(null)My friend Wendy contacted me and said she was going to be coming to town in October to do the Detroit Free Press international half-marathon. Through her powers of persuasion, i consented. I’m not a runner by any means, and I care about my joints too much to take up rigorous running at this weight. So I walked and jogged 13.1 miles through Detroit and Windsor, ON. It was the most physically taxing thing I’ve ever done, but I hobbled through the last 2 miles and sprinted across the finish line to get my awesome finisher medal.

I was very into tracking my fitness during the year with my Fitbit One Activity Tracker (add me on my Fitbit profile). I made a goal of walking 3 MILLION STEPS in 2015…and I accomplished it. In fact, I ended the year with a total of 3,433,531 steps, which was the equivalent of 1593.95 miles. Also, I climbed 3,748 flights of stairs! But one thing that I learned is that steps alone won’t make you lose weight…and an active lifestyle still requires control of what you eat. I was less careful about my intake in 2014, and that’s part of the reason I had some regain. I own it, and I’m working on it.

(null)Another highlight of 2014 was my family trip to Amsterdam. When the Bullock family travels, we do so in short intense bursts. With only 4 days in the Netherlands, we crammed in as much excitement as physically and financially possible. We walked and walked and ate and enjoyed time as a family (and I celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with Taylor). It was such a happy trip, and I would not have been able to enjoy it so much had I not lost the weight from gastric bypass.

My weight has crept up to 270ish, and my goal for 2015 is to tackle some of this regain. It’s hard to stay active through Detroit’s arctic winters, but I look forward to spring when I will be able to ride my bike all over my area and spend my lunch breaks wandering through Detroit people watching and taking pictures.

And that’s my 3-year post-op update.

Weight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny (Review)

Weight-Loss-Surgery-Real-SkinnyWeight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny

Written by Dr. Nick Nicholson and B.A. Blackwood

Weight loss surgery isn’t the easy way out. Successful weight loss surgery requires a fundamental life change. It’s not about your weight; it’s about your head.

I was asked to review a copy of one of the latest books about bariatric surgery, Weight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny. Written by Doctor Nick Nicholson, a weight loss surgeon, and B.A. Blackwood, an author and lawyer, this book is intended for people who are considering weight loss surgery, or are WLS post-ops looking for additional information.

98% of morbidly obese people fail at dieting, which only 2% are successful. For 20 years, I was in the diet boat, and felt trapped for so long. Most of the information I found about weight loss surgery was either a pamphlet at a doctor’s office or a website not detailed to give the whole story about bariatric surgery. I think there’s a real need in the marketplace for candid books about details about life before, during, and after weight loss surgery, and this book fits the bill nicely.

weight loss surgery bookThe chapters of the book are divided into the following topics:

  • How Did I End Up in This Mess and Why Can’t I Get Out of It
  • Talking to Your Surgeon: No Time to Practice Lying
  • So What’s Really Eating You – Get Ready to Find Out
  • What Have I Done to Myself? The Immediate Aftermath
  • You Enlisted But Your Spouse Was Drafted: The Impact of Weight Loss Surgery on Your Marriage
  • Get In the Game – Dating After Weight Loss Surgery
  • My Weight Loss is About Me, So Why Does Everyone Act Like It’s About Them?
  • Breaking the Three Food Commandments
  • Breaking Up With Your Ex For Good: The Maintenance Grind
  • I’m Doing Everything Right, So Why Doesn’t My Weight Show it?
  • When to Declare Victory: Managing Expectations
  • Revision Surgery – You Don’t Want To Go There
  • How to Choose Your Bariatric Surgeon
  • Things Your Mama Should Have Told You

get in the game dating after WLSAs for my review of the book, I wish that it had existed when I was considering surgery. Most of what I read was directly from medical/hospital websites, and the information was quite clinical. This book was very realistic and user-friendly for a pre-op WLS patient looking for a more personalized information set than you’d find on a hospital website. However, for me personally as a 2 year post-op, it was a little simplistic. I have been active in the depths of some pretty gritty and realistic support groups where I’ve had my questions about surgery and post-op life answered, and this book just skims the surface of the heavy emotional stuff. Not everyone wants or needs the “heavy” information like I do, so this book would probably answer the questions of most people interested in surgery. If people were to ask me to recommend books, I personally would suggest this book and “Stranger Here” by Jen Larsen.

“Losing weight isn’t easy, but then nothing worth doing every is. This is your one and only life. Shape it into what you want it to be.”

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of the book to review for my blog from The Cadence Group. All opinions are my own and I did not receive compensation for my review.

Wordless Wednesday: Down 130 Pounds

130 pounds lost gastric bypass

Checking In and Catching Up

nicole summer selfieOver two months without a blog post? Guilty. I have so much to catch up on, I decided to dust off the blog and catch up on my summer so far.

As I mentioned in a post on my other blog, I tend to struggle in the summertime. I’ve had some significant depressive episodes in summers past, but depression hasn’t been as much of an issue this year. I have been feeling a lot of anxiety, and I often feel like the anxiety is worse when I spend a lot of time online. I do my internet thing while I’m work (since I work as a social media manager), and then I am largely offline through the evening.

I’ve also been struggling with an unusual amount of fatigue. I’m always tired, sleep isn’t restorative, and I have a hard time concentrating on anything for an extended period of time. I usually have creativity and ideas bursting out of my brain, and now I struggle to even write a paragraph without distractions. I met with my doctor, and we both expected the fatigue to be related to a vitamin B-12 deficiency. I got my results back, and I actually had an above normal reading. He ordered a bunch of thyroid tests and checked for mono…but those findings were normal. The next step is to meet with my sleep specialist about my sleep apnea – I’ve been using my CPAP machine, but I feel like it’s not helping me feel rested. He guessed that after losing 80-100 pounds, I’d likely not need to use the CPAP anymore. Now that I’m down almost 130…I’d like to know definitively if it’s needed anymore.

I’m working on getting back on track with weight accountability. I haven’t been as obsessed with numbers lately, which is part of why I think I haven’t been losing. My current weight is 244. I was in a plateau between December and April, then I had a spike up to 261 around the time I went to Vegas. I got into bad habits while figuring out my carb intake to manage reactive hypoglycemia, and now it’s hard to go through any meal without something carby. When I returned from Vegas, I decided to get back to a stricter eating plan, and was able to drop that 15 pounds of regain in about 6 weeks.

fitbloggin trout lake farm tour
At the end of June, I went to Portland (my hometown!) to attend FitBloggin’ 13, a blogging conference for health, fitness, and weight loss bloggers. The first day of the conference, I went with a group to the Nutrilite Trout Lake Farms to see the world’s largest organic herb farm. We also made a stop at Multnomah Falls, which is one of my favorite places in the Portland area. I got a dose of “nature” before being inside a hotel for the majority of the weekend. I got to spend time with a lot of my blogging friends, and presented my session on SEO.

What’s coming up next for me?

This week I’m going to Phoenix for the Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Matters Conference. I’m participating in the Walk from Obesity on Sunday with Team Bariatric Bad Girls. In October, I’ll be speaking at Obesity Help’s National Conference about connecting over social media for support, outreach, and accountability for weight loss. If you see me at either event, be sure to say hi!

Vegas-Bound for WLSFA

nicole wlsfa vegasSo excited.

Leaving for the airport in an hour to fly to Vegas. It’s time for the WLSFA Meet and Greet. I’m going to be seeing my Bariatric Bad Girls, and so many friends who have been helpful and supportive through the last year as I’ve had surgery and lost so much weight.

Oh, and Carnie Wilson is the keynote speaker. She’s been a bit of an idol of mine since my adolescence. Any of you who have been karaoke-ing with me know this – “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips is my go-to song.

If you’re there, make sure to say hi!

Vegas, baby!
WLSFA header

Losing Inches, Not Pounds

nicole bullock purple dress
Most people who have gastric bypass surgery have very rapid weight loss in the first year. Once the pounds stop dropping, plateaus can be very frustrating.

Not only is it annoying to step on the scale and see the same number (or see a higher number), it’s been tough to deal with the fallout publicly. I’ve been really open and honest about my weight loss and measurements, and I know people are paying attention. When I haven’t posted my current weight on MyFitnessPal for a while, I start getting questions. Some of my favorites:

“Did you give up?”

“Did you decide to have your surgery reversed?”

“Are you waiting to post your weight so you can show off a big number?”

“I noticed that your weight loss stopped. Would you be interested in trying _____?” (insert various multi-level marketing weight loss product)

“Are you exercising? It’s really important to exercise when you’re trying to lose weight.”

belly fat comparison

The last comment is the one which makes me laugh, especially on MyFitnessPal. They have access to my weight losses just as much as they have access to my workout records. Way to be observent, buddy!
The first week of December began my plateau that’s been sticking around for about 2 months. The first week of December was a few days after I began working out at the gym on a regular basis. I try to be really consistent with my workouts. Some weeks when I’m not feeling sick (or completely sleep-deprived), I successfully work out up to 6 days a week. On a busy week, I average between 2-4 workouts. This past week I was sick for 9 days in a row, but I still made it to the gym for some very light walking routines twice.

So. The scale isn’t really budging, but I’m really not worried because my body is toning up. It’s tough to get a good comparison picture (mostly because I only took one fairly poor photo as my “before”), but if you take some time to look, you can see that the definition in my belly is much better. The top picture was taken a few days before Christmas, and the bottom picture was taken earlier this week. Not bad for 7 weeks!

I got some great photos and headshots taken lately, and I’ll be posting those soon…but I wanted to show you how much my body has changed since December 2011.

nicole side view comparisonMy measurements have changed as such:

  • Neck 14.5″ (-2.25″)
  • Bust 42.5″ (-9.5″)
  • Chest 37″ (-9″)
  • Waist 38.5″ (-10.5″)
  • Upper belly 40.5″ (-12.5″)
  • Hips 45.5″ (-17.5″)
  • Thigh 29.5″ (-4.5″)
  • Calf 18.75″ (-4.25″)
  • Ankle 10.5″ (-2″)
  • Upper Arm 16.25″ (-3.75″)
  • Forearm 11.5″ (-3″)
  • Wrist 7″ (-2″)

My One Year Surgiversary

nicole bullock weight loss

nicole bullock gastric bypassI cannot believe how much my life has changed in the last year. I knew that embarking on gastric bypass surgery would change many things about my life, but this year has been absolutely life-changing. Surgery hasn’t just changed the way I eat, it’s changed the way I think, act, and do all the little things in my daily life.

If you haven’t read it before, I encourage to read this post: Why I’m Having Gastric Bypass Surgery. Reading this post this morning brought tears to my eyes. I was in such a depressed, unhealthy, and hopeless place. I felt stuck, and trying countless diets and fitness plans over a twenty year period hadn’t given me adequate results. I needed something more drastic.

nicole blue dressObtaining approval from my insurance company was the most difficult part of the pre-op process. Not only had I spend nearly 3 years deciding if weight loss surgery was right for me, I had to wait 12 months for Cigna to approve my surgery.  The weight loss surgery approval process is a frustrating formality, and delayed starting my new life by almost a year. That year of waiting brought a lot of sadness and desperation, and I gained weight, despite being on a physician-assisted weight loss plan.

I finally received approval for my surgery from Cigna on January 20th, and surgery was immediately scheduled for February 8th. I started my pre-surgery diet on January 30th and had my pre-surgery evaluation. On this day I weighed in at 373.3 pounds, the highest I’ve ever weighed. One year later, I weigh 248.0 pounds.

On February 7, 2012, I walked into the foyer of St Mark’s Hospital for my roux-en-Y gastric bypass. My check-in time was 6:00 am, and I did not feel fear. I felt hope and joy. I knew that my surgeon, Dr Sherman Smith, was one of the top surgeons in the industry, and I had total confidence in his abilities. There were no surgical complications, and I was out of the hospital 36 hours later.

I’ve been documenting all of my successes and struggles this year. I have shared my weight loss victories, but also my “non-scale victories.” Sometimes when life was tough, I didn’t want to write about it, or would just put up a picture for Wordless Wednesday. I attended the Obesity Help conference in Atlanta and spent time with my friends from Bariatric Bad Girls Club. I’ve done my best to educate my readers by answering questions about weight loss surgery. I participated in the Color Me Rad 5k. I was featured on the local NBC affiliate as KSL’s Blog of the Week. I’ve been nominated for awards, and will be speaking at my first conference in 2013.

I haven’t done as many vlogs as I’d originally planned this year, but here’s on in honor of hitting the one year mark.

nicole bullock facial comparison

My journey is far from over.nicole bullock My 125 pounds of weight loss has taken me from a BMI of 53 to 36, which is still technically obese. I am at the lowest weight I’ve been since 2005, but I have not stopped my efforts. Even though my weight loss has been slow the last two months, my body is still shrinking. I’ve been in a plateau since the beginning of December, but I haven’t slacked off. I currently am attending the gym (or otherwise exercising) 4-6 times a week, and most days I am still eating under 1,000 calories. My ultimate weight loss goal is 170, but my surgeon has recommended 190. That leaves 60-80 more pounds to go.

my fitness pal workoutI’m doing most of my tracking in MyFitnessPal (username cuteculturechick). The majority of my workouts are done on the track…and are a combination of walking leisurely, speedwalking, jogging, and sprinting. I try to mix things up, and also spend time lifting weights, swimming, spinning, and going on the elliptical.

Here’s a screen shot of what I logged in MyFitnessPal this morning. It seemed like poetic justice that I was in the gym running at 6:00 am today, when exactly one year prior I was walking into the hospital for surgery. A year ago if you’d told me that I would enjoy running, I would have laughed in your face.

So here’s to a great year of successes…and to a future filled with many more!

The 12 Days of Christmas – Bariatric Style

12 days of christmas bariatric styleMy friend Jennifer from Bariatric Bad Girls Club wrote a funny weight loss surgery version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. She shared the link from her blog in BBGC, and it had me in stitches. Oh, how I relate to this, especially this year since it’s my first Christmas since surgery.

The 12 Days of Christmas- Bariatric Style

On the 1st Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, a Roux-n-y Surgery!
On the 2nd Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, two weeks of protein shakes.
On the 3rd Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, three French Vanilla Protein bars.
On the 4th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, four follow-up visits.
On the 5th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, five little incisions!
On the 6th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, six weeks of soft foods.
On the 7th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, seven laps of swimming.
On the 8th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, eight glasses of water.
On the 9th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, nine little bites.
On the 10th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, ten clothes sizes.
On the 11th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, eleven kinds of beans.
On the 12th Day of Christmas, my surgeon gave to me, the tools to succeed!

Frequently Asked Questions About My Gastric Bypass Surgery

weight loss surgery not easy way out It’s been seven months since I went under the knife for my gastric bypass surgery. My life has changed in so many ways. I’ve lost over 100 pounds, my eating habits are different, I am more active, and I’m in better health than I’ve been for a long time.

I’ve been grateful for all of the support I’ve had through these months of change and transition. Writing on this blog has been very therapeutic, and I’ve been excited about the friendships I’ve made through sharing about my journey publicly. But after all these months….I don’t feel like my everyday existence is very strange or unique as a weight loss surgery patient. I don’t really have as much to write about, and sometimes I’m not sure what people want me to write about. I decided to do a Frequently Asked Questions post, since I get a lot of questions on a daily basis.

 How long had you been considering weight loss surgery? Were you looking into any other surgeries besides gastric bypass? Yes, I also considered the Lap Band and a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Deciding to have weight loss surgery was a multi-year process. I began researching they different types of weight loss surgery in 2008. For a while I was thinking about doing the lap band. But after a few friends of mine had bad experiences with their lap bands, I was less interested in it. I read some older posts from a favorite blogger of mine, and she gave a lot of information about her experience with gastric bypass. I was encouraged by her long-term success with it, and decided it was time to consult a bariatric surgeon.

I went to the mandatory informational session at my surgeon’s office at the beginning of 2011. My intention to pursue Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RNY), but began considering the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG). By the time I met with Dr Smith to discuss my options, I was fairly certain that I wanted the VSG. We talked about the pros and cons of each procedure, and his recommendation was that I do the RNY. He said my weight loss would probably happen faster and it would give a better physiological results. I trusted his recommendation for me and decided to go with the bypass.

What food has made you the most ill since surgery? My food tolerances have varied a lot over the last 8 months. It’s hard to know when a food that I’ve had no problem with in the past will make me miserable the next time I eat it. The worst offender for me is applesauce. Even though it had no sugar added, it causes dumping syndrome. I’ve had two experiences eating it that I never want to repeat.  I was nauseous, shaky, dizzy, and broke out in a cold sweat. The other things that have made me super sick are grilled shrimp, scrambled eggs, and iceberg lettuce.

When was the first time you looked in the mirror and thought “Wow, I look skinny!”? I haven’t had a lot of “WOW!” moments with myself, but I recently had that moment looking at a picture. About two weeks ago, my office manager took a picture of me with my awesome coworker Suzanne before a work retreat. She showed it to us to make sure it was acceptable to post on Facebook, and I couldn’t believe how good I looked. I got so many supportive comments on the picture on Facebook…but I felt bad that I was the one getting all the attention on it. But I have to admit, I REALLY like how my body looks in it.

What foods do you eat these days? I have a pretty good variety foods that I regularly eat, but I’m still restricted on breads, pasta, tortillas, and simple carbs. Some veggies, like celery, I can only tolerate if de-stringed and cooked. If something is breaded, like fish sticks, I will peel off the breading. These are my current favorites:

  • Hummus and carrot chips
  • String cheese and Tillamook medium cheddar
  • Sauteed mushrooms and zucchini
  • Curry with meat and veggies, no rice
  • Teriyaki steak
  • Soup
  • Toppings off of pizza (cheese, sauce, meat, veggies)
  • Deli-style chicken salad and crab salad
  • Watermelon, blueberries, strawberries
  • Turkey jerky
  • Dannon Light-n-Fit Greek yogurt with PB2 (only Greek yogurt I can tolerate)

11 pounds lost

What have you done with all of your clothes that are too big? I’ve got a big box of clothes in the top of my closet that are too big. And I wait to put the clothes into the box until they’re hopelessly too big for me. I’ve passed on some to people in my hospital support group, but now a lot of people are smaller than I am. I’ve meant to take them to the plus-size consignment shop in SLC, but I haven’t ever made an appointment to do some. Some items I want to list on eBay. But I’m open to giving them away to a good home. Most are size 22-30.

Why did you decide to write about your surgery experience so publicly? I knew that the surgery process would be difficult, and I wanted to have a good support network. I anticipated getting a lot of questions about what was happening with me and my body, and I figured that I’d probably have to repeat myself less often if my friends had a place to get the information publicly.

Also, I hadn’t found a lot of weight loss surgery blogs at the time I started Beauty and the Bypass. In a lot of cases, the posts I read seemed a little too…unrealistic. Of course, reading about significant weight loss is interesting and inspiring, but not very many blogs went into the emotional impact of the surgery. Even though it’s been hard to personally open up about the emotional and mental aspects as a weight loss surgery patient, I don’t regret it. Much. A few times I’ve felt overexposed and wished that I hadn’t written so candidly.

I’ve connected with many other WLS bloggers through my online support groups like Bariatric Bad Girls Club. I discuss a lot of the emotional issues there, instead of blogging about all of them. Because support groups exist, I think that’s why there aren’t as many bloggers writing about those issues.

What is your greatest regret? With how much my life has changed in such a relatively short time, I wish that I wouldn’t have put off having surgery for so long. I had so many weight-related health problems, and was miserable with my body. If I would have had surgery 2 years earlier, I wouldn’t have “dieted” up my weight so high. Then again, I gained 75 pounds in the time that I was considering surgery, and it took those feelings of desperation to push me over the edge to go for the surgery.

Who/what/where did you “turn to” when you felt on the brink of failure? My husband has been an amazing support to me, and I turn to him most often. I’ve turned to my daughter, who posesses incredible maturity and instincts to know how to help me when I felt too pathetic to ask for her help. I have prayed many time for strength, health, and courage. I’ve relied on my friends and family, both online and offline. I ask for help in my support groups.

If you could go back to your first meeting with your surgeon, what would be the top 5 or 10 questions you would ask him? Honestly, I felt very prepared and informed by the time I first met with Dr Smith. But the main thing that I wish I’d known before surgery was that I couldn’t take NSAIDs after surgery. I didn’t know until I was being released from the hospital and they told me in my discharge instructions. I’ve relied on ibuprofen for pain relief for most of my adult life, and not being able to take it has been difficult. If I would have known about NSAIDs before surgery, I think I would have opted for the VSG. I also wish I would have talked to him about hair loss, fatigue, and adequate protein intake.

If there’s a question about my surgery experience that I haven’t talked about, you can ask about it in the comments. I will do a follow-up post at some point.

Harder Than Expected

Over and over, I’ve heard people say some iteration of this idea: “Having weight loss surgery is taking the easy way out.” But I’m here to tell you – it’s tough. Life as a weight loss surgery patient has been much more difficult than I expected.

The last six weeks have been hard. Knock my socks off difficult. Throw in the towel tough. Along with the surgery-type challenges, there have been a lot of other situational stresses to deal with.

The biggest recent obstacle has been our family’s move. It’s stressful to move for everyone, and even when you have people helping you, it’s a big undertaking. I’ve moved six times in the last six years. I feel like I should be a pro mover at this point, but I seem to get more anxious with every moving experience. With the ongoing fatigue I’ve had, I felt my capacity to get things done was a drop in the bucket. My husband was the rockstar of the move, packing and lifting far more boxes than I did.

nicole's black eyeThe day we packed up the moving truck, I had a box springs mattress whack me in the head. It had been leaning against the wall, but it lost balance and landed on me as I was sitting on the floor. The wooden frame got me pretty good and knocked me out. I probably should have been checked out for a concussion, but I was too worried about moving. I worked through the dizziness because I felt like I had no other choice. The swelling from the hit eventually gave me a bruised eye socket.

And what happened the day after we moved into the new place? The sewer backed up. We were lucky that none of our personal belongs were ruined with the flood, but had to leave for a few days so crews could clean up, tear out carpet, and let things air out. Staying in a hotel right after a move wasn’t exactly restful. We’re glad to be back in our new home.

What else? I’ve been at my new job for a few weeks, and I really like it, but I feel like the fatigue I’ve felt recently is making me far less efficient than normal. It’s harder to focus and make it through the weekday. I thought that I’d feel more energetic at this weight.

Speaking of weight, I’ve been in a plateau for a few weeks. I was SO excited when I got under 300. But it’s been bouncing between 301.5 and 298.0 for over 2 weeks. At 298.0, I was officially 75.3 pounds down. Hopefully now that the move is over, I’ll be able to get into a better groove with my weigh loss. I haven’t been exercising much, and I am ready to have the strength to do so.

I’ve got an appointment with Dr. Smith tomorrow. I’m hoping to get some answers why I’m so tired. My guess is that I’ve got some nutritional deficiencies. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety, which seems to hit me hard every summer, so it might be time to switch up some medications.

A few people have asked me this week “Do you regret having the surgery?” I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings because I have had some complications and obstacles, but I don’t regret it. It’s given me the ability to make better decisions for my health. My body looks better than it has in several years, and I’m pleased with the results so far. I need to be patient with myself to keep doing the right things for my health. I haven’t been perfect with my eating habits, and it’s hard to overcome the temptations to use food as a crutch when things are hard. The difference is that surgery has given me a good tool to limit my ability to eat when I succumb to food to cope. If I’d been able to eat like a “normal person” through the last few weeks of the move, I probably would have gained 10 or more pounds. Instead, I’ve been bobbing between the same 3 pounds. I know I’m in a rough spot, but I also know it’s temporary. I just need to keep taking life one step at a time.