Every day since surgery, I’ve dealt with challenges. Usually the challenges are related to my body and the things that I can eat. Lately, it’s been a much more difficult battle mentally.

My body has changed a lot over the last 4 months. I’ve been through major surgery, I’ve dropped a lot of weight, I’ve likely had some nutritional deficiencies, and  all these changes take a toll.

Before surgery, I was given “the Bible” from my surgeon’s office. It’s a comprehensive binder full of information with food lists, side effects, warning signs, and facts about the different post-op stages. I read portions of the book daily for the first few weeks, but hadn’t picked it up for a while.

There is a phenomena called “hibernation syndrome” that is really common with gastric bypass patients. Patients are going through so many changes, and the body is getting used to far less food intake, and it causes fatigue and depression. People don’t feel like going out of the home or interacting with other people as much. It usually hits patients within the first few weeks after surgery, and gets better after about the 6 week mark. I didn’t really notice it at that point in time, but the last 3 weeks I’ve felt a lot different. I feel exhausted all the time, have been sleeping more, exercising less, and don’t feel like doing much. I don’t know if it’s directly surgery-related, or just due to other stress in my life.

I am going through a transition phase currently. I ended one job, started a new job, and I’m preparing to move.  So far I really like my new job – I think it’s a great fit, and I like the work that I’ll be doing. But there is always some anxiety about starting a new job and being “the new person”. I’m also a bit stressed because one of the perks of the job is a well-stocked fridge of drinks and a cupboard of treats and snacks. There are some “good” things that I can have, but there’s a lot of stuff I have to avoid. It will take a lot of will-power to avoid the foods that I know I shouldn’t have, but tempt me just because they are THERE. I’ve stocked my desk with some “safe” items that should satisfy me when the office treats are calling my name.

As for moving, we’re getting ready to move from our apartment in the Salt Lake valley into my parents’ basement in Lehi. It will be closer to work, which will be nice, but further from the city and airport (where I usually am at some point each week). It will be an adjustment to living in such close proximity to my parents and brother. However, it will help us tremendously financially. We’ve on a bunch of payment plans for my medical bills, in addition to all of our other monthly expenses and student loans. We’ll be able to position ourselves much better financially, but it will be a difficult loss of independence.

In happy news, I hit the 70 pound loss mark. I’m at 302.5, which is the least I’ve weighed since I lived in Atlanta in 2009. At that point in time, it was the most I’d ever weighed. I went on a pretty intense weight loss plan that didn’t yield a lot of weight loss, but instead threw my metabolism off for months. Pretty soon I’ll be to my “Michigan weight,” then my “California weight” and then to the weight I was when I married Taylor. Today he told me that when I get below 200, he’s taking me to Hawaii. Sounds like a great deal to me!

Forgive me if my posts are less frequent then usual, it’s been really hard for me to even turn on the computer. Once I’m off work, the last thing I want to do lately is get back on the computer. It’s a tough trade-off since most of my biggest supporters are online.

Hopefully this fatigue “hibernation” slump will be temporary. I’m going to make an appointment to see my surgeon and get my lab work done. If I can feel better just by figuring out if I’m deficient in a nutrient or two, it might explain why I’ve been so darn tired lately.


A Few Thoughts

nicole hair blowing in the a/cI’ve had a lot on my mind lately, but not enough on every subject for a full post. How about some bullet points instead of paragraphs?

  • I’ve started dealing with some hair loss. It’s not enough for it to be noticeable to others, but it’s making me paranoid. My dark hair has been part of my “identity” the past few years because I haven’t liked a lot of my features being so overweight. It’s the longest it’s ever been, and I hope I don’t lose it. Last week I dyed my hair a shade darker because it’s supposed to hide hair loss.
  • When I look at myself in the mirror, I like what I see more and more. For a long time I’d stare and myself and not really recognize myself. It feels good to look more like myself than I have in several years
  • I’m having a very hard time being compliant with taking my vitamins and supplements. The smell of a multivitamin alone makes my stomach turn. Today I skipped splitting my MVI in half, and it got stuck in my pouch. I was painfully uncomfortable for hours, and was scared I would need to see the doctor. I finally decided to drink enough water to vomit (yes, gross I know), and felt soooo much better once the vitamin would out. But ugh…regurgitated vitamins taste much worse coming up than they do going down!
  • I’m getting really nervous about making it through the Color Me Rad 5K I’m doing on Saturday. I’ve amped up my exercise, but I’m worried I’ll collapse and pass out. I get so tired so easily since surgery. I’m going to really have to pace myself.
  • My friend Sue wrote a post, “Be Your Own Kind of Average” a few months ago about her weight loss surgery experience. I read it every few weeks. It has a lot of truth in it about life after WLS – especially the part about people start being nicer. People who wouldn’t have given me the time of day are starting to hold conversations with me. More people make eye contact and smile. It feels good, but it sort of feels awkward too.
  • Right now, all I want is a Coke Zero. Must be strong.

Hmmm…I guess I had enough content I didn’t need to use bullet points. Oh well, my thoughts are pretty scattered tonight.

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.

Milestone: Fifty Pounds Lost

50 pound weight lossToday was a milestone I’ve been excited about for the last week or two. I’ve never lost 50 pounds – ever.


This morning I stepped on the scale, and I weigh 323.0 – Which means I’ve lost 50.3 pounds. It comes at a good time, because today is my 8 week mark since surgery. Everyone who I’ve talked to who has been through weight loss surgery told me that the weight loss will happen so fast, you can hardly believe it. And they were completely right – I can hardly believe it.

If you’ve followed my blog through my journey, you know that there have been a lot of bumps in the road. I’ve been dealing with pretty significant fatigue, I haven’t been able to work full-time hours consistently, and I’ve been in the ER a few times. I’ve cried in frustration when I’ve wanted to do things that my body hasn’t let me do (good and bad). I’ve met some ridicule by people who think that I chose to go the “easy way out” with surgery. It hasn’t been easy, but has it been worth it? Absolutely!

I still have a long way to go – I’m only 25% of the way to my goal weight. The next milestone I’m excited for is the 75 pound mark – at which I’ll be under 300 pounds for the first time since 2008.


  • Neck: 15.25 (-1.5)
  • Bust: 48 (-4)
  • Chest: 42.5 (-3.5)
  • Waist: 44 (-6)
  • Upper Bulge: 48 (-5)
  • Hips: 57.5 (-4.5)
  • Thigh 30.5 (-3.5)
  • Calf: 21 (-2)
  • Ankle: 11 (-1.5)
  • Bicep: 18.25 (-1.75)
  • Wrist: 7 (-2)