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I got my eyebrows waxed and nobody noticed a damn thing.

Good day loyal readers and hackers.  Yes, Hackers!  Apparently my little corner of the internet has been seeing a lot of traffic from hackers trying to break in.  Jeez you would think there are bigger fish to fry than my humble little blog.  By the way…here is a clue for the hackers…The administrator account isn’t named administrator or admin…and for the persistent little fucker in China it isn’t “bigguy” either.  I was an IT guy once, and even though drugs and alcohol claimed a lot of brain cells in the 80’s, I remembered a little something about username and password security.  So any way to the 6 or 7 legitimate readers I have and those that have registered.  I hope you remember you password.  Because you only get two chances at the login and after that, it will take a long time to get back in.  Sorry, but I had to employ some security methods to slow down the hacker attacks. Oh and if I inadvertently deleted your account…sorry, but the volume was too much and if I didn’t recognize your name or felt the e-mail wasn’t legitimate I deleted the account.

Okay, on to the real topic of the blog post.  So to bring everyone up to speed I am down as of this morning 94 pounds.  Obviously taken on its own 94lbs is a big number.  For some WLS patients that is a final goal number.  For me I haven’t reached my halfway point yet, which honestly I find to be just  little embarrassing to tell people.  For the most part I have been open and honest with people and if pressed I am not shy about telling some one what I weigh and what I have lost.  I leave it up to them to do the rest of the math.  Many people do ask how much more weight I plan to lose, or what my final goal is, and typically my canned response is that I would like to weigh 200lbs by my 50th birthday 15 months from now.  And from that they can guess or calculate the rest.

So with being 94lbs lighter why doesn’t it feel like I look that much different?  I have been taking front and side pictures every 4 weeks and I do see the change from my surgery date to today..but after dropping nearly 100lbs. you would think I would see a bigger difference.  In some respects it feels like my blog post title, (which incidentally comes courtesy of a friend) I have lost a lot of weight and it seems that not all that many people notice.  Now I have plenty of NSV’s to make me feel good and I don’t need to have my ego stroked (all that often at least) and have someone at every turn tell me about how great I look.  It is more a me and the mirror issue that I have than anything else.  I look in the mirror and I don’t see the changes I think I should see..fuck it let’s call it like it is…I just don’t feel “pretty.”

Part of it is that there is a denial of exactly how large I was when I started this process.  It feels like whatever mirrors I was looking in before were like funhouse mirrors that were all set to the skinny mode, and now when I look at pictures of myself or in the mirror in a truer light I am struggling to see my progress.  I know this will change over time and I guess it is hard to see the incremental change vs. larger chunks when I don’t see someone for a longer period of time.  I guess I am still looking at the tree and not yet seeing the forest or should that be vice versa? Any way I am 94lbs lighter and smaller, regardless of my perception the scale doesn’t lie.

A funny thing happened on the way to the 5th floor…

Good day loyal readers.  I was going to say good afternoon, but I am a little unsure  what time it is for my Ukrainian readers so I will just stick with “Good Day.”  Well today marks my 8 week anniversary of my surgery.  There have been many bumps in the road along the way, but overall, 8 weeks post-op and I am feeling pretty well.  My overall weight loss by my “unofficial” scale is 87lbs with about 57 of those coming in the last 8 weeks.  So for anyone keeping track I am about four-fifths of the man I used to be!  So far I have lost 20% of my body weight. I have gone down 2 shirt sizes and taken 6″ off my waist line.  Even though I am eating probably 600 calories a day, I have a lot of energy and stamina.   Every day brings a new NSV and I am breaking out of a lot of lazy habits.  The 87lbs seems like a pretty big number, but in the context of what I am trying to accomplish I am still a long way off. When this is all said and done I literally want to be half the man (and then some) I used to be!  The journey is still in its infancy, but I like the track I am on so far.

So a funny thing happened on the way to the 5th floor of the parking deck.  Now normally I have been attempting the stairs.  And will climb them to the 4th floor, but yesterday I was in a hurry and I just didn’t want to climb the steps.  I know…I know…I should have…but I didn’t and as fate would have it I found something humorous laying on the floor of the elevator.  So as you can see from the picture I am posting this is apparently a shopping list.  Here is the list in case you cannot read it clearly enough.nightie

 - pine nuts

 - spinoch (sic)

- feta

- cookies

- nightie

Now as I read down the first 3 items on the list I am thinking of possible dinner scenario’s….Is it a salad?  Maybe some sort of Greek dish? Not sure what they were going to fix, but it was off to a good start.  Then the next item…cookies…okay who doesn’t like cookies?  I blame thin mints for much of my obesity…I don’t think I ever met a cookie I didn’t like.  Now the last item on the list is “nightie.” Now this made me actually laugh out loud.  How random is that…items 1-4 okay I get…but nightie?  First who the hell puts that on a shopping list?  Okay, maybe if the list also includes bra, panties, garter belt and stockings.  But how do you go from pine nuts to nightie?  And what store sells all these items….oh wait..never mind….thank you Wal-Mart.

Now think about this…This person has lost their shopping list and they are at the store trying to go from memory….spinach..check…feta…check…pine nuts…check…cookies…check….now what was that last thing I was supposed to buy?   What if this was a shopping list given to a husband…not sure what that conversation be like when he got home….but I am sure he damn well remembered the beer, pine nuts, cookies and the nightie. I know beer wasn’t on the original list, but this is a guy buying stuff.  He isn’t going to come home from the store with a list that had nuts on it without beer, and well the cookies and nightie should go with out any further explanation.

Well…whatever this person had in mind with this list.  Hope they remembered it all when they got to the store.

My day no longer revolves around food…

So I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and we were talking about lunch and the lack of nearby healthy choices. I had a lunch meeting set at a restaurant and it was cancelled at the last minute leaving me to scramble for something to eat.  At this point I am being particular about what I eat, not only because my pouch is still sensitive to certain foods put I always look for protein rich foods. So when I need to do something on short notice my choice dwindle quickly and it can be difficult to find something.   However, the more important thing that I am discovering is that food is becoming unimportant to me…I am finding food to be a necessary evil.

Before my surgery I lived for my next meal, I was a foodie of sorts.  In the past lunch could be just about anything from sushi (one of my all time favorites) to a patty melt.  Sure I ate some healthy things, but many times it was only disguised as healthy.  One of my lunch staples when I needed something in a hurry was a Jimmy John’s sandwich.  They delivered and most of the time I could get it freakishly fast as their tag line says.  When I did order from them, I almost always ordered a sandwich on their 7-grain bread…trying to be healthy of course…hahahaha, but really the slices of bread were each an inch thick and then when you throw on meat, cheese, mayo and then drag it through the garden  It didn’t matter whether I ordered something “healthy” like turkey or not the sandwich would top 700 calories (over 900 if I ordered the Italian club sandwich), plus throw in a bag or chips and before you know it I might as well go grab a greasy burger and fries from any fast food joint.  It was a nice sandwich disguised as healthy, but in reality it was not better for me than

Flash forward to the present and when lunch comes I am having to force myself to eat and food just doesn’t hold an attraction to me.  Actually, this holds true for all meals. This morning  I was at a breakfast meeting at Bob Evans, and I watched two people gorge themselves on omelets, hash browns, sausage and toast with butter and jelly.   I sat contently and gorged myself on one over easy egg and an order of dry wheat toast of which I ate only one piece.  The kicker is I really couldn’t care less if I ate or not or what it was the others were eating.  I used to LOVE…and I do mean LOVE breakfast foods. For me breakfast nirvana would be eggs over easy with corned beef hash AND hash browns AND toast.  It is funny how in 7 short weeks my views on food have started to change.  From I would literally plan a day around food to having to force myself to eat.  Will this viewpoint change in the future?  I don’t know..in some ways I hope it doesn’t, it is making life easier right now for me.

What rhymes with asturbation…

Well it is a fresh new week and I thought I would try to start it off with a blog post. Currently according to my scale I am just a hair over 80lbs down. This is a good thing obviously, though I still am not eating enough nor am I getting enough fluids.  Something I continue to have to work at.

For all the mothers out there, I hope that you enjoyed the day yesterday and that you were able to be pampered a little bit. I tried to do my part and presented my spouse with a gift from Pajamagram.com, obligatory flowers, and a small token of jewelry.  As well I took her breakfast order Sunday morning and made it to perfection. I also had a chance to spend some time with my mother yesterday which was nice since I had not seen her or my father since before my surgery. Actually they hadn’t seen me since I lost any of the weight I have. So we had a lot to talk about both with the surgery and the concerns over the liver issue.  It also, came out during the course of the conversation that my entire family was seemingly against my surgery at the beginning.  My parents never really voiced this before hand, they initially told me to do my research and said they would back me either way, but I see now this was just a placating move on their part.  Today they seem okay with it, still a lot of concern for the after effects from the surgery, but ultimately I think they are glad that I did go through with everything.

So I have started my twice a day vitamin E regimen.  Now initially when discovered I was going to have to ramp up my doses of vitamin E I harkened back to my childhood, more specifically my junior high and high school days when me and my friends would joke about taking vitamin E to enhance our newly developing post pubescent virility.  Now this was back in the day when I also believed in Spanish flies and was trying to figure out how to place an order for them from an ad I saw in the back of a Hustler magazine that I had tucked under my mattress.  I mean who could argue with a 100% guarantee.  Gratefully I never did get that figured out thus saving myself from wasting my money on that.

Now that I am taking 800iu’s a day I figured I would do a little more research on vitamin E and see what benefits I can expect besides hoping to keep the NASH from progressing any further.  As I Googled vitamin E and there was a variety of topics.  And when I specified “Sex Vitamin” then things really got interesting.

The most widely known health benefits of vitamin E (non-sex related) are protection against toxins such as air pollution, premenstrual syndrome (not a huge concern for me), eye disorders such as cataracts, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.  Okay…most of those are all pretty good reasons to take a supplement of it.

Now here are some interesting things I found out when it comes to how it affects the body from a sexual enhancement perspective.  The first is sperm motility…had to look that one up.  Basically guys if you have some lazy swimmers, vitamin E may not make them all into little swimmers like Michael Phelps, but it may improve their chances finding the finish line.  The second is increased sperm count.  This is obvious, the race to the finish line will now not only get to the finish line there will be a lot more competitors. And lastly, a boosted libido.  Okay…now we are cooking with gas (I think that saying may translate to my Ukrainian readers without further explanation.)…At 48 who can’t use a little jump start to the libido.  It is not like I am going to the doc and asking for some vitamin V, but as a guy approaching 50, any help I can get in that department is certainly not unwanted.

Now the sperm count and its motility are not a huge deal to me anymore…the libido thing, well folks that is a different story.  This is something that I certainly found interesting.  The article that I read was published on Livestrong.com. I will say that I would find the somewhat credible as is wasn’t directly selling me anything.  In the article it mentions that The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dosage of 400IU’s of vitamin E daily as a prevent and treat sexual dysfunction like a depressed sex drive that may be caused by a hormonal imbalance.  Huzzah!  My doc has me on twice that!  I am thinking right about now I may need to send that article to my wife.  Because if 400iu’s are recommended then at 800iu’s, well she may notice a little change about to happen in our relationship.  Hopefully she responds in the manner I am hoping.  Because if not, then the vitamin E may as well be called vitamin M.  And in case you don’t get the meaning of that…just think of a word that starts with M and rhymes with asturbation.  Here is hoping my tendonitis doesn’t flare up.

Well readers…with that being said I that will conclude today’s post.

New Doc…more pills…not great news

So I had my visit with my new “Liver Doc” today…and well loyal readers let’s just say I didn’t walk out of that office on a cloud.  Actually the cloud was over my head and felt ominous and weighed heavy.

So the news I got was something I already knew at a base level from my liver biopsy that was conducted during my surgery.  I was diagnosed with, as my new Liver Doc put it, “NASH” which stands for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.  He was a decent Doc as Doc’s go and sat and talked to me in an unrushed manner and drew me a nice little graph of how seemingly fucked I am right now.

So here is the black cloud news regarding NASH. For one there is no real cure, the best I can do is lose weight (already in process) and go on a vitamin E regimen, which means adding two more pills to my daily intake 10 pills or supplements I already take. So as a friend of mine remarked recently…yippee…skipee. Now I get to take 12 pills a day at varying intervals.

So along with no real cure the best I can hope for is that the weight loss and vitamin E will retard the process…and for all of that…I still have a 20-22% shot that the NASH will manifest itself into cirrhosis of the liver.  So when telling my wife this prognosis, and what the chance is for cirrhosis, she asked how I felt about that.  I know she was trying to be concerned…I’m sorry, scratch that…she wasn’t trying.  She was/is genuinely concerned…but the answer to that question is “not very fucking good.”  As it stands right now I have a 1 and approximately 5  chance of getting cirrhosis of the liver and the worse case scenario just before death would be having to get a liver transplant.  Well….you can just imagine the demons that are running loose right now in my head.

Currently I would place my mood somewhere between shitty to fairly pissed off at the world right now.  And while I am a glass is half full kind of guy…today I am seeing it a different way. Tomorrow will be a different day…but now twice a day whenever I take my vitamin E dose I will be reminded of something not very pleasant.

Oh…and while I am ranting…when in the hell is this electronic medical record thing supposed to take place?!?  I am tired of filling out my lifetime medical info over and over.  Especially when I am seeing doctors in the same hospital network.  Come on Summa…get your excrement together.

NSV’s still rule the day over the scale

So it has been a number of days since I have last put anything up here.  I can hear my Ukrainian brethren calling out for me now…Where is Beeeg Guy?  So just to bring everyone up to date, I am doing just fine and I am still wasting away to nothing.  Okay…maybe not quite nothing, but I do continue to shrink.  I am seeing NSV’s more the SV’s but I am moving in the right direction.

Some of the NSV’s that I have noticed lately.

  • I am able to at least bend over now and tie a pair of tennis shoes.
  • I sat in a booth in a restaurant without having to move the table.
  • I am no longer taking the elevator up one floor at work.
  • I have gone down 2 shirt sizes in dress shirts.
  • I am on the last hole of a belt that I bought right before my surgery and it barely…and I mean barely fit me.
  • I have much more energy than before.
  • I don’t try to park in the absolute closest space I can find to the door.
  • I am sure there have been more, but those are some that I can think of off the top of my head.

 So let’s talk about the stuff that hasn’t gone well.  First of all if you are reading this and are contemplating the Roux-en-Y surgery or have just gone through the surgery, your mileage may vary against mine.  With that disclaimer out of the way let me just say that do what the doctor says…don’t try to jump ahead in the food game.  I thought I was feeling pretty good and thought, ha! I am okay, I don’t need to do all of the weeks of the pureed food stage.  Yeah…no so much.  I tried to move off the pureed foods and into soft and somewhat normal foods way to fast.  While I never got sick, I found myself being pretty miserable after a few meals where I tried to push the boundaries of correct food choices.  I thought at first maybe I was developing a stricture, but I hadn’t been sick and I figured let me go back a step in the food choices to see if that makes some sort of change.

 I have tried some chicken multiple times, fixed multiple ways, and each time I was sorry for eating it.  Last week after an extremely unpleasant experience with chicken I decided to go back to the mainly pureed stage of things, with lots of Greek yogurt (I got tired of cottage cheese) and a lot of soup and protein shakes.  I have found that the black bean soup from Panera Bread (probably not found in the Ukraine) makes a good lunch time meal in a snap.  It doesn’t look the most appetizing, but overall it is pretty good for me.  A cup of it, which I really can’t finish, only has 2 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein.  Chili has also been okay…but just remember what your doctor or nutritionist tells you about chewing.  You really want to make sure that you do eat slow and chew your food thoroughly.

 Well loyal readers…sorry, but this is a quick update.  Now that I am back to work and starting to feel normal again it makes it hard to keep up here.  I will try to keep up with a weekly update and musing.

So far total weight loss to date (starting February 28) is 77lbs.