Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The incredible shrinking man :-)

A moment of panic hit me as they wheeled me into the operating room.... why am I still awake!
See my wife was already knocked out as they whisked her away for her surgery, so naturally I kinda freaked as the masked surgeons surrounded me with those giant lights glaring down at me.
Well a few deep breaths later through my air mask, my final thought was oh please don't bump into my bad ankle!
I know, I know that should be the last thing on my mind right before surgery but like I voiced before I worry more about my ankle and rightfully so cause after 2 months it still hasn't heeled correctly. I'm having MRI May 2 to make sure there isn't something the doctor missed... no ankle means no gym, workouts, 5Ks or anything. UGH!
So first four days I consumed 80 grams of Isopure clear protein, water, sugar-free jello and ice pops. YUM!
I take small sips cause my "new stomach" could only hold a few ounces. I've been walking around the house to avoid blood cots and my 6 half-inch incisions are heeling well.
Today I started phase 2 of introducing new foods (next 10 days): Muscle Milk light, Premier (Costco), Cream of Wheat w/splenda, fat-free yogurt (non-fruit flavors) and fat-free pudding. So far so good.
My pre-surgery weight was 326 and today I weighed in at 303. That's 23 pounds in 5 days!
Another panic moment so I called the Bariatric Care Coordinator to see if this is the norm. It is as she reminded me this is why I had the surgery to lose weight. Apparently the weight will come off fast so no complaints from me.
A big THANK YOU! to my beautiful wife (down 113 pounds to date) for all the support... she is simply amazing!
And a big thank you to all my friends and family for their support and encouragement. Hope you all continue away in your own battle against the bulge.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting rid of my cast.... and 3/4 of my stomach!?!

The cast is off and on Monday my podiatrist will evaluate my ankle which is feeling good.
But before that I have someone else to see ... my surgeon so he can remove most of my stomach.
Yes, I'm having gastric bypass surgery (Sleeve) Friday as part of my weight-loss trek. I use to frown on the idea of surgery, always considering it an "easy way" out. Of course I never made any strides with other methods in losing weight.
I enrolled in a program with Kaiser called "Options" in November which taught me about nutrition and informed me about the surgery.
I was 442 pounds and now I weigh 326 pounds. About 5 more pounds since my last post for a total of 116 pounds.
My surgery is scheduled for noon and will take about 45 minutes. I will be up and walking 1 hour after the procedure. Basically they remove 3/4 of my stomach which is done laparoscopic. My stomach will be the size of a small banana. I will explain more about my diet and recovery once I get home Saturday evening.
I'm feeling anxious and believe it or not I am more concerned about my ankle than this surgery.
I want to thank my wife (down 110 pounds herself and looking GREAT) who will be with me tomorrow and who will have to put up with me during my recovery :-)~
Glad to hear all the success stories from all my friends and very jealous about all the 5Ks and gym visits. Great job people! Keep away!
Again thank you for all the support and tune in for post-op updates.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If the wheel falls off, don't stop, just drag it with you

The past three weeks have been a roller coaster ride of accomplishments and setbacks.
Physical activity has been a major tool in my weight loss trek and unfortunately all my gym time was eliminated 2 weeks ago.
I had torn ligaments in my left ankle. I don't know when or how just that my ankle hurt one day after the gym and I continued to exercise the following 2 days.
After several visits to the doctors and 2 misdiagnosis, the Podiatrists finally informed me I would spend 2 months in a hard cast, icing the back of my knee 4 times a day, keeping it elevated and plenty of rest.
The ride home was filled with negative thoughts about the possibility of gaining some of my weight back.
But I hadn't lost my weight due to just physical activity. I realized I would have to be more aware of my calories and hope to just maintain my current weight for the next 2 months.
So yes the injury is a setback but I do have some good news.
Being overweight brings several aliment's and for the past 6 years I've been taking blood pressure medicine. On a recent doctor visit I purposely didn't take my little pill to see what my true BP was. 127 over 89.
I just need the OK from my Doc to stop taking that little pill. I won't miss it.
Three weeks ago I weighed in at 343.5 pounds and my current weight is 331.5 ... 12 more pounds for a total of 111 pounds lost from my starting weight of 442. I broke the century mark! And proud to say 3 of those pounds were lost after the cast was put on.
Feeling great! God is good!

Being aware of my calorie intake will be crucial these next 2 months and I have to thank my wife, who has lost 87 pounds, for keeping me sane through this bump in the road.
Thanks again to everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. Feel free to share the blog especially if you know of anyone struggling with weight issues.
Again great to hear updates from every one's own journey. Keep up the good fight,  and even though I will be sidelined for a bit just remember to keep on away!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stretching, drinking, sleeping and icing my way to success

I work from 3 p.m. - Midnight and with that schedule I am fortunate to have my mornings open for time at the gym.
I have learned over the years what my limits are when exercising and sometimes I've also learned the hard way with injuries that looking back now could have been prevented.

So here is a look at what has helped me prepare and get through my workouts.

Stretching is vital to my routine and not just after a workout. One side effect from being obese is a very bad sciatic nerve I have dealt with for 12 years and if any of you know the pain that can cause then you know there are times that even walking is impossible. So I stretch my hamstrings when I get up in the morning, 10 minutes before and after my workouts, before I leave to work, several times at work and right before I go to bed. This has helped tremendously because the hamstring is key to keeping the sciatic nerve under control.

Keeping myself hydrated is very important! In the past when I've hit the gym hard I never monitored my water intake which resulted in me having Kidney Stones. OUCH! I must love pain. I have passed 5 stones and if you have ever had to pass one you know the pain it causes. My first one I was in the ER on my knees. So I make sure I start sipping once I wake up and continue to drink water all day even the days I don't workout.

Another key component is sleep. On average I get 4-5 hours of sleep with the occasional 1 hour nap if I'm lucky. Another side effect of being overweight is that I have sleep apnea. I have been using a CPAP machine for the past 7 years. When I first took a sleep test the results showed I was waking up about 45 times an hour and I would stop breathing 8 times per night. So I wasn't really getting much rest which caused me to be sleepy and tired all day. I now get actual REM sleep and I am sure you have heard all the sleep studies connected to obesity. In my case I lose more weight the weeks I get 6-7 hours of sleep compared to my 4-5 hours where I still lose weight but at a lesser rate.

And one last essential ritual I do after every workout is icing my knees. Over the years my knees have taken a pounding on this 400+ frame and icing my knees for 15 minutes does wonders for the swelling and pain. Ice Ice Baby!

I signed up for the weight loss challenge at my gym for an added incentive. So far so good the last weigh in is end of March. Not sure what the prize is maybe a new car :-)

A little over 2 weeks ago I weighed in at 354.5 pounds and my current weight is 343.5 ... 11 more pounds for a total of 97.5 pounds lost from my starting weight of 442. Felling great! God is good!
This week's challenges: My left knee and ankle are very sore and with soccer tournaments and softball season starting up trying to eat healthy is always a big challenge.
I try to keep things in perspective and always turn to my faith and my wife (who has lost 67 pounds herself!) to get me through the rough times.
I want to thank everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. Feel free to share the blog especially if you know of anyone struggling with weight issues.
Again great to hear updates from every one's own journey. Keep up the good fight,  and remember to keep on away!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My pants are falling! My pants are falling! ... My pants are falling???

One of the constant struggles with being obese is finding clothes that fit. At age 18 I no longer fit in a XL shirt and my pants always had to be altered because I wore them below my "Santa belly" (still do but working on it). Back then there weren't many Big & Tall stores like there is now and the few that were around well their clothes were for older people.
I hated the way clothes fit and I remember many times I would not attend parties and other gatherings because of how I looked or just not having something nice to wear. I apologize now to my friends and family for all the clothes I received as gifts. They just never fit me and it wasn't their fault for not knowing my actual size it was my fault for letting my weight problem get out of control. In fact I would often lie and say "yes sure it will fit" knowing very well it wouldn't... not proud of that. So I mainly stuck with the tee shirts... first with a 1XL and so on.
4 years ago I could no longer wear my 5XL shirts due to my obesity and rather than throwing them out like I did the rest of my smaller size shirts I packed them all up in giant black Hefty trash bags ... 4 of them filled to the brim.
At my heaviest weight (442) I was venturing into the 7XL world which meant I could no longer shop at Casual Male XL which it's biggest size they carry is 6XL and my only option was ordering from a catalog.
Well I'm proud to announce that this week I pulled out the trash bags filled with 5XL clothes cause 7XL and 6XL is too big on me! Yes too big as in they don't fit... in a good way!!!
I have a whole new wardrobe and do I dare say the 5XL's are fitting a little loose too. I find myself muttering "oh I remember this piece of clothing" while shifting through the bags. Tons of dress shirts, Big Dog, Reebok, Nike shirts and even pants. Look out 4XL & 3XL I'm on your heels!!!!
Last week I weighed in at 359.5 pounds and my current weight is 354.5 ... 5 more pounds for a total of 86.5 pounds lost. God is good!
This week came with a lot of challenges: eating out twice but making good choices, some aches and pains and the dreaded self-doubts that creep in from time to time. I turn to my faith and my wife (who has lost 60 pounds herself) to get me through the rough patches.
I want to thank everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. Feel free to share the blog especially if you know of anyone struggling with weight issues.
Great to hear everyone's success stories on their own journey's from starting off walking, better food choices, training for the L.A. Marathon, Jazzercize, and enduring a Crossfit regiment ... Congrats to everyone and keep on away!

I want to thank everyone for their support, emails, messaI want to thank everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. And if you know of anyone struggling with weight issues by all ments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. And if you know of anyone struggling with weight issues by all means feel free to share my blog.nt to thank everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. And if you know of anyone struggling with weighwant to thank everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. And if you know hare my blog.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I made it through the holidays... with a little bit less of me

Oh the stuffing (my favorite), turkey, ham, biscuits, yams, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, eggnog (evil), cookies and oh yeah the candy... Halloween candy that is.
See I started my trek in early October right before Halloween. I had a problem with chocolate and before you say "Oh I love chocolate too."
I'll let you in on one of my not so proud secrets.
I had more than a sweet tooth... I had a serious problem that led me to become borderline diabetic.
I would eat a lot of it... at home, in the car, at work, mostly alone and I would hide it... in my car, desk at work and home. I would search the ads to see what store had the best deals. And not for a bar or single bag but the big bags. Every time I would enter a store I would go directly to the candy aisle  to see what was on sale. I realized I was masking resentment and other feelings I had in which I will share later down the road.
So starting in October was extremely hard because I went cold turkey. For the first time in probably forever I didn't buy one piece of candy and the only candy I ate was a miniature Hershey's dark chocolate a co-worker offered me. recognizing the problem is the first step and the problem wasn't sweets... the problem was hard feelings I've held inside for so long. It will take time for me to deal with those issues and as for now candy is... well its candy.
Thanksgiving and Christmas was great and I made sure at our family gatherings that it was going to be about spending time with my family and not about the food. I had all the traditional foods just smaller portions worked out and drank a lot of water. A big thank you to my family for supporting my wife and I through this journey. I was pleased to see that no one was walking on egg shells around us.
I want to thank my wife who has shed 55 pounds so far and who has been a big supporter of mine. Proud of you!
So my last weight was 366 and as of this morning I weigh 359.5, 7.5 more pounds for a total of 81.5 pounds.
I haven't been this weight since 1997.
I want to thank everyone for their support, emails, messages, comments, joining my blog and even hitting the "like" button. And if you know of anyone struggling with weight issues by all means feel free to share my blog.
I know a lot of you have started your own journeys so please hang in there! I have had tough days.
A good friend (Vincent) once recited a quote on our way to Vegas... "It's not weather you fall but rather what you do after you fall"
I hope I didn't botch that up but knowing Vincent he will let me know.
Keep the faith everyone and if you fall please get back up and continue pounding away!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The scale doesn't lie... especially at 442 lbs

As I took that first step on the scale I was thinking "probably 410". I took the second step and boy was I wrong in a big way. On October 6, 2010 I weighed in at 442 lbs, the heaviest I've ever been. But what really floored me wasn't the number on the scale rather it was what the doctor said to me, "You are morbidly obese, you have a disease and if you don't start doing something about it, you will die sooner than later."
The only thing I could think of is my wife and my two daughters. But that was the wrong thing to be thinking about. I should have been thinking about me and how I was going to change so I can be around for my wife and daughters.
So I started to change the next day. I completely dropped fast food, fried food, diet sodas,  chocolate, candies, ice cream... all junk food. I started eating the good stuff: salads, chicken, beef, fat-free & lowfat everything and WATER WATER WATER.
I hit the gym 1-2-3-4-5 times a week for 30 minutes at first, then an hour. This Thanksgiving Day I walked my first 5K with my wife and 2 daughters.
I stepped on the scale this past Friday and it read 366 lbs. I'm down 76 lbs and I feel great.
It was tough to get to this point but I can't specify enough that I wouldn't be at this point in my trek without my faith in God and the support of my wife and daughters. Also the encouragement from my friends.
To all my Facebook friends I thank you for the support with comments, advice and the ever powerful "Like" button.
In the next few posts I will share how difficult its been, my highs & lows, struggles and what I go through daily. Also I will go back in time and share how my relationships with my father, mother and brother tie into my disease.

Comments, advice, criticism, questions and even that "Like" or "Share" button on FB is welcomed.