Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Plastic Surgery

I promised a while ago that I would discuss my visit with the plastic surgeon, and I think it has taken me this long to gear myself up to actually share this part of the journey with you. I met with the surgeon before this summer and it was a very eye opening meeting. I had been given a heads up by several people who had gone to see the specific doctor that I was seeing that he was very blunt and to the point. Not sure if all of you that read my blog can tell, but I am an often insecure quiet person who has a tendency to cry a lot. Goodness... what a way to describe myself! But sadly, its true. Before I can say what I need to say when I am offended or criticized in some way, there is an inevitable bout of crying that needs to occur. I think its genetic because its involuntary and hasn't changed since i was about ten. So I know going into this meeting that I had not lost the amount of weight I wanted to lose, also that I was not in the range that this plastic surgeon required to do this particular surgery, so I already knew the surgery was not going to happen right away. I did want some questions answered so I geared myself up and went in to the appointment. When I checked in the guy at the desk told me I had a bit of a wait and I had gone super early because I was so nervous. The waiting room was absolutely packed. I ended up having no wait time at all... i was called in in about five minutes. The guy who brought me to the room tossed a gown on the bed and said "put this on" and before I had a chance to turn around he was gone. He didn't say get undressed from here or take this off... he just left. So for a few minutes I stood staring at the gown thinking "ummmmm what now." Finally I put the gown on and waited... and waited... and waited. I think the wait was so long because i felt so uncomfortable. Nothing about this whole process from the first referral has been easy. It wasn't easy to go to my doctor and tell him I needed surgery because I weighed four hundred pounds, it wasn't easy to be put to sleep and have someone remove over half of my stomach, it wasn't easy to learn how to eat all over again, it wasn't easy to realize that all those triggers and bad habits were still in the back of my mind waiting to rear its ugly head again, and its not easy to stand in front of someone and show them your body... when you are insecure and tend to cry when you are criticized. (and when you have spent over thirty years covering your body so that no one will notice it) with that all said i did it. The plastic surgeon was very blunt and to the point, but so was I. He answered every question I had, and I had a lot. There is no point in going half way and turning back because you are embarrassed or scared of what people are going to say to you. Blunt and to the point but completely honest, I need to lose another fifty pounds for him to consider me, eighty would be best but he will strongly consider it at fifty. Whats fifty pounds after one hundred and seventy... oh about a million. Have you ever blown a balloon up really big and then put a tiny little hole in it and watch it deflate.... well that's what I felt like... also he told me that one of my major issues (my personal issue) my back fat, cant be fixed in nl. (balloon got popped) in order to have that fixed i would have to leave the province, the trunk lift is not done in NL. (remember me telling you all about the back boobies... well them.) Then just for good measure he informed me that I had a weight gain of thirty pounds. (set balloon on fire) I had a panic attack. I held my composure together and said that no I had not gained any weight and he didn't really mention it after. After my appointment with this doctor I had a visit with my surgical team who assured me that according to their notes I had not gained any weight, I was doing fabulous, I was healthy, and following the plan. In the long run that's what matters. I'm healthy. The thirty pound weight gain was due to a rounding up of my bmi (seriously rounding up!!) and who knows what else, but they have been monitoring me for two years so i trust them. But If I were to think about the apt and what I took from it... id say overall it was positive. Ok fifty pounds... its a lot, it feels like im starting from scratch again because its so much harder to lose now. I was told in my apt that it would be much harder to lose now as well. But I had all my questions answered by someone who was respectful, explained fully what is expected of me, explained to me what my skin will have to be like to have it removed, and explained why it cant be done now. I guess i cant ask for much more than that. Im pretty sure the old Amanda would have cried. Actually Im positive the old Amanda would have cried. so I am back with a new goal of fifty pounds. I have been working with a trainer who has been helping me with my food and exercise, she even designed a plan that I can do at work. (so I have no more excuses) Its game on again. I have lost five pounds of my fifty, only forty five more to go!! (that's if I aim for the fifty instead of eighty... oh my!!) Keep reading and ill keep you posted. Have a marvelous week all you lovely people.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

All The Pretty Purples

August is my anniversary month. I have two very monumental anniversaries in the month of august. On august 12, 2000 I married my very best friend, and true partner in life. 15 years later and I am more in love today than ever. We still have as much fun together as we did in the beginning. I can honestly say that we laugh more with each other, and at each other, probably more than is even normal. He is my complete opposite and perfect match. Any way, in my life and in this whole journey I started, Bill is my biggest supporter. He has been through every step, from losing weight to actually get the surgery, being there through the actual process, and helping me figure out how to live with such a life altering change. I had another anniversary in august as well. August 19th marks two years since my gastric sleeve surgery. Its been quite an eventful two years. My life is so different, and better. I cant even compare anymore because there is no comparison. So I have these two monumental days in the same month. After our wedding Bill and I spent some time in beautiful Gros Morne. One of the places we went to was Shallow Bay. Fifteen years ago we walked on the beach and wrote our names in the sand. I have a framed pic of it. (CORNY!!!!) Corny as it is its really special to me. When I went to Shallow Bay years ago I was very insecure about my weight. I wore jeans and a long sleeved shirt, rolled up my pant legs and walked in the water. I loved the beach but I never enjoyed the experience like I should have. Not to mention that I did not like long walks on the beach because physically it was not fun. Its like I enjoyed it, but I wish I could have enjoyed it on another level.(like maybe one where I wore a swim suit!) So our fifteenth anniversary was this year. 15... WHAT??!! How can I possibly have been married for fifteen years when I am so very, very, very...VERY young? Anyway, Its our fifteenth year. Both of us have been quite busy this summer, working lots (lots of nights for me) and both of us have been putting effort into working as many shifts as possible. We are trying to pay down some things and take care of some financial things. Our boys were on holiday so we had no excuse. Because of this we planned a simple anniversary day, but still wanted it to be meaningful. I was working a night shift the night before, so bill picked me up at work that morning and we left to go on an adventure. Sometimes Billy Squires has brilliant ideas... (I KNOW RIGHT... WHO KNEW??) He suggested a picnic somewhere, and we both thought of the perfect spot, Shallow Bay beach. So armed with a delicious lunch made by me, a beach blanket, and my new selfie stick,(don't judge me) we set out. Before we went to shallow bay we went on a sweet little hike to a beautiful water falls and found some tea berries, I was so excited because the last time I had any I was in grade six. Sooo yummy. Then we set out for Shallow Bay. It was so gorgeous. The pic I have does not do it justice at all. The first thing I did was write fifteen years later in the sand (SUPER CORNEY) and when I looked right in the middle of the words was a piece of beach glass. This started my beach glass hunting expedition. I cant say how many miles we walked. On this beach you can walk out in the water forever and not go past your ankles. We didn't stop. I have this plan in the near future to paint my bathroom purple. Purple is my absolute favorite colour. It has been my whole life. As I was walking all these beautiful shades of purple kept catching my attention. I ended up saving tonnes of purple shells and rocks (I felt like Micah, who is an avid rock collector.) I got to gather a purple souvenir for my new bathroom if we ever get around to painting it. its really sad that the lighting of the pic makes it difficult to see the purple colours.It occurred to me that if I hadn't had the surgery two years ago it would have been a drastically different day. I wouldn't have made it off the beach blanket. I wouldn't have walked for miles, and I wouldn't have seen all the beautiful shades of purple. I had another thought as well, If I hadn't had the surgery two years ago I do not know if I would be alive to enjoy that beautiful day. Not to be morbid but at almost four hundred pounds my heart was struggling. But I did, and I am!!!! I am more alive now than I have ever been. Now not that things are perfect. I have a slack skin issue that frustrates me to no end and seriously makes me want to scream my head off most days. I did meet with a plastic surgeon recently, however I cant get into that in this blog, I need to do another one soon, so stay tuned. Warning... not a happy ending. My weight loss has stopped, but I have lost one hundred and seventy pounds. I feel healthy and strong and above all, I am content. August is a good month. Happy surgiversary to me!!!

Friday, 3 July 2015

My Evolution

I feel like I am constantly evolving. I guess we all are. We are all works in progress and any life changes can alter us, change us. Well my life decision two years ago, set in motion a huge change that has altered me so much that there are days that I don't recognise myself, and I don't only mean physically. This surgery has changed more than my body, my health, and my energy level. I truly don't feel like the same person any more. For example, I have always had really long, , usually dark, very straight hair. this has been a staple of the Amanda look. I have decided to throw this one in as a treat for you... and you have no idea the amount of hairspray it took to maintain this look. It was quite a process, believe me!!
Long hair has always been my security blanket. It was a cover that I used to hide behind. I always felt that if I had long super straight hair people couldn't see how big my face had gotten. I had a feeling that I was hidden. I felt there was a fat roll on the back of my neck that needed long hair to cover it. I felt that maybe my hair would be enough for people to see and then maybe they would not notice what lay beneath it... goodness this blog is getting depressing again, depressing but true I guess. I made myself believe that I kept my hair long because Bill liked it that way, knowing full well that he would like what ever I did. (with that said he was a fan of long hair). I remember the first time I ever cut any length off my hair, I was in grade five and I cut it over my shoulders in a bob. For months every time my Pop would see me he would say "theres the girl with the pretty hair". that memory always makes me smile. Out of necessity since my surgery I have had to let some of the length go. It seemed to happen in stages. My hair got thin, probably because I wasn't taking in enough protein, and it looked yucky to me. So I got my (AWESOME) hairdresser to cut some of the length.
Then I felt it was still then so we went shorter.
I had made a vow to myself that If I ever lost a hundred pounds I would treat myself to blonde hair, so we did that too... cutting more off in the process.
Well now my hair is SHORT, with an awesome dark streak in the front that I love. I feel so liberated. Its so freeing to rid yourself of something that is holding you back, and for me my hair was holding me back, because I used it as something to hide behind. It was a veil. Don't get me wrong, U still love long hair and will probably grow mine out again someday, but I feel like I have stepped out from behind a curtain with this change. I cant hide behind my hair now...
nor do I need to. The veil is gone. So this is me being honest again, I always will be! I meet with the plastic surgeon at the end of this month. Ill keep you posted. Maybe a reason I loved long, straight, dark hair may have something to do with genetics though. My mom... so pretty!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015


We had a great Victoria day weekend. I had a few days off just to veg and catch up on house work and netflix! It was so relaxing. I enjoyed every moment of my down time. AHHHHHHHHH!! *contented sigh* My mom was spending a few nights in her apartment(their apartment is joined to our house) and she had some laundry to do. While she was doing laundry a pair of my old pants got thrown in the mix (my pre surgery pants). When she pulled out these pants and held them up to fold them I had a moment, It was a moment of shock. Did I actually wear those pants... did my body actually fill out those huge pants. At first I was mortified, but then I decided to look at it in a new perspective. I took the pants and decided to put them on, i fit my whole body in one leg!! Then i called my thirteen year old son to come and put on the other side... and he fit!!!
two of us could fit into the pants that I remember having to pull on, and on some times wrestle on. If they just came out of the dryer it was a bad day for me and I sometimes couldn't even wear them. It wasn't mortifying, IT WAS SO LIBERATING!!! There were days when those pants were the only pants that fit me and even then they didn't fit me well... and now I could fit into one leg. It turned out to be the best moment ever. Since my surgery I seem to be buying a lot of clothes for myself. It came to me that each new season that rolls around I need more and more clothes, because the previous season is too warm or not warm enough and i have lost too much weight to wear the season before!! (don't know if that made sense to read but basically I don't have clothes that fit me.) I thought Id share this moment with you. I'm still working on it. I have had a few set backs and mishaps along the way, that will soon probably be the topic of a new blog, but I am thankful for a great personal trainer that is keeping me focused, (not an easy task at times) and a great support system around me in my family and friends. Hope you enjoyed my moment of the day... ill keep you posted on any more!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

My Body Shapewear Dilema!!!

Since having my surgery one thing I can not leave my house without wearing is body shape wear. For any of you who do not know what this is you are soooooo lucky and you don't even realize it!! Shape wear is a spandexy (I just made that word up) type material designed to suck you in and lift you up in places where things have fallen. This is my own definition and I feel it describes it well, Im thinking I should copyright that! Believe me, wearing it sucks!!! The first thing I do as I enter my house at the end of the day is take off the restraints that have imprisoned me all day and finally take a deep breath. I remember my grandmother talking about girdles when I was a little girl but other than the odd reference I never gave much thought to the situation... until now that is, now I am dependant on them. Along with shape wear comes a problem, the problem of it rolling down in the back. My shape wear goes from my chest to the middle of my thighs, it is seriously a spandex suit of armour. My main issue is that it rolls down in the back. The back rolling frustrates me to no end, because it creates a new body part, a body part that I have named BACK BOOBIES. Back Boobies happen when the shape wear rolls down and the fat or slack skin that had been held in escapes and hangs out over. I do not... and I can not emphasise this enough... I do not like back boobies! I feel it is very un lady like to be pulling up my slipping and rolling shape wear all the time but I have no choice. *note* it makes a snapping sound! Some times if Bill is around and no one is looking, I make him pull it up because he is stronger and can get a better grip. He almost lifted me off the floor one day. (TMI!) Bless him, he puts up with a lot. I have a friend who informed me that you can find them online that actually hook into your bra. GENIOUS! But you see... I also have a problem with procrastination. One day I had a serious light bulb moment. It was like an epiphany! I really don't need to spend sixty eight dollars on shape wear that hooks into my bra when a pack of fifty safety pins costs less than two dollars. You can see where this is going cant you. So for a couple of weeks, this was awesome. I was walking around back boobieless with myself all pinned and tucked in. It was great! Id pin myself in in the morning... or get Bill to do it for me if he was around (he really does have a lot to deal with) and when I needed to unpin id just reach back and unpin them. really it was no different than reaching back to unpin a bra, and I have been doing that all my life. I was feeling pretty smug, until one day... I was at work and out around town doing my thing when I had an unbelievable need to pee. This does not happen to me often. Since my surgery I can go long periods of time without needing to pee... probably because my fluid intake is not what it should be at times, but im kind of like a camel and can go very long stretches. (I really don't know how often camels pee) On this particular day I must have over did it on the coffee because I could not wait! I pulled into the milbrook mall which is a big deal in itself because I absolutely hate public washrooms. I managed to make it to the washroom and get in there, then I tried to reach back and unclip the safely pins, however they would not unclip. PANIC!!!! I was literally fused into this armour of spandex and could not get out of it. The pins had bent and warped and would not give or budge. DILEMA!!! I had to slither out of all my garments like a snake shedding a spandex skin. It was horrible. So this is what comes with shape wear. Rolling, tugging, snapping, pulling, and in some cases getting stuck in it! Fun stuff. Feel free to share any of your own fun shape wear experiences. Im going to leave you with a video of me and my boys while we were stuck killing time on the side of a highway waiting for the weather to clear from a snow storm. (it was sunny when we left) We figured while we had time to kill we might as well enjoy it. HAPPY EASTER FROM US https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmZpPgkLtN0 couldn't quite figure out how to add the video so I just posted the link

Monday, 30 March 2015

Some Not So Fun Side Effects

Warning... this post may be gross... so feel free to stop reading at this or any point!!! Not all of the results going on in my life post op are great at the moment. I am going to tell you some of the yucky side effects, well not really side effects but one of the yucky things going on right now. For the past couple of months I have been awakened from my sleep by an intense feeling of nausea, almost like when you wake up in the middle of the night with the stomach flu. I end up spending an hour or so throwing up and then feel perfectly fine. Some nights have been worst than others, and normally I have been asleep. One night I was awake and at work and I almost never made it to our staff washroom, but always its after four am and it follows the same pattern. My mouth fills with water, and I have to run to the washroom where I have forty minutes of throwing up nothing only this yucky yellow stuff. (I warned you... gross stuff) Its been rough!! I talked to the bariatric team about this and one thing which I thought was really cool was, she looked back at the pathology of my old thrown out stomach (or at least I assume they throw it out!!!) and she could tell that there were changes or abnormal sections post op that could potentially have been past stomach ulcers. My doctor has recently, within the past month, cut back my acid reflux medication because I was on quite a high dose, due to the fact that I am pretty sure I could breathe fire if pushed too far! NEW SUPER P0WER!! So the team told me to double up these meds again and take them at night, makes sense, didn't work! I spent last night throwing up... again this nasty yellow stuff. Well the effects of that has led to this... All the pressure on my face has caused these little spots to appear, and make me look ridiculous, and contagious!! The team has told me that if it does not stop I will need to have a scope, or have the light put down my throat into my stomach, NOOOOOOOOO!!! Years ago I had this done and believe me I was not gracious about it. At one point I remember grabbing the doctor`s arm!! So it looks like that is what I am headed towards - that light down my throat- and that camera is NOT small. GHAAAAAA! You can be sure I will keep you updated, and if possible provide pictures to document...that is if I can sneak some. (if im aloud, not sure how that works) So... any of my WLS peeps been through this???? Id love to have some feed back, or some advice. Until next time :)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

My Comparison Problem

So I have this problem. I like to compare things, especially myself to other people! Since having this surgery, instagram, twitter, facebook, and youtube has helped met connect with several people post op and pre op who are on a similar journey as me. Its funny, Im friends with people in Newfoundland, The united States, Austrailia, and England, friends that I have never met, our one thing we have in common is that we all have had or are having weight loss surgery. Its so cool, and I feel like we are one big family. This is so great and I love it. Its support, friendship, I have mentors, and am a mentor, but also in my mind it is the opportunity to compare. Some people have done some amazing things with their body since having this surgery. I have seen mind blowing transformations. I see men and women reaching ideal body weights, looking fabulous and seriously blowing my mind! One thing i have to realize is that all of us, this huge family of wls peeps, start from a different place. I started on my journey at 398 pounds. This weight was my starting point. This is probably not the same place that a lot of my friends started from. There were people who were heavier and lighter and I cant at 400 pounds compare myself to someone who started at 300 or 250 pounds. And someone who started at 600 pounds cant compare themselves to someone who started at 398. This process is so individual. My story and everyone elses stories are unique. As far as stories go, mine is no where near being finished. Im still working on that last sixty pounds so I can have my slack skin removed and finally lift what has fallen! I cant wait for that day because believe me, that issue brings being uncomfortable to a whole other level. (but im beyond terrified about the surgery and recovery time... but another blog!) Maybe someday I will do a blog about that issue and discuss how it affects me, how yucky it is, how far it hangs (ewwwwwww!!) Feel free not to read this one if you are squeamish, I totally understand. (I may not even read it myself) and I promise, no pictures!! ... yet I still have to be thankful for this surgery, my confidence level has skyrocketed and I can actually move now without getting winded... and BIG ANNOUNCEMENT flew to st johns and had to tighten the seat belt!!!!!!! The days of being terrified if the seat belt would fit are behind me. Yayyy Im thankful, I feel good, but I still have miles to go.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Hello all my lovely followers. Im here writing again, thinking about my progress and the path that I am on, and have been on for the past few years. The other day me and my Billy were talking (we do that a lot) and he mentioned how many times I would be crying and saying that my surgery was never going to come. I had forgotten about that, but he was right, I spent an unbelievable ammount of time whining (no actually sobbing) about the fact that I was waiting and waiting, and it was never going to get here. Well folks it looks like im waiting again! I asked the bariatric team to refer me for the slack skin surgery. It looks like i may have an eight month wait to be able to see them, but this is perfect because I still have weight to lose before they will consider me and they prefer that you be two years post op before they will do the procedure. I will be two years post op in august... eeekkk... exciting... terrifying! The thought of another surgery scares me. I said when i was in my recovery from the last one that I would never consider having surgery again even if my slack skin was dragging behind me as i walked (your welcome... I know you are thanking me for that image!) I have been struggling with the slack skin issue lately. Not medically, no infections or anything like that, but its getting on my last nerve! I can wear cute little tops and I feel really confidant when I look in the mirror, But then I look down below my waist and its like BAM there it is!! Don't get me wrong, im not fixating on this like I used to fixate on my weight, its far from that. When I looked in the mirror at four hundred pounds I felt despair and self loathe, now when I notice that things are kinda not in the right proportion im just really annoyed. I haven't felt that desperate feeling about my looks in a long time, now im just sort of going with it, what ever it is it is... bald spots and all!! I have been re reading a book that was suggested to me throughout my counselling, "life without ed". It has taken me quite a long time to read and work my way through it. At different points in my journey I feel I need to read and learn, and then there are times that I just want to live and not think about the process, so it has taken me a while. One of the suggestions for today was to develop a model of a healthy relationship with food.. so that's what I did. I developed a model of what i wanted food to look like for me. On the other side they wanted you to develop also a list of problems you had with food, so I did that as well. It kind of looks like this, I noticed that my problems with food list isnt really that long or intimidating. Things dont seem quite as daunting as they did before. I have to lose sixty more pounds before I can be considered for surgery again, but sixty compared to the one hundred sixty dosn't seem that big of a deal. I have met with a personal trainer who is helping me develop a plan of action, (she is amazing and Im excited to start!). I am enjoying this book and have been adapting it to fit my life, its written from the viewpoint of someone who has anorexia, but I have been learning that disordered eating is disordered eating. It follows a similar pattern. If you would like to find the book for yourself Jenni Schafer has a website that you can order from, as well as lots of other interesting things www.jennischaefer.com. She is also a singer who has released an album. She has a song titled "its ok to be happy" sounded very familiar to my life and my story. I know its late for a transformation tuesday pic but I found this the other day and it always shocks me when I see an old pic that I haven't seen in a while... so here it is another transformation pic I will keep you posted in my process and continue to be honest along the way.