An Explanation

So because I'm bored and putting off work right now, I'm going to tell you a bit about me.  On the front page of my blog, the title is  "Changed Gurl", and in my tag line, it reads "Here I Am...Changed."  If anyone here reading is a fan of Rascal Flatts, they will recognize this.  If you're not a fan, go to Spotify or YouTube and give them a listen.  

The three men of Rascal Flatts; Gary, Jay and JoeDon, are my idols and my heroes and my inspiration.  It sounds a bit crazy; they're just three men in a band.  But to me, they are much more than that.  I have been fortunate enough, and blessed, to meet them several times.  Getting a hug from your idol is nothing short of awesome.  Their music has touched my life in ways that I cannot explain, so I no longer try to.  I just love what I hear, I love their message, and I love how I feel when I'm standing in the pit at one of their shows, singing along to every word.  It sounds  obsessive, and maybe to some it is.  But they just touch me, and inspire me.  

Last winter I had gotten a Rascal Flatts tattoo, and last July got to go backstage at their show in Cleveland.  It was so cool, talking to them, and having Jay stop and pause and admire my tattoo.  

Anyhow, in April of 2012, they released the album "Changed" and the song of the same name is the first song on the CD.  The song just means so much, inspires so much in me.  I cannot wait until my transformation is complete, so I can get my "Changed" tattoo.  They have inspired me to live better, be better, strive to do better.  

Back to weight was puree day!  For breakfast, I had my protein shake with 1/4 banana.  It was utterly delicious, but the banana gave me heartburn.  I don't think it was ripe enough.  I could taste that "unripe" banana flavor all morning long in my throat.  For lunch I nuked a Smart Ones turkey medallions and mashed potatoes.  The turkey and gravy got pureed.  I have to admit, it looked and smelled like baby shit, but it tasted wonderful.  I was able to eat a tablespoon.  The mashed potatoes were good too, but I could only do about a teaspoon of those.  Godzilla, my rumble tumbly, started to grumble and I knew it was time to stop eating.  I'm pretty sure I'll try the same for dinner tonight.  Don't want that delicious turkey going to waste!

Hooray for Puree!

So...tomorrow I get to begin purees.  I am both excited and nervous.  There are so many foods I'm dying to try, mostly because I just want to frikkin eat.  I miss eating!  However, I also know that I need to go slow and introduce foods to Godzilla one at a time so I can rule out anything that doesn't agree with him.  

Tonight for dinner, I made some Italian Wedding soup and strained it to eat the broth.  I did let one carrot into my bowl.  I smushed it with the back of my spoon and mixed it in with the broth.  You should hear my tummy right now!  I always know when to stop eating; Godzilla tells me.  I may want to shovel a few more spoonfuls into my mouth, but Godzilla stops me.  That's one good thing about my new tummy, I suppose.  He is gurgling away right now like it's nobodies business, and honestly, I probably had 1/4 cup of broth.  I just have to take it wicked slow.  And I don't wanna.  I'm miserable.  I want food!  But I'll take it slow and do what Godzilla says to do.

I weighed myself today and am down 39.2 pounds.  Come on 40!  That includes 3 pounds before the liver reduction diet, and 16 pounds while on the liver reduction diet.  The rest is from surgery.  Woo hoo!

Today was decent. I managed to get my shake down this morning with no issues, and then, get my meds down as well.  Liquid today has mostly been sugar free apple juice.  Liquids are tough.  Some days things will taste really good, and other days like utter shit, so I allow myself some leeway as far as calories go.

Let's hope that the puree stage goes well!


Would you like to know the definition of torture? It's having bariatric surgery, not being able to eat, and watching the Food Network or Cooking Channel.  Why am I doing this? I guess because I want food so badly, if I can't eat it, at least I can look at it.  The last few hours, I've been watching BBQ Pitmasters.  This show should be illegal. It's meat. I am a meat girl. I could probably eat anyone under the table while eating meat. Well, in my former life. With my new stomach? I can puree some meat..haha.  I am SO looking forward to purees. I'm obsessed. Today was a bit better than the last, but I have no energy today what so ever. Not being able to get in all my protein and water is taking a toll. I'm exhausted all the time. Today - I decided not to push myself as much and listen to my body; and I napped a bit on the couch because I was just so tired. I am so thankful that I work from home, because there is no way I'd be able to be back in the office just yet.

I am DYING for my steri-strips to completely fall off. They itch so bad. I have sensitive skin, big time, and the adhesive is driving me insane. I just want them off, but I'm scared to see what they look like underneath. Yes, I'm a weirdo.

Sooooo tired....

I'm so fucking sick of liquids.  Ugh.  I know it's in my best interest, and I know it's to heal my new tummy, but seriously, I'm just so done.  I'm having a tough time getting everything down as well.  Two protein shakes a day right now is my limit, and half the time, I can't even quite finish one.  I only have the chocolate ones and right now, the thought of anything chocolate makes me want to vomit.  If you knew me pre-surgery, you'd be shocked by this.  I could eat chocolate like it's the last day on earth...I'm the type of fatty would could pound down one of those ginormous Hershey bars and not think twice.  Then again, there's a reason why I was so fat to begin with!!  Anyhow...chocolate now?  Yick.

Soups are ok.  I was dying for cream of mushroom, and ate it twice.  Don't wanna touch it.  I strained light clam chowder broth, and ate it twice.  Don't wanna touch it anymore.  Can't even bring myself to the cream of chicken, or anything else for that manner.  Last night I opened a can of chicken and barley soup, and ate the broth.  I nearly cried, because all I wanted to do was eat the entire contents of the can.  It smelled and looked sooooo good.  I just want food!

Today I'm having a tough time with my pills and vitamins.  The vitamins taste like ass.  I had my husband get me some Flintstones and guess what?  They taste like ass - in a smaller version.  I'm so disgusted.  And today my heartburn is flaring up again, causing me to have a tough time getting all my liquids down.

I prayed and prayed for this surgery, and now I'm praying for a speedy recovery.  I'm exhausted and I have no energy, because I'm not getting in enough calories.  Ugh I just want to be normal again. :/

Down down down

Today I had my one week surgical follow up with the Dr.  I love my Dr.  He is one of the most compassionate people I've ever met.  He walked into the room, all smiles, and asked me how I was feeling.  I said pretty good..and he jumped in and said "pretty good considering some jerk put you to sleep and took most of your stomach away?" and he just grinned.  

On May 4th I started my liver reduction diet.  On May 16th I was sleeved.  In that time frame, I have dropped 26 pounds.  I couldn't believe it.  My scale at home showed a loss, but not a loss like that.  My scale at home is off by about five pounds.  I got on the scale and said "holy shit, is this thing accurate?"  I was stunned by the number I saw.  It made me feel so good.

The Dr. said things are going well.  I can add thicker liquids this week like cream soups and puddings.  I have tolerated both quite well today.  Godzilla was a little noisy when I was feeding him the soup, but he loved the pudding.  I see my tummy still has a sweet tooth :/

Oh, and in case there's doubt as to how much my surgeon rocks, he fist bumped me at the end of my visit today.  Total sparkle in his eyes - he was in a good mood and I was in a fantastic mood.  26 pounds y'all.  It's amazing.

So pissed!!

When my son was in 1st grade, he was bullied - badly.  I expected much, much more out of a private Catholic school - so I was stunned when the bullying began.  And it wasn't just a little girl teasing him along with her friends; it was a little girl kicking him and hitting him, oftentimes in his private area.  This all occurred at the school's after school program.  I spoke with the coordinators - they said there was no problem.  I spoke with the principal who told me "oh silly mom, kids will be kids."  Kids.  Will.  Be.  Kids.

Kids will be kids.

Kids will be kids.

What the fuck kind of answer is kids will be kids???

I removed him from that school and placed him in another one that impressed me from the word go.  I'll never forget our first day there - the principal met us at the front door to welcome my son into the school.  I felt like ok, this is where he belongs.  That was 3 years ago.  Now?  I'm not so sure anymore.

His first 2 years at this school he excelled.  His grades were terrific - he made honor roll each semester.  He was always being honored at the breakfast of champions - the principals award breakfast (and day out of uniform, hooray!!), for doing your homework every single day.

This year - 4th grade - it's so different.  My little boy no longer smiles at the thought of going to school.  He never does his homework, resulting in lunch detention after lunch detention.  He's being bullied--to the point where he no longer wants to go to school everyday.  He's being bullied to the point where I think he's purposely forgetting his homework, so he can avoid class time with the bullies.  His grades have gone to shit.  He's just not the same precious little boy as I had last year.  Know what he told me?  He said, "Mommy, I'm so used to getting picked on, I don't mind it anymore."

And that broke my heart into a million pieces.  

So Tuesday I will meet with his principal.  This has to stop.  I cannot see my child's heart and spirit break any further.  I cannot stand to see him hate school, hate learning.  School - for me - was hell.  Because of how badly I was bullied and I want that to turn around for him.

I am sleeved!

Wow, finally.  I'm sleeved.  Thursday morning I woke up and I wasn't as nervous as I feared I'd be.  We got the hospital and only waited around 20 minutes or so before they called me back.  I got into my gown, got some bloodwork drawn and got a couple shots in my tummy  It was a catholic hospital where I had my surgery, so a nun came over to pray over me, which I have to admit, I much welcomed.  My surgeon came to talk to me, and he let me know that he'd be doing a liver biopsy while I was under because my blood work was showing elevated liver enzymes.  

I waited a bit longer, sweating my ass off in this heated gown (which sucked) chilling with my hubby.  I wasn't nervous or anxious - I was just ready.

Anesthesia came to talk to me, and then we were off.  I kissed my husband and wished like hell it would just be over fast, and it was.  The only thing I remember is the freezing cold OR, and them getting me onto the table.  I don't even remember a mask or anything...

To be honest, I don't remember much about recovery either.  I do remember getting off of the bed in the hallway to get into my room, and my gown didn't tie in the back, so I mooned half the floor, and didn't give a shit.

The first night, the pain was truly kept at bay.  I kicked my husband out of my room at 9pm so he would go eat some dinner and get some rest.  I was given a pitcher of ice water and chips and that was my savior.  I slept like crap, but kept hitting my pain button.  My room was like a sauna and I was miserable.  By 4 am I was begging for a drink, but all I got were these green mint swabs, that while they did the trick, they also made me nauseaus.

Finally, it was time to go for my swallow test.  The nurse who wheeled me down was a former bariatric patient, who looked amazeballs.  I'll be happy to look like her someday.

I think my surgeon was in my room by 9, and I was home by 1, napping.

First few days was hell, painful, gassy, miserable.  Each day gets better.

I'm excited to eat some broth later.  I tried protein with skim milk this morning, but I have lactose issues so I think I'm sending hubby to the store tomorrow for some unsweetened almond milk.  Other then that, I'm progressing.     The first couple days I was cursing my stupidity for doing this to my body, but now I'm gradually getting/feeling better.  I'm only taking pain meds once per day, I'm off of my nausea meds, and the only thing I'm taking is half my blood pressure meds and the meds for esophageal spasms, which seems to help when I get those nasty gas bubbles. 


Tomorrow is the day that I've prayed about, wished for, waited for and thought of for such a long time.  Today I'm doing ok, but I really want to eat.  I haven't stopped thinking about food all day.  Today my diet is just clear liquids.  Oh, and the oh-so-delicious mag citrate which of course, cleanses the insides.  

All the junk I've ever eaten, it's not been worth it.  It's not been worth the "suffering" of a two week liver reduction diet, or a day of liquids, and it sure as hell won't be worth the surgery itself.  I keep praying that everything goes well.  I had a lot of complications after my c-section so this scares the ever living hell out of me.  Also, I have my son, and he needs me.  

I'm feeling a wide range of emotions tonight.  I wish I would of gone through this surgery years ago the first time I considered it.  I wish I would of said no to all those second slices of pizza, or super size fries, or chocolate bars.  I wish I wasn't addicted to food.  Food is my drug and it's going to be a battle to break this addiction.

Wish me well!  This is a new beginning.

Almost there...

I can't believe how quickly my surgery is coming upon me.  Tomorrow is my last day to "eat" something, and by eat, I mean slug back two protein shakes, and eat my 2 ounces of protein and veggies.  Wednesday I'm on all clears and have my mag citrate cleanse.  Joy!!  Thursday I'm planning on trying to sleep in for as long as I can, because if I don't, my nerves will make me sick to my stomach.

Today my PCP called me to take me off of my cholesterol meds.  Seems that they're raising my liver enzymes through the roof.  I was still medically cleared for surgery, thank God.  But now, I have to worry and stress that they'll open me up and see a large liver and not proceed.  

I've lost 10 pounds on my liver reduction diet thus far.  I am stressed and anxious and scared and excited about Thursday.  I just wish it was over.  I don't know what to expect.  I hear so many people say the pain was nothing, and others who say they felt like a truck ran them over.  I've gone through a c-section, with several months of difficulties afterwards, so I've mentally prepared myself for the worst.

Ugh.  I just want this to be over.

One Step Closer

My weight at the hospital today was 8 pounds less than last Friday, and 11 pounds less from where I started.  Yeah baby!

Pre-op testing was today.  It went quick, and I was home before I knew it.  I should be all set for next Thursday!  I'm still feeling the full range of emotions...nervous, anxious, scared, hopeful, excited!

Surgery isn't until 2:30 which sucks.  I was hoping to just wake up, head to the hospital, and get it going!  But it ok, all good things come to those who wait, right?

One day closer!!

Fat Reminder

First the good.  I saw my primary care doctor today.  I've lost 11 pounds since my last visit there in March.  Also! My liver reduction diet is working...down 4 pounds since Saturday.  It may not be much, but I'll take it.

Now the ugly. I work for a major holiday dot com company.  It's family owned and operated. Our boss is quirky and loud and obnoxious. He's actually a spoiled rich boy who was handed a company to run from his daddy.  He's also gender biased. There is a definitive "boys club" at my job, and I'm definitely not a part of it.

At my job, we sell mostly holiday items.  However, the big boss will sell anything if he can get a good deal on it. We've sold toilets and urinals...popcorn...bales of hay....truckloads of name it, we've probably sold it.  We must of gotten a truckload of denim, judging by what my boss was parading around the office today.  A pair of plus size 26 women's jeans.  He came bounding into the office and asked one of the other girls to try to fit into one pant leg.  Oh! the giggles that ensued!  Look how funny! Fitting into one leg of a fat ladies pants!  And I loved the comments "OMG those things are huge"...."who can actually wear that size"..."wow"....

And I just sat there, trying not to notice, in my size 28's...

For a moment, it took me back to this one time in high school...

I was sitting on the floor in front of my locker working on homework after school.  Two older boys were walking down the hall and I knew what was coming.  I braced myself.  "Hey, look at that fucking fat whale"...."yea, haha, she's like a beached whale"...hahaha.  Fucking.Hilarious.

I mean really.  Being fat is sooooo hilarious.  I remember feeling like wishing I could sink into the floor and become invisible.  The boys started to throw spit balls at me, and all I could do was just sit there and pretend like it wasn't happening.  After all, occurrences like this were an everyday thing for me.  I got so used to being cut down because of my weight that I just accepted the bullying.

But all of those feelings just washed over me today at work.  And at first I thought what a stupid ignorant mother fucker.  Hello!  I'm not invisible.  He was RIGHT behind me when he was doing this, and it made me feel about an inch tall and about 800 pounds heavier than I already am.

But then this happened...

I decided to just fucking LET IT GO.  Screw him and his ignorance.  Screw the people who laughed and thought it was so god damn funny.  In my life, I have found that there are those people that will accept and love you - no judgement.  THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER!!!

People who have to make fun of, cut down or bully others?  Pathetic losers, and I pity them.

I pitied my boss today, because he looked like such a fool!  And me getting mad just lets him win.  Eff that!  I took back the power today.  *I WIN TODAY*!!!

Liver Reduction Diet, Day 4

I guess you could say it gets easier.  I'm still light headed and groggy.  I'm still shockingly under 600 calories for the day.  I had my Instead breakfast and skim milk for breakfast.  I had jello for a morning snack at work.  I had chicken broth, pudding and nectar crystal sky protein at lunch.  I ate applesauce after work. Dinner was chicken and cabbage.  I even ate a fudgesicle.  Oh, and I just had two slices of turkey lunch meat and 3 ounces of baby carrots because I was so hungry.  I can't wait to just have this surgery and move on with my life.  Ugh!!

Liver Reduction Diet, Day 3

So I hear the first 3 days are toughest.  I pray that's correct.  Last night I had a binge/purge dream.  I've NEVER purged.  Ever.  I've binged, but never vomited.  So in my dream, I was eating gobs of stuff; ahh and peanut butter!  I miss peanut butter!  So anyway, in my dream, I used my toothbrush to gag myself to vomit.  Except, I inhaled or did something wonky, and my toothbrush got lodged in my esophagus, and I had to call 911, but I couldn't speak, so I ran upstairs to get my husband and I couldn't wake him up.  It was awful.  I miss food.

So today, I worked from home.  I have been wicked lightheaded today.  Like, all day.  And I'm exhausted.  It's amazing how much your diet affects your sleep schedule.  I haven't even yet had 500 calories today.  This is ridiculous.  I can't stop thinking about meat.  I have to stop blogging right now, because my head is pounding and my stomach is grumbling and I'm fucking miserable :/

And.  No.  All that fattening bullshit I ever stuffed my face with?  NOT WORTH IT.

Liver Reduction Diet, Day 2

I'm tired.  And I feel meh.  Have a mild headache.  Last night I was exhausted so I went to bed around midnight and woke up a little after 9 today.  I didn't wake up starving, but ate right when I got up.  I opted to NOT torture myself and gag on a protein shake, so instead I had my sugar free Instant Breakfast, which my surgeon allows, with the skim milk.  Breakfast was 146 calories.  For lunch, I did another Instant Breakfast, and my Jello sugar free pudding snack - coming in at 206 calories.  I had another pudding cup for my afternoon snack.  I also ate a sugar-free popsicle after lunch, and  a sugar-free fudgesicle after dinner.

Dinner was 2 ounces of chicken I grilled on my Foreman grill, with 1/2 cup raw sugar snap peas and 1/2 cup snow pea pods.  Dinner was 139 calories.  So far, I'm at 656 for the day, and last night, I ended up at 629 for the day.  Yesterday for lunch I cut some calories, because I had 1/2 scoop of Syntrax Nectar with water for lunch, which is what I'll have tomorrow too.  I also made myself a soup.  I'm allowed broth on my diet.  My husband and son had Ramen for dinner with their chicken and veggies...I drained off the broth to give them the noodles.  I kept the broth for myself and boiled in it 4 baby carrots, 1/3 stalk of celery and 4 green beans.  I made myself a little veggie soup to eat at work tomorrow :)

Liver Reduction Diet, Day 1

I want to try to journal as much about this time as I can, so I can always look back and see where I can from.

Today has been...ok.  Not my greatest day.  I'd like to be stuffing my face with anything.  My husband just ate two slices of pizza.  He ate Doritos earlier and I asked if I could lick the cheese off of his fingers, but I restrained myself haha.

My protein shake for breakfast did NOT go down well.  I gagged the entire time, nearly vomiting.  That wasn't pleasant.  I've consumed 629 calories today.  That is massively massive....meaning unreal for me.  That's a typical mean for me, honestly.  I've eaten so little today, and I'm feeling it.  I'm tired, I have no energy.  I've sat around all day doing nothing - no scratch that--I made dinner.  I have a headache, which I'm not sure if that's from the lack of caffeine, or what.  And no pop for me.  This is HUGE y'all!  Like, you just don't know.  I keep thinking back to last night; like WHY didn't I eat more? WHY didn't I just have one more snack last night?  But no more living in the damn past.  

Am I hungry today? Yes. I'm very hungry. My tummy is rumbling, had been all day, but it hasn't been unbearable.  Then again, I'm only on day 1.

So here's what my surgeon allows on this diet.

Breakfast is a protein shake. Lunch is a protein shake with either oatmeal (don't like it), cottage cheese (can't STAND it), yogurt (again, can't stomach it), unsweetened applesauce or pudding.  For an afternoon snack, I get to choose one of the food items above.  Dinner is 2 ounces of meat and a cup of raw or cooked vegetables.  I bought these awesome appetizer plates from CB2 and my meal barely fit on that plate; I ate 2 ounces of chicken, 1/2 cup of cooked green beans and 1/2 cup cooked cauliflower.  No butter on my veggies, which I really missed.  Next time, I'll season the veggies with salt and pepper or garlic or even lemon juice...something to make them taste better.  I've eaten more sugar-free popsicles and jello cups that I care to count as well.  Ugh.  Just ugh.

Overloaded and overstuffed

What a day today has been.  Yesterday I got my surgery date. Today I had my pre-op appointment.  It took almost 3 hours, and I had my 10 year old with me, who showed so much maturity and patience today.  We went over the liver reduction diet, which starts tomorrow morning.  I did eat my last meal tonight.  We went to Five Guys, and I had a double bacon cheeseburger and fries.  And I loved every single bite.  BUT!  Yes, there is a but.  I ate too much and felt so sick afterwards.  It was awful.

My diet is pretty strict.  A protein shake for breakfast, for lunch a shake and either 1/2 cup of oatmeal, unsweetened applesauce, sugar-free pudding, 4 oz. of light yogurt or non-fat cottage cheese.  Only thing I like on that list would be pudding.  Afternoon snack is also one of those food items.  Dinner I get 2 oz. of chicken or fish, along with either a cup of raw or cooked green veggies, or 1/2 cup V8 juice.  And I can have a 4th protein shake, but they prefer I do not.  During the day, I'm to have at a minimum 64 ounces of water, crystal lights, propel, G2, sugar free kool-aid, sugar free popsicles, sugar-free jello and fat free broth.  The water won't be a problem.  I typically drink 2 liters at work and then more at home.  It'll be nice to have some broth to combat all that sweetness in the shakes and what not.  I'm worried that I'll be a raging bitch on this diet...but it'll be worth it in the end.

I've lost 4 pounds in the last week.  I cut out starches with dinner, and cut out soda, for the most part.  I'm drinking my final cherry coke right now.  

Lots to do in less than two weeks.  Monday I have to arrange for my pre-op testing, and I also have to have medical clearance from my primary care physician.  

While me and my son were sitting in the office going over all of the surgical risks, he started to cry.  He said he didn't want anything bad to happen to me.  I explained to him that me remaining this size is a much bigger risk that surgery.

I'm hopeful. I'm excited.  I'm really mentally ready for this.  I'm ready for the changes.  I'm ready to lose all this baggage.

Houston, we have liftoff.

And by liftoff, I mean a surgery date.  Holy shit.  I'm feeling completely, utterly overwhelmed at the moment.  I need some time for this to sink in.  I submitted for approval on the 24th.  Last night I was checking out my insurance website and finally saw the pre-auth on there.  I checked today and it was gone, so I had a mini heart attack.  However, I checked my surgeon's web site and saw that my patient portal was turned blue for insurance approval (blue means done), and green for surgery scheduling (green means pending).  So, I called my health insurance company to verify.  Everyone there I spoke to had been so nice, congratulating me.  So, then I called my surgeon's office.  I asked about my approval and it was just sent over to them today.  Get this.  The lady on the phone told me that the scheduler would call me tomorrow to schedule and I said that was cool.  Well, she goes "oh hold on, it looks like we have you in the books for MAY 16TH."  MAY FUCKING 16th!  That's two weeks from today.  TWO WEEKS!  omg omg omg omg omg omg omg.

Yea, I'm panicking.  Not because I'm not ready, but because holy fuck it's here!  It's here!  I go in tomorrow for my pre-op appointment and Saturday will begin my liver reduction diet.  Holy fecking hell.  This is happening.  

I'm feeling every range of emotion.  Happy this is happening.  Nervous about the outcome.  Scared for surgery.  Mad that I ever let myself get this big.  It's everything wrapped up into one, which means tomorrow I'll have a migraine, because that's what happens when I get emotional.

Wow.  Just wow.  It's happening people!


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