Friday, July 30, 2010

100 pounds of fat...

When people find out I've had gastric bypass, they tend to ask me “so...what weight do you want to end up at?”… and I never really know what to say.

Through this whole process, my weight loss has never really been about numbers for me. It’s more about how awesome I feel fitting in to smaller clothes, shopping in new stores, and generally feeling good about myself. But when I got on the scale today for my regular “weigh in,” I saw a number I’ve been waiting for the past few weeks. Today, I weighted 201 pounds, meaning that since my surgery, I have lost 100 pounds. And that is a number that just can’t be ignored.

This is what 100 pounds of fat looks like.

Holy mother of god.

100 pounds is the weight of an average 13 year old. Ummmm…So, I’ve lost an entire teenager’s worth of weight from my body. Yowza. Whenever I think about it, all I can picture is me with a 13 year old on my back…for the past 10 years. It seems so ridiculous…and slightly painful.

The lowest I can ever remember weighing is 204. I was 15 and was on my first successful diet ever. It was something I made up on my own. It involved 30 minutes of treadmill a day (after school) and feeling guilty about every single calorie I put into my mouth. I distinctly remember being at a cookout, looking at a cookie and thinking to myself, “If I eat this, It will be like I didn’t even exercise today…no cookie…no cookie…no.” I lost about 20 pounds, but it didn't last very long.

Anywhoo, I was thrilled and decided to celebrate this milestone at the beach. I thought I would share a picture. I felt amazing.

At this point, I really don’t know where I’m going to end up, weight-wise. The one thing I do know is that I won’t ever lose another hundred pounds. I’m going to sit back, relax, and enjoy this feeling as long as I can!

Is that me?

One of the awesome parts of my job is that you really get to bond with your patients. And sometimes they will send you a thank you note in the mail with a picture of their baby (and maybe some chocolates if you're lucky!)

A little while ago, I got one of those cards in the mail…but included inside was a picture of me. It's something I still keep it tucked in my datebook. It is the last picture I have of me before I had surgery.

I could barely recognize myself.

So, here is quick set of “before and after” pictures. One is the picture sent to me by my patient. The other is picture that I had a friend take of me in the break room at work about a week ago.

It’s insane.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Boot camp...

When I was about 17 years old, an army recruiter called my house.

This man tried his hardest to convince me that I should join the army. Inside, I laughed...but on the outside, I tried my best to explain to this man that I was fat...too fat to join the army.

I said things like “I don’t think I can handle the training” or “I don’t think I have the right mindset”. But this guy was a pro. And he didn’t give up. Finally, I cornered him with these words: “Look, I don’t like to run. If you could see me, you would understand.”

I never heard from him again.

If anyone had ever told “pre surgery” me that I would voluntarily involve myself in anything called a “boot camp”…ever…I would have laughed hysterically. So when my trainer, Beth, called me and told me I should sign up for her new boot camp sessions, I was a little weary. But, I did sign up. Why? Because when my trainer tells me I can do something that I think I cannot do…It motivates me to do it.

Damn...she's good.

So I went to this “boot camp.” We were all at about the same level, which made me feel a little better. And the trainers, Beth and Brian, are the perfect combination of motivation and limit pushing. After lunges, sit-ups, planks, and sprints I could barely walk for 2 days after. And it was so awesome.

The classes remind me of field day from elementary school...on crack…for adults. The classes are fun and are held outside either in a field or on the beach. We do assessments in the beginning and at the end of each session of classes to see the improvement from where we started. And for 5 weeks, 3x a week, the cost is only 150$. That’s 10$ per class. The deal of the century, my friends…the deal of the century!

I have already improved so much that it motivated me to re-start my one-on-one sessions with Beth. I’m loving it.

I know that people from all over the world read this blog…(maybe not, but a girl can dream, right?…) but if you are from south shore Massachusetts and are interested in a fun workout you should really check them out. Here is the link:

I hope to see some new faces for the next session!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

6 month update...

It seems crazy to me that 6 months ago today I had my gastric bypass surgery.

To be honest, I remember when I thought I would NEVER get to the point where I would have control of my eating, control of my fitness, and control of my emotions…without having food as a crutch. I would sit on my sofa in tears...thinking that I would never be normal again. Wondering if I had made the right decision.

Today, I know I did...and I’m really proud of myself for making this choice. honor of this day, I just read all of my entries into this blog…beginning to end. I laughed...I cried...but most of all I watched myself grow both as a writer and as a person. I cannot even begin to express how happy I am that I kept a record of this journey. Amazing.

I’ve also officially decided to share some of the more personal info with the world…here are my stats...before and after surgery. Numbers that I don’t even think the people closest to me knew.

The first day I went for my consult at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center I weighted 301 lbs. (I know, you would have never guessed, right?...but I swear…it’s true!) At 5 feet 8 inches tall, my body mass index was 45.8…I was considered morbidly obese.

This morning, when I stepped on the scale I weighed 205 lbs making my current body mass index 31.2. Anything under 30 is considered “overweight” and not “obese”. I’m almost there.

Doing the math, in 6 months, I’ve lost a total of 96 lbs and gone down almost 6 dress sizes to a size 14/16. I look and feel so much better than I did before my surgery. But looking back, I can also see that I have gone through so much more than just a physical change.

I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I find myself a “gym person” now, going on a regular basis and working with my trainer. I have finally really learned how to exercise and I like it. I can tell that I have improved so much and feel so good. In fact, today I was way ahead in my boot camp, doing more and going faster than people way smaller than me. I couldn’t be more proud of myself.

I’ve gained a control over my eating. I learned that I can still have a good time with my friends or a nice family dinner and not have to over eat. I’ve also discovered that food is not the answer to my problems and stress. Just because eating made me feel better when I was upset, it didn’t really solve anything. Instead, I developed different coping mechanisms to deal with different events in my life. And they work just as well, if not better than food.

Sometimes, when I’m stressed out or angry, I cry. I’ve learned that it’s ok. I tend to feel better afterwards and it doesn’t cost me a single calorie.

I also have much more self confidence than I ever had. I find I’m not trying to be perfect all the time in order to hide something and to get people to like me. Instead, I’m doing it because I want to. My attitude has changed. I’m not afraid to say "no" to people anymore and I have developed a certain respect for myself, knowing that I deserve and should expect only the very best.

For the first time in my life, I feel comfortable in my skin and I’m not embarrassed all the time. I’m not as concerned about what people think about me. I know that the people who love me, love me for who I am...good and bad. They would still love me just as much if I didn’t have this surgery, but their support through this process has been invaluable to me.

Lastly, I am finally happy with myself. Even though I know I’ll lose more weight, if I didn’t lose another pound I would be content with my life. This is really the first time I have ever said that and really meant it.

In the last few weeks, I had really hoped I would have lost 100 lbs by today to make it look really pretty when I was sharing on here. (I love nice round numbers!) But, as I continue to look back, I find my greater accomplishment is not what I have lost…but it is what I have gained.

So today, It's not about the numbers at all...and I just couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Round 2...

Round two of entertaining guests at my house was just as fun as round one!

I have actually been doubly busy this weekend, because not only did I have houseguests, but I also threw my sister a bridal shower for her wedding come this September! This is my sister and her bridesmaids. (my sister is the one in the middle) Congrats, Jillian!

My friend Amanda and her husband Jason came up from Florida to hang out in Beantown! My friend, Mike, has a sticker to drive right onto the beach, so we went for the afternoon and I got to show off that new bathing suit. (it’s already getting a little big by the way, but oh well!)

I’ve never had so much fun, or felt so great at the beach. It’s such an amazing feeling to feel comfortable in your skin after feeling self-conscious for so long. I’m really getting used to smiling all the time!

While taking my friend Amanda and her husband through my second Boston tour in 10 days (YAY for city walking! Like a mini workout!) I re-discovered a restaurant that I absolutely used to love and haven’t been to in awhile.


For all of you who haven’t had the pleasure of going to this place, you need to make a date ASAP! It’s like an all you can eat Mongolian BBQ style place where you go up to a bar of different raw vegetables, meats, noodles, and sauces…pick what you want…and they cook it, right there in front of you. It’s awesome!

The best part for me was, after a small discussion with my waitress about there being no actual children’s menu, I got to pay kid’s price anyway. (from $16.95 to $9.95…go me!) When I got up there, I totally loaded up on the protein and vegis I LOVE while avoiding the starches I don’t need. And the portion size was just right because I did it myself! It was perfect!

It’s funny. Even though I have a doctor’s note that says I can order off the children’s menu, I have never had to use it once! Usually, just mentioning that I have it is enough to shut up any questioning waitress and I have never had a problem.

I also love that I have totally gotten over being nervous about asking for the kids menu. (The amount of money and food you waste by ordering off the real menu gets real old….real quick) I thought there would be arguing, fussing, calling of managers…but no. Usually, they just grab you one. And ask you if you want crayons, too.


Saturday, I will be 6 months post-op. I can barely believe it. How time has surely flown by! I have a special blog entry for that day, so stay tuned! I will be updating how much I’ve lost, and what I weighed before surgery. It’s gunna be nuts…

Monday, July 5, 2010

Disturbingly small...

Happy birthday, America!

It seems funny to me that as I lose weight, I actually start to look forward to doing active things with my spare time and this 4th of July was no exception.

This weekend my college friend Andrea, her husband Douglas, his friend David, and David’s sister Betsy, all came to stay at my house for the weekend. It’s the first time I got to put my guest room to good use. The “Martha Stewart” in me was oh-so-excited. (Seriously, I printed out the “how to be a good hostess” list from Martha's website. I don’t mess around when it comes to entertaining.)

We spent the fourth in Boston for a day trip. Back in my “pre-surgery days” even the thought of this would have made me nauseous. Walking all over the city in 90+ degree weather would cause me to sweat like I had just run the marathon. And not just on my forehead or armpits, either. I would feel it pour (yes, pour) down my back and chest into my underwear. This also caused my shirt and bra to get soaked making all sorts of weird spots on my shirt. I usually ended up a hot mess. So I usually avoided it.

But this weekend we walked all over the city. And I had the most wonderful time, truely enjoying myself outside for the first time in a very long time. Eating was a breeze and I even found a new favorite dining place to frequent. (Shocking, I know)

If you have never heard of Boloco, you are missing out on the best thing EVER. This place makes wraps/burritos that are legitimately to die for. I was a little nervous when we went in because I noticed right away that there wasn’t a children’s menu for me to look at. As much as I would love to, I KNOW I can’t eat a whole burrito. Heck, I probably couldn’t even eat half of one. But then I noticed the burritos come in different sizes.

The first size I saw was an “original” which seemed to be the biggest. Yeah. Probably too much for this girl.

Then I see “regular.” I watched them make one. Hmmm. Nope. Not gunna work.

Finally, I see it. Words that made me smile and relax all at the same time. The size was titled “mini” and it was described on the menu board as “disturbingly small.”


I got what I can only describe as the cutest little freshly made burrito I have ever seen in my entire life. So tiny that it fits into a small purse. We all got different burritos from the menu and they were all delicious. And not only in my opinion, but also to my friends. (who are authentic Hondurans, no less) We all gave this place a rip roaring 2 giant thumbs up!

But, sometimes I fear when I eat something this yummy out at a restaurant, it has to have some bad and extremely unhealthy consequence. But, oh no my friends! I went home and checked their website and loved what I saw! A mini “classic Mexican” burrito (in a bowl) with pork has only 256 calories and a whopping 15g of protein. (with a flour torilla cals=396/protein=19) Either way that’s not too bad for a whole meal eating out!

Don't beleive me? Just click on the image to the right and see for yourself. I'm loving it.

It can’t get better than this, you say? Well…let me blow your mind once more, my friends. This little guy only costs $3.95!!! So, it also costs about as much as a lean cuisine...all while being freshly made right in front of you and tasting way better as well. What a deal! Let’s just say, if I’m going to be eating something “disturbingly small” I want it to be a mini burrito at Boloco. I can’t wait to go back!

(And to all my girls reading this at work...there is one located right behind the hospital. And we can order it online. know my vote for the newest place to order dinner from!!!)