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14 Years.

I didn't make a 12 or 13 year update?  Really?  It might be the distracted distraction: 
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It occured to me that I don't have photos to share, partly because I have been sitting at the same. exact. weight. (within five or so pounds) for two-and-a-half years (*see distraction) and there's really nothing to update in that aspect.  
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I started "this journey" more than 15 years ago.
 
My highest weight was 320 pounds.  I have reached a low weight of 145 lbs, once.  I gained over 210 lbs. while pregnant in 2006 and 2015. 
 
I have spent the majority of the last 14 years at or about 170 lbs.  
 
All of this is in the history here on the blog.
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Self – last week
 
I would say that 170 is my eat-what-you-want and "don't do jack shit for cardio aside from chasing a hyperactive toddler/house cleaning and seizure" weight.
 
What do I eat?
 
Old-lady food.  I still loathe cooking.  I would not cook a thing, ever, if there weren't kids here.  I don't cook much anyway, since I was told "not to ever use a knife unattended" or "a stove," so, I just … do, but I don't.  If money were no object, I'd be all over home delivery.
 
Coffee with almond milk, tea, whole grain toast, probiotic cottage cheese, frozen meals, chicken salad.
 
I mix it up with a take out meal about once a week, usually a cold sandwich like roast beef and all the veggies or a BLT.  
 
I regret most meals eaten away from home, so I am careful about food choices if we go out.  I trust no one not to kill me.  I dump on the most random things, or have awful reactions later, so I stick with what Should Work.  
 
I'd say I take in 1500 or so calories most days. Today?  
  • Dave's Killer Bread + Light Butter
  • Two bites protein cookie, the rest donated to the kid
  • Frozen chicken a la king, tossed some of the chicken away
  • And it's nearing 5pm.  Typical.  I'll eat dinner at bedtime.
 
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Bob and I at his police graduation, 2017, his 14 years is next month
 
I have that excess 20- 25 lbs hanging around.  I know how to lose it. I don't do it. At least I have not in the last few years. With my last (POST WLS!) baby who is now eleven, I would get walking for miles, but I don't anticipate that happening anytime soon with my special-fall-on-the-ground-head-crack seizures that developed in the last few years (*see the timing correlation?) Well, at least I did it back then and did not realize I was falling down.
 
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Christmas Day, 2017 – Myself and all the "kids"
 
I have two cardio machines in the house. I'm not using them and my excuse is the youngest child that climbs on them with me. (YOU HAVE TO KNOW HIM.  HE IS THAT CHILD.)  Getting up before he does or climbing out of bed after he sleeps to exercise is … not tempting. I'm just not that into it, yet.  Clearly exercise is not a priority. 
 
I think that remaining upright — is?
*On that topic which some of you don't like to read, but it's a huge part of my life/day — I'm taking lots of medications, which need a little tinkering (again, usually once a year I'm in the hospital for a tune up) since I am obviously having lots of seizure activity.   I currently take ONFI, Topamax, Banzel, and as needed Lorazepam.  They are treating my various types of seizures.  I just tapered off of a huge amount of Keppra. I suspect these will change in the near future, because me.
 
People ask me if I blame my gastric bypass for this "condition" or it's increasing changes/etc.  No.  I was born with the brain malformation that causes seizures, and at this point in my life I believe I had seizure activity longer than anyone knew (maybe since I was very small, in the form of smaller seizures that no one noticed, I understand the symptoms now) — but the gastric bypass caused a trigger by changing my gut.  The science shows that the gut can affect the brain — and I feel that in some way the WLS lowered my seizure threshold by altering my gut, and making my malformation — "turn on" and show it's full power.  I feel that there's a cure in my lifetime, if it's fecal transplants, brain stimulators or who knows what else – because there are many of us out there with post WLS seizures
 
What do you want to know about "long term" post weight loss surgery life?  
 
Any questions, I am a too-open book.  Ask here or Facebook.  Just don't sell me anything unless you plan on sending it to me free.
 
 
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Twelve hundred

I’ve been food journaling.


Here is the damage.  

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That’s about 1500 – 1700 calories a day, with nearly everything in my apathy diet included.

I am remaining in the 170 – 173 pound spot.  Obviously, this calorie range keeps me squarely in this weight range.  (I have been here for a year and a half?)

I go from 170 to 175.  I get excited to see 1-6-9, and then, poof, right back into 170’s.  I have always shared (in my BBGC support group) that I believe in 10 – 12 calories per pound maintains my size.

Which also means, if I am EVER going to shake off this excess, I must drop back the calories OR ramp up my daily activity by at least 500 – 700 calories per day.  

HUGE APATHETIC SIGH FILLED WITH TOAST.  “BUT I DON’T WANNNNNNAAAAAA EAT LESS.”  I have become way too comfortable with over-eating.  I can eat me some 1700 calories with ease.  I can polish off a bowl of Anycarbs! like nobodies business.  Hand me Anycarbs! (…except cereal and milk, gag) and I’ll overeat it for you!  

What made me realize this?  One of my daughters decided to start looking at portions.  She pulled out the measuring cups.  And DOG KNOWS I AM A PROFESSIONAL MEASURER OF ALL THINGS NUTRITIVE and I can tell you how many calories are in all the things — but — do I bother measuring my own foods? 

Nah.  scoop scoop scoop 

When I looked at her wee bowl of pasta and realized (for the millionth time) that 1/2 cup of pasta is only > this < much?  And I have been serving myself with > this < much stomach + THIS MUCH + just because it’s there?  Thud.

Last night while watching My 600 LB Life — I noted that Dr. Now puts all the patients on a 1200 calorie diet.  It works.  What I am doing, is not working.  It’s maintaining my obesity.  What does this mean for me?  I am going to make a conscious effort to aim for 1200 calories.  I know that my aiming for that I may or may not – but it’s not a huge deal.  If I can hit it some days, I’ll make progress.  My goal is 150 pounds, so a loss of 20 pounds. To do that, I’ll need to CUT THE CARBS back.  I may need to cut out a meal or snack or three.  Add shakes in?  Maybe.  I haven’t “dieted” in so very long it’s hard to even consider?  I see lots of my online friends having great success with super low carb plans, some even KETO, but, I need something that is very flexible – even – ready to go – with no planning.  I’m just … chaotic.  But I’ll follow anything and be likely to succeed if I can get with it, you know?

Are you following any plans right now?  Do you have excess weight to lose?  

©geballe-sitting

A very powerful self-photography project of weight loss surgery.

Finally.  Something I can post.

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"Currently, Samantha's work focuses on conceptual portraiture, allowing her to explore human emotion from the inside out. She is working on an on-going self-portrait series focused on body image and healing that challenges viewers to question what is means to accept oneself. "

©geballe-stomach

 

Her photos are shocking if not absolutely realistic and raw if you have lost hundred(s) of pounds with weight loss surgery

If you have yet to do so, I would not be alarmed.  Question the photos.  Dig into them.  Feel it.  This is is what we know.

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Cropped image. 

Patients With Psychiatric Illness Require Close Watch After Bariatric Surgery

A study conducted in Brazil and presented at a poster session at the 2014 annual meeting of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders looked at six cases in which patients committed suicide or attempted suicide after bariatric surgery. The study did not specify the form of weight loss surgery that each patient underwent.

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Ethicon Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool Online – What can you lose?

I am easily distracted online by quizzes, gadgets, tools, and "Who Will You Be When You Grow Up?"  (Which said TEACHER, BTW, ME, The Kid Who Failed Half Her High School Classes…) quizzes, which is when I saw this - Online Tool Designed to Help Patients Evaluate Potential Bariatric Surgery Outcomes – thingamajig – I did it myself even though I am already ten years and two months post gastric bypass.

How cool is this?

Are you considering weight loss surgery?  Check this out.

LA Times –

A new tool nveiled at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery may help patients with a body mass index over 30 — the threshold at which obesity is diagnosed — to navigate those complexities. Based on the accumulated experiences of 75,000 bariatric surgery patients, the Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool details the expected outcomes of gastric banding surgery, gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy, the three most common bariatric procedures.

I did it myself, based on my start weight – height – though I have lost an inch of height.  (Shut up.)

Start weight – 320, start height 5 ft 4.  I am close to 5 ft 3 now.

Are you considering weight loss surgery?  Check this out.

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And now –

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And the tool gave me these results based on the potentials of experiences of 75,000 patients (… surveyed out of the most common WLS) 

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The stats for the gastric bypass are damn close to what my surgeon "quoted" me for my landing place after my procedure.  

I bottomed out lower than this, my very lowest was 147 lbs, but wouldn't you know I bounced exactly to 175 lbs and maintained around there for a good portion of the years after my RNY?  The gastric bypass got me there, everything after that was a lot more work.  (See the blog.  I was pregnant immediately after.  And, so on.  This was 2005, guys.)  

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The 24 month data is EXACTLY right!  I am ten years post op and 149 – 158 lbs!

I guess what I am saying is — that the data for this "tool" —  (and you know I loathe that word) is there, it is right on the money.

Some goobledegook from Ethicon - 

  • The tool (officially named the Ethicon Bariatric Surgery Comparison Tool) pools data from more than 75,000 U.S. people who have had bariatric surgery, and based on personally provided, anonymous information, shows what people of similar demographics have experienced after undergoing bariatric surgery. The tool shows data for gastric bypass, sleeve, and adjustable gastric band surgeries.

o   Ethicon understands that no two patients are identical.  For example, when considering bariatric surgery, obesity related conditions like diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol need to be taken into consideration – this tool helps do just that.

o   Based on patients who have had similar conditions to theirs, prospective patients using the tool are able to see what surgical outcome looked like for patients just like them and can use this as a discussion point with their doctor about  which treatment option might be most appropriate for them (i.e., gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or gastric band).

 Now is a promising time for people in need of support for obesity and illnesses associated with it (such as type 2 diabetes).  There are safe, effective ways for physicians to help patients better manage their conditions.  There’s a growing body of clinical evidence that shows that bariatric surgery not only helps with weight loss, but that it also can help with issues like type 2 diabetes.

Some things you should know about bariatric surgery and the tool

Bariatric surgery is used in severely obese adult patients for significant long-term weight loss. It may not be right for individuals with certain digestive tract conditions. All surgery presents risks. Weight, age, and medical history determine your specific risks. Individuals should ask their doctor if bariatric surgery is right for them.

The tool is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a medical evaluation, examination, consultation, diagnosis or treatment. The tool provides potential results by procedure type including pounds lost and medication reduction over time based on personal information provided by the user of the tool. Patients should consult a physician or other health care provider to determine whether or not bariatric surgery is right for them and for guidance on expected outcomes benefits and risks.

The weight loss, medication, and diagnosis information provided by the tool is derived from statistical analysis of historical claims and clinical databases as well as research published in peer-reviewed journals. While predictive modeling techniques were used, the results cannot predict the specific outcomes for any individual. The information presented does not represent any statement, promise or guarantee by Ethicon Inc. concerning a patient’s eligibility, experience, or potential outcomes. Individual patient results may vary.

 I had gastric bypass in 4/2004 in Boston, MA with Dr. Michael Tarnoff

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excess arm skin

That time I shamefully admit I was lazy.

excess arm skin

December 2013
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February 2014
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Current

This is that moment where I put my tail between my legs and come to you and say it — because this is what I Need To See – Proof That A Thing Works?

I have a very literal type brain.  (More on that later this year.  I promise you. My next appointment is Valentine's Day.)

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Figure out where Beth's seizure focus is?

I must have proof of a thing in order to believe it.  I do not blindly follow anything without seeing results, documents, charts that show me "IF YOU DO X, Y will be yours."  This is why I am a hard "sell" and you rarely see reviews here anymore.  (More on that, coming, too.)

In 2012 I was in a regain pattern and found myself hitting a high weight that I could not imagine after RNY.

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Regain, 2012

I refused to allow it although I know realistically it is possible.  I've been there before.  And knowing that I need to eat food  – I realised I needed to do something different because obviously eating as much food as I want/need to and not moving my ass was no longer working.

I added a little bit of exercise — and I saw a little bit of endurance increase.  And I struggled to keep going, and keep at it and now I finally see body results.  

The scale is in solid maintenance mode.  I see range of up 5 lbs down 5 lbs up 5 lbs down lbs every single month.  But I guarantee my muscle mass is increasing.  I will get a new assessment done at some point to ensure this — and see because I am interested in knowing the percentage of change.

This is where those people who used to scream at me to MOVE MY ASS get to say, "WE TOLD YOU SO."  I did not listen.  I was (…somewhat, but not really) lazy.  I thought I could get away with just "eating okay" and being relatively active.  

Nope.  I am proof it (…sitting on your ass) doesn't work.  



Stomach Balloon For Weight Loss

Terrifyingly simple.

This is the Obalon system. It is a pill that has a balloon inside. Obalon is a weight-loss device, marketed as an alternative to bariatric surgery, that claims to help people eat less and "push back from the table sooner."

Obalon begins to work when you swallow Obalon and it lands in your stomach. Obalon remains temporarily attached to a thin tube, through which doctors can inflate it. They then remove the thin tube, and the balloon stays in your stomach for up to three months, bobbing around like buoy in gastric waters. You can take up to three at a time, the manufacturers say. The idea is that balloons partly fill your stomach to make you feel full, so you eat less. They are too big and buoyant to pass beyond the stomach. After twelve weeks, a doctor deflates the balloons and pulls them back out through your mouth.

  

 
 
 
 
 
 

“This balloon will act to educate [people] about portion size and retrain their brain and their mindset a little,” Dr. Sally Norton, a U.K. bariatric surgeon, told CBS News.

The Obalon balloon pill is approved for investigational use only in the U.S. However, it is approved in the E.U. and is available in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain. What better way to see Europe than with expensive stomach balloons?

Would you do it — would you swallow a belly balloon for twelve weeks for weight loss and have it removed?

Balloon-pop

I suppose I'd have to see the size of the "pill" first.  I kid you not.   (Hey — I had my stomach and intestines realigned, I cannot judge one who chooses something LESS invasive.)

The Atlantic - http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/this-weight-loss-pill-turns-into-a-balloon-to-fill-your-stomach/283399/