This past week should have been my 9-month post-op doctor visit, but I opted not
to go. The 9-month visit is the same as the 3-month visit. All the doctor does
is weigh you, shake our stomach to check for gall bladder stones, and in my case
say that I'm not losing weight fast enough (which as I've stated here before I
agree with, but as I'm still losing weight and have suffered ZERO
negative side effects I ain't a gonna worry 'bout it). I also had a job
interview to prep for, so that gave me enough of an excuse to skip the doctor.
At the 1-year post-op I have to get blood drawn and tested, so I'll plan on that
counting double to make up for missing this appointment.
Yesterday I finally hit the goal I've been going after for months. For the first time in at least 18 years, my weight has dipped below 300. Granted, it's only by 6/10 of a pound. I had yet to eat or drink anything for the day. It doesn't matter, it counts!
Mentally, 299 seems like a bigger number to me than 300. 300 has 2 zeros, which are nothing. 299 has 2 nines, which are big. It's silly how my brain works.
Now to keep myself under 300. The next goal is 291 - not that far away! 291 would make for a total of 150 lbs below my max from last February.
Ah, the end of April. What has this month brought?
The last 2 days have been fraught with tornado warnings, watchings, and whatever else should be associated with spinning, twisting destruction. Luckily, I was unaffected by this bout of weather. I never even lost power - I had that flashlight by the bed for no reason. I had plenty of text messages and phone calls to check on me and warn me to be weather aware, so it's nice to know people out there are helping to take care of me.
I'm still slowly working my way through painting my miniatures for Dust Tactics/Warfare. I went a little crazy and put together some flags to use as objective markers/scenery, all from scratch!
I've been wanting to make some flags for a while. I lack the skills to properly make them out of modelling clay/putty (I tried, it did not go well). Instead I used my mad skillz with manipulating 3D files and textures and whipped up my own flags and printed them out. Thanks to using a 3D program that could render the flag as if being blown by a light breeze, the printed flags have a little bit of a 3D look to them - actually more than I thought they would.
The flag poles are small wooden dowels from Hobby Lobby that I cut to a length that seemed to work. Yes, that is meticulous measuring on my part. They're topped off by little wooden balls that were hanging near the dowels in the store. I have no idea what they would normally be used for, but they work. Top it all of with some chrome spray paint that somehow manages not to be all shiny and sparkly, which is good in my case, and I end up with a teeny-intsy flagpole.
I've been trying to figure out a good way to attach the flags to the poles for weeks. Gluing the flag to the pole would be easiest, but I wanted something that would look a little nicer. While wandering through Hobby Lobby I came across Hemp String in the Beading/Jewelry section (I will wander all over that store). It looked the right thickness that would work as rope for the scale of the minis, so I picked some up. While playing around, I decided to try drilling some holes in the wooden dowels with my "precision modelling drill" (screwdriver with a drill bit). The hole was big enough for the Hemp String to go through, so I had the bright idea of gluing the flag to the string and looping the string all the way through the flagpole. The bonus result - I can raise and lower the flags!
Although there's no picture to prove it, I've managed to drop another 5 lbs since the beginning of the month and weighed in at 306 lbs this morning.
Thanks to motivation from Gina, we surpassed last month's walking total:
Right when I thought 61 miles in March was a long way to go, this month we got in 71 miles of walking. I remember when the pedometer app on the phone rolled over 100 miles total in early March. We've more than doubled that in less than half the time. Now that we're walking ~5 days/week our monthly average should be right around 70 miles. In a month. That just boggles my mind.
I have a post-walk routine now. After we walk, I take a much needed shower, then lay on the bed with ice packs on my knees for at least 45 minutes while I watch tv or read. The ice helps (mainly on the following day) - I'm not sure if I'm walking harder or if the bone spurs that showed on knee x-rays back 20 years ago are starting to make their presence more pronounced now that I'm not just sitting around all of the time. Either way, the ice appears to take care of most of it, so I'm going to keep doing it.
That's all that's on my mind for now. I think I'll go ice my knees while painting flag poles and watching out for tornadoes.
Thursday I went to the doctor for my 6-month post surgery check in. Time to see how the doctor thinks I'm doing.
The good news:
The bad news:
Unfortunately, there was no fix offered along with the bad news.
I've been putting off writing anything about this for a few days while everything sank in. My weight pretty much plateaued for a month which would slow down any observed loss. Since my 3-month check-up, I've lost about 20 pounds. Between surgery day and the 3-month point I had lost roughly 70 lbs. I feel a lot better, and feel better every day. Why would my weight loss slow down so much? I went back and looked at the recipet the scales of doom print out.
|Fat Free Mass||180.6||161.0||162.4||196.4|
|Total Body Water||132.2||117.8||118.8||143.8|
Fat Mass = How much fat I'm lugging around.
Fat Free Mass = Bones, Muscle, & Water. Me without the fat.
Total Body Water = How much water is in my body, at least that's how I understand it.
Taking in not just the past 6 months, but the past year+, a couple of things jumped out at me.
1. I lost 39 pounds before surgery (Jan 2013 - Sept 2013). In that time, my Fat Mass went from 258.6 to 249.8 (9 lbs) while my Fat Free Mass went from 180.6 to 161 (19 lbs). Most of what I loss was muscle.
2. Since Sept, my Fat Mass went from 249.8 to 119 (130 lbs). My Fat Free Mass increased from 161 to 196.4. I've gained 35 lbs of muscle. Muscle! Muscle and water, but muscle is the way I'm looking at it.
3. Everyone else I've talked to after they go in for their 6-month check-up is told to increase their vitamins or their protein intake. Evidently 3 Calcium, 2 Multi-vitamins, 2 Iron, 1 B-12, and 110gm of protein per day is what I need to be in the normal range.
4. I've yet to have any negative side effect from surgery. I haven't thrown up. No nausea when eating (or after). No hair loss, which was the one thing I was really worried about (and the big reason I down 2 Iron vitamins per day along with all of that protein). I don't have folds of flappy skin from rapid weight loss, although I do have a jiggly belly no one sees when I bend over.
5. The biggest side effect the doctor seems to worry about is gallstones developing from rapid weight loss, as he tells me what to look for as symptoms each time I go. I think I'm not losing weight fast enough to worry about this, and in my mind that's a plus.
6. Although not a measurement on his scales, I now wear jeans that have a 12" smaller waist than I did when that first weight was taken. My waist is a foot smaller. Another 8" and I'll have the same size waist as I did in high school.
7. Gina and I now walk 5 times per week. Our walks are usually a little over an hour, and we walk roughly 3ï¿½ miles. My knees still can't handle the pounding of a jog, and the limiting factor on our speed is not me trying to catch my breath, but the burn in my leg muscles (see those 35 pounds of muscle I've gained?) or general soreness in my knees. By the end of our walk I'm a little tired but breathing normally. I still remember being out of breath trying to cross the parking lot at work a year ago.
With all of this, I've decided that if I'm not losing weight fast enough that it's ok. I'm still losing. My quality of life has shot through the roof. Everybody is still supportive and proud of what I'm doing, which has made more of a difference than I originally thought.
I have another check-up in 3 more months. No blood work is required this time, so I won't get an update on my vitamins and protein. We'll see if my progress speeds up any by then. If not, and I'm still feeling like I do now, everything will still be good.
In the words of Matthew McConaughey, I'm feeling "Awright Awright Awright!"
Time for another post-surgery weight-loss update. 6 months after surgery I'm down 90 lbs from what I weighed on surgery day, and 130 lbs from my max last February.
My weight-loss has slowed/stalled over the past month, but now it looks to be picking up again. We'll see how this plays out over the next couple of weeks, as I don't know of anything that I've been doing differently.
I had to get blood taken this week for my surgical follow-up in 2 weeks. That's when I learn how vitamin-deficient I am. I haven't suffered from any of the normal post-surgical side effects yet - I've still got all my hair! I'm interested to see what the doctor says during my visit. I would be a little worried about my weight loss slowing down (I think I've lost 20 lbs since my last visit), except I feel so freakin' good!
More updates when something happens.
Last month I was amazed when my little Nike walking app I've been using since mid-December rolled over 100 miles total. I was shocked and proud that Gina and I had walked 100 miles in roughly 3 months. For someone who had trouble walking across a parking lot a year ago without stopping (once or twice ) to catch my breath, the idea of walking 100 miles over any amount of time was more than I could fathom. Granted, losing 120 pounds will help anyone feel better.
March was my month to walk. I tried to go walking 5 days per week as opposed to the 3 days I was walking before. Thanks to Gina, my pace had picked up when walking so we were going faster, and technically farther since we would roughly try to walk the same amount of time.
With March over, my little Nike walking app showed that we had walked 61.33 miles in March. That's walking for exercise, not toodling around like when I was wearing a pedometer to keep track of my activity (those things just get in the way of my keyboarding). 61.33 miles of exercise. In a month.
When people ask how I'm feeling or how my surgery went, I'm just going to talk about how much I've been walking versus how little I used to move around.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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