The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Saturday, September 30, 2017

4 years ago today

Four years ago today, I underwent Gastric Sleeve surgery.  I had amazing success that went on for nearly 2-1/2 years:

I started my pre-op diet at 265.8, I went into surgery at 255.3, and today, I'm at 253.8, so I have lost exactly 12 pounds since I started the pre-op diet.

2 week check-up and was please to hear that according to their scales, I have lost 23 pounds.

10/31/13:  Yesterday I was one month out from having Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery.  I went for my follow-up with my surgeon and he was very impressed with my progress.  According to his scale, I weighed 239.5, having started at 268.8 before I started the pre-op diet on September 16, meaning I have lost 29.3 pounds in 6 weeks.

11/18/13:  and I have lost 35.0 pounds exactly since starting the pre-op diet.  I have 88.8 more to go to my goal of 145.

12/30/13:  In that 3 months, I have lost 47 pounds, and quite a few inches.  I've gone from a size 22 to almost a 16

1/29/2014:  Today, I weighed in at 210.6 pounds.

3/7/14:  I'm down now to 202 pounds, just barely outside of "one-derland".

4/3/14:  I started this journey knowing that my highest weight ever was 270 pounds....and today, I weighed 194

5/1/14:  I am down to 189.2 pounds, a total loss of almost exactly 81 pounds from my heaviest weight of 270 pounds.  I have gone from wearing a size 22 to wearing a size 14 and my bra size has gone from a 44DD to a 38DDD.

8/3/14:   I have reached a the dreaded weight loss plateau.  I have been staying right between 182 & 185 pounds.

10/12/14:  On September 16, I started a pre-op diet at 265.8 (my highest weight I ever saw on a scale was 270).  After 2 weeks on the pre-op liver-shrinking diet, I was wheeled into the OR weighing 255.8.  last Friday at my 1 year post-op visit, I weighed 171.  I am VERY close to losing 100#.

Here I sit 4 years later, and I've started to regain my weight. There are a lot of reasons fro my having regained this weight. After running 2 half marathons in 4 months, I found out I had zero cartilage in my left knee, thus making it extremely painful to run, and causing uncontrolled swelling with any amount of exercise. I had about a 6 week period where my father-in-law, my father, and then my Nana were all in the hospital. My Nana ended up passing away and then subsequently travelling for her funeral, etc. That's when my weight started to go up. The last words my grandmother spoke to me were, "You're gaining your weight back, I'm worried about you."

Here's the reality of things. The battle against obesity isn't something that is ever Won, or Lost, in reality. It is an ongoing battle that will truly never end. I got on the scale this morning and I weighed 208.6 pounds, back up to where I was at 4 months post-op 4 years ago. I NEED to stop the weight gain and start getting it moving in the other direction. My weight has crept back up over the last 2 years to the point hat I would again be eligible for weight loss surgery, which I have no desire to repeat, so I am going to be trying non-surgical options. My friend, Faith told me about Body by Obona, which affords me the opportunity to work with a personal trainer and get a workout and personalized Diet/meal plan to help me start losing weight again. Today, I will go shopping for my new meal plan and do my meal prep for the next 6 days. I haven't posted very regularly in a while and life has just gotten in the way. The thing is, when I let life get in the way, I end up disappointed in myself. I need to reign this in BEFORE I lose control of it, again.

I start again tomorrow, just like I did 4 years ago. I start again as dedicated to success as I was 4 years ago. I'm going to win this battle over obesity, even if I have to fight the battle EVERY DAY of my life, until I take my last breath. It's worth it to continue to fight.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Health Scares and life changes...

Good morning, strangers!

I haven't been around much, and posting on my blog, to put it bluntly, I got comfortable, and a bit lazy with my health.  I injured my knee a year and a half ago and I haven't been able to run since then.  I tried to go back to cross-fitting, which I LOVE, but a knee with zero cartilage is just NOT conducive to squatting, with or without weight.

Right after that injury to my knee, our family suffered some serious health issues.  My father-in-law had a pacemaker put in, immediately after returning from helping them, my father was admitted to the hospital.  2 or 3 days after my father was discharged from the hospital, my Nana was admitted and subsequently passed away.  With all that travel, time in hospitals, eating out, and travelling for my Nana's funeral, I gained back 20 of the 98 pounds I had lost (and kept off for 18 months).  Over the last 15 or 16 months, I've gained an additional 12 pounds due to basically getting "comfortable" and not having a way to workout that I loved or quite frankly, was even comfortable with.  I've also allowed myself to go back to some of my bad eating (and drinking) habits.  No, i don't often, if ever, drink alcohol, but I'm addicted to coffee and sweet tea like some are addicted to stronger drinks.

All of this has contributed to me getting back above 200 pounds for the first time in over 2 years.  While I'd like to cry about this revelation, it is my own fault, and not something I can blame on anyone or anything but myself.

Well, a few weeks I got myself a MAJOR wake-up call that has made me take an honest look at my decisions and take inventory of what I'm doing in my day-to-day life.  It's been just over 3 weeks (I think), maybe 4(?) that I was working before school care and out of nowhere, I had a horrible pain in my chest.  Then the pain was in my shoulder, I thought I would throw up, or pass out, or maybe both.  My hands started to sweat really badly, I told the lady I was working with that I was having chest pain and as SHOULD happen, they called 911.  I spent Monday and Tuesday in the hospital being checked for all manner of heart issues and blood clots.  Then I ended up in the ER again on Saturday with a blood clot that went from my wrist to my elbow.  The only test left to be completed was a stress test.  I completed that on Monday of this week and was told that my heart was healthy.

I was also given stern lectures by the ER doc and the cardiologist that I needed to get back to exercising.  I need to find a low-impact exercise (for my knee) that I can enjoy and get my heart rate up and increase my cardiovascular health.  I need to do this and fix my eating habits so that I'm putting healthier food into my body.  All of this is going on around the same time that my 10yo daughter is struggling with her weight as well.  My husband had some bloodwork done.  My Husband's blood pressure is a bit on the high side,  His last few sets of blood work have shown high cholesterol and triglycerides. Everyone in our family is in need of a much healthier diet.

What's interesting in all of this is that just recently I've really come to accept my body as it is.  For the first time in my adult life I'm not disgusted with myself when I look in a mirror.  I don't feel like a failure or like something has gone horribly wrong in my life making me a failure.  So while I know that losing weight will likely be a product of my healthier diet and exercise, it's not my goal.  My primary focus and goal is my health.  I'm looking at this as an honest-to-goodness lifestyle change.  I don't EVER want to experience the fear, pain or anxiety that I did that morning at school.  If that wasn't a heart attack, which they tell me it wasn't, I don't want to know what one feels like.  Yikes.

I'm going to go back to blogging on a regular basis, because it keeps me accountable.  While I have no weight loss goals, I'll still be keeping track of my weight, and measurements, to be sure I have a way to track progress.  I'm going to go back to food logging on My Fitness Pal, and I'll be wearing my FitBit every day as well.  If you are on either platform, and would like to follow and help support me I'd appreciate any help and support.  I know for sure that when I started this weight loss journey in earnest years ago, I know I was told repeatedly that it would be a life-long battle.  If there was anything in my entire life that I had hoped would be wrong, that little tidbit I hoped would be wrong.  It appears that nothing was ever truer, and this crazy journey to health and fitness is one that I will struggle with for the long-haul!

I appreciate everyone's love and support over the years.


Monday, January 2, 2017

I'm BACK!!!'s been nearly 6 months since I have blogged, and quite frankly, this was not surprising to me.  I remember everyone telling me before my weight loss surgery that even once I reached my goal, it would be a daily struggle to stay at my goal weight and keep it off.

In November/December of 2015 we had 3 consecutive family members in the hospital, followed by the death of my beloved Nana.  I had been at 95 pound weight loss from about July of 2014 to December 2015 if memory serves me correctly....and then the hospitalizations, Nana's death, hospital food, fast food...and well, 20 pounds crept back on.  I have a few family members that say they are happy with this weight gain because I was "too thin" for a while, but I couldn't disagree more.  I was drastically smaller than I had been in over 20 years, so I think people aren't really used to smaller me.
Add to all of that the realization that I have a bum knee, with absolutely NO cartilage in my left knee.  The doc says I'm not ready for Knee Replacement but I most certainly will be in the next 10-15 years.  I let the knee pain get the best of me and just threw in the towel there for a while, both physically and mentally.  I was over it...I wanted to just say, "Hell, I'm 41 years old, I'm not getting any younger, and I've run two half marathons...why keep pushing?"

Well, the why is simple...I'm neither happy nor comfortable with where I am.  I understand that other people have opinions, but just like I refused to allow those to make my decisions for me when I was overweight, I never gave people's opinions power over me and my decision making when I was morbidly obese, why should I give them that power now?

So, I have re-dedicated myself to my health and wellness goals.  I got weighed tonight after Boot Camp and weighed 203.6.  I swore I'd never be above 200# again, but here I am.  So, I also got my measurements done this evening, including my body fat percentage, which was at 37%.  The trainer said his goal would be for me to be below 30%, but I'd still like to be around 25%.

My health goals are pretty straight-forward:

155-160 pounds (I have between 43 and 48 pounds to lose to get there)
25% body fat

My workout goals:
Work out at Burn Boot Camp 4-5 times/week
Run 3 days/week

My food goals:
eat clean 80% of the time
Cut out sweet tea
cut out fast food

I'd like to ring in 2018 feeling like I achieved all aspects of health and wellness.  I don't have to reach the number goals, per se.  Will I feel like I failed if at the end of 2017 I weigh 165 pounds, absolutely not!  I will have made a great deal of progress.

I've said all along this was a journey--there is no end point, except health and whatever form that shows up.  But I gave up last year, and I won't be doing that anymore!  I have this body, and have worked for it.  I'm going to continue working as long as my body will allow me to.  At whatever point that my knee does give out and requires knee-replacement I'll slow down as much as I have to to maintain the health of that knee...but in the meantime, IT'S ON!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10 update

Well, this week has gone better than I expected in a lot of ways.

I spent the first few days on nothing but liquids.  I've basically eaten 1 solid meal/day since Thursday, slowly getting back to being able to eat "normal" foods.

As of this morning, I'm down to 195.2.  That is almost 5# since I was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, June 28.  I'm good with that...5 pounds in just under 2 weeks.

I'm back on the "right" side of 200 pounds, now to continue the downward progress of the scale.

I'm going to start walking this week, and next week, after my post-op check-up, as long as I'm released, I'm going to begin working the 21-Day Fix.  I've had it for a few months, but haven't actually done it yet.  We had to suspend our gym membership for the summer, since I'm not working, so I have to work out at home.

Thanks for checking in with me.


Monday, July 4, 2016

What's that old saying???

I think it goes something like, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions..."  Well, I have been living that very reality this last week.

When we were at Disney a couple weeks a go I started to noticed I couldn't eat much, I was throwing more and more food away because as hungry as I was, it was just uncomfortable to eat.  It just kept getting worse.

On Saturday, June 25, we were at the zoo with Barney's family, and I broke out in a cold sweat, thought I might pass out and was in horrible pain.  Things just kept getting worse.  By last Monday night, I was in so much pain after about 1/3 of a chicken breast and a few green beans that I stayed up hoping it would "settle" until almost 2am.  I felt like it was stuck somehow.  I woke up Tuesday morning in even more pain, like someone had shoved their fist through me.  I could feel the "knot" from front to back.  It hurt to drink, eating wasn't even the tiniest option because of the pain.

I had a job interview, which I went to, then came home and called my surgeon's office from my weight loss surgery nearly 3 years ago.  They made an appointment for me for Wednesday at 3:45 the following day and told me to go to the ER immediately if the pain became unbearable.  By about 7:00, having had about 20 oz of fluids, and not a bite to eat, I knew I was in the danger zone for dehydration and I needed to go to the ER.

I did.  They checked me for blood clots in my lungs, which they told me I didn't have, then the next thing I knew, I was being admitted, for what I had no idea.  As they were rolling me to my room they informed me I was going to ICU, the only bed in the entire hospital that was available.  We won't discuss the complete panic I went into when they were wheeling me closer and closer to the room my Nana passed away in in December.  The ICU nurse kindly read the radiology report to me from the CT scan they had done and it said I had a "small herniation along the suture line from my sleeve".  She didn't try to interpret that, and said she had no information about sleeve gastrectomy, so she didn't feel like she could speak intelligently.

Wednesday rolled around and the PA from my surgeon's practice came in to see me.  She explained that I did have a hernia.  She suspected that they would do an Upper GI and then, if that confirmed the Hiatal Hernia, she would expect an EGD (scope down my throat to look for ulcerations), done in the OR to be able to immediately fix the hernia and any ulcerations that they found.  I was taken for an Upper GI that afternoon, with a Radiologist that, to put it bluntly, was an arrogant ass.  I got moved out of ICU and into a regular room that day as well, which was nice.  I felt like the ICU nurses had so many better things to do than to take care of me.

Thursday comes around, and again, the PA comes in.  She explained that the doctor wasn't going to do surgery at this time.  His plan was to get me to the point that I could tolerate fluids and get me home, then bring me back in to do the hiatal hernia repair as an elective outpatient procedure.  I sat there and cried, for literally over an hour.  I felt like I was abandoned.  Here I was, sick, in order to eat jello, I had to ask for pain medication (morphine) to be able to eat it and not cry.  How could he possibly think that was a logical answer, especially without having been in to see me?

I had decided that enough was enough, and that I wanted to see a surgeon.  PERIOD!  I asked the nurse to call the doctor's on-call # and let them know that I wanted to see a surgeon on Friday.  My doctor came in about 8:30 or so and gave me a million reasons why he wanted to send me home.  I explained why I thought that was crazy.  I have a job to be healed for.  I have job interviews to be recovered for.  I have a family.  I have 3 kids to take care of, and by the way, the financial implications of a 2nd admission and doing the surgery just weren't viable for us.....and prolonging this pain and illness just WASN'T an option.  He agreed to do the surgery on Friday evening, around 8:30.  He was reluctant, said I wasn't in enough pain, that he would rather reserve that slot for someone sitting on the side of the bed wretching in pain.  Well, I stood my ground and he agreed.  The CRNA came in around 9:00 to do the whole pre-anesthesia thing...just before 11:00 on Friday morning, the nurse came almost running into my room all in a rush, they were coming to get me right then for surgery.  The anesthesiologist that came up behind her said that the surgery schedule was so light they were only running 3 of the 9 ORs.

All things considered this has been one crazy week.  I got home Saturday evening from the hospital and am still dealing with the air they had pumped up into my stomach for my surgery, all the gas is painful to absorb and get rid of.  I haven't had pain medication since Saturday night of any kind, which is good (to be honest, that stuff really scares me).  I ate solid food tonight for the first time in a week.

This is another speed bump/delay in my goal of getting back down to my weight before my Nana passed, but it's a goal worth working for and achieving no matter how long it takes.

Thank you to all my friends and family who checked on me over the last week and said prayers.  I am on the mend, and will slowly, but surely get back to full form.  I have a follow-up with my surgeon next week which I need to schedule the meantime, I'm going to enjoy some time with my babies, relaxing and hugging them.  The older 2 are headed to camp next week, so I think a relaxing week is exactly what the doctor ordered.


P.S.  For anyone who may be wondering, I did get on the scale today...197.6, so a bit more weight lost, which should happen considering I've been on a liquid diet for a week.  I just need to be smart as I re-introduce things to my diet that I make good choices.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekly Update

So, I have noticed this week that the focus on my weight is taking me back down a slippery path where I end up obsessing over the # on the scale, rather than making healthy decisions.

So I refuse to focus on the # on the scale.  I did weigh myself this morning, and I'm at 198.6, which makes me super happy, but more impressively, I've had 1 single glass of sweet tea this week at lunch, and 1 coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  (this is down from Coffee purchased out every day, and at least 2-3 sweet teas every day, usually from Bojangles.)

So, I'm looking at those wins, and focusing on those steps in the right direction.  Yes, I'm losing weight as well, but I don't want to focus on that, because then I get a bit overwhelmed and obsessed and it stresses me out.

Thank you for continuing to support me.  Now that I really feel like I've got the coffee and tea under control, it's time to step up my exercise game.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Post-Disney Update

So, I said I was going to be working on changing my eating habits and getting my weight back down.  The plan was to start after the trip to Disney because we had the dining plan, and I didn't know what kind of food would be available.

I was super excited to get on the Scale on Sunday morning and see that my weight had gone from 202 point something to 200.6.  So, somehow I lost about a pound-and-a-half at Disney; likely because I about sweated to death!

So now I'm working on being far more mindful of what I eat and drink.  Making changes a little bit at a time.  I started by getting Crystal Light Peach Tea, to replace my sweet tea addiction.  Crystal Light was recommended by my weight loss surgeon if you needed to get your water in, but didn't like the taste of water.  Once I get over the hump with the tea, I'll work on cutting back the coffee, too.