Follow Me In My Determination To Change

I thought if I shared my journey I would be more likely to succeed.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

What a Prat I am!

OK the 118278 thing, I am only 176, (I have checked my passport), so that means my target should be 76Kg. Should I change the blog name or twitter? No, stick to this.

7 days since I my doctors appointment and now just 11 weeks or 77 days until the operation. Wow that is close. The no sugar regime is doing OK, definatley no cakes or chocolate or sweets.

I think I told my boss today, well I definatley said the words not sure if he took it in as there was no comment at all.

Sunday 25 July 2010

No Sugar

Well I am trying, I have avoided sweets, chocolates and anything obviously full of sugar but I did have a dry scone today. I am not going to be obcessive but I do need to try harder. Apart from that I have eaten better since Thursday, and am trying to avoid the 'well enjoy the big feeds' until the op.

Told a few more people today and so far., no one has said don't do it. I have even rung my mum and told her and although it was hard telling her she was the reason, she was fine with it.

Plenty of Reminders

So I left the hospital having made my decision, told a couple of friends and I blogged for the day and settled down for the evening. Whilst flicking through the hotel TV options I found 'Big Meets Bigger', a documentary about two very obese people who go to Kuwait to see people who are even bigger! Apparently in Kuwait people are now so rich they don't do anything but eat.  Anyway someone they meet, goes to see a doctor about the same procedure as me, the gastric sleeve and he is turned away because his liver is just too fatty. He gets sent away and told to follow a strict diet and to come back when he has sorted the liver. The program doesn't say whether he ever has the operation. So dear Mr Anesthetist, I understand, I will do this properly.

I hope I have the right attitude, but one thing I will remember is the guy being told the stomach would be 25% of its original size and his reaction "So if I can eat 4 Big Macs now does it mean I will only be able to eat 1?"

Thursday 22 July 2010

What's in a Name?

Have you noticed the URL for this blog?

Well it is 118 to 78, the weight I thought I was starting at to the weight I want to be.

118 is what my scales said at home and if the clinic think I am a couple lower then that is just a good start, but I hadn't eaten all day I was so nervous.

When I lived in Germany the hospital there told me to simply take 100 off my height for my ideal weight. I am sure I am 178 so 78 is my goal. Again the clinic and I don't agree I am that height but that is my goal.

So 118-2-78 my journey to a new me.

Support Network

I don't think I can do this on my own. In fact the blog is part of that, I want to be upfront about the whole Obviously I have the friends I have mentioned who have had the same procedure and they are very supportive. One has even offered for me to stay with her for a while after the surgery.process so that I don't have to lie or hide the fact.

I have told my daughter and she is great about it, although I think she believes there is no effort involved. She also says it is worth the money if I stop snoring!

I have told my youngest sister and she is also behind it, we can see how ill my mum is and it scares us. I haven't told my mum yet but will in the next few days.

Other friends, not yet but will do as time goes on and I think I will publicly announce it just before or after the actual surgery. I did tell a male friend today but he has always been someone I could talk to. Next up is another very supportive friend.

Making It A reality - The Hospital Appointment.

Before you can schedule surgery you need to see the surgeon, a nurse, a dietitian and an anesthetist. Because it will be private surgery these appointments can be made all on the same day. Today was that day.

My first appointment was the surgeon but I arrived early so the nurse saw me almost straight away. Not only was there the normal family history, and the standard pre operative tests we also had a questionnaire about my lifestyle, work conditions, post operative plans etc. It was very thorough and I felt cared about. I must also say that she was very proud of her job. They did have my first name spelt incorrectly but as Deborah, if it had been Debbie I might have lost my temper and walked out. I got very upset talking about family health, my mum really is ill and has all the complications I hope reducing my weight will help me avoid.

I was tested for MRSA and had an ECG. The only issue she found was my blood saturation level, but I knew about that. The final task she had was to take blood samples but my veins simply refused. She got a colleague to try but again no luck so we pushed that to the end of the day.

Next up was the Doctor and he was fantastic, easy to talk to; we talked about options and we agreed the gastric sleeve is defiantly the right one for me. This is the actual diagram he drew, basically my stomach will be stapled to reduce the size, the area that produces the hunger hormone will no longer work and so I should not feel hungry and I will be full up very quickly. It is not a magic pill, it may be easier than a diet but it is will power I lack and I want to do this. 

 He asked me why I had chosen him and this clinic, I told him about my experience with the other organisation and he was determined to show me it wasn't like that here. He gave me his private email address and asked me to send him the details and to keep in touch. I told him I was going to blog and he was very supportive and gave me the URL to someone else who had done so.

Then there was quite a wait (bit of a pun), as most staff were having photos taken; the clinic was celebrating an anniversary I am not sure what but they had a big poster showing 51 tons lost, there were several people having photos taken holding up their pre op clothes. They were all very enthusiastic and keen to talk to new patients. One lady said she missed not being able to go out for a big feed and sometimes hated paying for meals she knew she wouldn't finish, but she would do it all again.

The anesthetist was more scary. I know it is his job but he was very clear about the risks, and when we went through my medical history and I mentioned my mum, there was no sympathy, simply "well she has missed the boat then", - hard to listen to but actually reinforces the reason for wanting to do something. I asked a lot of questions about travel because Deep Vein Thrombosis is the biggest risk for me, but he said short hops were OK and a good 6 weeks before long haul. He also said I had a little fluid on my ankles but not enough to worry about at this stage. He told me off for sitting on my legs (so if you see me do it, stop me).

Then I saw the dietitian, who weighed me and measured me. All day I had said I was 118Kg and 178cm tall (which gives me a BMI of 37), she says I was ONLY 116 Kg but 173 tall. I can't believe I have shrunk that much. Anyway that gives me a BMI of 39. 35 - 40 is the BMI category that allows you to have the surgery. Over that is morbidly obese and there are many more complications. 

She also measured my body fat and muscle. I don't have enough muscle so I need to do more exercise and i will do if only to minimise the left over skin when I loose all this weight.

The dietitian told me to cut out sugar from today - so I will try, this is the worst thing for my body and I will do my best. Then for 2 weeks before the op I have to go on a liver reduction diet to ensure it is as small as possible as it needs to be moved out of the way during the operation. 

After that it was back to the nurse for another attempt at bloods, this time it was OK and they appear to be testing me for everything possible.

Final stop was the office, to confirm the date for surgery and get the dreaded cost.

I travel a lot and so when to do this is a big consideration. It is not that the surgery takes a long time to recover from but that all post operative recovery is a consideration for the likes of DVT and the initial diet requires a lot of planning. So I need about 4-5 weeks no travel sounds easy doesn’t it. Well I am hoping for mid October which gives me 5 weeks I can avoid my hectic lifestyle for. Luckily the optimum date of 14 October was available, so that is it, all booked.

Friday 16 July 2010

More Questions

Why Blog?

I could do it secretly and know several people who have, but I have kept secrets that just make life complicated so lets be up front, and like people loosing weight on reality TV if people are ‘watching me’ then it is an added incentive to keep going. The sponsorship for the walking I talked about in the last post also kept me going and keep my commitment.

It also means I don’t have to explain myself in person I can just send people here.

But mainly because the process of writing helps me make sense of everything.

Why Surgery?

I need something radical and I know several people who have had success (and some that have failed) through weight loss surgery.

Why This Doctor?

Well again through personal recommendation. I did try a more local clinic and after researching on the Internet contacting them through their web site. I asked for email interaction only and yet within 30 minutes had missed a call, had a voice mail left and received a text message as well as email. It all looked like it had come from a single person who had herself successfully lost weight but I would say as their spokesperson she was not actually contacting me. It was some automated process. When I replied to the text an hour later I got a ‘who is this?’ reply. Does she really send that many text messages a day?

Anyway, that was it, it may have been closer and therefore more convenient but I want to be treated as a person not simply a cheque book.

The doctor recommended to me, has a secretary who sent me booklets and a simple letter outlining how to get the process started. I rang the number and another lady explained all to me and was very helpful about arranging all the preliminaries on a day that suited me.

So now everything is set up, my appointment is July 22nd 2010 and once I have attended and made the final decision I will publish this blog.

More Thoughts and My Decision

What Do I Do Wrong?

Most of the time, it is not what I eat that is bad, simply how much of it I eat. I now travel a lot for work and hotel food especially in America does not suit the eat less mentality I need. Then when I get close to the high, I just give in and comfort eat, after all I know where my weight will plateau.

Can I Train Myself?

Last year for charity I walked 5 miles a day for 6 months, I was great at it and yes it helped the weight. I really believed that I would train myself to want to do it, but once the 6 months was up, I simply gave up. I know there was something else going on in my life that was a distraction but I shouldn’t have allowed it.

So there you are I have reached the point where I need serious help.

Is it my Genes?

Easy answer and although My mother and my three sisters are fat. My dad wasn’t and my mum’s siblings aren’t too bad so lets call it lifestyle rather than genes. My daughter can put weight on but she is fit and her lifestyle keeps it off, so if I can get it right I know I can do it.

Today I made a phone call, I made an appointment to see a Weight Loss Surgeon. The first step on my plan to sort out my life.

Why Am I Fat?

Easy to say it is emotional eating but I can link the peaks and troughs to my life.

When I got married I was at my adult best almost. I swam to loose weight in the months before my wedding and on the day I weighed 1kg less than my now ex husband but he is 6’2” and I am 4 inches less. He is also very fit, lots of muscle and so I was OK and would be happy with that now but I wasn’t thin.

My dad died just 7 weeks later and the first real comfort eating started. The weight piled on, and by the time I decided to do something I needed to shift almost 30 kilos. And I did, it was one of those fad diets, you know, meal replacement bars and shakes but it worked and over about 7 -8 months I lost 27 kilos. How can I remember? Well then I got pregnant and I put 28 kilos on but lost all but 2 kg immediately after her birth. I was almost the same size 9 months pregnant as I was just over a year before!

I was a useless mum and survived the first year, grabbing whatever I could find to eat between her feeds. Then a year later I had a new job, a new home and I wanted to take control. This time I went on a good old calorie controlled diet and lost most of it again. I took up cycling to and from work (with baby strapped to the back) and it worked. That Christmas I made myself a beautiful dress for work. I still have it and that is my goal to get into that dress. I don’t have a photo of me wearing it but I will get there.

I kept it off for almost a year and then my husband (we didn’t divorce until almost 25 years of marriage) was in the army and was sent to the First Gulf War. That was it, I was so stressed I piled it all back on.

The problem now was I knew I could do it, so I didn’t have to try so hard. Every diet would stop, start and eventually I would get motivated enough to loose 15 - 20 kilos but then stick and then slide back. My body knows it wants to be either 78 kilos (my goal) or 118 kilos (my natural high).

First Thoughts

I am Fat:

I have always been fat, well for as long as I can remember; it wasn’t too bad as a child and actually I was teased more for being loud than for being fat, but I was.

As a friend said once on facebook being overweight is simply > calories in than needed. So it should be simple, eat less or exercise more, or probably both.

I am Fat and Old:

I am 48 and don’t want to be Fat and 50.

I am Fat, Old and Unhealthy:

Actually apart from snoring and minor asthma I am not too bad, but my father died at 48 from high cholesterol and a heart attack, my mother has serious lung problems as a result of Diabetes and Angina and 2 of my three sisters also have diabetes. When I recently re-mortgaged my house my insurance company insisted on a full medical. On paper I am high risk. I have to say my lung capacity and weight were the only concerns, but I know I am a ticking bomb.

I am Fat, Old, Unhealthy and Bored.

I don’t do the things my friends do because they are fit, they dive, they ski and they hike. I want to do these things but pretend I don’t care. If I was thin I could ger fit and then I could join in.

I am Fat, Old, Unhealthy, Bored and Single.

I don’t think it was because I am fat, but after 25 years with one man I find myself divorced and single. I don’t want to be and this blog description would not attract anyone, so lets hope a thinner, older, healthy and fitter me would.