5 Months Post-op

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So it’s been 5 months since our surgery and over a month since my last update. Fair warning, this is probably going to be a fairly long post and picture heavy. 🙂

In the time since my last post my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (we’ve been together 14 years though). It was an ordeal trying to agree on what we wanted to do to celebrate. Between the different sets of grandparents we were granted a wonderful reprieve of 48 hours without the kids. Since loosing the weight I’ve wanted to be more active, to do more physical activities vs sit in front of a screen or in a restaurant. I tried to talk the husband into camping out, hiking, going to Mammoth Caves, etc. He wasn’t really feeling my options. So I gave up and turned the planning over to him, with the only stipulation being that at some point we had to go see IT in the theaters. Every activity we did ended up revolving around food. It was fun and very nice to spend an extended uninterrupted time with him, but still.

Friday we went to see my movie. For those of you that don’t know, I am a huge Stephen King nerd. IT is a reboot of a mini-series from the 90’s based on one of his novels. I really enjoyed it. They tweaked it a bit, as they always do, but I didn’t mind so much. Friday night we went out to eat. I decided to dress up and ended up wearing my homecoming dress from junior year high school! Even in high school it was tight. I randomly found it in a bag in the basement with a bunch of other high school clothes I had saved. Some of them were even too big! We ended the night with some alcoholic ice cream and a local place called Buzzed Bull Creamery. I got cherry vodka based cherry ice cream with moonshine cherries and Reese pieces. It was sooooo good! Granted, I was only able to eat maybe a quarter of it, but it was such a yummy quarter!

Saturday we slept in and then did a walking tour of Findley Market, a local open air market close to downtown. This was our compromise activity. I got some walking in and he got some food in. We also learned some really interesting behind the scenes stuff that I never knew. Saturday night we attended a cooking class at Sur la table. The food was yummy but it wasn’t anything special, and since it was in a teaching classroom in the back of a store I wasn’t allowed to take any leftovers home so 3/4 of my meal was wasted.

Then Sunday morning we picked up the little demons again! They had fun had their grandparents’ houses and we had fun with our little taste of freedom, and I had enough leftovers to survive the zombie apocalypse.

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As I’ve probably mentioned before, every weekend Dad and I are working out in some form or another. During the week we go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the weekends, usually Sunday, we try to do something outside. We’ve been mixing it up to keep some variety. Hiking at various parks, etc. Recently we went biking along the Loveland Scenic trail. You might recall awhile ago I had gone by myself here along with one of the munchkins in one of those pull-behind trailers. With the extra weight and not being in any kind of good shape I did not last long. This time however we did really good! It was surprisingly relaxing. The portion of the trail we were on was mostly covered with pretty trees and mostly flat. It’s been probably 20-25 years since Dad’s been on a bike. We ended up doing 10 miles total. He did really well and enjoyed it too. Though, afterward, both our butts are pretty sore from the seats.

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At my last weigh-in I’m officially down 83 lbs. Dad is down 67 lbs. These numbers are from our heaviest weights before we started the pre-op diet program. Dad also had some lab work done recently. His A1C is down to 5.8 and cholesterol is down to 145. Pre-op his A1C averaged 9.6. Since surgery he’s barely had to use his insulin too to cover. These numbers make me happier than my own weight loss.

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I’ve finding myself randomly staring at my hands and feet lately, when watching tv or something. I can’t get over how skinny they look. You know how in the media they talk about “thigh gap” with models? I have toe gap 🙂

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If you’re on a weight loss forum for any length of time you’re guaranteed to come across someone curious about how the body bounces back after major weight loss, extra skin and the like. Well below you’ll find pictures demonstrating how my body is after 80+ lbs loss. I have some loose skin but overall it’s not terrible. I opted to not include any examples of what it’s done to my chest. To give you some idea though I started at a 44I at my heaviest. I’m now a 38DDD and could probably go down to at least a DD. When I lay down flat my boobs disappear into my armpits. Looking down my chest is literally nearly flat before I fold my boobs up into my bra. Weight loss combined with breastfeeding twins did not do the girls any favors. On the opposite side of things though, I’ve found my clavicles again and no longer have double chin! You can also see my cheekbones trying to come out to play a little.

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Over the last month I will admit that I’ve started to fall back into some bad habits. I’ve been stalled in my weight loss for 5 weeks (up until this past week) but that most definitely is down to a combination of the natural stalls that come with weight loss and my habits not helping things along. I’ve been eating too many carbs, not eating enough protein, not drinking enough water, and not taking my vitamins. This last week I’ve renewed my resolve. I’m tracking my food again, which I had quit doing several months ago. I’m making more of an effort to get my water in and to remember my vitamins. I can feel the difference when I take my vitamins and when I don’t. When I don’t my energy is lower for sure. Same with my protein and water intake. When it isn’t up where it should be I can tell in my energy level. If I allow myself to become too dehydrated or eat too many carbs too quickly I’ve found I’m more prone to migraines. I’ve always had migraines, but since surgery they have drastically reduced. If I didn’t self sabotage I’d bet they’d go down even further.

Since I’ve started tracking again I finally broke my stall and am under 190, down to 185 as of yesterday. I seriously don’t remember ever weighing this little in my entire life. I’m pretty sure that I had never really paid any attention to the number on the scale until I got to around 200 in freshman year of high school. I had thought that 200 was sooo big. Little did I know!

This Friday I have my first 5K, which is just crazy to me. I’m running/jogging/walking it with a friend and retired co-worker. I’ll do a whole post on it afterwards at some point. Hopefully I won’t let another month pass again.

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Kindergarten and fun hair

My girls have officially started kindergarten! Both loved it when I went to pick them up. Their favorite part? “Everything!”

I’ve gone through with my idea of dying my hair fun colors again. The process, if you’re interested, is as follows:

First you bleach your hair. I had the bleach on for 50 minutes. Ideally you’d actually want it whiter than this for a super bright color after dying. Then I separated out the sections in a pinwheel fashion. This is harder than it seems when you’re doing it by yourself. The back of the head is a pain in the butt to get even sections.

Then you just go through each section and dye it. Wear gloves, wipe your gloves off in-between colors so they don’t get muddled. I also had a dye application brush for at the roots. This process took over an hour to apply the dye since I was doing it by myself, again because of the back of the head. Regardless of what my daughters think, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head. Life in general would be easier if I did though, especially this. All in all the whole process took from 930am to 230pm. A few days later I actually redyed it all again. The back wasn’t as bright as I would have liked it since it wasn’t on as long as the front of my head. Adding those 3 hours, it took me a total of 8 hours to do it all. I love it though! I missed having happy hair 🙂 You can’t help but smile looking at it.

My Road of Fat

I wasn’t always fat. At one point I was down right adorably normal. This post will chronicle my road of fat from adorable chubby baby cheeks to not so adorable love handles.

6 months old here. My parents were always of the clean plate club mindset. My mother also had an aversion to all things green due to being forced to eat veggies her entire childhood, so she didn’t even bring them into the house. I didn’t have my first taste of spinach till high school, even then it was on a pizza.

2 years old and already a bookworm.

5 years old

9 years old

12 years old. And then puberty happened. First the boobs. I was the only girl in my 6th grade class that I knew of that had to wear an actual proper bra, or risk knocking myself out in PE.

15 years old. Tried my first strapless bra. Boy was that fun.

Fast forward to 23 years old, graduated with my bachelor’s in nursing.

25 years old. Wedding to the love of my life. I have the distinct memory of being sad because I was the heaviest I had ever been. I never thought I’d let myself get to that point. Little did I know it would keep going.

Honeymoon.

27 years old. 8 months pregnant with twins. Due to losing weight at the beginning due to morning sickness I was actually the same weight as at my wedding. I actually felt skinny here.

The girls were 6 months old here, at their naming ceremony. I had thought “oh I’m breastfeeding twins! It doesn’t matter what I eat, I’ll lose it burning those calories!”. That combined with some probable undiagnosed post partem depression and I ballooned. I felt absolutely disgusting here and on display for all our family and friends.

The girls are 18 months here. I’m 29. Took a beach vacation with some friends. I didn’t even pack a swim suit.

31 years old. The girls are almost 5. I don’t actually have a picture at my heaviest but this would be the closest. My heaviest was in July 2016 at 268lbs. Here I’m 262 lbs. It was in July that I started researching weight loss surgery when I realized how close I was to my father’s weight.

Dad and me at his Christmas party. I’m so glad he’s going to be doing this with me as well. His surgery is going to be on the same day as mine too!

My most recent picture. I’m 254 lbs here. My husband threw me a surprise birthday party for my 32nd birthday nearly 3 months after my actual birthday, on his birthday! I came home with the girls after their gymnastics lessen to a house full of our family and friends, some I hadn’t seen in years. Needless to say I was just a tad surprised 🙂

So that’s my road of fat. There’s many factors that led me to being the size that I am now. I’m working on those that I can change and acknowledging those that I can’t. It definitely didn’t take me overnight to get here and it won’t take overnight to get me to where I’d like to be. I know this. It’s going to take time, but hopefully, thanks to the surgery, I’ll have plenty of time to work on it. My father too.

My first Blog post: Introductions!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m not really writing this expecting many people to read it but more so to have a journal of my journey to a healthier self, as well as an attempt to keep myself accountable somewhat. Truth in fact I find it a little weird that I’ve decided to write a blog. I’m not really a very out going person unless I really know you, so this is very outside my comfort zone.  So let’s get to the introductions:

My name is Breanne. I am a 32 years old, a mother to 5 year old identical twin girls, wife to a loving husband of 8 years (together for 13), a nurse, a quilter, a geek,  and I am morbidly obese. For too long I have let my weight hinder and affect my life. I have been overweight my entire adult life, having started gaining significantly in high school and skyrocketing after the birth of my daughters.

My entire family is overweight and as my parents are getting older their weight has slowly but surely negatively affected their health. My mother had a major stroke 4 years ago causing an avalanche of health issues and is now in a wheelchair and is a permanent nursing home resident as a result. Before her stroke she dealt with years of major back pain, mini-strokes, and general lack of mobility. My father is an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic,  has end-stage renal disease (meaning he has dialysis at some point in his future) and hypertension, among other things. I’ve diabetes and heart issues on both sides of my family tree on multiple branches.

As my children have grown out of their oblivious, adorable baby phase into walking, talking mini versions of me I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to pass on my bad habits to them, the same bad habits that I learned from my mother and father. I want to be able to play with them and keep up with them. I don’t want them to have to deal with their mother having major health issues that could have likely been avoided if intervention had happened earlier in life.

For all these reasons and more I am having weight loss surgery to assist in my journey towards a healthier me. Specifically I am having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. My surgery date is April 24th, 2017. I have been working towards this since July of 2016, having made the decision and starting research after I reached an all time high weight and weighing heavier than my father. The same father with all the medical issues related to his weight. That’s what the turning point of my thought process was I think. I realized that I weighed more than him and if I didn’t do something I would eventually end up like him, and I didn’t want to do that to myself, my husband, and especially my girls.

One of the highlights so far in my journey is that my father has decided to join me in this adventure as well. He is with me every step of the way in an attempt to improve his health and prolong his life as much as possible. By loosing weight he’ll improve his diabetes, hypertension, joint pain, fatigue, and take some of the strain off his kidneys to hopefully delay dialysis for several years. As of right now, we’re even having our surgeries on the same day!

So welcome on this adventure my family and I are undertaking!  I say family because it’s not just me that’ll be changing. Hopefully we come out the other side of this journey healthier and happier and leading a more active lifestyle.