Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eight months out - A report, but no pictures

Monday was my eight month "surgiversary." As opposed to my 20th wedding anniversary, which is today.

So how is it going? Pretty well, I'd say. Here are some particulars:

Hair loss and other surgery-related issues:
My scars are almost gone. I will post another picture at one year out and I'm thinking they'll be pretty much history by then.

My hair loss has slowed down a lot. I used to be able to get 80-100 hairs to fall out just by washing my hair. It was probably more since I'd stop trying at that point or stop counting at least. Plus I'd end up with tons in my brush afterwards. Now it's more like 25-35 per shower and I have to really work to get that out and my brush has a normal amount of hair in it. I'm still finding random hairs in random places, but not nearly as often as before.

As for the rest of it, I no longer feel like I recently had surgery. I have energy, my digestion is normal and I don't get a lot of weird aches and pains. I do still take Benefiber, but I've stopped a lot of my optional vitamins. I do have some sort of back pain that mostly shows up when I'm driving my car. Unfortunately, it feels a lot like the back pain associated with my hiatal hernia. Hopefully that hasn't come back.

Oh, I still am on Prilosec though I suspect I could start weaning off it at this point. I'm just waiting to get the word from Dr. Awesome. I see him in two weeks so I'll ask him then.

Goal weight
I am down to 120 and I think that's pretty close to a good weight for me. I'd like to get rid of some more fat out of my panus and thighs, but I want to build up more muscles everywhere, so I'm not sure the scale number will go continue to go down. Sunday, for the first time, I was happy with my calves! Yes, I look at myself in the mirror when I'm at the gym and admire my body parts. Quite a change from the days when I'd do my best not to really see myself in mirrors

Eating and maintenance
On the other hand, while I didn't lose any weight on Monday, my official weigh-in day, I'm still losing. If my calculations are correct, I am not eating nearly enough to maintain. So that's something I'm working on.

I don't think I can eat more now than I could at, say, six months. I've topped out at 2-3 oz. of hard protein and 4-6 oz. of softer stuff. I think this may be what I can eat. Forever. I'm okay with it, because I can eat a wide variety of food and the amounts seem reasonable to me most days. The hardest part is wanting to clean my plate and not being able to or being at a party and not having room for everything that looks good. I need to resign my membership in the "clean plate" club, but it's a habit ingrained from childhood and it keeps coming back. At least I've made great improvements in eating slower.

I'm also trying to figure out how to be an athlete who is also a bariatric patient. All the advice for athletes says to ingest carbs, carbs, carbs. One formula suggestions 7 to 10 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight for endurance athletes. That's 371 to 530 grams of carbs a day! I think that's insane. Plus, I'd be getting around 2000 calories a day just from carbs and protein alone. Clearly that is not going to work for me as I have to ingest some fat.

My latest approach is to eat like a bariatric patient for my main meals and snacks and to eat like an endurance athlete when I'm actually enduring. So before, during and immediately after a workout, I'll consume things that have a lot of carbs (but some protein) and are geared towards replacing the calories I've just burned. If I don't work out, I don't eat like that so I don't create any bad habits that I have to change if I end up not working out for an extended period of time for some reason (say, an injury).

This puts my carbs up higher than Dr. Awesome suggestions, but not anywhere near what the sports nutrition experts say is needed for optimal performance. Since I'm not a professional athlete, I'm okay with this. Plus I'm not convinced that the traditional recommendation is right for me. My body seems to love protein and do quite well on it.


Body Part8 mon Since
Last Time
First Time
Bust 33 0.75 15
Chest 28 0.5 15
Waist 27 2 14
Stomach 37 2 16
Hips 36 1.5 15
Thigh 17.5 0.5 7.5
Calf 13.5 0 3
Arm 9.5 0.5 5.5
TOTAL: 7.75 91

I'm enjoying shopping for clothes these days. I would like to be the same size on the top as the bottom, though. I don't care if the top gets bigger or the bottom gets smaller, either. I am starting to build up my wardrobe again, but trying not to go too crazy in case I do change sizes in the next few months. I'm a size 2 on top! I'm tickled by this, but I'm finding that it's almost (but not quite) as hard to find clothes in my size as a size 2-4 as it was as a Plus Size! I couldn't find any 2's in JC Penney's Petite department and very few 4s, for example. Upscale stores have my size, of course. But, with all the clothes I need to buy, I'd like some cheaper options.

I've also noticed that I actually do have a lot of clothes. They aren't street clothes though. I have one pair of pants that fits and three that are too big, two pairs of shorts that are getting big, two dresses, two suit jackets and a handful of tops. That's it in street clothes. But I also have two drawers full of exercise wear! I have more sports bras that fit me than regular bras, for example.

Which is good because those spin classes I've just started taking make me sweat like a pig!

That's it until next month... except for pictures, which probably won't be done until Friday.
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