Saturday, May 28, 2011

Destined to be Fat?

My kids have been a true source of inspiration during my weight loss journey. When I first started losing weight it was because I wanted to be able to play with with my amazing kids. I didn't want to be that mom sitting on the sidelines watching others play with my children.

Fast forward two years: I am 170 pounds lighter, have transformed my life, and am now struggling to keep my kids at a healthy weight. My daughter just had her annual check-up and the doctor was talking to me about obesity in children. No, he didn't say that she was obese, but did say that if her numbers continued that she would be likely to be obese as an adult. Let me back up... I brought up the fact that she was eating all the time and that I was concerned about the amount and frequency of her food consumption. I have to wonder if the doctor would have say anything if I would not have brought it up. He said that one's weight is a result of: genetics, how much you eat, how much you move. Based on my kids genetics they are in BIG TIME TROUBLE. I have to wonder are they destined to be fat? What is a parent to do?

I sat there with my amazing, beautiful, intelligent, caring daughter and saw her going through my childhood. I don't want her to be an obese teenage girl. It sucks! Kids (and adults!) are cruel. It's horrible to not be able to shop at the same stores are your friends. It's embarrassing to not fit in the desk at school. It's lonely to be the only one at home on Friday night when you know that everyone is going out. I want so much more for my children.

I've done everything right- modeled correct attitudes toward food, exercise, and healthy living. I've involved my kids in sports. I've provided healthy meals. So, what's a parent to do? I asked my doctor this question- How do you teach your children about healthy living and having a good relationship with food, but not make them scared of food to the point that they develop a poor body image (always being afraid of "being fat") or even develop an eating disorder? He had no answers. He gave me some websites to look at. Bleh! I want answers from a real person.

So... Parents.... How do you teach your children about healthy living, balance, and having a positive relationship with food?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2 Weeks Post-Op

It's amazing what a week can do for one's spirits. I feel SO MUCH BETTER today than I did a week ago. The drains are out. The swelling has gone down significantly. My pants are starting to fit again.


It's going to be OK! :)

I had a great visit with my plastic surgeon today. I'm super excited to have been given to OK to start sleeping on my side. I have been sleeping on my back for the past two weeks and am really tired of it. The nurse did mention that if I wake up with one side sticking out it will be because I am still retaining fluid and that I should go back to seeping on my back for a few days again.

He also told me that I no longer have to wear the ace bandages on my arms. This is a BIG plus. I felt like a mummy being wrapped up all the time. At first he had told me that the bandages would need to stay on my arms for 4 weeks, but he said that they look so good today that there is no need to keep them wrapped up. There is one small spot near my arm pit that isn't closed up yet. I have to keep putting ointment on that spot, but I no longer need to medicate the rest of the incisions. Now I can put on lotion everywhere. Woo hoo! I hope to kiss itching good-bye before the weekend.

About my stomach... He (again...) pointed out the little bit of excess skin that remains around my belly button. I told him that at this point I was really happy with how it looks. He said that if I was happy that he was happy. There is one spot on the side that doesn't match the other side. I asked about that and was told that it was a "easy fix" with a local and an in-office procedure. Another Woo Hoo! I don't want to go back to the OR at this point, but am totally down with an "easy fix". I hope to get that done during the summer. Recovery (so he says...) is nothing and I will be back to normal the next day.

I also got the OK to start exercise. No, I won't be boxing tomorrow, but the nurse did tell me that I could start walking with an elevated heart rate. Music to my ears. Unfortunately, I have already done too much today and won't be able to get in a walk.

I hope to post 2-week post-op pictures this week. I need to find a time where the kids aren't screaming and hubby can take them. :) Hubby is taking my daughter on a field trip tomorrow and I will be solo with my son. Eeeek! This will be my first day of solo parenting in over 2 weeks. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sweat Pants, Itching, and TV

I feel the need to update everyone on my progress, but don't really know where to start. I am starting to feel almost normal again. I miss the gym and I even miss work! Today was the first day since my surgery that I haven't taken a nap. I went to a friend's baby shower this afternoon. It was nice to get dressed and be able to talk to other grown-ups. I had to wear a dress. It was SO uncomfortable wearing jeans for the t-ball game yesterday. I'm going to hit the mall tomorrow for a few pairs of "fancy" sweat pants to wear out in public while I am still swollen.

The itching? Oh, the itching! I still itch- A LOT! My doctor took me off of all medication and the itching improved, but I still itch. It is way worse in my arms than in my stomach. I am still taking benedryl at night and putting on lotion several times a day. A cool wash cloth has also helped.

Since being on house arrest (AKA- recovery), I have discovered a renewed love of daytime TV. My favorites? Judge Judy, People's Court, I didn't know I was pregnant (How could you not know?!?!), and 16 and Pregnant. I find myself watching these shows wondering why in the world I am watching them. A friend of mine compared them to a train wreck where you just can't turn away.

I go in on Tuesday for the doctor to check and make sure I am not accumulating fluid since removing my last drain tube. I have one more week off and then I am back to work. Initially I was only going to take 2 weeks off. I am so glad that I decided to take a 3rd week off. There is no way I'd be ready to go back to work tomorrow.

I am going to start recording my food again tomorrow. There is a little part of me that is looking forward to getting out my food scale and measuring cups. I have felt so out of control during this recovery- the pain, the itching, the incisions. I can't exercise, but I can control my food. Here's to a healthy week! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm wearing pants!

That's right, the 3rd drain tube came out this morning! :) Happy Kari! Ooohhh did that final drain hurt?!?! Holy smokes! The drain was all the way up above my belly button and I could feel the drain coming all the way out down the side of my body. The first 2 drains were super easy, but this 3rd one was a killer. I felt SO much better after the drain was out!

The doctor said that everything looked really good. The itching has gotten quite a bit better and he said that the rash from the antibiotic was clearing up. He did do some poking and prodding pointing out areas that *could* be improved if I was interested in revisions. After the doctor left I mentioned to the nurse how horrible I felt on Monday after he mentioned the idea of revisions. She made me feel SO much better by telling me that the doc is a perfectionist and wants all of his patients to be totally satisfied. She pointed out that a lot of plastic surgeons will tell you that it looks great even when it doesn't just because they don't want to do more work. She told me that if I was happy that there was no pressure to do extra revisions. *Whew* That made me feel so much better. The idea of revisions stresses me out at this moment. I am going back on Tuesday to make sure that there is no fluid build-up after taking out my tube. After that it sounds like my visits will starting to be every 2-3 weeks.

Now, about my pants- I am actually wearing sweat pants right now because that is all that fits. :) I still have A LOT of fluid. On Monday I am going to go back to tracking my food on SparkPeople. I am not trying to lose weight right now, but do need to get back to correct portions and keeping my sodium in check. Speaking of weight- I think that until I can get back to exercise that I am going to stay away from the scale. I have learned through my weight loss that I need to exercise to lose/maintain weight. I'm not one of those people that can just stop drinking pop and lose 20 pounds. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE to exercise. I don't do it just to lose, but I can see how it's connected to my weight.

Gotta get back to daytime TV. I am suppose to rest and elevate. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

1-Week Post-Op

Ok, so I went in today for my 1 week check-up and left feeling totally discouraged and frustrated. Initially I had 3 drain tubes put in. I still have one in! He had told me that all 3 *should* come out last Friday. He took out one on Friday. He said that the other 2 *should* come out today. He only took out one today. Now he is saying that the final one should come out tomorrow or Wednesday. I have to continue to call every morning to let them know how much fluid is in my drains.

Secondly, I told him that my stomach felt larger today. He poked around and agreed that the skin was starting to loosen. THEN he starting talking about how we could "always do revisions". Revisions! I'm only a week out. He's suppose to be telling me that I am still swollen and that it will take months to see final results. I feel like if I am going to spend all of this money to have a flat stomach and tight arms that I should have a flat stomach and small arms! Ugh!  My arms do look fantastic, but my stomach still seems so big.

Third- After feeling fat after leaving the PS office I decided to weigh myself. BIG FAT BAD IDEA! I am up 10 pounds from a week ago. How, how, how, how can I weight 10 pounds more than I did a week ago AFTER losing 6 pounds. Am I still retaining fluid? This sucks! I was SO close to my goal and now I am 10 pounds further away. I understand that science of weight gain and I know that I have not eaten an additional 32,000 calories over the past week. I am the lady that left the hospital with both of my babies weighting more than I did when I went into the hospital to have them. I never do a good job getting in all of my fluids when I'm not in my normal routine. I need to figure out a way to get in my water while I am home on sick leave.

I sit here feeling defeated. I've worked hard to lose my extra weight. This tummy tuck and arm lift was suppose to be the big hurrah at the end. The completion of my work. I've always known that even after my TT and Arm Lift that I'd still have to work out and watch what I eat, but I thought that I'd at least look good. I had this TT to get rid of the extra skin that was hanging over my legs. I actually never even considered a TT so that I'd "be hot", but as my surgery approached everyone would tell me how "hot" I was going to look after my surgery. Why don't I look hot? He took out 6 pounds of excess skin. How can there STILL be extra skin? Ugh! I am sure that these feeling of "let-down" are common after plastic surgery. I'm rambling....

I want to work out! I'm going to call in the AM to see if it's OK for me to start taking short walks. I need to have a pick me up by my bootstraps moment and move forward. The surgery went well, there have been no major complications, the itching has gotten A LOT better- and for those things I am thankful.

I'm going to go drink some water.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Have you ever had a scratch that you can't quite itch? My whole body is itching! I have been taking Benadryl every 4 hours for the last two days and I can't seem to get rid of this itching. My incisions itch! My stomach itches! The side of my arms itch! Wanna scratch?

When I had my babies via c-section I had a similar reaction following surgery. I *think* that I must be allergic to the tape used during surgery and on the gauze pads in recovery. I've stopped taping on my gauze pads since Friday and the rash seems to be getting a little bit better. I am going in to the doctor on Monday to (hopefully!) get these two drain tubes removed. My plan is to ask the nurse if there is anything else she would suggest for the itching.

A cool shower does help for a while, but with these tubes taking a shower is A LOT of work. What about you? Do you have any great home remedies that help when you have an itch that you just can't seem to scratch?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Days 3 and 4 Post-Op

*Warning- Some pretty specific recovery details.
You might want to turn away if you don't want to know*

Day 3- Pretty uneventful! I slept (a lot) and watched a lot of daytime TV. My pain level has not been bad at all. I'm actually not even really in pain- it's more like I am uncomfortable and encumbered. There are ace bandages on my arms from the wrist up to my shoulder, a binder around my stomach and a million gauze pads holding everything in place. Hubby is going to have to go buy a Costco size bottle of antibiotic ointment before the day is over. I have started itching like crazy on the incision site and where the medical tape is holding the gauze in place.

I took some pictures of my arms today. I can really see the difference! I especially have noticed how much more defined the top of my arm appears in the after shots.

I wish that I could report that my stomach looks amazing, but it is still so bloated and "icky" with the 3 drain tubes. I will take stomach pictures once the drain tubes are out. I didn't sleep well at all last night and plan on taking 2 percocet and a benadryl before going to bed tonight. THAT should do the trick. :)

Day 4- In case you were wondering... 2 percocet and a benadryl will do wonders when it comes to falling and staying asleep in a recliner. :) I went to the doctor today and he was able to remove one of the drain tubes. Woo hoo! He said that he's almost positive that the other 2 will come out on Monday. I was worried that it would hurt when the nurse removed the drain tubes, but the one that she did didn't hurt at all. I am hoping that the other two go the same way. I was given the OK to take a shower today. Another big Woo Hoo! 5 days without a shower is not good for anyone! My stomach still feels SO big. The doctor and nurses all assured me that my stomach is very swollen and will look great when the swelling goes down. I do have to say that it was super awesome to not have to lift up my stomach while taking a shower today.

My pain level has been low again today. I took 2 percocet when I got up this morning and have not had to take anything else today. I continue to take it easy- reading magazines, watching TV, and blogging. I know right away when I have done too much because I start to get the chills and need to sit down. I have several bruises. One of the more impressive is on my hand. It's hard to see in the picture, but the entire top of my hand (where the IV went in) in swollen along with all 4 of my knuckles are black and blue. Tonight will be my first night putting the kids down by myself. I am a little worried about that.... Hubby has been an AMAZING support and I am going to miss having him by my side tonight. Here's to a quick recovery and a relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm awake :)

Surgery went well on Monday. I slept pretty much all day Monday until Tuesday morning at 7:30. I would wake up to use the bathroom then climb back into the recliner that Hubby set-up in the bedroom. At one point during my first night home I woke up and Hubby and I were sitting on the floor. Apparently at one point coming back from the bathroom I decided that the floor was the place to stop and take a break. :)

About my surgery- The surgery lasted about 3.5 hours. I ended up spending close to 2 hours in recovery- apparently I was very tired. Everything went really well during surgery. The doctor removed a total of 6.5 pounds- 6 from my stomach and 1/2 a pound from my arms. They ended up putting in 3 drain tubes in my abdomen. Yuck! I hate these things. The doctor is hopeful that they will come out by Friday. When I got home my mom was watching the kids and helped hubby get me from the car to the bed. My daughter was pretty upset to see mommy hurting. I guess she cried for quite a while after I got home. That night I woke up long enough to have her read me a story before bed.

First day home- I did get up at 7:30 Tuesday morning to spend a bit of time with the kids before my daughter went to school. Back to sleep as soon as she got off to school. I then woke up at 2:00. I had my first post-op at 3:00. I've been living in my dad's old hospital gowns. I am so glad we saved them! I threw on (after about 20 minutes) a pair of sweats and headed to the doc's office. My first post-op visit was KILLER! I haven't been in a lot of pain, but having to get to the car, get to the docs office, get to the waiting room and then stand while they changed my dressings almost did me in. The nurse did let me lay down for a while because I was getting hot and dizzy. The doctor came in to check everything out. He said that I looked great and sent me on my way. Hubby has to call every morning to report how much fluid I am putting out in my drain tubs. Once it's less than 30 cc's a day then I can come in and he will remove the tubes. After the appt. I got home and stayed awake for a whole 6 hours. Woo hoo! I was in bed (the recliner) by 8:30 Tuesday night. I almost forgot! My arms look amazing!!! I didn't get a good look at the stomach because of the drain tubes, but my arms are smoking. I'll take pics once the drain tubes are out.

2nd day home- Today has been much better. I am finally starting to feel a little bit more alert. Most of the pain I am experiencing is from the incisions in my arms and the drain tubes. I have been taking 2 pain pills every 6 hours. I also have a slight cough. It hurts to cough so I just take huge sips of water when I feel like I need to cough. I've been up a lot more today. Hubby is taking the kids to the gym tonight. I am looking forward to being alone for a little while. Yes, I'll have my phone right by my side in case I need him to come home.

I think that's it! I am doing well, resting, and getting excited about my results. By the way- if you ever hear they a tummy tuck is less painful than a c-section they are totally wrong! This hurts. I keep reminding myself this it is just for a short time with great lifetime results. Thank you to everyone for your amazing support during this time. I have been checking my e-mail and Facebook frequently. It has really helped to know that people are praying for me and thinking about me. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Surgery Eve... Pre-Op Pictures

*WARNING- There are real skin pictures below... It's NOT pretty! If you don't want to see pictures of my excess skin then you had better stop looking....

In a little less than 12 hours I will be in surgery. I am getting a tummy tuck and arm lift. I've been hesitating to post hanging skin pictures, but I figure that by the time most of you see these I'll already be in surgery and I won't look like this anymore. :)  I've really struggled with my excess skin- especially during exercise. It pulls, pounds, and bounces at all the wrong times. Clothing shopping has become a huge challenge since clothes that fit though my waist are HUGE in the legs or fit through the arms and are huge through the chest. I am anxious to get into the operating room and begin this new step in my journey.
So... here goes.....

Front Arm

Rear Arm

Front Stomach

Side Stomach


Hanging Stomach
See you on the other side of anesthesia.... 

Kari :) 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I don't mean to brag....

BUT today I found out that not only was I approved for life insurance, but was actually given the "preferred rate" due to my excellent health. I hope you don't think me a wimp, but I actually got teary-eyed when I read the e-mail letting me know I was approved. How did this girl go from being DENIED 5 years ago because I was "too heavy" to be insured to being approved at  a "preferred rate"? Whoop! Whoop! I don't plan on dying any time soon, but it is such a relief to know that my kiddos would be taken care of in the event that something did happen. Go me! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lifting Weights- A Month Later

Last month I wrote about starting to lift weights as part of my workout routine. For the past month I have been lifting 3 times a week before each of my aerobic classes at the gym. Not to brag, but I am super pleased with my results.  
I have gained 1.2 pounds in the last month. I'm not normally excited about gaining weight, but in the past two weeks I have not been recording, not always making wise choice and have been able to maintain. I've been living. I count that as success! :)

I had hubby measure me this morning and was a bit surprised to see that I had gained inches. I have been getting many compliments lately about my ever changing figure and was fully expecting a significant loss.


I'm suppose to be losing inches!

I gained in my chest and in my thighs. I've decided that the increase inches is due to my larger muscles. (This is where you envision me flexing and making a tough girl sound!) When I first started lifting I wasn't able to do more than 3 push-ups without going on to my knees. On Monday I did 3 sets of 10 push-ups and they were all real, full on, knees off the ground push-ups. When I first started lifting I was squatting 40 pounds (3 sets of 15). On Monday I squatted 80 pounds (3 sets of 10)! Whoop! Whoop! Oooohhh! I almost forgot the best part- I can know do prone jacknives! Not only can I do them, but I can do them really well.

I almost done with Phase 1 of my program. I'll have to take a time-out from lifting to recover from my surgery. I look forward to being able to get back to lifting in the very near future. I'm super stoked about the changes that I am seeing in my body and how I'm able to do things that just a month ago I wasn't able to accomplish.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pre-op Questions Answered

Time is quickly flying by as I get closer to my surgery. I realized tonight that I hadn't reported back since my pre-op. Here are the highlights-
* No, I can't donate my skin. :(
* The surgery will take approximately 4 hours and then an hour in recovery.

* He thinks that he will remove approximately 5 pounds of skin. I feel a bit jipped by this number. 5 pounds? Ugh! That doesn't seem worth it. On the other hand 5 pounds no longer literally HANGING on my body will probably feel significantly different.
* The drains really will be in for 5 days. :( They did tell me that if the bleeding stops sooner than that that I can call and they will remove them early.
* I had him show me again where he will be cutting. He took my whole mid-section in his hands and said that "all of this" will be gone. Niiiice! There was a lot in that "all of this".

I keep getting asked if I'm excited about my surgery. I am excited, but I am also still very nervous. This is a routine surgery, but not routine for me. I am confident that this is a great decision for me. I am excited to see the results. I am a little bit giddy about missing work for 3 weeks.
Excited? Yes! Nervous? Yes!

On another note- I am still loving my new weight training routine. I am hoping to have hubby take measurements in the new few days to update you on my lifting progress.

About Me

My photo
On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.