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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Weigh-loss Journey!! The 50 lbs Mark!!

So, I did it folks!  When I went to see my nutritionist on Monday morning, she weighed me and I made it to the 50 lb mark!  I couldn't be happier!!

We talked a bit about what I have been eating and she said that I have been doing everything right.

On Sunday when I went to the GM excursion at the Blissdom Canada Conference, I didn't exactly feel comfortable whipping out my jar of baby food in front of the GM staff that were there, so I opted to try some unpureed food that I knew that would be soft enough to tolerate. They only had 3 choices on their menu so I went with the Pulled Beef Taco.  It was made with pulled beef and had a kiwi salsa served on a soft tortilla.  I ordered a half order but I actually only ate a quarter of a half of that half that's a mouthful. It was nice and soft as most pulled meats are so I was able to tolerate it with ease.

I told my nutritionist about eating the soft meat and told her what it was and she asked how I felt after that.  I felt fine, I didn't have any discomfort at all from it so I must have stayed within the portion guidelines. She said that at this point I could move to the soft foods menu!  She brought out a list of the things I can eat and the thing I was most excited about was Hummus!  She also called in the nurse to check on my incisions to see if I will be able to go swimming yet.  I'm happy to say, that I have been approved to do some light exercise as well as go on some more super-power walks!  My favorite walking partner lives in Toronto at the moment, so I will have to find one that lives closer! When I go swimming, I have to wear some waterproof strips over my incision but at least I can go!

So, I know I said I will post a pic as soon as I hit the 50 lb mark, but if you paid attention to my last post, I had many pics of me at that point!  I will have to take another picture of me that is just me and I will post it with one at my original weight, but for now I will leave you with this one.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Fun at Blissdom Canada!!

My weekend started early with fun and ended with a ton of fun. I went to Toronto to attend Blissdom Canada.  Blissdom is a social media conference where you network with other bloggers, tweeters and bump elbows with different companies!  For some of us lucky people, the conference started with the opportunity to attend a live taping of the Marilyn Denis show. The audience members were sent home with 2 gift certificates. One is for Beyond the Rack and the other is for eLuxe, both are for $50 bucks!!  We also received a book called Sh*tty Mom, which so far is extremely funny!  The staff of the show gave us all a great experience and we had a lot of fun.  Marilyn Denis is an extremely nice person and she even posed for a picture with each of us.
When we registered for the conference, we were greeted by Christine Magee and Sleep Country Canada who provided us with a free pillow!  Mine is their new Memory Foam Contour Pillow!

We also attended a really cool Blissdom Canada kick off party provided for us by Microsoft Canada. There were Kinects and Xboxes all around for our enjoyment, along with drinks and appetizers. (I had to skip those though!)  

With an early start to Saturday morning, I attended a morning session that was especially for us Newbies to the Blissdom conference.  It was a great time meeting all the other newbies who were just as nervous as I was attending for the first time and a great way to break the ice.  

Right after the Newbie meeting, we went straight to breakfast provided by Dove!  There was a huge selection of food for us to choose from.  They even had items that I could eat too!  After Breakfast, there was a presentation by them which was pretty interesting. We even received a bottle of Dove Body Wash as a gift from them!  

After breakfast and the Dove presentation, Blissdom had an opening session to start off the day followed by micro-sessions with various experienced bloggers and authors and Social Media veterans   They were great and I learned alot.  

We also had some time in the afternoon to check out the various sponsors of Blissdom Canada.  They all provided us with an insane amount of Swag!  Click here for the link to the list of sponsors!
Me and the Pepperidge Farms guy!
Chef Michael Smith and I!
We also got an autographed copy of Chef Michael Smith's Cook Book, The Big Book of Little Lentils and a picture with him!

My Roomies and I with our books!
Saturday night ended with a Costume and Karaoke Party!  I dressed up as Medusa! The picture is a bit blurry but its the best one I have.
The weekend ended with an excursion to GM sponsored by Chevrolet Canada.  We got to test out some cars on some slick courses, learn about new safety features and the highlight of my day, drive a brand, spanking new Camero!

Thanks to all the sponsors of the 2012 Blissdom Canada Conference for showing us all a great time!  Thanks to all the people who took the time to organize the conference as well!  I cant wait for next year!!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My Weight-loss Journey...Sprint Walking with My Friend!

Yesterday I had an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner at the Bariatric Clinic. It was a great visit. My blood pressure was good and Im healing well.  When she weighed me, I was down 46 lbs!  It was very exciting to learn my scale is pretty much right on the mark with theirs.  I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my friend Johnny. Time with him always includes great talks, many laughs and ALWAYS includes long walks.  Johnny is a serious walker. Meaning, he walks incredibly fast. In the past, I always found myself running to keep up and pretty much begging him to slow down!

I did pretty good at keeping up with him yesterday. I only had to ask him to slow down once, which he did for about 50 feet before we resumed his normal pace.  I had a back pack full of stuff that probably weighed about 25 lbs.  We probably walked a total of 4 kms, but I really wasn't walking, I was sprinting to keep up, but I didn't mind, I enjoyed myself.

After we parted ways, I had to board a train back to Kitchener and I was pooped, but overtired and couldn't sleep.  I finally did sleep and when I woke up I was curious, so I stepped on the scale. To my complete pleasurable surprise, I was down another 2 lbs!  So now my total weight-loss is now 48 lbs!

So the moral of my story is, Sprint walking with a good friend is very beneficial! Looking forward to doing it again on Monday!

Monday, 15 October 2012

My Weight Loss Journey..Hitting that first Plateau!

For the past week, I hit a plateau at 45 lbs lost, and in a panic I sent text messages to my a couple of my friends who have been through the Bariatric Surgery.  I was getting a wee bit frustrated because I couldn't understand why it was happening. I mean, I'm doing all the right things and following the diet plan the way I should, so it didn't make any sense. I was also having a pain in my right side that wouldn't go away.  It was very uncomfortable. I was about to make a call to my clinic in Toronto to find out why it was happening and to see if I needed to go to a doctor to get it checked out, but just like that, it went away. Thankfully!

So, I hit this plateau and I was starting to feel a bit discouraged, but I was told to hang in there because this is the phase that I will be seeing the inches coming off.  I decided put my panic and worry aside and just be patient and allow things to happen.  I even tried my best to break my new found obsessive relationship with my scale.  I stopped looking at the numbers on the scale and just kept on doing what I was supposed to be doing.  Today, I had a breakthrough on the scale. It is a small one, but after a week of plateau, it brought a huge smile to my face.

I have been watching for little changes and have been noticing some differences in my size.  I can no longer wear my rings on my smallest fingers, they are too big!  My bracelet from Energy Armor, (supposed to help with aches and pains, and it does) is now extremely big on my wrist.  I now have ankles and shin bones. I may even end up with a nice set of stems when I hit my goal weight!! My arms and shoulders are taking on a more narrower form. I think that the most exciting thing for me is my hands.  I have always been self-conscious of my hands. I even would make jokes about them being my "man-hands!"  I can no longer say that.  My fingers are looking longer and thinner and the pudge is melting away! It may not seem like a big deal to some, but for someone who has spent years of hating her hands, its a big thing!  

After I gave myself a little hug for the breakthrough, I decided to go through my dresser and try on some things. I very excitedly went through clothes and found that there are things that are just way to big for me now and also there were things that were given to me that I could never wear before, are fitting me. There are also some things that are still a bit too small, but I'm almost fitting into them.  So, once more this morning, I found myself wearing a gigantic smile!

Wednesday morning I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner at the Bariatric clinic.  I'm actually excited to go see her. My incisions are healing up nicely and I'm pain free.  I still have some tenderness but I believe that everything is on the right track.  

I know that some people are anticipating some new pictures of my progress, but I have decided that I am going to post them as soon as I hit that 50 lbs lost. Just hang in there!  I promise I will keep you all posted with my progress and as soon as I hit that 50 lb mark, I will post a photo.  

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me so far.  I can always use your kind words to help me reach my goal.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Dreamachine Launch Party

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Dreamachine Launch Party held at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Congratulations to my very good friend John Smoke, for a successful launch party!  I'm proud of you and your accomplishments!

You may be wondering, what is a Dreamachine? Well, its probably best if I just steal a quote off the website, just in case I don't explain it properly.“… the world

“… the world’s only art work viewed with eyes tightly closed.” Used by creative people for over half a century, the Dreamachine has been reputed to create multi-layered geometric and organic shapes and symbols, swirling in a rhythmic pulse of holographic imagery, giving a feeling of being surrounded by colors. The flicker correspondes to Alpha Waves which are normally present in the human brain while being both alert and relaxed where mental imagery is more easily created and visualization techniques are more effective. Aldous Huxley remarked: “The Dreamachine is an aid to visionary experience."

People have been using the Dreamachine for over 50 years.  It has been used by many prominent artists and modern thinkers with great success. William S. Burroughs, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Kurt Cobain, just to name a few. 

I took my 18 year old son with me last night. He was so impressed with the Dreamachine, he brought one home!  

Take a minute to check out to find out more about it and maybe even order one for yourself!!

An added bonus to an already awesome evening, was getting to meet and take a picture with Canada's most famous Author and Poet, Margaret Atwood!  This is a picture of my friends Ruth and Cheryl and myself and  the Famous Lady herself!  She was very sweet and gracious about the pictures!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Celebrating the Start of the New Me! My Weight Loss Journey.

All my life, I have struggled with weight issues.  I could never seem to get off the yo-yo string of weight loss and weight gain. It was always a pattern of 1 step forward and about 20 steps back. I would be successful to a point, then end up gaining everything back then some.

In high school my weight constantly fluctuated. I was always chunky, but when I look back at pictures from those days, I was far from being huge.
I'm in the acid wash
denim jacket.

That's me in the black hoodie
and blue jeans.

 In my mind, I always thought I was so fat, but as you can see from the pics, that was far from the truth.  I was fairly active and full of energy and a wee bit chunky, but definitely not fat!

When I was 20 I had my 1 and only child. I put on so much weight with him.  I remember sitting in the Doctor's office crying about how much weight I was putting was way more than the average.  By the time I gave birth to my precious bundle of joy, I was 262 lbs, and that was AFTER I gave birth.
Me in yet another black hoodie
with  my friend \Cherish.
Justin and I when he was 2.

I did manage to drop another 20 or 30ish pounds, but the weight just didn't seem to want to go less than that range, I also managed to put that back on too. My son is now 18.  I have spent the last 18 years hanging on that yo-yo string.

Justin and I Christmas 2010.
So, here I am, at 38 years old and after a discussion with my Doctor just over a year ago, we came to a decision that I could benefit from Gastric Bypass Surgery.  I spent 1 year travelling from Northern Ontario to Toronto for various appointments all to help prepare me for my weight loss journey.  I feel a wee bit vulnerable to tell you all what my starting weight was, but I will anyhow.  My very last appointment for pre-surgery, I weighed in at 300 lbs.  So, now you know..and you know what?  That was the old me, so its not so bad that I outed myself!

Before the surgery is done, we are required to drink these special shakes that help reduce the amount of fat that surrounds the organs.  It also helps you to lose a bunch of weight fast.  Usually the surgeon will prescribe shakes called Opti-fast. A typical person would consume 4 shakes per day. The Opti-fast Shakes contain aspartame.  I am allergic to aspartame so the alternative to that for me was to drink 4 Boost Diabetic with 2 scoops of Unflavored protein powder per day.  The surgeon also will tell you the period of time to drink them. I needed to consume them for a period of 3 weeks. It was really hard at first. I went through caffeine and sugar withdrawal for the first few days, but after it passed, it wasn't so bad.  The results were too exciting to ignore.  I started drinking the shakes on August 28th (oops a day early) and finished drinking them on September 18th.  I lost a total of 25 lbs pre-surgery.  On September 19th surrounded by my parents and some pretty great friends, I took the brave step of having the Gastric Bypass Surgery done.  This is me, all prepped and ready for surgery at Toronto Western Hospital.
Day of surgery, 25 lbs down!
I was very excited, but only a wee bit nervous at this point.  I think my mom (black jacket) and dad (grey sweater) were more nervous than I was.  The surgery was successful.

It is now 2 weeks post surgery, I feel pretty great!  My scars are very minimal due to the fact that it was done laparoscopically.  My surgeon and his team did a wonderful job and the nurses took great care of me. I am down an even 40 lbs and very excited that most of my clothes are getting too big!  (Dont worry, I stocked up on some smaller sizes for the journey!)  I will post a progress pic just as soon as I figure out what I want to wear for the picture!