The Past Seven Months

I haven’t written anything in the past severn months. Why is that?

Mostly because, well, I’ve just been living my life. My new eating habits are “for the rest of my life” so I’ve been figuring it out. I have my routines and mostly stick to them.

I continue to walk the dog at least once a day, and on the weekends I walk up to 3 miles. At the Gay Pride parade I marched with different contingents and walked over 5 miles. I can do this! I still have back back pain because my back is really screwed up, but I can deal with it day to day. Some days it’s worse, some days better.

I still do yoga. I have lessons weekly and try to do my practice at least a few times a week. It really helps. I had a whole course of physical therapy for my back, and that helped too. Mostly I learned some good mobility, strengthening, and stretching, and it nicely complements the yoga.

I went bowling a couple of days ago. All good.

I walk around our property, do physical things around the house, and all is well.

I’ve done 2 plane trips and 1 driving trip and did really well. Didn’t even board with the disabled people, and I’ve stopped parking in disabled spaces.

So what do I eat? I generally eat some protein and fruit and decaf coffee (with half and half) at breakfast, a salad with protein for lunch, a snack of crunch protein things like nuts or parmesan crisps, and dinner of protein, veggies, and sometimes a small amount of carbs. I snack at night, which continues to be a problem, but I try to keep it “clean” – sugar free candies or other treats or some more protein. I average about 1400 calories a day, under 75g net carbs, about 100g of protein. I drink about 100 oz of water a day. It’s all a good routine. When we travel it’s worse because there are other treats available, but we bring foos so as not to snack on the plane or at airports, and get groceries delivered to hotels so we eat our normal food and not more junk or restaurant food. I let myself indulge a bit, and have been as high as 1900 calories and up to 100g of net carbs. I still track what I eat most days because it keeps me accountable. I skip days that are particularly stressful or busy, but I try not to skip more than one day a week.

My weight was 207 when I had my original plastic surgery. I got down as low as 192, and then hung around 196 for a while. I’m hanging around 200 now. I’m OK with the weight, but my shape is weird. I’m having a “revision” plastic surgery on September 17 to deal with some of the upper belly fat. I’m doing that because I look funny in clothes, narrow at the hips, small breasts, and a round midsection. I can’t get clothes to fit right either. My hips are a size 7 and my belly is a size 18.

My A1C has been steady around 6.3 which is great for a diabetic. I’d like it lower, but my body will do what it will do. All other blood work is great. The only meds I’m on are Candesartan for its kidney protectant properties and to keep my blood pressure in check, and a low dose of Lipitor to keep my good cholesterol high enough.

Great outcome – all a rousing success in terms of my original intention for having the surgery.

The Definition of Success

I’ve had to really think about my definition of “success”.

I am 19 months post-op sleeve. I started at 320 (5’5″). Lost to 281 before surgery. Lost down to 207 and basically stopped.

I am not thin. I look at people who started with my stats and have lost down to like 150. They are thin. I don’t think I ever will be.

Had plastics 11/9/22. Now at 192. I wear a size XL. I still have upper belly fat.

I have stuck with the program: getting in my fluids and protein, limiting carbs, generally eat between 1100 and 1300 calories a day. I exercise regularly; I do yoga most days and I walk 1-3 miles a day.

Have I “failed” because I am not thin, that I have not lost as much as I would like?

I like to think not.

  • I can buy regular size clothes.
  • I no longer take diabetes medicines, and most of my other blood work is perfect.
  • I can walk for miles (as compared to having to be on a mobility scooter because of my back injury).
  • I can be on my feet and dance for a long time.
  • I no longer need a seatbelt extender in a car or plane.
  • I fit comfortably in a stadium seat.
  • My eating doesn’t feel out of control.

And the list goes on. Many victories. So have I succeeded? I think so.

I’m still a bit bitter that I haven’t had the same measure of success that some others have had.

Dressing Up

I had to dress up for synagogue today. None of my pants fit because I’m smaller than I was, but still all swollen since surgery. I found a dress, and wore a blazer with it, and I thought I looked cute!

(Thanks to my mom for the blazer!)

However: I have no underwear that fits. Very funny; I ended up wearing a pair of Rio’s.

Choice of Surgeon

For those looking for a surgeon in the SF Bay Area, I went with Dr. John Connelly, who’s with Sutter out of Mountain View, surgery at their Los Altos facility. These are reasons I picked him:

  • I was at a higher BMI than many surgeons would accept; no issue for him.
  • Competitive price for the items insurance didn’t cover.
  • Part of my healthcare group (Sutter) so easy to coordinate with my PCP and the doctor who did my hernia repair.
  • The practice was recommended.

So far I’m extremely happy with the care, and the results are good although really too early to tell (only 2 1/2 weeks post-op).

Bariatric Success

I may have posted about this before, but here are my keys to success around bariatric surgery:

  • Do the mental work to distance food from comfort, celebration, and boredom. Work with a therapist if you need to.
  • Set up your support people. Set boundaries by telling people who love you that negativity is not allowed.
  • Set realistic expectations. Don’t pin all of your hopes on a particular goal weight. Set some goals that are NSVs, like being able to fit in a theater seat or to walk a mile or reduce your diabetes meds or play tag with your kids.
  • Recognize that this will not make you happy, it will make you smaller. Period.
  • Make changes that are sustainable for the rest if your life. This is not a “diet” like you’ve done before. It’s changing how you will eat for the rest of your life. If you aren’t committed to that, don’t start this journey. I think the only thing worse than not losing weight, is losing weight and then gaining it all back, which is a distinct possibility if you don’t change the way you eat for the long-term.
  • Everyone loses at a different pace. Don’t compare your journey to theirs. You will have stalls where you don’t lose for a while; just stick with the program.

Here’s a test: can you eat a post-op diet now, and maintain it? What I mean is, protein first, veggies second, carbs after that, at least 80 ounces of water, at least 75 g of protein. Do that for a while and see if you can maintain it. Don’t worry about the amount of calories or anything at this point, because after surgery you’ll be eating a lot less. But eat in that way and see if you can be satisfied in the long term. Develop new habits. Then, and only then, are you really ready for this journey. I started the journey, changing my eating, but didn’t have the surgery for almost a year because that’s when I was mentally ready.

Progress at 17 days

Still have a drain. Off all pain meds except occasional Tylenol (like at night). Weight is around 196. Still super swollen. Fairly uncomfortable due to the swelling and drain, and itchy at the incision sites. Nipples are super sensitive, although better every day.


For most of my adult life I have not been able to wear regular women’s underwear because my mons area was too big. I had to wear boxer-type underwear. As a feminine person, this always made me feel like an alien, like not-a-woman.

This morning I put on a size 7 pair of briefs. Not only did they fit, but they completely covered my newly lifted mons area.

I cried.


For most of my adult life I have not been able to wear regular women’s underwear because my mons area was too big. I had to wear boxer-type underwear. As a feminine person, this always made me feel like an alien, like not-a-woman.

This morning I put on a size 7 pair of briefs. Not only did they fit, but they completely covered my newly lifted mons area.

I cried.