Friday, June 26, 2009

NYU's Program for Surgical Weight Loss

NYU's Program for Surgical Weight Loss is the program I am going through for the Lap-Band procedure.

So far I've been very pleased with the staff and the surgeon. And their materials have been quite thorough. However, if you're a patient, please note that their website is not up to date (at least not as of this posting) in regard to what you need for your procedure. I had a few problems with that.

I've been doing this list-thing on my other blog Dabble, and it's remarkably effective, so I thought I'd do that here too.

  1. Order Juice Plus fruit and vegetable supplements (waiting for 7/17)

  2. Buy chewable or liquid multivitamins (7/17) (Centrum Adult Chewables) The "Silver" has extra supplements

  3. Attend support group before surgery (Mtg date 7/15)

  4. Sign up for a "heal faster" seminar Call (Mon 7/6)

  5. Send replacement insurance card (Found it! Mon 7/6)

  6. Call surgical coordinator Tuesday to confirm she has my paperwork

  7. Follow up with surgical coordinator Friday

  8. Make an appt with my GP for a B-12 shot (unrelated to surgery)

  9. Arrange with GP for esophogram

  10. Get esophogram

  11. Arrange ride home

  12. Arrange care post surgery

  13. Pass along hospital info to family / friends

  14. Go shopping for pre-surgery 2 week shake diet (70 shakes for 14 days) (7/17)

  15. Go grocery shopping for post surgery thin-liquid diet (7/17)

  16. Order low sodium, vegetable broth (7/17)

Also just realizing that I'm going to have to wait until my post-rent-pay day for a few of these things. Some of the expenses related to the surgery have me pinching my pennies. Though I think I have it better than many in regard to insurance coverage.

365 days on Flickr

I find it quite entertaining to search flickr for before and after weight loss pics. I'd run across this guy's pics previously, and they stuck in my head.

Everyday, he took a photo of himself in the same position, often even in the same clothes. It's quite fascinating.

He ended up getting tons of hits too. His weight loss is impressive, the hair and the t-shirts are funny, but what i love most is his final comment.

"I want to thank everybody for coming at looking at my fat ass."

Photos via Adhadda Kedhabbra

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Empty Fridge

I had a weird thought last night when I went to get a shake from the fridge. I actually can't wait to have an empty fridge. With nothing in it except shakes and maybe some veg and water. For the liquid fast part of the diet (since they do let us have 2 cups of veg a day).

Somehow that just seems to be symbolic of purging all the crap and starting new.

Will definitely have to plan on a good clean out of both the fridge and the cabinet. It feels rather liberating. (I say that now!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vitamin D

So my GP is putting together my recommendation letter for the surgery and as a part of that I had a physical and some blood work.

So one of the nurses called me today and told me that in addition to having a Vitamin B12 deficiency (due to a virus I had that caused a lack of intrinsic factor), I now also have a Vitamin D deficiency. (For anyone stumbling upon this, this is pre-surgery).

I certainly eat my fair share of dairy, and I even take a multivitamin, so I'm surprised that I have a problem. I walk outside everyday as a part of my regular commute too. (Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin). Though I could absolutely stand to get more sun.

However, I just looked it up and it turns out that obesity can lead to Vitamin D deficiency. There's a shocker.

Here's the low down from The Vitamin and Supplement Guide I looked up:

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms increase in people who are obese. Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, it can accumulate in body fat, making it less available to other parts of the body.

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. The main job of vitamin D is to regulate the body's use of calcium. It helps make the hormones that make sure calcium goes into bone and not into other tissues.

Bottom line: Now I get to take another daily supplement. 800-1000 int'l units of Vitamin D with calcium. I'll also be squeezing in more eggs I guess and some mushrooms. Mmm...a mushroom omelet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lipton Cup-a-Soup

I'm trying to avoid the vending machine here at work this afternoon, so i dug through my drawer and found a box of Lipton's Cup-a-Soup spring vegetable.

I must admit, it looked pretty puny, especially at only 45 calories, but it did the trick. I am no longer starving. Definitely more of a snack than a meal, but good to know I have an option other than a candy bar to tide me over between the time I leave work and when I get home. That's always the hardest for me for whatever reason.

Not sure if this is the same size/ packaging (for the calories), but Amazon does seem to sell these. I think I'll need to get some more.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Slim-Fast, not so much

So today I tried the Slim-Fast shake. Had to go with the low carb option as the regular one just has waaayyy too much sugar! I'm very glad that I'm testing this all out and getting used to it before I get to the actual 2-week liquid diet before my surgery. This makes me feel like I have a little more control over adjusting myself to eating less food.

Post surgery, I'll have the lap band, but pre-surgery, I'm going to need to make it as easy on myself as possible.

I'm not at all loving the Slim-Fast. This one has too much of an artificial sweetner aftertaste.

I'm surprised at some of the shake options that were on NYU's list. Not only Slim-Fast and Glucerna, but also Carnation Instant Breakfast and a number of others.

I do plan on going to GNC to check out some of their options as well.

Once I know my surgery date for sure, I'll work up a transitional meal plan. Right now, it's a shake for dinner, but eventually they'll replace all my meals and I'll have five a day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I've decided this will be my official before pic. It was taken this afternoon on the street in front of our apartment here in Brooklyn.

I'm reminding myself to get that side angle as well since that's the one that really tells the whole truth of the situation!

I've seen so many interesting ways that people track and display their weight loss. I'll be featuring some of those and coming up with some of my own interesting ways as I progress.

How many calories post-op?

First of all, I'm learning that people refer to the lap-band and other procedures as WLS (weight loss surgery). Despite the various packets of info I've been given and the websites I've been sent to, I didn't have a clear sense of how many calories I'd need to be eating post-op. However, I just found the most fabulous blog post over on melting mama. She posted this info below about recommended calories, protein, fat, etc.

The ASMBS guidelines (which is where many surgeons GET their recommendations for you) state:

  • 1,000 to 1,400 calories depending on the individual and activity level.
  • 60 to 100 grams of protein depending on the individual and activity level.
  • 27 to 47 grams of fat based on 20 to 35 percent of a daily 1,200-calorie intake.
Check out her post for more interesting info and some really insightful comments from others who've also had surgery.

Glucerna Shakes

So for two weeks before my surgery, I'll have to be on a liquid diet. The one exception is that I can eat certain vegetables as well -- plain of course, but steamed or raw is fine.

I don't have my surgery scheduled yet, but I did meet with the nutritionist, and she walked me through the options for weight loss shakes. The goal is to make my liver less fatty, and hence smaller, to make the laproscopic surgery easier.

Post surgery, I then have to fast for 20 days -- 10 days of a thin liquid diet followed by 10 days of a pureed food diet. All in all, at least 5 weeks without solid food.

Given that, I decided I would try out the different shake options and start out slow beforehand in order to adjust. So for now, I'm going to replace one meal a day. Today I've replaced dinner, and supplemented the Glucerna shake with some raw cucumbers and carrots so I had something to munch on. I'll also have to give up caffeine and soda at a certain point, so I'll need to transition to that as well.

So tonight, so far so good. The Glucerna tastes good. In fact, I'd like another one. They cost $2 each and are 200 calories each. Of the list of shake options, I chose to start with Glucerna because of the low sugar content, only 6g (it's made for diabetics). I also prefer that they come in resealable plastic bottles rather than the cans.

Mostly the shakes are higher in sugar than I prefer. Up to thirty-something grams of sugar each which is way too high for me. I can just see myself crashing after that and wanting to eat.

I'll be trying the other shakes this week too, so more to come on that.

A major announcement

So for any of you who've followed this blog, you know I've struggled with my weight for a long time. So recently, I've made a pretty major decision to undergo the lap-band procedure.

I've only told a few close friends, but I also plan to dedicate this blog to documenting the process. (Since I haven't given this web address to many people, only those who search for lapband or weight loss will find it.) Happy to share my story with the world, just less sure about telling work colleagues, acquaintances, etc.

The pics above were taken the day of the lap-band seminar at NYU when I decided I would go ahead with the surgery. (Goofy grin and all!) Ironically, yes, I am holding a bag of groceries in my before pic (ha!); however, it's a salad from Whole Foods if that helps at all!)