Nine Months after Weight Loss Surgery – An update

As per usual, it’s been a while. I’m terrible at keeping this site updated.

I’m officially 9 months into a whole new life. On February 14th, 2018 I had weight loss surgery to remove about 70% of my stomach in hopes to lose weight, improve my health, and boost my confidence. I’m happy to say that all 3 of those things have happened.

I’m officially down 100+ pounds from my highest weight ever. I started this journey at 307 pounds and today I’m weighing in at 200.4. My goal was to be under 200 by Christmas and it’s not even Thanksgiving and I’m so close.

My overall health has dramatically increased. I was taking 17 prescription medications daily before my surgery. I’m very happy to announce that I’m completely off ALL of my prescription medications. That’s right folks, I said ALL of them.

My confidence has greatly improved. I’m no longer wishing I were invisible and that people would just forget about me. I’m feeling much better about myself and I’m loving life again. It’s much easier to move around. Even things I used to dread doing like shaving my legs or putting on sunscreen for a day at the river have become much easier. I used to sit inside when everyone else would go to the river because I was ashamed and the thought of going up and down the stairs just to get to the river and back up to the house was something that I dreaded so much. 74 stairs down a steep hill was too much for me. I hate that I missed out on so many memories, but that’s behind me now.

I used to opt out of social events because I felt like people would judge me for my weight, and now I’m excited to go out with my friends. It’s amazing to me how much better I feel in general. When my sister asked me to help her move a few months back, my initial thought was “Heck NO! Is she even crazy?!” but then I remembered that I’m so used to feeling like crap and not moving and that was no longer the case. I needed to change my mindset. I went out to help her get settled into her new house and for the first time in over 6 years, my sister and my mother both told me that they were proud of me. It was still hard, as I was still very overweight and out of shape (still am) but the fact that I agreed to go and then actually did more than sit on the couch the entire time was a major improvement for me.

Let’s catch up to today. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious at the office, I go to the stair case and go up and down until my heart starts racing. It’s the perfect way for me to clear my head, but I would NEVER have done that before now. Not once. No way. In fact, I would use the elevator any time that I could because the idea of going up the stairs and being so out of breath was so embarrassing to me that I couldn’t handle it. My how things have changed in just a few short months.

My husband and I are going to the gym on the regular and we enjoy finding places around our area to get us up off of the couch and outside. I went so long staying inside that I developed a major vitamin D deficiency. No more of that. It’s time to get outside and live.

I hit a few stalls, as you can see by the fluctuating numbers below, but the important part is that I never stopped.

The differences are really starting show!

In the past 4 months I’ve lost a few inches as well.

I’m going to do a short post in the next few days answering any of your questions that you might have about my surgery. I know a few of you have reached out to me expressing an interest in having this type of surgery as well. I want to be as transparent as I can, but I also want everyone to understand that everyone has their own story to tell. My story isn’t the only story out there.

If you have any questions you’d like me to answer in my next post, please post them down below, or send me a message on any of my social media platforms.

That’s it for now.
Until next time, stay healthy!

An update (10.5 weeks post-op)

Hello readers, my old friends. I’ve come to update you again! (If you didn’t sing that to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence, we aren’t real friends…)

It’s been 2 months since you guys have gotten a full update from me. I know most of you follow me on Facebook or Instagram so you see my journey unfold as it’s happening, however, this is more for those of you who want the entire story, not just a few frustrating or successful posts that I chose to share as the days creep by.

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Let me first start by saying that this has been the most amazing journey so far. I was thinking today on my drive back in from visiting my family out in the country that my life is no longer focused on food. It’s strange how that happened, but it’s true. I used to think to myself, I can’t go out there because they won’t have any food I like, or they will judge me for eating a midnight snack while I’m supposed to be sleeping. This time, I told them I wanted some queso or guacamole and that was the end of it. After I helped my sister move stuff into her new (and super adorable) house, we went to pick up food for the crew. I ate 3 bites of some nacho toppings and that was entirely too much. I felt like I had overdone it. A few hours later I had a small handful of peanut butter M&Ms and I was ready for bed. I wasn’t focused on food the whole time I was there. It’s so strange to not get cravings like I used to. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do still get them but they are very short lived and I’m able to continue focusing on real life while craving something, unlike before when I would obsess and stop everything until I got whatever it was that I wanted.

Speaking of helping the family move, it was a toasty day yesterday. Usually, on hot days, I avoid all activity because my heart starts going insane and I end up with a heart rate of 170+ just from getting out of my car and walking into the house. Not this time! I was outside taking things upstairs and through hallways like a champ. My heart rate never once got over 150 – through I was a bit cranky because I was sweaty. I really really really hate to sweat.

My diet hasn’t been the best as of lately. I was doing good with the keto thing until I realized that I simply just love things with carbs in them far too much. I still manage to keep at or below 800 calories a day which is what my surgeon has recommended. Only 2 times have I gone over my 800 calorie goal and it was due to some kind of celebration. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about eating since I’ve had this surgery, it’s that I simply cannot multitask and eat a meal at the same time. When I’m eating, I have to take one bite, stop what I’m doing and truly focus on chewing, swallowing, and waiting at least 5 minutes before my next bite. If I’m talking to someone, watching TV, or driving, that focus is gone and sure enough, I make myself super nauseated and spend the next 30 minutes with a barf cup near my mouth. It brings a whole new meaning to mindful eating.

Vitamins – UGH! I cannot stomach the big huge chewable bariatric vitamins that I’m supposed to take. The moment they get past my esophagus and into my belly, they come right back up. I’m been wearing supplemental patches to get some of the vitamins and nutrients that I’ve been lacking from my diet. So far, it’s the only way for me to get everything I need without taking 52 different pills each day. I stick 5 patches to my body each day. It’s a more expensive route than the big chewable tablets, but if I’m barfing them up anyway, they aren’t really doing me much good no matter how inexpensive they are.

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Protein – Meeting my 90g of protein each day is next to impossible. I’m doing good to make it to 60 or 70 grams. From what I hear, this will get easier with time, but for now, it just seems like a crazy unreachable goal.

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Speaking of goals! When I found out that my surgery was scheduled for February 14th, I made a personal goal for myself that by my birthday I wanted to be at or under 250 pounds. Tuesday is my birthday and I’m SO proud to say that on Friday morning I weighed in at 249.1! There’s an insane sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with almost every weigh-in. Every time I notice clothing fitting differently or jewelry sliding off or even my shoes slipping right off of my feet, I can’t help but get the tremendous sense of pride. No one has done this but me. I feel better, I have more energy, I’m happier, I have tons more confidence in myself and it’s just a wonderful feeling that I expect to only grow stronger as more time passes.

I promised that I would keep this post pretty short. All in all, there’s really nothing too terribly bad about this process. I do miss eating straight scrambled eggs and getting food drunk on gobs of hot bread while waiting for my food to arrive at restaurants, but those will happen again with time. I also miss being able to chug water like a fish! For now though, I’m enjoying the freedom of not having to think about food 100% of the time. It’s a nice break from the past, that’s for sure.

It’s time for me to get my beauty rest. (HAHAHA!)
Stay gorgeous my sweet friends.
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12 days post-op update

It’s been a little over week since you guys heard from me and since then there’s been a few hiccups but I gotta say everything is going well and every day gets better and better. Since the day of the surgery, up until a few days ago, the most solid food I had eaten was sugar free popsicles. A lot of them. I mean A LOT of them. Something I learned when I was a small child from my dearest Grandpa George is that my tolerance for delicious sugar free treats is very low. You see, Grandpa George was a diabetic. He always had yummy sugar free cookies and delicious sugar free candies scattered about the house. Of course, I was a small child and I had to do what small children do at their grandparent’s house. I would stuff my self full of these scrumptious delights and then pay for it dearly. My parents always warned me that too much candy would cause a tummy ache, but they never warned me about the side effects of artificial sweeteners. (What does this have to do with a surgery update? Just keep reading.)

You see, all those times I heard a rumbly in my tumbly at Grandmom and Grandpa’s house, it wasn’t the candy! It was the copious amounts of artificial sweeteners I had shoved into my body that were making me spend entirely too long on the potty. At last I learned the truth. Artificial sweeteners and I just simply do not get along. For those of you who can’t seem to read in between the lines, let me just say that this is about to get REAL personal and REAL disgusting, REALLY fast. So if you don’t want to hear about it, now would be the perfect time to close this window. Here’s a nice picture of my Grandpa George and me when I was a cute little sprout. I’m warning you… turn back now if you don’t want to hear it.

Well, you’re still reading so I’m assuming you want to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly. So about those popsicles that I had been eating… I already told you guys that they were sugar-free because that’s the only thing that the doctor approved other than nasty ass sugar-free jello or some other nasty cream of chicken soup crap. The popsicles were so delicious. My husband brought home a bunch of different brands and flavors and we went to town. Well, they are also very full of artificial sweeteners which of course I knew! Obviously, I knew… I’m not oblivious. The reason I was eating so many was that I hadn’t pooped in 9 days. I wasn’t worried about the “laxative effects” that the artificial sweeteners would have on me. Remember in my last update how I told you guys I was trying to burp and fart as much as I could because releasing the pressure was practically the only relief I could find? Yep. So my mom was over at the house spending some time with me. She would laugh every time I released the gas. It was wonderful and amazing until it happened. She was sitting across the room from me and I was about to get up and go to the kitchen and I went to let one rip. Immediately my face fell and I froze. My mom, God bless her soul, knew exactly what had happened.

I learned something that day. Purple popsicles give you purple runs and orange popsicles give you orange runs. There was laundry to do and a lesson to be learned. Turns out, even if you haven’t eaten anything solid in well over a week, you can certainly get the runs.

By the way, these are seriously the BEST sugar-free popsicles on the planet. YUM!

Now. The main question here is, “Why on earth would you tell the entire world that you shit yourself?” Well, here’s the answer to that question. Keep in mind that my stomach is still very swollen from being cut on. The size of my new belly at the time of this whole incident was about the size of a large marble. It didn’t hold much and keeping up with my water intake was a little hard to do. Imagine taking your entire day to fill a marble full of water. 64 oz of water that marble needs. Not too much of hard task, until you add in the fact that I also had severe diarrhea. We all know that diarrhea will dehydrate a body faster than most things. Needless to say, I was extremely dehydrated and the weakness of trying to heal and also not having any calories other than just a few spoonfuls of soup was making it super hard to even move. All I did was sleep for a few days until we decided that the dehydration was just a bit severe. I’m uber thankful for my husband begging me to take care of myself even when I could barely find the strength.

After I started feeling a bit better and knocked out all of the artificial sweeteners I was getting ready for bed the following night and I did what I’m so used to doing. I poured my daily medications in my hand, I took a big gulp of water, I threw the pills in my mouth and swallowed. Time for bed!

I was washing my face and brushing my teeth and all of a sudden it hit me. I was hot. Not hot like a normal hot, no. This was like fever breaking, body trembling, nauseous feeling, sweat pouring from every single pore on my body kind of hot. Then I started cramping again. Dammit! More diarrhea?! I thought we were past this. I headed towards the potty and quickly decided it wasn’t happening from the backend. Nope. Not at all. I sat with my head in the toilet dry heaving for 15 minutes. I was in tears from the pain of heaving time after time after time after only having stomach surgery a week prior. It was excruciating. I finally got the strength to pull myself up off the floor and run to get my husband’s help. I was hoping that he could get me one of those magical nausea pills and maybe just maybe it would solve my problem. While I was running from one room to the other hollering for help, I couldn’t find the kitchen trash can fast enough. Before I knew it I was on the kitchen floor heaving again. Thank goodness Keenan was there to grab me a magical pill and some water so that I could swallow it down. After 45 minutes of pain and torture, I finally was able to relax and get to bed. What a night. I slept the entire next day, however, I did manage to call my surgeon’s office to find out what the hell I had done to myself to cause this insane mess of heaving.

After I explained what I had done a few hours before the episode, it was clear that I had completely overfilled my belly with water and medication. The water had gone right through me and the pills were stuck in my very swollen belly. Clearly, I wasn’t aware that I needed to take my pills one at a time with at least 15 minutes in between. Hmmm. Who would have thunk it?

Guys… this is why I’m sharing my story. So many of you have reached out to me on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to tell me either that you’ve had the surgery already or that you are wanting it so badly but you’re too scared because you simply don’t know what to expect! I’m sharing my wins and loses with you guys in hopes that if some of you do decide to make this wonderful life-changing decision to have weight-loss surgery, that you’ll know what to expect. Unquestionably, my journey will be much different than anyone else’s. Everyone has their own story to tell. My husband, for instance, was fine and dandy within 3 days as if nothing ever happened. A friend of mine was in the hospital for a few weeks after hers because of some terrible complications. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT! Here’s the important thing to know though, even though I’ve had some struggles and some pain and things are taking a bit to get used to, I wouldn’t change my decision if given the chance. I’d do it all over again in an instant.

All of this is temporary. The pain is completely gone now. I’m able to eat mushy veggies and noodles! I had Minestrone soup today and I’m fairly certain for a brief moment I traveled to heaven. Biting into something solid(ish) was the most wonderful thing that has happened since February 13th. I’m finally starting to notice little things changing with my body. I went to the store and actually read the label of the food I was buying! What?! The old Meighan didn’t give a flying fuck what the labels said. Not one. I might have looked at the serving size on a few things once or twice but that’s really about it. I didn’t care about sugars or carbs or fiber.

Things are changing in the Knight household. My husband weighs his food and logs everything he eats to ensure he meets his macros. He is currently trying to convince me that I need to be walking around the block with him every night. Shocking! (Also – slow down turbo. I’m not even 2 weeks post-op yet! Baby steps!)

We have set a goal to complete our first 5k together by the end of the year and I have high hopes that we can reach that goal together. I feel like I finally have a partner in this whole weight-loss game and it’s so great. I just know we are going to win this time. Together.

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Alright. Sorry for the long post but I promised I’d be real and share the good and the bad. I hope sharing my story will help some of you who are the fence about making this decision jump!

To those of you who have contacted me saying that you’re too ashamed to admit you’ve had weight loss surgery, I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear. I understand completely how hard it is to admit to people that you need help. Some people go to rehab and never tell a soul. It is so hard to be open about these types of things because you never know who is going to judge you or try to make you change your mind. I didn’t want to tell anyone for a few years. I finally opened up about it last year because I realized that I was killing myself. I was taking years off of my life and I needed help. I could no longer do this alone. So to you guys, I just have to say that I am so so proud of you. You made the decision to save your life and look at you now! Please don’t be ashamed of your past. Be proud of who you have become! Be proud of making the decision to take your life back and gain your health!!

I’ll end this on a happy note! 2 weeks ago Keenan tried on a suit that he hadn’t worn in a while. It didn’t quite fit so we hung it back in the closet and found another option for him. He has another interview tomorrow and he tried the same suit on tonight. Guess who’s wearing a nice and spiffy suit to his interview?? It’s so great to see him get excited over this. He’s lost nearly 15 pounds in 2 weeks and seeing him talk about it is so thrilling to me because there’s this light in his eyes. You can tell that he’s truly proud of himself and excited to keep going.

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Good night my sweet human souls.img_1158

Addiction.

It’s like craving death.
I know it will kill me eventually.
I know it’s not good for me.
Without it, I am the worst version of myself.
I’m always looking for my next fix.
I’m angry and moody simply because nothing else matters.
I snap at nothing and no one really understands what the deal is.
Gasp. There it is. Finally. So good.
Just one little whiff, one little bite and suddenly everything is right again.
It’s been a few minutes. I need another.
This is destroying my life.
It takes over every inch of my body every single second of every single day.
I feel disgusting afterward each fix but in the moment I’m complete.
I crave the rush, if only for a minute.
Regret sets in and now I’m disgusted and ashamed.
Now I’m sad, or worse – angry.
The craving returns… it’s the only thing to make it better.
Not everyone can understand addiction.
It takes many forms.
Drugs. Alcohol. Cigarettes.
Sugar is my drug of choice.
It’s a viscious cycle.
Sad. Eat. Guilt. Repeat.
Somedays I don’t even know that I’m doing it.
People joke like sugar addiction isn’t a real thing.
I don’t remember the last time in my life I wasn’t thinking about sugar.
It’s consuming all of my mind all the time.
And so repeats the cycle.