February 24, 2015 by Nicole Bullock · 4 Comments Transparency can be a difficult thing. At the beginning, I wanted desperately to be able to glide into Onederland and be under 200 pounds. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety since my teen years, I’ve tried plenty of medications and met with quite a few mental health professionals. I knew I’d still want to make occasional updates on the blog, but I feel like most of my gastric bypass story has been told. My friend Wendy contacted me and said she was going to be coming to town in October to do the Detroit Free Press international half-marathon. I was very into tracking my fitness during the year with my Fitbit One Activity Tracker (add me on my Fitbit profile). I was asked to review a copy of one of the latest books about bariatric surgery, Weight Loss Surgery: The Real Skinny.
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of the book to review for my blog from The Cadence Group. I would like to lose more weight, but I am happy with where I am at: When I embarked on my weight loss journey, I had the ultimate goal of losing 200 pounds.
Forgive regain, to a point: For the first 10 months after surgery, the numbers on the scale went down consistently. Disclosure: I have agreed to be a brand ambassador for ZonePerfect as part of the Blog Forward Challenge. Their last 4 months have been spent in chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and various other treatments.
When my husband was scheduled for a trip over Christmas, Rosie and I had originally planned to spend those days kicking back in pajamas and watching Christmas movies. Carla was wearing a Christmas sweater at the airport in an attempt to be merry, but said that she had to go home and get into her Christmas gear. With all the stress that Mike and Carla have been under recently, it felt so good to help them laugh, smile, and divert their worries away from cancer for a while. After VB, Rosie said that she wanted to drive to the North Carolina border because she’d never been to NC before. Christmas 2013 felt merry this year, and it didn’t require a Christmas tree with a load of presents to open. December 12, 2013 by Nicole Bullock · Leave a Comment With all of the food and extravagance of the holidays, it can be difficult to stay healthy and make good choices.
I am personally not a coffee drinker, and I am no longer able to tolerate most hot cocoas because of the sugar content. Since I had my gastric bypass surgery last year, I have been around the block and back on protein mixes.
After years of unsuccessful weight loss attempts, I was ready to proactively change my life. The pills and visits seemed to help me situationally, but I still would get into phases where my coping skills were poor. There are bloggers I adore such as Melting Mama and Eggface who continually update the WLS world on post-op life. I’ve been trying to decide how to commemorate this anniversary on my blog for a few weeks, and nothing felt quite right. But the major disappointment with my pre-surgery comorbidities is that I still have obstructive sleep apnea.
Taylor and I went through some tough times in our relationship prior to surgery, and I wasn’t sure how our marriage would fare post-op. For many of them, they hit their goal weight in less than a year, and have reconstructive plastic surgery soon after.
It’s a campaign for bloggers to make healthy resolutions in 2014, with challenges through the year to keep us motivated and on-track for long-term success.
I have not received any monetary compensation, but I will be receiving shipments of free product through the year to enjoy and share with my readers. Despite Carla’s infectious happiness and positivity, the stress she has been under to support her husband through the last few months has worn on her. But on the 23rd, after noticing that Carla’s posts on Facebook were particularly grinchy, I knew I had to do more. There’s a lovely dockside restaurant called The Lagoon where we enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner.
Many holiday gift guides I’ve seen have been for products that are grandiose splurges, and not necessarily mindful of a healthy lifestyle. I’ve recently discovered Tessara Tea, which offers natural herbal infusions to saturate the body with nutrients. Six Nutrition has a complete vitamin packet for men that  pinpoints 6 key areas of health: heart, joint, sex, muscles, mind, and energy.
I am good at packing some healthy high-protein snacks, but sometimes you need a meal replacement. I was motivated to not only be a success for myself, but to inspire other people to do hard things. I hovered between 245 and 255 for the next year, struggling with reactive hypoglycemia, mono, peritonsillar abscesses and some deep mental health struggles. And whereas food was a frequent coping mechanism prior to surgery, I had lost my ability to medicate with food to a degree. I was living my life as a healthier woman, and didn’t necessarily want the voyeurs of the interwebz to have access to my deepest and darkest. But since several people have asked me to give an update, here are a few highlights of 2014. I’m not a runner by any means, and I care about my joints too much to take up rigorous running at this weight. In fact, I ended the year with a total of 3,433,531 steps, which was the equivalent of 1593.95 miles. With only 4 days in the Netherlands, we crammed in as much excitement as physically and financially possible.


Blackwood, an author and lawyer, this book is intended for people who are considering weight loss surgery, or are WLS post-ops looking for additional information. Most of the information I found about weight loss surgery was either a pamphlet at a doctor’s office or a website not detailed to give the whole story about bariatric surgery. This book was very realistic and user-friendly for a pre-op WLS patient looking for a more personalized information set than you’d find on a hospital website.
I had a sleep study in November that revealed that I have significantly improved my apnea, but I’m still advised to use a CPAP machine (at pressure 5). Luckily, he has been an incredible support, I know how much he loves me, and my increasing health has only made our marriage stronger.
I’ve been fortunate to have minimal skin sagging and need for major reconstruction, but that may change as I lose more weight. I lost 120 pounds in the next 11 months, with a pretty constant downtrend in scale numbers. I got a Fitbit One for Christmas, and it’s helped me be more aware of my activity levels. I have been a fan of their bars for several years, and I’m happy to act as a brand ambassador in this challenge.
Between long work days, too much time in a car, frequent travel, and other life unpredictability, I’ve begun to rely too much on junk and convenience foods again.
With the Fitbit being much more accurate than any cheap pedometer I’ve used, I feel like my efforts are properly documented. Through the encouragement of my friend Wendy, I’ve signed up to participate in the Detroit half, which is one of the only races that cross international boarders , going from the US to Canada and back. Bariatric surgery support groups are most common  in person, usually offered through hospitals and surgeons’ offices.
In August, we had plans to room together at the Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Matters conference in Phoenix. We walked the oceanfront in our silly hats and outfits, talked, laughed, and got some exercise. We stopped at Border Station, which is a convenience store where half is in Virginia, half is in North Carolina, with a huge dividing line through the middle of the store. Our mutual friend Vivian, who is also in BBGC, met us at the restaurant to have dinner with us.
Carla packed up a suitcase full of sugar-free Torani syrups (our favorite) to send back on the plane to Michigan (totally worth checking a bag). We just enjoyed each other’s company as we ate breakfast and watched the parade on tv. My greatest hope for Mike and Carla this year is that treatments will be effective and his cancer will go into remission. In this post, I am highlighting gift ideas for a healthful life, both for weight loss surgery patients and their loved ones.
Last year I discovered Crio Bru, which is a brewed cocoa drink that is delicious, low calorie, and unique. Herbal infusions are made by steeping plants material in water, including roots, barks, leaves, berries and flowers.
I sampled ALL of their flavors: original, chocolate, banana, cinnamon chocolate, coconut chocolate, hot pepper, maple bacon and more. Each day’s pills are packaged in a stylish foil packet that make it easy to stash in your pocket, briefcase, suitcase, or desk. Of any protein I’ve tried, I am happiest with Big Train Fit Frappe protein in vanilla. After a long hard look at my life, my happiness, and my health…I decided that blogging no longer brought me the satisfaction it had for over a decade. I posted a little on my Beauty and the Bypass Twitter and Facebook pages, but the previous drive to maintain my online success was gone. I declined sponsorships, product reviews, and opportunities to make money off my weight loss success.
We walked and walked and ate and enjoyed time as a family (and I celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with Taylor).
I think there’s a real need in the marketplace for candid books about details about life before, during, and after weight loss surgery, and this book fits the bill nicely. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my teen years, and weight loss hasn’t changed those mental health challenges. But I was working out like a maniac at that point, having RH crashes too often, and I felt weak.
And I haven’t ruled out the possibility of having another child yet, so I will wait for any additional surgery until I have a baby or decide to keep my family as is.
January has been an incredibly involved month at work, I’ve worked a lot of overtime, and the Fitbit kept me motivated to walk a little more and take the stairs whenever possible.
With my hectic schedule and so much of my time spent online, I prefer to participate in an online support group. On the flight between Norfolk and Atlanta, her husband Mike had a grand mal seizure on the airplane.
Rosie and I flew out to Norfolk on the morning of Christmas Eve to bring some Christmas cheer.
When Mike was too tired to continue, he waited for us to walk further along the oceanfront. Rosie and I had to be back at the airport fairly early to fly back to Detroit, so we said our reluctant goodbyes before 8 am.
While steeping, the plant materials release their essential minerals and nutrients into the water, making it easy for the body to absorb and digest.
My husband recently did a review of Six Nutrition Vitamins on my other blog, if you’d like to read about his experience.
It is very versatile…you can flavor it with sugar-free syrups, add it into recipes and fancy drinks, serve it hot or cold, and get single-serve packets for when you are on the go. It’s made of sturdy plastic, has a removable metal BlenderBall for easy cleaning, and the lid makes it easy to shake things up without leaking. With the sleeve (also known as sleeve gastrectomy), a portion of the stomach is removed to reduce its size.


However, within a month of the surgery, I moved from Salt Lake City to Detroit and started a new job.
I realized that I had achieved improved health and activity, but my mental health was still lacking. Some days I regretted it…but it was largely a relief to take myself out of the spotlight. It was the most physically taxing thing I’ve ever done, but I hobbled through the last 2 miles and sprinted across the finish line to get my awesome finisher medal. It was such a happy trip, and I would not have been able to enjoy it so much had I not lost the weight from gastric bypass.
I have been active in the depths of some pretty gritty and realistic support groups where I’ve had my questions about surgery and post-op life answered, and this book just skims the surface of the heavy emotional stuff.
I have an emotional attachment to food, and I don’t think that any amount of therapy will change that. Those in abusive relationships tend to finally have the courage to move on, whether it is a romantic relationship or just a friendship. I’ve got a time-intensive job that demands my attention more than past positions, and getting back on a computer after work rarely happens.
I was able to eat more, tolerate more varieties of food, and started testing out the limits of my newly-regained healthy body. I’ve calculated that to reach 3 million steps, it averages out to be about 8,500 steps a day. I found the Bariatric Bad Girls Club around the time my surgery was approved, and I’ve come to depend on those friendships daily. We joked around with the restaurant staff, sang along to the Christmas songs playing over the speakers, and enjoyed the view of the marina as the sun set. When Rosie and I got off the plane in Detroit, Taylor was waiting for us at the gate in between his flight legs.
I’ve put it on sandwiches, crackers, pretzels,fruit, and mixed it into protein shakes. Another plus about this particular powder…you can add it into other protein mixes to make the more tolerable. I have several bottles in various sizes and colors, and I love stashing one in my suitcase with Ziploc baggies of protein powder for when I travel.
I was less careful about my intake in 2014, and that’s part of the reason I had some regain.
I like to celebrate with food, I like to be social around food, and I make better food choices when I just accept those truths.
I’ll post when I have something important to say, and not pressure myself to post for the sake of posting. I do best when I have a supply of nuts, jerky, dried fruit, and bars tucked in my desk or glove box. The smile on Carla’s face was priceless when we came out of security and each gave her a giant hug. I hate throwing away protein just because I don’t like the taste, and mixing in a little Fit Frappe seems to make everything taste better. With gastric bypass surgery, a section of the stomach and sometimes the intestine are reshaped to change how food is processed through the body. Most products are between $10-15, and  are in the form of the Crio grounds, Crio Cocoa, and Crio espresso.
Fit Frappe is also available in coffee, mocha, espresso, chocolate, chai, and vanilla latte flavors.
I consider myself MUCH healthier than I was in 2012, but I’m still not normal or perfect. You have to do what is best for your sanity, and sometimes that means that you rely on different people than you did in the past. I had mono and peritonsillar abscesses, went on steroids, gained some weight, and then had a tonsillectomy. There is the risk of infection, perforation, blood clots, and having a reaction to the anesthesia to name a few.
I like ME, and even if I don’t lose any more weight, I feel like my surgery was a success. Two weeks later began a two month whirlwind of travel, packing, interviewing, and general life insanity to prepare for our move to Michigan. On my worst day with the regain from surgery and steroids, I weight 261, 19 pounds up from my highest. There is also a high risk of lung and cardiac problems occurring, mostly due to the nature of the anesthesia.Pulmonary and Cardiovascular – During and after surgery, there is a risk of lung collapse or the lungs filling with fluid. There is also a risk of a stroke caused by an embolism or blood clot along with blood clots forming elsewhere in the body. I feel lousy on days that I haven’t exercised, and I know that eating too much will make it tough to keep my weight in check. However, there are certain realities about weight loss surgery that should be considered before risking the possible dangers of having it done.Weight loss surgery is meant for people who are morbidly obese. They regain the weight because they never examined how they became overweight and made the necessary changes to their life style to keep the weight off. Most complications come from people not eating properly or by not following the doctors orders after surgery.
I have never heard of or met anyone who had the bypass and gained the weight back in the first year.
But I have read a few rare cases of banded or sleeved people gaining the weight back, but only after several years due to getting their bands unfilled or poor and over eating.
However, I do feel like the healthcare industry has lowered the requirements for surgery too a dangerous level.



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