Double Double Toil and Trouble

Halloween title for fun!  Plus it semi-references my two wee beasties making my belly huge. 

I’m still under 200lbs which is somewhat of a relief, and I’m also still within a healthy weight gain range for my pregnancy which is most important. Although, the doctor did tell me to try to slow down a bit and limit my gain to 1 pound a week because I had a nice run of 2lbs a week between my last two visits and gained 8 pounds. Oops. 

But I’m being much more bariatric compliant and focusing on protein first and more fibrous/filling veggies or fruits to hold me through all the ravenous hunger caused by my two adorable parasites. 

With that dietary change I’ve actually only gained about a pound in the last 2.5-3 weeks instead of 3-6 pounds I was on track for in prior months. I talked with my nurse about that because I was scared now I wasn’t gaining enough!  But not to worry, she said that’s just fine to have a slow steady gain because that would be expected with the switch to more protein and less sugar/junk. She said the babies will take what they need, which is mostly protein right now, so basically it’s like they are gaining weight while I’m losing some and we are cancelling each other out for the most part. 

I’ve already started mentally planning workouts to help steadily work my way back down post-partum. I’m making sure to take in to consideration I will be exhausted from newborns plus recovering from giving birth or even a c-section if the little boogers don’t cooperate. But I also know my limits and when I’m not pushing hard enough or too hard, so I’m not giving myself any passes either. Walking at first may be all I can do, but that’s all I could do right after my VSG, so it’s not all that different. And now I will even have two poop machines strapped to me for extra weight resistance. Or pushing a stroller – which still adds to my workout. 🙂

I’m also reminding myself it won’t be an instant return to 150, so I can be mentally and emotionally prepared for the battle all over again. With all the stress parents with newborns have, keeping any other stress at bay will be very helpful. 

Aside from the physical activity portion, I’m also trying to determine my best mix of bariatric compliance with all I need nutritionally for breastfeeding. I really don’t think it’ll be an issue given it’s a heathy, well rounded diet, but I do want to research and review it before hand to be sure I’m getting all I need. And I can be prepared to add supplements or other food choices where appropriate. 

I did not have a good run at breastfeeding with my older son and was barely able to make enough for him on a daily basis. I never had more than what he would consume in the next one to two feedings on hand. Thinking that may be the case this time is worrisome, but I’m also more prepared for the possibility than I was last time. Being certain my nutrition isn’t impacting that is important to me. And honestly, I had a terrible diet after the first kid, so that may have been the issue. This time I won’t let it be nutrition and hopefully I’ll be able to figure out what else could be a culprit if I have problems again. And honestly, I’ll be less judging of myself if I need to add in formula to get these two fed.  Last time I just made myself depressed and miserable trying to live up to this “perfect breast milk mom” standard which was ridiculous.  But still fingers crossed my milk flows like a fully open faucet and I have nice fat babies. Formula is expensive. 😜

So I’m in the 10-12 week home stretch here, with arrival date anticipated to be between 36-38 weeks. I’m still keeping myself active at the gym, and even did BodyPump this morning. I have opted for naps a few times over getting in a workout, but I figure my body is telling me what it needs so I’m going to listen. My plan is still to stay as  active as I can to help prepare my body to bring these kiddos into the world as easily as possible. But also to get plenty of rest and relaxation while I have the option in between my active times. 

So now I’m going to just sit and relax while I enjoy my babies dancing or cage fighting or whatever they are up to in there right now. 

👶🏼👶🏼

-S

Post workout selfie a few weeks back

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20/20/200 

So I just passed the 20 week mark with my pregnancy. And on that same day, I also passed the 20lb mark for pregnancy weight gain. 

Surprisingly I’m not as freaked out about that as I expected. I had more of an “ugh” reaction than a “holy bleeping bleep I weigh 178 pounds again!!!” 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to see those numbers going up, but at least I can feel okay since I’m still within a healthy weight gain range for my pregnancy. 

With having multiples I’m expected to gain a bit more than a singleton pregnancy.  Apparently the range is 35-45 pounds. So allegedly I’m looking at maybe 15-25 more pounds to gain (although I’m sure I’ll end up gaining more because sweets are singing me the song of their people these days). 

I have roughly 16-17 weeks left of my pregnancy, because I’ll be delivering around 36-37 weeks due to the Doublemint Twins. If I gain the average 1.5 pounds per week that all “Theys” says you should during the 2nd and 3rd trimester then I’ll probably gain about 25.5 pounds and weigh about 205 pounds. Looking at that number is scary because I’ll jump back over that 200 mark I swore I’d never cross again. I’m just hoping for my mental and emotional well being that I react to that “milestone” similar to how I reacted to gaining this first 20 pounds.  

I’m also hopeful that I lose at least enough from delivery to be back in “Onderland” before I leave the hospital. Like even just 199 I think will be mentally soothing. But then again I’ll have my hands and mind really full of more important things and hopefully not even notice my weight for several weeks anyway. 🙂 

In the mean time, I continue to focus on going to the gym regularly and working to keep myself in a healthy place so I have an easier recovery and will be able to enjoy my babies without pain or struggle from being overweight. 

👶🏼👶🏼

-S

20 Weeks! – You’re Kicking Me Smalls

2 Years Post-Op

It’s cliche to say I know, but where has the time gone?  

It’s already been so long that my son says he doesn’t remember me being heavy. I guess seeing old pictures of me when he’s all grown up may be a shock. 😀

I can’t really post a traditional updated before and after pic at this point due to the giant bulge growing ever bigger on my abdomen. But there is still a massive difference between then and now. And between my first pregnancy and now. I look forward to posting an awesome 3 year post-op shot that is also post-twin birth. Keeping in mind the idea of that picture may help motivate me to jump back in where I left off and stay strong with it. 


Left is last week and right is that same old pre-op pic I always use. When I’m further along I’ll post comparison pics from when I was prego the first time. Hopefully the difference will be staggering. 👍🏼👍🏼

At this point in my first pregnancy (16 -17 weeks) you could definetely not tell I was pregnant for all the fat I was already carrying. Really it was roughly 6 months in before it was kind of obvious. And even then, in the wrong clothes, I could have just been fat with a big carb belly. 

It’s interesting having new experiences with this pregnancy, like figuring out workouts and workout clothes. I did not workout with the first pregnancy so I had no idea what would be different, if anything. Do I need special pants or supports? Do I just need bigger sizes? What can or can’t I do?  It’s been interesting exploring this topic, seeing what works for me and what doesn’t. Also, damn are maternity clothes expensive. I’m trying to keep it minimal and work with what I have as much as possible. 

Also, talking to people about it this early on is different. Now that even random acquaintances and strangers can just tell I’m expecting, I have ended up in a lot more convos about babies and pregnancy than I ever did with the first one. 

Enough about pregnancy though. 

So let’s see, where do I stand in bariatric life right now?  Well, I eat really any sort of food now with no restrictions (although I shouldn’t). I can eat more now than a year ago, but I do still eat waaaay smaller portions than pre-op because I literally can’t eat more (thankfully). 

I still keep up with my vitamin regimen every day and I keep up with sip sip sipping water all day long. I have been bad and had some pop and I do drink with my meals again. I really need to stop I know. I’ll work on that. 

Exercise, while I slowed down a bit because of you know what, I am still keeping it going and it’s helping tremendously with keeping me at a steady weight. I am gaining some pregnancy weight which is scary for someone having watched the scale like a hawk for two years, but it’s only been 11 lbs so far and apparently that’s about right at this stage for twin pregnancy. (Shhh, don’t tell me if you disagree – lol).  Before pregnancy the exercise was helping me kill those extra calories from naughty foods while my sleeve was helping me limit the number of calories of bad foods I could eat. That has really been my saving grace for meals where I eat poorly. 

I still have the occasional protein shake but try to get more of my protein from chewable foods. I never have made it back to eating fully vegetarian, but I’ve reduced my meat consumption some. Hopefully I can reduce it more and more until I’m back to zero.  

I still try to slow myself down and count 20 chews per bite, but I do sometimes find myself ravenously snarfing food down when it’s been too long without a snack. And with two babies throwing cravings at me, I am now hungry nearly all day long so snacking is at a maximum for me. If I go more than like 90 minutes I feel like it’s been 5 hours. I’m trying to make it more fruits and veggies with some protein in my snacks, like pears or apples with peanut butter, cube cheese and nuts, or carrots and laughing cow cheese. But I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t grabbed a candy bar or donut as a snack too. One baby seems to crave fruits and veggies while the other one wants grease and sugar. 

I’m certainly giving myself a pass on more carbs than my dietician told me to eat (by a lot). Not sure how that will work out post-natal, but I’m hoping to successfully breastfeed both babies, and burn off my extra carbs that way while I adjust and scale back to appropriate bariatric carb levels. Only time will tell. 😂

Not sure what else I can include here. If you have specific questions about what being two years out is like, please drop me a line. 

Otherwise, for now I’ll say again (and again) that this has been one of the best decisions of my life. I’m not a new person, just a better me.  And I’m so glad that I’m right where I thought I’d be at this stage. Well, I thought I’d be post-second pregnancy already, but otherwise this is everything and more than I could have envisioned two years later. 

-S

Seeing Double

I never meant to let this much time go between posts. 

At first I was just being lazy plus there wasn’t much to say. 

Then I had a secret and I knew I’d spill the beans if I decided to write anything. 

But now, the cats out of the bag so I thought I better post and share! 

If you’ve read from the beginning or just skimmed my about me page, you likely know one reason for my decision to have VSG was my struggle with infertility. I was told weight loss could have a significant impact on my ability to conceive. But my attempts to lose that weight with just diet and exercise actually ended up in me being heavier and still no bun in the oven. 

Fast forward several years to post-op VSG and I was warned to use double protection and be extra careful so as not to accidentally get pregnant too soon after surgery. Ha! So much for that. 

At one year post-op I was released by my doctor to start trying for babies. With all I’d been warned by the doctor and nurses and dietician, I thought I’d be pregnant within a cycle, maybe two. Flash forward six more months and nothing but a pile of used ovulation tests and negative pregnancy tests. 

So even though we’d been down the road before, we decided it was time to go back and try fertility treatments again. We did multiple rounds of clomid several years ago unsuccessfully, but never progressed to IVF or other options due to cost. 

I had been just seeing a Nurse Practioner for all my care recently, but she wasn’t able to help with fertility so I had to search out a gynocologist in town that I liked and could help me.  After several not even taking new patients and others that don’t deal with infertility, I finally found one and made an appointment. Whew. 

While she was willing to move forward with us having “only” been trying again for 6-7 months (usually they want to wait a year) she did want me to have an ultrasound and blood tests first. Timing had to be right to check my ovaries for cysts before we started, which meant I had to wait until my next menstrual cycle started before having the ultrasound. I had literally just finished a cycle so there went another month. 

Then unfortunately once I had the ultrasound I had several cysts, including one that was fairly large, so she wanted me to wait another cycle to see if they resolved on their own. Apparently they frequently do from cycle to cycle with PCOS patients. Then she would start me on the clomid if all was clear. So again, there went another month of no baby. 

Luckily the second ultrasound was clear! So on the clomid I went! Doc said it may take 2-3 cycles before it takes, but she was hopeful this would work within those 3 months and further types of treatment wouldn’t be necessary. 

Well, her hope turned out really great. One round and I was seeing double. Double lines on the pregnancy test that is. !!! 

And then I got to see double again when we went for the confirmation of pregnancy ultrasound at 9 weeks, because it turns out we are having TWINS!!  

Now I’m a week into my second trimester and still sort of in shock this finally happened after roughly 5 years passing since we started trying for a second child. Now we get #2 and #3 all at once. 😁

So for a few months here I’ll be focusing on how being pregnant post-op goes and any struggles I find in relation to being post-op and pregnant. At this point it has been normal as far as I can tell. It doesn’t seem different than what I remember from the my first pregnancy. Although my son is 7.5 so maybe I just don’t remember. 

I will say, watching weight come back on and realizing it’ll be about another 25-30 lbs more is freaking me out. But I just remind myself this gain is good and for the babies. And that I have the tools to handle losing it after the birth. 

I do just want to add that so many women and men struggle with infertility, and sooo many have to go through far more than I did. Shots and hormones and IVF and miscarriages and so much more. And I recognize that struggle and pain and heartache that they have gone through. I mention this because I don’t want people thinking “that’s all you had to do, stop complaining a-hole” And I also recognize that I am very lucky to have not gone through as much to get my happy ending, especially not having miscarriages and child loss in my infertility journey. For me it was that I couldn’t conceive at all in all my long time trying. So please remember every persons struggle and journey with infertility is different, but all of them are hard for the person experiencing it. As I can only share my story, that’s what I’ve done here. But I wanted to be sure to acknowledge there are so many versions of this story for so many couples and it sucks. And I hope each of those stories can end as well as mine. 

-S

Long awaited NSV

For years I’ve gone through a cycle of chopping all my hair off and then growing it back out. I do this because I love the short hair, but it never loves me. It looked horrible on my giant huge round fat face. Horrible. But everyone was of course too nice to tell me. 🙂

Monday, I went and chopped it off! Finally, I have a thin enough face to not hate the cut after I got it. Yea!! 


Besides fitting in that damn zoo chair, this might be my fave NSV. 

Now to play with styling options for both days when I make an effort and for most days when I will be lazy and do next to nothing with it. 🙂


-S

Ye Olde BFP and Maintenance 

It is nearly unbelievable to me that at a point in my not so distant past I was made up of more than half fat. MORE. THAN. HALF. 

53% BF to be exact. That was just 19 months ago, or just over a year and a half ago. Yikes. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve long last stopped giving any cares about BMI. In my opinion, It’s super useless once you are below a certain weight and are building muscle. BMI scales do not distinguish between fat and muscle. So you can be nicely built, low BFP, and it’ll still tell you that you are obese or even morbidly obese just because you packed on the muscle pounds. So forget that mess. 

Body Fat Percentage (BFP) is a much more useful indicator me of where I stand. Even now the pounds on the scale can be a bit misleading so taking in the two together is helpful over just focusing on pounds. 

I never did hit that 145 pounds I was fantasizing about, and it’s likely I never will. So even as much as it pains me to say it, I’m finally admitting to myself I’m in maintenance phase. It doesn’t look all that different than the last 8 months because I was really already in it but also in denial. C’est la vie! 

But back to Fat. I’ve been struggling a bit with my home scale constantly jumping around from 29% to 30% BF and just feeling it was wrong given how I felt my fit different, see my muscles developing, feel the strength I was gaining. I also have a handheld BF monitor and it was always lower, but I assumed that was because my upper half is a lot less fat and bulk than my bottom half (this girl has that booty, booty 🎶). 

So I read up more on my scale and how it measures BFP compared to other machines, and there were so many factors that could make them all inaccurate I was sort of shocked. Seeking out a more accurate way to measure it I found out one of the local supplement stores has this InBody body composition analyzer, similar to a Tanita scale but allegedly more accurate (per the store anyway).  This one actually individually measures each limb and then your trunk for a more accurate measurement. (Again, allegedly). 

Well I was super pleased with the results and I will go back again after more training to see where I stand.  For about a year now I’ve had my sights set on 25% BF and I’ve thought I was still 4-5% away for months. Turns out it was just the limitations of my at home scale and not me. 24.3%!!!  Goal in the bag!  

BFP (aka PBF) 24.3!!

Of course, now to maintain at or below that, continue to build muscle, and not freak out about any weight I might gain in the process. 

To do that, I’m still going strong with my personal trainer (lord help my wallet) and I’m in my final week of the Charlie Mike program with plans to run through it a second time. I’m also still throwing in my fun dance classes and I started doing some cycle classes for endurance training rather just running. 

I’m also still working towards doing unassisted pull-ups (a single one is part of my Year of 35 bucket list). Last test I still needed 60 lbs of assistance, but I can do several reps at that level so I suspect I could do it with 50-55lbs assistance.  Unfortunately the machine at my gym jumps down to 45lbs and I cannot do one at that level yet. But I will prevail and make that damn pull up my bitch. 🙂 

I’ll try to keep up more frequent updates, but in the meantime keep kicking ass at your own goals! 

-S

(Good) Gains and the Scale

I love it when I can see my progress. Measurements are great and all, but it’s not the same as seeing the physical difference before your eyes.  

I’ve been fretting over the hanging/flabby part of my arm recently because it’s cramping my flexed arm style with its annoying refusal to just fully go away. Not to mention I can see it flapping around when I’m running and that is sort of freaky. 

However, over the weekend I decided to dig up my old unflexed arm picture showing my batwings and take a new comparison shot. Frankly, I’m impressed with the progress and I will just have to (temporarily) stop complaining.  (No one tell my husband I said that). 

Top left 12/2015. Top right 2/23/17. Bottom is my flex for fun. I just wish my batwing was in fact a very nice tricep like it is pretending to be in the flexed picture.

Related to my flex, when you have been focused on weight loss for this long and then you see gains, it can cause some emotions over weight gain. It’s good gains I’m seeing, muscle gains…but still that number goes up on the scale and freaks me out a bit. It is both exciting and disappointing. But it’s very nice to see my body fat percentage going down at least.  In the last 21 days I’ve added 6.7 lbs to my lean body mass. But that also means my weight is now back to 161 lbs and I’m annoyed by that. I’d like to move on to the point where my BF% stays down and my weight also goes down, but I’m not sure where that kicks in in this whole muscle gain/fat loss balance. 

Related to gains, my husband says I’ve been bitten by the weight lifting bug. This of course is his dream come true because he LOVES weight lifting, whereas I LOVE to dance. Recently he located a workout app that is providing me with workout plans similar to what I do with my personal trainer. Those workouts are sort of crossfitty; with a good but also very hard mix of weight lifting and cardio/endurance training. Maybe more HIIT than crossfit really, but either way it’s kicking my butt into shape. Literally and figuratively. And it is improving my functional strength which will be necessary to help through any impending apocalypses. 😉

In doing these workouts I find myself drawn to the gym, excited to find out what sort of challenge I can take on next. I’ve already been deadlifting more than my body weight and my back squat is nearly there. I’ve done lifts such as snatch or clean and jerk that I never thought I would be doing. Or moves like barbell hip thrusters and wall walks that I’d never even heard of before this workout plan. 

And while I’m still a bit nervous sometimes setting these lifts up with all sorts of dudebro weight lifters around, I am feeling more comfortable in the space each day. 

If any of you would like to check out the app it is called Charlie Mike. I’m in week 4 of 6 and I’ll probably repeat it once I finish so I can see how much I improve on a second round. Because I’m working it in around my personal training, a can’t miss dance class, and a cardio kickboxing style class, it is taking me longer than the actual 6 weeks to complete it. So I’ll probably be done in about 3- 4 more weeks. 

And finally, I have a pretty awesome NSV to share. About two weeks ago I was doing a series of man-makers, burpees, and wall ball squats to finish out my workout. I noticed that a woman in her early 20s and her foot in a cast was sitting in a chair nearby, mostly looking at her phone (so I thought).  Just as I finished my 100th burpee (vomit), she stopped in front of me to catch my attention. As I gasped and sputtered and took out my headphones, she said “you are a total badass.”  I have to say, that may just go down as one of the most epic moments of my life. I was ear to ear grins for the rest of the day. 

And I’d be lying if I said I don’t think back on that moment to push myself harder through tough workouts. 

Now I just need the guts to buy and wear a shirt to the gym that says “Total Badass” on it.  💪🏻💪🏻😜

-S