Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Nearly half the man I used to be, but it’s a good thing

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So it has been a while since my last update and things have been a bit crazy so let me just hit the highlights and go from there.

1960101_10152152048515914_1864566696_nI went on vacation recently (in fact I managed to drop 10 pounds while I was away for two weeks). I flew out and spent some time in Las Vegas where I some nice locals had a good time and then spent a second week out west in Phoenix with a friend and having not been on a vacation like that in a few years I can say it was well worth the trip. Vegas was great actually I played a little poker hit a few slot machines, saw a cool show and met a few locals and sang some drunken karaoke at 2am on the strip. 

1972513_10152151942575914_940583593_nHaving dropped now about 273 pounds since my journey started I’ve built up a new confidence as well. Sure I’m an extravert but two years ago I wouldn’t have just hit on a bartender in another city like that (let alone two). as a matter of fact I’d not have even made the trip two years ago and not just because I had issues getting around, but I was all but shut in. and now as I’ve mentioned before I’m out most nights now with friends or on an actual date with someone, which is still fairly new to me, but it’s been great. In fact I have a couple dates this weekend lined up with two people I’ve made good connections with. But tonight is karaoke night which while video evidence of my horrible singing may exist I will not share it tomorrow night I again will find myself doing open-mic night at Twisted Mikes Tap Room in Knoxville for Left Hand Comedy. I’ve done this now a few times and so far it’s been fun. If you’d like to catch my (NSFW) act check out this clip.

I’ve also been going to the chiropractor again for the first time in several years now that I’m light enough that the adjustments help. And this along with the yoga I’ve been doing as well as the walking and jogging and 1503404_10152142734350914_1808693154_nworkouts I’m to the point where not only do I not need pain meds (which I grant isn’t new news) but I’m also really starting to feel my knees have gotten stronger even if I do still wear braces now and again when I get injections and when I did the 5K at the end of last month. Which reminds me the 5K I did for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) was amazing and if you want you can still donate to the cause here. My team raised the second most amount and I raised the 3rd most personally so I was really proud of that, but they can always use more support so if you didn’t donate but would like to please consider this cause.

And in other health related news I have a surgical consult coming up soon at the Vanderbilt Plastic Surgery Clinic and while it’s likely I’m 6-12 months away form plastic surgery to rid myself of these 40-60 pounds of excess skin it will be interesting to find out just what I’m in for. And (and this is a big one) I’m pretty much apnea free now. I no longer need my CPAP device at night. The doctor told me this morning (as they reduced my pressure to the bare minimums on my device that based on the sleep study I did a few weeks ago if I avoid sleeping flat n my back and instead sleep on my side my sleep apnea (which wasn’t that bad on my back) is non-existent on my side, which means I might need to either strategically place some pillows or buy an anti-snoring shirt that essentially forces you to sleep on your side. I say this is big for me because when  I started this journey I not only had the BiPAP settings at the maximum pressure levels (assistance for both inhalation and exhalation) but I was also on 4 liters of Oxygen at night while I slept because my Obstructive Sleep Apnea was so bad I nearly died in my sleep every night (not joking). So to come from that to not needing the machine AT ALL is simply amazing.

And finally as I already mentioned I’m dating more now, even though I’d kinda been dating a little bit since December or so I’m really putting in the effort to connect with people which has been really good actually although I now seem to receive a rather large amount of Russian Mail Order Bride Spam in my Gmail so I have to deal with that now. I’ve been using Plenty of Fish and OkCupid with surprisingly good results considering the rocky start I got on PoF. But all in all it’s just been really nice to get back out there and be with people on a social level. I am a very social person and it was not easy dealing with the very claustrophobic nature of being a shut-in. This journey while not over has been very likely the single best decision I’ve ever made in the entirety of my adult life. 

1902929_10152152048555914_1169244040_nAnd with that I go back to that title…I need lose only 5 more pounds to officially be half the man I used to be. So with any luck the next time I post an update it will be just that. So for now I look forward to tomorrow with more confidence each day in myself as well as a lease on life that I can’t honestly begin to describe. If you are considering weight loss surgery or even a medical weight loss diet program I can’t promise it will be easy, and I can’t promise it will be fun every day, nor can I promise it will happen overnight, but the one thing I can promise is that the only regret you will have is that you didn’t make the decision sooner.

~rev (282 pounds)

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Struggling…but still losing….which is a good thing?

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Weigh-In | 1 Comment

Okay now that I have both your attention and your confusion let me explain. Firstly I wanted to talk about some of the struggles I’ve been having with eating as I find myself still dealing with issues of food volume…in other words I’m still grabbing too much food from the kitchen and I’m still eating too much though by normal standards I’m not eating that much. But I wanted to share this issue because I’ve talked to other people one or even two or more years post-op that still from time to time with eating too fast or too much or both in some cases and it was nice to know that this is normal.

imageBut I am still losing and that is a good thing. I’m down another 6 pounds since my last entry so al in all even with the struggles I’m doing well. I’ve also found I need to buy more beef jerky. While it may not be the best food around it is high in protein and when days like yesterday happen it allows me to work through lunch. The brand that seems to be the best for me so far has been Jack Link (you know the one with the stupid bigfoot commercials). They are also very low in fat (usually 1g) so you can eat a whole (small) bag sometimes…which is around 3 ounces…though you may find like I do it’s often too much so you can save the rest for later.

So I guess all in all I’m still on a good path, but I ‘am getting busier and busier at work, and now with adding physical therapy to the mix twice weekly and all the home exercise (which as far as I can tell is yoga ) I’ve not been able to find time to blog much. But I’ll try and do a little better than once a week. Look for vlog number 2 later this week.

That leaves us with one final bit to cover….well rather a request of sorts. I’d like to know what you all want to see on this blog. Let me know on facebook.com/stephenrea or in the comments below. I’ve been toying with a few different ideas of adding semi-regular editions to the site but don’t want to alter your thoughts so I won’t share them just yet. I’d like to hear from you, not just those who have had or are having the surgery, but anyone really.

 

~rev (412 Pounds)

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Sleep apnea issues and household chores…

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Personal | 2 Comments

I like many obese people in the world suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, one of the things I will hopefully be cured of when I lose all my excess weight, but for now I use an Oxygen Concentrator (4L) and a BiPAP Machine to help me sleep through the night.

So last night my BiPAP decided to die on me and needless to say this resulted in a horrible night’s sleep. I have an appointment with the company who services my stuff but since I own this unit I’ll likely either need to pay the service call fee or submit for a new unit through my insurance company.

On a positive not however I’m down to 432 pounds which means since surgery I’ve lose 36 pounds bringing my total weight loss (pre surgery included) to 110 pounds. I still have a long way to go, but I’m feeling great overall and this is a hell of a jump start on my excess weight loss. IMG_1341

And speaking of feeling great overall, I found myself starting to do more and more simple household chores and projects. For example, just last night I replace my home thermostat with a Nest Second Generation Wi-Fi enabled one, which took me around an hour or so, between going back and forth to the breaker box and documenting and removing the old unit then installing the new one, and even though in the end my sciatica did flair up just a bit causing my right leg to go a little numb I was able to deal with the whole thing without sitting once. And that was all after I replaced the guest bathroom shower head with one I purchased months ago but haven’t had the inkling to get it done until now.

I did however forget to drink during that hour so I got a little dehydrated, but I managed to rehydrate with little effort. So tonight I plan to replace the door knobs (2 of them) that have been giving me trouble and take a look at why my office door doesn’t shut properly. It’s really nice to be able to start doing things like this again.

 

~rev (432 Pounds)

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Back on track…

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Personal | 1 Comment

I’ve managed to get my protein intake up enough (thanks to the powder) I’m again losing weight! Also I’m definitely more mobile than I have been in a long time and I put a shirt on today I’ve not worn in over 2 years so all in all it’s a nice way to end my week. I had a friend visiting from out of town all week and I just dropped him off at the airport so for the first time in just over 3 weeks I’m going to get some truly alone time. While it’s been great seeing friends and visiting my sister & brother-in-law and their kids it will be really nice to just veg out a bit today with my thoughts.

On another topic I’m really starting to find more and more energy so I’m thinking I may take up walking at the local park this week. I’ll go Monday after work and see how it goes, and if it goes well enough I’ll try to start doing that 2-3 times a week for now. Ultimately in March of next year (or the year after perhaps) I want to walk in the Walk from Obesity 3K or 5K. I won’t likely run much but I think I have it in me to get there by next year, so wish me luck.

Also while I’m not sleeping in my bed just yet I am getting a good night’s sleep on my recliner and I think next weekend I may try to sleep in my bed again; I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m eating well enough and so far I’ve not had (knock on wood) any vomiting from eating too fast or anything bad, though I came close once or twice this week, mostly from the omelet I made which while very tasty was a bit too spicy (lightly pan scrambled omelet with 223499_10151427404220914_876098359_nspinach, diced tomato, onion,  and jalapenos), and I have had issues with eating too quickly causing some pressure (which is painful) but does subside quickly enough. All in all I am definitely on track for where I need to be which means I’ll likely lose the bet I made with my best friend Scott. He thinks I’ll lose 50 pounds in the first month after surgery and I don’t think I will. I’ll let you all know how the bet goes on April 30th when I weigh that day but it does look like he’s going to win. So the bet is simple. If I win he has to drive to Knoxville to see the new Star Trek movie in IMAX 3D and if he wins I have to drive to Nashville to watch it there. Either way I’ll get to see a hopefully fantastic movie!

I leave you today with the simple hope that my sharing can help you if you’re in the process of making the decision to have bariatric surgery, I’ve watch my friend lose 170 pounds and I’ve already lost so much that I know it’s the best thing I could ever to for myself. So I hope you all can Share & Enjoy. (it’s not just  the slogan of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation)

 

~rev (437 Pounds)

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love letters from pizza joints and pulled muscles…

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Personal | No Comments

I recently opened my mail to find a letter from a local pizza place and when I opened the envelope I found what I can only call a love letter. They missedmarcos_letter me apparently and sent me an apology note asking if they’d done anything wrong. (See photo) So is that what I had become I began to ask myself. I look at this letter now and laugh because it seems silly, but this a rather solemn reminder of what I’m trying to accomplish here.

Which brings us to today. I’m having issues getting my protein count in so I may have to start eating more protein smoothies and shakes for a while which in my case is protein power and skim milk….yum.

Before I sign off for the night I wanted to mention I think that I pulled a muscle on my right side just walking to the damn mailbox yesterday. I guess my driveway was a little too steep for me to walk just yet so that’s going to slow my recovery a little bit for a few days….I guess the bright side is that I did seem to sleep well enough for the most part so moving back out to sleep in the recliner has done the trick.

 

Tomorrow is Friday!

~rev (441 Pounds)

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Insomnia, eating and a little walking.

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Personal | 3 Comments

I was away for two weeks, between surgery and recovery and the whole903943_10151504542000914_741016032_o time I either slept on a hospital bed or a newly purchased power recliner and now I find myself unable to sleep in my own bed. I tried for a couple nights an each night I was up once or twice every hour and got no rest. So last night I moved into my living-room and slept on the recliner….and slept almost the entire night.

Now I beg you bare with me as I ramble through this post but I also wanted to talk about my trip to Kroger today. Normally I ride the disabled persons cart because quite honestly with my health I needed it, and will continue to need it for a little while. But today I only needed a few items, Eggs, Bread for a friend staying with me to make sandwiches and some hot pockets (also for my friend). So I decided not to use the power scooter cart thingy today and hoof it. I know that may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but it wasn’t until recently that I could walk more than 100 feet before the pain in my back was so back I couldn’t move. I’m pretty much now able to walk about 1/4-1/2 mile distances at my own pace and today I walked around the grocery store without issue. So thank god I got some good rest last night.

Finally I wanted to talk to you about some of the issues I’ve found with eating. I’m finding it difficult to reteach myself how to eat. I’m still getting too much food from the fridge and have to put most of it back when I eat and I often find I’ve eaten too quickly which is painful. I only share this with you because for me so far it’s been my biggest struggle and if anyone who reads this that has had bariatric surgery has any suggestions please comment or email me @ step...@findinglean.com. And on that note I’ll let this ramble come to an end in the hopes more coherency finds its way into my entries in the future.

 

~rev (441 Pounds)

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