GOAL is in my sights!

It has been another amazing month.  I am now 4 months post-op, and as of this morning have lost 72 pounds!  I weigh 169, I started at 241. My BMI is now 27 (started at 40), and I am wearing size 10 jeans (started at 20-22) and MEDIUM tops!!!  I feel amazing.  The last time I wore size 10s, I weighted 155….so all of the exercise is clearly paying off in inches off my body!  My goal is 145,  at which point I will be consulting with the plastic surgeon to remove the excess skin and get a tummy tuck and raise the girls up!  People tell me that will take another 5-10 pounds off, so that will put me at my personal goal!!!  I am planning the surgery for this coming December.

So the training – I got a stress fracture in my right foot a few weeks ago from over training that kept me out of the Colfax Marathon Relay.  I wanted to cry…but stuff happens.  I am walking my dogs as much as ever, I am not wearing a boot (even if it takes longer to heal I am not wearing that thing) and weight training.  Speaking of my dogs – we adopted a very sweet 4 year female Great Dane whom we have named Dodi (it means Beloved in Hebrew) to be a sister to our male Great Dane Asher (also 4, and his name means Good Fortune).  They are so much fun, and I love my walks and hikes with them.  I truly think that dogs are a great addition to the family and the exercise regimen!!  They WILL help you get the weight off and build your endurance.  I urge you to ADOPT (please do not buy which only supports the brutal puppy mill industry!) and save a life!

I had a long plateau this month – I went almost 2 weeks with the scale not budging at all.  And to recap – I AM 100% compliant to the food and exercise plan – so stuff just happens.  I kept going, and voila!  It finally started moving again.  I AM IN CHARGE here!  Not the scale!

I still struggle a little with keeping some stuff down, and that is normal.  I am very gradually trying new proteins.  Some work, some don’t.  My 50th birthday was 2 days ago, and I was not successful keeping a beef slider down.  Live and learn.  My stomach pouch is still quite tiny – maybe 2 ozs, so I am working on getting it a bit larger.  I am having to eat about every 2-3 hours to get 65-80ozs of protein in per day.  I have mastered the fluids and am getting 70-80 ozs in per day.

I saw the dentist for a cleaning last week, my gag reflex is awful – and worse since the surgery, and I warned them….but they didn’t believe me and they paid the price if you get my drift.

So, my Arbonne business trip was in late April, and I had SO. MUCH. FUN!  I had cute clothes, I felt fabulous, I lost weight while I was there and EVERYONE just about flipped when they saw me.  That has to be one of the most gratifying things about this transformation – besides how darn great I feel!

Top photo is me at the Arbonne conference at 176lbs. I am down 7lbs from this photo. The dress is a size 12. Light grey dog is our new girl Dodi, and the darker dog is Asher my boy!

Stay tuned!!

This entry was posted on May 28, 2012. 1 Comment

Lots of Progress!

It has been an amazing month.  I am almost 12 weeks post-op, and as of this morning have lost 60 pounds!  I weigh 181, started at 241. My BMI is now UNDER 30 (started at 40), and I am wearing size 12 jeans (started at 20-22)!!!  I am shopping in normal stores, I feel amazing, and I look better than I have in over 20 years.  One of the things that is really mind-blowing to me is that the last time I wore size 12s, I was in the high 160s….so all of the training that I am doing for my races is clearly paying off in inches off my body!

So the training – I am so blessed to be a part of the Overweight to Endurance Athletes group that Richard Kalasky put together to give back to the community that helped him lose so much, and he is now a triathlete!  We are running the Colfax Marathon Relay on May 20th with 2 teams, and I am also running in a few other 5Ks.  I run 3-4 days per week – about a 5K each run (3.2. miles, never less, sometimes more), and weight train 2 days a week as well.  I do not currently have a huge desire to run a marathon, but I am eyeing doing a half marathon by the end of the year.

I seem to have FINALLY gotten my nutrition under control.  I was not keeping anything down, and Dr. Snyder assessed it as Tequila Syndrome – meaning that because everything made me nauseous, everything made me nauseous.  So I went back to liquid only for a week, and then started adding foods back in.  I am now down to just one protein shake per day and am chewing the rest of my food.  My stomach pouch is still quite tiny – maybe 1.5 ozs, so I am working on getting it a bit larger.  We also had to add carbs to my diet because of the training and that has really helped, along with an electrolyte drink when I train and energy gels that are full of carbs.  I was just so weak prior to getting this all worked out when I was training that it became a huge issue.

And – I can now brush my teeth without getting sick…you have no idea how awesome that is!

Some of you know that I am a VP with Arbonne – an amazing Swiss-based health & wellness network marketing company.  Our annual conference is at the end of April in Las Vegas, and this will be my 7th event.  I have always been the fat girl in the room….and I am SO excited to go with my new cute clothes, cocktails dresses and new attitude!  I am also getting a new haircut today as well.  And of course right before the trip, I am doing an organic spray tan, lots of waxing and mani/pedi….things I mostly did not bother with in years past because I just wanted to blend into the woodwork.  I will look and feel AWESOME!!

I LOVE the new sassy, confident and strong woman who is emerging from underneath the weight of the shedding pounds, the evaporating medical co-morbidities and my emotional health!!!  I intend to keep her around for the rest of my LONGER and BETTER life!

Stay tuned!!

This entry was posted on April 17, 2012. 2 Comments

Halfway there – with pictures!

As promised, here are photos from the night before my surgery (January 25th, surgery was January 26th), and a few progress pictures, all taken this past weekend at 9 weeks/2months post-op.

My stats:
Marie Silverstein, 49 years old.  Gastric bypass surgery January 26th, 2012. Starting weight 241lbs/BMI of 40.  Current weight 187lbs/BMI of 31.5.  Weight loss of 54lbs, halfway to goal of 135 (surgeon’s goal is 150 or BMI of 25)
Co-morbidities at start: depression, hypertension, pre-diabetes, sleeping issues, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.  Depression is gone, hypertension is gone, pre-diabetes is gone, asthma and arthritis no longer require daily meds.
It is good to be me!
Stay tuned!!
This entry was posted on April 2, 2012. 1 Comment

6 Week Check up! March 7th

My 6 week check up and class went GREAT.  I am officially down 40lbs.  I feel great, I am focused, and now I can start eating more normal food – my new normal, not what everyone else can eat.  Because of my strictures my pouch is still really tiny, so a meal for me is still about an ounce of food.  I have to chew it like crazy, and I can no longer drink when I eat until an hour afterwards.  I am struggling a bit with getting in enough protein (65 grams/day for a woman) as a result, but that will get better with time.  I have to eat every 3 hours, and that is hard, because I am just never hungry, but I have to feed the machine!

I have this weird thing going on with brushing my teeth – I get a tremendous gag reflex, which is a big bummer.  I am really hoping that goes away!

I have now donated 7 garbage bags of clothes, and every day I find more stuff that no longer fits.  All I am wearing during the day are my workout clothes, and I have to go buy an outfit today to wear to an event Thursday and Saturday…and by 2 weeks from now, that won’t fit anymore, either.  It is a good problem to have.

I have LOADS of energy, and am sleeping better that I have in 20 years, maybe longer.  I no longer snore, and I don’t get up all the time during the night.

I am training daily for the Colfax Marathon Relay team, and taking lots of walks with my dogs and my husband….so much energy to BURN OFF!

And my business – I am an RVP with Arbonne – is BOOMING!  My renewed self-confidence is attracting people to me and my business because I BELIEVE IN ME!  And it shows!

A small part of me really wishes I had done this sooner – yet I know that I was not ready for whatever reason before now.  I am so grateful that I did make this HUGE change, and for all the people in my life that are so supportive.  And to the ones that were not supportive – you know who you are, bless your hearts – because you are no longer in my life.  I deserve to be surrounded by people like me who care for their loved ones and cheer them on!

Stay tuned!!!!

This entry was posted on March 14, 2012. 1 Comment

And the training begins…..with a 7K!

I started training March 4th (5 weeks post-op) for the Colfax Marathon Relay (5 legs, I’ll be one of them) with other members of the Bariatric Team – Couch to 5K Endurance Athletes! We did almost 3 miles, and I ran 1/2 mile of that. Then I did the C25K training myself during the week.  Around that time, I responded to a Facebook posting that Richard Kalasky made about the team all participating in the Runnin Of The Green 7K that weekend.  I was a little bummed that there was no way I could do a 7K yet (4.35miles) and Richard resounded immediately that I could and should…..so I registered and Scott said he would do it with me!

I have to say I was pretty freaked out.  But determined.

Race day – March 11th – gorgeous Colorado day.  We met everyone in downtown Denver for the race.  We were in Corral 3, the tail end of the racers.  The rest of my group was in Corral 1 or 2. I was calm but nervous inside.  We took off, and my only goal was to finish.

I started at a light jog, and I immediately burst into tears – of pride, and joy, and accomplishment.  I didn’t even jog that long.  The hills at the start of the race were killers.  And I was only 6 weeks post op and had been training for 1 week.  I stopped crying and muscled it out.  I never stopped, and I kept up a solid fast walking pace.  Scott told me later he thought I would need a few breaks, but there was no way I was going to do that.  We crossed the finish line at 1:13:11.  16+ minute miles.  I was thrilled.  And crying so hard.  I am not sure I have ever been more proud of myself.  And my amazing husband was with me pushing my pace.  And the best part – my coach Richard Kalasky and several members of the group came back and waited for me to cross the finish line and took my picture.  I am crying again as I write this because it just felt so amazing.  I can do anything!

Stay tuned!!!!




This entry was posted on March 14, 2012. 3 Comments

February 28th Milestones

Several big milestones today! Finally was able to sleep on my side ~ so grateful for that! Walked Asher by myself for 2.5 miles, and am holding everything down! AND – I am under 200lbs and will NEVER go back! That’s 38 pounds gone forever! Woooohooooo! Feeling GREAT!

Stay tuned!

This entry was posted on March 14, 2012. 1 Comment

Stricture #2

A mere 8 days after my first endoscopy (about 4.5 weeks post-op) – and as predicted by Dr. Siegel – I was back in the Rose ER checking in for my second endoscopic procedure.  I knew since it happened only 3 weeks post-op I had an 80% likelihood that the stricture would grow back, and it did.  Same symptoms, same issues.  The great news was I was very relaxed, and Dr. Siegel assured me that this would be the definitive fix to the issue.  I was in and out in less than 2 hours, and went home and rested for the remainder of the day.  I was finally able to resume what is normal eating for a bariatric patient at that point and also started getting enough fluids.  Talk about a huge difference!  I had been so weak, and now I felt so much better!

Very happy that is behind me and so ready to start moving forward!

Stay tuned!