Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

After many months of research,  doctor visits and other things, the decision has been made that I will be getting the gastric sleeve surgery. This is going to be the best bet for my health to get the excess weight off and keep it off.

I know many people have options on gastric surgery, but if they are not positive please keep them to yourself. 

This decision is not easy. Its one of the hardest I've ever made. But I know my health and well being depend on it.

First step I will be taking is starting a medically supervised diet, with an intake of 800 calories per day minimum.  More if needed for hunger. This consist of 5-160 calories shakes. If more calories are needed I can eat the approved foods on the program. Once I get to a low enough weight then I will have the surgery. I begin the medically supervised diet stage on March 31. Expexcted weight loss is 3 to 5 pounds per week.

Once I'm at a low enough weight, then surgery will happen. Sugery is about 45 to 60 minutes and can be done laparoscopic. Expected weight loss for this is incredible. 70 to 100% excess weight will be off and remain off.

Surgery is NOT "the easy way out"

It will still take lots of time and effort. Surgery is a tool to help me get to a healthy weight, just like a skilled carpenter uses his tools to help the job get done.

But with any surgery there are risks and complications. But the results out weigh (no pun intended) the bad. 

I am mentally ready for this. As said before I have done so much research,  met with different doctors, gone to every seminar you can imagine.

Again if you don't like my decision and are not going to be supportive I understand. But please keep that to yourself. But if you will help me, support me and encourage me I welcome that. I need as much encouragement as possible.

I will keep everyone posted on my progress and when surgery will happen. I am ready for this. Lets make this happen.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weight Loss Version 2.0

In the words of Bob Marley "Everything is gonna be alright."

I have not been blogging lately. Its hard to blog about failure. Since June I been dealing with some injuries. I talked with my doctor and she told me to take it easy.

I found out that I have Gout. A horrible pain in the joint of the big toe that spreads into the foot and ankles. Gout is caused by elevated uric acid levels. Uric acid comes from certain food such as seafood, red meat and caffeine. It causes crystals in between the joint most commonly in the big toe. Every time you bend the toe, walk or flex the joint, it breaks the crystals and causes pain that will bring the toughest person to tears. Even a sheet touching the toe causes insane pain.

The doctor gave me new pills that lower uric acid. This will make the pain subside, allowing me to get back to my exercise. One side effect to the pills the Doctor gave me is Weight gain. :( :(   Its such a hard decision to make. Do I take the pills which causes me to gain weight, or do I not take the pills and have pain where I can't exercise which will cause weight gain? I decided to take the pills. It might cause wight gain, but that means I have to work that much harder to loose.

I have reevaluated my weight watchers journey. I have tried to stay on track with my eating. There have been days where I want to give up and eat all the horrible food. But for the most part I have stay on track. As always Maria has been there supporting me 150%. We have been going to the San Diego Zoo to try and get our exercise. Its might not be much but its something.

Currently I am down 80 lbs. I have to keep reminding myself that. Even if I go up a few I am still down overall. My injuries are finally feeling better. I was able to get my active link over 100 today, that has been a struggle since June. Getting 50% was tough.

I am back on track. I will get my exercise ramped up again. Once I do that the pounds will start to come off again. I am very close to hitting the Triple digits number. I can't wait to wear the shirt Maria got me for that event.

Again "Everything is gonna be alright."

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share with who ever will read. 

The Amazing Shrinking Dude

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Don't be too Hard on Yourself

Another week gone, Another week closer to my goals.

This week I lost 2.8 LBS. Total lost 85.6 LBS. Bringing me down to 440.4 LBS.

All my clothes are getting very loose. I went to the Big & Tall clothing store to get more clothes. The problem I am running into right now is that I'm in between sizes right now. I had a few choices. I could get the bigger size clothes that would only fit for a short amount of time, or I could get the smaller size clothes that don't fit just yet. If I got the smaller ones I wouldn't feel comfortable. So I decided to wait until I can fit into the smaller size better. Big Guy first world problems I guess.

The past two weeks have been tough on my exercise plan. I have had to take it easy. I injured my Achilles tendon on my ankle. It hurt to put pressure and rotate my foot. Back to swimming. Even that my exercise has not been happening I still lost. That makes me very happy.

Life can be stressful when you are trying to loose weight. All the temptations that are not there when you don't care about your weight seem to surface when you want the weight to drop off. Donuts, cake, ice cream, fried food, every thing not healthy is always right there. We have got all that out of our house, but I cant control what other people do. Work had a taco & ice cream day. I avoided having some. I know how I am. If I have one I will want more. Its a horrible cycle. Its better for me to avoid the bad stuff.

My support system is still amazing and growing. Every pat on the back, way to go keep me motivated. The hardest person on my weight loss journey is myself. That is one big thing I need to change. I am very hard on myself. I want weight to just go away. I know I didn't gain the weight over night and I can't expect to lose it over night. Even if I want the weight to drop off.

I am loosing weight. I am 85 pounds lighter than I was in December 2012. I know I will hit my goals. I will be easier on myself. I will continue to eat better, to exercise, to be a better me. It will be a hard time. But I know it will happen.

Please feel free to comment. All comments are motivation for me. Share this with who ever will read and need some motivation for themselves.

The Amazing Shrinking Dude

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Tale of Two Full Water Jugs

Keep reading on to know the significance of this Blog title. This week I lost 6.8 lbs. Total of 83.4 lbs lost. Bringing me down to 442.6 pounds.

This was a tough week. I haven't felt well this entire week. Started last Saturday being up point 2 of a pound. Then Monday & Tuesday I had a horrible asthma attack. When I have to do asthma treatments I get super shaky and jittery. This wrecked my exercise plan for the beginning of the week. But I got back on track.

My wife and I went swimming. I was able to jog and walk a few days during the week. This Saturday we got up early to get our exercise in. San Diego is having a heat wave so we wanted to get our walk in early. Great thing we did.  The heat was in the triple digits. When we finished walking 3.27 miles, my active link was at 120% at 7:30 in the morning. Great feeling.

After our morning walk we headed to the weight watcher meeting. Maria decided to change from Online only to joining me with the monthly pass. She can now go to all the meetings with me. Its fantastic that Maria gets to share this with my journey with me. When she found out I lost what I did I could see the look of pride in her face. She gave me a huge hug and was very happy I had past the 80 pound lost mark.

Its now a new week, a new month and I am still on this journey. Its been a lot harder than I thought. There are many times I want to give up and pig out. Maria keeps me focused and on track. She is such an amazing woman. I am very privileged to be married to her. She has ordered a custom made shirt for me. I can't wear it until I loose 16.6 more pounds. The shirt says I have lost 100 lbs. If I can do it anyone can. I cannot wait to be able to wear that shirt with pride.

If you want to see how it feels to carry 83.4 pounds around, try holding two full 5 gallon water jugs. This is a total weight of 80 lbs. Its a sobering fact that I have lost that much weight. I used to carry it around every where. I didn't think I could change. But look at me now. I know it won't get easier, but I am happy I am losing weight. I want to keep going.

Someone at our Weight Watcher's meeting made a really good point. Point is: There will always be obstacles in our path to being healthy. When we conquer one thing, another thing will always be there to test us. Power is defined in the dictionary as a continuous path of strength. I think, no, I know that I am on the right path. Keep telling yourselves that when you feel like giving up. Remember that a goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline. Lets keep that goal always in front of us and practice our strengths so our weaknesses are further behind us.

Please feel free to comment. Share this blog with who ever will read. Any one that needs to be inspired I hope I can help them. 

The Amazing Shrinking Dude

Gold 5 pound star for over 80 lbs

Holding the amount I have lost.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Haters Gonna Hate

This week I lost 1.2 Lbs. Total of 76.8.

There are certain people in the world that its never good enough for them. I was asked "when am I going to get gastric bypass or lab band." They only see me as heavy, not the fact that I have lost 76.8 lbs. They don't realize the hard work and dedication I have put in over the last 6 months. Since they are not happy with how they look on the outside, and on the inside.

Haters are gonna Hate.

I am proud of what I have done. I have lost a lot of weight in 6 months. I have completely turned my life around. I have great people supporting me. There will always be those people that want to see failure. People in public don't see what I have done, they just see the weight. But you can't dwell on that. Most are just hateful and ugly on the inside. Everyone that knows me, knows what I am doing, how I am progressing back me up and support me. They are the people who matter to me.

This week I got back to swimming. We swam 4 days this week. It is always hard getting back into activity but it is worth it. I had a so so week with eating. Will get back on track this week. The weight watcher meeting at work has been canceled. So I had to change my weigh in day to Saturday instead of Wednesday. That will take some getting used too, its all good.

This is a new week. Even if people want me to fail I won't. I will succeed. The haters won't even know what hit them when I get to the end of my journey. Don't dwell on hate, lean toward support. Haters try to bring you down. Don't let them. Know you will succeed. Goals will be reached.

Please comment. Feel free to share this with anyone that will read. 

The Amazing Shrinking Dude

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Mountain & Fears Conquered in One Afternoon

Saturday we decided to go for a Hike in the mountains around San Diego. My wife Maria. My Oldest Brother Scott, My Mom.

The hike we decided to conquer was called Stonewall Mountain in the Cuyamaca National Forest, East of San Diego, Ca.
The hike was a 4.5 mile round trip. We decided to go at 2:00 in the afternoon. It was cool and cloudy around our house. When we got to the mountain it was 90 deg F. Not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful Day.

We started our Hike. Water packs strapped to our back. Hiking Poles in Hand. The first part of the hike was brutal. Very Steep. No shade. HOT. After the first half mile the steepness was not as bad. There was more shade and the breeze picked up to cool us down. The rest of the trail was all switchbacks. Very gradual grade. Few rocks and steps here and there. It was compacted dirt most the way up.

Once we got done with first few switchbacks we started to be able to see the amazing views. They started to appear thou the trees. The trees were burnt from wild fires a few years ago, and were starting to grow back. The view was just incredible, breath taking. I have lived in San Diego most my life and this was the first time I have ever climbed a this mountain. I didn't even know there was a trail there until a few days ago thanks to Maria.

My brother felt like jogging, so he took off up to the top. He is training for a 10K mud run next week. My mom and Wife stayed with me. We took a break every few switchbacks. Making sure we drank LOTS of water. Since it was so hot, Maria poured some water on my back and head to cool me down. This kept me cool enough to keep moving. When ever we needed a break we would take one. Mom & Maria were cheering me to keep going. Once I caught my breath and cooled a bit we would continue. About half way up I got a text message from my brother saying he hit the top. I told him where we were and he started cheering us on via Text message. Messages like "you're doing great, keep pushing." "You are going to love this view. You can do it."

Having my family push me and cheer me on was amazing. I was telling my self, I can do this. I will conquer this mountain. In the last few months I have completed three 5K runs/walks. Color run, Chula Vista Fun run & the Bridge run. I went up a mountain last week. Lost over 75 lbs. So I knew I could make it to the top of Stonewall mountain.

Once we reached the last switchback we could see the top. Scott was perched on a rock at the very TOP of the mountain, waiting for us. to reach the last section of the mountain we had to climb some narrow stairs to reach the top. This was where Maria had to conquer her fears. She is afraid of heights. Mom went first and made it to the top. Next was Maria. I was was going up last. All I could hear Maria saying was "I will make it to the top, don't look down!" She got to the first step. Moving one foot in front of the other, she started to ascend to the top. One stair at a time. She was doing it. She was facing her fear right in the face. After each step, Maria would repeat "I will make it to the top." Before she knew it she was at the top. The look on her face was terror at first, then amazement. She was in awe.

Now since Maria had made it to the top, it was my turn. Again one step at a time. I did it. Making it to the top was Breathtaking. We were over 5633 feet above sea level. Full 360 degree view. We could see the lake and everything else around. We took pictures, and rested at the top. We were there about 35 mins. Then we started the trek back down. Again moving one step at a time. Once we started heading back down.

Once we got down to the bottom of the mountain, I was shocked that we did it. We conquered it. Maria faced her fears. My heart was pounding from the excitement. I would do that hike again. I told my family I will jog up the mountain by next year at this time. I am thrilled that I finished. Now its time to rest. I will see what mountain I will conquer next.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment. Share with who ever will read.

The Amazing Shrinking Dude
April 2012 & June 2013

Maria & I at the top
Mom at the top.
Maria facing her fears. So happy at the top of Stonewall
Final walk to the stairs to the top. 
Maria in a playful mood on the way down the mountain.
Scott over the edge. On the top. 
Amazing view
Scott on the top of a boulder on the way to the top. 
The mountain before we Conquered it. 
I stepped over the rail. I felt like I was on top of the world. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Huge Milestone Achieved

I did it. I hit a huge milestone this week.

I lost 3.4 lbs. Total lost 75.6 lbs. 

That's right. I have lost 75.6 pounds. I am in such amazement that I did it. If you would have told me in December 2012 that I would be down over 75 lbs by June 2013 I would have laughed in your face.

How did I do it?

I have been tracking my food since I started Weight Watchers in January. Even days when I wanted to give up and stop, I tracked. Fast food & soda was my friend before weight watchers. Now Fresh fruit, vegetables and water are my friend. Fast food & soda I consider my enemy now.

Think of it like putting gasoline into your car. If you put horrible cheap gas into the car, the car will not run to its full potential. Once you put better fuel in and get the bad fuel out of the system the car will run much better. That's how I feel. I was eating the bad fuel and not doing what I could. Now I put better fuel into my body and I get incredible results.

I have cranked up my activity since starting Weight Watchers.

Thursday I went swimming with my wife Maria. We swam for one hour. I was able to swim 15 full laps. I swam hard. I would swim to the wall, take a 5 second break and do it again.
Friday we went for a 1 mile walk before going swimming again for an hour. Then after the pool, anther 1 mile walk back to the car.
Saturday we went for a Hike up Cowles Mountain in San Diego. This was a 4 mile hike round trip. We thought it would be just steep. No big deal. But when we hit the trial it was all stairs all the way up. It was insane. We went during the heat of the day. But we conquered the mountain.We made it to the top. It was an incredible view. Well worth the hike.
Sunday we went on a 3.2 mile walk around Rohr Park Golf coarse next to our house.

My support system is amazing. While we were hiking my wife was pushing me to make it to the top. I had random strangers cheering me on. It was a great feeling. My next goal will be to get to the 100 pound mark. I know I will hit that goal.

We will be doing our next 5K in August. This 5K is timed. Must finish in 60 mins. I have been averaging 75 mins. I have 2 months to cut 15 mins off my time. If I push hard, I know I can reach my goal.

On a different note. One draw back about losing 75 lbs, is the excess skin. My skin has become very loose. Mainly under my arms and on my thighs. My arms feel like a flying squirrel with the flaps of skin. That is a minor problem. I can deal with that. I didn't think it would affect me, but it gets in the way a bit.

For extra motivation my wife put pictures of our upcoming trip to Hawaii on our Fridge. This is Mud Bugging. The number one thing I am looking forward too. Off road trails, covered in mud. This is keeping me going. Should be a blast.

I earned my 75 lb charm. Just another one to add to my awesome growing collection. I can't wait to see the 100 pound charm. Today was the last meeting for Weight Watchers at work. I am happy I earned my 75 charm today.

That is my blog for this week. If you have any questions with how I am reaching my goals please ask. Feel free to leave a comment. I love to hear from everyone. If you enjoy reading you can sign up for email updates.

I Lost 75 pounds. If I can, anyone that needs to lose that much can. Stick to your goals. You will hit them. 

Share this blog with anyone that is willing to read. Feel free to leave a comment. 

The Amazing Shrinking Dude- 75 lbs lighter than I was 21 weeks ago. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Take Pride in yourself

Another week gone, Another week weighed in. Closer than ever to my goals.

I weighed in this Wednesday. Lost 7.4 LBS this week. Down a total of 72.2 LBS since January 16, 2013. Bringing me down to 453.8 LBS. I started being over 500 LBS. I am proud that I left the 500 plus way behind. I will never be that again. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

Why take pride in yourself? Every little bit of pride you have in yourself will make you happier. It makes you work harder to hit your goals.

This last week was rough. Maria and myself got sick. So energy was zapped, and we just wanted to sleep. But we both lost. Combined, myself and Maria have lost at grand total of 102.2 LBS. 30 LBS for Maria, 72.2 LBS for me.  Not everyone can say they lost over 100 lbs with their best friend. Maria has been an amazing support system for me. She pushes me when I don't have any motivation. Wednesday after work we went for a nice walk around the neighborhood. I couldn't be prouder of Maria.

So this week, even being sick, I ate better, exercised more. It shows on the scale. So my next goal is 2.8 lbs away. That will put be at 75 pounds lost. I know I can hit it this next week. But even if I don't I will still be happy with the progress I have made. Exercise is getting easier. My joints are hurting less. Clothing is fitting better. All together I'm very proud with what I have accomplished so far.

On a sad note, the Weight Watcher meeting at working will be ending next Wednesday. There hasn't been enough people attending. We have to remember it is still a business and they have to make money. But I can still go to Weight Watcher meetings at different locations. Now Maria can attend with me. Got to look at the upside of things.

I earned another charm today from Weight Watchers. Bringing my total of charms to 7 total. The one I got today was for being active. I have pride that I am changing my life. My health is much better. I have my ups and downs like any one else. But the Ups are much better than the downs. Weight loss is a crazy roller coaster. I am happy to be on the down slope. That is the funniest part if a roller coaster. I just hope not to be on the up side any time soon.

I guess I do inspire people. If anyone I know I inspire myself. If i didn't want to lose I wouldn't. I could still be eating horrible. Not exercising. Still sitting on my Butt. I'm NOT. I'm more active, I am eating better. I can do it.

Please comment below. All comments are great support for me and everyone else that needs help. They all keep my spirits up and brighten my day. Share this blog with who ever will read.

Weight Report from Jan 16 to May 29. 

16 Week Stay and succeed Charm. Being in Weight watchers for 16 weeks

First 5K Charm. Completing my first 5K.

50 LBS charm. Losing 50 LBS.

25 LBS charm. Losing 25 LBS.

Second 5K charm. Completing 3rd 5K.
10% Charm. Losing 10% of my starting weight.  

Active Running Man Charm. Most current charm for being active. 

Thank you for reading. Again please comment and share. If you would like to hear more about my progress let me know. I am happy to share what is working and not working for me. 

The Amazing Shrinking Dude

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Depression, and weight loss struggle.

Depression sucks.

It doesn't just make you sad like most people think. It can make you numb. Sometimes others don't even know when a person suffers from depression. You can throw on a smile and chug along in your day. But other days you want to bury your head in the sand like an ostrich.

If you didn't know I suffer from depression.

Depression can lead to lack of sleep, lack of energy, lack of interest in just about everything. It can also lead to significant weight gain. It makes you want to eat, it makes you want to sit on your butt and just melt into the couch.

Everyone that has tried to lose weight knows it has its challenges. Its not an easy process. There are times when I want to melt into the couch and do nothing. But I know if I want to lose weight, I have to get up and move. Weight loss will not happen by its self, or everyone would be able to do it. If it was as easy to lose weight as it is to gain life would be golden.

To deal with the depression I talked to my Doctor. That helped. Losing weight helps. But one of the biggest helps is every person that reads this. Every person that pushes me to try harder. Those days I want to stuff my face with horrible food, and I don't want to exercise I have great people in my life that help me. They all know how to light a fire under my butt. They can motivate me and get me on track.

The times I want to bury my head like an Ostrich are the hardest. Those are when I need the most motivation. Some times all I need is "You can do it", "Way to go", Keep up the great work". Other times I need someone to put my work out clothes on and drag me out the door.

To every person that motivates me, pushes me, helps me, pulls my head out from the sand. THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart Thank you. I don't think I could do it without all your help. I've heard I inspire people. I don't know about that, but I know you all inspire me to try my hardest. I want to be able to hit my goal. You all bring me out of the gray funk and get me moving, get me motivated.  I want to succeed. I will succeed

Now onto this week. 

I lost 2.2 lbs this week. Down a total of 64.8 lbs. Bringing me down to 461.2 lbs. I earned another 5K charm for finishing my 3rd race.

 I was able to run/walk a 4.5 mile marathon over the Coronado Bay Bridge in San Diego. The views were amazing. But the best part, I DID IT. I RAN across the finish line. I wanted to give up toward the end, but I dug down deep, pushed hard and I finished. I couldn't be prouder of everyone that did the run with me. This was the first marathon we signed up for. But this was our third marathon we participated in. I now want to do more. I am loving it.

Depression happens. But what happens in the end is up to you. You can melt into the couch, stuff your face with horrible food and become more depressed. Or you can get up and move. Get up get motivated. That is the option I want to choose. I want to be motivated. I want to take care of my health, mental and physical. You cant work on your physical health until you work on your mental health. Keep those people that help you, motivate you, love you, Close. Contact them. Keep them in your life. The people that bring you down, push you into the gutter, want to bury your head in the sand, Get rid of them. Get them out of your life, you don't need them.

We can all do better. We can all get out of the funk. We will all succeed if you try hard enough. Please feel free to comment and share this blog with anyone that is willing to read. You motivate me, let me try to help others.

The Amazing Shrinking Dude

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Blog I don't want to write

Here it goes. I really do not want to write this blog today. I was hoping to have a good post, but it is the opposite. This was a bad weight week for me.

When I walked into my weight watchers meeting today, I was hoping that the scale would be on the negative side. I removed my belt, removed my shoes. I was ready. I stepped on the scale and was told I gained. I heard the price is right failure song in my head. I stepped off the scale and was told I gained 5.6 pounds. I couldn't believe what I heard. I was in shock. I asked if I could step on the scale again, maybe I was leaning on the table. I was trying to reason that I couldn't have gained. On the scale again, told yes it was up. Off the scale, shoes back on, belt re-buckled. I got handed my weight tracker sheet and went to go sit to listen to the meeting.

After I weigh in weekly I text my weight gain/ loss to a select group of family & friends. I was really in disbelief. This week was rough to text everyone. I was sure I would have lost. But still let everyone know. Of-course I was beating myself up. Thinking I am worthless. Thinking I will never hit my goal. Then the text messages started coming back to me. With the loving, uplifting words. I could feel the hugs in the letters on my phone. One message I got back was from my oldest brother "Trying to loss weight and not let life get in the way is tough. My opinion is to start fresh tomorrow." My beautiful wife said the same thing. Put this week behind you, move on, try harder this next week.

Feeling as low as I did today. I can only go UP. I will crawl out from under my depression rock. Get some happy sun shine. Get some needed exercise. I am going to own up to my weight gain. I will try to be more active this week. On Sunday I will get to walk/run over the Coronado Bay Bridge. Its a 4 mile walk. I am really looking forward to being able to take pictures from the top.

Gained 5.6 pounds this week. But down 62.6 pounds total. 5.6 is small compared to what i have done so far.

Thanks you for the support everyone. Please keep the comments coming. They keep me going. The moment I want to give up & I want to stop doing this, everyone that reads this gets me back on track. Please feel free to share this blog with whoever would be interested in reading.

The Amazing Shrinking Dude