4/15/10

April 15, 2010

Today I went for a walk at Ridley Creek State Park. The park is beautiful and it has a nice trail for walkers/joggers/bikers. Kim and I walked 4.3 miles. It felt good to get some exercise in this beautiful weather. A few days ago I lifted and tomorrow will do the same.

My routine isn’t huge, but I think its decent for starters.
Squats
Bench Press
Overhead DB Press
Crunch
Barbell Curls
DB Rows

I have to start doing it 3 times a week now instead of 2. I have to add more cardio in my weeks. I have to add more protein shakes at night like I used to before. I’m slowly getting back on the right habit of things and it feels good.

Tomorrow Kim, I, and a few other people are going to the Phillies game. I am sure there will be lots of tailgating involving eating and drinking. I told myself that this is the last cheat day until I go to Mexico. We go to Mexico May 1st. I know its not a long period of time, but I don’t remember the last time where I didn’t drink on the weekend, and next weekend will be a true test to me.

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This morning I went for a walk before my doctors appointment. The appointment was just a check up to see if all the scars are healing up nicely…which they are. My neck has some areas in which feels a little hard and stiff. This is normal during the healing phase. It is probably the last time I will see my doctor. She is leaving the hospital, because she wants more money and the hospital doesn’t want to give it to her. I guess I got everything done just in time, because I couldn’t be more happier about the results.

I got before pictures from her office of my body. I couldn’t believe what I used to look like. It made me feel kind of emotional. All of my life I felt disgust in myself. Looking at those pictures just made me remember how much I hated what I looked like and would do anything to look better. I guess thats why I am reaching my goals. Some people have to hit rock bottom to realize they are screwing up and when I was at my highest weight it hit me.

People say do not go into plastic surgery with high expectations….because you may be very disappointed. After I kept hearing this I had my doubts, because my case was pretty bad as compared to others. Losing over 225lbs at the time I had a lot of loose skin…way more than the normal plastic surgery patient.

After every surgery I felt amazing. The results are far better than I ever imagined….and the feeling is unbelievable. Even when I lost all the weight, I still felt like a prisoner in my own body. I was far better in health, but every time I looked in the mirror I just was in disgust. The funny thing is I wanted to first meet Kim after my surgeries, because I didn’t feel like I was good enough for her. I am very happy I chose to meet her before I had all of my surgeries, because I don’t know if things would be the same….and I don’t even wanna think about it. I wanted to see her so bad I didn’t care about my appearance anymore.

People ask me about my scars. They wonder if they will go away or if they bother me. To be honest, I didn’t worry at all about the scars. I’d rather have these scars than flabs of skin all over my body. If these scars fade, great…if they don’t I could care less. I never felt better in my life and I am proud of these scars.

Thursday

August 27, 2009

This morning I got on the scale and I was at 191lbs. I need to lose 2 more lbs by tomorrow morning in order to reach my weekly goal. If I don’t I think I will be a little disappointed. All this laying around is getting to me more and more….I can’t wait to get back into the gym.

This morning Kim made me the usual egg sandwich and a mocha….I love her cooking. I try to help out when I can and always offer, but she seems to enjoy it. After she went to work I got a shower, went to the post office to hand in some movies from netflix, and went to Wawa for my diet iced tea. Wawa is the best store in the world.

Last night Kim and I watched the final episode of Season 3 of Dexter. It was really good like always. I can’t wait to watch Season 4. We also watched a horror movie called ‘Black Christmas’ (the original). I have seen this movie before but wanted Kim to see it. The movie is a little slow like most old horror movies, but I enjoy them. The movie freaks me out and gets me mad at the same time, because of the ending. I just wish it explained a little more at the end.

Tomorrow I am taking Kim to Atlantic City for the weekend. I got her tickets to see Black Crowes for her birthday. My aunt is setting us up with 2 free nights at Harrahs Casino….pretty damn excited about this trip. Even though I haven’t been working, I need a vacation from laying around this apartment. The weather isn’t supposed to be so great and if it isn’t we will have a good time anyways.

This weekend won’t be good for my diet I bet, but I’m really not going to worry about that….just as long as I keep on losing every week I will be happy.

Tonight is the debut of Michael Vick as a Philadelphia Eagle. It still is crazy that out of all teams who need a QB, the Eagles landed him. I’m pretty excited about the signing. I’m not a big fan about what he has done, but I can’t blame the Eagles for that. I think if Vick shows how sincere he is by helping out the community and whatever…he will be forgiven by many other people.

Tuesday

August 25, 2009

Today Kim woke me up at 5:30 in the morning asking if I wanted to go for a walk. At first I didn’t want to, but I used to love exercising really early in the morning. Before it got very cold last winter, I would go to the track at 4:00 am before work. The track didn’t have lights but you could see a little bit. It was just me and an old man who probably enjoy it ever since I started going. I would show up and as I passed him he would smile and say hello. I wonder if he is still going to the track at 4 am. Anyways, our walk was nice. It was about a 20-25 minute walk, with a pit stop to wawa for a paper and diet iced tea. During the walk I realized how much stuff Kim and I have in common. She is an amazing girlfriend, and my best friend.

I had an appointment today to take my drain out. All the drains are finally out! It was a great feeling getting the drain out, well…the yanking it out of my stomach was a very weird and sick sensation, but it was worth it. My doctor said I was healing very quickly and was very impressed with how I looked. Everything is still pretty swollen, including my neck which has been bothering me. I want instant results, but she said it takes a while for the final results to appear. I trust her with that, because everything else she did really made me happy. I asked her if I could have my before pictures that she has taken at her office. She is making me copies of them all so I can have just to view and keep my progress recorded. I’m going to start taking progress pictures every two weeks. I can start working out in a week which I am excited about. I’m going to be working out using the New Rules of Lifting.

She also gave me some bad news. I have to take another week off from work. There is no problem with me, it is just that my job is physical and she wants me to relax for another week. A part of me is happy to be off longer, but I think a bigger part of me is really bummed out. My days out of work aren’t too exciting. I just pick up around the apartment and think of as many errands as I can. I wish I could work out atleast, but oh well….gonna just try and enjoy the time I have off.

My doctor is also leaving the hospital she is currently at in the middle of October. This has got me really bummed out, because I just really trusted her after so much time I spent with bettering my life. The first time I seen her I was 290lbs and now I am 100lbs less, and I feel 100x better about my body. She is going to find a good doctor for me, but I know I will miss her. She is a nice lady and did great work on me. I’m glad I had my plastic surgery just in time for her to operate on me and have a few check ups.

I am really bummed out today about the news I received, and early I had a few shots of Jack Daniels. I know I shouldn’t have done it, and regret it, but it was only a couple shots. My girlfriend was going to take me out to cheer me up, but we kind of decided that it wouldn’t be good for our diets.

Today Kim had off of work so I wasn’t bored out of my mind all day. Kim ordered me a white DeSean Jackson jersey for an early birthday present. My birthday is October 2nd, and its on back order so I will probably get it closer to my birthday. She is a sweetheart. jackson jersey  We went to Modell’s and went to the mall.  I wanted to get a new hat, but I real picky with everything I wear.  I basically like plain hats or really basic ones.  Anyways, I didn’t get a new hat, but I found a huge Sudoku book with over 1,000 puzzles for only $5.99 haha

I am the Sudoku master.  I used to think I was good, but now I am just amazing 🙂

After the mall, I got online, because there was a 25% off sale on everything from nflshop.com (if you want me to send you the promo code let me know). So I decided to order an Eagles sweatshirt. I also kinda made Kim pick out something with the Eagles so she could maybe become more of a fan and get into football (I wish!). She picked out a nice shirt. Eagles Sweatshirt philly

So far this has been a sober weekend, and it will probably end up that way. I usually drink a good amount on the weekends, because its when I do not track my foods. Alcohol is probably the worst thing for a diet. Not only does it have the empty calories that do nothing for you, but it leaves your ass dragging the next day. You probably won’t work out the next day and if you do it will be a struggle. Also, instead of burning the fat, your body works on getting the alcohol out of your system first….leaving that fat more easily to store. I haven’t tracked my food in a few weeks now. I was tracking at thedailyplate.com (which turned into livestrong.com). The site has gotten worse and worse. I didn’t want to leave, because the members there were nice and I have gotten to know them. I still visit that site sometimes. Now I track food at myfitnesspal.com. It seems like a good site so far. I am going to start tracking again after the weekend is over. Time to start cleaning up my diet…

Friday, 200lbs

August 14, 2009

Fridays are my weigh in day.  I weigh in every single day, maybe even twice a day…but on Friday is when I like to keep track of it.  Last week I weighed 198lbs and just had surgery.  My tummy tuck surgery may have taken off about 5-6 lbs of fat, but I am still swollen there and in the neck area.

I am feeling better today…everyday is getting easier and easier.  I took my first shower since before surgery.  I feel like a million bucks!  It is funny when you become very limited to how going back to normal life is so great, appreciate it.  Some people are limited throughout their life in one way or another.  Whenever I bitch about something not going right, I try to remember how lucky I am to have a healthy life.  When I had bad days with stuttering where my dad seen the frustration on my face, he always told me, “Hey Ry, you stutter, but atleast you can talk”.  Speaking of, my stuttering has been getting a little better lately.  I always go through phases and just tried to not worry about it as of late.

It looks like a nice day outside.  I really want to get out of the apartment and do something.  I want to play tennis, go to the track, go for a walk, anything.  After Kim gets home, we are going to go for a walk if it is nice out.  We may order pizza from this one place called “Gaetano’s”.  The pizza is so good and I am glad Kim enjoys it a lot.  Kim is from Chicago where the pizza is different and she prefers that over the pizza here, so its good to find a place she likes more than the others average places near here.
Kim and I have goals to meet for when our anniversary comes.  Our anniversay is October 24th.  It was the first day we officially met and the first day my life has changed so much.  She wants to get back down to 125lbs which is 13lbs to go, and I want to get down to 178lbs.  The reason I picked that number was, because it was pretty close to the percentage of weight Kim wanted to lose (about 9-10% body weight).  We didn’t have stakes on it yet, but I think we will both meet our goals 🙂

A Never Ending Journey

August 13, 2009

I was always an overweight person.  From the day I was born, I was 10.9lbs.  As a kid, most people really don’t think about their health or worry about how big they really are unless it was causing them problems that they knew about.  I was born with asthma and had big problems with it early on.  Going to doctors every week for 12-24 needles at a time, getting taken to the hospital a few times for when it was severe was no fun.  I was taking a steroid called prednisone to help me with my asthma.  It always worked and made me feel better, but prednisone causes major weight gain.  I don’t want to sound like I am coming up with weak excuses for my weight gain, but taking that from day one caused a big eating habit that took me almost all of my life to control.

By the time I was 7 years old, I weighed 135lbs.  For being so overweight, I still played sports and was fairly active for someone my size.  It was around the time where I really started to be bothered by my weight.  I remember going on my own diets that young, and while it helped for a short time, the diets I were on never lasted.  On top of being sick and being really heavy, I also was born with a stuttering problem that never went away.  I was depressed for most of my childhood, but never really let people know how I was really feeling.  I’ve had the “why me?” attitude for a long time.  I wasn’t really picked on ever.  I had a lot of friends and I think the reason why was, because I kept all that depression inside and tried to just ignore it.

By the time I was 12, I reached 205lbs.  After seeing I was already 200lbs and in sixth grade, I felt worthless.  I knew I had a problem, but I couldn’t stop.  I have seen a few doctors about my weight, joined programs like weight watchers, tried things from infomercials.  The next few years I stopped playing sports due to my weight and it only made things worse.  By the time I reached high school I was over 300lbs.  The only good thing was that the older I got, the less prednisone I needed to take, because my asthma was going away.  During high school I have seen a nutritionist.  I weighed 337lbs the day I met her and lost exactly 37lbs in about a year.  I got down to 300lbs and felt like I was going to do this.  Well I thought I was doing so good, so I celebrated a little too much.  Even though I stopped taking the medicine that engaged all the eating, those eating habits never left.  For one reason or another I stopped seeing my nutritionist and really took a bad turn in my life.

I started drinking alcohol before high school, but during high school is where I built up a bad habit of drinking.  I remember being proud of how much I could drink, because I was so big I could handle huge quantities.  When I graduated from high school I was close to 400lbs.  I was unable to see my weight on a regular scale, so I never really weighed myself.  After high school was done, I drank more and ate more.  I didn’t seem to care, but deep down inside I was hurting.  For my birthday I asked my parents to buy me a hospital scale to track my weight.  The scale went up to 500lbs and it was $150 bucks.  It was my first step to focusing on my diet.  I have gotten the scale in the mail one day…hooked it up, jumped on the scale, and it said 410lbs.  I was heartbroken.  It made me sick to see what I have done to myself.  I had no one to blame, but myself.  That day I started up another diet.  I started walking from my mothers house to my dads house every day.  It was a 30 minute walk, but it was a start.  After a while I started walking there and then did some weight lifting.  I cleaned up my diet a little.  I have lost 50lbs during that diet.  I think I was 19 years old.

At 360lbs, I felt great.  I was getting compliments and it really made me so happy.  I felt like I could do anything.  Again, I got so excited about my progress I failed myself once again.  I started gaining the weight back slowly and felt like I was not in control anymore.  At this time I have started hearing more about a weight loss surgery that would help me lose weight.

I started researching about gastric bypass surgery.  I would get information from all over the internet.  I would visit random sites (www.obesityhelp.com & http://www.basilwhite.com/gastric/).  I went to a few support group meetings to learn more about the surgery.  After about 6 months of learning about it, I felt like it could help me.  Getting approved for the surgery was a fucking pain in the ass.  From the time I chose to have the surgery to the time I got approved, it was probably 6 months.  The day I got approved I felt so happy, like I already won the battle against fat.  In order to get my approval…I had to show documentation of atleast 5 years of my life being over 100lbs of excess weight, go to 2 support group meetings, and to pass a few tests (psychological, breathing, blood).

I had my surgery on 05/18/2005.  I was 20 years old and I weighed 423lbs.  The night before surgery, I pigged out.  I had no fear for this surgery….it was a piece of cake.  I ate so much food, because I thought it was going to be the last time I would be able to do that.  Well that almost caused me to die on the table.  They operated on me, but there was so much food in my stomach that it was really thinning my blood out.  I was losing a lot of blood and had to go in for a second surgery.  All I remember is a priest holding my hand and people near me crying.  I had no idea what was going on.  After waking up from the second surgery I was informed what happened to me.  My surgeon was not happy with me.  I was in so much pain.  I had about 30 staples up and down my stomach with a 10 inch cut.

I spent 3 days in the ICU.  I never had surgery before this and didn’t know what to expect.  I thought I was going to die.  The pain was horrible.  After I got to go home I felt a lot better.  I could not eat any solid food for a month I believe.  I just had a drink liquids, shakes…..christ I even blended up ground beef because I got bored with everything else.  I was losing weight so fast because I was rarely eating.  At the time I thought this was some sort of magic surgery….the weight in flying off of me.  Well, the honeymoon ends  and the hard work begins…

I lost about 80lbs from just light eating and light exercise.  I thought the weight would just keep coming off….so what did I do?  I went back to eating complete shit.  I would eat even if I was full.  I threw up all the time.  I didn’t eat healthy at all.  I was losing weight, but now it really slowed down a lot.  I got to 320lbs and stayed there for so long.  I was able to eat almost normal again.  I went back to drinking.  I went back to my old life, just not as drastic.   This was something that was rare to me, because everyone I knew who had gastric bypass could hardly eat at all.  Stretching my stomach back out could have been the greatest idiot mistake I have done.

So there I am about a year later, about 100lbs down and I am happy with myself.  I am eating what a normal person eats (not what I used to eat= shitload, not what a typical gastric bypass patient eats= not enough).  The problem I had was the food I was eating wasn’t good for me.  I was also drinking a lot.  My weight stayed in the 300-320 area for so long….maybe a year and a half post op.  I lost over 100lbs so I felt like the surgery was already a success, but I was a failure and soon to realize it.

I went to see a plastic surgeon about the excess skin I had.  I wanted my chest, arms, neck, stomach, and legs to get worked on.  I had excess skin all over.  The surgeon told me that I needed to be at a smaller weight and she wanted me to get down to 260lbs at the minimum for her to work on me.

I was thinking all day (I am a thinker by the way, it sucks, but oh well).  Why did I even have the surgery in the first place?  Why did I fight so hard to have this surgery and now I am not following the format to it?  From that day on I changed into the man I am today.  I cleaned up my diet a lot.  Instead of eating whatever, I ate decent meals throughout the week and only cheated on the weekends.  I went from drinking 6 days a week to drinking twice a week.  Instead of ordering out all the time I started cooking healthy meals.  The weight started coming off again.

I lost another 50lbs by having a normal diet and exercise.  I weighed about 250lbs and I felt unbelievable.  I was so proud of myself and I had the most confidence I ever had in my life.  At this time I was stuck around 250lbs.  I didn’t understand.  I joined a calorie counting site called thedailyplate.com.  There I was able to track my calories and see how I was doing.  A few months after I joined I lost a little weight, but I was working so hard and noticed my weight only going down little by little.  I lost about 10 more lbs in a few months. I went to schedule an appointment with my surgeon.  She was very impressed and was wondering if I could lose more before I had plastic surgery.  I said if it helps with the results then count me in….so that was that…I waited impatiently.

I was hosting a contest  for people who belonged to the site.  It was just for fun and maybe a way for them to have extra motivation.  This one girl offered to help me with the contest and she did.  We started talking to each other every day about the contest, and soon about everything.  We really opened up to each other quickly and hit it off.  She told me my problem with the weight loss was that I wasn’t eating enough.  I didn’t want to believe her, because I thought (like a lot of people) that if you eat more you will just gain weight.  I started to really like this girl a lot.  Her name was Kim.   So, after being stubborn for some time now, I opened up and listened to her.  She was right.  Eating more helped me get over the plateau and weight was dropping fast after that.  I joined a gym and really pushed myself so hard.  Kim was really motivating me.  She told me I was pushing her to work out hard as well and to do good.  It felt great to hear that.

Our feelings grew stronger and stronger for each other.  The only downfall to our situation was that she lived in Chicago, and I lived in Philadelphia.  We talked about meeting one day.  I wanted to get to my goal weight before meeting her, because I honestly thought she was so gorgeous and wonderful, that I had to look better to have half a chance.  Since I started talking to her, I lost about 20lbs.  I was at 220lbs and was feeling better about myself everyday.  My feelings grew stronger for Kim though.  I had to see her sooner than I had planned to.

We met on October 24th, 2008.  I flew to Chicago and we finally met.  My time with her was better than expected.  Over the past few months, I would flew to Chicago as often as I could….I wanted this relationship to work.  Having her really gave me something to work hard for.  My weight dropped slowly, but I kept losing and still am to this day.

She came to visit me during Superbowl weekend.  After I dropped her off at the airport, she told me she was moving here.  I didn’t ask her, she told me.   I never loved someone like I love her.  She planned to move here April 8th, 2009…which she did.  Before she moved I had a little incident though.

One night in March I was having some stomach pains.  I thought it was something I had eaten, but hour after hour the pain got sharper.  My friend took me to the ER at this shitty ass hospital that held me overnight taking forever with test results.  They said I have a little clog in my intestines….making it out to seem like its not a big deal and was wondering if I wanted to have it checked out at another hospital.  The doctor really made it seem like its not a huge deal so I said no, and about an hour after I got home…the pain got really bad so I did follow up on it.  I went to the other hospital and right away was sent into the ER and ran tests and got results quickly……..by the way don’t ever go to Taylor Hospital in Ridley.

Anyways, what happened was that I lost so much weight that all the fat being lost gave room for my intestines to move around in my body.  They got kind of twisted and tangled up with my stomach.  I had to stay 5 nights in the hospital and the pain was horrible.  I was so glad I was able to get it fixed in time.

The funny (well shitty) thing was….having this unexpected surgery caused me to push back my elective surgery I wanted to have.  I was supposed to have an arm lift/ male breast reduction on March 23rd, but due to me being operated on March 17th, that was pushed back to May 5th.

May 5th comes and I am around 205lbs.  I am very happy and excited.  I have always hated my chest.  It was always embarrassing to me and couldn’t wait for this day to come.  I hated my arms too, but my chest is where I was most concerned about.  The surgery went very well.  I had to wear a tight vest and 2 drains hooked into me for about 2 weeks. I am very pleased with how it went and feel very confident about myself.  I don’t mind walking around with my shirt off…..I could never say that before!  That surgery cost me about $10,250 total.  Having saved the money I got from my moms inheritance and some saving of my own, I was able to pay for these surgeries.

I am now 3 days post op from the last surgery I will have.  I just got a neck lift/ tummy tuck.  The results are hard to tell, because everything is still very swollen.  I can tell there is a big difference though.   This surgery was $12,430 bucks.  This year has been very painful and expensive….but I think its the best year I had so far, because I have never been happier.  I have a wonderful girlfriend to share my love with, and I feel very motivated about reaching my goals.  I am a changed man, but I never forget the past.  As I sit here writing this, I lost about 225lbs, spent about $23,000, had 4 surgeries (3 this year alone) and I weigh under 200lbs.