Gallbladder Lives Matter; at least my acupuncturist says so

One year post surgery; I am struggling with my preexisting IBS, a weight plateau, and a potentially failing gallbladder.

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The weight lost, 90+ pounds, and the freedom gained are priceless. The Self imposed Dietary restrictions for my IBS have been challenging, yet yielding positive results when I stick to the plan. My gallbladder is being taken care of by a skilled acupuncturist and a team of medical Doctors,  all in my crusade to save the organ from being removed. I know Gallbladder surgery is a simple outpatient little surgery for a seemingly insignificant organ; but I cant quit wrap my head around any organ in our human body not having significance. I like my organs, all of them, I’m not giving one of them up without a fight.

So to add to my massively restrictive Low FODMAP diet, and a somewhat restrictive Bariatric Diet, I am now, begrudgingly, adding a Monday through Friday coffee restriction in effort to follow my acupuncturist lifestyle recommendations for my IBS and gallbladder health.

Today is day two without coffee. Yesterday I went to Whole Foods and stocked up on some delicious fancy teas, I am quitting coffee, not caffeine. Fancy tea adds a small sliver of sunlight to this gloomy situation, alas it is not coffee, delicious, delicious coffee.

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In just a mere 48 hours since my last cup-o-joe, I have had some lofty discoveries.

  • True disdain for the morning alarm clock when I know that the coffee I smell brewing in the kitchen does not have my name on it.
  • Work day mornings are painful, Work day mornings without coffee are truly horrifying
  • I am not particularly patient with crying patients.
  • Coffee makes me pleasant, or as pleasant as we’re gonna get.
  • Caffeine Headaches are real and awful.
  • Motorcycles and coffee withdrawal do not go hand in hand. For that matter maybe I shouldn’t be operating a motor vehicle at all.
  • I am dramatic and whiny without coffee.

Aside from my coffee, woes, life is mostly beautiful. Still loving my smaller size, shopping for new clothes, and my increased fitness level. Pilates and Yoga continue to be my refuge, and due to the doctors recommendations, I will be getting back into the daily walking routine, my dogs will be so thrilled. I have added weekly acupuncture appointments and am getting back into tracking every single calorie with myfitness pal app.

I have 25 more pounds to go before I reach my weight loss goal, I have been a bit dismissive about the weight loss lately  while my focus has been on other physical health issues and navigating the dietary needs of this issues. But now, looking at the whole picture, and being so close to my goal I can almost see it,  I am working to balance all needs at once, Mind, Body, Spirit and weight loss.

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Blind eyes

It’s been 11 months since my life changing surgery.  11 months of massive changes in almost every way, except for one.  No matter how much the scale drops,  the sizes of my clothes change and the body shrinks, I still see myself as the same old 295 pound me. 
When I look the mirror I see very little difference.  When I try on my new size 14 jeans,  a significantly smaller size than my original size 24, I can’t  truly appreciate my smaller size.  I’m aware that the numbers  are all getting smaller but my self image is resistant accepting reality. 

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I have lost nearly 100 pounds in 11 months,  I’m guessing that my brain may need a bit more time to catch up to where my body is truly at.  I would love to be more appreciative of my success and hard work; less critical,  judgemental,  and unkind to myself.  I would like to not fear the scale; not feel guilty after ever meal, regardless of how healthy and small portioned it is. I would like to be more appreciative of taking up less space on an airplane, fitting in a bathtub with more comfort and ease, and needing less luggage space for my smaller clothing.  
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The truth of this journey of health and healing,  is that weight loss is just a one piece of the equation.
Addressing my life long battle with IBM has led me to learning about and implementing a low FODMAP diet,  acknowledging a need to heal my physical body. Pairing this very restrictive eating lifestyle,  with a somewhat restrictive bariatric diet has been challenging to say the least.  My Ibs symptom relief has been rather significant in a short amount of time of the dietary changes,  reinforcing the necessity of sticking with Low FODMAP despite the new set of stress and pressure  regarding food. 
Healing my self image,  body dismorphia, critical inner,  and general lack of self love is the greater and more challenging leg of this trip. 
Through  yoga, pilates positive food choices, genuinely working a path of recovery,  and cultivating healing relationships; I can see the faint yet beautiful light of loving-kindness and balance on the horizon. 

Bandwagon Year in Review; anecdotes, lists and other nonesense

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Aahhhh 2014, you did me a solid; feels like I was a bit due for a bit of sunshine and rainbows. The year has been a rather epic adventure of newness, change and love. Had someone told me a year ago that I would be sitting in the suburbs next to my live in boyfriend writing about a fabulous year in review, I would have scoffed in utter disbelief.

Top Five Fabulous Changes of 2014

5. Breaking out of 480 Lame-O where I lived with my brother for 9 years; good times but changes were long overdue.

4. Moving to San Leandro to a spacious two bedroom with yard and garage; I feel so grown up. After 19 years of living in San Francisco, it has been a bit of a culture shock and blow to my identity, but the benefits outweigh the ego crush for the time being. I am exploring my hood, fooding and yelping and even found myself an acceptable pilates studio.

3. My not so new anymore, but super amazing job at Kaiser. I love my job, my coworkers, my clients, my benefits and now living in SL, my 15-20 min commute.

2. My shrinking body and restored health. Gastric Sleeve Surgery in April and down nearly 100 pounds in 8 months. With body shrinking comes new clothes in a new department of the store that I hadn’t set foot in since the eighth grade. Body shrinking also means less foot aches, no more sleep apnea, and improved mood.

1. Finding Love, in the last place i thought I would find it…..The Internet. Nearly four months ago I was introduced to EastCoastBoston (aka EastCoastBacon in my bacon centric mind,) from first glance, it was as if someone wrote a profile of my ideal match; music, motorcycles, BBQ, sarcasm and wit. We bantered back and forth, making more and more connections. Our first date was two weeks later, followed by dates two and three within the same week. By date three I was smitten, by one month I was in love. By month three we were happily living together in our little suburban bungalow like a couple of old farts. In can go down in the history books, 2014 was the year Kelle found LOVE.DSCN2110

In other amazing 2014 news, The Giants won the World Series for the third time in four years, and while it pained me a little that I wasn’t in the city to witness the aftermath and celebration, I whooped and hollered like a true Orange and Black fan in my new sea of Green and Gold. You can take the girl out of the city, but never take the city out of the girl.

In music news, I bowed out of Coachella, sold my tickets to OutsideLands, Slayer and FKA Twigs, and didn’t even bother with Treasure Island Music Festival. Is this just another sign of my age, or is it just that my priorities where a it shifted this year; I suppose time will tell. With a number of new and great albums that dropped in the last quarter of the year, there should be some great tours and possibly awesome lineups for this years festival circuit . Despite my geriatric stance on shows and festivals, I still managed to have an epic week at ULTRA, and always fabulous trip to Pitchfork in Chicago, and a last minute super VIP trip to First City Festival.

Top 5 albums in heavy rotation on the KellePod (in random order)

5. The War on Drugs: Lost in the Dream

4. TV on the Radio: Seeds

3. Spoon: They Want My Soul

2. FKA Twigs: LP1

1. Sharon Van Etten: Are We There

I’m sure I’m missing a couple awesome albums that came out this year, like Liars, Real Estate, and tUnE-yArDs, but that’s what Pitchfork.com is for.

While I i find myself a bit resistant to letting go of 2014, I am trying to hold onto the idea that 2015 could be equally epic, and full of surprises. Here’s to you fabulous year, now bring me another!

A-T-T-I-C; a story about Boobs

In the fourth grade my Boobs became a leading character in the cast of “Kelle’s Life.” Tears spilling out my eyes as I was forced to purchase and then wear my first training bra. Generally a moment of celebration for the average girl; but for me, a tomboy, and ONLY 9 years old, this was devastating. Suddenly all the laughs my brother and I had about our mother’s HUGE bras, filling them with melons and such, didn’t seem as funny. I knew then that Boobs were going to be a BIG issue; Expensive bras; mis-fitting blouses; shoulder, neck and back pain; and loads of unwanted attention.

I have since made peace with my boobs and try to embrace them at any size. That being said, I am struggling to embrace this new boob issue; saggy deflated fun bags!

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85 pounds lost, and major BOOB SHRINKAGE; from a 44H to a 38DD. To know I am pleasantly back into a double D brings a tear of joy to my eye; suddenly a bra from Victoria Secret is an valid option. However, sans bra, my boob now resemble a pair or tennis balls in a tube sock.

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Just left wondering at this point what will my body look like when all this weightloss and body changes levels out. Time to start setting up the consultation appointment for my new boobs.

Despite the sad appearance of the girls these days, I will continue to lavish them in Lush’s Lovely Jubblies and keeping them supported in style.

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Life is good.

5 months ago today my life began to change,  rapidly,  in amazing and wonderful ways. As of today 81 pounds lost, new job, new home, new man.

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5 months!

So much change, all it for the best. I continue to say that 2014 has totally been my year, and while there is plenty of time for the other shoe to drop, I’m not fixated on preparing for the worst; I’m not self sabotaging in anxious anticipation.
I’m allowing love into my life in the healthiest way; a very different way than I always used to. Inviting and embracing emotional intimacy and enjoying ever minute of it,  not freaking out,  not running.
After almost 19 years of fabulous city living,  I’m leaving San Francisco,  and setting up shop in the ‘burbs. The attraction of more space,  less cost,  less commute, no bridge toll,  and an outdoor space for Lucy,  is trumping the grief of leaving my favorite place on earth.  More to be revealed as the transition unfolds.
Life is hard and beautiful and great; I’m grateful for all of it. 

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Hairy situations

One of my biggest fears since deciding on the Gastric sleeve surgery, was loosing my hair. Granted I have more hair on my head than most, but patchy baldness,  simply put, would make me look kinda silly.
With the help of Viviscal,  Biotin,  and plenty of protein,  I managed to have NO hair loss, until a few weeks ago.
The Dr’s had said hair loss would commence around the two month mark and begin regrowing around the four month mark. 
For me, I started losing a handful of hair a day at approximately four months, and now three weeks later,  it seems to have slowed down a bit. 
Still no patchy baldness,  no noticeable holes, just a bit thin in the temples and a full brush after daily grooming.
I attributes my success to my strict attitude towards getting all my daily protein,  at least 70 grams, and taking ALL the recommended supplements.  In addition,  I have been taking Viviscal since the third week after surgery.  This hair growth supplement was recommended to me by my hair stylist, post pregnancy,  and by a friend post cancer treatment.  Both ladies reported hair growth success by taking viviscal twice daily for a minimum of the months. 
I’m happy to add my recommendation to the growing list of Viviscal fans. 
In other news, I continue to struggle with light headedness,  due to low blood pressure to which my Dr said, eat more salt, and drink more water.  Nevertheless,  all my nutrition levels are great, all labs are within normal range and my borderline pre diabetic glucose levels have returned to normal healthy range.

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Bottom line, I’m healthy as a horse,  save for a bit of light headedness,  both in hair volume and blood circulation. I love my new life and all the remaining hairs on my head.

The mystery of the shrinking feet.

Happy four months post op to me!  Down 70 pounds, 6 dress sizes, smaller bras (thank goodness,) and down a shoe size as well!
When I was at my heaviest, it was so hard to see where all the weight was hiding.  I never thought of my legs and especially my feet as carrying extra pounds and inches; I’ve always had skinny feet and chicken legs. Nevertheless,  my shoes have gotten loose, and I had to return a pair of size 12 shoes for a petite 11.
My cowboy boots make this funny sound when I walk these days,  as my calves swim around in the boot shaft.
I was fairly convinced that shoe sizes had just got smaller, it didn’t occur to me that the abundance of extra weight I was carrying around would make my feet bigger.
Along with smaller feet, less weight, and less inches, has come a lot less foot pain and a lot more walking and overall activity.  Going to shows, standing for hours on end, is SO much easier, and doesn’t leave me limping the next day. 
As far as food goes,  it’s been a relatively easy.  I have limitations,  but find making alternative choices a breeze. I continue to crave sweets,  but have a bitter sweet reaction of nausea,  and heavy tummy when I endulge, thus solidifying that the fantasy of the foods I crave are almost always better than the reality. 
I continue to stick to the protein shake once a day, usually in the morning, to ensure I get the necessary protein boost to hit at least 70g of protein a day.
All in all, life is good and I’m loving the freedom and surprises of my new lifestyle. 

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Music Festival Boot Camp

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Well, I feel like I’m getting a late start to music festival season; My surgery date didn’t coordinate with Coachella this year.  With Pitchfork Music Festival just around the corner, I realize that I need to get to steppin’, literally.

Music Festivals KILL MY FEET. Maybe, it’s the old age, maybe it’s the excess weight, maybe its a little of column A and a little of column B.Nevertheless, I want to be ready for the urban adventuring that awaits on the streets of Chicago in 4 weeks. The 47+ pound weight loss will certainly help, boosted by a commitment of 10,000 steps a day, should lead to some fancy, pain free footwork!

Today I finally hit 10,000 steps in a day on my handy dandy fitbit, now if I can just keep up the trend, I will be taking the windy city by storm.

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Rebecca’s and Jeffry’s feet hurt too