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Old 11-18-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Location: Houston, TX
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Stats: 244/234/150
WOE: Atkins Induction
Start Date: November 14, 2012
Perfectly Chunky

So where do I begin? I suppose I should start from the beginning since that's where it all started...

I didn't start getting chunky until the end of high school. Not sure what prompted it. Probably my parents and their divorce... and the fact that I had a steady boyfriend (who wound up being a husband, then father, then ex-husband), so why did I care? My mother was moving us from Texas to Illinois and that was awful for me. I began working at Wendy's while up in Bloomington, so that didn't help. Then I became pregnant at 18 - and I just ballooned from there.

I went from the 170's up to the 240's. I gained a ton of weight with my first son (Quest). I never lost it. Instead, it went HIGHER, and higher and higher and higher. This was in 1998. In 2002, I got tired of being 245 and decided to join Weight Watchers and lose the weight. I worked tirelessly to drop down to 183 - that was my lowest point. I can remember going up to Ruidoso, TX for my little sisters birthday and just pigging out at the buffet. That was the beginning of the end - a few months later I became pregnant again and my weight shot back up. I delivered my second son (Zak) back around the 240's.

Fast forward to 2006... I failed to lose any weight between delivering in 2004 and 2006 - rather, my weight shot up to the 260's. I didn't care. I was married, I was fine. Who was looking at me anyway? I really didn't think I had to worry about having any more kids either - for some reason, I assumed my weight was going to keep me from becoming pregnant. I was wrong. In late August 2006, I became pregnant with my third son (Sutton) and by the time 2007 finished, I was pushing 275. I was big. I didn't realize how big I was, but I was big. I look at pictures at 275 and I think, "Why didn't I KNOW how awful that was?"

By this time, my marriage was not great... I was not happy with things going on at home... 2008 brought more bad news: My two oldest boys were diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We knew my ex had it.. .but I was neither aware nor educated about the disease even though he had lost two sisters and a mother prematurely. The diagnosis was a shock. It was a defeat. It was AWFUL. I was told I was going to lose my four year old. His heart was three sizes too THICK (not too big - that's a different cardiomyopathy) and he wasn't going to make it into his teenage years. According to the doctor, "When Zak dies, don't blame yourself.. there was nothing you could do." You want to talk stress? I was hitting roadblocks trying to get my boys to the specialist in Houston and that was bad. I didn't hardly eat during this time, and I can briefly recall stepping on the scale and thinking, "Man, I've dropped five pounds. It's too bad it's because my stomach is in knots." We persevered and were able to get an appointment at Texas Children's Hospital two weeks later - the news was much different. HCM was, in fact, a very common disease (1 in 500!) and although not much was known about pediatric HCM, the information we had was MUCH better than it had been even ten years prior. The specialist said, "So who is your cardiologist? That way we can work together." And I said, "You are. We're moving to Houston." And that's what we did. Two months later we upheaved our entire lives and moved twelve hours from home out to Houston, TX. Trust me when I say my weight was the least of my worries at this point.

We got settled in here... my boys were doing very well - their medicine was causing side effects, like fatigue and memory loss, but overall, their disease remained stable. I spent nights checking on them to make sure they weren't falling prey to sudden cardiac arrest, which is an unfortunate (common) complication of HCM. You know those athletes which go out to play, seemingly healthy, and just fall over and... not make it? That's HCM. It sucks. I carried a defibrillator with us everywhere, became AED certified and poured over information online. My then husband was seeing a specialist in San Antonio who said his disease had been ignored for so long that it had gone past the 'normal HCM' stage and into end-stage. The most malignant of HCM'ers will suffer from adverse effects as their hearts begin to actually dilate (as in dilated cardiomyopathy), fall into heart failure and eventually need a heart transplant. Only 5% of HCM'ers will suffer from this. This family has seen everyone (well, everyone who made it past their teens - one aunt passed at 16 from SCA) go into end stage. So he had an ICD implanted and was told he was ok, as long as he lost weight.. which he never did. At that point, he was pushing 330 pounds.

Fast forward two years. At this point, my weight is steady at 275 pounds. I have now been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. My boys are still stable, husband is still stable and things at home are getting rockier. I'm unhappy. We fight. I was started on Metformin, and at first nothing happened... then I ate nachos and I just about died. I spent an hour on the toilet wishing for death - the cramps were tremendous. Thanks to the inability to eat a high number of carbs, I self regulated to a lower carb diet... and dropped 75 pounds. By June of 2010, I was hovering around 197 pounds. The weight drop didn't bode well for my marriage however and our divorce was finalized on June 10, 2010 - one month short of our ten year anniversary. I was smaller, I felt better, and I started dating. I connected with an old friend and one thing led to another - anyway, he and I were married on March 18, 2011. Fast? Yes. I had known him sixteen years, but fast yes.

Weight was the same, I was doing pretty good. I'd fluctuate - go up to 209, then back down. I wasn't really watching what I ate because I was just focused on things going on at home. In June 2011, I became pregnant again, this time with my fourth son (MJ). I was terrified of what it would do to my weight, and whether the complications would happen again (I suffer from thrombocytopenia during pregnancy and high blood pressure). It did.. and I delivered MJ at 33 weeks on 12/30/2011 - he spent a total of 18 days in the NICU. Thanks to my diabetes he was six pounds at 33 weeks, but still had trouble breathing. During our NICU stay, my csection incision came open and I had trouble with that (diabetes doesn't allow appropriate blood flow, especially around scar tissue) and I was actually open for seven weeks following the actual delivery. It was a ****** time. Thankfully, MJ is doing very well now and is 10 1/2 months now and walking - you wouldn't even know he had been a preemie. My weight at delivery was 230. I figured I'd lose it easily - I was wrong.

Somewhere during the month of April or May Zak started complaining of shortness of breath. The doctors here in Houston were a little baffled about the severity of the complication as "normal HCM'ers shouldn't be that short of breath." The one thing they could agree on was that Zak was finally big enough for an ICD of his own (implantable cardiac defibrillator - the gold standard for cardiac arrest prevention) - it's hard to place in kids because of their size... we waited until he was able to have it in his chest as opposed to his stomach (a much more extensive surgery). Since his SOB was troubling, we made an appointment to go see the big dogs up in Cincinnati in September - just in case. He agreed the ICD was a good idea, and said that unless the pressure in his heart was elevated (indicated restrictive physiology which would mean a different prognosis and an absolute heart transplant in the near future) but we couldn't tell without a heart catheterization. So he recommended a heart cath during the ICD placement to see.. otherwise, the SOB may just be partially in his head.. you know, kid hears all about heart disease so much, he starts to suffer from the symptoms. So we went home, and we waited for his surgery on October 10th.

I won't even get into how we had to fight BCBS for this ICD in the first place, and how we were supposed to be implanted in August... because that's just stress. 21 days into our fight we finally were approved... My weight at this point is fluctuating between 230 and 240. I would see 240 and I would freak out. Anyway.. October 10th showed up.. we have family in from out of town. ... we didn't think the heart cath would show anything different so it wasn't anything I even worried about. I didn't even think about it. So we get a call that the procedure was done (TCH is great about calling to the waiting room every hour) and the doctor wanted to come up and talk to us.

We are waiting for him.... and he's happy with the ICD placement. He's talking about how well he did during the surgery. And then he drops it: Zak has very elevated on the right side of his heart, and slightly on the left. He does have HCM with restrictive physiology. We will absolutely need a heart transplant. We qualify for Make a Wish now. It was diagnosis all over again and I was devastated. I spent weeks watching him like I did at the beginning (I had grown more comfortable with his diagnosis over the years) and it was 2008 again. I was in hell. I put a baby camera into his room to keep an eye on him because I was told he was more at risk for cardiac arrest so I would just wait for him to get a shock. Who knows what my weight was at because I couldn't concentrate on anything but Zak.

And that brings us to today... I'm doing a little better with this, but, just like his incision, it's still fresh. I have to get used to the idea that Zak will need the donation from someone else to stay alive - and that's hard. We won't go into the "shelf life" of a transplanted heart but I can tell you it's nowhere near a normal life span. So I looked in the mirror last week, and I looked tired. I looked unhealthy. I can't fit in anything (even my maternity clothes I look AWFUL in) and I'm tired of it. I jumped on the scale last Wednesday and I was at 244.2 pounds. I'm sick thinking about how big I got. So I started Atkins induction. I promised myself that I would be healthy for my children because if that's something they don't need it's that... their father is on the transplant list and suffered from a minor stroke just two weeks ago. Zak is watching his own fate everytime he goes to see his dad and it hurts. I NEED TO BE HEALTHY.

So that's it. I am going to exercise for my kids who can't. I'm going to lose the weight so if I ever need to carry my baby, I can. I'm going to drop the pounds so nobody looks at me and thinks, "No wonder her kid has a heart disease... look at her!" I have been very good on this induction so far. Today is the first day that I don't have a headache. I jumped on the scale this morning, and I'm at 235.2. I've lost 9 pounds. Water weight, air weight, body fat - I don't care. Weight is weight. I'm happy.

I'd love some friends... a support team of sorts - I'd LOVE to tell you guys how I have heartburn too, and you all can sympathize and... well, tell me to push through it. I need it. And I think we can support each other. I'll try and update each night with what I ate, how I'm feeling and what's going on at home (because, whether we admit it or not, our personal lives very much affect our success). I am by no means defeated by what is going on here, I am just the opposite. I run heart information through twitter as ThickHeartMom and I advocate for AED's in schools. I push people to get their kids tested before playing sports and I have converted people to organ donation.

So tell me about yourselves... and don't be shy. I've heard everything - lol!!




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Old 11-18-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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WOE: Atkins Induction
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And, true to my word..

My evening post... I wasn't very hungry today - in fact, I had to force myself to eat. Here's my menu:

Water: A full gallon (typical)
Breakfast: Cream Cheese Muffin (only 1)
Lunch: Hard boiled egg, both halves of a deviled egg, spoonful of egg salad mixture
Dinner: Egg salad, green onion, lettuce
Dessert: Dr. Pepper Float I might've accidentally added one too many tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.. Oops.

According to my Carb Diet app on iPhone (anyone use this?) I still have 8g of carbs left for the day. I'm just NOT HUNGRY. I know this is a good thing, but what happens if I can't force myself to eat some days?

My birthday is Tuesday, and I'm already running it through my head about how I won't cheat.. I won't cheat.. any good recipes for desserts?

I had thought the Diet Dr. Pepper I had was caffeine free, but it wasn't. This'll be my first diet soda at all during induction - we're going to have to wait and see if it stalls me out.



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Old 11-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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You deserve so much more than a hug. You are truly an inspiration. Your children are so blessed to have such a loving and caring mom. You are right in working to become as healthy as you possibly can. Your family needs you to be the best you that you can be. I applaud you for taking the steps you need to go in the right direction. Atkins is an awesome program to follow and will enable you to have the energy you need to focus on your children. Way to go. You and your family are in my prayers.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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WOW. That's all I can say. What a remarkable mom you are, for all you do for your babies. By the end of your first post I was breathless. What a journey you have been on already!

and congrat's to you for embarking on the low carb journey. It looks like you are well on your way and I commend you for all the work you've already put in. I've done Atkins many times, but each time I lose less and less... this last time I totally recomitted in May and stuck to it completely and was barely able to lose about 18 lbs in about 5 months...very frustrating..so, I opted to give JUDDD a try. While I don't always eat real low carb, something is working and the weight is moving. Of course I'm relosing some of what I regained when I started to get frustrated and not care So far so good!

You will love it here, there is SO much information and so much to be inspired by on this site. Good luck and I'll be wishing you much success.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:12 AM   #5
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You are such a great mom -- your post moved me to tears! It seems like you are doing really well on low carb -- you are eating all the right things!
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Start Date: November 14, 2012
Thank you GailyGirl, DesertGurl and Shamblyn! I appreciate the warm welcome!

We received some good news yesterday... well, it's a double edge sword, but Zak is excited. After the news about the need for a new heart, and the progression of his disease with heart failure symptoms, his doctors contacted a social worker at Texas Children's Hospital who initiated an application into Make-A-Wish. We got the call yesterday... he was approved!!! My baby gets to make a wish!!! He is beyond excited right now - the possibilities, oh the possibilities - and since he can't run and walking is hard for him because of the shortness of breath, computers have been a mainstay in his life for a while now. His desire is to either 1) meet Michael Dell in Austin, TX to learn about making computers so he can build his own gaming computer, or 2) head up to New York (the kid is dead set on New York and snow) for a shopping spree at Best Buy to pick out a computer. I am thrilled for him... can't say I love that he actually qualified, but thrilled there is an organization dedicated to helping him take some time off of being the kid with the heart disease and putting him into the role of superstar. My hats off to everyone who helped with this process.

As for me, this day is going to be rough. It's my (ta-daaaaa) birthday! Whoot! I already woke up battling whether I should eat one of the homemade cookies my boys made yesterday and one of the cream cheese muffins I made. The muffins won out. I'm not thrilled but I got on the scale and I'm down to 232.8 now. That's a huge loss. While my goal weight is 150, I felt so much better in the 190's and I can't see that happening if I splurge at every opportunity. Though I have to admit, I'm probably taking Christmas and eating something naughty.. because Christmas is my favorite holiday. And I don't want to have to worry. And then I'll go right back into induction the day after. Who knows, maybe it'll boost me and I'll drop weight faster again. Who knows. I know by now that I know nothing about anything anymore.

So... I don't know what's going on today, though I did request a dinner tonight - hopefully a Texas Roadhouse or a Steakhouse of sorts so I can get a big hunk of meat (besides the husband) and some broccoli or something. We shall see.

Hope everyone is doing well this Tuesday in November, and I'll poke my head around tonight to recap what happened!


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Old 11-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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What fantastic news!!!! So thrilled for DS! Sorry mom, I think I'm with the kid on NY and some snow

Mmmmmm steak ! I hope it's the best ever!!!!!!!!!

Have a beautiful day!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Awww poo.. I caved. Yup. Caved. I had Mexican food (fajitas, which aren't horrible, but I had 2 small tortillas and some rice and beans with it - not to mention the chips and queso). Then went home and had a slice of cake (ack) and some moose tracks ice cream (ack ack). And you know what? I feel guilty, but I'm ok.. and honestly, I feel stuffed today. I feel like I've eaten a horse. I don't feel SICK but I don't feel hungry. So today was my "official" weigh-in day because it's been exactly 1 week since I started induction.

I have officially lost 10 pounds. 10 pounds in one week. It would've been more (obviously I gained 2 pounds because of last night) but I'm right back on the wagon today. I am not going to cheat tomorrow either - I wasn't worried about Thanksgiving, I was worried about my birthday. I'm going to have turkey, a little bit of ham (from the inside - minus the glaze), some cauliflower mashed potatoes, and some cheesy broccoli. Maybe even some green beans with bacon and mushrooms if I'm feeling it. And dessert? Pumpkin custard! I've got a game plan. So game ON.

I knew yesterday was going to be a bust. I tried all day to stick on plan (and I did, except for dinner) but when I heard my stepfather had gone out and bought a cake, I KNEW I was going to eat a little so I wouldn't hurt his feeilngs. So I figured, awww well, one night. So I did. I don't know - I wasn't thinking anything except I'm going to do this for just tonight, and I'll be ok. I did walk 2 miles after I ate all of that, yes I did. Maybe that's why I only had a 2 pound weight gain? I don't know, but all of that is actually pretty irrelevant at this point. I o think, however, that I'll actually consider this to be my first day of induction all over again rather than having just finished day 7. Why? It's a mind game. For me, knowing that I would have to repeat it all over again after I cheated may make cheating in the future not quite so appetizing.

Hope everyone is doing well this hump day! And DesertGurl - Zak batted around the idea of a cruise... and of going to France or England... but we're still coming back to the New York thing, so I guess we're Times Square bound!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
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10 pounds! You go girl, go!!! Good work lady!

I'm glad you had a great b-day. Only important question is: WAs it worth it? If it was then nothing else matters...no guilt, no nada. You make this journey yours, for how it works for YOU. Today's a new day and you just start walkin.

And yes, you did great IMO. You even walked 2 miles after dinner. WTG!

Yep, still liking the NY thing
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