Tag Archives: dieting

WLS 23 – Tyranny of the Gumballs

Gained two pounds over the past two weeks. And I’m embarrassed to say why.

Yes, it was the Christmas holiday. Yes, my exercise was off. Yes, I didn’t keep track of what I ate.

But it was all gumballs.

It started off innocently enough. I had gotten into the habit of chewing gum after I ate. It was a long time to wait for that first drink! So sugar free gum and mints helped pass the time.

This worked fine until I ran out of gum during the holidays. Then I looked around — and saw a 20-pound tub of bubble gum I had bought a year ago for my daughter’s gumball business. Just sitting there.

Wow! Was that some crunchy gum! But I found that it tasted good enough, once I got going. In fact, it tasted pretty good! Nothing like a few grams of sugar to get you boosted up.

Turns out that eating sugar was not going to cause me dumping syndrome. Oh well, another barrier to gaining weight shot to shit.

They say that’s what happens: for many folks, you eventually get to where you can eat everything you used to. At that point, it’s like you never had the surgery.

This is not a good thing. In fact, it leads me to believe that those folks who complain the most about their RNY (aside from those with severe complications) are probably getting the most from it. All that sickness, not being able to eat very much, and worrying about certain foods? That’s a great way to get you to 1) reduce what you eat, and 2) pay attention to what’s going in your mouth.

So perhaps complaining about the discomfort of RNY is actually a positive indicator. Go figure.

As for me, inside of two weeks my gumball consumption went berserko. From eating one gumball at a time, I found I could eat two, then three, then four.

Hey, it was Christmas! And it wasn’t like I was eating chocolates or candy. It was just gum.

Before it was all over with, I was sitting down and chewing 20-30 gumballs at a time. Put 2 in, chew them up, then spit them out and put in another two. It was like a day-long sugar rush.

And of course, this did all sorts of nasty things to my metabolism. I would wake up with a headache. My tongue felt like I had been chewing on it, not the gum. I became hungry again quickly after I had ate. Finally I realized I had to quit. Yesterday I made it a point not to have any gum at all.

This resulted in a day-long headache. I can tell you, this was not a fun experience.

So let’s not do that again, okay?

But it goes to prove a point: as you get older, your physiological system becomes less stable. It’s easy to get out of whack, and it’s tougher to stay in whack. Very old people end up taking several different kinds of medications — and they all have side effects. Fat people probably end up with some kind of imbalance earlier on in life. I don’t think there’s any magic cure, and I don’t know if the imbalance is due to sugar consumption, growth hormones, hunger hormones, or too much rock music. But I do feel that this is a natural process of your body system getting skewed.

I also feel like you have to make a decision: how much discomfort are you willing to go through to keep your system in whack? How much of a change in lifestyle? I told the nutritionist the last time I saw her that I had lost most of my initial weight, and I was now considering what kinds of temporary changes I wanted to make permanent.

Sounds pretty obvious to most — do anything to keep the weight off! But it’s not so simple. Do you want to not be able to attend dinner parties without being the only “non-eater” there? Do you want to not socially drink alcohol? How about pre-measuring your food? Happy with pre-measuring your food — for the rest of your life?

These are not easy questions, and over the long term your body is going to go out of whack anyway. That’s just the way bodies are. So it’s always going to be a losing game. The only questions is how much you want to change your life to slow things down before the inevitable.

I don’t know the answers, but I know that I don’t want another day-long headache. Or to gain 2 pounds because of something stupid like bubblegum. If I’m gaining two pounds, dammit, it should at least involve a buffet or a cruise or something! :)

So if you know of anybody that wants 5 pounds of bubble gum? Send them my way.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.

WLS 22 – How I haven’t really lost anything in the past month

My last post was about losing 100 pounds in roughly five months. This post is about not losing weight.

Easy come, easy go.

I’m not sure why I’ve plateaued for the last month or so. They told me all along this would happen. “Your body will get used to the surgery” some said. “You have a natural weight that you will gravitate towards” said others.

Meh. What do they know? Don’t they realize I have plans! I’m supposed to lose another 40 pounds, damnit!

So here we are.

What to do now? Looks like there are four options.

1) Do nothing. Continue on with the plan. Exercise, use the 30-30 rule, and pre-measure your food. Even if you don’t lose any more weight, a few months of getting in the habit of eating right for this weight is a big win.

2) Do something radical. Some WLS patients do a “jump start”, where they go back on liquids for a week. This helps their mind reset portion sizes, and gives their body a bit of a shock. Then they add back in the foods, just like the first time around.

3) Measure everything. Write down everything you eat daily for a week. Look up the calories. One of the nice things about the previous six months is that I really haven’t been dieting. Sure, I’ve been severely restricted in what I can eat, but it’s not like I sat around counting points all the time. Do I really want to get back on the dieting and obsessing bandwagon again?

4) Do the same stuff, only different. Stop it with the elliptical everyday — forbid myself from using it — and only run and ride the bike. Move to liquids-only in the mornings, then solid foods the rest of the day. Do stuff that doesn’t change my activity or intake levels, but presents it to my body in a different way. Did I mention I still haven’t started running regularly yet? Sigh.

I probably should do #3 or #4, but for the next week I think I’m sticking to #1. I have a blood test on Wednesday, Thanksgiving on Thursday, and I’m back to the doc for the six-month checkup a couple of weeks after that. That’s probably a good time to go over my options with the doc and nutritionist and make a decision. After all, the “magic” part of my weight loss is over with. I’m going to stay around this weight and clothes size whether I start losing moderately or just stay the same — as long as I don’t go beserko off the program. So there’s no fire we have to put out. Remember, I got into this for the ten-year results. I have time.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.

WLS 20 – RNY 20 Weeks out

Been an interesting last couple of weeks.

First, my weight loss has slowed or stalled out. I’m not sure if this is normal or not, but, frankly, it sucks.

I’m getting back into the swing of things in my work. I’m involved more, have more energy, I’m doing more things that are mentally stressful, and I’m traveling, speaking and keeping my schedule off-balance enough that it’s difficult to stay in a routine. Usually when I’m busy and stressed, I just go through a drive-thru, pick up a 2,000 calorie meal, and absentmindedly eat it while watching Oprah or something. That don’t work any more even if I wanted it to. Of course, I’m sure I could always still try to make it work. With enough practice, I could probably end back up where I started.

I have increased my intake. While I don’t get the overpowering physical hunger like I used to, I do feel a kind of emptiness in my pouch that’s like hunger. Enough that it calls me to eat. I believe this is a result of my blood sugar dropping.

The bad news is, without a valve at the bottom of my stomach, I’m basically eating directly into my small intestine. This means, I think, that my blood sugar should be even more sensitive to spikes than it used to be. Kinda seems like a step backwards, eh? So my guess is that watching sugar intake for a RNY patient is very important.

So what I ended up doing last week is eating a protein bar sometime within the 2 hours after I’ve had a meal. I’m not sure whether to count this as another meal or not. Should I use the 30-30 rule? Or is it just a solid version of a protein shake. So I haven’t been paying attention one way or the other. Sometimes I do the 30-30 thing. Sometimes not.

So that adds 600 calories to my daily diet right there. It probably puts me around 1400-1600 calories a day — 600 from protein bars, 360 from protein shakes, and 600-700 from three meals.

I’m just not going to worry about this. If I’m hungry, I need to consume something. Protein or water really are the two choices here. Perhaps I should be drinking more water. Don’t know.

The other piece of bad news is that I have decided I hate my exercise program, which basically consists of getting on the elliptical machine several times a week.

In my life there have been several things that I find I have a hard time hating. These are usually things that people tell me are good for me, that I know I’m supposed to like, that I really want to like, but that I just can’t stand. So I end up doing this thing where I keep telling myself that I “want” to do something, then I half-assed do it, or I put it off, or I quit too easily.

Last week I found myself just not caring about my workout anymore. The week before I had moved my target pulse up a bit, and increased my workout time to 65 minutes. It was enough to get me a bit winded, but it didn’t seem too bad. Then, after a few workouts, I just lost interest. I’d get on, go for 10-15 minutes, then just not feel like doing it anymore. Usually the toughest part is the first 20 minutes, where your body is first adjusting to the intensity, but heck, even after 30 or 40 minutes I’d be ready to get off. I wasn’t feeling like I was getting anything accomplished. Just standing there sweating. It was like being on an endless treadmill that stretched out as far as the eye could see. A lifetime of standing in one place and sweating while I played cards on my iPad.

Not so much.

So I gotta mix it up some. Take a class. Start jogging. I really, really, really need to shift gears. But for now, I’ll probably just go back to the elliptical. Bah.

On the good side, my energy levels are coming back close to normal, and I’m getting to an understanding with my lower bowels. We have had our problems in the past few months, but plenty of liquids and more solid foods seems to make things fine there. Enough said.

So with all of that negative energy, I was pretty down about the whole thing the past couple of days. Five weeks ago I was 220 pounds. The next week? 219. Then I was 217. Then last week 217 again. Then the exercise problems began. My eating increased. It was not looking too good. I was really tempted to start drinking caffeine and alcohol again. Tea in the morning and a few drinks on Friday nights. These things helped me maintain an equilibrium. But they also were highly influential in making me eat too dang much.

Did I mention one of my clients is one of these new high tech companies? They have an open kitchen with all the food you could want to eat provided — free. There’s beer in the fridge. There’s a popcorn machine. I was looking for salt the other day and found an entire cabinet dedicated to fine teas. Yikes!

Not. Helping!


So I resisted the urge to go back to bad habits. At least for now. I made it home, hit the sack, then got up this morning and weighed.

I was down 4 pounds, to 213. That’s a total of 7 pounds over the past four weeks. Not terrific, but about 2 pounds per week. A few months of that and I’ll be at my target weight, plus 2 pounds a week is actually an optimum rate to lose. Perhaps I really should be easier on myself.

I think it’s easier for you, the reader, to consume this. You’re probably reading from the distant future. You already know how it’s all going to work out. “Oh, this is chapter 20 in the book where the guy loses 150 pounds” you might think. Gee, don’t know what the big deal was. He simply had a plateau for a while. Or you could be thinking “This is the blog entry for that guy at work. You know, the one that lost all that weight then gained it all back? Looks like at one point he was almost 210 pounds. Wonder what the heck happened to him? Guess some people just aren’t ever going to get straightened out, huh?”

From the future, this is all fairly simplistic, even trivial. What was this schmuck obsessing over so much, anyway? Doesn’t he know that he gets hit by a bus the following month? All that worrying and fussing isn’t going to change anything.

Living it, however, is a different can of worms. I didn’t know until this morning that I had lost 4 pounds over the past week. Before I got on the scale, looking at all the eating I had been doing, and the lack of exercise, my best guess was that I had gained between 1 and 2 pounds. When I saw the loss, I was as surprised as I could be. Now, of course, I can say “Sure was great losing those four pounds. Sometimes you just have to take a break from exercising and let your body catch up” But 1 hour ago it was a different story.

Things always look different in hindsight, and there are many things we do not understand about weight loss, no matter what the books and TV shows will tell you. So I think it’s always going to be a struggle. I’m just not sure I want to spend my life struggling so much.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.

WLS 19 – 18 weeks out from RNY

Daniel Markham

18 Weeks out. Daughter Katrina enjoys grabbing all the skin around my face and making funny faces with it

The last three weeks or so have been pretty much a slog on the weight loss front. I’m losing about 2 pounds per week instead of 3, and I’m eating more sliders. Still sticking to the 30-30 rule, though, and I manage to eat less when I pre-measure everything. Still, I’m not doing as well as I used to.

The temptation is to blame exercise, which I missed quite a bit last week. If only I exercised more! I’ll think, and then plan out some brutal week of hard workouts to make up for things.

But if there’s anything at fault, it’s my eating more, which, I have to say, I like.

It’s great to have more physical food in my digestive system. I don’t think the nutrition value of the food matters much at all. It’s just nice to have volume. So I’m eating about a cup of food three times a day, usually a half-cup of some kind of vegetable/protein, like beans, and then a half cup of fruit or berries. I’ve also upped my protein supplements up to close to 100 grams daily. And I’m shooting for 4 liters of water, although I don’t always get this much.

As disappointed as I might feel at times, I have to remind myself that yes, I am still losing weight. And 2 pounds a week is probably a much more sustainable and healthy loss than that crazy 5 or more pounds a week I was doing there at the start. The trick is keeping things going at this rate.

Weight loss is a crazy thing. You are fighting your natural inclination, which is bad, and you are dealing with a system which you don’t understand, which is also bad. This kind of obsession could make you crazy. If nothing else it will twist your thinking.

I’ve also had to come to some kind of conclusion regarding my opinion on dieting. While I’ve tried a bunch of diets, I came into this thing not wanting just to diet all over again. On the other hand, I definitely don’t want to be one of those guys that gains it all back. So how to reconcile these two feelings?

My decision is twofold: 1) I will get into the habit of putting my food in containers ahead of time and eating only what’s in the container (mostly, aside from the weird social situation like a reception or party), and 2) I will discipline myself to the 30-30 rule. No snacking, and no liquids 30 minutes before or after eating.

Other than that I’m going to follow doctor’s orders, but I’m not going to get too wrapped up around the axle. In other words, I am not going to obsess over small details. Odds are I will stop losing at some point. Hopefully I can go another 30-40 pounds, but who knows? The important thing is to find a new system that can last ten years, not reach some arbitrary goal. I figure learning to package my food ahead of time and eating in a certain way doesn’t constrain me too much. After all, there are plenty of other habits and disciplines I’ve gotten into, like packing for a long trip or shaving every morning. This is just something else like that; something to be learned and practiced.

People might wonder what it’s like to have a stomach the size of an egg. How can I eat a cup of food? Well, it’s a funny thing. If I were eating a dry, chunky food like chicken, I could probably eat just enough to fill my pouch. Then I’d be full. But by eating “sliders”, the food just slides right out of my pouch and into my small intestine, so really there’s not much of a limit. I could sip on chocolate milkshakes all day long, drink gallons of the stuff. Sure, I’d weight 300 pounds again, but it’s possible.

Do I feel hungry and want to eat more? Not really. That’s also a funny thing. No matter how much I eat, it seems to fill me up. Yes, it’s easy to get into the habit of eating the sliders and such, but I know that if I went back to liquids for a few days, I could start right back over at a quarter cup a meal again. I’m not eating due to insatiable hunger. I’m eating more out of comfort and habit.

I had some unplanned eating events in the last few weeks that underscore this. One of the places I’m working with routinely feeds its folks on Fridays. They bring in some kind of buffet. Because I want to be a polite guest, I figure I should eat with the people I’m trying to help. So a couple of weeks ago I line up for a great lunch. There was chicken casserole, beans, and so on. Then I went and sat down outside to mingle.

Now with dry food like that, even a half a cup is pushing it, but I knew to chew my food carefully and listen to my body for signals it was time to stop. What happened, though, was that some really interesting people joined the conversation around lunch. We started talking about all sorts of fascinating stuff like hobbies, political views, and so on. I was engrossed in trying to learn more about their world.

And I found that I could not stop eating.

Somehow I have learned to associate nervousness with eating. So when the conversation lulled, or I had nothing to do with my hands, I wanted to find something, anything, to put into my mouth and chew. Even after I ate as much as I needed (of course my plate was full, one scoop of three items will fill a plate). So I’d pick at my food, pull off a little bit, and chew it. It gave me something to do while listening. It was calming.

And I ate too much. My pouch filled up and started to spasm. Yikes!

But hell, even then I kept going and ate 2-3 more tiny bites over the next 5-10 minutes. I just wanted to be doing something while engaged in conversation.

By the time lunch was over, I was in terrible pain. I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling like I wanted to throw up. If I didn’t consume anything, the pain was manageable, but the minute I swallowed anything the nausea would come over me in a terrible way. The pain kind of subsided for a bit, so I started chewing gum and went to a meeting. Ooops! Not so much. About ten minutes into the meeting I felt like barfing, so I ran to the bathroom. But no luck. Just a lot of spitting.

I waited for an hour. The pain subsided. So I tried sipping water. After a couple of sips, back with the nausea again. My body was not happy! Hello Daniel! We have some serious complaints down here! Are you listening?

Went out to the car, found a whole plastic bag of Papaya Enzyme, and ate all of them — about 30. Still no luck. I drove home feeling like I was going to throw up. It was not a pleasant experience.

Once I got home, I made some hot tea and sat down, prepared to drink all of the tea no matter what. If I threw up, then so be it. Something had to give somewhere. It’s impossible to live if you can’t drink or eat! While I knew in my heart the problem was going to work itself out one way or another, I still had to recognize that if it went on for more than a day I’d need to go to the hospital. That kind of gets your attention.

I sipped about half of the tea and the nausea hit again. I ran to the bathroom and my stomach convulsed, but I didn’t throw up.

That one convulsion must have shaken something loose because that was it. The pain was gone. I was fine after that.

So a week later I’m in the same exact situation. I’m at a dinner party before a conference I’m speaking at. It was a great dinner. All kinds of foofy food. I made a plate again, and again I sat down and started having a great conversation with some folks.

This time, however, I remembered the pain from last time. Once I started feeling full, I covered my plate up with my napkin and physically pushed it away. Even then, that would not be enough. I know myself well enough to know that I’d soon start picking at the food again as the conversation progressed. Fortunately Melissa was there, realized what I was doing, and took my plate to the trash while I continued talking. That’s what having a good wife will help you with!

Yesterday it happened again. Another catered meal at my client site. Another great conversation with one of the folks there. This time it was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. (I skipped out on the rolls, pies, macaroni and cheese, and other stuff!) I really enjoyed the flavor! And the conversation was going well also. But sure enough, not five or ten minutes into the chat, I was full. There I was with a plate 90% uneaten, and my pouch was telling me it was time to stop. So I smiled, said “You know, this is extremely good food, but I’m completely stuffed. It was great talking to you!” and excused myself. Crisis averted. I dumped a full plate of food in the trash can. Felt like I was committing a terrible crime doing it.

Interesting thing about that is that 20 minutes later I still felt a little hunger. So I ate a protein bar. Much better to complete my lunch with protein than do a repeat of the eating too much experience.

Writing all of this, it occurs to me that maybe I haven’t been doing so badly after all. I am learning quite a bit — my pouch is helping me out, whether I like it or not. I’m learning why I eat, I’m learning some ways to control things. I’m also learning how easy it is to screw up, even with a modified digestive system. It’s not all stuff I want to know, but it’s stuff I need to know.

But I still feel uneasy about all of it, as if I’m resting on a house of cards that’s bound to crash sooner or later. From reading other folks who have had this surgery, this is a very common feeling.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.

Weight Loss 6 — The First Two Weeks After Gastric Bypass


When I was a kid, we used to play a game where we’d put on a blindfold and spin around a lot, getting really dizzy. Then we’d try to pin the tail on the donkey.

That moment you stopped spinning, when you realized you had to get started pinning the tail, was very confusing. Everything was spinning around, you felt like you couldn’t stand up, and although you had some general idea that you wanted to do something called “walk”, you had no idea how that was going to work out. Things didn’t work like they were supposed to. Spinning did something weird to you. You couldn’t trust your instincts.

Getting out of gastric bypass surgery is like that, only on your insides of your gut. The rest of you is zonked out of it with pain medications.

I wish there were some nicer way to say this — perhaps I could remind you of the whole point of the exercise. But any way you slice it, this sucks. It’s the “Oh shit!” time of your experience, so be prepared.

The first three days are especially bad. When I came out of the operating room, I remember the nurse asking me how I felt.

“Cold, shocky, and nauseous,” I said.

Didn’t really improve from there for a couple of days.

The weird thing was how many people told me that I was doing great. “Hey, you look like you’re doing great!” they would say. Meanwhile I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Looking in on some of the other patient’s rooms, they weren’t hitting on much either.

There are a lot of reasons for this misery. First, they give you some serious drugs to go inside ripping your guts around. That plays havoc with your emotions. Second, most people are very comfortable with their abdomen — after all, you’ve had it your entire life. Waking up post-op, you suddenly realize that everything about your stomach does not work the way it used to. That’s a pretty freaky experience. After I would do something simple like sip water, then I would burp and then wince in pain. Not fun.

Finally, for some people, this is the first time they really realize that now they’ve gone and done it — there’s no turning back now! It’s the “Oh shit!” moment.

I didn’t have any buyer’s remorse, but I was very emotionally confused about just how my new body was supposed to operate. Combine that with the drugs and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. When I went down for my barium swallow, for instance, I remember thinking that it was very likely that the exercise could end in projectile vomiting. (It did not)

You just don’t know what to expect. It’s very stressful, and it’s also very disorineting. It’s unlike anything else in life you’ve experienced.

I ran a low-grade fever the entire time I was in the hospital — between 99.5 and 101.1. To this day I have no idea why. But I remember looking at that thermometer reading and being able to picture in my mind catching pneumonia, or some other secondary infection, and then being really screwed. I found myself catastrophizing, taking events and imagining terrible consequences, even when I knew that was what I was doing.

I think the first 3 days are the worst. That’s when everything is out of whack and you’re stuck in the hospital. After I broke out from the hospital, I figured out that I was not going to die in that place. There was a tiny bit of stability. The next three days were a different story.

Once I made it home and realized that the end was not near, I spent the next three days slowly coming out of the haze and trying to get a bearing on what kind of new body I had received. Of course, the first thing to do is blog! After that, I was really unsure.

Everywhere I went, I carried around an automatic external pain pump. It wasn’t a narcotic. It just constantly sent numbing agent into the places where they cut. It was about the size of a canteen and hung around my neck. A tube from it went into a bunch of tape and then into my abdomen.

When I tried to get up from a sitting position, it hurt. A lot. The best I can describe it is that my lower abdominal muscles felt as if I had done situps to the point of complete exhaustion. I was okay walking (although pretty wobbly at first). I was okay lying down. Sitting was iffy depending on how much I moved, and moving from sitting to standing sucked quite a bit. When I was still, my lower abdominals would tighten up. Then when I went to flex them to get off the bed or move to standing, there’d be quite a bit of pain. Lots of wincing and groaning.

The big change in the second three days was that I realized that slowly, bit-by-bit, I was getting better. Yay! I wasn’t going to wake up all at once and be dancing a jig, but every day when I woke up I was a little better than before. The fever went away. On day five I was able to pull out the tubes to the pain pump. (Let me tell you, it’s a weird feeling to be pulling 3 feet of tubing from a hole in your abdomen!)

So the second three days were better than the first. Not hugely better physically, but psychologically I was able to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

The next week went by quickly. Every day I would go out walking — the doctor said I couldn’t lift anything or drive, but I could walk “as much as I wanted to”. I found that the more I walked, the better everything else worked out. It helped slowly heal my abdominal muscles. It got me out of the house. It got me to begin thinking about what was coming next. If there’s one thing I can tell people who are going through this, after doing everything the doc says, be sure to get out and move. Don’t just sit on the couch.


From an “eating” standpoint, there wasn’t any eating going on. I’m on a liquid diet. After some experimentation, I’ve settled on a Syntha-6 shake in the morning, followed by a large glass of water. In the afternoon, another big glass of water followed by an Isopure pre-made drink. There’s also a bit of chewable and liquid medicines and vitamins. I can have sugar-free jello and popcicles if I want, and I’ve been having some off and on, but frankly it doesn’t seem worth it.

I’m just not hungry anymore. Thirsty? Sure. Nauseous? Most definitely. When I see a big meal on TV or something, I feel sick. All-in-all, I’m probably consuming around 500 calories a day.

The best I can describe it is like this: have you ever had a really bad stomach virus, where your intestines completely empty out and you have this terrible churning and bubbling in your gut? You’ll drink a bit of water and hear your stomach growl for the next 15 minutes. You may pass a lot of gas. You break out in a cold sweat. Your pulse is feeble and rapid. You’ll try a little piece of a cracker thinking “Wonder how THIS is going to go down?”

At it’s worst, that’s how I felt all of the time. Now, at the end of the two weeks, 85-95% of the time I don’t feel like that, but not always. Sipping, I can drink 20 ounces of water in 45 minutes or so. My Syntha-6 has a very small amount of sugar, though, so when I drink it I feel terrible for the next hour. (Sugar is not-so good for folks with gastric bypasses) After that I feel more energetic, because I have a tiny bit of carbs in me.

When you learn to walk, you learn that you can do certain things and certain things don’t work. This is the same thing, only with your stomach. I’ll make peace with my Syntha-6 over the next couple of weeks. It’s no bit deal — it’s nothing like what I’ve already been through. Heck, after Thursday I’m going to actually be eating meals! Woo Hoo!

On the plus side, it looks like I’m evaporating. That’s the best I know how to explain it. Daughter Katrina had me stand sideways last night and just couldn’t get over how I looked. Over the last three weeks I’ve lost over 30 pounds, and I can almost feel the pounds leaving me each day. I’m looking forward to more of that to come!

If you decide to go this route, learn all you can about the options. Know what to expect. The first little bit after surgery is going to really suck. Be prepared for it. Find something that motivates you and hang on to it. I’m still very happy for the decision I made and I’m looking forward to a really cool summer ahead, but it’s important to remember that there’s a sucky part too. This is not something you do on a whim.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.

Weight Loss 1 — The Decision

I’m going to take my blog and keep track of my weight loss journey. I know, I know — it’s not technology, management, or humor, but it’s my blog and I get to do what I want!


As many of you may know, I am a bit overweight. By “a bit”, I mean the doctor said I either had to lose weight or capture an asteroid in my gravity well so I could be declared a planet.

It’s something I’ve struggled with over the years. Tried all kinds of things to help.

After continued failure, I’ve decided to look into bariatric surgery. You know, where the doctor rips your stomach out with a fork. In this fashion, without a stomach, you find it difficult to eat, so you lose weight.

I did a lot of research, and traveled several hours to Northern Virginia yesterday to meet with a doctor. As it turns out, it’s much more complicated than I imagine. They don’t actually use a fork.

Instead, there’s this involved process of tests, double-checks, counseling, and so forth to give this thing the best shot possible. After an initial consult, I was given a list of about a dozen things to do — including an endoscopic examination which requires sedation — just to go to the next step, which is planning for surgery.

There are a lot of pros and cons to having bariatric surgery, and it’s not something I do lightly. One of the guys yesterday asked what my goals for being there were, and I said “To save my life” So, as much as I joke, to me this is a pretty serious situation.

I hope to use this blog to describe my journey.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course, and follow me on Twitter.