Looking forward to the Third annual 24 hour Disney Day

Barbara and I are ready to attend the Rock Your Disney Side 24 hour event at Disneyland Park this Friday.  For the third year in a row, Disneyland will be open for 24 hours from 6 am Friday to 6 am on Saturday morning.  This year’s hashtag is #RockYourDisneySide and the event has a Heroes and Villains theme.  Looking forward to an exhausting but fun day.

We are now a month and a half after Barbara’s last chemotherapy treatment and while we still need to be careful with her out in crowds and sun, we hope this event marks the beginning of a return to normalcy for our lives.  She’s not officially marked as being “in remission” yet, but her counts have been stable for the last few months and she is no longer on the chemotherapy, so we are confident and hopeful that she will be declared in remission soon.  What better way to celebrate than a return to “The Happiest Place on Earth”

Walk with me to End Lupus

Nick after the 2013 San Francisco Walk to End Lupus Now

As many of you know my wife Barbara has Lupus and in October she experienced a flare up of her lupus that put her into the hospital.  Before this flare up occurred however, I was already planning on doing a 5K charity walk called the Walk to End Lupus Now.  After the flare up occurred it became even more important to me to participate in the walk and raise money to help fund Lupus research and awareness.  Me and my boss Tim walked the 5K and I’m proud to say the two of us raised $1600 for the Lupus Foundation.

This coming October I will be participating in the walk again.  If you would like to sponsor me in my walk, you can do so at my donor page for the event here.  If you want to help even more though, I encourage you to get out there and walk with me.  You can Join Team Moline and  walk with me at the 2014 San Francisco Walk to End Lupus Now on Sunday October 26, 2014 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  If you aren’t in the bay area but want to walk to raise awareness and money for Lupus Research, the Lupus Foundation hosts walks around the country throughout the year.

Just last week Barbara had what is expected to be her last (6th) Chemotherapy treatment of this particular flare up and the doctor is optimistic that this particular flare up is under control.  This is a tremendous blessing to hear as her previous flare up when she was 12 required 15 Chemotherapy treatments over the course of 3 years.  The doctor is also slowly stepping down Barbara’s dosage of Prednisone (steroids).  She is now taking just 1 20 milligram pill per day.  At the height of the flare up she was taking 60 milligrams per day.

If you would like to know more about Lupus and how it effects people who have it, I encourage you to check out Barbara’s story on her blog, and you can also read more about Lupus at the Lupus Foundation of America Website at lupus.org.

One Year Post-Op

1 Year ago today, I went to El Camino Hospital to have my Gastric Sleeve surgery.  One year later I have lost 96 pounds since the Surgery, a total of 195 pounds since I started my weight loss journey.  It’s a shame I didn’t quite make it to 200 pounds total loss, but I’m very proud of my weight loss progress and I’m nowhere near done.

Today to celebrate my 1 year anniversary from the surgery I took a day of PTO to have a little stay-cation.  Now the old me would have used an anniversary celebration as a reason for cake, ice cream, or other treats, but this is an anniversary of weight-loss surgery.  Instead I chose to celebrate my weight loss by having an amped up day.  I started by making a high-protein low calorie hot breakfast.   Barbara and I then went down to the gym for an amped up version of my normal workout.

A couple weeks ago I ordered a Spanx for men compression T-shirt.  I ordered this not to make me look thinner, but because as I have lost those 195 pounds I now have a lot of loose hanging skin in my abdomen.  This skin makes vigorous cardio very difficult as with every step it flaps and smacks against the rest of my skin.  When I have tried in the last couple years to jog or run, this has become very painful very quickly and has prevented me from doing anything vigorous.  Today, wearing my Spanx I was able to get up to 6 miles per hour and maintain that for several minutes.  I did the rest of my 30 minutes on the treadmill at a still brisk 3.8 miles per hour.  I then followed up with 25 minutes of strength training doing more sets at higher weights than I’ve done in the past.  I’m very proud of what I was able to do today and I intend on spending the next several months continuing to amp up my workouts.

I have a goal now of getting to the point where I can run a 5K, hopefully within the next year.  My hope is to do one of RunDisney’s 5K runs in 2014, and then start ramping up to bigger and better runs after that.

After going to a movie (where I drank water instead of anything caloric), I came home and made a delicious low calorie high-protein dream dinner to finish off the day and I’m not hungry and was quite satisfied with my meals today and my physical activity.

If you like Piña Coladas...
My First Piña Colada in over a year

I did do one thing this evening as part of my celebration which is not best for my weight-loss.  I had a Piña Colada.  When going through the pre-op preparation I was told that I would have to stay away from Alcohol for a year.  Since that year ended yesterday I let myself have a single 6 ounce Piña Colada to celebrate.

I never was much of a drinker and I’m not going to become one now that I can drink again, but I will allow myself a drink here and there.

I’ll keep you all up to date with how things keep going as I continue my weight loss journey.

Not too fat to journey through space… mountain!

As many of my friends know, I am a huge Disney Fan.  A year and a half ago, on a trip to Disneyland with my wife and Brother-in-law I went through the line queue at Space Mountain and attempted to get into the ride vehicle.  Sadly, I couldn’t even sit down, let alone pull down the lap bar, and I was forced to get off the ride and wait while they enjoyed it without me.

Later that trip in July of 2011, at Disney California Adventure, I attempted to ride California Screamin’ only to once again sadly have to wait while they enjoyed themselves without me.

As those of you who follow my blog know, I’ve lost a lot of weight since that trip.  On Tuesday, December 11th, I went in for my monthly weigh in and I was 339.6 pounds.  This is a total of 150.6 pounds lost!

Nick Rides Space Mountain
Nick Rides Space Mountain

Friday, December 14th, 2012 My wife and I went to Disneyland again, and the first thing I did that Friday morning is make a bee-line for Space Mountain.  I’m happy to report that the weight loss was enough, I was successfully able to ride Space Mountain, and the proof is above.

The next day, December 15th, 2012, we had a great time at Disney California Adventure, and like before I made it my goal to ride California Screamin’.  I’m happy to report that once again I was successful and I was able to ride it as well.

Both rides were fantastic (in fact Space Mountain seemed even better than I remember from my childhood) and were a great encouragement to me that my weight-loss efforts are working.

Midnight, T-10 hours to go, time to stop drinking water

Weight Update

31965874It’s midnight, it is now officially the day of surgery, and the latest phase takes effect, as of this moment, nothing more to drink (or eat, though I haven’t been allowed to eat in weeks anyway) until after the surgery, even water.

Surgery is tomorrow at 10 am Pacific time (just 10 hours away).

Time for the clear liquids only

Weight Update

31965874This morning at 10 am Pacific time marked 48 hours till I go under the knife.  That means it is officially time to switch to clear liquids only.  On the bright side, no more protein shakes until a few days after surgery.  On the not so bright side, I’m now severely limiting my caloric intake even more.

I had my monthly normal weigh in this afternoon and was down only slightly from my pre-op appointment with my surgeon from a couple weeks ago.  I’m now down to 404.0 lbs which brings my total weight loss down to 86.2 pounds.

For those of my friends and family who believe in the power of prayer, please pray for me as I go through this final diet step before surgery, and on Thursday at 10 am Pacific time, when the operation will begin.

Note for those confused why losing 2.7 more pounds only brings me to 86.2 pounds when I had previously stated I had lost 86.1 pounds. I apparently was mistaken when I wrote that my initial weigh in number was 492.8 pounds back in January, 2011.  My initial weigh in was actually 490.2 pounds.  I have adjusted the numbers from my previous 2 posts accordingly to indicate that at my previous post the number should have been 83.5 pounds.

Just over a week to go…

Weight Update

and I’m really feeling the pressure of this liquid only diet.  It’s hard, it’s extremely hard.  The strange thing is, it’s not the lack of food that makes it hardest.  What makes it really hard is that I’m just sick of the protein shakes.

Fortunately a good friend and coworker has brought me some home made chicken stock that while still just being liquid broth, is a great respit for me once a day from the monotony of protein shakes.  Thank you.

Next thursday I will go under, and when I come out I’ll have a tiny stomach that should make dieting easier, hopefully.

Pre-Op Appointment Day, Down over 83 pounds!

Weight Update

7410067LToday was my pre-op appointment with the surgeon to make sure I’m all set for surgery.  When I stepped on the scale (which looked just like the one pictured on the right) today I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I’m down to 406.7.  This means I’ve lost 83.5 pounds total so far and I haven’t even had the surgery yet.

Surgery is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, 2012.

I attribute the accelerated weight loss to the liquid only diet the surgeon has me on leading up to the surgery date.