My Journey

Hmm. What should I say? I have 4 great kids, a loving husband and my cute puppy Biskit. I love almost every kind of music and I am an avid reader. After being in the workforce for more than 15 years, I decided it was in my best interest to leave my job because it was affecting my mental and physical health. History fascinates me. I watch programs and read books on ancient Egypt, The Templar Knights, ancient Greece and Rome, Mysteries of the Bible and on and on and on. I also like watching programs on forensic science and crime scene investigation. One of my dreams is to attend Bible College. My husband and I have become Independent Business Owners. We have an Internet business ( www.jbmall.biz) where clients can shop from our exclusive line of products, or they can shop at over 600 affiliate stores we partner with. We began by using some of the products and were so happy with the quality, price and convenience, we decided to go into business for ourselves. I love it because I can work when I want and it’s from my home. It also makes me feel like I am doing something meaningful and constructive with my life. I have been so blessed working on this “blog” and I hope it blesses you too. God Bless you and keep you in His care. – Briggie ^i^

Okay, so I decided to use this page to post my updated pictures from my Bariatric Surgery. Here goes!

These pictures were taken June 20th the day before my surgery. I was about 350lbs here.

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June 28th, 1 week post op and I guess I was a little less than 349lbs because that was my last weight in the hospital.

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Now, as of July 2nd, I weighed 333.4 lbs and I should have taken a picture that day but I ended up not taking it until July 6th – so here it is, my most current photo. I’m not sure what I weigh because I still don’t have a scale that works – but I’m working on it, honestly.

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Ok, Ok, Ok….I know I haven’t done an update in some time – but today you’re in luck!! I had my second check-up 7/25 and I weighed in at 322.75 lbs. with jeans!!! That means nearly 36 pounds gone and counting. My new scale is just about dead on with the doctors office (it’s a Homedics model that goes up to 400lbs) and as of this morning (7/27) I am 319.0 lbs!!!! I had my son take new pictures (and it is sooo pretty, he made me do them outside) so here you are!! I know I have on a different outfit, but hey – variety is the spice of life!!

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Okay, I haven’t posted pictures since 7/27. At first I was waiting until I had my next official “check-up” with my surgeon, but when I ended up have to get an emergency Upper GI, that went out the window. That was back on 8/1 and I did not feel too good for a few days after the procedure and to top it all off, my sleep pattern is out of whack again. As for my weight, as of today 8/11 I’m down to 312.6 lbs. which means I’ve lost a total of 46 pounds – 4 more to go before I get my hair cut!!! I’ll have someone take new photos of me tomorrow and get them posted early in the day so check back!!

Okay, so I caved in and got my hair done before I lost 50 pounds, but it was mainly because I had so much gray on top that it made me look partially bald. I got my hair colored and trimmed (8/15) because it was getting pretty bad! As of yesterday 8/20 my official weight was 307.4lbs which means I’ve lost a total of 51.4 pounds since June 2007. I know that sounds like a lot of weight, but to be honest, I don’t feel any different size wise. I know my face and neck are thinner and I can walk and stand without being in excruciating pain and I fit into some smaller size clothes I have but when I look at myself I still see 358.6lbs. I’m still having trouble eating but at least I’m able to eat some things. I love Rice Krispies with frozen blueberries for breakfast. I can only eat about 2 tablespoons but it’s better than nothing! I found that if I freeze fruit I can eat just about any kind, watermelon is still my favorite! I can eat 1/2 of a grilled cheese – no crust, rice, bacon (go figure), 1/4 of a McDonalds cheeseburger with most of the bread taken off (i think it’s the ketchup, mustard, onion and pickle combo that makes me drool for them), Maryland Crab soup – yum yum yummy, and oatmeal. I’ve even been able to eat some of the meal replacement bars from JB Mall (www.jbmall.biz) and the new lemon protein bars aren’t bad. I still have trouble with sweet stuff and there are moments when I get sick and I know it’s just a matter of time before I have to have another dilation because my esophagus is too narrow. I get a really bad gas build up and nothing helps relieve the pressure and since my esophagus is so narrow, the gas gets stuck in my throat and I have to (WARNING, THE REST OF THIS SENTENCE IS PRETTY GRAPHIC – IN OTHER WORDS, IT’S GROSS) put my finger down my throat and press to the side so the gas can escape.

I have started taking more vitamins like B-12, Calcium with D and my Hair-Nails-Skin formula that I sell on my website. My nails are getting brittle and hair is falling out because I’m not getting enough supplements in. I’m getting acrylics put on tomorrow, my cousin Dennis is getting married and I don’t want my jagged finger nails snagging anything. Which reminds me – - I’m going to need something to wear because NOTHING fits me!!! Hehehehehehe, that’s because they’re all TOO BIG! Hooray for me!!! Can’t wait to check out the stores, I’m still too big to shop in the NON-Plus size stores but at least I won’t have to look for the biggest size anymore and I’ll be able to see what size I am!

So enough jibber jabber and on to the pictures!! Please note that these are the best ones taken today, I got the giggles big time and every time my son took a picture of me, I was cracking up, wiping away the tears from laughing so hard, had my eyes closed, making a goofy face, looking away from the camera or just plain bent over from hysterics.

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here are my pics in order so you can view them all…

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I know, I know, I know…I need to post updated pictures.  I’m down to 289.4 pounds as of today 9/28 (that’s nearly 70 pounds in a little over 3 month’s ya’ll – how awesome is that???) and I got my hair cut and colored 3 weeks ago.  My son Jarrett, is the only one in the house with a digital camera and everytime I think to take new pictures he’s either at school (he goes to our County College) or he’s busy coaching our local High School’s football team.  (he’s a volunteer coach so he doesn’t get paid cash, but he’s earning lots of experience which is a good thing because he is going for his degree in Sports Management and this will look great on his resume!)  Hopefully I’ll remember to ask him to do it this weekend!  Man it sucks getting old!!!

So, I had a brief moment of clarity yesterday and had my son take updated pictures of me.  I’m down to 287.4 which is a loss of 71.2 pounds since June 21st.  I know that sounds like a lot, but when you are as big as I am, it’s hard to see it – at least to me.  I know I see myself all the time at least from the neck up, and I do notice my face and neck are thinner, but as for the lower half, I just don’t see that much of a difference.  I have no idea what size I was before my surgery, I know I was bigger than 30-32 and 3X.  I spent most of my days in 3X super stretchy nightgowns and PJ bottoms.  I wear them now and they hang off me (up top).  I can wear jeans and pants size 26 and they are baggy on me.  I haven’t tried on anything smaller, I think I’m just a bit scared to because I’m afraid they will be too small.  My bras and panties are too big now but I’m not ready to go out and buy new ones – what’s wrong with me???  I still struggle with eating, I have trouble keeping food down.  I have an appointment with my surgeon on the 17th for my 3 month follow-up and I finally got a referral from my primary doctor so I’ll probably be having another dilation too.  My hair is falling out because I’m not getting in enough protein, but I just got a note from one of my WLS Buddies and she says she gets in over 100G of protein and she too is losing hair – a lot of it!  It’s only been about 2 weeks now that I’ve been getting in more than 5-10G of protein a day.  I guess I get about 50G in, but my goal is to get no less than 75G per day, so that means adding eggs and fish every day.  I drink about 4 glasses of milk every day now so that gives me about 36G of protein right there and I have been getting in some chicken or cheese so that helps.  It’s just hard to eat, most of the time my stomach’s upset which doesn’t help.    Anyway, enough jibber jabber, here’s my most recent photos’s.  I took them on October 5th.

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I can’t believe it’s been over 2 months since I’ve updated this page.  I guess it’s because I haven’t lost that much weight since October.  I’m a bit disappointed in my progress, but my doctor is happy and everyone says I am looking great!  I still have trouble eating which is probably why the weight isn’t coming off like I want it too.  I’ve tried protein drinks, bars and powders but I can’t tolerate them.  They are either too sweet, or taste like dookie.  I still throw-up a few times a week which is probably the most fearful thing I am dealing with.  I worry that if I don’t stop I’ll damage my esophagus or my stomach will get in the habit of forcing things back up.  I eat a lot of string cheese, cottage cheese, beef jerky (yes, I said beef jerky – believe it or not I keep it down and it’s loaded with protein) grape tomatoes with lots of salt, raw mushrooms and cucumbers, saltine crackers, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes and rice cakes.  I got daring and had Sushi, so far I’m 2 for 3 (that means I’ve had it 3 times and only got sick once!)  I can’t wait for Christmas Eve so I can have it again.  (we have a tradition where we have Chinese food for Christmas Eve and even though Sushi is Japanese cuisine, the local Chinese restaurant just added a Sushi bar – woo-hoo, I can walk there if I’m desperate!  I can also tolerate Rice Krispies and Super Golden Crisp cereal, dippy eggs with scrapple (okay, that’s sunny side up eggs for you northerners and yes, I love me some scrapple) blue corn tortilla chips with salsa and sour cream, Werther’s chewy caramels, thinly sliced Genoa Salami with either Monterey or Cheddar cheese sticks, and let’s not forget the old standbys mashed potatoes, oatmeal, applesauce and soups.  I still have trouble with meats of any kind and pasta is a big NO-NO!  I’m down to 272.3 lbs which, all things considered, is great.  I haven’t been under 300 pounds in over 14 years!  I’m running out of clothes because all the stuff in my closet or things I packed away years ago is now too big.  So, the pictures I’m going to post don’t really do me justice because the pants I have on are big on me so they don’t hug my not as big butt!  I have lost 86 pounds so far and even though I haven’t hit the 100 pound mark yet, which was my Christmas goal, I haven’t given up.  I saw Valerie Bertinelli’s most recent Jenny Craig commercial the other day where she was all teary-eyed because for the first time in 20 years she wasn’t going to have to make a New Years resolution about her weight and I knew just how she felt.  I haven’t been at this weight in 20 years, since the birth of my 3rd child.  This time last year I was so upset because I couldn’t walk without being in horrible pain and I could barely stand for more than 5 minutes.  I was always in pajamas, I never went out, I could barely take care of myself and I was losing hope for ever being able to have a normal life again.  Now, I’m not going to say that things are all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.  I lost my dad last Thanksgiving, and some very special people in my life passed away this time of year (even though it was many years ago, I still miss them).  With me being out of work because of my health, money isn’t tight, it’s invisible and I was denied SSDI because I no longer need medication to survive – sad isn’t it???  I’m looking for work and hopefully something will come through after the New Year.  Since my husband was rear-ended again back in August he has been having so much difficulty with his neck and there’s nothing the doctors can do for him.  The past few weeks he has been in severe pain and we almost took him to the ER the other night because he couldn’t take the pain.  He is such a wonderful man.  I don’t know how he does it, everyday he gets up and goes to work when most people would just stay in bed.  The doctors can’t believe he’s not on SSDI, but my husband won’t give in.  God truly has His hands on my husband because I’m sure if it weren’t for God, my husband would have given in and given up.  Well, that’s all for now folks, Christmas is nearly upon us and I’ve got lots to do around here.    Oh yeah, one more thing – my hair is still falling out so I decided to get it cut short again.  I was tired of it being so darned stringy.  It’s not falling out as bad as it was (handfuls of hair in the comb, the tub,  my pillow – everywhere) so I must be getting some protein in, but I can’t wait till it starts to get full again.  I may have to get extensions!!!!!LOL

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Well, my daughter and her boyfriend blessed me with my very own digital camera for Christmas (first one ever) so the next pictures being posted were taken with my camera.  The shots were taken on January 2nd and as of that day I weighed 265.4 lbs which is a total weight loss of 93.2 pounds!  I was hoping to have hit the 100 pound mark before the end of 2007 and even though I did not hit my goal, I’m so happy with how far I have come.  I have my next appointment with Dr. Dallal next Wednesday 1/23 and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about my progress, plus I will hear the results of my blood test – which I pray are good!  I haven’t been doing much walking this past week because of the weather so I’m going to try and make it a daily goal to go to the mall before it opens and participate in their mall walkers club.  I need to get my metabolism working and since I won one of the pedometers from the giveaway by Laura from Laura William’s Musings I’ll be able to track my steps and adjust my walking goals accordingly – thanks Laura!!

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So, I’m being told I need to post new pictures, but I was holding out till I hit the 100 pound mark, plus I hate, hate, hate  my hair.  Well, I am 1 pound away from the 100 pound mark and I caved in today and got a hair cut – more like a trim because I wanted it all hacked off, but my stylist wouldn’t do it.  So, it’s February 29th and here are pictures I just took today.  Not much to really talk about – I don’t get sick as often as I used to but the other night I had some rice and it didn’t sit well so I was in the bathroom just minutes after eating a spoonful.  This troubles me a bit because rice was one thing I was able to eat and keep down and now I’m afraid to have Sushi – :-( … I love my coffee and so I have a small cup every morning.  I also try and have some cereal or a biscuit with butter and jelly – I know, no protein in any of that, but I enjoy it and it stays down!  I have some grape tomatoes, string cheese and shrimp every day and I try to drink at least 1 glass of milk every day too.  I’ve also been experimenting with peanut butter and it’s staying down – yeah!!  I love PB&J with ice cold milk and PB has lots of protein!  I also have an egg just about every day, sunny side up of course – and I can get in a half piece of toast which is cool because I love dipping the toast in the dippy part – yum yum.  I can also eat bananas, pineapple, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes and this makes me really happy!  I still can’t eat chicken, or beef and most fish, but since I can eat the shrimp and crab sticks, that’s good enough for me!  All of my jeans are too big – WOO-HOO!!  My bras are also too big as are my undies – about the only thing I don’t have to worry about are my socks – but I’m not shopping for a single thing till I hit the 100 pound mark, and even then I’ll probably only get a pair of jeans and a top since most of my tops have shrunk over time. So, without further ado, here’s today’s picks – I love how my stomach doesn’t bulge out and hang down like it used to – I guess it’s good that I’ve lost my weight slowly as it has given my skin a chance to remember what it was like to not be stretched out beyond all reason and it’s starting to snap back a bit – if only my boobs could remember what it was like to stand at attention and not look at the floor!!!!!


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Okay, I put up a post today (3/5) declaring that I finally hit the 100 pound mark!  Then I posted pictures showing my new outifts!  If you click the links you can read the full posts – as for this page, I’m just gonna put up a few pictures!

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It has been way too long since I posted pictures.  The scale hasn’t really moved much in the past several months, but I can see changes in my face, neck, hands and everyone says I’m getting more definition in my upper body.  Of course I’d love to see the pounds fall off, but being able to wear size 18/20 tops from Lane Bryant, 2X tops from Old Navy (everything is cut small there and I’ve NEVER fit into anything of theirs until now!) and 1X tops at JC Penney, not to mention size 22 Jeans at JC Penney and size 3 Jeans from Lane Bryant – I am truly overjoyed!  So  here are some pictures to go with my update.  The pictures below are from November and December 2008.  I thank God for being healthy enough to return to work full time and whil I admit I have a desk job in an office, I move around quite a bit which helps keep me active.

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12 Comments

12 thoughts on “My Journey

  1. dear Jewel, wow – Singapore, how awesome is it that we can communicate with people from the other side of the world – God is amazing and I love how He shares His knowledge with us and gives us such wonderful technology. I haven’t really lost anything the past few months but my doctors are happy with my progress so far and i think once i get back to work, the pounds will fall off again. I am halfway there and so happy that God has done this for me. take care and God bless you

    briggie

  2. Dear Briggitte

    Wow!

    Greetings from Singapore.

    Love your site and your passion for Christ!

    Yes, the Lord loves it when we take our place of need, work at it and at the same time trusting Him to give us His kind of results!

    Without our prayers, He will not.
    Without Him, we cannot.

    Here’s to a slimmer Brig!

    Cheers
    Jewel

  3. Dear Brig,
    I praise God for you. It is so good that you are once again, you.
    I’ve missed you for so long. I have missed the coffee calls, the talks,
    Your smile, Your friendship. I will try to be good ….lol…
    Love ya sister more than you know. Yes these are tears of joy….
    Now we have to pray continuously for our Louise…..God bless and may He keep you in the palms of His hands.
    debbie

  4. That’s excellent! The weight loss definitely shows! I know it’s hard when you look in the mirror every day, to see the difference, but it’s definitely there!

    You might consider trying tofu for protein. It’s a vegetable protein which might be easier on you. If you don’t like the idea of eating tofu, try the dessert tofu. It comes in several different flavours (banana, berry, coconut, caramel) and has the texture and consistency of a custard. Also, soy beverage might be easier for you than dairy and has more protein in it than cow’s milk.

  5. Hi Scott, thanks for visiting and for the well wishes. RNY is a life long committment to a better life and I look forward to the new year with a renewed outlook and hope for the future. Congrats on your surgery – I will keep you in prayer and I highly recommend http://www.obesityhelp.com
    there are lots of great people on that site and you can look for buddies that had the surgery the same time are you, or in your area and those who have gone before us have great advice as well. Take care and God bless you (and tell Bronie I said howdy!)
    Briggie ^i^

  6. Way to go on the wieght loss! I just recently found your blog through a very good friend of mine-Bronie Victory(teamvictory.blogpot.com). Bronie and I went to church together in Nashville TN several years ago. I recently had RNY (12/18/07) and was thrilled to see how God has blessed you through your surgery. Just a quick note to say, Way to go! God Bless! Scott

  7. Oh My God! Oh My God! Oh My God! Look at you. You look great in your new photos. Jose will be locking you up in the house girlfriend.
    Congratulations Briggitte, I know it’s been very difficult for you & your family but you have persevered and can see a light at the end of that tunnel. I’m proud of you. God has given you the strength to do this so HE is extremely proud of his prize pupil.
    God Bless,
    Doris

  8. Go Briggie Go!!

    You are doing great with the weight loss!

    I didn’t know you were into history and watching programs on forensic science and crime scene investigation.

    I love history… especially the civil war era, pioneer times, and yep.. Egyptian life. When we still owned a television, I loved to watch Law & Order, CSI, and the crime show that came on cable about unsolved cases (not Unsolved Mysteries)…. I can’t think of the name of it now.

  9. Dear Briggitte,
    Just saw your most recent photos from October and girlfriend you are
    looking good. Healthier and happier. You go girl, keep up the good work.
    I’ve been struggling with migraines for sometime so I know what you go through. Hope you’re doing better with them and with eating.

    God Bless,
    Doris

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