Lost Weight!

So for those of you who don’t know (which is probably most people), I have serious issues with heartburn due to a surgery procedure I had to endure back in 2001. The valve connecting my esophagus to my stomach was too strong and wouldn’t loosen to allow food or liquid to go down. Consequently, I couldn’t swallow well and was constantly gagging my food back up. Gross, I know, but at least it never reached my stomach so it had no bile or anything with it.

Before the surgery the problem had gotten so bad that I was choking on my own spit. After much deliberation I went under for abdominal surgery and they lasered the muscle which effectively killed it. In order to give me a little help with keeping stomach acid under control, they took some of the stomach and tied it around the esophagus.

My dreams of being an astronaut were lasered away in that instant! I’ll never be able to eat in space because I need gravity to make the food go down now. Woe woe woe!

………I’ve never wanted to be an astronaut so that’s not a problem at all.

I would now be able to swallow but never like a “normal” person. I’ve found ways around gagging on my food and they mostly involve drinking a butt load of water while I eat. They also warned me I would most likely have problems with heartburn later in life.

“Later in life” has come! My heartburn has gotten so out of control that I started taking 2 Zantac along with 1 Alkeseltzer every day, usually twice a day. Once in the afternoon and once in the evening. Even then the effects of the antacids were no longer having any effect and I’d still go to bed with heartburn so I’d have to sleep propped up on pillows.

I was scared I was abusing the antacids and they weren’t working anymore so I saw the doctor. He assured me I wasn’t killing organs taking so many antacids (I’m sure that answer would’ve been different had I been doing that long-term though) but that a change of meds was needed since normal measures weren’t working.

So now I’m on Omeprazole (Prilosec), 2/day for 30 days instead of the usual 1/day for 14 days.

Yep. I’m on the heavy duty plan. It’s giving me nasty headaches but nothing unmanageable. And with this plan I’ve had to carefully watch what I eat so that when I get off the meds at the end of the month, I won’t drop back into my normal pain. I may anyway but I’m going to try to avoid it. So my diet has undergone a dramatic metamorphosis. Even with the Omeprazole, if I eat something my body can’t handle, heartburn begins to flare. A slice of salami will give me a stomach ache.

So I’ve tried to be diligent about cutting out fatty, spicy, super sugary, gluten, and dairy foods. So far I feel good. Although often times in the evening my stomach gets a bit finicky due to the Omeprazole again. Side effects are wonderful, aren’t they? But it’s not bad. I’ve cut down my portions so I’m not stuffed at the end of the meal and cut down the amount of water I drink with each meal. I’ve also cut down on my coffee and chocolate (and when I ingest both).

The result?

Serious weight loss! I lost weight on Thanksgiving!! I’ve never done that before! Even on my best years I’ve stayed the same weight or gained 1 lb. Nope. This year I lost weight and am down to a new low even!

163.2 lbs!

Woo! Go me! Heartburn sucks but at least I’ve got a consolation prize!

Maybe I’ll be able to reach my 160lb goal by the end of this year? I don’t know but I’m going to try at least!


About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.

Posted on December 1, 2013, in Personal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Congrats on the weight loss! That’s awesome, especially over Thanksgiving! 😀
    I’ve been on Omeprazole off and on for years. Last time I went to the doctor, she told me if my heartburn comes back immediately after stopping, I need to keep taking it because my stomach lining hasn’t healed. I just finished my third course (maybe fourth, actually), and went off it to see. Nope. My GERD immediately caused heartburn and a stomach ache, and made me bloat like crazy. Of course, it would help if I figured out how to develop your discipline with food. I hate food so much that most of the time, I don’t care what somebody feeds me so long as I don’t have to make it. I need to quit doing that. I told people I can’t do fresh pizza anymore…ever. The sauce is just too acidic. And we’ve had pizza four times in the two or three weeks since then (mostly because we were all busy and sick and nobody had the energy to think, let alone cook). I get so frustrated with food. -__- What I really need to do is develop a healthier perspective on food in general. Because hating food and never wanting to deal with it is just as damaging as loving it too much. 😦

    • It’s funny you mention my “discipline” with food right now because the past two days I’ve been inhaling a bag of potato chips. I never get potato chips for the very reason that I will turn into a vacuum when I see them and they’ll disappear in seconds. I’m talking about a party-size bag of chips. 1 hour tops.. I get the Kettle chips that are made purely from potatos, oil, and salt. No gluten or dairy there! So I go crazy. It’s like a magic trick. Presto! They’ve disappeared!

      I despise bodily pain, especially with regards to my stomach. So having fire in my chest/belly or wanting to throw up from heartburn drives me insane. I’m so sick of having to deal with daily pain merely because of the foods I’m eating. It sucks beyond belief that I can’t have pizza anymore or even a dinky little slice of salami and there are times when I rage against the world for it, but my body feels so good when I do my best to eat healthy. Sure, I mess up every week but it’s not like what it used to be.

      My secret is to stock my pantry/cupboards/fridge/freezer with food that I know I can eat and that takes very little time/energy to prepare because I hate cooking. I’ve been working on this for about a year now though so it’s taken a long time to get to where I am with food. I think most people have more willpower than I do because they seem to be able to make more dramatic changes in much less time, but each to his own.

      When it comes to having treats, I’ll look up simple recipes online that my body can handle and that don’t have a ton of weird ingredients. Over time I’ve cut back a lot on my sugar intake so a little chocolate goes a long way with me now. I wouldn’t recommend the Hershey stuff. So much milk and sugar. It’s nasty. Lindt dark chocolate is my go-to chocolate treat. It’s expensive but that encourages me to make it last longer. Also, dark choco almond milk. So yummy! I can give you some ideas for easy meals if you like.

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