About 6 years ago, I joined this community and became HOOKED on the fact that I could use the gastric bypass as a tool to help in the extreme battle of the bulge. I had my surgery on 3-19-12, and it was a complete success.
I'll go ahead and answer the burning question: At my heaviest documented weight, I was 397lbs. When my surgery was scheduled, I was down to 268lbs. My goal weight was 145. The lowest I ever got was 147. Today, I'm weighing in at 161(and not too happy about it). Will I battle for the last 16lbs to be gone?? Of course!! What's 16 lbs when you started at 397??
Let's get real: life is messy. Gastric bypass doesn't make it any less messy. Since my last blog, I lost down to 147lbs, then gained some back. However, I survived my hubby's 2.5 year deployment, infidelity in my marriage, a long pause then restart to my math degree (I feel your cringes from here), moving across the country, complete separation from half of my family, hospitalization for viral meningitis for one month and subsequent detox from fentanyl over the span of 2 months, AND 5 years of growth for each of my girls.
I decided, however, that it's important to continue my blog on thinnertimesforum. Along the way, I will post about real life, real food, and the real challenges that I face daily. I promise to document every achievement, shortfall, and swan dive off of the wagon.
Last November, I started becoming frantic, frankly. I knew I was losing control, again. I started looking WAY too much like 397lb me.
Here are my personal warning signs that I'm reverting:
1. Avoiding the scale or making excuses like, "That's not 'real' weight; I'm about to start my period in 2 weeks. Or, my favorite, "It must be water weight from the salt I had yesterday." No sweetie, it was the fries that the salt was on.
2. Daily decisions to "start a new lifestyle." In November, I decided to do the 5 day pouch. It was "ridiculous this far post-op." Then, I decided I would live and Atkins lifestyle. Reality check: Atkins plus carbohydrates isn't Atkins. It was "too hard while I'm in school."
3. I suddenly have a larger stack of "goal" jeans in my closet than I do of current fit jeans. That's okay, self, "you'll get back into them after the holidays. The hubby must've shrunk them in the dryer."
4. I keep telling myself that "I'm a health foodie. I wrote a wholefoods blog. I don't eat like that" as I'm eating a burger or handful of chips.
5. My house is suddenly bursting at the seams with junk food and chocolate and I lie to myself, "it's for the hubby and the kids." Yeah, honey?? Then, stop eating their food.
6. I KNOW deep down that I'm letting the food monster creep back in...nay, the food monster is here, bigger than life. But, if I cram the food into my mouth super fast, the calories somehow won't count..... There's not even any logic in that one.
I'm done with that version of myself. Done. So, I've spent several weeks reflecting on my journey. This is a fork in the road, a pivotal moment in my life. Will I be a success long-term or will I become one of those people that everyone's co-worker warned you about----that lady everyone knows that had gastric bypass and ended up bigger than before.
Here are the truths that I've written down to remind myself what's at stake:
1. "Living to eat" only leads to one place. Weight loss surgery is like playing a game of chutes and ladders. All it did was set me back at the beginning. If I take the same footsteps I did before, I will get to the exact same place. I used to say, "If I had it to do over again, I would have.......(never stopped running, fallen in love with nutritious food, said no to every second helping, etc...)" I got a re-do. I'm calling my own bluff. Am I strong enough to do it differently this time? Every step counts. I will make the most of each one.
2. Maintaining my spoiled-brat food attitude means failure. Eating to live means prioritizing my health TODAY, not starting tomorrow. If there's anything we should all know, it's that being healthy is freedom and being unhealthy is a prison of flesh. So, why have I been choosing things that are unhealthy to put inside my body?? Isn't it about time that I give it what it needs instead of what I want?? Is it only in America that we whine about eating fresh fruits and veggies while other parts of the planet don't have any?? Is it only in America that we whine about how fresh food doesn't taste good enough because we don't get the taste of cheesecake with every bite? Are we a nation of fist-pounding toddlers refusing to eat our green beans and wanting to move straight to dessert? Attitude is a decision. Changing it is as easy as changing my mind. "Do or do not, there is no try--Yoda"
3. There is NO cheat code for this game. There is NO way to live a life of food splurging and NOT gain all of my weight back. There is no magical combination of foods that will allow me to "eat the foods I love and still lose weight" unless I learn to love foods that are healthy for my body. If my plate holds the same foods that it did when I was 397lbs, I should run, terrified, to the garbage bin, scrape it frantically, and start over. We all know the combination to weight loss. This is not rocket science. Eat an appropriate amount of foods that are dense in nutrients and lead an active life. LIVE.
4. I am not "cured." I will always be a food-aholic; I should never let my guard down. Food is not a reward. Using it to celebrate is dangerous. Do alcoholics give themselves a pass on their birthdays or holidays?? I sure hope not. Rewarding myself with dangerous food reinforces my food addiction and makes it easier to make excuses for the next meal...like "I've already blown "my diet" for the day, I'll start again tomorrow." I have had enough fried and sugary foods for a lifetime. Eating them did not make me happy. In fact, eating them made me miserable. I will remember that this is not my "diet," this is my life. This is not my lifestyle. This is my life. This is a life that "blowing it" with a plate of food means walking back toward being a mommy that couldn't bend over to tie her own shoes. This is a life that is worth more than trading it for a piece of cake or a slice of pizza.
BACK TO MYSELF:
The last 16 lbs will be reached by becoming again the best version of myself, not by further depleting my body. I'm currently on day 8 of going back her. She wrote a daily whole foods blog and was a serious health foodie. Every bite of food that went into her mouth was for one reason: TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY of her life. She believed in the power of nutrition to heal and that foods should be eaten as close to their natural state as possible. She didn't need to count calories, fat grams, carbs, etc... because when you're living the right way, your body balances itself. And, the greatest part of all.....I'm still her. I just need to remind myself of that.