I'm one pound away from halfway to my arbitrarily chosen goal weight. It's been four and a half months, so this feels like a real victory for me. Halfway there is some major progress, and I think that if I could go back and talk to my five or six month ago self, she would cry with happiness. While I don't feel *satisfied* with my body yet (are any of us ever really satisfied? There are entire industries devoted to making us dissatisfied with them), I am feeling a million times better about it. I feel like I'm getting my SELF back. The self that I like and the self that knows how to enjoy life.
I'm feeling comfortable in my skin again. I am happy to look in the mirror and I can see my progress - I'm looking very noticeably thinner. My clothes, while pretty baggy, look much better on me. I feel like I don't really stand out as a very heavy person. Well, as long as I'm not hanging out with swimsuit models, anyway. I actually have a friend who went to Hawaii with her husband and a few of his friends who were married to actual swimsuit models. She had to go on a vacation to Hawaii with swimsuit models. Can you imagine??? Anyway, I'm not THAT level of comfortable with my body, but it's getting a lot better. My energy levels are up: I feel a lot less inclined to sit around and a lot more inclined to get up and go do something. Part of this is due to being less depressed about myself, less desirous of hiding myself away from the world, and less apt to be embarrassed about how I look, but part of it is just having more energy.
My body moves around more comfortably. I can sit comfortably in many different positions. My legs don't go to sleep when I'm in bed. My feet don't hurt so much when I'm standing for a long time. Walking uphill is so much easier. I get out of breath less often. Going out and doing something active sounds like a good idea instead of torture. I can walk long distances without getting too tired, and I do so almost every day. My Fitbit hits 10,000 steps nearly every day, and many days it hits over 20,000. That's 10 miles! I'm fortunate in that I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment (waiting for a job to start) so I can devote three hours a day to walking. Although my life will not always accommodate three hours of exercise a day (!), I am determined to keep exercise as an important part of my life.
Food has become a necessary but not particularly interesting part of my life. This is partially due to the taste/smell issues I've experienced both just before and since surgery: not much tastes or smells like it used to, and most things smell and taste much worse. Just a couple of months before surgery, I had a really bad cold that knocked out maybe 75% of my sense of smell, and from the reading I've done, if it hasn't come back by now, it probably won't. This dampened my ability to taste, as well. My first symptom was finding that the tastes of beer and wine were pretty awful to me - bitter and sour, respectively, without any of the nuance that makes them taste good normally. Then, immediately after surgery, I noticed that almost all food smelled and tasted different. Everything that has a lot of protein smells and tastes the same (kind of yucky). Everything dairy smells and tastes the same (also kind of yucky). Anything with bitter undertones smells like the purest essence of bitterness - like chewing aspirin. Sweet stuff tastes gaggingly sweet. Most fruit and many vegetables taste pretty good, but just less strongly than before.
I'm not sure if this will last a long time or not - I'm kind of hoping it does, though. It makes it very easy to not eat anything I shouldn't. It also makes it easy to sideline food and remove it from my immediate focus. This is the first time in my life that my thoughts haven't revolved around food, either the pursuit of it or depriving myself of it. I know people who just aren't that interested in food, and I've always wondered what it would be like to be in their heads. Now I think I know. I just feel fairly indifferent toward food now, which is an extremely powerful feeling during this initial weight loss phase. My taste and smell may come back eventually, although I don't think they will ever quite be the same as before. That's OK with me. I realize that my extreme smell and taste changes put me on the extreme edge of outliers in the WLS world, so if you're reading this trying to decide whether to have surgery or not, and my story freaks you out, I wouldn't worry much about it if I were you. It was sort of a perfect storm of events in my case.
My outlook on life is pretty good right now: I'm planning things for my future that I wouldn't have several months ago. The future looks bright. I'm excited about it. I understand the work necessary to get to and stay at whatever weight I eventually reach (I understand that a goal weight set before surgery is not necessarily where my body will end up settling down), and I accept that work. It is worth it. I am worth it.
**UPDATE** It's the next day and I'm officially there: halfway! Yay!