So, 196.6 puts me at a BMI of 29.9, at the top end of the overweight category - whew! So glad to have finally gotten there. Honestly, I do now actually feel like I'm just overweight, not obese. I can shop at normal stores (size L or 12/14 tops, size 14 pants), I look pretty OK in the mirror, and I don't worry about all the crazy things that I used to. I feel good. I have more energy. It's great.
Just for a little reality check, here are some current worries:
- My hair is still falling out some. It seems to be tapering off, but we'll see. It's fine/thin to start with, and now it's thinned to the point where it's definitely noticeable to me. I take loads of biotin and make sure my protein is good every day, and that's about all I can do, I guess. If you're interested in the science behind hair loss, Chemistry Queen on YouTube has a pretty good video on it: https://youtu.be/gI6li4nBpws
- The bat wings. My arms have gotten a lot smaller (they're looking very normal in sleeves), but the sag is real. I'm doing some arm exercises to try to help out, but I realize that this is definitely a skin issue. It's been getting better and then worse in spurts as I lose - one week it's tighter, the next week it's looser, so I guess my body is working hard at doing whatever it does to the extra skin when the fat goes away. I'm hoping it ends up OK looking. I don't know if I'm mentally ready for plastics.
- The sharpei skin. The skin all over my body is just a little loose, like I'm a sharpei puppy. I think this will probably go away, but it's kind of weird. I don't think anyone else has noticed it. It doesn't seem to be getting worse - I think I'm genetically blessed with fairly elastic skin, since I've lost quite a bit and am not having bigger issues than this. I also tend to carry weight sort of all over, rather than in one focused spot, so that may help, as well. We'll see as I get closer to goal.
- I've started to feel the beginnings of hunger recently - I haven't really felt that since surgery. This isn't a problem yet, and I'm still eating really tiny amounts, but I can see how that might become more of a boogeyman as time goes on.
- The taste aversions. Well, it's been almost 6 months, and I still don't like the taste of pretty much anything but fruit and some veggies. This may not sound like a problem for a person trying to lose weight (duh! It doesn't taste good, so I don't eat much!), but it's kind of hard to navigate life disliking all food. Anything protein still tastes bad. I've gotten used to it, as in I force myself to eat things that don't taste good, so I don't really notice the taste as part of the eating experience anymore, but it all still tastes pretty not good. This is connected to my sense of smell - everything also smells bad. Bitter things smell horrible and I can't face eating them at all. I can handle weak black tea, and that's about the bitterest thing. This means all nuts and beans taste terrible, which stinks because as a vegetarian, those are some pretty good protein sources. Even peanut butter tastes evil - like I made a horrible face when I put a little bit on my tongue. I've eaten almonds when I've been out and about and other protein sources are unavailable (so convenient, a pack of almonds!), but I just have to make myself do it. The flip side of all this is that I think if I stay like this, I run a pretty minimal risk of gaining weight again: I just don't like food very well.
OK, that's a complete inventory of my WLS woes at the moment. They're not so bad. In comparison with all the good stuff, it really seems like no big deal.
I spent some time reading an article in the NYTimes Magazine from last weekend. It's called "Losing It in the Anti-Dieting Age," and the author, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, is a woman who has had problems with her weight her whole life. The focus is basically on how awful the diet industry is (statistically unsuccessful, preying on desperate people's hopes, and really really not sure of what might actually work) and also how awful life for fat people is, whether they're actively pursuing weight loss or are accepting of their bodies. A lot of the article focuses on Weight Watchers, both historically and after Oprah bought a share of it, as well as on Oprah's own weight battles over the years. The author goes on her own WW journey (not her first) in the interest of the article. She also talks to various doctors and other experts. Sadly, she gives very little thoughtspace to WLS. I think the article gives a very good glimpse into the soul of a person suffering because of her weight - I can identify with many of her experiences and thoughts, and getting back inside the head of a person desperate for a solution to this problem was a little alarming to me. I recognize that desperation. I was haunted by it for most of my life. I feel really fortunate that I decided to look into WLS in a logical, evidence-based fashion instead of brushing it off as too extreme. Any person who is that unhappy needs to do something extreme if that extreme thing provides a reasonably good chance of success.
Finally, just as an update for those who are curious, I'm eating around 600-800 calories per day still. 65-90 g of protein. 30 g or so of carbs. What that looked like one day this week:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup Greek yogurt plus 1/4 cup berries (it's strawberry season - yes!)
Lunch: Romaine salad with some olives and cheese, with one T of blue cheese dressing (I was at a pizza place and this was a side salad - nothing else appropriate available!)
Dinner: 3 oz cod cooked in a bit of butter
Snacks: 1/2 cup cottage cheese with some salsa, Syntrax vanilla shake made with Fairlife milk