So for those of you who saw my whinge about stalling... my stall is broken! 5 lbs worth of broken. I believe the stall was courtesy of my period, which comes and goes like the west wind these days.. and since yesterday, the west wind has been blowing. (My doc has had me do all the necessary tests, and there's nothing wrong... apparently this is just how it works when your period slowly comes back after being shut off by obesity for as long as mine was.)
Stats update: I'm down a total of 117 lbs as of today - 57 before surgery, 60 since surgery. I only marked a 10 lb loss in month 4, but then lost 3 lbs between the 8th and today. Go figure! I guess that's month 4's gift to month 5.
Some milestones I've crossed since I started month 4: I have now lost more weight since surgery than I lost before surgery. I'm closer now to goal than to my high weight. And I have less than 100 lbs between me and goal as of this morning!
And that's my super ambitious goal, too. The original goal I had set for myself, before I got wild and brave, was 170. I am only 68 lbs from that goal today. And only 68 lbs from catching up with Leah, who tells me she is now feeling the heat! Honestly, I think Leah looks great at the weight she is, so if I can get there? I would consider myself hugely successful, even if I never made it to my ambitious goal. Plus, I wouldn't have to go shopping! We're the same height, and Leah has awesome taste in clothes and is willing to share!
As for my program's goal for me... Originally it was 226. That's just the formula - losing 60% of my "excess" weight would put me there. I'm 12 lbs away from that today. At my last weigh-in/checkup, they declared me "ahead of the curve" for weight loss at this stage, but weren't willing to suggest I might eventually get to normal BMI (my ambitious goal).... now they think getting under 200 would be wildly successful. I asked if they thought I could do better than that, but "under 200" was all they would sort of commit to. So they will pat themselves on the back 39 lbs from now.
Back when I first started, it was hard for me to believe I was 215 lbs over "normal" BMI for my height. And it was super hard to believe that I could ever lose that much weight. Now I'm over halfway there, and I am starting to see it as a real possibility. It's kind of amazing! (Also, hilariously, I am now 3 lbs under the weight @CheeringCJ was at her starting point! I'm coming for you, CJ! )
Food stuff: All good on that front. My nutritionist was right (how often do you hear THAT around here?!) - I was eating too fast. I've slowed myself down a lot now, and for the past two weeks I have only thrown up once. That was last night, when I got carried away with some very delicious chicken satay. Dense protein is still something I have to be super careful with, and though I ate less than 4 ounces, I did it too quickly. I'm mostly hitting my protein and water goals now, so I feel like I'm really on track. I probably get between 800-1000 calories a day at this point. I stay under 40ish grams of carbs, and the rest is protein and fat.
Other stuff: Can we talk about pants sizes??? OMG. So frustrating. About a month and a half ago (I think) I bought a single pair of 20 jeans, which were super tight at the time. I wanted them to last a while! They were tight everywhere - calves, thighs, butt, belly. But I could put them on and zip and button them, so I bought them. For the first two weeks, I often wore them around unbuttoned for comfort (hey - I work from home, I do what I want!) But now... now they are officially too big. They are super baggy in the butt and thighs, there's a big gap in the waist band at my back, and even loose on my calves (which are weirdly muscular and thick even without as much fat on them). AND YET THEY STILL FEEL TOO TIGHT IN THE BELLY. How is this even possible? I am mentally, emotionally and 95% physically ready to move down to 18's... but my belly won't cooperate. Granted, I haven't tried ON any 18's yet... I just feel like there's no point as long as these are still feeling tight in that area. Ugh. I don't know how jeans fit on other people, but me... I have two distinct bellies, and upper one and a lower one, and the waist bands of my jeans sit between the two. THAT is the part that is still thick enough to need a 20, even though everything from there hangs down off me like a sack.
And then... there is my skin. I remember when I first found this place... one of my first posts was a question about excess skin. (In fact, here's that post: https://tinyurl.com/yc9c2dsr ) 117 lbs later, I can report that oh yeah, I have some saggy baggy skin in places. My thighs, in particular, have started to take on the crinkly wrinkly look of empty plastic grocery bags. My upper arms, particularly underneath close by my shoulders, are saggy and floppy. My butt I have not examined closely, as it is behind me , but I can tell there is some sagging and wrinkling going on back there when I shower. My belly isn't very saggy or wrinkly, because I'm not losing much fat there!!!! (ugh).
But my boobs... well. At my last mammogram I told the tech, "Hey, good news! These come pre-flattened, for your convenience!" I have always been pretty small in the chest for a fat chick - I never got beyond a C-cup even at my highest weight. (Do you know how hard it is to find like, a size 56 C bra? Do you have any concept of how EXPENSIVE one is?) I got by mostly on Just My Size sports bras, which I actually still own and wear. They are really, really comfy. However. A few days ago, at the end of the day, I took my shirt off to get ready for bed and found that one of my boobs had slid out of the bottom of the sports bra sometime during the day and I HAD NOT EVEN NOTICED. So super glad that day that I do work from home!
However... it honestly isn't bugging me as much as I feared it would. For one thing, I am not partnered (and don't ever plan or want to be - that's just how I roll). The only person who sees me even partially naked is Leah, who is unlikely to care (or, to be honest, even notice - she really only sees her own body issues, not anybody else's!). The only people ever likely to see me in a bathing suit are great friends who also will not care (plus there are bathing suits these days that cover a multitude of flaws). I'm more excited about my new mobility than worried about my looks. Maybe that's because I'm older - if I did this in my thirties, maybe I would care more, but if I did this in my thirties, I'd probably have less loose skin to worry about anyway. My clothes currently hide everything I want to hide, with the exception of a little wrinkling in my neck. Everybody thinks I look awesome - *I* think I look pretty awesome with my clothes on! Certainly worlds better than I did before.
Anyway, there is excess skin, but it doesn't impede me in any way, so right now I'm not worrying about it. Eventually I may do plastics, just so clothes fit better. I'll definitely do a panniculectomy at the very least, because it'll be covered by insurance and I tend to get uncomfortable rashes under there. But that is a concern for after goal, and right now? I'm doing pretty good with it all.
(I know this post is endless, but I'm not quite done yet. I'm a writer by profession and a rambler by constitution, and since I'm socially aware enough to NOT blast everyone around me with my constant thoughts on WLS and weight loss and basically talking about myself constantly.... you guys get the blow back. )
I just wanted to talk a little more about how I feel about things now, as opposed to how I felt 9 months ago. I weighed 355~ lbs on my last birthday. If I keep losing 10ish lbs a month, I will be getting really close to 200 on my next one (April 9). The change is, pardon the pun, immense. 9 months ago I was essentially disabled. I could barely walk around my house. I was in near-constant pain any time I wasn't sitting down or lying down. I'm 5'3", and the pressure 350+ lbs put on my frame was debilitating. I huffed and puffed any time I had to walk - and I'm talking any distance. Like getting from my recliner to my fridge was painful and got me out of breath. I distinctly remember one afternoon after work - I got off the bus a block and a half from my house, and by the time I got to the house my knees and ankles hurt so much, and I was so out of breath, that I started crying. It was pain and self-pity and anger - Leah always got home first back then, why wouldn't she come and pick me up at the bus stop? She knew how much walking hurt. (Not that I had ever even asked her to - too proud for that. She was just supposed to KNOW and do it, right?) I felt hideous, too - fat and ugly, uncomfortable at all times even when I wasn't in pain.
Now... I can't even explain how different things are. Yesterday I took the dog out for a walk, and after about a half mile decided to turn and go the short route home. Because I was worried about the dog's feet on the ice and rock salt, and because I was cold. More than that, I decided. After half a mile! I could have gone on for another two miles. I have gone on for two more miles on some days! In point of fact, I don't know how far I can go at this point - we usually do about 2 miles, but the dog is set in her ways, so we always go the same route. And it doesn't hurt, it doesn't tire me out. I can go out and shovel snow for an hour and come in and stand around talking. I can go up and down my stairs twice or three times and not be out of breath. I sleep better. I often sleep all the way through the night - I never did that before surgery! I no longer need a CPAP machine. I'm not afraid of airports or train stations - I can walk as far as I need to walk. I don't worry about stopping to rest before going in to my boss's office at work, even if I'm coming in from the far parking lot - there's no redness or huffing and puffing I need to conceal. I can walk around a grocery store or a department store for an hour and then out to the parking lot and not even feel it. A while back, when I'd lost about 50 lbs from my high weight, I posted that I couldn't imagine what things would feel like after 50 more pounds. Now I know - it feels STUPID GOOD, that's what it feels like.
And now I can't imagine what it will feel like in 50 more, but I do know I'm really, really looking forward to it.