So it has officially been 2 years since my surgery! I went into work this morning much the same way I did the surgery, as I now work at the same hospital I had my surgery in. That day, I went in very early in the morning, on the train as everyone else was going about their commute and I was thinking about how much my life was going to change! It was slightly different two years later, I still went in very early, on the train, and yet, I was one of the commuters heading into the city but this time I was thinking about how much my life HAS changed!
I considered how much more comfortable I am in my own skin. I wasn’t created to be morbidly obese and my old body and mind knew it. Somewhere it took the wrong turn and I fell victim to my circumstances and assumed I would be fat forever. Granted, I didn’t want to be fat and I spent thousands of dollars and even more hours trying to get thinner but nothing ever worked...until my VSG! Two years ago today, I was given a new lease on life. I was given the chance to start over and I was given the tools to do it right this time around! My stomach was cut and a big part of it removed and I was left with a small sleeve that would be my new holding place for my food now...now it would be impossible to overeat and binge! I wasn’t one bit afraid or nervous about “mutilating” my body. My body had already failed me and this was my chance to get it to cooperate with me and no longer work against me. I was prepared by learning all I could in the 6 months leading up to the surgery, plus I had a coworker who had been wildly successful with the procedure so I was filled with nothing but hope!!!
I had the surgery, had a few issues with the anesthesia making me lightheaded and nauseated, so I stayed a few extra days, but all in all it wasn’t a bad experience at all because my outlook was so good and I knew the pain and the nausea was only temporary but the wonderful changes coming were not!
I got home and followed the rules. I had another 2 weeks of nothing but liquids and the weight continued to come off. Then I started puréed foods, and the process of reteaching my stomach and my head what it was like to eat in small portions and to be satisfied. The food never mattered to me like it did before. For the first time in my life, I was eating for sustenance and not for pleasure and I was perfectly comfortable with that! I had never eaten “normal” in my life and it was refreshing to fill up before everyone else and really just enjoy the conversation at the table and not just the food!
The weight continued to drop and thought it had it’s stalls and times I wondered “is it over already?!?!”, I did continue to lose in a healthy, controlled way. My surgeon and doctor were both pleased with my progress and I was over the moon with my own success. It wasn’t just seeing the scale finally move down, it wasn’t just seeing my clothes nearly dropping off of me and changing sizes by the weeks, it was much deeper than that. It went down to the core of me and the fact that I wasn’t a failure anymore, that I was actually doing this, I wasn’t broken, I had just never had the correct tools before. It was an eye opening, life changing experience like I had never had before!
Now two years later, I no longer eat the same way I did when I was first losing. I do eat protein but I don’t overdo the protein and forgo nearly everything else. I do eat carbs (gasp!) and I even eat an occasional treat (double gasp!). However, life it different. I can’t binge without getting ridiculously full fast, but I can certainly eat more than the 4 ounces that was all I could eat at a time for that first year. I wasn’t sure how to do maintenance, so I joined Weight Watchers this past summer so I could learn how to eat normal and survive in a real world as a normal, average person and not as a post surgical person.
I have to admit that I did struggle with seeing people that lost FAR beyond what the “norm” is (60% of your excess weight) and it bothered me for a while that I wasn’t in the 130s/140s like they were, but I have come to accept that I was never in those numbers even in high school so why should I assume I would be in my 50s after having 5 kids?!?! Plus some wise person here reminded me that I DO have excess skin (no pretending we don’t!) and that alone has excess weight, so if I didn’t have that my weight WOULD be lower. (And since my insurance doesn’t cover excess skin removal, and since I have come to terms with what I have), I am not going to stress about the number on the scale!
I still have a weird relationship with my body. Mostly I like it but there are days I abhor it. Those are because they are the days I still see myself as morbidly obese. Then there are days that I see photos of me that don’t make me cringe anymore and I realize I am NOT that XXL person anymore. It is a weird mind play to be so fat for so long and now just be normal. I am basically a size 10/12/14 bottom depending on the make and a size M top. I can see myself in some pics and realize that although I think my stomach is so flabby/fat, I can see it really isn’t. I think although I will always struggle w/ my identity, I am coming to terms with being just plain regular!
I go to the gym about 4 times a week, and I always make sure I get my 10K+ steps in everyday. I walk 1.5+ miles every lunch break (30 mins) rain or shine, hot or cold. I just dress the part and head out! Keeping active seems to be what helps me maintain, and keeping active is way easier as a normal sized person than it was as an obese person!
I read a great book my Connie Stapleton, PhD called Eat it Up which is for weight loss patients and it deals w/ reasons for regain and finding a balance in your life...and I highly recommend it.
I was here at Thinner Times day and night before the surgery and after, but as time has gone on and I have less free time because my life is even busier, I am not here as often. However, I must say for you newbies, this is THE place to be...look no further and glean as much info as you can get from here, it is THAT vital to your success!!! I do miss hanging out here w/ all the other “Losers”, but I stop in when I can.
Here are some recent pics of me. I post them because I don’t even realize how much better I look and feel until I see them. Lots of times I see my self as my former self so seeing them here make me realize I am darned proud of how much I have changed and how much more active I am in my own life! I love the changes my little sleeve made to me!!!
Here I am in Florida last week with my family, I realize that I am pretty comfortable in my own skin now and don’t run from pictures. (And yes, those collar bones are mine, I didn’t have them surgically altered...although technically I got them as a result of my surgery!!! Hahaha!)
Here is a picture of me in my bathing suit on a recent family vacation....a picture I would never allow taken before
In Williamsburg in August
Another pic in my bathing suit...it’s not that I keep wanting them taken, it is just if someone does, I don’t have to delete them in shame! (Which is a healthy thing!)
My sweetheart and me on our 35th anniversary in August
My youngest grand baby and me
Why I love being more active, having more energy and keeping up with the kiddos! These are our 5 grand babies!
With my parents