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Getting my SELF back



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.

Halfway there.

**UPDATE** It's the next day and I'm officially there: halfway! Yay! 





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Jen, glad you are doing so well!

BTW... I really enjoy reading your blog posts, they give me insight into what I may be looking forward both good and not so good plus I also find inspiration in them to continue down the path I have chosen. :)


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23 hours ago, Havamal said:

I really enjoy reading your blog posts

Thank you! I started them because they're helpful to me, so I can see where my head is going from week to week, but then it seemed like it might be useful to others, so glad to hear it is. Then tonight I read back through some of the earlier ones, and wow, that is some good therapy for me, so full circle. 

Edited by Jen581791

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I keep threatening to start a blog... just don't seem to ever get around to it. Besides the fact that I have no idea what I would write! If you don't mind, for now I'll just live vicariously through yours! ^_^

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11 hours ago, Zyia said:

I really enjoy reading you, and am glad you post.

Thanks, Zyia! I'm 50% positive and 50% going crazy about something... Cheap therapy, I guess. I have been walking on cloud 9 for the last couple of days with hitting the halfway mark (well, halfway to my arbitrary goal). It seems more real somehow. 

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5 minutes ago, delilas said:


That's awesome! You're doing amazing.

Thanks :) I'm really happy. I think that even if it all magically stopped right now, it would be worth it. I feel so much better.

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That is incredible, @Jen581791! I really enjoyed reading this. My head has been all over the place the past week, so this help to amp me up with some much needed excitement for my upcoming surgery in July! I am incredibly happy for you and all the progress you have made. Thank you for sharing, inspiring, motivating, and exciting us - no matter the phase we are in! 

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I do not think I would do well right now on vacation with swimsuit models because my stomach looks like a pumpkin about 2 weeks after Halloween. I do, however, hear ya about feeling so much better in my own skin, like I'm getting me back. My husband even got a little irritated about someone checking out my butt at a restaurant on Saturday. Hahaha! I told him maybe they (!) were just reading my t-shirt and he said' "Your t-shirt isn't down here (pointing at my heinie)." Haven't had that in A WHILE. Weird, but I didn't hate it.

I am getting out with the dog much more often now. Exercise SOOOO helps my mood. I got really inspired when I read about your 3 hours of walking a day. I could do that most days, so maybe I will set a step goal, too. Or at least walk the dog AND hit the gym. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

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10 hours ago, Trish13 said:

That is incredible, @Jen581791! I really enjoyed reading this. My head has been all over the place the past week, so this help to amp me up with some much needed excitement for my upcoming surgery in July! I am incredibly happy for you and all the progress you have made. Thank you for sharing, inspiring, motivating, and exciting us - no matter the phase we are in! 

I'm so happy to hear that you found some inspiration in my post. July is not far away - and there are a few tricky weeks in there with the liquid diet and the surgery recovery, but you'll be feeling good and enjoying success in no time :) 

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@slars04 You'll have to start keeping a tally of the people checking you out - as an NSV, of course! 

Dogs are a great motivator for walking - I have a cat, so sadly no pet walking in my life :wacko: Anything to get out there and do it, though. Your dog might start looking a bit svelter, too, I imagine!

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