Today is my seven-month-aversary. As of today, I have lost 110 pounds (well, 109.6, but I’m going to round up here). Holy smokes. That’s a lot. That’s a whole person. My losses this month totaled 10.4 pounds, which is the smallest number since the whole thing began, but that’s pretty normal, since I weigh a whole lot less now. I’ve figured out my monthly losses as a percentage of total body weight (calculating from my weight at the beginning of the month), and here’s how they look:
M0: 6.6% (one month of pre-op low carbing)
M1: 5.8% (one month after surgery)
Pretty crazy. I am truly stunned to look in the mirror now - I look pretty good, even to my overly self-critical eyes. I exercise regularly. I’m very careful about what I eat, but I always seem to find something that works for me (to be fair, I’m fairly selective about the restaurants I go to). I’ve got new students and new colleagues who will never know me as a fat person. That’s very liberating, mentally speaking.
I had a friend, who I haven’t seen in a couple of years, come to visit last weekend, and she was really amazed. I told her about the surgery (she’s a very very close friend and a tight lipped one, as well), and she was surprised, but supportive. It was kind of nice to have someone else I care about in the loop. It was also fantastic to be able to run around and be active in the hot temperatures and high humidity here, without ending up in a puddle of sweat, panting hard, and with a red face from overexertion. We took some pictures, and I was really surprised to see how I looked in them: regular sized. My face looks thin. None of the photos were “at a bad angle” (that’s what we say when we mean “not at that one very specific angle where I don’t look quite so heavy”), and all of them looked fine. What a great feeling to not be afraid of the camera. I have very few photos of myself (particularly more than just from the shoulders up) from the last few years because I hated how they looked. Now I guess I can go back on the photographic record again… sad how our feelings about our bodies determine how we mark our passage through time with photos.
*Note that the photos I’m attaching have no pictures of me - that is because all the photos of me are with my friend, and I’m not certain she’d enjoy her 15 minutes of WLS blog fame*
While my friend was here, I enjoyed more “discretionary” (healthy, low-carb, but larger quantities) eating, bumping my calories up to around 900+ per day (over 1000 calories one day!!!!!), and honestly it felt good to go back to 700-800 when she left. I didn’t lose any weight for about a week, but not sure if that had anything to do with what I was taking in, or whether it was just one of those weeks when it wasn’t coming off (the week previous I lost 5 pounds, so who knows). It felt like I was constantly full at 900+ per day. I’m starting to wonder how many calories I’ll be able to maintain on, now that the end of the rapid loss phase is at least somewhat within my sights.
My first week of classes is in the bag. It actually went really well, both personally and WLS-wise, as well. The new students and colleagues are really nice and the program I’m working in is a good one, so I think I’ll be happy here. I took my food with me every day (greek yogurt, string cheese, almonds, protein shakes) and was careful to eat when I needed to during the day. I brought an emergency protein bar, just in case, but I didn’t end up needing it. Having it with me was a bit of peace of mind, though. I drank quite a lot of water all day every day. I exercised at the gym on campus EVERY DAY after class - I had forgotten that when I’m thinner, I actually enjoy exercising, and it helped keep my first week stress at a manageable level. All in all, it was a very good, if exhausting, first week at a new job.
Unfortunately/fortunately /, I’m going to need to find a tailor or buy some more clothes because I’ve run out of the stuff I had squirreled away from my thinner days. It’s all too big for me now. I tried it all on before I left the US, and it was definitely not tight, but workable. Now, however, it’s unwearable, like I look like I’m wearing someone else’s way too big clothes. I have three skirts, three pairs of trousers and one dress that are just too big to wear. That’s a substantial chunk of my wardrobe, since I only brought what fit in a few suitcases with me. People, these are wardrobe staples we’re talking about here! I’m having a wardrobe crisis! I’m actually kind of looking forward to doing some shopping, though: imagine that! I think I’ll try to aim for some stuff that will work for a range of weights, like dresses and skirts in stretchy or drapey fabrics, because I’m pretty sure I’ll go through some more sizes in the next few months.
I’ve been watching Chemistry Queen on YouTube this week. She’s just had brachioplasty and abdominoplasty and it was very interesting to watch her videos from just before and after. It looked like she was in a lot of pain, but the results, even so early out, are impressive. She’s a really brave blogger, though, totally willing to tell it like it is and put herself out there, showing just what things look like and feel like. Thank goodness for people like that. I’m not having a lot of skin problems yet, but I do have 30 pounds to go until I get to my (somewhat arbitrary) GW, so I don’t know if I’m going to end up a bit saggier looking than I am now. My skin all feels a bit loose at the moment, like it’s not that tightly attached to me and can slide around a bit. I’m hoping that it’ll tighten some after I get to GW and it has a chance to recover a little. It’s funny how it goes in cycles - I wake up one day and notice that my chin wattle has become a thing and looks saggy, and I stress out about it and slather it (even more than usual) with three different kinds of moisturizer. This continues for a week or so. Then, one morning, I wake up and look in the mirror and it looks OK again. The chin wattle is synchronized with the arm wings and jiggly thighs - they all get really loose for a while, and then suddenly they’re not so bad again one day.
Overall, I just feel really positive right now. I’m not really struggling with food issues, I’m still losing, I’m not hungry at all (yet?), and I’m looking and feeling good. Is this why they call it the honeymoon period?
Photos below are of one of the many many forts in Oman, plus a shot at a resort on the beach. The water/rock color combo is stunning! I'll need to do some swimming here.