Honestly, I could just stop there and be happy expressing that sentiment.
It's been a year since my surgery. I had to pursue it for a couple years before it finally happened, and my surgeon had me on a liver-shrinking diet for most of the 10 months pre-op, so I lost probably 75% of the weight I wanted to, pre-op. Ha ha I got to the Maintenance Cafe reaallly quickly. Once I got my bearings and got used to life with gastric bypass, I quit posting here because it had taken me so long to get the surgery and I had so many ups and downs getting there, I just needed to step away for a while and not be so deep in the community, and just live for a bit without all the extra voices in my days. I've still checked in on the place every week or two and been loosely following how everyone is doing.
The last few years leading up to my surgery were pretty dark for me. Being very obese was a huge factor in that. I hated the way I looked, the clothes I had to wear, I hated that I was the fattest dad at my kids' events. I hated that I was diabetic and had all these medications I had to take all the time for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol etc. Ibuprofen every single day. Just my life and the way I had to live was really depressing.
I can honestly say that I have lived more life in the last 8 months, than I have in probably the last 10 years. I feel SOOOO much better about myself. The "young" old guy that was inside of me (I'm 44 but feel like I'm 25) has come out in full force now. I used to wear the lamest, most boring clothes. Always the same thing almost every day- huge black slacks that I had to use suspenders for, black nondescript casual shoes and a button up shirt. I hated the outfit, but it was what I could get fairly easily and it wasn't awful looking. But that's not who I was on the inside.
The real me wears nice blue or black or tan or navy 36 waist jeans every day now, usually with a nerdy graphic tee of some kind and a nice zip up jacket or hoodie. And, I have got a good collection of Chuck Taylors going now. I love them lol. Me and my 14-year old daughter definitely have it in common.
This summer we rented a motor home and took a very cool family vacation to Seward. My kids are 14, 13, 8, 6, and 4. It was amazingly beautiful. First time I've really even been in a motor home. I have a friend there who is getting ready to build a house, and had a piece of land cleared with a driveway graveled in. We stayed there for four nights and it couldn't have been more perfect. We brought a fire pit with us, and had a fire every night, tucked deep into beautiful forest. We toured the area, went on hikes and I chopped wood. We've done a lot around our own town as well. More than I personally have done in a decade. Just random activities, fun runs, biking. Things that I would normally have just stayed home.
One reason for for my overall feeling of wellness I'm sure is that I'm off almost all the medications. I don't think we realize how much that stuff eats into our lives, one pill at a time. Headaches, pains, aches, sadness and depressions, CAUSED by the things that we take to fix OTHER problems, in my case obesity related.
I do not pay attention to protein at all, which is something I definitely never saw coming. My very first labs at only 4 weeks out, my surgeon told me to stop protein drinks because my protein levels were pretty close to the high end. Since then I do not supplement protein at all and my numbers are always a bit high. My surgeon is pretty aggressive about labs and I've had 4 sets since surgery (my one-year labs I'll get drawn next week). She's not overly worried about it, because otherwise my labs are stellar and so we're just keeping an eye on it. I do have to be cautious not to get dehydrated though. It's a bad combination with high protein.
My pouch works marvelously and I am so happy with that aspect of my life now. Yes sometimes I don't stop soon enough and get to the painful/sick part, but I find it all empowering to be honest. It is such a badge of honor to me to finally be at a place where I put a little bit of food on a saucer and I know it will do the job! I usually have some eggs and sausage for breakfast, or I skip breakfast and have lunch instead. I met my wife today for lunch at the hospital cafeteria and had some green beans with butter on them, and some cooked roast beef. Probably 6 oz food total. And split 1/2 a cookie with my wife. I will probably have a snack later in the evening, often a sugar free Jello pudding, or some smoked cheese (I love it so much, I make my own now!!) or broccoli with butter. I'm addicted to broccoli with butter right now :-) We were just in Anchorage for a few days and my family loves IHOP. My routine is that my wife cuts off a small piece of her omelette and I have that and steal 1/2 of someone's pancake or something. I simply love the way I eat now. I absolutely don't judge anyone around me eating "normal" plates and portions, but honestly, for my own self, I feel blessed to be liberated from them. Those portions were what I lived for.
I could ramble on for a lot longer so I'll stop. I guess I could sum up my life right now by saying here, at the one year mark, my life is mostly everything that I wished it could be, for the last many years. A ton of that I'm sure is that I feel so much better about myself. I feel better in my relationships with other men because I feel like I'm more of a bro now instead of a plump outsider to bro culture. I feel better about myself as a dad because I can do tons of dad things now that I didn't or couldn't before. I feel better as a husband because I think I'm a lot nicer guy now and much more at peace with myself. And sex is sooo much better.
Anyways, winter is here now in my land so life is slowing down for now and I'll be around a little more. "Slow" is maybe relative though, with 4 kids in school and number 5 starting next year lol.