Michael_A

What a year can do

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This is me, all around 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, at my highest weight, between 275 and 290.  I had type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, my knees hurt, and I took ibuprofen daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I had headaches constantly. I was taking about 7 different prescription meds. I was extremely unhappy with life by this point. I hated the way I had to dress (nothing off the rack fit). I wore the exact same clothes daily. (I had multiples of the same shirt, same pants, etc because I knew how to make them work and where to order them).  So 5 pair of the same pants, 14 of the exact same shirt, etc. I despised seeing my reflection in a window. I was just so miserable inside.
 

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I finally overcame insurance issues and in Jan 2017 contacted a bariatric surgeon in CA (I'm in Alaska), and in Feb 2017, began her "liver shrinking diet" which was very low-carb at first, lean meats and veggies, gradually giving up meals and transitioning to protein shakes. By Nov 10, 2017 (surgery day) I weighed 217, down from 275 in Feb. I weighed 211 at my one-week follow up.

Today, one year after my start date, I weigh 170. This is me tonight at church (I play that gorgeous piano every week)...

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I can tell you, life is SO MUCH BETTER on the other side of WLS. I love how I get to dress now. I finally feel like the REAL ME is being reflected in the clothes that I wear. I take a single prescription drug, for asthma, and probably will for life (have since I was 18). I haven't needed a painkiller post-op at ALL, except for a week that I had the flu.

I'm only three months out and I have a lot to learn yet. My mind is still numb to these changes. When I see fat me, it is getting harder to identify with that person, and also those pics make sad and angry because I hated my life at that point. Not like, suicidal hate, just the lifestyle of the fat and miserable. I'm so excited about who I see reflected in the post office glass when I walk up to the building every day, and never in a million years could I have imagined that things could feel this good, and that I would be so happy with the person that emerged. 

I became inspired by watching @TP1210's own WLS surgery experience play out here on TT, all the way up to his surgery day and after. It was when I really thought to myself, "wow, I think this surgery thing is right for me!". But on the whole, TT in general is what kept me motivated once I made the decision, but started having insurance obstacles. This family of people is SO awesome.

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Wow

You look amazing and give such good advice and support on TT .

What a life changer . Well done on all your dedicated hard work. 

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So proud of you Michael. You had a lot of hurdles to navigate, and almost as many shakes pre-op as I had. Isn't it a great feeling to be so close to goal at only 3 months out?

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Wow. Your weight loss, body transformation and health improvement are amazing and inspirational. You are living proof that weight loss surgery really can allow a person to totally change their body and their life.  Thank you for sharing these photos. 

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Michael you have done an amazing job!  Not many would have remained so dedicated pre op with weeks of protein shakes and the liver shrink diet!  You are truly an inspiration to those up and coming newbies!  

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You look aMAZing!!! Way to go!!! :):):) 

All of your hard work pre-op is really paying off. You had the most extreme pre-op diet I’ve ever heard of, but I think it just accelerated the process for you. Here you are at only 3 months out and you are just about there! 

Goodbye, health problems and assiciated medications. Hello healthy life! 

You must be so proud of yourself. I am certainly proud of you :D 

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Got to tell you Michael, that's a pretty dramatic transformation and it's all the more impressive knowing just what you went through to get your surgery.

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@Michael_A  People who haven't seen you in a year or two must do the most amazing double-takes. Your family must be so proud of you (even the teenagers). ... and you must feel so very good about yourself too! Thanks for all of your insights, wisdom, and sharing along the way!

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Your transformation is phenomenal, Michael!!  I can see how much healthier and happier you are just by looking at your face!  I can't believe you're nearly at goal...that is incredible. So glad your health has improved so much and that you'Ll be around much longer for your wife and all your kids! Good for you...and them!  Thanks for being an inspiration for us all here!

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8 hours ago, Michael_A said:

This is me, all around 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, at my highest weight, between 275 and 290.  I had type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, my knees hurt, and I took ibuprofen daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I had headaches constantly. I was taking about 7 different prescription meds. I was extremely unhappy with life by this point. I hated the way I had to dress (nothing off the rack fit). I wore the exact same clothes daily. (I had multiples of the same shirt, same pants, etc because I knew how to make them work and where to order them).  So 5 pair of the same pants, 14 of the exact same shirt, etc. I despised seeing my reflection in a window. I was just so miserable inside.
 

5a8a8b1fd78d8_IMG_1298(Medium).JPG.7ea4e9af2d6a18d221625241165a465c.JPG5a8a8b3e9e3f3_IMG_1326(Medium).thumb.JPG.966d1872b1a7acf76e8d63d3bb294313.JPG

5a8a8b57343a2_PhotoFeb18102735PM(Medium).thumb.jpg.6e1c61ee0c428592e096f7898c745daf.jpg


I finally overcame insurance issues and in Jan 2017 contacted a bariatric surgeon in CA (I'm in Alaska), and in Feb 2017, began her "liver shrinking diet" which was very low-carb at first, lean meats and veggies, gradually giving up meals and transitioning to protein shakes. By Nov 10, 2017 (surgery day) I weighed 217, down from 275 in Feb. I weighed 211 at my one-week follow up.

Today, one year after my start date, I weigh 170. This is me tonight at church (I play that gorgeous piano every week)...

5a8a8cb4b9386_PhotoFeb1882627PM(Medium).thumb.jpg.76925d39f85f13c457eb8ca2390b1639.jpg5a8a8cd125b08_PhotoFeb1882811PM(Medium).thumb.jpg.44b0f0dcc7c89f594b057b541c7b3e80.jpg

 

I can tell you, life is SO MUCH BETTER on the other side of WLS. I love how I get to dress now. I finally feel like the REAL ME is being reflected in the clothes that I wear. I take a single prescription drug, for asthma, and probably will for life (have since I was 18). I haven't needed a painkiller post-op at ALL, except for a week that I had the flu.

I'm only three months out and I have a lot to learn yet. My mind is still numb to these changes. When I see fat me, it is getting harder to identify with that person, and also those pics make sad and angry because I hated my life at that point. Not like, suicidal hate, just the lifestyle of the fat and miserable. I'm so excited about who I see reflected in the post office glass when I walk up to the building every day, and never in a million years could I have imagined that things could feel this good, and that I would be so happy with the person that emerged. 

I became inspired by watching @TP1210's own WLS surgery experience play out here on TT, all the way up to his surgery day and after. It was when I really thought to myself, "wow, I think this surgery thing is right for me!". But on the whole, TT in general is what kept me motivated once I made the decision, but started having insurance obstacles. This family of people is SO awesome.

CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you! You look fantastic too!

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Oh my goodness!  You look so great @Michael_A!!  Your perseverance on this incredible journey has motivated all of us.  You should be very proud of yourself!  Amazing job - well done sir!

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11 hours ago, Lankyliz said:

What a life changer

Complete life changer! Thanks for your nice words.

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10 hours ago, Aussie Bear said:

So proud of you Michael. You had a lot of hurdles to navigate, and almost as many shakes pre-op as I had. Isn't it a great feeling to be so close to goal at only 3 months out?

I know that you can uniquely identify with me on the part about being close to goal early out. Sometimes I don't even reply to various posters here, because I feel like I didn't have the "real" WLS experience that most other folks have- go through the program, lose the requires 10 or 15 pounds, then lose the rest over 6 months to a year. It's kind of messed up, I know. I need to find some balance there.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement. You always bring a unique and thoughtful viewpoint to things.

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9 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

Michael you have done an amazing job!  Not many would have remained so dedicated pre op with weeks of protein shakes and the liver shrink diet!  You are truly an inspiration to those up and coming newbies!  

Thanks Lois! The dedication wavered sometimes... :-)  But I was desperate for change.

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8 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

You look aMAZing!!! Way to go!!! :):):) 

All of your hard work pre-op is really paying off. You had the most extreme pre-op diet I’ve ever heard of, but I think it just accelerated the process for you. Here you are at only 3 months out and you are just about there! 

Goodbye, health problems and assiciated medications. Hello healthy life! 

You must be so proud of yourself. I am certainly proud of you :D 

Thanks Jen for your kind words. Not really proud of myself per se, because truly, several of the folks here were equally responsible for getting me here, if that makes sense.

I was super mad at my surgeon several times because she pushed so hard for the weight loss, I can't lie about that. But being here now... it IS pretty nice that it's mostly done! I have 165 as my goal weight but I'm thinking about staying at 170. As it is my wrists and ankles/ calf areas are looking kind of skeletal, and I want to see what happens (if anything) with taking a month or two and seeing if the weight kind of redistributes a bit.

You are such a great example of paying attention to the small things. I'm selfishly glad for your influence and presence in my ongoing journey :-)

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6 hours ago, cinwa said:

Got to tell you Michael, that's a pretty dramatic transformation and it's all the more impressive knowing just what you went through to get your surgery.

Thanks so much Corinne :-)

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5 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

People who haven't seen you in a year or two must do the most amazing double-takes.

Yes they do, and I'm trying very hard to be good at the art of gracefully redirecting the conversation. I'm not one that enjoys being in the limelight like that, especially when people gush about my weight loss and won't let up. I've taken the good advice of folks like @Stephtay and have become pretty good at thanking them and then immediately saying something like "so how are YOU doing?" or something like that. I know most people don't feel this way, but it's just how I am.

 

5 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

Your family must be so proud of you (even the teenagers)

My 13-year old daughter (the oldest of five kids) did remark to me the other day at the dinner table, "dad, you are getting so skinny". I will admit that THAT did make me feel pretty good, because I really thought that my weight loss wasn't really on any of their radars. Not that I expected it to be, at all. But a lot of my pre-op disgust with my "fat life" was tied up in being the fattest dad at her school events, etc. And plenty of things that I just didn't even attend or go to because of those feelings. We have just started having a new part of our relationship grow, because I finally AM at a place where I feel comfortable and good, as a man, being involved in her life outside of the house now. Definitely more on that later, I'm still adjusting there.

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4 hours ago, CheeringCJ said:

So glad your health has improved so much and that you'Ll be around much longer for your wife and all your kids!

This was a huge motivation in my decision for WLS! I had to visit my PCP at the beginning of Jan to get my asthma med refilled, and it was the first time I'd seen him since my surgery. We went over everything, he checked me over,  and then said "so.... I guess I'll see you in a year?". That was SO awesome to be in that spot! It was embarrassing how often I needed to see various Dr.'s. 

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1 minute ago, Michael_A said:

This was a huge motivation in my decision for WLS! I had to visit my PCP at the beginning of Jan to get my asthma med refilled, and it was the first time I'd seen him since my surgery. We went over everything, he checked me over,  and then said "so.... I guess I'll see you in a year?". That was SO awesome to be in that spot! It was embarrassing how often I needed to see various Dr.'s. 

that is awesome!  

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3 hours ago, Stephtay said:

CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you! You look fantastic too!

Thanks Steph! I'm so glad you're still around handing out great advice. It has helped me many times!

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3 hours ago, TammyP said:

Amazing job - well done sir!

Thanks so much for your kind words!

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You look SO sharp in that suit, @Michael_A! Wow!!! I'm so happy you're having great results after all the patience you had. I love what you said about loving your reflection. Totally awesome! Well done!!! 

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1 hour ago, Michael_A said:

I know that you can uniquely identify with me on the part about being close to goal early out. Sometimes I don't even reply to various posters here, because I feel like I didn't have the "real" WLS experience that most other folks have- go through the program, lose the requires 10 or 15 pounds, then lose the rest over 6 months to a year. It's kind of messed up, I know. I need to find some balance there.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement. You always bring a unique and thoughtful viewpoint to things.

It is indeed bizarre, but the fact that there are two of us in this weird position means there are more out there like us. Your experiences and wisdom are just as valid to share as anyone else's.

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1 hour ago, Michael_A said:

I know that you can uniquely identify with me on the part about being close to goal early out. Sometimes I don't even reply to various posters here, because I feel like I didn't have the "real" WLS experience that most other folks have- go through the program, lose the requires 10 or 15 pounds, then lose the rest over 6 months to a year. It's kind of messed up, I know. I need to find some balance there.

Thanks for your advice and encouragement. You always bring a unique and thoughtful viewpoint to things.

Michael, not too many people could do the pre op diet you did.  Many of us were busy having food funerals.  No matter how you got the weight off you are a wls person.  Your guts have been rearranged..you are healthy!  You are living!  

Wait until one day soon the kids will tell you they don’t remember the bigger you.  Your kids are younger so it will happen sooner rather than later.  I was a couple years out when my adult kids were talking and they couldn’t remember me heavy.  

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43 minutes ago, Aussie Bear said:

the fact that there are two of us in this weird position means there are more out there like us.

Excellent point :-)

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