I remember a year ago, it was the day before the surgery and I was at home drinking water and clear liquids all day. I was lucky in the sense that I didn’t have to do a 2 week liquid pre op diet like others had. The one day was enough torture for me. I contemplated a lot. Is this right for me? Am I going to survive this? Will I come out of anesthesia? Will this even work? Will I lose weight? Is it possible that this might actually change my life for the better? I counted down the hours and minutes until I had to be at the hospital checking in. I would stare at my Vision board with all the pictures I had posted up of things I was hoping to accomplish as a a result of my possible weight loss or things I hadn’t done in over 20 years. I stared at the images of a girl crossing her legs, sitting in a normal bathroom stall, tying one’s shoes, sitting indian style on the ground, doing a cartwheel, Wearing designer clothes just because you can, doing a push up. I started intently trying to envision myself actually doing these things. All of a sudden my overwhelming nerves were slowly switching to excitement.
I remember opening my eyes and knowing it was done. At one point I turned to Erick in my room and whispered, “I actually did it. I can’t believe I went through with it! There’s no turning back now huh?”
I went through my original blog posts and came across an excerpt from this first post, a week after the surgery…
Car rides suck Balls
Snuggies are Amazing!
The recliner never felt so amazing as a place to sleep
Throwing up is bad enough, but throwing up with 1/3 of your stomach is a whole other level of pain
You can never fully prepare yourself mentally for the pain and discomfort, you have to bite the bullet and deal with it when it comes and think of the end result
You will question (often) why you did this and is it worth the pain. The answer in a day or two, and thereafter will always be YES
Prepare yourself mentally for any and all embarrassing moments that can possibly happen in the hospital….they will happen….often
If you are a woman, make sure you bring feminine pads to the hospital for when mother nature decides to visit you the night of your surgery….with a catheter in your chonch and you are just standing up for the first time with your partner and a big black male nurse by your side…..or so I’ve heard…..
With that being said, make sure whoever stays with you in the hospital is someone you trust implicitly with any and all embarrassing moments. It will get personal at some point. Don’t ask the neighborhood dog walker to help you. You will lose her business.
There is references to food EVERYWHERE…television, people’s conversations, social media. There is no wonder we are a fat nation. I didn’t watch tv until about tuesday or so and my god, every 2-3 minutes there is a commercial for food.
When you are a year out of surgery and you can pretty much eat and do anything, it’s easy to forget about those initial struggles, and how far you have come. It’s important to remember your lows as often as your highs because it humbles you quick and you are so much more appreciative of the little things now. I remember having days where I regretted my decision because people around me were eating and it smelled so good and all I wanted was to stuff my face. I learned to make jokes and find the humor in things because otherwise I would just want to cry all day, LOL. I remember when I reached each new food stage, I felt like I had won the lottery. “Yay! I can eat two bites of scrambled eggs. This is the most incredible egg I have ever had in my entire life!”
Pinterest really saved me. Erick thought I was torturing myself when I would scroll through hundreds of food pictures, but I was looking at healthy recipes, things that would be easy and cheap to make on a budget and a small kitchen. Even though I couldn’t eat any of these things, I was getting excited about being able to make them and being able to maintain a cleaner eating way of life. I knew people who were eating unhealthy foods after their surgery and would be sick all the time and I didn’t want to go through the same thing.
All of a sudden, all these little NSV’s starting happening (Non-Scale Victories) and one by one, my vision board was becoming a reality. Over the last year, here are some NSV’s I was able to see come to fruition from my Vision Board…
Crossing My Legs
Tied my shoelaces in the center and not to the sides
Wearing Boots over my jeans
Fit in concert seats
Able to buy clothes in a retail store
Fit in a Restaurant booth
Fit in a regular bathroom stall
Squatted down for a photo
Did my First 5k Aids walk
Wrapped a towel around my body and be covered
Able to wear heels
Made it to ONEderland!
Being picked up by man
Fit into Size 10 jeans
Climbed from one car seat to the other without getting out (seems silly, but I was excited, LOL)
No longer considered Morbidly obese. With a BMI under 30, I am not just overweight
Fit in a Movie Theater Seats with both arm rests down
Fit in a Classroom chair
Sat Indian Style
Sitting with my knees to my chest
Did real squats and a full sit up unassisted
You don’t realize how much obesity interferes with normal every day activities. I was just so used to it, I never realized my shoelaces were always tied to the sides because I couldn’t bed down or bring my legs up high enough to tie them property. I didn’t occur to me until I was talking to someone about their journey and they mentioned it. I looked down at my shoes and said, “oh…shit…..” LOL!
Gastric Sleeve or any other Bariatric Surgeries affect you physically, emotionally and mentally. The first few months are a combo of all 3, mainly physical for me. Dealing with the pain, nausea and the weight itself. Emotionally you deal with not being able to eat and seeing food around you. Mentally, you question if you made the right decision and if you can make it to the other side. The next few months are mainly all mental as you continue on your path, overcoming food obstacles and training your body with clean foods and not straying even though temptation is everywhere.
Nowadays, a year post op, the physical challenges are gone as I have the energy to accomplish anything. I signed up for my first 5k Color Obstacle run in a couple weeks and although I am scared of the obstacles, I am so excited to put myself out there and try something I never thought I would ever be able to do! Emotionally and Mentally, you deal with a new set of obstacles. I find myself going out more with friends and living a more social life because I feel more comfortable being out in public knowing I can fit in the seats and don’t have the “stares.” Now that I am going out a little more again, I realized I am gaining attention I never had before. Guys are buying me drinks, approaching me and showering me with compliments. Friends I haven’t talked to in years, are contacting and messaging me out of the blue because they see my current pictures. Of course it is flattering and it gives you the warm fuzzies but its saddening because I haven’t changed who I am. I am still the same person in the same body, just now more deflated and less bloated. I accept that we live in a physical obsessed world where we judge by looks over character, but it can be hard to see that happening to you. These people who have never bought me a drink a year ago, let alone have a conversation with me, let alone, LOOK IN MY DIRECTION now all of a sudden want to know my life story, give me attention and buy me drinks?? Mentally, you have to accept the realities of society and not let it affect you. Appreciate it for what it is and give your attention to those who gave it to you, regardless of your book cover. I happily tell these men I am a taken lady. I am with someone who was with me at my heaviest and still accepted me for who I am. Why I would leave someone like that for some guy flirting at the bar?!
On a better note, the best part of this journey, are the people following me and asking for tips and advice as they embark on their journeys. I have gotten a great response from Support Groups on Facebook, people are messaging me from all over asking about my story and helping them in the different stages they are in. It is very rewarding being able to help others because of where I am. It inspires me when they are inspired, to continue on the straight and narrow and to gain more friends and experiences in this life.
A Year has Passed since the Surgery and here are my Stats to Date….
152 Pounds Lost!! (From 338 to 186)
Total Pant Sizes Lost: 8!! (From Size 26 to Size 10)
Total Inches Lost: 97!!
Some Before and After Photos!!
No food pics this time, so here are a couple things I would like to accomplish in the next year…
Run a Half Marathon
Run a Color Obstacle Run
Ride a Horse for the First Time
Do a Cartwheel
Do a Pull UP
Dress in a Sexy Halloween Costume.
Do the Splits
Go for a Bike Ride
Take Ballroom Dancing
Join a Softball Team
Thanks again to everyone who have been so supportive of me. Your cheerleading keeps me moving and inspired!
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Until Next Time…
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