In some ways, this first month has passed so slowly. In other ways, it has flown by.
People have asked, “Has it been hard?”
Learning how to live again after consenting to have 90-percent of my stomach dissected and discarded–vertical sleeve gastrectomy–has been relatively easy.
I have been preparing for this for over two years so I have had a lot of time to get my head right.
When I started college at 32 years old and as a mostly single mother (trucker wife to my now-ex-husband) of four in 2002, I made a commitment to myself to figure out how to get healthy, lose weight, and live with Grace toward my body and my weight.
Each semester I took a fitness class to ‘force’ myself to focus on fitness and weight reduction. I stopped eating junk and took to learning everything I could about nutrition and focused on fueling my body. I also worked on never looking in the mirror and saying, “You’re such a fat cow,” ever again. Through it all I graduated with honors and finally kicked the no good so and so to the curb.
What I did not know then is on top of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome I already knew I had I also had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I knew I had hypothyroidism and I knew something more was thwarting my efforts to lose weight but I could not find a doctor to listen. They all assumed the fat girl was lying about how much she was exercising and how she was managing her food intake.
It would take 10 more years–TEN–for me to find a doctor willing to write the lab order for the test to detect the autoimmune antibodies to confirm Hashimoto’s. The test was positive. Fighting two hormonal conditions is insane. It’s also a losing battle. So I lost but not weight. Okay, I did lose a bit of weight. I would average 1/4 of a pound–the meat on a fast food burger–a week!!! It didn’t feel like a victory then and it certainly doesn’t fourteen years later.
The struggle was not without reward. What the experience did do for me was teach me how to get tough and real about my body. For that my gratitude for the journey knows no bounds. The positive antibodies are also what sparked my interest in weight loss surgery.
Compared to that ‘highlight’ reel of my 14 year journey to reclaim my health, weight loss surgery has a been a piece of cake…the cake I no longer want to partake.
The past month has felt like a dream compared to the nightmare I lived.
As of this morning, I have lost 28.1 pounds!!!!!! since the day I left the hospital weighing more than when I went in (read about that here) and 15 inches and 2.1 percent body fat.
In my adult life and not even postpartum have I ever lost this much in an entire YEAR!!!!
My best effort two years ago was 21 pounds.
Of course, my Hashi’s flared and my hormones piled it all back on in less than three months. That, actually, was my last straw. Because, if my stupid hormones are going to do that then weight loss surgery is the only tool to fight back.
You see your body stores hormones in fat. When you are over fat, you are also over hormone’d. When you are over hormone’d, your body is confused. Slow weight loss through traditional means cannot and will not ever be fast enough to correct the hormonal imbalance. Weight loss through surgical intervention is the only weapon to leech enough fat from your body to force a change to the chemical imbalance holding your body and health hostage.
And, in the event my thyroid whacks out again I would rather gain 20 pounds starting at 160 than at 220. Simple as that.
Fortunately, I finally have a really great doctor willing to stay on top of my hormones so now I can focus on helping weight loss surgery do its job.
Fortunately, I am finally using the right tool for my personal metabolic chemistry.
Finally, I am moving in the right direction.