In My First 100 Days

I have planned this post for quite some time but I’m just finishing it up this morning.  It’s too hot to sleep with the desert southwest under a heat advisory–111 degrees today–so I might as well wrap this up before I decide too much time has passed and it feels lame.

My 100th day home from the hospital was Saturday June 18.

It seems unreal.

When I had 100 days before surgery, it felt like time was crawling.

But isn’t that always the way?

So what has the first 100 days brought me?

Let’s start with the obvious:

50.9 pounds of weight lost
3.8-percent body fat lost
25.25 inches lost (measuring right limbs only)
4 jean sizes down
3 shirt sizes down
3 dress sizes down
1-1.5 shoe sizes (yes, for reals and depending on the shoe)
2.25 pounds of muscle GAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Those are all measurable outcomes and they are completely mind blowing to the point I knew I had to frame them in this context.  I needed to write this out because I need to see it so much more than I need to share it.  I know my fellow WLSers totally understand how the brain and body are so out-of-sync especially at the beginning.

But what else have I seen, done, heard, and felt in these first 100 days?

The inside of a swimming pool…
I can hold Tree Pose again…
“Slow down…you’re walking too fast.”  (It’s hilarious to me actually)…
I have little baby abs starting to poke out from under my ‘melon’ of belly fat…
My rib cage…(but when I lay on my back there’s a good size depression)
My son said, “Mom…You’re getting some guns.”
I can do a forward fold and put 3/4 of palm on the floor…
I jumped across a small ditch but it was wider than my leg span so it was a full jump…
Realizing just how utterly amazing my nutritionist is…
My commitment to keep my goals health-focused rather than scale focused is stronger…
I can wash my whole back…(with a jacked shoulder this is a big deal)
A greater sense of confidence in the whole of my journey…
I trust my body…(so weird after all these years of putting in the work without reward)…
Less to almost zero acne …(46 years old and I can FINALLY stop using zit cream)
The positive changes it’s had on my family’s attention to their own health…
How many times I did NOT resort to food when faced with unimaginable stress…
That I actually learned to like water…(most days, most days…lol
That I haven’t needed to be perfect one million percent of the time…
I want to do squats…

I could probably do this for an hour or more but I think this is a good list to hold on to.

My point is having weight loss surgery does change the number on the scale but it also changes you and those around you in so many ways that cannot be quantified or anticipated.  I am grateful 99.99-percent of the changes in my body, life, relationships, and world have been positive.  So grateful!!!

It has definitely not been all sunshine and daisies.  It’s been a lot of hard work and making choices I would have rather not like getting that next bottle of water to go down or fixing myself a meal slightly different than the one I cooked for my family.  But, isn’t that the junction of success…doing the things you know are wise and prudent even when you would really rather not?

I love this quote by Jim Rohn and think it absolutely applies to the post-op life.

Jim Rohn Quote

Milestones And Disappointment

I have been working really hard the past few weeks.

Damn hard.

Hard enough to CRUSH my goals of falling under 220 before my three-month appointment (two days ago) and losing 50 total pounds (this morning).  I am also about to CRUSH my goal of hitting my lowest known adult weight by 4 July only to not be able to have enough money to travel to my surgeon’s office for my three-month appointment.

My hubs is self-employed and he didn’t get paid on time so I cannot go to my appointment.

If we roll the dice and I roll on down the highway to my surgeon’s office in Las Vegas, a five hour round trip, and one of the people who owes us money does not pay today we won’t have enough gas money for him to keep working tomorrow.

Normally, I do not mind our razor thin existence too much.  It’s hard.  I can do hard things.

Today, my disappointment is leaking out my eyes.

My surgery practice is AMAZING!!!  They’re a whole office full of cheerleaders and I really wanted to share my success with them today.

I’m not the sort who needs tons of people fawning over me.  If anything, it creeps me out.

Today, I earned it.

Today, I wanted it.

For a zillion reasons, this whole journey has been lonely.

The real life friends I included–because other than this blog, I have kept very quiet about it–have not shown up in the way I thought they might.  I kept my circle small on purpose and only included the people who I thought would ‘be there’ for me.  They haven’t.

Maybe that sounds spoiled or self-centered or whatever but, if you’re reading, you probably don’t understand the level of support I feel like I give them.

I know what is going on in many of their lives and it’s far more serious, in a couple of cases life-threatening, than my success.  I do understand the grand scheme of things.  It really is okay.  But dammit, I’m a good enough friend to know and understand.  And, I’m really okay ‘just’ having my surgeon’s office be my cheerleaders except today I can’t even have that much and it’s so damned disappointing.

I have worked really hard…

and now I am working hard to honestly acknowledge my disappointment while avoiding feeling the hollowness of celebrating alone.

50 pounds is AWESOME and I just want to share it with the people who helped me get there and who matter to me and it feels like that’s even asking too much.

 

 

This Month Was Better

In case you don’t remember, last month my home-from-the-hospital anniversary ended up being rather emotional.

My progress was stalling.

My body felt off.

The old, familiar feelings of “WHY, WHY, WHY…isn’t this working?” were swirling.

Thankfully, I recognized and honored those feelings and decided to share them with my seriously amazing nutritionist.  Through a chain of emails we pinpointed the suspected culprit in my diet and eliminated it immediately.  Ten days after discontinuing the preservative-laden lunch meat my body felt like it was getting back to normal–yep, a protein…a legal, nutritionist-approved protein–knocked my body out of whack and ground my progress to a halt.

I didn’t assume I was in a natural stall.

I listened to my body.

I did NOT listen to people who were telling me I should just ‘be happy’ with my progress so far or that I was being too hard on myself.  They haven’t lived in this body so there’s no way they could know but I couldn’t help but wonder maybe they were right.

Instead, I asked for help with confidence I was right something was wrong.

I found solutions.  Simple, simple, simple solutions to get me back on track.

I’ve been trying to lose weight for over a decade and have experienced a similar scenario more times than I can count but I have never had the level of professional support I have now and for me that is what is making all the difference.

Yes, having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy helped.  A lot.

BUT…

Without the custom attention of my brilliant nutritionist, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I like it here.

I like the success I’m having.

I really like how almost predictable it is.  It’s only almost predictable because let’s face it…autoimmune disease is a roller coaster of crazy body blowouts…but I have been able to wrangle my body back into submission faster than ever.

I like having confidence in myself and my body.

I have never experienced any of this on previous attempts.

This…weight loss surgery…was the right tool for ME.

After last month’s experience, I also learned something new.  Despite my attempts at non-nonchalance, the remembrance of the day I came home from the hospital does matter to me.

It is a natural benchmark.  But, there is no requirement for me to have any emotional investment whatsoever.  I certainly do not need to be freaking myself out with goals, celebrations, photos, or anything else.

After last month, I decided I didn’t want to do that to myself again.  So, I didn’t.

This month instead of piling a heap of expectations on the day I barely let it register including moving my three month check up from the day before ‘the day’ to the week after.

You know as well as I do had I driven to Las Vegas the day before my body would have swelled up like a toad.  It always does.  Bodies with chronic venous insufficiency do not like to be captive in a car.  I would have stepped on the scale the next morning feeling defeated.

Seriously, who needs to ‘celebrate’ what has become a very positive step in recapturing my health with feeling betrayed by one’s own body?

Not this girl.

Not any more dammit!!!

Instead I realized I am super close to some milestones and so I tightened up my eating and made sure I was really holding myself to the line and I lost the most last week. 3.2 pounds, since lunch meat decided to go rogue in my guts.

Let me just tell you…

THAT FEELS BETTER!!!!

Not just because 3.2 pounds is nearly SEVEN TIMES what my non-wls surgery good weeks looked like but because I focused on what I could do.

Such a simple, subtle change.

I am now exactly one pound from losing 45 pounds since coming home from the hospital.

I have never, not even when I was lifting over 100 pounds in the gym, have I lose 45 pounds in a single year.  Probably not even in two years.

Then I’m exactly 8.6 pounds away from achieving my lowest known adult weight.

In between, there’s the 50 pound milestone.

It’s not just the poundage.

I’m down 3.4-percent body fat too.

For most people, you need to lose 7-12 pounds of body weight to lose 1-percent body fat.  What that means is I am losing mostly fat and retaining my metabolically active tissue aka muscle.  What that means is even though some people might call weight loss surgery the ‘easy way out,’ I am managing to keep my body’s metabolism from being destroyed by rapid weight loss (Have you seen the Biggest Loser studies?)

And, I sashayed into Old Navy on Friday and could zip every single pair of size 18 jeans I pulled even though while in the act of pulling them I was steeling myself for disappointment.

No more ‘big girl’ clothes!!!!!

I did take a peek at my measurements a few days ago but stopped when I saw I had lost over an inch from my waist since my last check three weeks ago.  I was trying to surprise myself…and I did…but now I want to wait until the day before my check-in for the full surprise.

I owe myself that much.

Do you know how crazy cool that feels to know and accept it too?

Adoring Your Body

 

 

Getting What I Want

10 Days…There are 10 days until my 3 month appointment. Okay, first WOW!!!

Second, having my son, who hadn’t seen me since before my surgery, home for the holiday weekend and the holiday weekend knocked me a little off track. He was blown away, ftw. However, my choices did not inspire the progress I say I want. I’ve already been able to pull myself fully back on track BUT I want the extra accountability of posting here.

For the next 10 days I’m on a mission.

I REALLY want to drop out of the 220s. I’ve been hanging on the edge too long. I’m ready. To get to 219.9 I just need to lose 4 pounds. To hit 50 pounds lost I need to reach 217.7.

That’s it. I can do that.

To be honest, declaring either still feels scary even after all my amazing success. I even doubled checked my post-op weekly results to make sure either is possible for my new body because I’m still having a hard time remembering to believe.

Oh yes, they can happen.

I ‘want’ to hit one of them by my appointment and I’m going to do everything I can to get what I want.

Here’s what I am going to do to get there:

100 oz of liquids, at least half plain water
70g protein (min) including one 20mg whey protein source daily
70g carbs max daily
Daily physical activity of varying levels and intensity

I even just took a picture of those goals and set them on my home and lock screens on my phone to remind myself.

I.
Got.
This.

 

Here Fishy Fishy

Yesterday I went swimming.

Yesterday I went swimming for the first time since our Princess Cruise to the Mexican Rivera last March.

Last March 18 I made the goal to go swimming onboard the ship.

Last March from the moment I ducked my head under the water and pushed away from the prickly concrete side I felt a big part of me swish to life.

Last March submerged in the Neptune Pool I decided swimming needs to be a permanent fixture in my life.  I missed it.  I knew it.  It was time to bring it back to me.

When the community pool at home opened less than two months later, I quivered wet and cold with fear over the thought of keeping that promise to myself.

I shivered for exactly 444 days.

Yesterday I was no long afraid.

Okay, I was sick and tired of being afraid.  There is a difference and I need to make sure I properly acknowledge it.

So yesterday I went swimming for the first time in exactly 444 days.

A curious thing happened. As my flip flops were clip clopping closer to the water’s edge I realized I had precisely zero fucks to give about what anyone thought of me or my body.

Yesterday as my body made the transition from land to water I felt the same swish of me returning to me the moment I was free of the ladder.

Ahh.

Yesterday I even laid out in the sun.  Twice.  Let me assure my milky white legs desperately needed to see the sun but my soul needed to be one with its light and warmth.

And one I was.

I remembered who I am.  Again.

The me I was before I wasn’t was a fish.

The me I was before I wasn’t actually looked forward to a new swimsuit each year.

The me I was before I wasn’t actually spent so much time in the sun I had body tan lines the year I picked the multi-color and white striped suit.  (Who knew you can tan through the white stripes on your swimsuit?  Surely not the diagonally stripped me that was.)

Today, I guess I could beat myself up for letting go of the me who was before I wasn’t or for holding her back another 444 days.

But, I’m not.

Today, I can’t wait to go swimming again.

And again.

And again.

I am a fish and I am glad I remembered.  Again.  After 444 days.