200 Days Down–A Lifetime To Go, Gracefully

Okay, I’ll admit it…When I had weight loss surgery I was focused on that first year, of getting to that ‘finish line.’  It’s something my nutritionist has been slowly dripping on me about ever since she met me.  I know there really is no finish line when it comes to health but I did get caught up in the first year post-op craze of making it the end all be all.

She would say things about how this is for life and how it’s so much healthier to let our bodies unfold–and unfat–in their own due course and how with thyroid disease my journey is not always going to be in my control.  All things I know.  But honestly in the beginning I was so caught up in the rush that all I really heard was “Blah, blah, blah.”

Sorry Michelle and thanks for being so beautifully patient and supportive.

So what changed?

My scale battery died.

And it did so on a week when I was too busy to rush out to replace it.  I live in a rural area so it’s a 25 minute round trip to the nearest store which might carry the right size button battery.  Instead of making myself crazy trying to work in a special trip, I just let my scale sit there in the dark under the bathroom cupboard.

Of course, that meant I was also in the dark about the numbers it displays.

As you know, I’m super anti-goal weight but what you may not know is I weigh myself daily.  Daily weigh-ins are a tool.  But, to help manage my chronic edema which is a side effect of an injury over six years ago.  The injury damaged the veins in my left leg so sometimes the fluid pools in my body and I have to use a diuretic to help it escape.  When I was heavier, I didn’t always feel the water weight gain.  I didn’t always see it either.  After gaining over 20 pounds overnight a few years ago, I decided I couldn’t rely on my own body dysmorphic eyes to show me the water retention and started the daily weigh-ins, reluctantly and at the insistence of my physician.  Water retention of that magnitude is taxing to the body so I know it’s the right thing for me.

However, now that I have had weight loss surgery those daily weigh-ins can eat my brain.  Oh sure they were cool in the beginning as the pounds were flying off my body.  Now, not so much.

My thyroid is wigging out big time so I’m stuck more than I’m unstuck and the scale is cruel reminder of how much progress I’m not having.

Frankly, and without any fanfare, I checked out of September.

reflection-quote

I just let myself think.

I helped myself avoid stressing about weight loss on any level.

I did work with my doctor on my thyroid.  We’re still working on it actually.

I did work with my sleeve and kept my focus on doing the right things for my body.

And some really amazing changes started happening…

I noticed I am happier.

I have more peace about my journey.

Without knowing my weight, I developed a clearer vision of how I want to live the rest of my life.

I have actually arrived at a place I did not expect to see so soon.

Grace.

No, I am not talking about spiritual Grace.

Personal Grace is what you think about yourself when you are alone with your thoughts.

When I started my weight loss journey in 2002, my goal was to be able to live with Grace about my body.  To love her, to be kind and compassionate to her, and to be really real with my honest feelings.

sarah-ban-breathnach

I never thought I needed to be certain size or weight to have Grace.  It has always been something I felt like I would know when I found it.

I have.  And, it’s every bit as beautiful as I hoped.

Except…

Finding it now okay lead me to more questions.  Interesting, unexpected questions:

  1. If I have Grace now, what does that mean for me moving forward?
  2. How do I balance this peace with knowing my weight loss is not finished?
  3. How do I make sure I hold this feeling?
  4. Is this feeling going to become an excuse to give up or not work hard?
  5. Am I settling for less than I deserve because I do not really believe I can do it?

Whoa, right?

Those are some pretty tough questions.  Good thing though questions have always been my favorite kind.  Such the existentialist!

thoreau-quote-achieving-goals

I don’t have all the answers yet but I do know holding this feeling is important and that lead me to thinking about what else I feel is important:

  1. Onederland–199.9  Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s just a number but after over 12 years of chasing it I think I’ve earned it.  202.3 this morning…Go body, go body, go body.
  2. 30% Body Fat–That’s been my weight loss surgery goal since I first started thinking about weight loss surgery.  On 23 September, I reached 39.9% and that felt pretty wonderful so now I’m really looking forward to dropping out of the 30-percent bracket.
  3. Sculpting and Toning–This goes hand in hand with a healthy body percentage and it has also been part of my plan.  I knew at some point I would make the mental switch from ‘worrying’ about weight loss to focusing on defining my body.  I just never expected to be even thinking about making that switch at six months post-op.  Making muscle gains can make weight loss look slower so it’s really something you have to be mentally prepared to see.
  4. Seeing Me–Like I have said before I have had body dysmorphia my whole life.  It has driven me to do some really dangerous and unhealthy things and that is so not what this journey is about.  For the past three weeks I’ve been pulling jeans out of the closet that I still cannot fathom will fit my body.  That’s some scary stuff.  I’m not too, too worried though because at the same time I have also looked in the mirror and thought, “My arms are smaller…I can see it…They look smaller.”  Just to reinforce that I am seeing my body as smaller I grab the tape measure to prove it to myself.  Yep, smaller.  Yay me…go body, go body, go body.  That I am seeing myself shrink is the ultimate victory.  This is also something I need to hold so much stronger than the number on the scale.

So on my 200th day post-op, I’m declaring I’m done.

Not done with weight loss, done with being a jerk to myself.

I am making the switch to building my body and holding this Grace I have found.

Existentialism = Living authentically

Living authentically = Having Grace

So much more me than any number could ever explain…

grace-beauty-quote

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Six Months–Shrinking

This, my six month sleeveversary, post is dedicated to all the newbies, the still deciding, and those who just need to take a step back and really see how far they’ve come…because like I always say:  This journey will eat your brain if you let it…
As most of you know, I was sleeved 8 March 2016 so I just passed my six months. I do not ‘celebrate’ my surgery day because that’s just the surgeon doing his job.
Instead I celebrate my first full day home from the hospital because that’s the day it’s all on me now.
That was yesterday. 
Of course, I have been extra contemplative. 
It’s only natural. 
Extra contemplative, however, to the point I have written this six month post more than three times already. 
This journey cannot be contained in a reasonable amount of words so I decided to pick the ones that would likely help others as much as they have helped me.
Anyway…
I scooted out of the house yesterday before taking my measurements. This morning I was half dressed before remembering and stripped back down just to mark the occasion. But, not before debating if I really “needed” to take them.
Thankfully, I decided that since I have to be out of the house before 8 a.m. tomorrow that I had better stop now and record the numbers. It only took me about five minutes and then I got dressed so we could go out to breakfast.
 
It wasn’t until coming home that I was actually able to reflect on the numbers and compare my progress.
“Whoa!!!”
 
All the “big” body parts–chest, waist, hips, thighs–have shrunk more than one inch for every month I am post op.
 
A whole inch.  Per month.  Minimum.  Per body part.
 
I am six months post-op so that means I am at least six inches narrower than I was. To give yourself and idea go find a ruler and look at six inches.
 
But here’s the thing my chest (bra band) was the smallest shrinker at 7.25 inches.

My waist: 9.75 inches.

My hips: 10.25 inches.

My thigh: 6.25 inches (right leg only because I’m right handed…some people measure both but I don’t).

All the ‘little’ body parts–neck, bicep, forearm, calf, ankle–all shrunk from 1.5 to 3.75 inches.
Actually one of the things I am really loving about my journey is I am shrinking in nice proportions.
 
What I really want to stress especially to you newbies is thanks to the ‘joys’ of thyroid disease I am a slow loser by comparison. I try not to compare but most post-ops lose so much faster than I have so I’m only mentioning it to give you an idea that my results are slower than what many people experience.
Slower.
But, still awesome…and it feels great!!!!
be-proud-of-yourself

Now take a look at that ruler again.
Put it up next to your body.
Make yourself see it.
Half of a foot, at least.
 
Six months.
So what have I been contemplating?
Well, like I said I cannot contain it in a reasonable amount of words so I have decided my focus thought for September is: “Self-Reflection.”
I have changed in more ways than size.
Thoughts I had at the beginning no longer matter.
Things I never thought to think or at least thought I would not be thinking about at this point are flooding my brain.  The only logical thing to do is let myself think.
My journey has always been about becoming rather than losing so one of the big questions I am asking myself is: Who am I becoming?
So far, I’m liking the answers.
Plus, I’m still waiting on my thyroid retest results anyway and since my body is clearly unimpressed with my efforts of late now is the perfect time to think.  I am sure my doctor will be lowering my thyroid medication so it will be a few more weeks before my body is rid of this stupor.  Instead of driving myself bananas I am just going to sit right here and be…(and by sit right here I mean while doing all the things I know I am supposed to, to elicit results).
Skinnier…by at least half a ruler and close to a full ruler at the widest part of my body.
nobody-sees-the-number-on-the-scale
 

Irony, Schrodinger’s Cat, And Me

Here’s some irony for you…
 
I’m (this close) to Onederland and my scale battery picked this morning to die. For all I know, I’m there and I don’t know it.
 
BUT….
 
I’m also not freaking out about needing to race out and get the right batteries (bought the wrong ones yesterday) because I don’t care. Okay, I do care but it’s not an obsessive, “I must know right this instant” sort of feeling. I’ve been chasing 199.9 for as long as I have been trying to lose weight.
 
This morning…It’s. JUST. A. Number.
 
It’s this whole Schrodinger’s Cat moment…Am I? Am I not 199.9?

And what are all the possible outcomes for my day and my life whether I am or am not that particular number at this particular moment.

 
Today, tomorrow, next Tuesday…the number isn’t why I am here.
The number…DOES NOT MATTER!!!!!
I did want to and made a goal to celebrate the anniversary of my grandmother’s early obesity related death by reaching that milestone but it absolutely does not matter that I do not know if I made it.
Not being wrapped up in the number today or ever again…coolest thing in the world!!!
Cat

Lowest Known Adult Weight

211.0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did it.  I’m still in a little bit of shock.

My lowest known adult weight was 212.2 on 10/24/05.  It was a few months after I became only the second person in my family to graduate college with at least an Associate’s degree.  But, I actually had two of them and on my way to a Bachelor’s degree.  I also was getting divorced.

The regain was slow–10 pounds in the following two years–but it did happen.  Then I remarried in 2008, found out he was clinically insane (no, really like the stuff of horror movies), got divorced again, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and gained over 50 pounds in four months as the side effects of the medication took hold.

I went from healthy and active to disabled and gaining weight I didn’t earn in less than eighteen months.

It was heart-wrenching.

Then in 2010, I kicked the medications to the curb and demanded my life back.

It’s been a long, slow journey to here and I absolutely know having weight loss surgery was the right tool for me and my body.

I have been curious how I would feel about getting here.  I have lost all the weight of those painful moments and have arrived at a weight when I felt my most triumphant.  I was curious if that feeling would return too.

It has.

It’s taken me just less than two months to lose 11 pounds so I’m giving myself two months to lose 11.1 pounds and see 199.9.

Onederland…you’re mine.Goals Quote

 

 

Four Months–The End, The Beginning, But Really Barely The Middle

Yeah, I know that makes one huge heap of sense.  Please allow me to explain.

The End: I have decided to fire my surgery practice.  I’ll try to give you the Cliff’s Notes style story.  My surgeon repaired a hiatal hernia and despite me asking no less than six times, in and out of the hospital, I was NEVER informed and therefore received no aftercare instructions or alterations to the diet plan.  I only found out when I received a bill for charges not covered by the insurance company.  Then last week there was a HIPPA violation when I was sent a lab order for another patient.  If I wasn’t already fuming, that sent me to my outer orbit.  There’s just no amount of anything that is going to make this right.  It means I have to give up my AMAZING nutritionist and that almost makes me want to collapse into a pile of tears.  She’s helped me more than anyone in my whole nearly 13 year weight loss story.  However, the irony is by all appearances the hernia repair has been a failure since the moment I started asking about it.  I’ll be having a barium swallow and complete upper GI series next week to confirm it.

The old me would have just swept this all under the rug but the new me keeps asking myself: “What are the consequences to your progress if you try to hold on to this obviously broken situation?”  I don’t want to find out.  I have spent the past few months ‘fixing’ myself of all the moments I tried to puzzle together the good bits and doing my best to tip-toe around the bad ones.  The best part of all of this is I feel zero need to fix it.  It’s broken.  I didn’t break it so it’s not up to me to run around trying to make it all better.  End of story.

The Beginning: I want to draw my line in the sand and move forward.  Four months ago today I drew a different line in the sand when I had surgery.  It’s not like I can go back and change it, right?  So my job is to continue to move forward.  Today is a different sort of new beginning.  My only concern about moving forward is losing my nutritionist.  Oh I have the food part down and she even agrees.  The scary part is I have a weird body and she’s known exactly how to fix it.  No one has been able to do that for me.  Ever!  I have 12 years of diet failure so it’s not like I haven’t been begging and pleading for help all along the way either.  Fortunately, I have also learned a lot.  I know how to fuel my body.  I just need to hold on to the hope that God and the Universe will continue to place the helpers I might need in my path…and to not go crazy waiting for them to show up.  Today, I am moving forward all alone and all for me.

Barely The Middle:  Here’s the truth: I am two months shy of the halfway point on what is often referred to as the “Golden Window” by many bariatric specialists and patients.  The Golden Window is that magical first year where everything is easy–metaphorically–meaning the bulk of the excess weight comes off as long as the patient is doing her, or his, part.  Sure there are bumps along the way but the first year is very similar to the rapid change in the life of an infant.  Growth. Milestones.  I am not about to let anyone fuck with it.  This is my journey dammit.  My goals haven’t changed.  Of course, it has been feeling like everything is upside down but after a few moments of wildflower therapy on top of a gorgeous mountain it all became clear: I am upset about what happened…not where I have been or where I am going.  Huge difference.  My choice then is to let all the past die where it is and focus on MY GOALS!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh there will be fallout as the surgeon discovers what has happened because in my absolute heart of hearts I cannot imagine he knows but that fallout is the natural consequences running their course.  My goals are independent of the outcome…

Wait, how did I get this strong…

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

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Un-Goals

On 7 January I started my, My Fitness Pal, account.  I had been faithfully using Fitday for over a decade but it had become a reminder of all the failing-to-lose past I knew I needed to break from it and start fresh.

On that presumably blustery day in January, I put in a goal weight even though I am NOT interested in being any one number on the scale. Ever.

But, it’s a number. It’s something to shoot for and something to mark my progress against. And, today I am so glad I did I let myself believe, if just for a moment, that number would be possible.

Because…

Today when I logged this morning’s scale wiggle in My Fitness Pal, it told gave me a celebratory message to announce I have made 51-percent of the progress toward that goal-but-not weight.

I’m just shy of my 3-month appointment.

Okay, let me pause and let that sink all the way in.

Blinking hard.

Disbelief.

Shock.

Surprise.

Amazement.

Wet-eyed smile.

Never. In. A. Million. Years….Did I think I could get to this point this fast.

Honestly, even sitting in my surgeon’s office four months ago I did not really believe having weight loss surgery was going to work.

I didn’t believe it.  But, I knew I had to try.

I am so grateful I found the courage and the oomph to try as hard as I have with everything else I have tried.

(In case you’re a new reader…I’m really only interested in having a healthy body fat percentage and for women my age it’s between 10-32 percent.  But scales are readily available in doctors’ offices so I have to at least be friends with the number they show me.)

Time. Real Change Takes Time

11 Days…It took ELEVEN DAYS for my body to get back on track after discontinuing the lunch meat for my body to say, “Okay, we can lose again now.”

First, I’m thrilled!!! I knew things would start moving again simply because they had been going so well. In some ways, these 2.2 pounds feel better than the some of the 40 I’ve already lost because they’re the first I really had to work for.

Second, my the big point I want to make is even when you identify things that might be slowing your progress and you make the necessary positive changes you have to be extra diligent and patient while your body is healing from the ‘damage’ you have done. It all happens so innocently enough too. For me, it was lunch meat.

If you’re struggling there IS a reason and it’s a whole heap of work to figure it out.

Do it.

Don’t quit.

In my case, it’s been a lot of reasons over the course of 14 years. But I haven’t given up.

Not that I’m a fan of the BMI chart but I’m also under 40 for the first time in I don’t even know how long.

Of course I also owe my amazing nutritionist a huge thank you!  She is literally changing my life!  Yes, I know I’m doing the work but to not be fumbling around in the dark trying to figure it out on my own IS life changing.

So many people interested in weight loss surgery focus on the surgeon and having a good surgeon is important but if the rest of the practice especially the nutritionist is not fully invested in your success you could end up with a less than stellar experience.  Your nutritionist should be your lifeline as you learn to navigate the post-op world.  It is her or his job to help you through those stuck moments.

Are you reaching out?

Are you listening and responding to your body?

My surgeon created the tool that is a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

My nutritionist is the one schooling me in the fine art of using it to my best advantage and helping me take my complete medical history into consideration as I make food choices.

Knowing the difference is success like I have never known it.

Weight loss surgery was THE BEST DECISION I have ever made for my health.

Ever.

Hands down.

Even before the scale moved, yesterday was my best, healthiest feeling day in two weeks.

Yesterday, I hoped the scale would move but I was also sure it was going to move. And, I have to admit it caused me to pause. I have never felt this much confidence in my body’s ability to lose weight in my entire life.

I’m so glad the scale is catching up to the work I’ve been putting in.

I cannot fully express how amazing it feels.

The changing numbers are awesome but to being doing the work AND getting results was elusive, at best, before surgery.  Now, I have confidence.

Amazing!