2016~The Year of Probability

That’s what I dubbed it and oh baby was it ever!!!

Last year I decided to try something radical.  I made no resolutions.  No goals.  Squashed all expectations.  Instead I forced myself into letting the year just be.  Not letting myself off the hook with the work…Oh no, no, no.  But really unhooking the mindset that if I do A, B, and C perfectly then X, Y, and Z will be my rewards.

Gah!

Hardest thing ever!!!!!

But this is my body so c’mon it’s way past time for me to drop that nonsense, right?  I mean if you’ve been following along for even five minutes you know that’s my “MY” body.  So I quit.

probability-quote

I embraced probability.  I knew I was having weight loss surgery so therefore I would probably lose weight.

Probably.

Yep that’s all I was giving myself.

After years of ABC = XYZ thinking I had to let go.  Honestly, it’s the only thing I hadn’t tried (kinda like having weight loss surgery).

And guess what?

The world did not end.

Well, hell.

You mean to tell me I do not need to be all wrapped up in minutia?  I don’t need to be perfect?  I don’t need to work harder?  I don’t need to spend countless hours planning and scheming?

“No darling girl…this is not what you and your body need.”

“Oh…”

Guess what else?

I had the most successful year of my life in terms of feeling peace and contentment with the body I have.

Well, whattaya know!

Having weight loss surgery in March was no guarantee in my mind.  Over 12 years of diet failure makes it really hard to get excited about anything, even something as radical as weight loss surgery, actually working.

But it did.

It worked beyond all my timid fantasies and certainly beyond my ability to believe.  It worked in part because I worked.  I put in the effort with zero expectation of reward.  Win, lose, or draw I knew there was no going back so my commitment had to be something other than losing X number of pounds.  My 2016 commitment was to just be the same me I’ve been for years.  You know the one who’s been eating right and exercising appropriately.  That’s me under the flab anyway.

Me with a vertical sleeve gastrectomy is over 80 pounds lighter.

I am almost at the end of my losing phase and on to my living phase.

In less than 10 months!

I promise you no one is more shocked than I am.

In less than 10 months my body and this tool combined to do what my body and no tool could not in over a decade of working at all of a lot harder than I am now.

I am NOT dismissing the work  I am doing now.  Just highlighting how even with so much more effort I wasn’t able to arrive where I am now.

This is what MY body needed.

I mean just look at the difference!!!

I am so grateful I was brave enough to try and to believe in the power of probability.  I am also infinitely grateful for the many lessons remaining open to all that is probable have brought to me.

Tomorrow I’ll announce my focus for 2017 and how I am putting the lessons of this year into even deeper practice.

PS…I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long!!!  My computer crashed in November.  Then in December a partial small bowel obstruction put me in the hospital for eight days.  I am so grateful to be coming back into me so strong on the last day of the year.  I love that it’s ending just as it began.

 

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…

July Goals?

A few weeks ago I joined several Facebook support groups.  I just felt, and feel, like I need to be connected to other weight loss surgery people right now.  Where I am not close enough to my surgeon’s office to attend the support group, I figured this is the next best thing.

Today, one of the group leaders posted:

“What are you July goals?”

My answer was:

“To forget June ever happened.”

Mentally, physically, emotionally…June was just a big, ol’ huge vat of disappointment and frustration…and s-l-o-w weight loss.

How slow?

Slow enough it was my pre-op normal.

Yes, I have let the irony of me being flustered by losing at my pre-op rate sink all the way through my consciousness.

And, do you know what conclusion I arrived at?

My pre-op body and my post-op body are definitely not the same so I need to stop marking my journey now with those outdated signposts.

The truth is…Right now my body is NOT optimized.

Period.

No fussing.  No whining.  No rationalization.

And, it’s July now so how much longer am I going to be circling the drain about what a disappointment June was?

So am I okay with my glibly made goal to erase June from memory?

Uhh, noooooooooooooo.

Here’s my July goal:

20-25g of fiber daily

That’s it.

My new multivitamin pill is not being kind to my system so I need to make sure I am doing everything I can to keep my system running smoothly.

Not being able to buy my vitamin patches is one problem that is only exacerbated by not consuming enough fiber.

Besides, I am at the point where I have a really good handle on everything else except fiber.  When I scroll back through my food journal and when I am honest with myself, it is the one area I, as the controller of all things which enter my body, have slacked on.

Oh I can bitch about my supplement delivery method all I want but until I take accountability for consuming enough fiber I am not doing my body–or my attitude–any favors.

I am just complaining.

That is not me.

I am a woman of action.

That is my truth…and I am grateful a support group leader posed the question so I could knock some sense back into myself.

Sure, it feels lame to count fiber grams but it is always better than feeling gross and bloated because my plumbing isn’t up to plumb.

Pity party over.

Time to get back to me.IMG_8209

 

 

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

 

 

The Day Matters

I can’t help it but it does.  As much as I have gone to decent lengths to not put too much stock in celebrating milestone days for whatever reason the day does matter.  At least right now it does.  Maybe in time I’ll barely bat an eyelash.  Hopefully.

Yesterday 10 May was the second month anniversary of the day I came home from the hospital.  I’m already adamant about not celebrating ‘surgiversary’ or ‘sleeveversary’ days because that puts all the power in the skill of the surgeon.  I also gained almost seven pounds in the hospital.

For me, the day I recognize is my first full day home from the hospital.  You know the day when asking for artificially sweetened, and flavored zero calorie gelatin food-like substance is not me “not sticking to my diet” as one of my nurses put it.  I’m still rolling my eyes over that one.  My throat hurt dammit.  Don’t start my journey telling me zero calorie not-fit-for-human-consumption foodstuff is me falling off the plan.  Okay, rant over.  The day I came home from the hospital there was no nanny telling me what I could and couldn’t do.  All decisions were mine to make and mine to own.  That’s the day of power.  One of the first, was to never resort to giggly zero calorie chemicals in a cup.  In truth, I made that decision long ago.

Anyway…

Let me just say the above rant is indicative of how my yesterday went.  Minus a smattering of swear words.

My body was not cooperating with the ‘celebration’ of the day.  Ten days ago I was so close to losing 40 pounds in two months it was, in the context of weight loss surgery, a slam dunk.

And then…

Last week blew up in my face…in all the best ways.

One of our home businesses has quadrupled in the last 45 days but last week was particularly busy.  I was all over the map, literally.  I personally drove over 400 miles and was a passenger for at least half as many.  And, I stuck to my plan thank you very much.

But, I didn’t hit the 40 pounds lost mark yesterday.

Hold up…If I was sticking to my plan, why didn’t the weight come off?

Well since you asked…

All three major veins in my left leg were damaged by an injury-induced blood clot in 2009.  Excessive sitting, especially driving, allows fluid to pool in my tissues which cranks the scale up.  To help dispatch the fluid my job is to move and take a prescription water pill.

Except…

When your life is that busy taking a pill that makes you pee three times in one hour is not exactly possible.  So I didn’t take it.

I worked hard.

I ate the right things.

I avoided the wrong things.

Hell, I even drank my water and wore my stupid compression socks.

And, I didn’t lose an ounce.

In fact, I think the highest my water gain climbed was 5.25 pounds.

Because of the fluid issue, I do weigh every day but I do not record the numbers.  It can be a mental minefield.  However, I do know it’s also the best thing for my body, my health.  Taking on too much water can be life-threatening.

Once all these very wonderful business moments settled down, I did take the pill.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough to time to eliminate all the water by yesterday morning.

So I missed the 40 pound mark by three miserable tenths of a pound, or a small fast food burger including the bun and condiments.

So I was a little grumpy yesterday…

No, I was a ranting, raving, almost screaming woman who did not pause to breathe for at least 30 minutes explaining all this to my very saintly, patient hubs.

And do you know what he said?

“Do you know what I’m not hearing….All the positives.”

Do you know if I didn’t think it would hurt so much I probably would have jumped out of our moving truck and walked back home?

Positives.  When I’m pissed off?  NOT HELPING ME AT ALL DUDE.

Of course, that’s a lie.

He was helping me.  I just didn’t want to hear it in that moment.  There’s a difference.

The truth is there’s nothing he could have said yesterday to soothe me.

I learned the day does matter to me.

I want to be able to set goals.  Meet them.  And celebrate.

It’s also only been two months so I’m not supposed to have everything figured out.  I’m supposed to be having moments where things aren’t working.  It’s part of the process.

So after we took care of business for the day which, by the way included me scoring another vendor contract with a local store, I came home and took the damned water pills.

As of this morning, I moved on to 40.5 pounds lost…in two months and one day.  I cannot say today feels so good as to erase yesterday but it does feel good.

A day matters.

The day matters.

So does finding balance and moving on…

“Eat Half A Quest Bar And Chill Out!”

My morning started in earnest at the bright, but cloudy, glorious, but not, 6:54 a.m. hour.  It had only been about 22 minutes since I swallowed my thyroid medication so eating breakfast would have to wait another 38 minutes.  So I swapped my cute coffee mug for my personal blender bottle and I was out the door in less than 10 minutes.

Where was I going at such an hour?

To help my hubster.

Honest to protein bar, he’s the only thing that can drag me out of the house at that time of day…and my surgery, of course.  We’re talking serious upper-level importance or I am content to slowly, very slowly, come to life.

After travel-izing my coffee, I grabbed what I thought was a Quest Bar, dropped it in my purse, and gingerly walked down the wet stairs to my car.  I was following his truck because after we were done he had to head to work and I had a pile of honey-dos.

Much to my dismay when the 38 minutes expired I rooted around in my purse for a few nibbles of breakfast.  My purse is evil as hell so the rooting meant unloading half of it looking for the bar.

No Quest Bar.

I may have sworn.  Okay, I did swear.

Instead of the lovely Banana Nut bar I had a non-high-quality-but-on-sale-for-50-cents-each Nature Valley protein bar.  I also had a Cappuccino Nectar single serve but I’d already slurped all my coffee and no water so that was out.

Tanya’s Rule One: ALWAYS have a variety of protein in your purse, camera bag, briefcase, tote or whatever just do not leave home without protein.  Period.

I only bought the 50-cent bars as an emergency stash and because they were on sale for 50-cents.  Hey, sometimes the budget wins.  As long as I balance my day like I’m supposed to one ‘cheap’ bar once in a while isn’t going to break the protein bank.  And they have decidedly less sodium than fast food and most convenience store offerings.  Plus they are so much easier to eat than trying to pick the meat out of fast food breakfast offerings at 75-mph.

I noshed half the bar while I was waiting for hubs to catch up with me.  I don’t know how I managed it but I beat him to our storage shed.  Maybe I was going a little faster than 75 miles per hour.  Whatever.  As soon as he pulled in behind me, I carefully folded the wrapper over the rest of the bar and stuck it back in the hellish purse while knowing I’d cuss again later when I couldn’t find it.  Seriously, my purse sucks.

Hubs only needed my help for an little over an hour but despite the unseasonably cool, wet air I had actual sweat running down my back.   Eww and TMI, I know, but I want you to really understand how I make this all work–juggling medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach, eating protein without resorting to junk, having a life, having good hair, and best of all being a true help-mate and companion to the most adorable man on Earth while still sneaking in time to do my own thangs like writing these notes to you.

As he slipped me $20 for gas to complete said honey-dos I had a choice:

Cool liquids or ‘real’ protein.

My sweat picked liquids.

At that point I was thirsty and as you probably know being thirsty after weight loss surgery is a sign you are already depleted.  Protein could wait until I made it home.  If it couldn’t, I always knew I could pull over to the side of the road to empty the purse from hell in search of the half-eaten bar.  But you and I both know that unless symptoms of hypoglycemia started coming on the contents of that most-hated handbag were safe.

Can I just pause to tell you how much I am in love with Bai antioxidant waters.  OMGOSH!!!  Clean, fresh, and no chemical sweeteners.  Plus the flavors are seriously worthy of YUM!!!  I grabbed the Brasilla Blueberry, filled the tank, stretched at the gas pump (Oh yes, I did and I didn’t give one single fig that the parking lot was full of construction workers ready to start their days), rolled all the windows down and sipped my way home.

From our storage shed to home is about 30 minutes.  As I was walking up the soggy steps, only a couple of ounces remained.  When they were slurped, I made my way down the hall to pick clothes for the day.

“Humm, business meeting with hubs later…a trip up the canyon to check on one of the stores…grocery shopping on the way home…wait, screw grocery shopping…there’s leftovers…I have nothing to wear…”

There are over 65 hangers on my side of the closet but I’m at that stage where my pre-surgery clothes are looking clown-ish and my small stash of smaller clothes aren’t quite right but getting righter by the day so that I was starting the “I have nothing to wear” tantrum tipped me off to one very important thing.

I. AM. HUNGRY!

Okay maybe ‘hungry’ in the wrong word but I definitely was past time to eat.

Honestly on the way to hangry and irrational.

I made three trips from my closet to the refrigerator, “Nothing to eat.”

That there is ‘nothing’ for me to eat is not quite as untrue as the ‘nothing’ to wear.  I need to shop but there is food.  Good food.

So I took a big deep breath and reminded myself my want to eat has passed and I’ve let myself get to the need to eat stage.  There’s a difference.

“Just eat half a Quest Bar and chill the hell out woman!”

Yes, I said it out loud.

Because, sometimes I have to get that tough on myself.  I have to hear it.

So I noshed the Banana Nut while I started this post to help me from chomping through it too fast.  Distraction is a necessary tool for me when I let myself reach this stage.  Otherwise I can plan on the next several hours dealing with a sad tummy.  Did I mention I have things to do today?  I do not have time for a sad tummy.

It doesn’t matter one single bit that I do not want to hold still and babysit my belly.

Or that the former me might decide to skip breakfast altogether in the name of “Stuff to do” even though the truth would be skipping meals is just a form of self-punishment or abuse, and can inspire disordered eating.

Today I have a sleeve.  Sleeves need food on a fairly predictable schedule.  They need high protein of good quality along with fiber and plenty of water.

Today I know I have to love my sleeve, myself and my body if I want to stay happy and healthy.

I ate the other half of the bar after I showered and while waiting for my trusty t-shirt to extract most of the water out of my curls before blowing them to smithereens since, thanks to my hangry moment, I was now out of time to let them dry naturally.

And then I was able to get to the rest of my day which included choosing to not have the most glorious sweet potato fries in the whole world when we stopped at one of my favorite cafes for lunch.

Sweet potato fries, no matter their glory, are actually worse than letting my day spiral to the point I have to ‘force’ to eat.  Glad I was not hangry because I might not be quite so rational.

And, this my friends is how you get through a real life post-op day.

Weight loss surgery success is all about navigating your life within the requirements of your new tummy.

Choices.  Always, always, always making your choices and holding yourself accountable for them.

So far days like these and making these choices have yielded weight loss totaling 35 pounds in seven weeks.

 

I Took My Life Back One Month Ago Today

In some ways, this first month has passed so slowly.  In other ways, it has flown by.

People have asked, “Has it been hard?”

Frankly, no.

Learning how to live again after consenting to have 90-percent of my stomach dissected and discarded–vertical sleeve gastrectomy–has been relatively easy.

But…

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.

 

33-Percent, Possibly?

Today I make another journey to Las Vegas to see my surgeon.  It’s my two-week post-op appointment.  It’s the last time I will see him until June.

Yesterday, however, I was a snarling, bitchy mess of a human being.  I was mean and angry when I’m rarely so.

Water weight.  Puffy fingers and ankles  and having to take Lasix coupled with feeling let down by my body will do it every time.  Hey, I’m human.  But, I do owe my hubs another apology.

I also weighed more than I did last week at my IV infusion appointment so I was dreading, dreading, dreading facing my surgeon.

“But, I’ve been being good,” I whimpered as I stepped off the scale.

Yes, I weigh daily because I can gain up to 20lbs of water in less than 24 hours without ‘feeling’ it.  Daily weigh-ins can be emotional but for me they are also an extremely necessary tool.

The scale revealed my body is still up to her same ol’ tricks.  My TSH is a wee bit high so wee bit that my doctor didn’t want to change medications just yet.  Umm, nope buddy. So on Wednesday he and I are going to have a meeting of the minds about how to move forward.  For my whack-a-doddle thyroid too much medication means water retention and snarling, bitchiness.  I’m convinced my body can only do one thing at a time.  Retain water OR lose weight.  I’m not going to spend the next three months battling…

But, I digress (I don’t want this to be a thyroid rant)…

So, I took the dammed-able Lasix like a good lil’ girl…Oh how I hate the stuff…the doc and I are going to work on that too and POOF the puffy disappears and a little weight loss is revealed.  And, yes I do believe it is actual weight loss because I also took my measurements over the weekend.  So far I have lost 9.5 inches.

When I put my weight into MyFitnessPal it gave me a little congratulatory message…

You Have Lost 24 Pounds

Wait?

What?

I’ve done what?

I honestly didn’t believe it so I pulled out my calculator and started doing the math myself.

Whoa….dude….(lots of stunned, hard blinking)!

Now since I do not have nor will I ever again have a goal weight, I let myself go back to this post which followed an appointment with an endocrinologist for some perspective.

If I use the calculations from that endocrinologist for an appropriate weight for me, then I am just slightly over 33-percent of the way to that weight.

33-PERCENT!!!!!!!!!

Since I don’t have a goal weight that percentage isn’t really real but I needed the shot of perspective.

But, I’m NOT about a number on the scale.  But, I am all about keeping my wits about me through this journey and yesterday I stunk it up big time in that regard.

Reaching 30-percent body fat, that’s my real goal.  Then my plan is to assess my body and health from there.  If I can whittle my body fat down while being fully, wholly, head-to-toe, inside-out healthy well then that would be awesome sauce.  If I can’t, then I will have more mental work to do either on my own or with a professional.  Losing myself in the numbers is simply not part of my plan.  It’s why I work extremely hard to make sure I’m keeping it as real as possible along the way.

Thanks to all these checks and balances I’ve set up for myself I can walk into my surgeon’s office with my head held high.

I could be 1/3 of the way to my vision of a healthy body and that is worth a smile or two.