Umm … oops? :)

Wow, haven’t updated in a LONG damn time, have I? 

I don’t know if it’s good, bad, or just “is” but I keep being too busy to post!

I am presently weighing in at 191.4. Cannot get into the 180’s yet, but it’s coming, so I’m not worrying about it. Only about 50 pounds to go to hit my goal and that’s not taking the excess skin into account. They tell me I’m about 30-40 pounds lighter than the scale reflects if you remove all that. I just don’t think I want to have it removed. (Unless someone knows of some miracle tighten-stuff-up procedure that doesn’t require surgery!)

I got a couple of photos in the mail today from my surgeon’s office — their official “before” and “after” pics — and OMG. I had never seen the “before” picture before. It’s horrid. I was in a wheelchair because I could barely stand at that point, and I was on supplemental oxygen, but I took it off for the photo & tried to smile. The left photo was taken less than a month before my surgery, the right photo was just over a year after my surgery. Check this out:

click on the photo to enlarge it to full screen & use your back button to return to this page!

Not even sure I want to post it, the wheelchair photo is so hideous. But look at what a difference! THIS is what VSG surgery can do for you. In my case, in a year. Your mileage may vary, but I’ve gone from a wheelchair and supplemental oxygen ’round the clock, to living life again. I no longer have a death sentence hanging over my head!

It *finally* happened!

For now, anyhow!

I know it’s just a number. I know that the number changes every single day, bouncing around up and down and back and forth … but every time I hit one of my mini-goals, I feel good all over again. Today’s mini-goal is actually one of the milestones and I don’t just feel “good” right now, I feel effin’ fantastic!

See, when my health went to hell and the scale started climbing as the water kept building up in my system, I topped out at a known high of 412.  I could barely move. I was on supplemental oxygen and I had already been warned that if something wasn’t done to get me off the medication that was both saving my life and killing me, I was going to die. That’s some scary shit. So … they told me the quickest way to get off the medication was to lose a lot of weight. A LOT of weight. Bariatric surgery was about my only option. The cardio guy told me that the surgery might kill me. But without it, I was dead anyhow, so why not at least go down fighting?

So I decided to go for it.

And I knew that even with surgery to help me, this was going to be a battle. I knew from a lifetime of experience that losing any significant amount of weight and keeping it off was all but impossible for me. I couldn’t blame myself for the last 170 or so pounds of my weight because that really truly was caused by the medications. The other 100 extra pounds I was toting around was all my doing though.

So fast forward past all the delays and hoops and I had my surgery on July 5, 2011. My first mini-goal was to get under 400 and I managed to do that before surgery — went into surgery at 385.9 — and my next goal of note was to get below 300. I had other goals in between there, but “under 300″ was a milestone goal.

Then I wanted to get back to the 212-225 range that I normally stayed in before all this happened and my weight went skyrocketing ever higher.  Again, there were lots of mini-goals in between there and 300, but that was my next big milestone goal.  The next one beneath that was just to cut my weight in half — hit 206 — and then immediately afterward was the milestone which was to have lost more than I currently weighed– that is, lose 207+ and weigh -205 so the numbers were reversed finally!

Once I hit that, like a true woman who is never happy with anything, I was already on to the next milestone goal, which was get below 200 freaking pounds. I have been hovering just above 200 for weeks now. I kept bouncing back and forth between 200.1 and 203.6 for about the last six weeks and it was driving me crazy.

Well no more.

I have finally hit another milestone goal!

I now weigh …

Finally below the dreaded 200!

So now I am off to the next mini-goal: below 190. The next milestone will be 175.

After that, I don’t know what’s next really. My ultimate goal is still 140, so I guess my next milestone would be 150.  But I don’t know for sure where I’m going to settle in at. Will it be below 140? Will it be above? I just don’t know. Everyone tells me that your body kind of finds a point where it’s happy and it sticks within a few pounds of that under normal circumstances. They tell me my body will settle in at something and that’s going to be the easiest area to keep my weight stable. But I don’t know what that is! I had half started wondering if I was never going to get below 200, if maybe my sweet-spot was going to be right at 200.  (And the little voice that tries to sabotage me is saying “who knows it may STILL continue to hover right here, you may never even see that 190″ — and the little voice is also trying to convince me that although I know I’d be settling for it, I would mostly be okay with it.) 

I know that when I weighed 160 I was wearing a size 10 or 12 and I felt really really good. Of course that was back in 1985! Who knows what 160 will be now? Sizes have changed, plus I’ve got at least 30 pounds of excess skin hanging on me right now (which I really do not want to have removed unless I just have to. I can live with it!) and I know that will be a consideration.  Also, do I still go for 140 when 30+ pounds are excess skin?  Or do I shoot for 170 because then if the skin was removed I’d be at or below goal?

Too much to think about right now!  All I know is I have now lost 213 pounds, I have only 59.6 pounds to go to reach my goal (or less if that excess skin shouldn’t be counted!) and my BMI has dropped from 68.6 to 33.2.  And I’m approaching 100 inches lost so far. And all of it in a year and 12 days. You can’t hardly beat that, can you?

Well, I had my meltdown

Had half-convinced myself I wasn’t gonna do it this year.

Hah! So this morning about 10:00 I had my annual July 10 meltdown. Interestingly — oddly? — I cried first for Mom and how much I missed her. It was while in the midst of crying for her, I realized the date and began crying as well for Sam. And interestingly as well, I began crying for my Grandma and my Great-Grandma (who died the year I was born, and I never laid eyes on her) too.

What a melancholy way to start the day!

Strangely though, instead of feeling drained and saddened, I feel rejuvenated and cleansed. Ready to tackle the world almost.

I’m okay. Despite it being 13 years to the day since Sam died. Despite it being 5 years and 7 months since Mom died. Despite having just quit my job after 13 years. Despite not having my health back entirely. Despite despite despite … because you know what? It’s a whole new world out there and I’m alive to see it!

In other news, I am still hovering at just above 200 pounds. I don’t know if I’ll ever bust this plateau and get below 200!  Life = Good.

I’m gonna be okay with this …

I really am

When I decided to have weight loss surgery, it was a matter of necessity more than choice. Being told “okay, the only thing that will save your life is this medication, but giving you this  medication is probably going to kill you, so you need to take it and we need to get you off it as quick as possible and the only way to do that is thru bariatric surgery” makes it not so much a choice as a “let’s get it over with.”  I had done some research on it, and my BFF had literally just had it the year before, so I knew what I was getting into but I didn’t really feel that I had any alternative, which makes a difference I think.

If I’d chosen the surgery “just” for weight loss purposes, I’d have been mentally preparing myself and really thinking it thru.  In fact, to be honest, I had actually started thinking about WLS a few years before that, but I kept changing my mind. I couldn’t see doing it “just to lose weight” and although I wanted to lose weight, I didn’t want to lose it enough to have surgery for it. I was just fine and dandy weighing 210-250 and it honestly didn’t impact my life much at all, so there was no motivation.

Being told “you’re gonna die and this is literally your only chance to not die” is some hellacious motivation.

Anyhow … back to the point.

My daughter and I recently attended the annual Quest Center picnic where I was confronted with tables full of delicious foods.  I wondered if I would find it hard to be around so much good food and not be able to eat much of it. I find at home that the pleasure I gain from cooking is not impaired and the little tastes while cooking along with my little bit that I do eat all balances out … It doesn’t bother me to spend hours cooking it to only eat a few bites.  But this was the first time I had been to something like this since my surgery. I was afraid I would be all depressed or would sit there and eat too much and get sick … Or that I would make bad choices and tear myself up … I took what I wanted and ate about 2/3 of it.

And I only took one questionable thing – someone brought some small vegetable egg rolls and I said to hell with it and took one. After I started getting my signals that I was about done I took a bite of the egg roll to finish the meal and I wound up eating most of the filling. Didn’t even want dessert … Didn’t even feel like I should want it because I really was satisfied … I didn’t even feel envy watching others eat! I enjoyed watching them enjoy their food without wishing I could. It was so weird and so nice … eloquence eludes me, but this was a major epiphany for me to realize this! I was such a complete and total food addict that finding myself being closer to “normal” is really shocking to me. And experiencing things like being satisfied with a reasonable amount of food — and all or most of it being a good choice to boot! — is really surprising too.

Its hard to explain but on that day, I realized I am going to be okay with my new lifestyle. Now, I’m not just okay with my surgery, I’m glad I had that “choice” forced upon me.