I sit here nervous but confident. It’s strange to feel both emotions at the same time but it’s the only way I can explain my current mood. Let’s start with the basics. I’m 27 years old and 415 pounds. Those stats are staggering. Somehow I manage to hold a full time job and semi-exist. The first 26 years of my life dealing with obesity wasn’t too bad but my body has been changing this year. During the last month to month and a half my back is constantly hurting. I can’t remember a time that I had a day without pain. I’m having trouble doing basic things like walk to my car.
Why don’t you just change your diet and exersize more?
That’s the first thing people ask or think when they find out you’re doing something as extreme as SURGERY to lose weight. They automatically assume that this is a “quick fix” or “the easy way out”. I’m here to tell you I did not come to this decision easily and it was not because this was “easy”. No matter how you slice it, loosing 270+ pounds is not an easy task. Trust me, I have tried everything. I’ve been a Weight Watchers member probably 20 or more times since I was 14. I didn’t suddenly decide yesterday that I was going to do something about my weight. I can usually loose around 30-40 pounds before my body decides to stop and I loose my motivation.
Truth be told, I’m an addict. My drug of choice isn’t a drug or alochol, my drug of choice is food. I stuff my feelings through my stomach. When I’m happy I eat. When I’m sad I eat. When I’m anxious I eat. When I wake up the first thought I have is what I’m going to eat and that continues until I go to bed. Food controls me. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as “just stop eating” because HELLO you need to eat to survive.
My orientation for WLS is Friday, March 13th 2015. I believe strongly that this will be the beginning of the best decision I will ever make. Weight Loss Surgery is going to save my life.
It’s crazy to say that it has been 5 months since I walked into the orientation class at Kaiser Richmond. I haven’t blogged anything since April 16th so I’ll do my best to get my blog up to date. Let’s start with the fun stuff: I had RNY on 6/1/15. Since starting this journey 5 months ago I am down 129 pounds! My weight officially has a 2 in front of it and I still can hardly believe that. I hadn’t been in the 2s since middle school! Its still hard to believe that I’m 2.5 months post op!
Surgery: I weighed in the morning of surgery down 83 pounds! Those 83 pounds melted off me in 2.5 months. On the morning of surgery I was TERRIFIED. Every single emotion ran through my head. I had to take an Ativan the morning of to make sure my anxiety didn’t get the best of me. I did pass out when they put the IV in but I’m came back to quickly and I was fine. I was supposed to go into surgery at 1:00 and didn’t make it back there until 3:30. Every single staff member at Kaiser Richmond was beyond incredible. They were patient, loving and understanding. I walked into the OR to the loving and friendly faces of my surgical team. Doctor Baggs is the shit! I vaguely remember talking to the anesthesiologist and before I knew it I was waking up in recovery. I was wheeled to my room and quickly met with the faces of the ones I love: my mom, dad and husband. Also, my roommate is a dear friend that I’ve known for 5 years! I realized very quickly that I wasn’t in pain. I expected to be DYING in pain but I wasn’t… in fact although I was a little uncomfortable, my pain level never went over a 4. I was walking 20 minutes after being moved to my room. My roommate Ellen and I walked the halls all night long and we stayed up laughing and talking. It felt just like high school lol.
The next morning the nurse came in and told me to call my ride because I was ready to go. I was anxious to start my new life but also scared about being left to my own devices. Dad picked me up around 11 and I held a pillow to my stomach for the ride home. Once home I was EXHAUSTED. I got a quick visit from Emma and then took my Vicodin and went to bed. The next few days consisted of the same routine… sleep as late as I can, wake up take my meds and relax as long as possible. I went for walks around the apartments a LOT but also listened to my body when it said to rest. By the 4th day I was done with the Vicodin and because my boss got sick, I was back to work on the 10th day. I felt awesome.
2.5 months later I’m full of energy and totally used to my 1/4 cup of food. I don’t crave anything (except pizza) and I’m living… actually living. Right now my diet consists of turkey, chicken and cheese. In about 3 weeks I’ll get to progress to red meats which I can’t wait for! I’m loosing hair every day but I seem to be the only one that notices. I take my vitamins fairly religiously although I do miss a dose here and there. I’m wearing size 20 pants (I started in 30-32) and 1X-2X shirts (I started in 5X). It’s hard to believe that I have come so far in such a little amount of time but it’s also so reassuring to know that I’m not done yet! I keep asking myself: If I feel so amazing now, how much more amazing will I feel in 100 pounds? 140 pounds? I can NOT wait!
1. Shopping at a regular store instead of online or Lane Bryant
2. Being able to fit on a rollercoaster! After that happens, look out Six Flags and Great America!
3. To become a mom.
4. Chairs with arms. I currently avoid them because they hurt my hips.
5. Booths at restaurants.
6. turnstyles!!!!! I hate them now and don’t ever use them.
7. walking. Something we take for granted but it’s not easy when you’re carrying so much weight.
8. Fear of diabetes. I’ve lived my entire adult life knowing that I am one blood test away from finding out that I have diabetes. I’m excited that this will no longer be a concern.
9. Everytime I use a public restroom I go straight for the handicap stall because it’s bigger.
10. Fitting comfortably in my car. I drive a Hyundai Accent and have to put the seat way back so I fit.
11. Flying in an airplane! I always fear that they’re going to make me buy 2 seats.
12. Waterslides! I’ve always wanted to go down a waterslide but I never want to walk up the stairs and I’m always afraid I exceed the weight limit.
13. Wide width shoes. I’m so sick and tired of only having limited options because I always have to buy wide width shoes.
14. Picture angles. I always try to adjus the angle of the camera so you don’t see my double chin.
15. Hiding in pictures. If there are small children nearby, I will ALWAYS make them stand in front of me.
16. Wearing a swimsuit. Yeah, I wear them now but I’m always shameful of my body.
17. Sleeping positions. Currently I have to prop myself up and surround myself with pillows.
18. Tying my own shoes.
19. The way I excersize. I want to do some classes but I’m always too embarassed.
20. My overall energy level.
21. Walking in tight spaces.
22. Bracelets! I can NEVER buy a bracelet from a regular store.
23. Necklaces. Same as above.
24. Touch my toes.
25. Pick up my nephews and nieces without any trouble
26. Sitting in the regular seats at ATT park. Currently I only sit in the bleachers or arcade.
27. Swinging my arms when I walk. This is something that drives me CRAZY.
28. No more buffets.
29. To be able to cross my legs! I’ve never done it.
30. To ride a bicycle.
31. To wear boots!
32. Go zip lining
33. Go running!
34. Do a 5K (color run)
35. To wipe better. I know that’s gross but I’m trying to be honest with myself.
36. Yoga. I’ve always wanted to try yoga.
37. Wii Fit board. It’s always driven me crazy that I’ve wanted to use Wii fit but the board has a maximum weight limit of 250 pounds.
38. Not worry about weight limits on anything.
39. Buy a normal camping chair. I always have limited options because I have to buy the ones with huge weight limits.
40. Airplane bathroom. I would always avoid it because I didn’t fit.
41. Won’t be worried about finding a close parking spot.
42. Won’t think everyone is laughing at me. I currently think anytime I walk into a room and people are laughing, they must be laughing at me.
43. See my cheekbones. Assuming I have some…. I’ve never seen them.
44. Go rowing.
45. Go in a kayak.
46. Go innertubing at our annual Collins Lake trip.
47. Won’t avoid the outdoors in the summer.
48. Go hiking! I’ve always wanted to escape into a mountain for a while.
49. Walk in the sand at the beach without feeling like I’m going to die.
50. Wear heels.
51. Above the knee skirts
52. Wear shorts!
53. No seatbelt extension on a plane
54. Chase Emma around.
55. See Emma graduate.
57. Better sex… again, sorry for TMI.
58. Shop @ Victoria Secret. And not just for purfume 😉
59. To wear CUTE Giant’s gear!
60. To climb stairs. I currently avoid them like the plague.
61. Heavy breathing. I’m always super concious about how heavy my breathing is.
62. To not have to buy a scale that goes up to 400 pounds.
63. Paint my toes!
65. Not hide at home because I don’t want people to see how big I am.
66. Not think people ar elying when they say I’m pretty or I look nice.
67. Love myself
68. knee highs
69. Enjoy the summer heat
70. TO LIVE LONGER!
A couple years ago I started a scrapbook of major life events for my sister. She’s 21 years younger than I am and I was afraid that once I was gone she would forget how fun her childhood was so I’ve decided to put it all together in books for her. That has been my thinking up to this point…. that I will not be able to be there for my sister because my food addiction will kill me. I’ve been catching up on a few pages in her book over the last few days and I’m realizing that despite my size, we have done a lot of things! I’m also realizing that I have signicantly slowed down over the last year. I’m ready to get back to being the happy go lucky person I was a year ago. I’m ready to be even more than that. I’m ready to chase after her which is something I’ve never been able to do. I’m ready to be able to chase after my own children. I’m ready for a new life.
For many years I have sworn that I wouldn’t turn to Bariatric surgery for weight loss. I’m not 100% sure why I was so passionate other than I think it boils down to being afraid and masking that by have a strong opinion against it. Now that I’m finally realizing that I am not going to loose over 270 pounds on my own and I need a tool to make this happen once and for all, I have started coming out to friends and family slowly. It started with my dad because he’s going to be one of the only people that understands what I’m going through as I go down this rabbit hole. I had breakfast with my bestie since 3rd grade and spilled the beans to her. I was nervous how she would react but I got nothing but support from her. She too has struggled with weight her whole life and understands why I need to do this. The list of supportive people goes on and on from my awesome cousins to my incredible friends to my loving and supportive aunt and uncle. I was most nervous to tell my mom partially because she’s not a huge fan of the surgery and partially because I didn’t want to be talked out of it now that I had made my mind up. My mom’s reaction left me pleasantly surprised. She was supportive and cautious but not negative. I’m learning through this process that I have more people that care about me than I realize and more people who want me to succeed than I ever imagined. I guess sometimes in life we get so wrapped up in the day to day that we forget that there are people that care. It’s heartwarming and nerve wrecking because I don’t want to let any of them down…. they believe in me. More than anything I don’t want to let myself down. I can do this and I will do this. I can’t wait to figure out who I am throughout this journey.