WOW what a difference a year makes!!!
I started this crazy journey at the end of Thanksgiving 2014, I started my preop liquid diet 2 weeks prior to Feb 3, 2014. I remember having a “food funeral” what many in the bariatric world call gorging yourself on the foods that you think you won’t be able to eat after surgery. I didn’t know any better, so I had a food funeral. Ironically, I didn’t gain an ounce because right after the food funeral I started a 2 week liquid diet. So I suffered no ill consequences of said food funeral. Plus when you weigh over 300 lbs and your purpose for living (or so it seems) is food, you’ll take any chance to get that one last taste in.
Looking back now, I realize that I masked my utter fear of surgery up with the “food funeral”, but that’s another post for another day.
So my surgeriversary, as it’s called in the bariatric world, is today.
I can’t even believe it’s been a year, CRAZY!!! It’s been an insanely awesome difficult and fun year. I started this process in Nov. 2014 weighing 315 when I walked into my bariatric surgeon’s office and 297, after a 2 week liquid diet, on the day of surgery. I count my weight loss from 315 because I figure when the liquid diet started pre-surgery, my life changed for the better.
I was terrified but ready.
So you can imagine my utter fear when I realized on the MORNING of surgery, I hadn’t told my surgeon I had been on antibiotics for a cold. Thankfully, she went ahead with the surgery anyway. But talk about fear that the surgery wouldn’t happen.
My recovery was difficult, I ended up in the ICU for 9 days due to a bleeding issue. Again, my surgeon should have stopped the Omega 3 med. I had been taking forever PRIOR to surgery. She didn’t catch it and I almost bled out on the table.
So when I was finally able to come home, not only was a bruised (oh did I mention I had to go right back into surgery once I came out because the original surgery caused a hematom)a. So when I came home, I was black and blue and looked like I had been through world war two, but I didn’t care because I knew this was my chance to be healthy.
Health has always been my primary goal in going through with bariatric surgery. One year later, it has been the driving force that has shaped my eagerness toward getting healthy. Since I started at 297 (day of surgery weight), my loss has been slower than say someone’s day of surgery weight at 350 etc. One of the hardest first lessons I learned is how this is MY journey and my body will do its own thing. There is NOT a clear black and white pattern to weight loss success with bariatric surgery. This was probably the hardest lesson I’ve learned and one year later, it’s difficult in a different way.
One year later I’m down 101 lbs, which still astounds me greatly. I sometimes hop on the scale just because I can’t believe I’ve lost that much!! My end goal is to lose 158lbs and be completely off BP meds. If I continue to lose at a rate of 8.5lbs a month, I’ll get to my end goal weight sometime in Aug./ Sept. But more importantly I’ve put in atleast 100lbs of mental work through counseling. This has by far been the most difficult but rewarding part of this whole journey.
The bottom line of what I’ve learned through this last year is that your body is unique to YOU…..so gather all the information you can and then start to experiment with yourself. Keep the things that work and toss the things that don’t. Weight loss is NOT a sprint, it’s a long drawn out marathon. There is no deadline for when you should be at your goal weight and if someone tries to tell you there is tell them to take a flying leap. Yes the bariatric world will put TONS of pressure on you to get the weight off by your 1 year surgeriversary, but why? Why is 12 months the magical solution? I would say that IF you’ve adopted healthy habits in that first year, You WILL get to your goal weight and chances are good sustain the loss because you have a healthy respect for food, exercise and your body.
So what I’ve learned in my first year is that this is a lifelong commitment for me to achieve HEALTH……bottom line, I want to live a long healthy life. My definition of health has changed dramatically through this first year. It’s gone from a number on the scale to how I feel and how I feel about myself. So in the end this journey has been priceless for me and I wouldn’t change it for the world!!