Well, it has been quite a while since I blogged. I just looked and first, I missed my “6 month surgiversary” on 1/7/15—totally passed and I didn’t even notice! Second, today is day 200 since surgery!
So, where am I? Well, I stalled for most of the second half of November, and a good deal of December too. The holidays weren’t exactly conducive to weight loss, but I didn’t really gain except to continue to fluctuate over the range of about 5 pounds. No-weigh November was a disaster. I got out of the habit of weighing, and realized, I really do need to weigh all the time, because I am that person who doesn’t notice they gained weight till it is like 40 pounds lol. I just don’t see or feel it—and maybe that will change when I am smaller—but given my history I doubt it. I gained 90 pounds in college in 3 months—and I knew I was gaining a little, but I had no idea it was that much. ZERO idea. I would have guessed maybe 20-30. How ridiculous is that? I gave in finally and weighed and found that I had fluctuated and was on the higher side of the fluctuation, and that was it—no weigh November was over. In January, I found that if I was super strict with calories (as I’m still not really exercising), then I would consistently lose. I did 600 cals or less one week and lost every day. But if I stopped that crazy strictness, I would maintain and slightly wobble between a few pounds above, and not lose. I know exercise would likely help, but knowing and getting myself to the doing are two very different things.
HW was 308 (highest known weight—I was actually heavier but never weighed, so this is the highest I know)
SW was 265 (my usual weight had been about 276 for a few years, but I lost a few pounds before surgery)
CW is 209.
I was wearing a 20/22 at surgery in suits. At my heaviest, I was wearing a 26 and it was getting REAL tight, so I was likely a 28. I’m now wearing a 16 suit skirt, and a 14 jacket. In dresses I’m wearing 14s and 16s.
That means, I’m a total of down 99 pounds from my highest recorded weight. From my usual weight, I’m down a total of 67 pounds. And from my surgery weight, I’m down a total of 56 pounds.
The 16 suit skirt that was SO tight when I got it is now comfortable. The 16 jacket now closes. The 14 jacket closed this weekend for the first time, but it is tight for sure.
My biggest regret is never measuring myself. I know that some days when I don’t lose, I still have lost inches and I have no way to measure it. If you are doing this–measure yourself. My mom wanted me to do it but I was too embarrassed, and I completely regret it.
I know I lost a few in the months before surgery (11 pounds—but this was actually that I lost 25, and regained 14, so I had kept 11 off by surgery date, as I was still “trying to lose it myself.”—which is funny because screw that bullshit—I’m still losing it myself!). People use tools to lose weight all the time—gym equipment, trainers, diet pills, crazy soup diets, and yet those tools are considered losing it yourself and the “hard” way—and are acceptable. Whereas, a tool like making my stomach smaller is somehow not considered a tool and is “easier.” People have no freaking idea. Lol.
I know it is only just over 6 months—but both the idea of 6 months and or 200 days since I began this journey is INSANE. Part of me can’t believe that much time has passed—and of course my first thought is have I lost enough weight for this much time? Is this enough? Am I behind? Am I doing ok? Am I failing? Then there is a part of me that is like, wow, look at how different I look and feel as compared to then. It is crazy. I’m a different “shape.” I was always SUCH an “apple” shape. My body is literally an apple on two sticks. Always has been. Which, is the hardest, because of all the shapes one could be, an apple, a pear, hourglass—the apple is not only the worst looking, but you look the heaviest always, and it is supposedly the worst health wise for you. Whatever weight I was, I always would look and appear heavier than someone who was the same weight but who was a pear shape. I guess because having that weight around your upper half, around your face, and chest, where people see when they look right at you at first, gives the appearance of being bigger, than say having a larger hip and butt area or bigger thighs. Further, having the larger butt and hips and thighs also is more associated with being “curvy,” whereas back fat, huge boobs (while still appreciated LOL), and a thick round middle is never considered much else besides “fat.”
But now, I’m a different shape. I’ve lost, surprisingly, a lot on the top area, and it seems like my body wants to keep that middle section dual belly rolls at all costs, because it seems to redistribute my weight down there often. The past week I’ve noticed my thighs look heavier than before, but my top shoulder area, boobs, and especially my waist is way thinner. I’ve also noticed my butt seems more round and less flat than before. I’ve always been cursed with a flat butt (I call it my Teflon ass) because skinny jeans and pants just slide right off lol. No butt to hold it up. LOL. Could it be that I am transforming into a pear? That would be something surprising.
I was at work the other day, and I was comparing myself to some other ladies who are on the heavy side. I asked this guy I work with, who is gay and always comments on my outfits and look, and I asked him, do I still look like that? He said, girllllll, NO. You are in a different category now. It was a moment of vindication–FINALLY–I’m not that anymore. I’ve waited and struggled so long and so hard to be out of that category. I feel almost normal weight now–like still “thick” but more like the chubby girl instead of the HUGE girl. I’ve talked about it and now I’m the thick, curvy girl, instead of the BBW. Those are three letters I so never want to say about myself ever again. BBW bye bye.
But the best part about that last paragraph is about my waist. I FOUND A WAIST. I used to be so rounded, so apple, that my middle, even where I had a bit of a waist, was still so thick, it wasn’t noticeable. Now, I see a waist. I see a more shapely, more hourglass figure emerging and it is crazy exciting. I don’t hate every single picture of me anymore. Even candid photos, sure some aren’t the best, but even the worst ones aren’t THAT bad, and I’m always still surprised at how I look. I never got used to how I looked even at my heaviest. I always saw myself as me, I guess how I looked most of my younger life until college when I gained all this weight (and thereafter kept gaining, losing, and re-gaining). I remember so many times being surprised at photos or the mirror, or if I caught a glimpse of myself in a passing reflection—I was also so surprised that I looked THAT big or THAT fat. Like, I knew I was heavy, overweight, BBW, fat—whatever you want to call it, but in my mind I was never THAT big. I guess the eyes and the mind –even in my mirror—sees what it wants to see sometimes.
Now, I still sometimes see what isn’t there. Some days I see so much fat. I see hardly a change. And yet at the same time, I see a huge change. It is a very weird dichotomy, but it totally exists.
So, 200 days out. I’ve had time to get used to this lifestyle. To accept it, to struggle, to rage against it, to test its limits, to resign myself to it, to love it, to hate it, and everything in between. I’m sure my feelings will continue to grow. It was a huge decision. This isn’t like a diet where you can take a day off. Sure you can eat bad things, but there is always a very small window of it. The stomach is still small. Even soft things that I can eat more of than expected, still isn’t what it was before.
While my greedy stomach-brain and my eating disorder brain and my addiction brain secretly wishes I could still eat the whole plate and have a huge delicious feast, the rational part of my brain—the part that made me do this because I knew it HAD to be done—that part of me prays and hopes that it never stretches, and that I am restricted for life. It is hard. It is. Don’t let anyone tell you that this struggle isn’t real, or that it is the easy way out. It certainly is not. It still requires self control, it still requires making good healthy choices, it still requires limiting myself—because the reality is that I can wait 30 minutes and eat again if I wanted to because the stomach seems to empty quickly now. I could eat soft foods that seem to slide through and not fill me much like pasta all day. I don’t like ice cream, but I can see how some people can have WLS and either not lose weight or gain it back. It is very much a tangible reality.
I have to accept this as a tool. It isn’t a fix, it isn’t a cure, it is a tool. A tool to help the physical part of eating meals. I have to force myself to avoid snacking, avoid extra meals, or going back after 30 minutes for a bit more. I have to try to stick to three tiny meals, and somehow (still failing on this part) get my butt to exercise more. They may have “fixed” my stomach, but they didn’t “fix” my brain. This is what people don’t realize.
I can completely see how people who have had WLS don’t lose or regain the weight. It really isn’t that hard. Like everything else in life, we learn how things—in this case—the modified stomach—works, and learn ways to sabotage it, to work around it, and to trick it. The hard part is having the willpower, the strength, and the perseverance to not do those things. It is a hard, HARD road, and in the end, it all still comes back to the mental element. An eating disorder, a food addiction, isn’t about your stomach, it is about your brain.
I do find blogging helps me work out my feelings more, and release the stress of it, so I’m going to try to get back into blogging and writing about it. If you’re considering surgery, or had it, I’d suggest doing it. Even if you keep it private and don’t blog about it, I think writing about it, and just letting it all out—saying whatever you’re feeling with, is so helpful. I also am amazed when I go look back at the journey from the beginning. It is amazing to see the changes, the emotions, the rollercoaster—and how much I’ve changed, grown, and will therefore, still continue to change, emerge, and grow. I hope! (and grow smaller physically LOL).
People have asked me how if I feel “better.” They mean physically. The answer is no. I still feel the same. I still feel like me. I was lucky that I didn’t have huge issues with breathing, getting out of breath doing basic tasks, or stuff like that—I wasn’t at that point yet. So, I still feel the same. But where I do feel a difference is in doing things. Like when I was in Florida, I remember walking back and forth from the beach to the concession stand area and it was a hike. In the past, I know I would have had my ex-husband do it, and it would have been hard for me. A struggle. Now, it felt like a little walk, no big deal. And that, IS a big deal.
I am going to try on the size 14 suit skirt tonight. Fingers crossed!
PS I use Instagram for WLS support. If you are interested, it is a great way to get ideas for meals, encouragement, and support (except for the few drama queens and crazies—but every group has those). I wanted a support system, but didn’t feel comfortable going to a real support group in person, and this thing has been helpful. I even organized a local meet and greet which was awesome. If you want to do it too, just put in your name and or profile your surgery or something that lets others know you had/are having WLS because most of us screen for WLS people. I do. My name there is AttractiveNuisance_VSG.