Monday, October 14, 2013

Six Months Later: Feeling Groovy

Last Thursday (October 10th) was my 6-month surgiversary.  Six whole months have gone by since I was wheeled into that OR, and more than a year has passed since I started the whole process.  At my follow-up last week the doc told me I'm 8% ahead of the targeted loss they establish for most patients at this stage.  Cool.

I've lost 92 pounds and something like 70 inches.  I think. Actually...can anyone PLEASE explain the quantification parameters for lost inches?  Do I add up all the inches I've lost from all my body parts? Or is it an average of those numbers?  Or something else?  Whatever the case, I've lost a good third of the person I was.

I haven't posted one of these in a while; for some reason I opted not to pose for months four and five.  But here's the progression at six months for those who aren't squeamish about these things.

March 31             May 19              July 10             October 11
My arms need a LOT of work and I still have that goddamn extra chin and my wrists are still mutated from Prednisone, but it's nevertheless a VAST improvement over where I started.  And thankfully I have addressed the mess on my head in the very recent past and it no longer looks like that now.  It seems to have slowed down with the falling-out business, too, which is nice.  There's nothing pleasant about pulling clumps of hair out of your head.

Anyway.  Now that the weight loss has become apparent to many people and the comments and compliments are coming in, I find myself engaging in conversations about my decision and my journey with a lot of them.  Naturally people want to know how I have achieved the loss, and I'm just straightforward.  "I had surgery," I tell them.  I do so without a twinge of apology in my voice, without looking sheepish, without exuding any kind of shame over the statement, because, well...I'm not sorry, I'm not ashamed, and I don't care who thinks what about my decision.  I didn't make it for them.  And regrets?  I have zero.

I get a lot of questions, too.  I have had many people ask me, "How do you feel?" And my answer is that I feel great in general, but I also feel great about my decision to have VSG.  I feel like it was the best decision I've ever made for myself.  Has my life changed?  Yes.  It has.  Has the way I eat changed?  Indeed it has.  Do I have any unpleasant side effects?  Yes.  I'm not going to lie.  I lost a lot of hair.  I still throw up if I eat something that doesn't agree with me or I push the envelope and take a bite or two over my threshold.  I still have to remember to sip my drinks and not chug them.  Liquid introduced too quickly is a recipe for spew. If I skimp on my protein or vitamins, it catches up to me - and quickly.  I still have some bad days.  And I miss Pepsi.  Of all the things I had to stop consuming after this procedure, I think that's the only one that I truly miss and have actually tried to think of a work-around (they really ought to make Pepsi-flavored candy or gum or something).

But there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that I have experienced or been denied at this point that has EVER made me think for one second that I made a mistake.  My ex said something about the surgery being a bad thing because I'd have to give up bread.  I didn't have to give up bread.  I had to give up eating whole loaves of it in one sitting.  I had to give up thick slices slathered in butter and dredged in vodka sauce.  I can tolerate it in small, toasted quantities, but you know what?  I don't miss it enough to go through the hassle or the expense of buying a loaf I'm going to end up throwing most of away.  I can have crackers, I can have tortillas/wraps, and that satisfies my carb cravings.  Pasta hasn't gone over well, so I avoid it because my cross-addiction with bread was so strong I don't want pasta if I can't have a half a loaf of bread to go with it. I haven't even attempted pizza or donuts.  For a girl who used to eat an entire small pizza for dinner and follow it with three Paula's donuts for dessert, that's something.

So I can't have Pepsi, pizza, donuts, or bread.  But you know what I can have? Clothes that fit me. Pants that I can get into without a struggle.  Cute, non-queen-size tights that I don't stroke out trying to put on.  The confidence to walk through a grocery store without feeling judged.  I can walk into a clothing store and not immediately head to the Plus section.  I can shop in thrift stores and buy designer jeans for $2 because for the first time in YEARS I'm not limited to the three-foot section of picked-over plus sizes.  I went to the Goodwill last week with a Groupon voucher good for $30 worth of clothes and actually had to put some things back that I wanted.  Six months ago I never would have found $30 worth of stuff that even fit me.

I can bend over and pick things up off the floor without grabbing the wall for support or feeling like I might pass out.  I can hold yoga poses for longer than I could before.  I can lift more weight.  I can bend and stretch and twist and CROSS MY LEGS.  Oh my god, I can cross. my. legs.  I can get on the scale and not cry.  I still have 25 pounds to go to get to my goal, but at 25 pounds overweight I'm more "average" than I've been in a good long time. I can smile a little wider.  I can laugh a little louder.  All this because six months after Dr. C took 85% of my stomach out, he has helped give me my life back.  And that feels pretty damn amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Inches lost is the sum of all your measurements, making sure you've measured in the exact same places as before: waist, hips, upper arms, thighs.
    You look amazing!! You GO!! A lot of your personal victories are the same ones that I'm looking forward to in six months!