Today is my one year surgiversary.
Exactly 12 months ago, I was laying in my hospital bed, feeling drowzy, and trying to remember to sip my water. I felt fine.
Here are my results thus far:
January 1, 2003:
Weight = 425 pounds (BMI 70.7)
Consult Day in November 2007:
Weight = 316 pounds (BMI 52.6)
===> down 109 pounds and 76.25" from 2003
Surgery Day in January 2008:
Weight = 290.2 pounds (BMI 48.3)
===> down 134.8 pounds and 78.75" from 2003
===> down 25.8 pounds and 2.50" from consult day
6 Month Surgiversary July 2008:
Weight = 227.8 pounds (BMI 37.9)
===> down 197.2 pounds and 134.75" from 2003
===> down 88.2 pounds and 58.50" from consult day
===> down 62.4 pounds and 56.00" from surgery day
12 Month Surgiversary January 2009:
Weight = 195.2 pounds (BMI 32.5)
===> down 229.8 pounds and 168.00" from 2003
===> down 120.8 pounds and 91.75" from consult day
===> down 62.4 pounds and 89.25" from surgery day
===> down 32.6 pounds and 33.25" from 6 month surgiversay
The other day, someone posted a link on the RNY board about taking a home body fat test. It was easy to do with my book of self-measurements in hand. According to this test, I have 35.5% body fat - or 69 pounds of fat. Lovely. But still - a cool thing to know. I should be around 22% of body fat. Still a ways to go!
It feels much better to be simply obese rather than super mobidly obese. Hard to think of those days - although my body image is still as if I was super mobidly obese. This past November, I had to be in hospital. I cringed each time they asked me to get up on stretchers, or beds, or into chairs or wheel chairs. They had to transport me from one hospital to another at one point, and they wanted me to get into a wheel chair. I told them that I wouldn't fit as it wasn't a bariatric chair. They told me to try it. I turned scarlet, shook my head, and had a go - all ready to be horrified when my big butt and hips would get stuck on the sides of the wheel chair. Of course all the people around me were mostly young men - my dreaded enemies all my life. I was just about ready to cry, knowing that I wouldn't fit, when I slipped right into the chair with no problem. I could NOT believe it. I kept looking around, waiting for the arm to fall off or something - sure that the thing was broken and I'd collapse on the ground. Well, it was fine. No problem at all. That was a real eye opener. I find myself at least trying chairs now. So far, none have collapsed or been too small. I get a little more confident each time. I wonder if we ever lose that fear? I sure hope so. Thinner people just don't realize all the extra baggage that fat folk carry around - beyond the obvious weight!
NUTRITION / EXERCISE / GENETICS
I was initially losing around 10 pounds a month. That has changed to about 5 pounds a month over the past six months. I know this is because I am eating more calories a day now. But, as long as the scale continues going down I will be happy. I am
starting to worry a little that my weight loss window is closing ... but I can't focus on that. If I can walk again, without a walker, I will be extremely happy.
The weight loss surgery and the resulting weight loss has allowed me to have my knee joint replacement surgery. My first one was on November 3/08 and my next knee is scheduled for Feb 17/09. To have these surgeries and the rehabilitation behind me will finally allow me to go out and walk or do more physical workouts. I trust that the pounds will continue to drop once I get more physical. I have always thought that exercise was an important component of this journey - and have great frustration at my inability to participate in the usual cardio or key strength training routines because of my joint problems. I was stunned to learn recently that exercise is only 20% of the impact of a person's ability to lose weight. 10% is genetics and 70%
is nutrition. !!! Did you ever know it was that high? I surely didn't.
The impact of edema/water weight is not to be taken lightly. I have struggled with edema in my lower limbs for the past several years. For the first month after my WLS, I actually didn't show any real weight loss (pount four pounds - i.e. - not even a pound!) because of weight gain from the edema. I was put on HCTZ and told to get compression hose. After this last knee surgery, once I arrived home from the rehabilitation centre, the edema started acting up again as I was off HCTZ and couldn't wear the compression hose. I gained about 14 pounds in around 10 days. Once I got the ok to go back on the HCTZ and wear the hose, I've gone back down the 14 pounds. Hopefully, this will continue. I had hoped to show a bit more of a loss this month. Instead, it is only coming in at under a pound. This darn edema is so tricky. It's hard to tell if I was really bad over Christmas and New Years or is it still the edema impacting the weight loss. Although I did have a couple of things I shouldn't have had, it doesn't account for not going down a few more pounds this month. Ahhh well. I should know by next month how much more edema there is to get rid of!
I've been very routine about my blood work. My initial results are back on the last 6 tubes of blood taken for my 1 year anniversary. Everything looks great - finally. My iron levels are now in the normal range after being out of sorts for months. My b-vitamin levels look just fine too. While in the hospital, I was having problems with potassium levels - but that was straightened out after a week or so of them monitoring and adjusting medications.
My skin is saggy and wrinkly in most areas. I was a pear-shaped woman - so my hips and thighs are bad - really bad. If I am ever lucky enough to be able to afford plastics, I'm going to need a thigh lift, a fleur-de-lys, brachioplasty and some help with my breasts. The girls aren't too, too bad - they fit in a bra fine but are so wrinkled I am embarassed to lean over. I look down and it looks like the body of an 80+ year old woman is down there. I am happy to be healthier - but man, that skin is sad to look at. I wonder if they are able to use it for anything once they remove the skin. It would be nice if it would help a burn victim or something ... but then I wonder, who on earth would want to have wrinkly, stretched skin like that? I saw a medical show the other day. A woman after MWL (massive wight loss) had 15 pounds of skin removed. Gadzukes! They had it in a bright pink garbage bag, sitting on the scale. It was impressive.
I have a lot of wispy hair now that is a couple of inches long. Kind of like an aura around my head. I had a freak out in July or so with the hair loss. Overall, I'd say I lost about 1/2 to 2/3 of my total hair volume. I never took biotin as an extra supplement as I already had issues with excess body hair in places I didn't want it. Although taking the biotin supplement would have assisted with the hair and nail growth it wasn't worth it to me if my facial hair ended up worse! I started using the nioxin hair system (shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatment) in early August and saw an immediate lessening of the hair loss. And I am so encouraged by all this wispy hair growth. I look a little mussed up most of the time because of the aura .. BUT .... it's hair, and it'll grow! YAY!
My fingernails have been a mess the past three months or so. The nails are soooooo soft at the ends, they rip and break with very little effort. I'm hoping that protein deficiency I experienced after the surgery will have them rebound soon. I'd say three months after the surgery I was getting a decent amount of protein in ... so these nails should be growing out to stronger nail bed lengths soon.
Is it worth it? Yes.
It's worth every jaw-droppingly good morsel I could (and do) dream about having.
Don't make food the thing you live for. Remember, it's nothing but crap in the end.