It's been a year! on August 13, 2007 5:44 pm
If I live through the night, I will have made it a year since my gastric bypass. I will need to reminisce a litle bit. I had to fast over the weekend and take go-go medicine so I'd be thoroughly cleansed. I was scared to death, and my stomach was upset Monday morning when I was leaving for the hospital. I was still questioning my decision when they pulled me onto the operating table. They kept asking me "Are you excited?" And I thought "Hell, no, I'm scared to death." I was happy to wake up in the recovery room. I got to drink a little water the next day or two, and I remember wondering if I'd ever eat again. I was pretty weak. I was planning to walk several miles the day I left the hospital, and it was a while before I could walk a mile at a time. I lived on FF yogurt, FF refried beans, and FF cottage cheese for a whole month. I lost about 25 pounds in that first month and was able to barely squeeze into some size 26 jeans I had. The first real thing I ate was 3 ounces of salmon I made on my George Foreman grill. I was scared to eat much of anything. I did get nauseous several times, but so far I haven't thrown up once. After the weakness subsided and I was able to eat more, the only real problem I had was constipation. When I took go-go medicine, it made me weak. After a couple more months, I learned to master the art of avoiding constipation. It was about 3 months before I felt really normal again. Then I was released to eat red meat and salad, so my whole world was complete.
The holidays were pretty hard. I remember at Thanksgiving I ate about an ounce of turkey and half a deviled egg. About the same at Christmas, only I ate some SF FF banana pudding my daughter-in-law made, and I discovered then that I was lactose intolerant. I was disappointed about that, especially since it knocked out the SF FF Jello pudding I was planning to eat a lot of. That was the first holiday season that I actually lost weight. By Thanksgiving I was in my size 20 jeans again. On Christmas Day, I had lost 85 pounds (a little more than four months after surgery).
After the first of the year, my weight loss really began to show. I was dropping to a weight that I hadn't been in lots of years and could get clothes on the misses' side of the store instead of the plus size. Some time in February, I could barely fit into a size 14 dress and size 16 jeans, and I bought several things, thinking I'd lose enough to just make them fit better. By the beginning of summer, my size 14 dresses were way too big and I had to give them away. I felt bad asking people if they wanted my clothes that were too big. I had always been on the other end of that. "Oh, you're the biggest one I know, do you want these fat clothes?" I got some size 12 dresses, and was fitting into size 16 jeans.
By the middle of the summer, my size 12 dresses were too big, and I actually tried on some size 8 skirts that fit. I bought some size 12 jeans, hoping I wasn't underestimating myself too much, and I really could have worn size 10 jeans. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd see that. I can remember wearing size 16 not long after high school. My measurements went from 48-45-62 (yes, my ass was bigger than the tape measure) to 38-28-38. Now, how my ass got more in proportion to the rest of me, I don't know. It has deflated and has flattened out a lot, so I guess that's part of the reason. But I can wear straight things now (like sheath dresses that I love), and I've never been able to do that before. I have ordered one from jcpenney.com, and according to their size chart, I will be a perfect size 8 in their sheath dresses. I will be thrilled to get pantyhose this year, because I won't even need queen size, and I used to have to order them because the stores didn't carry them big eough, not even the Just My Size kind. I had to wear knee-highs that would roll down and cut my circulation off.
It's great wearing smaller clothes, having more confidence, all of that, but not many people can understand how my life has changed. I don't have the fear of not being able to fit into a chair or a booth, my legs and hips don't hurt when I stand up or walk, my ankles don't swell, I can sleep flat like a normal person without choking during the night, I can clean the house and cut the grass and not feel like I'm having a heart attack. And this 100 degree weather we're having is tolerable, and I used to hibernate during the summer because I couldn't stand the heat. I don't try to hide from people like I used to. We even put a pool in the back yard and I bought a bathing suit for the first time in, I can't remember how many years, maybe 20 years? I can cross my legs, and my thighs don't rub together when I try to walk.
I am very happy with my decision so far, even though it hasn't been easy. I had some kind of withdrawal right after WLS. I didn't realize what a happy relationship I had with Little Debbies and such until I had to stop eating them. It was like a death for a while. Now I'm looking at the future, wondering what it will hold for me. I'm doing a lot of research on how best to maintain this weight. I'm hovering around 152 right now, and it feels great. I'd like to stay under 160. I think I can meet the challenge. I'm going to try to get myself under control if I gain just a few pounds, instead of waiting until I've put on 100 pounds like I've done in the past. There are some things I didn't know, and I would like to warn people considering RNY. At first, you can't eat much and can't really hold much in between meals. After a while, you can eat eat eat. Still not much at a time, but you can force it in there a whole lot more often, and if you don't watch yourself that weight will creep back on. I've already had to make some changes in my diet because I was packing in too many calories at the end of the day.
I hope a year from now I'll feel as good about things as I do right now. Anybody that weighs over 300 pounds - don't think you have to stay that way. I see a lot of very overweight women, out of breath, sweating, miserable, and I want to tell them what has happened to me. I just wish I'd done it sooner. I hope somebody will read this and get some motivation from it. I wish everybody that has suffered from obesity could feel like I do right now.
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