Candy: Two years of weight loss, 223 pounds gone!

July 14, 2013

Featured Blogger: CandyB
OH Username: Sleevegirl
Surgeon: Sashidhar Ganta, M.D.

2 years of weight loss, 223 pounds gone!
So, today is kind of a cool day. Two years ago, today, I had weight loss surgery. I won’t bore you with the details, you can read my other blogs here marked “weight loss” for the “skinny”. If you just want to see the photos, scroll down… otherwise, I’ll ramble. :)

Overall, I feel great. I actually hate when people ask me that, “How do you feel?” I am a smart ass and it shows because I tell them it’s awful. I mean, really, I’ve lost an obese person. How do you THINK that feels? It’s amazing, awe-inspiring, a little sad to think about, and I feel freaking amazing.

It’s also nice that my friends and family are starting to treat me normal again. My weight isn’t the first and only topic of conversation anymore. It really does get old sometimes. Yes, I’m proud of myself. Yes, I don’t mind talking about it, but can we please talk about something else like the weather? Or my annoying children? Or how your husband is a big goofball? LOL. Luckily, I see my friends often enough that it’s becoming a non-issue again. Whew. It also gets annoying to hear about Great Aunt Edna’s daughter who gained all her weight back. Thanks for that story. *laughing* No, seriously, there’s the good and the bad and the good is definitely outweighing the bad. ;)

I’ve yet to see the magical “150″ on the scale, but I’ve been maintaining at 152-155 for the past couple of months and that’s fine. After plastics, I’ll be well within my goal and that’s fine. I’m on the upper end of the BMI scale, but we all know that’s crap and frankly, I’m happy where I am right now. I mean, hello. I’ve lost a LOT of weight. I can’t be unhappy about that. Considering that I started at 375, met my surgeon’s goal of 250 at week 36, met my goal of 175 at 18 months and am now well below that… yeah.

Note: I’m 5’6″ — I’m not tall — why do people insist on telling me I’m getting “too skinny”. My doctors all agree that I’m great. If I lose another 5-10 pounds, they will be just as happy as if I stay this weight now. It’s a bizarre phenomenon in the weight loss community. I think it’s because we lose it relatively quickly and people don’t realize what your normal weight really is. My doctors all seem to agree that if I can stay between 135-160, that’s ideal. Heck, anything under 200 is amazing for where I started. So, mom… stop worrying. The doctor says they won’t worry about me unless I dip below 125 and I’m definitely not trying to lose more at this point :)

So, what I did right — journal what I eat and drink, get enough protein, cut out bad carbs, followed my surgeon’s plan, started regular therapy, not beat myself up when I had ice cream or an occasional treat.

What I would do differently — Hmmmm. I don’t know.  I hate to say this, but I can’t think of anything I would have done differently. I think I’ve done a good job, overall and everything I did was part of my own process.

My advice for those seeking to lose weight and/or have weight loss surgery? Do it. But be ready to change your life. I’ve said this a million times, but I didn’t get fat because I was hungry for food. I had a lot of issues to work through in therapy. Get therapy. Then get more therapy. I honestly believe that counseling is the most missed thing in the bariatric community. It’s sad really how many people don’t deal with their stuff. Be ready to change your eating habits. Don’t just CHANGE them — live them. Commit to them. Get support. My husband and children committed 100% to backing me, to cleaning up our eating as a family and to call me out when I’m screwing up. My friends have been AMAZING. I told them what I was doing and why and asked for their support. I have a few other support groups as well. Seek support, use the support. Keep using it, even when you think you don’t need it, show up. It matters. Relax and stop worrying about when you stall for a while, your body has to adjust. I didn’t lose my weight in one line, it was a long process.

At the end of the day, this is the best thing I could have done for myself. I tried dieting and exercise, but this saved many years of my life. I’ve yet to have anyone give me negative judgements and frankly, if they do, that’s their problem. I did what I did for myself and my family. I went public about it to help others and to be transparent about myself — and that has served me well. Knowing that others are watching me has, in some weird way, kept me on the right path :)

Yes, I had an emergency neck fusion 9 months after my surgery and, yes, I’m looking at a double lumbar fusion late next month. That’s life. It would have likely happened anyway… but recovering will be easier with all this weight gone. Much easier.

Okay, so the before and after photos… I can NOT believe I’m putting up photos of me in a freaking swimsuit, but here ya go. The last photo is GUCCI. A GUCCI shirt. Me! It was a gift from a dear friend...

*Congratulations on your successful weight loss Candy! You look so amazing! -The Team