Onward to My Bandiversary
Jun 30, 2009
Had another fill on Wednesday; that makes about 2 cc. I'm having a tiny bit of trouble adjusting to requiring less food - I still have that "old-me" idea of what it will take to fill me. The "new-me" requires sooo much less, but old habits are hard to break. And I still have the "clean plate" syndrome where that little voice from my childhood tells me that children are starving in Africa, so I'd better finish those last couple of bites . . .! I'm trying to, in 6 months, defeat lessons and bad habits I've acquired and nutured for 45 years. I guess I can't beat the demons overnight.
According to my home scale, I'm down to 266, so I've lost 110 pounds. BMI is down to 38.3, and I've lost 51.25 inches overall. For heaven's sake, if I suck in my stomach (which is not so hard anymore), I've got a 38" waist, and I can feel RIBS (my own, not baby-back) if I look for them.
BP was down to 110/80, so Dr. E took me off my final blood pressure med this week. I've got an appointment in 2 weeks for a physical with my PCP - who hasn't seen me since the surgery - and with any luck, he'll take me off my oral diabetes meds as well. My levels have been running 75-85 before meals and 110-130 after. A HUGE change from the 250-300 readings I got before the weight loss.
GOD this is fun!!
July 12 ~~~~~~
My PCP hardly recognized me last week. Says that everything is looking good: EKG is great, BP great, glucose levels great (reduced one of my meds). No complaints from him.
Down 118 (weight=258) as of this morning, BMI is down to 37.0.
Tough going the past couple of days, but I'm okay. I'm still adjusting to the restriction from the latest fill - having a hard time convincing my brain that I need less food. Having a protein shake for breakfast, then coffee thru the morning, soup at lunch and a more substantial dinner. [Water throughout the day, of course.] THINKING I'm hungry at dinner time (later now, around 8 pm), FEELING hungry, then only getting a couple of bites down before finding out that there's "no room at the inn" and having it come back up.
Nobody said this would be easy. Some days are better than others; last night and tonight have been a little rocky.
Down to 256, so I've lost 120. Dr. Ehrlich told me last night that, at this weight and with my comorbidities gone, I wouldn't even qualify for WLS now.
Thought I'd throw in a couple of new pics for good measure: the obligatory, "WOW! Look at the giant pants I used to wear" shot, and (finally!) one of my celebratory tattoo:
VERY pleased to announce that, when it comes to men's sizes, I am no longer wearing a size with an X in it: I'm just a large. From XXXXL or XXXL to just plain L. I usually ended up getting men's not just for the larger sizes, but also because of my body shape (really long arms, long-bodied, etc.)
It was sooooo cool to be in the dressing room, trying on an L and seeing that it fit fine.
As for ladies' sizes, I'm down from a 32 to a 20/22. Had to buy a dress, the first one since my surgery. I have a wedding to go to the end of August, and am OFFICIATING for one Labor Day weekend. That's right, I'm an ordained minister, if you can believe that, performing my first ceremony.
Didn't have to buy a dress on-line or from the Lane Bryant catalog; just walked into Walmart, tried it on and off I went. YAY! It's a size 20; a tad snug (JUST a tad) but I know it will be fine in a month. If not, if it's too loose, I'm only out $16. Even discovered that I can now wear "store-bought" pantihose, too.
The results came back from my most recent blood tests. A1C level is down to 6.2. Fasting glucose is 103. Cholesterol down to 153 and LDL is 93. BP was 122/74 this afternoon.
Weight is down to 254, loss of 122.
Went to my husband's company picnic yesterday. One of his co-workers LITERALLY did not recognize me. That was such a hoot! Brought my album of pics from preo-op to now and got lots of "Ohmigod"s.
Lunch was half a hot dog (no bun), half a slice of cheese, 2 bites of BBQ pulled pork (no bun), 1 bite of mahi-mahi. Dessert, couple of spoonfuls of a nice, light coconut cream pie (no crust) and a few spoons of frozen lemonade.
I remember that I used to be able to eat 2 lobsters, steamers, corn on the cob, potatoes, a hot dog and a hamburger (both with rolls), a grilled portobello mushroom, and still had room for an entire frozen lemonade. That was only a year ago, yet I can't remember how I did it.
Went to buy some pants today in anticipation of fall. 32...30...28...26...24...22...
I'm down to a 20! And yes, I did smile a little to myself in the dressing room.
At my appointment with Dr. Ehrlich yesterday, he asked me if I was suprised by how well I'm doing and whether I had expected to do this well (and he called me "a poster child for weight loss surgery" - THAT was cool!)
Am I surprised? Well, sorta. I don't know what kind of loss I had anticipated or how fast I anticipated the weight coming off; I hoped it would be quite a bit of loss. And I AM surprised and pleased. The plateaus have bugged the hell out of me, but at least I know that they eventually end. The times that I have been sick, I know that they are caused by something I'VE done, not something the band did. (They're usually caused by my eating too fast and/or not chewing well enough and, as I've said, I've found those to be extremely hard habits to break.)
The latest question has been, what is my goal? I never had set any long-term goals, just short-term, like losing 10 pounds at a time. If I HAD to pick a goal now, a FINAL goal, I'd like to reach 195. That's the weight I was when I left high school, and I don't think it's an impossible one to reach - I've got less than 60 pounds to go. But even if I DON'T reach it, I'm fine with it. I'm perfectly fine with where I am now, because I know at some point, I'll stop losing, my body will settle in, and that's where I'll be from then on, as long as I keep eating right, exercising, etc.
It's the "eating right, exercising" part that I'll have to keep dealing with all my life because no matter how much weight I lose, I'll still be a fat person on the inside, until the goblins that still haunt me (food addictions) go away. The band helps keeps the demons at bay; I'm the one who has go all "Xena: Warrior Princess" on them to slay them, or at least to drive them off.
One of the issues that comes up with some regularity in the support groups is, what happens when you've reached your goal, and people stop commenting on how good you look; how well you;re doing? I found out this weekend what it's like, and it's not so bad.
I said previously that I was officiating at my friend Lori's wedding this week, my first as an ordained minister. Saturday was the day, and I was obsessing a little: did I look okay? Would I sound like an idiot? Was the service going to be too long? Did I really know what I was doing? Was this the right dress? Was my makeup okay?
Then one second of sanity and clarity took hold of me shook me like a terrier with a rat: hey, sister, it ain't about you today. No one's going to be focused on you (well, not much anyway. I WAS performing a sacred rite and declaring two people as man and wife after all.) Suddenly, sweet release. All the anxiety was gone. I think it was what people in AA call "turning it over."
This was a very small wedding of about 20 people, all of them Lori's and Bob's family members, none of whom I knew or had even met. No one knew much about me, except that I work with Lori, that I was the minister, and that this was my first wedding. No one except Lori knew that I had had WLS.
It was great. What a relief to get together with people and NOT talk about it for a change!
So what DID we talk about? The bride and groom. He was so nervous, but didn't she look beautiful? The service was lovely, so personal, and was it REALLY my first time? Hell, the groom's Dad, the ex-marine, and I even compared tattoos and swapped inking stories.
It was just a nice day, and it really was a treat to have the focus OFF weight loss and weight loss surgery . . . for a change.
That being said, I am available for weddings, renewal ceremonies, commitment ceremonies (e.g., gay weddings) baptisms, absolution of sins, etc. I'm not so sure about Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and a bris is out of the question.
Today's sermon is on "Getting Your Yucks Where You Can Find Them."
I walked across the street from work for lunch today at St. Francis Hospital's cafeteria. I'm sitting there reading Michael Moore's new book (which probably makes me a commie, in some peoples' eyes), in my new, hard-to-miss hunter's-orange sweatshirt emblazoned with "Psych Ward 158-3-26" on it, fastidiously cutting my little portion of salad fixins into tiny, bite-sized niblets while repeatedly peppering the lot. (Hey, I like a lot of pepper!) I looked up and, while not ALL eyes were on me, some were. "Let 'em wonder," I snorted with a chortle, and went back to my reading. I'm still chuckling and curious as to whether anyone ran off to get the butterfly net.
The next one is a little grisly, but in keeping with the season since Halloween is only a few days away.
When my Mom died, I started considering my own mortality (okay, I had considered it before then but hey, this is my story.) I had long ago decided that I wanted to be cremated, and but I started looking for info about it on the Internet - y'know: who does it, how much it costs, etc. There are all kinds of sites selling lovely (and some not-so-lovely) cremation urns with helpful information like, "Inner capacity: 228 cubic inches".
Uh . . . how do I do the math to figure out how many cubic inches of "cremains" my 350+ pound body will leave? Will my fat melt away like a big ol' Yankee candle or just hang around like the aftermath of a roasted chicken? Who do I ask, and how would I even begin to ask such questions? I mean, I've got a morbid curiousity, but you have to draw the line somewhere!
All I could think was, "Will the ashes of my big ass even FIT in one urn, or will I have to suffer the post-mortum indignity of being sifted into two?!". Well, (whew!) I guess I don't have THAT problem to worry about anymore. One less worry on my plate (pardon the pun.)
A big "thank you", by the way, to Nancy from the Lap band forum, who showed me how to do the math and . . . I've lost 71.8% of my excess body weight (if you go by a 5'10" woman weighing about 170 pounds, for a "normal" BMI of 24.4)
Tomorrow will be 11 months, and I'm stuck at 227 . . . one pound away from that rascally 150-pound loss goal.
On the upside, I'm off one more diabetes medication with only one left to go. I had hoped to be off all of them by now, but I had been diabetic for almost 8 years, one of those on 2 kinds of insulin, before my surgery, so I am grateful to be rid of what I am.
Well, I did it! I woke up at 226.
Paul and I made the big leap and joined Planet Fitness (aka "the real gym") last week, went on Tuesday and again last night. And did some exercise ball crunches last night when we got home.
I, never one to leave well enough alone, went to Curves today, on top of last night's routine. NOW I know why they say not to exercise two days in a row. My pecs and arms were yelling "What the hell are you doing to us??!!". They were achy, but not too badly. I definitely felt some strain, but not too much. And the weird thing is . . . I didn't hate the feeling.
ME? NOT HATING A MUSCLE ACHE??!! That's abnormal. That's . . . a sickness! And I think maybe I liked it just a little bit. What the hell is happening to me?
And I'm two weeks away from my 1-year anniversary. I have to say that THAT fact staggers me. Almost a whole year has gone by already!
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? God, where do I begin? In no particular order:
-I'm thankful for my husband, Paul, who has been there the whole way, never doubted my decision, always supports me, and spots me at the gym
-I'm thankful to my primary care physican for suggesting to me that I consider WLS as an option
-I'm thankful for the incredible stroke of good luck (and good research) that led me to my wonderful surgeon
-I'm thankful for Dr. Ehrlich for being not just a great doctor, but great a great person as well
-I'm thankful for everyone I've met through and at support groups and for all their help
-I'm thankful for being given the opportunity to "give back" at preop seminars
-I'm thankful for everyone on this website who has supplied me with suggestions & support and for all of you who have allowed me to answer your questions and inspire you, too
-I'm thankful for all of YOU, for taking the time to read this crap! :-)
-I'm thankful for this incredibly smaller, lighter (and yes, saggier) body that doesn't seem to mind exercise anymore, doesn't ache all the time anymore, and doesn't require so many meds to function
-I'm thankful that I woke up this morning at 216.5 pounds
-I'm thankful for being only TWENTY ONE POUNDS FROM MY GOAL!!
A year ago tomorrow (by day, not by date) I was lying on a gurney, getting my feet massaged by a wonderful volunteer, having lost 22 pounds with my pre-op diet and wondering if I was making a big mistake. That maybe I didn't really NEED this surgery; that maybe I could do it - the weight loss - on my own.
Fast forward 366 days (leap year, y'know) and I know that I couldn't. I KNOW that I could not have stayed the course without my constant companion, the Band. I KNOW I would not have lost any more, would not have kept the weight off, and I KNOW I would have gained back more than I had lost.
Sometimes I forget that fact, on those days that are "not so good." I have to remember that no one, myself included, ever said this was going to be easy. But my thoughts always manage to find their way back. I read a quote recently that said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." (Will Rogers, by the way.)
I like that. I know that even though the band sends me on the right track, if I don't pay attention, I'm gonna get a locomotive in the ass, so to speak.
So, keep moving, and watch out for oncoming trains.
Well, I still am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a year has gone by, but here is my year-end comparison, as promised!
First appointment: 376
December 2, 2004: 216
Diabetes A1C: preop: 9.7/ October 2004: 5.1
Average glucose level: preop: 285-300/ today: 80-140
Medications: preop: 7/ today: 2
Total inches lost: 83.25
Pants size: preop: 32/ currently: 18
Top size: preop: menï¿½s 4XL/ currently: menï¿½s medium
My mood lately has been as cold, gray and crappy as our weather. The only things that seem to keep me even remotely interested in getting up every morning are:
1. My husband, God bless him. For more reasons than I could possibly relate.
2. The dogs. And endless source of humor and good spirits. Of course they're always in good moods - what do they have to worry about?
3. The fact that I made this great decision a year ago to give myself the gift of a better life. Not just to me, either, but to Paul. The longer I stay alive, the more time we get to have together. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.
The road I was travelling previously was taking me to a dead end, and taking me there frighteningly fast. I'm glad that I chose to take a new path.
Well, that's enough. I'll climb down off the pity pot and shut the hell up with my whining. How are all of YOU doing?