Almost 15 Months Out

Sep 08, 2009

Today I feel better physically and emotionally than I have since I was 25 years old .  My weight has continued to decline slowly since my one year WLS anniversary a few months ago.  I have dropped 10 lbs over the last 2-1/2 months without trying to do so.  My diet and calorie intake have remained relatively constant for the past 7 or 8 months and I have been exercising a lot , mostly walking and bike riding. It would be fair to say that I am exercising more and more as a way of dealing with stress rather than eating myself into oblivion.  This has been a particularly stressful year with the protracted illness and passing of my mother-in-law, the death of my dear old dog, increased conflict at work, and constant worry about friends who are sick or troubled.  Yet it is the stress I have imposed on myself that I am struggling to manage.  I have come to accept that I am a different sort of guy than most and, as such, I have more emotional needs than some would deem seemly in a man.  If I am to thrive as a thinner person, I know that I have to find a way for more of those needs to be met or I will risk falling again into despair and my old eating habits.  The internal stress comes from recognizing the need for change for the sake of my own emotional well-being while also seeing that making those substantive changes in my life will likely diminish the lives of those I hold dear.  At present I am looking at interim solutions and incremental changes in my day to day life that I hope will one day give way to more dramatic changes.  I am convinced that somewhere along the way a more comfortable balance will be reached.  For now I am actually healthy and feeling hopeful about my future. 

In the past month I have gone to two WLS seminars to answer questions from prospective WLS candidates about my experiences.  Those have been very positive experiences, albeit with a couple of unexpected surgeon wanted to show people my laproscopic RNY scars and one woman wanted a closer from less than a foot away.  After that particular seminar, another woman wanted to feel the loose skin around my middle.   I didn't scuttle away in embarassment in either case and for a guy who couldn't stand to even look at himself in the mirror two years ago, I must say that I handled myself pretty well.  I plan to continue going to those seminars as a way of giving back because so much has been given to me on this journey.   It is a journey I would gladly take again...only sooner.



One Year Out

Jun 25, 2009

I passed the one year mark last week and I feel great.  I am down 145 lbs from where I started.  My weight has been stable for the past 6 months or so, although my waist and thighs are smaller...which means I must have gained some muscle mass.  About a month ago I had my BMI checked at the bariatric clinic because, by looking at standard BMI charts for my height, I am still over 30% body fat.  The actual measurement indicated 16%, which I took to mean that I have 35 lbs more muscle and bone mass than most men who are my height.  I have been exercising a lot ...walking 25 - 30 miles per week and biking 60 - 70 miles per week, which helps me deal with the physical and emotional restlessness that I feel.  I don't really eat for comfort any more.  My daily calorie intake is usually in the 2000 to 2500 calories per day range, which seems to work with all the exercise I get, especially since I don't consume many simple carbs any more. 

I have been working hard on self-acceptance...of how I look, my moodiness, my need for validation from others, and my sometimes overwrought emotions.  While I have bad days here and there, I am actually doing really well overall from an emotional perspective.  There is more work to do, but I seem to be ready for that.  I have come to realize that some important relationships in my life need work if they are to survive who I apparently am as a thinner person.  I don't hold out much hope for changing how things are at work, so I have accepted that I need to move on, which is tough in this economy.  My marriage needs work, too, much of it on my end, which will require time and patience.  So the months ahead will be filled with trying to maintain my newfound good health, nurturing relationships,and more fully accepting the man I have become this past year.

The greatest surprise and delight I have experienced this year has to be all the wonderful people I have come to know on line and at the support group meetings I attend a couple of times per month.  I don't know any finer, more caring people.
I am so glad that I have had this experience.  I feel better than I have in 20 years, I am finally taking care of myself physically and emotionally, and I have acquired some remarkable new friends along the way.  it's pretty hard not to be pleased with where I am right now.

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10 Months Out

Apr 24, 2009

Well, I am now 10 months out and my weight has not varied more than 5 lbs since December.  I went to the Unity Bariatric Center today to get a more official weight and to have my BMI measured.  The results were pretty BMI, given the standard chart data for my height, would still be over 30.  However, my actual BMI, as measured at the Bariatric Center, is 16%.  My lean body mass alone is 200 lbs....I really am big-boned!

The last 4 months have been tougher in some ways than the rapid weight loss phase because the transformation has been almot entirely internal.  I started attending support group meetings with the Maple Grove, MN coffee folks.  For the first time in my life I have opened myself up emotionally to a few people and spent more and more time walking and thinking.  The net result of all that is that I have developed some excellent friendships and begun to accept my over-sensitive, emotional nature......something I have never really done before. 

I am hoping that I can keep up the physical discipline of water, protein, exercise and supplements.  That hasn't been too bad, really, especially the past several months.  I have found that I have stopped seeking food for comfort when I have a bad day.  The emotional stuff has been tough because at its root are my own questions about how acceptable I am as a person.  A couple of my Maple Grove coffee friends have helped me grow immeasurably in that regard.  I am beginning to truly like myself! 

Some of my biggest worries, besides the obvious one of physical discipline, are how to continue to be more demanding of people in my personal relationships so that I maintain this newfound sense of self, not screwing up the close friendships I have developed at my support group, and figuring out how to deal with increased atttention from the opposite sex.

All in all, I am doing really well and feeling better than I have in more than 20 years.  Pretty hard not to be pleased with that.
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A Bit over 6 Months Out

Jan 07, 2009

I am a bit more than 6 months out now and hovering around the minus 150 lbs mark (since starting my pre-surgery weight loss program), which I have been doing for the past month or so.  I would still like to drop another 10 to 20 lbs, but I am feeling good right now, both physically and mentally, so just need to be patient I guess.  I continue to walk 15 to 25 miles per week and I find I miss it when the weather or circumstances keep me away for more than a day.  Fridgid weather has me on the teadmill instead of outside most days of late.  I can't wait until spring!

3 Month Post

Sep 18, 2008

I had my 3 month post-op check-up today and I am down 62 lbs since surgery.  I am taking no blood pressure meds any more and my blood pressure was 118/72.  Everything is going great on the physical front.  This month has been challenging on the emotional front, however.  I allowed myself to get run down just after my 2 month check and that lead to long periods of fatigue and the familiar sinking feeling of depression.  Thankfully ,people here on OH, including Shari, Tracy, Lexi and Lithia helped me get through that period.  I have been feeling better again this past week.  My bariatric program wants me to increase my calorie intake when I am physically active, start back on B complex supplements and to make sure I stick to my plan of seeing a bariatric psychologist once a month until I am a year out from surgery.  With OH support, better nutrition, another supplement, and some counseling, I expect the coming month to be much bettter than this past one has been.   I am looking forward to that.

2 Months Out

Aug 19, 2008

I had my 2 month check today and I am down 48 lbs since surgery, 111 lbs since my high point back in January.  My blood pressure is normal even though I am only taking 1/4 of one of the BP medications I was taking previously.  Back then I was wearing some tight, below the belly 50 waist jeans and now the 42s I have on are too loose.  I haven't felt this well or energetic since I was in my 20's (yeah, that was in the 80s folks)........   although, perhaps it is the combination of weight loss, more domestic bliss, and all of the kind and supportive people here on OH that has me feeling so good lately.

One Month Post Surgery

Jul 22, 2008

I am now just over one month post-surgery and down another 25 lbs (82 lbs overall since starting my pre-op diet and exercise program back in February).  I am feeling really good, walking 2 - 5 miles/day, and getting in my protein and liquids without too many problems.  Even the guys at work have made comments about my weight loss.  It is hard to not feel giddy right now (thus my current goofy avatar).  My wife has been particularly supportive since my surgery, for which I am truly grateful.  She was on the fence about me having this surgery, but has really been a rock for me this past month.

2 Weeks PostSurgery

Jul 02, 2008

I am two weeks out from surgery and down 20 lbs (77 since I started the pre-op diet and exercise program in February).  I have continued to walk 2-1/2 to 3 miles every day.  I have been feeling really good, although I need more sleep than I did before surgery.  A 1 - 2 hour nap really helps.  I was able to start on creamed low-fat soups yesterday and I had some Campbell's Select Cream of Mushroom soup and Tomato soup.  Both settled well.

My wife has been tremendously supportive since my surgery and since she was quite skeptical beforehand, that turnaround has been most welcome.

I am still on a lifting restriction until next week and I am getting antsy.  I never realized how much stuff I lift and move around until I have had to make conscious decisions to not lift more than 20 lbs for the past two weeks.

Anyhow, so far so good.

1 Week Post Surgery

Jun 25, 2008

I had my surgery on June 18th and it all went well. The surgeon found and repaired a large hietal hernia (I had no symptoms) and my bladder was slow to wake up, so I had to be re-catheterized, but everything else was actually pretty easy (and I am a wimp about pain).  I have been off pain meds since I left the hospital and I have worked my way up to walking about 3 miles a day now.

I had my one week post-op appointment yesterday and I was down 15 lbs in a week!  Overall, I am down 72 lbs since I started the pre-op diet and exercise program on February 19th.  I am on a 3 week liquid diet after surgery, although I can have light yogurt in small quantities.

The other happy news is that I was on 2 blood pressure medications and now I am down to taking only half of one of them.  Eventually, I may get off them altogether.

Surgery Date!!

May 31, 2008

I have surgery scheduled for June 18th.  Other than high blood pressure I am otherwise a healthy guy who has never had surgery or even a broken bone.  When it comes to pain I will probably be a wimp, unlike so many of the strong women here on this forum.  Yeah, I am scared, but excited too. ....... weird.

About Me
Elk River, MN
Surgery Date
Apr 02, 2008
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