June 9th, 2017
Eat wise, drop a size… or two. In my case, 5 sizes. And I couldn’t be more delighted. As the saying goes “Nothing Tastes As Good As Thin Feels”, is true for me. Food is something now I that eat just to survive. I don’t look at food now, as the end all and be all of my day.
I had my surgery 11 weeks ago today. In fact, at this time on March 24, I was just being brought back to pre op to begin the IV fluids, and all the fun things that go along with getting ready for surgery.
As I had posted in my first blog, less than 2 weeks after surgery, where I announced that I had undergone the VGS (vertical gastric sleeve) surgery, my plan was that I was not going to tell anyone about it. Just Dennis and the kids and 2 other people were informed and I was going to keep it that way. But after Dennis told me I shouldn’t keep it a secret and asked me ‘Why’ keep it a secret; and after I had posted a picture of myself and it was already apparent the weight was coming off (by that time I think I had dropped 50 lbs ?), I knew I couldn’t just fib and say it was all dieting. (Up to that point though, in reality, 42 pounds were from 3 months of cutting out carbs, sugar, fat and eating tiny amounts of the proteins and vegetables I was allowed to eat.)
I am glad I have been outspoken about my surgery, and I have only had snarky comments from the same two people in the last couple months. (There will always be naysayers out there, no matter what. Know it alls who think they KNOW IT ALL)
To date: I have lost 82 pounds. 42 before surgery on the 3 month diet and lost another 40 pounds in the last 11 weeks. Life is moving along and I am adjusting to my new stomach (sleeve is a more appropriate term) and I am healthier and happier than I have been in a long time. I haven’t worn a size medium since HIGH SCHOOL and each morning when I pull out my shorts I wear, I am still shocked that this is the new me. If someone were to have told me last December that I’d be going from a size 22 only 6 months ago to a size medium (8/10) today, I’d ask them to give me some of that magic kool-aid they were sipping.
If I hadn’t dropped this much, this fast, I would be surprised. For some reason, people can’t picture how small my stomach is now, even after explaining 80-85% has been removed. (The size is very small – less than 1/4 cup, or about the size of an egg.) I try and explain it this way: visualize a beer bottle turned upside down. The wide bottom that is now at the top- is my throat. The liquids I drink and food I eat go in the way they always did with no problems- but then water and food hit the NARROW, smaller neck, which is my stomach. (I can’t drink anything 30 minutes before OR after a meal because that water will take up space. This took time to get used to.) The reason I have to sip water SLOWLY and eat tiny bites SLOWLY, and chew everything 30 times, is for the mere fact that there isn’t any room in there. I fill up QUICKLY and without any sign or warning of being full. 1/4 cup and that is it. The opening that allows food to pass out of your stomach is also very narrow. For this reason, it is important to take only two to three sips or bites at a time of any new food and then wait 10 minutes before taking more. That’s why I get in all my lean proteins first. And I drink a protein shake daily still. I am getting in all my required proteins a day so I know I am doing what I am supposed to do.
I take all of my daily vitamins, supplements and drink as much water as I can get in, and I am eating a little more each day. I will never be able to eat like BEFORE, which is why I had the surgery to begin with, for Pete’s sake, and I am taking in the calories that I SHOULD be taking in at this stage. I have these BIG ideas that I am going to make this wonderful dinner of a boneless, skinless tender chicken thigh with a piece of eggplant (last night’s meal for me) but it never works out right. I have to eat protein first… then on to the veggies and I usually cannot get to part 2. So I eat 1/4 cup of protein and push the plate away.
So after 11 weeks, I am still walking (been walking a couple miles a day since 2 weeks post op), going to the gym and working on strength training, and just being happy. I feel so much better and am off all of obesity related medications. I saw my rheumatologist the other day and even my RA is completely under control. My rheumatoid factor numbers and C-reactive protein numbers are the lowest they have ever been (they were double digits when I first saw the doctor 2 years ago) and I have no inflammation in the joints. My RA drugs have helped and I am sure the weight loss has helped too. My sister Patti and I are making plans to go to Wet n’ Wild water park this summer for a day, and I will not hesitate at all to go. There was NO way I’d be wearing a swim suit in public anytime previously over the years.
My 60th birthday is approaching this fall and I want to enter that age with grace and dignity. (Well grace is a s-t-r-e-t-c-h for me, but I know I don’t want to feel and look like a hag.)
I’m almost to goal. I am still working towards my ultimate goal of losing one hundred pounds, but if that doesn’t happen, que sera sera. My nutritionist had told me what weight she thought I ‘should get to’ several months ago and by her calculations, I only have 12 pounds to go. I’m going with the flow. I am not dieting, not on a diet, and do not want to be on a diet. I will do what I am doing and see where the road takes me. Or the scale.
*Picture at top: left side January 2017/ right side June 8, 2017