Weight Loss Journey

When I was a little girl, my nickname was Bird because I barely ate; my mom took me to the doctor who told her that I would eat when I became hungry.  Apparently I got hungry during junior high because that’s when the weight began piling on.

In time I was married and had a child, and right after having Daniel, I was around 180.  But slowly the weight continued to stick and I went up to 235.   I’m sure there were times, months, when I was heavier.  I tried diet after diet; worked out whenever I could, and I could lose the weight but kept re-gaining it.  I think that’s called a yo-yo diet?

By 2006, I was diabetic type 2, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and my doctor told me that I would die before I hit 50 if I didn’t do something.

I went home and looked in my closet.  My pants were all 3X and my shirts were, too.  I looked like a balloon, all round and full of food instead of air.  I was miserable.

After researching on the internet, I finally got the nerve to ask my doctor about RNY Gastric Bypass surgery; I found a clinic about four hours from home that sounded promising.  She said that maybe that was the only thing that could save me; then she left the room to find some information.  Guess what?  She brought back information from the same clinic and the same exact doctor!

It took 18 months before surgery could happen.  I had a psychiatric evaluation, numerous meetings with the surgical staff:  nutritionists, nurses, doctors.  My husband had to attend most of these with me.  Many  posts about this journey are scattered in this blog.

Finally, in June 2008, I had my operation.  I was in the hospital for about five days.  Now, I’d like to tell you that since then, losing the weight was a cinch.  But it wasn’t.

At first, I couldn’t do much more than sip water and broth.  I had diarrhea if I sipped anything with ANY sugar; I threw up if I sipped too much.  There were more trips to the doctor’s office:  one after 30 days, then 60 and 90 and then six months; annual ones thereafter.

The weight was quick falling off at first but then I’ve hit plateaus where I was scared.  Statistics say that after five years, 50% of us gain ALL of our weight back.  I’ve lost 102 pounds and am not looking to find it again.  Now I wear small tops and pants; I have a waist!  I can see my collarbone, I love shopping for clothes and trying them on doesn’t make me cry any more like it used to.

I have to take special vitamins because my body doesn’t absorb like it used to before surgery; my body still doesn’t like sugar and if I eat too much of it, I can dump:  which means throwing up and having diarrhea and sweating…all at the same time.  Not fun!  I eat less but enjoy what I eat.  Sometimes I can have a piece of cake; sometimes it makes me dump.  Occasionally, I have a kid-sized Cherry Coke from Sonic; oh, wow, that’s heaven!  But I don’t do it every day.

I could gain weight back.  I was up to 145 after losing the 102 but now am back bouncing around 130-133.  I do not want to be a statistic…if I gain, I lose.  Since losing this weight, I’m no longer on any medicine for my diabetes.  My high blood pressure and cholesterol are better, not perfect.  Part of that could be genetics?

I’m happy now and healthier and guess what?  I turned 50 in October 2012.  I’m healthier than ever.  Still, every day is a struggle:  I crave chocolate, I want to eat when I’m stressed, now I’m lactose intolerant – that’s new.  Right now, there’s a possibility that I have ulcers; one week in May 2012, I was in the hospital with pancreatitis.  Life is easier – but harder.  Does that make sense?

I’m glad that I had the surgery.  It’s an incredible gift that I was allowed to have; it’s a TOOL, though, not a quick fix.

One day at a time.  Gee, that sounds familiar!

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