One year later – weight loss surgery update

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 21-06-2012

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If you would have told me a year ago that I’d be sitting here (cross-legged) blogging about losing over 150 pounds, I’d have laughed. One year ago, today, I had the gastric sleeve.  I won’t bore you with the surgery details. You can read about it HERE, but my life is so different. I started this crazy journey in March of 2011 when I had had enough. I weighed 375 pounds. I was tired. I was tired just from every day living. I couldn’t walk long distances. I couldn’t play with my kids the way I wanted to. Oh, I thought I could. Denial is a super morbidly obese person’s best friend. I know denial well. I was sick of living in denial and decided, with the support of the most amazing man on the planet, to take the step that scared me most. Surgery. I had tried everything (that cabbage soup diet SUCKS, by the way – let’s not talk about the watermelon and rice, k?). On June 21, 2011, I had surgery and I changed my life forever. For the better.

Today, I weigh in at 216 pounds. That’s 159 pounds, an entire person, gone from my body. Today, I’m “moderately obese”. Yes, I’ve still got a lot of work to do for sure. I’m not done yet. My starting BMI as 60.5 and is now 34.9 (just barely slipped into that moderately category, but it’s mine, dammit!). I’ve lost a person. I’ve gained a life.

I can cross my legs when I sit down. I don’t worry about restaurant booths. I can bend down without thinking about it. I can kick a little butt on the elliptical. I enjoy walking. I enjoy playing with my kids. I still enjoy food, but it doesn’t rule my life. I enjoy my time with my therapist (as much as I hate it sometimes too). I can buy clothes from regular stores. I STILL get on the scale sometimes JUST to see that number 2 at the beginning of the number.

I still feel like a faker though. I have this fleeting fear that the weight will come back. That I will wake up and this will have been a dream and I’ll be  375 pounds and miserable. I fear of going back to that dark place of feeling like I’ll never be normal. I spent 30 years being overweight/obese. Do I just get one little year of somewhat normalcy? I feel bad for people I see walking around like I was. I fear I’ll be like that again. I worry I’ll magically be able to eat an entire pie one day again.

I’m not sure that I’ll ever completely get past that fear. Nor the guilt. The guilt of being the fat mom. The guilt of watching others struggle through while I’m whizzing through the pounds and losing steadily. It’s almost like a survivor’s guilt of sorts. It’s really hard to explain. THIS is why I am very vocal about others seeking weight loss (surgery or not) to find a therapist. Most of us didn’t gain weight just because we like food a whole lot. There’s a lot of emotions that come into play when you get into that SMO (super morbidly obese) category.

So, here I am. 1 year later. To the day. I feel like I’ve come so far. Yet I look and realize how far I have yet to go. This is where the real work starts. This is where I have to show my body who is boss and that I will WIN this war. I didn’t pay someone to  remove most of my stomach to go back now. I can do this. I’ve lost 159 freaking pounds. I want to lose 41 more and then look to see where I am and where I want to go. There will be, of course, plastic surgery in my future. I have major skin issues. My arms flap, my thighs flap, my stomach flaps. Everything sags. But it’s mostly empty. It’s no longer full of fat. Oh, there’s still plenty there, but one day it will be totally empty and I’ll be left looking like a melted person. Then, I’ll talk to a surgeon about what I need to do to fix the damage I did over the past 30 years. And at the end of the day, I have only myself to blame for it. No one made me get that overweight. I did that all myself. I take ownership of that as much as I’m taking ownership of fixing the problem now. I could spend time looking back to how I got there, and I have. I’ve spent a lot of time. But I also have to look forward. Look forward to my kids having a normal sized mom. To leading a normal life. To living it to the fullest. That’s why I did this. I wanted to feel normal. I wanted to feel good about myself.

And I do. I do things now that I never thought I would. I walk 5ks. I chase my kids. I buy clothes from the rack simply because I can. I go to the gym. I work out hard. I enjoy my life and make sure that I’m grateful for everything I’ve accomplished and everything I will accomplish.

I post photos and people see me and they all comment on that part. It’s the part that they cannot see that really matters though. There’s still a little bit of heartache, a little regret for the years I wasted. But mostly, it’s the positive. It’s how I feel about myself. It’s about that feeling of finally being who I really, truly, feel like I’m meant to be. It’s that part that people DON’T see that is the real change. Yeah I “look great”, but my psyche is what has really changed. I think that anyone that says you don’t change internally with such a drastic external difference is lying. I know I’ve changed. I like to believe for the better. So, I’ll share photos below, but know that the part you can’t see is the real change here. I love myself. Obesity won the battle, but the war is mine to win.

To my friends and family that have stood by me, shared food in a restaurant so I didn’t have to take home MORE leftovers, hugged me when I cried, laughed with me when I did something silly, gave me an atta-girl when I needed it, reminded me why I did this when I was full of remorse, dragged me to the gym when I didn’t want to go, told me to stop wearing clothes two sizes too big, took me shopping and helped me figured out what to buy, called me when they sensed I needed a reality check, and loved me no matter what… thank you. They are the real heroes here. I couldn’t have done this without them. They all know who they are. I can never repay them for the kindness and support. They are my success.

 

Comments (6)

Amazing, Candy! You look great! I’m only 5 weeks out from my surgery now, but I’m so happy with my decision & notice NSVs daily! Thanks for sharing your journey!
Michelle´s last [type] ..My Thoughts About Food

You look gorgeous! So happy for you. You are an inspiration… thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Hey Candy I so appreciate you! I love that you’re sharing your journey and that you’ve done so damed well with it. You keep it going girl!

I’ve been secretly a little mad at you too. I know it’s stupid but finding my honesty here, I’ve been pissed. You know I had the lapband surgery nearly 2 1/2 years ago, and nuttin. Notta.

Of course, I had that complication where the band “slipped” so it was causing me a lot of pain and rendered it ineffective. I had the surgery redone in November.

Now, speaking of honesty, I think you know that it’s not really YOU that I’m pissed at. It’s ME. (Because I bet you’ve been there.) I’ve still carried on with my bad eating habits for the most part, and am not working WITH this weight loss tool. It’s like I’ve been trying to “prove” that it won’t work. I’m not eating as much as I used to but still eating at fast food joints on the run constantly and making less than stellar choices at home.

Your post above has really hit home for me. I’ve got to get on the phone with the psychologist I have access to and continually work with him to get through this.

Thanks again buddy, for being so open and public with your experiences. You truly have been an inspiration and ask that you’ll kick me in the butt now and again so I can post along side you, my wins and excitement. =;) Luv ya chiquita.

I love your blog. Everything I have thought put on paper! I love to read how you handle the same situations that have been popping into my head! You rock! Keep up the amazing work- it’s inspirational and you are hilarious!

I had a lot of problems too after surgery dealing with the extra skin and a lot of psychological things people never really warned me about, but it seems like you’re in a good place now!

Hello Candy,
Your story is inspiring to me, I also had a gastric sleeve surgery done. My surgery was 10 months ago and like you, it really changed my life. I have lost like you a small person. I feel like a new, younger healthier person. But I to worry about gaining my weight back, now that I have this new more fulfilled life I never want to lose it. My 1 year anniversary will be coming soon and I really want to lose 20 pounds before then, but if I don’t I have had great success, with the 140 pounds that I have lost. You should be so proud of yourself, you are a great role model for all of us to follow. I love your blog keep up the good work. Not only are you inspiring to me but the whole weight loss surgery community.

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