I met my final weight loss goal of 225 pounds… now what?

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Posted by Candy | Posted in Misc | Posted on 14-07-2013

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So, I did it. I got on the scale this morning, looked down and it said:

225+ pounds lost. 2 years, 23 days post vertical sleeve. Holy shit. I did it.So, I got off of the scale and got back on. It said the same thing. I stared at it. I took a couple of pain pills and laid down in bed and thought about it. So… what’s next? I’ve been easing into the maintenance phase of my weight loss over the past few months so I’m starting to feel more comfortable about what I need to eat to maintain my weight and stop losing (unfortunately, it doesn’t include ice cream every night LOL). While waiting for my back pain to subside, I just thought about that for a while and tried to figure out what I was feeling.

There’s a LOT of celebrating. I’ve never felt like a such a success in my life. My weight was always the huge pink elephant in the room. It was the ONE thing in my life that I couldn’t control. It was the one thing that defined me. I was always “the fat friend” or “the funny fat lady”. I think it’s unfair to say that my weight loss hasn’t changed me. It has. I like to believe that I’m mostly the same, but the changes inside are so enormous, it’s the things that you don’t see that have made me as successful as I have been.

I’ve been very honest throughout this process. It’s been HARD. The decision was hard too. You don’t wake up one day and say “oh, I think I’ll go get my stomach cut out”. A lot of thought and planning went into this. As I’ve said before, I had a pretty bad childhood. Food was an escape and a way to soothe feelings – whether good or bad. Having a party, have cake. Having a bad day, ice cream. Someone called you a bad name, there’s always pie. I had to learn about food – really learn about it. I had to learn to deal with stress and feelings. I’ve been seeing a counselor on a very regular basis now for over two years. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, therapy has been the single best thing I’ve done for myself, aside from the surgery itself. It’s something that is SO overlooked in the bariatric community.

So. I’m at my goal weight – actually, I will lose about 10 more pounds after plastics and 140 puts me right smack dab in the middle of where my doctors say my ideal weight is. Heck, no one expected me to get this far, so they’re happy no matter what. Anything under 175 was gravy, this is pure cream cheese frosting at this point. They are THRILLED with my progress. So few get as far as I have given my starting weight.

I feel great. About myself. About my family. I share my success with so many people. My husband, my kids, my support groups, my counselor, my trainer, everyone that’s ever said “yay!” to my stream of updates about my weight. I’ve been so incredibly lucky to have amazing people in my life that have been behind me ALL the way.

My next steps are figuring how how to maintain my weight while keeping a food plan that is something I can live with, allowing for “treats” and good overall healthy foods. I also need more clothes that fit. While I’m sure my size may change a little after plastics, I have a pretty pathetic closet right now. Continuing with therapy and working on my mental roadblocks. Choosing a weight range I want to stay within and keeping an eye on the scale to see how I’m doing. I had my head in the sand for FAR too many years, if I’ve learned one thing throughout the past two years it’s that I cannot just ignore the scale. I have to have some sort of check in for how I’m doing. And, just, living life.

So, I wasn’t sure what to post today, to be honest. I mean, I’ve probably written this post 20 times in my head over the past two years. So I’m going to give you the stats, share some photos and then give some tips if you’re supporting someone that is on a weight loss journey (surgery or not). I think that’s the best thing I can give right now.

In May 2011, my weight reached it’s highest at 375 pounds. I had surgery on June 21, 2011 at 355 pounds. 2 years and 23 days later (aka today!), I’ve lost a total of 225.5 pounds. I weigh 149.5 pounds. Holy wow. I have a LOT of skin. I’m asked that a lot. It’s pretty bad. It keeps me from wearing the right size jeans. Swimsuits without shorts are out of the question, I have to wear loose shirts or there is so much hanging flab that it looks terrible. I’m hoping to figure out how to afford at least a trunkplasty (around $12k). I’m hoping to finance it after my surgery is paid off. I feel great. I can eat anything I want except for pasta, squishy bread and carbonated beverages (all seem to expand in my stomach and cause me discomfort so I just don’t bother). My whole family changed their eating habits and we’re ALL healthier and happier.

…. and, now, the photos. A before & after and Tom giving me the promised piggyback ride for reaching my ultimate goal. He even ran around the front yard. It was pretty hilarious and SO sweet. I, of course, worried I was going to hurt him. LOL.

Candy reached goal weight      Candy reached goal weight

In past blog posts, I’ve given advice for people that wanted to lose weight, but I think it’s equally important to know how to support someone that is. So, just a few things that I found helped (or didn’t):

  • Be there to listen and not judge. If they are having some ice cream, don’t judge them for it. Maybe they worked it into their plan for the day. Maybe this is a day off of their food plan.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up if they’re eating ice cream EVERY day. Be gentle and just ask, “hey, you said to check in with you, so don’t think I’m judging, but are you taking the week off? I just notice we’ve had ice cream every day this week…”
  • Be prepared for them to be annoyed that you asked. LOL!
  • It’s okay to ask about their weight loss, but “how do you feel” is a REALLY stupid question. I always answered this with “oh, just terrible” with a smirk on my face. Yes, I’m a smart ass.
  • Unless they are truly skin and bones, do NOT tell them they are getting too skinny or that they need to stop losing weight. I HATE this. I was still “overweight” and had a few people that insisted I was losing too much. I learned to just simply say I was working with my doctors about my ideal weight and had it handled, but thank you for your concern. I mean, really. I get that you are used to seeing your loved one a certain size and drastic weight loss really does seem like they are “too skinny”, but most weight loss people totally understand what weight they should be. That’s why we have doctors. It’s made me really feel like maybe I was doing it wrong and nearly sent me down another disordered place wondering if I just wasn’t seeing myself correctly.
  • Don’t call your friend “skinny bitch” more than a few times. It gets old and becomes hurtful. Just because we lost weight doesn’t mean we don’t love you or judge you and it feels bad to feel judged. Luckily, the friend that was doing this caught herself and stopped. I KNOW you don’t mean it, truly, but think about how that feels.
  • Absolutely, 100% tell us congrats and most don’t mind talking about it, but there are other subjects. After a while, even we get really tired of talking about our weight. Talk about the Paris Hilton. Or the weather. Or the Nicks game. ;)
  • Just be there. Be there to celebrate. Be there to high five. Be there with a hug when needed. Just show up and love us. No matter what.

So, that’s it. I am VERY aware that this is going to be a lifelong struggle. I meet people all the time that had surgery and gained back some (if not all) of their weight. I KNOW that my weight and food issues won’t disappear just because I see a number on the scale. It’s something that I will likely have to be aware of for the rest of my life.

But I’m there. I made it. Take THAT fat genes :)

Comments (2)

Candy-
What an incredible feeling it must be! You set a very lofty goal and you did it. What’s more is you have never been unrealistic or whiny. In fact, you often post gleefully about where and what food you are enjoying and NOT about what you can’t have. That attitude alone spells success to me. Way to go. And as an added bonus what a true gift to give your kids in the form of role model and healthy mom.

Is “sexy bitch” acceptable? : ) So happy for you Candy and so proud of all that you have done to make this change a reality for you!

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