Everybody around me could see it, but I couldn't. I could see the difference in my clothes, but when I looked in the mirror, I looked the same. So far I've lost 34 pounds since my gastric bypass surgery at Catawba Valley Medical Center on January 19th. Before the surgery I needed a size 18 for my large shoulders and arms, but I could squeeze into size 16 pants and skirts. A few weeks ago, I put on some size 12 pants and they were falling off of me. I've put myself on a shopping diet because as fast as I replace clothes, they wind up too big just a few weeks later. It's a good problem to have.
The reactions from people are weird sometimes. I've heard "I almost didn't recognize you" and "no way should you lose any more weight!" I just got out of the 190s! I'm at 184. I think I could stand to drop more lbs! People will say, "you look good, but how do you FEEL?" The truth? Physically I feel fantastic. No need for diabetes meds because my sugar is under control. But emotionally, I feel cautiously optimistic. Losing weight post surgery has been easy. What I feel is guilty when people compliment me for working so hard. There are days when I'll eat about 1/2 cup of food and feel Thanksgiving full. I'll be sitting in front of the TV worried that I somehow pigged out, but I didn't. This is the opposite of what my body has experienced every time I tried to lose weight on my own. I never wondered if I'd pigged out. I knew darn well that I had!
Its going so well, that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. People have shared so many horror stories with me. I was told I'd be depressed. I'd have poops so stinky it'd make me gag. My friend said her former co-worker ate some veggies that didn't agree with him and had to take a week of sick days. I have no complaints, but I do have a few challenges. Lynn, the dietician wants me to have about 60 grams of protein each day and sometimes I feel so full that its tough to get it all in. It takes me over an hour to finish one protein shake.
I can finally see the difference in the mirror... but pictures tell the real story. A Facebook friend told me to demand that my pics on the station website be replaced with photos of the thinner me. She suggested I untag myself in every fat pic. I'm not going to do it. I want to remember how far I've come since the first of the year. I want other diabetics and people who are obese to see what can be done with the help of a supportive team like Lynn and Libby in CVMC's surgical weight management program. I want the weight loss surgery stigma to go away so that more people will feel comfortable sharing their story. and I want the media to print more stories like this.
Summer of 2011, 5 months before surgery
Christmas 2012, one month before surgery
March 2012, 2 months after surgery