I knew it would be a life-altering event, but I didn’t really realize just how life-altering.
I had weight loss surgery. At my heaviest recorded weight, I was 253 pounds. After surgery, I lost down to 135 pounds.
At that time, I was blogging over at Putting the Fun in Dysfunctional, and there are lots of posts over there about my experience.
This surgery is NOT for everyone. For me, it’s been fantastic. I have had no complications. I didn’t lose an excessive amount of weight. I don’t get sick unless I totally overdo it on sweets (and by sick I mean a belly-ache). I am able to eat small portions of almost anything.
Not everyone is as lucky. I know quite a few people who have had the same surgery with varying results. They get severely anemic, they have a lot of food restrictions, they get sick frequently, they lose too much weight. It’s extremely important to be compliant with the instructions you’re given before you ever have the surgery. But even if you do that, there are no guarantees that you will have an ideal experience. I consider myself VERY lucky in that respect. My best friend had the surgery about a year after I did. She lost around 200 pounds. She looks great. But she gets sick very often and has had a lot of complications. She and I had the same procedure: Roux en y gastric bypass. But we’ve had very different experiences.
It’s a major surgery. It’s a difficult decision to make, and I advise people to do their research.
But for me, it was an excellent decision, one of the better ones I’ve ever made. I am so much healthier since having weight loss surgery, both physically and emotionally. My labs and blood pressure are great. I can walk without losing my breath. Diabetes is not hot on my heels. I see a whole lot of diabetic patients at the hospital; it’s an ugly, scary disease. It was always a big fear of mine when I was overweight, and that fear was part of the reason I decided to have the surgery. Not only does it decrease the risk of getting diabetes to next to nothing, weight loss surgery can actually reverse diabetes; there are cases of diabetic patients no longer needing medication before they’ve even left the hospital after the surgery.
I have very little to complain about. The only negatives that come to mind about life post-WLS are, I can no longer eat ice cream unless I take a lactose-blocking medication first. I can only eat cereal with Lactose-free milk (I can drink small amount of regular milk, but something about the sugar and milk combination makes me terribly ill). Do I miss them? YES. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I get cold much more easily, and am very sensitive to cold temperatures. Being cold is literally painful for me. (That may be a result of fibromyaglia or the weight loss, there’s no way to be sure.)
I had a milestone recently. One major concern for every WLS patient is gaining the weight back. It’s normal to gain some weight back; in fact after you hit your lowest weight, you usually gain a few pounds back relatively soon and then stabilize, which I did. I am not the type of person who weighs myself frequently; I never have been. I generally gauge how I’m doing by the way my clothes are fitting. For five years, I maintained with very little effort.
When I had WLS, I promised myself that I would not ever let my weight get out of control again. I know that it’s so much easier to maintain your weight or to take off a few pounds than it is to regain and lose large amounts, obviously. So I promised myself that if I ever got up to 150 pounds, I would get a handle on it right away.
And last year, for the first time in almost six years, it happened. My clothes were getting tighter, my ‘cupcake top’ was getting bigger. My weight had slowly crept up a little, and at my doctor’s office last fall, the scale was right around 148 pounds. I knew what time it was.
I didn’t do anything drastic. I don’t work out, I don’t go to the gym; I probably should but I don’t, and it is what it is. But I did make a point to just MOVE more. I cut back on junk food and cut out sweet tea. I watched my carbs; generally our dinners consist of grilled lean meat and vegetables. We eat a lot of venison which is very lean.
And, I was incredibly relieved when the extra pounds came right off.
I weighed last night on the scale at work (hospital scales, very accurate). I weighed 136.6 pounds. This makes me so very happy! A lot of women my height (5’2″) would not be happy with that weight. I’m not skinny. But, I don’t want to be. I feel great at my current weight. My husband says I look “perfect”, although he assured me that I looked great at nearly 150 lbs, and that I didn’t need to lose any weight. Physically, I felt okay at almost 150 lbs, although my clothes were getting tighter and my “cupcake top” (my version of a muffin top because hello, cupcakes?!) was getting a little outta control! But I did lose weight, 100% to honor my promise to myself. It was much more of an emotional thing than a physical thing, and I also wanted to make sure I could do it. I feel confident now that I will never be obese again. For the first time in my life, really, I am in control of my weight and feel secure that I will stay that way, and man does that feel good!
Here’s a before picture:
If you have any questions that you’d like to ask me regarding my Weight Loss Surgery experience, I would be more than happy to answer them for you!