Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The Truth Will Set You Free
So I’ve decided to come clean. I’m going to tell my highest weight. There is a great deal of shame involved in that number, but honestly, obesity, as my surgeon has explained it to me, is caught up in genetics. Diet and exercise do play their part, but at the root of the problem is genetics and we have no control over that, thus less shame.
At my highest weight—and I’ve weighed this on two separate occasions, once in 2005 and again in 2011 after losing nearly 50 pounds and then putting it right back on after I got married—my weight was 351 pounds. Closer to 400 than 300. That is a scary, scary place to be.
This morning, three months and one week post-DS surgery, I weigh 258 pounds. I gasped when I hit 299—I hadn’t been below 300 since 2004—and I gasped when I hit the 250s. I haven’t seen that since my twenties.
When I got up this morning to get coffee in my nightgown, my mom said, “Wow, you’re really getting skinny.” My husband showed up at my annual MRI yesterday (to check for metastatic cancer in the abdomen. I had ocular melanoma in 2012, which was treated and I am now NED.), and when I walked out, there he was—I hadn’t even told him where it was going to be, he found it himself. (My first thought when I saw him was, “What a cute guy. Oh. I know him. LOL.” He gave me a big hug and said I’m definitely smaller as he could get more of his arms around me.
For a couple of days there, I was considering that I no longer wanted to lose any more weight—as if I had a choice. LOL (My anatomy would not participate in that idea.) My personality has evolved around being a big woman. I’m tall, 5’10”, and big-boned. That is not a metaphor for fat, I am a large woman. No one fucks with me, or rarely. And I’ve relied on that most of my adult life. Now that I’m getting smaller—same shape, only smaller—I feel a little bit…lost. Sort of like when I got married and changed my name. I felt a little lost, like I wasn’t sure who I was or what my identity was—I was no longer a single, I was half of a couple and of a whole new family. I started overeating shortly after the wedding. It started with a bear claw.
Now when I think of pastries? My first thought is “diarrhea.” If you’re my age, you might remember the old Schick Center for the curing of overeating and alcoholism. Essentially, they made you eat or drink until you hurl, then they would apply electro-shocks to your arms every time you tried to put food in your mouth. Aversion therapy. That’s sort of what this is. If I eat that, how long will I be in the bathroom? And/or how long will I be constipated? And I have, so far, decided it’s not worth it, and I pass.
My mom had me get her some banana nut muffins from the grocery store (the in-house fresh baked ones), and some cinnamon raisin bagels. I’d like to have one or the other or both. But I do not want to walk down that road just now. Any intestinal distress will be public knowledge (come on, this is a building full of retired or disabled seniors. The grapevine here is quicker than any phone company or email), and part of me is angry at her for leaving them out in plain sight—I don’t know if she’s trying to sabotage me, but considering her history of mental illness and manipulation (bi-polar), I wouldn’t be surprised so I haven’t assumed. She kept offering me cookies for about the first 10 days I was here, and sandwiches, and fruit blah blah blah. I guess she finally got tired of listening to me say “No.” I wouldn’t put it past her. But I will not break. If I’m going to have something inappropriate? It would be a cupcake with lots of frosting or a cheese Danish, and frankly, the GI problems later haven’t made that an attractive option. So I eat lots of what I do like such as ham, sausage, salami, eggs, cheese, and some yogurt. I am not hungry and I get full rather quickly. Dinner tonight was two ham and cream cheese rollups and I felt very full. I’ve also been having iced coffee every day, either purchased or homemade (I’ve got it down, now, heh.), made with Stevia and half-and-half, and my weight loss has picked up since I started doing it. I have no lactose issues. I’ve vomited three times since surgery, and that was after ingesting too much, the first time too much water. Up it came, but that was the first week after surgery. I’ve since learned when to stop stuffing it in. I can always have more later; it’s not going anywhere.
I’m grateful because I know a lot of people do have vomiting and nausea issues, but I don’t. Amen, I hate to vomit. If I eat protein heavy, I don’t have diarrhea or constipation. I had a piece of wheat toast yesterday with some eggs, cheese, and sausage, and I had a regular bowel movement when I got up this morning. But honestly? I feel like more comes out the other end than I ingest. DSers talk about their poop a lot because it changes so radically after surgery, and it can affect everyday living. Too much? Gotta stay near a bathroom. Hard to do at work or while driving or traveling. Can also be very painful. The word “gutwrenching” comes to mind. Not enough? Pain, gas, bloating. So it’s something we hyper-focus on. But man, the amount that comes out definitely looks and feels like more than I take in. LOL
I’m feeling good where I am in my eating, my weight loss, and my overall sense of feeling well. I even took myself for a walk just before sunset tonight—it was really nice, felt good, and I did not have any of my constant, 30-years-worth, post-broken-vertebrate standing/walking ever-present pain. Losing nearly 90 pounds (in 3 years, 54 since surgery day, 58 from two days before surgery day), has done wonders for my bones—my joints, my vertebrate. Less weight means less pressure means less pain. Aaah. Walking is a pleasure now. I’m going to do more of it.
I’m so glad, so grateful, that I finally, after ten years, got the surgery that would restore my good health. I’m so thankful and so very glad.