Why would a person put themselves through weight loss surgery(WLS)? Because I was dying due to morbid obesity. My addiction to food, public perceptions of fat culture and fat acceptance are topics for another blog post. Today is about celebrating getting my life back.
Top 10 Surprises since having Gastric Bypass Surgery
10. I didn't realize just how much throwing up I would do.
- I threw up nearly every day for the first 6 months after surgery, and still throw up if I eat too fast.
- This is why I can't donate blood.
- I get embarrassed when I'm complimented. I've learned to just smile and say "Thank you"
- Yes, this really almost happened. I went to the Walmart and bought underwear that fit when I was done with work for the day!
- Sometimes I don't recognize my reflection when I'm passing a store window. It's surprising when I realize the reflection is me.
- This is because I have a pod-stomach, so alcohol quickly drains into the intestine, which has more surface area to absorb alcohol. Don't you feel educated now?
- Meeting new people or being in crowds of people just freaks me out. Guess that will never change, even with more self-confidence.
- Fun fact - I went down 2 shoe sizes and 3 ring sizes as I lost weight. Weird, right?
- I take a double dose of a multi-vitamin, 5000mcg of B12 and Calcium citrate supplements. I spend about $30 a month just on vitamins.
- I have the biggest issues with my arms and belly. If my insurance covered it, these are the two areas I would get plastic surgery on.
My Top 10 Best Moments since having
Gastric Bypass Surgery
10. Being able to fasten my seat belt
- I was too big to do this before surgery
- And not having to use a seat belt extender!
- To be clear, I hate mowing the lawn, but I can do it!
- I came in last, but I finished!
- Before surgery, I had difficulty walking from the parking lot to my office.
- Yes, I see the irony with this one.
- And I can even do it in high heels!
- Though the downside is that I'm chronically anemic.
- I know it's not classy, but dang, if I need a t-shirt it's nice to not have to special order it from a catalog.
- I was chubby. I was slow. I came in 2nd to last, but I finished.
Six years out from surgery and I still marvel at this gift I was given. I'm considered a "success" because I've kept off 50% of the excess weight I initially lost. And that, in itself, isn't easy. In my first year and a half after surgery, I lost a total of 194 pounds. In the years between then and now, I gained some of that back, then started following Weight Watchers and started losing weight again.
My goal has never been to be "skinny" - it's just not in my DNA. My goal has always been, and continues to be, to maintain a weight that allows me to do all the things I want to do. WLS gave me my life back. Today, I'm celebrating with a fresh made salad. It tastes like success.