Tag Archives: adjustable gastric band

Happy Surgi-versary To Meeeee 🎶

I’ve wrestled with writing this post for about a week now. I’ve been pretty transparent as it pertains to my health and weight loss journey but it’s still a struggle to put myself out there sometimes; too vulnerable and exposed. I find it to be both frightening and cathartic. I worry that people will feel like me sharing is giving them permission to comment on my body; it doesn’t, but they will and it is what it is. Ultimately, I decided to share because I am damn proud of myself. Plus, if my sharing helps motivate even one person then I will be happy.

July 31st was my 3-year surgi-versary; the anniversary of having my adjustable gastric band placed. There are those that think a surgical intervention makes losing weight an easy thing; that is a big misconception. Surgical intervention is a tool; diet and exercise is still a vital part of reaching my health and wellness goals.

As my weight loss journey continues, I focus less on the numbers on the scale. I know that I have lost quite a bit of weight although I still have a hard time convincing my brain of that fact. But as I was looking at old pictures and preparing this post, I was encouraged to focus on the feelings from then and now.

I was 497lbs at my heaviest; now, I weigh…less.

I don’t think I was unhappy when I was heavier but it was definitely limiting and I was for sure uncomfortable…always uncomfortable. I couldn’t breathe very well, moving around was cumbersome and painful and my joints were always swollen and aching. My doctor at the time was always telling me I just needed to be more active but that wasn’t my reality. Walking from the house to the car often left me winded. I would try to walk for exercise but a 5-minute walk would result in excruciating lower back pain as well pain and numbness in my hips and legs. I did find a water aerobics class which was awesome for being able to get some exercise without the weight and pressure on my bones and joints. Now, I can do my 1-mile walk in the mornings without thinking twice about it. I’m able to bend down and tie my own shoes which I couldn’t do previously. My only aches and pains are from a hard workout.

Adventures with my wife are a lot better now

One constant is that Tomi has never loved me any differently through all of my physical and emotional changes. She’s always been consistent and my biggest cheerleader. I didn’t stop doing things just because was heavier than I’d ever been. I still fixed myself up and put on a brave face when Tomi and I went out. It wasn’t until I started making moves toward my surgery that I truly expressed to her some of my feelings and experiences of navigating life in a fat body. It was eye-opening for her to discover that the thought of going out to eat was super stressful for me. Why? What if the chairs have arms? Not to mention I was convinced that people were watching to see what I ordered and how much I ate. I love to dance but going dancing meant I may get through one song but then we’d spend the remainder of the night sitting at the table and nursing a drink. I think the hardest thing to share was that I considered breaking up with her because I wanted her to be able to go out and be able to have the life I felt like I was holding her back from. Now that I am smaller and definitely more comfortable in my skin, my bravery and sense of adventure has kicked into overdrive. I am saying yes more because I’m not in pain, I’m less apprehensive about what people will think and I can advocate for myself in a way that doesn’t bring extra attention and embarrassment. We go on hikes, ride gondolas and I can sit in a camp chair without the fear of it toppling under my girth. It might sound like a small thing but a very big deal for me.

Full body shot…my least favorite type of photo. On the left…about 6 months post-surgery.
On the left…1 month before my wedding; 3yrs before surgery. On the right…2 months ago in Vegas.

I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with pictures. I love the idea of capturing memories but hate the idea of capturing the truth of how I look. I’m slowly but surely coming around. I am working on loving my body through all the phases of my journey. Just like before my weight loss, I still have a hard time loving how i look with and without clothes but I must admit that now, I have more good days than bad. My brain sometimes doesn’t register the changes my body has undergone which is when pics are helpful. I am feeling good about being able to buy clothes off the rack and sit where I want and go on hikes and dance the night away. Most importantly, I am proud of myself for putting in the work.

Weighing In: Two Days Post-Surgery

July 20, 2016…Pre-Surgery Education

Myself and another young lady scheduled to have surgery on the same day as I, spent the day with the surgery assistant and the surgeon going over every aspect of the surgery. We talked about meds, supplements, exercise, risks…EVERYTHING!! My surgeon, Dr. Earl Fox, M.D., is amazing.

July 21, 2016

I started my liquid diet in prep for my surgerday tworeceived_10210293210235098

My body felt like it was shutting down. The purging of sugar and caffeine was physically painful for the first few days. I had to call out of work on day two because I couldn’t be away from the bathroom. I know that’s TMI but just keeping it real. After that, I felt amazing and I lost about 25lbs during my liquid diet. This is the diet I will follow for the first month after surgery.

July 29th, 2016…SURGERY DAY!!!

Tomi got home from work at 5am and got me up and moving. I got my CPAP machine together (I had to take it with me) and then I weighed myself…464.4lbs. I dressed and then we were out the door. Once we got to the hospital, things went pretty quickly. Checked in, gowned up, met with anesthesia, met with surgeon and then on our way to the operating room. Next thing I know, I was waking up drinking water and trying to shake off the anesthesia.

Post-surgery…

I think the hardest part has been all the new meds on top of my others. Having to give myself injections (blood thinner) in my tummy everyday is a bit intimidating. I only have to do it for 10 days though. I’ve noted that I’m mostly sore but there has been some pain. I’ve slept a lot but otherwise, nothing too exciting.

I’ll see you all for next week’s weigh in.