Yesterday was my three-month surgaversary (surgery anniversary). I spent it at a cross country meet, watching my Girl run.
Even though I was never particularly good at sports and don’t really like exercise (I have mentioned this before), I have still managed to encourage my children to do sports and be active. The Girl played soccer as a child and runs Cross Country and Track through high school. My Little Dude does soccer and baseball. And sometimes thinks about wrestling.
I know I encouraged this because I don’t want them to be like me, needing a surgery to help them lose weight. They do to be ‘all about sports’ or gym rats, but have balance in their lives and enough time being active to be healthy.
Random shoes… Or not so random, since they are mine. So are the legs, which are currently fitting into size 18 and some 16 jeans. I’ve had some jeans give to me, so I don’t need to go out and buy any for a while. Shirts will be a different story, and by Christmas, will be in need of winter wear in a size that fits. Sweaters, sweatshirts, vests. Hopefully, I can get some of those given to me, too.
But there… I am down to a size 16 from a size 22 jeans. In three months.
Readers, this is the tantalizing weight loss dream that everyone has when they join a new program like Weight Watchers or Atkins. Or join a new gym. This is the dream that usually falters after the first six months or during the first really long plateau.
And, as a dream, it is skewed and falls short or reality.
The truth is, nothing is just going to make the pounds melt off like butter. It took years of bad eating and wrong choices to get to where I was when I had my surgery. But the surgery alone is not going fix this, despite the size 16 jeans.
I’ve lost over 50 lbs, true, but only with hard work, watching what I eat, waking and staying active. I can’t have junk food any more. No soda, chips, candy bars. I can’t eat til I’m stuffed or eat quickly.
Eating quickly really sucks and is bad for everyone. When you eat fast you allow yourself to out more food in than your body needs and you gain weight.
When I eat fast, I get what’s called ‘the foamies.”. The foamies are a cutesy name for a rather unpleasant thing. It starts with excessive saliva in your mouth and pouch, and if you can’t get the saliva out, you will end up vomiting food and white foam.
It’s happened to me before, about five times now. Usually afterwards, I can’t drink or eat anything because my pouch with hurt and will feel queasy for hours.
I need to learn to eat slower. I have the worst problem with it during group family meals because everyone is eating faster than me. It’s not a race, but in the back of my mind, I remember all the times I’ve ever scolded by son for being the first to get food and the last one done. I want to ‘keep up’ with everyone else but in reality, we all need to slow down. Digest. Taste our food.
Not have the foamies.
That is one lesson I am slowly learning in the three months since my surgery.
Another is that there are some foods that I can’t eat anymore, and some that affect me differently every time I eat them.
Bread and rice are on the ‘no more’ list. I can do pumpernickel and rye breads, toasted, but not wheat or white in any form. They make me sick. Rice too, because even a little but swells in my pouch. The pain is not worth it.
Chickens and ham/pork are different. Every other time I eat them, I get sick. Which is a difficult thing when chicken is a recommended source of protein. But an ounce and a half of chicken breast at dinner can make me sick, while the same chicken for lunch the next day will be fine. Ham and pork are the same.
The only meat I don’t have trouble with is red meat. Venison, beef. The ones you’re supposed to avoid on certain diets.
This will be the constant struggle of my life now. Because weight loss surgery is a tool but the same kind of tool as a diet or a gym membership. I can’t stop for a while and come back later. It is a tool that requires a lifestyle change. Breaking old habits. Learning new ones.
It’s not the easy way out of being fat.
No matter how fast the pounds roll off.
Because eventually, the weight loss will slow down or stall, or I will hit my goal and need to maintain. I will still, will always, need to watch what I eat, when, how much and how fast.
So while the dramatic drop from a size 22 to a size 16 seems like the dream, it comes with very different reality.
A selfie from last week.
And my husband and I on Labor Day weekend.
I can see the difference in my face.
But the real difference is in the details. I have more energy. I don’t hurt anymore doing day to day house work. And extra work, like all the canning and preserving we have done for the fall harvest has not caused me the consideration pain it used to.
That is why I did this in the first place. Not to be stick thin or wear a certain size jeans, but to live my life the way I should. Free of pain, free of limitations.