Physically better, mentally worse.

If you’re pre-op, don’t make the mistake of thinking that weight loss surgery will magically make your life perfect. It will make your life better because you will be physically healthier (barring any complications, of course). But it won’t magically take away all of the negatives in life and make everything all glittery and perfect.

I’m four and a half years post-op, but I can honestly say that with the exception of being physically healthier, emotionally and mentally I was in a much better place five years ago – even though five years ago I was over 160 lbs heavier.

So go ahead and have the surgery, get your weight down, and be a healthier you. But as you’re focusing on numbers on the scale, vitamins in your medicine cabinet, and protein in your shaker bottle, please don’t forget the importance of emotional self-care.

Jewelry sizes: before & after

One neat NSV I’ve tracked over the last four and a half years is jewelry sizes. You don’t think much about the circumference of your neck or wrist or even your fingers, but when you’re morbidly obese these measurements do have an impact on the jewelry you’re able to wear. For me, I could get away with normal-sized necklaces, but I had to go up to 8.5″ for bracelets and watches – while my mom had slimmer wrists, but needed longer necklace lengths.

Before I lost all the weight, my bracelet size was 8.5″, and I wasn’t comfortable with necklaces that were shorter than 15″ (though I could get away with wearing them). My ring size was a 9.5.
Since losing all the weight, I can wear “normal” bracelets, as my wrists are less than 6″ around. My ring size is now a 6.

Do you know what it’s like to be able to walk into a store or shop online at a site like Reeds Pandora jewelry and buy jewelry and wear it as-is? No extenders, no stringing together two similar looking bracelets to make one that’s then too long? To not deal with the embarrassment of taking in rings to be sized up? It’s just so nice to be normal.

170 lbs. vs. 330 lbs:

365 Days: 043/365 Naked

No insurance makes for a very sad Jenn.

I am currently without health insurance. This has been the norm for about a year and a half, with the exception of a six month stint last year – but that period of coverage was brought on by an emergency surgery. I wouldn’t recommend obtaining health insurance in that manner. Still, that was the one positive I took away from that whole horrible fiasco: six months of health insurance coverage for Dan and I. Whoo!

Currently Dan is also without insurance, as he just lost his benefits from his job thanks to Obama Care changes. For the most part I’m for Obama Care – it will make health insurance rates in north carolina better, for one thing) – but I won’t deny that there are drawbacks. Companies deciding to drop coverage for their employees is definitely one of those drawbacks. And, I don’t agree with taxing people who do not have health insurance. Although in the case of those individuals whose premiums for one month would cost more than one year of no-health-insurance-taxation, I can certainly find ironic and cynical amusement.

Old hobbies, new hobbies

I read several blogs belonging to post-op bariatric patients, and some talk about discovering new hobbies or re-discovering old hobbies that they were formerly unable to do or unaware of due to their physical weight and the emotional issues that go along with the extra pounds. My hobbies haven’t changed much over the past couple of years; if anything as I’ve lost more weight I’ve drawn more into myself. But I realize that life is to blame for that – not weight loss or gain or maintenance. It’s just that sometimes I feel like the odd one out: the only post-op who hasn’t had a radical change of heart and suddenly decided to pick up a cello bow from musicians friend and play in a band, for instance.

The hobbies I had before — reading, digital photography, some TV watching — are the same ones I have now. My daily habits and how much time I am able or want to invest in these hobbies wax and wane as my life does (for instance, I have more time during the day when the kids are at school; but my evenings are basically a blur of after school snacks and homework and dinner and baths).

4 year post-op regain.

Regain is going to happen to every single surgical weight loss patient at some point or another. And I, unfortunately, am no exception. This time last year I weighed 153 lbs. But I had gotten really sick about two weeks prior to that weigh-in, and before getting sick (and having surgery while sick with pneumonia and being on some major dietary restrictions for about a week and a half), so my “real” weight around that time was 162 lbs. Currently, I am 175 lbs., and I am Very Unhappy with that number. A year of anxiety & depression, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications that cause weight gain, and some grazing habits have led to the gain. I take full responsibility for it, and am currently working on getting the pounds back off. I’m happiest in the 160 to 165 range, and I can’t wait to get back to that.

Plan of action:

  • 80g of protein per day
  • all necessary vitamins (using the pill boxes again) every day
  • walk Leah 3x per day and triple the duration of walking (three loops around our cul-de-sac instead of just one or one and a half)

The pounds didn’t come on overnight, and I know they won’t come off overnight, either. But still, given that I have 3 months until my 30th birthday, my goal is to lose 15 lbs between now and then.

So Roseanne Barr had weight loss surgery…

Apparently people are freaking the eff out because Roseanne Barr had weight loss surgery. Some are shocked that she had the surgery, others are shocked that she had the surgery for what is presumably “just” a 40 lb. weight loss. Whether the weight loss surgery was paid by allred insurance or another insurance, or out of pocket, isn’t the issue here – after all, every day health insurance policies pay for procedures that definitely fall in the “gray area” in terms of pointing fingers at the patient for being responsible. So to the former, I say you do what you have to in order to lose weight and get on track to a healthier lifestyle. And to the latter, I say that while a 40 pound weight loss in and of itself may not seem like a lot, but 40 lbs could be anywhere from 20% to even just 10% of a person’s body weight – losing that and perhaps more is important. And you know what else is important? Maintaining that loss. If Roseanne Barr felt that weight loss surgery was the only reliable method of not just losing weight but keeping it off, then good for he

I miss my cleavage

Sometimes I miss my cleavage. It’s the one thing I had when I was overweight, and I now somewhat embarrassingly realize that since it was one of the few positive physical attributes I had when I weighed over 300 pounds, I not only flaunted it, but I relied on it a lot more than I knew at the time. Having lost so much weight, it’s only expected that my breast size would have gone from an ample 46DDD to a much smaller — and more manageable — 34C-D (depending on the fit). Unless I have on the right type of bra, my cleavage is nearly non-existent. At first that was hard to come to terms with, and I know that sounds so silly; but now I’m a little more acclimated to the idea that manageable, reasonably-sized breasts will not produce massive cleavage without the aid of a specific type of bra. And by the way, I’m still hunting for that specific type of bra, so let me know if you know of where I can find it. ;)

- @kissmykitty on Twitter

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Hi! My name is Jenn. I'm a 29 year old, married, work-at-home mother of a nine year old daughter and seven year old autistic son. In 2008, after over a decade of being obese, I reached my highest weight of 331.5 lbs, and I decided to do something about it. In November of 2009 I had gastric bypass surgery, and since then have lost 180 lbs. I am currently maintaining my goal weight range of 150-160 lbs.

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