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).
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.
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
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.
I am four years and two months post-op, and protein shakes are almost a daily thing for me. I say almost because I am being honest in that while protein shakes should always be a daily thing for me, I sometimes have my “off” days where I just graze on high-protein foods instead. But for long term maintenance of the body’s protein needs and optimal success in weight loss without the loss of energy, hair, and muscle, daily protein supplements aren’t an option: they’re a requirement. I find it so puzzling when new post-ops ask me why I’m “still” supplementing. I’ve gotten this question as far back as when I was just two years post-op. The whole point of gastric bypass surgery is to reduce your stomach size and shorten your digestive tract permanently. These are permanent physical changes that require permanent nutritional changes. Supplementing with protein, ideally, is not a temporary thing: it’s a permanent thing.
But with all that said, I get the desire to ditch the shakes. Trust me, I do. I’m not fond of the taste of them, and believe me, I’ve tried dozens of brands and even more flavors, mixed with milk as well as water, consumed hot, cold, with ice, with creamer, etc. In the end, I find that chocolate or coffee flavored protein powder mixed with milk is most palatable for me, but even if I have to mix vanilla or strawberry with water, that’s what I’m going to do, because protein powder is something I need.
Thirteen years ago. It was 2001. Dan was two months shy of turning 19, I was four months away from 17. He was living in Pittsburgh and attending college, and I was living at home with my family in Lancaster. Every couple of months one of us would take a train across the state to spend a few days with the other. During February of 2001, it was my turn to visit him. One thing we decided to do was go roller skating. It took over an hour to get to the rink by public transit, and we had to stand in line and go through metal detectors (which took another hour), but finally we were in, had rented our skates, and were laced up and ready to go…
…Only we didn’t stay long, because I was literally too fat to roller skate. My ankles felt like they were being crushed in a vise – the vise was my weight. At the time I was probably pretty damn close to 300 lbs.
That was the last time I skated until the spring of 2012, when Dan and I took the kids (who were then 5 & 7) to a roller skating rink. I was a much more manageable, non-ankle-crushing weight of 180 lbs, and I spent several hours skating with the kids and on my own, and had a blast.
Yesterday, I took the kids — who are now 7 & 9 (geez the years are flying) — ice-skating. I haven’t gone ice-skating since I was 11. At that time, I was sadly over 150 lbs, but nowhere near the weight I was when Dan and I went skating when I was 16. I did fine yesterday, and shockingly didn’t fall on my ass even once.
One of Dan’s older online icons is a cropped photo I took of him playing Guitar Hero. Because of the crop, the angle, and some post-photo editing, he looked very much like he was playing a guitar from the line of godin bass guitars. And I must say, his jeans fit him quite well in that particular shot, too. It’s funny…when Dan was in high school he played a brass instrument, yet he picked up Guitar Hero and was just naturally good at it. I, on the other hand, can’t play past the easy level. There are just too many buttons to hit, and I don’t have enough fingers, nor the ability to move them at the speed of light.
Dan doesn’t play Guitar Hero much these days, even though we have several of the games and several of the guitars. He should play again…I liked watching him play, and now that the kids are older (7 and 9, versus the INFANT and 2 they were when we got the first game), I bet they’d enjoy playing too!