Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two-Year Follow-Up Appointments

Today I had appointments with both Heart and Wellness and Dr. B. I also just returned from my first ever vacation without my child since he was born. For three days (and part of a fourth due to flight cancellations and delays), I was responsible for no one but myself. I think I remarked on this many times Friday night while we were sitting around talking. Even if Zachary were to become sick, I'd not be the person to call to do something about it because I was two airplane flights away in Texas.

I went to San Antonio to visit with some truly fantastic friends I've made as a result of the past two years since my weight loss surgery. I'd have never met these folks if I hadn't had gastric bypass surgery. We went tubing on Saturday in the Texas heat and sunshine and had an absolutely fantastic time, eating, drinking, and relaxing. Can you see where I'm going with this? Me, the person who still food journals every day, who still weighs and measures her portions, who exercises three to four times per week, let all that go for a few days. And let it go I did, believe me. I didn't eat or drink anything that made me feel sick (well, unless you count the very bready sandwich I had on the flight home that resulted in a horribly low blood sugar episode just as we were about to deplane in Boston...I was glad for the glucose tabs I had on-hand).

I did not weigh or measure anything this entire weekend...including my body. But oh could I feel it. The resulting bloat left my pants and shorts feeling snug and my tummy feeling pretty bloated as well. The scale this morning was not at all kind to me...but I earned that. I know it's a result of the choices I made. Part of me contemplated rescheduling my appointments with Heart and Wellness and Dr. B. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that my weight would be up and that is the number they would have recorded for me at two years post-op. Not necessarily an accurate number of where I am typically, but rather where I am pursuant to a three-day free-for-all with food and drink. I kept my appointment...I made my disclaimers. And today, I ate on plan; tomorrow, I will return to the gym.

This was my vacation. I didn't make horrible food choices really...I just probably consumed more than I should. There was more grazing than there should be. I don't usually graze at all. In talking to Dr. Benedetto today while I was waiting for my Dr. B, we chatted about how this is "normal"...people go on vacation...and if they eat or drink too much, they know they have a few lbs. to take off when they return home. It's not end of the world stuff. And strangely enough, I have some mild anxiety about losing the lbs. I put on, but I'm not at all feeling panicked. My pants and shorts will once again fit well. The bloat will be gone and my muscle definition will show better again. And overall, I'll feel better physically as a result of consistent good eating choices.

Overall, Heart and Wellness and Dr. B. were both happy with where I am…probably happier with me than I am. For me, I'm going to continue to stay on track now and take their satisfaction with where I am as being an indication that really, I am ok. Maybe I am even better than ok. I'm adjusting to life post-obesity. There will be (and have been) a mess of firsts...boyfriends, dating, intimacy, 5Ks, vacations. I will just keep doing my best to plow through them and keep my chin up.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two Years...And Counting!

Two years ago today, I had RNY gastric bypass surgery at NSMC with Dr. Buckley. It's really hard to believe it's already been two years. But what is even harder for me to believe is that I have essentially maintained my weight loss for almost a full year. I honestly have no idea when the last time was I could claim that. Maybe never.

You see, I've lost weight many, many times in my life. Losing wasn't so much the issue, but maintaining that loss has been. I'm still afraid. And if I am going to be honest, I worry that in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, I won't have stayed here. It scares the crap out of me because I don't ever want to go back there again. It took all the courage I could muster to have my surgical consult with Dr. B and consider weight loss surgery. The questions that went through my mind were "what if this is no different then every other means I've tried to lose weight?" "What if I lose all the weight yet again, but I can't keep it off...just like every other time...I can't go through that heartbreak again." And that is truly what it was...heartbreak.

I did all the "right" things before having weight loss surgery to lose weight. I ate properly, I exercised regularly and at the right intensity, and I was in counseling to deal with the emotional aspects. I lost the weight. And I subsequently regained it, too. It was like there was this switch in my head that would just one day, after many months of carrying on just fine, flip, and I'd no longer be able to control the eating, no longer have the gumption to kick my butt into gear to go to the gym. It took a lot of heartache to get to a point where weight loss surgery was even something I would consider in my mind...let alone pursue.

I have no regrets about my surgery. I actually never have. I didn't go through buyer's remorse. I didn't grieve the loss of food because in my opinion, I didn't lose anything...I can still have whatever I want, but the quantity and frequency has changed. If I overindulge, which I sometimes do, my body reminds me how awful that feels and reinforces how much better I feel when I eat the way I should on a regular basis.

I think I'll probably always wage this battle with food. But it is my great hope (and expectation) that as more time passes, my relationship with food will become more and more healthy (note I did NOT say normal...we are an obese nation primarily...the "norm" is not healthy). Check out the American Heart Association's Overweight and Obesity -- Statistics document. I'll take my altered anatomy and be abnormal, thank you. :) For many more years to come, I expect. :-)