One year ago today I took a huge leap and had the Duodenal Switch weight loss surgery. I was at my wit's end regarding my weight, and life in general. Something HAD to be done. I was sick & tired of being sick & tired. And sometimes drastic times call for drastic measures. I truly thought I was about to die...and I probably was. As I've said before, I just kept thinking "I just have to make it until surgery and then maybe I'll be okay." It's really crazy to think back on that time and how I felt. I'm so happy to say that in the last year I have lost 173 lbs! Amazing! I never knew this would be possible. I hoped it would. I prayed it would. I liked to entertain the idea of it, but I'm not sure I truly believed it. After having failed the lap-band I was unsure as to how another weight loss surgery would turn out, but I had to do something.
*Hover over the pictures to see when they occurred!*
This has been an incredible year. I can't believe how fast it's flown by. I find it amazing to look back at pictures from the last year. Yes, I see the changes in the mirror, in my clothes, in the compliments I get from others, but it's just amazing to compare the photos, even just months apart.
For the first time in my ENTIRE life I'm losing weight, but also working on my mind regarding that. I've told you I started going to counseling back in March. It has seriously been the best decision I have ever, ever made. I don't talk about it on here much, mostly because it's so sensitive for me. I cry nearly every session. When I decided to finally go to counseling I still didn't really think I'd need it over a month or two. I'd get this mental thing "fixed" and I'd be on my merry way. Wow, really? No way. 31 years of deep rooted weight issues is not solved over night...or in a few months. It's amazing how my counselor will mention something and I start pouring my heart out and the tears roll. Weight has ALWAYS been sensitive for me. Always. It's always been the elephant in the room (pun kind of intended) but I tried to overlook it. Let's not talk about it and it's not really there. I just can't put into words how great it is to finally delve into these feelings, hurt, thoughts, lies I tell myself, images I have of myself and truly start to work on them. I'm nowhere near "cured" and will always have this to deal with. But I am starting to learn ways to deal. Do I have it down? Uh no. It's a daily struggle for me to make more appropriate food choices, not let my emotions or different situations send me into a spiral of bad ones, and to just plain deal. Food is everywhere and it's HARD. This is the hardest thing I've ever done.
This is also the first time I'm incorporating God into my weight struggles as well. That too is a sensitive subject, full of questions I have for God. Why? Why do you allow things to happen? Why do bad things happen to good people? The list goes on. This too is a process and I'm definitely a work in progress, and I feel I'm just at the start of this journey. Yes, surgery was a year ago, but it's really only been a few months that I've actually tried to start to really make life-long, lasting changes. I fail daily, but I'm never giving up...on any of it...ever.
The non-scale victories are crazy...in an awesome way. I'm currently in a size 16/18. Um, heck yeah! My rings, watch, bracelets, shoes, & undies are all too big. lol! It's 100 degrees in Texas in June and I am NOT dying. Can you believe it?! I'll be around people and they'll talk about how hot and humid it is and it catches me off guard because I really hadn't noticed. Don't get me wrong, I know it's hot, but it's NOTHING like being 173 lbs larger in the middle of a Texas summer. Nothing. I don't sweat at the drop of a hat now. A-MAZ-ING!!! I'm not winded as I walk through stores, parking lots, my work. I can get in the car and shut the door like a normal person. It makes me tear up to think how I was shutting my car door a year ago. I would wedge myself into the seat and then would have to reach out to the closest part of the door, which wasn't the side of the door where the handle is, and would swing it toward me, all the while feeling all my fat as I did this movement. Talk about sad and ridiculous. :( Flying, flying isn't awful because guess what?! I fit in the seat WITHOUT a seat belt extension. Nothing is more humiliating then having to ring the attendant and ask for one of those. I can sit in camp chairs now and they don't fold like a tooth pick. I can go into Target and ALWAYS walk away with an item of clothing that...wait for it...fits. I was NEVER able to shop at Target 173 lbs larger. I can wear dresses and shorts, which I hadn't done in AGES! And I actually enjoy it! Heels...I can wear heels and I'm not afraid they won't hold my weight. Yeah they still hurt the balls of my feet because let's face it, it's not natural to walk that way, lol, but I'm doing it. I don't have to think twice about using the REGULAR stalls in public bathrooms. I don't need all the extra room of the handicap stall. I can wear a 1X t-shirt from Wal-Mart. I said 1X, not 4X. :-) I can wear hand-me-downs. You KNOW I love that!!!! I get tons of compliments all the time...from boys too. Ha! I CAN CROSS MY LEGS! Yes, just like a regular person. And OH, guess what I discovered at church on Sunday?! My bible can sit in my lap and I don't have to hold it there. That's never happened before because there was always a HUGE stomach in the way. I have these bones that I never even knew I had before. Did you know your butt has bones in it? I can freakin' feel them now. I was sitting on the stairs at work today talking on the phone on my break and my rear actually hurt because the bones were digging into the steps! OMG! And get this, I keep cutting myself as I shave lately. Hello, I didn't just learn how to shave, what's the deal? I figured it out. There are these bones in my legs now that stick out and I cut the skin on top of them. Before my legs were just big puffy fatty bags and I didn't have to worry about that. I can see my collar bone. BEST EVER! And get this, I may not be big-boned, as I've always thought. My shoulders actually look kind of smallish. Holy cow. I could go on, and on, and on. But considering this is already a novella I'll stop.
As I said, I'm a work in progress. I don't have this all figured out yet, far from it. But I'm working on it. There are days when I do feel bad because of my surgery. But it's because I've eaten or drank something that I shouldn't. And therefore my body is telling me "Are you flippin' kidding me?" I don't always listen to my body. Again, work in progress. If I had it to do all over again would I? Yes. I would. Never in my entire life has something worked for me like this. Never before have I realized that the problem is much deeper than just food and that needs to be worked on. I'm learning so much about myself through this journey. It's crazy. And awesome. And scary. And worth every minute.
I love you all. Thank you for the tremendous support through the last year. Thank you for the prayers, compliments, hand-me-downs, accountability, and love. I have the best friends & family anyone could ask for. Thank you God for that.
I'm not done with this journey. I'm not at the size I want to be and I don't have this all figured out. So stay tuned. There is lots more to come! ;-)
*Oh, and I was WAY too lazy to take my post-op pics tonight. I'll do that probably next week! Ha! ;)