“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
What have I done?
What have I done? No, that is not an question in fear, it’s a question of celebration.
On November 7, 2018, I had Vertical Gastric Sleeve Surgery, at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, by Dr. Arthor Carlin. The procedure took roughly an hour and a half, and I stayed one day overnight in the hospital. I have not had any complications and my scars are close to not even being seen.
The first month is hard adjusting to your new pouch – but you have a laid out plan by your provider on what you can and cannot eat.
After 6 weeks you are kicked out of the nest to see how you fly on your own. You get to test the waters introducing yourself back into solid foods. Sounds simple, but it’s not – at this point, things may no longer taste the same, and you may not be able to stomach the foods you once did. And for Protein’s sake, you might have to learn to love foods you never thought you would, and bread may (will) become an enemy you never wanted to make.
This journey does not have a definitive map to guide you. Everyone’s body is unique, and what may work for person A is not going to work for person B.
The good news though, is there are SOOO many others stretching their wings and taking flight on the same journey.
Find Your Flock
The best advice I can give at 4 months post-op is to join a support group for Bariatric patients. Henry Ford Hospitals Program is great, they support their patients from day one, and have weekly meetings for their patients. The meeting is lead by the head of the Macomb Program – Sally Green, The Bariatric Nutritionist on Staff, and a Fitness Coach. This group is my saving grace when I have a question, or just need to get back on track, I know that the members of the group and the leaders will help me.
They understand your struggles and have been in your shoes, they know your perspective.
Good Vibes Only
You will not only need to find your flock, but you need a well-structured nest. Keep the negativity out of your life. There will be someone who doesn’t have anything nice to say about your new lifestyle choice, and the best way to take care of that is to say Good Bye. Unless they are concerned for your health, as they don’t understand the process of VSG surgery, if they don’t love you and support your choice to LIVE – they are not someone you want to be around on this journey.
I have been very lucky to have a supportive group of Family and Friends around me every step of the way. They understand it was not a decision I made overnight, and that it is NOT the easy way out.
Keep your chin up, and push past the negative Nancies in your life, because you deserve it. Also, don’t let someone that does not support you stop you from making a decision that can change your life. It is YOUR life.
Try, try again.
You will have bad days – you will have days you eat the wrong things. You cave for a cookie. There will be days, or even a week or two the scale does not move – this may be in indication that you may have to drink more water, eat more calories, or even just move more. This is not the end of your journey – do not beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day – make a plan and stick with it.
Drum Roll Please…
Here is what you have been waiting for, my stats:
My Heaviest Weight – 280 lbs.
My Surgery Weight – 268 lbs.
Current Weight – 221 lbs.
My First Goal weight – 185 lbs. That is the least amount I ever remember weighing, and it was the weight I met my husband at. (9.5 years ago)
In tops I have gone from a 2x – 3x to an XL
In Jeans I have gone from a 22 to a 16
NSVs – remember the things that matter most!
On Surgery Day I forgot to take off my wedding ring, before going back. I was so embarrassed – The nurse had to soap up my hand and help me pry it off my finger. Today my wedding ring freely spins around my finger, not to the point that I am going to loose it, but loose enough, that I have to readjust it often.
I can comfortably fit down a slide – My daughter is 2 and of course, wants me to play with her- she loves to slide. It’s great for both of us that I can take her to the top of a playscape to enjoy the fun too!
My boobs stick out farther than my stomach. I have a pretty large set of Ta-ta’s I always have but in recent years my stomach has been racing past them. Not anymore, Ta-ta’s for the win!
I can paint my own toenails without having to think about how long I can hold my breath to reach my toes.
My winter jacket is too big. A few years ago my mother in law bought me a very nice winter coat – I love the look and style of it. The first time I tried it on it zipped but barely. Today I have more than enough room, so much so, that it looks frumpy when I put it on.
Are you Post Op, or just starting your journey and have questions?
Leave question, feedback, or some of your own experience in the comments.