It finally happened today. For the second time in my life I have crossed over from the 200's into the 100's on the scale, going in the preferred direction. I know what you're going to say...."But you don't LOOK like you weigh 200 pounds!" Well, thanks. I really do though, and the crazy thing is that I actually feel really skinny right now.
If you know me well, you know that in April of 2003 I weighed 326 pounds. I'm still not exactly sure how that happened. I made the choice to have gastric bypass surgery and over the course of the next year and a half I lost 395 pounds. That would be 145 pounds worth of me and 250 pouds worth of ex-husband. All for the best, next chapter. You can read about the first year or so of my weight loss surgery journey here: http://www.obesityhelp.com/member/denyseanderson/. Scroll down to "My Story."
I never reached my goal of 170, but hung around at 185 for some time. (Nope, never made a goal to get to my ideal weight.) After having two children I found my weight climbing again. I wasn't sure if my small stomach had stretched or what, and sought the advice of a surgeon. Through endoscopy this past February, it was discovered that I had a hiatal hernia that was probably there at the time of my gastric bypass surgery. Therefore my stomach pouch was not made as small as my original surgeon thought. Then, as I lost weight (a whole person, mind you! you can clap if you want because 145 pounds is really, really awesome!) and then gained and lost with two pregnancies, the herniated portion of my stomach relaxed and fell back through the opening in the diaphragm...giving me more room to eat. And that's exactly what I did. Fan-stinkin-tastic.
It made a lot of sense, though, because I had been having some discomfort from eating for several months. I was also really happy to know why I was gaining weight. Making the decision to have the hiatal hernia repaired was easy. The tough part was deciding how to deal with the semi-ruined gastric bypass. There were a couple of options but the one I chose was to have a lapband placed over my gastric bypass. How the lapand has worked for me is definitely a topic for another blog alltogether because less than a week after that surgery, I started to get extremely sick. I haven't really had a chance to use the lapband much yet. I ended up back in the hospital for another week with an abdominal hernia that caused a small bowel obstruction. That required emergency surgery.
Now I feel like my blogs have gone around in circles regarding my surgeries...so let's review! Ha!
April 2003 - Gastric Bypass
May 2010 - LapBand Placement with Hiatal Hernia Repair & Lysis of Adhesions (removal of scar tissue)
May 2010 - Small Bowel Obstruction and Abdominal Hernia Repair
November 2010 - Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
Ok...so...back to the point of this blog. Since the second weight loss surgery, my intention was certainly to lose weight. But the real reason for my weight loss at this point is that I have been so sick. The first 20 pounds came off directly after the surgeries in May. During the first two weeks of recovery, I had nothing but water, ice, and IV fluids. The next 15 pounds have come off as a pretty direct result of the gallbladder/possible sphincter of oddi dysfunction this fall. The nurses at my surgeon's office were actually surprised that I haven't lost more. I can tell you my secret, though. If you want to maintain your weight (or gain) just EAT CARBS. Little food demons that they are, they have kept me from wasting away too quickly. That's pretty much all I can eat right now. Foods that are high in fat, including most proteins, are just not on the happy list. I keep telling myself I should be thankful that I can at least eat something and that I have food to eat at all. Plenty of people in the world are not so lucky. Some days I really stink at being thankful but I'm working on that.
This is so bitter-sweet. I'm ultimately happy to be on the underside of 200. It's like I breathed a sigh of relief when I stood on the scale and saw a one in front of the other two numbers. In fact, I'm sure that's exactly what I did. Obesity is a life-long battle and no matter what size I am - ever - I will always have to live with struggling with my weight. Losing and maintenance are both extremely difficult but dealing with your weight has to become as much a part of your life as showering and brushing your teeth. It's similar to someone with diabetes in a lot of ways. Your life style changes, but you accept it as part of you and adjust. But in the same vein, I'm not always perfect with this life style. I sometimes make poor choices with eating and exercising, sometimes for a few days or a week, sometimes for a year. But then I get back on track. The best news is, that in order to get off track, I had to have been on track at some point. That's encouraging to me. I've done this before...so I know I can do it again.
This baffles me, but this blog has really not been about my adorably bright and cuddly children so far. With the health surprises I've had in the last few weeks, it's almost serving as a bit of creative (and free) therapy for me right now. They are, however, along with their daddy and my faith in God, what inspires me to keep going. I absolutely can get through all of this. And, being thinner, I can enjoy my time with them so much more....because neither of them is going to sit still for long and I refuse to be left behind!!
I was amazed this week to find out that I have several readers. I think I blushed yesterday when my neighbor told me she'd been reading my blog. I think that's really neat though, and I feel pretty special to have a few readers...so, thanks!! And keep reading because good things are undoubtedly ahead! :)