My goodness, it’s been FOREVER since I have blogged. So much has happened!
Let’s start with my 122 pound weight loss!
I will bottom line it for you, then give you the back story. December 16, 2013 I had Bariatric Surgery. The Gastric Sleeve, to be exact. Let me say up front, that anyone who believes Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) is the easy way out, has no clue what they are talking about. I say this with confidence, because that is JUST what I used to believe.
So, let’s go back to 2013.
That October would mark three years since I had started my health journey. I worked out religiously, but yes, still struggled with food. That didn’t stop me though. I was strong and I was faithful to my gym and my wonderful gym community and trainer.
One day I noticed I had some pressure each time I took a deep breath. It wasn’t horrible, and I truly thought I had some sort of shoulder injury/strain which was radiating across my chest. So, I went to my General Practitioner (who I have been with for 18 years) and she became very concerned. She said I had the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism and she sent me right away for a cat scan. They wouldn’t let me leave until they could rule out the PE, but they found a large tear in my diaphragm (hernia). Soon, I would find out that would be a game changer.
I made an appointment to see a surgeon about repairing my hernia. I prepared to take off work, etc. At the appointment with the surgeon said while he knew I was on a health journey that I really needed significant and rapid weight loss. The tear was 2 ½ inches long and he needed to repair it with mesh. He said unless I had significant and rapid weight loss I ran a 30 – 40 % chance of re-tearing.
Needless to say I was shocked. Weight Loss Surgery? Really? That was the coward’s way out! That was the easy way out! I was better than that! Or so I thought…..
(I won’t go into the fine details about what was required for me to get my surgery. Nor will I post who my Doctor was or the facility. Contact me directly if you want a referral. It’s just not something I am going to toss out there.)
Everyone’s journey is different. From the doctor, the medical facility to the insurance. There are many, many variables. I will say, I am part of the strictest program in the Capital District and I am thankful for that. Let’s be serious, I had gotten myself to this point for a myriad of reasons, one of which was I was an emotional eater and borderline addict. Having strict guidelines was going to do nothing but make me successful. I needed to get a lot of things done before even submitting to the insurance company for their approval. So off we go…..
The first thing I needed to do was meet with the Nurse Practitioner from the program. We met and she is straight no chaser. I adore her. She gave me a bunch of info, links and a long list of requirements. She said if these things weren’t done, paperwork wouldn’t even be submitted for approval.
This was the moment I realized the Universe had conspired for me to make this wonderful change.
First, there was the injury I would have normally written off as aches and pains from the gym and age. I would have never known anything was wrong if I didn’t decide on a whim to get it looked at.
Second, the Nurse Practitioner had a cancellation and my name came up.
It didn’t end there.
I had to attend at least two support group meetings. I had been wrestling with the idea of having surgery and really thought it was the “easy way out”. As we headed into the meeting, there was an article someone had printed out for everyone on how Bariatric Surgery wasn’t the easy way out. The Universe was STILL talking to me!
I then had to make arrangements with work. My Boss was amazing. I had only been there less than a year and she moved mountains for me. The entire office was in my corner. How lucky was I? Universe still paving the way for me.
All the appointments I had to accomplish, became available. The Boss said – go, do what you need to! Everything fell into place.
I met all the requirements and approval came as I was literally in the office for my pre-op appointment. How amazing was that?
There are other people who I would have never made this without.
First: my family. My wonderful family was totally behind me. I told only my kids, naturally my husband, one brother and a niece. My brother, who is a trainer and my niece because when she was thinking about the surgery I told her I was against it. I told her I didn’t want her to think I was a hypocrite. She was awesome to me and said I could never be a hypocrite. I will be telling the rest of my family today.
Second, my trainer, James We talked and he was very frank with me. Was insurance covering this? Did I have time off work? I would be crazy not to do it. He said that he had seen people get the surgery and not have the work out piece in place and they struggled. He said I had always struggled with my food, but worked out like a beast and I was going to #%@^ melt! He was right! I was in the gym the Saturday after surgery and I was walking and strong! He adapted all work outs for me and I never had an issue. You MUST find someone who knows how to deal with a Bariatric patient or who is willing to learn. My trainer actually became part of our Facebook group so he could get a better understanding of all aspects of my journey! Who does that? Someone invested in your success, that’s who!
My Boss, Sue. Everyone should have a Boss like Sue. She has become my personal friend and none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for her paving the way clear for me.
My best friend in the Universe, Liz. She is my spiritual Sister and she was one of my biggest supporters through this.
So, I was prepared. My surgery was a week before Christmas and I was embarking on this life changing move during the biggest food season there was! I was scared out of my mind, but I’ve had kids, I don’t scare easy! Off we go!
Of course there is risk, but you minimize it by doing what you’re told and going into the surgery strong. The risks are actually very slim.
I know you are asking yourself. Why didn’t I tell people? Well, part pride and part fear. The pride part is easy to figure out – what would people think? Well, I got over that part pretty quick. The fear part is very real. What if I fail? I am well aware that I am a few bad meals and a couple of missed work outs from messing this up. I have to be aware of that if I am going to succeed.
At first I was going to wait until I had lost 100 pounds before I announced it, but that put me so close to Onederland (where your weight starts with a 1) that I decided to wait it out. Who knew I would have a stall in my loss on the scale? I did, however, continue to excel in my work outs and the clothes sizes kept dropping! So I was kind of OK with hit. (Actually I was going nuts LOL)
So, the scale finally moved and here I am 9 months later. It’s not so much the weight loss, but the restoration of my life which is amazing. I have lost over 43 inches over my entire body (I need to take current measurements), I have lost over 122 pounds, I have lost medication, I have lost depression, I have lost a lot of fear, I have lost doubt.
I can run a 10 minute mile, a 32:38 5K and my work out is the strongest it’s ever been, I am down over 10 sizes and wear my clothes comfortably and I am no long er a hostage at Lane Bryant!