A fat girl’s quest to freedom

Recommittment

So…it has been about 5 years since the last time I posted and my life has completely changed. I had a lot of personal and financial upheaval in my life and I coped the only way I knew how….food. And lots of it. I was in this state from 2013 through 2015. I started having problems with my knee in December in 2015. No matter how much I weighed I have always been able to walk and walk far. It had never been an issue. But then my ankles started hurting and I started limping. I couple of months after that I started feeling sharp pains in my calves. It felt like my there was a sharp piece of bone scratching the inside of my leg and any minute it was going to burst through the skin. Then my left knee started bothering me. Most nights by the time I walked to my front door, I was in tears. For the whole month of December, I spent every weekend laid up in bed trying to rest my knee so that I could make it to work. However I did not change my eating…at all.

 

My best friend got married at the end of December in 2016. The weeding party were dressed in traditional sari’s. The pictures that we took for the wedding just devastated me. My face was on point and so pretty but from the neck down I was huge. I had no idea what I weighed and I knew how bad my eating habits had become. January was fast approaching and I thought that it was time to get back on track. My last known weight was 345 lbs and I had not weighed myself or been to the doctor in about a year so I thought maybe put on 20lbs or so. I was confident that I would be able to take that off pretty quickly. So on January 2, 2016 I went out to Walmart and purchased everything I needed to start my diet as well as a scale. I stepped on the scale and nearly fainted. The scale read 395lbs. I had accepted that I was over 300lbs but I knew that I would never get over 400lbs. For some reason, that number was my rock bottom. As I sat in the bathroom staring at the scale I looked up and saw myself in the mirror. The look in my eyes was heartbreaking. I was so disgusted with myself. Not just because of the weight but even though I had just bought all this stuff to start my new diet I was still planning on having a cheeseburger. This was a huge turning point for me. I stepped of the scale and stripped and really looked at myself. I had been telling myself for years that while I was overweight, I was not that big. I realized that I could no longer afford to lie to myself and had to face the truth. I was morbidly obese, I was a value meal away form 400lbs and my knees were starting to go. I knew if I became immobile that that was it. I was going to be like one of those people on my 600lb life. I would not let myself get there. I started my diet and for 7 days I ate healthy and worked out no matter how much it hurt. I knew when I stepped on the scale on Sunday I was going to see a big loss. That Saturday, I worked out like my life depended on it and I ate my healthy meals. I woke up Sunday and stood on the scale and smacked into my new reality. I had only lost 3 ounces. The years of playing fast and loose with my metabolism had caught up to me and I had to accept that losing this weight was only going to get harder. But I persevered and kept going. Although I had a few bad meals along the way I had managed to lose 15lbs by March. But my legs were still bothering me and I was getting discouraged. I went to see my PCP on March 27, 2016 and she asked me if I had ever looked into weight loss surgery. I had when I was in my twenties but decided then I could lose it on my own. Now I was 40 and I had high blood pressure, getting closer to being pre-diabetic and to top it all off my mom was dealing with health problems and she was going to need me. So I decided to do the surgery.

I met with the bariatric surgeon on May 5th 2016. I weighed in at 378. I qualified for the surgery but before they would do it I had some things I needed to accomplish so that I would succeed after surgery. I had to get down to 351, pass a psych eval and attend a support group. I was put on a 1200 calorie diet and given a sample menu plan to help me stick to it. I had to completely understand what was wrong in my relationship with food and start creating a healthier relationship in regards to eating and exercising. It sounds difficult but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had to get real with myself. If I did everything they told me to do I would get the surgery and save my life because I knew that my days were numbered. If I did not, I was not going to get my surgery and I was going to end up being a burden to my mother, who was barely dealing with her own health issues, or I was going to die. I fought so hard against this reality but once I no longer had a choice, I got it together mentally pretty quickly. I was going on vacation at the end of  October and I wanted to have my surgery at the end of December. Vacation was awesome and I put on 10lbs due to the drinking and eating but I was prepared for that. When I got back home I got right back to it. By November 15th I had dropped the 10lbs I’d gained and had lost another 5. I was now at 360. You can only schedule your psych eval once you are 5lbs within goal. I just had to make it through the holidays and lose another 9lbs. That meant some sacrifices had to be made. My family was very supportive of me and the changes I made but they had no responsibility to adopt those changes themselves which meant Thanksgiving was going to be a food extravaganza. Now…I can have cakes and cookies in front of me and still stay on plan but I knew that there was no way that I was going to be able to deny myself old fashioned home cooking on a holiday that is geared to excessive overeating. So…I spent Thanksgiving home alone. I made myself a small dressing, heavier on the meat and veggies and light on the bread and a small sugar free banana pudding minus the cookies. I kept going and breezed through Christmas. On January 1st, 2017 I weighed in at 353. I had scheduled my mammogram for January 5th and walked myself into the bariatric department to get weighed and schedule my psych eval. I weighed in at 351! However my psych eval was a month out. So I kept going. At this point, I could not gain any weight, if I did I would have to start over and THAT was unacceptable. I buckled down and knew that as long as I kept going, I was going to get my surgery. I passed my psych eval and they called to schedule my surgery and pre-op appt. My surgery day was March 27, 2017, exactly a year from the date that I decided to do the surgery. My preop was 2 weeks before that. I went into my preop appointment and weighed in at 343. I was under my surgery weight, which gave me some wiggle room. As long as I did not weigh over 351 on surgery day they would still do the surgery. Day of surgery, my mom and best friend went with me for support. I weighed in at 341, which my surgeon was very happy about. I spent a night in the hospital and was ready to go home the next day and get started on a new chapter of my journey

 

Surgery saved my life but it did not nor will it keep the weight off. I am now 1 year and 4 months out. I have lost a total of 146lbs but I regained 15lbs. The first year is wonderful. In the beginning not only could I not eat alot but I was never hungry, there were no cravings or head hunger. It was wonderful. However once you hit a year out, you start experimenting with what you can and re-introducing carbs back into your diet. Head hunger and cravings come back. But this is also an opportunity to use everything that I learned before but did not really need after surgery since I was not hungry nor tempted. I still have about 77lbs I want to lose (not including the 15 I regained). So as of today, I have recommitted to not only eating more on plan like at the beginning but also blogging about to keep myself accountable. Even with the regain, I feel amazing. I have tons of energy, I am more outspoken and brave. My confidence level has shot up and I always speak up for myself now. I have never been a doormat but I would let some things pass because I did not want to upset people. Now I refuse to allow people to trample my feelings, including myself. I still have a ways to go but I know I will get there. The only thing that can stop me is me.

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