Friday, February 27, 2015

8 years

This isn't intended to be a pity party, but I'm sure it will turn into one or at least come across as one.  Really I just have a lot of thoughts running around in my head about my weight and my food consumption that I thought it might be good to just put it all out there.  Maybe it will help me focus.

Before I get into the things that are weighing on me right now, I want to say that I would absolutely do the surgery again and I wish I had done it earlier in my life.

So after all of these years food is still my major failing.    So many of you know I used to weigh 441 pounds at my heaviest.  I had tried so many fad diets and exercise routines that I should have invested in their stock plans.  All of those attempts were met with initial success then followed by failure and a rebound to an even higher weight.  About 8 years ago I had bariatric surgery to help me with my weight problems.  This surgery and the results were spectacular.  However it hasn't been without a little pain and suffering in the process.

The first setback I had with my Weight loss surgery journey (WLS from now on) was that I had issues with my gallbladder.  I had to have that removed after the surgery.  This seems to be a very common occurrence with patients post WLS. 

The next setback was I had an intestinal block caused by twisting of the intestines.  That was a serious emergency that required immediate surgery.  Let me tell you that hurt so bad, that I thought I was going to vomit.  It felt like someone had a knife in my stomach and they were slowly twisting it.  The doctors said it was likely related to the weight loss.  Thinks move around after the surgery.  Things that my have been supported by fatty areas before were now unsupported and allowed to twist.

The third problem that will be with me for the rest of my life was probably also caused by the surgery either directly from trauma of the surgery or again as a result of the weight loss.  The portal vein in my liver occluded.  This causes portal hypertension.  High pressure in the liver area.  So I am on medications for that now.

I also have bouts of reactive hypoglycemia ( is a medical term describing recurrent episodes of symptomatic hypoglycemia occurring within 4 hours[1] after a high carbohydrate meal (or oral glucose load) in people who do not have diabetes. It is thought to represent a consequence of excessive insulin release triggered by the carbohydrate meal but continuing past the digestion and disposal of the glucose derived from the meal.)  Never had this problem prior to the surgery.

Early on I would also have episodes of being light headed and dizzy.  It would be caused by a drop in blood pressure when moving from a prone to standing position and it was intermittent.  The doctor indicated this was also related to the WLS but that it may resolve itself with time.  For the most part it has.   I still occasionally have this issue but it is very infrequent now.

In addition to that I have had a couple physical accidents.  Now that I wasn't fat and exercise didn't "hurt", I was able to start cycling and running.  Well I had two cycling accidents and 1 running accident.  I broke my collarbone riding (entirely my fault, I wasn't paying attention and hooked my front wheel in a rut, which tossed me on my head and shoulder.)  The second injury was a result of being cut off at an intersection by a car this caused me to fall on my knee, breaking my knee cap.  The running injury was a partial tear to the Achilles tendon (stupid barefoot running trend).

But for all of those physical problems, it is the mental ones that are the toughest.  Yes I miss food, yes I still desire to overeat and indulge, no I can't seem to break the cycle.  Like I said I started at 441 pounds, I had to lose 100 pounds before the doctor would do the surgery for me.  My final weight loss had me down to 188 including all the loose skin which the doctor estimated at 8-10 pounds worth of extra skin, so if I could have afforded the plastic surgery, I may have actually been under my ideal weight for a while. 

Well 8 years later and I have gained back 42 pounds, and I am struggling to get it under control.  I am capable of eating way more than I should.  I am still an addict to starchy things, and fat things.  I'd take french fries over chocolate any day.  Yay for fried things with cheese.  The only way to keep myself from having those things is to not have access to them.  This is hard because my family still continues to eat them and I am exposed to them on a regular basis.  But this isn't on them, it is my problem.

Today at work one of the very nice ladies I work with brought in two big boxes full of sugary breakfast treats from one of the best bakeries in town.  Here I sit with my egg beaters while everyone else is enjoying the food I really want.  Someone once said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  Well that is a load of crap.  Skinny never felt anything to me good, bad or indifferent.  I will however agree that fat felt bad.

I have managed to stay out of the pastries, but they are in the copy room and I am going to have to go past them every time I need something from the printer or some supplies.  So it will be a constant test today.  I am not one of those people who can have just one bite and be satisfied.  If I give in and take a sample, I will be back in there all day long until the food is gone.

I am worried that I am on that slope to becoming fat again.  I am not happy with what I have allowed myself to do.  I had put in so much effort to get this weight off.  I had hopes that this would be the real deal.  But like they say, the surgery is on our bodies, not on our minds.  The flabby skin and the ugly body that I am left with is very disheartening.  I thought that once I lost the weight I would be happy with my physical appearance.  Well since I can't afford to have the extra skin taken of (and to what purpose vanity?) I am going to have this wrecked body.  I still don't take my shirt off at the beach, I don't even like to see myself in the mirror.  I still wear clothes that cover my appearance.  My wife says it doesn't bother her, but how could it not?  I know she just doesn't want me to feel bad about it, but it isn't physically appealing.

I had hopes of getting to be just like everyone else and that is never going to be the case.  I thought that at some point I would get to eat like all my friends, but as soon as I start to do that, the weight goes on.  I track my calories and I don't know if it is a result of my body adjusting to the new me or what, but as soon as I get my calories over 1200 a day, I start to gain weight again.  Everything I read indicates I should be able to eat more than that, especially when I am doing a lot of exercise, but that hasn't been the case for years.  It certainly isn't now since I have been pretty sedentary the last 2 years.  It is amazing how fast the weight comes back.  One day the pants require a belt, and the next you are considering going shopping for larger pants.

I guess the point to all of this is that I need to refocus.  There is no escape from this for me.  It is something I will be battling my entire life.  I need to get up and get moving and I need to diligently track my food.  Not every other day not every couple days, but every bite, lick and taste that goes into my mouth.  I have proven that I am not good at winging it, I need structure or a forced regiment.

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