Losing Weight (again) After Gastric Bypass
I have had this post sitting in draft form for a few months now, unsure whether to share or not. Weight has always been a sensitive issue for me and I have mostly been very quiet about my journey(s) because of this. I’ve decided to share in hopes that I might reach, help, motivate or encourage even one person that is in the same situation(s) I was. The feelings of desperation and fear are overwhelming and all consuming. To finally be able to see a glimmer of light at the end of my tunnel has made me realize that maybe my “answer” could be your “answer” as well.
I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I can remember clear back in elementary school kids calling me names like heifer. Yep, kids can be cruel. Looking back, though, I really wasn’t that overweight. I just wasn’t the same size as the other children. Even so, this type of bullying brought on the continuous yo-yo diets that eventually landed my poor body near 400 pounds by the time I was 33.
I had tried everything I could think of, and either I would quickly gain back what I lost (plus some) or the scale wouldn’t move at all. I was exhausted and quite literally felt like I was dying. I wanted to live to see my children grow… I wanted to see them fall in love and have children… I wanted to live to an old age with my husband. So we made the difficult decision to go ahead with surgery in March of 2003.
My first 18 months were very successful and I quickly found myself heading toward “onederland”. Then I stalled. Looking back I think it was because I started “testing” my limits. I had never considered it until I had talked to other patients and felt foolish that I couldn’t answer “how much CAN you eat” or “how much sugar can you handle?”. Then the weight started creeping on.
My rebound was about 25 pounds, and then I found out I was pregnant. I can honestly say we were beyond thrilled with this. At my heavier weights my body had completely shut down in the reproductive department. Being able to add the last child (so we thought) was an incredibly joyous time for us. By 2008 our household had grown not by 1 child, but by 2. Emma and Ethan were our final additions to our family.
In 2014 I was sadly back in the 300 pound range. At 325 I knew I had to get serious and find a solution. I tried Nutrisystem a couple of times and journaled it here on the blog. I have to admit it did work for me, but I was on the hunt for a complete lifestyle change that I could continue for the rest of my life. I just couldn’t see pre-packaged food in my distant future.
After some research I turned to Whole30. I wanted a whole foods plan and this particular one helped me kick the carb and sugar monster directly to the curb. I felt amazing on it and the weight slowly slid off. The photo above is me at 325 (my before) and the after is 60 pounds gone.
That turning point was about 2 years ago. About 6 months into it I took a serious “time out” to enjoy holidays and, to be honest, I just got plain lazy again. I put a few pounds back on and I started to panic. I looked back into the Whole30 and considered it, but during this same time I was watching someone very important in my life make a life change that was not only changing her body shape, but it was also changing her mind set.
THAT is what I was missing all this time. I knew what I had to do, and WHY I had to do it … but I didn’t really want to do it. I wanted to want to do it.
Six months ago I stepped completely and totally out of my comfort zone and walked into a gym. I had realized that diet alone was not going to help me obtain my overall life goals. I was tired of yo-yoing, I was tired of being tired, I was tired of being big and I was seriously tired of feeling so weak.
I am not one to dip my toes in, when I commit to something I jump in with both feet. Six days a week I head to the gym for class or a personal trainer session. I have been doing that for six months now and I’m learning so much from the incredible people there … like too much cardio can actually hinder and not help my goals. So I’ve been adding in strength classes where I’m actually lifting weights! Yep, the girl that always wrinkled her nose up at the idea because I thought that lifting made a girl “bulky”.
So although I have a long road ahead of me, I actually DO see a glimmer of light at the end of this tunnel. With 45 pounds gone since starting the gym I have put on some muscle and dropped my body fat percentage 8 1/2%. I’m not saying the past 6 months were a piece of cake (both physically and emotionally), but I’m saying the past 6 months have been totally worth it.
So, there you have my “base story”. I am currently at a part of my journey that is all new to me. I am excited, giddy, and yet I’m still a bit scared. Thankfully my support system is strong. You see, little did I know that when I joined a gym… I was joining a family. My Fit Family (#fitfam) has my back and that gives me a sense of peace that I know I’ve finally got this.
How are you doing on your journey?