I started my new weight loss journey last August. It started with a class and then a dietitian and psychiatric evaluation in September.
Most everyone is given a weight loss goal to 1) make sure you can follow the guidelines given to you and 2) to shrink your liver. I had already lost approximately 35 pounds on my own in the months leading up to my appointment. I was only tasked with losing 3 pounds, but let me tell you those 3 pounds were the hardest 3 pounds I’ve ever lost. I needed to go from 203 pounds to 200 pounds. Keep in mind that I'm only 5′ 2″.
AT FIRST I GAINED WEIGHT
I started by gaining weight. I could go into the why and the how, but they don’t really matter because the people around me had the same stressors and they weren’t gaining weight. This was all on me. I was going in for regular appointments with the dietician and my weight was going in the wrong direction. I was honest and discussed how I was dealing with the stress in my life and admitted for the first time that I was much more of an emotional eater than I thought I was. The first step is always admitting the problem. Right? Well, here I was, at step #1.
For three months I saw the dietician and weighed-in. I was only required by my insurance to see her for three months, so I chose not to see her after that. I only went into the clinic for weigh-ins. My weight finally started to come down, but I was still nowhere near my goal weight. I was sure the surgeon was going to refuse to do the surgery.
I tried everything. Nothing worked. Then, one week I got sick. I was vomiting and had diarrhea. I had been losing weight strictly from being sick. And then, I was so violently ill one day that I had lost an additional 5 pounds overnight. All I could think about was getting to the clinic for a weigh-in, but I was too sick to even dare leave the house. Of course, all the weight came right back on within a day or two because it was mostly water weight that I had lost. I had been extremely dehydrated.
For months and months, I tried to lose those three pounds, always giving into temptation – thinking one more bite wouldn’t hurt me, but it always did. I was getting upset and angry with my family for pointing it out, too. I tried mild exercise, something that I had been shying away from because of my blood pressure problems, and sure enough, I had to be rescued from the bike path by my sister-in-law after walking about two miles. By the end of it, I had walked about four miles total, but I was light headed and dizzy. I was angry with myself.
I USED TO RUN, A LOT
At my current weight I used to run six miles – I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty sight, but I did it anyway. Imagine Mr. Snuffleupagus running. That was me. But! And, it’s a big BUT! The men that I would encounter on the path always clapped for me, told me to keep it up, that I was doing a great job, etc. I was frightened at first. Always thinking there might be another motive, but I tried so hard to put that out of my head and I use it as motivation to keep going! The women? they kept to themselves. BUT the men! They actually tried to motivate me. How will I internalize that this time? And, is that part of the reason why I stopped running? Because I lost a great deal of weight those many years ago. I'm thinking out loud now, as I'm typing. Psychoanalyzing myself.
Anyway, now there I was…I couldn't even walk two miles without having problems. I was feeling sorry for myself AND I couldn't lose three lousy pounds in a year.
NOW I'M JUST RUNNING OUT OF TIME
I knew I was coming up on the twelve-month anniversary of my start date and my insurance will only give me a year to go through the program before having to start all over again. This was the extra motivation that I needed. I buckled down. I watched everything that went into my mouth and I got on the scale every morning. Sometimes I'd poop, and get on the scale again. Seriously, tell me you haven't done that.
I made appointments twice a week for weigh-ins, determined that I wasn’t going to miss the sweet spot. When I finally did it, I did it with half a pound to spare.
My insurance approved surgery – September 17th. I had two more nutrition classes, one more pre-op class, a pre-op appointment with the anesthesiologist and one with the surgeon – all on September 4th.
I put myself on a liquid diet, except for supper – I ate that meal with my husband. The rest of the day I drank only Premier Protein shakes and water. After two weeks I took out the evening meal and had only the Premier Protein shakes and water. Why? Because I needed to maintain my weight.
Hydration was an issue for me after surgery because of my blood pressure and was an issue while I was only drinking the shakes before surgery, too, so I had to adjust my water intake when I started feeling dizzy, seeing dark spots in front of my eyes, or getting fatigued easily…all of which are indicators for me that my blood pressure is dropping.
HARDEST DAYS WERE YET TO COME
The hardest days were the days that my grandsons were here. It’s too easy to fall into old patters or to grab a snack while they’re eating. My son-in-law and daughter don’t let them have much in the form of junk food – graham crackers and grapes are a snack to them and they drink water all day, but there is a little wiggle room at nana and pop pop’s house. For my sake, I’m going to have to cut out the wiggle room and stay away from the graham crackers. Hopefully, a grape truly won’t sabotage me, but just in case, I’ll be doing my best to stay away from them, too.
What will truly be the hardest days are yet to come. My weight gain, in part, was a defense mechanism against future sexual assaults. My rational brain knows that rape and sexual assault isn’t about sex, but rather about control, but my irrational brain tells me that if I’m undesirable, I’m safe. This may be why it was so hard to lose three pounds. And, this is why my therapist and I will have a lot of work to do as I start losing the weight.
However, I’m ready to take back control.
Here's my before photo!