The Continued Journey of Being a Bariatric Weight Loss Patient
I think the last time I posted was right around my one year mark or so. The previous two posts, I discussed small passages in time following surgery, the struggles and getting used to my new life.
Right now is smooth coasting. My life is pretty normal, has been my kinda normal since the post surgery year mark.
I always start the blogs off with food, because everyone always asks me about food. My diet hasn’t changed much. I still eat protein bars for breakfast, fresh fruit for snacks, consume lean meat and drink sixty four ounces of water a day. I can if I want to eat half a bagel with cream cheese, eat heavier foods at restaurants if I want to, but choose the lighter foods. I don’t crave things but at times consume jalapeño cheese poppers and fried pickles.
Sometimes when I’m out with friends for a day, I forget they have to eat lol, my assistant was pretty annoyed with me in Hawaii for that. Truth is, I have mastered how to get in 60 oz of protein a day and still eat fruit and veggies and drink water with the no water or fluid 30 min before or after. The trick is protein first everything else later. Never quite caught that at first. I look at how much protein is in what I prepare weekly so even my snacks are full of protein. I still stay away from consuming a sugar. Processed sugar makes me ill, so does too much artificial sweetener.
And I added wine to the diet. Yeah, gotta be careful since a glass and a half turns me into a drunk. When you’re missing 2/3 of your stomach the rate of alcohol absorption is grease lightening quick. Almost as soon as I swallow. When I’m out with my friends I’ll get a shot of vodka in a full glass of water and chill with that all night or won’t drink at all.
How’s my weight? I’ve been steady at 131 for five months. I keep track of caloric consumption and fat consumption. Choose what I want to do to work out to balance my intake. Like…one glass of wine is 105 calories, to burn those off I could walk for thirty minutes, run up and down stairs for ten minutes, or hit the treadmill for fifteen.
What happens if I forget to eat or drink enough? Take my vitamins?
If I don’t drink enough, I get super dehydrated and feel crappy, my lips get super chapped, voiding and evacuating are affected.
I don’t get hypo or hyper glycemic but I get shaky a bit if I’ve forgotten to eat. I pretty much move on a learned pattern of behavior towards eating. before it was planned now it’s almost automatic.
I do forget to take my vitamins all the time. And then try to stuff a full day’s worth in a few hours. I’m sure that’s not healthy but at least they’re in the system. Without the vitamins and protein runs the danger of hair falling out like it did at post surgery five months.
Everyone asks about loose skin. My arms are good. I am having an abdominalplasty aka tummy tuck in Feb 2016. I decided this after visiting my surgeons partner at my one year mark. I do have a small section of skin that I want removed. My inner thighs could use some removal too but not to concerned, it’s all about comfort, not self image.
I’ve had a few friends have the surgery or come and ask me about possibly having and I still say to them to do their home work, research all options and pick the best for their circumstances. I never had a eating disorder. I have a heart arrhythmia that prevented me from working out super hard without having to stop almost as soon as I started.
Feeling Fit. I began working out a few days post surgery. In my morphine induced brain fog, I thought the doctor told me to be up every two or three hours to walk around the house. Fear of blood clots (no history of any blood clots) had me up and moving. I walked around the house for a two weeks, then took it outside at eight weeks, I took it to the gym. Planet Fitness, began with the 30 min circuit, then moved onto the next p life circuit three months later, at six months I moved to design your own program doing weights and lower body.
Once I got bored. I checked into Kickboxing and joined. Glory MMA. Twice a week taking Glory Fit classes… kickboxing four times a week cardio and weights. Soon that will change when I get approval for my work schedule shift to begin an hour later. I’ll kick box Monday through Friday and fit in weights sometime in the week.
In support groups peers have asked me about my addictions and why I’ve done so well this close out. Let me be more informative. At my 11 month appointment. The surgeon asked me what I was doing that had me lose 97% of excess body fat when the normal for my gastric sleeve was only 65%. I don’t really have an answer but I’d venture to say its the balance of diet and exercising at least 45 minutes a day if not more. It’s not having teens fetch me things, or taking the elevator when the stairs are quicker. I think a major factor of success lies in getting a sweat drenching body hating you workout. My BMI was I want to say 41 in March 2013 and it’s 22 now.
I’ve never inhaled copious amounts of food, alcohol sure, food no. I don’t have any addictions that affect my mental or physical well being, and for those individuals that do, I strongly urge a lot of pre and post counseling and a behavior modification for unhealthy coping mechanisms. I’ve seen peers and read stories of some patients who’s surgeries have failed and they end up where they started.
I also worked out when I was bigger, and stayed active, there are others who’ve gone the surgery route that cannot do my level of workout, and those who opted for surgery but decided not to tone and strengthen their bodies. Not everyone loves to exercise, each person needs to weigh out what is important to them. For me if I don’t exercise I Hulk out, I’m irritated easily, snappish and tense.
How is my family affected by my surgery? I pre make my meals and don’t force them to eat healthy, but I also don’t fry foods or buy unhealthy processed foods. I tell everyone to workout at least three times a week, not to be mean but because doing so makes me feel good and I want them to feel as good as I do.
Have I changed? Yes and no. I’m still the same person I was when I was obese. Yes, I have a crazy ton of energy that’s the biggest change. I’m still impatient that hasn’t changed but one thing that has is my bullshit meter. I don’t have time for nonsense and have been told I’m a bit more vocal than when I was obese.
Odd things I’ve noticed.
How I fit inside the car driver seat, not having girth over it.
The roomy feeling of sitting in an airplane seat without touching the person next to me
Sitting criss cross legs crossed or drawing my knees up to my chest
Crossing my leg where it’s not sideways
painting and grooming my own toenails without having to take short stops to take a breath
I can wrap my fluffy bath towel around me at least twice
Wait for it…..Boots! I can wear boots now that aren’t wide calf
In the end. Everything comes down to personal choices, self discipline and how much you want to be healthy and how hard you’re willing to work to enjoy life, not just go through the motions. For me this is still the best decision I’ve made in my life regarding personal health and longevity of life.
And as always, if you have any questions and are not wanting to ask me here feel free to email me at mahalialevey@Yahoo.com or private message me in Facebook.
Previous blog posted by me on weight loss surgery