Wow, what a month! I am just amazed by the results since my bypass.
In just a little over 3 months, I've lost a whopping 26.2kgs or 58lbs or 4 stone 2lbs! like Whaaaaaaaat???!!!
I am flabbergasted, seriously!
I have to admit that my head is taking a long white to catch up with this. I see my new outline in the mirror and am chuffed to little mint balls, but then once I've walked away, I still feel as fat as I ever was. I have no idea why. I feel fat too. I check in the mirror: amazing difference, walk away: feel massive! It's utterly crazy.
I've spent so much of my life obese that it's still taking me a while to know for sure that this process is really working. I can't say that it's in any way down to me, other than the fact that I am living with a smaller stomach and a shortened intestine. It's totally effortless. I don't want to eat food, I am not interested in it, I'm totally over it. Its amazing!
Also, my tastebuds seem to have completely changed. For instance, I had a glass of wine the other day as we had a special dinner to go to, and I still had a mouthful left at the end of the evening. It wasn't that it didn't taste nice, it wasn't making me feel bad, or woozy (since I haven't had any alcohol for 3 months), but that it just didn't do anything for me at all. The focus of my pleasure has changed. Its like that with a lot of my previously favourite foods.
I seem to gravitate towards charcuterie, cheese and eggs a my ideas for dinner. This is most unusual for me and must be simply what my body wants/needs to eat that's guiding it. I eat beef jerky as a snack, or parma ham… so strange for me! Pre op, I could easily have been vegetarian as I rarely ate any meat except for the occasional bit of chicken or bacon. Now… totally different story.
On a slightly differing theme, I think that I have also been expecting to fail. As you may or may not know, my Gastric Band broke on 20th May of 2007, just 3 months after I had the operation. I have had my bypass now for about 2 weeks longer than I had my first band. I lost 11kgs with my band before it broke, but in the same time with the bypass I've lost 26kgs! I am, however, only just a little bit lighter than I was when my band broke. It's been such a horrible journey, and I truly feel I have most definitely had a raw deal.
Here is a shot of my whole weightloss journey since banding: from 14th February 2007 until today 19th December 2016.
The 1st downward slope is my initial weightloss with my first Gastric band -11kgs. It broke and then I gained all the weight back and tried several times to get it to work with me... until it was found to be broken and I had to go back to Belgium and be reiterated on with a new band.
The 2nd downward slope is when my new band was fitted. I lost a bit more this time and got down to 97.9kgs. At the time, I had WLSGroup as my fill provider and the nurse made the decision that I was too tight and unfilled my band by 1ml. Why I let her do this I'll never know (probably because I just wanted a break from the rigours of the band hell!). This made a catastrophic change to my eating where I gradually regained weight over a year or so. The band is so useless that, even though I was having fills, I just couldn't get it right. I was apparently tighter than before the drastic infill, but yet still not have much restriction! Go figure!!
Then there is a small descent again where I went to slimmingworld and tried my very best, but still no joy. After fighting with this band and knowing that I was being given bad advice time and again from the old fill provider, I took the decision in April 2010 to have my band completely emptied and to try and start again. I used a new fill provider who came to my house. She was (and is) amazing. Hr name is Jane Wilkinson Tancock. After the unfill I just let me body rest and ate normally. Sadly I knew this would come with a rise, and this is the large rise into just above 120kgs.
I was regularly attending slimmingworld and trying to get a grip of myself in early 2011, but had a fill or 2 with the new provider which started to help me a little. I lost weight steadily and was going to the gym. However, fills are expensive and in early 2012 my weight was on the rise yet again.
I was then invited onto a radio show to talk about my gastric band and how I felt it was a bad idea to have one and not the panacea that it was sold to me as. They gave me 6 months help with a lady called Linda form "The lost it coach" to help me, and I logged food, counted calories and used my BMR to help me lose weight. This was very effective whilst using her mentorship & my band to help me, however I was struggling with eating so much and being sick at every meal. It was a seriously unhealthy way to eat because of the bands restriction.
After losing 18kgs following her advice, I then fell over in the road and took the entire top layer of skin off of my knee. It was so bad I couldn't walk for 10 days. It took ages to scab over and then it kept breaking and opening again over the next month and causing me so much pain; I didn't hit the gym at all for several months. Once I returned I couldn't get back into it. Couple this lack of exercise with an unfill I had shortly before falling over (because I couldn't drink water in the mornings!) I was on a hiding to nothing. I was so depressed by the whole situation and no matter how I tried to get my mind back into gear, it wouldn't play ball. I felt like I had lost the entire game and steadily over the next 18months my weight rose. I couldn't face another fill; The being sick, not able to drink, wandering around with a pot of hot tea hoping it will soften things up and "get things moving", wondering if I would be able to go to the gym or not because "If I go to the gym and I can't drink, I will be too thirsty whilst walking fast uphill for an hour" - That was the situation with the fickle band. Ugh. I just couldn't do it.
So during the period between march 2014 and about May 2016 I tried every diet going, fads, 5:2, exante, raw food, milk, atkins, clean etc etc. You name it I gave it a go. I had limited success each time and felt that "If I could only get back to where I was I will be ok" but I could never get there. I was horrified, sickened, and just a total failure. How could I have let this happen to me?
Then, in March/April this year (2016) I started to get pain and bleeding under the skin around my port. I hadn't had a fill for ages - maybe a year. I had no idea what was causing this at all and was referred to a bariatric surgeon in the UK for assessment. I was quite excited by this and I had expressed my wish to get my weight under control to my doctor at the beginning of the year anyway. I thought it could be the start of something wonderful. You can read about that hideous encounter earlier in my blog, but basically he was a prat and his idea was just to keep me on antibiotics until I had had several eruptions at the port site and then they 'might' see what they could do. Stuff that.
Throughly ticked off, that's when I decided to take matters into my own hands and get the operation that I should have had in the first place. The last slide downwards shows you the results.
Anyone who's had a band or a sleeve or a bypass will know their own personal struggle to get that downward slope. I am more than proud of that slope. I actually am more than proud of my entire journey. I think it shows that I have fought a good fight and I am now finally winning. This isn't about beauty, its about being acceptable. I have no doubt I will be healthy and thats great and all, but if I am brutally honest it is, and always has been, about being accepted in society. Being normal.
I am already noticing the subtle shifts in random strangers perceptions. The smiles, the eye contact, the holding of doors, the politeness. This doesn't happen when you are morbidly obese. You don't know it until you lose it. Its disgusting, but its not going to change. It doesn't matter how much people try and change opinions, it will always be a socially sub par thing to be obese. The fact that a human can have so little value and be degraded and feel so unacceptable in the world like I did, makes me feel so angry, but if you can't change their opinion and you don't actually want to be obese, you only really have one option: Lose weight.
The only way, after all I have tried, was to have a gastric bypass.
I will no doubt continue to have weird emotional thoughts about being obese v being normal weight. I will still feel like a fat person inside for I don't know how long. But at least I might live long enough to deal with those demons. And I will do everything in my power to shame society's fattest attitudes.
I am proud of myself for being brave and enduring being obese. I am currently still obese, but so close to being overweight, and out of that doom category. Every bone in my body craves this normality. I wonder what it will be like when I am there, and I don't have to fight any more? What will happen then? What will be my focus? Will I write this blog still, or just post yearly updates or drop off the radar entirely.
I wonder where my friends are from blog land. The ones who used to write so regularly, like The Dash, Dinnerland and Linda's Bandwidth and so many others. I loved reading their daily updates and struggles. I hope and pray they all got to their goal weights and they are out living the fast and furious lives that come with their new found health. I haven't met anyone who struggled like me, but maybe they just read blogs rather than write them?
If anyone has read to the end of this long boring post, then please say hi. I write this mainly for myself and my own catharsis, but it still means a lot to know it might help someone else.