When you have weight loss surgery of any kind there is a certain amount of change you must embrace. When you have the Roux en Y in specific there is a drastic change in pretty much everything food related in your life. You have to embrace that refined sugars are a thing of the past. You have to embrace that your alcohol consumption has to decrease to teetotaler. You have to embrace that that love affair you had with all things carb is pretty much a done deal. You learn quickly that portion size is a static concept and you are no longer able to eat a “cup” or “bowl” of anything. Everything is measured in ounces and takes forever to eat.
I knew all of this going in. I got it. I understood it. I embraced it. Until…
That’s right, until I realized that the regimen they put you on after surgery is extremely cookie cutter. It is as if somehow the doctors and dieticians believe your taste buds died when they sectioned off your stomach and intestines. Well it is this cookie cutter approach that has sent me off the reservation. Yup, I have gone rogue. I thought long and hard about this and to my way of thinking what can they do — take the surgery back? Yeah, that’s not an option. So I have set myself free!
What does that mean? It means that at 3 1/2 months post surgery I am going to eat fresh fruits. They keep me regular and taste better than that no sugar fruit cocktail they want me to eat. That crap is disgusting! I am going to eat raw spinach for the exact same reason. I am going to eat steak (well tenderized) in addition to the approved meats like chicken, turkey, and seafood. And when I feel like it I am going have bacon! Not that fake cardboard turkey bacon crap, but real from the pig bacon.
However, I am still going to work out for at least an hour 5 days a week. I am still going to avoid refined/processed sugar. I will maintain my portion control and NOT over eat. I will not stress eat. I will take my vitamins. I will eat fast food as a last resort only. And lastly, I will continue to look for healthier ways to cook and prepare the things I love.
I believe there is a disconnect between the reality of why a person chose to have this surgery and what life is really like afterwards. I recognize that unlike some folks, I will now have to be very diligent about how I eat; however, that in no way means that food should be my enemy or any less enjoyable because I can only eat a few ounces.
I refuse to go through the rest of my life with some cookie cutter notion that I can only have what’s on this approved list. To hell with the list. The list sucks and the food on it is nasty. So, I am back. I’m back to cooking, and eventually I may even return to baking. You can eat well and healthy without sacrificing taste and enjoyment!
I am now down 93lbs. YAY!
Good morning folks! I had a really candid conversation with a friend about weight loss, weight loss surgery, and being healthy. I have been extremely blessed in that everyone in my life either close or on the periphery has been extremely supportive during my process.
I remember this person preparing me for the negativity when I told her I was going to have “the surgery” and I thought “who is going to be mean about that?” I mean really its a personal health choice and while I get people not necessarily understanding my reasons or my needs I had a hard time imagining people being hostile about it. Then I had to bully my primary care physician into giving me the referral. And of course during the counseling sessions you go through the counselor said I should prepare for people to treat me differently and negative reactions to this choice. THEN the dietician said the same to me and I began to wonder what it was about losing weight that made people behave so horribly to a person. Who wouldn’t celebrate someone taking their life back and becoming healthy. So, I prepared myself for this. and lo and behold it was a wasted exercise. This NEVER happened to me.
I have had people question my choice. It has always been done with respect and curiosity rather than disdain. I had one guy tell me I would finally be dateable (I no longer talk to him). I have had the side eye when I go out with friends and eat less than 1/2 of a child sized portion of food. We all laugh about it and they joke I’ll be eating my entrée for 3 days. I learned early in life some things are just not worth feeling bad about especially when teasing comes from love and not malice. And rather than be mean about my weight loss my friends and family cheer me on. They are genuinely happy for me.
I think this process shines a spotlight on the kind of person you are. I am a firm believer that who you were fat is just exemplified as you shed the pounds. If you were a fat bitch you just shrink into a skinny bitch. If you were miserable fat you are still miserable skinny. If you were mean spirited and elitist fat then you are that same mean spirited elitist person skinny. You have to work on you at its root. Health benefits of losing weight aside if you do not work on who you are at your core losing weight will not fix it.
Oftentimes fat folks are excused because it is assumed we all suffer from poor self image. After all at a certain size we are so far from what society deems beautiful or handsome that people will excuse a sour attitude and blame it on our weight. However, people are less forgiving the closer you get to what society deems acceptable. The truth is many people may very well be reacting to you as a person rather than the weight you loss.
Now I’m sure this is not the case 100% of the time, and in those cases of true spitefulness I say brush your shoulders off. You can’t expect everyone to be in your corner and as long as you love yourself others opinions are just like assholes and sometimes just as nasty. However, if its everyone maybe you should look at who you surround yourself with and take a longer look at yourself.
**Down to 219 — Yay Me!!!!!
- Down 61lbs!
My weight loss has reached the place where folks are noticing something drastic has happened. I was told that men would notice first and to be honest with the exception of my father, uncle and a man who I’ve known for years that has not been my experience. Women have been noticing like no one’s business. And I am lucky to be surrounded by people who are supportive and caring. What has been the biggest adjustment with my shrinking form has been how many compliments I receive. I’m not really used to it. It’s nice to have people notice and acknowledge my weight loss. The surgery is doing its share of the work, but I am putting in real effort to make sure I never go back to the old me. I never want to be that girl again. I was miserable. Not because of my looks, but because everything hurt and I just felt unhealthy. For the first time in years I feel like I am healthy. I feel like I can participate in life. That in itself is worth the stress and strain of the actual surgery. I am truly in love with how good I feel.
I am an open book. So, it will come as no surprise to the people who know me that this is the way I chose to journal my weight loss process. In December 2013 I was in the emergency room 4 times due to uncontrolled asthma. I had high blood pressure and felt like a rough 60-year-old. I’m 41 and my personality is that of a young 30-year-old. So I went to my primary care doctor to have an honest conversation about my weight. For years he simply said to me “you need to lose weight.” Talk about stating the obvious. Yup, I am well aware I am fat. Not fluffy, not chunky, not a “big girl”, or a “plumpkin”, but fat. I have never been thin. I was at my smallest what we in the black community call thick — small waist, but curvy.
Over the years life happens. I picked up some weight when my daughter was born. I picked up some more over the subsequent years until one day about 4 years ago I didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. I felt like shit. Everything ached and nothing was comfortable. I knew then that I needed to do something. It took four years of trying different things including joining a gym (net weight loss 10 pounds) and eating healthier. But the truth of the matter is my weight was prohibitive. That is not an excuse. I had allowed my weight to make my asthma so bad that simply walking on a treadmill for a half hour meant I may need an ER afterwards. That’s a hard thing to admit. So, more than my physical appearance (I’ve been blessed with good self-esteem no matter my size) I was afraid for my life.
So, in January 2014 I told my doctor that I was sick and tired of him throwing a pill at all of my issues and I fearful I wouldn’t make it to 60 much less the 90 I’m trying for. I told him quite plainly to quit medicating my fat and help me get rid of it. He is not a fan of weight loss surgery, but he conceded that he’d either give me the referral or loss me as a patient because I was done.
In the last six months I have been through a battery of tests that make feel like I had been rode hard and hung up wet. I have seen every –oligist you can imagine and a psychiatrist. I have been poked, prodded, scoped, and pricked more than I want to think about. But most importantly I have been educated. I have been educated about why diets have never worked long-term for me. I have been educated about why exercise is not only important, but only one piece of my puzzle. And I have been forced to look at my health without blinders on and learn what I need to do so that I can be healthy.
I will have Roux en Y Gastric Bypass surgery on July 22, 2014. I am inviting you to follow my journey.