It's very hard to believe that I ever got to the point where I had over fifty pounds to lose. I had stayed right around the same weight from college to fifteen years later. And then it all started creeping up. Lifestyle more sedentary, hormones battling against me, already slow metabolism laying out in the street doing nada and me whipping up gourmet meals for family, friends, boo things and the like which I, of course, had to taste along the way.
Last year when I made the decision to have weight loss surgery it was the absolute last resort for me. I was diagnosed pre-diabetic with high blood pressure and a hormone disorder (PCOS). Fifty pounds needed to go, stat! I had tried working out, eating less, counting calories, cutting sugars and salt and fat. I was at one point eating raw vegetables and only drinking water while working out four times a week and still the scale laughed at me. It wasn't until my doctor explained how my overall health and genetic makeup was fighting me and I needed to lose the weight quickly or die (okay, not that drastic but darned close) that I said fine.
Looking back from the other side of the mountain, I guess I would do it over again but I would pay more attention to classes where they talk to you about the side effects and your ability to come to terms with what a new you is really about. The first fifty pounds came off in the first three months and it's a shock to your entire system. My hair (my crowing glory) thinned and fell out. When it grew back in it was a different texture altogether. I have accidentally gone natural without planning on it. My hair no longer requires a perm just many lotions, potions and emollients.
My skin is super sensitive to the sun and to cold now. Winter was a bitch. I ain't lying. Anything under 40 degrees and I wanted to stay in bed wrapped in an electric blanket. No more sun bathing for me without a complete coating of SPF 30 or higher. The days of slathering on cocoa butter oil and laying out to get all roasty and toasty? Gone. I burned to a crisp after fifteen minutes and spent the rest of that vacay under the umbrella coated with aloe vera.
There have been some fun things - running into people who haven't seen me in years and watching them figure out the best way to say I look healthy without saying "you lost a shitload of weight" - it's a game I play... how many ways can they try to figure out exactly how many pounds I've lost without coming right out and asking? The first time you zip up a pair of jeans in a size you haven't worn since 8th grade - these are fun things.
Not so fun things - retraining my brain. Having a singular bite of cheesecake and letting that be sufficient. Learning to like sugar-free (Splenda is so awesome) drinks. Having friends and family nickname me "Six-bite Suzy" because that's all I can eat in one sitting. Having to explain to waiters that you really DID enjoy the meal, you just don't want your stomach to explode.
Funny things - not realizing that going from a size 20 to a size 10 in pants means your underwear no longer fits. I was strolling across the living room of my apartment when my drawers literally fell off my ass, tangled at my feet causing me to trip and land sprawled on the carpet in the most undignified manner ever. Thankfully, no one was here to witness the event. Surely it should not have taken that bit of foolery for me to let the XL undies go.
Irritating things - going to the doctor for the check-up and having him say - "Optimally, you should push to lose 25 more and level out there." Optimally? Man listen, these last thirty pounds were a bitch. If I take off ten more, I'm good. I've accepted the fact that the boobs shall not be moved. I've fought like the dickens to get muscle tone so things don't sag (batwings are not the business). But battling for that size six? Just cause that's "optimal" - err, okay then. There is that thing in the back of my mind of wanting to tighten this and shrink that and wishing things were more taut but isn't that always the way? Is anybody ever completely satisfied with they way they look?
Weird things - my feet shrank. I was never in a wide shoe but I wore a size 8.5 or 9 medium size my senior year in high school. Now I wear a 7.5 or an 8. Riddle me that, Batman? I've given up trying to buy an entire wardrobe. I just pick up a few pieces here and a few pieces that as I go. I've developed a weird craving for beef where before I was all chicken all the time. And bleu cheese is suddenly a food group. Weird.
All in all, it's been a hell of a journey. I don't recommend it for everyone but it's worked rather well for me. My biggest fear now is that six years from now I'm writing this AGAIN because I've somehow put back on all the weight and then some. Then again, perhaps because I'm so terrified of having to write that post, I'll do everything in my power to make sure it doesn't come true.
At any rate, because you all have been with me through the whole journey - thought it would be nice to share the next steps in the journey. Anyone else getting healthier in 2013?