Saturday, March 28, 2009

No I did not have Gastric Bypass Surgery

My head has been swimming with the magnitude of the journey I have taken in the past year. This time last year I was 418 lbs and had horribly swollen legs that were oozing and red and raw (and infected although I didn't know that at the time). I had began to mentally shift towards doing "something about it" months before and slowly started prepping myself mentally for what it was gonna take. I knew my (then) plan of "treating" myself with food all the time was not the best plan. I have never seen any kind of health plan that says a 1/2 gallon of ice cream is ok to eat for dinner- or a family KFC dinner is fit for one...but that is where I was.

When I think of my body this time last year my first feeling is.....heavy. That seems like a no brainer. Of course you were heavier- 200 lbs heavier to be exact! What I mean is a more all-encompassing feeling of heavy. I feel now like I was walking underwater where there was a constant drag on me pulling me down. The lymphodema had a lot to do with that and finding out what it was and getting it treated was so huge I really can't even describe. That was one place where denial really didn't work for me. I ignored it for years and it didn't go away and if I hadn't gotten it treated it could have gotten much much worse and dragged my quality of life to near zilch.

I watch some of these TLC shows "Half Ton Mom" and except for the Mom part....that could have been my future. I was certainly headed that way and that embarrasses me to my core. It was on one of those shows I first saw someone with lymphodema- the one where the lady has a giant leg? And I remember switching the show off because it too close to home. Little did I realize it wasn't just close to home, it was in my living room and on my couch with me. But this time last year I would still be over 3 months away from getting diagnosed. All I knew was there was junk leaking from these little water blister like sores and once they popped they kept oozing until my skin was one big open sore on the back of my leg.

But the heaviness was also mental. Its weird that I really feel I have found myself in Phoenix after being here for 6 years because it is when I got here that I think I really let go and my weight really went up fast. I can't verify this as I never ever got on a I mentioned the one at my doc office didn't go high enough to weigh me (red flag? what red flag?). My doctor never bothered me about my weight which I was always thankful for before and then became a little frustrated when I asked for a diet plan and he shoved some meal plans into my hand and said the only formula that works is more calories out than in....he is right but I was looking for someone to throw me a rope and that was a little string. And I did want to do it right and wanted to make sure my doc was onboard so I could be monitored to make sure I was doing it the healthiest way possible.

I was so scared...still am.

I was so scared that I would fail. I was scared I would be judged. I was scared that I wasn't strong enough. I was scared to know the truth and to deal with it. I was scared to be alone. I was scared to do it and be alone anyways. I was scared of what my body would look like after. I was scared to leave everything I knew behind. I was scared to let people know my story. I was scared, I was scared and I am scared. I am scared of not hitting my goal. I am scared of getting to my goal and never looking the way I dream of. I am scared of getting surgery to remove the extra (horrible, ugly, saggy) skin. I am scared one day I will drive through McDonalds and it will wipe out all this work. I am scared the lymphodema will get bad again. I am scared........

So I try not to think about any of that and just focus on today. TODAY I will make a different choice. TODAY I will stick to the plan. TODAY I will work out. TODAY I will "be good".....doesn't have to be forever, but TODAY I can do this.

My sister told me something brilliant last year when I was first starting to walk. She works with the elderly and she told me in any patient care you want to get people moving. She said it doesn't even matter how much you do but just do something.....small steps count she said. That phrase has helped me so much. Especially when you are getting started and have these lofty goals, its soooo easy to get overwhelmed and leave a hole for the fear and doubt to creep in. You don't have to do it all in one day, just do something little that you can build on.

When I first walked into the weight loss center my goal was to lose 100 lbs in a year. I was very clear on setting an attainable goal, especially since I had never done anything like this before. Just 100 lbs in 12 months.....and I have almost doubled that just by being consistent.

I have never ever cheated. Not even close. I am not looking for accolades here but to tell you why I have never cheated.....I am terrified to cheat. It scares me beyond words. In my mind if I ate one cheeseburger I would have to warp back in time and step back into my 418 body and just give up and check out. To me cheating is nothing less than Russian roulette...its possible nothing might happen or it could be...BAM!

I get lots of compliments on my will power but is blind terror of the consequences the same thing as will power? I can't cheat because if I cheat I will die. Not today or maybe not tomorrow but if I convince myself its OK to cheat I will slide on that long slippery slope allllll the way down and this climb was to hard to want to do it all over again.

Oh.....and for anyone who has joined me along the way and has not read the archives I did not do gastric bypass surgery. It is a great option for millions of people but it was not the right option for me. I checked it out a long time ago and it was so scary and drastic I couldn't deal with it. I ran away and never ever told anyone I ever even thought about it until I wrote about it here.

So you can chose that option or you can chose another option which made more sense for me and might make sense for you....only you can decide.

So NO, I did not have surgery....thanks for asking. Someone the other day made me show them my stomach to prove there were no surgery scars. Wtf??

Btw.....if there are any questions anyone has please feel to ask me and I can expound on it. You can FB me or use the comments but I am happy to answer anything anyone wants to ask.....this has been your journey to in a way ;)

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