Anything is Possible

I often have to remind myself:
It’s not entirely your fault you were fat.

This may sound like a huge justification or rationalization, but it’s not. It’s a rejection of a lifetime of shame. Of being called lazy.

It’s funny, someone who blamed me and my weight problem on the simple fact that I ate too much, is now, or was, severely overweight with heart trouble. Hm. Ain’t that easy, is it?

Karma’s a bitch. But I won’t be. You shall remain anonymous. You’re welcome. I hope you can get some help. For your heart and mind.

December 12th, 2016–I had gastric bypass.

At my heaviest, I weighed 513 lbs. I’m currently at 280.4 lbs. Lowest weight to date since August 2012. That’s ~233 lbs lost for those without a calculator, superior math skills or too busy for subtraction of the hundreds column. 😀

233 lbs. Major.

When I met with my weight loss surgeon for the first time in August of 2016, he told me something significant.

“You have a genetic disorder that requires surgical intervention.”

He believed that. And I believe it now, too. Thank you, Doctor. You gave me my life back. In so many ways.

No one gets to be 513 on their own. No one. A series of events have to happen for a person to gain 300+ lbs over their ideal range.

Genetic predisposition to obesity. Bad eating habits established by the age of 5. Lack of nutrition or access to a quality food source. Misinformation about dieting. Emotional chaos at home and at school. Thyroid. Gallbladder. Disease. Surgery. Sickness. Pregnancy. Teasing. Shaming. Cruel humor from your own family. Being misunderstood. Culture.

I can tell you one thing. Stop shaming fat people. It doesn’t help. Sympathetic, empathetic, emotional support for obese people is the only way to help them. If they want it! Demanding better food from food suppliers and the government; supporting a system of a better food source for the general population, for everyone, is a start. Being educated helps. Actual involvement in an overweight person’s life is essential. Compassion and understanding are needed. Listening is key. Stop judging fat people. Chances are you know someone who is overweight. They aren’t lazy. They have a medical problem. What’s your reason for being a self-righteous asshole?

And exercise isn’t the only answer. I haven’t exercised regularly through my whole weight loss journey, especially since I had gastric bypass. I haven’t always been able to. I’ve simply reduced my calorie intake. I am more active, but only when I choose to be. I bike, but not with a rigid, unchanging schedule. I bike and walk when I enjoy it.

I exercised and dieted for over 2 years. Worked out for 3-5 nights a week at the local Y for at least an hour each time. Usually, I was there at the Y for 2 hours. I ate the right foods in the right amounts. I couldn’t get past ~60 lb loss until I had gastric bypass. And then it FELL off. I was killing myself doing what skinny people told me to do with my body. It didn’t work.

I used to think it was a matter of willpower because that’s what every skinny person ever told me. Until my surgeon.

LISTEN! It could mean the difference between life and death for someone. I would know.

Get surgery if you’ve tried everything. You may have some other condition preventing weight loss. At least see a physician who specializes in obese patients. It may just save your life.

Fight for yourself. Advocate for yourself. No one else will.


BTW! I can wear size 22 jeans! LOL What? I can zip them up after I pour all my floppy skin into the legs. WTF???! I haven’t worn size 22 jeans in a long time. 😀 That’s hawt! They are a pair of 22 jean capris that a weight loss surgery patient gave me after they were too big. Thank you, Friend! I’m in them now! Still losing. I will pass them on when I’m done!

Hello, Gorgeous! Here I come 270s!! Bye, bye, Shamers! I’m too busy for you.

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Wait! Look at my weight.

I am 352.2 today. 😀 I finally dropped. Ah.

Okay. You can go on with your day. lol

I wonder if I’ve entered simply “morbid obesity” and not super morbid obesity?? Don’t care really! Just a thought. lol I feel so much friggin’ better, y’all. Phew.

Total loss=161 That’s an Amy Schumer.

Sneaking Food

I am 13. The house is dark and still, except for the hypnotic hum of the freezer. I am Secret Food Ninja oozing through the family room towards said kitchen appliance. Pause, listen, both parents are snoring just a few yards away in the master bedroom. Can I free the chips from their icy prison?

(Yes, my mom kept potato chips in the freezer for some reason. She said it kept them fresh? I think it kept them out of sight, truthfully.)

Will I be able to silently open the door? Extract the ill-fated snacks? Spirit away in the inky mystery of night.

Yes. Yes, I will.

Did I ever get caught?

Yes. Yes, I did.

There were a few nights that I failed at my secret eating mission, but there were many nights I succeeded. At the failure of my health.

I don’t know why I secretly ate food at night. Other than the fact that I was friggin’ hungry. Or depressed. Or hungry. Or a growing, hormonal teen who never got enough food at dinner or ever. Or that my thyroid probably never worked right from a tender young age?

My mom said, and still says, “You were born hungry. It’s true!”

She offers the “It’s true!” in response to no one disagreeing with her. She offers the addition as if she cannot believe herself the state in which I was born. Starving.

She’s not wrong. I have always been hungry. She said I came out of the womb wanting food. She would try to satisfy all of my needs: diaper, play, everything a baby needs. And then she would finally feed me and that was the thing that I wanted. But, it was always the thing I wanted.

I think my thyroid and metabolism have always been at a disadvantage. I wonder if my body ever worked right. I have been overweight since the age of 5 and recently lost my thyroid and gallbladder. In fact, in the last 10 years, I have had significant health trouble and 3 surgeries. My organs have failed at the rate of 3 every 43 years. That’s not good. That’s too much! Even 1 is too much. ‘Cause, ya know, death.

I was diagnosed with heart failure (maybe because my thyroid was failing? thyroid controls major body functions like heart rate), thyroid cancer (had it removed) and gallbladder failure. Hm. Not good. I think I had my first gallbladder attack when my daughter was only 3. Never had a problem before pregnancy. *Shrug*

I mean, yes, I have always eaten whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But after I gave birth to my one and only child, my body went haywire. Sprooooiiiing! I gained 150 lbs. after my pregnancy in a period of 7-8 years. I did not eat enough food to gain 150 lbs. in that short amount of time. My body was shutting down. Could be diet, genetics, illness. Or most likely a combination of all of those things.

But recently, just before my weight loss surgery, my surgeon said to me, “You have a genetic disorder. You have family history of obesity and you need surgery to correct it.” God bless him. God bless him.

Every Schmoe I ever met always laid the blame squarely at my feet. You eat too much. It’s okay, you have issues. We love you anyway.

OR

You’re lazy. Exercise more.

Can I just say? I busted my heinie for 2 years at the gym, 3-5 nights a week, 1-2 hours a night. Cardio, weightlifting, regular Zumba and Aqua Zumba! Swimming, running, walking, biking. Everything!

I. TRIED.

Like, for real, I tried. I dieted and exercised and killed myself after I almost killed myself with heart failure. My husband can confirm how hard I ran after fitness. I tried diet after diet and my weight was just stuck, set in stone, con-friggin’-crete.

But that surgeon. He gave birth to me again. He cut me open and cut me loose. From all the tangled up nets of emotion in an ocean of mental and physical sickness. He fixed my stomach and my gallbladder and my hunger and my head. He confirmed what my mom said.

You were born hungry. It’s true!

I don’t get hungry any more. It’s weird! I have to remind myself to eat instead of reminding someone it’s time to eat. lol

Today, I weigh 354.8! That’s a total of 158+ lbs. 🙂 On my way. This ninja has finally stolen her health back.

Gut Buster!

Hello.

I am having a ton of stomach pain today. I don’t know if it’s my stomach or gallbladder. Could be either. My stomach is still swollen (typical) after gastric bypass. So, no way of knowing where the pain is coming from because your gallbladder, stomach and liver are all very close together. But I am having some twingy pain in my back and under my ribs. Sounds like GB. Plus, a few other symptoms that I won’t go into, mainly color of stool, and other things that make me think I’m having an attack.

I’ve read and been told that many weight loss surgery patients lose their gallbladder after their initial stomach reduction. Most common cause for gallbladder loss is excess fat in the abdomen region. Which I have plenty of. So, I’m thinking I just might lose my gallbladder.

What does your GB do??
It produces bile in cahoots with the liver. The bile helps get rid of digesting fat. If you eat too much fat? The bile can’t keep up and the excess fat is turned into a lump and absorbed into the gallbladder as a stone. So when you’re GB fills up with stones or you try to pass these lumps/stones, it can cause an attack. Ouch. (This description may be inaccurate, but it’s close and I should clarify that I do NOT have a medical degree. I’m not a doctor, but I play one on WebMD, in my mind, on my tablet.)

Also, because I had an episode in March that led me down this WLS path to begin with, that’s why I’m thinking I might be having an attack. Really bad pain in my upper left quadrant in the abdomen. I thought it was like a hernia or something in my stomach. They never tested my gallbladder and they never found the source of pain. Hm. I’m thinking I had a gallbladder attack!

Anyway, I have an ultrasound at 4-ish today to find out if I have anything going on and where. Phew. That will be a relief. On the poundage front…

Freakin’ FINALLY! Got on the scale today. After starving myself (or what felt like starving myself) 418.4 lbs!!! Plenty of fluids yesterday and no solids. Hot broth and hot tea. I don’t think my excursion to Habanero’s was well received by my new tummy. It was delicious. I didn’t have much, but I don’t think I’m ready for soft solids yet. Oh well. Loss of 2 lbs after two days of killing myself is good. The scale is constantly moving in the right direction and I have not gone up! Win-win! I’ll take it.

Stats:

13 lbs since surgery which was 17 days ago

Total since Thanksgiving=over 37 lbs.

0.76 avg. lbs. per day since surgery

Weight=418.4

2 lb. loss since Monday

Not quite a pound a day, but I’m trying.

I know this all may seem highly neurotic and super detailed but! I have a finite window to lose as much as possible and this time (0-6 months after surgery) is the most important and the most rapid weight loss I can enjoy. So. It’s super important to get as much as I can off now. This is hard but worth it. I don’t like paying this much attention to food and weight and the scale and my digestive system, but this is what I have to do. This is my job, sort of. It would be a shame to spend thousands of dollars to fix my problem and then leave some of my game on the field. Or fat on the body.

I do keep encountering little obstacles here and there, but I just gotta try, try, try. It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings and I’m just warming up. La, la, la! Mi, mi, mi…