1 year, 100 pounds

A year ago today, I had gastric sleeve surgery.  I’m not going to lie, it was the best sorta-selfish decision that I have made in my life.  It probably saved my life.  So far I have lost 99-100 pounds (it bounces a bit) – and that weight was not only a lot to carry physically, but that kind of extra weight takes other tolls on you as well.  I still have about 40 more pounds I am working to lose, but I feel pretty great with the progress made so far.

Photo Aug 23, 5 59 26 AM

For those not familiar with the procedure – in the gastric sleeve surgery they basically go in and remove 80% of your stomach – the physical organ, not the fatty outer layers. This means that (after several weeks of liquid diet), I eat A LOT less.  I can only eat about 8-10 ounces at a time…  Now, if I don’t follow smart eating and listen to my body when I feel full, I can, over time, stretch my stomach out again.  I make sure to get lots of protein – I use a powder with 30 grams in my coffee each morning, I snack/lunch on nuts, cheese, lunch meat….  I try to get in as much protein as I can through my foods.  Dinner, I eat a little bit of whatever I make the family.  I stay away from bread – it tastes good (still), but it fills me up and leaves me hungry in a short period of time.  I take vitamins each day.  I eat some things I should probably stay away from.  I am not perfect, but I am different.  Oh, and one of the hardest habits to break – I can’t eat and drink at the same time.  It is harder than you think.

So yeah.  100 pounds.  It makes a big difference.  I have a lot more energy.  I have clearly had to clean out my closet a few times and get rid of the stuff that was too big.  Here is a fun fact – rapid weight loss leads to hair loss. My hair was so thin, and I was shedding like crazy!  I upped my vitamin intake with one for hair skill and nails – and it helped…. now I have a ton of baby hairs sticking up all over the place, driving me crazy, but it is a good sign.

Before the surgery, I didn’t realize how much extra weight I was carrying.  I was always the one behind the camera, not in front of it.  Every once in a while, someone would get a snapshot of me, and I would wonder how no one told me I look so bad.  I knew I had unhealthy eating habits.  I knew I needed to exercise more.  I knew what I was supposed to do, but I never could seem to make myself the priority to do it.  My nature is to take care of others.  I put everyone else first.  So when I say that my decision to have surgery was sorta-selfish, it is because for once I put myself first.

In reality, my choice to get healthy really benefits everyone I love.  I will be around a lot longer to continue to care for them, I have the strength and energy to do more for them, I am better at teaching the ones I love to make the better choices.  I am showing them that I think I am worth the effort to change into a better person.  I am helping them see that if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.

What you couldn’t see a year ago, is the shame, hurt and depression I carried under all that weight.  I clearly didn’t care enough about how I looked or how I felt.  I was ashamed of the fact that the weight showed that I didn’t care enough about myself at all.  My body hurt.  I am thankful I didn’t have more serious health problems – but it hurt to walk, I tired out way to easy, and I struggled to get a good nights sleep (snoring)…..  I hated buying bigger clothes, but I did. I piled them up and shoved the smaller sizes in the back, thinking I would wear then again “someday”.  And I put on a brave face and kept trudging through life, getting my enjoyment from taking care of others.  Avoiding the question of why I don’t care enough about me to take care of me.

File Aug 23, 12 51 40 PM

I didn’t know how much I was physically and emotionally hurting before the surgery.   I didn’t realize how much I missed restful sleep.  I had forgotten what it felt like to walk without pain.  I couldn’t remember how it felt to get dressed without fearing the clothes would be too tight, or not fit in a way that I was comfortable wearing.

I’m far from perfect.  I have a long road (the rest of my life) ahead of me.  I have not given up all my bad habits – I still enjoy Diet Pepsi (way too much), I need to drink more water, I need to exercise more regularly, and I need to find a way to get in more fruits and veggies.  As my 4oth birthday fast approaches, I am determined to make my next decade my best decade.

Photo Aug 12, 2 20 53 PM

Next week I start a new career, that I am very excited about.  I am determined to continue on the path of self love and self improvement.  I will keep sharing my journey, and maybe some of what I share will help someone along the way.  I am an open book, and I even share the chapters of my life that maybe I shouldn’t read out loud…. But I would rather have people know that even if it looks like I am super-mom, with my shit together on the outside – that isn’t me.  I am crazy, full of love and mistakes – and finally to a point in my life where I am not afraid to forge my own path and be truly happy.  There will be bumps, dead ends, detours and adventures – but they will be mine.

If you have questions about the surgery, or anything, don’t be afraid to ask.  I have been able to share and help a couple of beautiful women, who have also decided to get the surgery done – and knowing that I can share what I have learned to help others is the best gift of all.

Be a little selfish.  Be true to you. Be happy.

#CrazyAsAMother #40IsTheNew30 #SharingIsCaring #OpenBookNewChapter


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Crazy, passionate, creative, and extremely flawed mother of teen twin boys. Far from perfect, but always able to laugh at myself... I am Marketing Project Manager for an absolutely AMAZING produce company by day (while facilitating distance learning for the kids).... and an exhausted mom, all the time.

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