Tag Archives: Surgery

Proof in Pictures

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Hi.  My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

I’d like to show you a couple of pictures today.  As you may remember (and as it has been oh so long since I have written anything here, I fully understand if you don’t remember), I had weight loss surgery on May 23, 2011.  My weight before surgery was 455 pounds.  The expectation was that I would lose 60% of my excess body weight, or a total of 253 pounds, in the first year after surgery.  Of course, we didn’t expect that I would have a herniated disc in need of repair during that first year.  Yeah, that has hampered my weight loss.  It is a part of the reason that I haven’t kept up this blog as I intended.  To say I have battled depression issues since the problems with my back developed would be an understatement.  But the back and depression are only a part of why I haven’t kept up with this blog.

The other part is my laziness.  That is one of those character defects that I have to face when I work on Step Four—and in all honesty, is one of the reasons that I have avoided that Step.

Anyway….  I wanted to share with you a picture of me before my surgery.  As you can see, I look like a whale.  I even wore black that day, knowing that I was going to have my picture taken.  Black is supposed to be slimming, right?  Well, if this outfit made me look any slimmer, I would honestly HATE to see what I looked like in a color that wasn’t black.

Before surgery picture. Weight 455 pounds. YUCK

I went yesterday for my one year checkup.  It’s been more than a year, I know, but the back issues messed up my schedule a bit.  When I stepped on the scale and say my weight at 359 pounds, I wanted to cry.  I was so mad at myself!!  That weight is actually 9 pounds heavier than I was at my 6 month postop checkup.  I swore going into this that it wouldn’t matter how much or how little weight I lost, once the weight was gone it was not going to come back.  And I had allowed 9 pounds to sneak back onto my frame.  Now, that I didn’t lose more, that I have no problem “blaming” on the back issues.  It’s kind of hard to exercise with the balance issues I’ve been dealing with.  But regaining 9 pounds?  I can’t blame that on anything other than the bad choices that I have made.  I’ve not been paying close attention to my food choices.  The number on the scale showed it.  I left the office feeling really down on myself.  Sure, the dietitian had given me a diet to follow for a few weeks, something to help kick start my metabolism and help me get back into losing.  She also gave me some exercise ideas that will help and shouldn’t hurt my back much.  But all I had in my head right then was that number.  I was mad at myself about the whole thing and felt like a failure because I hadn’t done more.

Just before I settled in to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony last night (hey, just because I don’t like to compete in any sport, doesn’t mean I don’t like watching the world celebrate sport!), I opened an email from the dietitian.  She had taken my picture again and had sent me copies.  My jaw about hit the floor when I looked at them!

Fourteen months after surgery. Weight 359 pounds. Loss of 96 pounds.

Can you see the differences?  I actually have a SHAPE now, a shape that is not just blob-shaped.  Sure, I still have a ways to go to get where I want to be, but now I can actually see the difference.  I can see that I am losing weight.  No, I don’t feel wonderful about it, but I feel much better than I did when all I knew was the number.

Now to get myself back on track and really working to get the weight off.

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Bad Day

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My name is Annie.  I am a compulsive overeater.

And I am not having an easy time overcoming that right now.

On Tuesday, my 3-year-old youngest son had his tonsils and adenoids removed.  This is a routine surgery, I know.  But when it is your child, there is nothing at all routine about it.

Yesterday was really hard for me.  It was hard for him, too.  Little Man was in a lot of pain, he had a fever, and he did not want to drink anything.  I spent the day cuddling him and praying that he would begin to feel better.  And when he napped, I found myself in the kitchen, rooting through the fridge and cabinets for something—ANYTHING!—to eat.  And I can’t say what I stuffed my mouth with was particularly healthy.  In fact, I’d have to say it was all particularly Unhealthy, as I found my husband’s “secret stash” of sweet and salty snacks.

Little Man is still feeling icky but not as bad as yesterday.  Hopefully that will help me to keep on track as well.

Surgical Thoughts

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Hello.  My name is Annie and I am a compulsive overeater.

This weekend, I had a conversation with my pastor’s wife about the surgery I am looking at.  Not that I think she really understands why I would consider this surgery—she can’t weigh more than 120 pounds, unless I am really off in my guess.  The woman is so tiny.  But she knew I was thinking of scheduling an appointment to talk about the surgery.  When she asked if I had done that yet, I didn’t think I should lie about it.

One thing she said, though, kind of confused me.  She asked if I had thought about the effect that losing weight might have on my marriage.

Of course I have talked to my husband about it, I told her.  He is supportive, so long as I am doing this for me and not for him.  And I told her that he is pretty adamant about my OA meeting attendance.  Even if I do the surgery, he wants me to keep going to meetings so that I can get to the bottom of the reasons for my over eating.

She said that wasn’t what she meant.  She asked if I realized how many of the contestants on TV’s The Biggest Loser have gone on to divorce because of the weight loss.  “The spouses are very supportive in the beginning,” she said, “but they can’t always handle the way members of the opposite sex look at them.”

Now, a couple of things came to mind.  One was, “so I should keep all this extra weight on me and continue to live a less than healthy life because my husband won’t like to see other men interested in me?”  I didn’t say that to her.  In fact, I didn’t really even think that until I started typing this message.  But the thought is there.  I am making this choice because it is a good step toward having a healthy Annie living a longer life.  I can’t let his insecurities affect my choice.

What I told her is something that my hubby had told me before.  He thinks I am beautiful and that other guys look at me the way that I am.  He has actually said that it kind of turns him on to know that he gets to go home and go to bed with a woman other men find desirable, and that no other man gets to enjoy me the way that he does.  I told her that I don’t know that I believe that other men are looking at me, and that it doesn’t matter to me if they do.  The man I married is the only man that I want.  “Just because other men are looking at me doesn’t mean that I have to look at them,” I told her.

There has to be some level of trust there.  I trust that no matter what, he isn’t looking for another woman, and he trusts me the same way.  The only way I can see my weight loss making a difference in our marriage (other than the hope that being smaller will help me to become more adventurous in the bedroom) is if my new body makes me want to encourage the men who are looking at me.  That is not going to happen.

Thoughts on Information Meeting

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My name is Annie.  I am a compulsive overeater.

I meant to post this last night, but I didn’t get a chance to type it.  I had an appointment at the University of Michigan bariatric clinic yesterday.  What I am going to share with you now is what I wrote in my journal before, during, and after the meeting.

Info meeting today.  Hubby took the afternoon off to come along with me.  I am nervous and kind of giddy all at once.  There are about a dozen others here.  Some really don’t look like they need to lose any weight.  Maybe they are the support people for the others.  Either that or they hide the excess weight rather well!

One woman caught my eye right away.  She is wearing a pink Henley.  Her hair is short and red, and she has on a pair of glasses with a similar frame to mine.  She looks a lot like I think I must look.  I wonder if she has the same kind of thoughts that I do.  I think we are the two biggest females in the room.  Oh how nice it would be to walk into a room and not feel like the biggest girl there!

Not that I always feel like the biggest gal in the room.  Sometimes I feel like the biggest person in the room.  Every now and again, I think I could be in a room full of elephants and still be the largest creature there.

I came into this meeting leaning toward the lap band.  Now, though, I am wonder if gastric bypass would be a better option for me.  According to the stats Dr. Birkmeyer gave, the band would not allow me to lose the amount of weight I want to lose.  And he said that regardless of the procedure, “bigger patients” will still have excess amounts of skin that just sort of hang off the body.  The sleeve gastrectomy— something that I was dead set against before—almost sounds like the best option for me.  But I must say I am a bit nervous about telling my hubby that.  It would mean more of a hospital stay and a slightly longer recovery time than the band.  Is that going to be a big problem for him?

Still, I have to tell him.  I have to talk to him about all that I am feeling about this.  And I need to do what is best for ME—I need to find the option that will best help me to reach my goals.  I don’t want to inconvenience him with this, but if I am going to take this step, I need to be sure I am stepping in the right direction to conquer my weight and eating issues.