Friday, November 12, 2010

A new found freedom

I sit here today and ponder the upcoming weekend, which will include participating in a baby shower for my husbands side of the family. I suddenly realize just how much has changed within myself. I no long desire holding onto the difficult times in my past. I have a new freedom and inner peace within my life. I find I simply want to spread my wings to fly.

Gastric bypass has given me a gift like I can't even explain. To those of you non-weight loss surgery (WLS) readers, I'm not sure you can even understand. Imagine your day being filled with pain. Physical, spiritual, and emotional pain. I would get out of bed, muddle through my work day, and sit on the couch until time for bed. Any additional activity or movement was painful....physically painful. At 400+ pounds, my joints ached almost constantly. The lack of activity made my body numb and I hated life. I would do everything in my power to avoid any activities that involved going places and/or being with people. I avoided my family and my friends. Life.....sucked. Did that paint a clear enough picture?

Today, I reflect back and begin to cry. What a miserable and sad existence I had. I took for granted everything I had going for me as I could only focus on all the negatives. The childhood molestation and rape I had suffered found a way into my daily thoughts. I felt a victim and was angry for the hand life had dealt me. That is the sick thought process that kept me in a life of obesity. I could not for one single moment think or believe, "I CAN".

I am eager for this weekend, eager to see family I rarely see, eager to share my new found freedom with the world. I find I have an inner strength I never knew was possible. I want the world to see the real me shine through. To see just exactly what my husband has always seen...a beautiful, intelligent, sexy, funny, and outgoing woman. I lost myself in the last decade...lost focus of what life is about. Or, maybe I've just recently learned what life is about. I'm learning new things every day. Learning to let go of the things that don't matter and grab hold of the things that do. Past grudges and feelings do nothing but pull me down. I am moving on and my new found freedom guides the way. I CAN be anything and EVERYTHING I want to be. Not only that...I know know I WILL reach my goals!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To blog or not to blog....that is the question.

Hello blogger land! It's been quite some time since this young lady has posted. I figured it was about time to either update or delete this lovely little blog. Obviously, you can tell my decision. So, hows about an update? So much has happened since I was last here. Looking back, my last update was about preparation for my upcoming weight loss surgery. My mind was all over the place at that point in time, but I clearly made it through.

I underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on June 28, 2010. I had zero complications from surgery and all in all had a pretty fast recovery. I went back to work two weeks after surgery and things have been non-stop ever since. The big question that might be on your mind....have I lost any weight? Of course I have! The real question is, how much have I lost? I started this journey at a whopping 424 lbs. So embarrassing to put that out in cyberspace, but it is what it is. Today, a mere 19 weeks after surgery, I am a much smaller yet still heavy 298 lbs. For those of you who hate math as much as I do, I'll save you the struggle. 424-298 is a total of 126 lbs. gone forever!

My life is quite different these days. In fact, I can comfortably sit here and say that I am not the same person I was the last time I blogged. I am healthier, happier, and know what I want from my life. This gift was the exact push start I needed to put me onto a path of bigger and better things. What has changed??? Well a better question would be, what hasn't changed. I spend between 3 and 5 days per week at the gym and do lots of other exercise on off days. I went from a total couch potato to someone who can barely sit still. I do water aerobics, I swim, I bike, I ride the elliptical, I many things that were near impossible at my starting size. My new life has not only made me a better person, but it has rubbed off on those I care about the most. My husband has lost weight and is more active. My sisters-in-law are both on the, "healthy lifestyle" bandwagon. Even my lovely mother has started an exercise program. It seems like this journey has not only inspired me, but everyone around me as well. It truely has been a blessing.

I have gone from a women's size 32 clothes to a 24, which is a whopping 5 sizes for those of you who don't know. I fit into seats I couldn't even dream of before. I was able to go to a baseball game for the first time in 4 years over the summer. Nothing holds me back! I eat healthy, I exercise, I feel amazing. And I know I will NEVER return to that hell of being over 400 lbs.

My journey has been well documented and I found a community of support like I never imagined I could. For anyone interested in what this journey has been like, please visit my channel on YouTube. All you have to do is search "Bamboo2you" and you will find links to my videos. The transformation from the start of my journey until present time is just remarkable. I don't even recognize myself. Actually, I don't recognize myself when I look back at my beginning pictures and videos as well as when I look in the mirror present time. I keep taking lots of photos and doing side by side comparisons so that I can really see the changes in my face and body. There are days where the lack of recognition is a mental trip, but most days I discover new things to love about myself.

I now have a neck, a jaw, collar bones, etc. I find something new to marvel at almost weekly. My feet have bones and tendons I didn't know existed...same with my wrists and hands. My beautiful wedding band set no longer fits my ring or middle fingers. I recently went to see how my ring size had changed to be shocked to discover I've gone from a size 10 1/4 to a 7 1/4! That is a FULL three sizes. Crazy!

So yes, life is different, but in all the right ways. I always knew that weight held me back, I just lost track of exaclty how much it held me back. I'm a better woman, wife, friend, daughter, sister, etc. The best part is that I know once I reach my final goal I am forever freed from this disease. I will be aware of what I eat and how I move for the rest of my life. The future is bright and I am happy.

Has it all be rosy and perfect? No, of course not. Life is not perfect so I must share the bad with the good. There are challenges I face on a daily basis. I now require a plethora of vitamins to keep me healthy. The regimen can be quite overwhelming some days, but I push through because it is what I must do. I require 64 oz of water every day, but unlike the average person, I can no longer gulp fluids. I must sip sip sip all day long as my stomach is now only the size of an egg and can't handle a large rush of water. Sugars are a huge no-no in life....forever. I can manage a little bit of them, but I must use extreme caution or I get what is called, 'Dumping Syndrome'. This is a very unpleasant side effect of gastric bypass, but an important one for learning. It causes nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, racing heart, diarrhea, vomitting. It is uncomfortable and I do all I can to avoid it. It only took one time of dumping for me to learn to avoid it at all costs. Another ugly thing that can and does happen from time to time, I call "stuck". If I don't chew food well enough or eat to big of a bite, the food has a hard time passing into my tiny stomach. It causes a "stuck" feeling in my chest, which is basically like somone stabbing my breast bone and every 15 seconds twisting the knife. The feeling passes when the food moves through, but if the food can't get through it forces me to vomit.

Now, luckily for me, these are RARE occurences. In fact, I've only dumped one time and only thrown up once from being stuck. It has taught me to be very careful when I eat and be aware of each bite that goes into my mouth. I avoid sugars, but will treat myself within reason. I know I can safely consume about 10 grams of sugar at one time so I am careful to stay way below that. Most times I only allow myself 5 grams. It is complicated and complex, but I don't regret it for a single second.

I think this is enough of an update for now. Hope all of you are doing well and I can't wait to get back into reading your blogs.