It’s been OVER four months since my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy and I am a bad blogger for not updating sooner. I feel like I am currently experiencing 5671275 “WTF’S” per hour:) This time of year is a really busy time for me in my work life. I don’t have a whole lot of stress in my professional life, but when it comes to months May through July, I am a little over the edge. BUT- even through the busy times, this year has differed from years past and I’ll tell you why.
In the past, I’d sit down at my computer with a drink and a snack and work until wee hours of the night prepared for my late-July deadline. Sometimes I’d eat dinner at my desk. Sometimes I’d not eat at all. It just depends on how busy I am. Right now, I am preparing for the deadline and do not feel the need to mindlessly eat and drink while I work. I find I get up from my desk more to move around…where in years past, I’d sit so long my back and behind would be sore. My right arm would be so tense from using the mouse and my shoulder would lock up because I had not gotten up to loosen it up. This year I feel very different, and I mean that in the best way possible.
My mind feels healthy and so does the rest of me:)
I’ve mentioned before that my VSG journey has been pretty much non-eventful with no complications. I’ve also mentioned before that my progress is MUCH slower than I think other WLS patients experience. To date, I am about 45 pounds down since mid-February when I started my pre-op, liver shrinking diet. Don’t get me wrong. I am HAPPY to have lost 45 pounds! I am more than half way to my goal. I think we generally think that if someone has WLS, we expect huge weight loss numbers in record time. Lots of people do experience that. I am just not one of them. LOL.
As I lose weight, lots of things are happening. Good things. I have explored a new area of my closet for smaller clothes! I am no longer in “plus” size clothes, though I probably have a few items of that size because they are comfortable. But generally, I am in Missy sizes now. Even my feet are changing…my shoes don’t fit the same anymore, but not so much that I can’t wear them. It’s just weird. Good weird. Due to the vitamins I take, my hair, skin and nails are all pretty healthy. I am moving more fluidly, and more confidently. I can’t say I LIKE ALL the activities I do at the gym, but I find myself choosing more adventurous classes than my typical DREADmill routine. I find myself sleeping better, eating less, and moving more. And most importantly, I am remembering what health and fitness feels like. I still have a long way to go. But I feel like I have really accomplished a lot these last four months. Somebody asked me if I am proud of myself. I wouldn’t say proud…I’d say pleased with my progress. I’ll be proud when I reach my goal. I am hoping I reach it by my December birthday.
With weight loss surgery comes some not so fun things, too. I mentioned having healthy hair- and it is healthy, but I am losing it like crazy. VSG patients typically lose hair between months 3-9. When it didn’t happen at 3 months, I figured it wouldn’t happen. Was I ever wrong! Now I can really sympathize with my sister and cousin, who both experienced hair loss during their journeys. It is a good thing I have ridiculously thick hair because it’s working in my favor during this loss stage. And since I am losing it, I shouldn’t color it. If you know me in real life, you know that Miss Clairol and I are BFF’s. I’ve been coloring my hair since I was 13. My first gray hair appeared and subsequently was dyed when I was 22. I am 60% gray. I color every 3 weeks. Can’t do that now for fear of losing even more. So…I reckon I’m just gonna go Au Naturale! Can’t say as I like this.
Then there’s the loss of things we as women really don’t wanna lose. I gave away 2 brand new Victoria’s Secret bras to my sister, who is already well-endowed. I did not get those genes. Teresa got all the boob genes! LOL.
I’ve shared some of the good and not so good. But I am pretty excited to share with you one of the better things to happen in my post-VSG life. I have reacquainted myself with an unlikely former friend. And that friend is Sobriety.
At least one of you reading, who knows me and my relationship with beer, has already assumed I am drunk as I type:) I assure you, I am not.
Weight Loss Patients are encouraged NOT to drink for at least a year after surgery. Some will tell you it is because there’s a dependency transfer. People who are addicted to eating large quantities/bad types of FOOD are food addicts, right? Well, since our tummies are so small, we cannot ingest those big quantities and bad foods will likely make us sick. So the food addiction gets transferred to alcohol in SOME patients. (That is not the case for me)
Another reason is that some of our organs, like the liver, are traumatized after WLS and need time to recover. Adding alcohol to an already-small-as-a-banana-stomach and a traumatized liver may result in damage to those organs. I have not found this to be harmful to me personally, although my doctor did recently say my liver enzyme counts were slightly elevated. it could be due to medication, though and nothing to do with alcohol. I would say I have 2 glasses of wine or a cocktail one night a week. And 2 will do me just fine. That’s my new limit. Anything more than that will leave me with a splitting headache the next morning. AND alcohol slows down the loss process, in my opinion, so I don’t have much.
In real life, you know that I LOVED beer. I loved beer like I can’t even describe. And I live near 4-5 breweries. My husband and I loved to spend an afternoon tasting different kinds of beers. He’s an IPA guy. I am a Hefeweizen kinda girl. or I was:) Beer is a no-no due to the carbonation and the carbs. I was prepared for this when I decided to have the surgery. so far it has not been hard to comply. I did have a tiny taste of a blueberry blonde ale a few days ago. A little taste was heavenly!
Admittedly, I am kinda digging this stage of my journey. I know my limits now. That doesn’t mean I won’t test the limits now and again as my body changes. Don’t worry, my Hot Tub Mermaids, I’ll still be able to have cocktails with you on the beach! I just have to sip them a little slower than usual! But I don’t think I will ever revert back to the frequency of drinking like before. I have not missed the next-morning headaches or sluggishness. I have embraced the clarity I feel. My to-do’s get DONE. I say all of this now, but my work deadline is coming up and I may just say the hell with it all and drink a bottle of vodka.
LOL. No, I won’t. For real- I feel strong, and healthy. And I love that so many people in my life, whether we’ve met in the weight loss community, or we’ve been friends for years, the outpouring of support I’ve received has been nothing short of amazing. If you’re considering WLS and need some guidance, I would love to tell you more about it, and if I am not one to help, there’s a whole WLS community out there that is incredibly helpful.
Thank you so much for coming by to read my little update. Four months into the journey and it’s not been that difficult. Who knew I could live without beer or carbohydrates in general? Who would have ever thought?!?
There’s some crazy stuff happening in our world right now. Sometimes it is hard to find the silver linings….sometimes it is hard to recognize our blessings. If you can’t find a blessing….go be one<3