One year ago, yesterday, I had a gastric bypass. I started out at 353 lbs, and a size 30/32. I couldn't walk with out major lower back pain--to the point that getting from my car to my house might as well have been a marathon. I didn't travel because I couldn't fit into the airline seats (if I didn't collapse from pain just trying to GET to the plane). I could (and did) eat a whole pizza in an evening. I knew that I did not have a diet left in me, and I knew that I was dying a whole lot quicker than a 36-year old should be.
What a difference a year makes.
I'm down 155 lbs., to about 198 (194 according to my Wii, and 202 according to my scale, so I'm splitting the difference). I wear a size 18. I don't have lower back pain, and I don't even think about how far I have to walk (except when it's really cold, raining, or snowing) to get to my front door. I fit in an airline seat and I can even lower the tray table. I don't eat pizza (tomato sauce tastes funny to me now). I work out now, and my life expectancy is much closer to normal.
It's like getting a second chance.
Now, I don't recommend this path for everyone. While I've reaped a lot of benefits so far, I am concerned about what this will look like in another 5 or 10 years. I've seen a lot of post-ops regain a lot of the weight they lost (factoring in the 10% regain that is normal). I've heard of a lot of people who have permanent problems, from severe nutritional deficiencies to major issues getting sick on everyday food. I know visits to the doctor or ER will always create problems for me, and that I have to watch those treating me like a hawk so that they don't accidentally give me ibuprofen or sugar popsicles.
But I'm one of the lucky ones, so far.
Last night, I went out with a group of friends to celebrate. We went to dinner, then for fro-yo, and then back to my house for a Wii dance-party. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun, or felt so much joy for just being. I'd forgotten how much I love being around people, doing things, and just participating in my own life. See how happy I look (I'm in the middle)!
I updated my photo in the left side, as well. It's a picture of me standing in the same spot as 1 year before. Now you can actually see the door frame behind me! As I was editing the blog page to add the photo, I noticed in my self description that if I were to be in a sitcom, I would be "The Wacky Neighbor." Still true (I am a bit wacky and tend to make an entrance by falling into the room), but now I'm starting to feel a little like the Leading Lady. Maybe by this time next year, I'll manage to transition to being the Star of my own show.
Stay tuned to this channel to see it evolve...