Today marks my 4 year surgiversary. One thing I always said to myself when I started this blog was that I wanted to keep it real. I wanted people who considered, or were considering, weight loss surgery to know what life is like after, and that on some days it might seem to be all butterflies and rainbows, but on others it's still a daily struggle.
Quite honestly I long for the days where I didn't even think about eating. Yeah, those days com back -- so it makes for struggle. Struggle that's worth it, for sure, but struggle nonetheless. I remember just praying post-surgery I wouldn't have to think about feeding my pie-hole ever again, in the manner of worrying about what my next meal will be? Will it be too big? Too small? Enough calories? Not enough calories? Do I have adequate amounts of carbs... and good carbs, not "bad" carbs... oiy! It's enough to make your head spin.
Surgery doesn't take care of all those head issues either. For me, I just neatly tucked things away in my mind -- I cope with them, but that is not dealing with them. There's a difference. Some family events of late (my Mother's divorce from my Stepdad after 30 years) has really opened up some feelings I put away out of respect for my Mother. Now that I've made a choice to detatch myself from him, it's created some undue family drama and brought back some negative feelings for me I don't need. He's lucky I live 1600 miles away and I'm just glad I don't live in proximity to him; I'll leave it at that. I do realize I need to deal with these feelings sooner, rather than later, and make a promise that I will. After all, I'm getting signs right and left that it's time to acknowledge and heal, not just cope... not just get by.
Surgery doesn't change your mindset. YOU have to change your mindset. Your mindset can't always be about losing weight and the number on the scale either. You have to learn to change the message in your brain from doing what needs to be done to drop pounds, to simply doing what it takes to LIVE a healthy lifestyle in order to experience the vitality you desire.
You have to decide you are worthy to live life well and full.
I don't want to spend my whole life counting points or calories... I want to spent my life continuing to do the things I love that make me feel alive and present and not just phoning it in on the game called life.
After 4 years, would I do the surgery again? Yes. Still no longer an Insulin dependent diabetic; that's major. And really that was the main reason I followed-through with it; everything else was secondary.
Is it what I thought it would be? Sorta and kinda. I mean, I knew at some point the struggle would return and that surgery wasn't a magic bullet. What I didn't count on were some additional medical issues (non-surgery related) with pretty big hormonal imbalances that are causing me grief. When I'm not conscious, that number on the scale still has the power to dictate to me my disposition for the day. Sometimes I step off just wanting to cry and wonder, "Why did I make this choice?" Why? Of course logic sets in and I get it right in my head, but I still have those days at 4 years out, and it can send me into a tailspin if I let it.
After 4 years I still have restriction, so I know my pouch is still small. I eat until full and I still don't drink with my meals -- though sometimes I still need a sip to help something go down. I still do not drink anything carbonated, and I really don't miss it. I still have trouble with foods that have higher sugar content, but others I can now tolerate. For instance raisins would be cause for immediate dumping and gut pain, but now I can eat a serving without them killing me.
In the end I'm doing things I only dreamed of. Each achievement reminds me I'm stronger than I realize at times and not to give-up.
Just hours before surgery, 4 years ago.
Me and my best friend, after Finishing my first Half Distance Triathlon 6 weeks ago.