Today is the 1 year anniversary of my weight loss journey. The journey is not over by far, but I am very happy with where I am at today. I feel so much better – I can’t even adequately explain in words how much better I feel. This journey for me was all about getting healthier. Had I not done this I think I would have been dead within a couple of years.
Last year I had Hubby take some pictures of me before all of this started. I kept that shirt and pants and had him take photos of me today in them and then more of me today in my newer clothes. Can you tell a difference?
To date I have lost 120 pounds – that is an entire person! Yikes! Like I said, my journey is not over but every pound along the way counts. Now to share with you some of the common questions I get and some things I have learned over the past year.
How did you do it?
This is the biggest question. I have made no secret that I had a form of weight loss surgery called a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. However, the surgery is not what makes you lose weight honestly. It simple is a tool that kind of forces you to do what everyone needs to do to lose weight – eat smaller amounts and make better food choices. So the official answer to how I lost the weight is really that I eat smaller portions, make better choices, and I exercise and am more physically active all around.
Would you have the surgery again?
This is a tough question. I think, for me, this surgery was necessary. I needed the extra tool to help me. I do not think weight loss surgery (of any kind) is the right answer for everyone though. So yes, I probably would have it again, but I hate that I had to even consider it at all.
NSV is what these are called – they are victories and accomplishments that go along with the weight loss but that are not focusing on the number of pounds lost. Examples of these include not having to use a seat-belt extender on airplanes, being able to cross my legs, being able to bend over to tie my shoes, walking without instantly being out of breath, and so much more. I’ve been sharing these here on my blog, on Facebook, and Twitter throughout the year.
I just went to my primary care doctor a couple of weeks ago. All of my blood work (except thyroid) have improved – my cholesterol numbers are a lot better. I have eliminated one of my blood pressure medications altogether and we just lowered the dosage on the other. I am also sick a lot less often these days. My vertigo is not nearly as much of an issue as often also. The doctor was so proud of me – she even hugged me!
Tackling Food Issues
Along with the changes in diet and exercise I have to include that therapy to help me with my food issues has been critical in my journey. I have worked with my therapist on why I use food as a comfort mechanism and developed some strategies to change that behavior when it kicks in. I am definitely an emotional eater and will always be one so I have to always watch for this.
What can you eat?
I can eat anything I want BUT I have to eat smaller portions. If I eat too much, which I have done, I know pretty quickly. Occasionally I will throw up, but that is the easier way because you instantly feel better. Most often I do not throw up from overeating but instead have this very uncomfortable feeling at the top of my stomach and I have to wait until it starts digesting and moves on along. It sucks a lot when this happens. Generally it is because I ate too much too fast and didn’t eat slowly and listen to my brain telling me “I’m full”.
I’m still Robyn
One of the other things I have had to work on with my therapist is the fact that when people say “oh my gosh you look so much better”, “you seem so much happier” and the like that, at times, it has felt like people were bashing the person I was. Now I know (now) that is not at all what anyone means, but how we feel about things said to us is not always the same as what is said. Robyn is still Robyn – just a bit smaller and I do have a better grasp on dealing with emotions and feelings. Because of that new grasp I am happier.
What does Hubby think?
Hubby has been the most supportive person – more than I ever imagined. He never complained to me about my weight as I went up over the years to start, but I knew it bothered him. He has held my hand, lent me his shoulder to cry on, been my cheerleader, nursed me through the surgery, and encouraged me every single step of the way. He also now calls me his “hot wife” which I do like. It doesn’t matter if other people view me that way or not – it is just nice that he does! By the way, your sex life greatly improves when you lose this much weight too – just sayin’.
Do you mess up sometimes?
Yes, I sure do. It stinks too, but it is something I constantly work on. Instead of beating myself up when I do mess up I now try to think about WHY I ate that way and move forward. I used to beat myself up about it and just eat more again because I was mad about it – that obviously is not the way to go. No one is perfect – everyone falls back on bad habits occasionally.
Okay this part sucks, a lot! Yes, I have droopy excess skin from losing so much weight. My upper arms is where it bothers me the most. I also have it on my neck, stomach, butt, and thighs. And my boobs, well they are quite deflated and saggy these days. I had to learn to deal with this too as, honestly, the puffed up skin when I was fatter looked better than the saggy droopy excess skin. I will most likely have plastic surgery though once I am done losing weight, probably in 2015 sometime) to remove a lot of this excess. However, even if I never have the plastic surgery I will still be happier and HEALTHIER without all the excess weight. Hubby says when he notices the excess skin it just reminds him of how much I have lost and make him proud of me. Gotta love him for that!
I also want to thank Nicole Bullock, my dear friend, who has helped me so much. She was the reason I was able to start this journey because she was sharing her own weight loss journey. I owe her my life. Giant hugs if you are reading this Nicole!
Social media has really played a huge part for me also. When I share NSV’s or pounds lost on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog the amount of support everyone gives me is incredible. It really helps you by giving you a boost. Since I do travel for my work I am also lucky to see some of these same people in person and they have seen my progress in real life too and their hugs mean so much when I see them! I really encourage anyone trying to lose weight to find a place they are comfortable to share and have that same kind of support.
So, that’s has been what has happened over the past year. I am happy to answer any questions you have also. Ask away!