Nine Months and Moving Along

Nine months after surgery feels like a huge milestone for me. According to all of the experts out there, if it takes a lap band patient approximately 3 years to lose their excess weight, then I am 25% of the way there. In some respects, it seems like I just had the surgery, but in others, it feels like I’ve had it forever, and this is a good thing. So at the quarter mark, how am I doing? I’ve lost over 50% of the weight that I want to and now have that stubborn last 50 pounds to lose. It’s interesting because when I mention that to people who ask, they don’t see how I can lose that much more. But they know where I started and are so thrilled with what I have lost so far, they feel if I were to stay this weight, it’d be fine. I’m still not at a healthy weight, so I will continue on.

In my last weight loss post, I talked about some of my challenges. I think this time it’s a good thing to talk about some of the successes. If you have never struggled with weight, some of these may seem a bit silly, but for me they are huge.

  1. Most days I can walk without wheezing. Okay, there are still those days when I still have difficulty, but it is due to my respiratory issues and not due to the weight. Even if I were a twig, I’d still have those days, so I am thrilled with not wheezing for the majority. Before, I wheezed with minimal exertion.
  2. I can cross my legs, and that means without struggling to do it to. It was one of those things that I didn’t think about, but one day during a business meeting I crossed my legs and then realized what I had done and the shock of it made me want to get up and run around the room fist pumping the air. I didn’t.
  3. I can put on my shoes and tie them without sweating or having to take a break. And I no longer have to haul my leg up by a pant leg to do it.
  4. I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but it is still very much a success. NO MORE blood pressure medication as it is no longer required.
  5. I can climb multiple flights of stairs with no problem. My knees still bother me on occasion, but as with the wheezing the cause is other than weight.
  6. I have to use belts to keep my pants up, and this is for the smallest size I own. Belts will suffice for now as I will buy clothing very sparingly until I reach my goal.
  7. I am comfortable in normal sized chairs.
  8. I no longer have to leave as much room on the driver side of the car when parking, because I don’t have to swing the door as wide for me to get out of the car.
  9. My complexion has improved dramatically.
  10. And for the last one that I’ll list, and one that is currently giving me a spring in my step, is that the pink outfit in the picture is something I bought several years ago (5-6) because I loved the color. I knew it was too small at the time because the top was a large and at the time I was fitting in 3X or sometimes a large 2X. This outfit symbolizes my determination to lose the weight, because I wanted it so much and I wanted to wear it. (Okay – I have very simple tastes in clothing and comfort is a prime concern and vibrancy of color is a close second.) So, when I picked it up off the rack, I vowed someday I would wear it. Today is that day. I’m not straining to get into it. I’m not stretching the fabric. I waited and now IT FITS!!!

Really, this list could go on and on because the simple things in freedom of movement alone could take a page and a half, but you get the idea. I am really pleased with my decision and the results.

While I am thrilled with how far I’ve come, I have had a little bit of a setback within the past two months. In January I had a flare up of gastritis, which I am prone to and was one of the reasons, I selected the lap band procedure over the gastric bypass. When the gastritis was diagnosed, my doctor sent me to have my band deflated, which is a scary thing for a lap band patient. But deflating the band allowed the gastritis to heal. I went this past week to have the band re-filled and the surgeon was very pleased that I hadn’t gained, as that is the norm when the band is deflated. I was hoping for continued loss, but will be content with lack of gain. We did run into a glitch when attempting to refill the band. The needle wouldn’t go into the port, so I am still flying without the help of my tool at the moment. The doctor sent me for X-rays as she suspects the port has flipped and is backwards. Apparently this is a very rare possibility, but one she think is highly likely because she was unable to get the heavy duty industrial strength needle in but has no problem in locating the port itself. If that is the case, it will require a minor surgery to correct. And I was hoping 2010 could be a surgery-free year. Oh well, I will continue on.

I have added the extra picture to his post to give a better Before picture. I found this when cleaning out my desk during a recent office move and thought it provided an excellent visual of how far I have come. Oh, and the guy I’m with is hubs.

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