Monday, August 20, 2012

One Blessed Year Later.....

(image courtesy of google images)
Well, hello!! Welcome to my celebration! Yes, my friends, it's been ONE year since my surgery. August 18, 2011 happened to be one serious life changing day for this ol' gal. 

Some people in the weight loss community call this a Surgiversary. I'm cool with that. I don't really remember being in the world much this time last year. Little did I know just how much life would be changing for me.

Since my last post wasn't the greatest in being positive, I have deemed my celebration post to be all positive.

Being positive will allow me to tell you about some of the NSV's I've experienced in the past twelve months. An NSV is a Non-Scale Victory. It's those little and big things that are not related to the scale. I've had a few that have made me happy, cry a little, and just plain out do a happy dance.

I think my favorite one is being able to cross my legs. You read that right. I love being able to cross my legs like a lady and not hurt. I was able to do this comfortably a few months ago and every single time I do it, I grin on the inside.

I've lost 8 sizes in clothes. Think about that a minute. Women's clothes go by 2's, you know (2,4,6, and etc). Suffice it to say, I was on the high end of the plus size spectrum. I now shop in the misses department with ease. Ha. No, I don't. The first time I went in the misses section was ....well, it was hard. My husband and I went to a store after supper out with the friends one night. I needed some pants. All of mine were falling off. He did a pit stop at the bathroom and I headed on to see to what I could find. I automatically went to the plus size section. When I got there, I realized the clothes were too big. I just stood there a minute. I walked over to the misses section and just stood there again. When my husband found me, I was literally about in tears because I was so overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. The choices! The styles! Oh my!! It's funny now, but it sure wasn't funny then. It's been 14 years since I've been able to shop in a section where the tags read small, medium, and large.

My fingers are thinner now. Since ring sizes go by half sizes, we can safely say the size 10.5 I wore before can't compare with the size 7 I can wear now. Yes, another eight sizes lost in the hands. Just within the past couple of weeks I had to go buy a simple wedding band. My original rings fell off long ago and the ring of my Mama's was too loose for me to feel safe wearing.

Let's talk about shoe sizes, too, shall we? I've worn a size 10 since I was ten years old. No joke. Firm foundation is what my Daddy has always called it. When I lost a hundred pounds fifteen years ago, I got down to a size 9. (I still miss those shoes!) Giving birth twice after that weight loss plus putting on a massive amount of weight, I've flirted with some size 11 shoes in the past couple of years. I've got plenty of size 10's, but some 11's have snuck into my closet. Lately, I've been buying size 9.5 shoes.

While on the subject of shoes, guess who has some sassy  heels? Yeah, baby, this GIRL has some heels. And you know what?? I can wear them without dying!! They are actually comfortable! And I feel awesome wearing them, too!

I am off of my cholesterol medication. That was HUGE for me. Having to take that medication scared me. In my mind, that was flirting with danger right there. My family doctor took me off of that medication within a couple months of the surgery and I've had blood tests to check for it every three months since then. I am officially off of it and not worried about it now.

My blood pressure blows my mind. I was an inch away from being put on medication before surgery. I was going to be just like my Mama and on blood pressure medication when I hit my 40's. Well, lo and behold, that stupid pressure has gone the opposite direction! Now, I have low blood pressure and get the dizzies when I stand up. My pulse is lower and I honestly don't feel like my body is struggling like it was 13 months ago.

What about sweat? Anyone who is overweight knows sweat intimately. It's what happens all the time no matter what the weather is like. Summer time is hard, especially in The South. There's nothing like trying to put on a little makeup during the summer and it basically starts melting off before you hit the front door. Lord help when you hit the humidity. There goes the rest of it down the drain. It has been wonderful not sweating all the time. In fact, I stay cold in buildings and keep coats in the trunk of the car. I feel sure I will be wearing thermal underwear this winter as my core temperature struggles to regulate. I read that may be problem for a year or two while my body adjusts. I'm perfectly fine with that.

I'm in therapy now. Can I just say I just love me some good therapy? I have no shame in admitting I need help with figuring out the root of my food addiction. I want to fix it. If I can't fix it, I want to understand it and have better tools in my arsenal to fight that demon that lives inside of me. I am very blessed that a renowned psychologist who specializes in addictions and treating WLS patients lives in this area. We're really digging into my psyche and I may fall apart before all is said and done, but if I do? Putting the pieces back together to make a better Miss Hope is worth it.

Pain is not a constant in my life anymore. I think I do have a tad bit of arthritis in my left hip, but years of being overweight and three pregnancies are big contributing factors with that issue. Before, just standing at the washing machine killed my back. Standing at the stove crippled my back with pain. Walking long distances (like simple grocery shopping throughout a grocery store) would almost put me in tears. I have none of those issues now. I can shop like a champ, walk the mall, and wash clothes all day long.

These are just a few NSV's that I wanted to share. I'm sure there are more, but I don't want to bore you all too much. You've been too patient with me like it is. I'm excited to experience more this upcoming year.

I...uh...went through my pictures trying to figure out what to share with you. I am ashamed of how bad I looked before surgery. Recently, a friend asked how much weight I had lost and I told them I was almost embarrassed to say because it meant I came from a bad place. I need to stop that. I made some poor choices with my food, health, and body. I stepped up and am now trying my best to work with this amazing tool I've been given so as to improve my food choices, my health, and my body. Yes, it was bad. Now it's not so much.

Thank you for hanging with me the past year. So many of you have supported me and I am forever grateful. The battle hasn't been won, but it's been a heck of a fight.

One year after surgery (give or take a day because you really don't start losing until the week after because of surgery and such).........

I HAVE LOST 140 LBS !!!!!!!!

(clicking on the collage should make it bigger for you to see. My computer guru is at college now and I had to muddle my way through this thing. Sorry!)

 This was me in January of 2011 during a visit for Neighbor Greg's Military Retirement. Silly me thought if the picture was from the neck up, you couldn't see the bad part. Yeah.

This was in the past month. Neighbor Debbie gave me that lovely necklace for my birthday and when I wore it to church, I took a picture for her as proof I loved it.

I went this morning for my one year visit with the surgeon. He said he declares me a success thus far. So do I. All my nutrition levels are good and I am to keep doing what I'm doing. I do believe I shall. I'm having a few issues with the gall bladder and it will probably have to come out sooner rather than later. Eh, that's pretty standard for WLS kids.  (For some reason, the gall bladder surgery TERRIFIES me.) He also said my coffee addiction love is okay, too.

I'm feeling pretty decent, Internets. Yep...pretty dang decent.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preparing for Big Kid School

I'm pretty sure people are tired of my Book of Faces status updates talking about my kid going to college this Friday.

I was unprepared for how involved a person can get trying to make sure their child is going to have what they need when they are away from home.

It literally looks like Dorms R Us exploded in my living room. I have under bed containers (3) lined up with different things in them. I have smaller containers lined up waiting to be filled. I have, really... BAGS of stuff lined up full to the brim. There are bags in the kitchen and another under bed container already full of dried goods, spices, oh you name it.

The Man says he feels like an ATM machine. He now dreads when I head out to run errands because I'm texting him every hour with how much I spent at what store. (He has a nifty budget program he's using for us and he likes to input every single thing so I bombard him with texts stating stores and amounts all the time.)

Today is bonding day for The Man and the College Kid. They took her car first thing to the dealer to have it thoroughly checked out. I am already cringing because I feel sure two new tires will be required. They get to go to two doctor appointments for the kid, fill prescriptions on base/post for The Man, and to top the day off? They get to sit at the I.D. place on base/post for a few hours to update her military I.D. and insurance information.

Guess what I get to do while they do all that fun stuff? I get to stay home and do the mountains of laundry that are sitting in my hallway. Last night, my girl decided doing some laundry to have clean clothes to take with her would be a grand idea. Ya think? I feel for her future spouse. I hope they know how to do laundry because that sister will put it off until the last a month later if she can help it.

To top it all off? For a whole year I have waited and waited for a fever blister to appear. I've had those stupid things since high school and have never gone more than a few months without battling one. I was SURE I would have to fight them after my surgery because of the stress, compromised immune system, and all that goes with triggering fever blisters. Nope. Haven't had a one the whole year.

Until yesterday.

Apparently, having a child go off to college is a fantastic trigger for the ol' fever blister. It's been so long since I've had one, I almost had a mild panic attack because I couldn't remember where the cream was I'm supposed to use. Good thing I out smarted myself because it was in the basket that holds mine and Paige's medicines. Crisis averted.

Three days.

I can make it three days.

I can pack this incredibly huge pile of stuff in two vehicles and take my child to Big Kid School and leave her there.

I can do this.

Some times?

There's just not enough coffee.