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.


(Wild) Rice said...

Congrats to you Miss Hope. I sincerely have tears streaming down my face reading this post. The picture of you with the necklace is G-OR-GEOUS! You were one hot momma before, but now? Girl, I can see the spunk and the sass now.

I'm also very glad you're getting therapy. Too many of my WLS friends stopped with the therapy about 3-6 months after surgery. As I'm sure you can imagine, they aren't doing near as well as you are.

Fred said...

Hope, my love, I am so proud of you. I know I tell you quite a bit, but it's true. I still can't believe the difference in the before and after. You know I will always think you are beautiful, but, I do want to grow old with you, so, I am glad of the changes that have been made and the results in your health. I LOVE YOU more than I could ever possibly tell you.

Lishak said...

Congratulations! I haven't been able to keep up with any of the blogs I used to read all the time, but I made a special exception for this! I just want to say that you rock and your hard work paid off. :)

Anonymous said...

Miss Hope,
I've spent the past several hours thinking about what you've done over the past year. I may not be in the same situation, but I definitely need to change my lifestyle. I am in desperate need of a loss of 50 pounds.

I haven't been going to the gym. I haven't been eating right. Because of a situation a while ago, I'm only able to eat carbs for the most part. The worst thing you can possibly eat to try to lose weight.

However, due to anorexia when I was a teenager, I'm beyond scared to further restrict what I can eat. The fear of going back to that life constantly weighs on my mind. I don't want to be anorexic again. Yet, I don't want to be overweight anymore. It's a strange paradox. An overweight former anorexic? Yes. I am.

I am also a mother of three children, like yourself. My first two pregnancies, I bounced back like nothing. My third? Oh what a doozy. Complication after complication with that child. Since the birth, I've been carrying around a spare 70 pounds. I know that not smoking is to blame for some of it. 'Cause when I was smoking, I rarely ate.

Like I said, I know this in no way compares to your journey. However, I'm looking to you as inspiration. Would you be willing to help me?

Miss Hope said...

Anonymous! Please please contact me!! If we're friends on facebook, message me. I give you my word I won't say a word to a soul. If you're a reader here, contact me at hope_greatamerican@yahoo dot com. I don't know what I can do to help you, but I'll surely try!! Sometimes? Just having someone to listen and be supportive is amazing. I'll be glad to do both! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Miss Hope

Krys72599 said...

Paragraph #10 and #11 are the ones that thrill me. ANY time you can be healthier enough to go off meds? THAT is an NSV to be proud of!!!
And we are all proud of you - even those of us who have never met you but consider you a friend.
And your hubby? What a great guy! That's a beautiful message from him. You're both so very lucky to have each other!

AndreaLeigh said...

Hope, you have done something wonderful for yourself, your husband, your children, and your future grandchildren. We are all so proud of your accomplishment!

Sub Wife Sub Life said...

Hope I have been living under a rock for the last year and when I woke up I was in Guam. I am finally getting back into the swing of things, reading blogs and writing on my own page. I can't wait to spend some time with a cup of coffee and your blog this weekend reading about your journey! You look amazing!