Thursday, February 27, 2014

02.27.14 It's been a year since my life changing surgery.......

      A year ago today I was laying up in a hospital bed at Monmouth Medical Center post op day 1 after my gastric sleeve surgery. A few days before that I decided to strip down and take a picture of what would become my "old me. Although it was embarrassing and a little personal, it was for me to expose the hulk of a man I had become, but at the same time I would be saying goodbye, well, to at least that old body of mine. You can see that old post HERE.

     One thing they say, which is true, they operate on your stomach, but not your mind.

     Ove the past year, coupled with the surgery and a new approach to eating and exercise, well most of the time, I have watched as my weight fell from 260 down to my current 190. I have shrunk before my own eyes. I used to wear a size 42, even 44, waist pants, and now that's a 32-34. I have donated old clothes in big numbers, and still have a hard time keeping clothes that fit around for a month or so.

     Not only do I wear clothes differently, but things like waders and all that associated fishing apparrell has had to be replaced in smaller sizes. I'm not complaining for a minute. On the health side, I feel better, I move better, I sleep better, and I live better. No more near stroke blood pressure readings and no more medication. That is the best part of what that surgery did for me.

     One thing that is funny about losing so much weight, coupled with a now tight haircut and lack of facial hair is......people don't even recognize you anymore. If I wanted to, I could have spent three days at The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset undercover. I spoke with a guy that I know pretty well, for five minutes, and he didn't even know it was me!

     Having nearly 3/4 ths of your stomach removed and donated to science no doubt changes your life but it changes what you can eat. I am now a cheap date. I basically go out to dinner knowing I have two choices, I can drink, or I can eat. Doing both is rough, and over the past year I have had my share of, 'Excuse me's" at the table to go to the bathroom to puke.

     It's a day full of protein, and protein, and more protein. Egg whites, protein shakes, protein bars, chicken, salads, ect........but staying away from the sweets is still hard to do. Some people, myself included, found comfort and a friend in food, that especially true when life throws you a curve ball and you're not right in the head.

     So this has been a great chapter in what will be a lifelong journey post gastric sleeve surgery. In a way, or actually, food, to me, was an addiction. And addictions have a way of returning if you let them. So I try and live in moderation when it comes to eating, I don't deprive myself of a taste of something, but know it's easy to get back into bad habits.

    Two things that are said all the time at the support meetings, which I still and enjoy attending-

" My only regret is I didn't get it done sooner."


" They only operate on your stomach, not your head."