Well hello again.

It’s weird… I get really into writing for awhile then for some reason or another it falls to the wayside. Alas, I am back and here to update all two people who still follow me! 😋

A LOT has changed in the last few weeks. I ended a long friendship that it took me years (and an eventual blow-up) to realize was toxic. I moved back to Maine from Pittsburgh. I now live with my boyfriend who is the most incredible man I’ve ever met (referenced earlier as the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and I still feel that). I work for a medical marijuana caregiver shop, something I never ever imagined for myself. As someone formerly staunchly opposed to marijuana (like I legitimately wouldn’t associate with people who smoked and thought anyone who did wasn’t a ‘good person’ — right, because I have any room to judge 🙄), working in a medical marijuana setting has given me a wildly different outlook. I love my job. I love my life! It’s insane how you can think that you’re happy until something changes and you realize you were merely surviving… now I’m LIVING. It’s an incredible feeling.

As for my weight loss, things have slowed. I’m under no illusions that it’s my fault — between the dramatic and difficult ending of a friendship, moving, the big life changes… I’ve not been to the gym in ages and my eating has been total crap. I’m stuck around 255lbs, but let’s be honest… even if this is the smallest I get, I’m happy. My life is so much different and better and I couldn’t be happier. I can move, walk, run a bit, sit in an airplane seat without a seatbelt extender, fit into pants found in ‘normal’ stores… I know people who didn’t know me before see me as a far person still, and I am… but that’s fine. I have no illusions that I’ll ever be that manic-pixie-girl slender little thing. I’m happy and that is all I’ve ever, ever wanted to be! 💕💕💕

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💗

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but life happens. I started working a shitty job (that I just quit lol) and got kinda sidetracked from the gym and properly caring for myself. Now that I’ve got free time again, and thankfully an incredible boyfriend who is taking care of me through all this, going back to the gym is my main priority. Well, after next week when my company from home visits — I’m so excited to see my boyfriend and my cousin! It’s going to be the best birthday yet! 🙂

As of Monday, my weight was 263.6, which is a total loss of 137.1lbs, 77.4 since surgery. I try not to weigh myself more than once a week, especially since the gym hasn’t been a priority and the scale has been much slower moving as of late.

Some fun facts:

-My nan’s ring I had sized (from a 4 to a 14) is absolutely HUGE on me.

I think I’m in the ballpark of a size 9 now.

-I bought size 24 jeans and they’re too big… I may be a 20/22 😲

-I can consistently wear XL tops which is insane to me, and occasionally L

-My roomie and I have a handful of clothes that we can share and she’s not even plus sized. Like wtf.

Life is insane. I’m so happy. Changes are quick and weird and make things a little trying at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Ugh 💕

Non-scale changes.

-saggy thigh skin

-belly button rash from tummy folding

-moving without hurting

-bracelets falling down my arms

-feeling bones when I touch my body

-being uncomfortable in bed because bones

-a bra I’ve had for literally 5yrs that never fit is now slightly too big

-ordering clothes not knowing my size and sending them back because they’re too big

-being able to buy clothes in-store at Old Navy

Just a quick list while I’m thinking of it… and while many seem negative I’m so happy with it all!

In the ballpark of 278lbs (haven’t gotten on the scale in awhile), for a total of roughly 123lbs lost total!

How do you know?

How do you know when you've made the right decision? About anything, really? When you're given two perfectly acceptable options, how do you know which is the right one to choose? I feel like I'll always wonder what would have happened had I chosen the other path. What my life would have looked like, who I would have become, what experiences I'd have had…

Red pill or blue pill, Neo? There's no going back.

And perhaps that is the scariest part…

One year later.

Today, August 1, 2017, marks one year since I made the decision to pursue gastric bypass surgery. I had been suffering from a pinched nerve in my hip that would make my entire upper leg numb at times, and often prevented me from walking and standing for more than just a couple of minutes. I went to the doctor's office to get it checked out and in doing so, had to get on the scale. I was actually shocked… 400.7 pounds. I'd never thought I would let myself get to that point… I knew I was fat but I didn't realize just how bad things had gotten until that day.

Flip forward one year, and as of today I am at 295.8, which is a loss of 104.9 pounds. I am so much happier, and now I can move! I'm not nearly done with my changes, and honestly I still have a whole heck of a lot further to go, but I am so proud that I finally made the decision to seek a healthier life.

This was a year ago… I can't believe how much I've changed!

Raw

For the greater part of tonight, I’ve been deleting photos and screenshots from my phone and crying. And I don’t understand why really, so this is my attempt to process whatever it is I’m feeling.

In April, I ended an 18-month long relationship — short in the grand scheme of things, but it was intense and emotional always. We loved hard and fought hard. There were so many complicated aspects but at the core, I truly believe we loved each other. But he was, I see now, incredibly emotionally abusive. He was the king of gas-lighting — always made me think I was the cause of our problems, that I was crazy… in the end, I felt I’d lost touch with who I was before our relationship started. I defended him (and my decision to stick it out) to everyone who knew the real issues at hand. I must have done it so long I made myself believe what I was saying…

Finally I couldn’t stand the person he’d –what’s the right word here– made? forced? enabled? me to become. I questioned my gut and intuition at every decision, even unrelated to the relationship. I just felt like a faded out version of myself, and I hated that I had let myself get to that point. I honestly don’t remember what happened to make me bite the bullet, but one day I sat in an empty parking lot and sobbed, calling him and ending things. It was the hardest end to a relationship I’ve experienced, and I quite honestly cried for days. I was a mess, and there was little to console me. I felt like a limb had been cut off… and that’s when I realized that while I felt incomplete without him, I knew without a doubt that his life went on without a hitch. If I was feeling dismemberment, he was feeling a stubbed toe or perhaps a papercut. That realization may have been the biggest catalyst in getting over things.

Fast forward to now — I’m seeing an incredible man who treats me right in all the ways he can. We are intellectually connected on a level I’ve never experienced. I told my mother within the first week of meeting him that this was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

And yet tonight, in deleting photos and screenshots of conversations from the past two years on my phone, I find myself in tears over the abusive man again. I KNOW he is bad for me, he is toxic to my life… but I can’t help but miss him on a visceral level. I want to be over him, but I find myself supremely tempted to contact him, to tell him about all the changes in my life, to see if he misses me and thinks of me… I know this is stupid. Honestly, kind of dangerous in some aspects. And so here I write, instead of messaging him.

I think that I just invested so much into that relationship that part of me feels so shitty about ending it. I’ve always wondered if I had just stuck it out, tried a little harder…what if we were meant to be together? But then I remember the man I’m with now, and how drastically my life has changed since leaving that abusive relationship. I want to be over him entirely, but when you love someone so much… even their abuse feels like love, apparently. I feel embarrassed at what baggage I now bring to this new relationship. I find myself walking on eggshells often even though there is no need — he has even allayed some of my fears outright without knowing where they come from. He is incredible. I think I owe it to him, and perhaps to myself, to have a very honest conversation about why I behave oddly sometimes. I know he’d understand… and I can only hope it would make our relationship stronger.

So maybe that’s what I’ll take out of this: Without experiencing the emotional abuse, I wouldn’t appreciate goodness when it presented itself to me. I wouldn’t know just how precious this new relationship is without having experienced the pain of the last. Perhaps I can take the shit of the past and use it to grow something new and beautiful…

STALLED OUT.

Well fuck this shit, lol. Your lovely cruise director here has stalled out at 322.3lbs for a goddamn week now. I’ve heard this is common but c’mon, what a drag just three weeks out from surgery. Oh well… at least I’ll be away from the scale at camp til the 4th!

Post-Surgical Update #2: Three Weeks Out

Well, when I started this post, the title was “Two Weeks Out” — see how well I’m doing? Lol. It’s been an eventful few weeks. I do have to say — I’m sick to death of talking about gastric bypass, especially with people who have either had the surgery or who have no idea what the surgery entails. I don’t want to explain it any more, or hear advice that I’m already well aware of. I kind of wish I just hadn’t told most people that I had it done. But I did, and we’re here, so… Moving on.

I was approved last Thursday to move onto the pureed/soft food stage and let me just tell you — I was happy as a pig in shit. I’d gotten to the point where thinking about drinking protein shakes and broth made me sick to my stomach. Funnily enough, my first food was still a liquid, but it had been off-limits: chicken and gnocchi soup from Olive Garden (no I didn’t eat the gnocchi or chicken, but hell yes I had the broth and little bits of veggies!). In the earlier days I had baked sweet potato (with some of this Olivio spray and some salt and pepper), mashed potato, and yogurt, and since I’ve tried adding some more proteins — shrimp, shredded pork, and very finely ground beef. The shrimp was a no go — I don’t know if I ate too much, too fast, or if the shrimp and my belly just don’t get along, but let me tell you — this dumping syndrome is no bullshit. I thought I was going to split in half and vomit everywhere. Luckily it only lasted 10ish minutes, but it was hellacious. The shredded pork was better, but still I hurt myself (but nowhere near as bad!) — I think that time was genuinely that I didn’t chew well enough. This is SUCH a learning curve… Eating three shrimp just doesn’t feel like dinner. Eating three shrimp over the span of 30mins definitely doesn’t feel like dinner. This is definitely a mindset piece I’m struggling with at the moment. I need to remind myself constantly that I’m not going to be able to eat the way I was before. Of course, you know this, but in actually living it, things are hard!

I’m also struggling with vitamins. I just can’t seem to stomach them. I honestly haven’t taken them in awhile, but I’m hoping once my tummy heals a bit more they’ll be alright. My nutritionist also added iron and calcium, but damn… Trying to get all that in, along with the water and protein, is crazy. I definitely need to drink more, though I’ve been drinking a lot. Returning to work sucks but it is what it is. I was lucky enough to work from home during Week 2, but I returned to normal working this Monday. I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday — I’m so tired!

I’ve been reading about other people’s experiences, and it seems like this Week 3–Week 5 period is some of the toughest, mentally, for people, and I’d have to say I agree. While I definitely want the surgery and I want to do all the right things, making the changes and sticking to all the restrictions is hard when sometimes you just really want a damn handful of Cheez-its! Lol. I don’t regret surgery at all, but I do miss enjoying food. Right now, eating is a chore. I can’t wait til the day when things have normalized a bit, and I can enjoy a small portion without feeling like I’m missing out or deprived.

Today I’ve also discovered it hurts to change from a sitting to standing position — nothing major, just like a crampy discomfort mid-stomach. I’m also starting my period, so maybe things are just funky… who knows. I haven’t been on a scale since last Thursday, but my weight was (I believe) 322.2, which is an overall loss of 78.5lbs, and a weight loss from surgery day (~341) of ~18.8lbs. And when you consider I gained five pounds in the hospital, I’m feeling pretty good about the numbers 😛 I’m actually excited to get on the scale tomorrow, though I’m wary because of the period thing… we’ll see!

I think one of the biggest things that’s been bothering me is the fact that I don’t really have a goal at this point. Up until three weeks ago, the goal was to get to surgery. Well, we’re here, I’m home and alive, so what’s next? I guess I need to work on goal setting… I think the first one is ready to go: Get below 300lbs. I don’t remember the last time I was in the 200s… probably high school! Okay, now that I’ve written it, I’m kinda pumped to get to this goal. Here we go! 🙂

Surgery review — okay, this is gonna be brief…

I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to be in the mood to want to write this…And even now, I’m not really. But I do want to get out some details before everything becomes a hazy memory.

Surgery was Thursday, June 8 — as of that morning, I was at 340.4lbs, which is a total pre-surgery weight loss of 60.3lbs. While I’m proud of that, I really can’t believe I lost so little weight on the liquid diet pre-surgery. And just before I forget, I weighed myself on my first day home, and I was 345.3lbs, but that’s to be expected.

Honestly, I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I anticipated being before surgery. Dr. Toder assured me I didn’t need a catheter, and the nurse agreed to put my IV in my forearm instead of in my hand, so I was happy as a clam. I figured when I had to lay out on the operating table that I’d get a little heavy-chested and lightheaded, but I didn’t… I think I was just ready. Before I knew it I was waking up! I got to see my mom in the PACU, but my blood pressure shot up so they only allowed her to stay a few minutes. Within about 30mins I was up in my room, and pretty much totally aware about an hour out of surgery. My first crack to my mom was, “So… Am I skinny yet?” Why am I not surprised? 😛

Thursday was some walking — way easier than anticipated! — and napping. I had pain meds a couple of times but the worst pain was my lower back and my headache. I was dying for some water though! I wasn’t allowed anything til Friday morning, and even then the CNA gave me ice water (a no-no, apparently) — it made my stomach spasm and I just went back to sleep to deal with the pain. When I woke up again around 8, the nurse brought me room-temperature water, which went down WAY smoother! Lots of walking on Friday, and I believe Friday morning was my last pain meds, aside from Tylenol for my headache. Sometime Friday night my IV stopped functioning properly, so they had to switch it to my hand… Now, I’m a big ol’ baby and cried. I have some sort of phobia around having needles in my body, and the fact that it was in my hand sent me over the edge. Thank jeebus for my work wife, she was probably the only thing that saved me from having a real panic attack. ❤

Saturday morning it was time for the shake! I got about 2ish ounces down before I couldn’t take anymore, but it settled fine. I was out of the hospital and home by 11:30am!

This is probably super boring, but honestly since being home I’m just exhausted. Perhaps it’s the negligible calories (seriously — Sunday was 2oz protein shake, Monday was 3tbsp yogurt, and today was a record high of a full yogurt and some jello) and just my body needing to heal. Either way, my mood has been crummy ever since coming home. I just can’t wait to feel normal again! I know it’ll happen, and I feel progression every day, but it’s such a strange feeling to feel so incapacitated after feeling so good just days ago.

Below you’ll find some pictures — might be too graphic for some, but here are my incisions. I am so willing to answer questions, I just can’t formulate a good post right now… feel free to ask away! 🙂

Less than 12 hours out…

My surgery is tomorrow morning! I am so so soooo beyond excited. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for ages, even though in reality the real prep for this has only been about ten months long. But I feel like it’s a step in the direction of a solution for a life-long problem, and a step I am incredibly ready for!


Today has been so weird. I was a grumpass all day because my weight has been stuck for a couple of days at 343, a pound and a half increase from my lowest weight so far. That’s only about ten pounds of weight lost in two weeks of a liquid-only diet that I stuck to like a damn champ. But that’s a conversation for another day…

This evening my cousin and I went on a long drive, and it was such a great stress-relief. We laughed and listened to music and saw all kinds of beautiful things along the way. It really was an awesome way to finish out an otherwise kind of stressful day.

In prep for surgery, tonight they had me shower with a wash (essential Hibiclens) all over, and I have to do it again in the morning! A little weird but… the soap leaves you smelling like a brand-new baby! It’s so great — I loveee this smell!

Tomorrow I’m getting up at 6, showering, throwing the last few things in my bag and packing up my CPAP machine, meeting my mom to do some car shuffling, and then we head to the hospital. 8am check-in and preparation for surgery, and a 10am start time. I’ve been told the surgery is about 1.5-2hrs, and then I’ll be in recovery for an hour or two coming out of anesthesia. Then some more big challenges… but I hope to write more when I’m at the hospital, so we’ll leave that for then.

See ya on the other side, guys! EEK!