As it sits I am now 27 days away from my 7th and final weigh in visit with my PCP. Granted I did find out I have to go over to the lab to get some bloodwork done but I plan on doing that on Friday and don't expect any huge problems that need addressing so really, it that last visit. In the last 7 months as of right now I have 1)quit smoking (February 7th baby!) 2)Gotten to really forge a relationship with my PCP(SO thankful for this, I need as many people rooting for me as possible!) 3) Made quite a few small changes in anticipation of surgery 4) Became more active on this forum and other Facebook pages 5) Kept at this for now almost a year.
A few reflections thus far:
- If you have a supervised diet requirement by your insurance, embrace it y'all. I never really expected to enjoy my visits with my PCP during this time but even she said this last visit that our chats were her favorite appointment and that she was proud of how far I've come. To clarify, I've only lost like ~9lbs(sometimes 6lbs depending on the time of day and if I am wearing work clothes) but I have added in quite a bit more exercise (most weeks I average 30-45mins at least 4-6 days a week), I am drinking so much more water, I've cut out straws(for the most part) and energy drinks and I am currently working on getting rid of soda. I have also most days controlled and conquered my sugar habit, the portion control is where I really struggle honestly and journaling my food should be better but I'm working on that! I guess what I mean to say is that I never really thought about the fact that if I am denied for whatever reason through insurance that I will really need someone in my corner that knows the changes I've made and how much I have worked for this surgery to fight for me. If you don't think your PCP would be willing to do that for you, I'd highly recommend finding a new one before you really get trucking down this path.
- The small changes really have added up for me, but it's the portion control I lack(I've always lacked) and I am SO ready to have that built in for me to bring alongside my other changes to finally get my life moving the way I want! If you have a few months, make small changes so by the time surgery comes, you aren't trying to change everything about your lifestyle.
- It hurts to be fat. It really, really does. Incorporating exercise has made me see that even with new shoes, my feet and calves hurt when I power walk and I'm out of commission for the next like 5 days trying to recuperate. Lesson learned: hiking in nature is my go to(zero problems unless I wear the wrong socks-the blisters after 7 miles was like walking in broken glass), but I will also start up my yoga dvd again(it is legit yoga for obese people-the name escapes me at this moment) as well as my Biggest Loser dvds for indoor exercise. I think I'll leave the road pounding to a less fat Amanda, maybe throw in some more gentler, longer walks. My surgeon wants me at 60 minutes of cardio 6 days a week leading up to surgery, can be in increments or all at once. Even being in a little bit better shape than I am now will help my recovery and transition that much easier.
- If you can, get your bariatric program to pre-schedule all of your weigh in PCP, specialist (sleep, cardiology etc), nutritionist visits at the beginning it will make a HUGE difference. At least it did for me. I had my consult with my surgeon in February, met with the coordinator who scheduled all my appointments (which meant I could ask for my work schedule to allow for those visits off months ahead of time) but also allowed me to put them in my calendar and gave me the ability to countdown each one. I downloaded a widget for my phone that counts down and I get intense pleasure from resetting it after each PCP visit to restart that month countdown. I have a goal to be down 5-10lbs for my last visit and having a countdown gives me incentive!
Having this wait for me really made me realize how into instant gratification I
wasam. So much of me thought I was so ready for this surgery as soon as I walked out of the surgeon's office. I wanted nothing to do with freaking SEVEN months of visits! Going to Mexico crossed my mind more than I really like to admit just because I didn't want to wait and thought I was 100% ready. Obviously, that was false and the more I settled into my routines of PCP visits intermingled with lifestyle changes and new diagnoses(I have sleep apnea, surprise! -_-) the more I realized that if I had been able to have surgery a few weeks after meeting the surgeon I may have been doomed or just really, really, really miserable at the beginning. When I start to get antsy about dates and waiting I HAVE to remind myself that I didn't get to be where I am health/weight wise overnight, in a week or even in 7 months and waiting a little longer isn't the end of the world(especially if you consider my very first visit to a bariatric seminar was when I was 17-my mom was okay with signing anything she needed to-----I am now 30).
- I've never seen myself at a healthy weight, or even under 300lbs since college about 9 years ago, I have never dated and always considered myself the fat friend-the one that people keep around because I make them laugh but not much else, and my friendship graveyard seems to confirm that. This wait has brought a lot of emotional issues to deal with that thankfully I can deal with a part from recovering from surgery and fixing my eating habits/lifestyle. I discovered I am terrified of no longer being able to not attract the wrong attention(I have never really worried about being kidnapped or raped or even hit on in a bar) but I have remedied that by finding a Krav Maga club by my work that should very nicely double as a gym/workout as well as planning on getting my concealed carry license. Dating is a whole other game, one I probably won't even think about touching for very long time, being along my whole life has given me the ability to be spontaneous in my plans (the dogs don't care if I wake up and decide to take them 8 hours to a state park to camp and hike with absolutely no warning 🤣🤣.
- Oh! Last thing, I am now working on an Amazon list of things to order once I am approved and scheduled for surgery! I really think I'm gonna buy that stuffed sleeved stomach stuffed toy(?) animal(?) thing for the hospital stay.
I'm sure there are more things, but this kinda became a rambling stream of stuff. I really should have started this blog the day I had my consult but to tell you the truth, I never really saw myself going through this whole process successfully...but since I'm so close to the end and new beginning I need to throw this bad boy into overdrive!
Until next time,