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Hi! So I'm a year out now - how did THAT happen? I'm not done yet, but it's been a pretty wild ride so far. I'm down 105 pounds from my starting weight, 101 from the day of surgery (I lost 4 on the pre-op liquid diet over 2 days, lol), and at LEAST 135 from my highest, which was earlier last year (that scale only hit 330 and I maxed it out).


Along the way, I've discovered a few personal realities - they may not be true for everyone else, but for me they are.


- Some days I look at stuff I've worn before and think, "There's not a chance in hell that's going over my head." Every single time, I'm shocked when it does.


- Lots of people treat me better now that I'm more "normal". But every time I start counting on it, along comes some jerk...and that's okay. I think I need the reminder that it wasn't always about me anyway!


- I need to leave my credit cards at home. Shopping is a lot more fun now.


- It's easy to fall off track with counting Protein, watching calories, and taking Vitamins. It's like I rolled over one day and just felt like a regular person. This is going to actually require diligence and consideration for the rest of my life. I knew that when I signed up for this, and I'm going to do it - I just didn't think when I came out of surgery that there would ever be a moment that it wasn't in the front of my mind.


- I need treats now and then or I won't succeed. The urge to binge and passive-aggressive desire to eat something just because I shouldn't will NEVER, EVER go away - the sleeve keeps the binges from being too bad, and if I build treats into my plan and track them, I'm a lot less likely to go off the rails. (pizza happens, y'all, and for ME that's okay - YMMV. 3/4 of a slice once a month now vs. an entire medium pizza with garlic dipping sauce, ALL the wings, and half a box of cinnamon sticks every Friday before...it's still a win in my book).


- When I'm hungry now, I'm HUNGRY RIGHT NOW! Gotta keep Snacks at hand or I will tank and hit the floor. Either because I've passed out, or because someone is going to check my hanger and KNOCK me out someday, lol. I've been trying to date and think I scared one off when he watched me shovel a salad into my face like a farm animal. He was late, I was hungry.


- Someone can watch you successfully lose weight, and still want to interject their opinion about how you should be doing it. Nod, smile, and go back to what you're doing. My "instructional guru" has gained 30 pounds back in the last couple of months and STILL wants to tell me how to eat. Life is far easier now that I've learned to take that with a sense of humor and not get angry about it.


- If you never liked exercise, you probably still won't. It'll just be easier to do. Then again...you might just find something you like! I'm a total couch potato but always used to fantasize about running for some reason. Finally launched C25K this week, and something tells me I might like it if I can keep my knees from blowing out.


- I need kleenex around ALL. THE. TIME. My nose runs when I'm full, it runs when I'm hungry, it runs when I get hiccups...sometimes I even sneeze when I've taken one bite too many.


- Speaking of sneezes, sometimes when I sneeze I vomit. I don't have to be overly full, I can eat exactly the right portion for my sleeve, but if I sneeze too close to a meal when everything seizes up it just sort of launches everything back out. That was unexpected.


- I've met guys who care that I'm still heavy. Some who think I'm not quite big enough and are afraid I'll lose more weight, some who think I'm too big, some who think I'll get bigger again. The ones who ARE into me the way that I am don't give one iota about my "shrinkles". I haven't met a good mental match, but no one I've had any physical relationship with cares. I was pretty worried about that but it's been a non-issue so far. My need to indulge in the use of "artistic lingerie placement" (ie, I always manage to keep my tummy covered somehow, lol) has never once been challenged.


- I was lucky to have a respectful, attentive PCP, but I've had issues with medical providers before. The smaller I get, the fewer issues I have.


- It should be basic knowledge for doctors, but if you need to go to the ER, watch out. I've been twice since surgery (once for a car accident, and once when my cat scratched my eyeball) and they're quick to dispense the 800mg ibuprofen even with a full medical history and a "no nsaid" note in the chart. With the eye, I took 'em anyway (along with the other, better drugs). I would've let someone hit me in the head with a bat to make that stop hurting! But it does illustrate the need to be aware and always prepared to advocate for yourself.


- It's so nice to have a lap now. I can hold my computer! My critters! My nieces and nephews! It's wonderful.


- How I see myself is not always how others see me. My boss and my friends all look at me and think I should be done now. I look at myself and still see a butterball. The charts say I'm still 55 pounds overweight, but my doctor (who won't give me a goal) says I shouldn't be aiming that low because she's shorter than me and small boned and weighs what the chart says I SHOULD weigh. At first, I wasn't worried about where to try to settle because it seemed so unbelieveable that I would ever get there. Now that I know it's possible, picking an end point is HARD (and harder still when I factor in a bit of dysmorphia, because I'm not sure I'll ever look in the mirror and see someone small enough to go to maintenance).


- Sometimes I discount the journey I've made, or I want to eat something I know will make me sick and have a momentary pang of regret. I don't feel bad about that anymore, I just try to go do something I couldn't do before to remind myself what a great decision this was. Sitting in a bathtub, going to a store and trying on something in the misses department (that actually FITS), running up the stairs (instead of having to practically crawl up them using my hands for balance), going through my closet and bagging up something that's too big, stuff like that.


- I knew that things wouldn't change in my life by magic, and that not all of the stasis I was in was caused by my weight. It's true that the poor physical condition and lack of confidence both contributed in a very big way, but it wasn't all of it. I understood that, and decided to work REALLY HARD on the areas I wanted to change the most. What I wasn't anticipating was that, in some of those areas (like finding a relationship), the work hasn't seemed to pay off either. I took that pretty hard. Ongoing therapy is an absolute must for me. You may not need it, but if you DO, then GET IT. There's no shame in it.


- Once you've been sleeved, you'll always be sleeved. That built-in off switch is ALWAYS going to be there. I've had some stretches where my eating has gotten a little out of control, but the beautiful part of this is that the sleeve keeps me from going too far. I can recover from those mistakes now, too. More Protein, more liquid, and I'm right back on track. That's why I got this - not because I ever had any delusions that I could or would be "perfect" at it, but because I knew I COULDN'T and I needed help or I was going to die. Suicide by donut - it's a morbid joke my siblings and I use about our parents, but I was on my way there too.


- I have to resist the urge to act like a salesperson and let my results speak for me. My sister and my niece both desperately need to do something and have vacillated on surgery for a while now. I never felt good and healthy as an adult and it's such a huge difference - sometimes I want to shake them and scream, "BUT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH BETTER YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL???!!!???". The reality is, I have to shut up unless I'm asked a question and just live the best life I can as an example, because if someone had harped at me about it a couple of years ago I probably wouldn't be sleeved now. It hurts my heart to see people I love in the state they're in, but everyone has to take their own journey and live their own lives.


- Tiny goals are where it's at for me. I never set a goal more than 9 pounds away - no double digits :). I tried to assign meaning to all my goals, too, though ones I had to split up to stay under 10 pounds are just "split goals". But things like "driver's license weight", 20% EWL, 50 from highest ever, graduation weight, etc. I was blowing through them pretty quickly at first, but now that things have slowed down a lot keeping my goals close together is helping me stay motivated.


I can't wait to see what the next year holds.


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Excellent post! I appreciate your perspective a year out and hope I have the same as I reach that point. I'm only a couple months out but already am starting to experience some of the things you mentioned.

Your comment about the sleeve always being available as a tool is spot on. I had to travel for a 10 day business trip over the last two weeks and in the past that would have resulted in a 4 or 5 pound weight gain. Even though I wasn't able to totally follow my nutrition plan, because of the limitations of the sleeve I was still able to lose two pounds during that trip.

I also agree with your thoughts about setting short term, achieveable goals. I've decided that instead of setting scale goals I use clothing sizes. Setting a target of reducing to the next lower size seems like a reasonable target. I've already been able to hit two of these and am just a week or two away from another.

Keep up the good work!

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Wow, great post and excellent results.

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Thank you so much for your insights and for taking the time for such a thoughtful post. Happy surgiversary!

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I am slightly further out then you, (by a month) and can relate to a lot of what you said & thanks for the reminder about the NSAIDs. I thought about that recently and stressed to my husband if I'm ever in the hospital and can't speak for myself, tell them no NSAIDs.

Congrats to you & hope you eventually find your "match". In the meantime, enjoy dating.....

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Damn! That is one of the BEST one-year surgiversary posts I've ever read.

Thank you for every word. You are doing so great. And I think you're going to be surprised at how you continue to feel better with every additional pound you lose.

I also really appreciated how you're increasingly able to hold your tongue about all kinds of things. Some good words there for me -- thank you.

FYI, I never, ever thought I'd get to the healthy weight I am now. And the biggest surprise was that the last 10 pounds I lost made the biggest difference in how much better my knees feel and how far / fast I can now walk.

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Wow - you look great and your insights are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing ❤️❤️❤️????????

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What a great post, well done on what you have achieved. Yes this post is one of the best I have read too.

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Absolutely one of the best posts for one year I've read! Congratulations on your success. You look wonderful!

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Thanks, everyone! The support from this site and everyone on it has been incredible, and I know I'll be counting on it for years to come :)

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This is a really helpful post. Thank you.

I'm 5 months post op and 5 stone lost. I had problems at the beginning and sometimes now I struggle to eat enough. My surgery was in the UK and we don't get given a programme to follow just advice from the dieticians. I worry that I don't eat enough Protein. My meals are still saucer sized. Don't get me wrong I'm loving my weight loss but I worry that I'm doing something wrong. How do people get the right amount of protein every day. I still can't tolerate bread, Pasta or rice. I went out with friends last night for our Christmas meal. Thankfully I enjoyed the meat and a few sprouts.

I love reading these posts they keep me going. Thank you. ????

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Amazing! Congratulations, you look fantastic. I really enjoyed your post. I can relate to the nose running! I carry tissues round with me all the time :)

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You look awesome! Great job and congrats on your hard work paying off!!! And I hear you on the shopping problem!!!

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