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March 2020 By-Pass, 1 Year Out Ask Me Anything

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I meant to post back in March but been busy with life. I hope all of you are doing well and staying safe. For those who got sick with the virus or lost loved ones, I offer my deepest thoughts and sympathies. I was part of the group who got the by-pass done just before everything went on lockdown last year. It's been quite the journey. I've been fortunate to have been able to work from home all of this time, although I do expect to return to the office sometime later this year.

To date, I have lost 92 lbs. since the start of my bariatric journey and 104 lbs. from my highest weight. I had the surgery at 62 years of age and I was pre-diabetic, with high blood pressure and a BMI of over 44 and Stage 2 kidney disease. My highest dress size was 24 and I had severe acid reflux, back, knee and feet problems.

At present, I can likely get into a size 18 and my bust size has gone from DDD to DD.

I absolutely have no regrets getting the surgery -- it likely saved my life in many ways.

Pre surgery I did a lot of reading on here as I wanted to know as much as I could about what to expect and I appreciated those who were 6-12 months out from surgery coming back to talk about their experiences, so I wanted to pay it forward.

I will begin by breaking this into 4 sections: How I feel, What I think about myself, What I appreciate about myself now, and My work in progress.

How I Feel:

Physically I feel great and I consider that a blessing. I still have problems with my feet but that is mainly due my falling arches more than anything (although I did strain my ankle a few weeks ago attempting to do HIIT exercises -- don't ask). I've been most frustrated not being able to go to the gym to workout so my main exercise is walking long distances and doing online sculpturing classes. I do plan to return to the gym soon to step up the weight training. Walking up a flight of stairs without gasping for air is just simply divine! Having blood pressure that avg. 117/75? Lovely! I do still have to sleep somewhat elevated as I do have occasional bouts of reflux but nothing like before the surgery and I can't sleep on my right side for too long. But I can now sleep on my back without having severe back pain (the draw back is that my mouth is always open when I do). My blood work for the most part shows most areas in the normal ranges and my kidneys are functioning well.

What I think about myself:

When I was still in my 20s, I managed to lose 80 pounds and I gained it all back and then some. What is different about me now vs. then is that I still saw myself as fat, even though at that time, I was 16 pounds away from my goal weight. When I look at the pictures of me then, I couldn't see what I see of myself now. Even if I never lose another pound, I am so very cool with me being at this size right now. We are all different, especially us women, but yet we compare our bodies to an image that is not necessarily natural or realistic for most of us. Now I look in the mirror and I 'see' skinny and that's only because I'm tall and can carry more weight without 'looking' fat. That's also why the bottom line for me will always be the numbers on the scale, the volume of food I eat and the calories I ingest because the numbers don't lie. But poor body imagery can screw your mind up every time.

What I appreciate about myself now:

I think that it's so important to note the things that most folk who are thinner often take for granted. I try to keep a mental list of the things I can do now vs. before:

  • Crossing my legs! I so love doing this! I can cross my legs without needing to hold my leg in place with my hand. I can keep my legs crossed for long periods of time without leg cramps;
  • I can get a 4.5 mile walk in within 1 hr, 15 min vs. the 1 hr. 45 mins. in the past. I was able to work up to 10 miles in one session last year;
  • Love having a resting heart rate in the 50s-60s;
  • I can actually go to Costcos and buy some clothes! I haven't yet done so, but I will be able to start shopping for clothes in the non plus size section (that will still feel weird though);
  • I like the fact that it can take me 2-3 days to finish a meal that I would normally eat in one meal. Volume control is a major game changer for me.
  • I can't believe that I don't miss ice cream!

My Work in Progress:

  • The weight loss is slooooooooooooooooooooow now. I'm so close to that major milestone of onederland that I can taste it!
  • Drinking enough Water is still a struggle;
  • Yes, sometimes I do overeat (and yeah, I pay for that!) Some foods that I like I can't really eat that much of anymore. I have to remind myself to make sure I get in enough Protein. The Protein Drinks really helps even now.
  • I still feel somewhat guilty when I have to throw food away because I'm full.
  • I still snack a lot and I will on occasion, have that one sweet item that I want. I don't crave sweets and I'm so very grateful about that. Interesting that I want more savory things now.
  • Being consistent is what I have to constantly work on.

So ask me anything and I will check in from time to time to answer your questions. I would love to hear from others who had the surgery just prior to the great shutdown of 2020.

Whatever you do, stay true and focus on your journey. It doesn't matter when you get there, only that you do in your time.

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I haven’t seen this addressed so I’m going to ask, as I’m sure many of us have this problem. What do you do for constipation? I’m still doing my pre-op liquid diet and have been constipated pretty much the whole time. I was told to drink milk of magnesia but it doesn’t work. Any advice? Congrats on your loss!!!

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Awesome of you to share! Love reading about people's journeys! 😊

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3 hours ago, Losing in in 2021 said:

I haven’t seen this addressed so I’m going to ask, as I’m sure many of us have this problem. What do you do for constipation? I’m still doing my pre-op liquid diet and have been constipated pretty much the whole time. I was told to drink milk of magnesia but it doesn’t work. Any advice? Congrats on your loss!!!

Hi Losing! Yes constipation pre surgery was an issue for me as well. Luckily I have standing colonics and that did help. What I do now is take a daily pre-biotic/probiotic. Also Cascara Sagrada may help and thanks!

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Thank you for sharing! I'm sure you'll get to onederland soon!

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      I am 19 days post op and I am still struggling to drink the fluids. I am not even able to drink the protein shakes their now nasty to me , I tried the protein bars & it didn’t end well. I have chest pains & I can barely eat. I am weak & my mouth is always dry, and feeling nauseous. Can anyone provide any advise. At least I doing the vitamins. Recently my chest & stomach have a burning sensation. 
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