2 Months Post-Op!

I’m about a week late, but I live by the “better-late-than-never” motto. I’m two months post-op for my VSG! Within the last two months I’ve had several fabulous things to report:
1. I’ve lost a total of 55lbs (woo!)
2. I’ve gone from a size 22 pant to a size 12 jean!
3. I’ve lost an entire ring size
4. I’m getting great reactions from people I don’t see very often
5. One of my spare chins has left the building
6. Most photos look “flattering” (read: I don’t hate the majority of them)
7. My feet are less puffy looking
8. I’ve been invited to join the itty-bitty-titty-committee (sigh)
9. I’m in a men’s medium shirt from a men’s 2XL!
10. Over the month of September, I’ve had pretty spectacular food and workout habits without having to put much thought into either.

Pics or it didn’t happen, right?

Let’s talk about the first one on the left. That was at one of my most favorite wedding receptions EVER. I remember seeing this picture and thinking, “WELL, THAT’S TERRIBLE. MOVING ON.” and did some weird kind of mental magic to block it out. The one on the right is from a few days ago when my hair still looked fly AF after a long, long day working a wedding. I really love the facial changes here!

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Next, here’s some pant comparison-

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First off- these aren’t the largest pants I’ve ever owned. These are a size 20 pair of jeans I’ve decided to keep in the hopes that one day I can take one of those pictures where I’m standing in one pant leg. #skinnygoals BUT the top pair is a SIZE FREAKING TWELVE. I called my mom after I bought them to tell her I’d squeezed my butt into a 12 and asked when was the last time I’d worn a size 12 since I couldn’t remember. Well, I couldn’t remember because I skipped straight from a size 10 to a size 14 (thanks, high school). So, today I’m wearing a size I’ve never actually worn before. That’s nuts. I don’t weigh less than I did in high school, but I’ll get there soon enough.

One thing I’m really looking forward to is trying on my wedding dress. I know it’ll be nice and roomy now, but I think I’m going to wait for our anniversary to do that. If you’ve been around for a while or follow me on IG, you know the story about me not being able to zip it up a month before the wedding. Hello- worst nightmare. Busting my butt for a solid month to squeeze back into it was SO incredibly rewarding… I can’t even imagine how I’ll feel next time I put it on.

The last thing I’ve really thought a lot about this month is how unprepared I was to have to deal with feelings and emotions– I posted about this on IG a few days ago and got several concerned messages from random internet strangers about how much I drank before surgery, if I felt like I was out of control, etc. But truthfully, dealing with happy feelings, sad feelings, anxiety, nervousness, joy– all of that is usually accompanied with some sort of food or drink. We celebrate with a terrific meal. We unwind from a long day with a glass of something good. Socially we meet for drinks. Family time is centered around meals. Now, I can’t run to food. I can’t kick back with a drink.

THREE WEDDINGS now I’ve been asked by the bride or her family to celebrate with a drink- I can’t do that. This is a major life change! I do miss drinking. I do miss eating my feelings. Now, I just have to deal with them. Staring straight at your emotions is a scary thing. There aren’t any burritos or scotch to hide behind anymore. This is something I’m relearning daily. I’m happy to recognize it, but it doesn’t make it less difficult.

If anybody needs me, I’ll be working on a sugar free slurpee that’s taken up permanent residency in the fridge.
-Alee

 

 

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23.65″

So far I’ve lost at least 23.65 inches. That is NUTS. I know it’s more than that too, since these measurements only start from 3 weeks post-op! That’s a ton of body that’s gone. I’m thankful to see it go!

This week has been significant in my journey for a two huge reasons:
1. I’m in the 220’s now
2. I see myself now

On the 220’s:
Back in 2011 Jennie moved the scale from her bathroom to our laundry room… I’m not sure if she was making space or had noticed I’d packed on a ton of weight rather quickly and was trying to help me without screaming, “DEAR GOD WOMAN, LOOK AT YOURSELF!” a subtle scale re-home is more her style. It had been months since I’d weighed myself but in my head I was still 180 something. When the scale read 220 something I thought, “gee, when did that happen? I should do something about this.” and continued drinking copious amounts of boxed wine and eating my hearts content of mac & cheese. I remember having conversations with myself that sounded a lot like this:
-If I get a hold of this now, I can get back under 200!
-It’s only 40ish pounds
-You put it on overnight and you can take it off overnight!
-How the hell did you put on 40ish pounds?
-Where did this come from?
-If you don’t stop this now, it’ll get away from you
Yet, it just rose from there. So, here I am. Back in the 220’s. That place where I really, really, really finally noticed I was gaining. It feels weird to be back here because 220s feels like I’ve made it back to the base of the mountain. Once I get in the 180’s, I don’t think I’ll know what to do with myself. My goal weight is significantly under 180, but that will feel like uncharted territory. 180 was my teenage and early 20’s weight. What does life as an adult look like at less than 180lbs? I can’t wait to find out.

On seeing myself:
If you follow me on Instagram (@lighterladd) you’ve already seen this. I went upstairs at work to curl my hair where I could sit on the floor. I enjoy a good sit and curl.. standing and curling just feels like work. No thanks. Mirrors aren’t fun. Most of the time when I see myself in the mirror I see all the immediate flaws and through years of practice I’ve been able to quickly shove all the flaws into a box into the back of my brain and finish whatever task I’ve started (doing my hair, fixing my makeup, checking clothing for stains/wrinkles/dog hair). If I didn’t immediately shove all the “bad” into a mental box, I’d probably stand there for ages picking apart everything that I don’t like about my body.
Anyway, Sunday while I was sitting in front of the massive mirrors in the bridal suite, I looked in the mirror and just saw me.
I didn’t see extra chins.
I didn’t see love handles.
I didn’t see giant arms.
I didn’t see back rolls.
I just saw me! I sort of wanted to cry happy and confused tears over it but I just really enjoyed seeing myself staring at me in the mirror vs. all my flaws glaring at me from their tiny box in the back of my head. What a great feeling!

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Camp Gladiator starts tomorrow. Wish me luck!
-Alee

 

Vacation & the sleeve

I’m finally able to eat pureed foods and soft foods. Let me tell you, it’s glorious.

Alex & I were able to take an impromptu trip to Colorado this week. We spent a few nights in Denver and our last day/night in Colorado Springs. It was so wonderful to get away. We’ve been ultra busy lately- his eye surgery, my VSG surgery, work going a mile a minute… we’ll just say, we needed it! When the mountains are callin’, ya gotta go.

The last time I was in Colorado was last October when Debi got a wild hair and a great deal on plane tickets. Here is a comparison picture from then and from this week!

 

Yikes. There’s that. I can’t tell you exactly how much I weigh in the left picture, but we’ll say it was at my starting weight. Between here and that picture there is a THIRTY SIX POUND DIFFERENCE! Holy moly! Just… insane. I see it a bit in my body, but mostly see it in my face. I can tell I’ve lost weight because my eyes and mouth have both gotten bigger. I forgot that happens when I lose weight.

Finding puree or soft food appropriate foods was a little tougher than I expected. Although, most restaurants sold some kind of fish and that was really great! Chick-fil-a also will make you scrambled cheesy eggs… this was a major win.

Anyway, much like all adoring mothers like to list of the things their babies love to eat, I’ll give you a list of things that don’t make me want to puke:
-avocado
-eggs
-meatballs
-cheese
-refried beans
-cottage cheese
-salmon
-tuna

I’m still having a protein shake a day- 60 grams of protein is REALLY hard to get in when you can only eat a condiment cup size of food at once. I’m working on it! When I can, I try to add protein powder to foods. It doesn’t always happen, but at least I’m really well hydrated. I’ve got that going for me!

In other news, several of my dresses now look “frumpy”. They’re baggy and look weird in certain spots. This is a very new feeling. I’m anxious to get rid of all my clothes because trying to find a dress this weekend was extremely frustrating. I’m not going to rush out and buy a ton of new clothes yet- but I’d really love to get rid of the ones that aren’t working.

True Confessions: I did buy a size XL shirt while in Colorado and a size L shirt at the Jimmy Eat World/Incubus concert. I had to.
-Alee

Last Night With A Full Stomach

Tomorrow is surgery day! I’ve been physically preparing for weeks, mentally preparing for months and hopeful that it would happen for lots longer than that.

My brain feels like it is in 1,000 different directions right now. Here is a small glimpse in:
-I’m SO sick of clear liquids
-Trader Joe’s should do peony sales more often
-I can’t forget to take my nail polish off for tomorrow
-Did I set an out of office message yet?
-Can’t forget surgical soap tonight
-How much water have I had today?
-Have I triple checked my hospital backpack?
-How am I going to get my industrial and tragus piercings back in?
-I wonder what the dogs are doing
-Did I overspend at Market?
-Why didn’t I buy that bag?
-Still tired of clear liquids
-I think it would be really fun to eat something
-When am I going to get my car fixed?
-How will it feel to wake up at 4:30 tomorrow?
-I wonder if I’ll lose any more weight ¬†between here and tomorrow
-I wonder how many inches I’ve lost on my liquid diet

The last two days have been a whirl wind. I’ve been on clear liquids only and am REALLY feeling over it. Having soup in the full liquid stage helped me feel less blah about “food”. I’ve been living on these guys:

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Honestly, they’re not the worst. However, I’ll be happy to never drink one again. They taste like melted jello. Weird and thick. They don’t taste awful and certainly don’t taste great BUT 40 grams of protein is hard to beat. I’ve only felt hungry once the last two days. That is so bizarre for me! I’m used to feeling hungry ALL the time! They certainly aren’t a joke… they’ve done a great job of doing what they’re supposed to.

Nearly two full weeks of no nicotine, caffeine or alcohol and all I really feel is that it would be nice¬†to have those things. I don’t crave any of them. I’m ok without them. It would just be reaaaally nice to have them. I definitely don’t need any of it- just sort of miss it. I don’t intend to bring nicotine back in, but certainly don’t want alcohol to be as regular a part of my life as it was before. Drinking and overeating are a very familiar combination for me.

On that note- 20lbs down as of today! 20lbs in 2 weeks! Wild.

Several people in my support group have mentioned that their last day pre-op was a miserable one. I feel really sad for all of them! Today has been a great day! I got lots of laundry done, had a fabulous friend help finish the housecleaning, and then went to spend the day with a few of my favorite people at the Dallas World Trade Center! We walked around for hours checking out makeup, clothes, jewelry, home goods, and my VERY FAVORITE- lighting! There’s just something magic about a good light fixture.

I’m tired, have new glorious jewelry and couldn’t have hoped for a better day.
-Alee