365 Days Ago on This Day o' Our Lort...

..I had gastric bypass surgery..

Yes, I did.

But if you have read any of my blogs, posts, rants and whatnot, you'd know this already.  I never made a secret of it, so you don't have to worry about me being all Star Jones-ed and exposed.  When you make a major life-changing decision such as losing weight, people are going to know.  Therefore, I never hid the fact that I chose this tool.

Life, food, sickness and depression did a good ass job of helping me creep up to 411 pounds.  I can't really pinpoint WHEN I noticed that I had veered over from my usual pudgy to painfully overweight.  I've always been a big girl, ALWAYS been Pretty Plus thuggin.  But this here pic shows the way I looked most of my 20's..

Yes, the aforementioned photo is the way I looked for a good while.  In the 300's, but not too terribly huge in my eyes.  Alas, so many things happened..pretty soon, I had crossed over.

Decisions, Decisions

My official breaking point came in September of 2011 at Friend Jeremy & Stephanie's wedding.  That day, I was a hostess..only tasked with helping get the reception set up and get fokes in their seats.  I secretly planned on not going.  Not that I didn't want to be there for my bestest o' friends, but because I had come to realize that I was the biggest I had ever been in my life.  We had to wear all black, and all I had that fit was a maternity dress.  I wore it in this here pic.

At any rate, I ended up fracturing my left foot.  Now, my feet will always give me trouble due to a congenital condition, but that day was the wake up call that I needed...if I didn't get some of this weight off, I would spend life in a wheelchair.  Here I was, 29 years old, and unable to even stand long in a pair of flat shoes.

My then ortho doc told me that I was in a very awkward situation: I needed to get moving to lose weight, but the mobility would be murder on my feet until I lost enough weight.  I didn't have the funds to join a gym with water access, so I had to get mad desperate.  I was tired of pain, being winded, not having clothes that fit nicely, and most of all, I didn't want to end up spending my life more disabled than I already was.

I began changing my eating habits as soon as I left my ortho joint.  I mean, I couldn't exercise much in a cast, but I could stop eating junk.  Six weeks later, I got moving again.  I then re-fractured said foot.  I was super disgusted, but I kept going.  Finally, I made the executive decision to look into weight loss surgery.

I Went to a Meetin', Went to Some Apperntments...Blah, Blah, Blah..

My first surgeon visit was the day I realized that I had left the comfortable low 300's I had been in almost all my adult life.  When that scale showed me 411, I was too shocked to cry.  I couldn't even really talk.  I was officially heavier than I had ever been before.  I also realized that I was probably heavier than THAT at one point since I had started changing my diet before that appointment.  It made sense to me..I was carrying all of that weight on abnormal feet.  No wonder I was always in pain.  

I knew that day that I was going to do whatever I had to do in order to have this surgery.  My life needed saving.  I needed to get myself healthy.  I juiced, I worked with the great Gene Williams, I did everything I needed to do, and I did see some weight loss.

I turned 30 years old in June 2012, and I had a nice party.  I really didn't feel emotionally up to it.  I was still ashamed of how I looked.  I guess, I was celebrating the last birthday being that fat.  I looked good as hell that day, thanks to Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Davis...but that was going to be THE last time I'd be seen that size again.  Ever.

Gotdamn me.  EVAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Le Evolution Continues

One year after having gastric bypass, I'm down about 140+ pounds.  Mah fact, here's a good comparison picture.

When I look at the before picture, I get a little low.  I kind of go back into that "how could you let yourself get there" slump.  I feel almost as if I should have caught that before I got there.  Alas, I realize that if I had mastered self-control, beefed up my self-esteem, ate better food and dealt with my issues beforehand..I wouldn't have had a LOT of the problems I had.  What helps bring me out of that slump is the picture on the right.  That was the size I was before children.  That was me in an XL Old Navy sweater.  I think about how I was once in a 4X sweater from the same place.  Oh, but wait...

This is me today!  I'm happy to say that this is the smallest I've been in a very long time!  I'm rocking the surgical boot from re-re-fracturing the evil left foot.  BUT, it happened from bucking doctor's orders and completing my first 5K race!



I'm aiming to drop about 40 more before I'm at the size methinks I'd be comfortable with.  I feel wonderful, I look great, and I'm slowly seeing that I'm stronger than I ever thought I was.  

A Valuable Tool

Gastric bypass was a much needed tool for me to get myself back to the Tam I am.  Losing weight is not magic nor is it a surefire way to get your self esteem back.  In my case, the surgery was a tool that I used to rebuild my entire life.  It wasn't easy, nor was it a shortcut.  I COULD go eat junk daily in smaller portions, but that's not what I want.  I COULD sit on my ass-phalt and let the surgery do all the work, but I'm not.  Anyone who lost weight by choice, regardless of method used, will tell you that it takes a lot of mental and physical work for you to have success.  I have to eat right and exercise just like the next person does.  I have to reel in my head hunger..making sure I'm not eating just because I see something.  

This surgery showed me that I am better than I thought I was..because two years ago, I would've told you I expected to die huge.  I was going to remain a recluse.  I was going to stay in my house and waste away emotionally because I was ashamed of what I became.  I had albums and albums of events that I was a part of, that I hid behind the camera on.  Now, not a week goes by without a picture of myself in the finest of New Balance or making fun of this crazy ass hair.

As a successful gastric bypass patient, I stress that this is NOT for everyone.  If you're always thinking about what you can't give up or what you can't see yourself doing, don't waste your loot.  Even though I attest that it helped me, I will never tell a person that they NEED that surgery.  I will not become what I was once subjected to.  I am going to begin having the life I denied myself.

I'm one year into being happy again.  I'm going to have my peaks and valleys, but I ain't having too many peaks!

Baby, I'm BACK!

**please note**  Not every big girl is miserable, sick and struggling.  Not every big person wants to lose weight.  This is my story, and it's not meant to gauge all big girls.  I'm also aware that people have their respective views of weight loss surgery.  That's your right.  I've even had people tell me I shouldn't have had surgery.  That's fine, honey.  I'm going to sip my tea and cross my legs.  Why?  Because I can!  I took a picture of it!  LOOK!



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