Monday, July 2, 2012

Making Progress

Before undertaking bariatric surgery in January, 2012, I wrote about my lifelong My Struggle with Weight. It's now been almost six months since having Roux en Y Gastric Bypass Surgery at the St.Vincent Bariatric Center of Excellence in Carmel, Indiana.
The surgery and recovery went well. I have been very pleased with the whole experience. I have no reservations about recommending it to others who are morbidly obese and have been unsuccessful with weight loss programs.
To date I have lost about 110 lbs. I would like to lose another 75 lbs. at least. My weight loss was quite steady though I continually had times every few weeks or less when I would hit a plateau. In addition to the restrictive diet, I have maintained a routine of working out with a home gym and exercise bike every other day.
I don't experience hunger pangs in the same way as I used to. I still have some compulsion to snack, but it is usually a few pretzels or sugar free popsicles. It's rather easy to tell when I have had enough to eat. There has been only a few times when I have eaten too much -- probably as a result of eating too fast -- and have vomited. Since I'm not attracted to sweets -- never have really -- I have not experienced the dumping syndrome others talk about. Often after a first bite my stomach will feel uncomfortable with that food. It may be that it is too greasy. I'm not really sure. Yesterday I grilled a selection of meats for the family and I was able to enjoy some small pieces of pork spare ribs, chicken thigh, and rib eye steak without upsetting my stomach. I've done well eating chili. I especially enjoy vegetarian fajitas. Tortillas are about the only type of bread product I've eaten, though I have had a few slices of pizza over the past six months. The last time I ordered pizza for the family, I didn't choose to eat any.
One thing I've done is try to maintain a high protein intake. It's been difficult since many meats have upset my stomach a bit. I drink a protein shake. My favorites are Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Isolate and Nature's Best Low Carb Isopure. I mix the powder with some (usually leftover) decaf coffee and some almond milk (or 1% milk). I take a multi-vitamin usually twice a day with extra calcium & vitamin D in between the multi-vitamin. Also a B1 and a B12.
Since my weight loss has hit 110 lbs. lost, I have hit a major plateau. It's been several weeks since I've lost any weight. It's time for me to make some change, reevaluate what I'm doing, and take things to another level. I don't think I'm cheating on my diet anywhere, but I may have got into a routine that is not being effective.
One of the best things lately is that I discovered a bag of clothes in storage from the last time I had lost weight and was at this size. Now I have several pairs of shorts, casual slacks, jeans (!), shirts, and a belt that fits.
People have been very encouraging. I appreciate the nice compliments. The more difficult questions have to do with how I feel. Sure, I feel better. But I'm still me. I just have less fat on my body. It hasn't "cured" my introversion or caused me to change my tendency for a sedentary lifestyle. It has enabled me to have the strength and energy to paint a few rooms of our house. I suppose I feel a little less self-conscious about my size, but I'm aware that our prejudices about weight make us think that anyone who doesn't look like a magazine model or TV hero is fat. Our society claims the issue is about health but is virtually blind to its prejudices of sizeism. In my opinion there are more important values than how fat a person is or even how healthy someone is.