Three years ago, I made a decision that dramatically changed the way my life was headed. I just finished my first internship with disastrous results and started my second internship in pediatrics. Between my pediatric rotation and my rotation in an assisted living facility, I decided to have Roux-en-Y, gastric bypass surgery. I was tired of my body hurting all the time, I was tired of wanting better for myself but not taking the jump to do it, I was tired of being fat.
So here I am, three years later, and reflecting. A lot of people ask me if I regret the decision, ask if I can have "bad" foods, do I eat normal foods, ask if it was hard getting pregnant, all kids of questions.
So let's do a little recap. My highest weight, I was 268 lbs. At my lowest weight, I was 153 lbs, total loss 115 lbs. That was a good number for me, I am quite comfortable and happy there.
So, of course, what better way to celebrate than to show a few pictures of my progress during story time!
I do not regret any choices. It's all about perspective. I refuse to regret choices because every single life experience is one that has taught me, allowed me to grow, and shaped me into the person I am today.
Can I have bad foods? Yes. Do I eat bad foods? Yes. One thing I learned over the past three years is that for me- moderation is KEY. Telling me I cannot ever have something, ever again, leads to the "can't have it, try me". Yes, I occasionally drink carbonated beverages, eat ice cream, cake, fried foods. However, my key to moderation is this: Make good choices 90% of the time, and the other 10% I refuse to feel guilty about. I still love food. I have just made an active effort to have a healthy relationship with food. I try not to eat my feelings anymore. Joy, fear, anger, sadness... it's facing those emotions head on.
Where am I in my weight loss journey? I am completely happy with where I am. There are days that I have "fat days" but it is completely about perspective. On any day, I sit around a size 10/12, around 158-160 lbs. I would love to drop about another 10-15 lbs, but I will not obsess about it and I WILL rejoice in how far I have come. After I am finished having children, I intend on having plastics to remove my extra skin- there is a LOT, and no, I'm not ready to share what all is there.
Here's the progress pics: Farthest left, was my picture taken the day of surgery and each photo is on my annual anniversary.
What do I eat on a typical day? Honestly, it varies so much. I try to be as protein forward as possible, but some days I do tend to lean towards convenience foods. I don't drink protein shakes as much, and I do eat granola bars because they're so easy. Now that my daughter eats, I make a conscious effort to prepare healthy foods and to do that I purchase less prepared items when grocery shopping. While growing up, we did not eat very healthy foods. A lot of pasta, a lot of prepackaged items, a lot of hamburger helper and macaroni & cheese with hot dogs. Anyhow, as a part of my efforts to become healthier over these past few years, I have moved as far as I can from prepackaged foods, convenience foods and I try my best to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO). I feel each of these foods leads to the obesity epidemic we are facing in this country. Prevention of obesity is one of the most important causes dear to my heart. There are so many illnesses that are directly attributed to obesity and our country is getting more and more obese each year. Anyhow, off my soapbox.
One more picture? Saturday, I participated in a 5k called the "Walk from Obesity" which was founded by the Obesity Action Coalition and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons. The funds raised from this walk are used to prevent, educate, research and treat obesity. I was astonished that I was able to complete this walk without getting winded and without feeling like I wanted to crawl into a ball in the ground and die. And that, I have to say, is one of the biggest achievements I have achieved. Though I have a ways to go to increase my cardiovascular endurance and build strength, I am completely happy where I am. And that my friends, is perspective.