Sunday, September 30, 2012

WLS: Three Year Surgery Anniversary

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.

Was it easy or hard to get pregnant? I did not have difficulty getting, or staying pregnant. I had a fairly healthy pregnancy and I did not have many health issues. I had pretty substantial nausea and there were many days I couldn't keep much down- Zofran, phenergan, ginger, Nux Vomica, you name it. Many days I needed to drink my calories and had to eat crappy carbohydrates. My labs stayed pretty stable, but I did have some difficulty keeping iron and my Vitamin D up. My Vitamin D levels dropped from 134 pre-pregnancy to around 32 after my daughter was born. Check her out- she's SO adorable and my biggest NSV- Non-Scale Victory!

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.


  1. Happy Anniversary!I totally love your outlook! We try to eat good about 90% of the time, but sometimes we feel guilty about the other 10%. I know you have to have fun and enjoy life but on "fat" days its like oh... I shouldnt have had pizza etc.

  2. Happy 3 year surgiversary! You are wonderful!

  3. Yay...happy anniversary and you look beautiful. julieann r

  4. You've been through a lot and look terrific. I know it's a year later, but Happy Anniversary! I like your 90%/10% mentality.

  5. Congrats on your WLS weight loss success! You look great:-)
    We have very similar stories to share. I actually had lap band, had major complicates, and converted to the bypass (like yours). 4 years later, the ,air issues have begun! I hope you have not begun the same issues although hI am hearing many folks out there that tell me that about 3-5 years post op is when the trouble begins.
    I would love to connect with you to share what has been working for me. You can also check out my story at this link
    hope to hear from you soon,
    In good health!
    Stacey L

    1. Hi Stacey, thanks for the comment. I'm now 4 years post op and actually smaller than I was last year at my 3yr post op. I've been doing quite well with labs and such.
      Which online support groups are you a member of?

  6. Congratulations, you have done a marvellous job and look terrific. Keep it up, you can be very proud of yourself for having the stamina to do this.

  7. Congratulations, you have done a tremendous job and look fabulous, you don't look like the same person now. It can't have been easy but you have stayed the course and can be very proud of yourself.

  8. What an amazing progression! I'd love to see how you are doing a year after this post.

  9. Congrats! You're looking great. It must have taken a lot of courage to undergo the procedure and I'm glad it worked out well for you!


Thanks a bunch for your comment love!