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Today mark’s six months since the surgery. So much has happened, and oddly, so much is still happening, it’s hard to know how to distill everything down into one tidy blog post. Needless to say, some of the best benefits have been health-related. My husband is down 80 poundss since surgery and about 100 poundss since his highest weight. I’m down 61 poundss since surgery and my highest weight. He’s off several medications, I’m in a lot less pain and inflammation from carrying too much weight. Our clothes sizes have shrunk. He’s gone from 2xl shirts to Larges, and we think he’ll stay here even if he loses more weight because he has broad shoulders and a wide rib cage. He’s wearing size 32 jeans or medium pajama bottoms and has barely any more to go. I’m fitting into size 12s or 10s in pants depending on the brand, and my Large tops fit comfortably, down from an 18w in pants and 2xl shirts. It’s a huge relief.
The eating is somewhat routine in that we don’t have questions about, “Can we have this?” We know what our sleeves hate (chicken) and what they can tolerate. But the thing is, it’s an ever evolving journey. And now, the questions that arise are more subjective, like should we be increasing our calories? Should we carb cycle? Should we calorie cycle? If you thought pre-ops and post-ops varied by doctor but that things would soon settle down, welcome to this phase, where everyone has a different opinion. I’ve received advice from sleevers that range from “Don’t eat more, that’s why you had this surgery” to “Eat more otherwise your body will think it’s in starvation and you will stop losing”.
Honestly, I’m struggling. I don’t know what to do. It’s complicated by the fact that many days, I’m just not that hungry and the thought of forcing myself to eat 900 calories “because I should” is confusing. I’m trying to eat based on my appetite, which varies from day to day and we’ll just have to see how that goes.
The weight-loss seems much slower now. I go for 10 days with no change, and then I might lose a little, say half a pound. Then several more days of being at the same weight. I’m trying to tell myself that if I keep eating between 600-800 calories, there’s no way I won’t lose weight in the long run, so I keep plugging.
It’s also that point in the journey where I’m turning into a bore. This is all I talk about many days. I was very active on a sleevers forum for a while, but two things happened. One, there was a lot of drama, and I’m allergic to drama. Two, and this also explains the small blog hiatus, I started to feel like I was too focused on weight loss and not focused enough on other aspects of my life. So I took a break, which was very healthy for me. I started reading again, socializing with some old friends, etc.
But that has come with a down-side which is that I am driving my husband crazy with this constant focus on weight, eating, tracking, weight loss. His approach is quite different. He basically eats what I do, plus 2-3 more low calorie snacks and calls it a day. I track for both of us. So I can’t just walk away from it. But he also doesn’t “obsess” about it as I do. (You say obsess, I say focus, tomahto, tomato).
I’m down to 170 poundss and probably still have another 15-20 poundss to go, I’m not really sure. That’s the other surprise. There’s no obvious goal weight I seem to be able to pick. Fact is, I now have nice curves that I like. I’m not dying to lose them. But I still have fat on my stomach and my back that doesn’t look healthy, that I’d like to get rid of. I have no idea at what weight those will be gone.
And the best part of it all? Finally accepted this week that “reaching goal” will change nothing. It’s not like I can eat that much more. I’m now able to eat 2-3 ounce of protein plus a half cup of vegetables now which is fantastic. But that’s not that many calories. So if I magically reached goal tomorrow, what would change?
I think nothing would change. I can’t eat more. I won’t eat more carbs because I don’t want to awaken the carb monster. So….what would change if I were at goal?
I remember all the vets saying, losing weight is easy, maintenance is difficult. I don’t know that losing weight is exactly “easy” for me, but I can see how the routine and boredom of maintenance will need vigilance from me. I’ve also hear innumerable times that the last few pounds are the toughest. So I have to dig deep into myself for reserves, because it is possible it could take me months to lose “just” 15 poundss.
Really, I wish I could just relax and let go of the need to control this journey. I think it would benefit me and my husband both. But I haven’t yet figured out how. I also realize that when they tell you that this journey is mostly mental, I dismissed that believing “It’s mental if you had food addiction and other issues you were hiding with food”, which I didn’t think I was. But the fact is, it’s mental because it’s a life-change, an adjustment, a slow journey, a change that affects every aspect of your life. It’s especially mental if you are a control freak (who, me??) because you have to accept that you control your actions (following the rules), but you don’t control the outcome (weight loss).
So I’m plugging on, life continues, and hopefully I continue to lose weight and get my sanity back. Thanks so much for reading and commenting as you guys do. It makes me feel better to know I’m not just shouting into the void 🙂