Two Years Ago…

We hosted a Labor Day barbeque. I ate my usual large amounts of fatty food (nothing wrong with fat in food) and the next day had to face what Sue and I had known for a few years – I had gallstones. A surreptitious ultrasound had shown them earlier, but I rarely experienced symptoms. Post Labor Day binge, I had excruciating pain that took me immediately to my primary care doc then for an ultrasound later that week to reconfirm what we already knew.  Within 2 days of seeing one of Sue’s favorite surgeons, I was scheduled for surgery. Terrified, on September 16, 2009, I had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Just one little incision under my umbilicus (sorry, it’s hard for me to say “belly button”), and 30 minutes later 3 large stones and my gallbladder were removed.

My post-operative course was a little rocky with a small bile leak that did not require surgery but caused a lot of pain. My incision took forever to heal. And, I had no appetite combined with tremendous, um, disturbance in my gut. Couple little intake with tremendous output and one gets a 30-pound weight loss in a month. Sue and I had been contemplating a joint weight loss program prior to Labor Day. During my post-op misery we discussed that this was the perfect time for me to get healthy and continue the weight loss in a rational manner.

So, this 2-year journey was kick-started by a health crisis. Methods have been adjusted as I learned what worked and didn’t for my body. I choose a hiatus after the death of my mother, focusing on maintenance. Frustrated by repeated plateaus (damn post-menopausal state), I read all I could find on different methods of losing fat. Thus was born the totally new approach in January, 2011, of no starch, sugar, grains combined with watching calories. A little breast cancer got thrown in this Spring. Exercise (I prefer to call it physical activity) continues to be a struggle given my recent surgery, but I enjoy challenges.

Suddenly I weigh 138 pounds less, am 2 years older, maybe a little wiser, and have met so many wonderful people by writing about the process. Thank you all for blogging, inspiring me, letting me comment on your thoughts, giving me a place to lend support and write things that I would never post on my own blog.

Here’s to health, writing, and connections.

138 pounds later picture

September, 2011 - 167 pounds

July, 2009 - 305 pounds

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One Year Of Gratitude

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my journey to a thinner and better me. A laparoscopic cholecystectomy (complicated by a bile leak) kick started a life style change:  nothing like being ill for several weeks, looking at the 3 Milk Dud-sized gallstones – probably brought on by repeated large weight losses and regains, and finally really seeing my body to put me into action mode.

Twelve months later and 85-pounds less fat, I wish my goal was in closer reach. But… the past year has been full of many blessings (there’s a word that doesn’t appear often in my writing).

  • I am grateful for the understanding, encouragement, hand-holding, morale boosting, food hiding management, and unconditional love from my family, especially Susan.
  • I am lucky to have stumbled into supportive online weight loss and life-style change communities.
  • I am indebted to my blogging friends and colleagues who provide daily support, knowledge, skills, and inspiration via their writing on blogs, commenting here, and responding to my comments.
  • I am forever thankful for the final 10-months of my mother’s life — even though I didn’t realize those would be her last ones with us.

I am a happy woman.

red dragonfly

3 gallstones and 3 months later…

I find myself once again in an earnest struggle to lose fat and reclaim my body.  In the tradition of all great (and usually elderly) women in my family, I must start with a health saga. September 16, 2009, the 3 malted milk ball-sized gallstones that had been residing under my liver decided it was time to fly the coup. After an uneventful laparscopic surgical procedure, I developed a small bile leak. No big deal, except my self-concept of having a high pain threshold was blasted into narcotic oblivion while I struggled to avoid another surgery. The strangest side effect of what this rather common procedure was the complete loss of taste for “creatures with eyelashes”, ice cream (my favorite food group), and chocolate. Pounds started shedding. I started counting calories, and realized I could not force more than 500 calories a day into my enormous stomach.

Years of losing and regaining weight should have made me rejoice, but the remarkable change in my usual cravings only made me worry. Perhaps other fat people can understand this – perhaps not. With the support of my partner who wanted to lose 30 pounds, we decided to look at this as an opportunity — a gift even — from my body and team up to eat healthy, become more active, and refocus on the important aspects of life, i.e. family.

After healing, we took a 2-week vacation to the Southern Caribbean as cruise-virgins. Eating only at meal times but eating whatever felt right, I lost 4 pounds. Over the holidays with family and temptation staring me in face and delightful odors assaulting my nose, I gave in to my mother-in-law’s cooking, refused to count calories or weigh for over a week. I lost a pound.

The anxiety inherited from my mother would tell me that I have cancer 🙂 . My adult self realizes that I am finally starting to internalize what is healthy eating, but I must be ever vigilant. Thus, this blog as an adjunct to monitoring food and weight and behavioral changes.

Even if no one reads, I am here — writing.