one year

Bariatric Surgery: One Year After My Gastric Bypass

One Year

It’s been quite a while since I posted regarding my weight loss surgery, so I thought you’d like a one year update. In case you missed it or are new to my page, you can read about my 15-year journey to health. I’ve written quite a few articles regarding this subject, including whether weight loss surgery is right for you. I also did a 4-month follow-up post, and another regarding how to come to terms with your new life after losing a significant amount of weight. Please check those articles out if you are curious, as I’m going to jump right into the present.

As of today, I am 15 months post-op from a gastric bypass surgery. Besides marrying my husband and having my babies, I would say it’s the best decision I have made. I have more energy and no longer fear a heart attack in my early 30’s. Arthritis in my right knee is still very significant and yes…it creaks on stairs and aches before a good rain. I’m sure it would have progressed even further with additional weight on it, however, and I doubt I’ll need surgery for a knee replacement in the next 5 years or so. One Year

So what you really want to know is…

How Much Weight Have I Lost?

I started my journey at 263 pounds and currently weigh 143 pounds for a total loss of 120 pounds! That’s an entire person! I still get a bit freaked out when I feel ribs in my chest wall or see my collarbone. After being overweight (or let’s be honest, morbidly obese) for so many years, I got used to how that looked and felt.

How Much Loose Skin Do You Have?

Well…quite a bit and not much. Everything is a matter of perspective. Considering I lost the weight of another adult…I could have significantly more skin than what I have. I do have quite a bit of skin on my midsection.

When I wear pants I just pull my pants over the top and you can’t really tell. In the picture on the right, you can see my stomach hanging, which is all just skin, and you can see wrinkles in my thighs from loose skin. I took these pictures for my sister by the way…not the interweb. I’m taking a HUGE leap of faith that these will do more good than harm…don’t let me down. My thighs and arms also have a bit of loose skin, but that’s more noticeable to me than anyone else.

I’ve considered surgery but the cost and time needed are prohibitive. Plus a little part of me wants to keep the skin as a reminder of how far I’ve come. My husband and I estimate that I’d be another 10-15 pounds lighter if I had everything nipped and tucked…but I’m not concerned with numbers on a scale at this point. I’ve spent enough of my life worried about that mess.

What Do You Eat Now?

Honestly, whatever I want. I do tend to keep my carbs lower than most people I know. I have to be very careful about how much sugar I consume as well, as that can leave me incredibly sick.  Instead of drinking a ton of flavored sugar filled coffee, I have a low carb or sugar-free energy drink once in a while. It’s still a no-no because caffeine can cause ulcers…so be careful!

Dumping syndrome is very real for me, and if I eat the wrong things I can be bed-ridden for at least an hour. Dumping is a bit different for each person, but for me, it means extremely dizzy spells, nausea, stomach cramping and then, you guessed it, diarrhea. It’s a pretty strong deterrent from eating the crap that got me so overweight in the first place.

That said I’m human and I eat the wrong things sometimes! Sometimes you just want the freedom of eating something that you enjoy. I just have to make sure it’s in moderation or I’ll pay dearly!

One Year

The drink you see me enjoying is called Celsius. It has zero sugar but enough caffeine to jump-start my day.

Are you worried about regaining the weight?

Honestly, sometimes I do worry about it. Like I said, I’m human and I like to eat good food. I know it’s possible to regain the weight, and not worrying about it would be foolish! It’s good to keep it in mind. If you decide to have this surgery you need to realize that they do NOT change the way you think about food. I still have triggers (hello, I’m suddenly raising my 12-year-old niece as I homeschool my biological kids…stress and I have an intimate relationship). I do things in moderation. If I know I’m eating shit for dinner then I’m making sure to eat a super solid breakfast and lunch. I never starve myself and I do not use exercise as a punishment for eating “bad”. I did that for years and it never worked…why would it now? I eat well about 90% of the time.

One YearWhat’s Next?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’d like to get into weight lifting again once we get our finances under control. We’ve had a lot happen suddenly which drained us, but I’d love to get a family membership at the YMCA so we can exercise as a family. I am enjoying teaching my kids to eat healthy well-portioned meals. We cook together, which is a lot of fun. I’m also continuing to work on my self-esteem and getting to know this “new” body of mine.

If you have any other questions for me then feel free to comment below or send me a private message. I’ve always been very open about having surgery and would be more than happy to help if you are considering it.