Howdy Puffins,

It just dawned on me that today is my 2 year post Gastric Bypass surgery. So, I thought a post was in order to let you know how things have been over the two years and where I see them going in the life to follow.

 

When I elected to have my gastric bypass in 2009, I was right around 310-315 give or take. The surgery seemed like my last hope, and I was still slightly skeptical of the surgery to begin with. However, my mother had the procedure done 2 years before me and seeing her success tipped the scale in the favor of surgery. After having the surgery in December, my weight intially flew off, just as the docs had said it would. No problemo. Things obviously started slowing down some after the 1 year mark, but weight was still coming off at a decent rate.

My weight finally solidified at around 220-225. This is right where the doc said I should be. However, I still wasn’t/am not completely satisfied with my body. Even though I’d lost almost 100lbs I don’t look at myself and say wow…that’s what I’m talkin about. It’s not a self-esteem issue. Believe me, I have plenty of that. So, I started looking into dietary changes. The big catch all for the surgery is that it forces you to eat less….For a time. My stomach, shortly after surgery, could hold about a jell-o cup worth of food…Today, I can eat an entire 6oz sirloin and a rather large sweet potato. Quite a difference if I do say so myself. This is common in gastric bypass patients. The stomach stretches. It’s what you do AFTER it that makes all the difference. Many people regain their weight, or at least part of it because the surgery made weight loss so easy for them that they didn’t consciously change ANYTHING about the way they ate. I’m guilty…for a few months I was content with fast food and cokes and what not. By the way, these are all no-nos after surgery. I never really made a conscious effort to change. This is where people go wrong with their surgery. If you don’t change, once you lose your initial weight, you start gaining it back. Luckily for me, a change I did make was I took up physical activity. Running, lifting, whatever. Being active has helped me stay at a steady weight without having to watch what  I was eating. Yah, it’s still important post surgery people.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. I looked in the mirror, thought this is nice, but I can do better. My little girl will need me to do better. Enter Mark’s Daily Apple. I’ve linked it before on this blog, and it has been an eye opener. I’ve since switched to the primal blueprint lifestyle, and in 2 weeks I’ve dropped almost 8lbs. Sure, I know some of that is water weight, and my weight is NOT what I’m concerned about. I want LGN. For those of you not familiar with the Apple, LGN stands for Look Good Naked.  That’s what I want. I don’t care if it is at 165lbs or 200lbs or 225…Or whatever. I want to stand in a mirror and say…HOLY SHIT I’M DROP DEAD SEXY (10 points if you say it like fat bastard from Austin Powers). But the cool thing is, that’s only part of what I want. I want to be healthy. I want to be happy. Wrap your heads around this people, I’m about to drop some knowledge on you. Gastric Bypass, will NOT make you happy. At least it didn’t make me happy. It made me HAPPIER, but not really happy. I still suffered from mood swings, irrational irritability (I call it asshole syndrome), and I was really just depressed. Granted Bypass didn’t make me that way. It helped alleviate some depression, but not all of it. I’d snap at my wife for no real reason, be angry over nothing, get irritated with being asked to take out the trash..Stupid things really. Now I know this paragraph may sound like I’m regretting my surgery. Let me say this before I get into my next thought. If I knew then, what I’ve learned in the TWO WEEKS of following the primal blueprint, I would NOT have had surgery. HOWEVER, I do not regret having surgery because I wouldn’t be where I am now, learning about nutrition, listening to my body, barefoot running, had I not had my surgery. Yah, let that sink in.

Alright, now I know that I’ve been pretty bashing toward the surgery but let me explain to you what it has done for me, outside the realm of weight loss. First of all, it made me a tiny bit happier. Sure, that might not mean much to some people, but for those of us who have struggled most of their lives with weightloss, just seeing your number on a scale be lower is enough to elicit a happy response. Secondly, it made me discover my love for life. I discovered that being alive is not the worst thing that could happen. That things don’t have to be the way that they are. Sure, like most, I thought surgery would be a cure all. I know that it isn’t true. Going into surgery, thanks to my wonderful surgeon (no really, I do think the world of this man), I understood that I would have to change to make this work. Or at least I thought I understood. It isn’t until now, 2 years later, that I’m learning what this truly means. It taught me to question conventioal wisdom. The Gastric Bypass is catalyst, the aha moment, the epiphany that I could change who I am, what I am, into who and what I want to be. Sure, the bypass wasn’t necessary. I know that now. But I’m in a place now where I know what has to be done, and I now have enough confidence in MYSELF that I know I can do it without the aid of drugs, surgery, or anyone else. I CAN DO IT. To me, being able to say that about myself and about a subject with which I struggled with for so long is worth 1,000 surgeries. Gastric Bypass gave me the confidence in myself to become an ever changing experiment of one, and for that, I would never take the surgery back in the world.

Now you may be wondering, if you have done your research that is, how a higher fat, lower carb diet is working with bypass. Granted, following bypass we are instructed to stay away from sugar and fat. Sounds simple right? It is, until your stomach is able to hold any real amount of food. Try eating low fat AND low carb…Bet your hungry shortly following the meal, regardless of stomach size. In the gastric bypass world we have this term called dumping. It means that whatever you ate, is about to come back up, or you are going to be miserable for the next few hours. Sounds horrible right? You bet your ass it is. Most people, following bypass, can’t tolerate much fat in their diet. However, they find out that sugar can be tolerated…HRM…Sounds fishy to me. I’m one of those very lucky few. I had NO complications with my surgery, and I can tolerate both fat and sugar fairly well. Sure, a big snickers bar makes me puke. Chugging EVOO makes me sick too, but who wants to do that anyway? But olive oil on my salad? Sign me up. REAL BUTTER to fry my eggs in? Hell yes. You see where I am going here? Fats don’t really bother me. Sure, I can get greedy and eat too much, and my GI tract immediately tells me when I have. That’s another benefit of the bypass. Because the big daddy processing part of the intestine gets skipped, the much more sensitive one gets the food first. Eat something too rich/sugary and it tells you immediately. Now that I have become more adept in listening to my body, it’s easy to determine when I have eaten something wrong. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I was excited a few days ago when I was able to keep down a steak. The reason I was so excited is because I haven’t kept steak since my surgery. Why? Because I was avoiding fats, which work as LUBE for me. Moist meat stays down, dry meat doesn’t simple as that. I say that I’m lucky because I can tolerate fat in my diet. One of my favorite quick meals is, actually now that I think about it really gross sounding, a protein shake (I like muscle milk for the higher fat content already) with a couple table spoons of EVOO. Yah, might sound gross, but it’s actually pretty good. The best part is that it is calorically dense and very satisfying. How many of you have actually ever had a satisfying protein shake? Yah, I didn’t think so. This primal blueprint thing is just another experiment that I’m putting myself through so that I can learn more about myself, and how to help others who are or have been through what I have been through. The biggest benefit since going primal is not the weightloss, not even the extra energy. It’s the improvement to my mood. I’m so unbelievably happy. I play, I joke around more, I cuddle my wife more, I help her out around the house. I’m just HAPPY. Sure it helps that I have a bundle of joy coming soon, but it’s the nutrition man. I’ve never felt more alive and happier. This is a lifestyle for me now, not a diet.

Phew, I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of words up there. Let me wrap it up in just a few quick sentences. First, off I do NOT regret my surgery. However, if given the opportunity, with the knowledge I have now, I wouldn’t have had the surgery. My surgery set me on this path of health and longevity and restored confidence in myself. For that, I am eternally happy that I made the decision that I made. The primal diet, if studied carefully and consciously can absolutely be done post surgery. The surgery will NOT make you happy, and it is NOT a cure all. You have to make changes in yourself before anything can work for you. Try fixing yourself first before you allow someone else to fix what isn’t really broken in the first place.

Until next time,

Puff

 

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Comments
  1. D.A. says:

    It’s a lot of words but GOOD ones… congrats on the weight loss you’ve achieved so far, and good luck and congrats on the weight you’ll lose in the future.. you can do this!!

    http://100in2012.wordpress.com/

  2. […] you. They think that surgery is the only way for them to be happy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Gastric Bypass helped me be a little happier about myself, but it alone did not MAKE ME […]

  3. […] I expect you all to know more about me than I know about myself….I refer your to here and here. 10 points for a double link to myself. Yes, I’m that […]

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