Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just keep swimming...

A HUUUUUGE heartfelt thank you to Lap Band Gal for my shout out. And to those of you who wandered over this way to say hi and check things out. In all fairness, I should warn you - that way you have a chance to run now ;) I'm quirky, a little OCD, a little neurotic, a little opinionated, a little outspoken and a lot sassy. In other words, I'm a southern woman. Things might get hairy around here.

Now.. let's talk about journeys. There are many ways to reach a destination. There's running, crawling, sprinting, walking, swimming, biking, driving... even by map, if you ask the Muppets. For me, while I was doing all the leg work to make my insurance happy, I kept thinking how (painfully, even) the process seemed. I thought I'd never get "there" - wherever there was.

Then I got approved by insurance, and I set my surgery date and set my pre-op diet start diet. And those two weeks were both the longest and shortest of my life. And I kept wondering when I'd get "there". And I dropped SO much weight so quickly on that pre-op diet. I'm sure a good hunk of it was water, but hey.. 15lbs is 15lbs. And then I had my surgery, and I was transitioning through the different types of food textures.

And then I started having mood swings. People reassured me that mood swings were normal. Between hormonal shifts and general anesthesia and low calorie intake and poor sleep and all the changes my body had gone through, mood swings were somewhat expected. But then one of my friends made an excellent point.. and it was one I hadn't actually considered. I'd put so much energy and emotion into trying to get "there" - that I didn't realize I'd arrived at my destination. I was on the other side of the mountain. I guess I was expecting bells and whistles and fanfare and some big waving sign. Maybe even a GPS voice telling me "you have arrived at your destination." Instead, it was more a big vast grey area of uncertainty and itchiness to do SOMEthing.

Everything leading up to surgery has a fixed point. A definite goal. A true destination. So you do all the leg work and mark all the items off your "to do" list and you do whatever you have to do to get you to your surgery date. But on the other side, once you've made the transition from clears to fulls to mushies to real food, then what? I mean, sure. We ALL have the goal of reaching a certain weight. That's the whole reason we got this stinkin' surgery in the first place, right? But, really... the target weight, at least for me, is sorta arbitrary. It's just a number.

On the other side of the mountain, I see my destination. It's a fixed point on the horizon. It's a state of health. It's that place where I get to run (not walk) 5Ks and 10Ks and half-marathons. It's that place where I get to go hiking without turning 50 different shades of red and white. It's that place where I get to buy panties at Victoria's Secret if I want to. It's that place where I won't be as stressed out about potential complications when and if I ever get pregnant. It's that place where I jump out of a perfectly good airplane just because I can. Yes, it's a fixed point.. but the horizon is a little tricky. It's an infinite distance. Even when you think you're closing the gap, it's still just a little bit further. And a little bit further. And a little bit further.

When I had THAT realization, I felt a little bit like Dory from Finding Nemo. My job now is to just keep swimming. Reading some of your blogs, I really do realize that this whole process IS just that. It's a process. Every day is a new day. Every day will be filled with its own challenges. Even when I reach my goal weight, I'll still be walking the walk every day afterwards. Some days will be better than others. Just keep swimming. I might gain back a pound or two or five. Just keep swimming. I might lose a little more than my goal weight. Just keep swimming. I might have complications down the road. My port might flip. I might have too much restriction. I might need a revision. Just keep swimming. It's both exhilarating and terrifying to realize my point on the horizon is essentially an imaginary spot.

But everytime I think about my destination, I realize the true adventure lies in the journey.. and right now?? There's nowhere I'd rather be.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

How Did I Get Here?

So... if I'm going to start talking about my present, I suppose I should start with a little bit of my past.

I'm pretty sure that most people don't wake up with a wild hair and decide to just go out and get WLS. I mean, maybe there are a few... but typically, it takes some thought and some research and years of frustration to get to that point.

For me, it's been 6yrs worth of investigating and more than 20yrs of fighting with my weight. And I do mean fighting. I remember very vividly starting my first diet when I was 9 - and it's been on and off ever since. You name it, I've probably tried it. I've tried exercising. I've tried non-processed foods. Nothing has worked. According to my doctors, I just hit the genetic lottery. After years of struggling, I had five different doctors tell me that unless I was willing to take some drastic measures, the weight wasn't coming. That was in 2006.

I started investigating and found a surgeon I liked - but unfortunately by the time I started pursuing things, he was no longer on my insurance. I decided to take that as a sign and wait for a bit. I had two friends who had been banded around the time I started doing my research and knew I'd have a perfect opportunity for seeing all the good, bad and ugly.

Fast forward five years to 2011... I was no longer working as a bedside nurse, but instead working as an educator in IT. My two friends had lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off. And several of my new coworkers had also had some form of WLS. I decided maybe it was time again to take a step of faith and investigate the lapband again.

After a restful Labor Day weekend trip to see my best friend and her family, I knew it was time to do something about my weight. I made my consultation for the Tuesday after Labor Day and found out that my insurance would cover the surgery 100%. At that point, there was no looking back...

Fast forward again to April 11, 2012. I was banded that morning, 4 days before my birthday... which I found highly appropriate since it was the beginning of my new life.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

And so it begins...

At the suggestion (and request) of many friends, I've decided to start blogging about life as a banded chick. I've been in the online journaling world for over 12 years now, but this is definitely something else entirely.

If you manage to find yourself here in my little corner of the world, I hope you'll find it entertaining and/or helpful. I'm honest, I'm blunt, I'm snarky and I'm opinionated. I'm also tender-hearted, overly sensitive, and scared to death of never settling down. In other words, I'm pretty much like every other single woman over the age of 35.

Thanks for peeking in - I look forward to sharing my journey with you.. :)

Now you should probably buckle up and hang on for dear life.. things might get a little crazy around here!