** My wonderful, caring, inspirational mother
** My super-hero provider, Lori Ranek, PA-C, Bon Homme Family Practice Clinic, Tyndall, SD
** Dr. Michael D. Haley, MD, FACs, Avera Medical Group Bariatrics Mitchell
** Two awesome RNs: Deb and Mindy … who work with Dr. Haley in Mitchell, SD
** My surgery team at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell, SD (including all the folks in the business office, administration/front desk people and the cleaning staff)
** My recovery nurse, Amy at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, and Shelley, my CNA for the day
** All the lap-banders / gastric bypass folks I met online prior to my surgery and afterwards
** Everyone my mother told in Bon Homme County and beyond who kept me in their thoughts and prayers that my surgery was a success
** Two of my three siblings and their spouses as well as a slew of other kinfolk and close friends
**…and countless of other wonderful people I have met since my journey began, 9 years ago….
THIS IS HOW I AM, NOW 365 DAYS LATER…
Healthy. I exercise, on purpose. I eat like a skinny person. I no longer snack when I am bored. Or eat an entire bag of chips or a half-gallon of ice cream. I no longer nap unless I am sick or really really really exhausted (which is rarely ever). I google “lap band” recipes or find them on Pinterest and actually make them. I blog about my process. I keep myself accountable for all of my actions. I admit when I’ve done something wrong. I am no longer angry. I like myself. A lot. I have a great self-esteem now. I look forward to stepping on scales and liking what I see in the mirror. I have a neck. And I am losing my double chin. My acne/skin is a lot clearer. My bowels are regular now. I cannot eat french fries or anything really deep fat fried anymore. And I do not miss it. Really.
I have to move up my seat in my Ford Focus now and the same thing in my mom’s car. I am currently wearing 14/16 sized clothes. I have given 95% of my too big clothes to the Bargain Shoppe in Tyndall, SD or to people who really need the use of my former clothes for free. I’ve dropped a size in shoes. I finally got and still maintain my fun pixie hair cut. My eye glasses finally fit my face. I can walk 3 to 4 miles in one setting and still feel like I could walk yet another mile and not be out of breath. I tried Hip Hop Abs and love it. I tried kickboxing and love that too. I plan to learn how to run properly over the 4th of July of this year!!! I am no longer depressed. My high anxiety has moved down to just normal anxiety and my paranoia is low-key now. My feet no longer swell. My calves are no longer bright red. And all the edema has vanished.
I am rarely, if ever, tired. I feel like there is a true reason to live my life to the fullest now. I am still as poor as a church mouse, but I really do love my life as I know it, 365 days later. I’m truly fine with eating a banana for lunch with a little side salad. I really am fine with that. I’m also good with just eating that awful greek yogurt too and feeling full. If I buy a bag of chips, it will now stay in my cupboard a good week without feeling the need to devour it immediately. I eat a lot of protein first and foremost like I was told. I have a space between my legs now too. I can feel muscles forming in my arms. And my other muscles are finally coming out of hiding. I really love to walk. I now greet people face to face and make eye contact.
I poo-poo my hermit lifestyle. I don’t even miss it. I am going to things that I get invited to. Solo, even. And I’m okay with that. I stay away from negative people and things and events. I promote positivity. I’m learning from my mistakes and always promise to make better mistakes tomorrow. I smile more. I laugh more. I have finally realized that losing weight is 80% mental and 20% exercise/eating healthy. I accepted the real food challenge on March 10, 2013 and I’m still doing it. I quit eating frozen processed foods with the exception of popsicles. Because who doesn’t eat popsicles???
Every once in awhile, I will slip up and drink pop or other carbonated drinks but then I get back on track and go back to green tea and a lot of water with MIO or Crystal Light. I am a ginormous fan of making healthy smoothies. And purposely look for other healthy recipes and actually try them. I eat about 10 ounces or less of food per meal. If I eat more, I feel sick to my stomach and it usually ends up with a nasty sliming situation. Think of a baby spewing up chunks of food like a geyser. That’s me when I slime.
For a three-month time frame, I had a part-time gig in town where I had to stand up to 5 hours in one setting. I was fine. Tired. But my feet were fine, I was fine. My body was fine. I survived. Without sweating like I worked in a sauna. Then out of nowhere, my art world took off like a horse in the Kentucky Derby. I’ve been happily busy ever since. I no longer sweat unless I’ve been exercising or standing in direct line to the sun.
I have HOPE. I look forward to tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.
Earlier this month, I was standing at the cash register at two plus-sized stores, Lane Bryant and Catherine’s in Sioux Falls with the smallest sizes both stores had to offer (14/16 or Ox). Both sales ladies said something about upgrading my store credit card and getting all these extra perks. My response was golden.
I simply said, “Next year at this time, I will be shopping in normal size stores.”
And I do not doubt that one bit.