November 26, 2010-present weight loss




2012 weight loss



Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Bandiversary To Me

Wow, my life today, December 9, 2011 is so much different than my life on the morning of December 9, 2010.  
  
Let's go back to my surgery day... I was Dr. K's first surgery of the day, so mom and I drove into the city well before the sun rose.  Mom hates driving in the city, so I actually drove myself in.  I parked the car, and we walked into the hospital.  It was so early that security had to check my name against the records to let me in.  I was surprised by how grimy this part of the hospital looked.  It really was a city hospital- and not in a good way.  So we went upstairs to admitting, and everything became SO REAL.  I filled out my paperwork and was really concerned about what would happen if there were a problem with the surgery.  Kenny was working in London, I was undergoing surgery in NYC, and even though Kenny is my husband, the hospital would have to rely on my mother's decisions were there any  problems.  I completed the paperwork and waited to be taken back to the next area.
I was called back and put in a little room with my mom.  There I changed, folded up my clothing and waited.  The hospital clearly caters to obese patients, so my gown covered me very nicely.  It was actually so large that mom could have hopped in as well, but that would have been creepy.  A nurse finally came in to weigh me and asked how I did on my liquid diet.  I completely deflected the question.  The reality is that I skunked the rigid liquid diet after Day 1 and instead followed the nutritionist's calorie and protein guidelines without drinking those horrible shakes (for anyone who hasn't had surgery yet, don't follow my lead).  I couldn't tell the nurse this, so instead I answered with a fact- that I lost 20 lbs during the liquids phase.  She was actually really impressed that I had lost that much weight and said that many people don't lose anything.  People, if you don't lose weight on the liquid diet, you are doing something wrong.  At some point the anesthesiologist came in and reviewed my blood work.  He told me that I was pre-diabetic and showed me where my levels should be, funny that my GP hadn't mentioned this.  Then we waited some more until Dr. K came in.  She had been tied up in a meeting and was running late... and I gently suggested that she take a breather and relax before she started cutting me open.  She is so incredibly cute, and my mom liked her immediately.
Then the scariness really started.  The surgical nurse came in to get me.  I assume I gave my mom a hug but am really not sure about that.  Then the nurse walked me to the surgical suite.  For all of you who had the benefit of some sort of happy drug before going (or being wheeled, more likely) to the surgical suite, you suck!  My only complaint about NYU is that this is not their policy.  Patients walk down the hall and into the room stone cold sober.  It was frightening.  I started telling the nurse how pretty she was, and in reality she was.  She was about 6' tall and joked that her long arms were helpful in the OR.  Then she told me to put my little cap on, and we walked into the room.  I burst out in tears.  I am actually remembering how terrified I was when I walked in there last year and am starting to tear as I type this.  Of course I had this one moment where I thought that there was still time and I could get the hell out of there before it was too late, but then I decided to go through with it (they already had my credit card details and would likely bill me either way).  The people in the OR were watching me cry and telling me everything would be alright, and I immediately thought that they must think that this is my punishment for letting my life get so out of control... like, well, if you hadn't eaten yourself to 320+lbs, you wouldn't be here today.  I hopped up on the table, and the table looked like a big crucifix (with pieces sticking out for my arms).  Someone numbed my hand before inserting the IV, and someone else put pressure booties on me.  My one smart ass comment, made more for my benefit than for the benefit of the OR staff, was when I looked at myself stretched out on this table and said something like, "Isn't this what they do to people getting the death penalty?".  Everyone in there giggled, and that was just about the last thing I remember as a non-banded woman. 
The next thing I know, someone was asking me to move myself from the operating table to the wheelie bed.  I was actually alert enough that I hoisted myself onto the bed, though I have read that most of you are still in La La Land.  I bet the OR staff loves patients who come out of anesthesia quickly, as moving the bariatric surgery patients must be pretty unpleasant.  Dr. K stood over me and said everything went well, and someone wheeled me to recovery.  My recovery nurse was sweet and had been banded herself, though she had not really lost any weight.  Just what someone less than one hour out of surgery wants to hear!  My mom came back to visit me, and Dr. K came at some point as well.  She said that my liver was perfect:)
I knew that I had to walk, drink water and use the toilet before being discharged, so I was on a mission.  I was NOT spending the night in the hospital.  Once the transfer people (who were surprisingly rude) moved me to the next floor, I told mom we were going for a walk.  I covered my exposed butt, grabbed my IV pole and lapped the floor.  And yes, I made sure the nurses saw me.  We circled the floor twice, and I told mom we should do one more lap.  I don't know what I was thinking, but I guess I figured that more laps would give me extra credit.  I felt like hell after Lap #3.  I lost all color in my face and was really woozy.  Mom made me sit down and mentioned that the final lap was probably a bit too much for my system.  So we just chilled and waited.  I spoke with Kenny, who was majorly relieved that everything was OK.  For those of you who have not followed my blog from the beginning, Kenny was really opposed to this surgery (read more about that here).  He thought I could control my eating if I just tried harder and was also convinced that I was going to die having surgery.  Being 3,500 miles away made the situation even more difficult, so getting to say hi and let him know I was fine was great.  I finally received my liquid dinner and was able to get everything down.  After a trip to the bathroom, I was ready to leave.  I needed one of Dr. K's underlings to examine me before being discharged, but I wanted to have all of my ducks in a row.  The (cute) underling finally came and said I could be discharged.
My recovery was mega easy.  I didn't have discomfort from the gas and wasn't sore near my port or incisions.  I had no interest in doing crunches and was cautious lifting myself out of bed, but other than that no complaints.  The liquid painkiller did its job, and I always knew my body was feeling the effects once my hands started to tingle.  My mother was a star the entire time!  She made me soup after soup, including curried cauliflower and a spicy Mexican soup, and enough low fat Greek yogurt smoothies to ease Greece's financial woes (that place would have gone bust in 2010 were it not for my surgery). 
So what about today?  Well, I am hovering around 210 rather than pushing 325.  I wear a misses 14 or 16 rather than a 22W.  I wear really high heels and can even walk in them.  Yeah, my toes tingle at the end of the night, but that doesn't bother me.  I no longer buy wide gym sneakers, and I no longer wear the only pair of flats that would fit my feet.  For that matter, I no longer buy clothing or shoes just because the items fit.  For me to buy something it must be perfect (or a bit too small).  I am active and I am mobile.  I travel so much more easily than I did a year ago.  My seat belts fit with lots of room, and I actually choose to sit in the middle seat when traveling with Kenny.  He got the raw end of the deal with my weight issues for so long that he deserves some comfort in either the aisle or window seat.  Nobody gives me that look of dread when I walk down the aisle of the plane and stop at a row to squeeze in now.  For years people would drop their eyes and say a silent prayer that I would sit elsewhere.  I can walk quickly and am no longer exhausted after doing simple tasks.  I walk to the grocery store rather than taking the bus.  I have girlfriends who want to shop with me, go out to clubs (not sure that is ever going to happen), discuss healthy recipes, and even, gasp, go to the gym.  I actually GO to the gym.  I average 5 days a week and typically work out for 80-90 minutes. 
At last month's appointment with my OBGYN, we discussed how much more weight I should lose before trying to get pregnant.  She said that ideally my BMI should be 27 but that this might not be a realistic number for me.  She said that I have lost enough weight to start trying (not trying yet for the record- much to the dismay of my mother).  I went from never having my period to being healthy enough to try to get pregnant within 12 months.  I feel like I am a much better wife to Kenny.  I can more easily participate in life than I could last year, and I no longer feel that I am holding him back.  I have also come closer to fitting the role of the Corporate Wife.  I know it sounds silly, but his industry is very image-based.  People dress amazingly well and are always put together.  The same goes for the spouses, who are impeccably groomed.  I could not fit (pun intended) into that category last year.  I was round and, more times than not, I was sweaty.  Last night I attended a cocktail party without Kenny; he was supposed to come but wound up working until 11:30.  I went on my own and was so comfortable, even though I only knew the husband and wife hosting.  At the end of the night the wife actually told me that my dress was very sexy! 
Today also marks another milestone- I had my first gym date today.  Our date was supposed to be on Monday, but that didn't work out.  So today we met for a 10:30 aqua aerobics class at her gym.  This means I wore a bathing suit in front of a tall, slim Greek woman- on purpose.  We wound up having a fantastic time and stayed at the gym until nearly 3:00.  Remember, this is Europe.  The nicer gyms have more of a spa element to them than do American gyms.  After our aqua class we stayed for a swim.  Then we gabbed in the pool and just kicked and kicked.  We spent a few minutes in the hot tub and then changed to go lift.  We did some lifting and then lounged in the sauna.  After the sauna we lounged on the lounges, and then we showered and went off to a late sushi lunch.  I am actually considering switching to this gym so I can have more gym dates.  One year ago I was undergoing surgery for being even more obese than ‘morbidly obese’, and today I worked out with a friend, changed in front of her and am considering taking out a membership at the more posh and trendy gym to allow for even more gym dates.  WOW!    
Where do I go from here?  I am not done losing weight.  I am still obese, and I know I can continue to work towards my goal.  I’d like to hit Onederland by the end of January and know that this will be a bit of a challenge.  I am committed to making it happen though and just have to make sure that the 30+ meals I am scheduled to eat in restaurants this month don’t mess with my plan too much.  At least I am now aware of how badly dining out can derail my plans and can make better choices when I am not cooking at home. 
I have learned that the band works differently for different people.  We were all fat for different reasons, and we will all lose weight differently.  I was always a quantity person- I ate large quantities of good food.  I could get down 12+ ounces of salmon without blinking or eat a large filet mignon.  A typical sushi/sashimi dinner was never enough to make me happy.  I always ate the 'right' foods; I just couldn't get full without eating much more than I should have been eating.  Being banded was a major life change, but I didn’t require that much reprogramming when it came to WHAT to eat.  Maybe that is why weight loss has been pretty consistent.  I am rarely tempted by milkshakes or fast food.  I don’t bother with pizza, and I am unlikely to binge on cake or other sweets.  From what I read on the blogs, it looks like those of us who only have an issue with quantity might have a slightly easier time getting onboard with the band than bandsters who have to completely relearn not only HOW MUCH to eat but also WHAT to eat.  That is a lot of retraining, and I assume it is yet another hurdle to overcome.  My year hasn't been easy- I have literally worked my a$$ off to lose this much weight, but at least I am not usually tempted by high fat, high carb options.
I really enjoy this blogging community and am so thankful for the support and guidance I receive from many of you.  Thank you allJ
And now, I will leave you with my December gym picture.  It is really blurry, but I tried.                           

17 comments:

Cat said...

What a fantastic story!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us thus far.
Your progress pics are AMAZING!! Look how far you've come! Love it.

vickyd said...

Happy Bandiversary! You have come so far over the past year and you look fabulous! I think your goal of being in Onederland by the end of January is very achievable!

Rachel said...

You are amazing and such a fantastic source of inspiration. Congrats hunny on a fabulous year of changes! xxx

trisha said...

you look great- and so much more at peace with yourself!

MandaPanda said...

Happy Bandiversary! You've come such a long way and I know you'll be successful in your future goals (whatever they may be) as well!

Vanessa said...

Happy Bandiversary!!! Thanks for sharing your story! You have such great NSVs ~ love that you had a gym date. Keep up the good work! You look great!

greenie said...

Nora, happy bandiversary! Thanks so much for documenting this. It means so much to me to read this as I approach my surgery date. My husband feels the same way Kenny did. As a matter of fact, that fight was.the final straw that broke our marriage. Also, like you, I eat the right foods most of the time, I just eat way too much, so I'm hopeful I will be successful with the band. Reading some blogs scares the bejesus out of me, but also helps to set my expectations.

You're very inspirational. Thanks and keep up the good work.

greenie said...

Nora, happy bandiversary! Thanks so much for documenting this. It means so much to me to read this as I approach my surgery date. My husband feels the same way Kenny did. As a matter of fact, that fight was.the final straw that broke our marriage. Also, like you, I eat the right foods most of the time, I just eat way too much, so I'm hopeful I will be successful with the band. Reading some blogs scares the bejesus out of me, but also helps to set my expectations.

You're very inspirational. Thanks and keep up the good work.

banded bella said...

WOW Nora...what an inspiration you have been to me. Thank you so much for sharing. The cocktail party story was the best and the ending even better. Pictures truly say a thousand words......

Liz said...

Happy Bandiversary! The pictures are amazing, you look sooo good! Please please please let me know the next time you are in town so we can meet up for lunch!

tz said...

I totally get the corporate wife thing, there's nothing like going to those functions and feeling like you don't 'belong' with your hubby. And my husband's job isn't even one where image counts (he's an engineer :D). Loved reading your blog!

Beth said...

Happy Bandiversary! You've had an incredible, life changing year! I'm very impressed with all you've accomplished. You are definitely an inspiration!

Amanda said...

you and I have such a similar story! I do feel like a bmi of 27 is totally possible but I am not striving towards it. I am striving to be healthy enough to have a baby! We've come along way baby! My bandiversary is Wed!

Sam said...

What an amazing year ou have had. Congrats on great year :o)

Andrea said...

Love this post! It's amazing how much your life can change in a year! Keep up the good work!

wtfovaries said...

Happy Bandiversary!!! I'm glad you are doing so well, even with all the temptations of yummy food from all over the world!

Cece said...

Happy Bandiversary and I love all of your NSVs too ! I'm getting caught up and with all of your pics, I keep flashing back to your old blog photo ... you look like the younger sister (much younger sister) of your old pic - how awesome it that?