So this it absolutely off topic for me… I like to stick to what I know.. Video games, technology, gadgets.. Even politics and world issues (which I don’t think I’d ever actually write about, but in person I do enjoy a lively debate).
It’s funny that I begin writing this on Easter Sunday, hours before going to eat a large dinner at my relatives home across town. The last few days, which have been plentiful in food, have made me wonder about the last few years.
The topic should have been a dead give away – I struggle(d) with weight for many, many, many years (well, not that many – I’m only 32). This is, in fact, the first (and likely last) time I am writing about this. Perhaps, in the hopes, that there are those out there looking for inspiration, ideas, or to know that they are not alone in their struggles.
I don’t drink, or smoke, or do drugs. My only vice in life has been food. And I sure did indulge in that. And it got out of hand, I will fully admit. I’ve heard the say ‘You eat to live, not live to eat’. Empty words, maybe. At least, they were.
I’m almost 6’2″. So I’m tall. I was chunky growing up, but not hugely overweight. I would walk and bike for hours and hours every week while I was in school (well, when there wasn’t three feet of snow on the ground, of course). During high school, I worked a lot. And I mean, a lot. I would leave school at 3:30, be at my job for 4pm, and many nights not end work until 11 or midnight. Rinse, and repeat. That continued after graduation while I was also in University. I worked, like so many did, in the restaurant industry. So, again, food!!!
I was studying to be a teacher – and it wasn’t for me. I left, and went back to give it another go. No such luck.
Change jobs, went back to school and studied (and graduated) Business. Enjoyed it.
Fast forward to a few years ago – I hit nearly 400 pounds. How the hell did this happen? Well, I became complacent and accepted this as the ‘status quo’. That was, of course, a mistake. But what could we do, right?
I tried the gym. Working out. Watching watch I ate. Nothing seemed to work. I struggled with sleep apnea (which, looking back, I likely had in high school before I put the weight on, but the more I think about it, it likely made things 100 times harder). I’ve been treating the sleep apnea for the last 5 years, and it helps. And, actually, it helped a lot. I noticed as soon as I started treating it, the weight GAIN stopped. Bam. Like that. But, I couldn’t get it to go in the other direction.
Now, I sought out the one thing that I thought I would never, ever do. Weight loss surgery.
This is the part where many people will judge me. At least, on the internet. In actuality, no one I know (family, friends, or work) has ever said anything negative (though after the dramatic weight loss someone at work did ask me if I had cancer.. haha).
I put myself on the wait list, and got called back nearly immediately (the normal wait time to just see the weight loss clinic is 2 years, so I jumped the line somehow). This was mid-2015. I went through the program, seeing nurses, dietitians, a psychologist (so yup, I’m not crazy). Went to classes, worked out, adjusted my diet. There was about 8 months from when I was accepted to when I saw the clinic the final time to get approval for surgery.
Surgery was February 2016.
I was 379 pounds when I started this ‘Weight Loss Journey’, as some who go through the program call it.
The day of surgery, I was 335.
Fast forward to today… I’m at 239. Not bad, right?
There is a large misconception by people, in part because of the lack of knowledge of the program and some of it is just plain ignorance, that weight loss surgery fixes all programs. It most certainly does not.
The surgeons and clinic equate the surgery to ‘pushing the reset button’. Yes, you will lose weight. But you won’t keep it off if you do not dramatically alter your lifestyle. No, this isn’t the lap band either. This is a procedure called Roux-en-Y (RNY), where they cut the stomach, reattach the intestines, etc.. (similar to the Vertical Sleeve, except the large portion of stomach is not removed – it floats there, attached to another piece of intestine – Google it!).
I’ve likely hit my ‘plateau’ a year and a bit out. But, I have to set realistic goals. Being 6’2″, I’m never going to be 180 pounds. I go to the gym, watch what I eat (I can eat normal things for the most part – but it’s all about moderation) – I can enjoy the things everyone else does and not have to worry about if people are looking at me, or if I’m too tired, or too sweaty.
People don’t talk about weight loss because there is a stigma around it. There are those who would rather make fun of people with weight problems, then do something about it. Just because something is struggling with weight doesn’t make them lazy. They are a person like you or I. We all bleed red. We all come from the same place. It’s easier to throw stones though. I’ve been on the receiving end of it for many years (I once had someone drive down the street and yell ‘Hey Fatty’ at me as they drove by).
In the end, its a matter of comfort. Are you comfortable with who you are? If so, great. Don’t change a damn thing. But if you’re not, go ahead and do what you need to do to change it and screw what everyone else may think. For that, at the end of the day, is all that matters – being happy and comfortable, and doing what you know (or feel) is right to better yourself.
So I have come back to this two days after writing it… And I sit here staring at the screen. Post. Don’t post.
Post. Don’t post.
I’m posting it. I don’t expect any responses. Just putting some random thoughts out there. If it helps even someone, then it was worth it.
SIDE NOTE: Mario Kart comes out soon for the Nintendo Switch. Expect a review on that!