So I am ashamed to admit that I often forget that I have a blog until someone mentions it. In this case it is someone who I do not even know but who posted the kindest comment on another post! It is things like that that make me a) feel incredibly special and b) incredibly inspired to keep posting and chronicle my journey. Like the title says: I'm a lifer when it comes to the sleeve. Forever changed and forever learning to live with it.
I recently attended a support group for my surgeon's office. Why I did not regularly attend for the past 2 years I do not know.... but the opportunity presented itself to me and the topic was plastic surgery so it was destiny! I definitely want to get plastic surgery at some point....but that is not the purpose of this post.
You see, while there my surgeon had two very interesting points that I took note of. The first being that his goal is not to make your life miserable because you cannot eat anything. A year or two out, we SHOULD be able to eat more "normally". The sleeve is simply a tool to control portions and HOPEFULLY a chance for us to learn healthy eating habits. He asked me if anyone I met could tell that I had had weight loss surgery. The answer is a resounding NO! Any time I meet a new person in any setting, whether it involve a meal or not, they are generally shocked when I tell them that I used to weigh 245lbs. Yes, I eat much less now, but I am still able to taste pretty much anything. And of course there are times when I still get mad at my sleeve for not allowing me to consume as much as I want of something!!! But I am then quickly reminded that that is WHY I got it. Two years and a couple months into this process, I will be the first to admit that it is hard to resist a tasty meal.
The second thing my surgeon said is that about 10lbs of weight gain is completely normal... and here is why: He likened getting the sleeve surgery to driving a car. When you first learn to drive you are incredibly cautious; two hands on the wheel, eyes straight ahead, no background noise... just completely focused on the task at hand. A few years pass and all of the sudden you have the music blasting, talking on the phone, reaching back for your kids..... you are now confident on how to operate the vehicle so you start taking chances. For the most part, you are accident free. But it is possible for you to get in an accident. And that is how we are with our sleeves.
Right after surgery we are super careful about every little thing that goes in our mouths. Vitamin intake is charted, protein charted, water charted, calories counted impeccably..... we are in safety mode because we know that there is so much to lose. Come goal time we are learning to cruise.... working out, eating healthy, making good choices....but certainly not as vigilant as when we started. A few years down the road we are "treating" ourselves every now and again.... aware of the rules of the "road" (sleeve) but fully aware that there are not always police officers handing out bad eating tickets! And so.... we gain weight.
BUT with that said: If we can gain about ten pounds but learn to live in a healthy lifestyle that works for us and keep that weight constant (not 10 + 10 + 10+ 10....) then we are doing well.
And although lately I have been very down on myself for being lazy and making bad choices I have to say that if you had shown me a picture of myself right this moment, love handles and all, I would have asked how much money I had to pay to look like this. I may have gained about 15lbs, but by golly I am still a size 6 and a size small. I would have looked at me and been rolling my eyes at myself about complaining about my weight. But the truth of the matter is that once you have a weight issue there is never satisfaction in how "small" you are. At least not for me. Even at my fittest, leanest, lowest weight I was wondering "I wonder if I can get into a size 2??". A size 2?! Was I freaking crazy?!!!! I mean, yes, technically I am sure that had I put more work into it, yes, I could have. But what percentage of the population is a size 2???? I don't call these unattainable goals, I call them unnecessary ones.
So when I say I am a lifer, I am still learning every day how to handle my own desires, my own struggles and my love of food. I do... I still love food. And that is a very scary thing. BUT, I have come so far and am so incredibly thankful for the head start that I have on being healthy. I really could not be more blessed in all aspects of my life.... which actually just gave me the idea for my next blog post.... I am on a ROLL today! :)