I started this blog for many reasons. Mainly because I have an Instagram dedicated to showing my story through pictures and I wanted to get a little more real, and personal with my fellow WLS (weight loss surgery) family, friends and anyone who wants to know. I wanted to be able to ask questions, tell it like it is, and really get down and dirty on what all this really means to me in more then a picture. So with out further a do. Here is my story, and at the end maybe enough reason for you to follow along with my journey.
First and foremost I am a wife, and mother. Some people get all offended when called “just a mother” but at the end of the day, that title is the biggest in my house. I am a jack of all trades and a master of none. I can change my own tire and make a hair bow, take out my own trash, fish for salmon, and Pinterest any day of the week. I have a college education and I use proper words like, “that is my sweet heart” not my bae. Or rather that is tots lame. Honestly folks, that is just lazy. I know the difference between; That cat went over there. Is that cat theirs? oh no? It’s yours? Well You’re so lucky I found him. See what I did there??? I also know what the squiggly red line under a word means, and last, most times where to put a comma. (Though I want to save you some time. Should I forget a period, or a comma or misspell a word. Don’t bully me about it. The world will not end and you are not the Spelling and grammar police, so just keep on reading and let it go) I can play the violin. Clean really well. Fold a wicked basket of laundry. I can do medical billing and coding at any hospital or doctors office. Though the last thing I do before I go to bed is kiss all four of my amazing kids, and tell them I love them. I am a mother. It is the only job I have never quit. It isn’t easy, and has sucked at times. Though I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
My kids, man how did I get so lucky? They are close together in age meaning from 2004 to 2009 at some point I was pregnant every year. Sounds awful right? IT WAS! I hated being pregnant. Though I loved giving birth and seeing my sweet baby. Very biased, but true opinion here, but my babies were and are so so cute. I used to fear they would be ugly. I did this huge sigh of relief when each came out, cute little slippery bundles of squishy skin and I loved them.
I didn’t gain more weight then I was supposed to with any of them. I was a bigger girl all my life, but not fat, or obese. You could see the skinny girl. I am not going to sugar coat anything here. Just so everyone knows. I am going to call it all like it is. I had “it” fat where I needed it to be. After my fourth baby, my doctor told me I had cervical cancer. I was not married to my children’s father, but never figured he was going anywhere. We were in this for the long haul. I mean lets be real, we had a bunch of kids together, where was he going to go? At the time, I had given up on fairy tale love. I thought love for me meant physical and emotional abuse. I had accepted that this was my life and I wasn’t going to get another shot. While hearing you have any form of cancer is scary. This cancer saved my life. In more ways then one.
Finding out I had cervical cancer meant a lot of doctor visits. Life was all about me. For now we will change his name to Mark. Mark didn’t like that I was leaving the house a lot. That I was not spending a lot of time with him. My illness and stress caused me to lose a lot of weight. I had dropped down to about 140-150 from around 190. Mark started to cheat on me and well, something in me snapped. Before I was due for surgery, that was going to save my life, I stood up for my kids and myself and kicked Mark out. I have only seen him one time in the last 6 years. I did the single mom thing for a long time after that.I did have my uterus removed. I still had my ovaries and life was great. Not having to deal with Mark anymore, loving the way cancer made me look. I started to take care of myself. I loved myself for the first time. I saw the skinny girl who had been trapped inside. I liked her so much. She was so much happier. Okay sorry about the creepy third person talk.
Now I am not the type of person who likes to be alone. I admit now that I have to have a roommate or a boyfriend or something. So just being a mom, and working. Ate away at me a bit. No social life. No having coffee with friends. No adult interaction. So when I was forced to go out, I took it. Who knew that night I was saying hi to my future husband. It is rare to meet a man who is okay that I had four kids. Who was okay that I was a little older. Not by much but still. Who knew that women had value and how to make them feel amazing. Fate would test our bond months later when I was told I needed my ovaries removed too. I woke up from surgery with him by my side. The nurse shooting me in the bum with a hormones.
With in weeks I started to notice I was putting on some weight. My size 8/10 jeans didn’t fit well anymore. I chalked it up to be in a comfy relationship. I wasn’t letting myself go. I wasn’t eating any different. I wasn’t being a bum and laying all day on the couch. I had four kids. We did stuff. We went places. The weight never stopped coming. By the end of that first year I gained back all I had lost. I was above 200 pounds. Sadly, I didn’t push for answers because like I sad, I chalked it up to getting comfortable in my relationship. I did a little research and found that many women after a total hysterectomy gain weight. The lack of proper hormones cause weight gain. Okay. There was my answer. So I was going to be a “bigger” girl. I was going to hide my skinny one away for a bit. In 2013 I made a HUGE lifestyle change. I was working out several hours a day, eating so healthy, Thrive shakes, lots and lots of water. I lost maybe 20 pounds in 7 months. It was hard, and even harder to keep it from creeping back.
Let me veer off for a moment. In July of 2014 I fell in a hole while jogging. That fall would later result in a cable being put in my ankle to pull two of my bones together to prevent more tearing of the muscle and ligaments. Months later that ankle would cause me to fall down the stairs, breaking my other ankle. My ankle would be forever broken and never heal. After a lot of physical therapy. I got back on the exercise band wagon and thought I was okay. I have always been a large breasted woman so I even went and got a breast reduction to make this easier on me.
Okay, back on track. in 2015 I gained out of the blue 40 more pounds. I felt lost. There was no reason for the gain. I couldn’t figure out who I was anymore. I was fat, and getting fatter. I felt gross, lazy, tired, sore, depressed, sad, and fatigued. I ventured into weight loss surgery ideas after talking to a friend. After every diet, fad, weight loss regime had failed me. I got a referral from my doctor who felt it was a good idea too. Upon meeting the surgeon, he had a lot of requirements before surgery could happen. I was up for the challenge. First thing I had to have my labs drawn. Two days later he calls me himself, and said I need to see my primary doctor right away and get on medication. I have severe hypothyroidism. I had never even heard of that. Now doing the research on it. It fits my life. My intense weight gain, migraines, moody behavior. feeling tired all the time. I was depressed and couldn’t tell you why. The list goes on and on. After adjusting the dose a bit, we finally have me on the right stuff. I went to all the appointments he required for the surgery. I am 5’2 and almost 250 pounds. I can’t walk up our stairs with out wheezing when I breath. I can’t chase my kids around. I cannot hike for long with them. I am on the verge of diabetes, and many other weight related medical issues.
So here I am, a year later. A year after my journey began to have surgery. I finally have a date February 19th 2016. I have had my own family members try and talk me out of this. I have already lost friends before it has even started. I have made many new friends as well. People who have walked this path already. I also got messages from many people saying they had surgery too. I never even knew. I am not one to be super secret. I am a huge open book. Sometimes that gets me in trouble. So not knowing that some people I loved had went through this made me sad, that I didn’t know. Though it is encouraging to have their support. I have told everyone. Honestly, I don’t want people in my life who are going to be Debby downers. Who are going to hate me when the weight comes off. Who, when and if I get sick are going to say “I told you so”. Who needs that crap? I want people who are going to cheer me on, compliment my progress photos and tell me I am doing amazing.
Look, here is the reality. I will drop weight. I mean isn’t that the point? Though it won’t be easy. I will be eating different from that day on. Only mere ounces at a time. Forget anything else, because now it is all about protein, and my water intake and getting my vitamins in every day. Then getting in exercise everyday. I may have dumping. I am not going to go into what that is. If you don’t know. Google gastric bypass and dumping. I may never be able to have things that I once loved. I have prayed to God many times though that I can have small doses of chocolate from time to time. I don’t have a relationship with food. I have one with shopping. Still not good but shopping didn’t make me gain weight. Though it will still be hard for me to not ever have things I once had. No soda that is a big one. No drinking from straws. I mean, REALLY? That is going to be hard for me. Some still are able to do it, but in this adventure I am going to be a huge rule follower. I fear that I will be one of the few that can’t. I don’t want to find out. For the first few days, clear liquids. Then soft foods. Protein drinks and vitamins. Then I have to get up, and walk, walk, walk…. So no, they don’t go in, do some funky stuff to my stomach and magically I am skinny. I still have to go in and fight for it. Every day. This surgery is just a huge stepping stone for me. When all is said and done, I will be trading one thing for another, I may very well have lots of extra skin. The trapped **skinny girl will, still not be free. Though you may get glimpses of her from time to time. I will at some point have a tummy tuck to remove the excess skin around my mid section.
**Now let me say here and now. To me being skinny is used loosely. Skinny in my mind means healthy, not sickly, and fit, not morbidly obese like I am now.
When the physiologist asked me why I wanted this surgery. I didn’t think twice, stutter or need a moment to ponder why. I knew I wanted to be an active part of my children’s life. Without the surgery. I am useless. I am getting heavier, and slowly killing myself. I need them so much more than they need me. Yes I want to walk, run, hike with them, but I want to be around long enough do that with their kids too. ~J
Thank you for reading my first blog post. I plan on using this site to tell it like it is, and document my journey. I look forward to hearing from you via the comment section. Have a great week. -J
**Any disrespectful comments will be deleted.