Hey everyone! Today I am sharing Felicia's story about losing over 150 lbs following gastric bypass surgery and then finding out that surgery is not enough. As regular readers know, Felicia has now been eating raw for about a month and has lost additional weight. The pictures above are her in 2004 before gastric bypass, and then 2005. In Part I she talks about her life before her decision to go raw.
Hello raw world, to those of you who know of me through honorable mentions on the raw odyssey website and for those of you who are new visitors I am the much spoken of “chef” and girlfriend of Allison, I am also known as Felicia. I was asked by Allison to be a guest speaker on her page and though I feel I am no expert I am more than happy to share my experiences with all of you.
I am a gastric bypass patient. I had the RNY also known as the roux-en-y procedure on Oct. 14th, 2004. To date I have lost around 167 pounds, I started this journey at 365 pounds. To anyone contemplating having surgery I would say it was the best decision I ever made for myself but I would also warn that it isn’t the easiest lifestyle to maintain. I came into this world with a lot of baggage. First of all I don’t follow rules well, I love to eat, and I am a procrastinator. I hate to be in control and I don’t like to not have control. If you look closely you can see that I am a pretty messed up individual. In order to succeed at this new life, rules have to be adhered to. Don’t eat and drink at the same time, stay away from sugar, stop eating when you feel full, exercise often and consistently, take daily vitamins, and the list goes on. The problem is that I was never good at lists; making them or following them. Thus I have not followed a single rule consistently from day one. This is my confession to you, all of you.
I will give myself some credit for losing 167 pounds. I exercised some; I even forced myself to take a physical education class at the local college just to ensure I had a “reason” to work out daily. As if my declining health or surgical commitment was not a good enough reason. (Self esteem issue). When the class was over I had to find other ways to make myself go to the gym though it was usually sporadically.
I take my vitamins- when I remember. As a result I have low iron and low B12. I have killer night muscle spasms and I get dizzy a lot. I say this to say that maintenance is key, and whether you are maintaining the effects from surgery or maintaining a healthy weight or simply trying to maintain all the weight you have lost the skills required are EXACTLY THE SAME. If you don’t have the skill you won’t magically grow it once you have had the surgery. I can’t say it plainly enough that when I had surgery on my stomach it did not change the way that I think.
I know that most overweight people are experts on the subject of nutrition. We could write our own book. We know every diet, we know what to do and the problem is never losing the weight is it? It’s keeping it off. Maintenance! Ok, I’m getting a little preachy here so let me continue with my story. So I lost the weight and actually would like to lose another fifty pounds. I had been keeping old bad habits up to this point along my journey like eating junk, chips, cake, cookies. At one point I would eat more junk than actual food on any given day. I found myself snacking all day and at any time… way into the wee hours at night. I was absolutely disgusted with myself. I hated to wake up to my bloated stomach, I hated to go to sleep with my GAS(troentestinal) problems from all the foods/sugar I was eating. I was a mess. I had to deal with the reality that my life was never about losing this weight it was about taking control where I didn’t want to have it.
This is pivotal to my story because it wasn’t as if I didn’t already know this about myself. It wasn’t as if I didn’t already know that I had a food addiction or carb. Addiction or whatever you would like to call it. I knew it, I just didn’t care. Take that back; I cared but I just felt powerless. I really did, and I knew I was powerless about a week after I had gone to Costco and purchased a huge bag of famous amos cookies and a gigantic bag of Doritos then proceeded to finish them both off in less than two weeks. Now granted, before I had this surgery I would have finished those bags in two days, but look at me. I had a life altering surgery, risked both death and a life for my son with no mother… risked my mother a life with no child, risked my girlfriend a life with no partner and continued to risk my life with no life… no quality life, that is.
Maintenance; would this idea of maintenance follow me for the rest of my life? What does it mean, why do I HAVE to do it? If I wanted to lose the rest of the weight - or at the very least stay where I was- I would have to learn this idea of maintenance.
Find gastric bypass articles on Technorati
Find gastric bypass-related photos on Flickr