My Gastric Bypass: 6 Month Update

Breigh July 31, 2012 13

What the hell? Six months already?  Have I mentioned how I feel like I’m in a total time warp lately?

Eish…

Anyway, once again I am late with my photo update, but whatever, that’s just how I roll.  I actually did plan on having them done on time this month but then with losing Spencer and everything, ugh… I just didn’t feel like it.

I STILL don’t feel like it, if I’m totally honest.  A part of me really hates doing these monthly photos because I’m so critical of myself.  Also, seriously… it’s hard to take photos of your body specifically for people to look at it!  Unless you are a swimsuit model or something, which I most definitely am NOT.

First, for the other bits…

The Physical Bits

Physically things have been pretty good.  No major complications or issues to speak of….  The hair loss is still going but more slowly than before. I’ve always lost hair so I’m hoping that I’m back to my regular level of hair loss and that maybe some of what I lost after surgery will return. I guess I will know over the next few months.

I am becoming increasingly more aware of my legs.  The weight seems to be coming off everywhere else quicker and my legs still feel huge.  Not just that but because they were so big I’m starting to notice the skin.  My thighs are starting to look like two giant ball sacks.

People, it is not pretty.

Dammit, I have photos from when I was trying on swimsuits and I really want to share so you can all see the desperate state of my legs, but do I really want to do that?  I know I’m super open on this blog and I really want to be REAL and make sure that people get an honest view of what this weight loss surgery experience is really like.  Then again, I’d have the very same skin issue if I lost weight in any other way too, as it’s more about how big I let myself get and how far I stretched the skin out, than how quickly I lost the weight.

Screw it!  I’m going to do it… and here’s why.   When I was looking into surgery and even after the surgery, I searched HIGH AND LOW looking for photos that people posted of what their thighs looked like after losing weight.  I know there must be people out there who had also humungous legs prior to surgery, so where are their thigh photos?

oh right, nowhere because nobody wants to show them.  Nobody wants to feel that humiliation and vulnerable, and if I’m honest, neither do I… Can I really blame them?  The thing is, even more than that, I want to be honest and I want to somehow find the guts to show the things nobody else wants to, because I just know there are others out there like me who are curious.  Plus, I find it liberating, to some degree.  I’ve learned through this process that by being open about the things that bother me, taking a deep breath and just putting it out there, that I somehow take ownership of it and don’t let the insecurity win.

That’s it, I’m gonna do it…

WAIT, first… I need a disclaimer.  If I’d known I was posing for BLOG photos when these were taken I would have smiled or something.  They were only taken so I could send them to a friend to get an opinion on the swimsuit.  So, be gentle, ok?

WAIT, another disclaimer.  I know my legs are bumpy, full of rolls, saggy and pitiful, but I can explain away some of the bumps.  On the back of my right calf you can see it looks really wonky.  That is a messed up muscle from a skiing accident as a teenager. No idea what it will look like with more weight off but I’m guessing pretty darn bad.

Hrmm, this is not me not letting the insecurity win, it’s kicking my ass right now.

Shit, ok… here goes!

New Swimsuit

Hey, maybe I AM a swimsuit model… just not a good one. haha

If you are thinking “Ok, yeah they are big and bumpy but not quite as bad as you said”?  Trust me… you haven’t seen them in motion, wobbly doesn’t even begin to describe it.  I know they will continue to get worse as I lose my weight, but all I can hope is that as the get smaller that they will maybe look better in pants.  It really is just in a swimsuit that is an issue and well, this is swimsuit season, even if it doesn’t quite seem like it in the Netherlands at the moment!

Ya know, now that I actually uploaded the photo I’m sitting here asking myself why it bothers me so much.  I bought this swimsuit fully intending to wear it to the beach where people will see those thunder thighs live in action. If I can do that and don’t care, then why do I care about this?

I will have to ponder on that some more, but in the meantime…

TMI TIME!

Let me tell you about the day I pooped in my shower…

I got an absolutely terrible case of gas / constipation a while back, which was quite scary. I think it was because it was the first real pain I felt since the surgery and after a while it had me worried that something had ‘broken’.  I had rather sharp pains in my belly that went on through an entire weekend and we ended up at the huisartsenpost (after hours emergency doctor) at about 1am in the morning.  He ended up basically telling me “You’re full of shit” and that I had some sort of blockage.  I tried a number of things before I actually went to him and they didn’t work, so when he asked if I tried giving myself an enema, I just went… *BLINK*

Umm no, I can’t say that I have.

So he went on to explain about going in the shower, unscrewing the shower head, taking the hose and… Well, let’s just say I refused, until about noon the next day when I was desperate enough to try anything.

It was not my finest moment… but it worked.  Sweet, sweet relief. Can’t say I’m looking forward to ever doing it again though.

Let’s move on… I’m sure you’re dying to talk about THE FOOD after hearing about this, so let me tell you all about it.

The Food

I’ve slowly been trying to spread my wings a bit with the food.  Nothing too wild, but tiptoeing slowly out of my comfort zone, while still trying to keep things as healthy as possible.  I have been meeting up with friends for lunch, gone out with friends for Dim Sum and been BBQing with my husband.  It’s can be a challenge to find things to eat sometimes but I am getting better at it and am finding ways to do things I enjoy in new ways.

It feels nice when I can go out and order something and feel a bit more normal.  I make healthy choices and enjoy myself… and most importantly, I leave completely guilt free.  Not like the old days when I’d use any excuse to make a pig of myself, then go home and feel bad about it.

I’m still planning on discussing food in a bit more depth here on the blog. I’d like to start sharing recipes and food that I eat, I really will get on that soon, I promise!

The Exercise

It’s been a bit of a semi-fail here.  I say semi fail because it’s not entirely bad.  I’ve been trying to be more active in general. Getting out and going places, doing things, and moving more day to day.  I’ve not been going out exercising as much as I would like though. I think there are a number of reasons for that… one big one is the weather. I know a lot of people don’t let the weather get in the way because they tell me continuously, to the point of where I think I should start handing out medals, but I am just NOT one of those people.  I get zero enjoyment out of walking and biking in the rain.  I go into zombie mode after weeks on end with no decent amount of sunshine and my motivation slides.  I am solar powered and live in probably one of the worst countries in the world for that.

I am going to work on it though, I have an exercise bike here in the house and no real excuse to not be using it… so hopefully I will have a better report on that in next month’s update.

The Mental Bits

I am getting used to the stalls, amazingly.  I’m learning that it’s not as much stalls as just my body’s own rhythm. I can go two weeks with no loss at all, sometimes even three, but without fail there is one point in my cycle where I get a drop.  So now when I get on the scale and don’t see a change I don’t panic, I don’t get all worked up or get discouraged, I just ride it out.

Losing Spencer was incredibly difficult.  Like when I was talking in last month’s update about how hard it was on Mother’s Day, I had quite the same feelings when we lost Spencer.  It was a situation where I’d normally look to food to numb the pain and without it I got ANTSY.  I did not know what to do with myself, I didn’t know how to console myself and once again I had no choice but to FEEL AND DEAL… and that was hard, really hard.

It was a major eye opener and it showed me just how much of a drug food has always been for me.  I sobbed and cried and basically asked my husband what NORMAL people do to ease the pain and he had no real answer for me, just that they wait it out.

It was weird because all that time I didn’t even WANT food, I wasn’t hungry and just the thought of food turned me off… but I just had no real coping mechanisms of my own without food, so I didn’t know what to do with myself.  So in the end  I cried, I screamed, I sobbed, I fidgeted, I twitched and I cried some more… and ya know, eventually it did pass and now I am ok.

I don’t have an extra 5-10 lbs from emotional eating and I’ve hopefully gone through something that will make it a little easier the next time an emotional situation comes up.   I’m still hoping for some more constructive things to do to distract myself or help work through things but this will do for now, I suppose.

I find it difficult not to be too hard on myself and not to give into my negative body issues. Like with my legs, it doesn’t matter what positive changes are happening elsewhere, I am completely obsessed with the size of my legs, how they sag and shake and everything else. I spend a lot of time giving myself mental pep talks about why I should be kinder to myself, that I need to stop saying bad things about myself and my body and that after losing almost 115 lbs I really need to give myself more credit. I’m working on not letting myself be so insecure and on worrying far less about what other people think. Again, that takes a lot of little inner pep talks, but it IS working. Little by little I can feel myself changing in that regard but it will still take some time before I’m over a lot of the issues that got me where I am today. I’m very happy to be working on them though, rather than just letting them grow and get worse like I have been for years.

The Long and Short of it All

Things are going at a good, steady pace.  Others seem to think I’m losing weight very quickly but it doesn’t feel like that to me.  I know there are changes, I know I look different and I know in some ways I probably behave differently too.  I don’t feel like it’s going at lightning speed though… but, in all honesty, I think I’d feel that way no matter how quickly the weight was coming off.  I know I am doing a great job with the food, I could be a bit better with exercise but I’m more active overall and I’m working hard on changing a lot of old bad habits.  So things are happening in exactly they time they should be.

I am happy, I feel great physically and I’m really eager to see where I am this time next month!

The Weight Loss

As I said, it’s an ebb and flow with the weight loss.  The ‘stalls’ don’t really feel like stalls anymore and I’m not sweating the scale quite as much as I used to.  I’m happy to weigh less than my father now and am hot on the trail of my husband now.  That is my next big goal, to weigh less than him!

Ok, now it’s time for my 6 month photos and stats!

First, my way before photos.

Before Pic

My husband told me I wasn’t allowed to wear a baggy t-shirt for these photos anymore! haha Apparently he is of the opinion that the photos should show more of my shape, so this time I wore a fitted tank top and the smallest pair of jeans I have. It doesn’t get much more fitted than this! The jeans are a size 14 Calvin Klein’s that a friend donated to me in June. A FOURFREAKINTEEN!

The last time I wore a size 14, I WAS 14! Good grief.

Ok ok the photos…

WLS 6 Months Post-Op

WLS 6 Months Post-Op

WLS 6 Months Post-Op

Close ups!

Before Photo

I didn’t take a close up today so this one from Sunday will have to do!

WLS 6 Months Post-Op

Ok, well that’s it… six months has passed already and well, I’m already part of the way to my seventh month!  It’s crazy how quickly the time is passing.

I still believe 100% that this is the best decision I have ever made and I am so incredibly hopeful and excited about what the future has in store!

13 Comments »

  1. Kara July 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    You are so freakin adorable in the very last picture!

    And the thunder thighs…. well just accept them cause they are probably not going to get any better! Plus, mine look like shit and I am glad we are in this together. :)

    Awesome six months pictures, hot stuff!

  2. Tera July 31, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    i think it’s great u shared the pics u feared sharing. people like u truly do help others (but i know that from prior experience!). but even more, i am sure it empowered you in one way or another. not that u need empowering, cuz girl, u lookin’ good!!!

  3. S t a c i August 1, 2012 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Amazing and brave, Tammy. Honestly – you should be so proud of yourself. I would never, ever in a million years have the confidence to post a swimsuit photo of myself. I’m sure you’re helping countless people who are contemplating following in your footsteps.

    Besides that, you look and sound great! I’m so glad Xander is there to be your best friend and offer advice when things get confusing.

    Energy and vitality, baby.

  4. Suzy August 1, 2012 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Hey Hot Stuff!! Congratulations on you weight-loss so far! ~huggs~

  5. Monica August 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    All I can say is FANTASTIC! Congratulations on all that big effort and great work!

  6. Jules August 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Wow! In the last picture you look truly happy. I’m so glad that the experience has been a largely positive one for you.

    I must confess I cracked up when I read about the enema. I didn’t want to, because I’m sure it must have been a rather disconcerting experience, but the way you write it makes it sound like something from an Austen Burroughs autobiography.

  7. Pam August 3, 2012 at 1:16 am - Reply

    Looking great!!

  8. Renée (@pinkypie) August 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    dude. the enema thing…!!!!

    and are you wearing the jeans I gave you in the last photos??? awesome!

    I’m just amazed and in awe and REALLY PLEASED at your progress. well done mate!!!

    • Breigh August 7, 2012 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Yeah they are your jeans!! :)

  9. Lisa August 6, 2012 at 11:06 am - Reply

    I just wanted to say a big WELL DONE on everything you have achieved. I have been admiring your achievements from afar and it has inspired me to try and do something about my weight as well. I started a month ago at 146.5kg and have so far managed to lose 10.4kg. You are so open and honest about everything you have been through that you have given, at least one person, the inspiration to try and do the same…thank you.

    • Breigh August 7, 2012 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Thanks so much for your message and for coming out of hiding, Lisa! Great job on the 10 kilos, that must make you feel amazing! Please keep me up to date on how it goes with you! If you ever want to chat or need someone to talk to I’m around! :) Just drop me a comment and I have your email address! Keep up the good work :)

      • Lisa August 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

        I don’t know why but I really don’t ‘feel’ any different yet. My tight trousers are loser and my lose trousers, fall down so I know that I’m getting smaller but I just don’t feel any smaller. The good thing about it all is that I’m not feeling downhearted so I plan to just plod along a pound at a time and see where it gets me.

  10. Ashley August 9, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I’m also a Canadian here in the wet and rainy lowlands, and damn, it can get depressing. I have had an exercise bike when I was living back in Toronto, though, and it can definitely work if you are able to distract yourself enough. I personally listen to audio books (from theaudiobookbay.com) or (if exercising at home) catch up on tv shows. Doctor Who is especially good for that if you make a rule that you can’t stop biking until the show is over.

    When biking in the rain, audio books, rain pants, a poncho and a rain hat are the only way I’ll get close to enjoying myself.

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