Four Years Post-Op: An Update

Hey everyone! About a week ago, I realized that I passed my four year anniversary of having surgery. It’s a bit crazy to think I started this process 4 1/2 years ago… so much can change in what feels like so little time.

As an update, things are going ok. In a previous post, I mentioned that my husband and I had split. The divorce was final in January and I have been adjusting to living alone and being single ever since June 2016. This last year has been a strange combination of the highest-highs and the lowest-lows. The good news is we remain friends and have a great relationship. It can be difficult not to have the companionship of my best friend anymore, but I hope (in the long run) both of us will be much happier and better off.

Some of the positives include the continued travel for work. I actually had the opportunity, to go to Paris last month. I took a few extra days off and toured the city with my sister and had an amazing time. Whenever I take amazing trips or do new things like this, I never forget how fortunate I am that it seems as though I have no limits to what I can do (after losing the weight). Four and a half years ago, I was limited by everything which is not something I have forgotten.

With the travel, increased socializing, and “living” I have been doing, comes the ever present battle to keep the weight off. After traveling to Paris and then back-to-back-to-back work-related travel, I find myself at the absolute TOP of my maintained weight range at 200 lbs. That isn’t acceptable. I had been maintaining in the 190-195 range for awhile. Time to get serious. I have re-dedicated myself to getting to the ultimate goal of 170 and won’t stop until I get there. Maybe that takes me a year. Maybe it takes me two years. I don’t care. I will never stop trying to keep the weight off and reach a state of optimal health.

A couple of people have sent me messages recently asking me for tips and advice. The best I can do is share with you some of the tips below with the caveat that I certainly don’t have all of “this” figured out. And, I would caution you against people who think they do. This is a continuous process of learning and adjusting. The moment you think you have it all figured out is the moment you get complacent, IMO.

  • If you’re early out from surgery, maximize your “honeymoon” phase. Don’t test how much you can eat. Don’t have “a little bit” here and there of things you shouldn’t. Yes, you can lose weight at any time; however, the honeymoon phase is the time when your restriction is the highest, motivation is the most intense, and hunger is minimal or non-existent. TAKE ADVANTAGE.
  • Unless you are in maintenance and have years of proven ability to guess-timate how much you eat/drink you should weight, measure, and track every. single. thing. you eat or drink. You need to be honest with yourself and be meticulous. It is so incredibly easy to take in more calories than you should when you don’t track everything honestly.
  • Therapy, therapy, therapy. I would not be where I am today without it. Also, I would not have made it through this past year without falling back into emotional eating habits if I had not addressed my issues in therapy. In fact, my therapist closed her practice over a year and a half ago (around the time I started my current job) and I stopped. I’m thinking of getting back into it.

So, that was a long update. Below are a few pictures from my Paris trip. I’m thinking about taking some new photos of my plastic surgery scars, in the event that anyone is curious what they look like 2 1/2 years (LBL, Breast Lift, Arm Lift) and 2 years (Thigh Lift) out. I’ll make a separate post on the blog in a few days (maybe!)

 

 

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The Verdict Is In! I’m Flirty at 30!!

So, obviously when I started this blog and the process for having weight loss surgery, I had a time-related goal of getting to a place where I was mentally and physically healthy by the time I was 30 years old. I was 27 at the time, and to be honest…. 30 seemed so far away! I chose the name of the blog “Flirty by Thirty” because the concept of being “flirty” was more than just looking better. It was about having a certain level of confidence (in how I look and feel) as well as a mindset (for the first time in my life) where I was happy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror and didn’t feel constant unhappiness with my health.

Well, yesterday was my 30th birthday and I’m going to officially declare myself “Flirty at Thirty” and say that I have achieved what I didn’t think was actually possible when I started my blog. When I started, I was 444 lbs with a BMI of 63, and was absolutely miserable. Anyone that has reached that level of unhealthiness knows the constant misery having so much excess weight causes. To think that I couldn’t even stand long enough to wash the dishes (and had to sit down in a chair), is hard to even wrap my head around now.

There have been so many things I have been able to cross off my “30 by 30” list along the way. Some of my favorites include conquering the dreaded hill at work, flying in an airplane without an extender or second seat, buying flirty lingerie, zip lining, and wearing lots and lots of high heels! 🙂 I haven’t accomplished everything I want to, but that’s OK because hopefully I now have a long lifetime ahead of me to do everything I set out to do.

There are a lot of things that I think helped me along the way to achieve my goals. This list isn’t all inclusive, but if I had to summarize, it would be this:

  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be honest, accountable, and responsible. This means weighing/measuring/tracking food honestly. Don’t kid yourself by thinking you can have this surgery and continue to have the same eating behaviors as before surgery but “just less of it” – you will be surprised how easy it is to consume more food than you need beyond a year out from surgery. If you are not losing weight or have regained…. it is because you are eating too much. Period.
  • JUST AS IMPORTANT: Get therapy to work through your food issues. Let’s face it, the vast majority of people who are heavy enough to qualify for weight loss surgery have emotional issues with food. Some people are successful on working through these issues on their own, but many are not. Figure out your issues, face them, deal with them, and then move on with your life!
  • IMPORTANT IMHO: For me, staying as strict as humanly possible, for as long as humanly possible with the types of food I was eating in the supervised diet and for about 7 months after surgery (about 13-14 months overall) really helped me get as much weight off as possible as quickly as possible. Once I started letting certain foods back into my life, losing more weight has become a struggle.  I am STILL a firm believer in not attempting to practice “moderation” until you have worked through emotional food issues first. For me, it wouldn’t have been possible to practice moderation from the beginning and come anywhere close to my weight related goals. Now, I’m good to go… but I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I hadn’t kept it very strict for a very long time.
  • Find a support system of people that can know where you’re coming from – whether that is family, friends, online support groups, or the support groups at your surgeon’s office.
  • Be assertive. Don’t let others pressure you into eating things you don’t want to eat, stop losing weight before you hit your goal, or talk you out of having surgery altogether.

Ok, well this has turned into a long post! I just want to thank everyone for their continued support. From here, the goal is to maintain the “Flirty at Thirty” mindset and work in improving my fitness and body once I’m healed from my second round of plastics. Who knows where the direction of this blog will head now? But, I will continue to check-in and be more than happy to post plastic surgery progress photos and answer questions, if you’re all interested! 🙂

Picture from yesterday! 🙂

30thBirthday

“This Time Feels Different”

I had another appointment with my therapist today. Therapy is NOT something that is required by my insurance company or by my weight management doctor in order to be approved for weight loss surgery (the vertical sleeve gastrectomy); however, I felt as though I was taking great strides towards making myself physically healthy and I think that mental health is just as important. I started to see the therapist in order to work through things that have been plaguing me for years – some of which trigger me towards eating. Continue reading

I’ve Got the Blues, I’m in a Funk…. and I Thought Pics Would Help?!

Hey everyone! It’s been about two weeks since I’ve posted an update and I guess it’s because there hasn’t been too much to talk about! I haven’t had any weigh-ins, doctor appointments, or milestones reached… so there wasn’t much new to report. I will say that I’ve noticed since probably about Friday or Saturday of last week that I’ve found myself to be in a bit of a “funk” or having a bit of the “blues” and I think there are a couple of factors causing these feelings. Continue reading

From the Shrink’s Mouth to My Ears: Assertive Communication & CBT

About two weeks, I met with a shrink for the first time ever. I had wanted to see someone for years, but never had the courage. I felt through this weight loss journey that I would be most successful if I talked to a professional about ALL of my issues, food related or not. While the first visit was an assessment, we actually started talking about strategies to change my ways today. During this appointment, the therapist brought up Assertive Communication and Cognitive Behavior Therapy… Continue reading

1st Support Group Meeting & Therapy Appointment

Yesterday and today, I had my first support group meeting and therapy appointments. While the attendance at two support group meetings is required as part of my program, the therapy session is something that I sought out in order to improve my mental health along with the physical changes that I have been making. My thoughts on these two events? Good and bad! I’ve started to wonder if I’m too hard on people… here are my thoughts… Continue reading