Monday, July 08, 2013

Gastric Sleeve: One Month

I am now one month out from surgery.This week produced a four pound weight loss.  I have lost 25 lbs. 55 for the year. I have to say, I am a little disappointed in my progress, especially after I lost so much the first week and a half. Having said that, if I could lose four pounds a week for the next six months, I would be pretty happy with what I am doing.

In the last month, there have been a lot of nice things about the surgery. Our food bill is much smaller. I am not feeling as though I am starving, though technically I have a very low calorie count. People say that they notice a change in my appearance, especially in my face and in the way that my clothes fit. My wife seems somewhat happy that we are on this gastric sleeve journey together.

One part of this journey that is interesting about this journey so far for our family is that we rarely use the "big plates" anymore. We use the saucer plates for our meals, because that is about all we can eat. Makes for a little more room in the dishwasher. Especially since Jen and I now eat less than either of our toddlers.

In case you have not noticed, I still struggle with this whole process quite a bit. Although I get plenty of protein through dairy and shakes, I feel a strong longing for meat and protein. I miss eating. I enjoyed the Weight Watchers process much more, which was equally as successful for me, if not more successful at this point. Without getting to eat things like Italian food, Mexican food, and beef, I feel like the joy of a good meal has been taken away from me, and I wonder if I will ever get it back.

Here is another thing. When I was not on dietary restrictions, I rarely thought about food. Now, it is a topic that is always at the back of my mind. And, to honest, meal time makes me anxious. I am supposed to eat something, there is a lot of things I can't eat. There are a few things I can. When I try and test things out, I feel guilty and worried I will gain weight. When I grab another Greek yogurt, I am bored to tears as I eat.

I have been told often that I need to exercise more. I have not gotten in the swing of things. This is a very strange challenge for me for the last 2 years or so. Before that, my plan for weight loss would be to get a gym membership, lift a few weights, and hit the cardio equipment with passion. This plan worked. However, this plan worked in the pre-parenting phase of my life. Now it is get up, help get folks moving in the morning, get cleaned up, go to work, come home, get kids settled with dinner, bath and bed, try and have some semblance of an adult conversation with my wife, and then space out in front of the television for a few minutes after she goes to bed to wind down.

My health coach person told me to set aside 15 minutes here and there for walking, but to be honest, that feels like cheating the job. Especially lately, when the job has put me in a position where I am out of the office a lot. I think what I am going to have to do is schedule walks with people as part of my pastoral care with them.

Jennifer and I went out while Grammie was here and the kids were napping and looked at possible groups to join for exercise. We checked out Evans Plunge now that the city owns it, and we went to the golf course. The golf course has such large spacing between holes that they recommend that people use carts to avoid slow play (3 to 4 minute cart rides between green to tee on the back nine). This defeats the purpose of exercising through golf, and having to use golf carts makes it cost prohibitive anyway. The Plunge was a good deal, but a lot of the equipment needs upgrading. The othe gym is nice, but more expensive. No perfect plan for this kind of exercising initiative, but at least there are options, which is great for this small of a town.

So, my journey after one month is back and forth, incomplete, a struggle with some successes, with a realization that I have a lot of work to do and a long way to go. My goal I stated to my health management agency is 100 lbs post-surgery in one year. Which means I have 11 months to lose 75. I would prefer to lose a little over 125 lbs, which still seems a long way off.

Onward and downward I guess, hoping to descend the scale and continue to get thinner and healthier. I hope this presents an honest appraisal of the gastric sleeve journey after one month, and that it will be informative to folks that care, and helpful for folks on the gastric sleeve journey or considering the procedure.

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