When it comes to managing my weight post bariatric surgery, there isn’t a race. My surgery took place on Monday, June 19. At that time, I weighed 279 pounds, down from 300 pounds last November, when I wore a size 5X top. It has now been roughly 3.5 months since my surgery. This past week, I hit 240 on the scale and am currently wearing size 3X tops. I have been wearing capri pants all Summer COMFORTABLY that I have owned now for at least eight years and that were incredibly snug on me last year (but I limped through with them and a few new pairs, so I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on new clothes). Just this week, I put on my favorite Duran Duran hoodie, from the Paper Gods tour, and it fits wonderfully again. Like it hasn’t fit since the year I bought it, so about 2017. MY “Save Ferris” t-shirt from the 80s Cruise, which I had to stretch in every direction to even get on during the cruise in March that I thought fir nicely a few weeks after the surgery is now way roomy and makes me excited about all the t-shirts I have for the cruise and how they may (or may not) fit by the end of February 2024!
It’s a lot of numbers, and we all know that I didn’t start this journey for the numbers; I started it for an improved quality of life. That’s happening, too. Recently, while at Denton Loving’s The Orchard Keeper cat-sitting and writing, I went to dinner one night with my friend Daniel Ray, who wanted to go for a walk at a “local park” afterwards. I found myself, for the first time ever, out in nature, walking on designated walking trails. This may not seem like a big deal to most of you, but let me emphasize that, for Chrissie Anderson Peters, this is monumental! I was president and co-founder in college of something my friend Buffy and I called “The Lazy Girls Club,” where one of the rules was, “Why walk when you could ride?” And there I was with Daniel, walking more than two miles out in nature that evening, taking in lots of beautiful sights – and watching out for snakes and poison ivy (don’t worry, I’m still a nature freak – put me out in nature and watch me freak, lol). The past two times I’ve been to Knoxville’s Downtown area, I’ve ended up walking more than two miles each time, too. And in DC, Russ and I walked about eight miles in one day, a record for me, according to my phone app. I did all this walking without sucking on an inhaler every ten feet, too. No asthma attacks. Four months ago, none of this would have happened this way. I wouldn’t have even tried it. I couldn’t even have wrapped my mind around it, much less actually done it.
When I go to the gym, which, admittedly, is not often enough, I’m working out longer than I ever have, without breathing issues. Dr. Gray wants me to use The Circuit, but I’m mortally terrified of it. Just looking at it causes me to have panic attacks. I keep saying that I’m going to go in at 2 a.m. when there is absolutely no one around to watch me, to see me, to judge me in any way, so I can take my time (it’s a timed course with signs up everywhere telling you that it’s being monitored and that you must not spend more than the allotted time doing any one activity). I need to be able to work through it at my own rate until I know what I’m doing. That’s what causes the panic attacks. The perfectionist in me freaks out over just being in the same vicinity as the equipment and all those signs. The Circuit, for now, is my arch-nemesis; I need that to change. I need it to change soon because I know I need to start working on these other muscle groups. My arm flab is getting ever more jiggly as I lose more and more weight in those areas. Toning is a must and something that I know I am slacking/lacking in getting done. And why not go at 2 a.m.? Most nights, I’m awake somewhere in that timeframe. I sit around trying to get sleepy again. Why not go and exhaust myself physically, or drain myself psychologically, whichever happens first at The Circuit?
We’re making plans to go to Pigeon Forge at the end of October/beginning of November. The days will be colder, I know, but I want to ride a roller coaster this year! I believe I’ve lost enough weight now to fit into the seats, which was another one of my goals. Russ probably won’t ride most of them with me, but I’m okay with that. If he will ride some of them, I’ll enjoy his company. The rest, I can either make new friends, or enjoy solo. (Russ has an aversion to any ride that involves rectal-cranial inversion – anything where his butt goes over his head – so a lot of roller coasters are simply not his thing.)
I can put on tennis shoes now without getting out of breath, too. I still hate suffocating my toes by putting on tennis shoes, but I can do it. All my shoes, just like the rest of my clothes, feel looser now, which is to be expected, I suppose. I have lost about 20% of my body weight in under a year. I know, I just used another number, but I was trying to put it into perspective.
I feel great, though, and my health has really improved. I’ve been able to completely go off many of my medications. Many of them are rarely taken now, as almost all my stomach issues like acid reflux and daily diarrhea have diminished now. I can go away from home and not bother taking an inflatable wedge pillow for sleeping; I can sleep fine on regular pillows now because there isn’t acid eating away at my esophagus at nighttime now. My labs from my three-month check-up looked great. MY A1C is 6.4, down from 6.9 about six months ago. I’m getting more accustomed to what I can and can’t eat, when I should or shouldn’t eat, and especially when I’m not supposed to drink before, during, or after meals. It takes time; it takes practice; it takes patience and a lot of self-control. But I’m getting there. Russ, as always, is a huge support and encouragement to me in all these endeavors, and I wouldn’t be nearly as successful without him as I am with him. If he isn’t working on those nights, he still even attends support group meetings with me. He makes the hard times easier. Always. Here’s to three months down. I’ll update you again in December, or thereabouts.