Monday, August 1, 2016

It's the Little Things

So much has changed for me since April 18th. Not only did I lose a sizable portion of my stomach, and my gall bladder (which I am SO THANKFUL they ripped out while they were in there rooting around!! There are so many weight-loss surgery patients that have to go back and have a 2nd surgery to remove it. More pain, more recovery. Yuck) but the removal of those two things marked the start of something that has been pretty damn fantastic so far - - a willingness to participate.

Most of the changes I've seen in myself over the last 3-1/2ish months are likely what you'd expect. I can do more, because I weigh less. My clothes are a little looser. My joints don't scream at me quite as much as they used to. My grocery bill has gone down because I eat baby amounts thanks to my hammock. But what I have been the most surprised about are the little things.

The little things are not anything a person who hasn't been severely overweight would likely even think about. Like getting my laundry out of the washing machine - - I can actually bend over, and get the stuff off the bottom/stuck to the sides so much easier than I used to be able to. Running errands - - I used to dread them. My knees would ache so much by the time I was done. I'd be dripping in sweat. I would strategize about exactly where everything was I needed, and how to get to them with fewest amount of steps - - Now I'm all over the damn store finding all sorts of crap I don't need. Things as common as washing and putting on lotion. I won't elaborate - - but let's just say it's easier. I can sort of bend at my waist a bit now - I can actually reach my feet to tie my shoes without the ridiculous amount of effort that used to require. I now appreciate being able to go for a short stroll to stretch out my legs, instead of trying to figure out everything I could possibly ever need in one trip so I wouldn't have to get back up for a while. I no longer worry about how far I'm going to have to walk if I go somewhere - - I still don't want to have to stand once I get there - - but the walking part is no problem. Getting into, and out of, my car. My FUPA no longer rests on my steering wheel, so I don't feel like I'm ripping it off my body every time I try to get out of my car. Basically - everything is just getting a little bit easier...and that is a really welcome feeling.

Team Unicorn
 I'm still trying to figure out how to work carbs back into my life - - just to help with my energy level. Day-to-day, I'm great. But when I have my workouts with Scott, or my longer walks, or even golfing (with a cart - but still kind of a lot of moving around) I just get wiped by the end of it!

Saturday I golfed 18 holes (best ball tournament - I could never play 18 with my own shots - - I'd still be out there!) with Team Unicorn at the OGBB Fundraiser. It was awesome. So entertaining, got to see a bunch of my friends, and I didn't feel like I was going to completely drop by the time it was over. I'm seeing improvements in my stamina, and that is just awesome. The whole point of me having this surgery was to be more active - - and I'm getting there....slowly, but surely. I'm looking forward to the point where I can do a few more intense things within a couple of days of each other, and not have my legs feel like they're filled with lead. That's the current dream, people!

Rosemount Irish 10U A - State Champs, 3rd at Nationals
I spent Sunday watching some amazing young ladies rebound from their toughest loss to date, and play 5 straight games coming back through the losers bracket. I was even there to watch them beat a team that had bested them at all of their previous meetings this season. I am so grateful to these kiddos, and their parents. Their season was just getting started soon after my surgery, and they gave me something really awesome to focus on, other than myself (and my occasional annoyance with this process). They gave me a reason to get out of the house. I made it to as many games as I could, and watched them improve so much. They put up with my incessant cheering (which likely sounds like yelling) and pacing and excitement. I can't imagine being a parent! I was just the aunt, and I felt so invested! They were my first "Aha moment" after surgery - because I realized I never would have been at their games if I hadn't had this surgery. I would have missed all of these fantastic accomplishments by my niece. And they helped me see a glimmer of that competitive person I used to be. I had lost that a long time ago...likely buried under about 138 pounds of dormancy. Being a really small part of their amazing season was a gift, and I am genuinely sad to see it end.

My nieces and nephew were one of the major reasons I decided to do it. My nephew Grady continues to be my biggest cheerleader - I got told "Natalie! You look better!!" when I saw him last Thursday. I think that counts as a pretty nice compliment from a 5 year old? I want to be an active member of their lives. I want to enjoy spending time with them that doesn't necessarily involve the couch. I don't want to miss a single one of the amazing things they're going to do, because they're awesome and I absolutely love and adore them. I can't wait to see what the future holds for them!

 There are so many things that have changed in such a short time...and so many things that are going to change for me in the months to come.... I just hope they're all as awesome as what I've experienced so far, because live is pretty damn good right now...and only getting better.

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