After my personal training consult (one of the many departments you meet with prior to approval for surgery) I was told I needed to walk for 5 minutes at a time, 4 times a day. I would literally walk in circles around my apartment, and you would not believe how difficult it was to keep moving for 5 minutes! I'd have to sit down and take a breather after each round. These days I don't experience anything near that. Yes - I am still in pretty crappy shape - - lots of room for improvement there - but 5 minutes is nothing. Just one of the many things I don't even think about anymore, until all of the sudden I'll stop and think about just how immobile I was....
As with any major surgery, and subsequent life change, there are some challenges....
- My face continues to be broken out most of the time. I guess this is normal - but I swear my skin is worse at 41 than it was when I went through puberty! I'm really trying to focus on making sure I'm getting enough water in my system, and I've started putting coconut oil on my skin a few times a week. Maybe I just hit a good stretch - but it seems to be helping!!
- I'm still not loving drinking my protein shakes. I need to have one a day in order to get me to my protein goal, because I just can't eat enough to get there without it. I have flavored (chocolate, banana & caramel) premade shakes as well as protein powder I could mix with milk or water. They no longer make me nauseous - but I think I'm still holding a grudge from when they did right after my surgery. That, and it's the one thing I have to have per day - - so of course that annoys me.
- Getting enough liquids proves to be a challenge for me. Because I can no longer "chug" when I drink - I can take a couple of swallows at a time, but that's it - I basically have to drink ALL DAY LONG!! (trying to drink too fast gives me a pain right under my sternum - like the water gets stuck there, trying to get through my hammock. So I have to drink more slowly than I normally did before surgery) That's when I'm not waiting my 30 minutes on either side of eating.... I get distracted - so getting enough to drink can prove to be a bit challenging.
- Things that are easier now than they were 10 months ago: EVERYTHING!!!! Walking. Getting up. Sitting down. Like I willing just moved every piece of furniture and cleaned along the edges in my apartment - vacuumed and wiped down base boards (my mom would be so proud)!! I haven't done that...ever. I fold my laundry and put it away - because I'm able to wear more than the 4 things that fit. After running errands, I put things away - they don't just lay in a heap for days until I can gradually motivate to put them away. These are little things that everyone else on the planet just does - but they are things I never really did before. I'm taking some pride in my existence again.
- Job Confidence - I've worked 2nd shift for the last 3+ years. It worked really well for me when all I did was go to work, sit on my couch and sleep. It didn't matter if I was working on a Tuesday or a Saturday - - I wasn't going to do shit with my time anyway! But now that I want to participate in my life, it was starting to cause some fairly major scheduling issues. I applied for a job on the day shift - and will be moving as soon as my replacement is hired and trained (hopefully by the end of March). This is something I just wouldn't have done before for a variety of what are now ridiculous reason - - and I'm so excited.
- I have muscles. It is nearly impossible to see them at this point, because they're being safely stored under a whole lot of wobbly flesh - - but they're there. I can feel them sometimes! I think I had to have a certain amount of muscle deep down before - - it takes some strength to move 500 pounds around. But now I have more - and there are brief moments where I feel like a little bit of a bad ass!
- Dating....I'm not 100% sure this belongs in the positive column...it has been an absolute exercise in absurdity so far - but I'm counting the fact that I'm open to trying to date as a pretty significant win. I'm willing to put myself out there a bit. Although I'm still not sure I was designed for this - - I'm more than a little set in my ways, like my alone time, have zero tolerance for bullshit, etc - - we'll see how it goes.
- I have a couple of vacations planned. The first - my sister Wendy is taking me to Mexico (where our Aunt Rhonda & Uncle Candy are willing to let us crash at their place) for a few days in March. Here's how things have changed - - 1. I am not even completely freaking out about getting on a plane (more specifically - my ass fitting in the plane seat). I cannot remember the last time that was the case. I banned myself from flying in 2010 until I could fit - and before that every flight was an anxiety-inducing disaster. Now - I suspect I'll fit - and it's going to be fucking awesome. 2. Vacation to me no longer means drinking and eating to excess - - the thing I'm the most excited about is going to walk in the green and the sun and the warmth. (this was all before it was 60 degrees in MN in February - - but I'm still pretty damn excited). Warning - I will likely be blowing up my social media pages because 1 - this will provide some pretty epic NSV's and 2 - my sister Wendy and I attract mayhem wherever we go together - so 12 hour travel days will likely create some memories worth sharing and documenting.