I have been writing this blog in my head for the past three days assuming I’d know how I’d feel today on my surgiversary.  Turns out, I had no idea that this would be what I’d be thinking…


First of all let me tell you how much I hate that word.  It’s a common term in the Weight Loss Surgery community but for some reason it just rubs me the wrong way.  Partially because I’m not a fan of mash-ups, unless of course they’re fawesome…like fawesome, but also because… I don’t know…I guess because it puts it up there with wedding anniversaries and birthdays and other things you celebrate on a yearly basis.  I’m not saying today isn’t worth celebrating—especially since it’s my first “surgiversary,” but I hope that next year and the years after, the idea of my having gastric bypass sugery will be a thing of the past, no longer defining who I am and what I’ve accomplished.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m insanely grateful for the life that gastric bypass surgery has given me, in fact words cannot express the elation I feel when I think about how my life has changed this past year but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life identifying myself as a patient or at least anything associated with something so clinical.

As I finished my Crossfit workout of the day (WOD) today, tears began streaming down my face.  I couldn’t catch my breath, partially because I had just finished an intense 31 minute WOD but also because I was so overcome with emotion realizing that one year ago, at about that time of day, I was just coming out of surgery.  As I did my fifth and final round of Cleans, Slam Balls, Box Steps and 350 meter row I began thinking about how different my life was and I was overcome with joy.  People always say, “what a difference a year makes!”  Turns out, it’s true.

At the beginning of any year, whether it’s January 1st, your birthday or just some random day that you decide you’re going to make a change, thinking about “what a difference a year makes” is nothing short of discouraging.  A year sounds like forever.  I can’t tell you how many times I tried losing my extra 160lbs, knowing good and well that it would take me at least a year to accomplish.  Seeing the projected date for reaching 150lbs on My Fitness Pal or Spark People or whatever app I was going to use to “change my life” at the time was always at least a year away and a year seemed like for-EVAR!  But it turns out, a year isn’t that long.  And it’s certainly worth the wait.  This is what I wish I could have told my former-self.

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t have had the surgery if I could have convinced myself that a year wasn’t THAT long—the surgery was the best thing I ever did for myself.  But I do realize that if I had just stuck with it during all those years of trying, prior to gastric bypass, my life would have life would have been so much better…so much sooner.

No regrets.

I know it sounds like I’m regretting the past 10 years of my life, but I assure you, I’m not.  Sure I wish I had done things differently but I can’t go back and change it, so feeling regret and guilt are pointless.  However, I can use what I have learned to prevent me from ever getting back to where I was….and hopefully to help inspire others along the way…

Gastric Bypass is NOT the Easy Way Out!

Some people believe that gastric bypass is the easy way out.  I’ve actually struggled with it myself.  Not in judgment of others but of myself.   There are so many “losers” who are able to achieve their goals without surgery; amazingly focused and determined people.  I was not one of them and I’ve come to accept that.  I realize now that having the surgery was my CHOICE.  I CHOSE to make the change I needed to live the life I wanted to live and I take pride in that.  This past year has not been the cake-walk I had hoped it would be. Sure, I’ve been fortunate enough to not have any complications and very few food intolerances (Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus) but it’s been a Sh!t-ton of work.  (another fawesome mash-up)

Prior to my surgery and even still, reading other blogs of women who have had gastric bypass surgery often make me extremely jealous.  I’m constantly seeing women who have lost well over 100lbs in the first six months, post gastric bypass surgery.  Today, at one year post-op, I celebrate a total of 98lbs.  I’m down 114lbs total, thanks to the two-weeks-prior liquid diet but it’s still nowhere close to 120lbs in SIX MONTHS!  Not only that, but in the past four months I’ve only lost 15lbs!  Slim Fast advertises more weight-loss than that!

This brings me back to the, “what difference a year makes.”  At 15lbs in four months, that’s an average of less than four pounds a month.  FOUR POUNDS!  It almost seems pointless when you still have another 60lbs to go:  60 divided by 4 is 15!  This means that if I continue at this rate of a measly four pounds per month, I still have 15 months to go until I reach my goal!  And even then I’ll still be 150lbs- still classified as “obese” according to the BMI charts due to my whopping 5’1” stature. BUT!  I realize now what a difference a year makes…one year from now I will be stronger, faster and fitter than I am now.  One year from now I will have completed my first Spartan Sprint and my first triathlon.  One year from now I will be even healthier and happier and prouder than I am today…that’s the difference a year makes…and that’s huge.

This past year has been full of many milestones and huge accomplishments and next year is bound to be even better.   That’s the difference a year makes!

What are you doing today to change your life THIS year?

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