Gastric bypass to weightloss, the journey continues

Although my gastric bypass surgery seems galaxies ago, I am proud to say that “I’m truly a success story.” I remember that when I started this process, I was extremely anxious and couldn’t decide what to do — either have the surgery or do something different. Some people may think that I was being a little melodramatic in my flip-flopping; however I wanted to be educated and have all information possible knowing this potential surgery was permanent.

Get ready for the “good” stuff — I am almost at goal weight. For those who are just now joining us … my heaviest known weight was 415 pounds — WAIT FOR IT; WAIT FOR IT — my current weight is 197 pounds. My goal weight is 175 pounds.

This has been such a long journey and will continue to be one; I feel successful. I’ve also kept off my weight. I take pride in being the sixth one to have the surgery because I hope to mentor and bring inspiration to others who share in all aspects of the process. Wherever their courage and strength takes them, we will all have bad days but the good days are the “icing on the cake” — in moderation of course and packed “nutrients and protein”; if that even exists.

So now that I’ve checked in with my current weight — let’s talk about SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!! Imagine you feeling elation, some anxiety, or holding a fistful of cash and some “plastic” — MAJOR “CHA-CHING” IS WARRANTED. I walked into a gnarly, bright lit store, hoping for the perfect outfit for an upcoming dinner. I was somewhat concerned, “what if nothing fits me and I have to go up a size?”

“What if all I find is the size of a camping tent with the pattern of a couch?” “I have some sagging skin from my weight loss; how will that affect my self-opinion (and others of how they view me)?”

After addressing some of these questions that affect my “overweight brain” and my “skinny body,” I began to look over different sizes, colors and fabrics. I tried on a few articles of clothing and then I realized that the clothes in this particular section of the store were too big for me. Wow! I proceeded to find a more proper sizing for me. So, I perused one of the racks. I feasted my eyes upon a yellow blouse with soft outlines of yellow roses — it was a size 18. For someone who was once a 26/28 or a 30/32, I was enamored with this piece of clothing — not only did it fit me — I “fit” it. I meant that finally I could identify with the beauty, the process and the success that we all have in one way or another.

Even though, so far it has been an incredibly difficult road with “speed bumps, other hills and valleys and the dreaded construction areas,” I am very satisfied with my weight loss and it being maintained. My blood work (protein levels, A1C, cholesterol, Vitamin D levels and so forth) has improved over the years. My sleep apnea is absent. Unfortunately, I suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and see a specialist for treatment. You don’t want to mess with that — I was carted away in an ambulance. I took a nap and the next thing I knew — my cat was licking my eyeball and walking all over me. It was 38 — that is really, really low. Thank God, I’m okay. I have to carry glucose tabs, a meter and a shot with me at all times. I plan on getting a cool, stylish medical alert bracelet. This side effect of weight loss surgery is a possible one, but it can be treated. My arthritis still sucks, too.

All in all, I’m glad to have done this surgery. It has taught me things and ways to think in which I never knew I could. For those struggling with this issue, I hope this is helpful and your lives have been enriched like mine. Through family, friends, treatment teams and ourselves — we will all succeed. Until next time …

Casi Stewart can be reached at casichilstew@yahoo.com. A Weighty Issue occasionally appears on the Life page.