Monday, March 15, 2010

Weight Loss Surgery & The Pier

A day like I had yesterday reminds me of how different life is after having weight loss surgery.

I remember the first time I went to the Oceanside Pier. It was a warm summer night. I had gone with a group of friends to see a movie at the theater a few blocks away and someone in the group suggested we walk the few blocks to the pier. Sounds lovely huh... not to the 295 pound girl in the group. The 4 block walk to the pier had me feeling like I was gonna die. Hot, sweaty, in pain. Forget about carrying on light conversation as we walked. As my skinny friends chatted on about the movie it took me all I had just to breath.

Finally, I made it to the pier. There it was... all 1,942 feet of it stretching out into the blue Pacific. Ughhh. More walking. My mind started racing. I needed time to recover after all, we still needed to walk back.

So into survival mode this girl went. The excuses started...

"Something is wrong with my shoe"
"I've seen the end of the pier before" (I hadn't)
"I'm gonna sit on this park bench and have a cigarette."

It was the college years, I smoked back then I know that probably didn't help the breathing situation but it did give me a good excuse. After a little argument from my group of friends I was left on a park bench while they walked on.

Whew. Time to cool down, breath, recover and stress about the walk back.

I know some of you reading this can relate. Some of you are still living it.

Fast forward to yesterday...

I walked the 4 blocks down to the pier, walked the length of the pier, then I walked 4 miles to another beach. Then I went to the Carlsbad Outlets walked around for a few hours, then Costco, then... well you get the point. Post weight loss surgery I never broke a sweat. I was tired at the end of the day but in a good way not in a gasping for air, my chest is gonna explode, dripping with sweat sort of way.

I've been to the end of the pier many many times since having surgery but every time I get to the end and stare out at the beautiful blue ocean I am thankful I had weight loss surgery.

Here are some pictures from my day...

28 comments:

zeisgeist said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, though lately I've been searching the archives more and more. I had my gastric bypass 18 mos. ago and even though I've lost alot (around 160 lbs.), I still have another 60 I'd like to lose. Like you, I love to cook, so I've been digging through your recipes like crazy.

This post so resonates with me. When I would hang out with fit friends, I'd always be nervous about where parking was in relation to where we were going, if the restaurant had tables and not just booths, if it was to hot and sticky to be doing anything (I sweat at the drop of a hat), etc.

Now I take the stairs at work without so much as a bead of sweat forming on my nose.

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your blog, which is inspirational and chock full of great tips. My fiance and I are looking forward to trying out some protein ice cream recipes really soon!

MacMadame said...

When I was fat, I told myself that I wouldn't let it limit me me. I could do a lot of things my thin friends did and I wasn't particularly unhealthy (at first) so it was easy to believe my lies to myself. But now that I'm thin and I can do so much more, I realize how much I was shortchanging myself when I was heavy.

Posts like this one really underscore how being overweight chips away at the quality of your life in every way.

Bonnie said...

I know exactly how you felt. And as much as they want to be understanding and sympathetic, someone who has never been 100+lbs. overweight simply cannot understand. It's terrible because you don't want to be the one who stays behind, or who holds anyone back. I want to be exercising, because I know that ultimately it will help me achieve my weight loss goals, but I keep turning down friends for walks, citing "allergens" because I can't chat with them, and they won't understand.

Thanks for being so open and honest.

cindycindy said...

Congratulations on your victory! Sounds like a real "come full circle" kind of a day!

So, I sort of have a challenge for you :) My girlfriend at work told me about these "black bean brownies" she makes for her kids - can of black beans drained and put in the blender mixed with any brownie mix. follow the baking instructions on the box after that. I was wondering if you think you could make brownies with black beans that WE could have??? I was thinking of something along the lines of whole wheat flower, whey low (if you haven't tried it yet, you have to get some - it's amazing!)cocoa, eggs, and well, I don't know what else.....that's why I am turning to you, the ever-creative-and-innovative-master-of-recipes :) Anyway, just thought that you (or someone out there) might like to try to create some black bean brownies :)

Thanks again for your blog, I LOVE IT!!!!!

Connie said...

Gee! I wanna live where you live - those photos are just gorgeous! Here in Maine right now it's brown, gray and windy. Such is March, but March winds bring April showers, April showers bring May flowers, and you know what Mayflowers bring -- Pilgrims!

Have a great day!
Connie

Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds great! I can't wait to try it.
I can also relate to your story as I am sure many of us can! There is no doubt that WLS saved my life. Thanks for the great blog....you inspire me to cook great food for myself!
Diane

Deanna said...

Shelly,
This post is wonderful! It's inspirational, and easy to relate to! Thank you for sharing it and the beautiful pictures!
Dee

Anonymous said...

Coming from someone who weighed #440 at one point and is now down to #225...been there and done that. I would NEVER go back to being unhealthy again..ever. I have more energy now than ever, work out regularly and can do everything that I wished I could do back then. Surgery saved my life :)

Diana said...

To all of us... may we always reach the end of our pier and celebrate life! Yay!!

Salem Stitcher said...

I can relate. I remember those dreaded moments when I would realize I could not do what everyone else could or when I would get stuck have way into something (like getting to the pier) and not being all that sure I could make it back.

What a beautiful day you had and thank you for sharing.

David-Matthew said...

Lady. You get it. You get it, and you made it to the other side. Thank you for giving back every day. My surgery is in 10 days, and I can't wait. Thank you.

Sophie said...

I just discovered your blog by accident, and I have to say you are such an inspiration to me. I have not had gastric bypass, but have had issues with depression and low self esteem as a result of my weight. Your blog is a Godsend, it really is, and you are so witty. Hands down this is the best blog I have read.....EVER. And a big thank you for inspiring me to change my life...

MoLawEd said...

Shelly,
Thank you so much for this post. All I can say is "amen" - I'm almost a year out, and it's amazing to hear someone much further along in the process still so thankful for what WLS has done for them. Oftentimes, I feel like people forget where they came from. You haven't, and it's inspirational at a time when I really need it. Thanks again. :-)

HOA Mgr Lady said...

Wow what an AWESOME post. What you said every word refelcts the feelings we all had but can't quite so masterfully put into words like you do. The Ventura Pier is my beach area and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to lose weight.
Thanks Shelly for a great post!
Hugs Ruth

Lauren said...

Awesome post....made my day actually. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to be able to really live and experience life as a "normal" person? Being obese is so draining! I read your blog pretty much every day....but have rarely commented. I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog. I had gastric bypass surgery on November 7, 2008 and I've lost 138 lbs since. I've got about 10 more to lose....and want to start my plastics journey next summer. I started reading your blog before I had surgery and showed it my mom to prove that I would eat delicious food again. I've always been a foodie...and I love to cook...and being able to continue to enjoy food was very important to me when i was making the decision for or against surgery. Your blog and your experiences gave me the courage to have this surgery....and its been an amazing ride. My life has changed in ways I never imagined it could. Your recipes inspire me as I'm cooking...and I look forward to my daily eggface check in. When people who are considering surgery approach me I always refer them to your website to show them what life can be like as a post op. Anyways, now I'm rambling. I just really felt like I needed to come on here and comment today....your post about the pier really moved me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the work you put into your blog. I feel like we're all part of a sisterhood and should support each other through this journey. Thank you and keep blogging!

leendadll said...

I was at a tv taping yesterday and caught a glimpse of myself on a monitor - full forward shot of my fat self sitting in a chair. I looked like jabba the hut. The camera may add 10lbs but where'd that extra 100 come from?!?

It was horrifying... and the tipping point for me deciding that I'll definitely be getting the band this summer.

Great pelican photos!!

Di said...

Isn't it wonderful the changes and differences we come to truly appreciate!

I am sure you have seen this in the stores, but Dannon and Yopliat make a Greek-Style yogurt now. The Dannon is really good....I've yet to try the other. Love the idea for the dressing on the cucs!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thank you all for your kind compliments. It was a hard post to write... painful to remember but you know remembering helps me not lose focus. Later that day I was faced with a big basket of breadsticks and didn't even look twice at them. Life is too good to go back to that park bench.

@leendadll Good Luck with your quest to get healthier... but remember treat yourself with kindness no matter what weight you are... never be an enemy to yourself the world has created enough of them for us already ;) Hugs.

leendadll. said...

Thanks for the support. I'm usually super high on confidence & esteem. But that shot... 3rd-person perspective.. seeing myself on a TV monitor... it was hard to view. I've become so skilled at not really looking at myself in a mirror (I look at little sections but never my whole body) that it was one of the very few times that I saw my body the way that other people do. But dealing with reality is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

great post Shelly... i walked that same pier at 320 lbs. My very best friend lives in Oceanside (I am Toronto based). I long to make your pilgrimage and take on the pier 140lbs lighter.
Thanks for this post and reminding me where i was.. good to remember as you appreciate even more where you are
best
Katherine

Chelsea's Mom said...

Oh how terribly well I recall the pre-surgery days. Your list of excuses almost matches mine! And I remember how badly I really wanted to do those things and how my heart ached as I would watch others go on without me. Now I can get emotional when I am able to just make it around a big craft sale without stopping, or shop an outlet mall with no bench break. Only those who have been there can fully understand this. I pray for those who posted that they are about to have surgery or have friends who are considering it. It is a life-saving and life-changing event and I am thankful that I was able to do so (15 months and down 168 pounds). Life is really good!

Anonymous said...

This really made me cry Michelle. You are such an inspiration to me. I'm a little over month out from surgery and I've lost about 40 pounds so far. I check your blog and facebook page daily - just because. This story is SO familiar to me - it's as if I wrote it myself. I'm so proud of your accomplishments over these years and I wish you continued success. I wanna thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution to this world - you are a beautiful person inside and out. Namaste sister.

Staci D. - Philly

lindasteller said...

I hear you Michelle! I am so thankful for WLS. The ease of movement is better than anything.

materialgirl522 said...

I am truely grateful for your blog, my dr has a regular support group and many of the people there mention your blog. You are hot in Florida! Thanks for sharing your story with us, and the recipes, yummy, I grabbed the sausage crumbles and put them in a scrambled egg, can't do the muffins yet, but the eggs are wonderful!!

Tomorrow I am doing a protein shake tasting with friends who are looking to lose some weight without surgery, I don't think they would qualify as they are not big enough, but I am taking Torani and my max protein, going to pick up a vanilla today to try also. And my samples of Celebrate.

Nanette
Nanette

Lee Anne said...

Thank you I needed this today. I had surgery at the end of October with no complications and I am on a plateau. I will push through. Thanks again!

Catrina Donham said...

I haven't had weight-loss surgery but have been on the best diet of my life; one I created and is controlled portions(could never do that before my WTF moment: my best friend who has been very heavy his entire life, he wore a size 56 at 18, had a heart attack at 32!), lean proteins and very few carbohydrates and keeping active(the hardest thing to do when you have a job that keeps you behind a desk 12+ hours a day).

Since I've become overweight I haven't been to the Oceanside Pier in a little over a decade, I was just about to turn 21. After reading your blog I've made it a goal to stroll down it with my head held high once I meat my ideal weight-I don't want to be super skinny, just nicely healthy!I got up to size 22W jeans and I'm all of 5' so you can imagine. I'm now down to a petite size 16 in a month. I was getting really tired of my diet but your blog has filled me with hope and new resolve!

It's funny, when I saw the first picture you posted I was all "WTF!! I know where that is!"

Thanks for your blog. :3

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Hi Catrina, It is Oceanside Pier! I'm in Southern California. At the time I was at SDSU but I'm in Temecula now. Best wishes to you on your weight loss goals. Breakfast ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/eggface/weight-loss-surgery-breakfasts/ hope it give you a few ideas.

Linda Hein said...

How cool! I've been to the Oceanside Pier, my son & his wife & kids live there. Beautiful area.