Happy Friday! Got big plans for the day? Cool, cool, sounds good. Me? Oh, nothing major. Just having a tube put down my throat to take photos of my stomach. You know, like you do. Why, you ask? Because life is a cruel, ironic joke sometimes, that’s why.
So yea, today I get to experience an endoscopy, which is a really lame way to spend your day if you ask me. First of all, I can’t eat all day, which is obviously horrible. A friend of mine just finished Ramadan and I was like “what do you mean you don’t eat til the sun goes down?? I can’t fast between meals.” And now I can’t eat until after the procedure and I’m not sure I’ll survive.*
Second of all, they are going to stick a camera tube DOWN MY THROAT. Luckily, I will be knocked out on the drug that killed Michael Jackson, so I’m sure if I survive that, my throat will hurt, which it already does because I have a sinus infection. Thoughts and prayers are required.
And third, the reason for all this torture is the cruelest twist of all. I am having this barbaric procedure done because my lapband may be eroding into my stomach. Which sounds like the opposite of fun to me personally, but if you are into that kind of thing, I am not judging you.**
This all came about because I went to get my lapband adjusted a couple of weeks ago. Basically, I had noticed that my appetite had increased quite a bit for a few weeks, which was odd but I figured going in and having my band tightened up would take care of it. During the procedure, the doctor noticed that my band was not where it was supposed to be. Long story short, it has slipped down on my stomach, meaning I am capable of eating more. The reason this happened is not for certain, hence the camera-down-the-throat date for today. But chances are, I’ll have to have my lapband removed.
To say that I’m freaking out about this is an understatement. As of right now, I am 22 pounds away from my goal weight. I’ve lost 88-90 pounds over the course of 9 years, which isn’t exactly the best weight-loss plan in the world, but at least it’s gone. And now that there are 2 miles left in my marathon, I feel like someone is taking away my shoes. And my feet. Maybe even my knees.
Truth be told, the lapband isn’t the reason behind my weight loss. Until I joined the gym and committed to eating much healthier, my weight loss was fairly unsubstantial. Sure, I’d lost about 40lbs, then got pregnant and had Declan, and lost that weight, then got pregnant and had Simon and lost that weight again, but all my lapband was doing was helping me eat less. Once I got serious, the weight started coming off. Of the 90 or so pounds I’ve lost, nearly 70 happened after I joined the gym 4 years ago. So I know that I’ve already done the work necessary on my own, and that will continue, lapband or not. But losing this tool this late in the game feels really, really daunting.
My weight loss has been slow. S L O W. Mainly because I continue to live my life with balance, I guess. Or, in a less bullshit way of saying it, I can’t diet all the time. I do well most of the time for sure. But I also love a margarita. And pizza on Fridays. And chocolate. So while I try to eat really healthy *most* of the time, I go off the wagon sometimes, too. But I also find that even when I am on the wagon really hardcore, the pounds don’t so much as come off as they do hold on for dear life until they are ripped from my body. And I’ve made peace with that. No, there’s no deadline, no schedule for this goal, but I do want to reach it, and I’d rather that happen sooner than later. I’m tired of dieting. And thinking about every bite before it happens. Passing on cheese. Looking only at the salad menu. I do those things so I can reach my goal knowing that once I get there, I’ll still be making most of those choices, but I’ll be able to relax a little. Maintaining a weight is much easier than losing that weight, and I want to get to maintenance.
And after today, I may be faced with a huge challenge. Because whether or not I can give my lapband credit for my weight loss, it has undoubtedly helped. It is much easier to diet when you just don’t feel hunger that often, which has been the case for me. The lapband helps curb your appetite in such a big way, and faced with having to feel hunger on a regular basis scares the shit out of me. If I’m barely scraping off these pounds now, how will it be when the amount of food I can take in increases substantially? Or when I eat my regular lunch serving of a salad and a protein and find that yea, I’d like three more of those, please. I’m not looking forward to this, not now. Not when I’m this close.
The one thing that helped me deal with this LONG process is that other than pregnancy, I haven’t gained a POUND in 9 years. The weight loss has been slow, but it’s been consistent. Sure, I bounce around within a range of 5-8 pounds at a time, but I can keep that in check. But how will I feel if the scale starts going up? I can’t even think about it. My identity is so tied to this process right now that the thought of it going haywire sends me into a mild panic. Sure, people lose weight without surgery all the time. And I know I’ve made the life changes necessary to reach my goal, and that isn’t going to change. But it’s still really scary and I’m not optimistic that the outcome of today will be to my liking.
So this may be the start of a new chapter to my weight loss journey. It probably means working harder, pushing myself more and trying new things. It means retraining myself and seeking out new support and setting new goals. Being kind and patient with myself. This is a true kick in the gut, but I’m not going to let it keep me down. I’ve come too far to quit now.
*I’m so hungry right now.
** I’m totally judging you.