Monday, March 30, 2009

Fat Pants

Now that I've lost two sizes, I have a conundrum every weight-loss patient has to resolve. What do I do with my fat pants?

Do I save them so I can take the ubiquitous picture of me in one leg my fat pants? Do I send them to a recycling service so that they can bundle them up and send them to another country for resale? (A pair could be cut down to make two pair for some lucky recipient.) Do I hang them on the wall to remind from whence I came?

None of those options really appeal to me. Here are some thoughts that I had:
  1. Send them to my skinny sister, the runner. She and and my brother-in-law are campers. They could use a pair as a summer weight double sleeping bag. One person in each leg.
  2. I could seal off the waist and cuffs, inflate them and sell them to the weather service as weather balloons.
  3. With enough tar, I could patch the roof on my house (which started leaking last night) and it would save me the $1000 deductible that my insurance company is about to charge me. Since I don't have an HOA in my neighborhood I should be able to get away with that solution for years.
  4. Maybe the Naval Signal Corps could use them? I'm sure they are cutting every budget including semaphore flag purchases these days.
  5. They would make a great car cover for a mini-cooper or VW bug. Maybe even a small sedan like a Toyota Corolla. You could use the back-pockets as a hide-a-key.
  6. If one person held onto each leg hem, they could be the finish line at the next Olympics. Hopefully the winner won't be in the center lane. Hitting the zipper tab at those would be killer. It would be a whole new type of sports injury that would need specialized treatment.
  7. Since they are stretch denim, we could attach them to a frame with spring and use them as a trampoline for the neighborhood children.
  8. Since saving money is very hip, Hollywood could use them for the down-rent openings - a denim carpet instead of a red carpet.
  9. I could send them to the Boy Scouts of America. They could use them for Pup tents. If they are cub scouts, they could use the sleeping bags. Since the BSA doesn't approve of same sex relationships, we would cut the legs apart so there are no double sleepers.
  10. Colorado and Wyoming Event planners could use them as a tablecloths for the cowboy theme weddings that are so ubiquitous around here.
  11. If there is a nun novitiate around somewhere with eight singing children to care for, they could be made into jumpers and shorts for the children.
  12. I swear I've haven't owned a pair of Pink Pants since I was five, but if I did have fat pink pants, I could donate them to the Breast Cancer Awareness cause. They could be a Pink Ribbon on a high-rise during Fund Raising Activities.
These are just a few thoughts. If you have others, share them with me. This is a critical issue for all weight-loss surgery patients. Help save us from the usual before and after pictures.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Two Months

It's been almost two months since I took the plunge and had gastric bypass surgery. I am still figuring out my new system, but overall think I am past the surgery recovery.

It took me five years to make the decision to have surgery. I think there were two things that made me decide this was the right move.

1. I had cancer. A kind or cancer that was likely caused by my weight. I was paralyzed by the fear of a recurrence.

2. Someone pointed out to me that I no longer had the luxury of time. Between my age, the threat of another cancer and my worsening health, I knew it was time.

It took six months to get the procedure approved. The first request was denied, and then by a stroke of luck, the universe, or whatever, my company was purchased by a much larger company with excellent benefits. The surgeon's office resubmitted the request and in less than 5 days it was approved. I had my surgery two weeks later on February 2nd.

I need to pause here and send out a huge thank you to my friend Donna. She took time off from work to take me to the hospital and to stay with me during the early recovery. She made the process much easier and I can't thank her enough for helping me through those first days.

The hardest physical part of the surgery has been to learn when to quit eating. Several times after over-indulging, I have spent the evening with my head hanging over the toilet. It hasn't happened in a while so I am hopeful that I have learned the limits of my pouch.

The best part has been that as long as I don't overeat, I feel great. I have more energy then I have had in several years. I feel at least 10 years younger, which is a great feeling especially when I remember that I'm a grandmother.

The very hardest part has been breaking up with food. Food has been my friend, my confidante, and my shelter from the things that hurt me for a very long time. I am working daily on relearning my relationship to food. I still love to cook and eat good things, but as a very wise fellow WLS patient reminded me, now when I have dinner for four, there are four people at the table.

On of the best things happened when I got the hospital bill. I had expected it to be around $500 due to my mis-reading of the health insurance policy. When the bill arrived, it was $2,348. My first reaction was stress.

By the time I put the bill down on the table, I had completely changed my attitude. I realized that what I'm gaining from this process was worth any amount of money. I am happy to pay every penny of that bill and the others that have arrived from the surgeon, his assistant, the anesthetist, the EKG specialist, and so on.

I'm still early in my process. I have lost over 10% of my starting weight. I hope to lose the same amount in the next two months. I am down two sizes. I have lost over 12 inches in my measurements.

I have gained a healthy respect for my nemesis, food. I am learning not to hide behind it, but to face the things that frighten me instead. While I work on becoming the body and person I am meant to be, I expect my evolution to be littered with anxiety and joy, fear and confidence, as well as personal and spiritual metamorphosis.

I look forward to this movement of my life's sonata. My opus major.