Friday, February 18, 2011

One year later....

My surgery was on February 17, 2010.  A year ago, yesterday.

A year ago today I was just waking up in my hospital bed from surgery the day before.  My stomach was killing me and I was thirsty.  I began my day staring down a medicine cup of water that I was required to drink in one hour.  It may have well been a bathtub full.

My yearlong battle with food was just beginning and I was legitimately scared shitless.

There have been 365 days between then and now.  And I almost can’t believe how fast it has gone by.  Over the past year, I remember frequently questioning myself…wondering if I had made the right decision.   Looking back now, I can honestly say that I did. 

As of this morning, my BMI is 26.  I have lost 129 pounds and I currently weigh 172 pounds. (at my lowest....I'm sort of playing with a few extra "relationship pounds" at the moment!)  I am physically fit, still working out 3 times a week and staying motivated to do so.  I also can eat pretty much anything….just in moderation.  There really isn’t anything I feel like I can’t try or do.   

My life has changed for the better.  I discovered that what people think of me is not nearly as important as what I think of myself.  For the first time, I’ve found that I really love and accept myself for who I am…inside and out. 

I’ve also dealt with challenges I never expected.  Some of my friends and family have become distant or stopped communicating with me altogether.  But through all this, I was pleasantly surprised with the people I discovered that I could truly depend on.

In the last Chinese food meal I ate before my surgery, my fortune cookie read: “a goal is a dream with a deadline.”  Ever since then, I’ve kept this little piece of advice tacked up on my refrigerator because it rang so true to me.   When I started this process, I turned my dream of living a happy healthy lifestyle into a goal.  And today, I've reached that deadline and achieved that goal in ways I could have never imagined.

I know I have made all of you proud this year, but most importantly, I have made myself proud.  

Today, I feel like I can do just about anything, so world, bring it on…I’m so ready. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will you be my Valentine?

Like every other “single” person on the planet, I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day.

Generally, I would request to be at work….mostly for my own safety.  Being there distracted me from all that Hallmark crap that made this lonely girl in her late 20s suicidal.  (In fact, last year's Valentine's Day was the last night I worked before I had my surgery 3 days later.)

It’s not that I didn’t like the sentiment that valentine's day is supposed to represent.  I mean, how can you dislike a holiday that encourages people to show love for each other!?!?  I just hated the fact that it reminded me that didn’t have a boyfriend.  For 24 long and painful hours. 

Don’t get me wrong, though.  I am loved!  I would get Valentine's Day flowers from my godson, Nicholas, who for the past 3 years has been my designated valentine.  Sometimes, I would get cards and e-mails form friends and family telling me how love was “just around the corner.”  It was sweet, but never completely filled the void for me. 

You see, I have never had a “real,” full on, grown–up Valentine’s Day.  Ever.  

As a bigger person, I didn't think anyone found me attractive.  I always assumed that people were judging me by my weight from the very first time they saw me.  I never ever expected anyone to want to to get to know me for who I was on the inside.  And, as much as I thought that I was “out there” in the dating world, I now realize that I really wasn’t.  Looking back, I can see that it was mostly my insecurities that kept me single.  Or (since I felt like I should be happy with whomever would take a second glance at me) kept me “pseudo-dating” creeps.


But, I think that over the past year I have gained so much self-confidence that I was finally ready to be in a healthy relationship.  And, just as I found myself really ready, I found someone as wonderful as Chris.   

Hit the jackpot on my first try?  I sure did.

He’s awesome, you guys.  Just awesome.  I could not have mapped out a more perfect person for me to be with.  He is also 29, a teacher to troubled teenagers, and loves the History Channel…just as much as this dork right here.   

He’s tall, handsome, and has just the dreamiest blue-grey eyes I have ever seen.  On several occasions when we are talking at dinner, I find myself swimming in them and looking like an idiot.  I don’t think he has noticed.  (Until now because he’ll probably read this…)

He loves to cook…healthy!  I totally feared the “eating out constantly” relationship style, but he loves to come to my house, pour me a glass of wine, and make me dinner.  And people in his family have had the gastric bypass, so he totally gets that whole situation.  It's so awesome because I’m never nervous about what he makes or how to eat in front of him.  So, while dating, we both can remain on our respective diets…mostly.  (I mean, everyone has to have a "love" brownie every once in awhile!)  But we understand and support each other.  It's just perfect.    

You guys, I’m falling hard for him.  We adore each other and, although I can’t say where things will end up, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be with him for a long, long time.   

My life is becoming everything I’ve ever wanted it to be.  I’m happy.  I’m healthy.  And for the first time ever, I was somebody’s valentine.  

(And in case you were wondering, it was just as fantastic as I thought it would be…<3...)

Chris and Kristen...Valentine's Day...2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"You're still fat".....

I love when people comment on my blog.   It’s just the coolest thing ever.  Every time one of you comments on here, I get sent an e-mail.  And I literally get friggin' giddy every time I see one. 

Last Sunday, I was at a party with some old friends.  (AND my new boyfriend, Chris...but more on him later!)   As I casually checked my e-mail on my phone, I noticed that someone commented on my blog.  And randomly it was on this one, from last June, where I wrote about my first bathing suit shopping experience “post-op.”  

I was excited, so I quickly opened it and this is what I saw:


All the insecurities and frustrations that the “fat girl” inside of me used to feel all the time came rushing back with those three little words.  I lost my breath.  My heart started to race.  And I didn’t quite know what to do.  So, I pulled myself together.  I put my phone away, poured myself another glass of wine, and went back to the party….deciding to continue to have a good time and not think about it again until we left. 

I think that when you write a blog and open your thoughts to the public, you have to be prepared for criticism.  I have been and have dealt with it pretty well,  not only on here, but in person as well.  Up until now, this criticism has been constructive…and polite.  So, I guess this comment just threw me for a loop.  

But only for about 3 seconds.  

Sure, I was bigger in that post than I am now, but at that point in my recovery, I had worked really hard to get into that bathing suit.  I was proud of myself.  And I refuse to let “Anonymous” make me feel anything less.  Certainly not with those three little words.  

Was I fat back then? Maybe. 

Am I "still" fat?  No, I don’t think so.

Today, I am happy, healthy, and think I look really good in “skinny jeans.”  I weight 172lbs….and have lost 129lbs.  I wear a size 8-10…from a size 24-26.  I work out 3 days a week and even though I can eat almost anything, I’m still really careful.  No one can take this away from me.   

When I got in the car after leaving the party, I talked to Chris about what happened.  After reassuring me that I was indeed beautiful, he said something that made a lot of sense.  “Some people are just stupid…and you can’t fix stupid.”  He’s just the greatest. 

So, Anonymous…thank you for your comment.  It made me realize that, although I am still insecure at times, I have come a long way and I am not as constantly worried about what the world thinks of me.  This is a huge step forward for me, so I am even more proud of myself.  

You think I’m “still fat”...Good for you.  

I think I’m fabulous...inside AND out.  We’ll just have to agree to disagree.