It’s been 5 years since my last post and 8 years since I started this blog. I began this journey to document my weight loss endeavors, but it became so much more than that once I decided to pursue weight loss surgery on 4/25/13. My starting weight going into that surgery was 371 and then in two years I dropped down to my lowest weight of 185. It was incredible—and it was a trying two years that got me down to that weight. And I’ll get into that. But, it was never just about the number on the scale; I quickly realized that as my world shifted around me as the pounds started to melt away. Rather, it was opportunities that became available to me once they did, and confidence that followed- along with habits, good and bad that I picked up as a result.
At the start of my surgery, I was on-point. I did everything by the book. My diet was perfect. I didn’t eat and drink at the same time, as I’m not supposed to – so as not to expand my stomach and re-stretch it out, not within 30 minutes of each other. I didn’t drink any alcohol and re-test my tolerance. I was a good post-surgery patient. I exercised a few times a week – cardio mostly, but occasionally some weights, and the weight fell off. I was in grad-school at the time going full-time for the first year, and then got a job at a tech firm after my one year surgery anniversary. I had lost a decent amount by then and felt amazing. Clothes were fitting on me better. I didn’t hate shopping at clothing stores anymore. Going to department stores was a whole new experience. Even footwear was fitting differently.
Another year passed, not even, and I was starting to get attention from men as I continued to lose more weight. I was getting asked out. I didn’t quite know what to do with that attention. I was a grown woman, yes—but as I told you, I was previously 371 pounds, so I wasn’t getting date requests, mind you. In year two off my surgery I was working closer and closer toward what my friend calls “One-derland.” Things were changing epically. It was a new world to me. Exciting for sure, but new and scary. I wanted this— but then I didn’t want this. I suddenly felt like I wanted to go back to being invisible and left alone. Let me be clear— I’m not under the illusion I’m some knock-out all of a sudden because I lost some weight. I’m only expressing the difference between dating life now vs. no-dating life prior.
I went out on a few dates— and managed well, considering. Ultimately, nothing led anywhere though, and I couldn’t escape my fear of getting too close to anyone. I wasn’t completely even comfortable with myself yet. I needed more time. So, I focused my energy on work and family.
Eventually, at some point along the way, my brother suggested that since I lost enough weight that I should make a tandem skydive — he, after all, was licensed and that’s how he spends his weekends—fun-jumping. At first, I thought—well, I’ve had it on my bucket list for so long, but now that I’m actually at the proper weight limit, do I actually want to do this??! But, he was persistent, in a good way. So sure enough, on May 9th, 2015—I made my first skydive (tandem). Did I know after my first skydive that I was going to pursue getting licensed? Nope. I loved it, for sure. But I had no intention of doing that again for myself and flying my own canopy. I thought it sounded freaking insane and nothing I would be capable of doing for myself. That kind of thinking was something I was used to in my prior “body” – pre-surgery. Incapable. Unable. I can’t do that. But, as my brother teased and continued to talk to me about it, the thought began to fester. A challenge.
What things have I been limiting myself to because I think I’m incapable—whether it be because of my size, previous size or current size? My anxiety? My skills? If they can do this—- -what’s stopping me? I began to think that— I had this surgery to have a new life and do the things that excite me and live my life to the fullest. No regrets. This was my chance, right?! To seize the day? I had to take it. So, after my second tandem, I decided I would get certified and learn to jump solo. It would be a challenge for me worth taking. A growth opportunity for me. And it sure as hell was. But then I did a third tandem just to be sure! LOL.
I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty details of the tales of my skydiving experience of getting my license (for now in this post at least). I will say, that my first jump (non-tandem) and flying my own canopy was mind-blowing. I had no idea before that day what I was truly capable of. That I could save my own life. That I could fly. That I could feel that level of freedom and find so much peace in the sky. When my feet touched the ground, all the adrenaline came rushing over me, that or just the euphoria from the jump. I yelled at the instructor on the ground and told him, “I’m in this for life!” It was most excellent!
There’s many other cool things I’ve discovered I can do post-surgery. Like not sinking a kayaking the first time I got in one post-op. That was fun! Just kidding, you can’t sink those. Pffttt. You can flip them over though, been there, done that! I’ve gone zip-lining in Jamaica and didn’t worry quite so much that anything was going to snap or break! LOL
That all said, I learned something that day I did my first non-tandem skydive, something truly significant— this truly is my personal revolution. I’m in control and no one else of my life and how this goes. I have the reins. I can change and steer it in any direction or path I choose. The winds will change, so I need to be mindful and equipped both mentally, emotionally and physically to deal. And– I need to have faith and confidence in my abilities. I’ve already proven I can do more than I ever thought possible. I can be strong, brave and surprise myself by way of successfully staying calm in fearful and stressful situations.
Lastly, the past two years have been kind of a challenge. I’ll expand a little in future posts. I was skydiving a little bit—had a crummy reserve ride and accident, ouch! Changed my career path a little, traveled a little, I’ve been not as consistent. And that’s on me. I also dated for just about a year and then some complicated months. All I’ll say about that is—there was a beginning, a middle and an end. It was a learning experience.
I also regained some of my weight back in the last two years— bah! So, now I’m working my tail off to get that going back in the other direction!!! I’m around 238 right now (eeesh!) and working the Keto diet and I’m having success. Also including fitness in my routine, which is very important to me, trying to be realistic and regimented and get my ass in gear —- my goal is 165 by next summer. This post has already gotten pretty long, but there’s more to share. I hope whomever is out there—is with me! And as always, anyone going through anything of their own and similar changes, struggles, I’m with you too! 🙂