I hadn’t been feeling well for days. Couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was off. I had some heartburn and lethargy, but I’m a pretty busy girl, so I mentally pushed it aside and pressed on.
Wednesday of this week started out like any other day; got Connor off to school, put on my workout clothes and got after it.
But something was off, I could feel it.
My pre-workout breakfast had been a gluten-free zucchini muffin with a smattering of almond butter. Yum! Problem was, it was sitting like lead in my chest.
You may know, I had lap-band surgery in 2007 as a catalyst for what became my whole lifestyle transformation. I have always considered the band an incredible tool that I used to learn proper portion size and to help me manage my hunger. In the end, it helped me create mindfulness in an area of my life that had always seemed hopelessly out-of-control for me.
Over the course of a few hours it became obvious: that gluten-free zucchini muffin wasn’t going anywhere. Eventually (sorry if this is TMI) it came back up. Yuck! Things went from bad to worse for the rest of the day and by the next morning I couldn’t keep anything down, including water.
Ummm, I don’t have a medical degree, but that’s bad.
Thursday morning I drove myself to the surgical center where I had my lap-band surgery more than eight years before. They x-rayed me while I drank barium so they could see what was happening in there. The band, which is supposed to sit just around the top 1/3 of my stomach, had completely collapsed and my stomach had smooshed (that’s a medical term; try to keep up) over the top of it.
The doctor took one look at me an said, “It’s gotta come out.”
I’ve always known that there was a risk of complications with bariatric surgery. All those years ago, I chose the band for this very reason: it is the only form of weight loss surgery that is completely reversible. But my first thought was, is everything reversible? Could all of the work I’ve done to unravel my emotional eating be undone? Are my now long-established healthy habits as unwavering as I think they are?
By the time you read this I will have had the surgery and my lap band will be completely removed. As I contemplate life post-band I wonder, have I learned all the lessons that the band had to teach me? I feel 100% committed to living a healthy lifestyle now, but will it be enough?
Only time will tell, I suppose.
In the years since I had my surgery I have internalized the lessons I learned from the band and really made them my own. Choosing to be optimistic is not really my natural state, but in this case I’m gonna go with it. I think I got this.
Forgive the format of today’s newsletter; it’s more of an open letter to all of you: my friends and best cheerleaders. The power of going on this journey to wellness together is that we have the chance to live, love, learn, succeed and fail together. I can’t imagine going through this without all of you in my corner. Thank you so much for that.
With much love and a grateful heart,