It’s that time of year. The brief period in January when New Year’s resolutions are still top on mind. Television is filled
with commercials advertising Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, gym memberships, exercise equipment and miracle weight loss cures.
It’s been six months since I had bariatric surgery at Summa in Akron, and so far I’ve lost more than 140 pounds. I feel great overall and I’m very glad I went ahead with it. I think it’s the changes in the little things that impact me the most. Everything from tying my shoes to sitting on an airplane is so much easier. My world is much different now.
Though my surgery seems like a long time ago, there are still major differences in how well I tolerate certain foods. I shouldn’t really be surprised, as I learned in my pre-surgery classes that my body will continue to adjust to my physical changes for as much as a year. What foods work for me seem to be frustratingly random, however and adjusting to that is my biggest issue. But it keeps getting better, so that’s quite encouraging.
“Today Show” weatherman Al Roker may be the most recognized celebrity to undergo gastric bypass surgery. Roker weighed more than 350 pounds when he had the operation more than a decade ago, garnering a great deal of media attention. He slimmed down to 190, but bad eating habits resulted in his gaining back much of the weight.
In his new book, “Never Going Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle for Good,” Roker details his lifelong struggle, including how he eventually got back on track with a healthy approach to food. Even at this early stage in my journey, I do understand how you could gain the weight back – even after such a drastic procedure. While my stomach is so small that doctors refer to it as a “pouch,” it is still possible to consume more calories – and more unhealthy food – than you should.
For example, it’s common for bariatric patients to have difficulty with sweets after surgery. That’s not true for me! I can eat cookies, chocolate and ice cream with no problems whatsoever, so I still have to be careful.
My number one goal for this year is to exercise. Late last year I joined the Kent State Recreation and Wellness Center, but I’ve only been there twice. I relied on the usual excuses – the holidays are coming, I just don’t have the time now, etc. I don’t harbor any illusions about becoming an exercise fanatic, I simply want to start a program of regular walking and see where that leads.
My other top goal is to diversify the kinds of food I’m consuming. I have a tendency to get in a rut menu-wise, and I rely too much on the same things over and over. It’s easy, but it gets pretty tiresome in the long-run. I can eat a surprising amount of yogurt, for example, but that gets old quick. Summa provided me with some great menu suggestions, and of course there is a huge amount of excellent information online. I hope to explore new and different foods as I move forward.
I hope that 2013 will be a healthy and happy year for you and yours!