Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bariatric Betty and her BMI battle

Well, now that I know that I want to have my surgery at hospital C, I'm just waiting for the phone call from my assigned Personal Patient Advocate to start scheduling everything...

Meanwhile, I have been working on healthy changes at home.  It started out with a search for an elliptical at a bunch of garage sales.  That didn't pan out, but something else happened.  A neighbor offered me his Total Body Gym and treadmill for FREE.  I'm not a huge treadmill fan, and I think I'm lifting enough weight for the moment ;P but keeping my family, my future self, and the price in mind - I accepted.  Now I need to find some big strong guys who can help get it out of his basement into ours... (the current owner had a back injury/ surgery that prevents him from using, let alone moving them).  Then, after missing a great reconditioned elliptical at a Sears outlet by 1 hour, I decided to try out a bottom of the line basic model sold at Walmart for under $200.  My review - it works, as in it goes in an elliptical path and makes me sweat.  The console doesn't do great readouts (some of the numbers blink in and out of readability) but I can see how long I've been on it, and the resistance seems to work.  Given what I paid for it, I think that's pretty good.  I'm going to work on tightening the bolts to get rid of a thunking sound I hear every revolution.

So I've also cut down on snacking after dinner.  I used to have popcorn, or light fro-yo, or something after dinner.  Between our kids having their community sports gearing up and a concerted effort to distract myself most nights I'm not having dessert/ post dinner snacks.  I'm still walking at least a mile a day and now doing about 15 minutes a day on the elliptical (which sometimes says I have burned 144 calories doing it), and I have actually lost a few pounds in the last two weeks.  Now, my only concern is a strange one.  What if I lose enough weight that I'm no longer elligible for the surgery?

My BMI is 41, but in three more pounds lost it will be 40.  Currently I qualify for surgery by having a BMI over 40.  I will still qualify for surgery with a BMI 35-40 because of my co-morbidity of type II diabetes.  To drop under 35, I would need to lose 33 pounds from now.  Unlikely, but possibile.  Because I will be on a medically supervised diet for 90 days after my initial surgical consult, I should be continuing to lose weight.  I doubt I can lose 33 more pounds in that time period.  If I could, I wouldn't be considering this weight loss surgery.  The last time I lost 33 pounds it took me 5 months on a very restrictive nutrisystem diet.  So why am I worried?  I guess logically I'm not.  But it does seem strange that for some reason I wouldn't want to lose TOO much weight. 

The other part is that when I lose that much weight I haven't been successful at keeping it off.  I feel hungry all the time, and start thinking things like "why can everybody eat a piece of bread except me and I'm still obese?"  That's what I'm hoping will be taken care of by the surgery.  That I'll have a tool that lets me feel full - REALLY full, after eating just a small amount of bread, protein, vegetable, etc.  Then I won't want more.  A friend told me about a friend of theirs who had the surgery and for two years was religious about what they ate. After two years, he came into the breakroom and saw the every-present donuts and said "You know, I want a donut!"  So he cut a quarter of a donut off and ate it, smiled and said "OK, I'm full".  That's my dream.  Two years after surgery to be at a healthy weight, be able to have a couple bites of a dessert and say "OK, I'm done." 

Waiting for that phone call....

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