The Weight Is Over

A blog about my gastric bypass surgery experience and recovery.
I came in for a night cap. Gotta love Canada!

I came in for a night cap. Gotta love Canada!

The Journey Continues…

It has been three months since I have been on tumblr. Lots of things have happened since my last post. I got a clean bill of health on my new knee so I started back at the gym with my trainer. He kicked my butt yesterday and I am very sore today, but I was also extremely excited that I was able to do all the exercises he gave me with no pain in my knee! I also weighed in at 190 pounds. This is just beyond my wildest dreams. I have lost 152 pounds and life has changed dramatically. I had my one year follow up with the gastric bypass doctor last month and he was very happy with my progress and considered my case a success. I told him that they are very good at informing people about certain aspects of this life changing surgery, but they are sorely lacking in information dissemination on other areas and I plan to use my tumblr space to address them. Things such as clothes shopping after losing 150 pounds, sex and physical body changes after losing this much weight, food cravings I never had before surgery that are driving me crazy now, etc., etc.  You get the idea. I am going to talk about the stuff no one else wants to talk about. I will start posting next week. First weeks topic…Shopping!

Hello Sub 200 pounds!

It’s been about a month since my last post. I have focused this last month on rehab of my right knee since my total knee replacement surgery at the beginning of December. I am getting ready to return home next week from this adventure. I am really ready to be back home, but I had to post this today…I weighed in at 199.5 pounds. I haven’t weighed under 200 pounds since I was 16 years old (36 years ago). It was an amazing feeling to see those numbers on the scale (and a nice birthday present). I have lost a total of 142 pounds. I am only 8 pounds away from my ultimate goal.  Stay focused people! Every little thing you do everyday pays big dividends in the long run! 2013 is going to kick ass!

Struggles and Triumphs!

It has been a couple of months since I have gotten on tumblr to check in. My last check in was shortly after the death of my best friend. Since then I have honored Sam by taking ever day as it comes and celebrating the moment. Since the end of September I have traveled quite extensively throughout Canada and the US and have seen many wonderful places. I crewed my wife as she conquered the Javalina 100 rode race. She completed the run in 23 hours and 24 minutes. Just an awesome feeling watching her master this feat. I also did a Cha cha dance routine at my studio in front of 100 people, rode Harleys with a friend to Key West Florida and right now am recovering from a total knee replacement surgery. No the surgery wasn’t because of the dance routine or the Harley ride. It has been scheduled for quite sometime. So as I am relearning how to walk again, I am still focused on my weight loss. As of this morning, I am 210 pounds. I have lost 132 pounds since March. I have 20 more to go to get to my goal weight. So today I celebrate my weight loss, even though I struggle with each step. However, I am determined to be better than before and will compete in more bicycle races, and do more dance competitions. 2013 will be an awesome year!

Life changes in an instant! Live every day to it’s fullest potential!

I haven’t posted on Tumblr in two weeks. My last post saw me celebrating the completion of my first triathlon relay, meeting my weight goals, and recording a personal best time. Life was euphoric! Three days later I lost my best friend unexpectedly and the last two weeks have been a mixture of emotions ranging from anger to sadness to constant grief. The memorial service this weekend was an amazing celebration of his life and it made me realize I have let too many days go by without joy and happiness in them. Sam’s final gift to me was to celebrate life everyday with the people around me. I have made new friends because of him and I will honor him by being in the moment everyday!

So as I chug towards my ultimate weight loss goal, I will appreciate what I have done so far and celebrate each day for what it brings. I am happy to report to all my weight loss surgery peeps that I have lost 115 pounds in the six months since my surgery. I am only 37 pounds away from mu ultimate weight loss goal. I will continue to do the work each day to make this goal a reality, but in Sam’s honor I will not lose my focus and I will celebrate life each and every day I am given. Thanks Sammy for everything!

Life has changed so much is such a short period of time!

Today I celebrate completing my first triathlon relay with my good friend John Stewart and my wonderful wife Lisa Murphy.  John did the swim, I did the bike, and Lisa did the run. I set a personal best time for the 40K ride at 1:45:30. Lisa rocked the run of 10K at 48:00 flat. Unfortunately John completely destroyed is right shoulder and had to be taken out of the water. He was still a trooper and stayed with us to cheer us on all the way to the finish. Overall, a winning experience for us. John vows to be back to beat this thing!

Additionally, I am 5 1/2 months after surgery and celebrated this morning at 110 pounds down. I was trying to reach the 110 pounds lost prior to the triathlon and I made it.

Since the surgery, I have helped crew my wife on a 50 mile run in April, started training for the triathlon in May (had a hard time finishing 3 miles back then), walked on fire in June with me good friend Claudia, went to France in July, started grand jury service (I am the foreman) in August, and completed my relay triathlon in September.

Looking forward to more adventures in the future. Thanks to all my fabulous family and friends for the constant encouragement. Now it’s time for wine!!!

Rode the Finger Lakes Triathlon Race Route!

Today I completed the Finger Lakes Triathlon Race route (23.5 miles). This is my longest ride yet and did it in record time for me. I have 10 days until race day. Looking forward to setting a personal best record that day. The race route includes a killer hill at mile 14 that is .75 miles long uphill. I kicked it and still had enough juice to ride the last 8.5 miles to the finish. I’m sore tonight, but very satisfied. Additionally, I have lost 106 pounds in five months and still rocking! Life has changed so much and so little. I am able to do so many more things physically than I used to, but I still struggle with food cravings and wanting to eat all the wrong things. This will be my life long struggle I guess. However, life is really good right now and I am looking forward to the future with my extraordinary wife!

Hit the Century mark today!!!

I finally got into the 100 pounds lost category this morning. I have been hanging right at 99.5 for the last 5 days, but today I hit the 100. It is an exciting feeling! I also rode 14 miles on my bicycle in my training for the triathlon relay that I am doing on September 9th. I cut 6 minutes off my time so I am looking at a 2 hour, 24 mile ride on September 9th. I never thought I would be able to do a triathlon, but life has changed so much in such a short period of time. It gives me hope for the future. I have my annual physical tomorrow and for the first time I am really looking forward to it.

Here is a brief summary and observations of my weight loss adventure path I am on:

The first six weeks you are busy healing and learning that your food and fluid intake is drastically different from your previous lifestyle. This messes with your head, but the drastic weight loss is exciting. Focus on healing and relearning how to eat and drink. I was extremely lucky to have my two sisters Kathleen Rivers and Nicole Gorman who have been through the bypass surgery to help me through this phase. The words of wisdom they shared during this time frame are still propelling me today to keep strong and win!

The next six weeks is about learning how to eat again. The biggest task during this phase is learning to eat without getting sick (dumping). This was by far the roughest time for me. So many changes in my lifestyle. It’s really a head game and you have to be willing to stay strong and figure out what works for you.

Now you are 3 months post surgery and you start to figure out how you are going to live the rest of your life. At this point you are eating regularly again and a bit more volume. The weight loss will start to slow at this point. Don’t get me wrong, you will still lose, just not at the pace of the first 3 months. This is the time to start adding exercise into your life. In order to keep motivated, you want to keep losing weight so increased activity will help offset the increase in calories you are able to eat at this point. I was told once that the first year post surgery is your honeymoon period. In other words the majority of your weight loss will be in the first 12 months. So knowing this, it is imperative to make the most of your first year so add some exercise to your life and kick ass on the poundage loss!

The exercise part doesn’t have to be drastic, just increase your activity from your past lifestyle. Most of us had little to no exercise in our lives prior to surgery. Exercise is not something we want to do, never has been. But I challenge you to look at it initially as a way to make the most of your first year and lose the most weight possible which IS something we all want to do. Start a walking routine, try riding a bike, take ballroom dancing lessons, whatever piques your fancy, but try something!

I am almost at the 5 month point after surgery and I can attest to the fact that the last 2 months have been amazing and I am consistently losing weight due to the increased activity in my life. Unfortunately I have figured out that I can eat almost everything I could before so I will always struggle with making healthy food choices to keep my weight under control. I have also found that I have an increased appetite for sweets which is not productive when you are trying to lose weight. You will find your own challenges along the way, so give yourself an edge and exercise a little each week to stack the deck in your favor!

I wish you all the best in your personal journeys and will look forward to hearing your story!