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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

My Lap Band Life: Six Months In

Copyright ©2011 by Ralph Couey


                                                   Before                                 So Far

Second picture is a bit misleading since I'm wearing a baggy shirt and pants that are 4 sizes too big.  The difference really shows in my face and neck.  In case you're wondering who those cute kids are, they're two of our grandchildren, Diana 5, and Ian 5 months.


The adjustment at the end of May really helped.  From then until the end of June, I lost 14 more pounds down to 240.  That makes the total weight loss now 44 pounds since the surgery, and 73 pounds since the pre-op seminar.  I've gone from a size 52 pants down to 42, and my shirts from 3XL to XL.  My target is 180 pounds, so I still have 60 pounds to go, but I can see a glimmer in the far distance that just might be the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm much better now at being happy with 3/4 cup of food.  I find I still have to have quite a bit of salad to...um...keep the plumbing functional.  I've learned to limit my intake of soup because it doesn't stick around to keep hunger away, but merely drains on through.  I'm really working on taking small fork/spoonfuls and chewing a lot before swallowing.  After the adjustment, I had quite a bit of discomfort because I had started to go back to eating too much too fast and I had to re-teach myself to slow down and cut down.

The heat and humidity of summer has arrived, a time that has always been intense torture for me.  Not only was I uncomfortable, I was sweating a lot, which made for some uncomfortable social situations.  I find this year, however, that my tolerance for summer weather is much better.  Granted, the temperate Laurel Highlands area isn't Florida, but when I venture out of the mountains to DC or Pittsburgh, I really notice the difference.  Of course, the flip side is that with far less bodily insulation, winters will now feel much colder, solar minimum notwithstanding.

It's hard to argue with results, and results is what I've gotten.  But the crowning glory happened this past weekend.  We went down to DC for the 4th and on the way we stopped at the Hagerstown Outlet Mall in Maryland.  We had our middle daughter with us who is newly preggers and needed some maternity wear.  While Mom and Daughter were shopping, I wandered around.  My first stop was the Polo store where I found quite a bit of clothes that fit.  But the best moment came a bit later. 

My goal has always been that once I got to my goal weight, I would reward myself with new clothes from Brooks Brothers.  Now there may be better places, but the one thing I've always noticed is how great those clothes looked on thin people.  I desperately wanted to be one of those nattily-clad men.  There is a BB outlet store there, but I've always been terrified to go in there.  But this time, I conquered my fear and entered.  To my surprise and absolute delight, I found a few things that fit nicely.  I didn't buy anything, because at the rate I'm losing, they would be saggy-baggy in a couple of months, and even at outlet prices, that's too much Jack to fork over for just a couple of months.  Still, it was a singular moment of triumph.

My walking is going very well.  I can go 4 to 5 miles without being winded.  I can now walk 2.1 miles in 30 minutes, which works out to better than 4 mph walking speed.  For a short-legged dude like me, that's hoofin' it.

The only other thing I'm having problems with is keeping my mouth shut.  Every time I see someone imprisoned by obesity, I have this powerful urge to...well...evangelize, if you will.  I want them to know that freedom is just a decision away.  But I remember how I was before.  I didn't want anyone to see me as "fat" and I certainly didn't want the fact that I was fat noticed.  I was very insecure about that and had deluded myself into thinking that as long as I wore baggy clothes, I could hide it.  Of course, everyone knew I was obese.  The only person I was hiding from...was me.

The march goes on, and the day is definitely getting brighter.

If you have any questions about the Lap Band Life, contact me at Ralph.Couey@gmail.com

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