This past Tuesday I had my 6 month bariatric surgery follow up. All in all, with one potential exception, everything is great. A few notes:

  • We agreed I am officially done losing weight. Fully clothed at the Dr’s office I weighed 140. My BMI is right where they want it and I am far beyond any goals they had for me and the ones I had set for myself.
  • The focus now changes from losing weight and trying to maintain muscle mass to changing body composition. I’d like to stay around 140, I feel amazing at this weight and very strong, but to start, I’d like to swap out 5 pounds of fat for 5 pounds of muscle. For tracking purposes I am going to go from Xmas 23 to Xmas 24.
  • We don’t know how many calories I need yet. I’ve been bumped up to 1800 for now, which is still hundreds more than your average bariatric patient 6 months post-op, but the amount of exercise/movement I do requires it. You may recall how I struggled trying to get 1200 calories in, then 1400, then 1600, it’s rough. But for now it’s 1800 a day. I will continue to work my ass off and then readjust as needed every 2 weeks based on what my weight does. If I keep losing, I add 200 more calories a day. I gain too much weight, I drop it 1-200 calories per day and so on until I find the happy medium that allows me to maintain weight, recover from workouts, and build lean muscle.
  • Related to the above point, I have zero desire to eat 2000 calories a day, much less more than that. If I get to that point and I am still dropping weight, I will likely begin cutting out some of the cardio from my routine. I don’t want to, but eating that much is fucking hard when your stomach only holds 4-4.5 ounces.
  • I had to endure what seemed like a 5 minute soliloquy from the Dr. telling me how awesome I am. Apparently even bariatric doctors don’t see these kind of results often and it’s something cool for them too. That’s great and I will be the first to admit I have an ego the size of a truck and I am not all that humble, but this was a bit overkill for me. It’s not that I disagree, I do agree with her. But damn it was odd. I have a hard enough time taking compliments from people I know without blushing. (Certain people take an odd delight in this fact.)

The exception mentioned above; I still can’t laugh properly. I have cardio/wind for days, but I can’t get enough air to give a proper belly laugh. If I have something caught in my throat, I can’t get a deep enough cough to dislodge whatever it is. We’re gonna do an upper GI test soon to make sure I don’t have a Hiatal hernia, which is when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm. If I do, that is a surgical fix, so I am really hoping I don’t. On the bright side, I don’t have any of the other symptoms normally associated with a Hiatal hernia like acid reflux, regurgitation issues, or heart burn. My hope is my laugh will come back on its own eventually.

A few months back I set a goal to be able to do 1 pull up. I couldn’t do any back then, not even with a pretty massive resistance band to help. I have made a lot of strength gains in the past 2 months and my arms and shoulders have gotten noticeably bigger (not-so-humble-brag) in that same time frame. I was 15-17 pounds heavier the last time I tried 6 weeks ago, but last night I tried to do 1 on a whim and did it with ease. I realized about 70% of the way up I was going to make it and was so surprised that after I finished I let go of the bar and didn’t even attempt to try another. I got 1, so the goal is now 3. I tried this morning after some core and Pilates, but before resistance training and got 2 good ones and about half of another. Work will continue.

The pics below, the one on the left is from 5 years ago, the ones on the right are from within the last 7 days. I’m not proud of how I used to be, but I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get to today. Can’t wait to check back in a year and compare progress.