Originally published Oct. 8, 2005, in Our Town for the Tracy Press.
When I first decided to have gastric-bypass surgery, I set a modest goal for myself. I decided that I wanted to weigh 200 pounds after one year.I picked that goal because it’s the average of what I weighed from the age of 10 to 18. I figured if I could maintain that weight for eight years before, it would be realistic goal to maintain for the rest of my life.The only problem is that when I weighed 335 pounds, it never occurred to me I could be in the ballpark of 200 pounds seven months after surgery. And when that happened, I realized it was time to revisit my goal weight.
Obviously, my body is capable of being thinner, and I have 12 months left of the “honeymoon” period to lose more weight. All gastric-bypass patients have an 18- month honeymoon period to lose as much excess weight as possible before their bodies get wise and figure out a way to consume more food and absorb more nutrients from the food ingested.My new goal weight needs to be low enough that it accounts for regaining 10 or 20 pounds (common after two years) without significantly hurting my health. After much thought, I’ve settled on a goal weight of 160 pounds.At 5-foot, 3-inches tall, weighing 160 pounds puts my body mass index at 26.9, still considered overweight. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.95. However, it’ll be the closest to normal I’ve ever been.This goal may end up being temporary. I’m about 40 pounds away from my goal at the moment. Twenty pounds from now, I plan to revisit this goal. I may decide that I want to try for a more normal weight. If I do, then I’ll change my goal again at that time.One thing I’ve learned since surgery is the importance of being flexible with my goals and expectations because one never knows what will occur.As I often say, every day brings a new challenge and a new reward. I’m just enjoying the journey for what it’s worth.