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Last month was my one-year surgaversary and I spent some time thinking about all the changes that have occurred. I have heard people refer to their surgery date as their second birthday. That really is not far from the truth.

Much like when we are born there are big changes during our first year.  Before my Sleeve Surgery, I was in a wheelchair and unable to do anything requiring more than taking two steps. I needed to rely on my sister and best friend for everything. It was a truly humbling experience.

At the start of my surgery approval process, my high weight was 394 pounds. At my one year surgaversary I weighed 200.8 pounds. As I write this today, I am 195 pounds. I have lost a total of 199 pounds, that’s more than I currently weigh. It has been one very interesting year.

It definitely is exciting to see all the positive changes, but it wasn’t always easy. I found the “mind games” to be the hardest part of this process.

So, now that I have reached my one-year surgaversary, here are a few things I have learned along the way:

  • Follow the eating and drinking guidelines provided by your surgeon.  They work! Here is a link to a post where I outlined the basic guidelines I follow: 7-Strategies for Success
  • During the first few months when you can’t eat anything that you normally would have, focus on changing your habits not fighting them. Here is a link to a post I wrote about my experience during that time period:  The Secret of Change
  • Don’t wait for the moment you can eat a slice a pizza and/or drink a soda. Change the way you look at food, so that you don’t want to eat or drink unhealthy things again.
  • Don’t tempt yourself with unhealthy choices. Just like an alcoholic can never have a drink. I know that I can’t eat certain foods or beverages ever again. I just accept this, no questions asked.
  • Be persistent in following your new healthy plan. There will be times when you absolutely follow your plan, but the scale doesn’t show a loss. Don’t go off track. Keep doing what you are supposed to do and you will see results. With that in mind, only weigh yourself once a week. NO MORE. Here is a link to my Free Guide about dealing with weight-loss stalls:  What You Need to Know About Conquering the Plateau
  • Be happy with your weight loss no matter how small it may seem. Every pound lost counts; each one brings you closer to your new healthy life.
  • Take lots of pictures of your progress. Here are some of my photos:  Before and After Pictures

No matter how long it takes to reach your goal weight, do not stray from the basics. You will be transformed, as long as you do not wonder off the path. If I could do it, so can you! I still have 25 more pounds to lose before I reach my goal. And, once I reach my goal weight I know the journey doesn’t end there. The changes I have made this year must stay with me for the rest of my life. And, for the first time in my life, I know I can and will do that!!

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