Tuesday, November 24, 2009

91 pounds

I've lost 91 pounds. I've put a bunch of my clothes in a large garbage bag to take to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I've bought new clothes and new shoes. I've swum in the Caribbean Sea in a new bathing suit. I look better. Physically, I feel better. I can do more: walk farther, climb steps without discomfort, enjoy exercise.

I no longer feel as if food has some kind of hold over me. I can only eat so much. There are consequences to "just one more" bite: pain in my chest, vomiting over a period of a couple of hours. It's no fun.

This month, for pretty much the first time, I am beginning to feel depression set in. It's that apathy, that lack of spark, that desire to do nothing. I expected my life to change. I'll admit it. I expected all the things I dreamed of to come true. I expected to feel exultant and proud. I just feel something like deflation. As if the pounds going away took some part of me with them.

I try not to dwell on people looking differently at me. I actually prefer when someone asks me about the surgery, or asks if I've lost weight. The silence and wide eyes make me feel slightly furtive, like I've pulled a fast one. Most people seem to be treating me the same way, acting as if nothing has changed. This makes me feel weird. Again, I prefer people to voice their impressions, ask their questions. The silence is disconcerting.

At my 3-month appointment, the nurse who runs the group classes said depression medication is possibly the only exception to the post-surgery rule. That is, in most cases, bariatric patients take less medication after losing weight: Diabetes abates, blood pressure goes down, sleep apnea is silenced. No need for pain meds when your knees/back/ankles, etc. no longer hurt. Nurse Natalie said the malabsorption feature of the surgery may undermine the work of the depression medication. Great.

I dislike my job more, rather than less. Somewhere in my mind I figured that since losing weight would make me happier with myself, maybe I'd be happier with my situation. I would be okay with my job. I would go ahead and buy a house. Instead, escape is my constant and most fervent wish. How can I get out of here? How can I pack a few bags and just hit the road. I would love to drive and drive, stop in a hotel when I'm tired. Get up and do it again the next day. I'd take pictures. I'd see sights. I'd visit old friends from coast to coast. When I got to the coast, I'd get on a plane or a boat or a ship and keep going.

I cleaned out what was left of my pension from a former job and paid off half of my debts. If I could get rid of my debt, I would quit my job and go find what's out there.

So, I've lost 91 pounds. Seventy-one to go.