Welcome to my first post in what will hopefully be an interesting journey. My name is Amanda and I am the incredible shrinking bride. That is to say, I am planning a wedding while recovering from weight loss surgery on July 15, 2010.
Now I know that you’re thinking, “What do these two things have to do with one another?” and to answer your question, I’m not totally sure. One thing I can definitely say is that they’re both stressful. Really stressful. Also, I think they’re both pretty huge milestones in my life.
So let’s share a little about me. I am 28 years old and my “fiancée”, M. as we shall call him, is 37. We live in a house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also, I should come clean now and let you know that we are NOT engaged yet. That’s not to say all this planning is for nothing! We have been together since January of this year and I once told him that I think it takes at least a year to know someone enough to be sure that you should marry them. That was early in our courtship, before I realized that I wanted to marry him. Pretty early on he knew that he wanted to marry me and it didn’t take long for me to feel that way as well. Still, he’s holding me to my word – though I have a feeling it may be a little shy of a year when he puts a ring on it. You have to love a man with convictions!
Anyway, we have picked out a ring that I think he may have already purchased and he assures me that we will be en fianced before the end of the year. That means that our wedding won’t be too far off, right? Wrong!! One great side effect of this surgery is that for the first year, I am considered to be in a period of rapid weight loss where most people lose 100+ pounds, easily. This makes it a little hard to order a wedding dress since my body size is a moving target. So you’re thinking “so what? Just buy a dress and get hitched, fatty!” and part of me agrees with you. I mean, it’s hard enough to find a good man, so why make him wait? The reality is that I, like most girls, have been dreaming about my wedding since I was a girl. I want to feel beautiful on that day so that I can remember it forever, and I’m not sure I will knowing that my wedding pictures will show me when I was still fat.
So why don’t I want fat memories? It’s not that I don’t. I have 28 years of them because I’ve been overweight my whole life. My family seems to have a lot of big people in it, and I am no exception. At 5’7″ and my highest weight put me in the category of morbidly obese. Forget overweight – I was in a category where my weight was going to kill me someday. Clearly I didn’t get this way by genetics alone. Sure, it helped, but my emotional addiction to food certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
After years of trying everything under the sun to lose the weight and getting no results I was finally fed up. In October 2009 I began a journey with Dr. John Meilhan at Temple University Hospital to change all of that. After 6 months of classes and preparation with the hospital’s program I was finally approved for a gastric bypass surgery. This surgery essentially reduces the stomach that is usually the size of a football to the size of an egg. There’s some other plumbing re-routing that takes place, but essentially the new surgery doesn’t allow me to eat normally. My meals must be much smaller, packed with nutritious food and frequent because I don’t ever feel hungry, a feeling that may not ever return. I’m till struggling to get into a routine, but if I forget to eat I don’t notice until I’m feeling SUPER tired and run down. It’s a lot of work learning to eat all over again like I am an infant, but I’m really excited about the results. It’s less than 6 weeks out and I’m down 38 pounds so I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
So what am I hoping to accomplish with the blog? Much like the relationship of wedding planning and gastric-bypass, I’m not sure. Perhaps it will act as catharsis to get all the stress out. Maybe it will even help other people to hear what I have to say, or maybe they can give me advice on what I’m going through. Worst case scenario, I can share all the cute wedding stuff that I find with you all and hopefully you will enjoy my journey as I am The Incredible Shrinking Bride.