"from the hardest working man in bariatric surgery."

i feel good!

To quote the late James Brown, "I feel good. I knew that I would."

Since I've been giving so much time and energy over to complaining about what's been happening since the surgery, I've decided it is time to tell the rest of the story.

Losing 70 pounds in 131 days feels pretty good. My body is easier to live in, my dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) has resolved. My Diabetes has improved. I've significantly reduced my medication (from pre-surgical levels) for Diabetes--I no longer use insulin at all and I'm taking 75% of the Metformin (oral medication for Diabetes) I used to take.

I sleep better, I can bend over and tie my shoes, I'm getting stronger at the gym, and my posture has improved. I can sit in new positions. Getting up from chairs and the floor is now something I do without giving it much thought (it used to be a strategic physics problem to solve). Climbing stairs is no longer an opportunity to practice pain tolerance, I no longer stop climbing and stand politely on the right side when I board an escalator. Now I'm one of those irritating New Yorkers that bounds up the left side, sighing loudly when someone is standing in the way.

I am getting positive attention from everyone around me. My colleagues treat me with more respect and deference. My friends are supportive and openly admire me. I went to a job interview yesterday, I was relaxed and confident, I was not at all concerned about my appearance. While women are not yet dropping to their knees and begging to be my girlfriend, the look in their eyes when they see me is noticeably different and the compliments from them are both genuine and frequent.

Flying commercial, in coach, no longer involves enduring pain. I no longer require a seat-belt extension in any airline or automobile seat. People sit in the seat next to me on the Subway. I can attend the theatre without needing an aisle seat. I no longer have to scan the room for the chair in which I can safely sit when I enter a new room. Small children no longer stare at me in drop-jawed gaping awe.

I now *want* my clothes to shrink in the wash. I can wear all those clothes I stubbornly refused to throw away when they got too small (isn't it interesting that it was the clothes that got small, not me that got big?). When I shop for clothes, I have many, many more options to choose from. I am still a "big and tall" size, but a much, much more common one. For the first time since my 20's, I can readily buy logo-wear, clothes made for organizations I support. If I want to be a tool of corporate advertising, I can do this now!

While this is something about which I admittedly have mixed feelings, I confess that there are up-sides to the food/eating anhedonia (lack of pleasure) that is one of the neurochemical consequences of a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It is much, much easier, simple, really, to make nutritious and goal-oriented food choices. Food and eating are no longer an overpowering reward.

I no longer crave sweets, fatty foods, or salty foods. I will eat most anything put in front of me, and it's okay if it's not my first, fifth or tenth choice. It's just food. In fact, I simply struggle a lot less with food. Denying myself something is no longer some emotionally wrought punishment. Choosing what to eat is a neutral experience, like choosing which pair of socks to put on in the morning. Eating is truly something of a chore now.

I am still astounded by how much less money I spend on food. I used to get about $100 out of the ATM every four days for food and incidentals. The same $100 now lasts me more than two weeks. It's hard to fathom what a cup of coffee here and there (with a snack), several times a day, can cost you over the course of a week. Dining out not only costs money for food, but also tips, taxes, etc. It all really adds up.

I was told that the money I saved on food I would spend on clothes, but that really hasn't been the case. I've saved a lot more money than I've spent in that equation.

When I look down at my body I like what I see a lot more. I can lean over a table. Clothes look better on me. I like the way I look when I catch myself in a mirror.

Most importantly, I'm getting healthier. My well-being is no longer in decline. I will probably be in a lot better health a year from now. I don't remember the last time I was confident in such an assertion. Things are looking up.

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