So first, a little about me. My name is Neen and I live in Virginia with my boyfriend and our Sheltie, Dioji. I recently moved here from Boston after deciding that 1.) I couldn't stand the gray and 2.) there were several occasions during the winter when I was tempted to call into work "cold."
I work at a wonderful research library in Washington, DC where I get to read a lot of great (and some very crazy) scholarly essays. I have the pleasure of wonderful colleagues, and tea time every day at 3:00pm.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, singing, writing, folding origami, arguing about sports with anyone who will listen, and turning my kitchen into a science lab. While I've always loved most of those things, recent years have brought me a greater appreciation for many things in life. The reason why is one that, until recently, I have rarely been up front about. Four years ago as of this past April, I had RNY gastric bypass surgery. I was 280lbs, unhappy, and clueless as to how to change my lifestyle. I'd tried every diet from slim fast to south beach to weight watchers. My problem was that as soon as I slipped, I'd believe it was all over and give up. It was a constant cycle of gaining and losing weight that I was desperate to break. I often wondered where the former competitive swimmer had gone. I'd never been very fast, but I could hold my own in an endurance race. There I was though, near the end of my freshman year, a complete mess. For one reason or another, I'd gotten completely out of control and wondered if there was anywhere to turn. There was.
April 28, 2004 Dr. Robert Quinlin performed RNY gastric bypass surgery on me. Following that, my life changed completely. I realized that I had to completely re-learn how to eat. That meant starting from scratch. For one week, I could only have clear liquids, then it was a week of full liquids, followed by a month of pureed foods, and then finally a stabilization phase which introduced solid foods very slowly. I had to focus on getting in as much protein as I could when I could only have about 4oz. of solid food before I felt full. But it worked. During that first year I often wondered if this would really be the thing that made me lose the weight for good. The reduced stomach capacity and bypassed intestine was just a tool. I had to make the decision to live the lifestyle permanently.
What really convinced me to stick with it in the long run were all the things I could do that I wouldn't have been able to do at 280lbs. I climbed the tower of Pisa, I traveled all over England via train and my legs, I bought a dress from Banana Republic, I ran around Amsterdam with my boyfriend, I moved into three different apartments (without movers to do the lifting!), I danced at a foam party in Mexico, and so SO much more.
In four years, I've had my ups and downs, but what I really want to show you is what I've learned. "Necessity is the mother of invention," so they say. The habits that I've cultivated since surgery have allowed me to stick to my new lifestyle in a truly healthy way. Hopefully, this blog will help me share those lessons, and I hope that my "inventions" will inspire your own.