I think a fair opening comment is that I look on this subject differently to a fair few of the people who I’ve mentioned it too. Over the last couple of weeks that I’ve been out of hospital I have lost a considerable amount of weight, and it really shows. Initially my stay at hospital saw me put on a good bit; however this was due to my body swelling up through not being very active at all. I had swollen so much the loose fitting jogging bottoms I had taken in looked like leggings. The “comfort fit” jeans that usually has plenty of give in them pulled in really tightly around the waist, which didn’t sit at all well with the healing incision on my stomach. My arms had swollen. Between that lot and the pale complexion I had developed I’m surprised a quick-witted friend hadn’t nick-named me the Michelin Man!
However, leaving hospital and going back to my grandparents saw me do more exercise through just moving around the house. That being the case the swelling dropped off within a day or two. Then the real weight loss started to reveal itself. Now to clarify something: before I went in I had managed to get myself to 11 stone 4 pounds. I was over the moon with that weight: it was the heaviest I had ever weighed, and I had achieved that weight through an extended period of remission. I had been largely symptom free for several months, and have managed to do lots of hard work at the gym to build muscle.
Anyone reading this who has Crohn’s I’m sure will agree: battling weight issues is a fairly common theme. Only for us lot its from the other end of the spectrum to the normal complaints about weight. Because our digestive systems are far less efficient, we can’t take in the same proportion of nutrients, and a lot of what would normally be absorbed and used is just passed out the other end. We also expend a lot more energy getting the nutrients out of the food in the first place. Mix these with the lack of appetite that can kick in when you are going through a rough spell and its not surprising that during a flair up the pounds can fall off of you at quite an alarming rate. So for me to put on weight was quite an achievement.
When I got back to my own home on Friday, my housemate picked up on the amount I had lost after the surgery. I can see it myself: my face is looking far leaner than before (I’m not saying that I had a fat face; there was just more shape to it). I’m putting on jeans and having to rely on a belt to keep them up. My arms, chest and shoulders are all looking far skinnier than they did before. I guess it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise: my physical activity is a tiny fraction of what it used to be and has been this way for 4 weeks now. My body has also been using phenomenal amounts of energy to achieve an amazing amount of recovery, drawing energy from where ever it can.
So now I hope that I have got down to my lightest. I am doing a little more exercise and activity each day, I’m eating healthily, and putting some effort into choosing the right foods to eat. I am determined to get back up to that 11 stone 4 of muscle, and to get back some of the shape.
I’ll admit that there are times when its hard to look at myself and not get disheartened by the amount that I’ve lost. More so because I managed to achieve a lot through hard work last year, and on the surface it looks like that hard work and achievement has disappeared in a flash. However: when I get these thoughts starting to appear I remind myself that I’ve come a long way in the last 4 weeks. I am going the right way at a good speed. One day I’ll be at the stage where I am “fixed” for want of a better word. I don’t know when that day will be, but I know it will be there. And when I’m there, I’ll be at square 1, I can move forwards and start afresh. There’ll be rough days – of course there will. Everyone has them. But I have a goal in sight. And I will get there.