I haven’t written anything in a few days because I’ve been recovering from injuries sustained during a massive Non-Scale Defeat (NSD). Post surgery, bariatric patients frequently talk about Non-Scale Victories (NSV), which could be anything from fitting into a favorite pair of old pants, to going off medications; anything not related to actual weight loss. I’m not sure how the larger bariatric community would feel about dwelling on the negativity of a NSD, but they’re plenty old enough to use their coping skills. I’ll write about the defeat later, I’m in the mood to focus on the positive tonight.

I’ve written a few times about struggling with low energy since having surgery, and without going into much any detail, I’ve learned that the right dosage of blood pressure medication, taking in enough calories, and staying hydrated are the keys to having something approaching decent energy. I’ve worked really hard over the last four days to take in enough water. Ideally, I should have 64 ounces of water a day but when the climate mimics that of Venus – as it fucking has lately – I need considerably more.

I left the house at 11am this morning, met with friends for a few hours of work, then went to a poetry reading at 2pm this afternoon. 2:30 rolls around, there’s a break, my friend has finished reading, I’m running on fumes, so I decided to call it a day, and go home. When I left the house, I ate 3 ounces of chicken on the drive to meet my friends. I left the reading and went to Trader Joe’s, where I bought 4 ounces of prosciutto, ate 2 ounces of it, and threw the rest away (cannot recommend). 39 grams of protein between the two meals, which is half of what I try to take in every day. I drank water the whole time. About 15 minutes after getting home, I was feeling pretty good.

Where I’m going with all this is the walk Annette and I just took with our dogs. Up until tonight, the most I’ve been able to do is end of the block and back. Tonight, as we got to the end, I wasn’t even a little winded. I suggested just going around the block, and Annette, pleasantly surprised, agreed. As we rounded the third corner, I was feeling a little soreness in my right leg (from a slight-but-permanent limp), but otherwise felt great. When we got back to the house, I honestly think I could’ve gone around again.

I didn’t, because I truthfully didn’t trust my perception of what I’d just experienced. I’m five and a half weeks out from surgery, and tonight, for the first time, I felt the renewed energy I’ve heard more than 50 people talking about. I’d given up on it, figuring it just wasn’t going to be part of my post-surgery experience.

Giving up really needs to become something I used to do.

Anyway, to most everyone on earth, this wouldn’t even be a story. For me, in the moment, I feel like Rocky on top of the steps. NSV.