Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I’m looking forward to Cinco De Mayo this year


For those who don’t know, the 5th of May is most famous in SoCal as the day the Chicano community, in our American south-west, celebrates Mexico’s defeat of the French Army on 5/5/1862. This is known as Mexican Independence Day. The interesting thing is that the celebration is for American Ex-Pats of Mexico only. The actual nation of Mexico does little or no celebration or commemoration of the event on this day. It just isn’t a big deal in Mexico.

It should mean even less to half-Ecuadorian, half-blueblood guy who doesn’t think often in ethnic and racial terms. So why the hell would I be interested in Cinco De Mayo 2011? Well, I’ll tell you about it.

Cinco De Mayo is exactly 90 days post-surgery

As you know, I just survived Gastric Bypass surgery. My surgery was delayed exactly 1 day due to insurance pay-authorization errors. I should have been in surgery on 2/3/2011. As it happened, the day was 2/4/2011. You can use the common VB.NET and C# DateTime functions to discover that 5/5/2011 is exactly 90 days later. You can also count manually with a paper calendar if you prefer.

So what the hell is the big deal about 90 days post-surgery? Well, I’ll tell you about it.

Typical results of Gastric Bypass

On 1/31/2011, I had my pre-op meeting with my surgeon, Dr. Philippe Jean Quilici. He is a real expert in this field, having performed thousands of these procedures. This has been his business for a long time. Of course, I was scared shitless, but this was the moment when I wanted to confirm one key point about the surgery.

“I have heard it said, and read repeatedly, that most of the weight loss happens up-front, in the first 90 to 100 days after the surgery. Afterward, the weight loss slows down. I have been told that people typically lose 70 pounds, post-surgery, during this time frame. Is this correct, Dr. Quilici?”

Dr. Quilici looked me dead in the eye, nodded his head in the affirmative and said, “For Roux-en-Y, those are the typical results that I have seen in my practice.”

There you have it from the expert. If I am on pace for a normal case, I should be 70 pounds below my surgery day weigh-in about 90 days after my surgery. So what does that spell out?

Just before they laid me down on the surgical prep bed, the surgical prep nurse asked me to stand on their well-kept and very profession scales. The scale said 309.4 pounds. Simple math will tell you that I should weigh in at 239.4 pounds on 5/5/2011… Presuming that I am on pace for a normal case.

How close does that put me to my final goal?

The next interesting question is this: How close does this 70 pound drop put me to my ultimate goal? Just what is the ultimate goal? Well, I’ll tell you about that.

Nearly one year ago, when I got onboard the very long assembly line that culminated in last Friday’s surgery, my General Practitioner was required to do a full-blown body composition test on me. She ordered a full submersion, buoyancy, and displacement test. She used her own Tanita BF-350 Body Composition Analyzer for comparison purposes. She also did several pinch tests, which all sources regard as the least accurate and least reliable approach to judging body fat.

Dr. Saedi juggled all these numbers in an Excel spreadsheet on her laptop and came up with the following conclusions:

  • My total weight was just about 330 pounds. There was some wobble in the figure on different scales.

  • I had approximately 188-190 pounds of lean body mass.

  • I had approximately 140-142 pounds of body fat.

  • A man of 43-44 years of age should ideally have no more than 18% body fat.

  • Ergo sum, my ideal body weight is 230-232, presuming no loss of lean mass.

Incidentally, Dr. Quilici accepted this analysis, and put his stamp of approval on it. So there you have it folks. My Doctors are prepared to declare victory the moment I reach 232 pounds. We really should do a full-scale re-testing to make sure all the numbers line up, but still, they are prepared to declare victory at 232.

The significance of Cinco De Mayo 2011

If all goes according to the script, meaning no complications and typical results, I should weigh in at 239.4 pounds on 5/5/2011. This is a scant 7.4 pounds higher than my first ideal target weight of 232. Clearly, I will be extremely close to the ideal target weight, prescribed by my doctors.

I meditated on all of these figures as I lay in my recovery bed in at Providence Saint Joseph’s Hospital just a few days ago. To be perfectly frank with you, this analysis/realization boggled my mind.

It is astounding to think how quickly everything just may come together for me, and at level I have never been able to achieve given tough diet and exercise practices. Just 90 days after surgery, I will be within spitting-distance of my ideal body weight. 100 days after surgery, I just might be there. The key is to guard my lean mass. I must try to ensure that I lose the least possible muscle and bone density.

By Cinco De Mayo, my body may resemble London Fletcher more than it does Terrance "Mt." Cody. This will be an astounding transformation. Let's hope it happens.