“I went into this knowing I needed help. I was moving first stage into diabetes. I had cholesterol issues. My whole family has always had high cholesterol. I was following in the path of my father, and my father ended up having a massive stroke. He was comatose a year after that and survived two years beyond that. Never walked again. Never ate properly,” Skilling said.
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Illinois’ stay-at-home order began March 21, less than three weeks after Skilling’s surgery. Because of the pandemic, the Illinois Department of Public Health has recommended doctors cancel non-urgent surgeries and procedures to limit the risk of potential coronavirus exposure and to focus resources on coronavirus patients.
“My doctor said, ‘Don’t look at the scale every day.’ I said, ‘Doctor, I’m not only going to look at it every day, I’m going to look at it 15 times a day because I’m curious to see how all this works out.’ Weight loss after these surgeries is non-linear. You’ll go down a pound-and-a-half one day, next day you’ll plateau, next day you’ll go down another pound-and-a-half and so forth and so on,” Skilling said.
“I told him, ‘This is like watching climate change.’ You look at the temperatures every day and they bounce up and down, but what you’re more interested in is long-term trends, so that’s what I’ve been doing with weight. But what I’ve discovered is, I put on the suit just for fun to see how it compares and I’m swimming in it.”
“The major task the last couple of weeks has been getting used to a new diet. Meals for me now consist of little two-to-three ounce servings of protein. Because of the limited volume in your stomach, you don’t get the nutrition you once did with your former football-sized stomach,” Skilling said.
“I will never eat the way I once ate before, thank God in a way. You will completely and (for) the rest of your life either stick to your diet or you can stretch that little pouch that’s your new stomach and gain the weight back. So it’s most important that you stick to a carefully-crafted regimen. I continue to check in with my nutritionist, and I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been working with a woman who helps me in meal prep.”
“I told my news director that I’ve always wanted to do a weather show in a bathrobe. And I kidded him. I said, ‘Look, I’ll roll the bed in here, and we’ll do weather from the bed.’ And he said, ‘Please, wait ‘til I’m retired before you do anything like that.’ So I probably won’t do it,” Skilling said with a laugh.
“I talked with the station. I said, ‘Do you want me to be quiet about this?’ And they said, ‘Well, how do you feel?’ And I said, ‘There’s nothing secret about this. I wish I didn’t have to do this but I know I do, and I absolutely do.’ The outpouring when I put a couple of things up on Facebook was beyond anything I could have imagined. The kind comments from people have been absolutely mind-boggling to me,” Skilling said.
“The one thing I would say to people is thank you. You supported, you were so wonderful and I hope I live up to the kind comments that were made because I love my work, and I’m grateful to be getting back to it. I’m grateful to be hooking up with my readers, my viewers and everybody else who have been just kind beyond words. I didn’t expect anything like that. This has been very surprising to me.”
This content was originally published here.