Some of you may know that I had surgery in March 2016. Gastric Sleeve Surgery.
My entire life is a sad tale of weight issues, red faces, tight clothes and children’s bullying taunts.
This became who I was, it became my daily struggle. I became the ultimate weight loss product test dummy.
Best thing about all these weight loss programs and machines…they all worked for me ( I just didn’t continue on them once I had succeeded)
You see thats the thing about being overweight, like a social media addiction we are almost addicted to the praise of the losses we can achieve and then that stops because we have become the person we wanted to be for so long and so mentally we fall back to the persona prior. Let’s face it, we get looked at when we are Fat and we blend in when we are skinny.
That reality for me only really dawned once I had the surgery, the weight loss was rapid over the first 3 months and then the following 6 months was heaven on earth while everyone really noticed the transition.
The transition however takes a mental toll, it makes you see your life for what you wanted it to be…but is it what you want ?
There is much soul searching through the process, there are reality moments where you look in the mirror and see the person you always knew was in there trapped under the weight, and then you look in the mirror and cant understand who it is staring back at you. 42 years as the big girl makes it hard to mentally see yourself as anything else.
I spent my life making fun of myself, becoming the comedian and the funny person so that I could gloss over my weight. I would dress in fashionable big girl clothes and feel a million dollars, I was known for the outfits and the accessories I adorned myself with. I was a walking statement of defiance against the society that shuns large people. I was very unhappy, very unheathy and very unfit.
Every time without fail that I lost weight, I would put on more. The catalyst moment came on Holidays in January 2016 when I looked at myself and knew I was on the rise yet again after a 20kg loss. I was heading over 110kg and knew with absolute certainty that this time I would end up 150+ kg if I continued on the yo-yo cycle that was my life.
You know what the worst thing to be told when you are a big person and you say your need to lose weight is ? ‘You don’t even look big !!’ That is an awful thing to say, because anyone with weight issues knows how big they are. They may look down at their legs and stomach and think geez I’m looking alright, but that size 22 shirt and 24-26 pair of jeans do not lie.
I think the worst parts of being so overweight for me, were waking up gagging and gasping for breath. When I tried to Sleep on my side I felt like I was on fire I would get that hot and in the morning getting up and walking on my feet that were sore and tired and ached all the time. Not to mention my clothes that were big, hot and restricting. The pants under dresses so there was no chaff issues and the constant sweating even in winter.
We live our truth mentally every day every minute. We eat and hate ourselves for every mouthful and yet we continue, Why it is we feel the need to punish ourselves further I do not know, if I had the magic answer to cure it I would be a millionaire and hated by Jenny Craig .
Some days I felt as though everyone was looking at me, but now that I look from the outside, I think that in fact it was just me feeling awkward and ashamed and I manifested a hatred for myself that came out in public situations.
Now over 18 months post op I feel good, but it is about to really start all over for me. You see when you have sleeve surgery your stomach is cut away and you can stretch it back out, they give you a second chance so that you can help yourself. After 12 months you really have to be in the habit of eating correctly, you need to be really strict about exercise and you have to remember that potato chips go down in bulk because you can chew them up fine enough to get through your stomach pouch quickly. Don’t drink straight after you eat or while you are eating because this distends your pouch too, it all starts to get a little harder as you move through the months. Initially I thought I would never be able to consume a regular meal again….guess what. I all bar can. That’s not necessarily a good thing, its just a fact for me.
I am a water guzzler and that was a really big transition, the pain of drinking too much too quickly can be horrible at the start, but in time you get used to sip, sip, sipping.
I have talked about this experience with a few people and some have asked my advice on whether they should get a sleeve done.. My answer is an emphatic Yes! I am finally living, my first thought in the morning is not guilt for what I am about to consume for breakfast. My first thought is …Coffee
I now eat a meal and don’t look for a snack moments later, I love that I can go and do things, be it walking, shopping, gardening and not have a set goal in order to get a food reward, you see that was my habit…If I can get all the house clean, I can sit and watch TV for a little while and have a chocolate or a packet of chips and soft drink. I haven’t had that in over 18 months.
I don’t sit at events and wonder how many times I can go to the food table without looking like I was being a pig. I recently went to a wedding with a Lolly table and I was seated right beside it, and never felt like anything, once upon a time I would have filled a bag and made excuses that I needed 2 more for my kids at home. So without hesitation I say Yes to my friends and those that ask, I am also quick to tell them of the things that will make life difficult and then it really is up to them. I just wish I had taken the leap earlier, perhaps a lot of things in my life would have changed. Then again we create our own destiny so for whatever reason this is my life and this is exactly as I want it to be ( even if I don’t know it a times)
Regardless of where you are in your life, big, small, short or tall just live your truth.
Make the change if you want to, or embrace who you are if you are happy.
Smile and Breath Deeply remembering we have only one path and we cannot turn back time, Make the most of it !!