One year ago tomorrow was the day I chose to save my life...I made the hard decision to have gastric bypass surgery. It wasn't easy, I felt like a complete failure. I had hit my rock bottom. I was so unhappy that I couldn't stand to be around myself let alone anyone else. My health was getting worse with every pound that I put on and I had no desire to even leave the house.
In a nutshell....I was one miserably sad woman. I have battled my weight for as long as I can remember. Dieting starting around age 9 or so. I was always picked on about my weight, it didn't help that I was incredibly shy and had a whole host of issues that food was a wonderful cover up for. I literally buried myself in food, layers and layers of it. Did it help? No. Did I finally find myself in a place where I couldn't take it anymore? Yes. It was this or die. I decided I didn't want to die.
I had a wonderful life didn't I? An amazing husband who loved me no matter what size I was, two beautiful boys who loved and needed me. Why not take one more chance and kick this thing in the balls...decision made.
I started the six month program for insurance approval and I told anyone who asked what I was going to do. After all, it's a bit hard to explain rapid weight loss without people thinking you're sick or something. I couldn't hide my weight after all so why hide how I lost it? Support was rampant, mostly, there were a few who for one reason or another didn't agree with my decision, but it was my decision after all. Those who felt it wasn't right could just kiss my ass, I was done catering to making others happy, it was time I was happy.
start of program
misery all over that face
I did the six month program for the insurance approval, classes and psych tests and a bunch of other crap. I also had to lose 5 % of my body weight before they would even send me to meet the surgeon. I finally got to do that in September, approved right away and surgery scheduled. I did all that they told me to after surgery. I walked those damn halls so many times we lost count, Ron pullng my IV pole along with us, up and down, up and down. It was scary and exciting at the same time. I was on my way.
The last year has been physically pretty good. After all it's hard to over eat when you have the stomach the size of a golf ball. It's been mentally harder than anything. What do I use as a coping mechanism? Food's out. What to do when I'm bored, angry, antsy, frustrated etc? Not food. How do I deal with all these emotions in a healthy way. I've picked up a few hobbies, it helps, some. When food has always been your drug of choice it's hard to have a healthy relationship with it. I struggle with that lately. My hunger is back although not like it was, at least not yet, and with time is distance and you lose some of the old miserable feelings. My son asked me why I have a picture of the fat me on the fridge. I told him that it was a reminder of how I was and it was to help me to never be there again.
I've made a few sacrifices for my health, I no longer eat pasta, bread, rice or sugar. The sugar part is actually pretty easy. I live with the knowledge that eating it will make me sick. The carbs part is a bit harder. There are days I would love to sink my teeth into a whopping plate of spaghetti, and fresh yeast rolls?! OMG! However I know that until I can have a healthy relationship with them it's not in my best interest to have them. Some days are harder than others. I right now fight the devil that is peanut butter. Small portions are not a big problem for me, but I can't seem to have just a small bit of the pbutter. I'm working on it.
I also exercise. Probably not as much as I should, but certainly a whole heck of a lot more than I did. In some ways I like it. Seeing that I'm doing things that before I wouldn't have even thought of being able to do. Jogging for goodness sake! I look forward to doing a 5k someday.
I still find it hard to really see the me in the mirror. I do look everytime I walk by one, I'm sure most who have been obese and then thin do. It's just surreal to see yourself smaller. To adjust to the way you look and how your body is. Feeling bones in places that were always padded is a novelty still. Somewhat disconcerting at times. Learning to love all the wrinkles that show up as the fat is lost. Skin will only take so much abuse ya know. Not worrying about people seeing the "batwings" that have become my upper arms or the varicose veins in my legs that I didn't know were there because they were under all that fat.
Being able to take a compliment and be gracious and actually "take" it, not just shrug it off. After all I DO look good. Getting frustrated when people tell me not to lose anymore weight, who are they after all? These are things that I struggle with and might always. I'm still a fat girl on the inside, with all her self esteem issues and hang ups. I was crying when I found my before picture, seeing the unhappiness on my face and knowing that I still am so damn hard on myself, after all I haven't met my goal yet. Those last 5 pounds are like an albatross around my neck. It shouldn't be that big a deal, hell if I got rid of all the extra skin I would certainly be below goal so technically I'm probably already there! I just have a few rolls that hide it. I stuggle still and maybe always will.....
I see in my face now a woman who lost 118 lbs, went from a size 22 to a 6, who see's that she may have lost a lot of time but is now in a place where she won't let it pass her by anymore. Happier, healthier, capable of handling anything, even the few bumps in the road that crop up. Willing to live life rather than let it pass her by. Who is still hard on herself, but may be willing to cut herself some slack and realize that she did it and with faith in herself and the support of those who love her, she'll have won this fight and will continue to win the war.....