On November 18th, 2009, I had gastric bypass surgery. At my heaviest I was 331 lbs (April 2009). On the morning of my surgery I was 286.6 lbs, the “lightest” I had been in at least three years.
A few days ago I reached 186 lbs, the “lightest” I have been in at least twelve years, and exactly one hundred pounds lighter than I was on the day I choose to permanently change my digestive system. Despite feeling like ass (I’m telling you, gallbladder surgery recovery has been wicked; I’d almost go through childbirth again if I had a choice between that and this!), I grabbed my camera to take a photo.
And because my weight loss journey has been about me being honest with myself, and with my blog, I’m going to post that photo as a comparison to my post-op photo. Warning: while both photos are SFW, both show my midsection without a top.
Morbid obesity is ugly. What’s left after you get away from morbid obesity, especially if you opt for weight loss surgery (which not only usually guarantees the process, but expedites it), is uglier. I can’t tell you how weird it is to feel so “small” yet still so huge, to feel so good yet so ashamed. I hate my midsection. Hate it. Loathe it. I know I did it to myself (though I’m sure two pregnancies and a c-section added to things a bit), so I don’t wallow in self-pity or mope, but I do hate and loathe it. I also cover it up, tuck it in and flatten it with Spanx and tight fitting camis, whatever it takes to keep things under wraps.
After I reach my goal weight — 160 lbs or whatever my body has in mind — and stabilize, the next thing to wrap my mind around is the idea of plastic surgery. That kind of surgery scares me. What I’ve heard about the post-operative pain terrifies me. But I’m willing to do it. It’s just something that will take me at least several years to work toward, if for nothing other than purely financial reasons.
But if the condition of my midsection is the worst “side effect” of gastric bypass and of losing over 140 lbs, so be it. I’ll embrace it. I’m happier. Healthier. I have more confidence and self-esteem. I’ve hopefully ensured that I will live longer than I would have at 300+ lbs. I’m setting a better example for my daughter and my son. I’m a better wife to my husband. I’ve hopefully secured myself a spot in life for long enough to see my children have children. I want to be a grandmother, and not one that dies when my grandchildren are too young to have more than vague memories of me.
For those of you who are overweight and are gaining weight, stop now. It’s hard, but make the choices you need to in order to prevent yourself from reaching the point I did. Do whatever it takes. Cut out those extra 200, 100, even 50 calories a day. Those calories will quickly add up, and before you know it you’ll be not only obese, but morbidly obese.
For those of you who are 250 lbs, 300 lbs, 350 lbs or more, don’t let this post frighten you away from significant weight loss. The trade-off is worth it, I promise you.
For those of you who have midsection issues like I do, feel free to share your preferred shapewear!