Post-Op Week 49 Progress Report: In Which I Struggle With What I See In The Mirror


No change on the scale this week.  I don’t know if it’s me getting used to being at home now and not being as active (although I went to the gym 3 times this week AND did a 2-mile walk yesterday) or if this is my body trying to settle in a new weight range for a little bit.  No loss is better than a gain but it isn’t any less frustrating.  I know I need to be patient, but it’s getting harder to be patient the closer I get to both my doctor’s goal and my own goal.  And I’m not that far from either of those things.

I did take measurements today.  I am still getting smaller so this is a good thing.  The number of inches I’m losing is getting smaller as the months go by so I’m thinking that my body is settling into the size it is going to be.  At least I hope so.  Is it weird that I don’t want to be too terribly much smaller than I already am?   When I started this process, I never set out to attain a certain clothing size, and I especially didn’t have any desire to have a clothing size in single digits.  I just wanted my clothes size to start with a 1 and not a 2 or a 3.  That goal has been accomplished.  Yet I want to continue to lose weight down to my goal weight, which is still 54 pounds away.

I sometimes wonder if the reason I don’t want to be too much smaller than I am is because I’m struggling mightily with the loss of who I was for so long.  For my whole life, I’ve been the Fat Girl, the Fat Sister, the Fat Daughter, the Fat Friend–La Gorda.  The fat blanket that has covered me for so long…it’s about gone, and I’m feeling naked without it.  It is the only identity I have ever known, and it’s been taken away from me in chunks over the past year.  I realize that I’ve done this voluntarily, but just because I consented to doing this to myself doesn’t mean that it’s any easier to understand and deal with.

And now…I’m still fat, but nowhere near as fat as I have been for my whole life.  I mean, I’m quite literally half my old size.  To wit:


Found a pair of my old jeans while cleaning house tonight and had my hubby snap this photo. Mind. Blown.

Those jeans?  A size 32W.  And when I used to wear them on the regular, they were snug.  I now wear a loose 18 in pants and skirts, which really means I probably ought to be wearing a 16.

Now that I’ve achieved a weight range I never thought I’d get to, it feels very odd to actually be here.   I’m smaller than a lot of the folks I used to be larger than–family, friends, and work colleagues included–and the adjustment to this is one I’m not sure I know how to make.

This is an odd feeling, and now that I am at a weight I never thought I would ever see, getting used to being half my old size has been quite the adjustment.  For those of you watching from the screen, it’s hard to explain the psychological impact of all this change, and that’s mostly because I’m struggling to adjust mentally to the new me.  In my head, I still see the 400+ pound version of me even though I weigh so much less now.  I still negotiate space like I weigh 440 pounds.  I still see that 440 pound woman in the mirror every day, and can’t reconcile what I see in the mirror with what’s in my mind’s eye.  What’s funny is that when I was at my heaviest, I tried to envision myself at a smaller size and couldn’t do it.  Now that I am that smaller size, I still can’t.  I don’t see what everyone else sees when they see me.  In my head, I’m still here:

20130310_125035But I know that I don’t look like this any more.  I haven’t looked like this in a while now.  But this is what I see when I see me, even though this isn’t what everyone else sees now.  Something else that’s funny is that when I dream, I do see myself as I am now, but can’t seem to see that in my conscious mind’s eye.  Not sure what’s up with that.

Later this year, I’ll be traveling to a family reunion and a professional conference, both of which will be attended by people that I haven’t seen in a very long time.  They have only ever known me as the larger version of myself.  I’m anxious to see what their reactions will be to me now.  I’m anxious to see how differently I’ll be treated, and how my relationships with them will change.  I suppose I will worry about that once those trips take place.  I guess I have a couple of months to prepare for them and to pick up the appropriate mental tools to deal with what will happen.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue the three weekly trips to the gym.  I’ve begun lifting weights on two of those days, alternating between upper and lower body work.  Building muscle underneath all this loose skin needs to happen so that I have some sort of shape that’s not just bones with a bunch of loose skin draped over it.  Unfortunately, that’s what I see when I look in the mirror:  lots and lots of loose skin with bones that poke out.  It’s not super attractive or awesome, but it’s me and it’s what I have to live with.

Saturday, my husband and I took a walk to a local breakfast joint that’s just a little over a mile from the house.  It was a beautiful morning (not too hot at 8 am) so we took advantage of the nice weather and decided to walk to breakfast.  It was enjoyable–I didn’t take my iPod with me, so my husband and I chatted, counted the tree stumps in the neighborhood  that had been ground down (there were 7) and just had a good time enjoying each other’s company.  We had breakfast, and then made the walk back home.  We decided that we should do that every Saturday when the weather allows (no rain), and that we should go early, before it gets to be too hot out.

So, eating 1000-1200 calories daily, got my vitamin and supplement regimen in place,  go to the gym three times weekly plus a Saturday morning walk…the rest of this weight has to come off eventually, right?  Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the big goal, but I feel like if I change my final goal that I’ll be giving up on myself–that I’d be telling myself that I can’t achieve what I set out to do in the first place and that I need to settle for something less than that.

These last 54 pounds are not coming off easily, that’s for sure.  I’m fighting the desire to lay down and quit (and fighting it hardcore), but I don’t want to half-ass this.  I want to finish.

I need to.


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