In all of the excitement of the day Tuesday, I’d forgotten to post up a side by side of me at my heaviest with me now. So here it is.
A friend (who has also had WLS) asked me, “How does looking at this make you feel?”
Well, let’s see. There are a lot of feels I feel when I look at this composite.
- Dumbfounded: How in the hell did I let myself get that big? And for fuck’s sake, WHY? And why didn’t I stop it?
- Anger: So furious that I ate my way to that body on the left.
- Resentment: There is so much of my life I have missed out on because I lived in the body on the left for so long. DAMN YOU.
- Frustration: This sucks because now, after losing 173 pounds, I weigh what most folks who are starting out in the WLS process weigh. FUCK THIS.
- Despondency: Am I ever going to get to goal?
- Confusion: Who is that there on the right?
- Epiphany: But wait, I weigh half of what I did in the pictures on the left. Okay, so maybe this doesn’t suck so much.
- Happiness: So glad that I am healthier now!
- Confidence: Damn, I look pretty good!
- Pride: Well shit, I have lost 214 pounds from my heaviest weight. How many people can say they have done that? Not too many. I’m awesome!
- Gratitude: THANK GAWD I HAD SURGERY.
That about sums it up. Other things I’ve had a chance to think about over the past couple of days:
- I am far more aware of other large women around me now. This is going to sound truly more awful than I mean it to, but I look at them and think to myself, holy shit, I was that big once and thank GAWD I’m not now and I really truly do try not to judge. I have been in a training this week with a girl who teaches in our district that I went to high school with. When we were in high school, she was slim and athletic. Now…not so much. I don’t take satisfaction in seeing formerly thin people become fat–there is no purpose in feeling glee about that, because I know firsthand what it is like to be that big. But I couldn’t help but look at her and think to myself, wow, I was that big a year ago. And I knew exactly what size jeans she was wearing and where they’d come from because she was wearing the exact same jeans I used to wear–it is easy to identify where clothing comes from when you are limited to shopping at a couple of places.
- I also notice that I look around and am aware that in a lot of places I go, I am no longer the largest person around. It feels odd to be average now.
- I have to constantly remind myself that as quickly as this weight came off, if I am not vigilant in maintaining my behavior, it will come roaring right back.
- I am *this close* to cutting up my Lane Bryant credit card and closing the account. I think more than anything, it will be symbolic. I am shrinking out of even their smallest size, and there really is no purpose in me shopping there any more. Hell, I can’t even buy bras there now! This is a good thing.
- I keep being told by others that I am an inspiration. I hope that I can continue being that way once I hit goal.
- Going out into the world looking average is a very surreal feeling. For so long, I was stared at and gawked at because I was so huge, and now…I look pretty much like everyone else. It is kind of nice to feel “normal,” whatever that is.
- I notice now that I get doors opened for me by strangers more now than I ever did before. I get looked in the eye and chatted up a lot more by men who are not my husband. Yeah, it is nice to be noticed, but I adore my husband quite a lot. 🙂
- I am beginning to wonder if my body is trying to settle at this new weight since I haven’t lost any weight in a month. I am also struggling with the idea that I may not get to my goal weight because I have so much extra skin. The extra skin isn’t impeding my ability to be active, or causing me any medical issues (no skin rashes or infections) so it is highly unlikely that I will have plastics. But the fact that it may keep me from my goal weight bothers me a great deal. Plastics will not be covered by my insurance, which puts any possibility of having skin removal surgery out of reach for me financially–I have other financial priorities that must be attended to first. Not to mention that the type of skin removal surgery I would need to have would put me out of commission for a very long period of time, and I am not willing to be inactive for months at a time. So I am learning to accept that my new body may have an abundance of excess skin, and that I will have to learn to love this version of me, loose skin and all.
I’ve also been thinking about advice to give folks who are just starting out, but that’ll have to be a post for another time. I’ve got to be up and at ’em early tomorrow to attend a sunrise Rotary meeting at 7 am to make up for a meeting I missed last week. I’ve got to have my 12-month labs drawn tomorrow for my PCP visit in two weeks, so I have to fast. 5:30 tomorrow morning is going to be here at ugly o’clock, and I’ve got to sit through that meeting fasting while everyone around me eats breakfast!