What They Don’t Tell You

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What They Don’t Tell you

I am obese, fat, fluffy, heavy, big boned or whatever term you want to call me, a person that weighs to much. I have been heavy all of my life that I can remember. I can also say that I love to eat good tasting food. Being 65 years old (all most) I am now developing or have developed some of the problems that go along with my weight.

I have tried every diet and quick fix under the sun. At one time when I lived in Hawaii I lost 110 pounds. I was walking, dancing, scuba diving and having the time of my life. I came back to the mainland and all that stopped. I was in contrast turmoil over my son being in Iraq during Desert Storm. I am a stress eater and I gained every pound back and more.

Over the years I have considered gastric bypass surgery but could never make myself do it. I think I am afraid of what could happen. I know what being heavy is and I know what it feels like to be healthy and a good weight. The article I am posting today is about a woman who has had bypass surgery and how it has affected her life. It certainly gave me something to think about. Have a blessed day. Shirley

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By Shannon Britton What They Don’t Tell you

At 27 years old, I weighed 486 pounds and decided to have gastric bypass surgery. I know what you might be thinking: “Oh, you took the easy way out.”

Let me tell you, having weight loss surgery is far from easy. It involves a total commitment to a lifestyle change.

Before my surgery nearly three years ago, I met with my surgeon, nutritionists, exercise coaches and a psychologist. I went to classes and learned about meals, exercise and how my body would change. We learned about plastic surgery — how many weight loss patients have their skin tucked because they have all this excess skin hanging from your body in weird places.

Man lost more than 200 pounds in 3 years 12-year-old gets gastric bypass surgery Wife loses 100 lbs., stuns Army hubby

I was prepared, or so I thought.
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On November 23, 2011, the day before Thanksgiving, I went under the knife. Since then, I’ve lost 268 pounds.

But the thing they do not prepare you for is how you change emotionally after losing a large amount of weight. At first, I thought I would just have this newfound confidence. I’d be thinner and want to run around naked. OK, maybe not naked, but I had this fantasy in my head that one day I would wake up with a body that I loved and would feel comfortable putting into a bikini — that I’d have no body shame whatsoever.

People would accept me more because I wasn’t seen as obese and unhealthy. Dating would get easier. Clothes would fit better. I wouldn’t be judgmental toward other extremely obese people because I was once huge.

Boy, was I wrong.

First off, even though I feel amazing and I am starting to like the way I look, there are days in which I hate my body. I hate how certain clothes push against my excess skin, making it bulge out (think muffin top, but worse). I hate the way the skin hangs down on my arms, and thighs, back and stomach. I hate that it will take at least $15,000 (if not more) in plastic surgery to rid these last 30 to 40 pounds off of my body.

I also have stretch marks and surgery scars across my abdomen and stomach, so being intimate with my boyfriend can be intimidating at times. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this, but that knowledge doesn’t erase the self-consciousness I feel when I get out of the shower, or when a stranger or child snickers because they don’t understand why my body looks the way it does.

My relationships also changed. When I first had my surgery, the guy I was with had been a best friend of seven years. He found me attractive at 486 pounds, though I’m not sure why. But once I lost my first 68 pounds, he left.

My surgeon explained that this is common among his bariatric patients. For some reason, it can shake the other partner psychologically when one loses weight, gains confidence and starts getting more attention. But the experience taught me that someone who is jealous of something that makes me better, healthier and stronger never had my best interests at heart.

Dating after that was a struggle, until I met my current boyfriend six months ago. Most guys got scared because they were afraid to take me to dinner, afraid they would break my new diet resolve, and when they saw a picture of what I used to look like, they started to wonder what would happen if I gained a few pounds again.

What else has surprised me about losing weight? No one ever told me that it would upset me when severely obese people get special attention because they choose to be heavy — like when TV shows feature people who are happy to weigh 600 pounds, or people who post YouTube videos professing love of their excess weight.

What They Don’t Tell you

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great that people are comfortable in their own skin, because many times I’m not always comfortable in my own skin. But for me, being heavy wasn’t a choice. So I guess I have a hard time identifying with them.

Obesity is debilitating to your health. I used gastric bypass surgery as a tool to save my life so that I wouldn’t develop diabetes, have a heart attack at age 35, have a stroke, and to hopefully lower my risk of cancer. Now I have no tolerance for excuses about not being able to eat healthy and exercise.

See, here’s the bottom line: The biggest thing that no one ever tells you about losing weight is that eventually, the number on the scale no longer matters.

What matters is how you feel, how you look and how happy you are. I know at my current weight I am still medically obese, but I have a clean bill of health. Through my bad days and my good days, I am happier now than I have ever been. When I struggle or feel myself about to slip into old habits, I pull out a picture of what I used to look like.

And I remind myself that nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

One response »

  1. Shirley, thank you for posting this article. If you feel you are obese and your health is suffering then maybe you might try keeping track of what you eat. When my husband was very ill I decided I wanted to lose weight. My daughter started working out and using this great App, MyFitnessPal. So I decided to start working out too and got the App too! I started exercising slowly, because I was really out of shape and my calorie goal was easy to make each day. I eat anything I want and I have diabetes 2 and take pills for my thyroid, blood pressure. I went from 10 minutes to 60 minutes of exercise and I have lost over 10 pounds in three months. The last time I went to my doctor my A1C was normal.

    You don’t need to do much, but keeping track of your food and the exercise you do really helps!! Find something you like to do and keep doing it. But start slow and listen to your body. Sorry for the long comment, but I had to share my experience. Oh and one more thing. I lost my husband in May, and I also am a stress eater.

    Like

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