Crying in the Dressing Room

Something happened today.  I spent ten minutes crying in the dressing room at Kohls. 

Dear Journal, 

It has been awhile, much too long actually, since I took the time to write.  I had intended on writing more than I have. I’d say I’ll write more from here on out, but that might just be an empty promise.  I’ve been so busy, but aren’t we all? dressing room

Something happened today.  I spent ten minutes crying in the dressing room at Kohls.  It was because many of the things I grabbed didn’t fit.  This experience of nothing fitting wasn’t new, but something about this WAS different: things didn’t fit because they were too BIG.

As you may recall, I had the life changing opportunity to have roux-en-y gastric bypass.  When I last wrote in January, I was a month out from my surgery date. I had my surgery on February 20.  I’ve had no complications.  My first few weeks after surgery I regretted everything about it.  I was sore, I couldn’t eat like I wanted to, and I craved all the good foods.  However, one day everything clicked, and I started feeling great.  I think it started with a positive mind.  Sure, I can’t have anything sweet like cake or cookies, and I haven’t had a Diet Mountain Dew or a Monster in over three months. But, giving those things up is so worth it.  I don’t even miss them now.

So, back to the crying in the dressing room.  I wasn’t just crying tears of joy because I lost seventy pounds already, and the XL shirts I grabbed were too large now. No, I was crying because my diabetes was in remission.  My hormones were more balanced than ever before.  I might not have the same struggles with infertility that I’ve struggled with for the past two years.  My joints hurt less.  My depression and anxiety are better.  Emotionally, I am more confident.  This new found confidence has made me a better wife.  A better employee.  A better person.

I worked hard at loving myself each and every day.  Each and every pound.  Whether I was at my highest weight of 252 or my current weight now of 179.  (I’m 5’8″ for perspective.)  I had this surgery because I love me.  I know we live in a world of body positivity and sure, I loved myself and who I was, but my extra weight was a trigger for my depression. I knew and recognized that about myself.  I started to lose myself and not care about anything.  My shopping addiction got worse because I compensated for my emotional sadness by trying to collect things. Things to make me happy and things to make me forget how empty I sometimes felt inside.  Things I didn’t need.  This surgery was not only a saving grace for my physical health, but my mental health (and my wallet).

My journey isn’t over.  My journey is just beginning.  Each day I learn new things about myself.  I’ve found out that my new love is exercise not food or shopping, and my favorite sweet eat is now raspberries not cake or cookies.  I’ve learned to recognize things that make me anxious and then breathe not eat.  I’ve paid off every last credit card from those shopping sprees and collecting things to compensate for my sadness.  My life is starting over, and I’m so thankful for modern medicine, insurance, and perseverance.

I’m glad I didn’t talk myself out of this surgery.  If you’re reading this because you are debating what to do, whether it is surgery or something else: do what your heart tells you.  Try to picture your life if you do it or if you don’t.  Dream your best dream. Then do it.

Love,

-s

Bypassing through.

Dear Journal –

I’ll admit, I’ve had a hard time putting my words to paper (ok, keyboard!) lately.  I’ve even struggled writing in my personal journal even when I try to make it a priority.  But, I feel that now is the time I need to write! A couple of weeks ago, my insurance company accepted my doctor’s request for bariatric surgery – laparoscopic Roux-en-Y.  I’m scheduled for late February.  To say that I am experiencing a mix of emotions is a complete understatement.

To start, I can’t help but feeling ashamed.  Ashamed because I did this to me. Ashamed because surgery is the only thing that might help free me from the restraints of obesity that have been holding me back for too many years. Sure, some of my weight related issues are from health issues and probably genetics, but my DNA and my health issues didn’t make me eat McDonald’s French Fries a few times each month. (Seriously, I love those things. They are probably going to be the thing I miss most after surgery!)  That being said, I had to look beyond that, think about all the other ways I’ve tried to lose weight, and set a goal to make this successful and make all those other years of struggles worth it.

The next emotion is an interesting mixture of fear, apprehension, and excitement. Usually these feelings all just kind of co-exist.  My anxiety is saying, “What if you die? What if they accidentally hit an organ with a scalpel?  What if you throw up every day for a year or every day for …. life?”  But, the excited part of me daydreams of non-scale wins like watching myself finish my first 5K in years, my husband and I becoming parents, and just plain old feeling good and confident.  So many times I’ve almost talked myself out of having the surgery, but I try to think of a positive counter thought for each negative thought.

I have just under a month before surgery.  My 28th birthday is in less than six months.  I could lose about 50 pounds by then based on the successes of other patients.  But, this change is going to be A LOT of work.  Learning how to eat for my new system again.  Getting on an exercise routine…..My “new life” will be starting soon … and I am ready!

-s