I remember laying in hospital bed before surgery as they were preparing me and thinking how crazy it was that in a matter of hours I was going to be drastically, surgically altered for the rest of my life. I’m not going to lie, it was scary, but at 2 years out I am so glad that I “kept on keepin’ on”. I have never looked back, and WOW, what an amazing ride it has been!
There are so many parallels in this journey to how children are born and grow up to become what they/we are today.
In this journey you are actually born again in so many ways. You start out on liquids like an infant, you have some bad days so you cry, you have good days and are so content.
As you “grow” you begin, like a toddler, soft foods and not drinking with your meal. You eat cooked vegetables, soft meats, and dairy products. You learn quickly that you may not be able to eat certain things and you introduce your foods in stages to make sure that what you eat “agrees” with you. As you move to your long-term bariatric diet and start eating solid foods, you find that your palate has changed and you are actually enjoying some things you have never liked before this process.
You start your weight loss surgery exercise program, something you couldn’t do much of because your weight hindered it, just like a baby learns to walk. You are constantly learning how to live in this big world with your tool and you see to it that you do what’s best for you, just like kids, you are looking out for yourself first and foremost.
You are running the marathon of weight loss as the pounds just fall off for the the first year and a half. After the marathon comes the “cool down” phase where the weight loss tapers off, there is this huge sense of accomplishment (and rightfully so), and being proud of what you just did.
Now what? You have learned and continue to learn so much about who you are, how to eat, and how to exercise. You look in the mirror and hardly believe who is staring back at you, it’s someone you have never met before. Guess what? That someone is healthy, happy, and ready to get in touch with you. That someone is the NEW HEALTHY REBORN YOU! With WLS we have been given a second chance at life that most people will not ever get.
We have been given freedom to be healthy, get on a roller coaster or in a go-cart and feel the rush that we have never felt (or it has been so long that we have forgotten). We have been given freedom to mount up on a horse and feel the wind in our hair. We have been given the freedom to get in a Hot Air Balloon and soar over God’s creation and marvel at it’s wonderfulness. We have been given new hope, friendships, self-esteem, self-awareness, and the ability to finally appreciate ourselves for what we have always been. It has been hidden under layers of obesity and self doubt for so long.
I am here to tell you that at 270 pounds, I was not living. I have shed 140 pounds of physical and emotional layers that have left me feeling alive now more than ever! I encourage you to get out there and find your place in this world because you are worth it! Get out and do something you have always wanted to do but couldn’t. You have been given the gift of weight loss surgery, now start LIVING and LOVING yourself!