A lot of people assume things when they hear you’ve had weight loss surgery. They assume you’ve taken the easy way out. They assume all of your weight loss issues magically disappear. Well guess what? The weight issues don’t magically disappear. It takes work. Lots of work. It’s a mental, physical and emotional journey that I don’t think will ever really end. As a person that spent most of her life being obese and morbidly obese I still have struggles. Some days my struggles are mental, as in I wake up being thinking I am fat Rachelle that still looks and feels terrible. Sometimes I wake up and I am consumed by the thought of what I can and cannot eat, which is another pattern of the old Rachelle. And then there are days when everything in the world is right and I am just me. I’m not fat or skinny, I’m not thinking about food or what to eat and everything is just calm and peaceful.
However everyday I do have to work at being the best possible me. Weather it’s a mini pep talk of you’ve got this or making sure I have my meal plan in place so I don’t have to worry about calories, protein, fat and carbs that day. I have to actively work at my health, my surgery was not a cure all but rather a tool that I am grateful to have. I have to remind myself not to look back at how life use to be but to keep moving forward.
Since having my gastric sleeve almost two years ago(it will be two years in January) I have joined many Facebook support groups. Although these support groups can sometimes be very helpful in not making you feel lonely there is tons of misinformation you have to sift thru. I know that we don’t all get a great program like the one that I had the privilege of being a part of and all our dieticians etc give us different guidelines. However with the holidays coming up I am finding these groups are giving us almost permission to slip up on our eating habits. I have scrolled past many post and not left comments but I feel like I have this platform that I want to use here to voice my concerns which I hope don’t come across as judgemental to some of you. And this is my point of view based on my life and I can’t say it will be true in your life. Anyways here we go….
With the holidays approaching us I have seen tons of Facebook posts about can I eat this or can I eat that and there is always a few people that say this surgery isn’t about deprivation it’s about everything in moderation. These comments really get to me. Why? Because 1. You shouldn’t be feeling deprived and if you are maybe it’s time to evaluate your relationship with food, I have found tons of bariatric friendly recipes that are delicious treats and desserts and that meet our nutritional requirements. 2. If everything in moderation really worked for us would we really have needed the surgery in the first place? Wouldn’t the countless diets we have put ourselves thru have worked? The fact is for some reason certain foods do trigger us. The sooner we accept that the sooner we can enjoy having food freedom.
With all of these people feeling deprived I kind of want to start a blog series on the Holidays. I don’t want to do the typical posts about how to avoid food pushers and eat before you go to the party etc type blogs but blogs with recipes to help all of us see that we are not missing out on anything by not going back to bad food habits. I know that high fat pumpkin pie is your favourite and it’s only once a year but what if you could eat a pumpkin pie that didn’t make you dump or feel terrible after you ate it? And let’s be honest it starts with one holiday and then there’s birthdays and a night out and a friend is getting married and before we know it we are back in the same traps we were before surgery.
So here’s the thing I can scroll past the posts but let’s help each other in a constructive way instead of enabling ourselves to self destruct.
I am just over 5 months post op (surgery January 28th 2016) and I am feeling great!! I wanted to share a before and after picture with you. And I want to share my stats with all of you as well. SW 274lbs CW 193 lbs
The first picture was taken while road tripping to Ottawa from Vancouver last July for my brothers wedding. The second picture was taken yesterday. It is amazing to me the difference in these two pictures. There’s also a lot going on in the pictures that you can’t see. For instance in the first picture I am thrilled to have gotten to the Winnie the Pooh statue but I am in pain. My back hurt, my hips hurt, my ankles which you can’t see in the picture are swollen and I have a smile on my face but my first reaction when I saw the picture was is this really what I look like?
The second picture however tells an entirely different story. I am finally in a dress that I have been trying to get into for months. It’s a size 16!! I am no longer in pain. I have a gap between my legs and I no longer feel self conscious. And my smile just shows how much my new life is radiating in me. I have changed so much since the first picture. I have signed up for 3 5k, I am hiking more with my family, I am camping with my family…I also have a huge list of things I want to do like learn how to skate, buy a bike to go bike riding, kayak, do more dance classes the list goes on and on.
I feel like I have been given a new lease on life and I am not going to waste one second of it worried about anything except how it will make me feel. I use to spend most of my time worrying what other people would think if I was riding a bike or skating etc and now I am simply living my life for me 🙂
Everyone thinks that once you have weight loss surgery everything will be rosy and life will go back to normal after 6 weeks of recovery. I’m not 6 weeks post op yet but I can tell you that I don’t think this will be the case for me. I think that even if i am confident in my choice to have weight loss surgery there are tons of things going thru my head at any given moment of the day.
When you do your orientation they tell you that it takes 6 weeks for you to heal. Although I think this might be the case for the physical body to heal I don’t think it’s true off your mental health. No I am not depressed or anything but I do have a lot of fears. I fear that the surgery will be unsuccessful and I will be obese all my life. I fear that I am eating the wrong foods. I fear I am not eating enough or that I have eaten too much. I fear I will get an infection. I fear that I will disappoint my surgeon, dietician and medical teams that have gotten me ready for surgery. I fear that I will stretch my pouch out. I fear that I will always experience pain when I eat. So although my body is healing I think my mind will need some time to stop fearing everything I’ve mentioned.
I also think that just because I had surgery once I am healed it isn’t a free pass to eat whatever I want. I think it will always be something I need to work at. What I am putting into my body and how I am burning off my calories as well.
Right now I am averaging about 200-600 calories a day. And the scale is not budging anymore. I know it’s normal to have a stall especially since I am eating so low calorie but when I get on the scale and see that I am the same or that I have gained my mind starts freaking out. So for now I won’t be using the scale, I will measure myself once a month and do my weight in when I have my appointments.
I’m sure this rollercoaster is far from being stopped so I will hang on and enjoy the ride.