Redefining Yourself After Weight Loss Surgery

Successful female dielWeight loss surgery changes more than just your appearance and your eating habits. No matter where you are in the process, you probably already have a basic knowledge of this fact.

But it’s hard to overstate the mental impact losing so much weight so quickly has on you. Once you get to the other side of the roller coaster ride, and realize that you’ve reached your goal, you still have to process who this new person you see in the mirror really is.

For some, perhaps you still see the same person, only smaller. But I bet that the vast majority of us will realize there is a slightly different person looking back at us than was there 100 pounds ago. Figuring out who that person is and what to do with them is what you have to do next.

Yesterday I published a post I’d written originally in January. At that time, I was really struggling with who I’ve become in the year and a half since my gastric bypass.

I feel I’ve worked a lot of it out since then. My confidence is soaring and I’m feeling better about myself than I have in probably my entire life.

But I am different than I was 20 months ago.  Part of that is due to the weight loss itself, part of it is due to the sense of accomplishment that comes from it. Some of it comes from surviving a nearly fatal complication and miserable recovery period. That was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, and I overcame it and am stronger for it.

Before gastric bypass, I was insecure. Maybe not badly, but a whole lot more than I am now. It bothered me when people close to me didn’t approve of me.

More significantly, I allowed my weight to define who I was to much too great an extent.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I think I used being fat as an excuse for why my life wasn’t all I wanted it to be. Every fantasy or daydream I ever had began with me getting skinny. It’s like that was the prerequisite for my happiness.

Well, I’m skinny now. The skirt I’m currently wearing is a size 6. I wear a size small. How have I changed?

I ain’t takin crap from anybody for starters. This has significantly impacted my closest relationships. My husband, for example, has discovered I’m not nearly so ready to jump and change myself if he disapproves of something.

Nor am I willing to settle. I am demanding better treatment from those around me. It’s been tough on them, dealing with the new me. But overall a good thing.

I’ve noticed that I laugh easier and harder. I feel more of a sense of joy in life. I’m much more outgoing, and just can’t stand sitting around doing nothing. I’m excited about life and the possibilities it offers.

But my life is still far from perfect. There are things that still need to change. Losing weight didn’t automatically solve my problems. Some of them are magnified even greater now because they don’t have a layer of fat to hide behind.

The biggest difference is that I feel equipped to change them. I see the problems for what they are and know I have the strength to face them.

I really like the person I am now. No, I’m not perfect by a long shot. But I am ME. And that’s pretty cool.

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5 Responses to Redefining Yourself After Weight Loss Surgery

  1. Even here in the US, there are difference among hospitals. Several people I know have had it done and just among us, we have shared different stories and requirements. ALL of them work! It just depends on what your Dr. tells you to do! This is THE BEST thing I have ever done for myself! I would do it again tomorrow if I had to! It was no big deal AT ALL! BUT…keep in mind….EVERYONE is different! I will say this though…..I DID GO INTO IT W/ A VERY POSITIVE ATTITUDE and came out w/ one too! That counts! Good luck! You will do fine!

  2. I have been going through your site throughly, lol, and I do see some differences between how things were done with you and how some things are done where I am. I live in Alberta Canada, and in a program called Weight Wise. THe program itself teaches a person how to change their “Lifestyle” from food, to eating habits . Even before the surgery, we have two weeks of a liquid diet and then two weeks after of nothing but liquids again . . . there is good number of differences, that I find fascinating.

  3. Hi Shayne,

    I’ve talked about some of your questions, but not recently. I need to update the “after gastric bypass” section.

    Right now, I am not obsessed with food. Early after surgery I felt that I was in a different way – I was constantly putting something in my mouth and counting protein grams, vitamins and ounces of water. I didn’t like that.

    But now I’ve learned how to get what I need without constant thought about it. I eat 3 times a day for the most part, and don’t really think about food in between.

    Yes, I still get cravings. But I am much more in control of whether or not I give in to them. Being hungry is now just a feeling in my stomach, it’s not an emergency that must be dealt with.

    Hunger happens when I haven’t eaten for several hours, it’s not overwhelming and I can ignore it if I really want to.

    Basically, I do have an appetite but if I eat or I don’t it doesn’t really bother me. And yeah, that’s night and day different from before surgery when my appetite controlled me.

    I can eat pretty much anything, although anything too high in carbs or fat will make me dump.

    But understand that this happened for me because for the most part I took the time when I had no appetite to form new habits, and to find other things than food to turn to. There is a lot of brain surgery work u have to do in the early days and weeks after surgery. Otherwise, when you get your appetite back after 6 months or a year you will dive right back into your old habits.

    Hope this helps!

    And Treenie: I’m so glad the site has been helpful. I’ll be thinking of you on your surgery date, be sure and post again to let us know how things are going!

  4. HI there,

    I just got my surgery date of May 13. Have to say excited and a little nervous. Your site has helped me

    Thanks again

  5. shayne.whitaker

    Hi, thanks for your comments, i am 12 weeks away from surgery. Can i ask you a few questions.
    What is it like eating now?
    Are you in control?
    Are you always hungry or has that changed?
    Are you still obsessed about food?I
    I would be grateful if you could help with
    Thanks
    Shayne in UK