Weight 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.