I’ve made this huge choice to have a surgery that terrifies me to the core. This is something I’ve wanted since I was 21 and pregnant and discovered that I didn’t have a cute pregnant tummy. I had skin without much elasticity. I would see pregnant women showing their bellies in ads and at the pool and I couldn’t look in the mirror with anything but disgust at my body. I knew this would not be something I could recover from on my own.
The past four years I’ve spent countless hours in the gym and running the pavement in our small town. I’ve watched myself transform from a mushy lump to a less mushy lump. I’ve taken classes. I’ve picked up kettle bells. I’ve spent hours on yoga matts. I’ve done things that I never thought I’d be able to do. Deep down I have a love hate relationship with working out. I love the endorphins. I love loving what I can do with my body. I love knowing that I could kick my own 25 year old butt at my age now. I hate getting up early and muscle aches and being tired after a hard workout. But it’s worth it.
For the most part I eat right as well. I’m not saying I turned down that dessert while on a buisness trip…but it was gluten free. I’m not saying I didn’t eat combos after midnight that one night or that I don’t enjoy a nice coffee on occasion. But on a daily basis I eat right. If I eat poorly I feel bad but its all about balance. It’s also worth it.
I’ve oiled for my core issue and found weight easier to lose when I take care of the core. Honest, it’s not easy. If you are buying into the whole -21 days will solve everything or -I did this one thing and the weight melted off. Or – buy this food or magic pink elixir and you’ll just drop the pounds. That’s not truth. It won’t work like that. Don’t fall for it. If you do lose it’s all temporary. It’s hard no matter how you choose to lose.
I’ve done a lot to get here. I’ve earned this body. I try to be compassionate and grateful for it. I tend to not have a clue how I really look. Mentally I still weigh 257 pounds. I still see me in a tight size 26 jeans. I’m still embarrassed just to be alive sometimes. I feel like all anyone is thinking is how big I am. I have to send a thousand selfies to a friend and ask, “Is this too small?” I’m lost. My dr has said this is body dysmorphia and its common when there is a significant weight loss. She says this surgery is not just for my physical health but also mental health. I agree.
My husband is so supportive in this endeavor. Sometimes I’m wearing something and he’ll ask how long I’ve had it and I’ll say every how many years and he’ll say, “So 40 pounds ago?….yeah, that’s too big, about three sizes too big.” Until I was under 200 pounds he said I wouldn’t need reconstructive surgery. Once I got under that I think he saw just how melted I looked and began answering me honestly about my appearance. “I don’t care what you look like but for you, I’d say you’re gonna want it.” This is his nice version of, “You look melted.”
In preparation for what I hope is a life changing surgery I’ve found myself doing these odd things that have no other explanation in my mind except that I am nesting. I’ve managed to clean out cabinets and make a bigger mess out of all the closets. I’ve been throwing out things I have no use for. I’ve written letters to my kids in case I die. I’ve cleaned the diffusers and gathered a basket of things to do while I’m stuck on a couch for days. My husband acted as if this was all gonna work out and be easy until I brought up an after picture of someone who has had the same surgery. He recoiled and said, “WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?!!!”
That’s when he decided to take some time off, btw. It was super comforting.
I can’t take before pictures. (I will. I will.) I have managed to take one and not delete it. They look so horrible I can’t stand to look at them. The one I kept I sent to a trusted friend so I wouldn’t delete it forever. My plan is to take the pictures the night before so I won’t have time to stare at them repeatedly and bathe in self loathing until I delete them. Once it’s done and I have this excess of skin removed I’m hoping I can tolerate seeing the before. No promises.
I’m being totally honest with folks about this. I mean, this is available for anyone to read. This is not a private blog and although it makes me uncomfortable I’m being very public about this. I have a team of ōilers under me and over me that depend on me to show up, help out, and be present. I won’t be able to do that for a bit so I’ve had to let them know why. I have a private business page on Facebook and I’ve been very open about this on there as well. My children have been warned. My older two and I will probably need to have a talk this weekend again so they are mentally prepared for what next week has in store for us. My five year old really can’t grasp this just yet. I will have a talk with her the day before and probably after she’ll be morbidly interested in my wounds. She’s in that phase of being interested in all things dr related.
My hope is that it inspires others to take control of their health. I also want my kids to see I had to fight and fight hard to be healthy and happy. My battle with weight has been a long hard fought one and one I’ll continue to fight my entire life. My battle with my pancreas will rage on until I die. I can’t give up. I want to end my body dysmorphia.
I want to be proud of what I’ve accomplished and be able to wear pants and not worry about skin irritation. Just like everyone else I want to feel good.
I’m hoping and praying my argument with my stomach will end next week. I wasn’t sure about this surgery until there were some complications that may have postponed it and I realized I was devastated about the idea of having to wait. That’s how I know I am certainly ready.
So here I am:
But so sure.
Sure that I’m ready.