It has been exactly one year since you last heard from me, and so much has changed! 2021 was a year of change for me. I started school again in April, quit smoking and drinking, and made the life-changing decision to have bariatric surgery! I wanted to share my story of coming to that decision and the roller coaster ride it has been.
In July of 2021, I decided to attend a webinar for bariatric surgery. This was about an hour and went over all of the highs and lows of having weight loss surgery. Once I gathered as much information as possible, I decided to take a leap and schedule an appointment with the surgeon. We determined that Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass surgery would be the best option.
In a Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass, your stomach is divided into two sections. The smaller "main" pouch becomes 2 oz and is rewired to your small intestine. At the same time, the remainder of your stomach is used to bypass and create digestive enzymes. This is considered the "gold standard" of bariatric surgery and is one of the few weight-loss surgeries available that can be reversed. The surgery is nowadays performed laparoscopically but does require an overnight hospital stay.
I attended the hospital's weight loss program from July to September. I met with a dietician, a bariatric psychiatrist, and an exercise coach during that time. I had every test and procedure done to confirm that I would physically be capable of having major surgery. During this time, I cut out all sugar and most carbs, increased my protein intake, and started going on daily walks. In September, I have received my surgeon's clearance for surgery and just needed the insurance approval, which didn't happen until the end of November.
On December 1st, I received my surgery date of December 22nd. I began a three-week liquid diet to shrink my liver for surgery. For 3 weeks, I only consumed protein shakes and water and lost about 20lbs alone from that process. The first three days were absolutely terrible as my body was detoxing and getting used to not consuming food. Still, after day three, I was golden until surgery.
The surgery itself was a breeze. I was fortunate to have no complications and was up and walking the same day, and was also able to drink water. The nursing team was incredible, and though I was most definitely hurting, I was doing great emotionally! I was able to go home the next day, which was the best news!
From July to now, I have lost a total of 60lbs. 40lbs pre-surgery and 20 post-surgery. And while that is exciting, it is also incredibly overwhelming. My entire life, I have been overweight. I cannot remember a time in my life that I weighed under 200lbs. My heaviest was 315, and now I'm at 255, and that to me is mind-blowing. It's not the smallest I've ever been, but I haven't been this size in 6 years! I'm watching my body change. My teeth look more prominent because my face is shrinking, my favorite shirt is almost too big for me to get away with wearing it, and my shoes are even starting to get bigger! It's a lot!
I'm thankful for my therapist and my support system because I'm not sure I could handle this change mentally without them. I have to constantly remind myself why I'm doing this, and it isn't for vanity or looking good in a bikini or for the attention of others. I'm doing this because I want to be healthy and have the option to carry a child should my husband and I decide to have kids. I'm doing this because I've watched family members deal with weight-related ailments, and I don't want to go through that. I want to ride roller coasters, run 5k's, and be present in life.
I also feel like I've "sold out" and given up on the plus-size community. I had a strong identity as a plus-size woman living unapologetically in my bigger body. I do feel like I no longer have that. Still, I am coming to terms with living unapologetically in my OWN body. These are my bones, and skin and freckles, and emotions - no one else's, and I have to learn to love her no matter what size - big or small.
This is just the beginning, and I promise to keep you all updated. I'm thankful for Apples & Pears and the support system that comes with this. Knowing that I will wear cute clothes while my body changes is oddly comforting. I can still show my personality through my outfits like I was at my heaviest because Apples & Pears caters to the changing body.
I hope this helped, and I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you and be along for yours!