It has been about 5-6 weeks since I had the Gastric Sleeve procedure. I started at 388 pounds and I am now 345.4 pounds as of this morning. I have lost 43 pounds so far and I should be thrilled right?! That is more than a pound a day and I know I should be grateful and more than thrilled! Well yes and no to the elation. Yes because I know that I am on the road to being healthier and living longer. No because this journey is every bit if not more difficult than doing it the “normal” route ( diet, exercise, no surgery!). People look at me now and will ask what have I done that’s different. My usual answer is nothing and sometimes the answer is I’ve lost some weight. We went to a wedding this past weekend and when I didn’t partake in the appetizers and drinks I was asked with shock in one of the guests voice asking why I wasn’t eating? Like it was a shock that someone wouldn’t eat these yummy tidbits. Or maybe it was shock that someone my size wouldn’t eat these things. I’m not sure which of these it was. I know it has only been 5 weeks but I wish the weight loss was more dramatic so I wouldn’t have to tell those who know me it would just be obvious.
I am finding there are so many more things to deal with than I bargained for. The first couple weeks it is really hard to sleep because of the general aches of recovery from surgery. There have been random aches and pains that I don’t understand and there is no medical explanation for. I have had random abdominal pains, sharp unexplained pains in my chest, numbness in my mouth and lips. I’m slightly dizzy all the time. I’m tired most of the time and feeling fatigued and stressed. My body had started to shift some and I’m between sizes. Some of my old clothes still fit ok but others won’t stay up or they look like a tent. In some ways this makes me pretty happy and in other ways I feel like an awkward teenager trying to find herself. I’m feeling way more self-conscious than I ever did when I was at my highest weight which is weird and hard to figure out.
There is also the emotional side of this process. I can’t turn to food when I’m stressed or frustrated. Food isn’t used as a means of celebration any longer or a means to gather and have fun. I’ve realized food was a huge part of who I was. My husband and I did so many things that revolved around food. I don’t think I even realized how much until we couldn’t do the same things anymore. Not only am I feeling like an awkward teenager but I feel like I don’t know who I am as a person and where I fit into my circle of friends and family. Food has always been a bit part of my social network. It was what we did. We would go out to eat, have people over to eat, go wine tasting, meet friends at beer flights. We used to take trips that always involved finding great new places to eat. I enjoyed it so much and now it’s gone. Not only do I not eat very much but I just don’t like to do it anymore. I find eating a necessity now instead of a pleasure. If I didn’t need it to survive I would likely skip it all together. I find it hard to eat and drink all that I am supposed to in a days time. I no longer really enjoy cooking which is a huge shift in who I am and what I valued. I have been cooking since I was a child. Food has been a huge part of my family and all of our events. With the holidays coming I have to say I’m a little nervous.
Part of my nervousness comes from the fact that a lot of my family doesn’t know I’ve done this. I haven’t told everyone for fear of their disapproval or judgment or maybe because of my own fears and insecurities. One thing this process does is drags up all the old hurts, insecurities, doubts and fears and forces you to look at them. I find I cry at some point everyday. All of these emotions and feeling can be overwhelming and because I think I need more support I have decided as part of this process that it is time I tell those I love. As my mom says I won’t be able to hide this forever. People are going to know something has happened and I’m not going to lie about it. I lied to myself long enough about my weight. Not owning this process and all that it has taken me through and will take me through isn’t fair to me and it is selling my friends and family short. If I can’t tell the people I love and who love me than who can I tell. It is easy to tell strangers but so much harder to be honest with those you love. Judgments from those you love hurt so much more I think.