I bought a shirt at Target yesterday and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s just a $5 t-shirt, nothing special, but that’s not why I’m excited about it. I’m excited because it’s a size medium. MEDIUM.
That may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me. I haven’t worn a size smaller than an XXL in more than ten years. I started gaining weight in college and from then on kept going. I was never HUGE, but I was big enough, especially on my petite 4’11” frame. Finally, I decided to get the gastric sleeve surgery and I really don’t regret it.
Here is a picture of me making cow eyes at Thor while celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary at Disneyland back in December, 2014:
This was two months before my surgery and 11 months after my last baby. Now, here’s my after picture, taken last Saturday to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday:
Am I super skinny? Hell, no, but I’m wearing a size 14 after trying on a different dress that was a size 12 and also fit. That’s a HUGE improvement over my size 18 or 20 I was wearing before. Huge. That’s 60 pounds of weight difference.
Reasons I got the surgery:
- My kids. I want to be there for my kids. Climbing, walking, swinging, playing, all those things are SO MUCH HARDER when you have an extra 60 pounds on you. Get a big backpack and fill it with TWELVE five pound sacks of sugar. Now try climbing the stairs. Easy is it? Heart pounding a little more than usual? 60 pounds kept me from being a mom I wanted to be.
- Health. I was healthy when I had the surgery. Great blood pressure, good cholesterol, only vitamin I was low on was vitamin D. That doesn’t mean I would stay that way though. 60 pounds does a number on your heart and other organs and makes them wear out faster. I want to be there for my kids remember? I love my husband, but his idea of giving the kids a vegetable is…actually I don’t think he’s ever given them a vegetable. They need me.
- Nothing else worked. There’s growing evidence that for some people diet and exercise simply isn’t enough. It’s not just a matter of will power, your body just will not let go of that extra weight. I tried ALL the diets and just stopped trying becuase I never lost more than 15 pounds no matter how close I stuck to it. At one point I worked with a personal trainer twice a week, was weighed and measured once a week, AND restricted my calories and kept a food journal. FIFTEEN FUCKING POUNDS after a YEAR. Fuck that noise.
Not reasons I did it:
- Society. You should look how you want to look, fat or skinny (I’m using the word fat because it’s a descriptor and not an insult, I was fat, remember?). I was never harassed or fat-shamed and if I were the harasser would live a very short painful life. I was comfortable in my own skin. You saw the Thor pic, right? Confident, that’s me!
- My husband. He’s not perfect but he has NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE made any comment about my body in a negative manner. Ever. And since I’m happily married, I don’t need other men to find me attractive either, so I didn’t do this for the male gaze. Except maybe Thor’s.
I would do it again in a heartbeat, even though it feels like cheating still. I have to remember that I DID do everything else to lose the weight without surgery. But here I am five months post-surgery and down 60 pounds. I sat in an airplane seat and didn’t have to worry about the seat belt fitting. I’m wearing a medium sized t-shirt. And I climb playground equipment like nothing else. I’m floating.