I know – ANOTHER before and after — but I’ve been trying desperately to retrain my brain these last few weeks and I have found two things help. Wearing clothes that actually fit my new body and looking at pictures of how far I’ve come. So, here we go again.
My doctor said at the beginning I would lose about 130 pounds in the end — which would put me around 155. I beg to differ, in that even before kids, and in my youth (we’re talking high school here) I was never lower than 163 and that was when I had 9% body fat and was super athletic and worked out sometimes a crushing 6 hours a day…I don’t want that life if that’s what it takes to maintain such a low weight. Either way — if that’s his gauge then I am a little over the halfway point.
The other day my friend Mike posted a shot of our life group from literally this time last year. Like to the day. This would have clearly been my heaviest weight. Right around 286. I am so uncomfortable in my body and hated having pictures taken. However, I’d come to realize that pictures were important for my kids to have of me so I had been better about getting in front of the camera. And now I’m so glad I did.
I have a shrink for my weight loss – part of the surgery team – and she’s been amazing. I didn’t use her at all the first 3 months post-surgery, but things happen so quickly that first three months – that coupled with the move and everything else we had going on my brain wasn’t even engaged in what was happening. Come month 4 and I start to panic. I don’t see the changes as dramatically as everyone else seems to. I don’t feel different inside. And then there’s the other side. Who am I if I am not a “big” girl? My tough exterior. WHO AM I? So, I dialed up the shrink and it’s been the best few hours I’ve spent in a long time.
She listened to me, and I’m sure this isn’t new information for her. She deals with bariatric patients for a living. Her first question was, “do you have before and after pictures?” I do. “Well, you need to start looking at them side by side on a regular basis, like daily for a while.”
Her next line of questioning was about my clothing. “Are you wearing clothes from your previous body size?” “Well, yes, when I work out, but those are just clothes I’m going to sweat in.” Her suggestion was to buy new fitness clothes in my size. That was so amazing. The first time I looked in the mirror in clothes that fit it was such a light bulb moment. For the first time I could SEE the changes. I mean, really see what the missing inches looked like.
This week we’re working on my mind-set. Who am I without the protective layer? I’m not sure how we’ll come to explore that, but I am ready to give it a whirl. I am thankful I have someone to guide me through this next phase.
I have less than 20 pounds to go before I hit onederland. I can hardly imagine being a weight that starts with a “1”. But I know I’ll get there. I’m back on track and it’s coming off a few pounds at a time. I feel sincerely blessed by this second chance. I think it’s about time to pen a letter to the doctor who made this possible for me. Thank you Dr. Long…you just can’t imagine, no matter how many people tell you, the impact your gift has on your patients. Especially this one.