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Insights from a Post Bariatric Surgery Patient

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This list of 50 thoughts and observations offer insight, both serious and humorous. This is copied from a private group message board. The author has given permission to use it here, but requests that her personal information be removed.

In honor of hitting my goal weight, here are 50 things I’ve learned along the way:

1. Life without bread, rice or pasta isn’t as horrible as you might think.

2. It’s okay to do the ugly cry when you put on a pair of jeans in a “regular” store.

3. When you’ve been limited to 2-3 “fat girl” stores your entire adult life, the mall is completely overwhelming now.

4. Crossing my legs is one of my biggest life accomplishments.

5. For the first time in my entire life (adult or child), I can look in the mirror and not be disgusted with what I see.

6. People treat you differently when you’re smaller vs. morbidly obese.

7. Some people resist not having the “fat friend” anymore by criticizing and judging.

8. Surgery is NOT an “easy button.”

9. I can get up and down from the floor without help.

10. Getting in/out of the car is much easier. AND there’s a TON of room between me and the steering wheel!

11. I can sit in a plastic/folding chair and not worry I’m going to break it.

12. My massage therapist had to stop dropping the table for my appointments. Now it stays where all the “normal” people have it.

13. I have bones. Collar bones. Hip bones. Ribs. Shoulders. Knees. It’s weird.

14. I found my neck. It was hiding under three chins.

15. Self-worth cannot be measured in pounds.

16. Fat protected me from facing scary childhood things. Being small is vulnerable.

17. Body dysmorphia is a real thing.

18. Weight loss is 90% mental, 10% physical. With or without surgery.

19. I knew about fat-shaming long before surgery. I didn’t realize just HOW bad it is until I got out from under it.

20. I never had “body image issues.” I was just fat all over. Now I have “normal people” body image issues. I don’t like it.

21. Shorts inseams get smaller and smaller as you go down in sizes. 43yo women have no business wearing booty shorts. Just sayin’.

22. When you’re missing 130 lbs. of insulation, you’re cold ALL.THE. TIME.

23. I don’t get anxious hanging around my kids’ friends anymore, fearing I’m embarrassing them or that other kids will make fun of them because their mama is fat.

24. I don’t fight off panic attacks when I step on the scale at the doctor’s office anymore.

25. I can go skydiving, horseback riding, and all kinds of weight-limited fun things!

26. Sitting in hard chairs sucks when you’re missing all your padding!

27. I am no longer diabetic, hypothyroid, or have high blood pressure. The only medications I take are the ones that keep me from killing people.

28. I miss Advil.

29. When you sit in a classroom full of 21-28 year olds and realize that you’re not the fattest person in the room.

30. When your self-concept has always included being morbidly obese…and now you’re not…what do you even do with that???

31. I don’t need to sleep with two pillows to keep my neck straight anymore.

32. Sometimes weight loss *doesn’t* help arthritis in the knees.

33. Forget pants sizes….Going down 4.5 ring sizes is pretty cool too!

34. I no longer need wide width shoes.

35. My husband can pick me up. It’s weird. And scary. (See # 16.)

36. I can cut my hair short and not worry about it making my face look even fatter than it already is.

37. Shopping for clothes is hard when “potato sacks” aren’t on the racks anymore.

38. Learning how to dress an entirely differently shaped body is fun and a pain in the ass at the same time.

39. My size 000 teenage daughter and I have matching jeans.

40. For the first time in my life, I wore a swimsuit…on a beach…in public…and felt GOOD!

41. When someone asks you how you lost so much weight, and you tell them you had WLS, and their response is “oh, so you didn’t really do it yourself…” – it’s okay to throat punch them.

42. Pendant necklaces lay nicely on my chest now, rather than pretending to be a choker necklace.

43. That moment when you go into a bathroom stall and the handicap stall is taken, and you start to panic….and then realize that you fit in a regular stall just fine now.

44. Airplanes – no more seat belt extenders or encroaching on stranger’s space.

45. I can set things on my lap…and they STAY there!

46. My eyes are still bigger than my stomach.

47. The hardest thing has been learning to be okay with not finishing what’s on my plate.

48. I still have chicken legs and no butt.

49. I still try to “squeeze” sideways between people/things, then realize that I could have just walked straight through without a problem.

50. I’m pretty fucking badass!

Prep Your House for a Bariatric Friendly Life