I’ve been contemplating writing this blogpost for some time, for different reasons. One of which is the constantly asked question I’ve been getting ‘how did you lose all that weight?’. I honestly felt the subject was quite personal. I would usually just say I’ve changed my eating habits, which is true but quite vague in comparison to the answer people were expecting to hear. I would only give an entirely true answer to people close to me, as I’m generally a private person. However, I feel comfortable enough to write this down now, in the hopes to maybe help someone going through what I have been all my life, and to answer that question once & for all. So here it goes 🙂
Last year (2020) has been a strange year for all of us, and quite a bad year for a lot of us. We had to adapt to new ways of living, working, interacting with others and adjusting our lives to ‘as the kids say’ new norms. Adding to all these changes, for me, I had to adapt to a new everything…
All my life -literally for the past 20+ years- I’ve dealt with weight issues, I’ve tried everything I thought I can, followed all kinds of diets, been to a dozen nutritionists since I was 16, tried to exercise and there’ve been ups & downs (but mostly downs) when it came to me trying to lose weight, or at least not be overly obese.
So, during the universal lockdown last year, I felt like I failed myself and was at a very bad place mentally because of how much weight I gained and how out of control I felt my life has become. As I said being overweight has been my life, but it never got to me to the point that I wouldn’t want to see people, go to the beach or meet anyone after lockdown was over.
The slightest comment about my weight would turn my anxiety levels to the roof, and it has, several times throughout that summer. And it wasn’t just people’s comments that upset me, but there were endless anxiety-inducing incidents that really messed with my head, but I’d rather not get into all of that, at least not this time 🙂
So I’ll start getting to my point. As the wonderful anxiety & self loathing-filled summer of 2020 came to an end, I decided to take a more assertive step towards fixing what I believed was unfixable. I made an appointment with a surgeon that specialized in weight loss surgeries, and took the decision to go through with it right after our first meeting, and scheduled my gastric sleeve surgery. I did do my research before, talked to others that underwent the same surgery to get enough insight on their experience. But honestly, I was all in before talking to anyone, and it was the best decision I ever made.
I’m not saying it’s the best solution generally, but it was for me at this point in time. I went in with a strong will to follow through all the way, knowing the consequences and what I would be giving up. I was fortunate enough to have a clear mind during that whole experience that it didn’t affect my mental wellbeing in any way. As I know some people who’ve gone through depression afterwards, in other words, assertion is mandatory for this.
This decision helped me lose weight, along with a lot of insecurities that I’ve carried along for 20 years, but it’s not an easy fix as a lot of people think it is. There’s a lot of work that comes with it, to have a healthy balanced life, mentally and physically. A lot of compromises too. It took me a while to adapt to my new eating habits, I still have some trouble ordering the right portions of food, especially when I’m hungry but I’m immediately reminded by my new appetite.
There definitely have been upsides this past year. I can walk into a clothing store of my choice, and not feel ashamed asking what the biggest size they carry is. I wholeheartedly believe that there is absolutely no shame in that, but it’s how I felt all my life. I would only shop at stores I knew had my sizes beforehand. The endless times I would avoid situations where I had to take off my shirt or even give my shirt size to someone for any reason and anticipate the award response of ‘sorry we don’t carry sizes that big’. I remember one time I had a photoshoot with CocaCola, and they asked us beforehand what shirt sizes we wore, to prepare them for the shoot, and I had to literally cut the sides of my shirt all the way up, to make it loose enough, just because they got the wrong size. Thank God this footage never came out 🙂 I could write a whole book with stories like these.
I have a lot more energy now to exercise, I’m clear minded which helped me with work and my blog, and simply live a normal life where I don’t have to feel ashamed the minute I walk out of my house.
My journey is still beginning, I’ve dabbled in exercising throughout that year, starting doing yoga, playing sports I normally would sit out or exclude myself from entirely. I just starting to really commit to a training schedule, that I hope to post about soon as a crucial part of my journey. I’m excited for this new chapter in my life, big changes came along with it and I feel like I’m finally working towards my mental happiness.
Although this surgery has been changing my life for this past year, I truly believe it should be your last solution to lose weight, and never consider it as an easy way out. There’s a lot of work & compromises that comes with it, both physical & mental. Some of which irreversible, so if you ever do consider going through with it, I recommend you talk to someone you trust about it, or others that have gone through it. If you don’t fully comprehend these consequences, there’s a chance you’ll get bored or worse, feel depressed. Especially that most of us who consider this are emotional eaters, and not being able to eat your heart out to overcome some emotional distress will just make things worse for your self esteem.
You’ll need to exercise as soon as your doctor advises, to help your body get some form & shape, as well as reduce loose skin, which is also another mandate that comes along with this surgery 🙂 You’ll have to be more active in general for both your mental & physical health, which can be quite challenging if you’re not the most active person. However, it’ll be a little easier when you start losing weight. As I said, if you’re going into this with a strong will you’ll find yourself wanting to move all the time, and actually find joy in doing activities you normally hated or avoided.
Weight is just a number, and should not define who you are. However, we should definitely take care of our weight, health & general wellbeing for ourselves and not for anyone or anything else 🙂
I just wanted to write this down, to share with people and not feel obligated to bend the truth when I’m constantly asked about this topic 🙂
Part two coming soon!