The wls (weight loss surgery) seminar is next week, so naturally it’s all I think about. I’ve become a bit obsessed with reading articles about weight loss, surgery, personal stories, and oh my gosh, I have never wasted so much time on instagram as I am now, looking through photos of people who have gone through surgery and what their lives look like post-op. Looking at wls patients lives on instagram, it seems like surgery is the best thing that ever happened to them, that they are only happy and that their lives are great now. But I know that there is more to their stories that they probably don’t share, and that’s the part that I’m worried about experiencing. I think about all the people out there who lost significant amounts of weight, only to get to their goal wait and realize that they’re still not happy. That their “thin” body does not feel like they thought it would. And that they’re old ideas about themselves and their self worth persist, those ideas that you’re not thin enough, not pretty enough, not good enough.
I am trying to be very realistic about where I am right now in this moment, where I want to be and where I think I can get. When I first started thinking seriously about weight loss surgery I thought that what I wanted was to be smaller. I wanted to be at a weight where I could exercise without pain, and to be more productive and active in my life. Right now it’s really hard to do that, which in turn discourages me from continuing activities, which keeps me sedentary, which keeps me at this weight. That is still true now. And there was also part of me that wanted to lose weight so I could fit into clothes that are actually cute and don’t cost twice as much just because they’re bigger. It’s so frustrating trying to shop for clothes on a budget when the only jeans that come in your size are 60 bucks a piece. I’m not made of money! I long for the day I can expand my wardrobe without breaking the bank. So that’s still true as well.
But now as I read personal stories and see the lives of weight loss surgery patients online, I realize that I really want to have the surgery and lose the weight so I can feel “normal”. What I really wish for is a life that doesn’t center on food and weight. For the past 10 years my life has been consumed with food and weight– I spend most of my day thinking about what my food options are, based not only on cost or nutritional value, but also based who I will be eating with, whether or not I think that people will judge me if I eat certain things, how I can hide the things I’m eating that are “bad foods”, or how I can avoid eating in front of people and different ways to avoid food altogether. Some days it’s a nuisance, and other days it’s a nightmare. And this has been the case regardless of my weight or how I was relating to food– I thought about food just as much at my lowest weight as I do now. I was just as obsessed with my meals when I was restricting as I am now. Eating disorders are all-consuming.
So there is part of me that hopes that if I can get this surgery and lose weight, and get the support necessary (FINALLY) for relief from the obsession and compulsion that maybe I will feel, perhaps for the first time, some normalcy. That I won’t be so obsessed with food and won’t let it run my life. I’m longing for freedom.