I’ve been really focusing on a lot of the really difficult aspects of having weight loss surgery and just losing weight in general as a person who has an eating disorder history. This process is really hard and very triggering, and I’m not going to sugarcoat that. However, I had this surgery for a reason, and that was to improve my health, both so I can be healthy now and in the future. Although a lot of this process has been really hard on my body and mind, there are some things that have improved and I want to highlight them, both for my own sake and for the sake of those who are reading this, thinking about maybe having surgery and wondering what it’s like post-op.
First of all, even though I’m insanely exhausted all the time, I’m actually moving a lot more. When I first started the preop diet last October, I made a daily goal of walking 5000 steps. That may not seem like a lot to you if you’re a pretty active person, but for me it was sometimes a struggle, especially on weekends when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day (and honestly, that’s what I did). I had a serious mental block around exercising as a fat person, a lot of anxiety around people seeing me active and judging me harshly. This is not news to anyone, but people tend to be really mean to fat people, and over the years I’ve really internalized that and tried to combat the judgment by being as invisible as possible, which means staying in. ANYWAY, I made a commitment to walk 5000 steps a day and work my way up to a 10,000 step goal. Right now my goal is at 8500 steps! I make goal pretty much everyday, and in the last two weeks I’ve gone even beyond that, sometimes getting to 12,000 steps. This is a big deal for me.
On a related note, I’ve also been going on walks daily. Kourtney and I have started walking Saturday and Sunday mornings together, and on the weekdays I take an evening walk when I get home from work. It’s crazy to think that 6 months ago Kourtney would suggest going on a walk and I would dread it– Now I’m waking her up at 8am on a weekend so we can get our 45 minutes in before she goes to work! I’m less anxious about going outside and having people see me taking a walk (although the anxiety is still there, just less so). And I’ve realized that I kinda like taking walks around my neighborhood, especially with Kourtney. I really enjoy looking at all the different houses (we live in a pretty nice part of town, an apartment complex among fancy two-story family homes) and sometimes as I walk down these Pleasantville type streets I imagine what kind of house we would pick if we had the money to buy. It’s nice to stop all the frantic buzzing in my head and just dream for awhile.
One benefit to having a small stomach is that I am spending WAY less money on groceries. I budget $90 a week for meal prep– breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. Since I’ve had surgery I’ve been spending $30-40 a week on groceries! One downside to that is that I’ve been spending the money elsewhere– mainly Amazon. I bought 3 new books, an exercise mat, yoga blocks, and a cake stand (for mother’s day). I’ve also bought more clothes, mostly out of necessity but also because I’m starting to like them a bit more as I lose weight. I’m beginning to have more options as I transition out of the plus size stores and into “regular” stores. This makes me mad, because I think fat people should be able to buy clothes anywhere because HEY WE EXIST AND WE LIKE FASHION TOO. But it also makes me happy because I’m finally going to be able to explore my own fashion sense instead of feeling like I have two or three things to choose from. Also, I’ve fallen in love with leggings (NOT AS PANTS). I love wearing them under dresses, which I’ve been wearing more often now. Maybe one day I will stop wearing pants altogether and just wear dresses and skirts everyday…. that’s the dream.