My Bariatric Life

A lot of people know that I used to be fat. I can say that word since Im speaking of myself, right? What most people do not realize is that Im still a fat girl. Fat girls will always be fat girls in their own minds, even if they are in shape or skinny or healthy.

Growing up I came from a middle class family. I had two parents who loved me. I never went without as far as I remember. In elementary and junior high I took dance lessons. Tap, jazz, ballet. I dont know how many days a week I was there but it seemed like every day. I had the metabolism of a hummingbird. Don’t we all in our early years? Not long before high school puberty hit and I quit dancing. I never quit eating like a dancer though. Every sugary drink, candy, chocolate fattening food I could eat I did eat.

Looking back I dont think I was depressed. I was awkward to be sure but I had no real reason to eat that way. I had friends in high school but was definately that fat girl. Never had a boyfriend to speak of. I did not go to my prom. I couldnt wait to leave town and startover elsewhere.

I went to college where I had a string of boyfriends that could either be considered nice guys (many Im still friends with today) or they were not so nice and used my fat against me to keep me “in line.” At some point I was diagnosed with clinical depression. Eventually I met the man who would become my husband. He never had a problem with my weight. It was just one more thing in the luggage of my life. He’s the outdoorsy type but I certainly wasnt. Long drives made me whiny. The more I ate the less I did. I knew I was miserable to be around but didnt know how to fix it or didnt care. Walking hurt.

Not long after we got married in 2008 (where I had some of the most beautiful pictures taken on my wedding day) my brother in law got married. The pictures from that day were STUNNING even though it felt like he got married on the surface of the sun that day. Then I came across this picture and knew I had to make a change:

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A coworker had just had the lap band surgery and was having success with it. It seemed like an “easy-fix” and I had to do something so I started the process.

I learned a lot very quickly about bariatric surgery. It is NOT a quick fix. Yes, you lose weight quickly but other complications arise.

Losing weight does not mean depression disappears. In my case it got a touch worse at first. Being “skinny” did not solve my self esteem issue. Even today I still see the girl at the wedding above and not the athelete with the deal from Trek below:

IMG_0913
Photo Credit: Darryl Ploen

Im still the woman who is one nasty anxiety attack away from hospitialization.

Today though, I stand and I deal. One day at a time. One work out at a time. One minute at a time in some cases.

Triathlon has brought a renewed sense of hope to me that I did not have once the weight started falling off post surgery. I know that I will not live forever but I have a better chance at growing old now and Im excited about that. If I can help one person see the good in not giving up on themselves then my purpose for being on this earth will have been fulfilled.

Thanks for reading.

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