This is the final blog of my weight loss journey series. These blogs have been one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride for me to write. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was in the operating room and having my life changed forever. In reality, it was yesterday. Only 2 years prior. How has my life been since surgery? What do I think of myself now? This is my life after surgery.
That was the starting number.
That was my life.
Several years later, I had weight loss surgery.
It was the best decision of my life
Looking back over the past years has been incredible. I cannot believe that I had my life changing surgery 2 years ago already. When I was going for surgery, only a select amount of my friends and family knew that I was going to have it. The reason I never openly talked about it was because I was scared I would be judged. I was scared that people would tell me that I took the easy way out. This was no easy way out. Me having weight loss surgery was the last line, and a decision I made in order to turn my life around.
After having weight loss surgery, I knew that if I ever went back to how I ate before, I would fail again. If I was to drink and eat whatever I wanted, my weight would just pile back on. I did everything in my power to make sure that did not happen.
It was rather amazing to see the changes after surgery. First the changes occurred around my waist. Clothing was slowly starting to turn baggier on me. I knew that this would obviously happen, but to see it take effect was exciting. Knowing that I would eventually be able to buy clothing from stores! Of course there was no point in me buying new clothing right away because I would be losing more weight, but it was fun to think about what I would buy in the future.
The next changes I started to notice were around my face and chin. I still remember this really well, because I was in a call with my partner and he witnessed it. I smiled, and I noticed my clavicle (or collar bones). When I saw this, I started to cry. This was the first proper change I noticed on my body post-op.
The changes just kept coming and coming. I started to notice my waist getting smaller, my face shrinking back and my neck revealing itself. I HAD A NECK AFTER ALL THIS TIME! My chest and my bum also shrunk back and my legs became thinner. Everything was just shrinking.
It was by far the most amazing feeling to know that the surgery and the continued new life style was working. I finally could achieve anything I wanted to, and stick to it. If I did not stick to a healthy diet and exercise, I would just be back to square one. I refuse to go back to the beginning again.
Decision for plastic surgery
I was informed that I would be allowed to go forward with plastic surgery if I wanted it. However, there were reasons why I did not want to. With the NHS, you are allowed to have 3 different places reduced due to weight loss. The parts of my body that started to have loads of excess skin were my thighs and butt, my stomach and my chest. With my legs, I knew that I can eventually get them toned up, so I was not overly fussed about them. The choice came between my stomach and chest. You could only have one done at a time.
My stomach has a lot of excess skin. I hate how my stomach looks now, but it is far better than before. This shell of a stomach once housed a morbidly obese woman. It would make perfect sense for me to get skin removed here, right?
But my main thought was (and still is) – What is the point of getting my tummy skin removed when I still wanted to have children? It seemed a bit redundant to get plastic surgery on my stomach just to have it stretch out again. So for now, I will leave it as is.
And just so you can see exactly what a stomach could potentially look like after surgery, here is my play dough! I want to share these pictures on here because it gives an indicator that it does not matter how much weight you lose, you will still have remnants of your old life.
(Unlike my stomach, I am not sharing chest pictures. Sorry!)
The last choice was my chest. Now according to some people, the NHS would not do my chest. After discussing it with one of the dietitians however, they would be able to put me forward and see what the plastic surgery department would say about it. My stomach I can deal with, but I absolutely hate my chest.
THERE IS NOTHING THERE!!!!
At some point in the future, I know that I would want to get my chest sorted. After a very long discussion with my dietitian, she told me that the process for plastic surgery would be another year to get started, so I opted out. I did not want to spend more time away from my partner. In the future, I could always get my chest lifted in the Netherlands. That’s all I want – a boob lift. I do not care about having them bigger, I just want them to not be down to my belly button!
The only people that get to see my chest anyway are myself and him (and doctors) so I can deal with that.. for now.
Do I regret my decision?
I had a few questions from some of the people who knew I had weight loss surgery. Questions like, “Did you regret it?”, “Would you advise other people to have weight loss surgery?” and so on. I think the biggest question was if I regretted getting the surgery or not. My answer is simple.
I did not regret getting weight loss surgery.
For me, the surgery was a life savior. I was at the end of my tether with my weight, incredibly unhappy and feeling like a failure. When the chance came to join a proper weight loss group that could help, I jumped on it. The options for weight loss surgery came along and I knew I wanted to go for it. I knew that if I had surgery, I would never be allowed to live the life I once did. If I ever went back to eating like I did at my heaviest, I would suffer. Weight loss surgery for me would be a barrier. A helpful hand in keeping me happy.
Sure, there are some silly side affects like loose skin and hurting bad if I eat too much. Also the side affect of eating a sweet thing and it going right through you. That one sucks a lot cause it really hurts.
Another funny feeling after surgery is never feeling hungry. Ever. For some people this may sound amazing, but in reality is quite scary. I need to make sure I always eat breakfast, lunch and dinner even though I do not feel hungry.
After surgery, people who have weight loss surgery will never be able to absorb all the nutrients they need for a healthy body. As such, I will always need to take a multivitamin tablet that is provided by the doctor. On top of this, I currently have to take an anti-acid tablet for my stomach. This helps with acid reflux. In Scotland, these were called Forceval and Lansoprazole respectfully. Not only did I need to take tablets, but a B12 injection was required every 3 months to ensure the B12 levels in the body are normal.
However, since I am now living in the Netherlands, things are a little bit different.
After going to the doctor and talking about my surgery, she contacted the obesity center that deals with all surgeries over here. They informed the doctor that I should go onto their recommended vitamin tablets. Unlike Scotland, these tablets would include a heavy dose of B12. This means I will NEVER need to have a B12 injection again. Happy days! The doctor was also told to prescribe me with calcium and D3 (not exactly sure what D3 is) chew tablets to take alongside my new vitamin one. This was interesting because I never had a calcium tablet before.
How do I feel now?
I feel utterly brilliant.
It is a very weird feeling to know that whenever I look in the mirror now, I look good. There are times were sometimes I will have a little blip and tell myself I look fat and ugly, but that’s a mentality thing. This was something that came up at talks with the psychologist. Since I was fat for most of my life, it will take some time to adjust to my new body.
I love how I am able to go into a clothing shop and find amazing outfits and look good in them. Before, I was only able to shop online for clothing that would fit me.
Another bonus is that I feel so healthy. I never realized how much energy I missed out on while in my fat suit. Being able to walk for long periods of time without having to stop constantly is still mind blowing. Once upon a time, I dreaded to go outside cause I knew I would feel exhausted. Now, I can’t wait to go out and do things. Such an amazing feeling!
Weight loss surgery saved my life. I have a life now. Sure, I will always have the scars from the surgery and my past life. For the foreseeable future, my fat suit will cling to me like some cling-on.
But I am happy.
Looking back over the past two years has made me realize how lucky I was to have the chance. To be able to start a brand new life. If I could, I would of had surgery years ago.
What I am currently doing
Even though I have lost a lot of weight, and I am happy with my body, I am now focusing on food again. I have mentioned this in this months blog which can be found here.
Since getting my fitness gear sorted, I have been going for a morning jog/walk which has been fantastic so far. There is something satisfying about waking up at the same time as the earth. This makes me sound like a hippy I know, but it is a great feeling. The energy I have had this month has been incredible, and I hope I am able to continue this morning work out for a long time.
Any advice for people thinking about surgery?
The main advice I would give people who are considering surgery is this: If you want it, go for it. However, you need to remember that your entire life will change. You will never be able to eat the same way again. If you (like me) are at the end of your string, have tried for years to lose weight and have not been successful, and you feel like you have ran out of options – surgery is a choice. I would highly suggest though that weight loss surgery is not the first choice you make. It certainly was not my first choice. It took me years to finally decide to go through with it.
I am so proud of anyone who is trying to lose weight. I have some friends who are currently doing so and I am so incredibly proud of their progress. Being able to celebrate victories like inches off the body and weight, it is an amazing achievement.
And that is that. My journey has taken me to this moment in time.
I am now 70kg and still losing weight.
May 2017, my 2 year anniversary of my new life. My journey to surgery may have ended, but my journey is far from over.
No longer am I controlled by food.
No longer am I controlled by fat.
I control my life now, and that will never end.
Since this blog is the finale of my journey series, I am now willing to answer any questions that you may have. Anything that I may not of covered and you want to know. Or you could share your own experiences. Are you currently on a journey of your own? Have you ever lost weight? Or maybe had weight loss surgery? You can always e-mail me your stories if you do not want to share them on the blog!
Thank you all so much for being part of my journey <3