Family, Friendship, Health, Loving yourself

Less weight, more change

Here’s a guest post from a beautiful lady I know who had a story to tell, and needed a place to tell it. This seems like a good place to me.

We were talking last week about how much she’s changed in the last year, not just in how she looks but more importantly in how she is. And she realized that it hasn’t been the weight loss that changed her. It was the point where she decided she had to change. From there, all the things that had stopped her before seemed to fall away.

This post is dedicated to all her family and friends who never gave up on her…..

Change.

According to the Oxford Dictionary the meaning of the word is as follows: ‘an act or process through which something becomes different’.

Or if you’re more the Urban Dictionary kind of person it is apparently: ‘Best song of Tupac’s,’ and who am I to disagree? But we are going to run with the Oxford one.

Now I’m not talking about changing your hair colour or that really annoying pile of shrapnel at the bottom of your hand bag that is friends with the dirt and bobby pins. I’m talking about the real deal – making a change in life.

For a few years I was pretty unhappy about life, like really unhappy. To the point I couldn’t remember the last time I had a shower (one of less radical ways I was punishing myself) and let’s just say for a Western Australian summer, I highly don’t recommend going down that road. It’s also a sure way to create some unwanted distance between your friends. I was depressed, self-loathing, unhappy and just didn’t want to live, because just ‘being’ was simply exhausting.

Not just for me, people think that depression is a one man camp; I would like to express how I believe that to be totally false. My family and friends had to see this side of me, knowing that couldn’t really help me, because in all truth I didn’t want any help. Although I thought I did a good job of hiding it I suspect if I asked these people in my life, they would tell me they knew what was going on. Because sitting in a depressed state is a comfort zone.

However making a change is leaving it.

During this time I struggled with a lot of things. One of those things was weight, this little word is quite a heavy one (see what I did there!) on the metaphorical scale of a person’s shoulders.  Weight is something I had struggled with most of my life; it’s like unrolling a ball of yarn. In the center sits the word weight, then just a little way up the wool is health, then there is how you feel about yourself and then are generally words like ugly, fat and how can anyone ever love you when you look the way you do? It’s like a version of the snowball effect, basically being a constant reminder why you are not good enough. I’m not blaming weight alone for my struggles, as I did have a lot of other strong issues in my life, but my weight made it all so much harder to bear.

Now you might be sitting here going, is this chick for real? She sounds like a total pansy.  But I assure you – these feelings are more common in people than you think, and fortunately for me I had the support around me to not to end up being a memory. Something that would read – the life of the party – well that’s the image I put out anyway.

So one day I had enough.

Realise that my whole life I have struggled with weight and done a lot of those fad diets, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and shake diets. Starving myself to the point where once I almost blacked out while I was drafting sheep.  Those things didn’t end up being for me!

Then one day I was having a chat with a mate about weight loss surgery. He had undergone surgery and at that stage was sitting around 50 kilos lighter. He is now 100 kilos lighter!  He explained the procedure to me, which sounded to be a lot of scary unknown – but how can you not look at someone 50 kilos lighter and not consider it? So I started my research and by research I mean lots of it – procedures, people who have has the surgery I was considering (which is called a gastric sleeve), forums, side effects, how things can go wrong (which included being fed through a tube by your stomach for months) and how each human body can have a totally different reaction and experience. Nonetheless everything has pro’s and con’s and I guess that’s just what you have to weigh up. (No pun intended!!)

To cut this story short, in time I became very OK with the decision to go ahead, I truly believed in myself that this was what I needed to turn around and change my life. When I met with my surgeon he explained to me that once I started losing weight my mental state would dramatically improve (oh and my fertility, so watch out for that!) and of course I would be the amazing shrinking lady! After meeting twice with the doctor and a nutritionist a date was set for 5 weeks’ time, easy as that.

So surgery came and went and I’m not going to sugar coat it, but to be honest it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life and yes I am totally open to being called a sook, as my mum ever so nicely put it! I cried for the whole 24 hours right up until I went under. I didn’t even get to count backwards – they just knocked this crazy b*tch out! But not before a beautiful nurse came to my bed side and told me I was doing the right thing! Something  I will remember forever.

How do we know it’s the right thing? I’m not sure. But believe me making a decision like this does somehow make people come out of the wood work with their opinions, without you really asking for them.  Kudos to those in my life who did support me, but unfortunately we are not always blessed with this. I did get told by someone that I would die, but now funnily enough almost one year later, that person is doing some serious considering about this surgery.  Lucky for me I used these negative people to fuel my ambition and this really convinced me more how much I wanted this and more importantly that I could do it! So each day in the lead up I would think about the pending surgery, apart from being scared of the unknown (which is completely natural) it felt right and I was at entire peace with my decision.

Now this is the bit I want to get real about – weight loss surgery is not just a lovely little holiday in hospital where they cut out 80% of your stomach, then the next day you’re out and you’re free to smash Double Quarter pounders and blocks of chocolate again. This is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, once surgery is complete you retrain your body on how to eat, what to eat and when to eat. Yes there are slip ups, but you definitely pay for it and it’s a swift kick in the butt and reminder why old habits die hard! I now enjoy a good salad (oh and the occasional piece of chocolate) and shock horror, I can run, yes RUN around the block and you know what the sickening part is? I actually enjoy it 🙂

Speaking of enjoying it, I also enjoy life; yes I’m not literally pooping rainbows and sunshine. But some days – yep I really feel I could. Don’t get me wrong, everyday isn’t like this, but finally for now the better part is! I have done a full turn around on the mental health side and it’s safe to say, I do shower every day! I have the confidence to go out and get what I think I deserve in life, for example a new career. Which in the past I have never had the confidence or thought I was good enough to do. Guess what? I am and bring on that challenge.

So was it about the weight? Yes it was, but not totally.  For me it was also gaining the feeling of self-love, something every single person should have, without ever having to second guess themselves, because that is not life, for me that was my hell.

The truth? Leaving your comfort zone and making ‘that’ change is a key component into gaining your happiness. Because everyone is entitled to it, it’s just your move to go out and get it!

 

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