I’m Isabelle, Bella for short. I’m at the beginning of the journey of undergoing gastric bypass surgery. The process has just started, so I thought I would start to document it from the beginning. This is my story.
In October, I went to my family doctor asking for a referral for bariatric surgery. I didn’t hear anything back, so after a few months, I just assumed the referral never happened and I resigned myself to continuing on with my life the way it was. I am 48 years old and still tell myself “…one day when I’m skinny…”.
Fast forward 4 months, I checked the mail and found a large manila envelope from Humber River Hospital. Inside was reams of papers, information, forms to fill out, and most excitingly, a date for an information session! This is start of the journey for me, however, how I arrived here is a story like many others.
I grew up a rather insecure, unhappy child. From about the age of 8, I had always been plump-to-fat. I was a child of an overweight mother, and we both learned to use food the wrong way.
Fortunately, I have been able to lead a relatively good life, in spite of my insecurities. I pushed myself to get educated, I pushed myself to participate in events I found enjoyable, I pushed myself to follow my dreams. All the while doing this, in the back of my mind I thought these were things fat people didn’t do. I had to overcome my feelings of being less than worthy to participate in the world due to my size. Would you believe I thought fat people didn’t go to the Caribbean for vacations because the ads never showed fat people on the beach? It’s true, I thought that. Now, I go every year. I don’t care that I’m fat, I love being there. I’m sure I will love being there even more when I can comfortably walk down the beach in a bathing suit.
I have had personal and professional success, in spite of my size. It seems archaic to have appearance be an influence on success in this day, but it is a fact of life. I have a successful marriage of almost 20 years, a beautiful daughter, a profitable business that I started from scratch, a nice home and comfortable living. All are signs to the world that all is well.
But it’s not. The older I get, the larger I get. I am now 244 lbs. I never say this out loud!! I don’t think of myself as this size. I don’t look in a full length mirror anymore. I only look at the bathroom mirror long enough to do my hair and make up. I avert my eyes when passing reflecting windows. What I look like on the outside is not what I feel on the inside. They do not match.
I have a BMI of 45. Do you know what that classifies me as?
Morbidly obese. Deadly fat.
Fortunately, I do not yet have any of the issues usually associated with being morbidly obese. I do not have Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, high chlolesterol, arthritis, bad knees, gallbladder problems, or sleep apnea. I seem to be healthy, and would like to keep it that way.
Like so many others, I have run the gamut of weight loss programs, with little to moderate success. Weight Loss Clinic (back in the late ’80’s), Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, U-Weight Loss Clinic, protein shakes, etc…..No doubt this list is familiar to everyone in my position. Off it goes, on it goes, off again, on again.
I’ve decided to document the process of yet another attempt. I’m hoping this is a successful, permanent change to my life. I am more than ready to start living fully uninhibited. Feel free to follow along on the journey with me, and see where it goes!