In general, I am a rather confident person. I believe in my abilities, I know I have self worth, I’m important to my friends and family, and I am reasonably successful in my work. And most of the time, I am o.k. with who I am.
But every once in a while, I start to feel really discontent with myself. I feel my belly bulge out or my thighs rub together, and there is an actual rush of repulsion. I wonder how could I be confident when I am this big? Who could take me seriously, as a professional, when I look like this? Do I embarrass my daughter in front of her friends yet?
I feel the tug of my pyjama top around my upper arms, and feel it ride up my back. The legs of my jeans get snug. A new roll tips out of the back of my bra. I find myself doing a funny bend when I drop something – the kind of bend where you spread your legs first then bend over….I guess this allows my belly to have freedom to hang down and not get caught in between. Pretty image, isn’t it?!
And here’s something new – my lap seems to be getting shorter. My laptop doesn’t seem to come up as close to me as it used. Something seems to be forcing it further down my lap. Ugh! It’s that belly again.
As much as I try to joke about things, I really do feel a blast of self loathing every once in a while. Today is one of those days.
I keep thinking about how I might be after the surgery, in another 9 months maybe. I’m hesitant to think too much, because there are still so many assessments to get through before a determination is made to do the surgery. I dream of seeing people I hadn’t seen in a while and feeling so free. I wonder if I’ll dye my dark hair blonde, as I have always wanted to do. Will I have a lot of saggy skin? Will I have more energy? Will I start to jog, then start to run?
So many possibilities. In all the self loathing, there is still some optimism…..fingers crossed!
Friday was the day for the first session in the process of having gastric bypass surgery, also know as bariatric surgery. I was to arrive at 8:30 am to fill out the paperwork and be ready to attend the group information session starting at 9:00 am.
I left extra early, because I did not want to be late. It was made expressly clear in the preliminary info package to be on time and to not miss appointments! Given that this is something I would love to have done years ago, you can bet I will not be late or wait a minute longer than needed.
After navigating the parking garage, I found my way to the Bariatric Clinic on Level 1 of the Humber River Regional Health Centre. The hospital was large, bright, open and modern. I checked in with the receptionist and took a seat. Here’s a really nice thing I found – they had double wide seats!! For once, I didn’t have to wedge my butt into a tight seat with metal arms digging into my flesh. Thank you to whomever was thoughtful enough to order those chairs! The waiting room was quite full, I would estimate about 40 people.
At 9:00, those of us there for the information session were guided up to the 3rd floor and instructed on to a conference room. We signed in, gathered up more papers and information packets, and found a seat. The session was lead by a dietitian, with no condescending mannerism towards fat people. The session lasted about 3 hours with a quick 15 minute break for a coffee.
During that time, we learned about the actual procedure, the process of eating before the procedure as well as reintroducing food after the procedure. We touched on ways to prepare ourselves for the change in eating. It was suggested to start making small changes now to be sure that you have those well integrated into your life by surgery time.
Our homework, prior to the next visit/assessment, is to familiarize ourselves with the procedure, know the stages of food after the surgery, and keep a journal of our eating to help recognize our habits and weaknesses. We are also encouraged to commit to a small change and record our progress. I’m thinking I should start walking 3 times a week. I guess it needs to go beyond thinking and just put my damn feet on the pavement and move!
I’ll let you know how it goes!