Monday, June 29, 2009

Taking Care of Yourself Even If You're Overweight

Skinny for a Fat Lady

When I first went to see my surgeon, he looked at me and said, "You're sure you want weight loss surgery?" You see, I'm a little slip of a thing when it comes to weight loss surgery... Just a pound or two into morbid obesity. So why did I choose such a major fix for what some would consider an easily fixable problem?

Well, first off, I was at my highest weight ever on the day of my surgery, a weight I'd been for about a year. And I can tell you that, without the surgery, I would have gotten bigger. My weight has inched up and up, year after year, until I got to the point that I felt like a beach ball on stilts. 

I've always had a small waist, larger than normal hips, and heavy thighs, with a smaller top. Not a pear, really, just a bottom heavy hourglass. My waist has helped me look less heavy and I've been able to look quite a few pounds thinner than I am as a result. Then, last year, I started to get a belly. And it kept growing. Now, I know the signs of ovarian cancer, but I did what a lot of overweight people do, I blamed it on my weight. So when all of a sudden my bloated middle wouldn't fit into any of  my pants, I, without much thought at all, just assumed it was the next step in my losing battle with my weight. I actually started to look pregnant, and that should have given me a clue, but no matter how big I got, I kept thinking I was exhibiting more weight gain symptoms. 

Finally, at a gynocologist's appointment, I mentioned the gain and one thing led to another until I was in the hospital for surgery. It turned out I had a large (volley ball size... gross, I know) benign tumor on one of my ovaries, and a fist sized one on the other. I ended up having a total hysterectomy. I figured the removal of the giant cyst would make my middle slender again, but I was wrong. With the hysterectomy I was plunged into menopause. I got hot in the recovery room and I never really cooled down for the four months it took for me to finally find a doctor to put me on bio-identical hormones. Now I wear a hormone patch, and also use a gel 2 weeks out of the month to reverse my menopausal symptoms. And my middle has shrunk just a bit. I feel a lot better, my mind and memory are clearer, and I'm not hot all the time, just sometimes. 

Treat Yourself Right

I bring all this up because I did what a lot of overweight people do. Dismissed classic symptoms because I figured my problems were due to my weight. If I'd been thin and gotten a huge tummy I'd have immediately suspected a problem. Overweight me didn't do this, and it scares me that I didn't. Thank God my tumor was benign!

This whole thing became just another reason that I felt I needed a permanent tool to help me lose and keep off weight. I've been treating myself like a sick person. And my sickness is obesity. It's time to get better, and I know from all my diets and weight gains that there is nothing I can do on my own that will keep me a normal weight. So I chose the lap band and now I'm doing everything I can to bring myself down to a weight that allows me to feel normal. It's a long journey, but I know its one I'll be glad I took. 

I've lost enough weight since the surgery that I am starting to feel differently about myself. I was out shopping today and started looking at clothes. I immediately drifted to my "usual" (default dressing), and began looking at a black top with long sleeves. My daughter, who is 7, said, "Mom, you always look like you're going to a funeral. How about some blue?" After a moment I put the black top back and decided its not time to start buying clothes until I can go into a store, see something I like, and buy without compromise. In other words, I need to lose about twenty more pounds. But with the band, I'm pretty sure I'll be ready to shop in about a month and a half. And when I get there, watch out everyone, because I'm getting a whole new wardrobe!

View blog reactions

No comments: