I was thinking the other day about how I would describe the journey of a weight loss surgery patient. It’s much like a video clip that has been fast forwarded so that you can watch an entire year’s worth of events take place in just a matter of one to two minutes. The video I imagined to be playing would be the changing of the seasons. I liken this picture to how my journey has unfolded over the past two years.
The first season would be Fall, a time of change, where the leaves turn colors and begin to find their way to the ground. In our lives, many changes occur. Often times this is a frightening experience. As obese, most of us remain isolated and maintain very routine lives. We like knowing what to expect. But when the weight begins to melt and the number on the scales change, so do our emotions. It can be overwhelming especially when friends, family members and co-workers ask so many questions and make comments that we are not accustomed to. For the most part, we’re used to quiet lives with no one interfering. Fall arrives, and watch out! It seems that everyone comes out of the woodwork to give an opinion of our weight loss and of the surgical procedure that we had.
After Fall comes Winter. Everything seems so bear and desolate. The leaves have been long gone and we are left with only the tree branches. Look around in the wintertime and you will not find much color or excitement. Oh, how I remember the stalls and plateaus on my journey! I thought, “Is this all there is? Is this as much as I am going to lose? Am I done?” It appeared on the outside that what remained was the end result… but oh there is so much about to happen that we don’t even know about, for a fresh, new season is upon us… Winter also represents a time where things wither and die. I relate this to my old mentalities I held as an obese individual. I was challenged and forced to let go of them. It’s a very lonely place to be, alone with your thoughts. As spring approaches, we become “stir crazy” and ready for life. We want to experience, to do, to be, to live the life we were meant to live!
Springtime bursts forth with its flowery buds and vivacious colors… we exchange our heavy long sleeve dark garments for brighter short sleeve and lighter ones! To me, this represents the emotional changes that we go through… we don’t feel as heavy and oppressed like we did when we were obese and rejected by society. And, we begin to show a little bit more of ourselves to people that we were never willing to prior to our weight loss surgery. We act differently, and notice that people now recognize us, speak to us, look us in the eye. In the past, we felt unappreciated, unaccepted, unloved, rejected. But now, we feel a sense of acceptance. Spring is a time of new birth, “rebirth” if you choose to call it that. The strange thing about this season though – it can vascillate between the winter and summer conditions. In other words, snow is still a possibility, while hot days could be in the forecast. To me this is the inner struggles between our old mentality and the new one as we become vulnerable to trust and love.
Summer – a time of fun in the sun! We cast off MOST clothing to parade bathing suits as we sunbathe, swim, and perhaps new events such as boating on the lake. In my journey, this has been the most rewarding. The death of the old person has long passed and I’ve adjusted to the new person I’ve become. No longer do I feel awkward in my new body, but am more at ease and comfortable in it. I’m not just referencing the physical aspect, but the emotional one as well. I am much more open, trusting, and loving. Summer is known as a time for planting. All the information received and lessons learned in the Spring are planted in the summer knowing that in the very near future, Fall begins again and we will surely reap wonderful rewards.
This is my journey so far….
Until next time,
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