There is a lot of shame that comes from being obese or morbidly obese like it is my case. But also, there’s even shame in weight loss, the expectations and the falls. More specifically, feeling like a failure and taking what is deemed as the “easy way out”: getting weight loss surgery.
For the longest time, I have debated whether to share my story or keep it to myself. It has been four years since I started to get serious about losing weight and today, I can say that I have experienced the lowest downs and the highest ups of my entire life through this journey.
The Start of My Weight Loss Journey
Three years ago, I was celebrating losing 100 pounds for the first time in my life. I was very proud of myself albeit still being considered obese and the unexpected symptoms of body dysmorphia and crippling anxiety I started feeling.
It was the year 2015, and I couldn’t recognize the changes in my body. I would walk down the street obsessing about how I looked. I had never known what anxiety felt like and there I was, heart palpitations and a hard pressure on my back. It was a terrible thing to realize that throughout my whole life, I had self-medicated with food instead of expressing my TRUE feelings and getting them out there. It always seemed that others had more difficult problems than I did.
Ups and Downs during and after Pregnancy
A few months after, my life took a complete turn when I became pregnant. Sure, I had always dreamt of having a baby, but I didn’t think I could. I had issues with my cycles as a product of my weight, and I was almost entirely sure I couldn’t have kids. Eight months and 60+ pounds later, the love of my life was born.
Now, this is not a post about becoming a mother and dealing with all that it entails. It is tough and not all perfect. And to top it off, coming back to the weight loss journey – while everyone claims to lose weight while breastfeeding, well – I GAINED WEIGHT!
So, here I was back to my old ways, eating what I wanted at disordered times when almost a year later, I got a call from the hospital because my wait list for surgery was finally moving forward. It was July 2017 when I had my first visit and decided to go forward with all the tests and evaluations for weight loss surgery. Six months later I was rushing to change my flights to return to Barcelona from Puerto Rico where we spent Christmas and New Years.
Starting 2018 in the Surgery Room
We rang 2018 in my island without knowing that my life was going to take a turn sooner than I thought. I had told my family about my decision, and we all had discussed all the scenarios, but we didn’t know it would come this quick. We flew back to Barcelona on January 2nd, and 23 days later in January 25th, I was entering the surgery room.
Things moved so quickly that I barely had time to think and get mentally ready. I was super scared of dying on the table, so I said my prayers while being rolled down the hallway. Next thing I know the anesthesiologist told me she was going to give me a gin and tonic. Then, I woke up in the recovery room.
I decided to come out and tell my story because I think it would be helpful for many. Also, I want to take the stigma out of weight loss surgery. For some of us, there’s a need for extreme measures, and with the close advice of a medical professional, a good decision can be made. It was a callous decision considering I have a 1-year-old boy to care for and I was scared of the outcome. But, so far, it was the best decision I made for my health and well being. I expect to continue sharing my journey with all of you in hopes that my story helps you in some way.
We each have a different purpose and journey in life; decisions are to be respected, not shamed. Now, not everything is peaches and creams, the surgery and the rapid weight loss that stems from it has also brought me other challenges, and I’m experiencing my now-well-known anxiety symptoms again. But about that, I will talk in another post. I just wanted to come out and say it – Yes, I had weight loss surgery.