I celebrated my one-year mark of having my Lapband back in October, and I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: In ALL honesty, I am SO glad I did this. SO glad – ecstatic, actually.
Yes, my life has changed, and I have no regrets about having the surgery. I did it for me. If you’ve read my blog, you’ve had a very honest assessment from my own personal experience.
When I went into this, I knew that the “Pandora’s box of life” would open up to me and I’d have to face some things I hadn’t anticipated facing as a result of losing weight, but I also knew I would deal with the challenges head on, whatever they might be, when they manifested themselves to me.
I suppose the first thing that I dealt with was trying to lose the “fat-girl” mentality that I had developed. It included not wanting to look at myself in the mirror, while trying to look my best as chunky as I was. Also, I tried not to “stand-out” in a crowd, because I was embarrassed about how I looked. Then there has been all the general low self-esteem issues, feeling physically bad or tired from having no energy, well you know or I’m sure you can imagine – ALL the stuff bigger people go through as they morph into their new self.
The second thing was trying to overcome the anger stemming from the general public’s reaction to my weight loss, and my personal issues with receiving compliments. To me, I’m still me – but to others – I look better and of course folks want to give you compliments and let you know they’ve noticed the change – but to a certain extent – that REALLY MAKES ME MAD SOMETIMES! I have been “me” my entire life, even when I was heavier, ugh, why can’t people just appreciate a person for who they are and what they look like all the time? During highs and lows? UGH! I really get it, but it’s still an aggravating thing to me…but I’m trying to get over the anger – I promise I’m trying.
Number three: Clothes – I’ve gone down six sizes since May! Over the summer and into this fall it seemed like I was buying pants every month. I really thank God for Walmart and their cheap, decent looking stuff that got me by.
Four: Last, but not least – have mercy – I’m just going to say it…..(wince) the sags, bags and wrinkles! To spare you the horror of really too much information, just know this is something that you need to be aware of. It’s a direct side-effect of drastic weight loss.
For instance, to me right now, this very moment, I look a little older, and I’ve got a turkey neck and jowls now. Eww. :) And if that weren’t enough to deal with, I could actually be in my dream size of pants right now, if I could go ahead with my tummy tuck and thigh lift…but that will have to be postponed a bit longer. Oh well. But, it’s no big deal really, because I feel that I’m close to my goal, and at a guess I believe I might be there by the summer of 2012.
The advice given to Lapbanders by the professionals is that we need to wait until we hit our goal, or where our weight actually settles, then give ourselves another six months to a year or more before we undergo any cosmetic surgery. That is to ensure that we don’t gain or lose over five or so pounds for several months – and what we look to invest in ourselves surgery wise, should actually last a good while – so we get our money’s worth! And who wants to have a lot of procedures/scars from too many of those….can you say Joan Rivers? :) And if you’re like me – you don’t have a stash of 1lb. gold bars anywhere and surgery can be quite pricey!
Again – I would do this all over again – even now knowing I’ve got more surgery to face, to feel completely self-confident.
Oh and do you want to hear the best, non-anger producing compliment I’ve received so far? I was coming downstairs at work a couple of weeks ago, and one of my co-workers told me -
“Ok Regina. If you lose any more weight, you’re going to really start looking sickly.”
“You HAVE NO IDEA how long I’ve waited for someone to tell me THAT!”
I love that lady! Actually, I’ve been waiting 19 years for that one compliment! :)