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It's been interesting looking back over my entries on this blog along with the journal that I keep intermittently on my computer. I think that it's chronicled not only the weight loss side of my journey, but a portion on my journey through my mental illness in relationship to my weight.


I started seeing a therapist last week. I probably should have sooner, and for anyone who has any kind of mental health disorder and is thinking about/having/had the surgery and even some of those who don't have a mental health disorder, it is something I would definitely recommend.


I have struggled with my mental health since I was a teenager and it has huge ties to my weight, so it's definitely relevant for me to have new issues as well as old issues cropping up as I continue to lose weight. It's funny because before surgery I reminded myself a number of times that weight loss was not a catch all for solving many of the problems that I have. Weight loss is just that - a loss of weight to increase my health.


I am now at 233 (lowest I have seen is 232) and still losing steadily, although much slower than before. Some days I feel like my entire life has changed, others I feel like I'm still left standing in the same place. Half of the time I cannot see the weight loss in the mirror. I can see it in the pictures, I hear it from the people around me, but there's this mental disconnect between that and the person I see in the mirror. I fit into smaller pants and my measurements shrink, but my waist still looks the same size (though one side of my stomach is bigger than the other, apparently I have some scar tissue or something holding my left side at a little bit larger around the stomach). I think this is one of my biggest struggles in regards to motivation.


So now that I'm approximately five months out, I'd like to take a minute for myself to outline what I think are the good and the bad that I've experienced from this surgery and from my journey over the past five months.



- Moving down from size 28 tight pants to size 22 slightly tight pants

- Hearing my coworker tell me today that I look like half of the person I used to be and that I now have a baby face

- Being told by my boyfriend that from the back waist up I look like I was never heavy to begin with, supposedly I now have a thin frame

- Having my mom notice that you can see my cheek bones

- Not being out of breath when trying to keep up with my classmates

- Having my smaller scrubs be too big and baggy

- Having my boyfriend be able to wrap his arms almost all the way around me (like almost back to himself)

- Having a boyfriend who is amazing (Yes, I attribute meeting him to the confidence I gained after surgery)

- Being able to walk up flights of stairs without being winded

- Being able to shave my legs without feeling like I'm doing some weird acrobatics

- Every time I realize something new fits

- Being able to sit next to someone on a bus and not feel like they are crossing their fingers I don't sit next to them

- Having a ton of extra length on my seatbelt

- Realizing I have collar bones and bones in my shoulders

- Being able to see the bones/tendons in my hands

- Having my rings fit every finger

- Feeling like people look at me instead of through me

- Not feeling like the largest person in every room

- Hitting the high end of projected weight loss by my doctor and still continuing to lose

- Not seeing a 3 on the beginning number of the scale

- Having lost something like 20% body fat according to my scale

- Not having to clear my plate out of anxiety at social settings

- Being cold at night instead of sweating my butt off (I prefer blankets to fans)

- Not feeling like the first thing people see is my weight

- Feeling comfortable enough in my body to have sex with the lights on and no covers

- Being able to reach my toes without doing weird bending manuvers

- Being able to paint my toenails

- The relief of not being at imminent risk of diabetes at 25

- Being able to fit in the bathroom stall and not always having to seek out the handicapped one

- The periods of increased confidence

- Feeling like I am moving on in my life



- Hormonal imbalances - increases in mood swings, neediness, clingyness, irritability

- Saggy skin

- Lack of motivation to: Work out, take vitamins, get in protein - I struggle daily to fight my noncompliance

- Fatigue (Probably related in part to intermittent compliance with vitamins and protein)

- Anxiety related to the possibility of ever gaining the weight back

- Alcoholism could easily become a problem - I have to stay away from it completely

- Dealing with feelings rather than being able to turn to food for comfort



So the goods obviously outweigh the bads by far. And many of the downsides are either related to mental health issues that were already present and have started to reoccur or lack of compliance with my plan. I have tried to start schedules for myself and that's one of the things I will be working on with my therapist. I have always had issues with compliance - and the biggest thing I need to do is make sure that I get all of my medicines and vitamins in, because I feel 110% better when I do.




So my New Years resolutions will include:


- Setting a day out every month to increase my compliance through scheduling, setting short term goals, and recognizing where my weaknesses have been

- Increasing my exercise

- Tracking my protein

- Not allowing myself to justify that bad foods are ok because I can only have 2 bites anyway (2 bites four times a week still adds up)


That was kind of long and rambley. Anyway, I hope that it helps others who might be looking into this and have some of the same mental health issues to maybe understand what it's like on the other side so that maybe they can prepare a little better and be able to manage some of the barriers to health better than I have.

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