This is going to sound vain but I’m going to say it anyway.  I didn’t have gastric bypass for cosmetic reasons.  I never thought I wasn’t pretty.  I had gastric bypass because I knew that my life was out of control.  I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live and I was convinced that if I didn’t take control there was a very good possiblity that I could end up being one of those very sad cases where people need  be cut out of their homes by firefighters and paramedics to have some life-saving medical procedure.

I still to this day have not set a cosmetic goal for myself.  I’m not aiming for a certain size or even a specific weight.  I know that I weight 165lbs in eighth grade- I played on the volleyball team and did gymnastics five days a week- that’s the best shape I’ve ever been in my entire life, fleeting as it might have been.  So 165 is the number that sort of floats around in my head, but let’s be honest, I was 13 fricken years old.  I had just gone through puberty.  I had small boobs!  …I WAS THIRTEEN!

So instead of setting a goal-size or a weight, I am setting actual goals for myself that measure what I am able to accomplish, that measure my quality of life.

As of today, 8/20/12  I have/can

  • sit in a plastic/resin patio chair- you know those crappy cheap ones that everyone has?  (a fat persons worst nightmare!)
  • sit very comfortably in a booth at a restaurant without worrying about whether or not I’ll fit- though my old habits still make me second guess for a second just before sitting.
  • feel my bones!  hips, knees, elbows and if I shrug my shoulders just a little I can SEE my collar bones!
  • RUN!  This still amazes me.  I can’t run far, nor can I run fast but I can do it!  And it feels incredible!
  • I can ride roller coasters!  This is something I’ve missed so much over the past 13 years.  I fricken love roller coasters.  On Monday, July 16th I finally rode a roller for the first time in over a decade.
  • I’m not limited to plus sized clothes and more importantly stores!  I know I said my accomplishments weren’t cosmetic but if you’ve ever had to pay three times as much for a plus-sized shirt you’ll know what I’m talking about.
  • I can pack less when I go on trips.  Not only are my clothes smaller and take up less room but I find that I don’t need as much because I’m not constantly worried about having the “right” outfit.  I’m able to be more wash and go now…or something like that.
  • I can touch my nose to my knee.  Haven’t done that since high school.
  • I have to get my rings sized…badly.  I’ve actually had to stop wearing my engagement ring.
  • I don’t get tired like I used to
  • My feet don’t hurt the way they used to
  • My ankles don’t swell like they used to
  • Oh man!  I can’t believe I missed this one…I did a mother-fracken mud run!
  • I’m starting to train for the Warrior Dash
  • I can cross my legs
  • I can touch my toes while sitting in a chair

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of for now.  Things that “normal” people take for granted are things that I am truly celebrating.  I knew the major things that I couldn’t do, like run and sit comfortably in one of those terrible chairs, but there are so many things that I had realized I wasn’t able to do because I’d compensated for them in other ways. These small things are really the most rewarding and are the things that I wish I had realized I was missing out on when I was too big to do them.

If you are overweight and have limited mobility, like difficulty putting on your shoes or needing to stand up to pick something up that’s fallen while you were sitting in a chair, I urge you to consider to changing your lifestyle.  I had no idea what I was missing out on all those years.  You will be amazed at how much your life can change.