Does the world view us differently or do we now view the world differently? Here’s the thing, before weight loss, most of us shunned eye contact, never spoke up and blended into the back ground. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned to by years of bullies; because, for years, we were safer to blend in and not bring notice to ourselves, but that has changed! We WANT to be noticed; we WANT to be treated like we matter and belong! So, does the world treat us differently? YES AND NO! Yes, it treats us differently than before because we demand it to! It’s the “I’m standing right here look at me!” It’s the head held high and your shoulders back. It’s the “I DESERVE that promotion!” Or “you WILL NOT treat me that way!” It’s our own inner confidence breaking the chains of the confinement we’ve placed on ourselves. YES, the world is full of bullies and people who don’t realize they’re dealing with a former “fat person”. They actually look AT you instead of through you. They smile more, make eye contact and offer a wave, but so much of that is because of what you’re now projecting out from the inside. So keep growing stronger in yourself and don’t let the world make you hide!
As the leaves fall to the ground I am reminded things must die for new life to be reborn. We must shed the spring beauty we have grown out of. We must hit the ground yellow and brown. HOWEVER We don’t have to lay there and rot we can drift on the wind and make “death” a beautiful thing. A dance, a celebration, of the life we loved and the hope of what’s to come. Then We will be covered in a blanket of innocent white snow. Pure in our intentions to grow. While the world doesn’t see us there we are planting the seeds for the new life we wish to be born in the spring.
Some of us will get torn up. Some of us will get muddy some will be run over by life. But even at our most broken and battered we have the amazing ability to still drift on that wind. To still dance in the sun. To still plant the seeds to grow in the spring. Be your change. See your beauty. Embrace your hope. Encourage your new life. Renew yourself just like the earth, it’s our nature, it’s our instinct, it’s our RIGHT to change.
So you’ve embarked on this amazing journey, you’re all ready to live the life of your dreams, but for some reason you’re not happy! What the hell gives? I mean we go through this whole process to better our lives and were still feeling the same as we did BEFORE surgery!
Well I’m here to tell you depression and anxiety are VERY real side effects of WLS! I NEVER had depression or anxiety until a year post op. One day I woke up and COULD NOT stop crying. I thought I was going crazy! I mean i didn’t feel sad. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t hurt. But here I was sobbing like someone had run over my puppy. I went straight to my doctor, sobbing uncontrollably the entire time. Turns out I had depression. The big bad D word that NO ONE wants to talk about.
Here some things you need to know!
- You’re not alone. Millions of people suffer varying degrees of depression daily.
- Its treatable with medication, and therapy.
- It a CHEMICAL issue! as we lose weight the estrogen that is stored in our fat cells is released and floods our system. That intern throws our brain chemicals off.
- It’s OK to feel the way you do. Some times all you can do to get through the day is breathe! That is perfectly acceptable.
- It’s OK to talk about it! we have got to stop pretending it doesn’t exist. Pretending a medical condition doesn’t exist makes it worse NEVER better.
- There is light at the end of the tunnel. You may not see it but it’s there I PROMISE.
Listen to your body. I will tell you when you’re “off”. Listen to your emotions they will tell you when you need help. Listen to your friends and family, they may come to you if they noticed your moods changing rapidly. SPEAK to your doctor if you even POSSIBLY think you maybe suffering from depression. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SUFFER! Be proactive in your mental health…… Thats the only way you’re going to find your happy in this journey.
We spend so much time on this journey trying to lose the physical weight, that we lose sight of the fact that we also need to lose the mental and emotional weight that got us there in the first place.
While surgery will get you there physically it creates a lot more problems mentally and emotionally that seems to be very taboo to talk about. So as we do with all things and family were opened honest raw and we talk about it.
It is proven that foods high in sugar or carbs physically give us a burst of happiness in our brains. That’s why for so
many of us, when we are having moments of high stress,or moments of sadness or depression, we reach to the foods that make us happy. Our comfort foods that will trigger that happy endorphin release.
However as we all know after surgery that “fix “is no longer an option for us. Not unless we want to gain back everything that our tool has worked to lose.
Does that mean you can never have sugars or carbs again?? NO!!!! It means recognizing when you’re reaching for the bag of cookies that is not coming from an emotional place. It’s being mindful of what your reaction is to the food around you.
So how do we get rid of the emotional and mental weight?
1. Therapy,therapy,therapy!!! Have somebody in your corner that is just for you! Somebody that can have your best interest at heart, and help you navigate the pitfalls of being an emotional eater.
2. Medications: depression and anxiety are both very real side effects of weight loss surgery! As you know our brain runs on chemicals. As we lose weight those chemicals are released from our cells and flood our system causing our brains to go a bit wacky. If you are feeling “off” (emotionally unstable) and you don’t know why please speak to your doctor it could be something as simple as a chemical imbalance that can be fixed with a pill until your weight stabilizes.
3. Support: Find people that you trust to help support you on this journey. People who understand what you’re going through and can lend an ear when things look bleak.
4. Art: Being artistic in any form whether it’s coloring in a book painting by numbers stitching singing dancing can help trigger the same endorphins as a cookie.
5. Meditation/Prayer: Taking 5-10 mins a day to set your brain on the right path of peace and relaxation can help the whole day.
6. Cut yourself some slack. This isn’t something you’re going to “cure” over night. It takes YEARS to create bad habits, and YEARS to break them
Know That you’re not alone, the struggle is very real. It’s manageable with the proper tools and the proper mind frame.
Hello! My name is Alesha and I’m 23 years old. I grew up in Dallas, Texas currently in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a child I was always chubby and bigger than the other children so that was always hard on me. By the time I was in 10th grade I was up to 275 lbs. That same year on April 23, 2010, my mother was killed in a tragic car accident. She was overweight as well and was struggling from diabetes, heart problems, etc. She was driving to Oklahoma to attend her own fathers funeral when she had a silent heart attack and her car swerved over into the other lane of oncoming traffic (there was no median). She hit a truck head on and was killed instantly. That was the day my life changed for the worst. I ate and ate to grieve. I got up to 387 lbs over the next 5 years. I could no longer grocery shop, tie my shoes, and everything always made my back hurt. I was pre diabetic and on blood pressure medications. My weight and health was spiraling out of control. I tried every single diet in the book to lose weight and nothing was working. Then, I found a diet that worked for me and I lost 50 lbs, but shortly after I gain that back plus more. My uncle had WLS and was telling me about his experience and all of the positive benefits so I was strongly considering it. I finally decided that would be the only way to save myself. I had VSG on 5/15/17 and I’m down 106 lbs. I’m able to walk around the grocery store, I’m no longer on blood pressure medication, and I’m no longer a pre diabetic in my 20’s. My confidence and self esteem is getting better with each passing day. I’m so excited to see where this journey continues to take me! Thanks for listening and I wish everyone good luck on their journey!