Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: The “Bariatrics” Route.

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Are you okay with your body, even though your body is telling you it isn’t? Would I be a fraud for accepting me for who I am yet starting this journey of a new lifestyle? Would this lifestyle change be something that will help me later in life? Will I actually be “happy”?

Hi, my name is Liz – and I’m currently being evaluated to see if I am a candidate for bariatric surgery.

The weight-loss surgery.

If you guys followed the Overexposed Series since the beginning, you would know this series started out as a documentation of how I accepted my body and embraced the fatness I carry on it. I still do; I am still as confident in myself as I was while writing them, I try not to let my weight hinder me from doing my very physical job, and I don’t punish myself for being the way I am. But, there’s a whole other side of the narrative that I didn’t share. Sure, I shared some aspects of it, but there are just some things I never shared about my weight and fatness just because I always carried some shame behind it, but most importantly just because the mentality of my weight shifted, doesn’t mean my physical health got any better.

Here are some first-time things I’m sharing with you guys:

I am over 300 pounds. I’ve been over 300 pounds for the past year and a half, and when I first reached that number, I was fucking ashamed. I didn’t understand how I got to such a heavyweight. It killed me even more because I am now heavier than both my sibling and my mother, yet I am the youngest in the family. It was a scary thought and it still is; if I kept this lifestyle and felt ultimately defeated with my weight, who’s to say I wouldn’t be close to 400 pounds by the time I was 30? It’s a scary fucking thought to have.

As I’m writing this, I am also experiencing some symptoms that qualify as me having type 2 diabetes. Yeah, diabetes at 25 is fucking scary. Earlier this month, I went to see my doctor and explained to her the things my body was doing all of a sudden, and because of the family history I have (my mother is a diabetic), it’s a strong possibility I may be diabetic as well. It’s not a great feeling explaining how you feel with your mother and she tells you that’s how she felt before she was diagnosed with diabetes, and it’s definitely not a great feeling looking at your doctor’s face and it simply says it all: this bitch may be diabetic. So, I’m going to get blood work done before my appointment in January which will be quite something if I find out I have diabetes the day before my birthday.

So, she’s typing some information in her computer, the room is silent, I’m sitting on the thingymabob doctor bed thing and she simply asks me,

Have you thought about getting bariatric surgery?

This was the first time my doctor asked me that question in the years I’ve been going to see her. Half of me was shocked she even brought it up, but half of me was a little relieved that she did. I told her I’ve been thinking about it, which I have. I haven’t thought about getting this major surgery to be skinny, I honestly don’t care about “looking good to society’s standards”, I only care about my future and my physical health and I know I can’t lose 100+ pounds on my own. I don’t want to be hindered by my weight. I don’t want to have to “slow down” my life because my body simply can’t handle it. I don’t want to be in my 30’s and 40’s taking medication that people in their later years take. Honestly, I don’t want to die young of heart disease because of my weight. 

So, I asked for a referral for bariatrics.

So, in the time I’m writing this, I’ve yet to set a time and date for the evaluation, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. I want to change my life; it’s not like I’m tired of being fat or the life that being fat is, I’m simply just tired of not living my life to its full potential because of my weight. I am also tired of my clothing options becoming more limited now because I’m not even considered for most “plus-size” clothing stores. I’m also tired of having aches and pains that most people in their 40’s experience; like I’m tired of feeling older than I actually am because of my weight. 

So, we’ll see what happens. The bariatrics route is a long one; I would have to attend information sessions, I would have to have the consultation/evaluation with a doctor, I would have to take numerous amounts of tests, I would have to have more therapy sessions to evaluate my mental health, I would have to attend a support group, I would have to take a medical leave for a month and a half, and then I would have to change my lifestyle. It’s not easy, and it’s not the easy route to weight-loss. It’s the last chance after trying diets and lifestyle changes a nutritionist visits all on your own and nothing has helped. 

And this is my last chance before it’s too late.

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