Overexposed: A Self-Love Project., Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 6: Overexposed: The Plateau.

Weight loss surgery isn’t an automatic magic tool to lose weight. While it’s a powerful one, it is not magic. Not my words, but another writer that once documented their process after having weight loss surgery.

Hi, my name is Liz & I’ve hit a weight loss plateau.

I’ve been at my current weight for about a couple of weeks now, which hasn’t really happened since being on this journey. In fact, once I had the surgery, I was losing weight consistently– sometimes too quickly– more than I ever had. So, for me to hit this point in my journey where I haven’t lost another 5 to 10 pounds in a month sometimes scares the ever-living hell out of me.

It also makes me think that maybe I’m going something wrong. Am I not eating right? Am I not eating enough? Am I not exercising? Do I have to begin working out hardcore? It just very much feels like I’m doing something wrong and that’s why the weight loss stopped.

On top of that, it’s a very confusing conversation to have with people that asked me if I lost any more weight since my last update because, well, many people will expect you to lose tons of weight easily without any hiccups in the process.

Even I believed that. To have not had any major weight loss between my third and fourth month, I was worried that where I was was the stopping point. My anxiety about me not losing any more weight was through the roof, and it definitely got me depressed to think that I’ve went through this major change in my life for it to only work for three months. Something wasn’t adding up.

Although I know my success and self-confidence shouldn’t be determined by a number on the scale, it was hard to not get bummed by the number staying the same after seeing it constantly change as soon as I had surgery.

I honestly didn’t know weight loss plateau was a legit thing. I also didn’t know it was typical for a plateau to occur after having bariatrics surgery. In a nutshell, a plateau can occur for many reasons: the obvious one being that you are not eating food that is good for you, but instead doing the opposite and keeping your old, pre-surgery eating habits at bay. While I’m sort of guilty for this, I’ve managed to stay away from a lot of things that were in my old diet before having surgery. I’m also more in tune with my body and know just how much food I should be putting on my plate. FYI: it’s still not a lot. Nevertheless, the plateau tells me that there is something that is happening in my body that is inevitable and I shouldn’t obsess over it. Point blank, period.

But, what if it lasts longer than intended? What if it lasts for months more than the weeks that it typically lasts for? What if something is truly not right? Of course, my uncertainty and anxiety bring up these questions constantly when something in my own unique journey doesn’t follow the “bariatrics surgery handbook”.

Hearing other people’s stories online about their own plateau makes me feel like I’m not alone in the process and that I’m not doing anything wrong with my own journey. We are warned way before having surgery that it’s not a magic fix to weight loss; it only helps makes the process go a bit easier. But once surgery is over and done with and your body has healed from it all, it’s up to you to actively help the body keep it healthy and encourage it to lose more weight.

Again, let me just clarify that this isn’t me saying, “oh my go9d, I’m a failure for staying fat” or anything along those lines. If you guys have been long time readers, you would know my main reason for getting this surgery was because of my age and the high risk of other medical problems that run through my family because of obesity. I did not get this surgery to “be pretty and thin”, I did this so that I felt like my age instead of having my body hinder itself by feeling 20 years older. I was fine being in my skin when it was in the 300lbs territory, but physically it didn’t feel good.

I’m also not going to say that seeing the number go down didn’t feel good. It felt amazing to physically see the changes and to feel more my age as the weight was coming off. It was something I wasn’t able to do on my own, and with the hard work I went through to get surgery in the first place, it feels good to see weight come off like this. For me, it motivates me even more to work hard and try to keep this weight off now that I Iost some of it.

So, I hope once this published, the plateau is officially gone and the weight continues to come off as I work for it to come off. Again, this is something that I feel like not a lot of people will talk about within their journey because it could signify as failure, which again it isn’t! Maybe it’s just time to hit up that gym and get the membership. Maybe it’s time to track and portion out food better. Maybe we have to find ways to enjoy food without it being bad for you. There are ways to turn something like this back into a positive and gain back control of what we worked hard for. Because God knows once this weight is off, I’m keeping it off!

With that being said, 2022 is just the continuation of focusing on my body and getting to know this body better as we further ourselves into this journey. Patience, young grasshoppers.

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