Back in August 2020, I had my first-ever nutritionist appointment for bariatric surgery. I wore my hair up in a ponytail, and I wore one of my summer dresses that was a size 4X. She took my weight and to my surprise, I was 323 pounds; that was the highest weight I’ve been. I brushed it off as it being “COVID weight”, something I felt many people gained during the lockdown period of the pandemic in 2020.
Shortly after, she asked me, “what is your weight-loss goal post-surgery?” I thought about it a little because I wanted to be realistic. I didn’t want to sit there and say, “I want to be, like, 130 pounds and mad skinny!” My real answer didn’t sound realistic at first either. I asked myself “how the fuck was I supposed to do this and would I even ever get to the weight I wanted to at least be after surgery?”
I answered, “I want to lose at least 100 pounds.”
Hi, my name is Liz and I officially lost 100 pounds since having surgery.
There’s a funny story behind this little milestone: I didn’t realize I had hit my 100-pound goal until I weighed myself on the same day that I had possibly the worst day I’ve had at my job. I weighed myself since it had been a while since I last did so, and the scale read 211 pounds. I was 311 on the day of surgery.
Losing 100 pounds is something that I didn’t think I would ever be capable of. I wasn’t even able to keep 20 pounds off pre-surgery, so it felt really weird to put this standard on myself when I said I wanted to lose 100 pounds.
I don’t sit here and recommend everyone to have this surgery. I can’t sit here and say that surgery would fix all of the problems that you had before having surgery. It helps you lose weight, but the necessary steps to get to this place are a lot. It’s tedious, it’s time-consuming, and you have to be able to give up a lot of your favorite foods for a while or completely. For me, I had to stop drinking soda, which is something I was addicted to for years. The withdrawals from Pepsi were intense, and just like quitting anything cold turkey, it’s constantly on your mind and you want nothing more than to cave in and just feed into your addiction. I haven’t had a soda since February 2021 and haven’t really craved it since.
Post-surgery, I had to give up enjoying my favorite foods because I simply can’t eat the portions I once did. For instance, I feel like although I still love Chinese food, I don’t enjoy it the way that I did. It’s sometimes frustrating to have a favorite food still but not be able to enjoy it because you can’t have much of it anymore. A combination would be eaten in one night; it takes me three days to finish a combination and even then I throw the rest away after.
Much of this information is redundant, but this is what my journey has been like for 10 months. There were points when I didn’t have many options for food and fixated on things like soup for months on end. As of right now, it’s surprisingly ramen, but at the beginning of my post-op journey, food was limited and not an enjoyable experience.
These last 10 months have been full of great accomplishments and weight loss that allowed me to feel more my age. I went from being a 4X in dresses and tops and a 30/32 pants size to now being a 1X and 18/20; a clothing size I haven’t been since my teenage years in high school. Documenting my journey since July 2021 on Instagram has been trippy considering that I don’t notice the changes unless I put on clothing that is too big for me now or if I look at photos of myself from a year ago. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but there are days when I feel like an impostor or like I’m not deserving of the accomplishments since I took the “easy way out” to lose weight. There are days when I don’t feel like my body is mine. There are days that I try to remember how I used to feel when I was heavier. There are days when I feel like I betrayed the fat girl community.
That last one is conflicting. I remember starting this series based on the fact that I accepted my body for what it’s become over the years. I feel like there are times were I betrayed that girl, or that I lied to a community of people who found comfort in the stories I told as a fat girl. I told those stories because they were my reality and those were my stories to tell. I was constantly fat-shamed, I was body-shamed and bullied for being fat, having the first insult anyone would call me when they were arguing with me was “fat bitch”; I’ve experienced similar stories with other fat girls, and now I feel like I’m in a space where I can’t relate to the experience anymore because I had surgery to lose weight.
Maybe I am reading too much into this and this is just my poor self-judgment telling me things. Maybe I am deserving of these results because I’ve worked hard and changed so much of my life in order to have them. Maybe no one is looking at me saying that I’m not “body positive” anymore. Maybe there are, but I have to remind myself that only I know how my journey is going. I decide what to share what I want to share about my weight loss these days. No one else sits with me on a day-by-day basis to see what my journey looks like now. Only I do, and I’m proud to have hit a milestone that I thought I would never experience in my life.
In this body I trust; we got this.