Overexposed: A Self-Love Project., Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2022

Overexposed: Life After The WLS Journey.

This time last year, I was just months into this new journey that I was unfamiliar with. I was still learning how to enjoy food again, and to make connections with people without eating the same food. The holidays were a challenge this time last year; Thanksgiving felt like a challenge I thought I wasn’t going to be able to go through smoothly because the entire holiday is about eating food. Nevertheless, last year’s holiday season went okay for the most part.

This year, things are a lot different as I am now entering the final stages of my weight loss journey.

Hi, my name is Liz and I’ve lost 123 pounds in 15 months.

2020.
2022.

As the months’ pass and the weight loss slows down, I am learning to come to terms that now is the time that my journey of weight loss is coming to an end. Technically speaking, it’s not supposed to “end” until you hit the 2-year mark since having surgery, but every physical body is different and my body seems to be slowing down on the weight loss. Honestly, I don’t mind if I don’t lose any more weight; I’m at a place in my journey where I feel good in my skin, and I met the goal I initially had when getting cleared to have weight loss surgery back in 2020 and 2021. I’m now in the phase where I am trying my best to now maintain my weight by limiting the amount of sugar I take in, the amount of food I have in a day, and even working out at the gym whenever I want to tone up my body. It’s not an easy journey; I would even say that this is the harder part than what it was this time last year I had to learn my body cues and my food intake after not ever having a limit on what I can eat and cannot eat, but now that I am fully recovered and going on with my life after surgery, my body is able to handle a lot more and now its more about having self-control in what I decide to take in.

Am I nervous about what the future has in store for me? Of course. I think this will now always be something I will be anxious about for the rest of my life. This journey has been so important to me, and I would hate to become another statistic regarding failed weight loss surgery stories. Maybe that fear in me is good though; it actively makes me aware of the things I am doing with my body and even have more control over what happens to it. This journey has introduced so many things into my life and provided me a new outlook on it. Pre-surgery Liz wouldn’t have thought about going to a gym to work out her stress and anxiety away after a long day at work. Pre-surgery Liz would’ve ruled out a walk in the neighborhood because she would get too tired too fast for her liking. Pre-surgery Liz wouldn’t have taken her health so seriously because she was at a point where she felt defeated in trying to change her body. Like I’ve said time and time again, this surgery gave me a second chance at bettering my life both physically and mentally in the long run, and although my journey feels like it’s coming to an end, this will always be a journey for me that I will work on and improve on being and doing better at.

With that being said, I want to thank every single person in my life (past and present) that helped me through this process and witnessed me throughout all the stages of this journey. I still have the clearest memory of signing the consent papers and having my friends telling me to sign them because this was going to be a great new start to a better life. I remember sending them this ridiculous picture of me in the sleep study gear at the research center and laughing so hard at their responses. I still remember sending a voice note to one of my friends after having surgery just to let her know that everything went well. I still remember expressing to my friends and family that life after surgery was a difficult transition and at the end of the day I always felt like I had a good support system with those around me.

And for those who have read my story through blog posts for the last year and a half whether you’re a casual reader or wanted to hear someone else’s experience before making the decision on your own; I hope that in reading my story and following e on my journey as reassured you in your decision. In being on my journey, I’ve met a few people in the process of beginning their weight loss surgery journey, and I’m always honored when they want to hear the ups and downs of the process. It’s more than just a before and after photo; it’s months and months of physical and mental preparation and knowing that once the surgery is over, you have to redo your entire life to now fit this new lifestyle. I just hope that my honesty and my journey inspired others to take that next step in bettering themselves or really think about making that decision for different reasons.

I will forever be grateful for being able to embark on this journey and to put me in a place where I could make good changes. I am able to be who I am today because of that journey.

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