Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much my life changed before and after gastric bypass surgery. And weight loss is only a small part of it.
Sure, I’ve lost 130 pounds. I’ve gone from a size 24 to somewhere between an 8 and a 10. But really, the biggest changes have been on the inside.
If you’ve ever considered having weight loss surgery, you’ve probably wondered about those changes, and what they’d be like. Are they all good, or are some bad? How will you be different before and after gastric bypass surgery?
Before gastric bypass surgery, I was self-conscious and embarrassed when meeting strangers. After, I’ve become comfortable in my body and truly enjoy meeting new people. I no longer feel like the first thing people notice is my weight.
Before I looked at myself as some kind of failure. I felt like being overweight was a character flaw. After gastric bypass surgery, I’ve discovered how to look past my weight and work on what’s on the inside.
Before gastric bypass surgery, I was often too tired to play with my kids. After, I’ve got the energy I need to keep up with them. In fact, I’ve got energy to spare for lots of the things I never got around to before.
Before, I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. But my appetite and cravings were more in control than I was. After gastric bypass surgery, it’s sometimes hard to find things I want to eat. My appetite is certainly not in control – sometimes it’s hard to even find. My entire relationship with food has changed.
Before gastric bypass surgery I was carefree about the things I ate. After, I must make sure I get all the vitamins, protein and liquids my body requires on a daily basis. I actually have to think about what goes into my mouth more now. But before, I was trying to keep things out so I could lose weight. After, I’m constantly trying to get enough in to stay healthy.
Before, I thought gastric bypass surgery was “the easy way out.” That I’d automatically be skinny if I did this. After, I’ve learned that the surgery is just a tool and the results I get depend on how I use it.
Before gastric bypass surgery I had young-looking skin underneath my clothes. I may have had stretch marks, but my skin looked normal for my age. After, my skin looks like a cross between a melted candle and a deflated balloon. Of course, only myself and my husband ever see that. And I do look much better than before with clothes on.
Before, going out to eat with my family was a joy, part of the fabric of our lives. After gastric bypass surgery, eating out became stressful and difficult. Nothing is worse than looking at a menu and seeing nothing that won’t make you dump. Except, of course, for ordering something that will and getting sick. It puts a real damper on everyone’s meal.
Finally, before gastric bypass surgery I was a ticking time bomb. Hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, any number of other health hazards were on my horizon due to my excess weight. Afterwards, I’m much healthier and have drastically less risk of developing everything from high blood pressure to cancer.
I look different, I feel different inside and out. Some of the changes before and after gastric bypass surgery have been good, some not so much. But for me, every one is a change worth making.