It has been 13 months since my life completely changed for ever. I was wheeled into an operating room. I had 6 small incisions cut into my body, had probes inserted and they cut away at my stomach making a small egg sized pouch and re-routing my intestines. This, folks, is gastric bypass surgery.
Prior to going into the operating room, I was going through a Bariatric program through Upstate University Hospital. To start the program, I attended a free seminar where I was introduced to the program and the different types of Bariatric surgeries. Following that seminar, I filled out the paperwork and was given a date for my first appointment. November 10, 2016. I met the man would eventually change my life, Dr. Taewan Kim. He reviewed the medical chart I brought with me. I also met with the registered dietician. This was the worst meeting ever. For the first time, my new future was presented to me. She placed to medicine cups in front of me and said: “This will be the amount of food you can eat following surgery.” This freaked me out. How the fuck was I going to survive on this? How was I ever going to enjoy food? This was not fair, this was not what I expected. This was terrifying. Ultimately I freaked out, had a mini mental meltdown and left the office at the end of the appointment and went home to eat ALL OF THE FOOD. Ultimately when I returned the following month I had actually gained 5 pounds. oops…
For the next 9 months, I met with the nurse practitioner and dietician monthly. I eventually also went for psychiatric help to help battle compulsive overeating and food addiction. My weight went from 436 on 11/10/2016 to 441 in 12/2016 to 411 on 8/2/2017. Currently, I am around 309.
I have lost a ton of weight, I have gained so much self-confidence. I have gained a new lease on life. However, what I was never prepared for was the mental game I would have to play with last year. While I know my body is changing, I see it, I feel it, the size of my clothes defines it. I still feel like I am over 400 pounds, I still see a morbidly obese human being when I look in the mirror. I struggle with this daily. When I was at my heaviest I could not look at myself in photos as I did not like how I looked
The struggle is very real. When I look at myself in the mirror, without clothes on, and I see the loose skin, I do not see my transformation. Instead, I still see the guy on the left. I still very much feel like the guy on the left. It is a hard struggle, people tell me all the time how great I look. However, I feel they too, still see the guy on the left.
For 9 months I saw practitioners in the Bariatric program monthly. For 9 months they prepared me for what my new life would be like, how I would eat, what drugs I could or could not take. They did not prepare me for this. They did not prepare me for the mental struggle I deal with every single fucking day. Most days I am ok, however the bad days, the fat days, are horrible and lately, they are more frequent and very discouraging.