After my Poppy died last year, I struggled so badly with eating the things I was supposed to eat. I coped with my loss in an unhealthy way and comforted myself with comfort foods. When I tell people the story of my weight gain after bariatric surgery, I always say the same thing, “It felt like overnight I had gained 30 pounds and 3 sizes.” I realize that sounds absurd, that it wouldn’t literally happen overnight. But that’s what it felt like. It felt like one day my size 14 clothing fit, and within a matter of days I was needing 20s again to be comfortable. There was no transition, it was just BAM and the weight was back on.
I’ve thought about it since then, about if it was REALLY such a quick transformation like I thought, or if my mind just told me it was. Then I went to Denver for the weekend for a conference. Four days. I didn’t eat horribly, but I gave myself permission to have a few drinks, some snacks I’d avoided for awhile, and pasta for one of my meals. I didn’t go crazy, it’s not like I ate thousands of calories every day. But when I got back, the scale said 10 pounds heavier. IN FOUR DAYS.
I know that’s not “true” weight. To gain 10 actual pounds of fat, I would have had to eat a ridiculous amount of calories in those four days. Part of it is water retention for the salty snacks, part is bloat from my period, and maybe a small part is an actual gain. The difference between then and now though is that I’m keeping myself in check. I didn’t allow myself to continue beyond the weekend. I got right back to my routine and healthy eating, and three days later, 7 of those “pounds” are gone.
But do you see how quickly things can get out of control? And when you’re already feeling defeated and sad because of a personal tragedy, then all of a sudden you’re failing at weight loss too? It takes effort. It takes hard work. It’s not easy. I had always worried before surgery that it would be looked at as “The Easy Way Out.” But I’m here to tell you that you still have to work damn hard, you have to put in the effort, or it doesn’t work. I know I have some gals reading that are thinking about surgery, and i want to paint the whole picture for you. Is it worth it to me? Absolutely. Would I do it again knowing that I would gain 60 pounds back a year after surgery? Definitely. I would just remind myself that it doesn’t happen without a lot of effort on my part. And that if I get off track, whether intentionally or on accident, I just have to get back on track. If I fall off the horse 100 times, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I got back on it 101 times.