Body Positivity and Weight Loss Surgery – just my thoughts

I think I always had a bit of angst with my body. Things that happened to me when I was a child caused me to believe that my body wasn’t really mine and that I had little control over it. From that broken place a really poor view of myself and my body grew. It has taken me a long long time to feel comfortable to talk about this. Even this week I have been asking myself questions about some of the beliefs that I grew up with around , victim blaming and other issues that I can now see were at the heart of poor self esteem.

I didn’t believe I was incredible, strong or unique. I felt disempowered and then other things took place in my life that reinforced that to me. I am truly grieved that it took me the best part of 40 years to start to love myself and my body.

For a while I did wonder about weight loss and body positivity. My journey towards loving my body had begun prior to weight loss surgery and my health had been in a rapid decline due to my size. As part of loving my body and myself I decided that if I was going to live, I simply had to try to lose some of the weight that was beginning to cause other life threatening medical conditions!

For me, I did not have a goal in mind, I didn’t have a size in mind. All I had was a hope of living past the age of 45. So I had the surgery. The entire process has been about wellness, kindness and lovingly accepting myself at all of the different stages of this journey.

Now I am still covered in damaged skin and my body is just that – mine. I love it as it was, and as it is today. How I look is no one else’s concern and likewise the way others look is never for me to make assumptions or judgements about!

Even the skin removal was a matter of health for me. Carrying all of that around was not going to be good for me as I aged and it was very heavy and gave me regular infections. Now I am left with scars and I am totally okay with that 😌

I guess what I am saying is that I feel like I have come a long way in accepting myself as I am and also understanding that this is always going to be a process, with new chapters being written. I am thankful for that. I am in love with the life and the process of finding out what is around the next corner and walking that walk out with love and kindness – both to myself and to others.

Magical Unicorns

HAPPY Hump Day – I am hoping, for the sake of family and friends living in Melbourne, that tomorrow night will mark the lifting of the lockdown that they have been living under for these past couple of weeks. Covid strategy in Australia is very much a suppression game until enough of the population is vaccinated for things to return to “normal” whatever that may be. But standing on the other end of this 4th lock down, I do have to wonder what will be left after all of this is done. One thing I do know that will be left behind is the incredible and resilient spirit that I have come to love about Victorians. When we moved here ten years ago I was struck by the fact that come rain, hail or shine they will be out doing things on the weekends. That kids will play sport on frosty grass in winter and think nothing of it and that they will use ever opportunity to enjoy the glorious natural vistas that surround us. I love that about living here and I can’t wait to see everyone getting back to doing that again. In any case I feel at least a little hope in my heart that we may be able to see loved ones again soon, travel interstate, have family come for special events and hopefully get back to doing the things that make up our usual life. We aren’t asking for magical unicorns, simply to be able to play sport, go to the gym, go to work, school or university, see our friends, and just generally live our lives.

Yesterday I saw my plastic surgeon. My right arm has two seromas in it and both arms remain very swollen. This is a combination of the liposuction and the skin removal and this swelling may take up to 12 months to totally subside BUT, and this is so flipping exciting to me, I have clearance to go back to the gym!!!!!! SO FREAK’EN HAPPY!! Apparently the contraction of the muscles from working out will help with swelling so as soon as I am able to go back to the gym, that is where I will be. My tummy is great, healed beautifully but there is already excess skin again. We knew that would happen and truthfully I don’t care at all. When your body is covered in damaged skin the results aren’t going to be perfect but they will be okay and I am so happy about that. I am sitting here writing to you thinking about the fact that I do not own a single set of activewear but that I will be able to go and get some and for the first time in my entire life I won’t have to worry about my arm skin, or my stomach skin! I am trying to imagine how that is going to feel and to be honest – I can’t! I am just excited to get back to living. I also cant wait to post a whole lot of gym selfies. Yes I will be that person. HAHAHAaaaa!!!!

Day 17

Some days I try to forget that I have an autoimmune condition and I try to forget that I have non diabetic reactive hypoglycaemia and that I have just had major surgery. I probably shouldn’t have stood in the rain watching my boy play football this morning but old habits die hard.

The older my children get the more grateful I am for every moment a I have with them. It is a privilege to be able to be there and cheer for our kids. The busy days will come to an end eventually and I chose to be thankful in the middle of this busy season of life. The number of years that we get to do this, the footy games, late night pick ups, Coles runs in the middle of the night, blanket days and all of those wonderful things is limited. I wish I understood that better when I was younger but thankfully I am so very aware of it now.

So, this morning I did go and stand in the rain and watch my boy play the game he loves. I didn’t miss a moment and seeing his joy, seeing his eyes scan the boundary and smile when he saw me – well that makes it worthwhile!!!

So I came home and fell in a heap for a little while. I had to change my dressings and shower which is exhausting! But it is all done now and I just got up and made a mess of dinner. I am thankful that I will be quickly forgiven!! I have lost 3 kilos since my surgery :/ which is a complete accident but this may be my new normal as I don’t know how much skin was removed. So tonight I am going to snuggle on the lounge with my boys and Dazza’s beautiful girlfriend and breathe in the moment!

Arm before surgery
And now

Home – Day 4

Good morning Family! I was allowed to go home yesterday!! My drains were removed and I was discharged at noon! I am loving being home and have curled up in my favourite outdoor chair in a sunny place on our back deck to enjoy the feeling of warmth in the air and a beautiful cup of French Earl Grey with Tasteless in it made for me by my 11 year old son!

Yesterday was a super emotional day. I woke up from a wonderful sleep because an incredible nurse by the name of Maddi at SJOG in Geelong went out of her way to get me a recliner to sleep in last night. It meant the world to me to be able to get comfortable and she did not have to go out of her way to make my night easier like that but she did. I have to say that I had an absolutely exceptional hospital experience this time. Every staff member was wonderful but particularly Kate, Maddi and Meg – those girls just went out of their way to help me and I am so thankful.

Then something happened that has never happened to me in my entire adult life – I put a bra on and I didn’t have to tuck my side boob flap in and as soon as that happened I started to cry. I cannot even tell you how many times I have dreamed of that and I never thought it would happen. Gosh I am thankful for the transformative power of weight loss surgery, for skilled surgeons, for family and friends and most of all for the possibilities that unfold before us when we start to believe that we do matter. Have a beautiful weekend. Sending love to everyone and don’t forget to show up for your life and let nothing stop you xx