We all love a before and after weight loss pic. The perception is that you lose a massive amount of weight and your life is now perfect. Because fat is ‘bad’ and slim is ‘good’, right?
Wrong! There’s so much that comes with extreme weight loss that no tells you about.
I had bariatric surgery ten months ago and have so far lost 67kg. The ‘sleeve’ also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) is where 80 percent of the stomach is removed through keyhole surgery and leaves you with a stomach the size of a banana. I like to call mine ‘sleevie wonder’.
The health benefits have been significant. I no longer wake up in the night gasping for breath, I walk a lot more instead of taking the car, move faster, and don’t get puffed out when walking up stairs. From a health perspective, it’s been a standout success, but there’s a personal side to extreme weight loss too that you can’t see in a before and after pic.
What I’m about to say isn’t to put you off surgery (I’m 100 percent glad I did it and based on my non-medical personal experience have recommended it). I want to let you know what I’ve been through, learned, and what I wish someone had told me so I’d be better prepared for what has been a life-changing year:
1. You may feel guilt.
I stopped posting on my blog Big Curvy Love as I felt as though I had betrayed the plus size community and needed to banish myself in order to avoid a public backlash. It felt as though I had betrayed the community I’d spent more than five years building. My message was (and is) to love yourself as you are ‘right now’ regardless of your weight.
However, in the plus size community, weight loss is sometimes seen in opposition to body positivity and a form of betrayal so there is a lot of disapproval. As a result, I felt guilt and shame about my decision. It’s really taken a long time to work through it. I didn’t feel as though I was allowed to be happy or proud of my achievement. That guilt is lessening each day and I no longer feel as though I’m disrespecting my former self. I was happy at 152kg and I am happy now at 82kg.
So even though my guilt will be different to yours, it’s something you might have to face and will more than likely revolve around the closest people in your life including partners, family members, colleagues and friends. Some people in your life will take your choice to change your body as a comment on their own body. Just know that it’s not. You do you and let them do them.
‘Before’ and ‘after’ pics are a sham. All photos are taken in the ‘now’. Be body positive as you are right now! Today. People try to get me to say I’m ‘better’ or ‘happier’ but I refuse. To me it’s plus or minus fat. Thats it! I share these side by side to show you I’m proud at size 24 and at size 18. #effyourbeautystandards #vsg #plus size #vsgcommunity