beauty

"I was a plus-sized fashion blogger who had weight-loss surgery. Now I feel guilty."

I’ve lost 35kg in four months after having weight loss surgery and I don’t quite know how to deal with comments about my new weight.

Here’s what got me to this point.

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I’ve had an issue with weight my entire life and spent decades on a mission to get to the elusive 50 kilo mark.

Over the years I’ve tried every type of weight loss plan from shakes to paleo, green juicing, lemon detox, women’s gyms, regular gyms, Zumba, spin classes, boxing, step classes,  personal trainers at gyms, personal trainers outdoors, calorie counting, diet pills, throwing up and hypnotherapy.

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At one stage I even worked out for three hours a day (two with a personal trainer) and was eating 800 calories.

Each time I’d lose about 20-30 kilos but would always end up fatter than when I started.

My wardrobe spans a whopping seven sizes and runs between 12-24.

Five years ago I decided to stop the yo-yo madness and start my own plus size blog Big Curvy Love. It changed my life.

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I made a conscious decision and stopped the negative mind chatter, only spoke about myself to others in a positive way, put myself ‘out there’ with plus size fashion posts, launched my own podcast, and began my quest to find love with 50 Fat Dates.

I was fat, I looked good and I was happy.

A post shared by Kelly Glover (@bigcurvylove) on

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As I was living large with my fabulous, fancy free life, my weight slowly crept up and up. Little things in my everyday life were becoming more difficult.

I avoided stairs, opted to drive when I should walk, had trouble sleeping and passengers on planes would ask to be moved so they wouldn’t have to sit next to me.

It got to the point where my family staged an intervention and offered to pay for me to have weight loss surgery. I thought that was something that just happened on American TV but it happened to me in my parents lounge room and I burst into tears.

I was terrified to have my stomach cut out but something struck a chord and I started doing my own research.

It took two years for me to be ready to get a vertical gastric sleeve. I thanked my parents for their offer but paid for the surgery myself. Getting ‘sleeved’ means you’re on a liquid diet for two weeks before the keyhole surgery where 80 per cent of your stomach is permanently removed.

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Eating smaller amounts of food result in weight loss, but over time the stomach can be stretched out.

I currently have three quarters of a cup of food per day.  It’s not ‘the easy way out’ as so many believe. I’ll never be able to eat and drink at the same time and will need to take vitamin supplements for the rest of my life, but my biggest fear and pending reality is the loose skin I’ll be faced with.

I know I’ll look worse as a thin person than I did as a fat person. Let that sink in for a second.

I’ll look worse thin that fat.

It was very difficult to reconcile weight loss with being body positive and living life publicly as a plus size blogger. I liked myself and was proud of what I achieved over the five years.

I knew being thin didn’t equate to happiness or beauty but I felt like I was betraying the Big Curvy Love community. I felt I had to keep my decision to lose weight and get surgery a secret for fear of backlash from my readers and the plus size community as a whole. I had seen it so many times before. So I ghosted.

It’s been four months since surgery and I’m now 117 kg. Yep, still fat.

I’m projected to reach my goal in November. It was rough at the start, which at one point included an overnight stay in hospital with a case of kidney stones, but that seemed to be the hump and everything has been great from there.

Kelly Glover
Day of weight loss surgery. So excited this is going to be great!

The hard part for people around me and seeing the big weight change is not knowing what to say for fear of offence.

In the beginning I didn't know how to feel or respond either. I felt extremely guilty about having the surgery and also feeling happy about the results. I felt like I was betraying my fat self.

Kelly Glover
Hours after surgery. "I wish I never did this."

Over decades of weight loss and weight gain I've had every possible comment delivered to me.

The one that sticks out the most is when I was working as a radio announcer in Newcastle. I was producing an outside broadcast and I heard my boss and his co-host talking about me.

"Have you seen Kelly? She's put on so much weight. She was already fat when she started here, right? You should see it now. She's massive."

It. He called me "It."

Word eventually got back to him and their response was to offer me free personal training sessions with an ex- The Biggest Loser contestant.  I felt so badly about myself at the time I agreed to work with the trainer. I  lost 30 kilos then put on more weight shortly after.

Here's me talking on Mamamia Out Loud about my weight loss. Mia Freedman, Jessie Stephens and Monique Bowley also join in.

I've also had friends of family say, "Oh, you look so good! You were way too big before. You look so much better now," then puff out their cheeks mimicking my fat face.

I know they are trying to pay a compliment, saying how great I looked. But it felt like an insult.

The thing is, I've gained and lost so much weight over the years I know I could get fat again so when you say "OMG, you've lost so much weight! You look so much better. You look amazing!" What I hear is that you thought I looked crap before and I only look good because I'm thinner.

So, what can you say to those in your life who have lost a lot of weight? The important thing is not to compare.

A simple, "Wow you look great today!" is a fantastic conversation starter and offers the person a chance to say as much or as little as they want. You just never know what's going on in their head.

Avoid a comparison - the 'before' or 'after' weight loss. Instead, tell them they look good right now.

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Here at the Mamamia office everyone knows I've had surgery, supports me, and is interested in how it works, what I'm doing and how I'm feeling.

I've been open since the beginning and am happy to share my story.

I often get asked, "How are you feeling? or "How is it going?" and I know 'it' is referring to post-surgery. I've loved this so much as everyone is giving me a chance to reveal what I see fit. I really appreciate that and often am comfortable sharing my results and stories with happiness rather than weight loss guilt.

So, yeah I feel great today.  Thanks for asking. I've lost 35kg, can walk up the stairs without puffing, no longer have sleep apnea and choose walking over the car.

Listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud here:

You can buy any book mentioned on our podcasts from iBooks at apple.co/mamamia, where you can also subscribe to all our other shows in one place.

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