Tag Archives: Wife

To My Future Fellow Sleever

Over 14 months since I had surgery and I still feel great!

It has been over 14 months since I had my gastric sleeve surgery and I still feel great!

One of the best things to come out of blogging about my gastric sleeve surgery is the connection I have made with people. Family, friends and even complete strangers continually reach out to me about my experience and to share their own. I am very excited for one particular friend who is having surgery next month. I planned to send her a note before her surgery, but I decided to share it as I hope it will help others who are contemplating surgery or thinking of making other important changes in their life.

“To my friend,

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for you! I know what a difficult decision you made when you chose gastric sleeve surgery. It isn’t just about losing weight; this journey is about taking control of your physical and mental health. This journey is about YOU!

I won’t assume all your reasons to have surgery are the same as mine.  But I will take a guess that you have been putting your own needs on the back burner. I felt for a long time that I needed to make everyone else in my life a priority, including people who didn’t deserve my efforts. I can honestly say that making myself “number one” in my life makes me a better mother, wife, friend and person. Now that I am in control of my life and that I am happy and less stressed, I am able to be the person I want to be for me and the people in my life.  Surrounding myself with positive people makes the world of difference in my continued success.

Of course, not everything is perfect after surgery. I am not seeking perfection any more. I continue to seek happiness and joy. Some days it is a harder struggle than others, but is a manageable struggle. I am not always in control, but I now have the tools to deal with depression, disappointment and anger.

This leads me to another important piece of advice: use your resources! Your surgeon and his staff are experienced and want you to succeed. Follow their advice and don’t hesitate to ask them for help. While you might not like their advice, it is their experience and knowledge that will help you through the challenges you will face. If you haven’t met with a weight loss therapist yet, I highly recommend finding one. I go through phases when I seek her help more often than others. Having this resource will help you more than you realize.

Let your family and friends help you, too! While many people do not share their surgery publicly, I really feel you should find at least a few people to confide in. You know who you can trust, so call upon them. I was fortunate to have an amazing community of family and friends who didn’t judge me and always offered support and encouragement. Find your community! I am your first supporter, of course!

Will you be judged by family and friends for choosing surgery? Perhaps, but please don’t let it bother you. Sometimes, the people’s fears and concerns for your safety come across as judgement or disappointment. There will also be people who are jealous or threatened by your new confidence and success. Always remember that this journey is about you. Yes, it will benefit your family in the long-term, but it is OK to do what you need to do for you. Push aside everyone’s else opinions and concentrate on your own feelings, needs and beliefs. Always do what is best for you because in the end, that’s truly what matters.

I look forward to being a part of your weight loss journey. I hope my blog gave you the ups and downs of gastric sleeve surgery. More importantly, I want it to have given you hope for a happy new chapter in your life. It won’t be easy this first year. You will cry. You will be angry. You feel disappointment. And that is normal and OK. The excitement, the improved physical and mental health, the sense of control and the feelings of freedom and positivity are well worth it.

My friend, you are beautiful, smart and funny. The new “you” will be stronger version of who you already are today. Thank you for letting me be a part of this next phase in your life. Let’s go Down the Scale together!

Love,
Jen”

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The “O” Word

This is a rare photo of me from head to toe without my children strategically placed in front of me.  My daughter asked to take my picture and you can't say no to a 5 year old with a camera.

This is a rare photo of me from head to toe without my children strategically placed in front of me. My daughter asked to take my picture and you can’t say no to a 5-year-old with a camera.

Am I obese? Yes, yes I am. I am finally using the “O” word. I’ve never denied I have a problem, but I’ve always used “cute terms” to describe myself. I’m full-figured. I’m overweight. I’m plump. I’m the fat chick. No, I am medically obese. I need to lose more than 100 pounds to be even considered overweight. This is the harsh reality that I’ve hidden from most of my life.

Finally, as of 2013, I am taking control of my obesity. I’m 44 years old and admitting I am not in control of my weight. I know I can control it, but it has been a struggle since childhood. Now as a mom, I don’t want my children to have this issue. I can’t protect them from everything in this world, but having an obese mother isn’t going to help them nor does it set a good example.

 Fortunately, I married a man who loves me through thick and thin and when I’m thick or thin. Not once has he complained about my weight, but I know he wants me happy and healthy. Don’t we all want that for our loved ones?

 Of course my family is part of the reason I am on this new weight loss journey, but the biggest reason is I want to feel normal. I want to run and walk and climb without thinking about my weight and having to stop to catch my breath. I don’t want to be the biggest woman in the room. I want to join conversations about clothes and exercising without feeling like I don’t fit in. I don’t want to be known as the fat mom. I want to be known for who I am – the smart, funny, cute woman, the mom of the fairytale children and the wife of a smart, funny handsome man, a good friend to people, a writer…just Jen.

 I am starting my new weight loss journey next month with gastric sleeve surgery. This isn’t a decision I’ve made lightly. In many ways, I feel like a failure in that I need surgery to take control of my health. And yes, I’ve tried every diet, exercise and drug available.

At 44, I want to enjoy my life and my body. I want to be a runner. I want to take hikes. I want to wear a bathing suit without fear or shame. I want to be normal and I know this uncomfortable, stressed, obese woman isn’t really me. Gastric sleeve surgery is just one of the tools I will use to find the person I know I am.

 I’m starting Down The Scale to share my journey. I hope to keep myself accountable to my weight loss, but I am openly looking for support and the sharing of experiences. While I feel like I’m the only one in my immediate community who looks and feels this way, I know I am not. We all have fears, struggles and dreams and they’re not always the same. Not everyone will agree with my actions and opinions and I’m OK with that. Supporting someone doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with them, but when it comes from a place of love it is important to take it in.

 Thank you for reading and hopefully being a part of my Down The Scale community. Here’s to finding peace, happiness, humor and love in our lives….