About this Site
What is the Bariatric After Life™?
Why are we talking about death, when I had gastric bypass surgery to save my life? Well, my version of the “After Life” (See? Two words) is not really about death at all (unless you think you have to die in order to be reborn, but we’ll talk about that later). No, the Bariatric After Life™ is what I have called my life since having gastric bypass surgery in December of 2007. You know, it’s everything AFTER my life-changing operation.
The idea really took shape when I reached (and surpassed) my weight loss goal, back in 2008. I took the proverbial “AFTER” picture and suddenly realized that there were no choirs of angels singing, no harps strumming and the pearly gates of heaven had not swung open to behold the miraculous new “me.” Nope. It was pretty much like every other day — except – THIS day really was the first day of the rest of my life. That is because I finally realized that surgery happens ONCE, but maintenance is forever. What I do with my weight loss is forever. How I live my life is forever. And that is what the Bariatric After Life is really all about.
I don’t know about you, but when I signed up for my surgery, I poured over 1,000’s of “Befores and Afters” — always trying to envision myself beaming back from one of those “Afters”; always wondering *if* it could actually happen to me, and what I’d look like. Would people exclaim, “No way! That was you? You don’t even look the same!” or, would they think, “Gosh, I don’t really see that big a difference, but as long as she feels better, that’s what counts.” Would I need reconstructive surgery for my loose skin? What would it FEEL like?
None of these questions I asked myself had anything to do with the Bariatric After Life. Not really. They were more superficial than anything, and they were rooted in a common misperception: Weight Loss Surgery Cures Obesity.
Oh boy. Not so much. I really thought (especially during the honeymoon phase) that I was cured of my addictions and obsessions. I was going to be healthy FOREVER. I was going to workout FOREVER. I would NEVER put something “bad” into my mouth because it just *wasn’t worth it.* I knew all of the mantras:
“Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”
“I’ve eaten enough [blank] for a lifetime. I know what it tastes like and I don’t need to try it again.”
“Become an After. Stay an After.”
There is NOTHING wrong with any of these statements; they are all true…but sometimes, they just aren’t ENOUGH.
Somewhere along the line, the familiar twinges and pangs returned. The old habits threatened to rain on my skinny parade. The feelings of doubt and fear hid around each corner, trying to tarnish my success.
Thus, the true meaning of Bariatric After Life was born.
In that instant, I realized that the surgery was the smallest, most insignificant part of my new reality. It happened ONCE (and I slept through it). Surgery cut my stomach; not my heart or my head. And so, Bariatric After Life – this site – became a place where I could talk about all of those things that I struggle with every day. Real stuff. Emotional stuff. Funny stuff. Things that, over the course of time, I have learned I share with thousands in this weight loss community. My weird feelings aren’t that weird after all. Okay, sometimes they are 😉
Anyway, if you have found me (and read this far), I hope you stick around and read some of my musings. I find that the greatest form of support comes from those who struggle. Others gain strength when I share my weakness, so please share your stories. After all, your experience might save someone else’s life.
Thanks for joining me in the Bariatric After Life™.
Now, let’s do this thing.