During my weight loss journey I’ve read a lot of books on the topic.  Currently I’m reading Stranger here: how weight loss surgery transformed my body and messed with my head by Jen Larsen.(eISBN: 978-1-580-05472-0).  Can you tell I’m studying for my Master’s of Library and Information Science?  LOL.

In this blog I’m going to delve into a big of fat discrimination….both what I’ve experienced and what others think on the topic.  This book is a great beginning.

I’m not finished with the book yet.  It begins with a bit of her journey while she is making her decision for bariatric surgery, and then of course post-operation.  I’m at the point now where I’m 3 months post-surgery in the book.

There are a lot of shared feelings and experiences among the fat of the world, and her book goes into them quite nicely and naturally.  Overall, I’m just so grateful that I was able to have my weight loss without surgery.

Last night as I was reading this book I actually had a moment where I had to sit up in bed (I usually read prior to sleeping) and look at my arms to truly realize that I’ve done it.  I’m not at my end goal…..but I’m 75% of the way there.  All of the really important goals have been met… more meds, fabulous blood levels all around, outstanding blood pressure, my body allows me to be athletic… I think I can speak as though I’ve accomplished my goals.  So I’m sitting there in disbelief and gratitude (you never know when it will hit you) almost having to pinch myself with excitement that I’m now “normal-sized” and I did it without surgery.

I considered surgery in 2006 and also in 2010.  In 2006 I was at my heaviest, 327 pounds.  It was just 2 months before my ex-husband and I separated.  I really thought I would go for gastric bypass.  But then my ex and I decided to split, and I believe in trying for only one big life change at a time, so I decided to hold off.

Being a newly single person, I got myself down to 280 between 2007 and the beginning of 2010, and decided against surgery.  Then I had gall bladder attacks and had to have that removed.  The surgeon (from the same practice that is the Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery in the area) was concerned about my liver and the amount of fat in my abdomen.  He recommended I check out his practice (again).

So in late January 2010 I took my mother this time to the information session and we both thought that lap-band was the way to go.  Now I just had to begin the process of my family doctor working with me and documenting my appointments for 3 months before insurance would approve.  When I went for my appointment she convinced me to give weight loss the old-fashioned way one more try.  She was developing a program with a physical trainer, and I would be one of the first people in the program.

Well, by March 2010 I had gotten down to 255 and felt great.  Then my life blew up (man problems….and actually a man who was a big-time crook and now in federal prison).  I stopped the program and proceeded to get up to 290-ish, where I was prior to Ideal Protein (before starting the program I had a round of all of my favorite foods and got up to 304.9 on the morning I began the program, May 30th, 2012).

Over the years I had tried different programs……Weight Watchers, HMR, Seattle Sutton, and good old calorie-counting on my own.  I wanted to try a program one last time before doing lap-band, which in 2012 I still felt was my best surgical preference.  We all know that Ideal Protein has worked for me, and the rest is history.

I also knew that if I ever had surgery I would feel like a failure.  Yes, it’s a tool (just like any program…Ideal Protein for one…is a tool), but it just felt like cheating.  I also knew (by watching Carnie Wilson over the years) that if I didn’t get my mind right, there was no tool on earth that would solve the problem, and I could end up fat again….only fat again after putting my body through the hell of surgery and messing with the perfect body design that God gave us all.

So that leads to the concept that there is a lot of discrimination among the former fat community:  those who lost their weight “naturally” vs. those that lost it via surgery.  Those that lost it naturally feel superior to those that lost it via surgery.  I’m not saying it is right, but it is there.  And, I will go out on a vulnerable transparent limb and state that I’m one of them….and I always knew I would be, which is why I never pulled the trigger on surgery for myself.

I’ve rambled today, just touching on many topics I will delve into on here over time.  The main point is I am still in awe and wonder at myself that I did it, and I did it naturally.  And I love my new body, and I love myself….I feel like I can do anything now, and I certainly will.

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