A letter to my pre-op gastric bypass self

Dear Melissa,

So you made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery and you’ve got through what seems like the longest process ever to the point where you have now been put on the waiting list for surgery. I know you can’t stop wondering and thinking about what life is going to be like after surgery and trying to guess where you will end up weight wise.

Let me warn you that the two weeks of the pre-op liquid diet is the worst part. You will be fine for the first few days and then it’s going to be hell. I promise you every day that you get through will be one day closer to your surgery date. You will still be hungry, hungry like you have never been before because you are surviving on protein shakes and non-starchy vegetables. It will drive you crazy and you will have a meltdown on day 11. Don’t be too hard on yourself though because you will get through this with support, just don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.

Your surgery is going to go fine. You’re a bit worried about the anesthetic, I know but it’s okay you will get through. As you’re expecting the day of your surgery and coming out of the anesthetic won’t be much fun but just take the chance to relax your digestive tract has just been forever re-routed and all you need to do is rest.

The first sips of water and then Optifast after surgery will be filled with trepidation but you will be able to tolerate everything and you do such a great job measuring it out carefully to make sure you don’t have too much at once. There will be one minor hiccup after your surgery meaning you have to stay in another night but soon enough you’re back at home with your boys. The first week is tough pain and recovery wise but once you get past that it’s all up from there.

The next stages are interesting and it’s exciting moving back up through the dietary stages working your way up to what will be your new ‘normal’ way of eating. You aren’t going to have many issues with food at all and the careful approach you take in trying new things and being mindful with your portion sizes is really going to work to your advantage.

Your weight loss won’t be a consistent straight amount every week. Sometimes the weight loss will pause for a few weeks at a time and it will drive you crazy. Be assured that the weight loss will start up at a crazy pace again but your body just needs some time to recalibrate and figure out whats happening before it ditches anymore. You will get there in the end I promise.

You actually wouldn’t believe me if I told you how well you’re going to do and how quickly you are going to move through dress sizes. At one stage you will be dropping dress sizes in 5-6 weeks and you won’t be able to keep up with clothes that fit so just do the minimum in terms of clothing you need to to get through. Your progress pictures are really going to help you realise how well you are doing so keep taking them, they are great to look back on now.

Through this process you will say goodbye to an old and reliable friend, food but don’t worry too much about that you will have a freakout, get over it and make some new friends. You and lipstick are good friends now and you have quickly come to love your new obsession of all things beauty related.

People will be amazed when they see you, even sometimes after a couple of weeks they will see a big change that you won’t. You will get a bit bored (in the best way possible) of having people tell you how great you are doing. After a while this has just become so normal for you that people are a bit confused when you don’t get excited by their gushing over you anymore. Try to humor them and play along because I don’t think you realise the gravity of the change they can see in you.

You will reach your goal weight in a quick nine months after your surgery. It will seem a bit like a dream to start with and yes you will try on those size 8 (I know you’re not believing me now) and size 10 clothes a few times after buying them to make sure they still fit and its not some sick elabourate joke that the universe is playing on you.

Maintenance won’t be exactly what you’re expecting either. You’re thinking now that you will get to a specific weight and you will stay there. It doesn’t quite work like that. You will have a range of about three kilos that you range between and that’s okay. Once you reach your goal weight you remain determined to never go back to where you started.

I know where you are now you are worried, it’s daunting, failure seems like it could creep up on you and you really can’t imagine how life is going to be as a post-op gastric bypass patient. I just wanted to tell you that you are stronger than you know, you are ready for this absolutely 100 percent and you will do so much better than you imagined possible. People will even use the word ’inspiration’ to refer to you and that will still seem weird for sometime after people start using it to reference to you, yes you.

Keep focused, stay motivated and I’ll see you on the other side! The cliché is true the grass is greener on this side.

Are you heading for a surgery date soon? Please let me know if you would have or did find this letter helpful in the comments below I’d love to know if you can relate to it.

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There are 22 comments for this article
    • Melissa Peaks Author at 3:45 pm

      Oh wow Maria, it amazes me to think my writing had that effect on you! It would have been amazing, I wrote it to hopefully help someone about to go through it because they may find it comforting. Thank you 😀 😀

  1. Alana at 7:26 pm

    Amazing read again and definitely would use the word ‘inspirational’, being in just the first few days post op, its nice to read your letter to yourself and remember that it is a struggle, but i will get there as so many other have, just take one day at a time.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:39 pm

      Thank you Alana, I really appreciate you reading my blog! You will get there I promise. You will feel better with every day that passes and while it’s a rollercoaster it’s so worth it in the long run. Good luck with your recovery 😀

  2. linda at 7:37 pm

    hi melissa thank you for posting this. it has given me something to think about. My surgery is in 3mths and i have been thinking about some of what you mention thank uiu it has helped and it nice to hear someone else has these feelings. thank you for sharing. agreed with maria it gave me goosebumps. ?

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:42 pm

      Thanks for reading my blog Linda, I’m so happy to hear you have found this post helpful. These three months might seem to take forever but once you are a few months down the track it will see so far away! Good luck 😀

  3. Michelle at 11:30 pm

    This is such a beautiful letter and one that has tears come to my ears for the gentle reassurance, and the love that you have for your present and past self. It was your past self who had the inspirational courage to start this journey to help you become you are now, but it is your present self that makes you the most beautiful and go for life person I know x.

  4. Pauline at 7:18 pm

    Post op appointment tomorrow! I will be starting 2 weeks of optifast on Friday, and your comments made me giggle. “You will be fine for the first few days and then it’s going to be hell” … Im sure I wont be up for much ‘giggling’ around day 11, but for now, I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:53 pm

      Good luck at your appointment tomorrow Pauline! Wow that’s so exciting you must be a jumble of excited nerves at the moment. For me that was the hardest part. Just remember why you need to do it and keep your eyes on the prize. Let me know how it goes.

  5. Jay Witika at 10:56 pm

    Gave me chills reading this. Also made me think of my journey, although not like yours, and all the things I should have said to myself and what I shouldn’t have said. I love the idea of writing this letter to yourself.

  6. Rachel A at 8:24 am

    I am currently in the process of deciding whether to have surgery, I have an initial consultation with a surgeon next month. As you can imagine I am trying to learn as much as I can and was very pleased to find your blog, which I have started reading from the beginning. This post I found to be especially poignant, I think it touched on a lot of emotions that I have just running beneath the surface.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 10:34 am

      Hey Rachel, welcome to my blog! Good luck with your consultation, I hope you get what you need from it. I’m glad this post was helpful, it’s great that your finding out as much as you can about the surgery and process, it’s really important you prepare yourself with knowledge to make the decision. Thanks for commenting! Melissa 😀

  7. Jade at 5:30 pm

    Beautiful. And motivating inspiring as I prep for my WLS. I wish I could hear from my future self and have my fears and worries put to rest.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 10:41 am

      I wish I had written something before surgery to capture my thoughts and feelings so I had something to compare this letter to. I’m excited for you, you have so much to look forward to!

  8. Twiddle Thumb at 12:10 am

    I love this Melissa! I’m on day 14 of optifast. 7 more days to go… yes 3 weeks total. Its been fine for the most part. I’ve lost 5.3kg so far (I’ve cheated a couple of times yikes!) It’s pretty tough sticking to this thing 100% but pushing thru. Your comment gave me the idea of writing myself a letter with all my current feelings vs 9 months down the track! Wish me luck 😊

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 8:51 am

      Oh wow, three weeks, you can do it! You are so close now 😀 That’s a brilliant idea, it will be so interesting to see how things change and where you’re at in nine months. All the best for your surgery next week, it will be great to have you on the losers bench!

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