You know what they say about assumptions, go on and…
One of my the things I am really trying to achieve with my blog is to get a real, experiential record of what it’s like to live with a gastric bypass out there in the world. I struggled to find information like this when I was in the lead up to my surgery and it’s something I think I really would have found useful and enjoyed. For me, having my gastric bypass was the best gift I’ve ever given myself and honestly I can’t imagine where I would be at in life now had I decided not to do it.
I will talk about bariatric surgery to basically anybody. I really want to help change public perception that it’s an easy way out and that it’s a magic bullet way to deal with morbid obesity. I am very positive about it because it has been such a great thing for me but, of course, I also acknowledge that it does come with risks and that’s something each individual has to weigh up for themselves.
I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon when I’m talking about my surgery to other people who could be in the vicinity of BMI to qualify for the surgery. They tend to be very quick to tell me why they wouldn’t have surgery or throw out reasoning for things they couldn’t accept about the post-op lifestyle. I really just want to let everyone know that I don’t judge anyone for deciding that bariatric surgery is not for them.
What has spurred this on was me listening to a podcast by Suger+Ink where they, as a couple of plus size bloggers, were discussing their opinion on weight loss surgery. They were in agreement that while they had thought about it and even seriously considered it it turned out not to be the right thing for them. It really made me consider things from another point of view and while certain things they said irritated me it was good for me to gain this perspective.
I think as humans we tend to look for and surround ourselves with people and viewpoints that confirm our own because it’s more comfortable to be with people who confirm and back up your view on life. I think though, for me as a blogger especially, I need to make the effort every now and then to step outside my world and look at things from another point of view.
I don’t want to make assumptions about where this need people have to explain to me why they wouldn’t have bariatric surgery themselves is coming from but I’m going to. I would hate to think that someone who is overweight and has struggled with their weight and body image for a long time, as I have, would think that I would think less of them or think that I’m better than them because I’ve managed to get myself to a healthy weight. Life is about so much more and you know what? I could not care less what anyone else weighs.
I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I was morbidly obese for a substantial period of time and I know how hard that struggle is. I will never forget how that felt and how it chipped away at my sense of determination and perception of my own willpower. I know now through, after reading research, that my biology was working against me and while there’s always room for healthier choices the simple logic of energy in, energy out is bullshit and is not so simple for someone who is morbidly obese.
I appreciate the majority of the self love and body positivity work that seems to have become the domain of many plus size bloggers. While I see the value in them using that message to change attitudes of society towards fat bodies (and I think this is something that needs to happen) I do think though that self love and body positivity is something that we can all benefit from because no matter our size or shape it’s something that many of us struggle with. There were things I had to accept about my body when it was fat and now that it’s smaller there are other things I need to accept and have, on the most part, made peace with saggy skin and boobs anyone!
My decision to have weight loss surgery and lose my excess weight does not increase my value as a person or my own sense of importance. I don’t look down on anyone because of their physical features, especially someone who is struggling with their weight. I’ve been there, I know all too well how that feels and I am very well aware of the fact that weight loss surgery isn’t for everyone. The struggle is real and even with bariatric surgery it’s not over for me. This is literally the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make in relation to my body and it wasn’t made lightly and I would never make the assumption that it’s the right choice for someone else.
Let’s all be friends, have intelligent debate and try and work towards changing public perceptions about the things that irritate us without assuming automatic judgement from other groups who have gone about life in a different way. I’m living my life authentically and I’m excited to see you live yours that way too. If you have any comment, thoughts or anything you want to say after reading that comment below, let’s thrash this out together!