This article was originally posted over on Beauty Review in August…
There are so many benefits to having weight loss surgery. For me, after my gastric bypass it’s been the weight loss, the improvement to my general health and wellbeing and the unending list of fantastic NSV’s (non-scale victories). There’s one thing that happens to many of us after surgery that’s pretty funny and takes you by surprise the first time it happens.
People you know and have known for years may not recognise you. The people you see frequently will keep up with your changes post-surgery but there’s a good chance that people you don’t see often may need to be reminded who you are. When this happens it’s really weird. You may say “Hi!” to someone while you’re out and about and get a strange look back because they think they don’t know you.
I’m a bit of a pain in the ass and I’d be like, “Susan, it’s me I haven’t seen you in ages!” As you can imagine their brain starts working overtime trying to figure out who you are. Once they do figure out who you are you will get showered in compliments and nosy questions so that’s where my next point can come in handy if you’re not in the mood for all of that.
There’s one really awesome upside to this, if you see someone you’d rather not stop and talk to because you don’t have time etc, you can keep on walking! There were quite a few times when I was anywhere from 6-12 months out from my surgery that I could see someone, figure they hadn’t recognised me and keep on walking by!
When I say everything changes after weight loss surgery it’s really hard to quantify and I don’t think it’s a statement you can fully understand until you’ve been through it yourself. This is a really good example of just how much things change. People who have known you for years literally won’t recognise you. I hope, if and when this happens to you, you can see it as a hilarious marker of your progress. Don’t be offended or upset, it’s just that you have changed so much!
The best time this happened to me was when I was all dressed up for a wedding and my father in law walked up to me and asked where I was. I responded like ummm right here and he was shocked because I didn’t look like me. He had seen me frequently after my surgery but I guess because I was all dressed up and not like I usually dress he was easily confused. There were quite a few other times too and it never failed to take me surprise when it happened.
You will, to some extent, do this to yourself too. I would catch my reflection in shop windows etc and not recognise myself. Even for you, your head will take a while to catch up to the changes your body is making and photos and your reflection will not look like the image you have of yourself in your head. This is why it’s always good to try on smaller clothes sizes than you think you will fit because you won’t necessarily have an accurate vision of yourself for a long time after surgery until things have settled. Photos are another really good way to illustrate this to yourself. I used to look at the occasional photo I would allow to be taken when I was really big and be shocked at how big I really looked. The same thing happened on the way down but in reverse, it would take a bit of convincing that the little person in the photo was me.
You keep on doing the work on you and reaching to be the new and improved, awesome, best version of yourself you’re turning into. If people aren’t recognising you, you’re clearly making progress and there’s no better way to find out just how much! Have you had this happen to you? Leave me a comment below and tell me who it was and how long it took them to figure out who you were!