I can’t imagine you that big …

There tends to be two categorisations of people in my life now. Those who knew me before my gastric bypass and those who didn’t. Some of those who did say they can’t remember me that big and when I show them photos say things like, “Oh well I never saw you like that.” For some people who have only known me since they struggle to believe that I ever was that big.

For me this process has been really transformative and it has taken a long time for my mind to catch up to my body. I still get a feeling of delight when people refer to me as “Skinny” or “Small” and im only just getting to the point where I think of myself as small.

Since I got to my goal weight I have been more comfortable in my own skin than ever before and my confidence has become more real and isn’t forced in any way like it used to be. I think this is what throws people when they find out that I was so overweight in the past and have lost 70 kilos.

I guess I should see it as a compliment that people can’t imagine me that big but it does fuel a bit of imposter syndrome. I do wonder when I’m talking to overweight people about issues overweight people face if they can fully believe that I was ever in their shoes. I very much remember the physical and emotional side of being morbidly obese and can still very much relate to those issues.


There came a time when I was still in the weight loss phase of this process when I would tell someone I have had gastric bypass surgery and I would get, “Oh but you don’t need that.” The first time someone said that I was a bit like huh but then I realised it was actually quite a great compliment. I think this also illustrates to me now how much I want to keep talking about this and getting more awareness and knowledge about weight loss surgery.

I’m committed to being an ambassador of bariatric surgery and the amazingly positive outcomes that can result from it. I am so honest and upfront that I would hate people to think I am ‘naturally’ this size and not realise the struggle it has been for me in my life and will always continue to be to some degree. I also love the reactions I get from people when I show them my before pictures so it is at least a little bit fun!

Having any sort of bariatric surgery is a hugely transformative process personally but also it is interesting for people close to you in your life to watch. I have seen a few friends from pre-op to goal weight now and it’s a really great thing to witness in someone else. If you are considering weight loss surgery or have recently had it done there is so much to look forward to! Fantastic comments like this are only just the icing on the cake.

If you have had a similar transformative journey let me know in the comments below I’d love to know if you experienced something similar from the people around you.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Nigel Pearson at 10:36 am

    I am writing pre-surgery and have had the “You don’t need that” comment from a just a couple of people who believe diet and exercise alone would put me back on the normal BMI path – completely forgetting my own (and their own) experience of yo-yo dieting over the years. Since seeing my GP and being referred for bariatric surgery I have lost about 17kg. Now my colleagues know I am heading to surgery and I am getting a lot of positive comments already. One particular woman beams with pride and amazement every time our paths cross, repeating how well I look, and indicating that she intends to start doing some exercise. I remind her to drink water!
    Thanks for your blog. I guess I am headed for a lot more of these personal interactions, and will have to learn to accept the attention and the compliments. Rather than think of them as “the icing on the cake”, I’d prefer to regard them as no-calorie proof of your achievement.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 4:59 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting Nigel! I think the “You don’t need that,” comment is coming from a good place but ultimately you reached the same realisation I did and it’s soul destroying when it doesn’t work out. Congratulations on your progress so far that’s an amazing pre surgery effort and the new habits you have now are going to make the transition after surgery that much easier for you. It’s awesome that you’re already starting to inspire people. These comments and admiration take a bit of getting used to and you will be floored a few times never expecting to hear the compliments people will dish out to you! Good luck with your upcoming surgery you’re going to rock it!

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