The first year after bariatric surgery is the most crucial…
It’s a well-known saying that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I think obesity and morbid obesity are things that slowly take things away, so slowly that you don’t even really realise for a long time or until things drastically change. I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and it struck me how much I have got back and that there’s some things that I will never take for granted ever again.
I did not realise how restricted my life had become when I got to the point of being morbidly obese. Some things were obvious like having to only shop places that have plus size clothes but others were less so. Obesity steals things from you physically, mentally, socially, practically and it makes each day harder than it should be. Until I lost a significant amount of weight I did not realise how much effort it took me to get through each day.
My life has changed so much and while I will never forget what it was like to be morbidly obese, sometimes, I’ve started to take the ease of my thinner life for granted. Over the past few days I’ve realised I have a degree of ‘thin privilege’ and I never want to take that for granted again. These are some of the things I will always take joy from in being able to do.
Shopping in ‘normal’ sized clothes shops without worrying
It never gets old that I can go into clothes shops that stock the standard 8-18 (if you’re lucky they will go to an 18) sizes and know that things in there will fit me. I might have to try a couple of sizes on to make sure I get the one that suits me best but I don’t have to worry about being able to find something that fits or being totally excluded by their sizing range. The variety this gives me is amazing and it means I have much more of a choice in terms of price range, style, colour and basically everything you can think of.
Not having medical issues always being blamed on my weight
In a very wide context a lot of the medical profession is still very blinded by weight and are judgemental against it. While I agree some medical conditions are influenced very heavily by the presence of obesity and it can contribute to others it’s not solely responsible for every medical issue an obese person has. The removal of assumption, judgement and implied causation of my weight in medical issues is very liberating. This needs to change within the medical field but it’s going to take a very long time to change attitudes.
Not being judged or ignored in social situations
When you get quite big like I was you get strangely invisible. People avoid acknowledging you, especially in social situations when they don’t already know you. Shop assistants ignore you (aside from giving you dirty looks), after a while you start to get used to having to speak up to get people’s attention. Now that I’m smaller I have noticed how some bigger people avoid eye contact completely and I think it’s because they have got used to being ignored and that makes me sad. I will never take for granted the attention from others that’s magically easier to get now that I’m smaller.
This list could be so much longer but I thought I would focus on the top three that strike me more than others. It’s a funny old world we live in and while it’s so great to see these things change as you lose weight some of them shouldn’t even happen to begin with. Having been on both sides of the fence and in quite extreme ways I am going to try and never forget just how good I’ve got it now. Do any of these strike a chord with you? What’s something you will never take for granted that I haven’t mentioned here? Comment below and let me know!