Bariatric Surgery: Pre-Op Thoughts

I can’t believe I have made the decision to have bariatric surgery! I have never had surgery before, so I am nervous as hell. I hate needles and hospitals, yet here I am, willing to go under the knife! But I guess that just proves how much I want this and how much I need this in all honesty. The surgery date is approaching fast and with it nearing the end of the academic year here in the Middle East, I haven’t had a lot of time to really sit down with my thoughts and gather them until this last week. This is when it hit me like ‘Oh f***, it’s happening’. The fact that the surgery is becoming a reality is scary and nerve-racking. I can’t believe I am about to start a whole new chapter in my book of Life! There have been so many thoughts that have been going through my mind as the date gets closer, but they have all been chaotic. They have been hard to articulate. There has been so much to think about that I almost feel like I do not know where to start. 

I am excited as I embark on this new journey. I wanted my thirties to start off with a healthier and happier me. I can’t help but wonder what this fresh new start will bring. As I have been sitting with some thoughts, I am excited because of what this means and the positive changes I am hoping it will bring. I feel I will start seeing results quite quickly and this will motivate me to keep pushing when I am struggling. It’s also the little things like the fact that my clothes will fit better. I won’t constantly be worrying about my next meal. I will be able to be more physically active because my body will allow it. I won’t be exhausted all the time because of my weight, I won’t be out of breath for walking small distances, food won’t control me, and I won’t have to feel completely uncomfortable in the skin I have, are just some examples. 

Despite all the positive thoughts I have and the excitement of a new chapter, a part of me deep down can’t help but be apprehensive a little. See, the thing is, if you’ve never had to battle with weight to the extent where it has impacted your entire life and it feels like everything has revolved around physically being a certain way, it can be a little difficult to understand why someone like me might have such fears. I’m not saying that my fears are overriding my positive thoughts completely, but at the same time, if I fail with this then I question whether there really is hope for someone like me. See, my biggest fear is that I won’t be successful long term. And that’s what it comes down to. My weight has been a problem for me my entire life. I can’t even begin to imagine a life where it won’t be a problem. However, I think I have come to terms mentally that my weight and this health journey is going to forever be a personal struggle for me. It’s the biggest mental challenge that I face, and it requires a lot of inner work to form healthy habits. I am trying to work out why I am an emotional eater. I am scared that even though I am having surgery, will it really mean I eat less? I can’t imagine what it will feel like to not constantly feel hungry or be worried about food. Bariatric surgery is such a personal decision that I am worried people are going to question how I am losing all this weight and judge me when and if they find out, even when they might not know anything about surgery. I’m trying to do the mental work but it’s hard. It takes a lot, and it is an evolving journey. I can’t imagine what it will feel like as I am changing physically. I’m scared about whether this will even work for someone like me. I can’t imagine what it might feel like to not always be the biggest person in the room, wondering if I am taking up too much space. Maybe I won’t feel like people are judging me all the time or only staring at me because of my physical appearance. Maybe I won’t think that the only thing people are thinking when they look at me is how I let myself get this way. I can’t imagine what it will feel like to eat smaller portions and feel full. I am wondering whether even after the surgery, will my eyes be bigger than my stomach and want to eat more? Will I be able to differentiate between head, emotional and physical hunger? Will my brain be able to catch up to my body whilst I am losing weight, or will I go through body dysmorphia? I am scared that I will go back to old eating habits, feel uncontrollable around food, and that emotional eating will get the better of me. Will I be able to meal prep enough to cook homemade healthy foods and be able to listen to my intuition as to when I should stop eating? Will I be the mindful eater I am working on being? I wonder if I will ever be able to love my body the way I want to because of the loose skin I will most likely have. I know loose skin isn’t the end all and be all and it is something that can eventually be removed, but I feel that feeds into the body dysmorphia and will result in me not feeling different. I am scared that I won’t become active like I want to because I will still be hesitant that my weight will stop me. Most of all, I am scared that food will still be my vice and I will eternally be self-conscious about my physical appearance, feeling like I am not living in the present moment.

It’s a fact that bariatric surgery isn’t going to be a quick fix. In fact, this surgery is just the tool I need to get started. It’s the mental challenge that can be the most difficult part. That’s all it is – a mental game. I know nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and fitness is something that I will forever need to work on. My weight will always be something I need to keep an eye on, and it will forever be a work in progress. It’s a lifelong journey that I am about to commit to, which is why I am fearful. I am wise enough to know that it isn’t going to be smooth sailing and a perfect journey. But I want this change. I have wanted it for so long! I want to be the best version of myself, and I am hopeful that this will enable me to succeed. I don’t want to be who I am physically anymore. It’s tiring and makes me unhappy. I’m just fed up with constantly feeling this way. I hate it and feel like this is always on my mind and prevents me from living the life I dream of living to the fullest. I just wonder if I will ever feel supported on this journey without feeling like food choices are a constant mental battle. Finally, all these chaotic thoughts lead me to one final thought. I have no idea what to expect. A life after bariatric surgery will be completely new territory to me. All I know is that as frightening and as scary as this seems, I am excited nevertheless to begin this new chapter in my book of Life.

Until next time, 

Yours, 

The Unveiled Reflector x 

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