As thyme goes by

Today is the anniversary of my surgery. One year ago today I went through with, probably, the biggest decision I’d ever made. I was scared, nervous and apprehensive but optimistic and excited about the outcome. There have been ups and downs, more downs than ups, since then but I wouldn’t change anything. After the surgery there were complications which meant that I had a delayed start so in effect my journey didn’t properly start until December 2012 after the second corrective surgery and I was finally given the all-clear to start exercising. But I can’t help feeling that my progress has been somewhat stunted.

Before the surgery when I was on the VLCD I lost almost 2 stone in a month. Since then I’ve hardly lost anything at all. I was out of action for quite some time between the two surgeries, during which time I couldn’t exercise and so my muscles deserted me. In January I joined the gym and started building up my muscles again. This coincided with me having proper band fills every month so, in reality, the two were cancelling each other out. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. I know from my monthly check-ups at the hospital that my weight has remained fairly constant the whole time while my 3-month review at the gym showed I’d lost 9cm off my waist in the same time. So, am I toning up and strengthening myself while forfeiting the weight loss?

I’ve never had a goal weight even though the hospital probably says I need to lose x-stone and lower my BMI by x%. I’ve always said that my goal is to fit into ‘normal’ clothes in ‘normal’ shops, i.e. size 16. So, to a certain extent, my flat-lining weight isn’t an issue as long as my clothes are getting baggier. But it is an issue. When I go to the hospital and I get told that I’m the same weight or thereabouts, I still feel like I’m a failure and letting people down.

I spoke to my mum about it this afternoon. She asked me if I feel any different. I said not really because I haven’t lost any weight in a year. I look at people on the WLS Facebook group posting their before and after photos and I just feel like a total loser (and not in a good way). I know most of them have had a bypass or a sleeve but I can’t help feeling pangs of jealousy when someone excitedly exclaims: “I’ve lost 6 stones since having my surgery 6 weeks ago!” and the accompanying photos make them look like a completely different person. Yes, I’m jealous. Yes, I want to lose that much. It’s just such… a slow…. process. And I have to be one of the world’s most impatient people.

AnniversaryLast week was my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. On Friday I took them to Rhodes 24 at Tower 42 in London to celebrate. It’s a very posh restaurant and I bought a new dress from SimplyBe for the occasion. It’s a very fitted body con dress but is very flattering and squeezes you in all the right places. A year ago, perhaps even 6 months ago, I wouldn’t even have thought of wearing a dress like this. It’s shorter than I usually wear and I wouldn’t even have dared gone near fabric as eye-catching as the panel at the front. However, I love this dress and I felt smart and confident wearing it. Maybe that’s the biggest change to come from the surgery.

I have so much more confidence than before even if I’ve not lost the weight I’d hoped to. My mum said that my body has changed shape and I now have more of a defined waist than I did before. This is true. I do feel like I’ve got more shape than before. I suppose I hope this is how it will continue even if the weight doesn’t go down as much as I had hoped.

So, happy anniversary to Bernie my pouch. Named after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone because he’s small, annoying and sometimes makes me want to be sick. Thanks Bernie, here’s to the next 12 months! x