The photo on the left is me nine years ago today leaving for the hospital to have major life changing (saving) surgery. The photo on the right was taken 2 years ago at my first industry conference when I was loving life and ten stone lighter.
I know there are people who think I took the easy way out by having my stomach stapled and I understand whilst also disagreeing with every fibre of my being. I let go of a friend who told me I was ‘sooooo lucky’ to have had the surgery, not because it quite literally saved my life but because as she openly admitted she was struggling with Weight Watchers and was envious.
It most definitely isn’t the easy way out to be told at 25 that you’re at ‘catastrophic risk of a fatal thrombosis’ and that if you don’t have surgery you’ll be dead by the age of 30. Having to sit down with your loved ones and explain your decision and the risks both of having the surgery and NOT having the surgery is excruciatingly embarrassing. To feel like such a failure around food and in life that you’ve fucked your body up enough to need an operation and having to admit to it is not the easy way out.
It most definitely isn’t the easy way out to be sick all the time, with no pattern. It’s never the same foods and it gets very dull very quickly having to excuse yourself to vomit. I puked so much on a trip in Florida that I lost half a stone and spent 3 days in hospital having created a small tear in my oesophagus. I’ve never counted up the amount of money I’ve wasted on meals which have made me chunder and I’m not proud of the times I’ve had to make myself sick to stop delaying the inevitable and be able to get rid of the ‘ohmygodi’mgoingtopuke’ feeling.
Without it however, I wouldn’t be here writing this.
I would be dead.
Sometimes when I’m bemoaning the size of my arse or beating myself up that I still have weight to lose I have to remind myself how far I’ve come and of all the wonderful things I have experienced in the past nine years which I would have missed out on. I’d have missed two more nephews and a niece, countless weddings and special occasions, some incredible holidays, and the chance to live my best life. I’ve done things I would never have dreamt of before surgery and some I would never have been physically able to do and I know that I have a lot more yet to come.
I’m always going to be ‘bigger than the average bear’ (as my Pops likes to say) and I will always have issues about body confidence and self-confidence but little by little, glimmer of confidence by glimmer of confidence, pound by hard fought for bloody pound, I’m claiming the Alice I’m supposed to be.