Sometimes I get this overwhelming feeling that as quickly as life seems to move, the things that I’m looking forward to happening take forever to get here. My heart starts beating quickly and I kind of actually feel panicky and I think, “That is so far away! And I’m ready for it right now.”
It has been a struggle for me and my self-confidence as Brad has trudged along the surgery process. I started the process, he joined me shortly after, and we had all of our required doctor’s appointments scheduled together after that point. We were doing this together. My mom and I had been praying that if I was not supposed to get the surgery just yet, that I would get pregnant. At that point Brad and I had been attempting to conceive for 8 months and if I got the surgery I would need to wait 18 months before trying to conceive again. One Saturday morning we had our psychology appointments scheduled. It was our first out-of-pocket expense for the pre-surgery requirements and our cost would have been $500 since this particular office wouldn’t file for our insurance. I was 3 days late (menstrual cycle reference) and that Friday night I took a test. It was negative, but only because the screen showed a faulty response. I had one more test left and I decided to use it in the morning. I took it, and it was a very faint positive. So, we excitedly went to the psychologist and I dropped Brad off for his appointment with a quick “hey, by the way…” to the psychologist; she assured me that if my test was positive than she wouldn’t charge me for cancelling my appointment. I had to meet a friend at Whole Foods for breakfast first and afterwards I went to the dollar store and bought 5 tests. I raced to my mom’s house and verified with 2 more tests that I was indeed pregnant.
While this was so! exciting! and a total answer! to! prayer! a part of me was a little bit down about it. I wanted to have my surgery. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to be in tip-top shape to grow my bundle. I wanted to be on the road to a healthier, hotter me. Brad offered to wait to have the surgery, but I knew that was partly because he was nervous about having it done and so I encouraged him to continue the process and to get it done. I honestly didn’t realize how difficult it would be for him to be rapidly shrinking all while I was quickly growing.
I did not gain a lot of weight during my pregnancy, 24lbs at the most. But Brad lost about 50 or more during my pregnancy and as he was wearing smaller clothes and showing them off to me (why shouldn’t he? I’m his wife and supposed to be his biggest cheerleader) and before I knew it, I started struggling with my image versus his. Sometimes I found myself responding to his newest outfit with a less-than-bragable response. I was ashamed at myself. I am still ashamed at myself. I finally have come to terms with the fact that by this time next year we will be able to celebrate our weight loss together. We will hopefully be sending our before and after pictures off to our surgeon as a successful couple who have undergone weight loss surgery together.
But in the mean time, I still struggle. I look at myself in the mirror and I think about what people must think when they see my gorgeous husband (who for the record has always been gorgeous, regardless of excess weight) and then they look at me. I am so paranoid about what people think. When people look at Autumn and her chubby little baby body, I can’t help but wonder if people think that instead of her just being a healthy baby, she is in the beginning stages of obesity, and it’s all because of her obese mother. People have tried to talk me down from my paranoia and assure me that it’s not the case, but every single time someone mentions Autumn’s weight and how she is big for her age I shrink inside myself.
I know that weight loss is not going to fix some of these issues that I have with self-image. I know that weight loss is going to make me healthier, give me more energy (which will in turn help me with my physical activity and my desire and ability to work out), it will help me fit into clothes that are more attractive and it will make me more attractive. But it’s not going to fix some of the deeper seated issues of self-image that I obviously struggle with.
In the mean time, I have started taking steps towards making myself feel more attractive. I figure, if you look in the mirror and see the worst version of yourself every.single.time, if you think it can’t get any worse…than make a change. Do something big; something drastic! You will either prove yourself wrong (re: it can’t get any worse) or you will blow yourself away. Hence, my hair cut. It’s the shortest it has ever been, the highlights are bold and drastic and not at all like anything I’ve ever had.
I feel great, I feel attractive, I feel relevant and pretty and like I might actually belong in my gorgeous circle of friends. And I’m thinking that as long as I stay on top of my appearance and making sure I feel good about myself, I might just leave the lights on next time.