Two years after the surgery, I lost 40% of my excess weight. This was not what I had expected or been promised, but it was what it was. The weirdness of bariatric life has become my new normal. My body has become accustomed to more than it could before, and if you were to look at me now, you wouldn't even suspect I have gone through this. If I don't remind myself of the sacrifices I've made, I easily slip into bad habits. While chocolate and pizza no longer cause dumping, the only difference is the size of meals I can have. I'm still the same person, and still, in the back of my head, I can hear the voice telling me to go for the 'forbidden fruit', the fruit that will not be forbidden to the person in the small-sized body. It's important to remember that all of this is part of being me, something to be embraced instead of feared, no surgery will ever change that.
I wish I knew before that bariatric surgery was not a magic solution and that it comes with risks. I wish I knew more about how my mental health might be affecting my eating behaviours, as well as how Neurodiversity might play a role in my own experiences. I also didn't realize the impact of genetics, nutrition, and stress on weight management before undergoing surgery. I now know that modern medicine, genetics and nutriology aided with psychotherapy are viable options for gaining health without resorting to drastic measures like surgery. With this knowledge, I could have potentially avoided surgery and achieved the same results in other ways.
While I deal with sense of disappointment and trying very hard not to fall into the rabbit hole of blaming myself for yet another thing I failed at when comes to my weight, I remind myself that everything happens for a reason. I discovered a whole new world, world I should have been familiar with many years ago as I joined Bernie Wright and Lisa Smith at NEDDE Training and realised how different things could have been if I had had access to all their knowledge and therapeutic input. Maybe then my life would have been different. Nothing is lost yet, and I know that as part of their wonderful team I, and they are making a difference for sure.