The loser’s bench is a fun term for people who are planning to undergo or have undergone weight loss surgery use about their surgery date. About 8ish months ago, I began seriously considering surgery because, honestly, I feel like shit. Not emotionally, but physically. I don’t have diabetes, no high blood pressure, and a little bit of high cholesterol that is well controlled on the 10 mg pill. So far, so good, right? Well, not everything is excellent. I have autoimmune issues that affect my joints, and that is where I have a problem. I tried many medications to help ease the pain of autoimmune issues, and with every med I tried, I packed more pounds. I was good at losing weight until I had cancer in 2016 and had a radical hysterectomy; after that, it became challenging to lose weight. Add in prednisone, and it was game over.
Now, I’m not under some delusion that I was ever at a truly healthy weight because I wasn’t except once or twice in my adult life. The rest of the time, I truly felt the battle of the bulge. I would lose a bunch, gain a bunch plus. Lose, gain… lose… gain… gain, gain… lose… you get the point. Each time my body would record the highs that stuck around for months, which became the new set point. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn’t break, and while I had moments of self-love and acceptance, I had more moments where I hated the body I existed in. Not to mention that I’m a genX-er. So toxic body shaming issues started for me when I hit puberty and gained 10-20 pounds during puberty. At that point, it was decided by my parents that I should go to Jenny Craig. I would like to say that was the point I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food, but it started before that.
My parents ran a business from home. My mom was a visionary because, in the 1970s, she figured out a way to telecommute. She was dynamic and could multitask at an unbelievable level, and while at one time she wanted another child, this was not the time. I wasn’t “unwanted,” but I also came along at a very inconvenient time. The business was rolling, they bought a new house with four levels and an inground pool, and my brother was 8ish and self-sufficient. Their life was hitting that sweet spot… until she hit a slight snag. Pregnancy. For years they tried and were told they could not have any other babies. But eight years later, she was pregnant, and nine months after that, I was born. Babies cry, chatter, and make noise. This couldn’t happen because the illusion was that they had a massive office for their commercial-industrial painting and decorating company. Having a baby chattering in the background would detract and distract so every time I would get fussy, a cookie and toy were thrown into my playpen to keep me quiet. And THAT friend was the moment I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. Do I blame them? Nah. I know now that she was doing her best (granted, it took years of therapy to get to this point of forgiveness and acceptance in life, but I’m here.)
So, with a lifetime of living with a very unhealthy relationship with food. Severe trauma from events that I may discuss later in this journey, a deeply rooted history of boredom and stress eating, a life lived on the yoyo diet up-down train, I am ready to take my power back. I am 330 pounds, 5 foot 8 inches tall, and on February 22, 2023, I will be going in for Gastric Sleeve surgery. I happily invite anyone who wants to share my journey to follow me. I think it’s going to be a wild ride. I plan to be as honest and forthright with my recovery as possible. I’ll be including photographic documentation.