Having bariatric surgery wasn’t my first option, it wasn’t even my second. In fact, I rolled my eyes when family suggested surgery as the answer to my weight problems. I thought to myself, "I’m strong enough and disciplined enough to lose the weight all on my own. How dare they count me out?!" The day I went to my first bariatric surgery seminar, I ran for the hills.
I listened to vulnerable stories of people who felt they couldn’t stop eating. Story after story of people feeling helpless in their bodies, one man specifically mentioned feeling like he was the backseat driver on the road of life.
I looked around the room as people shared their experiences and addictions, and I thought, "This isn’t for me, I’m in control of my life, I’m not like any of these people." The thing is when your life is out of control you don’t always know it. You think it’s just for the moment, you’re in a small funk, it'll pass but weeks turn to months and then if you're not careful years.
At my first bariatric seminar, I weighed 205 lbs.
A year later at my second seminar, I weighed 250 lbs. Yeah, I was in complete control alright.
What changed between the two sessions? I got vulnerable.
I looked at my addiction to food, my self-loathing mentality, and my lack of self-control right in the eye, and then I asked for help. I needed unbiased, unfamiliar help, which I found in talking to professionals.
If you are considering putting your life at risk my advice is to find your power in the knowledge of those who have experience. Talk to people who have had bariatric surgery, ask questions to bariatric surgeons and find a support group.
Support groups are important! They fuel your motivation to change. They will inspire you to live your very best life and as a bonus, you'll find a community of people who will receive you with arms wide open.
As much as we love our families they can cloud our judgment or rush us into making decisions. My entire journey to the table was done alone. For some, this isn't ideal but going to appointments alone allowed me space to think, it allowed me to really grasp the scope of the road ahead of me. Only after I booked a date for surgery, did I tell my family. When my decision was firm and the reasons were clear.
That's where I found my power in realizing I was one of those people from the first seminar who admitted defeat to their food addictions. In breaking through the ego I could see myself. In being vulnerable I allowed the old me to make room for the new me.
This life builds you up to believe strength is in the ability to hide your weaknesses, but wearing them for the world to see takes real strength. Being visible requires more strength.
If I've learned anything through this storytelling journey its that the power of showing your weaknesses is that you are no longer hiding and if you are no longer hiding you have now given yourself permission to heal.
My healing began during that second seminar in a room full of strangers, with telling stories of vulnerability. I'm thankful for those strangers who unknowingly built up my courage with their truths.
I'm Macielle, (Mah-see-el) most people call me Macie. I'll be taking you through my journey to a healthier me and the problems I faced during that time. My story will be continued here for the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
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