Body v. Mind: 80 Pounds in 180 Days

Saturday was the official six-month mark since I had a gastric bypass (GBP) surgery with Dr. John Meilhan at Temple University. As I mentioned in earlier posts, when I reach 100 pounds of weight loss, I’ll let you know where I started out but for now I can say that I’ve lost 80 pounds. 80 pounds. Did I type that? Moreover, did I DO that? I know this process hasn’t been a walk in the park (I know this) but I feel like, other than some dietary changes, my life hasn’t changed a lot. I haven’t changed too much in the way of regular exercise because it’s something I already had in my life. I haven’t had to change my lifestyle. And clearly, my perception of my body hasn’t changed.

I look at my new body, the one that went from a size 22 to a 12 (a shrinking 12 at that!), and I still see the same girl that I was. Ok, maybe not totally the same girl, but relatively close. There are some things that my mind just hasn’t soaked up yet. We were at Gay Bingo on Saturday night, which incidentally may make for a GREAT bachelorette party activity, and a woman who was seated at our table had to be at least 100 pounds more than me, but when I looked at her all I could see were our similarities. Meanwhile the woman next to her was more like the size that I am now, but I just can’t seem to marinate the new image into my brain!

Am I crazy? No, of course not. I knew that my head would take a good amount of time to catch up. This is called body dysmorphic disorder, similar to what people obsessed with plastic surgery deal with, and is common after GBP surgery. Clearly 29 years of being overweight has skewed my vision, so I know it will take some time for everything to shake out. But now I worry, six months away from picking out a wedding gown, will I see myself as I am or as I was? Will I get frustrated with a process that is already stressful because of my mental struggle and somehow forfeit the joyous occasion that selecting a gown can be? Where’s my Say Yes to The Dress moment, damn it?!

Ok, maybe I’m getting a little hostile. I have 6 months for my head to catch up for gown shopping, and a little over a year to make mental amends so that I can see myself as beautiful on my wedding day. I’m working hard to stay positive. What were some ways that you handled body image issues when getting married? What did you do to calm the regular bridal nerves that are concerned with looking phenomenal on your wedding day?

To combat all of this, I’m going to start seeing a therapist so I can hopefully facilitate a quick reunion between what I see and what exists. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

Thanks for reading. – A



January 17, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2011.

One Comment

  1. Sarah replied:

    OMG What an amazing post. I love reading your thoughts on this process and learning about how you feel. You are such a beautiful person inside and out–never forget that.

    22 to a 12? Where is out side by side?! That is AMAZING. AMAZING. Did I say AMAZING?

    Please see yourself as who are you–no who you were or who you have become. You are you. A bride to be with beauty and brains!

    Way to go!!!

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