It can be easy to forget how many things an extra 130 pounds kept me from doing. When obesity is your life, you learn to adapt. There are things you don't even bother to attempt because you know that physically you will be unable to do them. There are stores and shops you don't bother to go to because you know it will be a waste of time. There are activities you won't put on your agenda because you know you won't be able to enjoy them. This is what your life becomes. And just like any habit, you don't give it a second thought after awhile. You accept this as your reality and move on.
We recently took a camping trip to St. Louis, and I experienced firsthand how much this surgery has changed my life. We went to Six Flags St. Louis. Probably doesn't sound like a big deal. You have to remember though that my children have never been to Six Flags until I had this surgery. The simple fact was that I knew I wouldn't fit on the rides my kids would want to go on. How do you explain that to an 8-year-old? Sorry, but daddy is too fat for that ride, and the other ride, and all the rides for that matter. This time it was different. I fit on everything. For the first time in many years I went to a park and had no restrictions. I took my daughter on every roller coaster there, twice. The joy that this brought me is immeasurable.
We visited the Gateway Arch. Truly a marvel of modern design and engineering. To get to the top of the Arch, though, you have to ride in a tram car. A really small tram car. There is no way I could have fit in that car with my family before the surgery. I would have needed a separate car to ride up in. The reality is I probably would have made some lame excuse to not even go up because I wanted to avoid the embarrassment.
Gift shops are another place I avoided. When you wear a 4XL shirt, there really is no need to walk into a gift shop. You know there will be nothing there for you anyway. However on this trip, I was able to come home with a few nice mementoes. This even applies to regular stores. This last week, there was a benefit dinner honoring my mother who passed away. Problem was I found out the night before that it required business dress. Needless to say, none of my dress clothes from before my surgery fit. Instead of panicking, I was able to walk into Kohl's and find a nice outfit, that fit, and was on sale.
Has this been a perfect journey with no bumps? Absolutely not. And as I get further out I am facing some new challenges. But I am beginning to experience just how life-changing this procedure can be. How many doors it can open that have been closed far too long. It is a remarkable thing to begin to live life without the restrictions of obesity. Not only for me, but my family as well.
||The following is feedback received for this blog:|
Yahoo for Great America!! We went on Mother's Day and I too got on all the rides. Even on De Je Vu - and the last time I tried they kicked me off because they could not close the harness(how embarrassing). We walked and walked and I did not get tired - my family is loving it!! Keep up the great work and the sharing of your experience.
I've been reading your blog since you began this journey. I want to say, "Thank You" because you've given me the insite to the reality of life after surgery. I'm extremely overweight and plan on having the surgery later this year. I would delight in reading more as you progress on what new challenges you're facing and what new joys you experience.
Congratulations & Best Wishes!!
- Grace C.