Weight-loss surgery: a lonely journey 

Pre-VSG, I used to enjoy a hearty lunch with friends and colleagues. It included my own food, plus bits and pieces from others’ plates. After my surgery, I’ve been having my lunch alone, in my office. From a chatty time of the day, lunch has turned into a meal had in utmost silence. Post lunch, I go for a walk in the office to avoid nausea and bloating, which so many weight-loss surgery patients often suffer from, especially after those tiny meals that feel like buffet spreads! 

Evening out with friends that once consisted of deciding the best place to go and eat has now turned into a task to find the place that serves healthy soups. I haven’t gone out with friends who I normally frequented eating places with. I am reluctant and they haven’t made too much of an effort – another change for Bariatric patients is the change of behaviour in a few friends, but that’s the subject of another blog. 

Everything changes – food is a unifier, and for those who have undergone vertical sleeve gastrectomy, it becomes a divider. Unless you have a friend who has undergone surgery to lose weight too. And I’m lucky I have such a friend, even though we don’t meet too often. But it’s a relief enough, to be able to share those experiences and thoughts and helplessness and novelty of this surgery and the life thereafter. 

But in the end, it’s a lonely journey. YOU make healthy choices, YOU choose whether you workout or not, YOU choose better food, and YOU yourself are responsible for the success of failure of this second chance that you’ve been given with VSG. 

So, get set, and go for all your dreams and hopes and prayers, but don’t be dismayed if you find yourself alone in this journey. 

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Lose weight, and friends, with #VSG

It’s been a bad patch of late. I’m almost 3 months post Bariatric surgery, and I’m already one friend down. 

Don’t get me wrong – I totally understand what is going though in her head, because I was exactly like her after another friend underwent weight-loss surgery two years ago. It took me over a year to reconcile that I was the only fat one left. And hence, I think I always sought out (still seek out) overweight people as friends. I don’t think I’ll hang around for 1 year for my friend to reconcile with my reality, I honestly don’t have that sort of time. I’m healthier, trying to be happier, and want people who can celebrate this journey along with me. 

I’m not sure if my friend and I have a conversation about my vertical sleeve gastrectomy that it’ll make any difference. It’ll probably send her in a defensive mode – right now, she is full on offensive. I am facing her attitude and her anguish, but I am definitely not going to make myself a scapegoat. Because the entire point of this healthier life is to think about myself first – physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. 

So, as much as I love you, dear friend, i am going to think about myself first – something that YOU have taught me to do, the greatest gift of our friendship. I am willing to give this a fresh start, but you’ll have to come around sooner than later. 

Hair story, pre and post WLS

As the clothes start fitting, as the body becomes more obedient and as health improves, a thoughts keeps coming to haunt me. There is SO much pressure on fat people to look good! Well, look decent, sns__7015ince ‘looking good’ seems to the domain exclusively meant for them thin folks.

Though never a fashionista, I felt the pressure of ‘looking good’ especially because the clothes and body wasn’t helping in this direction. So the easiest way to attain some sort of attractiveness was to get my hair done. In fact, most of the compliments at my workplace (pre-VSG) have been for my hair. But the good hair days were definitely not a breeze. I would finish long 10-hour days at work and rush to the salon to get my hair done. And, of course, spend a bomb! All for SOMETHING nice about me. I detested this pressure even then, but was never strong enough to rebel against it. Ironically, my hair has many a strands of grey these days, since I’ve been slacking on my colouring regime, what with the huge money involved in that salon trip. But I no longer feel conscious about it. Because the weight is coming off, and no matter how tardy the hair looks, the compliments are not drying up.

So much pressure on looking good. So much!

Just 70 days ago…

July 4, 2016, 1500 Hours IST

I had been obese for over two decades. Needless to say, I had tried everything to be healthier, thinner, prettier, less fat. Finally, ‘inspired’ by a friend who had undergone a Bariatric Surgery and propelled by an invisible force to change my life, I decided to get a Weight-loss Surgery done. This ‘invisible force’ included a belief that I needed to change things, if they weren’t changing on their own.

So, almost 10 weeks ago, I did something for myself. I made a life decision. I took a major step forward towards a healthier future. I took my life in my hands – if ever we can do that!

The courage came from loneliness, the courage came from fear. The courage to take this leap also came from faith.

And I’m so glad I did this. On July 4, 2016, I underwent a Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, the ‘safest’ weight-loss surgery that’s also shown to be very effective.

Of the many many things I’ve realized till now, i.e. 70 days after the surgery, the most important seem to be the need to keep my mind occupied, to stay accountable, to develop healthier habits by the day, to stay positive.

This blog name – ‘Sleeved Just For Me’ – is very clear in its purpose. That this surgery has been a 100% selfish thought. It’s for me, for my health, my future, my happiness. And so, as I share this journey with so many out there who’re fighting their own health battles, I so hope you’ll choose the path that is centred around you – because unless you’re happy and healthy, nothing will make sense or give you happiness.

Stay blessed!