There’s one thing that’s fundamental to a bariatric surgical patient’s success, that isn’t being talked about in the weight loss surgery communities, at all. Or if it is, it hasn’t made it on my radar and I’ve got a lot of social media ties, with a lot of the most popular weight loss surgery advocates.
What I’m referring to in my definition “Bariatric Bipolar/Borderline”, it’s not mocking bipolar and/or borderline personality disorder, nor is it putting that diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder and/or Borderline, on all of the weight loss surgery community. It’s a “lisaism” of sorts, of personality or mood traits that I see in a lot of weight loss surgery patients, that while it may not sabotage their weight loss, it definitely does sabotage their happiness, post weight loss surgery. As well as those who are around them. And it definitely has an adverse effect on their mental health.
To explain this better, I’ll create a persona that’s a composite of a lot of weight loss surgery people who I know on social media, who have “Bariatric Bipolar/Borderline”. I’ll call her “RockingIT Regina Rny”. She’s 3 years status post gastric bypass. And has lost 200 lbs. And seems to be very happy and healthy. On the exterior. But she’s really NOT. You’ll have to use your imagination, somewhat, of trying to get, as far as my trying to create what it’s like to have a social media tie, with people like this. So here’s to a “Day in the life of Regina”….
RockingIT ReginaRny (6:12am): Is getting her fitness on. Here’s to another amazing spinning class. Later, Gators… RockingIT ReginaRny is at Workout World
RockingIT ReginaRny (8:12am): Phew. Glad that’s over. INTENSE. Is drinking a YUMMY protein cherry cheesecake shake from the amazing people at Bariatric Barbarians (feel free to check out my newest giveaway from them at my blog). Gonna surf the net and can’t wait to go shopping and out to lunch. For my wls peeps, remember, take your vitamins!!! Later!!!
RockingIT ReginaRny (8:14am): RockingIT ReginaRny posted a picture on Instagram. “Just chillin with the world’s best puppy”
RockingIT ReginaRny (8:16am): RockingIT ReginaRny posted a picture to Pinterest. “Yum!!! Gonna have to try and make this Tofu Tiramisu with roasted hot peppers. NOT only is it 12 calories and 180 grams of protein, but the peppers have a metabolic effect and you actually LOSE WEIGHT. YAY!!!”
RockingIT ReginaRny (8:19am): RockingIT ReginaRny posted a picture on Instagram: #SBS (Swing Back Saturday). “I made the most important decision of my life, 4 years ago to have wls. I’m proud that I’ve lost and maintained my weight for 22 months now. I’m now 1011 days, 6 hours, 24 minutes and 15 seconds post rny and can say I’ve NEVER been happier or healthier in my life. #SBS #200poundsGONEFOREVER #RockingMYTool #BESTdecisionofMYLIFE
RockingIT ReginaRny (11:02am): RockingIT ReginaRny and VirginiaVSG is at The Cheesecake Factory.
RockingIT ReginaRny (11:29am): RockingIT ReginaRny posted a picture on Instagram. “Split a side salad w/my homegirl. And a super healthy DELICIOUS fruit cup. Have 95.8 % left over.” #wlswinningit
RockingIT ReginaRny (12:17pm) RockingIT ReginaRny is with VirginiaVSG at Bebe. “I suck!!! Went from a size 0 to a 2.My SUPER HUGE muffin top is hanging all of these jeans that SHOULD be big on me. Shouldn’t have had a spritz of the vinagrette on my 4 bites of salad. I AM HUGE NOW. Will recommit. #regainsucks
RockingIT ReginaRny(1:02pm) RockingIT ReginaRny is with VirginiaVSG at Guess.
RockingIT ReginaRny(1:11pm) RockingIT ReginaRny posted a picture to Instagram. “YAY!!! I don’t suck, after all. Finally fit into a pair of jeans that I’ve been eyeing for 2 months now!!! In a size -12. I exceeded my goals beyond my wildest dreams. I’m crying tears of joy. I hope you can enjoy this moment with me, and if you are struggling after weight loss surgery, hit me up, I’d be more than happy to help!!!” #wlsrocks
RockingIT ReginaRny(1:47pm) RockingIT ReginaRny is with VirginiaVSG at Victoria’s Secret. “I practically freaking tripped over my sagging boobies when walking in here. WTF? Who goes from a 48E to a 28AA? But I’m living my dream being able to shop from here. Can’t believe in 4 weeks, 2 days,6 hours and 15 minutes, I’ll be having my reconstructive surgeries. Breast lift, implants and my tummy tuck. It’s dragging. Both my boobs and the time. But that can be my 2nd new birthday, after my rny. YAY!!!: #ifyoucandreamityoucanbeit
RockingIT ReginaRny(4:17pm) RockingIT ReginaRny ran 3.25 miles with MapMyRun.
RockingIT ReginaRny(5:49pm): DEVOURING a yummy triple chocolate chip protein bar for din-din, now that I’m back home. 90 calories and 285 grams of protein. Now off to get some more fitness on at my 7pm Zumba class.
RockingIT ReginaRny(6:52pm) RockingIT ReginaRny is at Workout World. “Get ‘er done”.
RockingIT ReginaRny(9:42pm) RockingIT ReginaRny shared her stats from Fitbit. “WTG, Me!!! 3000 ounces of water, 517 calories eaten, 9,817 calories burned for the day. I REALLY find it helpful to log my food, water and fitness. While I did great with protein, I probably didn’t need the freaking 8 carbs I ate today. Tomorrow, I’ll do better!!! But I’ve got this!!! EVERYONE who’s had to battle OBESITY, should have weight loss surgery, though. Goin to bed.” #winning #fitnessqueen #justsaynotocarbs
RockingIT ReginaRny(9:47pm) RockingIT ReginaRny posted a picture on Instagram. “Me in my super cute, size girls 14-16 jammies from Target. Unfortunately the waist band is rubbing against my tummy. Which is HUGE. I am so FAT!!! Tomorrow I start 5DPT. Anyone wanna join me? Gonna cry myself to sleep. #wlswarriors #nevergiveup
Okay, first off, Don’t EVEN think about it. That is, that you’re going to write off what I’m trying to say, in finding fault with my own weight loss surgery “journey”. Or me as a person. Because you recognized a “BBB” trait. Don’t go there. Well, you can. But at the end of the day, when those who have nothing better to do than try to find fault with someone who is trying to help you see the importance of balance, you aren’t going to hurt me. I know what I am and what I’m not.Telling me I am jealous, fat, wordy, CRAZY, weight loss surgery fat failure bitch, is something I’ve heard about eleventeen bazillion times.
For those who thinks stuff like that hurts me, let alone is TRUE, well you are WRONG. And you are gonna have to reach a little harder or use a little more creativity, to hurt me.
I am not mocking any of you, if you bristle because you recognize your “BBB”. What I’m trying to do is HELP. As the point I’m trying to make, is that, I understand the duality if not the mixed complex feelings that a bariatric surgical post operative goes through. The point I’m trying to make is that very few people can find some balance, when almost all their thoughts and everything they say is weight or food related. I’m not speaking in absolutes. I’m not saying this is a problem for ALL weight loss surgery peeps, just for quite a few of them.
There are those in the weight loss surgery community, who are able to successfully pull off, personally and professionally having a single minded focus on weight loss, fitness and what foods they eat. The problem is that most weight loss surgery post operatives, cannot do this, without it causing a lot of problems for themselves. As well as others, most of the time. The who can, are few and far between.
The concern I have with the “Reginas” and/or those who have “Bariatric Bipolar/Borderline” is there is NO balance. There has to be a better measure of success, post weight loss surgery than just being able to eat what’s considered healthy, exercise and keep either all or the majority of one’s weight loss , off.
One of the major factors with all of this, is the rapid weight loss. Note, I said rapid, I DID NOT say EASY. I’ve seen thousands of before and afters. I get where the confusion about identity, physically and emotionally, post weight loss surgery, as some people DO look like completely different people, after weight loss surgery. And they don’t recognize, because sometimes their exteriors, they ACTUALLY look like different people. And in their fear of becoming fat again, they think taking a single minded approach to everything being related to them keeping their weight off, is the only way that they will become physically healthier.
But it’s at an enormous expense, when we define people by weight only. Whether within ourselves or in others. If we don’t start to try and encourage BALANCE, in the weight loss surgery communities, all generations of weight loss surgery post operatives are continually going to go through the same cycles that are negative to their mental health.
And if you don’t have mental fitness and BALANCE, it won’t matter, at least emotionally/mentally if how much weight you keep off or how physically fit, you become.
The best way you can help yourself and/or others in the weight loss surgery communities, is first, realize this is a problem, for quite a few in the community. Then realizing either by peer support, therapy, or within yourself, finding out what your particular barriers are, to finding balance, as a weight loss surgery post operative. Then making a vow to find balance by finding people, hobbies and causes that are NOT weight related.
I did a mental exercise, a few days ago, with my weight loss surgery peeps in a private group that I belong to on Facebook. I dared them to find FIVE qualities about themselves that they liked that had NOTHING to do with weight. The sad thing is, a lot of people really struggled with that. Whether they were a weight loss surgery pre-operative to a long term weight loss surgery post operative.
I am challenging, if you are weight loss surgery peep (or even if you’re not), either pre-op or post op, to do the same mental exercise of finding 5 positive qualities about yourself, that you have that have nothing to do with weight or weight loss. If you want to put them in the comments, feel free. And I’m not judging anyone with this particular blog or if you struggled trying to do this and admit it.
The the primary reason why I’m writing this, is that if you don’t have balance, mental agility and mental fitness, and ONLY define yourself by quantitative and qualitative measure, as far as weight loss surgery being not only the best thing to happen to you, but that’s the thing that you’re most proud of, even if you don’t crash and burn, which a lot of weight loss surgery people, do, because they don’t understand the importance of NOT having your weight/weight loss be the most defining thing about you, it will be harder for you (and those around you) to really enjoy life, in a meaningful way.
It’s not going to hurt me, AT ALL, if you choose to disregard this or not see this as a problem. I own my own issues. While there’s a lot of things that I’m insecure about, I am secure in the roles that I play in the weight loss surgery community to give support and get it, as well as ANYTHING I choose to do activism for.
And I’ll be damned, if I let anyone define what my legacy as a person is going to be. It’s not going to be defined by how much I weigh or my disabilities, and that’s something I’m personally committed to.
Now, I want to know what you are personally committed to, as far as growth, personally and/or professionally, if you are a weight loss surgery peep, that has NOTHING to do with your EXTERIOR.
Note: Same rules apply. I always welcome lively debate. I will not post any comments that triggering or disrespectful. I’m not saying that anyone is bad for being happy for losing weight. I am saying it’s bad for you and/or others, if that’s only thing you can define yourself by.