and the changes go on

Come November 3rd, It’s going to be two years since I’ve had weight-loss surgery. I stopped losing weight close to a year ago now, and I’ve bounced around the same three to five pounds for about that time. For the longest, I waited for the scale to really register some kind of change–it had been changing so precipitously for so long, it felt like it would not ever stop. Like I’d be losing weight forever, fascinated with the numbers on the scale forever, always changing every week, and having a real, palpable, measure of that change in the numbers there between my toes.

The weight stopped coming off, and I thought I was left with the body I had, and I started to consider how I would come to terms with that. I’ve talked before about what’s happened to my body, after being fat for so many years, and then losing the weight so quickly–the boobs all gone, the folds of flesh, the creping of my skin, the flabbiness, the depressing sagginess. It’s all there. Some days, when I’ve drank enough water and have moisturized, I feel pretty good about my body. I am certainly not going to model swimsuits, show up anywhere in a belly shirt, win a bodybuilding contest, but it is not a terrible tragedy, the body I am left with, and I’ve been coming to terms with it.



The only problem is, it’s not the body I was left with a month ago, or
two months ago, or three or five or six months ago, when finally
everything stopped and I could catch my breath. It’s still changing.
Things are moving around, tightening up, quarter-inches are
disappearing here and reappearing there; my boobs have bounced back, my
hips have sort of flared, my butt’s sort of dropped, and it won’t stop.
But it’s nothing visible, no–it’s nothing that changes, drastically,
how my clothes fit (though how my clothes fit has changed). It’s these
tiny, incremental little changes that I can’t point out to anyone, that
sometimes I think I am imagining but I am not, that make me think I am
going a little crazy.

Some of it, of course, is hormonal, it’s what your body does as you
cycle through your, uh, cycle. And some of it is still the fact that I
am still adjusting, shifting, settling in. Two years later, and my
body’s still settling. It makes me think that if, physically, I am
still not entirely over this incredibly drastic weight loss, this rapid
blowing through the pounds, the switch, like lightning, from obese to
not–why do I think I am supposed to be mentally adjusted to it? Why am
I convinced that I am broken and stupid because I haven’t entirely
figured out how to be in this body, how to eat properly after a
lifetime of eating terribly? Why is it wrong that I’m still thinking
about it and worrying about it and wondering about it? It’s not wrong.
Two years is a long time, and it is also a blink of an eye.

  7 comments for “and the changes go on

  1. k
    September 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I think that a lot of that just comes with being human, too. I’ve never had weight-loss surgery and I am a healthy weight, but my body is constantly changing and shifting… losing and gaining the same 5 lbs all the time. My thighs grow and then shrink, I have a flat tummy one day and a food baby the next. Is that cellulite? Or just fabric imprint on my butt? I think that once you are aware of your body, you can’t just become “unware” of it.

  2. anon
    September 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I’ve been at this a lot longer than two years (big weight loss, though not through WLS) and I’m STILL adjusting. My body is still changing physically, and my wee brain is still fighting to keep up with it. I feel different–and look different–on a daily basis, it seems.
    Thinking about it, worrying about it, wondering about it? Check, check, check. So. Is it normal? Check.

  3. alysha
    September 11, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I completely agree with k.
    My weight has been pretty stable, but things have moved around for sure. I have dresses that I wore at a heavier weight that are too small now. I have gone down a band size and up a cup size, etc. I think it’s really just part of being an aging human. I really started to notice it after I turned 30.

  4. anon
    September 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Hey, how do I get in on that “down a band size and up a cup size,” Alysha???? :)

  5. September 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I lost weight on WW, but I’ve been maintaining more or less for 4 years now and my body is still changing, even though it was only a total loss of 25-30 depending on the day.

    It’s very scary, actually, b/c I start to wonder: are my hips really getting fat?! And then they measure the same.

    I think having been heavy my whole life prior, I won’t ever really know what “normal” is, even though I very well might be there now.

    That said, we just need to remember: we’re not where we were, and we’re much healthier now.

  6. alysha
    September 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Oh, anon, if only I knew! :)
    But things have definitely shifted around for me quite a bit… Weight pretty much stable, but measurements always shifting. It’s like migrating fat or something.

  7. Sarah
    September 12, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I think Melissa has it right, too. I lost about 60lbs in 3 months a couple of years ago (has stayed off) and I have days where I think “gosh my bum’s got bigger” or whatever, but when I measure it’s the same as before. Maybe it’s how we’re seeing it – relatively I mean. If I’m having a ‘confident’ or a ‘happy’ day, maybe I’m not looking for bumps or changes whereas if I’mn a little depressed I see things that haven’t realy changed. (Looking for faults I mean). WHat do you think?

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