“I love you baby, I’ll see you soon.”
“I love you too, hopefully you don’t have to wait too long.”
My husband leant over and gave me a kiss before I was taken to the operating theatre waiting room. I was clad in some – very sexy! – paper underwear, a paper shower cap to cover my hair, and a green surgical gown.
I had been given a relaxant, and while I lay there waiting for the orderlies to wheel me into the operating theatre for my Sleeve Gastrectomy, I thought about what had led me to this point, to the point where I said “enough is enough” and decided to change my life.
Just a normal girl, I didn’t think I was any better or worse than my peers. I was not popular but nor was I a loner. I was not a favourite but I wasn’t bullied. I didn’t think I was pretty or ugly, or overweight, or particularly smart. Not short, but not tall either.
I was just an easy-to-forget-plain-Jane.
I have watched my mother’s side of the family struggle with their weight my entire life. The women on her side of the family were constantly on diets, always guilt-tripping about food and saying ‘I shouldn’t be eating this….” as they shoved it in their mouths.
My older sisters were of average weight but after having their first babies they slowly piled on the kilos. They complained about it but didn’t seem to want to do much about it – something I didn’t understand.
When I was 17 I used to work until 10 pm every weeknight.
I had a cold that wouldn’t go away. I ignored it, until one day I got so ill, I thought I was having a heart attack, and told my mother.
We went up to the hospital, where I was told that I had pneumonia. It had gone undetected for up to 3 months and my lungs were in bad shape.
Although I knew it was because of my illness and terrible lifestyle, while the doctor was telling me my alarming diagnosis, I noticed that I was actually looking really great. My tummy was flat and I was the slimmest I had ever been.
At 5”11, I was the tallest of my friends and when I looked at myself, slender from my lack of appetite and illness, I liked what I saw. Boys actually started paying attention to me for the first time.
Around this time, I took a picture with my sisters. One of my sisters poked my bare belly and said ‘If you don’t tone that up, you will look just like us one day’
I almost laughed in her face. ‘As if I would ever allow myself to look like them!’ I thought…….