April 5th marked the two year anniversary of my gastric bypass surgery. Since the surgery, I have dropped 130 lbs. The surgery was a huge decision for me. I am glad that I had the procedure done. Since the surgery, I feel much healthier. Many people say that they have a new found confidence. I am not one of those people. I have never been comfortable in my body (and I doubt I ever will be). I still sleep in a t-shirt at night and I often buy clothes that are several sizes too big, because I still see think of myself at my previous weight. However, I am most self conscious in any type of exercise environment.
As a person of size in junior high and high school, I loathed P.E. I hated dressing down in front of the other kids, I hated playing the ridiculous sports. I hated the ridicule of my peers that I was not coordinated and too fat to be good at any of the activities. If my size didn’t make me self conscious, my queerness did. Before I was “out”, there was a lot of overcompensating with toxic masculinity, so my sexuality wouldn’t be an issue and I would have one less thing to worry about and deal with. P.E. made my life hell and as soon as I graduated high school, I promised myself that I would never participate in any type of P.E. class again.
Despite my promise to myself, I signed up for a yoga class. Since that time, I have discovered that I love yoga. It helps me feel grounded and makes me feel more aware. Despite my love for the practice of yoga, I have to use a lot of emotional regulation skills and self talk to convince myself that other people aren’t looking at me or judging me. I am pretty good at doing this 99.9% of the time. However that .01% of the time still challenges me emotionally in ways that stretch my boundaries and makes me deal with uncomfortable thoughts that I have to work through. I have no doubt that I am going to have these feelings for the rest of my life, so I am working on acceptance of the fact. My next goal is to sign up for a “weights” class. Taking the class will be a huge milestone for me in self acceptance, as in high school, it was my most hated activity where I felt most vulnerable.
As I continue do deal with the mind fucks created by my surgery, I am happy to be at a place in my life where I can embrace change. Turning 40 next month, I recognize that unlike many people, my rigidity has lessened with age. The older I get, the more flexible I become. I’m not sure why this, but I am embracing it as a gift from the universe.
I recently finished the hitchhiker shawl. I love this pattern and plan on making it again soon.