I had weight loss surgery (gastric bypass) in July 2020 and have lost 170 lbs from my highest weight.
I wanted to do this for years, but it felt selfish. As women and moms, we put our own needs on the back burner. When I finally took the plunge, weight loss surgery changed my world in ways I could not have imagined. It also made me a better mom.
From sitting on the sidelines…
At my highest non-pregnant weight, I was 325 pounds. I never felt that big, and it’s crazy to think where I once was. While I never saw that big girl in the mirror, I felt her when I was with my children.
Chasing around a then two-year-old while pregnant is tough for anyone but add my weight onto that, and I was barely mobile. Even before my second pregnancy, I relied on my husband to chase my daughter around the playground or get up and down off the floor to play.
After the birth of my second came added pandemic pounds and even less energy to be active with them. Don’t get me wrong: I tried to do what I could and be the best pandemic mom I could be. But I knew I could be better.
Some women get weight loss surgery TO get pregnant. I waited until I was done having children. I went into an operating room when my youngest was nine months old, and it was my first and hopefully only surgery. I lost 100 pounds in the first six months. It has not been all rainbows and butterflies, but it changed my life and, by extension, my kids.
To running up the bleachers…
The other day I taught my children how to do “plank jacks” (look it up, try a few!), and we all were laughing and rolling around on the floor afterward. I realized how impossible this would have been a year ago.
Instead of watching my babies from the couch, I am up with them, running around, getting silly, getting on their level. Could I have done that at 325 pounds? Probably, but for me, it was too exhausting. I am still exhausted but in different ways. I work full time in a high-stress field, I wake up almost every morning at 5:00 a.m. to work out, and I still try to be the best working pandemic mom I can be.
But now I have the energy and the drive to be that mom.
I am a huge proponent of health at any size. You do not have to be a size small to be active with your children. You do not have to be skinny to be a good mom. In my experience, being morbidly obese held me back from fully being with my kids the way I wanted to be. Weight loss surgery and getting fit have given me the physical ability and energy to be a playmate and a parent. I am forever grateful that I did this.