I'm coming up on one year since my open RNY gastric bypass surgery (I had it on 2/28/2012). I had a followup with my primary-care physician today. I'm down from 257 to 143! 114 pounds lost in a little under one year. Every morning when I wake up, I say, Thank you, Lord, for this day. Quickly followed by, Thank you, Lord, that I'm SKINNY!
This is all new for me. I'd been heavy my whole life (since about the age of 6). I am SKINNY. I don't deny it. I'm proud of it. I am brave, I walked to the precipice & stepped off into the unknown. So none of this body dysmorphic disorder stuff for me. But I'm working at it, one day at a time.
If you're not familiar with the term body dysmorphic disorder or BDD, Wikipedia describes it as a disorder generally diagnosed in those who are excessively critical of their mirror image or body, although there may be no actual defect. Family, friends & others will typically disagree and may protest that there is no defect. In other words, someone like me who's had WLS (weight loss surgery) may look in the mirror & still see a fat person when, in fact, the person is now slim by anyone's standards.
I read about BDD years ago. I think I had it in reverse: I thought I was adorable! When I saw photos of myself, I cried inconsolably. I couldn't believe I looked like that (& yes, I have mirrors in my house). When I reacquainted myself with BDD just before I had my RNY, I realized I would have to work with myself, my doctors, & mental health professionals to get a grip on the reality that was to become the new me.
I do things like look - I mean really LOOK - at myself in the mirror. I never did that before I lost weight. Now my butt looks like two Sharpei puppies (& not in a good way) instead of two bowls of rising yeast bread dough, but dag it, I LOOK at the new me in the mirror. I do positive affirmations like, "Grrl... you look GREAT! You DID IT! You are adorable! I love you." Stop laughing! Seriously, I say this to my SKINNY, wrinkled, saggy, stretch-marked self. I look into my eyes when I say these things to myself. At first, I felt uncomfortable, & like I didn't really mean it. But, as we say in Overeater's Anonymous, fake it 'til you make it! A psychologist I once had said, "Behavior begets attitude." I believe it.
I also put my hands on my body. I realize I avoided this when I was heavy. I can remember being on an airplane in 2011 (before RNY). I had to sit with my arms crossed with my elbows resting on (one of) my spare tire(s) to avoid having my heavy upper arms infringe on my rowmates' seats. I had to try to stay this way on an 11-HOUR FLIGHT from Istanbul to Chicago! I didn't like feeling my own self in any way. How sad! This woman who raised 2 babies, loves 2 grandchildren, & opens my arms to anyone in need, & I couldn't allow myself to feel my own skin. My poor, dear, neglected self.
So now, I put my palms on my pelvic bones (yes! They're there! The last time I saw them was when I had a sonogram a month before my now-20-year-old son was born) & say, "Oh Lord, thank you Lord! I am SKINNY!" I wrap my hand (almost completely) around my upper forearm & see how my index finger & thumb almost touch. And I say, "I am SKINNY!" The first time I ever saw my knee bone I thought it was a bruise. True story! About a month after my surgery, I saw this bluish shadow on my knee & thought, "Heck! How'd I do THAT?" Then I realized: "HEY! That's my KNEE BONE!" I couldn't stop rolling the tips of my fingers on it. How cool! I can feel my bone! Like I said earlier, this is all new to me.
And I love it. I love ME!