did your self-image change after weight loss surgery?

on 4/27/20 8:05 pm

I'm over 600lbs I'm just wondering did your self-image change after weight loss surgery? I'm imagining myself feeling normal for the first time

Janet P.
on 4/28/20 4:07 am

It's a very odd phenomenon - not recognizing yourself. For me, the "ah ha" moment came at a wedding I was attending. I was sitting with my sister looking at pictures she had just taken and I came across one picture and asked her who that was. She looked at me like I had two heads and said "that's you". I literally didn't recognize myself in a photo. That was the very first time I saw the new me. That was after losing over 150 pounds (about 8 months after surgery). Never saw the weight loss looking at myself in the mirror.

Janet in Leesburg
DS 2/25/03
Hazem Elariny

on 4/28/20 6:40 am

Will you be able to have access to a bariatric experienced therapist as part of your support? If you have a negative self-image, I wouldn't rely on the surgery FIXING you. It may, but many of us need a professional to make that transition. The surgery is a great tool, but is seldom a CURE.

HW 510 / SW 424/ GW 175 (stretch goal to get 10 under) / CW 160 (I'm near the charts ideal weight - wonder if I can stay here)

RNY November 2016

PS: L/R arm skin removal; belt panniculectomy - April, 2019

H.A.L.A B.
on 4/28/20 1:51 pm, edited 4/28/20 6:52 am

Read on Body dysmorphia. Before my WLS I knew I was heavy but I never saw myself as heavy as I was. When I lost weight, and even got thin, very thin, it took me a while to start seeing myself as thin person. Or a normal size person. It took me app 4-5 years to seeing myself as a normal size.

I am a couple of pounds above my personal goal. And app 15 lbs above what i got a few times in the last 12 years post op RNY. At my lowest weight - I looked good when I was dressed up, with long sleeves shirts. But I did not feel good, nor any of my body parts looked good when exposed. I ws too thin for my frame, with an extremely low (for a woman) body fat %.

Even though at 143lbs my BMI is 25, because of a large frame, and muscles, I need an extra 7-10 lbs to feel good and really look good. 149-152 looks best for me. Feels best for me. When I dropped to below 140, I looked and felt unhealthy. But at the low weight,. I still felt fat.

Finding a balance, accepting me as me was difficult in my lfe, and in my life post op RNY. And to feel good, like myself , I had to work on it.

to add:

Even though I only had to lose 110 lbs, because I was older my skin did not "shrank" after I lost all the fat I wanted. I had total of 3 reconstructive surgeries (aka a plastic surgery) to remove the extra, lose skin left over from being "large person" for a long time. I had breast lift with skin removal, I had body lift (removal of a band of skin around my body) and a 3 years ago I finally got the face lift. Plastic surgeries are not necessary, but they helped me feel better about myself, about my body.

Depends how old you are, what insurance you have, and how badly your skin would be after you lose all excessive fat, some insurance can pay for reconstructing skin removal surgeries.

Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG

"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"

"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."

on 4/28/20 3:34 pm

I still struggle with looking at myself in the mirror because I have a lot of excess skin. I am in the process of looking for a surgeon who can help me remove everything but I am hesitant because everything costs so much... I feel better with clothes on (the right fitting clothes... not ones based on "size" because I can fit a size 8 in one pair of jeans, but then a 12-14 in others... if I wear something too tight, I will be fighting my insecurities all day/night. Once I came to terms with fit for comfortability (not size) I became a lot happier. I also see a mental health pro who has helped me along my journey for body AND MIND...

It's never-ending because old habits and thoughts creep up, but my therapist has helped me greatly combat those negative thoughts to see how far I have come.

on 4/30/20 7:12 am
RNY on 04/15/19

For me, my self-image improved after I started to feel better. It wasn't just about the weight loss, although that was the goal. It was a natural process that once my health started to improve, I felt better and wanted to do things for myself that I was not doing before WLS.

on 5/1/20 7:33 pm
RNY on 07/23/14

It absolutely did..but it took awhile for the new normal to sink in. I am almost 6 years out and the first couple of years after I lost it was so happy on one hand but looked in the mirror and did not know who it was. Still worth it. No regrets.

Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014

Goal reached 17 months. 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16

#lifeisanadventure #fightthegoodfight #noregrets



on 5/3/20 5:24 am - TN
VSG on 09/28/15

The issues that some of the others have mentioned are very real. I have lost over 200 pounds and it has been 5 years since surgery and I still don't see it when I look at myself unless I am looking at a picture or see myself in a mirror next to someone else. Physically I feel great. I was given my life back and I am so grateful every day that I made the choice to have the surgery. It's just that mental component with the body dysmorphia and the fact that I have excess skin. If I was able to get rid of the excess skin I believe that it would do me a great deal of good with the dysmorphia.

Had VSG on 9/28/15

Lost 161 lbs since surgery, LOST 221 lbs overall so far!!

on 6/16/20 3:11 pm

Hi, I go 177 now, down from a high of 305. Also, I've lost 100 pounds since October, just to give you some background on the changes I've experienced:

It's been a complete overhaul of my sense of self. The confidence level is crazy now, I'm less of a pushover. I've honestly lost friendships because I've changed so much. I'm more outgoing and social, and just happier in general. My social anxiety has improved drastically, I just don't care when I step outside now. I'm just a guy now, I'm not taking up all that space.

on 6/16/20 3:12 pm

I just want to add though, in terms of the physical stuff- as in the person I see in the mirror? That part is trippy, at times I almost don't recognize that as "me" yet. Though I did just have surgery in October so I'm not too worried just yet, it will take time.

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