“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, and where you invest your love… you invest your life.” – Mumford and Sons, “Awake My Soul”
It’s true what they say…about social media being a highlight reel of our lives. A carefully curated presentation of the best moments, best angles and most brag-worthy accomplishments. I am 100% guilty of it. Its easy to share the good news, when you’re on top and killin it.
But what about when you’re not?
This is the post I have been waiting to write.
Probably the most controversial post I will write.
After starting in 2014 and losing almost 130 lbs on my own and hitting a long stall, I’ve spent the last year finding out what it felt like to continue to stall, break through, plateau, re-gain then re-lose, and gain again.
Again and again.
What comes along with this toxic spiral is my crazy fat girl brain. Stressed, desperate, disordered eating brain starts sneaking in. Out of control, relapsed, food addiction brain. Compulsive, negative, unhealthy patterns, and trying to hide out brain. The brain that starts to remind me of all the negative stuff that I have worked so hard to over come.
Which REALLY sucks because the entire reason I embarked on this journey was for freedom from all that. Freedom from the grip that food had on me, and the prison an unhealthy relationship with food turns your body into. No amount of exercise can overcome it. Trust me. I know. Because I love the way fitness has transformed my life and made me feel.
I feel AMAZING when I work out. My body is strong. I LOVE what I am capable of. But it has not been enough. Im still running as hard as I can into the same brick wall of food addiction and finding myself stuck in this same prison.
So, I have made the decision to have weight loss surgery.
There it is.
I have tried to write this post for weeks. Knowing that those of you who have followed and supported my journey deserve to know, just as I deserve to feel unashamed about my decision….but here I am anyway, feeling anxious to share, because there is a HUGE stigma.
A stigma that I myself perpetuated while I was “losing my weight naturally.”
A stigma that suggests that bariatric surgery is “a cop out” or a “cheat”.
A stigma that suggests that this is the way lazy people try to lose weight.
A stigma that is most likely spurred on by those who have never carried 100+ extra pounds around on their bodies, and had to endure all that comes along with it. Including, being faced with making a decision like this.
The truth is, anyone can lose weight.
This is what I know FOR SURE. If you make up your mind, research whats best for you, make a plan and stick to it…it WILL happen. You will lose weight.
However…what I didn’t know was how hard it would be to keep it off, leave it off, and keep my muscle and sanity while still having 100 MORE pounds to lose!
I didn’t know how my body/biology would FIGHT me constantly to get back to a certain weight, and the mental toll that would start to take on me. And I certainly didn’t know how to keep myself from falling apart emotionally and making it all worse, creating a big, FAT, toxic cycle. Which is what I set out out to change in the first place! Breaking this cycle for my daughter.
Its more than just losing weight and “staying committed” or “buckling down” when your compulsions have the potential to lead you down a road where you’re justifying throwing up the food you just ate, or any other number of psycho/harmful behaviors some of us resort to when we feel desperate.
This is real.
This is MY real life.
And I know I’m not the only one. The struggle is REAL. Thats why I know I have to share.
This decision has not come without some agonizing conversations with myself, loved ones and God.
How do you lose 128lbs (at the height of my weight loss) and still find yourself at this decision? Has everything you’ve worked for been in vain?
How do you know what miserable life you left behind at 400+ lbs and have the audacity to gain weight back after publicly professing it would ever ever happen?
How do you silently judge others whom have had the sugery and think to yourself, “that is a copout or easy way out…” because you dont want to admit you are actually jealous of the help they’ve sought out while you’re struggling and full of shit?
How do you keep credibitly with your DREAM JOB at a gym, with your members whom you love, and with co-workers/family whom you admire?
What about family and friends who’ve been so “inspired” while your whole story has been about I CAN…and this all seems like a surrender to I CAN’T?
I could give you a million reasons why I’made this decision. I could explain and convince. I should, but I’m not going to.
I want freedom.
I want to be ABLE to do all the things I want to do in this one life that I’ve been given. And that reason is enough.
That has always been my WHY.
I am ready to break down this brick wall and keep going!
This doesn’t mean I’m stopping or quitting ANYTHING!!! I just plan to use this to crank everything up a notch and be able to kick a LOT more ass!!!
There is so much I have changed about our lifestyle already, I feel so grateful for the timing of this, and how much I have truly gained by waiting until now to decide on medical intervention to further me on my fitness journey. I feel like good or bad, each step forward has only helped me to be strong enough to make lasting changes.
I have the full support of my husband, family and closest friends. I am obsessively grateful and starting to release the fear of failure and judgement…and step into what is waiting for me on the other side.
And, I am finally ready to declare that I am willing to do WHATEVER it takes to get there.
Proud of you ❤️
Mandi you are truly the best!! I am so proud of you and hope you find the feeedom you deserve!!
Thank you SO much friend. 🔥💜💪🏽
Live your life unapologetically! That is the ONLY way to live. You don’t owe any of us a single thing. Congratulations on making the right decision for YOUR LIFE…only you and those closest to you can even begin to know what that is. If ANYONE has a problem with that, fuck them (also give me their contact information and I will education them for you)! Love you!
Omgggg, Molly!! YASSSSSSSS! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥💪🏽💜😘
Best of luck! I’ve read some research on how weight loss surgery can affect how your brain sends out hunger cues as well. I wish you nothing but the best and look forward to continue to watch you succeed!
My dear sweet friend… I agree with Molly. It’s your life! There is a peace that SURPASSES ALL understanding. And it sounds like you and your family have that peace. No regrets, no looking back. Pressing onward and upward. You go girl. So proud of you.
Oh Pats. Thank you. Interesting how stepping out and making a decision for myself and my quality of life could be so scary based on “what everyone will think”. I KNOW you can relate. Thank you for having my back for almost 20 years. I adore you.
You have conquered, you know how to work hard, so get this next step done and kick some more booty!! Still so proud of you!!
Thank you Sandy. Supported me from day 1. I am grateful.
As someone who’s been on every diet under the sun, gained and lost the same 20lbs dozens of times, sometimes 4 times in one year, i say do what you gotta do. Haters gonna hate, just know that those stupid brain things keep going even after the weight is gone. I have my own demons, don’t like them but i have to deal with them. I love you and you have my support!
Everytime I read your words I cry!! I cry from pride, I cry from admiration, I cry from hope!! You have so much courage and your accountability to self and family is monumental. I Am always in awe of your insight, and self love. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you!! I 100% agree that this is your life, your journey. Having said that, your willingness to speak out and share your journey is what makes you.. UNIQUELY YOU!! Love you Cousin!!!
😭😭😭😭😭 thank you so much. So grateful for my support system. Love you!
Good on you for making a tough decision. I will say one thing, and it may well be something you’ve addressed already; have you addressed the underlying emotional triggers for eating you mentioned early on in your post? It’s just that I’ve seen a few documentaries on different people going through this surgery and whilst it works for many, there are some who still suffer with these emotional triggers post surgery and end up still having an unhealthy relationship with food and eating more than they should, eventually negating the benefits of the surgery.
I hope it is a success for you though.
Yes!! You are absolutely RIGHT!! Definitely making steps toward gathering as much info, practice and strategies as possible to avoid exactly that! Thank you 🙏🏼🙏🏼
I want to drive the 4 hours from elko to Reno and workout with you. I found your blog thru your fb post about being kind to people at the gym. And i felt every word. Having suffered an eating disorder and body dysmorphia my entire adult life i know that feeling of panic and anxiety and just non-acceptance. I dont know you but I love you. Good luck you are amazing inside and out and my heart is inspired by you ❤
Omggggg! Thank you so so so much! If you’re ever in Reno come see me! 💜🙏🏼