Hi everyone! Now that I’m over a year post-op (16 months now!) I wanted to share what I’ve learned throughout this whole journey and also share things I would have told myself in the beginning if I could.
What I wish I knew/would have told myself earlier:
The hair loss: It will come back and it’s not the end of the world! When my hair was falling out in clumps, I was miserable for weeks and was convinced I would never have my thick curls back. Now I’m back to struggling to tame my crazy thick hair. There is nothing you really have to do to stop the loss. It is the body’s natural reaction to surgery. Don’t waste your money on creams and products and don’t overdose on biotin. Likely, your multi will have plenty in it. Collagen peptides, though, are protein-based so they help. Your hair is made of protein so make sure you are getting enough in. If you’re not, you are definitely not helping your case. Also, make sure you are well hydrated. Dehydration certainly does not foster a good environment for hair growth which brings me to the second thing I would have told myself…
Drink your water!!!! Since I didn’t prioritize my water intake early on, I struggle with it now. Getting up to the minimum of 64 oz and my ideal goal of 80-90 is a struggle every day. Getting a motivational water bottle with a timer helped a ton and I wish I started that sooner and carried it with me every time I left the house.
Get yourself moving. No matter how small the movement, physical activity is KEY. I always heard that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise, which is true, so I didn’t place much importance on moving my body early on. If I could go back, I would start adding in a 30 minute walk every single day from the very beginning. Not only is it good for your heart, but it helps with head hunger, stress, and so much more. I would have also started exercising with a personal trainer earlier to get rid of gym anxiety and so I could have learned how to use each machine instead of aimlessly walking around the gym.
Take your multivitamin, every single day. I’ll admit, after my year mark, I got a little lazy with my multi and skipped a few doses. Consistency is important in every aspect of this journey, this category included. I probably should have started this practice years ago, but after being sleeved a daily multi-vitamin is crucial.
Body dysmorphia is real and your image of yourself may change. I remember after losing 60 pounds and going clothes shopping for the first time after surgery and wearing a medium instead of an XL and still feeling like the girl who wore an XL. This will take time to change and that is absolutely okay. I still have days where I struggle with this but it’s important to understand these feelings and know they are valid.
On the topic of clothes, don’t go clothes shopping until your old clothes completely do not fit anymore. I remember buying a completely new wardrobe 6 months post-op and within a month, most of those clothes didn’t fit anymore so that was a waste of time and money. If I could’ve gone back, I would have just bought a few pairs of stretchy essentials to carry me through the weight loss and hung on to my clothes as long as I could. Even now, I’m still changing pant sizes but I’ve stopped buying anything until I’ve reached goal weight or a weight my body is comfortable at.
The number on the scale simply does not define you. You are a whole human and separate from your weight. Read that again. Your body has done so much for you. It gets me to work everyday and has taken me all over the world. Be kind to it and know it is so much more than you may give it credit for. Strive for a healthy body rather a “skinny” one.
Don’t check the scale regularly the first few months. Your weight will change so much the first few weeks after surgery. It wasn’t worth the stress. Now I understand that weight naturally fluctuates day by day and progress is more important than weight. The number on the scale may stay the same or increase while you may be losing inches which is much more important.
This all being said, if I had to go back, I would have done it all a million times over, I just would have done it with a little bit more knowledge 😊 Enjoy this journey and remember, it’s not a diet anymore, it’s a lifestyle and it’s going to be hard but that’s what makes it so worth it. If you have a bad day, start right back over the next day. You all got this, enjoy the ride.