The gastric surgery diaries, part 3

Karen Duckworth

Karen's earlier diary entries can be found here and here.

It's been a hot minute, so let’s catch up! Sit down, make a coffee. Have a snack. As of the 31st of July, I was SIX MONTHS post op. Six whole months! Can you believe it?

Last we spoke I was sh*tting it, and look, I’m going to be honest with you, I generally have been sh*tting it these last six months, just waiting for someone to tell me that the scales are incorrect and that I’ve lost absolutely no weight.

I know you want the nitty gritty on my weight loss. Source: Getty

Because this all seems a little too good to be true, and when it comes to my self-confidence, I’m a masochist.

So, I am very pleased to report that all of these months haven’t been a dream. That I have managed, with willpower, hard work, diet change and persistence to lose a total of 40kg.

So, let’s have a quick look-see at my stats for all of you playing at home.

My weight on the 1st of January 2017: 147.9kg... pause for effect...

This is me, December 2016. Weight: 147.9kg. Source: Supplied

My weight on the day of surgery, 31st of January 2017: 140.9kg

Pre-Op loss of: 7kg.

February: 7.9kg
March: 6.2kg
April: 5kg
May: 4kg
June: 3.1kg
July: 3.5kg
August: 2.1kg
= 40kg

So, 40kg seems like a decent amount of weight lost, and it totally is, don’t mistake that. But my eyes always seem to look over at the “left to lose” number on my weight-tracking app.

May 2016 vs April 2017. 5kg down. Source: Supplied

According to the predictions of the weight loss app, I have about 33.9kg to left lose to get to the magic number of 75kg.

Why 75kg, you may ask? 75kg is the goal my surgeon and I agreed on to be a target.

But, if we go to BMI standards, at 75kg I'D STILL BE OVERWEIGHT, according to most BMI calculators.

So, for me to be at a “healthy weight” according to The Heart Foundation's BMI calculator, it has me sitting at a weight range of between 53.5kg – 72kg.

Wait. Whhhhhat? If I change my “goal” weight to be about 65kg to be well within the “healthy” range that gives me a total loss of: 82.9kg Mother. Of. God.

I essentially have to lose another overweight person. How comforting.

Me, July 2017. How times have changed. Source: Supplied

But then I have to wonder: what will that look like? I've always been a bigger girl, I can’t even imagine myself at 100kg and I’m 7kg away from getting to that goal. Imagine 80kg? 70kg? 65kg? Dare I even say 60kg!? Is it even possible!?

I’m 40kg down now and I’m already like “hey friends, check this bit of excess skin” while squeezing the skin on my arms together to resemble corrugated iron – To which my friends yell at me for showing them said excess skin and smack my hand away. What fun suckers.

But I have resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to look like a melted candle once I have lost the bulk amount of my excess weight.

And excess skin is totally to be expected with extreme weight loss. And rapid extreme weight loss. So, I walked into this totally knowing it was coming.

What I didn’t think was so bad, but now I’m experiencing it, it’s absolutely awful and I’m not even at the stage of “let’s consider skin removal surgery”. I'm just looking a little like a deflated balloon in some parts of my body.

Next point: Hair loss. Holy shit man, hair loss. I leave a clump of hair everywhere I go. Who needs business cards? I have white sheets, and they now look zebra print at the pillows because I literally leave a half a head of hair behind nightly.

My bathroom looks like a hairdresser’s cutting floor by the end of a shower and whenever I do get the courage to wash my hair, I pray I have some hair left when I’m finished. And drying my hair? Damn, if I throw my head back up and I have hair still? Consider it a win.

So, I may appear to look better, but I’m also going bald and have the beginnings of drooping skin in places I'd never even thought of. I don’t know about you, but to me that personal ad just writes itself.

The mirror is so much kinder now. This is me August 2017. Source: Supplied

I know that at the age of 28 I still have a decent amount of elasticity in my skin, and I have in some places which I’m so grateful for. I think I’m lucky enough to have age on my side. BUT. In other places? My god.

But with hair loss, comes some weird hair gain. Cue Chewbacca! The cute “peach fuzz” you have on your face? Yeah, that goes a wonderful shade of dark brown to black, and I have a moustache that could put Borat to shame. Thank god for waxing, that’s all I’m saying.

Another Point: Male Attention, wanted and not wanted. I’ve had the great luck of being your traditional “single girl” for most of my life you just have to factor in that I was over 140kg and still hoping to be found cute by the opposite sex, and I was, for a time.

But most of the attention I received was purely for a quick arrangement. And to say I got sucked in by bullshit would be an understatement, but I learnt pretty quickly that either:

A: They are looking for a FWB (Friend With Benefits) and won’t mention that golden part until after you've slept with them.
B: They will have a partner or be seeing someone and want to “try something new”.
C: They figure that being plus sized must been you’re either SO sex deprived that you’ll just go anyone, and you would have huge boobs,
or the most popular choice,
D: They want someone to see discreetly. So discreetly that its late at night, when no one knows you’d be out, its generally all about him, and you drive home wondering exactly where you’ve gone wrong.

But when it comes to dating, I’ve been the lucky candidate in online dating. Ugh. Online dating if you’re a plus sized girl (or guy) is my idea of hell. Because it is.

I’ve always been extremely honest and upfront about my body type, I’ve always said I’m a plus-sized girl and if that’s not for you, no problem, move to the side. And yet, they tried.

Now that I’m less plus size you’d be absolutely staggered at how many of these “eligible bachelors” have come out of the woodwork. All of a sudden a 40kg-lighter Karen is irresistible. I’m sure the three chins I’ve lost could be a factor? Or the fact that I now have a waist? Who knew.

But I’m the same girl. Just a little smaller. My personality hasn’t changed too much. I’m more confident, and less inclined to deal with bullshit. Less inclined to fall for “Hey you, what’s up?” at 11pm on a random Wednesday.

Surprise flowers would be great, please fellas. Source: Getty

I’m happy to report that out of the few men I had met through online dating apps within the last 2ish years I’ve been single. I’ve deleted 90% of the wankers who came back within the last few months with “Hey, you look so good now, we should catch up” – No, mate.

I want to say that I’m waiting for a man who would have wanted me at 147kg and one that will have me now at 108kg, even at 75kg and maybe even less. Will want me – loose skin, hair kind of falling out, occasionally craving shitty food, sometimes not feeling so positive about the choices I’ve made, whinging at the gym and generally going through my bypass and all.

But I’m not going to hold my breath for him to appear any time soon, I still have plenty of work to do on myself.

Much love,

(A much lighter) Karen xo

Karen can be found on Instagram here and Facebook here.

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