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Learning to Dance in the Rain…

So tomorrow is my big day, and I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed!  It feels like just yesterday that I was in the process of making the decision to have weight loss surgery, and now here I am.  Tonight Xander and I leave for Brugge, Belgium and tomorrow morning at 10:30am I check into the hospital to await my operation later in the afternoon.

We just spent the past week and a half in the south of France visiting my in-laws, where we were pretty busy most of the time.  They needed some trees cut down on their property and we were put to work.  It was wonderful!  We spent a fair bit of time outdoors, we were active and busy and spent a lot of time hanging out and chatting with the family.  We didn’t really have a lot of time to think about what was coming up. It was the perfect distraction.

Now that has all changed.  I am back in the Netherlands, finishing up a few last minute things before we leave, and the nerves have crept up on me.  Over the course of this morning I’ve felt my heart starting to beat in my throat, my stomach is doing flip flops and I feel dizzy from all of the thoughts that are fighting for attention in my head at the moment.

I’m nervous, and even though I’ve done my best to be prepared, it just never feels like enough.  I’m afraid.  I’m so incredibly afraid I can hardly think.  I’m afraid of the pain I’m going to feel when I wake up from surgery, I’m afraid of the pain I’m going to feel mentally when the thing I’ve been trying to prepare myself for for months finally becomes a reality.  I’m afraid of the changes I’ll need to make, of the learning curve that comes along with a surgery like this and of those moments that I know are inevitable where I will eat something that seems harmless and then suffer for it.

I’m afraid that I will be the one freak of nature who has surgery like this and then somehow just doesn’t lose weight.  That the wall that I’ve built up in my mind is real. The one that tells me that I’ll never know what it’s like to weigh less than 200 lbs, that even with the surgery, I’ll never know what it feels like to be NORMAL.

There are so many things I’m afraid of at the moment, I couldn’t even list them all.  It’s a giant tangle up there, in my brain, and I know it’s normal and I just have to work through it, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful.

One thing I’ve vowed to do is to try to stay positive through all of this.  I believe that if I can just stay positive, remember all the reasons I’m doing this and try to look forward to the positive changes, that I will recover more quickly and feel more peace during this process.  Of course, this goes totally against my nature as I’m a worrier and a glass is half empty type, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?


So this saying is going to be my mantra for the next while.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain.

What does that mean for me?  Well… it means that I can’t just sit here and be nervous and let it take over me, I need to remind myself of why I’m doing this, all the benefits I hope to get out of it and what a positive change this is going to be in my life.

I can’t just lay in the hospital and wait for the pain to pass, I need to remind myself that the pain is just temporary, that in the grand scheme of things it will be nothing but a tiny blip in this entire journey.

I need to remember that there will be a day when this weight is gone… there may also be a day when I finally have a baby in my arms and if not, that I will maybe finally come out from under this cloud that being overweight has kept hanging over me.

A day or two of pain is worth it, right?  A small price to pay to get a second chance.  It’s a price I’m certainly willing to pay if it means getting a new start in a healthier and more energetic body.  A body that may be able to get pregnant, carry a child and give me the chance to be a mother.  If not a mother than someone who is active and ready to get out there and LIVE life rather than watching it pass me by.

So that’s why I’m here, my first step in killing these nerves with kindness, if you will.  Instead of thinking about all of the things I’m afraid of, I want to think about what I’m looking forward to.  The positive changes I’m hoping this surgery will help me achieve.

  • First and foremost, it will come as no surprise… the hope of finally having a child.  Not only having one, but being fit enough to have a healthy pregnancy and to be able to give a child the happy and active childhood they deserve.
  • If I’m lucky enough to get pregnant, to have the pregnant body I’ve always dreamed of having.  The majority of the time I’ve been trying to get pregnant I’ve weight between 250-300 lbs.  I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t feel a little sad about the thought of missing out on that true baby bump.  I knew that if I had gotten pregnant it probably wouldn’t have even been noticeable until I was really far along. I’d spend the majority of the pregnancy just looking fatter.  Yeah ok, this one is a little vain but these are my dreams.  I just love the idea of being pregnant and LOOKING pregnant.  I want to wear maternity clothes, fit into pregnancy t-shirts with stupid sayings like “baby on board”.  I’ve waited so long for this, if it happens I can’t help but dream of it being… perfect.
  • Being thin and fit enough to wear a baby.  As a bigger woman, when I see others walking around with babies on their chests in carriers, all I think is how sore my back would get and how incredibly hot it would be.  Maybe those things happen for thinner women too, but I’m betting it’s less severe.  I want to wear my baby around, I want to be able to shop while feeling them sleeping against me.  I want to be thin enough to actually fit into one of those carriers without the baby being squished to death.
  • I want a lot of non-baby things too… I want to go to any café and plunk myself down on the terrace without worrying if my ass will fit in their little plastic or metal chairs.
  • To have pants last more than a few months because my thighs aren’t constantly rubbing together and threatening to catch fire.
  • To not avoid going out and doing things in the summer because I’m ashamed of how hot, red and sweaty I get while trying to lug my body around in the heat.
  • To wear cute summer clothes that I feel make me feel nice and look nice, rather than just WHAT FITS and doesn’t show off too much of my flab.
  • Maybe finally feeling comfortable in shorts after many years of either wearing nothing but long pants, or suffering the embarrassment of everyone seeing my legs. To wear them and not think anything of it… and be comfortable.
  • To try activities I haven’t done in such a long time because I either felt too big or the equipment needed wouldn’t fit.  I’d love to go skiing again, when my legs might possibly fit in boots without losing feeling in my toes.  I want to ice skate again without that constant fear of “the bigger they are the harder they fall”.  I SO want to go horseback riding again, which was always my biggest passion, but have always been afraid to ask my horseback riding friends back home to take me riding because I felt too fat even for a horse to carry.
  • I want to try NEW activities that I’ve avoided doing because they were too difficult for me, like roller blading or windsurfing!
  • I want to wear a swimsuit on the beach and walk from my towel to the shore without worrying who is looking at my massive thighs or other wobbly bits.
  • To walk by a group of teenagers and have their chuckles, snickers and laugh not even register with me because it no longer even crosses my mind that they may be laughing at me.
  • To wear regular sized clothes and have a whole new world of clothing opened up to me, rather than sticking to the same one or two plus sized clothing stores where I just buy what fits, rather than what I really like… and not paying a fortune for it.
  • I want to see what I really look like under here.  I’ve spent almost 37 years never knowing what I look like at a ‘normal’ weight. I know what I look like overweight, I know what I look like obese, and I know what I look like super obese… but I have no idea what I was meant to look like.  What I look like as just a regular person at a healthy weight.  Will I look younger?  Will I look older?  Will I be pretty?  I want to know.
  • I want to get on the scale, and see a weight below 200 lbs, what a moment that will be for me!
  • To feel my husband not just get his arms around me, but completely wrap me in them, without both of us trying to work around my belly.
  • To sleep well, without the constant tossing and turning to try to get comfortable, and morning backaches.
  • To travel by plane or by train and be able to sit comfortably (even with the tray down) rather than just kind of fitting, or not fitting at all!
  • I want to be able to cross my legs like other women.  Just cross them and have my leg dangle comfortably there without having to stick my toe behind something to keep it crossed.
  • To not always be one of the biggest people in the room, if not the biggest overall.
  • Most of all, I just want to be the me I’ve always imagined and hoped I’d be.  Better, happier and healthier.

 There are probably an awful lot of other things but these are the first ones that come to mind.  Of course, the surgery isn’t going to many any of this happen like magic, a lot of it will take hard work on my part… but they are all possibilities.  I need to remember that and try to see the surgery as a door opening up to a whole new world.  That is how I will find success here, by not beating myself up about what I consider to be failures in the past and working towards the future. A POSITIVE future.

This will probably be my last post before I leave, so wish me luck!  I’ll be back with an update when I’m home again, hopefully on Saturday or Sunday!

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. How are you doing?

  2. Loved this post, as it resonates with me in so many ways…the wrapping your toe around the leg of the chair thing. haha…that gave me a chuckle. I hope you achieve all your dreams dancing in the rain. I know you are now home, so wish you a speedy recovery and a healthy and fulfilling life. Can’t wait to hear all about your journey as you go along…
    Tera´s last post ..Fat

  3. Hang in there! It’s going to be ok.

  4. The fact that you are scared and stressed about it makes you one of the most normal people I know.

    I wish you luck with the surgery. It might not be easy but you’ll get through it.
    Citizen_Stu´s last post ..Dutch Proverbs – The Farmer

  5. Hang in there Tammy, your dreams are at your fingertips :) I’ll be thinking of you tomorrowé *hug*

  6. Hey Girl! I wish you luck and strength and hope everything will go off without a hitch!

    Will be thinking of you! xxxxxx (DutchBitch)

  7. Oh Tammy how i cried my way through your post, wanting it so bad for you. This year i had the opportunity to lose enough weight to experience what you just wrote…i now KNOW what it feels like, i really do! You will, too, sweetie! I’ll be here for you after your surgery…just message me and i’ll be here to answer any of your questions the best i can.
    I’m not the most religious person on the planet, but i’m praying for you tomorrow and will light a candle like my mom would have done….and one day, my dear, you and i will go share a coffee on a terrasse somewhere on tiny little cafe chairs, in our shorts, swinging one leg over the other, looking so pretty and fresh! Look out Holland, the thin Canadians are here and ready! YAY Tammy!

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