I had the sleeve in 2011 and found my inner fitness and health guru after sitting on my butt as a Paediatric Psychologist for over 10 years, miserable and 149kgs.
Cant remember my name back then, I had lost my zest, was quite depressed knowing my career was unhealthy for me both physically and emotionally and felt so lost. Kept it so quiet about going for my sleeve except for on here. You were all my saving grace pre and post sleeve!! Then this emotionally fat woman metamorphosed. Met other sleevers. Heard my calling and have finally made my way back here to change the Fat Shaming and bullshit and devote my life to LIVING! To US, the believers, the people who took the chance, who fight for the best us, who do not deserve the stigma going on about obesity and Bariatric Surgery.
As a registered and qualified Clinical Counsellor, Bariatric Psychotherapist, Specialist Bariatric Fitness Instructor, Nutritional Therapist and Hypnotherapist, I have now dedicated my holistic health practise to all things Sleeve and Bypass. I realised there is minimal support for those of us new to working out and eating differently after seeing time and time again the damage caused by Psychologists with little personal insight into the emotional journey of the sleeve attached to boutique clinics and outsourced. Personal Trainers who caused only painful damage to joints un-accustomed to physical exercise and lacking insight and compassion (I hold Biggest Loser highly accountable) who frightened my patients away from working out.
We cant just demand such a huge emotional and physical change of people by shaming their eating habits and size. It is so wrong to scream at a 160kg woman to choose another box jump over a bowl of hot chips. Everyone on this site knows the perpetual internal monologue of often really awful self shaming that goes on sun up til sun down. The embarrassment of beaches, waking up sweaty and with aching feet and cursing our bodies. Wanting to cry in the mirror. Crying because we feel humiliated at the thought of the invitation to a formal dinner because of everything that follows. The world is not our friend and not just that, the world then puts horrific You Tube videos up condemning our health and our life and us as human beings. What the 'world' doesn't get and NEEDS to start getting is that we already wake up with worse self criticism in our heads than comes out of those genetically blessed and we hear it every second of every day that we live.
Having the Commando and Michelle Bridges having a giggle at us fatties as our clothes tear off in the mud of an obstacle course our bodies are not prepared for and often break our bones and damage our joints and call on medics time and time again.... it doesn't help. It hurts. I had to stop watching that in 2012. All I saw was a large man battling to carry his body over impossible obstacles that his muscles and joints hadn't been strengthened for, broke his ribs for, needed a knee replacement for, and he did it. I saw determination. Self belief. Desire. Passion to improve. And trainers with no idea what was going on in his mind. Eventually I want to challenge these 'trainers' to load up a 120kg body suit, let their body get weakened for just a month prior with no exercise and see how persistent, determined, willing to hurt and fall and get up and fall again they are. We have spent much of our lives being unfit and heavy with no core or any other strength. These trainers have made fitness their lives. There is absolutely no insight. And you can't scream at an illiterate adult to write a novel because it's life and death when you are a well published, life ambition author. Same goes for our situation. We haven't made our health our passion. We have a different thing. We have to force ourselves to learn it.
While being shamed and screamed at and told we are going to die from being so unhealthy.
I managed to incessantly harp at Bariatric Surgeons that their practise was missing the humanistic side of being overweight and Obese. I established my own practise within a number of Private Hospitals from Brisbane, QLD to Campbelltown, NSW attached to Bariatric Surgeons to offer a more insightful, academic and committed approach to supporting Bariatric Surgery Patients pre and post surgery. This year I have been able to start putting together an entirely new allied health model I have termed 'Movement Therapy' to specify the holistic approach to obesity required for long lasting Post surgery success. A week ago my therapy was approved to develop into its very own Profession from Cert IV to Bachelors Degree in Movement Therapy. My line of approach has been successful enough over the last 2 years that I am now also putting together a PhD on Mental and physical Health and Obesity/Bariatric Surgery after being offered a scholarship. In the name of science I even intentionally gained 20kgs of the 70 kgs I lost over 20 weeks to study the biochemical, social-emotional and physiological impact of weight gain.
It would be wonderful to hear your journeys with the sleeve and if you are comfortable, to anonymously include aspects of them in both my research, a documentary and support book I am developing. I want to change the stereotypes around obesity and bariatric surgery and stop the fat shaming trend in it's tracks.
You are welcome to PM me or visit my website and drop me a line or text/email. I run support groups, fitness groups and personal training for Bariatric patients only as well as a range of other therapies to enhance the sleeve experience. Most of all I would love other sleevers and bypass recipients to share and help fight back against the stigma.
One final message I really want to get across is if you have decided to take up fitness groups or training.... DONT BOX JUMP or jump or try to run or lift huge heavy weights within your first few weeks. 100% of my patients have experienced so many knee and back injuries from unskilled trainers and it happens daily. Find trainers and groups who build you from the core up, who understand your abdominal muscles have been moved about and incisioned from surgery and have been relaxed for a very long time. Who understand your knees have been under significant strain for a long time and cannot cope with sudden jolts. If you have been over 120kgs you need to start working out from your favourite chair and there are tonnes of ways to make you sweat and build your strength while sitting. I have had 15 patients over 220kgs who hadnt stood on their own two feet for years and lived in a specialised Bariatric Chair. 100% of them are now regular joggers with me, they are all under 110kgs and we spent a minimum of 5 weeks working up a sweat and laughing our guts out while we did it from their chair. Fitness should be fun. Not something you do because you are unworthy as a human being.
Thank you for taking the time to read and I would love to hear from you and share with you. Congratulations on joining us Curvy Bariatric Patients :)