9: Peace of Mind

In less than 3 weeks, I will be in Italy where I will have surgery. The first of a series of two. I have been dreaming this moment for almost 3 years now. And now, in 3 weeks, I will be almost there.

I will be honest with you, when people ask me about the surgery, I feel a bit shy.

I have been trying to tell people, I have been trying to fight the feeling of being ashamed about it. Perhaps, I fear to be judged, I fear the fingers of shame pointed at me.

Since I lost 25 kgs, I got some extra skin in my legs which makes them unhealthy too. I have been seeing some doctors about it. They all recommended to have surgery to remove it.  If I don’t go through this procedure – which is called lifting – there is a chance that in the years, as soon I stop going to the gym, all those extra weights could collapse into my knees.

As you probably can imagine, after so many sacrifices of becoming healthier, that’s not the way I want to see my future.

The problem is that, since I am still 15 kg over-weight and I have lots of stored fat, I can’t have the surgery done yet; too risky. To summarise, I have two options: loose one size or have liposuction.

Now, in the last past three years I have been trying to lose those extra kg, unsuccessfully. As you already know, especially this last year, I have been trying particularly hard.  But again, no success. And the reason is simple: for me, all diets come with emotional eating too. There is not diet if there is not emotional eating too.

Already the idea of putting myself into another diet, makes me feel unwell. I realised, especially after starting this blog, that forcing myself into a diet is not an act of kindness or compassion towards myself. It is an act of contempt towards me.

Because when I eat some extra food, I no longer want to blame myself. Because if one night I might relapse into emotional eating, I no longer want to feel guilt. I want to accept my action and move on, avoiding getting stock in the spiral of shame. And I cannot move on from this ‘vicious circle’ if I put myself into another diet.

The more I pressure myself, the more I felt like collapsing.

It has been a very difficult and battled decision. Because at first, I did not want to “give up”. I wanted to lose that extra size with my own energy – as you probably guessed by now, I am such a stubborn person! But after so many sacrifices, so much shame and guilt, I now deserve peace of mind. As a result, I decided to go ahead with the liposuction.

It is an emotional moment. After the first surgery my legs will get worse. They will get better only after the second surgery which, hopefully, will happen in July. After the second surgery, the recovery time is very long, I will not be able to cycle or do any sport for three months. Alongside that, I will have long scars, for ever.

As you can probably imagine, it does feel a bit unfair. After so much energy, sacrifice and good intention, after so much effort, going through two surgeries doesn’t necessary feel like “an achievement”. It feels frustrating.

But then I tell myself, I can either complain or I can see the positive side. After so many years of struggling with my extra skin, I am, finally, getting closer to solve this problem for good. In one year time, I will be amazing! And I am grateful enough that financially and emotionally I am supported by my family. So, yes, I can complain about it or I can go with it. So, no longer room for complains but only positive wishes.

And I can’t wait for it!

But I need to admit that it feels scary too.

I have been over-weight all my life and, paradoxically, having a slimmer version of me makes me feel afraid of losing my identity.

You know, Silvia has always been in the category of “over-weight” people. Of those people who society tells they are not good enough. And it feels like ‘giving-in’, that by going through these two surgeries I am saying that society is right. And that’s what, foolishly, I fear most.

Because it is not what I believe.

The western society pushes you to believe that until you are not slim enough you are not entitling to enjoy your life. And, for many years, this concept has been unconsciously – or consciously – embedded in my head. Perhaps, that’s one of the reasons why the more people were telling me to lose weights, the more I gained weights. I wanted to prove that I am good enough even if I have extra weights on. I have always been a rebel, and ‘fighting’ the concept of appearance. Because, in my point of view, the only way we can define people is by measuring their love and values and not their waistline.

So, as you can probably understand, it feels particularly emotional for me to go through surgery. Because in a way I feel like I am agreeing with society that ‘slim’ is a synonymous of success.

But I am not.

And I will never will.

But battling against this cause by going against my own health just to prove that society is wrong, it is pretty foolish.

So, I no longer want to see those surgeries as if I am surrendering to appearance or I am buying into a superficial society, because I am not. I will always stand for my values.

I want to see those surgeries as a ticket to my best chances. Because when I will be 60, I want to risk attempting the Mount Everest than risking being in a wheel-chair.

And, finally, I am really starting to understand what it means to put myself first.

Because putting ourselves first doesn’t necessary mean being selfish, sometimes, it is just self-care.

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