I Knew You Looked Familiar! Looking Different After Weight Loss Surgery

Twice last month I ran into colleagues I hadn’t seen since my surgery in 2010.  Both times it took the person some time to figure out who I was. Both people were surprised and very sweet about their confusion, saying how different I looked and complimenting my weight loss.  It’s not the first time this has happened and I bet it won’t be the last.

Before

Coming to terms with how different I look to people hasn’t been hard, but a question posed to me during a discussion about weight had me thinking.  Someone asked how it makes me feel when people comment on how good I look now.  They wanted to know if it made me wonder if that person thought I looked bad before.  Thankfully I can honestly say no, that’s not something I had wondered!

At 260 pounds I wasn’t ugly or disgusting, I was unhealthy and overweight. That didn’t stop me from going on dates or meeting my spouse.  I think a lot of how people perceive you as how you carry yourself so I always tried to project confidence.  Today I can choose to either be skeptical of the comments I receive or be grateful for them and appreciate the compliments.  I choose option number two - and who wouldn’t?

After

It’s flattering when people make nice comments!  People don’t have to say anything at all, so I don’t question the person’s intent and wonder if “You look great” really means “You looked awful before. People who have weight loss surgery do so for many different reasons. For health, for vanity, for quality of life improvement, you name it.  I had mine because I wanted to feel better about myself, to be able to move freely and not experience limitations, and to avoid the health problems that were starting to develop because of my obesity.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I also wanted to look better!

I’ve said it before - weight loss surgery is a major event that changes a patient’s life forever.  The benefits can fill a page, and I’ve been keeping a list of my accomplishments and triumphs over the past two years.  When I picture myself in my head sometimes I still have a picture of myself at a higher weight, but that’s ok.  That’s who I was for a long time, and I didn’t disappear, I simply changed.

Feeling comfortable in your new skin can take some time, but I encourage anyone who has lost weight by any means to accept the praise and compliments you are given as you go through your journey.  When someone says something that is positive and supportive, try not to let any negative self perceptions get in the way of accepting and appreciating others' support.  It’s not always easy, but it will get easier as you become more familiar with the new you!

-Written by Bettina M. Straight, Employee Engagement & Communications Consultant, LifeBridge Health, Human Resources


To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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    lifebridgehealth: "The pictures are in from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair! Thank you to everyone who came out for this great event.  Also, a big “thank you” to Dr. Kevin Crutchfield, Dr. Craig Bennett and Cal Ripken Jr. for the insightful discussion sports medicine, sports safety, Cal’s winning streak, and so much more. #SportsMedicine #CalRipkenJr #SportsMedicine #Sports"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Remember: Join us on Facebook TONIGHT at 7 p.m. ET LIVE from the #LifeBridgeHealth Sports Training Fair for our “Start Your Streak” panel discussion featuring Cal Ripken Jr. and Dr. Craig Bennett and Dr.Kevin Crutchfield from the LifeBridge Health Sports Medicine Institute. Watch Cal discuss his famous iron-man streak and how he overcame injuries in his career, and learn about advancements in medical treatment for sports injuries and more! •
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#CalRipkenJr #FacebookLive #orioles #baseball #sportsmedicine #calripkenbaseball #calripken"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to Kezia Kellam who won our June #LBHbestfootforward contest, socks at Maryland landmarks. Kezia works in the office of pediatrician Dr. Steven Dennenfelser in Forest Hill. Kezia showed off her LBH socks all around Havre de Grace! Along with weekly random drawings, the July contest is for best team photo!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Associates at @carroll_hospital were showing off their #LBHbestfootforward socks during a recent event for our employee engagement survey. Thanks to all our LifeBridge Health employees who took the time to share their opinions in the recent survey - you make #LifeBridgeHealth a great place to work!"
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    lifebridgehealth: "The #Levindale Auxiliary recently installed new President Rochelle Bohrer and nine new board members. Levindale’s President and COO Debra Graves thanked auxiliary members for what they have done and continue to do for residents…including installing new AV equipment in the town center. The auxiliary also added two new panels to its donor wall to honor and memorialize significant people the in donors' lives."
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    lifebridgehealth: "She knocked our socks off! Congratulations to Week #2 winner Vashay Thompson of campus services. She won a LifeBridge Health gift bag in our social media #LBHBestFootForward contest. LBH employees can win weekly and monthly prizes through August 31. #lifebridgehealth"
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