Monday, June 18, 2012

Bariatric Betty's best NSV yet!

The week before my gastric bypass surgery, I found out something amusing.  Despite my best efforts to explain the operation and how I would be living/ eating afterwords, my 8 year old thought I would be coming home from the hospital skinny!  In an effort to demonstrate exactly what would be happening (and NOT happening) in the hospital, I lay down on a piece of posterboard and had him trace the outline of my torso in black marker.  Then I drew in my organs in red, showing how things looked on the inside right then.  Then using a blue marker, I drew in what the surgeon would be doing on the inside, and where my surgical scars would be.  After all that was done and I explained the entire poster, I said "See where you traced my body?  That will be just the same when I get home from the hospital.  The only thing that will change on the outside before I get home are the scars/ bandages where they made these incisions."  He was dissapointed and said "I thought you would be smaller because you lost weight."  I explained I WOULD be smaller, but not for months, and that maybe we could trace me again in 6 months and a year and see how I looked then. 

So.... On Friday I was 4 months post-op and my older son just happened to come upon the posterboard while we were cleaning.  So I thought "Why not?" and asked my younger son to trace me again.  I was hopeful it would show a difference, but tried to prepare myself that it might not be much of a difference.  I have always carried my weight in my torso/ abdomen, and tend to be as wide when seen from the side as when seen from the front. 

As I lay down again, I tried to help him center me in the initial outline.  "Can you see the line you drew before on this side?  Can you see it on this side?  How about my arms, should I move them up or down?"  He traced me, and for the most part I was lined up pretty well.  This is the result.

OK, so the new outline is drawn with a skinnier black marker and it's a little harder to see.  But, just look inside the bolder (older) outline and you can see the changes.  I was really surprised to how much my waist had come in.  It was great to see the difference in my arms as well, and that you could see a difference in my neck was almost shocking!  So now I have a new plan.

I had originally thought I would re-trace over the original one at 6 months and a year post-op.  Now I'm going to trace on new and different colored posterboards at 6 months and a year post-op and cut them out.  Then I'll lay the 1 year post-op on top of the 6 months on top of the pre-op and I should have a nice visual reminder of what I've accomplished.  Becoming a shadow of my former self.  Not normal, but extraordinary!  I think I might have it framed. 

If any of my readers are pre-op, I suggest you try this yourself.  While looking at the pre-op outline isn't fun at that moment, this let me see my changes in a way that felt very different from looking at before/ after pictures (although I recommend those as well).  Got to go, it's time to walk the dog and then on to Couch-2-5k training!


  1. That's very interesting! I'm pre-op but I don't think my body will fit on a posterboard, lol.

    1. Well, I don't think mine would have fit on the posterboard if it was turned vertically - I had to turn it "landscape". I think it was a 2x3 foot piece. I think I will use this instead of old clothing... Good luck, and let me know how your surgery goes. Do you have a date yet?

    2. Right now I have to see the doctor for 6 months before they send my info for review. I'm hoping that sometime in December, I'll have my surgery.

    3. Fingers crossed that the 6 months go smoothly!

  2. Congratulations on your weight loss. I also considered weight loss surgery. I am using Roca Labs Formula and I have been successful in losing weight.