Monday, March 25, 2013

Thinking Out Loud: Post-Op Bucket List

A few people have asked me, "what are some of your goals after you get the surgery?"  Then a few days ago I posted about the bracelet, and that started me thinking more closely about which goals I'm hoping to achieve.

There are nebulous goals with no clear definition, like, "I want to be healthy."  Well...duh.  That's kind of a given. I can say "I want to be thin," but thin is kind of subjective.  Everyone's definition of "thin" is different.  If it weren't, we wouldn't have models and actresses role-modeling teenage girls into starving themselves to a size zero. "I want to feel better about myself" is another one.  Yes, I will feel better about myself on a lot of levels, but simply losing weight isn't going to address the real issues that plague my self-esteem and always have.

Then there are more specific goals that still aren't necessarily definitive, like, "I want to get my asthma under control."  Or "I want to sleep through the night."  Anyone with poorly controlled asthma can tell you, it's a HUGE victory to go a day without using an inhaler, and in my case with the sleep issues, just sleeping more than three hours at a time would be a victory for me.  But these things would have to start happening long-term in order to be truly effective.  So reaching those goals isn't necessarily a "one and done" thing.

And speaking of "one," there's that goal of moving into "Onederland," that beautiful place where your weight begins with the numeral one.  I've been there before, but only to visit temporarily.  In the last ten years I've never spent more than a few months (or even just weeks) at a time there.  I want to take up residency there, and live out the rest of my days in the south end of it.

But more than my goals, I like to think of working on my Post-Op Bucket List.  I have a Bucket List already, and I've managed to knock a number of things off of it.  I've traveled to several places I've dreamed of going.  I've met a few famous and/or influential people I've wanted to meet, including my life hero.  I've earned a Master's Degree.  I've been in a music video.  I'm a published illustrator.  There are lots of check-marks on that list.  But after my surgery, there will be a number of other things added to that list that I might not have considered before or had figured were kind of lost causes.  Things like...bellydancing lessons.  Or maybe Burlesque.  Working on a Peruvian Amazon wildlife rehab sanctuary.  Skiing lessons (hell, if I have to be stuck in this god-forsaken weather, I might as well enjoy it).  More travel.  Finally going to the World's Greatest Disco because I will be (a) normal size enough to find an outfit that I can get into and (b) healthy enough to boogie the night away. Swimming with dolphins.  Doing the Dirty Girl Mud Run with my sister.  Getting back into cycling. Maybe even finding a life partner -- but only if he's willing to travel the world with me, because someday I'm packing my life into one backpack and hitting the road.

See, these are all things that I don't feel confident enough - or physically fit enough - in my current state to attempt.   I know there are people much larger than I who accomplish these things with relative ease, but I haven't dared attempt them because of my size. 

I know that the going is going to get tough at times.  I know enough people in "real life" who've had this surgery - and a ton of others I only know by screen names on support forums  - to know that it's not difficult to stall weight loss - or even gain weight back - after the surgery.  I know I will hit plateaus.  I know I will be subject to backslides and stumbling blocks and obstacles along the way.  I know I have to be mindful and diligent and disciplined and conscious of every move I make.  This is not going to be easy. But knowing I'll be getting stronger, healthier, and more fit for the activities I have always admired from the sidelines but never quite got up the nerve to try...that'll be the fire under my ass to make all the above things happen.


  1. That might take me a while to learn, but I'm definitely into it!!