Yesterday, February 1, marked the one-year anniversary of my weight loss surgery, and in that time I have shed 160 pounds. It has been quite a journey! I have heard some say that surgery is the “easy way” to lose weight, but I am here to testify that there are no “easy” ways to lose weight. Believe me. I have tried them all. Weight loss is hard work. Very. Hard. Work. It requires tenacity, commitment, determination, planning and focus. A focus on the details of the present moment as well as the end result and longer-term goals. When I started this journey, I set a specific goal and I am now just 28 pounds away from it. Ideally, I should lose even more than that — and I will certainly continue my daily exercise and healthy eating plan once I hit that goal — but I will be content once that marker is reached.
On the first day of each month since my surgery, I’ve had my picture taken to create a side-by-side photo of my progress. Yesterday as I was putting the pictures together, I said to my best friend, “You know, I can see a difference in my face and neck, but it just doesn’t seem like that big a difference overall. Does it really look like I’ve lost 160 pounds?” She sighed, gave me a somewhat exasperated look, and said “yes” in a way that only those who love us and know us best can do. I really wasn’t looking for accolades or affirmation. Sometimes, in my mind, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Call me crazy, but that’s where my mind goes sometimes. Maybe it’s because somewhere in the recesses of my mind I didn’t think I could be successful. Maybe its because I don’t want people to treat the “fat” Robin differently than the “thinner” Robin. Maybe it’s the fear of admitting that there is a cultural bias toward larger people; that there is a perception that “fat” people are lazy and have no self-control. Maybe it’s because I want to defend, protect and love those who are cast aside and judged for their outward appearances instead of their inner beauty. Maybe it’s because I want people to believe that ALL human beings are beloved and created in the image of God. Fat people. Skinny people. People of every body type, age, color, orientation, nationality, creed — we are all beloved and created in the image of God.
In my rational mind, I do acknowledge the difference in my before and after pictures, and I am grateful for the gift of life I have been given. But I am cognizant of the fact that this renewed vitality also brings a responsibility to live out God’s claim and call on my life to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:). May that be so for all of us.
Until next time, peace …