A year ago today, I had bariatric surgery. I had a gastric bypass where my stomach was stapled off so I only have a little pouch for food and my intestines were moved so that much of them is bypassed making it harder to absorb calories from what I do eat. I don’t eat much anymore. I eat lots of protein…mostly vegetarian sources.. and vegetables and fruits. I also eat one piece of whole grain bread a day, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. I weighed 367 lbs when I started this process and I now weigh 190 lbs. My life is totally different than it was. I am very active, my arthritic knees feel way better, I take no medications for cholesterol or high blood pressure, and minimal medications for anxiety and depression. I hike in the area parks almost every day. I go to the gym on a regular basis and the treadmill in my house is one of my best friends. My relationship with my wife is kind of weird due to my weight loss. She is a big woman and sometimes, I think that she might feel pressured to follow in my footsteps. It’s not me pressuring her, it’s her own mind. I can’t turn to food for comfort anymore, so dealing with my intense feelings can be difficult, more difficult than in the past. That’s because I can’t stuff my feelings down anymore, I actually have to feel them and process them. I do like the way I look in my clothes these days. Sometimes, I catch sight of myself in a mirror or a window, and don’t recognize myself. I am a new person physically. Thankfully, I realized before I ever had this surgery, that getting skinny would not make me happy. it makes me feel better about myself, and I find myself more willing to engage in good self-care…cooking food that is good for my body, exercising, meditating, going for acupuncture. But, I still need to learn and practice self-compassion, self forgiveness, and work on being less judgmental of myself. I still struggle with relationships due to my past traumas. There is nothing magic about losing half of my physical body…but, I do feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.