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  1. #1
    Gastric Sleeve Member BamaBrit's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Carla
    Surgery date
    01/10/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Jay Suggs
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    06-10-2018 08:09 PM
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    Default Do I still live in the same world?!

    Hey everyone! I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this odd "phenomenon" as I have in recent months. This is really hard for me to discuss because it sounds so weird to myself, yet I'm the one going through it. Ok, here it goes. I recently went grocery shopping and ran into a girl I haven't seen in a few years, yet her and I were friends all through school starting in first grade (we are both in our mid 30's now). We were close too. I was so excited about seeing her I shouted her name and said its so good to see you! I was walking towards her expecting a hug or a warm greeting or something....instead I got a blank look and all she said was, "Hello. Nice to meet you", and walked off. No warm greeting. No kind words. No hug. We've known each other our whole lives. The reason was she didn't know who I was. She had no clue because I look so different than what she remembered. My smile disappeared from my face and my heart sank. While she was walking away she glanced back to look at me and went on her way. Then she stopped and gasped and shouted, "CARLA?! IS THAT YOU?!" OH THANK GOD! She remembered me! She honestly had NO CLUE who I was. Now here is the thing, that's not the first time this has happened to me, it bothered me more because it was WHO it was (like I said, she and I were close). Several people I've grown up with, known my entire life, now have no clue who I am. I know they're not being rude, they just don't know who I am anymore. This bothers me for two reasons: 1.) Was being fat the single way people used to identify me. 2.) It feels like I've dropped into another universe that I never existed in the first place and its like trying to re-meet people who have no memory of me other than me being obese.

    Another thing I've noticed is that people are nicer to me. People who have known me and complete strangers are nice. They say hello, open doors for me, make light casual conversation, better customer service in stores, and the list goes on and on. I'm not trying to be petty, or conjure up pitty for my past self, but it certainly stands out. Again, its like I've fallen into a completely different universe because of loosing 120 pounds. Am I the only one who has gone through this?! I need reassurance that I'm not going crazy.




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  3. #2
    Gastric Sleeve Member KiwiGal's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Lisa
    Surgery date
    09/04/2017
    Surgeon
    Stephanie Ulmer
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Hi Carla
    I get what you are saying.
    I used to feel fairly invisible before I had surgery. I'm not sure if this really was the case or I wanted to be invisible. Perhaps now that I am smaller I have more confidence I am putting myself out there more and people are "seeing" me for the first time.
    Whatever it is, I'm happy to be where I am now. Long may it continue.



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  5. #3
    Gastric Sleeve Member Ann2's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    Ann2
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    08/18/2014
    Surgeon
    n.a.
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    Oct 2013
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    Missouri
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Yup, this is all very, very, very common to us.

    Just imagine all the adjustments you've had to make, which aren't over yet -- getting used to your reflection in store windows, staring at yourself in mirrors, freaking out because you can now wear size [single digit] when you used to wear size [big double digits], freaking out again when the size you never thought you'd get into is now too big for you.

    It's going to go on for a while -- several years. And then they'll all be used to the "new you." All the while you're STILL getting used to the "new you." Still waking up every morning and thinking, "I'm still skinny / slim / normal sized / not obese / healthy / not unhappy / not hurting anymore."

    It's not them. It's you. You've changed.

    But it is strange.



    Consult: 235 lbs
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  6. #4
    Gastric Sleeve Member Stacey03's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    Edie
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    11/07/2017
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    Dr Phil lockie
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Oh gawd I know exactly what you mean Carla. I know that people used to describe me as 'you know the blonde lovely one, the bigger girl, with the big boobs' and although these people were nice it still used to make me cringe in some way to be described like that even though they thought I was lovely. I think we have to be careful what language we use around people.
    I'm a bit taken aback when people act so surprised when they see me now and offer lots of congratulations, because I think to myself 'I have been doing this for like 5 years now and yes they did congratulate me back then too but this final bit of weight loss has caused the most delight. Which is nice but gawd I dunno it's also challenging as I hate that whole social media and media thing about how you should look a certain way. Anyway it's all very interesting!
    Also and I didn't think I would have this... I still often feel large. Like often. Then the other day I saw a photo of myself in the gym next to what I would call the small girls and was the same size. I think it takes a while for our brains to catch up.Its an interesting journey isn't it?
    I hope your husband is well now.


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  8. #5
    Gastric Sleeve Member BamaBrit's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Carla
    Surgery date
    01/10/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Jay Suggs
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    06-10-2018 08:09 PM
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    Alabama
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Everyone yes! Yes I’ve experienced all that you’re talking about! I had a panic attack in August when I went to a regular clothing store in town and I could actually wear a pair of jeans that wasn’t plus sized anymore. I can’t wear them now because they’re too big for me now but when i first put them on I freaked out. I have no clue why. Maybe it’s because I thought I never could wear something regular sized that my brain couldn’t take it. Also this past Christmas my office had a party and I arrived late and everyone was sitting on this huge couch and wanted me to sit down with them and I stated to panic because I said there’s no room for me, I’m too big. Then we sat in the floor and played a game and I was too scared to get in the floor because I thought I’d knock something over with my huge body. You’re absolutely right when you said our brains haven’t caught up to our bodies. Also catching the glimpses of yourself in a window and it’s not the same reflection as you’re used to. I had a major moment last summer with this and I couldn’t stop looking at the reflection because I wasn’t sure it was me. My husband got on to me for a long time and didn’t allow me to look at my reflection because he thought I was getting “full of myself” but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was I didn’t know WHAT I looked like anymore! We worked past that and now since he’s changed physically he’s starting to catch odd glimpses of himself from different angles now and understands what I was going through last year.

    Wow everyone thank you all so much for this support. I have moments when I seriously feel like I live in another world or another version of it. It’s like you’ve been shunned your whole life then all of the sudden you’re welcomed with open arms into this new world. Sounds fun but honestly it can get overwhelming sometimes.




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  10. #6
    Gastric Sleeve Member DutchSleeve's Avatar
    Surgery date
    01/03/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Pablo Enriquez Valens
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Actually, that story makes me sad.
    I'm not sure why yet.
    Is that all we were?
    Fat?
    Is "fat" an identity?
    It feels more like a judgement.
    What about character, disposition etc.?
    I want to think about this a bit more...
    Please note: after months of reading I decided I wanted to be more active here and I want to write more. But please bear in mind, that English is not my first language, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications. I am doing the best I can!




  11. #7
    Gastric Sleeve Member BamaBrit's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Carla
    Surgery date
    01/10/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Jay Suggs
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Last Activity
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Yeah Dutch I agree. It makes me sad too and I hate posting about sad stuff because I am a positive person. Its like nothing else about us identified us other than how big we were. Several years ago when I was job searching, I had more than one boss tell me I needed to loose weight before getting a job or else loose so many pounds, etc etc etc. Nothing else mattered. Its very sad. No character qualities, no morals....nothing else mattered other than looks. I guess thats why I like posting all of this to my friends on here. Its like we have the same scared heart, and all I want to do is show all of them love and mend them somehow. Who knew being big in the past still somehow tags along even though the pounds are long gone.




  12. #8
    Gastric Sleeve Member Christie13's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Surgery date
    11/03/2016
    Surgeon
    Dr. Wright
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Everyone is absolutely nicer when you are thin. Smiles and random "hi how are you" all the time. I sometimes wonder (and have mentioned this in one of my previous blogs) if it is US! I mean, when we are fat, even when we are outgoing, we have this bubble around us because we are uncomfortable in our own skin. I am sure to some extent we gave off a more closed, reserved vibe. Now that we are loving our new skin...we are more smiley and open.
    As for being unrecognizable, I was thin when I was younger so I haven't had that issue. Maybe somewhat to people who I have just known a few years but not old friends. I can see how that would feel odd.



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  14. #9
    Gastric Sleeve Member Luv49ers19's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Cody
    Surgery date
    05/23/2017
    Surgeon
    Daniel Leslie
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    I was always that person to smile and say hi to strangers...still am. The only difference is now people actually smile back and say hi. Before it was more of smirk now it is a real smile. Sometimes strangers smile and say hi to me first in passing and it throws me for a loop! They can't be talking to me, right?

    Such a sad state we are in when size matters to most.

    On a side note I'm working in a different department at work. One of the ladies there is super nice and i tent to gravitate more toward her to answer questions and such. Also justcto talk to. Anyhoo she is bigger and i can't remember what we were talking about but it had to do with weight. She just looked at me like I was crazy because clearly I don't have a weight problem and couldn't possibly understand. I had to show her a picture of what I looked like a few years ago. Her attitude totally changed and she let her guard down. It is strange being on the other end of the scale so to speak.
    Hw: 260
    Sw: 260 10/23/16
    Weight at time of sleeve 209 (-51)
    Sleeve date 5/23/17
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    3 month:172 (-6)
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    5 month:150 (-12) (10/28/17) 6 month goal!!!!
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    7 month: 136 (-7)
    8 month: 131 (-5) made goal weight 130 (2/8/2017)
    9 month: 125 (-6)
    10 month: 120 (-5)
    11 month: 115 (-5)
    1 year: 114 (-1)

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  16. #10
    Gastric Sleeve Member DutchSleeve's Avatar
    Surgery date
    01/03/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Pablo Enriquez Valens
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    I can totally relate to that last part of your story.
    I still talk like a fat person, although I am clearly not that anymore.
    And then you see the faces of people like, yeah... right... like you know how it is being overweight.
    That is very strange.
    I don't have body dysmorphia, I really see a skinny person in the mirror, but I talk like I am still obese sometimes.
    And then I have to say "but I really was obese" and show pictures, like you did.
    Its like being a former member of some sort of "club".
    Please note: after months of reading I decided I wanted to be more active here and I want to write more. But please bear in mind, that English is not my first language, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications. I am doing the best I can!



  17. #11
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    10/07/2013
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    After almost 5 years that really doesn't happen anymore. The work people saw me shrink slowly, so didn't really notice that much. I guess when you see someone every day it's different. Now people just see me as me. It's wonderful!

    I have kept some "fat habits," like I always need to sit in the aisle seat at church, the theater, etc. Even now that I could easily sit in any seat, I still choose the aisle. Weird.



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  19. #12
    Gastric Sleeve Member
    I have not had a gastric sleeve.
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    Dr. Felix
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    Apr 2018
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DutchSleeve View Post
    I can totally relate to that last part of your story.
    I still talk like a fat person, although I am clearly not that anymore.
    And then you see the faces of people like, yeah... right... like you know how it is being overweight.
    That is very strange.
    I don't have body dysmorphia, I really see a skinny person in the mirror, but I talk like I am still obese sometimes.
    And then I have to say "but I really was obese" and show pictures, like you did.
    Its like being a former member of some sort of "club".
    What a terrible club to be a member of. Can I turn my membership card back in? I don't think I want it!

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  21. #13
    Gastric Sleeve Member DutchSleeve's Avatar
    Surgery date
    01/03/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Pablo Enriquez Valens
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    Nope.
    It's a membership for life.
    The only thing we can do is to make sure, we will never meet the admission criteria again.
    That is having a BMI higher than "healthy".
    That's it...
    Please note: after months of reading I decided I wanted to be more active here and I want to write more. But please bear in mind, that English is not my first language, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications. I am doing the best I can!



  22. #14
    Gastric Sleeve Member Gvn71's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
    Name
    Glenn
    Surgery date
    02/02/2017
    Surgeon
    Dr. Perrillo
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    TOTALLY!

    I get treated completely different now that I am thin. Even by people who know me and knew me before I lost the weight. Work also treats me different. Better assignments, etc.

    Now I'm not complaining, but it is definitely happening.

    Also, a bunch of people I hadn't seen in a few years did not recognize me. I had to convince a few that it was actually me. And then the "did you have cancer" questions had to be answered.

    It is sad that people treated me differently when I was festively plump..... But not much I can do about it.
    LOVING MY NEW LIFE!!!!

    "Never take life to seriously, no one gets out alive anyway!"

    Remember, in this thing, it's a good thing to be a loser!




    High Weight - 317
    Pre Surgery Weight - 291
    Current Weight - 181 OMG
    Target Weight -205 That's right, 205!!!!

  23. #15
    Gastric Sleeve Member
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    Default Re: Do I still live in the same world?!

    I got your points; most people will only see and judge you from the outside appearance. Though, it's a good sign that everything seems fine after a change of weight and looks. This will make us feel better.

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