Three years ago I was in hospital recovering from surgery. It hardly seems possible that those years have passed so quickly and that I am now used to the changes inflicted on my body. Mastectomy is brutal, there is no other way to put it. Nothing of my right breast remains, it’s flat as a pancake. If not flatter. Everywhere else is not flat though. After my holiday I set a new record for a person weighing themselves on my scales.
A pandemic is not the time to get yourself into a fit state for reconstruction surgery. Just before it all struck I was well on course to be fit and slim enough to go under the knife. But as the lockdowns continued I lost faith in the idea that I would ever get to see the surgeon again, much less have surgery. This summer I threw caution to the wind and just ate and drank what the hell I wanted. But I knew it had to stop. With or without the carrot of reconstruction I had to do something. This isn’t just about weight and BMI, it’s about health. It’s also about looking in the mirror and not being disgusted with what I see.
As we climbed up another steep hill to get to a historic fort or monastery I was forced to admit to myself that it wasn’t just the 30 degree heat that was holding me up. No, I knew full well that I was carrying much too much weight. But it didn’t stop me from eating all the cheese and drinking all the wine later on. I knew though that things would have to change and they have.
While we were in France I received a call from the hospital offering me an appointment with the plastic surgeons. That appointment took place 2 weeks ago and I now have until April to get my BMI to a healthy level. Then I can join the waiting list and be considered for my surgery. I’ve told myself for 18 months that I don’t want to do it, but actually I do. I want to have 2 boobs, even if one of them is a mound of fat. I want a cleavage and want to be able to wear pretty underwear without the need for a prosthesis. Also strappy tops, halter necks and strapless dresses. I might be nearing 60 but I retain the right to wear what I damn well please.
Right now I’m no lover of my body. I’ve continued to share some of the images taken of me this year. But my participation in Sinful Sunday is pretty low right now. I just don’t love the look of my body even if the photographer tells me he does.
It shouldn’t be the case, but knowing the possibility of reconstruction is still out there has given me the incentive to change my diet. It’s actually proved a relief to eat less bad food and drink less alcohol. I’m not even sure what I was thinking of allowing myself to slip into such bad habits. So far so good especially on week days. Weekends need further attention.
The great thing is that I’m already feeling better and a little slimmer. I’ve only lost 2.5lb but a huge 3 inches off my rather large tummy. Who knew that cutting out excess wine, bread and cheese could result in such results so quickly. BMI is all the hospital care about. It’s a poor measure of health, but I’ll go with it because I know that a BMI of 30 or less will be much more healthy than the one I have right now.
Three years ago when I was still sore from surgery I had no idea I’d care so much about all this stuff. Nor did I know that I’d find it so easy to put on weight and so hard to lose it. I partly blame the tablets I have to take to strip oestrogen from my body. I struggled then with my new body image and I still struggle today.
Last week we were away and missed the chance to go to a club. I was secretly pleased because I don’t feel comfortable with showing my current body off to others. Certainly not in the flesh and probably not often in photographs either. Weight, size, look are all personal things and right now that’s my situation and one I intend to change. When I find myself again I’ll know and then I’ll share. Of course, the image above is me and doesn’t look too bad so……