A Life of Before and After

I have been thinking a lot lately about how my life is quickly becoming based on a Before/After timeline. My “Before” has been a wonderful life, don’t get me wrong in anyway. I’m happy, and fulfilled. I have a wonderful husband, fantastic, lifelong friends, and all in all, I’m pretty satisfied with how my life has turned out.

But since I’ve decided to pursue WLS, things are now being divided into the “Before” and the “After.”

I find myself saying things like, “Wow, that looks like fun…I can’t wait to try that ‘after’ my surgery,” or…”I wonder what it will feel like to finally be an ‘after’…” I think about all thing new things I want to try “after” surgery. I find myself wondering how things will feel “after” surgery.

It’s like this imaginary line has been drawn through my life. On one side of the line, is my “before.” My “Before” being defined as my big “fat” life. I don’t fit into seats well. I can’t wear cute clothes or shoes. I can’t walk far without pain. “Before” invades every single part of my life – from the clothes I pick out in the morning to the way my husband and I are intimate. There are things I’ve never done because I felt my “Before” was in the way. And believe me, there is a whole lot of “Before.”

I spend a lot of time thinking about my “After”…defining “After” as not just after surgery, because that is one spot in time…but “After” being defined as “After weight loss surgery when my big “fat” life is no more and I’m “Normal.” So I guess “After” is what I consider in my mind to be “Normal.” There are so many things that I can’t wait to do, to try. I wonder how things will feel. What will it feel like to sit in a chair and not feel the arms of the chair touching me? What will it feel like to slide into a booth at a restaurant and not feel the table resting beneath my boobs? What will it feel like to walk into a normal sized store and not feel like an alien invader? What will be it like to have sex with my husband?

I find that I’ve almost put myself into a holding pattern. I’ve stopped living my “Before” because I can’t wait for “After.” Oh, I’ll wait to do that until “After” surgery. I need new clothes, but I don’t want to buy anything until “After” surgery. I want to take dance lessons, but I’ll wait to sign up until “after” surgery. I want to take a class on photography, but I don’t want to commit to that until “After” surgery.

After.

“After” is becoming a big part of my vocabulary.

But I was thinking today…is “Before” gone already? I haven’t reached “After” yet, so it can’t be. Am I in a holding pattern? Have I stopped living my life, waiting for “After?” And when, officially, will “After” start? The moment I wake up from the anesthesia? When I go home from the hospital? When I lose the first 10, 15…25 pounds? When I go back to work? In the new year? Will I know when it’s “After?” I hope I do…there’s so much I’ve been waiting to do when “After” gets here. I want to shop in the misses department. I want to take those dance lessons. I want to ride the amusement park rides with my grandkids. I want to share clothes with my best friend. I want to go to Europe. I want to take long walks, and horseback ride, and wear fabulous clothes. I want to be the woman I’ve always dreamed of being in my “After.” I want to make my 40s Fabulous.

My life is going through a huge adjustment. I want to be living both “Before” and “After.” But I feel that for right now, I’m in “Hold.” Hold please, Bea will be with you “After.” I’m holding on…holding on for surgery…for my new birthday…for my new “After.”

I love my “Before.” It’s been 36 (nearly 37) very wild, wacky and wonderful years. But they’ve been hard ones. I’m gone through my “Before” like a wild ride, with a martini in one hand, a cigartette in the other, no seat belt, going 100 miles an hour with a big grin on my face screaming “Whooooo Hooooo What a Ride!” I want to continue that “After,” only then, my clothes are going to be fantastic, and I might, I just might, get to live to see the end of that ride.

So, I guess for now, “Before” and “Hold Please” are still here. But now, there is a deadline for my “after.” 3 more months, and then it’s “After.”

But for now, I am still holding on, with that Martini and that (proverbial) cigarette, screaming with glee, and enjoying the ride.

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