Last night I was laid in bed. My stomach was churning. Not in the usual way. It wasn't nerves or a tummy bug. It was the same routine I go through every night, it's hard to explain but its a bit like this... excruciatingly loud gurgles, a wringing kind of pain that feels like my stomach is contracting and fluctuating.
Nearly 7 years ago now, I had a gastric bypass. I weighed around 24 stone and was a size 32. I was aged 27 at the time and more than anything, I desperately wanted to be thin.
I had suffered from eating disorders. I had been on an endless cycle of diets, gruelling exercise regimes and diet pills, but nothing had made the impact I wanted it to. Sure, I'd lost a couple of stone here and there but it was never enough. I'd either lose heart, lose will or have some kind of mental health crisis that would cause me to begin over eating again.
The operation was a success, there were no complications and I began to lose weight rapidly. I'd lost 4 stone within 2 months and then carried on losing around half a stone every month until I'd got down to around 16.5 stone and a size 20. Great right?! Yep sure, I had a better pick of clothes and places to shop. The seatbelt on the plane fit me and my backside was less fearful of chairs with arms, but in terms of my health and mental state? I was, and still am, a massive mess.
First up... I wasn't skinny. In my head I was going to be a size 12, I was going to be "normal" but the weight loss just stopped. I was still restricted by what I ate, I was still exercising, but that was it, nothing. I stayed the same weight. The crushing disappointment and feeling of complete failure was unbearable. I couldn't even get that right. Stupid fat, useless Becky does it again, can't lose weight even when I'd been cut open and re-jigged. The same self loathing I felt before the op was back but with a vengeance. Secondly the physical side effects, the constant (sorry graphic) diarrhoea, excess skin and massive vitamin deficiency were some of the side effects I suffered and still do to this day. I lost all confidence in who I was and the way I felt. My sex drive disappeared and I left job after job because I felt I wasn't good enough to do the work.
I had reached a point where I was starting to skip meals, force my food back up and was drinking way too much alcohol of an evening. I was a mess, I was lonely. My husband was working long hours. My daughter was only one years old and wasn't sleeping. I was exhausted and mentally, I was at breaking point.
I'd been using social media to help with the loneliness, I found twitter to be somewhere to vent and speak to people. I then stumbled upon the world of plus size fashion blogging. To say those women saved my life might be a tad dramatic, but to say they changed my life certainly isn't. These confident, bold, unafraid women reignited my love for fashion, they gave me the swift slap around the face I needed in terms of my self perception, and my perception of fat. They made me realise all bodies are good bodies and that it is perfectly ok, more than ok, to be comfortable in your body and live your life any way you want to.
As I lay in bed, night after night, listening to my stomach churn, and try to drift off, there are times I become very upset. There are times I wish I'd never had the gastric bypass, but what I have to remember is this was all part of a journey I was meant to go on.
We all have brain wobbles, we all have regrets and can be incredibly hard on ourselves.
Be the absolute best version of you, you can be right now. Seize every single day and opportunity. Love, laugh and live. We only get one shot.