LATE BLOOMIN’ MOM: How Weight Loss Surgery Helped Me Be a Better Mom by Ellen Rosenfeld
I often think about the changes I experienced after becoming a mom. I was 44 years old and thought I knew a lot about myself and the world, and then I held my son. To be responsible for a life and to be the example and teacher about how to be a happy, healthy person is an awesome responsibility. I gladly accepted the challenge, but what I discovered along the way was a little surprising.
When my son was an infant, I was in blissful happiness. It was a dream come true for me to have a child and nothing could have gotten me off my cloud.
Once toddlerhood began and my son was off and running, the challenges began. As an older mom, I couldn’t get up and down from the floor as easily as the younger moms in the playgroup, but I realized I was also huffing and puffing to keep up with him. I wanted to lift him up and spin him around but my back would start to hurt. Once he started eating table food, I wanted to feed him what my husband and I were eating, except I realized that it wasn’t always a healthy option. My poor food habits were no longer just affecting me, they were affecting my family.
When I took a cold hard look at the example I was modeling for him, I knew something had to change. I was overweight, my husband was overweight, and I didn’t want my son to be overweight! I needed to take better care of my body and teach him how to respect his. I was ready to embrace a new way of thinking and behaving, but I also knew I needed help.
After months of research, I ended up getting a weight loss surgery procedure called a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself and my family. The procedure limits the amount of food I can eat although, like any other weight loss surgery, it is up to me to eat healthy food. The changes I am going through are more than food choices and serving sizes, it is about facing the emotional issues that caused me to overeat throughout my life, embracing and loving exercise and incorporating emotional and spiritual health into our daily lives.
As I write this, I am 50 lbs lighter, but my success isn’t related to a number on a scale. Now, I can chase my son around our house until he is tired, and I can spin him around until we are both dizzy. I let my emotions show instead of eating them away, and I encourage him to express his feelings as well. My goal for the future isn’t to reach a certain weight but to go zip-lining or climb rock walls together.
The world still looks different through my milk splattered motherhood glasses. I still think that everyone drives too fast (especially in parking lots!), but I am going to mother by example. I will drive slowly, I will treat people how I would like to be treated, and I will nurture myself. And most importantly, I will not be a “do as I say, not as I do” mom.