You probably remember the Hasbro Transformer toys from the 80s. If you don’t, they were robots from an alien world who were able to transform into cars, animals and other cool things. It was quite intriguing to watch children transform the toy into a completely different and unpredictable shape.
If you dig deeper into the Transformer storyline, you find that the real power of these robots was to adapt to a given situation and transform into an object that they could copy. That seems like a pretty cool thing to be able to do, doesn’t it?
I have been reflecting on real life Transformers I have met in my weight loss journey. One of the keys to a happy and successful post-op life is the ability to adapt to a new lifestyle and attitude. It is when a post-op embraces that thought process that some pretty amazing things can indeed happen.
People who have spent their lives trying to be invisible because of their weight suddenly transform themselves into something they never could have dreamed of being in their old body. In the following paragraphs I’ll share some of the bariatric Transformers that have inspired me the most.
I’ll start with my good buddy Chuck. In the course of a year Chuck went from a 300+ pound man walking with the assist of a cane to completing a marathon. Running a marathon is a feat that many runners aspire to complete. It is indeed rare that a person could lose 130+ pounds and cross the finish line just a year after surgery. When I talk to Chuck, I see a passion that he got when his life was transformed by weight loss surgery.
Michael is an Obesity Help chat buddy of mine who underwent Lapband surgery at about the same time that I did. I have mentioned Michael before in my posts. Michael completed the AIDS Life Cycle San Francisco to Los Angeles 7 day 500+ mile bike ride the year following his surgery. He was the person who inspired me to get off my butt and get on a bike. When I chat with Michael, I can hear the excitement for life he gained through his post-op transformation.
Danni is another Obesity Help chat buddy who had weight loss surgery at about the same time. She continues to marvel me. She has developed a love for cycling and is very active in her local cycling community. It is not uncommon to see Danni complete a century or other long ride in a weekend. She is currently riding in this year’s AIDS Life Cycle bike ride as I write this post. Her Facebook posts are testimonials to the transformative power of weight loss surgery.
I don’t see myself as great of a transformational figure that these three individuals are. I can definitely say that my Lapband surgery has transformed my life. I no longer call the couch my home after work. I find myself on my bike or in the outdoors on a typical evening. I find myself more willing to share my story and blog. I find myself in a completely different place in my life that I could have never imagined before. That is transformation.
There are countless stories of Transformers beyond the three I highlighted above. These transformations were about physical achievement. Transformations occur in other ways for other post-ops. I’ve seen people blossom into leadership and public speaking roles, immerse themselves in community involvement, and advance themselves through education and changes in their jobs. Life is definitely better when you embrace the transformation.
In the Transformers, Optimus Prime led the Autobots, the good guys. They fought against the evil Decepticons led by Megatron. The Autobots chose to use their power to adapt and make their life and the world better. Weight loss surgery patients have been given the power to adapt and change in their post-op lives. Like the Autobots, we can choose to live a positive life that improves our health and well-being. Gosh, did you ever think that you could think of yourself as one of the Transformers?