Bariatric Success

I may have posted about this before, but here are my keys to success around bariatric surgery:

  • Do the mental work to distance food from comfort, celebration, and boredom. Work with a therapist if you need to.
  • Set up your support people. Set boundaries by telling people who love you that negativity is not allowed.
  • Set realistic expectations. Don’t pin all of your hopes on a particular goal weight. Set some goals that are NSVs, like being able to fit in a theater seat or to walk a mile or reduce your diabetes meds or play tag with your kids.
  • Recognize that this will not make you happy, it will make you smaller. Period.
  • Make changes that are sustainable for the rest if your life. This is not a “diet” like you’ve done before. It’s changing how you will eat for the rest of your life. If you aren’t committed to that, don’t start this journey. I think the only thing worse than not losing weight, is losing weight and then gaining it all back, which is a distinct possibility if you don’t change the way you eat for the long-term.
  • Everyone loses at a different pace. Don’t compare your journey to theirs. You will have stalls where you don’t lose for a while; just stick with the program.

Here’s a test: can you eat a post-op diet now, and maintain it? What I mean is, protein first, veggies second, carbs after that, at least 80 ounces of water, at least 75 g of protein. Do that for a while and see if you can maintain it. Don’t worry about the amount of calories or anything at this point, because after surgery you’ll be eating a lot less. But eat in that way and see if you can be satisfied in the long term. Develop new habits. Then, and only then, are you really ready for this journey. I started the journey, changing my eating, but didn’t have the surgery for almost a year because that’s when I was mentally ready.


Today Rio said I seemed happier since losing weight. I had to think about that.

The fact of losing weight, by itself, is not making me happier. I don’t care about weight, and know that being thin does not equal being happy. But she’s right, I am happier. Well, perhaps not “happier”, but less stressed.

Being super fat adds a level of stress to most activities. Just being out in public is stressful because of the amount of disapproval I’ve gotten, like stares, cat-calls, and overtly hostile comments. The medical community judged me. I was stressed about whether I could walk between two tables in a restaurant, or sit in a booth. I was stressed about chairs not holding me, and what clothes to wear because there are few cute clothes in super plus sizes. I was stressed about being seen eating in public. The list goes on and on.

And now, still fat but definitely not super-fat, I am not feeling those stressors the way I used to. So I am less stressed.

Happier? Maybe, but I don’t actually think so. I’m just less stressed.

About my weight… scary to talk about numbers

So far I haven’t posted anything about my actual weight. I’m going to start being more open about that. Here are my stats:

  • Highest: 315
  • Knee surgery (12/7/21): 298
  • Before starting the pre-op diet (5/24/21): 287
  • Surgery (6/7/21): 281
  • Now (15 days post-op, 6/22/21): 265

Check out the whole timeline, which includes these numbers and other interesting data.

Replies to my post on Facebook

I’m posting these at the beginning of my journey, although they came in over time…

Andrea Osborne

You go!! Fully here to support!!❤️ rest well

Mercy Aramor


 on your new journey!

Jeanne Ruth

Fully supportive of you…I have belonged to 12 step programs that considered weight loss surgery as a failure. I believe my spiritual and emotional path is full of tools provided for me, including weight loss surgery. I applaud the hard work you have put in and support you as you journey along to increased mobility.

Angela Di Tenebre

You’re taking care of you, and that’s important.

Cheers to the hard work!

Cheers to accomplishment!

Cheers to your mobility!

Cheers to being happy!

Cheers to really great energy!

Cheers to you!

Jenny Stiefel

You do you!!! I wish you all the success in your new journey to be mobile and healthy!

Judith M Leonard

All the best to you. Keep us posted. You know you have allways had my support and always will.

Hilary Dwyer Key

Congratulations on a journey of wellness

Madpink Lee

i love you taking care of you and you’re always beautiful cuz that’s something i see in your personality and your eyes, so whatever shape your body is reflects that beauty. big hugs 💕

im having mobility issues myself lately and can relate to the desire to move free from pain. im glad you’ve found some wonderful innovative tools to help you. 💗

Rebecca Stuart

Your bravery, both in undertaking such a big challenge as this life change and in choosing to share it, never ceases to amaze. Wishing you a speedy recovery from your procedure!!

Joshua Vaughn

I have a few friends who’ve had this surgery with positive results. Here’s hoping it works for you and you can ditch the scooter!

Kester Rambles

I have recently made some changes for a similar reason, to feel stronger and more mobile in my body. I see you. ❤

Kathleen Mateo

I completely understand & support this decision. You are doing something wonderful for your health and mobility.

Hugs to you & 


 on your courage. 💞

Nancy Kelly Cameron

I am so thrilled and so proud of your decision. The decision came easily for me as I had developed a GIST, Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor in 2005 and the best way to remove it a sleeve gastrectomy which wasn’t yet approved as weight loss surgery. Well, that was the first day of the rest of my life because I had set my body up to die an early death. Fast forward 16 years, I’m healthy, happy and can do the activities I want to do.

I’m so happy you did this for you. Please reach out to me day or night if I can help you with anything, or nothing. You might just need an ear. Way to go!!

Elizabeth Berrios

God bless you for having the courage to do what you just done

Kristin Desmond Ashley

Marilyn, wanting to live pain free, or with much less pain, and working towards that in as healthy a way as possible, is so commendable. I’ll be cheering you on!

John Moroney

Congratulations Marilyn. I had a roux en Y bypass done back in April and I’ve lost almost 45 pounds. This was to replace a gastric band that I had put in back in 2012. I was over 300# then. I was pre-hypertensive and pre-diabetic – but most importantly I wasn’t happy with myself or how I felt physically. I did it for me and now, years later , I finally feel good physically and mentally. I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’m dealing with the underlying issues of weight.

So good for you! I support your decision 1000%! I hope that you see your quality of life return very very soon! 💜💜💜

Julie Murphy

What Elizabeth said. It is your body and your experience in your body and your choice. No one outside of that body has the right to say anything about those choices. Rooting for a pain-free future!

Julia Kaplan

I wish for you to be well in all the ways you want to be. ❤️✨❤️✨❤️

Dominique Leslie

I totally understand, accept and support all you do with your body. Be healthy, by your definition.

Brian Hafter

I am very proud of you. Keep up the great work. Wishing you good health and happiness 🙏

Angel Marie

I am so proud of you for taking steps towards your own happiness

Laurie Aguin

Can’t wait to give you a hug next time I see you if it is OK with you.

Cayenne Woods

What a journey! Thanks for sharing all your thoughtfulness and process around this, hope for best results to get you moving easier and less pain and all the reasons you’re doing this. Xo💕

Kathy Perez-Stable

All the love. All the joy. All the radical depth of you. That you choose to share these aspects of you with us is an honor.

May this next experience of you with your body be full of all that you need and want.

Marci Benson

Be well! Thank you for sharing your journey.❤️

Cathy Kassel

You are on a journey that has so many visible and invisible steps. Thank you for being so open and clear about your purpose and intent, as well as how we can support you. I think you are awesome.

Stacy Rosen

Congratulations on doing all of this hard work towards improvement of your health and mobility. I would like to talk with you more about it, for personal reasons, if/when you feel up to it. Please pm me your numbers, as I no longer have them. I love you, and support any decision you make to improve your life.

Mary Ann Waterman

Hope your recovery is quick and you will soon be on the road to being pain free. Stay strong, Marilyn!💪

Dorothy Perkins

hope the surgery will help both your mobility and your pain.

Cherie Drochak

Kudos for the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual work you’ve done to get to this point, and thank you for your courage in sharing so eloquently with us.

All I want to see the next time I see you is that amazing twinkle in your eyes that tells me you’re happy and feeling better.

Prayers for you and your medical team on the next phase of your journey. 💞

Jackie Cohen

Good luck!

Jan Blossom

I appreciate that you are so clear on what you want from us, your friends. And that you are willing to share your journey. Thank you. I truly hope this next step works well for you.

Donna L. Faber

You don’t have to justify your actions to anyone. Rule #1: because you want to is good enough.

Joan Tabb-Waisbein

Very proud and happy for you, Marilyn!! I respect your courage, hard work and commitment to improve the quality of your life. Your choices are about empowerment… love 💕 it!!I And I respect you telling your community how you want to be communicated to about your changes! Excellent!! Again, bravo for taking the initiative for better health and improved mobility!! Congratulations 🎊🎈🎉 Big 🤗 hugs, Joan

Leenie Bachman

Yes to pain free movement and the joy that comes with it. Thank you for sharing your travels 🌷💜

Rio Spooner

You are an amazing woman and I am privileged to know you.

Deborah Lindsay

Hoping your recovery from surgery is smooth and wishing for you to be in less pain, and in better health going forward. Lots of love!

Simcha Collins

Wishing you a speedy recovering and less pain in the future. So thankful you let me be part of your life and family!❤️

Tracey Hancock

Love to you Marilyn ❤️

Denise Desoto

I’m so happy for you! You’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and you know you can do what you need from here on out. It’s so exciting about getting healthier! Less pain is always welcome! Sending much love and strength. ❤️

Nicole Moon ONeal

Blessings my friend

Arielle Giorgia

I don’t know why anyone would have a problem with you choosing what to do with your body for your own health and life quality. Fingers crossed for you that it helps and you see results and improvements soon!!

Olga Basman

I wish you an easy recovery and being able to move more freely.

Your thoughtful message is much much appreciated.

Ninc Salomo

All the best for you Marilyn and a good recovery.

Tricia Potter

I’m glad you’re taking care of you and your body 💗

Brook Lujan

You are brave in knowing your needs for support & to share your needs around your healing. Sending you energy for the journey ahead to easier mobility & eventually freedom from pain. You have always been a strong spirit & I know you will get to a place of more physical freedom from all your hard work & focus. You are an inspiration to me to work harder to free myself of some weight to help my mobility too.

Carri Lee Carl

Good for you, all of what you said and more my friend! I applaud your decision to be more healthy and noble.

Moira Giggler

Thank you for sharing this I find inspiration in your words. Xxx

Marc Miller

You need to do what you need to do for yourself so it doesn’t matter what anybody else says or thinks

Lisa Yamonaco

I wish you all the best on your new journey towards better mobility.

Ruth Sofaer-Morse

I am excited for you- mobility rocks it really does. Feeling healthy rocks! And eating when your actually hungry is a steep learning curve and one I still struggle with, additionally eating foods that make u feel good not crappy is a steep leaning curve… none of what you have been doing is easy and getting help is just smart. Congrats

Veronica Darmon

Thank you for sharing your journey ❤

Glenda Rider

May all go smoothly with the procedure and recovery! Thank you for sharing this with us. I support your journey!

Karen Schoonmaker

I really appreciate your transparency about your process. May this lead to many pain-free days for you!

Patty Koel

Marilyn, I’m always impressed with what a thoughtful determined person you are. I wish you every success and greatly improved mobility.

Sarah-Helen Land

What an amazing post, in every way. We love you so much. Please let us know if there are ways we can be supportive to you.

Deborah Hoffman-Wade


Lisa Anderson



Doug Miner

I love and applaud your taking this step. Mobility is critical to the full enjoyment of life for all of us. Doing what you can to improve that and to insure that you will be able to move without or with as little pain as possible for many years to come is a very positive thing. I completely support what you did and your reasons for doing it. Best of luck on the journey ahead.

Tomo Tomo

Lots of love coming your way! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing.

William B. Kennedy



 on sharing and on the trip to full mobility again.

Kate Johnston

Marilyn, I wish only the best for you.

Kathleen Shugar

Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you good health.

Meryl Churchill

That’s wonderful, Marilyn. Thank you for sharing your approach and experience. I hope you have decreased pain and increased mobility!

Nancy Davis Sturm

Thank you for sharing…go get ‘em girl‼️💕

Jessie Vanciel

I love you. Thank you for opening up about this. Your courage is so inspiring. I wish you the very best on you adventure.

Hope Cocherell

I am very happy for you! I have several friends who have made similar choices. All for different reasons. Sending gentle hugs! May this decision bring you less pain and more mobility!

Syndy Sharp

Awesome! Sounds like an enormous amount of work but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to make things better for yourself!

David Mack

Hope you heal up well and quick.

Carole Zeichick

That took a lot of courage; I wish you the best of luck and hope that your mobility issues are resolved.

Katie Eaton

I just want to say congratulations! I did this about 4 or 5 years ago. Did it make me skinny? No. Did it shave a good 150lbs out of my life? Yes. Is that worth the price of admission? In my opinion and experience, yes, very much so.

Like you, I didn’t do it to get skinny, and personally I would never push anyone else to do it unless they already wanted to.

That said, I’m so happy for you! I hope it helps you get where you need and want to be. I hope you find the strength and recovery you need.

And thank you as always for your amazing honesty!

Kane K Fong

I hope this change gets you to your goals for your body! If other don’t get it then can go fuck themselves. Mobility issues are rough and if this is what you are choosing to do and your doctors aren’t pushing you to do it then great ! You are an amazing human and fat is not only a state of being it’s a state of mind you know it and can live it no matter what !Tyler Fong

Thank you for sharing. Change is hard especially as we get older. 😘🐾

Sandra J. Siddall Palmer

My best friend, who unfortunately died a few years ago, had the surgery. She could not control her appetite however, and so it didn’t work very well. Controlling your appetite is difficult. I don’t eat as carefully as I should, and I eat sweets occasionally. I know how hard it is to pass up something delicious. It is hard work and I’m cheering for you. I hope you get your mobility back. Anyone not cheering you on, is not a good friend. You deserve to have our support and if possible, our help achieving this.

Beth Moscov Kessler

You are an inspiration for me. I really appreciate hearing about your journey.

Debi Shargel

How sweet to be included in this process. Thank you for your vulnerability!

Shawna Saubers-Ristic

This is so exciting for you! I know this will help your back! Hoping that this is really turning a corner for you and your health. Can’t wait to see how much better you’ll feel.🙏

Alma Schneider

I absolutely love this post and am so grateful you shared it. Your honesty and candor are admirable and you will help many people by sharing your story. Good luck to you, cuz!

Lisa Kamieniecki

Thank you my darling. I read the whole post them with you 100% if there’s anything you need let me know. I’d love to fat I love you skinny

Luis Diaz

All the messages so far are positive. You’re one the most caring and empathetic people I know. It is clear that you are making the brave choice that is best for you and your health. Nothing could ever change the beauty you have both inside and out. I wish happiness, health and may you live with ease.

Ann Soucy

You’re so brave Marilyn. I didn’t have the nerve to take the same step as you to help my mobility. Now I’m nearly 72, struggling to get around, in pain and just began yet another new diet plan which feels hopeful to me. We shall see. Good luck m’dear. ❤

Suzanne Spooner-Munch

This is certainly no small step, Marilyn. Good for you to have the determination and courage to take this on. All my very 

best wishes

 for the achievement of your goals!

Master Wolf

I honor your choice in deciding what is the best route for YOU. and wish you much success

Vi Johnson

Self love and care is always a good thing.

Rob Amend

I’m just flat out proud of you… not just for what you’re doing to gain mobility, but for the grace you bring to your communications. I’ll say it again.. you go, girl!

Beth Bartlett-Downey


Regina Salomon

Good fur you! Proud to be your friend.

Scotty Scott

The first 3 or 4 weeks are pretty hard. After that you get into a groove and roll with it. 


Deanna Kosaraju

Thank you for sharing what is going on in your world. And it is YOUR world. I would never judge anyone who is trying to make their life and their health a top priority. Please continue to update us on how it is going. I have not had a lot of visibility into the process and would like to learn more about it. Wishing you love, light and healthy days ahead.

Barbara Sue Dean Smith

I hear you being and acting on your personal wisdom. Blessed Be.

Sage Brown

Wow! Your courage and determination are intensely inspiring! I’m still, as have always been, proud to be your friend.

Halimat Alabi

I’m so excited for you, to live with less pain and better mobility!!!

Nathaniel Bergson-Michelson

It’s a big, brave step and I know there is a ton of work that goes into it! Wishing you a quick recovery from the surgery and greater mobility and comfort ahead.

Maggie Mae

Thank you for doing what you need to do. Pain is a bitch❤️

Sonya Brewer

Surrounding you with love. I respect whatever choices you need to make around your body. I love that you are choosing you, whatever that means. Wishing you healing and ease.

Bri Burning

Thank you for your vulnerability and labor in sharing your journey. Hell yes for doing things for you! 💖

Feyrie Southeast


I have a sleeve too!!!

I support your decision ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Marilyn Wann

Your body, your choice. I hope you will also take responsibility and be accountable for the negative impact of the ableism and weight=health beliefs in your words here.

Loretta Hintz

I applaud you for dealing with really hard stuff (food, aggh, so complex and powerful). And, 


 for doing what you decide is best for you and your body. I know people do judge, but as others have said, fuck them. No one has the right to co… 

Jo Hoenninger

I 100% applaud your choice to be healthier and take the strain off your back. I have a similar story and, while I’ve made different choices to take care of my health, I

Padito King

Ma’am, you are an amazingly beautiful person. Self care us sexy. I am proud of you for making decisions for yourself even though they may against what others believe in for you. As somebody who struggles with mobility crap, I am hopeful this will help you to have better mobility and lots less pain.

Anna Zhar

Hope everything goes well. Sending you my prayers for the speedy recovery!

Patricia Steuer

Marilyn, this sounds like a self-care decision and I always applaud and encourage self-care. Congratulations.💗

Lynn Gold

I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing for all the right reasons. I’ve known enough folks who’ve had bariatric surgery to know there’s nothing “easy” about the process.

Heidi Buelow

What a courageous undertaking. I hope the best. I have always thought of you as a person, whatever the body size. Thanks for the ideas on how to comment later. I will probably ignore that whole thing because you are a person to me. Good luck on your health choice. I hope you are more mobile. I thought the write up was great. Thanks for telling us.

Saphyre Rogers-Berry

I’m so happy for you. It takes a lot of strength and courage to make big changes in our lives. I hope that this helps you get back into life the way you want it to be!

Sybil Holiday

Your body, your choice, your self-care. Courageous choices that I wish 100% will lessen your pain & increase your mobility.🌛🌕🌜 Blessings

Cyn Marsh

I’m here for you if you ever need to talk

Michelle Be

I love love love yourself focus on health and mobility! What ever gets you to what that means for you is awesome! Quality of life is the theme. No one else gets to define it for you! 👏

Michael Stern

Good for you Marilyn! I applaud your decision and your bravery. Wishing you the very best of health and happiness. L’chaim!

Alex Austin

That’s a big deal and a big thing to do and share. I really appreciate your care in sharing the journey! Yasher koach!!!!


I did a Thing.

Before I get to the details about The Thing, please bear with me while I give you some background.

I have been fat all of my life. I’m convinced that constant dieting and negative messaging about eating and food and my body conspired to make me as big as I am. As a young adult I got “radicalized” around it, learning about “fat acceptance” and “fat activists” and basically making peace with my own self-worth in my fat body. I was healthy by many measures: strong, active, even athletic. I made a great life for myself including my wonderful kids, supportive family, great career, and partners who have loved me without regard to my body size.

Then in 2014 I injured my back. I had my first knee replacement shortly thereafter, and my back continued to get worse. After the revision to that knee replacement in 2016 it continued downhill, and since then I have been using a mobility scooter because it’s difficult for me to walk without pain. Fast forward to 2020: I embarked on a journey to help make my body stronger and more able. I underwent a relatively minor back surgery which we hoped would help, but didn’t help much. I had my other knee replaced. I started doing yoga. I increased the frequency of my weight training. I learned chair aerobics. All of this helped, but not enough. My back is still bad enough to the point where I can walk around my house and go places, but I am in pain pretty much whenever I walk or stand, so I still need the scooter. I am not able to do most exercises. I am not a candidate for more extensive back surgeries due to the physics around my body size. Additionally, the gestational diabetes I developed during both of my pregnancies turned to full Type 2, insulin-dependent diabetes over the last 13 years.

So last winter I embarked on a journey that led me to The Thing: this morning, I underwent bariatric surgery (sleeve*) for the purpose of gaining a tool to assist me in losing a lot of weight. This surgery removed a portion of my stomach. This will have the effect of altering my hunger hormones so that temporarily, and hopefully permanently, I will not experience hunger in the same way, allowing me to be comfortable eating less. The smaller size of my stomach will enforce this. But it is possible to do this and still gain, or not lose, weight by not eating right. So for the last 7 months I have been training myself to eat in a way that is not only healthy (which I did before anyway), but will keep me healthy with this new smaller stomach. Part of this has been unlearning my attachments to food. I’ve learned how to find other ways to deal with emotions, boredom, and celebration.

There are many of my fat activist friends who will not understand how I could do this, will think of me as a “sell-out”. I understand this. For me, however, I got to the end of my rope. I’m not even 60 years old, and I refuse to be disabled for the rest of my life. I know that most diets fail, but with this physical tool, and the emotional and psychological work I’ve done over the last year, I’ve got a reasonable chance of success, measured by keeping weight off so that I will either be more mobile, or will be more of a candidate for back surgeries that could help me. I still consider myself a fat activist, and will vigorously defend the need to treat every person with dignity regardless of their size. I know it’s possible to be healthy and fat, as I was for many years.

There are people who will think of this as the “easy way out”. If you do, let’s have a conversation because NOTHING about this process is easy.

I want to make something very clear: I did not do this to be skinny; I did it for my mobility. I will not look “better”, I will look “different”. This is an important distinction for me. All my life I’ve received messages about my weight from well-meaning friends and family which I heard as disapproval and disgust. I know most of those messages were actually well-intentioned, but you know what they say about the road to hell… Hearing those messages has left me with a lot of emotional baggage, so I need to ask for your support to help me avoid hearing those messages again. When my body starts to change and get smaller, it’s likely you’ll want to say “You look great” or something else to compliment my looks. When I hear that, what I really hear is “You looked so awful before”. I’ve spent years leaving behind those negative messages so that I could feel good about myself, including how I look. I’m not doing this surgery for my looks, I’m doing this for my mobility. I also don’t want to hear anything like “Glad you’re finally doing something about your weight” because that implies that I’ve been a failure up until now, or an idiot for not doing this sooner.

I know it will be hard to avoid commenting on the changes you’ll see, and I don’t want you to pretend nothing is different, so here are some suggestions of what to say if you want to say something positive or encouraging:

  • “You seem to be moving so much better these days” (because that’s the goal here)
  •  I’m really proud of what you’ve accomplished” (because this is a big accomplishment)
  • “I can see you’ve been working hard, good for you!” (because this is SUPER hard work)
  • “You look so different” (which will be true: it’s a statement of fact, not about looking “better”)
  • “You look happy”
  • “You seem to have really great energy these days”

You can also feel completely free to ask me anything about the surgery, what or how I’m eating, what changes I notice in my body, how much weight I’ve lost, how I’m feeling (physically or emotionally), or anything else related to my journey. Just don’t make it about my “improving” looks or that I’m “finally successful”.

Thank you for reading this far. I know I can count on you for your support.