LESLIE CRISS: Major change turns into great life adventure



“Change is good. You go first.”

– Dilbert


“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

– Anatole France


“Nothing will work unless you do.”

– Maya Angelou

It’s been a little more than 16 weeks since I made a large life change, one that continues to take me on an amazing journey.

On Thursday, April 17, I walked into North Mississippi Medical Center and waited my turn for Dr. Terry Pinson to perform bariatric surgery.

After a very restful sleep, I woke up a little sore, but ready to begin my multi-mile walking that would allow me to exit the hospital two days later.

Back in June, I wrote in this space about how I once thought folks who chose weight-loss surgery were taking the easy way out.

That is totally untrue. It’s a helpful tool, but it will not work if I don’t. And I am pleased to say I have worked.

I have lost almost 80 pounds. As someone who has been overweight since she was a third-grader, I am celebrating the changes.

I no longer work to avoid a mirror. I don’t linger in front of them, gazing at my reflection. But when I brush my teeth or comb my hair, I sometimes find myself wondering at the identity of the thinner person looking back at me.

I also find these days I am looking more like my sweet mama, and that’s not a bad thing.

At work, I’m constantly reminded by my co-workers that my clothes are too big, too baggy.

Thrift stores have become my friend as I try to buy smaller sizes to tide me over until I reach yet another goal.

One night several weeks ago, I was taken aback when I felt what I thought was a large growth in the side of my torso. I finally mentioned my fear to a friend who tried to stifle her laughter when she told me the “tumor” was my rib cage.

Who knew?

In church a few Sundays ago, I sat on a pew – the same pews on which I’ve sat for more than a decade. But something was different. I shifted about during the sermon and wondered silently why there are no cushions on the seats.

I could not understand why, suddenly, I was uncomfortable on the wooden pew. Then I realized: I have lost much of the padding to which my bones have grown accustomed for most of my life.

These are not complaints. They are simply observations – glorious observations – made by someone who has nearly no memory of being the size I am now or smaller.

It’s a whole new adventure, and I am working hard.

But I am also having a blast.


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