It's funny how you can go into something with zero doubts and come out the other side thinking: "What the hell have I done?"
That was a prevalent question in the 24 hours after my surgery, especially when I first woke up, high as a kite, barely able to open my eyes and wanting to spew my guts out - only, my guts had just been cut out.
The next day was marked purely by pain and discomfort. Every small movement hurt. Even breathing. It's not the incisions - of which I have eight, barely half a centimetre wide - it's everything on the inside; the stomach that has been cut and stapled, the organs that had to be pushed aside to give the surgeon a clear view, the surrounding muscles that were knocked around during surgery and all the gas that was trapped after they deflated me and sewed me up.
For the first couple of days I was sipping water out of one of those tiny medicine cups, aiming (and failing) to drink 30ml every hour. It was like I could physically feel the water hitting my tiny new stomach - in the worst way. When I left the hospital on Sunday, I had been allowed to upgrade to broth and a protein shake, which were easier to stomach than water but then my body rejected them both (thanks, IBS) and I spent my first two days at home consuming nothing but water and sugar-free Powerade.
Without the fluids they pumped into me in hospital, that lack of sustenance took quite a toll on my general wellbeing. I remember lying in bed thinking I'd made a huge mistake. That it wasn't worth all this pain and misery. That I'd changed my life forever and couldn't take it back. (#DramaQueen.)
Of course, within a week of surgery I was already feeling better and recovering swimmingly - such is the nature of recovery, right?
Since leaving hospital I've been staying with Nana and Koro, who have been taking wonderful care of me, making me soup, keeping me warm and giving me the most comfortable bed in the house. Mum's also been coming over regularly to go on short daily walks to aid my recovery and get me outside. It's all made a world of difference.
These days, I'm feeling pretty much back to normal. Next week I'll be easing back into the gym and the week after I can start introducing soft foods to my diet.
Side note: I can't even begin to explain to you how much I want a poached egg and some porridge - not that I have an actual appetite; I sort of just force myself to consume something every few hours to keep up my protein intake. But if it's got to be something, I'd prefer something that didn't start out as a powder.
Heading further into the unknown, all I do know is what I won't be doing - and that's obsessing over the scales (I'll leave the weight-tracking to my doctors) or posting before and after photos (which just perpetuate fatphobia).
Instead, I'll track my progress with NSVs (non-scale victories), like when I fit something or somewhere I couldn't before or do things I couldn't before.
So here's this week's NSV: for the first time in my life I've spent weeks not consumed by thoughts of food and weight loss. The pressure to exercise has been replaced by a desire to do so and I'm only thinking about food in relation to keeping my energy up and recovery on track.
So, what the hell have I done? Well, it seems I've finally found one of those moments of peace I've been craving for years. Long may it last.