The debate for weight loss surgery has long been around. My a majority of people it is considered cheating. Just exercise. Quit eating like a pig.
Like many things it is and isn’t that easy. I have been considering for the last 6 months to get the gastric sleeve which removes 75-80% of your stomach to reduce the amount of food that can be consumed.
I topped out at 302 pounds. I a friend, more of a Facebook friend, who I respected who posted about how she had gotten the sleeve surgery. While my friend was overweight she wasn’t near my weight so I was surprised. It lingered on my heart for a while and in May of 2015 I asked her directly via FB messaging about it. She told me it was, “It was best decision I ever made!” After talking to my husband, who doesn’t like the health repercussions of me being morbidly obese (though he is constantly telling me how beautiful he thinks I am) is reluctant about such an invasive surgery.
Some past attempts.
Back in 2010 I joined decided to get a personal trainer. I worked with the personal trainer 5 days a week and after a year I went from 282 lbs to under 200 lbs.
Then a couple of things happened. I was feeling good and felt like I needed to start working out on my own or I would forever be reliant on my personal trainer also we were having changes in our finances that I could no longer pay his fee. But I was confident I learned to be comfortable in the gym I was working out in and I knew the routines.
Then I had an emotional test. One of the unseen benefits of being overweight is the false security of feeling unnoticed. Well I one day I was noticed. It wasn’t untoward, rude or anything. And in the end it could’ve been just the guy being polite. But I was terrified deep inside. I had been seen. Which sounds and feels stupid – but that was the way it was.
Then the gym I was going to closed down and though the simple answer is find a new gym that just seemed very daunting. I started eating more and exercising less and the weight came back.
In July of 2015 I was at 302 lbs. The time between me stopping going to the gym in 2011 I went through a lot of ups and downs. A lot of downs. In 2014 I went to my doctor for some reason or another and she ordered some blood tests. A few weeks they called me in and told me that I had hypothyroidism – which meant my thyroid wasn’t producing enough.
Now that I knew that was a problem I could see some of the stuff that I thought was just ‘normal’ or me being lazy was cause by the low thyroid. This included my low body temperature usually came back at around 97.7 and lethargy. Doing stuff that wasn’t a must was very hard to do.
I started the thyroid pill in June of 2014 and it took almost 9 months for me to feel normal, not just what I thought was normal for me. I started to come alive again and with a Ransomed Heart Captivating Retreat I seemed to feel good enough to do something.
In 2015 I began looking into the sleeve surgery. I went in for the initial consultation and was struck by the same question that has plagued me as it has for almost every diet pill and medical weight loss – if I always have to watch my diet and exercise because my stomach won’t do it for me then why do I need surgery to lose the weight (it the same questions I have for most diet pills)? Despite that question I went through the steps to get the weight loss surgery even having a counselor who helps people with food issues. I got a date for my surgery and then there was a hiccup. They wanted me to get additional tests done so they cancelled that date and put me on hold. I got the additional test and everything was fine but by the time they wanted to schedule the surgery I didn’t want it.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I started telling people about the surgery how I decided against it, not everyone just select people. I had lost 20lbs on my own and was feeling pretty good. I mentioned it to my BFF who has also struggled with her weight most of her life.
After New Years I started my bullet journal which was a great tool for me to organize my stuff and really focus on what I want. Then my BFF texted me and she asked me if I might change my mind about the surgery because she was going to get it. My weight loss had slowed down, I was frustrated and also feeling a little competitive (sorry bestie).
So after mildly thinking about it (but feeling stressed every time I did) for a few weeks I made myself make a decision on it. I didn’t want to be fat but I didn’t necessarily want the surgery. I want to live life though it ways where my morbidly obese (don’t you love that term) weight wouldn’t let me. So I decided. After all the Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin cut it off it better to lose one part of your body to save the rest CHECK” Matthew
So, I called the doctor’s office and started the insurance process again. My BFF just started the process so I would get my surgery done first since I already did all the hoops. I knew that though the weight loss surgery would not be a quick fix it was a catalyst. I would be in a situation where for months to a year I would have to eat a certain way and I would lose weight. Hopefully that habit would set in and I wouldn’t need to revert back to my old ways.
I there I was. Decisioned made. Focused. Waiting for the call. Waiting. Then I went on a cruise in March. Got back and BFF had a appointment and was getting her surgery the following Tuesday. O….K…
Her family stayed with us during her surgery and after visiting her I called again and they submitted my paperwork again. A few weeks later I got a letter from insurance saying I’ve been approved. I called the doctor’s office and they confirmed and a week later they called to schedule my surgery. Finally went to my pre-operation appointment doing the preopt diet -still having doubts but determined to see it though.
9 days to go.
8 days to go.
7 days to go. 1 week so nervous.
6 days to go.
Phone call. Need to reschedule. Another week out. Called and asked if anyway to get me in earlier? No.
During this head down pressing forward I looking into helpful stuff like diet and food ideas. Exercises that I wouldn’t be able to do for a month after surgery. FB support groups (where you could see people dramatic and not-so-dramtic weight loss and the pictures of the occasional stomach that was taken out). And the doubts grew, couldn’t I do this without surgery, but I was still determined. But now it was another week away. I lost my focus and the thought I can do this on my own if I determined to changed my diet and exercise. I already changed my diet. Been completely off sugars, breads and such for two weeks. High protein low carbs and I was able to significantly cut my calories without feeling hungry. So I am cancelling the appointment.
I am grateful I went through the process and am in no way trying to shame people who are going through the surgery. I feel like I have a good foot hold to start and I’ve read in several articles that weight loss surgery should be last resort. I know a lot of my issues are mental and I have a wonderful therapist who is helping though that.
So, I am devoting a portion of my blog to my weight loss journey. I am down to 268 pounds right now. I am hoping to drop my weight down to 249 by the end of May (what I call my Roller-Coaster weight – where I can ride any coaster without issue). I hope you’ll join me. I’ll be discussing tools that I am using and how I am dealing with the struggles to come.