I'm afraid this is going to be a nasty post, lol. If there were ever a controversial topic to blog about, this is IT! I'm a very opinionated person, as I think we ALL have the right to be, so I have avoided writing about this topic thus far so as not to unintentionally offend anyone with my personal opinions.
However, I watched a show on Discovery Health last night called Big Medicine. I had skimmed over an episode once before but never took the time to watch an entire episode. Last night I did. I've been thinking about weight loss surgery ALL DAY now and so it's time to get my thoughts out and "down on paper", so to speak, and move on.
I think that a lot of us fatties have considered this as an option at one point or another. I know I certainly did. I've personally met 7 different people who have had the surgery over the last few years and have heard the horror and success stories. I will say that 6 out of the 7 people, despite all the problems that followed the surgery, say that they would do it again and do not regret it. Only 1 of those people told me if they had it to do over, knowing what they know now, they would have skipped the surgery and lost the weight on their own.
The time that I really, truly considered it for myself was a couple of years ago...maybe not even that long. It was right after a dr's visit, where I was told that if I didn't get serious about getting this weight off, and fast, that I very likely would not make it through my 40's. In other words, I had only a very few short years to live. My parents were going to have to bury me.
My doctor told me that having the diabetes, the high blood pressure, the high cholesterol was all taking a toll on my body. She told me she knew it was hard for me to believe because, outside of being tired all the time, I pretty much felt okay. I didn't really feel like I was falling apart. I couldn't see the results of it on the outside of my body. But she informed me that all of these illnesses were wreaking havoc on my insides...the part I can't see...and that I would just have to believe her that I didn't have much longer to live. I believed her. I was reduced to tears in front of her. It was a very sobering experience.
Thinking that after being fat for about 25 years, I OBVIOUSLY didn't have what it takes to get rid of the weight on my own. Maybe it was time to enlist some help...simply for the sake of not dying an early death. I asked a few friends for their opinion. Most of them refused to offer their own personal opinons due to it being such a personal decision. And God knows, if anything went bad wrong, they didn't want it on their conscience. I can understand that. I asked my roommate and best guy friend Shane. He didn't like the idea. I asked my boyfriend Dwayne (had been dating 3-3 1/2 yrs at this point)...and he hated the idea.
In fact, he hated it so much, he did something he's never done. He told me a story about a girl he dated in the past. We've never discussed previous gf/bf with each other because we both believe that things that are in the past should stay there. However, on this particular subject, he felt the need to share. He first gave me all the health reasons...the dangers of surgery, the digestive problems afterwards, etc, etc. Then he told me about the outward physical aspect after you drop a ton of weight too fast.
The girl he dated for a "very short time", and I'm guessing this is why, had the surgery and dropped 80 lbs VERY quickly, all of this before she met Dwayne. They started dating and the time for them to get naked came. You should have seen the look on his face while he was trying to describe her body to me w/o getting downright crude about ex-girlfriends. He was wincing like he was in pain, slowly shaking his head side to side, like he was saying "no", speaking with total disgust in his voice.
He said that the amount of excess loose skin that is left over after dropping such a dramatic amount of weight in such a short period of time (I think it was 3 months) is unbelievable. He said it wasn't just on her stomach, it was all over....the butt, the chest, the arms, the legs, and even her back. He said seeing that was enough to tell me not to do the surgery, even if I didn't pay attention to the other, more important risk factors.
Naturally, while I'm listening to all of this and trying to keep an even look on my face, I am secretly thinking about my OWN loose skin that I'll have to deal with, with or without the surgery. I already have loose fat...I've never had that tight, firm fat like some people. My arms already look like bat wings. So, do you think I'll ever forget the look on his face and the disgust in his voice while he was describing this to me? I don't think so. That is something that will have to be dealt with at a later time when the other 70 lbs. I have to lose comes off. I'm not looking forward to facing those issues.
Back to the surgery.....Dwayne's opinions weren't good enough. I needed to talk to someone really smart. Someone who would give me a non-emotional, unbiased opinion. It finally dawned on me....I needed to call my hero. I've only ever had, and will only ever have, one hero in my lifetime, and I needed his opinion. I called my Dad.
Dad said don't do it. He gave me the list of reasons, all of them made perfect sense to me, and I knew I could fully trust in his opinion. I didn't necessarily feel like I could do it on my own, and I cried while telling him this. That didn't change his opinion. He gave me some words of comfort and some words of encouragement, but even through my tears, his opinion on the surgery remained the same. And I knew that if Dad says don't do something, I better not do it. And that's where my contemplation over having surgery ended.
I know tons of people say it's the easy way out...that you're cheating because they just do a bypass or strap on a lap band, and the weight just falls off in gobs. This isn't the reason I disagree with the surgery. I don't think it's an easy decision. I know for a fact that things get REALLY bad afterwards...with gas problems, digestive issues, and God forbid you actually keep your old habits and OVEREAT....I've heard some tell me that death would be better than the sickness and pain you experience with overeating. It makes me shudder thinking about the horror stories that have been told to me from people who have experienced them.
However, I do think the surgery is giving up on yourself. It really confuses me, and here's why. For anyone who's researched this, you know that there's a long process to go through before you can even have it done. You have to do all sorts of reading and research and take classes and learn about nutrition, and ALL of the options first. Then in most cases, the doctor requires you to lose a certain amount of weight before he/she will even approve you to have the surgery. On the show I watched last night he told one girl to lose 30 lbs. Well, she busted her butt and lost 40-45 before she went back to see him. ???
She had the surgery, and after she had healed enough, she started counting calories and got a membership to Bally Total Fitness and has a personal trainer pushing her to the max on exercise. ??? This is the main reason for my confusion.
First of all....the girl lost MORE weight than the doctor even required her to, PROVING that she CAN do it on her own through watching her calories and exercising! And after the surgery, she was really ROCKING IT with the calories and exercise ALL ON HER OWN.
Is anyone else wondering what I am? Am I the only one that is having a total "DUH" moment here? I really do not understand why you would have the surgery if you have to do the EXACT same things as you would do to lose it naturally? Especially on the front end. She lost 40-45 lbs on her own! Good Lord...the 6 lbs I lost on my very first week, 9 weeks ago, was enough to make me want to keep going....and she lost that much, proving she has it in her to do it, and still wants to have the surgery??? WHY??? I just don't get it. I just don't.
Maybe someone reading this would be kind of enough to educate me on this if you're pro-surgery. I'm always willing to listen to other's opinions, whether they differ from mine or not. And there should always be room in your life for learning new things. I really want to know the method behind the madness. Because to me, it's just looking like madness.
If anyone is reading this and in the midst of weighing their options, let me send out a plea not to have the surgery. It's just my opinion, but I believe we ALL have it in us to do it the natural way. Is it hard? Sure it is. Is surgery and the aftermath hard? You betcha. But I still think the natural way is the lesser hard.
If you're considering the surgery, then you already have the desire to be rid of the weight. All you need now is the decision to do it and the belief in yourself that you can. I believe you can. I know you can. And I will be right here to support anyone and everyone that wants to follow the natural road to weight loss and good health. We can do it together...you are not alone in your travels. There are plenty of us in Blogland that are going the natural route and I invite you to join us. I'm here to support you and encourage you all the way to the finish line. :)
Quote For The Day:
"To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first." -Shakespeare
4 months ago