Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weight Loss Surgery: Do you know?

Hi folks... Something a little more serious today. There are a lot of misconceptions about weight loss surgery out there. As you might imagine, I'm pretty passionate about the issue of obesity as an epidemic in this country. Weight loss surgery saved my life. I am so grateful for the people who made this life possible that I have promised myself to be honest and open about who I am and where I've been. I am a success story, and I know I have been and maybe still am an inspiration to people looking to turn their lives around health-wise. Along with that, I have come to feel its my responsibility to raise awareness about what weight loss surgery is, what its not and who we bariatric people really are.


Things You Probably Don’t Know about Weight Loss Surgery

  • I did this on my own. I really did, but I bet you’ve read this on somebody’s non-bariatric blog. Why do they say it? Because they want to draw a line in the sand between themselves and those people who took the “easy way out.” Ah, yes, the easy way. When I was working out for 2 or 3 hours a day losing my weight, and today, as I workout each and every day of my life, I tell myself, wow… I’m SO GLAD I took the easy way out. Please. If you have lost 100 pounds, 200 pounds, even 50 pounds, you used a tool to do it. Maybe it was a body bug, maybe it was your spouse’s love and support, maybe it was SparkPeople, a gym membership… or blogging, but I promise you, you looked around and you utilized every tool you felt was available to you to get healthy and stay there. So did I.

  • Weight loss surgery is not a magic pill. DUH! If this was a magic pill, why would the statistics show that the average bariatric patient gains back some (or in way too many cases, ALL) of their weight. So, if it was magic, how do you explain this? Did the magic wear off? Did they get re-inserted into the Matrix? What happened?!? What happened is that is was never a magic pill. It was a tool to use and nothing more.

  • I can eat anything I want. No, I’m not restricted, not even one little bit. Our bodies are amazing machines that will adapt and survive in some of the most drastic circumstances. And, weight loss surgery is very drastic. The fact is that many of us bari-babes can eventually eat whatever, and that means we are forced to use that ever-elusive “will power” beast to maintain. And, for many of us, this is a battle we will fight for all of our lives. Just like you.

  • All weight loss surgeries are not created equal. I had a surgery called Roux-n-y, in which doctors created a new stomach pouch from my existing stomach and re-routed my intestinal tract. At the time, together with my doctors and my then-husband, we decided this was the most effective surgery, as I had a bmi of nearly 60 and was considered super morbidly obese. Other, less invasive surgeries, tend to also be less effective for those needing to lose weight in excess of 200 pounds.

  • Weight loss surgery doesn’t ruin marriages. This is a really common misconception (and major fear among those facing surgery). Yes, my marriage ended after my weight loss surgery. Yes, I believe I would probably still be married to my first husband had I never lost 200 pounds. The real issue runs deeper. I have an eating disorder. I did then, I do now. Combine that with the fact that food is already my most natural coping mechanism and you get a woman who eats until she feels nothing inside. In the first year of my post-surgery life, I began to re-teach myself how to live, without food as a crutch. When I did that, I was forced to see my life for what it was. When I did, I had to make a choice for myself. And, I did.

  • We are healthy. It’s a myth that we will be malnourished or low on vital nutrients our whole lives. If you work this tool and use it as a springboard to incorporate good, healthy habits into your life, you will be fine. The last two years of my blood work have all come out 100% normal. The only thing I’ve ever been low on was B12, and that’s because I have chosen to eliminate red meat from my diet. No one recommended this. This isn’t part of the weight loss surgery rule book. It was simply a choice I made when I had the surgery, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

  • We are people. I know that sounds silly to say, but I bet you have no idea that some of the bloggers you read have had weight loss surgery. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve had several emails from other bariatric individuals, who blog but don’t reveal “what they really are.” Do you know why? The media and the public have put a very hurtful face on the average bariatric person. We are lazy, unable to do for ourselves, so we turn to magic fixes to find a way out of a food hell we’ve supposedly brought on ourselves. It’s simply not true. We are people, who by circumstance of genetics, society, or health have found ourselves in one of the most scary, lonely places to be: a prisoner of your own body. We are people who have endured ridicule and shame for years and emerged to face the terror and hardship of a surgery people label as easy. It’s a crying shame, if you ask me, because we are not only people, but very brave people.

Before I move on to breakfast, I want to say that weight loss is very hard. I don't have the answer as to why. All I know is that food has been both my greatest love and enemy number 1 since I was practically a baby. We all have our battles, and weight loss is a common one to many of us. We are all the same, no matter the tools we use. And, I believe that we would each go further on our invidual paths if we recognized that we all have a part to play in each other's successes. Each kind word of encouragement, every Operation Beautiful note, every friendly "I get ya" comment adds another stepping stone along our own path. Understanding and compassion for other people's battles is both beginning and end to a weight loss journey.

=========== Ok, FOOD!

Remember this?

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For breakfast this morning, I yet again had this yummalicious cereal and yet again felt sick after eating it. Obviously, I cannot eat this cereal in the morning. It's very tasty, but it gives me a major stomach ache, so NO MORE. NEVA!

Lunch is going to be yummy. Ever since I made broccoli and rice last night, I've known I'm going to make a delicious wrap for today's lunch. So, stay tuned!!!

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I'm very interested in your comments and questions. Please know that I will be happy to answer any question you might have regarding Weight Loss Surgery, my weight loss journey or just stuff about my life. (Keep in mind, I'm not a doctor, but a patient.)

If you don't want to comment below, please feel free to email me. eatmovewriteATyahoo.com.

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xoxo
-Mrs. Myers

P.S. I have NO idea why the font in this post is crazy. Can't fix it. Oh wells.



19 comments:

  1. Christie @ Quit Your DietJuly 21, 2009 at 10:52 AM

    Just wanted to say that I think you are awesome and standing up for your choices. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and take the good with the bad. Rock on to you!

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  2. I can fix that font issue for you: just go into the HTML and zap the kaboodle a couple of time, then defragment the source code. Piece of sugar-free cake...

    Wait, I lied. Don't do any of that stuff. I made it all up...

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  3. What a bold and beautiful post. I think there is def. a stigma associated with weight-loss surgery and am so glad you are open and honest with the truth about the matter.
    anyone who trivializes the extent of hard-work and dedication that goes into maintaining one's health with or without having had weight-loss surgery is obviously the same person who would trivialize the most herculean task known to man simply to make his/herself feel better.

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  4. No matter how you choose to lose weight, it is a long hard road (as is the maintenance!).

    Weight loss is very individual and there is no single correct way to do it.

    Thank you for sharing your views!

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  5. i think it's great you posted this - everyone has their own story and your voice should be heard too!!!

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  6. This is a great post. I LOVE reading about peope's journeys- I've read about weight loss surgery and am in 100% agreement with what you said, though I know that not everyone is (thank you, media) so thank you for telling it like it is and being so honest and open. Weight loss/finding a healthy balance with food is HARD work and anyone able to make ANY changes deserves credit. It's not an easy thing to do, regardless of what tools are used.

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  7. I think it's a sad, awful thing that people falsly say about bariatric patients. It's a load of crap. Thank you for being who you are, honest, beautiful and brave. I'm proud of you :D Never change!

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  8. Great post! I've never had weight loss surgery, but from everything I've heard about it, I know that it certainly is NOT the easy way out! Eating disorders are so consuming. They really do ruin your life. Whether you're not eating, or eating too much... it's all the same thing in a way... you're doing something harmful to your body and it's a symptom of other things going on in your mind or in your life. Were you just a binge eater? Or did you suffer from other ED's too?

    Take care and congrats on coming so far! xo

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  9. I like the honesty of your all of you posts. I can imagine that a surgery like this is not an easy fix-all. You are brave to share your story and educate others.

    Do you think you are reacting to your cereal or milk? Sometimes milk makes me queasy.

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  10. By the way--can you edit the HTML with Blogger? I know Wordpress allows this.

    If you go into the HTML view, you should see the HTML that indicates the use of Times New Roman. All you have to do is replace the coding that says Times New Roman with the word Arial. That should work.

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  11. My friend, my hero! Thank you for always being there to lift my spirits and give me that push to continue on in the never ending battle many of us struggle with. Hugs!!!!

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  12. Hrm. That is a good cereal, I've had other flavors of theirs too - why do you suppose it gives you a tummyache?! That sucks!

    And you ROCK. I wish I was a candidate for bariatric sometimes if it'd make weight loss easier! I have only 20 lbs to lose but it's SO HARD. I've lost 70 since my highest weight, and have been 12 lower than I am now - brought it back after baby and can't QUITE get it back off. Tools are ESSENTIAL!!! I use Weight Watchers. That's my tool. But it's still HARD HARD HARD! I fight with food every day too. It's also my enemy (almost)#1! It's amybe #2 lol, I think "I" am my enemy #1!

    But anway. My mom linked me to your blog, and I wanted to say I like what I've read, like what you're doing and think you're doing a FABULOUS job!

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  13. all I can say girlie is that YOU ROCK!! Thank you for this post. I think you cleared up a lot of misconceptions! I actually didn't know that weightloss surgery can ruin marriages!

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  14. Wow, thank you so much for this post. You have achieved so much!

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  15. i agree with everyone else. you "ROCK"... so hard! hehe. i think having an eating disorder and being able to speak about it (like jenny has) and really share your experience and BEING PROUD of where you are... is huge! i've never had an eating disorder, but if you take it into your own hands in a medically safe way, then so be it. it's saved your life and you're a great example.

    love you lots and as always, i'm here for you! again.. you rock!... so hard ;)

    p.s.- stay away from that flax! lol

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  16. Excellently said!!

    I'm so impressed by your accomplishments!! I work with people every day who are going through what you describe and I agree 100%! Congrats on your success and KNOW that you did it "on your own"!!

    Thanks for bravely sharing your story!!

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  17. Thank you so much for your post!! While I didn't have weight loss surgery, I am currently taking Phentermine prescribed by my doctor. I get a lot of bad looks and evil stares (even from the pharmacist!). But my doctor feels as though I need to be on it to effectively lose weight. My mom has been on a weight loss plan of her own for as long as I have, and she's lost double the amount I have, and I'm the one taking "the magic pill". And my brother is the same way and has lost three times as much as me in the same time period without any medication. It's aggravating to hear the rude comments and snide remarks, but I have to remember what you said- everyone uses a tool. Thank you!

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  18. What a wonderful post! I think one of the greatest things about blogging is seeing everyone's journey to the present day. No one's journey is any "better" than anyone else's - just different. Thank you for being brave enough to share all that about your surgery. I commend you for stepping forward, debunking myths, not sugar coating things and being YOU.

    You've come so far girl, that is AMAZING! Thank you again - happy humpday:)

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  19. Although I won't do the surgery myself, I don't think it is a terrible thing. Sometimes I do think it would be an easier route, but there is work involved in any path chosen. The one thing I don't like are the bloggers that don't "out" themselves as having weight loss surgery. It's fine if you do, just don't pretend its all natural. It gives people on both sides an unrealistic idea. I think that if you choose the surgery you should be proud of that choice and stand behind it like you are doing. Maybe that will get rid of the stigmas associated with it instead of all the people doing it and succeeding pretending they did it on their own naturally.

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