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