Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Home Health Weight loss surgery is not “the easy way out“ : loseit

Weight loss surgery is not “the easy way out“ : loseit


About two years ago I went to Six Flags with my husband. I climbed onto a rollercoaster and I couldn’t close the seatbelt. I was mortified. I have never been so humiliated, and I have never felt more terrible about myself than I did in that moment.

As humiliating as it was, that was a life altering moment for me. I knew that something needed to change.

Had it not been for that day, I may not have pursued the tool that ended up saving my life. I am 5’2” and I weighed 256lbs. That’s a lot of weight for a fairly small frame. A few weeks after the rollercoaster incident I began on my journey towards health. I wanted to be healthy for myself, for my kids, and for my husband. They (and I) deserved the best version of me, and at the time I was so far away from being able to give that to them. My cup was empty.

I had Roux-en-y Gastric Bypass surgery on 4/22/2019, which was exactly one year ago today. Since my pre-op journey began, I’ve lost 133lbs total (40lbs pre-op and 93lbs post-op). As of today, I weigh 123lbs. I have lost more than half of my body weight and I’ve been maintaining within a 3lb fluctuation for just over 2 months.

If you’re interested in pursuing weight loss surgery, or simply want to educate yourself on the topic – here are the top 25 things that I’ve learned about bariatric surgery/rapid weight loss in general:

  1. Bariatric surgery is not cosmetic, and it is not plastic surgery. This is a common misconception. If your insurance company approves the procedure and covers the cost, it’s because they have deemed it a medical necessity.

  2. The 2-week (more or less for some surgeons) liquid diet (aka liver shrinking diet) was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It is 95% mental. If you can get through this, you can get through anything. 

  3. Bariatric surgery will not fix everything that is wrong in your life. It is only a tool, not a fix-all. Your entire relationship with food has to change in order to be successful. This is not a diet. This is a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

  4. Take your vitamins every single day. No matter how you have to get them in: DO. IT. If you don’t, you will have severe medical issues at some point down the road, 100% guaranteed (especially if you have the bypass).

  5. You will lose hair. Probably a decent amount of it. I’ve chalked it up to be a part of rapid weight loss. There are pros and cons to everything, right?

  6. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you will likely have loose skin. Obviously, this depends on a million variables including age, weight, height, length of time spent obese, etc. But for the most part when you lose a substantial amount of weight, you will have some degree of loose skin. Do I like it? No, but I’ll take it all day, every day over 133 extra lbs. To me, it’s a badge of honor.

  7. Drink. Water. Try to get a minimum of 64oz a day, if you can. I try to get at least 96oz a day (if you exercise a lot, it’s even more important to stay hydrated). Not only will you feel great when your body is happily hydrated, but water promotes weight loss. Drink up and make it a daily habit.

  8. The pre-op process for some insurance companies is extremely thorough. I had a 6-month approval process which included two 3-hour long classes, many blood tests, many appointments with a dietician, evaluation by a psychologist, an upper GI, an abdominal ultrasound, an EKG and echocardiogram with a cardiologist, along with a full physical and a sleep study.

  9. You will constantly be needing new clothes (thank you, Poshmark!).

  10. There may be some strain on your relationships. Change is hard. Major lifestyle changes with a partner or a family can be even harder. Reassure your partner if they’re feeling insecure.

  11. RIP ibuprofen. It’s a no-no after gastric bypass. 

  12. Do not expect others to change their eating habits simply because you did. Some people will want to change with you, and that can definitely make life easier. However, we made the conscious decision to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Others may not be ready for that kind of a change yet. You can’t want it for them, they have to want it for themselves.

  13. You may need to attend therapy to work on the mental/emotional aspects of what drive you to eat. And you know what? There is absolutely, unequivocally nothing wrong with giving your brain some love. It’s an underrated organ. Being obese is a disease, and it’s okay to talk to someone about it. It’s okay to seek out unbiased opinions. You know what else is okay? Working with a professional to improve your emotional and psychological well-being. Self-love is not selfish

  14. Stool softeners are the life blood.

  15. Your brain may never catch up with what your eyeballs see in the mirror now. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I still see the same 256lb girl. Other times I see a picture someone took, and I hardly recognize myself! Some people develop body dysmorphia. If this is you, please reach out to a professional for help. You’re worth it.

  16. You may find yourself judging morbidly obese people and their eating habits – knock that shit off. Remember where you came from.

  17. Not all carbs are created equal. There are such things as “good” carbs (aka complex carbs), and they are incredibly healthy to eat in moderation.

  18. You will probably find something else to be insecure about. Even once you reach your goal weight, there may always be something that you don’t like about your body. Whether that’s loose skin, hair loss, saggy boobs, etc., try your best to remember that no one is perfect, and everyone has insecurities. Cut yourself some slack.

  19. You will discover bones that you never knew you had (hellooooo collarbones!) Also, fuck you, tailbone. 

  20. Try not to compare yourself to others. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Someone else is jealous of your progress and would gladly trade places with you. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let anyone steal your joy; be proud of your progress.

  21. There will more than likely be a point in time where you will regret having surgery. It will pass. Trust the process.

  22. Weight loss is not equivalent to happiness. You are just as valuable when you’re overweight as you are/will be at your goal weight.

  23. Getting all of your water and protein in throughout the day and tracking everything you put into your mouth can be super daunting sometimes.

  24. They operate on your stomach – not your brain! The cravings are REAL. Willpower is an absolute necessity for success with any form of weight loss surgery. 

  25. Last, but certainly not least: people will treat you differently. You’ll notice that people just seem more friendly overall. It’s probably the worst thing on this list (in my opinion) because it shows you how shitty some people can be. Weight bias is a thing, and it’s everywhere.

The good ones, the ones you should keep around, are the ones who treated you like a queen (or king) before you lost weight and continue to do so now.

Weight loss surgery is the furthest thing from the “easy way out”. In fact, it was the most difficult thing (and continues to be the most difficult thing) I’ve ever done.

Weight loss surgery not only helped me lose weight (and quit smoking cigarettes, thank god, because who wants ulcers?), but it helped me to regain my health, my time with my kids, my confidence and my life. I have more energy, I am more active, and I’m setting a good example for my littles. Miraculously, I now treat myself with the love and respect that I never knew I have always deserved.

If anyone made it to the end, thank you for coming to my TED Talk!



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