“Why did you decide to get weight loss surgery?” is a question I’ve never been asked. When you’re over 380lbs., people know why. It’s not because I was a little chubby and couldn’t lose that last 25lbs. It wasn’t because I’m lazy and wanted to take “the easy way out”, which btw couldn’t be further from the truth – but we’ll get in another blog post. When you have been dieting since you’re 8 and have tried LITERALLY every possible option, you aren’t left with many other choices besides weight loss surgery (wls).
Lets take a walk down memory lane , just to give an idea of how many diets/food plans I’ve been on… There were the popular name brand diets like weight watchers (honestly, what woman hasn’t been on WW @ one pt in her life), Akins Diet, Susan Sommers Sommersize, Slim Fast, South Beach Diet and the Special K Diet. Then there were the “off the beaten path” diets including the “shake diet”, where you literally got the shakes because of lack of calories and nutrients, the paleo “caveman” diet, gluten free diet, Keto diet, HMR (which is basically just a calorie restricting diet where they send you prepared meals that taste like shit) and the Mediterranean diet. Then finally the truly truly “underworld” diets like Overeaters Anonymous, Grey Sheet and Core. Not only did those require total transparency with a “sponsor” but always required a belief in a higher power, service, meeting etc… Think AA for people who have a food addiction. One thing all of these plans have in common? They all will work, it work actually follow them consistently.
Consistency has never been my cup of tea. I am really good at following something for a couple weeks and then something happens, or nothing happens, and I’m off track… and can’t get back on. I go balls to the wall crazy and end up eating more calories in one weekend then I have in those couple weeks of dieting combined. Those binge fests would leave me feeling miserable about myself, defeated and hopeless…. and then guess what happened??! Yup- I’d eat to numb those feelings (which only works maybe a quarter of the time) and then the cycle would start all over again. I’ve had so many “day ones” of diets…. really many more than a 30 year old woman should have (actually, any woman). I know I know, you might be thinking well at least you tried…but let’s be honest, did I really? The moment something didn’t go my way I would run back to my old frienemy … food.
And I’m not talking cheap chips and cakes. My overeating was an investment – I went for the super fatty stuff – the mac’n cheese, the pizza, pasta, chk parm, chinese food, greek food and fried food galore (like the appetizer sampler for 2). When I was ordering takeout I used to pretend that I was talking to someone in my home when making such a big order. “What babe? you want the extra dressing on the side, an order of cheese fries and a slice of cheesecake?”…. who did I think I was kidding. Both me and the delivery man knew there was no “babe” waiting for his dressing on the side. It was just me, home alone eating for a family of five. I hope that gives you a glimpse to why no one has asked me “why did you decide to get the surgery?”.
Although my bingeing may have been in private and behind closed doors, you can’t hide being morbidly obese. I wore my addiction everyday for everyone to see, whether I wanted to or not.
My changing point was Fall 2016. I was SO miserable. In a relationship I didn’t want to be in, but felt like it was the best I could do, watching up everyday dreading getting dressed for work, not wanting to be social because I was embarrassed to face people, and very aware of the concerned looks I was getting from the people I loved. Like the rest of America, I fell hard for “This is Us” and immediately connected with the overweight 30 something character named Kate. She was cute, a little spunky but her weight was holding her back and she was determined the change that. At one point in the season she goes to find out about WLS. Although she didn’t go through with it, her episode did open a dialogue between me and my mom (who has always been my champion).
My whole adult life I was against WLS, I thought I didn’t need it and that I could lose the weight myself. But my thoughts started to change when I realized the long long journey I had ahead of myself and wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. I had gained close to 100lbs. in less than 3 years, and I didn’t believe I would ever be able to take it off. My mom suggested not judging or making assumptions about WLS until I went to a seminar and heard the facts for myself. I was so desperate for help that I went willing and immediately knew I wanted the surgery. There was no hesitation, no second guessing and no weighing the pros and cons… I knew that this was what I needed to be able to live the life I have always dreamed of.
I met with a surgeon on Jan 5th 2017, exactly 6 months before my 30th birthday, and he confirmed I was a great candidate for the surgery (yeah… no shit). He mentioned how at my weight, I had less than a 5% chance of losing substantial weight on my own and keeping it off. He didn’t have to sell it me, I was already in. From that initial meeting, my journey began and on June 26th 2017 I went under the knife. Best decision I have EVER made….EVER!!!
So that’s my why. Because I was tried of living a life I felt was not worth living. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought of killing myself, but in a way I was killing myself everyday. I was on the brink of many health issues including but not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apeana and high cholesterol. That’s not the life I wanted. I want to be happy, feel free and able to live life fully – and I am on my way!!