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April 20, 2010

Weight Loss Surgery To Be or Not To Be

I have been contemplating weight loss surgery (wls) for some time now. It's a very personal decision that can not be made over night. It's a decision that I struggle with and have struggled with over 3 years now. I finally made an appointment with my surgeon in August of 2009 after witnessing my 2 cousins and cousin in law have the gastric bypass. Truth be told I made an appointment because of family pressure. I am more against my having weight loss surgery than for it. I have my reasons.

In my early twenties, I was seeing a counselor to deal with my food issues. I was really looking for the answer as to "Why am I fat?". I talked about my alcoholic father, my diet obsessed food ruling mother, the silly rules I put on food. (Thats' a whole 'nother post) and on and on and on.... Finally, I was given a book to read about weight and the issues women have with it and the only thing that sticks out in my mind after reading it was this.  When one has tried every diet known to mankind and fails, you are offered surgery!  I read that as the final "I give up" moment. I guess today I'm still looking at it as a give up moment. I know I'm supposed to look at wls as a tool for losing weight. A means to make the journey easier. But seriously, who wants to live on liquid for six weeks and then move on to foods like 3 grapes for breakfast.  What will I learn if I make the journey easier? If I don't fix my thoughts and my reactions to life, then what good is the tool going to do me? Eventually I'll learn how to expand my stomach from the size of a walnut back to a tennis ball to a fist... and on an on and on...
Did you know that wls statistics are that after 5 years there is a 50% failure rate? Seriously. Are those good odds? I'd rather go to the horse races.
I have some strong personal reasons for not wanting to have wls.
1. My aunt had severe complications after having hers. She isn't on the 50% of the success rate.  I've had cervical cancer once. I am a survivor. She has battled cancer ever since her surgery - from the moment they opened her up saw nothing and then removed a 12 pound cyst and one of her kidneys 6 months later. You can't convince me one didn't have to do with the other.
2. For every success story I hear about people dying, complications. Horrible horrible stories.
3. I am a fighter. I don't want to give in to the beast. I can beat this on my own while I transform my thoughts and beliefs into being a healthy person. (I'm not suggesting anyone who has had wls is wrong. I firmly believe its a personal decision and want anyone to be successful at becoming healthier)
4. God gave me this body, mind and soul.  I don't think I should go tampering with how he designed me.

And of course, I have reasons why I should.
1. If I don't get my shit together soon, I'm not going to be here for my husband and step-children.
2. Baby K will never remember me fat.
3. CD keeps asking when I'm going to be skinny.
4. I hate being fat.

So here I am today... blogging about it still flip flopping and I have a goal to meet to see my doctor for my 6 months starting in May and I'm avoiding it. I'm doing absolutely nothing to make that appointment. Why? I don't know - I've gotten a lot of support 'round here as of late and it feels good being the one in control. It feels good watching the scale go down. I don't know where I'll be but I know I need to do the requirements so that in the event I end up like Mario with one life left, I better be prepared. I see people that have beat this game and done it by making good choices, small changes and are committed to their life style change without the risk of surgery and they had more weight to lose than me. I look to these people every day for support and they'll probably never know how much I get from them sharing their story.  I am moving in the same direction of their success. The only difference is, my journey has just begun. Take care of you.


  1. And here I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I have contemplated, more than once, in getting a lap band. But then I keep telling myself that I can do this on my own. But I'm 37 and have no children because of my weight and it's side effects. I tell myself if I lose weight I can maybe have a child before it's too late. It's so hard to make such a monumental decision.

  2. I think there is no easy way. I think sugery has issues that I personally could not deal with. I had the gastric bypass appointment... that was the one where the second doctor told me I could not loose weight swimming as my main exercise. A year earlier a childhood friend Shannon has the gastric bypass... she had always been athletic, still holds the shot put record for UCSD to this day. She regularly played beach volleyball and participated in yoga. a year ago she passed away due to a blockage in her intestines that was not caught until she was septic. She was a healthy vibrant 40 year old college professor. I cannot tell you how many of our mutual friends came to me after her passing and told me that I should continue on my journey rather than alter my body.

    Shannon was my only close friend to pass from GBPS but I have also known two moms from my youngest daughters elementary school who passed after surgery.

    I struggle everyday...for years now BUT I am glad I found the path I needed for me.

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  4. Gurl, I am not the right person to comment on GBPS as my knowledge on that is limited and it is not a common procedure in the country I stay in.

    I can surely say I have come across tons of people on the internet (REAL PEOPLE) who have lost tons and tons of weight doing it the non-surgery way. So I would vote for that. May be you should consider having a dietitian and trainer to stay motivated and of course your blog buddies are always around! :-)

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