Negative News Segment on WLS…. Brought the Searches to My Blog….
Hello curious people. Perhaps you are here because you watched a television show this weekend regarding the business of weight loss. Have no doubt, bariatric surgery is most certainly a business. I never claimed to be blind to that. My own surgical group insisted that I pay a nutritionist $50 each time I consulted with her, and I had to consult with her at least twice before they would agree to do my surgery. I didn’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling from her and I debated her grasp of bariatric guts. But I digress. Bariatrics is a business, from surgeries to nutrition, to the bloggers who make money being well known post op patients. It IS a business.
Now, you want to know what my negative experiences were. First of all, you need to understand that I am an information whore, and my need for information goes beyond the support groups and into the medical journals. However, in the end, the personal experiences most certainly helped me decide what I did NOT want in my own surgical options. I was aware of the risks for this surgery and also aware that the sleeve gastrectomy was the new comer of bariatric choices at the time. I took the 6 months of monitored weight loss sessions to make a lot of changes in my life. I had closure to a lot of the poor habits that landed me where I was, at 330lbs. Those 6 months were a crucial part of my preparation toward surgery. Sure it would have been nice to wake up one day and decide I was ready to do this, schedule it and have it done the following month, but I don’t think I would have had the success that I have had, had I not taken those full six months to get there.
What were my bad experiences. I had to learn to eat again. This wasn’t bad, but it was a process. I struggled for a full year to get in over 800 calories a day. As a result of too few calories, I plateaued more often than I would have liked.
Trying bad foods… we all do it, we want to be normal and we all want to feel normal. A small ice cream cone once in a blue moon should be okay. This wasn’t the case for me initially. I ate a few licks of ice cream, 3 months after my surgery and I prayed for death.
It was the most unpleasant thing I had ever experienced. Newly rearraingd guts don’t take well to fatty, sugary foods. The further out I have gotten the more tolerable my stomach is. Yes, I continue to try. I want normal & I enjoy the indulgence from time to time.
What happened that I wasn’t prepared for? Well… I sort of swung to the other end of the spectrum where my relationship with food went. Just for a while, but long enough and it still screams in the back of my head. I went from never looking at a calorie or nutritional label, to being absolutely horrified at the sight of a snack that is 200 calories. Calorie counting became routine, first to try to reach 1000 calories, then to be sure to never step over 1000 calories. I wasn’t prepared to fear food. I love food. At the moment I think I’m in a good place, but I’m nearly two years out, and while I can squelch that frantic voice in my head that freaks the hell out at calories… it is still there.
Do I have regrets? NO! NO NO NO! I thought about this long and hard before I answered it. I chose surgery as means to weight loss, because my next step was a coffin. I wasn’t going to lead a long life at the weight I was at. I wasn’t keeping up with my kids, I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t living. I was a very unhappy woman and I loathed myself, because I allowed myself to get to that point, and my weight directly affected my children. Mommy didn’t want to go out, so the kids didn’t get to go out. It was horrible. NOW, Now we go out, we live, we laugh, we skip and dance. Now my husband has had the same surgery and together we smile at the beauty that is our family. We did this for our family and our family is thriving as a result. No, I have no regrets regarding the choice to have surgery.
My advice to you is this: If you are thinking about bariatric surgery, do your homework. Look beyond the news reports and the message forums, and search medical journals. Be prepared for your life to change in a big way. If you do not change your relationship with food, no amount of surgery will work for you. It doesn’t matter what you do. If you are going to eat like crap, you will feel like crap, you will not nourish your body and you will eventually wreck yourself in one way or another.
Finally, support really is important. Find a support group that fits you well. Be comfortable enough to ask questions with out feeling awkward, walk away feeling empowered and not drained. Support is a major key to success. I know that almost every post op will attest to this.