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More weight loss surgery conversation

Posted Feb 20 2009 7:22pm

I normally comment back to everyone in the day before comments (hope people actually go back and read them). But today I decided to just write a joint comment here as a blog post instead since I do have more to say about what I said yesterday.

I think we've all had thoughts of getting gastric bypass. Even after having my stomach stapled and it failing I thought "well it was just the surgery, it wasn't good enough maybe I should consider gastric bypass". But I realized that it would never fix me. I would be one of the ones that lost the weight and gained it back.

I know stomach stapling at 15 sounded extreme but at that time in my life it did seem like life or death and my mother just wanted to see me happy not in a coffin. I was 345 lbs at that age.

I wish I knew the percentage of people that gain back some or all of the weight after gastric bypass. Maybe it would open people's eyes. I hate that gastric bypass has become more the norm than the exception. It use to just be for the extreme obese or someone with terrible health issues. Now it seems to be a way for Americans to change something physically that is really something needing changed mentally.

I was glad to see a gastric bypass person on the BL this season. I do wonder how much he weighed before his surgery. Looks like maybe he weighed even more than he does now. I felt bad for him. Danielle, you're too funny with me kicking their asses lol. Actually I love my neighbor and though she doesn't talk about her side effects I think she's pretty honest in saying she has no desire to exercise and is super happy with having lost the weight with surgery and she makes no bones about eating just like she ate before the surgery only less. I sometimes wonder how she has kept the weight off to be honest.

I had a woman that lived 3 doors down from me that died from having her stomach stapled just 3 months before I had my surgery. But at that time in my life nothing mattered to me but getting the weight off, really sad to think about. I thought it would fix all my problems to be thin.

I admit who doesn't want to lose the weight quicker and be done with it. But I think sorting ourselves out is the real benefit. To be mentally healthy is the biggest reward of doing it without surgery. Not to mention feeling empowered knowing you did it by yourself, you worked hard for each lb.

I totally agreed with everything Sheri said. If people are really honest with themselves they would realize that it is all in their hands and that they do have the power to lose the weight on their own.

I agree too that sometimes getting the weight off fast is a medical necessity.

I guess I just can't think rearranging our innards is the right thing to do. That changing how we were made will give us better health.

This is all just my opinion on weight loss surgery. I think having had my stomach stapled I do have a real opinion. It may not be gastric bypass but it still had side effects which I know gastric bypass has also. Maybe I was wrong in saying gastric bypass was the easy way out but it wasn't uneducated for sure. I think Faith put it pretty well that "it's the fast way out" but even that doesn't totally cover it. I almost want to say it's the "hidden way out". I will try to explain that comment.

I will admit I have some bitterness. I guess it's that I've met so many gastric bypass people that don't talk about what really goes on. They make gastric bypass sound so wonderful like the next magic diet pill and I just don't see it as that. I think if more people were really honest I wouldn't feel like I do about it. I know that having surgery doesn't change the person. It doesn't make food addiction go away, it doesn't make a person stop eating from anxiety, it doesn't make food issues go away.

I tried to talk to my sister about it all before she got it but she thought it would be her fix all. She is 3 yrs post op and she's gaining weight back. She still doesn't talk about the side effects with me or her eating issues.

I've also seen so many people that are getting the surgery pack on 20-30 lbs before their surgery date. I guess that's what makes me upset too. The whole last meal mentality. Believe me I say this from experience too. I remember being in the hospital the night before the surgery and having my mom and dad bringing me all kinds of food, ice cream, junk, etc. It was an eating fest. To look back on it all it seemed so crazy.

I know to go under the knife isn't easy. I know for me it wasn't. It was truly the worse pain of my life. I'm just frustrated that the side affects of gastric bypass are not talked about by the people that get the surgery or at least not talked about much. The weight loss outweighs those side effects for the person so they don't talk about how really so many things concerning weight loss surgery actually can give them more issues mentally and physically. It becomes hidden, the hidden way of losing the weight.

Maybe some have done everything the right way with their surgery. They have used it as the tool it's suppose to be. If that is true then they've probably never had diarrhea from eating the wrong foods, or vomited, or any of the things I know happens when a gastric bypass person doesn't eat properly. But I find that idea hard to believe that someone can just magically change after a day. I can only talk from my experience. Maybe because I've been large all my life my mental issues ran way deeper, maybe I had more to over come. But I really don't think I'm the abnormal obese person.

I can tell you from the day I had surgery at 15 I really didn't change. I wanted the weight gone but I also still wanted to eat for emotional reasons. I vomited on a daily basis, sometimes every meal. I vomited on and off for years. My mother would call me bulimic but I couldn't help vomiting. The food wouldn't go down, I never once stuck my finger down my throat. I would feel like I was having a heart attack and the food would come back up. It was torture. It made me sad, angry, fearful, it really gave me more issues than I had before. But I still wanted the food and I still thought being thin would change my life.

Just like Kim mentioned the weight came off fast at first. But when it got to the point of having to do more or give up the food, I wasn't willing. Finally the weight loss stalled and eventually it started to come back.

Now I know gastric bypass has different side effects, more side effect. But even what I went through for years sure wasn't the easy way out. So I will say I was wrong to say that. But I also know going through all that gave me even more mental issues relating to food. I did a lot of hiding when I ate, even more than I did before. Then all the vomiting. I would go to a restaurant, and the food wouldn't go down, I would need to vomit, I would have to go in public bathrooms and try not to be heard. It all was hellish yet I can still sit here today and say I don't regret the surgery. At that time in my life I would have rather been dead than stay 345 lbs at age 15. So at the time I thought it was the right choice, my only choice.

But Kim is right it sure wasn't easy. So I ask the question when you said my way now seems easier I wonder why you say that? I wonder if you suffer in silence with the side effects of gastric bypass? I feel for you if you do because I sure am not clueless. I do have compassion for what people go through. But I guess sometimes I also feel angry that people that have surgery aren't willing to tell the whole story.

People say it was a last resort but is that really true? I remember starting this journey of weight loss and being unwilling. I didn't want to work for it. But then something clicked and I became willing. Our bodies are great machines. I guess I just don't see how changing that great machine is a good thing. It's our minds that hold us back not our bodies.

Obese people talk about having slow metabolism, etc but really they don't. Most obese people actually have good metabolisms otherwise their bodies couldn't deal with all the food they do eat. Anyway, I'm not meaning to attack you Kim by posting all this, I'm sorry if this all sounds like I am. I just would love someone that has had gastric bypass to be honest with me. To tell the ugly parts of having the surgery. To admit the suffering they go through to lose the weight. I know it's not all great and wonderful.

If you have done everything right then you are more the exception to the rule for gastric bypass people than the norm. Of all the weight loss surgery people I have come across few exercise on any consistent basis and even fewer are in therapy. I feel fixing the body without fixing the mind isn't a real true fix like someone else said it's just a band-aid.

I try my best not to judge people that have had the surgery. I have a sister that has had it, I have close dear friends that have had it also. I guess though when I see someone that doesn't exercise at all and eats whatever they want of course it does make me resent how much work I have put into losing my weight. I guess I just wish I could make people realize that it is possible to do it on their own. If more people believed in themselves and worked on fixing their minds we would have a way better success rate for weight loss in our country. I also think people have to realize that to lose the weight they have to exercise. I know for me after living a very sedentary life it was tough learning to exercise. But it has empowered me and made me realize I'm strong. We all are strong having carried around all that weight all our lives.

My neighbor's mom and I had a long talk about it last night and she asked me if losing weight was all I wanted for my life. I told her of course it wasn't that I just wanted to be happy and content. Bottom line that's what it's all about for all of us, isn't it? I told her I was just tired of being tired. That losing the weight has made my life better and for my family because having more energy has helped in all areas of my life. So that's what's important to me, living a healthier, happier more active life. If I don't lose another lb I think I would be ok. I'm no longer living in a bubble.

I know I still have issues though and they won't ever go away. I will have to deal with my food issues for the rest of my life. I'm ok with that.

I read this to hubby tonight and I keep debating about posting it. I really don't want Kim to feel attacked. I know it took a lot for her to comment on my blog. I think debate is a healthy thing. I think it's something that brings more knowledge to people and I'm definitely all for that.

I know whatever choice a person makes for themselves it's for their own reasons and I do respect that.

Till tomorrow...

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