First, let me start by saying that this is a highly personal decision. I can only tell you what led me to decide that weight loss surgery (VSG) was the best option for me. Of course, if this is something you are considering, please talk to your doctor, gather all the information you possibly can and make an informed decision.
Secondly, I 100% understand that I am putting myself out there by talking about this. So many people have weight loss surgery and keep it a secret because they are afraid of being judged. I feel the same way, but I know that when I was considering having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, I searched everywhere to find stories of people who had it done and were willing to talk about it. I needed to hear the success stories, the failures, the highs and the lows of the process, both before and after the surgery. If I can help even one person, whether they decide to do it or decide it’s not for them, then it will be worth it to expose myself like this. So I’m going to be brave, put myself out there and tell you my story.
I have spent roughly 95% of my life as a fat girl. I was a fat baby, I was a fat kid (except for a very brief period when I was about six years old), I was a fat teenager and I was a fat adult.
For me, weight loss surgery was a last resort. I have tried every diet and exercise program out there with minimal success. If you are reading this, you probably know exactly what I mean. Each program would work initially and then I would fall off the wagon and gain back all the weight, plus a little more. I’ve starved myself, I’ve tried the high protein, low carb, low sugar, low calorie and low fat options. I’ve done jazzercise, Zumba, tae bo, walking and weight lifting. Each time, it would end with me being depressed and hating myself for failing yet again.
Here is what really tipped me over the edge and made me decide to do it. I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, developed sleep apnea and had high cholesterol. My knees hurt all the time and I was tired from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed. I knew it was only a matter of time until some serious side effects caught up with me. I was turning forty and ready to make a change.
Your fortieth birthday does strange things to your brain. You realize that you are at the halfway point (if you are lucky) and you start to ponder the rest of your life. Did I want to spend the next forty years overweight and unhealthy?
My husband and I have big plans for our retirement and I was starting to wonder if I would be around or able to enjoy it. It was time to do something drastic about my health.
The Approval Process
I met with a surgeon and spent the next six months attending nutrition classes and seeing a dietician. I had appointments with a heart doctor, a lung doctor, and a psychiatrist, did a sleep study and had blood work done roughly five million times. The pre-surgical process consumed my life and I had an appointment or class at least once a week for six months straight.
The absolute worst part was the two week liquid diet (oh the torture!) that I had to follow right before the surgery, but I made it through and finally had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) done on April 10th, 2018.
Here’s the thing though; like many people, I initially thought this was the easy way out. I imagined I would have the surgery and the weight would just fall off. It does happen like that in the beginning, but then you actually have to work for the rest.
If you are contemplating having weight loss surgery, try making a list of all the pros and cons. There are plenty of good reasons to have the surgery and some reasons not to have it.
The Result (so far)
As of this writing, I am down sixty pounds, but I have had to put in the time and effort to get here. I think of every day as a choice. I can choose to follow the diet plan and eat healthy today or I can choose to be a train wreck and undo all the hard work I have done.
And I won’t lie to you. There are some strange side effects that occur and the mental part can be overwhelming at times. For me, the hardest part so far has been trying to get my brain to catch up to my body.
The surgery is a TOOL to help you achieve your goals. It’s a valuable tool and I am grateful every day to have that tool. If I eat too much or too fast, I feel overly full. If I eat something with sugar, I feel sick to my stomach. I personally need those reminders in my life to keep me on track.
Weight loss surgery is not for everyone and only you can decide if it is right for you. I would love to hear your success stories so feel free to comment below or contact me directly!
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