Weight Loss Surgery

Weight is always a tricky subject. When you talk about your efforts to lose weight, other people’s responses range from the kind-hearted but “yeah right” reaction of “You don’t need to lose weight!” to the “I have a product that will change your life!” to the “Have you considered gastric bypass?” As this little blog has grown, I’ve become less ashamed of telling people I want and need to lose weight, because hell, I write about it several times a week. I’m not embarrassed anymore. My weight is a big problem, and it’s a big problem that is not exclusive to just me. America is getting fatter, and the more we act ashamed and embarrassed, the less we’re thinking forward in terms of action. Fat happens. It sucks. Let’s try to fix it, you know?

When someone used to whisper to me that they had gastric bypass, I’d always think, “Oh, wow. Good for you!”. Usually, these people are now super healthy and average weight, and I would have never known they’d had anything done other than them telling me. Back when my weight problem was more one of overeating and underactivity, I’d brush off weight loss surgery, thinking ‘Naaah, I don’t need that. I just need to try harder.” I even asked a doctor at one point, and he told me I was in a gray area, where I wasn’t *quite* heavy enough to need it. Back then, I thought weight loss surgery was the lazy person’s solution – get your stomach stapled, eat all ya want, lose weight. I now know that that was a very naive assumption. I’ve been lucky enough to make friends in the bariatric blog community, and I’ve even been added to some of their private groups. I know now, from these women and men, that weight loss surgery is NOT the easy way out. You still need to lose weight before you get the surgery, and then before the actual procedure, there’s physical and mental counseling. After, it’s all about portion control, vitamins, protein, reducing junk or suffering extreme side effects. And once you get past the physical baggage of extreme weight loss, there’s the mental side of things. Loose skin, new clothes, jealousy, dealing with overeating, etc.

I used to think weight loss surgery wasn’t an option for me, because I always wanted to do things the “natural” way, aka, not having somebody carve into me with a knife. However, as my weight has steadily crept up despite my improved habits, and especially now, knowing what I do about the conditions making my weight loss goals feel damn near impossible, I’m going to admit that the idea of weight loss surgery has crept into my head more than once. The reactions around me are mixed. Some of my family members don’t like the idea, for the obvious reason of it being a major surgery that can have profound negative side effects. Some of my friends are nonchalant, saying they want me to do whatever makes me happy. Some of my friends are downright against it, one who even reads this blog, who recently schooled me on how me getting weight loss surgery just didn’t match the whole tone and concept of this blog. I have a follow-up appointment with a new doctor tomorrow, and I’m dreading stepping on the scale. I’ve been eating well, exercising and on my new medication, but I’m so afraid the scale will do what it did last time – show a gain. I asked my doctor about weight loss surgery last time I saw her, and she said we consider that when no eating plan is working. I’m guessing if I haven’t seen results tomorrow, I’ll move from a low-carb diet to a no-carb diet. But then, if that doesn’t work, what’s next? I’m not saying I want to, but I am saying I’m giving it some thought.

Tell me what you think about weight loss surgery. Do you know about the different types? Do you know anybody with success stories, or horror stories? I know several people who have both, but for privacy reasons, I’m not going to link them here. What do you think?