Weight Loss Surgery...My Decision
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I've been on a waiting list for weight loss surgery for 2 years. That was just for the orientation, which I took part in yesterday. I went in 95% sure I wasn't going to do it. I left 100% sure.
I was the smallest person there and that felt good. It's not often I'm the smallest person in a room. Save for the professionals there, of course. It was a very comprehensive information session. I went in with a page full of questions and every single one was answered by the end. I've been closely following a high school friend who recently had the sleeve done through this same surgeons office and it just doesn't fit me. Here's why...
1. I'm able bodied. There is nothing stopping me from physical activity but me. I'd have to commit to 30 mins physical activity per day minimum and let's be honest, I can do that without all the hoops.
2. I have a support system at home. Amanda is fully on board and supportive and motivating. I have family that encourages me to take time to care for myself and takes steps to help me. We don't have garbage in the house that will tempt me. I have ample care for Amanda for times when I need to workout as well as a fully stocked organic garden in the backyard full of foods that I crave.
3. I've taken HUGE strides in the past 15 months or so on my own. Post op your food choices are things like pudding and jello. Um..no thanks. If my stomach can only hold 3 oz, I won't be putting sugar or chemicals into it. I'll be juicing and eating organic or grass fed, pasture raised poultry and eggs.
4. My days of drinking water would effectively be over. That sounds dramatic, I mean lots of water. I could never gulp down an iced cold glass of water after gardening or a workout. Your stomach just can't handle it. In fact, no liquids can mix with solids in your stomach at all. They were very open about this....8 glasses a day is not doable for someone who's had weight loss surgery.
5. I can still binge after surgery. This was my biggest question going in. I was under the assumption that I would be incapable of overeating. Incorrect. I could still down a half a pizza, only I'd do damage to myself. So surgery won't fix that for me. Thankfully, we've been taking small steps to working on that issue for me. We don't order anything bigger than a small pizza or 2 personals any more unless we're dining with other people. Because I have learned and accepted, that I will not be able to stop until it's gone. Pizza is a weakness for me and always will be. I need to learn to eat in moderation and make that a habit. I'm doing great and really am proud of myself for it.
6. I have been on a journey of information for over a year and it's transforming my eating. I just can't eat or drink the stuff I used to. Pepsi is my one vice now and I limit that and count it when I do partake. Instead, I fill my meals with nutritionally dense things. Juicing is an every day thing for me. A habit that I really enjoy. I include things like bee pollen, spirulina, flax seed and lots of greens in my meals.
7. I am a reformed emotional eater. It's been a long time since I binged out of stress or emotions. In fact, last week I received news that was the 2nd worst thing I've ever had to deal with and I had no desire to eat. I've learned to cope.
8. It's less work to keep doing what I'm doing and ramp up the exercise than to take this journey to weight loss. Seriously. I'd have 18 appointments 90 mins away before surgery, need 2-4 weeks off work post-op and then weekly or monthly appointments 90 mins away to check in regularly. Come on....way less time to do it myself, right? I don't need a dietitian. I am well armed with information about good and bad food. I don't need someone to design a moderate exercise program for me. I can walk/jog, lift weights, swim, hike etc. I don't need the psychologist because I have the food stuff under control. I know why I eat and what my triggers are and it's mostly self indulgence at this point.
9. The changes I've made have been lasting.
While most of these things actually qualify me and make me an excellent candidate for surgery, it's not worth it. I can do this on my own and I have been. My food is pretty good, very clean and I eat less junk now than I ever have. I don't remember the last time I binged for any reason. What's keeping me at this weight range is lack of exercise. We moved 2 weeks ago to my preferred neighbourhood. Track 2 blocks away, school 2 blocks away with large fields, tennis courts nearby and a gorgeous green, landscaped neighbourhood to walk around in. I walked the other night and Amanda is joining me tonight for an hour long walk rain or shine. Saturday we're going to walk somewhere as well, perhaps Harrison Hot Springs if it's nice and Sunday I'm gardening. Activity feels good and as long as I go at a safe pace for my knee I'm good.
I feel really good about this decision. It's been hanging over me the whole time I was on the waiting list and it feels good to put it behind me and move forward with my knowledge and experience. Looking forward to meeting my weight loss goal for Disneyland in August.