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A Confession, A Competition

Friday, February 14, 2014

It may not surprise you to hear that I'm an extremely competitive person – my recent lifestyle change is essentially me competing with myself, after all – but there is a light and a dark side to this trait....

During the holidays, I learned that my husband's aunt had had gastrointestinal surgery for weight loss.

She weighed maybe five pounds more than I did at the time, and was a few inches taller. We are both built a bit stocky and muscular to begin with, so it's important for me to point out that the notorious BMI calculation is never going to be accurate for us. (Not to say we couldn't both stand to lose some weight).

Here's the thing: I don't think she ever tried to lose weight the proper way, via diet and exercise. I'm sure she cut back on soda (her poison) and pizza for a few weeks, but didn't change much else, and consequently didn't see any "major" results.

Surprise surprise.

At our holiday gathering, she was telling me how she couldn't have a lot of foods (like soda and pizza) anymore after having the surgery, and about how some people in her group therapy session had lost very little weight and she's gonna be pissed if she doesn't lose a considerable amount, et cetera. Basically, she seemed to have a very poor attitude about the whole affair. Very negative. And – I have an inkling – very unwilling to put forth effort.

I think it's pretty obvious that she could just, you know, not eat those foods, and work a little bit harder on her portion control, and walk a bit more every day, and she would see the same (if not better) results versus this life-altering GI surgery.

I don't know who put the idea into her mind that she needed to have this procedure. I don't know what quack thought someone with a BMI in the low 30s who has a horrible diet and never exercises should be able to have GI surgery for weight loss without trying to lose weight naturally for a period of time prior.

The whole situation seems really shady, and I'm really concerned for her health, both physically and emotionally. I know I'm not the only one who tried to talk her out of it.


Awful, horrible, competitive little me....

I've taken it as a challenge to prove to her that she made a mistake. To prove to her that her enemy number one is herself. That all the things she tells herself she can't do, can't accompish....she CAN!

I haven't seen her or spoken with her about the subject since the week of her surgery, so I don't know what sort of progress she's made (if any). But I betcha when I see her at a family picnic this summer, I'll look and feel way better than she does...and maybe, hopefully, something will click and she'll realize that she needs to take steps in a wiser direction to better herself.

I'm hoping that since we share some of the same demons (e.g. self-doubt, a penchant for deflecting blame, a burning love for pizza), she'll be inspired to charge into battle, as I have, and find a new, stronger, happier version of herself.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BLISS2014
    Thanks for sharing your confession; I've got one too. My roommate is scheduled for one and I understand that medically she needs it, but I've never known her to try keeping to a food plan for maybe ten years. Maybe part of me is jealous of the quick fix; but part of me thinks it's such risky business...a big gamble against the odds and the possible side effects. I'm a little afraid for her, because I know that being thin does not magically solve all your problems. I really believe that surgery candidates should be working with an eating disorder counselor in conjunction with her medical team. I hope I'm wrong, I really want the best for her as I'm sure you do too. But yeah, I want to lose it by changing my eating habits, go figure, LOL! emoticon emoticon
    1401 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I hope both of you come out as winners in the battle against weight and that she learns healthy habits along the way.
    1401 days ago
    That doesn't sound like an "awful, competitive" thing--it sounds like caring to me!

    1402 days ago
  • NICOLES0305
    I totally get you! I've seen my own mom have the Gastric bypass, stick to the post op diet long enough yo lose 70 lbs or so, then go back to her old, bad habits. Ask her now and she would tell you the surgery wasn't worth it, especially with some complications 10 years out.

    My sister in law had the lap band done a few years ago. And hen she went back to old habits within a month or two. Again, shed tell you it want worth it.

    On the other hand, my aunt hand the bypass a few years ago and has done incredibly well with it. She has stuck to her new lifestyle and is looking fantastic.

    All that to say that if you have the will, you will find the way to your goals, surgery or no surgery. The surgery is only a part of the equation, not the end all, not the easy way out. That's why when my doc keeps suggesting it to me, I say no thanks. I'd rather eat what I want instead of what I have to, if you know what I mean. Seeing people close to me fail after the surgery, and also have complications 10 years or more after, only solidifies my stance.

    You can totally show her up! Go for it! There is nothing wrong with using it as your own little competition and motivation on your journey. Good luck!
    1402 days ago
    Oh, this is perfect! I mean, I don't wish any ill will on your hubby's aunt, but I would love to be a little ant spying on your family's picnic this summer, lol.
    Go for it! Show her & the rest of the family the right way to do this!
    1402 days ago
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