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Thoughts on surgery

Saturday, April 24, 2021

I am going to have a gastric by-pass on May 3. I am currently finishing up my first week of a 2 week pre-op diet, and I am already down 10 lbs. This is because I am eating less than 1000 calories a day, no caffeine, no more than 50 grams of carbs, and 60 grams or more of protein. Let me tell you right now, this is not a sustainable diet. I have headaches daily. I am cranky. I am hungry more times than I care to count. I get bursts of energy, but then need to lie down and nap because I am exhausted. Sleeping is all over the place. Nothing about this is easy.

Speaking of easy, one of the things most recently said about me (my mother-in-law decided to tell my daughter how she feels about all of this) was that I am cheating. "She's wasting her money because she will just put the weight back on after. This is a cheat and the easy way out." How did that make me feel? Well, my first reaction was anger. If you aren't living in my body, with my health conditions and my levels of pain, how dare you say these things! She believes that because she has arthritis in her hands it's the same as what I have in my knees and I need to suck it up and deal with it. She believes my problem is that I have no willpower or discipline. She is incredibly wrong on so many levels.

After taking some time to calm down, I thought about what brought me to this decision, and how hard I have worked since making it. Let's look at what has changed.

1) I quit smoking after 41 years. I enjoyed smoking very much. I miss it now, but in order for me to have this surgery I had to quit. I am over 100 days cigarette free. I do have a 0% nicotine vape for moments when I am stressed beyond belief (like when I heard what the MIL had to say about me), but it's rarely used.

2) I upped the amount of protein I get daily. Before the decision I could barely get 30 grams. Now I am getting 90 - 100 grams a day. How? I found things that help, like Protein20 water, Built Bars, and paid attention to how much is in each serving of meat I have.

3) I am more aware of my movements. Everything I do has not only the most efficient way to get it done in mind, but also how many steps I can get while doing it. I cleaned off the Gazelle and have used it when the weather wasn't great or during the day when I was feeling uncomfortable sitting at my desk working.

4) I have encouraged my daughters and my husband to get control of their health. I have told them I don't want them to go through what I am. By showing them how hard this is, I am dispelling that "It's the easy way to lose weight" myth that keeps perpetuating.

Next emotion was disappointment. I had hoped my MIL would be supportive since she is always harping on us about losing weight and getting healthy (while offering us Cheetos and Coca Cola's). She does not have the ability to comprehend that this is not just about losing weight for me. The weight loss is just a side effect for my true goals....getting my health back. I want controlled diabetes without medication. I want lower blood pressure. I want fewer lymphedema days. I want less arthritis pain. These are all more important to me, but to get there I have to lose the weight. Plain and simple.

In the end, this isn't about my MIL. This journey is about me. I WILL go hiking again. I WILL be more active. I WILL be healthier. And lastly, I AM working my butt off to get there.

There is nothing easy or cheating about the process. Almost makes me want to set up a table with a sign that says "Prove Me Wrong".

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