Monday, May 21, 2012

A second step

I went to a "bariatric surgery information session" this week.  It was held in an anonymous medical building conference room with flickering florescent lights that seated probably a hundred people.  The place was full.  "Holy shit this is a lot of old fat people" was my first thought upon entering.

I took my place among them and sat through two hours of information.  What I had expected to be a pharmacutical company endorsed sales pitch turned out to be a pretty damn informative information session.  One of the surgeons went over the different types of surgery that they do and then a dietician talked about lifestyle changes you have to make after the surgery is over.

I learned two very valuable things which have made me take another look at my "sure, slice me open, chop me up, and put me back together, if it means I am going to be healthy and loose some weight it is totally worth it!" attitude.

First, I learned that having this surgery will change for the rest of my life what I can put into my body.  In theory this is a very good thing, but having it spelled out for be brought home how big of a deal this will be twenty years from now, and that although I can joke as much as I want it is a huge decision and a huge responsibility that I have to choose knowing all of the ramifications.  Buzz kill.  What?  It's not miraculous?  There is commitment and difficulty involved?  For fucks sake!

I have tried to loose weight before, and can always drop 15-20 pounds, but it always comes back with another five added on, like a huge gynormous bowling ball sized cherry on top. The second thing I learned was the answer to the question why would I expect different results if I had surgery?  The answer, I think, is a combination of two things.  First, the surgery bypasses the duodenum (now there is a word I never thought I would write in my blog!) which causes hormonal changes including signaling the brain differently as to when it is hungry and full so your body is not telling you that you are hungry.  Second, I can't expect different results if I don't also change how I eat and since eating for me has a lot to do with how I feel and not as much to do with weather my brain is actually telling me I am hungry or not this component will be my challenge, and the determining factor in keeping off the weight I initially loose.

So sobering.  And exciting.  And embarrassing and hopeful and, after talking about it with Jeremy and thinking about it a lot, I am still in.

I have had a nasty cold this weekend.  The kind that leaves you out of breath from climbing one flight of stairs.  Every time I stopped on the landing to catch my breath I thought about all those fat old people at the information session.  I would say 30% of them were in those motorized scooters and, while I imagine those make for good fun every once in awhile, to *have* to be in one because otherwise you are out of breath all the time, and your body literally cannot bear it's own weight, does not sound like fun.  I will stick to riding those around when I am at the grocery store late at night for fun.


Just Words On A Page said...

I began my journey at 390 pounds. I could not for the life of me ever lose anymore than 15-20 pounds at a time and then I'd gain it all back plus 10. Do that a lot of times and you reach 390 pounds.

I entertained GBS and also the band. I think what stopped me was the sobering fact that my body would never be the same, I couldn't undo it. The mortality rate scared me as well as the data about those who undergo GBS or the band often develop other addictions, shopping, gambling, alcohol, sex etc....

So -- what I did the mandatory counseling and went to DBT therapy and that helped me focus on why I allowed myseld to gain 200+ pounds and make a life style change. It helped me with distress tolerance, it was such a life altering experience for me.

It's taken me 9 months to lose 91 pounds.

You are brave, I just don't think I could ever do that, but I support you every step of the way.

Take care!

Jennifer said...

You are a brave woman and I admire your due diligence!

I too have struggled with my weight (up and down but mostly up). I have figured out that being short and LOVING good food is a pretty tough combo for me. I will probably always be on the pudgy side and I struggle to keep my waistline below the "danger zone" according to Dr. Oz. (42" I believe). Mostly, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin.

It seems as though being comfortable in your own skin is what you and I have in common the most. It makes sense to live the life you want. By whatever means necessary, get comfortable and get healthy.

Thank you for sharing your story and congrats on your decision! Rock & Roll!! :)

anymommy said...

I love you.