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.