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I went halfway through the required 6 month process to get this surgery a few years ago and quit. Im so afraid. I don't want to end up sick and miserable. I would rather be fat than sick. I determined to do this without surgery. I lost 107 pounds with no products or surgery. I white knuckled it the whole time and half of that weight is back. I just paid the program fee to start again. I feel like I have to try this or I'll never know. But I don't want to be seen as someone who took the "easy" out and I dont want to be sick. Someone who had weight loss surgery once told me that they can run now and get on the floor to play with kids and fit in any seat and that is all wonderful but she has been so weak and sick she would give up all of her new freedoms to be fat and not as miserable again. I get get that out of my head.

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Welcome to Thinner Times April!

Pay no heed to the "easy way out" theory - nothing could be further from the truth and being realistic, even if it were - after wasting 35+ years of yoyoing myself up to morbid obesity, if I had to do it all again tomorrow, I'd be skipping into theater.

I'd be stupid to pretend that for some, things haven't be plain sailing but it's not common.  I know that it's hard not to dwell on the "what ifs" if problems occur but none of us have control over that and truthfully, spending a little time researching what medical issues you could expect if you continue without help to lose weight can be even scarier.

This is just a small list of the negative aspects of obesity:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triplycerides
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallblabber disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
  • Reproductive disorders (obese women have trouble having children and obese men have reduced sperm counts)
  • Blood clots in the legs and clots to the lungs
  • Varicose veins and swollen legs
  • Respiratory problems, including difficulty breathing with small amounts of exertion and walking
  • Fat accumulation in the liver and cirrhosis
  • Some forms of cancer, particularly cancer of the uterus, breast, prostate, colon and gallbladder
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You have to get a psych eval as part of the process anyway. Why not start working with a therapist now to get over the fear of being sick? Worrying about something that may never happen does you no good. There are post-surgical support groups you can join now to meet people who have had surgery and can give you a realistic picture of what life will be like afterwards.

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ACW, 

Surgery isn't the easy way. That is a myth uttered by people who don't know. Surgery is however the only scientifically proven effective way to lose weight in a sustainable way. Surgery is a tool you can use to achieve lasting weight loss. There are no secrets to having successful surgery. It's pretty straightforward. My advice would be to address this fear issue, and if you proceed with surgery, continue to square away any fear/psych issues, then as you eat less and don't cheat, use your social network for support, and get some exercise. (Those are my 4 golden points to success). My post-op group includes a really wide spectrum of people and they keep making these 4 points over and over.

This is not rocket science, it is a proven approach. If you go on line and watch the You-Tube videos by people who did not have a good outcome from surgery, just listen to what they say. In every case I have listened to, they did not deal with their psych issues, often did not have support set up, cheated on their food intake, and get no exercise. I'm not saying surgery is an easy route - it's not - but I am saying that the path is clear. All the scientific studies of people getting surgery come to the same conclusions. The reassuring thing about this is that the path is clear and the reasons for success or failure are well established. 

Your experience in losing 107 lbs was really hard work. The problem is that dieting doesn't sustainably work 99.9% of the time. Our bodies evolved to NOT allow weight loss. Surgery would not work this well if it did not affect your sense of hunger and allow you to eat less. Everyone on this site and probably 100% of the people who have undertaken surgery have had your same experience with weigh loss and then weight regain (I sure did). You are in good company! and your fears are reasonable. The words I used to my family was that I looked at myself, looked at where I was going, and then having made the rational decision to have surgery, jumped off the emotional cliff despite my fears. 

Do your due diligence. Be cold-blooded and thoughtful. Your friend's experience was hers but it does not mean it will be yours. She may be miserable but many others are not. It is human nature to focus on the unlikely adverse stuff rather than the likely good outcome. As Gretta put it, get a realistic picture of what life will be like afterwards and put your fears front and center so you can address those concerns with a therapist. If surgery is for you, go for it. If it is not, it's not. 

For me at least all the positives - my crippling  back pain is gone, I'm way down in terms of bulk and more comfortable, and getting scads of compliments from friends - outweigh being able to eat anything. I can still eat anything, just not as much as I used to - which is a really, really good thing. 

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April, I think that all of us who've gone through with the surgery have had our moments of doubt beforehand (and, heck, afterwards in the first few weeks!). However, as @BurgundyBoysaid, it's the only scientifically proven way that is likely to end with sustainable weight loss. My thinking was, maybe I could lose a bunch of weight (again), but I had already proven to myself that I couldn't keep it off for long, even when I was eating very little and exercising a lot. I needed something to stop that cycle. 

Here are three newspaper articles that helped me make the decision. They explain why it's not the easy way out - it's the scientifically proven way out. I hope they might help you :) 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/well/why-weight-loss-surgery-works-when-diets-dont.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/insider/research-scientist-finds-inspiration-in-reality-tv-show.html

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I wrote this for my aunt, who is considering weight loss surgery, and asked me about mine. She's opted not to do it, but I think my response to her is relevant to you... 

 

But let me add a preface to it first. Fear is natural, fear is okay, fear is something that will always be with you. Fear of the unknown, however nothing in this life is guaranteed, nothing, other than the fact that one day you will die. Courage is not the absence of fear, it's facing it and doing it anyways. Fear is healthy, but fear preventing you from doing something that could help you is not what fear should do. Face your fears, acknowledge them, but don't let them stop you. (My two cents)..

 

Quote

You asked about a few things. The gross stuff, feeding the family, and two weeks before surgery. Gross stuff, well, human bodies are inherently gross. You are a mother, you know what they are capable of. My stomach has scars, incision scars, and I have a lot of loose skin. A lot. Lots and lots of skin, that is flappy and just kind of sits there. Nothing I really can do about that, other than have plastic surgery, which I cannot afford so I am just going to deal with it. I didn't lose my boobs, but they are definitely more droopy than before. I am bony all over now, knobby knees, and I can feel my hip bones, it's a bizarre feeling. But that's not really gross, gross is not being able to poop and having hemorrhoids. If I don't take a stool softener, I hurt, badly. I have gas, and my stomach makes noises, like, all of the time. I also have to take vitamins for the rest of my life, they are pretty hefty four times a day. But it's a small price to pay. I had a pretty easy recovery because I had my Gallbladder out the year prior. My surgeon reused the same incisions as that. I think it would be very similar to recovering from a C-section (though I think that is far more intensive). Really, it's not as bad as people think that it is, or psych themselves out to be. It's far more mental. You have to completely change your relationship as food, you have to remember that the surgery is a tool, and not a quick fix.

Feeding the family isn't really different than before. I make them food, and I make myself food, sometimes if I am lucky we can have the same food. I have to consume at least 60 grams of protein a day or I can lose my hair or muscle mass. I get 20g from my protein shake (I found that Slimfast, 20g of protein shakes are the best tasting and the lowest in sugar, at 1g). I keep my sugar intake at below 5g of sugar per serving. So, I eat a lot of meat, cheese, dairy and nuts. For the first few months I couldn't tolerate eggs well, and chicken. I can now. If we go out to eat, I get something that doesn't have carbs, or food I can eat, you can find that anywhere has food that you can eat. For example, Taco Bell, I get a nachos bell grande without the chips. I have switched to the snacks in the house being sugar free, Full fat is fine, but it's the sugar that can get you. Everything I eat, has protein in it. My stomach can only tolerate about 5-6oz of food, so think about a cup of food. That can get hard, I no longer eat bread, or my favorite soups. I cannot drink with my meals, that can get hard to get used too. If for example the family has pizza I peel off the crust and eat the toppings. But I no longer get hungry they way I used too, and once I went cold turkey on sugar, my cravings for it went away.

The two weeks before surgery, Well. For me. It wasn't bad at all, but that is because I had to retake a class and I didn't think that my surgery would be for another month or so after that class. I took it, and the next day the office called and told me they had an opening 3 days later. So, I had 3 days to prepare. 3 days to get ready. It made me very nervous, and I was scared, and I really had a crash course in the diet. It wasn't so bad, the two weeks after my surgery I was on a liquid only diet, and that that got hard. First I was horribly sick in the hospital, because I am allergic to pain medications, and they failed to give me my blood pressure medication like I asked for. So I actually ripped out my IV when the nurse kept injecting me with things, and once I left the hospital my recovery was just fine, imagine that. But, the liquid diet was hard, I wasn't hungry, but it felt weird to not eat. The first thing I remember drinking was I made everyone zucchini pasta (using zucchini as the noodles), and I slurped the spaghetti sauce, and it was SO GOOD.. But that also helped me with my diet.

It can be a scary thing, and you have to get into the right mindset. I actively sought the surgery, it wasn't suggested to me, I suggested it to my doctor. I wanted it, I wanted a change. I think that has helped me be so successful. I go at it with the idea that I didn't do this drastic thing to my body to fail, I won't fail at this. The benefits have been amazing, I actually went running earlier this week and enjoyed it. Imagine that, I hated walking, but my fitbit tells me that I average about 50 miles a week. The freedom from the weight is incredible. I am eager to do things I couldn't physically do before, I love being able to go clothes shopping, today I bought a skirt, it's a small. I fit into size 8 pants, size 8. 8, from a 24. I used to feel like a blob, just a blob, and now I don't, I feel great, I no longer am considered morbidly obese. I no longer have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or diabetes. I am no longer in fear of not making it for my daughter's wedding, or being an embarrassment due to my weight. My husband can literally lift me over his shoulder now, (I accidentally kneed him doing it because I am not used to anyone being able to lift me). Someone actually called me petite.

I hope some of that helps, or give you food for thought. Please ask me questions, I am very open about my surgery, please let me know if I can do anything to help, or put your mind at ease. I think it was the best decision I have made for myself.

I still feel that surgery was the absolute best choice of my adult life. I am happy I did it, I would do it again. But with everything there is no guarantee but life doesn't come with that. I am glad that I have done something that has a chance to prolong my life, and the freedom from the weight is incredible, not just physically, but mentally also. I can meet people in the eye again, something for the past few years I wasn't doing. I am not depressed anymore, my weight doesn't limit me from doing things like it used too, I can go hiking, I can go swimming, I can run up an down my stairs without getting winded. I am excited for whatever the future holds. 

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If you decide to have surgery, you don't have to tell people about it. I hardly told anyone. And, if you do tell people, who cares if they think you took the "easy way out". I struggled with my weight on a daily basis from about age 22 - 43. Even in the years when I wasn't fat I still rode the crazy roller coaster of what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, etc. I'm not saying all of that goes away, but food and my relationship with it ruled my life for a long time. It doesn't anymore. I can run and do all sorts of things I couldn't do at 300 pounds. I'm happier and I have cute clothes. Plus, I don't fear dying an earlier death due to weight related illnesses or issues.

 

WLS is a tough and personal decision. Good Luck with making yours. Whatever you choose, do it for you and don't worry for one minute about what other people will think or say.  

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3 minutes ago, Zyia said:

But let me add a preface to it first. Fear is natural, fear is okay, fear is something that will always be with you. Fear of the unknown, however nothing in this life is guaranteed, nothing, other than the fact that one day you will die. Courage is not the absence of fear, it's facing it and doing it anyways. Fear is healthy, but fear preventing you from doing something that could help you is not what fear should do. Face your fears, acknowledge them, but don't let them stop you. (My two cents)..
 

I will add to this. Fears aren't facts.

tmcgee and Clickin like this

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17 minutes ago, Zyia said:

I wrote this for my aunt, who is considering weight loss surgery, and asked me about mine.

Wow, that is real, heartfelt response to a question about your experience with WLS. Thanks for sharing. 

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Best thing I ever did in 67 years on this planet! (other than wife, kids, and grandkids of course!)

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I know the OP hasn't replied but I really wanted to say I've been in tears reading this thread. I've struggled with this all my life. 9 years ago I tried the band as a 'less invasive' procedure and literally gave up afterwards. I had no idea what I weighted, I guessed at 400+ and was pleasantly surprised that I was less. 

My mum told me something that also hit home, I hide behind my body. It makes me feel safe, it's my shield from the world. No one 'messes' with me and I feel strong. Actually, though I may be able to lift more than others I'm not very strong and I'm not comfortable in my own skin. It might sound like a complete contradiction that my body makes me feel safe but I'm not comfortable in it but it's true. I (hopefully) at least another 35 years on this planet and I want to make more of them than I have done with the first 35. 

Thank you all, I'm so thrilled to find this community. 

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I only regret I let fear stand in the way and didn't do it sooner.  

As for people thinking it's the "easy way out"; you don't have to shout that you've had wls.  I kept it quiet because I didn't want to be judged.  It's not the easy way, but if it is I struggled through diet after diet and it was finally what got the weight off.  It's still darn hard work to keep it off.  It's not a magic solution; poof weight gone!  My nut once told me she was glad I was on her roster for the day.  She had someone who had only lost 6 pounds the first 6 months come in that day.  

I can live life again.  I wear colors!  Not just a closet full of gray t-shirts to blend in.  These last 2 weeks my hubby and I have been in the Caribbean scuba diving.  My hubby lives to dive (he's an instructor).  Before I would sit in a chair and read and wait for him to come back.  This week we have been on a remote island and he needs a dive buddy (me).  We do 3 dives a day.  I was just thinking yesterday, I could never have done this at 250 pounds!.  Those tanks are darn heavy on my back (plus I'm old!).  They weigh over 40 pounds.  I haven't been sick a day since surgery; a few sniffles (no full blown colds, no flu) which is amazing since I work in a daycare center!

 We had to take a very small plane to this island.  I and hubby had no problem fitting in it.  The woman in front of me was very large and took up both seats.  I kept thinking that could have been me.  

for me I did it to get healthy not to wear a size 2 or 4.  I ditched high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and kidney problems.  So I'd be around to see my grand babies grow up.  

Im not weak, I'm a darn tough old broad;). 

Good luck to you:)

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