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newme81

So scared and considering backing out :(

7 posts in this topic

I've been overweight my entire life so I was excited when my doctor suggested wls for a means to stop the deadly path that I was on. 6 months later, my surgery is now in 2 weeks. I've known about the risks the entire time but the closer it gets the more I'm afraid of something going wrong. I also don't know if I should have the surgery because I am young and haven't consistently stuck to anything long for weight loss so I can't help feeling maybe I should try a new diet. I am only 19 years old, but I am 300 pounds. I don't have any illness and I have good health except for my weight. I was so ready but I am afraid that I have chosen this too early in life..at the same time I also think it might be smart to go through with it before I get seriously ill cause of my weight. I'm afraid of long term risks because I have my entire life ahead of me. I am also worried if this will change everything for me and stop me from being able to live my life. My parents want me to have the surgery and I know it's probably the best choice. I am just so afraid now :( I also think I still won't be happy with myself. My mom put the new worry of loose skin in my head and I am afraid i'll still be miserable post surgery. Idk if I should wait and try something else or if that will be too late. I have been upset over this for the past few days, as I am struggling greatly with this decision.

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Welcome to Thinner Times.

What you're going through is not unusual and something that can help is to look at the risks you're running by carrying around a considerable amount of excess weight:

  • 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
Waisting, Jen581791, newme81 and 1 other like this

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19 minutes ago, newme81 said:

I've been overweight my entire life so I was excited when my doctor suggested wls for a means to stop the deadly path that I was on. 6 months later, my surgery is now in 2 weeks. I've known about the risks the entire time but the closer it gets the more I'm afraid of something going wrong. I also don't know if I should have the surgery because I am young and haven't consistently stuck to anything long for weight loss so I can't help feeling maybe I should try a new diet. I am only 19 years old, but I am 300 pounds. I don't have any illness and I have good health except for my weight. I was so ready but I am afraid that I have chosen this too early in life..at the same time I also think it might be smart to go through with it before I get seriously ill cause of my weight. I'm afraid of long term risks because I have my entire life ahead of me. I am also worried if this will change everything for me and stop me from being able to live my life. My parents want me to have the surgery and I know it's probably the best choice. I am just so afraid now :( I also think I still won't be happy with myself. My mom put the new worry of loose skin in my head and I am afraid i'll still be miserable post surgery. Idk if I should wait and try something else or if that will be too late. I have been upset over this for the past few days, as I am struggling greatly with this decision.

Hard stuff. All of us who have had surgery worried we were doing something that we could not go back and change later on. It's normal. If ever there was a time to use your head and not be dominated by fear, this is such a time. 

My view is that losing weight will let you live a normal life, and your high weight will prevent you from living a normal life. Diets rarely work and in contrast surgery reliably works. The point about doing the surgery before you suffer the consequences of obesity is a strong one. It is also safer when you are young than when you are old, or have things like diabetes or hypertension. 

Your chance of dying with surgery is very low. Your chance of dying early from obesity is very high. You are trading a small amount of risk now, with an healthy life afterwards, instead of having a very high risk of early death and disability without a healthy life. 

For what it is worth, @athenarose (far younger than me) had surgery and has no loose skin. She recently posted some pictures of herself (in a bikini, no less!) and is an example of not having it. I do have  some loose skin but am much older and have spent a lot of time in the tropics and have lots of wear and tear in my skin. The younger you are the higher the chance that your loose skin will absorb and remodel over time. If you are an older person like me your skin is not as elastic. 

If you don't have the surgery and try to lose weight by dieting, you will need extraordinarily strong will power and you will have a lot of hunger. You know as well as I do that the success rate is very low.  If you do have the surgery you will need reasonable will power and you will be physically unable to eat too much, at least at one sitting. The advantages of the surgery include not having much hunger compared to dieting. If you try to diet you will have a lot of hunger. It has been SOOO much easier for me to lose weight after my surgery than it ever was during my many, many, many failed diets. 

In either case you need to have a cool head and some will power. The surgery almost always works ... but people can sabotage themselves by eating Cheetos all day long, or drinking milk shakes every 3 hours. Those are people without any insight into their behavior. I told myself lies in the past - I ate way more than anyone else and always had some kind of reason for why. At the end of the day there wasn't any good reason to eat so much, it was just stories I told myself. 

I encourage you to look around on the Forum and look at postings by other people. If you have reasonable social support, follow the diet plan after surgery, and have your psychological/psych issues under control you will reliably do well. A bit of exercise after surgery helps to cement the success. If you are unsupported, do not have your psych issues addressed, or blow off the diet, you won't do as well. The surgery changes your stomach. It does not change your social support, psych issues, or keep you from eating junk all day. Participating on the Forum or something similar helps to answer questions as they come up, can provide support, and help you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It sure has helped me!

After 35 years of being fat and unable to get weight off - and I have a lot of will power - I have now lost 70 lbs. If I don't lose a single extra pound it won't matter that much.

I got my life back. I am free of my obesity. I get to do all the things I want to do without be stopped by my being heavy. 

 

newme81, LeeC, Waisting and 3 others like this

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Fear is normal. Fear is a sign you appreciate the risks and aren't walking into this without knowledge. Fear comes before big changes. Those big changes might be good ones or bad ones, but the fear is fear of the unknown, which is totally natural.

If you really feel like you need to prove to yourself that you "can't do this without surgery" you could always put it off for a year and try the dieting route. However, as @BurgundyBoy mentioned, it will require enormous amounts of willpower because your body will be fighting you the whole way. And, afterwards, your body will fight you to put it back on forever. That's not to say it's a bad idea, just make sure you understand the body's response to dropping weight, and why WLS sort of short-circuits that, before you decide on that route. At 19, you could make the decision now to go with surgery and live the rest of your life at a weight you're happier and healthier at, though, and that's a powerful decision to be able to make. If you feel like you're not emotionally mature enough to follow the guidelines after surgery, however, it may be a good idea to wait. I'm not positive I would have been able to do it when I was that age, but then again, I hadn't really hit rock bottom as far as my weight goes at that point, so I maybe didn't have the level of desperation necessary to motivate me that I do now. 

As far as loose skin goes, you're 19. You have the benefit of being young and elastic! I would be surprised if your skin didn't snap right into shape. What does your mom want? For you to be overweight forever so you don't have to suffer with the possibility of loose skin? This is dependent on genetics, as well, of course, so it is possible, but for you, better now than later in the skin department.

If I were you, I would watch a bunch of YouTube WLS vlogs, read around here a lot, and follow a bunch of WLS people on Instagram, which might reassure you that it's possible to live your life pretty normally after surgery.

Here are some articles to help you think: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/health/obese-teenagers-bariatric-surgery.html?_r=0 (these are mostly teens who are younger than you, but perhaps with similar issues)

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

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/27/health/bariatric-surgery.html (plus the video that goes along with it)

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

Let us know how your decision making process goes. I hope you find a solution that puts you at ease :) 

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Totally agree with @Jen581791!  You're likely to have minimal loose skin and frankly, what is loose skin compared to obesity?  There is also a surgical option to remove it.  I freaked out also the weekend before my surgery.  I started to think I hadn't tried hard enough.  Then I looked online at the opinions of medical experts that I respect (David Katz MD out of Yale is great).  I also reminded myself that my doctor who watched me lose and regain over 9 years is the one who suggested it.  He told me the only regret his other patients that have had WLS have is that they didn't do it sooner.  How's that for a testament?  And guess what?  I feel the SAME WAY!

THE PROBLEM IS NOT YOUR WILLPOWER OR YOUR ABILITY TO BE CONSISTENT.  The causes of obesity are multifactorial and it is rampant in the U.S.  Dieting is doomed to fail you.  I had a nutritionist tell me that she would not take me on as a client if I continued to diet.  She has a great website that discusses why diets are the worst thing you can do if you are struggling with your weight (if interested google Jennifer McGuirk RD).

This surgery is an incredibly powerful tool that will help you.  As mentioned, fear is normal.  But, keep reading our stories.  This surgery has the power to change your life.  And talk with your doctor about your fears.  Good luck to you and stay in touch.  This is a great place, keep coming back!

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1 hour ago, Waisting said:

THE PROBLEM IS NOT YOUR WILLPOWER OR YOUR ABILITY TO BE CONSISTENT.  The causes of obesity are multifactorial and it is rampant in the U.S.  Dieting is doomed to fail you.  I had a nutritionist tell me that she would not take me on as a client if I continued to diet.  She has a great website that discusses why diets are the worst thing you can do if you are struggling with your weight

I recently read a report on a study that showed a strong correlation between dieting and subsequent weight gain, controlling for other factors. In other words, dieting may cause weight gain :( 

Lots of good points here, @athenarose.

 

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@newme81 You probably didn't expect so many posts, did you!?

@Waisting's point is a good one and feeds into the points and articles posted by @Jen581791. There is a lot of evidence that our bodies adopt to a new set point - you mentioned you weight about 300 now. Your body may have adopted the 300 lb size as your new normal and be resistant to any loss. 

Just to share an experience of mine - 20+ years ago I lost 60 lbs through dieting (but regained it during the stress of getting a new job). Last year I tied to lose weight 4 different times through structured dieting and exercise. I thought I would do what had worked for me back then. However, each time I lost only 5 lbs and then had the same weight for the next 4-6 weeks. In retrospect my body had adopted my new higher weight and was very happy to turn my metabolism DOWN in order to keep the same high weight. 

As @Jen581791 points out you can turn your metabolism down so much through dieting that you are permanently stuck with a low metabolic rate. The articles she posted from the NYT document this. 

To requote @Waisting THE PROBLEM IS NOT YOUR WILLPOWER OR YOUR ABILITY TO BE CONSISTENT. 

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