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Mrs.NA

Six weeks until surgery and nervous

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I've been thinking about surgery for years. My weight has only once been under 200lb in the last 12 years (I'm 32). One night I mentioned to my husband that I would do it in a heartbeat if I could and he said to go for it. I made an appointment for surgery in Mexico thinking that I would have to wait a year or more to get it done in Canada, but I also had a consultation in Quebec while waiting. In the end Dr. Gagner was able to do the surgery in September 2017, and I decided to go to him. 

Yesterday I sent the payment and booked my hotel and flight. Now I find myself terrified. I know this is something I need to do, and I know everything will be okay, but it is suddenly real and I worry that I didn't try hard enough without it, or that I will fail and still be obese and unhealthy. 

Has anyone else dealt with these pre-op worries? And how did you overcome them?

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Welcome to Thinner Times Mrs.NA.

I don't think that what you're feeling is unusual.  Even though I know that I had reached the end of the line with a 35+ year documented history of yoyoing myself up to the world of morbid obesity, there was always a part of me that kept wondering whether I could give a diet just one more try.

Ultimately, WLS gave me a life that I didn't know existed and if I had to do it all again tomorrow, I would cheerfully walk into surgery.

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Everything you're feeling is totally normal. For me, life without surgery was way more frightening than a 2-hour surgery. So glad you found us. I think lots of reading here will dissipate your fears. Also reading articles posted here will help you realize all of us did try very hard on our own against impossible odds. We're so lucky these new tools are available to us.

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5 hours ago, Mrs.NA said:

I've been thinking about surgery for years. My weight has only once been under 200lb in the last 12 years (I'm 32). One night I mentioned to my husband that I would do it in a heartbeat if I could and he said to go for it. I made an appointment for surgery in Mexico thinking that I would have to wait a year or more to get it done in Canada, but I also had a consultation in Quebec while waiting. In the end Dr. Gagner was able to do the surgery in September 2017, and I decided to go to him. 

Yesterday I sent the payment and booked my hotel and flight. Now I find myself terrified. I know this is something I need to do, and I know everything will be okay, but it is suddenly real and I worry that I didn't try hard enough without it, or that I will fail and still be obese and unhealthy. 

Has anyone else dealt with these pre-op worries? And how did you overcome them?

Go for it, I don't know anyone who regrets it, although I do know people who have defeated it, including my own wife. Her's was 10 years ago and the support we have now did not exist. I try to encourage her without being a jerk, but she has serious health issues and I am not at all forceful.

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On 7/30/2017 at 10:04 AM, Mrs.NA said:

I've been thinking about surgery for years. My weight has only once been under 200lb in the last 12 years (I'm 32). One night I mentioned to my husband that I would do it in a heartbeat if I could and he said to go for it. I made an appointment for surgery in Mexico thinking that I would have to wait a year or more to get it done in Canada, but I also had a consultation in Quebec while waiting. In the end Dr. Gagner was able to do the surgery in September 2017, and I decided to go to him. 

Yesterday I sent the payment and booked my hotel and flight. Now I find myself terrified. I know this is something I need to do, and I know everything will be okay, but it is suddenly real and I worry that I didn't try hard enough without it, or that I will fail and still be obese and unhealthy. 

Has anyone else dealt with these pre-op worries? And how did you overcome them?

Ah, the nerves. Use your brains and don't be ruled by your fears. To have fear is normal. To be ruled by fear is ... unhelpful. 

The risks of surgery are not zero but they are very low, like having elective gall bladder removal. The risk of not having surgery are the diabetes and hypertension, heart failure, strokes, and premature death. Plus joint failures and a lot of pain. The calculation is way in favor of surgery. It is the ONLY known successful medical treatment for obesity. Go online, put in your current circumstances in a life estimate calculator, get the prediction; then do it with a normal weight and without any medical complications you have like hypertension or diabetes. Bet you get at least an extra decade of life. 

Everyone posting here who has had WLS has dieted for years and regained all the pounds they lost... because that is what your body is set to do. Diets are against nature if you live as our ancestors did. It's crazy to think that an approach in which 99% of people cannot maintain the weight loss, e.g. dieting, is a real option. It's a mark of our society that the marketing of the diet industry is so much more powerful than the success of WLS. 

Succeeding is NOT hard but it requires a bit of bloody mindedness and determination. The surgery changes your stomach size but does not change the person in charge of you, e.g. you. If you cheat after surgery eating chips and pizza in small portions to fit your reduced stomach, then you will not do well. Look at the You Tube videos of people complaining the surgery did not work for them... who are snacking on chips. It's sad, actually. It's as if they thought the surgery relieved them of the task of guiding their own course in life, ... a sort of magical thinking. 

WLS gives you one marvelous thing in addition to a small stomach: much reduced physiological hunger. You can eat just a little bit and your hunger is gone. It is the opposite of that gnawing, encompassing hunger you have with diets. You might still want to eat something because your eyes and head say you want to taste the food but ... that is not physiological hunger. 

4 points to success:

Social support. Friends, family, others who have had the surgery, this Forum. Be sure it is in place. You will hear the wolves howling in the night at one time or another during the journey, or face an emotional barrier, or something else. Everyone does. Easier to deal with if you have the counsel of people who have walked this path before you who can tell you when to be concerned or to reassure you when something arises. 

Address your psych issues. You don't have to be fully completely perfectly balanced. Just aware enough to not end up like the You Tube people. Most of us in the real world suffer from anxiety or depression. If as a child Mom or Dad did not love you, or the other children taunted you, or you were unlucky in love... or you ate emotionally ... surgery is not going to change the past. Of course, nothing will change the past. So deal with it up front. Since success is the best revenge, get thin despite those things. 

Don't cheat. Can't lose weight if you eat 5 bags of Cheetos a day, one every 5 minutes so you don't fill your small sized stomach. You still will have eaten 5 bags of Cheetos. Don't drink alcohol like a fish. Don't guzzle olive oil. (The "not cheating" is surprisingly easy to do without hunger, and if you have any insight at all into your emotional eating. Many failures relating to cheating relate to psych issues). 

Lastly, exercise is NOT a key but it is a kind of insurance. People who do even modest exercise lose more weight at the 6, 12, and 24 month time points, and it predicts long-term success. It also predicts a lower chance of later weight gain. On average in a bunch of studies, their BMI is 4+ points lower than people who do not exercise. By this I mean with exercise a BMI of 24, without exercise a BMI of 28. Just walking every day puts you into this category. Plus, above and beyond the weight loss, it is an antidepressant and it is a major major predictor of good health. 

So there. Don't be ruled by fear, acknowledge your fear. Be cold-blooded in your thinking and be methodical in terms of putting the keys to success in place. 

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