Dear Lurker, I've been catching up on newbie posts and blogs and I think something needs to be said....
Sweet friends, there are nay-Sayers wherever you look. Any time you unveil your interest in WLS, your friends and family will begin to serve you the most appalling statistics and worse, the most ridiculous anecdotal "evidence" as to why this surgery won't work for you. Let me give you some of the reasons I was given...
1. "It won't be permanent if you take the easy way out." (Brought to you by darling mother) Let me say with unflinching certainty that WLS is the hardest thing I've ever done. The only "easy" part of it is making a consultation appointment. Every single step feels like a desperate last ditch effort to break a food addiction. This is NOT plastic surgery. This is NOT a vanity procedure. This is a surgery that hands people a tool that they can CHOOSE to use to fight back. Fighting back is NEVER easy. Permanent only happens when we choose every day to fight back. Still sound easy??
2. "I know a man/woman at work that had the surgery and ended up gaining all of his/her weight back and then some." (Brought to you by every human I've ever met) Yes, let's go there... we've heard of them, some of us may even know them, some of us may even be them....but let's look at success/failure in terms of their CHOICES to fight back every day. We are given rules. Strict rules. Stringent rules. Big, bold black lines that we are forewarned not to cross. When we cross them, we are flirting with our addictions. We are lying down and refusing to fight. And, sometimes our gambles pay off....and most times they don't. It is not the surgery that fails, usually. It is our unique ability to put that tool down and reach for a cupcake or onion rings. Instead of making a change, we sometimes make this surgery a complete trust fall....handing all control to the pouch or sleeve. The truth is: without serious change, we are all savvy enough to outsmart WLS. Read the long-term post op posts---immediately you'll see a correlation between breaking rules and regain. Commit to change. Commit to breaking your food addiction, and embrace the rules....they are your training tools, not your enemy. Rarely do people's surgeries fail if they're using their tools WITHIN the frames of our rules.
3. "But your marriage will fail" (brought to you by both sisters) Shockingly, my surgeon never mentioned that while he was inside my stomach, he plans to flip a magical toggle switch that would kill my commitment to my husband.... Guys, committed relationships are challenged with any change. This is a change that can boost confidence and change people's willingness to even go out of doors. It can sometimes make spouses worry that their dear WLS partner will "go and find someone better." So, let's get down to it...IF the only reason you're with your current spouse is because you lack the opportunity/self esteem to find someone "better," WLS will probably lead to a divorce. Or, if you and your partner haven't developed strategies to communicate about threats and feelings and insecurities....develop them now or forever hold your peace. But, if your marriage is healthy with strong communication skills, this process can be FUN for you to experience together. Yes, FUN!! It's an amplifier for the marriage you already have.
Finally, my favorite....
4. "But it will change who you are." (Entire friend circle and sisters) Let's re-read this one as "but it will change the category into which I've placed you." Here was my reality check. My friends thought of me as their "funny fat friend," the one who they could compare themselves to and think "well, at least I'm not as fat as her."!i was their self-esteem booster on every shopping trip or girl's night out. I was the friend that they could trust being alone with their husbands, because I was so fat I wasn't a threat. My fatness basically stole all applicable gender rules. Their husbands would surely never trade down to be with their chunky pal. My sisters were a bit trickier. I'm the youngest of three daughters. The eldest...so wonderfully beautiful and trim that she's been on commercials for two gyms. The middle sister has always been about 50-60 lbs heavier than me. It took me half a second to realize that MY WLS was about to challenge their definitions of themselves as "the skinny sister" and "the other heavy sister." my middle sister would now look at herself as "the only heavy sister" and my eldest would now fight to be the "skinniest sister." Yes, folks, our circles of influence can be threatened by our boosted confidence and our changing appearance. If you are in the position I was in, I HOPE IT CHANGES WHO YOU ARE. Because one day, you'll wake up and understand that there are people out there that won't stand on your head in order to boost themselves higher. That being said, get ready for an upheaval in your friend/family circle. Just as with romantic relationships, WLS tends to be an amplifier of the relationships you already have.
If you are considering WLS, be certain that you're willing to fight back daily, ready to make friends with the rules, and ready to examine and/or shake every single relationship you have to its core. This journey is about YOU. It's about shining a light into all of the darkest recesses in your life and ripping out the cobwebs. It's about change--change with regards to motivation, priorities, self esteem, tolerance, habits, activity level, familial and friendship roles, and yes....weight.
So, this so-called "easy way out" ends up to be a complete reconstruction of your world. When you embrace the entire experience, it effectively strips away the bad and strengthens the good. Your life WILL look as different as you will.
And, it all starts with your commitment to tune out everyone's voice except yours. Educate yourself, get a consultation, and understand that you DO NOT NEED their approval, ever again. YOU are the only person that you can rely on for WLS success. Figure out what you're honestly willing to examine and fix....if you're ready, you already know it. Just walk through the door with your eyes open, with your own voice being the loudest.