“Why so drastic?” you might ask.
Let me give you a little background.
Up until the age of 21, I was thin as a rail. I ate what I wanted, never exercised and never gained a pound. It was great! Then almost overnight, my metabolism changed. I had several body changes and started gaining weight. I ate the same things as before and was just as active. I had my thyroid and everything else checked and it was all normal. But the pounds started adding to my body. Every year I gained more and more weight. I tried several diets in my life. I even tried just eating 1 meal a day. (I later found out that only eating 1 meal a day stops your metabolism so you don’t burn any calories). Dieting and exercise worked for a little time. I would lose a few pounds, but as the old adage goes – I gained it all back again and then some. The weight gain got worse and worse. At my heaviest weight I was 419 pounds. I have seen that show “My 600 Pound Life” and that truly scared me. I did NOT want that to be me!
I found out that my insurance covers a great percentage of weight-loss surgery. But I have never had surgery and it scares me to death. I hate hospitals – the smell, shots, pain, etc. I am allergic to pain (lol). So I did wait a few months before I decided it was time. Time to take control of my life. I am tired of not fitting in chairs with arms, having to buy clothes online because the stores don’t carry my size (not to mention the high cost of clothing in my size), tired not being able to stand for very long without my back, feet and legs hurting and not being able to walk very far before I am out of breath. Don’t even get me started on stairs. Time to regain my life – I want it back. I haven’t been thin since I was 21 – that was 25 years ago. I can’t even remember what it was like to be thin.
There are also my health issues to consider. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and am pre-diabetic. My lower legs painfully swell to the size of balloons every day that I don’t wear tight knee high socks.
I looked at the options for weight-loss surgery: lap-band, sleeve and gastric bypass.
The lap-band requires you have a port in your side so they can reach the band – ewww. Plus I had a co-worker who had a lap-band that slipped. She fell violently ill and had to have a rush surgery to have it removed. No thank you.
The sleeve seemed like a good solution that wasn’t so drastic. They staple your stomach so that it is just a tube (sleeve) and cut away the excess stomach. It makes your stomach smaller so you don’t eat as much. I have heard that some people have regained weight back when getting weight-loss surgery. The sleeve had a higher chance of this happening because it was easy to just stretch out the stomach again. I figured it probably was a low percentage of people that gained the weight back, so I thought I might do the sleeve. My mind changed when I visited my general practitioner (family doctor) a few weeks later. The woman who checked me in said she heard I was going to get weight-loss surgery and thought it was great because she had the sleeve done many years ago. I looked at her in surprise because she looked like she was maybe 250 pounds. I said, “Really?” with astonishment. She understood my surprise and explained that she was losing so much weight so fast that it scared her so she stopped the special diet and gained all of the weight back. I saw it was too easy to “fall of the wagon” with the sleeve. This was the problem I had with all the diets I tried in the past.
In the end, I decided the gastric bypass, although the most drastic choice, was the one for me. My mom had a gastric bypass and she swears by it. She looks great and feels great. Apparently the bypass is the surgery that loses the most weight. With my 419 pounds, I have a lot of weight to lose. The gastric bypass will apparently make you ill if you eat sweets, greasy food or other bad foods. It forces you to eat healthy and in smaller amounts. That is what I need as I can have willpower on my own for awhile, but not for a very long time.
So here begins my journey.