There were a lot of reasons to avoid weight loss surgery in the past. The safety of the procedure was unknown, the long-term effectiveness was in doubt. Those two things have been answered to my satisfaction. I could have the surgery and it would be safe and would work. My life would be better.
One of the other big reasons I had for avoiding it before, though, was the idea that since weight loss surgery requires a lifestyle change to work, why couldn’t I just change my lifestyle and get the same result? Surgery is no magic pill.
Then I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do it without surgery. I made the decision that I wanted it, that the reduced stomach size would help where will power hadn’t been helpful before. In December I went to a seminar at Swedish Medical Center to start the process. The real work began in January.
The biggest issue for me with diets in the past, though, has been the exclusion or drastic reduction in foods that I love. It creates a scarcity mindset. I get stressed and the first thing I turn to is the thing I can’t have. Even on Weight Watchers you can pretty much eat whatever you want, just in reduced portions.
That scarcity mindset attacked as I knew weight loss surgery was coming. My trips to fast food restaurants become dramatically more frequent. I ballooned, exactly the wrong result for the folks at Swedish. To their credit, they want to make sure someone will succeed with surgery. They’re not there to just take my money for their service.
So about a month ago I had another visit with them where my weight had gone up dramatically. Everything was in place for them to submit my surgery to my insurance for final approval, but they wouldn’t do it. They wanted me to show them that I could stick to a plan.
You see the irony, right? To qualify for weight loss surgery I’ve got to demonstrate an ability to do something I’ve never been able to do.
I went home determined to pull it off. Since that visit I’ve been great, for the most part. I’ll get to the exception in a bit. The post surgery diet is essentially a higher protein and lower carb regimen. Bread and rice would be a rarity. Forget soda. I started on that routine the day I left the hospital my last visit and, with a notable exception, have stuck to it.
Here is where the exception comes in. Reading the story of a friend of mine, the second weekend after I started I incorporated a “cheat day.” On Saturday, I decided, I could treat myself. Chips, soda, bread, pizza are all available to me. I tried it one week and it was almost miraculous. I ate what I wanted on Saturday and on Sunday I was perfectly content to go back to the plan. As my friend said in one of his posts, the idea of never having a certain food again is painful, but waiting until Saturday is doable. It’s almost easy. So at work I skip the chips that are so plentiful and the wonderful baked goods fellow workmates bring in. My friend who has done this has lost 78 pounds in six months. I weigh in tomorrow. I’m guessing I’ve lost close to 20 pounds this past month.
I’m day two into another week of waiting until Saturday for goodies and I am content. I feel like I’m in a space where I could live this way the rest of my life. I may have said something like that in the past, but I never felt it this strongly. This is working.
So tomorrow I go back to Swedish, I’ll get weighed in and I’m sure they’ll be pretty encouraged by the results, perhaps enough to submit me for approval. And I might say I don’t want it anymore.
Should that happen, this whole effort with them hasn’t been wasted. The lab work I had to get done revealed some things that we fixed with medication. I feel so much better.
When I first mentioned weight loss surgery in the past I received mixed responses. If you have strong feelings about this, I’d be glad to hear from you again. I make my own call here, but you might know something that is worth sharing. Feel free to tell me here, on Facebook, an email, or call me. I’m not “all” ears, but I am open to ideas.