What prompted you to make the decision to go for wls?
I couldn’t even walk a block without my whole body being in pain. I was about 375lbs (at the time, not my highest weight). I had tried EVERYTHING else, I thought surgery would be easy. Gastric Bypass was just starting to gain popularity. Like back then I knew 2 people who had weight loss surgery, now I know about 50.
Did/do you feel any pressure by a doctor to make this decision?
They all said I was morbidly obese and that I should lose weight but they never suggested weight loss surgery as it was not as “popular” in 2003 as it is now
Did you try other methods to lose weight and what happened?
I tried everything!!! Every program (Jenny Craig, weight watchers), every fad (3 Day diets, cabbage soup), every pill,even starvation…. I’d lose a few lbs but could never maintain the weight loss.
What has the process been like for you psychologically (before and after)?
I never knew what depression was until I had weight loss surgery. I had been eating & sleeping my way through it.
How do you feel emotionally regarding your decision (before and after)?
After surgery, it was an emotional roller coaster because I could no longer use food for comfort. I had to do some mental work & that was scary! I blamed my weight for anything or anyone that I didn’t have in my life. Once the weight started shedding and I still wasn’t where I wanted to be in life, it forced me to face some harsh & scary truths about myself. My weight didn’t make me lose that job, that friend, that opportunity, that man. Intimacy issues, anger, feeling inadequate,& low self-esteem did!
Do you feel any regret for following through on your surgery?
Even the hard emotional work aka cocoon stage has been worth it because the Butterfly is soaring and fluttering her wings every chance she gets.
Do you feel any hesitance to follow though on your surgery?
How do you feel when you hear people say “weight loss surgery is the easy way out”? I used to think like them before I had surgery. And yes, a few (not a lot!) but a few of those pounds lost were easy. But surgery will only do so much. And 13 years later I still have to eat like I have some sense and exercise to lose weight. Weight loss surgery is a tool but it’s not a magic wand. You will have work to do! A lot!
What has been the hardest part of all of this?
Having to handle my emotions… not being able to feed them!
What advice would you give for anyone facing weight loss surgery or who is trying to decide whether surgery is right for them?