This post is not some grand announcement of a major life decision, but in order to explain it best I have to contextualize it. Here’s the quick breakdown that will lead to my major point: I’m having weight loss surgery because I worked my ass off, lost weight, gained most of it back, have sleep apnea and have been told that this surgery will help manage my PCOS. I want to be healthy, active and, aside from being unable to consume copious amounts of sushi in one sitting for the rest of my life, there is no reason not to do this surgery (except for the potential for a medical condition I’m referring to as “tube boobs.”)
It’s not as simple as “okay your stomach is smaller now just go back to your life!” There’s screening, counseling, mandatory weight loss management programs and so many expectations and goals participants need to reach. Weight loss surgery is not a fix; It puts you in a better position to be more successful with maintaining your weight loss. You have to do the work in order for it to work. Even with the surgery and all the ongoing support it’s really, really hard.
But most people don’t know that, because some that have the surgery aren’t comfortable enough to talk about it. There is this belief that surgery is quitting. That resulting to surgery is typical lazy fat person behavior and with that brings a level of shame for the surgeree. I will admit that I believed this, was fairly vocal about it, and gave it as my number one reason for not considering it for myself. I judged people that didn’t choose the road to weight loss that I did and all that mounted was growing resentment. It wasn’t fair of me and I’m sorry to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt. My feeling at the time was “why doesn’t everyone just do what I’m doing?” It doesn’t work like that; Everyone is different.
I didn’t know the facts and, even though I don’t care about your opinion, I want it to be an informed one. One where a person’s decision to do what is in their best interest for their health and body isn’t really anyone else’s business. I want people that have never struggled with their weight to be able to empathize with those that have and understand that there is nothing wrong with undergoing a procedure that will make life infinitely better and longer.
For four years I went to the gym every day, avoided events where I would be tempted or that took place during Zumba class, counted points, scanned items in the grocery story and became overwhelmed and obsessed with the process. It took me four years to lose 70lbs and one year to gain 50lbs. I would cry if I gained even just a little weight. Now I have sleep apnea, which for those not in the know, is when you literally stop breathing for a period of time while sleeping and possibly die. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night choking to the point of vomiting. The treatment is sleeping with a mask on my face that makes me look like a combo of Bane and Gonzo with a Shop Vac hose nose. When I say goodnight to my boyfriend after I’ve put the mask on, the air being shoved up my nose and down my throat expels out my mouth and blows his hair back. If there is an option that would help me reach my goals of a better quality of life, I’d be really stupid not to do it. And if there is someone in your life that has expressed to you they’re considering weight loss surgery, please support their decision. They’re taking control of their health and your support means the world.
I’m at the beginning of this journey and looking forward to each step which will hopefully help me become more comfortable with the procedure and life after. The support I have received so far has been amazing and I want to thank friends and family members of mine that have had this surgery and been total bad asses in accomplishing their goals. This isn’t about taking the easy way out or a desire to wear a size four, it’s about being healthy. I want to sleep without a mask that leaves weird lines on my face, participate in physical activity that I love without being held back, and, live longer than my mother who also had PCOS, developed diabetes in her early 40’s and was gone by 46. I want a better quality of life where I don’t put my life on hold to go to the gym, search endlessly for flattering clothing and just feel good every day. We all need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. No matter how we approach it, it’s going to be riddled with road blocks. I gave up for a while in a number of ways and I’m ready to embrace this and get to where I need to be and want to be for me even if that means not eating as much sushi in one sitting as I previously could.