Apr 17, 2012

WLS was right for ME

Four months ago, I had weight loss surgery. Specifically, the Lap Band. I took a VERY long time to come to this decision. As in, 10+ YEARS worth of time, therapy, and medical and nutritional consultations. I have been overweight since I was 10 years old. I have been through every diet known to man. Lost weight. Gained it back plus some. Again. And again. I’ve been ridiculed. Shamed. Yelled at by people driving by in their cars. Laughed at. I’ve internalized EVERYTHING to the point where even now I blame myself for anything and everything that happens in my life, even things clearly beyond my control. I do not have much of a life at all. But four months ago I started the journey to truly start changing, from the inside out. I can’t say whether I will ever be there. I struggle every day. But *I* am worth trying.

Happily, I’ve been met mostly with support for my decision by those I’ve told. But not always. And I haven’t always been able to respond the way that I should to the nay-Sayers. So here is where I start.

I was told, “Oh you don’t need that, that should only be a last resort, you’re strong enough to do it on your own, you’ve lost weight before, you’re taking the easy way out, you just need to eat less, you’re a food addict.” My response: “Really? Well, thanks for thinking so, but I and my doctors disagree.”

Easy way out? So…if I needed cardiac bypass surgery or just had to live miserably and at risk of a heart attack or stroke, I should not take the medically proven treatment to get better? If I needed a kidney transplant, and one became available, I should not accept it because dialysis is fine and a transplant is the easy way out?

Many in our society see obesity as a sign of laziness, not as a medical condition. So, I don’t “deserve” to get well? I don’t deserve to get my blood pressure under control? Or my blood sugar? I don’t deserve to avoid losing limbs to diabetes?

Easy way out? I have to eat carefully for the rest of my life, or else I will be in extreme pain and/or vomit. I can never have a carbonated drink again. For the rest of my life, I will have an implanted medical device inside me that I need to be concerned about. See a surgeon several times a year. Have yearly tests to be sure all is well. So, by having major abdominal surgery, wrapping a ring around my upper stomach that will forever change my relationship with food and also change the relationships I have with the people I love, I have taken the easy way out? Cry me a fucking river.

Easy way out? Easy way out from what? Endless diet attempts that all end up in the same place, with me heavier that I was before it began? My joints hurting worse as I put more pressure on them? Taking medication for blood pressure?

I have currently lost 26 pounds since my surgery, bringing my total weight loss this time around to 70 pounds. I feel better. And this time I know this feeling will last. That’s the only thing that matters.

I say, it might not be the right choice for you, but after all my research and soul-searching, it was the right choice for ME. Thank you for your concern.