Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Getting serious(er)

Again, I've been a terrible blogger but things have been crazy as always.

Good news - turns out I don't have to have surgery.
Bad news - still too fat

I went to see the surgeon on Friday and was really feeling better after waiting a week to see him. He poked at my stomach, got out his little BMI wheel and told me he would operate on me right away if he could find anything. The cause of my pain was most likely due to the excess weight around my middle. He asked me if I'd ever considered bariatric surgery and as the tears started he said, "I can see in your eyes that you want to do something". I said I would consider talking to someone about it and then he left the room. A minute later he was back with not one but 2 bariatric surgeons. I was taken by surprise and said well I didn't think you meant NOW!

I sat through the discussion with an open mind. I looked at an actual lap band and was surprised how big it was. I asked him if they made a petite version for us smaller folks and that was a no. I could never have that thing in me forever anyway. On to the next options. All the gastric bypass options sound great. In theory. I left with a ton of information and a checklist of things I would have to do to qualify for the surgery health wise and insurance wise.

I met up with my husband who works at the hospital and I was in tears for most of the rest of the day. We talked a lot about it but I knew I had to talk to someone who has had it done. My sister has a friend who was kind enough to talk to me about her surgery. She was thrilled with it. Said she wished she had done it years earlier but I really had to know what it was like to eat or not eat as the case may be and what about the vomiting? The answers to those questions were what I needed to confirm how seriously life changing weight loss surgery is ...and it's forever.

I can't figure out if I think of it differently having lost 100 pounds once on my own. Is that what's keeping me from listening to the 3rd doctor to tell me I need to have surgery? Sometimes I think my dad is looking down on me saying "Just have the damn surgery. Don't you think I would have if I would have had the chance?" He struggled with his weight as long as I can remember and it eventually killed him at 49.

Deep down, way down, I know I could never do it. I have to keep fighting, working hard and face it knowing that my obesity is just now starting to cause me health problems. I'm lucky that I don't have diabetes, sleep apnea, girlie problems or high blood pressure but is it lurking around the corner? If you ask the doctors the answer is yes.

Either way this is a big wake up call. Right now, I choose a life of working out 7 days a week over throwing up and not being able to eat. I know I can do it which is what drives me but I also know why and respect the people choose the surgery. It's not an easy way out by any means and I'm extremely happy for everyone who has been successful, regardless of what it took to get there.

It feels great to be back to working out since the doctor said it was okay. I've been walking and swimming and just trying to do a little more every day. Now after spending all morning blogging, time for some work and an early lunch. Swimming makes me STARVING...ever since I was a kid! Hope everyone is well. I will do some catching up while I eat my lunch!


  1. That's the thing about wake-up calls: they get our full attention. One moment, you're off in la-la land, happily oblivious and obliviously happy... the next moment you're standing up in the middle of your bed with a cold sweat beading up on your forehead.

    You can do this, Tina, and you know you can. You've done it before and you know more than anyone just how important this is. Make it your number one priority. Make YOU your number one priority.

    It will enrich your life in more ways than you realize.

    I'm rootin' for you!

  2. Everyone had to do what's best for them. For me, 9 years ago, it was gastric bypass (I had a less agressive RNY so now I eat 'normal' quantities and have never thrown up from it). But now, 9 years later, it still didn't do anything for the ROOT of my issues. I'm addicted to food. It's how I got to be morbidly obese, it's how I have stayed obese.
    I'm addressing the addiction now. And the weight as a symptom. Not as the problem.
    You can do this. In whatever way is best for you. It's your body, you know what's best for it. Good luck!

  3. Tina, I'm so proud of you! That must be a difficult decision, and I think it's wonderful that you are doing what's best for you. I wish you continued success in your weight loss journey -- you will meet your goals with your awesome determination and attitude! :)

  4. Swimming does tend to leave people hungry more-so than other workouts. Theories range as to why but basically you set your body in 84 degree water to work out and your body wants to keep warm.

    I plan a snack or meal immediately following being in the water that is high in protein. Usually 110 calories of a greek yogurt and then a banana or an apple or some fruit to provide some instant carbs sugars for my system to work on.

    I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS and I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT IN THE WATER. I am rooting for you to feel healthier soon.

  5. Tina, I'm sorry to hear that you are getting this wake up call in the form of health problems, but I, too, know you can do this without the surgery! If the surgery doesn't feel like the right choice to you right now, your choice to rededicate yourself to exercising and eating healthily is the best choice you can make.

    I also agree that the surgery is not the "easy" way. How is having someone cut you open and rearrange your insides "easy"? People who have the surgery have to deal with the problems that made them overweight to begin with, and those who don't deal with those issues ultimately gain the weight back. So make dealing with these issues your priority now, too, so that regardless of what your future holds (surgery or no), you've dealt with the most difficult part of the equation.

  6. Ooooh, I just hate wakeup calls! Yet somehow they always get our attention, don't they? I will join the others who and say, "YES, YOU CAN!" Especially since you did it before. Maybe this time with the swimming you need some expert advice on how to fuel your body? Just know that there are a lot of us bloggers out there working overtime as your cheering section. RAH! RAH! RAH!

  7. I so appreciate the summary at the beginning of the post! Then I could read the rest of the post without racing through to the conclusion.

    Glad you don't need surgery.

    Keep on keeping on. You can do this.

  8. (((HUGS))) Tina! You can do it - you've already proved that to yourself once. I'm sorry to hear that your doctors weren't more supportive that you COULD do it without lap band/gastric surgery. Prove them wrong, Tina! ~ Angie

  9. Wow, your doctor sure was quick to jump on the surgery wagon...I'm glad you listened to the surgeons and made a well-informed decision that is right for you. Like you said - you've lost 100 pounds before so you know you can do it. And you CAN, and I believe that this is your time and you WILL do it!

    Good luck, my friend - I'm rooting for you!

  10. Wake up calls always make me cry, too. I'm glad that you've made it this far w/o any healthy problems...but it's true that you're probably starting to tempt fate.

    I know that the surgery decision isn't the easy out. I researched it myself...and in fact, MY dad was the final reason I said no....I talked to doctors, 7 people who had the surgery, all of my close friends, but when it was time to make the decision, I finally called my Dad. He understood my pain, my helplessness and hopelessness...he knew I was on the brink. But he told me not to do it. He told me I could do it on my own, that he believed in me. I'm not sure what all your dad is telling you from Heaven, but I feel sure that part of it is that he believes in you, too. I know you can do this on your own girl....we both can. I have zero doubt about that. Big hugs to you for having to deal with such a tough decision, but it sounds to me like you're making the right one by continuing on the healthy path that you're on. :)

  11. I once found myself in the waiting room of a bariatric surgeons office. (My low point in life.) I talked to a woman who had had it done 3 years prior and it didn't work for her because she found a way to "sip" her calories. (Like milk shakes, etc.) Just keep doing what you're doing. You can do it! Girl power!

  12. I think you have to do what's best for you. I will be getting surgery soon. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over nad over and expecting a new outcome. That is my "deit" life. Lose lots of weight to only gain it back again. I am getting the sleeve. No throwing up. I have an addiction for which I need medical help, but I still need to do what i need to for my brain. You sound strong and determined and I support you in your efforts.

    - Lisa

  13. Your post kinda made me teary because I can relate to those inner conversations we have concerning weight loss/surgery..etc. I am following your blog. I like what you write.

  14. I agree with the comments referring to the root of the issue. If food is difficult for you, it will still be difficult post-lap band. Plus, you run a high risk of malnutrition.
    9 weight loss

  15. You're being so brave! Good for you! It is a tough road to lose a lot of weight without surgery. If you do develop life-threatening health problems, you may have to rethink your decision. For now, keep taking those baby steps... it gets you somewhere in the long run!

  16. I'm on a similar journey. I remember once someone talking about the Bariatric Surgery. He asked, "How bad does it have to be to have them take your stomach away from you?" I'm determined to have more willpower than have to have some surgeon cut me to take my stomach away. Let's do it

  17. I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

  18. Only you can choose what's right for your body, and if you know that surgery won't be the solution for you that's totally ok. It's great that you are able to make the decision to work at your weight loss in the way you choose. Visualize your success and it will empower you to keep going. Best of luck!

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  22. Wow! Thank you for this post. I was considering having the lap band done thinking that It will be my easy way out of obesity. Though I have known a couple of people with great success and I am happy for them, deep down inside, I could not picture myself laying flat on that cold surgical table hoping that everything will go well. I have always had the What Ifs questions burned in the back of my head and it scares me just thinking about it. I too am trying to do it the hard way and I think developing will power and dedications lead to a life long success. I know this is my final wake up call that I like you, need to be serious and start becoming healthy. I figure I do not need to resort to surgery and risk my chances of living a normal life. Again what if I'm one of those unlucky ones who will never see the future ahead of me????? so again thank you for this post and good luck to your future success.

  23. Don't let a doctor talk you in to something you're obviously not comfortable with! But I know exactly what you mean about the tears--I've burst into tears in the doctor's office when they brought that up. Now I just get angry. :)

  24. I was happy to find your blog and I wish you nothing but the best of luck. It's the hardest thing to have to deal with weight issues and unless people have really been there, they do not understand what it's like.

    I went through with gastric bypass surgery 13 months ago. If you asked me in the first couple of months afterwards if it was worth it, I would have told you that I was out of my freaking mind to put myself through that... but it was well worth it in my case. I tried to lose weight for 25 years and only got fatter.

    I lost 132 pounds so far and went from size 32 to size 12. It's truly awesome... but.. but... but... my food addiction and cravings are not cured. Still have to work on that and struggle with it daily. Luckily I still lose weight even when I don't try to watch what I eat, but that effect of the surgery doesn't last forever. Inside I will always be a fat girl and god help me, if I ever get obese again, I'm afraid I would kill myself.

    If you do consider surgery, go with the gastric bypass because it works better than the lap band in most cases. It does hurt like hell though. In my case, pain was and still is the only deterrent to over-eating.

    If you go with the diet and exercise life changing strategy, more power to you! I tried it dozens of times with great success followed by total failure when I put on more than I had lost and yo-yo'd my way to over 300 pounds in the past 25 years.

    I'll be following your progress and wish you only the best.