I have been out and about in the world a lot more since I got under a size 14 (currently a size 10 or Medium)….. Because I feel great and look like a “normal” person. In the course of being out a lot, I have met a bunch of other people who have also had weight loss surgery of some kind. I am really surprised at how many I have met – or people who are directly related to someone who has had the surgery.
So that is either really fun – the kinship of the process, sharing our successes, marveling at the change in our respective lives…..OR, it is entirely awkward.
When it is awkward, it is ALWAYS because the person I am chatting with has “fallen of the wagon” of the guidelines set forth by whomever their surgeon was and fell back into the old habits that got them where they are. In some cases, back up 50% or more. Breaks my heart.
And it always boils down to just a few things – and I honestly see these as excuses, because we are talking about people’s lives here…..their health, the amount of time they will live, their ability to be productive and contribute to their families, society, and themselves.
1. They are no longer in touch with their surgeon
2. They are not involved with any support groups or counseling
3. They are not following an exercise regimen
4. They are no longer sharing with people that they had the surgery.
Across the board these people say the surgery does not work – at least for them. But here is what I observed:
On 2 different occasions, and this is kind of funny but still made me sad – I arrived at get togethers of all women, and there was one woman at each that was pretty heavy (220+lbs) drinking wine and eating cupcakes and very kindly offering me the same. Both times, I was carrying my own water and had protein snacks in my purse, so I just declined and said no thanks. I am always packing my own stuff, because I. AM. IN. CHARGE. OF. MY. OWN. DESTINY. Both times I got asked why no drink – I think they were expecting to hear I was in AA – and I told them that I cannot drink for a year post-op my gastric bypass surgery. Hence the conversations.
And what I hear from people who have gained weight back – and honestly look like they could qualify again for the surgery is:
1. I need to be able to eat / I deserve to eat whatever I want
2. I hate being different from other people
3. I am OK at this weight and I am comfortable here
4. I am going to take this weight off when I am ready.
And my thoughts in order are:
1. No you don’t
2. No you don’t
3. No you aren’t
4. No you won’t
And, some observations by my brilliant surgeon and friend Dr. Michael Snyder:
1) Major problem of “forgetting where you came from!” In all of history, if you do not remember your past, you are doomed to repeat it. This is true for everyone– from nations to individuals.
2) “Fear of success!” Some people are more comfortable with failure. “If I succeed, people will expect more from me.” Clearly, this is toxic thinking. But, I do see it in people who claim to be “more comfortable” at a higher weight. It is what they are “used to.”
I am not special. I do not have superhuman will power. I AM following the rules of the tool – my new digestive system courtesy of Dr. Michael Snyder and my gastric bypass surgery – to create and maintain success. I am plugged into my surgeon and his amazing team. I do go to support groups and I am exercising. I still don’t like exercising. Bully for those of you that do, I am not one of them. But I do LOVE how it makes me look and feel. So I am doing it. And – I am compliant to the dietary rules. Yes, I have fewer choices than you. But I don’t care, because I am healthy. And getting healthier every day.
So – if you fell off the wagon – I am begging you – GET BACK ON! We are all here to support each other! Get in touch with your surgeon, support groups and exercise groups. Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to reclaim YOU!