Why I Chose Bariatric Surgery

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Bariatric Surgery?

Why I decided Bariatric Surgery was for me.

Bariatric Surgery

It has been 3 1/2 years since I had Bariatric Surgery and I am often asked what made me decide to go that route for weight loss. The decision was not an easy one and it took many months for me to make the decision to start the process. When I started thinking about bariatric surgery, the first thought that came to my mind was how did I get to that point to begin with.  My weight had been a struggle as far back as junior high but it wasn’t that much of an issue. Over the years the pounds piled on and it wasn’t till after high school and college that I really seen myself for how fat I really was. Yes, I said fat. I am not hiding behind words such as overweight, extra pounds, or thick. I was OBESE. The one thing I have learned during my journey is to be honest with myself.

That honesty took me on a journey to lose weight and work on becoming healthier. At that time, I went on a mission to lose weight. I restricted my calories to under 1000 a day and went to the gym for 1-2 hours a day. I dropped down to 165 pounds. I had lost 60 pounds. My weight wasn’t were I wanted it to be but I was happier than I had been.  Soon clothes shopping was fun and I had a new body to show off. I was single and my self-esteem was higher than it had ever been thanks to the attention my new figure was getting. I had lost the weight in all the right places and for once I wasn’t the “Fat One” when going out with friends.

Emotionally, I thought I was free from the depression that being overweight had brought me. However, as someone with bipolar depression, the freedom was short lived. At that time I was not diagnosed so choices I made were not the best. To help with my depression and and anxiety (that came with the new attention)  I tried alcohol and cigarettes for the first time. For the first time I was relaxed and had a new confidence I had ever known. I didn’t drink often but used it to self-medicate.

I enjoyed being single and wasn’t looking for a serious relationship the night I met my husband. I would like to say it was love at first sight but I wasn’t.  After a quick introduction, he assumed I was stuck-up but later that evening we spent hours talking and I am grateful that first impression aren’t everything. We were married less than 7 months later.

Before Bariatric Surgery

Before Bariatric Surgery

From there my life only got more crazy. We welcomed our daughter just 9 days after our 1 year wedding anniversary. I had inherited a step-son when we married so now we were a family of 4. I quickly put back on all the weight I had lost. Over the next 9 years, I went down and up at least a dozen times. In the fall of 2012, I was fed-up, frustrated, and depressed. On top of the weight, I was dealing with chronic health problems and trying to manage my mental health. It was a constant battle. I was also struggling with the fact that my daughter was watching everything as kids do. I got on the scale and was shocked at the number on the scale. It read 265 lbs It was the heaviest I had been in my whole life. I knew then that I had to make a permanent change. I talked to my husband and after a few months of research, we both agreed that it would be best to proceed with Bariatric Surgery.

bariatric-surgery-before-and-after

I attended a seminar at my local hospital and started all the prerequisites for my insurance and the Bariatric Surgery Program. My insurance required that I attend a Weight Loss Program before I had the surgery. After I completed that portion, it was onto paperwork, final medial evaluations and deciding which form of Bariatric Surgery I would have.  When I first started the process my insurance did not cover the “Gastric Sleeve” and I was disappointed because this was the option I preferred. I settled on the “Roux-en-Y” instead of the “Lap Band”. Two months before my surgery, my insurance updated their covered procedures to include the “Gastric Sleeve.” I was relieved and had my surgery in March 2013.

2016 - 3 years after Bariatric Surgery

2016 – 3 years after Bariatric Surgery

My bariatric surgery did not fix everything in my life but it did help me with my weight loss. At the 2 year mark, I was down 120 pounds. Over the past year, I have gotten lazy and let old habits creep back. Because of that I am up 40 pounds (Still down 80 pounds from my heaviest.) I learned through this process that bariatric surgery only changes the physical. I had to work to change my attitudes toward food and myself. The success cannot just be measured by the numbers on the scale but in the way I eat and approach food. I have had to stop letting food control me and stop trying to control the food. Instead, I need to control myself and seek to bring order into the areas of my life that I can control.

Comments

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  1. says

    I think Bariatric surgery could be useful for some people! And I think you made a great choice for your health

  2. says

    Bariatric surgery is sure a huge decision and it definitely helps a lot of people. I don’t know if I could ever do it. I’ve had close friends who were not successful.

  3. says

    My wife’s maid of honor also chose this route and she had great success with it as well. It’s a very good option for a lot people.

  4. Emma Spellman says

    Your story is so inspiring. I have 80 pounds to lose. I think about surgery sometimes. I am happy that it worked for you.

  5. Nicole Etolen says

    Oh, this is a good choice. Honestly, I don’t have an idea of what this surgery is about then I read your blog.

  6. says

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story! I know a few people that have had this surgery and cannot say enough about the changes it’s made. I love how honest you are, too. I’m 250lbs right now, heaviest I’ve ever been, so this surgery is definitely something I’ve thought about.

  7. says

    Surgeries like this one can be one of the most challenging decisions to make! I’m happy to hear that it made a positive impact on you emotionally and helped you become the size you wanted to be. Thanks for sharing your inspirational story!

  8. says

    Thank you for your honesty. I too have struggled with depression off and on throughout my life. I was at my heaviest when I decided to do the surgery to fix my back. In February, I started physical therapy and decided to lose the weight again. I hope that I can keep it off. I still struggle with chronic pain but it seems to be getting better with the help of my therapist, depression meds to help offset the depressing drugs that I take to manage my chronic pain. Then I had another blow this year with the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. I am thankful that I caught it early so that I could get treatment. The meds are finally helping. I feel better since I addressed the mental aspect of things. I haven’t given up on my weight loss. I just got sidetracked and sick. I will get there whether it takes a year or a lifetime.

  9. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I think Bariatric Surgery can be a huge life changer for people. I have a few friends that have had it done and had amazing results.

  10. says

    Our neighbor had bariatric surgery too, but he’s gained weight again. You’re right, it only changes the physical and you should practice self-control and discipline.

  11. Kathy says

    You look great! Sounds like the surgery went well for you. I think that’s so good!

  12. says

    Just reading the line that says that the surgery freed you from depression is reason enough to have any surgery to fix something that is ailing you or bringing you down. Thanks for being brave enough to share your story and inspire others.

  13. says

    Congratulations on a job well done!! You look like you put a lot of thought and work into this surgery. Thank you for your honest opinions.