I’m going to start a little series off called Melissa…
I talk a lot here about bariatric surgery and how and why it was the right thing for me. I wanted to change tact today and look at it from another point of view. I had thought about bariatric surgery, never thinking I’d qualify for it, for a long time before I started investigating it seriously. Looking back now and with the benefit of hindsight I know that for much of the time that I had been thinking about it I wouldn’t have been ready had I gone ahead at that point.
When I talk about being and getting ready for surgery largely I’m referring to the work you have to do in your own head getting yourself into the headspace where you need to be for bariatric surgery, so that the changes are not way more of a battle to begin with. So much, and I cannot stress how much, of the adjustment is mental and your success after weight loss surgery is largely dependent on how mentally prepared you are to deal with the changes that you need to make.
Are you still self-sabotaging All. The. Time? I don’t think it’s compulsory if you go to a private surgeon in New Zealand but if you go through the public system you get given an initial weight loss goal to reach. If you’re struggling with this and consistently are not making progress you need to you have to get really honest with yourself to figure out why. This is the first hurdle of many and if you are finding it harder than it should be (and it’s not easy in the slightest anyway) then maybe you’re not ready.
Are you still in two minds about going through with it and can you easily find reasons why you shouldn’t? This is not a good sign. When I had decided that gastric bypass was the right thing for me there was nobody and nothing that could convince me differently. My parents asked me lots of hard questions when I told them what I had decided and still it didn’t sway me. I am a very decisive person and while I think I have a bit of an extreme personality type I think if you’re wavering in your decision then maybe you should put it off for a bit to make sure.
Are you doing this for you? This might seem like a silly question to begin with but really take a moment to think about it. Have you had pressure or even just felt pressure by really enthusiastic family members or friends to have weight loss surgery? If you’re doing this for anyone other than yourself please stop in your tracks. When you decide to do this you need to be doing it for you. It’s incredibly hard to live up to the expectations and pressure from other people, we’re hard enough on ourselves to start with. You probably won’t have the level success you could and you may even become resentful in years to come depending on how things go.
You’re finding it hard, or even impossible, to stick to the pre-op diet. I am the first to say that the pre-op diet was the absolute worst part of the process for me. I hated it and I had my fair share of tantrums. I knew why I was doing it though and I stuck to it out of pure fear that if I didn’t and they got in and could tell my liver hadn’t shrunk enough that it would be all over rover and I wouldn’t have my bypass done. Medically it is so important that you stick to it and, yes, you have to be super committed to be able to follow the directions of the pre-op diet.
If you are at any point in the process leading up to surgery and you feel like you have changed your mind or want a little bit more time to think about it then please, please tell your team. They would not want to do surgery on anyone who wasn’t completely sure of their decision to have weight loss surgery. I know quite a few people who are now post-op but who had started the process off more than once after realising they were not ready and put it off to give themselves more time. Now that they are post-op and have the benefit of hindsight they know that they wouldn’t have got the results they have and know they would have struggled far more with the restrictiveness post-surgery had they gone ahead the first couple of times that they almost did.
Can you relate to any of the points that I made in this post? Did you have any points in your journey when you knew you needed a bit more time to think and can you recognise the point that you finally knew you were ready to take on the massive, lifelong consequences of having weight loss surgery? Comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear how your journey went.