One of the things most bariatric patients look forward to…
I try not to get too preachy and encouraging about weight loss surgery on my blog because I know as much as anyone else does that it is a very personal decision. On the other hand though, I am starting to realize that weight loss surgery is the only highly effective long-term strategy for most of us to lose the amount of excess weight we need to when we’re morbidly obese. I wanted to get these things to consider out there because I know how much I have benefitted from weight loss surgery. My life could not be any more different now and it’s all for the better.
You’re not getting any younger/healthier
I am so pleased I had my gastric bypass when I was still in my 20’s. I think it plays a big part in why my skin came through relatively well when I lost half of my body weight. It’s no guarantee for your skin but activity and exercise and activity are, I imagine, going to be easier afterwards the younger you are when you have your surgery. Your body hasn’t got as much wear and tear on it and you’re preserving your health for the future.
I was a very healthy morbidly obese person. My cholesterol was so low my doctor couldn’t understand why. My blood pressure was 120/80 and I had no co-morbidities of obesity like diabetes or sleep apnoea. I don’t buy into the fat=unhealthy, thin=healthy trope that’s in our society but I knew my health was going to be impacted by my weight at some point. If you already have some obesity related co-morbidities then weight loss surgery is going to help sort them out. Even if you don’t you have so much more to gain health wise.
Dieting and exercise is just not enough
When you get to the point of being morbidly obese joining the gym and going on a diet will see about 5% of people lose most of their excess weight. Even those people who manage to lose all of their excess weight, biologically everything is stacked against them afterwards and they will find it extremely hard to maintain their lower weight. More and more research is coming out showing that diet and exercise or either of these things used on their own is just not enough for the vast majority of morbidly obese people.
I have read many journal articles around this but the best summation of this is Fat Science by Robyn Toomath. Robyn has worked with overweight people for many years in New Zealand and she has come to the conclusion that gastric bypass is the best and only way we can reasonably ‘cure’, for lack of a better word, obesity. By all means being physically active is good for you at any weight or age but it’s not going to stimulate huge weight loss in the general population. You can read my review of her book here.
It will help to improve your confidence and self-esteem
Don’t get too carried away with this one. You will not come out with a perfect body and you will still have some messed up thoughts about your body. We are our own worst enemies after all. As you get smaller and become more comfortable in your skin you will stop worrying about all the little stuff, buying clothes won’t be the depressing near on impossible trip it used to be and naturally your confidence and self-esteem will lift.
There is so much more to life when you’re not restricted by your body
It wasn’t until I lost 40-50kg that it dawned on me just how physically affected I had been by my weight and the sheer size of my body. It was things like not being able to sit in chairs that had armrests (especially tiny cafe ones), struggling and I mean really struggling with going to the toilet in restricted spaces like planes. I couldn’t just bend over and pick things up, I had to do a bit of a dance or kick them a bit away from me so I could reach them when I bent down. I couldn’t cross my legs when I was sitting, my chest and neck would be so heavy and hot at night time if I was lying on my back.
That’s just the things I could think of off the top of my head while I was writing this but there were so many more. It’s really tiring being morbidly obese. Just getting my body through the day, every day, was hard. I think part of the reason I do so much now is that it’s so much easier to move around and do normal everyday stuff. I really have a totally new lease on life now.
When I hear that someone I know is having weight loss surgery I feel like I’ve converted them to my religion! I’m always willing to talk about it, (if this blog didn’t give that away) but I would never ever suggest to someone that they have weight loss surgery without being asked about it first. It is the one of the single biggest decisions you could ever make for your body and health and it is not one to be made lightly.
Everyone I know who has had weight loss surgery usually has an event in their life that made them realise that this was what they wanted. You may not have had that catalyst moment yet and that’s okay, having weight loss surgery when you’re only half convinced it’s a good idea for you is NEVER a good idea. However, if you’re truly fed up with fighting your weight, ready to make some big, scary and forever changes and want the best life for yourself to live give it a good think over. Contact your GP or a bariatric specialist and see if they think you’re a good candidate.
You are so worth the investment in yourself. Your life, body and whole being will be forever changed by your transformation and you won’t regret living the most fulfilled life you can dream of. Has weight loss surgery been on your mind? Has this post made you think you should pursue it further?