Now that I’m two years post-op I’m hitting the point…
If you’ve had bariatric surgery you’ve most probably had some doofus say to you that it’s the easy way out. In my, and every other person I’ve met who has had weight loss surgery, experience ‘the easy way out’ is about the last description we would give it. Since people can’t help but blurt out these ill-conceived ideas I thought I’d make a definitive list on why that’s certainly not the case.
The Optifast pre-surgery preparation diet.
This sentence alone will be enough to get most of you nodding along with me. In order for the surgery to be safely performed we need to shrink our livers through the wonderful medium of Optifast. For me, this was the hardest time of the whole process and it messed with my head big time. If there’s one thing that would make me think twice about doing it again it would be Optifast.
You get absolutely no guarantees that you will get the results you want.
There’s two things that are going to have the most influence on the results you get from weight loss surgery. The first is that the doctor actually does the surgery and doesn’t just sit there twiddling their thumbs while you’re knocked out for a couple of hours and the second factor is the effort and dedication in sticking to your recommendations afterwards. We are all different and our bodies respond in different ways to bariatric surgery. You can maximise your results by sticking to the recommendations your team gives you and making the right choices around food and exercise.
It’s expensive, if you’re paying, or extremely difficult to acquire if you go for public funding.
Actually getting to the point of having done all the things and jumped through all the hoops to get surgery can be difficult and the ones not fully dedicated to doing it are bound to not make it through. There’s still large entry barriers and that alone makes it difficult.
Yes, it’s a big surgical procedure. General anaesthetic, a short hospital stay, potential for risks and complications, and you know, changing your body in an irreversible way. It’s not a decision to be made lightly and I don’t know about you but I don’t really see surgery, of any kind, an easy way to deal with stuff.
Your brain will still try to mess this up occasionally.
You get weight loss surgery on your tummy, not your head. The amount of psychological transformation that needs to happen is huge and for many of us is the hardest and most sustained struggle we will have on this journey.
The judgement that comes with a decision like this.
There is still a lot of judgement in society around weight loss surgery and that’s a result of many things. The amount of misinformation that’s out there. People’s ignorance to what’s involved. Assumptions around bodies and how people come to be morbidly obese. And ha ha, what do you know, the common assumption that it’s the easy way out. Weight loss surgery is a very valid and effective way to deal with being morbidly obese and I wish some people didn’t look down on us for it.
It’s no silver bullet.
I thought I would reach my goal weight and that would be that. Goal weight achieved, thank you very much. What I didn’t realise is that it wouldn’t stay there without continuing attention, consideration and effort. You don’t have surgery, lose weight, and be done with it forever. Your goals and focus change but you never completely stop having to think about weight maintenance.
My decision to have gastric bypass surgery was the single best decision I’ve ever made for myself and my health. It was also the hardest decision I’ve ever made for myself. I am lucky that I’ve had a relatively smooth ride and didn’t have any complications. In saying that though it certainly wasn’t easy, far from it. My gastric bypass is a tool I now have in the ongoing journey of being healthy and happy at a normal weight.
To get the most out of life we have to do the hard things that make us uncomfortable. That’s what helps us grow and change. If weight loss surgery was the easy way out everyone would do it. Let’s keep talking about it and changing people’s perceptions around weight loss surgery, the more voices and different stories out there the better!
What’s the first thing that comes to mind for you when someone says that weight loss surgery is the easy way out? Did I get it on the list or did I miss it? Comment below and let me know.
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