The Start Of A New Life – Chapter 1: The Freak Out

It has been no secret over the past couple of months that I am intending to have Gastric Bypass Surgery. I have tried numerous ways and times to lose weight, all unsuccessful. I am not sure why things have been unsuccessful. I do not know if it is laziness, lack of motivation, lack of discipline or just not seeing the kind of results I had hoped for. Whatever the reason, nothing has worked. So, I decided that in order to save my life, drastic times called for a drastic measure.

I went a seminar for the Bariatric Center at Upstate University Hospital – Community Campus (formerly Community General Hospital). I sat through the 90 min lecture from the surgeon who should drawings of how the different types of surgeries are performed. He talked about his success rate with each type, the risks, the qualifications. I was the youngest in the room, and from what I can tell the healthiest. Now that’s a weird observation considering what we were all there for. However there were many people who clearly had other major health issues, whether it was use of a cane to walk, a wheel chair, dragging a bottle of oxygen behind them. issues walking etc. Then the questions started, issues with diabetes, cardiac problems, repository problems,  etc and it became clear how lucky I am and how important it was for me to fix the weight issue before anyother health issue arised. Truth is at 400+ pounds, I am a ticking time bomb for disease, I am just lucky that I do not have any to worry about right now.

Following the seminar, I went home filled out the paper work and mailed it in. Now the fun part begins. The wait to see if they accept me into the program. In my mind I was a perfect candidate. Young, relatively healthy but you never know with these things. Luckily I was accepted and was scheduled for my first appointment to meet with the Surgeon and Dietician. That appointment happened on November 10 last week.

The meeting with Dr. Kim, my surgeon, was simple enough. He revied the medical history I brought in, discussed what kind of surgeory I wanted – bypass, lap band, or gastric sleeve, and he informed me that inorder for surgery to be successful and have the lowest risk factors I would need to lose 5-8% of my body weight (or 14-30 bounds). This was expected but it is nice to have a number.

The meeting with the dietician however, that was a rude awakening. To be fair, I expected it to be a tough meeting because well my diet is shit. It started simple enough of course. She informed me that protein shakes were going to become a way of life, I may be placed on a liquid diet prior to surgery to help get the weight off. I will be on a liquid diet in the hospital and then 2 weeks post surgery. Then she dropped the bombshel. for 6-8 weeks after I am cleared for soft foods, my meals will consist of 2 30-ounce medicine cups. For those who are unaware what that looks like, it is two of these

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These is beyond comprehension to me. Thats like a bite of eggs and a shot of yogurt. For someone my size who loves food this is beyond terrifying. However I am aware that my “new stomach” will only be able to hold just a little more than 1 of these tops in the beginign and not much more after that. However beyond the initial time period my meals will look normal, just significantly smaller. Like this –

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Now the freak out – I have never been good at losing significant amounts of weight. I have lost maybe 10-15 pounds but put it back on just as quick. My surgery can essentially be in February, pending insurance obviously, however it is also pending on me losing the right amount of weight and that is very dawnting. The other reason I am freaking is because you do not get to my size by eating your vegatables. You get there by NEVER EATING THEM. When I say I never eat vegatables, I seriously mean I never eat them. No salads, no set up on a burger, maybe the occasionaly side of asparagas but that is it. I also hate change and hate trying new things, I am a creature of habit. I have no choice but to try new things and put vegatables and fruits into my diet and it needs to be done like yesterday. I am completely freaked out and it is causing me from procrastinating making changes, even little ones. Truth is I do not have time to procrastinate, change needs to be immidiate.

I see the Dietician and Surgeon again December 15. My goal is to have lost 8-10 pounds by then, a very real and obtainable goal. I just hope I can make the neccessary changes now so surgery does not get delayed, or worse, canceled.

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3 Replies to “The Start Of A New Life – Chapter 1: The Freak Out”

  1. YEP. I had the same reaction to my seminar and then the following visits. I was astounded by the teeny little medicine cup and being told that that little thing would hold AN ENTIRE MEAL for a while! I had the same reaction, too, to needing to lose weight before surgery. Which I didn’t, by the way. I gained actually and insurance still ok’d it but I don’t recommend that strategy! Like you, in the years preceding surgery I never ate ‘healthy’ things and sure didn’t want to start. I wanted to have a food funeral for 3-6 months so I’d be completely full of the most cheesecake possible before surgery. LOL. And that’s pretty much what I did. I’m going to say the nerdy thing now though and I’d probably have wanted to punch me back then but: start with one meal. Make one meal ‘healthy’ and then go on about your day eating whatever you usually eat. And start with just 20-30 minutes of walking each day. Do it, don’t make it hard, just do it. A quick thing over your lunch hour, even. Even during my extended cheesecake-a-bonanza I did start walking each day. I fully believe that that alone will start you down the path to getting approved and all that junk.

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