It’s been 7 months since I underwent the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, a weight loss surgery. Over the past seven months I’ve received a few emails, messages, dm’s on twitter & instagram and so I decided to post about it. Weight loss surgery is still a very taboo topic, but it doesn’t have to be, nor should it be. There are so many negative thoughts out there about it and I’d love to take a moment to talk about it. The photo below doesn’t say before & after because I’m nowhere near done. 105 lbs down so far and plenty more to go. But I’m feeling better every day!
5 reasons to I chose to have Weight Loss Surgery:
1 || I’ve dealt with weight issues for most of my life.
Being overweight was something that I dealt with since probably 6th grade. So far back that I can’t even remember exactly. And it’s hard to pin point exactly what started the spiral. I grew up in a mountain town, where we played outside all year round whether it be swimming at the country club or sledding in the winter, riding bikes and walking all over town. I can’t even tell you how many times I tried (openly and very secretly) to lose the weight, starting from a very young age. Nothing worked long term. Not ever. Even when I had finished having children and was totally committed, even if I lost it came right back.
2 || Nothing worked long term for me.
Despite our family eating rather healthy (sure we go out to eat/drink occasionally), watching portions, counting calories, etc nothing ever worked long term. A few years ago I busted my ass and was working out 1-2 hours every day and watching every single crumb that I put into my mouth and I lost 40-50 pounds in a few months. Why didn’t I just keep it up? Well, because.. life. Once I stopped working out every single day and was only doing so 3-4 times a week the weight slowly started to creep back on. This cycle was a vicious one that happened over and over.
“Dieting” doesn’t work, and I’ve always known that. So when Brookelyn was about 3 Matt and I decided to make lots of lifestyle changes. That’s the point when we began to be careful about what we ate, made sure that we were staying active, etc. Because, while Matt had no weight to lose, we both wanted to stay healthy because we were parents and because we were trying to conceive again and we knew that some weight loss would help me in that department.
3 || Even my doctors & nutritionist were perplexed.
If you know nothing about the process of weight loss surgery, you must first go through a medically supervised diet. This “diet” is usually a requirement by insurance companies before they’ll approve the surgery and each surgeons office has their own medically supervised diet. It took me three times of the medically supervised diet to actually go through with the surgery* (due to insurance, explanation below). Both of the surgeons that I worked with (the first one in California & the second, here in Wisconsin) were baffled, as were myself and the nutritionists. I stuck to their plans, was careful with what I ate, I worked out, etc and still I lost nothing. My weight literally fluctuated only 3-5 lbs in 4 years!! In those 4 years I never gained (more than 5) and never lost more than 5. My weight would yo-yo back and a forth a wee bit, but that was it. Nothing was working, once again.
4 || I’m not getting any younger.
I do wish that in my early to mid-twenties that I’d busted my ass and tried to lose weight before I had let it get so far out of control. There’s no denying that. But when you’re 32 years old and have been over weight your entire life and nothing seems to be working, you start searching for other options. A friend of mine had the sleeve and it was very successful. After that I started doing research and asking lots of questions. That’s when I learned that weight loss surgery was far from the easy way out. In fact, it’s damn hard. It’s life changing in more ways than one.
I knew that the older I got, the harder it would be to lose the weight. So after I felt that I knew I had tried hard to lose it on my own, talking to a surgeon about the sleeve as a tool to help me lose the weight was the right decision. And after talking to him, the nurse practitioner and the nutritionist my decision was solidified and I felt good about my decision. The decision to have a major portion of your stomach removed is not an easy decision to make, I can tell you that. At 36 years old, I finally feel confident and know that I can in fact lose this weight. I don’t care how thin I get, I only care that I’m healthy. My kids and my husband need me and I want to be here for them for a very, very long time!
5 || I am worth it!
When it comes down to it, I’m worth it. I deserve to be happy, to be able to run & play with my kids, to enjoy life, to love and feel comfortable in my own skin. My kids and my husband deserve it! They deserve to have a wife & mom who feels good and can set a great example for them. The kids have watched me struggle. They’ve seen my healthy food habits and they’ve watched me work out and they’ve also seen the frustration when my body didn’t change. I’ve never used the words “fat” or “skinny”. We talk about bein healthy. They’re learning a valuable lesson, one that I hope will stay with them forever. Each morning they see me get dressed for the gym and they hear me moan and groan in the evening when my muscles are sore. And the fun part is that we talk about it! We talk about my workouts, we talk about Brookelyn’s volleyball practices & games, we talk about what Matt and Cohen are doing in taekwondo and whether they’re kicking butt or getting their butts kicked. It’s fun! Having our own activities that we all love is such a great common bond for us, yet also great time out of the house for each of us too! We’re all learning to take care of our bodies, to be proud of ourselves and most of to love ourselves, because we’re worth it.
When people ask if I’d do it all over again I cannot say YES fast enough. It took a lot of work to get to the point of having surgery and it’s still a lot work, each and every day. Sure, the weight fell of incredibly fast for the first six months, but it slows down. I’ve actually been stalled for a good month and it’s crazy frustrating! But, I know that it’ll start up again. I eat very, very small meals (think less than your toddler, probably) full of protein and I drink water like you wouldn’t believe. I work out 4-5 days a week and I work out HARD and love every minute of it. My body feels better now at 37 than it’s ever felt before. Most importantly I love my body (loose skin & all) more than I ever have before and that is something worth fighting for!