Weight Loss Surgery has been called the easy way out for as long as I can remember. However, I am ten and a half months post-op from having vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also known as the gastric sleeve, and I can tell you there is nothing easy about recovering from surgery while at the same time trying to relearn how and what to eat to fuel your body the proper way. Weight Loss Surgery is a tool to help those of us that need it for whatever reason that may be – most people who go through with this surgery have a multitude of health issues compelling them to do so.
Prior to surgery I had to attend a couple seminars given by the clinic where my surgery would be performed. They touch base on the things we will need to focus on after surgery and what the after-surgery life will be, but I don’t think that prepares anyone for the real life for themselves because all of us WLS patients are different.
Related: Weight Loss Surgery Abbreviations.
Going into having this surgery I don’t believe I really thought the long-term through. I would not change it, though, as this surgery has given me my life back. Since surgery I have found that my body actually enjoys exercising and eating healthy. On rest days I find that I need to be extra active because my body is like “what in the world, I am ready to exercise.”
Before weight loss surgery, pastas and breads were probably my favorite foods. I could go to a restaurant that served bread and eat several rolls or biscuits before ever eating my appetizer and/or main dish. Today, I try not to cook pasta in my home except maybe two times a month; and then I try to refrain from eating it. For me CARBS=BLOATING and pain that I would rather do without. Now when we want a dish in our home that includes pasta I use Zucchini and make zoodles. They ARE kid approved.
Since my surgery, I find that I enjoy being healthy and eating a much cleaner diet. I have enjoyed allowing my children to eat cleaner and rid themselves of the processed junk food, as well. Granted, I haven’t taken all processed stuff from them – but most. We all drink half our body weight in ounces of water daily and always eat at least two healthy meals together.
I won’t tell you that this is all a bed of roses and that I never had my regrets because – to be honest – the first week I asked my husband everyday “Why did I do this to myself?” But after about the first month I was grateful to have been given a second chance to be the wife, mother, person that I always knew I could be.
I also wasn’t warned of the emotional roller coaster I would go on the first few months after weight loss surgery and become a big ball of a mess. I would cry for no reason, scream for no reason, be happy one minute, then sad the next, in a good mood then bam angry, etc. I was not prepared for all that but with the proper support and discussing it with my doctor I was able to get through it.
Related: 8 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon…
Something else people don’t discuss that is a huge possibility after surgery is constipation. This is a real life struggle for many of us after weight loss surgery. The need for extra fiber and stool softeners is almost a must for most. Sometimes people find that they also lose their sex drive. Thankfully for me, this wasn’t an issue.
If weight loss surgery is something that you are considering, my best advice is do as much research as you can to be sure this is the path you really want to embark on. It isn’t a short term fix or the easy way out – it’s a lifelong journey that you must commit to, fully. Discuss with your doctor and insurance to see if you qualify for it. Be ready to change everything you have known about eating and foods that you put in your body. Today I don’t eat out of habit, I eat to survive and fuel my body with the things I need – not what I want. This is a time in life when we HAVE to focus on our needs instead of wants.
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What are your concerns when considering weight loss surgery?