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This is stomach surgery, not brain surgery!

Posted 09-11-2009 at 04:47 PM by SkinnyMarie

I am new to this site - thank you those of you who welcomed me - it is essential to have a support group as we walk this very special path of having chosen weight loss surgery.

One of the first things that I heard during my initial orientation was:

This is stomach surgery, not brain surgery!

Believe me (and other long term post ops will agree, I'm sure!) not a day goes by that I do not remind myself of this fact. Our surgeries are just a tool - we still need to deal with real life (good, bad or indifferent) every single day!

I am a 59 year old female - was 100 lbs overweight for over 20 years. For whatever reason, one day in August of 2004 I decided that I was sick and tired of being obese. I knew that if I continued, I would some day soon be taking the 5 insulin shots a day that my mother was taking at that time. I would have heart disease - and all the other co-morbidities that go along with morbid obesity. I was fortunate to stumble upon ObesityHelp.com (which I'm sure most of you are familiar with!) and by the next day had made an appointment with my PCP, written a 5-page letter explaining my 20-year weight loss history, health issues, health prognosis, and why I felt I was a candidate for WLS. Bless the man - a week later my dr. referred me on to Kaiser So San Francisco bariatric program for consideration. On December 28, 2004 I received my notice I was accepted to the program, Mid-May 2005 I received my notice to go for orientation - and amazingly enough at the end of May was scheduled for a June 16, 2005 surgery date. My journey has been blessed with simplicity, no complications, a 90-lb weight loss in 9 months - and have been able to keep all but 15 lbs off. I am not bragging - I am grateful for I know my journey could have gone a 100 other ways.

Through this 4-year journey, my mother (with whom I live with and cared for from 2000 to 2006) was diagnosed with and passed away from cancer (just shy of my 1 year post op anniversary), I divorced my husband (a verbally & emotionally abusive 10 year relationship), sold my mom's house and moved into an apartment with my daughter and her 2 young sons (1 of which is bi-polar and in special ed), changed jobs a year and a half ago, then was let go in April of this year due to the economy.

After earning 75K a year (and supporting my daughter and her kids because in her situation with my grandson being a stay at home mom was critical) I am now living on unemployment and renting a room from a friend.

Life can change in an instant - we all can and do deal with it! The choice we have is to not use food as a crutch ...

My point is ... stay strong in your love of yourself and use your inner strength to deal with life.

More later and love to everyone!
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    naykrin's Avatar
    Welcome to the site!
    permalink
    Posted 09-11-2009 at 07:37 PM by naykrin naykrin is offline
  2. Old Comment

    Any Regrets?

    Hi Skinny Marie,

    I am new to the site. I am scheduled for lap band surgery on December 8. Would you do the surgery over if you had the choice? Are there foods that you still crave and cannot have? I am having a hard time finding out what you can really eat the rest of your life - long term, long term complications, etc?

    Thanks,

    Dollface
    permalink
    Posted 10-04-2009 at 03:11 PM by dollface
  3. Old Comment
    Dollface,
    I would do my surgery over in a heartbeat - I have been very fortunate to have an easy journey - absolutely no complications, no issues from day one. I also believe that this is in some great part (apart from the always present miniscule chance of surgical complications that may occur with any invasive procedure) due to the fact that I knew what I was getting into and was mentally prepared to commit myself to this new life.

    I eat pretty much anything now - still in very small quantities. I am and always be a carb-o-holic and struggle with that "addiction". I am currently actively working on losing the 20 lbs I have regained over 4 years and know that I will do it because I will NEVER go back to where I was before with respect to my weight. I have trouble eating pasta (so, DUH - easy answer is not to eat it but tell that to my carb-o-holic brain, lol!) and occassionally have issues with meat that is too dry. Too much sugar (even small quantities) still makes me dump (yea!)(that really is a good thing.....in my opinion). The important thing is to drink your water, eat your protiens FIRST, then your veggies ... THEN if you have any room left, other stuff. If you really really crave something, have a bite. Follow your stage food consumption guidelines to the letter - they're for a reason. Take your vitamins. Exercise. You have to do this the rest of your life - but that's ok ... it's well worth the rewards that come from losing your weight. Congratulations on your decision to take this step! Please feel free to contact me any time at all -

    Hugs to you!
    Marie
    permalink
    Posted 10-04-2009 at 08:59 PM by SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Thank you so much Marie! I know it is a life long commitment and I guess I just wanted to hear from someone that they thought it was worth it. I wasn't sure if I wanted people outside of my immediate family to know, I guess that would be difficult to pull off. What do you think?
    permalink
    Posted 10-05-2009 at 05:32 PM by dollface
  5. Old Comment
    All my friends and family knew - and were incredibly supportive along the way! It is hard to pull off not telling anyone.... especially when you start dropping weight! lol! I didn't tell anyone until I had made the decision and committed myself to do it - and then only family. Then didn't tell anyone else until I was accepted into the program and waiting for a surgery date.
    permalink
    Posted 10-05-2009 at 09:00 PM by SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie is offline
  6. Old Comment
    I don't know why I am so hesitate. With some of the family members I am embarrassed. With others (a sister-in-law and her girls) will say Oh, well she took the easy way to lose weight. We both know that is not true. I am trying to get past what they might say and just worry about me and focus on my new life changes. Did you go through that at all. I guess I am embarrassed that I got this big and have to do something this extreme and I know people are thinking "Why not quit eating and exercise!" Which we both know just doesn't work sometimes. I know once it is out, I can't make it a secret it again so I am trying to tread slowly.

    Thanks,

    Dollface
    permalink
    Posted 10-06-2009 at 10:06 AM by dollface
  7. Old Comment
    You hit it right on the nail .... DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT ANYONE ELSE MIGHT SAY ... FOCUS ON YOU AND YOUR NEW LIFE CHANGES. You have made this decision for you ... not anyone else. Don't let anyone else's opinion get in your way. If it means you don't tell anyone, so be it! I tried unsuccessfully for over 20 years to just "quit eating and exercise" - we both know that while that is the simple answer, it just doesn't work for everyone. The important thing is you are taking the steps to do something about your weight. You don't have to answer to anyone but you for that ... I know I went through the "what if I fail AGAIN" thought process. The other surprising thing I went through after the loss is my (ex) husband deciding that losing the weight made me change and that is why I divorced him ... he was very supportive at first then mad that I'd gotten back the confidence in myself to not accept being treated in a way that was unacceptable. I didn't change, the real me just came out again. You will go through so many changes - emotionally and physically - but it's all good!
    permalink
    Posted 10-07-2009 at 12:13 PM by SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Skinny Marie, I went in for a Nissen Revision and came out with an open partial gastrectomy and roux n y on 7/22/09. I was very sick for the first 5 weeks with pancreatitis. It has definately been life altering, In 14 weeks I have lost 46 lbs which has brought me down from an 18 to 10 jeans. I feel fabulous and unstoppable. The problem is the loveless marriage that I merely "existed" in... is not of any interest to me any longer. Its like a tornado just came through. Would I do this over again.....in a heartbeat. Any suggestions?????
    permalink
    Posted 11-01-2009 at 01:05 AM by MareNHRN MareNHRN is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Congratulations on your surgery and weight loss success! Isn't it true that when we begin healing physically, we can also begin healing emotionally? From my own experience, I knew my marriage was over 2 years before I had surgery - and was ultimately in a financial position to end it. I would only say it is probably unwise to make ANY major decisions right now ... but it sounds like a decision you will ultimately have to make ... Someone once told me, when you think more about life without that person than life with that person, you probably need to make a decision. And, Girlfriend, as far as I can tell, we've always been Fabulous and Unstoppable! We just couldn't admit it to ourselves! Hugs and good luck ...
    permalink
    Posted 11-03-2009 at 01:29 PM by SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie is offline
 
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