Not only am I a blog writer, but I am also a one year and four month veteran of weight loss surgery, choosing the Lap Band in May of 2014. Since October is the month of all things scary and dark, I feel it is a good time to discuss…
What’s so Scary about Bariatric Surgery?
Once you have been given a Bariatric surgery date, the whole weight loss journey starts to feel ‘real’ and you start to worry about anything and everything that could possibly go wrong. Far scarier than Halloween spooks and ghouls, below is a list of the things that scared me most about Bariatric surgery and how to mentally overcome those fears.
#1 – What will others think about my decision to have weight loss surgery?
Yes, I was worried about what others might think or say about my decision. In fact, I might have been concerned that someone would talk me out of it. I was also embarrassed that I had allowed my weight to get so out of hand. I decided to keep the information private, sharing my secret with whom I wanted to know. Today, there are still very few family, friends and acquaintances who know I had Bariatric surgery. There’s no reason to tell anyone if you don’t want to, but I am fairly certain that, eventually, you won’t mind sharing your story.
#2 – Am I making a bad decision by having Bariatric surgery?
A lot of doubt will come from people who do not know what it feels like to be morbidly obese, and how hard it is to motivate and carry out the simplest daily tasks. Therefore, your decision to have Bariatric surgery is a personal one because no one knows what it is like to walk in your shoes and all of the difficulties you face because of obesity.
You must also remember that a lot of people will not understand that weight loss surgery might actually be safer than the risks of carrying around all that extra weight. I was even told by someone that weight loss surgery was the ‘lazy way’… I guess he thought the weight just starts coming off, all by itself rather than a journey to better eating and exercise habits. So you see? Some people are too clueless to have an opinion about Bariatric surgery and what might be best for you.
#3 – What if I have weight loss surgery and still cannot lose weight?
Do yourself a favor and stop thinking like that! You will definitely lose weight after Bariatric surgery… how much weight depends on how much you change your lifestyle. Are you going to mess up? Yes, over and over again but each and every day of your weight loss journey is a new beginning, a chance to start over. Never let the fear of failure prevent you from chasing your dreams.
#4 – Am I at higher risk if I messed up on my pre-op diet a couple of times?
My Bariatric doctor instructed me to drink only protein rich shakes that were very low in sugar three times daily for one week prior to my surgery. It was very difficult to follow this diet but I managed, slipping up only two or three times. By slipping up, I drank one extra shake two different times when I felt as if I was starving and had one bite of meat on a night when I couldn’t resist. I spent the rest of that week worrying that my weakness would somehow sabotage my weight loss surgery.
The day before surgery, I met with the doctor in his office and found that I had lost about twelve pounds – in just that week! After my surgery the next day, the doctor came to my room with pictures (yes! awesome color pictures) taken of my stomach and liver during Lap Band surgery. They bragged on what a great job I had done on my pre-op surgery, explaining they could tell this from the color and size of my liver. The pre-op diet is an important part of the surgery process, keeping the liver small and out of the way for Lap Band placement. I felt like a hypocrite but I was so relieved!
#5 – Will I ever be able to dine out with my family after weight loss surgery?
Some people might think this is a silly thing to worry about but family time is very important, and it’s likely one of the reasons you have decided upon weight loss surgery to begin with. The answer is yes, you can dine in restaurants but very carefully! I still go out to eat with my family but my orders are very different than what they used to be. I have to spend a little more time reading through the options and sometimes, I have to pretend that I really like something because I don’t want the kids to think I am not enjoying myself …that might take away some of the fun.
#6 – Will I regret having weight loss surgery?
That is something that I cannot answer for you because all of our weight loss journeys are different, but I can tell you that I highly doubt you would have any regrets. I have not seen the level of results that I had hoped (my own fault) but I have lost a significant amount of weight and feel so so much better than I did before having surgery. I have increased energy and my body aches are now minimal. I can walk without getting winded and I continue to lose weight, slowly but surely. If asked if I would do it again if I had the option, I would say yes, absolutely and without a doubt.