DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a judgment piece of anyone. These are my feelings and opinions about me and only me. I love and respect a number of friends and family that have chosen bariatric surgery in their own journeys as a tool to wellness and support them wholeheartedly in their choices. That said, happy reading!
I made a difficult choice. I have chosen not to pursue bariatric surgery as a means to lose weight at this particular juncture in my life.
I’ve toyed with the idea for about a year, convincing myself that it was my only hope to lose weight. “Toying with the idea” is definitely the right way to phrase it, because in all my research, thought, and prayer, I have simply not been able to truly wrap my mind around the idea of modifying my body from how it was designed. I just haven’t been able to sit comfortably with that thought.
In my delirium laying in bed the last couple weeks, I have really spent a lot of time in my head–a scary, scary place to be–and started to convince myself again that bariatric surgery would be the answer to my problems. I would lose weight, get fit, live a healthier lifestyle, and all my problems would be behind me.
But that’s not reality. None of those things happen as a direct result of bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is simply a tool to aid in attaining those things–it’s not a means to an end. I could get into all the science and research and pros/cons and blah, blah, blah…but what it comes down to is a choice. Is this tool for me?
I went as far this time as to do my homework and seek out a doctor. And boy, I found a good one. One of the leading bariatric surgeons in the country who performs the surgery at the hospital that leads in the nation the number of bariatric surgeries performed. I even called and scheduled a consultation, which I am cancelling.
So, why isn’t bariatric surgery a choice for me?
Well, I mentioned before the whole idea of altering my internal organs is a pretty substantial reason, but there’s more to it. I have very little reason to believe that I have the follow-through to be successful in using this particular tool. It’s not like a diet where when you get tired of it you can just walk away–you’re stuck with the changes. I would be making a commitment that would affect the rest of my life in how my body works. I’m just not sure that I’ve got that in me to take on. Just the precertification process with my health insurance takes almost a year to navigate…and finding out all that’s included in that process has been a huge turn off, even with the support of this “amazing doctor” and his staff that commit to make this a “fun” process. If I can’t commit to a year to prepare for such a surgery, what right do I have on God’s green earth to think that I’m willing to make a decision that’s going to affect how my body works for the rest of my life?
This was a hard choice for me to make. I’ve grieved over it. I’ve cried over it. I had a tearful conversation with my husband when telling him that I felt like I couldn’t pursue this anymore. (which again, I have an amazing husband, who supports me unconditionally)
Is this the end of the road? Nope. Will I ever revisit this idea? Maybe.
Here’s what I do know:
I serve an amazing God who will provide what I need at the right time. God has provided me with great family, friends, and accountability that support me right now. Right where I’m at. Yes, absolutely, there’s huge changes that need to be made in my life to live a long and healthy life. But I have time to make these changes methodically and intentionally to have them become permanent changes. I’m not staring down the barrel of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. (Yet.) I’m just fat.
I’ve made a lot of changes in a short amount of time, and it’s paying off. I want to see where this leads. I have a lot of peace in the journey I’ve chosen to take. It’s not a sprint to the finish, it’s pacing myself for the marathon. Let’s see what happens next…
1 thought on “Tough Decisions”
Stephanie, first of all, thank you for sharing your journey. I too have wrestled with this same sort of decision, but I’ve never gone so far as to research it in depth. I too have decided not to pursue bariatric surgery for myself, and have gone over it in my head over and over again–especially after after the passing of my father and our change in appointment and putting back on all the weight I had lost (and then some) which I worked so hard to lose and kept off for 18months. The thing is, I know I am completely capable of eating healthy and exercising. I currently have no physical limitations to doing so. I believe surgery would help if I did, or if for some reason I hit a very big plateau that was difficult to overcome, yet still practiced a healthy lifestyle. The thing is you are absolutely right–it is not a be all end all. It is not a total solution and I whole heartedly believe that because I know that for many who have had the surgery the weight comes back. Why? because for many of us who are obese and have been for a majority of our lives, the issue is not physical but mental. The surgery will correct some of the physical, but it can never fix the mental. And that is the main reason I have decided not to have surgery and like you, I may revisit this decision again in the future, but for right now, I know it is not the answer for me. I want success for you! I really do! I want it for me too! I really want to change for the better, and not to impress anyone or to combat any negative comments that come my way, but because there’s so much more to being healthy that physical appearance and eating clean. There’s a whole mental aspect to it that many people do not acknowledge, or people who only have the “baby weight” to lose cannot understand because frankly they’ve never been “there”. They can never really understand what it is like for someone who has been in our shoes. So, thank you for sharing. It has helped me to once again take a look at myself and inspired me to keep trying.