Monday, December 7, 2009

I've Lost, but Look What I've Gained! Part III

[This is the third part of a series on weight-loss]

So at the end of the last post I wondered if I would have the courage to actually have bariatric surgery.  I spent a significant amount of time thoroughly researching the surgical procedure and the studies and statistics for the post-surgical outcome.  I actively learned as much as I could about bariatric surgery until I started the new job.  I was not quite ready, however, to actually have the surgery. 

The new job was a completely new type of position for me.  It was a newly created position at a small company.  My background from previous careers made it a great fit.  I had told my then sweetheart (now Hubby) that I wouldn't even consider marriage until I had a job and could stand on my own two feet.  I think I had the job about a week before he proposed.  This job was quick-paced and required long hours.  I often went to work at 7:00 am and left the office at 10:00pm.  It was very sedentary and so the battle of the bulge ensued and I was losing the battle significantly. 

We married in December, right before Christmas.  Our families had already planned a family gathering in Las Vegas, so we decided to add a surprise wedding to the mix.  Our families were thrilled and we had a wonderful wedding.

Back at work after the holidays, my long days resumed.  I tried to compensate for my lack of movement by eating as healthy as possible.  It was a huge struggle and without any real exercise, it became apparent that all I was managing to accomplish was to not gain at a rapid pace.  However, I did still gain.

In March, I attended a meeting at work and the CEO shared the financial reports with us.  The red ink was a big, blaring sign of things to come.  Being the newest employee in a newly created position, the writing was on the wall and by the end of March, I was once again unemployed (so much for standing on my own two feet).

One thing had become very clear during my research.  Surgical intervention was highly controversial and significantly frowned upon by many, including some high-profile personalities. It was a common topic on talk shows, and each one that I watched made it very clear that most people considered weight-loss surgery to be cheating.  It was a judgment that I found unjustified.   My research proved to me that with the right perspective, commitment and expectations, it was a good and life-saving option.  There was one final piece of information that solidified my decision to have the surgery.  It was a story of bariatric surgery performed for a different health problem other than weight-loss.

I read a story ( I wish I could remember now which publication) in a magazine about a family who had a genetic pre-disposition for stomach cancer.  Several family members had elected to have gastrectomies to lessen the potential for cancer.  They had chosen to do this because they believed it would save their lives.  Their decisions could not be reversed, much like  the Roux-En-Y procedure I was contemplating.  This story made me realize that the stigma associated with weight-loss surgery was something that could not stand in the way of my decision.  It made me see that if I felt I was at risk for death because of my weight, then I was fully justified in pursuing the best option (for me) to manage and reduce or eliminate that risk.

I told my husband that I believed I was ready to pursue the surgical option for weight-loss.  He knew that I had been researching bariatric surgery and he fully supported my pursuit; not because he didn't like the way I looked, but because he completely understood how much I struggled and how worried I was that I wouldn't live to see my grandchildren.  I told him that while I didn't plan to stop looking for a job, I would use the time off to see if I qualified for the surgery and if so, plan to have the surgery and recovery while I wasn't working.  Our insurance was an HMO plan, so I knew I had a long road of approval processes ahead of me.  It turned out that it was a much longer process than I anticipated.

I made an appointment with my primary care physician to start the ball rolling.

to be continued...


  1. So glad that you have a supportive husband who understands your struggles and wants what is best to make you happy.

    BTW I do like your blog name— fits quite well with your personal philosophy.

    Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

  2. Oh, good for you! I'll be with you every virtual step of the way!