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    Saturday, October 27, 2007

    Taking The Easy Way Out

    When people who haven't seen me in a while see me now, they immediately realize I've lost a lot of weight. That is, if they even recognize me. The first question that is always asked is, "How did you do it?". I'd love to say exercise and diet which would be true to a point but I've had help. Eventually people are going to realize that you can't very easily lose 170 pounds in a year without gastric bypass surgery. I suppose people want to know the secret to weight loss so as to benefit themselves.

    Here's the thing, I've always been able to lose weight but I've never been able to keep it off. That is where weight loss surgery comes into play. When I was dieting before, I would fall off the wagon and begin to eat and not be able to stop myself. Since having the surgery, I have no choice but to stop because my small stomach won't allow me to eat much more than I should. I know this won't always be the case, so I keep detailed track of what I put into my mouth. So much so that people think I'm anal about it. Even something as small as an olive will be documented. I know that for me, this is the only way I will ever get close to my goal weight and keep the weight off. Keeping such close track of my diet enables me to make the best nutritional choices. I make sure to get protein first and keep my calories at or below 1200 a day.

    Now, it has been implied and even said out loud that weight loss surgery is an easy way out. I'm not sure how having the contents of your abdominal cavity rearranged is easy. Having to retrain your body to accept foods that you've eaten your entire life is fun. Never knowing when your body will betray you because of what you have eaten is an experience in itself. I have to make sure that I don't eat something new when I don't know if I'll be near a restroom. Sometimes even food that I've eaten before causes me grief. Does any of this sound like I took the easy way out? How about the fact that I have to make sure I take vitamins every single day or I risk malnutrition, osteoporosis and neurological damage?

    This surgery is not for everyone. I would never talk someone into it. It's a decision that should be researched and well thought out. A person has to try every other way and use weight loss surgery as a last resort. I liken being overweight to alcoholism. A person has to hit rock bottom before they can admit that they are powerless over alcohol or food and reach out for help. I chose weight loss surgery because I had become powerless over food.


    Manny said...

    I absolutely agree with you sign. I have a coworker who I've worked with for just under 20 years. She had some weight when I first met her. She went on to have 4 children and the weight kept coming as well. I watched her try, do good and lose, gain it back, it was such a viscious circle for her.

    One day I was informed she was out on disability. We sent cards, flowers, we didn't know what was happening with her. She felt she had to keep it a secret.

    When she got back to work, she was a little lighter, not much. One by one she started confiding to us what she had done. I was one of the first she told. She also let me know she was over 300lbs. before surgery.

    That was 3 years ago. In these 3 years I have watched her change the way she eat's, she goes next door to work out, I've watched her go through what is refered to as "Dumping".

    She is now a size 12 or 14. She dresses all cute and her confidence is unbelievable. She's in her 30's like you sign.

    I watched her go from "Everyone walk all over T" to a young single mother who has taken her life back.

    I see her 8 hours a day, Monday thru Friday. What I see doesn't look much like taking the easy way out to me.

    lime said...

    i know very little about the surgery but i sure wouldn't say it's the easy way. i do at least know that recovering from major surgery is rough all by itslef. having your innards all filched around in is a big deal. it's good to educate folks though on what the daily ramifications are since surgery though. thanks for that.

    kimmyk said...

    When people ask me about how I lost weight I tell 'em the truth. I can't take credit for it either, but if they only realized you work your ass off once you have the surgery. It's not that you just sit around and watch it fall off. You walk and walk and walk. But I agree, you get to a certain point when enough is enough and it's something you have to do...not a I want to do.
    Life changing...

    Yippeeskip said...

    Most excellent post. I once commented that when people say congratulations on my weigh loss, I can only take credit for forking out 26k and not dying on the table. There is much more to that and I appreciate the education and the relatability over never knowing when my body will betray me.

    katie said...

    i think you are an inspiration, sign gurl.. to anyone who is battling anything. i admire you alot. :)

    buddha_girl said...

    I learned a long time ago that I wasn't ever going to explain my choice to have gastric bypass...TO ANYONE. I don't care if people think I took the easy way out. I don't ever have to explain myself or my choices to anyone but me.

    Like you, I once tried to list the "bad" parts of gastric bypass. Those bad ones don't nearly outweigh a life as a person who is obese. I'll take puking, weakness, hair loss, lethargy on bad days, and every fucking scar I have over being obese again.

    G-Man said...

    As my good friend and blog mentor, I'm damn glad to know you!
    I've seen you in pain, I've had to wait hours for you to come out of the bathroom, I've seen mood swings faster than the speed of light..
    The easy way out?
    Jenn...Theres NOTHING easy about you...xoxox

    Strumpet said...


    I would NEVER refer to gastric bypass surgery as easy ANYTHING.

    I think it's a tough decision and an even tougher road ahead after that decision has been made. (Which is why the decision is so tough in the first place.)

    You've done something that is an inspiration to so many people, including myself.

    Whether you're trying to lose a small amount of weight or a larger amount, when people can identify with the feelings involved in the process of doing so and be inspired by true greatness, (that means YOU,) it's a beautiful thing.

    I think the things you write about are so awesome, whether it's hinting at marathon sex or riding rollercoasters. Because through all of your hard work you have found something that all of us strive for...happiness and a sense of self.

    I'm not saying that you don't have your bad days like all humans do, I'm just saying that the vigor, the lust for life, the confidence, the sensuality, and all things Sign that come through on your blog are what I find to be hot.

    Your physical beauty is just icing on the cake.

    Congratulations to you through all of your efforts, for being such a such a true hero at the game of life, and for sharing it with us all along the way.


    To put it simply...

    I think you rock.

    So rock on.

    Happy Anniversary.

    terry said...

    i almost think this is the harder way to go, for the very reasons you list here. without the surgery, you can still slip up and overeat (or eat something that's not recommended) without such drastic and immediate consequences.

    Manny said...

    I'm getting ready to watch 1408. Thanks for my new blog skin.

    SignGurl said...

    Manny~ Thank you for sharing that story with me. I know you get it.

    Lime~ I forget that people are unaware of the lifestyle changes that must take place with weight loss surgery. It's become such a huge part of our lives.

    KimmyK~ You must get to that breaking point or surgery is not the answer. Sometimes I just want to tell people that I watch my portions and that's the answer to all their weight problems. It's the truth.

    Yippeeskip~ You must take credit for making the surgery work for you. If you hadn't, you wouldn't have lost weight.

    Katie~ Thank you!

    Buddha Girl~ I concur that WLS benefits beat the alternative of living life as a super morbidly obese person.

    G-Man~ Mood swings? Are we talking about yours?

    Strumpet~ You made me blush! You are too sweet. I write what I know and that's not much, LMAO.

    Terry ~That, my friend, is the reason that I could lose weight before, but not keep it off!

    Manny ~ You are most welcome. Enjoy the movie.

    *S* said...

    Any of us who have been there know that the WLS is never the easy way out and for anyone with a reasonable fear of death, mangling and suffering, not the first choice, but rather the court of last resort.

    I made the decision to do this once I figured the odds were in my favor about being able to do something very final and keep the weight off. Unlike you, I never felt I was "powerless" around food, but I did know that no matter how little I ate (and how well I journaled it) my body was amazingly adept at wringing every last bit of energy out of each morsel and storing it for Impending Doom and Ensuing Famine. I'm not sure if it's the gastrectomy or the intestinal reroute that has thwarted it in its attempt to hoard every calorie that I've ever consumed. But, man, am I grateful for the WLS every day.