Weight Loss Surgery - Getting through the wait

View Full Version : Getting through the wait

03-18-2013, 08:36 PM
For those of you that have had to/are currently going through a six month insurance mandated program (or a similar wait) before you can even submit for coverage of your surgery, what did you do or what are you doing to make the time not feel so long? I keep telling myself that it's a good thing I started this in December because look how close I am now, the time is going to pass anyways, etc etc, but I'm getting very antsy and it's hard to be patient! I know I don't have a choice, but the earliest I can have surgery if insurance approves isn't until June, and it will likely be later than that if you factor in the time it usually takes insurance to approve or deny.

Like I said, I know the time is going to pass anyways and it's great that I'm on my way, but I want it now haha. Any tips on getting through this with patience?

03-19-2013, 11:54 AM
:rofl: if you ever find that store that sells patience, please let me know!

My view is this: taking advantage of this time to make some adjustments in your relationship with food can only help you after surgery. It might mean looking at when and why you eat, and whether you're really hungry when you do it. If you're a stress eater, work on dealing with the stress. If you're bored, figure out something else to do.

set up an exercise routine - and believe me, ANYONE can exercise. you DO NOT have to get onto the floor to do a push up - i do mine against a wall [old lady knees - can get down, but not up!]. Just figure out what you LOVE to do. [some people take up salsa or ballroom dancing - just a hint there].

bottom line - do something to make post-surgery life easier for yourself. You'll have a lot of eating issues afterwards, so if you can relieve some of them now, you'll be taking control and learning new tools and that can only help, right?

03-19-2013, 03:19 PM
No way, I'll be clearing the shelves on my own! haha

You do have a very good point. I've caught myself many times making food choices I know are wrong because, "you don't have to eat healthy all the time until after surgery, it's okay." NOT! I should be trying to be as healthy as I can NOW, not later! I've been walking, but not hitting the 7,000 steps goal I set for myself this past month (more like 5,000 on an average day). I did buy new running shoes and a stopwatch though so the minute the weather warms up, I have no excuses not to start couch25k as per my dietitian's recommendation for me :)

Also... I know this might sound silly, but I was thinking the other day, and do you think it might be possible I'm trying to sabotage myself? Like I don't intentionally want to be at a standstill on the scale, but I was putting a lot of thought into WHY I was, and I thought that maybe subconsciously I was doing whatever I could to NOT lose weight. That might sound crazy, but I've been freaking out about going through all of this only to be denied by insurance, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that wow, maybe I just didn't want to lose any weight during the six months with the dietitian to prove I wasn't successful with diet & exercise! And the more I turn that over in my head, the more ridiculous it sounds! I'm hoping that realizing this will help me shake that thought off completely because that's very silly and I should be giving it my all right now.

03-20-2013, 10:17 AM
Interesting point, Sarah. And I'm not going to say you're wrong - that's something only you can answer. I AM going to suggest, though, that your post emphasized what I call 'the mechanics' of losing weight [this food in, not that one, exercise X amount in this way]. But the most important aspect of weight management - the one that's the hardest and the one that'll keep you steady - is the HEAD GAMES that we play with ourselves. Some examples:

Rewarding ourselves with food
Punishing ourselves with food
Stress eating instead of admitting that there's stress
boredom eating instead of doing something else
anger eating

and the list goes on. Most of us DID NOT qualify for surgery because we have a great relationship with food. We use food for reasons other than nutrition and fuel, and it's hard to break.

So, work on what makes you tick, put on those running shoes, and enjoy!

03-20-2013, 01:57 PM
Boredom is a definite 'trigger' for me. You've got a great point! Thank you so much for your help, everyone here makes this process so much easier.... it's not easy, but it's easier! haha

03-21-2013, 11:03 AM
Oh Sarah - there's SO much to think about when you're contemplating surgery. That's why it's so important to get as much information as you can, and think REALLY long and hard about how to get through this for the rest of your life. You want to be happy and healthy. And, as with just about everything in life, attitude is everything. If you go into this with the attitude that you can do it and you can make it work, you'll have a MUCH different [and better!] outcome than someone who goes into thinking that they're being punished and spending their time trying to figure out how to outsmart the surgery.

03-22-2013, 12:03 AM
I went in for my fourth dietitian visit today and had a nice long talk with her about why I'm struggling right now. She helped me realize that I'm having a hard time shaking the 'diet' mindset and this month my only goal is to work on accepting failures and getting over my habit of having an 'all or nothing' approach. Definitely going to be hard, but I'd love to get my head on straight BEFORE surgery so I can, like you said, go into it with a completely positive attitude, ready to make it work. I get to talk to the psychiatrist once more next week, and she gave me a few tips about what to bring up so I can really get the most out of my time with him. I'm not scared anymore, I'm actually excited to see him again! I really want to do absolutely everything I can to make sure I'm going into this in my best possible mental state.

Last time I saw him, we had a talk about how when I was younger I was on depression meds because I had a chemical imbalance. He asked why I wasn't taking them anymore, and haven't been for years, and I told him it's because I decided my problem was 90% attitude, so I changed my attitude and the pills became unnecessary. He told me that often, changing the way you choose to view things can actually change the chemicals in your brain! I was surprised to hear that, but it definitely worked for me. Anyway, point being, I'm thinking that will work for this, too! If I can stop thinking about past weight loss failures and approaching this as a diet and all of the bad things my brain associates with my weight loss history, I can have a fresh perspective and with that, success :)

Sorry for rambling, kind of thinking out loud here! haha

03-22-2013, 03:10 AM
Im glad you are finding out so much about yourself!

03-22-2013, 11:56 AM
I am not sure if you will find any of what I am bout say helpful or not...but here goes.

I began the 6 month waiting process June 25, 2012. I had my first appointment with my bariatric doc and dietician. On July 6, 2012 I decided to give this whole diet thing "my best effort". I knew any weight I took off before I had surgery would be benefit my WLS. I knew I was going to have to develope a better relationship with food, better eating habits, I was going to have to eat slowly, chew thoroughly and take smaller bites to name a few. My docotor also told me part of the 6 month waiting period was to prove I could follow some type of plan.

I was planning on having surgery late December or early January. Then hubby was diagnosised with prostate cancer. His surgury was Dec 21. He had complications and our life was an emotional and medical roller coaster for six weeks. My surgery was postponed at that time because we couldn't have the both of us recovering and my doctor said I was under too much stress to even think about surgery.

As of today I have lost 77 pounds. So now surgery plans are "on hold". I would like to lose 50-60 more pounds and surgery seems rather extreme for that. Sort of like cutting off your hand to get rid of a hang nail. HOWEVER, I am still continuing to see my doc/dietician once a month. I will continue you this until I have reached my goal weight and maintined it for one year.

As far as what to do during this time, I would suggerst finding out as much about life after surgery as possible. (This board is a good place to ask questions.) I also suggest using this pro-op time to change your habits now so it won't be such a huge adjustment post-op. Surgery is an effective wieght loss tool, but it is just that, "a tool". Not a magic bullet and you will still have to work at losing wieght.

Best of luck to you! Time will go quicker than you think...it always does!

03-22-2013, 11:16 PM
KATE!!! i'm so glad you checked in! how's your husband doing? congrats on finding something that's worked for you

03-23-2013, 01:16 AM
2Chi - Can you tell? lol. I really do feel like I'm finally getting a strong grasp on .. well, me, and that's something I haven't felt in a long time! It's exciting.

Kate - Definitely helpful, thank you for taking the time to type it out! So sorry to hear about your husband, that couldn't have been easy for either of you - hope he's doing well! It really sounds like you're going to make it to goal without going under the knife, which is great! I know if I lost that much weight on my own, I'd also want to stop and seriously reconsider. Congrats on your success :) Yeah, I'm definitely working on changing my habits now instead of later, I want to make post surgery as easy as possible - and I'm using the term easy very loosely haha