Weight Loss Surgery - Trying to decide....Internal Debate...HELP!




dilweed
05-14-2013, 06:18 PM
I am new to not only this message board but ANY message board. I never thought I would do this but I've been reading messages on here for awhile and I decided that this is the place to be in order to discuss a WLS because no one who hasn't had it or thought about it could understand.

Anyway, my story is this....I had my "stomach stapled" in 1989. I was one of the first to have this type of surgery. It worked great for a few years and then the weight started coming back on. I've been on every diet that is known to mankind since then and have lost weight only to regain it. So now, 24 years later, I am planning to have the surgery done again. I am literally 3-4 weeks away from surgery and I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether or not to go through with it. My surgeon is planning on doing a gastric by-pass unless he gets in there and discovers it's going to be too difficult and then he will switch to doing a sleeve.

I know I want to lose the weight, desperately. I just need some feedback from people who understand if I am doing the right thing. I know, I know, no one can make the decision but me but I need some advice from people who don't know me and who aren't really vested in this decision.


joefla70
05-14-2013, 06:37 PM
I am new to not only this message board but ANY message board. I never thought I would do this but I've been reading messages on here for awhile and I decided that this is the place to be in order to discuss a WLS because no one who hasn't had it or thought about it could understand.

Anyway, my story is this....I had my "stomach stapled" in 1989. I was one of the first to have this type of surgery. It worked great for a few years and then the weight started coming back on. I've been on every diet that is known to mankind since then and have lost weight only to regain it. So now, 24 years later, I am planning to have the surgery done again. I am literally 3-4 weeks away from surgery and I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether or not to go through with it. My surgeon is planning on doing a gastric by-pass unless he gets in there and discovers it's going to be too difficult and then he will switch to doing a sleeve.

I know I want to lose the weight, desperately. I just need some feedback from people who understand if I am doing the right thing. I know, I know, no one can make the decision but me but I need some advice from people who don't know me and who aren't really vested in this decision.

Questions:

What caused the weight to come back soon after your stomach stapling? Did your stomach expand?

Why did the dieting fail? Did you start on a particular diet, and couldn't stick with it?

Like you, I considered WLS -- and was very close to doing it. However, I decided to give myself one last shot at losing the weight on my own. That is where I am now. If this works, great. (So far so good). But if I am not able to keep the weight off or stick with a weight loss plan long term, who knows.

Anyway, what made me pause about the WLS was that I have friends who had the surgery, but gained a lot of their weight back in the years after. Not ALL of the weight, mind you. But a lot. What occurred to me is that the WLS will definitely take the weight off, but to keep it off and maintain, you have to - at some point - change your eating habits. I figured, if I have to do that eventually anyway, I'll try to do it BEFORE having surgery to see if that works. Again, so far so good. But nobody is more surprised than me that I have been able to do this. I thought the chances of me having WLS were more than 50%.

Anyway, that's my two cents -- as a person who has not had WLS. I know that there are MANY people who have had WLS that can't say enough good about it, and who probably owe their life to it. So, I am not trying to talk you out of WLS by any means.

dilweed
05-14-2013, 06:47 PM
It took years for the weight to come back and not all of it did. I initially weighed about 300 pounds and lost 120 pounds. 70 of those pounds have come back.

As to what caused the weight regain...I will never forget a woman who came to my garage sale where I was selling all of my "big" clothes. She asked me how I had lost the weight and when I told her of the surgery she said "I have one bit of advice for you. NEVER eat the thing you can't control. Not even one bite."
I asked her how she knew this and she said it was because she too had weight loss surgery (she was buying my big clothes).

I guess I ate the one thing. Well, I know I did. As others have already posted here....you have to control what you do. The surgery won't do it for you.

Good luck with your weight loss journey and I hope you remain successful.


2Chi
05-15-2013, 03:18 AM
Well what is making you hesitant?
If you ever read any of my posts before, you would have read how terrified I was of surgery. However, I still went along with the process since nothing was final. I had always had "May" in my head for my surgery month. Then one day while talking to my mom, she suggested I wait til after August (when I get back from vacation) and I immediatley felt panic and sadness!! Thats when I knew I really wanted to do it. Think about it yourself. Does the thought of not having surgery give you relief or not? I also prayed about my decision as well, which also helped. I went from being super nervous, to not being nervous at all.

Why are you choosing rny over the sleeve? Just curious.

For me, I chose surgery because Im tired of starting and failing. Im 34 single with no kids. People my age are normally on to their 2nd husband by now.. I kid. But life is passing me by, and I dont want it to be because Im fat.

Surgery isnt a cure, but it sure helps!

jiffypop
05-15-2013, 10:21 PM
ok. first of all, welcome to our little corner of the world, dil.

now, let's get started. what have you learned since the 'failure' of your first surgery? and please keep in mind that the definition of 'success' is losing 50% of your excess body weight and keeping it off. so frankly, IMHO, you ARE a success.

But i understand. I regained 80 pounds - still kept off 200, though. And now i've lost aobut 50 of them. and this is the main reason i had the surgery - to give myself the best chance of keeping it off. but i've had to make huge changes, and they haven't been easy. I know you understand.

and even though it's been more than 10 years, there are STILL issues that'll get me off track, but at least i've learned to balance some of those moments.

soooooo - what have you learned over the years about your relationship with food? what changes have you made? what's still left for you to deal with? and believe me, you don't have to write that stuff here - but you DO have to face it with yourself. and a counselor, if you feel the need. the best ones help us to think and make decisions.

no matter what you decide - and as Delta said, if you're not nervous, there's something wrong - you have to make sure that it's the best one FOR YOU. and no one else.

AND PS, JOE - your posts are treading a thin line. People come to this corner of 3FC to get real information about WLS from people who've had it or who are in the process or who are seriously considering it. Please ask yourself what you can contribute to that discussion, beyond the fact that you're losing without surgery [which is great] and you've seen people fail at WLS. While we all appreciate your perspective and the fact that you're losing so phenomenally well on your own, please understand that the real challenge is keeping it off, and you're not there yet. Also, the first couple of times we try to lose weight, it's actually quite easy. Cycling makes it much more difficult. Also, tour friends' experiences, while offering a lot of lessons for THEM, mean almost nothing to anyone else, other than if a person isn't ready to make the changes, nothing - absolutely nothing - not surgery, not fasting, not WW, no trainer, no calorie counting - will work. Please read the sticky 'if you haven't had surgery, read this' sticky at the top of the forum for more information.

joefla70
05-15-2013, 10:57 PM
AND PS, JOE - your posts are treading a thin line. People come to this corner of 3FC to get real information about WLS from people who've had it or who are in the process or who are seriously considering it. Please ask yourself what you can contribute to that discussion, beyond the fact that you're losing without surgery [which is great] and you've seen people fail at WLS. While we all appreciate your perspective and the fact that you're losing so phenomenally well on your own, please understand that the real challenge is keeping it off, and you're not there yet. Also, the first couple of times we try to lose weight, it's actually quite easy. Cycling makes it much more difficult. Also, tour friends' experiences, while offering a lot of lessons for THEM, mean almost nothing to anyone else, other than if a person isn't ready to make the changes, nothing - absolutely nothing - not surgery, not fasting, not WW, no trainer, no calorie counting - will work. Please read the sticky 'if you haven't had surgery, read this' sticky at the top of the forum for more information.

I understand. As I said, I too considered WLS. Heck, if my insurance would have covered it, I may have already done it! So, I don't knock it. It has done wonders for many people. Like I said, even the friends I have who've had it are happy they did it and recommend it highly. But as many have said, you can gain the weight back (or part of it) if you aren't careful. WLS can be a great start to your weight loss, but you have to help it help you. I agree 100% with your last statement.

dilweed
05-16-2013, 06:41 PM
First of all, thank you to all of you that have answered me. I really do appreciate the input.

To Jiffy Pop....I guess the really hard part is answering the question of "what have I learned from the first time". I did learn not to eat "the one thing" this time :) In fact, my surgeon just flat said to the group of us that we have addictive personalities and we must find something else to get addicted to besides alcohol. That is where my true struggle lies. I really don't know what to do with myself besides eat. I know I have a screw loose but that's the way it is. I wish I believed in counseling but I definitely do not so I must continue with my internal dialogue and hope I get it right this time.
And thank you for defending me to Joe. I did feel a bit like I was being judged which may not be what he intended at all.

To 2Chi....I live in Anchorage, Alaska where there is really only one choice for a surgeon and he tells you which surgery you are having. It is not a choice you make. You are free to suggest but ultimately the decision is his. He wants to do a gastric bypass but if he gets in there and finds that due to the first surgery he can't, then he will do the sleeve instead.

jiffypop
05-16-2013, 09:45 PM
hi Dil - we have another member here from alaska - akrosey. i'll pm her and get her to stop by. i don't remember where in AK she lives, and AK is enormous, but maybe ....

as for what to do with yourself besides eat - aaaaahhhh. there's a big struggle. i knit. i can't eat and knit at the same time, thank goodness. some people find that they actually enjoy exercise after the surgery. that's a good thing, right? adn BTW, taking up dancing counts, too. that's what missangelaks did. and then found a husband, but that's another story.

IMO one of the important things to work on is why we eat. boredom. stress. avoidance. being tired. whatever it is. we have to figure it out and substitute something else [like your surgeon said]. I realized that either my brain or my body had to be moving or i'd turn to food. hence, the knitting. i was also using food to ground myself. soooo, i started drinking strongly flavored teas. they served the same purpose, but without calories.

the answer is different for everyone - but looking at it - without judging it - is the first step to fixing it.

Sleepy
05-22-2013, 10:00 AM
I think that our lives and then surgery should teach us something..and that is...DIETS NEVER WORK! We all know that. And with the surgery we have a tool to really live by that. We should change the way we live, the way we eat...everything..not through diferent diets..but through eating and living healty.

Thats my opininon ;)

joefla70
05-22-2013, 10:21 AM
I think that our lives and then surgery should teach us something..and that is...DIETS NEVER WORK! We all know that. And with the surgery we have a tool to really live by that. We should change the way we live, the way we eat...everything..not through diferent diets..but through eating and living healty.

Thats my opininon ;)

I agree with you to the extent that "diet" is just a temporary thing to take off weight. I have learned the hard way that unless your change of diet is also a life-long lifestyle change, it won't work in the long run because you'll just put the weight back on. WLS can be a great tool to help you along. But you still have to do part of the work yourself. You still have to change your mindset.

Sleepy
05-22-2013, 06:22 PM
Exactly! I am only in my first year...8 months actually...and I have lost a lot already. By now I can eat everything and quite a lot too. So it would be so easy to just lay back doing nothing and be happy with what i achieved so far. But NO! I know I need to do something by myself and not just leave it all to bypass. So I am really active...losing weight with the help of bypass gave me that opportunity to be active again and I feel I need to just grab it and use it.. I am embracing this chance and new life style..and I believe thats the only way to be successful in a long run.

dilweed
05-23-2013, 03:40 PM
What a great attitude! If I go through with this, I am going to make it my mission to take on your attitude!!
I know that I also have to find something to do with myself besides eat. I'm still working on that one......

jiffypop
05-23-2013, 06:37 PM
Great, dil!! attitude is everything with the surgery - if you think it'll be hard and nearly impossible to manage, well, guess what'll happen. if you think you can do it, and be happy, and do the best you can, like Sleepy said, something different happens.

missangelaks
05-23-2013, 07:04 PM
Revisions are done all the time. Just sayin'

There is nothing more motivating than losing 60 lbs in 3 months...feeling better and still losing 40 more lbs in the next 3 months, and feeling still better and losing another 40 over the next 6 months. Yes, I have gain 35 back, but no too bad for being 5 years out and before surgery there wasn't a hope in heaven that I would live to see 55 (or so the drs. told me!) I exercise, I dance, I have put my artwork out to the world, even model for fun...somethings I would never have had courage to do without surgery.


One of the more difficult decisions I ever made was to go ahead and do surgery. The lifestyle after surgery (though it gets easier over time) is harsh...but I am so glad I did it! Would I recommend WLS? I wouldn't. It is a personal decision and one has to reach the understanding that it is a tool, not a quick fix (eat whatever you want and still lose weight, a common misconception...stomach is small, brain is the same, thus way counseling is recommended). Would I do it again? 1000 times! Especially after a year of counseling before and 6 months afterward to deal with WHY I over ate in the first place. Would I revise a surgery to something that might work better for me, perhaps.


Whatever you decide, come here and get the support and questions answered. It was a lifesaver for me, especially for the first year or so afterward.

Angela :hug: