A word before I start (you will see this “word” posted on every page I write about the confessions): My preferred method for living healthy is Eating Real Food and moving as much as possible–it feels more like PLAY than work. I prefer to ride my bike, go for walks, dance with my hubby, and lift heavy because it makes me feel GREAT. I wish this worked for weight loss. It does not, at least not in my case. I am happy if that works for you (slightly jealous, truth being told). I wish my preferred method worked for me, but it does not. This is what made me name my blog ANGRY, because I was angry that what I had used to help others get healthy would not work for me. I started in the health and fitness industry in 1980 as a trainer–it has been very frustrating to be so thwarted in my health goals–having the knowledge that I posses.
Hahaha … sorry, it is hard to do this … expose my soft underbelly. Thought I would try to keep my sense of humor as I move through all of this. I am not really “feeling” the funny bone right now. So, I am going to start soft. Today’s big share will be one that I considered and did enormous amounts of research on, but could never move forward with. Is this a bad diet plan? According to many, it is sacrilege. Unhealthy. Horrible. To me, it is a means to an end for some desperate souls. It is a pathway to be used for health, or it can be seriously screwed up like so many other methods. It is horrifically DRASTIC.
I am talking about Gastric By-Pass Surgery, the sleeve, and good old fashioned stomach stapling. Yes, my endocrinologist and I seriously contemplated my having this surgery. This was one of the options along with OptiFast and HCG that we explored just before I made the choice to start OptiFast two years ago.
Again I would like to state:
I am not NOW, nor will I ever endorse any particular diet or exercise plan. I will share with you what I have done/am doing–nothing more. I believe that each of you is an individual and that all diets and exercises plans should be made case specific/personal. I never attempted any diet I have EVER tried without the supervision of a qualified physician (most were qualified). I recommend that you do as I did/do and take your plans to YOUR doctor and have yourself medically monitored. Any diet can pose a health threat–monitoring is best–especially if you have a LOT of weight to lose or any medical conditions (I do).
I am going to give you a review of the diets that I have done or considered doing. The reasons for why I think each plan is good and the causes for concern as well. Why am I sharing this info again? Because I do not want anyone to feel shamed by the choice they have to make to be healthy. Not even the extreme choices. There are NO QUICK fixes and anyone claiming that By-pass surgery or Gastric Sleeves are “EASY” has never had surgery. There is nothing quick, simple, or easy about this choice.
NOTE: These may not be all the cons or pros for each diet, but the ones that motivated me.
- You stop having Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar problems almost immediately. Like a miracle. I mean who wouldn’t want that? I know it almost made me choose to have the surgery.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Seriously improved health
- Impossible for the person to eat large amounts of food or high fatty foods-so your diet is almost forced healthy.
- Most of the people I knew who tried this method had problems with absorbing nutrients.
- Most people had to have their teeth resurfaced because of nutrient deficiencies.
- You can re-stretch your stomach and regain all your weight back.
- Some procedures cannot be reversed–some can, but it is another surgery.
- Bands tend to slip off–thus opening the door for the non-healthy eating person to regain some or all of the weight back.
- This is major surgery. You can have serious problems.
My doctor and I batted this choice around for quite a while. She felt, after we examined my eating and exercise habits that I would not benefit from this surgery. I was very active for a heavy person and after logging my food, we determined that I did not have an over eating problem–not that we could find. She was concerned that I would not experience any of the health benefits and all the side effects, because I already had an absorption problem due to a previous illness. I was sad, because I wanted to be “cured” of my metabolic death duo of Diabetes and Blood Pressure. I was also glad, because I was afraid of surgery.
This diet plan/option is a worthwhile risk for those, like myself, who are facing dying and everything else they have tried has not worked. I felt it should be a LAST resort option. I do mean LAST. This is surgery. It is very strenuous on your entire body and skeletal systems — something I could not do lightly.
For those of you considering Gastric Surgery–I pray that you examine and re-examine the options and make sure you have tried everything you can, that you have done with all your might every other option before making Gastric surgery your choice. Understand, it will require that you work on all aspects of your life to maintain the loss. It will not be easy. This will require a lot of work to care for your health once you have the procedure done (this is a BIG factor in why I could NOT go with this option). My best advice is to check the people on the web who have had this surgery done and see how many are successful long term. Learn as much as you can about what the successful people did to maintain the original rapid weight loss and their overall good health. You will find that–as with any other diet–Gastric Surgery requires lot of work just to live once the choice is made. Be sure.
Many who, I know, that made the choice to have this surgery have gained all their weight back. As with all diets, if you do not make the changes to your thought life, your exercise habits, and your eating habits, you will find yourself right back where you started, only sicker. Make sure you do your homework on the doctor you choose. Make sure you do your homework on the hospital where you will recover. MAKE sure you are comfortable with this choice. If you think this is the easy way out — IT IS NOT!
If this is your best option for health and life, make sure you are ready and fully prepared to do what it takes to make sure you keep what health and weight loss you gain from the process. Don’t be ashamed of what you have had to do to gain your health and life back. Just protect it. Fight to keep it. Get with healthy-minded people. People on the move, and some of the healthy lifestyle blogs — hang out with positive forward focused individuals–I believe that makes all the difference in the world.
I cannot throw a stone at anyone making this choice for hope of a better life. This option for better health is like all others … dependent upon the person choosing … will they have the courage to make lifestyle changes in order to maintain the weight loss and health acquired from this surgery? Surgery is a huge leap. I seriously considered this option. Does that make me a Look-for-the-easy-way-out person? I don’t think so. I never felt this was an easy choice for anyone to make. I feel strongly that we as a weight loss community should be there to support and encourage folks who make the scary surgery leap to better health. Be on the ready to share with them our portion control info and our healthy recipes without the dollop of shame on top that they couldn’t tough it out and do it the “right” way — whatever that is.
Blessings …. see you tomorrow with another installment … Shonnie