Tuesday, May 16, 2006

to cut or not to cut....the surgery debate

a good friend of mine, josh, is currently going through the process of getting gastric bypass surgery. i'm not a huge advocate of this drastic step, but i support him 150%. another friend of ours, marty, had the surgery & it literally saved his life. now josh didn't come to this decision lightly, he did a lot of soul searching & realized that he couldn't lose weight without help. & if he didn't lose weight he wouldn't have a long life ahead of him. i applaud his honesty with himself & his courage to undertake that journey.

i'd be a liar if i said that i've never pondered the possibility. once, i even asked a doctor about it, this was back when i was over 300lbs, & i was told that i wasn't fat enough & not to ask again because she'd never recommend me. (as an aside, that should've been a clue to find a new doctor) at this point in time i still need to lose 100lbs to be at the top end of my "normal" weight range, but it's a hell of a lot better than needing to lose over half of my total body weight.

my fiance has seen me struggle & held me as i cried saying that i was fat, ugly, & i was such a failure that there was no way on earth i could lose a single pound on my own, let alone 120. he's suggested that perhaps i might want to try the lapband. when he first mentioned it i was wholely insulted that he didn't think i could get myself healthy on my own. but after some distance & deep thoughts (NOT by jack handy) i've realized that perhaps, just perhaps he's right, maybe i do need that surgery.

because i did get down to 229 on my own, i do have a reasonable amount of confidence that not only can i get back to the 220's on my own, but that i can surpass them & finally get back under 200lbs again. now, while i do know that i really can do this on my own, i will admit that i am very weak. wickedly weak. & my current home situation has me surrounded, nearly constantly, by processed foods full of sugar, & fat, & partially hydrogenated oils, & all sorts of other yummy delicious foods of the devil. & unfortunately i'm unable to move into a place of my own where i can control the quality & quantity of food that enters the front doors. so i do feel a bit set up for failure by my home life.

so i made a deal. with myself. with god. with the devil. with who ever would listen. & i now proclaim it in writing. my current health insurance will not, under any circumstance, pay for ANY weight related surgery or treatment. the cheap s.o.b.s won't even pay for a nutritionist. (ok, i do work for them, so i might want to temper this rant a wee little bit) but my dear fiance has open enrollment for his health insurance in august, & with my high deductibles & out of pocket amounts it's an even exchange of me going on his insurance. (yeah, if you thought you might get better health insurance by working in the industry, yeah, right, that really doesn't happen) in august he'll sign me up on his insurance as his domestic partner, ooh, it sounds so tawdry. & my insurance will become effective in september. so here's the deal that i made. if i don't make significant changes in my life by the time my new insurance starts, then i will start the process of going in to have the surgery for the lap band.

it hurts me incredibly to say those words aloud to my friends, much less to write them here for god & everyone to see. but i've also come to that breaking point in my life. i'm a few months away from being 29. we want to have kids after we're married & i really don't want to put my health, or my baby's health, at risk by being morbidly obese. it makes me feel weak & powerless. because, i feel, that in the end it's up to me what i put into my body. it's also up to me the amount of activity that i get in a week's time. i'm completely free to control my actions. & by admitting that yes, maybe i do need medical, surgical, intervention, it makes me feel like i'm weak & unable to control my life.

definition of significant? no, not 100lbs by september, that would be setting myself up for failure. i've often heard that 1-2lbs a week is a healthy, realistic, weight loss goal. it's approximately 15 weeks until september, so my scale goal will be 15-30lbs by september 1st. not too unrealistic, but not too much of a slacker goal either. my fitness goal, is to be consistently working out 5+days/week. which is completely doable since i have a gym at my work. yeah, totally no excuse for not getting my ass on the treadmill. & my nutrition goal will be to a: eat out only once per week, or less, & b: to get at least 96oz of water per day. in addition, nutrition wise, i want to make sure that i'm taking a multi-vitamin every day & that i'm making a good effort to actually eat vegetables every day. i'm not so much of a veggie girl. steak yes. chocolate hell yes. veggies, yeah, not so much.

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