Have you ever considered bariatric surgery for weight loss?
Just my opinion, but some people have some strange ideas about weight loss, most of which can border upon the absurd, if not full immersed in it. What we often encounter from people who reach out to us for advice is that they are almost always looking for something to make weight loss easy. Well, there are no easy short cuts, and some people learn that bariatric surgery can actually turn into a living nightmare.
Weight loss is not rocket science in concept. You simply consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. Then repeat this each and every day until you reach your goal. In reality, if you want to lose weight, you have to do the reverse of everything that got you over weight in the first place.
- Eat only whole, healthy food choices that are not full of ingredients with names that you can’t even pronounce. Or in other words, quit eating so many processed foods. Minimize them as much as possible.
- Quit eating foods that contain added sugars. You do not require junk foods for good nutrition.
- Stop eating when you begin to feel full instead of continuing until you are stuffed. All of us who have been fat know how tough this can be with pizza, pasta, and sweet treats to name a few.
- Begin drinking enough water to keep your body well hydrated. This aids in digestion and making you feel full before eating too much.
Of course there is more that can be done, but those few bullet points are more than enough to get you going on the right track towards gaining a body that is at a healthy body fat percentage. Weight loss is not all that hard!
My Days of Being Fat!
Yes, I have been fat in my life and I know your struggles first hand when it comes to weight loss. I know the feeling of being miserable and ashamed of how my body looked to others and to myself. More importantly, I know exactly how it feels to live in a body that is morbidly obese and all the discomforts that come with obesity. Discomfort even with little things like the feeling of suffocation when bending over to tie my shoes. I have lived the embarrassment of not being able to do the things I used to do when thin and in shape.
Like many people with weight problems, I have been one who would sneak into the kitchen for secret snacks that I didn’t want anyone to know about. Eating cake from the pan with a fork, while working my way across instead of as a piece. If there is not a obvious piece out of the cake, no one will know. Right?
Is there anything more embarrassing than having a set of clothes that you plan to wear to an event, only to discover when it’s too late that they no longer fit, despite having worn them the month before? Guess what fellows, not tucking in your shirt is not going to hide your gut, and/or the fact you could not even fasten your pants. But I digress…
Bariatric Surgery isn’t Easy!
I doubt there are too many people who think that bariatric surgery would be easy. Therefore the irony doesn’t escape me that many who never wanted to do something hard to lose weight eventually wind up having a procedure that is far tougher than anything they could have done in the past to lose weight.
If you think that I do not understand how hard it is to give up foods with added sugars or simple carbs, you would be wrong. I know this addictive nature all too well. Yes, I too have experienced the crazy food cravings that can lead to eating canned frosting with a spoon right out of the can. The bottom line in all of this at some point, many overweight people will eventually have to accept getting out of their comfort zone when their health begins to fail. Bariatric surgery can get you farther out of your comfort zone than you could ever imagine.
My muse for this article comes from conversations with people over the years and from the fact my beautiful wife just had bariatric surgery one month ago.
Brenda Sue and I have talked to countless people about weight loss, and most of them have wanted a gimmick, or a short term diet for rapid weight loss. No one it seems wants to get out of their comfort zone to lose weight, nor do they want to do what it takes to lose weight and then keep it off for the remainder of their lives. Think about it, if there were not millions of people wanting an easy way to lose weight, there would not be so many weight loss supplements, fad diets and gimmicks.
Recently, Brenda Sue was recounting how a young lady told her that if she could gain another fifteen pounds, then she could get bariatric surgery. My God, this kind of attitude is just dumbfounding, but the young lady is not alone in those thoughts. Everyone wants an easy way out in order to correct what is usually a lifetime habit that has caused them to suffer from obesity.
However, in my lovely wife’s case regarding her bariatric surgery, it was a life saving measure to counter the damage that GERD was doing to her esophagus, and to stop her from aspirating stomach acid into her lungs which was causing her to suffer from constant pneumonia which was moving around from lung to lung. Now, I will get into what she has experienced thus far, and she is not even ready to begin trying to consume solid foods for another two weeks.
Beginning about a week and a half prior to Loraine’s bariatric surgery, she had to begin a liquid diet. My friends, if you do not believe or think that you can give up your junk foods, just imagine what it is like to give up everything that is not liquid. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, she has not been allowed anything with sugar or caffeine in anything since she began the liquid diet before her bariatric surgery.
On the morning of Loraine’s bariatric surgery, we got up early and drove down to the hospital to get her checked in at 5:30am. The surgery was a success with no problems encountered by the surgeon. Later in the day, it was time for Loraine to try to sip on liquids. Her nurse gave her some one ounce cups and told us to fill four of them with broth to sip on. You would think that only four ounces, one ounce at a time would not be too much of a challenge, but it was. Being a solid trooper, Loraine did her best but this little amount of fluid was too much and caused her a lot of pain which lasted through the night.
The morning after Loraine’s bariatric surgery, she was able to meet the hospitals objectives in order to be discharged and sent home. This, despite the fact she could still barely even sip on fluids. Once I got her home, she thought she should try to get down four ounces of broth. I prepared four one ounce cups for her, and watched as she downed the first and only cup of broth that day.
Once ounce of liquid is hardly a large amount of fluid, but this small amount caused her to get violently ill. She was supposed to sip on it, but she downed it like doing shots of liquor. This would be an easy mistake for anyone to make, after all, who sips on just one ounce of anything unless it was a very expensive bourbon or scotch. Although she learned a hard lesson about gulping down the little cups of broth or any other sugar and caffeine free liquid, the results of trying to consume anything at all for the first three weeks post surgery began getting from a leeriness to outright fear and concern on my part for my dear wife’s well being. How long can one go when every time they try to consume anything, it results in painful vomiting and diarrhea.
When Loraine was discharged from the hospital she was instructed to consume sixty four ounces of clear liquids per day. She did good to get down eight to maybe ten ounces per day. And a good part of that was expelled from one end or the other in short order after having it. This was beginning to take me from being concerned to actually being scared for her well-being. Last week her doctor ordered her to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital, they got her in immediately, sat her down in a seat in the cardiology rehab center of the hospital, and started an IV right away to replenish her fluids. Once the saline bag was empty, they brought out what they called the banana bag to drain into her IV pick line. The banana bag was essentially another bag of saline with vitamins and minerals incorporated which made it a yellow color.
I should add that despite having anti-nausea and vomiting medication, she was still vomiting and suffering with diarrhea after I took her back home. A week later, and a basic clear liquid diet is still causing Loraine to get violently sick enough to where I was going to take her to the hospital Tuesday morning. I really wanted to take her to the hospital sooner than then, but she flat refused to go on Labor Day or during Labor Day Weekend.
Tuesday, after many prayers by myself, family and friends, Loraine turned a corner and began to be able to get her fluids down. And, she was also able to begin eating soft foods like yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes and soft scrambled eggs. When she sits down to eat now, Loraine has a toddlers spoon that she is using, and she can only eat about four spoons, no matter what the food may be. Another hard lesson learned is she has to not drink anything for at least ten minutes before eating. And she cannot drink anything with her meal, and then wait for thirty to sixty minutes afterwards to have a few sips of water or caffeine free coffee.
Does this bariatric surgery experience sound easy?
Loraine still has a ways to go before she can attempt to eat solid foods again. In the meantime, and after she resumes a “normal” diet, she must avoid carbonated drinks, and also avoid sugar. Anything with sugar in it will cause almost instant diarrhea for her.
There are many risks which come with bariatric surgery. If you can avoid it, please do so at all costs. Weight loss is possible, and the loss can be easily maintained by following us here at David’s Way.
Giving up our favorite foods is tough, I know this all too well.
Changing lifetime nutritional habits is not easy, but it is well worth it.
Exercise can be hard for a beginner, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it and to enjoy how the benefits of exercise makes you feel.
Brenda Sue and I have had people who inquire how to best lose weight, only to have them erupt into anger when we tell them to track their food and calorie consumption, and to quit consuming sugar and processed foods. This anger makes sense when you approach the anger about giving up sugar the same as you would any other addiction. Sugar is addictive! It also wreaks havoc on your health, yet people refuse to give it up.
So, weight loss is not really hard, but it does take getting one out of their comfort zone for a short period of time to detox from the sugar they have been consuming. If you cannot lose weight, because you refuse to do what is actually necessary to do so, then as your girth grows you can also expect to experience metabolic disease issues such as type 2 diabetes, and cardiac issues to name a couple ailments.
Once your health begins to fail and you lose your mobility as so many often do, your life becomes miserable because you would not adopt a healthy diet and exercise regimen into your life. I don’t mean temporary healthy eating and exercise, I mean a lifestyle change to where you will be doing these things for the rest of your life.
If morbid obesity was not becoming such a problem today, there would not be television programs like “My 600 Pound Life”, or “Thousand Pound Sisters”. Health problems and lack of mobility will cause you to be miserable. Getting to a point where you qualify for bypass surgery means that you have been morbidly obese and miserable for a considerable period of time. Bariatric surgery will make you hurt and feel sick for any number of days, weeks, maybe even months. My recommendation is for you to weigh what is important in your life. Is it more important for you to overconsume foods that bring about obesity? Is a month of working into a new lifestyle too tough for you? Or, do you believe that bariatric surgery will be easy?
This is just a few things that you need to consider if you are taking stock of your life and have an honest desire to improve it.