That was my response to my sweet hubs yesterday.
What prompted it?
“Hey since our anniversary is on Thursday do you think you should start your pre-op diet early to make up for it?”
See his question is full of the sort of thinking which helps people develop the mindset that food and weight loss is evil and punishable.
Wait…are you confused? What surgery?
Oh yeah…BTW kiddos…I’m moving ahead with weight loss surgery.
8 March 2016 is the date of my sleeve surgery so that means I start my pre-op, liver-shrinking diet on Tuesday 23 February.
The diet my surgeon uses is protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and then what he calls “lean and green” for dinner which means lean protein and green and bright vegetables for dinner.
However with our anniversary on Thursday 25 February my hubs, in all his sweetness, was worried the celebration would derail the purpose.
Yes, I am going to celebrate my anniversary as if surgery is not looming.
Yes, I have cleared it with my doctor’s office.
No, I am not ever punishing myself with food again…and to start the pre-op diet early would be a punishment.
So on to the surgery…
What the heck is a “sleeve surgery”?
Well since you asked the vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a type of weight loss surgery. The surgeon essentially turns your football-sized stomach into a banana-sized “sleeve” of a stomach. Since the stomach is only reduced in size the body is allowed to function normally but you cannot eat as much which helps inspire weight loss.
I picked the sleeve because gastric banding aka LapBand does come with a small margin of increased risk for people with autoimmune disease and since I have one of those I thought it probably best to not give my body anything else to throw a hissy fit about.
I picked the sleeve because gastric bypass aka Roux En Y physically reroutes the guts so your body is incapable of absorbing nutrients especially calories but also vitamins and minerals and with my gut issues including mal-absorption I figured it was not a good idea to throw gas on that particular fire in my belly. I have also found that managing my fibromyalgia is all about making sure my body can access all the good nutrition I can give it so taking away my body’s natural ability to extract vitamins and minerals did not sound like a wise plan.
The sleeve it is!
If you have been following my journey at all you know I started this blog when I had decided to have the sleeve almost three years ago. I won’t ‘bore’ you now with all the in’s and out’s but the short answer as to why it’s taken so long to get here is: Some loving weight loss surgery patients messaged me about a month before my surgery to suggest I hold off until I have a good doctor on board to manage my hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis disease.
I do not remember their names but I probably owe them my life.
It was hard to trust their experience and take that sage advice but I am so very grateful I did.
These past couple of years have afforded me tremendous personal growth as well as finding a miracle doctor locally who is actually interested in my health enough to manage my thyroid diseases. Surgery was never fully off the table in my mind but I wanted to see if excellent management of my thyroid disease would matter.
And, it didn’t.
Yes, with excellent control of my thyroid I can almost lose weight like a normal person.
Yes, with excellent control of my thyroid my thyroid is still going to take a dive and pack on the same 20 pounds I spent the past six to eight months losing…that was how I spent 2014-2015 and what inspired last year’s ‘vacation’ from holding on so tightly to any weight loss plan…I just couldn’t deal…again…so I needed to get my head right and figure out if my weight mattered to my future.
So nothing has really changed with regards to my thyroid despite having a great doctor on board…My weight will yo-yo at the whim of the mostly dead gland in my neck.
This fact prompted me to ask: Would you like to continue another decade of gaining and losing the same 20 or so pounds? Or would you like to use another tool…even if it means your body will still yo-yo?
Okay peeps, here’s the thing…Since the yo-yoing isn’t going away…
I would rather gain 20 pounds starting at 160 than at 230.
Plus, I also found out the both veins in my left leg were indeed damaged by the deep vein thrombosis of 2009 so I need, my body needs to be carrying less weight overall but especially in my legs…NOW! The venous reflux is not severe enough to put my life in immediate danger however if I do not take action it could be life threatening later. The vein specialist said she would actually recommend weight loss first and ablation second so it’s a really good thing she also happens to work in my weight loss surgeon’s practice because it’s the only time I have not come unhinged at the suggestion to lose weight (because for years, more than a full decade I have been giving it my best).
Weight loss surgery is a tool to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time.
In other words, I was headed in the surgical weight loss direction long before my body let me know it was necessary.
The moral: Listen to your gut. Listen to your body.
Being overweight or even obese while having excellent metabolic health is great (no diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure issues)…right up until you find out there is something wrong with your circulatory system (or some other measure of health not measured by a routine physical) and then you need to fight for your future life and health.
I’m grateful I was already fighting that I have never stopped fighting…and now you know why I dubbed this The Year of Probability…weight loss surgery carries a high degree of probability that, when used correctly, it will be the right tool to help my body lose weight.