Monday, January 18, 2010
If one more person says something to me like…..”Oh, I wish I could have that surgery. I wish I didn’t have to do it the hard way” or “Oh my, this dieting and exercise thing is so hard, you got it easy” I think I might just slap them. Well, maybe not but I’d want to. All in love of course. So I got to thinking. Maybe people just don’t know. Maybe they have no idea what is involved in having the lap band surgery and all of the drastic changes you must make afterwards. So I think I’ll just tell you. First of all, I had MAJOR surgery. I could have died. It’s a huge risk. Just that in itself is enough, but there’s more. I endured a full liquid diet for 14 days after surgery. Then for another 14 days, I could only eat soft foods…mashed potatoes, egg salad, sugar free pudding, sugar free jello, sugar free Popsicles, protein shakes and that’s about it. Now that I’m able to eat “regular” foods (there are still way too many restrictions) I only eat 1 ½ cups of food per day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner consist of ½ cup of “real” food. I may never be able to tolerate breads, pastas, red meat, and sweets. Some people can, some can’t. You never know which category of people your going to fall in. I can only drink 1 oz of water at a time. No gulping. Just sipping. I need to stop drinking all liquids 20 minutes before I eat anything and after I’m finished eating, I can’t drink anything for 1 hour. So in order to get the required minimum of fluids that I need in a day, I have to carry a water bottle with me at all times. You don’t realize how difficult that is until you try it. I’m used to waking up in the morning and gulping down a glass of water and drinking with my meals. Major change! I’m supposed to take between 15-20 minutes to eat my little ½ cup of food. You may or may not realize the magnitude of how impossibly difficult that is either. Well, unless you have 3 active little boys and are used to shoveling food in as quickly as you can before any of them try to wiggle out of their high chair or climb out of their booster seat, spilling an entire bowl of untouched spaghetti. Then and only then can you know how hard that is to do. I may never be able to tolerate pizza again. I could go on, but I won’t bore you.
And let me tell you another thing. I’ve worked hard for every single pound of the 29 pounds that I’ve lost. I work my butt off, literally at the gym. I work just as hard as those other skinny girls beside of me on the elliptical. I do just as many reps as anyone else on the inner and outer thigh machine, chest press machine, working my triceps and biceps. I do just as many sit ups as the next person.
Then there’s this constant fear. The fear of failure. Every time I talk with someone, they always seem to know of a friend or a relative or a friend of a friend who had the same surgery and it didn’t work for them or they want to tell you about how they lost all this weight and then gained it back. Yeah, not really what I want or need to hear, ya think?
I guess the point I’m trying to make is this. The band around my stomach is just a tool. Whether you want to admit it or not, we all need some kind of tool to lose weight, get healthier, etc. Your tool of choice might be an appetite suppressant pill, or an energy drink, or Weight Watchers, or whatever else is out there on the market. But you gotta know how to use your tool. And the lap band is no different. You have to work your tool. If I wanted to, I could cheat even with the band. I could still overeat. I can’t eat a lot in one sitting, but I could eat now, come back an hour later, eat again, and so on and so on. But I would only be hurting myself. Even with the band, you are required to exercise self restraint. And it takes work! So please, the next time you talk with someone who’s had some kind of weight loss surgery, don’t belittle their choice or their hard work by making a stupid comment. Think before you speak. And know that we’re all in this thing together. We all struggle with something. And most importantly, like your mother taught you…..If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
That’s my story and I’m stickin to it!!!