Is it worth it? Is it worth the effort? Worth the money? Worth the pain? Worth the time? These are questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis. In the month since my gastric sleeve surgery, I’ve learned what’s worth it for me and what isn’t.
The first thing I would tell anyone who asks is that this surgery was totally worth it for me! I am feeling like my normal self for the first time in years. I can walk for more than a block without my feet hurting. I am starting to have more energy. My self-esteem is getting better every day. I am satisfied with a very small amount of food. In fact, navigating the world of food is really the only challenge I have right now.
Before I eat I have to ask myself if the amount of protein in the food is worth it. Is it worth the amount of fat, sugar, and carbohydrates? If I can’t say yes to the question, I choose something else. After I eat I have to ask myself if the food is worth the way I feel. Most of the time the answer has been yes. Only two foods have not been worth it. Those two were meatballs and a cheeseburger (without the bread) if you’re curious. The meatballs were too dense for me. I could only eat half a meatball. That is not worth it at all. The cheeseburger just left me feeling gross. Tasted good going down, felt not so good later.
Here is a bigger list of things that are worth it and things that are not worth it for me. Some are food, some are not. I’ll update the list as time goes on.
||Not Worth It
|Taking a walk at the end of the day
|Premier protein drinks (so much protein, good flavors)
|Oikos greek yogurt (good protein, so many flavors!)
||Keeping toxic people in my life, even if they are family members
||Stressing over mistakes/imperfections
|The myriad of vitamins I need to take to meet my nutritional needs
||Stressing over what people think of me
|Taking the time to listen to someone who clearly needs to talk, even if they are annoying
|Taking time off for appointments
|Sugar-free hot chocolate
The psychologist at the Weight Center asked me how I imagine life in a smaller body. I honestly didn’t know how to answer at the time, but now I’ve got a list!
Life in a Smaller Body
- Not worrying that my butt is too big for a seat on the train
- Wearing cute bras without the underwire poking me to death
- Being able to climb a set of stairs without wanting to die
- Taking long walks without my back/hips/knees/feet complaining
- Wearing cute shoes without my feet complaining
- Having a healthy pregnancy and child when husband and I are ready (not now)
- Being able to cross my legs comfortably
- Having more energy
- Being able to walk down the aisle of the commuter rail train without bruising my hips on seat corners
- Less chafing (please!)
- Not feeling hot/gross/sweaty all the time
I’m sure I’ll add more to this as time goes on, but this is what I’ve got for now.
It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my weight my entire adult life. I’ve had several go arounds on Weight Watchers, tried Jenny Craig, tried counting calories and tracking every single calorie consumed and burned. They have all offered me short term success but the pounds have always come back and brought friends. A couple years ago I started researching weight loss surgery because, quite frankly, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’m miserable. When I first started researching it, I mentioned it to my primary care doctor at the time and she dismissed the idea. She said I just needed to work harder and be patient, then gave me some Overeaters Anonymous and Weight Watchers pamphlets. Now, those programs have worked wonders for some people but they made my issues worse. I lost very little weight and became obsessed with food. So, I found a new doctor and tried again. That doctor was more dismissive than the first one. Work harder, eat less, be more patient, try Weight Watchers even though it hasn’t worked before. I tried it again and failed miserably.
By that time I was really frustrated. My self esteem and mood were in the toilet. My entire body was achy and tired. Somehow I got the energy to find yet another new doctor and try again. This time my doctor was very responsive. She listened carefully while I told her about my research and my reasons for wanting surgery and why I thought it was the best option for me. She actually agreed with me! She gave me a referral to a local weight loss and bariatric surgery center.
That was in January 2017. I attended the first available information session, which was in March. Soon after that I was evaluated by a nurse practitioner, nutritionist, and psychologist. All 3 had to approve me as a candidate for surgery. I was finally approved in July and now I have my surgery date, October 16.
That surgery date comes with about a million appointments I have to attend, so I’m a little overwhelmed but I’m also relieved. I’m also pretty excited! This is going to change my life for the better.