My favorite time of the month has arrived. I get to sit here with my soulmates, those looking for an answer to obesity. Dr. Smith, my hero, stands at the front of the room explaining why this surgery is necessary for those that sit in front of him. The difference between “us” and the rest of the dieting community is that “we” have a metabolism set point that is broken and no diet can fix. Actually dieting threatens to make it worse. Bariatric surgery is the only solution to reset a metabolism and that is why today I eat the same 1800 calories I did back then and yet today my weight is stable and healthy.
As I stand to speak tonight I will focus on the support and the importance of knowing where to find it. It is a fact that the number of people in the audience that I stand in front of today will not be the same number that will go through with the surgery. There are many reasons that are outside of their control; insurance, health clearances, etc. There is one reason that is greater than the sum of all those and that is due to a lack of support. Support from loved ones, friends, coworkers and others that have influence over your life. This is the reason we have to solve! It is a matter of life or death.
I experienced this very same thing when I went through the process. My husband and my daughter were sternly behind my decision. My husband had sat through every class and appointment and understood the risks versus the benefits well. My daughter’s friend was the one that gave me the courage to consider the surgery so she was also a supporter of the decision. My son was the complete opposite. He was very vocal about his opinions about the surgery and nearly begged me not to go through with it. He knew what he knew as he had “heard it” but did not have the recent relevant knowledge my husband, daughter and I had the benefit. He almost had my mind changed. This is likely what is happening to some of my audience sitting here in front of me.
The importance of support in any major decision in life is key. Without it your chances of success decrease dramatically. For this reason it is your responsibility to educate those around you with the facts to resolve the myths that are otherwise swaying their opinion. Bariatric surgery 20 years ago was a very different surgery than it is today. It was an open surgery and the morbidity rates were high. Today most Bariatric surgeries are done laparoscopically which massively reduces the risks. The chances of dying are 0.13% which is lower than gall bladder surgery, appendectomy and other surgeries. The chance of living a healthier life is 100%! High blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, gerd and many other conditions resolve immediately.
In addition to educating the statistics of these surgeries, is to be resolved in your decision. You have to be sold, you have to be ready and when you make that decision in your mind, your resolve will be strong enough to resist the critics. My strategy in lessening that influence was to tell as few people as possible and then to make sure those that did know understood my mind was made up.
Where you have resolve you likely will have better support. When those that love you know how strongly you feel about something they will rally behind you. Once my son realizes that I was going to move forward he was quickly part of my support group.
We know that any major life change will change your “circle”. There are going to be those that are not going to support you for their own reasons. I have often said that there were people that needed me to be the “fat friend” and when I no longer fit that mold they slowly moved away. This like so many tests in life will show you who your real friends are and more importantly who they are not.
This surgery, this surgeon saved my life. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life. What made the difference was my support. My family knows this regimen as well as I. Even today they “keep me honest” and rally behind me through all of the good and bad. It’s not easy. Let me say that out loud, IT IS NOT EASY, but nothing worth having is easy.
Make up your mind, rally your tribe and make THE decision.
Life as I see it…supported. L.