why i had weight loss surgery

Why I Had Weight Loss Surgery

September 5, 2013

Remembering Why You Have Had Or Are Having Weight Loss Surgery

Do you remember the time before you had weight loss surgery? Think back — how did you feel moving in your body doing every day routine tasks? How was your energy level? How fulfilled did you feel in your life? When you made the decision to have weight loss surgery, did you feel hopeful-full of excitement for the future? Were you optimistic that you were taking a step to reclaim your health and lose weight? If you haven’t had surgery yet, answer the same questions to refer to at some point in the future.

Fast forward to today. Do you have the same feeling of excitement and enthusiasm or do you feel stuck in a weight loss surgery rut? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bottle the pre-surgery excitement and enjoy it years later post-operatively? Although different than our experience before we had surgery, we can rejuvenate our weight loss surgery today.

To kick-start your weight loss surgery experience, here are some things you can do.  Make a list as to the reasons you had weight loss surgery. Some of the most common reasons are listed below. Use some of these and add reasons that are personal to you.

- Diabetes

- Arthritic conditions of joints and spine

- Sleep apnea

- Poor mobility

- Lower back pain

- Low energy

- Hiatus hernia

- Gastric reflux

- Sweating excessively

- Polycystic ovary syndrome

- Osteoarthritis

- Incontinence due to excess weight

- Increased risk for heart disease, strokeand cancer due to morbid obesity

- Increased longevity of life

- Emotional and psychological reasons that include -

- Depression

- Social Anxiety

- Not being able to shop in ‘regular’ shops for clothes

- Feeling singled out/different

- Low self-esteem

- Not having relationships/social life due to poor self-image

- Physical and psychological factors of obesity are robbing them of basic quality of life.

Get a real picture of how your physical and psychological life was prior to your surgery. While it might be painful, remember how you felt carrying around the excess weight, how food occupied so much of your thinking and surrounded your life.

Now, to the present. Maybe you have lost your excess weight, experienced a weight regain, maybe you didn’t get to where you wanted to be, maybe weight loss has stalled or you are at your goal weight. Make a list of how your life has changed since having your surgery. Make this list as detailed as possible so you can see how much you have accomplished, and all the reasons you have to celebrate your life today such as:

- Lost some or all of your excess weight.

- Pre-op health conditions have resolved or improved.

- Stopped taking medications and/or decreased the dosage.

- More active and mobile in your everyday life.

- Increased energy.

- Higher self-esteem, self-worth, confidence and acceptance of yourself.

- Improved quality of existing relationships and created new relationships and friendships.

- Eager to pursue new interests and hobbies.

- Change of clothing size and style.

- Preference in being with people rather than isolation.

- Higher comfort level in social situations.

- Increased satisfaction and fulfillment in your life personally and professionally.

Another suggestion is to write a letter to yourself pre-operatively, as you are today. In your letter, compare your life before you had surgery and now. If you are pre-op, write a letter to yourself that you can read after you have had surgery. Write about the reasons you’re having surgery, and your hopes and dreams for your future.

By writing this letter (the more detailed the better), you can compare the quality of your life pre-op and the life you enjoy today post-op. Get into it and put yourself back in time so you can remember all the details that will allow you to appreciate the life you have now.

Get our some photos of yourself before you had surgery, and photos taken as you lost weight to commemorate how far you’ve come.

Many times we focus on what we haven’t lost or the goals we’ve yet to accomplish. By taking this trip down Weight Loss Surgery Memory Lane, you can appreciate and respect the big and small victories and successes you have achieved. Allow it to rejuvenate you to make the changes and reach the goals you still want to accomplish.

What's on your list? What are some of the reasons you are having or have had weight loss surgery!

cathy wilson


Cathy Wilson, PCC, BCC, had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

Read more articles by Cathy!