I can tell just by reading your post that you are truly ready. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had surgery six years ago at age 53 after a full life-time of being obese. My highest weight was 275 and I had constant daily back and knee pain along with diabetes,high cholesterol,high triglycerides and uncontrolled high blood pressure on 3 different medications. Because both my parents had been severely diabetic and died in their 70s from stokes and heart disease caused by their diabetes,I knew right where I was headed. Like you I avoided family outings like trips to the farmers market or antiquing or would just sit on a bench and watch people because I couldn't keep up. I was unable to even keep up with my housework because I was winded with the least bit of exertion. My surgery 6 plus years ago was my best decision ever. I am a rule follower and by doing just that in 9 months I lost all my excess weight and sat comfortably at 118 to 120 pounds. I went from having a hard time finding clothes big enough to having a hard time finding clothes small enough that don't make me look like a 16 year old girl. Yes I do have saggy skin--lots of it--but dressed I look pretty darn good for a 59 year old. The medications I was on are all gone except one low dose losartan a day and I feel better than I did at 29. I now walk at least 4 miles every day with my rescued boxer Lily--just because I can!Hubby and I have joined a group of retired folks who travel in RVs and do work for non profits like childrens homes and church camps. In the past year I've crawled on my hands and knees to do tile floors,built swingsets and porch swings,climbed ladders to repair ceilings,painted bathrooms and done too many other things to mention. Before surgery I wouldn't have had the stamina or even been bold enough to ask others to teach me new skills. I truly did not know how much life I was missing! This lifestyle is hard work as I am definetely a food addict and each meal is a struggle to make good choices--but with how much better I feel it is all worth it. In the last 3 months I did have a weight gain of 8 pounds but by cracking down and keeping busy the weight is going down again. I know I will always have a struggle here but with the tool of RNY the battle can be won. This site has been crucial to keep me accountable--my weight gain came when I had a hard time accessing internet at job sites. Welcome and get ready for some truly amazing changes!
Wow your response just made me cry. The first line hit me, that you can tell that I am "truly ready". So much of what you wrote I can relate to. So often I am sitting on the bench because I cannot participate. I cannot walk even short distances without being winded and my back and knees hurting. There are so many places I would love to travel some day but there is no way I could. I would love to see Italy, Greece, Ireland, the list goes on and on. Aside from the plane ride itself being a deterrant for obvious reasons, once I get there I would have no stamina to walk and sightsee and I know their booths and chairs, etc are even small than in the US. I will never see those places at this weight. I dream of taking my family to Europe before my oldest two leave for college in a few years (if finances allow) but it remains only a dream as this weight.
"I truly did not know how much life I was missing". That is it right there. Thank you for sharing your experience.
I am also a healthcare professional (physician). I finally sought out WLS at age 62 and had my RNY in August of this year at age 63. I am very close to where you currently are at having made my decision to have WLS only about 1 year ago.
All of the questions you have went through my head, as well. But, when I looked at the big picture, all those concerns were tiny compared to the benefits of WLS.
As a nurse, I'm sure you are used to weighing the pros and cons of a procedure for one of your patients and deciding whether the risks outweigh the benefits for that person. Take a step back and think of yourself as one of your patients. Weigh the pros and cons of WLS for "this patient." What would you recommend that "this patient" do? That should help you make up your mind.
Also, as a previous poster mentioned, don't fall into the trap that since you are a nurse that you "should" know all about WLS and the lifestyle changes you need to make to succeed.
I also enrolled in the WLS program at the hospital where I work. Initially, no one there knew I am a physician and I tried to keep it that way as long as possible. I wanted to go through the program just like everyone else. I didn't want any staff members to think I knew what to do or that I thought I should get special "short cuts." By the time most staff members found out I was a physician, I was well into my 8-month pre-op program so everyone continued to treat me just like everyone else--exactly what I wanted and needed!
I wish you well in your decision making and your ongoing weight-loss journey. If you have any questions that might help you make your decision, please ask. That's what this wonderful forum is all about.
Great advice, thank you.
There's many things I could say about your post but the one I would like to address is your question about being able to comply with the diet.
I had the exact same fear. Heck even after I had lost half the weight I wanted to (75lbs) I STILL had no faith in myself I could lose the rest of my weight. No, I wasn't always perfect but I complied most of the time. I also deleted bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and diet Dr pepper from my diet. I lost the weight I wanted to and have been maintaining for 13 months. It's not easy. I struggle with it every day but it's doable.
My friend, on the other hand, is waiting for her surgery to be approved. She probably weighs at least 500 lbs with a list of medical problems as long as her arm. She has said nothing or done nothing to make me think she will get her weight off much less keep it off. She thinks she will get her protein in by eating hot dog weiners, peanut butter and pepperoni. Yea...good luck with that!!!
I know it's going to take a major lifestyle/eating change. I will have to give up things I love. I will only do this if I can make peace with that reality. I tell myself that I have had more than my share of those things already in my 41 years of life.
I love food. I love cooking food. Reading about food. Watching shows about food lol Like I said previously, it is a hobby of mine. Good, quality, delicious food eaten in moderation is not the reason I am obese. It is the poor quality food eaten in excess, the yo-yo dieting and being sedentary that have made me this weight. Could I still delight in cooking/reading/watching beautiful food while at the same time abstaining from overeating, from junk and from triggering foods? Will I sometimes be able to have a few bites of something occasionally (I don't mean every day but here and there)? I don't know. Probably not in the intense weight loss phase but maybe eventually? I know it's a slippery slope and I am afraid of that. What is eating like 1, 2, 5, 10 years out? Can you eat foods with flavor? Can you enjoy food eventually or will it become and stay only fuel? These are the questions I have.
I am only 9 months out so you'll get different answers from me than you will from the vets but:
Everything I eat has flavor;
I don't think of food only as fuel,
I still enjoy good quality food. White carbs, fried things, high sugar things were tasty but never fooled myself that that were quality.
I haven't gotten rid of any of my 60 or so cookbooks and I continue to read them.
I still use food network as my background noise and obsessively watch the Great British Bakeoff (current binge watch - The Final Table, two episodes to go!)
Thanksgiving was my first "food holiday" after surgery and it was amazing. I love to cook, I cooked and prepped everything we ate, except 1 of the turkeys, including all 4 pies. I had my usual fun doing everything, at dinner, I took a me sized portion of turkey and enjoyed a single small serving of the holiday potatoes I love so much, and I had a bit of my sister's serving of sweet potatoes. I was pleasantly full, didn't feel deprived and didn't have that Thanksgiving is over I need a nap hang over after.
One of the amazing vets here, H.a.l.a B, has as her tag line "I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences" -- I embraced this. While i'm maximizing my weight loss during the first 18 months, I don't WANT to eat anything borderline.
Regardless of whether it's a borderline food (in my current diet, that's protein bars), something I made from scratch, or a dinner out, I measure (as much as possible) and i log it into my food tracker, even if I have to estimate portions from a restaurant. Knowing that I'm in my honeymoon phase, I have avoided testing my limits with "treat bites here and there" because I don't want to experience dumping and I really don't need to know that I don't dump. This is hard stuff and anything that helps with the aversion therapy aspect, I'm on board with! Do I have days where my calorie/protein/carb ratios are NOT what I planned? Of course...but I can look at them and know exactly what I did and understand the why and document those choices and their impact on my success/lack of success. There's no head in the sand anymore.
Go to the menu thread and look through what everyone is eating; this will give you an idea of what people are eating at various stages.
I suspect your program will put you on a food diary (I had to turn mine in, on paper, every month for 6 months) -- I'm done with paper but I use both baritastic and My fitness pal to track but that's just because it's what works for me. Embrace the tracking.
If your program offers psychological support, embrace that too. I was a skeptic and looked at it as a "check the box" item....but it has been almost as important as the surgery itself for me.....it's what is going to help me be successful AFTER the first 18 months. It's not easy, I am continually doing the analysis on head hunger, eye hunger, tongue hunger (you get the point) 100s to times a day.....but it's worth it.
HW: 306 SW: 282 CW:150.8 GW: 145
M1-23; M2-19; M3-13.9; M4-15.8; M-5-12.3; M6-9.5; M7-11.5, M8-11, M9-6.8 M10-5.3
On giving up foods you love:
You got this! It's an amazing journey. I have zero regrets except I should have done when I was your age. I waited until my health was so bad I honestly thought I would die in the next year or two. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, extreme sleep apnea. Not to mention I literally couldn't walk and was very close to needing a walker at 49 years old. Now all those issues, 8 months after surgery are gone. It really is a miracle. Yes, it's a life changing thing but if you have support you will get through it.
At first you think you will never be able to eat again, then as time goes on your worry you will be able to eat again lol. It's so worth the hard work, I can't even put it into words. This site is amazing, I went back and searched all the people who gave answers who lost similar weight to what I want to lose. I did everything they said and I'm now 150 pounds lighter from my highest weight and 120 from surgery. I still have more to lose but I know Ill get there.
Good luck to you and congratulations for opening this chapter. You won't regret it.
Referral: March 2017, Orientation: June 2017, Nurse, Social Worker, Nutritionist, Pharmacist: Dec 2017, Physiotherapist and f/u with Nurse: Feb 2018, Meet Dr. Lindsay: Feb 2018, Pre-Op Feb 26, 2018, Start Optifast (4 weeks): Feb 27, 2018, SURGERY: MARCH 27/18 at St. Joseph's in Toronto with Dr. Lindsay. Height 5'2," 49 Years old, Hw: 365, Pre-Op Weight (start of Opti 355), SW 334 CW 209. Weight Loss: Pre-op -19, M1 -23, M2 -18, M3-18, M4-14, M5-14 M6-10, M7-14 M8-8
Congratulations on deciding to go forward. You'd Doctor will be best to decide which one to do. I have successfully had the band for 10 years but the sleeve is newer. The advantage of not going rny is you will not be nutrient deficient, just eating smaller correct portions and will be able to eat most healthy type foods. It does really help change your lifestyle and you will feel so much better all around losing the weight! It is not easy in the beginning, but gets better & better. Good luck.