If you know me in person or have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know all of my struggles with weight loss. I have been obese my entire life and it has not been an easy road.
Losing weight is tough. It is especially tough when you have a diagnosed eating disorder. I am a binge eater/compulsive over-eater. Last year I lost 50lbs and have already gained back 40 of it. It is heartbreaking. Right now I am very lucky in that I have no health issues other than sore joints. I do not suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or other weight related illnesses. However, I know that I am right on the cusp of becoming very ill. I will be 32 in just a few weeks and I have two little boys that need their mother to be around for a long time.
Over the last year I have been researching weight loss surgery options and for the last couple of months I have jumping through all of the hoops to be approved for surgery. On October 19th, I will be heading to Washington State to have weight loss surgery. A huge decision, and one that I am finally feeling good about.
For a number of months I just felt like such a loser for turning to medical intervention to help me. But after talking with the surgeon, a number of other people who have had the surgery themselves, and my close friends I finally feel good about my decision. I need help to lose the weight and keep it off and this is a good option for me.
I have opted to do it through a private clinic. Wait lists in Canada can be very long for having it done in the public system and you do not have a lot of say in timing or type of surgery. There is only one clinic in Canada that does the type of surgery that I want and it is all the way out in Montreal. So for ease of travel, I found the best surgical centre in Washington that will do the surgery for me. Yes, private means we are paying out of pocket. Curious? It will cost me just over $16k for the surgery plus travel, accommodation, etc. My total cost will be around $20k (so if anyone wins the lottery and wishes to send money my way, I would not turn it down!).
I spent a lot of time feeling bad about spending our money on this surgery. I worked hard to make sure my hobby money is self-generating so I wouldn't take away from our family money and then here I go spending $20k on myself. However, spending this money is about my health and me being around for a long time.
So about the surgery....
I will be having Gastric Sleeve Surgery. The surgeon will actually be cutting off most of my stomach and tossing it in the garbage! I will be left with a stomach that is shaped like a banana and it will only hold about 8oz. This type of surgery has a very low rate of complications, there is no re-routing of the intestines and no foreign items left on my stomach.
After surgery my life will be very different. I will be on liquid/puree diets for a number of weeks before I start re-introducing food. When I do start back on food it will only be a few bites at a time, lots of chewing, and there will be a lot of foods I can no longer eat. I know I am going to go through an extreme withdrawal and a long adjustment period.
Am I scared? Yep, scared shitless. Nervous, anxious and excited too.
Am I worried about gaining it all back? Of course I am. Anyone who has lost weight in any way has that fear. What will I be doing this time around to make sure the weight stays off? Well the clinic that is doing my surgery offers two years of aftercare with nutritionists, the surgeon and personal trainers. That can be extended too. I am also going to be seeing the mental health worker that comes to Faro once a month. We will be working on dealing with my emotional eating issues. I am hoping that this support along with being able to get off my excess weight will allow me to finally have long term success.
What can I expect in terms of weight loss? On a phone appointment with the surgeon, he said I can easily lose 100lbs in the first 9 months. That would have me down around 200lbs. I haven't been 200lbs since I was 15 years old. I have no clue what it will be like. No clue at all.
Right now we are just trying to coordinate travel and child care for my time away. It is proving to be very difficult! So if there is anyone who wants to come to Faro for two weeks to stay with our boys (completely paid for) or would like to come and babysit me in Washington (completely paid for), let me know.
I will of course be blogging about all of my experiences. The support I have received in the past because of what I write on this blog has been phenomenal. I hope you will all support me through this journey!