Category Archives: Gastric Bypass Surgery

Groundhog Day: The Gastric Bypass Version…

Y’all know Carnie Wilson?  She of the singing group, Wilson Phillips fame… and daughter of Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys?  Back in 1999, she had gastric bypass surgery… also back in 1999 I was 19 years old and a big blob of depression, weighing 8 bajillion pounds.  I watched Carnie’s progress after her weight loss surgery like a hawk… every television interview she had… bought every magazine with an article about her.  I was jealous and I so couldn’t wait until it was my turn to have the surgery.  Fast forward to a few years later I did have gastric bypass surgery, as I’ve been very open about on this blog, and I thought my life was totally going to be all downhill from there.

Carnie Wilson lost a total of 150 pounds after her surgery, putting her weight at about 150 pounds… and then she started gaining and she gained back most all of those 150 lost pounds.

I lost a total of 170 pounds a year and a half after my surgery… which still put me around 360 pounds… and then I stopped losing… and I started gaining… and I gained back every single last one of those 170 pounds I had lost due to the stomach size restriction and I stretched my stomach right back out because I am talented at doing that… I did it once from birth to my 20s… I could definitely do it again in my 20s.

Cut to the year 2012, Carnie Wilson had another gastric procedure (this time the less invasive LapBand procedure) to help her lose weight… 2 weight loss surgeries in the space of 13 years.  My question… why!?

I am not here to diss weight loss surgery.  I have many friends and relations who have had it and have done marvelously on it… MARVELOUSLY.  They’ve lost the weight and they’ve kept the weight off but that’s because they’ve worked at it.  They’ve changed their lifestyle and the way they eat and the way they exercise.  For them, the surgery was a tool… not a solve-all.

I wasn’t prepared after my surgery.  Wasn’t prepared for the hard work and the change I needed to make.  I have said in the past that I regret having the surgery, but I guess regret is too strong a word because I could never regret something I’ve learned from… and that surgery taught me so dagnabbed much about myself it ain’t even funny… the reason I regret it is because it has given me extra health issues to deal with… and medications I will have to take lifelong… anemia which I need infusions of iron for because I don’t absorb any iron I eat… B12 deficiency for which I get a shot twice a month… vitamin D and calcium deficiency, requiring pills… esophageal stricture issues… etc., etc., etc.  I thought I’d had the surgery to help get rid of all of my pills, but instead I added more to the pot.  It also was basically a waste of money since I managed to restretch out my stomach and was back to square one.

Carnie’s business really isn’t a snit of my business.  I have no room to judge and certainly no expertise to spew at her, but it seems as if Carnie is not willing to deal with the real reason she eats and gains… and until she can step up and stare that in the face, she gonna be gaining the weight back yet again.  I don’t care how many surgeries you have, it won’t “fix” you… only you can fix you!

Question of the Day:  What are your thoughts on Carnie’s second weight loss surgery or weight loss surgery in general?  

 

 

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My 600-Pound Life…

TLC (The Learning About Borderline Insane People Channel… oops, too many extra letters), has a new series they’ve been airing called, My 600-Pound Life.  I wasn’t convinced that I actually wanted to watch it.  I don’t like to go back to that place when I weighed 530 pounds… and seeing these people and the way they mustered through their life at that weight would be bringing up all sorts of unpleasant memories.  But, then I socked myself in the head and decided it would be a good motivational tool… something that would help me be grateful for how far I’ve come and also to propel me forward to finish taking off the rest of this pesky pie lard.  So, I DVRed it.

Basically, a camera crew follows a person who weighs over 600 pounds over the course of 7 years.  In those 7 years, they undergo gastric bypass surgery, a couple of skin removal surgeries, and so many ups and downs in their weight that the roller coaster at Six Flags is jealous.  There have been 3 episodes so far and there is just one more next Wednesday… the series finale… for anyone who is interested in trying to catch them… I’m pretty sure if you look at a TLC guide they’ll probably be reairing all of the previous episodes too.

It was depressing as all get out for me… and yet I did find myself counting myself lucky that at least I was more mobile than these folks.  They all had to ride around in jazzies just to get around… I never had to do that even at my highest… so, I was super grateful for my mobility.

It was also interesting to see that they ALL had trouble with weight gain after their gastric bypass surgeries.  For anyone who has followed this blog long enough, I had the surgery about 11 years ago, and I gained every ounce I had lost back.  It really is a tool… not a miracle cure… and most super morbidly obese people who aren’t ready to change their lifestyle, will not be successful even with the surgery tool.  I definitely learned that the hard way… but I guess you can’t regret it if it taught you a thing or 12 in the long run.

Overall, I was glad I watched this show.  If anything, it bolstered my desire to want to keep going… and also to never return to the quarter ton years!

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Meanwhile… a bit of FYI for all you clueless folk out there.  You may have realized that this year was Leap Year… aka add one extra day to February just to make February feel better about itself.  But, I bet you didn’t know that they’ve now added an additional additional day.  Thank all that be holy that my Thomas Light English Muffins let me in on this secret!

So, in case you’re wondering… my muffins expire February 30th… mark it on your calendar… even if you have to pencil in the additional day.  It’s kind of like Daylight Savings Time, except with actual days instead of hours.

Question of the Day:  Have you seen this TLC show?  What did you think? 

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She Had A What!?!?!?

So, it’s been five days since I started this blogging adventure… I feel like we’re all pals by now… like I could drive over to your place in my crusty 1897 Buick named Beulah and we could all go out for milkshakes… skimmed milk variety for those on a “die”t!  Now we should be to the “tell all your deepest darkest secrets” phase of the relationship… who’s first?  Oh, alright… if I must… I used to work as ship steerer on the Titanic!!  That’s a lie… I was the assistant ship steerer.  Now that we have my occupation out of the way…  10 years ago I had a gastric bypass surgery!

GASP!

WHAT!?

YOU DON’T SAY!!!?

I did… I had a doctor take a knife, split me in two and rearrange my innards.  It was a glorious surgery… totally would recommend it over a trip to Hawaii any day!  At that time 10 years ago… I was totally excited for this surgery.  I would have moved into the surgery room and slept on the metal slab gurney for 2 weeks waiting for my turn, I was so anxious to get it done.  It was my ticket to a whole new life… to a cover on Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition… to a life where I didn’t have to worry about fitting into chairs and being able to walk for more than 10 seconds without wanting to vomit.  I was on my way to normalcy! 

SCREEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!!!!  CRASH!!!!!!

Fast forward a few years later and I was right back where I started… 530 pounds, worrying about fitting into chairs and walking for more than 10 seconds without wanting to vomit… not to mention kissing goodbye the Swimsuit Cover!!!  Lawsy gracious!  I did manage to lose 180 pounds in the first year after the surgery… totally impressive, right?  NOT… when your stomach can only hold 2 ounces of food at a time, of course you’re going to lose weight.  I didn’t learn a darn thing.  I take that back… I did learn several things.  I learned how to fit more than 2 ounces of food into a 2-ounce stomach… I learned how to use phrases like, “my surgery,” “my scar hurts,” and “dumping syndrome” to get out of any form of exercise or movement.  I also learned how to stretch my stomach right back to it’s original size!  I’m a smart girl, see. 

I’m not saying that gastric bypass surgery does not work… I have several friends and relations who have had the surgery and are happy as clams.  I am saying that it is not a magic wand… it’s a tool… and if you don’t change your lifestyle when you’re given that tool, you will be in my same shoes and gain all the weight back.  I also picked up some vitamin and mineral deficiencies that will be lifelong problems because I can no longer absorb things like iron, vitamin D, and B12.  BUT, on the upside, I have my own recliner at the infusion center in the local hospital… right in between snoring Horace and “washes her hair once a decade” Gertrude for my monthly iron infusions!  BING-O!

If I knew then what I know now, would I have gone through with the surgery?  Probably not…  While I’m doling out recommendations, I’d also not recommend Lindsay Lohen as a babysitter or Charlie Sheen as a role model for clean living!

So, I started over.  This time with a stretched out stomach and some common sense… and I gotta tell you… 205 pounds down to date…  it feels good.  It feels good to know that I’ve accomplished this through hard work and good ole fashioned perserverence.  Ask my buddy, snoring Horace… he’ll tell you… you’ll have to talk louder his hearing aids are broken.

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