Today I spent some time at a bariatric clinic. It flooded back memories and feelings I always have when I get to see people go through this process. I drove home thinking of my weight-loss surgery friends. I think so highly of them, even if society sees it different.
So to my weight-loss surgery friends,
I’m proud of you. Proud of you for getting past the uncomfortable feelings you or others feel about having the surgery. Proud of you for taking action and getting started in a program. Sitting through a seminar and hearing some scary things. Listening to a doctor talk about things you didn’t totally understand.
Telling your family and spending time in thought and even prayer. Brushing yourself off when someone you care about said crummy things about your decision. Looking past what others were eating to make your pre-op weight requirement. You’ve said no thank you more times than you ever thought you could. You took a lot of time off and sick days to get to appointments and classes. You studied your materials at home and read online about surgery.
You made friends at support groups. Thought you were doing well and had your dietitian tell you she wanted more. But you were still nice to her- thank you! You changed your household with better foods, got to the grocery when you didn’t have the time, and kept good options for you and the family. You dealt with upset kids and spouses when “they weren’t the ones that chose to go on a diet.”
You fit in exercise in even the busiest of days. Pack your protein bars and water for your summer trips. Bring something to share for a holiday party when you secretly just want to make sure you could eat. You step on a scale in front of strangers and sit in front of doctors, nurses, dietitians and exercise physiologists to talk about that stupid number. What did you eat? Why? What were you feeling? I’m the one asking the questions, yet I know it’s not easy to be asked.
If you have heard someone say surgery is the easy way out, I’m sorry you heard those words. I want you to forget you ever did (and forgive the person who said them) and remember the truth. What’s easy about changing everything you know about food? What’s easy about trying to eat out with friends when you have to drink liquids? What’s easy about having to remember your water, your vitamins, your breakfast and your lunch when you are rushing out the door for the day? I’ve always thought if someone sat one day in my office, they would quickly realize it’s not so easy. Sure, it gets easier the longer you do it. But the process to get to that point is long.
My husband and I met on an online Christian dating site. When you tell someone you met your spouse online, some people are still a little uncomfortable about it. I think my husband puts it very well when he says, “I don’t care how we met, I care that we met.” And that’s how I’ve decided I feel about weight-loss surgery. I don’t care how you lose the weight, I care that you lose the weight. Oh sure, I want you to do so in a very healthy manner that greatly improves your quality of life. Just like I would care that someone was in a healthy relationship.
So I will keep posting recipes that are all bariatric friendly. Never will I post something I don’t want a post-op patient to eat- although always consult your dietitian as recommendations will vary with individual situations.
If you have ever thought about a surgery, or know someone who has, I am more than happy to talk through this option. The good, the bad, the ugly. Send me an email and we’ll get in touch.
This post was very long because I have a lot to say on this subject…and the only ones left reading are likely my post-op friends! ;) One more time….I am so proud of you!