As I just celebrated my first year post gastric bypass I’ve been thinking a lot about why I did it and if I’d do it again…

The reason I had gastric bypass surgery was because I had lost hope in myself and my aspirations of living a healthy life.  My dreams of having children had been killed by PCOS due to my weight and inability to control it.  I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do like ride roller coasters, go skiing, hike, ride my bike, play sports, etc.  I felt like I was slowly dying a long and painful death where I sat idly watching the rest of the world life the life I wanted to live.

So many failed attempts at diets left me feeling hopeless and helpless…like I was always going to be fat. Always. After-all, I didn’t know any different; I had been fat since I was a kid– it was just who I was, regardless of whether or not I WANTED to be that way.  Once I realized…somehow, though I don’t remember the exact ah-ha moment… that I had the power to take control of my life and that I didn’t just have to “deal” with what I assumed I’d been dealt, I decided it was time to stop being fat and do something about it!  It was that moment that changed everything for me.  The day I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery was the first day for as long as I could remember that I finally felt HOPEFUL about life. I know that sounds pitiful but it’s true.

Gastric bypass surgery was THE solution to MY problem.  But here’s the thing…

Lately I’ve been struggling with whether or not it was my ONLY solution.  Being on the other side now, one year post-op, I’m finally able to see things through a different light.  I realize now that the reason I failed all those “diets” was because I didn’t follow through.  I’d lose 10-15 pounds and then the first time I stepped on the scale only to see the same weight as I had the last time I weighed in or worse…a couple pounds more!  I’d throw in the towel, say EFF it and go to Taco Bell. These days, even after having had my guts rearranged, even though I eat 1200 calories per day and even though I work out 5-6 days per week I STILL HAVE THOSE SAME MOTHER EFFING PROBLEMS!  But the difference is that these days… I DON’T GIVE UP!

This is where I believe the surgery did me the most good.  During the first six months, when I only lost a total of about 67lbs (no more than diet and exercise alone could have done), there were many weeks when I didn’t lose anything but I had no choice.  I couldn’t just give up and gorge myself on fast food and other crap.  I HAD to stick with it– the surgery made me!  Now that it’s been a year and a week since I went under the knife (I like how dramatic that sounds), I’m able to eat much more than I could at the six month mark, BUT I’m CHOOSING not to!  Even on weeks when I don’t lose anything, or like this week, when I gain FOUR fricken pounds, I’m still sticking to it because it’s worth it and I KNOW that even when my body doesn’t want to let go of the weight, I am in charge of my body and I WILL make it happen!

So, would I have the surgery again?  Yes, in a heartbeat based on where I was at the time I had it.  However, if I knew then what I know now I’d try a little harder before losing hope.  I’d be kinder to myself, I’d take better care of myself, I’d be more conscious of myself.  All the things I’m doing now…Hindsight is 20/20 no?

If only the chicken would come before the egg… (one more applicable cliche for you!)

This being said, and the main reason these thoughts have been stressing me out lately is that I wish I could tell everyone and anyone out there who is considering having the surgery or who WANTS to have the surgery but can’t…there is hope out there and it doesn’t require a scalpel.  You just have to find it within yourself.

Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up.

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Andrea Matthes,

CPT-CFL1, Lifestyle Coach

Letting go of perfection to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.

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