My Epiphany

Before you ask, I will tell you how it came about that I decided AGAINST the bariatric sleeve after all I have done to pursue it.

WELL, a week ago, I had a follow-up visit with the Nutritionist. I came armed with my food journal that they’d made us keep for several weeks. And to be honest with you, I felt a bit smug. Smug because I felt that I have done so much RIGHT. Each day, I had completed all the categories: the day of the week, the time of day, the exact name and portion size of what I’d eaten, the caloric and protein values, how much water I’d drunk, how much exercise I’d done, what non-eating activities I’d done, AND the daily personal reflection they asked that you write. I congratulated myself that I’d stayed away from carbonated drinks and caffeine and that I’d almost always chosen single-digit fats and sugars, as they suggested.

Did I stay inside the 1000-calorie limit that they had recently imposed? HELL NO–excuse the expletive. But when you think about it, the changes that I’d made had been so comprehensive that I began to feel like a new person; I DESERVED to be congratulated. And yes, I did lose weight despite the fact that my daily calories at first were around 1400, and later closer to 1200. I was certain that the Nutritionist was going to give me a pat on the back and release me to have the surgery that the surgeon had told me he’d be glad to give me the first week in August so that I’d have time to recover before the new school year begins.

Just imagine my shock and dismay when the Nutritionist said the complete opposite. She said that I’d done okay, but that in her opinion I had not PERFECTED the goals to the extent that she could feel confident that I would not sabotage my own surgery after I’d had it. PERFECTION????? So, all this time she was looking for PERFECTION? Something that she did NOT say in the original group meeting we’d had. Long story short, she sent me home for another month to PERFECT this new eating life-style.

I already know what you want to ask and believe me when I tell you that I addressed your question to her, so that you will not have to. I said–very calmly, I might add–“Forgive me, but is it possible that it’s just ME? Am I the only 300-pound person who wants to know how you expect us to PERFECT all this BEFORE we have the surgery? I mean, if we could do that, then why on earth would we be asking to have the surgery in the first place???”

I would like to bet you seven thousand dollars that you CANNOT guess what her wide-eyed response was. Go ahead. Guess.

HAH! You are wrong. Her actual response was—brace yourself for this please—“EXACTLY!”

WTF? How could she say “exactly” as though we were saying the same thing? As though we were on the same side of the fence. As though she were not the only obstacle standing in the way of my much-dreamed-of and sought-after surgery?!

When she saw that I was nonplussed by her response, she continued, “I mean, that’s what I ask myself every day! I want all of our clients to see and understand that if you don’t get this right, you are going to end up weighing exactly what you weighed before the surgery and then all of this will have been for nothing! Why would you sign up for a surgery without knowing how to maintain your weight loss?”

Okay, so I’m not ignorant. I realize the total validity of what she said. BUT IT STILL DOES NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION!!! How do you expect me to do PRESURGERY what I have to do POST SURGERY?! Because if I could, then I would not NEED surgery. It would only be a matter of time, and I would lose weight, slow as a snail though it may be. But I WOULD lose weight.

And suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. Surgery or no surgery, I will HAVE to demonstrate the willpower, the grit, the persistence to consistently do the right thing, eat the right thing, stop eating the wrong thing, stop eating when I’m satisfied, nourish myself with wholesome foods and not junk, stop all emotionally based eating, etc., etc., etc. So there was my answer. That was my epiphany.

If they were going to make me do all this perfectly before the surgery, then the surgery is just a quicker, more costly route with potential complications and recovery time that I can’t afford to miss from my job. At the very least, I can thank them for helping to reestablish my feet firmly on this path. When I signed up for the surgery, I honestly thought I no longer had the ability to control myself. Well, they helped me prove myself wrong.

17 thoughts on “My Epiphany

  1. I viewed my surgery as a “patch”. I was able to quit smoking cold turkey but when it came to losing weight and eating healthy, I just couldn’t seem to do that on my own. So that is what I viewed my surgery as. She was absolutely right that some people can, and do, “eat around” the surgical procedures but she was incorrect in expecting perfection right away. She could have clearly seen that you were making the effort.

    What I would do, and this is just me, I would call your surgeon and thank him for his time but that since he works with that dietitian you are going to seek a different surgeon. That is, if you change your mind and decide that you actually do still want the surgery.

  2. Not sure I agree with everything she said to you, but I do know being 100% compliant with my surgeon’s instructions pre-op has helped me be successful post-op. It was probably the most important tool I had going into the surgery. Regardless, you sound at peace with your decision and that is all that matters! You are doing well – Onward!!

  3. Gees, I’m so glad I don’t live where you do. I’m at 10 weeks post op with a lapband and have lost 15kg. it has NOT been a struggle, I still eat a reasonable amount, I’m am still naughty (just a lot rarer than it used to be) and I am happy, and not thinking of food all the time. Come live in Oz – it’s a hell of a lot easier.

    • hehehehe. I love you, Claudette. You are not the only one who has obtained the surgery with such ease and has benefitted from it. It felt like this Nutritionist just had it in for me personally. But now I am glad. I’ll take it as a sign that I can dig deeper for the strength to do this another way. Congrats to you!!!!

  4. That lady is crazy! And I thought my nut was a nazi! All I can say is that if you change your mind and can stick to it for a month just to satisfy her craziness, it WILL be easier for you after surgery. You won’t even have to think about it. Either way, I wish you much success.

  5. Having had the surgery, and had a NUT who worked with me extensively to meet goals, I have to say that your Nutritionist was off the deep end. My doctors didn’t expect perfection after the procedure, much less before I had it done. They wanted my best faith effort, so I could get the procedure done and then work towards achieving the reasonable goals they set. I lost a ton of weight pre-op (50 lbs on my own), and I’ve lost another 30 (or more) post-op. My worry was never losing, it was always keeping it off. That said, it sounds like you’ve got the drive to do it on your own, and I think that’s fantastic! I wish I’d had the same.

    If you do decide to find another surgeon/NUT, I wish you the best of luck! If you decide to keep going it on your own, well, I wish you the best of luck! Never get discouraged: we know the methods we have work, we’ve just got to keep at it.

  6. Good luck whichever path you choose. I happen to agree with you. And as I’m still waiting for my first appointment with them for a consult. (3 months smoke free first) I’m questioning the waiting and just want to do it myself also.

    • blessings to you. Every day I feel tempted to go back on this decision…but by the end of the day I feel even more resolve to continue on this path that I truly believe is for me. I want to be the person who exhibited faith, diligence and perseverance. THAT self is somewhere inside me waiting to manifest. I will let it happen. Meanwhile, I have redoubled my efforts in reading Weigh Down by Gwen Shamblin. It’s old, but still extremely powerful. If you have not read it or looked her up online, PLEASE DO. Thanks for your comments and support.l

  7. Sounds like a nutritionist that shouldn’t be working with bariatric patients. Mine was right on point with you, because she fully understood our exact struggle and did not expect perfection. Sorry you had a bad experience with that. Me not being able to be perfect on the pre-op diet just reinforced for me why I needed the extra limitation of the surgery. Because literally, I could not stick to it knowing nothing was stopping me. Now with my sleeve, I literally have something stopping me. And in this time until I can eat more normal foods, I’ll be working on improving my eating choices and habits. They still won’t be perfect, but at least when I do splurge on pizza, it’ll be half a slice instead of half a pizza (or a whole one…).

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