I’ve been thinking about bariatric surgery off and on for almost five or six years. A friend of mine had a bypass five years (or so) ago and I was there with her as she went through the insurance approval process, all of the doctor visits, tests, evaluations and struggles with convincing her family that the surgery was the right thing for her to do. I cheered for her in those first few months as she recuperated from the surgery. I watched her shrink and find herself in the process of shedding her excess weight.
And the entire time I wondered if maybe it was something I should be doing, too.
But I convinced myself that I was not as heavy as her and that I would never be as desperate as she was to lose weight. I had just had my second child and I knew that I had a little weight to lose but figured with Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig to help me, I’d be just fine.
Fast forward four years…
My weight has gone up and down (a little) but I have not really managed to lose the baby weight from my second pregnancy. I look in the mirror and I see my body – round and squishy, my girls say – and I think to myself that maybe this is just how I am supposed to look. I am a mother, after all, and there are no expectations for me to be supermodel-thin. I focus on my children and my husband and on making a happy home for them. I completely ignore my image in the mirror and tell myself that how I look is not really important.
And then I start to realize that I am tired. All of the time. I’m tired and getting through the day becomes a chore. I wonder if something is wrong with me – if I am sick with some dread disease. I blame it on my long work days and stressful commute and keep plugging along.
I try Weight Watchers (again – I think this is time number six or seven in my life). I find I’m not really motivated by the meetings and feel like I know what I need to do but don’t really have the motivation to do it. It feels as if it is a losing battle to fight. At this point, I have over 100 lbs that I want to lose. How in the world would I ever accomplish that on Weight Watchers? I have seen success stories where people have done it before but I don’t think I can ever accomplish such a huge feat.
I talk with a friend and tell her I’m thinking about doing something drastic to get the weight off. I ask her, as we carpool to work in the mornings, what she thinks about gastric bypass surgery. She is shocked and thinks that there is no way I should do something so drastic. I let her convince me that it’s ok to be a little overweight and that it’s part of the aging process and of motherhood.