This is the most common question I get when I tell people I had weight loss surgery. I understand their meaning behind it, truly I do. I’m in my early twenties, work full time, and go to school full time. How much could my weight really have been impacting me? Or, maybe they’re really asking “are you so lazy that you couldn’t have gone for a jog once a week or put down the chip bag and eat an apple?” Whatever their intention is, I typically just respond which the cookie cutter, across the board answer of “for my health, so I don’t run into problems later on” which is not false. I am a relatively healthy person. Normal blood work, blood pressure, I could still walk without any issues. However, that is only because of my age. The toll I was taking on my body was cruel and unnecessary so I took the steps I needed to in order to make a change. Here are some of my other reasons for going with what I am sure seems like the most extreme option to many.
My willpower was not great. This is not something I have an issue with admitting. People cheat on their diets all the time, I was horrible about it. It’s like the word diet triggered this thing in my brain to automatically need a whole bag of Doritos. I told my surgeon this up front. Worried that I would get denied because what if afterwards I still fell into the same patterns? He gave me a very scientific reason as to why that is not the case. Basically, my stomach was producing a lot of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. It was screaming at me all the time to eat all of that garbage food and I happily obliged. After surgery, unless I decide “Hey, I’m going to eat that junk” I don’t have any temptation. It’s like I never wanted it in the first place, and it is a strange but welcome feeling.
I grew up with poor eating habits. No. This is not a paragraph of me blaming my parents for my obesity. However, they are from a different generation. The one where whole milk and white bread were staples of a healthy diet. They just didn’t know any better. At the ripe age of 21 I had surgery, and seeing as how my parents controlled a majority of my meals for most of my life, I only had a few years to abuse my body with food. Which only made it worse. Until I started exploring the world of weight loss surgery, I had no real interest in nutrition. “You never know what is healthy anymore” is something I would often say, and while this is true. I have never met someone who said they were fat from eating meat, fruits, and vegetables. It’s not difficult, It just isn’t fun.
My stomach was already expanded. The only way to shrink your stomach after a lifetime of terrible portion control, is surgery. Most people who lose the weight naturally end up gaining at least some, if not all of it back. Sometimes even more than they initially lost! I didn’t want that to be my story, and while it could still happen. I feel that this tool really helps me from becoming that statistic. If you don’t believe this one, I have a pretty cool picture of the portion of my stomach they removed, it’s kind of gross so I won’t post it but I’m happy to send it to any non believers out there. (You can also see my liver in this photo, which my surgeon called “the healthiest liver he had ever seen” so, ya know, brag.
I wanted to. Honestly, I could just leave it at that when I get asked these questions. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my choice to better myself. However, if it helps get rid of the stigma around weight loss surgery, I am happy to continue to explain it. So if you are thinking about having WLS and people are questioning you, show them this post. Or just tell them it’s because you want to. This is your life and you owe no one explanations for that.