Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fat Faqs: Why Have VSG?

When I updated my Facebook status last week with the news of my surgery approval, over 50 people "liked" my post and my wall was flooded with comments in support of my decision.  My cell phone lit up with texts from friends who knew I was waiting for this moment.  I'd been "vaguebooking" about it up to that point; I was occasionally dropping hints that something very important was brewing, but only a handful of people actually knew what I was referring to prior to the official announcement. 

Despite this outpouring of support, there are still some people who don't understand what I'm having done and why, or are worried that I'm putting myself in harm's way.  In my previous post I provided some links to information on the procedure, which explain the "what" portion of the question.  Now I get to address the "why" part.  

Why weight loss surgery in the first place?  Why not just do Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or Nutri/system or Atkins or South Beach or...

...or yet another diet that will only put me right back in this same spot two years from now?

Here's the ugly truth: For 30 years I have struggled with my weight and battled to keep it stable.  All other efforts have proven fruitless in a long-term capacity.  I can lose weight on just about any program.  And I have. However at this point, keeping it off has become the issue.  I think VSG will be the tool I need to resolve my weight issues - and all their related manifestations - in the long-term.   It's not an "easy way out," by any means.  I have a SHIT TON of work ahead of me.  I still have to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen. VSG is not a quick fix or a miracle panacea.  But it IS a powerful tool, and any job is made easier and more effective by having the right tools.  

The root cause of my weight issue is that I'm a compulsive overeater.  VSG will not change that.  But what it will do is make it so that I CAN NOT overeat or eat extremely rich foods without getting quite sick.  Drastic?  Yeah.  But it's kind of my last hope.  

But aren't there complications?  What are the risks?  Is it dangerous?

No more dangerous, complicated, or risky than where I'm at right now.  

At nearly 42 years old, the physical effects of my excess weight are more than should be for someone my age. I have poorly controlled asthma, unexplained edema in my extremities, sleep problems, migraines, joint pain, and foot pain.   Carrying 250 pounds on my 5’5” frame, I am winded from the smallest exertion.  Just putting on socks is a monumental effort.   Tying my shoes is exhausting.  I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in years.  Anyone who has ever shared space with me overnight can tell you my snoring can be heard two rooms over.  I suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, and I have often wondered if my attention deficit disorder is directly related to this.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Let's not even go into the stress that yo-yo dieting puts on the heart and other vital organs.

While the physical issues are plenty, the emotional issues abound as well.  I try not to let my weight hold me back from enjoying the things that I love, but my social life has begun to suffer.  Even my closest friends barely see me these days.  I work a gazillion hours a week, and that's my excuse for never going out anymore, but the hard truth is that I do that on purpose as a way to avoid the real issue, which is that I feel like shit.

I have tried everything else, and I have put forth a sincere effort in every attempt, but yet another diet would only become another cog in the wheel of my never ending struggle to maintain weight loss.  VSG is my last hope, and at my age I don’t have time to keep playing this game.  It’s time for me to get on with my life and regain control of my health already.

That's my answer, and I'm stickin' to it.

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