Let me preface this story by saying I have nothing against a person having weight loss surgery. We're all on our own path and that's completely your decision.
There’s a few aspects to my decision:
Firstly, and the overwhelming factor is that I didn’t have the money. I knew I didn’t and I even if I had seriously considered weight loss surgery, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it.
And if I'm really honest, that's why I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the whole thing.
The other major factor,is that I lived in a country town, which means taking 6-hour one-way road trips to see said specialists, which is not cheap. And a girl who’s just moved out of home NEEDS to work, and can't go taking time off willy-nilly.
The next part is that surgery had very little research done back then (2009). Nobody trusted it. Things went wrong. I saw all those horror stories on (reality) medical TV shows.
Also, generally the idea of any surgery scares me. If I could avoid going under and having people poke around in my belly, I was going to do that.
The other large piece of this pie is that I honestly didn’t see myself as all that big. I wasn’t going out, taking photos, looking at them and feeling disgusted. I wasn’t shopping for clothes and realising my size had gone up. None of that. I lived on a remote property with my new husband and that was that. So I didn’t see the that the need was that great. My lifestyle had 100% changed. I got lazy. I ate more and I didn’t exercise. I also wasn’t hanging out with my girlfriends or going for walks coz I lived 6 hours from them on a lonely, dry cattle property. We didn’t go out much coz there wasn’t much to do. So that was life.
And lastly, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. So many people before me had lost weight with diet and exercise and why would I be any different? The Biggest Loser was still on at that time and I thought, if they can do it, so can I.
At first, I wasn’t motivated to do it the old-fashioned way and looked for every crash diet and quick fix there was. I even tried a few of them. And at my size, about an 18 (Aus) I think, and the way I’d been treating my body… I lost weight like mad! My body was so inflamed that as soon as I started treating it semi-okay, it felt like it could drop all the fluid and shit it was holding onto. Have you ever seen someone start a new weight loss plan after treating their body like shit, and the fat literally falls off them? So frustrating, right?
Anyway, as soon as I got sick of that diet, of course I put that weight back on. This happened a handful of times.
Eventually I tried again. I knew this time needed to be different. I considered how I would do it and this time I was in it for the long haul. I didn’t want a quick fix. Sure, I wanted a kick-start and tried a few things to get going again. More diets and different supplements and I learnt a lot, I won’t lie. Did any of them have lasting affects? No.
It was around now that surgery was becoming more and more popular and less frequently things were going wrong. I still didn’t look into it. I still wanted to prove to myself that I could lose weight and keep it off just by eating well and exercising.
I’ve almost constantly come up against the topic of surgery throughout my weight loss process and learnt from people what their experiences were. Some have had troubles, some haven’t. Some have put weight back on, some monitor it closely. Everyone is so different and we can never judge why a person chooses the method they choose. For me, nearing the end of my weight loss and seeing someone get the surgery and all of a sudden, they have lost the same amount as me in 4 months, instead of 4 years... I’m not going to lie, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Just like someone starting a new diet plan and losing 3 kgs in the first week is hard to watch, when you’re struggling to lose 0.5kgs/week because you’ve been at this a loooong time. That mental battle is hard. And I came to realise that it’s MY issue, my doubts and insecurities that are clouding me when I look at them. Comparison is a bitch!
I still struggle with this. I have known people who have been dishonest and when asked, they haven’t mentioned getting the surgery, which sets an unrealistically high bar. I have thought to myself, I do all the right things and I’m not losing the weight like her, what’s wrong with me? I suck, I’m the worst, I’m not worthy --> Depressive spiral.
This is a total tangent but my point is that weight loss is difficult and it’s a huge mental battle to work through. I really don’t think that dishonesty around surgery is very common. And we just need everyone to be open and honest and real. In this society where everything seems to be air-brushed, edited and “fake news” (sorry, I hate myself for using that); more real, honest stories is what we need.
We also need deeper connection in our lives! We need to like ourselves enough, to make a good decision for us in that moment, with the information we have. We need to like ourselves enough to do the research. We need to like ourselves enough to own our story, our triumphs and our mistakes. So if you are considering it, do your research and make your own choice for YOU.
We all have our struggles, and our own problems. But some problems and struggles are worth having. Because we like what we get from it, we value having those problems because it means we have children, a dog, or a holiday. Even if we hate doing the school drop off, or picking up the dogs poop, or flying. I know this might be tough to understand. Please go and read “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***” by Mark Manson. But it’s like that saying, “Choose your hard”, right? We all have our own choices to make.
The challenge this week is to try not to judge a person by their choices. Without at least finding out more first. It’s really none of your business. Go on with your own life. It’s not worth your energy.
Love you. I mean it. Contact me if you'd like help to work something out.