Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Surgery or stubborness...

It's pretty easy to figure out you want to do something, it is a lot harder to come up with the plan to do it!

Once I decided it was time to act on my weight I felt very trapped on what to do. And it took me from May when I talked to my doctor about the decision to do something until early November to come up with my path.

I have many friends who have opted for surgery as the solution to obesity, and it is something I seriously considered and talked to my physician about (we went as far as her providing a referral even). But I never really found comfort for me with that option. While my friends have been very successful with it and lost a lot of weight very quickly, I have watched them all struggle with the weight coming back, with side effects from eating too much or the wrong thing and with trying to still make the lifestyle changes that long lasting weight loss takes. On top of that surgery for me, after all I went through and with PTC and then the nerve damage, is scarier than weighing 338 pounds.

I hope when I make this next comment my friends who have had the surgery don't take it as a judgement against them, I am saying this JUST for how I feel about me, not about others and the choice they make. But in my heart of hearts I also felt surgery was a cop out for me. It was looking for a quick solution to not having to do the real work I needed to. While I understand surgery is what many people need, I could never wrap my mind fully around what the surgery was doing on a biological level. It seemed to me the changes the surgery was making was forcing better behavior and changes. And if I could genuinely make those changes without the surgery I should get to the same result. And if I couldn't make those changes then the surgery could ultimately be fatal. But I knew the way I was leaning was going to be much longer and harder than the surgical path.

I have never taken the easy path because it is easy, as my friend said when she chose my hebrew name (Lehava Ruth...which literally translates to flame and friend, but more typically means "stubborn friend") nothing I seriously undertake in my life do I do less than 1000%. And I knew if this was going to work for me in the long term, I had to come at this the same way, with hard work and perseverance.

I can't say when I made the choice I realized I knew this part, but looking back, there was also more I was after than weight loss. I wanted a body that worked, I wanted a body that was strong and in shape and that I controlled. And no surgery could give me that. I needed to do the hard work to get that.

Although I knew what I wanted to do, I can't say I found the faith on my own that I COULD do it. I said in an early post that things happen for a reason. I also believe that people come into our lives for a reason. If you haven't read the Celestine Prophecy it is worth a read, the premise is that people also KEEP coming into our life over and over until that purpose is fulfilled. Mary Kay is one of those people who has come in and out of my life and her purpose, I genuinely believe, was to start me down this road.

I met MK on a travel focused website a couple years ago. We became fast friends, but then due to our crazy lives we drifted apart. I dont remember MK being extraordinarily heavy when I first met her, but she was actually around my size I have since learned. So it was incredibly shocking when last year I saw a picture of her at a Delta Airlines event and she looked HOT!!!!! I had to reach back out to her and find out what had happened. She shared her story with me, she had come to a cross roads, she had found the right trainer, she had changed her lifestyle and she lost over 100 pounds. Beyond the weight loss she had found her life again. She was out doing and having fun and was happy, something the MK I had previously known had struggled with. She also helped me see that living a life where you travel a ton for work does not have to prevent you from winning this battle.

Talking to MK to me sealed the deal, this could be done the hard way and the outcome of doing it this way could lead to much more than just a lower number on the scale. I knew my plan.

I am now 3 months down the road, and I can't say I haven't wondered often if I made the right choice. Surgery some days still seems like it would have been faster, easier, faster, cheaper, faster and oh yeah faster. But I don't regret my decision. I have gained so much more in these 3 months than the weight I have lost. And I really believe this is something I will fight harder to maintiain longer because I am doing the work and I don't ever want to have to do this work again.

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