To be honest, I went into the gastric sleeve surgery with a different perspective than most. I’m a medical malpractice attorney and know all too well what can go wrong when someone goes under the knife. In fact, if you told me 5 years ago that I would voluntarily put my life into someone else’s hands like that, I would have told you that you were crazy. So why do it now?
Well, I have always been overweight and body conscious. I’ve been on a diet for about as long as I can remember, and tried basically everything. Low carb – Check! Weight Watchers – Check! Hormone diet – Check! (That was specifically because I have PCOS.) Glycemic index – Check! Glycemic load – Check! Alpine skier diet – Check! And the list goes on. I also exercised like crazy – at times doing CrossFit five times a week. But, no matter what I did , the number on the scale steadily rose.
I went through phases where I embraced my curves – every last one of them – and figured this was just what I was going to be like. I also went through phases where I avoided full-length mirrors, clothes shopping, and having my picture taken. I was in the latter phase about a year and a half ago when I first started thinking about surgery. A college friend who was always bigger than me had gastric bypass surgery and looked amazing. I was envious of her new lease on life and ability to shop at non “chubby girl” stores. I also got tired of making fun of myself before anyone else could, and pretending that things like worrying whether my airplane seatbelt would buckle didn’t bother me. But surgery seemed so drastic, so I made a final push to see if I could lose the weight by myself. As I stepped on the scale at 252.8, I began to cry. Not only had I failed to lose any weight, I was bigger than I had ever been before.
So in May 2013, I went to my primary physician for some advice. I honestly expected to hear that we would try medicine or something, but he immediately agreed that surgery was the best option based upon my lifestyle and BMI. I then went to my gynecologist to see what she thought. (One of the reasons I started thinking about surgery in earnest was that my husband and I began discussing having children in a few years. Now, I know women larger than I was give birth every day, but we both had serious concerns about complications during a pregnancy because of my weight.) My gynecologist was completely on board. She thought it was a great idea, would help me have a healthier pregnancy in the future, and even increase my fertility. She has quite a few patients who had weight loss surgery, and said that managing a pregnancy after the sleeve was not that big of a deal.
So my next stop was consulting with surgeons. I was lucky to find the right man for the job after 2. He was a no-nonsense type of guy, and I appreciated his honest and blunt approach. In order for my surgery to be covered by my insurance I had to jump through some hoops – 6 months of doctor visits, psych eval, nutrition eval, etc. – but the process was enlightening and helped give me the time to come to terms with my decision.
My surgery was eventually scheduled for November 22, 2013. I had all my “last meals” and plenty of heartfelt conversations with my husband and family about what this would mean for my future. Everyone else was so concerned about how I would eat after – I love good food and cooking. I was concerned about dying. Surgery, anesthesia, perforation… so much could go wrong. I prayed everyday to have the surgery to go well and for me to wake up. I never once thought about the pain, the struggle to move around afterward, or how difficult drinking even 2 oz of liquid would be.
But I made it through the initial period, and here I am, almost 2 months out. This website is my forum to share with you my journey, my recipes – I still love good food, it is just decidedly healthier – and my life. Thanks for checking it out!
xo – SavvySleever.