Monday, June 16, 2008

No Gastric Bypass? Are You Crazy?

For some reason, people have been asking me a lot lately if when I was at my heaviest I ever considered having gastric bypass surgery. I don't know why this has been on their brains or why they've had the balls to talk to me about this as of late, but I feel the need to share my answer.

When I first started hearing about the surgery as a high schooler, I thought it was the greatest thing ever invented. Finally, the brilliant doctors had found a way to cure obesity once and for all, with a couple of little snips and some stapling back together, creating a smaller stomach that couldn't handle more than a few tablespoons of food.

But then I started to think about it from a realistic standpoint. How healthy can it be for a 300lb+ person to be living on a few tablespoons of food a day? There ain't no way a few tablespoons can provide you with the nutrition and energy your body needs everyday. Also, I met a friend of mine's sister who'd had the surgery and ate hot dog PUREE on 4th of July because her recent operation left her stomach too weak to handle solid foods. And then I started reading about side effects from the not carefully following post-operation procedures (stomach rupturing, constant diarrhea and/or vomiting, along with others.) Oh, and then I saw that there was no evidence of longterm effects, whether or not the surgery succeeded in getting the patient to lose weight. There were practically no answers to the questions that were rolling through my head: Are there long term health risks to this surgery? Can I have children down the line? And then some. Too many questions and not enough good answers for me.

Not to mention that as a professional singer and musician, I couldn't risk cutting/chopping off any of the stomach muscles I use every time I take a breath to sing. The risk of the doctor doing something wrong and permanently ruining my muscles would be devastating. In and of itself, that was my biggest reason for not having the surgery. Being thin is/was not worth giving up my passion and greatest love in life.

But physical reasons aside, gastric bypass surgery simply isn't/wasn't for me. I hate to say this, but I really do see it as an easy way out. I used to think I was one of those people who could never lose weight even with proper diet and exercise, and I know now how wrong I was. Anything is possible, with a strong will and determination. I'd rather bust my ass in the swimming pool and eat plenty of good, healthy food to lose weight than risk the dangers of a surgery that may or may not work in the longrun.

So I chose the hard way, and it was the right choice for me. I may be losing weight at a slower pace, but at least I don't have to worry about chronic diarrhea or my stomach exploding. And I can eat as much healthy, delicious fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, etc., as I want (and some other stuff, too, for fun...)

No quick fixes for this girl!

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