Monday, December 31, 2012

And the journey begins

As of this minute, I am 30 years old and 338 pounds.  Ten years ago I would never have believed I would get to that number.  I don't think anyone knows I'm really that heavy.  People actually say to me, "well it's not like you weigh 350 pounds or anything!" having no clue how close I really am.  I've been overweight for over half my life and for that entire time I've truly thought "This is only temporary.  This isn't the real me.  I'll be losing a lot of weight soon.  Starting tomorrow..."  And then "tomorrow" would never come. 

During a recent visit with my GP, she asked if I'd ever considered bariatric surgery.  I'd heard of gastric bypass, and even knew there was something called a lap/gastric band, but honestly had never considered either one as an option.  It's always seemed like taking the easy way out.  I shouldn't need to have surgery for something I can do myself, even if it's really difficult.  However, when I got home that day, I looked over the summary I got from my doctor and found out that I am classified as "morbidly obese."  Morbidly.  That is such a terrible word. 

I'm at an important crossroads.  I can keep doing what I'm doing and maybe not even make it to 60.  Or I can do something about it.  My mom in tow, I attended a seminar at a nearby bariatric clinic.  After hearing about the different types of procedures offered, I decided the bypass was too drastic (I assume someone somewhere has already made a joke about the "drastic bypass", haha) but the lap band sounded doable.  Aside from it being less invasive and way more easily reversible, I like the idea of slow and steady weight loss as opposed to the more rapid loss one experiences after bypass.  Maybe it's just a product of struggling with my weight for so many years, but I've been trained to believe that a slower, more gradual weight loss will be healthier and more sustainable.  Who knows, maybe that's just my way of telling myself I'm making the right choice with the lap band.  All I know is that I think gradual weight loss will be better for ME.  I'm only 30, but my skin definitely doesn't have the elasticity it did 10 years ago, and I don't want to be swimming in extra skin.  I'm hoping that strength training along the way will help.  Any advice from those of you that have gone through this? 

I'm still going through all the preliminary exams/paperwork/etc.  I still need to go in for my blood work and call my old doctor to get my medical history sent over.  I'm terrible with these things--it's the sort of stuff I put off as long as I absolutely can.  But I've been trying to motivate myself lately by reading people's blogs and hearing about their successes and just how proud of themselves they are.  I WANT TO FEEL THAT.  I know I will someday!

If anyone reading this has any advice for me, please feel free to leave it in the comments, or you can request my direct email address.  I'd really love to be as prepared as I possibly can.  And thanks in advance as well, because I'm hoping this blog and the community will turn out to be a source of inspiration, motivation and accountability for me. 

Happy New Year!