Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Date: May 29, 2013 Time: 1:54 am
Current state: Thoughtful
Location: The Office
Weather: Taupe

Today's menu:
Greek yogurt w/blueberries* and granola
Frozen lunch (salmon w/veg)
Cele's Meal

*I bought fresh blueberries again this morning and put them in the frig at work, with my name on them this time, in hope that they won't be stolen again. If they do, I'm going to buy more blueberries and put a note on them that reads "I have spit all over these", and you know what? I will.

Yesterday I mentioned that I've decided to get gastric bypass surgery. Ever since first hearing about it about 15-ish years ago it has been something that I have thought about on and off. My reactions were a mixture of "Oh lord that sounds terrifying" to "Oh that's the easy way out Summer, go to Weight Watchers and for the love of God don't turn into that Taco Bell!" That being said, I've done it all, and yet here I am, still struggling and feeling at the lowest point in my health history.

For the last 33 years of my life, which is about how long I've been alive, I have struggled with weight. We've already gone over that, so I'll spare you regaling the psychological and physical trauma that has come with it, again. After careful thought, weighing the pro's and con's, talking it over with friends who have been through it, and attending a workshop run by a gastroenterologist, my final conclusion was that bypass surgery was my best option.

I have found that gastric bypass comes with a lot of questions, comments, and very strong reactions, so I wanted to take time today to address them.

What is Gastric Bypass/Lapband/Gastric Sleeve?

I'm going to explain these in "Summer terms", rather than medical terms, that way we can all follow along.

Gastric Bypass is when the tube that is connected to your stomach is disconnected, and reconnected to your small intestine with a fancy little pouch for a stomach; what this does is basically give you less room to digest, so you get full hella fast. Basically, instead of taking the long way around, your food is being express laned on a single lane highway, rather than 4 lanes.
I like visual aids, especially since the way I explain things is way weird.

Lapband Surgery is when something kind of like those zip-ties that cops use to handcuff protestors is tied around the stomach, making it smaller. There is a port installed in the abdomen connected to the band that is used to fill the band with saline solution, either making it tighter or loose. This is the BMW of gastric surgeries, because after getting it, you have to have it maintenanced frequently

If I'm going to have a port installed in my body, it's going to be a USB port to charge my iPhone.

The Gastric Sleeve is essentially down grading from a 3 bedroom to a studio; a large portion of the stomach is removed, thus making the stomach smaller. This surgery is fairly new, and doesn't have a lot of long-term research. I am not an early adaptor in technology nor gastric surgeries. I have known people that it has been successful for so far, but they're trailblazers; I'm a trail follower.

I call this the Google+ of gastric surgeries: successful among early adaptors, but it's not highly advisable to use.

All of these surgeries are done laparoscopically, and it looks a lot like the alien abortion scene from Prometheus. I might have it filmed and send it to Ridley Scott.

Isn't Gastric Bypass the easy way out?

Did you not read my previous answer? Does getting your insides rerouted sound easy? Please go watch the alien abortion scene from Prometheus right now. I'll wait................did that look easy?? No? Yeah, I didn't think it did either. This is an option for people who have tried many weight loss options and are at the end of their tether, but this is by no means easy. There are long-term side effects of gastric bypass:

1) Dumping, which is basically when your blood sugar gets turned up to 11, and then goes from 11 to 1 very quickly, which can cause dizziness/fainting, vomiting, and general discomfort.
2) Bypass patients have to take nutritional supplements for pretty much forever.
3) Should someone who has bypass mistakenly overeat, they can throw up. There's actually a lot of throwing up in post-bypass life.
4) Hair loss. Let me say that again. Hair. Loss. Have you seen my hair? It's beautiful. It's instrumental in framing my angelic face. Have you seen my face? It's freaking angelic!
5) There's a slight risk for death, which is less than ideal, and very much a long-term side effect.

So if you have read this and still feel this is the "easy way", please read the title of this post phonetically.

Have you tried dieting/exercise/Weight Watchers/Jenny Craig/Nutrislim/shakes/Atkins/Paleo/Crossfit/wiring your jaw shut?

I'll answer these in line:
  • -Dieting and exercise? Freaking duh, of course I have.
  • Weight Watchers? Yes, it's a helpful tool, and I'll probably continue to use it post surgery if I start to plateau in my weight loss.
  • Jenny Craig? No, it's too expensive.
  • Nutraslim? No, it's not only too expensive but I don't want to live on nasty, overly-processed foods. If you want pre-made meals, go to Cele's Meals. They're amazing.
  • Atkins? No, I have a high risk of cardiac disease in my family and Atkins is notoriously high cholesterol and high fat. That and Atkins is stupid.
  • Paleo? The average life expectancy of Paleolithic man is 35 years old, and woman 33. The common causes of death were environment and diet. So no, I don't want to. That being said, there are some very tasty Paleo recipes!
  • Crossfit? I tried Crossfit for a week. Did you know that Crossfit is really freakin' hard? Like, really really hard. I injured myself on the 3rd session. I bow at the feet of anyone who can do Crossfit, but it isn't for me. I am far too delicate a flower.
  • Wiring my jaw shut? This is something I was teased with in my young life, by my obese parents, so that was cool. That being said: no.
Are you looking forward to having the perfect life after surgery?

So here's the deal: gastric bypass surgery is not a cure-all answer for a lifetime of obesity. Yes, it is a tool to put a person on the road towards having a healthier life, but the journey doesn't end there. It not only comes with physical work, but psychological work as well. When I left the bypass seminar I went to a couple of weeks ago, I went home and had a good long cry. I had so many questions.
  • When will I be thin enough?
  • What is thin enough?
  • Will people start being nicer to me when I'm thin?
  • If people are nicer to me after losing a lot of weight, will I resent them for not being nicer to me when I was overweight?
  • When will someone be attracted to me?
  • Will I always wonder if they would have been attracted to me when I was overweight?
  • When can I stop hating my body?
  • When am I allowed to stop hating myself?
These are all questions that I will clearly need to address with a counselor. I have many years of psychological bashing that needs undoing, and bypass surgery isn't going to fix it. I am very aware of this.

When are you having surgery?

At the moment there is all kinds of red tape I need to break before I get the surgery. I have to go through insurance to find out exactly how much of the surgery they will cover. I have to go to doctors to provide proof of medical necessity that I need this surgery, and  I need to find the right surgeon (or the one that my insurance will let me use, which is hopefully one with a real medical degree from a real school, and not like, online). It could be as far out as fall before I have the surgery, which is fine because I want to enjoy the summer.

Is this blog post over yet?

Congratulations, you have made it to the end of this blog post. If you have hung in this far, pat yourself on the back. If you haven't, then you clearly are not reading this, in which case you are a stinky doo-doo head. Just kidding, you're not a stinky doo-doo head! You're probably doing something like working, which is highly advisable.

Summer out.


Genevieve! said...

I love you Summer! You're a gorgeous lady regardless of what you weigh. Totally behind you in whatever you choose, having suffered my entire life as well. Get healthy and be happy, however you need to do it. I'm tired of being unhealthily overweight too. Much love and support!

Jessie Sams said...

I'll admit it--I giggled incessantly after saying "FA-Q" out loud. Several times. You crack me up!

One of my friends from another circle of life recently had gastric bypass surgery, and she is blogging about her surgery and progress here:

If you ever find out the answer to what 'thin enough' is, do share. I feel like it's one of those 'What is the purpose of life?' questions. Something about it all coming from the inside... Why is that so hard for us females to get? I know there are males who struggle with it, too, but I feel like it's mostly women who stare at the mirror wondering what life would be like if they could just lose X pounds (or, in some case, X inches). Not cool. Especially since so many of us women are so darn awesome. Fabulous Fridays should be complemented by Marvelous Mondays and Terrific Tuesdays and Wonderful Wednesdays and Thankful Thursdays and Spectacular Saturdays and Stunning Sundays.

Kathryn said...

Sum! This post is so thoughtful, funny and profound.

Anonymous said...

Summer - your Auntie Sharon loves you and is backing you no matter what ou decide to do. :)